A Precious Jewel by Mary Balogh

prec

source: purchased
title: A Precious Jewel
author: Mary Balogh
genre: Historical/Regency Romance
pages: 316
published: 1993
rated: 4 out of 5
1heartred1heartred1heartred1heartred

blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh weaves a sensuous spell of romance that brings together the unlikeliest pair of lovers in the unlikeliest place of all– an infamous London house of pleasure.

She was unlike any woman he’d ever met in the ton or the demimonde. But Sir Gerald Stapleton frequented Mrs. Blyth’s euphemistically dubbed “finishing school” for pure, uncomplicated pleasure–and nothing else. So why was this confirmed bachelor so thoroughly captivated by one woman in particular? Why did he find himself wondering how such a rare jewel of grace, beauty, and refinement as Priss had ended up a courtesan? And when she needed protection, why did Gerald, who’d sworn he’d never get entangled in affairs of the heart, hasten to set her up as his own pampered mistress to ensure her safety–and have her all to himself?

For Priscilla Wentworth, the path leading to Sir Gerald’s bed had been as filled with misfortune as it suddenly seemed charmed. But Priss couldn’t allow herself to believe she’d ever be more to a man like Sir Gerald than a well-cared-for object of pleasure. Now, despite Gerald’s deep distrust of marriage, neither scandal nor society’s censure can keep them apart–only the fear of trusting their hearts.

my thoughts:

After having read A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh last December I knew this was an author I wanted to read again. I had a few qualms with A Christmas Promise, mainly because the hero was a jerk but the heart that the author gave her characters and the way the story-line just flowed left me wanting to try her again. I am glad I read A Precious Jewel.  There was so much from the Balogh catalogue to choose from since she has been writing for a few decades and what made me choose A Precious Jewel  was that in the blurb the two main characters are described as an “unlikeliest pair of lovers”. I am a sucker for unconventional love stories. I love it when the couples have to work for their love, it makes it worthwhile, just like in this particular story.

Priscilla Wentworth comes from a nice family and is a refined lady but she finds herself alone after her father and then her brother pass away from illness. Her mother died when she was young. Her brother did not leave a will so she contacts her former governess Mrs. Blyth and asks if she can stay with her at her finishing school until she turns 30 and is awarded her mother’s inheritance. Mrs. Blyth takes Priscilla in but confesses to her that her ‘finishing school’ is actually a house of prostitution. Priscilla finds herself in a horrible situation but decides to start working there as a courtesan. She knows it is not what she wants for herself but she also knows how much worse it could be since Mrs. Blyth thinks of her as a daughter and treats her well. She figures she will work a few years and save what she can until she gets her mother’s inheritance.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Needful Things by Stephen King

needfulsource: purchased
title: Needful Things
author: Stephen King
genre: classic horror
published: 1991
pages: 790
first line: In a small town, the opening of a new store is big news.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
1blustar1blustar1blustar1blustar

Blurb:

Master storyteller Stephen King presents the classic #1 New York Times bestseller about a mysterious store than can sell you whatever you desire—but not without exacting a terrible price in return.

“There are two prices for this. Half…and half. One half is cash. The other is a deed. Do you understand?”

The town of Castle Rock, Maine has seen its fair share of oddities over the years, but nothing is a peculiar as the little curio shop that’s just opened for business. Its mysterious proprietor, Leland Gaunt, seems to have something for everyone out on display at Needful Things…interesting items that run the gamut from worthless to priceless. Nothing has a price tag in this place, but everything is certainly for sale. The heart’s desire for any resident of Castle Rock can easily be found among the curiosities…in exchange for a little money and—at the specific request of Leland Gaunt—a whole lot of menace against their fellow neighbors. Everyone in town seems willing to make a deal at Needful Things, but the devil is in the details. And no one takes heed of the little sign hanging on the wall: Caveat emptor. In other words, let the buyer beware…

my thoughts:

Needful Things was a re-read and is a toughie to review because it is such a long book with so many characters and events. It is hard to believe my copy is over 20 years old.

IMG_9520

In this classic, King takes us to Castle Rock and sets up the scene quite nicely. I love that about his writing, he takes his time introducing his characters and giving us a feel for them. There is a new shop in the small town of Castle Rock called Needful Things and the townspeople are very curious about it. The owner is a man named Leland Gaunt who seems to mesmerize his customers. When you walk into this store you find the perfect item for yourself that you didn’t even know you were looking for until you lay your eyes on it. Everything is for sale but everything comes at a steep price. It is akin to making a deal with the devil. The customers leave with the perfect item but not quite remembering how they promised Leland Gaunt what they would pay for it.

Continue reading

An EveryDay Thing by Nancy Richardson

every
source: free review copy via Poetic Book Tours
title:  An Everyday Thing
author: Nancy Richardson
genre: poetry
published: July 27, 2018
pages: 53

About:
Richardson’s poems concern coming of age in the rust-belt of Ohio during a period of decay of the physical and political structures that made the region once solid and predictable. Her poems chart the shifting of the foundations upon which a life is built and the unpredictability of events that have profound personal and political consequences, including the shootings at Kent State University.

My thoughts:

I love reading poetry, there is something special about it. I like it when poems conjure up feelings and emotions. I feel everyone interprets poems differently, it is a personal thing. I enjoy reading poems over and over again to get a feel for them. Today I am sharing my thoughts on a collection of poems called An Everyday Thing by Nancy Richardson.

Continue reading

Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

sister

source: review copy courtesy of Meryl Moss Media
title: Sister of Mine
author: Laurie Petrou/ Twitter
pages: 294
genre: psychological thriller
first line: She breaks into a run as soon as she clears the flames.
rated: 4 out of 5
1blustar1blustar1blustar1blustar

blurb:
For fans of Sarah Pinborough and Liane Moriarty comes a taut domestic suspense about the lies we tell to hold our lives together.

Sisters, like secrets, are best kept close.

Penny and Hattie, orphaned sisters in a small town, are best friends, bound together to the point of knots. But Penny, at the mercy of her brutal husband, is desperate for a fresh start. Willing to do anything for her older sister, Hattie agrees to help. A match is struck and a fire burns Penny’s marriage to the ground. With her husband gone, Penny is free, and the sisters, it seems, get away with murder. But freedom comes at a cost.

More than a year after the fire, a charming young man comes to town. Hattie and Penny quickly bring him into the fold and into their hearts but their love for him threatens the delicate balance. Soon long-held resentments, sibling rivalry, and debts unpaid boil over, and the bonds of sisterhood begin to snap. As one little lie grows into the next, the sisters’ secrets will unravel, eroding their lives until only a single, horrible truth remains: You owe me.

A compelling novel of suspense from a talented new voice, Sister of Mine asks us to consider the bonds of family, what it takes to commit the unthinkable, and how far you’ll go to protect the ones you love.

my thoughts:

Sister of Mine is a multi layered novel about two sisters, Penny and Hattie, who are tied together by a dark secret. This secret rips them apart as the years go by because of resentments, lies, cover-ups and bad memories.

As the story opens, their mother who raised them died in an accident at home while Penny was away at college. Giving up her dreams of finishing school, Penelope comes back home after the death of her mother to take care of her younger sister Hattie. She gets a steady job and marries a local man who turns out to be an abuser. Terrified of her husband and what he is capable of Penny sees only one way to escape him. When her husband is found dead in a house fire, the two sisters just want to get on with their lives and leave his memory behind.

Continue reading

Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross 2) by James Patterson

IMG_1800 (1)

source: purchased
title: Kiss the Girls Alex Cross 2
author: James Patterson(Twitter)
genre: crime thriller/detective fiction
pages: 481
published: 1995
first line: For three weeks, the young killer actually lived inside the walls of an extraordinary fifteen-room beach house.
rated: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
1blustar1blustar1blustar1blustar1blustarhalf

blurb:

In Los Angeles, a reporter investigating a series of murders is killed. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a beautiful medical intern suddenly disappears. In the sequel to Along Came a Spider,Washington D.C.’s Alex Cross is back to solve the most baffling and terrifying murder case ever. Two clever pattern killers are collaborating, cooperating, competing-and they are working coast to coast.

my thoughts:

After having read and really enjoyed Along Came a Spider I knew I had to read the second in the Alex Cross series. Kiss the Girls starts off where Along Came a Spider left off, but it is definitely a stand alone read. There are a few references to characters and occurrences from the first novel but nothing that would confuse a reader. The ending wraps up nicely while leaving room for the next installment.

At the start of Kiss the Girls  there is a serial who calls himself “Casanova” and has been abducting and torturing beautiful and successful young women in their early twenties. Alex Cross is a Washington, D.C. homicide investigator and forensic psychologist who has been called to go to South Carolina with his partner to the scene of the latest murder by Casanova. This is the third victim. Cross has also just been notified that his niece Naomi Cross is missing. He fears Casanova has taken her.

As the story flows, the detectives realize there are two killers working together and that this spree has been going on for over a decade. Casanova has a partner, The Gentleman. What ensues is a thrilling cat and mouse chase with twists and turns as the detectives try to find the missing women and the case hits close to home for Cross as he tries to find his niece.

Continue reading