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review 2018-04-24 04:05
First off let me just say...
Infamous - Jenny Holiday,Michael Fell

"THIS ONE TAKES PLACE IN CANADA!!!!!!!" and I didn't even realize this until I got listening to the story...yeah, I know it says 'Toronto' in the blurb but I admit it, I skimmed the blurb and listened to the audible sample and then said 'yes please'  I'm not even sure why because on of the MCs is a rock star...not my favorite. I have one series that I love with rock stars in it...just one...that's it and I read a lot so I think that speaks to how much I like rock stars...usually.

 

'Infamous' is the second book in Jenny Holiday's 'Famous' series and while I'm pretty sure that one of the MCs from book one is connected to Jess Jamison, I truly did not feel lost or like I was missing something at any time while I was listening to this story. 

 

When Jess boards the train...yes that's right, the train...hey, don't laugh those train tickets aren't cheap...anyways, Jess's goal is to get on the train and have a quiet ride home...well, it was until he spots the very handsome, young silver fox sitting alone and before his brain can censure his mouth he strikes up a conversation in which he discovers that his seat mate's name is Hunter Wyatt and he's a Pediatrician who works as a hospitalist (in plain speak he's a doctor who works strictly out of the hospital managing patient care for children who are critically ill...that's right children, Wyatt's a doctor at Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital and yes, it's really a place. They do a lot of amazing work there. Meanwhile Wyatt discovers that Jess is an up and coming...hopeful, wanna' be rock star. Plus before their train arrives at Union Station in Toronto they also discover they have one other thing in common they're both getting out of relationships that didn't work...

 

Wyatt when he realized that his 'roommate' of 10 years was never going to step out of the closet and make him more than a dirty little secret and Jess while they're on the train to Toronto and his current girlfriend sees the picture of Jess playing tonsil hockey with someone who's not only not her but not 'a' her at all. A few hours and several small bottles of wine later. Jess and Wyatt exchange contact information promising to stay in touch and move on...fast forward...

 

two years and Karma brings Jess and Wyatt back together and a friendship is born.

 

So that's the gist of things and really it's only the barest of outlines. Now where do I start in explaining how much I enjoyed this story...well first off let's start with how much I loved the interaction between Jess and Hunter...this one's slow folks, I mean seriously these two men are not rushing to dive under the covers...they're friends. Jess has had his wake-up call...remember the train ride? Yeah, his band was riding the rails and the new management flat out told him...NO MEN! Jess is bi so no problem right...no problem except for a certain young silver fox...but, Wyatt's not a problem he's had his fill of straight guys...so as far as he's concerned Jess is friendship material and that's it because there's no way in hell that anyone's putting Wyatt back in the closet again. No matter how much of a sexy, tattooed, bad-ass rocker they are or seem to be just because they're hiding a kind and gentle heart that's willing to visit a kid with a bad heart and teach her how to play guitar and help her and some other sick kids have their own rock band...or MC a charity fundraiser and then donate $200,000 to said charity and if you want to know how this happened you really need to read the story because...'Oh my god!!! So freakin' sweet.' and that's all I'm saying about that. 

 

Now, just to tease a little more we have the ending...and can I just say the ending on this one was "so freakin' melt my heart good". Yeah, it was a little bit over the top but in all the right ways and don't get me started on the secondary characters...like Jess's band and his sister and his nephew and Avery...the kid in the hospital...seriously they're all so awesome...You know, I really want to go listen to this one, again...oh and I almost forgot this one was narrated by Michael Fell. While Michael Fell isn't exactly a new to me narrator, this is my third audio book narrated by him and he's done a solid job on every one of them...this one had kids in it and if you know me you know how well I do with kids in audio books and folks I have to say Mr. Fell must have done ok because my ears didn't bleed, I wasn't running for the brain bleach, I didn't want to hurl my tablet (yeah, that's right Karen's got a new toy) and nope, no bad experiences so let's chalk up an extra point for this one because kid's voices and me are usually a really bad...like bad as in this book just got tanked and as you can tell by the 4.5 stars that didn't happen here. 

 

So hopefully there will be more from Jess and his band because truthfully, I'm dying to know if Bobby finally gets those bedbugs that he keeps obsessing about.

 

*************************

An audio book of 'Infamous' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-04-23 21:11
The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andrić
The Bridge on the Drina - Ivo Andrić,Lovett F. Edwards,William Hardy McNeill

This is a sort of fictionalized history, which the author referred to as a “chronicle” rather than a novel. It spans about 350 years in the history of Višegrad, Bosnia, telling the story of the town and its Ottoman-era bridge from the 16th century to World War I. The book dips into the lives of individual characters, usually for vignettes of a chapter or less, but focuses more on the general feeling or changes in the town and the reaction of townspeople in general to key events than on particular characters. There are some astute character sketches; Andrić seems to have a good understanding of human nature. But overall it is a sweeping history told much more in narrative summary than specific scenes, and the town and bridge themselves, rather than particular families or plot threads, provide continuity between chapters.

It is a well-written (or well-translated) book, though a dense and slow read that felt much longer than its 300 pages. There’s a melancholy atmosphere throughout, with time passing and empires marching on indifferent to the fates of individuals. Readers should know that in the first 60 pages there is a horrifically graphic impalement scene that I did not need in my head and that a few years from now may be all I remember about the book. I persevered only after learning that there are no other graphic torture scenes, though death is a frequent occurrence throughout.

It’s also worth pointing out that, although to English-speakers this may seem like timeless storytelling, Andrić – a Bosnian Serb who ultimately made his home in Belgrade – is a controversial figure in Bosnia, and some see the book as advancing an anti-Bosniak political agenda. To me, as an outside reader, he seems to treat the Muslim and Serb populations of Višegrad both with humanity and fairly evenhandedly, with the important caveat that the Muslim population is referred to as “Turks” and “Turkish” throughout. Based on a bit of online research, this is inaccurate: the Bosnians were Slavs who had their own Bosnian Kingdom prior to their conquest by the Ottoman Empire in 1463, after which most of the population converted to Islam. But a reader ignorant of the region’s history might take Andrić’s terminology to indicate that Bosnia’s Muslims were Turkish colonists or transplants and that the Serbs were the original population. It occurs to me now that the impalement might be another subtly political decision: no such detailed brutality is described from any rulers other than the Ottomans, and Andrić imbues this scene with the maximum body horror, at a time when graphic violence in media was likely much less common than it is now (the book was published in 1945). Surely he knew how much this would stick out in readers’ minds.

Overall, the book did teach me something of the history of the Balkans, and presents a plausible chronicle of how history was experienced by everyday people over the course of hundreds of years. While I struggled a bit to get through it, I wouldn’t discourage readers who enjoy this sort of thing.

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review 2018-04-23 19:31
Bekannter Plot, tolle Umsetzung
Stiefmutter: Roman - Paula Daly,Eva Bonné

Inhaltsangabe

Seit eine Auseinandersetzung mit ihrer Stiefmutter Karen eskalierte, gilt die sechzehnjährige Verity als emotional instabil. Karen ignoriert sie seit dem Vorfall und legt all ihre Aufmerksamkeit auf ihre jüngere Tochter Brontë. Deren Tage sind vollgepackt mit Klavierunterricht und Nachhilfe – was immer es braucht, um sie zu neuen Höchstleistungen zu treiben. Denn Karen lässt nichts außer Perfektion gelten. Eines Tages entschließt Verity impulsiv, ihrer kleinen Schwester eine Auszeit zu gönnen, und geht mit ihr auf den Spielplatz. Doch der Ausflug wird zum Alptraum, als in einem kurzen unbeobachteten Moment Brontë spurlos verschwindet... 

 

Meine Meinung 

Paula Daly ist bereits einigen Lesern als Autorin psychologischer Spannungsthriller bekannt. Für mich war es ein Kennenlernen mit der Autorin, umso gespannter bin ich immer, ob der jeweilige Stil und das Ideenreichtum mich packen können.

 

Im Mittelpunkt dieses Romans steht die Patchworkfamilie Bloom.

Beim Vater Noel wird schnell klar, dass er mit seinem Leben nicht zufrieden ist.

Das Familienleben um seine Frau und den drei Kindern bekommt er als vielarbeitender Arzt nur am Rande mit. Flüchtet er sich doch gern in die Arbeit.

Seine Frau Karen spielt in diesem Buch eine entscheidende Rolle.

Für mich verkörpert sie als Beispiel von „Extremeltern“ die Ursache des nahenden Unheils. Zu ihrem älteren Sohn hat sie eine mehr als emotionslose Beziehung. Ihre zehnjährige Tochter Brontë hingegen, welche das einzige gemeinsame Kind von Noel und Karen ist, vergöttert sie. Und zu guter Letzt lernt man noch die 16-jährige Verity kennen. Nachdem seine erste Ehefrau erkrankte, holte Noel Bloom seine Tochter zu seiner neuen Familie.

 

Allein diese Konstellation verspricht Unheil.

Jeder Leser wird sehr schnell Mitleid mit der kleinen Brontë haben, die von ihrer Mutter weniger gefördert, sondern gedrillt wird. Termine über Termine jagen sie durch ihren Alltag. Für Karen völlig normal, für Brontë Stress pur.

Demnach kann man es Verity nicht verdenken, als sie ihrer Schwester eine kleine Auszeit im Park mit Freunden gönnen will. Und dann war da nur diese kurze Zeitspanne, in der Verity nicht da war und Brontë verschwand.

Als Leser denkt man an dieser Stelle, dass die restlichen Seiten die mysteriöse Kindesentführung behandeln, aber weit gefehlt. Paula Daly überrascht hier mit einer Wende, mit der wohl niemand rechnet.

 

Plötzlich tritt noch ein weiteres Verschwinden in den Fokus und der Strudel zieht die Familie Bloom immer tiefer in einen Sumpf.

Beim Lesen fiel mir auf, dass mich der Schreibstil, der Aufbau des Buches und die erstaunlichen Ereignisse wirklich mitgerissen haben. Auch wenn die Atmosphäre und die Thematik an sich sehr düster wirken, schaffte es die Autorin mit kurzen, knackigen Kapiteln mich an die Story zu fesseln.

 

Ein Charakter, den ich an dieser Stelle nicht missen möchte, ist Detective Joanne Aspinall. Ich kann es gar nicht richtig in Worte fassen, aber diese Frau, welche den Fall um die Entführung zugesprochen wird, war mir von Anfang an sympathisch.

 

Das Ende kam wie erwartet überraschend. Ich hatte beim Lesen eine Vermutung, diese beruhte sich nach guten 400 Seiten mindestens einmal auf jeden vorkommenden Charakter, so dass ich absolut nicht sagen kann: ich habe es gewusst.

____________________________________________________________

 

Auch wenn dieser Roman als psychologischer Thriller einzuordnen ist, fehlte es mir gerade beim Thema Extremeltern und die Auswirkungen auf die Kinder an Emotionen. Karens Perspektive konnte die Autorin noch recht gut darstellen, allerdings gingen mit Brontë und Verity zu stark unter. Dies mag gewollt sein, zerstückelt für mich aber die Message des Buches.

 

Mein Fazit

Mit dem Roman „Stiefmutter“ lässt mich die Autorin dennoch zufrieden zurück.

Ich hatte Spaß beim Lesen und wollte diesem Geheimnis unbedingt auf die Spur kommen. Dass Paula Daly den Leser an der Nase herumführt, ist hier solide ausgedrückt. Wie gesagt, es hätte jeder sein können. Den Bogen, den sie am Ende schloss fand ich super.

Dies führt dazu, dass mich die Autorin neugierig auf ihre anderen Werke macht.

Hier erwarte ich mir einen ebendiese Sogwirkung und einem fesselnden Ideenreichtum.

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review 2018-04-23 18:27
On The Dark Side – Fated by Donna Augustine @donnaugustine
Fated - Donna Augustine

 

 

Fated by Donna Augustine is the third book in the Karma series and the more I read, the more engrossed I become in Karma’s world. This is my favorite one and it left me breathless

Fated (Karma, #3)

Amazon  /  Audible  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

Fated by Donna Augustine is the third book in the Karma series, and the more I read, the more I am loving it.

 

Things are changing and not all of them are for the better.

 

Are people all good or all bad? What about the gray area in between the black and white?

 

Is an apocalypse coming? Can they stop it? Are they even supposed to?

 

The Jinxes saved her and now they have become her posse. She will need them. They bop around on skateboards and act like a bunch of teenagers. We all know they are not. Who knows how old they are?

 

I love the humorous writing mixed in with the seriousness.

 

Karma even meets the Gods.

Another god having a temper tantrum in less than a week? I’d either been created at a bad time or these folks needed some anger management classes.

The fight against good and evil rages on, but the romantic love story traverses time. Plenty of sexual tension, spice and heat as Karma struggles to come to terms with a love that will not, cannot be denied.

 

AND THAT FRIGGIN’ ENDING. OMG! It almost had me in tears and I was blown away by such a surprisingly fabulous ending.That makes this over the top and a five star read for sure. I am so invested in this series, I don’t know how I’ll be able to wait for Dead Ink, Lar’s Story. I recommend the series be read in order.

 

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Fated by Donna Augustine.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 5 Stars

 

READ MORE HERE

 

MY DONNA AUGUSTINE REVIEWS

 

 

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review 2018-04-23 15:29
The Luckiest Woman Ever
The Luckiest Woman Ever (Molly Sutton Mysteries) (Volume 2) - Nell Goddin

At the local fine dining restaurant, Molly eavesdrops on a wealthy old woman's not-very-happy birthday party. Known throughout the village for being contemptuous and unlikable, her assembled partygoers look less than thrilled to be there. At the end of the evening, Molly finds the woman lying dead on the bathroom floor and it's determined that the woman died from cyanide poisoning. Molly, having witnessed the whole evening, begins to investigate (which is a good thing, since the local police chief isn't very good at solving murders.) What she uncovers is decades of secrets, lies and a rage that has simmered for decades.

 

This is quickly shaping up to be a favorite series, I'm really enjoying Molly's adventures in France. This one introduced some new characters that I hope will be returning. And the victim! While a nasty character you love to hate is common in books, this one really takes the cake. She was gleefully hurtful, thoroughly vile, and mercilessly horrible and yet I still loved her antics (or maybe I was just waiting for the moment she paid for it, I don't know. But what a delightfully rotten character!

 

Really, if I wasn't so wholly caught up in the story, I probably would've figured out the clues, but no, it all just flew past me. Lots of red herrings threw me off track and the pace was perfect to keep me turning pages. The ending was a lot better than the first book; I was riveted, watching it all unfold. This was a thoroughly enjoyable cozy read, perfect to curl up with, especially if you have a croissant and a glass of fine wine.

 

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