Rosie’s Review Team #RBRT Novella Tempted By Mr Wrong by @JacqBiggar #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Shelley, she blogs here http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Shelley has been reading Tempted By Mr Wrong by Jacquie Biggar

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Title: Tempted by Mr. Wrong

Author: Jacqui Biggar

Category: Romantic Suspense

My Rating: 4 Star

My Review:

We are introduced to Tammy-Jo as she wanders down the rain soaked street in broken heels after being humiliated by her husband at the Country Club. Immediately we get the impression of a strong woman who, despite her predicament, is still sassy.

Jason arrives on the scene like a knight in shining armour (or rather, a cute chap in a Mustang) and we begin to learn there’s a history between the two. Pulled together by their parent’s relationship, TJ and Jason are step-siblings, but ten years ago their teenage hormones got the better of them, and they explored a relationship. It was Jason who suddenly walked away without explanation and TJ is still hurting.

Married to Tim, a power-hungry man, TJ has tried to suppress her feelings for Jason but having him back in her life is quite a jolt.

Jason’s return is not as innocent as it seems. He wants to visit his mother who is dealing with dementia, but he also still loves TJ. Seeing her again stirs up all the old feelings. Unfortunately, there’s also the small fact that he is there to investigate TJ’s father with the intention of sending him to jail.

Within the first few pages, we uncover the simmering passion that TJ and Jason still have for one another all while falling over the dead body of TJ’s husband on the front lawn.

Who killed Tim? Is TJ involved? What secrets is her father keeping?

I liked this book. It was well written, and I could connect easily to the characters. If I’m honest, I don’t think it was long enough. It didn’t go deeply into the criminal activities or the investigation around the death of TJ’s husband, and I would have loved to find out more about the dark dealings. There were secondary characters whose stories didn’t get their full potential due to the short length. However, this means there’s scope for a spin-off.

It’s a sweet romance where the hero and heroine play tug of war with their feelings, but it’s wrapped up nicely at the end. There is also a sensitive side plot about dementia, and this is tastefully done. It’s a hugely distressing disease, and the author handles it well.

All in all, Tempted by Mr. Wrong was a good read.

Book description

How can something so wrong, feel so right?

Falling for her step-brother is a mistake T.J. doesn’t want to repeat, but one look into those sapphire blue eyes and she’s ready to give him whatever he wants.

Tammy-Jo Hawthorne’s marriage was floundering, but she never expected her husband to make her the laughing stock of Magnolia.

And she definitely didn’t expect to trip over him in their front yard after he’d been murdered.
Jason McIntyre was forced out of his home and the love of his life by the man who’d haunted his nightmares for ten long years.

Now Jason’s back–and he wants revenge.

About the author

JACQUIE BIGGAR  is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love.
She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls.
She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.
Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart.

Jacquie Biggar

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #WW1 Michel and Henry Go To War by Avan Judd Stallard

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Michel and Henry Go To War by Avan Judd Stallard

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My Review

This first book of The French Bastard Series is set in France more during the First World War.  We are plunged straight into the horror and detritus of trench warfare where Michel and Henry drop into, “a trench filled with a mix of blood, shit and dead men.”  Not content to die needlessly in no man’s land, Michel leads Henry into a dangerous attack on the German gunners.  As a result of their success they are granted R & R, which they choose to take in the mountains Michel knew from his youth.

Along the way we encounter other characters including Emile, a French soldier bound for the hell-hole of Verdun, Ernie a tall Australian truck driver whom everyone likes and Kranz, a German killing machine with a mission, who treats enemy warriors with respect.  Initially Michel and Henry spend their time drinking, fornicating and using foul language, but soon they are embroiled in more perilous adventures after a breakout by German prisoners of war.  Michel is always bold and courageous, Henry, a reluctant soldier but a faithful friend.  They move from one battle to another and the book is littered with carnage including intricate detail of the anatomical damage caused to bodies by each bullet or weapon.

Their final escapade runs in parallel to the completion of Franz’s mission and it is at this stage that the plot gains pace and excitement.  There is a satisfactory denouement to a tragic story.  If you want to read about the terror and inhumanity of World War One, described vividly and realistically then this is the book for you.  If you prefer your adventures to be more sanitised then look elsewhere.

Book Description

Book description

A Frenchman in the British Army fighting Germans on the Western Front? That’d be a bastard—the illegitimate son of the French President, forbidden by father to join the fray. Under an assumed name, Michel joins anyway. Except now he cannot escape the war that follows every step of the way as he and Henry—his comrade in arms—seek rest and recuperation in the mountains. Instead of wine and women, they find Germans and a secret plot to destroy France’s hub of munitions production. Cut off and outnumbered, they recruit a motley army comprising a women’s auxiliary and an old farmer with a big rifle and bad attitude. There’ll be no rest for these soldiers, not until Michel and Henry go to war. A cracking action–adventure story for fans of Flashman and The Guns of Navarone.

About the author

Avan now works as an editor—a job that was strangely absent from the TV of his youth. His TV is now a lot bigger and has more channels. He and his wife live in the north of Spain where Avan has been known to take a long winter dip in the cold Atlantic, after which his words are always slurred, though only sometimes on the page.

Along with The French Bastard action–adventure thriller series, he is the author of Antipodes: In Search of the Southern Continent, a history from Monash University Publishing, and the forthcoming novel, Spinifex & Sunflowers, from Fremantle Press. Avan continues to write novels, some of which he publishes.

Avan Judd Stallard

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #HistFic Everybody’s Somebody by @berylkingston @EndeavourPress

Today’s team review is from Jenny R,

#RBRT Review Team

Jenny has been reading Everybody’s Somebody by Beryl Kingston

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Book review by Jenny Reeve

Everybody’s Somebody by Beryl Kingston

Chic Lit, Drama, History

This book deserves 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  There are so many historical accounts incorporated into the story, some of which I was unsure if they were true facts or fiction, so I literally Googled the accounts only to find they actually happened! I had a few excellent history lessons while having the pleasure of enjoying a good book. This made the story even more interesting and exciting.

I felt exhilarated moving from one chapter onto the next, desperately wanting to read more of Rosie’s life. There are many up’s and downs folded and blended into the tale and the way in which Beryl Kingston writes is very sympathetic to each situation. She writes with affection, thoughtfulness and care using words to create such heartfelt feelings, bringing the book to life completely.

The relationship between Rosie, her husband Jim and Gerry the artist is captivating. I thought I knew where the story was going but then there would be another unexpected turn and I was taken on a different route.

Wonderfully written, beautifully perceptive.  I loved this book.

Book description

“Life’s for real an’ you got to get on with it.”

Rosie Goodison is not one to shy away from life’s problems. Whether it’s finding work or challenging injustice, Rosie squares her shoulders, sets her chin high and faces it full on.

Born at the end of the nineteenth century, in the rural south of England and sent into service aged just twelve, Rosie quickly discovers that many good people spend their lives toiling for very little reward, whilst others ‘have it all’.

She decides it won’t be like that for her. Why can’t she ride in a car? Why can’t she work when she’s pregnant? Why can’t she live in a nice flat? Why can’t she be an artist’s model?

Whilst working as a housekeeper for two upper-class boys, Rosie starts to learn more and more about the world, gleaned from overheard conversations and newspapers left lying around. This triggers an ongoing thirst for knowledge, which shapes her views, informs her decisions and influences her future.

Rosie aspires to have a better life than that of her parents: better living conditions, better working conditions and pay, better education for her children, to be able to vote, to be able to control how many children she has…

Without realising it, this young woman is blazing a trail for all those who are to come after.

Whilst working in London, Rosie meets her sweetheart Jim, but the The Great War puts paid to their plans for the future, and matters worsen afterwards, as she, along with the rest of society, tries to deal with the horrors and losses.

This heart-warming story follows the events of the early twentieth century – the impact and horrors of WW1, the financial crisis and the rapid social and political changes that took place.

All that remains of Rosie now is a quartet of paintings in an art gallery. The artist, now famous but the model, unnamed and forgotten; nobody of consequence.

But everybody has a life story. Everybody leaves some kind of mark on this world.

Everybody’s somebody.

About the author

 

I was born in 1931 in Tooting, and when I was four was enrolled at a local dancing school run by a lady called Madam Hadley, which I attended until I was eight when the war began. Because of the war my school career was – shall we say – varied. I was evacuated twice, the first time to Felpham which is near Bognor Regis and the second to Harpenden in Hertfordshire, and consequently went to ten different schools. I ended up at Streatham Secondary School, an LCC grammar run on the Dalton system, which offered a few lessons as sparking points and then required pupils to be responsible for their own learning, either in study rooms with their teachers on hand to help and advise, or on their own in the library or the school hall. It suited me to a T. Then to King’s College London, where I read English and enjoyed myself a lot, but wasn’t particularly distinguished, having other things on my mind by then.

I am proud of the fact that I was in Tooting for the first four months of the blitz, and only left it to be evacuated again when our road was bombed and our house was uninhabitable. I spent the middle part of the war in Harpenden and returned to live in London again at the end of the war at the time of the V2’s, this time without my family.

When I was just sixteen I met the love of my life, who arrived on my doorstep in Air Force blue one February evening in the coldest winter on record. Despite heavy opposition from my parents, we married three years later during my first year at King’s and spent the next 53 years 11 months and 6 days living more and more happily together. We had three much loved children and five much loved grandchildren and once I’d embarked on my career as a novelist, researched all the books together, which was great fun. We finished work on ‘Gates of Paradise’ six weeks before he died. So this publication is special to me.

I have enjoyed two careers in my life – as a teacher from 1952 to 1985 (with ten years off to bring up my family, which some might consider a third career) and as a published writer from 1980 to date. I am also, although it sounds immodest to say it, an easy and charismatic public speaker, usually unfazed by any audience no matter how big or how small or what questions they might throw at me.

In the two schools where I was head of the English department, I deliberately covered the full range of age and ability, believing that as I was paid the largest salary I should carry the heaviest responsibility. My work was filmed by KCL Education Department for use in their PGCE course and I have given talks at various colleges and schools on a variety of educational subjects, from teaching poetry to ‘tackling’ sex education. I have never subscribed to the Gradgrind theory of education which is current now, but always believed that the job of a teacher is to enable her students to learn.

I have always been a political animal, taking part in street demonstrations, walking from Aldermaston to London, involved in the 1945 election despite the fact that I was only fourteen, taking to the streets again, along with a million others, to protest against the Iraq war when I was 72.

And as a last and rather lighter touch, I was a beauty queen in 1947. It wasn’t all protests!

Beryl Kingston

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT @LindleyE reviews #Thriller A Kiss Before Killing by @keithpmccarthy

Today’s team review is from E.L. Lindley, she blogs at http://lindleyreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

E.L has been reading A Kiss Before Killing by Keith McCarthy

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A Kiss Before Killing by Keith McCarthy is an addictive thriller that I found hard to put down. The novel is one of many featuring pathologist John Eisnenmenger although this is the first one that I’ve read.

The novel opens with the seeming suicide of a prisoner whilst in custody. The man’s death brings Dr Claire Woodforde to the attention of Eisenmenger and his former lover DCI Beverley Wharton due to her claims that his death was suspicious and linked to other unexplained deaths in the hospital where she works. McCarthy then introduces a serial killer who is leaving tortured, dismembered bodies around the city as a seemingly unconnected storyline.

McCarthy uses third person narrative to tell his story and this works particularly well as we are given an insight into all of the major characters. McCarthy’s skill as a writer is evident in the control he exerts over the complex threads that make up the plot. He creates layer upon layer of mystery and tension which evolve into an almost fever-pitch denouement. I found myself reading until much later than was sensible as I was desperate to find out how the story was going to end.

This is definitely a plot driven novel but it is supported by a strong cast of characters. I particularly liked Beverley Wharton, the tough, no-nonsense DCI who lives her life almost like a man. She’s confrontational, unconcerned about other people’s opinions of her and takes lovers as and when she pleases. She is partnered with rookie detective, Tom Bayes and their relationship is very enjoyable as they move from distrust and dislike to a positive working relationship and potential friendship.

It is through Bayes that McCarthy shows the toll that working on the front line and dealing with murder cases has on investigators. Wharton has become hardened and cynical in order to deal with the horrors she sees. Eisenmenger is obsessive in his work and self aware enough to recognise that he is probably suffering from PTSD. Bayes on the other hand takes his work home with him and finds himself questioning his future with the police force. His partner finds it hard to support him as the stresses are so unique to his job. It raises the question of how isolating and damaging it must be to see the worst of human behaviour day in and day out.

The novel also raises lots of disquieting questions about the way hospital trusts work. Under immense pressure to perform successfully, the CEO and Chief Operating Officer of the trust collude to cover up potentially damaging information about the hospital even if this means allowing murders to go unsolved. Claire Woodforde is a whistle blower but is discredited by the hospital so that she appears mentally unstable. McCarthy cleverly remains ambiguous in his portrayal of Woodforde, presenting her as an unreliable, erratic source to heighten the tension and leave the wider political questions regarding the hospital unanswered.

I found the credibility of McCarthy’s plot very unsettling which is probably why it works so well. It’s entirely plausible that murders could take place in an environment where lethal drugs are readily available and who would be more able to kill without a trace of evidence than someone with medical training? All I can say is I’m glad I don’t have any hospital visits pending.

I really enjoyed this book and if you like thrillers with lots of twists and turns that take you to unexpected places then this is one for you.

Book description

Each man kills the thing he loves…

Edward Marsham is admitted to the Royal Infirmary having hung himself in his prison cell.

As predicted, he dies.

In the wake of several unexpected deaths at the hospital, however, Dr. Claire Woodforde suspects there is a killer amongst the staff. As Detective Chief Inspector Beverley Wharton and her new sergeant Tom Bayes begin to investigate Marsham’s death, they too start to wonder if it was natural or whether someone…

helped him along.

But as they start to make headway on the case, something much more sinister comes to light.

A body is found in an empty house.

A body without its limbs. And head.

Dr. John Eisenmenger is tasked with examining the torso to uncover clues which will lead to its identity and cause of death; a grisly job even for the most hardened of pathologists.

But as the investigation unfolds, the team discovers that there is much, much worse to come, and in addition, there is growing suspicion that there is a link between the two cases.

This not-for-the-faint-hearted crime thriller shines a light into the darkest recesses of the human soul.

Keith McCarthy is a pathologist and writer of crime fiction, known for his Eisenmenger-Flemming Forensic Mysteries. He also writes under the name Lance Elliot.

Keith McCarthy

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #HistFic Blood Rose Angel by @LizaPerrat #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading Blood Rose Angel by Liza Perrat

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The story begins in the year 1334 and focuses on Héloïse, growing up in Lucie-sur-Vionne and cared for by her aunt, the village midwife Isa, her dead mother’s twin. She’s taunted mercilessly about being a ‘non-born’ by some of the superstitious village folk. While Isa was at the next village, Héloïse is called to her first birthing, setting her on the path of an apprentice midwife. Several years later Héloïse is accepted by some for her herbalistic and midwifery skills, although there are those who have always been scornful. She is married to Raoul, a stonemason working in Florence, and their daughter Morgane wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and carry on the family tradition.

When the Black Death is inadvertently brought to the village with Raoul’s return, tragedy descends on the people and Héloïse had her work cut out trying to save as many as she could. Until Raoul demanded she stop and think of the safety of her own family. What was she to do….obey her husband or stay true to her vow? The decision was made for her in the worst possible way.

Liza Perrat has completely captures the emotions, behaviour and superstitious nature of the villagers in the face of this horrifying plague. It’s a harsh and violent time brought vividly to life with, amongst other things, wonderfully diverse characters, their everyday lives and the historical setting. Héloïse is a compelling woman, strong-willed and resolute, ahead of her time and easy to empathise with. She was determined to do whatever it takes to make life healthier and safer for the villagers, despite the treatment meted out to her.

A powerful and well constructed tale by a talented storyteller, the writing realistic and evocative. Historical details are fascinating and must have taken intensive research. From the superstitions, fears and ill-conceived beliefs that abounded in everyday life to the herbal knowledge and the way religion controlled people’s lives. It’s an incredible glimpse into the past where fact and fiction blend seamlessly together.

This is the third book in the series but could easily be read first or as a standalone, although I strongly recommend the series if you enjoy well written, authentic historical fiction.

Book description

1348. A bone-sculpted angel and the woman who wears it––heretic, Devil’s servant, saint.
Midwife Héloïse has always known that her bastard status threatens her standing in the French village of Lucie-sur-Vionne. Yet her midwifery and healing skills have gained the people’s respect, and she has won the heart of the handsome Raoul Stonemason. The future looks hopeful. Until the Black Death sweeps into France.
Fearful that Héloïse will bring the pestilence into their cottage, Raoul forbids her to treat its victims. Amidst the grief and hysteria, the villagers searching for a scapegoat, Héloïse must choose: preserve her marriage, or honour the oath she swore on her dead mother’s soul? And even as she places her faith in the protective powers of her angel talisman, she must prove she’s no Devil’s servant, her talisman no evil charm.

About the author

 

Liza grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years.
When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her family for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator, and as a novelist.
Since completing a creative writing course ten years ago, several of her short stories have won awards, notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004 and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine, France Today and The Good Life France.

Spirit of Lost Angels is the first in the French historical “The Bone Angel” series set against a backdrop of rural France during the French Revolution. The second in the series, Wolfsangel, set during the WWII Nazi Occupation of France, was published in October, 2013. The third, Blood Rose Angel, set during the 14th century Black Plague years was published in November, 2015.
Friends, Family and Other Strangers is a collection of humorous, horrific and entertaining short stories set in Australia.
Liza is a founding member of the Author Collective, Triskele Books and regularly reviews books for Bookmuse.

Liza Perrat

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Alt #Rome series book #3 Successio by @alison_morton

Today’s team review is from Jessie, she blogs here http://behindthewillows.com

#RBRT Review Team

Jessie is reading her way through the Roma Nova series by Alison Morton. Today she reviews Book #3 Successio 

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When a series is ongoing it’s always number three that makes or breaks it for me. Either I’ve had enough of the same ol’ same ol’ or I’m hooked for life.

Roman Nova has got me hooked for life!
I loved that the new challenges life threw at the characters befit their older ages and yet there was plenty of the alternate history, women kicking butt and page turning thriller that drew me to the series in the first place.
Would I recommend it?
For sure! Just start with Inceptio and keep on going! As for me, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!
Book description

Roma Nova – the last remnant of the Roman Empire that has survived into the 21st century – is at peace. Carina Mitela, the heir of a leading family, but choosing the life of an officer in the Praetorian Guard Special Forces, is not so sure.

She senses danger crawling towards her when she encounters a strangely self-possessed member of the unit hosting their exchange exercise in Britain. When a blackmailing letter arrives from a woman claiming to be her husband Conrad’s lost daughter and Conrad tries to shut Carina out, she knows the threat is real.

Trying to resolve a young man’s indiscretion twenty-five years before turns into a nightmare that not only threatens to destroy all the Mitelae but also attacks the core of the imperial family itself. With her enemy holding a gun to the head of the heir to the imperial throne, Carina has to make the hardest decision of her life…

About the author

Even before she pulled on her first set of combats, Alison Morton was fascinated by the idea of women soldiers. After six years in a special communications regiment, she left as a captain, having done all sorts of interesting and exciting things she can’t talk about, even now…

The mosaics at Ampurias (Spain) and their creation by the complex, power and value-driven Roman civilisation made her wonder what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women.

Now, she writes Roman-themed alternate history thrillers with tough heroines, tends a Roman herb garden and drinks wine with her husband of 30 years. Sign up to Alison’s newsletter for a FREE ebook of series starter INCEPTIO: http://eepurl.com/ckNeFL

Alison Morton

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Medical #Thriller A Kiss Before Killing by Keith McCarthy

Today’s team review is from Judith, she blogs here http://judithbarrowblog.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Judith has been reading A Kiss Before Killing by Keith McCarthy

A Kiss Before Killing: Nothing can keep the doctor away... by [McCarthy, Keith]

My Review:

From the start it is obvious that the author knows a great deal about cadavers and forensics; there is a lot of detail about the dissection of bodies and the necessary criminal investigation. I didn’t mind reading about those sections; in fact I can deal with grisly as much as the next reader of this genre but it felt rather clinically shown so, as a reader, the dreadfulness of the murders, the horrendous dismemberment, was, for me, portrayed too clinically; there was something emotionally missing.

I liked some of the characters; most were multi – layered. Beverley Wharton is well rounded and the relationship between her and John Eisenmenger is interesting. And we get some insight into her sergeant, Tom Bayes and his background. We also get a good understanding of their  professional environment.  All of which shows that these characters and their relationships to one another could lead to further stories. But I couldn’t quite get a handle on the character of Dr. Claire Woodforde. (I did think this was perhaps what the author intended as, although portrayed as a professional person her interaction with other characters was hesitant and not what I would have expected)

On the whole the dialogue is realistic and shows who was speaking, though it is a little stilted, less realistic, at times.

It’s a good plot. And, generally, well told. The author has a good writing style that carries the story along. But there are too many cliches in the narrative and far too many  metaphors and similes. (and these also slip over into the dialogue occasionally. Which would be fine if it were an idiosyncrasy of only one or two of the characters).

My whole problem with this book was with the editing and the proof reading. I think the book needs another good edit and, certainly, a more exact proofreading.

Once this is done I would certainly recommend A Kiss Before Killing.

Each man kills the thing he loves…

Edward Marsham is admitted to the Royal Infirmary having hung himself in his prison cell.

As predicted, he dies.

In the wake of several unexpected deaths at the hospital, however, Dr. Claire Woodforde suspects there is a killer amongst the staff. As Detective Chief Inspector Beverley Wharton and her new sergeant Tom Bayes begin to investigate Marsham’s death, they too start to wonder if it was natural or whether someone…

helped him along.

But as they start to make headway on the case, something much more sinister comes to light.

A body is found in an empty house.

A body without its limbs. And head.

Dr. John Eisenmenger is tasked with examining the torso to uncover clues which will lead to its identity and cause of death; a grisly job even for the most hardened of pathologists.

But as the investigation unfolds, the team discovers that there is much, much worse to come, and in addition, there is growing suspicion that there is a link between the two cases.

This not-for-the-faint-hearted crime thriller shines a light into the darkest recesses of the human soul.

Keith McCarthy is a pathologist and writer of crime fiction, known for his Eisenmenger-Flemming Forensic Mysteries. He also writes under the name Lance Elliot.

GoodreadsAmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Techno Tantrums: 10 Strategies For Coping by @davidboyle1958

Today’s team review is from Chris, she blogs here http://cphilippou123.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading Techno Tantrums: 10 Strategies For Coping With Your Child’s Tome Online by David Boyle

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An interesting concept – too much time being spent online by children and how to manage that – is tackled in this attempt at a practical how-to.

There were some very useful and practical points about managing children’s time online. There were also some interesting references to various stories that have been in the press. And the bottom line – that children may be spending too much time online in the modern era – is not one that I necessarily disagree with.

However, my concerns are that this book holds itself up as a non-fiction book, yet it suffers from a one-sided look at the problem. This, ironically, is one of the things that people that spend a lot of time online appear to develop an understanding of – that huge swathes of information available online need to be filtered for, amongst other things, bias. This book uses a few sources repeatedly with no consideration of alternative viewpoints and no critical thinking. It made me want to spend more time online researching the points made in this book because the more I read, the less I bought into the authors’ polemic.

Overall, this was one of those books where the idea is interesting, and the author(s) well-meaning, but where the lack of thorough research combined with a lack of discussion of the limitations of their points brought the value of the book down. A shame.

*Thank you to the authors for my free review copy via RBRT.

Book Description

This book argues that parents have been abandoned to deal with the lure of the online world alone, the games and social media, with advice about safety but no other support. This is a guide to help navigate the research and pitfalls, written by parents for parents.

They face the sheer power of the internet companies all by themselves, fighting for influence over their children’s minds. When schools and governments alike encourage children to spend their lives online, yet many of the internet founders themselves – including Steve Jobs himself – rigorously restricted their own children’s online access time.

This isn’t a guide to online safety, which is well-covered elsewhere. It is a guide to online obsession. It helps navigate research, some of it alarming, some of it reassuring, with clarity and sanity, to help parents find a way through – so that children can avoid addiction, enjoy the world around them, but also enjoy themselves online.

About the author

David Boyle

David Boyle is the author of Blondel’s Song: The capture, imprisonment and ransom of Richard the Lionheart, and a series of books about history, social change and the future. His book Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life helped put the search for authenticity on the agenda as a social phenomenon. The Tyranny of Numbers and The Sum of Our Discontent predicted the backlash against the government’s target culture. Funny Money launched the time banks movement in the UK.

David is an associate of the new economics foundation, the pioneering think-tank in London, and has been at the heart of the effort to introduce time banks to Britain as a critical element of public service reform – since when the movement has grown to more than 100 projects in the UK.

He is also the founder of the London Time Bank network and co-founder of Time Banks UK. He writes about the future of volunteering, cities and business.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #SciFi #TimeTravel Do You Realize by Kevin Kuhn @Big_Kuhna

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Do You Realize by Kevin Kuhn

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Do You Realize by Kevin Kuhn

4 out of 5 stars

This is a most unusual and interesting novel, categorised on Amazon under ‘metaphysical and visionary’, and ‘time travel’.

George is your average American middle-aged husband and father, unstimulated by his job, with a marriage that’s lost its joy, and the usual teenage children angst.  On his morning journeys to work he gets to know the curious Shiloh, who philosophises about life, the universe and everything, and asks him to beta test a new app for an Apple watch.  There is, of course, more to both Shiloh and the app than meet the eye.

Meanwhile, back in his normal life, George struggles with family problems ~ his daughter has a bad car accident, his son is being difficult and secretive, and his job is giving him headaches.  Soon, he realises that Shiloh and his mysterious app are giving him a completely different perspective on life, introducing him to the idea of parallel universes.

I loved the first half of this book.  I really like the author’s writing style; George and his family are very real, and the narrative is darkly comic, interesting and highly readable, with lots of popular cultural references; I liked that each chapter has the name of a song.  I also loved the philosophy, ideas and views of Shiloh, many of which echoed my own, though this was not the only reason I was toying with 5* for the book at this stage.  I read the first 50% almost in one go.

The quality of the writing does not falter throughout, but at around 60% my attention started to waver.  Story threads that seemed interesting were quickly resolved and everything was hunky dory in George’s world for quite a while – nice for George, and, indeed, this served a purpose for the outcome of the story, but it was not that interesting to read about.  Without giving too much in the way of spoilers, the app means that George relives days in his past life.  He also has vivid dreams.  I thought the dream sequences were far too long, slowing the progress of the story down, and the relived days from the past could have been written more succinctly, especially when a day was lived more than once.  Also, Shiloh’s long explanations became longer (or maybe it was just me), and I thought there was too much explanatory dialogue, generally.

In the second half is a tragic episode which I thought was well done; all the threads lead to the outcome, as Shiloh reveals his purpose; sadly, by the end I felt less involved with the story.  The whole idea is a terrific one, and Mr Kuhn clearly has much talent, but I felt that the second half was written less with the reader in mind than the first. 

My overall rating is based on the fact that I’d give the first half 5* and the second half 3*.  It’s a good book, and readers who are particularly interested in the metaphysical and visionary will probably enjoy it very much indeed.

George is a middle-management, middle-class, middle-aged guy who hates his job and struggles to stay connected to his wife and teenage children. Most guys might end up with a steamy affair and a flashy car for their midlife crisis, but George gets a quirky, philosophical physics professor named Shiloh. Trapped with this mysterious misfit on his morning commuter train, George is dragged into awkward conversations about love, fear, music, and the meaning of life. Shiloh asks George to beta-test an app he wrote for the new Apple Watch–and with a free watch included, how could he say no?

When tragedy strikes, throwing George out of his uncomfortable comfort zone, he learns that Shiloh’s app lets him journey through alternate versions of his past. As challenges mount in his own reality, George must make a decision that will change him–and possibly the entire multiverse–forever.

Kevin Kuhn lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, with his wife Melinda, three children, and two fierce schnoodles. He is a technology executive who enjoys sipping cheap bourbon, avoiding yard work, and living vicariously through his children’s sports. While Kevin has no musical skill whatsoever, he appreciates a broad spectrum of artists from Pink Floyd to Prince and Radiohead to the Rolling Stones. His golf game is horrific with flashes of mediocrity.

Kevin A. Kuhn

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #RomCom #Romance Crazy In Love by @annabellecosta5

Today’s team review is from Wendy, she blogs here http://booklovercircumspect4.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Wendy has been reading Crazy In Love by Annabelle Costa

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Who hasn’t been Crazy in Love at some point in their lifetime? However, in this story, Anna is a whole lotta different with her can collection and obsessive tendencies, especially about germs that even had me wanting to get up and clean my entire house.

Anna is a highly intelligent computer coder that has a successful career but due to her OCD she is unable to engage in any meaningful relationships, especially with the opposite sex.

Enter, Matt Harper….

We are introduced to Matt as a healthy, strapping young gent that has his whole life ahead of him. He is also a computer coder and is Anna’s co-worker. Matt initially comes across as a bit of a player but does have some heart as he is very protective of Anna. Matt is having problems with his ankle and sees his medical doctor and his whole world is turned upside down.

Overall, this book is an interesting look at the way society reacts to those with mental conditions and those who have a physical debilitating condition and the stigma related to both. This was a nice easy paced read for me which is exactly what I was looking for in a book, and be sure to read the acknowledgements at the end of the book. 🙂

I give this book three out of four “SOCKS”. See rating system here.

One last note, I couldn’t end this review without mentioning Beyonce’s song, Crazy in Love……..

Book Description

They call her Crazy Anna.
Anna Flint won’t shake your hand. She collects tin cans. She cleans her cubicle at work with Lysol several times a day. But Anna doesn’t care that they call her crazy. She’s absolutely satisfied with her life of perfect organization, cleanliness, and most of all, solitude.
Matt Harper likes Anna Flint. He likes that she’s the smartest person he knows and he likes her big blue eyes. He doesn’t even mind her can collection. In fact, he pretty much likes everything about Anna. As his body and his world are falling apart, she still manages to make him happy.
Matt is the only person Anna has ever wanted to be close to. But how can she go on a date with him if the thought of dinner at a restaurant fills her with terror? How can she ever kiss the man she loves if she can’t even touch him?
Maybe it’s time to stop being Crazy Anna. If only she could.

About the author

Annabelle Costa

Annabelle Costa is a physical therapist who loves the following things, not necessarily in this order:

–Chick lit (both reading it and writing it)

–Cupcakes (both making them and eating way too many of them)

–British accents (both listening to them and pretending to have one)

–80s movies (both watching them and quoting them out of context while her friends frown in confusion)

–Pop music (both listening to it and singing it very, very badly in the car and/or shower)

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