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review 2018-10-22 19:24
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James

 

Holy Wall of Text Batman! This short novella took so long to read because I had to put down my NOOK and give my eyes a break. There is a story there buried deep in the paragraph-length run on sentences, but damn if I could follow along well enough to describe it to you. I just didn't care about any of the characters by the end of the story - just too much hysterical females. The kids were appropriately creepy but the ghosts were a let down - they didn't do much other than stand still and stare. 

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review 2018-10-22 11:04
The Magic Cottage
The Magic Cottage - James Herbert

by James Herbert

 

James Herbert can always be relied on to present an interesting story and this is one of his best. A couple looking for a house of their own are drawn to a remote cottage called Gramarye ("magic'' in old English) in the New Forest. It's a little over their price range but in need of serious repairs, leaving room for a little negotiation. Midge, the wife, is adamant that she must have this cottage and suddenly the money to make the difference appears in a rational way. She is an illustrator of children's books and the husband, Mike, is a session musician. Jobs arise in their usual haphazard fashion. The one unusual aspect of the transaction is that the previous owner had some odd criteria for whom the cottage could be sold to detailed in her will.

 

Mike is a city boy, but Midge grew up in the country so she adapts to the lifestyle change fastest. Mike takes a little longer to warm to remote life, especially when unexplainable things start to happen.

 

Things get a little weird from the start and progress as the story goes on. To explain further would require too many spoilers, but I can say that someone else wants the cottage for their own purposes. Discovering the nature of those purposes is an important part of the plot.

 

My favorite character was a little squirrel named Rumbo. I have no objection to most of the human characters, but this little guy was a heart stealer. All I'll say about the ending is that there was plenty of action and drama, though the magic aspect deviated into the sensational. It made for a very entertaining read all the way through.

 

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review 2018-10-21 18:24
Lost Soul: AJ's Burden (Healing Hearts, #4) by Nicky James 3.5 Star Review!
Lost Soul: A.J.'s Burden - Nicky James

 

What does rock bottom look like to you?


AJ Silva is about to find out. His life has been spiralling the drain for the past year, and if he doesn’t find a way out soon, he may die on the streets of San Francisco. Drowning in a severe drug addiction, battling every day to survive, AJ doesn’t know where to turn. His past haunts him in more ways than one, and leaves him both grasping and begging for change, while fearing his future. All AJ knows how to do is chase one problem away with another. How can you win the war when your enemy is yourself?


Trystain Larsson is an addict. Five years ago, he discovered rock bottom first hand. Since that dreaded day, he’s worked his recovery with everything he has. Helping others who’ve fallen victim to drugs gives him hope for a better tomorrow. If he can save even one person from that life, it will mean victory. 


When AJ lands at his doorstep, Trystain gets more than he bargained for. Not only is AJ at the end of his rope, but there is something darker going on.


Coming off drugs is not an easy task, and with AJ, Trystain has his work cut out for him. During their time together, a bond that goes deeper than friendship grows. 


Will mistakes from the past be barriers for the future? It’s hard to move forward, when you can’t stop looking back. 

 

 

 

Review

 

 

I am a big fan of Nicky James and this entry into the Healing Hearts series is a good one.

We meet AJ in the 3rd book in the series and I was thrilled to see him get his HEA.

You don't have to read that book to enjoy this one but it will make it better. 

James does a deep dive into addiction and the start of recovery here. And there are a pile of other triggers for sex trafficking and abuse of all kinds. 

However, the heart of this book is the lovely romance between AJ and Trystan, two men who have never had a relationship before. 

It is really sweet and healing overall with great secondary stories that I wouldn't mind reading more about. 

I would have liked a richer epilogue as we are pretty early in recovery for AJ and being together for them both but as always James stellar writing and character development sees us through.
 
 

 

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text 2018-10-20 00:57
Wilde in Love by Eloisa James 1.99!
Wilde in Love: The Wildes of Lindow Castle - Eloisa James

Lord Alaric Wilde, son of the Duke of Lindow, is the most celebrated man in England, revered for his dangerous adventures and rakish good looks. Arriving home from years abroad, he has no idea of his own celebrity until his boat is met by mobs of screaming ladies. Alaric escapes to his father’s castle, but just as he grasps that he’s not only famous but notorious, he encounters the very private, very witty, Miss Willa Ffynche.

 

Willa presents the façade of a serene young lady to the world. Her love of books and bawdy jokes is purely for the delight of her intimate friends. She wants nothing to do with a man whose private life is splashed over every newspaper.

 

Alaric has never met a woman he wanted for his own . . . until he meets Willa. He’s never lost a battle.

 

But a spirited woman like Willa isn’t going to make it easy. . . .

 

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review 2018-10-15 19:34
1,000 B00ks to Read Before you Die: A Life Changing List - James Mustich

I swear we like reading books about lists so we can quibble over the lists. Mustich is the man behind the Common Reader book catalog, which went out of business in 2006. 

This actually is a pretty good list of books to read before you die. Unlike other books of similar titles, with a few exceptions, Mustich confines it to one book per author. There are 71 exceptions to this, including Shakespeare and Dickens. 58 of the 71 are male, 13 female. The list breaks down to roughly 663 men and 204 women, with only 3 Native American authors. The books run though various genres, and while some choices are no suprise, there are quite a few surprises.

There is attention paid to fantasy and sci-fi (though the writers chosen in those genres are primary male) as well as sports writing. Children's books are present as are graphic novels (most of those chosen are by women, so that's nice)

The best part are the notes section under each volume - listing other works, further reading, and the odd factoid. The Try feature actually makes this a list of over 1,000. There is a checklist at the end.  Additionally, there is a themantic index in addition to the general one.

Of course, there are some things that don't quite make sense. Why no mention of Angela Carter? Why no mention of the editorial work of Datlow and Windling whose fairy tale series paved the way for the rich retellings we have today? Why no Terry Pratchett has an offical entry, but only a try?

Still a lovely well crafted volume.

But who would be on your list?

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