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September Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Head/upper body view of a shirtless hot bearded man embraces a fair-haired woman from behind on the beach.Suddenly Dating by Julia London, narrated by Cristina Panfilio – B+ I’ve been saving this audio for just the right time, when I needed a lift and wanted a new-to-me audiobook I was guaranteed to enjoy. It did not disappoint. I love Ms. Panfilio’s narrations. Something about her voice just works for me and is great at delivering humour and tone. Her narrations always add something to the text – the best thing about the medium IMO.

Lola Dunne is an aspiring author who takes an opportunity to spend a summer at a friend’s Lake Haven beach house on the downlow – the property is part of a bitter divorce feud and neither spouse is supposed to be using it. Lola’s friend Sara offers her the house, not knowing that her soon to be ex, Zach, has made the same offer to his friend, Harry Westbrook. Harry owns a fledgling construction business and he needs to sell his apartment to keep the business afloat.

Both Lola and Harry quickly realise that they’re better off making the most of their roommate situation and they slowly become friends and then more. I enjoyed their interactions. Even thought the book takes place across most of a summer, it felt like their relationship was a bit of a slow burn as they moved from suspicion and annoyance to genuine liking, attraction and love.

Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Night scene in dark blue, showing a tree reflected in a mirror pond with stars and gold swirls to evoke the feeling of magic.Why I read it:  I will read anything Susanna Kearsley writes.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  “The house, when I first saw it, seemed intent on guarding what it knew; but we all learned, by the end of it, that secrets aren’t such easy things to keep.”

It’s late summer, war is raging, and families are torn apart by divided loyalties and deadly secrets. In this complex and dangerous time, a young French Canadian lieutenant is captured and billeted with a Long Island family, an unwilling and unwelcome guest. As he begins to pitch in with the never-ending household tasks and farm chores, Jean-Philippe de Sabran finds himself drawn to the daughter of the house. Slowly, Lydia Wilde comes to lean on Jean-Philippe, true soldier and gentleman, until their lives become inextricably intertwined. Legend has it that the forbidden love between Jean-Philippe and Lydia ended tragically, but centuries later, the clues they left behind slowly unveil the true story.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I adore Susanna Kearsley and love her books. I usually get kind of torn about a new SK book; I want to save it and savor it and I want to read it immediately and both of those things don’t really sit comfortably together. In the case of Bellewether, I was having one of those weeks where I didn’t have a lot of time to read so that forced me to read more slowly than I usually would have otherwise, which meant I was able to savor the language and let the words and the story sink into my bones.

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