In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Reviews & Opinions


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    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex review [Book]  2018-5-16 18:0

    I'm not here to necessarily review the book - as several people have already expressed what a amazing story this is - but rather I'm here to say thank you to Nathaniel Philbrick and all other non-fiction writers who have taken the time to research awesome true life happenings and put that info into a gripping, factual acc that somehow still reads like a novel. I'm a high school history teacher who loves all kinds of history, but was never really interested in the whaling culture found on Nantucket Island, per se. But after having read an article about the book in my Smithsonian Magazine, I was instantly gripped. I had no idea that Moby @#$% was based on a true event. When I was in high school, my dad challenged me to read Moby Dick. I think he actually said he would give me $100 to [email protected]#$%! - and even with the money reward - I couldn't do it. I was so bored. But, at 17 years old, I had not yet found my favorite genre: historical non-fiction. Now as an adult, and obviously because I teach the subject, I have become a voracious reader of non-fiction books, and having just consumed this one, I can tell you it was well-written and paced beautifully. In between the story of the Essex were lots of small tidbit type facts about the whaling industry in general as well as other very popular and not-so-famous stove ships and evidences of survival induced cannibalism. Very interesting book. I'll be looking for another Philbrick book to read right after I post this review.

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    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex review [Book]  2018-5-16 18:0

    I knew the outlines of the story of the Essex from reading Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America. What was most interesting to me was the story of how the squad dealt with the event, their tenacity, ability to endure enormous suffering, and willingness to follow leaders, even leaders with very various skill sets. Lots of revealing detail about the community of Nantucket, the construction of the ships, how the squads were assembled of novice and veteran whalers, the sheer enormity of the task of finding, killing, rendering whales and sailing these relatively small, relatively fragile ships thousands of miles into unknown waters. These were courageous, if not desperate, men.

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    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex review [Book]  2018-5-16 18:0

    Most readers now probably know that the destruction of the whaling ship Essex by a very huge whale was a source for Herman Melville's amazing novel "Moby @#$%". Without invidious comparison, it might be said that Mr. Philbrick picks up where Melville left off. He offers a fascinating and very true acc -- and aftermath-- of the dramatic and dumbfounding happening that actually happens at the end of Moby Dick as a masterwork of American literature. Philbrick draws from the accounts of Essex survivors and the realities of the whaling industry and its wooden ship world. It's a tough world, and Philbrick brings its info and people alive, which they once were, in a straightforward work of reportage as to what happened not only to a ship but to its people suddenly stranded in the middle of an ocean.If you've read Melville-- either recently or some time ago, as I-- you owe it to yourself to know something more of his source and to search out "how it all ends". If you read Philbrick first you may learn all you wish and forego jumping into Melville's turbulent sea, with itsundercurrents of Biblical doubt, human and animal vengeance and much else. But you're more likely to sign onto Melville's fateful voyage better prepared for what might be in shop for you along with Ishmael and Quee Queg in Cap'n Ahab's crew. "Heart of the Sea" is fast-moving and thorough, its narrative of true happenings as strange and dramatic as anything a novelist could imagine -- or create use of.

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    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex review [Book]  2018-5-16 18:0

    I myself am a merchant seaman, and chose this book out of a list of potentials for my time at sea. I'm extremely glad I did. This book is very real to life, and will give readers with no knowledge of the maritime professions, as well as readers who have spent a life at sea nearly equal depth into every aspect that this book builds its self upon. The book starts by immersing you in the era of whale fishing, and the lifestyle of those living in, and sailing out of Nantucket on a private level. Then it builds up characters individually, making you feel like you've actually met them. Next it builds up very graphic depictions of sailing, the hunt, and processing a whale. When tragedy strikes, the descriptions manage to obtain even more in depth. As a reader, although I did not feel that I would have created the same decisions as the different characters, I felt I could sympathize with them, and understand why they chose the method they did.I'm not an avid reader, but this book was well worth the read. It really allows the imagination to take over to create the reader feel as though they are right there in the same boat, and part of the same crew.

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    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex review [Book]  2018-5-16 18:0

    Almost from the very beginning, the author spins together letters, partially-written accounts and log book entries-- along with his own research-- into a tale that is difficult to place down. Descriptions of shipwrecked sailors' dehydration and starvation are not for the faint of heart; furthermore, it was difficult not to squirm when attention turned to the grisly matter of 'harvesting' human flesh and doling it out amongst survivors. But a single detail refrains: in almost all accounts listed, sailors and shipmen appeared surprised and indignant when their quarry began to war back. More than a few were bitter about these retaliations, ruminating upon them as they drifted helplessly in stranded whale-boats. But given the violent and extremely bloody methods used to dispatch a whale during that time period (first harpooning them, then rowing alongside to cut at tender tendons near the tail if they failed to succumb right away), the reason should be obvious: whales are extremely smart mammals with complex relationships and the same right to protect their pods and youngsters as any other creature. This tale is filled with horrific suffering, endured by both whales and shipmen alike.

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    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex review [Book]  2018-5-16 18:0

    It is a compelling, well-researched real story, but an emotionally grueling read as one follows the long ordeal of the few survivors of the whaling ship Essex, shipwrecked far out in the Pacific, as they attempt to reach the South American coast. It was tremendously ironic to learn that had they chanced a landing on the mostly unknown “Society Islands,” which were a week’s sail away, they could have recuperated on the now-famous island paradise of Tahiti. Fears of cannibals created the squad overrule their captain’s plan to go there, and instead they became the cannibals themselves. Truly horrible. Captain Ahab is not a easy portrait of any of the men on the Essex, but news of the disaster inspired young Herman Melville to start work on the greatest novel of his career–to a lot of the greatest in American literature--Moby @#$% (Oxford World's Classics). Philbrick’s acc of the whaling industry is unsparing and brutal, and it created me admire all the more the method Melville could convey the same facts but transform them into high literary art. If Ahab resembles any of the crew, it may be Owen Chase, the First Friend (played by Chris Hemsworth in the latest movie adaptation). Philbrick also wrote Why Read Moby-Dick?

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    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex review [Book]  2018-5-16 18:0

    This is based on a something that really happened. it is not discusses the structure of the society on Nantucket island. The men were gone for 3 years at a time. The women in the colony had to manage things. It also give a amazing description of what it was like to be in the squad of a whaling ship. Finally, it describes the struggle to survive in 3 whaleboats after the whale ship Essex e author Herman Melville used the accounts of the voyage of the Essex to write his fictional novel Moby @#$%.

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    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex review [Book]  2018-5-16 18:0

    Does this book grab my attention? Yes. Is it non-fiction? Yes. Does that support its readability? Absolutely. Reading more like a survival log than a history book, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick is an award- winning adventure tale set in the 1819-1820 South Pacific whaling season. Mr. Philbrick begins his tale in the whale oil-soaked ports of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts; the self-described 'Whaling Capital of the World". Mr. Philbrick is a leading authority on Nantucket and its history, so his analysis is robust and penetrating. Mr. Philbrick structures the book around two eyewitness/survival narratives penned by Thomas Nickerson: a young seaman and Owen Chase: the celebrated first-mate. Mr. Philbrick uses his perfect resources to analyze and disseminate crucial info about the lives of the sailors, the science behind whaling, and the survival it took to cross the South Pacific. Mr. Philbrick frequently references the classic, American novel Moby @#$% by Herman Melville throughout the book. Furthermore, Mr. Philbrick cites the 1819 acc of an 85-foot albino sperm whale ramming a whaling ship as the inspiration for Melville's legendary yarn. It is my suggestion that, if possible, interested parties should read Moby Dick in conjunction with In the Heart of the Sea. It makes for a more comprehensive understanding of both texts.

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    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex review [Book]  2018-5-16 18:0

    In the Heart of the Sea and its companion The Whale Ship Essex, for younger readers, are fine books about whaling, Nantucket, survival at sea, but more importantly a case study in leadership and outcomes. Depending on your scene in life and interest in maritime history this is a compelling read from a well regarded e reader is taken for a descriptive ride through Fresh England Whaling industry of the early 1800's, then the infamous and devilish journey from which not all return. The author takes you into what it takes to survive, why men did not, the leadership differences that increased the possibility of survival, and the key decision that allowed a little group within the squad to all ilbrick then info some of the leadership lessons and failures of the Captain and First Friend in future voyages. The leadership lessons, industry history, and hero development are all well done and thoroughly and enjoyably explored. Sufficient detail of the voyage, the industry past, and present-day Nantucket are supplemented by a few choice photographs for you to come away with a reasonable understanding of the Nantucket whaling industry and the consequences of indecision.If you have a late summer read left in a shore community this one should be on your list.

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    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex review [Book]  2018-5-16 18:0

    With his book, ''In the Heart of the Sea,'' Nathaniel Philbrick has delivered a riveting historical thriller. In November 1820, the 240-ton Nantucket whaling ship Essex is sunk when an enraged 80-ton sperm whale repeatedly rams the hull. For the 20-man crew, the sinking of their ship was just the beginning. They are left adrift in the vast Pacific Ocean with but three little whaleboats and small food. Philbrick's story, however, is as much about Nantucket as about survival at sea. Philbrick is an uncommonly talented historian with a flair for storytelling. Meticulously researched and wonderfully readable, ''In the Heart of the Sea'' is a masterpiece of maritime history.

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    Heart of a SEAL (Hearts of Valor) review [Book]  2018-4-14 18:0

    Nothing warms my heart more than a story of redemption! Throw in romance and suspense and you have one of my favorite combinations. I've been a fan of this author for a long time and am glad to see she has a fresh series out! Don't miss this amazing story!

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    Heart of a SEAL (Hearts of Valor) review [Book]  2018-4-14 18:0

    The title of this book drew me to it, and since it was by an author I was not familiar with, I decided to give it a try.I am so glad I did!!Former Navy SEAL Luke Harding and single Mom, Sally , met a few weeks before deployment. Neither foreseeing the horror Luke would endure as a POW in Afghanistan. When he returns to a hospital in the USA almost dead, he refuses to see Sally. Devastated, she left thinking she would never see ey meet again when Luke goes to check on her , and ends up rescuing her from a date gone wrong. Along the way, danger follows them .These two have lots of baggage. Luke due to the results of his imprisonment and Sally because she has secrets .It was an engaging story with powerful , complex characters. A plot filled with suspense , poor guys as well as honorable Navy SEALS . At times heartbreaking, but also addition to a story that holds your attention from page one, it was also a reminder that we need to honor and thank the courageous men and women who are willing to sacrifice their lives to hold us safe, not only abroad but also at home. For that , kudos to the author.I foresee future story for the other former Navy SEALs that were part of the plot.I was gifted this copy by Netgalley. The opinions expressed are solely my own.

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    Heart of a SEAL (Hearts of Valor) review [Book]  2018-4-14 18:0

    This is a voluntary review of an advanced , this is an action packed book starting with Luke being held hostage when some of his seal squad was taken prisoner until the very end after numerous attempts on their lives. It is always fun for me to read a romance with some action and intrigue thrown in to the lly was such a fun hero and amazing mother. I think she kind of had to quickly obtain over her damage from Luke's rejection when they started running for their lives. Otherwise, I would have liked it if she created him suffer a bit for what he pulled.With danger from several various fronts and a strangely obsessive Marshal, you don't know who is behind the attacks on their lives until the very end and it is not who you expected! Nice twist!I was kind of annoyed with Luke deciding what that he was doing the best for Sally so I loved that she called him on that and said that she didn't wish a relationship like that and it was amazing when he actually saw things from her perspective and how much he had damage her by his eat HEA!

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    Heart of a SEAL (Hearts of Valor) review [Book]  2018-4-14 18:0

    Eh, this book started out well enough, with Luke overseas and then coming home and not wanting to see Sally, which we obtain in backstory and how he comes to see her finally when he feels like he's ready. The man went through hell. A image of Sally and her daughter were the only things that kept Luke going during his days as a POW. When Luke comes back to see Sally that's when the story kind of dipped for me and continued sliding down that slow slippery slide from there. The plot was overdone, there wasn't enough chemistry between Sally and Luke. I felt the relationship between her daughter and Luke was better than Luke and Sally. Sally has a secret, or two. Too much... the dialogue was nil,they hashed over the same things all the time. It got old. It is enough to say this book just wasn't for me.I love a amazing SEAL story, this one just wasn't for me.**arc from NetGalley and Publisher for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own**

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    Heart of a SEAL (Hearts of Valor) review [Book]  2018-4-14 18:0

    "Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review"3.5 stars.A story with a wounded character and a heroine who’s on the run with her daughter.While I enjoyed the concept of this book, I found its execution a small simplistic at times. The idea of the fiercely loyal and devoted character (to the heroine and her daughter) is captivating, even if repetitive and a bit sugary, and I liked the characters and the romance, but the sometimes careless couple attitude towards the persecution lacked common sense and was at odds with the characters (a former SEAL, a mother).I found the suspense part weaker than the romance, yet the wording and descriptions about sex sometimes felt a bit sappy or weird.

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    Heart of a SEAL (Hearts of Valor) review [Book]  2018-4-14 18:0

    Obtain ready to obtain lost in this SEAL filled, page turning, action-packed, plot twisting, suspenseful, romantic adventure that you will have fun from beginning to end!Dixie Lee Brown has done it again! I couldn't place it down once I started reading it!

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    Heart of a SEAL (Hearts of Valor) review [Book]  2018-4-14 18:0

    My first Brown book and I will be back for more. At first I thought I missed something because we begin off with our character returning from six months in a terrorist prison. He had a short relationship with Sally before he left and wants to rekindle it. The action starts quite quickly and doesn't stop, she has a past and it's troubling her current situation. Her daughter is very mature for nine and will often steal the stage from them. This series has amazing things to come. I received my copy through Netgalley.

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    Death by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery) review [Book]  2018-5-2 18:0

    A definite winner. Interesting, eccentric characters with a rich backstory that I look forward to learning more as well as see how they develop. The murder had a plethora of possible suspects with a satisfying conclusion.

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    Death by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery) review [Book]  2018-5-2 18:0

    I love cozy mysteries and was excited to see one set in my own backyard. But this one was a near snooze for me. The constant cheesy one liners about the 60's era TV shows that the main character's ex-actress aunt appeared in got to be a total bore after the ninth or tenth mention. And the aunt's "connection" to several celebrities and popular events created me wonder if this was the female ver of Forrest Gump. Not to mention that the "death by the sea" did not happen until nearly 100 pages into the story. But the clinker for me was that, since I do live in the zone of the setting, some of the author's descriptions of said zone are method off. I obtain trying to contain a small local flavor into the story but for goodness sakes, please create it actual local flavor. And I do realize that readers who are not familiar with the zone would not know the difference, but it created the story less enjoyable for me. I kept reading because I had paid for the book and didn't wish to waste my cash and I do admit that the story did obtain better after the murder took put but it just never really had me hooked.

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    Death by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery) review [Book]  2018-5-2 18:0

    I enjoyed the first book of this series. The main hero and supporting characters are great. Can't wait for the next one

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    Death by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery) review [Book]  2018-5-2 18:0

    Death by the Sea by Kathleen Bridge is the first book in the cozy A By the Sea Mystery series. The main hero Liz Holt has returned home to attractive Melbourne Beach, Florida and her family run Indialantic by the Sea z has been satisfied jumping back in at the hotel and helping her Aunt Amelia who was an actress at one point and still has her quirks. Liz even likes her aunt’s feisty parrot, Barnacle Bob. But as the hotel takes on a wealthy couple the wife does everything to try the nerves of Liz and her ever, as much as they debated on asking their guests to leave and take their demands with them they never wished to search the lady murdered. Now the list of suspects is growing by the min so Liz decides to do her own small bit of anyone that knows me knows I love a amazing small cozy mystery with their quirkiness and eccentric characters. Death by the Sea had the quirky edge that I have fun and even added in Barnacle Bob the parrot who was a laugh a min however when finished with this one I debated between a two and three star rating as unfortunately I didn’t fall in love with this opener in the series. After much debate I’m giving this one three stars and what saved it was the setting, Melbourne is somewhere I’ve vacationed quite a few times and enjoyed the virtual trip back there and then there was the few info here and there that I’m normally a fan.What stopped me loving this one was it was just so darn wordy throughout. There are dozens of characters involved and as each joins I felt like an information dump was going on. And then the mystery didn’t even obtain going until beautiful late in the book and by then I was getting more than impatient waiting. Even with the information dump feeling to a lot of things though there was a backstory with the main hero that kept being brought into the story that almost felt as if I had missed something somewhere like this was a spin off or continuation. I’m all for hero development and plenty of suspects but this one just seemed to go a small too far in some locations and not enough in others to where the story just dragged too much for me so I’m not sure I would continue onward in the series.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

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    Death by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery) review [Book]  2018-5-2 18:0

    Death by the Sea by Kathleen Bridge is the first novel in A By the Sea Mystery series. Elizabeth “Liz” Holt has returned home to Melbourne Beach, Florida to The Indialantic by the Sea Hotel and Emporium which is owned by Amelia Eden Holt, her aunt. Aunt Amelia is an eccentric former actress who helped raise Liz along with Liz’s father, Fenton Holt. Liz is living in the beach house. She helps out in the hotel and is working on her next novel (well—she is supposed to be). Their recent guest is Regina Harrington-Worth and her husband David who will be staying with them while their historic home is being demolished and a modern monstrosity is built in its place. Regina considers The Indialantic beneath her, but it is the only hotel with a vacancy that will let pets. After a successful Spring Fling event, they explore that Regina was found dead in her suite, her husband was stabbed, and some very expensive jewels have gone missing. Liz immediately dives in to search who committed the dastardly deed. Who disliked Regina enough to slay her (that is one long suspect list)? Join Liz at The Indialantic as she examines the clues and questions the suspects to catch the ath by the Sea is a slow starter. The murder does not happen until the forty-four percent mark. The beginning of the book is an introduction to the Liz, the hotel, the employees, Liz’s family, the guests, and the shops and their owners. The author overwhelms readers with the amount of info she is dishing out. Kathleen Bridge is a wordy writer. It creates a rich environment, but it also makes a slow-moving story. I do like the attractive hotel and emporium that Ms. Bridge made in Death by the Sea. I did feel that the story jumps around making it disjointed. Liz has returned home after a disastrous relationship that ended in Liz being physically injured. Since Liz and her paramour are public figures, the whole debacle was fodder for the media. There are numerous quirky characters with the largest one being Aunt Amelia. A famous actress during the 1960s who has passed her love of 60s sitcoms and films along to Liz. The different shows and films from that time-period are mentioned throughout the book (Dark Shadows, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan’s Island for example). I enjoyed the comments regarding the famous teen girl mystery novels which included Nancy Drew, Connie Blair, and Dana Girls (which I collect). There was an abundance of repetition (it is a common malady in books that I have read recently) along with a cliché nasty detective. The pace picks up slightly in the second half of the book as the investigation gets under way. I think the author tried to place too much into one book. The hotel, the numerous quirky characters, the special shops, Liz’s nemesis, Liz and her issues, a love interest, Regina’s father and how he died, the treasure of the San Carlos, Spring Fling, Fenton Holt and his practice, the obnoxious bird with the foul mouth, the hairless cat, and Liz and her writing difficulties are just a few of the stuff in the book. The murder of Regina was not as complicated as it seemed, and it can be solved before the reveal. At the end of the book, readers are still left wondering how Liz was injured. We are told about her injuries, but not how they happened. There are also some contradictions (one example is the hotel is not doing well, but an employee has a huge suite and some people seem to live there for free). My rating for Death by the Sea is 3 out of 5 stars. I am hoping the author will scale back in A Killing by the Sea.*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book. The comment and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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    Death by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery) review [Book]  2018-5-2 18:0

    Any cozy mystery that references Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and also contains a treasure is a champion in my book - and Death by the Sea, Kathleen Bridge's debut entry in her fresh By the Sea Mystery series has them all! Bestselling author Liz Holt returns home to the Indialantic by the Sea hotel in attractive Melbourne Beach, Florida, looking for a change in lifestyle after scandal upset her life in Manhattan. She's reconnecting with family - her father Fenton, her amazing aunt Amelia (what a hoot - I would love to have her in my family!), her best mate Kate - and a host of other friends, when one of the guests at the Indialantic by the Sea is found murdered and robbed of her fabulous jewelry. Liz and her squad of Detectiveteers decide to investigate as any amazing sleuth would, and set about to explore the murderer (who surprised this reader!!!). A very nicely written cozy and the beginning of what promises to be a fun fresh series. A+ to Death by the Sea!

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    Death by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery) review [Book]  2018-5-2 18:0

    Death By the Sea is a first in a fresh series by Kathleen Bridge.I'm fresh to this author, but I've found another mystery that I thoroughly z Holt has returned to Indialantic, back to her home and her family and z left Fresh York Town under a cloud of shame and humility, bearing the scars of a tragic breakup, both inside and z is powerful and determined to create a new begin and the cast of colourful characters that the author has made are just the thing to support Liz e book started out a bit slow, but about half method through, things picked up and I was soon drawn to the mystery and the story behind it.I really enjoyed Aunt Amelia, she is a kind hearted person who loves to take care of everyone. She is quite the pip and I had loads of fun laughing alone with her is fresh series will appeal to all cozy mystery fans so be sure to pre order your copy now.I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.

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    Death by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery) review [Book]  2018-5-2 18:0

    I am a huge fan of Kathleen Bridge’s Hamptons Home & Garden series, so I was very eager to read the first book in her fresh By the Sea Mystery series. Death by the Sea takes us to the beach community of Melbourne, Florida, and introduces Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Holt who has returned home after a decade in Fresh York that ended in a tabloid scandal. Kathleen Bridge continued with a delightful writing style engaging my interest by bringing to life the oceanfront community, hotel environment, and a plethora of entertaining characters, but the descriptions and introductions seem to be the main focus for an extended amount of time, more than I personally prefer in my cozy mysteries. Where’s the murder? Karma definitely had a few amazing targets to choose from, but you’ll need to wait patiently for the crime to occur. Ok, the synopsis on the book websites gives you a clue to the victim, but it takes awhile to manifest.I did really have fun the informative references to treasure hunting, chicory coffee, the area’s history, and 60s tv programs and commercials with which I grew up, and while waiting for the crime and the subsequent investigation to obtain going, Kathleen Bridge did make a rich set of characters and an engaging subplot dealing with Liz Holt’s scars, emotional and physical. The rich characters which contain her father, her quirky aunt, friends, BFFs, and a possible romantic interest provide a bit of humor…don't forget a very odd cat Venus and an obnoxious parrot Barnacle Bob. But despite waiting for the crime/investigation, I enjoyed this first book and am eager for the next book, A Killing by the Sea. The ongoing store business, unique hotel events, Liz’s writing career, and a blooming romance are intriguing enough to create me a fan!It is always exciting to see a cozy with my two favorite words. No, not Murderous Fun, although that's always a amazing to see. No,…Recipes Included! It's even more exciting when the recipes aren't random, but create for a complete food or are actually connected to the theme or characters in the story. Kathleen Bridge has included four marvelous recipes excellent beginning to end. From Pops’ Deli-casies By the Sea we begin with Pops’ Kalamata Hummus, next have fun an entree of Baked Grouper Bites with Banana Salsa and a side of Coconut Rice, then have fun from Chef Pierre’s Kitchen his Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies. Yum!Disclosure: I received an ARC, but my insights and comments are voluntary and honest.

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    Death by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery) review [Book]  2018-5-2 18:0

    Death by the Sea is the first book in Kathleen Bridge’s By the Sea Mystery series. The author provides attractive descriptions and lots of history about the family-run inn and the surrounding area. The characters are well developed. As is often real in the first book in a series, the mystery doesn’t begin until close to the middle of the book, but then the well-plotted mystery moved at a fast pace, with lots of twists and turns. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment in this z Holt, an award-winning author, returns to Melbourne Beach, Florida from Manhattan, where she’s lived for the past ten years, after being involved in a scandal with her writer boyfriend. She’s staying at her childhood home, an old style Florida hotel, Indialantic by the Sea Hotel, which is owned by her eighty-year-old paternal great-aunt, Amelia Eden Holt, a former tv hero actress. After her mother passed away when she was five years old, she moved there with her dad, Fenton, who is an attorney. Amelia has a foul mouthed but adorable thirty-year-old macaw named Barnacle Bob. Liz’s great-aunt and dad surprised her with the beach house so she would have a put to continue her writing, but she’s using her role helping at the Indialantic and being her dad’s assistant as an excuse not to write. A huge portion of the hotel is now home to a collection of quirky characters and their pets. Liz is organizing the First annual Indialantic Spring Fling by the Sea at the emporium they recently opened and dealing with Regina Harrington-Worth, their fresh celebrity guest, who is overbearing and making everyone miserable. Regina and her husband are staying in the Oceana Suite and when a robbery occurs, she’s strangled and her husband is stabbed. Fenton’s friend, Agent Charlotte Pearson, is in charge of the case, but Liz is determined to search out if it was a burglary gone wrong or an intentional act and Liz’s childhood friend, Kate Fields, and several residents obtain involved in finding out what happened so their lives can return to normal. Sparks fly between Liz and Ryan Stone, who’s taken a leave from the Fresh York Town Fire Department to support his grandfather, Pops, at the Deci-casies by the Sea while Pops’ fresh knee heals.I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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    Death by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery) review [Book]  2018-5-2 18:0

    This is the first installment in the By the Sea Series set in the Indianatlantic Inn set on a barrier island off the coast of Melbourne, Florida. I really enjoyed Ghostal Living in the author's prior series and I was eager to test this one. I was also attracted to the cover, description and the attractive setting of Melbourne Beach/Sebastian Inlet, Florida. Liz Holt, a successful author in her own right, has quietly returned to live with her father and great-aunt Amelia and her squawky parrot, Barnacle Bob, after a traumatic break-up with a Pulitzer Prize winning author has left her with a scarred face. Liz is trying to write another book but continues to have flashbacks of the poor night. While trying to restore the Inn to its former grandeur, Aunt Amelia regales the reader with all of her history and knowledge of shows from the 1960's and 70's like Bewitched, Gilligan's Island, I Dream of Jeannie, to name a few. There are so a lot of more, which diverted from the mystery and just seemed like overkill. Wealthy socialite and guest Regina Harrington-Worth and her husband David are the only current guests. To the consternation of the historical society, she is trying to tear down a nearby landmark, Castlemara, which she inherited from her father, so she can develop the property for herself. She has managed to anger someone to the point of no return because she is found murdered in her suite and the find for her killer(s) begins.I really, really wanted to like this book more than I did. From the beginning, I was overwhelmed with the number of characters and potential suspects. The murder didn't happen until far too long and by that time, it was hard to stay interested in such a disjointed pace. I was very confused about the actual status of the Inn; at times, it appears that they are on a shoestring budget but then there is the Worth's luxurious suite and the fancy shops. The attempted romance between Liz and visiting Fresh York Town firefighter Ryan Stone seems too contrived. By the end of the book, which I did finish in about 5 or 6 settings, I honestly had no true interest in finding the killer. That being said, it is the beginning of the series, so I will give the next book a read and hope that the characters gel better for me this time.**Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for a complimentary copy of this book. My review is voluntary.

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    Taming the Duke's Heart: Taming a Duke's Heart Books 1-3 (Taming the Heart Series) review [Book]  2018-2-9 18:0

    Love the method the characters and stories are developed. Enjoyable on more than one level, with interwoven plots and stories.

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    Taming the Duke's Heart: Taming a Duke's Heart Books 1-3 (Taming the Heart Series) review [Book]  2018-2-9 18:0

    Three very amazing e first takes put in Boston/New York and concerns Piper Baker and Barrett Maddox, Duke of Manchester. This is a quick paced story and has plenty of action. The second story is set in England and the main characters are Rose, an immature lady and Alexander Cross, a duke who is scarred due to his time in the war. Both have to learn to trust each other. There is a villain that appears on the scene. We also catch with the characters from the first book. The third book has Isabella Maddox’s father preparing to give a lumber contract to the person who she marries and he has gathered several suitors to his home. There follows some amusing banter between the siblings and friends. Unfortunately the suitor who Isla feels down to isn’t interested in marriage. This was a very entertaining story, set near the borders of Scotland. All the stories are enjoyable and have elements of romance and danger. All provide a very amazing read. I was given a copy and have voluntarily and honestly reviewed it. However I have purchased all three books separately.

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    Taming the Duke's Heart: Taming a Duke's Heart Books 1-3 (Taming the Heart Series) review [Book]  2018-2-9 18:0

    A Unbelievable Trilogy from Tammy Andresen on the Taming the Heart Series. Each story can be read as a standalone, but it is always amazing to see old characters from previous books as you progress. I would highly recommend this series or any books by Tammy Andresen!!Book 1 Taming a Duke's Restless HeartAnother heartfelt story by Tammy Andresen that pulls you in from page one. Piper Baker and her mother are on the method to board a ship to take them to America from London. Her mother is ill and desperate to search a husband for Piper so she will not be left alone if something happens to her. Unfortunately they are set upon by brigands before they create it to the ship, but luckily, they are saved by Barrett Maddox, Duke of Manchester. He takes them into his care and delivers them to their relatives in America, where he also has his shipping business. Barrett makes a promise to Piper's mother to take care of Piper and watch over her because she is so ill. What was he thinking? He is immediately mesmerized by Piper and only wants her for himself, but due to his title must marry a suitable partner already chosen by his parents. Thus begins the story of a Duke, who wars his feelings but does not have much success, and a girl who has a hard time looking for a husband when her feelings are otherwise engaged. There is humor, mystery and a small of everything in this story and I absolutely loved it!Book 2 Taming a Duke's Wild RoseLady Rose Wentworth was to marry a Duke her father had chosen for her. But Rose was in love, as she often seems to be, with a dashing character who declared his love for her most fervently. Forbidden by her father to choose a husband that she was satisfied with, Rose was determined to do as her father bid. Alex Cross, Lord Wentworth, know as the Scarred Duke due to scars on his face due to battle, wants to see Rose's reaction to his scars before he commits to her father. So he visits her home posing as a mate to her father to see if their match will work. Both of them quickly feel attraction to each other but Rose is having a hard time letting go of her past attractions and worries that she may not be wife material. Her current beau will not take no for an respond when Rose tries to break it off with him and he begins to create trouble. This story is a amazing lesson in that people are not always what they seem and it is necessary to look below the surface. Tammy Andersen writes a tale full of suspense, powerful emotions and love finally winning 3 Taming a Laird's Wild LadyBook three in the Taming the Heart Series. After reading the first two I could not wait for this story. Isla Maddox is a free spirit or tries to be in everything she does. She is more of a tomboy than a debutante but her father is insisting she marry to support bring much required cash to the coffers. The focus is on Scottish Lord, Gavin Campbell who really does not wish to marry again after his first wife's financial ruination to his clan. But what can you do when you meet a a woman who endangers those walls that have been built up and has such a unbelievable spirit for life? This is truly a unbelievable story that will fully engage your emotions and you will fall in love with Isla and Gavin. Action, adventure and real love transport the reader to quickly turn the pages until the story ends. You will not be disappointed!I read this book as an advanced reader copy and a voluntary review.

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    Taming the Duke's Heart: Taming a Duke's Heart Books 1-3 (Taming the Heart Series) review [Book]  2018-2-9 18:0

    I was given an advanced copy of this release by the author, in exchange for my honest review!This is a charming collection of the first 3 books in Tammy Andresen'@#$%! series "Taming the Heart"! You obtain to meet the original characters that created the series great, and some fresh ones as well. It's also chocked full of gift material, including a sneak peek of "Taming the Defiant Duke" coming in 2018! Overall it's a amazing collection for any historical romance fan!Taming a Duke's Reckless HeartPiper Baker is in a very desperate situation. Her mother is gravely ill, while Piper has no fortune... what is a single girl to do? The only thing she and her mother can think to do is to marry her off to some rich man. They plan to travel to Boston in find of a husband, but before Piper can board the ship she is accosted by a rather unsavory character. It's here that bachelor Barrett Maddox saves her from a fate worse than death and takes her under his wing.With countless bachelors vying for Piper's attention, it is only Mr. Maddox who has captured her heart... ironically he's the one man she can never have.Taming a Duke's Wild RoseHolding out for a hero!Lady Rose Wentworth has been treated like a kid ever since the death of her mother. She's been looking for someone to take her away from under her overprotective father's wing. As a effect of her infatuation with "heroes", Rose's judgement has been clouded before. But now she believes that she's finally found a man who will fullfill all her fantasies. Carl ere's just one little problem, Rose has been betrothed to a Duke she's never met. It's rumored that he's a veteran of the battles in india and bears disfiguring scars to prove it. Lord Wentworth is convinced that this is the best man for his daughter, to hold her from gold diggers masquerading as suitors.Overall, a unbelievable quick paced book that kept me on the edge of my seat!Taming a Laird's Wild LadyIsabelle Maddox is a rare gem of a lady. She isn't your typical English rose, but instead she is a spirited soul.. She rides horses, picks winning stallions and can easily defend herself. Now it is time for her to marry and settle down, but Isabelle (Isla) wants nothing to do with her would-be suitors... she knows that the majority of them are only after the lumber contract that her father has offered as part of her dowery. Isla feels as though she's out for vin Campbell is a man in trouble. His people are starving and he will do anything to save them. He travels far because he has heard that a lumber contract is up for grabs, it's a god-send! That is until it is revealed to him that the contract is a conditional matter of marrying Isla. Gavin, having been married once before, wants nothing to do with this plan. But as he spends time with the attractive heiress, will he change his mind?Having read the first two books of the series, I was extremely excited to read Isla's story. This is by far my favorite of the series thus far! "A love for the ages!"

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    Taming the Duke's Heart: Taming a Duke's Heart Books 1-3 (Taming the Heart Series) review [Book]  2018-2-9 18:0

    Taming a Duke’s Reckless Heartby Tammy AndresenPiper Baker’s situation is desperate her mother is ill not knowing how long she has before she’s gone. Piper needs to create a match to ease her mother’s e latest thing she needs is a very unattainable man to support her create the right match, when all she could think of is Barrett rett Maddox isn’t looking for a wife he loves his bachelor lifestyle so why is it that every eligible candidate for the attractive Piper has him wanting to physically wanting to hurt each and every one?This is such an emotionally romantic story, I loved the magnetism between Piper and Barrett. Lots of intrigue and interesting characters you have to read this story it will hold you hooked from the start!I received a complimentary copy from the author for my honest unbiased opinionEngland 1854She wanted to be saved by a hero!Lady Rose Evelyn Wentworth the only daughter to the Earl of Essex has a duty to her father, she has to create an advantageous match befitting her station.Ever since her mother's death she's been looking for the only thing missing in her life....unconditional love and the choice to create it for her e seems to fall in and out of love with men in uniform and it drives her father angry . Mr. Carl Lundberg is the recent uniform she fancies herself in love with. Not that her father doesn't love her but he knows his Rose and has chosen the man for her- the Duke of Wellington - a man powerful enough in hero to hold Rose in exander Cross the Duke of Wellington is a man scarred and disfigured, a man with secrets, his scars run deeper than the visible ones. Betrayed and deceived by the woman he loved and scorned by the ton he shields his heart versus love. He feels the attraction to Rose but is hesitant to allow her obtain close . Versus all his defences his fallen for the small minx and can't see a life without her. He fears that she could destroy him if she doesn't return his feelings.When her life is endangered he knows he would do anything in his power to hold her safe even if that means to walk away from her!One man scorned the other scared , who will be the one to victory her heart?Can Alex and Rose survive a angry mans quest for revenge?As the story unfolds one is definitely drawn to the action and heart warming romance between a Beauty wanting to be more than a beautiful face and a man they called the Beast with enough honour to place the woman of his heart before all as the ultimate sacrifice in love!Received a copy from the author all thoughts and views are my own and have in no method been influenced by the la -Elizabeth Maddox- is as wild as the Scottish land she's been known to ride at brake neck speeds, she can out shoot any man, she's not a simpering London miss prone to fainting spells. No man is willing to be bested by a willful woman. To secure the family business her father has plans to sweeten the deal by offering Isla's hand in marriage. To Isla that means the end of her hoyden vin Campbell is laird to the Campbell clan, he needs this business deal , his guild is facing financial ruin. Living in London away from his guild and his deceased wife's extravagant lifestyle has nearly ruined him, what he needs is the lumber deal not another wife, but why can't he hold away from the attractive Isla and the thought of another man claiming her is enough for him to see red!This was such an enjoyable story, everything about it was perfect. Gavin was such a broody hero always suspicious of Isla, expecting her personality to become that of a London socialite, wanting balls and frivolous gowns. Isla had no issues speaking her mind all she wanted was to be herself riding her beloved horse ,who had time for primping and flirting. Without knowing Gavin falls under her spell and he can't picture life without her, and when her life is threatened will he step up and claim her as his own? Wonderfully written lots of action, a villain with a kidnapping plot and a character saving his damsel in distress! Tammy Andresen really has the reader hooked in the story until the latest page is ceived an ARC from the author for my honest review, all opinions are voluntary and my own.

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    Taming the Duke's Heart: Taming a Duke's Heart Books 1-3 (Taming the Heart Series) review [Book]  2018-2-9 18:0

    A unbelievable collection of the first 3 books in the Taming the Heart series. You will also obtain a glimpse into the next generation in the gift material which is a story releasing in the Fall of 2018.I have read all these books as singles. Can't go wrong with any of themTaming a Duke's Reckless Heart (book 1)I was hooked from page one. Felt the passion, the chemistry, wanted them together. I loved the Duke, especially when he ignores all social rules. He was a total goner over Piper, super protective, and such a scowler and growler. Piper was so worried over finances and her sick mother, but she was also a fun character. She’s strong, loyal, and never backed down from the Duke. As with any amazing romance there’s some drama which added to the intrigue. Solid plot, well-developed characters that are fun and interesting. The secondary characters were a mixture of wonderful. Totally enjoyable read. (originally reviewed 10/4/17)Taming a Duke’s Wild Rose (book 2)Taming a Duke’s Wild Rose tells of a romance from the mid 1800’s. Both main characters grow throughout the storyline. I felt the heartbreak they suffered with their trust problems – the hero, a recluse who is suffering emotionally from physical scars and doubting anyone could love him and the heroine who has fallen for dishonorable men in the past and fears she has chosen the wrong man again. Well-written and intriguing with developed characters. Powerful characters create a amazing story and this one has them including the damsel in distress who doesn’t back down when faced with danger (she can pick locks after all!). Thoroughly enjoyed it. Has drama, action, humor, and amazing chemistry between the characters. Another champion from Tammy Andresen. (originally reviewed 11/1/16)Taming a Lairds Wild Lady (book 3)Different female hero for this era which I enjoyed. Elizabeth is strong, wild, amazing at a lot of things, knows the land, is a tomboy, and most of all, not dependent on a man. Gavin is the ideal match for her. The take turns protecting and saving each other. Another plus was how the Maddox siblings helped each other, loved each other, and looked out for one another. A quick, enjoyable read that had a bit of everything: romance, action, a villain, and chemistry. I was hooked until the latest page. A amazing addition to the Taming of the Heart series. (originally reviewed 1/17/17)

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    Taming the Duke's Heart: Taming a Duke's Heart Books 1-3 (Taming the Heart Series) review [Book]  2018-2-9 18:0

    I loved all 3 books - In the first Piper, a single female basically without cash or title needs to marry as the only respond to her problems. Duke, Barrett Maddox, rescues Piper from a group of thieves. Piper has other interested men but she fall for the only one she cannot have, Barrett Maddox. He agrees to support her search a husband in Fresh York Town society but can he resist the auburn haired lady? Book 2 finds Rose falling in love (which she does easily) with Carl, a soldier & trying to do as her father wants by accepting an arranged marriage to a Duke, Alex Cross. Carl, the soldier only wanted her land & cash & Alex, the Duke (scarred from the war) pretended to be a mate of her father's to test & victory Rose's love for him with his scars & not for cash & title. Will the amazing Duke victory Rose over Carl's attempts? The final Book 3 is based around Isla, who dislikes the Ton & all their rules & much prefers the adventures of riding astride her horse & other pursuits geared toward the men of her time. The character is a Scottish Laird, Gavin Campbell who's wife is deceased & during the marriage she spent so much cash he found himself near financial ruin. This was my favorite book of the three - will Isla & Gavin obtain past her hoyden ways & his revulsion towards marriage? Highly recommend the series - the characters are witty & romantic - the stories are full of suspense, romance & fun!

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    Taming the Duke's Heart: Taming a Duke's Heart Books 1-3 (Taming the Heart Series) review [Book]  2018-2-9 18:0

    A collection of the first three books from Tammy Anderson's Taming SeriesBook 1: Taming a Duke's Reckless HeartPiper Baker is in need of a husband. Her father died and left small cash for her and her beloved mother to live on. Her find for a husband takes her to Fresh York to stay with a titled cousin from England also looking a husband. On the method to meet the ship problem finds them and they are rescued by Barrett Maddox an English Duke and shipping magnet. He offers to take them to Fresh York on his ship. During the trip Piper finds out her mother is suffering from consumption. Barrett is drawn to her unlike anyone before. So, starts Barrett's taming. He wars his feelings yet rubs off all suitors. Then Piper's safety is threatened and he realizes he cannot live without s. Anderson spins a unbelievable tale. Piper is powerful and doesn't wilt at Barrett's initial refusals to bend to his feelings instead she storms head first into the marriage mart knowing her mother's health depends on it. This is such a new read from heroines who sabotage their own happiness with rash reactions. Barrett is the ultimate alpha male. Taking control whenever and however he sees fit. He is not so domineering that he is hard to like. His actions toward Piper and her mother are always kind and 2: Taming a Duke's Wild RoseLady Rose Evelyn Wentworth is a young woman searching for love wherever she can. She has a father who loves her blindly. As the only kid to the Earl of Essex she has it all. He gives her everything but the one thing she wants, her freedom to choose her future. Rose falls in love with the slightest present of any kindness to her and each suitor is bought off by her father with money. Her recent suitor, Carl, rejects her father’s offer making her wonder. Her father, however, has betrothed her to a duke causing Rose to question her duty to her heart or her exander Cross is a mate of her fathers who steps in at this time and turns her head showing her kindness and what a true character is. Carl begins to present his real nature to Rose causing her to question more and more what is real. An incident causes Alex to reveal that he is the duke her father betrothed her to but that he wants her to choose him not because he is a duke but for who he is. Alex was scared during a flight in the battle and a lot of women search him hard to look at now. an incident has caused him not to trust women and the feelings they tell se and Alex must wade through a lot of trust and growing up problems along their method to real love. Rose is a fun heroine in that she isn't a shrinking wallflower. She has taught herself quiet an unlady like skill which comes in handy in helping herself out of a ong their journey we obtain to meet up with Piper and Barrett Maddox from Taming a Duke's Reckless heart and obtain a glimpse at where their life is at 3: Taming a Laird's Wild LadyElizabeth Maddox, Isla to her mates and family is being paraded in front of several set of suitors. The suitor would victory a contract to supply lumber to her family's ship building business. Isla feel like she is being auctioned off. Isla is a free spirt, more at home riding her horse at a full gallop across the fields than strapped into a corset in the ballrooms of London. Gavin Campbell has come to test to victory the contract but not for a wife. His first wife was more interested in spending cash than being a wife and partner to him. Gavin thinks Isla will be just like her and wars his attraction to her. He quickly begins to see that she is not like other woman and starts to war to victory her over.I won't give away everything but Gavin and Isla must war to be together and overcome an obstacle that threatens Isla's safety.Tammy Andersen has made wonderfully rich characters that you route for throughout the is collection is a unbelievable set for everyone. Each story can be read as a stand-alone but has characters that cross over.

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    Taming the Duke's Heart: Taming a Duke's Heart Books 1-3 (Taming the Heart Series) review [Book]  2018-2-9 18:0

    Taming a Duke's Reckless HeartPenniless, fatherless and a mother with ill-health Piper Baker has no option but to marry and marry well. Not one of her admirers capture her affections, until she met Barrett Maddox, Duke of Manchester. Barrett is equally smitten but could not offer her marriage as he's betrothed to another. He agreed to hold Piper's unwanted suitors at bay. But they can't hold their hands off each other.Taming a Duke's Wild RoseLady Rose Wentworth has a fickle heart, she also has been dreaming of a character who sweeps her off her feet. She was certain that Carl Lundberg is this protect her daughter, Lord Wentworth, the Earl of Essex, arranges a match with the Duke of Wellington believed to be wealthy, scarred and a recluse. But Rose, saw beyond the se is in limbo. She's attracted to both men.Taming a Laird's Wild LadyMiss Isabelle Maddox, or Isla to her family and friends, never profess to be a lady. She prefers horses to ballgowns. But her father would like to secure her future and the family's fortune, he planned on marrying her off to a Scottish vin Campbell is versus re-entering the marriage institution. His deceased wife caused him grief, he's fairly close to a financial ruin. But the willful Isla is the exact opposite of his first wife and they both can't ignore the fact that they need each other in more ways than om Fresh York to Scotland, these are the first three stories in the series. The characters are interesting. Good, lovely reads.I received a complimentary copy. This is my honest review.

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    Taming the Duke's Heart: Taming a Duke's Heart Books 1-3 (Taming the Heart Series) review [Book]  2018-2-9 18:0

    These three books are some of my absolutely favorite historical romance books, but I have to say that I think Piper and Barrett's story is my favorite. Such a attractive story about a woman in need of a husband and a man who thinks he can't have her, but can't seem to stay away from her at the same time. He goes versus societal norms and basically does what he wants. If anything, these three stories present that falling in love is no simple task, especially with this family. The men are hard headed and yet honorable protectors while the women are powerful willed and capable. Each story is unique, but those characteristics tend to stick around through the books and I like that. The men are definitely swoon-worthy!

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    Family Stone Box Set: Stone Cold Heart, Carved in Stone, Heart of Stone, Still the One, and Jar of Hearts (Family Stone Romantic Suspense) review [Book]  2017-10-27 18:0

    The Stone Family is enjoyable. Could have been fleshed out more. That being said I would still recommend reading the series.

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    Family Stone Box Set: Stone Cold Heart, Carved in Stone, Heart of Stone, Still the One, and Jar of Hearts (Family Stone Romantic Suspense) review [Book]  2017-10-27 18:0

    Looking forward to more time with the family Stone. Amazing set of reads.

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    Family Stone Box Set: Stone Cold Heart, Carved in Stone, Heart of Stone, Still the One, and Jar of Hearts (Family Stone Romantic Suspense) review [Book]  2017-10-27 18:0

    Amazing reading

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    Family Stone Box Set: Stone Cold Heart, Carved in Stone, Heart of Stone, Still the One, and Jar of Hearts (Family Stone Romantic Suspense) review [Book]  2017-10-27 18:0

    I liked this entire box. I bought it after I tried the first novel, which is free on amazon. All the stories are exciting, but not really action packed. It's more of a mystery/romance novel style, even though it comes with lot's of male and female unique forces members. Each story tell's the story of a various sibling or employee in the Stone family (business). All of them have their weaknesses and strengths and all of them fall in love hard. The overal story line is also engaging, unveiling more and more of the plot in each story, without using annoying cliff hangers.

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    Family Stone Box Set: Stone Cold Heart, Carved in Stone, Heart of Stone, Still the One, and Jar of Hearts (Family Stone Romantic Suspense) review [Book]  2017-10-27 18:0

    Firs time reading Lisa. Enjoyed the unity of the family and how each member was able to search their soulmate while in the midst of difficult situations. Her hot, explosive sex scenes had me fanning myself more than once! Definitely looking forward to reading John's story and other books by Lisa.

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    Family Stone Box Set: Stone Cold Heart, Carved in Stone, Heart of Stone, Still the One, and Jar of Hearts (Family Stone Romantic Suspense) review [Book]  2017-10-27 18:0

    This boxed set gives you all the novellas with complete stories. [email protected]#$% females, hot males, charity, mysteries and a family coming together. I highly recommend this series and would have given it more stars if possible!

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    Family Stone Box Set: Stone Cold Heart, Carved in Stone, Heart of Stone, Still the One, and Jar of Hearts (Family Stone Romantic Suspense) review [Book]  2017-10-27 18:0

    I did have fun the stories of the Stone family and their adventures. I didn't like the method each story chop off so suddenly at the end. It seems like once the couple decided they would be a couple, the story was over. Favorite character...Connor. Least favorite character....Diane.

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    Family Stone Box Set: Stone Cold Heart, Carved in Stone, Heart of Stone, Still the One, and Jar of Hearts (Family Stone Romantic Suspense) review [Book]  2017-10-27 18:0

    This box set is good. Each family member has an interesting story. However, the ending left something to be desired as far as resolutions for each of the characters. I look forward to the next book to see if there is a conclusion for this group of characters...

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    Family Stone Box Set: Stone Cold Heart, Carved in Stone, Heart of Stone, Still the One, and Jar of Hearts (Family Stone Romantic Suspense) review [Book]  2017-10-27 18:0

    Loved Jack, Connor, Riley, Jess, Keisha & Shane! Each book was filled hotness and adventure! This was my first time to read her books and look forward to reading more.

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    Family Stone Box Set: Stone Cold Heart, Carved in Stone, Heart of Stone, Still the One, and Jar of Hearts (Family Stone Romantic Suspense) review [Book]  2017-10-27 18:0

    The story was terrific. I love the twist and turns & the unexpected events. However, I hope the author is still at work finishing the unfinished story lines in each one of the Family Stone books.

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    Here Is My Heart review [Movie]  2017-10-13 21:52

    A fun movie from a large (24 film) boxed set of Bing Crosby's films that I grudgingly go to because of how crappy he supposedly was as a human being. A bizarre plot in which Crosby has to pretend he is a waiter in order to be able to purchase a rare pistol from a Russian princess--who has more than a ruse of her own to show. Enjoyable fluff.

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    What the Heart Wants (Heart Series Book 1) review [Book]  2017-10-14 22:24

    Horses, dressage, mystique and romance makes a amazing combination with interesting characters that draw you in. A worthwhile read IMO

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    What the Heart Wants (Heart Series Book 1) review [Book]  2017-10-14 22:24

    Ms Myles is a amazing writer offering a method to be right in the story with the characters. I was riding a horse, I was feeling the emotions she is so overwhelmed with. I like books with animals and kids incorporated into the story. Amazing read

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    What the Heart Wants (Heart Series Book 1) review [Book]  2017-10-14 22:24

    this was one of the best written books I have read in a while. All the characters were well written, personable and believable. The plot was amazing and I couldn't place it down until I finished it. Obviously I really enjoyed it. This is an author to follow!

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    What the Heart Wants (Heart Series Book 1) review [Book]  2017-10-14 22:24

    I love the method the author gets me to care about her characters and how she tells a story. A small romance, a small mystery, a small super sensory connection....a really amazing read!

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    What the Heart Wants (Heart Series Book 1) review [Book]  2017-10-14 22:24

    This was a 5 star read for me because of the back drop of the horse life.. If your not into horses it should still be a 4 star read... Amazing writing and story... Adding the horse life in the background and doing it well created it even better.. We (horse addicts) need more writers who can combine our passion/life of horses with a amazing story !!!! Will be looking forward to more from this author...

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    What the Heart Wants (Heart Series Book 1) review [Book]  2017-10-14 22:24

    Lovely romance book. Very light on the sex part. Very sensual making the reader panting for more, but the author only touches the surface and the reader is left panting. At one point I said "WHAT!" However the story is so amazing that you won't mind.I thought it was very well written with amazing characters abound. I also loved the story because I am a "believer".

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    What the Heart Wants (Heart Series Book 1) review [Book]  2017-10-14 22:24

    First time I've read this author but it won't be the last.

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    What the Heart Wants (Heart Series Book 1) review [Book]  2017-10-14 22:24

    Amazing story! Couldn't place it down. Can't wait to read more in this series.

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    What the Heart Wants (Heart Series Book 1) review [Book]  2017-10-14 22:24

    Loved it

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    What the Heart Wants (Heart Series Book 1) review [Book]  2017-10-14 22:24

    There are elements to this story which I really enjoyed, particularly the relationship Elle has with her mates and the animals. And there is an added twist to Elle which I'm not going to go into here, but which adds an additional twist to what would otherwise be a fairly straightforward contemporary ever, the relationship between Elle and Nicholas is very much "he loves me, he loves me not". This relationship is on and off more times than a light switch in a light switch testing factory. And it became a small n't obtain me wrong, this is not badly written. I just wasn't convinced by their love story.I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book.

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    Heart of Eden (Colorado Hearts Book 1) review [Book]  2018-2-5 18:0

    Caroline Fyffe books and series are awesome and this first book “Heart Of Eden” in the Colorado Hearts Series is starting out so exciting and heartfelt. Heart of Eden introduces the Brinkman Sisters, a wide dozens of personalities, strengths and beauty. They possibility a trip to their first home to hear the reading of their fathers’ Will. Here they also meet Blake Harding, Foreman of the Five Sisters Ranch. They each have a wide dozens of personalities, strengths, determination, loyalty, love, anger and fears. They have some much to think above it, to decide, to achieve, are they up to all the challenges of living up to their fathers’ Will? I love the ups and downs, the surprises and all the characters in the series. I highly recommend that you read this first Book in this series. Caroline doesn’t disappoint with her writing. I didn’t wish to place this first book down and can not wait for Book 2 and all the others.

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    Heart of Eden (Colorado Hearts Book 1) review [Book]  2018-2-5 18:0

    I always have fun reading Caroline Fyffe's books, and this one did not disappoint me. Her cast of characters are sure to be even more developed in the future books in this series. Though some were stock characters like Lesley and the Crowdaires, the sisters, particularly Belle, was especially well developed as she became more and more a part of the ranch. The plot line included a few surprises which kept the reader looking for more clues. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.

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    Heart of Eden (Colorado Hearts Book 1) review [Book]  2018-2-5 18:0

    I love the books of Caroline Fyffe. This book was no exception. I found it fun to read. I come from a family of five sisters. We have been each other's best friends.

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    Heart of Eden (Colorado Hearts Book 1) review [Book]  2018-2-5 18:0

    What a amazing story and can't for the next one. Love Carolyn Fyffe's books and imagination. I highly recommend this to anyone that likes this time period. Great.

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    Heart of Eden (Colorado Hearts Book 1) review [Book]  2018-2-5 18:0

    This book is wonderful. I love all of Carolyn Fyffe's books and each one is my favorite. Hope you have fun as much as I did. Could not lay it down.

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    Heart of Eden (Colorado Hearts Book 1) review [Book]  2018-2-5 18:0

    The story drew me in and kept my interest through its a lot of twists and layers. I look forward to the other books in this series.

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    Heart of Eden (Colorado Hearts Book 1) review [Book]  2018-2-5 18:0

    I love everyone of the sisters and their own personalities. Also the Elizabeth story line was very interesting. I would recommend this book to every western romance reader out there. You won’t be disappointed.!

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    Heart of Eden (Colorado Hearts Book 1) review [Book]  2018-2-5 18:0

    The characters are wonderful! Scoundrels, powerful women and of course heroes all mixed in a manner that makes it hard to place the book down. I’m sad I finished it already. Can’t wait for the next one. Well done Ms. Fyffe!

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    Heart of Eden (Colorado Hearts Book 1) review [Book]  2018-2-5 18:0

    A goog book

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    Heart of Eden (Colorado Hearts Book 1) review [Book]  2018-2-5 18:0

    I never tire of going back in time with this author’s 1800 stories. This time we travel to Eden, Colorado and meet the Brinkman sisters. Their mother took them away from the Five Sisters Ranch and their father when they were very small. Now they are grown, and their father has died. In order to inherit his huge cattle ranch and his other holdings in town, the 5 sisters must live on the ranch for at least six months. When they return to Eden they become reacquainted with Blake Harding, their father’s right had man, whom he always treated like a son. As they test to adapt to a put that is foreign to them they have to decide if they wish to stay; however, there is evil people who wish them gone.I love the beginning of a fresh series, as it is so intriguing to learn the fresh characters, the town, and the beauty of a fresh setting. It is so exciting to obtain to know each hero and their personalities and what they bring to the story. As you read you can envision the shops, roads and the people of Colorado, you can feel the heat as well as the cold, see the mountains, rivers and even the windmills on the ranch as the author’s descriptions are so vivid. As the author lays down a fresh plot, the reader can feel with excitement the other stories that will come out of the first one. I fell in love with Blake right away as his hero was open, honest and he didn’t “beat around the bush” with what was on his mind. He was strong, loyal and very protective of those he cared about. He was definitely a man’s man. All the sisters had my attention as it was fun getting to know each one and how they would grow from this experience. Heart of Eden was such a amazing story. The plot was really interesting, getting you turning pages to see what was going to happen next. Along with the romance and friendships there are some poor guys thrown in to create things a small a scary for the sisters! I thoroughly enjoyed Heart of Eden and look forward to the others in this series. Another hit for Mrs. Fyffe.

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    Sheltered Hearts (A Hidden Hearts Novel Book 2) review [Book]  2018-4-9 18:1

    I have been a fan of this author from her very first book on. I love reading books that are in a series so I can pick up where I left off. This book kept me interested right away which normaly it takes a amazing three chapters but not with this one. This story starts with a dog being found by Jessica horribly abused and she gets the support the dog needs and ends up meeting Mitch who works with dogs. He has the nerve to think she was the one who did those injuries to this not good dog. Read on and have fun how this dog brings people together and helps out so a lot of people.

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    Sheltered Hearts (A Hidden Hearts Novel Book 2) review [Book]  2018-4-9 18:1

    This is definitely a 'feel good' read.I don't normally read books in this genre but the fact that it was about the rescue and rehabilitation of dogs either abandoned or mistreated, got me teary. Jessica is a fiery spirit that affects everyone she comes into contact with, while Mitch is still dealing with the death of one of his best friends/secret love of the things I liked about this book was that it was a easy story without a messy love triangle. It shows the gradual progression of a relationship rather than the accelerated versions that some authors have in their r readers that like continuing characters, it does look like they re-appear through this series.I was gifted a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

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    Sheltered Hearts (A Hidden Hearts Novel Book 2) review [Book]  2018-4-9 18:1

    So glad I started this series. Anything dog similar and I'm a sucker. But really Mary has a method of making a real family story come to life and give it so much raw emotions and depth. Not wanting to give anything away because I wish you to have fun it for yourself. I really don't think you can go wrong. Nice to see an author like Mary has the touch to create you believe in a amazing wholesome story

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    Sheltered Hearts (A Hidden Hearts Novel Book 2) review [Book]  2018-4-9 18:1

    I was given this book in exchange for an honest review and I have to say I really enjoyed the book. It has alternating people as the main characters which is nice to hear the side of each person in a relationship. I found myself tearing up several times while reading the book and the ending was a truly satisfied ending, not what I was expecting but I liked that it ended the method it did. I would read more by this author for sure. I don't typically read love stories, more paranormal books but I enjoyed it because it wasn't your typical romance. Most have a lot of sex and this one was focused on the story of two people falling in love. Sometimes that is better. I would recommend to anyone that likes the more old fashion look at love and relationships rather than how things move too quickly these days.

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    Sheltered Hearts (A Hidden Hearts Novel Book 2) review [Book]  2018-4-9 18:1

    This book definitely tugs at the heart through its depiction of firm friends, family types and best of all rescue dogs, their trainers and handlers and what life is like for them, it opened my eyes and heart to a whole fresh world.

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    Sheltered Hearts (A Hidden Hearts Novel Book 2) review [Book]  2018-4-9 18:1

    Tear jerker in spots, keeping me wanting more. Loving these characters and can’t wait to see how much further they develop.

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    Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 review [Book]  2018-3-4 18:0

    Having thoroughly enjoyed Ian Toll's history of the founding of the U.S. Navy in Six Frigates, I was looking forward to his history of its glory days in the Pacific during WWII. I was not disappointed. Pacific Crucible is a fine acc of the crucial six months between Pearl Harbor and e happenings and much of the material Toll uses to describe them will be familiar to students of the period. What makes Toll's book such a pleasurable read is the quality of his narrative style and his superb judgment in deciding which stuff to contain and how to arrange them. His perceptive prologue and his portraits of the key players are quite amazing as well. The prologue in particular offers a worthwhile explanation of how quickly Japan caught up with the western globe and then was fatally tempted to subdue addition, I found Toll's description of the War of the Coral Sea new and comprehensive. This necessary war is often relegated to a passing mention as the prelude to Midway, but Toll corrects that oversight. His recounting of the role intelligence played in the ultimate conquer of the Japanese also goes well beyond that provided in other books on the subject. Among other things, I had not considered the value of Halsey's raids in the early months of 1942 to the cryptologists - the resulting increase in Japanese radio traffic helped to identify locations, ships, and even ere are a few glitches. The International Date Line is not northeast of Oahu, and the term "shuttle bombing" is misused. I also tired of the numerous references to pilots as "flyboys." After several odd references to "fuel tankers," Toll labels these ships with the more familiar term "fleet oilers." These are very minor complaints, however, and should not deter anyone from acquiring this highly recommended book.

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    Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 review [Book]  2018-3-4 18:0

    I started reading this after finishing Atkinson's "The Guns at Latest Light: The Battle in Western Europe, 1944-1945" . I wanted to balance my reading on the European Theater of WWII with the ll is a amazing writer. His style is related to Atkinson's in that in contains additional info that add perspective. For example, a description of the Japanese planes flying so low over Honolulu, that the Americans on the ground saw the pilots faces covered by "their cats eye flying goggles".Toll does a fairly amazing job at keeping the narrative level at 10,000 feet. Modern battle involves men, machines, doctrine, politics and strategy. Toll's story dips into all of these, but never too deeply. Politics and some doctrine are mainly through the focus of President Roosevelt and the Hirohito (the Japanese emperor). Mahan's contribution to the footings of the combatants doctrine and tactic is emphasized. The compare and contrast between American and Japanese warfighting was instructive. I would have appreciated a deep dive into the strengths and weaknesses of the American Navy's pre-war organization. There seemed to be more of an emphasis on the Japanese weaknesses . The thumbnail description of the Japanese A6M Zero was particularly amazing for aircraft technology. Naval vessels and evolving marine technology obtain less attention. Tactic comes later with the rise of Halsey, Spruance, and Nimitz vs. Yamamoto and Nugamo.If I search fault with this book, it's that it does not cover the submarine campaign at all. There are a few scant references to submarine reconnaissance. There are also a few oblique references to the notorious 'Torpedo Problem' that plagued the fleet at the beginning of the war. However, compared to the carrier actions, there is nothing on the beginning of the submarine actions versus the Japanese by boats based out of Australia and Hawaii. In addition, Japanese submarine campaign has never been documented well, at least not in English language publications. Its not documented here is book was very readable. It's a amazing beginner to intermediate introduction to the beginning of the naval battle in the Pacific. This book is part of a trilogy. This is the first book. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series "The Conquering Tide: Battle in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944". The third book in the series is supposed to be published in ers of this book might search reading books like Toland's "The Rising Sun: The Decline & Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-45" likewise interesting. Although, that book is dryer than this one. "Silent Victory: The U.S. Submarine Battle Versus Japan" may be helpful in making up for lack of coverage of the submarine campaign.

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    Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 review [Book]  2018-3-4 18:0

    Pacific Crucible, the Battle at Sea 1941-1942 is the first volume of a three-book series by Ian W. Toll. This review covers Pacific Crucible and The Conquering Tide, the second volume in the series. I have not read the third volume, The Fleet at Flood Tide.Ian W. Toll is a gifted writer. He manages to plug in interesting details, gluing the reader to the page. While most of these tidbits are not of immense importance, they are exactly what makes reading history fascinating. Mr. Toll moves a story along at speed, avoiding wording and phrasing leading to boredom. Pacific Crucible and The Conquering Tide are appealing as fact based books and as compelling cific Crucible begins at Pearl Harbor and explains Japanese decision making behind the raid. The author points out how the attack impacted the Japanese command structure, a detail often omitted in other histories. Ian Toll carefully points out that the main targets of Yamamoto’s attack were the American aircraft carriers, none of which were in port. He also describes the main Japanese offensive moves into Southeast Asia, which secured the oil and other military necessities for Japan. All this is done in a quick moving style that leaves the reader anticipating the next e author is even handed in his evaluation of the leaders on both sides. Yamamoto’s attack plan was good, but far from perfect. The American military leaders General Short and Admiral Kimmel were unjustly charged with dereliction of duty in the defense of Pearl Harbor, even though they certainly created mistakes. Admiral King is evaluated well and his faults are disclosed along with his ability to lead the Navy in a tough time. All the leaders Mr. Toll discusses, Japanese and American, are approached with respect as well as an opened eyed e Conquering Tide tells the story of the Pacific Battle after Guadalcanal and info how the Japanese were defeated by American ingenuity, bravery, and industrial power. It is clear that the Japanese were hampered by pre-set conclusions concerning how the battle would be fought and how the Americans would fail in the face of the spiritual superiority of their enemies. The Japanese leadership was stunned by the speed of the American advance across the Pacific, and the power of the Pacific Fleet by the end of 1943. Ian Toll tells us of the a lot of false assumptions created by Japan and the helplessness felt by the population as their leaders became oppressive and outright stupid in their handling of the people during the any author telling any story Ian Toll has his failings. All major wars are covered, most not in deep detail; however, some events, such as the first few voyages of the Wahoo, are reported in extreme detail. In other cases, Mr. Toll fails to adequately discuss stuff that were necessary to the Pacific theater of war. The horrible failure of Admiral King to adopt the convoy system at the outset of war, and its costs, are not well explained and lost to the reader. The story of American torpedo failures is split up and difficult to this old warrior’s opinion, the author is too soft on some of the personalities he reviews. MacArthur is one example. He changed Battle Plan Orange and adopted junk in its place, and his superiors in Washington allowed it. Why? After the outright debacle following Pearl Harbor and the complete destruction of US air power in the Philippines, with consequences at least as poor as Pearl Harbor, he stayed in command. Why? Mr. Toll does complain about MacArthur, but he does not tell us he was incompetent. In fact, he more or less defends MacArthur’s leadership. It is the same with several other leaders. Mr. Toll gives them the benefit of the doubt too often.I enjoyed both books and highly recommend them for anyone interested in Globe Battle II in the Pacific

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    Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 review [Book]  2018-3-4 18:0

    This book is excellent! The book is on all of the history or military reading lists. After the first chapter you can see why. The book will be a classic up there will Samuel Eliot Morison's book on the battle in the Pacific published years ago. The book is incredibly well researched. He writes this in a novel way. It tells the story in an epic way, like a movie. He describes the key players in a method you can search out who they were and thus maybe why they did what they did.He covers the battle in a very detailed way. You will learn info that most history books won't cover because it is to small. One example is how he described the US raid on different islands in the Marshall Islands in January 42, immediately after Pearl Harbor. He will cover things like weather issues, lack of training of pilots, description of firefighting in stricken ships to make a stage right out of a movie. When I was reading about Midway his descriptions created me think of the Charleston Heston 1976 film about e book is beautiful much about the naval carrier battle up through June 42. Things like the Army's plight at Bataan is addressed but not in much detail. The author also doesn't cover the submarine warfare aspect. Overall I think everyone will love this book whether you are the expert or novice on this stuff.

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    Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 review [Book]  2018-3-4 18:0

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pacific Crucible: Battle at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 by Ian W. Toll. It covers the early portion of the Pacific Theater in Globe Battle II through the War of Midway from both the Allied and Japanese points of ll begins Pacific Crucible by looking at how the Japanese came to decide to go to Battle versus the United States and taking a look at the states of the Japanese and US Navies. He also looks into the leadership of both navies, particularly Yamamoto, Nimitz, and King. After examining how the attack on Pearl Harbor came about, he explores the Europe-first tactic and how the battle would be fought in the Pacific. From there, he goes through the early chronology of the Pacific War, showing how it was truly a closely run thing in the beginning but also showing how the United States Navy learned from it to become the force that would come to dominate the Pacific by the end of the of the central themes of the book was the hubris and contempt with which both the Japanese and United States Navies held their enemy and how that changed through the early part of the war. The Japanese never really lost their contempt for the Americans and became infected with "Victory Disease" that clouded their judgement and made flaws in their planning. On the other hand, the Americans learned from each conquer at the hands of the Japanese, becoming a stronger and more effective fighting force in the a lifelong radio enthusiast, I love Toll's emphasis on the United States Navy's communications intelligence operation. He not only describes how they came to obtain inside the Japanese Navy's communications but also shows how the Navy's leadership came to not only trust communications intelligence but place a premium on it in planning and decision making. It's beautiful cool that a group of folks who would today be considered geeks or nerds played a considerable role in not only the US win at Midway, but the Allied win in Globe Battle II as a whole (take into acc Ultra and efforts into communications intelligence versus Germany).Pacific Crucible is well written and never falls into the history book trap of getting dry. He does a amazing job of developing the personalities of the leaders and doesn't go into minutiae that would, while delighting the anorak, would turn off the casual reader. Reading the Kindle version, I was very happy to search well placed maps of perfect quality that illustrated war movements (which are frequently hard to visualize in naval battles). This is definitely a five star book and one that I would heartily recommend to anyone interested in how the United States Navy got off of the floor after receiving an almost knock out punch at Pearl Harbor, gathered itself together, and began to victory Globe Battle II in the Pacific.

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    Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 review [Book]  2018-3-4 18:0

    I won't go on about this except to say that it's an essay that blends political and military history in a most readable and credible way. It's a fine piece of work with all necessary points clears up incidents that are generally left foggy in most discursive accounts. Okay, Doolittle's B25 raid on Japan was launched early because it had evidently been spotted by a little Japanese vessel that had presumably revealed the task force's position. But is it true? The actor, Rod Steiger, claimed during an interview to have seen nothing more than a fishing vessel being shot to pieces by the huge guns of American cruisers, with women an children running around in a panic. Some accounts describe the encounter as ere may or may not have been families among the squad but the rest of the claims are false. The Japanese vessel was part of a naval cordon around the home islands to provide precisely the radio warning it did. (The warning was lost somehow and is still circulating and bouncing around in the ether.) Cruisers expended vast amounts of ammunition without being able to badly hurt the small vessel, which was tossing around on high seas like a cork. Aircraft managed to finish the job by riddling it with .50 caliber bullets.I described that incident in detail only to illustrate the kind of credible clarity this book e author doesn't like Admiral King, back there in Washington, a doggedly old-school advisor. He likes Nimitz, a cool and pleasant person who got along with people. In skill and foresight, Nimitz and Yamamoto were equals. He's not a huge fan of MacArthur, either, but gives His Highness a pass when caught with his pants down at Clark Field, hours after the Pearl Harbor attack, Mac's airplanes all lined up and ready to be bombed and destroyed. The general went into isolation for some 25 hours after this humiliation and never mentioned it in any speeches ral Sea is treated fairly. The book ends with the War of Midway, satisfying the narrative requirement that the conclusion of any book written by the winners must end with a victory. And Midway was indeed an unequivocal American victory, due is part -- in huge part -- to decoding nerds working in a dark, cramped e book is highy recommended.

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    Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 review [Book]  2018-3-4 18:0

    I am a serious student of military history for over 50 years, and wanted to obtain a amazing grasp of the Pacific War. This book is truly excellent, but with a couple of problems. The chronology is mixed up with back and forth stories of prior and subsequent events. Certainly it's OK to recount concurrent happenings in the various zones of this large theater of war, but not amazing to break up happenings with things said years later by the actors themselves and others, especially other e other criticism (and I still recommend this book) is that the author has no military experience and somehow acquired a powerful bias versus armies. To summarize, he says Japanese Troops bad, Japanese Navy good. American Troops bad, American Navy good. Troops Air Corps bad. He gives amazing biographies of the top US admirals, including their days at Annapolis, but no background on any of the American generals, such as Marshall and MacArthur. I'm currently reading his second book, "The Conquering Tide" and it also is excellent, but he continues his biases.

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    Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 review [Book]  2018-3-4 18:0

    Best battle narrative I have ever read. I read history, particularly military history, and this is absolutely the best. This is a page turner of a narrative history of the Pacific Naval Battle in WWII from Pearl Harbor to the War of Midway. The author is a spellbinding narrator who compellingly gives an overall view of the theater, the players, the strategy, and the feel of the battles. He does not obtain lost in the weeds, though he gives a amazing description of which weeds are important. This book goes from what was necessary about Alfred Thayer Mahan's 1890s book (The Influence of Seapower Upon History) to why those concepts were replaced (air power). It gives a brief narrative of the necessary personalities in the Pacific Theater (Admirals Yamamoto, King, Nimitz, Halsey, Spruance). It describes the overall tactic from Pearl Harbor to Midway (stopping the Japanese advance, avoiding major air power loss, breaking the Japanese code, destroying the Japanese Naval air power). And it describes the experience of the major naval wars from the perspective of the men who participated. I literally could not place this book down until I had finished it. I am now moving on to the author's second volume.

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    Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 review [Book]  2018-3-4 18:0

    I am not much of a student of history, more of a casual reader of things that interest me and that often contains historical events. WW2 has captured my interest lately, so I purchased this book based on the high reviews it received. I've never cared much for the naval side of warfare even though I spent 11yrs in the Navy. But, after being exposed to the Pacific theater through HBO's series and reading the books associated with it, this book seemed like a amazing method to gain a better understanding of the huge picture.When it came in the mail, it was slated to create it to the top of the "to read" stack in a few months. But, once I opened it I couldn't place it down. The book starts with Pearl Harbor and draws you in right away. He does a terrific job throughout the book of providing an overview of the wars and mixing in the first hand accounts in a method that is not disjointed and keeps the narrative moving. I often obtain frustrated by authors that stop the action to give you a multi-page intro and biography of a newly introduced hero in a method that completely kills the momentum. He is one of the few that didn't allow me down in that regard. I blasted right through this book, and have already ordered the next in the series. I think he does a unbelievable job of bringing in the necessary players, and giving you just enough to shape your knowledge sufficient for a amazing understanding of the story. There probably isn't enough detail for the hard-core history folks but for someone like me, it was perfect. I can't recommend it highly enough!

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    Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 review [Book]  2018-3-4 18:0

    Ian W Toll has done it again. It has been years since I read his first book, "Six Frigates" so when I saw that he was releasing another book on naval history, I was more than e "Pacific Crucible" starts out with a brilliant acc of the Mahan tactics,which helps establish his point of how a sailor from the 1850's would be more accustomed to the life aboard a ship in the 1600's than in the 1900's. This is continued by the detailed descriptions of the political situations that developed the conflict on both fronts. The, Toll delves into a graphic and violent acc of the day that has lived in infamy for over 70 years.I was enlightened at how Chruchill convinced Roosevelt that a Europe first tactic was more necessary than committing to a Pacific campaign, and the descriptions of how the Japanese military converted their society for battle brought their ultimate e naval wars were done in an informative and exciting fashion. For those that claim that history is dull, I recommend that they read a Toll one complaint about the book is that the ending felt somewhat rushed. Toll concludes the War of Midway, and then after a several pages briefly proving Admiral Yamamoto's early predictions of how battle with the United States would end, the book ends itself. I was expecting more regarding the rest of the war, but since the book was primarily about the major naval actions of the Pacific, it was understandable, seeing how the subtitle of the book states it only accounts from 1941-1942.Overall, a five star rating barely does this magnificent book justice. I certainly hope that Toll is working on another project.

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    The Good Heart review [Movie]  2017-10-13 21:47

    Brian Cox is excellent! As the characters transition and grow during the movie, you will laugh and cry.

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    Salton Sea review [Movie]  2017-10-13 21:48

    My name is Tom Van Allen. I'm a trumpet player. The Salton Sea is directed by D. J. Caruso and written by Tony Gayton. It stars Val Kilmer, Vincent D'Onofrio, Peter Sarsgard, Doug Hutchinson, Anthony LaPaglia, Debora Kara Unger, Adam Goldberg and Luis Guzmán. Melody is scored by Thomas Newman and cinematography by Amir Mokri. Danny Parker (Kilmer) is hanging out with a bunch of methamphetamine users, apparently in an effort to numb the pain of his one time life that saw his wife murdered. Or is he? The word of mouth for it was strong, but no sooner did it hit cinemas than it disappeared off the face of the earth. However, the cult cinema globe is often a vibrant put to lurk, enter there and you search The Salton Sea, a wonderfully tricksy and off beat neo-noir awash with misery, revenge, redemption and odd ball characters that are either stuck in purgatory, or heading to nowhereville. Protagonist Danny Parker leads the film, a man whose identity is fractured after being dealt a blow from the hands of fate, very much in limbo mentally, he none the less has goals to achieve, nothing is never quite as it seems until director Caruso wants us in on the side-shifts. Danny is often in the company of danger and weird characters, from a hopped up harpoon wielding loon, to a no nose psycho (too much meth up the nose will create you lose it kids), via dirty cops and meth heads, it's a globe of unease, the twisty plot drawing the viewer in with a kinky smile on its face. Caruso also pulls off the neat trick of placing humour in this off kilter globe without hurting the dramatic harshness of the thematics. There's a quite brilliant sequence that shows a botched crime being attempted by the meth head crew, this we watch at the same time as they discuss about actually pulling the crime off. That it involves a stool sample from Bob Hope should tell you all you need to know about the intelligence of the wannabe perps! Caruso's camera is fluid and he uses certain neo-noir visual tricks of the trade as well (time lapses etc), and he also has a knack for varying the mood without avertying the slowly bubbling to the surface pace that the story requires. Kilmer is superb, perfectly low-key, there is no need for rage, the yearning for revenge and redemption, for identity, is brought out via calmly delivered dialect, and it's very affecting. D'Onofrio as Pooh Bear, the afore mentioned no nose fella, steals the film with another of his off the planet nut-jobs. Elsewhere, Sarsgard is as appealing as he has ever been as Danny's stoner best mate, Hutchinson and LaPaglia chop fine figures as dirty cops, while Guzmán and Danny Trejo leave an impressively grungy mark. The only disappointment is the lack of screen time for Kara Unger, a fine actress, she is playing what turns out to be a critical femme fatale role, but really we required more of her. It's a rare misstep in an otherwise cracking neo-noir that is highly recommended to fans of similarly devilishly fun pictures. 8.5/10

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    Children of My Heart review [Movie]  2017-10-13 21:48

    This story takes put in the 1930's in a little Manitoba town. The young fresh French Canadian teacher faces different challenges and interesting characters, and finds herself in a controversial relationship with a Metis teenage student. This is one of my favorite movies, and it should have gotten a lot more exposure than it did (the fate of a lot of amazing Canadian movies). It should appeal to those who have fun romantic historical dramas.

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    Crimes of the Heart review [Movie]  2017-10-13 21:49

    I haven't seen any Bruce Beresford films, except for the magnificent 'Black Robe', and I'm a large fan of the four main actors, so it was a no-brainer that I would eventually watch this. I enjoyed it greatly, and if you can handle a quieter 80's women's picture, there's much to have fun here. Definitely worth investigating for the cinephile with exquisite taste.

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    Desert Hearts review [Movie]  2017-10-13 21:49

    Lately I felt I couldn't consider myself a self-respecting cinephile unless I at the very least sampled more works both by female directors and from the gay/lesbian/related subgenre. Fortunately my university offered in its library collection an assortment I decided to peruse occasionally. Although Deitch's movie is a romantic drama featuring lesbians, I still readily enjoyed it. Glad I took a possibility on it and decided to expand my horizons as a adventurous movie aficionado.

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    Sea Devils review [Movie]  2017-10-13 21:51

    I was a toiler on the sea. Sea Devils is directed by Raoul Walsh and written by Borden Chase. It stars Rock Hudson, Yvonne De Carlo, Maxwell Reed, Denis O’Dea, Michael Goodlife and Bryan Forbes. Melody is by Richard Addinsell and cinematography by Wilkie Cooper. "Guernsey in the Channel Islands near the coast of France in the year 1800, where fishermen, prevented by battle from following their usual livelihood, turned to other occupations..." That occupation is of course smuggling, which lends one to think that Sea Devils is about to buckle our swash with a tale of derring do on the high seas. Unfortunately it doesn’t pan out that way, for the pic is essentially a spy adventure set partly at sea that involves Hudson and De Carlo going backwards and forwards between England and France. They bicker, they swoon, she looks sexy, he takes his shirt off, he makes dumb decisions (he’s no dashing character type here) and she does her bit for King and Country as she hopes to stop Napoleon in his watery tracks. It’s nicely colourful, the costuming adequate and the cast are fun to watch. But Walsh lets the movie meander at times and it never really amounts to being more than a dressed up time filler of a movie. 6/10

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    Saps at Sea review [Movie]  2017-10-13 21:51

    I vaguely remember first seeing this forty years ago with my parents, when I was very young--especially the set-piece in which they're trying to outwit the murderous escaped criminal on their boat by making a quite inedible meal. Still quite funny two generations later.

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    The Winter Sea review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    So sorry, but this was a DNF for me. At 16%, I still didn't know what the point of the book was or even exactly what genre I was reading. Is it a time travel? Women's fiction? Paranormal, suspense, gothic? What I got was that it's about a woman who is writing a book in her rented cottage, which is about as interesting as shelling peas. And every other chapter was the book she's is very set-up doesn't bring enough action for my tastes.

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    The Winter Sea review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    My second Kearsley book and it won't be my last. I don't give out five stars often, but this was intelligent, informative, and involved me on an emotional level. There's so much here, I hate to leave, I've already bought the audible. I need a ticket back to Scotland as well.

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    The Winter Sea review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    Thus was such a amazing read. Especially loved flipping past and show and dovetail ing to create a unbelievable romantic story. Quite believeable. I had hard time putting down, wanting to delve more and more into the history

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    The Winter Sea review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    This book moved into my top 5 books of all time !The authors words paint a picture that makes me sure I was there near the sea with Sophia. I felt her heart and her soul. This book was masterfully written. I will definitely read it again !! Soon ;))

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    The Winter Sea review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    Never have I read a book which so seamlessly develops a stratified plot involving modern times and valid history. Ms. Kearsley has managed to weave so a lot of true happenings into the story I found myself taking notes and hunting more info as to the 1708 stirring of Jacobites, a topic about which I know merely a smattering. The tension mounts with the pacing, holding us by the throats until throughout the latest 1/3 of the novel I simply could not sleep and could not stop reading until I came to the end. Then, I found myself holding the latest few pages and turning them the wrong way, re-reading that final chapter slowly, to create it not become what I feared it would be, and then, with a deft sweeping aside of a curtain, like deja' vu, the ending reveals two endings, both better than I had e language is piercingly emotional, tightly scripted and lyrical. The characters feel not as if they were pulled from history but rather someone you might sit next to in the anonymity of a public station. Moving from modern to historic times as slickly as this book does is something every writing student should study, as a amazing a lot of authors attempt to perform this slight of hand, but none have pulled it off as well. Secondly, the writer-within-the-story, meaning the main hero Carrie, who is a successful author struggling to search the basis for a fresh novel in her creative mind only to explore it seems to have been sent to her through her DNA, and who alternately writes until she collapses at her computer, then drags herself to life only to search her characters kidnapping her yet again, is so believable that anyone who has ever asked an author "how do you do that?" or "where do you obtain your ideas?" or "what is it like to write a book?" should simply read The Winter Sea for the answers. It doesn't obtain any more stly, for me, I can think of no better feeling when I finish a novel of this caliber (other than the sad tugging of sorrow that it is finally finished and I cannot turn the pages backward any longer) than to place it down with the firm and somewhat envious notion that I want I had written avo. Absolutely recommended. Indeed.

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    The Winter Sea review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    The heroine is an accomplished historical novelist who has gone back to Scotland in find of the characters for her fresh book. She finds the characters within herself as they speak to her and take her back to 16th century Scotland. It is as if they live and as she checks what she has written, from the voices in her head, she finds them accurate...totally accurate. The story unfolds, and keeps the reader engaged.I highly recommend this book, in fact I bought a copy for my daughter for Christmas. I will read more from this author.

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    The Winter Sea review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    Give me a cottage in Scotland, a writer's process as she researches her novel and I'm in heaven. I couldn't resist downloading this historical fiction romance for my Kindle. Susanna Kearsley takes a pinch of gothic, adds genetic telepathy and the mystique of Scotland, sprinkles liberally with romance, binds it together with historical appeal and tada! A delectable concoction for readers seeking amazing storytelling.Who better than an author to write a story about a writer's craft? Woven together are a lot of unbelievable Scottish elements: winds sweeping through castle ruins, locals speaking in dialect, coal stoves, a dog named Angus, feeding twenty pence coins into the electric meter, a sea e book alternates between current day and early eighteenth century Scotland. Novelist, Carrie McClelland, rents a crofter's cottage in Cruden Bay to be close to the remains of Slains Castle, home to her protagonist, Nathaniel Hooke. Hooke, a true historical figure was a leader in the first Jacobite rebellion of 1715. The castle and zone give Carrie the perspective and insight she needs to make true-to-life characters. Despite writing into the wee hours of the morning and researching, Carrie has time to be attracted to her landlord's youngest arsley's novel is enchanting, poignant and well-researched. If you wish a vacation in Scotland at an affordable price, buy this rsonal asides:* Prior to reading The Winter Sea, I had no knowledge of this first of two Jacobite risings, called "The Fifteen."* In this age of , I appreciated the author's mention of the International Genealogical Index, catalogued by the ed by Holly WeissAuthor of Crestmont

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    The Winter Sea review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    I'm not typically into reading romances. I'll read romantic comedies from time to time, but as for contemporary or even historical romance...it's just not my why did I pick up this one? There's something about that cover that kept drawing me in, and I finally did give in. And I'm glad I did.I won't rehash the story, but suffice to say, this has paranormal/fantasy overtones to it, and I read a lot of fantasy. (My one readomg foray earlier into paranormal romance focused almost 100% on the romance part.) Except there's more than just the paranormal and romance going on in this one - there's also the historical angle, which I also loved.But I feel this meant something more to me at this scene of my life. My private life has been in tumult for the past few years and I just required to reconnect to something attractive and imaginative like this story.I believe an earlier reviewer said Ms. Kearsley's choice of words brings such depth to the emotions of the characters and to the scenes in Scotland that you feel as if you're in the story, living and breathing with the characters. I have to agree - a really lovely experience! :-)The only downside for me was the price of the ebook. Nine dollars and change, really? That's why I left off one star. Seems petty, but that's how I feel. Though I simply had to read this book, I'll wait on her others until the publisher decides to come down to the US$5.99-$7.99 range.

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    The Winter Sea review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    As a best-selling historical fiction author, Carrie McClelland is accustomed to her characters speaking to her. And once again, that same fire and inspiration is beginning to flood her dreams as she embarks on her recent project: a novel set during the attempt to restore Jacobite James Stuart to the Scottish throne in 1708. Embracing historical accuracy to a fault, Carrie decides to relocate to a little cottage within shouting distance of the ruined Slains Castle where much of her story takes place. And in a move seemingly decided by fate decides to use the name of her own ancestor, Sophia Paterson, as her heroine.While staying at Cruden Bay, Sophia's story begins to flow with an ease previously inexperienced by Carrie. Aided by the amiable locals and her friendly landlord (not to mention his two very charming sons) Carrie slowly realizes that every insignificant detail, every plot twist, even the layout of the castle she has been spot on in writing about -- even before she learned the historical facts. As the line between history and fiction continues to blur for Carrie, she finds herself drawn to her ancestor Sophia who faced heartbreak beyond compare and joy without measure. All of which lead her to question, what if we could tap into the memories stored in our very genes?When I first heard about The Winter Sea as a sort of time-travel romance I was intrigued. The only book like that I had previously read was Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, which while fun, didn't ultimately do much for me. So happily unawares at what I was getting myself into, I started The Winter Sea expecting such related tepid fare. How utterly wrong I was. The Winter Sea is like Outlander's more mature, more experienced, smart older sister saturated with honest, true emotions and historical treasures like the descriptions of the French court at Saint-Germain and Sophia's stay at Slains Castle. Yet despite the profusion of history described, The Winter Sea is never once plodding or boring. Quite the opposite, in fact. The two stories of Carrie and Sophia were woven seamlessly together. I was always anxious to search out how Carrie would fare in Cruden Bay with her two very different, yet, related suitors but I quickly became desperate to explore how the bright Sophia would fare in such turbulent times. Because Susanna Kearsley did not allow that woman travel the simple street in no way, shape, or form. But thankfully, she did surround Sophia with people who loved her and watched out for her, including the brilliant Countess of Erroll who gave this piece of piercingly accurate tip after Sophia went through some truly heartbreaking events.'I do promise that you will survive this. Faith, my own heart is so scattered round the country now, I marvel that it has the strength each day to hold me standing. But it does,' she said, and drawing in a steady breath she pulled back just enough to raise a hand to wipe Sophia's tears. 'It does. And so will yours.''How can you be so sure?''Because it is a heart, and knows no better.'"It knows no better." That very line right there got struck right in my heart. The sensitivity and depth of emotion in these chapters did not just induce minor sniffling on my part, but full-out shoulders-shaking, tears-streaming crying. And all because Ms. Kearsley's characters had sunk their lovely hooks deep into my heart and refused to allow go. But never fear, because despite my extreme worry that Ms. Kearsley would not be able to give these people I had fallen quite in love with the happily ever after they deserved (you can't change history after all), she somehow pulled it off. Beautifully. To me, this story is all about the power of hope and love and learning to never give up. A truly attractive book that I would recommend to anyone.

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