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review 2018-04-20 15:11
Dead Set (Aspen Falls #2) by Melissa Pearl & Anna Cruise
Dead Set (Aspen Falls #2) - Anna Cruise,Melissa Pearl

Dead Set is the second book in the Aspen Falls series, and we reunite with Lucas, Blaine's friend who is no longer on the Police Force that we met in book one. I like Lucas, but he is a slob where paperwork is concerned. His office makes me cringe, so I was thankful when Alaina got stuck in. They come to an agreement that she will help Lucas if he helps her. Her brother has died, and it has been ruled a suicide. Alaina can't accept that, although that may be her guilt speaking. It seems straightforward to begin with, but it does become apparent that not all is as it seemed. And I really did feel for Noah!

It was nice to see the connection between Lucas and Alaina grow as they worked together to find out the mystery behind Noah's death. It is a slow-burn romance, rather than insta-lust, but I think it works here. After all, if someone is working through the grief of a deceased family member, it would be rather strange to fall straight into bed with the P.I. involved.

This book had no editing or grammatical errors that spoilt my reading, and the storyline was easy to follow, even with all the mystery. We have Blaine and Rosie having small cameos in here, so it was nice to see that things are still going well for them. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I hope we will see them in future books so we know how they get along. I would recommend this book.
 

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

 

Merissa

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/04/20/Dead-Set-Aspen-Falls-2-by-Melissa-Pearl-Anna-Cruise
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review 2018-04-16 12:23
Not really a romance novel.
Catching Captain Nash (The Dashing Widow... Catching Captain Nash (The Dashing Widows Book 6) - Anna Campbell

It wasn't badly written, but it basically consistet of a few dramatic scenes and a lot of sex.

 

The romance part was in the past, as the main couple is already married, was separated through his imprisonment in South America, and then was re-united.

And had sex.

A lot.

 

The End.

 

So that was more or less boring.

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review 2018-04-15 17:47
Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen
Alternate Side: A Novel - Anna Quindlen Alternate Side: A Novel - Anna Quindlen

A special thank you to NetGalley and Random House for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Tension permeates a close-knit neighbourhood and happy marriage after an unexpected violent act.

Nora and Charlie Nolan seem to have it all.  They live on a dead end street in a lovely home in a New York City neighbourhood.  Their twins are away at college and all is well.  Nora has always loved the city and Charlie loves it even more now that he has secured a highly coveted parking spot.  One morning, Nora returns home from her run only to discover a terribly tragedy has occurred that has shaken her once tight community.  Cracks start to appear in her seemingly charmed life, not only on the block, but at her job, and her marriage.

In Anna Quindlen's latest book, she explores motherhood, being a wife, and a woman in the stages of unravelling.      

Quindlen is a fantastic writer, and this book is no exception.  However, it took me a long time to get into the book and by time the story really started to develop (after the "incident"), I had checked out.

I liked the parallel between Charlie and Nora's dead-end marriage with them living on a dead-end street.  But, the parking space and a mundane marriage seem to eclipse the rest of story.  Or maybe because the first part of the book is so drawn out that the reader is just not as vested in any of the issues.  Maybe it's because I live in the burbs, but I couldn't relate to the parking issue and felt that it had too much presence in the story.  Perhaps because NYC was so integral, the city was almost a character in itself, that Qindlen dedicated so much to the parking space.

Unfortunately for me, this one is a pass.  It was just okay.

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review 2018-04-14 19:42
An important book of its time
The Seventh Cross - Anna Seghers,James A. Galston,Kurt Vonnegut

Without doubt one of the main issues that often causes concerns when talking about the 2WW is just how much information the everyday German populace received or knew about what the Nazi party were involved in on a day to day basis. Here of course we are referring to genocide and the manipulation and control of not only the German people but those in neighbouring countries which soon fell under the control of jack booted terrorists and in particular the annihilation of groups who did not conform to the Nazi Aryan ideology. So digging deep within the storyline of The Seventh Cross we are almost exclusively given a glimpse into the thinking of the everyday German at that time and in particular their knowledge or lack of just what was happening on a daily basis. Did they know of the existence of concentration camps in the years immediately before war broke out? And if they did know were they supportive? Did they condone what was going on? Were they prepared to help individuals who were incarcerated and brutally beaten for merely condoning a particular belief?

 

Anna Seghers book is of particular significance as it a product of its time. It paints a picture of a country in change/turmoil but most importantly it is written from someone who actually lived through the rise of Nazism, the emergence of an elitist SS, the indoctrination of the very young into the Hitler Youth, the brown uniforms and fascist beliefs held by the SA whose official role was to protect party meetings, march in Nazi rallies and physically assault and intimidate political opponents. 7 men imprisoned in the fictitious Westhofen camp have escaped. George Heisler, a communist, is the main character and the story follows him negotiating the outlying countryside and taking shelter with those who were prepared to risk the wrath and torture of the Gestapo. As the story unfolds six of the escapees are gradually captured. The title of The Seventh Cross refers to the work of the camp commandant "Fahrenberg" where he has ordered the creation of seven crosses from nearby trees to be used when prisoners are returned not as a means of crucifixion but a subtler torture: the escapees are made to stand all day in front of their crosses, and will be punished if they falter. As in historical document this is an important work primarily because it portrays the mindset of the German people; would they adhere to the barbarous actions of a ruthless government in waiting or were they prepared to stretch out the hand of friendship and help the escapees.

 

I must confess that as a story I did not find the book as well written as I had hoped (that honour must certainly go to the wonderful Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada. and the dangerous actions that Otto Quangel takes when he discovers that his son has been killed on the Russian front) yet it is still an excellent account of its time, written by a lady who herself was a committed communist. Many thanks to the good people at netgalley and the publisher Little Brown Book Group UK, Virago for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.

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review 2018-04-13 12:26
After Anna by Lisa Scottoline
After Anna - Lisa Scottoline

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

I have very mixed feelings about this book. I have been a fan of Lisa Scottoline for a long time and have almost always really enjoyed her books so I went into this book expecting to love it. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either. It was really just kind of okay for me. I had a really hard time getting into this book and it actually took me an entire week to finish it which is a very long time for me to be reading a single book. Once I really got into the book a bit, I did find the story a bit more entertaining and was very curious how things would work out.

I feel like Scottoline took a bit of a risk with how this story is laid out and I am not sure that it paid off at least for me. The book is told through 2 points of view and 2 different time lines. Noah's point of view starts at the end his trial for the murder of Anna and works its way backwards through time. Maggie's point of view begins with Anna's first contact with her since she was a baby and progresses towards the events leading to the trial. These two points of view move in opposite directions until they eventually come together. I feel that one of the reasons that I had such a hard time getting into the book was that I already knew that Anna was going to be killed and Noah was going to stand trial for the murder. I didn't know how those things would happen but some of the desire to find out what would happen next was lost simply because of how the story was laid out.

Eventually the two points of view meet up and start to follow the same basic timeline which really worked better for me. Some of that is achieved through Noah's memories while he sits in the courtroom during his trial. I think that some of the best parts of the book were the times that we would see an event from both Noah and Maggie's point of view.

I love a good plot twist. But I like for plot twists to be believable. I want them to be at least somewhat realistic. This book started taking twists and turns all over the place and most of them seemed way over the top. Instead of surprise over the turn in the story, I felt shocked that the story had become so implausible. The last part of the book spun in a whole new direction that seemed more odd than anything.

Despite my issues, I do enjoy Scottoline's writing and found this book to be very readable and I did like the book. I think that a lot of readers will enjoy this one more than I did so I would encourage anyone drawn to the description to give the book a try. I do plan to read more from Lisa Scottoline in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I don't even know what I think about this one yet. Words that come to mind are far-fetched, over the top, unbelievable, and implausible. It was still a book that I felt compelled to keep reading. I feel like Scottoline took a few risks with this one and they didn't completely pan out. Despite my issues, I still thought that this was a decent read.

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