I wish I could say that I liked Map To the Stars, but it fell so flat for me that I tripped over it on the sidewalk. Terrible analogy but accurate alI wish I could say that I liked Map To the Stars, but it fell so flat for me that I tripped over it on the sidewalk. Terrible analogy but accurate all the same.
Lemme just give you a list of all the reasons this book didn't work for me:
Insta-love done poorly. When Annie and Graham aka the Movie Star first meet, he assumes she's a fangirl that's managed to weasel her way into his hotel room before he gets there. Their later interactions suggest that they just have so much spark they fired off at each other the first time they met. You know that story: boy and girl dislike each other and lash out, only to later realize how much they lurv each other and that's why they lashed out. Besides the whole "I like you so I'm going to treat you like crap" trope that I am SO TIRED OF, it's just overplayed and in this case, completely unbelievable.
Mom and Annie left Georgia for #reasons (that were stupid). I began to suspect, not too far into the novel, why Annie and her mother just uprooted and left their home and I told myself if I was right, I was going to be really effing mad. And I was right. But since the big reveal isn't until the last 10% of the book or so, I felt like I may as well finish it out so I could at least get another completed book in my Goodreads challenge. Yep, that's right. I finished it for the numbers. I didn't finish it because I liked it or anything crazy like that. Anyway, I digress. The reason was stupid and lacked any sort of believability at all. No mother is going to uproot her kid during senior year of high school because of such a minor thing. You know what would have been more believable? If mom left to take this job and Annie stayed with Dad. That actually makes sense to me, but that wouldn't have worked for an author who was looking for a plot device to get her prince and pauper together. Eye roll.
Annie and Graham were soooooooooooooo melodramatic. One minute they hated each other and the next they were kissy-kissy, and then again hated each other. Graham tells her he can't be seen with her, and then takes her out. She tells him she's tired of his crap, and then smoochies with him. Yeah, I guess that's actually typical of some teenage emotion, but when paired with the rest of the story, it just was blah.
The ending was too neat. All this drama and everything ends just perfectly (sorry not sorry for that spoiler). I like when not every single thing is easy for characters. Yes, even in HEAs.
I actually did enjoy all the backstage scenes, because, whether or not that was real, they lent a bid of credibility to Graham's lifestyle and story. And there were some really funny quotes in there - if Map To the Stars did anything well, it was funny at times.
"I'm a producer. You ever try to talk a neurotic actor off an emotional clif? They're nearly as bad as writers. I'm basically one hissy fit short of earning Dr. Phil status at this point in the game."
So, look, Map To the Stars wasn't a terribly awful book. Some readers who are looking for a teen romance with some Hollywood thrown in for fun might actually like this. It's made for hot summer days on a beach, but it's also a book you wouldn't be upset if it got sand in the spine or wet from splashes...or drowned in the ocean altogether. I am highly critical of contemporary romances, teen or not, so just take my opinion with a grain of salt... and a side of margarita.This book may have been provided in exchange for an honest review, and therefore will be noted on the original post....more
While not a bad book, because it was certainly entertaining, Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson was utterly predictable. I knew how it was going to eWhile not a bad book, because it was certainly entertaining, Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson was utterly predictable. I knew how it was going to end probably before the author did. So let's talk about what made it tick - and what didn't.
Verity Newton as the main character was boring. Seriously, Swendson couldn't have chosen a more tedious character to narrate this novel, despite being a half-breed that can potentially cause conflict down the road. And while she wasn't unlikeable per se, she lacked that badass quality that every main character should have. She was, for the most part, meek and unsure of herself, almost until the very end.
Lord Henry was delightful and enigmatic, with his bespectacled eyes and his nose shoved in books. But his secret is given up early on in the novel and I would have liked to have seen it drawn out more for the reader. He is much more than an entomologist, and I wanted to know even more about him than we got.
Alec, one of the Mechanics, I never found trustworthy or worth Verity's schoolgirl crush. He came off as conceited and as if he disregarded all of Verity's feelings about their situation and how she might have been used by the rebels.
Likewise, Lizzie struck me as a little two-faced, despite knowing she did have benevolent intentions. She simply justified her actions a little too much for me to like her.
I actually liked Flora and the children, despite Flora's vanity. Shallow waters run deep, and all that. I'm looking forward to seeing where her character goes in the second book, and if she is also involved unbeknownst to the rest of the rebels, Henry and Verity. The kids were genuine and inquisitive.
I sense a love triangle brewing. Although I usually don't feel one way or another regarding them, they still need to be organic. I have a feeling there will be romantic conflict in the second book and I'm not really looking forward to that. I hate when an author creates one where it's obvious that the main character should be with one character and not the other.
The plot was interesting: this is an alternate reality where the American colonists did not successfully overthrow the British control, and Red Coats still patrol NYC while the colony is under the thumb of the monarchy. It begins quickly, with a robbery on Verity's train by masked bandits, which leads her straight into the hands of conflict, but she handles herself well. I'm kind of excited to see where Swendson takes it next.
Overall, not a terrible book, but it could be made better with improved characterization and less obvious plotlines.This book may have been provided in exchange for an honest review, and therefore will be noted on the original post....more
~~~~~ Down from the Mountain gets 3.5 stars for a multitude of reasons. It's very compelling, and seeing the inside of a religious cult with first person POV is riveting. Here is a bulleted list of the things I liked, as well as some of the things I didn't. Liked
It's compelling. As someone who doesn't have a religion, but believes in God, I find the idea of followers being sucked into a religious cult fascinating. My questions circle around the whys and the hows, and this book highlights a lot of those reasons.
Her discovery of the outside world, as she does work for Righteous Path (the cult), is delightful and I found her confusion about what she had been taught versus what she was experiencing, sad and happy.
Eva's bravery as she challenges her own way of thinking and everything she has ever been taught.
Trevor. Goodness, I loved everything about him. Caring and kind and every other sweet adjective you can think of, he truly cared what happened to the members of the cult.
Fixmer made Ezekial an obvious villain. Normally, I hate that, but it really works in Down from the Mountain, because, hey, cults are bad, amirite?
The descriptions of complacence and obedience are well done.
The writing is somewhat simple. Perhaps this is a side-effect of writing from the POV of a girl who has had little formal education. If that's the case, then I understand it.
It was relatively predictable; I kind of saw where it was heading about 35% of the way through the story. I knew who would defect first, I sort of had figured out who would die. Really, the only thing that took me by surprise was the lack of relationship development with Jacob.
I found the reasons that Mother Martha joined the Righteous Path to be forced and not at all believable. While I can get behind Martha giving her money and earthly possessions over to the Reverend Ezekial, I just don't think her reasoning was convincing.
There are small discrepancies within the story, such as:
Annie, the 11-year-old follower, sounded too old for her age. Now, I realize that this does happen to some people, especially those who have experienced traumatic events, but if Fixmer didn't give her age away in the book, I'd have guessed she was in her early twenties. That's a broad difference from 11. How did Eva get a library card without a photo ID?
Where the hell was the media when she was found? Her disappearance was in the papers, but where were they when she was found? I've seen far too many stories like this one to believe that it didn't happen, and it disappointed me that we don't get to experience the fallout of the ending.
There is no intensity in the ending. I felt no emotion behind the words on the pages. It was kinda like, "Okay, so I did this, and this, and this, and they came and this happened and now I'm here." It happens incredibly fast, especially considering how long Eva had been with the cult.
Verdict Despite its flaws, Down from the Mountain really is a great book to read, especially if you have an interest in the heavy subject matter. The story is quite disheartening, because it happens in the real world, but Fixmer rewards you for your internal suffering in the end.
*Thank you to Albert Whitman & Company for my review copy....more
~~~~~ Beauty & the Beast is perhaps my favorite Disney movie, because it taught me that appearances and legends are sometimes deceiving, and to lo
~~~~~ Beauty & the Beast is perhaps my favorite Disney movie, because it taught me that appearances and legends are sometimes deceiving, and to look beyond the cover.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is my book Beauty & the Beast. Being pitched as similar to the movie, with lots and lots of fantasy twists, faeries and magic, it is EPIC. Truly, Maas has surpassed herself, because while I love the Throne of Glass series, I love A Court of Thorns and Roseseven more. SO MUCH MORE.
The Setting Maas is a skilled world-builder. There are seven faerie kingdoms and then the human "kingdom". She gives us the backstory on how this divide happens, but doesn't give up the farm right in the beginning. In fact, you have to wait awhile to find out everything, as she doles out tidbits through conversations and history. She spends a lot of time with our lead character, Feyre, describing the lush and beautiful Spring Kingdom, and the desolation of her family's small border town. I felt like I could step into the pages of the book and be transported to a real world. The Characters The story is told from the point of view of Feyre, a human girl who is just over the cusp of adulthood. Feyre is the sole caretaker in her family, since her mother died and her father nor older sisters have done anything to make sure they survive. She's brash, she's brave and she's got a big mouth, but you love her for it, because she's always honest and doesn't play games. She has flaws - lots of them, really - but she's self-aware and I think that's why she is so charming, even when she's being a donkey.
I can haz a Tamlin nao? Seriously, I have been looking for a new book boyfriend! OMG he reminds me so much of Beast, with his claws, his temper and his kindness. He makes me want to spin in a field and sing! One part brute and the other part lover, there is no way you don't adore him. I mean, he takes her places and shows her things. He does stuff. I'm trying not to spoil here, bare with me!
In the beginning, I HATED Lucien. I thought he was an arrogant, close-minded ass. But as the story progressed, and I learned his history, my heart ached for him. So noble and loyal and - well, let's just say that Maas makes me love him in the end.
Rhysand is an enigma. When we first meet him, I didn't know what to think. On one hand, he seemed dangerous, but on the other, I felt like there was more to him than what he was presenting. As we go into book two, I am eager to see if I'm right. And I have my suspicions on who he might end up with: (view spoiler)[Nesta. Because she's strong and single, and I know she won't let her sister just disappear like that. I am betting she hops the fence. But I guess we will wait and see if she ever shows up again. (hide spoiler)].
Incidentally, this is how I pictured Rhys (plus a gratuitous Ian Somerhalder gif):
The Plot I kind of see A Court of Thorns and Roses as having multiple plots. But the big one: there is a nefarious villain who is determined to rule the world. Only one person can stop it, and it involves curses, magic, faeries on all sides, and tasks to get to a happily ever after, if there is one. Maas makes sure to give you time to love Feyre and Tamlin before diving in and tearin' it all up.
In Summary Action, adventure, romance, challenges... A Court of Thorns and Roses has it all. It is damn good story-telling.
I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.
*Thank you to Bloomsbury for my review copy.
Check out Sarah J. Maas' video about ACOTAR. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The Good SNOW LIKE ASHES had an interesting plot, once you get into the meat of the story. A fantasy world was torn apart 16 years ago, and one Kingdom is trying to recover their magic through a broken conduit stolen by the evil king of a neighboring kingdom, Spring. Monarchy can use magic, and each kingdom has powers that extend over the people. One girl, Meira, wants to matter to her Kingdom and the war to get back Winter and its people. I like the juxtapositions of the names against the kingdoms Raasch created some interesting opposites in SNOW LIKE ASHES. When I typically think of the winter season, I do think of snow, but I also think of long nights, depression (often associated with the season), and dead trees, plants and a world that is basically hibernating. Winter is cold and often unforgiving (if you live where it gets cold anyway).
But Raasch describes Winter (the kingdom) as beautiful, pristine and white, like new snow on a field. The subjects of Winter (called Winterians) love their kingdom and are beautiful, generous people who fight for a noble cause. What could be a cold, frozen place is actually one of warmth within its people.
Likewise, Spring (the evil kingdom) is described as beautiful, but behind the cherry blossoms and greenery lies a black evil controlled by a corrupt king. It reminds the reader not to judge a book by its cover, and that evil can be beautiful, too. The descriptions of the landscape were beautiful The descriptions of the landscape are well-done and vivid. As I mentioned before, the kingdom of Spring is described as colorful and fragrant, while Winter is described as white, cold but beautiful. Raasch has truly developed an alluring world where the reader can step into the pages of her imagination.
I really liked the ending. It led to questions and hopefully another novel, because I know Meira is right about Angra (the evil king). Of course, if there is no second novel, it also reads great as a stand-alone. Wonderful conflict resolution in this book. I liked a lot of the characters Probably my favorite character was Theron. I think I have a thing for secondary male leads. He reminded me (in personality) of Adrian from Vampire Academy, just in that he was rich and misunderstood in the beginning, but was actually a nice person who thought of others. I'm probably drawing a long line between them, but Adrian was the first person Theron reminded me of.
I did like Meira, even though she annoyed the hell out of me. She had good intentions, wanted more from life and for the kingdom she didn't know first-hand, and questioned what she was told often. And she was a fighter.
The Bad The beginning is slow. I had a hard time getting into SNOW LIKE ASHES. I went into it expecting to love it very much, so maybe it didn't even have a fighting chance against my expectations, because I only liked it. Although that's still good, it lacks something that makes novels like Throne of Glass stand out. We spend too much time in the narrator's head Overall, I liked Meira, our main character. She is resilient and a warrior willing to sacrifice herself for the better of her kingdom's return. But I often found her mildly annoying, because she spent too much time doubting herself and not enough time doing. She waffled a bit back and forth over decisions that needed to be made, when I really just wanted her to get on with it. This, of course, means that there is less dialogue than I like throughout the novel, since we're always being subjected to her inner thoughts. The plot was just too obvious and I didn't feel invested I felt like I was being led around by the nose throughout SNOW LIKE ASHES. While I don't mind tropes in a novel most of the time, I think too many of them were used in this book and they were way too obvious. For instance, we have: love triangle forming; main character who doesn't know who she is (I knew who she was in chapter 13 and what she was by Chapter 19); one main character who happens to disarm a kingdom basically by herself. Cities in the kingdoms (in the Seasons kingdoms) were named after real months, but altered a bit. I didn't necessarily mind that, but it reminded me of The Selection and America Singer. Cutesy but takes away a bit from the novel, because you're like, "Oh, Abril (April) and Jannuari (January). How cute. And obvious."
I wasn't invested in some of the scenes, like the outcome of Sir, the fight between Mather and Theron, the battle in Cordella. In fact, I didn't really become invested until Meira was residing in Spring. I also didn't real feel any of the romance; it just seems like a lot of time was spent on Meira's journey that there wasn't room left for any romance, and so Raasch squeezed it in where she could. Info-dumping I think the reason we were in Meira's head so much was because we needed info on how things happened, what the past was like and what the world looked like. I'm not a fan of info-dumping as a general rule unless it's done well, and I prefer my info via character dialogue, rather than long descriptions by the narrator as a general rule. Still a good YA fantasy novel While it may seem like I didn't like it very much, I actually did enjoy the story. YA fantasy fans will really dig SNOW LIKE ASHES because it's a gorgeous world with an engaging plot.
So I was not fully impressed with Through the Ever Night, though it seems most people loved it as much as Under the Never SkyWhat an epic conclusion!!
So I was not fully impressed with Through the Ever Night, though it seems most people loved it as much as Under the Never Sky. I felt it lacked the oomph of the first novel. But Veronica Rossi has fully redeemed herself in my eyes as a master storyteller!
Into the Still Blue picks up right where Through the Ever Night left off: the Tides and refugees from the pod have gone into the cave by the beach. Perry and Aria are reunited, but for how long when so much still remains uncertain?
Things I Loved About Into the Still Blue:
The Dwellers and Outsiders are forced to become one unified society, else they may just perish. They need the numbers to stand against Hess, Sable and the Horns. I loved Cinder’s and Perry’s loyalty to each other. It’s the kind of loyalty you don’t often find in real life or books and it defied DNA or friendship. I think it really spoke to each of their characters and it was refreshing to read about characters as awesome as they were. (view spoiler)[I liked that to ultimately reach the Still Blue, the Tides and Dwellers had to compromise with Sable and the Horns, because it showed how well they could work together in times of a crisis. (hide spoiler)] I loved that Soren comes so far in this story. He goes from a willful, spoiled brat who makes unstable decisions to someone who is steady, medicated and a team player. Of all the characters, Soren probably developed the most in this entire series. I loved Roar. Period. Everything about him. His relationship with Aria, which was never romantic, was sweet and something she needed. And so did he! I think I’d really love to see his own full-length story, a romance, because I want romantic redemption for him. I want him to find love again. Getting to the Still Blue was never going to be an easy task, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Nothing worthwhile is easy and it showed that those causes worth the most will cost the most. They were not without loss, but you can’t measure happiness without loss. I loved that it wasn’t easy to reach. Aria and Perry’s relationship wasn’t insta-love even though she had come back from the Rim. They had to learn how to work through their issues like adults, and ultimately they each grew because of that. The way Rossi described the Still Blue was exactly as I had imagined it. (view spoiler)[There were some aspects about it I didn’t expect like it being completely unpopulated but overall, I had the island from LOST in my head and she basically delivered that. (hide spoiler)] Aria’s father. <3 The final showdown! Gah! <3
Things I Side-Eyed:
I thought it was entirely too easy for Sable and his men to throw over Hess. Or maybe Hess was just that stupid. Who knows. Sable’s method for disposing of Cinder and Perry was really obvious and I could see it coming from a mile away. Rossi explained away Perry’s reappearance way too easily. Into the Still Blue was just amazing. I would love to see the film rights sold for this. Pleeeeaaaase, Warner Brothers, give us a movie!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I just didn’t find myself getting into ASK AGAIN LATER by Liz Czukas, for a number of reasons: no story development, no world-building, lack of characI just didn’t find myself getting into ASK AGAIN LATER by Liz Czukas, for a number of reasons: no story development, no world-building, lack of character development. It really only got two stars from me because of some light humor.
Heart doesn’t date guys because she has this hang-up about her mother. So not dating resolves everything that could potentially go wrong, even though she knows it’s BS, and so does everyone else. She’s nice enough, I suppose, but just your average teenager who doesn’t really stand out.
But here we go with the whole trope of “the average girl is always the center of attention” again! This is seriously starting to become overdone, guys. There is nothing spectacular about her: she’s not a nerd, but she’s not popular. She doesn’t date, she’s not slutty, she has divorced parents, her dad isn’t rich, her brother is neither a loser nor a genius (nor is she). She is the girl you forget about unless you are forced to pay attention to her. And while not every guy is tripping over their feet to get to her (thanks for that, by the way, because that story is old, too) – and yes yes, I know average chicks get guys too, because hello, I am one – I just don’t see how her life day story was interesting. And that’s all it was. One day in the life of Heart while she decides who she is going to go to prom with.
Except there is this weird alternate universe thing, so was it sci-fi or was it…? I don’t even know what to call that, but I didn’t like it. The story of prom is told in “Heads” or “Tails” and each one is a reality she lives and the perspective jumps between them. Heart is propositioned by two boys, and decides to break her “no-dating” policy to give a pity date to one of these two (OH PLEASE GIRL) dudes: a friend and her brother’s jock friend. A pity date for a jock from an average girl actually deserves an eye roll:
Anyway, so the tale is told in both perspectives and what would happen if she chose one or the other. I do give props to Czukas for merging the storylines together so that they meshed well. The message that you can’t avoid fate was pretty clear and that was actually neat. I am willing to bet that wasn’t easy to write, but it was a bit painful to read, not gonna lie. This is not because I dislike alternate realities; I actually really like them. But in contemporaries? PASS.
I just feel like this could have been so much better than it was. It wasn’t horrible, don’t get me wrong. Parts of it were cute and funny; in fact the first page is what grabbed my attention, because it was so well-written. It just unfortunately dropped off quickly from that, and it’s all because of the (lack of) plot and the characters. There is no world-building, and it’s not like you need a lot, because after all, this is a contemporary (or something, I’m still not sure with that whole alternate reality thing going on), but some details would have been nice. There was little character development for anyone. Heart is really the only character who experiences any kind of growth…in one freaking day, which is rather unbelievable. And it’s never explained why she’s so freaking great. We’re just supposed to accept that she’s the chosen heroine of this story and that’s it.
There are sadly no surprises, either. I knew who she was going to end up with at 7% into the book. Blah.
I guess I just like my novels with a little more in them and this wasn’t it. Some will really like this because parts are snarky and fun, but others will find it lacking. Probably a good read for the much younger YA crowd, like middle school....more
It is extremely rare that I find a book I would happily read again. I used to be a serial re-reader, until I had the bibliophile “problem” of too manyIt is extremely rare that I find a book I would happily read again. I used to be a serial re-reader, until I had the bibliophile “problem” of too many books and not enough hours in the day to read them all. It was Steph @ Cuddlebuggery who insisted that I read The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. ”It’s epic!” she exclaimed (and she may have held her dagger to my throat, too… we don’t discuss that). I realized two things: Steph’s dagger is plastic and The Winner’s Curse is one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Now, I could get into all the details, like how the writing is like poetry, or how Marie Rutkoski builds us a world that is as beautiful as it is dangerous, with lavish jewels and aristocrats, and dark alleys and murder. Or I could tell you that the protagonist, Kestrel, was a character I liked from the start, because she was deeply thoughtful and saw a world different from that of her peers. Or I could say that Arin, despite his character flaws and inability to make a freaking MOVE already, was the perfect hero in this story because he understood, like Kestrel, that the world isn’t black and white.
I could do and say all those things, but I’m just going to leave you with this instead:
Folks, this right here is how you re-tell great literature.
My favorite classic that I ever read was the Great Gatsby. Admittedly the last time I readFolks, this right here is how you re-tell great literature.
My favorite classic that I ever read was the Great Gatsby. Admittedly the last time I read it was in high school, which was a long time ago, and the specific details escape me now, but the general tone of the novel stuck with me. Sara Benincasa did a fabulous job drawing great parallels between the classic novel and her re-telling of Great Gatsby.
Naomi has been sent to the Hamptons to “summer” once more with her mother, who is on the cusp of breaking into mega-fame as a famous baker. She hates summering in the Hamptons and she doesn’t particularly care for her mother, who is mostly just a social-climber more concerned with Naomi making the right kind of friends than good grades. Naomi prefers her down-to-earth life with her basketball coach father in Chicago (and I don’t blame her).
But this summer proves to be different: she becomes closer with Delilah Fairweather, daughter to a congressman and socialite, Delilah’s boyfriend Teddy Barrington and Teddy’s friend Jeff His-last-name-escapes-me. The four of them sort of become the odd double-daters: Delilah and Teddy fight in restaurants, while Naomi watches uncomfortably and Jeff pokes fun at the situations.
Enter Jacinda Trimalchio (nice nod to one of Fitzgerald’s original title ideas!), fashion blogger extraordinaire. Jacinda is mysterious, wealthy and without her parents, a sure-to-be-hit in that town. She’s also very interested in getting to know Delilah Fairweather, and while she seemed very nice throughout the entire novel, it was obvious she had an obsessive quality.
There is so much in this story that depicts the darker side of being wealthy and rich: people want to know you, they want to get close to you, you date individuals based on their pedigrees and not because you particularly like them. GREAT showed rich talking down to the poor, even when they were being nice. I don’t mean this to sound preachy at all, but the protagonist’s point of view called out often how she noticed these things. And if I remember correctly, these themes were in Gatsby as well.
The characters are all vibrant, not flat, and when I think of them, I think of someone I would see on an outrageous TV show or movie, somewhere I would say to myself, “this can’t be real life.” But things like “Hinge at the waist!” mockery does happen. Ultimately, the darker side prevails, which you can guess if you’ve read Gatsby. It was fascinating to see the parallels, and the LGBT twist as well.
GREAT is fab. Even when I loathed the characters, I still really liked them, because Benincasa writes them so well. And I think I’d drown myself in a lazy river pool if I had a mother like Naomi’s. Between the parties, Naomi’s self-reflections as she gets sucked further into the rich-kid world while acquiescing to her mother, the drama between Delilah, Teddy and Jacinda, I just couldn’t put it down. I did want to know what happened “after”, but I guess that’s sometimes just left to the readers’ imaginations.
Love me some cowboys and Christmas, so it is of course no surprise I picked this up off of Netgalley during my Christmas book binge (as I like to callLove me some cowboys and Christmas, so it is of course no surprise I picked this up off of Netgalley during my Christmas book binge (as I like to call it). I read A Cold Creek Noel last Christmas and was swept away by the Bowman clan in Pine Gulch, Montana. This season, RaeAnne Thayne gives us Ridge Bowman’s story and I was excited to find out more about the gruff rancher who has been raising his tween daughter by himself since his ex-wife walked out on him when Destry was only an infant.
Sarah Whitmore has come across some property that she thinks belongs to the Bowman family and she wants to return it – in person. So she treks from sunny and warm San Diego to the bitterly cold Montana to hand-deliver it, when Ridge mistakes her for someone else. An accident happens and she ends up stuck on the River Bow ranch through a brutal snowstorm and Christmas, which means… getting to know hottie Ridge and his daughter, Destry.
A Cold Creek Christmas has all the makings for a sweet romance, and it technically was, but it lacked that special zing Thayne’s last book easily delivered. There was almost no humor in this one, and I didn’t feel much connection to the characters this time around. I didn’t NOT enjoy the story, because I pretty much always love Christmas romances, but this one was not my favorite. I didn’t see a spark between the characters and it really felt very…clinical.
This is the kind of book I could forget at the beach or someone’s house and not be upset I lost it. I’m certainly glad I finished it, but it’s not one I would have missed.
I did really like that this book resolved a lot about the murders of the Bowman parents from many years ago. It is nice to get that closure, and now I wonder if RaeAnne Thayne is done with the series? Because that has been central, from what it appears, for a long time.
As far as Christmas novels go, it mentions Christmas, but the holiday element is more of an afterthought to me, except for a few key parts. I like it to take more of a front seat usually. I think most will enjoy this book, especially if you are invested in the series, so don’t let this review sway you away from it…I did still enjoy reading it!
Big Sky Christmas was such a super cute book. I really fell in like with the characters and now I want to read more about the others.
Here we have theBig Sky Christmas was such a super cute book. I really fell in like with the characters and now I want to read more about the others.
Here we have the magic formula again: Cowboys and Christmas and really, what’s not to love about that? Winnie Hays has returned to Coffee Creek after the death of her fiance, Brock. She now has a son, Brock’s son, since she had just gotten pregnant when he died during an unfortunate auto accident the night before their wedding. The driver of the vehicle? Sexy cowboy Jackson Stone.
Christmas On 4th Street by Susan Mallery is a sweet romance and perfect for those who want a dose of holiday cheer with their HEAs.
It’s no secret I loChristmas On 4th Street by Susan Mallery is a sweet romance and perfect for those who want a dose of holiday cheer with their HEAs.
It’s no secret I love Christmas books. I have been like this all my life, because they are filled with Christmas cheer and who doesn’t love that? Christmas On 4th Street is no different and I truly enjoyed it. I begin every Christmas book with a bit of dread that it will end up being too sappy for me, and this is not the case here (and hardly ever, so my fear is most often unwarranted!). Instead Susan Mallery took us to Fool’s Gold, California right before Thanksgiving, and that’s where I stepped into the winter wonderland if its pages.
A Cowboy’s Christmas Courtship by Brenda Minton is a super sweet novel that all holiday and romance lovers will especially adore. This is probably myA Cowboy’s Christmas Courtship by Brenda Minton is a super sweet novel that all holiday and romance lovers will especially adore. This is probably my favorite Christmas book I’ve read yet, actually!
A Cowboy’s Christmas Courtship begins predictably enough: cowboy Gage Cooper is coming home for Christmas when he runs (nearly literally) across Layla Silver and her cows on his way to his family’s ranch. She doesn’t want his help; he’s insisting he give it anyway, and thus begins a book filled with headbutting and sexual tension.
like returning to the families of Cardwell Ranch. There’s something about cowboys and Christmas – YUM! And Christmas At Cardwell Ranch is no exceptio like returning to the families of Cardwell Ranch. There’s something about cowboys and Christmas – YUM! And Christmas At Cardwell Ranch is no exception, it was fun, light reading, great for cozying up on the couch, sippin’ on some eggnog or coffee, next to your Christmas Tree.
Lily McCabe is in town helping her brother run his bar during the Christmas season, much like she does every year, when she runs into Tag Cardwell, quite literally, at the bar one night, when one of the bar’s waitresses drunkenly stumbles out into the blustering snowy night with a stranger, never to be seen again.
Tempted in the Tropics by Tracy March was a cute follow-up to her knock-em-outta-the-park romance, The Practice Proposal.
I thoroughly enjoyed The PracTempted in the Tropics by Tracy March was a cute follow-up to her knock-em-outta-the-park romance, The Practice Proposal.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Practice Proposal, so when I was approached by Tracy March’s publisher to review Temped In the Tropics, I jumped and said yes. While Tempted In the Tropics is not the stronger of these two novels in the series, it was still a lot of fun to read and I look forward to returning to the series if she plans to put more out.