Book Review: The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr

I was provided with a review copy by Little Bird Publicity in exchange for an honest review. Read on to know what I thought of the book.

About the Book:

The Family Gathering (Sullivan's Crossing #3)

Having left the military, Dakota Jones is at a crossroads in his life. With his elder brother and youngest sister happily settled in Sullivan’s Crossing, he shows up hoping to clear his head before moving on to his next adventure. But, like every visitor to the Crossing, he’s immediately drawn to the down-to-earth people and the seemingly simple way of life.

Dakota is unprepared for how quickly things get complicated. As a newcomer, he is on everyone’s radar—especially the single women in town. While he enjoys the attention at first, he’s really only attracted to the one woman who isn’t interested. And spending quality time with his siblings is eye-opening. As he gets to know them, he also gets to know himself and what he truly wants.

When all the Jones siblings gather for a family wedding, the four adults are drawn together for the first time in a way they never were as children. As they struggle to accept each other, warts and all, the true nature and strength of their bond is tested. But all of them come to realize that your family are the people who see you for who you really are and love you anyway. And for Dakota, that truth allows him to find the home and family he’s always wanted.

My Thoughts:

The Family Gathering is the third book in the Sullivan’s Crossing series. It focuses on Dakota, bringing out his story and relationship with his siblings. As complicated as his life has been, we are given glimpses into the past of the siblings’ which helps us understand their personalities. The romance that develops slowly between Dakota and Sid, seems to change both of them slowly, forcing Sid to start trusting again.

The story consists of a number of mini plots, focussing on each of the siblings and their lives at that moment. This takes away the focus from the main plot and reduces the impact of the whole story. Though the characters are developed, some of their personality traits come off as annoying, like how Dakota is initially rather cocky and arrogant and then miraculously he changes. Though the story is a decent read in the romance genre, there seems to be too much happening with no specific plot line being given more importance. Somewhere along the way, we find that Dakota is on a path of self-discovery and understanding, developing a better relationship with his siblings and making the effort to understand them and just be there for them.

I found the book to be alright, not exceptional, but a light read that helps to pass the time.

Book Review: The Lost Daughter of India by Sharon Maas

About the Book:

One woman. One impossible choice. Her daughter or her happiness …

When Caroline meets Kamal the attraction is instant. He’s enchanting, charismatic and she can’t wait to set up a new life with him in India. Both their families are against the union but Caroline is convinced they’ll come round, especially when she gives birth to a beautiful daughter, Asha.

Asha is an adorable child but Caroline, homesick and beginning to hate the remote Indian village they live in, struggles with motherhood. Kamal is hardly ever there and she feels more and more isolated. In the grips of severe depression Caroline flees back to America, leaving Asha behind.

Ten years later …

Caroline recovered from her illness, is consumed by thoughts of the daughter she abandoned. Desperate to find Asha, she reunites with Kamal, intent on tracking her down. Will they ever be able to find their lost daughter? If they have any chance, they must confront the painful truths of the past and a terrible secret that has been kept for many years, until now.

A heart-breaking and beautifully written story of loss, secrets and the strength of a mother’s love against all odds. If you enjoyed Diane Chamberlain and Lucinda Riley then this book will find its way into your heart and stay there. 

My Thoughts:

The main premise of the book, child trafficking and prostitution, is rather relevant and important for everyone to be aware of. The story focuses on that when Asha is kidnapped and sold away. Well, going back a little, the story starts of by introducing us to Kamal and Caroline, going back and forth in time to give us insights into them and Asha, their in the present time. The story also consists of some other very important characters, one of them being Janiki, Asha’s foster sister and a kind of mother figure.

The author has brought out the plot decently, but there is a lot of repetition and this forced me to lose interest in the book a little. Once a point is emphasised, there is no need to keep talking about it again and again. This was a major deterrent. Other than this, the characters were well developed with a good amount of depth. All the players had a role to play and the author has done some amount of justice in her description of India. On one side she has shown us the glamorous parts, or what people assume it to be, and on the other she has brought out the underlying truth behind most of the glamour surrounding the country. It is not as exotic as most foreigners seem to think and this is emphasised through Caroline’s character who has a love-hate relationship with the country, starting off with a romanticised notion since her childhood.

The story progresses to focus on Asha’s life after her parents leave her to grow up with her foster parents (though foster isn’t exactly the right word. They are a family who take her in and love her as much as her parents, sometimes even more). Set in Madras and Bombay, the author brings out some harsh realities, forcing the reader to pause and think. Some of the scenes have been described very well and the attention to detail in them makes up for the negative points. It is also clear that a good amount of research has gone into this book and that makes the information more authentic and believable.

The story is filled with heart-break but brings out the importance of family and the lengths to which people will go to rescue the ones they love. It also shows us the ways a persons ideas can affect and influence their decisions. I recommend this book mainly for the plot line and idea that the author is trying to portray and make us aware of.

Get the book on Amazon at:

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Book Review: Jesper Jinx’s Best Friend (Jesper Jinx #6) by Marko Kitti

About the Book:

Jesper Jinx's Best Friend (Jesper Jinx, #6)

Jesper Jinx is eleven, and probably the unluckiest person in all of Puffington Hill. Everything he touches seems to end up in sweet disaster. Hence his nickname ‘Jinx’.

Every great hero needs a sidekick who’s ready to laugh at their silly antics. And Oliver has been just that for Jesper on countless pranks since the day they were born. But now Jesper’s sister Melinda has set her sights on Oliver and even worse, he doesn’t seem to mind.

Add to this horrible dilemma the fact that there is a heatwave in Puffington Hill. The air is now so hot that birds are falling from the trees and grandpas and grandmas are forced to wear bikinis. It all adds up to sweet disaster for Jesper.

How far is he willing to go to save his friendship with Oliver?

My Thoughts:

Our very own SOS (Silly Old Scribbler) is back with a new story chronicling another part of Jesper’s life. However, I must warn you, there is a twist to this tale. We, along with Jesper, are given some extremely shocking news, Oliver and Melinda, together, on the same side, dating????? I will leave the plot description there and allow you fellow fans to contemplate! What is going on? They are all involved, somehow.

Written in his usual casual, carefree style, the author once again brings Jesper and his best friend Oliver to life. This story focuses more on their friendship, giving us a glimpse into how, once upon a time, they became friends. Beginning with the day they were born and progressing until we reach the current day, we are also taken on a short stroll down memory lane, as Jesper remembers all the pranks the boys pulled together.

The story has a different tone to it which sets it apart from the rest. It might seem a little mellow at first, but persist and I assure you that you will not be disappointed. We see the boys as children, but we do forget that they are growing and learning new things everyday, having new experiences.

Sometimes even I wonder how the Scribbler manages to get all these stories out of Jesper, but hey! I’m not complaining. These are extremely entertaining stories and there is even the hint of the next adventure. There sure is a lot happening at Puffington Hill! So please put down your phones and anything that may distract you and read yet another interesting chapter in the life of Jesper Jinx!