Book Review

Book Review: How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 302 pages
Author: Katherine Center
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: May 15th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment.

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect.

LOVED THIS.

Definitely my new top favorite of Center’s books.

I had held off of this one for a long time because I wasn’t sure about the romance. I was worried the patient/provider romance would feel icky. How pleasantly surprised I was that I didn’t feel much that way at all. I thought it was approached well and worked into the relationship conflict like it should have. Of course there were going to be questions and hard conversations an that’s exactly what I got.

Maggie was the epitome of resilient strength. I can’t even begin to imagine those who go through similar situations. I like the depth of despair and grief depicted, but also the light and the hope. It was a study in contrasts of a non-linear movement towards a new and accepted normal.

“It’s the trying that heals you. That’s all you have to do. Just try.”

The writing is contagious and I was hooked from the first chapter. I didn’t think I was going to fly through it so quickly but the audio was amazing and I desperately wanted to continue listening anytime I had to put the book down. It’s a emotional and beautiful plot with many nuanced story lines that all play into each other so well.

“When you don’t know what to do for yourself, do something for someone else.”

I enjoyed the romance and the grand gesture at the end. It was sweet and those final tender conversations were very sweet. There’s an uplifting message within all of the turmoil and Center brought such beauty to this story.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: plane crash (fully described), medical trauma, ableism, infidelity, suicidal thoughts

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Book Review

Book Review: The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 814 pages
Author: Robert Jordan
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: November 15th, 1990
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs-a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts- five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

A GOOD START.

I did it! Started a new fantasy series and I am ready for more.

There is a LOT to unpack here, but I’m just going to hit the highlights. It’s the first book in a long [14 books] series. I wasn’t expecting to be wholly blown away since there clearly is a slower nature to it, but I was impressed enough to keep going. I like the world Jordan has built and appreciate that as the wheel turned I was understanding more and more about the magic system and world.

I loved meeting the heroes and getting a multi-POV set-up. I actually liked that they got separated for a bit because it helped strengthen smaller storylines and breakdown the backgrounds of other characters.

The amount of world building felt like a lot, but towards the end I think I got a handle on it. There’s a lot of traveling and seeing many cities and groups of people to really tell an adventurous tale. I’m excited to continue the series and see how things further expound. There’s an interesting prophecy at foot and some fantasy tropes I look forward to seeing!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: flirting
  • Violence: many skirmishes, some battle themes, physical and magical altercations, loss of loved ones, animal attacks

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Book Review

Book Review: Until it Fades by K.A. Tucker

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: June 27th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

SUCKER FOR TUCKER.

Okay, can this be my new tagline for K.A. Tucker books? It just came to me as I sat down to write this and I think it’s such an apt description for how I feel about her books. ‘Cause I love ’em.

This was a backlist title for me that I picked up (thank you library!) on a whim. I was feeling a contemporary romance, I got a contemporary romance. I liked how unique the overall setting and characters were to books I’ve read before. This one features a single mom and a hot hockey player. Yup, haven’t read that combination before. Looooooved it.

There’s a lot of heaviness that surrounds this book. Catherine knows she’s made mistakes and has held on to that guilt and fear for so long. Taking care of her daughter, Brenna, becomes the only focus. After saving Brett from a car wreck they’re thrown together as the news of just how famous he is comes to light.

Y’all. I adored Brett. SO STINKIN’ MUCH. He was charming, kind, and full of real, raw emotions as he had to cope with his injuries. Catherine is a brave, soft, and heartfelt mom. Add them together and the chemistry was flying. I thought they worked great together. And I love how accepting they were of each other. Even as Catherine’s past came out, Brett never wavered and left the past, in the past.

I love how there was a big focus on rekindling relationships too. Catherine slowly worked with her family to be connected again and started to realize how much they were truly there for her. A lot of redemption and grace was given from everyone throughout this book.

The touch of mystery that I didn’t even know was happening until it all came out was a good touch too. I just loved the entire flow of the plot. I would usually find quicker love stories harder to love. This worked on so many levels I could not be bothered to put this down. I ignored my other reads because I needed this happy ending. It was a blissfully beautiful book and I’m forever a Tucker fan.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses; heated make-outs; a few detailed almost scenes, a full detailed scene
  • Violence: details of a car wreck (resulting in someone dying)
  • Trigger warnings: a teacher having an inappropriate relationship with a student (brought up and discussed throughout the book; detailed back story)

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