The Christmas Town by Elyse Douglas


Traveling home for Christmas, two modern women in their 20s are forced to drive together during a snowstorm, and they get lost. They cross a covered bridge and, suddenly, they enter the past, finding themselves in a small picturesque Vermont town in 1943. They meet two handsome soldiers, who are about to be sent off to war, and they fall in love with them, while also struggling to find a way to return home to their own time. 

With the soldiers’ help, on Christmas Eve, the two women finally have one chance to return to their own time, but they are caught between their love for the soldiers, and their desire to return to the present. At the last moment, they must make the difficult decision and, because it is Christmas, a miracle happens. 


I looked forward to reading this book. The description had me intrigued. I had to wait to borrow it. Sadly, I wasn't as captivated once I started reading it. I didn't connect with the girls in the story - I found Megan and Jackie, and their interactions a little annoying. There was a lot more narrative than I prefer in a book. The whole time travel premise was intriguing, but wasn't mapped out in a way that explained why only certain people who crossed the bridge went through time and others didn't, or at least I didn't see it. There was repetition that made the story lag. Even the romance had holes in it. They fell in love in two days, not much room there for building a romance. There may have been a moral behind the story, but I didn't get it. I did enjoy reading about the signs, advertisements, and even songs of the by gone era in the book. The mechanics were good, so there were not typos or errors to trip over. But overall, it was a book I could easily walk away from.

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Eyes of the Many by Kelly Graham

Eyes of the Many
After the loss of his wife in a bizarre car accident from which her body was never recovered, Trayton Bennett has created a diminutive version of the world in which he used to exist. The inability to cope with his loss coupled with a pervasive reluctance to believe that his wife is truly dead, has led him to push away what's left that remains important to him.

Four years after the tragedy, Trayton's life is again turned upside down when he uncovers evidence which suggests that his wife's accident was staged and her disappearance the result of foul play.

Oblivious to the attempts that will be made to stop him, and underestimating the abhorrent nature of the secrets that he will unveil, his desperate hunt for the truth begins...


Ms. Graham has a worth while debut novel. It sucked me in and kept me turning the pages. The bond of love that was unbroken for so many years was amazing. The path that lead Trayton to the truth was twisted, thrilling, and often times disturbing. The diabolical doctor was easy to hate, and yet, I could almost sympathize with his plight - almost.
You do need to suspend disbelief, but, that is necessary to enjoy fiction in many cases. I felt the descriptions and narratives were a bit thick and drawn out in places, and found myself skimming through them to get to the action. If the book was pared down a little, I don't think it would harm the story. I was also left with a few questions in the end, things didn't seem to tie up for me, such as: Why didn't Joey hear the SUV before it hit them? It was painstakingly described and illustrated that she could hear from long distances, and even through many walls. Also, the deja vu at the end of the book - how did Trayton have that dream? Was it from Charlie's thoughts? I believe Charlie could only transfer her thoughts if she was touching you. Did Trayton see the future?
Even with the things I was left questioning, over all, this was a very enjoyable read, quite an entertaining thriller. It stuck with me, and I really don't want to believe there is any possibility that the scenarios in it could be real.
I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


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No Exchanges, No Returns by Laurie Kellogg

No Exchanges, No Returns (Return to Redemption, #4)No Exchanges, No Returns by Laurie Kellogg


Dr. David Lambert and his wife, Brianna, received the ultimate gift from her fraternal twin. They gratefully accepted it, of course, because everyone knows you can't return a baby like an itchy sweater. Yet, that's essentially what Brianna does when she has a meltdown and unexpectedly divorces David. She runs from their home in Redemption, Pennsylvania, and leaves their surrogate--her sister, Casey--pregnant with his little bundle.

When David chose her beautiful twin over her, Casey McIntyre hid her hurt behind a wall of sarcasm. Now that her sister has divorced her husband, it's increasingly difficult to remember why the hunky pediatrician is supposed to be off limits--especially since Brianna doesn't seem to want him or care if Casey and he get involved.

David always liked and admired his selfless ex-sister-in-law--despite that the sassy preschool teacher is always busting his chops. Consequently, after his wife bails on marriage and motherhood, it's only natural he turns to Casey for sympathy. Unfortunately, the exasperating pixie becomes more irresistible with each day she carries his child. He already mistook lust for love once and jumped way too fast into marriage. He's not about to botch up his life that way again.

Casey wants whatever happiness she can grab, whether it's temporary or not. The only problem is, if she lets herself love her baby (or David), what will happen to her when her sister inevitably realizes her mistake and returns to Redemption?


An engaging story, an unbelievably deep sibling rivalry paralleled with the greatest sibling love. How much she would sacrifice to have a baby for her sister - and what is the real motivation behind her decision? The characters were strong, and well developed. I liked them, even though when reading the description I thought I would not like one of the sisters. You get behind the scenes with so many people and find out their secrets, their regrets, and their reasons for being the way they are. I absolutely adored Innes and his Scottish Brogue. The story was well written and flowed smoothly, with a good plot and several compelling sub plots. It kept me interested, and I finished it very quickly. The only thing that was a little weird for me was that one sister slept with the other's ex husband.
I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend it.


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Concurrent Relationships by Lee DeBourg

Concurrent RelationshipsConcurrent Relationships by Lee DeBourg

"Following college Frank is comfortable in his bucolic little hometown of Collins. College friend Beth Ann calls, announcing her divorce will be finalized Friday morning...and she is driving the two hours to Collins immediately thereafter.
Oh, no. Not Beth Ann, again.
amantes sunt amentes
                             Lovers are lunatics."


Warning, the end of this review may contain things from the story that you will find out while reading it in order to better explain my thoughts about the book. There are spoiler notices before that content. I always promise an honest review. When an author requests that I review their work, it is knowing I will give my sincere opinion. This book was tough for me. It started out with promise. I wanted to like it.

Lets' start with Beth Ann. The book starts out telling Frank's story in college, where he meets this highly annoying, bossy, manipulative, spoiled, inexperienced, rich girl. She is quite a thorn in his side. But, hey, she wants to have sex, so all is right with the world. Young, carefree Frank, Okay, I can see how he'd fall into the trap. I was reading along, more incensed by Beth Ann's behavior with each turn of the page. This in itself is not bad. A character you love to hate. That was definitely established. However, Frank continued on with her, for years...and years. Even though he repeatedly said he was going to be done with her... but I'll just have sex with her this one last time ..then it's over.. for good.. really. Even when he was in other relationships, even when he claimed to be in LOVE with someone else. Even though he cringed with the idea of spending time with her. I found myself hoping she would not be in the whole book, or if she was, that there would be a reason for it.

Another point, it seemed every woman in the book that he had any romantic interest in would have a plan for him, and when they wanted to see him. They all knew when their period was, did not want him around during that time, and specifically told him to stay away for that reason. That was very odd. More than one woman wanted to have a serious relationship and made plans to spend more time together/live closer together and then BAM, flip flopped on him once the decision was made and it was goodbye time, see ya. Like hitting a brick wall.

The story was really slow, and very long. I couldn't stay engaged in it and I kept setting it down all through the middle thirty percent. I think it could be pared down. There was so much detailed information on things that could have been left out. The part of the book I was really interested in was Frank and Beth Ann, and how OH how was he going to get rid of her. Gina's story at the end, that could have made a very interesting tale - If the reader could have seen it played out instead of just having it relayed in a matter of fact way at the end of the book. It didn't give you a chance to be invested in it.

There was a quote in the book that I liked, and found appropriately describes Frank's life. "A wise man counseled me once to make haste slowly when allowing a woman to select me as her mate." I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. When all the words were read, I concluded this book just wasn't for me. It happens sometimes. Perhaps you'll feel differently when reading it.

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 Not For Me

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Murders By the Book by Robert W. Harris

Description as on Amazon: 

When a man is strangled on the campus of Felton University, librarian Jane Hall believes it may have something to do with a note she came across earlier in the day. It’s just an intriguing possibility until a close friend is injured during a second murder attempt two days later. Then it becomes a personal challenge: the killer must be stopped. But as Jane begins to put the pieces together, it also becomes a personal challenge for the killer, who is only days away from a comfortable retirement: Jane Hall must not interfere.

The book lead me to believe the culprit had to be one of a certain set of people right off the bat, and then there was no twist to surprise me with a new unsuspected character. I found it hard to believe they kept putting the notes back in the book, and nobody took real measures to see who was coming and going, or who could be retrieving the murder instructions.
 There were redundant pages of second thoughts, and explaining how the characters felt, or what they knew as far as the investigation went so far. Also, the client and killers' names were not known and so there was a tedious description, similar to "The man who hired the killer to kill this person and that person did this..." many times. 
 I had difficulty believing in the assassin's character, as far as their "skills" went and how and why there were doing what they did even with a tiny bit of an explanation as to what drove their appetite to kill, especially in their current profession. I guess, I am a little disappointed because I didn't feel deeply. I didn't feel love or passion, hate or remorse, and I didn't feel anything when people died.
 There came a point when I had the ending figured out. It was just, plunk, there you go.  
 The book didn't really have any grit.

 Okay Read


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Rose of Skibbereen by John McDonnell

Rose of Skibbereen (#1)

A family saga about Rose Sullivan, an Irish girl who comes to Philadelphia in 1880 and finds love, heartache, loss, and unexpected joy during the tumultuous years around the turn of the century. She marries an Irish mystery man named Sean McCarthy, who has a violent past and a secret life, and he takes her to new heights and depths of passion. The lives of multiple characters, vividly drawn, come together in this series that examines what happens when the rural Irish of the 19th century encounter the breathtaking pace of change in the America of the 20th century. Follow Rose and Sean through the years as their lives take unexpected twists and turns, and they discover the many surprises hidden in the human heart.


I have seen others describe this as a love story or romance, and am not certain I would agree. If you go into it believing that, you will probably be disappointed. Poor Rose, who is built as a strong and brave female character heading off to a strange new world to help support her family shares a single kiss with a young Irish boy before she leaves. She pines away for this boy for years and years, until one day he mysteriously appears in the same town where she lives. He then, under some heroic actions, ends up working for the same family she works for, and although he is drawn to her and she to him, the dim romantic spark soon fades. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but, let me just say I found Sean to be quite the scoundrel, and his only redeeming quality was that he actually sent money to Rose to care for his family, even if it wasn't enough. The end of the story left me shaking my head, "Shame, shame, shame on you Sean McCarthy."
This book was easily read. A lot of the story was told after the fact, through letters Rose writes to her family, and you don't actually get to see it played out. I wasn't at all satisfied with the relationship between Rose and Sean, and would look forward to reading the next book if only to see him served his just desserts. There is a hint of some happiness for Rose at the end of the book, after all the years she suffers of loneliness and pain, which leaves hope for her future.
I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. It was an okay read.


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