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review 2018-10-17 15:08
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Desperate Measures (Aspen Falls #5) by Melissa Pearl & Anna Cruise
Desperate Measures (Aspen Falls #5) - Anna Cruise,Melissa Pearl

Desperate Measures is the fifth book in the Aspen Falls series, and we finally get Camilla's story. She has made regular appearances throughout this series, but hasn't as yet had her say. She does in this one, and it was definitely worth waiting for!

Cam grew up on the wrong side of the tracks (so to speak) and was determined to change her life, and to make a difference. She does this, but not without heartbreak. She leaves behind the love of her young life, knowing he is in with the gangs that are rampant. She walks away, and does make a difference. Alex has always remained in her thoughts though, even when she tries to forget him. So when he turns up, bloody and battered, will she help him, or arrest him?

This was a great story, with plenty of depth to both the situations and the characters. There were no editing or grammatical errors to this story that I noticed. I enjoyed the banter between Cam and Alex, as well as the situations they found themselves in. Even though she is a police officer, Cam did across with a healthy dose of naivety at times.

With enough action to keep you turning the pages, this was thoroughly engrossing from start to finish. Absolutely recommended by me.

This is a series that I am thoroughly enjoying. Can't wait for the next one.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/08/24/Desperate-Measures-Aspen-Falls-5-by-Melissa-Pearl-Anna-Cruise
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review 2018-10-02 15:36
Thoughts: The Splendour Falls
The Splendour Falls - Susanna Kearsley,Barbara Rosenblat

The Splendour Falls

by Susanna Kearsley
narrated by Barbara Rosenblat


An ancient castle, a tragic love, and a web of secrets begins to unravel....

Emily Braden has stopped believing in fairy tales and happy endings.  When her fascinating but unreliable cousin Harry invites her on a holiday to explore the legendary town of Chinon, and promptly disappears - well, that's Harry for you.

As Emily makes the acquaintance of Chinon and its people, she begins to uncover dark secrets beneath the charm.  Legend has it that during a 13th-century siege of the castle that looms over the city, Queen Isabelle, child bride of King John, hid a "treasure of great price".  And in the last days of the German occupation during World War II, there was another Isabelle living in Chinon, a girl whose love for an enemy soldier went tragically awry.

As the dangers of the past become disastrously real, Emily is drawn ever more deeply into a labyrinth of mystery as twisted as the streets and tunnels of the ancient town itself.

Upon finishing this book, as I had stated in my Pre-Review Thoughts, I've been enjoying Susanna Kearsley as far as the first couple books I've read of hers.  I know two books isn't a lot to go on, but it's enough that I enjoyed both to make my radar perk up at anything else written by Kearsley.  In fact, having been told that the first Susanna Kearsley book I read, The Shadowy Horses, was actually not one of her better books gave me something to look forward to as I did enjoy that one quite well.  In this, I'm hoping that the next book I pick up by Susanna Kearsley will prove much more interesting and less boring than The Splendour Falls.

Because the truth is, boring is exactly what The Splendour Falls turned out to be.

As Kearsley is wont to do, the writing was beautiful and the characters were all interesting in their own way.  She has a way with imagery and atmosphere, which is what had drawn me to continue reading her work in the first place.  There was even a veil of mystery to... well, to something at the beginning of the book, which continued to tingle in the background as the book progressed.

But that veil of mystery seemed to get forgotten at each new turn, or each new day that our heroine, Emily Braden, spends simply wandering Chinon... pretty much aimlessly.  As I'd mentioned before, this book's conflict doesn't even really surface until about eight hours into the audio book.  Eight hours out of a twelve hour audio book is when there's suddenly a change of tone in the book's narrative.  The previous eight hours kept hinting that something might be going on, but this was very much overshadowed by Emily's banal musings as she spends time vacationing in Chinon with her new band of friends.

For eight hours--that I listened to at random intervals--of audio book, I had no idea where this book was supposed to be going.  When I started suspecting that we'd jump back and forth in time, like she did in Every Secret Thing, between Emily's time and the historical King John and Isabelle, that tangent suddenly disappeared.  When I thought there might be a more sinister mystery of sorts involving Martine and Christian and Neil... well, that got cut off as well.  Then I thought maybe there'd be some sort of supernatural happening in the Hotel de France... but that was wishful thinking on my part.

I'm not even entirely sure the book itself knew where it was going.

Then something tragic happens after eight hours of audio book, and everything just starts falling together to create a plot.  And truth be told, I DID find myself getting extremely sad about the event that finally got the book picking up, and might have gotten a bit teary-eyed... So, kudos for that, Ms. Kearsley.  Well played.

Except that I'm not sure the build-up--or lack thereof--really got you prepared for that particular incident.  It was quite sudden, and I'm not sure whether or not for the better.

Meanwhile, before that pivotal point in the book, I pretty much just found myself both bored and frustrated.

Moreso, I found myself a bit frustrated with Emily, and not only because she's such a boring narrator.  I started getting a "reverse harem" and "speshul snowflake" vibe from her and her new band of friends after a while.  Apparently all the men she started meeting in Chinon ended up adoring her, and there's even a direct dialogue near the end that pretty much professes that if it weren't for Emily, a lot of the more wonderful things that happened wouldn't have happened.  I might have rolled my eyes out of my head at that.

It doesn't help that the only other two females in the book who feature prominently are both maligned, either as part of their character (Garland) or because Emily is jealous (Martine).  Martine is narrated as if she's a selfish, shallow, hateful person, but upon interaction with her, you quickly realize that it's really only Emily's pre-judgements coming into play.  Martine seems quite nice and bubbly--but you stop seeing her in the book as much after Emily's revelation.  Garland definitely comes off hateful, but at best she's really just crass, ignorant, and entitled.

I don't like that there are no good female friendships in this book.  And I've come to find Reverse Harems a little tacky.

I'm not sure what role Paul and Simon were supposed to play in this story.  I found Armand creepy, and Neil's existence almost, well... non-existent.  I thought Christian would have more of a role, but he's merely always in the background.  I was a bit surprised by Jim's twist in this story.  And Harry... I'm not even sure if he's really all that significant outside of giving Emily a reason to think that something sinister is going on when he never shows up at their appointed meeting time and place for vacation.

And there you have it that there might be way too many characters to follow in this book--even if they're all quite interesting in their own way.

On a side note, I have had a good experience with Barbara Rosenblat's narrations before, so had been looking forward to this particular audio book.  Somehow, her narration doesn't really do anything for me this time around, and I'm not entirely sure I can pinpoint why.  She does a great job differentiating all the characters, and wonderfully portrays accents.

I think it was the voice she gives Emily... I'm not sure.



Halloween Bingo 2018
(a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance)



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/10/thoughts-splendour-falls.html
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review 2018-09-25 15:47
Pre-Review Thoughts: The Splendour Falls
The Splendour Falls - Susanna Kearsley,Barbara Rosenblat

The Splendour Falls

by Susanna Kearsley
narrated by Barbara Rosenblat

I have been enjoying Susanna Kearsley as far as the only couple other books I've read by her, so it was probably inevitable that I'd come across a disappointment--I just hadn't expected it so early on.  The Splendour Falls dragged something awful, and the truth is, the actual story's conflict doesn't even quite surface until about 8 hours into the audio book; 8 hours out of a 12 hour audio book.

As I had had a good impression of Kearsley since the first book I'd read, I'm hoping the next one will be a bit better.  I've noted that The Splendour Falls is apparently NOT her best work, and there's a general consensus that it might even be one of her lesser novels.  The book is still beautifully written, with lovely characters whom, while abundant and sometimes hard to keep track of, sort of came alive.  Except for our main heroine, Emily... she continued to be the boring speshul snowflake and I had a hard time relating to her.

I will have a full review out soon.




Halloween Bingo 2018
(a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance)



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/09/pre-review-thoughts-splendour-falls.html
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review 2018-09-09 04:50
Gravity Falls Season 1.5
Gravity Falls Lost Legends - Hirsch, Alex

Alex Hirsch, the creator of the Gravity Falls TV series, wrote all four stories in this graphic novel. It feels like a glimpse of some episodes we might have seen if another season had been produced before the series finale.

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review 2018-09-07 14:04
great book and great characters
One Last Promise (Bedford Falls, #2) - S... One Last Promise (Bedford Falls, #2) - Sydney Bristow

Kelsey told her brother Alex not to worry she would never want to go out with his best friend Damon. Then Alex told Damon under no circumstances was he to go out with Kelsey. Kelsey had seen Damon dressed as Rocky Balboa and she thought of Damon a lot but Alex had told Kelsey Damon had slept with a lot of women .and wasn’t interested in a long term serious relationship with  Damon. Kelsey had seen Damon dressed as Rocky Balboa - bare chest and abs and then she thought of him a lot. But Alex had told her Damon had slept with a lot of women , he wasn’t interested in a serious long term relationship. If she hadn’t know the truth Kelsey would have found Damon irresistible. Kelsey had an 80’s theme diner called Forever And Always as well as one called The Witching Hour more on a horror theme. Kelsey operated operated both establishments and navigated all of the responsibilities and pressure that came with such a stressful career and she had skipped going to college.  Damon affected Kelsey’s emotion strongly. But she would never let Damon know that. Damon writes romance novels. Alex left with his girlfriend Marisa but Damon stayed. Kelsey told Damon he had a Superman complex and he told her she wanted to be Buffy from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Kelsey liked getting under Damon’s skin. Kelsey took Damon’s hand and the spontaneity of the forward movement shocked her . Kelsey considered herself a touchy-feely type person but she had never reacted this way. Kelsey felt she hadn’t known Damon long enough for such intimacy yet it didn’t feel awkward. Damon asked Kelsey if she was into palmistry and she said no yet she still had his hand. His eyes, his smile, his playful tone set off a spark of sensuality between them. How could Kelsey know just touching Damon would send such delightful delightful excitement through her. Although Kelsey hated Damon’s promiscuity she had never met with such presence, such charisma until now. Damon asked if she felt the  sparks, then Damon said he’d like to take her on a date. He added he thought Kelsey was fun to talk to. When Kelsey brought up Alex Damon said he recalled saying something about marriage and then he said when you know, you know. He said the electric current and chemistry he had only felt one time before. Then a wistful look came over his face but only for a minute. Kelsey felt such a potent physical reaction to ant man before and she wanted to give into it. The last time Damon had lost his composure with a woman was that one time. But Damon refused to think about the failed relationship and the uneasiness that had accompanied it and how memories could unhinge Damon. Damon had no family to speak of. One thing that intimidated Damon was he really liked Kelsey and that making him want to spend more time with her. Kelsey volunteered at the Fennel Kennel Club- an animal shelter a couple times a week. Damon thought about how Kelsey didn’t censor her words. If she felt something she said it. Katrina was that one other time for Damon. They had dated for eight months and she showed Damon the concept of true love and giving your all to another person. Damon had opened up to her and did a lot of new things with Katrina. But Katrina didn’t want to slow down and enjoy the little things like a picnic, or watching a movie. The conflict in how they lived life became their downfall and Damon changed and became moody and clingy. Then Katrina declared Damon was holding her back. And she felt claustrophobic and unsatisfied. That was the end of the only serious relationship Damon had.previously. But now he wanted to try to find that kind of love with Kelsey.

I absolutely loved this book. I didn’t want to put it down but I did have to sleep. This was a sweet easy romantic read. I loved how Damon waited to be with Kelsey and stayed true to her while she dated Paul and didn’t tell her what a dog Paul was even though he knew.  I was happy to see Kelsey and her mom talk. I loved the pace and the plot. I also loved how Cassandra was willing to help Damon wit Kelsey. I loved Kelsey and Damon together and how they interacted. I liked Alex and how protective he was of Kelsey. But I feel he should have really known Damon a lot better and then he pretty much ignored damon once Damon helped him get Marisa’. I didn't care for Marisa  and the way she was with Damon after he helped Alex be a man she did want I just didn’t care for her. I loved the characters- except for Marisa and the ins and outs of this book and I highly recommend this book.

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