#BookReview: The Innocent Angels by Alison Belsham

Another (Mostly) Solid Entry In Series. This was a solid entry in the series for the most part, though perhaps it did have a touch of pacing issues. And yet I’ve struggled for nearly a week now to come up with words to put “on paper” about my experience with the book. Perhaps that is more on me though, as I really do think I’m reaching the limits of my own “hyper reading” abilities as new/ more pressing interests and needs come to bear in my life.

The book itself was intriguing in so many ways. The manner of murder, the placement, the investigation… and the personal, for the team. Specifically, I actually particularly enjoyed how an injury Lexi suffers at the beginning of the tale is worked throughout this story and isn’t just some random detail to make her “more relatable” – although it certainly does, to anyone who has ever trained for and ran a half marathon themselves. (Though to be clear, I managed to run 2 of them – separated by several months – completely injury free, back in my own running days. But getting injured during training or racing is actually a very common thing that I simply managed to be lucky enough to avoid.)

There were enough callbacks to the earlier books here to link it in series without being a spoilerfest for those books, so readers new to the series actually *could* enter it here – but I still recommend going back to Book 1 and entering the series there. On the other end, there wasn’t any real sense of continuation *needed* by the reader, so while I hope this series continues, it also wouldn’t feel incomplete if it ended as a trilogy. Still, here’s hoping we get many more books here, as I really do like the writing style and characterizations.

Very much recommended.

This review of The Innocent Angels by Alison Belsham was originally written on November 15, 2023.

Featured New Release Of The Week: This Place Of Wonder by Barbara O’Neal

For the fifth straight year, Barbara O’Neal‘s annual release is the Featured New Release on this blog. This tradition began in 2018 with The Art Of Inheriting Secrets, which was the very *first* FNR post, and continues this week with This Place Of Wonder.

Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:

O’Neal Delivers Yet Another Solid Family Drama. O’Neal’s solid 2018 book The Art of Inheriting Secrets was the very first Featured New Release on my blog, and I have kept up that tradition every year since – and 2022 is no exception there. Her 2019 book When We Believed In Mermaids continues to be one of my most “liked” reviews on Goodreads to this day, and continues to garner attention seemingly every few days.

All that to note that I have a rich if recent history with O’Neal’s work, and this is yet another truly solid and sensual tale of family secrets and drama. In this particular work, we get four women struggling with the sudden death of one man that all were connected to – his ex-wife and mom of his step-daughter and step-mother to his daughter, his most recent girlfriend, and both of the daughters in question, though we only “hear” from the two elder ladies + his biological daughter.

While this tale “hits” a few solid blows emotionally, it doesn’t really land the haymakers that Mermaids did – this is more in line with most of her other books, including Secrets, on that level. This noted, it is ultimately a very satisfying tale that has several great moments not always seen in novels, including the daughter’s actions in the prologue and the elder ladies’ blend of pragmatism and romanticism. Several issues from alcoholism to rape to child abuse are touched on, so be prepared for that if one needs to be. Overall truly an excellent tale, and yet another wonderful read from O’Neal. Very much recommended.

#BlogTour: The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross

For this blog tour we’re looking at a strong book filled with strongly developed characters. For this blog tour we’re looking at The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross.

Solid Women’s Fiction With Historical Elements. This is one of those books where the description perfectly sets up what you’re actually getting here – a tale of siblings finding each other after their father passes away and sets in motion a plan for the three of them to meet. Along the way, they discover their still-living grandmother and get to hear the stories of her activities in WWII – including meeting and falling in love with their grandfather. On these elements, this is a solidly written women’s fiction tale with historical fiction *elements* – but I personally would not market this as a “historical fiction” title. So if you’re a reader that *only* reads historical fiction… I’d still say this one is worthy of your time, just know that you aren’t getting a true tale of that genre here. Indeed, along the story of one of the sisters in particular (and to a lesser extent another of them), this *could* be marketed as a romance – though the women’s fiction side is still the dominant side of the tale. The titular Inheritance? Well, that’s actually the best part of the tale… when you realize what Ross intends it as. Overall a strong book filled with strongly developed characters among is main and primary supporting cast, and a very well told story. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt followed by the usual publisher details – book description, author bio, social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross”