Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Review Round Up ~ August 31

New(er) Releases:

My rating: 5 of 5 stars - One of the Best

Review Copy Provided by Author

I’m going to start this review of a bit of a disclaimer. If you are expecting a full on Escape to New Zealand romance, this is not the book you want. This is more closely aligned with what I would consider “women’s fiction” - that is not a bad thing at all as this is a wonderful read, but the drama/conflict is a bit broader than what you would expect to find in a pure romance read.

Okay, now that is out of the way - let’s talk about Kiwi Sin. Oriana is a character that we met in Kiwi Gold (as a secondary) and is the sister of Daisy whom we’ve met before. Gabriel is also from the Mount Zion community and has come “Outside” to make a life for himself.

Told in alternate points of view, we see both Oriana and Gabriel struggle with adapting to the changes around them and finding their groove amongst family and worldly expectations. As their paths continue to cross, we see the story unfold to include a budding romance and drama related to Mount Zion.

Written in Ms James’ unique style, I loved seeing the evolution of Oriana, Gabriel, and the family surrounding them. This story is told with a great deal of grace as the cast of both primary and secondary characters grow and develop on the Outside. There is a strong message regarding finding YOUR path, even if it’s not what someone else thinks is best that I appreciated.

My one other disclaimer regarding this strong entry into the Kiwi series is that the books are very much connected. While Oriana and Gabriel’s story can be read by itself, I truly do think that they work better when read in order.


TBR Reads:   

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

Review Copy Purchased

Ms Callihan is an author I’ve enjoyed in the past and this has lingered on my TBR for a while - when reading this I was reminded why I enjoy her and annoyed with myself that it took so long to read Dear Enemy!

Delilah and Macon grew up together and are the center of some of the hardest high school memories for both. After 10 years of not speaking a misunderstanding with Delilah’s sister brings them back together.

One of the things I appreciated most about this book was the way we got to see this pair both past and present - and see how they navigated through a lifetime of hard feeling to become friends then more.
Peeling back motivations - and some mutual soul searching - helped cement Delilah and Macon as a pair that I wanted to see find their happy ending.

A small secondary cast put the focus of Dear Enemy strongly on Delilah and Macon. The interactions between them felt realistic, especially some of the hard conversations, and this book makes me want to elevate other Callihan reads in my TBR to the top of the list.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review Copy Purchased

This was a quick read that delivered what I expected it to based on prior reading of Ms Vale's work. Meeting Celia, Luke, and Walker was entertaining and fit the bill for what I was in the mood for at the moment. There isn't a ton of character development and the "relationship" develops very quickly.
Definitely a lighter and spicer read.


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