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The Paying Guests
The Paying Guests
Price: £6.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read from Waters., 15 Nov 2014
This review is from: The Paying Guests (Kindle Edition)
I fell in love with Sarah Waters writing when I first read Fingersmith, and her latest novel does not disappoint. Set between the two world wars, Waters is exploring a world where women's roles are changing, and the large estates are falling. Frances Wray has lost her father and brothers to the war, and as a result her mother and her are struggling to keep up with the costs of their large house. So they decided to take in lodgers - these 'paying guests' are Lillian and Leonard Barber, a recently married couple.
At first Frances is shy of the couple, and her mother finds it hard to adjust to their presence, but as time goes on Frances finds her self drawn more and more to Lillian. As she gets to know her house-mate her feelings intensify, until one night everything comes to a dramatic climax... What follows in the aftermath is tense, exciting and moving. Another great read from Waters.


Doctor Watson's Terror (Kindle Single)
Doctor Watson's Terror (Kindle Single)
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Watson's Terror, 23 Aug 2014
I have read all of Mercer's Watson books and I liked the fact that Sherlock Holmes got a bit more of a role in this one. Interesting setting with Watson going over to Ireland and getting involved with terrorists. Another exciting Sherlock/ Watson spin off.


Promises of Spring
Promises of Spring
Price: £2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gentle Romance, 5 Aug 2014
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I have read quite a few of Jenny Lane's books now and I really enjoy them as gentle easy reads. This one follows a young woman who has been heartbroken and pretty much forced to leave her job, and so is looking to start over. She moves from the city to a quaint English village to help look after her great-aunt. A lot of the book follows village affairs, but with a romance story threading through between the protagonist and the mysterious and attractive neighbour of her aunt. Perhaps a little predictable but there were still a few twists I didn't anticipate.


Theft of Life (Crowther & Westerman 5)
Theft of Life (Crowther & Westerman 5)
by Imogen Robertson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Best in the series so far, 12 Jun 2014
I have read all of the Harriet and Crowther series and thoroughly enjoyed them, but this one is definitely my favorite. That may partly be because a lot of it is set just around the corner from where I work, but the main reason is because of the subject matter.

Theft is Life is lot darker in tone than the others, because of the heavy subject of slavery in Britain. Slavery in America is well documented, particularly with the recent release of Oscar-winning 'Twelve Years a Slave', but British involvement in slavery is much less in the public eye, particularly the aftermath for those freed and taken to British soil.

Theft of Life deals with that time period when free slaves are starting to build lives for themselves in the UK, and many successfully owning businesses, or working as servants and earning a living. Despite their 'freedom', their position is still precarious, with many masters threatening to illegally return them to plantations, and most of the white English population treating them with suspicion and contempt, if not downright hatred and abuse.

Theft of Life starts with the murder of man who used to own a slave plantation. And his brutal death suggests it could be an act of retribution from an ex slave who witnessed the atrocities he used to perform. However, as always with the Harriet and Crowther series, not everything is as it seems, and the pair must push further than the law are prepared to to solve the mystery of the case.

Whether you have read the previous books or not this one is well worth taking the time to read.


The Grievance
The Grievance
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great short story!, 11 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Grievance (Kindle Edition)
I liked the way I was never sure who's side I was on in this short story! I really enjoyed Griffin's writing and the samples of his longer work at the back - I have downloaded them all and look forward to reading them!


An Act of Evil
An Act of Evil
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated murder mystery, 4 Mar 2014
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This review is from: An Act of Evil (Kindle Edition)
I wasn't 100% sure on this when I started reading - it seemed to take a little while to all come together, but when the pieces started falling into place I really got into it. It is a bit of a slow burner but an interesting village murder mystery with a surprising reveal at the end.


Wolves of Rome
Wolves of Rome
Price: £2.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wolves of Rome, 29 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Wolves of Rome (Kindle Edition)
This book follows Gaius who is made to leave his home at a young age to join The Wolves of Rome - a legion of warriors, known for their strength and skill, who are called upon to fight whenever Rome needs extra protection. Meanwhile Hannibal Barca is building an army ready to lay siege on Rome - a threat which the Senators are not taking seriously. Gaius finds himself caught up in a deadly battle to save the Empire from the outside threat.

There is also a touching love story running throughout the book. Gaius had to leave his childhood friend Julia behind when he left to train with Wolves, and when he returns ten years later romantic feelings between them have blossomed. However, she is already betrothed to another so he must fight for the hand of the one he loves...

I found Wolves of Rome very entertaining. Some of the battle scenes were perhaps slightly too long/ descriptive for me but generally I was hooked on the storyline.


The Duchess (Text Only)
The Duchess (Text Only)
Price: £2.51

4.0 out of 5 stars Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire, 1 Jan 2014
First of all I think it is a bit of a shame that the publishers have changed the cover image to Kiera Knightley and put the tag line of 'There were three people in her marriage', as Amanda Foreman's book is about a lot more than the affair between the Duke and Georgiana's closest friend. It is the story of a woman who had a remarkable influence in politics for her time. She is a fascinating, and very much overlooked, character for anyone interested in early feminism.

If you are looking for more information on Georgiana's great love affair which is portrayed very emotionally in the film The Duchess then you may come away feeling slightly disappointed, as this is not given nearly as much of an emphasis as it was on screen. However, it gives a very accessible narrative on the politics and social context of her life and captures Georgiana's personality wonderfully due to the wealth of letters which Foreman draws on for her source material.

If you enjoyed the film and want more information on a love story then don't go for it, but if you thought the film had its merits but you were left wanting to know more about Georgiana's influence during her lifetime then this is a must read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Germanicus: The Magnificent Life and Mysterious Death of Rome's Most Popular General
Germanicus: The Magnificent Life and Mysterious Death of Rome's Most Popular General
by Philip Matyszak
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Germanicus, 1 Jan 2014
Germanicus Julius Caesar was born Nero Claudius Drusus, after his father, on 24 May 16 BCE. The son of famed warrior, Drusus the elder, and of the daughter of Mark Anthony and Octavia; the step-grandson of Emperor Augustus; and the eventual father to Caligula, Germanicus was destined for greatness.
Lindsay Powell traces the life of one of Rome's most popular generals from his cultured and well-educated upbringing to his impressive military career, which began at the age of 21.
Drusus the Elder gained the unusual agnomen of Germanicus posthumously, out of respect for his great military victories in Germania Magna. The name was passed down to his surviving sons, and after being adopted into Augustus' family, Germanicus was also given the title of Julius Caesar. A marriage was arranged between Germanicus and Augustus' granddaughter, Agrippina and their unbreakable and steadfast love for one another is one of the central themes of Powell's book.
Powell narrates the life of a man who was much loved by the Roman people for his diplomacy, his bravery and his loyalty. He was a poet, an augur, an advocate, a loyal family man and a military hero. Powell follows the military campaigns of Germanicus in fascinating detail, painting a picture, not just of a great man, but of the Roman Empire during a tempestuous period: the complex politics, military strategies and threat of invasion. But as he makes clear in the subtitle of Germanicus, he is not only concerned with the life of one of Rome's great heroes but also with his mysterious death and ensuing legacy. A good third of the book is dedicated to these latter events, with Powell delving into some detail over the mysterious circumstances which led to Germanicus' untimely death at the age of 34.
A prolonged illness which created bluish spots on his skin, and the report that he was foaming at the mouth, led to suspicions that Germanicus was poisoned. Powell gives a clear account of the uproar and great distress which followed Germanicus' demise, painting a picture of hysteria - a nation distraught and inconsolable. Was Germanicus a victim of the poor sanitary conditions in Syria, or was his death the result of a sinister murder plot? It is a question which has never been answered and Powell returns once again to the contemporary evidence to explain why his death provoked such a strong reaction in the Roman populace.
Powell's book is meticulously researched and backed up by a fantastic spread of illustrations containing Germanicus' imprint on coins, representations of him in works of art and maps of the military campaigns he was involved in.
The story of a Roman Emperor that might have been, Germanicus is a thorough, unbiased account of a man who is often overlooked despite the great impact he made on Ancient Rome.
It is a fascinating study and well worth reading if you have an interest in the Roman Empire.


The Fight Before Christmas
The Fight Before Christmas
Price: £0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Chaos!!!, 26 Nov 2013
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I really felt for Claire in this book - Christmas can be stressful at the best of times, let alone trying to get over the breakdown of a marriage, trying to be civil to your ex so your children can still see him over the holidays, and dealing with demanding parents and in-laws! This book was hilarious in parts and very moving in others. Definitely a good way to get into the festive spirit!


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