Review: Teardrop Lane by Emily March

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Rose is a small-town physician who always keeps her cool. Unless she’s alone – and then she grieves her demons. Cicero is a brooding, passionate glass-blower whose temperament can be as hot as the furnace. Through the love they have for Cicero’s nieces and nephews, Rose and Cicero see past the facades and fall in love. Sometimes love isn’t realistic, though, and a relationship might not be in the cards.

As usual these days, what I really loved about this romance was the inclusion of familial love and loyalty. Rose and Cicero put the children first, no matter what. It was also fun to read about glassblowing. March did a wonderful job describing the process and the resulting art – so much so that I could envision each glass piece as Cicero created it.

Even though Cicero wasn’t the expected alpha hero type that I usually read, I enjoyed this love story for its warmth, fantastic locale descriptions, and the art of glassblowing.

-calliope

buy TEARDROP LANE (An Eternity Springs novel)

Review – Cross and Burn by Val McDermid.

17572973Fair warning: this is book 8 of a series, and even though you can technically read it as a standalone, I would highly recommend reading the previous novels in order to truly understand the relationships of the characters.

There’s nothing quite like returning back to that series you love – the comfort food in the book world. For me, this is one of those books. Part of the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series, Val McDermid has written yet another brilliant installment. If you’ve never heard of McDermid, she is a Scottish crime writer who has written many successful books, both standalone and part of this series. I highly recommend you check out her standalone novels, if you’re not interested in picking up another series.

Cross and Burn begins not long after the events of the previous novel. The killer of the day is one that is seemingly hunting victims that have a strong resemblance to DCI Carol Jordan. Is this killer obsessed with Carol, or is there another motivation driving him/her?

As per usual, McDermid pulls no punches when getting into the psyche of the killer and the actions the killer takes. Gruesome, yet scarily realistic, McDermid’s ability to shock the reader whilst never going too over the top, is on top form. The relationship between the titular characters is also very well written. Even after 8 books, McDermid still manages to find new nuances to explore and always keep the reader on their feet.

If you’re looking for a fun new series than I highly recommend this one. You can start with The Mermaids Singing (Tony Hill / Carol Jordan Book 1) if you want to start afresh (which I recommend), but don’t come complaining to me when you get hooked and that TBR pile gets a little bigger!

Until next time,

Pegasus

Cross and Burn (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Mystery)

Review: It Must Be Your Love by Bella Andre

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I’ve never really been into rock stars, but Bella Andre made me a fan in about two chapters. Ford is the rock star of every woman’s dreams. He’s so perfect that you can only believe he’s a character in a book, but he’s written so well he seems pretty darn real.

Mia Sullivan is a successful realtor with a pretty fulfilling social life. Except that she can’t stop thinking about that time she met Ford at a concert… and fell in love.

While I think Andre wrote a fantastic alpha hero and a believable, strong yet feminine woman, I think the strength of this book goes beyond the amazing romance. As in every “Sullivans” book Andre writes, I appreciate the descriptions of family bonds, protective brothers, accepting parents, loyal cousins, and the laughter and trust that really good families foster.

It’s kind of wonderful to get lost for a few hours in hot and heavy liaisons, a wedding, a romance, and family full of love.

-calliope

buy IT MUST BE YOUR LOVE

Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

*1***Spoilers without spoilers***

yea…you read that right…..

So I won’t go into the whole entire picking the novel apart bit by bit….there’s really no need for that….it’s been done waaaay too many times…..This book is studied in schools, banned in schools, made into an opera, a film and is on so many book lists it’s just insane….is it deserving of all of that hype? yea…I reckon it is….I read a quote funny enough whilst reading this book….A story came out in The Guardian and it went like this…

“Some books haunt the reader. Others haunt the writer. The Handmaid’s Tale has done both.”

Yea….I reckon I can see that too….it certainly has haunted me and I can see how Atwood would feel haunted as well….

So I am gonna skip all of that and just tell you….read the book. If you love it…well, you’ll be glad you did….but this is one you can hate and still be glad you read as well….there is so much to ponder here…I can’t see how you would regret not trying this one out….

I would just like to briefly touch on the ending…

Here is the spoiler not spoiler bit I mentioned at the start…..

So many people hated how it ended….I for one loved it….but I often do love those types of ending….

but further than that…..why did it end like that?

This is what I have pondered the most about….obviously Atwood wrote all of her musings AFTER the fact…so why did she stop…..we know that she must have survived at least for a bit after the novel ends, right? She cared enough to write what she did….why? Did she have hope? For Luke? The child? Mankind? Women? Herself???? Was she offering hope? Was she trying to tell everyone that there wasn’t hope? Why…why…why…..more importantly….why did she stop writing?

I wonder if she stopped because she lost all hope…..if without the slim light that her hope offered…well…if it all just extinguished for her…her writing…her hope….even her life….

or was that hope realised and she just chose to walk away from the memories of the past….

I’m pretty sure it’s one of the other….I don’t think in my mind there is any other way….I don’t believe she died in the midst of her writing…I don’t believe she lost the book….

I believe she walked either into that light…or away…

So it leaves me ponder….is there life if there is no hope?

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Review, Falling For Jillian, by Kristen Proby

01fallI am seriously LOVING this series!!!

SYNOPSIS
Jillian thought she was a city girl through and through; the fast cars, high fashion, and glamour—she loves it all. But when her ex tells her he’s having a baby with his new wife (after Jillian struggled for years to get pregnant), she hightails it back to Montana to cry on the shoulder of her best friend, Cara.

But in truth, Jillian would rather be comforted by someone else…specifically Zach, Cara’s brother-in-law. Zach is a veteran of the Iraq War who came back to the family ranch to raise his preteen son after the boy’s mother took off. He’s struggling to re-establish a relationship with his son, and warding off the demons of PTSD, which still haunt him. The last thing he needs is bold, brassy Jillian…but why can’t he keep his hands off her?

This series is the perfect combination of sweet and saucy. You wanna be the girl’s friends just so you can hang out with everyone. But at the same time, you wanna rip the guys from off their arms. These guys are the best. They are strong and very protective of their women.

Jillian is home, after a disastrous and emotional divorce, and is trying to move on. She is also trying not to bring up a very heated experience she had with Zach, her best friend’s brother-in-law. But as she’s trying not to dwell on it, he can’t seem to think of anything else.

I know the synopsis says PTSD, but it really isn’t mentioned. It really isn’t talked about, nor is it the focus of the story.

The focus is Zach trying to remind Jill that they’re so very good together, while trying to keep the friendship they’ve already established. And that she is good for his son and she just may be the perfect piece in this puzzle called life.


I smile as I take her in: those small, strong hands clenching the quilt, her slender form hidden beneath about six inches of fabric from neck to feet.

Yet, she’s the prettiest thing God ever put on this earth.

Personally, I think the theme should be good things, no great things, come to those who wait. It truly does.

~Melpomene

Pre-order Falling for Jillian (Love Under the Big Sky Book 3)

While this can be read as a standalone, I think you should read the first two books, to really get the experience.
Loving Cara (Love Under the Big Sky Book 1)
Seducing Lauren (Love Under the Big Sky Book 2)

Review: Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman

17155735Never one to shy away from reading about difficult topics, it was with great anticipation that I began this book by Alyssa Brugman. And let me just say that “difficult” is putting it mildly. But in this case, that’s not a bad thing.

The story centers around 15 year old Alex Stringfellow as she tries to reconcile who she is with what her family wants her to be. You see, she’s been raised as a boy. Dressed like a boy, enrolled in school as a boy, even given hormones to help the process along. But Alex has always felt in her heart that’s she’s a girl. So begins her journey to claim both her independence and her identity.

This is a story about many things. It’s about gender identity, sexual preference, family conflict, and fitting in. It wasn’t an easy read, but life isn’t easy. It’s an important story to hear as the author’s words takes us deep into Alex’s world as she struggles to find her place in the world. A great read about a contemporary subject handled with love and care by a skilled author!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Alex As Well

Review – Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami.

19288239I’ve just finished Murakami’s latest offering and I’m torn between really liking it, or feeling shortchanged. Out of all the Murakami novels that I have read, this one is perhaps his “simplest”. Why do I use air quotes, you ask? Well, even though the plot is basic in terms of narrative, the reader is still treated to the lexicon, syntax, emotional complexity, and philosophical internal turmoil that are all trademark Murakami.

The plot centers around Tsukuru Tazaki who was once a member of a tight knit group of friends before he seeks out new adventures at college in Tokyo. Upon returning to his hometown on a break, he discovers that his friends no longer want anything to do with him, and will not give him an explanation as to why. What ensues is Tsukuru going about his life wondering what he has done. Throughout the story, Tsukuru goes on a journey to discover what is the true essence of friendship, love and the choice we make in order to live our lives.

The plot has been hashed out a million times before, however, fans of Murakami will know that he is able to add a new passion to this, some argue, overused trope of “finding yourself”. This novel won’t necessarily appeal to the masses; Murakami, although becoming evermore popular, still has a niche fan base. However, I do think that it could well be a great beginners novel if you have never read any Murakami but are curious to see what his writing is like. Being only around 375 pages, it is just right to get a taste.

My only gripe with this novel was that it seemed to offer more than what it could deliver. I can’t go into details as it would spoil plot points, but even though I’m not looking for a nice little bow tie wrapped ending, I do feel as though it could have been 100 pages longer. But I suppose that is me just being greedy!

Give this one a go. You might love it and discover a new favourite author, or you may hate it and therefore not have to add to your TBR pile. You can’t really lose!

Until next time,

Pegasus.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A novel