On The Ropes by Hallee Bridgeman

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

The Synopsis:

Doctor Ruth Burnette has everything she has ever dreamed possible: the perfect job, a twin sister who is her best friend, and a fiancé who is retiring from professional boxing as the middleweight champion of the world.

Then came that fateful night when she witnessed a mafia execution. When her sister is murdered she knows she’ll battle to the last round and never, ever throw in the towel. Now she’s down for the count, in witness protection, anxious, alone except for the faithful company of her German Shepherd at her side.

As the time draws near to when she has to leave her safe little corner she stays on her toes. She has to testify against one of the darkest criminals in New York, she shores up the courage to face the accused from the witness stand. Unexpectedly, he’s not the one who worries her. She wonders what coming face-to-face with his son, VICTOR KOVALEV…her former fiancé …will bring.
Will Ruth have a fighting chance against the Kovalev family, or will Victor keep her pinned ON THE ROPES?

Review:

In On The Ropes, we read of a young girl named Mara Harrison trying to escape her hidden past. With the story changing timelines, we soon find out the link between her two worlds and are able to fully understand who Mara is.

The book is well written, but has a mostly predictable story line. Although, it does have a few twists that keep you “On the Ropes”. The plot is easy to understand. So, for those who enjoy an easy read, as well as a little bit of mystery, I would suggest this book.

Overall, this story is youth friendly and keeps the mind active. The author uses great descriptive appeal to really draw you into the scene. The story is defined and focused. I would rate it at 3 out of 5 stars.

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 House on Seventh Street by Karen Vorbeck Williams

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

The Synopsis:

Winna returns to her Colorado hometown to settle her father’s estate and sell his last residence, the grand Edwardian house built by her grandfather. She shares childhood memories with her married daughter as they clean and sort through both trash and treasure. Winna hopes to reconcile with her disinherited sister Chloe, and resumes relationships with her best friend and her high school boyfriend.

As the house gives up its secrets—a handwritten will, old love letters, an unfinished story in a notebook, and a diamond ring hidden among her childhood marbles—Winna calls into question everything she ever knew about her beloved grandmother. Then in the dark of night come footsteps on the stairs and numerous break-ins. Valuable art and jewelry go missing, her car’s brakes fail on a mountain road. Winna has an 80-year-old mystery to solve and needs to stay alive long enough to do it.

Review:

The House on Seventh Street is a special read that reveals two separate stories intwined with one another. Its mystery is subtle and creative, and the characters are very well made.

Though the synopsis is enticing and sure to grab the interest of any suspense and thriller fans, the actual story is considerably slow in actually getting to the mystery. Most of the whole first half of the book is just feel-good memories without any action and too many descriptive scenes about what something looked like. I know this sounds a bit harsh, but in all honesty I became extremely bored with the storyline to the point that I didn’t even finish it.

In addition to the book not living up to it’s synopsis; there were several mild cuss words and a few scenes were a young couple were making out in which it got decently detailed. Overall, I really wasn’t as impressed with The House on Seventh Street as I thought I’d be, and can only give it 2 out of 5 stars for not holding my attention and having content that I really didn’t care to read.

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Rated: * *

Checkmate Run by Allen Alexander

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

The Synopsis:

The KGB agents are vicious, and they are closing in… His odds of escaping are bleak… Will he prevail although everything is muddled in a treacherous love triangle? Whom can he trust? The inevitable checkmate could bring him freedom … or death.

Checkmate Run is an adrenaline rush of a story about a precocious young man’s deadly struggle to survive the brutal Soviet regime. Alex Loevsky is a medical student and an inspiringly rebellious poet. He becomes enmeshed in a breakneck battle against the rampant cruelty of the totalitarian state, where just the desire to think freely is nearly a crime on par with treason, and being born Jewish is more than a mere hindrance. Alex aspires to be a physician. Despite his top academic standing, he has to overcome unspoken rule that aim to restrict the number of Jews entering medical school.

His life becomes a death-dealing game of chess; he needs to remain one step ahead of his ruthless opponent–the KGB’s Second Chief Directorate–and must win the game in order to survive.

Review:

Checkmate Run is the story of the author’s own life and his escape from Russia, yet it is written in first person just like a fictional story and is extremely engaging. The way the author writes is so beautiful, reading much like poetry and allows you to visually see everything that happens throughout the book.

Unfortunately, there were many things that I didn’t care for concerning content; just in the prologue and chapter one, I counted around 5 cuss words, some very insulting, and the sexuality present actually caused me to put the book down, all before chapter 2! It was just too detailed and crossed far too many lines for my audience.

So, although I was really interested in the author’s story as well as his writing, I would have been more pleased had he left out the language and kept the sexuality at hints without showing us every little thing that happened.

So I am going to rate Checkmate Run 1 out of 5 stars and do not recommend it to any of my followers.

Rated: *

 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

A featured school classic review.

The Synopsis:

“I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion.” A summer evening’s ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine room, and a runaway imagination – fired by philosophical discussion with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life – conspired to produce for Mary Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, Frankenstein.

Written in 1816, when she was only nineteen. Mary Shelley’s novel of “The Modern Prometheus” chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.

Review:

Frankenstein is often considered a book with it’s very own genre; unlike any other book of its generation it is considered a classic and is almost always required to be read in order to graduate high school or enter college.

Its wide use of the English language and its unique way of telling the story makes it an exceptional piece of literature. However it is still a horror story and can produce unwanted feelings while reading it.

I actually read a biography about the author before I read the book and discovered that the poor girl who wrote the story of a lifetime, was beyond depressed and had a terrible life. Frankenstein captures the emotion of death so incredibly well because of everything the author experienced during her life, and because of that it is a very depressing book to read. However, for a horror story, I was surprised at how clean it was regarding language and sexual references; there was only mild and a small amount of profanity and there was little to no sexual terms; and when those were used they were specifically used towards marriage.

I believe that Frankenstein should be read in mid to late high-school and early college specifically for its use of excellent English; but I also believe that the reader should read about Mary Shelley’s personal life before reading her book, as it will really make them see the book in a different way than just a story. However, in my personal beliefs regarding literature, I can only give Frankenstein 3 out of 5 stars, which approves the book but just barely.

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Rated:

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