Happy Fall Y’all! Well, not really because it is still in the upper 90’s here, but I am dreaming of fall weather now that it’s September. August was kind of a “meh” month for me, reading-wise, with one really good book & several mediocre ones. Drop me a comment & let me know what you’ve been reading!
The Obsession (4/5 stars)
When she was a child, Naomi Bowes followed her father into the woods & discovered his secret hideaway, rescuing the girl he had trapped there. She changed her name in an attempt to escape her father’s infamy, finally settling in Washington to restore an old home. The residents of the small town, including the sexy Xander Keaton, force her to open up again & face her past. This one was Caitlin Dorsch’s July book club pick (join her Facebook club here!) & I enjoyed it more than I expected. I’m not usually a romance fan, but this one had enough mystery & suspense to keep me going. The relationship between Naomi & Xander was so fun to watch unfold, especially when women in town began disappearing & Xander’s protective side came out.
A Curse So Dark & Lonely, A Heart So Fierce & Broken (4/5 stars)
These are the first 2 books in a fantasy series. The first is a retelling of the Beauty & the Beast story, but the heroine is a modern-day girl taken from her D.C. home to the magical realm of where the prince/monster needs saving. This one was different from most fairytale retellings because the characters were so much more interesting, especially the heroine, Harper. The second departs from the fairytale & explores what happens after the curse is broken, ending in a cliffhanger that has me waiting for the third!
Sea Wife (4/5 stars)
Married couple Juliet & Michael are struggling, both in their own stalled careers & in their marriage. After Michael suggests buying a boat, they take their 2 children & head to South America to live on a sailboat for a year. The narrative alternates between Juliet’s memories & Michael’s log from the voyage. While I found the plot to drag in some points where it became too technical, the ending moved too quickly for me. There was also a little bit of mystery, which I felt wasn’t really necessary, thrown in. Overall, a good read that will quickly show you why a year long sailing voyage may not be the best idea for amateurs.
His & Hers (5/5 stars)
This was the best book that I read in August! Anna Andrews is struggling to keep her job as a news anchor when she is sent to her hometown to cover a string of murders. It turns out that the murdered women are all childhood friends of Anna & that she has a prior relationship with the DCI investigating the crimes, Jack Harper. The story alternates between Anna & Jack’s perspectives, keeping the story moving & me guessing who was behind the murders. It’s twisty & suspenseful, with glimpses into Anna’s traumatic & possibly sordid past with the murdered women. I highly recommend if you’re looking for a good thriller!
Ghosts of Harvard (3/5 stars)
I really wanted to like this one! The premise – a girl trying to make sense of her schizophrenic brother’s death at Harvard, who begins hearing voices that might be ghosts – sounded so interesting, but I found that it tried to combine too many elements that just became jumbled to me. The storyline surrounding her brother’s illness & refusal to accept treatment was so good & thought-provoking, but the ghost storyline seemed to go nowhere. I think it would have been better if the story had focused on the central mystery – what happened to the narrator’s brother.
Playing Nice (3/5 stars)
What if you found out that your family isn’t yours at all? Pete Riley opens the door one morning to find that son, Theo, isn’t actually his son – he is the Lamberts’, switched at birth by the hospital. The two families are working toward a joint family when Pete begins realizing that Miles Lambert isn’t the man he pretends to be & that maybe the hospital wasn’t at fault. This is another one with a good premise that just seemed to fall flat. I didn’t really like any of the characters – Pete was such a pushover, while Miles Lambert was infuriating. I did enjoy the relationship between the 2 mothers & the ending was definitely a surprise.
The Wife Who Knew Too Much (3/5 stars)
Tabitha Girard had her heart broken years ago by Connor Ford & is thrilled when he appears back in her life. The only problem is Connor’s incredibly wealthy but controlling wife, who kills herself shortly after their re-connection. Tabitha finds herself trapped in Connor’s new world & discovers Nina’s diary that sheds new light on their marriage. While this story kept me guessing, Tabitha was so annoying to me & I wasn’t really rooting for anyone.
Crown of Coral & Pearl (4/5 stars)
For centuries the most beautiful women of the sea village Varenia have been sent as brides to the princes of Ilara. Nor & Zadie were raised to value their beauty above all else, but Zadie is injured in an accident & Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. Once on land, Nor uncovers the truth about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered Varenian queen & a plot that may destroy Varenia for good. There was such a great contrast between the somewhat carefree ocean life & the scheming that occurred in Ilara. The characters, except the evil prince of course, were lovable & relatable, the settings were well-developed, & the plot kept me reading. The second book in this series will be released in early October, so there isn’t too much longer to wait.