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review 2018-04-26 20:51
The Marriage Arrangement (Marriage to a Billionaire #4.5; 1001 Dark Nights #80) by Jennifer Probst
The Marriage Arrangement - Jennifer Probst

 

Standing on your own means more than just running away. It involves risks, heartache and growing up. To conquer demons, we have to be willing to get our feet wet, hearts broken and learn how to face fears. So let the healing begin. The Marriage Arrangement goes from a girl's worst nightmare to every woman's fantasy. Cat ran from disappointment, self-doubt and pain. Can a determined man with an agenda be the home of her dreams. Cat and Rip are a mess when it comes to matters of the heart, but their attraction burns hot. Probst delivers temptation and redemption with a flavorful cast of characters and heart.

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review 2018-03-06 16:57
A book that will enthrall fans of Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and people interested in XIX century true crime.
The Face of a Monster: America's Frankenstein - Patricia Earnest Suter

I was provided an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

Most of us have wondered more than once about the nature of fiction and the, sometimes, thin line separating reality from fiction. Although we assume that, on most occasions, fiction imitates reality, sometimes fiction can inspire reality (for better or for worse) and sometimes reality seems to imitate fiction (even if it is just a matter of perception). And although Slavoj Žižek and postmodernism might come to mind, none of those matters are new.

Suter’s non-fiction book combines three topics that are worthy of entire books (and some have been written about at length): Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Mary’s own life, and Anton Probst’s life and the murders he committed. Each chapter of the book alternates between the chronological (up to a point) stories of Shelley and Probst, and comparisons of the developments and events in the “life” (fictional, but nonetheless important) of Frankenstein’s creature. The author uses quotes and close- text-analysis of Frankenstein, and also interprets the text based on the biography of Shelley, to explain how the creature ended up becoming a monster. Although the novel is an early example of science-fiction/horror, many of the subjects it touched belong in literature at large. Nature versus nurture (is the creature bad because of the parts used to make him, or because nobody shows him care and affection?), science versus morality and religion (can knowledge be its own justification, or should there be something of a higher order limiting experiments), prejudice, mob mentality, revenge, loneliness and isolation…

Shelley’s life, marked by tragedy from the very beginning (her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, died when Mary was only eleven days old) was dominated by men who never returned her affection and who were happy to blame her for any disasters that happened. She was part of a fascinating group, but, being a woman, she was never acknowledged and did not truly belong in the same circle, and it seems an example of poetic justice that her book has survived, and even overtaken in fame, the works of those men that seemed so important at the time (Lord Byron, Percy B. Shelley…).

I was familiar with Frankenstein and with the life of Mary Shelley and her mother (although I am not an expert) but had not heard about Probst. The author has done extensive research on the subject and provides detailed information about the life of the murderer, and, perhaps more interesting still, his trial and what happened after. That part of the book is invaluable to anybody interested in the development of crime detection in late XIX century America (his crimes took place in Philadelphia, although he was born in Germany), the nature of trials at the time, the history of the prison service, executions, the role of the press and the nature of true crime publications, and also in the state of medical science in that era and the popular experiments and demonstrations that abounded (anatomical dissections, phrenology, galvanism were all the rage, and using the bodies of those who had been punished with the death penalty for experiments was quite common). Human curiosity has always been spurred by the macabre, and then, as much as now, the spectacle of a being that seemed to have gone beyond the bounds of normal behaviour enthralled the public. People stole mementos from the scene of the crime, queued to see the bodies of the victims, and later to see parts of the murderer that were being exhibited. Some things seem to change little.

Each part of the book is well researched and well written (some of the events are mentioned more than once to elaborate a point but justifiably so) and its overall argument is a compelling one, although perhaps not one that will attract all readers. There are indeed parallels and curious similarities in the cases, although for some this might be due to the skill of the writer and might not be evident to somebody looking at Probst’s case in isolation. Even then, this does not diminish from the expertise of the author or from the engrossing topics she has chosen. This is a book that makes its readers think about fame, literature, creativity, family, imaginary and true monsters, crime, victims, and the way we talk and write about crime and criminals. Then and now.

I’d recommend this book to readers interested in Frankenstein and Mary Shelley’s work and life, also to people interested in true crime, in particular, XIX century crime in the US. As a writer, I thought this book would be of great interest to writers researching crime enforcement and serial killers in XIX century America, emigration, and also the social history of the time. And if we feel complacent when we read about the behaviour of the experts and the common people when confronted with Probst and his murders, remember to look around you and you’ll see things haven’t changed that much.

The author also provides extensive notes at the end of the book, where she cites all her sources.

 

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review 2017-09-25 17:16
Reveal Me (Steele Brothers) by Jennifer Probst
Reveal Me (the STEELE BROTHERS series Book 5) - Jennifer Probst

 

If there is such a thing as being tastefully naughty, Ms. Probst sets about pushing the boundaries on that.  Reveal Me shows a scandalous side to an author that is known for hinting at sex appeal while showcasing stories of tenderness, courage and second chances.  Those qualities are prevalent in the saucy relationship that develops between Leo and Scarlett, just with a tempestuous edge at the core of their romance. The fantasy entrances as the romance devours. A sensual feast of delectability. 

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review 2017-08-06 00:00
Any Time, Any Place (The Billionaire Builders)
Any Time, Any Place (The Billionaire Builders) - Jennifer Probst I received an ARC from NetGalley for this unbiased review.

I don't think Jennifer Probst will ever disappoint me. *knock wood* When I read Everywhere and Every Way, I knew I'd be waiting slightly impatiently for book two in the series. When it appeared in NetGalley, I clicked so fast I don't think I even registered I'd done it.

Thank goodness I got a copy because this book was just as fantastic as the first. We'd already seen glimpses into the Pierce brothers' background, now we get to see the aftermath from the other side.

Raven is the daughter of the man who ran away with Diane Pierce, only to end with their deaths in a car accident before they could actually make it to their destination - Paris.

She grew up under the spectre of hatred from the Pierce family. Taunts, ruination of her father's name, and becoming the town pariah. Raven vowed to get her vengeance on the Pierce family, living her life roaming from place to place, learning everything she could. She trained, becoming an amazing martial artist - she knew whatever was in store for her back in her home town... she'd be ready.

Unfortunately, she found she wasn't ready for Dalton Pierce. From the first day he walked into her bar, he had her head spinning. And he wouldn't leave her alone. They were a perfect match when they sparred verbally, he followed her to her gym where he kept up with her physically, and he desperately wanted to rehab "My Place," which needed to be done for a spread in Good Food and Fine Spirits magazine.

When it turns out Dalton is the only man for the job, sparks fly in so many ways Raven can't deny her attraction any longer. The only question is whether she can avoid the need for vengeance or the fallout when Dalton finds out.

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First of all, I hate books with unnecessary secrets, but I thought the secret(s) in this book were plausible and definitely in-character for Dalton and Raven.

I could connect to both of the mains here, and all the Pierce brothers + Brady are simply dreamy. The girls are feisty and loveable, and I'd want to be BFFs with all of them.

I finished the book with a smile on my face, and that means a lot to me. If a book can make me feel anything after I've closed it, it's done something right.
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text 2017-07-26 11:27
Erster Satz | Claus Probst: Die Jagd (Am falschen Ort)
Die Jagd - Am falschen Ort: Thriller - Claus Probst

Seit der Sache mit Torrini hat an achtmal versucht, mich zu töten. 

 

Vermutlich gibt es nur wenige Menschen, die das von sich behaupten können. Mit Ausnahme einiger Diktatoren, Rebellenführer und Drogenbarone, die sich jedoch nicht mit mir vergleichen lassen, denn sie umgeben sich meist mit einer Armee von Leibwächtern. Ich dagegen bin völlig auf mich gestellt.

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