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review 2020-10-26 07:24
Silverhill
Silverhill - Phyllis A. Whitney

One of Whitney's earlier publications, this one still has the intricate plotting and surprises that are missing in her later titles.  Conversely, it's one of the less evocatively atmospheric of hers I've read so far.  

 

The thing a reader has to accept about Whitney is that her whole raison d'être in writing was to thrust heroines into the most unwelcome home she could imagine and have her persevere in spite of all stumbling blocks.  It's formulaic, definitely, but each of her earlier novels becomes unique in the setting, the secrets and the mystery.

 

Silverhill absolutely fits the Whitney formula, and it made me a bit impatient at the start as all the usual hurdles, cruelty and heartache were presented along with the future insta-love (these books were written in the 50's and 60's when apparently if it took you longer than 48 hours to decide you'd met your One True Love, you might as well not bother).

 

But one all of that was gotten through, the story was a surprise.  I thought I knew where it was going, and I was sort of right, but the salient detail of the whole thing blindsided me when it was revealed.  So much karma getting doled out to everyone.  And, of course, a happy ending for our heroine.

 

When a good Whitney comes along, they are a pure indulgence to a much more innocent, yet horrific, form of story telling for readers who like their suspense served in tandem with romance, and a touch of gothic for garnish.

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review 2020-10-09 22:36
The Turquoise Mask
The Turquoise Mask - Phyllis A. Whitney

Wow, can Whitney be verbose.  Her earlier work has always been better, in my opinion, but this one was an in-between - first published in 1974.  Which makes the plotting excellent, and the abuse of the expository extreme.  Unfortunately the expository gauntlet must be run for many chapters before a hint of the rewarding plot can be found.

 

I'm undecided on whether it's worth the effort.  The plotting was very well done.  I was absolutely certain I knew who the villain was right up until almost the end, when she convinced me I was wrong, that it was really .... and then she blindsided me with the solution that was just unexpected.  Whitney got huge bonus points for stunning me, but I'm not sure how I actually feel about it as a legitimate ending.  It works, but it feels like it shouldn't.

 

The characters, and the romance, were, as is typical with both Whitney's writing and the time she wrote in, dramatic and overly simplified.  Insta-love has nothing on romantic suspense from the 70's; and characters' personalities are never subtle or nuanced.  If you accept this as the style of its time, it's not an insurmountable problem.

 

The one thing Whitney never lost, no matter how many books she wrote, was her sense of place.  I'm not sure I've ever read anybody better at putting the reader in whatever setting she wants them, and making them feel like they were there.  Here the deserts of New Mexico are the backdrop, and though I've never in my life seen an adobe house, I feel like I've lived in one the last couple of days.

I'd neither recommend it nor deter anyone from this one; the exposition is a challenge, but if that slow build isn't a deterrent, the story is one of her more complicated and compelling ones.

 

I read this for the Romantic Suspense square (which is on my card is the Psych square that's been flipped), for Halloween Bingo 2020.

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review 2020-06-02 03:09
Amethyst Dreams
Amethyst Dreams - Phyllis A. Whitney

Like a lot of other authors who write romantic suspense, Whitney was very hit and miss.  Most of the misses I've read are the ones she wrote in her later years, and this isn't an exception.  The woman could still write well - her island setting came alive - but the plot was soft and sentimental, and the resolution was not a resolution at all.  In fact it was completely unrealistic, unless the poor dead woman meant less than nothing to her family.

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review 2020-03-15 23:57
Tempting Talk (Tempt Me #3) by: Sara Whitney
Tempting Talk (Tempt Me #3) - Sara Whitney

 

 

 

Whitney has become one of my favorite authors in a short amount of time. She delights with sassy characters that tickle the funny bone and melt your heart and makes a point while doing so. Tempting Talk flirts it's way past your defenses with laugh out loud dialogue, captivating characters and tempting storytelling. Jake and Mabel both have something to prove to themselves and the world around them, that may end up costing them more than they could possibly know. Tempting Talk will shake up your emotions in classic Sara Whitney fashion. With humor and heart.

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text 2020-03-11 08:10
Book Blitz w/Review - The Plan

The Plan
Whitney Dineen
(The Creek Water Series #3)


Publication date: March 10th 2020
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Bead shop owner Amelia Frothingham has been keeping a secret from everyone she knows.

 

She pretends to be the ultimate care-free bohemian chick, but the truth is, she’s the world’s biggest control freak. Much to the delight of her Southern family, Amelia’s life appears to be smooth sailing. That is, until bad boy rockstar Huck Wiley mysteriously blows into town like a spring tornado.

 

Like every other woman under eighty with a pulse, Amelia’s intrigued. So when Huck starts showing up in her shop with flirtation in mind, she finds herself getting sucked into the rock god vortex. But her previous attempts at long-distance love have always ended on a sour note, so Amelia has vowed never to repeat the experience.

What Amelia doesn’t know is that Huck has a secret of his own, and he has no intention of returning to Los Angeles before he’s good and ready.

 

Will Huck stay in town, scattering the beads Amelia has finally gotten sorted? Or will he head back to his glamorous life and take her last chance at spontaneity and love along with him?

 

Find out in this deliciously funny romcom about love and life in Creek Water, Missouri!

Goodreads / Amazon

 

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

 

*******

 

 

 

My insides churn in excitement at the thought of seeing Huck again. Last week if you’d have told me that either Huck Wiley was going to come to town or I was going to have tea with a full-blown yeti, my money would have been on the Sasquatch.

 

I curl up in a hand-carved gentleman’s chair that was original to this house, and stare around the ornate room. I swear I can see the ghosts of Lexi’s and my combined family members bustling around like they did back in the day. I wonder what life would have been like for me if I’d been around at that time. I probably would have been married off at fifteen to some old potbellied gentleman farmer or some such. A shudder of imagination-fed revulsion overtakes me. Of course, if the gentleman farmer looked like Huck, I would have set a world record running to the church.

 

Lexi pulls me out of my reverie when she comes in with a tray of dishes, silverware, and napkins. She puts them on the coffee table in front of me. “I think your parents should hire Shuckie to cater Emmie and Zach’s wedding. The man is magic.”

 

“That’ll be my wedding, if I ever have one,” I tell her.

 

“You don’t want a big deal down at the club?” 

 

“No, ma’am,” I tell her. “I want to party on the docks with lots of loud music and twinkle lights that run for miles. I want to eat fried fish and hush puppies, drink beer, and dance until my feet fall off.”

 

“I want to be invited to that wedding. It sounds like the event of the century,” a deep voice says. I turn to follow the sound; I hadn’t heard Huck walk in. I stare right at him and discover he’s his stunning bad-boy self. If he were a painting I’d title it “Rock Star in Repose.” He’s wearing a pair of his signature worn jeans and a tight t-shirt. This time it’s advertising an old Pearl Jam tour. He doesn’t look the least bit cold.

 

“The night I get hitched, you’ll probably be selling out Yankee Stadium and dodging a bushel load of panties being thrown your way by adoring fans,” I reply, totally dismissing his request to come to my wedding.

 

Huck laughs as though I’ve caught him totally off guard by my somewhat saucy comment. “If I played Yankee Stadium that might just happen, but Madison Square Garden isn’t quite that wild. Although a thong or two does make it my way,” he assures me.

 

“Lucky you.” The thought of throwing my unmentionables at him, and him picking them up, cause my insides to liquefy into a pool of raw desire. 

 

“Have you ever been to one of my concerts, Amelia?” he wants to know.

 

I don’t answer right away. Instead, I take time to clear my throat and fill my plate with an assortment of yummy food. I wait so long to address his question that I figure he’s forgotten he even asked it. I suggest, “You’d best hurry up and get some of this or you’re gonna be out of luck. I don’t bother eating like a lady when Shuckie’s the chef.”

 

Huck grabs a plate before repeating, “Have you ever been to one of my concerts, Amelia?”

 

“I have not,” I tell him. 

 

“I’m offended,” he teases gruffly. “Why not?”

 

“Because I have every album you’ve ever released and I don’t see the need to get all gussied up just to drive three hours to a venue only to be subjected to hordes of people screaming your name so loud that I can’t actually hear what you’re singing.” Then, instead of leaving well enough alone, I add, “I’d rather curl up on my couch, put on your album, and have you all to myself.” 

 

Good lord, why did I say that?

 

 

 

**********

 

 

 

The Plan (The Creek Water Series Book 3)The Plan by Whitney Dineen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is book #3, in The Creek Water series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this laugh-out-loud series in order intended.

Amelia has gotten to a good place. She no longer freaks out. She listens to good music. Then she gets a visitor who performs said music in her shop. Tongue tied does not really describe what happens.

Huck is attracted to the honesty Amelia gives him right away. Never did he think he would find someone who understands hi daughter, nor did he think he would want her so badly. How can he convince her that the future is worth leaping toward?

I really loved this story. I was surprised at all the funny moments. The banter is wonderful. The family interactions are not only easy to relate to, but they feel familiar. Taking a sensitive subject and approaching it this way with such humor, was just genius! I am certain this installment fits well into this series. I sure cannot wait for the next installment!


***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews 

 

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries -- not always in that order.

Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

 

Gold Medal winner at the International Readers' Favorite Awards, 2017.

Silver medal winner at the International Readers' Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.

Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.

Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.

Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017

Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

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