Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Series Review of the Bluegrass Series by Kathleen Brooks

I have been trying to figure out a way to share all these books I read with you but still include other non-review posts on the blog.  One method I have come up with was to share the reviews for an entire series (or pair) of books in one post.  I will do my absolute best to keep spoilers out of these posts in case you plan to read the books, but there is a slight chance that even the synopsis of a book can give away the result of the previous book. So if you don't want to know anything at all about the later books in a series that might giveaway something in the first book STOP READING NOW!
For this series review I read the Bluegrass Series by Kathleen Brooks, it consists of 3 books and a novella. This series can be followed by the Bluegrass Brothers Series as well (and should probably be read before the novella).
 Synopsis: "McKenna Mason, a New York City attorney with a love of all things Prada, is on the run from a group of powerful, dangerous men. McKenna turns to a teenage crush, Will Ashton, for help in starting a new life in beautiful horse country. She finds that Will is now a handsome, successful race horse farm owner. As the old flame is ignited, complications are aplenty in the form of a nasty ex-wife, an ex-boyfriend intent on killing her, and a feisty race horse who refuses to race without a kiss. Can Will and McKenna cross the finish line together, and more importantly, alive?"

My Review: This was a short and entertaining read. It has a nice mix of both romance and suspense. The long flashbacks were a little awkward at times because they were suddenly there and were so long. I really enjoyed the setting and especially the horse element and small town atmosphere. Also, I adored Will and his whole family, the Rose sisters were fantastic and of course the whole small town gossip. I wasn't a huge fan of McKenna, she seemed a little fake at times and also not completely aware of danger considering what she had witnessed.
My Rating: This was a good introduction to the series, you learn a lot about the setting and storyline as well as start to get to know the characters. The suspense was a little lacking though, I give it Three Paws.
Synopsis: "Danielle De Luca, an ex-beauty queen who is not at all what she seems, leaves the streets of New York after tracking the criminals out to destroy her. She travels to Keeneston, Kentucky to make her final stand by the side of her best friend, McKenna Mason. While in Keeneston, Danielle meets the quiet and mysterious Mohtadi Ali Rahmen, a modern day Prince. Can Mo protect Dani from the group of powerful men in New York? Or will Dani save the Prince from his rigid, loveless destiny?"

My Review: This was definitely a great second book in this series. You obviously get to revisit favorite characters and the small town setting, but also get introduced to some new characters. I really enjoyed both Dani and Mo, they are both fantastic and fun characters with very interesting elements to their back story and personalities. In this book you are much more aware of the constant danger and the suspense is built up a little better, and good gordy, talk about a cliffhanger ending! I did not hesitate to start the next book immediately because I had to know what happened next!
My Rating: This was so much better than the first book, the suspense and action was ramped up and I enjoyed the characters so much more, not to mention the ending! I give it a rating of Four Paws!
 Synopsis: "Paige Davies finds her world turned upside down as she becomes involved in her best friends' nightmare. The strong-willed Paige doesn't know which is worse: someone trying to kill her, or losing her dog to the man she loves to hate.

FBI Agent Cole Parker can't decide whether he should strangle or kiss this infuriating woman of his dreams. As he works the case of his career, he finds that love can be tougher than bringing down some of the most powerful men in America."

My Review: This book seemed to loose a lot of the momentum from the previous book. While there was still a lot of danger, it didn't feel as prominent, maybe this is because the main storyline was being drawn down to a conclusion. It was nice to see that some of the major things are resolved slowly and not just brushed over in an epilogue. I absolutely adored Paige but most of the time I wanted to bash Cole over the head and knock some sense into him.
My Rating: The suspense dropped dramatically with this one, I still really enjoyed most of the characters and did like getting to see the main storyline drawn to conclusion. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
 Synopsis: "It wouldn't be Christmas in Keeneston without a party! Everyone's invited, even Santa…
Kenna's court docket is full, Dani's hiding from her in-laws, Paige and Annie are about to burst from pregnancy, and Marshall is breaking up fights at the PTA Christmas Concert. The sweet potato casserole is made, the ham and biscuits are on the table, and men are losing their shirts - and not because of bets placed with the Rose Sisters! All the while, the entire town is wondering one thing: who is the Secret Santa that showed up with special gifts for everyone?"

Re-Read Review (7/6/15): After reading the 3 books in the Bluegrass Series this was listed as a final novella. I was still a little lost at the beginning, some of the characters were familiar but obviously you need to read the other series (Bluegrass Brothers I think) in order to really be familiar with the events that took place before this book. It is a rather emotional read with some pretty big events that really could have been a full length novel. I did enjoy revisiting those favorite characters from the Bluegrass Series and seeing what has occurred since the end of the series.

My Rating: I wish that it had been indicated on Goodreads that this novella should be read after reading the other series. There are a lot of characters to keep track of but some of the favorites are still great.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.
Series Review: This is a pretty enjoyable series to read. The setting is wonderful and the mix of suspense and romance was a nice balance. It would definitely be a nice beach read, and can be read in just a couple of days on vacation. There are a lot of characters but they all have individual personalities so they aren't difficult to keep track of, not to mention some of those personalities are pretty strong. The novella was a little awkward, it is listed on Goodreads as a part of the Bluegrass Series but clearly is set after the Bluegrass Brothers Series (I think the two series are at times side by side in the timeline and the Brothers one goes a little after the Bluegrass one).
Overall, this was an enjoyable series to read and pretty quick. I give the series as a whole a rating of Three Paws (it could have been more but that novella kind of pulled it down).


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