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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-15 09:52
Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge (2017 Review)
Look Behind You - Sibel Hodge

Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Waking up and surrounded by an eerie darkness, Chloe Benson soon discovers she's trapped underground in what appears to be someone's tomb. Desperate to avoid the same fate as the skeleton in her midst, she musters all the strength she can to escape, however emerging back into her ordinary life proves to be just as dangerous. Someone wants her dead, yet due to issues with her memory, she just can't recall who.

(WARNING: this review contains minor spoilers.)

I finished this book last year, October (2016) to be specific, and didn't feel overly eager to voice my thoughts upon its completion, so suffice it to say; it's been a long time coming in that regard. You might wonder how I could possibly still remember the finer details, and indeed; my memory's not exactly fresh, however I can still recall what irked and disappointed me, as well as what stemmed the little amount of enjoyment. That being said, I had wanted to read something a little different than my usual flavours, and this one was ready and waiting in my library. What did I expect? Well, a mystery, of course - something that kept me guessing, kept the wheels of my mind turning. It was unfortunate that it promptly fell short, and the conundrum didn't require much thought at all; the identity of the "villain" was clear pretty much immediately. There were several moments I questioned; "Could it be this obvious?" and lo and behold, it was exactly that.

Admittedly though, the beginning drew me in, and I sincerely believed the rest would've thus followed its strong onset. A woman, trapped underground in complete darkness; the narrative truly expressed her helplessness and her will to survive. From there, it morphed into something not-so-thrilling, and it felt much like a long wait for it (or rather, Chloe) to reach the conclusion I already knew was coming. Thankfully the book wasn't that long, so I was able to force myself through the boredom without it becoming too much of a chore.

The character of Chloe was rather unmemorable, as despite how hard I try, I can't say much about her. I always like to take the time to analyse the main protagonist, but the sheer lack of impression was even worse than disliking her, because at least then she would've made me feel something. The same goes for the rest of them - the domineering husband, the too-perfect other man; none of them had much personality, besides being convenient to the plot. One thing that I did find outrageous however, was the general attitudes of the authorities. Both the police and hospital staff were unrealistic, in that they were outright rude to a patient they believed to be mentally ill. At least in the real word, such cold treatment has the possibility to distress the patient further, thus I highly doubt the "shut up, you're crazy" tactic is actually applied.

In conclusion: Have I mentioned how utterly apparent the "twist" was? Well, I'm saying it again - a mystery should have mystery. It should keep you guessing until the truth's finally unveiled. This was largely a disappointing read for me.

Notable Quote:

Why does anyone stay in a relationship that deep down they know isn’t right? You don’t know why until it happens to you. It’s easy to fool yourself. To stuff things under the surface where they can’t hurt you. To persuade yourself it’s all just normal. Make excuses. There’s a fine line between craziness and love.

© Red Lace 2017

Wordpress ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/03/15/look-behind-you-by-sibel-hodge-2017-review
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review 2018-01-18 03:36
My Fair Captain (Sci-Regency #1) by J.L. Langley
My Fair Captain (Sci-Regency #1) - J.L. Langley

Not as good as the first time around, maybe 3.5 stars.

Insane amount of characters with nick-names, titles and birth-names drove me almost to the mad house this time. How did I keep up in the first place, I have no idea - this is clearly some kind of name porn read. Chadwick, Coldwell, Cony, Jeremy, Jensen, Benson, Braxton.... what the hell happened to all the other letter in the alphabet? Why so many of them have to start with the same letter? 

In contrast, Nate calling Aiden "boy" in the second part drove me crazy, too. It's your spouse, you moron! And a prince! Show some respect! :/ Arghhh!


On sci-fi side... why not install GPS on your lift/car or a tracker app on your tablet?

There are inconsistencies and holes in the story, but - whatevers, it was still a fun read :)

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review 2018-01-17 20:47
Triskelion by Jana Denardo
Triskelion - Jana Denardo

There have been three brutal attacks with multiple victims, but so far @60% the MCs have just one sorta kinda maybe theory. Instead of investigating, they have unrelated to the investigation talk, drink tea, hang out with relatives, have more tea, more talk, hang out here and there again, insult each other on occasion, talk and drink more tea. 

If a casual hang out drinking tea and having conversations thing butters your cucumber sandwich, then this story is for you. However, I am done.

1 star. Sorry, JD, this simply is not my cup of tea.

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review 2018-01-17 01:14
Jefferson Blythe, Esquire by Josh Lanyon
Jefferson Blythe, Esquire - Josh Lanyon

A little weak on mystery, I think. George didn't impress me either. 3.75 stars, all courtesy of Jefferson, whom I liked quite a bit.

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review 2018-01-17 00:49
The Courtship of Julian St. Albans (Consulting Magic #1) by Amy Crook
The Courtship of Julian St. Albans - Amy Crook

I hope the author forgives me for my speculations, but I am just sharing my personal impression of the book.

It seems to me the story was started some time ago, like a decade or two. When the author came back to it, tho, she did with gusto and somehow propelled the time period from regency or maybe even early 20th century to 2013 without a single glance back. All that I like had ended with Chapter 12. Chapter 13 welcomed us with a very sudden and very vicious addiction to cell phones, texts, voicemail and turning the damn thing on and off. Energy bars, credit cards, modern technology and modern jargon (started with "dunno") is suddenly all over the place. 

Everyone is high on caffeine and sugar, hence, I assume, all the giggling, chuckling, laughing, smiling and so on (thesaurus was thoroughly exploited in this story). MC did a 180 and turned into a complete gigglepuss by 60%.

Then, there is all that food and clothes. The author is like a vice, she latches onto a subject and can't let go even after a new shiny pops up :( 

Consort/Master dynamics, inappropriate and overused crude dirty jokes appeared to be all wrong to me. Maybe I am overly PC, but I cringed most of the time when Julian stepped in to discuss his responsibilities as a consort. Why is he even male? O.o Alex's "mounds" got pretty old and overused pretty fast; several characters managed to come off as sexist as**oles.

I started the book looking forward to a mystery. I got over my disappointment on that matter very early in the book and decided to enjoy fantasy of manners, magic and The Courtship instead. Chapter 13 (yes, I know, I already mentioned it), disappointed me again. The Courtship stopped. The old charm disappeared. Modern world and modern jargon with multiple new inane characters, whose names mostly start with J, took over. 

Means of communication: first it was just a messenger or an occasional phone call, then it was cell-cell-cell, and t-h-e-n, because Alex/Julian relationship is not cheesy enough, we got Horace, The Messenger bird, who carried Alex's and Julian's letters in his chest where its heart supposed to be. 

I did enjoy bits of a story, finding the courtship and magic fascinating, too bad it was given up for clothes, food, drinks and endless empty banter. Is ever a revised, well edited version comes out, I will give it a second chance. For now I can only give it one star.

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