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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Book Review: Treasure Me by Christine Nolfi

Birdie Kaminsky is the daughter of con artists and is herself a petty thief but once you learn how difficult her up bringing is you'll grow a soft spot for her. Having moved from place to place in order to keep one step ahead of the law (partly her fault and partly her parents) all she really  wants is a place to belong and  to fill the void in her life where love should be. She also wants
Petty thief Birdie Kamisky wants to go straight but the odds are against her. She's the daughter of con artists who are always on the run. It's difficult to change when she has no real skills.

She arrives In Liberty, Ohio in hopes of tracking down treasure she's heard exists, the story of it has been passed down through her dysfunctional family. But she gets more than she bargains for when she arrives and has to share an apartment along with a handsome  down-on-his-luck reporter. She takes a job as a waitress in the local cafe where the treasure is believed to be hidden. 

I found this to be a charming story about two messed up people who want to straighten out their lives and find a place where they belong and it's also filled with humor and some pretty fun and quirky characters. A very fun and sensitive read. You'll fall in love with Birdie. I give it four out of five stars.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Review: Georgiana Darcy's Diary: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Continued by Anna Elliot and Laura Masselos

I'm a big Austen fan and I love Pride and Prejudice so my fear was this would be a feeble attempt at sequel. I was pleasantly surprised. Georgiana Darcey, Mr. Darcey's younger sister, is now 18 years old and in love with her co-guardian Colonel Fitzwilliams.

 Elliot and Masselos do a great job fleshing out some of the peripheral characters from the first story including Georgiana and introducing new ones. I especially like the way Georgiana takes sickly Anne de Bourgh (Lady Catherine's daughter) under her wing. Watching Georgiana and Anne blossom is fun. Of course there have to be some villains and Wickham returns for an encore and there's an additional one I don't want to giveaway. A very fun read. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Book Review: Standing Stones by Beth Camp

This first book in a promising series, takes place in 19th century Scotland in the Orkney islands at the time of the Clearances. It was a time when wealthy landowners were changing their mode of land management and ruthlessly throwing tenants off the land.

When Lord McDonald takes over the estate of Westland and its holdings, he's determined to make improvements and increase his income to match the holding of his prosperous brother. But the extreme changes he makes brings even more hardship to the tenants of his lands when they are already struggling to survive. These include increased rental fees and bringing in a new breed of sheep, and forcing the fishermen to alter their boats at their own expense. With only an eye for profit, the new lord doesn't care that the people who serve him aren't able to make the rent and many are going hungry. When he brings in some thugs to enforce his decrees, it is more than the people can bear. Those who stand up to him including Mac, the eldest son in the MacDonnells clan, face harsh consequences.

This saga follows the plight of the McDonnells and their loved ones. What a great story based on true facts, though the characters are fictional. It increased my awareness of great wrongs that have been done in the past and the people who weathered these storms. I give it five our of four stars.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Book Review: Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings

Anne Tillerton is similar to Annie Oakley. She's a dead shot  with a gun and for the past few years has made her living as a buffalo hunter. But when Nick Lovelace comes to the aid of a passenger on a train during a hold up, Anne ends up saving Nick's life.

Anne's sordid history includes killing her husband. We learn later it was a kill or be killed situation and she suffered abuse and the loss of a child. All she wants to do is come to town to find a cook, but instead she ends up caring for an abandoned orphan child and helping Nick in the process.  There couldn't be more of a mismatched pair but when the two are thrust together and it's interesting to see the relationship develop. It was refreshing to meet up with a female historical character who wasn't the stereotyped damsel in distress. I truly cared
about Anne and Nick is noble guy. The one issue I have is that Jennings has Anne using powdered baby formula which, according to what I've researched, didn't come into use much later. I give it four out of five stars.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Book Review: Alzheimer's Prevention: Protect Your Brain for Life by Dr. Melody Jemison

A very thorough book written by Dr. Melody Jemison. Jemison lists multiple things you can do to prevent the progression of Alzheimer's.  The author references a variety of studies. It's never too early to start putting these measures into place. In fact, the earlier the better, as taking the recommended supplements or establishing suggested regimens can actually give you and edge over Alzheimer's though not in some cases if you are already genetically wired for it. I give this 5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review: The Heart of a Gypsy by Roberta Kagan

During Nazi Germay Christian Stearn, a freedom-fighter is rescued by a band of gypsies involved in the resistance after being captured by  the Nazis. Christian immediately falls in love with Nadya the beautify gypsy girl who helps orchestrate his rescue. Christian then joins forces and works with the gypsies.

The author uses the story to help educate readers as the the plight of the gypsies during this time.  They were treated as the Jews were as scum by the superior Aryan race and were annilated as well in the concentration camps. At times it felt like an info dump of gypsy culture and history and Kagan tends to tell more than show what happens. There were a couple of steamy sex scenes. Nadya ends up being virtually an object with little to do but stay at camp and pine for Christian to return from dangerous missions.  Had this been better written I would have given it a higher rating. I give if 3 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Book Review: Hearts Awakening (Hearts Along the River) by Delia Parr

Ellie Kilmer is a spinster with no money and a plain countenance.  Her only hope for supporting herself is to serve as a housekeeper on Dillon Island for widower Jackson,  a widower with young boys.  Jackson makes a marriage proposal to Ellie, but it will be in name only and he’s mainly after a cook and caregiver. The more Ellie gets to know Jackson the more she learns about his troubled first marriage and the other women he still carries a torch for. Ellie is a sympathetic character and I felt for her and for the rejection she experiences by Jackson’s boy.  It’s good story. I give it four out of five stars.