Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 2-20-24
Adult - Historical Mystery

Murder in Masquerade- Mary Winters: Widowed countess Amelia Amesbury is used to being in sticky situations. She has gone to great lengths to uncover truths as the secret author of a popular advice column. Her latest escapade led her to join forces with Simon Bainbridge, a marquis and close friend of Amelia's late husband. But now it seems that Simon is the one in need of assistance. Simon discovers his younger sister has written to Lady Agony asking for advice on whether or not to elope with a man her family disapproves of, and he is desperate for Amelia to dissuade her. But when the man is found dead in an alleyway, Amelia believes there's more to the story. With Simon's family's reputation on the line, it'll take all of Amelia's know-how to solve the case.

I'm so glad I found this series. It's so fun! The characters are my favorite part. Amelia is so plucky, and I love how outspoken she is. Each chapter begins with her advice column, and her replies are blunt and amusing. And Simon is one of those characters that I dare anyone not to fall in love with. He's charming, handsome, and best of all, goes along with whatever scheme Amelia has in mind. I love how he tries to insist on protecting her but is then like, 'Oh, alright.' They play off each other so well, and I'm impatiently waiting for their romance to finally kick-off. We got little moments in here, but I want more. Like in the previous book, the mystery isn't mind-blowing, but it's entertaining. It's become one of my favorite cozy historical mystery series, and I can't wait for more.

Rating: 4/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 3-20-18
Adult - Thriller

The Broken Girls- Simone St. James: In 1950s Vermont, Idlewild Hall was the place to send girls no one wanted. The halls were full of girls deemed troublemakers, illegitimate girls, and girls who scared society by speaking their minds. Four girls, in particular, share a close bond, sharing their fears and dreams. But Idlewild also had a reputation for being haunted, and when one of the girls goes missing, the rest are left wondering. Years later, the body of Fiona Sheridan's sister is found on the grounds of Idlewild. Her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted for the murder, but something has never sat right with Fiona. When Fiona learns that Idlewild Hall is being restored, she uses her journalism background to write a story about it. But when a shocking discovery links back to her sister, Fiona begins to uncover secrets that were supposed to stay hidden.

I've read a few other books by St. James that I've enjoyed, so I was looking forward to picking this up. I love how all of her books seem to have a paranormal element. It makes for such compulsive reading. The pacing was so well-done, and I didn't want to put it down because I needed to know what was happening. I thought the dual timelines worked well. I liked seeing glimpses of the girls at Idlewild, and I loved following Fiona as she hunted down clues that tied everything together. I've seen a few reviews classify this as dark academia, which I don't agree with. Yes, part of it takes place at a boarding school, but it felt more like a classic ghost story than dark academia. Either way, I thought this was great, and St. James has solidified herself as one of my favorite thriller authors.

Rating: 4/5

Pub Date: 4-18-22
Adult - Contemporary

In the Weeds-B.K. Borison: Evelyn St. James and Beckett Porter couldn't be more different. She's a social media influencer who never stays in one place, and he's a grumpy farmer who takes in stray animals. Neither has forgotten the incredible weekend they spent together months ago, but they both know nothing between them could last. But what if it could? When her job starts feeling unfulfilling, Evie begins to question when the last time she was truly happy. It doesn't take long for her to realize it was with Beckett on Lovelight Farms. Once she steps on the farm and sees Beckett, Evie knows this is where she's supposed to be. But what happens when real life comes knocking?

I loved the previous book in this series, so I had high hopes for this one. It was even better than I imagined. I loved being back at the farm in this small town full of meddling neighbors. But my favorite thing about this was Evie and Beckett. Their relationship was *chefs kiss*. I adored them together. Beckett is so smitten with Evie from the jump, and we love to see it. The chemistry between them was palpable, but there was also such tenderness. They cared so deeply for each other, and it was sweet watching them do little things for one another. Seeing Evie carrying earplugs for when Beckett gets too anxious especially tugged at my heartstrings. I'm not usually a fan of the miscommunication trope, but Borison did it in a way that felt right to the characters, so I didn't mind it as much. I can tell that Borison will be a new fave, and I can't wait to pick up the next book.

Rating: 4/5


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