Tag Archives: Books

Secrets She Left Behind – Diane Chamberlain

18 Nov

Finished – 18/11/2014

Synopsis – What if you did something so devastating, you regretted it for the rest of your life?

Nineteen-year-old Maggie Lockwood spent a year in prison for her part in a fire that cost three lives. The scars carried by the surviving victims – inside and out – are still raw and Maggie’s release from jail does nothing to free her from the guilt.

Returning home, Maggie hides herself away, too afraid to see Keith, the boy she grew up with, played with as a child – and recently learnt is her half-brother.

Keith nearly lost his life in the fire and the emotional and physical wounds he carries have changed him forever. With childhood innocence gone, Maggie and Keith must learn to come to terms with their new lives, but trying to move forward will have deadly consequences…

My Thoughts – Diane Chamberlain is fast becoming one of my favourite authors as her stories have me hooked from the start and this one was no different. The only thing that annoyed me a little was it was the follow up book to another and i didnt realise until I started to read it. It worked well as a stand alone book and everything was explained clearly but me being me I would have liked to have read the first one first! This book had me hooked and I read most of it in one sitting! A very much recommended book.

Rating – 4/5

A Girl Child – Donna Nitz Muller

12 Jul

Started – 3/7/13

Finished – 6/7/13

Format – Kindle e-book

 

Synopsis – Tillie is a German concert pianist in 1915. She is assigned by the German Military to an American tour in order to provide good-will and to spy. All the while she does her duty, she has an agenda of her own. She must rescue her sister from kidnappers. Tillie changes from a young lady on the brink of promise to a resourceful woman willing to sacrifice everything. As Tillie learns, desperate times lead to desperate acts. Her journey takes her from Frankfurt to Washington DC to France and to England. Even as she runs for her life, she finds love with a German Intelligence Officer. While she risks being shot as a spy, she performs her music. While she grieves for her fallen friends, she works to reach the child, Rose.

 

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book onto my kindle as it was free for a day and it had a lot of things in it that i thought I might enjoy reading. It is set during the first world war, it has Germany in it and is also about spying so I thought it might be a good book.

 

However I didnt really enjoy this book. It seemed to jump about a fair bit and it could have been a lot better if it had been padded out a bit more and things explained as to why it was all happening. This book had two plots one that involved the spying and one that involved Tillie getting her sister back. FOr some reason it seemed to have been thrown together a bit and should have concentrated on one or the other.

 

This book is the second in ther series and while i havent read the first i didnt think that it made all that much sense. I did enjoy reading about the German side of the first world war though.

 

Rating – 2/5

Brothers’ Fury – GIles Kristian

3 Jul

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Started – 22/6/13

Finished – 3/7/13

Format – Paperback Book

 

Synopsis

Rebel Cast out from his home, rejected by his family, Tom Rivers returns to his regiment. But his commander believes the young hothead’s recklessness and contempt for authority has no place in his troop. But to a spymaster like Captain Crafte, Tom’s dark and fearless nature is in itself a weapon to be turned upon the hated Cavaliers – who else would dare to infiltrate Oxford, now the Royalist capital, to destroy the King’s printing press and strike a blow at the very heart of the enemy? Renegade Raw with grief at the death of his father, Edmund Rivers rejects the peace talks between Parliament and the King. He chooses instead to lead a hardened band of marauders across the moors, appearing out of the frozen world to fall on unsuspecting rebel columns like wolves. But Prince Rupert – recognising in Mun a fellow child of war – has other plans for him, from stealing a colossal gun, to tunneling beneath the walls of Lichfield. The only peace the enemy will get from Mun Rivers is that of the grave. Huntress Her heart broken following the deaths of her beloved Emmanuel and her father, Bess Rivers takes the hardest decision of her life: to leave her new-born son and depart Sheer House in search of tghe one person who might help her re-unite what is left of her broken family. Risking her own life on the road, Bess will do whatever it takes to find her brother Tom and secure his Royal pardon

My Thoughts – I was sent this book by the publishers for a review.

 

Tom Rivers is a rebel fighting the King’s army during the British civil war. Left for dead on a battlefeild and nursed back to health after having his finger cut off by looters for his ring he has a point to prove to all those on the enemy side.

 

Edmund ‘Mun’ Rivers is fighting for the Kings course however he is now fighting with a group of marauders killing those who fight against the King.

 

Bess Rivers fresh from the loss of her father and Emmanuel, the father of her young son, sets off on a task to search out her brother for a royal pardon. However in order to do this she has to cross the English countryside during the civil war.

 

This is a very interesting book set during the Bristish civil war about three siblings that all have there own struggles to contend with while trying to stay alive and reach there own personal goals. I have read a few books set in this time period however they are normally on one side or the other. What makes this book unique is the fact that the story is told from both sides and more interestingly from the perspective of two brothers, both of whom think that there side is the better and should be the ones winning the war.

 

The brothers story is full of action and what it was like to fight during those times. It also brings into perspective just how many people died from the British Civil War. At times there is a lot of battle scenes and these are a little gorey but what with the type of book that it is it is to be expected and also to add to the story. It was a little sad with some of the battle scenes where some of the horses died but again that is another factor of the war during that time.

 

Bess’ story broke up the fighting and i feel that this really made the book. She is trying to get her brother back and get him a pardon but he proves to be a difficult person to find. She is not without danger though and this is told throughout the book.

 

This is the second book in the trilogy and unfortunatly I have not read the first one but now that I have read the second I really want to read the book. I found it very easy to pick up the story and while it may have been easier to pick up the story first if I had read the first in the series it wasnt to hard to get into it.

 

I found this book very easy to get into and I really enjoyed the story to it. I am going to get my hands on the first book in the series and also I cant wait for the next book to come out as it left on a very big cliffhanger.

 

Rating – 4/5

Avery Nolan: Private Dick of the Dead – Tony Faville

24 Jun

Started: 15/6/13

Finished: 22/6/13

Format: Kindle e-book

 

Synopsis – In homage to the pulp fiction and hard boiled detective dime store novels of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Tony Faville brings us a new look on those stories of the past. It is 1959, in New York City, the Cold War is in full bloom, and the Red Scare is everywhere. Private Investigator Avery Nolan is hired by the daughter of a missing research scientist to find him. What he finds instead is the KGB, possible government coverup, and the undead ready to tear the United States apart from the inside.

 

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book when I first had my kindle as it sounded like the sort of book that I would like. A bit of mystery, suspense and the Cold War! What could go wrong?

 

This book is about Avery Nolan, a private investigator that is hired to try and find a scientist who has gone mossing by his daughter. Not only has her father gone missing but he was working on a massive project that could impact the United States. Also Avery is trying to win over a girl in the library with the amount of information that he knows.

 

Well It is actually a very short book, just at over 150 pages on the Kindle and for the amount of story crammed into it it felt like it could have had an awful lot more inside it. I thought that the overall plot was good however I didnt like the massive amounts of fighting and beating people up for the answers.

 

Also the ‘virus’ part. This kind of just went away on its own so it would have been nice to have this expanded on a lot more as I felt this part was left hanging a lot.

 

This book was ok. Its not a genre that I read all that much so that could be why I couldnt get into the book very well.

 

Rating – 2/5

The Crimson Petal and the White – Michel Faber

15 Jun

Started – 16/5/13

Finished – 15/6/13

Format – Paperback Book

 

Challenges – Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

Synopsis – Keep your wits about you; you will need them …’ So begins this irresistible voyage into the dark side of Victorian London. Amongst an unforgettable cast of low-lifes, physicians, businessmen and prostitutes, meet our heroine Sugar, a young woman trying to drag herself up from the gutter any way she can. Be prepared for a mesmerising tale of passion, intrigue, ambition and revenge.

 

My Thoughts – I picked this book up as it was the reading circle book from last month. I had already got it on my TBR pile so it was the perfect opertunity for me to read the book earlier than I thought.

 

This book is about Sugar, a prostitute in Victorian London and her meetings with William Rackham of Rackham Perfumes and how there lives become entwined. It is definitaly a book of how the other half live with Sugar to start with living in complete poverty and William living in a wealthy house paid for by his father who set up the perfume company.

 

Not only Sugar and William feature prominatly in the book. There is also Williams wife Agnes who is not a very well lady and has a lot of issues but also William and Agnes’ daughter Sophie Rackham.

 

This book i felt was brilliant. I really enjoyed the story behind it and how many different twists and turns there were to the plot line. It is also a very unique writing style and i really got into this one straight away. The only thing i didnt like was the abrupt ending. I would have liked it to go on a bit more.

 

I loved how the character of Sugar developed too. She started off so headstrong and knew what she wanted and ended up almost loosing the plot. There is a fair bit of adult parts of the book however with the subject matter in question I do feel that it needed to be in there.

 

a much recommended book. It is a big book and it did take me a month to read but this in no reflection of the story, i loved it.

 

Rating – 5/5

Hollowland (The Hollows #1) – Amanda Hocking

17 May

Started – 12/5/13

Finished – 16/5/13

Format – Kindle e-book

Synopsis – Hollowland – the first book in the young adult dystopian series The Hollows..

“This is the way the world ends – not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”

Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way – not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book when i got my kindle a couple of Christmas’ ago as i went on a bit of a spree and it was free at the time.

I downloaded it because i saw ‘young adult dystopian series’ in the description and this is my favourite type of book so what could go wrong?

This book is about Remy who we meet in a compound that is under zombie attack. The end of the world is upon her and all she is interested in is finding her younger brother whom there is some mystery about. She mangages to avoid getting bitten by the zombies and her begins her journey to find her brother who she believes has been taken to another govenment compound.

She meets other people along the way, a doctor, a young girl that comes out of the compound with her, a former rock star and some other surviours.

Well i did enjoy this book, kinda. I have realised that I’m not a huge fan of zombie books now, well you live and learn, as i found them quite gresome for my liking. I thought the story was a bit to simular for my liking. Everytime they met the zombies it was very predictable what was going to happen. I wasnt overally keen on the writing style either, it was a bit too raw for my liking.

This is not to say that its a bad book because it wasnt, it just wasnt a book for me. i dont think I’ll read anymore of this series but this book does end on a big cliffhanger so I can see why others might want to continue the story.

Rating – 3/5

His Dark Lady – Victoria Lamb

14 May

Started – 25/4/13

Finished – 12/5/13

Format – Hardback Book

 

Synopsis – London, 1583.

 

When young, aspiring playwright William Shakespeare encounters Lucy Morgan, one of Queen Elizabeth I’s ladies-in-waiting, the two fall passionately in love. He declares Lucy the inspiration for his work, but what secret is Will hiding from his muse?

 

Meanwhile, Lucy has her own secret – and one that could destroy her world if exposed. No longer the chaste maid so valued by the Virgin Queen, she also bore witness to the clandestine wedding of Lettice Knollys and Robert Dudley, a match forbidden by the monarch.

 

England is in peril.Queen Elizabeth’s health is deteriorating, her throne under siege from Catholic plotters and threats of war with Spain. Faced with deciding the fate of her long-term prisoner, Mary, Queen of Scots, she needs a trusted circle of advisors around her now more than ever. But who can she turn to when those closest to her have proved disloyal?

 

My Thoughts – I got sent this book by the publishers as I read the first book in the series – The Queens Secret last year and really enjoyed the story. The book carries on from the first book, a bit of time has past since the end of the book and the start of this one but all the familuar characters are in it. Queen Elizabeth I, her sister Mary, all her court, Master Goodluck and of course Lucy Morgan who the story centralises on.

Will Shakespeare is very much a bit part to this book and I’m not overally sure if I liked the part that he played. I dont want to ruin it for others what he does but I’m not sure if I like it or not! However it was really good to read some fiction on his home life and that of his family like his daughter and his twins.

The love triangle from the previous book continues however it does kind of reach a head in this book. It did make me feel sorry for Queen Elizabeth I with how everyone was laughing at her but it was a good point to the book.

It did shock me with what happened to Mary I didnt really expect it in this book. This book tells the story of what life was like during that time, the plague, how horrible living conditions were and how many people did not live for very long.

The writing of this book is as beautiful as the first and it was really easy to get into the style.  I really enjoyed this book and i’m very hopeful that there is going to be more books in this series because i will definitaly be reading a brilliant book highly recommended by me.

Rating – 4/5