Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! Since I have a huge pile of backlog reviews of the books I read during my break, I will be featuring an extra book in my shorties posts until I’ve caught up. This time around two romance read that were winners and a thriller that sadly let me down.

Title: The Village Shop For Lonely Hearts
(Riverside Lane #1)
Author: Alison Sherlock

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: July 9th 2020
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Finished reading: January 26th 2022
Pages: 316

“A facelift? The shop needed a full makeover, complete with major heart surgery.”


I’ve been reading a lot more romance since the epidemic first started, and I’ve been trying to discover new authors along the way. I picked up a copy of The Village Shop For Lonely Hearts on a whim as I liked the sound of the blurb, and I’ve been looking for a feel-good story and a countryside setting ever since. And I have to say that I definitely liked what I found! Easy to like characters, a wonderful small country village as a setting, a village community, a slowburn romance… There is a lot to love in this story. The only thing that I could point out against this story is probably the fact that the building up of the romance is actually a tad too slow and can get a little frustrating. Thankfully though, there is also a lot of focus on family, the shop makeover and the Cranbridge community in general to keep you busy along the way. I really liked the writing style in general as well, and I will definitely be looking forward to read more of her books.

Title: One Summer In Italy
Author: Sue Moorcroft

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: May 17th 2018
Publisher: Avon
Finished reading: February 2nd 2022
Pages: 355

“Doing something unexpected for someone else gave you a definite case of the warm and fuzzies.”


I’ve had Sue Moorcroft recommended to me as a romance author I should try, and I’ve been looking forward to read one of her books for a while. It’s currently summer down here, and the perfect time to read this summery story set in Italy. I love a story with a travel element and One Summer In Italy definitely fits that theme. It is about traveling as well as family and friendship, and the many descriptions of the village Montelibertà really made the Italian setting come alive for me. The main character Sofia has Italian roots, and I loved how her background and story was incorporated into the story. On the other hand we have Amy and Levi’s story, who both add more drama to the plot as their stories start to unfold. I do think that One Summer In Italy was trying to squeeze in too many different elements into the plot, and especially everything relating to Octavia felt too over the top, unnecessary and distracting. As a whole, I still had a great time with this book though, and I will be looking forward to try more of this author.

Title: The Sanatorium
(Detective Elin Warner #1)
Author: Sarah Pearse

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: February 2nd 2021
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Finished reading: February 4th 2022
Pages: 391

“She’s forgotten how easy it is to lose track of someone; the sum of their parts.”


There has been so much hype around The Sanatorium, and after seeing so many mixed reviews I was a bit worried to actually pick it up myself as we all know how hyped books and me get along… I did love the sound of the creepy former sanatorium setting high up in the Swiss Alps and the locked room feel of the plot, so I ended up giving in anyway. Sadly, I didn’t end up belonging to the group that fell in love with this story. Things started out well enough as I LOVED the eerie and atmospheric descriptions of the setting. It really set the right tone for the story and give the story that creepy backdrop it needed. I did wonder who on earth would want to spend a lot of money to stay in a former sanatorium in the first place, but that’s just me? I always like a locked room mystery, and that was probably the part that made me keep reading once things started to go south. The fact is… I really disliked Elin as a main character. The constant repetition of her flaws and insecurities became quickly VERY annoying and how she actually handled things afterwards wasn’t exactly credible. The investigation itself and how evidence so conveniently kept popping up didn’t give the story much credibility either, and making just about everyone into suspects got old fast. The ending itself was also rather unsatisfying as a whole, and I don’t think I will continue this series. The Sanatorium was definitely a miss for me, but I’m glad I finally read it so that at least I stop wondering about it.

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