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Chicago, IL, United States
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  • The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go

  • By: Amy E. Reichert
  • Narrated by: Teri Schnaubelt
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

Gina Zoberski wants to make it through one day without her fastidious mother Lorraine cataloguing all her faults, and her sullen teenage daughter May snubbing her. Too bad there's no chance of that. Her relentlessly sunny disposition annoys them both, no matter how hard she tries. Instead, Gina finds order and comfort in obsessive list-making and her work at Grilled G's, the gourmet grilled cheese food truck built by her late husband. But when Lorraine suffers a sudden stroke, Gina stumbles upon a family secret Lorraine's kept hidden for 40 years. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • My problem is the subject matter - GRIEF.

  • By Jane on 07-06-18

My problem is the subject matter - GRIEF.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-06-18

Most of the book has way too much time with three females grieving deaths of husbands/fathers/first-loves. Most of the story is flashback memories of nice times together before the person died: how they met, their relationship, how they died. Even at the end of the book there are more tear jerking grief scenes. This book is sooo different from the author’s first book “The Coincidence of Coconut Cake.” I loved that book. It was a contemporary romance story but drawn out like womens fiction. It was an enjoyable escape. This new book “The Optimists...” is a totally different type of book. No fun. A downer.

The characters: Lorraine was cold and distant to her two daughters Gina and Vicki now around age 40. Gina’s teenage daughter May is cold and distant to Gina. The men in Lorraine’s life are dead. Gina’s husband died two years ago.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Teri Schnaubelt did a great job. I would listen to her again.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 352 pages. Swearing language: the f-word 2 or 3 times. Sexual content: none. Setting: current day plus flashbacks Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Book copyright: 2018. Genre: grief fiction.

OTHER BOOKS:
I’ve read two other books by this author.
5 stars. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake.
3 ½ stars. The Simplicity of Cider. (Lack of justice for crimes done.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Simplicity of Cider

  • By: Amy E. Reichert
  • Narrated by: Rachel Dulude
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 37

Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family's apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother's attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land. Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son, Sebastian, from his troubled mother.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • just awesome

  • By Gettingitdone on 09-26-17

3 ½ stars. Enjoyable womens fiction.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-06-18

My biggest problem was the ending. Crimes were committed, but we don’t know what happened to the bad guy. Was there enough evidence? Did he to go to jail? He didn’t pay restitution to the victims. What was done to him? When you have good guys and bad guys in a story, it feels unfinished when there is no justice. I deducted a star for that.

I was ok with the heroine being prickly. There was a happy ending for the romantic relationship which I liked.

There was a touch of magic - for example a tree responding to human emotions. It was a minor part of the story.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Rachel Dulude did a fine job.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 336 pages. Swearing language: mild and rarely used. Sexual content: two scenes referred to not shown. Setting: current day mostly Door County, Wisconsin. Book copyright: 2017. Genre: womens fiction with romance.

OTHER BOOKS:
I’ve read two other books by this author.
5 stars. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
2 stars. The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go. (Too much grief.)

  • The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

  • By: Amy E. Reichert
  • Narrated by: C.S.E Cooney
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 390
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 355
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 355

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella's, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé...until the morning she discovers him in the buff - with an intern.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Delightful Read

  • By Vanda F. Wadsworth on 04-18-16

Nice escape. Very enjoyable.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-06-18

It’s a slow buildup of romance. There is a happy ending. And of course, it’s done in 3rd person -- my comfort read.

I was surprised at the suspense. I was on the edge of my seat for much of the book wondering what would happen and how Lou would find out the secret. It was good suspense. (The secret is in the book blurb so this is not a spoiler.) Al is the newspaper restaurant critic who writes a scathing review about Lou’s restaurant. When they meet and start seeing each other, Lou does not know Al is the critic since he uses a pen name, and Al does not know Lou is the owner of the restaurant he reviewed.

There is a lot of talk about food. Made me want to go to the fictional Milwaukee places and eat.

A couple sex scenes happen, but they are referred to not shown. Example: They start kissing, the next scene is next morning.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
C.S.E. Cooney did a good job with everyone except Al. She used a British accent for Al that made him sound like A LITTLE BOY. I had trouble seeing him as a desirable man. She was fine doing other male characters, but not the hero. It was well edited, no breath noises.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 336 pages. Swearing language: none that I recall. Sexual content: two scenes no details. Setting: current day Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Book copyright: 2015. Genre: contemporary romance.

OTHER BOOKS:
I’ve read two other books by this author.
3 ½ stars. The Simplicity of Cider. (Lack of justice for crimes done.)
2 stars. The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go. (Too much grief.)

  • Brain Food

  • The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power
  • By: Lisa Mosconi PhD
  • Narrated by: Norah Tocci
  • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5

Dr. Lisa Mosconi, whose research spans an extraordinary range of specialties including brain science, the microbiome, and nutritional genomics, notes that the dietary needs of the brain are substantially different from those of the other organs, yet few of us have any idea what they might be. Her innovative approach to cognitive health incorporates concepts that most doctors have yet to learn. Busting through advice based on pseudoscience, Dr. Mosconi provides recommendations for a complete food plan, while calling out noteworthy surprises.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Lack of scientific research

  • By Jane on 07-06-18

Lack of scientific research

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-06-18

I don’t know whether to give this a 2 for below average or 3 for interesting.

There were many interesting things in the book, but it lacked scientific research. Most of it felt like her personal opinion. Some of her advice follows.

All food must be organic, no GMOs. Cattle must be organic grass fed. Chickens must be raised outdoors cage free on organic food. All animals must be antibiotic and hormone free.

GMOs:
My understanding of GMOs: they are all different. Some corn is designed to make cattle get fatter faster. Other GMOs are trying to find a better tasting vegetable or one with more vitamins. Some GMOs are for better resistance to pests or pesticides. Some GMOs are for longer shelf lives. To my knowledge there are no studies that support the author’s recommendation to avoid all GMOs. She mentions no research.

Salt:
Instead of talking about how much salt to consume she says add no more than the tip of a teaspoon for the day. But the starting point is different for people depending on whether they cook or buy prepared foods. She should talk about milligrams for the day, not a tip of the teaspoon for everyone. She also recommends avoiding the commonly bought grocery store salt because it has additives. She prefers sea rock salt and pink Himalayan salt due to more minerals and no additives. But would this be undesirable? Grocery store salt might be the only way many of us get iodine in our diet. She does not discuss iodine.

Water:
She says there is debate over how much water we need. Some experts recommend eight 8-ounce glasses per day. So that is what she recommends.

She says purified water is incapable of hydrating the brain, but she has no study or research supporting that statement.

Brain neurons:
The author made confusing statements about neurons. Early in book she said neurons are irreplaceable. Later in the book she said neurons continue to grow. And later she said a reduced calory diet promotes growth of new neurons. I was intrigued with Johanna’s review. She said the 1998 study by Dr. Fred H. Gage and Peter Eriksson found that the human brain can give rise to new neurons throughout life. They also found that exercise and cognitive enrichment can increase the brain’s ability to generate more neurons. This author made no mention of this.

Blue Zones:
Blue Zones are five regions in the world where people live to be 100. They have the lowest incidence of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and dementia. I wish the author would have given a complete list of foods consumed in each area. She did not. She mentioned a few foods in each area. I did find some of the differences interesting.

Italy: fish, olive oil, coffee
Icaria, Greece: coffee
Okinawa, Japan: fish, green tea, brown rice, soy products
Costa Rica: white rice, coffee
Loma Linda California: no coffee or tea

India:
Americans are 8 times more likely to get Altzheimers than Indians. Although Indians have shorter lives. Some believe that curry spices (turmeric and cumin) are the reason for the lower rate of Alzheimers. But there haven’t been enough studies to prove it. A thought: none of the Blue Zones consume curry.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Norah Tocci was fine.

DATA:
368 pages. Book Copyright: 2018. Genre: Health Nonfiction.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Lost and Found Sisters

  • By: Jill Shalvis
  • Narrated by: Karen White
  • Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 186
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of LA's hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she's looking for a missing piece she can't find?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding!

  • By Terri C. on 08-06-17

2 ½ stars.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-29-18

It was OK but not as enjoyable as I’d hoped.

I recently enjoyed the Southern Eclectic series by Molly Harper. I thought this book might be similar - various people in a small town. But I was disappointed. Some characters were mean, selfish, annoying or doing illogical or almost stupid things. The conflicts were not fun to read about. It’s hard to explain why but I’ll try. One example: Quinn meets the sister she never knew she had. The sister won’t have anything to do with Quinn and makes negative assumptions without saying why and keeps running off. Another example: Guy tells a girl to go away and they are not an item. She’s hurt. Then the next day he says he didn’t mean it. There were other conflicts with other characters that I did not enjoy.

Later in the book I thought how stupid. Quinn’s parents were loving and generous. But when she went to college she didn’t want them to help her pay for college, so she took out student loans. When she needed some money for repairs to her cafe/diner, she sold her car instead of asking them for help. Poor financial decision making when parents love you, want to help you, and are able to help, is stupid thinking.

I wanted to read about a nice place with nice people. Here, the people were not nice and even the town was no fun. It was in financial trouble. Places going out of business. The future looked dim. In the Southern Eclectic series there were one or two not so nice people causing trouble, but it was different somehow and interesting.

There is a minor touch of fantasy. Quinn’s dead sister’s ghost occasionally visits her and talks to her.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Karen White was ok, but I was tired of her voice for the heroine Quinn. For most of the book she had a high pitched, whiny, angsty, worried tone of voice - like “ohhh woe is me what will I do?” I’ve loved her narration for other books, but this one came off too wimpy and whiny.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 400 pages. Swearing language: moderate but not often used. Sexual content: about 4 sex scenes, not much detail. Setting: current day mostly Wildstone, central California. Book copyright: 2017. Genre: womens fiction with romance and a touch of fantasy.

  • Northern Lights

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Gary Littman
  • Length: 15 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,612
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,174
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,179

Lunacy was Nate Burke's last chance. As a Baltimore cop, he'd watched his partner die on the street - and the guilt still haunts him. With nowhere else to go, he accepts the job as chief of police in this tiny, remote Alaskan town. Aside from sorting out a run-in between a couple of motor vehicles and a moose, he finds his first few weeks on the job are relatively quiet. But that's about to change.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Makes you want to see Alaska for yourself

  • By Michele on 11-30-11

Good mystery, some romance to go with it

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-29-18

Feel good ending, enjoyable escape.

I read the paperback several years ago and gave it 4 stars. I recently did the Audiobook and for some unknown reason, I enjoyed it more. Don’t know why. It was a good escape - kept my interest all the way through.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Gary Littman did a fine job.

STORY BRIEF:
Nate was a cop in Baltimore. His partner was killed on the job. Nate felt responsible and was sad, withdrawn and depressed for months. He left Baltimore to become police chief of a small town in Alaska, hoping to further lose himself. He meets Meg who is a fiercely independent bush pilot, flying people and supplies around Alaska. She has more masculine traits than feminine and is the initiator of casual sex. Some mountain climbers discover a dead body with an axe in his chest. The body has been sitting in a cave on the mountain for 16 years. Nate’s cop instincts awaken as he investigates. The murderer starts doing things to stop the investigation.

REVIEWER’S OPINION:
It was a long book and a little slow at first. But the last half made it worthwhile. It was an interesting group of characters. I enjoyed watching what life was like for a small town police chief, breaking up fights, taking care of drunks, dealing with teenage orneriness. Nate was a good man, taking care of his town. But when murder happened, he turned back into the tough, Baltimore cop - investigating and protecting. Solving the murder and his relationship with Meg brought him back to life.

I would have liked a little more understanding of the motivation for the murder. The love story between Nate and Meg could have used more relationship development. It started with Meg wanting casual sex and later they sort of realized they were in love. It was ok but could have used a little more sizzle. I enjoyed the Alaskan lights in the sky, the beautiful wilderness, and the lifestyle.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 635 pages. Swearing language: strong. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: 4. Total number of sex scene pages: 10. Setting: 1988, 2004 and 2005 Alaska. Copyright: 2004. Genre: romantic mystery.

  • Ain't She a Peach

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 727
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 686
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 677

An Atlanta ex-cop comes to Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet - but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met. Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything - but it seems rude to embalm them and not say hello. Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love Molly Harper and her stories.

  • By Nancy on 06-15-18

4 ½ stars for the series.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-23-18

A nice escape - being in a small town for a while.

This review is for all four books.

I’ve read two Molly Harper books in the past and was not wowed enough to buy more. They were both told in 1st person. But when I saw this new series being told in 3rd person I thought I’d try it. And yes, I really enjoyed it. Why is it that I feel like I can relax and enjoy a 3rd person book, but 1st person seems stressful?

The setting is a small lakeside town in Georgia. There is a romantic relationship in each book, but there is more of an emphasis on the town and things happening to various characters than on romance. I liked the way this was done.

You can read each book as a stand-alone except for Book 1.5. That book is the beginning of Book 2. You will be unhappy if you read 1.5 without continuing on to 2. But you can read Book 2 without 1.5.

In the first three books there were no sex scene details, but maybe a few references to “staying the night.” The fourth book had two sex scenes, briefly described, no body parts named.

Book #0.5 Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck - 3 stars
novella, 136 pages
Carl the auto mechanic and Marianne who recently graduated college with plans to go to law school. Nice story but I wanted more relationship development.

Book #1 Sweet Tea and Sympathy - 4 ½ stars
307 pages
Margot lost her job as an event planner in Chicago. She comes to Lake Sackett for a while at the request of relatives. She meets her biological father Stan and Kyle the elementary school principal.

Book #1.5 Peachy Flippin’ Keen - 3 stars
novella 75 pages
Frankie the female coroner and funeral home director meets Eric the new sheriff, formerly a cop in Atlanta. Someone has been playing mean pranks and vandalizing the family business - funeral home and bait shop. When I read this I was angry at the way the story stopped. But I soon learned this is the first chapter for the next book #2. So plan to read them together.

Book #2 Ain’t She a Peach - 4 ½ stars
304 pages
Continuation of the story about Frankie, Eric, and the vandalizing of the funeral home - and other things going on in town.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Amanda Ronconi narrated all four of these, and she did a fine job. I think she changed the way she does voices, since she was not good in a couple other books that I listened to.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: mild and rarely used. I think the f word was used once. Sexual content: mild. Setting: current day Lake Sackett, Georgia. Copyright: 2017 and 2018. Genre: womens fiction with romance.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Peachy Flippin' Keen

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 2 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 740
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 705
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 699

The McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop has crickets running rampant in the store and hot sauce in the Snack Shack's ketchup bottles. But as the county coroner, Frankie has enough on her plate without worrying about the increasingly mean pranks being played at her family's business. And the arrival of Sheriff Eric Linden, both devastatingly attractive and painfully taciturn, is enough to push her over the edge.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Unfinished

  • By ashley on 04-23-18

4 ½ stars for the series.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-23-18

A nice escape - being in a small town for a while.

This review is for all four books.

I’ve read two Molly Harper books in the past and was not wowed enough to buy more. They were both told in 1st person. But when I saw this new series being told in 3rd person I thought I’d try it. And yes, I really enjoyed it. Why is it that I feel like I can relax and enjoy a 3rd person book, but 1st person seems stressful?

The setting is a small lakeside town in Georgia. There is a romantic relationship in each book, but there is more of an emphasis on the town and things happening to various characters than on romance. I liked the way this was done.

You can read each book as a stand-alone except for Book 1.5. That book is the beginning of Book 2. You will be unhappy if you read 1.5 without continuing on to 2. But you can read Book 2 without 1.5.

In the first three books there were no sex scene details, but maybe a few references to “staying the night.” The fourth book had two sex scenes, briefly described, no body parts named.

Book #0.5 Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck - 3 stars
novella, 136 pages
Carl the auto mechanic and Marianne who recently graduated college with plans to go to law school. Nice story but I wanted more relationship development.

Book #1 Sweet Tea and Sympathy - 4 ½ stars
307 pages
Margot lost her job as an event planner in Chicago. She comes to Lake Sackett for a while at the request of relatives. She meets her biological father Stan and Kyle the elementary school principal.

Book #1.5 Peachy Flippin’ Keen - 3 stars
novella 75 pages
Frankie the female coroner and funeral home director meets Eric the new sheriff, formerly a cop in Atlanta. Someone has been playing mean pranks and vandalizing the family business - funeral home and bait shop. When I read this I was angry at the way the story stopped. But I soon learned this is the first chapter for the next book #2. So plan to read them together.

Book #2 Ain’t She a Peach - 4 ½ stars
304 pages
Continuation of the story about Frankie, Eric, and the vandalizing of the funeral home - and other things going on in town.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Amanda Ronconi narrated all four of these, and she did a fine job. I think she changed the way she does voices, since she was not good in a couple other books that I listened to.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: mild and rarely used. I think the f word was used once. Sexual content: mild. Setting: current day Lake Sackett, Georgia. Copyright: 2017 and 2018. Genre: womens fiction with romance.

  • Sweet Tea and Sympathy

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,326
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,102
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,083

Margot Cary has spent her life immersed in everything Lake Sackett is not. As an elite event planner, Margot's rubbed elbows with the cream of Chicago society and made elegance and glamour her business. She's riding high until one event goes tragically, spectacularly wrong. Now she's blackballed by the gala set and in dire need of a fresh start - and apparently the McCreadys are in need of an event planner with a tarnished reputation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Thank you Ms. Harper

  • By green ice cream garden on 11-30-17

4 ½ stars for the series.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-23-18

A nice escape - being in a small town for a while.

This review is for all four books.

I’ve read two Molly Harper books in the past and was not wowed enough to buy more. They were both told in 1st person. But when I saw this new series being told in 3rd person I thought I’d try it. And yes, I really enjoyed it. Why is it that I feel like I can relax and enjoy a 3rd person book, but 1st person seems stressful?

The setting is a small lakeside town in Georgia. There is a romantic relationship in each book, but there is more of an emphasis on the town and things happening to various characters than on romance. I liked the way this was done.

You can read each book as a stand-alone except for Book 1.5. That book is the beginning of Book 2. You will be unhappy if you read 1.5 without continuing on to 2. But you can read Book 2 without 1.5.

In the first three books there were no sex scene details, but maybe a few references to “staying the night.” The fourth book had two sex scenes, briefly described, no body parts named.

Book #0.5 Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck - 3 stars
novella, 136 pages
Carl the auto mechanic and Marianne who recently graduated college with plans to go to law school. Nice story but I wanted more relationship development.

Book #1 Sweet Tea and Sympathy - 4 ½ stars
307 pages
Margot lost her job as an event planner in Chicago. She comes to Lake Sackett for a while at the request of relatives. She meets her biological father Stan and Kyle the elementary school principal.

Book #1.5 Peachy Flippin’ Keen - 3 stars
novella 75 pages
Frankie the female coroner and funeral home director meets Eric the new sheriff, formerly a cop in Atlanta. Someone has been playing mean pranks and vandalizing the family business - funeral home and bait shop. When I read this I was angry at the way the story stopped. But I soon learned this is the first chapter for the next book #2. So plan to read them together.

Book #2 Ain’t She a Peach - 4 ½ stars
304 pages
Continuation of the story about Frankie, Eric, and the vandalizing of the funeral home - and other things going on in town.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Amanda Ronconi narrated all four of these, and she did a fine job. I think she changed the way she does voices, since she was not good in a couple other books that I listened to.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: mild and rarely used. I think the f word was used once. Sexual content: mild. Setting: current day Lake Sackett, Georgia. Copyright: 2017 and 2018. Genre: womens fiction with romance.

  • Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 3 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,187
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,110

Molly Harper brings her signature "clever humor, snark, silliness, and endearing protagonists" ( Booklist) to the charming small town of Lake Sackett, Georgia with the new Southern Eclectic series. Carl and Marianne were high school sweethearts, loving the way only teenagers can - with no thought to logic or pride, just a bone-headed, optimistic frenzy of unicorns and hormones. That was all they needed. Or so Carl thought. Scared of being stuck in Lake Sackett, Georgia, like so many of her friends, Marianne panicked and bolted....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not as impressed with the story

  • By SuchetA on 11-07-17

4 ½ stars for the series.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-23-18

A nice escape - being in a small town for a while.

This review is for all four books.

I’ve read two Molly Harper books in the past and was not wowed enough to buy more. They were both told in 1st person. But when I saw this new series being told in 3rd person I thought I’d try it. And yes, I really enjoyed it. Why is it that I feel like I can relax and enjoy a 3rd person book, but 1st person seems stressful?

The setting is a small lakeside town in Georgia. There is a romantic relationship in each book, but there is more of an emphasis on the town and things happening to various characters than on romance. I liked the way this was done.

You can read each book as a stand-alone except for Book 1.5. That book is the beginning of Book 2. You will be unhappy if you read 1.5 without continuing on to 2. But you can read Book 2 without 1.5.

In the first three books there were no sex scene details, but maybe a few references to “staying the night.” The fourth book had two sex scenes, briefly described, no body parts named.

Book #0.5 Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck - 3 stars
novella, 136 pages
Carl the auto mechanic and Marianne who recently graduated college with plans to go to law school. Nice story but I wanted more relationship development.

Book #1 Sweet Tea and Sympathy - 4 ½ stars
307 pages
Margot lost her job as an event planner in Chicago. She comes to Lake Sackett for a while at the request of relatives. She meets her biological father Stan and Kyle the elementary school principal.

Book #1.5 Peachy Flippin’ Keen - 3 stars
novella 75 pages
Frankie the female coroner and funeral home director meets Eric the new sheriff, formerly a cop in Atlanta. Someone has been playing mean pranks and vandalizing the family business - funeral home and bait shop. When I read this I was angry at the way the story stopped. But I soon learned this is the first chapter for the next book #2. So plan to read them together.

Book #2 Ain’t She a Peach - 4 ½ stars
304 pages
Continuation of the story about Frankie, Eric, and the vandalizing of the funeral home - and other things going on in town.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Amanda Ronconi narrated all four of these, and she did a fine job. I think she changed the way she does voices, since she was not good in a couple other books that I listened to.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: mild and rarely used. I think the f word was used once. Sexual content: mild. Setting: current day Lake Sackett, Georgia. Copyright: 2017 and 2018. Genre: womens fiction with romance.

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