Friday, February 3, 2012

Stories for the hopeless romantic in all of us

The Unquiet by J. D. Robb , Mary Blayney , Patricia Gaffney , Ruth Ryan Langan and Mary Kay McComas

Library Journal –

An appealing assortment of characters seek answers and, in some cases, internal "quiet" as they fight to make sense of a wide variety of strange happenings in this well-crafted anthology. Eve Dallas confronts a Jekyll and Hyde nightmare as she works to solve the gruesome murder of three recovering addicts in Robb's gripping, futuristic "Chaos in Death"; a mysterious coin works its magic in unexpected ways in Mary Blayney's Regency-set historical "Her Greatest Treasure"; a series of misunderstandings centering on a phone psychic eventually reward the characters in Patricia Gaffney's touching "Dear One"; a violent Highland ghost trapped in time resolves his issues with the help of a determined, fearless woman in Ruth Ryan Langan's sensual "Unforgiven"; and a ghost finally succeeds in bringing peace to his guilt-ridden brother by means of a psychically susceptible children's author in Mary Kay McComas's mesmerizing, sometimes unsettling "His Brother's Keeper." VERDICT While not Halloween-specific, this superbly conceived paranormal collection includes everything you'll need for a thrilling October read.

The Wedding Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

Publishers Weekly –

This latest installment in the popular Elm Creek Quilts series proves to be a mild, unambitious addendum. In the run-up to protagonist Sarah McClure's daughter Caroline's wedding, which takes place at Elm Creek Manor, Sarah reflects on the people and quilts who have figured in her life since she herself came to the manor as a newlywed. The resulting stories recap the plots of previous books, which may bore fans of the series, while not offering enough context for first-time readers. The drama surrounding Caroline's wedding lacks vigor: whether the wedding ceremony will be rained out; whether or not the memory album quilt that Sarah wants to give her daughter will be completed; and whether or not the bride and groom are too young. Moreover, the novel's central relationship—between Sarah and her daughter Caroline—feels uninhabited, stilted, and overly formal. Only die-hard fans will be able to appreciate this lackluster novel.

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