Solid Women’s Fiction, Too Reliant On COVID, Unnecessary Element In Epilogue. This is the penultimate entry in the Sail Away “series” where several authors have come together to craft their own unique stories all centered around cruising, with each taking a different bent to it. The cruise Sands uses here is more of a luxury yacht / WindStar type ship sailing the Mediterranean, and the cruising elements here are absolutely breathtaking – particularly for anyone who is even remotely familiar (even from other pop culture sources/ YouTube) with the waters and coasts of the region, from Spain to France to Italy.
Something like a solid 70% of this tale is more women’s fiction based, with a woman trying to rediscover her passion after years of COVID burnout, and through this section, it absolutely works as a women’s fiction tale. The star deduction is because it *is* so heavily focused on COVID and related topics, and any such talk for me is an automatic star deduction because I DO NOT WANT TO READ ABOUT COVID. (This noted, it *is* in the description that this will be discussed to some extent or another, but in my defense here… I pre-ordered this entire series months before publication, just on the strength of the authors and my love of cruising generally.)
The romance here, such as it is, feels a bit tacked on and rushed, even in a shorter sub-200 page novel/ longer novella. It works within the story being told to that point, just don’t expect the entire tale here to be the romance. 🙂 Note that no other element of this tale feels so rushed as this particular element.
And the epilogue. It works. It is what one would expect from a women’s fiction/ romance. But why oh why does seemingly every romance author out there (not *all* of them, but *many*) feel the need to tack in a baby/ pregnancy in these epilogues? Completely unnecessary, and leaves a bitter aftertaste to the tale for those who are childfree (such as myself) or childless (others I know). Yes, there is a difference between the two – childfree largely are happy not having children, childless want them and don’t have them. (A touch of a simplification, but one that works for purposes of *brief* explanation.) Something to look at for authors who may not be aware that these particular groups exist – and thus the inclusion of the pregnancy here in the epilogue wasn’t star-deduction worthy so much as discussion-within-the-review worthy.
Still, overall this book really was quite good, and a solid entry into a fun series. Very much recommended.
This review of Lost At Sea by Patricia Sands was originally written on February 24, 2023.
For this blog tour we’re looking at another solid entry in a lengthening police procedural series… that happens to have one of the most explosive final few pages of any book in its series to date. For this blog tour we’re looking at Their Resting Place by B.R. Spangler.
Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:
Another Solid Entry In Series. This is one of those police procedural, deep in series, books where you don’t *have* to read earlier books first – enough of the backstory is explained to be able to follow here – but if you’re a “NO SPOILERS EVER!!!!” type… read the series from Book 1. Seriously, there are references and explanations all the way back that far in this one. For the rest of us, this is a great entry into the series, yet again another with a particularly grisly murder mechanism and with equally solid relationship based drama. Spangler does well to keep every book in the series well grounded on both sides of the formula, and it continues to work well for him. This one in particular is another where there is a surprise reveal at the end such that you’re going to want the next book *immediately* – I know I already do. Very much recommended.
After the jump, the “publisher details”, including book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Their Resting Place by B.R. Spangler”
Solid Series Introduction. This is an introductory book to a very loosely coupled set of tales of middle aged women going on cruises for various reasons, written by a swath of women’s fiction authors. Here, we get the prologue – essentially the “inciting incident”, to use technical terms – for each of the eight actual tales in the series. And each one completely works, in its own ways. I truly want to see how each of these stories play out, and I’m glad that they’ll all release within a couple of months of each other, essentially one every couple of weeks or so, as that makes it quite easy indeed to finish one right as the next one releases. 😀 I’ve read a few of these authors before (Bratt, Keim, Bromke) and *know* how good storytellers these ladies are. I’m trusting that the company they keep is equally strong, and based on the prologues in this collection I’m expecting that my trust is well placed indeed. And yet the loosely coupled nature of this collection means that if you read this particular book and find that one or another tale doesn’t quite strike you… you lose nothing in skipping that particular book. So get this one, read it – and get ready for some great tales on the high seas. Very much recommended.
This review of Welcome Aboard by Jessie Newton, Tammy L. Grace, Ev Bishop, Kay Bratt, Violet Howe, Judith Keim, Patricia Sands, and Elizabeth Bromke was originally written on December 11, 2022.
This week we’re looking at a remarkable book about healing and finding your way, even at your very lowest point. This week we’re looking at Beach Heart by Grace Greene.
Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:
The Chair Comes Too! Yes, the title of this review is a reference to a minor yet great element of this particular tale, one that I can relate to a great deal. In this case, the chair in question is where our lead was sitting when she found out some momentous news, at a point where she was at her lowest. In my own case, my grandmother had a bench on her front porch for years that she or I would sit on while we talked as she smoked her cigarettes – and that very bench now sits in my house. For both of us, these furniture pieces come to serve as a reminder of both devastation and healing, of fond memories and the moments they were ripped away – but ultimately, of a strength neither of us knew at the time that we possessed. And yes, this book also serves as a great introduction to Greene’s style for those who have never read her books before as well as a familiar voice telling a new story with some wrinkles we don’t always see even from Greene herself. Truly an outstanding book, one great to read on a beach somewhere if you get a chance – or anywhere else if you don’t. Very much recommened.