Review: Secrets of Cavendon

Secrets of Cavendon (Cavendon Hall, #4)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, a stunning, epic novel featuring the characters of the beloved Cavendon series.

 

For years things have run smoothly at Cavendon Hall, with very few quarrels, dramas, or upsets among the Inghams and the Swanns. But since the end of World War II, things have changed. The Secrets of Cavendon picks up in the summer of 1949, with the new generation of the estate at the forefront of the scandal and intrigue. With romance, betrayal, heartbreak, and possible murder threatening to tear them apart, the Inghams and Swanns will have to find a way to come together and protect each other in the face of threats they never could have predicted.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Secrets of Cavendon by Barbara Taylor Bradford is an engaging historical read. It’s similar to Downton Abbey. A big enormous place that is getting harder to keep up with…and families that have poured their money into keeping it alive. Then, there’s the secrets and history that are revealed. Plus, it too is set after the war. I enjoyed reading this novel.

As with all wars, things change. Drastic changes affect the Ingham and the Swann families. Finding ways to manage the finances and ways of the heart intrigued my attention. There was a lot of backstory and made this hard to get into quickly. I couldn’t move between pages that fast, because I needed to learn what was going on and who was involved with what.

The history of Cavendon is explored on these pages. Major themes of betrayal, romance, and heartbreak are incorporated into the tale. Some characters I enjoyed following more so than others. One of the ones I loved was Aunt Charlotte. She and Cecily Ingham had personalities that just drew me more into the plot. But others were not as captivating as them. There is a bit of mystery to follow here. Other than that it’s mostly a drama novel. So much drama within this book.

Overall, I was intrigued but bored. It has a historical slash women’s fiction genre to it. The strong characters were the females. The males seemed to be left behind mostly in the background of the story. Secrets of the Cavendon is good, but could have been better.

Review: Birthday Cake and Bodies

Synopsis:

When Julia plans a surprise birthday party for Barker to finally meet his family, she did not expect that party to end in murder! With Barker’s three brothers in the frame, Julia is torn between respecting the man she loves, and her need to investigate! Will Julia be able to uncover the dark family secrets that lie at the heart of cracking this case without leaving behind a trail of destruction? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Birthday Cake and Bodies (Peridale Cafe Mystery #9) by Agatha Frost is the most exciting tale yet! Inside this book, readers get to follow the baker, Julia, as she plans and prepares for Barker’s surprise birthday party. For the party, Julia has gotten ahold of Barker’s family. They are coming to Peridale to celebrate his birthday. All should go well. But once they start to arrive, Julia is already regretting her decision for this party. 
The family members are eccentric. They are more than dysfunctional. There are multiple affairs happening within Barker’s strange family. Anger, tensions, and hatred rise. Rising to the point, somebody is willing to kill for it. 
But as always, the mystery isn’t cut and dry. One member killed a past relative. Creating a boiling point to snap among his brother. A brother who has blamed him for the death of his daughter. These two brothers are identical twins. But despite their looks, Julia, figures out how to distinguish them apart. That there helps her as she and Detective Barker investigate his family locked down in Julia’s father’s mansion. Someone is guilty and both are going to keep interrogating until they get their suspect. However, one death leads to another. The murderer thought the intended victim was gone. Only to discover the wrong person was murdered. Imagine the grief! Then, another body pops up…and it might not be too late for this new victim. Then, another family relative ends up almost dead. The same one who caused some of the trouble to begin with…but that’s not all. A member of the family is gay and hiding it for reason ps that are insane. Another is dating said gay person for the wrong reasons and two other relatives cause Barker even more stress by posting their troubles and mistreatment online. This all just adds to the craziness of the murder plot. 
In the background, Julia is worried that this murder is all her fault. Jessie, Julia’s adoptive daughter, has broken it off with her boyfriend because she doesn’t want him to leave for the army. So, she’s struggling with the breakup…and then, there’s Julia’s stepmother who is in the said mansion where the murder occurred and is about to go into labor. Julia definitely has her hands full in this novel. 
I loved it! Agatha Frost never disappoints. Her characters always bring out the humor, romance, and drama that makes this a spectacular read. There was never a dull moment. So many suspects and so many details that it might be hard for Julia to solve…overall, I highly recommend this book. 

Review: The Summer House  

Synopsis:

When Flossy Merrill summons her children to the beloved family beach house to celebrate their father’s eightieth birthday, both cherished memories and long-kept secrets come to light in this charming and lyrical novel from the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer.
Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own.
No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves. 
Featuring McKinnon’s “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) voice, this warm-hearted novel is perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon is a superb summer read. A story about a family dealing with a lot of issues. The mother forces her kids back to the summer house. There she hopes to help them deal with their issues and maybe, find some peace. A worried mother over grown children. The mother herself has something to share with her children. She plans to sell their summer house. A place full of childhood memories for the children who are now, grown adults. The journey is rocky at first but smooths over as the pages are turned. Emotional, stunning, and heartfelt. 

Hannah McKinnon writes well. Her characters are believable. Each one adds to the plot. A different issue like the lost of a husband. Readers will easily relate to the them. I was able to understand and love the characters. The mother was the centerfold of this family. Strong, dependent, and clever. She loves her family. Caring, loving, and sweet. I couldn’t put this book down…The Summer House lured me from my seat and deep onto its pages. A deep entertaining read. One that pulled at my heart strings all the way. Overall, I recommend this novel to readers worldwide. Loss, love, and healing. 

Review: The Arts of Legerdemain as Taught by Ghosts



Synopsis:

Set against a backdrop of magic tricks, ghost stories, and attempts to communicate with the dead, The Arts of Legerdemain as Taught by Ghosts tells the story of Steve Kozwa–a former stage magician who’s recently released from prison. Steve is living in a dilapidated apartment, working a dead-end job at a donut shop, and clinging to one spark of hope: that he can somehow scrape together enough money to get to New Zealand and the fresh start his sister has promised.

His fragile existence is shattered by a poster advertising a magic show, and a magician Steve recognizes: his ex-lover, Fox Fellows. As he wrestles with the conflicting emotions and memories surrounding his failed relationship with Fox, Steve tries to gain ground on his potential future, signing on to help a sad and obsessive hunt to communicate with spirits. And, just as Steve thinks he’s managed to get over the crux of his problem, an unforeseen catastrophe wipes everything away, and leaves him facing a dangerous and desperate set of choices.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Arts of Legerdemain As Taught by Ghosts is entertaining, suspenseful, and well-written. Jim Naremore has created a marvelous masterpiece. After opening the book, the story swept me off my seat…and settled me deep into the tale. Following a magician as his turn of events go from livable to highly dangerous, was fun. I didn’t know what to expect. Each page was full of adventure. Bold, enticing, and engaging. 

Jim Naremore has created a character reader’s like myself won’t ever forget. Steve Kozwa. A magician who is let out of prison and soon finds himself starting back towards magic. Then, there’s his ex lover, as well as the promise of a new life. But first, he is easily turned away by someone over her own success. Next, he’s framed…or is trying to be framed. Yet Steve and his magic are so good, it’s unbelievable what he can do. Steve is easily a character I liked. His story hooked me from the beginning to end. I look forward to reading more about Steve Kozwa in the future. The ending leaves so much that could be turned into more possibilities. Overall, I highly recommend The Arts of Legerdemain As Taught by Ghosts, to readers worldwide. 

Review: Transformed Paris


Synopsis:

Transman spy Charley MacElroy travels to Paris to help French authorities break up a Neo Nazi plot to scatter dirty bombs throughout the city. His older lover Electra comes along to study French, but she soon discovers Dickie Borque, an sinister British aristocrat with lavender hair, may be behind the plot. Charley, however, is not so sure.

Meanwhile, she and Charley begin having love troubles when he suggests opening up their relationship to suit his pansexual desires. After discovering that he may have been fooling around with his attractive new male assistant, Electra moves out in a huff. Soon Charley is wandering the quays alone, trying to find the dirty bombs while wistfully longing for his love.
Electra enlists the help of Dickie’s feisty eighty-something milliner, Odile, to break up the plot. But then suddenly, Electra disappears. Now, Charley must search frantically for both the bombs and Electra amidst the cafes, conversation, and the gleaming, rainy streets of Paris in winter. 
Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Transformed Paris by both Suzanne Falter & Jack Harvey is definitely for adults only due the amount of adult content. Those you love erotica’s will definitely enjoy this read more than those who don’t read eroticas. Other than those issues, I have to say that the writers did an excellent job portraying their characters. The scenes of Paris were great. A famous city that readers can almost see, smell, and hear through the words on the pages. There’s plenty of action, travel, and adventure going on here to keep readers interested. Charley MacElroy is a want to be spy. He is like the guy in Pink Panther movie. Just like the actor from that movie this character wants to help the police solve a case. In this case, to prevent the spreading of bombs. This part of the fictional tale can be quite a nightmare to those who lived in New York City with all the bombings going on…this story will keep readers on the edge of their chairs.  I don’t like Charley so much…but the other characters are great. Electra proves to be the genius in this circle of characters. Overall, Transformed Paris has what it takes to be a fascinating adventure. I recommend it to those who love plenty of sex scenes, danger, and a good mystery. 

Review: To Love a Viscount

Regency Romance: To Love A Viscount (CLEAN Historical Romance) by [Bennett, Jessie]

 

Synopsis:

Her childhood friend is available, but a handsome stranger makes her doubt her choice.

One of the society’s most beautiful eligible women, Miss Emma Roberts knows that her father is dying and she must choose a husband. She has always known Viscount Francis Turner, and he seems the solid choice in her desperate situation. However, another opportunity has arisen. He may be the better choice for pretty Emma.

Handsome Viscount Francis Turner loves his childhood best friend, but he’s also in a desperate situation and must marry quickly in order to save his inheritance. Then the dashing Captain Jonathan Green captures her attention, and he doubts whether she is the right choice for him. He must make a choice to pursue her heart or watch her be claimed by another man, but he must also choose a bride for himself before time runs out.

Emma and Francis must find a balance between romance and friendship—and decide whether a solid friendship is a right foundation, for a lasting marriage. Theirs could be a marriage for love, but Emma must choose between security and the desire of her heart.

Can she overcome her reservations and discover which man is her true love?

Will Francis find a way to save his family home and win the heart of the woman he has loved since childhood?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

To Love a Viscount by Jessie Bennett is an enchanting historical read. This romance is clean. The soul and heart of this story will captivate readers everywhere. Two best friends find themselves in a desperate situation. One’s father is ill the other is getting weaker. One friend is penniless and the other needs a husband. When both friends meet, their attraction towards each other is visible. However, Francis has to work for his money now, sacrificing his own pride to save his and his father’s home. Emma needs to find a husband before her father dies. He seems to be getting worse each time…and he wants to see his girls married before his last breathe. Fate is funny sometimes. Francis soon becomes a hero in rescuing his best friend Emma for a bad suitor and her father from an evil relative. Francis can’t ignore his blossoming love for Emma; however, he feels unworthy of her love. Emma has feelings for her best friend Francis but then there’s a new man trying for her undivided attention. Who she chooses will affect the rest of her life in many ways.  Jessie Bennett is a talented writer. Her work never ceases to amaze me. I love the charming yet realistic characters. Their drama and troubles make for an interesting read. I enjoyed following both Francis and Emma as their lives changed them and led them into new beginnings. To Love a Viscount is definitely a must read for all. I highly recommend Jessie Bennett’s novel.

 

Review: All Summer Long

 

Synopsis:

All Summer Long follows one charming New York couple – prominent interior designer Olivia Ritchie and her husband Nicholas Seymour, an English professor and true southern gentleman.  They are seemingly polar opposites, yet magnetically drawn together and in love for more than fourteen years.

As they prepare to relocate to Charleston, S.C., Olivia, the ultimate New Yorker, has reservations about the promise she made to retire in the Lowcountry, where Nick wants to return home and lead a more peaceful life.  They are moving north to south, fast pace versus slow pace and downsizing.  Nick is ecstatic.  Olivia is not.   She can’t let Nick know that their finances are not what he thought.   Her client list is evaporating, their monetary reserves are dwindling and maybe that house she picked out on Sullivans Island needs too much work.  Thank God, for her assistant, Roni Larini, her right (and sometimes left) hand.

As they find themselves pondering the next step of their lives, Olivia and Nick travel with her billionaire clients and their friends and are swept up into the world of the ultra-rich and explore the globe with a cast of zany eccentrics over one tumultuous, hot summer. All as Olivia grapples with what lies ahead for her and Nick.

This is a story of how plans evolve and lives change in unexpected ways, how even those who have everything are still looking for something more.  Even the most successful people can often struggle to keep things together.  All Summer Long asks the ultimate question: can money buy happiness?  From Sullivans Island to Necker Island to Nantucket to the beaches of Southern Spain, we’ll come to recognize the many faces of true love, love that deepens and endures but only because one woman makes a tremendous leap of faith. And that leap changes everything.

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank is a truly a thoughtful novel. One that takes readers on a journey of finding what they really want and need in life. Marriage is not easy but it takes courage, sacrifices, and love. A woman and her husband get to take a vacation and it’s on this vacation she gets to think about everything. Maybe her marriage is okay and will survive no matter what is happening with her work and career. Marriage, after all, is for better or worse, rich or poor. All Summer Long is an exploration and deep thinking that leaves readers wondering what will happen next. Dorothea Benton Frank portrays the life of a wife and husband beautifully in this tale. I found the beginning a bit slow for my taste but once I moved past that…the plot was steady. Overall, I enjoyed the sneak peek into these characters lives and recommend it to all.

 

Review: Tullus

 

Synopsis:

A 52-page full-color Christian adventure comic book.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Tullus is an excellent comic book that has endless pages of Christian adventures. What it’s like being a Christian and in troubling times is clearly demonstrated with every page. But also, it shows that if you’re strong in your faith and truly believe in God then you can conquer anything. Especially, escaping from one’s enemies that are hot on one’s trail. I loved every moment of reading these endless tales that bring out the same messages. Believe, stay strong, and don’t give up hope even when things look hopeless. Good things can come your way if you’re patience. The morals are strong and the graphics are amazing. This comic book is for all ages. Everyone who reads this will be swept up by the adventures that the believable characters go through…Overall, I highly recommend Tullus to readers worldwide.

 

 

Review: Gaikokujin – The Story

 

Synopsis:

外黒人 is a spiritual rag, to riches adventure. I have been blessed to live a ‘storybook life’ but not in any glamorous way. Writing this book has allowed me to examine my role as a person of color—which I refer to as ‘melanin-rich’—in a society which has proven itself to be hostile toward non-Caucasian people. Because this is part memoir, part historical treatise, and part survivor’s guide, it is my intention to stretch the parameters of a conventional novel.

In Japanese, the word Gai-koku-jin, literally meaning outside-country-person; i.e.  the foreigner, is traditionally written as「外国人」. I, however, am coining terminology by replacing the middle character with「黒」, which is pronounced identically but means ‘black’ instead of country. Not only does this symbolize my own cultural perspective, but it also represents a set of circumstances which is not limited to any race or country.

Book 1 of this trilogy is told through the eyes of a confused child. A stranger in my own home, like so many neglected children, I found a surrogate family in the street—mainly at our neighborhood basketball courts. After learning how to ‘make a dollar out of fifteen cents,’ I was headed down a tried-and-true path for disaster until, ironically, a Beast and a Serpent came to my rescue.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Gaikokujin-The Story by Taknan Amarn is one powerfully yet captivating story. A novel like this is a must read. Taknan Amarn gives his readers a story rich in culture, history,  and philosophy. His characters give readers a show not tell, version of life and how society operates. Society doesn’t always operate in a way to benefit all people.  Those of color and gender were mistreated in ways none of us can expect. That and the issues of poverty didn’t help these groups much either.

Gaikokujin – The Story is told by the Taknan Amarn’s point of view. His fictional world allows readers to see a side of the world most of us choose to ignore. Society’s norms take control of us like the Devil having complete control over what we say or do. Readers will follow a survivor’s journey through these troubling times. A refreshing and symbolic novel that readers will enjoy reading. I look forward to reading more by this talented writer and highly recommend his novel to readers worldwide. Gaikokujin – The Story is the story readers won’t want to miss. Absolutely inspiring…and suspenseful.

 

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