The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks


Book Description

Publication Date:September 17, 2013
In the tradition of his beloved first novel, The Notebook, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the remarkable story of two couples whose lives intersect in profound and surprising ways.
Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.
A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans — a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
Review –
Fantastic book, but I knew it would be when I decided to listen to it.
The narrators were January LaVoy and Ron McLarty and they did a fantastic job.
The story is divided into two parts, Ira’s and Sophia and  Luke’s and that ia a format that the author,Nicholas Sparks  hasn’t used a lot and I really enjoyed it. All the while the relationship between Sophia, lover of art and Luke , a rodeo cowboy grew we saw the depth of love that Ira had for his wife, who had died years before.
Of course I cried in more than one part, but it wouldn’t be a NICHOLAS SPARKS book if some tears weren’t shed. 
This story shows us how small our world really is and how the decisions we make today can impact the lives of others in the future. 
I loved it.

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks



Book Description

Publication Date: October 11, 2011
“Everyone wanted to believe that endless love was possible. She’d believed in it once, too, back when she was eighteen.”

In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew — about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear — was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past?

Review –
For me, Nicholas Sparks, has done it again.  I know not everyone is a fan of a romance novel, but the author combines so many other things into his stories that it becomes a romance on a much higher level.  I didn’t give it much thought when I started the boook(as an audiobook)that it might not end the way I wanted it to, but true to Mr. Sparks history he ended it the way he wanted and that caused me  to use a lot of Kleenex.  I love the story line, the characters, the location and everything about this book.
If you are a Nicholas Sparks fan and want a good cry pick this one up right now.  You’ll be so happy you did.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Product Description

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.
Review –
This book was a very fast read and had something for everyone: romance,family relationships,danger, internal conflicts and social issues.  Nicholas Sparks hits the mark every time and he is one of my favorite writers.
This is a must read.

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

The novel deals with the themes of fate and destiny. Despite the allusions to such themes made in the novel, Sparks admitted that he does not necessarily believe in either. He adds, however, that he is “…  a big believer in the fact that people have the ability to influence the future in a way that seems coincidental and when that happens, the feeling of fate or destiny is amplified. … In the end, when writing The Lucky One, I wanted to explore the subject of fate or destiny, but in a way that reflected the reality of the world.”

When U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman half-buried in the dirt during his third tour of duty in Iraq, his first instinct is to toss it aside. Instead, he brings it back to the base for someone to claim, but when no one does, he finds himself always carrying the photo in his pocket. Soon Thibault experiences a sudden streak of luck—winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat that kills two of his closest buddies. Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph—his lucky charm.

Back home in Colorado, Thibault can’t seem to get the photo—and the woman in it—out of his mind. Believing that she somehow holds the key to his destiny, he sets out on a journey across the country to find her, never expecting the strong but vulnerable woman he encounters in Hampton, North Carolina—Elizabeth, a divorced mother with a young son—to be the girl he’s been waiting his whole life to meet.

Caught off guard by the attraction he feels, Thibault keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate and all-consuming love affair, the secret he is keeping will soon threaten to tear them apart—destroying not only their love, but also their lives. (Wickipedia)

Review –

Nicholas Sparks has done it again and made me cry, in a good tearjerker way.  I cry at the drop of a hat.  Hallmark commercials are the worst.

I was so afraid this story was going to have a sad ending so I put off listening to the very last part until I just couldn’t stand it and as luck would have it -it had a happy ending. I always feel good when I read a Nicholas Sparks book and this one put a lump in my throat a couple of times. 

I found out that The Lucky One is going to released as a movie in 2012 and I may or may not go see it because movies rarely do justice to the books plot and characters, but I think it says a great deal about the authors appeal to the public(female, anyway) because so many of his books have been made into successful movies.

Mr. Sparks, I applaud you.

If you’re a Sparks fan – don’t let this one pass you by




Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

From Publishers Weekly

Hot on the heels of True Believer and sequel At First Sight, Sparks returns with the story of ne’er-do-well-turned-army-enlistee John Tyree, 23, and well-to-do University of North Carolina special education major Savannah Lynn Curtis. John, who narrates, has been raised by a socially backward single postal-worker dad obsessed with coin collecting (he has Asperger’s syndrome). John bypasses college for the overseas infantry; Savannah spends her college summers volunteering. When they meet, he’s on leave, and she’s working with Habitat for Humanity (he rescues her sinking purse at the beach). John has a history of one-night stands; Savannah’s a virgin. He’s an on-and-off drinker; she’s a teetotaler. Attraction and values conflict the rest of the summer, but the deal does not close. Savannah longs for John to come home; her friend Tim longs to have a relationship with her. On the brink of John and Savannah’s finally getting together, 9/11 happens, and John re-ups. Savannah’s letters come less and less frequently, and before you know it, he receives the expected “Dear John” letter. Sparks’s novel brims with longing. (Oct. 30)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
 All I have to say is you’d better have  a king size box of Kleenex handy when you read or listen to this book because   Nicholas Sparks has hit another home run.  I listen to my audio books in the car as I run my daily errands and there were times I had a hard time seeing for all the tears, so beware.  If you’ve never experienced  Nicholas Sparks or it’s been awhile since you’ve read one of his book-please give this one a try.
You may notice that I’m showing two covers and that’s because the first one is from the audio book and the second is on most paperbacks.  I like them both but the second one tells the story in a glance.
Give this one a try. You won’t be disappointed.