Monday, 29 June 2015

Hearts of Stone - Simon Scarrow

1938. A perfect summer on the Greek island of Lefkas for three young people untroubled by the simmering politics of Europe. Peter, visiting from Germany while his father leads an archaeological dig, has become close friends with locals Andreas and Eleni. As the world slides towards conflict and Peter is forced to leave, they swear to meet again.

1943: Andreas and Eleni have joined the partisan forces resisting the German invasion. Peter has returned - now a dangerously well-informed enemy intelligence officer. A friendship formed in peace will turn into a desperate battle between enemies sworn to sacrifice everything for the countries that they love... 

My thoughts:
The story is told in the present and in the past.

In 1938 three teens meet and enjoy life. Eleni, Andreas and Peter.

In the present Anna meets an descendant of Peter, and one who wants to meet her grandmother Eleni. Not something Eleni wants, but instead she tells her story to Anna. Though I must say, it was not really Eleni's story we get, it is Andreas' story. Quite the shame, cos yes his story is good, but Eleni's would have been so different. A woman's perspective. 

Ok, back to the past. The war starts. Italians and later Germans invade Greece. Andreas goes off to fight. Eleni stays at home, and Peter who knows Greek and the island will later be sent there. They will all meet again. And we all know that wont be pretty.

It's war. There is hate. There is struggle. They all want to fight for their country, even if their country is not always making the right choices, and they realise that. But it's still their country.

But there is more. Peter was on the island with his father, who was an archaeologist. And later Germans come back to find that which was not found, or was it? And to take it...

Conclusion:
I do not think I have read a book set in Greece during WWII before. I liked the mix of war and the hunt for that which was hidden. It was also sad to see how the anger still lingered on. Still, more of Elenis' story would have been nice, but that would have made the book too big. Not to mention to see how Peter fared before he came there. Now that would have made it even bigger. So I am happy with what I got.

Cover
It fits

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 4th 2015 by Headline
Historical fiction
For review


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Carole's Sunday Review: Brailling for Wile - James Zerndt


Author: James Zerndt
Title: Brailling for Wile
Genre: Fiction
Pages: ebook
First Published: April 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (given to me by the publisher/author for my unbiased opinion)

BRAILLING: Feeling the surface of a tile while your hand is in the bag in order to draw a blank or other specific letter. This is strictly forbidden. -from SCRABBLE’s Official Glossary

Brailling was something twelve-year-old Mattias Long learned to master during the games of Scrabble he used to play with his mother while they waited for his father, Wile, to close up the family restaurant. But now, one year after his father’s suicide, it’s Mattias who feels cheated. He hates his father. He hates him for leaving Mattias and his sister, Georgie, alone. He hates him for turning his mother into a young widow who hasn’t left the house in months. And he hates his father for leaving behind his stupid tree. Four of them are planted outside the restaurant, one for each family member, his father’s now casting the biggest shadow. That is until Mattias’s mother, no longer able to stand the sight of the tree, hires a local landscaper to remove it in the middle of the night. This seemingly unremarkable act soon sets in motion of series of events in the small Colorado ski town that leaves more than just young Mattias groping in the dark for answers.

Brailling For Wile is a unique novel told from multiple points of view about loss and the lengths some will go to heal the human heart. Ultimately, it is a story about lives being uprooted and what it takes to go on living even when everything in the world might be telling us it isn’t possible to. 

I adore the writing style of James Zerndt. This is my second novel by this author. I really must read the others, because he has a certain way with words and telling a story. He is the King of POVs. There are multiple POVs in this story, but it is done in a way where it doesn't take away from the story, but enhances it. Also, I do not get confused about who is talking. 

Sadly, I didn't connect with any of the characters. That is my only complaint, because I just couldn't relate or connect. However, that didn't really take away from the novel entirely. I did feel bad for Mattia and especially for Mattia's mom. The dad was a jerk and I resent him for killing himself....

Anyways....

This was a good, quick book about how the acts one person can impact many people even after the person is gone. WHICH I loved the whole symbolism behind the trees and scrabble. Beautifully done. At first I rolled my eyes about the connection of scrabble, but after a while it all connected with me and I actually grew to like it. 

There is not much else I can without spoiling the book for everyone, but yes, the ending was good and it fit. 

In the end, I highly recommend this for people who like people stories. This is a people book with a serious and horrible act of one person. I wish I could have connected the with characters, but I don't think it took away from the story even though i didn't connect with it. Out of five stars, I shall stamp this with 3 stars.





Saturday, 27 June 2015

#FitReaders Check-In: June 26, 2015 and 2 reviews


Join in :D


Sat, 1 h walk, 4 km bike
Sun, 1.10 h bike
Mon, 1 h bike, 30 min walk
Tue, 1 h bike, 30 min walk
Wed nothing :/ It rained for 24 hours, but I did clean for 3,5 h
Thu, 1 h bike
Fri 1 h bike, 30 min walk
Sat, 1 h bike

Eh, I could do better


......................................

Major Sir Robert Campell is a hero to the Scots and English alike. He's revered for his prowess as a leader and a soldier. He takes control of any troublesome situation...except when it involves the beautiful English woman who stole his heart four years ago. 

Lady Claire Campbell was smitten the moment she laid eyes on Rob. Who can resist a powerful Highland Warrior in a kilt? Especially one who has the rugged face of a god and can't take his eyes off you... 

Time and tragedy have torn Rob and Claire apart, and now Rob is going to the Continent to fight a brutal battle against Napoleon and the French. Claire follows him, desperate to heal what has broken between them. But some wounds go deeper than blows Rob receives on the battlefield. And some wounds can never be healed. 

My thoughts:
This was an example on a novella that did not really work.

It happened too fast. I had no idea what went wrong between them. It all starts at Waterloo, a married couple are estranged for some reason, I did not care why, I did not really understand why...

The woman was named something, she was dull, the guy was named something, he was a highlander. And he got a new job and they lived happily ever after...and I never understood why.

Meh

Kindle Edition, 121 pages
Published August 31st 2014 by Jennifer Haymore
Highland Knights #1
Historical romance
Freebie

Someone else might crave excitement, but Dr. Natalya Pulaski was enjoying her ordinary life. Then she received a chilling call from her best friend—and the line mysteriously went dead. She felt in her bones something bad had happened. And that she had to get answers.

Detective Michael DiPalma's Friday night plans did not include working a missing person's case—or uncovering a dead body. But something about Natalya's vivid green eyes and killer curves demanded his immediate attention. As they teamed up, it was clear the walls around their guarded hearts were about to crumble. Were they brave enough to take the fall?

My thoughts:
Yawn, this one was barely ok.

A doctor gets a phonecall, her friend is dead. She will get to the bottom of this! She meets a sexy cop. He in investigates. Then they live happily ever after.

Chemistry 0
Yawns 100

I was not that impressed with this one. It was slightly better than dnf, sigh.

Kindle Edition, Silhouette Intimate Moments, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Silhouette Books (first published April 1st 2007)
The Doctors Pulaski
Romantic suspense
Freebie


Friday, 26 June 2015

Watch the Lady - Elizabeth Fremantle

The daughter of the Queen’s nemesis, Penelope Devereux, arrives at court blithely unaware of its pitfalls and finds herself in love with one man, yet married off to another. Bestowed with beauty and charm she and her brother, The Earl of Essex, are drawn quickly into the aging Queen’s favour. But Penelope is saddled with a husband who loathes her and chooses to strike out, risking her reputation to seek satisfaction elsewhere. But life at the heart of the court is not only characterised by the highs and lows of romance, there are formidable factions at work who would like to see the Devereux family brought down. It seems The Earl of Essex can do no wrong in the eyes of the Queen but as his influence grows so his enemies gather and it is Penelope who must draw on all her political savvy to prevent the unthinkable from happening.

Told from the perspective of Penelope and her brother’s greatest enemy the politician Cecil, this story, wrought with love, hatred and envy, unfolds over two decades in which we see the last gasps of Elizabeth’s reign, and the deadly scramble for power in a dying dynasty. 

My thoughts:
It was hard, but I refrained from googling so I could see how it all turned out! Oh, but it was so hard! My fingers were itching to see how it all would play out, but I stayed my course, and finished the book, and then googled! A good historical fiction novel always makes me google everything, and everyone.

Penelope Deveraux, the name does not tell me anything. Her brother, Earl Essex tells me more. But then the author does mention how history likes to erase those women who did more than they should.

Penelope comes to the court of Queen Elizabeth and becomes a favorite, and then we get to follow her life. Her unhappy marriage, how poetry was written about her beauty. Her lover and scandalous life. And her mind, if she had been born a man she would have gone places. Now she schemed in the background.

I know from page one that it would be good, and it was. I liked reading about Penelope, and how the author portrayed her. She lived an interesting life, not always a happy one, but she did her best. A fascinating story

Conclusion:
It does make me want to go back and read what else she has written. The author keeps you on your toes so that you never lose interest. 

Oh, and yes it's part of a trilogy, but not really. It's a stand alone. Just as previous books were stand alones about different people. They just happened to be part of the same court,

Paperback, 560 pages
Published June 9th 2015 by Simon & Schuster
The Tudor Trilogy #3
Historical fiction
For review


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