Tuesday, 31 January 2017

January 2017 Wrap Up

When you are in the mood to read, it seems like you tend to read a lot. In this case, it was a mixture of being on the farm with no WiFi, my mood to read, and my love of Nora Roberts that let me read a total of 13 books this month.
13 BOOKS!!
To say that I’m proud of myself in an understatement. This deserves a pat on the back and a block of chocolate…doesn’t it?

I was only going to read Nora Roberts in January, but since I haven't finished the series I'm reading at the moment (The Bride Quartet), and I don't like the feeling of not finishing something I've already started. I'm going to finish the series in February and then start something different.

Below are all the books I read this month (in order), as well as the links for their review.

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Monday, 30 January 2017

Book Review ~ Vision In White by Nora Roberts


#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts cordially invites you to meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac the founders of Vows, one of Connecticut’s premier wedding planning companies.

After years of throwing make-believe weddings in the backyard, flowers, photography, desserts, and details are what these women do best: a guaranteed perfect, beautiful day full of memories to last the rest of your life.

With bridal magazine covers to her credit, Mackensie “Mac” Elliot is most at home behind the camera ready to capture the happy moments she never experienced while growing up. Her father replaced his first family with a second, and now her mother, moving on to yet another man, begs Mac for attention and money. Mac’s foundation is jostled again moments before an important wedding planning meeting when she bumps into the bride-to-be’s brother…an encounter that has them both seeing stars.

Carter Maguire is definitely not her type: he’s stable, and he’s safe. He’s even an English teacher at their high school alma mater. There’s something about him that makes Mac think a casual fling is just what she needs to take her mind off dealing with bride-zillas and screening her mother’s phone calls. But a casual fling can turn into something more when you least expect it. And with the help of her three best friends and business partners Mac must learn how to make her own happy memories…

This is either the third or fourth time I’ve read Vision In White / The Bride Quartet.
Yes, they are great novels, and every time I read them they bring me joy. There is just something about four women, strong, independent women who have this friendship together, that just makes me love to read about their lives and loves.

I might say this in every Nora Roberts review, but this woman knows how to write a bond between friends, lovers, family like no other.
This is the main reason why I can pick her books up multiple times and always feel happy at the end. Actually, happy is a mild word, more like the feeling you get when you are rugged up with a nice cup of tea and a good book on a rainy cold day.

Mackensie and Carter were the perfect couple to begin the quartet. She reluctant because (even though she works with weddings daily), with her mother and father being married and divorced multiple times to multiple people, she doesn’t truly, deep down believe in love. Until, of course, she meets the intelligent, clumsy, Carter.
Even though they are nothing alike, they seem to fit each other perfectly.

This is a novel if you just want something easy, bright, and of course love.

Cannot wait to read Emmaline’s story; Bed Of Roses.

My star rating is

Friday, 27 January 2017

Book Review ~ Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts


The first ten years of Seth Quinn's life were a prison of fear and neglect—until he was rescued by the Quinns: father Ray, and hot-blooded brothers Phillip, Ethan and Cameron.

Now an adult and successful artist, Seth returns home to Chesapeake Bay, to the only family he has ever known. There he meets newcomer to the town Drusilla Whitcomb Banks, but while an attraction sparks, Seth realises that she is way out of his league. Added to which, her own history has taught her not to give her heart lightly.

But Seth cannot ignore his feelings. And if he is ever to win a place in Dru's affections, he must finally face up to his own tragic past and the mother who sold him ...

It was strange at first to read a love story in the point of view of Seth. Especially after reading the series one book after another, I was still seeing Seth as a 10-year-old boy.
So, you can see my struggle to see him now as a 30-year-old. Thank goodness it didn’t take me too long to set things straight.

I’m happy that Nora Roberts wrote a story for Seth, we needed to see who he became as an adult, and especially what happened with his mother. And boy, what a crazy, self-centred character Seth’s mum is.
Even though we got to see what happened to everyone, can we also talk about the ending just quickly. What the hell!! How could it end like that, I need more and knowing I’m not is frustrating.

The romance between Seth and Dru was a joy to read. I did feel their love was very quick, especially how she was giving him the “cold shoulder” the first part of the book. But once she opened up, their love story was so beautiful, how they both stuck with each other through their respected families craziness.

Of course, I can’t write a review without mentioning Cam. Well, not sure if it’s age or Nora Roberts giving him a heart, but he wasn’t so bad in this book. He wasn’t a dick head to his wife or complete strangers. I still don’t like him, but he did improve.
And of course Anna is still my favourite.

So sad this has finally come to an end. I’m going to miss these characters and their world they live in.

Without a doubt, I’ll probably pick this series up again. I tend to do that with Nora Roberts books.

My star rating is

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Book Review ~ Inner Harbour by Nora Roberts


Phillip Quinn had done everything to make his life seem perfect. With his career on the fast track and a condo overlooking the Inner Harbour, his life on the street was firmly in the past. But one look at his adopted brother Seth and the memories come flooding back. In Seth he sees the boy he once was.

Seth's future seems assured—until Dr Sybill Griffin shows up in the sleepy town of St. Christopher's. She claims to be researching the town for her new book, but Phillip is sure she is hiding something. While he is determined to uncover her motives, Sybill cannot deny her own growing feelings for the intense and mysterious Quinn—but the secret she hides has the power to shatter the brothers' lives for ever...

Not surprised at all to say that I absolutely loved this book. I was emotional throughout the whole book.
Phillip, as predicted, is such a perfect character. And not in the sense as he is overly perfect, too perfect. He understands people and doesn’t think you should judge someone based on what other people think.

Not only do I still love Anna, but I hate Cam even more. There were so many occasions that I wanted to go through the book and smack him in the head. That’s saying a lot, I don’t get this passionate about a character I hate, even for a “bad guy”.

The only thing I didn’t understand, was Sybill’s profession. She is a qualified phycologist, supposed to understand people, but she came off as not having a clue. Not just a mild misunderstanding, it was like she has been living under a rock her whole life, then all of a sudden, light.
It was a bit strange, but I only gave it a fleeting thought, I was slightly more interested in her romance with Phillip. Actually, jealous she was having a relationship with Phillip if I’m being honest.

Even though there is another book after this, Chesapeake Blue, Inner Harbour was a great conclusion to the saga of who is Seth’s father and how it ends with his evil mother.
There will probably be more conflict when it comes to Seth’s past and present life, but for now, it was a very sweet “ending”.

My star rating is

Book Review ~ Riding Tides by Nora Roberts


Ethan Quinn shares his late father's passion for the ocean, and he's determined to make the family boat-building business a success. But as well as looking out for his young brother Seth, the strong but guarded Quinn is also battling some difficult home truths.

Grace Monroe, the woman Ethan has always loves but never believed he could have, is learning that appearances can be deceptive. For beneath Ethan's still, dark waters lies a shocking past. With Grace's help, can he overcome the shadows that haunt him and finally accept who he is?

I loved this more than Sea Swept, mainly because I hated Cam, but even though I loved Ethan, I still felt like he was an idiot when it came to his love for Grace. And yes, it was all explained why he was reluctant at the end, but it was still frustrating.

They say you should write what you know, Nora Roberts is an expert when it comes to writing the Quinn brothers. Their bond together should make anyone jealous.

Is it possible to love Anna even more? Her no nonsense but loving view on life. And yet, even though she brings everyone together, she is still seen, especially from her husband, as the enemy because she’s a social worker.
I’m not kidding, they still say cruel things about social workers even though they now have someone in the family who is in that profession. It’s not like they are saying she is doing a shit job, but it sure is hinted at.
Maybe it’s because I love this character so much, and I hate her husband Cam. Whatever it is, I don’t understand that relationship.

Out of all the “brothers”, I’m looking forward to reading Phillip’s story. To me, he would seem to be the most gentleman like character.

My star rating is

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Book Review ~ Sea Swept by Nora Roberts


Three brothers were all rescued and adopted at difficult periods in their lives by Raymond and Stella Quinn. 

Now grown and living on their own, the brothers must return to the family home to honour their father's last request. 

This is Cameron's story.

It was a good book, I wouldn’t say this will rank in my top ten list of the best Nora Roberts books, but I did enjoy a few aspects of it.

But before I do, I want to get the “negative” stuff out the way.
What I don’t understand is the relationship between Anna and Cameron. Not saying they wouldn’t make a great couple, but I got this impression from Anna that she was dedicated to her work, I don’t think a smart woman would get involved with someone who she is working with…??? Is that the right term for it?
Whatever it is, for me it felt very much out of character. And, even though I believe Seth should be with that family, I think it slightly clouded her judgment. Very unprofessional.

Besides that little flaw, I actually loved Anna. A strong woman from an Italian background. I say that because I could relate to her, from her unruly hair, to her love of Italian food.
I just want to point out, sorry something else slightly negative, we call our grandparents Nonna and Nonno, so I was shocked when she called her Nonna Nana. That's not Italian.

Now to the things I loved. The Quinn boys were such a delight to read, as individuals and when they would get together. It felt genuine, I wanted to be part of that family.

This is slightly a realistic darker novel, by that I mean, it doesn’t have any paranormal demon running loose. But there is this dark twist of child abuse of all forms to majority of the characters.
Okay, reading back that doesn’t make sense if you haven’t read the book. Just think of it as an excuse to pick it up and see what I’m talking about.

Anyway, I cannot wait to pick up the next book in the series.

My star rating is