Books you can’t live without

Published 10:26 am Thursday, April 27, 2023

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“Love Only Once”

Malory-Anderson Families Series
By Johanna Lindsey
Reviewed by Jennifer Henschel

A beautiful Malory girl falls in love with the wrong guy, who ends up being the right guy. The overprotective father goes a little nuts, they get married and all is well. It isn’t the plot that I have fallen in love with over the last 12 books because the plot is pretty much the same in all of them. It’s the characters. I love these characters. They are funny, loyal and pretty intense.

Regina’s story in “Love only Once” introduces the readers to the very large and boisterous Malory family. A family that laughs together, fights each other, plays together and always defends one another. The Malory family is one of the two families that this series revolves around.

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In book three, “Gentle Rogue,” Captain (aka former pirate) James Mallory falls in love with Georgina, who is part owner of an American shipping business. Georgina is the lone female of her family with five protective and daring brothers. With their love story, we meet the Andersons, who are entwined in the rest of the story.

The series starts in the year 1817 in London, England. There are balls, lords and ladies, and rules that need to be followed. These rules get bent and oftentimes broken in each of the novels where “forced” marriages need to happen to save reputations and to avoid the “dreaded scandals” that the Malorys find themselves involved in.

One of the reasons that this series sticks out and is better than others is that the base characters stay the same. Characters are added as the books progress, but Regina and Nicholas do not appear in book one only to disappear for the rest of the series. Every character is in every book. This is why it is easy to fall in love with the characters: the readers get to know and understand each character.

Johanna Lindsey is a masterful storyteller. The Malory/Anderson family saga is worth the time.

3 Reads You Shouldn’t Miss

“Just the Nicest Couple”

“Just the Nicest Couple”
By Mary Kubica
Review by Liz Krull

Two husbands. One is missing and one that will go to no end to protect his wife. Nina thinks her husband, Jake, is gathering his thoughts after another fight. But when Jake misses work, Nina sounds the alarm! Lily, Nina’s co-worker and friend, has a secret that no one can know. Especially Nina, it will ruin her! Lily’s husband takes matters into his own hands as he tries to protect his wife till the bitter end.
Mary Kubica has a way with twisting the twists! I enjoyed this book because just when you think you’ve solved it, you’re back to square one. It’s always the person you least expect!

“The Guest List”

“The Guest List”
By Lucy Foley
Review by Hannah Knudtson

“The Guest List” follows multiple characters throughout an exclusive wedding on a private island. Everyone has baggage and secrets that come to light throughout their stories. One night turns every guests’ life upside down. Someone finds a body, but who did it? As the chapters progress, little bits and pieces of the past come to light until the reader connects the dots. Is it justice, revenge, jealousy?
I feel that the author did an incredible job of dropping clues and forecasting while building up the characters and not giving away the plot too early. You really feel like you get to know them. The “aha” moment is fantastic, too. The pacing of the book was phenomenal and keeps you wanting more!

“Time is Precious”

“Time is Precious & This Moment is a Gift”
By Adam Murray
Review by Rachael Godtland

This book is written by Adam Murray about his life as an addict and how he chose to overcome that addiction. He went through a lot in his life, including a near-death experience as a child. Addiction was his way to cope when he felt like he was losing his purpose and his way through life. At age 35, he was able to beat addiction and live life to the fullest when suddenly his life changed yet again with an ALS diagnosis. He chose to not let that ruin his life and to live in a positive way and with purpose. His family and friends helped him through all the struggles, but in the end it ended up taking his life.
I really enjoyed reading his story and how positive his attitude was, even knowing he would not survive the terrible disease that took over. His family was everything to him! I definitely recommend it as a must-read.