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review 2018-10-10 13:13
One Wild Winter's Eve by Anne Barton
One Wild Winter's Eve - Anne Barton

Lady Rose Sherbourne is quiet, proper and following the rules of the ton. No one would suspect there's anything remotely similar to passion under her placid exterior, but as she embarks on a quest to find out what happened to her mother, she discovers there's nothing more liberating than following one's heart...


I must confess, I much preferred the Honeycote portion of this series than the Sherbourne one. I simply felt there were things missing in the last two installments. Like spunk, spark, humor and passion.

Unlike her sister Rose was much more sedate and proper, but she was too placid, downright vapid at the beginning of the story. She captured my interest once she went rogue and sprung her boyfriend out of jail, but then almost immediately went back to huddling in on herself, fretting and feeling sorry for herself. She didn't appear to have much agency, most of her decisions were based on Charles, the hero.
Who was rather bland himself. I never got to really know him, beside in context of his puppy-like devotion to Rose and he also failed to have anything to do that would make him an individual instead of part of the couple with Rose.

The story only came alive once they were in the company either of Lady Boneville or Rose's family who at least brought some spark to the proceedings.

I liked the suspense sub-plot and would've appreciated it if it was developed a little further and more fully instead of only serving as catalyst to bring Charles and Rose together.

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review 2018-10-04 13:49
Winter’s Bone ★★★★★
Winter's Bone - Daniel Woodrell,Emma Galvin

I’m not even sure how to review this book. It was a tough read, in that it provoked powerfully conflicting emotions. Being a fan of horror fiction, it’s not as though graphic violence is especially off-putting for me, but this portrayed graphic violence in a setting of utter realism, in a segment of American society where survival is a daily struggle, in a social structure where children boast that the head of the family is one of the best at cooking up a batch of meth, and family loyalty is everything, and one can both acknowledge that

death is a just punishment for snitching

(spoiler show)

and also rage

at those who deal it out.

(spoiler show)

Somehow this book managed to make me feel that what I would normally consider appalling child abuse is good training for adulthood. It was tough to read because the protagonist’s tiny window for escape from this world is being inexorably closed by family obligations, as she tries to find her missing father before their home and land is confiscated and she is left caring for them instead of joining the army.

 

But there is also hope, and love, and celebration of a girl with “sand”. And the writing keeps the characters and setting real and present, so it was easy to fall into this story and cheer her on and hope for her and be disappointed for her. 

 

Audiobook, via Audible. The performance by Emma Galvin is pitch-perfect. I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Modern Noir: mystery with noir elements, including authors like James Ellroy, Ian Rankin, anything that falls generally under the category of Nordic Noir, Tartan Noir, Granite Noir, etc.

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review 2018-09-28 00:08
Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis
Hot Winter Nights - Jill Shalvis

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I just loved Molly and Lucas! I think that I had a big old silly grin on my face the whole time I was reading this book. I went into this book with some pretty high expectations since I have enjoyed each of the previous installments in this series. I have to say that I think that this might be my favorite book in the series so far. I really found this book to be an absolute delight.

This book is the sixth book in the Heartbreaker Bay series. I really do think that this book would work perfectly well as a stand-alone. Some of Molly's history is dealt with in the previous book in the series but anyone new to the series could easily learn the details right along with Lucas without impacting the enjoyment of the story. Readers of the series will enjoy getting the opportunity to check in with all of the characters from this wonderful series.

This book in a very entertaining manner. Lucas wakes up to find a woman in his bed but has no memory of what happened or who is actually snuggled under his blankets. Of course, it was Molly and she has some fun with it. Molly really wants to work cases instead of just being stuck in the office so she takes a case on her own pitched to her by a group of senior citizen elves working for a questionable Santa. Lucas is given the task of keeping an eye on her to make sure she is safe.

I just loved Lucas and Molly together. Everything about their relationship felt authentic to me. I really liked that they were playful at times and serious during others. They both just seemed to understand the other and paid attention to details that others seemed to miss. They have both dealt with some pretty horrible things in their past which has caused them to guard their heart a little more than most. Molly has a lot of insecurities in regards to her previous physical injury and resulting limitations but Lucas doesn't see weakness, instead focusing on her strength.

I thought that the mystery element of this book was really well done. They do spend quite a bit of time working the case which ends up being a lot more involved than originally thought. There were a few pretty suspenseful moments and just enough humor to keep things really interesting. By the end of the book, I was cheering Molly and Lucas on as they got to the bottom of the bad Santa situation.

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. Jill Shalvis has crafted a wonderful tale that has the perfect balance of romance, suspense, and humor with this book. I cannot wait to read more from this excellent series.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
Oh my gosh, I just loved Molly and Lucas! The case that they were working on was actually a lot of fun but the best part of this book was these two together. They have both been through a lot in their lives and I thought that they fit perfectly with each other.

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url 2018-09-27 23:49
17 Fall Books We [*snicker* the publisher, TOR] Cannot Wait to Read
Vengeful - Victoria Schwab
A Blade So Black - L. L. McKinney
The Sisters of the Winter Wood - Rena Rossner
Source: www.tor.com/2018/09/20/17-fall-books-we-cannot-wait-to-read
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review 2018-09-25 12:17
Jean-Philippe Blondel: Ein Winter in Paris
Ein Winter in Paris: Roman - Jean-Philip... Ein Winter in Paris: Roman - Jean-Philippe Blondel,Anne Braun

Einfühlsam zeichnet Jean-Philippe Blondel in seinem neuen Roman den Verlauf nach, den das Leben des 19-jährigen Victors während und nach einem schicksalhaften Winter in Paris nimmt.
Eine zentrale Rolle spielt dabei die Vorbereitungklasse des renommierten Lycée D., an deren Ende der sogenannte Concours steht. Wer diesen besteht, studiert an einer der Grandes Ecoles. So findet Victor, der Junge aus der Provinz, sich zwischen der französischen Elite wieder. Anders als die anderen ist er nicht zwischen Kunst, Literatur und Theater aufgewachsen. Und die ungeschrieben Gesetzte, nach denen sie sich kleiden, sprechen, sich verhalten sind ihm fremd. So ist er ist einsam, außen vor, unsichtbar.
Wider aller Erwartung gelingt es ihm, das erste Jahr zu überstehen und in das zweite Jahr zu wechseln. So trifft er auf Mathieu, ein Jahr jünger als er, ebenfalls aus der Provinz. Sie sprechen nicht viel, aber sie rauchen in den Pausen gemeinsam. Vielleicht kann daraus eine Freundschaft entstehen, hofft Victor. Das ändert sich abrupt, als Mathieu in der Schule über ein Geländer springt und sich so selber das Leben nimmt. Plötzlich steht Victor im Mittelpunkt, halten ihn doch alle für einen Freund des Opfers, für ein Opfer des Opfers. Er ist nicht mehr unsichtbar, seine Mitschüler interessieren sich für ihn.
Der Selbstmord wird von Seiten der Schule nicht aufgearbeitet, vielmehr geht es dort weiter wie zuvor. Anschaulich wird die harte, kompetitive Atmosphäre und der Konkurrenzdruck beschrieben. Die Lehrer wirken beinah unmenschlich, allen voran ein M. Clauzet, in dessen Französischstunde Mathieu sprang. Auf unnachahmliche Art beleidigt und demütigt er seine Schüler.
Auch Mathieus Vater, der nach Hinweisen sucht, findet keine Antwort auf die Frage, weshalb sein Sohn sprang. Aber diese steht auch nicht im Focus. Vielmehr erzählt Victor sehr wortgewandt, wie es mit seinem eigenen Leben weitergeht. Er schließt immer mehr Bekanntschaften, entfremdet sich zunehmend von seinen Eltern, auch seine Noten rutschen ab. Und er trifft auf Mathieus Vater, hört ihm zu, immer wieder, wenn dieser von seinem Sohn erzählt.
Es ist eine sensible, melancholische Geschichte. Feinfühlig und sehr anschaulich erzählt, sodass man teilweise das Gefühl hat, selber neben Victor durch Paris zu laufen. Insgesamt ein wunderschöner Roman.

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