Review of The Forbidden Queen

 

The Forbidden Queen is a story about Katherine of Valois.  Katherine’s early life was pretty dismal, despite being the daughter of the King and queen of France.  She grows up in a convent with her sister, Michelle, after their father loses his mind and their mother abandons them.

Michelle, upon becoming of age, is married off to a nobleman and Katherine longs for her own Knight in shining armor to come and rescue her from the life she has had to endure at the convent.

It seems all of her dreams have come true when her mother arrives one day to break the news to her that Henry V, King of England, wants to marry her.  After a few negotiations Katherine is taken to meet Henry, whom she falls for immediately.

After they marry Katherine believes he will fall in love with her when she is able to produce an heir for him.  Their marriage is far from the romantic idyll Katherine had imagined it to be, instead Henry spends his time preoccupied with the war he is waging in France.  She hopes things will improve between them when she learns she is pregnant, hopefully carrying the son Henry has longed for. 

Katherine soon learns that Henry married her so that he could lay claim to France, but she is determined to make the best of her marriage.  Her plans don’t go quite to plan as Henry becomes ill and subsequently dies, before ever having the chance to meet his son.

Katherine mourns the loss of her husband, sinking into a despair, mourning for the life they would never have, mourning for the love she would never have and mourning for the father her son would never know.

Katherine is dragged from her despair by Edmund Beaufort, brother of one of her damsels. He cleverly pulls her from the depths of her despair, making her fall in love with him.  Edmund eventually asks her to marry him, but makes her promise to keep the proposal a secret.  But their is talk at court about what Edmund has planned and a close confidant of Katherine’s warns her that he is just using her to further his own interests.  Katherine refuses to believe this, until she discovers that her brother-in-law has managed to pass a law that any man who marries her will lose all of his wealth and lands and status.  Edmund Beaufort turns his back on Katherine, much to her dismay.

After sliding into despair again she wonders if she is destined to be alone.  A chance encounter with a member of her staff changes the course of her future.  She embarks on an affair with her servant, Owen Tudor, and they eventually marry.  But Katherine’s brother-in-law again interferes and they pair face a lengthy battle to win the right to live the life they choose.

All in all this story was wonderfully compelling.  Having little knowledge of this particular Queen of England I had no idea where the story would lead.  I thoroughly enjoyed the tale and highly recommend it, giving it five stars *****

 

Review Of One Sunday

One Sunday by Carrie Gerlach Cecil.

 

It was only after I had requested to read this book for review did I realise it was about one woman’s troubled that lead her to rediscover her faith in God.  I am not a Christian, I do not believe in God at all.  I really didn’t think I would enjoy any part of this book, but I challenged myself to read it and expected it to be just awful.

However, the main bulk of the book is very enjoyable – if you believe in god etc you will probably enjoy all of this book – it is fun, witty, entertaining and well written.  It jumps back and forth telling us the story of the life of Alice Ferguson.  It is pretty gripping in quite a few parts and you do forget that it is leading up to the grand finale of the main character being born again.

I, as a non believer, have a huge problem accepting what is being said about Jesus and God.  I do not accept that as the truth, but I do accept that people who believe in Jesus and God will accept this as the truth and for me that is what makes the story more believable.  I believe that people do experience situations like that when they rediscover their faith and that is their personal choice.

Overall I enjoyed the book, reading about Alice’s struggles with herself after the death of her mother and then her father.  It is easy to see why her life spirals out of control and it is easy to see why she feels she needs salvation.  The very end of the book, the bit where there is so much God preaching going on, spoiled my overall enjoyment of the book.  It did feel totally over the top, but perhaps for a believer it may feel just right.

3 star rating *** but I will say only read it if you can swallow the intense religious message that overtakes the story right at the end.

Review of The Five Acts Of Diego Leon

 

At the very beginning of this book there was a lot of village superstition from the young Diego’s great Aunt, and I expected the book to go with that kind of theme.  Much to my surprise it did not.  Instead the book delves into the personal life of the main character, Diego.  How he struggles in his impoverished life in a village in Mexico during the Mexican revolution.

The book is divided up into five acts – five main parts of Diego’s life – with the first part dealing with his early life in the village.  then he goes to live with his Mother’s parents – Grandparents he never knew – from the age of 12 and they make him lie about who his father is, as they are ashamed to let their well to do friends know that their daughter married a peasant.

It is during his time with his grandparents that he discovers he has a talent for singing, dancing and acting.  A friend of his Grandmother schools him in the art of singing and dancing and she becomes a confidant of his.

His life seems to be set in stone, especially when he leaves school and starts working in his Grandfather’s law firm.  He is paired up with the daughter of one of his Grandfather’s business associates and they become engaged.  But Diego has had feelings for his male friend for quite some time and he is not entirely sure he wants to get married.  On the morning of the wedding he leaves the security of his well to do life in Mexico and heads for America.

Once he arrives in america he sets about trying to establish himself as a movie star in the new talking movies.  He struggles for a long while until one day he cheats his way into a role and from then on he begins to establish himself with the powers that be in the studio he has signed up to.

The story moves along at really steady and progressive stage.  It is beautifully written and interesting characters leave you wanting to know what is going to happen next.  My only disappointment in the story is at the very end, I thought things were going to turn out differently for Diego and was pretty disappointed they didn’t.

Overall I give this book 5 stars *****

Recommended. 

Review of Sleeping In Eden.

When I started reading this book I could not understand what the link between Lucas and Meg was.  I had decided upon so many different outcomes that when I read the part of the book where it becomes obvious I could not be anymore shocked.In hindsight, it is pretty obvious what the link is between the two characters though.The story alternates between the life of Lucas Hudson and Meg Painter.  It is quite clear from the outset that Lucas is living in modern times, but it took me a while to realise what time period Meg was from and I was quite shocked that it wasn’t as far back as I had initially thought.Lucas, a doctor, is called out to act as coroner/medical examiner when local alcoholic and recluse, Jim Sparks, is found hanged in his barn.  Whilst in the barn with the police Lucas discovers another body, the remains of what appears to be a young woman.  Lucas is so shocked by this discovery that he is not thinking clearly.  He sits down on a crate at the other end of the barn and discovers a suicide note and a ring.  He hands over the suicide note, but, believing that the remains belong to Angela, Jim’s daughter who went missing eight years earlier, he decides to keep the ring to give to his wife Jenna.  Lucas and Jenna are going through a difficult patch, in part due to the strain on their relationship that Angela had placed upon them.  Jenna is a social worker and it was not long after Lucas and Jenna arrived in Black Hawk that they befriended Angela and tried their utmost to help her.Meg is a typical tomboy and becomes friendly with the new boy in town, Dylan.  She becomes known as one of the cool kids because of her reputation for being daring – she is an adrenaline junkie.  After a year or so it dawns on Meg that she has romantic feelings for Dylan, but they are just friends and don’t really hang out at school.  After Dylan’s involvement in a school play and his obvious interest with one of the girl’s in the play, Meg withdraws from him.  It is at this time when her neighbour, Jess, starts to show an interest in her and invites her to become part of his band.  After the first night they kiss and become an item, but Meg still has feelings for Dylan.Lucas and Jenna re relieved when Angela Sparks turns up alive, but the mystery deepens, because if it wasn’t Angela buried underneath the barn, then who was it?The story deals with the difficult relationship between Lucas and Angela – who, unbeknown to Jenna had made a pass at Lucas before she disappeared.  It also deals with Meg’s life, up until a crucial moment.  It is at this crucial moment that the two different stories merge and everything starts to make sense, tying all the loose ends up.A good read and I would definitely recommend it.**** 4 stars.

via Review of Sleeping In Eden..

Review Of Roses Have Thorns

I have read very little of this genre so was not sure what to expect with this novel.  I an happy to say that this was a brilliant book.  I started reading it late Thursday (March 21st) and finished it on Saturday (March 23rd).  Every spare moment I had I gave to this book as I was so intrigued by what was going to happen next.
As I have already said, I have never been a huge fan of Tudor history, but this book has actually whetted my appetite and I am now looking for more material on this genre.

The book is about Lady Elin Snakenborg’s time she served as a lady in waiting to Elizabeth I.  The author does say in her write up that this lady was a little known figure from this time, though she was an actual member of court and not a fictional character.  In the book she is portrayed as naive and vulnerable at first, although she does seem to set her heart on marriage with one of the most influential and rich bachelors at court.  Even when she discovers he is still legally married she waits for him, so I am not sure just how naive Elin – later known as Helena – actually is.

That said, the book charts her life from her leaving Sweden right up until just after the death of Elizabeth I and I warmed to this character very much.  The book also lends warmth to Elizabeth I and that helped me enjoy the book all the more.  I am not entirely sure how likeable a character ELizabeth I actually was, not being familiar with Tudor history, but the author wove her into the story really well and for all she came across as a friendly lady the narrative was very credible.

I am rating this book as a five star read and thoroughly enjoyable.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  You absolutely must go out and buy it, especially if this genre, particularly anything Tudor related, is your thing.

5 star ***** read.

Review Of The Border Laird’s Bride.

I am not overly fond of historical novels, the characters tend to get on my nerves, so it is has been a long time since I actually read anything from this genre.  I have to hold my hand up and say how wrong I was in this instance.  The main female character, Kenzie, was as far from the usual swooning, genteel ladies of this genre.  Her character could have been set in any era and that pleased me.

The main male character, Jamie, was not the typical “I am the male and therefore you will do as I say” character that this genre usually produces, but I wondered if I could warm to him, being a laird.  I half expected him to be full of his own self importance, given his position, yet he was not like that at all.  He was a kind man and I warmed to him almost immediately.

If all novels in this genre could be written in such a way then I would definitely read more of them.  Full marks to the author for writing such a pleasing piece.

Rated 5 stars.  *****

Review of Beyond Shame.

Product Details

Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha.

Before reading this book I read through the reviews.  The book is dubbed naughty and explicit, and yes, OK, it is.  But if you have read Fifty Shades Of Grey then this book is not that much different.  Obviously the plot is different, the story is built around Noelle Cunningham, a young woman who has been kicked out of a futuristic city called Eden.  The story follows her progress from her walk of shame, to her chance meeting with Jasper McCray, her involvement with Lex – a character who made me think of Nancy from Oliver Twist, and Dallas O’Kane, gang leader of the O’Kane gang in Sector Four.

I have to say I was very disappointed with the end of the book, obviously there is to be a sequel so hopefully that is going to tie up the loose ends created towards the end of this book.
Overall it is a fairly decent read, given the amount of sex in it.  But, if you have already familiarised yourself with this genre then you aren’t going to be too shocked by the contents of this book.
I couldn’t decide on the main character – Noelle – at first; she seemed quite an oddity, but the further you get into the book she does start to make sense.

Despite huge sections relating to sexual encounters and BDSM there is a pretty good plot that grips the reader.  There are quite a lot of unanswered questions and I am hoping the sequel is going to deal with those.  This first installment barely scratches the surface of the world that the O’Kane gang inhabit, but you do find yourself wanting more of the story as you read through it.

Sometimes books in this genre are ruined by such explicit content, but this book relies heavily on it and it does add weight to the storyline.  I think without it the plot would be a lot poorer.

Enjoyable read.  **** 4 stars.

Get your copy here

Review of Big Booty.

Big Booty a novel by Cairo.

I should have suspected this book was going to be full of over the top sex scenes when I read the title and the synopsis.  Having read Fifty Shades last year and other such novels I didn’t think it could be any worse than that.
I wouldn’t say it was a bad novel, I just couldn’t take it seriously.  But then I don’t actually think I was supposed to.  The main character, Cass, or Booty, was just ridiculous.  I kept on muttering away to myself at how stupid and awful and downright nasty Cass is, but then she would do something that made me think, “OK, maybe she isn’t so bad.”
In the write up the book gets described as being like an episode of Jeremy Kyle.  I’d say Jeremy Kyle meets Oprah meets The Osbournes!!!!!  I was determined that I couldn’t say a positive thing about this book, but then a plot twist grabbed me by the throat and almost choked me half to death!!!!
All I am going to say is, bring on the sequel.
If you like your characters trashy then this book is a must read.  You will laugh yourself silly at them all, with their ghetto talk.  And the huge amounts of sex scenes really can’t be taken that seriously, surely?
It’s quite a long book and you may be rolling your eyes with all of the trashy characters and over the top sex by the end of it, but I have to say you really do need to stick with it, because you will be wanting more by the end – not glad to see the back of it like I expected to be!!!!!

**** 4 stars because I did laugh quite a lot and loved the cliff hanger!

You can buy it here