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review 2018-07-16 18:37
Garden Spells - - Magical Realism Done Very Well
Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen

Funny, I love this book, but honestly don't remember the last time I read it. After finishing "Garden Spells" I went and read book two in the Waverley family again so that was a nice and and two punch. Allen does magical realism very well. This book deals with a lot of serious issues, rape, abuse, bullying, and the eccentricities of a small but unusual southern town in North Carolina.

 

"Garden Spells" reunites estranged sisters, Claire and Sydney Waverley. Claire is single and alone making a go of her special catering business in Bascom, North Carolina. She has her whole world turned upside down when she meets a man, Tyler Hughes, who despite her best efforts is interested in her.

 

Sydney has left her abusive partner and taken her daughter Bay back home to Bascom. She has hated Bascom since she left it and never wanted to be one of the strange Waverley's. All she wanted to do was fit in. Still nursing heartbreak over the first boy she ever loved (and lost) Sydney starts to finally embrace being a Waverley.

 

The book focuses not just on Claire and Sydney though. We also have Allen including other characters as well, we follow Claire and Sydney's cousin Evanelle, Sydney's daughter Bay, an old friend (not really friend) of Sydney's, and even Tyler and a potential love interest for Sydney. Allen manages to juggle everyone and keep the plot moving forward. I didn't feel lost about who people were and how they were connected. We also got delicious little comments about which each family is famous for in this book and that was pretty cute. 

 

The writing is magical realism at it's best. Allen makes you feel, smell, and even taste things. If you do things right, you can make the magical elements seem totally natural and Allen does. We hear about the Waverley family home, apple tree, and even how Claire's emotions affect things like having fog in the neighborhood.

 

The flow was very good and the setting of Bascom felt very real.

 

Great first book in the series. 

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text 2018-07-13 13:34
Reading progress update: I've read 44%.
Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen

So far a very good book. Estranged sisters Claire and Sydney are doing what they can to be closer after Sydney returns home with her 5 year old daughter Bay. Sydney is on the run from an abusive marriage and returning to her hometown where she was made to feel strange is the only place she can go that she feels safe.


Claire is dealing with the man next door becoming interested in her and she wants him to stay away. She's doing what she can to help him along with that by cooking him food that should turn him away.

 

Sydney is dealing with old ghosts (old friends and a boyfriend). 

 

I love their aunt who apparently has a Waverly gift of giving people things for hidden reasons. 

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review 2018-07-13 10:00
Recent Release Review! The O'Connor Family Collection (The O'Connor Family #1-4) Katie Reus!
O'Connor Family Series Collection - Katie Reus

 

 

Holly, North Carolina—where it’s Christmas year-round and miracles can happen. A good thing for the O’Connor family—four local siblings, four sexy stories, four unique journeys to happily ever after.

 

Merry Christmas, Baby:
Legal guardian for her sister, Nora broke her no-romance rule for Jackson, but when he does something she can’t easily forgive, he’ll have to prove a second chance, and her heart, are worth the risk.

 

Tease Me, Baby:
Reluctantly leaving town to fulfill an obligation, Fallon can’t let her desire for Brad derail her plans. But the sexy sheriff is determined to prove she’s already right where she belongs…in his arms.

 

It’s Me Again, Baby:
When his new realtor turns out to be “the one who got away,” Maguire knows a second chance with Samantha is within reach…if he can save her from the menace who followed her home.

 

Mistletoe Me, Baby:
Nolan already wants Miranda, so playing her fake fiancé is no hardship. Convincing her family—and the whole town—is easy. Convincing Miranda, especially after tragedy strikes, proves far harder.

 

Length: 111,000 words
Author Note: each title can be purchased individually or as a complete series collection.

 

 

Visiting Holly, North Carolina and the O’Connor Family is a delightful experience with lots of sweet and steamy romance.

 

In Merry Christmas, Baby readers get to meet Nora who broke her no-romance rule for Jackson O’Connor in a romance that is full of emotional and suspense as Jackson does something she can’t easily forgive.

 

Next, in Tease Me, Baby readers are teased with the sexy and charming Brad who derails Fallon O’Connor’s plans when he becomes determined to prove she belongs in his arms in with a wonderfully sweet and heartfelt romance.

 

And then readers meet Samantha in It’s Me Again, Baby when Maguire O’Connor’s coincidentally runs into the “one who got away in a thrilling romance that gets the adrenaline pumping when Maguire has to save Samantha from the menace who followed her.

 

Finally, readers are introduced to Miranda in Mistletoe Me, Baby when Nolan O’Connor plays fake fiancé for her family with every intention of convincing Miranda that is all for real in this heartfelt romance that tugs at the heart when tragedy strikes.

 

All four stories have that delightfully wonderful holiday feeling to them and they all have sweet and tender romance with lots of heated passion and sizzling chemistry. All the characters are strong, captivating and easily draw readers into their stories and the family connection makes it easy to connect to each and every one. Individually, the stories are short and can be ready any time when there is a break in the day, but reading all together makes for a fabulous experience because each one is different and really fits the characters with ‘real’ life experiences and the town is ‘Thomas Kincaid’ perfect and Katie Reus did a wonderful job of bringing it to life and me wishing I could move there or somewhere just like it.

 

 

The O'Connor Family Collection

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40543353-o-connor-family-series-collection

 

Author - https://katiereus.com/bookshelf/oconnor-family-series-collection/

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/o-connor-family-series-collection-by-katie-reus

 

 

which includes all four books in the series

 

1 Merry Christmas, Baby
2 Tease Me, Baby
3 It's Me Again, Baby
4 Mistletoe Me, Baby

 

 

The O'Connor Family Collection is available in print or ebook at:

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/OConnor-Family-Collection-Katie-Reus-ebook/dp/B07DMPN6BM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1530767396&sr=1-1&keywords=katie+reus+o%27connor+family+collection

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/oconnor-family-series-collection-katie-reus/1128898031?ean=2940162152620

 

GPlay - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Katie_Reus_O_Connor_Family_Series_Collection?id=QW9hDwAAQBAJ

 

iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/oconnor-family-series-collection/id1396523088?mt=11

 

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/o-connor-family-series-collection

 

 

Katie Reus is the New York Times, USA Today, & IndieReader bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom's stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn't always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

 

Be sure & visit Katie at the following locations:

 

Website - http://www.katiereus.com/

 

Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1563059.Katie_Reus

 

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/katiereusauthor

 

Twitter - http://twitter.com/katiereus

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/katie-reus

 

 

 

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review 2018-07-13 04:00
Absolutely painful and gorgeous
Deerskin - Robin McKinley

It is lovely, and it is terrible and... hell, how do you even start to address something like being raped by your own father, let alone cope, accept, heal, move on. McKinley takes a good stab at it, and it's beautiful and wounding at the same time, and feels pretty much like abrading in a way.

 

I'm not making much sense, but I'm still riding the "just finished" wave of feelings. I thought it was an excellent book that I'd like to own, but likely will never re-read, or would feel too comfortable recommending. Yet, by all tbr's I swear, I do not regret reading it.

 

And if anyone feels I should've put a spoiler tag, they can go screw themselves. This is not the type of themes to be treading into unawares.

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text 2018-07-12 21:50
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen

I had good intentions (cringes). Going to try again when I get home. 

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