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review 2018-03-24 09:43
The Pride of the Peacock
The Pride of the Peacock - Victoria Holt

My rating is an attempt at objectivity.  Objectively speaking, this is a very well-written romantic suspense, heavy on the romance.  I believe it to be everything that was beloved of romances in the 60's and 70's.  It was very well plotted and a great deal of care was taken with both atmosphere and characterisations.


Thus ends objectivity.  I disliked this book.  It is the embodiment of everything I find tedious in romances, in spite of wanting to enjoy them.  The whole misunderstanding / lack of communication trope makes me want to set fire to the book as I'm reading it.  It would take an emotionally neglected and abused protagonist to find the romantic interest in this book romantic or heroic in the least.  He was vain, arrogant and stupid.  She was just stupid, although I give her credit for being a smart-ass.


The setting for the first half of the book was England, and the second half in an Australian opal mining town, during a time before combustion engines and electricity were a thing (no specific date is ever named in the book).  I thought at first this would be a saving grace, because I'm moderately interested in opals.  But Holt was apparently obsessed with them, and her characters were mad about them.  There was so much obsessing and evangelising about the damn opals.  Holt was too heavy handed and went too far; by the end she'd almost killed any interest I had in them at the start. 


A true connoisseur of the romance genre might enjoy this for the nostalgia if not for the good story behind it (and it is a good story).  Me, I'm going back to my wheelhouse of murder and mayhem for awhile, before getting back up on this genre-horse.


This book works for the Kill Your Darlings game card Crime Scene: Pemberley.  "Pride" being in the title of the book.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-19 02:59
Great plot with good action
Hemlock - Kathleen Peacock

***Possible spoilers, you’ve been warned***


The book starts off well and has a good pace and momentum throughout the book. The setting is also well done and small with a handful of characters so it’s simple and makes the reading enjoyable. I particularly liked the dream sequences Mac has with Amy. They can be cliche but it helps move the plot along and adds to the mood.


The werewolf aspect is interesting in the book. The notion of them having a ‘rehabilitation’ camp has a dystopia feel and there’s also Mac trying to solve Amy’s murder. So there’s different characteristics of the book to please YA readers which makes the experience reading this fun and enjoyable.


Of course you need a bit of romance in the story as well right? I’m all for Kyle and Mac being together. I found the love triangle aspect here irritating and forced on. Jason did not have sort of chemistry at all with Mac. It felt forced, awkward, and well...it just didn’t sit well with me (your boyfriend likes your best friend...just. No.) The love triangle just made things so cliche and sappy. The story didn’t need this. It was fine with just Kyle and Mac!


The mystery aspect was good throughout the novel. The crumb trail to figuring out who was behind the attacks wasn’t that obvious until the late third of the book and although it was already known who it was, the action sequence and climax of the story was pretty exciting and a lot of things are revealed. The revelations weren’t the type to blind side you, it fits well into the story and puts the pieces together. Which is fine. I think the action scenes are enough to keep readers interested.


I was happy with the way the book ended and I’ll be picking up the second one. Recommended for YA lovers who just want a good light read with some good action and a readable enjoyable plot.

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review 2017-12-18 00:00
The Preening Peacock: A Rosalinda Alameda Mystery
The Preening Peacock: A Rosalinda Alameda Mystery - Lisa Shea  Giraffes and Tigers and Birds, Oh My!

 Pleasantly penned by Lisa Shea, The Preening Peacock is a fun-filled and endearing cozy mystery that takes its readers on an invigorating day trip to the landmark Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Massachusetts. And it is at the establishment's giraffe exhibit that we come meet our winsome protagonist Rosalinda Alameda, a 50-year-old native of Arecibo (Puerto Rico), zoo lover, and veterinarian receptionist.

 Perplexed as to why the giraffes are missing from public display—which prevents her from snapping coveted photos of their statuesque beauty—Rosalinda proceeds to inquire of Kayla and Sarah, two young volunteer zoo workers who helpfully explain to her that the missing giraffes have been moved inside for safety reasons due to impending thunderstorms in the meteorological forecasts. Notwithstanding, the three women take an immediate liking to each other and continue to converse further, particularly about the heat and humidity of the August day, and the toenails of the peacocks and peahens which have mysteriously turned purplish in color when they should in fact be tan-toned.

 Puzzled by the peacock toenail revelation, the insatiable animal lover who is Rosalinda probes further and asks Kayla and Sarah—after apprising them that she is in the business of veterinarian medicine—if it would be alright for her to have a look in order to "investigate" what the cause of the peacock toenail discoloration could possibly be. The two young ladies agree and proceed to escort our Rosalinda over to the Austrialian aviary where the cuckatoos, the colorful budgies, and the fabulously adorned peacocks and peahens hold court. 

Now knowing, per Kayla and Sarah, that the aviary overseer Christian and his helper Mark drive a hard overprotective bargain where the exotic vertebrate are concerned, Rosalinda takes great caution in her dealings with the feathered friends. But after getting two shots of one particular peahen's toenails, a hostile Mark arrives at the exhibit and is none to pleased with the unmonitored actions of the three women, leading him to promptly contacts his boss, the equally unfriendly Christian. And no sooner than the more mature Ricky Martin look-a-like—to whom Rosalinda finds herself incredibly attracted—arrives on the scene, goings-on at the landmark Franklin Park Zoo of greater Boston begin to take a direly sinister turn.

 Advancing to make the sharp-tongued, 50-ish-year-old hearthrob aware of her "invesigative diagnosis" as to what the reason might be for the peahen's purple toenails, Rosalinda finds herself rudely dismissed. But does this stop her inner sleuth from snooping further and sticking her petting hand into the Zoo's animal cookies jar? No, of course it doesn't.

 Someone inhumane at the landmark Franklin Park Zoo of greater Boston is scientifically plundering, evading, and exploiting the bodies of the park's wildlife population—driving many of them towards extinction—in the hope of massive monetary gain. But just whom can that inhumane someone be?

 You can discover the heartless culprit on the twenty-two pages of this enjoyable cozy zoo short story composed by the talented Lisa Shea.

 An appreciable 45-minute read, The Preening Peacock—book 1 in the 7-book Cozy Zoo Short Story Series—is neatly detailed and impressive in its research of the zoological branch of biology. And true to the nature of its genre the narrative, though ephemeral, didn't fall short of infusing me with that old-fashioned sentiment of relaxed solitude. For the zoo lover in you, The Preening Peacock is a positively recommended read.

 Five publicly exhibited stars.
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review 2017-11-03 00:38
My American Nightmare
My American Nightmare: Women In Horror Anthology - Azzurra Nox,Nicky Peacock

I'm late, as usual, reporting the rest of my Halloween Bingo squares...but this one was for Terrifying Women!


Ghosts, zombies, slashers, abductions, creepy dolls, and of course witches are included in this selection of creepy short stories. All written by women  My American Nightmare  contains everything from macabre to disturbing, perfect for Halloween time reading. With all stories set in the United States of America, some stories are historically set, some are current, the stories range from new horror to familiar retellings.    With all short story collections I enjoyed some stories more than others, however with Halloween right around the corner I gobbled up all the stories and appreciated the atmosphere that they gave to this time of year.  

One of my favorite stories was the Ballad of Sorrow and Lila which shows the power of strong feelings and why a bully never wins.

I also enjoyed The Pickman Sisters of Salem which will reverberate with any who loves Hocus Pocus.  

The last story in the grouping was a perfect send-off.  Mr. Button's Tea Party had a lot of elements, abductions, dolls and disfigurement; however, the creepiest part was that it felt like something that might actually happen to a person or a story you might hear about on the news.  This is one that I would have loved to see expanded upon. 

Overall, these short stories show that women in horror makes for a wonderfully spooky mix. 

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review 2017-10-29 00:36
My American Nightmare - Women in Horror Anthology
My American Nightmare: Women In Horror Anthology - Azzurra Nox,Nicky Peacock

This is a perfect for book to read this time of year. With Halloween Coming quickly. I had a blast scaring myself. This is an Anthology. it has 19 stories in the book. Each story is written by a different author. The stories run the range of every ghoul and goblin in the Halloween line up. From Ghost to zombies. These are short stories, but the creep factor grabs you quickly. There are several stories in this book I would love to read a whole book on. 


Picking a favorite story would be impossible for me. I really loved the first one, yea I know picking the first one is lame. But it is about a zombie apocalypse.  How a virus ends up effecting the whole country. The story takes place in Pennsylvania. A girl and her family are trying to escape their hometown but it ends up being too late. The mother gets sick first then the father. The girl ends up being alone and just as she forms a plan to escape she ends up with a sore throat. The first sign of being affected. I also have to admit I would love to read a full book on this story, it ended way to soon for me, but it really stuck with me. 

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