I took a break from posting my Goodreads reviews last month because I just couldn’t seem to concentrate on anything. I’m still struggling in certain areas, like cleaning/organizing and writing, but my reading seems to be back on track, and I’ve got several awesome titles for you today.
Rescuing Mara’s Father by D. M. Burton
Diane was my guest author last month. While Diane has published several books in the romance, suspense, and mystery genres, this is her first middle grade book. I loved Mara, the young but resourceful heroine. She’s a typical teenager, in that she’s convinced her home life is awful. When her father renegs on his promise to let her attend the Tech Institute and learn to fly starships, she runs away, determined to get to the Institute before her fifteenth birthday. But soon after she leaves, her father is kidnapped by the Queen’s forces, and her only thought is to rescue him. Her two friends Jako and Lukus join in her mission. With the help of Basco, a spaceport mechanic and mentor, they manage to escape the planet and find the prison where her father is kept. Though the book was written for younger audiences, this is a fast-paced story that will keep you engaged – and guessing – right until the end!
Grin and Barrett by Ruth J. Hartman
This is an older title by our friend Ruth, published by Turquoise Morning Press. I happened to have a paperback copy on my bookshelf, so I decided to read it one night when insomnia kept me up. Dr. Remmie Grin has an established practice that she worked hard to build. Things are going well until Dr. Victor Barrett not only moves into the office next door and not only draws some of her patients away, but he keeps pestering her to sell her practice to him! Of course, she refuses. And of course, he persists. And yes, they fall in love. It’s a cute story, but I had trouble following some of the characters’ reasoning at times, and they got into some situations where their antics seemed childish. Victor is apparently good looking, but I didn’t find anything in his character that would explain Remmie’s attraction to him. Anyway, like all good romances, things end with a happily-ever-after.
Her Favorite Risk by Julia Keanini
Heathcliff Family Romances, Book 4
I’d read the first few books in this series about the Heathcliff family of hotel magnates. This one is about Lorenzo, who runs the family hotel on Maui. He’s been burned in love, so when a new employee arrives, he fights his attraction. But it turns out this new housekeeper has what he needs to bring his hotel back into the black and he’s forced to not only work with her, but share an office space with her. Aria isn’t looking for love either. She’s on Maui because she’s running away from an abusive relationship, and her new employer has too much in common with her ex-husband. But she can’t help feeling he might be different. As usual, Julia offers a well-written book with believable characters and an engaging plot. I found a few more typos than I usually see in her work, but it’s still a good read.
Her Forever Love by Julia Keanini
Heathcliff Family Romances, Book 5
Gabriel Heathcliff is a native New Yorker, but he now runs the kitchens at the family owned resort on Maui. He’s been in love with Lei, a lovely dancer at the resort, since the first time he saw her, but she considers him a friend. And since they’re such good friends, neither of them wants the relationship to go any farther. So they both fight the longings they both feel. They bond over problems their family members face due to alcoholism. The issue of spousal abuse is touched on in this story. I enjoyed the glimpse into the Hawaiian culture and language. The story arc was well-drawn and kept me reading.
Her Perfect Mistake by Julia Keanini
Heathcliff Family Romances, Book 6
I had just finished reading Book 5 when Book 6 arrived in my inbox. This segment of the Heathcliff Family is about a cousin to the previous two heroes but unlike the others he’s not directly involved with the family business. Luca is pursuing a career as a surfer, only showing up at the Heathcliff Resort on Maui when he’s needed. But his mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s has him re-evaluating his life choices. He attends a support group meeting and is paired with a lovely girl named Ally, who’s dealing with watching her father’s decline. Luca has been hurt by deceit and lies, so Ally’s afraid to reveal to him who she really is and what she’s done. Again, this is a well-told story and I’m eager to read Book 7!
The Counterfeit by Kathy L Wheeler
Mail Order Bride, Book One
Kathy was my guest author on this blog two weeks ago. I hadn’t read Western Romance in a long time, but this lovely story reminded me of why I enjoyed it. Amelia is an intelligent, resourceful heroine, and she does what’s necessary to survive while keeping her sense of right and wrong. Will is a wonderful hero, coming to the rescue when necessary, yet appreciative of the talents of others. The story is full of surprises and kept me reading. There are several fascinating characters, so I’m glad there’s a sequel. There were several errors, but not enough to detract from the story. Looking forward to Book Two!
What are you reading?