Another month down, another book round-up. I think I like doing this much more than individual reviews! Sure, less blog content, but this isn’t a blog all about books. And if I wrote reviews for every single thing I read, we would have at least a couple reviews per week.
In February, I read 6 books. Still not a huge amount for me, but better than January. Let’s get right into it shall we.
Unsplash // James Tarbotton
Found in You – Laurelin Paige
Synopsis (From GoodReads): Alayna Withers has only had one kind of relationship: the kind that makes her obsessive and stalker-crazy. Now that Hudson Pierce has let her into his heart, she’s determined to break down the remaining walls between them so they can build a foundation that’s based on more than just amazing sex. Except Hudson’s not the only one with secrets.
With their pasts pulling them into a web of unfounded mistrust, Alayna turns to the one person who knows Hudson the best—Celia, the woman he almost married. Hoping for insight from someone who understands all sides of the story, Alayna forms a bond with Celia that goes too far—revealing things about Hudson that could end their love for good.
This is the first relationship where Alayna hasn’t spiraled out of control. And she might lose Hudson anyway…
Verdict: I first introduced this trilogy in my January Book Round-Up. And since I can’t put books down, no matter how much I don’t like it, I continued to read it. The second book continued to disappoint. I was bored. And I couldn’t wait to finish it, purely because it meant I could read the third one and be done with this series. Seriously, if you do decide to read this, I hope you find it more enjoyable than I did.
Forever with You – Laurelin Paige
Synopsis (From GoodReads): Alayna Withers relationship with Hudson Pierce has tested both her and his ability to trust. They decide that the only way they can move forward together is with open doors and transparency. It won’t be easy for the scarred lovers, but they’re committed to each other more now than ever. Alayna, in particular, has grown through their trials, and has emerged more confident and faithful to the man she loves.
But while the pair is focused on the future, their past shows up again to threaten their fragile bond. Promises that were made are broken, and Alayna learns that Hudson still has very potent secrets—secrets that will tear them both apart. As much as she feels for him, her ability to forgive and forget is tested beyond her limits.
Even though she found the only man who could fix her, a forever with Hudson seems more and more out of reach.
Verdict: The trilogy ended better than I thought it would. I didn’t mind this one and found it to be tolerable to read. Would I recommend this series based on the final book? No. I still don’t recommend it. But if you want to give it a chance, feel free.
Saddled – Susan Richards
Synopsis (from GoodReads): One day, at the age of thirty-one, Susan Richards realized that she was an alcoholic. She wrote it down in her journal, struck by the fact that it had taken nine years of waking up hung-over to name her illness. What had changed?
Susan had a new horse, a spirited Morgan named Georgia, and, as she says: “It had something to do with Georgia. It had something to do with making a commitment as enormous as caring for a horse that might live as my companion for the next forty years. It had something to do with love.” Every day begins with a morning ride.
This is a memoir about the power of animals to carry us through the toughest times of our lives—about the importance of constancy, the beauty of quiet, steadfast love, the way loving a good (and sometimes bad!) animal can keep you going. It’s a wonderful story for Susan’s (and Georgia’s) fans, and for anyone who has ever loved an animal enough to keep on living.
Verdict: Despite loving horses, I don’t read many horse-related books. However, when I saw this one, I knew I needed to read it. I know the healing power of a bond with a horse. I could relate to Susan. Not in terms of abuse and alcoholism, but with that unbreakable bond. I really enjoyed this book, and whether you’ve been around horses or not, you will too. It’s more about their relationship than about horses. And if you’re an animal lover, you’ll relate.
The Wedding Dress – Rachel Hauck
Synopsis (From GoodReads): Four brides. One Dress.
A tale of faith, redemption, and timeless love.
Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift . . . and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can’t she find the perfect dress…or feel certain she should marry Tim?
Then Charlotte discovers a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new-shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Who welded the lock shut and tucked the dog tags in that little sachet? Who left it in the basement for a ten-year-old girl? And what about the mysterious man in the purple vest who insists the dress had been “redeemed.”
Verdict: This was my book club pick for Sarah Ohm’s Blogger Book Club. You can read my review here.
Three Graves Full – Jamie Mason
Synopsis (From GoodReads):
“There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard.”
But it could always be worse. . . .
More than a year ago, mild-mannered Jason Getty killed a man he wished he’d never met. Then he planted the problem a little too close to home. But just as he’s learning to live with the undeniable reality of what he’s done, police unearth two bodies on his property—neither of which is the one Jason buried.
Jason races to stay ahead of the consequences of his crime and while chaos reigns on his lawn, his sanity unravels, snagged on the agendas of a colorful cast of strangers. A jilted woman searches for her lost fiancé, a fringe-dweller runs from a past that’s quickly gaining on him, and a couple of earnest local detectives piece it together with the help of a volunteer police dog — all of them in the wake and shadow of a dead man who had it coming. As the action unfolds, each discovers that knowing more than one side of the story doesn’t necessarily rule out a deadly margin of error.
Jamie Mason’s irrepressible debut is a macabre, darkly humorous tale with the thoughtful beauty of a literary novel, the tense pacing of a thriller, and a clever twist of suspense.
Verdict: Meh. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t awful. Parts of it were really good and grabbed me. Other parts were boring and I started to lose interest. The story itself was good. I liked the characters and their interactions. It’s a book I wouldn’t rave about, but wouldn’t tell you not to read it.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? – Maria Semple
Synopsis (from GoodReads): Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.
Verdict: I really enjoyed this book. It was fun, quirky, but still had a really good story. It’s a different look at mental illness and how it can effect a person and a family. It was quick and easy read, and I was happy to end February with it.
Well, there you have it; the February Book Round Up! On to March, and spring!
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