Well, I think I am finally on the downswing of my fluffy reading binge. Or just not grabbing books from the library (still randomly) that completely tickle my fancy. Yuletide Baby by Deb Kastner bypassed Thanksgiving right into Christmas.
I have a couple loves with this one – the name of the town – Serendipity, Texas; the name of the abandoned baby in the church – Noelle. Who wouldn’t want to live in a town named Serendipity and if you know anything about my baby name choices (Emanuel, Echo, Trinity), well Noelle fits right in on that one.
Now for what I had trouble with – this is another foster parent book. As mentioned previously a baby is abandoned in a church in the Christmas creche. There is a history of abuse with the female main character Heather and both she and the male lead Shawn (part time pastor full time rancher) hold onto guilt for situations they could not control.
There really is not much of a focus on the people in town around the two main characters, possibly because they are really both two wrapped up in their own emotional turmoil. You get a lot of back history in this story on both sides and most of it is tragic. This has caused a strengthening of faith with one and almost a fear of the church and God with the other.
The ending has a rather dramatic climax that includes Heather’s foster children (and myself a tiny bit confused as to where Noelle was during all of this). The ending is lovely and wraps everything up with a Christmas bow. This is a seasonal contemporary Christian romance with a bit of a gritty under belly. In reading the author’s note to the reader I realized there are multiple books set in the town of Serendipity so the potential is there for more faith journeys in small town Texas. I think I simply prefer my light reading a little less angst filled.
Every once in a while I come across a freebie for the Kindle that is absolutely worth stopping and reading. Death Comes to Town by K.J. Emrick was most definitely one of these. This cozy mystery definitely came with a dose of paranormal all based in the small town Misty Hollow. Darcy Sweet has inherited a bookstore: Sweet Read from her great-aunt Millie who haunts her from time to time in a rather friendly, sometimes helpful way.
One of my favourite characters is Smudge the cat. There is the love interest… new cop in town Jon, the ex-husband Jeff… Darcy’s sister (cop) Grace and more. The murder is early in the novel and relatively low stress. The romance is a wee bit predictable but cute and keeps you interested. I do like the characters in the town. I am personally quite in love with the small town characters you find in cozies.
There are 7 books in the Darcy Sweet Cozy Mystery series and I for one will be keeping an eye peeled to read more. While not a serious or deep read, Death Comes to Town is a terrific light read to enjoy in a sunny spot on a quiet afternoon. There is romance, mystery, a touch of divination or precognition AND of course the contemporary small town. I would definitely recommend it for a light read!
A Month at the Shore is a contemporary romance with a dash of suspense. The Author (Antoinette Stockenberg) weaves a wonderful story showing in amazing hindsight how ones childhood shapes the person we become, the thoughts we have and the reactions we experience to future events. A childhood trauma brings forth a (gawky) knight in shining armour for a less than traditional princess who makes her escape from the town that looked down upon her family as quickly as possible.
With the death of a father who is not missed Laura Shore must now, as an adult, return to the town that she ran from to assist her sister and her brother in dealing with the family nursery now in great disrepair. Enter the knight in shining armour now grown – banker Kendall Barclay III. Misunderstandings from childhood have grown into very adult pain. Recent history has not been kind to the Shore family but there is hope.
A Month at the Shore has romance, suspense, a little comedy and a lot of heart. You WANT to see this family succeed, to figure out the mysteries within from their history and their present. Stockenberg has created a world you just want to fall into and immerse yourself in the twists and turns and complications that this family must face. Definitely a quiet afternoon must read!