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review 2018-09-20 19:59
Ruth Ware Continues to Impress
The Death of Mrs. Westaway - Ruth Ware

The fourth book by the extremely popular Ruth Ware is a twist on a classic mystery trope involving an inheritance/rags-to-riches fantasy. Harriet Westaway, the heroine of The Death of Mrs. Westaway, is isolated and adrift after losing her mother in a tragic accident.  She never learned her father’s identity-Harriet and her mother eked out a living by reading fortunes for tourists.  She retains their small boardwalk booth after her mother’s death, despite her disbelief in the practice. She feels like she is merely playing a role, appeasing her conscience by detaching herself from her clients’ gullibility.  On the brink of financial ruin and deeply in debt to some very dangerous characters, Harriet serendipitously receives a mysterious letter in the mail.  It appears that an error has been made, and she has been named an inheritor in a significant estate. She decides to see if she can use her honed perception skills to claim what she hopes will be enough to save her from her collectors. She travels to the funeral of the deceased and upon being embraced by her kind “relatives,” Harriet feels torn between her desperation and guilt. It turns out that the inheritance is far more complicated than she imagined, and she is drawn into some old conflicts and family secrets.  Harriet begins to question how long she can sustain her charade, and if the prize is worth the constant vigilance and paranoia of discovery.  Harriet is not the only person hiding something at Trepassen, and questions start emerging about her own possible connection to these other Westaways.  Fans of both classic mystery and literary fiction would enjoy this book, especially those looking to avoid explicit violence and gore. The novel is very atmospheric and wonderfully paced, with three-dimensional characters written with complexity and nuance.  The resolution is unpredictable but believable, twisting in a truly satisfying way.  The Death of Mrs. Westaway continues the high-quality work that readers have come to expect from Ware’s books, and is further evidence that her popularity is well-deserved.

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review 2018-09-14 15:06
Up for Heir by Ruth Cardello
Up In The Heir - Ruth Cardello

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

This really was a great romance! After finishing the previous book from this series, I couldn't wait to find out more of Spencer's story. This really is a series that needs to be read in order since the plot surrounding the family starts in the first book. I had a great time listening to this story.

Spencer was one of the focal points of the previous book which left him at a very low point in his life. I couldn't wait to find out how he was doing and hopefully watch him deal with some pretty big issues. Hailey has also been through a lot. She lost her father years ago and just recently lost her brother. She is now the guardian of her niece, Sky, and has to make that the priority in her life.

Hailey takes a job as Delinda Westerly's personal assistant and her and Sky move into the guest house at her home. She has no idea that her employer is in any way related to her old boyfriend, Spencer. Of course, their paths cross and they end up spending some time with each other and quickly find out that their attraction to each other is just as strong as it ever was. 

I had a great time watching Hailey and Spencer fall in love all over again. I also enjoyed getting to know Delinda Westerly a lot better and found that the relationships between Delinda, Sky, and Hailey were very well done. I thought that Spencer's relationship problems with his family were dealt with very well in this book. Spencer grew a lot as a character by the end of this story. 

Terri Clark Linden continued to do a great job with this series. Her voices for the various characters in this series are very well done. In this book, there was a lot of dialogue from Delinda, an elderly character, and Sky, a young child, and I thought she represented all of the characters very well. I can't wait to listen to more of this series.

I would recommend this series to fans of contemporary romance. There is a lot of depth to the relationships within this story and a romance that melted my heart. I can't wait to read more about the Westerly family.

Initial Thoughts
This was another great story in the series. Spencer and Hailey were both great but Sky and Delinda often stole the show. This was a nice second chance romance and I found that I really enjoyed the continuation of the drama around Spencer from the first book. 

Book source: Kindle Unlimited

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review 2018-09-14 14:59
In the Heir by Ruth Cardello
In the Heir (Westerly Billionaire Series Book 1) - Ruth Cardello

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

I really enjoyed this audiobook. This was my first experience with Ruth Cardello's writing and I am very happy that it turned out to be a positive one. I actually won a copy of the second book from the series but decided that I wanted to start at the beginning which turned out to be a very good choice. I ended up listening to the book in only a couple of days because I was having such a good time with it.

I went into this book expecting a romance and it did deliver on that expectation but I was surprised that the story surrounding the Westerly family would be such an important element in the story. When Delinda Westerly offers an early inheritance to the first grandchild who marries and invites the rest of the family, Spencer and his friend, Alisha, make plans to walk down the aisle. They are not in love but are great friends so they see no problem with the arrangement.

Brett meets Alisha through Spencer and can't get her out of his mind. Alisha isn't afraid to stand up to the anyone and does just that when it can protect those that she cares about. When everything falls apart, Brett is the one who is there for Alisha and I loved watching their connection to each other grow. I thought that these two characters worked really well together and I liked how they seemed to bring out the best of each other. 

Terri Clark Linden did a great job with this book. I thought that she handled a pretty diverse cast of characters very well and brought a lot of emotion to the story. I have listened to her work several times and have always found her narration to be very pleasant to listen to.

I would recommend this book to romance fans. I thought that this story was really compelling and filled with wonderful characters. I plan to read much more from Ruth Cardello in the future.

Initial Thoughts
I really liked this romance. Brett and Alisha were both fantastic characters that I wanted to see work things out. They were both so giving and really cared about the people they were close to. The family drama in this one was pretty complex with a lot of side characters experiencing a lot of pain along with Brett and Alisha. I thought that the narration was very well done and added to the enjoyment of the story.

Book source: Kindle Unlimited

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review 2018-09-09 19:51
Forever Now (The Barrington Billionaires Book 6) by Ruth Cardello
Forever Now - Ruth Cardello

 

Forever Now is a compilation of love lost, hearts found and secrets revealed. Cardello continues to write meaningful stories as breathtaking as they are irresistible. For Annie and Kade the trek is long and winding, but a powerful one. From a mother's love to a lifetime of lies, nothing is as it seems. Forget the fairytale and latch on to a captivating tale of hope, faith and forgiveness. Through the eyes of love, happiness is only a heartbeat away. Out of pain comes salvation. My favorite of The Barrington series.

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review 2018-09-08 21:24
The Death of Mrs. Westaway
The Death of Mrs. Westaway - Ruth Ware

I really, really liked this book. Mainly because it ticked so many boxes of the things I truly enjoy in a novel.

 

The atmosphere of this book was wonderfully gothic, dark and atmospheric and the Trepassen house, situated in the dark, rainy and dreary Cornwall, felt like a character of its own. The mysterious and creepy servant, an angsty female main character and a whole lot of secrets surrounding the family and their ancestral home added to the DuMaurier feeling of this novel.

It took the story a little while to get interesting, though, and I didn´t particularly like the first 60 pages. But this didn´t diminish my overall enjoyment of the book.

 

I´ve read this for square “13” for Halloween bingo. There are elements of superstition throughout this novel (references to the Magpie nursery rhyme and the main character is heavily into the art of tarot reading). It would also work for the square Gothic, Murder Most Foul, Amateur Sleuth, New Release, Terrifying Women and Genre: Suspense.

 

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