September 25, 2019

Bite-Sized Reviews :: Edition Forty-Eight

Hello, my lovelies! And good day to you. It's been a while, hasn't it? Yet here I am at last! :) I've known I had some reviews to catch up on, yet for some reason my heart hasn't been up for blogging about them. So I didn't. However! I am determined to get my reviews up to date once again, so here we are about to embark on such... Fun, right?? (And before you ask, yes, I was indeed on a bit of a Jaimie Admans kick for a few days there... ;)

42192833. sy475
The Little Vintage Carousel by the Sea by Jaimie Admans
The meet cute totally convinced me to read further in this one. :) And the rest of the story was pretty adorable! Not perfect, but adorable nonetheless. Ness is a fairly relatable character and I was rooting for her and Nathan to hold on to each other, once they finally got introduced. These two characters are pretty much made for each other and everyone around them knows it. It simply takes them a bit longer to figure things out. But that's the fun part, so I'm not complaining. The awkwardness between them just makes for more smiles from me!

The Little Wedding Island by Jaimie Admans
I confess that I read this one purely for the banter between Bonnie and Rohan. Those two have great chemistry! They are "frenemies" who have to figure out a way to work around the attraction they weren't prepared to feel for the other. Watching them gingerly tiptoe around the unexpected circumstances thrown their way provided me a great deal of laughter, as well as a bit of swooning at times. The premise is pretty unreal, yet I had no trouble setting aside my brain for a bit and just enjoying my time on the island. Cheers to fake engagements! :)

34887937. sy475
The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters by Jaimie Admans
I was rooting for Wendy pretty much from the very first paragraphs in chapter one, she desperately needed her life to get a bit shaken up. To be given the ability to dream and see beyond her mundane life she's led up to that point. But Julian? He took a bit of warming up to. Much like Wendy, I was very uncertain of his motives and it was a while before I trusted him. But I have to say that once he won me over, I was hooked. I loved the banter between the two, especially as they warmed up to each other! I didn't love this story, though, as much as I enjoyed others I've read by Ms. Admans. I simply wasn't as pulled into the story-world like I wished to be. But that's okay! I enjoyed my time in France anyway!

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller
This story went so very, very differently than I'd imagined when I picked it up. Yet something about it had to me hooked and I could not put it down until I'd read the final pages! Olivia is a quirky soul and there were times I understood her and times I simply couldn't. More than once I wanted to slap some sense into her. Yet I loved the crowd of people that slowly built around her. They became their own little family, of sorts, and I enjoyed their interactions together. I finished this book feeling like it was a bit strange, but sort of heart-warming all at the same time? I don't quite know how to describe the feelings it provoked. Either way, it certainly was an intriguing way to escape real life for a bit!

32497580. sy475
The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan
Ms. Colgan clearly enjoys creating very quirky characters! Ones who slide into your heart when you aren't looking and decide to make it home for a little while. This little Scottish island is filled to the brim with just such a myriad of characters and I grew to love them all. Especially Flora herself! I understood all too well all the feelings invoked within her as she went home again. Those complicated emotions that defy description, yet refuse to dissipate. Instigated by grief and family entanglements, all that she felt and reacted to simply resonated with me. And then you bring Joel into her little world and the complications and uncertainties only seem to rise. Not a perfect story, but certainly one that I couldn't forget once I was finished!

September 12, 2019

Review: Ford by Susan May Warren

46865359. sy475
Seriously, I don't know how Ms. Warren does it. She is incredibly gifted at writing edge-of-your-seat tension, both romantically and otherwise! I was pulled into this story pretty much from the first page and then was only further hooked as I got to know RJ better. Because I have to admit that I came for Ford and Scarlett, but I stayed for RJ and York. (And now I have to wait so long for their story! Humph. ;)

Let's begin with the fact that most of this book takes place in Russia. What a harsh and fascinating landscape to have as a backdrop. The uncertainty and fierceness felt by our characters is only enhanced by this country. I confess that I really want to visit just to experience it for myself! :) Ms. Warren's descriptions of the area create an atmospheric-feel to the story. All the (practically) non-stop action is fueled on by this feeling, which means I spent most my time anxiously turning each page, wondering what was on the horizon.

Then there are the characters. Watching Ford be confronted with so much of what he fears and how those who love him and know him so well help move him into growth and courageous-living (as if he wasn't already courageous! But he did need a little more of a push in a certain direction...) is wonderful to witness. Scarlett has some growth and courage to learn as well. These two are one of those couples that understand and fit each other so perfectly. Enough so they can also preach some good truth to one another when needed. And then there's RJ...and York. Oh my heart, I was utterly captivated by those two! *happy sigh* They face a scary situation, yet each has a fierce determination that captures the other's notice. There's simply something so vivid and pivotal between them. I cannot wait to find out more of their story.

The plot turns and twists all over the place and you never know just where you'll end up next. There is really such a great lot of things all going on at once and somehow Ms. Warren pulls all the threads just so, perfectly timed, and the picture becomes a whole lot clearer. With still a lot of threads yet to be pulled! So yes. I am now officially onboard the Montana Marshalls train and will (sort of) happily wait for more! (It's a good thing there are two previous stories to help me through the waiting period....)

**I received a complimentary copy via Just Read Publicity Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

"For a second she saw the brother she’d known better than herself. Proud, strong, faithful, determined, and yes, just reckless enough to save them all."

September 11, 2019

Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

43517459. sy475
Just wow, people! This is simply a fantastical bit of storytelling which is filled to the brim with plot twists and intriguing characters. I was utterly fascinated with this world that Ms. Harrow has created. From those first few paragraphs until the final words on the final page, I was swept into January's life and subsequently was unable to put her story down! Let me attempt to describe to you why...

Firstly, there's the world-building. Ms. Harrow has created a complex world which requires some delving out. I learned never to assume anything about anything, there are always more possibilities than you may be imagining. And also one never can tell for sure who may be trustworthy and who isn't. I was constantly kept on my toes wondering just what may yet come in the next chapter. The details that we begin to uncover about who everyone truly is and how they truly fit into this world are slowly, tantalizingly revealed. There is so much going on underneath the surface that I think a reread or three will probably reveal even more details that I completely missed my first go round!

Then there are the characters. Most of which I liked, but they don't sit comfortably either. Oh no. These characters have depth and a fierceness about them that doesn't soften much. Even January herself has a few unexpected sharp corners. There were times I understood her and times I didn't. All the others pretty much had guaranteed sharpish places and so much that they weren't saying, either to January or to me. I'm not complaining about this, however! It meant I was always endeavoring to figure them out further. These aren't your typical warm and fuzzy type of people. They've seen things, they've experienced things, and those things have changed them forever.

For all the fantastical bits that enthralled me, there were other things that I didn't enjoy, sadly. The romance parts didn't really sit well with me. There are two central romances (both mostly subtle in the background) and while I never felt a connection to either couple, the one caused me to dislike the ending just a tad. I almost think I would have enjoyed it more had that romance not happened at all. I simply never saw enough true emotion going on to help me understand some of the choices made. But that's just my own personal qualm and one which may not bother someone else...

Overall, I was so thoroughly involved within this story that when I finally finished a few hours later, it felt like I hit real life with a jolt! :) There are so many wondrously written sentences that I kept finding another and another I had to stop and reread. Her lyrical way of writing means that Ms. Harrow is certainly an author I will keep an eye out for in the future. Her attention to detail and ability to withhold information while seeming not to withhold it at all is a skill that not many writers have. I was suitably impressed and look forward to rereading this one again!

**I received a complimentary copy via Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

"Books can smell of cheap thrills or painstaking scholarship, of literary weight or unsolved mysteries.

This one smelled unlike any book I’d ever held. Cinnamon and coal smoke, catacombs and loam. Damp seaside evenings and sweat-slick noontimes beneath palm fronds. It smelled as if it had been in the mail for longer than any one parcel could be, circling the world for years and accumulating layers of smells like a tramp wearing too many clothes.

It smelled like adventure itself had been harvested in the wild, distilled to a fine wine, and splashed across each page."

"If we address stories as archeological sites, and dust through their layers with meticulous care, we find at some level there is always a doorway. A dividing point between here and there, mundane and magical. It is at the moment when the doors open, when things flow between worlds, that stories happen."


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...