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
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
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
After more than 2 years, British war bride Margaret Dalton is finally being reunited with her Aussie Husband after her ship comes into dock in Sydney.After more than 2 years, British war bride Margaret Dalton is finally being reunited with her Aussie Husband after her ship comes into dock in Sydney. Frank had been sent home after injuring himself during WW1 and was full of excitement about having his loving wife with him. But Margaret will soon be left dismayed when after disembarking she fails to see her husband. She can not comprehend what has happened and finds herself alone in a different country. Things go from bad to worse for Margaret when at an army barracks she is informed that the man she loves is married to another women and has a child.
Feeling sorry for her, soon to be demobilized sergeant Tom McBride offers Margaret accommodation at a boarding home were he was staying. The keeper, Mrs Burns and her daughter Jane soon warm to Margaret and with Toms help, and her own fierce determination to succeed she slowly get back on her feet. Jane and Tom will introduce her to Australia's beach culture with swimming and surfing and after getting a job things are looking up. Life then will take unexpected turns with first Margaret and Tom feelings for each other growing stronger by the day and then a letter arrives from Frank wanting a divorce after a mix-up seen him wait for the wrong ship.
This information sends Margaret into a spin as she realizes that Frank did not abandon her as she had suspected. On the one hand she knows now that Frank was as much in love with her as she was with him on that fateful day when she arrived but also is now living with another women and has a child. Secondly she cannot deny her love for Tom and faced with two conflicting views she struggles to make make the right decision. How she handles such a complex situation will shape her future, while wanting to come up with a solution that makes the best of an impossible situation.
Pamela Hart has done a wonderful job in showing Australian life in the aftermath of the WW1. It was fascinating reading about my home countries carefree spirit and progressive thinking seen through it's people and the city of Sydney. We also get a look at how difficult it was for the wives of service men with those who became widows and those who found themselves in situations like Margaret. Back then information could easily be mistaken and with the expectations on women in marriage being a far cry from today it made for a society slowly trying to free itself from the old time bigotry traditions of the past. Overall this a great time capsule of a period of change and just like The Soldier's Wife beautifully combines love with drama....more