The idea of a couple swapping houses with a stranger and slowly realizing that this stranger is something more was intriguing and I was all in. I've nThe idea of a couple swapping houses with a stranger and slowly realizing that this stranger is something more was intriguing and I was all in. I've noticed a few reader buddies enjoying domestic thrillers lately so thought I'd pick one up and try one out for myself.
The House Swap was a fast read and moved along at a good, steady pace. I was curious about blending the elements of a married pair along with the mystery and how I'd like that. Turns out that I found this mesh to work well. The thriller part was subtle particularly at first with the marriage issues of the pair taking the lead. The story was told in both the past and present so the reader experiences the current situation and how it got there. This worked to help with building suspense and revealing the secrets in a jaw-dropping way. I actually worked out several of the reveals before they came, but there were still a few shockers.
Now, in truth, this book was something of a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the thriller aspect and a bit of how the flawed marriage was meshed with it. However, I really didn't like Caroline, the main character. To be fair, the reader isn't meant to like her as far as I can tell. The whole situation is pretty much her own doing. She claims she wants to renew what has been lost in her marriage, but it takes little for her to slip back into her old ways. She snarls and prods, keeps secrets that affect them both, and lies to her husband who is bending over backwards to make this house swap and vacation week work. I think what did it for me was that she wasn't over her ex. He ended the affair and its obvious that she'd fall right back into it if she could. I really wanted to see Francis just snatch their son, walk away, and keep going.
So, my first domestic thriller was alright. It did leave me eager for more. I thought the author wrote a good twisting plot so I'll watch for more of her work. This is for those who don't mind flawed characters and a soft thriller paired together.
My thanks to Penguin-Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
COYER Summer Bash Scavenger Hunt #53 half a face on the cover...more
I had the delicious pleasure of continuing my audio voyage through the Bennet Wardrobe series narrated by the delightful Amanda Berry with a couple noI had the delicious pleasure of continuing my audio voyage through the Bennet Wardrobe series narrated by the delightful Amanda Berry with a couple novellas tucked in between the two halves of The Exile part of the Bennet Wardrobe story.
I glanced back through my first impression of this book when I read it in electronic version and discovered that my thoughts and reactions to the story itself were unaltered. I'm going to provide a 'cut and paste' of the original review and add my thoughts on the narration work.
A delightful interlude in the Bennet Wardrobe series with Elizabeth Bennet, in her youth and as mature woman, being the central figure.
Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess falls between The two parts of The Exile and does not make for a good place to begin the series nor should it be read before The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Epoque.
This is a pair of novellas highlighting Lizzy Bennet at two different times in her life.
The first tells the story of precocious ten year old Lizzy getting a time travel experience through the wardrobe. The focus is Lizzy and yet the story is a heartwarming follow-up (yes, the one I wished for after reading The Exile vol. one- wish granted) with Kitty (or rather Lady Kate as she is known in her modern times), Henry, Maggie, Jacques and their children on summer holiday. I loved this peek-in on their lives and felt the bittersweet tang of Kitty being with her older sister, but not being able to act as more as a distant aunt. I will say, I found this version of a ten year old girl, educated or not, had the mature thinking and processing that rivaled a Mensa child. I let it go and went with it because I was enjoying the story.
The second story takes the reader into Lizzy's married years with Darcy. Sadly, they have lost a child and Lizzy's grief is overwhelming so Darcy takes her on a trip to the Continent. The pair encounter Byron, Pollidori, Shelley, and Goddard in their famous meeting by Lake Geneva that generated such fantastic classic literature. Lizzy is despondent, but in her despair, she fuels the creative mind of the woman who would write Frankenstein. It's a sad, poignant tale with gothic overtones that I found diverting as I love the old classic Frankenstein and it was a reminder that I never have encountered Pollidori's The Vampyre yet.
Audio format has the ability to make me feel more and that was the case with this version of Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess. The first story was sweet and had a cuteness that left me smiling. Amanda Berry captured the sisters and the others so well. The second story hit me emotionally with Lizzy and Darcy's loss and their travels to help heal. I found the setting fascinating and the famous literary people there equally so, but it was the pathos of the Darcys' situation that remained the draw for me. Again, Ms. Berry was something else and carried the book from very good to even better.
So, this was a fast listen of these two stories and engaging for a fan of the series leading up to the second part of Kitty's story. The stories were very different in tone. I was drawn to the first one by my fixation on Kitty and Henry, but I thought they were both well worth the read. Again, I gently urge Austenesque lovers to give this fabulous and unique time travel series a try.
I don't typically pick up military historical non-fic or modern historical fiction so please forgive me if my review is lacking the usual points thatI don't typically pick up military historical non-fic or modern historical fiction so please forgive me if my review is lacking the usual points that readers are looking for in their military reading reviews.
First of all, sadly, I know little about the Vietnam conflict and I was pleased to read a little more about the Naval facet of the Navy SEAL work and the formation of the Seawolves Helicopter Squadron who became the direct air support for the SEAL operation in the Delta leading into the Tet Offensive.
The book is an interesting blend of non-fiction facts and details along with a bit of fiction to make a cohesive storyline where details were few, permission for specifics weren't available, or facts had to be guessed at. I felt the author wove all this well. Now, that said, this doesn't read like a story. The book zooms in on details about the SEAL team in operation from their task on the mission to what gear and weaponry they employed to do their work, the terrain, and the details like the boats, copters, bases, and even a bit about the Vietnamese setting and people of south and north.
The plot begins with an exciting SEAL team operation that showed why loss was high and something was needed to be put in place better than was there if the SEALs were to be more effective. Hence, a Navy pilot from the Korean War used his acumen and experience to form the Seawolves. Their training was thorough and unique and then their work brought immediate results as to giving the SEAL teams the support they needed.
I had a good time meeting the members of a SEAL team stationed there in the Saigon area and the Seawolf detachment supporting them. Some were quite the characters like 'Animal' who was an instinctive point man on the team or Soto who flew into danger without batting his eye.
While I thoroughly enjoyed all that I learned and was riveted to the military conflicts sprinkled through the book, I wouldn't recommend this one to those looking for an exciting military story (though there is a bit of that mixed with the explanations). In my opinion, the audience are those looking to get a bit of story with more intimate detailed overview of this facet of the Vietnam War....more