Tag Archives: Small Town

On Borrowed Crime, by Kate Young

10 Oct
Watercolor-like illustration of a library, with bookcases and a large window in the background, and a desk with books, an old fashioned desk lamp, a magnifying glass, files, books, a mini recorder, and anonymous threatening notes scattered over the blotter on the desk in the foreground.

I had originally planned to read Ms Young’s Crime for the Books, the most recent title in this series; however, I realized that I have ARCs for the first two books, and since I have a thing about reading order, here we are.

Once again, I had not realized this series is narrated in first person past tense; I have a feeling a lot of the cozy mysteries in my TBR ARCs are going to be like this, and I should work to make my peace with it.

Reader beware: some graphic gruesomeness; whiteness (maybe one PoC character, though their race is not specified); old drunkard being a creepy lecher; a whole lot of class privilege; whiffs of domestic and/or intimate partner violence.

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A Gifts of Ghosts, by Sarah Wynde

12 Jan
Cover, A Gift of Ghosts; a field of dark clouds at the top, with two streaks of lightning coming down, and a three on the middle ground. Tag line: "Akira has secrets. So does the town of Tassamara."

I am not entirely sure why I got this one, though I have a vague memory of it being one of those, ‘this cute story is on sale right now, grab it’ tweets passing my feed in late December 2021, so I did. And it is a cute story in the “quirky small town” subgenre of romance, and honestly a refreshing take on paranormals.

If you want to skip the review, this is mostly a fluffy, just over category-length, 1 paranormal story with a romance tacked on.

A couple of warnings, though: there’s a history of physical child abuse, which is explained as loving concern (me: hell, no). There are also mentions of traumatic deaths for some of the ghosts in the story, including a suicide and the accidental drug overdose of a teenager.

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Hope Ignites, by Jaci Burton

15 Apr

Hope Ignites coverJaci Burton’s Hope series are contemporary romances set in a small town. While I confess that I’m pretty much over this setup, I have liked Ms Burton’s writing for a good long time, so I was all set to like these books regardless. There was, however, a bit of a glitch.

The first one, “Hope Smolders,” is a novella that was originally released as part of the Hot Summer Nights anthology. Because I’m not a fan of any of the other authors there, I didn’t get it. Eventually, as it’s becoming more common, it was released on its own digitally, and at some point after that it I finally bought it.

In the meantime, Hope Flames and Hope Ignites had already made their way into my print TBR, so that when I finally had the first story at my fingertips, I read them in order–last month.

Which means I’m probably cheating by reviewing it for this month’s TBR Challenge *hanging head in shame* Look, people, I’m a bit desperate here, and while I dislike reviewing books in a series out of order, plus I’m actually typing this review on TBR Challenge day…well, let’s just get on with it, shall we?

Hope Ignites, by Jaci Burton

I’m going to start this by stating that it’s very difficult to write a review for a book that you find competent and fairly easy to read, but in which you don’t find anything particularly remarkable. Therefore, please do forgive me if this isn’t as cohesive or as impassioned as other reviews.

This particular story involves the brother of a previous hero, a rancher who is fairly reclusive. Not quite a hermit, but definitely not someone fond of noise, bustle and crowds. Even regular visits to nearby Hope, which is very much a small town (emphasis on small) are a bother he would be quite happy to live without. The female protagonist is an up and coming actress, which would lead both Logan and the reader to assume Desiree is a city girl through and through.

Here’s the blurb from my print copy, and you can read a decently sized excerpt at the author’s website here:
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