Phyl's 5 Phaves from February

I'm sitting here watching a little March Madness, anxious to get back to some sewing. I just agreed to make a t-shirt quilt for the son of one of my best friends. He'll be a freshman at Loyola Chicago in the fall, so I can't procrastinate. These days I feel as if my UFO (Un-Finished Object) pile is as bad as my TBR pile. If I'm not careful I'll get behind on my blogging, too!

5. The Bentleys Buy a Buick by Pamela Morsi. Morsi's latest book isn't really a romance, although there are romantic elements. Tom and Erica are a happily married couple with a young child. After being a stay-at-home mom for 5 years, Erica has resumed her career as a medical coder. Tom is working hard to grow his business which is an auto repair shop that focuses on classic cars. Tom gets an opportunity to do some work on an old Buick in nearly mint condition. His obsession with the car leads to time away from home causing Erica to wonder if he's having an affair. Her insecurities are exacerbated by the gossipy co-workers at her new job. This is really a book about a normal young couple facing fairly normal problems and having to learn again how to communicate with one another. Just like in a traditional romance, they overcome these problems to ensure the ongoing health of their marriage. I enjoyed the characters, the touches of humor, and a realistic portrayal of the difficulties a couple can face.

4. The Bro-Magnet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted. At one point this book made me laugh so hard I had to get off my treadmill before I hurt myself. This got a good review last month by Dear Author. After reading that review I thought that a book about a guy who loves sports and is a guy's guy sounded like fun and something totally different. Told entirely in 1st person from Johnny's POV, this book is really unlike anything else that I've read in quite some time. I loved this light-hearted look at how easily we are tempted to make ourselves over to be attractive to someone. Johnny's interactions with various people in his life are fun and down-to-earth. It takes a little while before Johnny & Helen get together. And overall, they don't share a whole lot of time together through the book. However, it was such a fun, quick read that all I wanted to do was keep reading.

3. Flawless by Carrie Lofty. SuperLibrarian Wendy wrote a strong positive review for this one and I can certainly understand why. Vivienne is a strong, determined woman and a heroine I really liked. When the book open she's estranged from her husband Miles. She has just received a strange inheritance from her late father. She will be responsible to make a South African diamond business profitable or she forfeits both the business and a large cash settlement. Vivienne travels to South Africa only to find that Miles has beat her there, ready to pave her way and try to repair their marriage. This was a fascinating historical that had me looking for more information about the infamous Big Hole of Kimberley. I loved the way that Lofty used the social setting of Kimberley to emphasize Vivienne's and Miles' relative strengths that had to be combined in order for them to be successful. Theirs was a marriage where trust had been destroyed; perhaps it's fair to say it never existed. But now they have to learn to trust one another and in the course of that their physical attraction turns into something much deeper. This was really well done and if I have any complaint it would be that I wish there'd just been more, that it had been longer.

4. In Love and War by Carla Kelly. This is a re-publication of four of Kelly's novellas that appeared in various Signet Regency anthologies. I have collected a lot of those old anthologies, but not all of them. As far as this book goes, I'm not aware if it's available in print. It does not appear to be. I couldn't tell from the product description on Amazon which four stories were in the book, but for $2.99 I decided to buy it for my Kindle. I'm awfully glad I did. It turns out that there was one story I had not read before, and three I enjoyed just as much the second time around. As usual, Kelly writes about ordinary people who are sometimes caught up in extraordinary events. There is a military veteran who had served under Wellesley (before he was Wellington) in India and suffers malaria attacks. And there is an American widow who is in London trying to confirm that her Nantucket fisherman husband had been the victim of a British naval attack. Kelly's stories have a certain poignancy that I find very appealing. I'm glad to have this collection in one place.

1. Conor's Way by Laura Lee Guhrke. My February TBR book. I gushed about it here.


  1. Hey Phyl!

    From your list, Flawless is the one book I read and really enjoyed. I agree with you, Lofty did a great job working on that relationship. Actually, I'm just loving Lofty's historical romances. My one quibble was the fact that we were taken to such an exotic setting and then that was not really given enough depth. Or maybe it's just that after reading Song of Seduction, I expected more from that direction.

    I am definitely reading Conor's Way, and am thinking of reading The Bro-Magnet. :) Great reads!

  2. A Morsi, a Lofty, and a Guhrke. That's a good month :)

  3. Like I said, I would have loved more of Flawless. Such an interesting setting, so it seems we're in total agreement about that book, Hilcia.

    And yes, Wendy. It was a good month indeed!


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