Is Gambling a Vice?

Lord of Vice: Regency Romance Novel Book Cover Lord of Vice: Regency Romance Novel
Rogues to Riches Book 6
Erica Ridley
history, literary fiction, romance, Regency
31 Aug 2018
Kindle

Appearances can be deceiving…

Vice merchant Maxwell Gideon is wickedly handsome, sinfully arrogant, and devilishly ruthless. Rumor has it, his gaming hell has the power to steal souls and grant miracles. Truth is, Max only owns half of The Cloven Hoof. He’d buy out his silent partner if he knew the man’s identity. But it’s hard to focus on business matters when a fallen angel tumbles right into one’s lap…

Miss Bryony Grenville has a well-earned reputation as an unrepentant hoyden. But even the gossipiest of the pinch-faced matrons ruling High Society could never imagine the daughter of a baron secretly financing the ton’s most infamous gambling parlor. Its maddening, sexy proprietor doesn’t suspect a thing… and two can play at temptation!

In the Rogues to Riches historical romance series by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erica Ridley, Cinderella stories aren’t just for princesses… Sigh-worthy Regency rogues sweep strong-willed young ladies into whirlwind romance with rollicking adventure.

Well of course Gambling is a Vice and people have been known to lose a fortune and their whole estates at the turn of a card. Hence the proprietor of a Gambling Den in the Regency period might be know as the Lord  of Vice.

But perhaps that isn’t all he is. Perhaps he is egalitarian as to who he admits – to lose money – everyone welcome as long as you can pay.

Erica has chosen a topic here for this latest in her ‘naughty’ Lords series which doesn’t sit well with me. And her heroine helps her ‘Lord’ with her mathematical skills – for which we have to laud her – to work out how to make the most profit from the games of chance. Or that is, how to get people to lose the most cash…

But we do like Max – we have met him before in other books in this series, as he does have another side, which is softer and does help those who have fallen on hard times – and not by gambling!

So Bryony, the final sibling meets her match and also the tenant of her property which gives her a goodly amount of profit – which goes back into her sister’s school. Bad turned into good?

What I like most about Erica Ridley’s books is that she is true to the times. She writes with the ‘correct’ Regency novel phrasing – as invented by Georgette Heyer and attempts to echo the correct speech mannerisms using some phrases and words which were in common use then, but no longer. She accurately reflects some of societal issues and events – as far as is possible whilst writing a modern novel.

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And her name was?

Her Name was Rose Book Cover Her Name was Rose
Claire Allan
psychological, suspense, contemporary, police procedurals, romance
Avon Books
June 28, 2018
352

'AMAZING. I read it in one go. I was totally hooked.' MARIAN KEYES 'Utterly addictive. Compulsive, twisty, tense.' CLAIRE DOUGLAS, author of Local Girl Missing Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy. When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother - killing her instantly - she finds herself unable to move on. And then she makes a decision she can never take back. Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose's husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn't Emily fill that space? But as Emily is about to discover, no one's life is perfect ... and not everything is as it seems.

I thought this was a great read. At first yu think, OK, I know this story, then you find that you really don’t.

The twist at the end I never saw coming – which is what makes a good suspense novel – otherwise no suspense – right?

But, I did find the Epilogue content expected but forgivable under the circumstances of this being billed as a Romance imprint.

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A blitz of a book!

If She Were Blind
The After Twelve, #1
Laney Wylde
Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Thriller
Crimson Tree Publishing
October 22nd 2018

Not everyone can get justice the traditional way—that’s where Estlyn Collins comes in. A young lawyer in Santa Monica, her “legal” service, After Twelve, works outside the courtroom to tip the scales when the justice system has failed.

For a price.

Thanks to her powerful underground network, Estlyn’s success rate is stellar, and her inbox stays filled with inquires from the desperate and vengeful. But when one of those names is a ghost from her past seeking vengeance against her, she’s shaken to her core. Off balance and scared to be alone, she makes an impulsive move for a guy. He’s a complication she doesn’t have time for, but it turns out he may also be an unlikely—if unwitting—asset.

Treading the rapidly thinning line between personal and professional, Estlyn pursues her target while outrunning the one on her own back—only to find she may be running into a lot more than she bargained for

IF SHE WERE BLIND is the first book in the engaging New Adult series AFTER TWELVE by author Laney Wylde. Perfect for fans of the television shows REVENGE, SCANDAL, and VERONICA MARS, the AFTER TWELVE Series is a gritty social-issue drama that delivers steamy romance, intrigue, and the most bittersweet revenge plots. Estlyn’s determination to right every wrong is sure to quench your thirst for justice, yet leave you wanting more.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40866623-if-she-were-blind

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-she-were-blind-laney-wylde/1129186876?ean=9781634223386

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/if-she-were-blind/id1418955414?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/if-she-were-blind

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“The Privilege to Write About Race”

I was eighteen the first time someone made me feel shitty about the color of my skin.

It was my sophomore year at Biola University, a Christian college in Los Angeles County committed to racial reconciliation. That fall, at our annual Torrey Bible Conference, to which attendance was required, a black speaker addressed the topic of racial injustice. At least, that’s what I think he talked about. I stopped listening after he told the gym full of mostly pale students that white people were racists.

I couldn’t believe it. He listed half a dozen races, victimizing each one for the challenges they faced. I waited for him to say something about whites. We were the last he mentioned, saying we simply didn’t understand what black people endured.

How dare he, I thought. How dare he assume that because my ancestors were from Europe that I held a hatred toward people who look like him. How dare he presume to know anything about me. Because he didn’t. He didn’t know that some of the most influential women of my adolescent years were black, that one of my exboyfriends was Mexican, that I had friends of all colors and shapes and sizes.

It’s funny now to reflect on that rage I felt. I made it to eighteen before someone stigmatized my race. I doubt the speaker had made it that long.

Fast forward six years. My husband and I were watching a documentary on Netflix called 13th about mass incarceration in the United States. Several men and women, white and black, were interviewed. Whenever a white person spoke about institutionalized racism black people still face in the United States, I listened. When a black person did, I did my best not to roll my eyes.

That’s white privilege.

Privilege is an insidious force. It was invisible to me, because, like many others, I just didn’t know any different. I was raised to be colorblind, and consequently never attributed injustice to race. In fact, calling out the police or politicians or the church or any individual on anything less than involvement in the KKK was unfair.

Because if a cop shot a black man, it was because he wasn’t compliant, because he was running, because he deserved it. If he was in prison for life, it was because he broke a law that warranted that kind of sentence. If he was poor, it was because he didn’t work hard enough.

Black people told me otherwise. They protested through tears. They shared stories of the sons they lost to police brutality. They voiced the pain of being stereotyped as criminals. But I didn’t listen.

Until a white person said something.

I’m not proud of this. But I think it’s important to admit, to say out loud that I had and still have blindspots because of my privileged skin. Because maybe other people with skin light as mine will feel free to say the same, and start asking questions they once thought they had the answers to.

So many of us are afraid to say that we’re ignorant, that we just don’t know. But, guess what: when I approached my black friends with questions about what it’s like to be them, they answered. Happily. They assured me that there’s nothing wrong with not knowing. There’s only something wrong with refusing to learn.

When I started writing If She Were Blind, the first installment of the After Twelve series, I wanted to explore racial issues by writing from the perspective of characters of color. I wrote these characters in first person so I could feel the fear, the indigence, the often futile fight against a false inferiority placed on them.

It was the first time I wept for the people whose stories I had once refused to hear.

So, I wrote If She Were Blind not only to revolutionize my own perspective, but for everyone else like me––those who need someone who looks like them to validate the stories of those who don’t.

Because privilege is only insidious if you never use it to speak for those who don’t have it.

Author Bio

Laney Wylde is enamored with all things southern California–the traffic, smog, surprise earthquakes, and nonindigenous palm trees. Consequently, it’s the landscape her strong and sometimes lovable female leads paint their stories on. Her New Adult novels Never Touched and the After Twelve series are bright with provocative themes, steamy romance, and inappropriately timed humor.

When Laney isn’t writing, she’s singing Taylor Swift with her little boy or asking her husband not to tell her about his work as a surgical resident while she’s eating. She daydreams about using her math degree to get into law school, then realizes that would be too much work and that she should just play pretend court on paper instead. While she loves a good book, nothing beats 30 Rock with a bag of popcorn and M&Ms.

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How do you see the world?

The Rules of Seeing Book Cover The Rules of Seeing
Joe Heap
psychology
HarperCollins
April 2019

Nova is 32 years old and she is about to see the world for the very first time.

Jillian Safinova, Nova to her friends, can do many things. She can speak five languages. She can always find a silver lining. And she can even tell when someone is lying just from the sound of their voice.

But there’s one thing Nova can’t do. She can’t see.

When her brother convinces her to have an operation that will restore her sight, Nova wakes up to a world she no longer understands. Until she meets Kate.

As Kate comes into focus, her past threatens to throw them into a different kind of darkness. Can they each learn to see the world in a different … and open their eyes to the lives they could have been living all along?

I had an interesting conversation with someone at the weekend who has a rare condition whereby he cannot visualise. When he shuts his eyes, he can’t bring up a picture of a tree or a colour, or anything, his mind is black.

Thinking back over reading this book I can ‘see’ that life is difficult for him, and imagine if you had this condition, AND, were blind from birth?

I learnt so many things from this story. And found it very difficult to write a review. I learnt about sight and what it must be like to lose your sight after birth and to be blind from birth. [Macular Degeneration must be really hard.] And yet, is it harder to learn to see after being blind? There are so many complexities of sight and vision.

This book also has a love story. A love of two people coming together at a difficult time for both of them, of how they survive together and their experiences.

This is a book that engages the reader on many levels – the critical mind that thinks about sight and vision and dimensions; the literary mind that reads and understands and celebrates the writing style; and the emotional mind that taps into the characters and their emotions and experiences as expressed by the author.

I really recommend this story and author.

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Enter fashionable Norway?

Love at the Northern Lights Book Cover Love at the Northern Lights
A Christmas holiday romance
Darcey Boleyn
contemporary fiction, romance,
Canelo Escape
17 Sept. 2018
Kindle

‘Climbing out the window in her dress and tiara wasn’t exactly how Frankie imagined her wedding day…’

Runaway bride Frankie Ashford hops a plane to Norway with one goal in mind - find her estranged mother and make peace with the past. But when a slip on the ice in Oslo lands her directly in Jonas Thorsen’s viking-strong arms, her single-minded focus drifts away in the winter winds.

When it comes to romance Jonas knows that anything he and Frankie share has an expiration date - the British heiress has a life to return to in London that’s a world away from his own. But family is everything to Jonas and, as the one man who can help Frankie find the answers she’s seeking, he’ll do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother.

Now, as Christmas draws closer and the northern lights work their magic Frankie and Jonas will have to make a choice...play it safe or risk heartbreak to take a chance on love.

This story gives you arranged marriages for family business and dynastic importance…  where love is not important just prestige and money … so the brides runs away from her over-bearing grandmother and rather weak willed father who arranged the wedding. And her fiancee who doesn’t love her, but thought that they could come to an ‘arrangement’ that suited the families and left him free as long as the heir and the spare were produced.

She runs (by chance) to Norway and finds some surprises.

I thought this a rather hackneyed storyline and found the idea of her settling down in Norway unlikely; the author didn’t convince me that she could forgive her mother so easily.

I also thought the issues of post-partum depression could have been better discussed and been made more central to the story – this would permit the forgiveness of the daughter better.

I was also not convinced about her being able to set up a fashion house with all the necessary manufacturing and shipping etc so easily even if her designs were interesting. She had been sewing each item herself for instance. I think  again, the author, could have made more of this.

Am I getting too cynical?

 

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