Thursday, 13 December 2018

Homebody: A Toni Credella Baltimore Mystery (Toni Credella Baltimore Mysteries Book 1) by Louise Titchener

As the year is nearing its end I realised that I completely missed my target of reading 52 books this year. I only managed to do a 'measly' 25, hopefully 26 before the year is out. I do have a good excuse; I've taken on a more challenging job and spend now most of my lunch hour catching up on emails etc. It is temporary so I hope to get some more reading and reviewing done in 2019.

This book I liked a lot and I had no hesitation giving it 5 stars. Here is the review.



Toni Credella is a great and complex heroine. Marrying too young for the wrong reasons, she finds herself in an abusive relationship. Fearing for her life she shoots her policeman husband. The book starts here as Toni tries to resume her life after being acquitted of murder.
What I like is Toni’s vulnerability and courage. She is determined not to be a victim again and that gives her a newfound drive and strength. She is not a gun-toting tough cookie, but a delicate woman that had to fight against prejudice (she is both of Italian and Korean heritage), Violence and naked hatred (her husband’s cop buddies and even her own family) She emerges bruised and still full of self-doubt, but getting stronger by the day.
This is a great little thriller that throws up a few surprises, but most of all it’s the depth of character of Toni that spoke to me the most and kept me reading. I would love to read the next instalment in this series. Very promising start.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Time for Surprises (The Solvik Series Book 4) by Mette Barfelt

I picked this book up as it was by a Norwegian writer set in Norway. I wasn't disappointed in the descriptions of the beautiful scenery or the characters in the book. But the whole book felt a bit disjointed and the romance and humour where in the wrong places. I think a lot went wrong in translation here. This is part 4 in a series, but it stands alone and not having read the other books was not a problem. I gave it 3 stars.


 



Time for surprises is a very apt title for this gentle romance set in Norway. It starts with a family inheriting a hotel from their father. Miranda our main character is set to run the operation as per her father’s wishes, as her husband, Vidar, gets the lowly job of janitor. The sisters Miranda, Isabel, Jasmine, brother Tony and recently revealed half-sister Celine are forced to work together. The fact that they are all very different characters adds to the tension. There is a lot to get on with and the disasters and mishaps follow quickly. There are good characters here and they are quite well developed. My issue was mostly with the tone of the book, the translation from Norwegian might be a factor. There was humour and romance there but at somewhat inappropriate moments; for instance a fat policeman having a rather slapstick moment before a rather grisly discovery. I would like to read more of this writer as her character development is good, maybe a more out and out romance would suit me better.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Ula (Born of Shadows Book 1) by J.R. Erickson

Fantasy is a great genre for authors, even though it isn't my favourite genre to read, I did chose it to write 'Language in the Blood'. Reality sometimes doesn't allow you to take the story to where you want. I can see that J.R.Erickson had great fun creating her baddies the vepars; a sort of vampiric demon and giving her Abby awesome powers. It worked mostly and I enjoyed this book. 4 Stars.



I rather liked this book as it had plenty of action and pace. It is the first in an already 5 book series, so I didn’t mind the slightly abrupt ending as the author has put the first chapter of the next book in at the end as a taster. We have been introduced to a myriad of characters which we probably get to know better in the next book. This book is all about Abby and her growth, not just as a young woman finding her way in the world, but also the growth of Abby the inexperienced witch.  I thought that was nicely done as we first meet Abby, a rather mousy girl that rather runs away than stand up to her overbearing mother and boyfriend. Hiding out in her aunt’s lake house she finds that she isn’t alone and Sebastian is also hiding there to get away from some demons. A grisly discovery and some other forces, throw them together on an exhilarating and terrifying adventure. Well written if somewhat over done with flowery metaphors.  My attention was kept from beginning to end and had a few edge of my seat moments. Wouldn’t mind reading the next one.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Mary Rosie's War by Catherine M. Byrne

I wanted to like this book as it was set in the North of Scotland and it was historical fiction, but ultimately I was left a bit frustrated by the pace of the book and some of the characters decisions. But if you like a slow paced coming of age story, this one will be for you. I gave it 3 stars as it does have a lot of good points too. Here is the review and click on the pick to take you to Amazon.



This was a nice story set in the north of Scotland, England and France. Three young people: Mary, Johnny and Liesl find their lives irrevocably changed by war. We mostly follow Mary and her growth from a 17 year old Caithness country girl into a serious woman shaped by World War two. My problem with the book was mostly with pace. Mary to me wasn’t the most interesting person in the book. I found her mother far more intriguing. Her past was never fully developed and her budding romance with Sinclair again not quite fully explored. The relationship between Mary and Johnny was described at great length and its conclusion rather unsatisfying. (I don’t want to give the plot away, but the end left me a bit puzzled as to Mary’s decision.) Liesls time in Germany was dealt with in a chapter and Johnny’s time in France was equally quickly dealt with. For me they were exiting story lines with I would have liked to have seen much further explored. Gentle read for lovers of clean romance with just a little adventure.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Another Kind of Sunset by Susan W├╝thrich

I really wanted to read this book as it is in my favourite genre of historical fiction, but also it set in the aftermath of World War two; a period which is much less written about than WWII itself. The author was very kind in providing me with a copy as it was slightly above my usual reading budget. However I can recommend it and it more than worth its purchase price. 5 stars.



Plenty of books have been written about the Second World War, quite refreshing to find a book that deals with its aftermath. We meet Eve a young widowed mother of three. We read of her struggle to raise her kids in 1948 Britain. Not only does she have to deal with that, her grief but also the nursery business she built with her late husband. We can relate to Eve as she is a real woman dealing with very real problems and we can easily imagine ourselves in her shoes. The action moves between 1948 and 1975, but is mostly about those crucial after war years. The 1975 bit is interesting as her daughter Faith drops a bomb shell that has Eve questioning everything she knew about the man she came to love. I don’t want to give anything away about the plot as there are many different twists and turns, which had me eagerly turning my kindle pages. An interesting part of history and a book with a good substantial plot. Recommended. I received a free copy for a fair and honest review.