Title: Beneath the Shadows
Author: Sara Foster
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: June 2012
Genre: Adult Fiction/Gothic
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
can be found here
Grace comes homes to a note from her husband. He’s taken their baby, Millie, and will be right back. But time passes and Adam does not return. When Grace opens the door to find Millie there, sound asleep in her stroller, she knows something has happened to Adam.
Much later on, after a fruitless search and no leads, Grace returns to the cottage. She tells neighbors it’s to pack it up and do some renovations, but really she’s searching for Adam. What happened to him? He wouldn’t just leave her, and their baby behind. Would he?
I was hoping to read a very creepy Gothic mystery, especially with all of the blatant Rebecca
There is a lot of darkness and mystery, surrounding this town away from civilization and the secrets her neighbors keep. I had a very clear idea of Meredith, Claire, Ben and Annabel. Foster did a great job creating characters that blended into the bleakness of the setting, as well as those who stood out like red flags against the white snow. But the best character in the book was the town. The woods, the cliffs, the general creepiness of this lost wonderland. When Annabel, Grace’s sister, and James, Grace’s friend, arrive for a visit, they are no less than warm breezes traveling into this stark world.
Grace’s search is slow going and while it gently builds momentum, some of the frightening scenes weren’t all that scary to me. Grace’s character is also probably the least interesting of all of them, that is until she’s been up there long enough to think she may be going crazy. While the ending did hold a pretty good twist, it wasn’t shocking from all the hints left like breadcrumbs along the way.
Overall, I enjoyed Beneath the Shadows. But don’t expect to see Mrs. Danvers.
Rating 7 Pretty Cool, Would Recommend
Title: Much Ado About Rogues
Author: Kasey Michaels
Publication Date: March 2012
Genre: Adult Romance
Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Three
Synopsis can be found here.
Jack, the third Blackthorn brother, has his work cut out for him. Him and his friends have been hired by the Crown to find his own mentor, who has disappeared into thin air. Jack must track him down before it’s too late, because Jack isn’t the only person who is after him. And he has only one advantage- his mentor’s daughter, Tess, and Jack’s old flame. Can they find her father in time?
This is my first Kasey Michaels book, the third in a series. I didn’t mind jumping into a series at the third book. There was enough background and a glimpse of past characters that made it seem natural when they appeared. The story was intriguing and fun. Jack’s mentor switched sides during the war, and has always been under the watchful eye of the Crown, in case he got up to his old tricks again. But nothing could prepare them for the crazy plan he has in store for them this time.
I liked Tess a lot. She’s smart, I like that she talks too much and she has a fire in her. There were some twists and turns I wasn’t expecting, which kept me reading well into the night. The plot was interesting and I liked the intrigue, the plans, no one being who they seem.
The only problem I have is Jack and Tess together. While I like Jack’s character, he does come across as a little too much of a jerk. He’s a bit too forceful, too rough and through most of the book, I thought the author was telling me how Jack felt about Tess instead of showing me how Jack felt about Tess. Because Jack’s actions towards Tess were mixed, I didn’t have a clear romance until the end. Yes, there were some hot scenes and panted breaths, but romance? A slow build, but I would have liked to have gotten there a little faster.
Overall, the book is a fun read. I would definitely pick up another Kasey Michaels book in the future.
Rating 6 Good But Wouldn’t Own A Copy
Title: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
Author: Helen Simonson
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: January 2010
Genre: Adult Fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Stand AloneSynopsis can be found here
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand is a charming story that takes place in the English countryside. As the Major finds himself drawn to Mrs. Ali, a widow who owns the local shop, the townspeople and their own families throw them obstacles which each must overcome in order to be together.
The language rolls over me, warm with beautiful descriptions. Every character is brought to life vividly. This is a book about a sleepy town and the prejudices that crawl to the surface. The book is on the slower side, but not in a bad way. I felt the rolling of the English countryside and the quietness of the town which accents nicely the mayhem of the shooting party and the drama that unfolds later in the novel. To its core, it is an incredibly romantic story, about two people finding love but having to cross many barriers to be together.
Major Pettigrew, for all his upright and conservative views, is a kind and gentle man. Simonson makes him sympathetic without being narrow-minded and old. Mrs. Ali on the other hand is like a breeze of fresh air. Their courtship starts slow and it’s amazing to read about these two people whose relationship blossoms so slowly and naturally.
Roger, the major’s son is certainly on the other end of the spectrum. He’s equally parts yuppie young man and aimlessly wandering son. While he isn’t a totally unlikeable character, I found myself cringing at Roger’s comments.
I listened to the audiobook, read by Peter Altschuler, which was breathtakingly beautiful. The words and descriptions of the townspeople of Edgecombe St. Mary are well developed, even to the most minor of characters. And Altschuler does a superb job of reading in Major’s narration, his voice rich.
Review 8 Cookie Worthy, bordering on 9!