Zara West’s Book Reviews

As an avid reader and wise writer, I am always reading and reviewing a new book or rereading an old favorite.  This page links to my Goodreads page where you can find all my reviews. 

Here are a selection from my most recent reads:

The Night Everything Fell Apart (The Nephilim, #1)The Night Everything Fell Apart by Joy Nash
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What do Merlin the Sorcerer, druids, angels, and demons all have in common? They are all at odds in Joy Nash’s new paranormal series The Nephilim. If you like your heroes brave and tormented, your heroines loving and self-sacrificing, and your villains nefarious, this is the book for you. Throw in a hilarious cupid, a horny angel, and a rather appealing demon of death and you have the makings of a book you can’t put down. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys paranormals with a twist or two.

Tall, Dark and DamagedTall, Dark and Damaged by Sarah Andre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A perfectly plotted romance. When top-notch businessman returns home after twelve years to rub his success in his arrogant father’s face, the sparks fly. When they settle, Devon finds himself knee deep in family trauma, an underhanded take over of his company, a murder, and the rekindling of his one and only true love. With every decision, his life takes a turn for the worst. Sara Andre keeps you turning the pages to find out if Devon will ever be able to escape his downfall.

The Widow's War      The Widow’s War by Sally Cabot Gunning
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an absolutely masterful book that focuses on the small details – the taste of the wind, the feel of a piece of cloth, the touch of skin to skin – in order to make large statements. Set in pre-revolutionary Cape Cod, Sally Gunning has taken a small legal case between a widow and her son-in-law over his rights to her property and used it as the background for a very personalized delving into the complexity of women’s rights and bigotry during the period. But despite it’s serious themes, this book is at it’s heart an unforgettable love story.

Labyrinth of Love (Hometown Heroes, #3)Labyrinth of Love by Allie Boniface

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shannon O’Brien runs a sleepy Connecticut seaside village’s tourism center. Chase Readon arrives to direct the town’s revitalization project. Attraction is immediate. But both of them carry secrets that will tear them apart. Intertwined in the story are flashbacks to the college love affair between her grandparents whose relationship impinges on Chase and Shannon’s future happiness. Allie Boniface has taken a very difficult topic and given the reader something to think about.

Her Sister's SecretHer Sister’s Secret by Linda Style
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Her Sister’s Secret is a roller coaster ride for your emotions. A darling three year, a sister’s promise, a custody battle, and enough suspicion to go all around, and this contemporary romance will keep your reading to the end. The romance element is a bit annoying because the heroine refuses to express her emotional feelings to the man who comes to love her until he does first. Her failure to do so leads to a lot of pain for this wonderful caring hero. But all ends well at the end.

TreasuredTreasured by Sherryl Woods
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Third in the Perfect Destinies series, this novel seemed to me to be the weakest. As an artist, I was interested to read about a gallery owner and the reclusive artist who have been thrown together by the artist’s aunt. Unfortunately, I did not find art playing as major role as to be expected. Instead, the heroine plies the artist with home baked goodies which doesn’t bode well for his waistline, while he works at restoring the artistic confidence of the heroine. Less time is spent on repairing the artist’s own wounds. A well-written, fairly sweet, low-tension romance.

PricelessPriceless by Sherryl Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Playboy and football great Mack Carlton is having too much fun. Marriage is definitely not in his plans. But his interfering aunt has other ideas. Visiting the hospital to grant a dying boy his wish, Mack meets dedicated doctor Beth Browning who’s dedicated to saving the boy’s life. She is not the type of woman he has been attracted to in the past, but as he visits the boy and they get to know each other sparks fly. Some of the events in this story are a bit unrealistic, such as the doctor suddenly finding a cure for the boy’s cancer, but the book delivers plenty of romance and a happy ending.


The Secret RiverThe Secret River by Kate Grenville
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This historical novel, set in the 1700s, brings to life the lives and circumstances of the prisoners who were transported to Australia and who were the first settlers of New South Wales. Heavy on description and a bit slow at the start, the story develops strength as the internal conflict builds between the need for the former prisoners to succeed in an unfamiliar world and make a better life clashes with the lives of the aboriginal peoples who have occupied the land for eons.

Forged by Fire (Hazelwood High, #2)Forged by Fire by Sharon M. Draper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you like incredibly smart, strong, dominating heroes with extrasensory powers and can accept that an ordinary woman can have a dream of future reality, then you will enjoy this romantic suspense novel in which a young woman and a trio of Seals stop a plane hijacking and save the day.

The Other Queen (The Tudor Court, #8)The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was not as enjoyable for me as Phillipa Gregory’s others in the Tudor Court series. The story was more told than shown, and the alternating viewpoints of the husband and wife awkward at times. I particularly found the wife’s viewpoint to be inconsistent especially at the end. I suspect that either I or Gregory or both of us are getting a little tired of the first person format. The one benefit was learning more about Mary, Queen of Scotts.

Wicked Edge (Realm Enforcers, #2)Wicked Edge by Rebecca Zanetti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Better written than some of Zanetti’s other books, Wicked Edge has conflict and tension to keep you reading. With a “weak” heroine demon who keeps antagonizing a dour witch enforcer and stirring up a nest of trouble for him, the book has equal amounts of silliness, humor, and surprising twists. And of course, at the end the woman gets her man. A good read for paranormal romance fans.

Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun (Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery #1)Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun by Lois Winston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you like a mystery that keeps your lips turned up in a smile, then try this one. While not truly a romance, there is enough hot attraction to add a bit of spice to poor Anastasia’s search for the true killer of the hated fashion editor at the women’s magazine where she works as the crafting editor. Get some great decorating tips too.

Murder Among Neighbors (Kate Austen, #1)Murder Among Neighbors by Jonnie Jacobs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Kate Austin’s high society neighbor is found murdered in bed leaving behind a young daughter and strangely distraught husband, Kate finds herself searching for clues to help hot handsome detective Mike Stone. With red herrings and foreshadowing all over the place, the uncovering of the actual murderer is not as surprising as it might have been. But the lively character of Kate and her struggles to make it on her own while her husband is “finding himself” in Europe after having a midlife crisis is plenty to keep your reading and smiling your way to the end.

2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Zara has
read 22 books toward
her goal of
200 books.