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review 2018-09-24 09:56
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat ★★☆☆☆ (DNF)
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat - Sofie Kelly

I just could not get interested in this book. By the time I waded through all the exposition in the beginning chapters to get to the actual mystery, I no longer cared much. I like the idea of a cat-lady librarian for a main character, but other than judging people by the books they check out, there's not much library to this story aside from the setting. The cats weren't particularly engaging for me, either. 

 

Anyway, I hate to abandon a book after getting so far into it, but I just couldn't face another seven hours of audio when I was barely paying attention anyway. DNF at 32%

 

Audio version, borrowed from my public library. Cassandra Campbell's performance was ok. I was attempting to read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Cozy Mystery:  a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. Instead, I have picked up book #6 in the Haunted Home Renovation series, Give Up the Ghost - Juliet Blackwell  . 

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review 2018-09-24 08:34
Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them
Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them - Jennifer Wright

I finally finished this one.  The delay was a combination of being on holiday, and needing to put some space between my experience of this book and the experience of others, as I was starting to feel like I was losing my objectivity regarding my feelings about this book.

 

So, my feelings: Get Well Soon was poorly sub-titled and marketed.  As a popular science book, or a popular history-about-science book, it fails.  As an introductory anthropological and cultural survey of how society has historically reacted to epidemics and pandemics, I think its excellent.

 

Furthermore, while I like her writing style a lot, it is polarising.  Jennifer Wright is a 30-something author whose voice is informal, irreverent and snarky.  She writes the way friends - good friends - talk when they don't have to behave themselves.  She uses this no-nonsense voice to sometimes share her thoughts about topics that are themselves, polarising.  

 

So this is a book that isn't going to appeal to everyone.  It particularly isn't going to appeal - at all - to anyone looking for a more sober, scientifically-focused exploration of the topic.  After reading the whole thing, I'm pretty sure it was never meant to, at least, not from the author's perspective.

 

"If you take nothing else away from this book, I hope it's that sick people are not villains."

 

This is a recurring theme from start to finish.  Wright's objective seems to be to focus a spotlight on humanity's reaction to mass illness throughout history, whether good or bad.  Her hope in doing so is that perhaps those who read this book will learn from history rather than doom themselves to repeat it.  She does this is the frankest, bluntest possible way, with a lot of snarky humor.

 

In this objective, I believe she succeeds.  I think those of us who could be labeled as 'prolific readers' or those who voraciously devour their favorite subjects, might lose perspective on how well-informed, or not,  most people today are.  Society today is at least as divided as it's been at almost any other time in history, and a good deal of opinion is shaped via the internet, a source we all know can be about as accurate as a round of the telephone game.

 

In this context, I think the book is fantastic.  Jennifer Wright seems to be a popular author of columns in various newspapers and magazines; if even a handful of her fans from Harper's Bazaar, et al, read this book simply because she wrote it, and they come away having learned something they didn't know before they started, or thinking harder about their responsibility in society, then Wright will have succeeded where others have failed.  (And yes, I'm generally pessimistic about the world I live in - my country is being run by an orange lunatic; I think I'm entitled to a bit of pessimism.)

 

I'm not one of her magazine/newspaper fans.  In fact it wasn't until after I'd started this that I realised I'd ever read anything by her before.  I'm also quantitatively better read, if not qualitatively (some would argue), and I can say that not only did I enjoy this book a great deal, but I learned more than I expected to.  For example, I had no idea that the Spanish Flu wasn't actually Spanish, but probably American, and I had no idea that it killed so many Americans.  Granted, most of my knowledge of the Spanish Flu comes from British fiction, but it's a testament to the horrifying effectiveness of government censorship during WWI that you still don't read about it in American fiction, and this is a disease that killed in one month more Americans than the US Civil War.  I'd also never heard of Encephalitis Lethargica, and sort of wish I never had.  Even on the diseases I knew more about, Wright managed to impart something new for me, and in at least 2 chapters, left me misty eyed over the power people have when they choose to be selfless.

 

As a popular science book meant to tackle a complicated topic in a palatable way, this book is a fail; there's not nearly enough scientific discussion or data here to qualify this as such a book.  But as a popular, cultural overview of the way societies throughout history have succeeded or failed to handle epidemics when they happened and the importance of rational, humane leaders and populace in times of crises, I think Wright succeeds very well.

 

The tragedy of this book is that it's marketed to the very people who are bound to be disappointed by it and likely don't need its message, and the people who might gain the most from it are likely to pass it by because they think it'll be too boring and dry.

 

I read this for The Flat Book Society's September read, but it also qualifies for the Doomsday square in Halloween Bingo.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-09-24 07:28
The House by the Cemetery 4* book review
The House by the Cemetery (Fiction Without Frontiers) - John Everson The House by the Cemetery John Everson Flame Tree Press 4* ***SPOILERS*** “Some things should remain buried” Synopsis: “Rumour has it that the abandoned house by the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a witch. But rumours won’t stop carpenter Mike Kostner from rehabbing the place as a haunted house attraction. Soon he’ll learn that fresh wood and nails can’t keep decades of rumours down. There are noises in the walls, and fresh blood on the floor: secrets that would be better not to discover. And behind the rumours is a real ghost who will do whatever it takes to ensure the house reopens. She needs people to fill her house on Halloween. There’s a dark, horrible ritual to fulfil. Because while the witch may have been dead... she doesn’t intend to stay that way.” Thank you to Flame Tree Press for sending me an advance copy of The House by the Cemetery to review. Some things should most definitely remain buried. A murderous witch undoubtedly should. If there was ever a tale about a man being led by his, ahem, ‘other’ brain, this is it. Mike, a carpenter is tasked with making an already haunted house safe, to be opened as a haunted house attraction. Seems like a great idea doesn’t it? The end result, the cattle are taking themselves to the slaughter. I got many American Horror Story feels from this book; I could picture it in my mind, the different cast members of AHS and which parts they would be perfect for. It really felt like a story that Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk had come up with during the creative process for their next series. It’s a shame really that they have already done the haunted house theme (series 1). I can live in hope though right? Mike, divorced, living hand to mouth and pay check to pay check, is struggling to pay the rent. He reluctantly agrees to a job offer from his friend Perry, to work on reconstructing Bachelor’s Grove, an infamous haunted house complete with a creepy cemetery. It is to be opened in the run up to Halloween and a scary money making attraction. He meets a girl, Katie, falls for girl and does everything she asks no matter how twisted or bizarre it may seem. Love really is blind. That was my one fault with this book; Mike was a little too accepting of the situation. Even at the end, all the murders, the bloodshed, and he just seemed to be very blasé about it. He would complain, and say he didn’t agree et cetera et cetera, but Katie would smile sweetly and bat her witchy eyelashes and he would be back to being her good boy. That one thing was my only annoyance. I think we needed a man with a bit more fight in him, not an absolute pushover. Katie really didn’t have to work for it. Also, I have to admit, it was not a huge surprise to find out Katie was a ghost, or even the witch for that matter. It was sadly pretty obvious from early on in the book, although that didn’t curtail my enjoyment. I felt the haunted house within a haunted house concept worked really well, I loved all the different room ideas and the overall layout and decoration of the house really did sound great. I felt there was maybe a lack of any ‘actual’ haunting within the house when it was open to the public, unlike the subtle incidents, of entrails, noises and footsteps whilst Mike was working on it. That subtle approach was perfect for building atmosphere in the earlier stages of this novel. I would have appreciated a few unintended jump scares from resident ghostly inhabitants during the open house, which would have been a treat alongside the actors dishing out the scares. I think introducing some other spectral figures would have given the house more of a back story, showing us that many people died there over the years. While we were limited with ghostly visitors, despite being told numerous times of the vast paranormal presence within the house, we were not left totally disappointed. It wasn’t until the very last night of business that the ghouls came out to play. Those last few chapters were great, a very big finish, a huge kill count, it was an absolute blood bath that wouldn’t have been lost on an eighties slasher flick. The House by the Cemetery, released 18th October 2018, is available for pre-order from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Cemetery-Fiction-Without-Frontiers/dp/1787580016/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537108789&sr=1-1&keywords=the+house+by+the+cemetery 4/5 – We all love a good haunted house story don’t we? Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)
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review 2018-09-24 03:51
Book Review for Beast by SC Daiko
 
 
 
 
 
 
Title: BEAST
Author: SC Daiko
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Mafia Romance/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 20, 2018 Cover Design: Letitia Hasser, RBA Designs Cover Photography: Wander Book Club Photography
Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I’ve been sold by my own father to a beast.
 
Gleb Sokolov is the definition of a savage.
He’s an animal in bed and everywhere else.
A notorious Russian mobster, badass personified.
 
And my father just sold me to him, to pay off a debt.
 
But there’s something Gleb doesn’t know… we have a son,
and I’ll do anything to keep him from finding out.
 
Eva Petrenko.
Sassy, secretive, trouble with a capital T.
She drives me fucking insane.
Except, when her father offers her to me, I find I can’t resist.
She belongs with me, even if she refuses to believe it.
Eva hates me, but I’ll go to the ends of the earth to protect her.
Problem is, Eva’s father isn’t the only one with debts…
and mine are the kind I’ll need to pay with my own blood.
 
 
 
This was an enjoyable read.I enjoy this author's stories so always looking forward to her releases.
 
I enjoyed the story plot and enjoyed most of the characters but, I will have to say that Eva's parents not at all and If I was her would have written them off but, she had such a generous heart it was not in her to do so.
 
I always pick a favorite character and mine is going to be Gleb and that is because he was willing to sacrifice so much for those he loved but also give up the only life he has known to protect them as well as love them.I found Gleb to be brass,conceded but underneath all the dark and dangerous he had a heart as well as a conscience.I also loved that he even had limits that he wouldn't cross.I felt  bad and even sad at the fact he was constantly waring with himself and what was best for Eva and his son.
 
Eva what to say other than she was a sweetheart.I loved that she had a bit of feisty-ness to her as well and a backbone too.I loved how protective she was of her son.I loved how patient she was with Gleb as he continued to work through all these new emotions that she stirred up in him.
 
The story flowed nicely and had a bit of suspense and also about a second chance at the life you would have chosen not the one your were dealt but, had the courage to make the change even if it killed her.
 
I enjoyed the romance between this couple and as the story played out they had quite a few sexy scene's but, my only complaint would be I felt that this couple  never connected on a intimate level (meaning I never felt the love between them even knowing they loved one another) maybe it was just the fact that Gleb guarded his heart and emotions fiercely to the very end and just finally realizing really what he had to lose and let us see what was beneath the surface.
 
Overall the story was good from beginning to end.Was I wowed this time around  ? "no" but ,it was a nice enjoyable read to pass the time.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Without warning, my head starts to spin. Shit, I shouldn’t have drunk that cocktail so fast. I can’t see any signs indicating the bathroom. Maybe I can escape for a few minutes behind one of these doors? I’m not that desperate to pee, just need somewhere peaceful to sit and wait for my brain to clear.
I step into an office unlike any I’ve been in before. Ritzy, with an executive desk in the center that’s the size of my bed at home. My eyes are immediately drawn to a stack of banknotes on top of the shiny surface. I tiptoe across the room.
Wow, it’s a pile of one-hundred-dollar bills.
I pick one up to examine it.
Surely these can’t be real?
“What the fuck are you doing in here?” a baritone voice booms.
The air around me compresses, and I spin around.
A man in a tux is standing in the doorway, piercing blue eyes glowering at me. He’s so big his shoulders nearly meet the doorjambs.
And he’s drawn a fucking gun on me!
“I was looking for the bathroom.” I drop the money back onto the table, my heartbeat thudding in my ears.
Blue Eyes paces up to me, holsters his firearm and grabs my wrist. “Who sent you to snoop?” His English is good, but I detect a familiar intonation. “Was it Vadim Rayt?” he adds.
“No one sent me,” I blurt out in Russian. “I’m telling the truth.”
I try to squirm out of Blue Eyes’ hold, but he pulls me against his rock-hard chest, towering above me and invading my senses with his spicy sandalwood cologne.
“Let me go.” I struggle and aim a kick at his shin.
His laugh is scornful. “Not before you give me a better explanation.”
I bite my bottom lip, trying to come up with something. “I just needed some time out.”
“Time out? You’ve got to be kidding. The only women who come in here on their own are hookers. High-class hookers who bribe the doorman.” His gaze roves over my body. “Either you’re a whore or a spy. Which one is it?”
An idea occurs to me. How I can get out of this situation. “I’m a hooker,” my voice purrs.
I can’t believe the words coming out of my mouth. I’ve never been so blatant… like ever. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Once I’ve gotten his pants down around his legs I’ll make a run for it. I reach for his belt buckle with my free hand.
With a groan he lets go my wrist and pushes me to my knees. “You better be good.”
I’ve never given a blow-job in my life. It wasn’t something I felt I could offer my ex, the only boyfriend I’ve ever had.
But I’m not gonna suck Blue Eyes off, am I?
This is only a means to an end.
I pull down his suit pants, and he releases his monster cock himself. Oh. My. God. There’s a ring-style piercing at the tip. Is that what they call a Prince Albert? I stare at it, fascinated.
“Like what you see, Kotenok?”
Somehow, I don’t mind being called kitten by him.
Mistake, Eva.
Big mistake.
Focus on the task at hand… You need to get out of here.
I jump to my feet and prepare to run.
But he grabs me by the hair, yanking me against him. “Oh, yes, you are good, little slut. But not as good as you think you are. Time you learned a lesson.”
He steps out of his pants and drags me over to his executive chair.
“What are you doing?” I yelp.
“Punishing you for attempting a fast one. I’m going to spank your ass.”
“And then you’ll let me go.” It’s more a statement than a question.

“One step at a time, Kitten. First, I will punish you… then we negotiate.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SC Daiko, aka Siobhan (pronounced Shivawn), is an award-winning, international bestselling contemporary romance author. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Italy with her husband and two cats.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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review 2018-09-24 03:32
Book Review for Rough Stuff Untouchables MC, Book 3 by Joanna Blake
 

Rough Stuff

Untouchables MC, Book 3 
by Joanna Blake
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Reviewed by: Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Arc copy for honest review

 
Read for Free in KindleUnlimited: Amazon

I’m meant to be alone. I haven’t so much as looked at a woman in years. But one minute alone with her and I’m a wild man. I’m a former marine who rules The Untouchables’ MC with an iron fist. I never lose control. But when I see Kelly at the wedding of one of our own, I can’t get my mind off her. I’m no good for a nice girl like her, but that’s not going to stop me from hunting her down. When her brother gets in the way, I don’t ease up. Not until a killer starts targeting my crew. Our women too. That’s when I make the hardest call I’ve ever made in my life. I leave Kelly alone to protect her. It kills me to do it. She’s so close, but just out of reach. So I watch and I wait. I keep her safe and chase off any men who dare to get close. Only now, the killer is growing more brazen. There’s no keeping her safe unless she’s in my bed, for good.





What an awesome read!The story was hotter the he**!I have to say that I loved the characters from the very beginning Cain and Alpha and Kelly was sweet and charming with a dash of sass just loved them.

The story was infused with suspense, humor and a cast of great characters that kept us clued to the pages from beginning to end.


I always pick a favorite character and although it was hard I am picking Cain.Cain from the beginning had me half in love with him wright from that searing kiss he gave Kelly without even knowing her yet.The spark and the sizzle between these two was amazing and their chemistry off the charts.Cain was a character that screamed "Danger Beware" but, underneath it all he had a romantic side to him that I loved.This was a man who took what he wanted and OMG! when he did things heated up mighty quickly but, Kelly wasn't going down without a fight and she was super cute and funny with her antic's until she did.


I love a story like this when its a instant attraction been both parties but, with a killer on the loose one needs to do what they need to do to protect what is their's and Kelly was Cain's from the moment they met even if she didn't know it!


Kelly was a character that surprised me the most as she was so sweet and kind and had a sense of humor but underneath it all she was a she-cat with claws and had a naughty kinky side to her as well that lurked between all that sweetness. Laughing out loud....


The sex scene's just kept getting hotter as the story unfolded but,from the very beginning these opposites were destined to be together even if the journey was delayed a bit.The love between them clearly visible to all and just what Cain needed to soften that intense and dangerous part of his personality.


I loved the story from beginning to end.I will say that although the story doesn't leave on a cliff hanger the story within the story is a continuing one.


This is only my second book by this author but, I am looking forward to catching up on this series and reading her other works as I enjoyed this current story immensely.


Recommended read to all! 


From us....


About Joanna Blake

Joanna Blake loves good old fashioned romance, men who open doors and work with their hands. Hot Blooded Heroes is a series of sizzling stories about True Blue American men and the women who love them.
 Follow us here !


 
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