Next Up For Review

Next Up For Review
The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn Saks

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Starlight, Starbright, First Star I See Tonight...

'Scotland by Starlight', Nancy Volkers
Cassie Wrentham is on her way to Scotland again... but this time it's not vacation. She's moving in with Ralph Macnair, the charismatic Scotsman who stole her heart. But Cassie wouldn't be Cassie without doubts. Will she find a job in a tight U.K. economy? Would marrying Ralph now be only for convenience's sake? Will she fit in, make friends, make a life there? Or will it all fall apart?
Bursting with a lively cast of characters, all with their own stories and challenges, Scotland By Starlight follows Cassie and Ralph from the new beginnings of their intense relationship to a conclusion like no other. 

Cover: A
For some unknown reason I like this cover better than the cover of book one: 'A Scottish Ferry Tale'. It just comes across a bit cleaner, more crisp. The color scheme is quite nice and of course, paper quality is above average. If you are a book person (as opposed to an eReader person) this book is a solid handful. The overall quality won't disappoint.

Story B++ 
All right, Love, let's get to it then, shall we?  As some of you might remember, I read 'A Scottish Ferry Tale'. I even reviewed it. If you are a sleuth at heart, you can sort through my old posts and find it. No need to really, as I will sum up my feelings of book one, but you can always go see for yourself if it suits you. 
Book one didn't impress me much. It wasn't *bad* (as in I couldn't finish it, it suffered murderous character flaws, massive editing errors); it just wasn't *good* (as in it didn't grab me & hold my attention). It was okay. Not earth shattering. Not keep you up at night wondering. I think I gave it a C.
Enough about book one. It is water under the reading bridge. Book two...
Oh book two, how changed my mind!  How did I love thee? Let me count the ways...Honestly, I felt as if it were written by a different author! The writing seemed to flow far better. The story, the characters, the conflicts--all of it--just worked better. Until the very end (and I mean the very end, literally) the story was a nice, well rounded love story. Boy and girl have worked out most of their major issues. Boy and girl begin a life together with their wedding listed as #1 on the 'to do list'. Girl still has some minor insecurities. Boy still suffers an occasional bout of the jealous green meanies....but all in all, everything is just swell.
But is it happily ever after? One would think that. And in a way, one would be right. But don't get too comfy under your Tartan plaid blanket. Don't skip through those nagging little details; because if you do you will find yourself wondering who smacked the air out of your lungs and fed you a big bowl full of haggis...
That's all I'm going to say.
Kudos to you, Ms. Nancy Volkers. You went back for a second round and vastly improved upon everything. 
If you enjoy a good love story that tugs at the old heart strings, stop by and grab your copy of 'Scotland by Starlight'. Right now you can get a print copy for $8.99 or a kindle copy for $0.99. Far cheaper than a trip overseas, and a magical transport in it's own right, I highly recommend it.
That's all for now. Stay tuned for my review of, 'Unraveling Anne', Laurel Saville. Until then...

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