Monday, August 14, 2017

Summer on East End: Double Eclipse by Melissa De La Cruz

Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review: In Summer on the East End: Double Eclipse,' A Young Adult Novel by Melissa De La Cruz.

The Witches of East End” series keeps growing with the introduction of twin witches, Mardi and Molly Overbrook. In Summer on the East End: Double Eclipse by Melissa De La Cruz, we are introduced to this new duo, as they begin their vacation in the home of their Aunt Ingrid. With their father being Thor, the god of Thunder, they have a great deal of responsibility to just staying out of trouble.

Trouble though has a penchant of following those who live among the gods and goddesses, and they are no different. When they learn a secret from their past, they begin to question everything they know about their family. Along with the secret also comes a strong and mysterious prophecy, one that seems to drag them deeper than imagined into both the past and future.

Mardi’s boyfriend Tyr, is the god of war, while Molly is still on her own. Yet things begin to change as danger begins to follow them, putting both themselves and their family at risk. Then a hot new guy comes to town and suddenly everything heats up even further, as both girls find they will need to use their magic as danger mounts, putting them and all they love at risk.

The vacation finds them back to their mischievous ways, and takes them in directions they never imagined.

De La Cruz stirs up the imagination with her newest work on the Witches of East End and her new and emerging young witches. She builds a story of romance, suspense and danger, setting a sizzle to the atmosphere.

Her characters are very likable, each with distinct personalities, and feelings. As with most twins they squabble and fight but allow no one to stand between them. This is a great addition to her series and another terrific read for your young adult.

If you are looking for the right book for your young reader, or if you enjoy a romantic work with danger and fun attached this is just the right book for your library. De La Cruz gives us another solid hit for her Witches of East End cast and ensemble.

Rating 4/5

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review: 'The Idea of You ,' a Romance by Robinne Lee.

Love comes where it will and not always with permission. In The Idea of You by Robinne Lee, Solene Marchand finds her life just where she wants it, she is friends with her ex-husband, she has a wonderful daughter, and her art gallery is thriving. When she takes her daughter Isabelle to her favorite boy band, she feels like the journey will make them even closer. That is very important to her since the divorce.

What she does not expect is the attraction she feels for one of the members of the band. Her daughter is smitten, as is usual, but Solene is in her late thirties, she is above such antics. Yet the attraction seems to go both ways. Intrigued and concerned, she embarks on a series of trysts, telling herself that it is just chemistry yet the situation grows into a genuine relationship, one that helps her to gain a sense of herself that she had thought gone forever.

Yet trouble is ever close as rumors and the madness of the media, begin to shine a light on her journey. She begins to realize how her own chance at happiness can now imperil all that she holds dear. How will her daughter take such a perceived betrayal, when she herself is attracted to members of the band? Can Solene take a chance at happiness if it could ruin her relationship with her daughter, and friends?

Lee gives us a sexy romantic story of a May, December relationship with all the excitement and peril involved. Her characters are spontaneous and bold, but also with a zest for life that is both refreshing and fun. She twists in guilt and remorse, making it hard to separate the woman from the mother, and she finds a way to keep a slight level of friction that is just a bit edgy. You find yourself rooting for both mom and child, hoping for it all to come out right.

If you enjoy a good romance filled with life and passion, you will find this a great read. Lee keeps you on edge wondering which direction Solene will take. This is a work that takes you into the romance of a woman who wants more, yet must find a way to ease the effect on her own family and friends.

This would be a clever work for both a reading or book club, with a great deal of discussion and debate tied in.

Rating 3/5

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb

Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review: 'The End of Temperance Dare,' A Novel of Suspense by Wendy Webb. 

In The End Of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb, we are introduced to Eleanor Harper. She has become the director of Cliffside Manor, an artist’s retreat. Beginning as a tuberculosis sanatorium in the early years, it has made a name as a retreat for artists. Eleanor knows of the Manor after having done a story on it, as a journalist and crime reporter. When the position became available, she was interested hoping to find a more peaceful job, and very surprised at being chosen.

From the very first night things get off to a strange start; the prior director who had planned on retiring, commits suicide. With such an inauspicious beginning Eleanor finds herself feeling a sense of doom. With her background though she is unwilling to give up the job and moves forward to welcome her first group of artists.

As she meets the group assigned for her first retreat, she begins to wonder what has drawn them all together. She feels that each person was chosen personally by the prior director, but she cannot determine why. There is something eerie and frightful about the building, and some of the rooms. As strange things begin to happen, weird and frightening forces seem to be moving in, putting all the inhabitants at risk. Can she find a way to fight and save them all? Who is Temperance Dare, and why is she out for vengeance.

Webb takes us into the darkness of a secret that has lasted for years. She chooses an old sanatorium, a place where many with tuberculosis end up dying, and develops a story that oozes doom and retribution. She creates a sense of terror from the very beginning with the death of the previous director.

She creates her characters with various strengths and flaws, making is hard to determine just exactly is happening, and she creates a connection between each of them, and someone or something to do with the early years of the sanatorium. The story creates an eerie feeling of impending danger, and keeps you reading with the lights on.

If you enjoy tales of suspense and horror, you will find this a clever work. Webb takes you into the dark places and holds you spellbound with terror.

This would be a terrific book for a reading group

Rating 4/5

Friday, August 11, 2017

Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review: 'Everything We Keep,' A Mystery by Kerry Lonsdale.

In Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale, we meet Aimee, a young woman whose wedding day has turned into a tragedy of untold proportions. What was to be the beginning of a life with her fiancé James, has become his funeral, turning her life upside down.

As she grieves and tries to come to terms with her loss, she finds an opportunity to open her own coffee shop, something that she had always wanted to do. Somehow things fall into place, and she finds that she can move forward, if she keeps herself busy. Hiring on Ian has helped and her friend Nadia keeps her grounded.

When a mysterious young woman reaches out to her with a secret, she is alarmed. This young woman tells her that James is not dead, but alive and unable to remember who he is. Can she believe this news or could there be some truth to it?

Getting a clue that sets her heart racing, she books a trip to Mexico, which is where James is supposed to be living. She must follow her heart and the clues. What if he is alive, she must know for sure and help him if she can. Little does she know that she will set a cavalcade of danger in motion that could put her and the life she has made, in danger. Is James alive, and can she find a way to reach the answers to his disappearance without risking it all?

Lonsdale gives us a mystery filled with characters both charming and sometimes naïve. You are both captivated and concerned as the story moves through its paces, as Aimee tries to find the clues and then helping bring James back to himself. The story is interesting and fast paced. It keeps you entertained while you find yourself choosing the characters you are looking to champion.

If you like romance and mystery you will find this an interesting read. It radiates the mystery itself as well as mysterious characters who show periodically through the story, keeping you guessing as to what part they play.

This would be an enjoyable book for a book club or reading group with numerous actions and decisions that would create great dialogue.

Rating 3/4