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review 2017-10-21 07:43
Review: Tempted at Christmas by Kate Pearce, Jane Charles, and Elizabeth Essex
Tempted at Christmas - Kate Pearce,Elizabeth Essex,Jane Charles

I had the pleasure of reading the The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor series and I loved it so much that of course I couldn’t let the chance of reading these stories pass. Although the stories pretty much take place in the same setting they are not wholly intertwined so there is no specific order in which to read the books. 

The first story, Elizabeth Essex's A Merry Devil was a mix of a second-chance romance with a thrilling adventure. I particularly liked the way the relationship between the main couple developed and the little detail about the hero’s abilities was hidden until the end that also explained much about his past. 
The second story was And a Pigeon in a Pear Tree by Kate Pearce. A mistaken identity of sorts created the perfected setting for a romantic tale where the hero falls for the woman that sees the man and not the title for the first time ever. If only he could forget about the responsibilities that said title represented. This one had me laughing out loud and even though I kind of saw that end coming I was still hoping it ended the way it did. 
Last but not least was Jane Charles' His Mistletoe Miss. This was a sweet, clean story –no steamy or graphic sexy scenes- and the one with the most spirits and magical aspects. I thought the enchanted mistletoe was a lovely Christmas touch and the fact that it kept flourishing at the most unexpected times kept the story light. 

All in all in was great read and I absolutely recommend it. I will continue reading the series and will read more from each author. 

** I was gifted a copy of this book and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.**

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review 2017-10-20 22:30
The Travelling Grave by L.P. Hartley
The Travelling Grave and Other Stories - L.P. Hartley

 

I very much enjoyed this collection of Gothic and creepy stories originally released in the 1940's. I generally prefer short tales that pack a punch, and these are definitely not that. However, they often have a good deal of humor and that sense of atmosphere in which I love to wallow.

 

The standouts to me were:

 

A VISITOR FROM DOWN UNDER was, for me, a beautifully told ghost story/tale of revenge.

 

PODOLO A nice little day trip to the island of Podolo takes a nasty turn. This one reminded me that feral cats may not be worth the effort.

 

THE TRAVELLING GRAVE was quite the funny story involving a misunderstanding involving perambulators. (Is that word even used anymore? It's a shame if it's not because it's a word that rolls nicely off the tongue.) Anyway, the humor of the situation quickly changed to horror at the gruesome ending. Always be careful playing hide & seek!

 

CONRAD AND THE DRAGON I wasn't sure what to make of this fairy tale like...tale. It didn't have the usual fairy tale ending, but I found it to be totally charming.

 

THREE OR FOUR, FOR DINNER was another tale involving some humor and a practical joke gone wrong.

 

This was my first experience with L.P. Hartley and I'm so glad I gave this collection a try! Recommended!

 

*Thank you to Valancourt Books for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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text 2017-10-19 20:03
Reading progress update: I've read 29%.
Ghost Hunting Diary Volume I - TM Simmons

Research material.

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review 2017-10-18 21:19
Not Going on My Favorite List, But Still Pretty Great Book
Hangsaman - Shirley Jackson

Look, just know that this book is weird. It switches from first to third person sometimes too. And then you honestly don't know what's real or not real so you feel very confused at times. And you also may end up not liking anyone (I know I didn't) but may come away feeling sorry for Natalie (I did) and then just confused again. Just go read Moonlight Reader's REVIEW of this book since it will make way more sense than my mutterings about things below.

 

First, Natalie and her family are messed up. You find that out quickly when you realize her terrible father refers to himself as God everyday when they are having breakfast. Her mother is scared of being alone with her father (I know I would be too) and also scared of doing anything wrong. Natalie's brother, Bud is barely there and Natalie is at times doing her best to please her father, but also trying to help her mother though she has barely concealed contempt for her at times. 

 

When Natalie starts having a back and forth conversation with a police detective you don't know if Jackson is trying to allude to something that is going to happen, or it's all just in Natalie's imagination.


When Natalie finally leaves for college, things get worse for her. She realizes that she has no friends, the other girls call her "Spooky" and you start to realize that what you are being told is not the whole truth as a reader. I started to pick up on things here and there and realized that Natalie was not realizing what was not being said a lot of times. When Natalie weirdly befriends one of her professor's wives, things actually seem a bit better, but you realize she has fallen into the mess of another family that she is finding even heard to extricate herself from. 

 

I think the writing at times got a bit muddled (sorry Ms. Jackson) I assume that is intentional, since I have read some of Jackson's other works, and it seems as if she chooses each word with care. Some sentences last an entire paragraph. At times it made my eyes glaze over. And you start to realize that maybe Jackson is doing that on purpose since you start to realize that maybe Natalie is speaking some of this out of the way stuff out loud. 

The flow was a bit off for me though. Due to the writing I mentioned above, it just made things grind to a halt at times. Since this is such a short book it should not have taken me that long to finish it, but it did. I think that after Natalie goes away to school things drag a bit until she meet's her professor's wife. 

 

The setting of a young girl's home and than college experience was interesting. I just don't remember being alone at college. My brother was an upperclassman so everyone called me Little (insert my brother's name here) so I didn't even have my own identity, I was just his little sister even after he graduated. I will say that everyone treated me differently though. He was a jock, and though I was in high school, I decided to just focus on my grades and not play any sports. When the school's basketball coach found out I could play and how good I was apparently she was not happy.

 

Image result for not my problem gif

 

I digress. The ending of the book gets increasingly dark and leaves the reader with a feeling that something worse is coming Natalie's way due to what all the signs are pointing to regarding her behavior. 

 

I wouldn't really call this a Gothic book or even a straight up horror story though Goodreads classifies it as such. It's just an interesting look at the different stages in a woman's life. We have the young girl (naive and at times defiant) the newlywed (scared of what she did by giving up her own identity) and the married woman (realizing that being married was not the ultimate prize that she thought it would be). So you do get the maiden, the mother, and the crone in this one giving a cautionary tale about what it means to be a woman. 

 

Image result for the maiden the mother the crone

 

 

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text 2017-10-18 11:52
Reading progress update: I've read 20%.
The Tale Of Terror: A Study Of The Gothic Fiction - Edith Birkhead

I fully expected this to be dry and very dated but so far it's been informative and enjoyable.

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