Review: Give Me Your Answer True (The Fish Tales, #2), by Suanne Laqueur

Give Me Your Answer True (The Fish Tales, #2)Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started reading, or rather, listening to, ‘Give Me Your Answer True’ immediately after finishing ‘The Man I Love’. I fell in love with Erik, Daisy and the full cast of supporting characters in the first book, but I want more. I need to hear each of their unique perspectives. I cannot get enough of this story!

‘Give Me Your Answer True’ provides Daisy’s account of events. Erik’s perspective was provided in the first book and my heart broke alongside his. However, I needed to hear Daisy’s point of view. I had to know what the hell she was thinking and why she did what she did.

This book gave me the answers I had been craving. While I can’t say that I was satisfied with Daisy’s reasons, it is what it is. The truth is that she did something thoughtless and hurtful and had to live with the consequences of her actions for many years to come. I am still angry with Daisy. (Yes, I get angry with fictional characters!) However, nobody could be more disappointed in her than she was in herself. I had to remind myself that she was only human and, like everyone, she makes mistakes.

That being said, I was completely on-board with Erik’s total abandonment of Daisy. I know that most of my friends were like, “that’s harsh”, but not me. Nothing bothers me more than having a character that really screws up and then is forgiven with little more than an apology, like what they did wasn’t absolutely devastating. Nope! I expect for them to suffer and live with the emotional pain that they caused [me] when they screwed up. I expect some serious groveling before forgiveness is granted. Thankfully, that is exactly what I got with this book. Grovel away, Daisy!

Not surprisingly, Daisy’s story was heartbreaking. She definitely had to hit bottom before she could start to piece her life together again. While I felt for her, I never forgot that her pain was self-inflicted. She made her bed and was forced to sleep in it.

The same goes for David and John “Opie” Quillis. They may have wanted Daisy and even cared about her in their own way, but they knew whom her heart belonged to. I understood their motivations, but couldn’t really sympathize with them too much.

I guess I can be kind of harsh when it comes to any interference between the “original” love interests. I always want the first couple that I fall in love with to end up together. In this case, that would be Erik and Daisy. Rarely, do I ever come around to accepting a subsequent relationship for the hero or heroine of a story. Accordingly, I never got the least bit attached to Erik’s wife or any of Daisy’s boyfriends during the years that they were apart. They were just meaningless place-holders to me.

Although I continue to love this series, I can’t deny that I didn’t like this book quite as much as the first one. That is probably due to the fact that I was not as sympathetic toward Daisy as I was toward Erik. However, that isn’t to say that this book wasn’t fantastic. It was terrific!

I will definitely be continuing this series. I’m diving right into the third book and cannot wait to see what the future holds for Erik and Daisy. Finally, it seems as if they might get things back on track. I am also hopeful that Erik can repair the damage done to his friendship with Will. If his break-up with Daisy was her fault, only he is to blame for the rift in his friendship with Will.

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Review: Neighbor Dearest, by Penelope Ward

Neighbor DearestNeighbor Dearest by Penelope Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s been quite some time since I read ‘Stepbrother Dearest’, which I think was probably for the best in hindsight. At first, the multiple references to Elec and Greta had me thinking that I would need to reread that book prior to reading, or rather listening to, this one. As much as I loved ‘Stepbrother Dearest’, I was glad to find that ‘Neighbor Dearest’ read easily as a standalone.

If you’re like me, you vaguely remember the nice girlfriend that Elec ditched in ‘Stepbrother Dearest’ when he found his way back to Greta. I, for one, had completely forgotten her name by the time I finished that book because she wasn’t part of the happy couple that I had worked out in my mind. Her name was Chelsea and ‘Neighbor Dearest’ is her story.

At the onset of this book, Chelsea Jameson is heartbroken. She is trying to pick up the pieces of her life and taking it one day at a time. She was shocked and utterly devastated to be dumped by Elec, the man she thought she’d spend the rest of her life with. She thought they were the perfect couple, but obviously she didn’t know anything about her “perfect” boyfriend.

When her frustration with her neighbor’s noisy dogs prompt her to complain to the landlord, it is the beginning of an unlikely friendship. What starts out as a contentious relationship, turns into a close friendship. Along the way, those feelings eventually turn romantic in nature.

Damien H. Hennessey is not only her neighbor, but her landlord. He is equal parts amused and aroused when he first meets his feisty new tenant. He cannot deny his attraction to her, but he’s not interested in settling down with anyone.

The two decide to keep their relationship friendly, agreeing to not pursue anything further. Damien still has a complicated relationship with his ex-girlfriend and Chelsea is still reeling from her break-up with Elec. Neither of them are in any place to commit to someone else.

As they spend more and more time together, their feelings become more complicated. Chelsea knows that she is falling for Damien and needs to protect her heart. She’s doesn’t think that she’s capable of surviving another heartache after everything that Elec put her through. She knows that Damien is not looking for a relationship and she needs to distance herself before too much damage is done.

Despite his feelings for Chelsea, Damien is unwilling to waiver on his decision. He acts like he doesn’t want Chelsea, but he doesn’t want anyone else to have her either. Yet, it is clear that there is some unknown factor(s) influencing his decision. He is keeping secrets that are impacting both of their lives.

When things finally hit the fan, I can’t say that I was terribly surprised. Nonetheless, it was emotional and every bit as heartbreaking as it would have been had I been caught off-guard. It was one of those situations where you can understand the reason why somebody does something, but you don’t agree with it. I found myself getting frustrated with Damien, only to have to reign it in because I didn’t really know how I would behave given the same set of circumstances.

Overall, I thought that this was a great, heart-warming story. It was emotional at times, but mostly sweet and humorous. I enjoyed the references to ‘Stepbrother Dearest’, even though you didn’t need to read that book to follow, or enjoy, this one. Everything worked itself out nicely in the end. I listened to the Audible version and it was fantastic!

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