Not my favorite Heyer book. I can't say much because there's a mystery involved and I don't want to spoil. Just say I wish I'd seen more of the love iNot my favorite Heyer book. I can't say much because there's a mystery involved and I don't want to spoil. Just say I wish I'd seen more of the love interest's character growth. I'll have to leave it at that....more
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Evelynn Marston didn’t mean to burn down the science room. A little anger, some flames, and an expulsion later, Evie finds herself destWHAT IT'S ABOUT Evelynn Marston didn’t mean to burn down the science room. A little anger, some flames, and an expulsion later, Evie finds herself destined to spend the rest of her high school years at Despaign Academy—named for Connecticut’s last convicted witch.
Despite its shadowy past, Despaign has the same cliques as other schools, and Evie struggles to fit in and to be noticed by the handsome and mysterious Dylan Fox—that is, until she casts her first spell.
But even in a magical place, evil lurks. When Evie’s friend, Laurie Silver, turns up dead, Evie must rely on all her newfound powers and friends to find the truth. But bringing a killer to justice may require stronger magic and true love, the kind that can’t be found in a potion.
MY TAKE I found Evie to be a fun and believable character. In spite of weird and distant relationships with her absent parents (whom I guess loved her but not enough to be involved in her life), Evie is surrounded by good people who love and care for her. Uncle Mitch might have been my favorite character, and I found him to be a nice practical (if somewhat disconnected) balance to all the witchy stuff that Evie is suddenly dumped with. The Henderson family next door--with Evie's best friend Bree and Bree's hunky brother--was a treat.
There were times I wished Evie was a little older; she's only 15, going an 16. The potential love interests are both older than she is.
This must be the beginning of a series. I'm not a fan of cliffhangers, and the resolution of this book was sufficient for the story arc. I'm also not a fan of love triangles, but the one in this book wasn't the only storyline, so it didn't make me nuts.
4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.
When a 17-year-old boy (Dylan) is okay with the idea of him being married to a 15-year-old girl, it's just a little creepy because it's so not what a regular 17-year-old boy would think. But there are obviously other things going on. The love potion was a nice way to explain it, but the ending shows there's more going on than we've been shown so far. Hopefully, when that explanation is provided in a future book, it will be less creepy. ;)
Another fun read. I really felt for the Duke. There's such a thing as being cared about too much. By comparison there was Belinda, the foundling, who'Another fun read. I really felt for the Duke. There's such a thing as being cared about too much. By comparison there was Belinda, the foundling, who'd been cared for too little. Such a quirky combination of characters....more
Full disclosure here. I'm the author of one of these, so I won't comment on that. I so enjoyed the other stories in this Castle Collection.
There's thFull disclosure here. I'm the author of one of these, so I won't comment on that. I so enjoyed the other stories in this Castle Collection.
There's the edge-of-your-seat suspense from Cindy Hogan's DANGEROUS TRUTH (set in Belgium--I love that Cindy's book always take me places I'd love to visit). And there's a little more romance!
Then there's Jo Noelle's wonderfully funny/exciting/scary ALL BY MY SELFIE. Those two ladies always find a way to make me smile even while I'm nervous about what will happen next. And the #hotscotsman totally made it.
I loved the way the characters in THE GHOST OF DUNLOW MANOR handled the situation. This tale actually had a couple of romances running through it. Very fun!
ROSE OF SHERWOOD is the only one that's not contemporary. The play on the Robinhood time period is a fun addition to the collection....more
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Cassie is going to heaven—if she can get amnesty from hell in the next twenty days. Her assignment is to change the eternal destinationWHAT IT'S ABOUT Cassie is going to heaven—if she can get amnesty from hell in the next twenty days. Her assignment is to change the eternal destination of a girl in Albuquerque to earn admittance into heaven.
But when Cassie returns to earth during her three-week, mostly-mortal assignment, her old habits get in the way, (apparently habits don’t die when you do), the partners assigned to help her are anything but helpful, and it turns out the girl she is supposed to help is the only enemy she made on her first day of school.
Oh, I’m so going to hell.
Things aren’t all bad—it helps to have a hot angel on your side. Mmm-Marc. Even though he’s all about heavenly business, Cassie would like to make it personal.
Assignment with benefits.
MY TAKE This was the last of the Jo Noelle books that I'd not read yet. I've loved her writing and true-to-life characters, right down to the uncomfortable imperfections. AMNESTY is no exception. Cassie, dealing with the anger, hurt, and feelings of desertion by her parents has chosen to act out and do dangerous and stupid things. While that's not uncommon for adolescents to lash out as they try to find their own identities, Cassie's negative and selfish feelings have amplified the disaster she creates for herself. And it lands her right on the road the hell. Literally.
After causing her own death and the death of her two best friends, she's faced with burning forever. Until she's given a chance at amnesty. But it places her in a position of being responsible to turn someone else away from the road to hell.
AMNESTY deals with the issues of choices and consequences, all intermingled with the question of whether we can really change. I love stories that touch on ethical issues and make me pause to consider the implications. Noelle's characters are engaging and smack-worthy, all at the same time. Just like real teenagers.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Neroche's kingdom is threatened by the darkness of an evil Black Mage- and all hope lies in the legend of two magical swords. Miach, thWHAT IT'S ABOUT Neroche's kingdom is threatened by the darkness of an evil Black Mage- and all hope lies in the legend of two magical swords. Miach, the archmage of Neroche, carries one. And he's found a Wielder for the other in Morgan, a young woman and feared mercenary herself. Now, Miach must choose between endangering the woman who has captured his heart, and defending the kingdom he's sworn to protect.
MY TAKE Read this to my hubby, and we've loved it. The language has a medieval twist to it, and it took him a bit to get used to it. Once he did, he was able to totally get into the story. The characters are what really drive it for me. Morgan's no-nonsense approach to life and her utter lack of patience for anything stupid (accompanied with unfiltered remarks) makes for some hilarious moments. The story is filled with action, romance, and magic.
As soon as we finished this one, we had to pick up the next in the series. It was a good thing we had it already because this one ends with a cliffhanger (which I'm not a fan of).
4 1/2 stars rounded up to five because of the dang cliffhanger....more
WHAT IT'S ABOUT After more than twenty years living internationally—sixteen addresses, eight countries and five different languages—writer Melissa BradWHAT IT'S ABOUT After more than twenty years living internationally—sixteen addresses, eight countries and five different languages—writer Melissa Bradford shares a fantastic journey of motherhood that will inspire any family.
Follow this family of six on their passage—extraordinary, hilarious and heartbreakingly poignant—from Bright Lights (of New York City) to the Northern Lights (of Norway) to the City of Light (Paris) to the speed-of-light of the Autobahn (in Munich). Continue deep into the tropics of Southeast Asia (Singapore) and end your voyage in the heights of the Swiss Alps (Geneva).
As varied as the topography—the craggy fjords, the meandering Seine, the black forests, the muggy tropics, the soaring Alps—this multicultural tale traverses everything from giving birth in a château in Versailles to living on an island in a fjord. From singing jazz on national Norwegian T.V. to judging an Indonesian beauty contest. From navigating the labyrinth of French bureaucracy and the traffic patterns of Singapore to sitting around a big pine table where the whole family learns languages, cultures, cuisines—where they, in short, learn to love this complex and diverse world and, most importantly, each other.
MY TAKE I learned about this book by a coworker and was glad that it was available in audiobook. The author is an actress, so she had the skills to do an exceptional job on the it. And they were her words, after all. It made for a very enjoyable read.
The writing is beautiful. However, I think I understand what the term "overwritten" means. It does some into play a little with the book but, as I mentioned, it's so beautifully written it's not painful. And perhaps, the way the words flowed from the author's mouth, they weren't as cumbersome in audio as they might have been for some people. I really think it's a personal style preference. Some readers don't want much description, and Bradford provides a lot. She uses her words to paint and shade her scenes.
My coworker friend did tell me a little about the story, so I knew in advance what the tragedy is the family suffers. It made the earlier part of the book even more poignant.
I loved especially the earlier parts of the book, when she shares her experiences in immersing the family into the cultures (for a short stay later in the book, that even included the US) of the countries they lived in. Still being American while essentially living "native" and therefore being subject to the country's government regulations (like Norway's "permitted" names for children) is one example. It provided a fascinating peek into these other cultures. But there's also the transition when it's time to move to another country--and language and cultural expectations. There was only one place where I had to fast forward, where Bradford took a little too much pleasure in describing (in detail) about a sick-making boat trip in Norway.
In the end, the book doesn't quite know what it wants to be. It's part memoir, part philosophy, part grief coping. But it worked for me. I laughed and I cried. It was a charming and emotional peek into the lives of this family. I'm giving it 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5....more