Sunday, January 15, 2017

“THE VISCOUNTESS BEQUEST” (THE FRENCH ADVENTURE)—a delightful Regency Romance from author Sophy Hester






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Viscountess Bequest: A Regency Romance (The French Adventure) by Sophy Hester


England and France, 1817: Henry Wenton, 6th Earl of Brentford, is the black sheep of the family and deplored by good society as a bon vivant and wastrel. Neither the censure of polite society, nor the entreaties of his buttoned-up mother, nor the attention of the daughters of aristocrats can rein in the wayward Earl. Yet when a distant French uncle bequeaths Henry the lavish Maligny coastal estate on the condition that he wed his daughter, the orphaned 18-year-old Florence, a marriage of convenience suddenly has appeal for the incorrigible bon vivant. However, when the young Earl travels with his brother Stacy to become acquainted with his would-be bride, he finds not a helpless youth consumed by sorrow but a quick-witted, spirited belle. Instead of a helpless young woman in mourning, he finds an independent-minded, radiant beauty. The 18-year-old fascinates him. She is sensuous and innocent at the same time. Florence also feels herself drawn to the Earl. However, his domineering manner and his experience with women frighten her – and yet awaken in her a desire for love. Henry’s authoritative bravado and Florence’s innocent but sensuous charm make for a heady mixture, at once combustible and compatible, but will their mutual stubbornness stifle love before it can bloom? An entertaining Regency novel full of wit, charm and romantic tension with two enchanting main characters and personable secondary characters. Amusing commotions and entanglements offer genuine reading enjoyment for aficionados of historical romances.


MY REVIEW: With a fresh voice, and a great love of subject, author Sophy Hester spins a delightful Regency Romance in “The Viscountess Bequest” (The French Adventure). Henry Wenton, the 6th Earl of Brentford, has long been the despair of his family and polite society. A bequest from a distant French relative proves to be a challenge and an adventure for Henry, who travels to France with his brother, Stacy. With the inheritance of the estate comes an unexpectedly appealing condition: Henry must marry Florence, daughter of his benefactor, in order to inherit the estate known as Maligny. Although young and aware of Henry’s experience and autocratic manner, Florence has a mind and spirit of her own. Sparks and words fly between Henry and Florence, but can these two fiery hearts find the sweet compromise of love for a future of lasting happiness?


Book Copy Gratis via Author

SOPHY HESTER























Sophy Hester studied musicology and Russian at university and works as a copywriter and editor. For love she moved from a city of millions to a village. She has been married since 2004 and has three children. She loves to play the piano, to read romantic novels and to write - classic, contemporary Regency Romances. Since her youth, Sophy Hester has been an avid reader of Regency novels. Georgette Heyer is her favorite author.

“THE TASTE OF AIR”—Compelling contemporary women’s fiction from author Gail Cleare—to know your family is to know yourself…or is it?






























A simple phone call disrupts Nell Williams’s well-ordered life. Her mother, Mary, is in a hospital in Vermont. But her mother is supposed to be safely tucked away in an assisted-living facility in Massachusetts, so Nell can’t fathom why she would be so far from home.

 
After notifying her sister, Bridget, Nell hops on a plane and rushes to her mother’s side. There, she discovers that her mother has been living a second life. Mary has another home and a set of complex relationships with people her daughters have never met.

 
When Nell and Bridget delve deeper into their mother’s lakeside hideaway, they uncover a vault of family secrets and the gateway to change for all three women.


MY REVIEW:  I was captivated by author Gail Cleare’s storytelling in “The Taste of Air”, and much of it resonated strongly with me as a reader. While I lived with my own mother for almost fifty years, and I knew her better than anyone else possibly could, there was still much about her life that I will never know. We often forget that our parents are people, that they are human and make human mistakes, and none of us are perfect. “The Taste of Air” is a compelling reminder that none of us know how we would react when faced with some the choices our parents had to make. The comfort of Nell Williams’s neatly-organized life is left behind when a phone call changes her reality forever. Not only is her mother, Mary, not in a care facility in Massachusetts as expected, she is hospitalized in Hartland, Vermont, a town unknown to Nell and her sister, Bridget. Upon their arrival in Vermont, they discover their mother’s “other life”, complete with a cottage home and a set of local friends. As more and more secrets about their mother and family are revealed, the sisters are forced to examine their own lives. While nothing will ever be the same, will long-held hopes and dreams find a way to come true? Author Gail Cleare has created a compelling portrait of three memorable women and the unique bond that exists between mothers and daughters—and the varied emotions in the relationships of sisters with each other.


Book Copy Received Gratis Via Author—Opinions Are Strictly My Own Observances

























Gail Cleare lives on an 18th century farm in Massachusetts with her family and dogs, cats, chickens, black bears, blue herons, rushing streams and wide, windy skies. In addition to writing fiction and poetry, she's into organic gardening and nature photography, and can often be found stalking wild creatures with a 300 mm lens.





"In The Taste of Air, Cleare deftly explores the consequence of our choices, even those made with the best of intentions. A family saga bridging decades and filled with shocking revelations, hope and love, you won't be able put this book down."
~Kate Moretti, author of NYT Bestseller Thought I Knew You

"What begins to unfold from page one is a captivating story filled with mystery, suspense, love, longing and family...a poignant tale not to be missed."
~Samantha March for Readers' Favorite (5 STARS)

"When Nell and Bridget start pulling at the thread of their mother's deceptions, their own worlds unravel."  
~Katie O'Rourke, Amazon bestselling author of Finding Charlie

"This is a book to choose as a companion for curling up on a sofa on a dark winter day or for laying on the beach in the summer...character-driven fiction at its best." 

~Ann Warner, author of The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club series

"Gail Cleare's mesmerizing new novel...will make you see your own life with new eyes and leave you transformed."
~Jamie Cat Callan, author of Bonjour, Happiness!

"My first thought after finishing The Taste of Air was that this was an incredibly satisfying novel. "

~Bibliotica

"Cleare's voice and plotting style reminded me a lot of Danielle Steele's."
~Chick Lit Central

"The characters all felt real and the setting was perfect for the story....it reminded me of novels by Barbara Delinsky."
~Secret Library

"A truly original read...the author explores emotional topics with compassion and sensitivity."
~Keep Calm and Novel On

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Unequaled Valor and Unending Devotion--SERVICE DOGS--in fact and fiction

The Kill Switch (Tucker Wayne, #1) 
     

THE KILL SWITCH  by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood 
       

Who does the U.S. government call upon when a mission requires perfect stealth, execution, and discretion? 


From the two bestselling masters of action and political intrigue, James Rollins and Grant Blackwood, comes the first in a groundbreaking new series, featuring Captain Tucker Wayne and his stalwart military dog, Kane, both ripped from the pages of Sigma Force for their first solo adventure. It will take this uniquely talented pairing of man and beast to discover the earth-shattering truth behind . . .


The Kill Switch  


The mission seems simple enough: extract a pharmaceutical magnate from Russian soil, a volatile man who holds the secret to a deadly bio-weapon. But nothing is as it appears to be. A desperate call from Painter Crowe, director of Sigma Force, thrusts Tucker and Kane into a frantic race to rescue the brilliant-but-deluded Abram Bukolov from a cadre of skilled assassins, a deadly team backed by a shadowy Russian general, a figure bent on revenge and power.


Hunted and betrayed at every turn, Tucker and Kane must discover the truth behind a biological threat, a horror out of the ancient past that can be weaponized to terrorize the modern world. The journey of discovery will take the pair across the frozen steppes of Russia to the sun-blasted savannahs of South Africa, from the war-torn mountains of Namibia to the snowy Great Lakes of the United States.


As time rapidly runs out, the deep and intimate bond between dog and soldier will be tested to the extreme. It will take all of their skill, talent, and, most of all, trust in each other to piece together a mystery going back to the origins of life on Earth, to discover the key to an ancient peril that can destroy the heartland of America, and, with it, the world.




Tracker (Sigma Force, #7.5)    


TRACKER  by James Rollins         


From New York Times bestselling author James Rollins comes a stirring story of a soldier and his military war dog who are drawn into a dark mystery tracing back to World War II and a lost treasure tied to the bones of the dead.


Off the blustery streets in the medieval heart of Budapest, Captain Tucker Wayne and his war dog, Kane, rescue a mysterious woman fleeing three armed men. The secret she holds will unlock a terrible treasure, one steeped in blood and treachery, tied to a crime going back to the fall of Nazi Germany and a heritage of suffering and pain that reaches out from the past to wreak havoc today. In a final showdown in the depths of a lost cemetery, truths will be unearthed, treasures exposed, and the fate of all will rest upon the shoulders of one man and a dog whose courage is beyond measure.


Included within this thrilling story is a sneak peek at the opening chapters of Bloodline, in which the further exploits of Tucker and Kane will be revealed.


  

A Man of His Own    


 MAN OF HIS OWN by Susan Wilson     


Rick Stanton was a promising professional baseball player with dreams of playing in the major leagues and starting a family with his young wife, Francesca, when World War II changed everything.  Rick returns from the war with his body broken and his dreams shattered.  But it was not just body and spirit he sacrificed for the war. He and Francesca volunteered their beloved dog, Pax, for the Army’s K-9 Corp, not knowing if they’d ever see him again.



Keller Nicholson is the soldier who fought the war with Pax by his side, and the two have the kind of profound bond that can only be forged in war. Pax is the closest Keller has to a sense of family, and he can’t bear the thought of returning him to the Stantons. But Rick and Francesca refuse to give him up. Instead, an arrangement is made: Keller will work as Rick’s live-in aide. And thus an unlikely family is formed, with steadfast Pax at the center. As they try to build a new life out of the ashes, Keller and Francesca struggle to ignore their growing attraction to each other, and Rick, believing that he can no longer give Francesca what she needs and wants, quietly plans a way out.


All three of them need healing. All three of them are lost. Pax, with his unconditional love and unwavering loyalty, may be the only one who can guide them home.





The Chase  


THE CHASE  by DiAnn Mills  


To the FBI it's a cold case. To Kariss Walker it's a hot idea that could either reshape or ruin her writing career. And it's a burning mission to revisit an event she can never forget. Five years ago, an unidentified little girl was found starved to death in the woods behind a Houston apartment complex. A TV news anchor at the time, Kariss reported on the terrifying case. Today, as a New York Times bestselling author, Kariss intends to turn the unsolved mystery into a suspense novel. Enlisting the help of FBI Special Agent Tigo Harris, Kariss succeeds in getting the case reopened. But the search for the dead girl's missing mother yields a discovery that plunges the partners into a witch's brew of danger. The old crime lives on in more ways than either of them could ever imagine. Will Kariss's pursuit of her dream as a writer carry a deadly price tag? Drawing from a real-life cold case, bestselling novelist DiAnn Mills presents a taut collage of suspense, faith, and romance in The Chase.




The Survivor 


THE SURVIVOR  by DiAnn Mills  


Kariss meets Dr. Amy Garrett, who survived a brutal childhood attack in which the assailant was never found. Now Dr. Garrett wants her story written in a novel. Kariss wishes she could seek the advice of Special Agent Tigo Harris, but she broke off the relationship a few months prior and seeing him again would be too painful. She interviews Amy and conducts her own research, stepping unaware into a viper’s pit of danger.


Tigo misses Kariss and wants her back, but he understands why she broke off their relationship. Instead, he concentrates on solving a car bombing and bringing the killer to justice. As Kariss’s new story attracts an onslaught of danger that she never expected, can Tigo save the woman he loves and find who wants her dead for writing about an unsolved cold-case?




Duke    


DUKE  by Kirby Larson    


A poignant World War II story about a boy and his dog and his dad, and the many meanings of bravery, from Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson.


With World War II raging and his father fighting overseas in Europe, eleven-year-old Hobie Hanson is determined to do his part to help his family and his country, even if it means giving up his beloved German shepherd, Duke. Hoping to help end the war and bring his dad home faster, Hobie decides to donate Duke to Dogs for Defense, an organization that urges Americans to "loan" their pets to the military to act as sentries, mine sniffers, and patrol dogs. Hobie immediately regrets his decision and tries everything he can to get Duke back, even jeopardizing his friendship with the new boy at school. But when his father is taken prisoner by the Germans, Hobie realizes he must let Duke go and reach deep within himself to be brave. Will Hobie ever see Duke, or his father, again?


With powerful storytelling and gripping emotion, critically acclaimed author Kirby Larson explores the many ways bravery and love help us to weather the most difficult times.

  




Critical Pursuit (Critical Pursuit, #1) 


   
CRITICAL PURSUIT  by Janice Cantore         


Officer Brinna Caruso has built a reputation at the precinct as the cop to call when a child goes missing. For Brinna, it's personal because she was once one of them. Brinna and her K-9 search and rescue dog, Hero, will stop at nothing to find a missing child, no matter the stakes.
Detective Jack O'Reilly isn't ready to return to his homicide duties after losing his wife to a drunk driver. He's on the downside of his career, and bent on revenge, when he's assigned as Brinna's partner. While on patrol, Jack struggles between his quest for personal justice and his responsibility to those around him, especially his partner.


Skeptical of Jack's motives, Brinna isn't sure she can rely on her new partner, whose reckless abandon endangers the safety of those around him. But when a man surfaces with an MO similar to the criminal who abducted Brinna twenty years earlier, Brinna and Jack must cast aside previous judgments and combine efforts to catch the kidnapper and finally allow Brinna the peace stolen from her as a child

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 The Incredible True Story of a WWII Airman and the Four-Legged Hero Who Flew At His Side


THE DOG WHO COULD FLY  by Damien Lewis         


An instant hit in the UK, this is the true account of a German shepherd who was adopted by the Royal Air Force during World War II, joined in flight missions, and survived everything from crash-landings to parachute bailouts—ultimately saving the life of his owner and dearest friend.


In the winter of 1939 in the cold snow of no-man’s-land, two loners met and began an extraordinary journey that would turn them into lifelong friends. One was an orphaned puppy, abandoned by his owners as they fled Nazi forces. The other was a different kind of lost soul—a Czech airman bound for the Royal Air Force and the country that he would come to call home.


Airman Robert Bozdech stumbled across the tiny German shepherd—whom he named Ant—after being shot down on a daring mission over enemy lines. Unable to desert his charge, Robert hid Ant inside his jacket as he escaped. In the months that followed the pair would save each other’s lives countless times as they flew together with Bomber Command. And though Ant was eventually grounded due to injury, he refused to abandon his duty, waiting patiently beside the runway for his master’s return from every sortie, and refusing food and sleep until they were reunited. By the end of the war Robert and Ant had become British war heroes, and Ant was justly awarded the Dickin Medal, the “Animal VC.”


With beautiful vintage black-and-white photos of Robert and Ant, The Dog Who Could Fly is a deeply moving story of loyalty in the face of adversity and the unshakable bond between a man and his best friend.


   

Suspect


SUSPECT  by Robert Crais      


The explosive masterpiece of suspense from the #1 New York Times' bestselling author.
LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Eight months ago, a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty...until he meets his new partner.


Maggie is not doing so well, either. A German shepherd who survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before losing her handler to an IED, her PTSD is as bad as Scott's.


They are each other's last chance. Shunned and shunted to the side, they set out to investigate the one case that no one wants them to touch: the identity of the men who murdered Stephanie. What they begin to find is nothing like what Scott has been told, and the journey will take them both through the darkest moments of their own personal hells. Whether they will make it out again, no one can say.