Friday, January 28, 2022

Friday Fives - Mini Reviews for 5 Books I've Read Recently

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much.  Today I'm sharing 5 short reviews for some random books I've read recently.

1.  Hideaway by Nora Roberts - I love Nora Roberts' romantic suspense novels and this one did not disappoint!  This one like the last one I listened to has a lot more character development for the main character then I remember from earlier books.  We follow Caitlyn from the time she is about 10 until she is an adult and watch all her missteps, tragedies, and victories along the way.  I love the Sullivan family and really enjoyed that so much of her family gets so much page time.  Dylan is also a great character with a wonderful family though not as well developed.  As well I really enjoyed both sheriff and deputy.  They were both good at their jobs and sympathetic which was nice.  I listened to this book and loved January LaVoy's narration.  She is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators.  This is a fun romantic suspense with characters I grew to love and a couple that I hated from the beginning.  My Rating:  Really Liked It!

2.  Paint the Town Dead by Nancy Haddock -
This is the 2nd book in the Silver Six trilogy cozy mystery.  I read the 3rd book a couple of years ago and enjoyed it so much I went back and listened to the first two books.  This is a fun series involving Leslie Nix aka Nixy, her elderly aunt and her friends who are affectionally referred to as the Silver Six.  When a murder occurs involving an artist who is demonstrating at their newly opened Craft Shop Nixy is pulled into the investigation much to the consternation of her kind of boyfriend who also happens to be a police detective.  Most of the suspects are from out of town which makes the book a bit crammed with characters as there are also a lot of townspeople.  The mystery is an interesting one with lots of suspects and potential motives and definitely kept me entertained.  My only real issue was the number of characters kept me from really feeling invested in the Silver Six.  My Rating: Liked It!

3.  Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer -
Ivy Culpepper is back in her hometown of Santa Linda, California after a painful divorce and the sudden and shocking death of her mother.  She's still overcome with grief and has lost her passion for photography.  Trying to take back control of her life she discovers a local bread shop and from her daily visits graduated to taking cooking classes and getting to know Olaya, the owner, as well as her two sisters and the other members of the class.  When one of those classmates end up murdered Ivy is pulled into the investigation.  I loved getting to know the town of Santa Linda and the side characters - espeically Olaya and Penny Branford.  Ivy is a likable character and it was good to see her step into the investigation and start pulling slowly out of her grief.  My only real issue is that one part of the mystery didn't make much sense and I had to flip back and reread.  The rest of the book was so enjoyable and I really like all the characters so I'm looking forward to reading more from this series.  My Rating: Liked It!

4.  The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden -
This book has been on my TBR since it came out and I'm so glad I finally listened to the audio.  Neither the story nor the narration disappointed.  This book has such an old fashioned story tale with all the darkness that hide in the shadows and even more intensity.  It did take me a bit to get into it but I enjoyed the feel of the story and the narration by Kathleen Gati so much that I still enjoyed the story.  Once I got hooked I listened with baited breath to a somewhat classic struggle between good versus evil but with a serious twist.  This is a perfect winter listen when you're in the mood for a gorgeous dark tinged story.  My Rating:  Really Liked It!

5.  The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman -
This is another book that has been on my TBR for awhile.  I'm never quite sure how I feel about Gaiman's books.  I spend the beginning sure that I'm going to end up DNFing it and being somewhat confused by everything and then all of a sudden I'm completely pulled into the story and can't stop reading.  This book was no exception.  I'm not quite sure exactly how to describe it which is probably best because it's a book that not knowing much about as you go into it is probably for the best.  There is some dark imagery but honestly I didn't find it all that much darker then Coraline.  If you haven't read Gaiman before give this one a try.  It's weird and twisted with dark imagery that had me invested and at times made me think.  It'll probably be awhile before another book by this author but this defintitely won't be my last book by him.  My Rating: Really Liked It!


  1. I haven't read any of them. They all have great covers!

  2. I was tempted several months ago to try the Nora Robert's Hideaway but, then I realized it was part of a series. Glad you liked these so much.

  3. I loved, loved The Bear and the Nightengale, the whole trilogy. I am trying to read more Nora Roberts. Thankfully, most are standalones so I could slot them in when I have a chance.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  4. I really want to read The Bear and the Nightingale. I am glad you liked it! I've enjoyed everything I've read by Gaiman, including The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I am glad to hear you enjoyed it. :-)

  5. I haven't read these but they do sound like good books.

  6. Looks like five winners. I enjoyed Hideaway and yes January LaVoy is fantastic. Hmm Kneaded to Death sounds very good too.

  7. I enjoyed Hideaway too, and your cozies sound like fun. The Bear and the Nightingale is on my TBR list; hopefully I can get around to it this year.

  8. I loved The Bear and The Nightingale! I also remember enjoying The Ocean at the End of the Lane and you can't go wrong with Nora Roberts.

  9. I'm so happy you liked The Bear and the Nightingale. 😊