Review: Piece of Mind by Michelle Adelman

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I admit, I’m a sucker for young adultish stories about people facing challenges of all kinds.  Physical, emotional, mental…I love reading about how people overcome obstacles to succeed.

Lucy has a happy life.  Maybe some people would disagree, but as a victim of a traumatic brain injury at age three, her life is as good as she could hope.  Sure, she still lives at home with dad at the ripe old age of twenty-seven.  But they have their routines, and consistency is what she thrives on. She has trouble relating to people and depends on her dad to help her stay organized and on schedule.

All that changes, however, when her dad suddenly dies leaving her an orphan.  Thankfully she has a brother to swoop in and take over, albeit a younger brother.  Nate finds himself having to give up college, his band, his independence, pretty much everything as Lucy moves into his tiny apartment with him.  Of course there are many struggles to adjust, and some of them don’t go so well.  Lucy has to ask herself if she’s truly as helpless as she’s led herself to believe.  Or has she been making excuses all these years?

This could easily be called a coming of age story even though Lucy is older than your typical young person who tries to find herself.  But there are real problems for Lucy as she faces the prospect of being on her own, finding romance, taking on a job. The story feels authentic from beginning to end and encompasses all you would imagine such a person going through.  Very enjoyable!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Piece of Mind

 

Review: Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber


Though it’s the last in the Rose Harbor series, Sweet Tomorrows read as beautifully as a standalone novel to me. 

Jo Marie and her inn work their magic on handyman Mark… until he pours out his heart and then lays down some surprising news. Lucky for her, newcomer Emily arrives, offering distraction as well as a helping hand. 

Emily needs healing of her own, but finds more complications when she sees a possible future home in the renovated house down the street. 

I loved the comforting tone of this story. Macomber wrote the inn as a respite, and it certainly came across as warm and inviting.  Jo Marie’s and Emily’s journeys were gradual and authentic, their feelings believable, and their resolutions satisfying. After reading Sweet Tomorrows I wished I had read the whole series! 

-calliope

Buy SWEET TOMORROWS

Review: Reaper’s Fire by Joanna Wylde

01 ar My feelings are bit all over the place for this book. I’m not sure what to think here. I was expecting one story and I got another. We met Gage in Reaper’s Fall. We saw a glimpse of Tinker too, but not too much. I was anxious to see what their story entailed, but it just didn’t turn out like I thought.

Let start out by saying that I liked Tinker. She was fantastic. She was way to good for Gage, but she still wanted him. Bad thing was he was undercover for the Reapers and had a girl/lover with this new club. He was with her practically the entire time. So this book had a slow burn in the romance department. Gage wanted Tinker, but he needed to finish this job, or his and her life would be on the line.

There was quite a bit of tension throughout this story. This club wasn’t doing things the right way and sometimes Tinker was mixed up in the middle of the mess and that stressed me out. I understand where Gage was coming from, but I wish he just dropped the undercover stuff and ran with Tinker.

While I am happy we get to see Gage’s story, there was so much I felt that should’ve been resolved. I felt that the ending was rushed and it left me wanting more. The timelines between this and Reaper’s Fall were a bit off, so I was getting mixed up. I know I’ll continue with the series, but I hope each book stays separate from now on.

~Melpomene

Buy Reaper’s Fire HERE.

Review ~ The End of the Affair by Graham Greene. 

You know, there’s nothing like going back to an old favorite! Make your favourite drink, prepare some favorite snacks, change into your comfortable clothes and sit back and relax into blissful familiarity. 

I’ve read this book multiple times and I still think that this is possibly one of the most complex, and realistic, dissections of human emotion.  Love, hate, confusion, lust and friendship, all play their parts. However, Greene does not do what most writers do and give each emotion it’s own familiar little compartment; love and hate often get mixed together, becoming one and the same, lust is often the focus, with confusion rearing its ugly head at the most inappropriate moments, and friendship arises, and ends, from the most obscure places. 

This is certainly not a plot driven novel. We know that the affair has ended before we even read the first page. We know another important fact as well, before we get even a quarter of the way through. This novel examines reactions, and the consequences of those reactions, whether it be physical or emotional. 

   We read books to escape, I get that. But sometimes it’s nice to realise that those effed up emotions that you feel at the most inappropriate of times, are completely normal, and quite frankly, inevitable. 

Give this classic a go – it’s short, but packs a major punch.

~ Pegasus.  

The End of the Affair

Review: Santorini Sunsets by Anita Hughes


Brigit is preparing for her dream wedding … to a dream guy. Blake may have come from modest beginnings but he’s rich and famous now. And he gets along well with Brigit’s family (but maybe too well).  

As Brigit, Blake and their families wrap up the last weeks of planning in picturesque Santorini, Greece, Brigit’s broody ex-husband shows up. 

Nathaniel still loves Brigit, but she’s pretty focused on Blake. I liked that Brigit stayed true to herself the whole time. She didn’t sell out or lie or betray. And neither did Blake and Nathaniel. Hughes wrote some terrific characters that didn’t compromise their own values. Each man and woman acted authentically, and the chips fell where they may.  

As always with Hughes’ exotically set novels, she richly describes landscape, sea, people, food, and clothing.  Reading Santorini was luxurious and satisfying, right up through the happily ever after. 

-calliope

Buy SANTORINI SUNSETS

Review: The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Series #1) by Bernard Cornwell

68527F’ing hell what a book. What in the world am I to read next as I can’t jump into book 2 right away. I need to savour this series and my beloved warrior, Uhtred Ragnarson…

That was all I could write when I finished this book and attempted to do a review. Really…I was just overwhelmed…now it has been several weeks and I still don’t know what to say…

Here is part of a conversation I had with with a mate when she told me she didn’t like historical reads:
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Really isn’t that different than some of the other stuff you’ve read honestly…except some of it is based on fact…King Alfred the great, the Danes and some of the battles…but people are people no matter the time…

Basically a young orphaned boy that discovers what it feels to loved and valued for the first time in the enemy’s camp…later his loyalties are tested time and time again…people want him to be educated, but he just wants to be a warrior…

A quote that won’t leave my mind from the book

‘Touch a harp,’ I said, ‘and it just makes noise, but play it and it makes music.’

The same is true about writing…put letters on a page and you just have words, but written by a gifted writer and true magic can happen….

Once again (never happens enough for me) a book I’ve read that is well deserving of its high ratings…
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That’s what this book was to me…true magic….I am ready to continue on with book 2…let’s be honest…I can’t stop thinking about book 1, even though it’s been near two months…I might as well follow my heart and carry on…

as testament to another quote from the book…

Destiny is everything

Until next time…

Urania xx

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

Review: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

01 aclo This has to be the one of the most unique books I have ever read. Unique in the sense that I’ve never read Steampunk before. All the talk of gears and ray guns and such was just wild for me. Now toss in vampires, werewolves and ghosts and you have the making a crazy story. Not to mention romance, cuz of course I need romance in my stories. This was just plain fantastic.

When Lucy decided to visit her cousin, Kate, she thought she was there to merely help her get well. She had no idea that she was about to get sucked into such drama. From pushy relatives to ghost hauntings, she has more on her plate than she ever thought possible. Last thing she wants is to deal with a mean, yet handsome, man who seems to be everywhere she looks. I liked Lucy. She had spunk. She wasn’t going to let anything scare her off until she figured out what was making her cousin sick. Not even the big bad beast could move her along.

Miles was fun to watch. Yes, he had is secrets. Yes, he was brash. But he cared for his family and was trying to do the best for them. In the ways of the “beast” it was sweet to see him fall for Lucy, even though he didn’t want to. He tried to protect her and push her away, but she wasn’t taking any of his crap. These two were too stubborn to not connect with each other.

The best part of this book is that it’s clean. As with all Proper Romances, this story has nothing to hide. Teens to adult can enjoy this story without worrying about sexy scenes. I look forward to letting my daughter read this when she’s ready.

I’ll admit, I had no idea what I was getting myself into here. I have no idea what’s “traditional” steampunk and what isn’t. I still don’t know. But what I do know is that I completely enjoyed this story. And if all steampunks are like this one, then I know I found another genre to add to my TBR.

~Melpomene

Buy Beauty and the Clockwork Beast HERE.