Seventeenth century Europe and the continent is one big power play for a group of ambitious men with power in their sights. Among them are brothers, GSeventeenth century Europe and the continent is one big power play for a group of ambitious men with power in their sights. Among them are brothers, George William and his younger brother Ernest. George is the heir to the German duchy and is in love with the beautiful Eléonore. But due to arrangements made with his brother and the question of his mistresses legitimacy they can not be married .
For Ernest and his bride Bernadette, there is pure politics at work in their desire to stop his brother getting married. If George fails to have a son by legal marriage then Ernest's male heirs will inherit George's lands and property. Behind the brothers, both Bernadette and Eléonore do their best to support the men they love while knowing their place. In this time, women are expected to be loyal while men of power are free to seek out any number of courtesans. One of those is the Klara, who despite being married, sets her sights on Ernest in her own bid to facilitate her own wealth.
Caught in the middle of all this is Eléonore's daughter Sophia who soon learns that her parent's wishes for her future marriage are set in stone and going against them is dangerous business. Her own desires are ruthlessly stopped by her elders as she learns a harsh lesson about the world she lives in. In this age, men rule with an iron fist but the women are not shy on ambition. They know marriages are not about love but instead about political convenience and will use every trick in the book to enhance their standing. Lust, hubris, chivalry, and barbarity are the order of the day in this sweeping fictional telling of a little snippet of European history that has mostly been ignored by historians. Overall this is a fascinating novel that is a must-read for historical fiction fans....more
Reader's I want you to say hello to possibly to the most amazing character I have encountered In fiction. He is in his 40's, wallows in the break-up oReader's I want you to say hello to possibly to the most amazing character I have encountered In fiction. He is in his 40's, wallows in the break-up of his marriage, spends his days and nights doing alcohol and drugs and listens to heavy metal music. I know what you are thinking, this Romie Futch character sounds like an idiot and I don't know what I am typing about. You may be more interested when I tell you that despite looking like a bogan, Romie has a heart of gold and wants nothing more than to turn his life around and revive his love life with his Ex.
In a bid to try and achieve this, Romie will sign up to be a human guinea pig at a Cybernetic Neuroscience centre. The experiments promise massive improvements in IQ and a six grand reward at the end of it. Without as much reading the fine print, he will begin, seeing the ability to pay off his mortgage and revive his flagging Taxidermy business. Over the coming weeks, Romie's intelligence will indeed improve dramatically as he becomes prolific in words that even the most knowledgeable people would struggle to understand. After leaving the facility, Romie will work on changing his life, but with the chances of his ex-wife having him back looking slim, he will resort to what is almost seen as a suicide mission, to try and kill the legendary giant razorback called "Hogzilla"
A word of warning to start off with. If you are put off by swearing, occasional non pc passages and descriptions of male behaviour that some may find offensive then this is not the book for you. But if you are okay with that then you will be rewarded with a story that is simply in a class by itself . I have read numerous descriptions calling it "Southern Gothic" and while that may be sought of being on the money the tale provides a lot more than that. Spinning a yarn that is at times side splittingly funny, at other times disturbing and with characters and a giant pig that will tug at your heartstrings in their own unique ways, The New and Improved Romie Futch is just fantastical. Is that even a word? I may have to ask Romie. ...more
In White Is the Coldest Colour I was introduced to one of the evilest characters I have ever encountered in Fiction, Dr David Galbraith. As a child psIn White Is the Coldest Colour I was introduced to one of the evilest characters I have ever encountered in Fiction, Dr David Galbraith. As a child psychologist, he was highly respected, but behind the facade was a man who molested and even killed children in his care and got away with it for 30 years. His wife Cynthia bore the scars as a woman mentally crushed by her husband and after discovering his deviant ways is now in prison after killing him.
Three years has done little to help Cynthia escape the nightmare of her past. She spends her time teaching English to fellow inmates and after talks with a prison counsellor decides to write down her own recollection. What Cynthia reveals is a happy go lucky girl with hopes and dreams that were crushed after the tragic death of her boyfriend Steven. Galbraith would use all of his skills to slowly destroy Cynthia's care free nature until she was left a shell caught in a psychological cell.
Just like the first book, When Evil Calls Your Name is a harrowing read. What Cynthia describes is acutely distressing as we read about her almost complete mental destruction and the shame of not picking up on the a twisted and incomprehensible actions of her husband sooner. You can't help but feel sympathy for her plight and you just hope that new evidence can come forward to exonerate her of the crime she committed. I would advise for anyone wanting to read to start with the first book so you get a feel from the mind of a monster. Unsettling, but with a twinge of hope this is a dark thriller that you will be hard pressed to put down....more
Just one look at the cover and I knew I was going to fall in love with this book. It has many themes with love, the amazing power of the human spiritJust one look at the cover and I knew I was going to fall in love with this book. It has many themes with love, the amazing power of the human spirit to overcome the worst life can throw at us and how saviors can come into our lives in the most unlikely of ways and sizes.
Told mostly through the words of Cameron Bloom, we learn about as a teenager falling in love with the girl he would make his wife called Sam. Soon they had a family with three beautiful boys and as far as all could see the world was there oysters. That all changed when a terrible accident left Sam a paraplegic and saw her family hanging by a thread. The Bloom's needed a miracle to keep there family from falling apart and it came in the form of the feathered kind. She was called Penguin Bloom and over time became the bond that kept her family together and ultimately gave Sam along with her men the will to go on.
There is simply nothing I can say that can describe the beauty of this wonderful book. At times sad, at other times full of laughs and positivity , you can't can't help but fall in love with. I was swept up with the Bloom's story and was captivated by the Cameron's photo's with a wild bird who was brought back to health and turned into more than the family could ever imagine. You can feel the emotion on each page and is a story to melt to....more
My home city of Adelaide is the backdrop for a crime story that does not take itself seriously. Rebecca Keith is overall a great character who as theMy home city of Adelaide is the backdrop for a crime story that does not take itself seriously. Rebecca Keith is overall a great character who as the editor of local paper the Advertiser's "Taste" lift out, gets to mingle with some of the most influential people my hometown has to offer. As part of her job, Rebecca attends many food and wine events, one of wich is for the Australian Food Festival. Held on the River Torrens on one the famous "Popeye boats", the event is marred when a local chef, Leong Chews head is quite literally served on a platter.
What follows is two investigations with the police led by Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jarvie and Rebecca's own after her boss finds out about the incident. Despite Gary and the rest of the forces displeasure about the reports (especially as Rebecca is a suspect), until there is a conviction she has free reign. Rebecca's snooping will uncover a lot more than what she bargained for when another body surfaces as rivalries and corruption come to the surface and powerful people will kill to ensure their interests are not compromised. Will Rebecca find the truth and will she live to tell the tale?
I will say now that it was such a delight to read a book that was completely focused on my beloved Adelaide. I could visualize so many locations from the Cental Market to the Barossa Valley and even Duthy Street that is walking distance from my home. Throw in Rebecca, who for the most part was excellent as someone who is tenacious and unwavering in her beliefs and you have a quick and entertaining read. Although not without faults, such as being somewhat predictable at times and a few moments where I had to suspend disbelief, for the most part though I found the story to be an Intriguing and fun read....more
From the day Corim Colleran is born, his life was predetermined. In his world society is strictly controlled through order that says what education, jFrom the day Corim Colleran is born, his life was predetermined. In his world society is strictly controlled through order that says what education, jobs and how long you will live for. At the bottom of the order ladder, Corim's life is taught to him through school. The main things he learns is his existence is short to prevent overpopulation and everything that goes with it, sex is a vital part of a teenagers development, so some may go on to be well paid sex workers and the three E's, Expiration, Execution and Extension.
It will be the final one of these that says if someone dies, they can be brought back to life for three days, that is the main theme of of the book. When Corim finishes his education, he gets his medial job and gets married to the only girl he really loved, Kiri. All seems well for the happy couple who are in love and then experience the joy of being parents. That joy though will be shattered when Kiri, who is a sex worker is killed by a higher order client and brought back to life. For Corim this is agony knowing he has only days left with his beloved wife, only to have a chance to have her natural life reinstated after the accused offers to do so in exchange for a change in her statements at the trial.
The moral dilemma for Kiri is overwhelming. On one hand she wants to see her young son grow up and spend time with her husband. But on the other hand she craves justice. Not just for herself but also to ensure this does not happen to other sex workers. For Corim the decision seems a simple one, but the after the trial he is left sad and bitter. Not to his darling wife, but to the world he lives in and one he is determined to find out the truth about. What he will discover, will blow the lid on a Utopian society ruled by faceless immortals, that lie and play games with there inhabitants.
To say Three Days Breathing was a revelation for me was an understatement. The world that McGuire has created is one of the most disturbing dystopian worlds I have come across in fiction and could easily be compared to the likes of 1984, Logan's Run and Brave New World. Written with such powerful conviction, this is a book you will race through. Thought-provoking and engrossing, it is the true definition of a modern classic....more
Judith Rashleigh who is in her mid 30's, works in one of the top art auction houses in London. Her job though is not that glamorous as an entry levelJudith Rashleigh who is in her mid 30's, works in one of the top art auction houses in London. Her job though is not that glamorous as an entry level doormat, doing all medial tasks and copping constant humiliation. Judith wants to make a name for herself with the most wealthiest, pretentious and unscrupulous clients but after falling broke is forced to take on a second job in a men's bar. Little does she know this will be the unlikely ticket she needs to riches at a cost.
After travelling with a friend and a client to the French Riviera, Judith will see her life go on a polar opposite when the client is found dead and she goes on the run, hiding in plain site. In a bid to survive Judith will, with the help of rich associates, mingle with some of the most powerful and dangerous people on the planet. In her bid to stay alive Judith with her knowledge of the art world, will commit massive frauds and even kill. There is little room for loyalty in her new world with her brains and body, her greatest assets.
Pleasure is the key theme to this book, with the questions of how far many of us will go to have it and why a women seeking such things is not looked on favorably. Judith loves the finer things in life with the main one being sex. She craves it at private parties and will take any opportunity to experience it. Shes a women fully in control of her desires, but is also highly intelligent, street smart and when cornered can be very dangerous. That makes her a trailblazer, but not to a conservative audience.
Clearly this is a polarising read. If you are put off by graphic accounts of sex then this will not be a book you will enjoy. For me this was not not an issue. Despite the female narrator and vast descriptions of affluent lifestyles with Chanel and Marc Jacob gowns a plenty, Maestra is a book that will have universal appeal. There is an undertone that runs deeper than gender categories that will hit a raw nerve with everyday readers. In summing up this a fast paced and hedonistic erotic thriller that is devilishly addictive....more
Olivia Randall is a New York defense lawyer who does things her own way. She will happily sleep with married men and rock up at court after a heavy drOlivia Randall is a New York defense lawyer who does things her own way. She will happily sleep with married men and rock up at court after a heavy drinking session the night before. Little does Olivia know that something she has tried to bury from her mind for the last two decades is going to be thrust back into her life. Woken with a hangover from her office, she is informed about a young girl wanting to speak to her. After returning the call Olivia is shocked to find out the caller is the daughter of her former fiancé Jack Harris.
For years, she has been haunted by her unfaithful ways that destroyed her hopes of happiness with Jack and the belief she was responsible for his brother's death. Now all these years later Olivia has a chance for redemption after she is informed Jack has been arrested for a triple Homicide. In her own mind, there is no way that Jack could be the one responsible for such a heinous crime. The prosecution's case is strong as one of deceased is the father of a young man who years earlier had killed Jacks wife. It is known that Jack despised the man and had sued unsuccessfully years earlier. Now Olivia is his last hope to avoid a lengthy jail term and although his story of the event seems fanciful she is prepared to give him her full commitment.
Olivia's unwavering confidence that Jack has somehow been set up to be the fall guy in an elaborate murder plan soon takes a hit as evidence mounts against Jack. With every passing day, it becomes obvious to Olivia that Jack has been lying to her repeatedly about what happened on that fateful night and creates enough doubt in her mind to contemplate the unthinkable, that Jack may well be a killer. This is something that seems beyond comprehension as Jack has always been known to everyone he knows as a nice guy who despite countless tragedies has made a life for himself and is a loving father to Buckley.
This was a story that had me hooked from the very first page. Trying to describe this book is not easy. I would not call it a thriller or for that matter police procedure. In many ways, this is about the psychic of what makes us human as we peel back the many layers that make us who we are. throughout our lives, there are many things that can change our behavior, but it takes a complex string of events to make a killer. Overall The Ex has all the ingredients for an engaging read with a gritty storyline, solid characterization, and a twist at the end that totally shocked me. ...more