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Friday, January 03, 2014

Short reviews of recent reads

Everyone else has already completed their wrap ups and here I am still catching up on reviews! One more book review and my year end post to go and THEN it can be 2014!

So here's the handful of books I should mention before moving on- that don't quite make the cut for a full review.

His Uptown Girl by Liz Talley. This one really deserves it’s own review, but what are the chances of that? His Uptown Girl really breaks the pattern on romance novels. The heroine is the mother of a college student, the hero is a mixed-race bar owner who is significantly younger than her. She owns an antiques store and he plays the blues. It’s set in New Orleans and memories of Katrina play a large part in the story. There’s a young kid struggling to support his brother and niece who gets his own story line, and the mother- daughter relationship gets some play as well, as well as what happens when your mom falls for a guy young enough for you to date. There is also a bit about viral videos and the impact on the person in the videos that is really well done. I would almost say this is too much to pack into a Harlequin, but it all works in the end and I enjoyed this tremendously. I will definitely be looking for more Liz Talley backlist, especially as I see that many of them are set in New Orleans. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a sucker for that setting, and love books that feature blues music.

Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis. This is the latest in the Lucky Harbor series, and they all tend to blur together when I think back on them. I enjoy the series and a lot and will continue to read them, but they will never hit my best of list because I just can’t keep them straight. This one was Aubrey, the uptight one from previous books who is now opening a bookstore, and Ben, who is back in Lucky Harbor after spending several years in war zones. Aubrey is of the opinion that no one really likes her and is setting about making things right. This means she eventually has to fess up to some things she did in high school that she still feels guilty for, and while I think this was handled as well as it could be, it still felt a bit contrived. I believed that Ben really did fall in love with her, despite his history of losing one wife. The moment where he realizes he can love someone so different from his late wife is really terrific.

Dark Witch by Nora Roberts. We all know what a Nora fan I am. They aren’t ever knock your socks off terrific, but they aren’t ever horrible. They are predictable in a good way and Nora has a way of making me keep turning pages and finishing in record time. That said, this was a dud. I spent Christmas money (ok, Christmas gift card) on this one, and wish I had not. This is a complete rehash of the Three Sisters Trilogy (which I love) only set in Ireland. Same bad guy, same spells, same heroines, same everything. I’ll still read the other two, but I won’t be spending my money on them.

Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb. All that that I said about why I read Nora Roberts in the first paragraph holds true for her books written as JD Robb. This is the 44th in the series and while many of them are the same, and many of the details are the same (Eve’s hair, her fear of Trina and Bella, Mira’s tea and pearls, Sommerset (tho there was one moment there that I enjoyed, where they respected each other!), Nadine’s heels, etc.) I still come back to read them every time I can’t settle on anything else. Celebrity in Death was one of the better ones, to me, I enjoyed the two Peabodys aspect more than I thought I would. I like that we know who done it about 2/3 through each of these, and then get to see Eve plot to catch them, rather than figuring it all out at the very end. The next one in the series looks to be breaking the pattern a bit, and I’m looking forward to it.



PS if I thought blogging on the ipad was hard before, I clearly had never tried it with a kitten on my lap! Not helpful Sirius Black! If the links don't work you know how Amazon works...



  1. Wow, I have never seen those covers for J.D. Robb before. I kind of like it. I have to decide what to do about her. I can't even remember when I am in the series... I say every year I should read a book or two by her and month and then I will catch-up... I don't...

  2. I just mentioned on another blog how much I like shorter reviews:) I need to play catch-up on 2 from 2013.

  3. I've read Nora Roberts before but I've never read any of her J. D. Robb books. I can't imagine writing 44 books in one series! I'd like to try one of them.

  4. I'm reading the Shalvis now and so far so good though like you I'm not sold on the whole making amends thing but I like the characters so far. I'm so disappointed about the new Roberts books. The ones that are set in Ireland have been some of my favorites and I had such high hopes for this series!

  5. I'm patiently waiting for my library hold on Dark Witch! I'm glad that I didn't buy it though because yours is the second meh review I've seen for it. I can't believe how far into the Robb series you are. I'm probably about 10 books behind now but I HAVE been relistening to the series from the beginning. I love the early books when all of the characters are just beginning to get to know each other!

  6. I've heard good things about Dark Witch. Trust me, I have tons of reviews still to do from 2013 :)


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