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robinb

robinb

Joined October 2016

LibraryThing member RWBrock

Fiction fan in Alabama, ❤️ hist. romance/mystery/suspense, urban fantasy. GR: www.goodreads.com/rwbrock ; Litsy Birthday fairy :)
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robinb
Junebug | Alice Mead
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REPOST for @LitsyBirthdays :

June is approaching fast, and soon we'll be celebrating these lovely Littens on their birthdays.

If you'd like to get some #BirthdayLove and fairy dust from the #BirthdayFairies sprinkled over your special day, send your birthday and Litsy handle to litsybirthdays@gmail.com. Please remember, you can only sign up for yourself.

@LitsyEvents Could you please include? Thank you. 😊

squirrelbrain 🎉🎉🎉 12h
SilversReviews Happy Birthday to my fellow June Birthday folks. 🎂 12h
Ddzmini Happy birthday, everyone 🎉🎊🎁🎈🎂🥳📖 8h
robinb @SilversReviews looking forward to celebrating you! 🥳 1h
32 likes4 comments
review
robinb
Flying Solo: A Novel | Linda Holmes
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Mehso-so

This author‘s debut, Evvie Drake Starts Over (set in the same small Maine town), was a winner for me. Unfortunately this second effort, not so much. Laurie, a single Seattle journalist on the cusp of 40, is tasked with returning to her hometown to clean out her beloved late aunt‘s house. She reconnects with her bf June and first love Nick who is now a librarian. She discovers a hidden wooden duck decoy, and they set out to solve the mystery 🔻

robinb of why it meant so much to her carefree, adventurous aunt. I liked the witty banter between characters, and the writing itself was fine. I felt the duck “mystery” was too overdone and not that interesting when resolved. And while I did enjoy Nick and June as characters, I did not like Laurie. I appreciate that Holmes was making a point through Laurie that women do not have to marry and birth babies to be “normal”, fulfilled and happy. 👏 🔻 2d
robinb However, Laurie came across as selfish and too rigid in her lifestyle. While I wasn‘t necessarily expecting her to change, she also experienced no growth arc at all which was rather a letdown for me. I saw her as a bit of a user, and I had a hard time with her wishy-washiness in her relationship (both past and present) with Nick. I rate this as an OK read but not really up to par for me. 3/5⭐️ 2d
48 likes1 stack add2 comments
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robinb
Veil of Winter | Melanie Dickerson
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Mehso-so

Full disclosure, I haven‘t read the previous 2 books in this YA Christian romance series, but I didn‘t feel lost. Set in 14th-century (near France), Princess Elyce has been raised to be proper, obedient and basically emotionless by her father and aunt. However she rebels when her father arranges a political marriage and forms an alliance with a neighboring king to use her people for dangerous forced labor. Two English knights vow to help her 🔻

robinb and thus begins their adventure.
This has fairytale vibes (Sleeping Beauty) centering around a sweet romance. Being a Christian myself, I loved the aspect of relying on and having faith in God to overcome evil and triumph.
My caveat here is the simplicity of the writing. Yes, it is geared toward teens, but even so, I felt it lacked a spark of engagement and excitement that a more detailed, sophisticated narrative might have conveyed. 🔻
3d
robinb Overall, I commend the author for the faith-based content and a sweet love story for Elyce and Gerard. 3.5/5⭐️ 3d
45 likes2 comments
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robinb
The Woman in the Library | Sulari Gentill
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Pickpick

In this contemporary mystery-within-a-mystery, four strangers who happen to be sitting at the same table in the Boston Public Library, bond and become unlikely friends following a murder in a nearby room. The only catch? One of them is the killer. The “within” plot is that this murder mystery is being written in real-time by Hannah (in Australia) who is receiving unsolicited advice/counsel on this story (and all things Boston/American) from an 🔻

robinb obsessive stalker fan. Confused yet?! 🤣😳 While I did enjoy this to a certain extent and found the idea intriguing, it was entirely too long (however, I was surprised to find that it‘s actually just under 300 pages 🤷🏻‍♀️). Better editing needed. Parts were rambling and needless, but otherwise I found it OK…not outstanding but OK. 3.5/5⭐️ (edited) 5d
mdm139 Is this book epistolary? 5d
robinb @mdm139 only the letters from/pertaining to the stalker, which are basically at the end of each chapter of the library mystery being written. Have I confused you yet?! 🤪🤣 This is one of those that‘s a bit hard to explain. 5d
CarolynM I‘m a Sulari Gentill fan. Her last stand-alone was convoluted too but I loved it. I‘m looking forward to this one. 5d
robinb @CarolynM Yes, I did enjoy this one (very interesting premise, which she pulled from real life), but it really did need some reigning in (a bit too much detail perhaps?). Would be interested in reading more from her. Will look forward to hearing what you think. 😊 (edited) 4d
60 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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robinb
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Mehso-so

Three sisters are charged with meeting at their family‘s summer cottage in Maine one last time following their mother‘s death and then selling it. There are secrets galore, lies galore and deceitful behavior galore (disguised as well-meaning). I‘m far from a saint, but these characters were some of the most self-centered, unsympathetic that I‘ve read. Did not care for any of the bunch, and the story (told in various voices) was all over the 🔻

robinb place and not cohesive to me. With over-the-top scenarios as well as a too neatly tied up conclusion, this just wasn‘t enjoyable for me. The writing was fine, and the overall message was clear and relevant, but it wasn‘t enough to give it much of a thumbs up. Probably an #unpopularopinion. 3/5⭐️ (edited) 6d
52 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
robinb
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Pickpick

First in a new historical mystery series set in 1923 London. Saffron is a new research assistant in the male-dominated botany department at University College. While attending a party to celebrate an upcoming Amazon research trip for some of her colleagues, the wife of a professor is poisoned. Her mentor is accused and arrested. With the help of a fellow researcher, she must uncover the real culprit. This was rather simplistic, but I‘d be 🔻

robinb willing to try the next one. 3.5/5⭐️ (edited) 1w
48 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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robinb
Meant to Be | Emily Giffin
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Mehso-so

I actually wanted to like this one more than I did (which kinda happened with the other book I‘ve read from her). This is a story about a wealthy man living in the shadows of his famous American-royalty father who never feels like he measures up and a woman from the other side of the tracks who was raised in an abusive home but manages to rise above in the fashion industry. The plot is fine (and very loosely based on real-life 🔻

robinb people/events), but both leads irritated and frustrated me at times. These were both adults (he was 30+), but they seemed more immature in their actions/motivations. The heroine made a left-field decision toward the end that threw me, and our hero felt too entitled and spoiled to me. 🔻 (edited) 1w
robinb I really ended up feeling no empathy for them…and I need that personally. I‘m sure mine will probably be an #unpopularopinion. 3/5⭐️ 1w
47 likes2 comments
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robinb
It Begins In Betrayal | Iona Whishaw
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Pickpick

Number 4 in the Lane Winslow series (a favorite), this is yet another wonderful addition. There‘s a lot going on in this one (actually four different story arcs!), but don‘t let that scare you. It‘s not confusing as really two are related and one of the other two is a past story to help explain a current one. I won‘t go into all the details (it would take awhile LOL), but what I love about Winslow‘s writing is her character building and her 🔻

robinb engrossing plots. Lane, in some ways, is a mysterious heroine, but as her backstory is peeled back, at her heart she is courageous, spunky and totally someone I‘d like to call a friend. 5/5⭐️
This was my May #BookSpin.
(edited) 1w
42 likes1 comment
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robinb
Hello (from Here) | Chandler Baker, Wesley King
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Pickpick

I LOVED this story. A YA story set during the pandemic following two teenaged strangers (Max and Jonah) who meet at a grocery store (Max works as a personal shopper) and begin a lockdown friendship. They navigate all of the trials of being a 17-year-old during an unprecedented time (online classes, missed once-in-lifetime opportunities, social interactions, etc.). Jonah is from a fairly affluent family who along with his older sister lost 🔻

robinb their mother two years before (and now has a stepmom). He feels guilty over her death and suffers panic attacks. Max works hard to help her mom financially (her dad is not in the picture) and dreams of going to college. These characters are so endearing and so relatable and just so cheer-worthy…I fell in love with both of them. And the supporting cast is first-rate as well. 🔻 1w
robinb It‘s written with wry wit (so funny!) and true empathetic insights and just felt so real to me. The leads maneuver through frightening uncertainty (both of the present and the future) and while leaning on each other (From Here), they wonder if a relationship built during a lockdown can possibly survive a return to (hopefully) normalcy. So good. Highly recommend. 5/5⭐️ And that cover is spot-on for the story. #coverlove My May #DoubleBookSpin. (edited) 1w
44 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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robinb
A Rip Through Time: A Novel | Kelley Armstrong
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Pickpick

First in a new time-travel mystery series, homicide detective Mallory is attacked and nearly killed in an Edinburgh alley while jogging. At the exact same time, Catriona, a Victorian-era housemaid is attacked in the same alley in the same method. Mallory wakes up to find herself in Catriona‘s body in the 1869 home of a funeral director/medical examiner who is helping to investigate a similar case. 🔻

robinb Mallory, along with a few other characters, works to unmask her modern-day serial killer who is also inhabiting an 1869 person…but who and how do they stop him? This reminded me A LOT of a favorite time-travel series, the Kendra Donovan series (and that bothers me a bit). 🔻 (edited) 1w
robinb It was really too far-fetched, and I prefer the Donovan series, but I‘d be willing to read the next as it was well-written and (accepting the suspension of disbelief) fairly interesting. 4/5⭐️ 1w
julesG Catriona+Edinburgh+time travel = stacked 1w
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robinb @julesG 😂 Would love to hear what you think! 1w
EvieBee Wow! 1w
robinb @EvieBee 🤣🤣 I must admit it got rather confusing at times with different people inhabiting different bodies…😳😳 1w
BarbaraTheBibliophage I agree that suspension of disbelief is necessary here. Definitely planning to check out the other series you mentioned also! 2d
robinb @BarbaraTheBibliophage I really hope you do! I adore that series. Here‘s the first book. 2d
BarbaraTheBibliophage @robinb Amazingly, I also own A Murder in Time! Just haven‘t gotten to it … now I want to blow up my reading plans, but I may still need some time … you know how it is! 🤪 1d
robinb @BarbaraTheBibliophage oh good! Isn‘t it nice just to know that it‘s patiently waiting there for you?! 😊😊 1d
53 likes3 stack adds11 comments
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robinb
Sworn to Silence | Linda Castillo

Hey all! I‘ve got the chance to read an arc from the Kate Burkholder series, but I‘ve only read the initial one. And yes, I know there are currently 13. 😳🤣 Is this a series that really should be read in order, or does it matter? Thanks!! 🤗🤗

Librarybelle I‘ve only read the first one myself, so I‘m not 100% sure. From what I have heard from those I know who read the series, there is character development as the series progresses, but I‘ve not heard if you need to read the books in order or if you can read out of order. This is a series I want to continue reading, though! 1w
robinb @Librarybelle Thanks, Jess. That only makes sense with the character development, doesn't it...and I hate to feel like I've missed some crucial stuff. I may need to go in order on this one. 1w
eanderson So I haven‘t read the last 2 but I feel like you can. There isn‘t many huge reveals I think. 1w
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robinb @eanderson OK, thanks so much, Elisabeth. I might just jump in. 👍 1w
Bookzombie I can‘t think of anything that would require you to read them in order after the first book. Kate‘s backstory in the first book is referenced in others and the characters develop as they go on. Neither of those things should hinder your enjoyment. 🙂 1w
robinb @Bookzombie thanks Margie, I think I‘m going to give it a try. 😊 1w
JenlovesJT47 I‘ve read the last one before this first 😬 then I started with book 1. I‘m sure it would help to read them in order but it‘s not totally necessary. 5d
robinb @JenlovesJT47 thanks! 😊👍 5d
28 likes8 comments
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robinb
The Forgotten Beach | Amanda James
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Mehso-so

This is 3rd (possibly last?) in the Cornish Escapes series. Each story has dealt with a different supernatural object at the center of a love story. Sennen is a Cornish potter/painter who runs an art store and has become a bit jaded on love. Tremaine is a wealthy lawyer with parent issues who has moved back to refurbish an old family home. Sennen learns of an old parting glass that her Gran found on a secluded beach on Tremaine‘s property. 🔻

robinb This glass is said to reveal your soulmate if used to toast on NYE. Both her Gran and Tremaine‘s great grandmother found true love this way but not without heartache. How will Sennen‘s and Tremaine‘s love story play out…will they find both lasting love and heartbreak as well? While this story was fine, I found myself frustrated at times with both leads (whiny at times). 🔻 (edited) 2w
robinb And the story pretty much followed a familiar path. All-in-all my favorite of this series has been the first, and I found the following two just OKs. 3/5⭐️ (edited) 2w
40 likes2 comments
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robinb
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Pickpick

I‘m a fairly recent Bateman fan, and this is the 2nd in her Ruthless Rivals series centered around two long-feuding families, the Davies and Montgomerys. Carys is the only female in the Davies family and thus is adventurous and free spirited. She made a mistake and is now being blackmailed for her naïveté. She turns to Tristan Montgomery, her frenemy, for instruction. And though neither is aware, they‘ve secretly always been drawn to the other. ?

robinb High jinks and sweet moments ensue. I enjoyed this one, especially for the well-drawn, lovable main characters. It‘s a sweet love story while also being 🔥🔥🔥. 4.5/5⭐️ 2w
Dragon My favourite hot 🔥 and sweet! Stacked 💚🐉 2w
robinb @Dragon Mine too! 😂 Would love to hear what you think. Have you read her before? 2w
Dragon No she‘s a new author for me. I‘m always on the lookout for new historical romance series- there‘s a big booksale coming up mid May so I will definitely be looking for her books. Thanks 🙏 2w
robinb @Dragon Oh good! I‘m bad about sticking with my tried-and-true favorites but am so glad I‘ve been venturing out lately to see what I might be missing. 😉 2w
36 likes1 stack add5 comments
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robinb
Bloomsbury Girls: A Novel | Natalie Jenner
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Pickpick

When I started reading this one, I had no idea that it was related to Jenner‘s previous Jane Austen Society (which I loved) as the reviews I read did not mention it. Set in post-war London (1950s), this story follows Evie Stone (from the previous book), a young women who is among the first class of Cambridge female students to earn a degree. Though more qualified, she is denied an academic position at the college in favor of a rival male 🔻

robinb student. She lands at Bloomsbury Books, a 100-year-old bookstore as a rare book cataloger…with a secret agenda. The store is run by men, guided by the manager‘s 51 unbreakable rules and includes a motley crew of eight employees. I loved them all. Vivien is a tempermental, ambitious shopgirl who has been overlooked for a promotion and dreams of being a successful writer. Grace is a married mother of two with an unhappy marriage 🔻 3w
robinb and grand but unfulfilled ideas for store improvements. Ash is a young man from India who is a scientist that has had to take a lesser position because he faces a different kind of discrimination than the women. There are several themes at the heart of this story: female friendships/sisterhood support; discrimination in various forms; and taking steps forward for change (both for oneself as well as the community). 🔻 3w
mdm139 Oh I am glad I picked this for BOTM then 3w
See All 8 Comments
robinb There‘s some romance, but the spotlight here is on the strong, supportive women who no longer want to serve at the tea breaks or blend quietly into the background. They want to be recognized for providing the inspiration, the backbone and the glue that holds the store together. This was a joy and a pleasure to read. Recommended. 5/5⭐️ (edited) 3w
robinb @mdm139 Sorry my review was so long-winded…😂😂, but I think you‘ll really enjoy it. 😉 3w
CoverToCoverGirl Oh that‘s wonderful news. I loved her Jane Austen book too! Can‘t wait to read it. 3w
CarolynM Sounds good🙂 3w
robinb @CoverToCoverGirl @CarolynM It was simply a lovely book. 😊 2w
39 likes5 stack adds8 comments
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robinb
And by Fire: A Novel | Evie Hawtrey
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Mehso-so

This is a dual timeline mystery set in 1666 London (centered around the Great Fire) and present-day London. The stories are loosely connected by the great architect Christopher Wren (St. Paul‘s Cathedral, etc.) and feature fearless, tenacious heroines. While modern-day Nigella Parker, a DI for the City Police, is investigating a series of arson murders, Margaret Dove, a lady-in-waiting for the Queen, is searching to uncover the truth about a ⬇️

robinb friend‘s murder during the fire. Both women have complicated romantic interests. While I found the Great Fire details very interesting, the plot line itself seemed too unbelievable. And the current Nigella grated on my nerves as she was too unfeeling and often condescending to her romantic partners. I really wanted to connect more with the characters (I did enjoy Nigella‘s partner, Colm) ⬇️ (edited) 3w
robinb as the book had an interesting premise. But it was just an OK for me. 3.5/5⭐️ 3w
49 likes2 comments
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robinb
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Pickpick

I‘ve always been a sucker for books that imagine a sequel to the lives of classic characters. I‘ve always felt it must be very hard for an author to stay true to a previous author‘s work while also having their own say. And what a fun and ambitious undertaking with multiple characters from the world of Jane Austen. This historical mystery centers around the forced proximity of the “house party” and is set at the Donwell Abbey home of ⬇️

robinb Mr. and Mrs. Knightley in 1820. The guests include Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, their young adult son Jonathan, Captain and Mrs. Wentworth, Colonel and Mrs. Brandon, Mr. and Mrs. Bertram, and Juliet Tilney along with one unexpected (and unwelcome) Mr. Wickham. Gray does a wonderful job of seamlessly weaving these characters‘ lives together while staying true in their personalities/backstories to their original authoress. There‘s humor, lots of motives, ⬇️ (edited) 3w
robinb and even some flirtations along the way as the mystery of Mr. Wickham‘s demise unfolds. I loved it! My only caveat would be that there were some slow spots, but then again, any excuse to savor a re-visit with these beloved characters makes any lulls in the story worth it. And let‘s face it, house parties of that time were not generally known to be fast-paced entertainments. Recommended, especially of course for Austen fans. 4.5/5 ⭐️ 3w
45 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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robinb
The Spinster Book | MYRTLE REED
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Here‘s my #BookSpin/#DoubleSpin list for May.

One day I will start fresh with a completely new list. But for now, I‘m just plugging in the gaps. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Thanks, o fearless leader. 🤗🤗

MittenGirlPeach I loved The Winter Sea! Lovely, engrossing read. 3w
robinb @MittenGirlPeach Good to hear! I love everything I‘ve read by her so far! Looking forward to it. 😊 3w
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3w
36 likes3 comments
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robinb
Crowning Glory | Pat Simmons
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Loved this and had to share…

“Be the woman who fixes another woman‘s crown without telling the world it was crooked.”

We all need to help one another…(and this should read “human being”, not just for women 😉).

#ThinkPositiveBePositive

BookDragonNotWorm I love this quote! Just became one of my favorites, thanks for sharing it! 4w
robinb @BookDragonNotWorm You‘re welcome. I had not run across it before, but it‘s so well put. 😊 4w
MoonWitch94 It‘s true! But, it‘s important for women especially because we are often pitted against one another & culturally it‘s so engraved in us that we don‘t even realize it. 4w
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robinb @MoonWitch94 very true! Totally agree! And after I saw this, I sent it along to my 3 best friends and thanked them for quietly helping me to keep my crown on straight. 😊 I wanted to make sure everyone here felt included in this, but yes, I think it especially speaks to women. 4w
MoonWitch94 @robinb Mission Accomplished ✅😘 4w
robinb @MoonWitch94 🤗🤗 4w
54 likes6 comments
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robinb
Bless Your Heart, Rae Sutton | Susannah B. Lewis
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Mehso-so

Rae Sutton is a 36 yo woman with a 15 yo daughter whose husband left her for a younger woman and who has just lost her mom to cancer. She uproots her life back to her hometown and her parents‘ old house and begins to remake herself with a new career and possible new love. With God, her Aunt Maxine, and two other elderly friends to lean on, she must make some difficult decisions about the future. On paper it sounds good, but I had some issues 🔻

robinb with it. I simply wasn‘t invested with the characters and at times was frustrated with Rae and her waffling between two men. Honestly I had to push myself to finish. The writing was rather simplistic, and I found the vernacular grating and over-the-top too often (it‘s set in AL). I did like how the characters‘ faith and beliefs were woven into the story and how they were used to lead to life decisions. 🔻 4w
robinb But I just wasn‘t engaged enough to make for an enjoyable read. 2.5/5⭐️ 4w
56 likes2 comments
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robinb
Lightfinder | Aaron Paquette
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“There is always light.
If only we‘re brave enough to see it.
If only we‘re brave enough to be it.”
~Amanda Gorman

#ThinkPositiveBePositive

Thanks for the tag @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🤗

Want to contribute anyone? 😊

Librarybelle Thanks for the tag! ❤️❤️❤️ 1mo
36 likes1 comment
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robinb
Sunshine | Robin McKinley
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Pickpick

I don‘t run into a lot of books that I feel let down because there‘s no sequel/series…meet Sunshine. Sunshine is a 25 yo popular baker in her stepfather‘s small hometown diner who, after a traumatic kidnapping experience with a group of vampires, discovers how powerful her magic handling abilities have become since she was a child. She forms a bond with Constantine, a vampire who was also being held, and they manage to escape together and 🔻

robinb go on to try and seek out/destroy master vampire Bo (Con‘s nemesis and the boss of the kidnappers above).
First of all, my only complaint (and it‘s minor) at 475 pages I felt it was too long. The middle could have been tightened. However, it did serve the purpose of spending more time with these delightful characters (especially Sunshine) and that wasn‘t a bad thing. 🔻
1mo
robinb Yes, it‘s a fantasy vampire book and yes it has similarities to Buffy and the Breaking Dawn series, but I became more deeply involved with the people here and absolutely loved it. It‘s hilariously dry-witted throughout and yet also tackles more serious issues like balancing the good AND bad in each of us and being terrified to step out of our comfort zone but doing it anyway. 🔻 1mo
robinb Just be forewarned, the ending hints of more, but it‘s been 7 years…☹️ 5/5⭐️
#BookSpin @TheAromaofBooks
(edited) 1mo
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TheAromaofBooks I haven't read this one yet despite loving most of McKinley's books. She's not a big sequel-writer, which just seems tragic in some cases. Shadows literally felt like the set up for a genuinely fabulous series, for instance. I guess some authors just aren't big into revisiting the worlds they've created!! 1mo
robinb @TheAromaofBooks Apparently she‘s been on hiatus for several years (her husband passed in 2015), but she is reportedly working on something. I‘ll have to add Shadows to my TBR. Any others you recommend? 1mo
shanaqui I'd really love more in this world, even if it isn't about Con and Sunshine... there seems to be SO much going on! 1mo
robinb @shanaqui Yes, she did such a good job with world-building! There‘s sooo much potential for other things. 1mo
TheAromaofBooks I love Spindle's End and have read and reread it many, many times. But it's a very rambly book and doesn't always work for people haha Beauty is shorter but one of my favorite B&B retellings. Another rambly one that I really enjoy is Dragonhaven, which isn't fantasy per se, just set in an AU of our own world where dragons are real and wildlife preserves have been set up just for them. 4w
robinb @TheAromaofBooks oh, great! These are going on my TBR! Thanks, Sarah. 🤗 4w
ScientistSam She's one of my favorite authors and I love most of what she's written. She changes genres a bit too. I love Hero and the Crown and the Blue Sword (set in the same world at very different times), Sunshine, and Beauty, plus some others whose titles I can't think of right now. 2w
robinb @ScientistSam oh great for these recs, Samantha! 👍 I‘m definitely reading more of hers. 1w
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robinb
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REPOST for @LitsyBirthdays :

Soon we‘ll be celebrating all of these lovely Littens born in May!

If you‘d like to get some #birthdaylove and fairy dust from the #BirthdayFairies sprinkled over your special day, send your birthday and Litsy handle to litsybirthdays@gmail.com. Please remember you can only sign up for yourself.

Looking forward to May celebrations!!

🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

squirrelbrain 🥳❤️🥳❤️🥳❤️ 1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🎊🎉🎈🎊🎈🎉 1mo
28 likes2 comments
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robinb
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Pickpick

This is my #DoubleSpin for April. I haven‘t read much steampunk at all, and while this wasn‘t anything extra special, I did find it entertaining (enough so to be open to reading the second). Octavia, a young medician with extraordinary powers, was a fun, endearing and surprisingly deep character who carried the show. She and her ragtag group of allies are heroic as they fight to stay alive during wartime intrigue between two factions. 3.5/5⭐️ 🔻

robinb Any recs for further good steampunk reads? 1mo
50 likes1 comment
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robinb
The Giving Tree | Shel Silverstein
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💚💚💚 Just got my Shel Silverstein stamps…now to convince myself that I shouldn‘t be selfish…🤣🤣🤣

Blueberry 💚 1mo
mabell Oh I haven‘t seen those! Cool! 1mo
robinb @mabell The Giving Tree is an all-time favorite so I couldn't resist. :) 1mo
56 likes3 comments
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robinb
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Pickpick

Caroline Linden has long been one of my go-to authors in Historical Romance. This is final in her latest series, and my very favorite. In fact, I‘ll go as far as to say that this is the best book that I‘ve read in Historical Romance in quite a while. It checks all my boxes. Pippa has grown up with lots of loss in her life. As the daughter of an English colonel and an Indian mother she lost as a small child, she is raised at her beloved Carlyle🔻

robinb Castle as the step granddaughter of the Duchess of Carlyle, surrounded by the people and countryside she loves. She also helps to hide a tragic secret regarding her uncle, the duke and assists her “daadee” (the duchess) with the management of the estate. Will and his brother Jack have been sent from Boston to London by their father to establish another branch of the family‘s shipping business. 🔻 1mo
robinb When Will accepts a post as the new estate manager at Carlyle to escape the tedium of the family business, he finds himself at loggerheads with the formidable duchess as he works to restore neglected tasks on the estate. There are secrets to protect, and promises made on the way to true love here.
Linden is a master at character development, and with Will and Pippa she has surpassed herself. They are both such relatable, honorable, and 🔻
1mo
robinb earnest characters that I fell instantly in love. The storyline is both heartwarming and heart wrenching with pacing that is spot-on and kept me riveted to the page. There‘s abundant humor, a few teary moments, and a searing chemistry between our leads. I was refreshingly surprised that there wasn‘t a lot of angst/conflict between Will and Pippa and, what little there was, was deftly handled by a strong and determined heroine. 🔻 1mo
robinb I simply and completely fell in love with every aspect of this book. So well done. Resounding 5/5⭐️ 1mo
43 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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robinb
Veil: A Hush Novel | Dylan Farrow
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Mehso-so

Unfortunately I failed to notice that this YA fantasy is a sequel, so I began a little lost (but mostly figured things out 😆). This spoke to several ills of the modern world…civil wars, racism, megalomania, plague, traditional vs. technology, etc. And while that‘s great in most instances, I felt a bit bombarded with too much of too many. I also found it dragging in places. All in all, it just didn‘t hold my interest/attention. 2.5/3⭐️

review
robinb
The Wild Girls | Phoebe Morgan
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Pickpick

Well, this was a wild ride. 😳 This is a new-to-me author and her 4th book (a psychological thriller). This is told from the viewpoints of 4 best friends since childhood, Felicity, Hannah, Alice and Grace. They have a falling out (we hear the why later in the story) and haven‘t been in touch in 2 years, when the others receive a 30th birthday party invitation from Felicity…an all-expense-paid trip to a luxury safari lodge in Botswana. 🔻

robinb But Felicity is MIA when they arrive, and they are totally on their own in a remote location with no explanation…then things get interesting. Suspense aside (and there is plenty of that), this is ultimately a story about female friendships…the strengths inherent in the bonds, the vulnerabilities stemming from secrets and human insecurities and the emotions which can run the gamut of tender to volatile. 🔻 1mo
robinb I enjoyed this one, even though I had to suspend my disbelief at choices made at times. And the ending…still not sure how I feel about that. 4/5⭐️
There are trigger warnings that I‘ll include in a spoiler below.
1mo
robinb TW: Rape, incest 1mo
Tove_Reads Sounds interesting, and I read anything about safaris and Botswana 🙂 1mo
robinb @Tove_Reads I really would have liked more about the geography, but unfortunately most of the Botswana locale took place at the resort. 1mo
54 likes5 comments
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robinb
The Unwanted Corpse | Elizabeth Bailey
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Pickpick

I have been with this series from the beginning (this is the 8th) and have really enjoyed them all. Lady Fan, an amateur sleuth who seems to find murder wherever she goes, is happily settling into motherhood when a stranger‘s body is literally dropped on her doorstep with a note asking her to solve the mystery of his death. As she discovers his identity and the possible suspects in his strange demise, she enlists the help of family (husband, 🔻

robinb mother-in-law, niece, etc.) in her quest. The storyline was original, and I‘ve always loved the dry humor in the series. My only caveats were its length (it definitely could have been tightened up more) and it‘s denouement (I was dissatisfied with the culprit‘s accountability). But ultimately, it was another great adventure to follow. 4.5/5⭐️ (edited) 1mo
43 likes1 comment
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robinb
The Giving Tree | Shel Silverstein
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I LOVE everything about this! One of my favorite authors/books. 💚

AmyG Oh wow!!!! 1mo
robinb @AmyG I know!! I hope I can get some. 😊 1mo
AmyG I was just thinking the same. I am praying my post office gets some. (edited) 1mo
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robinb @AmyG Actually, I just looked it up on USPS.com and ordered a couple of books that way. Free shipping, but I had to pay a $1.40 handling fee…I‘ll live with that. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1mo
Nute Gonna be on the lookout for these.🤗 1mo
Librarybelle Oh! Thank you for posting this! I will definitely have to get these 😁 1mo
robinb @Nute @Librarybelle 👍👍😊 1mo
kspenmoll That is wonderful! Thanks for posting; will check my PO 1mo
robinb @kspenmoll 👍👍 Just happy I ran across it. 😊 1mo
58 likes9 comments
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robinb
A Perilous Perspective | Anna Lee Huber
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Pickpick

This 10th in the Lady Darby series was anxiously anticipated (at least by me 🙋🏻‍♀️). We are introduced to the newest member of the series (and baby makes 3) as well as becoming more acquainted with Kiera‘s maternal Scottish family. She and Gage have journeyed to Argyll for a wedding (her cousin Rye and her friend Charlotte). Before the nuptials can take place, forgeries are discovered, an old feud is revisited and family loyalties are 🔻

robinb questioned. Murders and mayhem ensue until the evil villain is finally revealed. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest foray into the lives of the Gages, their families and friends, and as always I‘m already anticipating the next adventure. 5/5⭐️ 1mo
robinb As an aside, if you can get a closer look at “Kiera” on the gorgeous cover (I know she‘s only in profile), who does she remind you of? Me? Daisy Ridley. 🤷🏻‍♀️😆 (edited) 1mo
CoverToCoverGirl I so love this series! I need to do a re-read soon. 1mo
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robinb @CoverToCoverGirl Funny you should mention that! The author started a private FB group of fans, and she led a monthly read-along leading up to this 10th release. We were able to “meet” each month with her about each book with questions and comments for her. So fun to re-read for me and refresh my memory (especially of the earlier books). 1mo
Bookzombie You aren‘t the only one anticipating this release! I love the audiobooks so I will wait patiently for my library to acquire it. I‘m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 1mo
robinb @Bookzombie I‘ve never been big on audiobooks, but I bet this series translates well in that form. 1mo
Bookzombie It does. Heather Wilds does an excellent job with all of the voices and accents. 1mo
robinb @Bookzombie 👍😊 1mo
55 likes8 comments
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robinb
Mulberry Hollow | Denise Hunter
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Pickpick

Hunter is one of my go-to authors for well-written, character-driven Christian-based fiction. This is a second in series, and again, she doesn‘t disappoint. Avery is a young doctor with her own clinic in a small North Carolina town. Having witnessed her own mother‘s death by genetic disease at a young age, she‘s grown up feeling guilty for her death as well as frightened by possibly succumbing to the same disease. Wes, a hiker on the Appalachian⬇️

robinb Trail, meets Avery when he becomes ill while hiking. He has been exploited by his shiftless father and was recently asked (as a dying wish) to look after his best friend‘s sister. He is a man of integrity who tries to always do the right thing. As these two spend time together (Wes does some house repairs to pay off his medical bill), they discover a kinship and respect for the other which inevitably leads to love. ⬇️ 1mo
robinb I loved Wes and Avery and am looking forward to Book 3. Sweet and enjoyable. 4.5/5⭐️ 1mo
50 likes2 comments
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robinb
Pay Dirt Road | Samantha Jayne Allen
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Mehso-so

Annie McIntyre is a recent college graduate who has moved back home to the small town of Garnett, TX and is waitressing until she figures out her next move. Her “retired” grandfather, a PI, urges her into the business when a waitress friend ends up strangled to death on her family‘s land. Between the dangers of investigating a murder, coming to grips with a hazy and disturbing memory from college and figuring out her future, ⬇️

robinb she has her hands full. No word if this might be the start of a series from this debut author, but it certainly reads like one. While the writing was fine, I felt parts of the narrative were jumpy and jerky, and at times I found myself feeling like I had missed out on some background material (especially in the beginning). There were also some questions that I felt weren‘t answered sufficiently by the end, ⬇️ 1mo
robinb and I felt a disconnect with the characters. So all-in-all just an “OK” for me. 3.25/5⭐️ (edited) 1mo
54 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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robinb
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Pickpick

Taking place during the Depression, Evie Grace, a young woman who has had a hard life under a selfish, domineering mother, sets out to earn her nurse‘s pin and her independence. Zave, a young man with troubles of his own, is a handsome, charismatic star of a traveling marathon dance show. As they meet by chance, they discover something in common and become dance partners and friends. ⬇️

robinb This is a bittersweet and heartfelt story of two struggling souls searching for love, belonging and acceptance for who they are in an often cold and despairing world. Very well-written, the horrors of the Depression become almost a character in themselves. And the supporting cast of misfits are interesting and compelling as well. Watching Evie‘s growth arc throughout is both inspiring and satisfying. Well done. 4.5/5⭐️ #coverlove 2mo
57 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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robinb
Bluebird: A Novel | Genevieve Graham
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Pickpick

This was such a lovely historical dual-timeline story centering around WWI and the subsequent Prohibition period in Canada. Bluebirds were Canadian nurses who volunteered during the war (they wore vivid blue dresses). Nurse Adele Savard meets Corporal Jeremiah Bailey when he is injured, and by the time he is returned to the fighting, they have fallen in love and promise to find each other (their hometowns are near each other) following the war. ⬇️

robinb What follows are homecomings, an eventual reuniting, the dangerous business of rum running, a sweet love story and some tragic events. Meanwhile in present time, Cassie, as the sole living Bailey descendant, makes some startling discoveries about her family‘s past.
I learned a lot about this period in Canada‘s history and also simply enjoyed the characters and the plot. A good read. 4.25/5⭐️ #coverlove
(edited) 2mo
LeahBergen This does sound lovely! 2mo
robinb @LeahBergen I love those books that not only provide a good, well-written story but also more insight into real history. 2mo
43 likes1 stack add3 comments
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robinb
Untitled | Untitled
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Thanks for the tag, Misty! ❤️

1. I enjoy Wordle and occasionally Onet 3D

2. Allergies?? 😂😂 Blooms of all kinds! ❤️💙💜💚

3. The Do-Over by Bethany Turner

Anyone else want to play? 😊

@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

@Eggs

#wondrouswednesday

Eggs Great post 🙏🏻📚🌺 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💛💛💛 2mo
29 likes2 comments
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robinb
Child's Play | Danielle Steel
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Does anyone have recommendations for good “child-like” books for adults? 📚 Anything along the lines of “The Giving Tree” or “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”.

I‘m wanting to gift some heartwarming, sweet books to some friends but want to branch out from the two above. 🔺

Thanks a bunch! 😊

merelybookish This is a graphic novel that could speak to kids or adults. 2mo
robinb @merelybookish That sounds profoundly relevant (especially these days). Thanks for recommending it. I‘m actually hoping to find some shorter-length ones as a couple of my friends are not necessarily bookish. My thought is that they could surely make it through a shorter book. 😂😂🤞🤞 2mo
ozma.of.oz Heartwarming, definitely. But I weep every time I read it. 2mo
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robinb @ozma.of.oz this sounds wonderful!! I haven‘t read this one. Thanks! 2mo
mrp27 Very similar to The Boy The Mole The Fox 2mo
robinb @mrp27 this sounds (and looks) beautiful! Those illustrations! ❤️ Thanks for the rec! 2mo
mrp27 Welcome! 🤗 2mo
34 likes7 comments
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robinb
Dead Wind | Tessa Wegert
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Pickpick

This is third in the Shana Merchant series about a NY detective who, after being abducted and tortured by a serial killer, has moved to a small community in upstate NY as the senior investigator. She and her partner investigate the death of a prominent controversial local figure and uncover lies, deceit and revenge. Has the serial killer returned to torment Shana, or is this another killer? Good plot but not as action-packed or suspenseful as ⬇️

robinb the previous two, in my opinion. And I felt more like an outsider looking in this time rather than being along for the ride. Still, I‘ve enjoyed these enough to continue on. 4/5⭐️ 2mo
44 likes1 comment
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robinb
The Spinster Book | MYRTLE REED
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It‘s that time again! 😊

Here‘s my #BookSpin list for April. All Kindle books for me.

Thanks Sarah! @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 2mo
42 likes1 comment
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robinb
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Pickpick

A hard one to rate but definitely an original. And one thing it‘s NOT is a rom-com so don‘t let the cover fool you.

While this is one of the funniest books I‘ve read in awhile, it tackles lots of social issues of the time (early 1960s), and there is a trigger warning here (I can provide that but will do it in private if asked). While personally I didn‘t agree with her characters‘ religious views (at all), and felt some of the social issues ⬇️

robinb were a bit overdone (as well as the length of the book), I appreciated the humor, the amazing character depth (truly so engaging) and the surprisingly poignant parts.

Elizabeth Zott is a marvel and is surrounded by other characters of the same caliber. She‘s brilliant, unflinching in her beliefs as she stands for them and a character that I won‘t soon forget.

Entertaining and yes again, original. 4.25/5⭐️
2mo
squirrelbrain I loved this one! I read it as an ARC too. Interesting that the covers are all so different and like you say Robin, this one doesn‘t really fit; check out the UK and German covers too…. We were discussing these the other day @julesG @Oryx and I thought the German one worked best. 2mo
tpixie @robinb @squirrelbrain I just saw @julesG ‘s cover! I‘ve been passing this book by, thinking it was a rom com!! 2mo
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robinb Wow…thanks for sharing @squirrelbrain and @julesG ! The covers are SO different. I really don‘t like the US one. I think it needs to somehow reflect humor, intelligence (chemistry) and the period (‘60s)….which now that I think of it might be difficult. 😂😂 2mo
robinb @squirrelbrain Not sure I‘ve ever read one even remotely similar to this. I was in stitches most of the time, furious some of the time and weepy a bit of the time. All the emotions. Elizabeth was a larger-than-life force. 2mo
robinb @tpixie Yes, give it a read! I hate that the US cover is misleading. ☹️ 2mo
tpixie @robinb I think the UK reflects humor & the 60‘s, but not chemistry… 2mo
robinb @tpixie I agree, however the story is not all love and light. 2mo
tpixie @robinb I‘ve got it queued up next to read! 2mo
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robinb
The Library | Bella Osborne
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Pickpick

Such a sweet story. I‘ll admit it was predictable, but it also included some beautiful and poignant passages. I loved both Maggie and Tom and their unlikely yet desperately needed friendship. They randomly meet at the library, a 72 yo widow and a 16 yo boy, both with heartaches and regrets in their lives. But as they work to save their small library they find peace and purpose from each other. Feel-good story. 4/5⭐️

Kyndrill I love unlikely friendship stories! Added to my to-read stack😊 2mo
robinb @Kyndrill I enjoy those as well! I hope you‘ll enjoy. 😊 2mo
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robinb
The Library | Bella Osborne
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“It was great disappearing into a story but the shame of anyone discovering I was reading romance books was nagging away at me like toothache. Just the thought of it made me nauseous but the truth was I loved them. I was probably a bit addicted. Mainly because they were basically self-help guides for useless men.” *

—The Library by Bella Osborne

*Subject to change upon publication.

Speaker: Tom, a teenaged boy

😂😂😂😂💙

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robinb
The Library | Bella Osborne
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“An embrace can be on many different levels but the basic sensation of emotional and physical warmth given freely by another is most noticeable when it is no longer there.” *

* Subject to change upon publication.

—The Library by Bella Osborne

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robinb
The Library | Bella Osborne
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“If she‘d realized the last time she was hugged was significant she would have paid more attention, committed it to memory so that she could recall the sensations at will for the many times since, when all she had needed had been for someone to hold her.” *

—The Library, by Bella Osborne

* Subject to change upon publication.

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robinb
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#thinkpositivebepositive @Eggs

Thanks for the tag @eanderson

“Warriors are not the ones who always win, but the ones that always fight.”

robinb Thanks @Eggs ! Forgot to tag Misty. 😮 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🖤🖤🖤 2mo
40 likes3 comments
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robinb
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Mehso-so

This is a new author to me, and I always have high hopes of discovering a new favorite when I take that leap. Unfortunately, this one didn‘t overly impress me. Rose, as a talented mapmaker, is married to a man who takes credit for her work and basically controls her in every way. The Duke of Brandon has been duped by her husband and goes undercover as a footman in their household to gather proof. My biggest complaint here was the disconnection ⬇️

robinb with the characters. While this is the third in a series of which I haven‘t read, I was able to connect the dots but unable to get fully involved in the story. Some of the plot line was simply over-the-top (especially with Rose‘s husband), and I also felt a little jarred by the leads‘ (especially Brandon‘s) about face in his feelings for Rose. There were lots of lies and trust issues to get through which were frustrating at times. ⬇️ 2mo
robinb Unfortunately I don‘t think this author is for me. 3/5⭐️ As a humorous aside, while the cover is otherwise a good representation of how the couple are described, there are a “couple of things” which were described quite differently. 😳😂😂😂 2mo
DGRachel I read the first novel in this series. I really wanted to love it, but I just didn‘t. I own the second, so I‘ll probably read it eventually, but yeah…not destined to be a new favorite romance author. I‘m struggling to find new historical romance authors. 😔 2mo
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robinb @DGRachel It's frustrating, isn't it?! There are of course the “biggies“, Quinn, Kleypas, James, Heath, etc., but I'm hesitant to try new ones because I've tended to be disappointed lately. Here's a few of my favorites (and newer favorites): Shana Galen, Katharine Ashe, Grace Burrowes, Julie Anne Long (LOVE), Caroline Linden, Kate Bateman, Kerrigan Byrne, Vivienne Lorret, Suzanne Enoch, Anna Bennett. The last 5 are newer to me. ⬇ 2mo
robinb If you have any favorites, I'd love to hear! :) 2mo
DGRachel I haven‘t ready Quinn, but I was disappointed by the Kleypas I read. I‘ve loved the Burrowes and Byrne books I‘ve read and I have Ashe, Long, and Bateman in my TBR stacks. Guess I should get to them. 😂 I just started reading the Brothers Sinister books from Courtney Milan and I can‘t believe I waited so long. I‘ve been laughing so hard at some of the antics in The Duchess War. I‘ll be spending a lot of time with her backlist! 2mo
robinb @DGRachel I'm not sure I've ever read Milan before. I'll have to give her a try. Kleypas is actually one of my favorites. 😂 She switched to contemporaries for a while, but I was glad when she started back up with historicals. Do you happen to remember which of her books you read? 2mo
DGRachel @robinb I‘ve tagged the one I read. I know she‘s beloved by many so maybe I just need to pick another series to try. 2mo
robinb @DGRachel Hmmm. That's an older one for me so a little hazy (lots of hazy for me these days! LOL). I think I remember liking that series (Hathaways), but I tend to like series centering around families. I also loved her Wallflower series and her more recent Ravenels series (although I'm only up to book 4 on that one). 2mo
DGRachel I won‘t write her off yet, then. 😂 But first, I‘m going to devour everything Courtney Milan has written. I‘ve been following her on Twitter for years and am seriously kicking myself for letting her books rot on my Kindle! 2mo
robinb @DGRachel Do you recommend starting with her Brothers Sinister books? 2mo
DGRachel I loved, loved, loved the prequel novella and I‘m 68% through the first full length novel, so I don‘t think you‘ll be disappointed starting here. 2mo
44 likes12 comments
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robinb
Skyhunter | Marie Lu
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this YA fantasy and look forward to reading its sequel. Talin is a refugee forced to flee her home as the Federation destroyed it. She becomes a member of the elite Striker military force in her new homeland of Mara and fights to keep it safe. Red is a prisoner from the Federation who was engineered to be a weapon of war along with “ghosts” (humans turned into monsters similar to zombies). Red and Talin forge a mind bond and become ⬇️

robinb Striker partners in the war to save Mara. There‘s great world building, strong, likable characters and enough action and evil to keep things interesting. Also a lot to be said about racial and social discrimination, power-mongering, war-waging in general and exploitation/manipulation of the masses. Ends on a cliffhanger so I‘m looking forward to the conclusion. 4/5⭐️ #coverlove #DoubleSpin @TheAromaofBooks 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
41 likes2 comments
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robinb
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REPOST for @LitsyBirthdays :

APRIL BABIES…show yourselves! 🎉 We‘re rounding the corner toward the 4th month of the year (😳) and the #BirthdayFairies are excited to see who‘ll be celebrating a special day! If you‘d like to be included on the Litsy birthday calendar and receive some extra #BirthdayLove from your friends, just drop an email with your Litsy handle and birthdate to litsybirthdays@gmail.com. Oh…and put your party shoes on!! 💃🕺🏻👠

squirrelbrain 🎈❤️🎈❤️🎈❤️ 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🎉🎊🎉🎊🎉🎊 2mo
36 likes2 comments
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robinb
Sworn to Silence | Linda Castillo
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Pickpick

Thanks to #BookSpin I finally got around to starting this series, and I‘m now a definite fan. Kate Burkholder as a young Chief of Police in a small Amish town in Ohio is a smart, sympathetic character with a dark secret in her past. This story, involving a possible cold case linked to her secret, is not for everyone as it involves torture, rape and murder. But it was Kate and her loyal squad who drew me in and will keep me coming back. 4.5/5⭐️

Librarybelle I have to get back to this series! I liked this one too and really want to explore more. 2mo
robinb @Librarybelle I hate that it got pushed off for so long. 😔 That‘s one great thing about #BookSpin, it‘s motivating me to go through my backlog of great books that have been overlooked. 2mo
TheAromaofBooks I've really enjoyed this series a lot (although I've found a few weaker than others). I think Kate is such a relatable character and love how she has found a way to embrace her past/heritage even if that heritage isn't what she wants for her life. Castillo does such a great job of presenting the Amish as human instead of trying to make them all saints or all weirdos, and I really like that. Glad BookSpin made you read this one!! 😁 2mo
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eanderson I love the Kate Burkholder series! 2mo
robinb @TheAromaofBooks totally agree with all you said. I love how accessible Kate‘s character has been written. 2mo
robinb @eanderson I think you‘re the one who put this series on my radar…thanks, my friend! 😊 2mo
50 likes6 comments
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robinb
The Mozart Code | Rachel McMillan
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Panpan

I almost DNF here. And at 360+ pages it felt endless. It‘s a multiple genre story (spy/mystery/romance/historical fiction) set in Vienna/Prague in post WWII. There is A LOT of detail, not much action and lackluster characters. The writing felt choppy with abrupt, unexplained jumps in the narrative. The characters did not react to situations in logical, expected ways. Maybe in minority here, but unfortunately I feel like my time was wasted. 2/5⭐️

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robinb
Valentines | Ted Kooser
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Thanks so much for the sweet Valentines card @jenniferw88 ! It made me smile. 😊

#ValentineCardSwap

@LibrarianRyan

LibrarianRyan Yeah. Hey @jenniferw88 I got mine this weekend too! 2mo
39 likes1 comment