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Ratings and Book Reviews (8 57 star ratings
8 reviews

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4.4 out of 5
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  • 4 person found this review helpful

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    Missed the mark

    Many thanks to Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press and Paula Brackston for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advanced copy. Xanthe and her mother move to the small town of Marlborough to start life over and open up an antique shop. Both are running away from bad men. They are low on funds and there is pressure to open up the shop as soon as possible. Xanthe has a unique ability. She has a special, magical connections to old objects that have a story to tell. She comes across a chatelaine that has the strongest pull she has ever felt. While trying to get the shop ready to open, Xanthe also discovers that there is a sinister ghost haunting the place, who needs her help. The ghost needs Xanthe to save her daughter, four hundred years in the past. The chatelaine allows Xanthe to transport her back in time. Xanthe travels back, but saving the girl is not going to be so easy. Yet again, I am sucked in by the premise of a book. I love books like “Outlander” and “Somewhere in Time” where the main character gets transported back in time. I love the setting of the book, a small town in England, with all the quaint shops and characters. Magical abilities, a ghost who needs the help of the living, are all things that I get excited about. Yes, I expected some sort of love story to happen, whether in current time or in the past. But all I have to say is Yuuuccchhhhhh!!! How can it all go wrong? First there are the endless descriptions. On and on and on about stuff that not only I don’t care about, but doesn’t serve the story and isn’t gorgeous English-side scenery. Then we have the worst ghost - she is mean, nasty, bitter, and I don’t know why. What was the whole story with her and her daughter. I wasn’t even convinced she loved her daughter because we never got to see that. She was just super angry. So if you aren’t going to make the ghost a sympathetic character then make her scary, I mean really scary. I never understood why Xanthe would have done anything for her. I just didn’t buy that she would leave her sick mother and go risk her life for this women’s daughter, it was a shaky premise at best. Then, don’t make me wait 60% of the way through before I get a glimpse of the love story and then expect me to be invested in it. There was so too much preamble and not enough substance. The structure was just off for me. Overall, I wasn’t invested in the main characters. I didn’t care much for Xanthe. I liked the townspeople, both present and past, but why was so much time spent on them and nothing interesting happened with them. All the characters were really one dimensional, no depth. It was so slow I just wasn’t invested in the character’s outcomes. There wasn’t much magic and the time travel wasn’t captivating enough to hold my interest. Honestly, I was bored, and really had to force myself to finish this one. I left it many times before finishing it. Disappointing and just glad to be done with it.
  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    The Little Shop of Found Things

    The Little Shop of Found Things is the latest book by Paula Brackston. I immediately fell in love with the characters and once "into" the story found it difficult to put down. Hated to see it end. Then discovered it's the first of a series and am excited for the next adventure. I was given an early copy to review.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    A good book with an interesting plot, and antiques

    I enjoyed this book - I basically read it in about a day as I had a hard time putting it down. E-books are great that way because you can do tasks like certain kinds of cooking (like stirring something), or brushing your teeth with the ereader propped up, easy to read. :-} The basic story has been well covered by other reviewers so I won't go into that. I had a feeling as I read the book that it was being set up to continue as a series. This was why characters were introduced as they were - to get them into the story. The characters had contradictions in their personalities - much like most people do. I like that - it feels like the people were real. The writing could be kind of slow for a bit - it helped one to catch their breath before the next round of activity. One could even say that a few places were a bit boring - a good place to take a break from reading to do dishes, laundry, or sleep, lol. I personally feel this should be a prerequisite, because otherwise nothing would get done until the book was done. I found the descriptions helped me to enter the scene, but I am a strongly visual person. This might not appeal to all readers. This did create some discordance with the lovely cover illustration, since the shop was supposed to be brick, and not blue. The cover is a beautiful image though... And yes, the love interest took a while to show up, but I also liked that. I'm not sure Xanthe was ready for romance at the beginning of the story. The only thing I was a bit annoyed about is that I have to wait until October for the second book. :-}
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    Fun read !

    I really enjoyed reading this book. The style of writing is my favourite. I like a book that begins in th present & travels backwards in time, The Little Shop did it nicely, a few loose ends but because it's only book #1 I look forward to reading where they go.
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    Excellent read

    I havn't read any book by Paula Brackston that i didn't like but this one in particular was one of the best. I loved it! Fun , romantic, adventure and mysterious and a little scary. I couldnt put it down. Thank you Paula. Great vacation book!

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