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review 2017-09-08 13:00
Review: Brighton Belle (Mirabelle Bevan Mystery #1) by Sara Sheridan
Brighton Belle - Sara Sheridan

I've had the first two books of the Mirabelle Bevan mystery series on my NOOK for years and just never got around to them, even in last year's Halloween bingo. I think the covers showed a depiction of the story and characters that looked too posh for something dark and creepy.

 

Boy was I wrong. And this should teach me to judge a book by its cover.

 

Mirabelle is a former British Secret Service intelligence worker who left the service and London when her lover died from a heart attack. The story takes place in 1951, two years after his death, and Mirabelle at first is still deep into mourning, living life by just going through the motions and drinking a little more than she should. She moved to Brighton and is working as an office manager/administrative assistant in a debt collection agency. Her boss is a good guy, and doesn't ask personal questions.

 

Until the day her boss goes missing, a new client is looking for help in collecting on a debt, and a friend from her time in the BSS comes to call  - in one day. She makes friends with the office admin in the insurance company offices next door named Vesta Churchill (no relations to those other Churchills). With Vesta's knowledge of insurance and Mirabelle's experience in the BSS, the ladies go a-sleuthing. One (Father Sandor, Mirabelle's friend from the war) plus one (her dead boss' body found in a coffin labeled for someone else) equals FORMER NAZIS! This story is about a lot of little plotlines all converging into one coherent conspiracy, along with corruption in Brighton's police department (giving an easy way of introducing outsider Detective MacGregor as a potential love interest) and a look at racism in England in the 1950s through both Vesta's and Mirabelle's eyes.

 

This isn't quite a cozy mystery (the death count is HIGH for a non-serial killer story and some of the deaths are on the page), but not a thriller or suspense type of mystery either. Vesta and Mirabelle are smart in different ways and really balance each other out. I really enjoyed their friendship. I also really liked Mirabelle coming back to herself while investigating; she seemed like such a lost soul in the beginning of the book, but as the investigation gave her purpose outside of just living day to day, she seemed to be realizing that she still has lots to do and give to the world. It was like going from black and white to Technicolor.

 

 

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text 2017-09-01 00:00
Friday Reads - September 1, 2017
The Unleashing (Call Of Crows Book 1) - Shelly Laurenston
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening - Marjorie M. Liu
Brighton Belle - Sara Sheridan

With a Transformers (well, Bumblebee anyway) backpack and a HTTYD water bottle and lunch box, my little guy went into first grade on Monday. It was a happy day for both of us. Plus he just started martial arts class (ju-jitsu), so I look forward to another 45 minutes of uninterrupted reading time while he burns off some energy and learns new skills every Monday.

 

Halloween Bingo begins! I am starting with my book choice for the free space square, The Unleashing (Call of Crows #1) by Shelly Laurenston. As MR mentioned in the discussion forum, the free space square won't be called, so as soon as you read for that square you can mark it. The story includes the Clan of Crows and Clan of Ravens, so I think this is a pretty fitting book considering the icon used for the square. I started this book as my read ahead of time and am about 30% done. 

 

Went to the library yesterday and picked up Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu for the diverse voices square. To round out my holiday weekend reading, I will probably start Brighton Belle (Mirabelle Mystery #1) by Sara Sheridan, a cozy mystery set in 1950s England.

 

Happy Labor Day weekend to all my fellow Americans.

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text 2017-08-18 04:05
Reading progress update: I've read 56%.
To Wager Her Heart (A Belle Meade Plantation Novel) - Tamera Alexander

Loving it! There are multiple storylines with each character that keeps it interesting. There's the town itself and its people, the railroad, a horrible accident and freed blacks trying to educate at Fisk University. 

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text 2017-07-26 00:05
Exciting August Releases!
The Address: A Novel - Fiona Davis
Stay with Me: A novel - Adebayo Ayobami
Surrender to Me (The Lawsons of Louisiana) - Donna Hill
The Paris Spy - Susan Elia MacNeal
All Is Beauty Now - Sarah Faber
To Wager Her Heart (A Belle Meade Plantation Novel) - Tamera Alexander
Seeking Sarah: A Novel - ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Pretty, Nasty, Lovely - Rosalind Noonan
Breakfast in Bed (The Innkeepers) - Rochelle Alers
The Other Girl - Erica Spindler

There are many more August releases than the ones I've chosen to read. In choosing books that interest me, I'm trying to discern if the writing and plot are enough. I've listened to about 2-5% in each of these books and know, thus far, we will do well. 

 

I realize that it's best for me to get in with more than one book so, that I'm already interested to move on to the next. Reading one book at a time and then picking up another that doesn't hold my attention leaves me blank for days. I lose steam and dawdle. Already I have finished 6 books in July, with this method, and am so pleased. I could've read more if I would've adopted this way much sooner.

 

Here's the release dates for these books and others that aren't shown that I may read;

 

August 1

 

Gravel Heart by Abdulrazak Gurnah

The Address by Fiona Davis

Locked in Temptation by Brenda Jackson

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

Surrender to Me by Donna Hill

 

 

 

August 8

 

The Paris Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal

All is Beauty Now by Sarah Faber

To Wager Her Heart Tamera Alexander

A Promise of Ruin by Cuyler Overholt

 

 

August 15

 

Seeking Sarah by Roshanda Tate Billingsley

The Party by Elizabeth Day

The Wardrobe Mistress by Meghan Masterson

 

 

August 22

 

The Other Girl by Erica Spindler

 

 

August 29

 

Pretty, Nasty, Lovely by Rosalind Noonan

Breakfast in Bed by Rochelle Alers

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-07-14 13:03
Fiery Passion - Alec John Belle Fiery Passion - Alec John Belle
 
Fiery Passion (The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles #3) by Alec John BelleGenre: YA Paranormal Release Date: September 2017
Summary from Goodreads:
After the unexpected events at the end of Shadow People, Heather, Hayden, and their friends are trying to move forward with their lives. While trying to hunt down the new vessel of the Darkness, and trying to avoid a very complicated relationship, Heather thinks she can keep everything under control.Until she's taken by a demon named Ziminiar.As Hayden, Kadin, Philip, and Kristen try to find their friend, Heather unravels many truths about the world she lives in, the core of her being, and the true origins of the Monster Hunters. In the third installment of The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles, secrets will be exposed, relationships will be tested, and the ultimate betrayal will leave fans breathless.Because in a world where demons exist, nothing is ever as it seems.
 
My Review
Favorite so far, even though there's at least 4 more books to come. Kadin, Hayden, and Frostbite are my absolute favorite characters so far. I also really like 
 
Heather and her bff Kristen as well. But the three guys I mentioned make the book for me.
Heather really goes through a lot in this book and learns things she'll rather forget, I am sure. I love that Hayden and Frostbite have a thing for one another and that Hayden is finally letting himself feel that and finally letting Frostbite know how he feels as well.
I hope Kadin gets some happiness as well, because I really believe he deserves that happiness, sure he did stupid things but he thought he was doing the right thing. 
I really hope Heather starts to let Kadin in pretty soon or he gets over her and starts liking someone else. And I really hope Kristen finds someone as well, after everything she has gone through.
Of course the book ended in another darn cliffhanger, and I don't think the next book comes out until the ending of the year.
I have to say what I don't like about these books, is that they are really short books, I finished all three books over the weekend. But all three have a lot of action in such a short timeframe.
I am so glad I was chosen to take part in the book tour for this book. I really enjoyed all three books quite a lot.
Add to Goodreads
Forbidden Darkness (The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles #1)
on Goodreads
Shadow People (The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles #2) on Goodreads
Buy Links:
The Long Road Home (contemporary YA novel and currently free): https://www.amazon.com/Long-Road-Home-Alec-Belle-ebook/dp/B01IK89824
 
 
About the Author
Alec John Belle resides in Carson City, NV, where he is currently attending high school for his senior year. At the age of 16 he wrote his first novel, Before I Break. His hobbies include reading, writing, and obsessing over Pretty Little Liars. He writes about tough topics that many are too afraid to talk about like suicide, homosexuality, self harm, bullying, mental illness, among other teenage issues, and he often blends these ideas with the paranormal. Despite writing such topics, he is a very cheerful person who enjoys looking for the best in life, while trying to help others do the same.
Author Links:
Website│Goodreads│Twitter│Facebook
Blog Tour
Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

 

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