Thursday, February 28, 2008

Taming Rafe

I am a very goal oriented type person. When I read a book, I look at the number of the last page so I know how many pages I have left to go. I like knowing how long a movie is before I start watching. I like making plans and schedules so that there is a definite beginning and end. I'm trying to implement that with the kids just a bit. Mia has gotten in the bad habit of crawling into bed with Jesse and I every night, sometime after midnight. Honestly, I love having her in there. When I'm curled up between her and Jesse, I can't think of any place else I'd rather be. But I know that it's not healthy for her, and because of my RA, I always wake up in pain as it is, trying to wrap myself around a five-year old only makes it worse. So a couple of weeks ago, I had the bright idea (actually I swiped it from a WisMoms blogger, thank you Jennifer!) to offer Mia a reward if she could stay in her bed a set amount of nights. Jesse and I talked it over and decided to shoot for ten. If she successfully stayed in her bed for ten nights, she would get to pick out a toy. Jesse made her a cute little chart so she could put in her own X's, and it even had room for her to draw a picture of the toy she wanted. Two days in, she lost the thing, so it was up to me to remember. Well it took three weeks, but last night was officially night number ten. Although to be honest, about half of the ten nights were spent sleeping with her sister (Molly likes to use Mia as a heating pad), and last night she did climb in and sleep with me for about twenty minutes, but then I reminded her about the last X, and she went back to her own bed. This morning she was so proud of herself, and I'm proud of her too. Some battles are hard fought, and those are the ones that you savor the most. Now I'm thinking about expanding the goal: if she can stay in her bed, she'll get a trip to Chuck E. Cheese or something similar.

Taming Rafe by Susan May Warren is the second book in the Noble family series. Rafe Noble, baby brother and rodeo star, has lost everything in one moment. His best friend is dead, his career is not going well, and he can't shake the guilt he feels. Seized by despair, he crashes his truck into the front of a fancy New York hotel, destroying Katherine Breckenridge's society charity event and putting her life into a tailspin similar to his own. He wants to curl up and die, she decides he owes her something first; they are drawn together by the need for something more than the life they have been living. Susan May Warren's books are like a cold drink on a hot, summer day: they refresh and are deeply satisfying. Rafe and Katherine are driven by different ghosts in their lives, but it's led both of them to be people they aren't. As they fall in love with each other, and the person they are around the other, the story is sweet and moving. But Katherine's almost fiance isn't giving up easily, and he brings malice and suspense to the book. A major subplot involving Lolly and John, along with a book within the book add many layers making this a book to please all readers. Warren always writes terrific novels, and this is another top notch entry in her stable.

Thank you to everyone who offered me some advice about my dinner with the pastor tomorrow night. I'm going to wear jeans. I really am a jeans and sweater kind of gal, and I don't want to pretend to be anything I'm not.

You still have time to sign up for my book contest. Just drop me an email before midnight tonight to to be entered to win a copy of Susan D. Hill's Closer Than Your Skin. I'll announce the winner tomorrow.