04 March 2015

Love Song Series Box Set by Emily Minton & Dawn Martens

 Whiskey Lullaby: (Revised and Extended)
Jase lived the last nine years drowning in whiskey, while Julie sung a lonely lullaby. Can they find a way to give their whiskey lullaby a happy ending?

Brandon's wounded; Bethany's broken. Can these two shattered souls heal each other?

I Hope You Dance:

Join the Walker and Gibson families as they learn to dance.
  Whiskey Lullaby: (Revised and Extended)

Julie and Jase meet when young and experience true and abiding love, but it is not to be.  Jase does the worst thing he can possibly do and leaves Julie devastated.  So, Julie moves on and meets a new man, who she thinks is the one for her but turns out to be all wrong for her.  When she and Jase meet up again, she’s harboring a few secrets that could end the second chance they have given themselves.  Can their relationship survive or was it just not meant to be?
I have to say, I really struggled with this book.  I have read several books by these authors and for me I find myself really liking some and just unable to connect with others.  This was a case of no connection for me.  The entire plot line of this story was so unoriginal; it did not leave me guessing at all.  And I don’t even think the characters were all that original.  I found myself very impatient with the storyline and just reading to get to the end so that I could say I finished it and write this review for you fine people.
The writing of this book is solid, in my opinion, but the plot is just so tired.  These authors have talent, and why they would chose to waste it on a storyline that I’m sure they have even read before is beyond me.  I have really struggled with how to rate this book, because as I said the writing was technically good and the story flowed, but the characters and the plot were just completely unoriginal and overdone.  So, I guess I’ll split it right down the middle and give this a 3. 
So THIS is what was missing from book one of this series!!!  Hallelujah!
Bethany has a tragic past of abuse at the hands of her brother, Dean.  Scarred and living in constant fear of it happening again, she copes in very unhealthy ways with the pain.  When her friend Julie marries her brother, everything she has feared comes back rearing its ugly head.  When she meets Brandon, she feels a connection to him that she’s never felt before.  But Brandon has his own issues.  Abandoned by his mother as a child, he has always felt like he wasn’t good enough.  Going off to war didn’t help his wounds either, and when he meets Bethany he feels something for her that gives him hope.  Can two very broken people put each other back together again?
So…yeah.  SO much better than book one!  This story of two broken people is very touching and the characters seemed very real to me.  Their struggles I think are the struggles of the deeply wounded, and while at times I found this story to be depressing, I was invested.  I was invested in the characters and in the story that was being told.  I’m not sure that the overall plot was that much more original, as we’ve all read stories about very broken people that fall in love, but it was the characters that really stood out in this one for me.  I felt something for them and I really, really wanted them to be able to find their happy place. 
Overall, this is a great book.  And I found that it filled in some holes in the story from book one quite nicely.  I am so completely happy that this book was much better than the first, makes reading one worth it!  4 stars.
 I Hope You Dance:
So, this was a nice little short story to tie up the series.  Set in the future, it brings together all the characters from books one and two so that we can see what they are up to and how their stories turned out.  It’s short, but I found it touching and it left me with a smile on my face.
Told on Jenny’s wedding day, it had a little twist in it that I didn’t see coming, and it was touching and lovely.  I mean, when you read romance I think that you want everyone to end up happy, and it was nice to see all of it.  I guess you have to think of this as an extended epilogue to this series, and it was something that I thought complemented the series very well.  4 stars.


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