October had several of the books I have been most looking forward to release and yet, I’ve been struggling to read my ARCs and am impatiently waiting for my finished copies to arrive of all of these books and then they do and I still haven’t been picking them up. Ahh. The struggle. But nevertheless, I pulled myself together enough to present a few reviews today and I hope they help you as you decide what books to go ahead and pick up if you haven’t already made that decision. So the books I’ll be talking about today are A Twist of Fate by Kelley Armstrong, Not Your Average Hot Guy by Gwenda Bond, and The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley.
A Twist of Fate by Kelley Armstrong
Look, just color me obsessed with an unexplained time warp, I guess, because this was just as good as A Stitch in Time and I really feel like I could spend time with this cast of characters for ages. I have no idea where things will go from here, if the series will continue, but if it does, I am on board. Anyway, basically, Rosalind sees William in the present and realizes she can actually return to her time in the past. Since she’s been desperately missing her son and husband, she immediately goes to try and figure out how to return to the right time and then to find them. Figuring out how best to do so is it’s own thing separate and apart from just making it back and it’s fascinating.
Basically, we know from A Stitch in Time that Rosalind’s husband thinks that either she died or she ran off and left him on purpose. What we learn very early on in A Twist of Fate is that Rosalind felt like she had to sneak out of her home because she had taken her wedding ring off to bake something and forgot to put it back on, which would make August furious. So, there’s this really fascinating byplay throughout this book of Rosalind and August both having grown separately and eventually needing to address that particular issue. But meanwhile, there’s a ghost (ghosts?) haunting the Earl’s estate and talking to Rosalind and August’s son. This book has immaculate vibes and I was very into it.
If you want your time travel situation to be explained, it will not be. If you want your ghosts to make sense though, I do feel like you get that! I really loved this one and would definitely recommend.
Not Your Average Hot Guy by Gwenda Bond
I really enjoyed the Gwenda Bond YA books I’ve read and hoped that I would feel similarly about Not Your Average Hot Guy. To her credit, I have a feeling Not Your Average Hot Guy is definitely a book that people who still read YA and New Adult on the regular may well enjoy because this book is relatively humorous despite having, you know, cults and demons and the literal spawn of the Devil in it. For me, though, this book didn’t totally work for me. I still haven’t quite sorted out why, if I’m being honest, even though I read this a couple of weeks ago. I guess, for me, I never really understood the connection between Luke and Callie. I felt like it needed to be a little more fleshed out? Like, this book was fun, but I’m not convinced it worked as a romance for me. The banter was good though, for sure.
The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley
Did I take way too long to read this book that was one of my most highly anticipated books of the year? Yes. Did it live up to everything I wanted it to be and more? Also yes. Did it make me desperately want to go back and reread The Winter Sea and also The Firebird? Triple yes. I am obsessed with this history that Susanna Kearsley has brought to life. She is so impossibly talented and I am continuously amazed every time I read or listen to one of her novels. I did a combined listening/reading with my eyes experience this time because sometimes I got too impatient for the audiobook so I can say with certainty that I appreciated this book in both styles.
Now, I suppose we should talk about what it’s about. Essentially, Sgt. Williamson steps in for a friend to conduct an inquiry into this woman’s assertion that she was married to Jamie Graeme when he passed away going to the theoretical Scots colony in the land that would later become the United States (I think. My sense of geography is sketch.). Anyway, they have to do an inquiry and along the way, we meet a lot of people, some who are familiar (!!!!) and some who are brand new (to us). But through it all, I was hooked and desperate to know more. This is a dual timeline novel, the way they typically are, but instead of one being in the present and the other in the past, this time it’s like 1707, I think, and 16… something or other.
I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just say that if you’ve enjoyed Kearsley in the past, I think you’ll be happy with this installment. And if you’ve not read Kearsley before, start with The Winter Sea and race through The Scottish series like I did.
And there you have my thoughts on three October releases! I hope they help you in deciding what you still need to pick up. I would definitely recommend both The Vanished Days and A Twist of Fate because I loved them both so much. Have you read any of these yet? If so, what did you think?