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review 2017-11-22 13:09
Foxglove Summer ★★★★☆
Foxglove Summer: PC Peter Grant, Book 5 - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

More fun with my favorite apprentice wizard cop, this time out in Herefordshire on the border of Wales instead of in London, investigating the disappearance of two preteen girls. We get to meet a retired wizard cop and his weirdo granddaughter, and we have more – much, much more! – of Beverly, and we even get a teeny satisfying peek at what’s going on with Lesley. I can’t say I came away really understanding all the logic of what happened, but that’s probably because I was listening to the audio while distracted, and one of these days I’ll get around to re-reading these books and will take a more critical look at such things. For now, I’ll just say it was enormously entertaining.

 

Audiobook, via Audible, with another masterful performance by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, square 14: Book themes for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Celebrate the sun and read a book that has a beach or seaside setting.  –OR– a book set during summertime. –OR– set in the Southern Hemisphere. This story is set in high summer, as we are constantly reminded of the oppressive heat (Are the West Midlands that much hotter than London?), and seasonal flora that are relevant to solving the mystery.

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review 2017-11-21 02:35
The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant
The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas) - Donna Grant

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I loved this book! I am not usually someone who reads a lot of Christmas stories. I will read them but I don't really look for them. This book made its way into my hands and something about that cover drew me right in and I wanted to start reading it right away. Once I started, I didn't want to stop and I ended up reading the whole thing from cover to cover in a single day. I really enjoyed every moment I spent reading this wonderful little story.

Clayton is ex-military and has been working overseas until he is called home to the family ranch. The ranch is in trouble and his dad is sick so Clayton must come home to run things and try to save the ranch. Abby has not had it easy. She has been raising her two younger brothers and doing her best to get ahead in life.

Abby and Clayton meet when Abby's brother is caught stealing cattle from the ranch Clayton's family owns. Not the best way to start things. Clayton turns out to be a really nice guy and instead of sending Abby's brother, Brice, to jail he lets him come and work his debt off at the ranch. Clayton also enlists Abby's help with the ranch's books hoping that she can sort out exactly what is going on.

I loved the characters in this book. Abby and Clayton were both amazing. Abby was strong and cared deeply for her two brothers. She was smart and willing to sacrifice her wants for the sake of other people. Clayton was such a good guy. He has had some things to deal with in his personal and military life. I loved this pair together. They had great chemistry from the very beginning and it was really wonderful to watch them fall in love.

The secondary characters were also really well done. Abby's two brothers, Brice and Caleb, played a large role in the story and were really great. Their relationship with their sister really helped illustrate how much she cared for them. Clayton's parents were also key players in the story. I liked how they welcomed Abby and her brothers as if they were family right from the start.

The mystery in the book kept things interesting. I really wanted to see Clayton save the ranch with Abby's help. There were a few scenes where we got to see Clayton, a former SEAL, in action which was pretty exciting. This was really a book more focused on romance than anything else and it did a wonderful job with it. I don't know that there was really anything too surprising in the book but everything was executed perfectly. I couldn't help but get swept away by this romantic tale.

I would highly recommend to fans of contemporary romance. This book had just the right combination of romance, action, and great characters. The story had just the right amount of Christmas adding just a bit to the story. This is the first book by Donna Grant that I have read and I am really looking forward to reading more of her work soon.

I received a review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press.

Initial Thoughts
I loved this book! Clayton and Abby were absolutely perfect together. I thought the secondary characters were amazing and the mystery held my interest. This probably falls somewhere between 4 and 5 stars for me so I am rounding up for now.

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review 2017-11-09 18:29
The Cowboy Christmas Hero Book Review
The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas) - Donna Grant

I loved this book. This is a fun Christmas story for the holiday's. I didn't feel that it overdid the Christmas theme. 

 

Back home, on the ranch is the last place Clayton, former Navy Seal wanted to be for the Holiday's. But when his mother calls desperate for his help he's obligated to help. 

 

Abby and her brothers are all that's left of her family, and as the oldest sibling its up to her to take care of her family. When her younger brother is caught steeling cattle she's thrown into Clayton's family. 

 

It's nothing out of the ordinary for a romance (especially the ending). But its enjoyable, fun and a quick read. I loved the family aspect of this book, especially the siblings. I always want more books with sibling characters.

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review 2017-11-09 16:00
Ending Lifted This to Four Star Read
Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch

I don't even know what to say! I am so gobsmacked right now.


Look, everyone that I talked to said the same thing. This is slow as anything. I was bored while reading and maybe fell asleep around the 60 percent mark. Things didn't make a lot of sense to me and I was tired of Peter feeling torn between Lesley (til he wasn't) and Beverly (eh I don't blame him for not getting involved with the river goddesses). But the ending that comes I did not see coming. And it's heartbreaking. And now I wonder what is going to happen next.

 

"Broken Homes" has Peter and company on the tail of the Faceless Man and also looking into a housing estate that maybe has ties to some magic.

 

This really wasn't that interesting to me. I don't know, fourth book syndrome. Things just meandered along. We get some peeks at Beverly and the rest of the river goddesses, but once again they are not in this one as much as they were in book #1. 


Peter and Lesley are still practicing with Nightingale and yes we get some more details about Nightingale's family and school days. Still not enough for me, but enough to wet your appetite. 

 

I don't know, I found Peter not as centered in this book. He was all over the place. A romantic pairing that I called in the last book rears it's head here and that seemed to give Peter some peace. 

 

The writing was typical Aaronovitch, humor mixed in all over. However, I will complain a bit. We would have Peter as narrator tell you something and a line later, but little did I know what was going to happen next, and something would get explained in a line or two. Either show us it, or don't keep talking to us about things that you don't set up in the book.

 

As I said, the ending is definitely a game-changer. I wonder what happens next to Peter. 

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text 2017-11-09 15:53
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch

I am floored. 

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