A Busy Mom Reads: Book Reviews 2020

Standoff (Natchez Trace Park Rangers #1)Standoff by Patricia Bradley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really struggled with this book. I wanted to love it because I normally enjoy romantic thrillers that involve law enforcement. But the reality is that this book just didn’t cut it for me.

The first third of the book had me frustrated with the style of storytelling – the author told the facts rather than telling the story and letting the facts come to light. And while I enjoyed the middle third, I had most of the details (save one detail I didn’t fully work out), the ending didn’t do much for me (and I wasn’t thrilled with how the “romance” wrapped up).

It wasn’t a complete bust as I did think the plot was clever (though much like others from this particular author), and the main characters were likable. Overall, I give this book two stars – it was OK, but not great.

Hadley Beckett's Next DishHadley Beckett’s Next Dish by Bethany Turner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Full of humor and a quick read, Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish is a light-hearted, and slightly corny, romance.

I found myself rolling my eyes throughout, especially at the beginning, but as the plot advanced, I chuckled and cheered.

Hadley and Max seem to play well off each other as the main characters, even if their lives aren’t relatable to the average person. Their emotions and connection don’t seem forced or out of place, and their romance seems believable.

Overall, I enjoyed the book – it was a good distraction from life for a couple of hours – but I won’t likely read it again or be quick to grab the rest of this author’s works. It was cute but not unmissable.

The Dressmaker's GiftThe Dressmaker’s Gift by Fiona Valpy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



What Momma Left BehindWhat Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to a trip via plane (without my kids), I was able to read this book in less than a day. It was definitely a quick and easy read (yay!) and kept me intrigued throughout.

The main characters were mostly likable and semi-relatable (if you could picture yourself living in the time period in which the story was set).

There were a few twists in the story that I’m not entirely sure are believable to have potentially happened during, but I’m willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt and literary grace.

I was a bit surprised at the ending – it wasn’t what I would have initially expected, but once again, I thought it was mostly possible, so I’ll choose to appreciate the author’s creativity.

The House at RivertonThe House at Riverton by Kate Morton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



These Nameless ThingsThese Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When the publisher offered me the opportunity to read and review this book, I was intrigued thinking it was a suspense novel. While there elements of suspense throughout the book, it did not fit the expectation I had for it.

In terms of story-telling, this book was extremely well-written. The author definitely piqued my interest and kept me engaged in the story.

That said, it was not my cup of tea. Very allegorical, this story is apart from reality, and I struggled to connect with the overall plot of the book. And due to its allegorical nature, I found myself feeling unresolved in the end, not really sure what the various resolutions of the story represented.

While I can appreciate and acknowledge a well-written book, I highly doubt I’ll pick up another by this author as it just wasn’t the genre of book I prefer.

The Forgotten GardenThe Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Didn’t want to put it down

When a book captivates your attention so well that you don’t want to put it down and find yourself thinking about the storyline between times of reading it, you know you’ve found a winner.

I loved how the story flipped between the three main characters – all living in a different time and place, and yet whose stories were intricately woven together.

While I was able to piece together parts of the ending earlier on in the book, there were details that I found myself pleasantly surprised to discover as the book came to an end.

I’m eager to read additional titles by this author!