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A Ballad of Love and Glory: A Novel
virgosun avatar reviewed on + 839 more book reviews


Really loved the historical value, especially as we don't hear about the details of the Mexican-American war and how it's simply a blip on our elementary curriculum radar. I didn't know about the St. Patrick's Battalion, the immigrants who deserted the US Army to fight for Mexico and their reasons for doing so, and their ultimate fate. But this story is brutal in that there was no relief from the Mexican army's constant defeats. The subject holds a lot of personal significance to me, John Riley and Ximena in particular, and how it relates to my own ancestry. This is one of those stories that you love yet at the same time can hardly bear the relentless despair. And I'm not sure if the bittersweet ending is true to history or creative license. 3.5 stars.


A Perfect Cover (Silhouette Bombshell, No 9)
mickeycat avatar reviewed on + 11 more book reviews


This book was quite a surprise. I expected a lot of sex and a flimsy storyline from this type of book, but got a well thought out action-mystery. Would recommend it for anyone who likes action-mystery types but is looking for a shorter book. It also is education about Vietnamese Immigrants and gives the reader a look into a Little Vietnam neighborhood.


Passion, Poison & Puppy Dogs (Danger Cove Mysteries) (Volume 9)
jjares avatar reviewed on + 2619 more book reviews


When Lizzie Jones finds celebrity bodybuilder, Mr. Jupiter, lying face down in his hot tub, a quiet week in her best friend's posh home comes to a screeching end. Lizzie's best friend, Caroline, married to Mr. Jupiter (Brodie McDougal), is in the throes of a divorce when he's found dead. Caroline is on her way to a shopping spree in LA -- to bleed Brodie dry before the divorce (real loving character). Lizzie is a loser too. She hopes to be a veterinarian; she's finished her bachelor's degree and is currently a dog walker. That girl's got ambition, doesn't she? To show you Lizzie's batting 1000: She takes up with someone who turned her down for a date 10-years ago.

About midway, I realized why I wasn't enjoying this book much. It came about while Lizzie and her friend were at a book club meeting. There was a discussion on whether a highlander's wench was 'trashy' because she was attracted to the highland hero, his two brothers, and three of his clansmen -- all at the same time. Lizzie didn't have a problem with that, but most women at the book club meeting thought the woman was trashy. Only authors with insufficient plot material would put this in a book.

Frankly, I didn't care much about any of the characters. Most of the characters were mean-spirited (the victim, his wife {see paragraph one}, Brodie's parents, Brodie's sister, Brodie's thieving manager, Detective Luther Marshall, etc.). I love dogs, but I couldn't care less about these three pets. The pup on the cover suckered me into this book. At the end of the book, I noticed that a committee of three wrote this mystery. Well, that explains everything. I won't be returning to the scene of this crime.

Danger Cove Mystery
** 9. Passion, Poison & Puppy Dogs (2016)(with Elizabeth Ashby and Jean Steffens)
15. Divas, Diamonds& Death (2017) (with Elizabeth Ashby and Jean Steffens)


Comfort & Joy
Comfort & Joy
Author: Kristin Hannah
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
joanie99 avatar reviewed on + 10 more book reviews


It was a nice story. My preference is mystery; however, this was a good book for pure escapeism. I doubt I will read any more of her books, but I would recommend the book for any one who is looking for something "feel good" and light.


Lottery Girl: The Complete Daily Serial (Lottery Girl, Bks 1 - 6)
legz avatar reviewed on + 387 more book reviews


Mallory is down on her luck. She went from foster home to foster home throughout her life, she works three part time jobs to make ends meet to support her and her husband and her husband treats her like crap & leaves her for another woman and files for divorce, yet she still wants him back. Mallory purchases a lottery ticket and ends up winning the big jackpot. Her journey of becoming rich overnight, family she didn't know about crawling out of the woodwork, being sued by coworkers, and having two men interested in her not for the money. The book journeys the ups and downs. I didn't care for this one like the other daily serials that Bond writes. The main character was weak willed, whiny, & a poor decision maker


Well Hung (Big Rock, Bk 3)
Well Hung (Big Rock, Bk 3)
Author: Lauren Blakely
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Paperback
legz avatar reviewed on + 387 more book reviews


Wyatt & Natalie's story. Wyatt is a little hung up on his office manager Natalie. He's learned his lesson about mixing business with pleasure from being burned twice before. The two of them have to go out of town, namely Vegas, for a high profile customer to transform her new digs. Vegas turns into a drunken night of debauchery, revelations, & marriage. Determined to get their marriage annulled at the earliest convenience and still keep working together by going back to being "co-workers & friends" proves to be challenging. Do they actually like each other enough to stay married and run a business or will it all fall apart


On Wings of Passion (Second Chance at Love, No 131)
scoutmomskf avatar reviewed on + 2116 more book reviews


Good book. Even though it was written thirty years ago, it still felt just as relevant to today's issues. The sparks really flew between Erin and Ty from the minute they met. Erin is a reporter for a national magazine. Her editor has assigned her to write an article on the B52 bomber and its usefulness. Erin has a grudge against the Air Force, as her Army husband was killed in the crash of an Air Force plane. Her editor and the magazine's publisher want her to write an article slanted against the plane and for ending that part of the country's defense strategy. When she is met by Ty upon her arrival for the first part of her research trip, her anti-Air Force attitude is in full swing. She is incredibly hostile and really rude to him. She is also attracted to him, which really messes with her need to keep her focus.

I loved Ty from the very beginning. He hadn't had a choice in being assigned to be Erin's escort, but he was determined to do it right. I really liked his initial meeting with her. I thought he took her rudeness for a long time before he called her on it and I was impressed with his patience. He could tell right away that she came in with a bias against the Air Force and was determined to show her the truth. He was also attracted to her beauty, her spirit, and her intelligence. He's also a bit wary, as he had been married to a woman with a career who couldn't handle the stresses of being married to him.

Though Erin came in with a desire to write the article her editor wanted, it didn't take long for her to realize that she wouldn't be able to do it. The more she learned about the bombers and their mission, the more she was convinced of their necessity. She was also growing closer to Ty himself. The attraction was there and growing stronger each day, but there was also a growing emotional attachment. She has spent so long relying on only herself, that suddenly having a man like Ty at her side, being there for her if she needs him, creates some confusion of feelings for her. She wants him but their lives are so different that she can't see anything coming of it.

I loved seeing Erin and Ty getting to know each other. Ty is very good at seeing behind the tough surface that Erin projects to the woman underneath. He seems to know exactly when she needs to be close and also when she needs some space to work through whatever is on her mind. He sees her strength, but also her vulnerability. I really liked Erin's change of heart toward Ty. She had started out looking at him as the representation of everything she hated, but soon grew to see the man beneath the uniform, His integrity made a huge impression on her, that he didn't try to pressure her about her article. On the personal side, she felt his care and concern in everything he did for her. I really liked the respect that they each had for the other's profession by the end.

When her trip ends, she has to go back to New York to write her article and Ty is sent on a mission with his crew where they will be out of touch. Erin is struggling with what to write, because she knows the truth of what she learned, but she's getting massive pressure to write just the opposite. The final confrontation comes, and I loved seeing Erin stand up for herself and what is right. Her editor starts to get really nasty in his efforts to force Erin to do what he wants, until a surprise visitor causes him to back down. The rest of the book was beautifully done as Ty and Erin continued the exploration of their relationship to the perfect HEA. 

I loved the details shown through Erin's research. From the pressure chamber and Erin's reaction to it, to the flight she took with the crew, I felt like I was there every step of the way. I also loved the camaraderie of the air crew, from the way they teased each other to the way they accepted Erin and made her feel so much a part of them. The Thanksgiving dinner was a perfect example of what life is like with a group like that.


The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Vintage)
reviewed on + 247 more book reviews


Not quite sure why this book is in such high demand, with so many wishing for it. It is well written, but following the lives of this woman and her many children was a little depressing. D.


hardtack avatar reviewed on + 2051 more book reviews


There's a song with the refrain, "An empty sky is my best friend, and I just cast my fate with the wind." Well, maybe for some people, but I like clouds. I mean I really like clouds. Especially in Florida---where I live---where the clouds are often beautiful, except the hurricane ones. However, while I knew clouds had names, I never knew which clouds had which names and didn't really care. Then I ran across this book and decided it was time I learned more about them.

Unfortunately, I found it a difficult book to read. In the first chapters the author jumps back and forth between Luke Howard---the first man to give clouds meaningful names---and the ancient philosophers' thoughts about clouds. While I took a lot of philosophy courses in college while getting my first degree, now I'm more like Sergeant Joe Friday, as in "Just the Facts, Maam."

If like me you don't care for a philosophical discussion, then you can probably skip the first two or three chapters in this book and not miss much. In the following chapters, the author covers Howard growing up, dealing with a father who didn't like him daydreaming, getting married and trying to earn enough to support a family and then deciding to "organizing" clouds. And he did a good job at that, as he went from being unknown to celebrated overnight. You might even call him an early 18th century reality show star, except he had an education.

The author follows Howard's career in meteorology through the century and the failed attempts by others to revise Howard's names, although later a few successful additions were added. Plus, the author shows how Howard's efforts spilled over and affected the efforts of famous painters and poets. I guess this was because Howard wasn't all that interested in being famous and he led a somewhat simple life. Certainly nothing wrong with that, as I wish more so-called celebrities would follow his example. However, perhaps the author had to find enough information dealing with clouds to fill out this book, so that why the painters and poets are included.

So the next time I take a break to stop and gaze in wonder at the beautiful clouds over Florida, I'll do it with more knowledge than I did before. As now I know in more detail what causes lightening, snow, hail and even rain.

One bit of trivia I really did like. As the book states, "It is sad to relate, though, that cumulonimbus, the highest cloud of all, is no longer classified as cloud nine---the meteorological origin of that happy expression."


Two Truths and a Lie
BoysMom avatar reviewed on + 460 more book reviews


Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Some of the most fun I've ever had reading a book!

When Nell and her fellow high school drama students are stranded during a blizzard in a creepy hotel in the middle of nowhere, they are disappointed to realize they will not be able to make it to their annual state competition. But things start looking better when another group of students arrives, also sheltering from the storm. Nell is immediately attracted to the handsome Knox, the apparent leader of the new group, and he appears to reciprocate. Knox's group had brought with them another traveler, a man they'd picked up when his car had broken down on the highway in the snow. But other than a couple of other guests and the two hotel staff, the old hotel is deserted.

After settling in their rooms, the students gather in the hotel's common room to pass the evening planning to play some board games. However, Knox proposes they play "Two Truths and a Lie," where players write down two truths and a lie about themselves, and the other players must guess which is which. But the slip of paper Nell pulls from the basket turns out to be much different from those in previous turns.

"1. I like to watch people die.
2. My least-favorite food is mushrooms.

3. I've lost count of how many people I've killed."

No one owns up to writing the frightening words to prank the group. But as students and guests start disappearing and the hotel's murderous past comes to light, no one knows who they can trust, who is lying, and who is telling the truth.

This fun and scary story has all the best elements of a great teen horror flick, and I enjoyed every single minute. Nell and her friends are a cozy group; they know each other and have each other's back. Knox's group felt secretive and strange from the start. They created an immediate feeling of the unknown and suspicion. I was hooked by foreboding, worried when Nell and her friend, Min, were interested in Knox and Valeria.

I thought it was odd that Mrs. McElroy didn't insist that all her students' rooms be adjacent to hers and not spread out across the old maze of a hotel. Her first night's absence is well explained, though I questioned whether she would have left her students alone and on their own. But it definitely allows the story to kick up a notch! I liked that I never felt sure about Oscar Ewing, Knox's faculty sponsor. He seemed weak and ineffective, but this gave Knox and the other students in his group the leeway they needed for the story to progress as it did.

I liked that there was tension among the other adult strangers stranded at the hotel as well. It was an intriguing distraction from some of the other things going on and raised my suspicions, too. And, of course, the staff at the hotel itself are not just regular Joes. Both are awkward with social interactions but for very different reasons.

The Travel Inn and Out conference hotel is practically a character in its own right. I loved the oddities of the floor plan, the facility's layout, and its tarnished and faded glory. Its quirkiness multiplied the feeling of foreboding and suspense as the young guest struggled to find their way around the place, especially after the power goes out. But the place sounded massively confusing and wonderful! I also appreciate the excellent map the author provides at the beginning of the book.

The action is continuous, and tension constant with many twists and turns deftly worked in that kept me guessing until the very end of the book. I recommend TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE to readers who enjoy YA horror stories, those summer teen horror flicks, and tales of being stranded in a creepy, run-down hotel with no way out.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the publisher through TBR and Beyond Tours.




Falling for the Lawman (Kirkwood Lake, Bk 2) (Love Inspired, No 802) (Larger Print)
reviewed on


This I really loved. I thought it was going to be a lot about the children but it really wasn't. It was about the women running the farm and the policeman and his dad. I really liked that touch and what a role the dad played in the story.


Seaside Reunion (Starfish Bay, Bk 1) (Love Inspired, No 679) (Larger Print)
reviewed on


I really love this book. I loved that they had been childhood friends that were reconnected.


The Croc Ate My Homework: A Pearls Before Swine Collection
redneckgenius avatar reviewed on + 4 more book reviews


Pastis is one of the best cartoonists in today's world.


Dreadful (Shaye Archer Series) (Volume 6)
reviewed on + 2986 more book reviews


I liked this book--giving 5* rating, written very well and makes for easy reading

The story isn't anything new and you can figure out the 'bad' guy easy enough but it is written very well to hold your interest throughout the book to the very end

This is my first book by Deleon, it's #6 in a series but yet I didn't feel lost so I'll go back and read the first ones and get caught up on the life of Shaye Archer


The Good Sister
debbiemd avatar reviewed on


very good book! Will definitely read more by this author


The Family Next Door
debs avatar reviewed on + 590 more book reviews


I enjoyed this book for the most part. It is about four women and their families living next-door to each other. The book seems to have a split personality, though. Two of the women have the most interesting stories, while the other two seem to be just extra storylines to increase the size of the book. Their lives are encapsulated and their stories seem to have been added just for drama. An entire book could've been written on the storylines of the first two. All this being said, I couldn't put the book down because I was so interested in at least half of the characters.


Wild Prey: An Inspector Lu Fei Mystery (Inspector Lu Fei Series, 2)
cathyskye avatar reviewed on + 2091 more book reviews


Author Brian Klingborg mined all the potential from his first Lu Fei mystery, Thief of Souls, and created a standout in Wild Prey-- even though the treatment of animals and most of the listed cuisine is stomach-churning. From flashes of laugh-out-loud humor to learning Chinese slang to the mind-boggling fact that there are 200 million surveillance cameras in China to the story itself, I was engrossed. Even though there is still the age-old problem of the rich and powerful insisting on being above the law, it is good to learn that China is finally bowing to international pressure and the coronavirus to crack down on the illegal wildlife trade.

Inspector Lu Fei still finds almost no help from his fellow police officers, but at least he does have one friend in a high place-- and two fellow characters to help him carry the load. One, the teenage Meirong, is alternately funny and endearing as she camps out in the police station to shame Lu Fei into finding her sister. Little does she know, he is working on the case, he's just not telling her everything he's doing. The second character helping to carry the story load is the female warlord in Myanmar. She's not your typical thug even though you'd be a fool to turn your back on her. And at least Lu Fei has one person who's not involved in his work. It's the bar owner Yanyan with whom he's passionately in love, although she still seems to be in love with her dead husband. Watching that relationship unfold is interesting, to say the least. Will Lu Fei win Yanyan over? We shall see.

For those of you worried about those animal trafficking scenes and the descriptions of the dishes made from the animals, Klingborg does not go overboard. He knows that a light touch is the best way to proceed and although those scenes are few and of short duration, they still resonate and show the importance of why this trade must stop. We humans have to be intelligent enough to devise new ways to show off immense wealth and to cure erectile dysfunction. Don't we? In Wild Prey, Brian Klingborg shows that there are people willing to put their lives on the line to put a stop to one of the more disgusting ways to prove you're a big shot.


cathyskye avatar reviewed on + 2091 more book reviews


To be honest, I almost stopped reading this book. The main character's religious conservatism had me grinding my teeth and muttering to myself as I read. The two things that made me keep turning the pages were its location (outside of Arizona, the highlands and islands of Scotland are my favorite place in the world) and the fact that I really did want to find out who killed Sara, a young woman who led a very interesting life.

Fortunately for me, the longer Macleod worked with the comely McGrath, the more his religion took a backseat to his lustful thoughts and glances. I didn't really like this development either, but I considered it an improvement over his religious pronouncements.

For me, the story was a strong one. Finding Sara's killer really kept my interest throughout the book. Although not quite as atmospheric as I'd hoped, the setting on the Outer Hebrides was good as well. As far as I'm concerned, the weakness in Water's Edge is in the characters. Once Macleod's lusty thoughts came down off a rolling boil, I did get used to him and was able to see how his mind worked as he worked the case; however, when I learned exactly how his wife committed suicide, yet another red flag went up. As for McGrath, she was a rather standard up-and-coming female police officer.

I enjoyed the mystery in Water's Edge, but with my penchant for strong, vivid characterization, I don't think this is a series that I will continue with. A shame really, since the author chose a setting I find very difficult to resist.


cathyskye avatar reviewed on + 2091 more book reviews


Part social history, part natural history, part conservation treatise, part detective story, No Beast So Fierce is a comprehensive description of the reign of terror one tigress had over sections of Nepal and India at the turn of the twentieth century. I had come across mentions of the Champawat Tiger several times in my reading, and since my reading was in fiction, I wasn't aware that this tigress was real. When I stumbled across Huckelbridge's book, I knew I had to read it, especially since tigers are one of my two favorite big cats.

One of the most important things Huckelbridge did for me in his book was to give me a much greater respect for tigers. I knew they were marvelous creatures but didn't really understand just how wonderful they are. A tiger is "nature's nearest equivalent to a short-range missile," and to put what the Champawat Tiger did into perspective, she "very nearly consumed the entire NBA."

Hearing this, many people would want nothing more than to kill the tigress and put an end to the whole thing. Done and dusted. No more thought required. The second important thing Huckelbridge does in No Beast So Fierce is to prove that the Champawat Tiger was an entirely man-made disaster. Through many thoughtless government decisions, the tigress's killing field was created, and for anyone interested in the natural world, it is fascinating to read how this was done.

The third important thing that Huckelbridge did was to bring Jim Corbett to my attention. The final scenes where he and the Champawat Tiger meet are extremely tense and almost gave me the impression that I'd fallen into a thriller, and although his success meant that Corbett became the Go-To man for tracking and killing man-eaters, fate had much more in store for him. Corbett wasn't just a killer. In fact, he became one of the stalwarts of the conservation effort to save the Royal Bengal tiger.

If you love wildlife and want to immerse yourself in an engrossing piece of history, I suggest reading No Beast So Fierce. It's an eye-opener and proves once again that if some species of wildlife becomes a "problem" we humans need to look to ourselves to see what we did to create it.


A Familiar Sight
cathyskye avatar reviewed on + 2091 more book reviews


None of the characters in Labuskes' A Familiar Sight really reached out and grabbed me. It was the puzzle of the plot that kept me hooked. Filthy rich Dr. Gretchen White who refuses to lock the doors of her Porsche and loves toying with people always remained a bit gimmicky to me instead of feeling human. Marconi, the sergeant assigned to follow White around, was the only character that piqued my interest. She had the smarts to adapt to White's idiosyncrasies, and both White and I appreciated her skills.

A lot of your reactions to this book will hinge on how you feel about Gretchen White. May you get along with her better than I did. Even though the story is compelling, the characters aren't calling me back for more.


Hell's Super (Circles in Hell, Bk 1)
marcijo28 avatar reviewed on + 123 more book reviews


Thoroughly enjoyed! Quick read! Will definitely read the next in the series!


Target Switzerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality in World War II
hardtack avatar reviewed on + 2051 more book reviews


This is a very interesting book about how Switzerland maintained its neutrality and freedom during World War II, although for many years it was surrounded by fascist controlled territory. It was not without cost as the county was on 1/3 rations for many years and was only able to import enough coal for its population to heat one room in a house. And as many of the males were on military duty, most work, including factory and farm work, was done by women, girls and young boys.

However, the book's downside is that it is very repetitive. The reader is constantly reminded about how the individual Swiss citizen is an expert marksman or markswoman, how the Swiss can mobilize it's army in a few hours, how the Swiss treasure their guns and other military equipment kept in each home, how the leaders constantly proclaimed they would never surrender... the list goes on. As such, the book could have been many pages shorter.

It's also interesting how we remember the Swiss traded with Nazi Germany, and forget how the Swiss also traded with the Allies, providing precision instruments. The Swiss trade with German accounted for slightly less than 1% of Germany's military needs. They needed to trade with Germany to obtain coal and food. In fact, as the end of the war drew near, the Allies didn't provide the Swiss with coal or food even though the Swiss border was accessible in some areas.

Plus, the Swiss cared for tens of thousands of interned Allied soldiers and refugee civilians, as it served as a haven for people fleeing Nazi tyranny. If the U.S. had opened its borders to the Jews in the same proportion of our population as the Swiss did then over 1.2 million Jews would have found haven in the U.S. But the U.S. didn't. In fact, the U.S. didn't release as many visas to people fleeing the Nazis as it had available.

And when Allied planes accidentally bombed Swiss towns and killed people, time and time again, the Swiss government only issued protests and not retaliation. Whereas the Swiss Air Force actually shot down many German planes over flying its borders.

Still, some Swiss did profit from the war, and problems with the recovery of Nazi stolen funds and objects are still an issue. But "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." The Allies had their own war profiteers who cared little for those who died. My own mother remembered being in a butcher shop with her mother during the war, when they overheard another woman stating, "If the war will only go on another two years, my husband and I will be set for life." Which is when my grandmother punched the other woman out, knocking her to the floor.


Unlikely Animals
Unlikely Animals
Author: Annie Hartnett
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Hardcover
esjro avatar reviewed on + 769 more book reviews


While growing up, Emma Starling was considered special by the residents of her small New Hampshire community because she was able to cure minor ailments with her touch. After dropping out of (or rather never starting) medical school, she has lost "the charm" and moves home to decide on her next steps.

She takes a role as a long term subsitute teacher for fifth graders, and tries to care for her dying father who has dementia. Emma's once brilliant though always eccentric father is obsessed with solving the mystery of her childhood best friend Emma's disappearance. Her complicated relationships with her mother and recovering addict brother Auggie don't make things simpler.

Unlikely Animals is narrated by ghosts, and features quirky characters and a menagerie of wild animals. Ultimately it is a tale of love and the strength of community and family. Though it drags on a bit in places it was a heart-warming and enjoyable read.

Thanks to Goodreads and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through the Goodreads Giveaways program.


The 8th Confession (Womens Murder Club, Bk. 8)
reviewed on + 285 more book reviews


Good read


Beach House Summer
Beach House Summer
Author: Sarah Morgan
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance
Book Type: Hardcover
njmom3 avatar reviewed on + 1266 more book reviews


Beach House Summer by Sarah Morganis a feel good book. It is a world and the way of friendship, love, and community that we would all like to believe possible. The characters and the situations could be real (okay, maybe not the super rich beach house vibe!). That means that the outcome could possibly also be real. A beautiful oceanside setting, a suspension of reality because life does not work out that easily, and a belief in the happily ever after - a perfect summer beach read.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2022/05/beach-house-summer.html

Reviewed for NetGalley and the HTP Books: Summer 2022 Beach Reads Blog Tour.


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