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review 2017-06-16 01:59
Release Day ARC Review: Romancing The Ugly Duckling by Clare London
Romancing the Ugly Duckling (Dreamspun Desires Book 36) - Clare London

On the isolated island of North Uist, which is apparently off the coast of Scotland, there lives a man all by himself in a smallish house after running away from his assholish brothers and his neglectful parents to paint, dive for scallops, and be mostly a recluse, keeping to himself.

His four brothers, one of whom I hated on sight, all somewhat famous for some reason or other, hope to make a deal with a TV company to create a reality show a la Kardashians, but they can only get the deal if the 5th brother appears as well. Greg Ventura, gentle, kind giant, wants nothing to do with them or the TV show.

Poor Perry Goodwood (lulz at that last name), ambitious and fashionable, is sent by his boss to the island to convince Greg to come to London to participate. After a make-over, of course. He flies to Scotland and catches a boat to the island, and is then stranded at the port before being fortuitously delivered to Greg's doorstop, looking like a drowned rat. The team that was supposed to meet him to convince Greg to come to London is nowhere to be found, and Perry's boss is giving him a bunch of excuses.

Great start, amirite? City slicker meets backwoods grump, and opposites attract - excellent trope!

This book is full of cute and sweet and quirky, and as Perry slowly falls in love with the island and Greg, so does Greg fall for Perry. The setting is perfect, and rather well described, so much so that I felt like I was right there on the small island. There be heather and bogs and cold, cold lochs, and beautiful nature all around.

I really liked both Perry and Greg. Perry impressed me because despite his city roots, he really tried hard to fit in on the island, and he seemed so appreciative of everyone who gave a helping hand. He wanted to learn from Greg and experience island life for himself. Greg is a bit rough around the edges, and grumps a lot, but I could tell that this was mostly to protect himself. He was kind and gentle, if somewhat clueless on occasion. The chemistry between the two men was there from the start and truly believable. There are certain parameters for this series as far as on-page sexy times are concerned, and the author delivered within those parameters, but also managed to infuse a lot of emotional bonding outside of the bedroom scenes.

The locals on the island play a huge role in this book as well, and I just loved how the author gave them all unique personalities and characteristics. Dougie, Bridie, and Louisa were perfect in their roles, and I enjoyed especially Bridie's easy banter with Perry, and how she was ultimately... well, you read this for yourself.

The Scottish brogue comes across well in the writing, and I had no trouble reading the dialect.

Quirky. Cute. And utterly adorable. A perfect addition to the Dreamspun Desires series. I had a grand time reading it. The author did a fantastic job with the characters, the setting, and the pacing, giving us a really emotional romance between two men who are complete opposites at first sight, but turn out to both want the same thing after all.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-06-14 05:11
Broken Homes (Peter Grant/Rivers of London #4) (Audiobook)
Broken Homes: A Rivers of London Novel - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Cliffhanger! NOOOOOOOooooooo!


Man! Just when it was finally getting good too!


I've been lukewarm on this series at best. The first book was great, and the others since have been good, but where I was expecting something akin to Harry Dresden, what I actually got was more along the lines of Angela Lansbury with ghosts and wizards. I haven't really been able to quite let go of that initial expectation, which hasn't helped. 


This book starts off slow and sedate, as all the others, but then it really ramps up in the last 20% or so and I was really getting into it when IT ENDED. Boo! Now I have to start the next one because I need to know what happens next. :D


Toby is still the best doggie ever. :)

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review 2017-06-12 06:20
good story and characters
From London with Love: Rebellious Brides - Diana Quincy

Emilie’s wedding day was ruined for the second time in five years by Hamilton Sparrow. The wedding this time was to be the grand society wedding of an untitled heiress to a much admired grandson of a Duke, a promising diplomat who charmed everyone he met- the Honorable Edmund Worsley. But it was the image of another man that flashed before Emilie, another groom who had said the morning they were to have wed that he was sorry but he couldn’t marry her. Even though Sparrow was not there or so Emilie thought he was managing to ruin her wedding again. Emilie was determined to shove Hamilton’s memory out of her mind and into the past. Emilia told told herself she was just having wedding day nerves. Even if Edmund sometimes seemed to forget she existed not in a mean way but just like she was an afterthought.But at other times he gave her his full focus and mesmerized her with the promise of the adventures they would soon share. Emilie didn’t love Edmund but she was enchanted by the life he could offer her. Emilie loved to draw and paint. Emilie was her father’s only heir and to inherit a large fortune.  The marriage would give Emilie everything she wanted, escape from her boring country life , to keep her promise to her grandfather , and to avoid a long and lonely spinsterhood. She did respect and admire Edmund. Then Emilie heard a voice she recognized fro a long time ago- Hamilton or Sparrow as he was called, he stepped out and told Emilie she mustn’t go through with the wedding. Then Sparrow added he could not allow it . the Emilie told Sparrow she would not let him ruin another wedding for her. Then Sparrow just tossed Emilie over his shoulder . Hamilton Sparrow had been invited to the wedding but then he had seen Pierce Graves who was a hired killer at the wedding . Sparrow saw Graves track Emilia until she entered St. George’s. Sparrow had worked with Graves before in another life and recognized all the signs of a professional planning for his next kill. Sparrow wondered why Emilie but that would be after he got her to safety. Then Sparrow told Emilie there was a hired killer at her wedding. Sparrow was now Lord Vales. Sparrow takes Emilie to a cottage in a seaside village that he had inherited, Sparrow had been hurt by a woman and swore never to open his heart again and just to have casual sex. No relationships. The woman who broke Sparrow’s heart had been a spy who leaked valuable information to the French which ended with the capture, torture and deaths of a number of Sparrow’s men. Then Sparrow starts to get to really know Emilie and develops feelings for her but could Emilie forgive him for jilting her ?

I liked this story but found it to have something lacking for me. Maybe realizing who the villain is without any doubt. But I did really enjoy the story otherwise. I enjoyed the action and this had a good plot. I loved the ending. I didn’t want to put the book down until I found out why Emilie was wanted dead. This is fast moving. I liked the slow build up to the romance in this story. I did chuckle at times while reading this story. I liked the characters and the ins and outs of the story and I recommend.

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review 2017-06-04 15:17
"Goodnight from London", by Jennifer Robson
Goodnight from London: A Novel - Jennifer Robson

Ms. Robson historical fiction was inspired by the memoirs of her grandmother Myra Moir, a reporter, who worked on the women’s pages of the News-Herald. The author in her latest will transport us to London in the midst of the Blitzkrieg.

1940, American journalist Ruby Sutton gets her big break and moves to London to report on the Second World War as a staff member for Picture Weekly. But life in besieged Britain will test Ruby in ways unimaginable.

In a heartbeat I was immersed in a women’s fiction with strong romantic elements and fascinating accounts of life in England. The protagonist profession is a true part of the story I enjoyed particularly. It was much more than a simple filler, it was an excellent exploration of journalism as it was during that time: daring interviews nicely depicted. While in London, Ruby forms bonds with many friends and depends on their kindness to keep her going and since “Goodnight from London “is a mix of suspense and romance of course what else can we expect but to have Ruby fall for a captain in the military….. awe….Their romance was sweet and engaging as it slowly moved forward.

Ruby is one of those gutsy heroines that caught my interest from the first page, joining her is the slew of supporting cast that are equally captivating. It surely helps that they are likable characters. The authors’ prose and research shines through and it is easy to be pulled in especially when the ravished city is so expertly described. Closing each chapter are bits and pieces of articles that Ruby writes the words start by ”Dispatched from London by Miss Ruby Sutton” and her article is dated…..

This is a cozy and enjoyable read

I received a complimentary copy from HarperCollins through the Earlier Reviewer Program.

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review 2017-06-04 09:12
Rezension | Die Taugenichtse
Die Taugenichtse: Roman - Samuel Selvon,Miriam Mandelkow



Moses, Big City, Fünf-nach-zwölf und die anderen setzen große Hoffnungen in ihr neues Leben im »Zentrum der Welt«, so nennen sie das London der Nachkriegszeit. Sie sind aus der Karibik hierhergekommen, jetzt staunen sie über die Dampfwolken vor ihren Mündern. Und wenn der Wochenlohn wieder nicht reicht, jagen sie eben die Tauben auf dem Dach. Kapitulation? Niemals! Stattdessen beginnen die Überlebenskünstler, sich neu zu erfinden – und ihre neue Heimat gleich mit.


Samuel Selvons Ton zwischen kreolischem Straßenslang und balladesker Suada setzt sich sofort ins Ohr. Bedingungslos aufrichtig erzählt Selvon von den ersten Einwanderern Englands, die das Land für immer verändert haben – sein Denken, seine Sprache, sein Selbstverständnis.


Meine Meinung


Samuel Selvons Roman „Die Taugenichtse“ erschien bereits 1956 in englischer Sprache unter dem Titel „The Lonely Londoners“. Nun wurde der erfolgreiche Roman über die ersten Einwanderer Englands, der bereits den Status eines Klassikers inne hat, ins Deutsche übersetzt und von der dtv Verlagsgesellschaft veröffentlicht.


"Aber das Leben ist so, es passiert einfach. Man legt sich was zurecht im Kopf, eine Art Muster, eine Art Reihenfolge, und auf einmal bam! passiert was, und alles ist aus der Spur." (Seite 50)


Samuel Selvon vermittelt in seinem Roman unmissverständlich eine wichtige Botschaft über Migration und Klassenunterschiede, und zeigt beispielhaft auf wie nah Hoffnung und Verzweiflung beieinander liegen, und doch konnte mich das Buch einfach nicht berühren. Das Lesen strengte mich durch die Sprache im kreolischen Straßenslang, die der Autor für seine Geschichte gewählt hat, unglaublich an und verdarb mir somit schon mal den Lesegenuss. Natürlich kann man den Kritikern zustimmen, dass diese Sprache außergewöhnlich authentisch und sehr passend ist – mich hat der gebrochene Schreibstil, der einem Wortschwall ohne jegliche Ordnung gleicht, leider nicht angesprochen.


"Manchmal denkt man, man ist auf dem richtigen Weg, aber dann muss man doch noch mal neu denken." (Seite 55)


Der Plot, der sich vor allem um die Geschichten diverser männlicher Einwanderer in London dreht und wie unterschiedlich sie ihren Alltag meistern, versprüht jede Menge melancholisches Südsee-Flair. Im Mittelpunkt steht der Erzähler Moses, der unter den ersten Einwanderern aus den karibischen Kolonien Großbritanniens nach England war. Er fühlt sich für die neu eintreffenden Immigranten verantwortlich und greift einigen davon unter die Fittiche.


"So redet Galahad mit der Farbe Schwarz, als wenn sie ein Mensch wäre, und erzählt ihr, dass nicht er hier die Ärgerung bringt, sondern Schwarz, ein wertloses Geschöpf, das überall Aufruhr macht." (Seite 91)


Im Verlauf des Romans macht der Leser Bekanntschaft mit den unterschiedlichsten Charakteren und Schicksalen. Eines ist jedoch bei allen gleich, alle brauchen sie Geld und sind nach hübschen Frauen (egal welcher Nationalität) und einer besseren Zukunft aus. So gesehen gleichen sich die einzelnen Handlungsstränge dann doch wieder etwas.


Der Roman enthält ein Nachwort von Sigrid Löffler das geradezu vor Begeisterung sprüht. Zu gerne hätte ich mich den Lobeshymnen angeschlossen da ich die Thematik von Samuel Selvons Roman sehr wichtig finde, und gerade heute in Zeiten der Flüchtlingskrise, ist es auch noch brand aktuell. Leider hat mir die Umsetzung und Sprache des Romans nicht zugesagt, deshalb vergebe ich 3 von 5 Grinsekatzen.




Eine authentisch erzählte Geschichte über die Einwanderung in England.

Source: www.bellaswonderworld.de/rezensionen/rezension-die-taugenichtse-von-samuel-selvon
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