Review: Met Her Match

Title: Met Her Match (Summer Hill #2)
Author: Jude Deveraux
Genre: Romance
Publisher: MIRA
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In small towns, no one lets the facts get in the way of juicy gossip…

Terri Rayburn is a girl with a reputation. She doesn’t deserve it, but having grown up on the outskirts of Summer Hill, Virginia, she knows how small towns work. The only way to deal with vicious gossip is to ignore it. So she keeps to herself as she runs the summer resort on Lake Kissel.

When she returns home from a short trip to find a handsome stranger living in her house, she smells a rat. Someone is trying to fix her up, and she has to admit that Nate Taggert is just her type. However, Nate is engaged to the daughter of the mayor and strictly off-limits.

Nate and Terri form an unlikely friendship while he throws himself into life at the lake. As Nate starts to hear rumors about Terri he’s confused. Knowing how smart, beautiful and strong she is, he’s determined to discover the source of the gossip. Terri doesn’t want to revisit the past, but Nate won’t stop until he discovers the truth—even if the truth might be more than either of them can handle.

Set in the beloved fictional town of Summer Hill, Virginia, Met Her Match examines the tensions between the wealthy townspeople, the summer vacationers and the working-class people who keep the town and resort running. Told with humor and heart, Met Her Match is the perfect summer escape.

Review:

This story was a mix of a romance and mystery. It began with hints of romance, with Nate arriving in town. He meets Terri and there is lots of attraction between them. However, Nate is engaged to the mayor’s daughter. Close to the end of the story, once the relationship problems were solved, it turned into a murder mystery. A decades old case was brought up. It was an unusual change to the story. It would have made more sense if the mysterious elements were brought up earlier in the story.

There were so many characters that I had trouble keeping track of them. I thought I was missing out because I didn’t read the first book in the series. The characters often spoke about things that had happened in the past, but I don’t know if they happened in the first book or not. By the end of the story it was getting difficult to follow because I couldn’t remember all of the characters.

This story didn’t work with me, but if you like romances with some mystery, you will probably like it.

Thank you MIRA for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Girl from Summer Hill (Summer Hill #1) by Jude Deveraux

Have you read Met Her Match? What did you think of it?

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First Lines Friday – September 20

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“There’s something haunting about a body touched by magic. Most people first noticed the smell: not the rot of decay, but a cloying sweetness in their noses, a sharp taste on their tongues. Rare individuals also sensed a tingle in the air.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… Serpent and Dove (Serpent and Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

You can check out my review for Serpent and Dove here.

Have you read Serpent and Dove? What did you think of it?

Review: Harvey Comes Home

Title: Harvey Comes Home
Author: Colleen Nelson
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Publisher: Pajama Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 19, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A dog’s world is a world of scents, of adventure. When a runaway West Highland Terrier named Harvey wanders out of his old life guided only by his nose and his heart, lives begin to converge.

Austin, a young volunteer at Brayside retirement home, quickly finds that the audacious Harvey inspires Mr. Pickering, a bitter resident coping with memory loss, to tell stories of his childhood. Moved by the elderly man’s Dust Bowl recollections of grinding poverty and the perseverance of his friends and family, Austin begins to trade his preconceived notions for empathy. But is it enough to give him the resolve to track down Harvey’s original owner?

Supported by striking illustrations from acclaimed artist Tara Anderson, Colleen Nelson immerses readers in a rich and unflinchingly human tale of struggle and hope—all inspired by one curious dog. 

Review:

This story had a unique format. The chapters alternate perspectives between Austin (the boy who found Harvey), Maggie (the girl whose family owns Harvey), and Harvey (the dog). I liked that we got to see the different sides to the story including the girl who desperately wanted her pet returned and the boy who had always longed for a dog. The dog’s perspective was original because he was stuck in between wanting to go home to Maggie and wanting to stay with Austin.

There were some upsetting parts to this story. The idea of losing my dog kept running through my head while I was reading this story. There were also some disturbing flashbacks to when Mr. Pickering, one of the retirement home residents who loved Harvey, was a child and his own experience with his own dog. That included when his dog lost his leg and eventually died. Those parts were incredibly sad to read.

Though this story broke my heart a little, the optimistic title kept me reading. I enjoyed the overall book, though there were some difficult scenes.

Thank you Pajama Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Sadia by Colleen Nelson

Have you read Harvey Comes Home? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – September 19

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Enchantée by Gita Trelease.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: Bloodlust and Bonnets

Title: Bloodlust and Bonnets
Author: Emily McGovern
Genre: Graphic Novel, Historical, Fantasy, LGBTQ
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the creator of the hit webcomic My Life As a Background Slytherin comes a hilarious graphic novel pastiche of classic Romantic literature led by a trio of queer misfits—and several angry vampires.
 

Set in early nineteenth-century Britain, Bloodlust & Bonnets follows Lucy, an unworldly debutante who desires a life of passion and intrigue—qualities which earn her the attention of Lady Violet Travesty, the leader of a local vampire cult. 
 
But before Lucy can embark on her new life of vampiric debauchery, she finds herself unexpectedly thrown together with the flamboyant poet Lord Byron (“from books!”) and a mysterious bounty-hunter named Sham. The unlikely trio lie, flirt, fight, and manipulate each other as they make their way across Britain, disrupting society balls, slaying vampires, and making every effort not to betray their feelings to each other as their personal and romantic lives become increasingly entangled.
 
Both witty and slapstick, elegant and gory, Emily McGovern’s debut graphic novel pays tribute to and pokes fun at beloved romance tropes, delivering a joyous, action-packed world of friendship and adventure.

Review:

I loved this new graphic novel!

This story was set in the nineteenth century, with Lord Byron as one of the main characters. Along with two friends, Lucy and Sham, Lord Byron searches for a vampire Lady Violet Travesty. Each character has their own secret reason for joining in the vampire hunt. There were loads of other fantastical elements as well, including a succubus and a talking castle.

I laughed the entire time I was reading this story. Each of the characters were exaggerated in a hilarious way. Lord Byron was in love with himself and didn’t pay attention to the people around him. Sham was serious and spoke the truth with no filter to protect the feelings of others (when Lucy thinks that Sham likes her the same way that she likes Sham, Sham replies with yes I do like girls, just not you). Lucy was kind of clueless to people around her, and she was blinded by her desire to join the vampire cult. These characters were hilarious together!

This was such a funny graphic novel! I highly recommend it!

Thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen, Tony Lee, Cliff Richards

Have you read Bloodlust and Bonnets? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – September 18

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao. The expected publication date is October 15, 2019.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Ali Chu knows that as the only Asian person at her school in middle-of-nowhere Indiana, she must be bland as white toast to survive. This means swapping her congee lunch for PB&Js, ignoring the clueless racism from her classmates and teachers, and keeping her mouth shut when people wrongly call her Allie instead of her actual name, pronounced Āh-lěe, after the mountain in Taiwan.

Her autopilot existence is disrupted when she finds out that Chase Yu, the new kid in school, is also Taiwanese. Despite some initial resistance due to the “they belong together” whispers, Ali and Chase soon spark a chemistry rooted in competitive martial arts, joking in two languages, and, most importantly, pushing back against the discrimination they face.

But when Ali’s mom finds out about the relationship, she forces Ali to end it. As Ali covertly digs into the why behind her mother’s disapproval, she uncovers secrets about her family and Chase that force her to question everything she thought she knew about life, love, and her unknowable future.

Snippets of a love story from nineteenth-century China (a retelling of the Chinese folktale The Butterfly Lovers) are interspersed with Ali’s narrative and intertwined with her fate.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: The Widow of Pale Harbor

Title: The Widow of Pale Harbor
Author: Hester Fox
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Graydon House Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself?

Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife’s death, so he moves to Maine, taking a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbor.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives with a spinster maid in the eerie Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.

As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a twisted person inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbor will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.

Review:

This is a thrilling read for the fall!

I love Edgar Allen Poe stories, especially at this time of year. In this story, someone copied the gruesome murders from his stories in an attempt to scare Sophronia. It was so creepy, but it was also exciting to recognize these elements of his stories.

This story was so fast paced! I couldn’t put it down. There were lots of events that happened quickly, such as the threats against Sophronia. The mystery of Sophronia’s and Gabriel’s secret pasts we’re slowly revealed throughout the story, so it kept me guessing. I loved the twists at the end when the culprit was revealed!

I loved this book! It’s the perfect read for a cold autumn evening!

Thank you Graydon House Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

Tidelands (The Fairmile #1) by Philippa Gregory

Have you read The Widow of Pale Harbor? What did you think of it?