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robinb

robinb

Joined October 2016

LibraryThing member RWBrock

Fiction fan, ❤️ hist. romance/mystery/suspense, urban fantasy. GR: www.goodreads.com/rwbrock ; Litsy Birthday fairy :)
review
robinb
Novel Proposal | Denise Hunter
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Pickpick

As I‘ve said before, I‘m a big fan of Hunter‘s sweet, romantic books. And while I enjoyed this one as well, it wasn‘t quite as stellar as expected. Sadie is an art teacher in NYC who writes Western Romance on the side. When asked to switch to contemporary romance because of lackluster sales, the never-been-in-love Sadie takes a summer rental on the coast of NC to focus on writing in her new genre. She meets her neighbor Sam who seems a bit 🔻

robinb standoffish. But as they team up to solve a mystery and return a priceless personal possession found in a book in Sadie‘s newly built little free library on the beach, they begin to see each other‘s positive qualities. As they attend a family wedding together, they grow closer. But can they overcome trust issues (Sam) and relationship disillusionment (Sadie)? My only issue here was with Sadie‘s character. 🔻 12h
robinb While I enjoy bubbly, optimistic, outgoing characters, she was too over-the-top, at times to the point of annoying. Sometimes nosy, often easily distracted, she just came off as too immature for her age (26). Otherwise, another sweet romantic contribution from Hunter. 4/5⭐️ 12h
32 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
robinb
Red Queen | Juan Gmez-Jurado
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Mehso-so

I will probably be in the minority here over this (originally in Spanish) beginner to a trilogy. Taking place in Bilbao Spain, Antonia Scott is a forensic genius who is legendary at solving baffling crimes and works for a specialized secret agency until a personal tragic event pushes her into a self-imposed retirement. She reluctantly returns with a new partner, Jon Gutierrez, a disgraced and suspended police officer, to investigate a macabre 🔻

robinb murder and possibly related subsequent kidnapping. There‘s a very descriptive violent encounter with police/villain and some surprising twists, but I found myself not as invested as I should have been. From the beginning I felt I was playing catch-up with the narrative, and I never really connected well with either protagonist. I felt alternately pitying off and frustrated with Antonia, and Jon seemed almost superfluous to me. 🔻 13h
robinb The villain‘s storyline was intriguing but also a bit murky in some details. Overall, not stellar but OK, I guess…3/5⭐️ 13h
27 likes2 comments
blurb
robinb
The Birthdays | Heidi Pitlor
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REPOST for @LitsyBirthdays :

January is nearly over and the Birthday Fairies are getting ready to celebrate all our lovely Littens with February birthdays. If you'd like to be added to the list (for any time of year) and receive birthday wishes on your special day, just email litsybirthdays@gmail.com with your Litsy handle and the date of your birthday and we'll do the rest!

@LitsyEvents

squirrelbrain 🎉🎁🎉🎁🎉🎁 4d
36 likes1 comment
review
robinb
Forrest for the Trees | Kilby Blades, Smartypants Romance
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Mehso-so

This was one that I was sent as part of a contest to judge. While I really had nothing against this park ranger/fire marshal romance, it really didn‘t grab my attention and pull me in. 3/5⭐️

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robinb
The Spinster Book | MYRTLE REED
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Going ahead and posting my #BookSpin / #DoubleSpin February list a little early. 📚

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 6d
28 likes1 comment
review
robinb
The Survivors | Jane Harper
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Pickpick

This was my #DoubleSpin and my first Harper book. This was actually two mysteries taking place 10 years apart on a small coastal town. Kieran and his partner and baby are returning home after a long absence for a short visit to pack up his parents for a move. Ten years before, as a teenager during a catastrophic storm, his life was changed by a family tragedy for which he still feels guilt. When a young woman is murdered on the beach, it brings🔻

robinb up memories of a young girl‘s disappearance during that storm. Are they somehow connected, and if so, how? I enjoyed this story. It was suspenseful, there were lots of secrets/suspects, and it kept me guessing. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the locale and legend of The Survivors. However, I did find Kieran‘s deduction of the villain at the denouement a little surprising given the few clues provided. Still a solid read, and I‘ll definitely 🔻 1w
robinb read more from her. @TheAromaofBooks (edited) 1w
TheAromaofBooks I've really enjoyed the books by this author that I've read, although I haven't gotten to this one yet!! 1w
robinb @TheAromaofBooks I‘m looking forward to more. I found this one very atmospheric and loved the lore of the setting. 1w
56 likes4 comments
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robinb
Hello Beautiful | Ann Napolitano
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This was a poignantly written story of family, centering on sisterhood in all its trials and triumphs. The Padavano sisters (Julia, the problem solver; Sylvie, the romantic dreamer; Cecelia, the free-spirited artist; and Emeline, the caregiver) share an unbreakable bond that is tested as each enters adulthood in their own unique ways. William Waters marries into this boisterous Italian family as an emotionally abused only child. As William ⬇

Bklover I can‘t wait to read this!! I‘ll have to put March 14th on my calendar!!❤️❤️ 3w
Bklover Also, I loved Dear Edward! 3w
robinb @Bklover You won‘t be disappointed! 😊 This was my first from this author, but I‘m definitely onboard for Dear Edward (and anything else she writes). 😉 3w
See All 7 Comments
squirrelbrain Ooh, I have an ARC of this from #netgalley! 3w
robinb @squirrelbrain great!! I‘ll look forward to hearing what you think! 😊 3w
robinb faces a personal crisis, the sisters' various reactions will echo through their own lives for decades to come, both positively and negatively. I loved the messiness and realness of this family in all its forms…husbands/wives, parents/children, sisters and friends. Its ups and downs, celebrations and defeats but also its forgiveness and hopefulness as the bonds bend but do not break. And yes, there are some shades of Little Women, but this is ⬇ (edited) 4d
robinb very much its own distinctive story. Very well done and much recommended and will no doubt be included in my list of the best for 2023.

4d
40 likes7 comments
review
robinb
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Pickpick

This one was a so-so/soft pick for me because I had a couple of frustrations with it. Sally, a coffee shop owner and hopeless romantic (romcom queen) and her new flat mate hopeless cynic Harry (yes, Harry and Sally 😆) are drunk when they recreate the lift scene from Dirty Dancing one night. It goes viral so with a financial incentive they begin to spin other take-offs of famous romcom romantic moments. One thing leads to another, and they must🔻

robinb decide if their relationship is just for “fun” or are they more than friends with benefits. I liked the abundance of romcom references here, fun and nostalgic. But I had a couple of issues with the leads. First and foremost, I found Harry a bit arrogant and hung up on his “hunky-ness”…too much, too distracting. 🔻 3w
robinb And Sally, while I liked her most of the time, I didn‘t like how she let her younger sister treat her. So overall, a cute concept but a couple of flaws from wonderful. 3.25/5⭐️ 3w
47 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
robinb
The Narrowboat Summer | Anne Youngson
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Pickpick

This was my first #BookSpin of 2023, and it was a good way to start out the new year.😊 Eve and Sally, two complete strangers, meet one morning by chance and end up offering to navigate another stranger‘s (Anastasia, a fiercely independent and somewhat crotchety narrowboat-dweller) narrowboat on a summer-long journey to be serviced. Eve and Sally are both at loose ends and in need of reflection to figure out what path to take forward in their 🔻

robinb lives. Meanwhile, Anastasia is also facing tough decisions as she‘s forced to be land-locked for awhile for medical reasons. Thus begins new friendships, new outlooks on life and new opportunities not considered before. This was such a good story…loved the three women so much and the supporting characters were wonderful as well. If you like feel-good books revolving around strong women, this one‘s for you. 4.25/5⭐️ @TheAromaofBooks 3w
rubyslippersreads This reminds me of one of my favorite books 3w
robinb @rubyslippersreads oh, that does sound along the same lines. That one sounds good! Thanks for mentioning it! Stacked. 😊 3w
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3w
41 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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robinb
Untitled | Untitled
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Is anyone having issues with notifications not showing up on their Litsy app? The number of posts you‘ve been tagged in on your phone screen app?

TheKidUpstairs Yes! I'm not getting any push notifications. They're showing up on the app or website, but I don't get any notifications on my phone. 3w
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I saw on onward Litsy that they are aware and will work on it in the am. 3w
See All 12 Comments
wanderinglynn Same. I even tried deleting the app & reinstalling. But that didn‘t work. 3w
robinb @TheKidUpstairs @Chrissyreadit @wanderinglynn thanks for letting me know I‘m not alone! And @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks thanks for letting me know the status from the powers that be. 😊👍 3w
Pigpen_Reads I'm glad I'm not the only one! I looked through all my settings. 3w
Birdsong28 Yes! It's been like this for a few days. I clicked on the app and had looked and had loads of notifications. 3w
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Now all of our LitsyLove birthdays have disappeared 🤦🏻‍♀️ 3w
TheKidUpstairs Woo Hoo! My notifications just came back. Hopefully everyone else's are working again as well 3w
wanderinglynn My notifications came back too. 🎉 3w
robinb Back in business! 😊👍 3w
43 likes12 comments
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robinb
No Life for a Lady | Hannah Dolby
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I read 12 books in #December with this one as my only 5⭐️.

I loved this debut so much for its wit and charm, but the incandescent heroine trying to overcome discrimination stole the show. ❤️

Honorable mention: When the Moon Turns Blue

#12Booksof2022

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robinb
Nature of Secrets | Debra Webb
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Pickpick

Second in the Finley O‘Sullivan series, this was my first to read, but I had no trouble catching up. Finley, as a legal investigator in Nashville, must determine if a wealthy, influential businesswoman murdered her husband (as all signs point to), or is there more to the story than the evidence indicates. I have read several of Webb‘s books, and while they tend to have their darker moments, they are also very well-written, smart and engaging. 🔻

robinb This one also doesn‘t disappoint. Featuring a tough, fearless heroine, Finley is also emotionally vulnerable which imbues her with an all too real humanity. Webb is solidly a favorite of mine in the thriller realm. 4.25/5⭐️ 4w
Texreader Excellent review 4w
robinb @Texreader thank you, Karen. 🤗 4w
41 likes3 comments
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robinb
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I read 12 books in #November, and this was my favorite.

This is third in the Olive Bright historical mystery series. Set during WWII, it follows the adventures of a young woman who offers her services as a pigeoneer to aid the war effort and solves mysteries on the side. 😆

#12Booksof2022

Andrew65 Love the cover! 4w
robinb @Andrew65 me too! 👍 4w
36 likes2 comments
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robinb
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Pickpick

I loved the 2 previous books that I‘ve read from this author (although one broke my ❤️), and this one was just as wonderful. This YA takes place at a Renaissance Fair and centers around Gwen/Maddie, a 17 yo who lost her mother a year before and travels the circuit with her father selling handmade items. She meets Arthur, a bard, who stubbornly works to pull her back into life. This is a wonderful story with layers of teenage insecurities 🔻

robinb (there‘s body image issues, grief therapy, prejudice, and misconceptions). It speaks to how to let go and move forward from loss, and how to let others care for you and share the burden. Beautiful characters, fun setting and sweet relationship between Maddie and Arthur. My only wish? The ending felt a little unresolved to me. Recommended. 4.5/5⭐️ 4w
48 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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robinb
Unnatural Ends | Christopher Huang
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I read 15 books in #October with 2 5⭐️ in the bunch.

I loved this Christie-esque, closed-door, dysfunctional family murder mystery. So good.

#12Booksof2022

thegirlwiththelibrarybag Yes! I loved this one too - each sibling having their own POV chapter really ramped up the tension, I kept waiting for a betrayal. 4w
Andrew65 Looks a great choice, interesting cover! 4w
robinb @thegirlwiththelibrarybag Exactly! The siblings were each so well developed. 4w
32 likes1 stack add5 comments
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robinb
Death at the Falls | Rosemary Simpson
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I read 14 books in #September with only 1 5⭐️, but some good runners-up.

This is 7th in the Gilded Age series, a favorite. I love the characters in this series, especially the spunky heroine, but this one was very interesting as it focused on the history of Niagara Falls (the setting).

Runners-Up: Authentically Izzy
Meredith, Alone

#12Booksof2022

Andrew65 Looks great and love this cover. 4w
robinb @Andrew65 The cover is absolutely gorgeous! 4w
33 likes2 comments
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robinb
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I read 14 books in August with 2 5⭐️s.

I loved this “saga” for several reasons but mostly for the wonderful character development.

Honorable mention to this 2nd in series historical mystery. Loved it! (A Trace of Poison)

#12Booksof2022 #August

Andrew65 This sounds good. 1mo
robinb @Andrew65 👍👍👍💙 1mo
35 likes1 stack add2 comments
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robinb
Reading Challenge | Lesley Yates
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This was my best year of reading ever. And I was worried about upping my number from 50 to 70. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂😂

Should I take a walk on the wild side and aim for 100 in 2023?! 😳😳😳🤔😰😆

Jas16 🙌🏽 1mo
Bookzombie Awesome! Sometimes I raise my number mid year. 1mo
robinb @Bookzombie I always feel intimidated to do that…an innate fear of failure I guess. Thanks! (edited) 1mo
See All 11 Comments
robinb @Jas16 😊🤗 1mo
fredamans 👏 👏 👏 1mo
Reggie Lol, just wow. Great job and Happy New Year! 1mo
robinb @fredamans @Reggie thank you both! Happy 2023! 1mo
fredamans @robinb Happy New Year! 4w
robinb @fredamans thank you! Best wishes for 2023 to you as well. 😊 4w
julieclair Go for it! 4w
robinb @julieclair I am! 😊💪📚😂 4w
50 likes11 comments
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robinb
Happy New Year! | Greg Roza
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I think Emerson said it best…for ANY day of the year.

Wishing all my amazingly wonderful Litsy friends a very happy, healthy and blessed 2023.

💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚

*Image courtesy of Etsy

CBee Happy New Year, sweet Robin! @robinb ♥️♥️ 1mo
robinb @CBee Hugs to you, my friend! 🤗 1mo
CarolynM Happy New Year Robin🥳 1mo
See All 10 Comments
robinb @CarolynM To you as well! 🥰 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Happy New Year to you , too! 🎉💕 1mo
CBee @robinb I‘d like to keep in touch better this year - sound good? We can e-mail! 1mo
Bookzombie Happy New Year, Robin! 💕 1mo
robinb @CBee That sounds great! Count me in! 💞 1mo
robinb @Bookzombie 🤗🤗 1mo
35 likes10 comments
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robinb
Tough Justice | Tee O'Fallon
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Pickpick

This is my last book for 2022, and it‘s one I read as a judge for a Readers‘ Choice Awards. Deck is a DEA agent and along with his K-9 partner Thor investigate a lethal new drug cocktail (Gray Death). They pull in Tori, an ER doctor, to help with the investigation into the suppliers. Danger, romance (very steamy!), adorable dog…solid read. Only caveat? Deck‘s occasional use of “baby”, “honey” for Tori…not a fan. 4/5⭐️

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robinb
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I read 13 books in July and 5 were 5⭐️ reads in my humble opinion. 😊

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), I couldn‘t pick just one favorite…so I‘m picturing all 5. Sorry, Andrew! 😂😂

There‘s a YA generational, a next-in-series historical mystery, a humorous romance, a generational sisters‘ tale of trials/triumphs in the brewery business and a wonderful dysfunctional family story with lovable characters.

#12Booksof2022 #July

DogEaredBooks I love Lager Queens! Did you see the author has a new one coming out in Spring 2023? It looks really good too! 1mo
Andrew65 I need to get back to the Anna Lee Huber Series. 1mo
robinb @Andrew65 Do you read both of her series? 1mo
See All 6 Comments
Andrew65 @robinb Only discovered the Verity Kent series so far. 1mo
robinb @Andrew65 Her other Lady Darby series is also good! It‘s how I started with her. 😊 1mo
Andrew65 @robinb Thanks, I‘ll have a look at it. 😊 1mo
35 likes6 comments
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robinb
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I read a whopping 22 books in June…has to be a personal best for me. 😳 Obviously, I did nothing EXCEPT read for the entire month! LOL

These two were 5⭐️ with quite a few 4.5/5. 😉

Extra kudos to Namesake (sequel to Fable) for possibly my favorite #coverlove of the year! 💙

#12Booksof2022 #June

Andrew65 That‘s brilliant, and these look good choices. Happy New Year Robin. 1mo
robinb @Andrew65 Happy New Year and best wishes, my friend. ❤️ 1mo
47 likes2 comments
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robinb
Hello (from Here) | Chandler Baker, Wesley King
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I read 14 books in May and 3 were 5⭐️.

This YA centered around connecting during Covid and two very endearing young characters. So good.
#12Booksof2022 #May

Andrew65 Looks a timely read. 1mo
42 likes1 stack add1 comment
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robinb
Bloomsbury Girls: A Novel | Natalie Jenner
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I read 14 books in #April and 8 were 5⭐️ (a banner month!).

I loved this sequel to The Jane Austen Society…so good.

#12Booksof2022 #April

Andrew65 A good choice, and it sounds like a good month. 1mo
38 likes1 comment
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robinb
The Island | Natasha Preston
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Panpan

For promotion, six teenaged social media influencers are invited for a pre-opening weekend at a new “gothic-themed” amusement park on Jagged Island. While the billionaire owner seems a bit odd, the group loves the rides/vibes. But as dead bodies start mounting up they must figure out who they can trust (Each other? The park staff? The owner?).
I really wanted to like this one. Great premise, great book cover, but unfortunately that‘s🔻

robinb about where the “great” ended. This reminded me of ‘80s slasher movies where you‘re always yelling when the characters make dumb decisions and stupid mistakes. I won‘t go into specifics except to say that the group seemed to always be running toward the killer rather than away. There were a vast number of obvious problems with the scenarios. I basically shook my head, rolled my eyes and couldn‘t wait to be done. And the ending? 🔻 1mo
robinb Totally left field and totally unnecessary…one of those “what just happened?!” moments. 2/5⭐️ (edited) 1mo
40 likes2 comments
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robinb
No Life for a Lady | Hannah Dolby
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Pickpick

Violet Hamilton is a 28 yo self-professed spinster living in Hastings (1896) with her father and has never had closure since her vivacious, beautiful mother disappeared 10 years earlier. She decides to hire a private detective in an attempt to move forward with her life. She is not pleased with the obsessive, aggressive PI (who refuses to be fired) and tries to convince another more honorable (former) PI (now furniture seller) to take the job. 🔻

robinb Meanwhile her uptight father is throwing possible husband candidates her way. She just wants to solve the mystery and begin to experience and explore the possibilities around her, including a profession but discovers that is not so easily done for a woman. As she begins to discover secrets about her mother, she finds herself questioning everything in their family‘s past and realizes there is no quick fix to be had. How will she uncover 🔻 1mo
robinb the truths and be able to embrace a future with so many doubts and unknowns? I loved this debut SO much!! While the subject was not always humorous it was written with such wry wit and charm that I devoured it and hated to reach the end. Violet is one of those incandescent characters who grab your heartstrings with her hilarity, determination and bravery and lingers in your mind long after her story is told. 🔻 (edited) 1mo
robinb Extra praise for the rest of the cast as well. Highly recommended. 5/5⭐️ 1mo
40 likes1 stack add3 comments
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robinb
The Do-Over | Bethany Turner
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I read 11 books in March. Three were 5⭐️ for me. This is my pick…funny, sweet and heartwarming. I‘ve loved everything from this author. ❤️

#12Booksof2022 #March

Andrew65 Sounds my sort of book. 1mo
robinb @Andrew65 I think you would enjoy it. 👍 1mo
37 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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robinb
The Spinster Book | MYRTLE REED
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Here‘s my first #BookSpin / #DoubleSpin for 2023.

Thanks, Sarah!

2023??!!! 😳😳😳 Wow…I‘ll be writing 2022 for AT LEAST 6 months. 😂😂😂🙄

willaful The Narrowboat Summer is on my list too! 1mo
robinb @willaful it sounds great! I think I got the rec from another Litten. 😊 1mo
TheAromaofBooks I am so not ready to change numbers again!!! 😂 1mo
willaful @robinb I really liked her first book, Meet Me at the Museum. 1mo
robinb @willaful I have that one stacked! 👍😉 1mo
36 likes5 comments
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robinb
Bookstacks | Bucksport, ME (Bookstore)
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Saw this on Instagram and had to share.
So true. ❤️

LeahBergen Yes!! 1mo
robinb @LeahBergen I know, right?? Perfectly said! I hope your Christmas was wonderful, Leah! 🤗 1mo
LeahBergen It was, Robin. Thank you! Happy Christmas to you! 😘 1mo
Lynnsoprano Perfect! 1mo
49 likes4 comments
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robinb
Meet Me in the Margins | Melissa Ferguson
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I read 13 books in February and 3 were 5⭐️ picks for me.

I adored this one. Great characters, sweet story. Just all-around wonderful. 💙

Honorable Mention: One Night on the Island, Josie Silver

#12Booksof2022 #February

Andrew65 This looks good, and loved 1mo
robinb @Andrew65 one of my top favorites for the year. 😊 1mo
Andrew65 @robinb Stacked! 1mo
See All 7 Comments
Read4life This is on my January #BookSpinBingo list. It‘s an #AuldLangSpine pick for me from @BennettBookworm Glad you enjoyed it 🤓 1mo
robinb @Read4life 👍👍 Hope you‘ll enjoy as well. 1mo
gossamerchild This one looks fun. Stacked! 1mo
47 likes4 stack adds7 comments
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robinb
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Wishing all a peaceful day filled with love and comfort. 💙

Merry Christmas to all those celebrating.

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born…”

*painting by Leonid Afremov

Bookzombie Beautiful painting! Merry Christmas, Robin! 🎄 1mo
robinb @Bookzombie I love it! Hope your day is wonderful, Margie. 🤗 1mo
Bookzombie @robinb I hope yours is too!💗 1mo
See All 9 Comments
CarolynM Merry Christmas Robin🎄 1mo
robinb @CarolynM Hope yours has been merry and bright, Carolyn! 🤗 1mo
CarolynM Very bright - it was 90F for Christmas Day in Adelaide (we‘re visiting family) 98F today and will be 108F tomorrow🫠 1mo
robinb @CarolynM Oh my!! We were colder than usual here in Alabama. We‘ve had some single digit temps the last few days….brrrrr! 🥶🥶 (edited) 1mo
Eggs Merry Christmas 🎄 1mo
CoverToCoverGirl Merry Christmas!🎄💙 1mo
41 likes9 comments
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robinb
Untitled | Untitled
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These just popped up on a US Kindle sale ($1.99-2.99) if anyone‘s interested. I picked up a couple…Merry Christmas to me. 😂

Soubhiville Merry Christmas to you indeed! 😊🎄 1mo
robinb @Soubhiville 🤗🤗 Hope your day is merry and bright. 1mo
38 likes2 comments
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robinb
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I read 14 books in January this year, but only two rated 5 stars for me. I found this one especially fascinating and very well imagined. My other 5⭐️ was from a favorite historical mystery series…An Old, Cold Grave.

Andrew, you and I have great taste in books. 😂😂 Thanks for hosting #12Booksof2022 ! 😊
#January

Andrew65 😂😂😂 Snap! Great minds think alike. 1mo
SilversReviews This book was very interesting…I never knew she had disappeared for a period of time. 1mo
robinb @SilversReviews I really loved how she imagined the going ons during that time. Very inventive. 1mo
See All 9 Comments
SilversReviews @robinb Yes!! 😊 1mo
tpixie A great companion book that is still fiction, but more historically accurate is 1mo
robinb @tpixie Ohhh, thanks!! I‘m stacking. 😊 1mo
tpixie @robinb if you really want to go crazy, read … a book Agatha Christie wrote around the time of her disappearance! Unless that‘s too much trouble. (edited) 1mo
robinb @tpixie I own that one but haven‘t got to it yet. I didn‘t realize when it was written! 1mo
tpixie @robinb ☺️ 1mo
50 likes1 stack add9 comments
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robinb
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I am so blessed by your generosity and friendships Carolyn, Jess, Elisabeth (and Matty 💙), Helen and Karen! I have been showered with beautiful Christmas cards, a cute pair of bookish socks, a lovely bookmark and several wonderful books that I‘m looking forward to reading. Thank you friends and fairies for your kindness and Christmas wishes. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well! 💞💞💞💞💞

squirrelbrain Have a lovely Christmas, Robin! 🎄❤️ 1mo
Crazeedi Merry Christmas Robin!💖 1mo
robinb @Crazeedi Merry Christmas, Diane! 🥰 I hope your brother-in-law is improving? 🙏 1mo
See All 10 Comments
Librarybelle ❤️❤️❤️ 1mo
eanderson You are welcome!!! Merry Christmas!!! 1mo
Crazeedi @robinb he has a very long road, brain injury 1mo
KarenUK Happy Christmas Robin! 💕 1mo
robinb @Crazeedi I am so sorry. 🙏🙏 1mo
Crazeedi @robinb merry Christmas Robin my faithful fairy friend!💖 1mo
robinb @Crazeedi Merry Christmas 💞 1mo
46 likes10 comments
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robinb
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Wow @Daisey !!! Your #JolabokaflodSwap is simply PERFECT!!! ❤️ Thank you so very much!!! As I was tearing (yes, tearing!) into the wrapping paper on the book I saw the word “Killers”, and I was so excited…OK, that sounds a bit ominous. 😂 I love Raybourn and am looking forward to this one. Also, the chocolate?! Spot on!!!

Thanks again and thanks @MaleficentBookDragon for hosting the swap!!

gossamerchild I LOVED that book! 1mo
robinb @gossamerchild I‘m so thrilled to have it!! ❤️ 1mo
actualdisneyprincess Yesssss Raybourn!!!! She‘s such a delight!!! 1mo
See All 6 Comments
Daisey So glad you‘re excited! To be honest, if I‘d had a bit more time between buying it and mailing it I probably would have tried sneaking in a read of it myself. It sounds great! 1mo
robinb @Daisey it‘s gotten great reviews, and I‘m thoroughly convinced that anything she writes is going to be stellar. 1mo
robinb @actualdisneyprincess totally agree! 1mo
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robinb
Flickering Heart | Tricia T. LaRochelle
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Panpan

I was asked to read this one for a competition that I‘m helping to judge. Unfortunately it wasn‘t my cup of tea. It‘s a NA romance/thriller set on a college campus with a naive 18 yo Sara Browne, who tragically lost her parents at 12, stepping out of her isolation into the world. She meets upperclassman Scott Williams, a soccer star and is drawn to him even though he is surrounded by jealous “mean girls” who try to thwart them. While the writing🔻

robinb was OK, the characters felt like stereotypes and were not appealing to me. There‘s a best friend/roommate, a few villains and an on/off romance. Obviously there‘s more to the storyline, but the author asked for no spoilers (however, I would like to say that there is definitely a content warning that should be included). The first 3/4 of the book was fairly routine, 🔻 1mo
robinb but then the plot went off the rails, and I was left confused and frustrated by the climax/resolution.
Just not for me. I probably would have bailed if not for the judging job. 2/5⭐️ Just a mention, this is apparently to be first in series so hopefully things will improve.
(edited) 1mo
32 likes2 comments
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robinb
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Pickpick

This is the conclusion of a duology, the first of which I read back in Feb. While I do remember the gist of the storyline of the first, I do wish I had been able to read them back-to-back just to have all the smaller details fresh. Hazel is a young surgeon living in Edinburgh who is determined to break into a man‘s world. Following the hanging of Jack, the love of her life, she throws herself back into her work of healing until she is arrested 🔻

robinb for treating one of her patients. She is finally freed to treat Princess Charlotte in London and goes from despair to the glamour at court. As she meets new friends, she is also drawn into a secret society of immortals (who she is finally able to confirm as real), who invite her to join them as they strive to “guide” their country in the proper direction. And so begins her struggles with literal life/death decisions 🔻 1mo
robinb of following her heart or her mind…choosing what‘s hard or what‘s easy. I enjoyed this one but not quite as much as its predecessor. I felt a disconnect from the mains, especially during their lives in London. They seemed “off” from how I originally saw them previously. And as the storyline wrapped up, it seemed too convenient and quick, and the epilogue very broad and general…not as satisfying as I would have liked/expected. 🔻 1mo
robinb But still, well-written and entertaining. 4/5⭐️ Special mention of #coverlove for both books. The subtlety of how they echo the storylines of the books is phenomenal. Here‘s the first if interested. 1mo
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robinb
Deadly Secrets | Carla Simpson
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Pickpick

This is second in a mystery series that I‘m really enjoying. The unlikely duo of Brodie, a mysterious and stubborn Scot (former Inspector) and Mikaela, an unconventional and fiercely independent mystery writer are asked to help absolve their friends of a murder accusation…a murder which begins with a tattooed foot. As the body count rises, they begin to uncover treasonous motives which lead them to desperately dangerous actions to unmask the 🔻

robinb killer. I loved the characters, both main and secondary, as they are well-developed, and the humor was also a fun plus. My only two frustrations were repeat mentions of things already touched on (editing issue) and the author‘s propensity to use the same colorful swear term over and over and over…the latter really felt out-of-hand. Otherwise, a good read with hopefully more on the way. 4/5⭐️ 1mo
38 likes1 comment
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robinb
Murder at Haven's Rock | Kelley Armstrong
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Pickpick

This is the first in a spin-off of the Rockton series (which I haven‘t read but now I‘d like to). Set in the Yukon wilderness, Detective Casey Duncan and her husband Sheriff Eric Dalton have instigated the construction of a small town (Haven‘s Rock) which will provide safe haven for those in need. As it nears completion, they are called in early to investigate the disappearance of two of the construction crew. Are the disappearances related? 🔻

robinb Are they from within the site or from outside? I enjoyed this, and while yes, I do believe I would have benefited from reading the prior series first, I was able to piece together what I needed to. The plot is a bit convoluted and far-fetched, but there was some tension involved, and I found the characters very likable. Would definitely continue on, both forward and back. 4/5⭐️ 1mo
42 likes1 comment
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robinb
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Pickpick

I fell in love with this author‘s debut and was excited to get my hands on this one, and she‘s definitely not a one-hit wonder. Centered around a small Georgia town this one begins with a death and ends with a happier occasion. This speaks to how communities/friends can be torn apart by discrimination/political maneuvering and how we‘re never too old for change/starting over in our lives. Terry‘s a beautiful writer. Her analogies and her nuanced🔻

robinb way with language are often haunting and always a pleasure to take in. The characters here are older (60s-70s), and that‘s a refreshingly interesting and unique perspective. My only concern is that sometimes I feel she leans too heavily and relies too much on stereotypes with some of her southern characters. Yes, there are absolute truths in how she paints her villains, but then again there are those positions that often🔻 (edited) 1mo
robinb undeservedly receive a bad rap when portrayed as stereotypical. I won‘t go into specifics here to avoid spoilers, but I do find painting folks/positions with a broad harsh brush frustrating. I wholeheartedly recommend this one and am happy to now consider myself a fan for life. 4.5/5⭐️ For those interested I‘m tagging her debut (standalone). (edited) 1mo
43 likes2 comments
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robinb
The January Stars | Kate Constable
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RE-POST for @LitsyBirthdays :

It‘s not quite the end of 2022 yet, but the Birthday Fairies are already looking forward to celebrating the first of our 2023 birthdays!
Here's our list of lovely Littens celebrating in January. If you'd like to be added to the list (for anytime of the year), and receive birthday wishes on your special day, just email litsybirthdays@gmail.com with your Litsy handle and the date of your birthday and we'll do the rest!

squirrelbrain 🎉❤️🎉❤️🎉❤️ 2mo
32 likes1 comment
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robinb
Christmastime | Alison Jay
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My #Jolabokaflod swap gift arrived today!! 🎉 Thank you @Daisey (I think?)!! 😊 So excited to open soon!

Thanks for hosting, Michelle! 💝

Daisey Yes! Glad to hear it arrived safely! 2mo
robinb @Daisey 👍Thank you! 2mo
31 likes2 comments
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robinb
Deadly Affair | Carla Simpson
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Pickpick

This was a fun and entertaining historical murder mystery set in 1889 London. Mikaela Forsythe is an unconventional “spinster” (at 24) who travels the world, pushing the envelope of how proper young ladies should behave (she enjoys a smoke, has taken self-defense instruction and is quite stubborn). Her married younger sister is missing, and Lennie‘s lady‘s maid turns up murdered. As Mikaela begins the search, her aunt (also unconventional) 🔻

robinb recommends hiring private investigator Angus Brodie, a mysterious former Metropolitan Police Inspector, who left under murky circumstances. As the two work together (sometimes grudgingly), they uncover a whole host of mayhem and danger culminating in a threat to royalty.
This strongly reminded me of Deanna Raybourn‘s Veronica Speedwell series as the leads shared some of the eccentric characteristics 🔻
2mo
robinb of Veronica and Stoker (along with a simmering chemistry). There are some great secondary stars as well. Number 2 drops later this month, and I plan to be on board for the next adventure. 4.25/5⭐️ #coverlove
#DoubleSpin @TheAromaofBooks
(edited) 2mo
53 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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robinb
Nocturne | Alyssa Wees
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Mehso-so

An adult fantasy (although I‘d argue it‘s more YA), this one took place in 1930s Chicago and centered around Grace Dragotta, a young ballerina who is elevated to prima ballerina as her best friend, Emilia, retires to marry. She is taken up by a mysterious benefactor/patron, Master La Rosa, and comes to realize that all is not what it seems (both of La Rosa and her dream position). As she is basically “sold” by her dancing Mistress, she is 🔻

robinb forced to live in La Rosa‘s house, a shrouded Gothic-style relic where she is essentially under house arrest, with only La Rosa and his enigmatic “assistant” Mr. Russo as her companions. She is allowed to perform a new ballet, commissioned by her Master which begins to eerily reflect her own life situation. At home, La Rosa asks only that she dance with him at midnight every Sunday. As he begins to explain some of his 🔻 2mo
robinb circumstances/responsibilities, Grace begins to soften toward him. However, each time he asks her to marry him and live with him in his world, she says no. And as his and Russo‘s association builds into volitivity, she must make a life-changing decision or risk losing herself. I enjoyed the lyrical and sometimes poetic nature of the prose although at times it was too over-the-top and dense. The Gothic-like atmosphere was well-done, and the 🔻 2mo
robinb story had a heavy, dark overlay throughout. But this one was difficult for me in a couple of ways. First, while yes, this was a fantasy with elements of Beauty and the Beast, The Phantom of the Opera and Hades/Persephone, it was darker and harder to follow than those stories. The characters, especially La Rosa and Russo, felt underdeveloped and stereotyped and also too easily dispatched considering their power over Grace. 🔻 2mo
robinb And yes, Grace does ultimately grow into her own power (at a steep price), I was left with only sadness and just plain mental exhaustion getting to that point. While I wanted to wholeheartedly love this book, I found myself ambivalent and just plain confused by a lot of the plot and actions of the characters. I think lots of folks will enjoy this, but for me, it was just an OK read. 3/5⭐️ 2mo
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robinb
Murder at Crossways | Alyssa Maxwell
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Pickpick

This series is both fun and interesting. This one finds Emma with 3 interconnected murders to solve (one involving a prince!). The motive behind the murders was a little far-fetched to me, but the secrets, lies and obsessions made it all absorbing. A big plus in this series is the attention to historical detail (1898, Newport, RI). The settings feature the luxurious lavish mansions of American “royalty” (the Four Hundred) and become a character 🔻

robinb in themselves. Enjoyed! 4/5⭐️ #BookSpin @TheAromaofBooks (edited) 2mo
38 likes1 comment
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robinb
The Sisters of Sea View | Julie Klassen
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Pickpick

This was a sweet story (out today and the first in series) revolving around (you guessed it!) sisters. The Summers‘ sisters (Sarah,(26), twins Viola and Emily (21), and Georgiana (15)) live with their widowed mother at Sea View, their home on the shore of Devonshire. With financial worries, they decide to open as a guest house and take in boarders. And so we meet a menagerie of delightful, sometimes quirky guests with most becoming like family. 🔻

robinb While told in each sister‘s voice and about their day-to-day lives, this one largely features Viola, who was born with a cleft palate (which was further exacerbated by an inept surgeon before successfully being corrected), and who struggles with her appearance and adverse reactions from others. But we follow her as she meets another who is similarly struggling, and together they begin to gain self confidence to face the world openly. 🔻 2mo
robinb There are also some romantic hints, one more fleshed out than the others, that are sweet and chaste. No sex, no bad language. I loved this for its relationship arcs…family, friends, and community. There‘s nothing complicated here, just well-written and heartwarming, and I enjoyed the simplicity of it. I got a wonderful sense of each sister, each guest and other community members and am looking forward to even more about their lives. 🔻 2mo
robinb If there was any drawback, I did feel it was a little too long (kind of like this review! 😂) but not enough to be a major issue. Well done. 4.25/5⭐️ (edited) 2mo
38 likes3 comments
review
robinb
The Reluctant Countess | Eloisa James
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Mehso-so

Let me preface by saying I‘m a huge James fan. She‘s always been a writer that I measure other historical romance writers by. However I haven‘t read her in awhile as I‘ve been more into mysteries. This book did not seem like it came from her at all. The writing didn‘t move me (as hers always does), and the H/h had no charisma. The hero was spineless, the heroine back and forth on her decisions, and the intimacy felt sudden for the lack of 🔻

robinb courtship involved. The H‘s sister, who played the villain, never got her comeuppance, and the ending had no flair or specialness to it. This was 2nd in a series so I had no background to guide me. Normally authors provide some insight so the reader doesn‘t feel lost because of what they‘ve missed…but I felt 🔻 2mo
robinb thrown into a narrative that I knew nothing about. I was disappointed because I know the genius of James. I look forward to better things from her. 2.75/5⭐️ (edited) 2mo
Bklover I‘ve not read one of hers yet but would like to. Which is your favorite? 2mo
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robinb As I said it‘s been awhile (quite a few years) since I‘ve read her, but her Essex Sisters series and her Desperate Duchesses series are both good. The Wilde series is more recent but I‘ve only read the first one (it was good!). I‘ll list first titles in each series below. 🔻 2mo
robinb Essex : Much Ado About You
Desperate: Desperate Duchesses
The Wildes: Wilde in Love

Do you have any recommended authors? I‘m always looking for good undiscovered ones. 😊
2mo
swishandflick Have you read Tessa Dare's stuff? So good! 2mo
robinb @swishandflick I have and I love her!! Especially her humor! She‘s wonderful. I also love Lisa Kleypas. 2mo
41 likes7 comments
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robinb
Swap'd | Tamara Ireland Stone
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My #JolabokaflodSwap headed North yesterday. 😊 I won‘t tag my match as I‘d like to keep the surprise factor going. Hope it arrives safely. 🤞🤞🤞

Thanks for hosting, Michelle! 🤗

julesG I found a letter from you in my mailbox. May I open it and if so share the contents here? (it feels like there is more than a card inside) 2mo
robinb @julesG Yes, I'm glad it made it OK! Please go ahead and open. It's not much. Just something to say I was thinking of you and wishing you a happy holiday season. 💝 2mo
julesG Thank you! It's gorgeous 😘😘 2mo
robinb @julesG you‘re welcome! Wear it in good health. 😊 2mo
38 likes4 comments
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robinb
Wrapped: The Fit Trilogy, #3.5 | Rebekah Weatherspoon
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Don‘t normally do a monthly wrap up, but what the heck…maybe a New Year‘s resolution?! 😆

Just one 5-star. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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robinb
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While I just finished reading this book (it was a short, quick one), I‘m not going to rate it yet. And here‘s why. This is a follow up to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, neither of which I‘ve read. While I was able to ferret out the gist of the story, I don‘t feel prepared to give a review before reading its predecessors. I don‘t think I can do it justice until then. I can say #coverlove though. 😊