Monday, January 17, 2022

"Flawed and Loved" by Florence Linnington

Ellie was supposed to marry the banker in Red Canyon, but when the bank was robbed and she was taken hostage, her fate seemed to be pretty much sealed. But one of the gang members does not want that to happen and goes out of his way to keep her safe from the others until he can get her free of them and back to where she can be rescued. After that, the gang leader has David take a job in the town so he can listen to learn when and how the safest way for them to get away with the stolen money will come about while the rest of them hide in the woods.

This was another enjoyable story told by Ms. Linnington. In this one, both Ellie and David have secrets that they hide from each other. (His, an effort to keep him from returning to jail and hers… well, that would be too much of a spoiler to give away at this point.) This was an enjoyable tale of change from within as well as of possible redemption.

I don't want to give away too much, but do remember that this is a mail order bride tale, (though it was more of an arranged marriage from a nearby town rather than one arranged through a catalog.) So as is usual, you can probably feel safe in expecting a happy ending of some sort.

If you've enjoyed reading any of Ms Linnington's other books, mail order bride stories, or are just looking for a light quick read to enjoy, I think you'll enjoy reading this one.

Monday, January 10, 2022

“Dangers and Empty Mangers”
by Trixie Silvertale

In this 17th book of the Mitzy Moon series, you guessed it, there’s another body found as the story begins. But this time it’s not Mitzy who finds it. As expected, she does wind up involved in the investigation to find the killer (would there be a story here if she didn’t?) while at the same time trying to solve a seemingly unrelated crime by finding the missing statue of baby Jesus from the local church’s manger scene. Oh, and her ghost-ma needs her to locate a coat that had gone missing before Mitzy arrived in town. The coat has at least as much of a sentimental as real value to it and Grams is heartbroken by it’s loss and needs Mitzy to find it, though she won’t tell Mitzy why.

This was another fun-filled installment in the series. Despite being the 17th book, there are still plenty of new dangers, problems, and other adventures for these characters to discover, as well as plenty for them to still learn about and from each other. And of course there are still more than a few secrets to be discovered/resolved.

As with the others in this series that I have read, I enjoyed this book just as much as the others. Mitzy is a fascinating character who is far from perfect, but it is her faults that make her relatable. If you’ve enjoyed any of the other books in this series, whether in order or not, you should give this one a try as well. You will not be disappointed. This is also a good series for anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist.

Monday, January 3, 2022

"Soulless" by Gail Carriger


This was an interesting audiobook focusing on a young woman who was born without a soul. In a world populated by both humans and supernatural creatures, it makes her somewhat unique. The other supernaturals are believed to have been born with an excess of soul, which allows them to be turned into vampires, werewolves, or other creatures and to survive the change.

But Miss Alexia Taribotti, having been born without a soul is a preternatural, meaning that her touch causes supernatural beings to revert to fully human while she maintains physical contact, which can cause for some interesting situations at times.

This book involves the story of Alexia trying to help solve the mystery of supernaturals who have been disappearing from their territories and others appearing from seemingly nowhere without the basic knowledge that should have been taught to them by their makers. England being a civilized country, there are laws & registries in place to keep all citizens, human and otherwise safe.

And yet, clearly, someone has no respect for these laws as things that should not be possible seem to be happening. But who is causing this chaos and why? 

I enjoyed listening to this story and the characters portrayed were brought to life by the voice actress reading the audiobook. I loved that the person who read the book was clearly British & did not need to struggle with maintaining a believable accent as she read. She also did a fantastic job in developing clear and distinct voices for each of the characters, allowing the audience to simply enjoy listening without struggling to identify who was supposed to be speaking at any given time as she read. 

If you enjoy listening to an entertaining and well thought out fantasy mystery, I think you’ll enjoy this one, whether you choose to read the book or listen to the audiobook version. I’d say sit back, take a break, and let yourself relax with this one. Just be aware that parts of it can get a bit graphic at times, so it may not be entirely appropriate for younger listeners/readers.

Monday, December 27, 2021

"A groom for Celia" by Cat Cahill

This is the 3rd book in the "Blizzard Brides series. In this book, we get to once again visit the town of Last Chance, Nebraska and the women who survived the sudden blizzard that had killed their husbands & livestock. In this one, we get to hear Celia Thornton's tale.

I enjoyed reading about what happened to Celia after she'd lost her husband to the storm and was left with a farm and no husband to help her keep it going. She chooses a letter from Jack Wendler, a businessman from New York, to hopefully become her husband and help her run the farm. He might not have started out as seeming to be what she needs in a husband, but watching the interplay between the two of them, as well as with others in the town leads to a surprising twist that I think the reader will love.

If you like mail order bride stories, with or without a twist, I think you'll enjoy not only this book, but very likely the rest of this series as well. It's a quick but very fun read.

Monday, December 20, 2021

"The Girl with the Star Spangled Heart"
by Alexa Kang

Vicky Kondo is a Japanese-American in Hawaii. She’s engaged to a man named Taro, another Japanese-American, and though not certain she's really ready to marry him, he's more than ready and wanting to set a wedding date. Time has passed since the fateful day when the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, but it seems that there are even more changes coming in her future.

The Army is looking for Japanese-American women to Join the WAC (Women’s Army Corps) and help with the war effort, but most aren't willing to go against the traditional views among Japanese families that women should be married & not in the army.  The army is for men, and any woman wanting to be part of the WAC must be immodest & not someone who would ever make a suitable Japanese wife. So what happens when Vicky first begins not only to consider it, but decides to actually join up?

I really enjoyed reading this story. It was clearly very well researched and as accurate as any historical fiction book can possibly be. Vicky's story was one that grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. It covered all the questions, problems, and emotions that she would have had to deal with as a young Japanese-American woman during WWII, both before and after she decided to join the WAC.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, WWII stories, or simply someone who wants to know more about what women joining the WAC had to face, whether of Asian descent or not. This was a very good book and the author's notes at the end are certainly something you won't want to miss reading either.

Monday, December 13, 2021

"Tattoos and Clues" by Trixie Silvertale

In this second book of the Mitzy Moon series, Mitzy is still trying to find her place in town. And once again, she stumbles across a dead body.  As before, she can't keep herself from trying to solve his murder before the local police do. And once again, she finds herself in quite a bit of danger while doing so.

I know that I started off reading this series out of order, and while it's easy enough to pick up on the things I've missed, finally getting the chance to read about her beginnings makes things from later in the series so much clearer and much easier to understand.

In this book, Mitzy begins to discover about her psychic gifts for the first time and begins receiving a bit of training in how they work/how to use them from Silas. She also begins to realize how useful that knowledge can be, especially when it is her own life that is at stake.

I enjoyed reading about Mitzy's early days. I think that if you've enjoyed any of the other books in this series as well cozy mysteries with a twist or any of the other books written by Trixie Silvertale, then this book will likely be one that you'll enjoy as well. If you haven't already, I'd recommend giving this fun series a try.

Monday, December 6, 2021

"The Legend of the Western Bride"
by Florence Linnington

After the mine collapse in Stillwater had killed all the town's men, the women were left on their own to find a way to manage to survive. Chloe has been acting as the town mayor, doing her best to keep everything running & to help the women of the town avoid starvation. She protects them from outsiders who might prey upon the women as best she can, but they live in near constant fear that outsiders will threaten them, and is very worried about what will happen once winter arrives & they no longer can feed themselves from their gardens. 

When strangers from a nearby ranch discover that the town is still there, will it be the town's salvation or their doom?

This was another one of Ms. Linnington's books that I enjoyed. At several points early in the book I wondered if I had already read this one as a good deal of it felt very familiar, but I quickly realized that it was because many of the characters in this book had featured in one or more of her other books, so parts of their stories had been told from a different perspective.

But while parts of this story may have felt like a simple retelling, the rest of it was completely new & entertaining. There were the usual misunderstandings & miscommunications causing the expected problems, but there was also the expected happy ending reached through a unique and unexpected solution.

Overall, I found this to be an entertaining & enjoyable story. I think anyone who enjoys mail order bride tales or any of Ms. Linnington's other books would also enjoy this one.

"Flawed and Loved" by Florence Linnington

Ellie was supposed to marry the banker in Red Canyon, but when the bank was robbed and she was taken hostage, her fate seemed to be prett...