Where's Your Book Today?

That's what people always say to me at work, if I don't have a book or my PDA or my eBookwise Reader with me at lunch. I love to read and I guess it's obvious. So many books, so little time...and so much dust in my apartment.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

"Twenty Hours in Boston" by Priscilla Darcy

Have you discovered eBooks yet? I love the convenience of digital books...I am an inveterate collector and over the years I've purchased thousands of books. As you can guess, my apartment is a cramped jumble of bookshelves, bookshelves, books in boxes, books on end-tables...oh, and more bookshelves.

eBooks, on the other hand, only take up space on my hard-drive and my backup CD cabinet. Oh, halleluiah! I can carry a couple hundred of them on a single device (well, a single memory card for my device), so I'm never at a loss for the choice of a book to read.

I read eBooks on my PDA. I read them on my eBookwise reader. And, sometimes, I read them on my laptop. I don't have any problems with the PDA screen being small or having to "turn the page" often. I get engrossed in reading and I don't notice. I do notice, though, when the battery gets low after only a couple of hours.

The eBookwise has a screen just a little smaller than the average paperback, although it doesn't come in color. I wish it did. But what it lacks in hue, it makes up for in battery life. With the right combination of screen brightness and contrast, it can go for 15 hours!

I bought "Twenty Hours in Boston" at Fictionwise, but it's actually published by a small eBook-only publisher - Scheherazade Tales. So if you decide this book sounds interesting, you're going to have to go online to get a copy. Take a chance - it's definitely worth it!

The official description for "Twenty Hours in Boston" opens as follows:
When two Red Sox fans meet quite by coincidence in Boston, only to watch their favorite team lose, it's going to take more than a few beers to drown their sorrows. But can a one-night-stand heal the emotional wounds of defeat? Or just cause more problems for each other?
I thought this would be a light, innocuous read - fluffy, fun ... but ultimately forgettable. Wow was I wrong.

Oh, yes, this book was fun. The heroine, Aubrey, is a die-hard Red Sox fan. She's also just a little scatterbrained and more than a little impulsive. The hero, Gray - well, he's a little harder to pin down. When we meet him, his a driven Vegas casino-owner, dashing off to fly to Boston to catch a critical Red Sox game. He meets Aubrey at a neighborhood bar, where each has decided to watch the game surrounded by fellow fans. And, as the official description says - when the team loses, well, Aubrey and Gray decide to drown their sorrows in each other.

The next morning, Gray is back in Vegas and Aubrey goes home to New York to her museum curator job. They each find themselves thinking of the other at odd times, but they can't do anything about it. They never got around to exchanging last names. I know it sounds sleazy, but it wasn't. As a Browns fan, I understand the despair you can feel at watching your favorite team manage to throw another promising game down the toilet. It can make you do things you just wouldn't do in the reasonable light of day.

One thing leads to another, and Aubrey finds herself out of a job. She accepts the promise of a job sight-unseen to go to Vegas to paint the portrait of a woman who's memoirs are being published by her best friend's publishing house. Big drumroll...turns out this woman is Gray's mother. Aubrey is quickly embroiled in Gray's family drama, all while trying to fight her attraction to Gray. Once she finds out who he is, she knows she's in over her head...a sweet, one-man woman falling in love with Vegas' most notorious commitment-phobic playboy. And it doesn't help that he decides to turn on the charm to get her back in his bed.

But it turns out Gray is a playboy-with-a-heart-of-gold. He pretty much is the glue holding his family together, and has been since he was a teenager. His family is driving him crazy, but he continues to support them and try to save them from their own folly. His casino is being used to launder illegal money, so he does what he can to find the culprit. And all the while, he's frustrated and bewildered with his growing dependence on Aubrey.

This is a funny story. This is a sweet story. This is poignant story. I loved it. In fact, I gave it a 5 out of 5 on my very subjective scale. For a romance, it was just about perfect. Oh, I have to admit that I raised my eyebrows at a few of the words the hero used to describe his thoughts about Aubrey...she was "delightful", "lovely", and oh, hell, I've already forgotten the other two. But they definitely made me snicker. I grew up with a houseful of boys. I don't think I ever heard one of them describe the women they were involved with as delightful or lovely. Hot, yes. Lovely, no not really. But that's okay. It is a romance novel. You have to suspend a certain amount of disbelief. These are the men we'd like to have, not the ones we will ever meet in the flesh.

But it left me with a smile on my face and the warm-fuzzies filling my heart. That - and how I get there - are why I read romances.

Oh, and just to be up-front...I hang out on and help moderate a Yahoo chat group named eBookLove (for those who love to read digital romance novels). It is sponsored by Scheherazade Tales. But, I read this book for my own enjoyment, and enjoy it I did.

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