Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Louisa Adams biography

"Louisa" by Louisa Thomas is the biography of Louisa Adams, First Lady and wife of president John Quincy Adams.  The book gives some background to her family then begins with her childhood in England.  She lived the life of the privileged, though her family was in debt most of the time.  She met and married John Quincy in England shortly before he began his prime ministry in Russia.  They moved to the United States shortly after she gave birth to their first child.  She then supported him as much as he would allow through his public service, including his presidency and his fight to end slavery while serving in the House.  John Quincy was an odd, cold man.  He gave little consideration to his wife and children.  They spent as much time apart as they did together. 
The book is a historical book told not in fictional format, but as if a fiction writer were to write a historical book.  The book, though well written, is rather long.  Over 500 pages.  I would recommend this not only to history buffs, but also as a fascinating peek into the life of a woman in the late 1700s, early 1800s.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Who doesn't love Jack Reacher?  I ask you!  Well, maybe the bad guys.  In Lee Child's novel, "Never Go Back, "  Reacher has finally gotten to that "voice on the phone" and met Turner.  The new commander of the 110th.  Reacher's old stompin' grounds.  Upon arrival, both he and Turner become the targets of an underhanded scheme to keep secrets buried.  Turner finds herself arrested for taking a bribe and Reacher for both murder and failure to support a child.  Yep.  Reacher just might have a little Reacher out there.  The battle to prove their innocence covers from one coast to another.  There are bad guys everywhere and no is telling the truth.  Who is who and what is what? 
As usual, I love Lee Child's Reacher.  Very rarely do I think, "Eh, it was ok."  This was one of those mysteries where you lie in bed and night and try to figure it out.  I loved it.  Go read it.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Highland review

"A Refuge at Highland Hall" by Carrie Turansky is the third novel in the Highland series.  In this book, Penny Ramsey is living with her sister Kate and her brother-in-law and their 7 foster children.  She soon meets Alex, a pilot fighting in World War I. The couple begins a letter writing courtship.  When bombs get too close to home for the London family, they move to Highland Hall, the childhood home of Penny and Kate.  Highland is an estate home with servants and tenants.  The house is overflowing with the pregnant (two women), the elderly, the orphans and the wounded.  Personally, I thought there might be too many characters.  They seemed to trip over each other and sometimes had to remind myself of which person I was reading about.  The storyline moves at a quick pace.  It is a war/love story so there is a lot going on.  Though I have not read the first two novels in the series, I had no trouble following.  The author does a good job of weaving the back story into the present for easy flow.  This is definitely a women's novel and a good sweet romance.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from . 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Oliver and Jack

"Oliver & Jack:  In Axminster Workhouse" by Christina E Pilz is the 3rd volume in the Oliver & jack series.  Oliver as in Oliver Twist.  The series takes place several years after the original Twist and introduces the reader to the late teen-aged  Oliver.  Oliver and his boyfriend Jack have been framed for stealing books and arrested.  While they await punishment they have been placed into the Axminster Workhouse.  Here Oliver begins to spiral down into a depression and his worst nightmare reliving his past.  The couple then begins to endure the harshest treatments and abuse. 
I'm not sure this would be called fan fiction, but to bring to life a classic character like Twist takes a lotta guts.  I, myself, haven't read Oliver Twist, so I can't tell you how close to the original character Pilz remained. I also haven't read the previous two books in the series.  So pretending there are no other books, I'll just say this book is written very well.  Though reading the first books would be beneficial, they are not necessary to this novel.  The characters are well developed and the relationship between the two main characters is a very sweet and deeply loving ship.  The abuse can be a bit hard to take at times, but seems to build the relationship between the two to a deeper level for the reader.  I give it 4.5 stars.  I received this book from HF Virtual Book Tour.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

the apple doesn't fall far from the tree

"The Promise of Forgiveness" by Marin Thomas is the story of Ruby Baxter and her heritage.  Ruby's family is what some might say is white trash; others would say working poor with an incredibly colorful streak.  Ruby discovers she has been adopted at the age of 31 when her biological father send a letter to her lawyer about an inheritance.  Her father's days are numbered and he wants to leave her with his ranch.  Ruby and her daughter Mia, a chip off the ol' block, hop on a bus and head for Oklahoma leaving behind old boyfriends of the both of them.  Ruby has trust issues and she is teaching them to Mia.  Upon arrival in Oklahoma, she begins to learn about her parents and grandparents, both biological and adopted and not only discovers more about them, but also about herself. 
Ruby's character is not a charmer, she has issues to spare, but the reader wants to keep reading, to learn more about her.  Thomas doesn't cut any corners with her characters; they are deeply flawed and realistic.  This was a really good book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from First to Read.