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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

January 17, 2018

10 Quick Book Reviews

by Susan Roberts
A Week in Time
November 2017; 978-1973253198
ebook, print (151 pages); historical fiction

Here are some short reviews of books that I read in 2017 that were requested by the authors.
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for honest reviews.

A Week in Time by Bett Rose 

The London Blitz was a scary time for the people still in London.  Most of the men were gone and the women were left behind to run the factories, stand in line for what food was available and then spend many nights in the shelters hoping that their homes would be intact when the bombing was finished for the night.  This short novel is about Frances - whose husband has been missing in action for over a year and her neighbors and friends.  Frances works long and tiring shifts in an industrial plant and when she is at home she dreams about her husband. The characters in this book are everyday people showing great courage as they go about their everyday lives.  They try not to worry about the war but pray that it will soon be over so that they can go back to their normal lives.
Up to No Good
April 2017; 978-0692884775
ebook, print (249 pages);  romantic comedy

Buy A Week in Time at Amazon

Up to No Good by Marsha Cornelius

Rachel is about to turn 40 and she is bored and ready for some excitement in her life. She and her husband Brian work for a magazine and they work out of their home and even that seems to be getting boring for her. There is also a lack of romance in her life and she would love to spice up their sex lives again. All that put together signals mid-life crisis and when she tries to make life more interesting, she and Brian end up in major trouble.

Buy Up to No Good at Amazon

Sept 2017; Titan Books; 9781785654145;
audio, ebook, print (320 pages

Clade by James Bradley

This is a book about how climate change will affect the future of the world. It starts out in Antarctica where Adam is studying the effects of climate change and quickly moves to Australia when his first child is born. After that, it quickly moves to England where his now-grown daughter and her son stay with him through an apocalyptic storm. The book jumped around a lot to the major characters but once I was able to get everyone figured out, I felt like it was a good way to keep the story moving. It was an interesting look at what could happen to the world if global warming continues.

Buy Clade at Amazon

Five Freshmen: A Story of the Sixties by Steven S Kussin

Five Freshman
February 2017; 978-1530788897
ebook, print (464 pages)
historical, biographical
In the fall of 1999, the author was taking his son to Cornell to begin his college career. His parents had taken him to the same college in the fall of 1965. He immediately notices all of the changes in the life on campus for students. In 1965, the men and women's dorms were far, far apart and there were rules about having the opposite sex in your dorm. In 1999, the dorms were co-ed. In 1965, there were rules about everything and in 1999, life was much freer. He uses his son starting Cornell to give us the fictionalized account of his years at Cornell. I was a college student a few years later and lived through all of the unrest on college campuses due to the draft, the war in Vietnam and the beginning of the civil rights and women's rights movements. The author gives an accurate account of what it was like on campus during those tumultuous years. This is an interesting view of life during the 60s and all of the things that went on to cause such an upheaval in American society.

Buy Five Freshmen at Amazon

Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road by Clark Hays & Kathleen McFall

Bonnie and Clyde
April 2017; Pumpjack Press
978-0997411331; ebook, print (308 pages)
historical, thriller
This is an interesting 'what-if' story. What if Bonnie and Clyde weren't killed in that shoot out but were kept alive to help America get rid of some really bad guys? I will admit, I don't usually read books like this but once I decided to quit thinking about the true story and go into the 'what-if' version, it turned out to be a very interesting ride.  As the novel begins, Royce Jenkins - a newspaper reporter- meets an old lady at a graveside. She has called and told him that she has a real story for him but he must not publish anything at all until she has told him the entire story. She begins by telling him that she is really Bonnie Parker and the person that was being buried was Clyde Barrow. He is skeptical and finds lots of holes in her story when he tries to research it. According to Bonnie - now known to the world as Brenda Prentiss - she and Clyde woke up in a room being told that Bonnie and Clyde had been killed the day before in a gunfight with government agents. The story of their demise and pictures of their bullet-riddled bodies were all over the newspapers so it wasn't difficult for them to believe that someone had been killed. They were offered a chance to make up for all the harm they had caused if they would help rid the country of several very bad bankers who were trying to keep the New Deal from becoming a reality which would help America thrive. Their exploits in trying the make this happen make this an entertaining read. If you are a reader who can suspend reality to get into a good story, this book is for you.

Buy Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road at Amazon

Jaybird's Song
February 2017; 978-0998678108
ebook, print (266 pages); family life

Jaybird's Song by Kathy Wilson Florence

Josie Flint, known to her family as Jaybird, is the oldest of three daughters in what appears to be a happy loving family. The story is told by Josie in two time periods - one when she was a child and teenager in the 60s in Atlanta and present day. During her growing up years, we learn all about her friends and her first boyfriends and the beginning of the integration of the schools in Atlanta. She has secrets from her family and goes through all of the things that teenagers got involved with back then. Through all of her early years, the main person she relied on was her grandmother Annie Jo. When the story is told in present time, her beloved grandmother has just died and the family is trying to accept the loss. During this grown-up part of the novel, several secrets from the sisters' childhoods come to light and they have to learn how to deal with the new information.

Buy Jaybird's Song at Amazon

The Good Father
May 2017; 978-1521179680
ebook, print (440 pages); thriller

The Good Father by S.R. Wilsher

In 1994, nine-year-old Effie and her twelve-year-old brother Ajan, endure the horrors of life in the besieged city of Sarajevo after the loss of their parents. Desperate to help preserve their city, Ajan becomes involved with a criminal gang among the makeshift defenders. When Effie is forced to flee alone, she must survive long enough to reach those outside of the city who have come to help. But the influence of those pursuing her is such that not even the soldiers of the UN might be able to save her. Any hope of a future for Effie eventually lies with only one man, Captain Nathan Lane.

Buy The Good Father at Amazon

Shepherd & the Professor by Dan Klefstad

Shepherd & the Professor
March 2017; Black Rose Writing
ebook, print (232 pages); thriller
Shepherd served her country in the Gulf War, got shot while serving her community as a cop, raised an ungrateful daughter by herself -- and for what? A diagnosis of terminal cancer and she isn't even fifty. If you were in her shoes, you might agree that nothing short of national perpetual acknowledgment will do. She's glad you feel that way; she just wrote a memoir and sent a flurry of query letters, hoping a publisher will memorialize her with a best-seller. After hitting Send, she waits not-at-all patiently for an editor to decide if her story will sell enough copies -- that is, if her life really mattered.

Buy Shepherd & the Professor at Amazon

Match Made in Manhattan: A Novel by Amanda Stauffer 

Match Mafe in Manhattan
January 2018; Skyhorse Publishing
audio, ebook, print (320 pages)
romantic comedy
Before I give my review of this book, I want to point out that I don't think I'm in the age range of the target audience and that probably will account for any negative feelings about the book. That said, I thought that this was a fun coming of age story. It's a debut novel and I expect to see interesting work out of this author in the future.  After Allison breaks up with a long-term boyfriend, she decides to try online dating. Since she lives in NYC there seem to be lots of guys that she can meet online. Each chapter was about a different guy and a different date. Allison is looking for true love and most of the guys are looking for fun so she has a lot of problems with the guys she meets. I was rooting for her to find her HEA (happily ever after) and find contentment with her life.

Buy Match Made in Manhattan at Amazon 

A Tycoon's Jewel: A Sin City Tycoon's Novel by Avery Laval 

A Tycoon's Jewl
October 2017; Blue Crow Books
ebook, print (222 pages); romance
This is a steamy romance set in Las Vegas. Can a man who came from nothing trust a woman who lost everything?  Six years ago, Grant stole her family's company when Jenna's parents died. He thought that during that time she had been living the life of the idly rich and had no problems. He is very suspicious when she shows up at his office and asks for a job. To humiliate her, he gives her a job as his personal assistant. Despite their animosity towards each other, sparks begin to fly. Can they find out the truth in each other's pasts without destroying their growing love?

Buy A Tycoon's Jewel at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads,  or Twitter

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