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review 2019-01-13 23:04
The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay
The Far Field - Madhuri Vijay

In Madhuri Vijay's 'The Far Field' a young woman named Kalyani explores the fraught and tender relationship between herself and her mother, and the roots of a tragedy. This debut novel is astonishing in its ambition and in how it succeeds.

 

Following her mother's death, Kalyani leaves her privileged life in Bangalore for Kashmir, still scarred from the insurgencies of the 1980s and 90s. She seeks to find the man who was her mother's only friend. Her quest, and its consequences, matched with lucid prose makes for an engrossing and accomplished novel.

 

Kalyani is a young woman with little experience of the outside world, her circle at home, in college, and her stunted professional life, was limited by class and the trappings of a comfortable existence. Her mother was the only one who ever seemed to buck convention, and it was her that she lost the most touch with as she grew older.

 

The novel is told from the future, a world-weary and wiser Kalyani recalling her role in the events of the past. This tone lends the whole book weight as the reader follows this seemingly innocent quest of finding a missing person.

 

There are many fantastic books coming out this season, but this has become my favorite.

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review 2019-01-10 18:15
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton

'The Miniaturist' was a satisfying and weird historical fiction set in 17th century Amsterdam. Nella Oortman is the new wife of Johannes Brandt, but her life is not what she expected it to be. Her sister-in-law dictates everything in the household and Nella feels that her life is more restricted here in the city then at the backwater estate of her childhood. 

 

Johannes is an unusual husband in that he doesn't seem to take much interest in her, not even visiting her in the night. Instead, he gives her an extravagant house cabinet and instructs her to have it furnished. Despite the tinge of condescension in the gift, Nella places an order with the one miniaturist listed in Amsterdam and things really start getting strange.

 

The prose of this book was lovely, and I enjoyed the reveals. For the most part the book felt true to the period, but I would have enjoyed a lot more description on the methods used in crafting the miniatures such as the furniture making/restoration in 'The Goldfinch'. In all other respects I liked the descriptions of the household and daily life.  I wish there had been more time spent on developing Nella and Johannes' relationship, their bond was crucial to the last act of the story and I wasn't buying it. As for the fantastical elements in the story...I felt there was a lot left unresolved, but it didn't bother me. This is one of those books where the central mysteries of the book made it hard to put down, but didn't need to be explained at the end.

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text 2019-01-09 07:10
Book Tour - Trails Of Love

 

 

 

Trails of Love

The Bradens and Montgomerys

Melissa Foster

Releasing January 9th, 2019

World Literary Press

 

Blurb:

 

When Graham Braden travels to Oak Falls, Virginia to attend the wedding of his buddy Reed Cross to Grace Montgomery, he sticks around to help with renovations to Reed’s new theater. The last thing he expects is to be asked to assess and possibly invest in Grace’s sister Morgyn’s business endeavor.

 

Graham is a careful, keen businessman, and Morgyn is impulsive, disorganized, and more interested in the energy flow in her eclectic retail shop than in the accuracy of her records. While Graham isn’t ready to open his pockets to the sassy, sexy business owner, he may be ready to open his heart.

 

Goodreads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43394418-trails-of-love

 

Goodreads series link:

https://www.goodreads.com/series/151180-the-bradens-montgomerys-pleasant-hill---oak-falls

 

 

Buy Links:

➜KINDLE: http://smarturl.it/TOL_Ki
➜APPLE: https://apple.co/2FU6RoA
➜KOBO: http://smarturl.it/TOL_Ko
➜NOOK: http://smarturl.it/tol_n
➜GPLAY: http://bit.ly/2HPyRKF
➜PAPERBACK: http://smarturl.it/TOL__Pb

 

Author Info:


Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

Author Links:  


Website:  http://www.melissafoster.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/MelissaFosterAuthor
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Melissa_Foster
GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3023973.Melissa_Foster
Newsletter: http://melissafoster.com/newsletter
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/melissa-foster
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melissafoster_author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt

 

“What are your three most favorite things?” Morgyn asked as she strummed the guitar.

 

“That’s a hard one.”

 

“Okay, and the next two?” She bumped him with her shoulder, looking as sweet as she did sexy wearing one of his flannel shirts over her dress.

 

He loved her quirky sense of humor.

 

“Shouldn’t that be one of your favorite things?” he teased.

 

She shifted her gaze up toward the sky and strummed a faster tune, singing, “It’s your turn, not mine.”

 

“I’ve got a lot of favorite things.” He ran his fingers along her leg. “Your sexy legs.”

 

Her eyes darkened, and she played a little slower.

 

“And the way flecks of darker blue glitter in your eyes when you get turned on.”

 

“Cracker,” she said just above a whisper.

 

“I can’t help it that you’re beautiful.”

 

“Stop. You’re embarrassing me. Tell me something real.”

 

“That was real, and number three would be your free spirit.”

 

“Says Mr. Prepared, who brought a pop-up shower stall, a battery-operated heater, and a Coleman stove like my grandfather used. I’m willing to bet there’s a kitchen sink around here somewhere.”

 

“No sink, but I can rig one up if you need it.” He leaned in for a kiss, lingering because her kisses were unlike any others. She kissed with the same energy she seemed to do everything else, giving herself over to it completely, savoring every second.

 

Her eyes remained closed for a few heated seconds after their lips parted. When she opened them, a sated smile appeared like a gift. He wondered if she kissed other guys like that, or if she felt the same unfamiliar, unstoppable connection he did.

 

“I like kissing you, sunshine.” He brushed her hair behind her ear and kissed her again, slower and sweeter than the last. “I’m adding that to my list. I think I need more than three things.”



 

 

Series Buy Links:

 

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review 2018-12-09 07:26
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer,Annie Barrows

Book blurb: The war is over. Juliet Ashton is grappling with writer's block when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - a total stranger living halfway across the Channel, who has come across her name written in a second-hand book. Juliet begins writing to Dawsey, and in time to everyone in the extraordinary Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society. The society tell Juliet about life on the island - and the dark years spent under the shadow of German occupation. Drawn into their irresistible world, Juliet sets sail for Guernsey, changing her life - and theirs - forever.

 

What I thought: The book is simply delightful. It has become my second favourite book of this year. The novel is written using letters between Juliet and the society. It is quick-witted, unassuming and charming. It introduces you to the island of Guernsey, its life under the German Occupation and, yes, you do want to visit it when reading the book. The characters are so rounded, believable and lovable, I wanted to actually meet them, but on second thought I realised that the book is set in 1946 and the characters are fictional. Aw! I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a break from all those heavy-going crime/thriller/drama novels that inundate our bookshelves these days. Don't miss this gem!

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review 2018-12-08 04:20
Reading progress update: I've read 7%. And I can't read any more
Taming A Duke's Reckless Heart: Victorian Historical Romance - Tammy Andresen

(Prior reports linked at the end.)

 

I really tried.  I kept telling myself there would be a story, a romance, that I could read and review.  Somehow I would be able to set aside the problems and read the book.  But it's not going to happen.

 

Piper and her mother are set upon by thieves/kidnappers, but they are rescued by our caped hero, who turns out to be the Barrett Maddox, 6th Duke of Manchester.  What he's doing in Boston we don't know yet.

 

He rescues Piper, almost kisses her, then discovers she is with her mother.  He suggests/invites them to join him sailing to New York.

 

Here's where things about the writing just got really, really bad.

 

First, we don't know what an English Duke is doing in Boston.  Dukes have responsibilities that they can't just up and leave for extended periods of time.

 

Second, we learn that Piper's mother used to be "Lady Carolyn Vesser," but not how that title applied to her.  Is she an earl's daughter?  Why would she have left England and married an American in the 1830s?

 

Third, the original implication is that the duke is sailing on the same ship, the Maria, as Piper and her mother.  When Piper asks him where he is taking them,

 

“To the Maria.” He paused as his eyes drank her in again. “Although it’s an awful ship. I am travelling to New York as well, and you could both travel with me. You would, most assuredly, be safer.”

Andresen, Tammy. Taming A Duke's Reckless Heart: Taming the Duke's Heart (Taming the Heart Book 1) (p. 9). Kindle Edition.

 

A few pages later, however, we learn that he has led them -- distance not described -- to his own "boat."

 

“Lady Vesser, why don’t I send a note to the Maria that you will be travelling with us tonight? My boat is right here and I am sure you will be more comfortable.”

Andresen, Tammy. Taming A Duke's Reckless Heart: Taming the Duke's Heart (Taming the Heart Book 1) (p. 10). Kindle Edition.

 

Fourth, there are a couple references to Piper's cleavage.  She tries to cover it and Maddox's eyes travel to it.  I'm just not comfortable thinking that a well-bred young woman traveling from Boston to New York in 1854 would be wearing something that bares her bosom.  Even though it's May, the weather in the evening might be cool, and it almost certainly will be once they're at sea, so shouldn't she have some kind of cloak or cape or other covering?

 

Fifth, there is the matter of their luggage.  These two women are essentially moving to New York, so they have trunks.  TRUNKS.  Only one apiece?  Or more?  Oh, who knows?  The author isn't specific, and she just has the driver of the carriage pick up both trunks and carry them to the bottom of the gangplank to Maddox's "boat." 

 

Sixth, we get this nonsense about peerage titles, something that drives me up the ever-loving wall.

 

Piper and her mother are going to New York to visit (or live with?) Piper's cousin Sybil, who has already been referred to as "Lady Fairfield."

 

But now, in the company of the duke, Mrs. Baker says:

 

". . . Piper, I was girlhood friends with Mr. Maddox’s mother, Lady Priscilla Fairfield Maddox. Now the Duchess, of course."

Andresen, Tammy. Taming A Duke's Reckless Heart: Taming the Duke's Heart (Taming the Heart Book 1) (pp. 11-12). Kindle Edition.

 

I thought I had misread something, but later on that same page, Piper replies to a question about having family in England:

 

“Yes, of course,” she replied. “Actually my cousin, Lady Sybil Fairfield, Viscountess of Abberforth, is waiting for us in New York.”

Andresen, Tammy. Taming A Duke's Reckless Heart: Taming the Duke's Heart (Taming the Heart Book 1) (p. 12). Kindle Edition.

 

The same family name????  And a viscount is never "of" something.  Viscount Abberforth would be the correct form.

 

Okay, that's bad enough.  But how is Sybil a viscountess?  She's already been described as being in desperate need of a husband, so we know she's not married to the viscount.  If she's the daughter of the viscount Abberforth, we know he's dead because that's already been established, too.

 

Her cousin, Sybil, also needed to marry but had yet to choose a suitor. A sigh escaped her lips to think of her cousin. Beautiful and titled, she supposed most women would be jealous of Sybil, but Piper knew the truth. After the death of her parents, Sybil felt weighed down with responsibility. She was having difficulty running the estate.

Andresen, Tammy. Taming A Duke's Reckless Heart: Taming the Duke's Heart (Taming the Heart Book 1) (p. 2). Kindle Edition.

 

If her father the viscount died without a male heir, the title would have gone to another male such as a nephew.  In the absence of a direct male heir, the title would have gone in abeyance or reverted to the crown.  The idea of Sybil, a young woman in America, being given a title in her own right is utterly implausible. 

 

And what is this business of running an estate?  In New York?  Rural New York, perhaps, but the implication is New York City, since Piper is counting on Sybil's ability to introduce her to New York society.

 

Furthermore, while Mrs. Baker may have given up her own title when she married an American, she would not not NOT have referred to His Grace the Duke of Manchester as "Mr. Maddox." Never, never, never.  If there is an explanation for this, it needs to come at the spot the event happens, not more pages into the book.

 

Once again, the point is to make the pages disappear so the reader is lost in the story, not wondering why there are all these unexplained anomalies.

 

Eighth -- the overall effect.

 

The pacing is completely off.  The opening scene does nothing to set the plot in motion; all it really does is raise questions.  When Piper and her mother go to the docks to board their ship, there's still not enough explanation.  And there's no description at all!  I don't know what Piper looks like.  I don't know what kind of night it is.  Warm?  Breezy?  How does the air smell in the harbor area?  We get some of Piper's reactions to being touched by the duke, but it's kind of silly description.  Her heart is pounding.  Something happens to her nerves.  It's beyond clichéd.

 

This is one of those books that might have a decent romance plot buried in the garbage, but it desperately needs competent editing.  It needs to be fleshed out with good description, reasonable background development, and for the love of Queen Victoria, some historical research!

 

DNF, because I refuse to waste any more time on this piece of crap.

 

 

 

 

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1816060/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-5

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1816007/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-4-i-m-not-sure-i-can-continue

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1815742/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-2

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1815727/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-2-not-a-dnf-yet-but-gettin-close

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1815343/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-4-out-of-232-pages

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1815065/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-3-out-of-232-pages

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1814988/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-1-out-of-232-pages

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