Tag Archive | abuse

Book Review– The Scotsman by Virginia Brown

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Don’t Miss Virginia Brown’s Newest Historical Fiction Romance Novel!

The Scotsman is an entertaining, well-written and captivating historical fiction romance novel. The story takes place in England and Scotland, during the turbulent, warring years of the 14th century.

Although taking hostages is a common practice in wartime, that unfortunate fact, does not lessen the agony felt by affected families. Alex Fraser’s fourteen-year-old brother, Jamie, was in the hands of a ruthless Englishman, the Earl of Warfield. Alex knew that if he wanted to see his brother again, he’d need a hostage of his own, to negotiate with. He couldn’t believe his luck when he came across the Earl’s only daughter, Lady Catherine, alone. In theory, the exchange should have been simple. Unfortunately, the Earl didn’t care enough about his daughter to make the trade easy. Alex Fraser, the Laird of Castle Rock, however, found himself growing fond of the English violet-eyed, beauty. He realized, however, that although it would torment him, he’d have to give Catherine up, for his brother’s return.

Lady Catherine, the daughter of Earl of Warfield, was beside herself. She was outside, seeking solace from her callous father, when a Scottish brute of a man, snatched her up. As much as Catherine wished to be free from her father’s rule, she didn’t want to be a prisoner of the Scottish barbarian, Alex Fraser, Laird of Castle Rock. However, the longer Catherine remained in Scotland; the less terrified she became. And, what was even more, appalling to Catherine, than being held hostage, was that her traitorous heart was falling for her captor. Alex Fraser was not the cruel barbarian she was led to believe he was. The Laird was a force to be reckoned with, and fierce for sure, but he was also, loving, kind and thoughtful. In fact, Catherine had never been treated better by anyone in her life, except for maybe her brother. She did not want to return home. Catherine knew, though, that she had to, if Jamie were ever to be liberated, from her merciless father.

The Scotsman is a compelling tale. I quickly became engrossed and invested in the character’s lives. The Scotsman is an enjoyable adult historical fiction romance.

Thank you, Bell Bridge Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

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*Sisters One,Two,Three by Nancy Star

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A Compelling Story by Nancy Star

 

Sisters One, Two, Three is about a dysfunctional family, the tragedy that scarred them, and how Glory Tangle’s decision changed her children’s lives for twenty-five years. This book takes the reader into the heart of a family, damaged by secrets, loss, and neglect.

Glory, the mother of the Tangle family, is an interesting but unlikable character. She takes advantage and emotionally abuses her oldest daughter, Ginger. She also manipulates her into accepting the blame for whatever happens in the family. Because of this, Ginger, unfortunately, grows up anxious about everything. And Although, her heart is in the right place; Ginger’s obsessive worrying drives her only child away.

Glory’s two other daughters, Mimi and Callie were also affected by their mother’s behavior. Mimi grew up cold and controlling and Callie, a loner. The older two sisters, Ginger and Mimi, were stunned speechless, by the immense secret that their mother chose to keep from them. Glory Tangle knew that some of her decisions were selfish, but in her mind, she was doing the best she could for her daughters.

Sisters One, Two, Three is a captivating, poignant and emotional charged story with unique characters and a compelling plot. Very enjoyable.

Thank you, Lake Union Publishing, and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*The Forgotten Woman* by Angela Marsons

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The Forgotten Woman is a riveting story, about two women, broken, from the backlash of abuse and alcoholism. They formed a close bond and assisted one another in rebuilding their lives. Although Kit Mason and Frances Thornton came from completely different backgrounds, they became the best of friends.

Kim Mason is an ex-prostitute with a violent and abusive past. Frances Thornton is a successful lawyer who was abandoned and abused. Kim Mason landed in a safe-house after being beaten and stabbed by her pimp. Frances Thornton is recovering from an embarrassing, career altering mishap. She collapsed into a drunkard stupor while representing her client, in the middle of the courtroom.

The author does a wonderful job developing these two characters and bringing them to life for the reader. Their dialogue is realistic and witty and their circumstances compelling but tragic. Although, Kim and Frances had come from different worlds; their battles, especially regarding trust, love, and addiction, were the same. The book would have had more of a realistic feel to it, though, if there had been more detail written about the women’s struggle with addiction and the role that Alcoholics Anonymous had played in their recovery.

I enjoyed the book immensely, though, and rooted for the characters, right from the start. The story flowed smoothly from one character’s life to the other. It’s not a fluffy tale; it’s raw, but it’s well-written. I loved the book and recommend giving it a read.

I received this ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

~4 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*The Drowned Phoenician Sailor* by Lesley Hayes*5-Shining Stars

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The Drowned Phoenician Sailor is a beautifully written, character-driven novel, which quickly draws the reader into the heart and mind of the main character, Fynn. Fynn is a strong-willed, feisty, independent woman with a good sense of humor and a caring spirit. But, because she is being bothered by two ghosts on a regular basis, she fears for her sanity. One of the ghosts is her twin sister, and the other is Paul, her psychotherapist; the same psychotherapist who she was seeing because of her ghost visitations in the first place. Unfortunately for Fynn, when Paul dies, he ends up popping in and out of Fynn’s life, just like her dead sister.

Although Fynn was afraid that she might be insane, she was still the most responsible person in her family and the only one who cared for her eccentric, childlike mother whose grip on reality was quite slippery. It was on one of her visits to her mother’s house that Fynn met Jack, a mysterious man whom her mother found washed up on the beach and brought home, much like she would a stray puppy. Jack would become a special person to Fynn, though, someone who would touch her soul.

The author does an exceptional job writing about the issues that are often found in dysfunctional families; such as; abuse, abandonment, deceit, depression, and mistrust. Ms. Hayes explores many of the puzzle pieces that make up positive and negative relationships and crafts them into a beautiful story. There is a lot of humor, wisdom, and inspiration that is sprinkled throughout this book.

The characters are unique, developed and utterly fascinating; even the cat has a quirky hysterical personality. The Drowned Phoenician Sailor is written with elegance, so much so, that I often stopped to reread a sentence, just to admire the beauty of the author’s word choices. Every sentence is carefully crafted, to tug at the reader’s heart, make them laugh or move the story forward.

This is a quality book with oodles of insights and wisdom. I highly recommend giving it a read.

~5 out of 5 shining stars~Review by Peg Glover

*The Nightingale*by Kristin Hannah*5-Shining Stars

 

The Nightingale

The Nightingale is a poignant, unforgettable novel, magnificently crafted and impossible to put down. The story takes place during WWII in France.

The story is about two brave sisters and what they had to do in order to survive the horrors in occupied France. Vianne was the rule keeper; the responsible older sister. Isabelle, on the other hand, was the younger sister, the rebel, the one with spirit and passion. Both of the sisters were broken from being abandoned by their parents, but the two of them were forever changed by the atrocities they had encountered during the French resistance, in their home, and in German concentration camps.

While Isabelle lead pilots who were shot down into Spain, Vianne was busy saving Jewish children; one in her billeted home, right under the nose of a German officer.

Every page of this engrossing soul-wrenching novel, pulled me in, until I no longer read the words, but experienced them. This is not only a story about the hardships and suffering of WWII but of the risks that brave men and women took in order to save others. In the end, the only thing that mattered was the love that they held for one another.

I highly recommend this superbly written and remarkable book.

5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Swearing Allegiance*by Jana Petken*5-Shining Stars

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Swearing Allegiance, book one of The Carmody Saga, takes place in Dublin, Ireland in 1916, during the Irish Rebellion, and the first part of the Great War.

Jana Petken is a master storyteller and a magnificent writer. I’ve read every one of her books and have never been disappointed. They have all been five-star reads, and Swearing Allegiance is no different. Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t stop. From the very first page, I was swept up into the author’s world; A world ravaged by war, loss and betrayal.

The book follows the Carmody’s, a realistic Irish family, fractured by violence, betrayal, and injustice, but bonded together by love. The once wealthy family was jolted from their life of privilege in Ireland and forced to relocate to the poor section of London, England. Each member of the family faced their own personal crisis. Every scene in the book is crafted with sharp, authentic details. I found that the main characters were fully developed and that their dialogue was natural and realistic. The book comes alive with raw emotion right from the start, transporting the reader into the dark, violent alleys of Ireland, the bloody battlefields in France, prisoner of war camps and the streets of London, under attack by German Zeppelins. By the end of this riveting book, I was exhausted, happy and wanting more. Now, I can’t wait for book two in the series to be released.

I loved Swearing Allegiance, and highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a story, well-told.

5 out of 5 shining stars~Review by Peg Glover

*The Stepmother* by Claire Seeber

The Stepmother

The Stepmother is a very intense, fast-paced psychological thriller.

Jeanie Randall didn’t realize when she married Matthew King, just how hard it was going to be, to make their blended family work. Frankie, her son, had come to blows with her husband more than once, and Matthew’s daughter Scarlett, was taking every opportunity it seemed, to be rude and hurtful to Jeanie. Luke, Mathew’s quiet son, however, seemed to care for his new step-family and was civil and kind to Jeanie. But there was more that tore at Jeanie’s heart, unfortunately, much, much more. And, she felt as if there was no one she could truly turn to.

Jeanie should have told Matthew about her shameful secret before she married him, but she didn’t. Someone, though, found out about her secret and was trying to ruin her reputation and her marriage. Jeanie began to feel as if she was going insane. She couldn’t sleep; heard the walls whispering to her, saw ghosts and was receiving frightening threats pinned onto dead birds.

There are several key players in this book and throughout the novel, I kept changing my feelings about them. I didn’t know who to trust. The Stepmother had me glued to the seat, flipping one compelling page after another. The only thing that took me out of the story was the subplot about Marlena’s journalist work. But all in all, I loved the book, and would recommend giving it a read.

I received this ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

4 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover