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on Feb. 07, 2013 :
Wow! Another brilliant read from Jacqueline Rhoades. I honestly couldn’t put it down. I’m a little bit speechless at this point in time.
There were times when you could see how it would end, but couldn’t fathom how they would get there. Rhoades’ brilliant storytelling takes you on an amazing journey throughout, with just the right amount of spice. She also manages to balance the serenity of the mountain with her storyline. The story maintains a fast enough pace that when action scenes appear near the end, they do not seem out of place.
Interspersed throughout the novel are some brilliant and vivid descriptions that allowed you to walk into the story, to see exactly what the characters were seeing, and to feel exactly what they were feeling. Through her writing, Rhoades also manages to evoke emotions in her reader on a scale rarely seen.
The characters that Rhoades brings to life are phenomenal. They are so well and subtly developed that you feel like you have known them your entire life. No one ever seems out of place. Each person has their own niche that they fill beautifully and fully. Each character remains consistent throughout the novel. I greatly appreciated that no one had a massive personality change before the end of the novel in order for the story to reach a happy ending. I also love that the characters stay true to the local dialect throughout the novel. Rhoades doesn’t slip up once.
This novel was absolutely breathtaking. By the end, you are in the novel so deep that you find yourself wishing that you were living on the mountain with the characters. I didn’t want this story to end as I found myself wanting to know what came next for everyone and to continue the journey with them.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Dec. 23, 2012 :
Meg Hanson is trying to get her life back together after her divorce from her husband of eight years. She's lost weight, depressed, lonely, and at a complete loss for what to do next. Meg's father Jeb Hanson just wants to see Meg happy again and suggests that she visit his Aunt Annie in Prestons Mill. Meg jumps at the chance to get away from her mother's idea of getting over her broken marriage. Meg arrives in Prestons Mill and stunned by how peaceful life seems to be here. Meg meets Annie at Downtown Cafe where Meg learns how to come back to the land of the living again. Annie makes sure theat Meg doesn't have time to think about the past with chores and jobs which add to the healing process. JT Preston remembers Meg from childhood yet finds the woman he sess in Meg much more appealing. JT finds reasons to be around Meg yet can't believe that Meg's ex-husband mmissed out on her true beauty. JT is fighting the ghosts of his past and running from his future at the same time. JT can't believe that Meg sees past all of his hurts, pain, and self-loathing to the core of the man. Meg settles into life in Prestons Mill making friends, working hard, and trying to have a relationship with JT. Strange accidents and happenings are occurring thru out Prestons Mill yet no one knows why. Will Meg learn to be free of her past? Can JT lay his ghosts to rest? Will Meg really leave Prestons Mill? Will JT admit his feelings? You're answers await you in Preston's Mill.
I just love how the author wove this story together. I really experienced an emotional rollercoaster with each and every character thru out the whole book. I really understood where each character was coming from and why. I'm so looking forward to the author's next installment for this series. I'll happily read more of this author's work. Don't just take my word for it see for yourself.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Dec. 21, 2012 :
I recieved this book through goodreads.com, they have a club that you can get free ebooks to review.I just finished reading the book and I loved it. The book is more like a Romantic Suspense book than a Romance. It started out with Meg, the heroine, after her divorce. She goes to Preston's Mill to be with her Aunt Annie. Preston's Mill is a very small town, everyone knows everyone and most of them are related to each other. Meg moves there and meets JT, the hero, through her Aunt Annie. the whole way through the book it is like you basic romance with a little suspense thrown in. The ending is were most of the suspense comes in. If this book ever comes out in a hard copy I will have to let some friends know, that do not have ereaders, becuase I know some people that would probably love the book like I did. But if you love small town romances like I do you would love this book.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on Nov. 10, 2012 :
Just want to say up front I received a copy of Preston's Mill from the author for an honest review.
To start off with the beginning of the book, it was excellent. I wish some of the other independent/self-published authors (maybe even some better known ones too) I've read would read Ms. Rhoades work, they are a great example of how to start a story. Lots of drama in that first chapter to pull you in, just enough back story to give you an idea what is happening without dragging the story down. I really felt angry for Meg and what was happening to her, the injustice of it all. No one deserves to be treated the way Meg was or should have to face that sort of humiliation. I would go into hiding too.
Up next, the setting. I live in a rural community, where you have to drive 40 minutes to reach civilization, 25 to the nearest farm supply store where, yes, I have been known to clothes shop. My surrounding isn't a mountain community, but I felt like I could have fit right in, Preston’s Mill felt like home. I know what it’s like to know most everyone in town and they are all related somehow. Main Street is far past its former glory and many buildings sit empty. The characters in this book felt like the ones I know in my daily life. I could appreciate the people's self-reliant nature. The characters in this book come off as very real, full of funny quirks, flaws and each has their own secrets some of them we discovered, but I have a feeling there is more to be learned about the people of Preston's Mill. It was amusing to watch Meg as she learned the ropes of her new community and rural life.
Some of the supporting cast that I loved: There was Annie of course, Meg's Aunt. She is one tough cookie, a little rough around the edges but you can tell she loves her family, both blood and adopted, and just wants what is best for them. I totally agree with her philosophy of hard work and fresh air being able to heal one's damaged soul. I wasn't sure of what to make of Lorelei to begin with. She has set up so many walls and comes off prickly to keep people out and herself safe, my heart hurts for her. She too has been dealt a difficult hand and doesn't really know how to escape her circumstance. I would love to read more of her story and see her get a happily ever after.
Now for Meg and JT, the hero and heroine of this book. Annie was right all along they are a good match for each other. Meg needed to find herself and learn to assert her wants and needs to others. She has been told much of her life how to live and what to think she needs to learn what she really wants out of life. JT comes from a troubled youth with a difficult home life and is freighted to really love anyone for fear of hurting them. He is afraid he can’t break the cycle and be in a healthy relationship. He needs to learn to trust himself and that he is not guilty of the mistakes of others. Unlike many of the other stories I have read their romance was slow to grow, both denying that they wanted anything too serious. You could tell where they were headed, but it was nice to read a story where the lead couple takes things at a more natural pace. We got to see all the foreplay in their relationship and watch them drive each other crazy, it was kind of fun.
Finally the end, which was as well written as the beginning. It had a nice feeling of closure for the main couple, and left me feeling happy for them and gave me hope for the future of the town as well. I would like to return to Preston’s Mill to see some of the other character’s get a happily ever after and see what comes of Meg and JT’s plans. Don’t want to give it away, but I loved the last few paragraphs about Annie.
I would recommend this book to most any lover of romance stories. As a librarian I can think of several patrons that I will/would recommend Preston’s Mill to. I will have to see if a print version is available, if not I hope one becomes available because I would add this book to our collection. It is a good story with plenty of action and a bit of humor mixed in and some steamy love scenes and well. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)