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review 2017-03-13 22:25
Paranormal romance
The Protector: Paranormal Gothic Romance... The Protector: Paranormal Gothic Romance (Heart of Stone Series) (Volume 1) - Lexy Timms

The Protector by Lexy Timms is a well-written paranormal book.  Ms Timms has created amazing characters for this story.  Constance and Jack's book is loaded with action, drama, suspense and lots of sexy bits.  The story does jump around to different times, and for me that was a bit annoying.  While this wasn't my favorite Lexy Timms book, it wasn't horrible, so I would be happy to read more from this author.  The Protector is book 1 of the Heart Of Stone Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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review 2017-03-08 05:20
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

     As a child, Jacob was told many stories by his grandfather, Abraham. He talked about the peculiar children he knew in a special home run by Miss Peregrine. As Jacob gets older, he doubts his grandfather's stories, until Abraham is killed and with his dying breath he tells Jacob to find the bird in the loop. Jacob sees a strange creature that no-one else can see.

No-one believes Jacob. Thinking he is grief stricken and in shock, his parents send him to therapy with Dr Golan. But, when Jacob's Aunt gives him a book that his grandfather wanted him to have, he finds a letter that just may prove that Abraham wasn't crazy and nether is Jacob.

It took me a while to finish the book because I had some other commitments (and I confess I got a bit hooked on Netflix as well.) I swayed back and forth with this book, and since I watched the movie when I was half finished with the book (something I don't usually do) I think I got sidetracked.
However, the idea of the peculiar children really appealed to me. The photographs in the book were very interesting, and a great idea of Riggs to use as a writing prompt. It brought together two of my loves - archives and reading.

This is a great little book for your young adult or pre-teen. You could even read it together as a family book. It can start a lot of discussions about how people who were different were treated, how they are treated now and how we should move forward.
If you liked Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Coraline, or Frankenstein, I think you will enjoy this book.

 


Join the conversation at my blog discussing the differences between the book and the film:
http://bookscraftsprettythings.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar.html

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/9460487-miss-peregrine-s-home-for-peculiar-children
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review 2017-03-07 06:15
The Curse of the Kings
The Curse of the Kings - Victoria Holt

This was another difficult read to rate properly.  I couldn't put it down, but there was so much eye-rolling too.

 

The description on the book record is terribly simplistic, but it's as close or closer to anything I could come up with.  Honestly, Holt packed a lot into this book.  The first half is taken up with Judith's background and childhood; it isn't until page 174 that we even get to Egypt.

 

Judith's ridiculous obsession with Tybalt got on my nerves; I'd say someone should have smacked some sense into her, but she never let on to anyone in her world just how insanely besotted she was, she saved all those confidences for the reader.  But the rest of the book was compelling and incredibly readable.

 

The story itself is pretty trope-tastic; it's got the imaginary love triangle, mistaken for cheating, lack of communication, rags to royalty... not to mention the whole Egyptian theme; likely quite a few more I haven't even thought of, but it was first written in the 70's when some of these things weren't tropes yet, or were all the rage.  That somehow made it easier to roll with.

 

The writing kept me coming back.  It had all the qualities of a mid-century gothic that appeals to me, in spite of some the silliness coming from Judith.

 

I'll definitely check out more of Holt's work.

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review 2017-03-02 18:17
Woman Has Choice Between Man Who Treats Her Badly and a Boring But Nice Guy, Guess Who She Chooses?
The Shivering Sands (Casablanca Classics) - Victoria Holt

Sorry for the long title, but this whole book irked the life out of me. I get that Holt is writing Gothic romances, but she always seems to take the worst parts of Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre) and Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights) and uses that to make the male heroes in these stories. I think Heathcliff was terrible by the way for anyone that is ready to jump at me in the comments. I think due to the last book and this one I am going to pass on Holt for a second even though most of her books are available to borrow at my library right now.

 

Besides the above mentioned issues I had with the hero, "Shivering Sands" has one of the most nonsensical plots I have read this year. And don't forget, I read "Holly" by Jude Deveraux so that's saying something. 

 

We follow the character of Caroline Verlaine as she goes about investigating (poorly) at Lovat Stacy to find out more about her older sister's Roma's disappearance. Though for most of the book she just blunders along and runs around defending Napier Stacy (sorry getting ahead of myself here. 

 

The book starts off a bit off (at least to me) when we find out that Caroline is a widow. Caroline we find is a bit of an odd duck. She comes from a family of archaeologists, but she has a natural aptitude for the piano. Her family is not very rich, but they manage to send her off to Paris to get lessons. There she falls in love with a self absorbed man who she says repeatedly was a genius (Pietro). Due to Pietro being a genius she is told by a teacher and even by her husband in his actions and words that she is there to merely prop him up and tell him how great he is. He does not want her playing the piano since that would in some way take away from his awesomeness. I was really happy when Pietro died. 

 

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Recovering from Pietro's death then has Caroline going off to see her sister who is near Lovat Stacy looking into some Roman ruins that are nearby. The action does not get going until after we have Caroline finding out about her sister's disappearance. She then through a ridiculous circumstance is given the opportunity to teach the piano at Lovat Stacy for three young women who live there and the nearby vicarage. 

 

Caroline feels something is off at Lovat Stacy after finding about the the estranged son of the Stacy household (Napier) is finally back, ready to marry a ward of the Stacy household, Edith. Even though Caroline is told countless stories about Napier and how he caused his older brother's Beau's death, she feels angry anytime tells her about what a bad guy he is. There interactions are also short and often leave her angry. He has a way about him that is reminiscent of her dead husband's. I honestly didn't get the romance here at all. We eventually get an explanation regarding Napier that I had a hard time believing, it didn't even make sense. 

 

We get additional characters in this one that may be hard to follow. Besides Caroline and Edith, we also get Sylvia, Allegra, and Alice. After a while my brain just started getting overloaded to switching between them and the other characters (like the Stacy housekeeper) and I think Mr. Stacy's sister who was off as well. 

 

The writing was okay, it definitely made me think of books like Jane Eyre. I just wish I cared more about anything that was happening.

 

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The flow was not good in this one though. If you are waiting for anything to happen, just skip to the end (honestly I did to see who was behind things and then went back to reading again) and read the ridiculous explanations that follow. 

 

The setting of Stacy Lovat could have been something with the so-called "Shivering Sands" but I felt blah towards it. I just got down reading "Murder is Easy" and the village of Wychwood under Ashe felt more mysterious and dark.

 

As I said above, I booed the ending since for me I wish that Holt had her heroine realize that running off with a facsimile of her dead husband maybe wasn't a hot idea. 

 

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text 2017-03-02 16:47
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Shivering Sands (Casablanca Classics) - Victoria Holt

Eh. If most of Holt's books are just about a woman being attracted to a man who treats her like crap I think I am going to pass. I wish that Holt had her heroine run off with the guy who actually treated her with respect even though she found him boring and not just contempt all of the time. I feel like yelling are these the only options?

 

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