Book Review—Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4)Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve read a couple of works by Penny Reid and loved all of them, but I have to say this one took me completely by surprise. It’s hilarious, dramatic and passionately romantic. Ashley is the only sister of the Winston brothers. She has been gone for years and is now back to find an ailing mother and distant brothers. And then there is Drew, the pillar who holds them all together.

Ashley & Drew’s story while unraveling a lot of mysteries surrounding the brothers, reveals a very different aspect of Penny’s writing that I had not read before. The book somewhat split into parts dominated by different emotions. So it begins with humor and tussle, strained sibling relationship, overcast by sorrow, leading to overwhelming passion (thanks to Drew) towards the end.

As someone has said, the quietest people have the loudest minds—holds true for Drew. His poetry floods your senses with passion and emotion that is downright staggering. The outpourings of his heart will leave you speechless. The intensity of his feelings for Ashley is enrapturing. The eloquence of his words make him precious and I think were the best part about the book.

A good book to invest your time in.

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Book Review—The Sire by M.S. Fowle

 

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The Sire by M.S. Fowle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

M.S.Fowle weaves a fantastical tale about a kingdom bereft of magik—ruled by a monarch who cannot see beyond his thirst for power. He searches for the Sire, the creator of all magik and in his quest unleashes terrible cruelty on his subjects. War rages and the people of the land live in fear. Magik is prohibited; those found practicing are captured and punished. Here the select few enforce their rule on the laity, to subdue and control them. Amongst this chaos rises a story of faith, friendship, loyalty and …. well magik.

I liked the author’s writing style – the flow is smooth and effortless, though at times I did find it a bit grand in some portions. I had to stop, take a breath and go over the lines a couple of times to let them sink in before I continued further.

The characters are very endearing especially the twins. As you read through you will definitely fall in love with Claire and Walter. They fight yet they stand by each other. They will make you laugh, cry, bite your nails in fear for their lives. You will find yourself enjoying their adventures and little skirmishes.

The end was not surprising yet I was disappointed by the quick closing and felt that it was a bit rushed. It kind of broke the flow that the author had maintained through the earlier chapters. But let’s be honest I was also sad that the story ended.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and do hope there are more adventures of Walter and Claire and we read them soon. I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review – Behind the Mask by V P Smith

Behind_the_maskBehind the Mask: The Awakening by V P Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I originally posted my review on goodreads, but then I felt that there were other readers out there, who do not frequent goodreads so much, who should know about it. So I decided to share my views with you here. [I received this book in exchange for an honest review through ‘Booksgosocial’s‘ review program for authors]

It’s been quite some time since I have come across a book that I was glad to have picked up. ‘Behind the Mask’ is an edgy, engaging book that you would not want to put down, even for a minute. Though the narrative has some high and low points, but the story will definitely grip you, shock and terrify you and give you sleepless nights.

As the name suggests, the book is about figurative masks and the people behind them. Everyone is wearing a mask. Who can you trust? The person you’ve just met or the one you’ve known your entire life. Are they as good as we think them to be or are they hiding something – so heinous that one cannot even imagine?

Smith will keep you hooked throughout the book, making you sit up and take a closer look at the people around you. You’re might be reading the book, but you’ll start recalling things you’ve seen or heard and you’ll begin to wonder if there was anything there.

Behind the Mask may be a work of fiction, but is not as removed from reality as we might hope for. We cannot ignore the grim reality of our society that Smith highlights here. I am sure law enforcement officials and survivors out there, will agree with the depiction of the sick depraved souls who inflict atrocities on children for their own pleasure. Hidden in plain sight they go on with their games and we are not able to tell them apart.

The question remains – How do you recognize that face that’s hiding in plain sight. How will you unmask it? Are our children truly safe? Who are these criminals – familiars or strangers? Are you strong enough to go forth and fight out the evil that lurks underneath?

Despite the strong storyline, you might question why I just gave it 3 stars. As much as I liked the fast-paced narration Smith uses to superbly control what is revealed and what remains hidden in the story, yet I personally could not agree with some of the train of events as the story progressed. At a certain point I also felt that there was clearly an imbalance of power, where one person was at a disadvantage while too many people were getting away with things, too easily. I did however, love the cover of the book – on closer look you can’t be sure if it’s a guy or a girl.

While I do strongly recommend the book, I also want you to be aware that you will not find all the answers here and it may leave you wanting at the end. I don’t mind this as long as Smith carries forward the questions that arise here to the next book and we get see some gripping conclusions.

I look forward to the second book and hope that it will be as engrossing as this one.

I would highly recommend this one to all lovers of crime and thrillers. It will not let you down.

Book Review – Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Into the Darkest CornerInto the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s a very long book and if it wasn’t for the way it is written and for personal curiosity to get to the end of the story, I would probably have given up long back. Thankfully I did not and honestly I would pat my back for the same.

The story unfolds very slowly. The initial chapters are about Cathy or Catherine Bailey’s daily routine. This portion may get a bit tedious and you may be tempted to let it go. Don’t! Just keep reading.

The author effortlessly weaves in and out of Cathy’s present and past life. You get to know about what her life had been and what it is. The stark contrast unravels you and makes you sit up and take notice. You will begin to read a bit more carefully or like me go back a few pages. You’ll attempt to understand her. What went wrong? What happened? Why is she afraid? What is she so afraid of?

I liked the way Haynes so sensitively handles the subject of OCD and the person in question. She makes you empathize with the protagonist and the difficulties she faces to even go through the normal routines of everyday life.

At the same time, the trials and tribulations of a woman victimized by someone close to her, is downright scary. Cathy is left alone in the world – psychologically and physically. There is no one to stand by her. More importantly, no one believes her and that is what hurts most. The worst thing is that there is no way to be sure of what’s real and what is imagined fear. That terrified me the most. The end chapters are nerve-wrecking.

I liked the book and I would recommend it to those who would like to move away from regular romances and drama and read something more intriguing.

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Book Review – Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Reconstructing AmeliaReconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Often we come across work of fiction that so embrace reality that they make us sit up and take notice of all that goes around us. Making us realize how far away we have come from life and our loved ones. While we let ourselves be engrossed in everyday routines and supposed important activities or things, those that are dear to us just slip away from our lives.

This book truly deserves the praise and appreciation, it has been lauded with by readers around the world.

Reconstructing Amelia is a testimony of the author’s perceptiveness and fine eye for detail as she weaves a tragic story about a mother and her struggle to unravel the truth behind the death of her child.

The story mirrors our society, where bullying exists in different forms and knowingly or unknowingly we tend to conform to it. Peer pressure often leads many kids to do things they may not want to, but have to to be accepted in their social circles. Reluctant to talk about it, they end up being victimized and in the end the damage cannot be undone. The make-up of the predator and the prey often gets defined here and goes on to form the very crux of the personality and the life they lead as an adult.

A very engrossing book. Especially liked the way the story moves back and forth in time without exhausting or irritating the reader. Highly recommended.

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