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Rio Carnival Girl (Liverpool)

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Alone in Berlin (Penguin Modern Classics)
Alone in Berlin (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Geoff Wilkes
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars How individuals can resist a totalitarian regime, 2 Jun 2012
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What I liked about this book was the way we were drawn into the lives of the characters resisting the Nazi regime, even though they knew it was hopeless. Their courage was amazing.
What I struggled with was the lack of impact of the individuals on the regime. What should they have done ? What could they have done ?


A Kiss Before Dawn
A Kiss Before Dawn
Price: 5.83

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful love story bound together by a shared love of animals., 24 May 2012
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Chris Martel runs a horse farm in Bristol, New York State. On the farm she has horses sent to her breeding and her own horses, Hattie, a Black Thoroughbred,[...], Ruby, a Paint Mare and Stetson, a bay and white Paint stallion, [...] . There is also Sierra, a quarter horse mare, [...] . Helping her are Cedar and Vagney the Labradors and Sadie, the Jack Russell.

Mary Jo Cavanaugh is a newly graduated Vet who starts working with Richard Hall, the local Vet.

When Richard takes Mary Jo on his rounds to introduce his clients to his new assistant she makes a mistake on Chris's farm and is nearly inured by Hattie. After this inauspicious start their friendship slowly grows with the help of Chris's neighbour the elderly Francis.

This is a story about the daily rhythms, challenges and pleasures of running a horse farm. The slow burn of Chris's relationship with Mary Jo provides the dramatic arc of the story. Chris has a past, which Mary Jo helps her to overcome and in so doing learns that there is more to looking after animals and humans than just a college degree.

A beautiful book, which I enjoyed as much second time round as the first and which I highly recommend for both animal lovers and people lovers.


Survived by her Longtime Companion
Survived by her Longtime Companion
Price: 6.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two love stories bound together through time and place, 27 April 2012
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What I loved about this book was the way that Chris has bound together two love stories, separated by a generation but brought together and overlaid by Ellie, the central character.

Ellie is both raconteur, through her diaries, and agony aunt to Bailey and Chelsea. She uses her diaries to show them how she and Daphne managed to survive adversity to build a loving long term relationship.

In how many ways can we say "fine" when we mean anything but ?
When we look back on our lives is it what we did that is important, or who we did it with ??

An amazing emotional roller coaster that had me crying and laughing and cheering and more than ever grateful for my own companion :-)


Pennance
Pennance
Price: 2.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative Cornish landscape and characters, 27 April 2012
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This review is from: Pennance (Kindle Edition)
I loved Pennance for it's setting, for it's cast of characters and the way the plot twisted and turned :-)

Lucy is such a vulnerable but tough character that I empathised with her and really wanted her to find her happy ending, whatever fate threw at her !!

Clare has written an unusual book which she uses the evocative Cornish landscape as an analogy for the roller coaster ride that Lucy's life becomes when Karen moves in next door.

Families, relationships, children, it's all there, encapsulated in this amazing book.


Time Mends (Timber Wolves)
Time Mends (Timber Wolves)
Price: 1.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Can Time Mend friendships ?, 29 Jan 2012
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The 2nd instalment of the Timber Wolves trilogy from Tammy Blackwell, read Destiny Binds (Timber Wolves) first.

Scout is consumed by grief and has dreams of Alex that are so real that she questions if he is somehow still alive, especially when she every now and then fleetingly glimpses grey eyes and a grey wolf.
Talley blames herself for Seeing what might happen but not being able to prevent what did happen.
Jase blames himself for losing control and injuring Scout, becoming a tsunami of wrath.
Charlie blames himself for hurting Scout by causing Alex's accident, becoming a silent anger ball about to go nuclear.

Can Scout forgive her friends and how will all their relationships change ?
Will her friends support her when fate takes Scout in a direction she was not expecting ?
When the Apha Pack intervenes will her friends be able to save Scout and what would they be prepared to sacrifice, her life or theirs ?

Another gripping thriller from Tammy Blackwell, which takes up from the cliff hanger ending of Destiny Binds. She weaves drama, humour and love into a spell binding tale of extraordinary lives in a rural Kentucky setting that explores the meaning of friendship and sacrifice. This is a well-balanced coming of age story, which I have read twice, enjoying even more the second time when I better appreciated the subtleties of Tammy's writing. Highly recommended


Destiny Binds (Timber Wolves)
Destiny Binds (Timber Wolves)
Price: 1.86

5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous story, where nothing is quite what it seems :-), 21 Jan 2012
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Is it possible to love two people at the same time ?
The childhood friend who keeps the promise he made to you 7 years ago when you were watching Cinderella, that one day you too would go to the ball, or the attractive newcomer with the grey eyes and dimples when he laughs, who tells you that you are his destiny. If you had to choose; which one would you choose and what would be the consequences of your decision ?

Tammy Blackwell has written an amazing story with believable and likeable characters in a rural Kentucky setting. Good dialogue, witty, full of drama, tension and romance with seamless changes from scene to scene as she immerses us deeper and deeper into the mysterious world she creates, where nothing is quite what is seems.

The story is told first hand by Scout Donovan, a local misfit in her senior year at high school. Her step brother Jase is only 5 weeks older than her but is hiding a secret, as is her best friend Tally and cousin Charlie. Her little sister Angel is annoying perfection in curls, and has some of the best lines in the book. Then there is Alex, the mysterious new arrival in her class who seems to know so much about her past. What is she in the middle of, what is she and does keeping secrets damage relationships ?

I loved the way the characters were developed, that none of the main characters were what Scout thought they were. How she has to constantly reassess the world around her and make decisions that will affect all of their futures.

The many film, book and music references provide a social grounding and a backdrop for the story to develop. Food is also an integral part of the story, from the relative merits of pop tarts to chocolate brownies. The writing is crisp and clear, with a wide vocabulary but without being pretentious.

I recommend this as an easy book to read and fall in love with.


The Gift
The Gift
Price: 3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars What would you do with a spare day ?, 7 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Gift (Kindle Edition)
"Time cannot be given but it can be shared." This is a story of how one man learns the value of time, with the theme of Christmas and against a backdrop of work and family.

So if you were given an extra day, what would you do in that day, would you spend it in work, would you spend it with your family, would you spend it in the pub, would you do something else ?

The book is shamelessly sentimental, but well written. I didn't like the man character and I don't see why he should have been chosen for this very special gift but I liked the police officers and I sympathised with the turkey boy !!


Trick of the Dark
Trick of the Dark
Price: 3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Would you kill for the one you love ?, 1 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Trick of the Dark (Kindle Edition)
Charlie has been with Maria for 7 years but has become infatuated with Lisa while having to deal with professional problems. Her professional honesty led to the murder of 4 women and she now faces being struck off the medical register by the General Medical Council and losing everything she has worked for.

A mystery package sets her off on a tangent, anything to get her off brooding about the consequences of her decisions. This story is about what happens when Charlie tracks down the sender of the mysterious package and the drama that unfolds. What is it that draws her to Lisa and what does that mean for her relationship with Maria ?

This was my first Val McDermid book and I read it cover to cover in three days. I loved the emotional roller coaster, but was less keen on all the Oxford pretentiousness. I found it difficult to relate to or sympathise with women who apparently have more qualifications than I've had hot dinners and it sometimes felt like a female version of "Inspector Morse" !!

The description of Skye was amazing and I so want to go there, without climbing any mountains with my partner, but Oxford ? nah you can keep that for the intellectuals.

There were a lot of lesbian characters, almost felt like an episode of the "L" word and I kept waiting for someone to ask who killed Jenny !!! I was not taken with the description of lesbian sex as being "Wild, dirty, dark and never quite enough" but maybe I lack the imagination ?? It was nice to have gay relationships as mainstream and the hetrosexual relationships as minor incidentals, more as a judgement on extreme Christian views than anything else.

I recommend this book both to individuals and the book groups as raising provocative questions about the meaning of love and relationships. Would you kill for the one you love ?


A Tale of Two Shih Tzus (The Barking Mad Tale of a Teenage Werewolf)
A Tale of Two Shih Tzus (The Barking Mad Tale of a Teenage Werewolf)
Price: 2.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Romeo and Juliet for werewolves :-), 29 Dec 2011
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In which our werewolf Cassie finally gets to spend time with Jackson and falls in love with him only to find that he not only lied to her about what he sort of a creature he is but he is also the son of her mortal enemy. However, when she confronts him she finds out that he and his family are doing everything they can to protect her.

Katella is back to the glorious best of her fan fiction stories with emotional overload worthy of Romeo and Juliet, only this time Juliet has attitude and is determined that she and Jackson will have a happy ending one way or another.
This second book in the series is well paced, full of drama and action with wonderful character development.

We get to learn more about the Lupo pack and Katella shows her talent for back chat, jokes and exploring the true meaning of friendship.

For me the highlight was the description of Cassie's cats, absolutely priceless :-)


Airel: The Awakening (The Airel Saga Book 1)
Airel: The Awakening (The Airel Saga Book 1)
Price: 0.00

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The grand daughter of an angel, 23 Dec 2011
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What would you do for love ?

This is a story of love in many of its forms; the pain, the healing and the redemption of love.
I thought the book was well written and the two stories brought together to create a ending full of suspense.

This is my first fallen angel book and I only bought it because of a recommendation on GeekMum. I read the book in 2 days,so it has plenty of suspense and the authors keep the pace the going, making it easy to keep reading.

The book explained enough about fallen angels for me to understand the plot without going into too much detail. Yes there is lots of fire and brimstone and heavenly hordes but this is a book about angels and demons so that's part of the scenery. To believe in the power and love of angels then you need to first believe in heaven and hell.

For me there was a bit too much action and not enough emotion and half way through the book I wondered if it might have been more interesting for Michael to have been the grandson of the angel and Airel to have been the human. Then at the end I thought it was Kim who had saved Airel and I was looking forward to how their relationship would have developed and whether Airel would or could fight Michael.

I recommend this book for it's flair, vision and quality of writing.


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