Saturday, June 17, 2017

June Re-Readathon


I have a favorite  historical fiction romance novel that I end up going back to read over and over again.   Moonlight Mistress by Patricia Rice was published in 1999.  I came across it at a used bookstore and have now read it more times than I can count.  Set in the time of Henry II of England when England is still recovering from King Stephen and the chaos of the Robber Barons under his rule. 
Image result for moonlight mistress by patricia riceAelvina Fairfax is a peasant who has been thrust into a desperate situation that has forced her to seek assistance from Lady Ravenna, a reclusive widow.  Taking matters into her own hands Aelvina approached Sir Philippe St. Aubyn for protection against becoming indebted to Lady Ravenna.  Bargaining her maidenhead and loyalty to one man is better than being offered to many under Lady Ravenna's rule.

A soldier under King Henry II's command, Sir Philippe has been sent to take possession in the name of the king the widowed Lady Ravenna's holdings.  When he is approached by a fair-haired beauty for protection, he can't help but be tempted by her bargain.  Little did either of them know that the Lady Ravenna had her own plans for them.  Philippe and Aelvina must navigate lies, secrets, hatred, the dark arts, and King Henry II to find their happy ending. 

I really love this novel.  It's the only one of Patricia Rice's novels that I've read, but it's wonderful.  The turmoil between this couple is amazing.  I love the details of each person and their EXTREMELY rocky relationship just keeps drawing me back.  I wish it was available as a downloadable book, but not so far.  I did email the author a couple of years ago to ask about that possibility and she said there was some hope, her materials were being purchased by a new publisher and were starting to be moved to digital.  Here's hoping!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Review: Back Of Beyond

Back Of Beyond Back Of Beyond by C.J. Box
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have started listening to audiobooks in the car since my job involves a lot more driving then it used too. Since then I've been able to seriously cut down my reading list, but there are some draw backs to listening to books. The readers have to have a good voice and be able to portray the different characters well. This can sometimes be hard to find, for instance I can't listen to the readers of the Game of Thrones novels AT ALL. Also, stopping and starting a book so often when you are in and out of the car a lot can be disconcerting as well.

Back of Beyond was an excellent listen. C.J. Box gives readers enough intrigue into situations that you leave each time with skeptical indecision as to whether you liked what just happened or not but just enough to interest you as soon as you return to it. Cody Hoyt is such a love/hate kind of character. He has some strong character flaws that could easily become annoying but enough is happening around him that it doesn't impact reader interest. When a friend of his is killed, whether by accident or murder, he reacts badly to say the least. Then when very slim chances evidence point in the direction to where his son is spending part of his summer, Hoyt overreacts and dramatically, illegally leaves town and throws around his 'cop' status to get people to help him even though he's been suspended and no longer has a badge.

Justin Hoyt and sisters Danielle and Gracie, who are on another part of this story are a wonderful addition to this story. What's happening on their adventure meshes with what's happening to Cody in a great way that is unexpected to all characters. I really loved how everything came together, but some of it was sort of the expected, convenience that would get Cody Hoyt out of as much trouble as he should have been in.

View all my reviews

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Review: Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz



Have you ever picked up a book to read because you really liked the movie?  It’s become common for books to be made into movies and in many cases no one bothers to read the book before they see the movie.  What people forget is that the book has so many more details, descriptions, and activity than can be fit into an hour and a half long movie.  Often the movies are really well done interpretations of the books, but that doesn’t mean that the book isn’t still much better.

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz was turned into a movie in 2013.  It was a pretty good movie starring Anton Yelchin and William Defoe.  Odd Thomas is a young man from a small town in California named Pico Mundo.  Yes, his name is actually Odd, that’s not a typo.  He is rightly named because he was born with supernatural abilities, one of which is seeing ghosts.  Although ghosts don’t talk, Odd can see them and many times they seek him out for justice.  When they touch him they feel like normal people and can sometimes show him the tragedy that ended their lives.  Conveniently, Odd has a great relationship with the local sheriff, who knows his secret, and with whom he helps seek justice for the ghosts he sees.  

Beyond seeing ghosts, Odd has a few other abilities that are harder to describe but involve being able to ‘psychically’ find people he’s looking for as well as sometimes having prophetic dreams.  Other than this, he’s a normal twenty-year old fry cook at the Pico Mundo Grill.  Although he tries to live a simple life by working, helping out when necessary and enjoying his life, he is continually drawn into situations, some of which readers hear about and some we see.  Today, Odd wakes from a disturbing dream that he tries to brush off only to find himself faced with a supernatural situation.  Nothing about what he’s experiencing makes any sense but he can ‘feel’ it leading to some terrible, disastrous end.  He is forced to follow clues and puzzle together what is happening in his small town and, hopefully, save the day. Odd Thomas is the beginning of a series of books that follow the life of, obviously, Odd Thomas.  He finds himself drawn into new situations as each book progresses, until he comes full circle.

If you enjoy mysteries, paranormal reads or are just a Dean Koontz fan you will really like this series.  Following Odd Thomas through the twists and turns of his life and experiencing this mysterious web of sinister plots was really fun.  Although seeing the movie first does take away from some of the ‘who-dun-it’ mystery, there is so much not included in the movie that it was still really worth it.  Continuing to read the rest of the series was enthralling as Odd meets some great characters and gets himself enmeshed in some really interesting situations.