Sometimes I don’t feel like writing a full review for whatever reason, either because life is busy and I don’t have time, or because a book didn’t stir me enough. Sometimes, it’s because a book was so good that I just don’t have anything to say beyond that I loved it! Frequently, I’m just wayyy behind on reviews and am trying to catch up. For whatever reason, these are books that only have a few paragraphs of thoughts from me.
The Indiscretions of Archie by P.G. Wodehouse – 3.5*
This was another early Wodehouse that I hadn’t read before, and while enjoyable (as all his books are), this wasn’t particularly one of my favorites. This particular book was created when Wodehouse combined several short stories he had written that all centered around Archie, so while the end result is cohesive, it still feels rather episodic in nature. Archie is a very likable character who starts off on the wrong foot with his father-in-law and continues to accidentally do random things that keep their relationship strained (at least on the father-in-law’s side – Archie is invariably good-humored), which I think was part of the reason that I didn’t enjoy this book as much – most of the humor was based on Archie trying to do something nice and then it all backfiring and ending up with the father-in-law dealing with the disaster. In the end, everyone ends up happy together, but that also felt a little contrived. Still, there were plenty of humorous moments in this one, and while it wasn’t my favorite Wodehouse, it was still an enjoyable read.
Holiday Havoc by Terri Reed & Stephanie Newton – 3.5*
This book is actually two short stories, one by each author. Both were similarly unremarkable, with some serious instalove, but entertaining nonetheless. It’s another book off the Love Inspired pile, which is really whittling down since I took most of them to Goodwill without actually reading them haha
The Villa by Nora Roberts – 3.5*
Speaking of boxes of books, someone also gave me a box of Nora Roberts books at random a while back, so I’ve been sifting through those as well. The Villa was definitely more novel than romance, a sweeping drama centered around two families who both own wineries. I wasn’t completely sure it was going to be “my kind” of book, but I found myself drawn in almost against my will. While I personally felt like this book could have done with more humor and less sex, it was still a very engaging story. Despite the fact that there were a lot of characters, they felt like individuals. The main female lead was a little too “strong independent woman” type for me (read: basically obnoxious but gets away with because she’s a woman), but I still ended up liking her. This book followed one year of time, and the changing of the seasons was a big part of the story and really added to the overall epic feel. Not a book I’ll ever reread, but surprisingly interesting for a one-time go.
Carousel of Hearts by Mary Jo Putney -3.5*
This is yet another book from a box of books – a while ago I purchased a box of regency romances on eBay because the box included several Heyer titles I didn’t own. Now I’m working my way through the non-Heyer titles, all of which, prior to this one, ended up being DNFs. Carousel was an entertaining little read that was a bit strong on coincidence but was enjoyable nonetheless. I really liked all four characters in this story, although they did need a stern talking-to. It would honestly have been a 4*, except the ending got completely out of hand. Still, this one ended up being a fun read.
The Legend of Luke by Brian Jacques – 4*
The next installment in the Redwall series, Luke is really two stories in one. The book begins with Martin and a few companions heading north to see if they can find out what happened to Martin’s father, who left on a quest when Martin was a child. (As we learned in Martin the Warrior, Martin and the rest of his tribe were kidnapped and enslaved while Luke was gone.) The first part of the book recounts Martin’s journey, which concludes when Martin finds several animals who knew Luke and know what happened. The second part of the book is the story of Luke, pursuing vengeance on the high seas. The third, and final, part of the book is Martin’s journey back to Redwall, which is still being constructed at this time (the Martin part of the story takes place chronologically after the events in Mossflower).
I actually enjoyed this book, which felt more focused than a lot of the other installments in this series. It was also nice to have a story where the shrews aren’t just disposable extras! And, thankfully, there weren’t that many scenes with the youngsters being obnoxious, which has been a theme in the last few books. Overall, I’m still enjoying and planning to finish the series, but it’s working well to read them one at a time a bit spread out.