I read this online at We Give Books (http://www.wegivebooks.org/) thanks to a link from a blogger. I'm always chasing children's books to add to my co...moreI read this online at We Give Books (http://www.wegivebooks.org/) thanks to a link from a blogger. I'm always chasing children's books to add to my collection and this one has such a sweet message and cute illustrations. Not to mention the adorable bear on the cover, I can't resist. For littlies age 1-3 years. (less)
My introduction to Deborah Swift's work was through her 2012 novel, The Gilded Lily. I thoroughly enjoyed her story telling ability and was keen to tr...moreMy introduction to Deborah Swift's work was through her 2012 novel, The Gilded Lily. I thoroughly enjoyed her story telling ability and was keen to try something else. A Divided Inheritance is another fascinating piece of historical fiction, a multi-layered, well researched tale of tenacity and adventure.
As much as I love Tudor England it certainly made a refreshing change to be immersed in another period, Jacobean London, the lace trade, Spain under King Phillip III's expulsion of the Moriscos, (Spanish Muslims) the religious turmoil in both countries. Deborah Swift covers it with a deft hand and page-turning pace.
Elspet and Zachary are interesting characters - Zachary easy to loathe, but better late than never, he displays some redeeming qualities and earned my respect. Elspet a woman shackled by the constraints on women of the era and yet strong, opinionated, doggedly fighting for what is hers. Without getting spoiler-ish I really enjoyed watching them grow into their 'familial' relationship and cheered as consideration and loyalty became a priority.
The small details were carefully balanced, nuanced, adding authenticity without getting bogged down or boring and surprisingly I really enjoyed the in-depth look at fencing, the philosophy of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and the dedication required to master the art.
I'd love to see a sequel, after becoming quite invested in Elspet and Zachary's lives, I'd like to see where life takes them next.
Recommend: Absolutely, for fans of historical fiction and those who just enjoy a good adventure. (less)
The Iron Traitor picks up where The Lost Prince ended and if you read my review you may recall my surprise at how much I enjoyed the spin-off consider...moreThe Iron Traitor picks up where The Lost Prince ended and if you read my review you may recall my surprise at how much I enjoyed the spin-off considering I wasn't a fan of The Iron King *shock horror* (yeah I know, in the minority) ... but maybe I'll give the original series another chance or maybe I'll just let this new found enjoyment play out.
Ethan's nephew Kierran is missing and desperate, insanely desperate to save his love Annwyl from the Fade. That desperation fuels the story, the urgency is palpable and in their bid to protect Kierran, Ethan and Kenzie are entwined in his dangerous quest.
The Iron Traitor is a meaty 2nd installment, a dark journey with the action expertly orchestrated. And the setting is entrancing; Nevernever, Tir Na Nog, Summer, Winter, the Between, the Goblin Market - old friends and new enemies, the Forgotten aren't quite so forgotten and random confession time ... I'm sweet on that little gremlin, Razor.
I'm thoroughly enjoying my journey into the land of Fae but Julie Kagawa you are a cruel, cruel woman ... that ending was just ... cruel, CRUEL.
PS see how traumatised I am, a more fitting & descriptive word escapes me :(
PPS don't let the nasty cliffie stop you, I truly believe we should all suffer together ;)
Cover insta-love drew me in but Words Once Spoken was also a quick, fun read, and a solid start to a new fantasy trilogy set in medieval times.
Evelyn...moreCover insta-love drew me in but Words Once Spoken was also a quick, fun read, and a solid start to a new fantasy trilogy set in medieval times.
Evelyn is a strong, feisty character, constantly bucking the constraints of the time she lives in, a bit of a tomboy and ace with a bow and arrow. Carly Drake's Fey world is intriguing, they're a cruel lot with their curses, favours and tricks but I really enjoyed being immersed in the magic. And let’s not forget Liam and Padraic, they certainly add both chemistry and conflict to the story.
It took me a while to catch on to the part, vampire & werewolf play in Words Once Spoken, I think for clarity and flow it needed further exploration, difficult in limited pages. That said, I'm looking forward to more world building, magic and adventure with sequel, Curses Once Spoken.(less)
Finding Home is a story of self discovery with tough issues front and centre ... grief, alcohol abuse, unprotected sex, acceptance and relati...more3.5 stars
Finding Home is a story of self discovery with tough issues front and centre ... grief, alcohol abuse, unprotected sex, acceptance and relationship difficulties.
It should have been easy to dislike Amy, she's a train wreck, spiteful, obnoxious, immature and self destructive but she actually felt real. I cut her some slack as she's grieving not only the loss of her mother but what she feels is abandonment by her father.
And in truth, the significant 'parents' in the story are pretty much absent, clueless or completely irresponsible ... no parent of the year awards need be handed out here. I know communication with teenagers is challenging at the best of times, add grief, pain and misunderstanding and you get a whole world of hurt, but really ....
Amy grows up over the course of the novel, it was good to see her find her place, and a little peace ... I'm sure the metaphorical slap around the head from true friend Lucy helped. I liked Lucy, a lot and Nick too, he was probably my favourite character. Luke on the other hand was a total ass-hat, and Amy falling for such a dick, made me throw up a little ;)
Despite my low tolerance for angst I thought Finding Home was well written and a quick, satisfying read, one I'm sure teens will relate to.(less)
The Husband's Secret is an unputdownable look at the human psyche, the complexities of conscience, right and wrong. There's a slow peeling back of lay...moreThe Husband's Secret is an unputdownable look at the human psyche, the complexities of conscience, right and wrong. There's a slow peeling back of layers, puzzle pieces gradually forming a complete picture.
Funny, poignant, shocking, heartbreaking, The Husband's Secret is all this and so much more. Liane Moriarty's characterisation is superb, and likable or not, the characters are relatable in their strength's and flaws.
Three women; Cecelia her ordered life shattered by her husband's devastating secret, Tess & Rachael irrevocably connected by that secret. Love, guilt, punishment and forgiveness all intertwined.
Can't really go into any more detail without entering spoiler territory and this is most definitely best read with as little foreshadowing as possible. Surprisingly it's not all dark and achy, the dry humour and Cecelia's internal dialogue cracked me up.
The Husband's Secret is compelling reading, I just had to know what happened; don't plan on putting this one down. Narrator, Caroline Lee does a stellar job and the epilogue was one of the best ever.
An immensely readable, thought provoking story of light and shade that leaves you questioning ...
I loved, loved, loved the setting, the small fictional beachside town of Middle Point on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. And you...moreI loved, loved, loved the setting, the small fictional beachside town of Middle Point on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. And you don't need to have been to know, Victoria Purman's descriptions are so vivid, you can feel the sea breeze as you take in the stunning view, taste the salt, smell the coast. It's a Sea Change without leaving your loungeroom.
Julia Jones is back in Middle Point to settle her mother's estate and running into her old love Ry Blackburn, plays havoc with her head and heart. Sizzling chemistry mixed with nostalgia, hurt, regret and mistrust, what a melting pot of unresolved history.
Despite Julia having a chip on her shoulder that made me want to give her a good slap, I enjoyed her growth over the course of the book, she wasn't afraid to take an honest look at herself, her perceptions and prejudices and make decisions on what was really important in life. Both Ry and Julia felt very real to me and Victoria Purman sure knows how to turn up the heat, those steamy sex scenes weren't a hardship to read ... nope, not at all.
Nor does the author skimp on minor characters or friendships (I loved Lizzie's humour and loyalty) or the challenges facing residents in a small coastal town, their survival dependent on the influx of holiday season tourists. Kudos to Victoria Purman for a debut novel that feels like a breath of fresh air.
What more could you want?... sand, sea, surf, good love, good friends and good wine. *Sigh* ... idyllic.
Up next in the Boys of Summer trilogy, Dan & Lizzie, I like them already and can't wait to watch their story unfold.
Forgetting Tabitha is the story of impoverished and orphaned children in New York City and the impact of the Orphan Train movement on their l...more3.5 stars
Forgetting Tabitha is the story of impoverished and orphaned children in New York City and the impact of the Orphan Train movement on their lives. Not all were adopted into loving homes, some became little more than hired help or indentured servants. It's a graphic and enduring tale of survival and hope.
Julie Dewey doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of the time. The squalor and despair for those who lived in the Five Points district assailed the senses, while the violence and often tragic outcomes were difficult to read.
The characters, especially 10 year old Tabitha, (Mary) Scotty and Gert wormed their way into my heart, children who've seen and suffered so much, old before their time. Their story is heartbreaking and sadly, real but I cheered their resilience and each hard-won triumph.
This my 3rd book featuring the Orphan Train movement at its core, so naturally my reading experience was coloured by the two previously read, brilliant books, my favourite being My Notorious Life by Kate Manning. For me, Forgetting Tabitha was a good read but it didn't reach superb heights.
That said that I'm keen to see what Julie Dewey delivers next :) (less)
Nikki and Jakes' private investigative work and Michael's missions with the Damask Circle merge once again (much to Michael's displeasure)...moreBest yet ...
Nikki and Jakes' private investigative work and Michael's missions with the Damask Circle merge once again (much to Michael's displeasure) with a horrifying case that kept me turning the pages, enthralled.
Michael's condescending attitude and insistence that Nikki is a delicate flower in need of protection or bubble wrap borders on nauseating but I guess a 300 year old vamp isn't going to change his archaic attitude overnight.
“I will treat you like a full partner when you act like one” ... oh pul-eeze
Does he forget he and Nikki are life-linked and she's a tough investigator with seriously bad-ass psychic abilities that are morphing into something all-powerful?
Thankfully Nikki & Michael's relationship takes a leap from the angst train into something more 'real' ... not without battles, and ultimatums on Nikki's part and plenty of eye rolling on mine.
Chasing the Shadows is the most enjoyable of the series so far, up next Kiss the Night Goodbye, hope it lives up to my growing expectations.(less)