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review 2017-05-24 05:00
Book Tour: Old Love Dies Hard by Lauren Carr
Old Loves Die Hard - Lauren Carr

Old Love, Die Hard is done well. You get to meet up with Mac’s Ex Wife. The mystery starts once she is in town. There are two murders once Mac takes his ex-wife to this penthouse in Spencer Inn.


Did Mac do the murders? Did his ex-wife go and killed her lover? There is not much going on. Who is behind all the murders. We meet or at least learn about his two children. Who would murder Mac two children mother?

Lauren Carr is one talented writer. She brings you along to find out who the killer is. One thing I love about her mysteries is that you never know who the murderer is? I have read a few of her books already and reviewed a few of them. You are welcome to read my reviews that are part of this audio book palooza. My reviews are Cancelled Vows, A Fine Year for Murder, Killer in the Band, The Murders at Astaire Castle, Candidate for Murder, 3 Days to Forever, Kill and Run. We do see what Mac is up to and we also got David O'Callaghan in being the chief of police. Lauren Carr series are all interconnected which is cool. You can read them as stand alone as well.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2017/05/book-tour-old-loves-die-hard-by-lauren.html
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review 2017-05-24 04:22
Dark story but a great start to a series
The Bad Luck Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses) - Janna MacGregor

This was a page turner for me. It definitely is a dark story with lots of ups and downs, breath holding, and tears. I fell in love with Claire's spirit and determination to marry. Alex was a dog until he proved his real feelings and worked hard to get Claire to see him as a better man. I did not want to put this book down, and I look forward to more from Janna MacGregor.

I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and it is a selection of the Book Obsessed Chicks Review Team. This is my unsolicited review.

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review 2017-05-24 00:59
5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior
5 Worlds Book 1: The Sand Warrior - Mark Siegel,Alexis Siegel,Xanthe Bouma,Matt Rockefeller,Boya Sun

Since you are all well aware of my obsession with Middle Grade fiction at this point, let's go ahead and skip that. Can we instead please focus on the growing existence of Middle Grade graphic novels? I am so pleased that there are more and more of these out there, and I'm determined to champion all of them! Kazu Kibuishi's blurb had me from the moment I saw this book. So I was thrilled when I was asked to join the blog tour. Warning: there's some gushing ahead. Let's go ahead and get the small qualms that I had out of the way first, though.


I think this graphic novel could definitely have benefited from a bit more action. It was heartening to see that the authors weren't afraid to bring the real idea of war alive on these pages. I love when MG readers aren't treated with kid gloves. However I think this book needed to move at a bit quicker of a pace. The illustrations are gorgeous, (I can't wait to actually see them all in color.) but some of the filler panels felt like a bit much. I wanted more of Oona's quest, more of their desperate rush to save the day, and just more tension in general. This first volume was missing that epic feeling that stories like this usually have for me.


That being said, the characters were absolutely lovely. Oona, An Tzu and Jax were all vivid, and easy to fall in love with. I loved how each of them came from a different background. The concept of race is alive and well in this book, and the idea of racism is gently touched upon as well. It makes me happy to see authors putting these things out into the world for readers of this age group to start to digest. Oona overhears people of different worlds talking badly about people of other worlds, and making mean jokes. She sees some people get upset about what others are saying. Young readers can start to get a grasp here on unity, diversity, and especially empathy. It's an amazing thing.


Add in the fact that the ending of this book has a twist I wasn't expecting, complete with a cliffhanger, and you have my complete attention. Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel have started something beautiful and magical with the 5 Worlds series. They've opened up a dialog that I think is important, in a way that is easy to digest and a lot of fun to read! Readers, young and old alike, will love this series. My only regret is that there isn't more of Oona's story to devour yet. I NEED to know what happens next.

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text 2017-05-24 00:32
Reading progress update: I've read 95 out of 418 pages.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor

I am loving my re-read of daughter of smoke and bone 

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review 2017-05-23 22:28
Lord Johnnie - part 1

Sometimes you have to prepare yourself to be disappointed.  That book you loved, loved, loved years ago just doesn't hold up when you read it again.  You're older and probably a little wiser, and the things that made you love the story and the characters aren't there any more.  Or they're embarrassingly corny, and you wish you had never told anyone how much you loved it.

The first adult historical romance novel I ever read was The Highland Hawk  by Leslie Turner White.  My dad had belonged to one of those subscription book clubs in the 1950s, and this was one of many similar titles he acquired.  It's also one of the very, very few that I haven't found a copy of to replace that original.  Over the years I've found almost all the others, either as paperback reprints or at garage and yard and library book sales.  The Highland Hawk isn't among them.

Old movies on television -- Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Prince of Foxes, The Flame and the Arrow -- had turned me on to historical adventure sagas, but they lacked something.  

First of all, they couldn't be enjoyed in private.  We only had one television in those days (early 1960s) and it was in the living room.  I didn't feel comfortable sharing my enjoyment with family members who would disparage it.

(I still don't.  When I bought a DVD collection of Burt Lancaster movies a year or so ago, I did not want to watch The Flame and the Arrow with anyone.  Eventually I did, but I still felt uncomfortable.)


Second, television wasn't dependable.  Weeks or months could go by without an exciting film scheduled during my available viewing hours, which were limited to after school and week-ends.  And we only had four channels!

Third, television wasn't portable.  So once I found the books, I was hooked.  For life.

I'm not sure how soon after reading The Highland Hawk I found Lord Johnnie, but find it I did.  By my best guess I read both of them the summer before my freshman year in high school.  (Gone with the Wind had to wait until the following summer.)  I was not quite fourteen years old.

What followed can only be described as a feeding/reading frenzy.


I went through everything on my dad's shelves.  When my mother expressly said I couldn't read anything by Frank Yerby, I went immediately to his books.  More about those books in the future, because this post is about Lord Johnnie.  Others would become favorites and have enormous impact, but Lord Johnnie was a book apart.


Over the years, I read it many times.  When I moved out of my parents' house, I somehow managed to grab my dad's copy of Lord Johnnie and a couple other of those book club editions; I have them to this day.  For the most part, they've held up in terms of the writing, the storytelling, the characterization.  In many cases, in fact, the writing is far superior to just about anything being published today.


So when Moonlight Reader came up with this "personal canon" idea, the first book on my list had to be the book that truly launched me into writing historical romance.  I can't even give The Highland Hawk credit for that; it never stirred my imagination, my passion, the way the adventures of Johnnie the Rogue did.  But it's been years and years since I've read the whole thing first page to last, and I knew I had to do that before I could honestly put it on the list.  Given the world's situation last night, I decided to grab one of my three copies (don't ask) and curl up in bed with this old, old favorite.


I was prepared to be disappointed.  I knew there were aspects of the story that I vaguely remembered as problematic.  How would I react to them now, older and wiser and more radical than ever?


The book club edition, its cheap high-acid paper a little brittle after 67 years, is 308 pages.  I reached page 57 before I forced myself to quit, turn out the lights, and get some sleep.


I wasn't disappointed.


The writing is splendid, the characters all fully-fleshed and more than a little Dickensian.  The opening set in Newgate prison the day before the notorious outlaw known as Johnnie the Rogue is to be hanged brings the London lowlife of 1760 into clear focus.  (For perspective, Henry Fielding's novel Tom Jones was published in 1749.)  The raucous, bawdy "going away" party is interrupted by the arrival of a young woman dressed all in black, who begs the gaoler to let her wed a condemned felon; as her legal -- though barely -- husband, he will assume her debts and his death will free her of them.  The handsome young highwayman, sometimes called Lord Johnnie for his ability to mimic the nobility, is the only one available, and so the marriage is performed.  And though the young woman does not give her full name, Johnnie picks her pocket and identifies her as Leanna Somerset.


She departs Newgate believing he'll be dead by the next night and she'll be free of both him and her debts.


Johnnie has other plans.



What struck me as one of the most significant aspects of the story, and especially about Johnnie himself, was the awareness of class distinctions.  The London poor are little better than animals, barely surviving while the rich live in splendor.  And while Johnnie has aspirations to the gentry, he also recognizes that there is an innate honesty and humanity about those condemned to wretched poverty through no fault of their own.


I wondered, after I had closed the book for the night, if I might have had a different attitude toward my own writing career if I had read Georgette Heyer Regencies before I read the swashbuckling adventures of Leslie Turner White, Samuel Shellabarger, and (of course!) Frank Yerby.  I read David Copperfield and The Return of the Native before I read Pride and Prejudice.  Glitz and glamour never appealed to me as much as the struggle for justice and fairness.  To this day, I rarely enjoy novels that focus on the wealthy and powerful.


And having no personal experience of being wealthy or powerful, I don't know enough about them to write about them!


The other issue that interested me as I began re-reading was the way Leanna Somerset was portrayed.  These books were written primarily for a male audience, and most of the writers were male.  The emphasis was on male adventure, not romance and not on female characters.


But within this first 57 pages, there are already two female characters, very different from each other and yet with certain common characteristics.  First there's Leanna, the desperate upper-class lady who has gotten herself into debt and needs a way out.  Pretty, delicate, emblem of all Johnnie aspires to and cannot have.


Then there's Moll Coppinger, with her broken nose and straw hat, who carries her own romantic torch for the dashing outlaw.  She is his for the taking, but she's not what he wants.


Unlike the fragile, helpless heroines of silent films perhaps, both Leanna and Moll are quite capable of self-preservation.  Were they products of the era in which they were written?  Lord Johnnie was published in 1949, so written in the immediate aftermath of World War II when women proved themselves capable of just about everything.


But, I'm only 57 pages in.  I remember how the story develops, and of course how it ends, and I know there are some twists and surprises in store for the characters.  Maybe there will be some surprises for my memories, too.

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