Book Review: Slipper


Title: Slipper
Author: Hester Velmans
Rating:


Her life is the inspiration for the world’s most famous story.

Lucinda, a penniless English orphan, is abused and exploited as a cinder-sweep by her aristocratic relatives. On receiving her sole inheritance—a pair of glass-beaded slippers—she runs away to France in pursuit of an officer on whom she has a big crush. She joins the baggage train of Louis XIV’s army, and eventually finds her way to Paris. There she befriends the man who will some day write the world’s most famous fairy tale, Charles Perrault, and tells him her life story.

There is more: a witch hunt, the sorry truth about daydreams, and some truly astonishing revelations, such as the historical facts behind the story of the Emperor’s new clothes, and a perfectly reasonable explanation for the compulsion some young women have to kiss frogs.

This is not the fairy tale you remember.

My Review

This is definitely not the fairy tale you know or remember. Though I can see the fairy tale within the story, this one is so far flung out there that you have to really have to think hard to remember this is supposedly the true story of Cinderella. Though like with all historical fiction I take the story with a grain of salt. You honestly don’t know if this is how the actual story went or if it was all in the author’s head. Both this one & the fairy tale one.

I gave this four (4) out of five (5) stars due to the fact that I think Lucinda and some of the other characters could have been “fleshed out” a bit better. The story line is good & engaging so there was no issue there, but to me there were holes that needed to be filled. I just disbelieve the nativity of Lucinda also. After everything she went through in the very beginning of her life before running after her love she should have realized what was eventually gonna happen. I am sorry, but I just fail to see her being that dumb.

This book is a good quick read of a decent story line but I don’t think I will look into the other books by the author. It is a good book & decent story line, but not anywhere what I expected or did not expect. I hate giving poor reviews on a author’s hard work and to someone else they may love the book. I was just not thrilled with it.

 

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Book Review: Gone Daddy Gone


Title: Gone Daddy Gone
Author: Cheryl Bradshaw
Rating:


A single moment is about to change Sloane Monroe’s life forever.

On an early winter morning, college student Shelby McCoy walks the quiet, snowy path back home. A tree branch snaps in the distance. Then another. A man is there with her, following close behind, whispering her name. She looks back, sees him gaining on her, and runs. Who is this man, and why is he carrying a gun?

If you love a great mystery with a surprising twist, you’ll enjoy Gone Daddy Gone.

A New York Times bestselling series.

“Another heart-pounding story.”

“I have read every thing this author has written and love every word. As a suspense writer there is no equal.”

“Superb writing, excellent storyline, believable characters!”

My Review

This book was wonderful. I actually read it all in one night. I just could not put it down. Every time I thought I had hit a stopping point the next sentence hooked me back into the book. So it got read in one night so let that be a warning for you.

The characters are very well written and “real” enough you actually want to cry at the deaths and smile high points in the story line. I didn’t even figure out who the villain was until Cheryl Bradshaw informed the reader. That is a rare thing for me. Even my guesses were wrong and that surprised me.

If you enjoy enthralling, can not put down, mysteries then this is a book for you to read. If I could not put it down then it has to be good. I normally do not have that problem with any books I read. I will definitely be looking into more books by Cheryl Bradshaw to add to my library.

 

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Book Review: Dracula: The Modern Prometheus


Title: Dracula: The Modern Prometheus
Author: Rafael Chandler, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Bram Stoker
Rating:


A monstrous woman flees across Arctic sea ice, pursued by an implacable nemesis. Three shadowless brothers prowl through wolf-haunted forests in search of fresh victims. And in a subterranean laboratory, an undead Countess conducts a gruesome experiment…

Mina Harker’s journey to Transylvania is supposed to advance her career, but instead, it plunges her into a war between an ageless evil and a hideous new form of life. As the streets of London run red with blood, Harker takes up the wooden stake, crucifix, and Kukri knife against her nightmarish foes. But when one hunts monsters, a terrible price must be paid.

In this gender-flipped mashup of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus,” storylines and characters are combined in unexpected ways, and familiar horrors are transformed into new nightmares.

My Review

I wanted to give this book a full five (5) stars, but the more I think about it I realize I can not do that. The book was good, but just like the original Dracula & Frankenstein it was so hard to read. Rafael Chandler kept the style of writing that Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and Bram Stoker did in their books and just like those books it was very hard to read. The story line and plots were very well written, but the style of writing is not to my taste. So in such it made it very hard for me to stay enthralled with reading the book.

If you liked the original books, then you will probably enjoy this book. As for me, I was not a fan of the story. Please, don’t take this as a review that will put you off reading this book. All books are meant and should be read. I just did not enjoy this book.

 

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Book Review: Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen


Title: Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen
Author: Alison Weir
Rating:


Acclaimed author and historian Alison Weir continues her epic Six Tudor Queens series with this third captivating novel, which brings to life Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII’s most cherished bride and mother of his only legitimate male heir.

Ever since she was a child, Jane has longed for a cloistered life as a nun. But her large noble family has other plans, and as an adult, Jane is invited to the King’s court to serve as lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine of Aragon. The devout Katherine shows kindness to all her ladies, almost like a second mother, which makes rumors of Henry’s lustful pursuit of Anne Boleyn—also lady-in-waiting to the queen—all the more shocking. For Jane, the betrayal triggers memories of a hauntingl incident that shaped her beliefs about marriage.

But once Henry disavows Katherine and secures Anne as his new queen—forever altering the religious landscape of England—he turns his eye to another: Jane herself. Urged to return the King’s affection and earn favor for her family, Jane is drawn into a dangerous political game that pits her conscience against her desires. Can Jane be the one to give the King his long-sought-after son, or will she be cast aside like the women who came before her?

Bringing new insight to this compelling story, Alison Weir marries meticulous research with gripping historical fiction to re-create the dramas and intrigues of the most renowned court in English history. At its center is a loving and compassionate woman who captures the heart of a king, and whose life will hang in the balance for it.

Praise for Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession

“A stunning, engaging, comprehensive and convincing novel . . . important, page-turning biographical fiction, hauntingly and beautifully told in first-person narrative . . . psychologically penetrating and packed with wonderful, vivid scenes. [Alison] Weir’s characterisation is superb.”—Historical Novels Review

“A persuasive attempt to restore the humanity of a tragic, misrepresented figure . . . Weir’s fictional Anne is ferociously smart and guilty of nothing but craving the power that’s rightfully hers to claim.”—NPR

“A richly detailed rendering of the familiar Tudor drama . . . Weir brings considerable expertise to her portrait of Anne as ‘a flawed but very human heroine, a woman of great ambition, idealism and courage’ [and] vividly depicts court life.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A multifaceted portrait of an ambitious woman . . . Even readers who know Anne’s story well should gain insights from this revealing novel.”—Booklist

“Well-written and fast-paced . . . a fresh look at one of the period’s most popular protagonists.”—Library Journal

My Review

I could not believe when I was approved for this title. Alison Weir is one of my favorite author. I was so excited I just about squealed when I got the book. I couldn’t wait to get to read it (I read the book in the order I am accepted for them so that is why they may seem in odd placements. Anyway, I love historical fiction and the Tudor era is my favorite.

This books is number three (3) in her Six Tudor Queens series. I haven’t read the first two (2) yet, because I have been busy reading other books, but I know enough about how Alison Weir writes and about the era that I could easily follow along. Plus, Alison Weir writes her books well enough you can pick them up at any point and read it and still follow along with them without too much problem figuring out the back story.

Getting to the book. This book is based on Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII third wife and the only one that produce a son for him. For which she tragically dies afterward. You start while Queen Katherine is still reigning as Queen and go through Anne Boleyn rising in power and then Anne Boleyn’s fall from reign. You can see how different Jane and Anne are. In my honest opinion, Anne was a woman before her time. She wanted equal rule as Henry had and in that time that was not accepted. Anne was well learned and knew her opinion. The one thing she lacked was how to get her way without arguments and shrewish behavior. Something that Jane excelled at. Jane knew how to get her way by making Henry think he was the one that thought of it. This is how women would get their way in this time era, or at least the smart women did. Jane managed to reconcile Henry and his daughters not by arguing and “stamping her feet” but by careful conversation and suggestions. Jane Seymour was a wonderful queen and well deserving of the praise and love given to her.

She was the only one of King Henry’s wives to give him a son. I agree with Alison Weir’s determination of how Jane died. Though we will truly never know for certain due to the lack of medical knowledge back then but I completely agree with how Alison Weir thinks Jane died. Trust me, I honestly wanted to cry throughout the end of the book cause I knew what was gonna happen. In my opinion, Katherine (first wife) & Jane (third wife) were the only ones that truly loved the king. All the others were more after what they could gain from the marriage. Again this is my opinion.

Do you need to read this book??? A well rounded yell of YES! If you like Tudor era historical fiction then you can not go wrong with Alison Weir. She writes books that are engaging and keep you enthralled even if you know the story already. Even her non-fiction books are enjoyable to read and that says a lot cause I dislike non-fiction books. This honestly deserves more then five stars, more like ten in my opinion.

 

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Book Review: After Anna


Title: After Anna
Author: Lisa Scottoline
Rating:

Nobody cuts deeper than family…

Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.

Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home.

Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.

Riveting and disquieting, After Anna is a groundbreaking domestic thriller, as well as a novel of emotional justice and legal intrigue. And New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline will keep readers on their toes until the final shocking page

Praise for Lisa Scottoline:

“Scottoline keeps the pace relentless as she drops a looming threat into the heart of an idyllic suburban community, causing readers to hold their breath in anticipation.” —Booklist on One Perfect Lie

“Readers can be assured that the author nails the high school milieu, from athletic rivalries to sexting…they’re in for one thrilling ride.” —Kirkus on One Perfect Lie

“Entertaining…This fast-paced read culminates in a daring chase that would play well on the big screen.” —Publishers Weekly

My Review

Ok so this book is a complete twisty book. You think everything is fine then WHAM! you get knocked out of the world. You start out with a father, his son, & his new wife (previous wife passed away). Then you find out that the new wife has a daughter that she had to give up when the daughter was three years old into the custody of her father who promptly dropped her off at her grandparents & then to boarding schools. Well, fast forward in time till the girl is 17 and her father dies in a plane crash. So Anna (the daughter) contacts Maggie (her mother) to talk about coming and living with Noah (the father) and the son (Caleb). Maggie agrees and then once Anna is there everything starts going crazy. Anna is not acting like Maggie was told by Anna’s therapist and previous schools. Anna makes accusations against Noah and then to put it frankly everything hits the fan when Anna is found dead at Noah’s home.

The books flips back and forth between “before Anna” and “after Anna” so you do need to pay attention to know which time period you are reading. Even with the flipping between times, which normally annoys me, kept you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out what is going on. Who killed Anna? Is this really Anna? Or is it someone else? Or is someone trying to make Maggie think she is losing her mind? You do find out though by the time you do you are sitting there thinking there is not enough pages left in this book for it to close all the story lines, but then you let out a big WOOSH! and happy that they have been closed and you know what has happened.

If you like a thriller/mystery novel then I think you will enjoy reading this novel. I enjoyed it very much, so much I read the entire thing in one night (normally try to spread it out over two nights). This book, honestly, shocked me with the twists it made and that is not normal. So congrats to Lisa Scottoline, she pulled one on me.

 

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.