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review 2017-06-30 23:06
The Lover
The Lover - Nia Forrester

 

Title:  The Lover

Author:  Nia Forrester

Publisher:  Stiletto Press, LLC

Reviewed By: Arlena Dean

Rating: Five

Review:

 

"The Lover" by Nia Forrester

 

My Thoughts...

 

Interesting read that will keep the reader entertained all the way to the end with some thoughtful characters and some very relatable scenarios. Ryann was definitely one that could get on your last nerves but in the end she does come around with her independent spirit and with Spencer's no nonsense personality and the babies maybe even getting their HEA. By the end of this read the author gives the reader quite a love story with come very 'complexed characters, social issues' that will all come together with such a wonderful depth dealing with 'love, trauma and drama' that will leave the readers only wanting more.  This was definitely a Ryann and Spenser's story and this author Nia Forrester gives the readers quite a well written story! 

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review 2017-06-24 03:06
[REVIEW] The Lover by Marguerite Duras
The Lover - Marguerite Duras,Barbara Bray
“People ought to be told of such things. Ought to be taught that immortality is mortal, that it can die, it’s happened before and it happens still.” (90%)



The prose is so beautiful, so evocative, that I am immediately transported into the world of “The Lover”. I am glad I read the introduction, confusing as it was because it let me know two important things: 1. this novel is 'somewhat' autobiographical of the author and 2. the characters are mostly nameless.

Because it is written in the first person, you are immediately gripped by the narrator’s voice. The rawness of her emotion is palpable. The timeline isn’t clearly established, we keep jumping back and forth between different ages/memories of the narrator which can be jarring at times.

While reading about a 15-year-old engaging in a sexual relationship with a 27-year-old is deeply unsettling, because of the way the narrator tells the story, you can become confused and think of her as older than 15. I wonder if she engaged in sex as a way to combat the sadness she says she has always felt within her, a sadness that ages her young face and that is mirrored in the deep melancholy of her mother. It's truly heartbreaking.

As it is, the whole novel is accompanied by a sad, melancholic tone and it doesn't let up until you've finished the book.

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review 2017-06-21 00:00
53 Letters For My Lover
53 Letters For My Lover - Leylah Attar DNF at 65%. I love Leylah Attar but I can not get through this book for some reason. I'm obviously in the minority here as most people loved it, but I just can't seem to connect with them and it's not holding my interest.
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review 2017-06-09 07:34
Hold on
Undercover Lover - Peter Styles

Jeremiah is shocked to find his current beau wants him to spy on his rival, by hooking up with him.  Since he has wanted a commitment from this man, he agrees to do so.  Then he finds out how perfect Chris is for him.

 

Chris is attracted to Jeremiah, even before he knows who he is.  Then he actively pursues him.  He goes after what he wants.  Chris now wants Jeremiah.

 

My first reaction to this scenario was, "Who does that?"  I have read love triangles before but this was a complicated twist I never saw coming.  There is a real sweet spot in this story with the pursuit of this vulnerable man.  I just had a hard time stomaching the original boyfriend using the guy like he did.  I give this story a 2/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given voluntarily for an honest review.

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review 2017-06-08 12:15
A well-paced mystery that takes us back to a fascinating and tragic historical era
The Lover's Portrait: An Art Mystery - Jennifer S. Alderson

Thanks to Rosie’s Book Review Team and to the author for providing me with an ARC copy of this book that I voluntarily chose to review. (If you are a writer and are interested in getting first-class reviews do check here).

I love art but cannot claim to be a connoisseur and I’ve never been to Amsterdam (well, I stopped at the airport to change planes once but that was that) but I can reassure you neither of those things prevented me from enjoying this solid mystery set within the world of big art museums and exhibitions, with a background story that would comfortably fit into the genre of historical fiction.

The story is written in the third person but from several characters’ point of view, although it is easy to follow and there is no head-hopping as each chapter, some longer and some shorter, is told from only one character’s point of view. There are two time frames. Some chapters are set in 1942 and tell the story of an art dealer from Amsterdam who is being blackmailed by one of the Nazi occupiers due to his homosexuality. In 2015, Zelda, the intrepid protagonist, is trying very hard to get into a Master’s Programme that will qualify her to work in museums and agrees to help with some very basic editing tasks for an exhibition of art objects confiscated by the Nazis that has been organised in an attempt at locating the rightful owners of the paintings. Readers get also a good insight into the thoughts and motivations of other characters (the evil nephew of the original Nazi blackmailer, Rita, the owner of one of the portraits in the exhibition, Huub, the curator of the exhibition…), although we mostly follow Zelda and her adventures. Although this is book 2 in the series, I have not read the first one and had no problem getting into the story. Zelda at times reflects upon how she got here and we learn that she moved from working with computers to a stay in Nepal teaching English and finally Amsterdam. In effect, I felt the novel was better at offering factual information about her than developing her character psychologically. I was not sure of her age but at times she seemed very naïve for somebody who has travelled extensively and has held important jobs, not only with the mystery side of things but also with her personal life, but she has the heart in the right place, and I appreciated the lack of romance in the story.

The different points of view and time changes help keep the suspense going, as we have access to more information than Zelda, but this can sometimes make matters more confusing (as we are not privy to everybody’s thoughts and there are a few red herrings thrown in for good measure). The author is also good at keeping us guessing and suspecting all kinds of double-crossings (perhaps I have been reading too many mystery books and thrillers but I didn’t trust anyone and was on the lookout for more twists than there were).

The setting of Amsterdam, both in the present and in the 1940s is very well depicted and, at least for me, the wish to go there increased as I read. I really enjoyed the description of the process of documentation and how to search for the provenance of artworks (the author explains her own background and its relevance to the subject [very] in an endnote that also offers ample bibliography)  that is sufficiently detailed without getting boring, and the background theme of the fate of art and the persecution of Jews, homosexuals and other minorities in occupied Europe is brought to life in the memories described by several of the characters and also the fictionalised entries of the art merchant. It is not difficult to see how a book about the research of actual works of art could be gripping too, and the fictionalisation and the mystery elements make it attractive to even more readers.

This is a gentle mystery, with no excessive or graphic violence, with an amateur sleuth who sometimes is far too daring and impulsive (although otherwise there would not be much of a story), with a great background and sufficient red herrings and clues to keep the suspense going. I suspect most readers will guess some aspects of the solution, but perhaps not the full details, and even if they do, the rest of the elements of the story make the reading worthwhile.

A good and solid book, an interesting intrigue that combines present and past, set in a wonderful Amsterdam and the art world, with likeable and intriguing characters,  but not heavy on the psychological aspects or too demanding.

 

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