A timely and important subject presented by a gifted storyteller. “Ideal High” is more complex than just a “one person can make a difference” book. ThA timely and important subject presented by a gifted storyteller. “Ideal High” is more complex than just a “one person can make a difference” book. This book is certainly that, but what I loved about it is how real the characters felt. I especially loved how Taryn, the catalyst for those changes, was an imperfect character who made mistakes, some of them painful, and how the repercussions of those mistakes played out realistically. But Taryn doesn’t give up, she learns and she grows and yes, in the end, she makes a difference that is all the more powerful for those realistic imperfections each one of us has. Her relationship with Chelsea was especially emotional for me. This book has everything—tragedy, mystery, romance, and perfect pacing—to keep a reader reading while learning important lessons along the way....more
Larry Hammersley has such a deft touch for taking the reader back to a a simpler time and place to deliver a sweet, heart-warming romance. The world cLarry Hammersley has such a deft touch for taking the reader back to a a simpler time and place to deliver a sweet, heart-warming romance. The world could do worse than to harken back to some of these "old fashioned" values. There was a sweet, uplifting quality to this story that lingered long after it was over....more
A light, fast, humorous read with romance and suspense. The main character was funny and off-the-wall. Loved the nicknames she came up with for otherA light, fast, humorous read with romance and suspense. The main character was funny and off-the-wall. Loved the nicknames she came up with for other characters, lent her a nice, quirky touch....more
I don't read much fantasy, but I enjoyed this one by Rachel Rosanno. A short, clean, very sweet romance with a bit of high paced adventure mixed in. AI don't read much fantasy, but I enjoyed this one by Rachel Rosanno. A short, clean, very sweet romance with a bit of high paced adventure mixed in. And the tease at the end for the second book in the series, The King of Anavrea, has me eager for more....more
One of my favorite retellings of the story of Elijah in the Bible. Elijah is no grey-bearded, elderly prophet here, but a dark-haired wild man uniquelOne of my favorite retellings of the story of Elijah in the Bible. Elijah is no grey-bearded, elderly prophet here, but a dark-haired wild man uniquely in tune and obedient to the commands of Jehovah, yet completely human in his occasional struggles with his faith. Good luck finding a copy to buy, but you'll be rewarded if you do....more
Book Summary (from dust jacket): "Two young men walked with peril during those months of 1415. One was Robert Fairfield, in danger because of his reliBook Summary (from dust jacket): "Two young men walked with peril during those months of 1415. One was Robert Fairfield, in danger because of his religion, and because of the enmity of the Duke of York. The other was King Henry V, who knew he was always surrounded by deceit and treachery and who let no man stand behind him. Robert Fairfield came from Wales to London to become King Henry's loyal follower in the hope of winning the accolade of knighthood. Since Robert was poor he rode alone, with his long sword, a belt of golden bells, and a shield bearing the device of a sleeping lion on a green field and the legend "Wake Me No Man." The wealthy merchant, Lewis Chappelle, hurrying citywards with his lovely daughter Constance, grudgingly asks Robert to join his party for the sake of his sword, and then to stay in the vast mansion by the Thames. Here Robert sense strange and secret currents, and is on his guard as a stranger and as a member of the Lollards, the sect that even so early believed in religious freedom and whose members were now banned, persecuted and killed. And in a tavern brawl he met again the Duke of York, cousin to the king, whose enmity Robert had gained in Wales. York's hatred is to follow Robert through the roads and battlefields of France to Robert's mortal peril. This is an exciting and colorful novel about two fascinating men. Robert is brave, resourceful, loyal, and his love story is as touching as it is honorable. But even more fascinating is the picture of Henry V, brave, determined, hard and cruel on behalf of England, kind and winning to his friends, who moves alone among his courtiers and his men, with his hidden dread of the assassin's knife or poisoned cup, yet always pressing forward to make England strong at home and abroad."
I first read this novel probably in junior high, and most likely because my sister was reading it. She'd checked it out from our local library. Judging from how much I had forgotten, much of it must have been over my head at the time. But I was struck enough with the characters, that I remember going back to the library, checking it out for myself, and reading it at least a couple more times between junior high and when I graduated from high school.
I lost track of the book when I went off to college, and only "rediscovered" it this past March (2008). By then, of course, the book had since gone long out of print. But I ordered a used copy through Amazon, and have just finished reading this splendid book again. I was afraid I might be disappointed, that the book might be somehow "less" than I remembered from my youth. Instead, it was much, much more. The subtitle of Walk With Peril is An Exciting Novel of Henry V and Agincourt. Fortunately, that subtitle only appears on the dust jacket, so I'd never seen it on the bookbinding or on the inside pages of the book. Otherwise, I might have dismissed it as "a book about battles", instead of "a book about characters" and never picked it up to read it. I've never been much interested in reading books about battles. But catch me up in a character, and I'll go all the way with him. And that's what Jackson does in Walk With Peril. She spends the first ten chapters developing the hero (Robert Fairfield), the woman he loves (Constance Chappelle), her merchant father, a surly servant who ultimately becomes Robert's most faithful companion, and even in some nearly heartbreaking scenes, a great mastiff dog. (Don't worry, she stays strictly in Robert's POV to do so.) By the time the hero Robert joins the troops of King Henry V and follows him on the campaign that will end in the famous battle of Agincourt, one is no longer worried about it being a "battle book". One merely is as ready to follow Robert wherever he goes, as Robert is ready to follow the king.
Walk With Peril was published in 1959. If you're looking for a "hot romance", this book isn't it. The romance is tender and touching and a little sad. It is also honorable, for above all things, Robert Fairfield is an honorable man, but the author does leave us with hope for him and Constance at the end. Neither is this book filled with page after page of detailed battle scenes. Yes, the battle comes...more than one, in fact...but once Robert leaves Constance to follow the king, the focus shifts to introducing the characters of Henry V and his plotting cousin, the Duke of York. And what characters they are! Each one shines like a jewel...each a flawed jewel, perhaps, but each all the more human and, therefore, intriguing and heroic for it.
Walk With Peril is a long lost jewel of an historical novel. I would love to see it reprinted some day....more
I don’t read much contemporary romance—I’m more of a historical romance buff—but I thoroughly enjoyed By Heart and Compass by Danielle Thorne. By HearI don’t read much contemporary romance—I’m more of a historical romance buff—but I thoroughly enjoyed By Heart and Compass by Danielle Thorne. By Heart and Compass is a very sweet romance, just the way I like them. (Not sappy, just sweet.) The author’s writing shows a deep love of her subject (the search for a long lost pirate ship) and Ms Thorne writes with an authenticity that rooted me firmly in her world. There were several moments of intensity towards the end that had me biting my nails, and I found myself looking eagerly forward to each dialogue exchange between Lacey and Max. (Dialogue is my absolute favorite thing to read, so a writer that does that well earns big points from me.)
And the best part of all? Ms Thorne has written a prequel, a historical romance (ah, right up my alley!), called The Privateer, that is being reissued in January 2011. This, I am told, tells the story of Max’s pirate/privateer ancestor, and By Heart and Compass included enough wonderful teasers about this character that I’ve already got The Privateer on my “to buy” list!
"Trapped", by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen, is a fantasy suspense romance novel. The action does not take place in an independently created fantasy world. In"Trapped", by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen, is a fantasy suspense romance novel. The action does not take place in an independently created fantasy world. Instead, the heroine, Emi, lives in a modern day condo, travels to what appears to be modern day Austria, and only then finds herself thrust into a world of supernatural secrets that she struggles first to accept, and then to embrace her own supernatural destiny.
I found the concept of the Firstborn She and the search for the Kuhati intriguing. The action is fast and intense towards the end of the book, with the stakes almost unbearably high for the heroine. The romance in this novel is very clean....more
This is a review of the paperback edition of "See No Evil, My Pretty Lady". Yes, there is a paperback edition, even though as of the time of this reviThis is a review of the paperback edition of "See No Evil, My Pretty Lady". Yes, there is a paperback edition, even though as of the time of this review, Goodreads is only showing it as an e-book.
I was so excited when I learned that "See No Evil, My Pretty Lady" was finally available in paperback! I don't have an e-reader and don't really have a craving for one. I prefer the feel of an old-fashioned book in my hands when I read "for fun". So the moment I heard that "See No Evil, My Pretty Lady" by Miss Mae was available in hard copy, I snapped one up! The book did not disappoint. Miss Mae grabbed my attention from the very first sentence, and held it right through to the end. Miss Mae's writing is filled with visual and sensory images that makes the reader feel as if they are living and breathing along with the heroine as she confronts the dangers that surround her in this wonderful Victorian mystery. This is a book to lose oneself in, and I happily surrendered myself to living Dorcy's story. Alas, I can't tell you how it ends. But I can tell you that I was surprised. And in a mystery, that's a good thing!...more
I don't generally read fantasy, and when I do it's along the lines of Diana Wynne Jones and JK Rowling, i.e., YA non-romance. So this was a first to mI don't generally read fantasy, and when I do it's along the lines of Diana Wynne Jones and JK Rowling, i.e., YA non-romance. So this was a first to me, and because of that, I don't know how to judge it against others in this genre. I expected equal parts fantasy and romance, but felt the romance angle (which was very well done!) was stronger than the fantasy angle, although the fantasy element was definitely there. But since, as I said, I don't read much fantasy romance, I can't judge whether Queen in Exile had the normal balance of the two themes. In the fantasy realm, I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Jeniah and her chayim and the concept of blurring. As mentioned above, the romance was rich and satisfying. I expect this will be a fun read for lovers of fantasy romances!...more
The mix of legend and history just didn't work for me in this book. It did spark my interest in learning more about the Frankish Merovingian kings, thThe mix of legend and history just didn't work for me in this book. It did spark my interest in learning more about the Frankish Merovingian kings, though. (Predecessors to Charlemagne.) I'm going to read The Crystal Cave next, to see if it still measures up to my 5 star rating from my youth!...more
A YA book describing the life of a young man named Philo, a student of the ancient physician, Hippocrates, from whom the Hippocratic Oath that doctorsA YA book describing the life of a young man named Philo, a student of the ancient physician, Hippocrates, from whom the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take even today originated. Extremely well told, both funny and sad, though very occasionally, the author's terse style can leave her meaning slightly obscure. But that is a minor quibble. An enjoyable and painless way for young adults (and even adults) to learn more about life in ancient Greece and the impact of an ancient healer on today's medical knowledge and traditions. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end!
Sadly, this book is currently out of print, but used copies can be found on Amazon or by Googling the title.
Book jacket blurb from Apollo's Children:
For a Greek medical student on the island of Cos in 418 BC, life is exciting and demanding. Philo, apprenticed to Hippocrates the physician, is one of a lively group of students which includes Nicodemus, arrogant but humorous, and cynical Timocrates, ambitious for Olympic glory. Besides their work they must deal with false healers, sly herb gatherers, and people who wish them ill. They are faced too with the victims of earthquake and epidemic.
When family tragedy besets Philo, he realises the strength of the bond that exists between himself and Xenia, the slave girl. But, "People should manage their own lives," says Xenia, "I will make mine as I want it." And she wants to be free.
Can anyone in these times fashion their own destiny? In this unusual, richly woven novel, Xenia, Philo and his fellow students must endure many strange twists of fate before they find the answers to this question....more
The Sister Pact is billed as a “romantic mystery”, but there is little mystery in it, since we know who the perpetrator is and how and why the crime wThe Sister Pact is billed as a “romantic mystery”, but there is little mystery in it, since we know who the perpetrator is and how and why the crime was committed from the very first pages. “Romantic suspense” would be a more accurate description, with heavy on the “romance” theme. The “suspense” part does kick into high gear during the last 70 pages of the book. And once the action starts, it comes on slam-bang non-stop. Well done, Cami!
On second thought, I might be wrong about the mystery angle. Just not the way the book billing suggests. The mysteries that are teased out through the course of the book are more of a personal nature. What experiences in Savannah’s and Noah’s pasts have made them afraid to trust each other with their hearts, or even to trust in their own basic self-worth? I liked the way the characters were revealed to the reader a layer at a time, rather than splashing their entire life histories upfront. These were the mysteries that kept me reading, wanting to find out who these people really were, why they had become who they had become, and whether each could overcome the hurts of their pasts to find love in one another’s arms.
If you’re looking for a well told story about fierce family loyalty (the “sister pact” made as children between Savannah and her sister drives Savannah to uncover the truth behind her sister’s “accident”), as well as a satisfying romance (and don’t forget that slam-bang action ending!), then check out The Sister Pact by Cami Checketts. ...more
I found a few scenes in the beginning of this book a little disturbing, and the romance between James and Jessie felt a little too rushed for me towarI found a few scenes in the beginning of this book a little disturbing, and the romance between James and Jessie felt a little too rushed for me towards the end, but I'm giving this book 5 stars because the overall storytelling and writing were so superior to many other books I've read this year. No overdose on adjectives or annoying eye rollings or head bobbings when a simple "she nodded her head" would do. Marsha Ward knows how to write smoothly and well in a style that enhances, rather than detracts from the story she is trying to tell. The reader is completely caught up in the story and never jerked out of the world she's created by awkward or repetitive phrases. She spins an authentic yarn of a good ol' Western tale. Despite my personal quibbles in a few instances, I highly recommend ALL of Marsha Ward's books!
Note: This book is self-published, but in my opinion, contains higher quality writing and plotting than several traditionally published books I've read. Moral? Don't judge a book by the publisher. You may be disappointed on the one hand and missing out on a gem on the other! ...more