Archive | August, 2016

The Flower Arrangement

11 Aug

Every bouquet tells a story. And every story begins at Blossom & Grow, a tiny flower shop in the heart of Dublin…

This is a lovely book – filled with nuanced characters and evocative descriptions. The flower shop itself is a place that I wish existed in real life. At the center of the story is Lara, who channels her emotions from the loss of a child into helping heal others through the power of flowers. It’s a love story, a character-driven story, and a delightful read. I highly recommend it.  Ella Griffin is an author to follow.

Honest review in exchange for an advanced reader’s copy from Netgalley.

While the Emperor Slept

11 Aug

I tried. I tried several times. I like historical mysteries, and I love mysteries set in Ancient Rome, but I could not get into this book. The writing style kept me at a distance from the characters and the plot. Maybe it’s my pet peeve but any time an author uses the word “smirk” as a descriptor, I instantly hate that character. Author B. R. Stateham spends a lot of time describing, as in “Decimus Julius Virillis chuckled bemusedly…and smiled fondly…while Gnaeus [had] a wide grin of brash amusement on his face…”  That’s ONE SENTENCE. Or, “there was a panache, an arrogant joviality and confidence in the man’s gait he found satisfying and familiar…”  Or, “that flash of an arrogant grin as a breeze ruffled the young man’s hair roguishly…”

Lots of internal monologue, equally laded with overwrought adjectives, very little action.  And worst of all, I didn’t care – didn’t care who “did it,” didn’t care about the protagonists, didn’t care to finish it…

This blunt review in exchange for an advanced reader’s copy from Netgalley.

Dark Matter: The Theory of Schrodinger’s Cat Meets Rick & Morty

6 Aug

No, not really. But kind of. This is a trippy sci-fi, WTH just happened there novel by an author who does a great job with it.

As a quick review for those of you not quite up on your quantum superpositions: “Schrödinger’s cat: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i.e., a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison that kills the cat. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other.”

And that is what happens here – multiple selves, multiple futures, multiple pathways. Read it with a clear head. Enjoy.

 

Whitehall Episode 5: The Rules of the Game

6 Aug

Loving this concept of multiple writers! This is the fifth “episode” in a series about King Charles II and his Queen, Catherine, his mistress, and the politics of the court. Super smart way to approach the publishing business, first of all, and the concept delivers with engaging stories! I felt like my favorite character-driven romance novelists came together to write this intriguing political & historical fiction.

I received an advance reader’s copy in exchange for my honest review – and now I need to go back and buy the first four episodes! If you are a fan of historical fiction, you’ll love this series.

 

 

Blood Brothers

6 Aug

I’m on a roll with Scandinavian-based thrillers…Blood Brothers by lawyer Rick Acker does a fine job of creating tension and intrigue based on corporate take-overs and big pharma, with high society and berserkers sprinkled through-out. Tightly plotted, and expertly written without indulgence, this is a good satisfying thriller, without needing to dip into psychopathic violence – which I appreciate!

I was given a free advance reader’s copy to review.

Swedish Corporate Scheming Makes a Great Read

6 Aug

“All In” by Simona Ahrnstedt does a neat job of combining corporate financial intrigue with romance in a lighter take on Scandinavian scheming than Steig Larsson’s dark Millennium trilogy. This is a fun, fast-paced read with nicely defined characters, dysfunctional families and a realistic and compelling romance. A great airplane read!!