Book Review: The Little Bookshop of Promises by Debbie Macomber

The Little Bookshop of Promises

So book number 27 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge is The Little Bookshop of Promises by Debbie Macomber.

Somewhere between a car accident and a divorce, Annie Applegate stopped believing in happy endings.

Now, she just wants to disappear. And the tiny town of Promise fits the bill. With its winding streets and melting-pot of residents, it’s the perfect place for Annie to hide away and open the bookshop she always dreamed of owning.

Until her new-found peace and quiet is disturbed by Lucas, a widower who rivals Annie as the most cynical person in town.

With his troubled past and precocious children, Lucas is the last person she should be getting involved with. But when he asks for her help, Annie comes to realise that, maybe, going it alone isn’t the solution after all…‘ (Thanks Amazon!)

Firstly I would like to say that I did not choose this novel because it’s based in a small American town.   In this instance, that was just a by-product! I of course chose this book because it was set in a bookshop – if I can’t have my own bookshop then I shall read about lots of fictional characters who are allowed one!

This novel is not exactly what I expected.  If i’m entirely honest, I may not have picked it up if it hadn’t appeared to be about a bookshop.  That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, I just felt like it was missing something.  I even wish I could tell you what it was missing but I can’t.  I liked Annie a lot, and I really felt for Lucas and his beautiful children.  However I didn’t really feel that this novel was about them.  There were so many characters involved in this novel that I initially thought that it was part of a series, and i’d missed the first couple of books.

I really don’t want to be too negative though – this book was sweet, and I did enjoy all the interlinking stories of the residents of Promise.  Give it a try!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖

Book Review: Mischief in Montana by Pamela Kelley

Mischief in Montana

Book 26 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge is Mischief in Montana by Pamela Kelley.

‘Travis Jones has been in love with Isabella Graham for what seems like forever, but he’s never done anything about it, especially since his best friend Christian was dating her. But now that Christian is married to someone else, Travis is finally ready to make his move.

But Isabella has no idea how Travis feels. She thinks of him as her bossy friend and an attorney that she does a lot of work with. She would like to date Aidan who just moved back to town after living in NYC for many years as a celebrated artist. Aidan seems somewhat interested but is hard to read, making him that much more of a challenge…and has Travis wondering if he even has a chance. But he isn’t going to give up trying.

Add in Missy, a new bubbly blonde realtor that Isabella has to train, and her conniving, fake Southern Belle cousin Bethany, who is newly divorced and has set her eyes on Travis, and Isabella has quite a lot to deal with!’ (Thanks Amazon!)

So I picked this book, not realising that I had already read the first book in the series, Six Months in Montana.  This was a nice surprise, as I had already been introduced to a number of the characters.  As you all know, I enjoy reading a series where I get to learn more about other characters.  If i’m honest Isabella wasn’t at all how I expected her to be – I felt that she had been portrayed very differently in the first novel.  Admittedly, as this is the third book in the series I may have missed some important information about her, but until I read the second book i’ll never know!

I felt that a bits of the storyline were nice and believable (like fancying the wrong man, when the right man is right in front of you – we’ve all done that), and we’ve met people like cousin Bethany who will attempt to get what they want at any cost.  Isabella isn’t weak or stupid though, so don’t think that before picking up this novel.  She’s a strong woman just looking to cement her place in the world.  So the characters tick the boxes.

Setting – I love small-town America romances, so also a positive.  Not much more to say on that one for me!

If you are looking for an easy read romance, where you know how it ends but that’s part of the charm then this is a good book for you.  Let me know what you think!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📗

Book Review: Home Front by Kristin Hannah

Home Front

So book 25 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge is Home Front by Kristin Hannah.

‘From a distance, Michael and Jolen Zarkades seem to have it all: a solid dependable marriage, exciting careers and children they adore. But after twelve blissful years together, the couple has lost their way. They are unhappy and edging towards divorce. Then an unexpected deployment tears their already fragile family apart, sending one of them deep into harm’s way and leaving the other at home, caring for the children and waiting for news. When the worst happens, each must face their darkest fear and fight for the future of their family.’ (Thanks Amazon)

I don’t even know where to start with this novel.  I usually love novels that are based around World War II, so this was a little different for me.  This is a modern novel about a modern couple unexpectedly caught up in a modern war.  Michael and Jolen Zarkades have loved each other throughout their solid marriage, and have created a family of their own.  However grief has caused a wedge to grow between them, and at a defining moment in their marriage they find themselves torn apart as Jolen finds herself on the frontline in Iraq, leaving behind her a broken marriage and two daughters fighting to find their own place in the world without their mother.

This is a story about love and loss: the love between lovers, the love between friends and what it might mean to lose that love.  It’s a story about strength and hope, and about fear and weakness.

I loved this novel – I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t know which route this story would take but I loved it.  It is heart wrenching and tragic, with only the faintest hint of hope shining through, but shine through it did.  Reading a novel based around an event that is so recent in modern history gave a realness to this story.  The characters were deep, flawed and authentic.  I wanted to know their back stories and what caused them to act the way that they did.  I also wanted to know what would happen to them, I wanted to know how their story would end.  I can’t recommend this novel enough – let me know what you thought.

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖 📗


Book Review: Cowboys Don’t Cry byAnne McAllister

Cowboys Don't Cry

Book 24 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge is Cowboys Don’t Cry by Anne McAllister.

‘When Wyoming cowboy Robert Tanner promised to help out the new owner of the Three Bar C, he didn’t expect to have to teach a city girl schoolteacher how to run a ranch. Worse, Maggie MacLeod was a beautiful feisty redhead with flashing eyes and kissable lips — a woman who could tempt a saint.

Tanner was far from a saint. He didn’t do permanent, he didn’t do relationships. The smart thing would be to leave. But a man was only as good as his word. Trouble was, the longer he stayed, the more Maggie got under his skin…’ (Thanks Amazon!)

Cowboys Don’t Cry is the first in the Tanner Brothers series.  The chick lit continues for Chapter and Cake…I enjoy a cowboy romance, and this one fit the bill.  Tanner is a troubled cowboy who has run away from his past to run the Three Bar C ranch.  He loves his job, but he finds himself in a compromising position when Maggie MacLeod leaves the city to take over running the ranch.  Whilst teaching Maggie the ropes, Tanner finds himself falling for her, despite promising himself a long time ago that he would never fall in love again.

This was another easy read that I flew through – a story about two people who meet but cannot be together until they have worked through some issues.  I enjoyed the read, although if I am entirely honest I may not rush to pick up the next in there series.  It was an easy, enjoyable read, but it did not leave me wanting more.

Rating: 📖 📖 📖