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

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Reviewing Prom Queen by Laura Wolfe

Prom Queen book cover
Prom Queen by Laura Wolfe 

I'm not sure what made me want to read this book by Laura Wolfe, but I will definitely be diving into more of her books as I really enjoyed it.

The cover of the book says, 'We were all there 20 years ago....Only one of us killed her', that was enough of a hook for me!

This book runs in two timelines one is the present day and one is twenty years ago when the small town of Cove Haven's Prom Queen died.

The main character in the book is Brooke and she has returned to Cove Haven on the shore of Lake Michigan after her mother's death planning to renovate and sell the family home. While she's in the coffee shop she bumps into a woman who is wearing a silver locket around her neck that she instantly recognises. The necklace is one that she gave her long-time best friend for her 17th birthday and the last time she saw it was on the evening that her friend (the Prom Queen in the title) died.

The person in question was a true-crime podcaster who had decided to investigate the Prom Queen's death and she raised lots of questions as podcasters do. Bailey's death had been put down as a suicide, but her friends had often thought it could've been something more sinister. As the podcaster, Hannah probes more she and Brooke discover more things and the twists start coming.

I really enjoyed it even though I did suspect who the killer was before the end, I will confess to falling for a red herring for a few moments. I won't reveal more about that as I want you to fall for it   enjoy the book with no preconceptions!

If you like thrillers and whodunnits then you should enjoy this book. There were a couple of cliched characters in the book, but the main cast was really good.

The only thing that I didn't really like was the epilogue. I enjoyed the ending with the reveal and think it could've ended there. When I read the epilogue I said to my husband, 'that's not a nice ending, I really don't like that ending' I think it was to set up for another book, but I just didn't like it. I would recommend not reading that part, but if you're like me curiosity will get the better of you. 

For an entertaining read I do recommend it. It is marketed as a 'totally addictive and gripping psychological thriller with a heart-stopping twist' and that does sum it up although I would probably replace the psychological thriller with whodunnit as it wasn't as dark and suspenseful as a lot of psychological thrillers.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, January 20, 2024

Book Review of Judgment Prey by John Sandford

 Author John Sandford has written 32 books in his 'Prey' series. Each book in the Prey Series has the word 'Prey' in the title and the main character is Lucus Davenport. In the earliest novels, Lucus is a police officer for the Minneapolis Police Department. Later novels have him with the Minnesota BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) and then with the U.S. Marshall's office.


Sandford has also written another series of books starring Virgil Flowers, who once worked with the St. Paul, MN police department and now for the Minnesota BCA. 


Throughout these two series, the reader finds intermittent interaction between Lucus and Virgil.  Now, for the first time, Sandford has combined these two characters in their own Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers novel in his latest book, Judgment Prey.


Judgment Prey, a Lucas Davenport & Virgil Flowers Novel by John Sandford


Synopsis of Judgment Prey


As the story begins, Lucus is home recovering from a shoot-out several months earlier at which he was severely wounded. One afternoon he receives a call from his U.S. Marshall's boss about a high-profile murder that just took place near his home in St. Paul. A federal judge and his two young sons have been murdered in their home. Since he's only 5 miles away, his boss wants Lucus to meet up with Virgil Flowers at the Judge's residence to just see what the scene looks like. Reluctantly, he does so.


As it turns out, the FBI and local law enforcement are all stymied as to who the killer is and what reason the killer would have to shoot this family in cold blood. As they hit dead end after dead end, Lucus and Virgil team up to follow both leads and theories until they figure out who killed the Sands family. 


Summary


As with all Sandford novels, the interplay between the characters is fascinating and humerous and interesting. Both Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers are delightful characters and Sandford's plots are always outstanding. 

Now that John Sandford has combined my two favorite characters in one novel, I hope he will continue with more books starring them. This Sandford fan would love that, and I loved Judgment Prey (A Prey Novel #33 of 34)!


More Reviews of Books by John Sandford




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*Review of the novel Judgment Prey is written by Wednesday Elf






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, January 19, 2024

A Treacherous Engagement (Gentlemen of London Book 1) Book Review

A Treacherous Engagement
I love it when I find a series where every book offers a great read!  That has definitely been true for the Gentlemen of London book series by Laura Beers.

When I finished reading "A Treacherous Engagement", I immediately downloaded the second book and started reading it.  Each book is a continuation of stories that focus on the lives of 5 college friends.  They all start out wishing to not be caught in the "parson's mousetrap".  Even though the gentlemen need heirs, they aren't interested in getting married.  At least, that is true until they meet women who make them reconsider their stand against matrimony.   

It has been fun to watch these gentlemen do an about face and to hear their comments on marriage before and after.  

Plus, each book contains a suspenseful element.  Several of the gentlemen are agents of the Crown and have secrets, as well as questionable acquaintances or "business" in areas of town that most titled gentlemen would never consider acceptable.

I do recommend reading these books in order as the characters are more fully developed throughout the series. 

 

A Treacherous Engagement Synopsis

Nathaniel Calvert, Earl of Hawthorne, has a lot of secrets.  Even his family doesn't know why he dresses in old clothes and won't tell them where he is going or what he is doing.  As an agent (aka spy) of the Crown, anonymity is imperative.  If someone let his real identity slip when he is "working", it could endanger his family as well as himself.

When Nathaniel is mistaken as a Bow Street Runner (law enforcement officer), he doesn't correct Miss Dinah Ashmore.  He would prefer to deny any ability to help her, but when he hears her sister, Evie, is missing, he wants to be of assistance.  He lets her continue to think he is just a Bow Street Runner.  

Dinah is desperate to locate her sister and to ensure that she is okay.  She won't just sit at home and wait for news from the Bow Street Runner she has hired.  Therefore, in addition to trying to handle his assigned case, plus find Dinah's sister, Nathaniel has to juggle meeting and dealing with Miss. Dinah Ashmore and her aunt.  It is impossible to be everywhere and protect everyone at all times.  

As it turns out, Dinah's sister is a lot more than just the daughter of a Lord.  She is an intricate part of a tumultuous political case and she may or may not need saving.  Even Nathaniel is shocked by Evie's actions and where he finds her.

Along the way, Nathaniel develops feelings for Dinah, but he must not be distracted while involved in an assigned case.  Otherwise, someone could end up hurt or even dead. 


 


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Thursday, January 11, 2024

Book Review-Daughters of Green Mountain Gap

 

Book Cover



I love reading historical fiction and time period novels and I also love reading books that are real page turners.  Teri M Brown fits the bill in both of these areas.  Last year I reviewed her book An Enemy Like Me and I loved it, so I was really excited to have the opportunity to review her latest book, Daughters of Green Mountain Gap. In this book we meet three generations of women living in North Carolina at the turn of the twentieth century.

The Book on Amazon

The book will be released on January 23, 2024.  You can order it at the following link on Amazon. Daughters of Green Mountain Gap

Daughters of Green Mountain Gap

Three Generations-Three Exceptional Women

    Maggie

Maggie is the granny, who is known throughout the small Appalachian town and surrounding area as a healer.  She believes and relies on traditional methods for her healing.  She has learned her skills through family tradition, folklore and also from visits she makes to the healer in the local Cherokee tribe. 

    Carrie Ann

Carrie Ann is Maggie's daughter.  She has graduated from nursing school and feels strongly that modern medicine should prevail and that her mother's methods are not only outdated but could be harmful.  Carrie Ann works for the local doctor and feels that all should see him for their medical needs and not her mother.

    Josie Mae

Josie Mae is Carrie Ann's daughter and because of her mother's job she stays much of the time with her grandmother, Maggie.  While she is there Maggie teaches her all about her traditional healing methods.  Josie loves her grandmother and believes that her methods are important, however she is caught between the vastly different methods of Maggie and Carrie Ann.

My Thoughts on Book

I was engrossed in the book from the first chapter.  The author, Teri M Brown, does a wonderful job of bringing you into the lives of these three women.  You find yourself smiling at their victories and feeling sad as they deal with sickness and death.  The family dynamics are a great way to show the spirit of the times with the struggles between folk medicine and science, old and new methods, and dealing with the change in society.  I highly recommend this fascinating book.

Reviews of other Teri M Brown Books

Two of Teri M Brown's previous books have been reviewed on Review This.  Our reviewer Olivia reviewed Sunflowers Beneath the Snow, and I reviewed An Enemy Like Me.  Here are links to those reviews.







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, January 6, 2024

Review of Author Catherine Ryan Hyde

Catherine Ryan Hyde is a novelist and short story writer who is also passionate about photography and animals. 


Book with Book Author Catherine Ryan Hyde on cover


Brief Bio of Catherine Ryan Hyde


Catherine Ryan Hyde, author
Born in Buffalo, NY in 1955, Catherine grew up in a family of writers. She began her literary career writing short stories before turning to novel writing. Her breakthrough novel was Pay It Forward (1999), which became an award-winning best-selling book, and later a movie. She has written more than 40 novels and many short stories. Catherine also teaches workshops at Writers Conferences and is a professional public speaker. 


Hyde's Literary Works


Catherine's works are most often optimistic explorations of ordinary people, which I have found to be fascinating. Her characters are often troubled or down-on-their-luck or just getting over something difficult in their past. The characters in the story search for a meaning of why life is as it is. This 'making sense of life' often involves a young person and an older person (and quite frequently, animals) who find themselves working together to resolve their situations. As a result, we end up with central themes that are based on love and caring and a desire to improve. 


Pay It Forward Book Cover
In 2014, Catherine published a new version of Pay It Forward, a Young Readers Edition that tells the same story but was revised to complement teacher lesson plans and summer reading lists for students at the middle school level. In other words, students about the same age as the novel's main character, Trevor McKinney. 



Paw It Forward book cover
As another Pay It Forward follow-up, Catherine wrote a nonfiction book for kids starring her real-life dogs, Jesse and Ella, who inspire kids to change the world through kindness. The book is called Paw It Forward




Summary


To date, I have read about a dozen of Hyde's novels and am so taken with her writing that I have now printed off a list of all her novels and am currently reading my way through them. They are in the Family Life Fiction genre and each is a stand-alone novel, so they can be read in any order.


In summary, I have to say that Catherine Ryan Hyde's novels are 'feel good stories' which will leave you happily satisfied when you reach the end. 


Latest book by Catherine Ryan Hyde:


Life, Loss and Puffins book cover
Latest Book by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Due out May 14, 2024 - Preorder Here


More Catherine Ryan Hyde Novel Reviews:



  • Catherine Ryan Hyde Website. Click here for a complete list of her novels. 




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*Review of Author Catherine Ryan Hyde written by Wednesday Elf







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Irish Village Mystery Series by Carlene O'Connor — Delightful, Cozy Whodunits

I recently started reading author Carlene O’Connor’s extremely popular Irish Village Mystery series. I have enjoyed the first two books so much that I have ordered the remaining volumes in this 10-book (to date) series.

Here is my review of this charming "cozy mystery" series based on my experience so far.

Carlene O'Connor's Irish Village Mystery series

Meet The "O'Sullivan Six"

The Irish Village Mystery series is set in Kilbane, a small village in County Cork, Ireland.

Siobhán O'Sullivan and her older brother, James, along with their younger siblings have taken over the family business, Naomi’s Bistro, which serves breakfast and lunch. Since their parents' untimely death, James, Siobhán (pronounced Shi-VAWN). their sisters Grainne (pronounced GRAWN-yah) and Ann, and their brothers Eoin (pronounced Owen) and Ciaran (pronounced KEER-awn) are often referred to in the village as the “O’Sullivan Six.”

So, although both James and Siobhán are their younger siblings’ legal guardians, from a practical standpoint she is often the primary person in loco parentis due to his struggles with alcoholism. Her younger sisters sometimes resent her in that quasi-parental role, just as she sometimes resents having had to give up her plans to join her friends during their freshman year at university so she can keep Naomi’s Bistro running and her young family afloat. The challenge of balancing familial responsibilities and personal aspirations is central to her character.

As hard as it is, however, feisty, determined, red-haired Siobhán is up to the task. She is the glue that holds her siblings and their livelihood together. But scraping together enough money to pay the rent every month is tough. She also has developed a bit of a crush on local garda (policeman) Macdara Flannery, who might or might not return those sentiments.

Siobhán's character is the driving force of the O'Sullivan Six. Her perseverance and genuine care for her siblings paint a relatable and endearing portrait. The familial dynamics add depth to the narrative, making the O'Sullivans not just characters but a resilient young family facing life's adversities together.

Murder in an Irish Village (An Irish Village Mystery Book 1)

In the first book, Siobhán is 22 years old. It has been nearly a year since the O'Sullivan Six siblings' parents were tragically killed in a car crash caused by young, feckless, drunk driver Billy Murphy.

Billy's brother Niall tries to extort Siobhán for an outrageous sum of money in exchange for what he claims is evidence that Billy, despite his conviction and incarceration, was not the person responsible for her parents’ deaths.

When James finds out what Niall has tried to do to Siobhán, he is so outraged that he confronts Niall and breaks his six-month sobriety streak by going on a bender. In fact, James drinks so much that he blacks out.

The next morning, a few of the O'Sullivan clan discover Niall seated at one of the tables in Naomi’s bistro. Upon closer inspection, they see a pair of promotional hot pink scissors from the local hair salon plunged into his chest. James has disappeared, and even after he has been found, he has no recollection of what happened the previous night, apart from having had an altercation with the murder victim before blacking out.

When James is accused of the murder, it’s up to Siobhán and their siblings to figure out who the real murderer is and exonerate their eldest brother.

Murder at an Irish Wedding (An Irish Village Mystery Book 2)

In the second book, the wedding of a famous fashion model has the tongues of everyone in the small village of Kilbane wagging. Siobhán and her siblings have their hands full catering the huge three-day affair.

The bride’s father is doing everything he can to thwart the union. Meanwhile, best man Kevin has his invitation revoked as a result of his offensive, drunken, pre-nuptial antics. Garda Macdara Flannery, another of the groom’s friends and now Siobhán’s beau, takes his place.

Kevin’s dead body is discovered in the nearby woods the next morning. Then, a valuable heirloom engagement ring goes missing. When a second victim is murdered with poisoned champagne in a personalized glass flute engraved with Macdara’s name, Flannery instantly moves from best man to prime suspect.

Can Siobhán unravel the mystery, identify the murderer (or murderers), exonerate her beau, and prevent any more untimely deaths? And what of her burgeoning desire to join Macdara as a member of the Gardaí (national police and security force) instead of going to university?

Thoughts on Carlene O'Connor's Irish Village Mystery Series

I am really enjoying this series with its delightful blend of cozy charm, multidimensional characters, and compelling storylines set against the picturesque backdrop of the small Irish village of Kilbane. It offers a delightful escape into a world where quaint traditions meet modern-day sleuthing.

O'Connor's descriptive prose brings the Irish village to life, allowing readers to visualize the charming streets, bustling pubs, and rolling green hills. The cultural richness of the setting adds depth to the narrative, making it not just a mystery series but also a cultural exploration of Irish traditions and the Irish way of life.

The mysteries are well-crafted and engaging. O'Connor weaves intricate plots that keep us guessing until the final reveal. Each book in the series introduces a new puzzle for Siobhán to solve, ensuring that the reader remains hooked. The stories can be a bit slower-paced than other murder mysteries, but I find that the leisurely unfolding of the story contributes to the overall charm.

With its lovable characters, charming setting, and engaging mysteries, the Irish Village Mystery series offers a satisfying escape for readers looking for a lighthearted yet compelling read. Fans of cozy mysteries with a touch of Irish flair will undoubtedly find themselves enamored with Siobhán O'Sullivan's adventures in Kilbane.

I'm also grateful that there is neither gratuitous gore nor graphic descriptions of violence. This series consists of true cozy mysteries rather than thrillers, even though there is sufficient suspense to keep us guessing until the end of each book.

I am listening to the series as audiobooks, which I purchased on Chirp Books. The Kindle and paperback editions linked below are on Amazon. Although narrator Caroline Lennon's Irish lilt and expressive voice add a lot to my enjoyment of these books, I'm sure they would be equally enjoyable in Kindle and paperback formats.

Enjoy the journey!

Irish Village Mystery Series — Books in Order of Publication

Murder in an Irish Village (2016)

Murder at an Irish Wedding (2017)

Murder in an Irish Churchyard (2018)

Murder in an Irish Pub (2019)

Murder in an Irish Cottage (2020)

Murder at an Irish Christmas (2020)

Murder in an Irish Bookshop (2021)

Murder on an Irish Farm (2022)

Murder at an Irish Bakery (2023)

Murder at an Irish Chipper (2024)


Irish Village Mystery Series by Carlene O'Connor — Delightful, Cozy Whodunits by Margaret Schindel

Read More Book Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, January 1, 2024

Book Review: Saga of the Mountain Sage: A Classic Historical Western Series by W. Michael Gear

This historical fiction western begins in 1825, when Richard is a young Boston gentleman attending Harvard. He is a talented and bright student studying philosophy. Richard can quote all of the greatest philosophers and he knows what is real and what is right. He is the only son of wealthy businessman Phillip Hamilton. His mother is deceased, having died during childbirth and Richard has essentially been raised by their servant, Jeffry. How is a story set in the city of Boston able to become a historical western? It begins when Phillip decides that it is time for Richard to take some responsibility, ends his financial support for the Harvard education, and sends Richard on a business trip to St. Louis - the edge of the wild frontier.

Book Cover of Saga of the Mountain Sage Book 1

The Morning River: Sage of the Mountain Sage, Book One: A Classic Historical Western Series 

Thank goodness I was on vacation when I started this book (this series of four books)! I read the series across a handful of days; including the one day that I forced myself to finally close my kindle at 3:30 am. I resumed reading immediately after breakfast the following day.

Richard begins his trip west to St. Louis with his father's bag of bank notes. He expects to make the long journey to St. Louis, make the business transaction, and return to Boston. 

The chapters take us from Richard's journey to Heals Like A Willow. Her people are the Dukurika (Shoshone), the sheepeaters of the high mountains. She had married her husband, a Ku'chendikani, and lived with their tribe. We meet her as she is burying and mourning her husband and son high on a rocky slope, during a blowing snow. We later learn that she is a very powerful woman, a medicine woman, and breaks some of her People's important traditions and expectations about a woman's role in their society. However, she continues searching for what is real and what is right.

While Phillip is right, and Richard's entire world has been limited to their home, the city, and the university I was immediately concerned that sending Richard on such a journey with such a large amount of money was a very risky idea. During Richard's long journey on the river, he is aloof and stand-offish. He is not impressed by the cities and towns along the way. He looks down his nose at the people he sees in boats, on the riverbanks, and on the farms along the way. Richard was amazed at the river he traveled on but uncomfortable when he stared into the deep forests.

"... he'd watched the forest as it passed, uneasy at what might lurk in those dim shadows. Like a child hearing the ghouls in the winter wind."

During brief conversations with another gentleman, Mr. Eckhart, on the steamboat, we begin to see Richard's thoughts. When Mr. Eckhart observes that Richard may not have the ambition and character needed for frontier life, Richard responds:

"My duty, sir, is to go to Saint Louis, see to some arrangements, and return to Boston with the greatest dispatch. Thereafter, I shall retire to the university and never again endure such bad food... ill company, or the human dregs such as you see floating along on flatboats"

It is a wonder that Richard doesn't make enemies when he repeatedly and snobbishly refers to others as "animals". Oh wait, he does make enemies.

Richard arrives in St. Louis with plans of finishing this errand for his father then returning to Boston to begin courting the beautiful Laura Templeton. He has written letters to her along the journey. 

But there is trouble in St. Louis. Big trouble. Life-threatening and life-changing trouble that irrevocably changes Richards life. If he survives, it is very unlikely that he will ever return to Boston.

Travis Hartman, a rugged frontiersman who is disfigured from a bear attack has partnered with long-time friend Dave Green in a business plan. They are planning an illegal trip up the Missouri River, in a keelboat, to the Upper Yellowstone River to open a trading post. During this time of unrest between the Indian tribes and each other, and the tribes and whites, permits are required to do such a thing. But Dave Green has a dream and a plan.

It is up this river and on the frontier that the lives of Richard and Heals Like A Willow, surrounded by the likes of Hartman and Green, converge. Will they collide and self-destruct or join forces and survive.


This series kept me engrossed. It was not only entertaining but educational (I had no idea how Keelboats were moved upriver) it was also thought-provoking. How do we decide what is right and wrong? And who is right? Who are the animals and who are civilized? 

While many descriptions in the book are beautiful (descriptions of the people, the land, the settings) and took me to those places, it was also a time period set during a great deal of violence. There are plenty of "mature" and difficult scenes, words, and themes in this book. However, it was the reality of those times.

If you begin The Morning River, book 1 in the series, and have any inkling that you like the story, I highly recommend buying the next 3 books. I do not recommend jumping into the series somewhere in the middle or end. I wish that these 4 books had been kept in one single book (I read somewhere that the series began as either one or two books - I don't recall which - but had been separated out into 4 somewhere along the way. I would have preferred it to be one volume).

I would like to tell you more about the characters. And about the parts of the story that made me laugh and made me cry. I would like to discuss the "right", the "wrong", and how God does or doesn't work in our lives, based on the story. But telling any of those things would create spoilers and I don't want to do that.  I can say that this story and these characters (and the people the characters represent from our history) will be with me for a very long time. 

Thank you W. Michael Gear for writing this bit of history in this way.


You can find there series here: The Morning River: Sage of the Mountain Sage, Book One: A Classic Historical Western Series 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, December 29, 2023

A Suitable Arrangement by Martha Keyes - Book Review

Part of: Castles & Courtship Series of 8 books

a suitable arrangement book
I love it when a book makes me laugh!  In "A Suitable Arrangement", Martha Keyes created the characters with wit, sass and just enough spunk to really bring them to life.  They seemed to step right out of the pages of the book to share their thoughts, conversations and actions in my presence.

I really liked Juliana Godfrey.  She held her head high and dared anyone to challenge her simply because she was not born into nobility.  I especially liked the way she handled the head housekeeper who was constantly reminding her that she was not worthy of the title "countess".  I could almost hear the housekeeper's fit of temper when she discovered her sleeping in an "important" place one morning.  

I also liked the way Juliana defended the injured one who she thought was being bullied by his sibling.  She did not hesitate to take action and stand in his stead.

Juliana respected the unique cultures and practices of the brothers of Lochlarren Castle, but after a while, she did suspect they might not be authentic.  I must admit, horse races in the castle would be rather funny, but a bit hard to believe it to be a normal activity. Still, she was willing to rise to the challenge.

 

Synopsis of A Suitable Arrangement
Castles & Courtship Historical Fiction Series

Juliana Godfrey was very practical.  Her mother had died when she was young and her father worked hard to provide for them.  His hard work paid off!  As a wealthy merchant, he was able to provide Juliana with a hefty dowry which would purchase her a place in society.  The right marriage could open more doors for her father and his business, in addition to giving her a title which would require acceptance into the aristocracy. 

A marriage to a Scottish Earl that needed money was a suitable arrangement for Juliana.  At least she thought it was until she arrived at his castle and was not well received.  Clearly, it would take a get deal of the fortitude she learned as a child to survive the Highland Scots.  She was determined to adjust and embrace their culture.

______

As his father was dying, Sandy Duncan learned more about the deep debt he was inheriting as the new Earl of Lismore.  He also found out that he was no longer considered an acceptable suitor for the woman he had always thought he would marry.  Even though the family liked him, once her father discovered he could not bring money to the marriage, he was informed that he would not be considered, even if he did bear a title.  

Sandy is also informed that his father has made a marriage arrangement for him that would provide the money Lochlarren Castle, and it's dependents, required.  Sandy's days of freedom ended with his father's death.  He now had to shoulder the full weight of the Earldom.

When his bride-to-be arrived at the castle 2 days late, he was in no mood to greet her with a hardy welcome.  Neither he, nor his brothers or household, stepped outside of the castle to give her a proper welcome.  This lack of courtesy set the tone for the minutes, days and weeks that followed. 

 _______

When an earl needs money to pay ancestral debts, restore his castle and care for family & staff, he marries for wealth instead of equality. However, Sandy Duncan, Earl of Lismore, has met his match!


My Recommendation

The humor in this book gave a wonderful balance to the antagonism between the characters.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

 




Books by Martha Keyes Previously Reviewed on ReviewThisReviews.com



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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Taverner's Son by Leslie Park Lynn ~ A Book Review

 The Taverner's Son is a well written deeply moving novel that has a beautiful story line that everyone can really sink their teeth into.  Family secrets, tragedy and a small village help to make this book a real page turner.  I love the characters and each one of their with own "quirks".  

The Taverners Son



What family doesn't have some sadness and misunderstandings that get in the way of family connections?  I don't think there is one family out there who can't relate in some way.

So it is with Will Kendrick.  He has lived most of his adult life away from the small town that was his home.  Misunderstandings and pride make it difficult to get through to the part where we still love each other.  And sometimes it's too late to do anything about it!  

Will gets a phone call letting him know that his father has passed away.   Living on the west coast for many years,  Will had not given his father too much thought.  Now he is in shock and trying desperately to make sense of it all, realizing that there is no more time left.

Will makes the plans to return to the little fishing village of Apalachicola.  First he had to make his way from California to Tallahassee and then drive from there to what had been his home.  As he drives the roads back to his "home" memories come flooding back to him. 

Of course there are the people of the town whom he had known growing up and many that had left the small town for bigger and better opportunities.  But there was also one of his oldest and dearest friends from his childhood who remained.  Jess, his long time friend from grade school, who had always been there during his childhood, made her life in the small town of Apalachicola.

Will is making his way around town and sees the tavern where he spent many days helping his father.  Homework was done on one of the small tables in the back.  Penny, the cook and keeper of the kitchen took Will under her wings when Will's mother had died.  Will was only 3 years old when his mother died.   Penny and her husband were the imaginary parents that Will wanted.  His father had become distant and depressed, withdrawn from his son and anything that reminded him of his beloved wife.  Will was the spitting image of his mother.  So that made things even harder for Will's father.  And now Will is standing in the Tavern that now belongs to him.  


Will has a lot to learn about the father he didn't know so well and more about his mother too. When you lose your mom at 3 years of age, you really don't know too much about her.    As you get into the book, the story takes on a life of it's own and you will be hard pressed to put the book down.  So many questions that Will has and so few answers, yet, there is something going on that doesn't make sense.


I don't want to give too much of the story away, but, I would encourage you to pick this book up.  It really is a riveting story of family, family secrets and how they impact the people who are being "saved from the truth".  This book is masterfully written, a love story with twists and turns that you will not see coming.  It is a page turner that you won't want to put down.

I received this book from VoraciousReadersOnly with the promise of sharing a review.  It was my pleasure to read this book and review it for you here.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, December 9, 2023

Reviewing The Night of the Sleepover: A Psychological Thriller

The Night of the Sleepover reviewed
How many 14-year-olds have had sleepovers with their friends, I know my daughter had a lot of them. Three 14 year olds; Leah, Harriet & Jasmine have a sleepover at their other best friend's house, Vicky. They eat pizza and drink vodka before falling asleep in sleeping bags in the lounge.

The next morning Leah wakes up and there's no one in the room with her. Just like that three teenage girls disappear. Twenty-five years passed and there's still no sign of them anywhere.

This riveting book by Kerry Wilkinson follows two timelines, the present day where Leah is still living in the same town and where one of her missing friend's brothers is doing a documentary about the night of the sleepover to coincide with the 25th anniversary. The other timeline is the night of the sleepover.

I loved this story, there were lots of twists and trying to work out who the mystery person messaging Leah was, let alone working out what happened at the sleepover kept me reading 'just another chapter'!

Towards the end, the mystery appears to have been solved before the final chapter when there's another twist that you probably won't see coming.

If you like psychological thrillers and you don't have a teenage daughter then I thoroughly recommend this book. If you have a teenager then I would wait a few years before reading as I'm not sure my daughter would've been allowed to go on another sleepover if I read this a few years ago!

The author is releasing a sequel called After the Sleepover this month which indicates that there may have been something else happening that we weren't aware of in the original book - I'm tempted to read it again to see if I've missed anything.

I was actually surprised to discover that the author was male as he seemed to really capture teenage girls extremely well. If you like books by Lisa Jewell or Lisa Unger then you will really enjoy this novel.

I read this as part of my Kindle Unlimited subscription which I thoroughly recommend. I spend 2 hours a day on the train commuting back and forth from work and with Kindle Unlimited and I can spend that time in another world whether it's the world of disappearing teenagers, a historical novel, mystical tales or a good old romance. This subscription would also make a great gift idea for the reader in your life.

Reviewing The Night of the Sleepover by Kerry Wilkinson





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Panda Girl ~ A Historical Novel by Lawrence V. Drake ~ A Book Review

 So I'm going to tell you a secret!  Historical Novels are one of my favorite genre of books. It doesn't really matter what the time period is, I just happen to be very adept at getting my mind into whatever period I am reading about!

Panda Girl by Lawrence Drake is one of these books.  Set in the period of the Second World War, just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, this novel had me right from the opening few sentences of the Prologue.

Based on true life experiences, Panda Girl captivates and sheds some light on a part of WWII that many people don't know anything about.  It certainly was the case for me.  We think of the war as taking part mostly in Europe, but there was a whole contingent of the War that was taking place in  China, Burma, and India. 

Known collectively as the CBI Theater of WWII,  the Americans, while fighting Germany and the Japanese in the Pacific, also vowed that Japan would not overrun China.

https://amzn.to/46vRcHz

Victor Dance (the main character) knows little about the world beyond his family's dairy farm in Montana.  He is reserved, shy, a hard worker and well liked.  He's also a talented artist in his own right.

When Pearl Harbor was bombed and the scope of destruction was realized, Victor and many of his friends enlisted in the Army to do their part for America and world peace.  Victor knew he wanted to fly!  It was a dream of his since he once witnessed Lindbergh flying over the family farm.  

When Victor and his friends had enlisted, their minds were full of thoughts of flying to France or England, they had never in their wildest dreams thought they would end up in India and  thought much less of the terrain they would be flying in.

Lawrence Drake does a wonderful job of bringing the realities of some of these missions to the pages of this book.  At times I felt that I was drowning in the heat that many of these pilots had to endure and just as I was getting comfortable in the heat,  I'd find myself freezing right along with them when they were flying at 20,000 ft.  I can't imagine the shock to the body when those kinds of extremes are happening within a short span of time. 

Missions over the Himalayas  were treacherous as winds, clouds and some of the highest mountains in the world stood between the pilots and their missions to take out Japanese tankers, railroads, bridges and transfer stations.  

Sometimes the only thing that kept these guys in the air and focused on their missions were the thoughts of those people back home who were counting on their success in this War. Letters from home were the only way many of these men kept going.  Hobbies helped too, as Victor in his "off time" was often drawing.  His talents as a pilot and an artist were in high demand, but you will have to read the book to see why.

War is never an easy thing and writing about it in a way that makes you fully understand the sacrifices is a real gift for us who have never had those experiences.  Truly it makes you even more thankful that we have not had to take part in this kind of "action".

If there is someone on your list of friends that enjoys Historical Novels, then this book gets a big Green Light from me.  I really enjoyed the story and came away with a much better understanding and thankfulness for all the sacrifices these men and women made for us.

You can get your own copy right here and I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did!



Happy Reading, until the next Review!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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