by M.J. Mallon
“Golden Healer” picks up where the first book left off with Amelina maneuvering through her teen years while embracing her magic as a Krystallos. Some of my favorite parts were the interaction with the girl in the mirror and Amelina and her dad. Not only did the plot take the reader on a rollercoaster, but there was also an actual one in the story. Many good characters all played into finding out more about the darker side or shadows. Ryder is a character who could have an empathic side if he allowed it, but I did like how he developed in the story. Crystals and music added depth to Amelina’s learning quest. Her friendships are still strong and are tested with Ryder involved. There are some beautiful poetic parts, and I love the poetry at the beginning of each chapter. Although this book answers many questions, it also opened the door to new ones. I look forward to more stories from these characters.
“Searching for Home” is a wonderfully uplifting romance full of faith and miscommunication. Meg gives up her successful physical therapy practice to raise her sister’s triplets and take over the bed-and-breakfast. She’s struggling to make ends meet and fixing up the property. When an expected guest, Luke, shows up to recover from an injury—or her high school love. Both are hurting from the past, but right now, it’s the children who need attention and love after being discarded by their parents, along with the business. Meg is a wonderful character who tries to balance being a mother, running the inn, and still doing physical therapy while fighting her feelings for Luke. The love that still exists between the two is obvious to everyone but them. It was easy to have empathy for Luke and his past. I love how he jumped right in to help remodel and develop a bond with the children, especially Tucker. I read this in one sitting, hoping they’d finally have that talk. A sweet romance that I can highly recommend.
Sierra has just gotten out of a poor relationship and her nest egg for opening her dream business was gone. Val has agreed to stay at his aunt’s place to take care of things while the aunt recovers from illness. Sierra and Val are thrown together, living in the same house, but immediately clash. It doesn’t help that Sierra works for Val’s sister and he overlooked telling her a few minor details. I like the tension between the two and all the character names, especially Cupid for the dog and Valentine for Val. This is a fast and fun read that I read in one sitting. It would be the perfect Valentine’s Day story or any day you want to celebrate love’s bloom.
“The Hay Bale” is a short horror story filled with chilling passages and light on gore, which I prefer. Claire has miscarried four babies, was turned down for adoption, and her husband left her. She leaves her job as a professor in microbiology to regroup and heal from all her losses in a quaint country house called Small Claws. When things happen in her rented home, she asks questions, to which she finds some chilling answers. The single bale of hay behind the house adds a strange twist and fuels her curiosity. While Clair struggles with her issues within, some really strange things are going on around her. A spooky story with an ending I didn’t expect and easily read in one sitting.
I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!
NOTE: Today is my seven-year anniversary of when I broke my foot (on Friday the 13th tripping over my black cat.) It turned out to be a good thing as it finally got me serious about publishing my work. Here is the blog from two years ago when I talked about this fall if you missed it 🙂 LINK
Life is short! Embrace your inner child by reading a good book. D. L. Finn