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Friday, October 24, 2014

Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear

Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Publisher: Soho Press
Genre: Historical Mystery
Pages: 311
How I Read It: Hard cover borrowed from the library
My Rating: 3 Crowns

Synopsis: It is the spring of 1930, and Maisie has been hired to find a runaway heiress. When three of the heiress's old friends are found dead, Maisie must race to find out who would want to kill these seemingly respectable young women before it's too late. As Maisie investigates, she discovers that the answers lie in the unforgettable agony of the Great War.

* Synopsis taken from Goodreads

My Review: I loved the first Maisie Dobbs novel, so I was excited to get around to the second one. This mystery was decent, but a little more predictable than the first one, and I left it feeling a little disappointed. In fact, I felt so blase about this book that it has taken me forever to write my review. It's not that it was bad, just average and I don't feel like I had much noteworthy to say about it.

I liked the character development outside of the main story a lot more than the actual mystery in this one. Billy in particular had some growth I enjoyed, and the insight his character gave into more of what a war survivor would go through was interesting. Sometimes I get caught up in modern times and forget the advances in medicine, and the knowledge we have now that has changed the way we treat people. It makes me feel bad for veterans of these earlier wars, who became addicted to a variety of things that were designed to treat their pain. And it also makes me wonder what the effects of current treatments will be down the line.

I'm looking forward to continuing with this series, and seeing what comes next for Maisie and her friends. I enjoy her pluckiness and determination for figuring a mystery out. She's one of those characters that would have been a strong woman in her time, and that's always something I like to read about. I think fans of historical fiction will enjoy this one, or people who are interested in continuing the series.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cowboy Boots For Christmas by Carolyn Brown Review

Title: Cowboy Boots For Christmas (Cowboy Not Included)
Series: Burnt Boot Series Book 1
Author: Carolyn Brown
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 978-1-4022-9605-5
Formats: Mass-Market Paperback, E-book
$7.99
Release Date: October 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
How I Read It: Mass-Market Arc from Publisher
Rating: 4.5 Crowns
 
‘Tis the season for…
Feasting
Frolicking
And…feuding?
 
ALL HE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS IS PEACE AND QUIET…
 
After two tours in Afghanistan, retired Army sniper Finn O’Donnell believes his new ranch outside the sleepy little town of Burnt Boot, Texas, is the perfect place for an undisturbed holiday season. But before he can settle in, an old friend shows up looking for protection and a place where nobody knows her name…
 
BUT THAT’S GOING TO TAKE A MIRACLE…
 
Callie Brewster must relocate to protect her young nephew, Martin, and the only person she trusts is her old Army friend, Finn. Burnt Boot seems like the perfect place to be anonymous, but it turns out a small town with big drama is no place to hide…
 
Finn O’Donnell purchased Salt Draw Ranch with the hopes of finding a place to call home and peace after two tours in Afghanistan as a sniper for the US Army. He never expected to see his spotter, Callie O’Donnell, the woman he trusted with his life, to arrive on his doorstep looking for a safe place for her and Martin, her nephew, to stay.
 
They soon realize that even though they lost touch with each other for a couple of years, the connection they shared is still there. Soon Callie and Finn fill Salt Draw with stray animals, children, and the ranches former owner as their relationship grows.
 
Cowboy Boots For Christmas (Cowboy Not Included) was one of the sweetest Christmas stories that I’ve read for a while.
 
Callie has seen the women in her life (her mom and sister) have relationships with cowboys that end poorly. And because of the way her sister, Martin’s mother, bounced from one place to another, Callie’s not sure if she has the ability to settle down.
 
Finn was betrayed by the woman he loved and thought he knew. He’s been hurt and what he’s gone through has left a mark on him he’s not sure he can erase.
 
While there is no denying that Finn and Callie are attracted to each other, they both have enough emotional baggage to sink the QE2. Although since both of their lives depended on each other during their time in Afghanistan, they know they can trust each other but it’s a bit harder trusting each other with their hearts than it is their lives.
 
The chemistry between Finn and Callie was amazing and given that they had a history together their quick starting romance didn’t feel rushed. They worked together because they knew the nightmares that each had endured and being together was, in a sense, a balm to their souls. They knew how to comfort each other because they knew what the other had been through.
 
The pacing was great. I didn’t feel as though the plot lagged or sped ahead. It had a nice rhythm to it that made it nearly impossible to put down.
 
While I truly enjoyed this book and thought it was a brilliant start to the author’s Burnt Boot Series (which I cannot wait to read more of), I wished there had been a bit more conflict between Callie and Finn.
 
What I like about Carolyn Brown’s writing is the fact she actually make me, a city chick who had never stepped foot in the country, enjoy the country life she portrays in her books. And if I’m being honest, she kind of makes me want a cowboy like Finn to call my own.
 
Overall, Cowboy Boots For Christmas has everything readers should want in a Christmas romance: an achingly sweet romance peppered with tenderness, laughter, joy, and a few miracles along the way.
 
One of my favorites from Carolyn Brown. Plus, I don’t think I will ever be able to get Joe, the parrot out of my mind.
 
Cowboys Boots For Christmas is definitely a keeper that I will happily revisit.



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