Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Donnerstag, 27. Juli 2017

Blogtour mit Gewinnspiel - Ein unmöglicher Mord von Rob Reef





BLOGTOUR



*Ein unmöglicher Mord*

von 

*Rob Reef*



Inhalt:

England, 1938: Der Literaturprofessor und Gelegenheitsdetektiv John Stableford freut sich auf ein paar unbeschwerte Tage in der Bibliothek seines Schwiegervaters, dem Vikar von Upper Biggins. Doch als seine Schwägerin im Garten des Pfarrhauses einen mit einem Hakenkreuz markierten Golfball findet, ist es mit der Idylle schlagartig vorbei. Der skandalöse Fund führt John in das benachbarte Herrenhaus, wo ihn sein Freund Dr Holmes erwartet. Noch am selben Abend bricht der Hausherr Sir Edmund Rogie unter rätselhaften Umständen während eines Banketts zusammen. Doch damit nicht genug. Am folgenden Tag geschieht ein Mord, der so unmöglich zu sein scheint, dass Stableford an seinem Verstand zu zweifeln beginnt.



Wieder einmal zeigt sich Rob Reef auch in diesem Band der  Stableford-Krimis, dass er einfach richtig gute Krimis schreiben kann.

Wer intelligente Krimis im Stil der klassischen britischen Kriminalliteratur liebt, wird auch die Bücher von Rob Reef lieben. Gekonnt spielt er mit den Klischees des Genres und lässt Anspielungen auf die Werke Agatha Christies und anderer bekannter Autoren einfließen. Geschickt aufgebaut, intelligent konstruiert und gut geschrieben, ist auch dieser Band wieder, ebenso wie seine Vorgänger, ein echter Lesegenuss, wobei man dem Buch sowohl von der schönen Aufmachung mit dem farbigen Schnitt als auch vom Inhalt her, immer wieder anmerkt, dass hier ein Autor am Werk ist, der Bücher und das Lesen liebt.

Zwischendurch zeigt Rob Reef dem Leser auch in diesem Buch immer wieder, dass seine Charaktere sich dessen bewusst sind, wie sehr das von ihnen erlebte Geschehen an einen Kriminalroman erinnert. Immerhin sind Landhausmorde, wie auch Stableford feststellt, ein beliebtes Motiv für einen klassischen Krimi. Allerdings gelingt es, entgegen seiner Ansicht, dass das möglich sein sollte, in diesem Fall nicht allen Anwesenden ein Wochenende auf dem Lande unbeschadet zu überstehen...


Ganz im Sinne des Fair Play, versteckt der Autor die Hinweise auf den Täter so geschickt, dass man als Leser eifrig am Miträtseln ist, immer überzeugt, jetzt endlich zu wissen....oder doch nicht. Ebenso wie auch Stableford, ging es auch mir des Öfteren so, dass gerade mein letzter Verdächtiger sich irgendwie doch als unverdächtig erwies. Oder vielleicht doch nicht? Wieder einmal arbeiten die berühmten, kleinen, grauen Zellen auf Hochtouren!

Ein unmöglicher Mord ist ein weiterer spannender, humorvoll und intelligent geschriebener Roman in der Reihe um Stableford und Harriet, immer mit dabei ist natürlich auch Holmes, mit dem Stableford bei der Lösung seiner Fälle zusammen arbeitet. Oder Holmes mit ihm, wie auch immer.
Das Geschehen lehnt sich an reale historische Ereignisse an, auch hier überzeugt der Autor wieder mit Sachkenntnis und bindet diese Ereignisse mit geschickter Hand in das Geschehen ein.

Wie auch die anderen Bücher der Reihe, ist dieses Buch zwar ein Buch, das auch Golfspieler lieben dürften, aber es ist auch ein wunderbarer Krimi, der auch Nicht-Golfspielern viel Freude bereiten wird. Und keine Sorge, hinten im Buch findet sich auch ein Glossar, wenn Ihr also über einen Golfbegriff stolpert, der Euch nicht geläufig ist, einfach hinten nachgucken!



★★★★




Golf? Golf! 

Was hat es denn nun mit diesem Sport eigentlich auf sich, der seit etlichen Jahrhunderten so viele Leute in seinen Bann gezogen hat und auch in unserem Buch hier doch eine ziemlich große Rolle spielt, wie man ja schon dem Namen "Stableford" anmerkt, der sich auf eine bestimmte Zählweise bezieht?

Ich habe selber erst einen Schnuppertag auf dem Golfplatz hinter mir, aber ich dachte, ich gucke mir diesen Sport doch mal im Rahmen dieser Blogtour ein wenig genauer an. Nicht zu genau, weil - wie gesagt, ich bin auch Laie. Und ich weiß, dass wir beim nächsten Golfen mit den Kollegen meines Mannes auch wieder dabei sein werden, weil es irgendwie doch Spaß gebracht hat, auch wenn unsere Schläge nicht immer von unmittelbarem Erfolg gekrönt waren.


video

 

Aber so im Laufe des Tages, gab es dann doch immer öfter mal einen Schlag, bei dem man den Ball traf und er sogar (zumindest annähernd) in die richtige Richtung rollte. Die natürlich ausgesprochen seltenen Male, wo ein Stück Rasen mit durch die Gegend flog....well, don't mention it, right? Wir wurden (fast) alle ziemlich gut darin, in Windeseile Rasen wieder einzufangen und wieder festzuklopfen. Übrigens haben diese herumfliegenden Rasenstücke sogar einen eigenen Namen. Es kommt also wohl nicht nur bei uns des Öfteren vor, dass Rasen herausgeschlagen wird. Die Etikette gebietet auch, diese sogenannten "Divots" wieder einzusetzen und den Boden wieder zu ebnen, damit nachfolgende Golfer keine störenden Kuhlen im Boden vorfinden, die ihr Spiel behindern.

Zeit muss man haben, um Golf zu spielen, weil so eine Runde auf dem Platz bis zum 18. und somit letzten Loch durchaus einige Stunden braucht. Im Netz fand ich Vorgaben von "ungefähr viereinhalb Stunden" oder sowas, auf dem Platz, wo wir waren, war die Rede von fünf bis sechs Stunden. Nicht zuletzt ist das ja auch eine Frage des Könnens. Wer spielen kann, braucht natürlich weniger Schläge und ist schneller am Ziel. Wir haben uns deshalb auch bei unserer ersten Runde lieber an einer verkürzten Strecke versucht und - trotzdem noch ganz schön lange gebraucht!

Es gibt anscheinend einen Golfplatz, auf dem man laut dem Golfsportmagazin für 114m zumindest für die Hälfte des Jahres sogar über eine Stunde, bzw. 65 Minuten braucht. Der Abschlag des neunten Lochs liegt in Kanada und das Grün, sprich, das "Spielfeld" dahinter, auf dem sich auch das zu treffende Loch findet, liegt im US-Bundesstaat North Dakota. Dadurch, dass North Dakota eine Sommerzeit hat und Saskatchewan nicht, sind 65 Minuten für diese 114 m zumindest im Sommer normal.


 

Die Ursprünge des Golfs sind nicht ganz eindeutig geklärt, zwar ist St. Andrews in Schottland einer der ersten bekannten Golfplätze und es deutet vieles daraufhin, dass Golf in dem Sinne, in dem wir es kennen, aus Schottland kommt, aber auch in den Niederlanden, Frankreich, Belgien und sogar im alten Ägypten, Japan und dem alten Rom scheint es zumindest ähnliche Spiele, bzw. dessen Vorläufer gegeben zu haben, wie entsprechende Abbildungen andeuten.

Erhalten geblieben ist uns allerdings in der Hauptsache wohl die schottische Variante, in den Ländern außerhalb der britischen Inseln, wurde Golf wie wir es kennen, erst im Laufe des 19., bzw. 20. Jahrunderts (wieder) eingeführt.

(Quelle: http://www.golf-index.eu/outs/golfgeschichte/language/de)

 

Die Anfänge des Golfs und der dazugehörigen Sportgeräte, sahen allerdings  wohl eher  etwas rustikaler aus. Aus den frühesten Anfängen mit Stöcken und Steinen, entwickelten sich wahrscheinlich noch einige andere Spiele wie etwa Hockey oder Croquet, um nur zwei Beispiele zu nennen. Man muss zugeben, dass das Spielen damit vermutlich noch ungenauer war als bei Anfängern heute, aber wen das Fieber packt, der nimmt alles, was sich bietet.

Okay, Gartengeräte sind vielleicht sicher, aber wer weiß. Immerhin ging die Begeisterung  für Golf im 15. Jahrhundert in Schottland sogar so weit, dass König James II das Schottische Parlament 1457 anhielt, Golf zu bannen, weil das intensive Golfspielen die Leute von ihren Pflichten, insbesondere von ihren militärischen Übungen abhielt. 

Dieser Bann wurde dann sowohl 1471 unter James III und noch einmal 1491 unter James IV erneuert, was irgendwie wohl dafür spricht, dass er nicht wirklich viel gebracht hat. 

Auch in den folgenden Jahrhunderten gibt es immer mal wieder Hinweise darauf, dass die Leidenschaft für das Golfspiel dazu führte, dass die Leute ihre Pflichten vernachlässigten. Es gibt beispielsweise sogar ein Gemälde von 1896, das Golfer zeigt, die am Feiertag von einigen recht streng und finster dreinblickenden Geistlichen beim Spielen gestört werden und das Protokollbuch der Versammlung der Kirchenältesten in Perth berichtet 1604 von sechs Jungen, die dabei erwischt worden waren, dass sie Golf gespielt hatten, statt in die Kirche zu gehen.

Heute sehen die Schläger, die sogenannten Eisen, natürlich ein wenig anders aus als zu den Anfangszeiten. Eine gewisse Vielfalt prägt das Bild, da es für nahezu jede Situation und jede Schlagvariante bestimmte Eisen gibt. 

Im Basisschläger, der für den Abschlag verwendet wird, haben sich allerdings die Ursprünge des Golfschlägers noch ein wenig in der Bezeichnung erhalten. Das sogenannte Holz besteht heute zwar nicht mehr aus Holz, aber der Name blieb ihm erhalten. 

Vom Wedge (= Keil) hat man vielleicht auch schon einmal etwas gehört, dieser wird für kurze Schläge und die (verzweifelten) Schläge, um aus der Sandgrube, dem Bunker, herauszukommen, verwendet. Auch hier gibt es natürlich diverse Varianten, die wahlweise dem eigenen Stil oder auch den Gegebenheiten Rechnung tragen. 

Und schließlich gibt es noch den Putter, mit dem man vorrangig versucht, den Ball auf dem Boden zielgerichtet vorwärts zu bringen.

 

Um die ganzen verschiedenen Schläger dann auch auf dem Platz zu transportieren, gibt es zwar auch Taschen, allerdings, wenn man sich die Vielzahl der Schläger anguckt und daran denkt, dass diese aus Metall hergestellt sind, wundert es vermutlich nicht, dass es mittlerweile auch kleine Handwagen dafür gibt. Die Caddies, die spätestens bei den Turnieren die Schläger der Spieler tragen, sind aber vermutlich vielen ebenfalls ein Begriff. Immerhin hat auch jemand wie Bernhard Langer, von dem, denke ich, fast jeder schon gehört hat, ebenfalls als Caddie gearbeitet, bevor er zum Golf-Profi wurde. 

 



Die eigentlichen Regeln erläutere ich hier nicht, da ich denke, dass das diesen Rahmen einfach sprengt (und ich selber auch nur abschreiben könnte, was nicht wirklich sinnvoll wäre), aber der Deutsche Golfverband hat eine Seite, auf der man diese gut nachlesen kann, falls jemand doch noch mehr darüber hören möchte. Die Grundzüge des Golfs sind, denke ich, wohl jedem durchaus bekannt. Letztlich geht es darum, den Ball möglichst schnell mittels geschickter Schläge von einem Loch ins nächste zu bringen. Ganz grob formuliert.





Was ich noch interessant finde, ist die Tatsache, dass Golf bei den Olympischen Spielen 1900 in Paris und 1904 in St. Louis als olympische Sportart vertreten war, dann aber erst wieder 112 (!) Jahre später, sprich bei den Olympischen Spielen 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. In Rio de Janeiro waren dann auch 120 Golfer aus ca. 40 Ländern vertreten. Bei den Olympischen Spielen in Paris "damals"  traten übrigens das erste Mal auch Frauen zum Wettkampf an. 

Sehr nett fand ich, dass der International Golf Federation zufolge, anscheinend Margaret Abbot, eine Amerikanerin, die gemeinsam mit ihrer Mutter gerade Paris besuchte, während dieses Besuchs zu einem Wettkampf antrat und als Siegerin vom Platz ging, den sie für die Pariser Damenmeisterschaften hielt. Erst nach ihrem Tod, 55 Jahre später, wurde bekannt, dass sie tatsächlich die erste weibliche, amerikanische Olympiasiegerin war und es sich bei diesen Damenmeisterschaften um die Olympischen Spiele handelte!


Bei den OlympischenSpielen 1936, war Golf schon keine olympische Disziplin mehr, allerdings lud der deutsche Golfverband Ende August des Jahres Spieler aus 36 Ländern zum "Großen Golfpreis der Nationen" nach Baden-Baden. Dieses Ereignis wird denjenigen schon ein Begriff sein, die bereits die Chance hatten, Ein unmöglicher Mord zu lesen, da dies, genauer das Ergebnis dieses Turniers, keine ganz kleine Rolle in "unserem" Buch hier spielt. Wer den berühmten bernsteingeschmückten Teller, die Trophäe dieses Turniers einmal bewundern möchte, kann einmal *klicken*. 2012 wurde diese Trophäe für stolze 21000 Euro versteigert.

 


Die Gewinnspielfrage

Sommer, Sonne, Golfplatz  - oder doch lieber Strand? Wofür entscheidet Ihr Euch?

 (Es gibt übrigens keine falsche Antwort. Bevor ich zu diesem Schnuppertag entführt wurde, konnte ich mir zum Beispiel nicht ernsthaft vorstellen, dass es irgendwie Spaß bringen könnte, bei Wind und Wetter irgendwelche komischen Metallschläger über einen Golfplatz zu schleppen, aber irgendwie hat es was... )

 Für jede Antwort erhaltet Ihr ein Los. Außerdem gibt es ein weiteres Los pro Teilnehmer und Tag, wenn Ihr in Euren Social Media über die Aktion postet, sprich, pro Tag könnt Ihr auf zwei Lose kommen. Bitte gebt hier dann auch an, wo Ihr über die Blogtour gepostet habt.


Verlost wird je 1 Buch unter 10 Teilnehmern. Das bedeutet: bei 1-10 Teilnehmern gibt es einen Gewinner; bei 11 bis 20 Teilnehmern, 2 Gewinner; bei 21 - 30 Teilnehmern drei und bei über 30 vier Gewinner usw. usw. usw. 

Das Gewinnspiel  läuft bis zum 8. August, am 9. August findet dann die Auslosung statt. Die Gewinner werden auf den teilnehmenden Blogs bekanntgegeben.


Teilnahme am Gewinnspiel ab 18 Jahren oder mit Erlaubnis der Erziehungsberechtigten.  
Keine Barauszahlung des Gewinns möglich.
Für einen Verlust auf dem Versandweg wird keine Haftung übernommen
und
der Rechtsweg ist wie üblich ausgeschlossen.


 

Copyright für die Bilder liegt bei mir und einem Kollegen meines Mannes, der für uns unsere ersten Versuche auf dem Golfplatz festgehalten hat.

 

Montag, 24. Juli 2017

Return of the Elves Series by Bethany Adams



It all started with an ARC that I kept shuffling around....

and then I ended up binge-reading ...

 

Blurb: 

 A deathbed promise

Arlyn’s quest is simple: Find her father and let him know her mother is dead. After all, Arlyn had promised her mother she’d go. The problem? Her father's people are myths and legends, and he doesn't even live on Earth. But despite a long journey through the mysterious mists of the Veil, finding him turns out to be the easy part.

A dream long-buried

After five hundred years, Kai has given up on finding his soulbonded. So when he stumbles across Arlyn after returning from his latest mission and recognizes her as his mate, Kai starts their bond in haste. But he never could have imagined that his bonded is his best friend’s newfound daughter. Whoops.

A hidden conspiracy sparked to life

Though the sight of Kai makes Arlyn’s heart pound, she isn’t sure she can forgive him for starting their bond without her permission. But her love life is the least of her problems. Her father is an elf lord, and his sudden acknowledgment of a half-human heir reignites the same conspiracy that took him away from her mother in the first place. Now Arlyn and her family must face iron wielding assassins, bigotry, and her newly awakened magical abilities if they hope to come through in one piece.

Arlyn thought she would return to Earth after meeting her father. Now she must fight to save the family she never knew she wanted. 


Honestly, this book blew my mind. I was just kind of pushing it around as it was an ARC and I really really wanted to read it when I requested it but when it arrived, well, Elves were least on my list of stories to read at that moment. So I procrastinated and huffed and puffed -and then I finally started to read it because - ARC, right? Duty calls and all that.
Okay, let's just say that I two days after I had started reading Soulbound, I had already finished Sundered, its sequel, as well and I'm half-way through Exiled. It is an amazing story, great writing combined with a captivating storyline and well-developed and interesting characters.
So - it's simply amazing.

★★★


And it went on ...







Blurb:

A life in shambles

Lyr might be a powerful elven lord in charge of thousands, but his personal life is a disaster. Just the month before, a daughter he’d never known existed arrived from Earth, giving him news of his lost love’s death. Since then, he has been betrayed, captured, and almost murdered. And though his enemy was defeated, Lyr’s wounds never seem to heal. He certainly doesn’t need more conflict.

A perilous journey

Amid the glittering perfection of Alfheim, Meli is a dismal failure. Haunted by visions of people and places she’s never seen, she struggles to find her place. So when her king orders her to lead an expedition to another world, Meli is caught between shock and terror. How can she navigate the Veil between worlds with no magic of her own? But with Alfheim threatened by strange, dark energy, she has no choice.

A threat that spans worlds

The last thing Lyr expects is the arrival of the Ljósálfar, the reclusive Norse elves of Alfheim. More surprising? One among them, Meli, is a possible soulbounded, a link he’d believed lost with his previous love. But wounded and besieged with problems on every side, he can’t let himself be distracted. Poisoned energy is flooding into the closely connected realms of the fae, causing sickness, and Lyr must rush to find the source of the threat.

Only Moranaia remains untouched—leading Lyr to suspect one of his own people might be to blame. 


Soulbound was amazing and Sundered is just as good as the first book had let me hope that it would be. Sundered is an amazing sequel, picking up the threads, spinning them further and the result is a wonderful, thrilling and captivating story that kept me glued to my reader. 

The moment I finished Soulbound, I started to read Sundered and I loved to see how things developed, how those characters who had taken my heart by storm in the first book, went on, became even more distinct, more alive and found love and laughter even though their world crumbles around them - until it doesn't crumble anymore. Perhaps. It might be a race against time because their foes aren't idle either...
A wonderful sequel to an amazing series...



★★★



...that still went on... 




 Blurb:

 A willing exile

For a hundred years, Delbin has lived on Earth, voluntarily cut off from his birth land, Moranaia. He’s learned to hide his elven nature and use his mind magic without getting noticed. Until he accidentally wields it on the Moranaian scout sent to check on him.

A hesitant ally

Though Inona has good reason to mistrust exiles, part of her job is to make sure they aren’t causing trouble. She sets out for Earth with one goal—get this annoying mission over with. But from the moment Delbin tries to use his power on her, she can tell he is different. As more of his story unfolds, she learns that some exiles might not be what they seem.

An unexpected enemy

When a rogue Moranaian prince tries to recruit Delbin, Inona’s mission becomes anything but standard. Now Delbin and Inona must work together to hunt down the prince and uncover his latest plot.

Delbin might not be able to return to Moranaia, but he’ll do anything to save it. 


Unfortunately this one was a bit frustrating. It was also good, on the whole, but if I hadn't read the other books by the author, this book would have got three stars instead of four because even though it was great, it was just great until the end - which came far too early. It is a novella, I'm aware of that but the book ends where the actions starts. Or rather should start because, you see, we are finally back and I was prepared to kick some a..pish brutes but - there it was: the end. I clicked back and forth actually to verify that it was indeed the end and not just some technical stuff that prevented me from going further. 

Hoping for an equally amazing sequel to this very promising beginning that is a sequel to the other "Return of the Elves" books but focuses on other characters (and trust me, you will love Delbin and Inona!), I'm really looking forward to the rest of the story, I just hope that it comes soon.

I have no problem with the story itself spanning several volumes but I would have preferred to have every couple's story in one book. Otherwise, it is well written, the story continues to be really amazing with a wonderful, well-developed world of its own that exists alongside our world and I can recommend this book if you are prepared to deal with the frustration at the end - or wait till the next book is out.



★★★
 
 






Samstag, 22. Juli 2017

Billionaire Baby Daddy: A Second Chance Romance by Lara Swann


 






Blurb: 

My baby daddy is NYC’s most eligible bachelor – and no one knows. 
 
Sexy, powerful and charming – the world loves Alistair Sinclair.
I did too. Five years ago.
But the heat of our passion couldn’t change his cold attitude or arrogant demands – so I left.
I didn’t know what he’d left me with, but when I found out…I was even more determined.
I didn’t want my baby girl growing up under her Daddy’s hard expectations.

Until now.
Five years later and struggling alone – I can’t live with the secret anymore.
I have to tell him. I have to give him the chance to know his little girl.
But I won’t go back to him. I won’t fall for that sexy smile, the impish suggestions and whispered promises. I won’t make that mistake twice – and things are different now.
I’m a Mommy. And he’s…a Daddy.

What I don’t count on?
He sees his daughter and melts.
And suddenly… I’m wanting things I’ve stopped letting myself think about.
A family. A Daddy. A man – touching me, kissing me, driving me to my knees and setting my body on fire. Reminding me that I’m more than just a Mom.

It’s impossible. It can’t end well. We already crashed and burned once.
And appearing on a billionaire’s arm with a four-year-old kid in front of NYC’s elite?
Yeah, everyone is out to get us.

So why am I falling so hard, so fast – when I already know how this will end?



Yes, it is "that kind of story" - and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! Sure, some parts are predictable but it is well-written and sweet and even though I never doubted where the journey would end I really enjoyed the trip. It was nice to have characters that are able of self-reflection, able to fight for the things and the people they believe in and who are able to trust each other.

There were several situations where I got a bit wary and really expected the hero or the heroine (or the author?) to fall for some kind of same-old-same-old-thing and believe the lies or whatever but they always managed to sidestep those traps or rather - those clichés.


Even though Leah had some serious issues when it came to Alistair and his tendency to take over and control everything she is also able to see that he has changed and that he really tries.
Reading about Alistair and his daughter, oh, wow, that was so sweet, he is amazing! Who wouldn't fall for a unic...uh, a man like that?
Dealing with Barkley though, okay, he was sometimes a bit too much of a villain but it was okay and it made me furious and kept the tension high (and my adrenalin as well).


A sweet and captivating book about second chances, real love, trust and friendship - and also about the family that really counts, those people that you can rely on and that are always there for you no matter whether you are related by blood or not.


★★★

Freitag, 21. Juli 2017

Bereit für eine Blogtour? #EinunmöglicherMord




Erinnert Ihr Euch an die Stableford-Krimis von Rob Reef?

Der dritte Band ist da!

Ihr wollt mehr darüber wissen? 

Montag  startet die Blogtour bei nef von den Buchjunkies und am Freitag erfahrt Ihr bei mir etwas über das Buch - und über Golf. 

Oh - und Augen auf, es gibt etwas zu gewinnen! Auf jedem Blog findet Ihr eine Gewinnspielfrage, je öfter Ihr teilnehmt, desto besser sind Eure Chancen! 

Viel Glück!





A Marquess for Convenience (Matchmaking for Wallflowers #5) by Bianca Blythe







 A Marquess for Convenience by Bianca Blythe


Blurb:

Unlike most bluestockings, Lady Madeline Mulbourne is quite content for the ton to dismiss her as a widowed baroness and renowned hostess of society parties. No need for anyone to know that her flighty manner disguises an encyclopedic knowledge of art, a bone-deep distrust of men, and a dangerous secret.

Lord Arthur Carmichael, Marquess of Bancroft, has carefully cultivated a wild reputation. What could be a more perfect cover for the spy missions he undertook for the Crown? Unfortunately now that the war has ended, his reputation could keep him from settling into a cabinet position—unless he takes a wife.

Before Arthur can embark on the dreaded wedding quest, he must complete one last mission: catch a thief who’s stolen four of five priceless pieces of jewelry. If the last one disappears, the fragile peace between France and England could be damaged beyond repair.

Whom should he encounter on the French Riviera but Lady Mulbourne, who never forgave him for vanishing during their long-ago courtship. Arthur suspects her nimble fingers are adept at more than just fluttering a fan, because he knows of one item she’s already stolen: his heart.



I've already read and reread several of Bianca Blythe's books so I was really looking forward to reading this book. The story sounded interesting as well but unfortunately, this book couldn't captivate me the way her other books did. Somehow it seemed a bit rushed and less intense than the other books by her that I've read.

Lady Madeline Mulbourne, our heroine, and our hero, Lord Arthur Carmichael, Marquess of Bancroft, are very likable and interesting characters. They are quite well developed and the writing, on the whole, is also good. I read the book and enjoyed it but I wasn't as deeply enthralled by it as I was by her other books.

When Lord Arthur meets Lady Madeline again after several years, he does not just realize that no matter how much time has passed, some part of his heart is still in love with her but that she might be up to ...something. To be precise - she might be up to something illegal and dangerous and what is more - when worst comes to worst, he knows that he can't let her go. No matter what he feels though, there is still the matter of persuading the lady... 


A good book but I liked her other books better.


★★★



Dienstag, 18. Juli 2017

One Night with a Duke (The Duke Series Book 5) - Sandra Masters




 Not really my cup of tea...

 





Blurb: 


Reclusive, cold as ice, the politically powerful Raven, Duke of Ravensmere, denies love after the tragic deaths of his duchess and baby. He is bound by his vow never to allow love to enter his heart again. Samantha Winston permits him to seek refuge in her carriage in a time of need, and what started as a kiss in the name of safety, becomes something more pleasurable and not so safe after all. In spite of every caution, his interest escalates into unexpected desire.

Samantha, a young widow with a secret, irreverent and high-spirited, has constructed impenetrable walls against all men. When she and Raven meet again, strong wills clash. Political intrigues and a dreaded nemesis place his life at risk, and Samantha finds herself in a dire predicament. All the while, passion soars.

Can Samantha’s barriers fall with more kisses? Can Raven be released from his deathbed vow?



Okay, I really really like historical romances and read a lot of them but this one? Well, let's just say that it left me breathless. Unfortunately not in a positive way. Everything felt a bit rushed, the heroine and the hero had a tendency to overshare and sometimes they overwhelmed me with their torrents of words.

Add a rather pompous and not very likable hero and top it off with some happenings that were just a bit too much like when the worst happens and its description leaves me a bit incredulous. Actually, I ended up looking up how much blood a human's body contains and if those things happening might be even remotely possible. I might be a nit-picker but when I found the doctor looking for internal wounds in improbable places and such, well, let's just say that I couldn't concentrate on the story anymore because those discrepancies were just too irritating.


I really wanted to feel with Raven and Samantha but as I couldn't even like him most of the time, it was very hard and unfortunately, I wasn't very successful.


 



The Sheikh's Surprise Triplets (Azhar Sheikhs Book 3) by Leslie North




 Sorry, somehow life got in my way the last days and I couldn't post anything. 
But I'm back now with....








Blurb:

Juliette’s life is work—she’s ruthless, determined, and has built a reputation for helping difficult CEOs achieve their maximum potential. When she’s scouted by the royal Azhar family to assist the head of their tech division, Sheikh Basri Azhar, she’s eager for the challenge. The company is at a critical juncture, and it will be up to Juliette to keep the brash, young CEO on track. Shouldn’t be a problem—until Juliette meets Basri. He’s handsome, charismatic, and much harder to manage than she could have imagined. But Juliette won’t back down. She’s never met a boss she couldn’t tame.

Compared to his two older brothers, Basri has always been his father’s son. He values hard work and ingenuity, but he prefers an unstructured approach. Which is why Basri stays out of the office as much as possible. After all, he does his best thinking alone, outdoors in the Arabian wild. His new assistant Juliette, however, is like a force of nature. She’s beautiful, intelligent, and disciplined…and Basri has to constantly remind himself to keep it professional. But after weeks of Juliette trying to bend him to her will, Basri decides he has other plans.

When Basri invites her along on his next adventure, Juliette has no idea what she’s gotten herself into. But away from the board room and under the stars, Juliette begins to see the real Basri, and she can’t help wanting to see more…



I really enjoyed reading this book. As in her other books, the author's heroines and her heroes as well are far from everything I always associated with Sheikhs and their likes in romance books since a rather disturbing reading experience some years ago. I should probably have read one of her books as my first one of that kind but, well, better late than never, right?

As I've come to expect in her books, Leslie North has got some strong characters for us. Special, strong-minded and definitely very likable characters, that balance each other and complete each other in a very positive way.
I like how open they are about their feelings, no cat and mouse games, no hiding or stupid misunderstandings, Basri and Juliette just acknowledge their feelings and go for it.

Even though I spent my time changing between smiling a bit goofily and blinking away some sentimental tears, there is also a lot of action involved. Oh, real action, not of the sexy steamy kind, at least not only that kind of action. Again I love how the author uses characters' strengths and nobody becomes some kind of super hero, they just use what they got and go from there. Okay, they are pretty badass anyway and they are good looking of course but they don't develop some McGyver-Superman-cross-genes along the way.

The story was captivating and sweet and I definitely will come back with more books by the author, again!


 ★★★★


 

Donnerstag, 13. Juli 2017

Chasing Vivi by A.M.Hargrove










Blurb:

Vivi Renard—a blast from the past—wasn’t supposed to affect me like this.

When I knew her ten years ago she was nothing more to me than a highly functioning brain.
Hell, I paid her to do my homework.

Only now … she’s drop dead gorgeous but had the nerve to turn me down for a date … several times.
No one turns me—Prescott Beckham—down for anything.
I’m on a mission and won’t stop until I’m firmly planted between her thighs, hearing her moan my name.

Her plump red lips have me dreaming filthy things and acting like a kid with his first crush.
If I can’t have her, I don’t want anyone else to either.
What’s worse is I want to own every single bit of her.

Except there’s a slight problem.
Vivi can’t stand me.
Even the old let’s be friends again thing failed.
She tossed it back saying we were never friends to begin with.

But I’m the king at playing ruthless games.
So she’d better be ready to drop her thong, because Vivi is going to end up in my bed sooner … or later.
And I’m pretty damn sure it’s going to be sooner.


If you loved A Special Obsession by A.M.Hargrove as much as I did,  you will be very pleased to hear that Chasing Vivi is as amazing as A Special Obsession and - this is where the story continues but don't worry, both books can also be read as stand-alones. In Chasing Vivi we do not just see Prescott fall, hard, for a woman but we do also meet West and Special again. Chasing Vivi is simply amazing, I really loved reading this book and couldn't put it down.

Everything that I loved in A Special Obsession and in For the Love of English, is in here as well. Interesting and very likable characters, an action-packed story with twists and turns and a very sweet couple that makes you smile goofily and that will also make you feel with them and feel for them, every step of their way to each other.

Another wonderful book by an amazing author whose books I can wholeheartedly recommend! Up to now, I haven't found one that I didn't like just those that went straight on my re-read-list.

★★★★
 
 
 
 

Dienstag, 11. Juli 2017

Jilted (Love Hurts #2) by Sawyer Bennett







                                                  Jilted by Sawyer Bennett

Blurb:

Eden Goodnight went to Los Angeles to make it big, not to be publicly humiliated by her cheating fiancé at a red-carpet premiere. But when Eden returns to her hometown to put the scandal behind her, she can barely find a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. Turns out the locals are worse than the paparazzi, and they all think she’s turned into a spoiled brat. But in a strange twist of fate, the one person who seems to understand what Eden’s going through is Cooper Mayfield . . . the boy she left behind.



Small-town charm is no match for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. At least that’s what Coop’s been telling himself all these years. As Eden’s old flame—and the landscaper for her family’s historic home—Coop feels some responsibility for getting her out of her funk. But as soon as he sees that million-dollar smile, he’s a goner. Soon they’re making out like teenagers again. But when a life-changing role falls into Eden’s lap, Coop just hopes she doesn’t give up on a love that’s meant to be. 



I loved this book and didn't put it down once I had started reading.
When I started reading, I was furious when I read about Eden's cheating fiancé and then, to top it all off, this husband...well. "Spitting mad" might also be a fitting description.

What I really loved about this book though, was the way the characters interacted. Sure, there was a typical misunderstanding resulting in people hating others but once it became clear that it had been a misunderstanding, everything was alright. No maybes about it, just simple acceptance and things were alright.

And I loved that both, the heroine and the hero had moved on. They had been very much in love, still are, obviously but it is a mature love now and it was one even when they were still young and life happened and drew them apart. Somehow this makes you realize even more, how much those two belong together.

Oookay, right, maybe you don't realize that right at the beginning because there might be a time or two when there are some rather interesting decorations on the lawn and the drive but, well, nobody said that love was perfect, right? Some, let's say minor disagreements and such are totally in order when so much time has passed and things happened and - well.

I really enjoyed this story with its wonderful and complex characters. I already read many books by Sawyer Bennett and I must admit that I didn't even read the blurb, I just knew that I wanted to read this book - and I wasn't disappointed.
This is another wonderful story by an amazing author that I can definitely recommend.

★★★★



Some Kind of Hero (Troubleshooters #17) by Suzanne Brockmann









Blurb: 

Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Though he can’t relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though Pete’s lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or to meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes—and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than having a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.

Still, working alongside Pete has its own perils—like letting the heat between them rise out of control. Intimate emotions could mean dangerous, even deadly, consequences for their mission. No matter what, they must be on top of their game, and playing for keeps . . . or else Pete’s daughter may be gone for good.



I must admit that I am very very grateful that obviously, unlike her heroine, Suzanne Brockmann didn't suffer from writer's block when she wrote "Some Kind Of Hero" because this book is simply amazing!
It is not the first book by her that I have read and I really loved the first one as well but after having read "Some Kind Of Hero" I went and downloaded to more books by her straightaway.

The story is great, thrilling and captivating but those characters - wow. I love strong heroines and heroes who know what they want and well, sometimes they may have to work on their communicational skills but sometimes they just leave me sitting there like... okay, let's just say that this is not a book that should be read in public or in a waiting room because, right, because it may be a bit awkward when your name is called and you reply half-choked, misty-eyed, sniffling a bit and...you get the gist, right?
And no, the book is not that sad, it's just that I, well .., some readers might get a bit sentimental and might feel a bit moved by those incredible people and the things happening to them and around them.

I think I kind of fell in love with the hero and the heroine along with them falling for each other. Reading about Peter's feeling when he talks to Shayla and vice versa, wow. You just get the chemistry and I felt myself thinking inane things like "awww..." and "so sweet" when Peter aka Grunge thinks about Shayla's warm-eyes-thing and her sharp mind and when those two have some problems at understanding how much they mean to each other - it almost broke my heart.
And Dingo and Maddie - that was amazing as well. No, it is not a good choice but who can help who he or she falls in love with? Reading about Dingo's feelings, seeing him fight the attraction and the way he cares for Maddie you can't but realize that this is the real thing.
Add Tevin and Frank and all those other minor characters like Hiruko and a bunch of Navy Seals and their friends, an amazing story and - well, you get a book that you just have to read.

As I said, I downloaded two other books today and I know that others will follow and I'm so looking forward to reading them!

★★★★

 

Mittwoch, 5. Juli 2017

Blog Tour: Meet Me at the Lighthouse by Mary Jayne Baker



 Welcome to the tour and ...

"Meet me at the Lighthouse"!








Blurb:
 
'The day I turned 28, I bought a lighthouse and met the love of my life’
Bobbie Hannigan’s life in a cottage by the sea with her dog and her twin sister is perfectly fine … until she decides the logical thing is to buy a lighthouse and open a music venue with Ross Mason, the first boy she ever kissed.
Bobbie tries to be professional with Ross, but the happily-ever-after they’re working toward is too good to resist. That is until someone from his past crawls back to cause trouble. Can Bobbie look past the secrets Ross has been keeping from her? Or will the boy, the lighthouse and the dream all slip away?
Escape to the Yorkshire coast this summer with this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Mary Jayne Baker!


Yup, Bobbie, our heroine, is indeed special or who else do you know who would spontaneously buy a lighthouse?

That's the kind of woman she is - and I must admit that I'd love to get a lighthouse of my own if it comes with a Ross like him! Ross, our hero, didn't come back to his hometown to co-own a lighthouse but, well, when Tequila is involved and a woman like Bobbie, a man might do some stupid things especially when he is falling for said woman.

When Bobbie and Ross try to turn the lighthouse into a unique music venue, they discover that it's not just the lighthouse bringing them together but that those sparks that they felt right from the start are real! With some exes coming up and life getting in the way, will they be able to keep those sparks between them flying? 

This wonderful story made me laugh out loud, I cried, I giggled and I worried. I can't exactly say what makes Meet me at the Lighthouse special but it is different from your regular small town romance. Good different. It is a very warm story set in a cozy little town where everybody knows everybody. Part of its charm are certainly the somewhat down to earth characters. No mincing of words, no distinguished sherry sipping, just ordinary, slightly rough people talking, drinking (too much) Tequila and trying to - well, okay, let's skip Elvis, okay? 
But we shouldn't skip Travis, I mean, how could we? Someone like him is absolutely unforgettable!
Apart from the main characters, there's quite a number of amazing and very loveable characters. The characters are well-developed and feel very much alive and kicking. 

I really enjoyed reading this book and will definitely check out Mary Jayne Baker's first book, The Honey Trap, another romantic comedy set in London.



★★★★



By the way - a sneak peek of *the first chapter* is just a click away!  



Do you want to know what other reviewers 

wrote about the book?

 

The Blog Tour:

Friday 30th: Harper Impulse
Saturday 1: By the Letter Book Reviews
Sunday 2: The Writing Garnet
Monday 3: Mama Life Magazine
Tuesday 4: The Reading Shed
Wednesday 5: 😊
Thursday 6: Jane Hunt
Friday 7: Books and Me
Saturday 8: Love Books Group
Sunday 9: Word Enlightenment