Phyl's 5 Phaves from April

Hi all. I have been seriously AWOL lately and I am sorry for that. Unfortunately I had some minor, nagging health problems that had me just sitting around much of the time feeling lethargic and sorry for myself. I'm hopeful that the worst of it is behind me now and I can catch up and show off some recently completed quilts!

Meanwhile, let's see if I can remember what I liked about these books:

5. The Christmas Child by Linda Goodnight. This book was listed as a RITA finalist in the Inspirational category and when I saw it at the library I decided to pick it up. It's about a couple who are brought together when a lost, mute, 6-year old boy shows up in the small town of Redemption, OK. Kade is a big-city undercover cop recuperating from a tough assignment when the little boy is found huddled in the back of a dumpster. Sophie is an elementary school teacher who takes an interest in both the boy and the man. This is a sweet story about love and faith that is told with a light hand. It was a very quick read and I really enjoyed it. Shortly after I read the book, someone tweeted a link to this touching story about Goodnight's RITA nomination.

4. About That Night by Julie James. James' books are such fun. I wish we got more than one a year. Anyhow, the book begins when Kyle and Rylann first meet while in graduate school. Their opportunity to have a real date is interrupted by the death of Kyle's mother. The next time they see each other is years later in court just as Rylann's beginning her new job as a government attorney and Kyle is being released from jail. A lot has happened to each of them in the intervening years and both Kyle and Rylann are making new beginnings. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop, the clever dialogue that James excels at writing, and the legal setting. I remember this being a book I breezed through during one of my "down" times.

3. If You See Her / If You Know Her by Shiloh Walker. Bonus double coverage! These are books 2 and 3 in Walker's Ash series that continue the search for a serial killer in the small town of Ash, KY. As in the first book in the series (If You Hear Her) there's a perfect blend of suspense and romance. If You See Her is the story of Hope, a woman building a new life for herself after escaping an abusive ex-husband, and Remy, the local district attorney. In If You Know Her, Nia is the cousin of the murder victim whose story runs through the series. She's come to Ash seeking answers about her cousin's death and there she meets Law Reilly, a reclusive best-selling author. These were very satisfying stories and it's well worth reading all three books if you like romantic suspense.

2. A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare. Dare has become a popular author and it pains me to confess that I have not felt the same love for Dare's previous books. In fact I haven't even read her most recent ones. But the description of the story, some very positive reviews, and the reasonable sale price combined to convince me to give in and buy this. I'm awfully glad I did. This was just a wonderful story about a young woman determined to show a bunch of men that she's made a scientific discovery worthy of their attention. And as much as I loved the character of Minerva, I loved Colin even more. He's not the shallow rake Minerva takes him for and I love how her quest becomes important to him, too. Funny and poignant, this book hit all of my favorite buttons.

1. The Witness by Nora Roberts. This is Roberts' latest single-title romantic suspense story, although I think it's a misnomer to consider this a true suspense story. It lacks that hint of danger lurking nearby. However, that doesn't mean that I liked it any less. In fact, I really think Roberts hit it out of the park with this book. Abigail has quietly built herself a very safe and secure life on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. Abigail's reclusive habits pique the interest of the police chief, Brooks. And his attraction to her has him slowly and persistently breaking down the physical and emotional barriers that have kept Abigail locked up in her home. There are wonderful scenes between these two. I will mention that Abigail is a genius and she has a way of talking literally. As a friend of mine commented to me after she'd read it too, we could just hear the character of Abigail in our heads with the voice of Emily Deschanel (Bones). It was great. Anyhow, wonderful characters, typical sparkling dialogue, and a satisfying conclusion to Abigail's situation made this an absorbing read.


  1. Awesome list! I adored the Shiloh Walker trilogy and the Tessa Dare.

    I'm not a NR fan. Must get to the Julie James book! It's on my reader. And I read about the story behind Linda Goodnight's nomination. It's wonderful to see such great friendship and support. It still makes me cry when I read it.

    Is her book too preachy? Or is it subtle?

    1. I'd say it's probably down the middle. Sophie does a lot of praying and she attends church. I didn't find it preachy, but I have read some Inspys that are more subtle than this one was.

  2. I hope you're feeling better, Phyl. How did your quilt do in the auction?

    I have to read Tessa Dare's latest still. I LOVE Goddess of the Hunt.. one of my favorite historical romances actually. THe first in this newer series was fun, but I didn't think the writing was as beautiful or compelling.

    I'm on hold still for The Witness! :)

    1. Thanks, Christine! I'm getting there. My quilt sold for $251. I've communicated with the author who has 2 books out in a series of 3 and is waiting for the 3rd cover to be finished by her publisher. So the quilt won't be made until much later this year. I'm not going to say who won it yet, though. They are going to be very fun covers to work with.

      Meanwhile I hope The Witness comes soon. I do think you'll like it.

    2. That's fantastic about the quilt, Phyl! I can't wait to hear more about it and see the final project when the time comes. Very exciting!

      I have so many books lined to that I want to read right this instant.. I actually don't mind the wait for The Witness. I am looking forward to it, though since everyone's been saying such nice things about it. I have a feeling I'm really going to like the heroine based on what I've heard.


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