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review 2017-10-30 13:32
A Birmingham Family Christmas (Brazen Brides Book 5) - Cheryl Bolen

A Birmingham Family Christmas by Cheryl Bolen Book starts out with other works by the author. Story starts with Annabelle and she was brought up with her father and grandfather. Emma, her cousin has been blessed over the years also. Annabelle is waiting for the man that hadn't requested to marry her after the Season. Even though this is a series book you are brought up to date with who is who from the start. Annabelle will accompany Emma and her husband to Camden Hall for the Christmas holiday. Story also follows others in the family. Adam is in charge of the bank and hosting the big family event and has invited him to join them. They had gone to school together. Love catching up with the others in the family as I have followed this series. Lots of fun and excitement, drama and the holidays. Spencer had learned women were not to be trusted and 11 years ago he had turned her down for marriage. Love how children put baskets together for those in need-so generous. Adults will help make toys for male children for the baskets. Loved hearing of the tools used to make the toys and the process of using the hand tools. Others are matchmaking Spencer and Annabelle but they each hold a secret. Love hearing how they decorate for the holiday, fresh greens! Injuries occur and feelings are hurt in the process... Amabelle feels like an outsider and Spencer is known as fourth Birmingham brother although he's not related. Misunderstandings from eleven years ago as the truth comes out. There is a lot of joy but their sister and mother may not make it in time for Christmas, they should have arrived by now... Other works by the author are highlighted at the end along with summaries of some of them. Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

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review 2017-10-30 13:03
Review For: A Birmingham Family Christmas
A Birmingham Family Christmas (Brazen Brides Book 5) - Cheryl Bolen

A Birmingham Family Christmas by Cheryl Bolen is Book Five in the "Brazen Brides" series. This is the story of Annabelle Lippencott and Spencer Woodruff. This Novella can easily be a standalone book if you choose to do so.
Annabelle is staying with her cousin Emma Birmingham for the holidays and finds that Spencer is there too. Annabelle and Spencer had been in love some years ago but each thought the other was the cause of their broken heart. Annabelle and Spencer start to learn that something else was at work that cause them to part.
This was a sweet second chance at love story with a Christmas theme in place.
Loved it!

Source: www.amazon.com/Birmingham-Family-Christmas-Brazen-Brides-ebook/dp/B0766V5CB6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1509225186&sr=1-1&keywords=A+Birmingham+Family+Christmas
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review 2017-08-06 15:30
A broader history than the title promises
Our Crowd: The Great Jewish Families of New York (Modern Jewish History) - Stephen Birmingham

This seems like a niche history about nine German-Jewish families (well 8 German Jewish families and 1 Germanic-Swiss Jewish family... the Guggenheims)  in New York City, from 1840 to 1930, but in the telling of it, the book delves into general history of America and Germany in that time period, exploring (because of the families' various businesses) the rise of the large railroad combines and the rise of "finance Capitalism" (i.e. capitalization of the country's industry through large Wall Street brokerage houses and consumer banks)


There is also an interesting exploration of Jewry in NYC going back to the period of Dutch rule in "New Amsterdam".  The Spanish Inquisition expelled Jews from Spain in 1492. Most of these were Sephardic, and found refuge in Brazil (a Portugese colony with liberal immigration policies towards anybody who looked like they would develop the land and firmly establish the Portugese claim on it.)  Portugal lost Brazil to Spain in 1668, under the terms of the Treaty of Libson.  With the Inquisition still in force, the Sephardic Jews were expelled, and most of them found refuge in New Amersterdam.


As a result, the face of the Jewish community in New York was decidedly Sephardic from the 1600's until the 1840's, when a revolution in Germany resulted in a mass influx of German immigrants to New York. Most of the Jews arriving in this wave were Ashkinazi, and they were not warmly welcomed by the Sephardics.


This is a large undercurrent narrative in the book, with Germans having to build parallel synogogues, Hebrew schools, etc, and the cultural characteristics of New York Jewry transforming from the Latin, more insular, Sephardic subculture into the decidedly more open (i.e. assimilationist)  Germanic, Yiddish-speaking, Ashkinazis. 


One thing this book is NOT, is a telling of the Jewish experience across the socioeconomic spectrum. The book is dedicated to nine of the wealthiest families in the City, whose names are tied up in the founding, running, and in some cases decline of some of the largest and most successful companies of the 1800's, including: Goldman and Sachs, the Guggenheims (whose metalworking and mining fortunes persist today in holdings of US Steel, Newmont Mining and Barrack Gold), Kuhn & Loeb, Solomon Brothers banking and brokerage, Harriman Brothers, Macy's department stores, and a railroad empire which has since been absorbed into Union Pacific.


In this sense, it is a specialty History with a narrow focus, but probably still broad appeal. Who doesn't love hearing about the dramas and infighting of the super-rich? Every chapter is like an episode of "Dynasty" or "Dallas." (Do those references date me? I don't know what the current-day equivalents are.)  Still, as noted above, the telling of it all covers a lot of general history which should be of interest to a wide audience.

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review 2017-06-27 04:01
Misconduct - Samantha Kane

This book is #4 in the Birmingham Rebels series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To avoid spoilers and better understand the series, I recommend reading in order.


Carmina is best friends with a popular football player.  He has introduced her to many others in the sport.  She finds herself attracted to two men.  She cannot decide if it is possible to choose just one.  Both Tom & Danny are attractive to her physically and emotionally.


Tom & Danny are roommates and teammates.  They never saw themselves fighting over a girl.  When the worst occurs, neither is willing to walk away from their friendship.  Can they figure things out as things heat up?


This series is a joy to read and a challenge to sometimes understand. Love is love, however, and it is interesting to see what acting on an attraction can show you are capable of.  These characters compliment each other so beautifully, that it makes the reader sigh with joy.  Fits the series just perfectly also.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by both Netgalley and its publisher.

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review 2017-03-27 00:00
Broken Play (Birmingham Rebels)
Broken Play (Birmingham Rebels) - Samantha Kane Football and well other balls makes for a MMF Menage Sports Romance and a great one at that. Kane did an amazing job on the first book in Brimingham Rebels series. I love a good menage but this one is making the list of ones to read again. Like MMF? Like Football? Grab this book today!
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