Book Connections, Review

Five Favourite Author Books in 2019

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Favourite authors are authors I’ll always buy their books, or most likely pre-order them so they arrive soon after publishing date. Most of them don’t appear in our shops at all or take a week to get there. I did win Under Currents which was very nice. I love a win, who doesn’t! However Nora won’t lose out because I’ll buy the audiobook for my sister as she is a fan too.

Book Cover Nalini Singh is one of my favourite authors from recent years – like the last decade! Her Psy/Changeling paranormal series is the one of hers I enjoy the most. Wolf Dance takes us back to San Francisco and the wolves den, plus the emergence of a new kind of E Psy. I loved the warmth and wit, the catch up with past characters, and the dual between darkness and goodness. Plus two new main characters who were such fun and of course had good sparks flying between them. Memory is one gutsy heroine and I loved her nose to nose encounters with Alexei the wolf changeling. Five stars from me of course. Ouch I want the June 2020 book now. Thinking I might go back and start rereading this series via audio.

book coverThere is no doubt about it – Nora Roberts knows how to write great romantic suspense. There are times of intensity and times of a wonderful family, friendships blossoming and gardens getting big time makeovers. I loved how both Darby and Zane overcome the awful things life has dealt them. Darby’s ninja skills especially were something to admire for sure. Zod the dog – what a darling. Britt – Zanes’s sister, another strong woman. So much to love and cheer for, so much to be sad about. Five stars from this reader.

book coverOne sister disappears, the other – Ryan, is called upon to take care of two girls – seven and five, who seem shell shocked and withdrawn. Add in one parent who is working out on a submarine and rarely heard of. The grandparents have their own stress with Ryan’s dad having had a heart operation. The sister who has disappeared seems to be key to the whole family situation.  A mystery that slowly unravels and a family that eventually realigns itself. Very engaging read.

book coverAh, Kristan Higgins can sure write a book! Such a mix of characters, some strong – some weak. What a great mother Emma is, Riley such a delightful teen. And yes to Tess! I think she is a rampaging 2/3 year old. What havoc she caused, would love to see her as a teen and young woman! For another character – what is it like to carry a secret that scars for life? We see what it is to be a great Dad, and a terrible Dad. Great story, full of emotion, sadness and joy, some humour – the trademark of KH. And by mistake I ordered two of these books – just too overly keen!

book cover I enjoyed this latest novel of Wendy Wax. I liked the author angle, showing the tough world of publishing and having to produce. And then there is  the angst of falling out with your best friend. That happens!  Mother / daughter relationships also feature. They too have a wonderful relationship but what about if there is a secret lurking in there? All the main characters are flawed, in a very realistic, relatable way. There is struggle, and  forgiveness is not easily extended. And I loved the photo at the front of the book of Wendy Wax’s aunt in a stunning wedding dress. I can see how a story needed to be written!

#IMWAYR

Its’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Hello August.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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For some reason the last week seems to have been rather long to me, not that it was boring, just that it had a lot of days in it! Lovely sunshine today, but cold, which I love and would welcome colder. Much of the country has snow but the cold only lightly graced our coastal area.

I had a good reading week, totally loved three of these books and one was just okay. But happily it was a library book.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

Just starting another book by Carmel Harrington – Irish author. Thanks to Trish at Between the Lines who introduced this author to me.

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I am still listening to the Rosamunde Pilcher book The Shell Seekers and will likely be most of the month as its long.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

The Huntress. Kate Quinn

July Reading Round Up

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Review

Stars of Fortune. Nora Roberts

Stars of Fortune
Nora Roberts
Published: Piatkus
Date: November3rd  2015
Format: Paperback ARC
Pages: 304
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy
Source: thanks to Hachette NZ
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Sasha Riggs is a reclusive artist, haunted by dreams and nightmares that she turns into extraordinary paintings. Her visions lead her to the Greek island of Corfu, where five others have been lured to seek the fire star. Sasha recognizes them, because she has drawn them: a magician, an archaeologist, a wanderer, a fighter, a loner. All on a quest. All with secrets.

Sasha is the one who holds them together—the seer. And in the magician, Bran Killian, she sees a man of immense power and compassion. As Sasha struggles with her rare ability, Bran is there to support her, challenge her, and believe in her.

But Sasha and Bran are just two of the six. And they all must all work together as a team to find the fire star in a cradle of land beneath the sea. Over their every attempt at trust, unity, and love, a dark threat looms. And it seeks to corrupt everything that stands in its way of possessing the stars…

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So is there anything new for Nora Roberts to write in terms of her magical/paranormal trilogies? I didn’t think so, therefore I began Stars of Fortune with a little trepidation. However it wasn’t too long before I found myself swept away into the story that begins the Guardians Trilogy.
I love the cover of the book, the setting is Corfu in Greece. Picture the blues and whites and Mediterranean sea, the olive groves. Perfect setting, loved it.
There are six characters, all on a quest to find the three stars before the evil god witch Nerezza does. Sasha is an artist and seer. In the beginning she is a bit of a recluse, not fully trusting of her gift. Physically weaker than the others. She arrives in Greece and then slowly they all begin to link up until there is a team. Yes Sasha and Bran are the main couple in this book, but they all must work as a team, and trust each other. And that trust is not readily given. Sasha though is determined to see unity and speaks her mind forcefully on the matter at times.
Bran is a magician, with a place in New York and Ireland. He is a magician on many levels. Then there are Riley – the archaeologist, and Annika – a gentle beautiful mystery, who are the other two women. As a reader we aren’t let into their secrets straight away, although a few clues are strewn along the way. The other men – Sawyer a wanderer and Doyle a fighter do not release their secrets early – and nor did I find any clues along the way as to exactly what they are. Let’s just say – freakin’ awesome.
The six must work together on a quest and find the stars. As well they must deal with whatever Nerezza the god witch throws at them. Be it black and evil, be it sneaky and cruel. She is the dark and they the light. She has minions who do her bidding and aid her in her evil quest for power and destruction.
I am looking forward to the next two in this trilogy very much. Sasha and Bran made a delightful couple, but how Nora Roberts is going to match up the others – each with some very strange gifts, I am just not sure how that is going to be achieved. Maybe magic – anything can happen of course in the realm of fantasy!

4.5 stars
Review

Dark Witch: The Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy #1 Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts Dark Witch book cover

Dark Witch
Nora Roberts
Published: Brilliance Audio 2013
Format: Audiobook
Length: 10hrs 40 min
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Source: Own book
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With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations – and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives. When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself – and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope – and love – alive.…

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Dark Witch the first in the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy has sat in my library for a couple of years.  I was put off my the bad reviews that the narrator was given.  It goes to show I should sometimes be cautious about narrator reviews, because on the whole they were unfounded from my point of view. Too dramatic some said, another bad narrator said others and again over narrated!  Give me a break! She was totally adequate for this book and in fact really narrated the dramatic parts very well.  She certainly did not detract from my enjoyment of this book.  She added to it in fact. While I do have the second one on audio, there is a different narrator, but in any case I have this in paperback as well and I read faster than I listen!
The story is a pretty typical Nora Robert’s trilogy that involves three cousins and their partners. There is the battle between good and evil, it’s set in the west of Ireland near a beautiful castle.  Each of the three Iona, Connor and Branna have their own gifts and animals that work with them.  Iona is given a beautiful horse – she has the gift with horses and can sense what they want, where they hurt etc. Branna has a hound and Connor a hawk.
This story is about Iona learning her craft, meeting her relations and fighting against the dark Cabhan. The story opened back in the seventeenth century and gives the history of Cabhan and the O’Dwyer cousins ancestors and how their story links to the present.
A very enjoyable and easy listen.
4 stars