Solid Bybee Romance. Bybee is a fairly prolific romance author and IIRC a former President (or whatever the top title was) of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) – or maybe just on their board? High ranking in the “official” gatekeeper of “romance” books, regardless. Point being, she knows her genre well, and she is a solid storyteller. Thus, for romance fans… you get a solid romance book. For the clean/ sweet crowd… eh, there is no “fade to black” here, but it also isn’t erotica either. Solid, middle of the road romance that doesn’t really offer anything new to anyone who may be averse to the genre but willing to try it if there is some extra hook, but also works quite well for those who already enjoy the genre and are looking for a new book to read. Not *quite* Hallmarkie level, but if you generally enjoy that style of romance, you’ll likely enjoy this one as well. And as a series starter, it works well in introducing the whole family and offering a few hints as to where the next book/ series will go in subsequent books. Very much recommended.
What Is Reality? This is a phenomenal book that really brings forth the question: What is reality? In situations where you observe one thing but someone you trust says a completely different thing occurred – who can you trust and why? And what can happen if you trust the wrong person and/ or for the wrong reason? To me, this book worked quite well on all of these fronts.
Reading the other Goodreads reviews (briefly), it seems that there were massive edits in the ARC process. I can’t speak to that. I can tell you that I originally downloaded the book way back in August 2021 – and only finished reading it nearly a full week after publication. (Such is the sheer volume of such reading I do.) I don’t know if the back parts of the story – where apparently the subsequent editing was heaviest – were the edited versions or the original versions. What I *can* speak to is that *I* thoroughly enjoyed whichever edition of the story I read, and I thought this version did in fact work very well indeed.
But read the other reviews too. Read the book. And decide for yourself.
Very much recommended.
Solid Single Dad Meets City Girl Romance. This is the second book in the new O’Sullivan Sisters Series, and as such contains at least minor spoilers from the book before (that are obvious due to it being a romance book, nothing really more than that). And yet, while it does contain the overall series mythos to a certain degree… it doesn’t really do much to advance it other than a surprising moment at the end to rather blatantly set up the next book. Ultimately this one is mostly concerned with telling a standalone (though set in a common world) romance… and that absolutely works here. It has enough length so that growth doesn’t appear sudden, even as it mentions months passing by in single sentences to show time progressing that way as well. In the end, a satisfying romance that does just enough to continue the series. Very much recommended.
Domestic Drama With A Touch Of Loss Lake. This is an engaging, real, and honestly a bit depressing look at the trials and travails of your first marriage being your partner’s second marriage and coming into a situation where they already had a family with another person while you’re still growing and working to establish yourself outside of the marriage as well. In that vein, Mason was startlingly real, including all of the various messy issues that can come up and even showing how finding a place to find support or even just vent can be crucial. The ties to Lake Union stablemate Amber Cowie’s Loss Lake… well, in the title of my review of that book, I proclaimed “Screw You (In The Best Possible Ways), Amber Cowie” – which I still chuckle at and produced a few good laughs by those in the know. And if you do know why I wrote that, know that you’ll be saying the same thing to Ms. Mason for similar (though to be clear, not identical) reasons. And that’s all I’m saying about that. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, I suggest you go read *both* books. 😀
Seriously, this tale was excellently done on a topic and with particulars that I’d never seen done quite this way before, and that is always something I seek out and love to find. Mason executed everything beautifully, and you’ll find yourself constantly reading to see what comes next. You just may want something a bit more bubble gum for your *next* read. 😀 Very much recommended.
For this blog tour, we’re looking at a strong character study of three very different women, perhaps where one of them doesn’t look inward quite enough. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery.
First, here’s what I had to say about the book on Goodreads:
Strong Character Study With Maybe Not Quite Enough Introspection. This is one of those strong women-bonding-as-character-study type books where we get to see three very different women thrown together as a result of a family that blended and then dissolved years ago, and how that blending and dissolution affected all of them and even their common parents (one step father, one stepmother, both of whom combine to be the natural parents of the third sister). As someone who has a cousin that is actually in the exact position of the third sister – both parents having been previously divorced and having kids from those marriages – this was particularly interesting. As with the other Mallery book I’ve read so far, she does excellent work keeping things mostly realistic, and really my only fault here – potentially intentional, as it is still a realistic scenario – is that one of the three sisters perhaps doesn’t look into herself as deeply as the other two do. Ultimately an engaging and satisfying book, this is thus very much recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the publisher information, including book description and buy links! 🙂
Continue reading “#BlogTour: The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery”