Beach Reads in Mini-Reviews

May 25, 2017 Uncategorized 2

After reading War and Peace, I wanted some fun, light reads that I could finish quickly. These thrillers and this romance weren’t all my favorites, but they were still exactly what I was looking for!

Beach Reads in Mini-ReviewsTitle: A Simple Favor
Author: Darcey Bell, Juliane Pahnke
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

This thriller kicks off when blogger and single mom Stephanie agrees to pick up her best friend’s son from school and her best friend disappears. I enjoyed that parts of the book were told through Stephanie’s blog posts. They weren’t always very well written though and I sometimes found the content unbelievable. For instance, I can’t imagine writing a chatty, meandering post about my best friend’s disappearance. The characters’ decisions were often unbelievable to me as well. One of the characters seemed to be evil for the sake of evil, which I don’t find a terribly compelling motivation. The other characters’ motivations were simply incomprehensible. Finally, the explanation for everything was pretty cliche. While I realize that’s a long list of complaints, I was just looking for something light and I did have fun reading this. The evil character was fascinating, though seriously creepy, and the story did keep me turning the pages.

Beach Reads in Mini-ReviewsTitle: Fractured
Author: Catherine McKenzie
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

After author Julie moves her family across the country to escape a stalker, she’s uncertain whether her stalker or her new neighbors are responsible for the unsettling pranks directed at her family. One of my favorite parts of this story was actually reading about Julie’s experience as an author, trying to write her new book and doing a signing for the old one. I also enjoyed the device the author employed of jumping backwards and forwards in time, with both timelines converging to eventually reveal a terrible tragedy. This is a device that’s used  a lot, but it doesn’t get old for me. It typically means an author doesn’t spell things out for the reader, leaving you to figure some things out yourself. The writing and the suspense the author created were both fantastic. However, the big reveal felt unsurprising and unemotional to me. It was a bit of a letdown. Overall, this was nothing mind blowing or unique, but it was well written and hard to put down.

Beach Reads in Mini-ReviewsTitle: The Rock (Highland Guard, #11)
Author: Monica McCarty
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Blacksmith’s son Thomas McGowan has been in love with the lady Elizabeth Douglas since the played together as children and he always thought she felt the same way. When he finds out that she never considered him that way due to their different social standing, it’s unclear whether he can overcome his wounded pride and fight to convince her they’re meant to be together. This book had everything I’ve loved about the previous two books I’ve read by Monica McCarty. The chemistry between the main characters is completely convincing. On both an emotional and a physical level, it’s clear why they work. The sex scenes are, of course, fantastic and varied. She does go with the trope of putting off actual sex until the very end, which I appreciated her not doing in some earlier books. However, unlike some other authors, I didn’t feel this was a crutch she relied on because she can only write one sex scene. Fighting the tropes about light romance, she also wraps up with a section on her research into this historical time period that would put most other authors to shame. This didn’t blow me away quite as much as the first book of hers that I read, but in fairness, I think the first book I read by an author is often my favorite. I’d still definitely recommend this to any of her fans.

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