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review 2018-08-21 03:54
The Three Musketeers (d'Artagnan Romance Series #1) (Audiobook)
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

This was fun! I've been slowly but surely trying to get around to all the old classics I avoided when I was a kid. I saw a couple of the Musketeer movies, neither of them very good, and I recently saw a few episodes of the Musketeer show on Hulu, but I never read the book, and after the enjoyable but somewhat rambling The Count of Monte Cristo, I wasn't sure what to expect from this book.

 

It's still enjoyable and still somewhat rambling, lol. The book lost some momentum after the race for the diamond studs and doesn't really recover, pace-wise, until the introduction of Milady, who gives whole new meaning to the word diabolical. This was often silly, and often fast-paced. I can see how this was originally published as a serial, and I can just imagine the people reading this in real time impatiently waiting for the next installment. The three Musketeers are great friends and have varied backgrounds and personalities, and they adopt d'Artagnan into their group despite some awkward and hostile beginnings. I adored their friendships and how they looked out for each other - which is why it felt so disjointed that d'Artagnan then had to wait to be told to go look for his friends who may or may not have given up their lives to he could go fetch the queen's diamond studs. Like, bro, WTF? 

 

Simon Vance knocked this out of the park and his impression especially of Porthos was a hoot and a half. I think my love for Porthos is about 110% due to Vance's reading of his lines. So over the top. So adorably obtuse. Planchet was pretty adorable too. Though as great as Vance was, these are the most British-sounding French dudes ever. :D I guess French narrators just refuse to read this in English? After a lifetime of hearing British accents for French characters, it didn't bother me at all, just added to the fun. 

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review 2018-08-21 03:38
New Boy
New Boy (Hogarth Shakespeare) - Tracy Chevalier

I've read several of Chevalier's books, so when I saw this one offered on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to get a copy. After reading two other books in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, Vinegar Girl and Hag-Seed, I was curious to read Chevalier's take on Othello. I think this is a departure for Chevalier, whose historical fiction I love, but I am not sure what she intended here. Her protagonists are reimagined as 11-year-olds, and the drama occurs over the course of one school day, with most of the action taking place on the playground. For me, this format diminished the impact of the story. I am not sure why Chevalier set this in the '70s, especially when the words and actions of her characters seemed more in line with today's kids, as opposed to the much less eloquent and exceedingly more immature kids I remember, having been an 11-year-old in the '70s.  

 

To be fair, Chevalier on her worst day is significantly better than so many other published writers, that of course I finished reading it, and I have no regrets. Now, on to her other books on my TBR pile...

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review 2018-08-20 19:21
Oh my gosh - a thriller that didn't let me down!
The Last Time I Lied - Riley Sager

I tend to avoid thrillers and mysteries because I'm almost always disappointed by the endings.  I especially dislike when authors bring in a complete stranger as the "bad guy" that I've spent no time with in the story!  Man, I hate that.  Not so with this one!  Holy smokes - this was a great read first page to the very last line.  Loved it!  

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review 2018-08-20 18:22
This one gets 5 stars, 5 teary tissues and all the feelz from me...
Goal Line - F. Scott Fitzgerald,V.L. Locey

I’ve been crazy about this series from the word go and have loved each book more than the last one. I was honestly at the point where I thought my love for this series was maxed out but nope, I was wrong. This one…this one blew my mind and blindsided me with what has happened…I seriously did not see any of this coming…especially not the tears. My poor hubby came in from taking the dog for his morning walk to find me clutching my e-reader with soggy tissue in hand mumbling “dammit they made me cry!” He patted me on the shoulder and simply said “It’s been known to happen honey.” and went to make his morning tea…with my response of “Not when it’s a freakin’ hockey story. It doesn’t.” well, I was wrong apparently it does.

 

And that’s all the tear talk that we’ll be having today except to say that there were happy tears and sad tears and frustrated tears and some really pissed, angry tears and that’s the end of the tear talk.

 

‘Goal Line’ is puts us back inside the crease as we meet and spend time with fellow Canadian Bryan Delaney. The latest addition to the Railers and back-up for Sven the Railers totally adorable bigger than life Russian goalie. Bryan’s life hasn’t been the greatest, but he’s worked hard to get where he, is in spite of the obstacles he’s faced. Leaving his home in nowhere Canada at the age of 15 he found the beginnings of the family he should have had with his billet family before being drafter to the Raptors and can I just say that it’s a good thing he lived in Nowhere, Canada because I seriously want to get my hands on his parents…they do not deserve to be Canadian and we need to deport them to…the bottom of the ocean sounds good so let’s go with that, ok? I really came to love Bryan and at times his sense of insecurity and lack of self-worth more than anything were what brought me to tears, so the love and positive support that he received from Gatlin were like a balm to my soul. Bryan brought out my mother instincts practically from the word go and I have my milk and cookies ready for him.

 

For Bryan the Railers are a whole new creature when it comes to hockey teams as far as Bryan can see and he’s more than a little lost as to how to fit into this new and different team and when Sven takes him to get some new artwork for his helmet Bryan’s in for one more surprise when he meets Gatlin. Gatlin takes one look at Bryan and sees the history of sadness, heartache and insecurity that Bryan’s tried so hard to hide from the world and all he wants to do is to bring something good into Bryan’s life.

 

When Bryan gets drafted to the Railers he’s leaving behind more than a hockey team…he’s also leaving behind his first love affair…thank heavens because this one’s toxic city.

There’s a bit of an age gap between Gatlin and Bryan and while I’m ok with age gaps but still not a big fan of them. This one worked really well because of his age, Gatlin had the calm and maturity to be the supportive person that Bryan needed…these two men fit together effortlessly in my opinion and I so enjoyed their relationship…it worked really well for me. That’s not to say that they didn’t have some challenges to get there just that I had no problem believing that they would.

 

I think one of my favorite things about this book…actually about the series in general is how much we get to see of the characters from the previous books. It’s like getting a bag of my favorite candy when this happens in a series. I have such a weakness for this and because this story is based around a sports team it would honestly be bizarre to have it any differently.

 

‘Goal Line’ turns out to be a huge game changer for this series and one that I think will be as surprising for other fans of the series as it was for me, but I’m so on board to find out what happens next.

 

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

 

An ARC of ‘Goal Line’ was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-08-20 16:47
Smiley's People / John le Carré
Smiley's People - John le Carré

In London at dead of night, George Smiley, sometime acting Chief of the Circus (aka the British Secret Service), is summoned from his lonely bed by news of the murder of an ex-agent. Lured back to active service, Smiley skillfully maneuvers his people -- the no-men of no-man's land -- into crisscrossing Paris, London, Germany, and Switzerland as he prepares for his own final, inevitable duel on the Berlin border with his Soviet counterpart and archenemy, Karla.

 

 

***2018 Summer of Spies***

In the spy genre, if James Bond is a boxing match, then George Smiley is a chess game. Lots of planning ahead, knowing your opponent, and biding your time to make the right move. Smiley and Karla match wits again, but George has a new advantage—Karla can no longer manipulate him via his wife.

Fans of fist fights and gun battles may find this boring. People like myself, who have spent many years researching and working within libraries and archives, will find ourselves mesmerized as Smiley reads files and interviews other ex-employees of the intelligence services in order to build the perfect mousetrap.

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