Thursday, 21 July 2016

#504 ~ Longbourn

Longbourn

Longbourn by Jo Baker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars





Editor's Pick



Unusually, this is one that I bought (some time ago) and is not part of of my Kindle Unlimited package.  A bargain at £4.99 you can get it HERE.

A piece of fiction that is not only compelling, but well thought out and executed.

It focuses on a servant in the Bennet Household and mirrors from the point of view of the under stairs occupants what went on with Elizabeth and D'Arcy in Pride and Prejudice. Fair enough, this doesn't seem that exciting when one states the bare facts like that, but the skill and attention to detail that must have taken is second to none.

It is so well written, with both beautiful straightforward and complicated characters that I couldn't read it quick enough.

The production values were, as you would expect, really excellent. It's another's Editor's Pick from me. There were some highlights, one error and no bug bears for this one:

Location 532: 'kneeb-ritches'

Some of the highlights

Location 55: A definite highlight and a great example of how to weave words when describing the everyday detail in the hard life of a servant 
'Over the eastern hills the sky was fading to a transparent indigo.  Sarah, glancing up, hands stuffed into her armpits, her breath clouding the air, dreamed of the wild places beyond the horizon where it was already fully light, and of how, when her day was over, the sun would be shining on other places still, on the Barbadoes and Antigua and Jamaica where the dark men worked half-naked, and on the Americas where the Indians wore almost no clothes at all, and where there was consequently very little in the way of laundry, and how one day she would go there, and never have to wash other people's underthings again.'

Location 5290: 


'It was not the end, of course; it was just an end.  Mrs Hills thread may have become snarled up into an intractable knot, but others were still unspooling'

Location 5330:


'Threads that drift along will sometimes simply twine themselves together, without need for spindle or distaff:  brought into each other's ambit, they bind themselves tight with the force of their own torsion. And this same torsion can, in the course of things, bundle the resulting cord back upon itself, ravelling it up into a skein, returning to the point of its beginning.'

'ambit' - the scope, extent or bounds of something.

Bibliography details:

Longbourn by Jo Baker
Kindle Edition, 448 pages / Published August 15th 2013 by Transworld Digital (first published 2013) / 
Original Title Longbourn / ASIN  B00CQ1D3BY / Edition Language   English


Happy reading.

xoxox


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Saturday, 16 July 2016

#503 ~ Dead Romantic

Dead Romantic

Dead Romantic by Ruth Saberton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars






Editor's Pick




Absolutely loved this one. Novel plot with well-shaped and believable characters.

Ruth Saberton has the knack of realistic and sparkling dialogue which is really funny and authentic.

Producers and Commissioners out there, this book would translate so well to a film plot or for TV and literally would be 'totes hilare'.

It wasn't until I was putting this review together that I realised Ruth Saberton is also author of the Polwenna Bay series, which I am love too.

Nice to see fabulous production quality, I only think there was one (or maybe two) tiny thing:

Location 2680:  '...a long-ago December when Dad spend all Christmas ...' - spent.


Unless stated otherwise, most of my reading these days is part of my Kindle Unlimited reading package, but there are one or two old books that aren't, or I have to purchase them to get a full set of a series!

Happy reading.



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Monday, 11 July 2016

#502 ~ The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse

The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse: An Extraordinary Edwardian Case of Deception and Intrigue

The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse: An Extraordinary Edwardian Case of Deception and Intrigue by Piu Marie Eatwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars




Interesting story, and true, story, but written with a little too much eye on the plain facts. It would be so much more interesting if it was written into a fictional piece. At time this book was a little slow going.

The odd error, but on the whole not a bad production value.  Errors found were:

Location 2477:  '...ched' - watched

Location 2489: 'Thomas ner Turner' - Thomas Warner Turner

Location: 2499: 'Harrig-ton' - Harrington



Happy reading

Hugs

xoxox



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Sunday, 10 July 2016

#501 ~ Burying the Honesuckle Girls

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars









Although not quite sure at first, this turned out be a first-class read. In fact, I would say that I could truly class it as an Editor's pick, and highly recommended.

I did discover something reading this: I don't mind "gotten" when it's in a contemporary, or location appropriate setting. When in this book the use of that word (and not overly so) seemed to fit.

It's a nicely stranded contemporary and historical family saga, which moved me to tears at the conclusion.

Without giving too much away, the plot at the end reminded me of my own childhood growing up in a village with a large and very scary Institution at one end ... so many lives ruined sometimes through genuine mental health issues and disabilities that were hidden away, and most distressingly of all, just some patients that had simply failed to keep to the strict moral code of the day or to bow down to a voice of authority.

This book is a nicely judged piece of work, with a very high production value - just one mistake, which (as usual) is detailed on my blog.

For a first novel, it is exceptionally well done, and I look forward to more by Emily Carpenter.

Hugs

xoxox



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Saturday, 9 July 2016

#500 ~ The Wicked Lady

The Wicked Lady (The Ladies, #4)

The Wicked Lady by Brenda Jernigan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars





Book 4 in the 'Gentlemen Always Play Fair' Box Set Compilation, and thank goodness for that - Location 21980 thankfully onward to the conclusion.




Quite frankly, I am as fed us reviewing these mediocre offerings as you are probably reading the fact that I have nothing to say about them other than the errors etc. Stick with the reviews though, there has been much, much better reading going one.

As far as this books is concerned, it was lucky to make 2 stars and not be consigned to the DNF pile out of sheer lack of production values, interest or writing skills.

By this point in the exercise I am so fed up that I don't think I can be bothered to list the actual errors and bug/bears, but just to be thorough I will force myself.

Location 22410: '...got a handful of jelly as she snatched him to his feet...' - jam in the UK, and probably historically known preserve.

Location 22600: '...sidewalks' - nope.

Location 22958: 'bourbon' - Brandy or Whisky.

Location 23209: '...Chatsworth' - the country seat of the Dukes of Devonshire, if you are going to name an estate, don't use one that is so obviously not connected with the characters.

Location 24454: '...don't mind fixing two horses for us?' - are they broken?

Location 24913: 'She bumped his shoulder, and the connection forced her to backed up'.

Location 24918: '...cream-coloured pants'. - Have a little look at the Two Nerdy Histrory Girls blog for some pointers on historical dress(both American writers and both knowledgeable - they are most definitely not 'pants'.

Location 25543: 'A cool breeze tease Kristen's lose strands of hair...' - teased and lose is past participle of lost, so that would be loose.

Location 25983: 'Trevor's mouth moved in such an mesmerizing way...' - a mesmerizing way.





Having considered all the books in the set, I would think that a three star rating overall would be appropriate, but only just if I still had the possibility of half stars it would have been 2.5.

Do I wholeheartedly recommend it?  No, not unless you are into poorly written and produced historical romances without the feel of decent research or effort.

Happy reading.

Kay xoxox










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Friday, 8 July 2016

#499 ~ My Highland Lord

My Highland Lord (Highland Lords)

My Highland Lord by Tarah Scott

My rating: 2 of 5 stars






Book three in the 'Gentlemen Always Play Fair' Box Set Compilation.




Peppered with errors, showing fairly low production values.

Quite frankly boring, and at points in danger of getting 'DNF'. Rather than better the books in the set seem to be getting worse. So far I can find no merit, and I really wish I could. Still, literature is subjective and it is impossible to please everybody, sometimes that undefinable spark is missing.

Rating for this book 2 stars, and as mentioned in previous posts, I will given an overall rating for the whole box set.


Third book in the 'Gentleman Always Play Fair Box Set (from location 10575 to 16316)


Location 10835: '... his waistband at it his back...'

Location 11171: '...she could taste the saddle soap he had washed with that morning'.  Saddle soap is something for cleaning tack, not for a Gentleman to wash with.


Location 11306:  '... this was just the sort of information she was obliged to investigation.'


Location 15023: 'She jammed her forced between her breasts pressed and his chest.' ?


Location 15467:  'Her dear husband was holded up in a brothel.' - huh?


Location 15570:  'A soft moan emanate from her throat.' - emanated.


Location 16043: '... maximum amount damage.' - amount of.



Location 16083: '...where she and Kiernan were staying were staying she'd ...'



As mentioned before, for this box set I will rate each book and then give an overall rating for the whole set.


Happy reading.


Kay 




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Thursday, 7 July 2016

#498 ~ My Lady, The Spy



My Lady, The Spy (Brethren of the Coast, #2)

My Lady, The Spy by Barbara Devlin

My rating: 2 of 5 stars






Fourth book in the 'Gentleman Always Play Fair' Box Set (location 16322 to 21971), although as mentioned before I will be doing separate reviews and rating, and then at the end give the whole box set a rating based on sum of its parts.

The other two books so far in the box set scored three stars overall, which was judged on the usual, plot, pace, characterisation and also errors and highlights (sadly no highlights for either of them, or this one).

I have struggled how many stars overall to give this one based on the same criteria, given that there were not many errors it came out nearer a 3 star than 2, and thus I think I will generously go with the 3 stars. There wasn't too much else to say about it I'm afraid, it was not good, but neither was it truly terrible. Simply it suffered from the usual malaise of American grammar and a feeling of not enough true research to engender a truly authentic historical novel for that period. I am, however, quite hard to please, and others may love it and not be so bogged down with detail. It seems the more I study the subject of Creative Writing, the harder it is to please me.


Errors/Bug Bears/Highlights:

No highlights, and as you can see above general moaning about a feel of authenticity, i.e. 'entryway' (location 16796) and 'sidewalks' (location 17040).

Errors:

Location 16537:  'kept the miniature next to his.' - missing bit?

Location 17632: 'Just when things were getting interesting, she was relegated to the position of hall monitor.' - I rest much case about authenticity of language or phrase for historical novels, especially ones centred around England.

Location 17903: 'Well, that is just swell dandy fine.' - see comment above and insert derisive snort.

Location 20437: 'rested a shoulder on the sidewall ...' - oh dear, oh dear, oh dear what would be wrong with just 'leant against the wall wit a furrowed brow'?

As mentioned in the previous posts, I will rate each book separately and then given an overall rating to the box set at the end.


Happy reading.

Kay xoxox









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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

#497 ~ Highlander in Her Bed

Highlander In Her Bed (Highlander, #1)

Highlander In Her Bed by Allie Mackay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars









The second book in the Kindle Unlimited Box Set 'Gentleman Always Play Fair' (locations in the box set are 4414 to 10567).

The story started quite well with an attempt at humour, but failed to add up to anything substantial.  It simply did not gel I am afraid, in fact I would go so far as to say that the pace of the plot was on the slow side.

Unfortunately gaining no more stars that its already reviewed counterpart (for the same reasons) and also a few errors. I looked hard, but could not come up with any highlights.



Errors/Bug Bears and no highlights:

Location 4759: 'dash the flew blocks.'  ARGGGH blocks, we do not have 'blocks' and it is most definitely not correct in novel about England - lack of bloody research.  This is one step down from 'gotten'.

Location 9649: 'done by a highly talent artist.' - talented.

As mentioned in my previous post, I will rate each book and then give an overall rating at the end.

Happy reading.

Hugs

Kay 
xoxo

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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

#496 ~ My Lord Wicked

My Lord Wicked

My Lord Wicked by Cheryl Bolen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars










Purchased as Kindle Unlimited as a Box Set Compilation: 'Gentlemen Always Play Fair'. In the box set it is location to 4404.

This is the first in that set, and I am hoping that the remainder of them will be more interesting and less predictable and Americanised attempt an an historical romantic novel - granted, it's not the worst one I've read, but it was far from the best either.

There were several errors, and the usual lack of conjunctions, I knocked off a star from its ultimate rating beause of this.

As usual, the errors/bug bears, and in this case no highlights are:-

Location 1428:  'I have come to gt your permission have Bay Lady saddled'

Location 2212: 'She slid her feet to the steps and count.' 

Location 2954:  ' ... to lep from he sofa and trot over to the window, where he leaped upon it sill.'

Location 2998: '... Morton while his brother played at host.'

Location 3102:  '... him being the head of the family and all.' [insert snot of derision here!]

Location 3571:  '... he wrote him.' [insert further snort]

Location 3733: '... and gladly took the drank he offered.'

Location 4034: 'Never had he sullied the memory of the lovely blond with the dancing the blue eyes.'


I will do a separate review for the other books in the box set.  Each will get a star rating, and then at the end I will also rate the entire box set.

Happy reading.

Kay


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Monday, 4 July 2016

#495 ~ Runaway Summer

Runaway Summer (Polwenna Bay, #1)

Runaway Summer by Ruth Saberton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars




#Book 1 in the Series





When I mention something is a 'slow burner' that is not necessarily a derogatory term as far as I am concerned, and this book proved to be a slow burner of the decent type classification.

No surprises, to going the phrase of a well known advert, 'it does what it says on the tin', and I would class as a no-strings attached holiday or wet Sunday afternoon read that is pleasant and unassuming. I enjoyed, and will read the other books in the series, because I am a nosy cow, not because it was some huge piece of writing with major plot twists woven through it.

The production values seemed very high indeed, and I found no mistakes - trust me when I say I look quite hard for them!

Purchase Details:

Amazon Kindle Unlimited purchase for me, but it's available HERE.  At the time of writing this post the Kindle price is £2.99, having been reduced from £9.99 (that's quite steep).


Hugs

Kay 

xoxox




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Sunday, 3 July 2016

#494 ~ The Color of Secrets

The Color of Secrets

The Color of Secrets by Lindsay Ashford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars







I found it to be well-written and seemed to have an authentic resonance to it, which is usually generated by skill of the author coupled with sound research.

Although enjoyable, it scored a four with me, and for the life of me I can't put my finger on why it just did not reach a five rating - it could be that the more I read, the more harsh my opinion of them is.

Please, please don't be put off by it's lack of a further star ... it is good, well-written and enjoyable offering, but just not quite there for my own personal taste to get the fully whammy of marks.

The production values seemed sound too, and as I didn't highlight any notes, there are no errors/bug bears etc to be detailed here.

Purchase details


Like most of the books reviewed recently, this was purchased/borrowed as part of the Kindle Unlimited deal.  You can find a copy of the book HERE.  Although at £3.49 (at the time of preparing this post) it's a reasonably priced book.


Hugs

Kay



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#493- Letting in Light

Letting In Light

Letting In Light by Emma Davies

My rating: 5 of 5 stars







If I could rate it higher than five stars I would. It was the most beautifully written and carefully crafted story.

Emma Davies is an amazing author, weaving characters and setting into an evocative and compelling tapestry of the finest quality.

Setting the journey of the characters perfectly into a sinuous curve of well placed narrative with impeccable timing and pace.

Definitely an editor's pick for this year, and highly recommended.

Purchased as part of my Kindle Unlimited package on Amazon HERE, and read in one day as I couldn't put it down!



Highlights / Errors / Bug Bears:

No errors or bug bears, this was a piece of work with incredibly high production values.

A highlight:  'Room on the Broom' was mentioned.  Anybody who does that is a superb human-being.  It might of been the bedtime reading choice of my kids, but it was mine.

Author's website.


Happy reading.

Kay


xxooxx





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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

#492 ~ A Man Above Reproach

A Man Above Reproach

A Man Above Reproach by Evelyn Pryce

My rating: 3 of 5 stars







I borrowed this as a Kindle Unlimited book, and luckily it came along with a free audio file.

Whilst it had all the constitute parts, they failed to make a really interesting and completely satisfying whole. I am not sure why that was the case, now matter how much I think about it. Mediocre is the best way to describe this offering.

The inevitable 'gotten' made an appearance (something that I abhor) and it felt like a few inconsistencies: can somebody who will inherit a Marquisate have an elder brother?

On balance I can't award it more than a 3 star rating ... even though I would like to have been more generous.

Hugs

Kay

xxooxx


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Saturday, 25 June 2016

#491 ~ The Art of Letting Go


The Art of Letting Go

The Art of Letting Go by Chloe Banks


My rating: 4 of 5 stars






This book, the first I have read by Chloe Banks, was on the shortlist for the People's Book Prize in 2015, and when I first started reading for about a chapter I did wonder why.

It was a slow-burn read told from the perspective of several chapters in alternating sections, there was also a nicely done epistolary element between one of the main characters and her long-time friend - I liked the imagination of the author in mixing up the delivery a bit.

There were no major plot twists and turns, rather it meandered along at a nice clip. It wasn't seat of the pants reading, but it was enjoyable and highly recommended with somewhere between the lower end of 4 and 5 stars.

I purchased mine with Amazon Kindle Unlimited.  Details HERE.


Errors/Bug Bears/Highlights:

The production value was really quite good, with only one mistake that I noticed:

Page 53:  'in the pub like nay normal person ...' - probably should be 'any'.


Hugs

Kay

xxooxx



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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

#490 - In the Light of What We See


In the Light of What We SeeIn the Light of What We See by Sarah Painter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars











I found it to be fairly slowed paced, but please don't take that as a criticism - sometimes a meander is just as satisfying as a fast-paced adventure.

Without giving any spoilers, it's a two stranded book with a contemporary and historical (pre-WWII) flip between chapters and there is a paranormal element to add a little texture.

I like the cut of this author's jib - whilst this was a good read - it was a little safe. I am fairly confident that she could really turn up the gas to produce something truly outstanding.

As I am a Kindle Unlimited Member on Amazon I got this free, you can get hold a copy HERE.


Highlights: 

Page 67 - 'Okay.  Now I knew I would have to get better, so that I could kick him in the nuts.' 


Bug Bear/Error:

A really goo quality production for this, with just one error I spotted at Page 171 'aggrieved tone he often used.' - I think it should have been 'she'.


Hugs

Kay





#489 ~ The Towers of Tuscany

The Towers of Tuscany

The Towers of Tuscany by Carol M. Cram



My rating: 5 of 5 stars







This is the first time that I have read anything by this author, but I am so glad I decided to try it.

We'll leave the ending aside for now (I don't want to add any spoilers), and instead will just discuss the overall standard of penmanship - it was simply outstanding, beguiling and beautiful. I wouldn't say it can be described as a romance, but it is romantic ... in the end I classified it as a saga, as it has all the possible elements for it to be such a thing.

The ending, for me, was completely different from the picture that I had been building in my head, but thinking about it now it completely fits.

It's difficult to get a 5 Star plus rating out of me - this book has achieved it.


Purchased as part of my Kindle Unlimited Bundle, you can see it on Amazon HERE.

High quality production with no errors, which is always impressive.


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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

#488 ~ No-One Ever Has Sex in the Suburbs

No-One Ever Has Sex in the Suburbs

No-One Ever Has Sex in the Suburbs by Tracy Bloom

My rating: 5 of 5 stars







There is not too much to say about this book really, other than ... it was simply brilliant.

Tracy has a masterful use of dialogue which is set within perfect comic timing and incite.

I loved it, and now I'm off to play the Artic Monkeys very loud, very loud indeed.

As usual I purchased this through the Kindle Unlimited package, but you can pick up a copy HERE.

As a footnote, I thought I would mention that the production values on this were very high, and it is a quality piece of work from whichever way you look at it.

Hugs and Happy Reading
xoxox





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Sunday, 8 May 2016

#487 ~ Four Christmases


Four ChristmasesFour Christmases by Loretta Livingstone


My rating: 3 of 5 stars







Well constructed short stories; two with a religious theme.

They were nicely done - after studying A215 Creative Writing Module at University, I know how difficult it is to achieve a short story ... it is way harder than most people would assume.


I purchased my copy through Kindle Unlimited, you can find it HERE on Amazon.

Hugs and Happy Reading.


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Monday, 2 May 2016

#486 ~ Ghost Gifts

Ghost Gifts

Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella

My rating: 5 of 5 stars






Extraordinarily good, with really decently constructed characters.

I particularly like the modest pace and texture in the plot that kept me engaged and surprised by the plot twist.

I would certainly read Ms Spinella again.

The text only held two errors, which is a bonus, I like my books to have high production values.

Errors/Bug Bears:

Page 129:  'piss in his country-issue boots in heartbeat' - missing an 'a' there I believe.

Page 226:  'Pa said that all time'. - missing 'the'.

Purchase Details:

Another Kindle Unlimited book for me - this is such a brilliant option for somebody that reads a lot, but doesn't mind being restricted by the choices available.  At the moment I am pretty much sticking to it exclusively as I have limited recreational reading time, but will start buying more books when I have some more time University modules.

I got my copy HERE.  If you don't have the option to get a copy with Unlimited, at the time of publishing this the Kindle file was £3.98.

Happy reading.

Hugs


xoxo


Bibliography:

Spinella, L (1 March 2016), 'Ghost Gifts' published by Mortlake Romance on Amazon UK.




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#485 ~ Treasured by Thursday


Treasured by Thursday (The Weekday Brides, #7)Treasured by Thursday by Catherine Bybee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars




#7 of Weekday Brides Series



More of the same from Catherine Bybee - she is a good solid author, and it is nice sometimes to have a no surprises read; she is at what I would classify as holiday reading.

I borrowed this (along with all the series on Kindle Unlimited), but unlike all of the six books this one did not have the accompanying audio file. Very frustrating, and I don't understand why they would offer 6 out of 7 with audio format and leaving the concluding book in the series hanging high and dry without it - it's a problem specific to me I know, but still Amazon, why?

You can get a copy of this book HERE

Happy reading.

Hugs

xxoxo



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