Source: Borrowed

#BookReview
Circling The Sun by Paula McLain

#BookReview Circling The Sun by Paula McLainTitle: Circling the Sun

Author: Paula McLain

Published by: Ballantine Books on July 28, 2015

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 366

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.

Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl’s truest self and her fate: to fly.


Review:

This was one of my book club reads for this month and I enjoyed it.

This is a story based on the real life of Beryl Markham.

Beryl was a strong, independent, remarkable women who was definitely ahead of her time. She accomplished some incredible things and had an indomitable spirit. At the same time, however, there always seemed be an aura of sadness surrounding her. She was constantly searching for true freedom and happiness, which she could never find. Her struggles with abandonment, loneliness, heartache and disappointment seemed to overshadow all the rest.

I have to admit that I knew very little of Beryl Markham before reading this book and I found it interesting and captivating right from the prologue.

The writing, itself, is poetic and flows from page-to-page effortlessly. And the imagery of colonial Kenya is beautiful and vivid.

This was a good choice for book club and I look forward to discussing it.

 

#BookReview
The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall

#BookReview The Wolf Border by Sarah HallTitle: The Wolf Border

Author: Sarah Hall

Published by: Harper on June 9, 2015

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 6.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The award-winning author of The Electric Michelangelo returns with her first novel in nearly six years, a literary masterpiece about the reintroduction of wild wolves into the United Kingdom.

She hears them howling along the buffer zone, a long harmonic.
One leading, then many.
At night there is no need to imagine, no need to dream.
They reign outside the mind.

Rachel Caine is a zoologist working in Nez Perce, Idaho, as part of a wolf recovery project. She spends her days, and often nights, tracking the every move of a wild wolf pack—their size, their behavior, their howl patterns. It is a fairly solitary existence, but Rachel is content.

When she receives a call from the wealthy and mysterious Earl of Annerdale, who is interested in reintroducing the grey wolf to Northern England, Rachel agrees to a meeting. She is certain she wants no part of this project, but the Earl’s estate is close to the village where Rachel grew up, and where her aging mother now lives in a care facility. It has been far too long since Rachel has gone home, and so she returns to face the ghosts of her past.

The Wolf Border is a breathtaking story about the frontier of the human spirit, from one of the most celebrated young writers working today.


Review:

This is a hard book for me to review. I actually picked it up a few months ago, started it, put it down, and only now just picked it up again to finish it.

This story involves two plots that run simultaneously to each other. One is about the wolves. The other is about Rachel, the zoologist that oversees them.

The plot of the wolves was very interesting and the author did a great job describing their behaviour and their interaction with nature. On the other hand, the plot of Rachel was a little less intriguing and focuses on familial dysfunction, detachment, and motherhood. 

The vocabulary of this story is very rich and the imagery is incredible. However, for me, the lacklustre characterization made the story, as a whole, a little flat and slow.

 

#BookReview
House Broken by Sonja Yoerg

#BookReview House Broken by Sonja YoergTitle: House Broken

Author: Sonja Yoerg

Published by: NAL on January 6, 2015

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In this compelling and poignant debut novel, a woman skilled at caring for animals must learn to mend the broken relationships in her family.…
 
For veterinarian Geneva Novak, animals can be easier to understand than people. They’re also easier to forgive. But when her mother, Helen, is injured in a vodka-fueled accident, it’s up to Geneva to give her the care she needs.
 
Since her teens, Geneva has kept her self-destructive mother at arm’s length. Now, with two slippery teenagers of her own at home, the last thing she wants is to add Helen to the mix. But Geneva’s husband convinces her that letting Helen live with them could be her golden chance to repair their relationship.
 
Geneva isn’t expecting her mother to change anytime soon, but she may finally get answers to the questions she’s been asking for so long. As the truth about her family unfolds, however, Geneva may find secrets too painful to bear and too terrible to forgive.


Review:

I really liked this book.

This is a thought-provoking story that delves into the complexities and dysfunction of family relationships, including the long-lasting effects of secrets and the art of forgiveness.

It is written from the perspective of three different characters, Geneva, Geneva’s mother, and Geneva’s daughter, which allows the story to flow seamlessly between past and present.

It is a well written, insightful, bittersweet novel with real characters and a realistic ending.

This was part of my book club and I think it was a good pick.

 

#BookReview
Private Paris by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

#BookReview Private Paris by James Patterson & Mark SullivanTitle: Private Paris

Author: James Patterson, Mark T. Sullivan

Series: Private #10

Published by: Little Brown and Company on March 14, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 411

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Paris is burning–and only Private’s Jack Morgan can put out the fire.

When Jack Morgan stops by Private’s Paris office, he envisions a quick hello during an otherwise relaxing trip filled with fine food and sightseeing. But Jack is quickly pressed into duty after a call from his client Sherman Wilkerson, asking Jack to track down his young granddaughter who is on the run from a brutal drug dealer.

Before Jack can locate her, several members of France’s cultural elite are found dead–murdered in stunning, symbolic fashion. The only link between the crimes is a mysterious graffiti tag. As religious and ethnic tensions simmer in the City of Lights, only Jack and his Private team can connect the dots before the smoldering powder keg explodes.


Review:

I liked this book and generally enjoy the “Private” series.

It had a good plot and interesting characters.

It was quick-paced, had short chapters, and was easy to read.

I would recommend it and look forward to the next book in the series.

 

#BookReview
The Total Package by Stephanie Evanovich

#BookReview The Total Package by Stephanie EvanovichTitle: The Total Package

Author: Stephanie Evanovich

Published by: William Morrow on March 15, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 256

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties and The Sweet Spot is back with a funny, sweet, and sizzling novel about the game of love, in which a hot quarterback must figure out how to score big with a beautiful and talented media analyst after a heartbreaking fumble.

Star quarterback, first-round draft-pick, and heartthrob Tyson Palmer has made a name for himself with his spectacular moves. When the head coach of the Austin Mavericks refuses to let him waste his million-dollar arm, Tyson makes a Hail Mary pass at redemption and succeeds with everyone . . . except Dani, whose negative comments about his performance draw high ratings and spectacular notices of her own.

Dani can’t forgive Tyson’s transgressions or forget the sizzling history the two of them shared in college, a passionate love Tyson casually threw away. And even more infuriating, he doesn’t realize that the bombshell with huge ratings is the cute girl whose heart he once broke.

But can a woman trying to claw her way to the top and a quarterback who knows all about rock bottom make it to the Super Bowl without destroying each other? And what will happen when Tyson—riding high now that he’s revived his career—realizes he needs to make an even more important comeback with Dani? Can he make some spectacular moves to get past her defenses—or will she sideline him for good?


Review:

After having read Stephanie Evanovich’s other two books and enjoyed them, I was really looking forward to reading this one and it didn’t disappoint.

This story is a second-chance, comeback story, complete with humour and romance with a football backdrop.

The plot moves nicely, the characters are likeable, and the story is heartwarming, fun, and interesting.

I liked it and would definitely recommend it. I think it would be a great beach read.

 

#BookReview
14th Deadly Sin
by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

#BookReview 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson & Maxine PaetroTitle: 14th Deadly Sin

Author: James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

Series: Women's Murder Club #14

Published by: Little Brown and Company on May 4, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

Detective Lindsay Boxer and her three best friends are back and recovering from the events that pushed them all to the edge.

After her near-death experience, Yuki is seeing her life from a new perspective and is considering a change in her law career. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Cindy has healed from her gunshot wound and has published a book on the infamous serial killers she helped to bring down. Lindsay is just happy that the gang are all still in one piece.

But a new terror is sweeping the streets of San Francisco. A gang dressed as cops are ransacking the city, and leaving a string of dead bodies in their wake. Lindsay is on the case to track them down and needs to discover whether these killers could actually be police officers. Maybe even cops she already knows…


Review:

I liked this book.

It was an easy read, flowed nicely and was entertaining.

Is the plot somewhat weaker than some of the other WMC books? Maybe. After all it is book #14 in the series.

Saying that, however, I still think it’s worth the read.

 

#BookReview
Wildfire in His Arms by Johanna Lindsey

#BookReview Wildfire in His Arms by Johanna LindseyTitle: Wildfire In His Arms

Author: Johanna Lindsey

Series: Callahan-Warren #2

Published by: Pocket Books on February 23, 2016

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey’s passionate new tale about a gunfighter running from his past who finds his future when he escorts a beautiful outlaw to her hanging. Featuring one of Lindsey’s most intriguing heroes: the dangerous and mysterious Degan Grant from One Heart to Win.

With his work in Montana completed now that the Callahan-Warren feud has ended in marriage rather than bloodshed, Degan Grant sets out for California because it is far away from the home he wants to forget—until the US Marshal who saved his life calls in a favor. All Degan has to do is apprehend three outlaws on the marshal’s list and turn them over to the law. Easy enough, he figures, for a man no one wants to tangle with.

But then a bold young woman crosses his path. Maxine grew up so pretty and attracted so much unwanted attention in her Texas hometown that events spiraled out of control. She will try anything to escape the handsome, enigmatic gunfighter who intends to turn her over to a corrupt sheriff who will hang her instead of putting her on trial.

Saddled with a sassy, spirited young woman who insists she is innocent, Degan must hunt down a vicious killer and keep an old enemy at bay. But forced into intimate proximity with his beguiling prisoner, he finds his desire sparking into a wildfire of passion, and he can no longer deny that it is time for them to risk confronting their pasts so he can have a chance at a future with her in his arms forever.


Review:

This is a fun, easy read.

If you like the wild west, gunslingers, bounty hunters, horses and romance, this book is for you.

Well written and entertaining.

 

#BookReview
Memory Man by David Baldacci
@davidbaldacci

#BookReview Memory Man by David Baldacci @davidbaldacciTitle: Memory Man

Author: David Baldacci

Series: Amos Decker #1

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on April 21, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

Amos Decker’s life changed forever–twice.

The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect–he can never forget anything.

The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare–his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.

His family destroyed, their killer’s identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.

But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Review:

I really enjoyed this book.

I am probably a little biased as David Baldacci is one of my favourite authors, and this book didn’t disappoint.

In Memory Man we are introduced to some new characters, Decker, Jamison, and Bogart and an entirely new series.

This novel is well written, intriguing, suspenseful, thought provoking, intelligent and interesting,

From the beginning you are hooked and even though this is a stand-alone novel, the ending only leaves you wanting more.

What more can I say. If you like mystery/suspense novels you will like this book.

Now I just have to patiently wait for the next book in the series, The Last Mile, to get my next Amos Decker fix.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on David Baldacci, visit his website at: davidbaldacci.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @davidbaldacci

 

#BookReview
The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys

#BookReview The Evening Chorus by Helen HumphreysTitle: The Evening Chorus

Author: Helen Humphreys

Published by: HarperCollins Publishers on February 3, 2015

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Downed during his first mission, James Hunter is taken captive as a German POW. To bide the time, he studies a nest of redstarts at the edge of camp. Some prisoners plot escape; some are shot. And then, one day, James is called to the Kommandant’s office. 

Meanwhile, back home, James’s new wife, Rose, is on her own, free in a way she has never known. Then, James’s sister, Enid, loses everything during the Blitz and must seek shelter with Rose. In a cottage near Ashdown forest, the two women jealously guard secrets, but form a surprising friendship. Each of these characters will find unexpected freedom amid war’s privations and discover confinements that come with peace.


Review:

This is a touching story about three characters trying to survive and find their way amongst the unpredictability of war.

The imagery is beautiful and the power of nature and the solace one can find within it is clearly depicted.

This is a quiet, understated book that is elegantly written and definitely worth a read.

 

#BookReview
The Collector by Nora Roberts

#BookReview The Collector by Nora RobertsTitle: The Collector

Author: Nora Roberts

Published by: Berkley on March 3, 2015

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 528

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a novel of a woman who needs nothing, a man who sees everything, and the web of deceit, greed, and danger that brings them together—and could tear them apart . . .

When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one. . . .

Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence—against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened. Ash longs to paint her as intensely as he hungers to touch her. But their investigation draws them into a rarified circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession. . . .


Review:

As we all know, Nora Roberts is the go-to author when you’re looking for a nice, easy, fluffy romance book.

I love her books. Sure they’re predictable, but they’re like comfort food. And I have to say she didn’t disappoint with this one.

There were a couple of things I really liked about this book. One, it was a stand-alone book. So all the characters and drama were wrapped up in this one book. And two, it had quite a bit more mystery and suspense in this book compared to some of her others, which made the story a little bit more meaty.

What else can I say. It’s Nora and it’s a good one.

 

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