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THE UNQUIET (INCLUDES IN DEATH, BOOK #33.5) BY J.D. ROBB, MARY BLAYNEY, PATRICIA GAFFNEY, RUTH RYAN LANGAN, & MARY KAY MCCOMAS: BOOK REVIEW

by hmhibbit, December 29, 2014

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3 Star rating
 
The Unquiet
By Multiple Authors (see breakdowns for individual stories for author info)
ISBN#  9780515149982

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

the-unquietThis is anthology, with stories from five different New York Times bestselling authors.  It includes an In Death novella, Chaos in Death, by J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts.  Each story has a bit of a spooky or  ‘from the other side’ kind of feel and I will break them all down for you by story now …

3 Star rating
 
Chaos in Death
In Death, Book #33.5
By J.D. Robb
Author’s website:  http://www.jdrobb.com/

Three reforming drug users are found dead and meticulously placed for discovery.  Eve Dallas is hunting the golden boy doctor as the likely murderer, but what her witness describes is something out of a horror film.

For a novella, I thought this story was pretty good.  We have our always skeptic Dallas, with a case that makes her look at the possibility that monsters could be real?  It’s a true Jekyll and Hyde story that was a lot of fun!

We even get an intimate scene between Eve and Roarke.  Mystery, emotion, sex… what more could a girl want?

“I feel so used. I find I like it.”~Roarke

This is a nice fun and quick In Death novella that the fans of the series are sure to enjoy!

3 Star rating
 
Her Greatest Treasure
By Mary Blayney
Author’s Website:  http://www.maryblayney.com/

It’s the year of 1816 and Lydia is still adjusting to life without her husband.  He gave her a necklace with a strange coin on it and told her that it was her ‘greatest treasure’ before leaving.  His ship sunk and him with it, he was never to be seen again to explain exactly what he meant with his last gift to her.

Now a thug attacks Lydia wanting her ‘greatest treasure’ and she must figure out what’s going on, and what her next move should be.  Luckily she ran into Mr. Chase (quite literally) at the right time so he could help her figure things out!

This story was kind of slow going for me, but I ended up really enjoying it.  I recommend sticking with it!  There is adventure, mystery, and even a little romance thrown in, not to mention the touch of historical romance the tale brings.

Lydia was a nice strong lead character that has been through a lot, especially in the last year as she tries to right the wrongs her husband made, while also trying to run a business and make a living in a ‘man’s world’.  I liked her determination and character.

Mr. Chase was also a lot of fun.  A rake that may have finally met his match, at least from a romance standpoint!

This is a couple and a world that I would love to see more of.  The author does include a note at the end of the story explaining the origin of the coin and telling us about her other novellas that also feature the coin.  I think it’s an interesting concept to make her novellas be the travels of that coin and I found the history lesson she gives us to be kind of neat as well.

 

3 Star rating
 
Dear One
By Patricia Gaffney
Author’s Website:  http://www.patriciagaffney.com/

Oliver thinks his grandfather, Charlie, is really losing it wasting money he doesn’t have on a 1-900 number psychic.  He once again has to be the bad guy and tell his grandfather he can’t call Madame Romanescu anymore.  But that doesn’t mean Oliver can’t call her … you know for research purposes.

This short story had good and bad points, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

The bad points (because I like to end things on a high note) are that the storyline seemed slow at times and I just kept wondering when something was going to happen!  It also seemed pretty cliché and done before with the falling in love with someone not knowing they were the person they’ve been talking to all along.  And, of course the misjudgments all around, plus it was pretty obvious what the end result of the tale was going to be.

The positives.   I really did like some of the interactions between characters.  The brightest spot of this whole book was definitely the grandfather, Charlie.

“Then it goes two ways. Sometimes you help me, sometimes I help you.”

“Oh, Charlie.” She was so touched. “You are … so dear to me.”

“Likewise. So what can I do to help?”

“Not a thing. Honestly. Except what you’re already doing–being my friend.”

“No problemo. Okay, here’s what you can do for me.”

“What?”

“Take my obnoxious grandson’s call.”

Charlie cracked me up in the first chapter, playing the wily pouting child to his grandson’s stern father figure role.  There were a few times Charlie made me laugh out loud and I really enjoyed him.

4 star rating
 
 
The Unforgiven
Ruth Ryan Langan
Author’s Website:  http://www.ryanlangan.com/

Betrayed by her deceased husband, having lost everything, Bree comes to her husband’s family home in hopes of a new beginning.  She never expects to start to believe in ghosts, let alone fall in love with the one that haunts the cottage she’s staying in.

“I’ve waited so very long for this. For you. For someone as beautiful, both inside and out, as you, my beloved Brianna. Do you not see? ‘Tis no accident that you’re here. We were destined through time, through eternity, to meet. To love.”

This story, although the shortest in this anthology, was surprisingly good!  I didn’t know what to expect from the description of the story on the back of the book, but I quickly fell in love with the tale.  It’s a story teaching us to let go of past betrayals in order to find peace, and even I; one who can hold a grudge for what seems an eternity, really enjoyed it!

I plan to read more from this author in the future:) .

2 star rating

 
His Brother’s Keeper
By Mary Kay McComas
Author’s Website:  http://www.openroadmedia.com/mary-k-mccomas

Children’s book author, Ivy Bonner has been plagued with nightmares and decides to take a break by staying at one of her mom’s friend’s cabin while they’re away.  But it doesn’t seem to stop the dreams.

Ivy finds peace in the neighbor’s gazebo and starts knowing things she shouldn’t.  She’s even starting to hear a voice in her head!  Is she totally losing her mind?

In this story both Ivy and Craig (the neighbor of the place she’s staying) have been plagued with dreams for months, dreams engineered by Craig’s deceased brother, Oliver, in attempt to get a message across to his brother.  This story has a ‘the truth will set you free’ kind of message to it.

This story just didn’t appeal to me.  I felt how Craig’s emotions kept changing so quickly, adoring Ivy, to hating her when she drew Oliver, to ‘oh my mistake’ and ‘ I’m so sorry’.  It came off as disjointed and not only making it hard to follow, but to make the growing relationship not believable.

I found this story kind of boring as a whole.

Overall Thoughts:

Overall, this was a pretty good anthology, one of the better ones I’ve read.  I liked most of the stories within these pages.  My favorite by far, surprisingly wasn’t the In Death story, but instead Ruth Ryan Langan’s The Unforgiven.  This is the one story that made me want to read more!

None of these stories felt like short stories, so I was impressed as that is quite the feat!  When I was done reading this book, it was truly as if I had just read five full-length novels!  The stories where well fleshed out and I would definitely recommend this to those wanting to give an anthology a try!

 

 

 

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