Book Review: Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery

Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery

From Goodreads.com:

Michelle Sanderson may appear to be a strong, independent woman, but on the inside, she’s still the wounded girl who fled home years ago. A young army vet, Michelle returns to the quaint Blackberry Island Inn to claim her inheritance and recover from the perils of war. Instead, she finds the owner’s suite occupied by the last person she wants to see.

Carly Williams and Michelle were once inseparable, until a shocking betrayal destroyed their friendship. And now Carly is implicated in the financial disaster lurking behind the inn’s cheerful veneer.

Single mother Carly has weathered rumors, lies and secrets for a lifetime, and is finally starting to move forward with love and life. But if the Blackberry Island Inn goes under, Carly and her daughter will go with it.

To save their livelihoods, Carly and Michelle will undertake a turbulent truce. It’ll take more than a successful season to move beyond their devastating past, but with a little luck and a beautiful summer, they may just rediscover the friendship of a lifetime.

My Thoughts on the Matter:

I read this book today.  Yes, in one day.  Overall I found it a nice, light, quick read.

Ms. Mallery skillfully takes the plot where I wanted it to go, with a few surprises along the way.  This is a book of a woman finding her way back to herself, to who she was but as she’s also been shaped by her life so far, along with those around her who affect and are affected by her journey.  Helping things along are some misconceptions that get cleared up, some moments of characters temporarily letting down their defensive walls, and the book ends up with plenty of happy endings to go around.

I found it interesting (and worth bookmarking to try even) that Ms. Mallery employs a method of including extra value in her book that I first saw used by Debbie Macomber (who has used both cooking and knitting recipes), by putting a couple of recipes that feature prominently in the story into the back of the book.  I may actually make her version of chicken salad and see what I think.

If you’re looking for some very well-done escapism with a deeper meaning if you’re in the frame of mind to see it, I definitely recommend this book.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

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Book Review: Winter Sparrow by Estevan Vega

Winter Sparrow

From Goodreads.com:

“I’ll grow wings all by myself.”

Mary is a young artist about to enter a new chapter in her life. After years of waiting and searching, she has finally found true love. She’s also just discovered that her fiancé Joshua has inherited his father’s rundown countryside mansion. To add to the rising pressure, her wedding day is so close she can practically hear the music. All she has to do is accept what the future holds. Accept…and be happy.

But something’s missing.

As the seasons change, her doubts turn to fears, and her fears become reality. Through struggle and loss, the love she once possessed for Joshua transforms into contempt. When Mary is confronted with a magical escape, the life she has and the life she dreams of will collide, awakening a mysterious change within. But no choice comes without cost, and each one will draw her closer to the truth.

At times both beautiful and haunting, Winter Sparrow dares you to step into a world where eternity is a moment and every breath is a second chance. The fantasy begins….

My Thoughts on the Matter:

What strikes me right away, within the first couple of pages, in fact, is the elegance of the writing, how each sentence is packed with substantial information, drawing me in even before I really know what the book is about, and yet sending my mind spinning, trying to anticipate what’s coming next and excited to keep reading to see if I’m right or if I’ll be surprised.

And unfortunately, right after I jotted this down, things went south for me with this book.  I did finish it but I didn’t like it.

First, I found Mary to be a touch too neurotic, which made me think she and Joshua would not have gotten together in the first place.  Then I found Joshua a little manipulative and controlling.

I did like the middle a bit, where there seemed to be some magic at play.

And then it ended, abruptly, nastily and disjointedly.

I just can’t recommend this one, at all.

This book has been reviewed for the following Reading Challenges (and added to their respective pages).  It is owned by me, was acquired from Amazon.com (Kindle edition), and cost $0.00:

Monthly Key Word Challenge 2013
– 2013 Why Buy the Cow Reading Challenge
– 2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge  (Ghosts)
2013 Eclectic Reader Challenge (Romantic Suspense)

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.