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Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Secrets of Married Women by Carol Mason

A book full of twists and turns in three very ordinary marriages and the cliche is very right. No one actually knows what goes on in a marriage.

Three friends Wendy, Jill and Leigh. Friends for a long while. All married with families except Jill who has no children. Each one with a career (of sorts) and life seems to be fine. Cracks appear with one - infidelity but Leigh is determined to keep it to a fling and nothing else. Six weeks, and then it becomes the length of summer and then she is out and back to Lawrence and Molly. The heart does not work quite like that and Leigh becomes besotted. She cannot cut the tie and in not doing so involves her friends as well.

Wendy seems staid and set in her ways. Husband and two young boys. Jill and Rob - the sad fact of not having children has created such a rift in their marriage. The elephant in the room which cannot be spoken about or discussed at least by Rob. Ignoring the issue and being careless of his feelings have left Jill very vulnerable. This leads to a crisis in her marriage.

More would be spoilers!

Friendship taxed beyond endurance, revenge, maliciousness, despair, unrequited love all strands of the story or rather stories here. Very commonplace tales, meticulously told and things that happen to all.

A very good book which was a relief from me from my diet of continuous murders and very gory happenings.

Sent to me by Netgalley, courtesy of 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Three different genres being reviewed here. Think there is something for everyone!

Old fashioned slower detective work by two women. One a country soul and one a high flying adventuress as described in the story. Two missing women and a lot of innuendo, gossip and the fact that women wearing trousers are rather immoral.

A look at how life was for women in a time not so very long ago. Descriptive, slow paced but interesting detective work.

Sent to me by Netgalley courtesy of Kensington Books.

I was a bit skeptical about this one because though I love the Georgette Heyer type of story, this was a bit too far fetched.

We have a governess who is sort of abducted by a Lord, who of course has to marry her now that her reputation is in tatters (nothing ever happened as he is a gentleman of course). But she is an heiress hiding away from a wicked uncle who had her incarcerated in an asylum to get his hands on her fortune.

The story with the feisty lady, the distant lord was good but the story was a little far fetched for my liking!

Sent to me by Netgalley courtesy of Escape Publishing.

This was a dark evil tale. Three sisters actually two sisters, one step sister. Two sisters trying to oust their father from a billion dollar worth company by having him institutionalised in a remote mental health facility.

Of course Dunbar being Dunbar (he never became a billionaire by taking the easy path) plans his escape with the help of an alcoholic comedian and succeeds. He is being sought by his youngest daughter for his protection because she does know that her two sisters are ruthless and would not hesitate to even murder both her father and herself (and this is what they eventually do) to get their hands on this vast conglomerate.

A fairly modern interpretation of King Lear, this was a tragic, sad tale of families split apart by greed and ambition.

Fast paced, descriptive, strong characterization.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review courtesy of Random House UK Vintage Publishing.

The Copenhagen Affair by Amulya Malladi

Set in very modern Copenhagen, the travails of depression, marriage and image having to be maintained all combine in a very modern, funny tongue in the cheek very British sense of humour type of story.

Sanya was a very supportive wife. She not only had a very demanding job but she also took on the role of carer to her daughter and was a very supportive wife to Harry. When a sudden breakdown happens in office to the surprise of all the onus is now on Harry. His plan is to move across the world to Copenhagen where he feels a fresh start with new people is just the pep that Sanya needs. In this he is clueless as to what makes Sanya tick and though he thinks he knows how to handle women, he does not and this makes it a comedy as well as farcical at the same time.

Alongside Harry's ineptitude is Sanya breaking out almost falling in love with two very different people and being perfectly happy about it. She who never thought of being unfaithful or even different to others, is now open to ideas, options and new ways of life!

How these very disparate ways of looking at life are brought together finally in a spirit of understanding and  respect and how each character reverses their usual form to accommodate the other is very well told.

Another nice aspect of the story is that throughout the author gives you glimpses into life in Copenhagen from its restaurants and bars to the general way of life there in that city.  It added a lot of vibe and color to the story.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Lake Union Publishing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

After She's Gone by Maggie James

The story is not an uncommon one. A young girl found strangled. No apparent clues as to who she was meeting. Sixteen years old with no boyfriend and just girl friends the family is nonplussed as to what her secrets and her life was.

Lorie her elder sister devastated, thinking she should have seen the signs. Dana her mother not even beginning to comprehend what has happened and an absent father who doted on the dead daughter to the detriment of the living one. There is a partner and his son who adds complications and twists to an already rather complicated plot.

Unravel ling the mystery is slow as is expected because there are secrets that are not being told. Each one keeps them close to their chest, hoping that that secret is not relevant to Jessie's murder. A tragedy of most families in that they think that keeping it swept under the carpet, means that it will stay under the carpet. Not so in this case. Very relevant and would have aided a lot of people if it all came out sooner rather than later.

An interesting thriller/murder/psychological profile with a horrible twist at the end. Did not see it coming myself.

Sent to me by Netgalley, courtesy of Lake Union Publishing. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee

This is a good read for all those wanting an insight into modern India. Comprising three stories all vastly different but all dealing very much with what happens on a daily basis in modern times.

We have a domestic cook and a cleaner in a middle class flat in Mumbai. The son returned from London on vacation and one who finds the class divisions difficult to accept, but you do not make waves when you are only at home one month every year! He is keen to know what goes on in their lives, what makes them tick to the consternation of his mother and disdain of his father. The two classes do not mix and sadly this remains so even in my part of the world. I must say there are reasons for this some good, some not so but that is the way of the world.

We then have a man with a dancing bear and this was something I found very very hard to read about. We have dancing monkeys in my part of the world and I hate that the government is not doing enough to stop this practice. It has almost died out but we still have them. Right now everyone here is on a rant about elephants and I do hope it succeeds. This bit about the bear was very difficult for me to get through.

The third story was a very good one - of a girl who escapes biting poverty to join a rebel movement to try to obtain justice and an alleviation of poverty for her family in someway because normal ways do not work. This was a hard hitting story and one that is relevant very much today in many many countries. The story was a sad one, one that was not going to end well but it was a realistic one.

Different social situations, different people, mainly dealing with the poor who are all trying to make a better life for themselves. Not a very comfortable read but a book that would make you think and be also happy that you are where you are, living the way you do live. It certainly made me think of being fortunate to live in Sri Lanka.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Random House UK Vintage House Publishing. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson

It seems a common story nowadays. A child vanishes. But with the abduction the story ends. There is no ransom note, no child or body of a child found and the family has to try to get back together and most of the times it fails.  The pressure of a missing child who could have done what to prevent it happening, is very much part of every story of a missing child.

In this case Olivia Adams goes missing from a small English village. Everyone knows everyone else's business and Olivia and her family are known to all. Thirteen years pass and Olivia has returned. Her story is sketchy and she does not volunteer much information but she is welcomed back by her mother who has since divorced her Dad and is married again with a small toddler. Adapting to the new circumstances is not easy, especially since her step father and most importantly his brother dislike her intensely and her presence in their home. The brothers are a strange pair, they do everything together and one blindly follows the other. Olivia cannot imagine her steady, sensible mother getting involved with a moron like him but those are the circumstances to which she returns.

It is from here that the story really starts and this is the unlikely part that you would never guess unless you are really clever. I wasn't and I didn't!

The story itself is a common one, the twist in the tail wasn't. Read this one for a really good mystery read.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Bookouture. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

The Austen Escape

This was a definite twist and variation on a variation of the Austen reads.

Isabel persuades or rather manipulates her friend Mary to join her in an Austen reinvention stay in England, all expenses paid.  Isabel's dissertation is on Austen and to complete this she feels that this stay is necessary. Mary is an engineer, very clear cut in her views and ideas and thinks logically. This is really not her scene but she needs to get away from a unpleasant work scenario and her father too thinks this would be the ideal break. Two weeks is not the end of the world.

Everything goes on smoothly with the Regency clothes, the enactments, the food, the service at the inn. Until Isabel loses her memory, goes into a fugue state and forgets her entire past and actually begins to think that she is living at the time of Austen with the same mores and rules that apply then. Mary is on her own to deal with the situation and deal with it she along with the other participants do.

The complication and distrust set in when Mary half way through discovers betrayal by a friend who has been close to her and her family from the time they were tots and the work scenario becomes very much personal and in Mary's face.

The story was beguiling and interesting and different and totally different to what I've read before on JA variations!

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Thomas Nelson FICTION. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Mad for the Marquess by Jess Russell

Though I started this read initially thinking it was going to be a light hearted, sensual romance between a prim governess type girl and the dashing Marquess, this was anything but.

It came as a surprise that within the romance that evolved between an understanding woman and a much maligned man (Marquess though he was), the real story is about mental asylums in Britain where a soul could be thrown into and completely forgotton as it was an embarrassment to the family to have anyone even tainted with the slightest hint of madness as they called it.

Devlin was found covered in blood - and the murder was most gruesome. He has also lost his memory and so his father as a form of treatment has assigned him to Dr. Hives at his establishment to try to "cure" him and bring him back to sanity. In shackles, purged, bled and drugged Devlin does not know most of the time what he is, where he is or what he did.

The arrival of Anne Winton is the turning point in both their lives. She herself has had a very raw deal. Orphaned and then in an orphanage where she bore the brunt of bullying just because she was different she is aware that the slightest bit of showing that she is "different" would mean that she will be thrown out of this establishment as well. She has to tread very carefully amongst many treacherous staff and also try to effect some form of healing for its inhabitants. Her gift of healing can be a two edged sword and despite healing many, she can also be called out as a witch with its own horrors.

The story outlining treatment of the insane, the mentally depressed and also the homosexual was very depressing but factual. Sadly you realise that so many would have just faded away in these institutions forgotten by all and ultimately becoming raving mad through no fault of theirs.

The romantic part of the story however was quite interesting and very sensual which added a certain amount of piquancy to an otherwise brutal story.

Sent to me by Netgalley, for an unbiased review, courtesy of The Wild Rose Press Inc.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Virtually Perfect by Paige Roberts

Coming down from having your own television programme and being a star of sorts to now being a personal chef - yes to a rich, spoilt, dysfunctional family is a bit of a come down and Lizzie is finding it difficult to come to grips with it. Anyone would. You have to deal with people with quirky tastes, some of whom are arrogant and rude and treat the hired help as just that. With Zoe the daughter of the house wanting to emphasise the difference it becomes awkward and difficult.

Lots of different personalities in this story (I felt one too many) but the storyline itself was a nicely crafted story. One young woman has to reinvent and recreate herself in the way she knows how to make an independent life for herself.

It was a bit bland in parts but generally a very readable story.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Kensington Books

Friday, November 3, 2017

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

The opening line was evocative enough. I thought the ditty was just that but now I realise its based on true fact.

Lizzie and Emma are two spinster sisters from an affluent household. A father and a rather scheming step mother and a maid comprise the main characters. Brought up without any love or affection the two sisters are different but close by ties of blood alone.

Finding her father's body brutally murdered, Lizzie is almost clinical at the very onset. Finding her step mothers body as well just added to the cold bloodedness of the murders. Taken in for questioning eventually Lizzie is released but questions remain. Both sisters wanted their independence badly which was being denied them. Was that the reason for getting rid of the impediment which held both back. Lizzie and Emma sought different things but both knew that obtaining it was almost impossible.

Lizzie is almost child like in her mannerisms, thoughts and behaviour. But the fact is that there were two murders and finding out who did it was the crux of the novel.

A rather unsettling story which highlights once again that you never know the depths of the human mind, and what each of us is capable of doing or not doing.

For a debut novel, this was amazing.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Grove Atlantic.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

A girls murder is anyway going to touch lives. Family friends and of course the detectives assigned to the case. It is such a waste of life that there is always trauma surrounding it.

In this case you have to add obsession, voyeurism, stalkers and simple straight forward blinding jealousy.  A debut novel combining all these unhealthy factors should make for an interesting mystery murder and it does. It was not the average mystery murder thriller - it was a bit unsettling for me.

Sent by Netgalley, for an unbiased review, courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Unnatural Habits by Kerry Greenwood

Set in Melbourne in 1928 it involves a star cast of characters - the Hon. Phyrne Fisher, lots of orphans and destitute children picked up and rehabilitated, single pregnant women (discarded by all), vicious nuns of the infamous Magdalena Laundry and various supporting stars - all unique.

Phyrne gets drawn into activities which need active and urgent help. Girls keep going missing in Melbourne. Three heavily pregnant girls right now, and then there is a problem of young blonde women also disappearing from Melbourne. Only blondes.

Ramifications in both cases are quite complex. The Catholic Church holds considerable sway in Melbourne, getting access and finding out what happened to the girls once they enter the hallowed precincts of the convent is going to be tough. Finding out what happens to the blonde beauties is dangerous as obviously lots of money is involved.

Sailing into violent situations and finding a way out seems to be the way to go and Phyrne excels at it all. With verve, sophistication and lots of support she solves issues which have been a headache for the Melbourne police, especially since once solved she does not try to gain any credit or publicity for these wins. So its wins all around.

Loved the style of writing, the flair of Phyrne and the easy going style of the book.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Poisoned Pen Press.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Three short reviews, three different genres!

I'm way behind on reviews so thought I'd do three together.  My apologies to the authors as well as the publishing houses which sent me the books.

When Shannon realizes that there is a stalker in her life it is an unsettling feeling. It does not end however badly as what would one imagine. A black suv following you around does not sound good at all. In this case it is very good and life would change for Shannon.

A different kind of storyline, mystery in a woman's fiction novel. Very nice.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Kristin Dow.

A story of war during Napoleon's time and the epic battle of Waterloo as well. Set in the French countryside initially we have a young French woman thrust into the heart of the battle when her father, brother and a good friend are all faced with danger. She must try her best to avoid the dangers facing a single young woman and she now dresses as a stable boy to be able to evade the dangers of an unprotected woman in the midst of a war.

Romance and history combined very well, with a wealth of descriptive detail of the era and the setting makes this a very good book.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Manor Gate Press.

This was the third book in the story of Befu and Calli so I came into it blind.

Ivy is very protective of her blind sister Lily. She feels that she must do everything in her power to protect her. When Lily is abducted Ivy will do all she could to get her safely back.

On the other side Befu and Calli's long lost daughter is found but she is also caught up in the family saga of whether she should look forward or stay in the past.

An intriguing story especially from a female point of view, where the girls of this family are very much loved and cared for in the face and at a time where value for daughters is rather low.

Very interesting setting and a family story with all the ramifications of a complicated family where love and faith will prevail.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Lake Union Publishing.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

An American Family by Khizr Khan

Immigrant stories have always appealed to me. My three children are themselves immigrants and every success story which is full of happiness and success brings a lot of happiness to me personally as well as I know it echoes my own wishes for my own children.

This story which propelled one family into prominence through the sad death of their son is no exception. Like most immigrants the Khans were hard working, god fearing, simple folk. The fact that they were Muslim was incidental to the entire issue. That their son was a Muslim who worked in the American forces and was killed in the line of duty is also a fact. That the situation was politicized for someone's gain is shameful.

The title of the book says it all. The Khans brought up their sons the American way, with strong beliefs in the power of justice and equality for all. The parents were strong supportive parents in no way radicalized or partial towards a single group of people. The story of their lives was of huge interest and the way the story unfolds is beautiful.

Mr. Khan Snr spoke up for what he felt was right and he was pilloried and his family was reviled for that. He must be admired that he still believes in what he said and stands up for what is right. From very humble beginnings in Pakistan to Harvard is no easy feat. He and his wife also brought up their children with very ethical and moral understandings and the memoir is a testimony to that.

I loved this book and the story of the Khans.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Random House Publishing.

Dead Man's Chest by Kerry Greenwood

After reading a couple of Kerry Greenwood books, I've fallen in love not with the stories but the style of her writing.

I love the characterizations. All different. Phyrne Fisher private detective extraordinaire. Like Miss Marples mystery and murder follows her, even on holiday as in this case. Her adopted daughters with a very difficult history behind them, her companion the prim Miss Dot. Those she picks on the way
Tinker the odd job boy whom she brushes up and who now adores the Guvnor, the maid Mairie a waif desperate for love and attention and all those who meet her on her journeys.

The story itself is a by the way to the life, descriptions and characters in the story. Their day to day life and how it unfolds around a mystery is even better than the mystery itself. The detail of everyday living, the differences in each person all put together give one a delightful read. Something reminiscent of Delafield in a way, with of course a mystery or a couple of murders thrown in for good measure.

Love the writing style and only disappointed that there are no more I can request for from Netgalley.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Poisoned Pen Press.

At Wave's End by Patricia Perry Donovan

I like food so I did like the idea of a setting in an upmarket Manhattan restaurant where Faith works as a chef for relentlessly long hours but is blissfully happy in her job.  Her mother however is another story - always falling for a hard luck story and keeping her on the straight and narrow has been Faith's responsibility.  Now just a couple of months away from getting a pension Faith faces a quandary. Her mother in one of her infamous lottery schemes has actually won something. A bed and breakfast inn, which looks idyllic on the coast of Jersey Shore.

Knowing very well that her mother will get taken in, Faith is determined to accompany her mother to the Inn and then get her to turn around and return. The whole thing falls apart when Nature (like the present tornadoes, hurricanes and bad weather) turns the Jersey Coast into a nightmare and Faith and her mother Connie are both stuck - one by choice and one by circumstances. Overnight Faith's dream job has disappeared in the storm damage and she decides to wait behind till things change, hopefully for the better.

A story of a fragile understanding between mother and daughter developing into a more solid relationship, lots of romance and stories of human nature and survival in the face of impending crisis is the basis of this story.

The settings helped the story along.

With lots of cooking and chefs involved this is a book for those of us who like food.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Lake Union Publishing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

On The Run by Izai Amorim

A young man of South American ancestry is on the run for crimes he did not commit. How he is going to evade not just the Feds and the Police who are on the look out for him, but most importantly Colombian drug dealers who think he has skipped with their consignment is even worse.

In a series of cross country runs, ingenious thinking, good network of friends and supporters and sheer good luck he is able to survive. In the process he has to change his way of thinking, give up on his family, take on a new identity and think of a career change as well. The changes are very far seeking from his present way of life but he realises earlier on that there is no point in living in the past and what should have, or could have been.

The story was interesting as it gives you pointers into the way of life of different ethnicities and how people are able to survive in a melting pot which is very often hostile to either one or many of them. Not always doing the right thing Pablo who also changes his name to suit the occasion lands on his feet, makes his money and finds the girl of his dreams as well.

The story has a happy ending though it did not seem like that it will go that way for a very long time. Easily told of a life of crime and how it sometimes pays!

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Izai Amorim

PS I just returned from my holiday in Paris and Switzerland. Both places magical in different ways. Just trying to keep my feet on the ground now!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Before I go by Catherine Cookson

A candid story of a rags to riches story of an extremely prolific author - forthright and truthful to the end.

Catherine Cookson's life was hard from the word go. An alcoholic mother who played on the child's emotions, a friend who played her out ruthlessly not just whilst living but even after she was dead (keeping letters in a place where she knew it will be found and hoping that it will hurt and destroy her marriage) and the worst of it all undiagnosed illnesses which would have killed off a less strong willed person.

The illness alone was enough for a biography. It was continuous and Catherine Cookson talks about it so matter of factly it is unbelievable. Even depression after bouts of miscarriages did not mar her spirit, and the jealousy of peers and those around her at her literary success did not affect her generosity of mind. The enduring love and support of her husband is the beacon of light in this story and it shines throughout.

This book was discovered after her death and its publication is a wonderful story of a very brave woman who fought astounding odds to gain the literary position she did.

The book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Lake Union Publishing. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Sultan and the Queen by Jerry Brotton

Elizabeth I was always a women to be reckoned with. She would done very well in the present times, ruthlessly deciding what was best for her country and her country alone. At the time, she was fiercely loyal to her country and decided that any decision she took was vital for the development of England alone.

Having been excommunicated from the Catholic Church, she was now in a predicament how to maintain her trade links and more than maintain, how to further develop them with the Sultan's Empire. She knew vast amounts of money could be made through trade which would in turn help England immensely.

Establishing trade missions with Morocco, Iran and the Sultan established English supremacy in the trade world for years to come. She had to do a delicate balancing act with these missions  and make sure the alliances went from strength to strength.  Everything Eastern  become fashionable and in demand and this was what established England as a trading power right into the twentieth century.

For readers of history, this was another fascinating read of a powerful Monarch who balanced being a woman and a ruler in medieval times very well. It showed it could be done.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Penguin Group Viking. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Valley by Helen Bryan

The Valley (The Valley Trilogy #1)

This was the only cover I could find and I read it in a Kindle variation.

A coming of age story apart from the vast history it covers which in itself was a story. Sophia is an heiress to a tobacco plantation in Virginia and this is the only asset she has left after she finds herself left bankrupt in England. With the help of a French man who is very reluctant to go with her, lots of slaves both free and indentured she sets out to claim her land.

The road to Virginia is hard and troublesome but Sophia is determined that she and her band will make a life for themselves. How they set up camp, marry (all of them) have families, make a settlement and town of a barren landscape is very descriptively and told in detail. The history of slavery, the treatment of slaves even free men was horrendous and was distressing to read about even years later.

The story goes on and on and could have been trimmed a bit. Maybe the telling of it was necessary for the plot but the main story of Sophia got side lined as numerous other characters also had a fairly large role to play and each of their stories added to the main.

It took me a while to get through this book and I felt bad because it had been on my Kindle for a very long time.

The book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Lake Union Publishing. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ANNA by Niccolo Ammaniti

This kind of futuristic genre is generally not in my comfort zone and for the greater part of the book I was not quite there with the author on this one. This does not detract from the story line at all. A future that was very bleak where Anna as the elder sister was totally responsible for her younger sibling, foraging for medicines and food in a world that was so so hostile and predatory, took my breath away.

I was always on edge during the story, not knowing what fate would befall both children and the depth of responsibility Anna showed as a result of a death bed promise to her mother was amazing.

This book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Canongate Books.

No One Hears But Him by Taylor Caldwell

It has been sometime since I read a more spiritual book so this made a good change!

A Sanctuary has been built in very pleasant surroundings. It is meant to give solace and meaning to life to those who enter. One is for people and one is for the person who listens.

Those who come here are those who seek answers as to why life has burdened them with sorrows which are not bearable. People want answers but the answers they get may not be the ones they want.

The novel deals with the idea of faith surmounting all issues. Not an easy concept to understand or accept. This was why it took me a long while to finish this book. It had to be read slowly.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Open Road Integrated Media. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Accident by Dawn Goodwin

A nightmare for any couple. A tragic accident tears a young family apart. A loss of a child in such circumstances rends this family apart and does not bring them any closer. Months go by and the situation does not seem to improve at all. The mother seems to revert to a state of not acknowledging the absence of her child and the father tries to reach out to her and at the same time, has no support for his own overwhelming sorrow.

Enter a new friend who supports the mother, brings her out of her shell and forces her to live again.
It may not be the ideal way to go about things and old friends are shut out firmly, mainly because they remind her too much of the past. As the days go by Veronica seems to drift deeper and deeper into a morass of her own mind which seems to make sense only to her. You wonder where it is all going to end and you also know its not going to be good.

The ending of course is with a twist in the tale. It is that which supports the whole story.

It was a sad story, very emotional, very good characterization.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Aria.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Double Cross by David Hegarty

Selling whiskey was going to be a slightly shady but accepted practice in Dublin. Denis Murphy was doing a favour for a friend and was going to be slightly richer for it. He did not know that he was in for a major double cross and that he was going to get involved with seasoned criminals.

From whiskey to guns, to blackmail, several murders, violence and a lot of aggression the plot develops with Murphy now trying to save his skin, that of his mates and Melissa whom he has begun to have feelings for. Getting it all together in the face of powerful criminals is not going to be easy and Murphy has to use his wits against a very rich cartel of criminals who would stoop to anything to get where and what they want.

On top of it all the police are now on his tail as they feel he is a person that they are interested in. Trying to get out of the situation alive, along with his friends is his aim. Managing that feat needs ingenuity and cunning.

A bit complicated with several strands of different events coming together, the characters were well developed and the story built up very well.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Endeavour Press. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Scarweather by Anthony Rolls

I was on a roll of reading British Crime Classics and one blogger recommended this one. I really should get down to noting the name of the blogger but somehow in the excitement of quickly requesting this from Netgalley, it invariably slips my mind.

It is 1913 and John and Eric visit the famous archaeologist Teisby. His house is situated in a remote but beautiful part of the northern coast of England. The description of the location was one of the finer parts of the book, along with the varying weather, the tides and how the sea and the surroundings govern the lives of the people in this story. The story of course is a crime which went hidden for decades.

Told slowly and steadily over a long period of time, the tragic disappearance of Eric and the events both leading to it, and subsequently with the discovery of the actual truth were a climax of the story.  It was a bit unnerving to read that the discovery of the truth was going to remain hidden, only known to a very few and though the discovery was important, it went hidden into the history of those involved.

The characters were very well developed, the description of the locality was beautiful and the storyline fascinating.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Poisoned Pen Press,

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Right Side by Spencer Quinn

The Right Side

LeAnne has returned from Afghanistan mentally and physically scarred. Her rehabilitation will be long and slow but she is an impatient girl  LeAnne also knows that her memory is shaky and faulty and that chunks of what she should remember as being imperative to her well being are missing.

Losing her room mate suddenly whilst in hospital triggers LeAnne into going back to the same town from which Marci came. Arriving there the distressing news that Marci's little girl has gone missing adds to the trauma. Adopted by a dog who is determined not to leave her side and who becomes more a guardian angel than a pet LeAnne now embarks on a dangerous mission, almost as dangerous as the Afghan one which she came back from. Will this finally help her to fill in the gaps in her memory and make her more at peace with not just the military but herself.

A very descriptive thriller combing the combat scene of Afghanistan alongside the peaceful little village in Washington State the contrasts in the two scenes could not have been more apparent. From the people inhabiting the two scenarios Americans in a village and Americans in the military the contrast was huge and added to the heightened tensions in the story.

The story moves in fits and starts, very much like the character of LeAnne who has moods of her own. It did not deter from the flow of the story at all.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Atria Books.

PS On an exciting note, I leave for Paris tomorrow with family. I have dreamt of this for years and though it is sad that my husband is not joining me on this trip, I am determined to enjoy this as much as I can. From Paris we journey to Switzerland and then return back to Sri Lanka on the 25th of this month.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

the darkest lies by Barbara Copperthwaite

This is my second read of a child going missing in about two weeks. Its a bit nightmarish.
There is no parent who hasn't done what Melanie Oak did. Just a few metres away from a friends house, her daughter Beth insisted that she can walk alone. Despite a few misgivings Melanie gives in to what would be her dismay and anger with herself for life.

Thinking that Beth is at her friend's house Melanie and her husband have a quiet evening. Jacob goes out to meet a friend to share a spiff and they relax at home. The next day Melanie rings the neighbour to find out what time Beth will return to find out that Beth never turned up. This starts the spiral into the actual story of what went wrong.

Beth was hiding secrets. She was a perfectly normal teenager who had a good relationship with her parents, her teachers, her friends in school. She just was a teenager and she had secrets that she did not want others knowing. Unraveling the last few hours of her life, unraveled an entire village's secrets and this lots of people did not want done. It led to very ugly incidents and it also led to Melanie feeling so very alone. She felt that her husband, the police, the neighbours were all embarrassed by her violent feelings about the slowness and apathy of the investigation and that she had to take it upon herself to uncover what she felt was suspicions about the various villagers. Some of her suppositions did have a valid base, some were baseless but she did put a lot of people's backs up as a result, including that of her husband in the process.

This was an emotional read. You felt for the hopelessness of Melanie. What would one do in such similar circumstances. It also makes one think that we never actually know what teenagers get upto! we should not kid ourselves that we do.

This book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Bookouture.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Teacher's Secret by Suzanne Leal

I went into this book imaging the worst. It was a bit of a let down (the secret that is). The setting however was very good.

A school in middle America and it is a small town. Everyone knows everyone, no secrets it seems and even if there are skeletons in the cupboards, all are protected from outsiders. A new Principal for the school coming for just a year puts the cat amongst the pigeons. She is new school full of ideas and wanting to keep to regulations and procedures, whereas the school seemed to have got on very well in its old fashioned style of looking after both students and teachers alike. The children are happy, the teachers are happy. What more could one want?

All hell breaks loose though with the new Principal and the sad part is that she thinks she is doing the correct thing in rigidly following the letter of the law. The heartbreak and dissension she brings about is immaterial to her as long as procedure and regulations are followed. Detailing small town life and the quirks and eccentricities of its inhabitants, the progress and lives of the teachers as well as the students, the author draws in a lot of color into this story.

For me the secret was nothing much, it was the activity of the school, the town, the inhabitants that made up this really good story.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Legend Press. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Kerry Lonsdale's - Everything we Keep & Everything We Left Behind

Told in two books I am doing the reviews consecutively so that there is structure. I myself did not know there were two books till I got the first book and then went on to the second.

Aimee loses her husband, she then opens a restaurant and keeps it going at the same time disinterested in men and anything else. The story opened slowly and continued at a very slow pace because it was totally focussed on a single character and the  subject was restaurant, food and art.
It did not quicken the pace at all and maybe it should have because what was to follow was anything but ordinary.

For me the book was so so rather lukewarm.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Lake Union Publishing.

Now this one was a complete contrast with the first book. The characters were full of spirit and the storyline was very good.

Continuing from the first (which is a must read before you get to this one) we continue our story of Aimee and how she is still trying to come to grips with her loss.

James (the husband)  has metamorphosed into Carlos and the confusion and anger is overwhelming. He is not dead and coming to terms with that is alone huge and naturally dramatic. Equally dramatic is that he is now the father of two young sons. Aimee's life after six years has also moved on. She is now married and mother of a young son.

Trying to put all these different and jarring elements together is not an easy job. Making a story of a convoluted mess is also not easy but this author does it all and presents a rather dramatic story with a lot of sexual overtones rather well!

Definitely enjoyed the pace of this second story as against the first book.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Lake Union Publishing.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

When the Bishop Needs an Alibi by Vannetta Chapman (Amish Bishop series)

When the Bishop Needs an Alibi (The Amish Bishop Mysteries #2)

I just finished one book set in a National Park and now this one was set in Colorado in an obviously scenic area famous for cranes - 20,000 of them visiting the valley and the area which is a refuge for these gorgeous birds.

Different however from others is that this is my first read of the Amish community. It was certainly educative. The Bishop who is the chief character in this story leads his flock by example and is a very strong and good man. Not aggressive by nature at all, more by dealing in kindness and compassion he is nevertheless for the second time involved in an unsavoury murder. Finding a young woman's body in the bulrushes is bad enough, but when he has associated with her before her death and when so many clues linking him to the young woman is found in his house things are suddenly not looking too good for not just the Bishop but for his people.

Uncovering the small clues left behind is a laborious process. With the lack of telephones, computers and anything which would be considered imperative for an investigation the Bishop and his small coterie of supporters unravel a much bigger scheme of corruption which involves people at very high levels.

Very simply told as suitable to the theme of the Amish, this was a very pleasant read.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Harvest House Publishers. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake

Just Between Us

Four friends in suburban America. Some of them have secrets deeply hidden and despite meeting and talking about their lives, not everything is known to everyone.

Misreading a situation and acting upon it takes them into dangerous territory. Now they have a secret that is dangerous not just to themselves but to their careers, their professional lives are at stake and their family security has been jeopardized. Trying to cover up in the midst of an investigation is not easy. The women are easily startled, and the tricky thing is that they all have to come up with the same story. The detectives are suspicious but there is nothing to tie them into the crime. Nothing on the surface that is. Until a letter arrives to each of them, and blackmail begins.

How four amateurs decide to deal with their blackmailer, and to what extent they would go to safeguard their lives - even to kill and cover up again, is not beyond their scope. How it ends and dovetails very easily is also very plausible, very believable!

The characterization was spot on. Each woman different, looking at life differently and thinking they knew it all. Most of them were supercilious thinking they were a cut above the others, despite being friends. Most of them were judgemental. All common flaws in humankind but the need to survive beat all odds and this all had a common goal and interest in maintaining.

Story was quirky but held my interest throughout while it unravelled slowly. I always thought someone was going to blurt out the truth or get caught down the line but they managed to pull it off.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of St. Martin's Press. This was a book I had wished for and I got lucky!

Monday, October 2, 2017

When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi

This story set in Sweden in a small town was something a bit different. A teacher wife, husband painter twin sons. Middle class background. Normal family life. And one day the wife is attacked so brutally in the school car park that they fear that she will survive.

Whilst Anna is in a coma, the story of the various characters emerge and as usual life is not what it seems to be. Erik her husband is questioned but there seems to be no reason to link him to the attack. Her colleagues at work are all in the clear and whether this was a random attack or one that was pre planned has the police in a quandary. There seems to be no hidden factors in the attack and no reason for her attack.

Investigation slowly unravels several strange happenings. Daniel a student is obsessed by Anna. He wants to leave his drunkard mother and go and live with Anna in her home. He looks on Anna as part lover and part saviour and Anna does not know how to handle the situation. At the same time, Anna has fallen in love with a woman in the same town and intends telling Erik about it and leaving him. Erik himself has had a one night stand with his sons nursery school teacher, who is now trying to blackmail him into continuing the relationship. The woman with whom Anna has fallen in love has a husband who is having a relationship with Daniel's mother but it is only a sexual one and when he realises that his wife is going to leave him for Anna, he is filled with hatred for Anna. So there are several suspects coming out of the woodwork with reasons to hate Anna. The suspects are also in many ways linked to each other and the police have to work on each suspect separately.

The police work seemingly very slowly to unravel the mystery because though Anna has survived the attack, she has lost her memory so she is unable to help them with the investigation.

The Swedish background and setting was a different kind of read for me and one I enjoyed. The story unraveled very slowly. I felt it could have been slightly quicker but it did not detract from the evolving story.

The book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Aria Press.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd

This was a classic rags to riches fairy story, a touch of romance, the wicked step mother (here a scheming aunt) and all the pointers to a nice read for a weekend.

Isabel and her step sister Lizzie are at a rather disciplined school where the possibility of dreaming is not encouraged. They are expected to be pragmatic and practical about their future. An arrival of an unheard of family, being welcomed with open arms into a family seems like something out of a fairy story. A comfortable life but why is her aunt pushing her into a marriage so soon, almost on her arrival.

The family has a lot of secrets, and there is a lot of untold stories surrounding them, Not just them but also the environment they live in. Separating facts from fiction is rather hard for Isabel and she has to depend on the only family and security she knows. Whether it will end well or not is something even she cannot imagine. All she knows is that she does not trust the man chosen for her by her Aunt, and refusing her aunt in this is going to create friction and dissension in the family.

A very well told story with several different elements. Not just romance, but also mystery and myths.
I enjoyed it very much.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Thomas Nelson FICTION. 

Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate

In between reading very modern crime fiction/thrillers/mystery murders et al it is very nice to slip in a British Classic Crime reading. It does have a slower pace which may not appeal to all, the characters are a bit gruff and rough round the edges but even at a slower pace the way the British criminal justice system works is good reading.

A woman is on trial for murder of the most horrendous kind - a child for whom she was the guardian. The twelve jurors are all having their own perceptions, ideas and views on this murder. How they act, react and interact during the trial is this story.

Throughout the story apart from the murderer, we get little drawings of each juror and these are as good as the main story. This is a very different crime read.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Poisoned Pen Press.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Body in the Ice by A.J. Mackenzie

There were many things here to like. There was the historical fiction angle, there was plenty of mystery and murder, it was also very much a family saga coming down the generations and then there was the setting between two countries and the time of 1796.

A remote village in Romney Marsh and a very old manor house is being opened up again for its owners. With the excitement of a new family coming in, there is apprehension when a body is discovered of a young man encased in ice in the horse pond. Subsequent examination shows that this is in fact a young woman and to find a black woman in this part of the world adds further to the mystery.

The history of the family who owns the house is complicated to say the least. There are branches of the family that are not even acknowledged, and the present head of the family would like it to stay that way. They did not count for the magistrate of the area - a vicar and someone who has a keen eye on seeing that justice is done, whatever the rank. Our vicar cum magistrate has to come up against the highest echelons in the land who do not want to upset the political and diplomatic waters in London, irrespective of what their sins may be. Along with his good friend the widow Amelia, Harcastle unravels a plot which will not just endanger their village but also the whole of Britain at a time when it is already in crisis.

The family saga which is historical was very good. Characterization and plot was excellent and the pace of the story was quick and fascinating.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Zaffre. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Strange Things Done by Elle Wild

Strange Things Done

The setting was a first for me. A town that during the winter freeze will isolate itself due to the freeze. No flights in or out, the river freezes and everyone who hasn't left is just existing till the snow ends and the freeze ends.

Jo Silver has started out as the editor of the Daily Mail in this town in the Yukon region. She obviously has not researched the place very well and a lot of surprises mainly unpleasant face her from her first day onwards. Her involvement at the very onset with a rather smashing, handsome man does not help matters or her reputation. Secrets abound and like a lot of small communities, every person wants to protect the home grown product against the outsider. Also a feature of small towns, everyone knows everyone else's business even before it happens as Jo finds out shortly afterwards.

Several murders later and cover up from the Editor to the Mayor of the paper apparent, Jo is no further in her investigative journalism to at least uncover what is happening in this small town that warrants repeated murders of its citizens.

Held my interest throughout and I could not solve the mystery till the very end!

A good debut novel.

Sent to me by Edelweiss for an unbiased review. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave

Sunshine, yes Sunshine (sister of Rain) I know I know, is having a dream spell. Guru on a you tube cooking channel, looked upto by millions as the authority on how to improve your life, let alone your cooking skills, is now headed for a fall.

Unveiled as a fraud and overnight losing her top spot, her support base, her friends, her home and most ignominiously her husband she has no option but to go where she said she will never go back.  Home to a sister who dislikes her and wants her nowhere near her daughter Sammy. Home is not the same, it has been sold in the meantime and her sister remains bitter and antagonistic towards Sunshine.

Sunshine is literally an epitome of her name. She believes very sincerely, that with just a few flips she can turn her life around and get back to what she was - or at least close. It is a steep learning curve when she realises the public are fickle, her friends are out to take over the space left by her and move on and upwards. This goes for her husband too.

This was a good read for family situations which go tragically wrong due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, the policy of you telling one lie to cover another and independent women who are now stretched to their ultimate.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore


The late 1700s in Bristol, England was a time of great change. Events in France were disturbing and would affect England as well. Lizzie Fawkes is a spirited, young woman who is married to John Diner Tredevant. She has to tone down her style of living and her behaviour as he is conventional and does not like anything out of the ordinary.

Lizzie's mother has been unconventional, a writer of ideas and an idealist. These trends are not popular with Lizzie's husband and Lizzie finds herself trying to tread a middle path keeping the peace at home, and finding solace and love with her mother as well.

There are parallel conflicts throughout the story. Tredevant himself is hiding secrets of a horrendous kind and it is bound to come out at some time. He is also greatly in debt having over extended himself. It adds to the tension in his household. He is at odds with Lizzie's behaviour and this creates another side story as it were. Lizzie's mother's life was itself complicated and her having conceived and had a child in her forties added to the tension in the story. The survival of the baby and nurturing him created another tense situation for Lizzie.

I found the different strands of the story a bit too much to assimilate though the setting of the story and the events in France were very well itemized.  The characters of Lizzie and her mother were developed but the story did not take off very well from that point.

The book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Grove Atlantic. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Library of Light and Shadow by M J Rose

The Library of Light and Shadow (Daughters of La Lune #3)

Delphine Duplessi is more than just another young, talented artist.  She is gifted in another unique way. Her shadow portraits are not the normal portraits people are used to seeing and in fact it is with some trepidation that most people would employ her to do their portraits. She unveils hidden secrets, crimes and past sins which everyone may not want to even acknowledge let alone let others see them. She is not deliberately drawing people like this but that is her talent. She uncovers past desires, incidents and these portraits are highly valued, and highly feared.

It is with one such portrait which leads to the death of a person that leads her to leave New York and return to France to her family to recuperate and to also decide on what she is going to do next. Art is all she knows, this is her livelihood but she does know that it is a dangerous skill that could get a lot of people into trouble, the way it already has.

Her family the female side are witches of a kind. Each female imbued with particular abilities and strengths but all to be used for the good of people. It is 1925 and Paris is awash with believers in the occult and sciences who are all looking for answers for a France so badly effected by WWI. Delphine herself is desperately alone having never recovered from a love affair which she herself ended when she saw an image into the future and thought that her presence in his life would be eventually his destruction. She has never got over her love for Matthieu and coming back to France would she feel put him again into her orbit and whether she will be strong enough to walk away a second time is doubtful.

Told in descriptive detail so that a newcomer to the art of the occult would understand this is a magical story and one also of love and survival and family. A genre the magic that is, is one I am not very familiar with but it was a fascinating read which kept me literally spell bound throughout the book.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Case of the Famished Parson by George Bellairs

The Bishop of Greyle was an unassuming, quiet man. Hardly anyone knew his surname even. Then why would someone obviously hate him so much that they would push him off a cliff. Why was his body so emaciated to the point of being declared starved.

Inspector Littlejohn has a puzzling case in front of him. Embarrassing that no apparent clues in the Bishop's own life could lead to solving the case, the Inspector has to look elsewhere as to why the Bishop was done away with.  The investigation is puzzling but it leads to certain unconnected leads and how to connect these leads to give a coherent picture is not easy.

The story was a bit slow, not a fast paced mystery but the series of deductions and connections was well placed.

Interesting take on a mystery.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Ipso Books.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Summer at Hope Meadows by Lucy Daniels

A simple story set in Yorkshire with a vet family as the background. Both parents being vets, Mandy herself is one and her boyfriend is also one. Its very much the same interests amongst all. However whilst Mandy thinks and works on more compassionate lines, Simon is more money conscious and you know very early on that this is going to cause friction and differences later on.

Unable to decide whether to expand where Simon wishes to set up a modern surgical practice or move back home and expand her parents existing practice into a practice cum refuge is the problem Mandy faces. The work of a vet in a rural practice seems different from an urban one and this was good reading, especially for any lover of animals.

A coming of age for Mandy with animals very much in the forefront of the story made this a very comforting read.

Sent to me by Netgalley, for an unbiased review, courtesy of Hodder & Stoughton. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Son of York by Amy Licence

I had been reading too many mystery/thriller/murder books and needed a change of scene. This piece of history gave me all I needed and more. I will be keeping an eye out for this author definitely in the future.

King Henry VI is the monarch at the time. He is unwell and seems to be more suited to a spiritual life. Sad that kings cannot decide what they want to do. He seemed so unfit to be King of a country that was always in turmoil and needed his attention and care. His wife the French queen was not a popular choice and her backers were those who were looked at with suspicion. The Duke of York was a man who felt strongly over the King's role in the country and looked initially to be protector of the King against elements who were dangerous. Over time, with the continuation of the King's absence from Court and the wider influence of the Queen, he sought the position of King for himself.

The story of the Duke of York and his two sons and their rise in fame towards the position of King forms the basis of the story. Told in detail with a great deal of history accounted for, this book is a must for those who like English history.

I enjoyed the telling of it, both from the personal angle of the House of York as well as from the angle of the greater overall picture of the rise of the House of York.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Endeavour Press.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Chains of Sand Jemma Wayne

I had not read a book with a Middle Eastern background for a very long time and this one with its cross culture mix. Jews in England, Jews in Israel, Muslims in Israel and the attitudes of one community towards another in an area of heightened tension like Gaza or Tel Aviv was an interesting read.

Udi wants a new life. Something that he can be comfortable with. He is Jewish to the core but is struggling with life in Israel. He wants to go and work in London.  Daniel lives a very comfortable life in London as a banker, he wants to move to Israel much to the horror of his family and his girl friend. Why give a comfortable secure life for the certainties of war and being called up as a reservist at any time.

Both men trying to find their place in the world - both very close to their families but seeking something that they are not very sure what.

This was a complicated novel but it may be a question that a lot of young people face. The restless ones anyway.

A book that set you thinking whether we are ever going to have peace in the Middle East.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Legend Press.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The General's Women by Susan Wittig Albert

The General's Women

This was a book which combined the best of many genres. History in great descriptive detail and then the person behind the great character - his life, loves and the women he fell in love with.

General Ike Eisenhower was a character. Leading from the front, he was successful combining the Allied forces with American troops to halt the German Nazi tide in Europe. Success came to him slowly. Very slowly. For sixteen years he languished almost forgotten and then the rise and the promotions came very swiftly. It took him to London first and then to Europe and Africa. His wife of very long standing was very set in her ways - she thought she would not be able to travel, she thought she had a weak heart, could not take any stress, decided not to bring the army and his professional life home at all. Mamie Eisenhower sounded a very selfish and a self centred woman. The General getting attracted to Kay Summersby in London seemed fated from the beginning. Kay was young, attractive and determined to do her job well. She did it too showing extreme bravery during the Blitz and carrying out all duties entrusted to her, including driving the General around London in blackout conditions.

Their relationship was doomed however as he would never be able to get out of his marriage for both political and personal reasons. Kay knew this. She had been warned about it but she lived for the moment and loved him very deeply.

The poignancy of their relationship is very well told in this book. You feel sad, happy, overjoyed but the sense of an ending comes is always there. Kay came out of this badly, Ike also but not as badly. He had options open to him which he took becoming President of the United States.

For lovers of history, this is a must read. My knowledge of the American involvement in the War was sketchy. This filled out all the blanks. From a very deep love story angle, this was a classic.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Independent Book Publishers Association. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Finding Secrets by Lauren Westwood

Seemingly straight forward but uncovering secrets by the score. One lead to another and Alex's world was turned upside down. What was a normal occupation - manageress of a country home and expanding the business, being the adopted daughter of a very nice set of middle class parents and then you sort of ending up having royalty ancestry, lots of money and a very complicated background.

It was a bit difficult for me to follow the various strands of the story as it was very involved but they all came together very well. The mystery and the ancestry was one section, the romance was another and they blended well.

The setting of the old English manor, the bits of history adding to the interest in the story were good and kept me going throughout the book.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Aria.