Author: alinefromabook

“A Reflection of Shadows” by Anne Renwick

“A Reflection of Shadows” by Anne Renwick

Blurb:

Shunned for her odd eyes and an unnerving habit of slipping into shadows, Lady Colleen Stewart refuses to be caged–should she decide to marry, it’ll be for love and to a man of her choice. After all, she’d rather be racing over rooftops than waltzing across ballroom floors. So when the only man to ever tempt her heart invites her on a covert mission, she leaps into danger.

Nicholas Torrington, Queen’s agent, is running out of time. While work has him chasing his tail, his sister grows increasingly ill, and Colleen, the woman he would make his bride, has acquired another, determined suitor. To coax his favorite thief back into his arms, he’ll break every rule and lead her through the underbelly of London on a hunt for a mad scientist and a cure for his sister.

But the discovery of a burned-out laboratory provides more questions than answers, and they find themselves caught in a deadly game where they have become the prey. Surviving the ambitions of their pursuers will bring everything into sharp focus as they risk their very lives.

My Thoughts:

I love a little jaunt in Victorian England and Anne Renwick is the perfect author to go there with. Lady Colleen is a delightful character and her secret life makes her a definite mystery. Nicholas is a dashing gentleman and the two of them just can’t get enough of each other. I found their romance to be just too cute. As usual in these Elemental Web Tales, there are lots of gadgets and Colleen has some interesting places to hide things. These two will face mortal danger in their effort to get out from under Colleen’s uncle’s thumb. The story takes some intriguing turns along the way and was never boring. I continue to be delighted by Anne Renwick’s stories and look forward to many more. Highly recommend!

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

Advertisements
“House Call” by Darden North

“House Call” by Darden North

Narrated by Michael Robbins

Blurb:

In national award-winning author Darden North’s debut novel, House Call, a police investigation into the murder of a young hospital nurse rips through a Mississippi community consumed in self-indulgence, reverse sexual discrimination, and cut-throat medical politics. Before a psychopath can be stopped, another will die.

In House Call, Dr. Knox Chamblee joins a prominent medical clinic in a small southern town and soon finds himself the object of reverse sexual discrimination in the workforce. Worse yet, he is possibly a murder suspect.

There are no real leads in the stabbing of nurse Taylor Richards until police uncover tire prints in a driveway that lead them to an answer in backwoods Mississippi.

My Thoughts:

As a debut novel, Darden North has created a mystery full of twists and false trails. I loved Dr. Knox and hated his boss. He’s a nice guy looking to do good while the universe seems to be out to get him. There are some very interesting and unique side characters in the story including a personal shopper to the ultra-rich and a super snobby charity lady who thinks she can control everybody. A significant portion of the story is taken up with commentary on the way the health care business works which is enlightening but is almost too much. The narrator has a good voice for the story but at times the rhythm felt a little off. Overall, a good debut.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

 

“The Woman in the Woods” by John Connolly

“The Woman in the Woods” by John Connolly

Narrated by Jeff Harding

Blurb:

In the beautiful Maine woods, a partly preserved body is discovered. Investigators realize that the dead young woman gave birth shortly before her death. But there is no sign of a baby.

Private detective Charlie Parker is hired by a lawyer to shadow the police investigation and find the infant but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in much more than a missing child…someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.

And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring and a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman.

My Thoughts:

Phone calls from a toy telephone, those are really creepy. It’s remarkable how this young boy can keep his wits about him when it happens. This is another winner from John Connolly. I found this story very easy to relate to. I am getting a little concerned about the direction Parker’s daughter Sam is going in. I’m very interested to see how her story is going to play out. Charlie and his friends Louis and Angel are facing a different phase of their lives with Angel’s health scare and I really like how Mr. Connolly is incorporating the realities of life into these main characters. He is allowing his characters to age and I don’t find that very often in detective fiction. This series has become more than just a group of whodunits for me, the characters have become like family as I’ve worked my way through the stories. This is the last one for a while as the next book in the series will not be released in the US till October. And as always, Jeff Harding is the voice of Charlie Parker and gives us another excellent performance.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

6/10/2019 at Alinefromabook

Hey friends! Sorry for the long silence. We had a bit of a family emergency here that distracted me for a few days. I have been doing some reading and have 4 reviews I need to write. I’ve also been keeping an eye out for my jackrabbits. We had 2 show up in the front yard the other day and one of them was sitting in a spot where 3 of the sprinkler heads meet. He just sat there letting the water fall all over him for about 5 minutes. I guess it was the rabbit version of a bird bath. One of these days I’m going to have my phone with me when the rabbits show up so I can take some pictures to share. Until we get either a cat or a dog (the debate rages on) the rabbits are my only pets.

Well, I just wanted to touch base and say Hi. I think I’ll try to get a start on those reviews now. Have a great week!!

Happy Reading!

The Beauty Geek’s Guide to Skin Care by Deborah Burnes

The Beauty Geek’s Guide to Skin Care by Deborah Burnes

Blurb:

When it comes to finding the perfect formula for dewy and healthy skin, knowledge is power. That’s why skin care guru Deborah Burnes shares everything you need to know about essential ingredients in this book—so that you can give your skin exactly what it needs to glow.

Whether you’re making products for your own use or trying to figure out which brands work best for you, The Beauty Geek’s Guide to Skin Care has all the latest insider info on 1,000 of the beauty industry’s most commonly used ingredients. Plus, you’ll learn the best practices and lifestyle habits to make healthy skin an everyday reality.

The Beauty Geek’s Guide to Skin Care features:

1,000 Ingredient Profiles—Learn the origin, uses, and benefits of the most popular natural and chemical ingredients.Skin Care 101—Get the lowdown on basic beauty practices and lifestyle hacks for best skin.DIY Beauty Recipes—Make your own cleansers, toners, masks, scrubs, and more with these easy-to-follow recipes for your very own signature products.

Knowledge is powerful and beautiful—especially when it comes to your skin. Get in the know with The Beauty Geek’s Guide to Skin Care.

My Thoughts:

If you are at all concerned about the ingredients in your skin care products, then this book will be a great resource for you. The definitions section of the book is packed with potential ingredients and explains what they are, what they do, and whether or not they are harmful and helpful. It’s a dictionary of skin care. In addition, the author goes through the steps of a good skin care routine and an explanation of why skin care is so important not just for surface appearances but for your overall health. While I haven’t tried the recipes they look like they would be straightforward and easy to replicate with the right ingredients. I think this is a book I will keep going back to whenever I come across and ingredient I’m not familiar with.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“The Wife” by Alafair Burke

“The Wife” by Alafair Burke

Narrated by Xe Sands

Blurb:

When Angela met Jason Powell while catering a dinner party in East Hampton, she assumed their romance would be a short-lived fling, like so many relationships between locals and summer visitors. To her surprise, Jason, a brilliant economics professor at NYU, had other plans, and they married the following summer. For Angela, the marriage turned out to be a chance to reboot her life. She and her son were finally able to move out of her mother’s home to Manhattan, where no one knew about her tragic past.

Six years later, thanks to a bestselling book and a growing media career, Jason has become a cultural lightning rod, placing Angela near the spotlight she worked so carefully to avoid. When a college intern makes an accusation against Jason, and another woman, Kerry Lynch, comes forward with an even more troubling allegation, their perfect life begins to unravel. Jason insists he is innocent, and Angela believes him. But when Kerry disappears, Angela is forced to take a closer look—at both the man she married and the women she chose not to believe.

My Thoughts:

This story is a real brain twister. Angela and Jason are excellent characters who seem to have a great relationship until Jason is accused. As the story moves along we learn more and more about these two and the twists and turns in the plot are a constant surprise. The ending was one I did not see coming. It was very interesting to watch the changes in Angela as the story continued. She begins as a person who is a victim but becomes more and more empowered as the drama unfolds until she is one who is shaping the story’s direction. The narration of this book is excellent. If you like psychological thrillers then I’m sure you will enjoy “The Wife”.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“Montauk” by Nicola Harrison

“Montauk” by Nicola Harrison

Blurb:

Montauk, Long Island, 1938.

For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor—a two-hundred room seaside hotel—while Harry pursues other interests in the city.

College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was.

As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future.

Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has, when fates conspire to tear her world apart…

My Thoughts:

This is the author’s debut novel, and I am impressed. Historical romance is not my usual genre and when this book came up on my TBR I couldn’t remember why I had selected it, but I was not disappointed. The story is rich with well developed and colorful characters and the setting is spectacular. I’ve never been to Montauk but with the author’s descriptions I was able to develop a beautiful picture in my mind. Of course, I do like history so the timeframe of 1938 was interesting to me. The author painted a vivid picture of “high society” at the time with its post-Depression excesses and lavish lifestyles. What makes the story more compelling is how the lives of the inhabitants of the fishing village were incorporated into the drama and played a critical role in Beatrice’s narrative. I found Beatrice to complicated, haunted, and lost, but even more she is a very caring person who wants to improve the lives of those around her. She’s educated but doesn’t seem to know herself very well as the story opens. She can also be just a little too impulsive at times, which only adds to her charm. The story is told by Beatrice and I really enjoyed the first-person narrative. Bottom line: this book was an enjoyable departure from my usual mysteries and true crime. Well done!

Alinefromabook’s rating:   Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“The Secret” by K.L. Slater

“The Secret” by K.L. Slater

Narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis

Blurb:

You turn your back for a minute. And now your son is in terrible danger …

Louise is struggling to cope.  As a busy working mum, she often has to leave her eight-year-old son Archie at her sister Alice’s flat.

Alice and Louise used to be close.  But there’s a lot they don’t know about each other now – like the bottle of vodka Louise hides in her handbag, Alice’s handsome new friend and the odd behaviour of her next-door neighbour.

Archie is a curious little boy. He likes to play on his own at his auntie’s flat until one day when he sees something he shouldn’t. Now he has a secret of his own.  One he can’t tell his mum. One that could put him and his family in terrible danger.

My Thoughts:

Twisted! That’s what this story is. There are so many unexpected turns that I wasn’t sure who to believer in until the end. I was immediately drawn to Alice and her vulnerability and cheered her on as she grappled with her fears in order to help her nephew. Louise, I didn’t like much because she just seemed to be so selfish and unconcerned about her son or her sister. But the psychology between these two sisters is way more complicated than it at first appears. And then you add in Louise’s husband and Alice’s neighbor and the drama just keeps building. I also really liked how the author was able to incorporate Alice’s neighborhood into the story in a way that it almost became a character in itself. Finally, the narrator’s voice was perfect for this story. She did a great job of relating the different characters and bringing them to life. Very compelling listen!

Alinefromabook’s rating:   Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

5/25/2019 at Alinefromabook

Friday Night Bunny Hop

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned here before that we have wild rabbits around our neighborhood. I look forward every spring to the arrival of the bunnies in my yard and this year was no different. Most years I’ll see a momma and baby in the spring and by the end of summer the babies are all grown up. Well, this year I’ve been waiting and waiting, checking the yard every time I go by a window and no bunnies had arrived. Then last night I’m sitting on the sofa and my husband is at the kitchen sink and all of a sudden he starts saying “Bunnies, Bunnies!” So I run to the window and sure enough there are 2 bunnies in the yard.

The 1st one pretty quickly hopped off the the first and disappeared and I said to the 2nd bunny, “Oh, come over here where I can see you better”. And the next thing I know this rabbit is hopping UP the steps of my deck toward where I’m standing at the patio door. He pauses there and I so wanted to get my camera but was afraid he would see the movement and get scared and go away. So instead I watched and admired him while he did a little turn around the patio table, paused again where I could get a good look at him, and hopped off down the stairs. Now, I’m not an outdoorsman and you won’t find me up close and personal on an African safari. But I do enjoy these kid of chance encounters with wildlife and this was the perfect ending to my busy week.

White-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii)

Primarily clad in brown and gray tones, white-tailed jackrabbits get their name from their conspicuous, white tails. Native to the Western and Midwestern portions of the United States and Canada, white-tailed jackrabbits are most active at night–an adaptation that helps them avoid birds of prey. White-tailed jackrabbits consume a wide variety of herbaceous plants, twigs, bark and fruit.

White-Tailed Jackrabbit
“A Game of Ghosts” by John Connolly

“A Game of Ghosts” by John Connolly

Narrated by Jeff Harding

Blurb:  It is deep winter and the darkness is unending. A private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished and Charlie Parker is assigned to track him down. Parker’s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found. Eklund is no ordinary investigator—he is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker is drawn into Eklund’s world: a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts…

My Thoughts:  Book 15 in the Charlie Parker series and my admiration and respect for him continues to grow. There is so much depth to John Connolly’s characters in this series that I just drown in their world every time I listen. Jeff Harding’s excellent narration just adds to the mystery and thrill of the story itself. Rather than try to review this book, because I loved every minute of it and have no critiques, I just want to say thank you to John Connolly for creating this series which has given me so much pleasure. I have just started listening to book 16 and am on pins and needles waiting for book 17 to become available in the U.S. After listening to this book, I am very excited to see where Mr. Connolly is going to take the character of Sam, Charlie’s daughter. I will never regret the day I picked up my first Charlie Parker novel.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website