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Mayhem but not enough Magic

Magic & Mayhem Book Cover Magic & Mayhem
by Erica Ridley
Romance , Sci Fi & Fantasy
WebMotion
Pub Date 26 Jul 2019

KISSED BY MAGIC Enjoy an Outlander-meets-Frozen romantic comedy: A treasure-hunter risks an ancient curse and ends up trapped inside an icebound castle with a medieval princess! MUST LOVE MAGICPrincess Bride-meets-Office Space romantic comedy: When a magically challenged fairy jeopardizes her apprenticeship by getting involved with a sexy mortal, it's one disaster too many. In order to earn her wings, she'll have to ditch the human–and her one chance at true love. SMITTEN BY MAGIC A former corporate raider plans to redirect his money and attention toward family and good works. Unfortunately, his attempts to make things better meet with one disaster after another. His plans disintegrate further when he runs into an angelic tourist with... wings?

Another set of 4 books, re-issued from first published, revised, edited and improved. But still not quite 4 stars.

Whilst these are romantic comedies they read like they are still early stories where the author is still learning her trade – not as sophisticated as her current novels.

Some were better than others, and they all had a good twist that didn’t rehash the standard fairy story (like Red Riding Hood or Cinderella of which there are far too many on the shelves now).

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Our world is about to end?

A Merciful Death Book Cover A Merciful Death
Mercy Kilpatrick Book #1
Kendra Elliot
Montlake Romance
(17 Jan. 2017)

FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick has been waiting her whole life for disaster to strike. A prepper since childhood, Mercy grew up living off the land—and off the grid—in rural Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. Until a shocking tragedy tore her family apart and forced her to leave home. Now a predator known as the cave man is targeting the survivalists in her hometown, murdering them in their homes, stealing huge numbers of weapons, and creating federal suspicion of a possible domestic terrorism event. But the crime scene details are eerily familiar to an unsolved mystery from Mercy’s past.

Sent by the FBI to assist local law enforcement, Mercy returns to Eagle’s Nest to face the family who shunned her while maintaining the facade of a law-abiding citizen. There, she meets police chief Truman Daly, whose uncle was the cave man’s latest victim. He sees the survivalist side of her that she desperately tries to hide, but if she lets him get close enough to learn her secret, she might not survive the fallout

A story about Preppers – that almost uniquely US lifestyle that assumes a world disaster is likely to happen tomorrow and thus you better be prepared today. Everything that might sustain life is required from food and medicine, to methods of providing power and water.

There is a Preppers site for the UK population but its 40 hints start with assuming the following:

1. You are in debt – so get rid of it

2. You will need 6 months of cash to get by

3. You need to have a 72 hour survival kit.

Now this would just seem ridiculous to the US Preppers who are assuming – bearing in mind there is a lot of land they can use – that they will need to feed themselves from their own land and livestock for years at the very least – 72 hours pishposh…

 The other point with US Preppers is that very many of them don’t recognise that US laws apply to them and many are not on the electoral role, the children are not registered, and they are deep into the illegal purchase and storage of weapons – lots of them – more and of many different types – than can seem at all reasonable and very well hidden.

Apart from this belief of world disaster looming, the Preppers , mostly, come across as rational self-sufficiency farmers using bartering rather than cash.

I found this a nicely told tale with enough empathy for the characters whether Prepper or Police.

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And there’s a wife in the Attic?

Gothic Love Stories
by Erica Ridley
Mystery & Thrillers , Romance
WebMotion
Pub Date 23 Aug 2019

TOO WICKED TO KISS When an impoverished bluestocking finds herself at the mercy of an irresistible scoundrel, his touch holds her captive to his every dark desire... TOO SINFUL TO DENY When a disgraced socialite is exiled to an isolated manor atop a pirate-infested cove, the only person who can help her escape is the one man who cannot be trusted with her heart... TOO TEMPTING TO RESIST A rakish lord has the chance to win forgiveness from a lost love... if he can spirit her away from a haunted castle. TOO WANTON TO WED A secretive governess seeks shelter in the towering home of a mysterious recluse who may be even more dangerous than the man she fled.

A set of books in the Gothic genre of historical romances. With brooding heroes and doughty heroines who fight for their right to romance etc.

For me, book 1 took quite a while to actually grab my interest. certainly a set of upper-class horrors were portrayed here, where a kiss makes a girl unmarriageable and age is no barrier, only money.

Women are possessions, things.

Interestingly, reading a recent article about millennial dating and sexual habits we seem to be coming back to this view – it is OK for a male to spit on his partner as one kind of kink/fetish, and semi-strangulation is OK too. Women put up with it as part of the norm for having a boyfriend rather than objecting. Women accept it and expect to be treated as a body rather than partner.

Whatever happened to feminism?!

So gothic heroes are perhaps more the normal type of male these days? Treating women badly is OK?

Luckily in the novels, the women fight back and demand better treatment and get it.

Not really my favourite genre but by the end of the set of novels I was enjoying them more.

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Aspergers and Autism and e/affects

All of Me Book Cover All of Me
by Emily Duvall
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: May 29th 2019

Maren Cole survived adolescence by relying on her intellect, but has never felt more different as an adult. The diagnosis she received as a person with Autism makes functioning in a fast-paced city with bright lights and big sounds a challenge. Forget about dating. Forget marriage. She would like to survive a conversation. Independence has never been more isolating or confusing and is complicated by a situation that puts her directly in the path of arrogant lawyer Caleb Allan.

Caleb isn’t interested in anyone except himself and his legal career. The one person he doesn’t need to spend time with is the awkward Maren Cole, but their interactions are unavoidable when she has the potential to push his career ahead. Forced to confront the fact that she’s unlike anyone he’s ever met, Caleb knows falling for her will destroy his work. He may also lose his heart to a woman who may never fully love him back.

This is a story of Maren and autism as an adult – Maren is high functioning on the spectrum, but she lacks social cues and skills and this makes it tricky for her to cope with adult life – especially as she has a family which tends to over-smother and over-protect.

She is employed very gainfully and is great at her job – so long as she is in front of a computer and working alone – or alongside a trusted friend. But general workplace skills and coping are tricky for her to navigate. And then she wants to date and wonders about children and marriage.


This story is told very empathetically and using Maren’s voice to tell it was a great device. It really helps the reader understand her life choices and why she lives by rules. I felt that the author was familiar with the syndrome and I also became familiar as the story progressed and I was privy to Maren’s thoughts and rationales.

A good read and worthwhile for anyone who wants to understand Asperger’s behaviours.


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True or False?

Marked for Revenge An Art Heist Thriller Book Cover Marked for Revenge An Art Heist Thriller
(Zelda Richardson Mystery Series Book 3)
Jennifer S. Alderson
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 19 May 2019

An adrenaline-fueled adventure set in the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, and Turkey about stolen art, the mafia, and a father’s vengeance.

When researcher Zelda Richardson begins working at a local museum, she doesn’t expect to get entangled with an art theft, knocked unconscious by a forger, threatened by the mob, or stalked by drug dealers. 

To make matters worse, a Croatian gangster is convinced Zelda knows where a cache of recently pilfered paintings is. She must track down an international gang of art thieves and recover the stolen artwork in order to save those she loves most.

The trouble is, Zelda doesn’t know where to look. Teaming up with art detective Vincent de Graaf may be her only hope at salvation.

The trail of clues leads Zelda and Vincent on a pulse-pounding race across Europe to a dramatic showdown in Turkey that may cost them their lives.

Marked for Revenge is the third book in the Zelda Richardson Mystery Series. The novels in this series can be read in any order.

This is a great Art Heist Chase story. Rather unusual in its detail about how forgeries are made and set in Amsterdam as the starting town. Which gives lots of opportunities for haring across Europe easily of course. Interesting that it is the Balkans which are blamed for crime families and that the old Mafia gangs are no longer used.

I do wonder if the Dutch law about stolen art was real and if so, is it still in place? Obviously does not apply to holocaust Art but still. I did try and research the law but couldn’t find any reference to it so…

A different crime story with a good twist, and enjoyable romp into a different crime genre.

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