Pick of the Day

Sparks Fly by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Take every love-at-first-sight movie; add to that every romantic movie of falling head-over-heels in love with someone in a ...

London Calling by Clare Lydon






⭐⭐☆



Reviewing a Clare Lydon book is always a little confounding because here’s the thing: we thoroughly enjoy her writing. We love her very Brit humour. But we aren’t big fans of her characters. And the romance is *shrug*. But the writing rocks. So, therein lies the being confounded part.

Jess Sharp, a Brit in Australia, finds her girlfriend, Karen, cheating on her with her roommate. Heartbroken, she winds up her life in Oz to return to London and start her life again. While out for drinks with Kate, her sister-in-law’s sister with whom she has become friends, Jess meets Lucy. Sadly, Lucy is just leaving for Oz for a few weeks. They plan to meet when Lucy is back and Jess continues her process of getting over Karen and getting on with her life. After a few weeks of staying with her parents, Jess becomes roomies with Kate and takes a job in a café around the corner. She is in a fairly happy space with BFF Julia trying her best to hook Jess up. One of the potential candidates for romance is Ange, who is hot, a lawyer and interested – but Jess hates her voice. That’s right. A rejection because of voice. Well, Lucy returns, Jess and Lucy bump into each other and then start dating…etc. etc.

We didn’t think Jess was quite likeable. In fact, of all the characters peopling her life, she seems to be the least giving and yet finds all these people ready to be there for her and do things for her. Just plain lucky, we guess. Even the way she handles Lucy’s hurt (when Lucy finds Jess kissing Ange) is less than likeable or stellar. Yet, Lucy forgives her.  

The way to really enjoy Lydon’s books is that they should be read less for the content, definitely not for the romance – but only for the humour. This ticks the humour box totally. 

⭐⭐☆

  


Secrets in a Small Town by Nicole Stiling





⭐⭐⭐☆



This is a read which is so surprisingly easy that it feels much shorter than it is.

Savannah Castillo is an ice queen town manager with definite control issues. Deputy Chief Mackenzie Blake is easy going but ends up having frequent public disagreements with Savannah frequently. Savannah starts getting anonymous gift which turn creepy but she is unwilling to report it to the police because that would involve Micki. However, Savannah’s assistant, Chole, takes it on herself to get the police involved without telling Savannah. But the very first time Micki does a ‘surreptitious’ stakeout of Savannah’s home, Savannah catches her and actually thinks Micki is the one stalking her. But then the hunt for the real stalker starts and Micki moves in with Savannah to make sure nothing happens to Savannah or her cute baby, El.

We liked both the characters, but Savannah just a wee bit more. We also liked that Savannah was a bisexual but there was no major song and dance about it. We enjoyed the relationship, but wish there was more simmering attraction before the first touch. Would’ve made it more believable.

On the whole, this is an easy, enjoyable read. 

⭐⭐⭐☆


Aftermath (Jericho #2) by Ann McMan






⭐⭐☆



We loved – absolutely LOVED – Jericho and went into this one with high hopes. But though the writing is strong and all the characters are still there, we were more than a little disappointed. What we expected was a new romance set in the town with the characters from the first book being present in supporting roles. What we got instead was just life going on with the same characters.

Set eighteen months after the first book, Syd and Maddie are living together with the little boy, Henry. A storm comes along and whips the town and then everyone is getting back on their feet.

We found that McMan tried too hard to be funny in this one – but didn’t quite pull it off with the same élan. Syd and Maddie remain super-awesome and super-hot together, which is about the best thing in the book. Maddie’s best friend David becomes quite intolerable in this book. Roma-Jean and her discovering her sexuality should’ve been the main story in the book. That would’ve been a much better read.

Sadly, we just cannot recommend this book, but since the writer really knows the craft, it is not a complete write-off either. 

⭐⭐☆


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