Bonfire Night by Deanna Raybourn
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: Lady Julia Grey and her husband Nicholas Brisbane are very much surprised to hear that he has been left a country house and even more surprised to hear that they have to be there in 2 days for All Hallow's Eve and Bonfire Night or they forfeit their inheritance. However, in the charming and beautifully run house all is not as it seems.
Why I Picked This Book: Even though I'm incredibly behind on the series I love it and couldn't resist picking up this novella.
Pro: Once again Raybourn impresses me with her ability to fully flesh out the world around her characters without being excessively descriptive. The house the Brisbanes inherit is beautiful and and fascinating with nooks and crannies and mysterious stairs and halls. Mrs. Smith may as well be an actual person she's so vividly drawn. Unlike in previous novellas the cast list is small so it isn't difficult to figure out who everyone is and their personalities are well fleshed out.
Con: I loved absolutely everything about this novella until I got to the ending. It felt a little rushed and if you weren't familiar with the series I think it would've felt a bit like it came out of left field.
Overall: With interesting characters and beautiful settings this is a must read series for mystery lovers. This would be a perfect Halloween/Fall read for those who like creepy atmosphere but don't like scary books.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes, definitely! I'm hoping to do a massive read of the series in 2015.
Would I Recommend this Book?: This book may not be the perfect choice for new readers but I'd definitely recommend the series.
The Christmas Bouquet by Sherryl Woods
Description: An unexpected pregnancy is not on Caitlyn Winters' schedule. A driven medical student, she barely has time for a relationship much less a baby. She's unexpectedly fallen in love with family medicine resident Noah McIllroy. With the help of Noah and her large and interfering family can she figure out how to have everything she wants?
Why I Picked This Book: I loved Sherryl Woods' other books and was in a Christmas-y mood..
Pro: Sherryl Woods' writing didn't disappoint and I'm really looking forward to seeing more of the O'Brien family in their books.
Con: Have you ever hit the point with a person where you're so annoyed with them that nothing they do wouldn't be annoying? They could be sitting their quietly breathing and it'd be enough to drive you nuts. That's where I got with Caitlyn before I put this down. It wasn't a good sign for me when the book started off with a pregnancy test.and an unplanned one at that. The pregnancy is definitely unplanned and definitely not at the most convenient for her so I could understand this not being a joyous surprise. However, her complete inability to see anything positive or be able to change anything at all got annoying as it went on far too long. Noah was a good guy, a bit too good but while reading I was so annoyed at Caitlyn all I had left over was pity for him. I wanted to tell him just to run away and quickly! It should have been a giant flashing red sign for him that he had never once met her family in any form after a year and when it was revealed that she had not only not mentioned him to them but actually hid signs of presence and gone out of his way to lie I had a hard time believing she had any real feelings for him. It's Sherryl Woods so I'm sure the ending would've wrapped things up nicely and redeemed Caitlyn but I'm not sure this is a happy ending I could have rooted for. If Noah had been my friend I would've told him to go to a lawyer, make sure they agreed to a custody plan and then walk away.
Overall: While this didn't work for me part of it is my dislike of pregnancy based plot lines. If that doesn't bother you you may have an easier time with Caitlyn.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! I've read and enjoyed several books by this author.
Would I Recommend this Book?: I would recommend this author but not this particular book.