Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley

Star D’Apli├Ęse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father—the elusive billionaire, affectionately called Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted from across the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to her true heritage, and Star nervously decides to follow hers, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world.

A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in England’s picturesque Lake District—just a stone’s throw away from the residence of her childhood idol, Beatrix Potter—when machinations lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society’s most notorious society hostesses, Alice Keppel. Flora is torn between passionate love and her duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a larger game. That is, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life...

As Star learns more of Flora’s incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love.

This is the third book in the Seven Sisters series. The story follows Star on her journey to discovering who she is. It is set in the present and also during Edwardian England as the story follows Flora MacNichol. 

I have to say this book was a HUGE disappointment. The premis had such potential, but it did not live up to it. My biggest hurdle in fully enjoying this book was Ms. Riley's style of writing. Throughout the whole book, both Star and Flora were the only characters who didn't seem to know their respective "big secrets" but every other person in the story seemed to. Instead of leaving tiny crumbs for the reader to discover and leading them slowly to the answer, it was a lot of "You mean you really don't know?" and then the subject would immediately be changed. When the big revelation occurred, there was no looking back and thinking, "Oh yeah! That all really makes sense now!" At the very end, we're left feeling cut short because there isn't really a resolution for Star. This may be due to the other 4 forthcoming books. Perhaps they will shed more light on Star's future. I slogged through because I really wanted to know what happened, but if I had been able to read the full synopsis and skip reading the book, I would have. Overall, I would not recommend this book. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones

My entire life can be summed up in one sentence: 
“Well, that didn’t go as planned.”

A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, errant wives, missing people, philandering business owners, and, oh yeah...demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead.
Now, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, will Charley be able to defeat the ultimate evil and find a way to have her happily ever after after all?

***CAUTION*** Spoilers from Tenth Grave ahead. If you aren't caught up, proceed at your own peril!!

This book is what I would consider to be a bridge book. It moves the story along slightly as far as plot line, but fills in a lot of details about past, present and future events. And you're clearly moving towards something epic that requires a lot of ground work to be set. That being said, I THOROUGHLY enjoyed Eleventh Grave in Moonlight. And it is vital to the over-arching plot we've been following.

At the end of Tenth Grave, Charley regained her memory, trapped one of the 3 big bad gods in a god glass and learned her sexy, Son of Satan husband, was actually created from 1 of the other gods. Just another day in the life of Charley Davidson, PI/Grim Reaper/Goddess. Oh, and she also threatened the Almighty Jehovah that she was going to wrest his control of the world and take it over herself. Good one, Charley. Piss off God himself. You clearly didn't think that one through.

At the beginning of Eleventh Grave, Charley has taken on a case that Reyes doesn't approve of. As usual, Charley does what Charley wants, and somehow always manages to squeak by and be right. This case hits close to home and we all know how Reyes hates to drudge up the past. Pair that with a truly horrible situation happening to one of her favorite people, and it is clear that Charley can  never live a normal boring life. And if you think thought that was as bad as it is going to get, hang on until the last line of the book, "And then I realized the truth. I may have just made the biggest mistake of my entire existence. I may have unleashed hell on earth."

Once again, Ms. Jones has made us fall in love with every second of Charley's life. But it can't be understated how essential and wonderful are all of the other characters in her life. Charley wouldn't be half of what she is without her partners in crime. I can't wait to see they help Charley handle this latest kink in her master plan to take over the world.

Love conquers all, sure, but the future is looking pretty bleak for the Reaper, the Son of Satan and the Daughter of Light.