Tag: Hatchette Books

Review: The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb

Posted December 16, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy WebbReviewer: Holly
The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb
Narrator: Kirsten Potter

Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Audible Escape, Library
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Gothic, Mystery
Pages: 344
Length: 8 hours and 53 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge
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From award-winning novelist Wendy Webb comes a spine-tingling mystery about family secrets set in a big, old haunted house on Lake Superior.
Grace Alban has spent twenty years away from her childhood home, the stately Alban House, for reasons she would rather forget. But when her mother's unexpected death brings Grace and her teen-age daughter home, she finds more haunting the halls and passageways of Alban House than her own personal demons.
Long-buried family secrets, a packet of old love letters and a lost manuscript plunge Grace into a decades-old mystery about a scandalous party at Alban House, when a world-famous author took his own life and Grace's aunt disappeared without a trace. The night has been shrouded in secrecy by the powerful Alban family for all of these years, and Grace realizes her family secrets tangle and twist as darkly as the secret passages of Alban House. Her mother was intending to tell the truth about that night to a reporter on the very day she died - could it have been murder? Or was she a victim of the supposed Alban curse? With the help of the disarmingly kind--and attractive—Reverend Matthew Parker, Grace must uncover the truth about her home and its curse before she and her daughter become the next victims.

The Fate of Mercy Alban came up in my recommended reads in Audible Escape so I decided to give it a try. This is my first book by Wendy Webb. The beginning really grabbed me and I found myself at the library requesting the ebook so I could finish it faster.

Grace Alban hasn’t been home to Alban House in twenty years, since her younger brothers and father died. When her mother passes away, she and her daughter Amity, return for the funeral and to take care of things at the estate. Almost from the moment they return home strange things begin happening. There’s something going on at Alban House, something related to the death of a famous writer there some fifty years ago, and Grace is determined to get to the bottom of what it is. With the help of the local Reverend and the long-time employees of the manor, Grace and her daughter will need to figure it out quickly…before it’s too late to save any of them.

As I said, the beginning of this book was fabulous. About 1/4 of the way through the book, things slowed down. Grace started making some questionable decisions that really pulled me out of the story, and the story moved kind of slow. Grace would ask questions and demand answers, then just shrug when no one was forthcoming. Things like that. I actually did better with the audiobook. The narrator, Kirsten Potter, did an excellent job of keeping Grace from edging too far over the “WTAF ARE YOU DOING” line for me.

In the end the mystery portion was fairly predicable and I wasn’t surprised at all with how things turned out. I did enjoy Alban House itself. The manor really came to life for me, and that’s what prompted me to keep going.

Other reviews mention this not being Webb’s best effort, so I may pick up another soon.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5


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Review: Size Matters by Alison Bliss

Posted December 27, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Size Matters by Alison BlissReviewer: Rowena
Size Matters by Alison Bliss
Series: A Perfect Fit #1
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: November 29th 2016
Pages: 336
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Series Rating: four-stars

The rules of (fake) engagement . . .

Leah Martin has spent her life trying to avoid temptation. But she's sick of low-fat snacks, counting calories, and her hyper-critical mom. Fortunately, her popular new bakery keeps her good and distracted. But there aren't enough éclairs in the world to distract Leah from the hotness that is Sam Cooper - or the fact that he just told her mother that they're engaged . . . which is a big, fat lie.

Sam sometime speaks before he thinks. So what started out as defending Leah's date-ability to her judgmental mother soon turned into having a fiancee! Now the plan is to keep up the fake engagement, stay "just friends," and make Leah's family loathe him enough to just call the whole thing off . But Sam has an insatiable sweet tooth, not only for Leah's decadent desserts but her decadent curves. Her full lips. Her bright green eyes. Yep, things aren't going quite according to plan. Now Sam has to convince Leah that he's for real . . . before their little lie turns into one big, sweet disaster.

When I read the blurb for this book, it reminded me of Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie and I love that book so I was all about reading this one. I’ll be honest, I was hoping for a Bet Me like story and while the stories were similar, I didn’t love Size Matters the same way that I loved Bet Me.

Leah Martin grew up with a mother who loved to throw her weight in Leah’s face so obviously, she’s got some hang ups about herself. She’s a grown woman who can’t see all of the positives about herself because she’s so focused on the negative and while I got it, her insecurities got on my nerves. She was so sensitive about everything and Sam just couldn’t get it right where she was concerned that I felt bad for him. Sure, he was dense as hell but his intentions were good and I kept shaking my head because damn. He couldn’t win.

When Sam steps up for Leah at her ex’s wedding, he proclaims to be her fiance’ and the story really took off from there. At least it did for me.

This book had laugh out loud moments that I appreciated because I spent a great deal of the book, frustrated at just about everything. Leah’s mother, her ex, her inner thoughts and just things. There’s a crap ton of body shaming in here thrown Leah’s way and on one hand, I could see why Leah’s insecurities were so bad but on the other hand, I wanted Leah to be above all of that. Sure, that’s her journey throughout the book but I wanted it to happen a lot sooner than it did.

Sam was a great character that I loved to pieces. I loved that he kept right on putting his foot in his mouth and I loved that he tried to be a white knight for Leah even though she didn’t even like him much. I loved that at his core, he was good guy who did some growing of his own.

Leah drove me crazy because she focused so much on the negative stuff but she really does come into her own in this book and I liked the person she was in the end.

This book was a solid read with little things here and there that had me rolling my eyes down the street but for the most part, it was good story telling. I enjoyed seeing these two circle each other until they finally got things right and Bliss kept me laughing throughout the story so while it wasn’t a favorite read of mine, it was still pretty dang good.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5


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