Thursday, August 27, 2020

Book Review: One By One, by Ruth Ware

One by One, by Ruth Ware book cover and review
I've really enjoyed some of Ruth Ware's previous books, and even though One By One took a while to get going, it did not disappoint.

I've never read And Then There Were None, but my impression is that One By One is the same type of story. There are ten characters alone in a ski chalet. Two of the people are the employees who are there to cook and clean and generally take care of the guests. The other eight are part of a group from a high tech software company. Well, seven of them are current employees. One is a former employee who doesn't seem to quite fit in. A former personal assistant, she doesn't exactly run in the same circles as the employees.

Turns out they are on a retreat, but also voting on whether to accept a buyout deal. The employees are evenly divided, and it turns out the ex personal assistant is the deciding vote.

Then there's an avalanche that strands them all -- and people start dying.

The first 30% of the book is introduction of characters and setting, and even after all that, I still got some of the characters confused. But it didn't really matter. The narrators were all well defined and interesting.

I didn't really figure out what was going on (or who the "bad guy" was), and that was great. There were a few possibilities, and one of my suspects was indeed the culprit. The story kept me on my toes, until a pretty spectacular climax.

If you enjoy the "stranded people being killed off" trope, One By One is worth your time.

Published by Gallery/Scout Press, September 8, 2020
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
384  pages

Rating: 4/5

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Monday, August 10, 2020

Book Review: Beach Read, by Emily Henry @EmilyHenryWrite

Beach Read, by Emily Henry book cover and review
Another feel-good romance to keep up my reading mojo. Beach Read was delightful.

January writes best selling romance novels, but when her father dies and she discovers her parents' relationship wasn't at all the perfect romance she thought, she loses all her urge to write. But she's got a deadline, so she goes to her father's house on the coast of Lake Michigan to try to get some writing done.

Her neighbor gives her the most unfriendly, downright nasty, welcome, so she decides to just ignore him. Soon she discovers he is none other than Gus Everett, her college nemesis, who now is also a best-selling author.

These two are totally opposite, and well, you know the saying--opposites attract. And they do. The romance is a slow burn, and you can't wait for them to finally get together, but there are so many obstacles in their way. Lots of baggage on both sides. It starts when they decide they will trade genres--January will write literary fiction and Gus will write romance and the first one to sell their book will win. Some fun and dramatic situations ensue.

The sex is hot, but not too graphic, and the emotional baggage is kind of mature stuff. Older teens who are romance fans will enjoy Beach Read.

The "happily ever after" is expected, and it doesn't disappoint. The characters are well rounded, and there are a couple of side characters that add dimension. I fell hard for Beach Read. If you are in the mood for a feel-good romance that has enough substance to keep it from being to sappy, I would highly recommend it. I may need to keep up this romance trend...

Published by Berkley May 19, 2020
eARC obtained from NetGalley
384 pages

Rating: 4.5/5

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Monday, August 3, 2020

Book Review: The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

I think a warmhearted romantic story is just what I needed. I really enjoyed The Lost and Found Bookshop.

Natalie has a great job working her way up the ladder and making lots of money. Just as she had planned. Her world gets turned upside down when her mother is killed in a tragic accident, and Natalie ends up back in San Francisco, taking care of her grandfather who has early-stage dementia. She's also trying to figure out what to do with her mother's bookstore that is deeply in debt.

The Lost and Found Bookstore keeps your interest with several different aspects of the story. There turns out to be two potential love interests. As Natalie explores the bookstore, she finds hidden treasures. As she deals with her grief over losing her mother, the relationship between Natalie and her grandfather is explored. And of course, there are books!

The Lost and Found Bookstore just made me feel warm all over. I started out reading very slowly, for days on end, making little progress. (This seems to be my reading pattern lately.) But after about the halfway point, I finished it very quickly.

If you are interested in a warm fuzzy story about heartache, loss, and a happily-ever-after ending, you should check out The Lost and Found Bookstore.

Published by William Morrow, July 7, 2020
eARC obtained from NetGalley
368 pages

Rating: 4/5

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