I really enjoy Nora Roberts’ books especially when stories from the same universe or timeline are packaged together. The Stanislaski Brothers follow the two men in the Stanislaski family. I remember reading Taming Natasha long ago and while I do not remember much of the book, I do remember that I enjoyed it immensely. This book was no different. I loved getting another look at the Stanislaskis. This family is colorful like all of Nora Roberts’ families however each and every individual has their own personality which is fleshed out fully in each novel. The Stanislaski Brothers is incredibly well-written with clear chemistry between both pairings. The plot is pretty predictable but I am reading these books for comfort and not mind-boggling plot twists. If you are looking for a romance read, I always suggest Nora Roberts because her style of writing is like that of a friend reciting a story. Just maybe, give the entire series a try for this kooky family
Meddling Daniel MacGregor has grown tired of waiting for his grand-daughters to marry and give him great-grandbabies. So he cooks up a plot and finds nice healthy males from “nice healthy stock” (his words not mine) for all three of them. It’s hard not to admire Daniel and his schemes. He carries them off SO WELL! I loved that each character in this book was so different and you could really see how their background and family shaped them. I have been following this series from the very beginning and it was so good to see characters from the earlier books pop up again. I flew through these stories and really enjoyed myself. If you’re interested in a light read I definitely recommend this book.
When Diana Blade receives an invite from her sister-in-law to meet her brother after several years, she accepts it albeit reluctantly. But while she is trying to reconcile the man her brother is with the boy she knew growing up, she gets to know his best friend and brother-in-law, Caine MacGregor. Caine’s reputation precedes him- both personally and professionally. Diana has heard all about Caine and his conquests and has no desire to be another one of them. But when Caine decides to expand his practice, he picks Diana to be his partner. It isn’t long before the two have to start juggle their professional relationship with whatever is brewing between them romantically. I loved having another look at the MacGregor family. Daniel is hilarious as always with his constant demands of marriage and grandchildren. I don’t remember Caine that well from the first book but it was great seeing the family again and getting to know the characters of future books. If you’re looking for a quick and easy, I definitely recommend this book.
Kate meets an old friend of her father and learns about her father’s shady past. Still reeling from this discovery, Kate is even more shocked when she is fired for suspected embezzlement. She has put her whole life into her career and now she is left out in the cold. Kate decides to join Margo and Laura at their store, “Pretenses.” But as her stress levels slowly rise with everything happening around her, so does her attraction to Byron, the Templeton’s new employee. Kate drove me crazy in this novel. While I loved her relationship with Byron it drove me crazy that she just accepted the embezzlement charges. From the get-go it was clear who was behind everything but Kate was busy with her life (no Kate, you worked hard for this career, dammit) and unable to see it. Besides that small but annoying itch, I enjoyed this book. I love seeing the Templetons together. I almost feel jealous of their beautiful home and luxurious lifestyle (Actually I probably do). The embezzlement plot is probably my least favorite part of this novel but I really did like seeing how Byron and Kate came together.
Margo, Kate and Laura grew up in Templeton House together. The three girls were as close as sisters. The daughter of the Templeton’s housekeeper, Margo always wanted more. So as soon as she graduated she took the first opportunity to leave their small town to become a model. She had fame, success and money. Until it all came crashing down with a scandal. Forced to return home and try to make something of her life, Margo decides to open a store and sell the last pieces of her pampered life. I’m not sure why I picked up this book because there isn’t much that appealed to me in terms of plot. I guess it was just an impulse because of the pretty butterfly on the cover? Surprisingly I loved this book. There’s a legend, close-knit friends and family. This is a feel-good novel though and though which I really enjoyed. The relationship between Kate, Laura and Margo was beautiful to watch especially seeing how they were so different in personalities. If you’re looking for a romance book with a lot of heart, I strongly recommend you start this series.
“Red Lily” is the final book in the “In The Garden” trilogy and oh how it breaks my heart to see these characters go (which is odd coz I barely remembered them in “Black Rose” but I guess I’ve gotten attached to them). “Red Lily” follows Harper and Hayley as they try to start a relationship together. The two of them have had feelings for each other for a while which they’ve been pushing back. However a short while after their first kiss, the Harper Bride has a temper tantrum and her violent behaviour starts to escalate. She then starts possessing poor Hayley who is no longer sure what is her and what is the Harper Bride. I found it incredibly sickeningly that the Harper Bride would go after Harper as he is technically her family (insert vomit emoji here) however I was also moved by how she was clearly losing her sanity. This was a great read that I devoured in one sitting (although it WAS lockdown so it could have been that too). I loved watching the entire family come together and I was glad to finally see the Harper Bride put to rest.
I loved this book so so so so so much! This follows the last two MacKade brothers- the respectable Sherfiff Devin MacKade who has had a crush on Cassie Connor since forever and Shane MacKade who is determined to be the last MacKade bachelor until he meets a gorgeous academic who changes his mind. Devin wants Cassie but knows that she is still fragile after her divorce from her abusive, scumbag husband. But when rumors start up about the possibility of parole, the MacKades rally to ensure that Cassie remains protected.
Shane MacKade reluctantly opens his home to Rebecca Knight who is studying paranormal activity. He is attracted to her but refuses to commit as he is the last remaining MacKade bachelor, a title he wears well.
These two stories were my favorite from the series. It was sweet and romantic and I couldn’t read fast enough. The only thing that irritated me was that my copy was in tatters (it was secondhand) and pages kept falling out as I read it. Not a fun experience and it definitely took away from the book but I love these pairings and these plotlines.
When career-orientated Serena MacGregor refuses to find herself a husband, her father, Daniel MacGregor steps in and sends gambler, Justin Blade to the cruise ship where she is working. Daniel is confused that Justin and Serena will suit and he is right. Sparks fly as soon as the two of them meet. However when his scheme is discovered, Serena is reluctant to go along with his plans. I had mixed feelings about this book as Justin is originally a forceful ass to Serena. He is unable to take no for an answer which made me put the book down the first time I read it. However I loved the description of life on a cruise ship and exotic travel locations so I picked it up again, prepared to ignore Justin’s stubborn ways but he eventually won me over. I thought this was a good read and I can’t wait to read more about the colourful MacGregor family.
I think this book was a good read but just not a very realistic one. Both stories deal with the supernatural and of course love is the answer for these two couples. However while Nora Roberts normally uses these elements flawlessly, I found this novel difficult to follow.
The first story, “Spellbound” tells of a couple who have been separated through death and are now brought together. But while Bryna accepts their destiny together (since she has always known Calin is the one for her), Calin is far more disbelieving (which is ridiculous considering he had a childhood of the supernatural). However the story betwen Bryna and Calin is sweet and well-developed despite it’s relatively short length. I really enjoyed this story.
The second story, “Ever After” was just a really painful read. There was too much of insta-love and I did not find any of it believable. The characters seemed weak and I found the entire story to be over-done.
I warn anyone considering this book to proceed with caution.
Saturday was my monthly SPCA/bookstore splurge day. As usual I got a great combination of books I really wanted. My overall haul felt smaller than usual but that was probably for the best since I am rapidly running out of book space.
I’ve already read (and enjoyed immensely) “Whiskey Beach” and “Key of Valour” by Nora Roberts (in fact I think I might already own a copy of “Key of Valour”. I also immediately finished “Spellbound” as soon as I started it last night. I can’t wait to read “Ever After”. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Nora Roberts’ writing. The rest of the books are all unread. I’ve been wanting to read “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” ever since it was referenced in a Her Campus article once. It seems like a really interesting read.
Bargain Books Haul:
My visit to Bargain Books was pretty sad since I owned all of the YA books on sale (and I was certainly not buying YA at regular price because I’m too cheap for that). However as soon as I walked in, I found a copy of “Leave Your Mark” and grabbed it. Since it was part of the sale books, I needed two more books to get it at the discount price. It was a struggle to find those books but then I found Dumplin!!! IN HARDCOVER! Obviously I had to have it. And despite my best efforts I couldn’t find a third book so I settled for Melissa Delport’s “Rainfall”. I don’t really like that book since it made me cry like a baby and I am still not over it. I am so not over it that I reread the last chapter and started crying again before putting the book on my shelf without covering it in plastic. That book doesn’t deserve to be protected. I would tear it up myself if it wasn’t for the fact that I bought it with my own money. Stupid evil book.
What did your latest book haul look like? I’d love to know below!