Could I be through my November reviews by the end of March??
Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts – 4*
This is another of Roberts’s books where she covers a long time period with the characters, with over half of the book in the “past” before it catches up to the “present.” But I always end up liking her characters so much that I’m happy to spend time with them and watch how they grow and what has made them into the people they are today. Her books are a little spicier than I prefer, but her fantastic storytelling makes me more than willing to skim the parts I don’t care to read. I thoroughly enjoyed this one with a combination of magicians, jewel thieves, and blackmail.
Full Moon by P.G. Wodehouse – 4.5*
I honestly love Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle books so much. This was the typical madcap romp involving secret identities, disguises, over-confident uncles, terrifying aunts, star-crossed lovers, absent-minded peers, and a pig who has twice won the Fat Pigs Contest at the Shropshire Agricultural Show. Silly and ridiculous, naturally, but all good fun with loads of hilarious one-liners and twists. Truly, no author so consistently can raise my spirits like Wodehouse.
Beach Lane by Sherryl Woods – 3.5*
Another mediocre but “fine” installment of the Chesapeake Shores series. Something about this series became a sort of stubborn insistence that I was going to finish reading them all despite not really caring that much about what was happening. This was a decent story about Susie and Mack, who have been “not dating” for quite some time. But just when they are finally thinking about taking the next step, Mack loses his job and Susie is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I actually thought these aspects of the story were handled really well, especially Susie’s struggle with realizing that even if she survived cancer, she would never be able to have her own children, something she had always wanted. But, as usual, the drama lasted a little too long.
The First Eagle by Tony Hillerman – 4*
Speaking of series that I’ve been reading forever, I also read the next installment of the Leaphorn and Chee series. I really just have thoroughly enjoyed this series. Both Leaphorn and Chee are engaging characters and I love how their different ways of looking at life and problems complement each other. This one did a great job weaving together two separate mysteries that end up being connected. As always, the beliefs of the various tribes of the region are handled so well, adding depth and interest to the story without bogging it down.
Emma the Matchmaker by Rachel John – 4*
Emma is probably my least favorite of Jane Austen’s novels, so I’m always slightly leery of retellings of it. Although, on the other hand, it’s not like I have anything to lose since I already don’t like anyone haha Written by the same author as Engaging Mr. Darcy, I was hoping to see some cross characters, since these are listed as part of a series, but the series part is a misnomer – they’re just all Austen retellings, otherwise there is zero connection between the books, which was disappointing. But I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. The characters, including Emma, are actually done well, and the various connections and disagreements between them made sense in the updated context. As with Engaging, this book felt a little too short – there were definitely things that could have been fleshed out a lot more – but still enjoyable.