Monday, December 31, 2018

Review: Regina

Regina Regina by Clare Darcy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A delightful classic Regency with all the elements that make this genre enjoyable. It had been sitting on my TBR shelf for far too long, and when I finally picked it up it was exactly what I wanted. Clare Darcy is a true heiress to Georgette Heyer and should be read by all Regency fans.

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Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway

The Death of Mrs. Westaway The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was good, but sometimes I found the heroine's decisions bordered on TSTL. Yes, she was desperate, but allowing herself to be housed in a room with barred windows and a bolt on the outside of the door seemed beyond what a reasonable person would do.

However, she was plucky and the story had enough twists and turns to keep me reading.

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Review: Half Past

Half Past Half Past by Victoria Helen Stone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An intriguing story about how we define our lives, and family, and the secrets that can change anything. Hannah is middle-aged and has never felt she truly fits in anywhere. It takes a trip to California to search her family's history to help her understand more about herself.

Thoughtful, disturbing, and more women's fiction than any other category. It was a good, worthwhile story with a conclusion I found satisfying.

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Review: Past Tense

Past Tense Past Tense by Lee Child
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was vintage Reacher, with complicated interwoven storylines, sociopathic villains, a surprising MacGuffin, and lots of "I'm a big killing machine and you really don't want to mess with me" interactions between Jack Reacher and all sorts of ne'er-do-wells.

If you've never read the books, this would be a weird place to start. It requires a certain suspension of disbelief. But if you're a fan, you'll enjoy the ride.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Review: Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates

Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates by Eric Jay Dolin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You can never have too many pirate books (in my opinion), and this one is a valuable addition to my library. It's thoroughly researched and emphasizes piratical activity in North America, highlighting the close relationship (at-times) between government, commerce and pirates. Recommended.

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Monday, December 17, 2018

Review: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I stayed up way past my bedtime last night finishing Bad Blood by John Carryrou, a fascinating page-turner about the failed Theranous blood testing company. I remember when that start-up was in all the news, thinking that it sounded too good to be true.

It was.

Carreyrou, an investigative journalist with the Wall Street Journal lays it out like a murder mystery unfolding, how the charismatic founder Elizabeth Holmes sold her vision to her staff, to investors, to venture capitalists and Washington insiders, all of whom seemed to suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) as this shiny tech unicorn made its appearance.

If you want to read a book that will keep you engrossed and applauding the valuable work of investigative journalism, I highly recommend this one be on your reading list. Even if you're not involved in tech or finance you'll appreciate the story and the writing.

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Review: Someone to Trust

Someone to Trust Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading Mary Balogh is like taking a master class in characterization and dialogue, with the added bonus of a great Regency love story.

Elizabeth Overfield has been part of the Westcott saga since she first befriended Anna Snow in Someone to Love. We knew some things about Elizabeth's troubled marriage, but now the widow has her own story, and it's with a younger man. No one expects it to work out, least of all Elizabeth and Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges.

But some Christmas spirit and machinations by the Westcott clan move Colin and Elizabeth toward an unexpected-by-all romance. Sometimes in Balogh's works, it's the minor characters who shine and who you should watch--I'm rooting for Matilda to break out of her spinster mold in a future novel.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Some #MondayMotivation, pirate style

Jensen looked at him with interest. “A new pet?”

“My cabin boy,” St. Armand purred. “What else he is remains to be seen. But that will have to wait. Do you have information for me?”

Jensen sobered. “I do, but I don’t know if you want to take this one on, Matt. There’s risk.”

“Merciful heavens, a day without risk is like a day without coffee. And speaking of that, if you have some to trade I could make room in my hold.”

As they turned to go below St. Armand looked over his shoulder.

“Your orders, Woodruff, are to assist Green with anything he needs.”

Simple enough, and the crews of the two ships appeared to be on good terms. It looked unlikely that he would use his axe today. He could see the benefit of it on a vessel where it could hack through rope, wood, or men, though he shuddered at the last thought. Killing sailors because they stood between the crew of the Prodigal Son and coffee was not the excitement he wanted.

--What the Parrot Saw 

I'm with Oliver Woodruff and Captain St. Armand on this one. While I like tea in the afternoon and evening, coffee is most definitely my beverage of choice in the morning! I completely understand why the crew of the Prodigal Son might attack anyone coming between them and their coffee.

If you want to read more about Oliver Woodruff and his fraught relationship with Captain St. Armand, check out What the Parrot Saw, available for pre-order now!