Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Review: Sins of the Past

So, you know those random things that you "think" you did, and then you convince yourself that you actually did them, because honestly, you can't remember?  Posting this review was one of those things for me - oops!  I seriously thought I did it!  And then I was going through my saved reviews and came across this one with a mental conversation along the lines of "what?!  I thought I did that!!  Did I seriously forget?!  Really??"  So anyway, my sanity is still hanging on by a thread, apparently, and as they say better late than never, right?

In Dee Henderson's "Missing," a Wyoming sheriff is called to Chicago when his elderly mother goes missing. Paired with a savvy Chicago cop, the two realize her disappearance is no accident, and a race against the clock begins.

Dani Pettrey returns to Alaska with "Shadowed," introducing readers to the parents of her beloved McKenna clan. Adventure, romance, and danger collide when a young fisherman nets the body of an open-water swimming competitor who may actually be a possible Russian defector.

Lynette Eason's "Blackout" delivers the story of a woman once implicated in a robbery gone wrong. The loot has never been found--but her memory of that night has always been unreliable. Can she remember enough to find her way to safety when the true culprit comes after her?

About the Authors:

Dee Henderson is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. She is a lifelong resident of Illinois. Visit her at www.deehenderson.com.
(Unfortunately, I'm still unsuccessful in my attempts to find a photo of Dee Henderson, though I'm positive she's a lovely lady.)

Dani Pettrey
is the award-winning author of the acclaimed Alaskan Courage series. She lives in Maryland. Find her at www.danipettrey.com

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series. She lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

My Review: 5 stars
I’m not usually a fan of novellas, in a collection or otherwise, but when I saw this one with three of my favorite suspense authors, I couldn’t resist giving it a go and I definitely enjoyed it! Bethany House is building a reputation for creating great novella collections that maybe allow readers to be introduced to new-to-them authors, or maybe just build on characters from said authors previous works. I’m generally fairly leery of novellas, even from my favorite authors, because I love long books. It’s a statement of fact and I often find novellas far too short for my tastes, or they simply feel rushed. I can very happily say that I didn’t find that to be the case with any of the stories in this collection!

The first book in the collection is “Missing” by Dee Henderson. I’m a huge fan of her work, so I was both thrilled and a little nervous to read this story. I didn’t know if I’d like the shortened tale or if I could accept the fact it would be a little over 100 pages long, instead of the now familiar 400+ pages. Thankfully, these questions were quickly put to rest as I easily became engrossed in the search for John’s mother and the mystery of what happened. I was rather sorry that it ended so quickly, but everything was tied up well, without any loose threads or the sense of it being rushed. The characters were easy to get to know and like, and I enjoyed that Ms. Henderson was able to weave in some important wisdom, even with the mystery taking dominance.

The second book is “Shadowed” by Dani Pettrey, which is something of a prequel to her Alaskan Courage series. It follows the story of Ben McKenna and Libby Jennings (parents to the McKenna siblings that are the focus of the aforementioned series) and how they met. I enjoyed this glimpse into the past and getting to know the parents of the siblings I so fell in love with! You don’t have to have read the books to love this story, though you may find yourself snatching them up as soon as you’ve finished it! It’s filled with her now-trademark suspense and kept me guessing! I also have to say that I did appreciate slowing down for a moment here and there to see Ben and Libby getting to know one another and falling in love. I also really enjoyed the epilogue at the end that tied it up well and kept the romance between them from feeling rushed.

The final book in the collection is “Blackout” by Lynette Eason. This story may have been my favorite of those here, though I did enjoy them all. I think it’s my favorite because I very much love Ms. Eason’s way with suspense. If the others kept me hooked, then this one also had me on the edge of my seat! I wanted to know what would happen next, and of course, whodunnit! I really liked Macey and Chad’s characters, as well as Lilly, who I’m hoping may have a story of her own, at some point (hint, hint). This story did feel a tad rushed compared to the others, but it actually worked well, with the story and how everything was playing out so quickly.

Overall, I really can’t think of anything that I didn’t like about this collection, except you know, that these weren’t individual full length novels. But they were all great reads and I have to highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys suspense. And I’m so excited for the next work each of the authors has releasing, hopefully soon!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you so much for stopping by to read my review!  I think I need to start post-it-noting reminders to myself somewhere, so that I actually remember to do things!  Or, maybe I need to start writing down whether or not I actually completed a task!  That might work, at least until I lose the list . . . .  Anyway, thanks so much!  If you're interested, links are below.  And as always, have a delightful day!

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Friday, June 3, 2016

My Review: Playing the Part

First off, I have to apologize profusely to Ms. Turano for taking so very long to share my review!  I am so sorry!  Jen very graciously sent me a copy of this fantastic book, and it took me almost three months to write a review!  I've actually read it twice now, since I didn't want to attempt to write a review from my obviously very faulty memory!  Again, I've very sorry! 

Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan's interest turns threatening. Lucetta's widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta's life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson's estate to hide out.

Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there's much more to him than society knows.

Lucetta, who has no interest in Abigail's matchmaking machinations, has the best intentions of remaining cordial but coolly distant to Bram. But when she can't ignore the strange and mysterious things going on in his house, it'll take more than good intentions to keep her from trying to discover who Bram is behind the part he plays. 

About the Author:
Jen Turano, author of the Ladies of Distinction series and the A Class of Their Own series, is a graduate of the University of Akron. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado.

My Review: 5 stars!
As I’ve stated previously, I always hate when a series I adore comes to an end and the final book is always difficult for me because I know I’ll have to say “farewell” to the characters by the time I turn the last page. That being said, I still adored this book and I was so excited to get to read Lucetta’s book! Ms. Turano is one of my go-to authors, particularly when I need a laugh, and I’ve yet to find a book of hers that I could say wasn’t a favorite. I’ve heard several people say that this is their favorite story of hers to date, but I don’t know that I can choose just one of her books to hold that distinction. The choice is just too difficult! So I’ll just say that my favorite is whichever one I’m currently reading or have just finished.

One of the things I enjoy most about Jen’s books is always the dialogue - I love the play on words and the quirky things her characters fix on that becomes a running joke throughout the story. I also always love the descriptions and the details that color each setting so vividly! She brings such life to her characters and the situations they find themselves caught in! As in her other books, Lucetta, Bram, and all of the other characters, find themselves in quirky situations that appear to be through no fault of their own, but they are so amusing! And I love how she includes animals in most of her books and gives them quirks of their own (Geoffrey the goat, for example).
I’ve been eagerly anticipating Lucetta’s book since meeting her in After a Fashion and getting just a few glimpses of this obviously eccentric lady with a heart of gold. Her story is definitely unique, as are all of the others, and I loved getting to know Lucetta much better! She is quirky, but she is also bold, and a bit stubborn, and kind, and independent, and does her best to look after her adopted family. Bram ended up being a great hero for her, despite their somewhat rough start. He is very old-fashioned, and chivalrous, and kind, and his collection of misfits are wonderful! I loved following them as he learned to love the real Lucetta, eccentricities and all, and she fell in love with him, despite the oddities that seemed to surround him. Speaking of those oddities, I really enjoyed the bit of mystery that surrounds Ravenwood! The unusual things that happened kept me laughing and trying to guess what might be going on - I was wrong, in case you were wondering. But the mystery was still fun! And I appreciated how it was wrapped up.

Oh, and I have to mention that I was so happy that the characters from the previous books came back! I loved having Abigail, Archibald, Millie, and Harriet back, as well as meeting several new people, my favorite of which probably being Mr. Skukman or maybe Ruby Haverstein . . . . Both of them are equally delightful, so I don’t know that I’m qualified to make that decision without bias. If you decide to read the book (which I’m hoping you will), you’ll have to come to that conclusion on your own.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys humorous historical fiction!

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you so much for reading my review!  I hope you enjoyed it!  After I finished rereading this book, I went back and had to read After a Fashion and In Good Company again!  ( to see my review for each book click on the respective title)  I may have enjoyed them even more the second time!  *sigh*  Such great books!  Anyway, I'll stop blathering now. 
Have a delightful day!


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