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Review – Spirit of Lost Angels – Liza Perrat

spirit of lost angelsSpirit of Lost Angels
Author: Liza Perrat

Review Copy Provided by the Author

Description:
Her mother executed for witchcraft, her father dead at the hand of a noble, Victoire Charpentier vows to rise above her poor peasant roots.

Forced to leave her village of Lucie-sur-Vionne for domestic work in Paris, Victoire suffers gruesome abuse under the ancien régime. Can she muster the bravery and skill to join the revolutionary force gripping France, and overthrow the corrupt, diabolical aristocracy?

Spirit of Lost Angels traces the journey of a bone angel talisman passed down through generations. The women of L’Auberge des Anges face tragedy and betrayal in a world where their gift can be their curse.

Review:
Growing up with a mom that is a French teacher, the French revolution is a period of history that has been of interest to me for quite a while – I even took a section on it in high school. So I had a working familiarity with the time period that Spirit of Lost Angels was set in. I think this helped me to connect with the characters on a different level than someone who might not know much about the period. I felt that Liza did a great job of portrayal the trials and tribulations of the period. I also learnt something new about the women who were involved in the revolution – since so much of the history is focused on the men (I mean, since we all know that they are great and powerful), and there isn’t ever much said about the women, with the exception of Marie Antonionette (and her infamous, let them eat cake). I also enjoyed how the author was able to draw in other historical characters (Thomas Jefferson and Mary Wollstonecraft) which I felt added some authenticity to the text.

But at the same time, there were a few places that I struggled with and I can’t pinpoint why…I was able to put it down and at one stage was in no rush to pick it back up. But when I did, I was immediately sucked back in…which is why I’m ambivalent over my rating of the book. I have to admit that I am intrigued about how other books in the series are going to play out with the idea of the lost angels – there was a brief excerpt in the back of the book for the next one and i’ll likely be checking it out. Overall, I would give Spirit of Lost Angels 3.5 stars, but rounding down to 3 on Goodreads (and up to 4 on Amazon).

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Book Review

 

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Review – Matthew – Emma Lang

matthewMatthew
Author: Emma Lang
Series: #1 in the Circle Eight series

Review copy donated by author

Description:
A man learns to hold what is his

It is a vast spread in the eastern wilds of the newly independent Republic of Texas, the ranch their parents fought for … and died for. To the eight Graham siblings, no matter how much hard work or hard love it takes, life is unthinkable without family…

In the wake of his parents’ murder, Matthew Graham must take the reins at the Circle Eight. He also needs to find a wife in just thirty days, or risk losing it all. Plain but practical, Hannah Foley seems the perfect bride for him . . . until after the wedding night.

Their marriage may make all the sense in the world, but neither one anticipates the jealousies that will result, the treacherous danger they’re walking into, or the wildfire of attraction that will sweep over them, changing their lives forever

Review:
I’ve been a fan of Emma Lang’s writing since I discovered her stuff under her other name (Beth Williamson), but until now, I hadn’t actually picked up any of her books. So when she offered up ARCs of book 3 in the Circle Eight series on Twitter, I jumped on the opportunity. As a bonus, since I hadn’t read the previous 2 books in the series, she sent me signed copies. So while I was in bed this past weekend, feeling sick and sorry for myself, I dug into book 1.

It was to me the ultimately comfort read and by that I mean, it went down easy – there wasn’t a lot of conflict within (although some of the females, especially Olivia were major brats – or insert other expletive here) and there was a satisfactory conclusion – although, I do feel that everything was figured out early in the series – I had kind of hoped to see the mystery behind Matthew’s (et al’s) parents death continue through a couple of books, rather than being solved at the end of this one. However, the mystery behind the missing brother still needs to be solved, so maybe that will be the common plot through-out.

I liked the romance between Matt and Hannah – it was sweet with a mail-order/marriage of convenience theme that seemed common in the time period that the book was set in. Hannah’s grandmother was a hoot – I can’t wait to see her in future book (or at least, I hope she is in future books). The introduction of Brody (who it appears is going to be the hero in the next book was intriguing – I mean, you have to have the darkly handsome, stand-off-ish law enforcement type).

I would note, however, that in a few places that language and writing just felt a bit forced – like it didn’t really flow. But it is hard to place it. I don’t know – just something that I noticed – will be interested to see if I notice anything similar in the next book. Overall, I would give Matthew 3 stars with a recommendation to anyone who likes historical romances with a western theme.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Book Review

 

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Review – Funnel Vision – Chris Kridler

Funnel Vision
Author: Chris Kridler

Review Copy Provided by Author

Book Description:
Kansas photographer Judy Hale loves to chase storms, but at the heart of her passion is a fear she longs to quell, born of the tornado that destroyed her childhood. Handsome, devil-may-care tornado researcher Jack Andreas wants nothing better than to forget the past in his dangerously close encounters with the twisters he chases for science. He also chases women, and when he and Judy meet, sparks fly.

But Judy and Jack have dueling destinies as they cross paths with Judy’s sister Shannon, a directionless coquette; a clueless newbie storm-tour operator named Brad Treat; geeky, likable chaser Robinson Marvell; and a bevy of other storm chasers as they pursue the gorgeous, violent storms of Tornado Alley. Their stories intertwine as they chase the monster storm that forces Judy to confront her deepest fears and Jack to find the courage to face the ultimate twister.

Review
I’m always bummed when a book that I was looking forward to reading didn’t quite live up to the hype that I had placed on it. For me, Funnel Vision was one of those books. I have to admit, that since Twister, came out when I was in high school, I have been intrigued by storm chasers and what they do, and even considering getting into meteorology at one stage (unfortunately, my science grades in college were just not good enough). So when this book was offered up by the author in one of my goodreads groups, I was intrigued. The premise sounded entertaining, and since it was based on the authors experiences, I figured it would be a good read. Here is, for me, where it splits…the story regarding the storm chasing itself, I really liked. I thought that the author did a good job of detailing the adrenaline that these chasers must feel – both the official ones and the non-official “Weekend Chasers” (I don’t know if that is the right term, but it works for me). I think I might have enjoyed it more, if the drama of some of the characters lives had just been completely left out of it (and this is coming from someone who is an avid romance reader – yes, I admit it).

It was mostly the character interactions on the personal level that bugged me the most. When I see the phrase in a description, “sparks fly” I am expecting some kind of tension, interaction, development of a relationship, but for me, it was more like sparks fizzle. That and the development of the character as a skirt-chasing playboy – just pissed me off. Especially when you think that (hover here for spoiler). I also threw the book across the room at that point, I was so fustrated. Yes, I know that it wasn’t specifically marketed as a romance, but the description kind of led me to expect more. I guess if you don’t like the touchy-feeley romance stuff, you might like it, but if you are a romance reader, I would avoid it (and I don’t say that lightly). I also had an issue with how an issue played out later in the book, but I am waiting on a response from some law enforcement friends with an answer to my question before I vent…but essentially (hover here for spoiler)

But I am having a hard time rating this book, I would probably only give it 2.5 stars overall, mostly because of the issues that I mentioned above – but at the same time, it was very well written and you could tell how much the author knew about the topic, so I am conflicted. I may end up changing my review, but right now, I am going to leave it at 2.5 stars. But I am curious about what the author might write in the future.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Book Review

 

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