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review 2018-01-16 19:33
Review: Under A Prairie Moon
Under a Prairie Moon - Madeline Baker

3.5 Stars.

 

This was not at all what I expected.  I was in the mood for a historical Indian romance, but I never expected ghosts, curses and time travel!  I just opened up a book with a title that sounded interesting and this is what I got.  The story was surprisingly interesting.  A man is betrayed and killed for a crime he didn't commit so he put a curse on the people who killed him and their land.  And boy did the curse ever stick!  Fast-forward 125 years to a woman who was recently widowed by a descendant of the cursed family, and she has now come into ownership of the very cursed ranch.

 

Somehow, after having haunted the place since his death 125 years prior, he finally meets someone who can see him.  After accepting the fact that she has a ghosting haunting her ranch, the two become friends.  She, Kathy, convinces him, Dalton, to tell her about his life so that she can write it all down.  Between spending time doing that and rebuilding the ranch, they fall in love and inexplicably get sent back to his time to right the wrongs done him and to take care of unfinished business.

 

I enjoyed the story even with all the modern-day mixed into it.  I never thought I would enjoy a time travel historical romance, but this pleasantly surprised me.  It was a sweet tale with a happy ending.

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review 2018-01-14 09:33
On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt
On the Night of the Seventh Moon - Victoria Holt

Helena Trant meets a handsome stranger on the Night of the seventh moon festival in Bavaria. She knows what he's up to, so she plays it safe, and returns home to England untouched...Only to go back to Germany wanting to meet the handsome stranger again.

She does, only to learn the stranger's name is Maximilian and he's royalty, but he's also utterly in love with her. They marry, live a week of bliss...And then she wakes up with everybody telling her her beautiful dream was all a lie, conjured up by her mind to protect it from the truth that what really happened to her was a true nightmare.


Back when I was younger, Victoria Holt was one of my favorite authors and I used to gobble up her books like they were life-sustaining. I liked the suspenseful and gothic elements, the twists and turns, the ambiguity of many of the characters (including the heroes), and I loved the stories kept me guessing what was real and what was a mere supposition on the heroine's part.
Yes, they're all written in the first-person POV, which is rather limiting, but it also serves to keep things interesting way beyond the point where we'd be bored with an omniscient narrator.

This was one of my VH favorites back in the day, but I must confess that while I still enjoyed the story, the length bothered me this time around and so many years later.
The pacing was plodding, dragging its behind in multiple places, the heroine was too gullible for my liking (and for her own good), and the whole thing was too wordy by half.

Does it deliver? Yes, it still does, pity it takes to long to get there.

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review 2018-01-11 03:48
Gardens of the Moon, Malazan Book of the Fallen #1 by Steven Erikson
Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson

There has been some high praise for this series, and I'm willing to admit that I don't have the headspace right now to get into something so high-falutin' and epic.

Or, it could just be bad. There's no way of knowing, because I do not see myself making another go at this book. I've made a bad habit letting books sit for months lately. The thing is though, MALAZAN BOOK OF THE FALLEN, unlike A Forsyte sequel, The Familiar, or a Russian novel on Da Vinci, doesn't have a hook or characters, or a thought that I can connect to and, subsequently, remember. In Gardens of the Moon I have...I have fragments of a magic system, I have some politics, and a mage named Trellis (that's not right) and some soldiers who've had a raw deal. I read hundreds of pages, there should have been something that made a strong impression.

Erikson, you need to give me something. I will go on a long journey with authors (I did namedrop The Familiar), but you've got to give me something. There are books that are worth heroic efforts and concentration and zero parts of this book made me want to make anything like that kind of effort.

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review 2018-01-06 20:16
How to Walk Like a Man (Howl at the Moon Book 2) Eli Easton Review
How to Walk Like a Man - Eli Easton

Deputy Roman Charsguard survived Afghanistan where he lost his best friend—his K-9 handler James. Roman was a military dog until two years ago when he developed the ability to shift into a human. It’s not easy to learn how to be a man. He found a place to live in Mad Creek, a haven for the secret world of dog shifters. Finding a reason to live has been harder. That is, until a certain human walks into the Mad Creek Sheriff’s office and starts making trouble.

Matt Barclay has the worst luck. First he was shot in a SWAT drug raid, then he was sent as DEA investigator to Mad Creek, a little town in the California mountains. Matt’s job is to keep a lookout for illegal drug farms, but nobody in the town wants him there. And then there’s Roman, Matt’s erstwhile baby-sitter. He’s the hottest guy Matt’s ever seen, even if he is a bit peculiar. If this job doesn’t kill Matt, sexual frustration just might.

The town is counting on Roman to prevent Matt from learning about dog shifters, Matt’s counting on Roman to be his work partner and tell him the truth, and Roman’s trying to navigate love, sex, and a whole lot of messy human emotions. Who knew it was so complicated to walk like a man?

 

Review


This is a fairly light hearted shifter romance. I like the mythos and the characters. I would like it better if it was a known paranormal world. The conflict of "nobody must know" gets a bit old but it fun.

 

Roman is wonderful of course. It is cool the way Easton has him settle into his human body.

 

I like Matt less and would have wanted more time with him after he was out but all in all this is a sweet fun tale with adventure thrown in.

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review 2018-01-05 10:56
The Moonspinners
The Moon-Spinners - Mary Stewart

One of my mom's all time favourites, and I've finally read it.  I don't know what it is about Mary Stewart's books but they always start off a bit slow for me - or maybe I'm just impatient for the suspense to start?  Either way, they usually pick up pretty quickly and this was no exception.  The further along I got into the book, the harder it was to put down.

 

Still, these are very plot-driven books, so even though I enjoy the heck out of them, I always feel there's a little something lacking because there's not a lot of time spent on character building.  The Moonspinners probably had the best characterisations of all Stewart's books I've read to date.  Definitely a lot of fun; even if you don't care for the plot or the characters, it's almost worth it for the scenery of Crete alone.  

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