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review 2017-03-26 21:27
This one's not only worth reading...
A Boy Worth Knowing - Jennifer Cosgrove

But I'm pretty sure at some point I will be doing a re-read on this.

 

I honestly only have one big issue with this book and that's the title because there's not one boy worth knowing in this book there's 2. There's funny, smart, sweet, adorable, isolated Nate and then there's James. Handsome, loyal, not afraid to think for himself, James.

 

Now before I go any further let's talk about the title...truthfully the title is perfect, but you'll have to read the book to find out why...I'm not spoiling. Also I probably wouldn't have read this book so soon if it wasn't for my friend Todd's review over on GR. Seriously it's an awesome review, check it out...Todd's Review 

 

I think a lot of us remember what it's like to be a teenager and I'll be one of the first to admit. It's not easy and for me it often wasn't fun and I have no desire to repeat it. But imagine being a teenager able to do something that pretty much anyone else can't...like, I don't know maybe see and talk to dead people. Seriously, life would suck.

 

Nate's been on his own for a long time so when someone like James moves to town he doesn't expect him to want to friends much less anything else with the school pariah, but James likes what he sees in Nate and he's not afraid to follow his instincts.

 

There's so much about this story that's simply awesome. James and Nate together are wonderful. I loved them both and truly couldn't imaging how any mother wouldn't. 

 

'A Boy Worth Knowing' is a young adult story and as such the steam and sexy times are kept appropriate for that age level but this is not a story that lacks for depth of emotions by any means and while the central part of the plot may involve a paranormal element the high school setting and the people in it are very reflective of the real world that we all live in.

 

Every class has it's Penny, a queen bee who rules not because of their merits or how deserving they are but because of their ability to intimidate and manipulate. Ironically this is the part of the story that had merit above all else of me. The part of the story that in the end told us that people like words only have as much power as we give them.

 

'A Boy Worth Knowing' is a story worth reading and not just for young adults. My young adult days are so far behind me that Nate and James could have easily been my grandchildren and if they were I would have wanted them to read this story. It's an incredibly well written work of fiction that holds a very real message about believing in yourself and being true to who you are and trusting that your real friends are the ones who walk in while everyone else is walking out.

 

********************

An ARC of 'A Boy Worth Knowing' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-24 07:27
Review: The Cold Hard Truth by Amanda Leigh Cowley
The Cold Hard Truth - Amanda Leigh Cowley

Self-published (27 February 2017)

 

ISBN: 978-1520380247

 

ASIN: B01NAKA7FG

 

Rating: 5*

 

Synopsis:

Nothing could prepare Emily for what she witnessed that day. With no money to support herself and suffering from panic attacks, she reluctantly moves in with her estranged mother and half-sister overseas. But as fractured relationships start to heal and a new one threatens to blossom, she uncovers a disturbing secret. When the truth hurts this much, would you prefer not to know?

 

Review:

I'd previously read and reviewed the author's Soul Protector The Betrayal, which I'd really enjoyed, so I couldn't wait to get stuck into this. I did have a slight worry of 'what if it isn't as good as...' which only happens when I've absolutely loved an author's previous books and I'm worried that I'll be disappointed! In this case, however, I needn't have worried at all!

 

The Cold Hard Truth is an utterly compelling mystery full of engaging characters and packed to the brim with intrigue. I picked it up first thing in the morning, intending to read just a few chapters, but found myself unable to put it down; I was just finishing the last chapter as i went to bed that night! Amanda Leigh Cowley has a beautifully evocative style of writing that grabs your attention from the very outset. 

 

Full of twists and turns, including an almighty, unforseen shocker at the end, The Cold Hard Truth has all my favourite elements. I'd recommend it to readers of crime, mystery, romance, women's fiction. In fact, anyone who reads!

I'd like to thank Amanda Leigh Cowley for providing an ARC in return for my honest review.

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review 2017-03-21 21:54
I think the world might have tilted on it's axis a bit...
Seven Summer Nights - Harper Fox

Oh, Ms Fox how I adore your writing. You bring stories to life for me as few other authors are able to. 

 

This one started on a bit of a challenging note for me. It was ok and I was enjoying it...possibly because "Buddy Read" with my awesome besties Josy and Christelle and initially I think perhaps this story was appealing more to them than me on a certain level. But as always I was still being drawn in by the wonderful word poetry of Ms Fox and that alone was enough to keep me reading but needless to say the more I was drawn into this web of words the more I wanted to read until I found myself happily devouring this story. 

 

'Seven Summer Nights' is not a simple story about a post-war romance between two men...oh no, it's not even close to that because for one thing a romance between two men at that time in history didn't have a snowballs chance in 'you know where' of being simple.

 

While the story between Rufus and Archibald (Thorne for the remainder of this review) is very much the main and central part of the story. It is surrounded by a explosion of colorful and often 'eccentric' characters set mainly in a small English countryside village. The struggles that are faced by both Rufus and Thorne on an individual level and as two men trying to find a place for their fragile relationship in a world that would see them jailed or worse for their feelings, for sharing words spoken in the still of night as gentle as a summers breeze meant only to offer comfort and ease...

"No more gods, no more war. I'm not a vicar, and you...you're not a soldier.

 Never again. There's just us, dear fellow---here we are."

 

'Seven Summer Nights' shows us a world that many of us never knew first hand, some like myself may have a bit of second-hand knowledge because of parents and grandparents.

 

Much of this book was ironically a reminder for me of why I'm not a huge fan of historical novels not because they're bad or uninteresting...in fact quite the contrary. I love history but unfortunately with history comes the reminders of the wrongs and injustices that have been committed and so often these transgressions are hidden behind such noble causes as God, King and country forcing men who would live in a world of tolerance and peace to fight those would control it through fear, bigotry and sheer brute force. This is what happened to Rufus and when he could fight no more his mind chose to forget. Ironically Thorne who is a man of god also fought but his terrors were not so dark and his memories were very different than that of Rufus.

"Yes. Oh, Archie, it seems terrible to talk about it.

To destroy your peace of mind with such a story."

 

"You won't. And even if you did, isn't that part of my job from now on--

  to share your wars and your peace?"

 

Two men fighting for the basic rights and freedoms of the same people who would deny them theirs. Just as they would deny the women who did their part their rights (it wasn't until 1928 that British women achieved full suffrage 3 years after the end of WWII and while this is an incredibly interesting topic...google is your friend). This is the setting of 'Seven Summer Nights' but we're not done yet because as well as the climate of the times Ms Fox has given us glimpses of Britain's cultural background through it's archaeology and it's folklore. We see the intertwining of England's religion with it's pre-christian days. There are subtle references to Anglo-Saxon paganism, England's witch hunts during the 1640s and things don't end there we are also reminded of the nightmare that passed for modern medicine specifically psychiatry during the early 1900's. 

 

You're probably thinking this sounds like a lot of gloom and doom right about now but it wasn't because woven in between these things was the strength of the human spirit and it's struggle for love in the form of Rufus and Thorne, the desire to govern ourselves and make our own decisions in the form Thorne's sister Caroline and Alice Winborn. There were characters of strength and courage in Maria who quietly took charge and gave people what they needed, Drusilla whose struggle to find her way back to herself, her child and her faith nearly cost her sanity and of course there were those who should have been hero's and failed.

 

'Seven Summer Nights' is neither a simple nor an easy story to read or explain...was it fantasy? No, not for me, there were no magical creatures...was there magic? I suppose of a fashion there was, but it was the magic of a world long gone. A world of faith so strong that it could alter the very fabric of ones reality...so yes there was magic. Then again isn't there always a little magic involved when it only takes words to transport us through time and space to a place we've never known to share an adventure with people we'll never meet? You're a wizard Ms Fox, a wizard I tell you.

 

"Oh, Archie. You and I both know--everyone who went to war knows--

the one thing none of us can be sure of is time..."

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review 2017-03-21 02:19
The Children
The Children: A Novel - Ann Leary

I chose this book from NetGalley because I loved Leary’s previous book, The Good House. While these books do not share a setting (though I think both could be Connecticut), they share a certain penchant for an oddball cast of characters, not always likable but always interesting. This is no easy task — for the most part these people are seriously flawed, or at the least, in serious denial about some of the realities of their lives.

 

The beauty of The Children is that Leary offers up a family that at first seems low-key and light on drama, only to reveal a dark edge, and deeply felt animosities among the “loving” members of this sprawling family. In a place where everyone seems to know everyone else’s business, there is remarkably little they really share. I think Leary has a gift for this type of character-driven story, where the plot is not nearly as compelling as the motley crew propelling it forward. They carry with them all manner of secrets – some more obvious than others – but regardless of this you will want to stick around to see how it all works out in the sometimes-bitter end.

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review 2017-03-19 19:13
The Scribe's Daughter by Stephanie Churchill
The Scribe's Daughter - Stephanie. Churchill

Being an indie author myself, I enjoy reading novels by other brave souls who decide to self-publish. It's tough to be responsible for a book from cover to cover, and I tend to be more forgiving when reviewing an indie novel because I sympathize with the challenges faced. This is the attitude I held when I picked up The Scribe's Daughter, but this novel demands that it be held to a higher standard.

 

Nothing about this book made me think, "It's good for an indie novel." This book is just a joy to read and can hold it's own against any competition, traditional or self-published. It is beautifully written, edited, and formatted with an intriguing storyline and captivating characters.

 

Stephanie Churchill has vividly created a world that will feel familiar to those who enjoy medieval historical fiction. As the protagonist, Kassia, experiences adventures that take her on the full range of fortune's wheel, each setting is beautifully described. I had a clear vision of mountain vistas, sparkling lakes, bustling cities, and thick forests, and felt as though I was there at Kassia's side.

 

Each character that shares Kassia's trials is given a unique and complex personality, but none more so than Kassia herself. Since the novel is told from a first person point of view, the reader is inside Kassia's head. We get to laugh out loud at her snarky sarcasm while we are sharing her inner pain and doubt. This strong, courageous young woman goes through more to get to her happily ever after than anyone in the story, besides the reader, is privy to.

 

This novel has action, romance, betrayal, secrets, and more, sure to please any reader of historical fiction or epic fantasy adventure. I grew close to the characters during my time with them and look forward to seeing them again in future installments to the series.

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