Not Your Average Book Review

Book reviews. Authors will go to great lengths to get readers to post even the shortest one on Amazon and other book retailer sites.


Plenty of authors don’t read the reviews on their books, though. They don’t want to know what people didn’t like.
Not me. I think I’ve read every review. Some of them make no sense. The reviewer extols the book and then rates it with three or four stars. Or they say nothing and give it five stars. Those reviews confuse me.

I can always tell you why I like a book. That’s what I’m going to do today with the most recent titles by two authors I admire – Susan May Warren and Kait Nolan. (Read WHY I love their books here.)

The Montana Marshalls

First up is the final book in this light suspense series by Susan May Warren. This is one of many that Susie has self-published under her own imprint. As quickly as she can write books, she would never get a traditional publisher to keep up with her. Plus, readers LOVE having a series quick-released.

Ruby Jane is the youngest of the six Marshall children and the only girl. I read four out of five books in this series which begins with Knox (the second-oldest and the oldest doesn’t have a book in this series because we met him in a different series by Susie).

If you want to read the blurb, you can check it out here. This is a fast-paced story about a woman who refuses to give up on the man she loves. Until she decides walking away is probably the best thing for him (and I loved this twist since it’s usually the man doing the “I know what’s best for you” deciding).

Things this series has going for it:

  • Cowboys
  • Believable characters
  • Excellent dialog
  • Superb sibling interactions
  • Non-stop action

Things I love about Ruby Jane:

  • Intelligent
  • Imperfect (although way too hard on herself, a bit like me)
  • Courageous
  • Determined

What bugged me:

  • The amnesia trope is over-used and not my favorite. But as I mention in my Goodreads review, reading Susie’s reasons for it in the Acknowledgments section explained it perfectly.
  • Didn’t seem to be as much relationship development as usual, and I know that’s because it was a final book and they’d already played major roles in two others before this, but I still missed it
  • The ending

Overall, I gave this book a high rating but not five stars. That had everything to do with the weak series wrap-up. Read my review on Goodreads if you want more details.

Wishing for a Hero

I’m in love with Wishful, Mississippi, so when Kait Nolan created a suspense spinoff series in this town, I couldn’t read the books quickly enough.

Make You Feel My Love is book one in the series, but it’s actually a re-release. Kait added tons of new scenes to develop the mystery angle in this book, and she really did that.

In the original book (no longer available to avoid confusion), it was blatantly obvious to me (and plenty of other reviewers) who the perp had to be. In this edition, she added plenty of other things that could make it go either way.

The original book felt more like a romance with a bit of suspense added in while this has been redone to work with the bulk of the romantic suspense genre. Best of all, I love the friends to lovers trope (since that’s the love story of my own marriage), so I’m always thrilled to see it done well.

Things I love about Autumn:

  • She’s a writer
  • She perseveres
  • This book is just as much Judd’s, and I loved his protectiveness, but I was surprised no one tried to tell him his love for Autumn was obvious earlier in the story. His treatment of Mary Alice made him start in a bit of a negative spot with me (although she should have been less naive, too)

Things the series has going for it:

  • Wishful’s supporting cast

What bugged me:

  • The obvious prejudice against Autumn’s father. I would have liked to feel his redemption at the end. Because neither Judd or Autumn appreciated it, I think less of them (sorry, but it’s true).
  • No one looked in the true culprit’s direction
  • Some of the pile-up of circumstances felt overdone

I gave this book a high four stars, too, and you can read the review on Goodreads. (Yes, it’s difficult to get five stars from me.)

Do you read romantic suspense? Do you leave reviews when you read a book?

What do you think? Add to the discussion here.

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