Monday, March 8, 2021

"Spirited Western Bride
and her Reformed Soulmate"
by Florence Linnington

The owner of the General Store in Littlegrove was surprised to have been invited to Clarissa's wedding and felt quite embarrassed to arrive almost too late to see the ceremony after his 3 hour ride into Evergreen. Yet the only one who seemed to be offended by his late arrival was the beautiful but cold Caitlin, younger sister to the wife of Peter, Evergreen's General store owner and Colby's friend and business associate.

Circumstances soon seemed to keep throwing Colby & Caitlin together as the two families attempted to find a way to help both towns make it through what looks to be a rough winter ahead. But after her previous misfortune with Kyle, the man she had thought loved her,  can Caitlin ever learn to trust any man other than her brother-in-law Peter?

This heart wrenching tale sucked me in quickly and several times caused me to tear up as I read. It was an amazing story of two people who believed themselves broken by their pasts came together to find hope in their future. But will that future be together? Or have they both been too damaged by their pasts to truly find love?

This was a story that highlighted how secrets from the past can cause harm in the future and why honesty is always the best way to move forward. As always, I love how Ms. Linnington takes her readers through a full range of emotions, yrt manages to end her stories with a happy and heartwarming moment.

I enjoyed this tale just as much as I have her previous books, and I believe this book will appeal to those who enjoy a good mail order bride story as well as those who are looking for something that they can trust to make them feel good after reading it.

Monday, March 1, 2021

"Lemonade and Lies" by Agatha Frost

After everyone in town receives an invitation to a garden party up at the nearby manor house, the rumors about what the big announcement is begin to fly. But no one expects that Katie Wellington-South, who is married to Julia's father, will be turning the location into a luxury resort spa.

Unfortunately, it seems that not everyone is happy with the idea, one of those people being Katie's brother Charles, who is very vocal about his opposition to the idea. And before the end of the party, his dead body is seen falling from a second story window. And Julia finds herself trying to determine who killed him, whether her father and his wife were involved in the death or not, and why.

Like the first book in the series, I found this one quite entertaining. There were a good number of twists and turns in this story, keeping me guessing most of the way through as to who really was the murderer. 

The plot was very well thought out, and like the first book in the series contains a side plot that definitely added to my enjoyment of the tale. I also enjoyed the british slang that was used in the story (which takes place in the small british town of Peridale.)

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries that aren't always merely a simple, quick read but are just a bit more complex than might be expected.

Monday, February 22, 2021

"Black Heart of the Dragon God"
by Jean Rabe and Craig Maerelle

Goranth the Mighty returns to the city of Barbertown at the request of an old companion, Rif the Barber. Rif promised him a fortune to help him capture a dragon. He planned to earn them all fortunes beyond imagination by raising, breeding, training, and selling dragons to other towns. After all, who wouldn't pay quite well to have a dragon to protect them?

However, the idea of catching dragons is very different from the reality of it, and far more dangerous. Can they actually manage it without getting themselves killed? And what other problems will arise when others learn what they are up to? 

I really enjoyed reading this book. Not only was it very well written, but it had me remembering some of the old Dragonlance books that I read back when I was in high school. This was sword and sorcery at it's best, written in a style that I haven't had the pleasure of reading in a long while. I look forward to reading more stories about Goranth the Mighty in the future. 

I believe that anyone who enjoys adventure stories, sword & sorcery tales, as well as reading about heroes who don't always set out to simply be a hero or who are even just trying to do the right thing, regardless of what it might wind up costing them\ will enjoy this book. I definitely recommend giving this one a try. I know I enjoyed it.

Monday, February 15, 2021

"Rise of the Fairy Queen" by Gemma Perfect

On Elsie's 16th birthday, she is finally released from her captivity at the castle. She is being sent for a political marriage overseas to a prince she has never met. She has not been allowed outside of her room for years, and the only person she has in her life is her handmaid, Meg, who was locked up with her.

But on her way to meet her future husband, Elsie learns the truth about what has been happening within the kingdom at the hands of her step parents, and she realizes that her homeland & people need saving from the atrocities being enacted upon them. And so she returns to her homeland, determined to find a way to help free her people.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was very different from the other tales of fairies that I have read. At times, the main character seems a little too trusting of the new people she meets, but then I have to remember that she is still young herself, and very naive with regard to other people's motives and their selfish desires.  Without having had any sort of life experience, how is she supposed to react to people who appear to only want to help & keep telling her that she can trust them? Naturally she is going to want to trust the people who appear to be helping her.

I enjoyed the chance to see this innocent young girl find her way in the world, learning to defend herself, and growing into the queen she wants to become. I think this is a story that will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys reading twisted fairy tales and other young adult fantasy stories.

Monday, February 8, 2021

"The Blizzard Brides" by Christine Sterling

With many folks in the town of Last Chance, Nebraska running short of meat to see them through the long winter ahead of them, most of the town's men head out on a hunt for buffalo. They intended to be gone for about a week before returning with enough meat for everyone. 

Heather's husband was the tracker leading the hunt, with his wife taking care of the smokehouse when he was gone as well as acting as midwife to the town's women. While on her rounds one morning, the temperature begins to drop dramatically & a snowstorm rapidly blows in, trapping most everyone wherever they happen to be that can offer even slight shelter from the blizzard.

Based on the book's title, it should be no surprise that this book is about how anyone who found shelter survived the storm, though their husbands who were still out on their hunt were killed in the blizzard that caught everyone by surprise, and their decision to advertise in the Matrimonial Times for husbands to move to the town and help everyone survive.

I enjoyed this prequel story that leads into the following books in this series. It was well written, and though it does not have the happy ending that most mail order bride books have, it perfectly sets the stage for what each of the women whose husbands were lost in the blizzard must now face.

I will be continuing on with the series, as I am curious as to what will happen next, as well as to whether or not these women, who must remarry if they are to survive, will once again manage to find a happy ending to their stories, or if they will merely be able to survive what they have lost.

Monday, February 1, 2021

"Pancakes and Corpses" by Agatha Frost

Julia is a baker and the owner of a cafe in the small town of Peridale. It has always seemed like a quiet little town, but suddenly nefarious things are starting to happen. First, all the baked goods in Julia's cafe have begun disappearing overnight. Then one of Julia's regulars, Gertude, turns up murdered, with Julia being the one to find her body.

Though she is not a detective nor a member of law enforcement, Julia soon finds herself on the trail of a killer, determined to solve the mystery of who had killed Gertrude. Can she actually manage to figure out who did it?

I enjoyed reading this cozy mystery. It was an interesting little tale with some entertaining twists along the way. I will be continuing on with reading more books in the series in the future as I do enjoy reading lighthearted mysteries now & then.

I think anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries, especially those that are centered around baking or food, will enjoy this book.

Monday, January 25, 2021

"Battle Ground" by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden and pretty much everyone he has ever encountered in any of the other Dresden Files novels makes an appearance in this book.  This book finishes off what was started in the last one, “Peace Talks” and it's definitely one that if you've enjoyed the rest of the series, you don't want to miss.

I, for one, loved this book. It left me at times highly amused, and at others it made me want to (and yes, actually did make me) cry. I can't tell you any more about what it was that affected me so strongly without including some major spoilers, so you'll just have to read it for yourself if you want to know what I'm talking about. (Giving away spoilers for this book would be a huge disservice to anyone who reads or wants to read it in the future.) But I promise you, this story is well worth reading and does not disappoint. I cannot wait to see where Mr. Butcher takes Harry and the others next.

But my absolute favorite part of this book was the bonus Christmas story that was included after the end of the novel itself. It was a very sweet little tale of Harry on Christmas Eve, getting ready for the following morning that he’ll be spending with his daughter. Be sure not to skip reading this one either as it really is worth reading just as much as the rest of the book. Highly recommended.

"Spirited Western Bride <br>and her Reformed Soulmate" <br>by Florence Linnington

The owner of the General Store in Littlegrove was surprised to have been invited to Clarissa's wedding and felt quite embarrassed to ...