As I am behind in posting updates about the books I have read (see previous post!) I have decided to attempt to do block updates to catch up.

Books 16-20 in 2015 were:

16.
Harriet Evans – A Place For Us
Rating: 3 out of 5

I hadn’t read a Harriet Evans novel in a long time, although I have several lined up. I saw that this one was available at the library so I snatched it up. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I found it quite long, and sad. The book looks at family, mental illness, secrets and affairs. It wasn’t a particularly easy read and one that I came away from feeling a bit down. I will read more by Evans, but this one isn’t one I would highly recommend.

17.

John Green – Paper Towns
Rating: 3 out of 5

This is the second John Green novel I have read. I loved The Fault in Our Stars so had high hopes for this novel. I found it a bit of a let down – well, I found the ending a let down. This is a story of friendship. A girl goes missing, and a group of friends – led by her neighbour – seek to find her. I liked the tension, I liked reading about the friendship group, but ultimately I didn’t really like the girl they were looking for and I didn’t like the outcome. I finished the book feeling a bit deflated. I will probably watch the film when it comes out though!

18.

M. C. Beaton – Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet
Rating: 4 out of 5

This is also the second M C Beaton novel I have read. I am thoroughly enjoying the Agatha Raisin series. I find them entertaining, gripping and easy reads. The crimes are never too gruesome, and there is something about Agatha that amuses me. This novel didn’t let me down. In this instalment, she investigates the murder of the vet that no one liked. It was a fun read. If you like light-hearted crime novels, this is for you!

19.

Rowan Coleman – The Memory Book
Rating: 4 out of 5

Man, this was a sad book. This was recommended to me by a friend (a fellow book lover), and I did really enjoy it. But goodness me was it a sad read. This novel looks at dementia, but in early age, and the effect it has on the family. It was a hard read, a bit of a tear-jerker, but one that I enjoyed. There was also a little twist, which I hadn’t seen coming, but was a bit heart-warming. This is a novel I would recommend.

20.

Debbie Macomber – 1022 Evergreen Place
Rating: 3 out of 5

As you know, I like a Debbie Macomber novels. They are quick, easy reads – definite Chick-Lit. This, of course, fit that bill perfectly. This is the 10th Cedar Cove instalment. As I am reaching the end of this series of books, I am finding them to be a bit same-y. That said, I liked the storyline about the WW2 letters, that brought a new element to these stories. If quick, girly reads are your thing, you will like this series books – but don’t read them all in one go!

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2015 Reading Book 15 – 92 Pacific Boulevard by Debbie Macomber

Synopsis:

Dear Reader,

I’m not much of a letter writer. As the sheriff here, I’m used to writing incident reports, not chatty letters. But my daughter, Megan–who’ll be making me a grandfather soon–told me I had to do this. So here goes.

I’ll tell you straight out that I’d hoped to marry Faith Beckwith (my onetime high school girlfriend) but she ended the relationship last month, even though we’re both widowed and available. There were a few misunderstandings between us, some of them inadvertently caused by Megan.

However, I’ve got plenty to keep me occupied, like the unidentified remains found in a cave outside town. And the fact that my friend Judge Olivia Griffin is fighting cancer. And the break-ins at 204 Rosewood Lane–the house Faith happens to be renting from Grace Harding…

If you want to hear more, come on over to my place or to the sheriff’s office–if you can stand the stale coffee!

“Troy Davis”

Quick Thoughts:
As ever, I enjoyed this Macomber novel. It is number 9 in the Cedar Cove series, and this time follows the story of the local sheriff, Troy Davis. I like how each novel has a different character as a focus, it gives us a chance to get to know them more. The storyline didn’t surprise me much – sometimes these novels are a bit predictable and unrealistic, but I never fail to enjoy them. This book is the same. It is easy to read, easy to enjoy, chick-lit.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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2015 Reading Book 5 – The Inn at Rose Harbour by Debbie Macomber
Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber comes a heartwarming new series based in the Pacific Northwest town of Cedar Cove, where a charming cast of characters finds love, forgiveness, and renewal behind the doors of the cozy Rose Harbor Inn.

Jo Marie Rose first arrives in Cedar Cove seeking a sense of peace and a fresh start. Coping with the death of her husband, she purchases a local bed-and-breakfast—the newly christened Rose Harbor Inn—ready to begin her life anew. Yet the inn holds more surprises than Jo Marie can imagine.

Her first guest is Joshua Weaver, who has come home to care for his ailing stepfather. The two have never seen eye to eye, and Joshua has little hope that they can reconcile their differences. But a long-lost acquaintance from Joshua’s high school days proves to him that forgiveness is never out of reach and love can bloom even where it’s least expected.

The other guest is Abby Kincaid, who has returned to Cedar Cove to attend her brother’s wedding. Back for the first time in twenty years, she almost wishes she hadn’t come, the picturesque town harboring painful memories from her past. And while Abby reconnects with family and old friends, she realizes she can only move on if she truly allows herself to let go.

A touching novel of life’s grand possibilities and the heart’s ability to heal, The Inn at Rose Harbor is a welcome introduction to an unforgettable set of friends.

Quick Thoughts
As you know, I love Debbie Macomber. This is a new series from her, called Rose Harbour. This is the first novel in the series, however there is a short story called When They First Met. Having already read the short story, I was acquainted with Jo Marie and already liked her. This novel follows her move to Cedar Cove following the death of her husband, to open a new inn. I loved this book. The characters are warm and loveable. There is always a happy ending – yes sometimes it is a bit predictable, but I love it. This is my guilty-pleasure reading. It did not take long to read this book and I am already looking forward to the next one! It also worth noting that although this is a new series, it is set in Cedar Cove, so we do encounter some of the characters from that series too.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Book number 50 (who thought I would hit that milestone this year?!) was a short story from Debbie Macomber. When They First Met is an introduction to the Rose Harbour series, set in Cedar Cove.

I really enjoy Debbie Macomber novels! As I have mentioned, this novel is a short story. I found it as a free download on Amazon and read it in bed. It was great bedtime reading, exactly the right length and with the right level of enjoyment! This was a lovely introduction to Macomber’s new series, which I will of course be reading! If you want a short but satisfying easy read, this is the book for you.

Addition: E-book
Genre: Chick-lit, short story
Published: 2012
Rating: 3 out of 5

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I HAVE FINISHED MY READING CHALLENGE!!!! But more on that another time!

Number 40 was Debbie Macomber’s 74 Seaside Avenue, a Cedar Cove novel. I haven’t read a Cedar Cove novel in a long time. I read a load of them together and got a bit fed up with them, however, I have been enjoying the series on TV and thought I would have another go. I am pleased to say I did enjoy this read. It was nice to spend time with old friends! I found some storylines a bit predictable, others a but unbelievable, but I still enjoyed the book. It didn’t take long to read it and I am considering reserving the next one at the library.

Addition: Paperback, library book
Genre: Chick-lit
Published: 2005
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Book Sort: Library Book

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Dear Reader,

Considering that I’m married to Cedar Cove’s private investigator, you might think I enjoy mysteries. But I don’t — especially when they involve us! Roy and I have been receiving anonymous postcards and messages asking if we “regret the past.” We don’t know what they mean . . .

On a more positive note, we’re both delighted that our daughter, Linette, has moved to Cedar Cove to work at the new medical clinic. A while ago I attended the humane society’s “Dog and Bachelor Auction,” where I bought her a date with Cal Washburn, who works at Cliff Harding’s horse farm. Unfortunately Linette is less enthusiastic about this date than I am.

Speaking of Cliff, the romance between him and Grace Sherman is back on. But that’s only one of the many interesting stories here in Cedar Cove. So why don’t you drop by for a coffee at my husband’s office on Main Street or our House on Harbor and I’ll tell you everything that’s new!

Corrie

This is typical Debbie Macomber. This is number five in the Cedar Cover series and is in every way as good as the others. You could read this as a stand alone book as it does recap the general story lines from other books, but it does carry on nicely as part of this series.

The main focus of this book is the private investigator, and his wife – Roy and Corrie. They have been receiving mysterious gifts and postcards. They have concerned Corrie and Roy is struggling to find out who they are from. In other stories, Charlotte marries Ben, but is upset by her children wanting to check him out first, Olivia is concerned for Jack’s health – and when he ends up in hospital she sees she is right about his lifestyle and everything is a bit on-and-off with Cliff and Grace.

This book includes all the usual favourite characters and we continue to follow them through their lives in Cedar Cove. I don’t think I have a favourite, no one sticks out in my mind, but they are all nice and it is quite a gentle, friendly community they live in. It is idealistic but so what? It is nice reading.

Once Roy and Corrie’s daughter moved to the area and started making friends I quickly worked out who it was sending the anonymous notes and how the love story would pan out. I didn’t mind the predictability however. This is simple chick-lit that would make a good beach read. It is a lovely series to escape to and I always enjoy Macomber. This is a good book for those who like a light, quick, chick-lit read.

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Synopsis:

Peggy Beldon
Thyme and Tide B and B
44 Cranberry Point
Cedar Cove, Washington

Dear Reader,

I love living in Cedar Cove, but things haven’t been the same since a man died in our B and B. Turns out his name was Max Russell, and Bob had known him briefly in Vietnam.We still don’t have any idea why he came here and–most important of all–who killed him. Because it now appears that he was poisoned. I sure hope somebody figures it out soon!

Not that we’re providing the only news in Cedar Cove these days. I heard that Jon Bowman and Maryellen Sherman are getting married. And Maryellen’s mom, Grace, has more than her share of interested men! The question is: Which one is she going to choose? Olivia–I guess it’s Olivia Griffin now–is back from her honeymoon, and her mother, Charlotte (who’s in her mid-seventies at least), seems to have a man in her life, too. I’m not sure Olivia’s too pleased….

There’s lots of other gossip I could tell you. Come by for a cup of tea and one of my blueberry muffins and we’ll talk.

Peggy

This is number four in Macomber’s Cedar Cove series. The story picks up pretty much where it left off- new marriages are blossoming, friendships growing, but more importantly, mysteries still unsolved. Peggy and Bob have been struggling since a man called Max turned up in the night to stay at their B&B, and died . It was later found out it was murder. They just want this solved. There are other things going on too, such as the Navy boys returning to their families and Grace trying to get over losing Cliff.

I love Macomber’s novels. They are pure and simple chick-lit. This story was full of life, love, friendship and family. But with this series there is a slight twist – Macomber has added in the idea of mystery. In this book, and the previous one: 311 Pelican Court, the mystery surrounds this man Max, his death and his connection to Bob. In the next book the mystery will be surrounding Ray, the Private Investigator. I like this addition to the novel. Macomber writes great novels anyway but this just adds something special and lifts it out of the bog-standard chick-lit genre.

Macomber also writes wonderful characters. I love Olivia, Grace, Peggy and the like. Their friendships are special and reading about their families and events in their lives is great fun. I find them believable and I wish they were real! They are full of wisdom – the kind of older female friends one would want to have around for friendship and guidance.

Yes this is a fairly predictable story, and the murderer wasn’t much of a surprise but I enjoyed this book. It was a nice novel that I read in 24 hours. Like the rest of Macomber’s books, this comes with high praise from me.

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The deal: a week of just reading books from my To-Be-Read pile.

Diary:
Sunday:
Start challenge with 44 Cranberry Point by Debbie Macomber

Monday:
Finish 44 Cranberry Point by Debbie Macomber
Start Memory Garden by Rachel Hore

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What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. (taken from http://bookjourney.wordpress.com/)

Last Week’s Reading:

  • Voltaire: Candide
  • Sarah Dessen: Lock and Key
  • Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar
  • Terry Pratchett: A Hat Full of Sky
  • Kate Harrison: Old School Ties

Although I have been naughty and only written a review for one of those books! However, I have written these reviews:

I put two books aside this week as well:

  • Glenn Chandler: Dead Sight
  • Ian Marchant: In Southern Waters

So, what is happening this week? I have decided to only read books on my TBR pile. I’m starting with:

Debbie Macomber: 44 Cranberry Point

Other books I would like to read are:

Hopefully will be a fun week of reading! And the question is: what are you reading?

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311pelicancourtpb

Synopsis from debbiemacomber.com:

Now divorced, Zach and Rosie Cox are struggling to adjust to Judge Olivia’s unusual custody agreement—and to the fact they’re thrown together more than they would have wished. The kids are staying in the family home, and it’s Rosie and Zach who have to do the coming and going. Having discovered the tragic fate of her husband, Grace tries to adjust to single living and to the attentions of another man.

But the really big gossip comes when a guest dies at Bob and Peggy Beldon’s Thyme and Tide Bed and Breakfast. Roy McAfee, the local private investigator, wants to know who the guy was, and why he showed up there, of all places, in the middle of the night.

This is the third book in Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series, and the house that is the feature this time is the home of Zach and Rosie, who have recently divorced. Yet when fighting for parenting rights Judge Lockheart forces them to move between homes and not disrupt the children. This is one of the things I love about Macomber, she writes unusual solutions to everyday problems. Being chick-lit means that there is a pleasant outcome to this storyline but it is still a different solution to divorce proceedings.

As with the previous book there was an open end storyline, and in this novel the story continued is of the man who mysteriously died in the local Bed and Breakfast. As the book proceeds we discover who the man is, and his tenuous links to Cedar Cove, and one other thing – his death is suspicious. But that is left for the next book in the series.

As ever, Macomber writes believable characters. I read somewhere that she writes the most realistic characters, and for the most part I can agree with that. I found I liked some characters more than others, and some really bugged me – sparking an emotional reaction is important for me because it makes me feel like I have connected properly with the novel.

I am eager to read the next book in the series to find out where all these marriages will end up and to find out more about the mystery man. Macomber writes very well and she is easy to follow and so enjoyable. Every time I finish one of her books I find myself wanting to read another. This is just a great chick-lit book.

9/10

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