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review 2017-01-29 01:07
Belle Grove (Corsica Vol. 2) by Katherine Winfield

 

Author: Katherine Winfield
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Length of book: 436 pages
Price: 16.99 (USD)

 

**I received a Kindle copy of this book for free from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

 

Review: A book with more than 400 pages, ‘Belle Grove’ is an intertwinement of characters. The story moves to each new page with support of detailed insights, flashbacks and emotions of each of those characters and how they all are trying to come to terms with their life stories. Each woman is a protagonist of her own story. Libby, with her clairvoyant abilities, returns in ‘Belle Grove’ and sets out to unravel the two murder mysteries existing in different centuries.

 

Kendall, a beautiful woman from the 80s, is found dead, possibly murdered, many years ago without any trace of why a happy woman full of zeal would give up on life so easily.

 

Then there is Sonia in the present, a fashionable and aristocratic woman, famous for her notoriety and from a big city is murdered under mysterious circumstances.

 

The question at the table of Corsica book club is who murdered these women and why?

 

Was it Julie Seevers? A store owner trying to mend her crumbling marriage who was present at one of the crime scenes.
Was it Will? Julie’s husband and a cop with apparently close relations with Sonia.
Or was it Michael? Sonia’s jealous husband, a man with a mysterious past involving Kendall and an inexplicable knack to be a perfectionist.
Could it be the Laverty brothers? Fred Laverty, with his socially weird mannerism or Colin Laverty, with a unique connection to Kendall along with hatred for his townspeople.
Or could it be Tabatha a.k.a. Tabs? An introverted teenager with a miserable past trying to find the reason her mother, Kendall, apparently killed herself. Did the quiet Tabs drive herself to murder Sonia due to her obsessive and possessive nature towards finding out about her dad and the extreme need to belong to a family?

 

Libby, the inquisitive, sharp-minded and clairvoyant woman with a talent for playing detective, finds herself in yet another double-murder mystery. With her own past coming back to haunt her, she takes the help of her spiritual guru, Tassie, to untwist the knots of Kendall’s death and the latest murder at Belle Grove.

 

Will she be able to find the killer before another innocent is murdered? Will she be able to come to terms with her past to save her and the life of her friends from shattering? Will she be able to help the spirit of Kendall in finding the truth and letting Kendall’s spirit go into the light with ease?

 

Belle Grove is a murder mystery with a horror element that requires the reader’s patience before they can find the truth about a spirit from the past and a notorious woman from the present.

Source: writebeforeyouspeak.wordpress.com/2017/01/29/belle-grove-corsica-vol-2-by-katherine-winfield-book-review
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review 2017-01-22 22:09
Mélusine (Doctrine of Labyrinths #1) by Sarah Monette
Melusine - Sarah Monette

I am reviewing a DTB version.

Wow! That was the longest prologue I've ever read!
Now I can go back to page 1 and start enjoying the book.
Many reviews that mention re-reads make sense now.

*****

Few thoughts on the book, the writing, the characters, the shenanigans. No spoilers, just want to keep my outrage contained in the spoiler tags.

 

Tho I like it when authors dump you right in the middle of things and you have to start running the moment you hit the ground, this was not the case. I sure did do some legwork, but it was mostly bouncing up and down on the same spot, trying to get hold on my bearings. What? Who? Where? How? but most often than not WTF? were the questions popping into my head every other paragraph.

 

None of the places, politics, history and even characters, including one of the MCs, are explored enough for readers to fully comprehend the magnitude of events that the author is bestowing upon us until it's almost into the second half.

* Felix doesn't get to shine in the beginning of the book; hell, Felix doesn't get to be or do anything before all hell brakes loose. He doesn't get. to. be. Although SM keeps showering us with "Felix is This" and "Felix is That", all we see is a mad, wounded, bleeding dog instead of a shiny pretty thing, and its running, whimpering, to his abuser after being called "a whore". That one word and an unsubstantiated implication to go along does not justify Felix's violent overreaction. I am sure it's all perfect in MS's head, but she clearly prefers not to share any additional bits with us (and there are more to come).
Where is this person who thinks quick on his legs? SM's shiny version of Felix should handle it in no time flat, instead he is seeking out his uber abusive master he hasn't seen in years and loading on drugs like there is no tomorrow.

.........................................

Felix the magnificent, "whose deadly wit is the terror of the court” my ass. Whiny little pup!

* The book is packed with too many elaborate names that mean nothing, people who never show up and have no impact on the events, places we never go to.

Not sure why French rev. calendar was used. To give an instant historical setting? Sorry, it didn't work. You can't use a calendar and a bunch of French sounding names to instantly set the stage, unless its real France and the time is set roughly during the very end of 18th/beginning of 19th centuries. Same goes for Troia/Greece. These tricks confuse, not clarify events or describe places or historical periods in fantasy fiction.

I jam fond of French history and literature, but even then it took me a few minutes to zoom in on Pluviôse, I simply did not expect it. It was one of my first in the long line of WTF moments. I am sure many of us remember the calendar, but then there are many who do not.

(spoiler show)



To SM:
*Please, translate for the overwhelming majority of your non-russian speaking audience, what the hell Morskaiakrov means. Would it kill you to make a footnote: *Morskayakrov (russian) - Sea Blood. In current setting it implies that the family who operates the boat has sea in their blood. They were born into the trade and sea is their home and their life.
Please, quit making people feel inadequate and leaving them tongue-twisted and cross-eyed.


* Too many side stories. For what purpose? Ah.... of course. Page count. But they slow down the flow of the main story and leave loose ends all over the place.
What was the deal with the hidden attic at St. Crellifer's? Great escape route. Great way in. But was it utilized? I really hope it will come handy later, because as of right now it's an opportunity and reader's time wasted.

*POV switching. Two paragraphs here. Half a page there. Past Tense, Present Tense... I am looking forward (not!) to colons in The Virtu, that's on top of Italics and Mildmay's bad and inconstant speech antics.

*Would it greatly burden you to have a glossary of terms and names in the beginning of the book? If anything it will expand your page count.

*Please, mention your septads in the glossary of your quirks. Two septads and six is an amusing take on 20 questions, but - really? Really? Invent your own question game and leave decimals out.

OK, shutting up now. There is more in my updates if anyone cares.

(spoiler show)



This book made me angry. Felix, too, at the very end, with his lack of gratitude and common sense made me angry. BUT. The story held my interest. I am starting The Virtue today. That counts for something, I guess.

3 stars.

PS Shannon. I feel bad for him. Felix is one ungrateful piece of ...work.

 

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review 2017-01-13 23:29
Ghost of You (Phantoms #3) by Kelly Moran
Ghost of You - Kelly Moran

And she's done it again! Kelly Moran has weaved a tale so captivating she had me laughing periodically, then sobbing into my pillow at 4:30AM. I kept promising myself one more chapter until i couldn't see straight and called it quits for the night.

 

Sammy believes herself to be weak, has major trust issues and enough trouble in her life to damage anyone. But she's such a strong character and i admired the hell out of her. Her attitude towards Cain made my stomach ache from laughing too much, they make a beautiful pair.

 

Cain, oh lovely Cain *sigh* My heart bled for him, i just wanted to put my arms round him, squeeze and never let go. Perfection, that's the first word to come to mind when i think about Cain. Having suffered great pain at an early age he doesn't give up, he keeps searching for that something to make him whole again. And he doesn't half find it.

 

Ghost of You is darker than the others in the series, i think. The place they go, the history surrounding it, the ghostly inhabitants. Add them all together and they gave me a major case of goosebumps.

 

I finished this book a few hours ago now and i still cant stop thinking about it. Its one of the ones that stick to you like glue, such a heart-breakingly beautiful story. By far my favourite couple in the Phantoms series.

Source: morphybooksblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/ghost-of-you
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review 2017-01-13 01:08
Bloodlust: A Tale of Erotic Yaoi Horror by Amelita Rae
Bloodlust: A Tale of Erotic Yaoi Horror - Amelita Rae

Want to mention: inconsistencies, contradictions, messed up narrative (not always sure in which timeline I was), cliches and various other wtf-ery waiting for you on every page and in every paragraph. But, yaoi novel, what did I expect. I went for something naive and low quality - a quicky, if you please - and I got it for about 60%.

And then BIG guns came out.

NOT A SPOILER, BUT A SERIOUS WARNING (this is all in the book, not my words, except for "wtf", so keep your finger off that "flag" button):

*

The book took a turn for pure brutality: brutal rape, brutal beatings, brutal murder, brutal zombies, brutal weres, brutal winter, just effing brutal all around with a bouquet of taboos thrown in just for the shocker. It includes consuming human flesh, tearing off limbs, sucking out brains and eyes, ripping out "bowels", fisting, tearing up assholes (literally, of course), dancing on the bloody floor and stomping through the guts, watersports, piss enemas, knotting, implied incest (why not go all the way, wtf?), bestiality and manimal sex/rape (shifted form). I am sure I missed a few juicy bits while rolling my eyes. Please, don't hold it against me.

1 star for the first 60-65%, which still contained a story. The rest - super-massive black hole.

Thank you for your time.

PS Must mention: one of the scenes in the book reminds me strongly ofPrisoner in the Viewfinder. Particularly the scene on the cruise ship with Michael Arbatov, his uncle Yuri and Akihito. A young blond photographer, a pure soul, raped and abused by bad Russian homophobic mobsters.

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review 2017-01-11 23:29
Give Up the Ghost (Phantoms #2) by Kelly Moran
Give Up the Ghost - Kelly Moran

I absolutely loved Jackson and Avas’ story. I’ve never really been into ghost stories or anything of the sort but, Oh My! Kelly Morans’ writing is just magical. And this series just keeps getting better.

 

My first thought was poor Paul, what an amazing character he is. I totally fell in love with him from almost the very beginning. Then again, i think anyone who reads this book will too (and you totally should, It's AWESOME).

 

Kerry is such a strong character throughout most of the book. She has her moments of doubt, but who doesn’t? She’s not just beautiful on the outside, Kerry has got the whole package. Lovely on the inside as well as out. Always putting others before herself. I loved her too <3

 

Paul and Kerry make a dynamic couple. They have a lot to sort out but i prayed they’d get through it and come out the other end smiling. As usual, Moran writes a fantastic story that i just couldn’t get enough of.

 

Still loved all the other characters from the Phantoms group. The new man was a great addition and i can’t wait to see what else he brings to the team. #FLOVE

 

I promise you wont be disappointed in this series. If you haven’t read them yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Source: morphybooksblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/give-up-the-ghost
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