And as usual, I am far behind on my reviewing. I can always read faster than I write, and its beginning to tell. My review backlog has gotten out of hand, so i’m taking these route and writing one post full of short reviews instead of going all the way. Please enjoy this little series of “Bite sized” reviews.
How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
When I read this one, I hadn’t yet read the first two books in the series. However, I had no trouble stepping into this story. It worked just as well as a standalone as it did as part of a series.
Corina is a great girl. She is incredibly determined, unwilling to give up on either her brother or her husband, and she won’t stop digging until she gets answers. Prince Stephen I was not so fond of though. He could get rather rude. I understand why he acted the way he did, but he never really endeared himself to me.
There was a supernatral element to the story that I’m not quite as certain about. It was sweet, but I’m still not certain what I feel about it.
In all, this is a really good rainy day happily -ever -after kind of a read.
My Rating: Four Flames
The Spinster’s Christmas by Camille Elliot
While I’m waiting for the sequel to Camille Elliot’s Prelude for a Lord, I decided to indulge in a small Christmas novella she wrote. Spinster’s Christmas is a sweet short read. The characters were loveable, but not quite as well developed as they could be, and there were so many of them I sometimes had difficulty remembering who was who. The mystery kept a good pace, though I would have liked a bit more foreshadowing.
Spinster’s Christmas was not quite up to par with Prelude, but it is still a great book to curl up with on a cold winter evening with a hot mug of tea.
My Rating: Four Flames
A Secret Life by Lee Carver
This one had an interesting premise, with a German soldier taking on the identity of a deceased American solder during a battle in WWII. As much as I wanted to like this one, it just dragged. I got so sick of the main character’s constant excuses and lies. He was so afraid of the consequences of telling the truth that he just kept on lying, digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole instead of just coming out with it before things got any worse. He caused everyone a lot of unnecessary suffering, especially the family of that poor soldier whose place he took. I was pretty disgusted by how he handled things with them. And in contrast to the lengthy dragging of the plot, the ending was a bit abrupt, with the resolution hardly being there at all.
My Rating: two and 1/2 Flames
Most Glorious Land by Jill Penrod
This was such a wonderful book! Penrod’s Balia novels are such a joy to read. She has a way of making all her characters just come alive on the pages. The pace is steady and the world building is beautiful, with strong hints of the feudal Japan or China in the Glorious land of Long, along with a hint of medieval Europe in its neighbors.
I was impressed with how Penrod skillfully tackles some tough – some people might say sensitive – topics in this book, including slavery and prostitution. She writes it in a way that, though you know exactly what she’s talking about, she never gives any unwanted detail. Her books are tastefully coated with subtlety even when immersed in the worst topics. This is one of my favorite Balia books, though Spindrift still beats it by a short margin, and I eagerly anticipate the next book in the series!
My Rating: Five Stars
Defying Shadows by Ashley Townsend
This third and final book in the Rising Shadows trilogy does not disappoint. Though the plot could move a touch slowly at times, and I saw almost all the major plot twists coming, it was still a very well written and intricately plotted story.
Sarah seemed a bit stronger than she did in previous books, and I’m glad the author didn’t take things too quickly with the romance, nor did she just forget about her family back in the future.
The ending was strong and satisfying, though a touch bittersweet. I will be interested to see what this author writes next.
My Rating: Four Stars
Terms of Engagement by Melissa R. L. Simonin
When Lina Phillips and her sister Patrice come to stay at their grandparents massive old house for a while, some strange things begin happening. From a child’s laughter and footsteps in the hall, furniture rearranging itself, and missing items, to a freakish doll – complete with her own coffin – who keeps turning up like a bad penny no matter how hard they try to get rid of it.
With the help of a neighbor and his dog, they are determined to get to the bottom of this, and might just end up finding love in the process.
This has quickly become one of my favorite books by Simonin. A touch creepier than her usual, it still retains the easygoing pace and humor of her other novels. All the characters were well rounded, from quirky coffee addict Patrice, to her grieving sister, to Casey- who is trying so hard to escape an impossible family in order to reclaim the girl he loves. It was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to the sequel.
My Rating: Five Stars