Friday, January 20, 2023

Friday Five - Five Short Reviews For 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. This week I'm sharing 5 quick reviews for books I've read recently.

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan
- I wasn't so sure about this one at first.  I usually love Jenny Colgan but in this book the main character, Carmen, is a whiny brat, her sister, Sofia, is a distracted control freak, and the nanny, Skylar, is the absolute worst.  By the end of the book I loved Sofia and Carmen (though they'd both probably drive me crazy from time to time in real life) and Skylar is still the absolute worst and that was okay.  And after a bit of a bumpy start for the first 5 to 10% I absolutely loved the journey getting from the beginning to the end.  My Rating: Really Liked It! (4 Stars)

Thin Ice by Paige Shelton -
This is a bit different from the usual cozy mystery Shelton writes.  Beth Rivers went through a horrific ordeal in Missouri and now she is hiding and trying to rediscover herself in Benedict, Alaska.  She finds herself in an unusual living situation and in an unusual town and involved in the mysterious death of another woman in town.  The focus of the book felt more like it was on Beth herself trying to regain her memories of the event, getting used to living in Benedict, and dealing with the people she left behind.  The mystery itself was interesting but even more interesting was Beth herself and her history.  I'm looking forward to continuing the series.  My Rating: Really Liked It! (4 Stars)

The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman
- This was the first Viola Shipman book I've read and it won't be last.  I loved the family history and the stories about the orchard.  The food descriptions were amazing and I would love to try pretty much any food that was mentioned.  I did take some time to warm to Sam as she seemed to be struggling with what she wanted but didn't actual take any time to reflect about what she wanted.  Overall, this was a sweet book with strong family connections and  a wonderful setting.  I will definitely be trying more books from this author.  My Rating:  Really Liked It! (4 Stars)

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave
- I really wanted to love this book and to be fair I didn't dislike it.  I did dislike Sunshine for the bulk of the book and lost count of how many times she made me want to roll my eyes.  I did like seeing her relationship with her sister develop and her niece was a delight.  The ending was an interesting twist and I was glad to see that Sunny did get a bit of a redemption arc but I do wish it had started earlier in the book and that the ending had a bit more closure to it.  My Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)

The Evil Inside by Heather Graham -
I love the Krewe of Hunters series and this book was no exception. Graham's books are fun and spooky with great settings.  While it's a long running series the books are only loosely connected with the main connection being an ever growing special FBI unit that can has varying supernatural elements.  This book involved a bloody murder in a house with a very bloody history in Salem, Massachusetts.  Jenna can see ghosts which helps give her context for the investigation.  Samuel Hall is a high powered defense attorney who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets involved in defending the accused killer.  It was an interesting dynamic to see the Krewe of Hunters invested in defending a suspect though they are still trying to find the killer.  I didn't love the dynamic between Sam and Jenna.  She was a little flat and he was a bit disdainful of her abilities which made it hard to really root for them as a couple.  Overall, it was an entertaining read with a great setting and this is a series I'm looking forward to continuing.  My Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)

What have you read and enjoyed lately?


  1. I adore the cover for THE CHRISTMAS BOOKSHOP. It's so cozy and festive! Glad to hear it was a decent read even with the rocky start.

  2. I really am enjoying the Paige Shelton series. I've liked some of the Krewe of Hunters but I'm reading them very slowly.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  3. I enjoyed The Christmas Bookshop and will agree it had a tough start!

  4. I really enjoyed Thin Ice! I need to catch up on her two most recent titles in that series.

  5. These all sounds so good. I have a couple on my wishlist already.

  6. Those looks like some good books. I have that Heather Graham book in my to read list.

  7. I am always happy when I discover a new author and realize that the author has other books.

  8. Totally agree with you on the Jenny Colgan book. Hello Sunshine I did love and the follow up. I am waiting for the next one, its out but waiting for a better price!

  9. No wait! I thank goodness have the the Hello Sunshine book mixed up with A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones.

  10. I feel like I need to give Laura Dave a try but I might try to start with a different book.

  11. I love books with wonderful food descriptions. 🍝