Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts

Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs – A Book Review


 

The Bone Code is the latest in Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan crime series. 


Plot Summary 


The Bone Code available on Amazon

Tempe Brennan is on her way to help a friend on the Isle of Palms on the South Carolina coast whose home is damaged by a hurricane. Before she gets there she receives a call from the Charleston coroner who needs her help with two bodies found in a medical waste container which has been tossed ashore by the storm.

As Tempe investigates, she recognizes many of the details as being identical to those of an unsolved case she handled in Quebec years earlier. She then travels to Montreal to gather evidence.

Meanwhile, health authorities in South Carolina are becoming alarmed as a human flesh-eating contagion spreads. Tempe is so focused on identifying the container victims that she doesn't initially register how the murders and the pestilence may be related.  But she does realize one unsettling fact ~ that someone is protecting a dark secret, and they are willing to do anything to keep it hidden.

The Bone Code gives us a sinister look at a shocking way genetics can be put to use.



Author Kathy Reichs


Author Kathy Reichs.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Kathy Reichs is an American Crime Writer. She is also a forensic anthropologist associated with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale in Quebec, Canada. 

Reichs' main character (Tempe) in her Temperance Brennan crime series is based on her own life.  And the television show Bones is loosely based on her book series. 



Summary


The Bone Code is the 20th book in the Temperance Brennan series of crime novels by Kathy Reichs. It is Temperance Brennan's most astonishing case yet and will keep you on the edge of your seat. 


*Book Review of The Bone Code written by Wednesday Elf







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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Reviewing Joy Ellis' Nikki Galena Series

 Have you heard of the novelist Joy Ellis?   I discovered her and her Matt Bollard series by a happy coincidence and am now devouring her Nikki Galena Series of books.


Joy Ellis Nikki Galena Series of books
Joy Ellis - Nikki Galena Series of Books


Joy Ellis writes police murder mysteries based in England's Fenlands which provides a really atmospheric background to the novels and makes me really want to visit some of the desolate villages of the Fen and photograph them .... although there does seem to be a few too many murders occurring!

Now at the time of writing, there are 13 Nikki Galena books and I have read 8 of them with number 9 waiting for me on my Kindle.   I recommend reading these books in order as you build up relationships with the members of Nikki's team and understand their backstories that way.

In the first book, we meet a pretty angry, hostile DI Nikki Galena and are introduced to her new DS Joseph Easter who she really didn't want to work with.   As the book evolves we see that they actually make a great team and we also get to meet the other members of her team based in Greensborough.

I actually downloaded books 1-5 as a book set on my Kindle and I really recommend doing that as some of the threads, especially that of a certain villain continue throughout these books.  If you have enough of Inspector Nik and her crew by this time you will at least rest easy knowing certain things have reached a conclusion.

Personally, I wanted to continue so I downloaded book 6, Captive on the Fens.  This book introduced us to a new character and a totally unexpected twist that relates to an existing character which really led to a very neat transition of team members in the next book.

I then downloaded another set and this was for books 7-9.

I totally recommend getting book sets because you really don't want to stop at just one book with these characters.  I feel like it's watching one of your favourite tv shows and you want to tune in each week to see how they're going - that's how good Joy Ellis is at creating characters.

I was able to download all of these books for free as part of my Kindle Unlimited membership which I have mentioned before and thoroughly recommend.

If you enjoy shows like Midsommer Murders and Vera and you also enjoy reading then I think you'll love this series of books by Joy Ellis.  Joy Ellis is compared to Peter May, J M Dalgliesh and Ann Cleeves (the author of Vera - totally agree with this comparison) and was nominated for Crime and Thriller Book of the Year at the British Book Awards 2021 for The Patient Man.   This book is part of her Jackman & Evans series which is next on my list to read after I finish all of the Nikki Galena books.

Have you read any Joy Ellis books?




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Tuesday, November 9, 2021

The Burning by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman – Book Review



A raging wildfire. A massive blackout. A wealthy man shot to death in his palatial hilltop home 


Synopsis


Available on
Amazon

The protagonist of this story, Clay Edison, is a deputy coroner.  Caring for the dead, he speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves. He prides himself on an unflinching commitment to the truth. Even when it gets him into trouble. 


The Burning, set in the San Francisco Bay Area during one of the state’s terrible wildfires, is Book #4 in the Clay Edison series by Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman. 


A murder scene becomes personal for this deputy coroner when he discovers a link to his brother, Luke, while investigating the crime scene.



Luke is fresh out of prison and struggling to stay on the straight and narrow. But when Clay calls Luke to find out why his lovingly restored vintage Camaro is in the murdered man's garage, he discovers his brother is missing. 


While trying to find his brother before anyone else can, Clay is forced to do his job, as well as cope with a wildfire and a massive blackout occurring in his northern California area. Is his brother a killer or a victim? And, where is he?



Image Source: Pixabay


The Kellerman Authors, Father & Son


Jonathan Kellerman is the well-known author of the Alex Delaware Series (36 books to date) and is married to author Faye Kellerman (known in particular for her 29 mystery novels in her "Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus" series. Now, Jonathan is joined by their son, Jesse, a writer in his own right. To date, Jonathan & Jesse have co-authored 5 books, including four in the Clay Edison series


The Kellermans are an amazing family of writers of mystery thrillers. 


Summary




The Burning is a real page-turner – a harrowing collision of family, revenge, and murder. 


For more book reviews on ReviewThisReviews, check out ReviewThisBooks.com 


Related Link:


The Bone Box by Faye Kellerman – a Decker//Lazarus Novel



*The Burning – a book review written by Wednesday Elf






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Thursday, November 4, 2021

Hope Heals - Book Review

 

Books find us when we need them. If ever I needed to focus on hope and healing, it was at the moment I downloaded this incredibly life-affirming account of how two extraordinary individuals survived the unsurvivable. This is an encouraging read for anyone dealing with trauma, a seemingly impossible situation, or a season of the heart requiring a lifeline.

Katherine and Jay Wolf were twenty-six, with a new baby, and tons of dreams, when the unimaginable happened—Katherine was struck down by a devastating brain stem stroke. People just don't survive the kind of massive neurovascular event this young mom had experienced. At the time, Katherine was expected to die during the initial marathon surgery needed to remove half of her brain. 

Forty days on life support. Endless surgeries. Slim odds of regaining lost capacities. What could possibly sustain a family during such an extreme time of suffering and uncertainty? 

Hope Heals is about endless love, authentic community, redefining yourself and what it means to be healed, and making the most of second chances. It is about finding an anchoring hope. Most of all, it is about overcoming.

A memoir like this truly puts things into perspective. Katherine and Jay's journey causes one to reflect on what it means to find restoration in the midst of living an unexpected life. It is that restoration that gives birth to new dreams.

Read this book for free with Kindle Unlimited. I also recommend the sequel: Suffer Strong - How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything.





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Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Christmas Word Search Book - A New Release


In the October 10th, 2021 article "What to Write in a Birthday Card," I mentioned a new expansion into another area of activity books - Yep, it's Word Search Books.

Since October 2019, my journey into the self-publishing world has been, shall we say, intense. I'm not going to pretend that self-publishing is easy; however, the more research you do and the more books you publish, the easier it gets.

Why Word Search Books?

I've been writing riddles and publishing them in books since 2019 and recently decided that it's time to expand out into another type of activity book. 

The reason for expanding my self-publishing horizons is to have enough topics to reach the initial goal of 100 books published. There's a long way to go! The Christmas Word Search book puts my current publishing total at 11 books.

Another reason for expanding into word search books is that I was looking for fun, activity-driven books. Given the world's never-ending problems, I want to continue contributing to the "light, love, and learning" side of life.

What's The Christmas Word Search Book About?

It's precisely what it states; word search puzzles about Christmas. It's been written with the entire family in mind and is good clean fun for adults and kids. I would say kids over eight years old could tackle some of these puzzles. 

  • Features one puzzle per page
  • Each puzzle covers a separate Christmas related topic
  • The puzzles are large and easy to read
  • Moderately easy for both kids and adults
  • The answers are included at the back
  • There are 60 puzzles in the book
  • There are over 1800 words to find
  • It's available on Amazon

Here's a look at the interior:




More on The Christmas Word Search Book here - Note that it's a gift under $5(us)





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Saturday, October 23, 2021

The Woods by Harlan Coben – A Book Review



Family loyalty and dark secrets are the theme of this twisty page-turner novel by Harlan Coben.


Synosis


The Woods
Twenty years ago, while Paul Copeland was a counselor at a summer camp, his sister and three other teens disappeared into the woods surrounding the camp. Two were found murdered; the other two were never seen again.  The event changed the lives of four families forever.


Today, Paul (called by his nickname Cope) is now a prosecutor in Essex County, New Jersey. His mourning of the loss of his sister has only just begun to subside. He keeps busy with his job and raising his six-year-old daughter as a single father after his wife died of cancer. His busy life distracts him from his past traumas.


But when a homicide victim is found with evidence linking him to Cope, the well-buried family secrets are threatened.


Is it possible that the homicide victim is one of the campers who disappeared with his sister? If so, where has he been all these years?  And is it possible that his sister could be alive?


Cope left so much behind that summer 20 years ago ~ his first love, Lucy, his mother who abandoned the family, and the secrets that his Russian parents might have been hiding even from their own children.


Summary


Which is better – secrets that are best left in the dark or truths that should be brought to light? A dilemma the reader will find themselves in as they near the end of the story. 


The Woods is a  suspenseful and compelling story with bizarre plot twists by best-selling author, Harlan Coben. It is definitely a page-turner.


More Harlan Coben Book Reviews found on ReviewThisBooks



*The Woods – a book review written by Wednesday Elf





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Friday, October 22, 2021

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer - Book Review

Full Steam Ahead
Sometimes you pick up a book and know you are going to love the plot from the very beginning.  That was the case for me with Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer. 

I want to start this review by saying that I don't think the cover does this book justice.  It looks too whimsical in my opinion for a story that is not silly or juvenile.  I almost didn't read this book because of the cover image, but since I am familiar with the author, I trust her to provide an excellent story.  I am really glad I ignored my first impression based on the picture and read the book.  Frankly, I was rather sorry when it ended and I found out there isn't a second book to continue their story.

The book is set in 1851, but begins with a prologue that is essential to the plot.  It is about a catastrophic event in 1849 that changes the course of Darius Thornton's life which puts him right in the path of Nicole Renard, who is also experiencing unexpected life changes.

You can read the entire prologue by clicking here and opening the "look inside" tab at the top of the book image. 

 

Full Steam Ahead Synopsis

 Full Steam AheadNicole Renard is summoned home before the end of the school year due to her father's deteriorating health.  When thieves break into their home and threaten her parents, an unusual plan is made to secure the family's future and fortune.

Nicole's father needs an heir for his business.  While his beloved daughter is smart enough to run his business, she is not a man.  Therefore, he needs her to get married before he dies.  Since he previously agreed to allow her to choose her own husband, an arranged marriage is out of the question.  However, he believes if he sends her to New Orleans, she can choose a husband from his business acquaintances and their sons.  After all, it is preferred that she marry someone knowledgeable about the shipping business since he will not have time to teach them.

Because they know the brothers who broke into their home, they want to secretly get Nicole on a ship bound for New Orleans. However, when they discover the men are watching the docks, Nicole leaves her luggage behind and jumps on a boat headed to Liberty using an assumed name.  She believes she can book passage to New Orleans once she arrives in Liberty.  However, once she is there, she realizes she doesn't have money for a ticket to New Orleans.  Therefore, she needs a temporary job and is eventually hired as a secretary by Darius Thornton, a man who the whole town believes is quite mad because he has spent the last year blowing things up.

Casting all caution and warnings aside, Nicole moves full steam ahead!


 



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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Reviewing A Day Like This by Kelley McNeil

 What mother hasn't momentarily taken her eyes off the road to glance back at their child in the backseat, especially when said child is sick and you are on your way to the doctor?   Imagine if this resulted in an accident and when you woke up in the hospital everyone insisted that you didn't have a child.

Reviewing A Day LIke This by Kelley McNeil
Image created by Lou6 using Canva


This book (A Day Like This) by Kelley McNeil kept me captivated and I really didn't know what to expect, do I recommend it?   Absolutely, but clear your day before starting it as you are not going to want to be disturbed!

The medical opinion is that it appears as though Annie's memories are false memories caused by a brain injury (that doesn't show on scans) from the accident, or maybe she is going a little crazy, we are introduced to the mental instability that besieged her mother while Annie and her sister were growing up.

Of course, there is another idea that could explain what's happening - could she have crossed over to a parallel universe?   In which case, can she get back?   There are so many questions and we are right there inside Annie's mind as she's asking them, investigating them and trying to unravel them.

At one stage I wondered if she was perhaps dead and she actually asked this question herself, but no this book is not trying to be The Sixth Sense!   You'll have to wait until the end to see which happy ending Annie gets, but it is well worth the wait.

You are basically following two storylines in this novel, but they are very easy to keep track of and I was surprised once I finished reading it to discover that this is a debut novel.   I cannot wait to see what else Kelley McNeil will write.

If you enjoy reading then why not follow me on my Facebook page - Tea with Louanne?




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Friday, October 15, 2021

With Love, Louisa: A Regency Romance - Larkhall Letters Book 3 Reviewed

With Love, Louisa Reviewed
The Larkhall Letters book series has kept me reading, and laughing, for days! 

I've quickly moved from one book to the next.  Most recently, I finished reading With Love, Louisa.  Sadly, I now have to wait for the next book in the series to be published to continue following the lives and escapades of the ladies and gentlemen of Larkhall. However, you can start the series today, then wait along with me in eager anticipation of the 4th book.

In book 3, as you would expect from the title, Louisa Rosemeyer is the main character. Previously, she has been a likable support character in the series.  We first meet Louisa in book 1, The Ace of Hearts.  She and her older sister Alice (the main character of book 1) visit Larkhall for the summer in hopes that one or the other will find a lovable husband so they can avoid being forced into arranged marriages by their stepfather. 

In book 2, The Captain's Confidant, Louisa had become Bridget Northcott's companion, which allows her to safely remain at Larkhall and travel with the Northcott family. 

Book 3 opens with Louisa feeling uncomfortable with continuing to live at Larkhall with Bridget's brother, Matthew, her self-appointed older brother, and their elderly aunt. She believes it will cause a great scandal if she remains in the home with a single man.

Unexpectedly, the shy Louisa manages to find herself in an extraordinary situation that had me rolling with laughter as she winds up in the very worst place while seeking a hiding place in an unfamiliar home.


With Love, Louisa Book Synopsis

 With Love, Louisa: A Regency Romance
(Larkhall Letters Book 3)
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When Louisa Rosemeyer decides it is time for her to leave the protection of Larkhall, she pens a letter to her wealthy widowed aunt, Mrs. Irwin, whom she hopes would welcome a companion. Louisa hasn't met Mrs. Irwin, but she knows she owns an estate, Benham Abbey, in Folkswich. To her happy surprise, Louisa receives a response to come as soon as possible.

However, Mrs. Irwin did not write the letter.  Her tenant, Jack Warwick, replied to Louisa and signed Mrs. Irwin's name. He believes it would serve his disagreeable landlord right to be required to receive unwanted company and believes it would be a grand joke on Mrs. Irwin.

Upon arrival at Benham Abbey, Louisa is mistaken by the housekeeper as a hired maid and escorts her to the servant's quarters. Because it is already bedtime, Louisa believes this is a mistake that can be rectified in the morning and she is exhausted from travel.  However, she can't sleep due to hunger.  She decides to venture to the kitchen for a snack. When she hears a man's voice, she is frightened.  After all, why would a man be in her elderly aunt's home?  Fearing that it could be an intruder, she decides to hide, but she has to keep moving further away as it seems the man is following her.  

Both the man and Louisa are shocked by what happens next!

 

Conclusion

It is rare for me to find a book series that every individual book deserves a separate review.  However each book in the Larkhall Letters by Ashtyn Newbold has an excellent plot with wonderful characters and could easily be enjoyed without having read other books in the series.

With Love, Louisa is a delightfully entertaining story with several difficult situations that must be dealt with properly and in accordance with societal rules.  

In the end, I feel I have made a few new friends and I wish them every happiness.  


Read My Other Reviews of Books in the Larkhall Letters Series

 The Ace of Hearts Review The Captain's Confidant Review




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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Fascination with the Past Leads to Lots of Reading - Book Reviews

Oh the books that are available on a myriad of topics that can keep a reader going for a long, long, time!

Today I'll tell you about four books that had me totally captivated and left me with bags under my eyes for days.  (That for me is the sign of a really good book, or two or three or more!)


Lately I have found myself totally captivated by World War II novels.  Most of these books are historically true, although some license has been taken with character names and places.  

The three books by Heather Morris are stories that are actually true stories.  Heather had met and spoken with several people that lived the nightmares that were part of the European history of this War.  The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Cilka's Journey and The Three Sisters are her stories.  The Book of Lost Names written by Kristen Hannah is also in this genre of WWII novels.

While this is a genre that I don't normally gravitate towards, I can honestly say that these books kept me turning pages and finding excuses to read more rather than bookmarking my page.  That is a sign of a good book, don't you think? 

Each of Heather Morris' books can stand on their own, but together they really paint a troublesome, difficult and dangerous time in our history.

You can read more about these books and some of the controversy that ensued in Brenda's Review, right here! 

The latest book in this genre that really took me by surprise was one written by Viola Russell called, "Love at War."


This book takes a look at how, why and when the Americans got involved in this War that touched so many lives.

While I have seen and been at the American Memorial to Pearl Harbor and heard the story of how the American's became involved, this book managed to put me right in the middle of all the turbulence and sacrifices that American men and women made during this bleak period.




All the other books focus on the beginning of the war and the hatred Hitler had for Jews and anyone standing with the Jews.  Viola Russell with her book,  Love At War, takes us into the lives of American families who got involved after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  The missions and how many New Americans who were bilingual (many had fled Germany after WWI) helped to get secrets from the Germans to help their new homeland win this battle.  

It is the story of women, who were brave enough to enlist and carry out top secret missions right in the heart of enemy territory.  Some of these women were drawn to these missions by extreme hatred for what the German's had done to their brothers, husbands and friends during all the fighting.  Hatred is a very powerful emotion, as we see in some of the missions that are written about here. 

I don't want to give away too much of the story, but suffice it to say that I'm sure if you pick up Love at War, you will have a hard time putting it back down again.  



I hope you get a chance to read all of these books as each of them has something unique for us to learn about.  History should never be forgotten and the sacrifices that people made during this War should also never be forgotten. 

                                       God Bless America!  



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Sunday, October 3, 2021

The Christmas Riddles Book - Stumped Riddles Book Seven

Christmas Riddles - #Stumped Volume 7

When I write a new riddle book, I'm always excited when it's completed! "Christmas Riddles" is the seventh book in the StumpedRiddles Book series and is officially completed, published, and available on Amazon.

What is the Stumped Riddles Book Series?

I've always had this crazy ability to write riddles. Since learning how to self-publish books, I took the leap from publishing a poetry book to writing riddle books. To date, I've written and self-published seven riddle books, with Christmas Riddles being the seventh.

Christmas Riddles - The Book's Details

Like the other riddle books in the Stumped Riddle Book series, Christmas Riddles features eight chapters with ten original riddles per chapter. This book's chapters are broken down into riddle topics as follows:

  1. Santa Claus
  2. Christmas Trees
  3. Holiday Lights
  4. Winter Season
  5. Holiday Foods
  6. Festive Things
  7. Family Time
  8. The Meaning of Christmas
Here's a Sample of a Riddle in the Book:


Riddles for the Whole Family

The StumpedRiddle Book series is written for teens, adults, and bright kids. Ages 8 and up should be able to solve at least some of the riddles. The riddles featured range from easy to slightly difficult, thus giving everyone a chance at solving one or more.

These riddle books can also be played as a game. The game rules are simple:

Game 1

. Use a timer
. Decide on the amount of time to allow for a riddle to be solved
. Choose a person to read the riddle out loud
. The first person to shout the answer out correctly gets the point

Game 2

. Choose a person to read the riddle out loud
. Everyone writes down their guess of the riddle answer
. Put all the answers in the middle of the table
. Each person who guesses the correct answer gets the point

Additional Ways to Use The Stumped Riddle Books:
  • Teachers can use them to challenge students
  • Gifts for teens or teachers
  • A family hostess gift
  • Stocking Stuffers
  • Contest Gifts
  • Party Prizes
  • Personal Challenge
  • Distraction
Amazon eBook Preview Below - If you're unable to see the preview below, here it is directly. 



Stumped Riddles Social Media:
I'm excited to announce my expansion into another series of activity books - keep your eyes peeled for these ones!




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Saturday, October 2, 2021

Reviewing Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

I loved Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney but be warned you need to concentrate when reading it as it has some delicious twists in the storyline.


Sometimes I Lie reviewed - a dark psychological thriller with a number of twists
Image created via Canva by Lou16

When I was looking for a new book to read I came across this one and this is how it was described on Amazon:

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me.

1. I’m in a coma

2. My husband doesn’t love me any more

3. Sometimes I lie

Unnerving, twisted and utterly compelling, you won’t be able to put this thriller down. Perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors, The Girl on the Train and The Woman in the Window.

This totally intrigued me so I then looked at some of the reviews and a number of the reviewers said that they were left confused or that their minds were messed up and I just knew I was going to enjoy it.

If psychological thrillers are your thing then you will really love this, but it's certainly not one you can read with distractions as there are a number of twists to this story.

The book is absolutely amazing for a debut novel and I cannot wait to read more of Alice Feeney's work.

There are three storylines running through the book: firstly the present where Amber is in a coma; secondly in the days leading up to the accident that put her in a coma and thirdly there are diary entries from fifteen years prior.

I enjoy a dark psychological thriller and this book ticked a lot of boxes for me, I found it really chilling in places (especially the diary entries).  It is definitely not something you can read while doing anything else though as there's a lot of things to keep track of and, remember, do not take anything at face value!

I don't want to put much information about the storyline as I don't want to ruin it for anyone, just trust me this is a book for you if you loved The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie or The Three Women by Valerie Keoch.

Do you enjoy psychological thrillers?





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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Review of the Mickey Bolitar Series of Young Adult Books

 


By Harlan Coben


Mickey Bolitar is the teenage nephew of Myron Bolitar, first introduced in Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series.  This series of three books (to date) are in the Young Adult genre, and all of the main characters are teenagers. Thus it is written to appeal to teen readers. 


Recently I have been reading (and in some cases re-reading) all of the Myron Bolitar series ~ in order. I reached #10 (Live Wire) and immediately went on to the latest book in the series #11 of 11 (Home). I spotted what I thought was a discrepancy between books #10 and #11 and felt that I must have missed one of the books, which would have explained the discrepancy.  After double-checking dates published, I realized that Harlan Coben had paused the Myron Bolitar series after writing Live Wire and written the three Mickey Bolitar YA books before continuing on with the Myron series. Thus I had a pretty strong feeling that what was missing was explained and solved in the Mickey Bolitar series.  I was right – and now I understand.  


I am also delighted that I decided to read the Mickey Bolitar series, even though I don't normally read the Young Adult genre, because it turned out to be a wonderful written series and filled in a lot of blanks in the background of Myron Bolitar.  Settling once and for all (in my mind) that if you like and enjoy an author, it doesn't matter what genre he/she decides to write in, you will enjoy it just as much. 


The Mickey Bolitar Series Plots


Shelter (Book 1 of 3)



Shelter by Harlan Coben

In Shelter, teenager Mickey Bolitar (first introduced in Book #10 of the Myron Bolitar series) has gone to live with his Uncle Myron because his dad had died and his mom was in rehab. 


Forced to switch high schools, Mickey is a lonely and unhappy 15-year-old. Slowly he begins to make new friends (plus a few enemies of the group who always seems to make life miserable for the 'new kid' at school). He even acquires a new girlfriend, Ashley, and thinks perhaps his train-wreck of a life is beginning to improve.  Then ~ Ashley disappears!


Mickey is unwilling to let yet another person walk out of his life, so he follows Ashley's trail into a seedy underworld that reveals this sweet, shy girl is not who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey's father. Eventually Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it makes high school drama seem ordinary.  What he finds out leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew.


Seconds Away (Book 2 of 3)


Seconds Away by Harlan Coben

In Book Two, Mickey Bolitar, along with his loyal new friends—sharp-witted Ema and dorky, yet charming, Spoon—find themselves involved in a terrifying mystery

After the shooting of their friend Rachel.  Mickey now not only has to continue his quest to uncover the truth about the Abeona Shelter, the Butcher of Lodz, and the mysterious death of his father, but he needs to figure out who shot Rachel. 

Mickey has always been ready to help his friends, but how can he protect them from a danger he doesn't understand when he's not even sure who – or what-- he's protecting them from?


Found (Book 3 of 3)


Found by Harlan Coben

Book Three in the Mickey Bolitar series sees mysterious clues continuing to surface as Mickey strives to uncover the truth about his father's death. Was it accidental? Murder? Or, is his dad still alive?


With the help of his Uncle Myron, along with his loyal friends Spoon and Ema, Mickey begins to unravel the mysteries of the Abeona Shelter and the elusive “Butcher of Lodz”.  At the same time Mickey tries to navigate the ins and outs of everyday life in high school and his dream of making the basketball team.


Summary


Mickey Bolitar is as quick-witted and clever as his uncle Myron, and eager to go to any length to save the people he cares about. Follow Mickey Bolitar on his action-packed adventures in Shelter, Seconds Away and Found.


With this Young Adult series, Harlan Coben introduces a whole new audience to his superb writing. 


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*The Mickey Bolitar YA Series review written by


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Friday, September 24, 2021

The Captain's Confidant: A Regency Romance - Larkhall Letters Book 2 Review

I previously reviewed the first book in the Larkhall Letters series. Because it was such a delightful book to read, I immediately started the second book in the series, The Captain's Confidant

We originally met Bridget Northcott in book 1, The Ace of Hearts. I instantly liked her!  She was a gracious hostess, sweet friend, and clearly someone who could keep secrets.  In book 1, Bridget didn't even tell her brother, Matthew, Alice Rosemeyer's real reasons for visiting his estate, Larkhall.

When Bridget shared her own secret with Alice and told her why she wasn't interested in considering any would-be suitors, it is obvious why keeping confidences was so important to Bridget. She had a big secret of her own!  For years, she had been in love with her brother's friend, Captain Colin Foster.

Any romantic reading the book would hope that Bridget's captain returned her love. However, at the beginning of book 2, when we discover that Captain Foster is engaged to someone else, that hardly seems likely. 


The Captain's Confidant Synopsis

 The Captain's Confidant: A Regency Romance (Larkhall Letters Book 2)Check PriceWhen his older brother dies in an accident, Captain Foster is forced to return home and assume his place as heir and master of Thorncarrow.  Colin resents having to leave his career and his beloved sea. He has been living the life he wanted.  Now, he is choked by obligations, debt, and an unwanted estate. Captain Colin Foster is a very unhappy man.

When they find out that Colin is back at Thorncarrow, Matthew and Oliver Northcott make plans to visit him.  They hope they might be able to help him ease into his new role as owner of an estate. Plus, they are interested in how he had so quickly become engaged to their neighbor, Miss. Tabitha Terrell.  

Bridget is heartbroken to hear of Colin's engagement and questions how he could even consider marrying Tabitha. He knows firsthand of the spiteful things that Tabitha did to Bridget when they were kids. She is determined to find out how he could possibly love her and convinces her brother, Matthew, that he should allow her to accompany them to Thorncarrow.  However, upon arrival, is seems Colin is not thrilled to see Bridget. He sends her and her companion to stay in the dower's house with his mother.

In her own state of distress, Bridget decides to vent her anger through a letter that is never meant to be delivered.  However, a maid finds the letter and promptly takes it to the addressee, Captain Colin Foster.  After Colin reads the letter, he decides to write one of his own and that is how Bridget becomes the Captain's confidant. 


My Conclusion

Sharing secrets with someone you trust is something we all need to be able to do from time to time. Knowing they would never betray you is paramount.  

This is a sweet story of an old friendship that is reestablished after years of separation.  It is also the story of forgiveness and reconciliation of other broken relationships.  No doubt, there is a message of encouragement laced within the pages of this story for all of us if we take the time to reflect upon it.

 




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Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Lighthouse Keeper by Cynthia Ellingsen Reviewed

If you're after a cozy, feel-good romance with a touch of mystery and intrigue then let me transport you to a little place called Starlight Cove.   Want to know more?

The Lighthouse Keeper by Cynthia Ellingsen Reviewed
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I read a lovely cozy book called A Bittersweet Surprise as part of my Kindle Unlimited membership and when I finished it I realized that the author (Cynthia Ellingsen) had created a few books based in Starlight Cove so I decided to read another one!

The Lighthouse Keeper was written before A Bittersweet Surprise so there were a couple of things that I already knew would happen, but that didn't deflect from the feel-good feeling this novel gave me.   This certainly isn't the novel for you if you want to have to think hard about things or get caught up in some psychological thriller.   This book is like a comforting blanket on a cold winter's evening when you just want to be left alone.

The main heroine of the book is the daughter of treasure hunters and when her life gets thrown a couple of curveballs she decides to bid on a lighthouse.   As you can probably tell from the title of the novel her bid wins and she moves to Starlight Cove to restore the town's lighthouse.

Her parents have settled down in Starlight Cove and are running an antique shop there, she also meets some of the town's residents along with some not-so-nice non-resident treasure hunters.   Did I mention that there was a long-lost treasure to be found too?

While she endeavours to try her hand at a little matchmaking between her first friend in Starlight Cove and one of the hunky Henderson brothers she also finds herself falling a little in love herself.  As with any romance, there's a little bump in the road which has her overthinking things (a trait I can totally relate to myself!).

With The Lighthouse Keeper, Cynthia Ellingsen has once again shown how well she can create her characters as I can totally relate to a few in this book, just as I did in the other book.    Now I need to grab the only other book I can see in the Starlight Cove series to see if it's as good.   An extra bonus is that all three of these are free to read with a Kindle Unlimited account!




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Friday, September 17, 2021

The Ace of Hearts: A Regency Romance - Larkhall Letters Book 1 Review

The Ace of Hearts
I've only read a few Regency romance novels and I don't remember ever recommending one in the past. While they are clearly romantic fiction, which is my preferred genre, there is no guarantee they will be clean and wholesome.  When I search for a new book, I have learned to use the term "clean and wholesome" and have had much greater success finding a romantic fiction book that doesn't include graphic sex.

I've seen Regency romance novels in the "clean and wholesome" search results, but past experience has made me hesitate to choose one again. However, when I saw "The Ace of Hearts" was included in my KindleUnlimited membership, I felt I had nothing to lose if I tried a Regency romance again.  After all, I could stop reading if it became too racy and know that I had not spent a dime on the novel.  I'm really glad I gave that genre another chance!

I love historical fiction and thanks to Pride and Prejudice, I am very fond of the British Regency era depicted in books, especially if the book includes a touch of humor. While I am fascinated by the aristocracy, I admit I am glad I don't live under their rigid rules and expectations for women.  The "Larkhall Letters" book series reminds me, once again, to be grateful that I was not subject to an arranged marriage because my family estate needed an infusion of cash, or because someone was in the right social class.

In "The Ace of Hearts", Alice Rosemeyer went to great lengths and engaged in socially unacceptable activity in order to avoid her stepfather's arrangement for her marriage and life.  Given her circumstances, I'm sure I would have been inclined to run away too.

 

The Ace of Hearts Book Synopsis

 The Ace of Hearts: A Regency Romance
(Larkhall Letters Book 1)
Check Price
Alice thought she had found a way out of having to marry her stepfather's choice when she and her step-brother, Isaac, colluded to help Isaac win the heart of a wealthy heiress, Diana Herring.  He had agreed to use some of Diana's dowry to setup a dowry for Alice that would attract a more desirable gentleman for her to wed.  Alice's hopes, along with her stepbrother's hopes, were dashed when his hopeful bride's brother refused Isaac as a suitor for Diana. 

While Thomas Herring may have made a very wise decision for his sister, Diana, that decision made Alice desperate to devise another way to gain her independence.  Without telling anyone, including her stepbrother, she made plans for her and her younger sister, Louisa, to visit a friend in another city for the summer.  Bridget Northcott was excited to have the two Rosemeyer sisters join her at Larkhall and was more than happy to introduce them to prospects, which happened to be her brothers friends and guests for the summer.  Surely the sisters would catch the eye of a more desirable suitor.  

But, Alice did not wish to be bound by matrimony. She much preferred the idea of being independent and able to provide for herself and her sister if necessary.  When she found a like-minded ally, as well as financial backing, in Diana's aunt, she was thrilled to consider a different future.  It was one, however, that would require careful planning and anonymity. Together, they made a plan.

Thus, the Ace of Hearts was established and open for business!

 

My Conclusion

I found this to be a delightful read that occasionally made me laugh. I could easily envision the characters as described by Ashtyn Newbold. Their actions, unusual, yet creative schemes, and antics were rather entertaining.  Plus, the parlor games were quite amusing! 

This is one Regency Romance Novel I can highly recommend! I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.





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