Posted in Book Review

A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles – 4*Review

Amazon

My Review -1

I’ve had this book on my to-read pile for over a year. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to read it but I wanted to savour it and until now, I never had the time. 

This story is full of historical detail and the pacing is quite slow, very much in the style of Russian literature. It is a very engaging tale full of beautiful imagery and vivid characters who come to life as you read. 

The history of Russia after the 1917 revolution is well documented. In this story, the main events are highlighted but it’s more about how the political and cultural change affected particular individuals who would probably have never known each other so well in imperialist Russia.

It is an enjoyable read, well written but you definitely need time to appreciate it.

I received a copy of this book from Random House UK, Cornerstone via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Street Soldier – Andy McNab- 5* Review

28677650

Mystery Thriller Blurb

Sean Harker is good at two things: stealing cars and fighting. One earns him money, the other earns him respect from the gang that he calls family.

A police chase through the city streets is just another rite of passage for Sean . . . as is getting nicked. But a brutal event behind bars convinces him to take charge, and turn his life around.

Now he must put his street skills to the ultimate test: as a soldier in the British Army. And the battlefield is London, where innocent people are being targeted by a new and terrifying enemy.

Undercover, under threat – only Sean Harker can save the streets from all-out war.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review -1

Street Soldier

The story’s vivid imagery draws the reader into the world of London’s street gangs. Sean Harker has many commendable qualities, despite his criminal intentions and is an easy anti- hero to identify with, whatever your age but particularly for the intended late teen, young adult audience.
This is a hard-hitting story. The reality of Sean’s life as a gang member is often sordid but when his luck runs out, the chance to start again beckons but will he survive it? The scene setting of the first few chapters is so important for the rest of the story, as Sean’s new life collides with his old with alarming consequences.
Although Sean makes some questionable choices and friends, these illustrate his naivety, despite his former life as a gang member. The plot is simple to follow but the strong characters make it exciting and page turning and Sean is definitely a character who could have more adventures in future books.
‘Street Soldier’ is great storytelling with a realistic edge. Fast paced action with a true hero and an overriding theme of hope, whatever the challenges.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

Street Soldier by Andy McNab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Street Soldier by Andy McNab

Andy McNab

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3* Review: The Last Clinic Gary Gusick

The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavannah MysteryThis story didn’t pull me in straightaway but I persevered and enjoyed it when I familiarized myself with the characters. The plot is political and covers the sensitive issue of abortion. There were no surprises everyone reacted as I expected.

Darla Cavannah is an interesting female detective with a tragic past. She moved to Jackson with her husband a pro-footballer forced to retire through injury. When he dies she stays even though much of the area’s culture and population are alien to her.

The cast of support characters are well-developed and often irritating but memorable. I felt some of the minor characters came across as stereotypical. As I am unfamiliar with this part of the U.S.A. I’m not sure if the characterizations and prejudices portrayed are realistic.

The romance between Stephen the gynaecologist at the centre of the anti-abortionists hate campaign and Darla is sweet with a happy ever after. As this is the first book in the series I think the romance reached its happy ever after too soon, I wonder where it will go in the next book.

There was a predictability about the plot and twists which may have been intentional I felt like I was reading an episode of ‘Murder She Wrote’ or ‘Castle’. They were no real surprises but a reassuring familiarity.

That said it was an easy quick read and I would read another to see how Darla develops as a character.

I received an ARC from Random House Publishing Group – Alibi via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavannah Mystery by Gary Gusick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Last Clinic  A Darla Cavannah Mystery

Gary Gusick

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4* Review Heating up the Holidays Lisa Renee Jones/ Mary Ann Rivers/Serena Bell

Heating Up the Holidays 3-Story Bundle

Heating up the Holidays Lisa Renee Jones/ Mary Ann Rivers/Serena Bell

Heating up the Holidays is not the usual compilation of holiday themed romantic stories. The sensual heat level enhances the romance. There are elements of forbidden love and risk in all three stories which increase the sexual tension between the heroine and hero.

‘Play with Me’ by Lisa Renee Jones is my favourite.

Dynamic characters Damion and Kali are both damaged from previous relationships. Damion is a sexy, dominant alpha male who meets his match in Kali, a strong-minded intelligent woman able to meet and exceed his expectations in every way.

Essentially a work based romance set around Thanksgiving the fast paced plot full of intrigue, conflict and twists is a great read.

The dialogue is witty. The love scenes are hot, realistic and emotional and their love story fraught with conflicts which make the happy ever after ending satisfying.

‘Snowfall’ by Mary Ann Rivers is the most unusual of the stories.

Jenny is an intellectual woman with a degenerative eye condition. Evan is an Occupational Therapist who helps her come to terms with her illness. Jenny is lonely and frightened and serendipity leads her to form an online liaison which involves more than conversation.

The main plot twist has dramatic irony because most readers will guess the true identity of her online lover before Jenny does.

Detailed the story’s pace is slow in parts.

Atmospheric the story portrays the naivety of Jenny and Evan and the love scenes and their emotional reaction to them appear more teenage than adult.

A distinctive voice makes this story an overall interesting read.

‘After Midnight’ by Serena Bell is lovely romantic tale

A reverse Cinderella where the hero Miles leaves just after midnight and Nora the heroine has no contact details for him.

Miles is under suspicion and has lost his fiancee. Nora has been deceived big time by a deceitful ex. Both attend a New Year’s Eve party under duress but find each other just before midnight. The kiss they share is memorable even after almost a year of separation.

The love scenes start on the phone when Nora discovers Miles’s identity and conclude when she pays him a surprise visit. Despite their physical insatiability lack of trust and self-awareness leads to broken hearts. Can they save their love at the next New Year’s Eve party?

This book is a quick, fun read.

I received an ARC from Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Heating Up the Holidays 3-Story Bundle by Lisa Renee Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Heating Up the Holidays 3-Story Bundle

Lisa Renee Jones
Mary Ann Rivers
Serena Bell

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4* Review A Most Devilish Rogue Ashlyn MacNamara

A Most Devilish Rogue


The title ‘ A Most Devilish Rogue’ initially drew me to this book. I expected a Regency romp where the hero is dashing and debonair and the heroine is feisty and beautiful and this is exactly what the book delivers but in a unique and interesting way.

After reading the whole story I’m convinced the title doesn’t do it justice. The depth of the emotion conveyed by the writer and her clever layering of the conflicts facing our devilish hero George and our heroine Isabelle make it a far more satisfying read than the Regency romp I expected.

I particularly liked her exploration of what Regency society expected of men.
George has an artistic skill which he has spent most of his life suppressing because his father considered it unmanly. He was driven into the life of a rakish rogue by his father’s and society’s expectations.

Isabelle’s fall from grace is sensitively portrayed. It is an essential element of Regency novels that ladies are expected to remain demure and pure until they achieve the point of their existence a good marriage. Isabelle is not the usual Regency heroine because she succumbed to a heartless rake at a tender age and was banished both by her high-born family and the Ton.

Usually the hero saves the heroine before her reputation is lost,not so here. This is a story of pride, forgiveness, strength of character and learning to grasp the opportunity of happiness when it is offered.

What this story lacked in Regency glamour it made up for in emotional battles between George and Isabelle.

The love scenes are sensual and realistic and enhance the emotional depth of the story. When George and Isabelle finally achieve their HEA you really feel they deserve it.

I enjoyed this book which is the second in the series. I haven’t read ‘A Most Scandalous Proposal’ yet, the first book in the series but I definitely will now.

I recommend ‘A Most Devilish Rogue if you’re looking for a unique romantic, Regency historical read.

I received an ARC from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Most Devilish Rogue

A Most Devilish Rogue by Ashlyn Macnamara

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ashlyn Macnamara

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