Book Review: The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories #5) by Bernard Cornwell

LONThe enemy is massing on the borders, a united force for once.

The king, a man of many victories, is in failing health, and his heir is an untested youth.

Uthred, the king’s champion, leads his country’s forces to war. However his victory is soured by personal tragedy and by the envy of the king’s court. So he breaks with the king and takes off for the land of his birth, determined to resist all calls for his return. That is, until one unexpected request…

This is the making of England brought magnificently to life by the master of historical fiction.

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Book Review: Sword Song (The Saxon Stories #4) by Bernard Cornwell

LON“Bernard Cornwell ranks as the current alpha male of testoterone-enriched historical fiction….This satisfying tale leaves you hungry for more of Uhtred’s adventures.” -USA Today

The Book:

The year is 885, and England is at peace. Divided between the Danish Kingdom to the north and the Saxon kingdom of Wessex in the south. Warrior by instinct and Viking by nature, Uhtred, the dispossessed son of Northumbrian lord. Who has land, a wife and children-and a duty to King Alfred to hold the frontier on the Thames. But a dead man has risen. And new Vikings have invaded the decayed Roman city of London with dreams of conquering Wessex, with Uhtred’s help. Suddenly forced to weigh his oath to the king against the dangerous turning side of shifting allegiances and deadly power struggles. Uhtred-Alfred’s sharpest sword-must now make the choice that will determine England’s future.

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Book Review: Crave (Fallen Angels #2) by J.R. Ward

CraveSeven deadly sins. Seven souls that must be saved. One more no-holds-barred battle between a fallen angel with a hardened heart and a demon with everything to lose.

Isaac Rothe is a black ops soldier with a dark past and a grim future. The target of an assassin, he finds himself behind bars. His fate in the hands of his gorgeous public defender Grier Childe. His hot attraction to her can only lead to trouble. And that’s before Jim Heron tells him his soul is in danger. Caught up in a wicked game with the demon who shadows Jim, Isaac must decide whether the soldier in him can believe that true love is the ultimate weapon against evil.

Would she get to stay in the countryside she craved?

Soon back home in the English countryside, Jane wants nothing more than peace and quiet. And the devotion of her childhood protector, William Dormer. But his family vows to keep them apart And Jane is called back to Court to serve Katherine of Aragon, who is fighting for her life as Queen in the face of Anne Boleyn’s open seduction of King Henry VIII.

In those turbulent years, Jane will learn the value of loyalty and honesty, while holding fast to her convictions. And it is her unblemished soul that will slowly rise above the chaos—and turn a king’s head.

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Book Review: Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories #3) by Bernard Cornwell

LONThe third instalment in Bernard Cornwell’s King Alfred series. Following on from the outstanding previous novels The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman, both of which were top ten bestsellers. The year is 878 and Wessex is free from the Vikings. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord. He helped Alfred win that victory. Yet now he is disgusted by Alfred’s lack of generosity and repelled by the king’s insistent piety.

On the run:

He flees Wessex, going back north to seek revenge for the killing of his foster father. And to rescue his stepsister, captured in the same raid. He needs to find his old enemy, Kjartan, a renegade Danish lord who lurks in the formidable stronghold of Dunholm. Uhtred arrives in the north to discover rebellion, chaos and fear. His only ally is Hild, a West Saxon nun fleeing her calling. And his best hope is his sword, with which he has made a formidable reputation as a warrior.

He will need the assistance of other warriors if he is to attack Dunholm and he finds Guthred. A slave who believes he is a king. He takes him across the Pennines to where a desperate alliance of fanatical Christians and beleaguered Danes form a new army to confront the terrible Viking lords who rule Northumbria. ‘The Lords of the North’ is a powerful story of betrayal, romance and struggle. Set in an England of turmoil, upheaval and glory. Uhtred, a Northumbrian raised as a Viking, a man without lands, a warrior without a country, has become a splendid heroic figure.

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Book Review: I, Jane (In The Court of Henry VIII #4) by Diane Haeger

I,JaneThough her path to the throne was long and paved with treachery. Jane Seymour would win the heart of her king—and heal her own. Jane Seymour of Wiltshire is not meant to go to Court. Not a child like her, with her lack of beauty and no title. But family connections are enough to have her named to the bridal retinue of Mary Tudor. At the French Court, the plain and docile Jane meets the girl who will grow into her rival in years to come. The already charismatic and conniving Anne Boleyn.

Would she get to stay in the countryside she craved?

Soon back home in the English countryside, Jane wants nothing more than peace and quiet. And the devotion of her childhood protector, William Dormer. But his family vows to keep them apart And Jane is called back to Court to serve Katherine of Aragon, who is fighting for her life as Queen in the face of Anne Boleyn’s open seduction of King Henry VIII.

In those turbulent years, Jane will learn the value of loyalty and honesty, while holding fast to her convictions. And it is her unblemished soul that will slowly rise above the chaos—and turn a king’s head.

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

Brave
When we were Brave

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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Book Review: Nappily Ever After (Nappily #1) by Trisha R. Thomas

What happens when you toss tradition out the window and really start living for yourself?

Venus Johnston has a great job, a beautiful home, and a loving live-in boyfriend named Clint, who happens to be a drop-dead gorgeous doctor. She also has a weekly beauty-parlor date with Tina, who keeps Venus’s long, processed hair slick and straight. But when Clint–who’s been reluctant to commit over the past four years–brings home a puppy instead of an engagement ring, Venus decides to give it all up. She trades in her long hair for a dramatically short, natural cut and sends Clint packing.

It’s a bold declaration of independence–one that has effects she never could have imagined. Reactions from friends and coworkers range from concern to contempt to outright condemnation. And when Clint moves on and starts dating a voluptuous, long-haired beauty, Venus is forced to question what she really wants out of life. With wit, resilience, and a lot of determination, she finally learns what true happiness is–on her own terms. Told with style, savvy, and humor, Nappily Ever After is a novel that marks the debut of a fresh new voice in fiction.

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Book Review: The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen

Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch’s daughter. Though he’s initially wary of Julia Midwinter’s reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul–and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master–a man her mother would never approve of–but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec’s help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village. . .and to her mother’s tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a “good match” in Regency England

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Book Review: The 100 by Kass Morgan

 

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth’s radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents — considered expendable by society — are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life…or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she’s haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor’s son, came to Earth for the girl he loves — but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind’s last hope.

You are about to read a sentence that I have never written before (that I can recall) and most likely will not do so again. Don’t bother with the book at all and stick with the TV series. Honestly, I feel like I am saving you time here. Normally when you read a book you get more detail than you could ever hope to get on screen. I mean I don’t know a single reader that hasn’t said a book they love should have been turned into a 12 hour epic that covers everything. That is so very much not the case with this book.

The pacing is wrong, the focus is wrong and I just want to slap some of the characters so hard. Where as on the show sure I want to smack a few characters, but I understand the motivation the have, I feel invested and I get more details. The book really just seems to fall truly and epicly flat. This is a series about humanity. It makes sure to show us the best and the worst, the human strength and the human weakness. The book just misses that mark very epicly. The book seems to dance around and focus more on all of the shitty things that we do for love. I mean it is true, we do a lot of stupid things for love that is human nature. I just don’t like that focus, like it is trying to be a romance novel and it doesn’t need all of that. There is plenty of love that happens without needing to focus on it. So my bottom line, watch the show and enjoy that and save your time don’t, read the book.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Book Review: Famous in Love (Famous in Love #1) by Rebecca Serle

The romantic story of a girl who gets plucked from obscurity to star in the next major feature film franchise based on a book and the ensuing love triangles she gets entangled in on—-and off screen.

Meet Paige Townsen, Rainer Devon, and Jordan Wilder…

When Paige Townsen, a young unknown, gets cast in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a crowded movie set on the shores of Maui, and is spending quality time with her co-star Rainer Devon, one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie’s famous love triangle, Paige’s crazy new life gets even crazier.

In this coming-of-age romance inspired by the kind of celeb hookups that get clever nicknames and a million page views, Paige must figure out who she is – and who she wants – while the whole world watches.

I lost a dare with a friend, who wanted to watch this series. I of course have to read before I watch, what can I say I am really a stickler for that. So I sat down, knowing very little about this one, it sounded a little Twilight to me and I was not wrong. Alas guess what I confess I enjoyed Twilight and I found myself enjoying this book as well.

Yes, it is full of the typical tropes of YA with the instant love and the sort of triangle and all the silly drama that comes up. I mean seriously. However, you can’t say some of this stuff isn’t right out of Hollywood because there is a reason we call it Hollyweird and I personally could never live in LaLa land full time. Paige is your typical girl who suddenly gets tossed into the deep end. I can relate to her on many levels. We all have a time and a road to find out who we are, can you imagine having to do that in the fishbowl which of course is what Paige has to do. People are obsessed with celebrity, so much so you get the situation like Paige, before her movie even comes out.

She is famous for being famous.

All in all I enjoyed the book, it wasn’t my super favorite, but I don’t regret spending time with the characters. Best yet, I wasn’t yelling about glitter at any point during the reading.

My Gemstone Rating:

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