I have had the print book on my bookshelf for years, but I decided to try the audiobook from my library as this looked like it would be fun to listenI have had the print book on my bookshelf for years, but I decided to try the audiobook from my library as this looked like it would be fun to listen to. Turns out I was right. This was a lot of fun. The narrator was great. He had a delicious Irish accent, although he modified it to suit other characters. I liked his sort of flat tone he used for Skulduggery, making him sound kind of ironic and mysterious, like there was a lot going on under the surface.
At first, it's a bit odd. There's some weird music between interludes, followed by a low male voice saying, "Yeah!" I thought that was pretty weird and random, but it grew on me, fast. I had no expectations, so it was all novel for me. I expected the story to be campy, but it turns out to be pretty dark.
Now the characters.
Skulduggery is a fun and likable character. But he's also credibly tough. He's a sorcerer who happened to lose his body in an epic battle. I wondered how the author would get me to buy into a story where the main character is just a skeleton. It took about ten minutes. When I heard the explanation, I was like, "Okay then." At some points, I'm skeptical that he's so blase about 12-year -old Stephanie going along with him on some very dangerous adventures. But I have to remind myself that the target audience is 12-year-olds. Skulduggery is a chill dude. It's funny how sanguine he is about Stephanie's bossing him around and threatening to hit him. Maybe he enjoys it because he's lonely. He was great friends with her uncle, so he might have developed a fondness for her via his friend. At any rate, he was very tolerant to Stephanie and he clearly took it very seriously to protect her, even if he did take her along on his dangerous missions. Knowing Stephanie, she probably would have followed him. Skulduggery is a good guy. You would think he'd be menacing, with the whole skeletal appearance, but he's an all around good guy, although he does have enough of a dark edge to be appealing and authentic. The interview with him at the end was awesome. Just the right touch for the audiobook.
Stephanie is in some ways very much a girl of her age. Tween and teenage girls have attitude for days. Yes, it's a bit of a generalization, but there is a lot of truth in it. She also had a very vivid inner life that I recognized in myself. Not that I would have want to do every thing she does (okay, maybe some of it). She's pretty saucy, if I'm honest. It made me laugh and part of thought I'd get the taste slapped out of my mouth if I had talked to an adult that way when I was a kid. All in all, she's a well-drawn character, with the sass, bravery, sense of honor and a great sense of humor that should appeal to most readers.
Together, they make quite a team. I enjoyed their buddy movie banter. Even if Stephanie could be kind of rude to Skulduggery. I loved it when he told her she was "very annoying."
The secondary characters are good, all making sense to the story. I liked the interactions between Stephanie and her clueless parents. They were cute. In a way, it was pretty obvious that Stephanie pretty much got away with a lot more than you'd expect for her age with them.
I like that the tone of this book stays intense but with some good humor. I like that while Landry doesn't take himself too seriously, he shows respect for the intellect of his young readers. In other words, he doesn't make the story too silly or ridiculous. We are dealing with a very evil set of villains with uber-nefarious purposes. Some aspects were fairly creepy, and it reminded me a little of Simon R. Green's Nightside books in a good way. China Sorrow especially definitely made me think of a Nightside character. Don't get me wrong. I don't think this was derivative at all. It feels novel and unique amongst the many urban fantasy stories I've read or encountered. It has a lot of good action, and Skulduggery can fight, with his fists, with his trusty sidearm, and with his elemental magic. Speaking of, the magic elements were well done. They had a unique feel. I like the explanation about the different types of magic users. I think this series would make a fun movie. I'd be cool with either live action or animation.
I definitely want to continue this series, and I am crossing my fingers that I can get the rest of these on audiobook. ...more
Jack has lived a long time, after realizing that he was immortal at a young age. Although well over 100 years have passed, he still mourns hisSynopsis
Jack has lived a long time, after realizing that he was immortal at a young age. Although well over 100 years have passed, he still mourns his lost love who died suddenly, Lydia. Jack can only spend so much time in one place before people will become suspicious of a man who looks twenty years old for extended years, without aging a single day. When he intervenes in a robbery and is supposedly fatally shot, he must move to another location, and he chooses Portland, Maine.
One day, he encounters a young woman who is the spitting image of his lost love, an art student named Leah. Jack is drawn to her, and determined to find out why when he looks into her green eyes, he sees Lydia's soul. He also meets a strange man with sparkling sapphire eyes who may have the answer to why he can't die. But exploring a connection to this man will bring danger into the lives of Jack and the young woman who he seems fated to love eternally.
My Soul Immortal has a very intriguing premise, one of immortality and its gifts and curses. Jack is a sympathetic lead. His mix of heartbroken angst, loneliness and a long-held sense of honor, plus his fascinating gift of immortality encourages the reader to dive deeper into his story. The writing is competent and error-free. However, the story failed to grab me on a deeper level. The emotions felt blunted, particularly in the action and suspense scenes, due to a lack of tension and dramatic impact. While Jack has clearly suffered a lot in his life, the writer didn't make me feel it. Additionally, the secondary characters aren't that charismatic, particularly Leah. While the villain should be deeply disturbing and fear-inspiring, I never got to that level with this person. The ending was well-done, however some aspects as the story progressed were a bit predictable.
Overall, My Soul Immortal has an appealing storyline, with a hero that many readers will like and root for. Readers who find the concept of fated lovers irresistible will enjoy the romance angle. Because this series has a lot of potential, I hope that later volumes have the dramatic impact that this story really needs.
I loved this book. It was delightful, from beginning to end. I was searching for how to classify it, and in the afterward, Ms. Berry mentioned the terI loved this book. It was delightful, from beginning to end. I was searching for how to classify it, and in the afterward, Ms. Berry mentioned the term, British Farce. And that's what this is. I am all for Girl Power, and this book is very much about girl power and the bond between girls/women. Not only is this a sisterhood bonding story, it's also a bit like Oceans Eleven, one of those caper-type stories where you have a disparate group of individuals who are thrown together under a common bond. I'd call these girls the Scandalous Seven. You have Dear Roberta, Dull Martha, Pocked Louise, Dour Elinor, Stout Alice, Disgraceful Mary Jane and their de facto leader, Smooth Kitty. Each girl brings a different characteristic to the book, and I loved each and every one of them. I just wanted to give them all a hug (even Elinor, whose obsession was death was a little bit disturbing at times).
Such a dark subject, a double murder at a quiet ladies school. However, Berry handles it with a deft touch. Instead of spending too much time dwelling on the horror of the girls' predicament, the reader is focused on how these girls react to it and take measures to prevent their sisterhood from ending prematurely. I like the way they work together, and despite the typical occasional squabbles among young women, they look out for each other and validate each other.
I loved the humor. It was mostly subtle, but sometimes laugh out loud. It reminds me very much of British comedy with some British mystery thrown in.
There is a nice dose of romance, because, well they are young women, and romance is often a factor. However, the youngest, Pocked Louise, could give a fig for boys. She's our resident sleuth, and a very smart sleuth she is and she thinks boys are foul. The other ladies, all seem to find guys who prick their fancy. Even Smooth Kitty, who thinks she's got everything all figured out. It thought it was so funny how big a flirt Disgraceful Mary Jane was, and a very unrepentant one at that!
I have been quite stingy with five star ratings lately, but I can't talk myself out of giving one for this book. I am very thankful to Olga Godim for bringing "The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place" to my attention. It was scandalously good!...more
This is a hard book to rate. Honestly, most of it is quite silly. I have seen movie versions and adaptations and I knew that it was pretty bizarre. BuThis is a hard book to rate. Honestly, most of it is quite silly. I have seen movie versions and adaptations and I knew that it was pretty bizarre. But in the reading, it's a bit...well, absurd. If that is one what is expecting, it's a pretty good book. I think that one has to have a high tolerance for silly puns. Some of which are a bit obscure for a modern audience, but I think that kids that read it during that era would have appreciated it.
What I liked the most about it, is, well, Alice. She's adorable. She has the clear and genuine logic and outlook of a child, and I like that about her. She's a bit precocious, but not in an obnoxious way. If she not had been, well, I'm sure she would have found Wonderland quite scary and maybe had a nervous breakdown. She approaches this bizarre place of Wonderland from her vantage point and takes everything pretty well (and with a fair amount of acceptance), considering...
I laughed pretty loud at the absurdity and I loved the narrator, Marianne Margulies's impersonations of the characters. The croquet game was fantastically written and the court scene was pretty funny as well. I kept yelling "Off With His Head," along with the Red Queen. I thought the end was a bit abrupt, but I guess it makes sense in context. There are some sad, poignant aspects that hit the right note as well (the way that the story hits on the mourning one feels for the innocence and joy of childhood as an adult).
It's nice to have read this book and to see that many versions of the book in tv/movies do a good job of capturing the essence of the novel. Generally, movies don't do so well, but I think Alice has been treated fairly faithfully throughout the years.
I will probably read some critical essays on the work and see what I pick up about some of the hidden meanings and themes and cultural relevance, since I'm not really sure about that. On surface value, it was fun and silly, and pretty enjoyable. I recommend getting this on audio. The puns and songs were a lot more funny this way.
Quite honestly, I liked the idea of this collection more than I liked the stories. I did appreciate the humor and the fact that Velde did address theQuite honestly, I liked the idea of this collection more than I liked the stories. I did appreciate the humor and the fact that Velde did address the issues she'd always had with the Little Red Ridinghood story in its varied incarnations. I actually agree with her on many points. However, I think a few of the stories took a bit too much of a left turn. One even goes into a direction that makes the Woodsman into a foil who complicates the storylines of several other fairy tale protagonists. Clever touch, but I was annoyed with the man, honestly. I really liked the story from the viewpoint of Red's grandmother who makes friends with the wolf in an intriguing way. I have a soft spot for wolves, so I rather liked that the wolf wasn't necessarily the villain in most of the stories. The last story was a fun touch about Red's cloak being sentient. Overall, Red doesn't come off in a very flattering way. But I think that's kind of the point of things. Clearly Velde doesn't think the traditional fairy tale treats Red as the smartest or most interesting character anyway.
The narrator really kicks this up a notch. She makes the story fun with her different voices and intonations. I felt like she had fun reading this book. That's always a good thing.
Overall, this was a fun audiobook, but it isn't nearly my favorite when it comes to fairy tale retellings. However, if you are a fairy tale freak like me, you'd probably want to check it out....more
This is a surprisingly dark mystery of coldblooded murder in the sultry environs of South Carolina. Not quite a cozy, but has some of those elements tThis is a surprisingly dark mystery of coldblooded murder in the sultry environs of South Carolina. Not quite a cozy, but has some of those elements that would appeal to cozy fans.
What could drive Superman to commit the ultimate act--murder?
Injustice deals in a very frank manner with that question. It was quite terrifying to seeWhat could drive Superman to commit the ultimate act--murder?
Injustice deals in a very frank manner with that question. It was quite terrifying to see Superman go over the edge. He doesn't go to the extreme of Plutonian in Irredeemable, Vol. 1, but he goes to dark places that it's uncomfortable to see, and his actions divide the Justice League as a result. I have to say that Wonder Woman was a bit scary in this book. Out of all of the characters, I think that Batman stays true to form.
I haven't played the game, so I can't say how closely the storyline mirrors the videogame. I wonder if they didn't beef up the backstory based on a basic premise in the videogame. It makes for a good graphic novel, but don't look for the characters to stay as true to their typical ethoses in the canon storyline. That's not what we get here.
I liked the cameo by Harley Quinn, although I still don't get why she's so in love with the Joker. Her teasing of Green Arrow was pretty funny, I must say.
If you can get this from your library, it's worth a read.
Once again, Bill Willingham and company have created a fresh spin on a fairy tale. And he takes Rapunzel to a very adult and at times disturbing journOnce again, Bill Willingham and company have created a fresh spin on a fairy tale. And he takes Rapunzel to a very adult and at times disturbing journey to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Rapunzel has been looking for her children for many, many years. Even though she was forced to forget them, she never really does. That was a poignant note in this story. An interesting touch was that Rapunzel's hair grows continually, and she experiences very rapid growth spurts of her hair under strong emotion. You can guess how that plays into the story! Her companion is one of the Crow brothers, who is also her hairdresser. Her time in Japan opens the doorway to a story full of Japan's very imaginative, and in some ways very frightful folklore.
If you're like me and Japanese horror movies scare the you know what out of you, you might find this volume therapeutic. There is an interesting twist on the drowned maiden in the well. And I will never look at hairballs the same way again.
There are some dark elements in this one, probably the most out of all the Fables/Fairest volumes I've read, so reader beware. Having said that, I loved it just as much as the other ones. Rapunzel is both sympathetic and at times, really kind of scary. I've never thought much about her, so this volume definitely has me seeing her in a different light.
I am sad that this series is over, but it ends in such a satisfying way. I do think that this series is required reading for those who like fairy taleI am sad that this series is over, but it ends in such a satisfying way. I do think that this series is required reading for those who like fairy tales and especially clever retellings. Each volume ups the ante on the grim aspect of fairy tales. Each book seems less appropriate for a younger audience. I'm torn on that. Mr. Gidwitz is obviously a teacher, and he understands the young minds he writes for. I mean, he has to in order to teach them. I'm going to trust that he knows what they can handle, but my personal limit would be 12 or older for these books. There is way too much dark violence and subject matter for kiddos younger than twelve, to my thinking. Also, the cruelty of adults against children in this book is highly disturbing.
I also think this is the saddest out of the series. Wow, the things that our young protagonists are faced with really tore at my heart. And how the cruelty and neglect they experienced warped something inside of them. Gidwitz deals with the psychology of abused/neglected children in a poignant way without getting too soapboxy.
There are some great life lessons here. Family, loyalty, honor, integrity, kindness, and making moral decisions. These kids have to raise themselves and that leads to some issues when they are faced with adult moral decisions. Along the way they make mistakes and have to learn from them and 'face the music.'
This book breaks the 4th wall in a way that the other ones in the series did not. At first, I really didn't like that about the book, but then I saw how integral it was to the story. It was also good because Gidwitz doesn't follow the predictable pattern I expected.
Johnny Heller truly is an awesome narrator. If he didn't win an award for narrating this series, then he was cheated. He deserves it. He was all in, and you would have to wonder how he didn't get emotionally affected by this book as he read. Not just in horror or sadness, but in hilarity, because this book involves all those emotions.
I am biased. I love fairy tales a lot. Yet, I think that increases my standards for fairy tale retellings. Gidwitz is a writer who clearly loves fairy tales just as much as I do, if not more. He respects the genre, and it clearly is a huge creative influence on him in crafting these marvelous books that add very much to the cultural relevance of fairy tales.
If you have not checked these out and you like fairy tales, what are you waiting for?...more
I liked the artwork in this volume much better. Selina's features aren't harsh in this version, and she does have the sharper, intelligent beauty of aI liked the artwork in this volume much better. Selina's features aren't harsh in this version, and she does have the sharper, intelligent beauty of a cat. The story was pretty good, but the ending was a bit anticlimactic as far as the Dollhouse storyline. It was really disturbing what the Dollmaker was doing to those poor streetwalkers. I'm glad that they had Catwoman to fight for them.
I liked Catwoman's team-up with Spark. The inclusion of the Talon storyline was good too. Catwoman's sympathy for the Talon made sense in light of her antiheroic/villainous reputation. Catwoman continues to toe the line of moral ambiguity. Her actions are often spurred on by self-interest even if she does the right thing.
This was a nice chance to see some less represented characters front and center: Stargirl and Martian Manhunter. They are members of the Justice LeaguThis was a nice chance to see some less represented characters front and center: Stargirl and Martian Manhunter. They are members of the Justice League of America and the only ones who can help liberate the Justice League members who are entrapped in a psychic prison, and evert world destruction.
Together, they make their way through a surreal set of challenges in which they are incorporated into or witness the punishing illusions that their fellow superhero colleagues are subjected to. In the process, they must face their own fears, and tap into inner wells of courage.
I wasn't familiar with Stargirl, but she seems like a good analog for the average girl. While I think most young women and girls look up to Wonder Woman, we're not Amazonian princesses (with goddess-like powers), and there will always be a realization that Wonder Woman is in some ways an unattainable standard. However, Courtney is an average girl, albeit one who has gained access to a staff that gives her extraordinary powers. Her youth and hope is a real asset in this crisis.
This is a three star rating because I didn't get into the story that much. I felt I was just trying to finish it so I could return it to the library. Perhaps it was hard to connect to the story outside of Manhunter and Stargirl's dilemma. I much preferred the previous volume, with the ensemble cast who kept my interest. If my library keeps getting these, I'll keep reading them. ...more
I like the style of this series. An armchair adventurer with an interest in history and culture will get their desires well satiated as they accompanyI like the style of this series. An armchair adventurer with an interest in history and culture will get their desires well satiated as they accompany Jaya on her adventures. To anyone who is a Francophile, look no further.
Madison Carmichael loves the small-town lifestyle she'd grown up with in California, and has no desire to leave Serenity Hills. But all that iSynopsis
Madison Carmichael loves the small-town lifestyle she'd grown up with in California, and has no desire to leave Serenity Hills. But all that is threatened when Jake Colt shows up, claiming that he's the new owner of Oak Hills, her parents' winery. Jake is son of the owner of Colt Enterprises, living a rootless dilettante life as a vice president in name, although he mainly jet sets around the world, looking for the next adrenaline rush. He made a deal with his father that if he could make the winery profitable, he could be in charge of his own subsidiary of Colt Enterprises, far away from the father he's despised since he was ten.
Madison hates Jake from first sight. He reminds her of another city-bred man who broke her heart. She doesn't trust his intentions, not as the new owner and boss of her parents, or the seductive twinkle in his eye when he looks at her. Jake likes what he sees of Madison and wants to explore their attraction, at least as long as he's in town. He hires her struggling photography business to take some photos for his new marketing plans for the winery to increase its exposure, concocted as an opportunity to spend time with her and to gain her trust. However, Jake discovers a real affinity for the winery business and realizes that he really takes this business endeavor seriously. As Jake and Madison spend time together, they realize that she can teach him the delights of home and family and he can teach her to be more spontaneous and open to adventure.
Fearless Love is an enjoyable sweet contemporary romance. Initially, I felt disconnected from the lead characters, but they grew on me as I read more of their story. Jake isn't that likable initially, too much the textbook rich playboy born with a silver spoon in his mouth. However, he started growing on me as it was evident that his cavalier lifestyle was a reaction to deep hurts from his childhood. He shows a lot of consideration and concern for Madison, which belies his insistence that he doesn't want to get serious for her or have feelings involved. In that way, he earned my respect. It's gratifying to see him realize that he can put down roots and take life seriously, with the right motivation. Madison has her prickly moments that are at times borderline rude. While I could understand her inability to trust Jake, her attitude may rub some readers the wrong way, especially since she allows a past hurt to prejudice her against Jake and ‘pigeonhole' him unfairly. Her feelings for him are divided: a powerful sexual attraction warring with a head knowledge that he's bad for her based on her past failed serious romance. Kadence is very capable at developing the chemistry and growing emotions between the leads in an organic way. Their photography adventures provide plenty of bonding moments that show that they have a lot of potential together.
The small-town vibe is appealing, with evocative descriptions of the local natural wonders, and I liked the story about a famous star-crossed couple from the town's history. It was more than evident why Madison would love her town so much. Madison is surrounded by loving family and friends, showing Jake the positive side of small town life, which he needs to see. Readers who enjoy ‘fish out of water' and ‘opposites attract' romance as well as small town settings will appreciate that about this story. Also the fact that there is no rush to sexual intimacy, but a nicely paced development of their relationship, may appeal to readers looking for a sweet rather than erotic contemporary romance.
Fearless Love is a short, enjoyable romance with a good lesson about how easy it is to judge people unfairly without taking the time to know them or understand them on a deeper level. It also has a good lesson about letting go of past fears and embracing future opportunities with courage.
Another really good book in this series. I always get sucked into these books, and I can't wait to see what happens next. I am a huge fan of Sister AnAnother really good book in this series. I always get sucked into these books, and I can't wait to see what happens next. I am a huge fan of Sister Anselm. She's a whippersnapper! This story got my ire going for sure.
I liked this for the mystery more than the romance, although I did like both Grace and Julius. I just think the romance was sort of an afterthought. II liked this for the mystery more than the romance, although I did like both Grace and Julius. I just think the romance was sort of an afterthought. It's worth a read though.
This is a book that will make your stomach turn flips as you read it. Unger kept me from trusting that anything would be okay in this book. Quite a joThis is a book that will make your stomach turn flips as you read it. Unger kept me from trusting that anything would be okay in this book. Quite a journey.
I enjoy the heck out of the All Star Western/Jonah Hex graphic novels. Hex is such a character. Not at all a Boy Scout, but he dives into to the frayI enjoy the heck out of the All Star Western/Jonah Hex graphic novels. Hex is such a character. Not at all a Boy Scout, but he dives into to the fray to defend those who need defending. It sure was interesting to see Hex as a fish out of water in the present. He's not a man to fall in with authority just because, which becomes, well, problematic. However, Hex gets on his feet fast, with the help with a young woman with a taste for older rough and tumble bad boys.
The sex and violence are pretty prominent, but it's not as skeevy as one might think. I also liked how not one story is alike in this volume, but the story arcs have plenty of surprises and twists and turns. I was not expecting what happens in the last story at all. There are lots of cool cameos in this. I never thought I'd see Hex and The Man of Steel in the same comic, but I did!
I'd have to give this a 3.5/5.0 because I wasn't enamored of the facial rending of the characters, moreso Zatanna. For lack of a better word, she lookI'd have to give this a 3.5/5.0 because I wasn't enamored of the facial rending of the characters, moreso Zatanna. For lack of a better word, she looked a bit goofy at times, with the exaggerated eyes and arched brows. I'm a bit of a Zatanna fangirl, especially from the previous Paul Dini run, and I liked her look so much better in those. It's a shallow thing, but I can't help how I feel. Overall, the story was good. Pretty straightforward, not a lot of surprises. A cute way to team up to admirable, strong female lead crimefighters, with slightly different approaches. I liked the strong foundation for their friendship and that they made such an excellent team together. I liked the Green Arrow cameo, but I was glad he was strictly a guess star and didn't participate in the major story arc unnecessarily. This is Black Canary's show.
I think readers who enjoy Black Canary and Zatanna will like this book. You may or may not enjoy the art more than me. I was jazzed like crazy that my library had this. Keep them coming!
I liked this one. Giulia is a fun lead with an interesting background as a nun, and a supportive husband. A nice touch of noir in a cozy mystery-styleI liked this one. Giulia is a fun lead with an interesting background as a nun, and a supportive husband. A nice touch of noir in a cozy mystery-style read.
Another really good Sarah Morgan book. This really reminded me of the story of Red Ridinghood and the big Bad Wolf. Selene is sweet as pie and very inAnother really good Sarah Morgan book. This really reminded me of the story of Red Ridinghood and the big Bad Wolf. Selene is sweet as pie and very innocent, with incredible belief in Stefan, based on their chance meeting five years prior. He is the glimmer of hope that she can escape from the figurative and literal prison where her father has kept her and her mother. She sneaks out and meets him and asks for a business loan for her company. To which Stefan agrees, but he also wants to exploit the association to revenge a past insult against his family by her father. Selene believes only the best about Stefan, and when they go to bed together, she is completely willing, excited to experience passion for the first time with a man she views as the only friend she's ever had. But everything backfires when a picture of them ends up in the press and her father finds out about it. Selene realizes that her knight in shining armor is actually the Big Bad Wolf, and her poor innocent heart is broken. Stefan realizes he wronged Selene in his quest for revenge and he wants to make it right.
Selene is such a sweetie! She cracked me up how excited she was with Stefan that first night. I could see how she was putting tiny cracks in Stefan's armor and making the Bad Wolf into her very own adoring Wolf Protector. Stefan was the first to admit he had no conscience, but the truth is that he had turned his conscience off to achieve his goals of success. Selene made him come back to life, but he did it kicking and screaming. He really doesn't want the vulnerability of love, but Selene reached his heart. And when she loses faith in him, it really bothers him. I liked that Stefan has to win back Selene's trust and show him that he was worthy of her faith in him. At the same time, Selene gains a balanced view of him, that he is neither an angel or a demon, but a human being.
As usual, the dialogue is a huge draw to this story. The sometimes inane things that the characters chat about feels realistic. Sometimes you do have strange conversations with people and they know what you're saying, even if it comes out of your mouth in a very bizarre way, because they know you. I think that Selene's parents were less developed, moreso her mother. Her father seems so sinister, and he's clearly an abusive lowlife. But Selene is able to put him into perspective as well . It helps that she has a faithful Wolf to guard her, and she's one Red Ridinghood who can take care of herself, gaining needed independence, that is not compromised but facilitated through her relationship with Stefan....more
Hart is a good writer, with an evocative style. It's great that this is full of multicultural characters. But I gave this 3.5/5.0 stars, because it'sHart is a good writer, with an evocative style. It's great that this is full of multicultural characters. But I gave this 3.5/5.0 stars, because it's not really to my personal taste. I find I like straight contemporary romance less and less, and the romances are more HFN than HEA (which is not my personal preference). Overall, I think readers who enjoy the current small town romance series trend would like this very much.