Chasing Cassandra is the sixth book in the Ravenels series by Lisa Kleypas and I couldn’t wait to read Tom and Cassandra’s love story. From glancing at the ratings and reviews on Goodreads I think I’m the only reader in Romancelandia who didn’t absolutely love this book. LOL. Not that I didn’t enjoy my time spent reading, because I did, but it didn’t blow me away.
Tom and Cassandra meet by chance at her sister Poppy’s wedding and it is lust at first sight for Tom. Cassandra on the other hand is intrigued, but a bit wary. They meet, they talk, some time goes by and they see each other again, and then they separate again….. and I was a bit bored. The only real conflict between them is that Cassandra wants to find and marry for love like her siblings and Tom doesn’t think it exists. Well, let me rephrase, he’s thoroughly convinced himself that it doesn’t exist for him and he’s not some one who feels those type of emotions. That’s it.
My other issue is a small one, and not with the author so much as the art department. If your character spends a good amount of the book having internal conflict and self esteem issues about her weight and is described several times as plump, I expect the cover image to show a plump, beautiful woman. That didn’t happen here and I was disappointed.
One part I did enjoy is the time Cassandra and Tom spent drawing up their marriage contract. It was a great way to show them really getting to know each other and decide what their marriage was going to be based on.
Overall, this was just an okay read for me, but let’s face it… it’s Lisa Kleypas and she sprinkles fairy dust on her pages or something because even her meh books are one sitting reads. Now that The Ravenels are done I hope she stays with historical romance for a good long while because I’ve enjoyed her return and hope for more in the future. Final grade- B-/C
I was so intrigued by the blurb for The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James that I immediately hit the request button.
The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.
Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…
This book is told in alternating POVs. One chapter is Viv in 1982 working the night shift and experiencing the weird goings on at The Sun Down Motel. She sets out to solve the murders of several young women in the area and goes missing in the process. The next chapter is Viv’s niece Carly in 2017, also working the night shift at The Sun Down and piecing together her aunt’s life in the weeks and months the led up to her disappearance.
I absolutely loved the way this mystery is laid out and by the time the timelines converged toward the end I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to Viv and find out if she had really solved the cases of the murdered women in Fell, but also to see if Carly would make it out of the Sun Down alive. Viv and Carly are supported by an amazing cast of mostly female secondary characters and they gave so much life to this story, especially Heather, Carly’s roommate and mystery solving sidekick.
This gothic horror/mystery was everything I had hoped it would be when I read the blurb. There is even a lighter romance between Carly and a man who returns to town after being gone for years after the murder of his younger brother that satisfied my romance-loving heart. This book had just the right amounts of creepy horror and suspenseful mystery and I loved it. Highly recommend. Final grade- A