Lucy Gilmore, The Lonely Hearts Book Club
Librarian Sloane Parker seems to have a pretty good life — a job she loves, a successful fiancé — but she’s really just been going through the motions ever since her sister’s tragic death. The highlight of her day is when curmudgeonly old Arthur McLachlan visits the library to argue with her about books. So when a few days go by without Arthur showing up, Sloane is concerned enough to check on him — and even more alarmed when he actually seems happy to see her. She knows Arthur needs support and companionship, so she starts a book club with a few friends and neighbors. Little does she know that every member, not just Arthur, will benefit from the book club, and maybe herself most of all. I liked this one; it’s sentimental, but the lively and humorous writing style kept it from being too saccharine for me. I also liked getting each book club member’s POV; it made them all vivid and distinct characters. I would have liked a bit more closure for some storylines, particularly the romance (which is really just hinted at). But overall, I enjoyed this one and am interested in trying more by Lucy Gilmore.
Bridget Zinn, Poison
Potions expert Kyra is on the run after attempting to assassinate Princess Ariana, her former best friend. Her reasons for this betrayal become clear as the novel progresses. Meanwhile, as she tries to evade the kingdom’s pursuing soldiers, she encounters several strange individuals, including a master criminal, a wicked witch, a handsome but exasperating adventurer, and a very unusual pig. Eventually, Kyra teams up with a few crucial allies to save the kingdom and make some important decisions about her future. This is an enjoyable light fantasy novel that skews toward the younger end of the YA spectrum. The plot is very episodic, and the characters are likable but not particularly complex. The book reminds me somewhat of Ella Enchanted — not as good, but if you liked that book, I think you’ll enjoy this one too.
Julia Quinn, Romancing Mister Bridgerton
Penelope Featherington has been in love with Colin Bridgerton for years, but she knows he’ll never return her affections: She’s always been a wallflower and is now a spinster at age 28, whereas Colin is one of London’s most popular and charming bachelors. But Colin has just returned to England after a long trip abroad, and he’s starting to see Penelope in a whole new light. Their fledgling romance is threatened, however, by the secrets they’re keeping from each other, which may cause a huge society scandal. I’m a fan (with caveats) of the Bridgerton TV series, and season 3 is supposed to focus on Penelope and Colin, so I wanted to read their story before the season drops. Unfortunately, this book didn’t particularly work for me, mostly because I found Colin so frustrating. He constantly pouts and sulks and throws temper tantrums, and in the end I just wanted Penelope to get over her infatuation and find someone better! Overall, this one was disappointing, especially after I enjoyed The Viscount Who Loved Me so much.
One thought on “Mini-Reviews: Lonely, Poison, Romancing”
Thank you for taking a minute to check out this new book. Hope it’s of interest and you will follow up!
FYI: I’m a published freelance writer, mother of 5, and former teacher. My work includes educational books/materials, articles/stories for adults/children that have appeared in general interest and parenting mags, and anthologies.