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review 2017-10-20 08:00
Krakatoa
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded - Simon Winchester

With Krakatoa Simon Winchester gives a very interesting account not only of the actual eruption of the Krakatoa and its immediate aftermath, but also spend a lot of time to set the scene and look into consequences of the eruption.

It was the first book I read by Simon Winchester and I enjoyed it a lot. Not everything was new information for me, but I liked the writing and the general pace of the book. I would recommend it.

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review 2017-10-19 16:17
Ghostly Review – The Haunting of Hotel La Belle by Sharon Buchbinder @sbuchbinder
The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle - Sharon Buchbinder

I love the beautiful cover for The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle by Sharon Buchbinder. I am always eager to pay a visit to a haunted place and this is the perfect time of year to do so. Come and in…if you dare.

 

Cover:  Rae Monet

 

 

The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle

 

Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle by Sharon Buchbinder starts me out with a laugh and I love that.

 

The story begins at Hotel LaBelle in 1905. Finally Lucius’ dreams came true. He’d worked hard, sacrificed much, including his love. He was ‘left’ with a curse from Mourning Dove’s powerful mother.

 

Present Day:  Tallulah was at the Hotel LaBelle to find out why the hotel’s renovations were being delayed. The outside looked like Hotel LaHelle. She hadn’t had a vision in a year and she wondered, “Why now?”

 

Enter Lucius:  who is neither alive nor dead. My thoughts are of a very unusual romance. Is it possible?

 

Both the living and the dead want her there, to fix what is broken, to save Hotel LaBelle.

The Native American mysticism adds that extra element that intrigues me, that takes this creatively written paranormal/supernatural read to a special place. I love haunted buildings and ghosts. Tallulah also has a dog, a pug. Any time a critter appears in a book I am reading, it adds a little spice to the story. The writing has a humorous side, along with the mystery, and all I can say is, “I want to return to Hotel LaBelle:”

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle by Sharon Buchbinder.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

 

Read more here.

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/ghostly-review-the-haunting-of-hotel-la-belle-by-sharon-buchbinder-sbuchbinder
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review 2017-10-19 10:00
Review: First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson # 1) Darynda Jones

 

 

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.


A flow chart would have been nice.

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can't she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

 

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

 

 

 

This book has a little bit of everything, paranormal, suspense, mystery, hints of romance, an intriguing story line that keeps readers wanting to know more and a main character that is snarky and vulnerable which has readers wanting to get better acquainted.

 

Charley Davidson’s character seems to have her life together, she’s a private investigator who consults with cops occasionally but she also has a secret side; she’s the grim reaper and unfortunately while she knows a little, there seems to be a whole lot that she doesn’t know about which adds a lot of intrigue but also makes her character vulnerable and one that readers can relate to. She has a snarky attitude and she’s full of pizazz which readers can’t help but like. The story hints at some hot and heavy chemistry with a shadow character that Charley’s not real sure is even real which adds even more suspense to a story that already has plenty and then there are a bunch of secondary characters that are every bit as fascinating as Charley who add quirkiness, laughs and drama.

 

An original storyline that hooks readers from the get go and the intrigue just keeps coming with twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats and unable to put the book down.  A bit of mystery, a bit of action, well-written characters and quite a bit of dramatic interaction plays a big part in this book, add in a few laughs and readers never have dull moment.

 

Overall, the author does a fantastic job of engaging the readers with the multiple sub-plots, wonderful characters and a series opener that promises a phenomenally great time and I am looking forward to reading more of Charley’s adventures. Did I mention that I really love her name?

 

 

 

First Grave on the Right is the first book in the Charley Davidson series

The 12th book The Trouble with the Twelfth Grave is due to be released on October 31, 2017

 

First Grave on the Right is available in print or ebook at:

Amazon   B&N   BAM   GPlay   Indie   ibooks   Kobo   StMartins

 

Darynda Jones can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   Facebook   Twitter   Pintrest

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review 2017-10-19 08:00
The Man From Beijing
The Man from Beijing - Henning Mankell,Laurie Thompson

When I was going through some of the reviews, it almost seemed like everyone was disappointed by The Man From Beijing, but this was not at all the memory I had about the book.

Yes, it is slow paced, and not all the jumps may make a lot of sense, but I still remember it as an interesting story, after the mass murder on the first few pages. Although even I have to admit that the Wallander series stands out.

Side note: I was once able to pass a geography question in high school about Chinese investments into Africa because I'd read this book. ;)

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review 2017-10-19 06:41
The Bride Who Got Lucky by Janna MacGregor
The Bride Who Got Lucky (The Cavensham Heiresses) - Janna MacGregor

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ever since his father coldly rejected him in front of his peers, Nick has closed himself off from any semblance of love. He devotes himself to his business and stays clear from any marriage market shenanigans. 
Blaming herself for not helping her dear friend Lena, Emma is determined to never marry and provide women with an opportunity to be at least somewhat self-sufficient. 
Nick and Emma have danced around a friendship for years but when reputations are on the line, they find themselves forced into a situation they never wanted. Or so they thought.
 
Second in the Cavensham Heiresses series, The Bride Who Got Lucky stars Nick and Emma. They were introduced in the first and while the author starts us off from a situation that developed there, new readers would still have no problem starting here. You'd miss how Emma’s cousin and husband came together who are featured here but otherwise the author does a great job showing how Emma and Nick's friendship started to develop. 

With a deep sigh, he lay on his back and draped an arm across his forehead. His other rested beside hers.
She dared to slide her hand over his, and he wove their fingers together. Her fear gradually receded little by little like the outgoing tide.
 

 
What I loved the most about this story was the beginning friendship that Nick and Emma shared. Right off the bat they captured me with their sensual tension that blazed from their back and forth conversations and crackling physical closeness. They danced around each other beautifully in the beginning that had me highly anticipating their journey. The resolve came much too quickly for me as their relationship started full steam ahead at around the 30% mark and fairly soon rushed to a higher sexual degree. I was settled in for a more gradual build and was a bit disappointed in how the heroine became pretty sexual and drove the focus to bedroom scenes instead of teasing tension filled hesitant touches. The bedroom scenes were well written but they became the focus for too long and took away from their friendship and the plot that brings them together. 
 
"Sometimes, if you're lucky, a woman consumes you." 
 
Nick was a pretty great hero, he gives Emma a book!, and the opening prologue where his father crushes their relationship provided a solid base for his contained, bury the pain personality. He had moments of sexiness and caring but also paled a bit in comparison to the deeper flushed out Emma. Emma feels deep guilt over not being there for her bestfriend when her husband was abusing her. This leads to her having a fear of marrying (an often used trope but felt real and believable here) and wanting to open a lending bank to women. Her thoughts and feelings she relays and conversations she struggles to be understood in will have you joining in with her frustration. She's a believable regency feminist who is fearful and angry about what happened to her friend and how she doesn't really have any recourse for justice or protect herself from the same fate. 
 
While I liked all the themes and relationships happening here, there was also a bit of a disjointed feel to all the storylines. I couldn't help but feel that a feminist heroine box was being checked and the heavy sexual tone and number of sexual scenes not only disappointed me in the lack of time given to a more tension filled build-up, it also seemed to overly cover up the justice for the bestfriend thread. The heavy emotion from domestic violence and how it affected Emma and the women of the time doesn't get its due and the danger from the villain wasn't able to be fully felt because of how it is pushed to the side, in what seems to be, in favor of more sex scenes. 
 
The writing veered at times to flowery, I would have liked more tension build-up, and the ending was a bit too pat. However, the author's ability to write great chemistry between her leads and such wonderful multifaceted relationships between family members and friends will definitely have me continuing on in the series. She has introduced a couple secondary characters that I can't wait to see how their story unfolds. 
 
His darkness gave way to her, like the night to the day.
She had found him and brought him home.

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