2021 Winter Games Reader Challenge

The final reviews – I managed twenty-one books in the month long FB challenge, some have been posted here individually.

Beautiful Boy – Kathi Goldwyn – four stars

Beautiful Boy is one of those stories that capture your heart and runs away with it.  Goldwyn has created characters that resonate and inspire the reader to keep reading and to root for their ultimately winning.

A dysfunctional family, an escape to a “better place”, but the one left behind that still owns your heart.  There are strength and determination in this story, Goldwyn masterfully weaves danger and disillusionment and heartbreak into a tapestry that gives a fitting end to Sam’s story.  Definitely recommend!

*****

Your Words – Louise Belanger – five stars

I’m not usually a reader of poetry . . . but I found Belanger’s work easy to read and enjoy.  Some of these really spoke to me, highlighting parts of my own life and feelings, and isn’t that what we look for when reading anything?

I’m hard-pressed to name a favourite, so I won’t, but I know there are pieces here that I will come back to again and again.

*****

Texas My Texas – Caryl McAdoo – four stars

Book Two in the Cross Timbers Family Saga . . . Texas My Texas does well as a standalone too.  a sweeping story of new beginnings, McAdoo doesn’t sugar-coat the hardships endured by these characters.  And yet, through disappointment and loss, their spirit and faith are such that they persevere and even overcome.

A good read, with well-drawn characters, Texas My Texas felt like a glimpse of history in my hands.

*****

Lucy the Clarinetist – Judy Ann Davis – five stars

A Musical Christmas Series, Book Three

Take a mystery, add a touch of romance, and set it around Christmas time and you have the makings of a great cozy read!  Third in the series, Lucy the Clarinetist stands alone perfectly.  We’re introduced to a young lady in a boring dead end job, but with a dream.  We meet her “adoring-from-afar” friend Andre, and the excitement starts. 

Andre has bought an old barn that he hopes to convert to a theatre.  That barn harbours a hidden world renowned clarinet that must be found; and of course, Lucy is enticed by the mystery.

Davis has created some interesting and fun characters that pull you into their story and keep you reading.  You want to know if they get their happy ending.  A good story, that I’m sure you’ll enjoy, as I did.

*****

Igniting Love – Sara Ohlin – five stars

Rescue Me Series, Book Two

I have always loved a starting over story and Igniting Love hits that twice when both our heroine and hero are starting again and healing from old wounds.

Katie is a young widow, uncertain that a new love is a good idea, especially with three little girls.  Leo is an artist, recently moved back to the area, nursing a betrayed heart.  Though the sparks are undeniable, are they ready to place their trust in someone else’s hands?

Ohlin draws her characters with great sympathy and understanding; you want them to overcome the past and move forward.

I enjoyed Igniting Love, I think you will as well.

*****

Round of Applause – Marilyn Barr – four stars

Strawberry Shifters, Book Two

I used to read Kelley Armstrong – a Canadian writer of paranormal romance – and immensely enjoyed her work, though I haven’t read any of her for a long while.  This is why I was surprised that while reading Applause, I felt it very much in the Armstrong style.  A conflict, some romance, and a rather unconventional resolution.

Barr has made her characters amiable and endearing and intriguing enough to entice me to read Bear With Me though Round of Applause reads perfectly well as a stand-alone.  But I do love me a series!

An excellent paranormal read that I’m sure you’ll also enjoy.

*****

Fatal Obsession – Casi McLean – five stars

Her Silent Shadow Box Set

A psychological thriller that pulls you along on its trajectory and doesn’t loosen its grip till it’s done with you.  McLean packs Fatal Obsession with revenge, intriguing characters, and fast-paced action; you will not want to miss this rare treat!  AND there’s a dog in the story!

*****

Spring Upon a Crime – M L Erdahl – four stars

Seattle Wilderness Mysteries, Book Two

Spring Upon a Crime is Book Two in the series but is easily read as a stand-alone.  This episode finds Crystal leading a tour into the Olympic Rain Forest, where along with flora and fauna, they find a dead body and Crystal’s friend Roxie holding the murder weapon.

And so the investigation starts.  But there just might be too many suspects for this one to be an easy case.  Erdahl’s characters are quirky and fun, making this cozy mystery a great read.  I enjoyed Spring; I’m looking forward to more of Crystal’s adventures.

*****

[I was fortunate to receive a copy of the book from the authors of these books, through the 2021 Winter Games Reader Challenge, with no obligation to review.  The opinions expressed herein are given freely and are entirely my own.]

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