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review 2019-02-16 19:56
Great pictures, some amusing and some dark stories
Fallen Idols. A Century of Screen Sex Scandals. (Images of the Past) - Nigel Blundell

Thanks to Rosie and the whole team at Pen & Sword for providing me a paperback copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

A while back I read and reviewed a book in the same series ‘Images of the Past’, called The British Seaside, and I enjoyed the combination of the wonderful images and the informative and humorous text, fairly light on reading but high on entertainment value. In this case, the same is true, even with the serious subject and the unavoidable reflections on how times don’t seem to have changed so much, although know we get to hear about many of the details that in the past would have remained hidden from the general public.

I’ve always been fascinated by the history of cinema, and Hollywood, from its beginnings to now, although times have changed somewhat, and tinsel town is not what used to be (if it ever was). I have watched documentaries and read magazines about the industry, particularly about the era of the big studios, when everything seemed more glamourous and shiny than our everyday lives.

This book looks, mostly at past scandals, from the early history of Hollywood to some more recent ones, but does not include the XXI century, and although some of us, who grew up watching reruns of classics, will remember many of these stars (and some have become icons, like James Dean or Marilyn Monroe), to the youngest generation most of them will sound like ancient history. Only Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, and the TV preachers are still alive, and although their controversy remains alive, it seems to have been dwarfed by most recent scandals.

This is not an in-depth study of any of the cases, but rather a quick survey with a few details of the biographies and circumstances of some of the stars, whose lives became as well-known and exposed to the public attention as that of their characters. Despite that, although I thought I was familiar with the majority of the actors and actresses the book talks about, I discovered I didn’t know many of the details, perhaps because they were not discussed at the time or have been revealed later, and many of the pictures where totally new to me (and I thoroughly enjoyed them, especially those showing the stars when they were young). I am sure, though, that experts or true fans of these actors and actresses will not learn anything new, but I enjoyed the combination of text and pictures (and I particularly relished the introduction, which offers interesting insights into the effects of some of these scandals, like the Hays Code, that went beyond the content of the movies and affected the personal lives of the stars as well), that makes it ideal as a present for people of a certain age who enjoy celebrity magazines of the time, and also for the younger generation who might not have been exposed to these stories and the old-fashioned notion of celebrity and stardom.

It is impossible to read this book without comparing many of these scandals to some of the recent ones. The big studios spent a lot of money on lawyers, on keeping the press at bay, and of course, power has always talked. Thankfully, some of the things that were considered normal practice at the time have now become unacceptable and are the subject of legal procedures. 

To give you a better idea of the content, there are fourteen chapters, each focused on one of these stars: Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, Jean Harlow, Errol Flynn, Grace Kelly, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Elvis Presley, Roman Polanski, Joan Crawford, Rock Hudson, Jim Bakker & Jimmy Swaggart, and Woody Allen.

I thought I’d share a couple of the quotes I’ve highlighted, so you get some idea of what to expect. Here, referring to James Dean:

“The star of East of Eden and Rebel without a Cause was bisexual and had affairs with actresses Pier Angeli and Ursula Andrews but when asked if he was gay his reply was: “Well, I’m certainly not going to go through life with one hand tied behind my back!” (Blundell, 2018, p. 8).

In the chapter about the TV preachers Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart (a fascinating phenomenon that seems pretty unique to the USA), it explains that Swaggart confessed and apologised to his congregation and the viewers of his TV channel the first time he was caught with a prostitute. But the second time, he truly spoke his mind:

“This time, rather confessing to his congregation, Swaggart brazened it out with the rebuff: ‘The Lord told me it’s flat none of your business’ (Blundell, 2018, 143).

In sum, this is a fun book for people who love anecdotes and to peep into the lives of the Hollywood famous, especially those from the era of the Hollywood big studios. If you want a brazen and amusing book, with its dark moments and plenty of pictures to get the conversation going, or are looking for a present for somebody who loves movie memorabilia, I recommend it.

Blundell, N. (2018). Images of the Past. Fallen Idols. A Century of Screen Sex Scandals. Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword.

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review 2019-02-09 05:33
Book Review for Good Gone Bad The Fallen Men Series #3 by Giana Darling
Title: Good Gone Bad
Series: The Fallen Men Series #3
Author: Giana Darling
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: November 23, 2018
Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Arc copy provided for honest review
5 amazing stars
They say one action doesn’t define you.  I killed a man. Stabbed him in the neck and licked the blood off my lips after I did it. 
Still, one action doesn’t define you. 
I could have called anyone. My father, the Prez of The Fallen MC, our family lawyer, my best friend, Lila, or my brother, King. 
I didn’t. 
Instead, I called Lionel Danner, the police officer renowned for taking down the Nightstalkers MC. The man who had been my father’s arch nemesis for decades. The man who hated everything I stood for. A man who had disappeared from my life without explanation three years ago. 
I called him. 
And maybe one action doesn’t define you, but killing a bad man and calling in the good changed my life and it sure as hell changed his. 
The third book in the Fallen Men Series. A standalone featuring Harleigh Rose and Officer Lionel Danner.

I am so loving this series and I have to say were are so looking forward to Harleigh Roses's story as she had always been a favorite character that we were drawn to as she was a train wreck waiting to happen.
I loved this story from beginning to end.The story had you engrossed from the very first pages and kept you on edge the entire time.The story never had a dull moment and was filled with tons of drama,Surprises! and more than a few OMG! moments!
I have to say that the story surprise me at every turn " Which We Hardily Appreciated!" I always new that Harleigh and Lion played a bit of the cat and mouse game together but, I never new how deeply connected they were to one another until this current story.
I loved getting to know more about Harleigh Rose as well as Lionel Danner aka Lion. I normally don't like the flashing aspect in these ongoing stories but, in this story the author interrogated that past and present events in sync with all the drama going on in this current story at the perfect time and gave us insight into King and Harleigh connection to Lion and they bond they all forged together and how it all played a part in this ongoing current story.
Omg! This story was hotter than hot!The chemistry between these two was explosive.This couples sexual encounters are super hot,intense and full of surprises as they had me fanning myself more than a few times! lol
I always pick a favorite character and mine this time around I have to pick Lionel aka Lion Why? Omg ! because he surprised us at every turn.Officer Danner was far from the goody two shoes we thought him to be but was anything but ! lol
I have to say we never saw Lion coming.Lion's character surprised me the most.I had been wondering if Lion had always been a bad boy under all the righteous armor and kept it hidden or if all his undercover work brought out the bad boy side that had been always been lurking there to make its appearance."Still pondering." lol
Harleigh Rose we loved he.We loved her spunk,strength,determination,found she had a sense of humor,was feisty and was a self sacrificing when it came to those she loved.
Overall I loved the story and could not put it down once I started reading it.The story kept you on edge the entire time as well as kept you guessing at what would happen next as the story had drama after drama happening all around Harleigh Rose and Lion and whether someone was going to undercover all those secrets they wanted to keep buried.The romance between these two was super hot and their sexual encounters even hotter which made the read even more scorching,intriguing and entertaining.Most of all the story was just an awesome read !This story and the stories before it all had an amazing cast of characters to us to love as well as hate.For me this one goes into the keeper pile to be read time and time again.
This author is definitely one of my favorite MC authors and favorite book series for 2018 we are so glad we found your books to read as they have brought us nothing but pure enjoyment.
Hoping this author continues to write more MC reads for us read as well as enjoy.
5 amazing stars from us


Author Lee Piper - “So yeah, Good Gone Bad is hot AF. But it’s also more than that. It’s layered, multifaceted, and above all, beautifully written.”
Musings of the Modern Belle - “Good Gone Bad is not just a super steamy romance, it is not just a suspenseful story about taking down a corrupt MC, it is a reflection of how humans aren’t just good or bad. It is a look at how we are both, how we can find our match in another, someone who just inherently gets you. It is about living wild and free while still having limits and being able to surrender and submit for those you love. It is an epic ride I implore you to take. Giana and Danner and Rosie won’t let you down.”
Author R. Scarlett - “I am so so in love with this book and Giana's talent for creating addicting stories and beautiful complex characters.”

Let's start off by saying that this was a new author for us and we loved our first read by them from beginning to end.
Cast- Maja,Buck,Mute,King,H.R. (Harleigh Rose)Louise aka Lou,LouLou,Foxy,Blackjack,Reese,Zeus aka guardian monster,
Ruby,Cricket,Cressida aka Queenie,Nova,Bat Crux,Ace,Lionel Danners,Axeman,Boner,Mr.Warren,Bea,
This entire cast made this story.
Let's start off by saying just Wow! What a great story from beginning to end. Omg! I really don't know where to start as there were so many things I just loved about the story so I guess I will start by saying that this story was filled with amazing characters.We loved pretty much all the characters but, absolutely loved Lou and Zeus and their love story.
This is a new author for me and after reading this story I can just tell she is going to be the one of my top favorite new authors if she continues to write stories like this one.When I first starting reading this story I didn't realize this was an MC Romance but, boy old boy it was a totally hot one and an amazing read.This story had so much drama,suspense,heartache,pain and suffering,death,obstacles, along with major health issues for some as well as betrayals and so much more.The story was so engrossing that it kept you glued to the pages the entire time.I loved everything about it.The story itself is very unusual one which made it so intriguing right from the get go.Zeus a bad*ass hardened biker saves the life of a little girl who interns becomes his pen pal,best friend and savior and soul mate  all wrapped up into one.
Louise and Zeus aka Lou and Foxy developed a bond of friendship from the moment he saved her life when she was only 7 years old .Lou always referred to her savior as her guardian monster which is so cute it fits Zeus to a T but, for Lou its was a fitting knick name one meant in a loving way not and unkind one.Every time Lou used that knick name I chuckled.Their friendship lasted  into Lou's teenage years. 
I really loved the letters back and forth between them as it gave Zeus something to hold onto and to care about and it was the same for Lou.It was to cute the way a 7 year old starting letters to her savior but in return he was her savior too!
I always pick a favorite character in a story and my absolute favorite is Louise known as Lou/LouLou/Foxy/Little Warrior There were so many things to love about Lou and that was her bravery,kindness,loving heart,smarts,her rebel side,her determination.Lou also was feisty,outgoing sexy and a
women who knows her own mind and speaks it and had an amazing sense of humor who constantly made me laugh.From the time Louise was 7 years old I saw a rebel in the making. For me sayings like your 14 going on 40 is so true for Lou as I never really so her for the age she really was.
(lol and grins)
Lou is a character that your heart wants to break for all she has had to deal with so much pain and suffering in her short life but, she was incredibly strong brave and determined women that you just new she would beat the odds each and every time life dealt a curve ball.I was rooting for her the entire time!
I really loved Louise and Zeus's love story as it was intense,heartfelt and one that came from true love for one another and destined soul mates. I have to say that the huge age gap was always present and there would always be obstacles to overcome but their blind devotion and love for one another made you over look all that and just see that a chance encounter brought two people together that were just meant to be together.Zeus and Lou's romance between them was Hot! Hot! Hot! and Hotter ! Holy friggen fanning!Zeus and Lou's sexual relationship with each and other was hot,crude and filled with dirty talk and the sex between them was mind blowing as they never seem to get enough of one another.Lou was one Lucky girl to have such a fierce lover!
(smirks and smiles)
Holy smokes ! I want a Zeus for myself (lol)
Zeus was a complicated character that comes with the good and the bad but, he was the kind of character that you come to love both sides of him.Zeus scared the crap out of  even me as he was dangerous,sexy,dark,lethal,protective,possessive and his aura just screamed "danger beware".Zeus maybe all those things but he is loyal to a fault and capable of being a loving and caring man who loves with ones whole heart.
Zeus was a character that was exactly the type of man who never made excuses for the man he was but, embraced his dark side as well as the loving side.What a very intense man but, seeing how well he loved his children,Lou,and his brothers we knew deep down he really was a loving caring person but, the dark side of his personality even made me want to come over to the dark side. LoL
I have to say that this was one hot unpredictable read that brought drama and was intriguing that kept you on edge the entire time as well as made you laugh and cry.I loved getting to know these amazing characters throughout the story and even developed a soft spot in my heart for Mute .I loved his and Lou's friendship and the bond they developed for one another.
Overall I loved the forbidden love story through and through as Lou and Zeus were amazing characters and I loved being on their adventure that lead to true love and to your soul mate no matter age ,distance, time and what was meant to be will be.
The author has now gained a new fan in me and once realizing this was the second book in the series I dove right into book one to read about Cress and Kings story and I am so loving it.This author's
books are very addictive.
5 amazing stars
So hoping there is more to come with this series...

Giana Darling is a Canadian romance writer who specializes in the taboo and angsty side of love and romance. She currently travels Europe with her best friend, an overstuffed suitcase and a mission to eat and drink as much French, Italian and Greek food as possible. While lounging on white beaches, drinking sangria on patios and sleeping in villas, she is hard at work on Cosima Lombardi’s dark romance, The Enslaved Duet, coming summer 2018!

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review 2019-02-05 14:40
ARC REVIEW Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong
The City of the Lost - Kelley Armstrong
A Darkness Absolute - Kelley Armstrong
This Fallen Prey - Kelley Armstrong
Watcher In The Woods - Kelley Armstrong

Watcher in the Woods (Rockton, #4) Rockton #4, First off it is wise to read this series in order, this book picks up almost right after the end of the last book and that ended in a way that was teasing about what would happen next. Rockton is a quiet little town in the middle of the frozen Yukon where people go to disappear, if they have enough money. It's a town straight out of the wild frontier days no T.V., no phones, no internet, and regulated electricity. Where there is no money people work on a credit basis, if you help out and do work duty you get credit to buy splurges, and if you don't work you don't eat. Because of the location there are plenty of rules to follow that are in place to keep you alive, break them at your own peril.

Casey and Eric make a quick trip to Vancouver to ask for her sister's help. One of the residents was shot in the back and the placement of the bullet is to close to the spin for either their medic or butcher to attempt. April is a neurosurgeon but she's genius and a brilliant surgeon. Reluctantly April agrees. On the homebound journey though they are followed and before they know it April isn't the only stranger in Rockton. U.S. Marshal Garcia claims he's there for a certain person who is probably more dangerous than they think. But the dickwad doesn't tell them anything and ends up getting shot before Casey and Eric find out who he is there for.

With just about everyone in town having a reason for being there and more than half of them lying about why, Casey has a hard time tracking down the truth and in the process she learns more about supposed friends and their newest resident. Armstrong once again left threads dangling parts of the story that weren't concluded in this book and left it open for the next.

Overall, another outstanding Rockton book. I love Casey and Eric they are so real to me. The whole book just weaves it's magic and transports you there it keeps you on the edge of your seat and if I had my way I would have ignored the world until the book was finished. Told in first person through Casey's perspective which help adds to the mystery of the story. 


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review 2019-01-05 02:05
Review: The Fallen (DCI Matilda Darke short story) by Michael Wood
The Fallen - Michael Wood

Published by: Killer Reads (23rd December 2016)


Source: purchased


Rating: 5*



A man has been found brutally murdered in his own home. The victim is Iain Kilbride, a once-famous TV star who has faded into obscurity. All signs point to a break-in, but why has nothing been taken?

For DCI Matilda Darke, this is the perfect chance to prove her newly formed Murder Investigation Team are up to the task. Matilda suspects the clue to finding the killer lies in Iain’s past, but she’s about to discover how dark that past really is…



I came across this prequel to the DCI Matilda Darke series a little late, but absolutely relished reading about the initial setting up of the MIT and about Matilda's first faltering steps as she returns to work as a newly appointed DCI. Seeing Matilda's historic exchanges with familiar characters such as the irrepressible Ben Hales is an added bonus, and getting to peek inside her relationship with husband James is insightful.


Although this is a short story, nothing feels rushed. The pace is steady and the story and characters have time to unfurl in an unhurried manner.  The case itself is utterly gripping and cleverly written with the author's usual incredible attention to detail. I completely forgot I was even reading a short story!

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review 2018-11-20 10:39
Ein Buch wie der alte, bequeme Lieblingspulli
Ruin - John Gwynne

Mithilfe seiner Verbündeten gelang es Corban, seine Schwester Cywen aus den Fängen seiner Feinde zu befreien. Doch ihre schaurigen Pläne konnte er nicht durchkreuzen. Der Kessel befindet sich in Calidus‘ Besitz. Er entließ die grässlichen Kadoshim in die irdische Welt, die nun Angst und Schrecken säen und Corbans Rebellengruppe jagen. Diese ist jedoch längst nicht mehr wehrlos. Vom Krieg in die Verzweiflung getrieben schließen sich ihnen immer mehr Menschen an. Sie erringen Sieg um Sieg gegen die ambitionierte Königin Rhin, die mit Nathairs Beistand mehrere Reiche besetzt, darunter auch Ardan. Corban muss eine Entscheidung treffen: er könnte Meicals Rat folgen und seine Anhänger_innen nach Drassil führen, in die legendäre Stadt im Herzen des Waldes Forn, in der sich die Prophezeiung erfüllen soll – oder in seine Heimat reiten, um Edana zu unterstützen, ihren Thron zurückzuerobern. Edanas Widerstandsbewegung setzt Rhin schwer zu, die durch Nathairs und Calidus‘ Forderung, die Sieben Schätze ausfindig zu machen, abgelenkt ist. Corban empfindet es als seine Pflicht, an Edanas Seite zu stehen, aber er weiß auch, dass mehr von ihm abhängt als die Zukunft Ardans. Kann er es verantworten, seinen Lehnseid über das Schicksal der Verbannten Lande und all der Menschen, die an ihn glauben, zu stellen?


Im Gegensatz zu meiner Erfahrung nach der Lektüre von „Valour“ habe ich am Ende von „Ruin“ nicht gegrinst. Ich habe geheult wie ein Schlosshund. Die letzten Seiten des dritten Bandes der High Fantasy – Reihe „The Faithful and the Fallen“ münden in einen dramatischen Cliffhanger, der mich völlig zerstörte. Ich musste sofort mit dem vierten Band beginnen, sonst hätte ich mich nicht beruhigen können. Nun gibt es Leser_innen, die es nicht mögen, wenn sie ein Buch zum Weinen bringt. Ich hingegen feiere diese emotionale Intensität. John Gwynnes Epos wird besser und besser – nicht trotz, sondern gerade durch die moderate Originalität. Ich habe lange darüber nachgedacht, warum es mich so gar nicht stört, dass Gwynne genretypische Motive verarbeitet und die Geschichte daher vorhersehbar ist. Es scheint paradox, aber ich glaube, ich fühle mich mit „The Faithful und the Fallen“ pudelwohl, eben weil ich die grundlegende Struktur kenne. Die Lektüre fühlt sich an wie nach Hause kommen, wie das Hineinschlüpfen in den alten, bequemen Lieblingspulli. Ich habe eine grobe Vorstellung davon, was inhaltlich geschehen wird, also kann ich auskosten, wie es geschieht, Überraschungen wertschätzen und mich voll auf die wunderbaren Figuren konzentrieren, über die ich bereits ausschweifend schwärmte. Ich möchte niemanden langweilen und mich wiederholen, aber ich möchte betonen, wie geschickt John Gwynne Perspektivwechsel einsetzt. Jeder Band von „The Faithful and the Fallen“ enthält neue, weise gewählte Charakterperspektiven, die sowohl der Geschichte als auch den Leser_innen einen echten Mehrwert bieten, weil sie die Gesamtheit des Konflikts zwischen Gut und Böse abbilden. Dadurch entsteht ein umfassender Eindruck der beteiligten Akteure und ihrer Motivationen. Diese facettenreiche Herangehensweise funktioniert allerdings nur, weil Gwynne keine Angst hat, Figuren sterben zu lassen. Als Leserin ist das natürlich manchmal schwierig, besonders, wenn es Charaktere trifft, mit denen ich viel Zeit verbrachte, aber ich erkenne, dass es notwendig ist und die emotionale Bindung stärkt. Um meine Lieblinge bangte ich mit vollem Einsatz. Es hilft, dass Gwynne Tode niemals kaltherzig inszeniert und ausschließlich dann einsetzt, wenn es unvermeidlich ist. Er nimmt niemanden zugunsten des Effekts klinisch aus der Geschichte. Ich denke, er trauert jedes Mal ebenso wie ich – wie könnte er auch nicht, bei diesen einnehmenden Persönlichkeiten? Einer der bewegendsten Momente in „Ruin“ war eine Szene, in der die Rebellen Corban die Treue schwören. Ich musste etwas weinen. Es gefällt mir außerordentlich, dass ein Eid in den Verbannten Landen niemals einseitig ist. Beide Parteien verpflichten sich. Die Verbundenheit, die in Bans Truppe herrscht, ist für mich nachvollziehbar, weil sie alle Menschen sind, die der Krieg zwischen Elyon und Asroth persönlich betrifft, da sie alle Verluste erlitten. Sie erleben eine gemeinsame emotionale Erfahrung, was eine gute Voraussetzung für unerschütterlichen Zusammenhalt ist. In Ban fanden sie eine inspirierende Führungsperson, mit der sie sich identifizieren können. Er teilt ihren Schmerz, ihren Rachedurst und ihre Sehnsucht nach Gerechtigkeit. Durch ihren Glauben an ihn wuchs er in die Rolle des Leuchtenden Sterns hinein und kann sich mittlerweile als prophetischer Held akzeptieren. Er ist die Personifizierung aller Stärken der Menschheit: Rechtschaffenheit, Loyalität, Ehrlichkeit. Er verhält sich wie ein Held und weckt das Gute in seinen Anhänger_innen, daher ist es leicht, in ihm eine Person zu sehen, der es sich zu folgen lohnt und deshalb glaube auch ich an ihn. Corban wird die Verbannten Lande retten, davon bin ich fest überzeugt.


Mein Lesespaß mit „Ruin“ war unbeschreiblich hoch. Ich liebe das Buch und ich liebe „The Faithful and the Fallen“, obwohl es sich nicht um die ausgeklügeltste oder originellste Reihe der High Fantasy handelt. Ich befinde mich voll im Bann der Figuren und genieße das wohlig warme Gefühl, in perfektem Einklang mit der Geschichte und der Intention des Autors zu schwingen. Es betrübt mich ein wenig, dass ich nicht allen Handlungssträngen die gleiche Beachtung schenken kann. Es gibt so viele Charaktere, die Aufmerksamkeit verdienen und so viele Fragen, die nach Antworten verlangen, dass ich sofort mit dem vierten und finalen Band „Wrath“ beginnen musste. Ich lese Reihen selten hintereinander weg, aber in diesem Fall wollte ich eine Ausnahme machen, weil die Erfahrung einfach so schön ist. Es ist mir egal, dass John Gwynne die High Fantasy nicht revolutioniert. Mich macht er glücklich und mehr erwarte ich von einem Autor nicht.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/john-gwynne-ruin
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