Monday, July 17, 2017

Quick and Dirty Mini-Reviews {5}

Back for another edition of Quick and Dirty Mini-Reviews! So I feel a little bad giving mini-reviews to two of my hands down, all-time, will buy everything they write, favorite authors but I just love them so much that it's hard for me to articulate WHAT makes me love them so much so flailing mini-reviews of feels combined with JUST READ THE BOOK YOURSELF ALREADY is what we get. Susanna Kearsley and Mhairi McFarlane deserve more words than I give them but I just haven't figured out how to translate flails into text yet. Maybe one day. Enjoy!

As you probably know by now, Susanna Kearsley has become an instant favorite author. Her books speak to me on such a deep level. I feel as literally transported as is possible while not leaving my couch. Which actually fits perfectly with her books because they almost always involve some sort of transportation. Kismet. The Rose Garden did not disappoint in any respect from what I have come to expect from Kearsley. This book had love. Longing. Deep and complex emotions. Historical elements. Time travel. It was incredible. It's truly hard for me to articulate exactly what makes these book so special to me, they just are. The fill me with a desire. A sense of longing parallel to what her characters are feelings. I feel at home when reading her books. I feel like I want to experience a journey just like her characters and book a plane ticket to somewhere in Britain and never come back. How I feel about the UK and the feelings it invokes in me for no reason at all is exactly how her characters always seem to feel so I feel akin to her characters in a way I never thought I would be able to feel. She describes these places and sense of belonging to a place you shouldn't feel a longing for in the exact way I feel I cannot say enough how much I love her books and will enjoying re-reading all of them immensely and eagerly await for her newest book! Rating: VIP

I went into The Splendour Falls with some trepidation. I knew it was an older Kearsley book so I was a bit worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations I've come to have after reading her other books. I was not to be disappointed. An engaging story about a girl taking a holiday to Chignon, France to meet up with her unreliable cousin Harry, she arrives to find her cousin nowhere to be found. This isn't super shocking as he tends to do this, but after a few days and a few other odd occurrences she begins to worry. What evolves from there is a mystery as to where her cousin is, an old story about star-crossed lovers during WWII, and an even older story about a siege during the reign of King John. Add to the mix an island of misfit travelers and a few dead bodies and we have a very interesting story. While I could nit pick the somewhat aloof characterization of the main heroine and the loose association between present and two past stories, I still wanted to keep reading. It wasn't my favorite read by Kearsley but I was still very invested in what would happen to our heroine and all these other interesting characters in this picturesque Loire Valley town. The only criticism I do have is that I definitely missed the trademark intense romance that I have come to know Kearsley for. Alas, we get hints but nothing super fleshed out. Check this out if you love Susanna Kearsley's other books but don't expect The Winter Sea level of magic. Rating: Backstage Pass

Shortly after The Splendour Falls, I jumped right into Season of Storms. I had recently been to Italy so I was super excited to get back to this incredible country via book. I was not disappointed and I have come to expect this from Kearsley. Every one of her books feels like coming home after a long day; it's comfortable, familiar, and feels right. While each book has very unique qualities, they have that familiar feeling. Season of Storms tells the story of Celia, an actress trying to get her big break, and she gets asked to be in the role of a lifetime performing the lead in a never-before-performed play by a famous (and dead) playwright. She moves to the villa where the playwright's grandson now lives along with the two other actors in the play. I loved Celia and her character felt very real and down to earth. There's also a little bit of ghost play and a mystery at work. I also thought the relationships between Celia and her two pseudo-adoptive fathers was incredible. I loved that Kearsley showed a different kind of family and love and it doesn't always have to be the one you were born into. There's also a hint of romance, which I adored! I love the sneaky looks and the is he or is he not showing his feelings? This is an awful review but just read it. If you love Susanna Kearsley this is a book you have to pick up, along with all her others. Rating: Backstage Pass

It is not a secret I have become a bit obsessed with Mhairi McFarlane. I have yet to meet a book of hers I don't love and Here's Looking at You is no exception. I loved the heroine, possibly more so than all the others I've read before. I loved that this swan of a woman had emerged from an ugly duckling and a troubled adolescence while in high school (or the British equivalent to high school.) It's definitely something I can relate to, as is wanting to show everybody you went to school with how fabulous you are today. I loved the conflict between Ben and Rachel even if it was a bit painful to read at times. I won't lie, I had no idea how we were going to get a positive resolution on this one. McFarlane really puts our people through the ringer of emotion and there were many times I was convinced we weren't going to get a happy conclusion. I really liked that McFarlane didn't make it easy. She made it messy and awful at times and I LOVED the emotional arc our characters go through. While the hero is my least favorite for a few reasons, he def isn't hated though. He has flaws and growing pains as we all do and I loved that we got to see him work through so many different situations and emotions. The heroine can do no wrong in my book. She was lovely and kind and flawed and just a bit damaged, but it made her that much more real to me. Another incredible win from McFarlane and I am so sad I only have one more book of hers to read! Rating: VIP

A few years ago I picked up this book and ended up DNF'ing it. Now, after LOVING all the other Susanna Kearsley books I read, I decided to try this one again. I am SO happy I did because I loved it! I was enveloped in the story and can only deduce it was totally me and my mood when I picked this book up the last time and was not feeling it. I was so wrong. As usual, the setting was unreal. The backdrop of Wales was ethereal and charming and like all her other stories, I wanted to immediately pick up and move. Her books just do something to me. Every single book transports me and fills me such stark emotion and longing that I can't help but fall in love. They just click with me and I cannot wait to see what future books she writes! My one complaint was that the romance was especially subtle. Even though the romance aspect was almost non-existent, the cast of characters and the story kept me reading and engaged late into the night. Rating: Backstage Pass

I read and loved Dirty by Kylie Scott last year, the first book in the Dive Bar series. I was excited to start Twist because I not only really enjoyed the writing and characters but the setting. I love restaurants and bar settings, reading about how they function is so interesting to me so I knew when this book came out I'd be reading it ASAP. I read it in one sitting. It was so fun! I loved the heroine Alex! She was super relateable and I loved how she dealt with Eric/Joe. And Joe was incredible! The gentle giant lumbersexual is def a type of mine and I loved how kind he was. It was a fun read and super quick to get through. I thought the conflict and pacing was great and unexpected. I didn't see the story ending or going the way it did but I liked it. If you like bartenders, introverted heroines, and lumbersexuals, you'll wanna check this book out, as well as Dirty! Rating: Reserved Seating


  1. I'm a fan of the mini reviews-- quick and dirty works for me. ;)

  2. I don't know that how to use these apps. Can you give me some suggestion through by your post.Thanks.

  3. The Rose Garden has a beaaaaautiful cover. It's probably my favorite among her covers :D And I like reading your quick thoughts on books! You know I'm a big fan of mini-reviews too.

  4. I had your same issue with The Splendour Falls - I felt like the main character was a little too trusting and not at all aware of danger. I still liked it, but that was a little distracting.


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