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Showing posts from September, 2014

The Gypsy Madonna by Santa Montefiore

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Dear Reader,


The story begins with Misha who is an antiques-dealer in Manhattan. He discovers that his beloved dying mother, Anouk, possesses a Titian masterpiece when she tries to donate it to the Met, but they cannot authenticate the painting’s rightful owner. Misha’s stepfather Coyote, who abandoned Anouk and Misha 30 years earlier, reappears but Misha turns him away. Immediately full of questions, Misha decides to find out about the painting and to uncover the truth about his own history.


He returns to Bordeaux, the village he and Anouk left when Misha was seven. Until the war, Anouk had been a nanny at a private estate. After the war, the villagers denounced Anouk as a traitor for marrying Misha’s father, who was a German officer. Witnessing her brutal humiliation caused Misha to become mute. Anouk continued to work at the estate until the handsome American Coyote arrived. Anouk and Coyote fell in love and the affectionate attention that he gave to Misha helped to bring back hi…

Killing Floor by Lee Child

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Dear Reader,

Started reading the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. The first book is Killing Floor.
 We meet Reacher for the first time as he arrives in the small town of Malgrave after walking fourteen miles to get there. His anonymity is challenged  when the town has just had its first homicide in thirty years and as he is the only stranger in town, he is hauled in by the police for questioning. The Chief of Police has decided that Jack is guilty. It's Friday so while his alibi is being checked he faces a night in jail with another detainee by the name of Paul Hubble, a banker and they are then taken to the state run facility in Warburton. They are caged with the hard-core lifers. Jack's military background comes in handy for them as he ends up defending Hubble. Earning Hubble's trust Reacher learns that Hubble fears for both his life and his family. He is so afraid he can't give Reacher too much information. Reacher is anxious to get out of the place but then he fin…

The House By The Sea by Santa Montefiore

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Dear Reader, This is such a delightful novel by one of my favourite authors - Santa Montefiore. This captivating novel follows two stories. The first is set in Italy, and tells of Floriana, who was abandoned by her mother and her journey of falling in love with Dante, the son belonging to a prestigious family. They first meet when she is ten years old. One day Dante invites her inside his home, La Magdalena, and she is instantly captivated by its beauty and from that moment Floriana knows that it is her destiny to be there with him.  Their relationship faces many obstacles including the issues of a rich man dating an orphan girl. Decades later in a beautiful Country House Hotel in Devon, England, we meet Marina and her husband Grey who are desperately trying to save their beloved hotel from financial problems. Marina decides to hire an artist in residence, Rafa, to attract more customers. Both the family and     the guests fall in love with Rafa who is hiding a dark secret. The House B…

The Perfect Match by Katie Fforde

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Dear Reader,I am a huge fan of Katie Fforde's so was delighted to read the lastest instalment, a great read though not her best.
The Perfect Match (2014)Bella Castle, is an estate agent who left her hometown a couple years ago after realising she could no longer watch the man she loved start a family with someone else. Since then, Bella found a great job and a great home living with her godmother, Alice. She has a new boyfriend, Nevil, (also her boss) who Bella likes well enough but of course he can't really compare to Dominic. So then out of the blue who arrives but Dominic to her new town and Nevil starts acting strangely. So can Bella put the past behind her and ask Dominic for help in solving the mystery of Nevil? And more importantly will Bella finally realise that Nevil isn't the man for her? (So isn't!) Katie Fforde alternates between Alice and Bella's viewpoints. It's a good yarn but Bella's naivety was a little annoying at times with regards to Nevi…

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani

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Dear Reader,

This is an epic story richly written and beautifully descriptive. Adriana Trigiani introduces us first to brothers Eduardo and Ciro, who are sent to a convent when their mother can no longer take care of them after the death of her husband. The story is set against the backdrop of the Italian Alps. Trigiani moves us through their unconventional upbringing by the nuns to their immigrant experience in America.

There is, of course, a love story, but before this relationship develops, the author has her sentiments about the Catholic Church. Eduardo is a scholarly older brother, dedicated to protecting his outgoing younger sibling, Ciro. Ciro is a strong character who the nuns adore with his sense of humour and his commitment to earning his keep in the Convent. When 16-year-old Ciro travels to Enza’s village to dig the grave of her little sister, the two meet for the first time, and Enza falls in love.  Then when Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished from …