I have a rule with myself...an unwritten rule of course. One that I have broken on occasion but each time I hate breaking on principle.
This rule is that I do not start watching a movie unless I can watch from the very beginning (previews preferably). Once you're late coming into a movie, it's a chore trying to piece together the plot points that were already established, trying to figure out the characters and what their motivations are, etc. etc.
So in general I stay away from books in a series unless I start at the first book...
With Emma's Secret, I did not realize that it was not a standalong novel. I guess the summary wasn't very clear in the regards...so when I heard about the book I put it into my TBR list and bought it when it came up cheap on a Kindle Daily Deal.
I wish I had done more research on the book before. I think that I would have enjoyed the book much more if I had read Finding Emma first. Instead, I read the book with that unsettling feeling that I was missing very crucial details. Sure, the book supplied enough details that if you did not read Finding Emma you could get the gist of the plot but it was not the same. I could not enjoy Emma's Secret. Further, I couldn't tell if Emma's Secret was a good book. Aside from the plot holes that I kept falling through in trying to read the book as a standalong, I was also frustrated that there did not seem to be much character development. Again though, perhaps the character development was more apparent in Finding Emma, then in Emma's Secret the characters were already established and the author choose to focus on tying up the plot.