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review 2020-05-07 19:00
ETHAN FROME by Edith Wharton, narrated by Christopher Lane
Ethan Frome - Edith Wharton

I'm not sure why I thought this would be a pleasant, happy story. It is Edith Wharton after all!

 

I've loved her work since I first read The House of Mirth and she lived a good portion of her time in Massachusetts, which is my home state. When I saw I could listen to the audio free through Prime, I downloaded it and here I am.

 

Written in the early 1900's, the story takes place in the fictional town of Starkfield. It's one of the few tales from Wharton that does not take place in a location of high society. It's the story of a simple man, whose life plans change so that he can care for his ailing father. Rather impulsively, he marries a sickly woman to avoid being alone after his father passes. A few years later his wife's young cousin comes to stay and their lives will change forever.

 

I never expected this tale to go in the way it did. It was sad and tragic for everyone involved. It's amazing to me that Wharton was capable of packing so much into a relatively short story. Perhaps it is dated in regards to its setting, but the emotions and the characters involved are still perfectly relatable in today's day and age.

 

I have a volume of Wharton's ghost stories that I hope to read soon. In the meantime, I will be thinking of the cold town of Starkfield and Ethan's fate.

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review 2020-04-02 17:29
Review ~ Awesome!
A Bad Day for Sunshine - Darynda Jones

Book source ~ NetGalley

 

Sunshine Vicram is back where she grew up. Coming home again is not all sweet apple pie though. Sunshine has somehow been elected Sheriff of Del Sol, New Mexico. While she has no idea how that happened in her absence, she strongly suspect her parents are behind it. In any case, she has to take on the job to serve and protect. However, she’s failing on the protect front when a teenage girl goes missing and Sunshine suspects a kidnapper is on the loose. While organizing a manhunt she has to deal with a multitude of other wacky small town shenanigans. And cursed muffins. Who says you can’t go home again?

 

If you are a fan of the Charley Davidson series then look no further. This series has everything that is awesome about Charley. Well, except it only has a little of the paranormal stuff. Just a hint. But otherwise it’s all action, humor, and suspense. I love it. Sunshine is a great character, her daughter Auri is adorable, her parents are great, secondary characters shine, and there are a couple of hunky hunks for some bubbling sexual tension. Yum. Pick this one up then strap yourself in because you’re in for a fast and exciting twisty turny ride.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/04/a-bad-day-for-sunshine.html
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review 2020-04-01 15:15
THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB'S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES by Grady Hendrix
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel - Grady Hendrix

Evil in a small town is one of my absolute favorite horror tropes and THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB'S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES aces it!

 

Set in the 90's, we begin with a southern ladies book club, (surprise!), that turns from reading fiction to true crime. These are rather old fashioned ladies for the 90's, they're stay at home wives, some with children and they feel their lives are complete. Until one day, one of them, (Patricia), is attacked by an elderly neighbor. Patricia is okay, but the neighbor later dies. Soon thereafter, the neighbor's nephew comes to town and so begins this terrific tale of a vampire in a small town. Will Patricia and the rest of her book club survive? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I couldn't help but be reminded of Salem's Lot while reading, but I have to say, in many ways, this book was better than that one. 400 pages never went by so fast for me. Also, we didn't have to sit through a lot of description about the town and all of its inhabitants. There was just enough so that the reader has a good idea of what life is like for the town's inhabitants-those on both the good and bad sides of town.

 

Even though most of the horror here is quiet, there were a few scenes that definitely reminded me of horror's heydey and authors like James Herbert; and even the "quiet" scenes were filled with suspense and dread. I think Mr. Hendrix has this horror thing down pat.

 

I've been a fan of Grady Hendrix since PAPERBACKS FROM HELL came out and with this book, he has made me his bitch. I will read anything this man writes from here on out. He has the writing chops, his work always seems to have a bit of humor and in a way, some of it seems like an homage to those authors from the horror boom of the late 70's and 80's. To that, I say Huzzah! (And keep them coming!)

 

My highest recommendation!

 

 

Available April 7, but you can pre-order here: THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB'S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES

 

*Thanks to Edelweiss and Quirk Books for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-03-24 19:52
Review: Home with You by Liza Kendall
Home with You - Liza Kendall

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

I adored Liza Kendall’s first Silverlake Ranch book, Walk Me Home, so I couldn’t wait to see what the authors had in store for the billionaire Braddock brother, Everett. I eagerly dove into Home with You ready to fall in love with Rhett and Jules. The good news is, I did love Rhett. The bad news? I didn’t love his story or the woman he fell in love with.

To start things on a positive note, Rhett was far more endearing than I thought he’d be, given the way his siblings talked about him in the previous book. After the death of his parents, Rhett was forced to leave Silverlake and attend a boarding school in order to capitalize on his brilliant mind and set him up for success. Unfortunately no one ever asked Rhett what he wanted, which was to be at home with his remaining family and become a rodeo cowboy. Still, Rhett became a glowing success, a self-made billionaire who uses his wealth and status as armor. He’s smart, hardworking, and super sexy, but also quite vulnerable. It was easy to fall in love with Rhett. Is he perfect? No. But his mistakes come from an honest place of trying to do right by everyone, even if sometimes misunderstands what the right thing to do is.

One of the things Rhett does is return to Silverlake and buy Holt Stables as a favor to his best friend, Grady, and his family. Only no one told Julianna Holt, Grady’s sister and Rhett’s one night stand that went horribly wrong the morning after. Jules is furious that her dream of one day taking over the family business has been shattered, even though she’s guaranteed a lifetime job as manager. I understood why she was furious at first because her parents and brother treat her like a child and don’t listen to her ideas for the stables. The problem is, the longer the book went on the more I realized that maybe the Holt family treats Jules like a child because she acts like one. She’s selfish, rude, and can’t even be bothered to take care of basic things all other adults do, like buy necessities. I gave Jules a lot of leeway to begin with (1) because of her history with Rhett and (2) I don’t mind deeply flawed characters so long as they grow. To me, Jules never grew as a character. The only time she considered anyone other than herself was when her aunt advised her, but even that was problematic. Her aunt Sue has a terrible and tragic backstory that has made her cynical and though that’s completely understandable, Jules should be aware enough not to follow Sue’s advice. Honestly, Jules’s love of animals was pretty much her only redeeming quality.

The romance between Jules and Rhett is a struggle for me to believe. I don’t understand why he falls for her and there’s a plot twist you can see coming that was aggravating because it forces their hands rather than requiring them to act like adults and come together naturally. There was so much false drama and quite a bit of sexism coming from secondary characters that I grew frustrated. I hate to say it, but I finished Home with You feeling like Rhett would be better off without Jules. Perhaps if they had spent some actual time as a couple their love story would have been more believable. Instead, it felt like their happy ending was shoved in at the end in a rather tone-deaf way given the incredibly emotional, heartbreaking scene that preceded it.

Despite the fact that Home with You made me angry at some points, I’m still looking forward to reading more Silverlake Ranch novels. There were things I enjoyed about this book: Rhett repairing his relationship with his siblings, his love for his old horse that made me cry buckets, and I do like the authors’ writing. But this book simply wasn’t my cup of tea and I wish Rhett had been given a more satisfying love story.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/03/review-home-with-you-by-liza-kendall.html
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review 2020-03-12 22:30
THE ROO by Alan Baxter
The Roo - Alan Baxter

Romping, chomping, creature-feature FUN!

 

I was on the outskirts of the Twitter community that spawned the idea for this story. It was fun to see most of those Tweeters turned into characters and killed in the book.

 

Perhaps a bit heavy on the anti-domestic violence message, but that didn't spoil the overall fun.

 

Recommended for fans of creature-features!

 

*I purchased this novella with my hard earned cash.*

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