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text 2020-05-28 10:43
Reading progress update: I've listened 72 out of 552 minutes. - Le Train Bleu
Naughty in Nice - Rhys Bowen,Katherine Kellgren

This is my sixth 'Her Royal Spyness' novel (I know, this is the fifth in the series but I started out of sequence with 'The Twelve Clues Of Christmas' the sixth book in the series and I'm only now catching up). They've become a comfort read for me. Before Lockdown, I listened to them on long car journeys. I'm listening to this one while I sit idly in the garden (again) and try to remember what day it is.

 

The thing to love or hate about this series is that it's always the same cast of characters and the same sources of humour in each book. All that changes is the location and the task that Georgie has to accomplish. I'm just finishing the set-up part of the book and soon Georgie will be leaving the miserable London winter behind and travelling to Nice on the French Riviera.

 

Part of the charm of the series is seeing how this was done in 1931 when the elite travelled by boat train from Victoria and then by The Blue Train, an overnight luxury express train direct from Calais to Nice. 

 

 

Everything is different now, in this time of private jets. The boat train from Victoria Station stopped in 1980. I took it once in the Seventies as part of a school trip. It was battered and basic by that time but I still enjoyed it. All that's left of the old tradition now is the magnificent Le Train Bleu restaurant in the Garé du Nord in Paris, which is now a national monument. If you ever get to travel by Eurostar from London to Paris (which these days takes just over two hours) it's worth taking the time to look at this place.

 

 

I've only been to Nice on business on the way to a tech conference in Cannes (in the winter of course) and my luxurious travel was a seat on EasyJet, an economy airline that favours a bright orange livery and tiny seats, earning it the nickname SqueazyJet.

 

So I'm looking forward to seeing how these things were done by the wealthy in the thirties, while most people were struggling to feed themselves.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-05-28 09:30
Book review : I wanna text you up teagan hunter
I Wanna Text You Up - Teagan Hunter

May 24-28

When I put up a ROOMMATE WANTED poster, he was the last person on earth I thought would respond.

He was also the last person on earth I'd agree to let live with me...on purpose.

But, here we areā —roommates. I'm certain we can coexist without it being awkward, and I'm determined to make it work. There will be no sexual tension building with each accidental touch, no flutters when he wears that stupid backward baseball cap, and definitely no flirting when we text back and forth.

Caleb Mills can't be the guy for me. He's my best friend's ex-boyfriend.

And that would be wrong...right?

Review : I loved the sequel I love Caleb and Zoe we met Zoe and Caleb in the first book Zoe is Delia best friend and Caleb is Delia's ex boyfriend. Zoe puts up a roommate wanted since Delia is moving in with her boyfriend Zach. She finds someone and it turns out to be Caleb who moves in with his adorable kitten Mittens . Zoe is into Caleb but she thinks its wrong since girl code but it doesn't stop her from flirting with him. Caleb disappears every Sunday. Caleb got injured and can't play baseball anymore . Caleb and Zoe get closer they end up kissing and then Zoe ends up finally talking with Delia and she just wants them to be happy . Zoe invites caleb on spring break at her parents house .They have a great time and end up finally having sex but then caleb leaves and Zoe is pissed I would be to . Caleb shows up at Zoe Rocky horror even dressed up . They end up talking after and Caleb talks about his family they are kinda fucked up so he cuts them off he wants Zoe he wants to be happy with her .

Quotes : I still cannot believe you’re ditching me to move in with your stupid boyfriend,” I tell Delia. “And goats. Don’t forget those sweet baby goats I bought her,” said stupid boyfriend interjects,

I’m a strange breed of people when it comes to notebooks. I use every square inch on a page. Doodles, notes, lists, random reading assignments—it all goes in my book.


You know those silly videos you see online with the hot guys playing with kittens? The big, macho dudes falling apart at the sight of them? That’s what’s happening right now, in this car, right in front of me—and it’s every bit as swoon-worthy as it is in video form.


Holy crap—that’s why you don’t want me to live with you.” He grins, and it’s full of playfulness for the first time since I pulled up. “You want me.”


Me: Oh, everyone already knows you were checking me out because they were too. I’m hot. *shrugs* Caleb: You are like a female version of Zach. You know that, right?


Me: I have this theory that you’re really a stripper and you’re just embarrassed and don’t want to tell anyone about it. That’s why you work such crazy hours and come home smelling like old ladies and sadness. Caleb: LMAO Caleb: Are you serious? Me: Dead. Caleb: Holy fuck. *dies* Caleb: Zoe, I am NOT a stripper.

Your cat has three beds. Explain that.” He lifts a shoulder. “Mittens has a bed-hoarding problem. He’s in therapy for it. Don’t judge him



I’m going to marry the shit out of you one day, Zoe. Just wait.”

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text 2020-05-28 09:28
Reading progress update: I've read 301 out of 301 pages.
I Wanna Text You Up - Teagan Hunter

 

 

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review 2020-05-28 02:47
Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep
Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade) - Jennifer Estep

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I am so glad that I finally read this book! I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of this book near its release date but it fell through the cracks somehow. As more time passed, I realized that I would need to refresh my memory of the first two books in the trilogy before I could review the book properly so I put off reading it. I decided to push this book to the top of my list recently and it was a very good decision. I thoroughly enjoyed my re-read of the first two books in the trilogy and was eager to experience this book for the first time. I really had a good time with this one.

This is a trilogy that really needs to be read in order. Things have been building to the events in this book for the entire trilogy and I was excited to see how things would work out. Victor Draconi has been working towards a plan to eliminate the other Families and take control of everything himself. Lila and the other Sinclairs are aware of his plan and they are working to do whatever they can to stop him.

This story was exciting and there were a few scenes that were incredibly action-packed. There were a few scenes where I was really worried about how things would work out for this group of characters that I have grown to care for and some scenes that broke my heart. I loved the way that the monsters and magical abilities were such a vital part of the story. It was great to see Lila really become a trusted member of the Sinclair Family as they came together with the other Families to fight a common threat.

Brittany Pressley did a fantastic job with the narration once again. I looked forward to putting my headphones on and escaping into Lila's world for a few hours. I really felt like she brought this story to life. She did a fantastic job with all of the character voices and brought a lot of emotion into her reading. I believe that her narration added to my enjoyment of this story.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a wonderful trilogy set in a very interesting world. I had a great time going on this adventure with Lila, Devon, Felix, Oscar, and the rest of the characters. I cannot wait to read more of Jennifer Estep's work.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley and purchased a copy of the audiobook.

Initial Thoughts
I am so glad that I finally read this book! This was a battle that has been brewing for the entire series and I was excited to see the Sinclairs take on the Draconis. There was a lot of excitement and action in this book and some pretty intense scenes. I thought that the characters were at their best in this installment and there were some pretty emotional scenes. I listened to the audiobook and I thought that the narrator did a fabulous job bringing this story to life.

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review 2020-05-27 15:24
'A Quiet Life In The Country - Lady Hardcastle #1' by T E Kinsey
A Quiet Life In The Country - T E Kinsey,Elizabeth Knowelden

My wife had already read 'A Quiet Life In The Country' by T E Kinsey and immediately moved on to 'In The Market For Murder', the second Lady Hardcastle book, so I knew I was in for a good time with this period-piece cosy mystery.

 

Set in 1908, the book centres around the unique relationship between the redoubtable Lady Hardcastle, an eccentric widow with a mysterious past and Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidant, who is an expert in martial arts.

 

The two are seeking a quiet life in the country which, thankfully two events quickly thwart this ambition; they discover a dead body in the woods and one of the local gentry asks for their help in recovering a lost valuable.

 

For me, it was the perfect light read. It made me smile almost constantly and occasionally laugh out loud. As my wife had already read it, I kept finding myself turning to her and saying, 'I've just reached the part where Florence...' and we'd laugh about it because it was simply too good not to share.

 

Told from the point of view of Florence Armstrong, ladies maid to Lady Hardcastle it is full of nuanced wit, much of it around the rules governing the relationship between gentry and the rest of us. The relationship between Florence and Lady Armstrong is unconventional and based on several years of depending on each other as circumstances lead them to travel through various hostile environment from China, through Burma to India.

 

The mystery is just twisty enough to be interesting and a cast of characters that includes local gentry, the village cricket team, bigwigs in the local shipping industry and bohemian musicians playing 'American Music'. None of it is particularly challenging but it shows off the people well, It is so cosy in tone that, despite the deaths, it barely causes a ripple of emotion.

 

There is some playful use of creative anachronism which allows that Lady Hardcastle, drawing on her education in science at Cambridge, creates two now-taken-for-granted-but-then unknown concepts to help her investigations: the Murder Board (a large blackboard with hand-drawn portraits) and a visual timeline.

 

I also liked that Lady Hardcastle is the sort of woman who has written to Conan Doyle, asking him to stop Holmes from referring to his technique as 'deduction' when it is clearly 'abduction'. I had to look that one up and having done so, all I can say is that Holmes should have known better.

 

What made the book so enjoyable for me was the relationship between Florence Armstrong and Emily Hardcastle (aren't those names to conjure with?). I love the joy they take not only in confounding people's expectations of how women should behave but also in using those expectations to their own advantage. I'd read the book just for the banter between them. It's clever, playful and affectionate. These are strong women who care for each other and who have found a way to live together that satisfies them and holds society at bay.

 

Elizabeth Knowelden's narration is a perfect fit for this book. She gets all the voices perfectly. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.

 
https://soundcloud.com/brilliance-audio/a-quiet-life-in-the-country-by-t-e-kinsey 

 

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