Monday, March 17, 2014

Review of Up at Butternut Lake by Mary McNear

 Rating - 4

 After ten years away, Allie Beckett has returned to her family's cabin beside tranquil Butternut Lake, where as a teenager she spent so many carefree days. She's promised her five-year-old son, Wyatt, they will be happy there. She's promised herself this is the place to begin again after her husband's death in Afghanistan.

Allie and her son are embraced by the townsfolk, and her reunions with old acquaintances—her friend Jax, now a young mother of three with one more on the way, and Caroline, the owner of the local coffee shop—are joyous ones. And then there are newcomers like Walker Ford, who mostly keeps to himself—until he takes a shine to Wyatt . . . and to Allie. (Amazon Desc.)

McNear easily draws the reader in with likable characters, a beautiful setting, and an interesting plot. The romance between Allie and Walker is hot and problematic given the past issues both must overcome. The glimpse we see into Jax's life and Caroline's, leaves the reader wanting to know more about this interesting little town and the people who live there.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review of Silenced by Allison Brennan

Rating - 4

 A number of known prostitutes--with scores of high profile clients--are turning up dead all over D.C. Is this the work of a depraved killer? Or the result of an inside job? Lucy's investigation will take her into an underground network of prostitutes, the chambers of the country's most powerful players, and her own dark past to confront an unknown enemy who's always one step ahead of her. With the help of her P.I. boyfriend Sean Rogan, Lucy must find and protect the only witness who can identify the killer and end the conspiracy, but can the witness be trusted? Lucy will risk everything to expose the truth and ensure justice is served, even if that means putting herself in the line of fire ... (Desc. from Amazon)

The Lucy Kincaid series is my favorite of Brennan's numerous series. The characters of Lucy and Sean are nuanced and finely drawn. Each book in the series explores their characters more deeply. As a writer, Brennan is a master of complex plot twists. Once started, her books are hard to put down.

Review of Escape from Eden by Elise Nader

Rating - 4
Young Adult

 "Escape from Eden"  follows main character Mia who lives with her mother and brother in Edenton, a modern day "Garden of Eden" located deep in the jungles of South America. Mia has lived there since she was ten years old and her mother fell under the Reverend's spell. She doesn't dream of the things the other girls do at Edenton - courting and getting married - Mia dreams of escaping for good. When the gorgeous Gabriel and his family arrive at Edenton, Mia believes she might have found her way out. Along the way, Mia and Gabriel uncover secrets of epic proportions - the Reverend and his paranoid plan to save his flock from the corrupt world for good. Will Gabriel and Mia be able to stop the Reverend before it's too late? Or will they have to sacrifice much more than just their freedom in order to save the ones they love? (Desc. from Amazon, Reviewer SW).

This dystopian YA novel is full of suspense. Lots of plot twists keep readers engaged from start to finish. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review of The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

Rating - 4

 1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife, Isabel, live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world.
The one April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant - and the path of the couple's lives hits an unthinkable crossroads.
Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they made that day - as the baby's real story unfolds...

Stedman has created a unique novel. . . unique in time, setting and circumstance. The choice made by Tom and Isabel sets them and their marriage on a path of no return and propels every reader to question his or her own ethical and moral values if faced with a similar dilemma. Highly recommended.

Review of Stargazey Point by Shelley Noble

Rating = 3

 Documentary filmmaker Abbie Sinclair is deeply damaged after her latest project ended in tragedy. Luckily for her, her best friend stateside has a few elderly relatives who are happy to host Abbie in their crumbling seaside mansion while she figures out what comes next. Cabot Reynolds the Third is a man who gave up a promising career as an architect to return to the down and out South Carolina beach town of Stargazey Point to restore his uncle's carousel and, hopefully, breathe new life into the town before its natives are forced to sell out to developers. The elderly Crispin siblings are Stargazey Point's old money, but their funds are quickly disappearing. The three have fallen to selling off their belongings to pay off their taxes. Despite their troubles Abbie finds a home with Millie, Marnie, and Beau, and before long she finds that she doesn't have to jet around the world to keep up with the deeds of her over-achieving, do-gooder family members, there's plenty of good to be done right in Stargazey Point. (Desc. yourotherleft, 9/13

Stargazey Point was an enjoyable read with likable characters. There were several sub-plots with just enough suspense to hold my attention from start to finish.