Thursday, July 05, 2007

Counting Stars by Michele Paige Holmes


This was the "stretch" book on my Summer Reading Thing list because I really hate romance novels. I think the reason I hate them so much is because when I was 16, my aunt gave me 4 LARGE paper grocery bags filled with romance novels. I think I read at least 60 of them that summer—more than enough to last a lifetime. So, even though some of my best friends are romance novelists, when anyone mentions reading one of those kind of books, my eyes sort of glaze over and I get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. But since this one has been getting a lot of positive comments, and mostly because Sandra liked it, I decided to give it a try.

I knew I was going to love this author starting on page one when she used the word "leapt" instead of "leaped." The current push to remove irregular verbs from the English language sets my teeth on edge! I refuse to allow "my" authors to do it. I know that I am in the quickly diminishing minority on this, but I don't care.

So anyway, when I read the words, "...he leapt from the Jeep..." I suddenly found myself predisposed to like this book. Even if it was a romance.

And it is a romance, but not at all your typical one—and nothing like those books I read, oh, so many summers ago. Here's the promo:


Jane was hoping for a date---maybe even a boyfriend. What she wasn't expecting was Paul Bryant's completely original and sincere pick-up line: Hi. I'm Paul. I have terminal cancer. My wife was killed in a car accident, and I'm looking for a woman to raise my children.


It was never Jane's plan to fall in love with a dying man and his two infants. But her seemingly simple decision to date someone outside her faith leads to one complication after another. With the stakes this high, is choosing to help Paul a choice to be alone forever?


And how can Paul feel so confident that this woman---who's never managed to keep a checking account for more than six months---should be the one to raise his children?


How can something that seems so unbelievably insane feel so completely right?


Sometimes love is found in the least likely places, and the greatest blessings are discovered while counting stars.
We get to this point fairly early in the story and then it is one twist and turn after another. You are kept wondering who Jane will end up with all the way to the end of the book. There is passion and heartbreak, an absolutely startling and unexpected incident that made me cry (although, looking back now, I can see I should have expected it), clever dialogue, scenes that made me laugh out loud (that's really hard to do)—and the only time I rolled my eyes was the mushy honeymoon scene.

People that know me well are going to be shocked by this, but, well, darn it, I really liked this book! I found myself impatient to get back to it when my real life intruded and I had to put it down. And (oh, how I hate to admit this) I am looking forward to reading her next book—which is also, clearly, going to be a romance.

10 comments:

Sandra said...

I told you, I told you, I told you!

I am so glad that you liked it and you are going to have to tell me what part made you cry.

Stephanie said...

Oh, I can't wait to get to this one. It is on my list.

Annette Lyon said...

I knew you'd like it! Michele's a delight all around--I love her writing, her wit, and style. Can't wait for the next one.

McKenna Gordon said...

Okay, I'll read it.

Leslie said...

Thanks for the review! I don't like the typical romance novel either - but I didn't figure that out until recently - or maybe, my taste changed. I like ones with unexpected twists and turns. I like it when I don't know how "I" want it to end, if that makes sense. :-)

Josi said...

Go Michele! Everyone is reading this book it seems.

McKenna Gordon said...

I'm giving my blog a facelift... how do you have those cool drop-down lists on your sidebar? Like the one that has "My Totally Cool Friends", etc.

Julie Wright said...

It's a great book and worth the read! I agree! (though I do like romances:) )

Anonymous said...

I liked your book review. You are such an amazing reviewer. People should pay you money to do this. :)

Love, Mom

Anna Maria Junus said...

My goodness! It seems that everyone is reading this book. I feel I'm missing out.