Monday, August 1, 2022

Review Round Up ~ August 1

New(er) Releases:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars - Would Recommend to a Friend

Review Copy Provided by Author

What a fantastic story about family and second chances!
This is a multi generational story featuring Alek, his mother, and his daughter as they all approach changing situations.
Ms Pike did an excellent job of weaving the various family stories, budding romances, and giving us a glimpse of true Hawaiian culture.
This is definitely a feel good story about meeting the right person at the right time and being open to change. I would be curious about seeing more of the Medina family!


The Magic of Lemon Drop PieThe Magic of Lemon Drop Pie by Rachel Linden

4.5 stars - On of the Best

Review Copy Provided by Publisher via Net Galley

When this popped up as an option on Net Galley - I thought “that sounds like a cool premise” and The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie did not disappoint.

We meet 33 year old Lolly when she is at a cross roads. One tragic event changed the course of her life and things have not gone the way she once dreamed. She is faced with a set of regrets and “what ifs” while also struggling with the fact that the life she has isn’t going all that great either. An eccentric aunt gives Lolly the chance to experience what life “could” have been. What happens next? Well, for that - read the book!

For me, this was a poignant read. I think everyone has a moment in their life where they wonder “what if” in regards to decisions made or things that have happened to them. Getting to see this phenomenon through Lolly’s eyes and the lessons she learned was touching and emotional.

I’m trying really hard not to give any details away, but I will say that I truly liked Lolly. I appreciated getting to see current day Lolly as well as some of the events that shaped her via flashbacks. Understanding the context of her life helped cement her character for me and made me root for her that much more. The things Lolly experienced made her think - and the lessons learned made me think a bit too. This is the type of book that you finish and really wish there was someone nearby who had read it too!


TBR Reads:   

3.5 stars - Worth a Reader's Time

Review Copy Purchased

With Tease, Melanie Harlow continues the second generation connected to Coverleigh Farms with Felicity (one of Mac’s daughters) and her long time best friend, Hutton.

This was a fun and emotional read. Hutton has quirks that he struggles with and his relationship with Felicity has been a constant for him. Felicity has baggage that she hasn’t really shared with anyone other than Hutton before now - those issues impact how she interacts with romantic partners.

These two - oh my - I loved them together, but also wanted to bang their heads together sometimes as they were so clueless! Ms Harlow does an excellent job of pulling them together and using the secondary cast to help shape how they deal with their struggles.

We get to see Felicity’s sisters here - they play a key secondary role and I am hoping we see more of them as well as more Felicity and Hutton in future books.


Contest Judging:

Slow Ride: Bad Boy Autos (Drive Me Wild, #3)Slow Ride: Bad Boy Autos by Bronwen Evans

3.5 stars - Worth a Reader's Time

Review Content provided by Contest Administrators

This is a bit of an odd one to review for me - I received the copy as part of a contest so I know the author’s nationality (that bits important later) and normally that wouldn’t impact the story, but here it does. So, I’m going to talk about this book in 2 pieces - the story and the voice.

The story: 3.75 maybe 4 stars
Marcus is a former Formula One champion forced to retire due to accident/injury. Stella is his long term friends with benefits who suddenly decides to end things.

I enjoyed both of these characters and their story arc of emotional growth and development (both individually and together). A strong secondary cast helps them along the way.

The one ding - this is part of a series and that strong secondary cast - there are lots of references to things someone starting here won’t know. It’s not overwhelming, but it does cause of a bit of feeling lost sometimes.

A few small editing and consistency issues also detracted from the story. (I mean the man almost stepped in dog pee, but no one cleaned it up!)

The voice: 3.25 to 3.5 stars
The setting of the book is a bit nebulous, but appears from inference to be California and characters in the book appear to be American. The problem is that our New Zealand based author uses New Zealand based terminology and speaking patterns for these American characters.

Why does this matter - well, to some it may not, but it pulled me out of the story.

Overall, this was an entertaining read. The things that pulled me from the story were probably small in the grand scheme, but they did keep this from being a full 4 star read for me.


My rating: 3 of 5 stars - Average Read

Review Content provided by Contest Administrators

To be honest - Promise You Nothing is book that left me a bit confused. I went in blind (had not read the blurb) and while I enjoyed it, there were holes in the story that left me feeling a bit frustrated.

The good bits:
The characters- Emmie and Josh are both interesting people. They meet at a point where both are dealing with baggage and strike up a somewhat unusual friendship.

How Josh “courts” Emmie - there are times when I wonder if he even realizes what he’s doing. It’s definitely sweet!

The confusion/frustration:
Emmie’s job or lack there of - there is never a good reason given as to why she’s unemployed. Was it to move in to the house with her brother? Something else?

Josh’s marriage - the details of its status are a bit fuzzy as are his feelings towards women, but he actively goes after Emmie. It would have been nice to have more clarity here.

An entertaining quick read. Definitely a bit escapist, but worth the time if you don’t think about some of the details too much.

 *Buy links belong to E-Reading After Midnight and we may be compensated if you choose to make a purchase. 

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