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A rose by another name

Rosalind Book Cover Rosalind
(The Colville Stories Book 1)
Judith Deborah
Literary Fiction , Women's Fiction
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 01 Apr 2019

"There’s everyone else in the world. And then there is you."

World-class heart surgeon Dr. Peter Sutter runs his life with the instinctive precision of a master of the universe. But when he leaves the operating room, the only living thing waiting for him is a golden retriever. Then a chance encounter with an enigmatic woman changes everything.

Exploring the depths of Rosalind's intoxicating body and captivating spirit, Peter quickly falls under her spell. Miraculously, the feeling is mutual. 

But fate is waiting just around the corner. And it might be carrying a lead pipe.

Rosalind is a sensual, witty, moving story about the joy of real love, the surprise and delight of unexpected passion, and the transcendent power of human connection

It took me a while to get into this story as it was written from the male perspective and thinking which was initially confusing for me.  I have read stories written this way before so this was surprising, however I persevered and was glad. The prose improved in style and content and I began to understand the author’s mindset. And it clicked. I saw the rationale for his behaviours as his explanations became clear, and it was in truth a real love story.

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Secrets? Everyone has some

We All Have Secrets Book Cover We All Have Secrets
Dr. Molly McCormick Series Book 1
by Florence Love Karsner
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 06 Apr 2019

The year is 1962. Dr. Molly McCormick, a young female physician, has been attacked by a deranged psychiatric patient and has suffered physical and psychological damage. She is recovering at her grandfather’s home which is located on an island off the Southwest coast of Florida. Such a great location with one problem . . . it is just a hop and skip to Cuba where Fidel Castro has just pointed Russian missiles in the direction of the United States. The Cuban Missile Crisis is heating up and the whole world is on pins and needles.Dr. McCormick’s grandfather, a retired U. S. Navy Captain, Intelligence Officer, is neck deep in stopping arms from being sent to the rebels in Cuba. Recently he has learned that someone on his island is preparing to supply the rebels with a stash of sulfur mustard, a chemical that can be converted to mustard gas. This weapon can be spread many ways and will cause grave illness and possibly death to thousands. Oh, and just one more small issue . . . Dr. McCormick’s attacker is still out there . . .and has promised to “find her” again!

Down to the sea we go – the steamy sea – the islands with swamps and mosquitoes and noseeums – all ready to drink your blood…

In this novel we go back to the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the islands that are just next door to Cuba.

There are some interesting hints of future storylines coming through in the male characters and it will be disappointing if the series doesn’t follow them up.

The female character – Molly- still lacks definition for me, not yet fully formed but hopefully she will develop. Her final choice of career was obvious from the visit she made to an outlying island so no surprises there.

This is not the first book by this author that I have read, but the one with most potential for me.

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Holy Love is needed

Love You Holy: Wild Child Book Cover Love You Holy: Wild Child
Fran Steinberg
contemporary fiction, romance, Women's Fiction
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 25 Apr 2019

A screaming newborn is thrown from a speeding car onto a dusty Texas road. Immediately, swarms of vultures descend on her to feast. A vicious kick from a crippled old man scatters the vultures and gives his wife time to pick the baby up."What is it Ma?" the old man asks his wife. "A sickly bear cub?" he ventures."No, Pa. It’s a newborn baby. See,” she says, pulling the blanket down. “Two arms and two legs. No fur. And look at this, Pa,” she says shaking her head with tears in her eyes, "her umbilical cord still attached." And so begins the life of Max Arrins, an abandoned orphan whose extraordinary character eventually makes her a legend in Texas. She’s a modern-day hero, who defends the weak, takes care of her people and doesn’t take any shit! Determined to join the Storm Kings, an elite group of linemen who put the lights back on after hurricanes and cyclones, she struggles fearlessly with man and nature to achieve her goal. But when her ambitions are blocked, the "Wild Child" in her emerges, with disastrous results for her opponent.If Wild Child Arrins loves you holy, you're safe. Be kind to her and she'll be kind to you. But hurt her or prevent her from getting what she wants… watch out. The Wild Child unleashed is a force to be reckoned with; a force not bears, wildcats or even an entire crew of Storm Kings can handle.

This is a very different story. It is written as an autobiography by the Wild child herself, telling her story from the age of 14 to 17 in great depth. Max also explains her origins, as she knows them, and some details of her life after 17, but the bulk of the story covers the period of her adoption to her marriage.

Her origins and early life are heart-rending and sad beyond belief, and yet you believe the story as it is so well told. The desperate poverty of small land holders with debts and mortgages reliant on their crops to provide their income.

The characterisations of this strange breed of humanity – Texans – are excellent, as is the use of colloquial language and idioms. I thought that the character of the Judge was lovely, and Ben was believable as someone who could ‘tame’ the Wild Child.

This novel kept me turning the pages and wanting to know more about the Storm Kings and yes, the song – The Witchita Linesman’ kept running through my head!

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Who started it all?

A Potter's Tale
by Dave Davis
Sci Fi & Fantasy
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date: 03 Apr 2019

1935. Roz Lhulier and his team unearth the massive tomb of Pakal, the greatest Mayan king. It’s the discovery of the century, they think. They’re wrong. Instead, deep in the pyramid that holds the seventh-century ruler, hides a primitive Codex, a book of prophecy, predicting the collapse of the solar system. Raising the question, “Does the world end?” The codex is deciphered by Alan Turing, the genius who broke the German’s Enigma Code during WWII, but its message is jealously guarded by the Astronomers, a lethal cult inside the Catholic Church. They’ve compromised or killed anyone with knowledge of the secret—presidents and prime ministers, for starters. The Codex pulls Noah Scott into its deadly orbit, a physician-turned reporter, and his partner Kate. When they investigate the murder and memoirs of DiShannia, a highly precocious teenager who’s achieved national recognition for her research on the demise of the Mayan civilization, Kate and Noah are led from Washington DC, to the British Museum, to the Center for Nuclear Research in Geneva, to Melbourne, Australia. Each step enlightens them, offers them clues, frightens them. And us. The Potter’s Tale weaves two strands of the novel—the Codex and its rich human stories—with another, creating an unsettling narrative DNA. This third strand involves the Potter, who crafts the story. And the genes that craft us all. Does the world end? The Potter knows the answer. Noah, Kate discover it. We learn it too—on the last page.

A novel about an alternate universe – or an alternate history of ours. I found the beginning chapters on the slow side – perhaps there were too many threads to the story too and I started to find it difficult to remember everything that had happened in each one.

There were also still quite a few proofing errors such as ‘well healed developers’ ; ‘members of a leafy sect’ [location 1320]

I also thought that the story could have been shorter – maybe reduce the threads and be rather cruel – there was, for me, too much of a tendency to ramble. The story line needed to be tighter.

All the above aside, the novel got an extra star for the great final twist to the tale.

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Something Magical?

The Wolf, the Wizard and the Woad Book Cover The Wolf, the Wizard and the Woad
(Highland Healer Book 4)
Florence Love Karsner
Sci Fi & Fantasy , Women's Fiction
BooksGoSocial SeaDog Press, LLC
(12 Sept. 2018)

This prequel to the Highland Healer Series takes readers back in time, to the beginning of the line of healers from whom Caitlin—the fiery, determined protagonist at the heart of the series—has come. Who were these people? Where did they come from? And most importantly, who was this grandmother, Ci-Cero, that is spoken of in the series? What was so special about her? Does Caitlin possess some of her traits, her character, or her abilities? How is it that Caitlin finds herself in Scotland?The Wolf, The Wizard, and The Woad is a magical tale, unique in its presentation, and delves into even greater questions that have been with humanity since the beginning of time. This exciting story will engage you on page one. The time period is the 1600s and the story opens on a desperate note. Caitlin’s father, a Viking, and her mother, a Woad, have traveled from their home in the isles of Scotland—land of ancients and druids—to a new land seeking a better life.Their journey to this far away land has been an arduous one. Many have died, and death is anxiously waiting to wrap its arms around their young daughter as well. In order to save her, a desperate father and mother leave their small daughter on the shores of North America–a dangerous and primitive land—with only a wolf to protect her. This beginning, though heart wrenching, is necessary and sets your thoughts afire wondering what comes next. This coming of age tale, the story of a Chosen Child whose destiny was written eons ago, moves quickly and takes many unexpected detours and follows unmapped territory. This special girl must survive, though her chances are slim as she is alone in her quest to find her place and reason for being. Fascination abounds when we meet her mentor—an old wizard, a shaman— who resides in a cave. Who is this warlock? His spirit has been with her since her birth. Is he psychic? Telepathic? Or is he simply a figment of her imagination? How does he fit into the overall picture? Why is he of such importance for our healer, Caitlin, later on?The favorite character in the Highland Healer Series is the wolf. He is an integral character in this prequel as well. His sole purpose is to protect this child, a task he was assigned the moment she was born. Like Caitlin’s grandmother, Ci-Cero, this wolf is the first in his line and his offspring are present in each novel in the series. Follow them all—the wolf, the wizard, and the woad—and you’ll engage on a most interesting and exciting adventure that will stay with you for an eon or more!

An interesting preview to a series I am not familiar with.

However, whilst I liked the Native American Lore and the mix with some Viking theology, the actual ‘magic’ element seemed rather thin.

Yes, there was a wizard – one must suppose that as he turned out to be white skinned with blue eyes, tat he was in fact a Druid. Which didn’t fit with all the other theologies.

I did wonder if it was aimed at a YA audience, but it seems not, which surprised me, as the level of knowledge seemed at this level.

In the end, I found it a little disappointing. Too many pantheons and theologies mixed up together.

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