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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-12-02 14:52
Death in Focus (Elena Standish #1) - Anne Perry
Death in Focus - Anne Perry

Death in Focus is the first book in a new series by Anne Perry. It features Elena Standish, a seemingly ordinary girl who is trying to develop a career in photography (see what I did there?) in the years between WWI and WWII. 


I'm having a hard time understanding how Anne Perry is going to make a series out of the adventures of Elena Standish. Mainly because Elena should have been dead a thousand times over by the end of the first book. 


This book was pretty awful. I've been working on putting down books that I know are going to be one star reads for me. There are too many books waiting for me. Why waste time on books that aren't going to be any good? This book was an exception to that rule. Be warned there are a lot of potential spoilers ahead.


Elena was the biggest problem with this book. She was flat out stupid. At several points during the novel, the reader is reminded that Elena has more poor choices regarding men before. We aren't told exactly what her previous flame does. All we know is he betrayed England during WWI. He made her look like a fool. The reader is told this several time. Elena tells herself this several times. One might think a person would learn her lesson. If you can't trust a man you knew for years and found yourself to be in love with, why in the world are you trusting a man you met on the street in a foreign country? I have no idea what the answer to that is. Elena does though. Or at least she must have a good reason because that's exactly what she does. More than once. 


Elena decided to abandon her sister in Italy and go fleeting to Paris with a man she just met. The trip to Paris is interrupted when her new love interest is given a secret mission that requires him to immediately go to Berlin. "I'll just go to Paris and wait for you." That's what you might think Elena would say. You'd be wrong. Elena decides she should go to Berlin (a current powder keg where Hitler is doing everything he can to throw a match) with this man she knows nothing about.


Long story short, the man ends up murdered. Elena ends up on the run. She spills her guts to every stranger she meets but then can't figure out why the German police are after her. Meanwhile in England, her grandfather who use to be the head of MI-6 can't seem to come up with a plan to keep tabs on Elena and get her out of trouble. 


This was one of the most absurd, unbelievable novels I have read in a long time. I really only finished it thinking that the publisher was pulling a fast one on readers. Elena ends up dead at the end of the novel and there's actually going to be an entirely different series. Hopefully a series featuring Elena's Luger wielding grandma, Josephine. There's your series folks. If it weren't for the anachronistic political discussions sprinkled in, I would have forgot I was reading an Anne Perry novel. This had none of the trademarks of her Pitt, Monk, or even Christmas novels. 

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review 2016-01-26 02:36
Booked For Love
Booked for Love (Beach Reads Romance Series Book 1) - Cecile Kerry

The first half of the book is about Rachel. She's pretty snarky and doesn't like many people. She also seems to have a tendency to go off half cocked. Her social circle consists of her best friend, Darla, and "Robathy" (Rob), her ex-boyfriend from high school. Rachel owns the only bookstore in town. Darla is her business partner. Rob owns the local bar. Cameron, Rob's best friend from high school, moves back to town. Rachel hated Cameron. In return, Cameron hated Rachel. Now that they're in the thirties, Rachel sees that Cameron is a lot different from how she viewed him in high school and finds herself interested in him.


The story is pretty light on details. Cameron was the star football player and dated the head cheerleader, but he seems nothing like that person now. He hasn't dated in a while because he's "working on himself". He has a chihuahua, he drinks green tea and he does yoga. We don't ever find out why Rob is called "Robathy" or why Cameron thinks he needs to "work on himself". The first half of the book comes to an end and Rachel's story is basically over without Rachel or Cameron having a real date or there being any real romance or wooing.


The second half of the book is Darla's story. I enjoyed it more. She had more of a connection with Eli, her son, Milo's, teacher. But, it also ended without much closure. There weren't any details about how Milo dealt with his mom dating his teacher, etc.

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review 2014-04-20 21:59
I Enjoyed it But Was Not Completely Sold
The Kraken King, Part I: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster (Iron Seas, #4.1) - Meljean Brook

My first experience with series books, I was a bit confused by the sort length of this tidbit tease. After I figured it out, that the book is released in short installments quicker than waiting for the whole novel I warmed to the idea. The price is about the same and the wait is much shorter=bonus. I still would prefer to have the whole book in hand but if I have addiction issues to the story I want it asap and this would be a much nicer way than waiting a year or more.
Zenobia the strong willed independent woman with much to hide runs into the most dangerous man in the Horde rebellion. He rescues her from an attack on her ship and wisps her away where he may or may not have tangling in the sheets on his mind. They have a lot in common. She is stubborn, so is he, she is smart, as is he, she likes to study motives, and he does too, they also both want each other, but they don’t, they both have enemies and they may be the same.
There is a full arrangement of cool mechanical tools in this steampunk book. I loved the armored kraken the best. Flying ships, gliders and riders. It was a pirate ship adventure as well as steampunk experience.
Readers of Steampunk, romance and adventure will enjoy this series. I don’t know if I will continue the series I liked it but did not connect with the characters in the short bit i had to read.

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text 2014-01-02 18:53
My Reading Challenges 2014 - Finish the Series Challenge
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling
Scorpion Shards (Star Shards Chronicles) - Neal Shusterman
Kiss Me Kill Me - Lauren Henderson
Silence - Becca Fitzpatrick
Ashes - Ilsa J. Bick
The Demon's Lexicon (The Demon's Lexicon Trilogy, #1) - Sarah Rees Brennan
The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1) - Robert Jordan
Mistborn: The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians - Brandon Sanderson

This is something of a challenge I'm doing for myself instead of it being a part of any group. I want to be able to finish a few series inside of a year, and have it contribute to my overall reading list for 2014. So here's my plan: the following series I'm listing in this section are series I plan to finish, whether I'm just starting them for the first time, or rereading them so that I can actually review them, OR they've been unfinished for goodness knows how long.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (7 books) - I never read the seventh book of HP because I was spoiled silly at the time I was reading the series, so I'm going to start from the beginning and read through the entire series. Many of my friends/fellow readers did a massive read-along last year, but I couldn't do it for time. Hopefully I can make the time this year.

Star Shards series by Neal Shusterman (3 books) - Got this entire series as a galley from Edelweiss in 2013, so I figure I'll read through the three books at some point this year in 2014.

Scarlet Wakefield series by Lauren Henderson (4 books, only reading 3) - I've had in my head to finish this series for a while. I didn't like "Kiss Me, Kill Me" all that much, but I have the rest of the series to finish, so I might as well take the plunge

Hush Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick (4 books, only reading 2) It's only two more books, I can handle it. *gulps*

Alcatraz series by Brandon Sanderson (4 books, only reading 2) I've read the first two books already, and it would make sense to finish out the last two books this year. I've really enjoyed it thus far.

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson (4 books, so far) - rereading the first two, finishing up to the latest book, which I think will be released this year.

Ashes Trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick (3 books) Have two of the books as galleys so I might as well read this one. I've heard good things about the first, and I liked her style of writing from "The Sin-Eaters Confession."

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan (3 books, reading 2) I loved the first book, finishing out the series this year.

I think that should keep me busy well enough. If I'm feeling really challenged, I might try reading the Wheel of Time series from the very beginning, but I doubt I'd finish it this year. If it doesn't detract from my regular ARC reads, then I might go for it.



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