Book Review – The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

December 30, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Raven by Edgar Allan PoeThe Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
Illustrator: Ryan Price
Published by Kids Can Press on August 1st 2006 (first published 1844)
Pages: 48
Genres: Classics
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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Also by this author: The Fall of the House of Usher, Tales of the Macabre

five-stars

Visions in Poetry is an exciting and unique series of classic poems illustrated by outstanding contemporary artists in stunning hardcover editions. The fifth book in the series, Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," delves into the hidden horrors of the human psyche. Originally published in 1845, the poem is narrated by a melancholy scholar brooding over Lenore, a woman he loved who is now lost to him. One bleak December at midnight, a raven with fiery eyes visits the scholar and perches above his chamber door. Struggling to understand the meaning of the word his winged visitant repeats -- "Nevermore!" -- the narrator descends by stages into madness. Illustrator Ryan Price's exquisitely grim illustrations suggest a background story shaped by the narrator's guilt, embodied in the terrifying figure of the raven. Price's drypoint technique, with its rich blacks and feathery lines, perfectly captures the nightmarish atmosphere of this unforgettable poem.

‘Once upon a midnight dreary,
while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume
of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping,
suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping,
rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered,
“tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.’

I had started reading the Raven before but was never able to quite get through it. When I came across this illustrated version at my library I decided to give it another shot. The illustrated version made it so much better. The illustrations by Ryan Price are dark and gritty… much like the story of the Raven. I’ve read several illustrated books this year that have added a certain something to the already great story (A Monster Calls comes immediately to mind) and the Raven is no exception.

You can find a few more illustrations by Ryan Price from the book here but I would also recommend checking out the rest of his work here as well, although I must say I think his work in the Raven is my favorite.

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Book Review – Fallout (Crank, #3) by Ellen Hopkins

December 29, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Fallout (Crank, #3) by Ellen HopkinsFallout by Ellen Hopkins
Series: Crank #3
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on September 14th 2010
Pages: 665
Genres: Realistic YA Fiction, Verse
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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Also by this author: Triangles, Crank, Burned

four-stars

Hunter, Autumn, and Summer—three of Kristina Snow’s five children—live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years.
Hunter is nineteen, angry, getting by in college with a job at a radio station, a girlfriend he loves in the only way he knows how, and the occasional party. He's struggling to understand why his mother left him, when he unexpectedly meets his rapist father, and things get even more complicated. Autumn lives with her single aunt and alcoholic grandfather. When her aunt gets married, and the only family she’s ever known crumbles, Autumn’s compulsive habits lead her to drink. And the consequences of her decisions suggest that there’s more of Kristina in her than she’d like to believe. Summer doesn’t know about Hunter, Autumn, or their two youngest brothers, Donald and David. To her, family is only abuse at the hands of her father’s girlfriends and a slew of foster parents. Doubt and loneliness overwhelm her, and she, too, teeters on the edge of her mother’s notorious legacy. As each searches for real love and true family, they find themselves pulled toward the one person who links them together—Kristina, Bree, mother, addict. But it is in each other, and in themselves, that they find the trust, the courage, the hope to break the cycle.

Told in three voices and punctuated by news articles chronicling the family’s story, FALLOUT is the stunning conclusion to the trilogy begun by CRANK and GLASS, and a testament to the harsh reality that addiction is never just one person’s problem.

Crank series

Crank (Crank, #1)Glass (Crank, #2)

Crank (Crank #1) {Purchase}
Glass (Crank #2) {Purchase}

The final chapter in one of the most heart wrenching trilogies/series I’ve ever read. A truly emotional read and I believe a fabulous ‘ending’ although maybe ‘wrap-up’ would be a better description as the story is far from over.

In ‘Fallout’, Ellen Hopkins has switched up the point of view and timeline of the story. Set in the future, Kristina’s youngest son Hunter who was just a toddler in last book is now 19. The story is told from Hunter’s point of view, as well as Summer and Autumn’s: both Kristina’s children. By now Kristina has yet to fully get her life back on track and has 5 children all living with other family members or in foster care.

I was a bit skeptical at this change and how well I would enjoy it after reading through Kristina’s eyes for the past books, but I was pleased at how well written it was. The multiple POV reminded me very much of Triangles; however, I had difficulty in differentiating between Summer and Autumn for at least the first half of the book.

It was extremely intense ‘experiencing’ the impact Kristina had on each of her children. It was tragic, heartbreaking, and extremely painful to read about. Was it worth it? Yes. Ellen Hopkins has yet to disappoint and I continue to be amazed at how influential and powerful her books are.

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Short Story Review – Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

December 28, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 1 Comment

Short Story Review – Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman CapoteBreakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
Published by Vintage on May 15th 2012 (first published 1958)
Pages: 160
Genres: Classics, Literary Fiction
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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three-stars

In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Truman Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape. Holly Golightly knows that nothing bad can ever happen to you at Tiffany's; her poignancy, wit, and naïveté continue to charm.

This volume also includes three of Capote's best-known stories, “House of Flowers,” “A Diamond Guitar,” and “A Christmas Memory,” which Saturday Review called “one of the most moving stories in our language.” It is a tale of two innocents—a small boy and the old woman who is his best friend—whose sweetness contains a hard, sharp kernel of truth.

Having watched the movie, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ I never really had any desire to read the book. Finally deciding to do so, I was quite surprised that the movie created a superb rendition of the book and that the role of Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, was an absolutely perfect portrayal.

Holly Golightly has to be one of the strangest fictional characters I have read to date. She’s eccentric and odd in a completely entrancing way and yet shows no attempts at actually trying to be this way; she just simply is.

“So,” he said, “what do you think: is she or ain’t she?”
“Ain’t she what?”
“A phony.”
“I wouldn’t have thought so.”
“You’re wrong. She is a phony. But on the other hand you’re right. She isn’t a phony because she’s a real phony. She believes all this crap she believes. You can’t talk her out of it.”

I quite enjoyed Truman Capote’s writing and look forward to his next book on my list: In Cold Blood.

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Short Story Review – The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark

December 24, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 0 Comments

Short Story Review – The Driver’s Seat by Muriel SparkThe Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
Published by Penguin Classics on 1970
Pages: 128
Genres: Classics
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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three-stars

Lise leaves her home in northern Europe for a holiday, but it is not rest and relaxation that she is looking for...

Driven to distraction by an office job, she leaves everything and flies south on holiday—in search of passionate adventure, the obsessional experience and sex. Infinity and eternity attend Lise's last terrible day in the unnamed southern city that is her final destination.

I had a really hard time at first getting a grasp of what this story was really about. Essentially, it’s about a peculiar woman named Lise who travels to a Southern European city, presumably Naples, to meet a supposed boyfriend. Once she arrives, all the men she meets she’s mentally judging them based upon whether they are ‘her type’ or not. It’s not till later in the story you realize she’s looking for a specific ‘type’ for a completely different reason than you may originally think. By the beginning of the third chapter, you’re already made aware of a shocking fact:

’She will be found tomorrow morning dead from multiple stab-wounds, her wrists bound with a silk scarf and her ankles bound with a man’s necktie, in the ground of an empty villa, in a park of the foreign city to which she is travelling on the flight now boarding at Gate 14.’

It’s tough not to become immediately enthralled in watching the rest of the story progress to find out how this could possibly have occurred.

There’s something incredibly strange about this woman but it’s never revealed what exactly is wrong with her or why she is the way she is. (But then again, many of the characters in this story are odd. Like Bill? And his ‘I haven’t had my daily orgasm. It’s an essential part of this particular variation of the diet, didn’t I tell you?’ Excuse me?!?) You catch a glimpse early on in the story of her mental instability when she proceeds to flip out on a sales woman who attempted to sell her a dress made of stain resistant material. She took this as a personal insult as if the sales woman was attempting to say that she was a messy eater.

“Do you think I spill things on my clothes?” the customer shrieks. “Do I look as if I don’t eat properly?”

Suffice it to say that was her first but not final moment of unpredictability. She’s a habitual liar and it’s quite shocking how easily the lies flow from her mouth. And she definitely found her type in the end.

“Will you feel a presence? Is that how you’ll know?”
“Not really a presence,” Lise says. The lack of an absence, that’s what it is. I know I’ll find it. I keep on making mistakes, though.”

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Short & Sweet – Other People’s Love Letters by Bill Shapiro

December 23, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short & Sweet Reviews 0 Comments

Short & Sweet – Other People’s Love Letters by Bill ShapiroOther People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See by Bill Shapiro
Published by Potter Style on October 30th 2007
Pages: 192
Genres: Non-Fiction, Romance
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
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three-stars

Fevered notes scribbled on napkins after first dates. Titillating text messages. It's-not-you-it's-me relationship-enders. In Other People’s Love Letters, Bill Shapiro has searched America’s attics, closets, and cigar boxes and found actual letters–unflinchingly honest missives full of lust, provocation, guilt, and vulnerability–written only for a lover’s eyes. Modern love, of course, is not all bliss, and in these pages you’ll find the full range of a relationship, with its whispered promises as well as its heartache. But what at first appears to be a deliciously voyeuristic peek into other people’s most passionate moments, will ultimately reawaken your own desires and tenderness…because when you read these letters, you’ll find the heart you’re looking into is actually your own.

• "i think UR great. wanna have wine & Tequila again sometime?"

• "I can't believe you're real, and I think about you constantly in some way or the other all day. I haven't given the finger to anyone driving since I met you."

• "With you I learned how to fight cleaner, how to talk things out better, and how to make a strong loving family out of nothing. These are priceless gifts that I will carry with me the rest of my life. One more thing you did for me: you left, and I had to get through it."

• "P.S. I look forward to your letters too much to call. Also, where do you stand on chains?"

’You should know…that still my life is consumed by you.’

This was an interesting little book that I was not expecting to like as much as I did. The title of the book may be ‘Other People’s Love Letters’ but they aren’t all your standard love letters. These are rejection letters, text messages, telegrams, breakup letters, letters of apology, but there are also true love letters that honestly had me crying at times. I quite enjoyed how some of these letters even included a postscript with explanations on some of the letters, or of details on what transpired after the letters were written.

’And I shall love you until I draw my last breath, and beyond.’

This was a charming collection of letters although I would have made slight adjustments if it was up to me. I found that there were several that disrupted the flow of the book as a whole because they were written about occurrences that of course we had no knowledge of. I found those in particular to be confusing and disjointed and felt that if they were removed the book would have been better for it.

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Book Review – Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1) by Tami Hoag

December 21, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1) by Tami HoagDeeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag
Series: Oak Knoll #1
Published by Dutton Adult on December 29th 2009
Pages: 421
Genres: Detective, Mystery-Contemporary, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted
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Also by this author: Down the Darkest Road

three-stars

The #1 New York Times bestselling author joins the Dutton list with the thriller her millions of fans have been awaiting for two years.

Tami Hoag is in a class by herself, beloved by readers and critic s alike, with more than 22 million copies of her books in print.
California, 1984. Three children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried female body, eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre, shocked by this discovery and heartbroken as she witnesses the end of their innocence. What she doesn't yet realize is that this will mark the end of innocence for an entire community, as the ties that bind families and friends are tested by secrets uncovered in the wake of a serial killer's escalating activity.

Detective Tony Mendez, fresh from a law enforcement course at FBI headquarters, is charged with interpreting those now revealed secrets. He's using a new technique-profiling-to develop a theory of the case, a strategy that pushes him ever deeper into the lives of the three children, and closer to the young teacher whose interest in recent events becomes as intense as his own.

As new victims are found and the media scrutiny of the investigation bears down on them, both Mendez and Navarre are unsure if those who suffer most are the victims themselves-or the family and friends of the killer, blissfully unaware that someone very close to them is a brutal, calculating psychopath.

The body of a woman with her eyes and mouth glued shut are discovered in the woods by three school children on their way home from school. Discovering the woman’s body is only the beginning of how they become entangled in this mystery in a small town.

This was my first Tami Hoag book. I’ve been seeing her books everywhere for years and have been meaning to get around to it. My coworker actually brought me her copy from home and let me borrow it so it gave me the extra shove I needed to finally get on it.

One thing to note about ‘Deeper than the Dead’ is that it’s set in 1985. I must have glanced over these previous information, if it had been mentioned earlier, but not until I read a part where they were talking about an individual having a car phone and calling it an extravagant toy.

”But I doubt he and his cronies are playing cards in his car, and why would he lug that phone into his card game with him? You have to carry the damn things around in a suitcase.”

I need to get me one of those.

What I found most interesting about this murder mystery is the fact that there were three very prominent suspects that were regular members of society. I find that typical serial killer novels I’ve read are always lurking in the background and aren’t out standing in the spot light. I first liked that there were SO many suspects so that it wasn’t quite so obvious, but as the story progressed not only did I know exactly who it was but the intense focus that was placed on the other ‘suspects’ made it seem cheesy and a bit annoying after a while. I’m big on the murder mysteries but this one definitely wasn’t my favorite. I’ve got more of Tami Hoag’s books that I’ll be diving into in the future, I just hope that she spices things up a bit more.

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Book Review – Burned (Burned #1) by Ellen Hopkins

December 21, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 3 Comments

Book Review – Burned (Burned #1) by Ellen HopkinsBurned by Ellen Hopkins
Series: Burned #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on April 1st 2006
Pages: 531
Genres: Realistic YA Fiction, Verse
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
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Also by this author: Triangles, Crank, Fallout

four-stars

I do know things really began to spin out of control after my first sex dream.

It all started with a dream. Nothing exceptional, just a typical fantasy about a boy, the kind of dream that most teen girls experience. But Pattyn Von Stratten is not like most teen girls. Raised in a religious -- yet abusive -- family, a simple dream may not be exactly a sin, but it could be the first step toward hell and eternal damnation.

This dream is a first step for Pattyn. But is it to hell or to a better life? For the first time Pattyn starts asking questions. Questions seemingly without answers -- about God, a woman's role, sex, love -- mostly love. What is it? Where is it? Will she ever experience it? Is she deserving of it?

It's with a real boy that Pattyn gets into real trouble. After Pattyn's father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control until Pattyn ends up suspended from school and sent to live with an aunt she doesn't know.

Pattyn is supposed to find salvation and redemption during her exile to the wilds of rural Nevada. Yet what she finds instead is love and acceptance. And for the first time she feels worthy of both -- until she realizes her old demons will not let her go. Pattyn begins down a path that will lead her to a hell -- a hell that may not be the one she learned about in sacrament meetings, but it is hell all the same.

In this riveting and masterful novel told in verse, Ellen Hopkins takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride. From the highs of true love to the lows of abuse, Pattyn's story will have readers engrossed until the very last word.

He was a dream. A safe dream.
Safe, because he was unattainable,
something to adore from afar.
Like a snow-drenched mountain
or an evening star.

The Storyline
17-year old Pattyn Von Stratten is the oldest child in a Mormon family which consists of an alcoholic and abusive father and an extremely overwhelmed mother. Unconsciously, she starts to rebel little by little from her strict family’s rules. After her father catches her in a moment of rebellion she is inevitably sent to live with her Aunt in rural Nevada. Pattyn begins to realize that life with her Aunt may not be as bad as she had originally thought and that going back to her old life may be harder than she thought.

Thoughts
This was the second Ellen Hopkins book I’ve read, and even though this was not as enjoyable as Triangles, I did still enjoy it. It was damn near impossible not to feel bad for Pattyn and her ‘moments of rebellion’ which wasn’t even anything that bad… her family just put her on such a short leash that any form of rebellion was conceived as horrible and wrong.

I can’t help but feel that these types of family situations only make things worse on these children in the long run. Placing so many rules and responsibilities on them at such a young age usually leads to crazy acts of rebellion. Of course this is not always the case and many kids that live in strict households end up turning perfectly decent members of society. When I was in high school I used to have two really good friends who were both Mormons from large families (with enormous responsibilities) who ended up having a huge impact on how I view families such as these.

I finished this book with my jaw on the ground; it was an extremely abrupt and unexpected ending. I went into this thinking that it was a stand-alone novel but come to find out there’s more to come in this series… I’m extremely interested in seeing how the author takes this story.

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Book Review – The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

December 21, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey EugenidesThe Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR) on April 1, 1993
Pages: 260
Genres: Classics, Contemporary
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
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four-stars

 

This beautiful and sad first novel, recently adapted for a major motion picture, tells of a band of teenage sleuths who piece together the story of a twenty-year old family tragedy begun by the youngest daughter’s spectacular demise by self-defenestration, which inaugurates “the year of the suicides.”

 

“With most people,” he said, “suicide is like Russian roulette. Only one chamber has a bullet. With the Lisbon girls, the gun was loaded. A bullet for family abuse. A bullet for genetic predisposition. A bullet for historical malaise. A bullet for inevitable momentum. The other two bullets are impossible to name, but that doesn’t mean the chambers were empty.”

This was a strange read for me, yet still managed to be… I wouldn’t say enjoyable. Maybe intriguing is more like it. This book filled me with major confusion as I had constant questions arise since you don’t get the full picture as this story is told from a third-party, an outside party, rather than being told from the POV of one of the sisters. On top of that, it’s actually told as almost a recollection of people who were affected by these girls and their actions.

I had of course heard of this story over the years but had never managed to pick it up. Never actually watched the film either so I wasn’t completely aware of what to expect. Even know, writing this review several weeks after finishing the book, I’m not sure how to describe how I felt about it. What I remember most is the author’s vivid writing; I will definitely be interested in reading more from him. This was an interesting and thought provoking book but at the same time is a horrible and shocking book that I’m not sure whether or not to recommend. Very sad, very heartbreaking, and one that I certainly won’t be forgetting.

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Book Review – Knight’s Curse (Knight’s Curse #1) by Karen Duvall

December 21, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Knight’s Curse (Knight’s Curse #1) by Karen DuvallKnight's Curse by Karen Duvall
Series: Knight's Curse #1
Published by Luna on September 1, 2011
Pages: 320
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

A skilled knife fighter since the age of nine, Chalice knows what it’s like to live life on the edge—precariously balanced between the dark and the light. But the time has come to choose. The evil sorcerer who kidnapped her over a decade ago requires her superhuman senses to steal a precious magical artifact…or she must suffer the consequences.

Desperate to break the curse that enslaves her, Chalice agrees. But it is only with the help of Aydin— her noble warrior-protector—that she will risk venturing beyond the veil to discover the origins of her power. Only for him will she dare to fully embrace her awesome talents. For a deadly duel is at hand, and Chalice alone will have to decide between freedom…and the love of her life.

Storyline
Chalice is an extremely gifted individual with heightened sight, hearing, and smell. After she is abducted from her home in a monastery she is trained as a thief by the Vyantara, ’an international organization of nefarious magic users who profited from the sale of charmed and cursed objects I stole for them.’ She knows very little about why she is who she is or who her parents are but after finding out information about her who her mother is, Chalice is desperate to break the curse that keeps her a slave to the Vyantara.

Thoughts
This was an intriguing read from the very beginning, but once the storyline progressed and added new elements I was a bit thrown. View Spoiler » Plus with the weird details of her slavery and the gargoyle neck licking thing… well I’ve probably said too much already. Suffice it to say it was different, but not necessarily in a bad way, and was still interesting enough to keep me reading.

Chalice’s enhanced senses were an interesting concept, but her being able to ‘slide’ her contacts in and out was highly unrealistic. Where does she put them when she’s not wearing them? In her pocket? What about pocket fuzz? Don’t they dry out and shrivel up or anything? Where’s her travel bottle of opti-fresh or her mini travel case? Yes, I put a lot of thought into this even though it’s pretty inconsequential and they probably aren’t you average type of contacts anyways. I am a contact lens wearer for over 15 years though so I understand that contacts don’t slide in an out. And they do shrivel up. Okay, probably put far too much thought into it but whatever. It bothered me.

I enjoyed the various characters that were presented in this story… definitely added to the originality. The jewel-encrusted frog named Ruby was a cute addition. The ‘jewel-encrusted lie-detecting frog’ was a bit overkill though, but I did still enjoy her part in the story. Also, I loved the concept of the shape-shifting animal named Ling-Ling, but all I could think of when they said her name was ‘Ling-Ling the giant panda bear’.

I think the world building was lacking which is always a problem for me, especially when there were SO many supernatural creatures. There needed to be some development of some sorts, rather than just leaving it as the world we live in with supernaturals thrown in for good measure. The main characters weren’t extremely likable either and pair that with the lack of world-building and I wasn’t entirely overjoyed with this book. Okay, so in retrospect, I was being a bit knit-picky with this one but there were a lot of things that didn’t sit well with me. It was interesting enough but I’m not sure I’ll be continuing the series.

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Book Review – Unveiled (Turner, #1) by Courtney Milan

December 19, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Unveiled (Turner, #1) by Courtney MilanUnveiled by Courtney Milan
Series: Turner #1
Published by HQN Books on January 25, 2011
Pages: 381
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Unlocked, Unclaimed

four-half-stars

He was her bitterest enemy...

Ash Turner has waited a lifetime to seek revenge on the man who ruined his family, and at last the time for justice has arrived. At Parford Manor, he intends to take his place as the rightful heir to the dukedom, and settle an old score with the current duke once and for all. But when he arrives, he finds himself drawn to a tempting beauty who has the power to undo all his dreams of vengeance.

And her dearest love.

Lady Margaret knows she should despise the man who’s stolen her fortune and her father’s legacy—the man she’s been ordered to spy on in the guise of a nurse. Yet the more she learns about the new duke, the less she can resist his smoldering appeal. Soon Margaret and Ash find themselves torn between old loyalties—and the tantalizing promise of passion...

Unveiled focuses on Ash Turner, a man in desperate need of revenge after the Dalrymple family ruined his life. After he propositions to have the current Duke removed and have Ash replace him, he ends up affecting more lives than he intended. Margaret is a seemingly innocent party but more closely involved in the scandal than Ash is aware of, even after he finds himself falling love with her he still doesn’t know the truth.

Margaret is actually Lady Margaret, the daughter of the current Duke and was declared a bastard when Ash sought to take his place. She originally planned on finding out any and all information that she could in order to get Ash’s case thrown out, but she begins to realize that her feelings are beginning to have an impact on her loyalties.

I love the intricacies of the characters and how they’re written. Each and every character I’ve read in a Courtney Milan book is detailed, original, and one of a kind. Not only are they unique as people, but the passion and romance between the characters is also quite tangible and incredibly authentic. Ash had his own little quirk that I thought was a great addition to an already fabulous story.

Oh I love a good romance and I continue to be amazed at how much I enjoy Courtney Milan’s books. This is the first book in Courtney Milan’s Turner series, but the 3rd book in the series that I have read. (Read 1.5 then 2 and now 1) Obviously it’s not a requirement to read them in order as the stories are intertwined yet still work as stand-alone books.

With this story, I was immediately drawn in and intrigued at how the author planned on making this storyline ‘okay’. Here’s this girl who basically falls in love with her enemy, and if she decides to be with him she’s essentially betraying her family. Pretty black and white, or so I thought. I loved Courtney Milan knotted everything up only to have everything untangle quite gracefully. The only book I have left in the Turner series is Smite… I intended on hanging on to it for a little while because I’m not looking forward to finishing the series, but I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to wait. She is becoming one of my most favorite authors to date.

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