Tag Archives: Romance

Review of “The Berlin Affair”

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Book ReviewsWWIIWWII Timeline – “The Berlin affair” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by David Boyle. Mr. Boyle has 12 publications. This is the first in his “Xanthe Schneider Enigma thriller” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in England and Germany during 1940. The primary character is the young American woman Xanthe Schneider.

Schneider is recruited by British intelligence to travel to German in the guise of an American reporter. She is to determine if Ralph Lancing-Price, a former British government minister, is still a patriot to England or a traitor.

She finds more in Germany than she bargains for: Information about the secret German ‘Enigma’ coding device is revealed to her; She develops a romantic relationship with Lancing-Price; and Germany begins to mobilize its armies.

I thought the 3+ hours I spent reading this 121 page World War II spy thriller was interesting. This wasn’t a very compelling read. The story seemed to just amble along. I think it would have been better if it had been expanded into a full novel. The cover art is OK, but not very closely related to the story. I give this novella a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

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Review of “The DeValera Deception

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Book Reviews – “The DeValera Deception” eBook was published in 2018 (the original paper edition was published in 2010) and was written by Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin (http://www.winstonchurchillthrillers.com). Mr. McMenamin has published seven novels and this is the first in their “Winston Churchill 1930s Thriller” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set across North America in 1929.

Winston Churchill is traveling across Canada and the US. The Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, asks him to discretely approach President Herbert Hoover to get assistance in stopping the sale of arms to the IRA. While a team of SIS agents is dispatched to investigate, Churchill decides to rely on his own resources. He recruits his goddaughter, Mattie McGary, who is a reporter for the Hearst newspapers and Bourke Cockran a lawyer and son of one of Churchill’s former mentors.

While Cockran develops a strong love interest in McGary, he also mistrusts her and Hearst. The two are able to discover quite a bit about the IRA plot, but they find themselves in dangerous situations time and again. Cockran is distracted by the presence in the US of the IRA agent responsible for the death of his first wife. He struggles to keep his focus on the arms deal instead of seeking revenge.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 415 page period thriller. I liked the characters of Cockran and McGary, as well as the real historical figures that the authors have woven into the story. I like the cover art selected for the novel. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

 

Review of “The Philosopher’s Flight”

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Book Reviews – “The Philosopher’s Flight” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Tom Miller. This is Mr. Miller’s first publication.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in an alternate history. An Earth where magic is both possible and common. The story is set in the time of World War I with the primary character being 18 year old Robert Weekes.

Weekes uses empirical philosophy, a branch of philosophy (magic) that is almost entirely dominated by women. His dream is to be part of the elite US Sigilry Corps Rescue and Evacuation Service. A group that is exclusively female. He has read and heard stories about the Sigilry Corps all of his life. His mother was a hero of the Corps during earlier military actions. Now he wants to find a way to join up and aid allied soldiers at war in Europe.

An attack by those opposed to the use of magic gives him the opportunity to show what he is capable of. That leads to a scholarship to study Philosophy at the almost all female Radcliffe College. He must overcome the bigotry of the women who surround him. He meets a young heroine of the war, Danielle Hardin, at Radcliffe. Soon they are more than simply friends, which brings a touch of romance to the story. Not only must Weekes overcome the resentment of his classmates, but he must survive further attacks by those that want to see magic outlawed.

I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 10 hours I spent reading this 433 page young adult alternate history fantasy. While this was another ‘young magician off to face the challenges of school’ story, I thought that it took a refreshingly different approach. I liked the characters created for this story and look forward to reading more in this series. I am not a fan of the cover art. I give this novel a 4.8 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “30th Century: Escape”

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Book Reviews – “30th Century: Escape” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Mark Kingston Levin. This is his first novel to be published. This is the first book of a planned “30th Century Trilogy”.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains many scenes of Mature Situations. The story is mostly set in today’s time, with some in other times in the future. The primary character is Captain Jennifer Hero.

Hero leads a task force in the 30th century. Humans have created the Syndos, genetically enhanced humans, in order to explore space. Syndos have come to think themselves superior to humans and a war rages between them. Hero’s mission is to use a time machine and lead a group of her soldiers to the 27th century. There they will try to secretly introduce a genetic correction to the Syndos that they hope will make them more sympathetic to humans.

Hero, though, is suffering from burn out. Instead of following her men and women, she diverts herself to the 21st century. There she explores the Pacific islands, and makes many friends and lovers.

I had high hopes, but I felt let down after spending 10.5 hours reading this 332 page science fiction novel. There was little science fiction in the story. Yes there was a small, very small amount of time travel. The bulk of the story was about Hero and the friends she made. And she made some very, very intimate friends of both sexes.

I think that the book should have been classified as a romance with some aspects of science fiction. I also felt that the characters were very two dimensional. There was also a clear thread of saving the environment throughout the story. The cover art is OK, though I think something closer to the story could have been chosen. I give this :  a 3 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Unknown Horizons”

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Book Reviews – “Unknown Horizons” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by C. J. Birch. This is Birch’s first novel.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story is set in the future as humanity is about to launch its first colony ship to the stars. The primary character is Lieutenant Alison Ash.

Ash is newly assigned to the Persephone as the Executive Officer. While on their short journey to the colony ship Posterus, things begin to happen to Ash. The memory loss she experienced after the attack on Europa Science Station still bothers her and she is reluctant to let anyone know.

The Burrs (bio-technically enhanced throwbacks from the resource wars on Earth before humanity spread through the Solar System more than 100 years ago) want to stop the colony ship and are willing to do anything to prevent what they see as the abandonment of the human race. Complicating matters is the increasing attraction between Ash and the Peresephone’s Captain, Jordan Kellow. Ash is not well liked by the crew for many reasons, but she is driven by honor, duty and loyalty to those she loves.

I thought that this was a very interesting 4 hour read of this 240 page science fiction novel. I liked the character of Ash and the plot. Some may not like the LBGTQ romance aspect of the novel, but that was not an overwhelming thread in the overall story. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.2 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Lost Girls”

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Book Review – “Lost Girls” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Merrie Destefano (http://www.merriedestefano.com). Ms. Stefano has published seven novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the US. High School Junior Rachel wakes up in a ditch. She soon learns that she has been missing for two weeks. The worst part is that she can’t remember anything that has happened to her over the past year. The last thing she remembers is falling asleep in her room listening to music during her Sophomore year.

She discovers that over the past year, before the kidnapping, she had changed. She is astonished to find that she is romantically involved with a guy she would have been too timid to talk to before. She slowly investigates her own life, surprised at what she learns about herself. Slowly too, she begins to remember bits and pieces of the past year. She finds out that she is not the only lost girl, but she is the only one that has turned up alive.

The more she uncovers, she realizes that there has been a very dark side to her life over the past year. She also realizes that she has been involved with some very scary people. Will she remember how she was kidnapped and be able to save some of the other missing girls, or will her kidnappers find her again.

This was an interesting 6.5 hour read of a Young Adult Mystery. While there was romance, there was also a lot of dark, dangerous events in Rachel’s life. The plot certainly headed in unexpected directions as the story unfolds. The cover art is OK, but doesn’t really relate to the story being told. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Battle for Glory”

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Book ReviewWWII – “Battle for Glory” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Chad Ehler (http://ghqhomeforces.com). This seems to be Mr. Ehler’s first publication.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set mostly in England and some in France during the early days (1940) of World War II. The primary characters are RAF pilot Sherlock Owen Templeton and Luftwaffe pilot Herr Oberst Erich Mathieu Von List.

Templeton has seen action, but because of a terrible accident has been flying a desk for the past few months. He meets a mysterious American girl just as his orders change, putting him back into action.

The girl, Faith Hannah Fuller, is a pilot and part of a Churchill special project. She will be using her significant skills as an amphibious aircraft pilot to rescue downed airmen.

Von List is not only a pilot but also part of the SS. He comes across a tunnel from the French coast nearly to England built by the Romans for their planned invasion.

These three become intertwined. Von List encounters Fuller in the air, but is intrigued by her beauty and flying skills. Templeton flies reconnaissance missions and searches for the mysterious girl he met in London. Von List prepares for the German invasion of England through the tunnel he discovered. As he sneaks out at the newly made opening in England, he finds the beautiful girl he almost shot down to be stationed very near where the tunnel exit is hidden. Using his polished English, Von List mixes with the locals, gathering intelligence for the invasion and romancing Fuller.

Fuller becomes romantically entangled with both Von List, who she thinks is English, and Templeton. The secret invasion quickly approaches. Will Von List succeed with the invasion? Who will Fuller end up with? How will the growing rivalry between Von List and Templeton end?

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 217 page World War II Thriller. I did like the premise of the plot as well as the characters. Some of it was kind of far fetched, but then that is often the case with thrillers. The way the novel ended there could easily be sequels. I hope that there are. The cover art is OK in that it is, in part, a story about flying, but the chosen picture does not relate closely to the plot. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Trailer -“Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger”

Trailers – I don’t know much about this series yet, but since it is not scheduled to premier until 2018 we will all probably learn a lot more before it opens. This will be a 10-episode series on Freeform. The story is of two teenagers who discover that they have superpowers. The official synopsis is:

Cloak & Dagger is the story of Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) – two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another. Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart, but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging. 

Obviously there is a significant Young Adult Romance angle to this series. Will it be any good? I guess we will have to wait until next year to find out.

Review of “Typewriter in the sky”

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Book Review – “Typewriter in the Sky” eBook was published in 1995 (yep, that is the date on Amazon, but I think it was more like 2015. The original paper edition was published in 1951 and was written by L. Ron Hubbard (http://www.lronhubbard.org). Mr. Hubbard published 29 novels and numerous short stories.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. While the beginning and end are contemporary, most of the action takes place in the Caribbean of the 1640’s. The primary character is Michael de Wolf, a musician.

Through an unexplained quirk in time, he gets transported to the 1640s in the form of a Spanish Admiral sent to wipe away the French and English. This Admiral is one of the characters in his friends new Fiction novel. From time to time Wolf hears typewriter sounds from the sky (hence the title).

As it turns out he is the villain of the story, pitted against an Englishman who is trying to drive off the Spanish. And of course there is a beautiful, young English woman that has won the hearts of both men to give it a touch of Romance.

Wolf struggles to survive, surprised that he has the skills and knowledge to do so. He also suffers through rewrites where the past is ripped away and his history takes another path.

I thought that this was an interesting read of 2.5 hours. I’m not sure whether to classify this as Science Fiction or Fantasy. Surprisingly, the fact that the novel is more than 65 years old was not overly apparent. Wolf tries to move the story towards a happy conclusion for himself, but he is constantly challenged. The cover art is well chosen for the novel. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Trailer for “Before I Fall”

Not sure if I should classify “Before I Fall” as a Science Fiction film or just Fiction. The movie is based upon the best selling Young Adult book by the same name. Much like “Groundhog Day”, the primary character of this story, Samantha Kingston (played by Maria Maggenti), finds herself in a time loop, living the same day over and over.

The brief overview of the plot says “February 12 is just another day in Sam’s charmed life until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over one inexplicable week, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she’s in danger of losing.” There is certainly a Romance angle to the story, but the time loop theme may offer some interesting story twists. We will all know when the film opens in March of 2017.