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review 2018-05-01 02:51
The Lord of Lost Causes (Millcastle Book 1) by Kate Pearce
The Lord of Lost Causes - Kate Pearce

The Lord of Lost Causes - Kate Pearce 

 

Francis is a man that fell from grace while still a soldier. He’s now a rich man that can be best described as callous, cynical, and mercenary. His relationship with Caroline started as a business transaction and nothing more. While I appreciate the historical accuracy of Caroline’s circumstances I was not happy with the way she was coerced into doing things she most definitely didn’t want to do in order to pay her debts. That part of the story reminded me of the old bodice rippers, when the woman fell head over heels by the “hero” despite him being a jerk. 
And yet, I couldn’t bring myself to hate Francis. He might have been a reprobate however, and as much as he tried to deny it, he was also compassionate and just in his own way. In the end, his redeeming qualities outdid his ruthlessness and he became the man Caroline always knew he could be. And what is best is that it was done in a totally believable way. 

That being said, I’m not a fan of stories where the heroine must suffer quietly while the man has his way with her and everyone around him. I know, that’s the way things used to be but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. 

**I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.**

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review 2018-04-23 05:22
Psychological thriller that puts sexual assault and harassment at the center, and keeps you gripped all the way through; an unassuming title but a great twist
The Girl I Used to Be - Mary Torjussen

This is a psychological thriller that is hard to put to down, and despite the unassuming title, this novel goes from being a story about a seemingly innocuous meeting with a prospective client for estate agent Gemma to a full-blown harassment and sexual assault case. Gemma is the breadwinner of her family, with her husband being at home with their three-year old son, and while she is trying hard to deal with the mounting stress of running a company, she’s constantly dealing with the anxiety of an incident in her past. Suddenly she is very much alone in a world where she is being harassed by private messages and letters, and she is finding herself lying and wondering who she is becoming.
It’s so hard to review this without revealing a major amount about the plot but this had me quickly turning the pages because author Mary Torjussen has crafted the perfect thriller whereby she has weaved a story from the character’s past into one in the present day, and while I was reading I felt Gemma’s anxiety - and fear - all the way through. It really was compulsive reading.
I will also personally disclose that the initiating incident that Gemma experiences, the one that she feels she must run from, and the one that is the cause of so much tragedy (revealed in part 2), is something that I personally went through myself. I only wish this sort of thing didn’t actually have to be something that becomes the basis of both adult and YA fiction, but (yes, this is my trigger warning), sexual assault happens, and will continue to be a part of fictional and non-fictional works. As women start to fight back by talking about it, as now it is very much a topic of our time (there’s a line in the book acknowledging that once upon a time, it wasn’t talked about so easily), it has become different when we read about it too.
This is actually the second book released this year that I have read with this similar sexual assault issue.
The book is thoroughly engaging to read and I liked the ‘two parts’ that it was separated into, with the massive twist. I don’t know what I’d change it to, but for some reason I have an issue with the title, although I understand the concept of how we look back at what we ‘used to be’, feeling like we have changed so much, or looking at what we were back then, but I want something else to grab people by. This book is so good and too clever for people to miss.

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text 2018-04-20 00:38
Reading progress update: I've read 181 out of 325 pages.
Whispers of Warning (A Change of Fortune Mystery) - Jessica Estevao

I had to talk myself into buying this book, after taking a pass on it a few times when I would go to the bookstore--and even when I finally decided to buy the first one in the series, which turned out not to be there when I had mentally committed to something by the author, I tentatively re-settled for this, the second in the series--and now I'm so glad I went for it. I love the strong hint that at least a few of the psychics and spiritualists have actual paranormal abilities--including Ruby herself--rather than just being a bunch of frauds. I love all the strong-willed women characters, many of them suffragists or budding suffragists, fighting for Women's Rights. and, by the way, the whodunit has turned out to have many interesting aspects. so, I'm happy!

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text 2018-04-19 14:56
Reading progress update: I've read 98 out of 325 pages.
Whispers of Warning (A Change of Fortune Mystery) - Jessica Estevao

lots going on in Old Orchard, Maine: the opening of a new pier combined with Sophronia's plan for a public, open-platform spiritualists' show combined with suffragist marches and rallies. Ruby would rather not get caught in all the drama and publicity...me, I think things are going to go bad. I mean, as in murder bad!

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text 2018-04-19 03:37
Reading progress update: I've read 55 out of 325 pages.
Whispers of Warning (A Change of Fortune Mystery) - Jessica Estevao

the book is a lot of fun, so far; I'm up to my ears in all sorts of spiritualists and fortune-tellers--Tarot-card readers, astrologers, a numerologist, an automatic-writing expert, a psychometry specialist, seance holders, and that's just the ones who have flitted through the book in the early-going. plus, a key suffragist champion is staying at the Maine seaside hotel where most of the action is, so there's a lot of political turmoil and clear dividing-lines. I like Ruby, the main character, formerly attached to a traveling medicine show and a domineering father, but now she's a psychic (among psychics) at her aunt's hotel. anyway, I brazenly skipped the first book in the series, but have been brought up to speed on the basics of what went on in that adventure, and now I'm ready for some foul play, turning all these spiritualists into suspects.

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