Monday, March 10, 2014


*Scroll down to the end of this post for a chance to win a paperback copy of The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway!*

apples should be red cover
Apples Should Be Red by Penny Watson

Beverly and Tom are in-laws whose children are married, and they HATE each other (Bev and Tom, that is, not their children). Tom hates how uptight Bev is, Bev hates how Tom swears and smokes and pretty much only cares about his backyard garden. When the two of them are forced to spend a few days alone together before Thanksgiving, their kids joke that they might wind up killing one another. Well, you know what they say about there being a fine line between love and hate...

This was a cute and funny romance. Tom reminded me of Mr. McGregor from the Peter Rabbit books ("This garden isn't some pansy-ass annual border with mari-fuckin'-golds. This is war. We're at Defcon One." <-best line of the entire book) and Bev was cartoonishly uptight, like Alison from Orphan Black in about 30 years. The "twist" on the traditional romance here is that the main characters are 62 and 59, respectively, instead of the usual 104 and 16 (haha! Twilight references FTW). Anyway, despite the unconventional set-up, Apples Should Be Red is actually very traditional in its promotion of community, family, love, and second chances. A feel-good romance with lots of foodie and gardening references. And who doesn't like that??

your wicked heart cover
Your Wicked Heart by Meredith Duran

Amanda finds herself in a nightmare situation: broke, unemployed, and abandoned in a foreign country by a man who SAID he'd marry her. Turns out that's not the only thing he lied about, either—instead of being the Viscount of Ripton, he was an imposter. Now the real viscount is in Turkey and he is determined to drag both Amanda and her so-called fiance back to England to answer for their crimes.

I thought Duran told a great story with Your Wicked Heart. From the beginning it was non-stop twists and turns. Very exciting! I also really liked the three main characters—Amanda, Ripley, and Amanda's fiance, Charles. That said, I didn't feel any romantic chemistry between Amanda and Ripley, and didn't really care if they got together or not. The romance portion was just so predictable and cheesy, what with the smelling and the stupid misunderstandings and the smelling and the uncontrollable bodily reactions, etc. etc. Boring. But overall this novella evened out to an okay read.

the time tutor cover
The Time Tutor by Bee Ridgeway

Note: the publisher provided me with a copy of this book for review consideration. To find out more about my review policies, please see my full disclosure page.

In this prequel to The River of No Return, Alva is a favorite in the Guild, a society of time travelers. She's ambitious, hungry for both knowledge and power, and the only person she knows who can give her what she wants is the vampiric Hannelore. Then she meets Lord Dar, the leader of the Guild's enemies, the Ofan. They fall in love, but can they remain together and still defeat Hannelore?

I loved The River of No Return, so I was more than willing to read The Time Tutor, even though prequels are not my favorite. And this definitely reads like a prequel—there's no real ending or resolution, it's all basically a set up. That annoying fact aside, before I got to the end of The Time Tutor, I was really enjoying it. Whatever gift or skill is required to pull a reader into a story and make them care about the characters, Ridgway has it in spades. I loved the meet-cute between Dar and Alva and thought they were amazing together. I also liked the hints of an Arthurian tale running through The Time Tutor, with Dar mentoring the young "Arthur," yet betraying him with Alva. I wouldn't recommend The Time Tutor to people who haven't read The River of No Return yet; but for those of us who have read it, I think it's a nice appetizer for Ridgway's next novel. Which hopefully will be released soon!


The publisher is offering a lucky reader of this blog one paperback copy of The River of No Return (US and Canada only). To enter, just fill out the form embedded below or click here. The giveaway will run from March 10th to March 17th.


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