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review 2017-11-03 02:26
Finished: Close to Heaven
Close to Heaven: A Colorado High Country Christmas - Pamela Clare

This was another enjoyable installment by Pamela Clare, but I can't entirely say that it was her best work.  Still, it's hard for me to completely dislike something by Pamela Clare, and I can kind of see where she was trying to go with this book.

 

Anyway, it was a lovely little Christmas story for me to kick off the holiday season with, as well as finish my first 16 Festive Tasks with.

 

A full review will be coming soon.

 

 

16 Festive Tasks -- Yuletide

 


I read Close to Heaven for Square 9 -- YuletideA book that is set in the midst of a snowy or icy winter.  Most of the book takes place during a big snow storm that pretty much closes down the entire little town of Scarlet Springs.

Meanwhile, as I was reading this book, I found how many other squares this book would fit.  Although being that this book is the fifth in an ongoing Contemporary Romance series, I don't know how much this helps.

  • Square #1 | Calan Gaeaf:  There is a supporting character named Rose.
  • Square #4 | Penance Day:  Our MC, Joe spends most of the book struggling over his guilt over the terrible things his ancestor had done to people over a century ago, and feels that he needs to give back to the community what his ancestor took from them.
  • Square #5 | Advent:  There is a Christmas tree showing in the background of this book, which, of course, is a pine tree.  I don't know how much of a stretch this would be since it's a little hard to see unless you look closely.
  • Square #7 | Saint Lucia's Day:  Obviously, snow features as one of the main events in this book, which is kind of what gives our couple a reason to end up stranded under the same roof.
  • Square #10 | Pancha Ganapati:  There is red on the cover.
  • Square #11 | Soyal:  This book is set in Colorado.
  • Square #13 | Christmas:  The MC is named Joseph Moffat.
 
This book also takes place leading up to Christmas, if that will count for one of the Holiday Book Joker options.

 

 

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review 2017-10-25 04:14
Finished: Nine Coaches Waiting
Nine Coaches Waiting (Rediscovered Classics) - Sandra Brown,Mary Stewart

Second to last book read for Halloween Bingo!  One more book to go.

 

I'll have a review out for this book at some point....  But right now, all I can think to say is that, while the beginning was hard to get into, the book picked up with signs of danger started surfacing.  I wasn't entirely in like with many of the characters, and the best character in the whole book was probably nine-year-old Phillipe de Valmy.

 

The writing was also excellently atmospheric.

 

 

 

 

The Turn of the Screw - Henry James,Richard Armitage,Emma Thompson Last book to finish will be The Turn of the Screw, which shouldn't take long.  I'm listening to the audio narrated by Emma Thompson, and am actually already halfway through it.

 

 

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review 2017-10-06 01:12
Magic For Nothing by Seanan McGuire
Magic for Nothing - Seanan McGuire

I read this one for my Supernatural square. It would also fit for Monster, Ghost & Terrifying Women.

 

So, I'm all caught up on this series, and now I just have to wait for the next book.

I'd been waiting for a book from Antimony's POV for a while now. I love Verity, and am lukewarm on Alex, so I was curious to find out how I'd feel about the youngest of the Price siblings. Verity is still my favorite, but I enjoyed seeing the world from Antimony's grumpy, occasionally misanthropic, grudgy perspective.

McGuire is so imaginative and talented that when I stop to think about how many different series she writes, and how different each of those series are, I'm sort of blown away. This is still my favorite of her series, although I do also love the Wayward Children series.

The carnival setting is strangely effective here, and reading this book in October was serendipitous. I was reminded frequently of Something Wicked This Way Comes by Bradbury, which is one of the books that most clearly signals autumn to me.
 

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review 2017-10-03 01:11
Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older
Half-Resurrection Blues - Daniel José Older

I read this one for Diverse Voices. It would also work for Supernatural, Ghost & The Dead Will Walk (there's a necromancer reanimating corpses).

 

I went back and forth on this book, but ultimately settled on 3 stars. I enjoyed the urban feel to this piece of urban fantasy and the Brooklyn setting was well-done. The narration is told from the (first person) perspective of Carlos Delacruz, whose internal dialogue switches between profanity-laced grit and self-deprecating humor. 

 

One of the weaknesses of the book was the weird, almost stalkerish, relationship between Carlos and the love interest Sasha. Carlos sees a picture of Sasha and is immediately "drawn" to her. There are major issues with this entire aspect of the plot, at least for me, starting with this attraction based on Sasha's terminal hotness, and ending with the resolution to their "relationship" at the end of the book. The whole thing made me uncomfortable. It was a huge part of the book, as well, so I can't just ignore it.

 

And, I'm not going to lie, nearly the entire ending of this book is confusing. I'm still trying to sort it out in my mind.  In addition, when I think about the UF series that I've really enjoyed, it's clear to me that I prefer my UF to revolve around women, such as Kate Daniels, Mercy Thompson, and Verity Price. So, I haven't decided if I will go on with this series or not, and now I've talked myself into knocking off another 1/2 star.

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review 2017-09-04 21:48
Ghost story!
The Looking-Glass Portrait - Linda Hilton

This was a fun romantic suspense/gothic romance novel by our own Linda Hilton!

 

Things I liked:

 

The writing is impeccable, and the book is edited to a "t." The setting of the book is quite modern, but it definitely shares some of its elements with the old-fashioned gothics from the 1960's & 1970's. Tamsin, our heroine, is likeable, and her return to her old hometown proves the old saying "you can't go home again."

 

Things that I struggled with:

 

The pacing drags a little bit in the middle. There is quite a lot of character development, but sometimes that seemed to bog the story down a bit. Tamsin's stubborn insistence on remaining in the house regardless of the danger seemed foolish at times, although it was necessary to move the story forward. The romance felt a little bit insta-love/abrupt to me, even thought it was a rekindling of an old flame.

 

The ending:

 

The ending was great. I don't want to accidentally spoil, because the mystery is really well-plotted and the solution, while it doesn't come out of left field, was neatly done. 

 

This one works for: ghost, haunted house, romantic suspense, & gothic. I would recommend it to fans of old-fashioned romance, especially fans of gothic romance like that written by Barbara Michaels. If you enjoyed last year's bingo buddy read of Ammie, Come Home, I think you would like this one!

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