Review: To Professor with by Linda Kage

TO PROFESSOR WITH LOVEReviewed by Shelly

I find myself enjoying the YA/NA genre more and more, especially the ones written by Linda Kage. Indulge me for a moment as I reminisce. I read her stories in the Tommy Creek series which are still some of my favorites; I’ve re-read those enough times that if they were paperback, they would already be dog-eared. When I saw a new series was started I couldn’t resist because her writing style is good enough to make the story genre irrelevant. And that, dear reader, is how I ended up enjoying this genre. Now on with the review. [Read more…]

Review: The Trouble With Tomboys

Reviewed by Shelly

You know when you find an author whose stories just click with you? That’s the way I feel about Linda Kage’s work. After reading her other story about this family, I literally couldn’t wait to find out more. Finding The Trouble with Tomboys was much more than what I thought it would be. The dialogue and character development are strong and move the story along very well.

Considering that I read the follow up (A Fallow Heart) to this story first, I was very, very curious how Kage made it work. I’ll tell ya how – she’s a good storyteller. Before I go on, this is not a series – not that I could find evidence of anyway – and can be read independently of each other. Now back to the good stuff.

Raised in a house full of men, pilot B.J. Gilmore is the tomboy of Tommy Creek, but that’s all good because she knows it and she’s fine with it. Grady Rawlings is the oldest son of the richest man in town and still work for the family business.  He’s a good son and he’s a good worker. On one of his overnight business trips to Houston, Grady hires B.J.’s company to fly him there.

While in Houston, B.J. and Grady both drink a little too much at dinner. Oh geez, this doesn’t bode well for B.J. because she’s already spent too much time in the presence of her childhood and adulthood crush and she just can’t stand that he’s so unhappy. So what can a girl who’s always been crazy for the boy do? Help get him out of his funk, of course. She’s already fed him, so that leaves just one more thing to do. I felt bad – for like a nano-second – for the brooding Grady because he couldn’t see B.J. as anything other than the tomboy that the town had relegated her to be.

I can’t say enough how much I liked this story, not as much as A Fallow Heart, but it was close. B.J. was a great character. She’s got spunk, heart, intelligence, humor, and self-confidence which made for a delightful read. Although she’s clearly been around way too many men, she’s still got some feminine traits about her.  There’s a scene when she’s trying to ‘girl up her wardrobe’ with some sexy lingerie for her man… the ensuing chase was awesome.

A good portrayal of being manly without sacrificing your caring side, Grady’s got a gentle soul and a forgiving heart and is absolutely perfect for B.J. After losing his wife a few years back, he’s been in a deep depression and folks are still walking around on eggshells because he carries his grief like a cloak. But as fate would have it, B.J. is perfect for him because she would not let him feel sorry for himself and served as a healing balm.  B.J. was so seemingly self assured, Grady could speak of his dead wife without repercussions. Of all, that was probably my favorite thing about their story. B.J. never denied Grady his right to have memories of this first wife nor dissuade him from speaking of her. This story reminds us that when given a second chance, grab it, hold on and don’t let go because it might the best thing you never thought could happen to you.

I highly recommend this if you like your heroine funny yet strong and your hero strong with a heart full of gold. Last but not least – the sexy times with these two was hmmm hmmm good. I’m officially on the hunt for more of Kage’s work.

Happy Reading folks!

Rating: A-

Click to purchase: Amazon
The Trouble With Tomboys
by Linda Kage
Release Date: July 8, 2010
Publisher: Wild Rose Press

Review: A Fallow Heart

Reviewed by Shelly

Have you ever read a story and just feel the dread in your spirit that when the story ends you’re going to still want more? That’s the way I felt when I read this story. Talk about an emotional roller coaster, but I couldn’t stop turning the pages wanting the ride to go on and on.

Since they were children, farm-boy Cooper Gerhardt has always had a thing for rich girl Jo Ellen Rawlings. Ten years ago, he had a single glorious moment with her but then tragedy hit and that moment went away. Cooper only wants those around him to be happy and has never forgotten Jo Ellen and he doubts that he ever will. Jo Ellen is so eaten up in her guilt that she’s let that be the marker by which she lives her life. Watching these two finally collide was like pulling off a bandaid. You know it’s gonna hurt but it’s gotta be done.

Although the basic premise of this story is not new – poor boy loves rich girl– the way that Kage tells this story makes it stand out from the rest. I’m the world biggest fan of a well thought out plot. From exposition to denouement, this story had me going. The development of the characters, not just Coop and Jo Ellen, but all of the secondary characters was well done. If you’re thinking that there is a single ‘perfect’ character in this book, I’m here to tell you that each of them has faults and fears, and that’s what makes for an interesting read.

Coop and Jo Ellen were wonderful as individuals and even better as a couple, each has their own burdens and crosses to bear, and I couldn’t choose which character I liked more because they were both extremely likable and I felt for each of them. I must give props to Kage on this – thank you for not once mentioning her ‘long flowing locks’ or his ‘hard rock body’. I also want to say THANK you for letting Jo Ellen see Coop at the water well in that lip-smacking scene of Coop trying to cool off from that hot sun. Oh my, I do declare.

Emma Leigh, Jo Ellen’s sister, was as tomboyish and cantankerous as they come but could not have been a better sister. Oh, if we could all be so lucky. She knew when to push and when to back down. Their brothers Grady and Caine were – well brothers, you know how they can be, surly but lovable. I would really like to see more about the town folk of Tommy Creek especially B.J. Gilmore, Cooper’s friend. She’s got some secrets and I think I know who they might be about but…

As this isn’t classed as erotica I didn’t expect explicit sex scenes and I didn’t get any. I’m not saying they weren’t good, because they were. They wouldn’t make you blush, but they wouldn’t leave you wondering what happened either.

In the end, I didn’t want the story to end. I look forward to more from this author. Really well done.

Happy Reading folks!

Rating: A

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
A Fallow Heart
by Linda Kage
Release Date: December 27, 2012
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing