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review 2018-05-15 20:54
Rip Your Heart Out
Rip Your Heart Out (A Ripple Effect Mystery, Book 4) - Alice Duncan,Jeanne Glidewell

I'm a bit late to the Ripple Effect series, this is the fourth book but only the first I've read and I can safely say this can be read as a introduction to the series or as a standalone. Following the adventures of retired couple Rapella and her husband, Rip, as they travel around the US in their RV, they find themselves in the middle of a mystery wherever they go. Rapella, a charmingly naive chatterbox, made for an entertaining sleuth (and I enjoyed Itsy as the sidekick!) and I was drooling over the beautiful scenery on their cruise. Add in a mouthy cockatoo, a sweet St Bernard and a zippy, lively plot and there was a lot to like!

 

The plot, surrounnding an anonymous tip that a local woman's death was not due to natural causes and is later determined to be murder. Suspicion is thrown onto Sydney, one of Rip's cardiac nurses and the niece of the recently decesased woman. There were many facets to the plot, from the seemingly "haunted" house to the squabbling siblings to the possible cache of missing gold and I was sucked in from the start. From the breathtaking scenery on the cruise that made me drool to the many lovable (and not so lovable) characters that jumped off the page and the hijinks that Rapella got into had me chuckling (especially the Uber part!) While I read a lot of cozy mysteries, there have been few that were as fun as this and and I'm definitely going to read the other books in the series.

 

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review 2018-04-30 16:36
True As Fate - Laurie Alice Eakes

I received this books as part of the NERFA romance writers contest to be judged. First, the good aspects: the plot was amazing, the characters were strong, the conflict well-developed and multifaceted. I loved the characters and their adventure. Chloe was such a strong female protagonist and she kept Ross on his toes.  Ross was complex and well-defined.  You understood his motivations, his drive for vengeance, and even why he clung to the ideal that Chloe’s sister represented. Overall great story. Now for my one and only negative…it was more a historical fiction then a historical romance. Yes they kissed and they were attracted to each other but beyond one, maybe two, passionate kisses there is absolutely no passion.  No sex, no indecent moments, nothing. If you can keep in mind that this isn’t really a romance, then you will love the story because it was great, but I expected a romance and didn’t get it.  Yes it is a love story, but a tame and “proper for the times” kind of love story.  I’m giving this 4 stars because the plot and characters are strong enough and entertaining enough that I kept with it, but I am disappointed there was no passion.  If it had that it would definitely be a 5 star romance all the way.  I do recommend it, just go into it knowing there won’t be the traditional romance novel qualities that we look for and enjoy when we pick up one to read.  

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review 2018-04-28 12:28
SF-of-a-Different-Persuasion: "James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon" by Julie Phillips
James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon - Julie Phillips

"What I do with emotion is not, strictly, to ‘bottle it up.’ I parcel it out. I make it drive me in work; I try to use it to understand the world; I occasionally try to form or express little bits in objective writing or drawing; I try to stay out of situations which encourage it; I take it out in physical exertion – and what still can’t be handled I do ‘bottle up’ and sit on. What else can one do? […]”

 

Alice Sheldon in “James Tiptree, Jr. - The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon” by Julie Phillips

 

 

Biographies have traditionally had a complex relationship with "truth." Hesketh Pearson's brilliantly readable mid-twentieth-century biographies favour "good stories" over the boring facts. Julie Phillips didn’t have to tackle one of the most difficult things in writing a biography: correct the distortions and myths in previous biographies. It was all a blank sheet. Phillips seems to favour the "bag of facts" approach to biography which has been gaining favour but this too has its problems – notably, that reading such a book tends to be a chore, not a pleasure. The challenge, I think, is to keep a balance between telling the story and being rigorously, “checkably” factual.

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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review 2018-04-25 04:11
Alice by Christina Henry
Alice - Christina Henry

 

"One day, long ago, she'd gone seeking an adventure and found terror instead. That day had changed the course of her life, and left her hands awash in blood. It was not her fault, but this was how it must be. She understood that now."

 

Poor, trusting Alice. She went with her best friend on a supposed adventure and ended up in an insane asylum. She doesn't remember what happened, only before and after. Before, she was a sweet innocent girl who lived in the New City, and after, she was found wandering the streets of the Old City with blood on her thighs muttering about a rabbit. Now, she has the chance to escape the asylum with Hatcher (who was living on the other side of the wall for 8 years) and she is about to embark on an even stranger adventure, dark, bloody, and frankly a bit disturbing.

 

This is not the Alice you remember from the Disney movie, some of the characters are here: Alice, Cheshire, the Rabbit, the Caterpillar, but they are not as you remember them. This book is full of violence, human trafficking and, rape. Women are treated as objects at best and as sex toys or killing toys at worst. Sections of the Old City are owned by ruthless gang lords, and women are never safe there. But, this is also a story of justice and revenge. Believe me when I say Alice & her friend Hatcher (from the asylum) are no slackers when it comes to giving people what they deserve.

 

So, should you read it? Well, if you like dark, creepy, retellings which are more horror than fantasy, and if you won't be disturbed by the violence, then go for it. If you are the tiniest bit squeamish, then I suggest you pass.

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review 2018-04-18 21:39
Screwdrivered
Screwdrivered - Alice Clayton

Cocktail, Book 3

I Picked Up This Book Because: Continue the series

The Characters:

Viv Franklin:
Clark Barrow:
Hank the Cowboy, Jessica

The Story:

Viv inherits a beautiful beach house from her estranged, deceased aunt. In a life changing decision Viv decides to sell her small business restore the house and live as an artist in Mendocino. Her only roadblock is Clark Barrow, town librarian and town historian giving her hell at every turn of her renovation.

Now I wanted to like Viv and I mostly did but her constant romance novel narrative/constant fantasizing got to be annoying. I’m reasonably sure this was exasperated by the narrator's endless breathy voice and panting. It got old quick. I loved Viv’s passion when it came to arguing with Clark. It annoyed me that it took her so long to see thats where the good stuff was and to stop mooning over Hank. I can’t recall ever hearing why Hank and Clark had the kind of relationship they did. Was it just leftover hard feelings from school? I feel like Clark would be the kind of guy to mature past that by now.

Overall even though it was a great story I think I would have enjoyed it more by reading it instead of listening to it. I loved this town and the people in it. I also loved getting a visit from Caroline and Simon.


The Random Thoughts:



The Score Card:

description

3.5 Stars

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