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review 2019-12-15 05:52
Edge of the Season
Edge of the Season (Edge Security Series Book 4) - Trish Loye

This book was very short. It only took me about an hour, maybe a little less to read. That being said, the author packed a lot into not many pages. It was very action-packed.

 

This features the couple from the first book in the series, and even though I wasn't overly enthused with that book, I wanted to read this one to see them get their HEA. I was pleased with the way it played out.

 

 

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text 2019-12-15 05:39
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Edge of the Season (Edge Security Series Book 4) - Trish Loye

Read for:

 

 

Task 3:  Read a book by candle light (or flashlight).

 

Here's a picture. You can see the candle in the background. Though, technically, I guess I was reading by kindle-light. ;)

 

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text 2019-12-15 04:44
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 92 pages.
Edge of the Season (Edge Security Series Book 4) - Trish Loye

Reading this for:

 

 

Task 3:  Read a book by candle light (or flashlight).

 

I will post a pic when I finish the book.

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review 2019-12-14 18:33
Door 20 Christmas Book "Murder in the Snow: A Cotswold Christmas Mystery - Mrs Bradley #23" by Gladys Mitchell
Murder in the Snow: A Cotswold Christmas Mystery - Gladys Mitchell,Patience Tomlinson

 

 

How nice to find a Mrs Bradley book that I enjoyed, and a Christmas one too.

 

My first two experiences of Gladys Mitchell's Mrs Bradley books were not positive. I read a fairly poor all cast production of her first book, "Speedy Death" and tried again with the third book in the series "The Longer Bodies" which, while it worked as a curiosity that showed how early crime fiction flopped about like a recently landed fish on a dock before the modern genre emerged, wasn't a satisfying read.

 

I decided to try one last time, with a much later book, the twenty-third in the series, originally published as "Groaning Spinney" but cleverly re-titled as "Murder In The Snow - a Cotswold Christmas Mystery", which points it firmly at the Christmas cosy mystery market.

 

I had fun with this book. Published in 1950, it nicely captures a sense of an England in transition, where the role of the gentry is changing and men of all classes have returned from the war with different expectations of themselves and each other. Mrs Bradley goes to stay with her nephew, who has just bought a portion of a country estate sold off by a Peer of the Realm. He owns the manor house and a few farms and woods. The rest is owned by the State and is being used a (new at the time) Teacher Training College. I was fascinated by the wealth and privilege that Mrs Bradley's nephew took for granted, while at the same time trying to get the locals NOT to refer to him as "Your Lordship" - a title he doesn't hold.

 

In the beginning, the book does a splendid job of giving a Landlord's view of life in a small Cotswold village at Christmas time. The local characters are clearly drawn, from the carter through the farmer to the land agent. The principle of the Teacher Training college is also shown to advantage although she and her staff and students are seen as earnest, enthusiastic curiosities.

 

The murder and the plot that spins from it was quite interesting, with lots of unexpected but plausible connections that held my interest while making it impossible for me to solve the whodunnit riddle.

 

Mrs Bradley is presented as an energetic, almost manic woman, with preternatural powers of observation, an appetite for the hunt and deep insight into people without the impediment of empathy.

 

There were points where I found the exposition a little clumsy and a little over-worked. There was a sequence of "Mrs Bradley Explains It All" scenes which were differentiated only by Mrs Bradley picking a new person to expound to. OF course, Mrs Bradley plays her cards too close to her chest to explain it all. She teases the reader by using her audience as sounding boards without telling them why she is testing her point of view.

 

But this was minor. The plot was interesting and the pace was adequate. There was a substantial amount of local colour, from archaeology through to joining the local hunt, and enough action to keep my attention.

 

This was a solid, Christmas cosy mystery and a big improvement on my previous encounters with Mrs Bradley. I shall be back for more from this period.

 

I listened to the audiobook version, which was released in March this year and was narrated with brio by Patience Tomlinson (shame about the cover).

 

Click on the Soundcloud link below to hear a sample.

 

https://soundcloud.com/ulverscroft/murder-in-the-snow-by-gladys-mitchell

 

 
 

 

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review 2019-12-14 17:56
Wrapped Up in You by Jill Shalvis
Wrapped Up in You (Heartbreaker Bay, #8) - Jill Shalvis

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Ivy has been on her own since she was sixteen but lately, she wants to put some roots down. She's slowly starting to warm up to her group of friends and the new guy Kel, is catching her eye.

Kel is on leave from his job as a sheriff after being betrayed by one of his cops. When his cousin introduces him to Ivy, he's instantly attracted to her and her spicy tacos.

Ivy and Kel have family drama and they're both scared to open up but they just can't stay away from each other.

 

She wanted him. Quite badly, if her racing pulse meant anything. He was so . . . what, exactly? Steady? Tough? Intense and yet somehow easygoing, not to mention also extremely easy on the eyes?

 

Eighth in the Heartbreaker series, Wrapped Up in You gives a little bit of a crossover with Kel from the Animal Magnetism series. I haven't read any other books in Heartbreaker and that might have hurt some of the emotional connections I was missing. Characters that were stars from previous books, acting as secondary characters here, were never overwhelming to me as a newcomer but I never fully felt the friendship between the women and Ivy or a emotional familial connection between Kel and his cousin. Kel and Ivy spend the majority of the time together and are the focus, which works for highlighting their relationship, but it hurt my feeling their connection to the world Shalvis has created.

 

Kel's background in Idaho and all the drama that went down there happened away from this book and his utter lack of desire to return to what was his home gave more of missing piece to his character for me rather than emphasizing his desire to stay in California for and with Ivy and his family. His family drama with his mother also felt tacked on as I struggled to get a sense of Kel, let alone his secondary family members and their relationship.

 

I connected with Ivy's character more, her family drama and relationship with brother provided some end of story angst. I would have liked more scenes with her and her friends to get more of a feel and emotional connection to why she suddenly wanted to put down roots in this city (as a new reader to the series, something that continuous readers might have a better feel for).

 

But he slowly pulled back and ran a thumb along her jawline. “I knew you were going to be trouble the very first moment I laid eyes on you.”

Hello, I’ve been trying to tell you that very thing!”

Snatching her hand in his, he grinned at her, a very sexy, very naughty grin, as if maybe he thought she was the very best kind of trouble, and led her through the alley to his truck.

 

Ivy and Kel had an immediate attraction and they act on wanting each other pretty quickly; I think it was around 20% the question of if they're a “we” was being discussed. I personally enjoy more of a building up and thought their relationship lacked the certain fun and sexy vibe Shalvis can sometimes give her lead's relationship.

 

Overall, Shalvis stories are always readable but with Kel's seeing his mother cheat on his father and feelings of abandonment, Ivy's brother struggling with going straight and the slight danger element from this, and their two week romance that lead to a together forever I couldn't quite feel and believe in, this lacked the Shalvis joie de vivre that keeps me reading her books.

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