Phyl's 5 Phaves from July

Yes, yes, I know. It's November. I don't want to admit how long I've had a draft of this post waiting to be published.

5. Her Best Worst Mistake / Sarah Mayberry. (2012) This book received a lot of attention when it was first released, so I was pretty eager to read it. Plus, I've liked most of Mayberry's books that I've read. This is an enemies to lovers story, and really interesting in the way Mayberry's characters, Violet and Martin, shed the assumptions each has had about the other. This book runs concurrent to Hot Island Nights (which I haven't read). Elizabeth and Martin had been engaged for years, when suddenly Elizabeth flies off to Australia in search of her biological father. She leaves her best friend, Violet, to break the news to Martin. Martin and Violet have never gotten along. Violet thinks Martin is all wrong for Elizabeth, and Martin objects to Violet's flamboyant ways. On the surface they seem so different for one another, yet when Elizabeth's flight gives them the opportunity to get to know one another better, they find they had more in common than they anticipated. I think the development of Martin and Violet's relationship is well and realistically done. I liked this book very much.

4. VJ : the Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave / Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Allan Hunter, and Martha Quinn. (2013) For several years in the early 80's, after MTV came on the air, I treated MTV like a radio--keeping it on in the background while I did other things, looking up to watch the videos when my favorite songs and artists came on the air. These days I have a satellite radio that I carry around to plug into my car, my office, or my sewing room. The '80s on 8 is one of a handful of stations I listen to regularly. I was eager to read this book that, using a conversational style, chronicled the early years of MTV. It was enjoyable on a number of levels--for the personal look into the lives of the four authors, for the look into the business of starting up a music cable channel, and for the stories behind music and events I remember quite well. This is a great read for anyone who enjoyed the early years of MTV.

3. Betrayal / Sandra Schwab. (2013) This novella is Schwab's newest book in ages. I'm so glad she's publishing again. Betrayal will remind readers of the Disney movie The Parent Trap, which was actually based on Erich Kastner's Das doppelte Lottchen, a German children's book. Georgina is living in Germany where she welcomes home her son who had been travelling in Italy. It is not long before she realizes that this boy is not the son she knew, but his twin who she'd left behind when she fled her husband, Ash. Her sons met one another in Italy and had traded places. Georgina needs to take this twin home and confront the painful past she left behind. This is a nice angsty, emotional read, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

2. The Heiress Effect / Courtney Milan. (2013) Oliver Marshall is a man with a mission. He is the bastard son of a duke, raised on a farm, yet given a gentleman's education. His goal is to be the voice of the people and sometimes that means doing somewhat distasteful things to secure the support of the rich and powerful. Jane Fairfield is an heiress with poor social skills and a terrible sense of style. In reality, Jane is trying to repel those who would marry her for her money. As Oliver is thrown into her company, he sees that there is much more to Jane than most people see. But what is he to do when he has to make a choice between Jane and achieving his goals? This is an interesting look at the slippery slope our choices can take us down, as well as the politics of an era when the people were gaining a louder political voice. There's also a secondary inter-racial romance involving Jane's sister that I wish had gotten even more attention. Still, I loved this entry in Milan's Brothers Sinister series.

1. Honest Illusions / Nora Roberts. (1992) This title appeared on one of the AAR staff's top 10 picks and since I enjoy going through Roberts' backlist, I picked it up at the library. I'm so glad I did, because I think it will go down as one of my top 5 Nora's. This book is really different from most of hers that I've read. It's more of a saga as it takes place over a couple of decades. It's also really dated--in a good way. Modern technology would change this book in so many ways that I'm not sure the story could be told the same way today. Anyhow, Roxanne Nouvelle is the daughter of a renowned magician who is also a jewel thief on the side. A significant part of the story takes place during Roxanne's youth when her father takes in a runaway boy and makes him part of the family and the magic act. As kids, Roxanne and Luke battle one another all the time, but as young adults they fall in love. Just as it looks as if they're ready for their happily ever after, Luke disappears, and it's years before he comes back. There's someone who haunts Luke's past and he's determined to keep him from the family that took him in when he was young and desperate. I laughed in spots, I cried in others, and I was swept away by the drama. It was interesting that the main characters were thieves and yet they were the "good guys." I'll read this again.


  1. Thanks for the shout out, Phyl! I'm so glad to hear you've enjoyed BETRAYAL! :-)

    I read HER BEST WORST MISTAKE last year and loved it to pieces. It was actually my first Mayberry book and started me on a Mayberry glom. :-)

    1. You're very welcome, Sandra. So great to see you publishing again. I have your newest in my TBR. And yes, Mayberry is worth a glom.

  2. Phyl, I love your July 5 Phaves. My Best Worst Mistake by Mayberry has become a comfort read for me for some reason. Maybe it's all that passion disguised as hostility that erupts between the main characters, and the love grows between such seemingly disparate people who need each other so much. I love how well this romance works despite its length.

    And, how wonderful that you finally read Honest Illusions by NR! This is one of her best stand alone romances ever… or maybe it is just one of those NR books that haunt fans' favorite lists. I personally loved it and still have the original copy in my collection. Interesting point: Most of my favorite NR romances are now dated (in a good way) and I don't mind at all when I reread them. *g*

    1. I can see why MBWM would be a comfort read. I know I want to read it again. And I agree about Honest Illusions being one of NR's best stand alones. I have this on my Kindle wish list because I want to own a copy, not just borrow from the library.


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