Wendy Darlin is getting married! She is dragged off to Vulgaria for the nuptials and honeymoon by her beloved archaeologist husband to be Dr Roger Jol...moreWendy Darlin is getting married! She is dragged off to Vulgaria for the nuptials and honeymoon by her beloved archaeologist husband to be Dr Roger Jolley. But things don’t quite run to plan…
Barbara Silkstone writes amazing characters in all of her books, and in this one, Wendy Darlin book 5, she includes Kit, the nail technician and drag queen, a whacky innkeeper Squirl, and a preposterous baby stealing vampire named Vlad. Throw in, Mina an enthusiastic tiny vamp, and a priest who she’s in love with and you have all the ingredients for a zany comedy which deserves a genre all of its own.
The romp takes us on a journey with Vulgarian Airlines to the Van Helsing Resort for Wendy and Roger’s wedding. Plans go awry when a Vampire plot disturbs the arrangements.
Silkstone specialises with her own brand of a way with words. The humour is funny, silly at times, but still retaining an intelligence that makes the reader realise she knows what she’s doing. This book is definitely a ‘fun’ mystery with lots of laughs mixed in with suspense throughout the text.
A definite hilarious romp, for fun-loving readers everywhere!(less)
The first part of Victoria Dougherty's The Bone Church is not an easy read. It begins with a harrowing scene and never lets up. Add in some decidedly...moreThe first part of Victoria Dougherty's The Bone Church is not an easy read. It begins with a harrowing scene and never lets up. Add in some decidedly heavy material and WW2 themes, with a narrative that is oft more than a little challenging, and your head will be spinning.
BUT, don’t give up! One third of the way through and I discovered I was hooked. The WW2 references are wonderful, and the author’s knowledge of history inserted with her own brand of fiction will capture your attention. Indeed, sometimes I found myself wondering which was fact and which was fiction. Main characters Magdalena and Felix stood out. They are trapped and haunted in their untenable position, but I felt an admiration for their plight more than mere woe.
That said I had to work in some parts to understand what was happening…the reader has to pay attention to the date at the beginning of each chapter; the time changes back and forth. Nevertheless, this novel is an interestingly addictive foray into a world of paranoia, deceit mistrust, and ultimate betrayal. Awarded four stars and recommended for history lovers.
This is the third and probably final book in Seb Kirby's 'No More' trilogy. Protagonist James Blake and his wife, Julia (plus their tiny...moreGreat Thriller
This is the third and probably final book in Seb Kirby's 'No More' trilogy. Protagonist James Blake and his wife, Julia (plus their tiny baby) are separated while James, goes to Italy and Germany. As in the 2 previous books, James is hot on the trail of the nefarious Lando family and their heinous crimes. The story is far reaching and covers art, mythology, drugs, FBI black ops and towards the end, Blake learns about an ancient sect within the Nazi party.
Seb Kirby has many ‘balls in the air’ with this story, and towards the mid to end of the book the excitement and tension builds. The reader has to pay close attention to detail, location and the many characters; otherwise vital clues will be lost. But Seb does touch on the first two novels to refresh the readers’ memory to help things along and everything comes nicely together.
This novel of Seb’s is very good – a thriller in every sense, with plenty of action and tension spread throughout. Once you’ve read a couple of chapters there’s no doubt you’ll want to know what comes next. A page turner in every sense of the word and an exhilarating ride!
A moving and thought-provoking tale concerning the life of a severely deaf young man, David. The story covers his life from birth, through school and...moreA moving and thought-provoking tale concerning the life of a severely deaf young man, David. The story covers his life from birth, through school and into adulthood, when he meets Sara the young woman who helps show him that life can be better when there’s love around.
David was rejected by his mother and up to a point his father. Ms Stone cleverly uses flashbacks between David’s childhood and the present day to show us how his life ran its course during this time; punctuated by some heart-breaking moments and some lovely ones with his teacher, Annie at his boarding school.
In the present, David finds love and learns to overcome his bewildered emotional turmoil. This is not a sloppy love story, but a good insight into how deafness can affect an otherwise perfectly ‘normal’ person and those around him. I found it interesting learning about how he and Sara developed their sign language for communication. I also found David’s relationship with his dog very moving.
A well-crafted story covering deafness and handled well by Ms Stone.
4.5 stars out of 5
Faith Mortimer (author of mystery, suspense and romance)(less)
Jan Ruth's books are all set in Snowdonia, Wales and her vivid settings play a huge part of each story. Ms Ruth throws the sometime harsh, sometime be...moreJan Ruth's books are all set in Snowdonia, Wales and her vivid settings play a huge part of each story. Ms Ruth throws the sometime harsh, sometime benign weather at us, adding some gorgeous scenery, and a rural life which often includes horses.
Silver Rain is a story of bewildering family relationships: main protagonist Kate is in her fifties and recently widowed, her selfish and dipsomaniac sister Annemarie, and their confused aged mother. The other family which is equally dysfunctional consists of Kate’s sister-in-law, Fran, husband George and daughter. Plus George’s brother, Alastair (Al) the black sheep of the family, and in the middle of a messy and bitter divorce and - a relationship with a much younger woman, Jo.
Disharmony in these families completely rule! Arguments, fights, sex, greed – they’re all there to read. If you enjoy a good domestic, laced with some mystery (which has kept George and Al at each others throats for years), then you’re in for a treat.
My only problem was I could not relate with Al in any way. Jan portrays her characters well, but I found him to be too indecisive, too casual and not manly enough for my likes – a personal thing I’m sure, and it was Kate who fancied him after all! I just worried that he had enough staying power if and when Kate and he finally got it together.
But all in all, Jan Ruth is a good writer; her books are filled with passion and are not overdone soppy romances, but often gritty and show life as it really is.
4.5 stars out of 5 for Silver Rain.
Faith Mortimer (Goodreads author of mysteries, suspense and romance)(less)
If you, (like me), enjoy a good mystery suspense whodunit set in rural England then you’ll enjoy this novel.
Author, Diana J Febry has woven an intere...moreIf you, (like me), enjoy a good mystery suspense whodunit set in rural England then you’ll enjoy this novel.
Author, Diana J Febry has woven an interesting police procedural, introducing her investigators, Chief Inspector Peter Hatherall and Detective Inspector Fiona Williams. Characters that are perfectly believable.
One word of warning – Febry includes a whole array of other characters who might well be suspects – so bear that in mind as the suspense unravels before your eyes. Apart from the police, the characters are a real cross-section of society, from polite villagers, snooty middle class to complete nutters! All good grist to the mill for interest. Classic Murder Mystery
A skeleton is unearthed one morning after a storm, and is found lying in the roots of an old and enormous tree. The bones are eventually found to belong to a young woman who went missing in about 1991.
So a classic murder mystery – in discovering what happened to the unfortunate young lady - and as you dig deeper into the book you’ll see how close to reality certain of the events really are in a small Cotswold village. Everyone seems to have a secret past, often involving feuds and disputes, and the police are no exception.
Everything comes together with one nice ending. And although the book is not especially gritty in the American sense there is plenty enough to keep the reader hooked and guessing right until the last page.
I received this book free in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Midnight Skye is the third book of Jan Ruth that I’ve read…and I was not disappointed. I’ve said before that Ms Ruth writes with passion and...moreWonderful!
Midnight Skye is the third book of Jan Ruth that I’ve read…and I was not disappointed. I’ve said before that Ms Ruth writes with passion and intelligence, and as before, this book has plenty of that.
Although primarily a romance, (Laura, Simon and James) it is far more than that. The novel crosses over into other genre, relationships within families, between couples, siblings and old love just for starters. We also see how one of the main characters (James, a horse whisperer) struggles to part with his past life, letting us into a world which is emotive and heart wrenching at times.
Ms Ruth covers many aspects of relationships, a family struggling with money, awful teenagers, a depressed unresponsive husband and a middle-aged woman (Maggie) who’s fighting to keep everything under control as well as her expanding waistline.
While we have three of four different threads to the story (all running at their own pace), we have the main theme concerning Laura and her own dilemmas. She’s in the middle of a crisis and is desperate for help…which comes from an unexpected quarter.
Midnight Sky gives us colourful characters, lots of depth and real life problems.
This book moves at a cracking pace - when it matters - and at the same time, slows down to lull us with lush descriptive prose about where it is set. The reader will feel the stunning and often wild Welsh countryside, ranging from balmy summer days on sweeping coastal beaches to austere conditions in a harsh winter amid the mountains.
It is a few weeks before Christmas and everyone except Catherine seems to be gearing up for the big day with excitement.
Catherine, a single mum, is st...moreIt is a few weeks before Christmas and everyone except Catherine seems to be gearing up for the big day with excitement.
Catherine, a single mum, is struggling to bring up her five year old daughter, she has little time for romance, and when she learns she has lost her job and her flat is deemed inhabitable, she wonders just what else life is about to fling at her.
Where or to whom can she turn to for help? Kismet in the shape of handsome, bachelor, Jack Darcy aka Father Christmas is at hand. But can she trust the handsome stranger who seems to know a lot about her private life?
When Catherine discovers a forty-year old letter hidden in a village post office and seeks to reunite the letter with the addressee, little does she know what part she will play in the affair or how circumstances change her very existence. Will she find that perfect love which so far has eluded her?
‘The Red Queen’ is based on fiction and historical events, as well as Philippa Gregory’s own interpretation via her expertise as a historian. I first...more‘The Red Queen’ is based on fiction and historical events, as well as Philippa Gregory’s own interpretation via her expertise as a historian. I first saw the TV series of The White Queen and was completely hooked. The Red Queen follows a different path; the life of Margaret Beaufort (mother of Henry V11) and like most history is full of intrigue, murder and devious plotting. If you enjoy history, then this book is a must. Excellent(less)
A tense, dark psychological thriller with a romantic twist thrown in.
Devil’s Brae Imagine a warm autumn afternoon in a remote village in the Scottish...moreA tense, dark psychological thriller with a romantic twist thrown in.
Devil’s Brae Imagine a warm autumn afternoon in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands. Cassandra Potter, fleeing from the memories of two traumatic deaths, goes walking alone on Devil’s Brae. The wild country is empty, stretching for miles in every direction, it is then she sees him. A dark brooding figure, standing and watching as Cassandra climbs the brae. Apart from a lingering uneasy feeling she ignores the watcher, until the next time and it is then she realises her mistake. Someone wishes her gone from the village – at all costs. Cassandra’s life is plunged into danger. Who is threatening her existence and her sanity? Who is the mysterious stranger? An inhabitant of the village of Inverdarroch? Or a person from her clouded past? Above all, why is this happening to her?(less)
A safari (Swahili for long journey) in many different ways...
The See-Through Leopard by Sibel Hodge is listed as YA/coming of age literature, but I th...moreA safari (Swahili for long journey) in many different ways...
The See-Through Leopard by Sibel Hodge is listed as YA/coming of age literature, but I think this book will have a much broader appeal, especially those among us who care about the planet, environment and all living animals. The subject matter is one which cannot fail to touch both your heart and spirit.
The story begins with a child woman of 16, Jazz.
Jazz has many problems: the loss of her mother in a fatal car accident and the horrific scars which deface both her body and spirit. Jazz also blames herself for her mother's death. Her father, who is a vet, takes up a new position where he is responsible for the well-being of the animals on a Kenyan game reserve. Both father and daughter move to Africa from the UK (against Jazz's agreement) and he hopes the change of life will bring Jazz out of the mire of grief, self-pity and depression she has fallen into.
Readers will find they are taken on an almost spiritual journey of the healing of mind and body, a beautiful adventure with an orphaned leopard cub and falling in love for the first time.
But for me, apart from the lovely story of Jazz and her raising of the orphaned leopard cub, Asha, there was the impassioned plea concerning the terrible truth of poaching endangered - or indeed any wild animal. As a lover of Africa and all things wildlife, this book touched me deeply. Sibel has done a fantastic job in raising awareness of the plight of African animals. Fuelled by the voracity and arrogance of the West, the misconceptions of the East and the abject poverty in Africa, animals are being heartlessly poached at a disturbing rate. A rate which cannot be allowed to continue.
Life on the African plains is realistically portrayed, danger, hunting, being chased by wild animals and watching a `kill'.
Sibel Hodge has highlighted how loving oneself focuses the return to recovery by turning the attention outwards. Jazz cares for the cub and after time finally realises she has healed and is at peace with herself. This is an uplifting story, despite some grueling topics.
At the end of the story, Jazz gives a heart rendering speech to an audience of conservationists, preservationists' World Wildlife Organisations et al. It is a passionate speech and covers everything one would expect at such an august meeting. At the end of the book Sibel Hodge has listed endangered wildlife statistics and contact information for wildlife organizations. We may have seen some of it all before, but it is reinforcing a call for everyone to sit up and take note. We have one planet, one earth - we need to share it, not rape it. Let's ensure we keep it.
Monstrous Regiment Rules, August 24, 2013 By Mrs. F. H. Mortimer "Faith Mortimer" (Cyprus and the UK)
This review is from: Monstrous Regiment (Mass M...more Monstrous Regiment Rules, August 24, 2013 By Mrs. F. H. Mortimer "Faith Mortimer" (Cyprus and the UK)
This review is from: Monstrous Regiment (Mass Market Paperback) Monstrous Regiment
This is the first Terry Pratchett book I've read although I have listened to and enjoyed a few audio books.
It took me a little while to get into Pratchett's style of humour and writing, and I found some of the characters underdeveloped in the first quarter of the book (hence the 4 stars). I had trouble keeping up with who Lofty, Wazzer, Shufti and Tonker were in relation to one another. Then as the story unfolded it really got going - the plot becoming stronger with each chapter.
I hope this isn't the last we see of Polly and the Ins-and-Outs as the storyline and imagery was very engaging.
Terry P inspires a great deal of emotion with this book. The Ins and Outs - a group of young soldiers each has their own background and story. As a reader you are subjected to sadness, joy and laughter. The story itself is expressed well and played with very few faults. Clearly defined characters complement the narrative of the plot perfectly in the right places.
In conclusion, I found this to be an excellent story with engaging personalities and an expressive and enthralling storyline.
As it's my first of Terry's - would I read more - definitely! (less)
I was lucky enough to have read another of Jan Ruth's books - The Long & Short of it (short stories and extracts fr...moreWild water...emotions run deep.
I was lucky enough to have read another of Jan Ruth's books - The Long & Short of it (short stories and extracts from her novels). I started reading an extract from, Wild Water not knowing it was just a taster and after a few pages I was hooked - I had to find out where the story went!
I felt Wild Waters crosses genre. It is romantic, definitely not chick-lit or a Mills and Boon book, but certainly women's and contemporary fiction, and I have to say a great read for men as well as women as we see relationships from all sides.
The book is funny with tragic overtones, all carefully portrayed in the books characters...the long-suffering, big-hearted, and very special, Jack Redman and his ghastly, greedy and selfish but beautiful wife, Patsy. Then we're introduced to Jack's old flame, kind-hearted and captivating Anna, his brother the devilishly wicked Danny, Jack's two children and his workaholic father and long-suffering mother are just a few people you'll meet. Jan gives us colourful, rich characters that we've all met and love to either hate or adore. Their place in the book quickly makes the reader realise they are real people with the depth, quality and complexities of life problems many of us will be only too familiar with.
Jan Ruth has a real talent as a story-maker. I found her writing passionate, dramatic, and intelligent with a style easy to read.
Throughout the book I found my emotions being assailed in every chapter and I was not 100% certain there was going to be a neat and happy ending...you will have to read the book to check that out yourself! But if you like being taken on a roller-coaster journey with many surprises, then this novel could well be the one for you. You'll be treated to good dialogue scenes, real and flawed characters, stunning settings - and all moving forward at a good pace.
Highly recommended and well deserving 5 stars - and one of the best books I've read this year. Well done!(less)