Saturday, 24 January 2009

Folly ~ Alan Titchmarsh

Jamie Ballantyne and Artemis King were never meant to fall in love. The feud between their families has run for three generations. But whatever Jamie's head might tell him, his heart will always belong to Artemis. After fifty years, perhaps it's time for the Kings and the Ballantynes to bury the hatchet. Then Jamie and Artemis start to uncover their shared past. What they find will rock the foundations of both their families, as a web of deceit and intrigue is ruinously exposed !

This one was a Christmas pressie to DH and I from DD, she knows her dads love of Alan as a gardener and my love of him as an author (i've read all his novels) she put an inscription inside that was very appropriate to us both so unfortunately we will be keeping this copy ... dad still needs to read it LOL

I did enjoy this book but its one of those that jumps from one era to another and back again every other chapter and it took me till about 1/3 of the way through to get my head round who belonged to which grandchild. Once i'd established that it was much better and i really enjoyed it. It's a love story and the ending was predictable but you thought it wouldn't happen right till the last couple of pages when a major secret is revealed. The write up states its his best novel yet, but to be honest i've read better from him, but thats just my opinion. If you dont mind reading all about Munnings the equestrian painter and auction sale rooms and art galleries its a nice read.

Friday, 23 January 2009

The Other Boleyn Girl By Phillipa Gregory

Everyone knows the fate of Anne Boleyn, but not many know the story of her rise to majesty and the part played by her rival and sister, Mary, who was Henry's mistress and mother to two of his bastard children before the dazzling older Boleyn girl even caught his eye.

Philippa Gregory, whose own role as the Queen of historical romance grows more secure with each new novel, has surpassed her self with this epic tale of lust, jealousy and betrayal. The Other Boleyn Girl charts the lives of both Boleyns--each in their turn "the other Boleyn
Girl"--and their fiercely ambitious, conniving family who used the girls as pawns to advance their own positions at the court of Henry VIII. At 13, Mary is little more than a child when she is presented to Henry, ordered by her scheming family to serve her King and country by opening her legs whenever commanded, or doing anything else the great monarch desires.

And while his loins are satisfied, life at court is sweet for the unofficial Queen and her pushy coterie. Inevitably though, the King's eyes soon begin to wander and Mary is overlooked, helpless to do anything but aid her family's plot to advance their fortunes, replace her with Anne and give Henry the greatest gift of all: a son and heir.

Well I certainly enjoyed this book,I was totally hooked to find out the ending even though we all knew what happened to Anne, but it amazes me that this sort of thing went on in those days and that I am so glad I wasn't born in those times, But I wanted to story to continue and find out more about Jane Seymour and how they managed to get their claws in etc. Will have to look into other books by Phillipa certainly!! I would certainly recommend reading this book, now I have to see the film.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The House at Riverton - Kate Morton

After reading Julie's recommendation for this book (synopsis is on that page too) I managed to get hold of a copy from my local hospice book shop. I finished reading it this morning.

Some books that are set in the present and then go back into a characters past can occasionally get a bit confusing with the to-ing and fro-ing, making it a struggle to remember what happened when..... but not this one. It's one of those books that just seems to grab you from the first page and keeps you absorbed in the story and characters throughout, no matter how many times you put it down and pick it up again.

The only thing I guessed correctly fairly early on, before having it confirmed in the story, was the identity of Grace's father. The ultimate secret came right at the end and I definitely didn't guess it...... or expect it. The way the revelation was done was quite clever too, I thought.

So glad you recommended it Julie, as it was an excellent read. :0)

Book will be registered with Book Crossing. It has also been offered to someone already - waiting for a reply. :0)

Saturday, 17 January 2009

The Soul Slayer - Paul Doherty

Soul Slayer: from medieval lore and legend, if a magician can take out the heart of his victim before death, and the victim does not die in a state of grace, the warlock can call upon that soul to do his bidding.

Eighteen-year-old Rebecca Lennox, the daughter of a former priest, is mneglected and feared by the villagers of Dunmow in Essex. They regard her as cursed, by both her hare lip and her gift of second sight. Rebecca finds solace in the statue of St Michael the Archangel, to whom she prays devotedly within the sanctity of her old parish church. But when a young Catholic priest arrives in the village it seems that she has finally found a mortal confidant. Michael is not repelled by her infirmity and his charm and gentleness remind her of her beloved statue.

Then in the late summer changes come to Dunmow. A new parson is appointed - more interested in the black arts than the teachings of religion. Foe Henry Frogmore holy orders are merely a convenient cover for his nefarious activities, but in Rebecca and Michael he finds powerful opponents. And in the ensuing struggle the price for each of them is all too heavy.

Well, I must admit I'd put off reading this book for a while due to the bumpf claiming this was a really scarey book - normally I don't go much for scarey. It took a couple of chapters before I settled into the story and the wait for a really scarey bit was a long one...... as in: I'm still waiting, long after finishing the book. I won't be so quick to believe in the publisher's hype in future. LOL

Despite the mild disappointment with that it was still a fairly entertaining read that had me caught up in the plot enough to actually make me cry at a sad part and again at the bittersweet ending - not many books do that to me.

Book is being re-homed with Barb. Just remember to have a tissue handy when you get near the end! ;0)

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Midnight is a Lonely Place - Barbara Erskine

After a broken love affair, Kate Kennedy, a succesful biographer, retires to a remote cottage on the wild Essex coast to work on her new book. When Alison, her landlord's daughter, uncovers a Roman site nearby, long-buried passions are unleashed....

In her lonely cottage, Kate is terrorized by mysterious forces. What do these ghosts want? That the truth about the violent events of long ago be exposed or remain concealed? Kate, Alison and her elder brother Greg must struggle for their lives against earthbound spirits and ancient curses as hate, jealousy, revenge and passionate love do battle across the centuries.....

Julie very kindly sent me this book a while ago and I made it my festive season read. Wow! I reckon this is much better - and scarier - than Lady of Hay and I could hardly put it down. No irritation with any of the characters or niggles with the plot, just a really gripping read that actually had me looking over my shoulder a couple of times! LOL

The only thing that was a little disappointing was the ending: I want to know how they explained the dead body and if the two lovers stay together..... for themselves or because of the ghosts. That's typical me though...... always wanting to know what happens next and have things explained to the final Nth degree. ;0)

Book is going to Rachael. :0)