Steele and Stone by Kay Phoenix


Steele and Stone by Kay Phoenix
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (170 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Elle Thompson was raised in Denver. She paints. She hikes. She knows how to avoid cougar attacks.

The only cougars Michael Williams usually worries about are the ones that wear leopard print leggings on 5th Avenue.

But, when his acquisition firm sets its sights on Elle’s family business, his tidy life goes awry. As things unravel, so do all his preconceived notions of love and what makes a perfect partner.

Steele and Stone was a short story that can be read in a small amount of time. It captured my interest from the first page and managed to keep me turning pages until I reached the end.

Michael, the hero, wasn’t quite my type of man so I had trouble relating to him but for the heroine, he was Elle’s type of man and together they were relatable. I prefer a strong and decisive hero. I had more respect for Elle for staying focused on her priorities. Together they had to get past previous emotional hurts before their love for one another could flourish. It was a bit slow and tedious, yet still an enjoyable process that was accomplished before the book ended.

The plot wasn’t original and was quite predictable yet I still enjoyed the journey. The writing style was average. I think the characters, such as Michael’s Uncle John, could have been more developed to add a bit more substance, suspense and drama to the plot. I just felt like this book didn’t meet its full potential. However, my curiosity was able to overlook those flaws. I was like a fly drawn into the trap. I couldn’t look away. I needed to see how it was going to end. Actually, the ending was wrapped up quickly. Perhaps even a bit too quickly but at that point I was ready to move on.

I would recommend Steele and Stone to someone who is looking to pass time with a quick, easy and uncomplicated short story. This would be a great book to read on a two hour plane ride. I look at it this way – if you are starving to read a romance story then this would be a great appetizer!

The Itching Scars by Mohy Omar


The Itching Scars by Mohy Omar
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (22 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

A collection of short stories dealing with different kinds of scars we keep. They never said being human could be this hard. they never told us about the scars we would carry. they only told us that this is what it means to be alive

Have you every truly looked into the darker side of your psyche?

The Itching Scars is a collection of three short stories that examine the thoughts, actions and reality of humanity that many of us choose to ignore in our daily lives. To Court Death is the first short story that you will encounter and just like the title implies, it is a look at the courtship of death. Keep in mind that this is not the courtship of the character Death, but a courtship or love of the idea and symbolism of death. This story is primarily narrative with very little dialogue; yet the story is very clear from this vantage point. The reader obtains a fantastic view of death and the hold it has on the individual psyche.

The second story in the three story collection is called The Space Above, The Space Within. This story is told from a third person point of view and includes quite a bit more dialogue. This story takes a deep difficult look at governmental and societal controls. Votum is the main character in this story and it follows his life from the point when his father begins taking a stand against the thought control that their society enforces. The author does a fantastic job at making this world a real, believable construct and in effect, works to cause the reader to question how a society could become so focused that humanity is lost in the daily lives.

The final story is called Under The Rust. The title deceived me at first, but the story was epic. I especially loved the twist at the end, which I did not foresee coming. Under the Rust has a great amount of dialogue and interaction, this comes from a first person narrative encounter. This story is great to be set as last, because it ties the other two stories up to give a total glimpse into the human mind. Out of the three stories, this by far was my favorite.

The author has a great knack for storytelling and understands the use of the various points of view to bring about the best story. Where there was less dialogue, this was certainly cleanly replaced with important description and narration. The length of the book overall was shorter, I feel that none of the stories felt rushed or that anything was left out. I had a great time and enjoyed all three stories.

If you would like to consider looking into your own dark humanity by examining another individual’s dark thoughts and perceptions, this is definitely the book for you!

Sins of the Father by Winter Austin


Sins of the Father by Winter Austin
Publisher: Crimson Romance/Adams Media
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (191 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Newly pinned deputy Jolie Murdoch’s first big job as a McIntire County deputy is to locate a missing girl. What Jolie doesn’t expect is to stumble upon a corpse—the girl’s father—with a prime suspect still hanging around. But why would local bartender Xavier Hartmann go off the deep end and bludgeon a man to death?

A former marine, Xavier is barely coping with a traumatic brain injury, and he has no memory of what happened at the crime scene. He came to Eider to confront his past, not get embroiled in a murder as the number one suspect. To make matters worse, as the mystery deepens, Xavier finds himself drawn to the reluctant deputy.

As Jolie fights against mounting pressure to get to the truth, she realizes there’s more to Xavier than meets the eye. But someone is lingering on the fringes, determined to put a stop to her investigation and Xavier’s freedom. Will Jolie do her sworn duty or buck the status quo to give her and Xavier’s newfound passion a chance?

OMG, I don’t think I’m going to sleep tonight. I need to sign up for another self-defense class since it’s been a few years. I own a gun but now I want a concealed-to-carry permit. If only my husband was a former marine like Xavier, the hero in this book. It’s amazing how I can get so wrapped up in a book and feel like everyone I know is a suspect.

Seriously, this was a great book! More suspense/mystery than romance but there was so much going on that there wasn’t much time for romance. Jolie, the heroine, had a lot on her plate as the newly pinned deputy. The moments Jolie and Xavier had together were spent on trying to prove his innocence. However, the couple of kisses they shared were breathtaking. I’d like me some Xavier kisses. 🙂

I had no idea that this was book three in a series until I had finished reading it. You don’t need to read the previous books however I am interested in doing so. Based on the well written plot in this story which blew my mind away, I’d like to read the other two. I loved the well-developed characters in Sins of the Father so much that I would like to get to know them a bit more by reading the two previous books. I enjoy reading strong leading heroines who stand up to their leading men. I think Winter Austin will have to be added my list of “favorite authors”.

I definitely recommend this book if you like suspense/mystery romance. It should keep you on the edge of your seat rapidly flipping pages like it did for me. The mystery kept me guessing until the very end and then everything is nicely wrapped up with no loose threads. While there isn’t an epilogue one wasn’t needed; Jolie and Xavier made their “decisive decision”. 🙂

Love in the Golden Years by Ellynore Seybold


Love in the Golden Years by Ellynore Seybold
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (28 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Harold, a widower and a retired government worker, misses his wife and decides to take up a hobby. Courageously stepping out of his shell, he joins a scuba diving class, where he meets a vivacious widow and discovers new adventures.

Attractive and fun-loving Aletha spices up Harold’s mostly routine life with one surprise after another. Neither of them expect any obstacles to a nice relationship, but everything—from sexual malfunction to legalese to Aletha’s new career—seems to interfere.

Will they ever find married bliss?

Love in the Golden Years is an enjoyable sweet read that gives proof that a second love is possible. The story is mostly told from widower Harold’s view. Harold misses his wife of 42 years but finds his interest is sparked when he meets adventurous Aletha. Aletha is a widow and in her golden years is looking for something interesting. She takes to Harold, even though I think she is a little bit too much for him.

This is a short read, that had my attention from the beginning. I would have liked to have read a little more from Aletha’s point of view. I enjoyed reading how Aletha and her husband Norman met and their love seemed so real and actually touched my heart. I classify them as an adventurous and daring couple that won my heart. I hated to see that their 30 years of marriage ended so abruptly. Even though the introduction of their meeting was short and their marriage was mentioned briefly I enjoyed reading about their bond and closeness. I am glad that Aletha kept living and kept her adventurous side active.

Harold tells most of the story of their relationship. I get the feeling that Harold felt left out often, but he didn’t voice this to Aletha, perhaps fearing he would run her off. Harold enjoyed Aletha’s liveliness and I think this is what kept him around even though they faced conflicts.

The plot is interesting and the writing is simple and to the point. The characters are likable and I can picture them dancing and enjoying the night. Even though I am not in my golden years, the story can be relatable to someone of age because it varies from losing someone, starting a new relationship and the events that come with new beginnings.

I would recommend this pleasurable read to readers that enjoy reading about love and happy endings.

Salvaged by J.S. Marlo


Salvaged by J.S. Marlo
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (226 pgs)
Heat level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

STAR FISHER refuses to let the scar marring her face dictate her choices or the dreams haunting her nights affect her life. A skilled underwater investigator, she is hired as a scuba diver in an underwater salvage operation.

Captivated by the feisty young woman who shares little resemblance with his glamorous conquests, captain HAUK LUDVIKSON struggles against his attraction as they explore a century-old relic linked to the unsolved disappearance of a rich heiress.

With danger lurking under and above the water line, Star fights for her future-a future she may not salvage twice.

If you love an unpredictable suspense/mystery romance then this book is for you. Hauk Ludvikson, the hero, and Star Fisher, the heroine, as well as the other prominent characters, really kept me on the edge of my seat. J. S. Marlo created a complex plot that demonstrated originality. The cast of characters were brilliantly interwoven in a suspense/mystery that incorporated generations of families. I couldn’t read this book and multitask because I needed to concentrate or else I’d get confused with the web of characters. I grew to appreciate the dynamics of Hauk’s dive team. They couldn’t exist without each other working together to solve the mystery and protect each other’s back. I grew fond of Kyle’s humor, Scott’s wit and Arnie’s sensitive side. I could see Kyle and Scott being the heroes in their own books.

The chemistry between Hauk and Star was excruciatingly slow to blossom. Yet, when it did it was well worth the wait. Their focus was on solving the mystery and protecting each other from the consistent suspenseful danger. I personally would have preferred a little less suspense and danger and more romance but that’s just me. I definitely would have enjoyed an epilogue. The story concluded with a happy ever after ending between Hauk and Star, and the mystery was solved but there was no justice. Without justice or vindication how can there be closure?

With all the suspense and danger, the pace was smooth and quick. The writing style was flawless. I was engaged from the beginning of the book until the very last page. I didn’t want to put the novel down. I enjoyed discovering all the secrets along with the plot twists and turns.

I recommend this book for those who want to experience some action, suspense, solve a mystery all while getting romanced for a few hours. Buckle up and enjoy the ride. You won’t be disappointed.

I Wish For Your Kiss by Cynthia Moore


I Wish For Your Kiss by Cynthia Moore
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical, Holiday
Length: Short Story (69 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Justin Wexley, Marquess of Rockton has decided he doesn’t want to be married. He has come to this conclusion after many uncomfortable experiences with young women who were thrust upon him by their domineering mothers as possible candidates for the position of his future wife and Marchioness. He is tired of discussing the weather with these silly, nitwitted girls. He is perfectly happy taking care of his large estate with the knowledge that one day his cousin, a smart and diligent young man, will one day inherit his title and property.

Miss Catherine Simms arrives at her friend’s home in the country to celebrate Christmas with her and her family. She discovers that the Marquess of Rockton has also been included in the invitation. Catherine has heard the rumors about Lord Rockton’s aversion to marriage. She finds him to be intelligent as well as handsome and greatly enjoys the time spent with him. Regrettably, they part under less than ideal circumstances on Christmas day.

Fate works its magic and the two of them meet again two years later. Can Justin and Catherine forget about their less than ideal experiences from the past and begin to make lovely, happy moments together in the present?

Justin Wexley – the Marquess of Rockton – was spending the Christmas holidays with his friend from Eton – Edward Teague, the Earl of Norton. Justin was surprised at how another guest – Miss Catherine Simms, a childhood friend of the Earl’s wife – somehow managed to flummox him. Finding the vibrant and engaging young woman constantly on his mind, Justin is uncertain if his previously held notions on remaining unmarried might have been a little precipitous. Can Justin and Catherine both get their fondest wish for Christmas?

This is a very different and oddly interesting Regency romance story. Far from the usual tales of ballrooms and dalliances, discreet affairs or sneaking around the corridors at a house party, I really enjoyed how both Justin and Catherine came to Edward and Mary’s home to celebrate Christmas quietly with their respective friends. Also refreshingly I loved how neither Edward nor Mary tried to set up Catherine and Justin. In many respects I found this a really different, fresh perspective on a Regency story.

I enjoyed how Catherine was quite knowledgeable on many topics – architecture and farming, as well as general court and ton style gossip – but didn’t appear overly bookish or like a know-it-all. I have to admit that although the author gave an exceptional explanation as to why Catherine was so knowledgeable about farming practices, it still felt a little unrealistic to me. Women – even avid readers who were single children and close to their parents – were kept strictly kept away from the “men’s business” of things like agriculture and farming. Also, far more selfishly, while it was lovely to see Catherine talk so knowingly on such a variety of subjects, the number of pages talking about farming and such did grow old for me quite quickly. I enjoyed seeing Catherine charm Justin in such a novel way, and it absolutely proved how strong their connection was and gave a really good basis for them emotional connection and a strong basis for their chemistry, but it struck me as just a little far-fetched.

I greatly enjoyed all four main characters. I liked how there were layers to them and how all the usual traps of a Regency Romance weren’t really present here. I felt this was a fresh take on a Regency Christmas story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I also enjoyed how the conflict, while not completely original, nevertheless didn’t feel stilted to me and wasn’t the dreaded “we had a miscommunication and parted angry” style of play that’s massively overused to my mind. Perfectly sweet, there are a few chaste kisses, but I found all other romance is kept inside the interactions between the characters and in the chemistry that builds slowly but wonderfully between Catherine and Justin.

A sweet and wonderful Regency Christmas short story, I found this a lovely tale with great characters and tons of plot. A brilliant story.

Rescued By the Captain by Laura A. Barnes


Rescued By the Captain by Laura A. Barnes
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (300 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Abandoned at sea.

When Ivy Mallory awakens; she finds herself on the ship of the man who rejected her love years earlier. While he was away working for the Crown, she embraced the London Seasons trying to forget him. Caught in the middle of a treason plot; she must help save her brother. To do so she needs to put her trust in the one man who can protect her. But can she protect her heart from loving him again?

Found at sea.

Captain Marcus Thornhill never imagined he would find a lady floating unconscious in a lifeboat out in the middle of the open sea. But it wasn’t any lady, it was Ivy. Seven years earlier he rejected her love for a life at sea. As he rescues her he gets involved in a treason plot that will bring the war to their beloved shores of England. As he unravels the plot he is unable to deny his desire for her. Is he too late in saving her and the love he has for her?

This story starts with a storm and I was quickly caught in it. Thorn, the hero, was strong, brave and sexy. Ivy was strong-willed, endearing and beautiful. Together they made the pages steamy. There was nothing about them that was unappealing.

I find it hard to believe that this is Laura A. Barnes’ first novel. Her writing style needs to be recognized. I’m not a writer so perhaps what I was drawn to was a certain, well-used technique so forgive me if it is and my ignorance, however, I’ve never read a book that was written like this. The hero would have an internal dialogue while looking into the heroine eyes and based on her mannerisms, could guess or wonder what she was thinking or feeling. It left me wondering if his assumptions were correct. Immediately the author would continue with the heroine answering his unasked questions. It gave me the feeling that the hero and heroine were so connected mind, body and soul; it was as if they could almost read each other’s minds. Another aspect I enjoyed was the incorporation of a significant poem into the love story that uses their names in a clever pun, and I can’t forget to mention the name of his ship. I applaud this book’s writing style!

The plot was masterly planned and executed with a steady and smooth pace. It was impossible to put the book down because the treason and romance plot kept evolving on each page.

While Thorn and Ivy achieved their happily ever after, I was left wondering if there will be a book two with Charles, Ivy’s brother, and Raina LeClair, a lady who had a part in the unsolved treason plot. There needs to be a book two for Charles to complete his mission! I have a couple of other questions but without spoiling Rescued By the Captain, all I can say is that there needs to be a book two so that readers can be at peace regarding Ivy’s safety. If there isn’t going to be a book two, I’ll be crushed! I need total closure!

Other than a serious craving for more, this was an excellent romance story that was very entertaining. The characters are well developed and I feel like I inherited another “book family”. I’ll be thinking about Ivy and Thorn and wishing them the best in their future!

His Highland Heart by Willa Blair


His Highland Heart by Willa Blair
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (354 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Shipwrecked in enemy territory, Euan Brodie fears the rest of his crew are at the bottom of the Moray Firth. While he searches for his crew, the youngest barely fifteen years old, he must evade Clan Ross warriors. Yet when he sees a lass about to drown in the incoming tide, he risks capture to save her.

Along with two other Munro lasses, Muireall Munro was taken by Clan Ross raiders nearly a month ago. She’s yet to be claimed as a Ross bride. Still, after two failed escape attempts, her hope is waning of ever seeing her home and the younger brother she was raising. But the stranger who pulls her from the surf will change her life forever.

If Muireall reveals who she really is, the delicious man who just saved her life will want nothing further to do with her—yet she needs him if she is ever to escape her Ross captors. If Euan reveals who he really is to the woman he saved, he risks not only his life, but his clan. Left with no choice, can they save each other while they fall in love?

I knew what it really meant when I read “We’re no’ going to make it!” on the first page – I wasn’t going to get to sleep that night until I finished the book. Right out the gate I was hooked! The hero, Euan, had immediate book boyfriend appeal. When Euan responded “Aye, we are,” I just laughed because I knew I wasn’t going to put the book down and I was mostly right. I’m very elated that I read this story.

The plot was honestly a masterpiece. It was well thought out and orchestrated. Without repeating the synopsis or spoiling anything, I can only say that as I was reading it I’d think to myself “oh, that was clever” or “nicely plotted” or “oooh, that was a nice twist”. I kept having moments of pleasure instead of thinking “why?” or “…no not that”. His Highland Heart is a satisfying endeavor. There were several moments where I was on the edge of my seat.

The chemistry between Euan and Muireall was intense and powerful at times and other times barely existed for reasons I can’t explain without spoiling the story but in the end it worked. There are other relevant characters such as Muireall’s friend, Ella, and Euan’s friend, Calum, whom I would have liked to have had a better ending than they did with a bit more happily ever after closure.

Remember when I said that I was mostly right about not being able to put the book down? That was because I actually put the book down to go to bed at midnight – without finishing the story. That’s really unusual for me especially when a book captures my interest like this one did in the beginning. The pace was like being in a NASCAR race going 200 MPH while knowing I was in first place without a care in the world. The adrenaline book glow was bright. Gosh, I can’t spoil the story by saying exactly when but there is a point closer to near the end of the book where my winning racecar ran out of gas. The pace of the book rapidly slowed down to the point of feeling like I was behind a bus stopping at every other street. I felt like yelling “for the LOVE of God, can I just get past the bus?” I finally put the book down at midnight. I had a restless sleep with all the unknowns running through my head and I was anxious to get back into the story. When I did, I was relieved that the pace eventually resumed being smooth and steady. In no way was I disappointed in the plot during this turn of events because I believed it was all relevant in the big picture.

His Highland Heart was wrapped up nicely with an epilogue which of course I just love to find at the end of a story. I strongly recommend this story for an entertaining read.

Loving a Wild Stranger by Kelli A. Wilkins


Loving a Wild Stranger by Kelli A. Wilkins
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (295 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

A woman running from her past… straight into the arms of an untamed man

In a moment of desperation, Kathleen Stanton flees her pampered life in Kingston, New York and ends up stranded in a small town in the Michigan Territory. Out of money and forced to rely on her instincts, she impersonates a handsome stranger’s mail-order bride.

Committed to her deception, Kathleen calls herself Michelle and starts her new life with Luther in an isolated cabin in the wilderness. Luther can’t believe his luck when his beautiful bride arrives, but something doesn’t feel right about his new wife. Michelle has terrifying nightmares involving a man named Roger and is reluctant to talk about where she came from.

Luther’s friend, Redfeather visits and tries to convince Luther to send Michelle back east. Distrusting Michelle, he warns Luther that his bride is not what she seems. But Luther is in love with Michelle, and he is harboring a secret of his own—one that might force Michelle to reject him when she learns the truth.

Michelle falls in love with Luther and adapts to her new way of life. Together, they face off against brutal townspeople and overcome harsh living conditions. When they finally give in to their desires and agree to become a proper man and wife, a dark figure from Michelle’s past resurfaces and threatens to destroy everything.

This book took over my life. I ignored everyone and everything. Nothing was going to interrupt my time with Luther. Sigh…Luther, what a dreamy hero. I envied the heroine, Michele. This book has the potential to be made into a movie. Loving a Wild Stranger reminded me of the 1970s T.V. show, Grizzly Adams – one of my favorite childhood television shows.

Luther was very kind, gentle, sweet yet strong, dependable, honest, gorgeous and brave. Michele was very lucky it was Luther she ran into when she arrived into town. The other townsfolk were despicable. Michele often spoke out of line but was quick to apologize, therefore I was able to truly care for her otherwise I’d be cheering for Luther to listen to his father’s advice regarding Michele. The chemistry between Luther and Michele was definitely tangible.

In fact, the writing style made the entire book come to life as if I were there. The plot was really great. There was some suspense threaded throughout the book pertaining to Michele’s past that had a lot to do with me not being able to put the book down. It was clever how Ms. Wilkins incorporated many plot threads and weaved them all together. I never felt lost or confused. I appreciated how Michele’s troubled past was finally put to rest. However, I do wish that there was an epilogue that would have shed a bit more light on their happy ever after ending. I would have loved to have seen that they did indeed adapt to their new way of life. I invested my heart into reading this story and therefore I would have appreciated a more solid closure. I’m left wondering if they were indeed welcomed into the Ojibwa village by all the villagers. What ever happened to Michele’s parents? Will they know what happened to Roger? What happened to the town folk? Do they just get away with how they treated Luther? How will Luther continue to make money with the corrupt fur company? Or is money no longer a concern in the Ojibwa village? I realize all these questions are irrelevant in the big picture. They had a happy ending and that is all that matters. I just expected the ending to match the writing quality that was implemented throughout the book. Therefore I could only give it a 4 star rating.

In conclusion, I do recommend this book and will be keeping it on my keeper shelf. I was thoroughly entertained throughout the story and do think it was worth my time to read. I would love to switch places with Michele and spend the rest of my days with Luther if I could. I would recommend scheduling a camping vacation and reading Loving a Wild Stranger while relaxing by a lake!

Tilly Loves Johnny by Marion L. Cornett


Tilly Loves Johnny by Marion L. Cornett
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (217 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Newlywed Tilly Miner turns a deaf ear to rumors and gossip her husband, Johnny, is running parties where “complimentary” hooch loosens lips as well as pocketbooks for those looking to gamble. Some nights he crawls into their bed, smelling of sour rye mash; others, not even making it home until early morning. But her loyalty remains unwavering.

And then, the unspeakable happens. A few days before Christmas, Tilly discovers a bloody atrocity dumped on their kitchen table. A warning from the Ku Klux Klan? Johnny laughs it off as a joke. But, when he goes missing one cold night in February, 1929, Tilly is convinced someone or something prevents his return.

Her undying faith in Johnny is tested by righteous attitudes from her best friend’s mother and a too cruel mother-in-law, while a recalcitrant sheriff is convinced the man merely ran off.

Tilly Miner’s love and dedication for her husband Johnny kept my attention. The plot is interesting but seemed to be delivered in away that truly didn’t give it full justice. The book opens at the beginning of a card game, then follows with Tilly’s story of Johnny’s long nights of not coming home. Rumor has it Johnny is into various unlawful acts and when he goes missing. Tilly is the only one that believes in his return.

Tilly’s life is depressing and sad. I wanted something good to happen for her but it never did. She had this dark cloud over her through out the entire book. Though Tilly’s life was sad I was drawn in to continue reading. Tilly didn’t have an exciting life nor many thrills. It seemed the only joy Tilly had was her friend Rita Mae and their shared enjoyment in going to the movies. I felt that Tilly was cheated. She didn’t have a husband who truly loved her like she loved him. Johnny didn’t spend time with her, nor did he really show Tilly that she was a priority. Tilly lived in her family home on the second floor while her father lived on the third floor. Tilly’s mother has been deceased for years. Tilly and her father didn’t have a close relationship. Her father seemed more concerned with Johnny’s behavior and repetition than he did in how unhappy his daughter was.

I thought maybe when Tilly got pregnant that that would bring about some happiness to Tilly’s life. This only made me feel sorry for her daughter, Tiz because she was basically motherless. This book is an example of someone focusing on the bad and not on the good in life. Tilly enjoyed reading the town paper and making accessories but eventually she lost interest in these things.

I did like the small town interaction. The various characters that helped give the story realness. I liked the relationship that Thad Andrews, the milkman, had with Tilly. It seemed that was the highlight of Tilly’s day when Thad and Brown Molly, Thad’s horse, brought milk.

Even after finishing this book, I am still trying to figure out how I feel about it. While reading, there is the question is Johnny really dead or did he just leave town to avoid those that were looking for him. The ending was unpredictable for me. I give the author high praise for a creative ending. I was glad that the story gave a full ending in disclosing what really happened to Johnny and how other characters fared.