Time of Useful Consciousness by Jennifer Ott

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

Louisa Unger, a young German woman in Post-War World II Germany kills a man in cold blood. Despite her crime, her fate is up to her – give up her countrymen for her freedom. She decides to play the loyalty card and remain in prison. During the interrogations, Louisa weaves her tale of the events by evading any real information. She relives reuniting with her estranged brother Freddy, falling in love with Kris, a former reconnaissance pilot and learning to fly to a plane. She recounts in fairy tale fashion of monsters cloaked in shadows and lessons learned by incorrigible children. Seduced into the bliss of romance and flying, Louisa fails to recognize any threat. She grows immersed in the life of a smuggler, a pilot and a lover. It is hard to come back down to earth, when soaring so high.

Review:

A novel that captures the pain, heartache, trials, and even the bit of hope and romance that so many people endured through WWII.

Even though I probably could have fallen in love with the story for Time of Useful Consciousness, I did not care for any of the characters nor was I pleased with the amount of cursing and sexual conversations and actions that were present in this novel. And because of that, I dropped the book fairly quickly.

I do have to applaud the author on her writing style because I love her use of vocabulary, and the intelligent way that she wove the story together. The only reasons that this book receives such a low rating from me, is because of the above mentioned.

I give it 2 out 5 stars and do not recommend to readers who are wanting a clean WWII novel.

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Rated:

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The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

Living in rural Georgia in 1941, sixteen-year-old Alice-Ann has her heart set on her brother’s friend Mack; despite their five-year age gap, Alice-Ann knows she can make Mack see her for the woman she’ll become. But when they receive news of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Mack decides to enlist, Alice-Ann realizes she must declare her love before he leaves. Though promising to write, Mack leaves without confirmation that her love is returned. But Alice-Ann is determined to wear the wedding dress her maiden aunt never had a chance to wear–having lost her fiance in the Great War. As their correspondence continues over the next three years, Mack and Alice-Ann are drawn closer together. But then Mack’s letters cease altogether, leaving Alice-Ann to fear history repeating itself. Dreading the war will leave her with a beautiful dress and no happily ever after, Alice-Ann fills her days with work and caring for her best friend’s war-torn brother, Carlton. As time passes and their friendship develops into something more, Alice-Ann wonders if she’ll ever be prepared to say good-bye to her one true love and embrace the future God has in store with a newfound love. Or will a sudden call from overseas change everything?

Review:

A beautifully written historical novel that has the ability to bring the readers into the story.

Eva Marie’s writing style is one that will certainly capture the reader, as well as being perfectly suited for the genre she has chosen to write. The One True Love of Alice-Ann is a clean, sweet romance set during The Great War. The characters are all very well developed, believable, and will be remembered for some of their dialogue.

I did find the story to be slightly cliche when it comes to this genre, but historical romance is a hard genre to stand out in, but I do think that the subplots of this novel help it to do so.

So overall, this was an enjoyable read and I give it 4 out of 5 stars, recommending it to historical fiction fans.

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Rated:

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Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

Devil in the Countryside is a story about the most famous werewolf investigation in history, brimming with intrigue and war, love and betrayal, and long-kept vendettas.

It’s 1588, the height of the Reformation, and a killer is terrorizing the German countryside. There are reports that the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg has returned to a once-peaceful land. Heinrich Franz, a cold and calculating investigator, is tasked with finding whomever — or whatever — the killer might be. He’ll need all the help he can get, including that of a strange hunter who’s recently stumbled into town. Though they’re after the same thing, their reasons are worlds apart.

And through it all, a priest tries to keep the peace among his frightened townsfolk, while a young woman threatens his most basic beliefs.

Review:

Exciting. Thrilling. And brimming with adventure, Devil in the Countryside is a historical suspense novel with the twist of paranormal. Because it is based on the true historical werewolf hunt, it is different than most werewolf-containing novels, though it still has it’s fair share of heart-stopping moments.

The characters are all very-well developed and so different that the story always seems to have a fresh take on the mysterious murders. There are a few instances where cursing is used frequently, as well as some sexual comments/actions that are in the bars of the small town. Because this takes place during the Reformation, there is a lot of religious talk between the Protestants and the Catholics, the fighting gets escalated between the two parties, and there is a lot of talk of “devilry” and black magic.

So overall, I really did enjoy this book and learning a bit about the werewolf hunt (because my curiosity had me reading some documentaries at the same time) and this might be a good side-read if you’re studying the time of the Reformation.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to readers older than 15 years of age.

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Rated:

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The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe {Audiobook Review}-Narrated by Moira Quirk

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I received this audiobook free from AudioBookWorm in exchange for this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

It’s 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels, but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals. Determined to break free of the era’s rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself. If the police find out, she’ll get fired; if her father finds out, he’ll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he’ll cancel the wedding. Midway into her investigation, the police chief’s son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity, and shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail. Anna must choose – either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.

Review:

Mischievous stories, packed to the brim with funny scenes, witty comments, and charming characters, make for some of the best books to read and are even more fun to listen to!

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc is a tale that rarely kept me from laughing, I absolutely adored Anna and her adventures, from the scandalous beginning to the beautiful ending. This is an adult, historical fiction novel and because so, it has some mild language, a few sexual comments, and one or two gruesome details regarding the murders, though overall, I would say that it is decently clean.

The narrator, Moira Quirk, is a good part of the reason that I so enjoyed this book. She reads with enthusiasm and did such a great job adapting to the different voices of characters, as well as portraying the scenes well as she read.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Secret Life of Anna Blanc as an audiobook and give it 4 out of 5 stars, recommending it to fans of fun historical novels.

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Rated:

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Conquests: Hearts Rule Kingdoms by Emily Murdoch

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

England, 1069.

The nation is still recovering from the Norman invasion three years earlier – and adjusting to life under its sometimes brutal new rulers.

A young girl trembles in the shadows of what was once her home.
Avis is homeless and penniless, and with no family left alive she is forced to become a ward of Richard, the Norman lord who has taken her home. But when King William decrees that Norman lords must marry Anglo-Saxon women Avis must make a terrible choice.
Either marry the repulsive Richard or take a else chance on another Norman, Melville, a man she has never met.

Soon she realizes that survival in a time of turmoil and war depends of putting aide the prejudices of the past And if she can do so, kingdoms and hearts can still be among her ‘Conquests’.

Review:

A beautiful romance that captures the trials, pain, and confusion of a noble marriage during war, but also the love, commitment, and dedication that is sometimes brewed out of arranged marriages.

I fell in love with this story from page one! Avis is an incredibly strong main character, with all of the charm, wit, and sass that could be desired to fulfil such a powerful role. Hers and Melville’s story is one that is enchanting and memorable, and also illustrates how valuable communication is in a relationship.

There is some mild language, sexual comments, thoughts, and actions (though no scenes), and the details of the war can become very gruesome. However, though these things are present, they do not come very often at all, and are mild when they are included in a scene.

Thus, I give Conquests, 4 out of 5 stars and look forward to more of the author’s work in the future.

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