Sunday, 23 July 2017

Carole's Sunday Review: Mask of Innocence - Marion Shepherd

Oooops. two Carole post up by mistake! My bad


Author: Marion Shepherd
Title: Mask of Innocence 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: ebook
Published: Feb. 2017
Where I Got It: Netgalley

The Marchant family live in Cedar Grove, a majestic Tudor manor house nestled within the rolling Cotswolds hills. 


Upon the untimely death of their tyrannical father, Richard and Francesca Marchant are caught up in a web of dark family secrets, manipulation, murder, abduction and obsessive desires. 



Francesca is a rebellious and spirited young girl, despised by her stepmother Catherine, and relentlessly pursued by the obsessive Rufus Donaldson. She becomes the subject of a dangerous conspiracy to force her into an unwanted marriage, jeopardising her future with the man to whom she has given her heart. Can her brother, Richard, rise above his own lustful desires and save his beloved sister? 



I instantly fell in love with the cover and it seemed to be very interesting, so I decided I had to read this. 


The Marchant family seems to be perfect on the outside, but it is all a lie. When the mean dad dies, they hope it will get better, but it doesn't. There are so many family secrets and manipulation going on. Poor Francesca is being harassed and stalked by the nasty Rufus. Evil man. Stinks to be her. 



There were a lot of twists and turns and I found that refreshing. I had a hard time staying hooked though. Along with the twists and turns, there were a lot of slow parts that I skimmed over. I honestly felt like I was on a roller coaster. I was drinking in every word one moment and then the next moment I was yawning and waiting for the next exciting thing. 



The only character I could stand was Francesca at times. Isobel and Sanjay weren't bad either. However, I had a hard time connecting with anyone really, so it made it hard to stay hooked and curious what was going to happen next. 



The ending was really good! It was a nice way to tie everything together. So yes, this ended on a good note. 



In the end, this was okay. I had a hard time connecting with the characters and staying hooked with the story. There were a lot of good twists and the ending was done well. I do recommend it if you like historical fiction. I'll give this three stars. 









Carole's Sunday Review: Betrayal at Iga - Susan Spann

Author: Susan Spann
Title: Betrayal at Iga (Shinobi Mystery #5) 
Genre: Historical Fiction and Mystery
Pages: 248
Published: July 2017
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher)

Autumn, 1565: After fleeing Kyoto, master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo take refuge with Hiro s ninja clan in the mountains of Iga province. But when an ambassador from the rival Koga clan is murdered during peace negotiations, Hiro and Father Mateo must find the killer in time to prevent a war between the ninja clans. 

With every suspect a trained assassin, and the evidence incriminating not only Hiro s commander, the infamous ninja Hattori Hanz, but also Hiro s mother and his former lover, the detectives must struggle to find the truth in a village where deceit is a cultivated art. As tensions rise, the killer strikes again, and Hiro finds himself forced to choose between his family and his honor.



This is the fifth book in the series. I read the 4th one (I still need to back track and read the others) and I think you should at least read that one before this one. 

The mystery duo Hiro and Mateo continue. We get to learn more about Hiro and that made me happy. It was nice to see where he came from and how he became who he is. It was nice to get to know more about one of our heroes. I do admit I have a wee crush on Hiro. ;D

I liked the mystery too. It took a long time for me to guess who the murder is, but I did figure it out. Lots of subtle, under-the-table hints and clues. Looking back I am mad at myself for not figuring it out a few pages sooner. Kuddos for the author. 

I love the writing style of the author. She really knows how to weave characters, mysteries, and the world. Beautiful and I want to read more. 

My only issue with the story was how dragged out it felt. There was a lot of repeating information that we, the readers, already knew. But that is my only complaint. 

I can't wait to read more. I need to back up and read the other ones. I encourage reading book 1. Out of five stars, I'll give this 4 stars. 









Saturday, 22 July 2017

Saturday Night Movie: A Promise

A romantic drama set in Germany just before WWI and centered on a married woman who falls in love with her husband's protégé. Separated first by duties and then by the war, they pledge their devotion to one another.

Director: Patrice Leconte
Writers: Patrice Leconte (screenplay), Jérôme Tonnerre (screenplay) | Stefan Sweig (novel)
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman, Richard Madden |
Drama/Romance

Lenght: 1h 38 min


Musings:
Now this to be honest was a rather dull movie. A young man meets his boss' young wife. But nothing happens. They steal glances at each other. They talk. But nothing is said about love. They just are, they wonder, they go on with their lives.

So it's more emotional cheating, and well it does fit. They restrain from expressing what they feel, and it is not like I can blame him, or her for that matter. You can not help who you fall in love with.

But omg it was soooooo slow. I kept hoping the war would start and he would be sent away and I would finally see some action, but alas, that was not to be. But I am not saying it was truly boring. Now in its utter slowness I could watch it. It had its moments, but yes be warned. It is sloooooooooow.

As for the acting, yeah, they did well. And it's always nice to see Rickman.



Friday, 21 July 2017

Audio Review: Just the thing - Marie Harte

Gavin Donnigan left the Marine Corps a shell of a man, hounded by guilt for deaths he couldn't prevent. But teaching a self-defense class at the local gym brings some stability to his life-along with a gorgeous leggy blonde who won't give him the time of day. Zoe York lost her twin sister to a freak car accident a few months ago. She's been struggling to bury her grief, but it isn't until she signs up for a self-defense class with its distractingly hot instructor that she begins to come out of her shell again. With the memory of her sister telling her to live a little, Zoe decides a fling with buns-of-steel Gavin Donnigan might be just the thing. Soon they're sparring both in and out of the gym. And for the first time in a long time, each is looking forward to tomorrow.

My thoughts:
I have read about heroes with issues but Gavin sure suffered. He had PTSD and he cried. He cried! Those issues guys have a chip on their shoulders but they never cry. This felt real. He felt broken. He had spent 14 years in the marines and now he worked as a trainer. He tried to keep a smile on his face, but the guy was yes, broken.

Zoe is broken too. But not near as much. She is dealing with the loss of her sister. And this thing does bring them together. They both lost loved ones. They both grieve.

And there was a lot of smexy times. Like a lot. Like a bit too many for my taste as you know I skim things. But hey that does not bother me, I just go past it and get to the grieving, issues and romance stuff. But for those of you who like it, well there is plenty to go around.

I liked Gavin because he was so vulnerable. Zoe was the stronger one here and I liked to see them get closer and really have to work for it.

Conclusion:
A good book

Narrator: CJ Bloom
She did a good job, but her men sure sounds macho. But then they are macho so that makes sense.
All in all a good narration.

Audio CD, 10 h
Published July 4th 2017 by Tantor Audio
The Donnigans #2
Contemporary romance
For review



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