Tag: Carla Neggers

What I Read Last Week

Posted January 30, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 7 Comments

Well it was a quiet week at my house for most of the week. Echo the kitty is doing well. She’s just as adorable and lovable as she was when we first brought her home. I’ve never been a cat person but I just love her to pieces. Of course I’m not in charge of changing her litter box so that makes me love her even more. lol
Sunday morning we did get word that my husband’s father had suffered a stroke. He’s 73 but really a strong healthy man. He apparently had a small brain bleed that caused the stroke but they got him to the hospital quickly and he’s doing really well. Yesterday when we travelled to see him he was just as much as a smart ass as he usually is which really put our minds at ease. 🙂 From what I understand he’ll be out of ICU soon and then home some time this week. He’s excited to get home as he can’t get any sleep in the hospital and it’s making him crazy, the poor guy. My hubby’s dealing with the situation really well which puts my mind at ease. He’s a pretty easy-going guy (he’d have to be to stay married to me all this time) and doesn’t get anxious about stuff so that’s good.
So what did I read this week?
First up was a really great romantic suspense book called The Past Came Hunting by Donnell Ann Bell. This was the story of Melanie who, when she was 17, got a ride from someone she thought was a good Samaritan. He ended up being a murderer and she was caught in the middle, thought a conspirator and sent to prison. Now it’s 15 years later and she moves to a different city – right next to the office who arrested her 15 years ago – Joe. Not only do we have the romance brewing in this story but the murderer who’s getting out of prison and his vendetta against the woman. You can read my review here if you’d like. 4.5 out of 5
Next up was The Devil of Jedburgh by Claire Robyns. This medieval romance was about a man who was looking for a woman to bear him children. He contracts with a father to marry his daughter because the man has 12 strapping sons and 1 daughter – he figures she’ll be as fertile as her mother. When he sees her, however, and she’s just a little bitty thing he knows that she can’t provide him with the heirs he needs. They handfast and of course don’t PLAN on falling in love, but they do. They argue horribly and are both stubborn arses but it was a good book and well worth the read. 4.25 out of 5 (I posted my review for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when that goes up.)
Blank Slate Kate by Heather Wardell was the story of a woman, aged 32, who wakes up one morning in a strange bed and can’t remember the previous 15 years. She thinks she’s 17 but soon learns the truth. The story told of her dealing with life, accepting that she may never get her memories back and finding her family. It was good book and very interesting. Told in the first person present tense the story won’t be for everyone but it worked for me. 4 out of 5 (This was for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when my review posts)
Permanently Legless by JL Merrow was the only m/m book I read this week (I know!) but it was a good one. The story was very short so we don’t get to know the characters all that well but it was very sweet and touching. The story was about a soldier who goes off to war and comes back legless. He runs into a guy that he hooked up with prior to leaving and though he believes the guy won’t have anything to do with him he’s wrong, wrong, wrong. 4 out of 5
Secrets of a Lost Summer by Carla Neggers was my next read. This was the story of Olivia who quits her job in Boston and moves to her hometown to open a destination/retreat location. She meets the owner of the house next door and they not only hit it off but they discover a mystery as well. A very good book that I really enjoyed reading. You can read my review here. 4 out of 5
Next was Matched by Ally Condie – my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read. This is a YA futuristic/dystopian novel about Cassia, a girl who gets “Matched”. This means that the person that she matches with is her almost perfect match and they will have nearly perfect children together. The boy she matches with is her best friend Xander – which is highly unusual – but she’s thrilled. Except when she puts the microcard in to view his data (which she knows most of) she sees another face flash across the screen – Ky. She starts to think about Ky and spend more time with him – and they fall in love. But Ky is what is called an Aberration and he can’t be matched with anyone – even if The Society would let them choose their own matches. The book goes on with the somewhat love triangle between Ky, Cassia and Xander but there’s a ton of stuff going on and eventually the Ky and Cassia get separated. It was a really good book from about the second half til the end but I have to say that the first half almost made me stop reading. There was SO much description of the world and the kids’ thoughts that I was almost begging for dialogue! As I said though the book got really good in the second half and kept me turning pages. 3.5 out of 5
My last book of the week was the sequel to Matched and it was called Crossed by Ally Condie. The story picks up a few months after book 1 ended and each character is trying to deal with the cards they’ve been dealt. Cassia is in a work camp and is trying desperately to find where Ky was taken. Xander is still considered her Match and visits her but she’s very intent on finding Ky. She eventually finds him but when they learn more about each other and the possible rebellion going on against The Society they find that they may not want the same things out of life. It was an good book but it had a slower pace than the first one. Ky and Cassia are already in love but their trying to deal with what their future will look like and how they can possibly be together. The triangle with Xander, we think for the most part, is pretty much decided in Ky’s favor but the author throws us for a loop right at the end of the story. No real decisions were made and we’re left hanging a bit and for me it was really frustrating…probably because I can’t decide if either of the boys are workth fighting for. lol 3.5 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

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Review: Secrets of a Lost Summer by Carla Neggers

Posted January 29, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

Beneath the surface lie the greatest treasures

A wave of hope carries Olivia Frost back to her small New England hometown nestled in the beautiful Swift River Valley. She’s transforming a historic home into an idyllic getaway. Picturesque and perfect, if only the
absentee owner will fix up the eyesore next door.…

Dylan McCaffrey’s ramshackle house is an inheritance he never counted on. It also holds the key to a generations old lost treasure he can’t resist…any more than he can resist his new neighbor. Against this breathtaking landscape, Dylan and Olivia pursue long-buried secrets and discover a mystery wrapped in a love story…past and present.

Olivia Frost is a graphics designer when a so called friend steals her biggest client. This forces Olivia to take a good look at her life and what she really wants out of it and she decides to quit her full time job in order to start a business in her home town. A while back she had purchased a house and property and she planned on making it a destination/event location in Knights Bridge, MA. Her nearest neighbor is unknown to her except that the person has old appliances and crap in their yard and she wants it gone as any clients she may have have to pass that house in order to get to hers. Olivia finds out the owner and sends him a letter. She believes that the owner is Duncan McCaffrey but the real owner is Dylan McCaffrey – who had no idea he even owned the property.

Dylan McCaffrey is an ex-NHL player who now runs a software business with his lifetime friend Noah. Dylan is shocked when he gets Olivia’s note and then finds out that his lawyer knew about the property the whole time. Dylan looks up Olivia on the internet and finds pictures of her getting awards for graphic design. So what is she doing in Knights Bridge? Dylan likes what he sees of Olivia and he does own the house now so he goes out as much to meet Olivia as he does to find out what he deceased adventurer/treasure hunter father was doing buying a house in the small town of Knights Bridge.

Dylan and Olivia hit it off immediately but there are many, many secrets flying around the town for such a small place. Olivia hides from her family and from Dylan the reasons she left Boston and in doing so makes herself an island. She’s not the only one in her family who is hiding their anxiety. Her mother plans trips that she’ll never take and her sister has a horrible claustrophobia that goes not only from her home but also to her town. She has wanderlust and her boyfriend/almost fiancé worries that she’ll find him wanting because he has no desire to leave his hometown.

Then there’s Grace Webster. Grace is the woman in her nineties that Dylan’s father bought the home from. Grace now lives in an assisted living home with Olivia’s grandmother but she’s hiding something. She’s actually written a book that she won’t anyone read until after her death. Everyone who knows about it wants to know what’s in the book but won’t upset Grace to get the info.

Dylan and Olivia end up working together to find out exactly why Duncan McCaffrey was in Knights Bridge and in the course of that find that they are two people who, even though they have their own issues, are perfect for each other.

This book was a definite surprise for me. I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading and got right into the story. I found myself wanting to find out about the past and how it effected the present just as much as Dylan and Olivia. There were parts of the book that were excerpts from Grace’s book and told us some of her life and gave us clues as to what was happening in the now. I love having history enlighten the present – it should do it more in life but that doesn’t always happen.

The relationships in the book were a little…strained. First there’s Dylan and Olivia. Though they hit it off immediately I kind of felt like whenever Olivia was talking to Dylan, in the first part of the book, she was interrogating him. Maybe she was to a point but it was so very blunt it threw me. In the second part of the book she had softened up and was seeing life from a different perspective so I think that helped.

Then there was Olivia’s family who were all very close but all shared some sort of anxiety issues. While this was realistic and at time entertaining, it just seemed to take something away from the book, at least for me it did.

The history of the Quabbin Reservoir was so incredibly interesting. The body of water that feeds drinking water into the Boston area and how it came to be was both intriguing and incredibly sad. While I read Grace Webster’s thoughts and feelings about having her home and the areas she loved destroyed to make way for the reservoir had me in tears a couple of times and I loved the emotion that was wrought because of the story.

Overall this was a very good book that had me turning page after page. It was a great adventure as well as love story and I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Carla Neggers
Mira Books

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