Friday, June 22, 2018

SERPENTINE by Laurell K. Hamilton



Anita Blake #26
Berkley Publishing, August 2018
E-Book
Obtained via:  publisher
ISBN: 9780425255681
Paranormal/Fantasy
****


 
The latest installment in Laurell K. Hamilton’s incredibly successful Anita Blake series, SERPENTINE, is set to arrive in bookstores in August and already the comments, both good and bad, are starting to show up on blogs and web sites.  This reader does love an author that can generate that many strong opinions on her writing book after book.

SERPENTINE has Anita heading to a remote Florida island for the destination wedding of Anita’s best friend and fellow US Marshall, Edward/Ted.  It also happens to be the first vacation Anita has had with two of the three men she is engaged to, wereleopards Nathaniel and Micah.  Of course, nothing ever stays on course with Anita.  While in Florida, Micah is investigating a new and frightening form of lycanthropy believed to be the result of an ancient Greek curse that slowly over time has victims growing snakes for limbs.  And then there is that one bridesmaid who positively refuses to believe that Edward isn’t cheating on Donna, his intended, with Anita, despite everyone, including the bride and groom, telling her it simply isn’t true.  Then women start disappearing from the hotel.

As with all the Anita Blake books, SERPENTINE, is filled with Anita’s many men and how they make their poly-relationship work.  In addition to the sex inherent in Anita’s being of an incubus bloodline, the book is also heavy on magic.  The storyline moves along quickly and the characters are well developed.  The best part of all Laurell K. Hamilton books is the incredible way she has of setting the stage.  All readers’ senses are engaged in every page of each book.  Readers are able to almost feel what her characters are feeling, see what they are seeing, smell the scents around them and easily imagine themselves as an onlooker to the story unfolding.  SERPENTINE is yet another wonderful example of that talent.

Shapeshifters, vampires, magical creatures and more are what you will find in Laurell K. Hamilton’s SERPENTINE.  But it is the relationships between the characters and the incredible world building that always make Hamilton’s Anita books, and most recently SERPENTINE, such successful books.

Reviewed by T. Barringer
tammyLRM@gmail.com
"This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book."


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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

THE BAR HARBOR RETIREMENT HOME FOR FAMOUS WRITERS by Terri-Lynne DeFino



Publisher:     William Morrow
Published:     June 12, 2018
ISBN:        978-0062742674
Genre:      Women’s Fiction
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  myreviewbooks@aol.com

TWO-1/2 HEARTS
 

Decades ago Cornelius Traeger came up with an idea for a very special retirement home.  A place where a special group of people – writers who create or put to pen the dreams of others, who create new worlds, exciting adventures and take their readers to a different time and place, could retire in peace and comfort among their own.  He also created it for what was perhaps his greatest love—Alfonse Carducci—who came only long after Taeger’s death and at the end of his own days. 

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home is more than a haven for famous authors.  It is a place of security and hope for the staff that work there.  Foremost among them is Cecibel.  A young woman with a sad past who finds her happiness in the writings of others, most particularly her personal hero, Alfonse Carducci.  When Alfonse arrives her world changes in ways she never imagined.  It gives her the courage to explore her own world, her personal demons and to find love.

I really wanted to not just like, but love Terri-Lynne DeFino’s THE BAR HARBOR RETIREMENT HOME FOR FAMOUS WRITERS.  I set my expectations too high.  Cecibel is a wonderful character who is buried in the author’s repetition of her being a “monster” due to a tragic accident that happened years ago.  Over and over she raises how Cecibel looks, how she hides how she looks, how she suffers from her past.  I got it the first twenty times—I didn’t need to be reminded on pretty much every page that takes place in the present.

The book alternates back and from between the 1950’s and 1999.  I’m seeing more and more of those back and forth between time period books and I personally find them jarring.  For me they don’t create a cliff hanger feeling of what is to come next—they mostly break up the story so I have to go back to the original time period to pick it up again.  What I’ve begun to do in those cases is I read all the earlier time periods and then move on to the next time period so the story reads chronologically for me.  If they’re done as flashbacks that’s fine.  But the bouncing back and forth is distracting. 

I loved the idea of a place for authors, famous or otherwise to retire together.  And I really loved the idea of four old friends writing one last book, together, a story told from each of their own characters. 

The book is worth a look if you are a dedicated reader.



This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

LEFT A LOVE STORY by Mary Hogan



Publisher:     William Morrow
Published:     June 19, 2018
ISBN:        978-0062742674
Genre:      Women’s Fiction
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  myreviewbooks@aol.com

FOUR-1/2 HEARTS




Fay and Paul Agarra are on the vacation of a lifetime in Spain.  Married for over twenty years the New York Supreme Court judge and his wife are enjoying Malaga away from the pressures of the job, the rush of the city and all that entails.  When Fay proposes a side trip to Alcazaba in the Alhambra Paul protests but like the loving spouse he is, he agrees.  Almost there Fay needs to stop to heed the call of nature.  They pull into a small roadside business and Fay tells Paul to wait for her.  When she emerges he is gone.  After several panicked hours she finds him at the airport.  Paul doesn’t understand the problem—of course he would be at the airport.  They were leaving, weren’t they?  He doesn’t remember leaving her off or that he continued on without his wife.  Fay’s irritation continues when they return home.  Paul refuses to see what he did.  In fact, he has no memory of it.  As the days go on, Fay begins to notice other changes in his personality.  Changes that she just doesn’t like, they make her worried.  Concerned, Fay turns to their family and Paul’s co-workers but no one is willing to recognize that there is a problem.  And then one night the unthinkable happens and only now does the family and their friends realize that something is wrong, so very wrong with Paul.

LEFT A LOVE STORY by Mary Hogan is the rare must read book for everyone—male or female, young, middle aged or old.  While told as a fiction, the subject matter—a loved one’s descent into dementia, is something that will touch all of us at one time or another.  It will be a family member, a close friend, a co-worker or their family member, a neighbour and even ourselves.  It doesn’t suddenly steal our minds and connections to each other.  It is insidious, moving so slowly that you may not even be sure it is happening.  Such is Fay and Paul’s story.  He a brilliant jurist, she a loving and devoted wife who has made him her world.  Fay describes Paul as her “there kind of guy” and when he is seemingly suddenly no longer there, her world verges on crumbling.  Hogan’s depiction of Fay takes her from a seemingly simple housewife and builds her into a strong woman, capable of taking care of her own.  She learns when to ask for help—and how to make it happen.  She is an amazing character that shows how we all can find that special kind of inner strength to cope with the worst life can throw at us.
I found Fay’s talking to the building a little odd. It made me wonder if she was the one whose mind was starting to fail.  The ex-wife, Brenda, was annoying.  Both of these recurring threads seemed more to up the word count than to move the story along.  Had Paul loved Fay as much as she says he does, he would have put his foot down with Brenda’s incessant incursions into their life. 

That said, LEFT A LOVE STORY is a wonderful, heartfelt story that, as I said, everyone should read.


The book is worth a look if you are a dedicated reader.



This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

HARVEST SONG by Yasmine Galenorn



Otherworld Series, Book 20
Nightqueen LTD
May 8th, 2018
9781718921801
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance
Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Self-Purchase
4.5 Hearts


The final battle looms closer as the D’Artigo sisters-Camille, Delilah & Menolly-and their allies find that Shadow Wing has set Yerghan the Blade after them with orders to kill us any way how. When he attacks their family home, Delilah finds out her love, Shade, down and fighting for his life. Now its up to Delilah and her family & friends to save Shade from the Realm of the Wandering Souls for if she isn’t able to bring Shade back to her, he will be lost in the mists of limbo forever.

Yasmine Galenorn has captivated me since the very first book of hers I read, which incidentally was Witchling, book one of the Otherworld series. Since that first introduction to the D’Artigo sisters, I have waited with bated breath for the next installment of this fascinating and wonderful series. This is an author who knows how to world build with the best of them and create such an intriguing and marvelous world that you can’t help but fall in love with her books. I love how this author captures each of her main characters so perfectly and in this second to final book, the stakes are even higher for Camille, Menolly and Delilah. The final battle looms ever closer and I am eager to see where the author goes in the final book of the series.

What makes HARVSET SONG so amazing in my opinion are the cast of characters. They are varied and quite entertaining. Who knew that after the first three books of the series it would branch out to now twenty books with a cast of characters I have grown to love and adore. With the right amount of tension, humor and action, Ms. Galenorn delivers a fast-paced thrill ride from start to finish. The story is quite enjoyable and one I couldn’t put down. I loved how much Delilah has grown since her first book, Changeling. She has become a warrior by the time her final book, HARVEST SONG, was released. She has had some ups and downs but with Shade and by proxy, the Harvest Lord, as her love’s, we see how much Delilah as grown into herself. Her relationship wityh Shade fulfills her even as danger mounts all around them. Her relationships with her family and friends continues to grow and I couldn’t help but smile as we got to the end of the book, even as I knew there was one more book to finish this amazing series yet to come.

HARVEST SONG is a book that you must read to get all the details and whatnot that has come to the final battle with the demon lord, Shadow Wing. If you haven’t tried this series yet, I highly recommend that you do today. Its sexy, entertaining and downright so much fun.  You’ll laugh, cry, scream and swoon as you flip pages and as I raced alongside Delilah as she tries to save Shade, you cannot help but be caught up in the moment as she figures out that without Shade, she will lose half her heart. Ms. Galenorn is a master storyteller that will highly entertain you. I am sad this series is ending yet I am thrilled the author is self-publishing the last few books to finish the spirit seals arc that was introduced in book one, Witchling. Now to wait for the final book, Blood Bonds, I am going to enjoy her other new series that I fell in love with and mourn the end of a series that gave me a new author to auto-buy.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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