Hello, and welcome back! I hope you're staying cool somehow. I'm trying to plan my week so that I don't have to be out during these dog days of summer--errands first thing in the morning if I must, watering flowers in the evening close to sunset. Which leaves all sorts of indoor activities for during the day--cleaning, laundry, reading! I hope you're able to work in some of that last activity as well.
I do have a rather large stack of August releases waiting for discussion with all of you, not to mention the September books that are arriving already, and I even have a November and January release as well, tucked into the bottom of the stack. Some of these are authors we've read and enjoyed before. Others are new-to-me authors, and I'm looking forward to sharing them all with you.
This week I've got two, so let's get started. The first is Janet Lynnford's
Spellbound Summer (Onyx). You all know from previous reviews that Scotland is one of my very favorite settings, and this one has that in its plus column. But I have to admit, that's about it for me. Angelica Cavendish is a potter, not something suitable for women in 1600s England or Scotland. Geddes MacCallum is fighting to keep his lands, recently won back from his enemy. When he discovers Angelica digging for clay on his property, he's not too pleased. I have to say right off that this book simply didn't grab me. I didn't feel any need to cheer for either of them from the beginning, which tends to make me not wish to continue reading. I did anyway, and felt the same way throughout the rest, as well as annoyed with the clues to two mysteries being used to beat me over the head. I wanted to like this book, simply because of its setting, but I couldn't. Perhaps it's simply this writer's voice that disagreed with me, but I didn't care if they solved their mysteries or got what they both thought they wanted in the beginning. Very disappointing. I'm giving this one two of Cupid's five arrows.
The other book I have to share this week is
Always in My Heart by Catherine Anderson (Signet). Ellie Grant and her ex-husband Tucker have a huge dilemma: their two boys have run off into the Oregon wilds, demanding that their parents reunite. The only trouble is, Ellie has no desire to be back with the man who blames her for the death of their oldest son. I enjoyed this book much more than her last, with its realistic, complex characters. Their problems are those any of us could be facing daily, and they're characters you'll want to root for (while hoping you never have to face the things they're dealing with). The story has its light moments, but the emotional portions are the ones you'll remember best after you've finished the book. This one's earned four arrows.
Until next week, happy reading!