Review: Sister Eve and the Blue Nun by Lynne Hinton


I adored the first book in this series, and I love Sister Evangeline’s character so much that I keep reading the next in the series. Blue Nun is number three, and although there was too much history and Blue Nun factual information (like a documentary!) for me, I still enjoyed the terrific characters and dialogue. 

In this book, Sister Eve returns to the convent for a long weekend, only to happen upon a murder. Like any literary amateur sleuth, Eve ignores police instructions to stay out of the investigation, and she gets herself into a bit of trouble here and there. Thankfully there’s her private eye dad and a handsome police detective to save Eve as she catches the bad guy and solves the case! 

-calliope

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Review: Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin


“A perfect, feel good summer romance” is part of this title, and it sure fits. This is a light, appealingly predictable read with a fresh storyline. 

American Riley comes to the English coast to live in his dad’s former home – a lighthouse. When he meets Darcy, a London transplant, he can’t help but fall for her… 

…Until Darcy’s new job threatens the existence of his lighthouse home. 

I loved Darcy and her interest in marine biology! I didn’t like the author/narrator calling her a nerd or a geek, though. Unnecessary. 🙂  Darcy’s swims in the ocean were awesome… and her lack of grace out of the water, hilarious!

And I liked that Riley was American, but as an American myself he was written a little awkwardly. I felt like the author stereotyped Americans as cowboys but knew that and so reined in some of the stereotyping but not all of it. 😦 I appreciated that Riley was always a gentleman, chivalrous and humble to the end. 

I thought the sub plot of George and Libby was fun, if a bit overdone here and there. And including the dogs in the storyline was terrific. They were written in very naturally and helped move the plot forward at some points. Martin also addressed some global issues in a thoughtful and realistic way: autism, rare shark extinction, support of marine research, and historical building preservation. 

If you’re looking for an easy, quirky British romance with an ocean theme, this is a steal at $2.99. You’ll fall in love with Riley’s lighthouse, Rose Island, and a certain marine biologist and her cowboy. 

-calliope

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Review: Camp Dork by Beth Vrabel


Ever been to summer camp? How about summer camp caveman-style, while the campers next door get tech time, fancy snacks, and air conditioning? 

In this sequel to Pack of Dorks, Lucy’s time at camp nudges her on a journey of self-discovery. Lucy explores her feelings about her new best friend who transforms physically and socially, the flush of emotions when she thinks about boys – especially Sam, and her compulsion to arrange couples in neat and tidy relationships. All this while she struggles to get a decent supper and keep everyone from hating her! 

My favorite thing about this book is the dialogue. As I read, I could really hear the kids interacting… their different voices, noisy sound effects, and gurgles of bodily functions… just like kids I know. 

Lucy and her friends are real – kind of like a younger Breakfast Club, where stereotypes and prejudices only get you so far. Like the Brat Pack, Lucy and her Pack of Dorks find that facing the truth about yourself and others is the real prize. 

While my reading tastes skew older (like the 40-something mom I am), I enjoyed Lucy and her friends. Author Beth Vrabel offers insightful nuggets that can drive even grown-ups to make some changes in how they view and treat others. 
– calliope

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