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review 2017-09-18 16:24
Nine Coaches Waiting / Mary Stewart
Nine Coaches Waiting (Rediscovered Classics) - Sandra Brown,Mary Stewart

Read to fill the “Romantic Suspense” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

This Bingo was a great excuse to revisit an old favourite, which only been slight worn by the passage of time. It is very much a gothic romance, with the heroine having the usual attributes—she is an orphan, she needs to pay her way in the world, and she is hired by a French family to school a young nobleman in English. The young Comte is nine years old and it takes a bit for Linda Martin to make friends with him and get him acting like a real small boy, but they manage to make the connection just before sinister things begin to happen. Has Linda been chosen because she is an orphan with no real connections in France? Will she be the scapegoat when young Philippe is killed?

Add the complication that Linda has fallen in love with Raoul, her employer’s son, who manages another large family estate. Raoul is as sophisticated as Linda is naïve, which causes much of the romantic tension, as the reader wonders whether he is serious or just playing with Linda. Stewart actually uses Cinderella imagery to reassure the reader—there is an Easter ball, of course, for which Linda sews her own dress and during which she dances with Raoul and they agree to become engaged. She has promised to visit her charge, Philippe, in “the dead of night” so he can feel included in the event, so she & Raoul take a “midnight feast” pilfered from the buffet table up to the little boy’s room. On her way up to the nursey, Linda’s shoe comes undone and she almost loses it, completing the Cinderella reference.

Nor is that the only literary reference. The book’s title comes from the poem The Revenger’s Tragedy, a tale of lust and ambition suited to the story line of Nine Coaches Waiting. Each of the chapters is referred to as a coach and Linda takes some kind of conveyance (train, car, plane) in each. The poem also includes a tempter’s list of pleasures: coaches, the palace, banquets, etc., all of which decadent indulgences may lure our heroine to overlook the attempts on her student’s life.

One of the joys of the book for me was the description of the French countryside and communities. These descriptive interludes extend the tension of both the mystery & the romance and give the reader some time to assimilate the clues and try to see the road ahead. It also gave me breathing room to assess the very whirlwind nature of the romance, something that I would usually find unrealistic & therefore off-putting (and which I never noticed as a teenager reading this novel).


I am delighted to report that I enjoyed this novel almost as much forty years later as I did when I first read it.

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text 2017-09-15 21:35
Weekend Reading
Grendel - John Gardner
Misery - Stephen King
Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor
Nine Coaches Waiting (Rediscovered Classics) - Sandra Brown,Mary Stewart

The weather has cooled down here in Calgary considerably.  I haven't any big plans for the weekend, so I hope to do some baking and read some Halloween Bingo books.

 

I've read part of both Grendel and Misery, so I just want to finish them up.  Akata Witch is the next book due at the library (with holds so I can't renew).  And I think that Nine Coaches Waiting will be an excellent Friday evening book.

 

Happy weekend, everyone!!

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review 2017-08-25 21:28
Seeing Red
Seeing Red - Sandra Brown

By: Sandra Brown 

ISBN: 978-1455572106

Publisher: Grand Central 

Publication Date: 8/15/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

From the queen of romantic suspense, Sandra Brown returns following, (2016) Sting, (2015) Friction, making my 2015 Top 50 Books, and (2014) Mean Streak with “prime” movie-worthy SEEING RED. 

From the Pegasus Hotel in downtown Dallas, a 1992 historic event killing hundreds twenty-five years ago, to the present. 

Kerra Bailey is a hungry TV journalist. She wants an interview with the legendary Major Franklin Trapper. 

After all, he was a hero of the bombing of the Hotel. The 25th Anniversary of the event, Kerra is determined to land the story. 

The Major became a national hero after an award-winning picture was captured of him rescuing a group of people, including an innocent 5-year-old little girl, in the aftermath of a hotel bombing.

Kerra’s life was spared. She was the little girl which is now revealed. Why is he a recluse now, after being famous for so long? Why problems between father and son? 

Everyone has secrets and motives . . .

She must go through his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper. John wants no part of the Major. 

What were the motives behind Major's heroism? 

Enter a tension-filled relationship between John and Kerra. (of course, who does romantic tension) better than Brown?

Will Kerra (beautiful and savvy) and Trapper (rough, hot, sexy) wind up joining forces and risk their lives in order to expose a conspiracy and uncover the murderer of Major Trapper? 

From tension, murder, conspiracy, crimes, danger, betrayal, deceit, and lots of sizzle –Brown delivers another edgy twisty mystery suspense thriller, combined with hot romantic suspense and humor. 

SEEING RED will continue to keep Brown fans satisfied and longing for a movie. We can only imagine the cast of stars playing out on the big screen. I also purchased the audiobook narrated by Victor Slezak for an entertaining performance.

A special thank you to Grand Central and NetGalley for an early reading copy. 

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/05/03/Seeing-Red
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review 2017-08-24 10:24
Very good book, mediocre love story
Unspeakable - Sandra Brown

This was a fulminant story.

 

It read like a classic family drama/crime history. It had different strings that came together in an explosive finale.

I enjoyed the different characters, their stories and how it all tied together.

 

The love story is why I deducted half a star. It was unnecessary and felt sloppy, like an afterthought, after the publisher said: but you need some lovey-dovey crap in that book!

 

Some of the story was over the top, but the writing gripped me.

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review 2017-08-21 19:55
Seeing Red by Sandra Brown
Seeing Red - Sandra Brown

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit! I have been a long time fan of Sandra Brown. Before I owned a kindle, started a blog, or had a goodreads account, I read Sandra Brown. I kind of feel like we go way back. I haven't read all of her books but I usually keep up with her annual release every year and try to squeeze in books from her backlist when I get the chance. I went into this book expecting a very entertaining story and those expectations were solidly met.

Trapper and Kerra were at the center of this story. Kerra is a TV journalist out to get the big interview that nobody has been able to get for years. She decides to enlist Trapper's help in getting his father to agree to the interview. Never mind the fact that Trapper is currently not on good terms with his father. Trapper's father, Major Franklin Trapper, became a celebrity when he was able to a few people during a deadly bombing that made headlines. The interview ends up becoming the starting point for a dangerous chain of events.

I really liked Trapper and Kerra in this story. They were both really smart and able to think on their feet. Trapper was a little rough around the edges but really cared underneath it all. Kerra was able to balance the need to get the big story with what she felt was the right thing to do. They had great chemistry with each other and I loved following them as they worked to get everything figured out.

This book starts off with a bang and I was hooked right away. I think that the choice to tell some parts of the story out of order at the very start of the book was very effective. There were so many different things going on in this book and I found myself working to figure out what was really going on along with Trapper and Kerra. I was never quite sure who could really be trusted and found myself second guessing some of the characters. There were quite a few twists and turns that I did not see coming.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of romantic suspense. This book has a lot of action, a solid mystery to solve, and a great romance at its core. I can't wait to read more from Sandra Brown soon.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I am a huge fan of Sandra Brown's writing so I went into this book with pretty high expectations and it delivered. I loved Kerra and Trapper and the mystery took some unexpected twists and turns.

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