Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Illusionists: A Novel by Rosie Thomas

Plowing through The Illusionists was like re-reading Gone With the Wind all over again...and I don't exactly mean that in the best way.  It's a hefty novel rounding out close to 500 pages and was divided into Parts - you know like Part 1, Part 2...and so on. When it comes down to it, I just didn't understand where it was going.  When I finally delved into Part 2, all of a sudden the story turned into sorta a murder mystery - what the what?  There were certain chapters where I was glued, and other's I was barely able to keep my eyes open - it was really just a flip of the coin for me.

I don't always do so well with period type novels, so maybe that's where I was struggling, but I just didn't get it and was fairly disappointed in the long run.  Man I hate having to admit that.  Some of you might really enjoy this novel, since I've seen some really great reviews on Goodreads.

Thank you to BookReporter for sending me this beautiful, complimentary hard copy of The Illusionists: A Novel by Rosie Thomas. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for my review.

Description: Over the course of a brilliant career, bestselling novelist Rosie Thomas has earned an untold number of awards and the devotion of millions of loyal readers. Her new novel The Illusionists, set in London in 1870, is a thrilling step forward—a captivating tale of passion and intrigue in the theater world.

At the start of The Illusionists, we meet Eliza, a young, beautiful woman of limited means. Through her work as an artist’s model, she meets the magnetic and irascible Devil—a born showman whose dream is to run his own theater company. Devil’s righthand man is Carlo Bonomi, an ill-tempered dwarf with an enormous talent for all things magic and illusion. And then there is Jasper Button, the enigmatic, unlikely final member of this fascinating cast of characters. Thrown together by a twist of fate, their lives are inextricably linked. As Eliza gets sucked into their seductive and dangerous world, she risks not only her heart, but also her life, which is soon thrown into peril.

Rating: **

Recommend:  My personal opinion is to pass on it, but then some of you might really enjoy it - check out other reviews on Amazon or Goodreads and decide for yourself! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle

Who doesn't love a good nail-biting page-turner?! In all truthfulness, I'm not really a fan of starting a new book - it takes me forever to set the stage and envision who is who and what is going on.  But that so wasn't the case with The Last Breath. At page one I was instantly hooked and


For reals people.  This book was almost perfection for me - minus all the gratuitous sex scenes.  Ugh, why is that so necessary for some authors!  Gah!  It's like since Fifty Shades of Grey became a literary sensation, every writer and their mother wants to push the envelope with how gritty their love-making can get.  I guess I'm one of the rare individuals who thinks that a little mystery and implied sensuality goes a long way.

But apart from that - so stinkin good.  If you've read any of my reviews in the past, you know I don't like to go into details on what I thought of the characters or the storyline because I don't want to influence someone who hasn't read the book yet themselves.  But seriously I couldn't figure out the ending for the life of me and it completely took me by surprise!  Amazing and bravo Ms. Belle.

Thank you to Harlequin MIRA and NetGalley for a complimentary advanced reading copy of The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review. Get your copy here!

Description: Humanitarian aid worker Gia Andrews chases disasters around the globe for a living. It's the perfect lifestyle to keep her far away from her own personal ground zero. Sixteen years ago, Gia's father was imprisoned for brutally killing her stepmother. Now he's come home to die of cancer, and she's responsible for his care—and coming to terms with his guilt. 

Gia reluctantly resumes the role of daughter to the town's most infamous murderer, a part complete with protesters on the lawn and death threats that are turning tragedy into front-page news. Returning to life in small-town Tennessee involves rebuilding relationships that distance and turmoil have strained, though finding an emotional anchor in the attractive hometown bartender is certainly helping Gia cope. 

As the past unravels before her, Gia will find herself torn between the stories that her family, their friends and neighbors, and even her long-departed stepmother have believed to be real all these years. But in the end, the truth—and all the lies that came before—may have deadlier consequences than she could have ever anticipated…

Rating: ****

Recommend:  If you love a good dose of suspense-filled women's fiction, then you will devour this!