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Crown Jewel: The Battle for the Falklands
Crown Jewel: The Battle for the Falklands
Price: £1.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing war story, 30 Sep 2013
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The war in the Falklands has been of interest to me for a long time. I bought "Crown Jewel" because I was intrigued by the premise of a second round of that conflict. The story did not disappoint me; it is an exciting and absorbing adventure that also manages to be plausible. Peter von Bleichert doesn't bloat the short novel with unnecessary descriptive writing or side plots. Instead, he serves up an action-packed narrative that catapults the reader first into Afghanistan and then the Falklands, where the Nazi-influenced Argentine government has resumed decades-old hostilities with Britain.

The author's master stroke is to have made the protagonist, Prince Edward Talbot of York, a member of the royal family. The real exploits of Prince Harry in Afghanistan have captivated the British public, and "Crown Jewel" helped me to imagine all the juicy details of front line duty that we aren't told about.


Sunday The Game
Sunday The Game
Price: £3.63

4.0 out of 5 stars A game worth playing, 2 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Sunday The Game (Kindle Edition)
In the words of the author, "Sunday the Game" is an invitation to an adventure. That seems the best possible description of such an original, hard-to-place book.

The author comments that in our globalised, mechanical world, people are prone to fall into automatic lifestyle patterns, without considering alternatives or thinking through the consequences. The object of "Sunday the Game", therefore, is to create an opportunity for the reader to explore a less individualistic, competitive approach to life. Since Sunday is the traditional day of repose and reflection, all of the experimentation takes place on Sundays. Of course, the ultimate objective is for these changes slowly to filter into every other day of the reader's week.

The author describes her game at length in five parts, starting with "The Player, The Strategy and The Result". However, the book is not akin to a board game manual. The rules that Cassia Cassitas describes are fluid, and each chapter contains exposition of her unique philosophy.

"Sunday the game" is worth your time. Be warned, though, that effort is needed in order to understand and put into practice the author's advice.


Pursuit Of The Good Life a Hearts  & Minds Saga
Pursuit Of The Good Life a Hearts & Minds Saga

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful insight, 2 Aug 2013
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This new fiction book by Grace Tee offers wonderful insight into the challenges of settling in a foreign land, and the general world view of African immigrants to Europe. Despite the weighty subject matter, "Pursuit of the good life" is a pleasant read, lightened by humour.

The book's narrator, Esau, begins by describing his fumbles around London as a new citizen of England. The diverse subjects touched upon thereafter include the penchant of African immigrants for the study of law, the rigours of agency work and the "hell" of the UK's immigration and border agency. A particularly touching chapter concerns the "constipated ambitions" of talented immigrants. One character laments how her station in life transformed from master to servant, due to the mismatch of skills after her company in Africa collapsed and she had to start anew in England. Despite the fictional setting, each of these discussions teaches the reader something important about real life.

Not all of the book concerns life in the UK. There are chapters that shed light on the politics and economics of Africa, and also an overarching story about the narrator's spiritual journey through time.


Saga of Wealth
Saga of Wealth
Price: £4.22

4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking, 2 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Saga of Wealth (Kindle Edition)
Cassia Cassitas's novel is a pleasant read, and its philosophical aspects provoke interesting thoughts. The story begins with the depiction of an Brazilian man's despair. Confronted by evidence of financial collapse and grotesque mismanagement of risk, Ricardo, who works for an investment agency, seeks to overturn the strategies used by his management. This goal is both personal and deeply moral, because his firm's malpractice has inevitable ramifications for the national and global economy.

Whilst Ricardo is pre-occupied with his economic models and research, his wife Carolina becomes pregnant. This sets the scene for a human drama that is tinged with broad philosophical problems. How is one to live, when the soul-destroying rat race consumes everything and everyone? Although the novel cannot provide all the answers, it asks important questions.

There is also an historical plot thread, which is thematically related to Ricardo and Carolina's story. This adds welcome spice to the book.


Dreams
Dreams
Price: £1.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet, 31 July 2013
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This review is from: Dreams (Kindle Edition)
I was intrigued by the blurb of this e-book. It turned out to be a very short piece of speculative fiction, and I rather enjoyed it.

The author has a snappy, staccato writing style that reminds me of Ayn Rand, and his story is equally streamlined. The protagonist is a menial worker with a dull life, but vivid and baroque dreams. His life of unloading boxes and lonely evenings in Costa Coffee takes a peculiar turn when his dreams begin to leak into reality, if indeed the boundary between dream and reality exists at all.

The author develops this familiar premise in a unique and amusing way, before the story culminates in a shocking twist. I look forward to more, novel-length writing from Imran Najafi.


Trompe-l'oeil: Or, the Old In and Out.  Of Love.
Trompe-l'oeil: Or, the Old In and Out. Of Love.
Price: £2.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tainted love, 12 Jun 2013
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The male protagonist of "Trompe-l'oeil", Kit, is a glamorous photographer in the mould of David Hemming's character from "Blowup".

Daneka is a petite Danish woman who becomes Kit's client. She is a few years older than him, and the most feminine woman he's ever met. Beautiful models are old hat to him, yet he is instantly smitten by her perfect neck and charming accent. Daneka is quietly impressed by Kit, but she keeps an impeccable cool, assessing him from a distance.

Kit and Daneka soon fall for one another. Their romance is deep and intense, its sensuality deepened by exotic locales such as Paris and the Algarve. However, the pain and grief that Daneka left behind in Denmark begin to seep into her new life with Kit. Will her dark secrets poison their relationship forever?

This romance novel is dark, erotic and beautifully composed.


Handcuffs and Hedge Funds (Kris Storm #1)
Handcuffs and Hedge Funds (Kris Storm #1)

4.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet, 9 Jun 2013
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This is a snappy tale of high-stakes Wall Street negotiations, tinged with erotica. I enjoyed it, and I only wish it were longer.

When good girls should still be sleeping, Kris Storm, a leggy redhead with a fierce streak, is in a business meeting at Zoggle. Whilst Kris dreams of "Fifty Shades of Grey", her boss divulges confidential information about Operation Bull Flight: the acquisition of rival search engine company Clickon.

Meanwhile, 40-year-old hedge fund manager Ivan stews in his capacious trading room. His profits rely on his unparalleled ability to extract insider information about businesses like Zoggle and Clickon; but for now, he can't understand the mysterious movements in their share prices. One of Ivan's employees happens to be Kris's ex-boyfriend; this is Ivan's chance to find out everything there is to know about Operation Bull Flight.

What happens when two strong-willed, independent spirits collide? Be sure of one thing: sparks will fly, and hands will be cuffed.


Cassie's Call
Cassie's Call
Price: £0.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Burst the chains of corporate conformity, 9 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Cassie's Call (Kindle Edition)
Cassie Bowden's days are filled with trite phrases: "Can I take your account number please?" She has been stuck in a sweaty call centre for six months, cringing in the glare of her anally retentive manager, and her life seems to be going nowhere. All the guys she meets are jerks.

Out of the blue, Cassie receives a call that pierces the grey gloom of corporate conformity. The husky, sensual voice on the end of the line belongs to a 32-year-old French woman, who seems to share Cassie's frustrations. The caller is refreshingly honest and warm, and she instructs Cassie that she needn't go anywhere unusual to experience something special. The reader is treated to a demonstration of this, as Cassie and her new friend spur one another's hedonic passions over the telephone.

"Cassie's Call" is great fun, and doesn't outstay its welcome. The plot is a tad thin, but this book's strong points are elsewhere.


Trouble in Paradise (Paradise Florida Keys Mystery Series Book 3)
Trouble in Paradise (Paradise Florida Keys Mystery Series Book 3)
Price: £2.56

4.0 out of 5 stars A Floridian mystery, 6 Jun 2013
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This novel is not well represented by the cover picture. Luckily, I've read another novel in Deborah Brown's "Paradise" series, otherwise I would have expected something other than an exciting detective story.

The private detective in question is Madison, a.k.a. "Red". Her heart aches for the family of Cosmo Rich, who officially died by drowning but is rumoured to have been murdered. Cosmo's back and neck were broken, and his body covered in bruises; yet the popular fisherman seems to have had few enemies. Both Madison and the Miami police department struggle to find credible leads, or penetrate the murky culture of Tarpon Cove. However, futility is far from the only danger to which Madison is exposed.

"Trouble in Paradise", with its seedy characters, murder mystery plot and lone-detective protagonist, will appeal to fans of giallo films.


Books 1-3 (Magic England)
Books 1-3 (Magic England)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three neat stories, 6 Jun 2013
This enigmatic collection contains three stories: "The Rascals", "The Lovers" and "The Fashionables". The title of the collection calls to mind "Harry Potter", but actually the first story is more similar to such venerable series as "Just William" and "Billy Bunter", and the other two are pretty unique. What all three do have in common with "Harry Potter" is a quaint, endearing quality; compare the names of characters like Mr. Volvic Manor and Silly Twofingers to Luna Lovegood and Severus Snape.

Although the stories are all simple and accessible, they have an erudite streak that broadens their appeal to adults. According to the author, one of the characters in "The Lovers" was inspired by a 13th century Persian poet called Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi. I therefore recommend this book to readers of all ages.


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