The epic Chinese classic and phenomenon published in the US for the first time!
A fantastical generational saga and kung fu epic, Jin Yong’s A Hero Born is the classic novel of its time, stretching from the Song Empire (China 1200 AD) to the appearance of a warlord whose name will endure for eternity: Genghis Khan.
After his father was murdered, Guo Jing and his mother fled to the plains and joined Genghis Khan and his people. Loyal, humble and driven, he learned all he could from the warlord and his army in hopes of one day joining them in their cause. But what Guo Jing doesn’t know is that he’s destined to battle an opponent that will challenge him in every way imaginable and with a connection to his past that no one envisioned.
With the help and guidance of his shifus, The Seven Heroes of the South, Guo Jing returns to China to face his foe and carry out his destiny. But in a land divided by treachery and war, betrayal and ambition, he’ll have to put his courage and knowledge to the test to survive.
*** At first I wasn’t sure I would finish this book for the first pages listed ALL the characters and their backgrounds right from the start. And there seemed like hundreds! [Pretty darn close too!] And note these were not common names but ones I couldn’t pronounce so consequently, my reading was a bit slow at first until I really got into the story. But once in I was HOOKED! Even though the names were foreign, the action and pace moved extraordinarily fast. And that is due to the excellent translation of the tome by Anna Holmwood. It was an easy read with enormous momentum, and some of the key characters (of which some did not last long in this brutal world of fantasy and wonder) added a plethora of emotions from horror and hate to caring and love.
However, I did finish this book and there are a lot of words I can use to describe it – AWESOME – FABULOUS – UNFORGETTABLE – EMOTIONALLY STIRRING. Loved the pace, the people, the historical strands of actual historical figures, and the wonder of the fantasy and of course, the descriptions of all the martial arts moves and action!
In North Devon, England, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. Once loved and cherished by the Brethren, the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.
Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his detectives. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death. The case calls Matthew back into the community he’d thought to leave behind, as deadly secrets hidden at its heart are revealed, and his past and present collide.
Matthew Venn is just a regular guy – a cop turned detective after putting in his time but also a very good person. He was brought up in a strict religious community but had come to the conclusion early on that he just didn’t agree with all their rules and tenets. Unfortunately, you either agreed or you were out and as much as it hurt he followed his heart. Now with the new case and leads beginning to point him back to the Brethren he has to discover what if anything the murder and the mysterious kidnappings of young women had to do with one another.
The pace of this was to my mind a bit on the slow side in the beginning but it sped up. I did find it quite interesting to follow all the loose ends and tiny bits of clues as Matthew and his team dug into the murder and then missing young women to discover how the connections started to knit together.
The characterizations of the lead characters were beautifully molded together with compassion and love. I particularly loved that Matthew and his husband were treated as not an oddity, but as two people who genuinely cared for one another, even though the Brethren had to get a couple of snipes in along the way. However, the writing and the story itself were both done exceptionally well and I love a great mystery so yes, I highly recommend this book. Good solid writing.
I believe that HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN 10 DAYS is going to be one of the 10 best books I’ve read in 2019! It was truly a different and original storyline that is unique and fresh and to my mind extremely good. Famous and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane, knows how to look out for herself, traveling the world over as a famed archeologist. Nobody but her two closest friends know of the terror that haunts her, and yet, they do NOT know of the blackmailer who has been plaguing her for the last 7 years. What she needs is a wealthy husband!
Traveling to meet up with her two best friends, Lady Cecilia and Lady Francesca (who is about to be married to a man she hates) Alexandra meets up with a dashing man whom she assumes is the stable master after he claims a runaway stallion who Alexa had caught after he broke away from his handler. The man was striking and it was very unusual for Alexa to ever be attracted to a male but there was something about him….
Piers Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne is seeking revenge and his first step is to secure a bride. Winning a ladies hand however, is not easy when that man comes with a reputation as the Terror of Torcliff. When Alexandra enters his life his whole resolve changed, when she proposes marriage, he knows that she possesses dark secrets and like him, haunts her being. Yet, her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens passion and desire within him. Feelings he’s never experienced before.
*** The question is who is trying to kill him, or could it be who is trying to kill her? After a few close calls, one can’t quite figure it out! So many questions as to what is really going on, while passions are simmering and trust is fragile with so many secrets still to be told. Who is the villain and who is the victim? Can two hearts trust the other before betrayal tears them apart? The suspense, sensualness, and romance was divine! Highly recommended!
I have been following this series since the very beginning and it has been wonderful. What an amazing concept with a fast pace, and fascinating characters ! Since the beginning I have been enthralled with Dr. Evelyn Talbot and the whole concept of Hanover House while still trying to capture Jasper Moore! Her aim is to try and understand the mind of the worst serial killers and discover what makes them tick – Wow!
In this fourth book of the series, Jasper Moore has finally been caught and Evelyn can examine the mind of the man who tortured her as a teenager and tormented her for so many years. But utmost in her mind is getting married to Amarok, her Alaska State Trooper love interest, before she delivers their baby!
Only, Evelyn now has more on her mind than getting married. A psychopath from the much more recent past comes out of nowhere and kidnaps her in broad daylight. Instead of planning her wedding, Evelyn finds herself doing everything she can to survive, save her baby and devise some way to escape while Amarok races the clock to find her – before it’s too late.
Absolutely wonderful pacing with the most unexpected help coming from an unexpected place! I really can’t wait to find out if Ms. Novak has any more books planned for this series. It’s really too good to stop here!!!
Rosamond Tomkins had an almost perfect childhood until her grandmother died and the woman who was her mother reclaimed her to live with her new family and twisted husband. In her new household she was treated no better than a servant and was mistreated and abused both by step-brothers and especially her step-father. The day she was almost run over by a wealthy nobleman, Sir Everard Blithman, Rosamond thought she had been saved, but rather traded off one hell for another. But for one caveat – her mother (bad as she was) made sure that the nobleman married Rosamond before he took her.
Sir Everard recognized not only Rosamonds unusual beauty but the undeniable fact she looked so much like his deceased daughter. Sir Everard presided over a luxurious London chocolate house where wealthy and well-connected men go to be seen, exchange news, and indulge in the sweet and heady drink to which they have become addicted. It was a life of luxury and power that Rosamund had never imagined for herself, and she thrives in it, quickly becoming the most talked-about woman in society, desired and respected in equal measure. But when disaster strikes, Rosamund stands on the brink of losing all she possesses. Determined not to return to poverty, Rosamund makes a deal with the devil that could preserve her place in society—or bring her the greatest downfall. She was set up by a madman, and only her husband’s greatest enemy could save her!
Absolutely an enthralling historical story set against the decadent, chaotic backdrop of Restoration London, the plague, and the Great Fire. The Chocolate Maker’s Wife is a tale of revenge and redemption, love and hope—and it is definitely a book I HIGHLY RECOMMEND and I absolutely LOVED IT!!!
In actuality I was pretty amazed after reading this book at the intellect of Prince Albert and the role he played during the 20 short years he was married to Victoria. His accomplishments, his energy and his vision for Britain was quite spectacular – in short, he worked tirelessly and accomplished an enormous transformation of Britain’s vibrant and extraordinary center of political, technological, scientific, and intellectual advancement. Through Victoria, Albert and her German advisers pioneered the idea of the modern constitutional monarchy.
More importantly, when Albert was made Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in his late twenties [it was considered as purely an honorific role]. But within months, Albert proposed an extensive reorganization of university life which would eventually be adopted, making it possible to study science, languages, and modern history at British universities—a revolution in education that changed the world. He was probably one of the hardest working royals that ever lived and as a composer, engineer, soldier, politician, linguist, and bibliophile, Prince Albert, more than any other royal, should be classified as a “genius.”
All in all, while it was somewhat dry reading its was fascinating as well with all the details which the authored garnered in the volumes of correspondence Albert left behind. When next I continue watching the Masterpiece series of VICTORIA I suspect I will be more fixated on the Prince rather than the Queen!
The Riviera is a most wondrous place – but for Sadie Reynolds, hosteling it by herself after discovering her boyfriend had left after she uncovered his infidelities, she was anxious to return home. One wrong turn put her life in jeopardy but never did she expect to be saved by the most handsome stranger who came to her rescue. When she wakes up she is ensconced in a luxurious suite with views of the Mediterranean and her rescuer, France’s most eligible bachelor Olivier Dumont.
Olivier, heir to the Dumont fashion fortune, is no stranger to scandal, but Sadie is unlike any woman he’s ever met. He’s promising Sadie something too: anything she wants. Pulled into Olivier’s world Sadie is witness to wealth, glamour, and excess like she’s never imagined before. She is also witness to the betrayals and wicked secrets of the entire Olivier family.
*** Ah, to wake up in Prince Charming’s bed and world – such a fairy tale come true and it began that way for Sadie, as Olivier seemed captivated by Sadie, but Sadie knew without a doubt that it couldn’t possibly last. However she was helplessly in love/lust with Olivier and come hell or high water, she wanted to stay by his side.
Sadie was a wonderful character fully fleshed out honest and caring, quite the opposite of all the high profile models and socialites Olivier had been sporting around, but with Sadie he recognized that she was a gem he wanted to keep to himself which is where the title of the novel probably came from. Not only that but he didn’t want his relatives/enemies to discover and ruin the first honest relationship he desired to keep – safe from the vultures who were out to destroy him.
All in all, this was a great read and though I wasn’t thrilled with the ending I am hoping to see in the some really great karma and payback in subsequent volumes!
First of all I really loved this book. It wasn’t unusual in nature as I have read others that have the same type if scenario where one of the protagonists gets bumped in the head and has amnesia – not knowing who they are! Yes it is definitely a very effective storyline used in so many ways. But author, Anna Bennett, did a masterful job of keeping the story fresh, sensual and totally endearing.
Not only had Miss Lily Hartley lost her memory and didn’t remember that what she did on the side; being a published author of an advice column for debutantes that was quite scandalous; her reputation would be ruined.
Dressed as a lad her savior didn’t realize she was a woman till her hat got knocked off. But seeing the hands of lady he saw no other choice than to bring her home where he and his sister could care for her. Although whether she was a gentlewoman or simply a vagrant he couldn’t discern, but what he felt when she was washed up and clean was attraction; something he, the Duke of Stonebridge , hadn’t felt in some years.
Naturally, not knowing whether Lily had family, a beau, or even a husband wasn’t the main concern. Discovering who she was would be the primary problem to overcome, but the closer they came to uncovering her identity, the realization that he didn’t want to let her go was a problem they would both have to deal with.
Great fleshed out characters, scenarios, and sensuality. The only problem I had with the book – it ended too soon! If I had seen the gorgeous cover before hand, I would have picked it up just for the cover!! Highly recommended!
Laurel McMillan has been teaching her class how to make perfect pillows in her community center’s DIY class. While all of her students have made progress, she’s had a couple stand out and encourages them to participate in some local contests. Not surprisingly, Jennifer wins with her stunning beaded peacock pillow. Unfortunately, Jennifer’s husband is murdered soon afterwards, and it appears the pillow is the weapon. Can Laurel help uncover who the murderer is?
What a fun cozy mystery! Paula Darnell pulls the reader in quickly, introducing us both to the community and many of the characters. I love the idea of a homeowners’ association having crafting classes that members of the community can enjoy. The mystery itself is clever, with several red herrings thrown into the mix to keep the reader guessing.
DEATH BY DESIGN is the second book in the DIY Diva Mystery series but can easily be read as a standalone. I haven’t read the first book, but it’s on my stack to read as Paula Darnell writes an intriguing and entertaining cozy mystery. I love the crafting aspect, especially considering the students’ pillow projects vary from the very intricate work of Jennifer’s pillow to the more practical ones finished by Bud. I look forward to reading future books in the series!