#VCAndrewsGatesOfParadise, #HomeAbduction, and more TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

V.C. Andrews’ Gates of Paradise – Review

V.C. Andrews’ Gates of Paradise – Lifetime – 2 hours and 3 minutes

V.C. Andrews' Gates of Paradise

Logan and Heaven’s little girl is not so little anymore.  Annie will be 18 tomorrow.  Her half-brother/cousin Luke is 18, too.   Both Luke and Annie know that they have the same father and their mothers are sisters.  Whenever Annie talks about Farthinggale, Heaven gets upset.  Annie wants to know why her mother is keeping secrets about her step-great grandfather, Tony, but her mother just isn’t ready to tell her.  On her 18 birthday, Heaven gives Annie a music box shaped like a log cabin.  Annie has admired the music box for years but Heaven never let her have it.  Now, Annie promises to take good care of it.  Later, Annie asks more questions about Farthinggale but Heaven refuses to disclose more information.  Annie leaves and Luke runs after her.  The comfort of his presence doesn’t last long when he tells Annie he is leaving town for college.  Annie puts on a brave face in front of him but is inconsolable in front of Heaven.  A few days later, the family attends Fanny’s birthday party.  Fanny is drunk and hitting on any man in the room. Especially Logan.  Unable to stand Fanny’s antics any more, Heaven leaves.  Logan and Annie follow.  Drunk and angry, Logan crashes the car.  Annie awakes to an elderly man standing over her.  It’s Tony.   Annie notices she can’t feel her legs and her parents are not there.  Doctors believe the paralyzes is temporary.  But her parents have died in the crash.  Tony wants her to come live at Farthinggale Manor.  She will get the best treatment and the best schools.  In addition, Tony offers Annie’s uncle a job.  Annie is unsure until she learns Farthinggale Manor is close to Luke’s college.  She wants to be close to him and learn more about her family’s past.  Like Heaven, Annie’s discovery of the past comes with horrific, painful truths.

You must watch the first three films to not be turned off by the budding romance between Luke and Annie.   The half-siblings/cousins have ignored their feelings for each other but its always on the surface of their actions.  As a viewer, knowing the truth behind helps make the longing glances palatable.  Based on Gates of Paradise, this movie feels more like a lack-luster Misery (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  The overall story falls flat while tying up the loose ends of the past.  Also, questions are still left unanswered about the twins’ whereabouts and if Annie ever learned the truth about Tom’s death.  Without reading the book, it’s obvious the book is much better in comparison.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Let’s leave Farthinggale in the past where it belongs – Heaven

Its like magic. You say vulgar and Fanny appears – Logan

Mom when you keep these things from me, I fill in the blanks on my own – Annie

Us hillbillies done good – Luke

Why are you always resisting me – Tony

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Home Abduction – Review

Home Abduction – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

home-abduction-desktop

Maggie, a house flipper, is starting her life over after her husband, Zeke, took money out of her account to make bad investments without her permission.  She and Ava moved into a new home and Maggie plans on doing some renovations.  Maggie sees Sylvia pushing Ava on the swing and goes outside to meet her.  Sylvia is an elderly woman who lives with her husband across the street.  Sylvia is surprised that anyone bought the place with its bad history.  Maggie is confused because the realtor, Ross, didn’t disclose the house had a bad history, which is the law.  Sylvia tells her that a few years ago a little girl named Cindy was kidnapped and never found.  Cindy’s parents, Veronica and Thomas, moved east.  However, Veronica killed Thomas and is serving a life sentence.  Maggie calls Ross furious.  But he didn’t know about the house’s past either.  He gathers all the information he can and leaves it on Maggie’s doorstep.  This is the last time anyone will see Ross alive.   A few days later, he is found dead in the trunk of his car.   Maggie is stunned anyone would hurt Ross.  To make matters worse, Maggie thinks the house is hunted.  Doors are locking and unlocking on their own.  Windows are opening and shutting without assistance.  And Maggie is getting hurt regularly.  Maggie is determined to stay in the home but someone wants her out.  And that someone is ready to kill to do it.

While it doesn’t say it, this movie could have been inspired by real events.  The lengths Sylvia will go to in order to get the home seems shocking until you learn it has happened in real life.  There are two big reveals in the movie but the second one will through you for a loop.  On the other hand, the first is expected from a Lifetime movie.  With the use of the internet, this movie connects with the modern times of deceit.  However, this movie doesn’t get overly complicated with technology.  It allows simple things, like switching labels on a circuit breaker box, to unveil dark motives.  This movie is an easy watch.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Maybe this house really is cursed – Maggie

Now that we met, you’re leaving – Sylvia

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Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: An Inheritance to Die For – Review

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: An Inheritance to Die For – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: An Inheritance to Die For

The Real Murders Club have a friendly, yet competitive, mystery night at Gladys’s home.  Gladys is a powerful woman and one of the largest donors for Aurora’s library.  The next night, Aurora, Sally, and Gladys all have a great time watching Sally’s sister get married.  During the post-wedding festivities, Gladys’s son, Kade gets into an argument with Tannis over how she treats Gladys.  Aurora leaves to settle their argument with the cater, Jeremy and becomes a victim of his verbal wrath.  She leaves as a waitress is carrying out several glasses of champagne.  Everyone gets a glass and take a sip.  Gladys becomes sick and leaves the table.  In a few moments, Sally finds her dead in the hall.  After Gladys’s funeral, family and friends gather for a will reading.  Gladys left the following:

  1. $50,000 for the library
  2. $50,000 for her housekeeper, Tannis
  3. $250,000 for her niece and nephew in law, Sally and Ted
  4. $250,000 to be dispensed over 10 years for Kade
  5. $500,000 for her personal chef, Jeremy
  6. Aida gets Gladys’s business, house, and all other remaining assets

Kade and Tannis are both angry.  Tannis can’t believe Jeremy got so much more than her.  Kade is angry Aida got the business and the home.  He leaves screaming he will sue.  Nick stops him in his tracks.  No one is getting anything because Gladys was poisoned.  All payouts are on hold until the murder is solved.  Good thing, Aurora is on the case.

Based on the Charlaine Harris novels, you start inside a wonderful game of Clue inspired by Agatha Christie’s Five Little Pigs (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  This feels like a great time for a murder to occur but it doesn’t.  It’s simply an ‘amuse-bouche’ to keep your appetite wet for the real mystery.  There are several unlikeable characters in Gladys’s life.  This will give you a plethora of suspects.  To make things harder, there are several illegal activities going on besides the murder.  As each person’s dirty dealings are uncovered, you get a step closer to the truth.  However, Aurora fans know to keep both eyes open when looking for suspects.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Don’t Teagarden women know how to take a compliment – Nick

A marriage and a death all in one day. Life changes so fast – Aurora

You can’t stand it that I am the one who knows your crying crocodile tears – Tannis

Can’t really pull off the whole grief thing, can he? – Jeremy

Do whatever it is. I don’t want to know. I decided ignorance is bliss – Sally

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A Taste of Summer – Review

A Taste of Summer – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

A Taste of Summer

Gabby, a sous chef, has lost her passion for love and her job.  She quits both in 24 hours.  She travels to New England to visit her sister, Christina.  Christina can see something is wrong with Gabby immediately.  Gabby fesses up to her problems and Christina has just the solution.  A restaurant closed and the building owner is looking for a new lessee.  Christina, a real estate agent, believes this is the perfect place for Gabby to get her passion back.  Gabby is worried because she has never been an executive chef.  The natural order is first, sous chef, then, executive chef, and finally, owner.  When Gabby leaves the rental space, Caleb sees her leaving.  Caleb is a divorced dad to Emily.  He owns Delaney’s restaurant with his brother and uses to play professional baseball.  When his dad got sick, Caleb and his brother took over the restaurant.  Gabby pretends to be a customer but he knows she is checking out the competition.  After a calm but heated exchange, Gabby decides to purchase the restaurant.  Now, the two are in competition over customers.  When Gabby’s refrigerator is on its last leg, she decides to enter the Taste of Summer competition.  The winner gets $10,000 and a write up in a magazine.  It doesn’t take long for Caleb to hear that Gabby is in the contest.  Now, he wants in.  Watch these two fight for a competition while winning each other’s heart.

A Taste of Summer will make you hungry for food and love.  So, have at least one nearby.  A lot of this movie is spent on the main character’s personal story arcs.  They both find the passion they were lacking because they play off each other.  Gabby wants to top Caleb and creates new dishes along with a restaurant to prove him wrong.  Caleb stops being complacent in the food he serves and gets new ideas from his brother.  This plot does follow the Hallmark format but the character growth is inspiring.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

All right, then I can get a trophy – Emily

Play now, listen later – Caleb

Where exactly do I go to find that? – Gabby

You don’t know unless you take a bite – Christina

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