Monday, 17 June 2013

April through the eyes of a bookworm

unread books 

I know, I know, I know, this is really late. But better late than never huh?! If you read this post An Apology you will understand why I haven't been posting lately.

So for April, I read five books.

It Rains in February: A wife's memoir of love and loss by Leila Summers
On the 24th February 2007 my husband, Stuart, drowned himself at sea, leaving me widowed with two young daughters aged six and four. I knew it wasn't an accident, even though the medics and police never suspected suicide. Stuart had been talking about ending his life for a year. His most recent suicide attempt had been only three weeks earlier. Afterwards he explained that day as the most peaceful day of his life. Sitting next to the dam, he smoked his last cigarette. He drank a hundred sleeping pills and did a final check to make sure everything would look like an accident. The last thing he remembered was swimming out into the crystal clear water. He said that he was no longer scared of dying, that there was nothing scary about it. Living was the scary thing. It Rains in February is the true story of a husband's depression and obsession, not only with another woman, but also with ending his life. Leila Summers weaves a compelling tale of the year that led up to Stuart's suicide and the grief, profound loss and self discovery that followed.

My Verdict - This book is not for the faint-hearted, it obviously deals with some very raw issues and emotions. Leila Summers is not the true name of the author, but I don't want to say why it is written under a pseudonym as that all becomes clear towards the end of the book. This is a beautifully written memoir and the emotion of 'Leila' is clear to see on every page. How she got through life trying to raise two small children and, sometimes during financial hardship, whilst dealing with an unfaithful mentally ill partner is incredible but as the old saying goes "women are like teabags you never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water"and I guess 'Leila' had to do what she had to do for herself, her children and her husband. Highly recommend this if you can deal with the subject material. 8/10

The Lost Ark by J.R. Rain
In a lonely bar in eastern Turkey, ex-National Geographic photojournalist Sam Ward is hired to find an eccentric professor who disappeared high atop Mount Ararat, fabled resting spot of Noah's Ark. Accompanied by the professor's beautiful daughter, archaeologist Faye Roberts, Sam soon stumbles upon a secret stronghold - a base of operation for unleashing hell on earth. Now running for their lives, Sam and company are about to come face-to-face with the greatest archaeological discovery of all time......

My Verdict - I'm not sure if I read too much into the description of this book or whether it just failed to deliver for me. When I read 'a base of operation for unleashing hell on earth', I wrongly assumed this was going to be some 'other worldly' hell, not a man made one, so this book didn't stack up for me and left me slightly disappointed. 4/10

A Dark Kiss of Rapture by Sylvia Day
Of all the Fallen, Raze's hungers are some of the darkest and most insatiable. His brazen seductions cost him his wings, leaving him soulless and immortal, the most dangerous of seducers. He has roamed the earth for eons, hunting the rogues of his kind and protecting the humans who provide him with blood and sex. He is content with his life and the transient pleasures that flow through it...until one night and one woman change everything. Kimberly McAdams is smart, beautiful and wealthy. She can have any man she wants, but the moment she sets eyes on the lethally stunning Raze she knows he's the man she needs. As one searingly erotic night burns into something deeper and far more vital than either of them expected, an adversary from Raze's past sees a chance for revenge. Twisted by hatred, she will take from Raze what was taken from her - the precious gift of love.

My Verdict - Firstly just to say, this is obviously book 1 of a series, which I didn't realise when I downloaded it as a freebie from Kindle, stupid of me really as it's only 72 pages long, what was I thinking?! But if you like anything to do with vampires mixed with erotica then this is a read for you. The story was fairly gripping and the ending had you wanting more which makes sense as it continues in book 2! Although did it grip me enough to want to go and purchase book 2?, ummmm currently I'm not sure. Maybe I will have to leave that up to you to decide! 7/10

Homesong by Misha Crews
In a small town, everyone knows everything about everybody. Or do they? For twenty years, Kate Doyle has been haunted by the night when she was forced to flee from her tiny Virginia home town and abandon her childhood sweetheart, Reed Fitzgerald. So when Kate, now in her mid-30s, escapes her unhappy life in Washington, DC and takes a much-needed vacation, the last thing she expects is to be reunited with Reed. Now, under the warm clear Caribbean sun, amid ancient churches and pink flamingos, Kate and Reed seek to revive the love that they thought was gone forever. But will small-town secrets ruin their last chance for happiness? Woven into the modern tale of Kate and Reed are the tales of those who came before them. Their mothers: teenagers in the chaotic 1960s, best friends who are in love with the same man, although only one of them knows it. Reed's grandmother; already a bitter old woman by the 1930s, she would do anything to carry on the family name...and would drive away anyone who came between her and her grandson. And even the founder of the town: in 1865, what guilty secret drove one man to bring his own daughters across the ocean from Ireland and settle in the dark Virginia hills? At its heart, Homesong is the story of a small town: its lies and truths, its beginnings and endings. It's about proud secrets, unrestrained joy, and the old adage that you may leave your home, but it never really leaves you.

My Verdict - I was initially drawn to this book as I usually really enjoy novels which span the ages and have entwining stories running through them. I totally loved the parts of the book which focused on Kate and Reed's mothers and Reed's grandmother, but for me these parts where just not large enough and too much focus was on Kate and Reed in the present day. Plus, in my opinion, the parts written on the mothers and grandmothers was written more eloquently than those parts on Kate and Reed which was a great shame. Left me disappointed as I felt author let the book down. 4/10

Playing the Genetic Lottery by Terri Morgan
At fifteen, Ava ran away from home and changed her name to Caitlin to escape the chaotic childhood of having two schizophrenic parents. However, she lives with the constant fear of what lies in her DNA. Will she succumb to the disease that robbed her of a normal childhood? Will her children be the next victims of the family curse?

 My Verdict - Oh this book looked soooooo good, but just totally failed to deliver. It started good and the ending wasn't bad, albeit a little rushed but at 388 pages long it was bulked out with writing which just shouldn't be there and I feel the story which could have been there just failed to materialise. Also the style of writing had a very monotone quality to it which became mind numbing after a while. Total fail for me this one 2/10

So that's it for my April round-up and it's not hard to see that Leila Summers memoir was my read of the month.
So what have you been reading this month?
(May's reads are coming up shortly!)

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