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Week 9 Reads: A Solid Small Town Romance Series Debut & More

Filed under: Books — Kristi at 10:37 am on Thursday, March 7, 2013

Well, this week was much more productive in terms of reading. I finished the two in-progress books and thanks to having a long day Saturday all to myself I finished a third. Two of the three were ARCs from NetGalley and both titles released this week. I enjoyed all three titles. This weekend is looking like one for lots of reading again - a good accumulation of snow is forecasted for Friday night so I’ve secured groceries for the weekend (lentil tacos, soba and broth bowls with mushrooms and greens, pancakes and frittata etc.) and we are ready to hibernate!

I realize that last week’s reading post should have included my wrap up of February’s plan and what lies ahead for March, but I think no one is particularly interested in that other than myself - if you feel differently let me know! In short, I think the planning kind of works. It gives me a smaller group of things to choose from when moving on to the next read which makes me move on quicker instead of pondering. I wasn’t as successful at sticking to the listed books in February as January, partly due to holds on titles at the library and partly due to non-fiction interests that unexpectedly drew me in a different direction than I had anticipated. For now I’ll continue planning in the same way, but I’ll just keep it in Evernote.

How has your reading been going lately? Anything that I should be sure to not miss? Speaking of not to miss books - have you read any of the viral books of the last few years and were they worth it? I’m thinking of say The Hunger Games trilogy etc.

The Second Chance Cafe (Hope Springs #1) by Alison KentThe Second Chance Cafe (Hope Springs #1) by Alison Kent - 4 stars. I really enjoyed this contemporary romance/chick-lit read by Alison Kent. Overall the plot was mostly believable and I enjoyed the evolution of sharing that took place between Ten and Kaylie as well as that between Kaylie and Lena. The supporting characters were nicely fleshed out and I look forward to learning more about them as the series progresses. I would have enjoyed getting a bit broader view of Hope Springs as I feel settings are almost a character in and of themselves. Nevertheless, I believe I am hooked on Kent’s Hope Springs series and look forward to reading the next installment when it is released.

If you enjoy Robin Carr’s Virgin River series or Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series you will likely enjoy this Hope Springs series debut.

I received an advanced copy of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Teaberry Strangler (The Tea Shop Mysteries #11) by Laura ChildsThe Teaberry Strangler (A Tea Shop Mystery #11) by Laura Childs - 3.5 stars. My first thought about this book is that it was exactly what I expected. Now, some may see that as a negative. For me, it is the same comfort of digging into your favorite pint of Ben & Jerry’s. You get what you are seeking.

I found The Teaberry Strangler to provide me with a nice murder mystery sans too much gore with plenty of suspects with plenty of possible motives. I got to visit once again with Theo and her gang of employees and business neighbors which is always a delight. Sprinkled in amongst the story were vivid descriptions of teas and their supporting foods. There was also plenty of danger and action to amp up the suspense every now and again. Best of all, I wasn’t able to solve it concretely in my mind until just before the answer was revealed.

While it was what I’ve come to expect from the Tea Shop series by Childs, there wasn’t anything overly unique or different about it. I gave it 3.5 stars which for me equates to above average and definitely worth reading.

Cowboy for Keeps (Mustang Valley #4) by Cathy McDavidCowboy for Keeps (Mustang Valley #4) by Cathy McDavid - 3.5 stars. If you’re looking for a romance plot with plenty of complications this is it! Conner Durham is six months into his job hunt as a systems analyst, training mustangs and renting out his home to try make the mortgage payments after having sold off his other possessions. Dallas Sorrenson is an up and coming photographer with a bit of emotional baggage from her blended family adolescence. To make matters worse, Dallas’ ex-fiance, Richard, was Conner’s best friend and took over managing his employees when their company downsized. The icing on the cake? Dallas is pregnant with Richard’s baby! The situation has tension and doubts on both sides written all over it.

I enjoyed reading this book. I may have enjoyed it a tad more if I couldn’t relate to Conner’s job situation quite so easily. With the countless complications in a relationship between Conner and Dallas I was expecting things to feel really contrived and forced, but McDavid pulled it off. Each of the hindrances seemed real and plausible even in the context of the others - no easy feat I would imagine.

This is the fourth book in the Mustang Valley series. I have not read any of the previous titles, though I can take a stab at which of the supporting characters are likely featured in them. I did not feel like I missed anything by jumping ahead to this title. Odds are good that I’ll revisit the earlier titles in this series, though I have seen other reviews that name this one as the best of the series so far.

I received an advanced copy of this title from NetGalley for an honest review.

1 Comment »

Comment by Anne

March 8, 2013 @ 7:20 am

I actually read all of the Hunger Games. I’m sure I will be in the minority here, but I really didn’t like them. I don’t mind difficult situations the characters rise above but A) This was SO dystopian, I barely got thru them. (I felt like I should read them - they’ve been raved about by so many folks, and I kept hoping I’d see light at the end) and B) if you are going to have 3 books of that level of bleakness, how about something a little more redeeming at the end? I don’t need sunshine and roses necessarily, but when I finished the series, I felt like I had to go wash my brain out with soap to get rid of the leftovers. My 2 cents, and of course, YMMV.

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