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review 2018-01-15 19:55
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Cold Comfort Farm. - Stella Gibbons

This is novel is an artifact of the interwar years of Great Britain and a satire of the great and small English authors who wrote so passionately about the deep and rich life of the rural poor. I confess I'm not as familiar with the authors Stella Gibbons is lampooning in Cold Comfort Farm as I should be, other than Austen, I've read a novel and a half of D.H. Lawrence and Thomas Hardy apiece, and I'd never heard of Hugh Walpole until I had to find out who she was mocking in the preface. Other popular writers of the time were more responsible for the content and the character of the Starkadder Family and Cold Comfort Farm itself were so bludgeoned into obscurity I can't bring myself to name them here.

The plot involves one Flora Poste, an elegant and educated girl of 19 who finding herself without parents and knowing the stigma attached to living off of friends, decides to foist herself on some unknown relatives in Sussex. She finds the Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm to be hampered with ignorance, psychosis, stifled ambitions and general uncleanliness. One by one she begins to transform them to her liking.

It is all very contrived and patronizing, but a few cuts come in close and I can't say Gibbons was wrong. It was entertaining and passed a few cold evenings. I read the Folio Society edition and was disappointed, for the first time, in Quentin Blake's illustrations. They didn't do anything for me or for the story. Happily, the text carries itself.

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review 2018-01-05 01:45
Book Review: All I Want by Stella Starling
All I Want - Stella Starling

Utterly adorable Christmas story that I snagged when it was offered for free on Amazon. Excellent story-telling, and such a sweet romance. I adored Elliott - he was such a sweetheart, and so very kind to everyone, always believing only the best of people. And I loved watching Ash grow throughout this book and believe that he could be more than what he had been.

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review 2018-01-01 00:00
Dirty Deeds
Dirty Deeds - Stella Rhys At the heart of every romance lies great emotional depth. Dirty Deeds can tempt a readers socks off with the best of them, but at the core of the story is a connection that has survived bullying, jealousy, scandal, secrets and estrangement. Aly and Emmett have always had a complicated relationship. What started in childhood, became a roller-coaster that ruined a life, broke a heart and could have began a unstoppable love. To love these characters, readers have to understand them. Through the painful rain and the embarrassingly hot reunion, Stella Rhys sets claim to the most vulnerable part of what makes us who we are. OUR HEARTS.
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review 2017-12-29 15:58
"Secret Asset - Liz Carlyle #2" by Stella Rimington
Secret Asset - Stella Rimington

Secret Asset" is a credible, competent but unexceptional spy thriller. It eschews melodrama but doesn't have much to put in its place other than counter-espionage procedures that are interesting but not exciting.


The audiobook is four hours long, split into four one hour chapters.  This structure disciplined the exposition in a way that made me feel as if I were attending a briefing: Context, Problem, Problem-solving, Denouement.


I enjoyed the clever way the ghosts of the Troubles in Northern Ireland where linked to modern-day home-grown Islamic terrorism.  I thought the characterisation of the main players was more deftly done than in the first Liz Carlyle book, "At Risk".


I didn't figure out the plot. I did believe the politics, or at least the Irish side of it that I am familiar with. "Secret Asset held my interest for four hours but it won't stay in my memory long.

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text 2017-11-20 18:40
REVIEW BY DEBBIE - Concierge (Black Raven #3) by Stella Barcelona
Concierge - Stella Barcelona
The Concierge delivers anything…for a price. 

A provider in the underworld of human trafficking, the Concierge fills deviant orders of an exclusive clientele with inventory collected from people who live on the streets. As client requests are delivered, a personal obsession with New Orleans artist Andi Hutchenson festers…until the predator’s quest is possession. 

Andi Hutchenson lives in a world of fear-fueled shadows. 

Two and a half years ago, Andi was kidnapped, tortured, and left for dead. Since then, crippling fear has ruled her life. Round the clock security enables her to leave her French Quarter home to paint the world around her, but Andi’s past is about to collide with her lonely present. 

Gabe Hernandez believes his client is safe…but she isn’t. 

Protecting Andi is a given, but Black Raven Agent Gabe Hernandez is captivated by her and wants to entice her back to the land of the living. Yet with each tug on the lifeline he offers, Gabe is pulled deeper into Andi’s world, where the dividing line between imagined horrors and real-life demons is whisper thin. 



@debbiereadsbook, #Romance, #Suspense, 5 out of 5 (exceptional)


Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/debbie/conciergeblackraven3bystellabarcelona
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