great reads

Review: Lost Tales of Mercia

Lost Tales of MerciaBetter late, then never! So here is Thursday’s review now!
Lost Tales of Mercia by Jayden Woods
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All right. Do I have to say it? It was a free book from B&N.

You can either get the “chapters” each in their own e-books, or get this one with all of them in it.

The individual chapters are not like in a normal book, They do not connect. They are rather stand alone little stories about each of the personages named in the titles. I rather liked the way the author gave you little glimpses of these peoples lives and it will leave you wanting more. So go ahead and put the other books “Eadric the Grasper” and “Godric the Kingslayer” also on your list!) Specially if you are a fan of medieval fiction!!!! These two books sort of pick up where “Lost tales” will leave you.

I did like the way the author was painting the picture of Mercia and Englalond. Very vivid and easy to imagine how it might have been. I read some of the chapters/books in one sitting. I really got into it and loved the feel these books conveyed!

Rather entertaining! Quick little reads for when you just want to tune out for a bit, but don’t feel like a whole novel!

I enjoyed reading this very much and have the other two books in this line already on my to read list!

Lost tales of Mercia is still free on B&N at the moment!

ETA: I have since read all of them and my review still stands for all! :)

Review: Winning the Wallflower: A Novella

Winning the Wallflower: A Novella
Winning the Wallflower: A Novella by Eloisa James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What a silly little book! Certainly not correct in the details, but oh so funny written!
Sometimes I don’t mind a little incorrectness in a historical romance. So what if it isn’t accurate and the heroine blurts out some phrases that nobody back then would have understood? Does the story flow? Do you want to read just one more line? Then it’s a good book! Job well done! :)

I like romance novels now and again. I like them to be a bit steamy even. I LOVE historical romance novels. So when I stumbled across this one for free on B&N I thought why not? And it payed off with a delightful afternoon of “getting away” into another time and space. (It’s no longer free, but at $0.99 not a bad deal either)

If you can suspend your common sense and shut up the little voice in your head SCREAMING that this would NEVER have happened this way, then this little book is a hoot to read!

It was just plain fun and honestly: The love scene was HOT! I will certainly look for more by this author.
I won’t say more about the book, as it is really short (it’s only a Novella after all) and if I say one more sentence then I probably give it all away. Well really one can guess the outcome by the third page, but it doesn’t harm the story or the joy of reading. At least not in my opinion.

 

Review: A Bucket of Ashes

A Bucket of Ashes
A Bucket of Ashes by P.B. Ryan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Wow.. So this is how it ends.

I was so happy with this series all the way that I got absolutely blind-sided by this book!

I have to admit: I skipped a few pages in this one! I skipped a few a lot of pages in this one. I still got the gist of it.

I did not skip pages because I didn’t like the book! I think the reason was that there were more words than were necessary on some of the pages. I do like descriptive writing, but sometimes you just have to get on with it!

I do understand the need to bring readers up to speed on things that happened earlier in the series, if they happen to have skipped those books. If it is too much “reminiscing” though then it gets boring and redundant for the faithful readers that read them all cover to cover. That is all.
Since really all of the books in this series were rather great, I am very willing to forgive this little bit of annoyance.

The Mystery part was really shallow! I get the whole “working through your feelings” bit with Nell’s leftover family. I thought it was necessary to her character. Although I do think it was not necessary to kill her brother off to bring it about.

After finding out Nell’s “situation” I wasn’t really interested in the mystery at all any more. I just wanted to find out how she would handle it. Well, she refused to until the end and even then we got sort of cheated out of it.

I didn’t like how neat the whole Duncan thing got resolved! It was just a bit too convenient!

The whole part with the “newspaper clipping” thing at the end was a bit trite.

The whole book felt like Mrs. Ryan just wanted to get it over with, have Nell taken care of in the end.

I didn’t like that Will’s excuse for being a cad was Nell being still married! It just did not fit in with his heroic character. His devil-may-care attitude, his possessiveness, his unconventional behaviour. Through out the series, he became more and more of a user. He used Nell for what he wanted. Then in the end, he makes it “all right” by.. gosh better not say anything about that or spoil it.

I am not opposed to happily ever after! Not in the least! I like it! I wish life was sometimes more like it!
Bucket full of ashes had a cheap, rushed ending that left me feeling like I had a bucket full of too sweet candy!

Sorry, Mrs. Ryan. I know you put a lot of work into this one, just like your other books and I may be too harsh, or overly judgemental, but I just can’t find much good about this one!

I am rather in a forgiving mood about it though and will certainly read more books by you! I just know that this was maybe just a fluke! Can’t hit a home-run every time, right?

 

Review: Murder In the North End

Murder In the North End
Murder In the North End by P.B. Ryan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Soooooo, here we are at the second to last book in the series up to date!

It was slow going in the beginning, but once it picked up speed (towards the end of the book) you can’t put it down!

The research was superb, as we are used to from Mrs. Ryan! The mystery was not an easy one to crack and I did like the descriptions of the poor side of Boston.

I loved what happened between Nell and Will in the end, although I did not like how Will handled it in the end. It was all a bit cowardly of him I think.
I was quite cross with him for it!
*after reading the last book in the series: Ok this had to happen this way! I see now why. :D )

I am writing this review a bit late (after I read the last book in the series) I usually don’t do that. I write them when the feelings are still fresh and I remember it all still in pictures rather than words. It’s hard to write it with this much distance to it. Books are full of emotions and images that need to be reviews right away. I promise not to wait this long again!

All I can say now is: if you have come this far in the series, read this book as well! You won’t regret it! :)

 

Review: Wolf Hall: A Novel

Wolf Hall: A Novel
Wolf Hall: A Novel by Hilary Mantel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OHGODIMADEITTHROUGH!

I swear at times I thought I might go insane before I read it all the way. NEVER THE LESS: I liked it! I am amazed at myself for actually saying that!

I hated it when I read it at times. HATED IT! I hated the use of “he” for Cromwell. It did make parts of the book VERY CONFUSING.

I loved the voice the author gave Cromwell! I LOVED that she stepped out of the norm and looked at the person and tried to make him look normal! I liked that you could sympathise with him!

I read a lot of historical non-fiction, so I was well-informed about Cromwell’s doings. I have often wondered if he really was such a horrid man, or if most of the blame taken by him should be laid at Henry’s feet instead? Did he really commit these monstrosities out of his own volition, or did he follow orders?

This book allows the reader to see him from a different perspective then we are used to from history! It is refreshing! It is food for thought! I love that about a book!

Of course, there is certain artistic license as with all good fiction. It fits in though and I was happy to let go of my critical mind for a while and enjoy the parts that did not infuriate me!

Toward the end I started to skip pages. And I thought the end was a bit abrupt. Maybe if I would have read every page, I would have figured out the end was nigh, but I read a few of the pages following the book and thought this isn’t making any sense any more now, before I figured the book was over.

A great book will leave you with this empty place just above your stomach after you are done! It will feel, as if a good friend moved away.
This book made me sigh in relieve and be proud of myself for making it through with minimal sighing and groaning and grumbling and complaining and procrastinating…

I am congratulating myself on finishing it. It was one of my “must read before I die” books… It also made re-evaluate this list!

Long story short: it’s not a bad book, IF you have the time to spare. It is dry at times and really, really boring! I still think it should be read. It deserves one star, but five would be just as right. This is rather contradictory, I understand, but read the book and it will make perfect sense!