A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Laugh (Burnside, #2)Laugh by Mary Ann Rivers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Laugh by Mary Ann Rivers ( Burnside #2) is a 2014 Loveswept publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This second book in the Burnside series focuses on Sam. If you will recall, Sam in a doctor and also suffers from ADHD. With a new health clinic about to open, Sam is badgered to volunteer at a Green Space farm, which he only does to get people off his back. Once he is introduced to Nina, the farm's owner, he begins to see the all the possibilites of organic farming.
Nina is a war widow with an easy, practical, loyal, and earthy personality that makes Sam want to laugh and enjoy life a little, something he has done precious little of in his life. Nina is also dealing with a the serious illness of one of her workers that she has become close friends with. Things are fine with Nina just as long as she and Sam stay on the lusty side of things and keep all the heavy commitment issues out of it, but Sam is sure about Nina and wants to take the relationship further emotionally. Nina isn't sure she can handle taking care of her friend and dealing with all of Sam's personal issues too.
Again, this contemporary romance is not the light and breezy type of romance novel. Each character in this book has really heavy issues to deal with and even if you do love someone, it's not a bed of roses. Sam is a man that has tried to cope with all of his family's tragedies and his many mistakes, plus dealing with a disorder that can lead to misunderstandings. But, Sam is a very deep and emotional person that has been pretty hard on people in the past and that includes himself. He has let people down and hasn't always handled everything the best way possible, but he wants to try and bridge the gap between himself and his siblings and really wants to help his sister, Sarah who is still recovering from a horrible accident.
Nina has dealt with her husband's death and is up front and open about her feelings but isn't sure she will be able to handle the type of relationship Sam wants. I don't know if Nina was just feeling a little rushed or if she didn't know if Sam was really serious or if she was just trying to catch up to Sam emotionally. When she does realize Sam is serious, she does her own soul searching.
Nina is a funny character with a lot of heart and I really liked her. I think she and Sam will be fine and maybe the family is on it's way to healing a great many hurts, but there will be some really hard roads to travel yet. I think getting Sam on the right track is a huge break through.
I will be honest and tell you liked this chapter in the series but not as much as the first book. I can't really explain why I didn't bond with these characters the same way I did with those in the first book, but there was just something different with this one. This is still a series I am really invested in and I'm looking forward to seeing what will happen next. I will give this one 4 stars.

Mary Ann Rivers has been wearing a groove in her library card since she was old enough for story time. She’s been writing almost as long—her first publication credit was in Highlights magazine. She started writing and reading romance in the fifth grade once she stumbled on the rainbow of romance novel book spines in the library’s fiction stacks.

She was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals, and leading creative writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a Nurse Practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients.

Mary Ann lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son. She writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line.

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