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review 2019-12-03 15:53
Recommended to fans of conspiracy theory novels and spy thrillers
Collateral Carnage: Money. Politics. Big Pharma. What could go wrong? - Chris Saper

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team, and thank her and the author for the ARC copy of the book, which I freely chose to review.

Having worked in the health services (although in the UK) for a number of years, and having treated some patients suffering from PTSD (although I’m no specialist), I was intrigued by this debut novel. I was even more interested when I read the author’s biography and learned of her first-hand experience as a healthcare administrator, as that promised to bring an insider’s perspective into the topic and add complexity to the plot.

This novel is perfect for readers who love conspiracy theory plots and also spy novels. I must confess that I am not much of a reader of spy novels, because I tend to get lost in the huge number of names, where characters often swap identities, and sometimes find it difficult to tell the different players apart. There is some of that here, because we are thrown at the deep end from the beginning. There’s no gentle easing into the subject or much background information provided before we get into the nitty gritty of the story, and the fact that we don’t know what’s happening parallels the experience of the main character, Claire Wilheit.

The story is narrated in the third person, but from a variety of points of view (I’d say almost as many as characters, or at least as many as characters that have some bearing into the outcome of the novel), and although some characters appear often and we become somewhat familiar with them, there are others that only make a fleeting appearance. The point of view, although clearly signalled, can change even within a chapter, and not all readers feel comfortable with so many changes. Chapters are short, the story moves at a quick pace, and although the language is straightforward, and there are no unnecessarily long descriptions, readers need to remain alert and attentive. This is not an easy and relaxed read; the plot has many strands that might appear quite entangled and confusing at first, but if one keeps reading, the story becomes clearer and the subject is both compelling and gripping.

Personally, I felt that this is a story heavier on plot than on characters. There are quite a number of characters I liked (mostly on the “good” side, although I felt some sympathy for the motives of some of the characters on the “bad” side as well), especially Claire, who is determined, intelligent, resourceful, and has managed to overcome pretty difficult circumstances, but because there are so many characters, and they all take their turn, it is difficult to get to know most of them in depth. I think that was in part the reason why, at times, I felt like an observer of the plot and the story, rather than being fully involved and sharing in the experiences of the characters. The end of the novel hinted at the possibility of further adventures involving Claire and some of the other characters (I’m trying to avoid spoilers here), so readers might learn much more about them.

I “enjoyed” (well, it worried me, but you know what I mean), the insight into the pharmaceutical industry, the way the novel spells out the relationship between Big Pharma and politics, and the reflections on how the healthcare system works (or rather, might end up working) in the USA. One of the aspects of the novel that I found captivating was the dystopian edge of the story. I haven’t seen it listed as a dystopia, but it is set in the very near future, with a social order very similar to the current one, but with subtle differences, or perhaps one could call them “developments” that, unfortunately, fit in well with recent events and with the way things are progressing. In the book, the efforts to control costs have resulted in the privatization of ever more services —the police force in Phoenix, for instance, deals with certain kinds of crimes, but at night there is a Militia in charge, and there is a curfew in place—, including the healthcare of the veterans of the many wars that the American military has participated in, and there are large interests involved in all these services. And, of course, those can be manipulated by less than scrupulous people. The most worrying part of the story is that it feels very realistic. It does not take a big stretch of the imagination to see something like this happening, and perhaps with an end far less satisfying than that of the novel (which I liked).

In summary, this is a novel for lovers of conspiracy theories and/or fairly realistic spy thrillers, that like puzzles and complex plots and don’t shy away from hard topics. The author injects her knowledge into the story without overwhelming it and the research is well integrated into the plot. There is no graphic violence and no romance here but a dire warning of how things could end up if money continues to be the governments’ (not only that of the USA) only consideration when dealing with people’s wellbeing. The characters are not as important as the story, but I think there is room for their development in future instalments. As a note to the author, I wonder if a list of characters might help people not to get lost, especially at the beginning of the book. I know that because of the nature of the plot, it might be difficult to do that without spoiling some of the surprises, although there might be ways around it. I will keep a close watch on the author’s writing career.

 

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review 2019-11-19 12:12
A chronicle of a life spent chasing the news
Deadlines on the Front Line. Travels With a Veteran War Correspondent - Paul L. Moorcraft

Thanks to Rosie Croft from Pen & Sword for sending me an early hardback copy of this book, which I freely chose to review.

I have become interested in the world of the press and reporters of recent, and when I read the information about this book, I had to check it out.

This book is part memoir/part chronicle of Moorcraft’s life as a war correspondent, but it is not only about that, as he does talk in detail about periods of his life dedicated to teaching (for example in Australia and New Zealand) and also about a variety of other projects he took on, like creating documentaries of all kinds, mostly following his instincts and his interests. If he was living in a particular country, and he heard about something going on in a neighbouring one, he’d always manage to find a reason to be there. He knew how to sell his ideas and how to get news agencies and broadcasters interested, for good reason, as he is an engaging and knowledgeable reporter, with a knack for meeting all kinds of people and getting into difficult places. Some of the stories of his trips to meet fighters, guerrilla leaders, and his stays at dangerous places at particularly risky times make for scary reading, as it’s impossible not to think what we would have felt like in that situation. I don’t think many of us would have dared to try some of the stunts he pulls, and it is easy to see why he wonders about the nature of courage in his conclusion. Courage might take many forms, but there is little doubt that what he and many of his colleagues did, and do still, takes courage and something we might call a true vocation or “calling”. And yes, perhaps some form of “madness”.

I’ve read a review that says the author has covered all countries almost from A to Z (and yes, Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and many in between, all around Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania, some which no longer exist as well) and that is true. He writes well, extremely well, and he is far from politically correct or careful when it comes to stating his opinions, that are deeply personal and do not ever purport to be neutral or even fair. Some of his views will be unpopular with some readers (I must admit I do not share his point of view on many subjects), but he narrates his own experiences candidly, he does not take himself too seriously, being as critical of himself as he is of the rest of the people who make an appearance in this book, and he humbly acknowledges that his opinion might be biased and one-sided.  Although his adventures reminded me of James Bond at times (a character I must confess I’ve never been fond of), he shows empathy and a deep concern for those in a position of weakness and powerlessness, suffering due to the poor decisions of those who are supposed to protect them. He is self-deprecating at times, and there are plenty of jokes and humour, very British humour (or Welsh, although he acknowledges that for someone who deeply loves Wales, he has spent most of his life away) in the book. There are also many photographs, maps, a timeline, and great observations of places, countries, and ways of life that, in some cases, have totally disappeared (his early chapters on Africa and South-Africa I found particularly illuminating in this respect).

I recommend this book to people interested in how being a war correspondent and a reporter has changed over the recent years, to those who want to read a personal account of what it was like to live in some of the most conflict-ridden areas in the world from the early 1970s until recently, and to people interested in life as a university professor in different countries over the years. The author has written many other books, fiction and non-fiction, and if readers enjoy his writing, there’s plenty more to explore.

As an example of his style, I’ll leave you with his closing reflections:

I still plan a few more comebacks, just like the guy who grew up in the same Pontypridd street where my mother’s family lived: Tom Jones. I have accepted that instead of always wondering why I inevitably sat next to the nutter on the bus, train or plane, I realize that people often thought I was the nutter. I spent my working life at places such as Sandhurst or Staff College assuming I was the only sane man in the lunatic asylum. I finally realized that they couldn’t all be wrong.

 

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review 2019-05-30 02:18
Good Story and Good Characters
Smooth Moves (Veteran Movers #2) - Marie Harte

Cash was on a moving job from hell. It gave him the jitters to be around money and class. Both of which he had little abundance. He was fine with that. Hector and Cash as well as Jordan and Heidi were all on this job. The only thing Cash’s mother left him was a nightmare and a house that caused tension between Cash and his brother Reid. Jordan yelled at one of the Miller twins to slow down. Jordan was an ex Army MP and cash thought she was sexy. Vets On The Move employed military veterans and provided the people of Seattle with experienced service for their local moving needs. Cash and his brother reid wned the company. Business was thriving and cash had been ordered to keep his big mouth shut. Though cash was two years older - his younger brother Reid had taken the business from small and barely managing to a real success. So Cash did his best to keep his opinions to himself and pack, lifted and moved. Something about Jordan had been on his last nerve since day one. A sizzle of attraction. A spark when they accidently touched. And she made him laugh with that large attitude stuffed in a tiny, appealing package. Cash struggles with his attraction to Jordan as he is technically her boss as well as coworker. Jordan also knew how to push Cash’s buttons.   Cash had found the last two years in the civilian world challenging. Jordan had dreamed of Cash holding her more than once. His stubborn jaw had tempted her more than once to punch it and than kiss it and make it better. Even though Cash was half owner of the moving company but he was out working like any other employee. Cash’s eyes seem to be constantly on Jordan filling her with heat. The big bad man intimidated most people but he didn’t frighten her. Cash was a protector at heart. He was always the first in line to offer help. Jordan thought of her own brother Rafi who had taken money out of her wallet, and who seemed to be on the verge of throwing away his entire future. When Cash and Reid’s mother had died cash found out to his and Reid’s shock that the mother who’d ignored him for the past twenty plus years had left him her property and everything that came with it. His mother had died a month ago. He and Reid didn’t understand it. For the first seven years of his life Cash had been loved by Angela and Charles Griffith. He and reid shared an idyllic childhood until something happened and to this day he still didn’t understand. He remembered that day. The sun was shining and a favorite cartoon was on in the background . Than the hatred in his fathers eyes and the immediate reversal of everything good in his life, including the gradual decline of Angela as she ignored the family more and more until Cash might as well ceased to exist. Cash thought how being near jordan caused his heart to race for no apparent reason. She distracted him with her light floral scent that caused other parts of him to get excited. He continued to think of her at his mother's/ now his house as he cleaned out his mothers stuff out of his room. Yet Reids room looked the same as when they lived there.  Jordan goes to Cash to help her with Rafi, to talk to him help him get back on the straight and narrow. Jordan is trying to help Cash with his family problems. Cash does run interference for Rafi which results in issues between him and Jordan.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I enjoyed the plot and pace.I felt bad that Jordan’s parents had given up on fifteen year old Rafi and it feel on Jordan to take him on and try to raise him.  But he’s their son not Jordan’s. My heart broke for Cash the ways he was physically and mentally abused when he was young and made to believe he was worthless, no good, a loser and he still believed it. I loved that Jordan would set Cash straight when she felt he needed it. I loved how this group of ex military people got along. I advise you to read the first book in this series for a smoother more knowledgeable read. I loved Jordan and Cash together and how they interacted. I wish I could rate this 4.5. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend it.

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review 2019-05-26 13:04
Smooth Moves (Veteran Movers #2) by Marie Harte
Smooth Moves (Veteran Movers #2) - Marie Harte

 

 

There are moments within a Marie Harte novel where it becomes hard to tell who the alpha is. Smooth Moves has a number of those moments. Cash and Jordan butt heads at every turn. It's an uphill battle to romance, but the climb is full of seductive foreplay. There's always a new twist to their story, but the culmination is as explosive as their courtship is tempting.

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review 2019-05-13 11:00
Release Day Review! Lost In You (Petal, Georgia #2) Lauren Dane!

 

 

 

Good Morning, Readers! Today, I am visiting Petal, Georgia to discover how Joe Harris handles things when his best friend's little sister becomes a temptation! Enjoy and don't forget to add Lost In You by Lauren Dane to your shelves!

 

 

 

 

Previously published; newly refreshed by author—including bonus chapters!

Welcome back to Petal, Georgia in this spin-off of the Chase Brothers series by Lauren Dane.

 

 

Getting lost in the arms of a bad boy never felt so good

Time—and the military— have made Joe Harris a better man than he was when he left Petal, GA ten years ago. Now that he’s back, all is wants is to take care of his dad, get his garage up and running and spend time with his dog. He has no plans for a relationship, especially one with his best friend’s kid sister, no matter how much she tempts him. And boy does she ever.


 

 

Ten years ago Joe Harris left Petal, Georgia for the military and now he’s a better man that he was when he left. All he wants is to get his garage up and running, take care of his dad and spend time with his dog. But even though he has no plans for a relationship, Joe finds himself being tempted by his best friend’s little sister.

 

This emotionally gripping story grabs readers by the heart and refuses to let go.

The romance is full of electrical chemistry and wonderful passionate moments full of depth so that readers really get to know these strong, convincing characters and the emotional turmoil that takes place through this story gets ensures that readers really get the nitty gritty details of everything that Joe is going through with his father and his feelings about entering into a relationship.

 

The small town and the closeness of the families as they come together are really inspiring and make this romance a heartwarming story that readers can really sink their teeth into. This author has a knack for filling her stories with all the emotions of life so that her stories are realistic and comes to life. This romance also has a bonus story at the end that gives readers a fun and happy experience as the couples of Petal, Georgia experience a celebratory night out.

 

 

 

Author's Book Page - http://www.laurendane.com/books/lost-in-you/

 

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44447117-lost-in-you#

 

BookLikes - http://booklikes.com/lost-in-you-lauren-dane/book,14004811

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/lost-in-you-by-lauren-dane-2019-03-29

 

Riffle - https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/1047580

 

Romance.io - https://www.romance.io/books/5c8df2c201dbc864fb9bd699/lost-in-you-lauren-dane

 

GBooks - https://books.google.com/books?id=P-uMDwAAQBAJ&dq=lauren+dane+lost+in+you&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTpezco5LiAhVSMqwKHfJBCrUQ6AEIKjAA

 

 

 

 


Previously published by Samhain Publishing; newly refreshed by author—including bonus chapters!

 

 

Petal, Georgia is a sensual romance series set in the small (fictional) town of you guessed it — Petal, Georgia. A spin off from The Chase Brothers series, the first books of Petal will feature members of the Murphy family. Much like the Chase Brothers, the central theme in this series is family — and if you've read me before you know I not only mean the one you're born with, but those people you make the family of your heart.

 

Lost In You is the 2nd book in the Petal, Georgia series

 

author - http://www.laurendane.com/connected-books/petal-georgia

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/60495-petal-georgia

 

 

1 Once and Again
2 Lost In You

 

 

#3 Count On Me (July 8, 2019)

 

http://www.laurendane.com/books/count-on-me/

 

 

This series follows the Chase Brothers series and includes Characters from there.

 

Author - http://www.laurendane.com/connected-books/chase-brothers/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/42329-chase-brothers

 

 

1 Giving Chase
2 Taking Chase
3 Chased
4 Making Chase

 

 


AVAILABLE in print or ebook

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Lost-You-Lauren-Dane-ebook/dp/B07PRSCSVY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1552775545&sr=8-3-fkmrnull

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lost-in-you-lauren-dane/1113969081?ean=9781488053788

 

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lost-in-you-18

 

iBooks - https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/lost-in-you/id1456242471?mt=11

 

GPlay - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lauren_Dane_Lost_In_You?id=P-uMDwAAQBAJ

 

Harlequin - print - https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335215772_lost-in-you.html

 

Harlequin - ebook - https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488053788_lost-in-you.html


 

 

The story goes like this - While on pregnancy bed rest, LAUREN DANE had plenty of down time so her husband took her comments about "giving that writing thing a serious go" to heart and brought home a secondhand laptop. She wrote her first book on it before it gave up the ghost. Even better, she sold that book and never looked back.

 

Today Lauren is a New York Times bestselling author of over fifty novels and novellas across several genres.

 

 

Website http://www.laurendane.com/

 

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurenDane

 

Twitter https://twitter.com/laurendane

 

Goodreads https://goo.gl/pg3R22

 

Amazon https://amzn.to/2uDfIHF

 

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lauren-dane


 

 

 

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