Every once in awhile I come across a book where there's just not that much to say about it. Recently I've come across two so instead of doing two separate posts I thought I'd combine them.
Around the World in 50 Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth by Albert Podell.
I love travel books and the basic premise of a man visiting every country in the world definitely had my attention. This books starts off with Podell and 5 other men setting off to set a record for the longest automobile journey and then continues for Podell's travels over the next 47 years. The stories are crazy and entertaining. I've learned that smuggling things into Egypt is not a good idea and places that are active war zones should be avoided. While this was an entertaining read it didn't quite click with me. I think my main problem was lack of context. This was a string of stories under a chapter heading with whatever country they were in. I would've liked this book more if there was more of a connecting narrative and listed time periods. It had a floating disconnected feel to it that kept it from really grabbing me. All in all it was an entertaining read but just not quite what I wanted it to be. 3 Stars.
Hideaway Cove, a contemporary romance by Anna Sullivan and the 2nd in the Windfall Island series. This is another one I expected to love. There's family secrets and a 70 year old mystery. Really all I need is an old bed and breakfast and I'd be in heaven. However, this is another one I just couldn't quite connect with. While I liked Jessie and admired her determination to protect her son she's not a character that really grabbed me. She's too defensive and her guard is too high. Holden "Hold" Abbot is also an interesting character. He's a nice guy but focused on getting to the bottom of the Stanhope mystery. However, when he comes to Jessie he's too driven and too focused on getting her to become involved with him. It crossed the line for me from him being interested in her to him being interested in what he couldn't have. The final straw for me was when the father of Jessie's son showed up. The issues with him and his family as well as some of the other townspeople along with not really connecting with the characters or the romance just kind of killed this one for me. There were too many complications and not enough connection. I did like the writing and I think this author has a lot of potential. I'm really curious about the first book in the series and hope to get to it soon as I really liked what I saw of that couple in this book. 2.5 Stars