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review 2015-06-19 16:45
Drowning Rapunzel - Annette Gisby

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair."

having been released from a mental institution, Beth Gregory moves on with her life and one of the steps she takes to do that is to get employed. she is hired as a live-in secretary/PA to tthe reclusive and wealthy painter Josh Warrington. yet not everyone is as welcoming as her employer at Holly Lodge mansion. someone in the shadows is stalking her and her visions of murder are getting more frequent.

as a whole, i liked the novel. author Annette Gisby has the skill to create characters that could either endear them to you with their virtues or annoy you with their flaws. there is Flora, the housekeeper, who gets on Beth's case before she even steps inside Holly Lodge. there is Sylvia, Josh's agent, who glares at Beth with contempt and jealousy. there is Andrew, Beth's brother, whose behavior is quite incorrigible. there is Sarah, Beth's aunt, who raised her and her brother after their parents died. then there is Josh with his charm and artistic temperament. there are other players as well whose roles take on significance as the story progresses.

from the get go, the mystery/thriller/suspense elements are clearly drawn and sustained throughout. i cannot say the same thing with the romantic angle though. it felt rather thin. for sure, the fascination Beth felt for Josh the minute she laid eyes on him were crystal clear and her internal monologues give her away. Josh's feelings, on the other hand, are veiled until he articulates them much later. i just felt that the way it advanced from attraction to love lacked enough heat, depth and passion to be labelled romantic.

i also find Beth's frailty and aptitude to faint a bit excessive. it is understandable but only to a certain point. after all, she was a former patient in a mental hospital and sees visions of murdered victims most of the time. still, it could have been toned down a notch. readers already know what she went through and was going through. her fainting spells would have been more at home in a Victorian era setting rather than a contemporary one.

two more things that kept me in the dark the whole time - Alice, Beth's best friend and Julia, Josh's niece. there were critical events involving these two yet after they transpired, no more further details and explanations were forthcoming. i wanted some closure but did not get any.

however, the last remaining chapters got me excited as the whodunit and whydunit parts were disclosed. the revelation may be a tad predictable perhaps but the way it was laid out was acceptable for me. it was the epilogue, though, that i really loved. after everything that Beth went through, what was in store for her in that section clinched the deal.

this is the second book written by Annette Gisby that I have read. regardless of the few points i raised here, i had my fill of being entertained and that is sufficient motivation on my part to look forward to reading more of her works.

*Review copy provided via Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.

Source: aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/2015/06/review-drowning-rapunzel-by-annette.html
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review 2015-06-05 08:38
when love and duty clash
The Chosen - Annette Gisby

overall, i loved and enjoyed the book. it was a page-turner or screen-swiper if you will. for a fantasy novel, it was surprisingly light and very readable. more importantly, it made me feel good once i was done. despite a few and very minor "technicalities" i saw (e.g. the mention of shampoo), i still got what i wanted from the author and her story - to be entertained.


read the full review on my blog aobibliosphere™





i received a copy for review from author Annette Gisby through Reading Alley. i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review.

Source: aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/2015/06/review-chosen-by-annette-gisby.html
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review 2014-12-22 00:00
The Chosen
The Chosen - Annette Gisby I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Severin and Ildar task themselves with going to Oscia to buy and free a slave (since they don't have the means to free more). Havyn is the slave they free and they find out he has an affinity for magic so Ildar takes him for an apprentice. Severin is very attracted to Havyn as is Havyn to Severin but find they can't act on it because of beliefs concerning magic and the duty Severin has to the crown.

I found I didn't enjoy reading about Severin being so determined to get Havyn to enter into a relationship with him it felt like he was an abusive man what with him taking out his pain (moment of grieving) on Havyn when he wouldn't attempt to heal his dead father. I didn't like any of the characters really and didn't find the story character driven enough. Through the book I never formed an attachment to the characters and no real backstory is given about them. We get the bare minimum on them. The plot itself wasn't very developed and at certain points I was just wondering what significant message the author was trying to get across (whats the moral of the story).

Close to the end everything became too convenient. People became sick or died and their attitudes changed. It also became too sappy. It felt rushed and like the author just went with simple over a more elaborated thought out tale. For me it felt a bit choppy. It was a summation of a tale instead of actual telling of accounts as they happened....it just was not for me.
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review 2014-11-17 19:19
The Prince's Guard by Annette Gisby
The Prince's Guard - Annette Gisby

Cute and short. The ending, unfortunately, is neither here nor there. 3.5 stars.

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review 2014-03-22 22:52
Learning To Dance - Annette Gisby

I debated whether I should round up or down, but ultimately the decision was based on my complete lack of emotional involvement with both the story and the characters. I think this is a good first draft. Add in some set-up where we see the two men in class together, maybe a private lesson with some sexual tension. Then split up the one main sex scene so it transitions Daniel into the lifestyle more smoothly. As other reviewers said, it was all just too rushed. From zero to Master in 16 pages.


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