Bookit Review: Brown-Eyed Girl

Title: Brown Eyed-Girl
Bookit #6
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Release Date:  2015
Medium: Large Print Hardback

My grade: B

I found this book on a stroll through Ollies, a discount surplus store with a huge book section. I thought the summary on the back looked interesting and got it.  My first reaction was surprise at just how huge the large print was.  It seemed bigger than the usual large format I’ve seen in the past, but its been awhile so I could have been wrong.  I found it actually takes a bit to get used to the different size when you aren’t used to it.

This book apparently is the fourth book in a series about the Travis family.  I wasn’t aware of that before I read it, so that might have affected how I read the book.  There seemed to be bits that seemed rather shallow and under developed and that might just have been because the assumption was you’ve read the previous three books.   The book overall was not bad.  The story focuses on Avery, a fashion designer turned event planner who focuses on Weddings.  She is a bit guarded due to a really bad break-up and the memory of her father’s tendency to never stay committed.  Joe Travis wants to change her mind on relationships, but he can only do so much.  With Joe and Sophie (her sister)’s help she ends up finding more confidence in herself and allowing herself to open up and trust others.  It does have its clichéd moments, but then what romance novel doesn’t?

I think I may try to read the earlier books and see if it changes my mind on the book.   Till then its a good light read.

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Bookit Review: My Hero

Title: My Hero
Bookit #5
Author: Debbie Macomber
Release Date: 2018 (current copy, originally printed by itself in 1992)
Medium: Paperback

My grade: D

In the second novel published together in Looking for a Hero,  we have novice novel writer Bailey who decides to essentially stalk someone to get inspiration for her main character.  Somehow the main guy, Parker, finds this intriguing rather than not and decides to go along with it and ends up taking her on dates disguised as ‘research’.   I found the main character paradoxically likeable and not.  She had many similarities with me, at least writer wise, and we even share a cat with the same name.  But other than that I find the whole thing just odd.

Who goes from “Why are you following me?”  to “Will you marry me?”  in just a few months? We learn so much about Bailey, whose the point of view character, but Parker remains hardly there except to fall in love with Bailey.  Like with its partner novel, Marriage Wanted, I feel like we are getting the first draft, with missing bits.  I feel this story misses a lot by doing a single point of view, and I find myself just not getting the characters or the situation.

Both novels were alright – I could finish them without throwing the book.  They helped me get through a very boring day of waiting in an office.  However, I was disappointed that this came from an author I have seen do better in the past.

Bookit Review: Marriage Wanted

Title:  Marriage Wanted
Bookit #4
Author: Debbie Macomber
Release Date: 2018
Medium: Paperback

My grade: D

I was actually fairly disappointed in this book.  I usually like Debbie Macomber, finding her books light and easy reads for days when I really could use light and fluffy.  This book however was not up to her usual fair, and has the signs of being a “well, I need to write something” type of story.

The premise of Marriage Wanted (part one of the duo in the paperback I bought) was that Savannah was a wedding planner who felt that Marriage was the thing to achieve, while Nash (a divorce) lawyer thought it was simply an outdated institution and nothing good came out of it.  He challenges her to marry him and test the theory out.

Or at least that is what the back of the book states.  It feels like a rough draft of a longer novel.  The pacing is awkward.  It’s slow at first, building up the characters (except at the same time taking jumps of time to not really understand their inter-character relationships at all). The second half of the book rushes everything, from the wedding, to the falling in love bit.  Issues that develop to give drama to the story are brushed over towards the end as if she was in a rush to get this story over with.

This is not the worst thing I have read, but as a story it needed more.

Bookit Review: The Wedding Dress

Title:  The Wedding Dress
Bookit #3
Author: Rachel Hauck
Release Date: 2012
Medium: Paperback

My grade: A-

I really enjoyed this book, which is actually the first in the series.  However, none of the books appear to be interconnected other than a few minor things.  The third book, which I’m not reading at this time might have some more connections, however.  Basically, you can read this book and The Wedding Chapel in any order and not be out-of-place. Continue reading

Bookit Review: The Wedding Chapel

Title: The Wedding Chapel (book 2 of the Wedding series)
Bookit #2
Author: Rachel Hauck
Release Date:
Medium: Paperback

My grade: A

I picked this book up at a discount item store the other day, not realising it was the second book in a series.  However it seems that the books are connected by theme rather than storyline so I think I’ve done alright.

This book has four point of views (done third person) including Collette, Taylor, Jimmy and Jack.  It is about a family and finding out some hard truths.  At the start of the book, we are introduced to Jimmy, who is an 83-year-old football coach who built a wedding chapel for his girlfriend back in the 50s.  It ended up not working out and he’s finally deciding to sell after interest spikes in the property.

Taylor is a photographer sent by a magazine that heard about the chapel and wanted to photograph it.  She happened to grow up in the same home town as Couch Jimmy, and is amazed by the chapel.  She later finds out the chapel was made for her Great-Aunt Collette.  So Taylor stays around to find out what is going to happen to the chapel as well as deal with her grandmother’s belongings.  It brings out a lot of secrets the family has kept for decades.

In the end, the two couples in the story – Jimmy & Collette;  Jack & Taylor – have to figure out how to get over what has happened to them in the past and make new beginnings.

I enjoyed the story, although sometimes the timeline was hard to follow.  It took place mainly in 2015, with flashbacks to when Jimmy & Collette were younger.  I do admit I wish that Peg had been a point of view, but that might have given away the ending too soon.    I also liked the references to other novels that Rachel Hauck has written, although I only knew they were references because I saw a list of her books one day when searching for the publishing info on this novel.

I’m reading the first book in the series now, called The Wedding Dress.  Its most likely going to be the next book in my book reviews.

Bookit Review: The Last in Love

Title: The Last in Love  (Book 5 in the Ardent Springs series)

Author: Terri Osburn
Release date: 2017
Medium:  E-book (Kindle Unlimited)

My grade:  B

I believe this is the last book in the series, though the end of it hints that if the author could make it a six book series if she wanted to.  This one focuses on Abby Williams, a widow of two years who ends up falling for a man five years younger than her – and someone she used to babysit back in high school. Justin Donovan is recently home after having lost his job, his fiancée and best friend. Both Abby and Justin have some issues to work through.

The book in general is good.  The pacing is a little off, but not so much that it really bothered me.  It was a nice lazy morning read.  Some of the accessory characters (such as Justin’s former fiancée and best friend) are a bit flat as well.  It did well to tie up some loose ends from previous books in the series, as well as tie up overall arcs (such as the Ruby Theater, and Carrie’s women’s shelter).

I did like the theme of women discovering themselves, and building each other up.  Other then Victoria, most of the women in this novel are friends or at least friendly towards each other.  Sometimes when you pick up novels (and definitely tv shows) there is this inclination to make cat fights or have a love triangle where the two women don’t get along because they are fighting over a guy.  This novel stays free of that for the most part.

So if you enjoy low-key romances, I can recommend this book.  Terri Osburn in general is a good author and I have enjoyed both the series that I have read from her.  Many of her novels are available on Kindle Unlimited if you subscribe to that service.

Bookit Review: PS from Paris

Title: PS From Paris (Previously called Elle & Lui )
Author: Marc Levy (Translated by Sam Taylor from French to English)
Publication Date: September 2017  (US Edition, Kindle First program)
My Grade:  B-

I thought the idea of the story sounded interesting, so when I saw it on the Kindle First list for August, I decided to choose it.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Kindle First is a benefit of the Amazon Prime Account where you are given a selection of six books to choose one book to get free each month before its released to the general public on the site.  I’ve gotten a few good books this way.  I got PS From Paris during the August books, and it was released earlier this month so if you are interested it is on Amazon now.  These often show up in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program for the first few months.

Back to the book.  The book is actually a sequel to a book I’ve never read.  The book, whose title I forget at the moment, was made into a Reese Witherspoon film called Just Like Heaven.  The connection was another reason I choose to read it.  Its been awhile since I’ve seen the movie, but I remember the basic plot of it.

PS From Paris takes on the story of Paul, Arthur (the lead male character in the first book)’s best friend.  Paul had moved to Paris after writing his first novel, which was based on the story of his best friend and his wife.  He wasn’t that comfortable with the low-key fame he was getting so he went to Paris to get away from it, and write other books.  Since then he’s found he has an amazing following in South Korea. He has also been having a long-distance relationship of sorts with his translator, Kyong.  Arthur, who thinks this relationship is a bit of a bad idea, ends up setting him up with a date through a dating site.  There he meets Mia, thinking she is there to talk to him as an architect which makes things very awkward at first.  But then it becomes an interesting friendship.  This being a romance, its typically predictable where this will end up.

The novel has a few clichés, and I think there are some background stories that could be fleshed out, but overall it was an enjoyable read.  The translation (as the book was written originally in French) may have not crossed over some of the flow of the book that you might find in a native language, but I rarely found anything choppy to indicate that it was a poor translation. I have the first book on my wish list for a later purchase as I’m interesting in other writing by Mr. Levy, but at the same time I’m not driven to read it right this minute.

My only issue is I feel the end was rather rushed, and the book could have used a better sense of timing for each of the acts so to speak.  However, like I said, it was enjoyable, there weren’t any characters that I despised, and while I wasn’t particularly attached to either of the main characters, I found them to be tolerable.