Tag Archives: astraea press

Review: Secrets of Catalpa Hall

catalpaSecrets of Catalpa Hall by Lori Lapekes

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Source: courtesy of Astraea Press via their Facebook Book Club group.

This was actually a good story to read when you are sick and stuck at home with a sick hubby and toddler. It required no thinking, all I had to do was read and follow the storyline. And being called upon right in the middle of a chapter isn’t a deal breaker in any way. It wasn’t a Great whodunit mystery; okay, it was predictable but the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ spin to it kept me entertained. I am partial to ‘Beauty and the Beast’ but not exactly the fairy tale or the Disney version but rather the miniseries which I loved back in the 90s (oops, showing my age here)


The book opens with an interesting picture of Gideon creeping down a secret stairway and as a recluse. Gideon is just like the Beast – a huge purplish birthmark which marked him as ‘ugly’, shunned society in general but has his own small circle family and friends who loved him dearly, and is basically a gentle giant with a burdensome secret. As he found the love of his love again, he will need to find the courage to face his past but will he be able to keep her by his side?
Melody Moon returned to her childhood home which was filled with many good memories but also some pretty awful ones. It’s been a very long time and whilst some things are vague, some are just as bright like Gideon. She came for healing for her daughter but also for herself. She hoped to confront the past and to move on. The past, however, had hid a lot more secrets than she ever knew.

I love alternative POVs in books. I just feel privileged in knowing both sides of the story but sometimes it also drive me nuts because so very often all they needed to do was to talk openly… yeah, all misunderstandings in life will be so easily settled if we all just sit down and talk openly. Whilst I like Gideon well enough, I actually found Melody to be quite annoying and weak. I got quite frustrated with her –she earned some ‘eye-roll’ moments. The characters I was actually fond of this book are actually the minor ones: Sandra, Melody’s friend, and the 3 crusty old poker buddies of Gideon. I reckon they are the gem in this story.

The romance is kind sweet and I was kept entertained enough at home not to feel cooped up so overall it is a good light read for a restful [though many timed interrupted] day.

Thank you, Astraea Press, for copy of the book in exchange of honest review.

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Review: The Legacy

legacyThe Legacy by Patricia Kiyono

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Source: courtesy of Astraea Press via their Facebook Book Club group.

This is a case of over expectation letting you down. I expected full novel length story with a paranormal twist but instead it is a contemporary short story. I fully confessed that this is one of those times that I didn’t research the book and had let my imagination fill in the blanks based on cover, title, and vague recollection of blurb.

I am not a fan of short stories to begin with as I just find that they usually do not satisfy me. I think short story is a hard medium as with word limitation, you’d need to be able to tell the story succinctly but with enough zest to entertain. I found that there was too many things being fit into
The Legacy so the story really barely scratch the surface. Too many things were happening that I didn’t have time to relate or get attached to any characters. I found Andy to be a little confusing as he does weights and Leigh walked into ‘a wall of muscle’ [Andy] but yet, he couldn’t get a punch in? The story around the actual ‘Legacy’ has promise and is probably a good premise for a full length novel but I was a bit short and the ending was also a bit simplistic.

This is a simple story which you may like to read during a boring lunch time as it will help you while a way the time. For me, the disappointment mostly stemmed from incorrect expectation but as long as you know what you’re getting into, you may find the story to be tolerable and somewhat sweet.

Thank you, Astraea Press, for providing copy of story in exchange of honest review.

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