Sunday, September 25, 2016

Mini-Reviews: Women In Peril
I've gotten in the habit of "wish listing" potential audiobook listens from work.  Instead of putting myself on a wait list, when I need something to listen to, I check my wish list, gauge my mood, and download what's currently available.  I was ready for suspense, so went with The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford.  For those keeping track, this is post-Gone Girl and was published the same year as The Girl on the Train.  It reminded me more of the latter, but it's similar to both in the fact that it's a book about miserable people, living miserable lives and the moral of the story seems to be don't get married.

Dana lives in a quiet New Jersey suburb not far from Manhattan, is at a loss now that her son is off to college and the cracks in her marriage to her lawyer husband, Peter are starting to show.  Complicating matters is Dana's bipolar disorder, and the brutal murder of her neighbor and friend, Celia.  Dana was the last person to see Celia alive, they were both drunk, they argued and....that's it.  Dana has blacked out.  Between the alcohol and being in a manic phase she's not sure what's reality and what are just thoughts bumping around in her head.

This is another thriller that employs the Look At Me I'm A Serious Writer method of writing.  There's a lot of musing and rambling words strung together and yada yada yada.  It mostly works given Dana's mental state, but thank Jeebus that this book isn't only told from her point of view.  I found myself much more interested when Detective Jack Moss was the one at the narration wheel.

This is OK.  I pretty much had it figured all out by the 75% mark and it wraps up tidy.  It's not the sort of book I will scream from the rooftops about, but if you loved The Girl on the Train and want another book in that vein?  Yeah, this one.  For me it was a pleasant way to pass the time but I wasn't enthusiastic about it.

Final Grade = C
Her Forbidden Gunslinger by Harper St. George is a short (around 60 pages) western that was an impulse download.  I wanted a quick, one-sitting read for my lunch break at work, went diving into the Kindle TBR and pulled this out.  This was OK, a pleasant way to kill an hour, but ultimately rather forgettable. 

Sophie Buchanan's uncle wants to marry her to one of his loathsome cronies.  She is going to run away and, being skilled in billiards, decides to hustle the few funds she has to a bigger payday.  However the bloke she's playing doesn't take kindly losing to a woman and she finds herself getting pulled out of the fire by Gray, a half-Comanche gunman who works for her uncle.  Naturally these two have had the hots for each other, but haven't acted on them because - well white woman, Comanche man, he works for her uncle yada yada yada.  With her wedding day looming closer, can Gray find a way to rescue Sophie?

This was an OK read, but suffers from the short word count.  Even making it a longer novella (150 pages) would have gone a long way to fleshing out this story.  This did the job of entertaining me on my lunch break, but it's not something I would say you have to drop your life in order to read.  Since the publication of this short St. George has gone on to write full length Harlequin Historicals (which I have in my TBR - because of course I do).  I liked the writing here, which means I'm now looking forward to bumping up those longer books in my reading queue.

Final Grade = C+

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