The Book Gourmet

Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.



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Once and Forever by Mary Blayney, Elaine Fox, Emelle Gamble, Lavinia Kent, Evie Owens

Once and Forever - Mary Blayney, Elaine Fox, Emelle Gamble, Lavinia Kent, Evie Owens

***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Playing for Keeps was cute (in its own way) and quick, but somewhat "overcrowded" in parts. I know the author wrote another story featuring Kendall's twin sister and Steve's brother, but at the beginning, it felt like she was cramming both stories into one, so the start felt a little off. Also, the twist was rather predictable once it was revealed there was a second O'Hara around, and while the heroine's "acting quirks" were fun at the beginning, the more it went on, the more annoying it was.

Overall, despite the "suspense", the story was rather bland and generic with not chemistry, beside what we were told, between the characters, and it turned out the "suspense plot" that was the entire basis of the story was no plot at all, ending as quickly as it began.

The Princess & the Pinot was hard to get through, and we're talking about a short story, here. I didn't know what genre I was reading. Was it a paranormal one? A regular romance? Young adult, since the heroine struck me as terribly immature. And what was with the "woman sent by fate for the hero" and all those mattresses? Was that an allusion to The Princess and the Pea? And if it was...Why?

Duets it what on a webpage would be "click-bait", since the Coming Soon at the end of the story promises a full-length book, titled after the main female character, in which "three years after the end of Duets [the heroine, the man she loved and the man she married] will face the consequences of fate, family secrets, and their own personal decisions.
I'll pass on that one, since I hated this "prequel". I loathed the heroine who selfishly wanted the man she loved to compromise while never considering doing it herself, I loathed her because she settled for second best since she didn't get what she wanted, I hated the first hero for being an idiot and putting up with her until she broke it off and still carrying a torch for her while impregnating his current girlfriend, and I hated the second hero for being idiot enough to want to marry the loathsome heroine. If they will face the consequences of fate, family secrets, and their own personal decisions it's entirely their own fault for being idiots.

Is this even a romance?!

Never and Forever was a little weird. I loved the beginning with all the banter and sparkage between Molly and Radford. You could feel the tension and the attraction, and I loved the girl for showing gumption and not bowing down to the insufferable male.

But in the second part it felt like she (actually both of them) suffered a character transplant and gone was the Molly I liked. It was like her Lady Mary persona has taken over. Why was she so friendly toward Radford when they met again? Did something happen in between we weren't privy of? She was thinking about how insufferable he was, so I'd expected her to act all aloof, but there she was, making nice with him...And more.
And let's not talk about the last scene, in the garden at night. Because Radford had also suffered from a character transplant by then. It was like reading an entirely different story than the one we started with. You know, the funny, cute, funky story from the first two chapters or so...And the open ending is just an utter nuisance, especially since I cannot find the sequel to Molly and Wills story.


The Psychic Detective was the best of this bunch. It still seemed too crowded with suspense and paranormal, but it somehow worked, although the final revelation took too long. The suspense part was good, and the final reveal came as a surprise (yay, it wasn't predictable), the romance was a bit rushed, and seemed to only make sense after reading the epilogue, the pacing was good, and I wouldn't mind reading a sequel with the two P.I.'s partnering up.

Yes, the best of the bunch, but that's not saying much.