Thursday, May 25, 2023

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 8-16-22
Adult - Contemporary

Love in the Time of Serial Killers- Alicia Thompson: Phoebe Walsh is a Ph.D. candidate working on her dissertation about true crime. She's been obsessed with the genre since she was young, so writing a paper about it should be easy, but it's hard to focus when her new neighbor might be a serial killer. After the recent passing of her father, Phoebe finds herself back in Florida, cleaning out her childhood home with her obnoxiously peppy brother and trying to mourn a parent who wasn't a part of her life. Phoebe also can't help but be distracted by Sam, her neighbor that is somehow always around when she needs help. When Phoebe notices him doing something strange in his garage, she's convinced she's living next to a serial killer. But she quickly realizes Sam is much more dangerous-- he's a genuinely nice guy with a good heart who threatens to break down the walls she's spent years building around herself.

I was instantly drawn in by the cover, but the story ended up missing the mark a bit for me. The premise of a true crime junkie moving next to someone she thinks is a serial killer is hilarious, and I was sure it would lead to ridiculous moments, but it was over too quickly. Phoebe admits her suspicions to Sam pretty early on, they laugh about it, and then it's done. I thought it would be more of a plot point than it was. Without that element, the rest of the story felt boring. It was a lot of Phoebe having conversations with different characters, taking care of the stray cat she found, and then working on her paper. Also, I wasn't her biggest fan; she was a bit too pithy and negative for my taste. The saving grace for me was Sam. He was adorable, and I liked how much he cared for Phoebe. It was satisfying watching her open up to him and start working through all the dark feelings she's carried for so long. Overall, it was fine, but it could've been better.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 3-9-21
Adult - Historical Romance

The Heiress Hunt- Joanna Shupe: Harrison Archer and Maddie Webster were inseparable as children. They were each other's best friends and confidants, but soon Harrison started to harbor feelings for Maddie. When Harrison overhears her saying she would never be with him, and after a fight with his father leaves him disowned, Harrison flees to Paris. Years later, Harrison returns to New York and convinces his family he's here to save them from bankruptcy by marrying an heiress, but he has one thing in mind: to ruin the family that turned their backs on him. Harrison enlists the help of Maddie in finding him a suitable bride, and despite their rocky history, she reluctantly agrees. Maddie is all but promised to another, so why does it twist her insides into knots watching Harrison flirt with other women? The more time they spend around one another, the more they can't deny the spark between them. Harrison has always wanted Maddie, but is she willing to risk it all for love?

I'm such a big fan of this series, but this installment didn't do it for me. I'm usually all for a childhood friends-to-lovers trope, but I didn't love how Harrison went about it. He essentially goes to Paris, where he amasses a great fortune while sleeping around to spite his family and because of something he overhears Maddie say. His ploy to take revenge on his family and break up an engagement between Maddie and the Duke was just too conniving for me. I didn't doubt his feelings towards Maddie; I just wished he went about his actions differently. The first half of this worked so well for me, but the second half flopped. Still, I enjoyed Shupe's writing style and all the side characters, but it's my least favorite in the series.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 2-7-23
Adult - Historical Mystery

Of Manners and Murder- Anastasia Hastings: When Violet's aunt goes off with her latest paramour, she's left to take over the mantle of "Miss Hermione," London's favorite Agony Aunt. Violet expects this to be an easy job answering letters from bored society wives, but that isn't the case. The very first letter Violet receives is from a woman who believes her life is in danger. Violet takes it upon herself to investigate, but when she arrives in the woman's village, she finds that the woman is already dead. Soon, Violet finds herself wrapped up in a murder plot, but can she uncover the murderer before it's too late?

I love a good historical murder mystery, so I was excited to pick this up, but it was a letdown. Nothing about it worked for me. The plot was boring and predictable. The characters felt over-the-top and grating, especially Violet's sister. The writing was stilted and fluctuated between being too descriptive and not enough. It made the narrative feel disjointed. Some moments didn't feel true to the time, so it kept taking me out of the story. I thought the premise was fun and had a lot of potential, but the story as a whole needed some work.

Rating: 2/5

No comments:

Post a Comment