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text 2018-09-14 02:51
At Least It Was Free
Emma: An Audible Original Drama - Morgan... Emma: An Audible Original Drama - Morgana Robinson,Joseph Millson,Aisling Loftus,Isabella Inchbald,Anna Lea - adaptation,Audible Studios,Jane Austen,Joanne Froggatt,Emma Thompson

Introducing Audible Originals. Each month, members may pick two out of six selected Audible Originals to download for free. The only one that had any appeal this month was Austen's Emma. Sadly it is an adapted dramatization, Austen Light for those whose only knowledge of Austen is from the television. After 8 minutes I had had more than enough, DNF'ed it and moved on.

 

It flips back and forth between dramatized dialogue and narration, with little connection between the narrator the subsequent dialogue, The dialogue sections are Foley-enhanced and the background noise is super annoying. Enough. You get the point. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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review 2018-06-13 02:01
What you gonna read?
Ghostbusters: Novel (Coronet Books) - Larry Milne

Recently I re-watched the 80's classic Ghostbusters and for the first time I wondered if there had ever been a novelization of the story. Spoiler alert: There is and it's pretty weird. Much like the Star Trek screen-to-book adaptations that I've read this was written directly after the film was released and includes additional scenes and background information not covered in the original film. For example, did you know that Winston's last name is Zeddemore? And if you had only read the book I doubt you'd find Dana very charming...in fact you might think she was abrasive. While it mostly stuck to the script's dialogue, the character descriptions fell short of the mark. (Egon is still the best though.) Bonus material like movie stills, cast and crew bios, and movie credits were tacked on making this feel less like a novelization and more like a marketing ploy. (If you haven't guessed yet I wasn't overly impressed with it.) What I like about both the book and movie are all of the obvious nods to New York like the Schwarzman branch downtown. It's such a cool way to feel connected to the story. XD I can't deny that it wasn't that great though so it's a 3/10 from me.

 

What's Up Next: The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-06-08 23:24
Upstaged
[Death of a Hollow Man: A Chief Inspector Barnaby Mystery] (By: Caroline Graham) [published: March, 2006] - Caroline Graham

Once more I'm delving into Caroline Graham's world of detective fiction but this time it's with the second book in her Chief Inspector Barnaby series. Death of a Hollow Man takes place primarily in the Causton theater. It begins with the death of a prominent member of the local acting community committed during a performance of their newest production. Very dramatic, eh? [A/N: I have to restate my dislike of Sgt Troy who is misogynistic, homophobic, and generally vile. I understand he's used as a literary device to highlight how different he is from the main protagonist of the novel but I really wish he wasn't in the books at all. Something I do like is the relationship between Tom and his wife Joyce which is portrayed quite a bit differently from the TV series which I am more familiar with (and like better). The reader learns more background knowledge about how they met each other and fell in love (turns out Joyce is an excellent singer while Tom possesses admirable artistic skills). In fact, a lot of relationships are explored in this sequel and the majority of them are quite ugly beneath the surface. There's quite a lot of flippant talk regarding mental illness which I didn't particularly care for especially relating to Alzheimer's. I think the only really good thing I can say about this novel is that the mystery itself is fast paced and interesting so it kept me turning the pages. Graham knows how to write a gripping mystery but I don't think she's especially adept at character portrayals (or sensitivity). All in all, I think this will be my last foray into this literary series but I will continue to watch Midsomer Murders (especially after we visited the place where it's filmed). 5/10

 

What's Up Next: Ghostbusters by Larry Milne

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2018-05-28 08:10
Book Blitz - Royal Service

Royal Service
Leslie North
(Royals of Danovar)
Publication date: May 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

King Phillip is a real life Prince Charming. Golden haired with a Danovian accent, and a solid gold crown sitting on his head, he’s every girl’s daydream. He’s a good man and an even better king, but the one thing he’s been terrible at is choosing a royal wife — fearing a marriage that’s more about policy than passion. But when his mother invites all the eligible maidens to The Summer House Party, Phillip is trapped in a real-life Bachelor where he won’t have the option of quietly splitting from the girl after the party is over — he’ll be wed to her for life.

 

Ella Fernstone is tired of being the family servant. After her father died, Ella was receded to the basement as her stepmother began a full court press to cultivate her own daughters. Ella’s ready to escape the hot mess of a home that she grew up in by finally pursuing her dream of competitive riding: something she’s been preparing her whole life to do. All she has to do is marry one of her step sisters off to the King of Danovar to finally find her freedom. It couldn’t be that hard right?

 

That was until Ella was the first to fall for the King’s dashing good looks and an offer to ride off with him into the sunset. Ella is hesitant — a Queen’s life was still one of servitude, but it’s hard to ignore the pull of a handwritten love letter and a skillfully delivered kiss. Phillip too is caught up in seducing what he never expected to find: an eligible woman he might just learn to love. But when the reality of a royal marriage comes crashing down, Phillip and Ella must decide if they can risk their hearts, or their freedoms, on the chance of true love.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

King Phillip Gregory Humbert Alcott knelt beside his favorite vintage Indian motorcycle, grease coating his hands, and wished he could stay there forever. Or better yet, finish fixing it up and then just ride off into the sunset. Unfortunately, the sun’s current angle in the mid-afternoon sky put the kibosh on that plan—not to mention the gaggle of women halfway down the drive, any one of whom he was supposed to marry.

 

Phillip loosened the rear axle nut with a grunt, putting more effort into it than was strictly necessary. A strand of his long blond hair swung loose and he pushed it aside with his forearm. Fixing up his motorcycles usually brought him peace, but lately, with his thirtieth birthday looming, there was hardly any peace for him in the whole of Danovar. According to his country’s law—not to mention his mother’s insistance—he was supposed to choose his queen by the time he turned thirty. And seeing as he’d managed to successfully ignore that law for the last twenty-nine years and nine months, now he had exactly three months left to pick a bride. His mother’s way of “helping” him achieve that goal was to gather all the eligible ladies for a weeks-long party at the Summer House, so that he might pick one to marry before the impending deadline.

 

The ladies had been arriving all day, and the group at the other end of the drive was among the last of the bunch. Dressed in their jewel-toned finery, they looked like a flock of peacocks, fluttering around and clucking amongst themselves while they assessed the Summer House with openly calculating gazes, not even noticing him kneeling there covered in oil and engine grease.

 

His mouth twisted. One of those oblivious women might well be his future wife.

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to get married. In fact, he’d always been enamored with the idea of growing old with a woman he loved—but that was the problem. During this party he wasn’t so much picking a wife as he was choosing a queen, someone who was capable of ruling Danovar at his side. That meant he would never marry for love, and having seen his parents and grandparents live through loveless marriages, he knew it was nothing to look forward to. He wished there was a way for his duty and love to go hand in hand but it just wasn’t in the stars, and being king meant putting his country

before his own desires.

 

He allowed the rear wheel to slide in the swingarm a bit, blowing out a breath and rolling his shoulders to try to get the tension out of his muscles as he returned to his bike. It wasn’t what he wanted that mattered, he reminded himself. It was what his people needed. And if his people needed one of these scheming peacocks to be his wife, then that’s what they would damn well get.

 

But that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy himself a bit first. Sneak off, spend a few hours on the road, just him and the sunset and the cherry-red bike roaring beneath him. Once he could manage to focus long enough to get the damn drive chain tightened, this beauty would ride like the wind. He’d be sure to get back in time to give the opening speech tonight, of course—shirking his duties was no way to start his search for a queen—but he just needed a little freedom, a little time to himself.

 

One last limo pulled in, carrying the final load of ladies who were here to vie for the royal engagement ring. Two women who looked like sisters climbed out and stared up at the Summer House, but at least they looked more like they were appreciating its beauty than calculating how much money the crystal chandeliers and extravagant stables were worth. These two were attractive enough, he supposed, and in other circumstances he might not have minded flirting with them. In fact, maybe he could simply pretend he was his brother Eric tonight—then he could flirt with anything in a dress and it could all be fun and games, rather than the official business of the crown.

 

The women’s servant was standing at the rear of the limo, efficiently unloading the designer luggage. Now with her, he’d love to do more than flirt. She was sexy as hell from behind, clad in a crisp outfit that screamed personal assistant. It also screamed I have a nice ass. Her golden hair was caught up in a bouncy ponytail, and the second he saw it he couldn’t stop thinking about what it would feel like to wrap those golden locks around his hand, tug her head back and angle her just right for a scorching-hot kiss, to run his other hand across those delicious curves and then down, down, down even further, until she was panting and trembling and neither of them could remember their own names.

 

He tightened the axle back in place and set his tools in their box, wiping his hands on a rag as he contemplated her. It had been a long time since a woman had affected him this strongly, this quickly—but judging from the efficient, completely un-self-conscious way she was juggling her bosses’ luggage, she had no idea she was drop-dead gorgeous. Her innocence was refreshing after all the stuffy gold-diggers he’d watched drive up, who he’d now have to spend the next few weeks courting.

 

He stood, dropped the rag, and straddled his bike. He’d just been thinking he needed an escape, and now he couldn’t conceive of a better one than shirking tonight’s duties to spend some quality time with the gorgeous creature in front of him. Usually his flings had to go through layers of security checks before he was alone with them, but he was feeling restless and reckless, and the beauty in front of him would be the perfect cure for that.

 

Decision made, he revved the engine.

 

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women's contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.

 

The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren't afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.

 

Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.

 

She LOVES reader feedback, and if you have any comments, don't hesitate to contact her via e-mail: leslie@leslienorthbooks.com.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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review 2018-03-08 00:35
Sleuthing for a new mystery series
The Killings at Badger's Drift - Caroline Graham

It might come as a surprise that I had never heard of the writer Caroline Graham until my mom got me into watching a show called Midsomer Murders. (It's on Netflix if you're interested.) What does one have to do with the other? Well, the tv show is based off of a book series by Graham that begins with The Killings at Badger's Drift which also happens to be the first episode's name. As this is the first in the Chief Inspector Barnaby series, you can expect the usual character introductions and some growing pains as the reader decides if they actually want to throw their hat into the ring of a somewhat grumpy detective in the English countryside. In the show DCI Tom Barnaby is a fatherly figure accompanied by a somewhat bumbling underling named Gavin Troy. It's not quite the same in the book. Firstly, Troy (who is one of my fave characters) is not at all likable. The reader is treated to somewhat of an inner monologue of his and he's not what I'd characterize as a a good dude (he's misogynistic, arrogant, and a cheater). Secondly, Barnaby is bordering on being a full-blown hypochondriac with an extensive knowledge of horticulture which at times seems to nearly distract him from the case at hand. (Get ready for a lot of plant descriptions.) However, looking beyond these very different versions of the characters the 'feel' of the mystery is the same if somewhat more overtly sexual. (This is an adult novel.) The crime centers around a small village called Badger's Drift and the victim is an older woman who everyone can agree was very likable. There aren't any concrete leads on suspects and Troy is ready to write it off as a bizarre accident when another murder occurs right up the road. Onward, super sleuths! Like Christie, Graham is able to write characters extremely well and the feel of the village comes completely to life on the page. This was an extraordinarily fast read for me because I was enjoying it so much and wanted to see whodunit (even though I already knew). Mystery fans who want to visit what has to be the deadliest county in the UK must get their hands on this book because I strongly suspect (see what I did there?) you won't want to stop there. 9/10 but lost a point because Troy made me grind my teeth in sheer frustration.

 

What's Up Next: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Others Lessons From the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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