Carmen Reid ~ Cross My Heart
Back Blurb :
How far would you go for freedom?
Would you lie to your family?
Break up with your best friend?
Follow the boy you love into extreme danger?
Risk your life?
It’s 1940, Europe is at war and Nicole’s home city has been invaded by the Nazis. When she joins a secret group of freedom fighters, she learns that 15 is not too young to fire a gun, plant a bomb, face capture, torture and heartbreak and put your life on the line.
Inspired by real people, real places and real events.
My View :
I have always been very interested in the WW2 especially The Resistance the bravery of those people is just astounding and inspiring and yes this book may be aimed at teenager’s but it s one of those rare book’s that anyone at any age can enjoy, when I first heard that this was written by Carmen Reid I was very surprised as she is so well-known for her Chick Lit which are really good, but Cross My Heart is by far the best she has done and I think that is the sign of a very talented author that they can switch so flawlessly between genre’s and apparently Cross My Heart is Reid’s favorite of all her work which is not surprising as it is so beautiful and atmospheric.
Cross My Heart is based in Nazi occupied Belgium and it follow’s the character of Nicole who join’s the Belgium Resistance and fight’s with them under the code name Coco, the character’s are just so brilliantly drawn up Nicole the lead is stunning, she may only be fifteen but she is mature beyond her year’s and the fact that she and her band of Resistance teenager’s are trying all they can to help their country is so inspiring. The thing’s that she goes through is as we know very traumatizing and at some point’s very graphic and disturbing, in my personal view these thing’s need to be known and learnt and that is what Reid is doing so beautifully here she is not just writing a stunning love story but she is showing what these brave young people had to go through every day of their young live’s.
The relation ship’s between her and the other resistance teenager’s is so raw and well-developed that you do feel as though you are among-st their little band, it is fast paced but not too fast as there is some truly lovely scene’s especially between Nicole and her young boyfriend Angelo and Nicole and her father who is also a fighter in the Belgium resistant. The ending is obviously very emotional and I hate to say that not all of character’s make through the war, but unfortunately that was the time and it would be a real if they did. I have read a lot of WW2 and Resistance novel’s and I have to say that this is up there with the like’s of Pam Jenoff’s Kommandant’s Girl, Diplomat’s Wife and The Winter Guest and Kate Mosse’s Citadel. This is definitely one to read and as it is aimed at Teen’s that I suggest that as many kid’s read it as possible, it is up to them to keep remembering and honoring these heroic people.
I have seen quite a few weekly book list’s out there since I started this blog and I do like the idea of every week doing a Themed list. I’m not going to do the Tuesday Top Ten as a lot of people do, not when whole point of this blog is to thing’s my way and so every week I will do my own version’s of a themed must read list starting with this one Friday’s Fabulous Five, I’ll probably mix it up a bit and do a different day here and there just so it doesn’t get boring. So here’s my first themed must read list, and in honor of Halloween the theme is Spooky/Paranormal/Magical. . .But don’t worry there isn’t so much as a hint of a certain boy wizard.
1. The Third Circle (The Arcane Society Series #4) ~ Amanda Quick
Leona Hewitt, disguised in men’s formal evening clothes, has secretly made her way into Lord Delbridge’s private museum to find a relic stolen from her family. But someone else is in the dimly lit gallery on the same errand – a tall, black-cloaked man whose very voice is enough to put her in a trance. The first on my list isn’t so much scary but it doe’s fall in the Paranormal bracket, it is a fascinating story and not something that I would usually pick, but a friend lent me her copy and I was hooked. Definitely worth a look.
2. The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tale’s ~ Kate Mosse
A wonderfully atmospheric collection of short stories, rooted deep in the landscape and inspired by traditional folk tales and country legends from England and France. These tales are richly populated by ghosts and spirits seeking revenge; by grief-struck women and haunted men coming to terms with their destiny – all rooted deep in the elemental landscapes of Sussex, Brittany and the Languedoc. I love Kate Mosse her Languedoc Trilogy is stunning but this one is just right for Halloween, there is some very spooky little tale’s in this book.
3. The Night Circus ~ Erin Morganstern
In 1886 a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths. But behind the scenes a dangerous game is being played out by two young magicians. My librarian introduced me to this one and it is an interesting story but some time’s it can get a little confusing as it jump’s from one era to another, it’s not scary but it is very magical. It is an enchanting read.
4. The Nosferatu Scroll ~ James Becker
Holidaying in Venice, Chris Bronson and Angela Lewis discover a desecrated tomb. Inside is a female skeleton and an arcane diary dating back hundreds of years. Written in Latin, it references a scroll that will provide an answer to an ancient secret. This isn’t your usual James Becker Thriller but it is a good one and in place’s quite scary with Vampire’s rampaging around Venice and the not so famous Island of the Dead, just right for Halloween.
5. Macbeth ~ William Shakespeare
Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble. . .I think everyone know’s this so I shouldn’t really need to tell you what it’s about, there are ghost’s, witch’s, murder and paranoia at every turn what more could you want for a Halloween story, but beyond that it is such a classic. This was the first Shakespeare that I ever read and I was hooked from start to finish it is so good, this one has always been my favorite and I can read it again and again and not get bored.
Back Blurb :
Get ready to meet Angela Clark as she flees the world’s worst wedding for a new life…
It’s official. Angela Clarke is in love – with the most fabulous city in the world.
Fleeing her cheating boyfriend and clutching little more than a crumpled bridesmaid dress, a pair of Louboutins and her passport, Angela jumps on a plane, destination – NYC.
Holed up in a cute hotel room, Angela gets a New York makeover from her NBF Jenny and a whirlwind tour of the city that never sleeps. Before she knows it, Angela is dating two sexy guys. And, best of all, she gets to write about it in her new blog (Carrie Bradshaw eat your heart out). But it’s one thing telling readers about your romantic dilemmas, it’s another figuring them out for yourself …
Angela has fallen head over heels for the big apple, but does she heart New York more than home?
My View :
This is my whole time favorite Chick Lit and the best in the I Heart Series, Angela Clarke is by far the best character that has come around in a very long time; she is a very real and believable character in fact she is so real life that I think there is a bit of Angela Clarke in all of us. She is very funny, clumsy and like a lot of us out there she has her up and down’s, she has all kind’s of scape’s as she try’s to figure out what and where her life is going and all the time we have the glorious city of New York in every scene smiling down at Angela has she find’s her feet, it is just perfection for this genre. Then there is Alex Ried who is the hottest thing in fiction since. . .Well I think since Mr. Darcy, as this is a few year’s old now and as Kelk as finished her series (As far as we know) everyone more or less know’s how the story goe’s, but this is the best this is where it all began for Angela and Alex and it is still such a great book to cozy up on the sofa with in winter or laying on a beach somewhere, it really is brilliant and everyone who has read it will know what I mean, but if there is some out there that has never experienced an Angela’s Adventure then I strongly suggest that you go out and get a copy of this book.
Kris Kusneski ~ The Prophecy
The Back Blurb :
When the writings of 16th-century visionary Nostradamus ring alarmingly true, Jonathon Payne and David Jones find themselves in a life-or-death race to stop those who would use the seer’s predictions for their own dark purposes. In an adventure that spans two continents and several centuries, Payne and Jones must locate a sacred text that may change everything we know about the future.
My View :
This was the first Kuzneski book I read and I was hooked from start to finish, true it can get a bit confusing with the long conversation’s that seem to go on across chapter’s but it is a really good romp and thank’s to this one I did start my Payne and Jones section on my bookshelf. It is fast paced and thrilling, the characters are brilliant especially the main two Payne and Jones they seem to bounce of each other which is so nice when reading a book, everything is in brilliant detail from the character’s to the smallest thing is so wonderfully researched that it is very real and very believable. This is definitely one for those who are not the most committed reader’s as it is fast and enjoyable, so I strongly suggest that all those that don’t read a lot to give this a go. A great read.
Alyson Richman ~ The Lost Wife
Back Blurb :
Josef Kohn is a successful New York obstetrician who still dreams of his first wife, Lenka, an art student he left behind in Czechoslovakia while fleeing the Nazis. Lenka, who he believes died during the war, continues to haunt his dreams, while his second wife, Amalia, remains more of a ghost to him than is Lenka. As we follow Lenka’s journey to the ghetto of Terezin, where she is forced to draft technical drawings for the Germans and is a witness to the secret paintings of an underground group of artists involved in their own form of resistance against their captors, we see not only the endurance of the human spirit, but also of the artist, whose desire to create and document, cannot be extinguished. From the glamorous ease of pre-War Prague, to the ensuing horror of Nazi Europe, we witness both the dawning of Lenka’s and Josef’s love affair to its tragic unraveling. Each character must forge their own path for survival and each must struggle to adapt to post-war America, while their secrets, their past, and the ghost of their first marriage, are known only to them. The Lost Wife is a story that explores the depth — the power — of first love, the resilience of the human spirit, and our capacity to remember.
My View :
This is a powerful, raw and very emotional novel, it pull’s at your heartstrings’ with just a few word’s and it is one of those book’s that will stay with you for a very long time after turning the last page. The character’s are flawless, they so well researched and written, especially Lenka who is so strong and proud, and so selfless; she is this amazing young woman who has gone through so much hardship,and yet she still has faith that everything will turn out for the best, even when she is at her lowest you can see the strength in her character and we see her change from this slightly awkward teenager that has nothing to worry about to this strong-willed woman. I just love how after decades’ of being parted how both Lenka and Joseph have gone through their own personal war’s how they finally find each other that is so touching and it doe’s send goosebumps’ running down your arm’s. True it has some very harsh and brutal part’s especially in Lenka’s story but that is to be expected with the era and with what went on in that time, Personally it wouldn’t seem quite as real if those horrendous time’s in our history wasn’t conveyed as they are, those atrocious thing’s happened and by reading this book and book’s like it we are remembering and we are paying respect to all those unfortunate people who are no longer with us to tell their own story. Apparently this is based on a story that Alyson Richman had been told about a married couple who were separated during the war only to be reunited decade’s later. People need to read this, it is one of those book’s that every household need’s to have on their bookshelf. Simply stunning.
Kate Emerson ~ Secret’s Of The Tudor Court
I am slightly obsessed with Tudor Novels; I know that the story of the Tudor’s is so well-known as they were a fascinating, if a slightly narcissistic bunch but they were entertaining. I have read a lot of Tudor based book’s and true they are all the same and some are quite lengthy and you do tend to get bored very easily which that can’t really be helped as these were real people and real event’s and you can only stretch the truth so far; but Kate Emmerson’s go at telling the Tudor story really come’s of’; mainly I think because she doesn’t focus on the actual royal’s themselve’s but she tell’s the story through the eye’s of various other character’s. It is that change of direction that make’s her book’s so striking that you can read them all and not get bored. The Tudor story is obviously there but Emmerson has entwined the life of her character’s with those of the royal’s and I really do like that touch it make’s such a well-known era be a bit more normal and down to earth. She doesn’t go on into lengthy chapter’s that are just boring she stick’s to the basic’s but she doe’s in a way that keep’s you reading, which is a refreshing change for this genre. Anyone who like me is fascinated by the going’s on by the famous the famous Tudor’s then like me they will enjoy Kate Emmerson’s take on them as what’s more she has done an all bunch of them and each one focus’ on a different person so on the whole you get the Tudor’s story through all different perspective’s; which is a very nice change. Emmerson is definitely a historical novelist to read. Not just an enjoyable yarn but highly educational.
I am a fan of a good series’, I find them more compelling and fascinating then one-off novel’s, I love how you get to know more and more about each character as the series’ goes along. I know some don’t like to commit themselves’ to them but I love following a certain character as they make they way through the book’s, it’s fascinate’s me how their personality’s unfold’s and grow’s into some thing that you can treasure and say “Yeah! I’ve read them” I have been through so many series’ everything from Thriller’s to chick lit and Historical, Personally the best series’ are the one’s that you know are only going to have so many episode’s and that way you know that eventually they are going to finish. A lot of series’ do go on and on for far too long and the problem with those is that you do get bored with them.
So here are six of my favorite’s.
#1 The Inferno Club ~ Gaelen Foley
This is the best thing that Foley has ever done, they are so good that you can re-read them again and again and again and you will never get bored. These follow the stories’ of seven special agent’s working for a secret society for the king, they protect the king and the realm from every outer and inner threat’s especially the evil secret society called the promethean’s, the agent’s are stunning in every respect, they are wonderfully drawn up that you do fall in love with them, unlike a lot of series’ I don’t really have a favorite because each one is just as good as the one before. This is by far my favorite series’ ever and I cannot stress this enough but this serie’s has to be read. Amazing
#2 The Languedoc Trilogy ~ Kate Mosse
I love this trilogy it is amazing, Kate Mosse is such an amazing writer her imagination and her skill is unbelievable, these are really long book’s but please don’t let that put you off because these are very special. I love the fact that while you are reading each one you don’t realize that you are reading a trilogy as each one is set in a different era with different charecter’s but then something pop’s up and you remember that yes that was in the last one, they really are stunning, my personal favorite is the last one Citadel, it is so moving that at time’s you can be sitting there with tear’s streaming down your face. Simply breathtaking.
#3 The Hathaway’s ~ Lisa Kleypas
This is so soothing and calming that you do instantly fall in love with the adorable Hathaway’s, this follow’s the individual live’s of the Hathaway sibling’s as they try to gorge out a life for themselves’ through many trial’s. Like Foley Kleypas is a wonderful story-teller and you really feel like you are living these very trial’s with this band of uncivilized and unruly set of sibling’s, this is so enchanting that you just need to read from start to finish.
#4 The I Heart Series’ ~ Lyndsey Kelk
This is definitely a Chick Lit favorite of mine, the character Angela is so normal and down to earth that nearly every girl on the planet can relate to her in some way. This basically follow’s Angela’s wacky adventure’s as she start’s a new life in New York, she is a very real character she has flaw’s that we all have she is clumsy and not very civilized and she is hilarious at time’s. This is ultimate Chick Lit, Kelk has done another series’ but this is the one that you need to read, unlike a lot of series’ where you can dip in and out when you like you have to read these in order to understand the story.
#5 The Payne & Jones Series’ ~ Kris Kuzneski
This is the first thriller on my list and it is so good; What I like about this is that even thought the characters’ Payne and Jones are the same the plot is always different with each book, which off course keep’s you hooked as you never know which direction the story is going and you never get bored, you have the series’ aspect’s with following the two main character’s which you do see each character evolve as the series goes along and as each book is so different each one is a lot like a stand alone series’ and another great thing about these is that you don’t need to read them in order. This is perfect for new reader’s who like a bit of action but also like great plot’s.
#6 The Maiden Lane Series’ ~ Elizabeth Hoyt
This is yet another historical Romance but the difference between this and a lot of other’s is that you have to read this from book one if you don’t you will get confused about who’s who and what’s going on. This follow’s the tale of a select few Aristocratic family’s in London which as you will soon see are all linked in one way or another. These are a lot darker than what is usual for Historical Romance, but that make’s it stand out and get’s you hooked. I do admit that the first one’s are better than the newer one’s; but’s it’s still a worthy series’.