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review 2020-01-07 11:10
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Run for the Roses (Circles #1) by Elizabeth Noble
Run for the Roses (Circles #1) - 2nd Edition - Elizabeth Noble
#Contemporary #Romance, #LGBTQ, #Romantic #Suspense, #Mystery
RUN FOR THE ROSES is the first book in the Circles series, and it is a much lighter storyline than some of her other books. There is also a hefty dollop of mystery in here for good measure.

Val and Janelle are best buddies, bonding over their past abusive relationships. When Janelle is kidnapped by her ex, Val sees it all and follows in his car to help her. Things go a bit crazy after that but Janelle is safe and trying to rebuild a relationship with Wyatt, her father. The attraction sings between Wyatt and Val and they get Janelle's blessing to be together.

There is a LOT of information in here about horse-racing and the build-up to events, plus what goes on behind the scenes. This is absolutely essential for the story and I'm glad I've learnt something too! However, some readers may find it goes into too much detail, but I'll leave that to you to figure out.

The relationship itself is very smooth. I can't say anything bad about it but it didn't zing off the charts either. If I had to choose a single word to describe the relationship between Val and Wyatt, I would say comfortable.

This is the first book in the series and it is one I would like to continue with. There are some interesting characters in here I would like to know further, and I would definitely like to see how Wyatt and Val's relationship progresses.

If you are after a light romantic mystery read, heavy on the horses, then I would recommend this one.


Source: www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooks.php?bookid=29378
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review 2019-12-29 17:20
The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant #5) - Jospehine Tey
The Daughter of Time - Josephine Tey

First and foremost, I would just like to point out that I can't stand reading books out of order. I don't care if someone tells me books can be read as stand alone novels. If that were true, why would the book be included in a series to begin with?


People who know that I'm an avid historical fiction reader and that my favorite era is the Tudor-era have been telling me for ages that I need to read this book. I've had this book on my TBR for quite some times. However, I had to get around that "I have to read the other four books first" quirk. I have read the first Inspector Grant novel. I was incredibly let down. The idea that I had to read three more Grant novels before getting to the novel I really wanted to read became tiresome. This proved to be one of those times where maybe I just need to listen to people. 


Yesterday, Mother Nature was being especially moody in Minnesota. Law enforcement was recommending people stay put. My husband who will drive through the apocalypse even turned around and didn't go to work. That means it was bad. It wasn't the usual December dumping of a foot of snow. It was two to three inches of solid ice that had most of the state turned into a skating rink. There's a rather comical video of a school bus sliding sideways down a hill. 


The Daughter of Time was the perfect book to keep me entertained yesterday. My children certainly didn't need me. They got LEGOs for Christmas. I figure I have three more days before they are complaining about being bored. By that time, they should be back in school. 


Anyway. I can't remember the last time I finished a book in one sitting. This book was absolutely enthralling. At times it felt more like a play than a novel. I enjoyed the banter Grant had with all the players. I have read a few reviews were people were turned off by his level of snark. I had zero problems with it. It actually made things more enjoyable. His rant about Mary, Queen of Scots had me rolling. 


Tey's theory about the fate of the Princes in the Tower was hardly new for me. I still enjoyed the manner in which she presented it. The argument was compelling. If I didn't already have my own thoughts about what happened, I could easily be convinced to join her side. My book also included a hand written afterwords stating that Richard III was actually found innocent in 1984. I did not know that Richard III had ever been brought to "trial". I would have thought if anything, this would have occurred after his remains had been found. For anyone interested in seeing the trial play out, you can watch it here - http://www.josephinetey.net/Trial-of-King-Richard-III.html Minnesotans are being told to stay home again today. At least I have something to do now. 


Do I think this was the greatest crime novel every written? No. Mainly because I don't view it as a traditional crime novel. It's more a scholarly debate than anything else. Was it worth breaking my series rule for? 100%. Just don't expect me to make a habit of it. 

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review 2019-12-28 08:11
The War Of The Roses
The War of the Roses - Warren Adler

I haven't seen the film. And neither I will, based on this book. This was a very uncomfortable read. In the beginning I mainly disliked it because it felt misogynistic, constantly telling us how sorry we should be for the man whose feeble wife on a whim decided to divorce him. Said wife on her part only gets to tell she wanted to feel free. Add to that another woman who can only say she couldn't possibly understand why anyone would want to divorce such a wonderful man. It felt very dated, and I had to push myself to keep reading this.

And that was before the story went stark raven mad, as the two of them are locked in a fight - almost to the death and the death of the house they so pathetically try to save for themselves. It escalates quickly in what could be the worst divorce ever. At this point I was actually interested in learning who would win in the end, hence the two stars, but the ending was rather disappointing.

The War of The Roses hasn't aged well, in my opinion.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2019-11-26 22:52
Ravenspur: Rose of the Tudors (Wars of the Roses #4) - Conn Iggulden
Ravenspur: Rise of the Tudors - Conn Iggulden

The more I think about this book, the more my rating decreases. I think that means I should probably stop thinking about it. That's not likely to happen any time soon. See, I have a huge problem. The problem is, this should have been two books. One book focusing on Edward IV retaking the throne from Henry VI. One book focusing on everything after Tewkesbury including Henry Tudor's coming to the throne of England. Instead we get both of these things crammed into one book. Is something really crammed if it's nearly 500 pages? 


Part one in which Edward IV is in exile and Henry VI (or what's left of him) is back on the throne is excellent. Iggulden writes a battle scene second only to Bernard Cornwell*.His characters are well rounded. The only thing I wish Iggulden would learn is to separate his personal feelings from his characters. His disdain for Elizabeth Woodville and her family is fairly obvious. However, his reasons for this disdain are not. The lack of screen time Henry Tudor is given would also lead me to believe Iggulden isn't a huge fan of the Tudors overall. Which leads me to wonder why one would even write this book. I digress.


Part two is like an irritating movie. You've been watching this incredible piece of cinema for nearly two hours when suddenly the director realizes they need to wrap it up and get butts out of the theater. Everything is thrown together. Questions you've had from the beginning are sort of answered. Suddenly the credits are rolling. You're not sure how you got to the end yet here you are. I'm sure there are reasons why this series didn't stretch into five books instead of four. Pretty good ones I would imagine since the four books were originally only suppose to be three. However, it doesn't change my opinion. This series should have been five books. Iggulden should have (or been allowed to have) time to really write about the "rise of the Tudors".  


All of those things being said, I would still recommend this series about the Wars of the Roses over anything Philippa Gregory has produced. I wouldn't even recommend wasting time, paper, or energy with PG's "Cousins' War" series. 


I'm planning on starting The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman fairly soon. I haven't decided if this is a good idea or one of the worst ideas I've had in a while. Time will tell. 










*Uhtred wins every time. Fight me on this. 

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review 2019-11-24 14:12
A Kiss in Lavender (La Vie en Roses) (Volume 4) - Laura Florand

I loved this series, it is warm, sweet, romantic, and this one was all of those things.  Elena was a beautiful character with scares and Laura didn't lose site of even the smallest details with this character from start to finish.  Elena truly couldn't understand the concept of someone choosing her, based on her history of always being left behind or discarded.  Lucien had his own scars and I loved watching him reunite with his cousins, come to accept that he is still part of the family regardless of blood, and his reunion with his father was poignant. How he ended up choosing Elena up in the lavender fields was the perfect touch at the end of the story.  The only thing I wanted to see happen was to find out how Antoine was connected to the family, and that wasn't revealed. I don't know if there is going to be another book or not, I hope Antoine gets his own story, but other than that detail I enjoyed this story and the whole series.  It was refreshing and sweet and still had passion (which is a must) :-).  If you are looking for a classic romantic story with passion and just enough drama to keep you turning the pages, plus characters that jump off the page (love Tonte Collette and the grandfather SO much), I highly recommend this series.

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