Book review: Molly s Game: From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker by Molly Bloom

 

LONWhen Molly Bloom was a little girl growing up in a small Colorado town, she watched her brothers win medals, ace tests, and receive high praise from everyone they met. Molly wanted nothing more than to bask in that glow a little herself, so she pushed herself too—as a student, as an athlete. She was successful but felt like she was always coming from behind. She wanted to break free, to find a life without rules and limits, a life where she didn’t have to measure up to anyone or anything—where she could become whatever she wanted.

Molly wanted more, and she got more than she could have ever bargained for.

In Molly’s Game, Molly Bloom takes the reader through her adventures running an exclusive high-stakes private poker game. Her clients ranged from iconic stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck to politicians and financial titans so powerful they moved markets and changed the course of history. With rich detail, Molly describes a world that until now has been shrouded in glamour, privilege, and secrecy, one where she fearlessly took on the Russian and Italian mobs—until she met the one adversary she could not outsmart, even though she had justice on her side: the United States government.

Molly’s Game is an incredible coming-of-age story about a young girl who rejected convention in pursuit of her version of the American dream. It’s the story of how she gained—and then lost—her place at the table, and of everything she learned about poker, love, and life in the process.

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Book review: Incubus Dreams (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #12) by Laurell K. Hamilton

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Anita Blake:

In the latest New York Times bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, Anita’s life is more complicated than ever, as she is caught between her obligations to the living and the undead. A vampire serial killer who preys on strippers is on the loose. Called in to consult on the case, Anita fears her judgment may be clouded by a conflict of interest. For she is, after all, the consort of Jean-Claude, the ever-intoxicating Master Vampire of the City. Surrounded by suspicion, overwhelmed by her attempts to control the primal lusts that continue to wrack her, Anita does something unprecedented: she calls for help.

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Book Review: The Queen’s Pleasure by Brandy Purdy

 

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A review of The Queen’s pleasure:

When young Robert Dudley, an earl’s son, meets squire’s daughter Amy Robsart, it is love at first sight. They marry despite parental misgivings, but their passion quickly fades, and the ambitious Dudley returns to court. Swept up in the turmoil of Tudor politics, Dudley is imprisoned in the Tower. Also a prisoner is Dudley’s childhood playmate, the princess Elizabeth. In the shadow of the axe, their passion ignites. When Elizabeth becomes queen, rumours rage that Dudley means to free himself of Amy in order to wed her. And when Amy is found dead in unlikely circumstances, suspicion falls on Dudley – and the Queen…Still hotly debated amongst scholars – was Amy’s death an accident, suicide, or murder? – the fascinating subject matter makes for an enthralling read for fans of historical fiction.

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Book Review: The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen

LON A child of the Romanov line…

She was an orphan, ushered into the royal palace on the prayers of her majesty. Yet, decades later, her time spent in the embrace of the Romanovs haunts her still. Is she responsible for those murderous events that changed everything?

If only she can find the heir. Maybe she can put together the broken pieces of her own past. Maybe she can hold on to the love she found.

Bursting to life with the rich and glorious marvels of Imperial Russia, The Last Romanov is a magical tale of second chances and royal blood

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Book Review: The Jewel of St. Petersburg (The Russian Concubine #0) by Kate Furnivall

 

LONJewel of St. Petersburg: Russia, 1910. Valentina Ivanova is the darling of St. Petersburg’s elite aristocracy-until her romance with a Danish engineer creates a terrible scandal and her parents push her into a loveless engagement with a Russian count.

Meanwhile, Russia itself is bound for rebellion. With the Tsar and the Duma at each other’s throats, and the Bolsheviks drawing their battle lines, the elegance and opulence of Tsarist rule are in their last days. And Valentina will be forced to make a choice that will change not only her own life, but the lives of those around her forever…

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Book Review: The Passionate Brood by Margaret Campbell Barnes

 

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The private lives of the Plantagenet’s, that ‘passionate brood‘ who were the children of Henry the Second and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard and Johanna, Henry and John.

Margaret Campbell Barnes explores the Crusader King’s triumphs and tragedies in a compelling novel of love, loyalty, and lost chances. The fierce Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine birthed a Plantagenet dynasty before her marriage to Henry II became a mockery, and her family’s future hinges on Richard. With a  persistent link  you always see the Lionheart in folklore with Robin Hood. Portrayed here as Richard’s foster brother and conscience, who so enraged the King that he is banished. The Passionate Brood is a tale of a man driven to win back the Holy Land, beset by the guilt of casting out his childhood friend, and shouldering the burden of being the lionhearted leader of the Plantagenet’s.

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Book Review: The Queen’s Command by Maggie Osborne

 

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The Queen’s Command: An engrossing novel, rich in historical details, unforgettable characters. Heart-stopping intrigue and timeless romance- as found only in the Tudor court.

For young widow Lady Nellanor Amesly, the court of Queen Elizabeth I is the most exciting place in the world. but the death of her guardian, Sir Robert Dudley, casts a menacing uncertainty over her future, as his vindictive wife wants to send Nell off to a convent.

So does that happen?

Since Nell is a favorite of the court, the queen strikes a devil’s bargain with her- she, along with the irrepressible Lord Will Steele, must retrieve a small casket of letters from a certain set of Spanish spies. The casket must remain unopened as the letters contain secrets that could alter the line of succession to the English throne. Only if Nell and Will succeed, will they get a reward of riches to secure a future. If they fail, they will lose everything…possibly even their lives. What will happen with the Queen’s dangerous command?

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Book Review: India Black (Madam of Espionage #1) by Carol K. Carr

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India Black: In the red-light district of London, India Black is in the business of selling passion her clientele will never forget. But when it comes to selling secrets, India’s price cannot be paid by any man…

In the winter of 1876, the beautiful, young madam, India Black, is occupied with her usual tasks. Keeping her tarts in line, avoiding the police, and tolerating the clergyman bent on converting her girls. But when Sir Archibald Latham of the War Office dies from a heart attack while visiting her brothel. India is unexpectedly thrust into a deadly game between Russian and British agents. Both who are seeking the military secrets Latham carried.

Her majesty’s secret service…

French, the handsome, British spy, discovers India disposing of Latham’s body and blackmails her into recovering the missing documents. Their quest takes them from the Russian embassy to Claridge’s Hotel, from London to the English coast. All the while dodging Russians intent to do them harm.

But it is their own tempestuous relationship they will have to weather. As India and French attempt to resist the mutual attraction between them. An attraction that can prove as deadly as the conspiracy entangling them.

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Book Review: The Queen’s Lady (Thornleigh #1) by Barbara Kyle

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The Queen’s Lady: Abducted as a child-heiress, Honor Larke escapes to London seeking justice from the only lawyer she knows: the brilliant Sir Thomas More. With More as her affectionate guardian, Honor grows to womanhood. When the glitter of the royal court lures her to attend Her Majesty, Queen Catherine of Aragon. But life at Henry VIII’s court holds more than artifice for an intelligent observer. And Honor knows how to watch—and when to act. . . .

How to help a Queen…

Angered by the humiliation heaped upon her mistress as Henry cavorts with Anne Boleyn and presses Rome for a divorce. Honor volunteers to carry letters to the Queen’s allies. It’s a risky game, but Honor is sure she’s playing it well. Until someone proves her wrong. Richard Thornleigh may cut a dashing figure at court. However, Honor doesn’t fall for his reckless charm. Only later does Honor realize that Richard has awakened something within her—and that he, too, has something to hide. . .

For the King’s actions are merely one knot in a twisted web that stretches across Europe. Ensnaring everyone from the lowliest of peasants to the most powerful of nobles. Swept away in a tide of intrigue and danger. The Queen’s lady is about to learn everything: about pride, passion, greed—and the conscience of the King. . . .

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Book Review: When We Were Brave by Karla M. Jay

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Aug. 2019 Silver medal winner in Reader’s Favorite Contest for historical fiction.
Nov. 2019 New York City Big Book Award® Distinguished Favorites

In WHEN WE WERE BRAVE, we find a conflicted SS officer, Wilhelm Falk, who risks everything to escape the Wehrmacht and get out the message about the death camps. Izaak is a young Jewish boy whose positive outlook is challenged daily as each new perilous situation comes along. American citizens, Herbert Müller, and his family are sent back to the hellish landscape of Germany because of the DNA coursing through their veins. In the panorama of World War II, these are the high-stakes plots and endearing characters whose braided fates we pray will work out in the end.

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