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review 2018-08-19 16:54
Unseen by me
An Unseen Attraction - K.J. Charles

My friends' list has nothing but love for this author and book and I have a bad feeling this could be one of those "Everyone but me" moments. This is the first time I have tried this author, so I'll give it another chance but this really just did not hit the mark with me.

 

The synopsis starts off with stating this is a "slow-burning romance". Our couple have their first sexual experience/play/moment by chapter four; that is not my personal want from a slow-burning romance. What I do like seems to have happened before our story starts off,  Clem and Rowley's relationship has already developed to the point of friendship with attraction and we the reader's are coming in when they are finally ready to act on it. I mostly favor the initial spark and building rather than the finally acting sexually on it. 

 

Another personal dislike was Rowley's taxidermy, the author does a great job describing, explaining, and realistically weaving it into the story but for someone who loves human slasher movies, I just can't read about people wanting to stuff their pets and Rowley explaining the process. Greatly appreciate the research and depth but bowels and skinning animals is not for me, but like I said, didn't seem to bother the majority of people.

 

I think this would be better to be described as a slow-burning mystery, as the building, plot, and pace slowly reeled you in, I also think the mystery dominated the story more. Their chemistry wasn't as sparking as I usually like but missing that beginning building probably hurt this for me.

 

The mystery isn't fully solved in this but I'm not sure I'm going to continue with the series, I think I might try another of hers in a different one. I hope this isn't one of those everyone loves but me authors :/

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review 2018-08-17 23:03
Book Review of The Devil's Cup: A Medieval Mystery (A Hawkenlye Mystery) by Alys Clare
The Devil's Cup - Alys Clare

Sir Josse d'Aquin is summoned to assist the beleaguered King John in the 17th - and final - Hawkenlye mystery.

 

September, 1216. A foreign army has invaded England. The country is divided. Some support the rebel barons and Prince Louis of France; others remain loyal to the king. His rule under threat, King John summons Sir Josse d'Acquin to support him. But can Sir Josse save the king from himself?

 

Meanwhile, Josse's daughter Meggie is summoned to Hawkenlye Abbey to attend a sick patient in a very distressed state. The elderly woman is warning of terrible danger unless she can complete her mission. What she learns from her patient will set Meggie on a perilous journey to retrieve a cursed treasure. But will she be in time to prevent a tragedy?

 

Review 3*

 

This story is the seventeenth and final book in the Hawkenlye mystery series. When I picked this book up at the library, I didn't realise it was part of a series at all. However, this didn't seem to matter, as the story reads as a stand-alone, though there are some references to other characters and books in the series.

 

Sir Josse d'Aquin is an interesting character; he's a knight of middle age, or maybe between the age of fifty or sixty years old in the year 1216. He finds himself being summoned by his childhood friend, King John, to help him as he tries to drive the invading force of Prince Louis of France out of England. But, while he's travelling with the King, Josse's daughter, Meggie, finds herself on a mission of her own.

 

Meggie is also an interesting character. She is a healer, working with the nuns at Hawkenlye Abbey as they tend to the sick and infirm. When a mysterious woman who is ill arrives at the Abbey with a warning of danger, Meggie finds herself journeying with the ailing woman's son, Faruq, to locate a relic that is cursed. But, as danger threatens, will they be able to retrieve the relic in time, or will it exact a terrible price?

 

As I said above, I saw this book in my local library. I love a good mystery, even a historical one, so after reading the synopsis, I decided to read it. I am struggling to write this review, not because it's bad (because it isn't), but because it isn't that good either. It is an okay read for me.

 

I found myself putting this book down, reading something else, and coming back to it with no problem. It is not a hard read by any means; in fact, it's a pretty easy read. This story told through several character's eyes, should have made it more interesting. However, something is missing from this tale. Maybe other mystery novels have spoilt me, but the plot is missing a crucial element - fast-paced suspense/mystery. This tale plods along at such a slow pace that I lost interest at times, which is why I would put it down and then come back to it. I've read other historical fiction novels that have sucked me in and left me breathless from the wild ride. Unfortunately, this book didn't do that to me. It is only in the last third of the book that the action picks up. The Devil's Cup of the title is an artefact that carries a curse. But the author, instead of using it as a tool to build suspense, focuses on King John and his attempt to forestall Prince Louis's invasion of England, which, I feel, is a shame as the object should have had a more significant role in this fictional tale.

 

Apart from the slow pace of the story, Alys Clare has written an intriguing story that brought the past to life. I love how she invoked the feeling of being transported into the past with her descriptive writing. The story flow is a little jerky in places where some of the scenes change in my opinion, but other readers may disagree with me, so will leave you to decide for yourselves. Nonetheless, I would consider reading more of this author's books in the future.

 

Due to some scenes of violence, I do not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I do recommend this book if you love historical fiction, mysteries, and thrillers. - Lynn Worton

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review 2018-08-17 11:28
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding (Her Royal Spyness, #12)
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding - Rhys Bowen

This series is always enjoyable, even when the plots aren't as good as they could be.  Luckily, even though the title is really a stretch, the plot of this one isn't.  I can imagine how it might have happened back in the day of the aristocracy owning multiple estates they often didn't visit for long stretches of time.

 

The subplot of the book is the culmination of 11 previous books filled with the flirting and courting between Darcy and Georgie - the wedding.  I was struck with trepidation at the beginning of the book as Georgie spies a pretty woman standing next to Darcy and immediately falls into a pit of despair; I dislike characters that don't embrace their own self worth.  Happily, it was a fleeting scene, and the rest of the (minimal) wedding related story-line was full of delicious revenge as Georgie gets to watch her evil sister-in-law fume over Georgie's close relationship with the King and Queen.  The scene where she tells Fig who her bridesmaids are was one of the best.

 

Overall, an enjoyable read.

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review 2018-08-16 20:44
Go west young man...like seriously go west now...right NOW!!!
Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride - Eli Easton

Not only is Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride an historical novel, it's a western...probably one of my least favorite eras when it comes to books I read, but it's Eli Easton and I have to admit that was a big, big part of the draw for me.

 

I also have to admit I tried reading the book and for me it was a bit of a struggle...this is totally a me thing.  I was actually intrigued by the blurb on this one and I think that at another time it might have gone better but when the opportunity came up to listen to the audio book I was curious enough about the story to want to give the audio a sincere try so I decided to put on my big girl pants and get 'er done! and as you can tell by the fact that I'm doing a review...things went much better.

 

Briefly Robby Robertson is  an aspiring actor and things are going great until Robby witnesses a murder late one evening as he's leaving the theater putting him on the wrong side of Bowery Boys and making him a wanted man and not in a good way. So Robby does what any sensible young man would do...he runs!!! The only real question is has he run straight from the frying pan and into the fire. 

 

I actually ended up thoroughly enjoying this story. It had drama, humor, action, more than one plot twist and I quickly realized that things quite often weren't what they seemed with much of what was happening in this story which I have to admit kept things intriguing. 

 

As always Eli Easton has given us a cast of interesting and diversified characters to follow in this story. I really liked Robby, he was smart, considerate, kind and outspoken but yet he remained respectful of those who were helping him...unknowingly but still helping him all the same and I think at the end of it all Robby really did make the lives of those he met along the way a little bit better for having known him.

 

Then there was Trace and for as awesome as he was Robby was someone that he needed in his life to make him see that not only could he be more than he was but that he both wanted and needed to be more. 

 

While reading this story seemed to be beyond my abilities and this is so much a me thing. Just to try and explain when I was younger and I loved to read, westerns just weren't my thing but if you ask me how may movies and shows I watched that were westerns...well, let me tell you, we're going to be here a really, really long time because even just listing television shows the list will be considerable...one of my absolute favorite shows was 'The Virginian' and there was also 'Gunsmoke', 'The High Chaparral', 'Bonanza', 'Dr. Quinn', 'Little House on the Priarie', 'Wagon Train', 'F Troop', 'Danial Boone', 'The Big Valley' and on and on that's right I watched them all and honestly I'm not even going to start on the movies...but as for my reading list I can safely say it really doesn't include any westerns. So I think I'm safe to say that for me it's more about the format than the genre and while I love a good western movie or even a television show for whatever reason books just don't work for me and this one right here it proof positive of that. I actually took a break from reading the book mostly because I just couldn't get into it. It's not that it's badly written or uninteresting because truthfully it's neither of those things and the fact that I was able to enjoy the audio book as much as I did I think speaks to that issue.  

 

So it turns out that when it comes to the e-book I sincerely believe this is a 100% me issue because I honestly enjoyed the hell outta' this one. It was funny, action filled, dramatic, had wonderful characters and the story was definitely unique and interesting...I'm just not a read them person when it comes to westerns and I have to wonder if I'd just listened to the audio book and not tried reading this one if my rating wouldn't have been even higher...I'm guessing it very probably would have.

 

My recommendation is definitely give this one a try especially if you're an Eli Easton fan. I thoroughly enjoyed the audio book and I had the opportunity to check out a new to me narrator in the person of Matthew Shaw. I really enjoyed the voices that I got to hear for the different characters and look forward to checking out some of the other audio books narrated by Mr. Shaw...or at least the non-horror ones...I really and truly do not do horror stories but I am looking forward to enjoying this narrators interpretations of some of Eli Easton's other books...such as the 'Howl at the Moon' series. 

 

Ironically I'm pretty sure that 'Robby Riverton' is one audio book that I'll be enjoying again in the future...so while Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride and I may have gotten off to a rough start I'm glad that I stuck with it to the end.

 

***********************

An audio book of 'Robby Riverton:  Mail Order Bride' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-08-16 19:58
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death
The Patriot Bride - Kimberley Woodhouse

The Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with “The Patriot Bride” by Kimberley Woodhouse. This unique series is generational, with each installment highlighting a woman descending from Mayflower voyager Mary Elizabeth Chapman, who was the focus of the first book. In “The Patriot Bride” we meet Faith Lytton Jackson, a 32-year-old woman residing in Boston as the colonies head toward war with England. With things intensifying, Faith and a named Matthew Weber become spies for the patriot cause, facing the dangers both of being caught and of their budding relationship.

This story contains many gems that make it stand out in the historical fiction genre. Faith makes a daring heroine, one who challenges the status quo of eighteenth century female conduct with her sharp intelligence, independence, and valor. The faith element is strong, and there are many scripture verses throughout the text, underscoring how much the fight for and eventual victory of the American Revolution depended upon the patriots’ faith in God. Along with the fictional characters are some easily recognizable historical figures, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Including them not only strengthens the setting but also gives readers a glimpse into what they may have been like in their personal lives and interactions. It is all too easy to view the Revolutionary War from the safety of history, knowing the outcome and forgetting how radical it actually was. “The Patriot Bride” drives home the reminder of how steeply the odds were in Britain’s favor and of the awful—and often gruesome—consequences that awaited the patriot leaders if they lost and demonstrates how these early American overcame the odds to form our nation.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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