Monday, December 30, 2013

Undressing Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos


UNDRESSING MR. DARCY is perfect for Jane Austen fans.

Mr. Darcy is on tour, and he finds his public relations expert, Vanessa, to be quite charming.  They begin to have feelings for each other, but it has to be hush, hush. Vanessa's sweet Aunt Ella is thrilled at what she sees happening with Vanessa and Mr. Darcy.  Aunt Ella has a surprise of her own to reveal as well.

I am really not a Jane Austen fan so I missed some of the inside jokes, but the book was entertaining and lighthearted.  If you are a Jane Austen fan, you will definitely enjoy UNDRESSING MR. DARCY.

There of course is love, a Jane Austen scavenger hunt, and a trip to Bath, England, for a Mr. Darcy festival where Julian is.  Will Vanessa be able to find Julian aka known as Mr. Darcy without any electronic connections among all these Regency-dressed folks?  She still couldn't believe he didn't use social media or
e-mails.

UNDRESSING MR. DARCY will take you on an entertaining journey from Chicago to England?  Will Vanessa and Julian become a couple?  Read UNDRESSING MR. DARCY to find out.  I do have to say that the ending was sweet.

My rating is 3/5 just because I normally don't read Jane Austen or this genre, but for any Jane Austen fan, UNDRESSING MR. DARCY will be a 5/5.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

This Dark Road To Mercy by Wiley Cash

 

No mother, a deadbeat dad, a foster home, and then a kidnapping.

Easter and Ruby were placed in a foster home after their mother died since their father, Wade, had signed them away many years ago. But now he wanted them back. Wade was bad news all around.

Easter followed all the rules and Ruby followed whatever Easter said.  Both girls will steal your heart because of their innocence and sweet ways. Their father will make you worry. 

THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY is told in alternating voices with themes of a mystery to be solved, crimes that were  committed, crimes that were being committed, and family dynamics. The book starts out with the main theme being the girls left in a foster home but it heats up when Wade's deeds surface.

Mr. Cash has a smooth, absorbing, detailed style of writing that pulls you in. The suspense of the book begins when Wade decides to do something stupid...well many stupid things.

All of the characters have a lot of charisma that make THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY a book you don't want to put down. It tells the tale of families, life in a small town, the town's problems, and its police force.

I really enjoyed THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY which was filled with Southern-style emotion and suspense.  Don't miss reading this book.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Unravelled by M. K. Tod


A war, a woman, and memories plagued Edward for years and became more intense after he and his wife went back to France for a dedication ceremony for the company he was in during WWI.

UNRAVELLED goes back and forth from past to present revealing feelings, desires, and regrets. The characters are likable but not lovable. Edward does the unthinkable when he is in France and ruins his life as well as his wife's life.

UNRAVELLED is the perfect title for this book because of the war and the personal situations that cause people to become undone. You will share the pain of losing a family member or a friend to war or to infidelity and coping with the loss along with the characters. 

The author did a marvelous job researching both WWI and WWII and brought the characters' feelings in all situations masterfully to the surface. The war information dragged on a bit despite the themes of marriage and infidelity even though the wars and what they do to the survivors, the wounded, and families left with or without their loved ones was the main emphasis.

If you enjoy love and war which actually can't be separated, you will enjoy UNRAVELLED.  I honestly have to say it was good, but it also lacked some pizzazz - it seemed to run on an even keel without too much suspense.  I skimmed through some sections. 

UNRAVELLED was good, but needed to be a bit shorter and not as detailed with the war information.  If you enjoy detailed war strategies, though, you will definitely enjoy UNRAVELLED.   3.5/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the author and without compensation by the author in return for an honest review.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Authors' Gifts To Characters In Their Books

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Atria Books asked their authors this question:  

If you were to buy one of your characters a Christmas gift, what would it be and who would it be for? 

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This is such a fun question.

My favorite answers are from my two favorite Atria authors:


Posie Graeme-Evans

AND

William Kent Krueger

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Renee Carlino: If I could buy one of my characters a Christmas gift, I would buy Will Ryan from Sweet Thing an autographed guitar from Johnny Cash, one of his favorite musicians . . . or plane tickets to come and see me.

Paul Cleave: I’d buy Joe Middleton a copy of Parenting For Dummies now that he’s a dad. I think it’d be helpful for him to know which way a nappy goes around, though really the best advice would be to kidnap himself a nanny.

Posie Graeme-Evans: Freya (from The Island House) needs a proper waterproof backpack for hiking the cliff path on her island in Scotland. I’d also get her a sheepdog puppy for the sheep she’ll have over there one day.

Abbi Glines: Jess (from Misbehaving) some pajamas. She so needs to stop wearing her crazy ex-boyfriend’s tee-shirts.

William Kent Krueger: I’d buy Waaboo, Cork O’Connor’s little grandson, a Radio Flyer wagon.  I got one for Christmas when I was four years old, and I still remember it as the best Christmas present ever!

John Lescroart: I’d buy Dismas Hardy a fly rod and tell him to get out more.

Liza Marklund: Dessie, a Swedish journalist who is one of the main characters in my and James Patterson’s Postcard Killers, would get a really heavy, warm winter jacket. She’s from the north of Sweden poor thing, just like me, and she’s constantly freezing (just like me). She would really appreciate that present!

Gail McHugh: It’d be a muzzle for Olivia. Although I love her to pieces, that girl spouts whatever jumps into her head the second it does, no matter who it offends. It’s like she can’t control herself.

Randy Susan Meyers: I would get Juliette, from The Comfort of Lies, a duplicate of Alicia Florrick’s wardrobe from the television show The Good Wife—because she deserves it and I want it, and I can do anything I want in my imagination, right?

Jodi Picoult: I’d buy Anna from My Sister’s Keeper ice hockey equipment.  She always wanted to play but wasn’t allowed because it could effectively compromise her ability to donate to her sister.  But if anyone understands the meaning of living in the moment, it’s her…and she deserves to make one perfect goalie’s save.

Spencer Quinn: I’d get Chet – the canine narrator of the series (but not a talking dog!) – a Slim Jim. He loves them!

K. A. Robinson: I would buy Drake a new guitar.

M. J. Rose: I would buy Jac L’Etoile a new watch.  She wears her mother’s watch because “her mother ran “out of time” and it makes me sad to think of Jac still haunted by her mother’s suicide. So I’d buy her this watch with a note that said – “it’s time for your own magic to shine.”

*Graphic courtesy of:  http://inanutshell.ca/

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wake by Anna Hope


Ada, Evelyn, and Hettie...three women all having their lives touched by WWI and all sharing the pain of loss.

Ada lost her son and still believes he is alive since there really wasn't any closure.  She thinks she sees him walking in the town on his way home, but he never does arrive home.

Evelyn works in the Pensions Exchange and must deal with maimed soldiers asking for more money or more help.  Her brother Ed becomes part of her job and an interesting part of another pensioner's life when the pensioner asks Evelyn to look for an Officer Montfort.  She tells him she can't look for him, and her brother denies knowing Rowan Hind, but obviously he does.

Hettie dances for six pence and has to give half of it to her mother and brother since her father has died and Fred can't work.

All three women need a change, but will they get the change they need in their lives? And…all three women have one person in common with their grief but don’t know it.

WAKE was a bit confusing to me.  I couldn't keep the characters straight and had to keep looking back as to which character was which because it kept jumping from one story to the next.  The Unknown Soldier part was confusing as well.

The gist of the book is that war changes everyone, but mainly the women left behind.  The characters were a bit unlikeable because of obsessions and not knowing what to do with their lives, but the author did develop them well enough that after a while you felt sorry for them.  


The descriptions of the characters and scenes was quite good and detailed as well. If the book had not been jumping from one scene and from one character to the other, it would have been much more appealing.  I did like WAKE despite all of this, but it took a while to get into the book.  I LOVED the cover...perfect for the era.

The historical fiction aspect was very well done, and the feelings of each character were easy to identify with.  The main feeling was that of despair and boredom with the situations these women were locked into in their daily lives.   


My rating is going to be a 3 1/2 out of 5.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.