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review 2017-09-02 18:42
Review of Madam Secretary by Madeleine Albright
Madam Secretary: A Memoir - Madeleine Albright

I am a big fan of Madeleine Albright and this book did not disappoint.  This memoir tells the story of Albright's career in service, focusing mostly on her work in the UN and as Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration.  It covers a lot of ground, and was a great primer for all international issues of the 1990s.  I enjoyed her writing style and her wit, and felt that she was very open and honest with her successes and failures.  Highly recommended for those interested in a great woman or the time period.

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review 2017-01-06 11:10
India Black, Madam of Espionage #1
India Black - Carol K. Carr

India Black was so much more than I expected, I absolutely adored this book. India is a wonderful, sassy, hilarious & brilliant character, plus she has this devil may care attitude which is perfect being that she's a madam.


I'll admit I did a little happy dance when I discovered that there is more adventures. Ridiculously excited to get my digits onto those!!


4 Stars.

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review 2016-10-24 00:00
Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson
Madam President: The Secret Presidency o... Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson - William Hazelgrove This was a fascinating look at a First Lady few of us know much about. A well written book concerning a time in our country's history and the reign of Woodrow Wilson, who suffered a disabling stroke while President. Concealed to a great deal by history books and the media, Mrs. Wilson stepped up to the plate to fill in for her husband-- for the sake of his health, legacy, policies and to not further throw our country into even more chaos and upheaval at a critical time in our history. It is truly amazing that she could even attempt to contend with all of the challenges she faced, especially since she had only two years of formal education. This book is especially fitting now, with the upcoming election and a woman who claims if elected, would be the first woman President, and with the revelations exposed in this book, prove that would be untrue. This is a must read of any history lover or political connoiseur. I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
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review 2016-10-20 04:13
Derry's back with more fortune telling and danger
Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts - David Ahern

After the dramatic events at the end of her first experiment as Madam Tulip, Derry puts away her costume and fortune-telling apparatus, focusing on something safer -- like theater. Which works up until the roof caves in after her big opening night. So now she (and her friends) are without jobs, the theater's existence is in danger, and Derry's mother is just waiting for a chance to pounce and force her into a "real" job.

Derry and her pals organize a charity auction (with some help from her mother) to help the theater -- Derry also ends up working for her mother in a temporary capacity (only one of them actually believes that part) -- we see a different side of her, on e that makes you believe she has options outside of acting if she wants them. I like seeing her character rounded out -- I also liked the little flash we had of her acting ability outside of Madam Tulip.


Marlene comes to the rescue as well -- she has a friend from a titled family, who is throwing an extravagant engagement party and wants Madam Tulip to be part of it. This will give Derry a needed infusion of cash and the family will make a contribution to the theater's fund as well (there's a family connection). Bruce also picks up some work, which is convenient for Derry -- and for Ahern -- always handy to have your ex-SEAL buddy character nearby if things go bad. And they do, naturally -- Derry has visions of an unhappy bride, body parts start showing up in the mail (don't worry -- this doesn't get gruesome), and rumors of other family problems surround Derry. It's up to her, her clients (featuring a spunky dowager), and Bruce to save the day.


It might just be me, but there's a larger supernatural feel to this one. Last time, you could almost get away thinking that Derry was just good at reading people and doing the card thing as a lark. But in this volume, there's no denying that she has some sort of "sight." While the supernatural is more evident here, it's not like Charlaine Harris took over, it's still pretty much the same feel. Also, I should add that Derry putting the pieces together at the end isn't all due to her gift -- the practical side, her mother's influence, that has as much to do with her success as anything else.


There's a bit of a romantic storyline here, I liked this one better than the previous book's foray into that part of Derry's life. It was less complicated and more believable. Sure, I liked the guy from the last book more than this one -- but the story worked better with this interest.


The whole gang is back for this go 'round. We didn't get a lot of Bella, less of Marlene than I expected, and less of Bruce than I wanted (but he's there when he needed to be) -- but the just the right amount of Jacko (who was a lot of fun) and her mom. The new characters were okay, I didn't get the sense of connection to them that I did with everyone last time -- they were clearly invented just for this adventure, ready to be replaced by another group in need of her talents.


This is a fun, light mystery -- great for readers of David Rosenfeldt or Janet Evanovich, who don't mind a touch of something beyond this world. I really liked the first book in this series -- I've even put my money where my mouth is and given it as gifts. I liked this one almost as much, but in many ways it reminded me about what I've heard many TV writers talk about -- writing the pilot is hard, but the 2<sup>nd</sup> episode is worse -- it's basically retelling the pilot in a slightly different way. On many fronts, that's what this felt like: a slightly tweaked version of the first book (and as soon as I wrote that, I thought of at least a half-dozen ways I was wrong to say it). I hope book 3 (assuming we get one) is a little less like these two. But I'm still going to be there, because these characters and Ahern's voice are right up my alley and I want to spend more time with both.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2016/10/19/madam-tulip-and-the-knave-of-hearts-by-david-ahern
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review 2016-08-06 00:38
Madam President (Devlyn and Lauren Book 1) - T. Novan,Blayne Cooper

I've read this story before but it was the online, Xena-uber fan fiction version. I was young in my lesfic reading career and pretty easily impressed. I liked this story pretty well back then. I read it a second time a few years ago and liked it less. I still liked the humor and some of the situations the characters found themselves in and the relationships between the main and the most prominent secondary characters were fun and felt genuine.


It was only a few months ago, I think, when the newest edition was released for sale on Amazon and I was happy when I was able to grab a copy on a free day. I felt much less lucky as I got into the book and discovered it is absolutely riddled with typos, missing words, and other problems that should have cleaned up before releasing it to the lesfic consumers. Setting aside all the standard old fan fic issues of head hopping, identifying characters by their eye or hair color or profession, not taking the time to run spell check or hire a proofreader before charging money for the book put me in a bad place while reading. If I had paid for it, I'd be really pissed and likely would have returned it for a refund. 


I already know that most of my friends would still rate this a 4 or 5 star book simply because they'd read it before when fan fic was still going strong in the Xenaverse, and I wouldn't rate the free online version with only two stars. But this is supposed to be a professionally produced product that readers are paying for. Judging the book in that way, two stars, in my opinion, is fair. 

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