Butternut Summer by Mary McNear (Audiobook)

October 17th, 2014

Butternut-SummerButternut Summer by Mary McNear was just what I was expecting. A lovely, heartwarming story of a charming little town with a whole host of characters that you won’t soon forget. Butternut Summer is the second in the Butternut Lake Trilogy with the first being Up at Butternut Lake which I read last year and loved. Part of a trilogy this book does stand on its own although the benefit of reading the first book before this one would be familiarizing yourself with the characters a little more and getting a bit of back story. Both books are so wonderful and just perfect for cozying up with now that the weather is cooling off.

Daisy is home from college for the summer and nothing could make her mother Caroline happier. Daisy will spend the summer working with her mom in their diner called Pearl’s and Caroline is really looking forward to spending time with her daughter. Caroline is in for a surprise though because unknown to her Daisy has been meeting with her father for more than a year. The same father that walked out on Daisy and her mother when Daisy was just a baby. Of course Caroline is still very bitter towards Jack but has always kept that from Daisy and can understand that Daisy wants to have a relationship with her father but that doesn’t mean that Caroline has to as well. However it seems that Jack is thinking exactly that and he doesn’t seem to want to give up too easily in his determination to win Caroline back.

Daisy, on her way to meet her parents, ends up having trouble with her truck and has to stop at the mechanics. She ends up meeting Will a boy she went to school with but he was considered a bad boy then so he wasn’t anyone Daisy associated with. Even now the two have nothing in common. Daisy is on her way back to college at the end of the summer and Will is going nowhere really working at the garage. Secretly though Will remembers the fierce crush he had on Daisy in school and it seems that attraction is still there and now he’s brave enough to act on it. Will it be a summer of love for the two?

I loved this story of love and second chances. I love that the author dealt with some real issues in this novel like alcoholism and the effects that it has on a family. I like that forgiveness and moving on plays a big role as well. Caroline was one of my favorite characters from the first book and it was great getting to know her so much better. I love that she got a second chance at life and love. I thought Daisy was a great character too. For a young woman and especially a young woman in the throes of her first love she still maintained a sensible outlook on things. The author also does a wonderful job of making the reader fall in love with Butternut and it sure made this reader wish she lived somewhere so beautiful.  I was lucky enough to snag the audiobook from my local library and it was wonderful.  It is narrated by Carrington Macduffie who I’ve not listened to before but would again.  She really did a great job of bringing these characters and this story to life for me.

I can’t wait to see whose story will be told in Moonlight on Butternut Lake which is the third and final book in the trilogy. Butternut Summer is perfect for fans of women’s fiction and romances. Highly recommended!

 

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Source:  Digital review copy was provided by the publisher however audiobook is from my local library.  No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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The Betrayed by Heather Graham & Giveaway (US/Canada)

October 13th, 2014

betrayedThe Betrayed by Heather Graham is part of a series called the Krewe of Hunters and another winner for me!  This series is terrific because they all stand alone with their only commonality being paranormal  investigators from the Krewe of Hunters.  What I love most about this series is the supernatural element, the romance, and the mystery to be solved.  Be prepared to spare a few hours when you start this book because it was one that hooked me from the beginning and I dreaded having to put it down to do something else because I was just too anxious to find out the ‘who done it’ part of the story.

Aiden is a new member to the Krewe of Hunters.  Even though he is valiantly trying to ignore the fact that he can communicate with the dead it is in fact a reality for him.  After being visited in a dream by his old friend Richard Highsmith he is alerted the very next day to the man’s disappearance and sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate.  Upon arriving he meets Maureen, nicknamed Mo, and her dog Rollo and together they are called in on searches for missing people but Mo has another more hidden talent – she can see and communicate with the dead.  They find Richard, unfortunately not alive, and even worse she finds Richard’s head displayed on the statue of the legendary Headless Horseman.  Who would do something so grotesque?  Aiden and Mo become desperate in their search for the killer as whoever it is escalates the game and even Aiden and Mo find themselves in danger.  Who is responsible for the disappearances and killings?  Will Aiden and Mo find the killer before it’s too  late?

The characters of Aiden and Mo are great and Rollo even better.  I love books that have dogs in them and of course connected to Rollo instantly.  Their romance was sweet although Aiden needed a bit of a kick in the butt to let Mo know how he was feeling.  The weaving of history within the story is one of the things I enjoy most about this series of Graham’s.  I love getting to learn a bit while enjoying a good book.  Graham’s ability to immerse the reader in the setting she creates is pretty awesome as well.  Her vivid descriptions of everything just seem to lure the reader in more and more into the story she’s telling.

This is the perfect book for Halloween reading with it’s ghosts, graveyards, and haunted mausoleums.  I listened to the audiobook which I think just adds to the creepiness a person feels.  It’s narrated by Luke Daniels who I really enjoy listening to.  He has the perfect voice for a book like this and really manages to bring the story alive in your mind to the point where you feel like you’re in the middle of a movie set. Just fantastic!

Highly recommended for those who enjoy paranormal mysteries with a touch of romance!

 

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GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS

1 paperback copy up for grabs!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date October 28/14

Good luck!

(comments are welcome but do not count as an entry)

 

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Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher however audiobook is personal copy.  No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.

The Night Visitor by Dianne Emley & Rafflecopter Giveaway

September 11th, 2014

nightI don’t imagine it’s any surprise now to anyone who reads my blog that I really enjoy paranormal stories so of course The Night Visitor by Dianne Emley was right up my alley!  From the first page which starts with a bang to the last page I was hooked.  I love a good mystery/thriller and the added paranormal elements really heightened my enjoyment of this novel.

Starting with a chilling murder we fast forward five years and right into the life of Rory.  Rory, whose sister was murdered that fateful night and her fiancee Junior who was left in a coma and deemed responsible for that murder.  Oh gossip abounds that there was an affair and all sorts of things but Rory doesn’t believe for a second that Junior killed her sister.  Either way Rory has moved on with her life and is busy running a cosmetics company and is engaged to a wonderful man.  Yet in one instance the past comes rushing back with a vengeance when Junior’s brother attempts to murder Rory in an act of revenge.

Then there are the visions that Rory is having.  At first she isn’t sure what they mean but it quickly becomes apparent to her that she is seeing scenes from the murder.  But how?  Soon enough she realizes that it is Junior – Junior who is in a coma – is showing her what happened that night.  She can’t keep Junior out of her mind and even more terrifying her body starts to exhibit the same things that Junior is experiencing and it isn’t long before everyone thinks she is losing her mind.  She knows that she has no choice but to solve the mystery that shrouds that night – to clear Junior’s name.  As she delves deeper and deeper into her search it also leads her to learning more about her own family.  Secrets and lies that threaten to shatter her world.  Will Rory find out the real truth behind that night before it’s too late?

The Night Visitor is a well written novel with an intriguing plot and enough twists and turns that entice and keep the reader guessing.  I didn’t figure it out until the end which is unusual for me but made me like the book even more.  Recommended for those who enjoy murder mysteries, thrillers, and of course the paranormal! Yours truly enjoyed it a great deal!

 

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GIVEAWAY: There is a tour wide Rafflecopter giveaway with this tour for a $25. gift card to the eBook Retailer of your choice and a copy of THE NIGHT VISITOR by Dianne Emley.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

 

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Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher. No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.

The Agincourt Bride by Joanna Hickson

September 5th, 2014

agincourtThe Agincourt Bride by Joanna Hickson highlights the many reasons I love historical fiction. I was swept away to another time and place and into the life of Catherine de Valois who was the daughter of Charles IV, King of France, and Isabeau of Bavaria, the Queen of France. This novel is rich in historical detail and begins in the early 1400’s at the start of Catherine’s life up until she marries King Henry V, hence becoming the Queen of England. I listened to the audio which is narrated by Catherine Harvey who does an amazing job. I listened every chance I got and in truth breezed through the almost seventeen hours of this audio in no time and loved every minute.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Mette who after losing her own child became nurse to Catherine. At first Mette doesn’t warm to Catherine but it isn’t long before the child has her whole heart and Mette will do anything for her. As unlikely as one would think the royal children were treated horribly by their governess which continued until finally Queen Isabeau showed up and decided that finally her children would be of some use to her in forming alliances. It is then that Catherine finally meets her father who was already considered mad and of course unfit to rule at all. As the story evolves we follow Catherine as she is used to pull in King Henry V yet at the same time suffers at the hands of the Duke of Burgundy and her mother. Ultimately though she is married to King Henry V and that is where this story ends. Lucky enough for us readers there is a sequel in The Tudor Bride coming soon!

Putting court intrigue and politics aside what I loved most about this novel other than the historical aspect was the way it was told through Mette. As a reader I appreciated the details of court life, the look into a royal household, and even into the everyday life of the common folk like Mette. Being told this way the reader is able to form a connection with Catherine because she seems so real and vulnerable in the circumstances. As always the treatment of women in these times horrifies me. They had no say over anything and being royal really gave no benefit as they were used as pawns and subjected to giving in to whatever was wanted for them. The author very vividly portrays the brutality of the time period and along with her descriptiveness on the overall happenings of the time I felt as though I had taken a step back in time.

I really enjoyed The Agincourt Bride and can’t wait to get my hands on The Tudor Bride. Highly recommended for lovers of historical fiction!

 

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Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&N, IndieBound

 

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Source: Audiobook from my personal library.  No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.
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