Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Duels and Deception


Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father's choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan.

Until the day Lydia is kidnapped - and Robert along with her. Someone is after her fortune and won't hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert's help, Lydia strives to keep her family's good name unsullied and expose whoever is behind this devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is what she truly wants..... - excerpt from book.

Duels & Deception  by Cindy Anstey  is about sometimes planned things are not the best things for you. I have a confession to make, historical romance is my guilty pleasure. My all time favourite is Julia Quinn and so I often compare her writing to many who are in the same genre. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's debut book so when I came across this one in the bookstore with it's cutesy green colour cover, it's was an instant buy. As usual the setting is the Victorian age in England which is my favourite. When reading the summary it felt like something fresh and not so cliche but when I delve more into the plot it felt that everything happened too fast. I wished there was more interactions between the main and side characters.

Don't get me wrong, the character build up and growth were quite well written but sadly it was lacking strong reactions from incidents around. Lydia and Robert are quite strong characters with wonderful personalities but seems a bit too perfect, I would have loved if the author stressed about their flaws which would make them more realistic. One thing I do love is the different perspectives of the characters as emotions and thoughts are made clearer to us readers.

There are two major incidents happening parallel in the plot where in my opinion seems too much as the focus changes all the time and there wasn't enough room for those incident to climate properly in the book. Things just happened too fast and it felt like the story ended too quickly as well. The plot twist felt dry and rushed as well. I might be too critical as I have read too many historical romance, nonetheless the characters made up for the story. I wouldn't say this book was a total let down as I did enjoy it but not up to my expectations. If I were to compare this book with the author's debut, then I would say that the first book was better as the story had more focus. As for this book, I could kinda predict what's coming. I wouldn't really recommend this book as adult historical romance are way better.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Words in Deep Blue


Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family's bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came. Now Rachel has returned to the city- and to the bookshop- to work alongside the boy she'd rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction, and the escape. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can't feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side- surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages- they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it's possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough. - excerpt from book.

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley is about a girl who left town and came back 3 years after and things that follow after it.. I'm often paranoid when it comes to reading new authors as I don't know what to expect and books aren't exactly cheap where I am. If a book isn't satisfying then I've wasted my time and money. Going into this without expectations with just a high Goodreads rating, I was captivated. The title certainly resonates well with the story. Words inside this book will speak to you, will pull at your heartstrings and lastly it will make you think hard about life.

The book swaps POV between Rachel and Henry and with some letters in between which plays so well in escalating emotions in the story. Having a character named Henry instantly boosted the rating, I'm being silly but much books that I read, all the Henry's are such sweeties and wonderful people. This one no doubt is another addition to the Henry's in my book world. I cannot stress how much I want to help him, how much I wanted to talk to him to come to a realisation but that's not my job but other characters'. His feelings, behaviours and interactions are brought to life with simple yet truthful words. 

Rachel is a character that has a great struggle and it slowly unveils through her thoughts and emotions. Her thoughts capture my attention again and again as I could somehow relate to her and understand her so well. Rachel and I we both have something in common hence my heart is being tugged multiple times through her reaction to the world and life itself. The side characters are not redundant as they all play crucial parts in changing and helping the growth of the main characters. Interactions between them are often intriguing never boring.  

The plot has a simple concept and a focused goal but it will not disappoint. It tells the story smoothly and poetically at times. The time frame covered in the present and past are not too extensively long yet it packs a lot into it. The pace of the book is just perfect giving you enough time to learn and love the characters. There aren't any twist and turns just important events in the book that impacts the characters. 

I could go on and on but where's the fun if I reveal too much. This is one thin contemporary book but it's worth every word read. This book made me cry as it brought out emotions and a past that is hard to forget, grieve is certainly well written in this story. This is possibly one of the best YA contemporary I've read this year which I gave a 5 star on Goodreads. Please try this book out if you want something real and true about life. To end I would like to share this sentence that I absolutely loved: 

"Words matter, in fact. They're not pointless, as you've suggested. If they were pointless, then they wouldn't start revolutions and they wouldn't change history. ~ If they were just words, people wouldn't fall in love because of them, feel bad because of them, ache because of them, and stop aching because of them."- pg 210
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