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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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16 02, 2017

Review: His Scandalous Kiss by Sophie Barnes

By | February 16th, 2017|Categories: Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, Romance|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Rating:

his scandalous kiss book coverReviewed by Bethany Kelly

In His Scandalous Kiss by Sophie Barnes, a masquerade ball is the perfect place to find a soulmate…at least it is for Lady Mary.

Lady Mary has already decided that she doesn’t want to lose her independence by getting married when her parents leave her with her aunt for that very reason–to find a husband. However, when she sees a beautiful painting and decides to base her dress for a ball off of that painting, she doesn’t expect the repercussions. Her dazzling appearance has men flocking to her side in hopes of winning her hand in marriage; one of which she feels a spark with.

Richard Heartly didn’t even want to go to the masquerade ball, but when he sees a beautiful woman in a simple, yet stunning gown, and feels an instant spark as they dance, he is happy he did.

13 02, 2017

Review: River Road by Carol Goodman

By | February 13th, 2017|Categories: Literary, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

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river road book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

At dusk, not quite night but no longer day, Nan (Nancy) Lewis takes the curve on River Road too fast. She is blurry eyed, distracted, distraught, and she had maybe too much wine at the college faculty Christmas party. Her thoughts are on what she did not get, what she felt she was owed. Rounding the corner, a deer jumped seemingly from nowhere directly in front of her car. Nan hit her brakes too late. She hears a sickening thud as her car hits the animal then slides into the ditch.

“It was a deer,” she tells herself repeatedly. She searches but cannot find the wounded animal.

12 02, 2017

Review: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

By | February 12th, 2017|Categories: Coming of Age, Genre Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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small admissions book coverReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

When Kate Pearson graduated college and was all set to move in with her French boyfriend in Paris, it came as a hard shock when he decided that was the time to break things off with her. In the next months, she fell apart, spending most days on her sofa or bed, going days without showers, and generally being miserable. With the help of her sister and friend Chloe, she finally gets it together enough to land a job at one of New York City’s most prestigious private schools as an admissions officer.

Kate is, at first, quite overwhelmed by a job she’s sure she has no business doing. But meeting these families who would–and do–do anything to get their kids into the perfect school gives her a focus and keeps her busy. Soon Kate is highly invested in her job and slowly but surely getting her life back on track.

10 02, 2017

Review: The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

By | February 10th, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |3 Comments

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madwoman upstairs book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

Samantha Whipple is a twenty-year-old first year student at Old College, Oxford. She enters school as something of a celebrity being the final descendant of the famed Bronte family line. Her first year at Oxford proves troubling since she doesn’t work well with others, tends towards her famous father’s reclusiveness, and is charged with solving a family mystery involving her father and his ancestors.

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell is, in a sense, a late bloomer’s coming of age tale. Samantha Whipple has an attitude that is flippant, fun, annoying, and back to fun. Her cynical nature is difficult to take at times, but it becomes apparent that this is her protection.

8 02, 2017

Review: Necessary Madness by Jenn Crowell

By | February 8th, 2017|Categories: Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , |2 Comments

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necessary madness book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Gloria Burgess’s seemingly perfect world comes to an abrupt end when her husband of nine years dies of leukemia. Alone in London, she struggles to cope with her grief whilst trying to successfully raise her young son. She battles the temptation to sink into the same self-absorbed world that drove her own father to suicide.

In Necessary Madness, author Jenn Crowell (who also wrote Etched on Me) takes a look at the mental stability of Gloria after the death of her husband, Bill. Crowell explores the long argued nature vs. nurture–Gloria both blames her parents for her current state of being and hopes that she is not a mimicry of either parent. Whilst dealing with the grief of losing her husband, she wonders if she will be doomed to repeat the damage caused by her own father. 

8 02, 2017

Review: The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

By | February 8th, 2017|Categories: Action & Adventure, Coming of Age, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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impossible fortress book coverReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

The year is 1987, and in the world of 14-year-old Billy, Clark, and Alf, nothing is more important than getting their hands on the recently published, scandalous pictures of Vanna White appearing in Playboy. The boys, somewhat outcasts, come up with ways to get their hands on the magazine…settling on the idea that Billy should romance the newsstand owner’s daughter so that he might gain the security code and they then would break into the shop and steal themselves a copy.

Convoluted? Yes. But there was more than one circumstance in which the characters seem to go through tremendous effort to carry out their bad decisions. They even built a scale model of the buildings so they could visualize the break-in. For 14-year-old boys, this is asking a lot.

7 02, 2017

Review: The French Orphan by Michael Stolle

By | February 7th, 2017|Categories: Action & Adventure, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Series|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments

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the french orphan book coverReviewed by R.A. Donley

It’s Three Musketeers time! Of that milieu, at least, with Richelieu as primary villain.

Teenaged Pierre, a poor orphan placed “at the famous monastery school in the city of Reims” is destined for life as a village priest or other lowly religious rank, and in the meantime is treated to corporal punishment, occasional starvation and approaches by homosexual monks who lack adequate bodily hygiene. Because, of course, that is how poor orphans were treated in France during the seventeenth century.

6 02, 2017

Review: Fish Wielder by J.R.R.R. Hardison

By | February 6th, 2017|Categories: Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

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fish wielder book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Fish Wielder is a parody on all things fantasy. I mean all things. If there is a fantasy trope, it is thrown in there. If there is a literary turn of phrase, it is in there. The author even pokes fun of the book itself quite frequently. Prominent lampoonings involve Conan the Barbarian, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, and any book with elves in it.

I felt I had to read this book since the author has three Rs in his name–J.R.R.R. Hardison. I’ve read books by most of the other authors with multiple Rs in their names…Tolkien and Martin, as well as a host with only one R.  The parody started there and didn’t stop.

5 02, 2017

Review: Home by Harlan Coben

By | February 5th, 2017|Categories: Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

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home by coben book coverReviewed by R.A. Donley

Superheroes generally come in two types: those with super powers (Superman, Mr. Incredible) and those who are merely exceptional humans assisted by technology (Batman.) We have Batman here, along with Robin. Winthrop Lockwood tells his part of the story in first person while Myron Bolitar is depicted in third person.

Two six-year-old boys from different families, cared for by an au pair, are kidnapped from the U.S. home of one, only to have the ransom exchange fail. Ten years later one of them is discovered in London but the initial rescue attempt by Winthrop fails. Then we’re off on a highly involved chase largely centered on finding the second child. Along the way family secrets are brought into the open and we learn the reason for the title. In addition there’s plenty of gore and a number of beautiful and/or exotic women.

3 02, 2017

Review: Trigger Yappy by Diana Orgain

By | February 3rd, 2017|Categories: Amateur Sleuths, Cozy, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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trigger yappy book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

It’s no secret that I love to read cozy mystery novels. Usually, they’re rather sensible in nature, and frequently have a strong female lead in an unusual setting. Unfortunately, this series lost its common sense somewhere along the way, and all the little ankle-biters running around must have discouraged any retrievers from at least trying to find it!  It’s entirely too cutesy-poo for me, as nearly all the characters act like hyped up grade-schoolers!

Most of the dogs have a lot more common sense than their humans! Having lived there some years ago, I realize that Californians can sometimes be a bit over the top, but really!