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100 Pages A Day...Stephanie's Book Reviews

I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way.  I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.

Miami Days, Havana Nights

Miami Days, Havana Nights - Linda Benntt Pennell

Sam Ackerman is a 17 year old Jewish boy trying to help his family with money in New York, 1926. Sam finds out he can make an extra two dollars working for a gangster in a speakeasy. Usually Sam is only tasked with cleaning up, however when Sam witnesses a hit and is tasked with dumping the body, he is seen by the police. Sam is hurried out of New York and sent to a contact in Miami, Moshe Toblinsky, the mob's bookkeeper. Indebted to the mob and Moshe, Sam continues working for the mob, now running alcohol back to the mainland. Sam is housed with the Scheinberg family and can't help but take notice of their daughter, Rebecca. Sam wants out of the mob in order to marry Rebecca, but is too far in. It seems that he will always owe someone a favor.

Presently, Liz Reams is trying to fish out the next big discovery in American Crime. She is desperately trying to keep up to her early career success from her last discovery about Al Capone, but keeps coming up empty. Liz finally gets a break when she finds a news article with pictures, but she still needs to identify the man with the scar on his face and his connection to Moshe Toblisnsky. However, now she is indebted to the man who lined up all of her contacts.

I always love a good dual time story and Miami Days Havana Nights is no exception. The chapters alternated between Sam and Liz's points of views and each chapter always seemed to end on a small cliffhanger making me devour the next chapter so I could see what would happen next. Both Sam and Liz had equally compelling stories and I'm glad that their relationship was only historical figure and researcher, what tied their stories together was simply their sense of obligation to those who have helped them. Sam's story showed how kids were pulled into the mob and kept there. Sam never had any intention of joining, he just wanted extra money to support his family, because of his ideals and work ethic, he was the perfect person to fulfill mob tasks. From Sam's story, I also learned of the extent of the Jewish people within the mob. Moshe Toblinsky's character is loosely based on Meyer Lansky. LIz's story dives into the high pressure in the world of academia and research, especially as a female researcher looking into American Crime. I appreciated how Liz grew more aware of her actions and how she felt as she was digging deeper into Sam's life. Overall, a fast-paced dual-time story exploring Florida's Jewish mob connections.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

Love Notes

Love Notes - Tammy Andresen

Derek is the lead singer of the band, Echo Station. Tattooed and burly, Derek fits the look of the bad boy to a tee, and usually has a short term girlfriend to match. Derek has just had a crazy breakup with now ex-girlfriend Nicole and decides to swear off women for a while. Band mate Drew brings in marketing major, Melissa to watch the band perform and see if she can help them get bigger crowds. Melissa is career focused and has a plan for love and boyfriends. While trying get some promo shots, Melissa instantly notices Derek's presence; however this bad boy is not the Harvard guy she imagined herself with and Derek seems to think she an annoyance. At some point these two realize that love doesn't always look like they think it should. 

The third installment in the Accidental Kisses series does not disappoint. In Love Notes the sweet and sassy romance continues with the friends of characters met in the first two books. This being said, you do not have to read the first two books to understand this one, but it was nice to see the other relationships from the outside. Melissa and Derek are complete opposites. Melissa has life planned out in her head, with a man exactly like her. Derek thinks he can only have girls that fit into his rock lifestyle, but those girls are always caustic. When the two meet, sparks fly, but not in a good way. Like the other books in the series, the point of view alternates between the the two so we get an inside look into Melissa and Derek's thoughts. I enjoyed seeing the uncertainty and leaps of faith as the romance blossomed. I liked that Derek didn't fit his outward stereotype in the end and that both Melissa and Derek both could see that there is more to a person than their outward appearance. An intense and fast-paced sweet romance that I read in one sitting, I can't wait to see who falls in love next.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

She Did It! 21 Women Who Changed the Way We Think

She Did It! 21 Women Who Changed the Way We Think - Emily Arnold McCully

Women are often the driving force behind positive changes we see in the world, however, their accomplishments are often overshadowed by their male counterparts or simply swept under the rug of history.  She Did It!  profiles 21 women who have inspired positive change in US history.  Each profile includes a mini-biography of the woman's life from birth to death or present time.  Their inspirations, failures, hardships and successes are all included.  Their journeys were rarely easy.  The writing is done so that middle grade readers can clearly understand, complete with definitions and vocabulary; although it is still informative for an adult reader.   Many of women who are profiled are women that I have heard of, some were not.  I was impressed with the variety of women throughout time, women from different backgrounds, ethnic groups and who led change in areas from human rights, civil rights, equality, the arts, media and the sciences.  

I was very happy that the book included some of my personal heroines including Rachel Carson, Isadora Duncan, Grace Hopper and Temple Grandin.  Many of these women are not well known outside of their own spheres of influence; however changes that were affected by their advancements are still in use today.  I was glad to read about the difficult parts of their lives, their struggles and perseverance for what they wanted to accomplish.  It is important to know that creating change is not usually easy, but still very possible.  I was also happy to learn about women who I was unaware of including Gladys Tataquidgeon, a leader for Native American rights and culture, Ella Baker, who was integral in the civil rights movement alongside Martin Luther King and Alice Waters, whose work with food accessibility is still being accomplished today.  As I read through these women's stories, I began to see that even as they lived at different times and were champions of different causes, that each victory they had connected to and helped fuel the next, fully revealing the meaning of sisterhood.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

The Uninvited Guest

The Uninvited Guest - Troy Aaron Ratliff

19 year old Jose decides to drag his friend Harland to the wedding of an acquaintance of his mother. Jose and Harland clearly don't want to be at a wedding for someone they don't know at a hunting cabin in the middle of the woods, but make the best of it by taking advantage of the food and dance floor. However, before the guys can bust out their dance moves, an uninvited guest crashes the party and Harland decides to try out some hero action before all of the guests are put on the menu

The Uninvited Guest is a short thriller that has a lot of bite. Told from Harland's point of view, the story begins slow and has a lot of build up as well as a lot of information that seems useless to the reader; however, as it is a 19 year old recounting the story, this somehow makes perfect sense. As the halfway point of the story came and went, I was wondering where the climax of the story would be and then it suddenly hit full force in terrifying and gory detail keeping everything very tense until the end.

The Spite Game

The Spite Game - Anna Snoekstra

Ava has a confession to make, she knows something about the disappearance of high school classmate, Mel. As she waits to be interviewed by the detective, Ava recounts the choices that led to her sitting in the police station. In high school Ava wanted nothing more than to be friends with Mel, Saanvi and Cass. However, when Ava proves her worth to ringleader Mel, she begins to see the truth of the girls and their friendship. Still, Ava does what she needs to do to stay within their good graces, even when Mel makes life more and more difficult for Ava. After high school is over, Ava can't shake the feeling that she was wronged by the girls; she stalks them on social media and then in real life, watching for when they will make a mistake, something she can use to destroy their life, like they did to her. Some of the players are easy to destroy, but Mel proves more difficult. As Ava carries out the game she has created, she wonders if she has turned into the psycho that they called her in high school.

The Spite Game is a psychological thriller that is all about revenge. There really isn't much mystery here as the book begins with Ava going to the police to confess, the suspense is built as we find out exactly what happened to Ava and what she did. I was glued to the pages as Ava's story unfolded and her retribution is brought to fruition. It did take me a chapter or two to realize that the book is set in Australia and to grasp language and setting differences. The timeline also skips back and forth through Ava's memories as she attempts to piece all of the important events together in her head, which is slightly discombobulating. This style of writing did keep me turning pages, though, as Ava slowly revealed the terrible things that happened to her and how she managed to right them, at least in her mind. As events unfolded, I thought a lot about the psychology of what the girls did in high school along with what Ava did as an adult. It was really interesting to read a book where none of the main character were likable and to see how everything turned out for Ava at the end.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

Help for the Haunted

Help for the Haunted - John Searles

One more for the Halloween Bingo Board- Relics and Curiosities!

Sylvie Mason has always been the good daughter compared to her sister, Rose.  Sylive and Rose's parents have given the girls an interesting life- to say the least.  Their parents made a living by helping people who are haunted, they often took objects or even people into their home.  Sylvie and Rose's life changes drastically after Penny, a doll and Abigail, a troubled girl come into their lives.  After their parents take these cases, their parents are killed.  Rose is left as Sylvie's guardian and 14 year-old Sylvie is the only witness to her parent's deaths.  As Sylvie tries to recollect what happened that night, she recounts her strange life in order to figure out who or what actually killed her parents.
 
Help For The Haunted is a creepy murder-mystery that seems to be inspired by the life of the Warrens.  The narration skips back and forth between time from Sylvie's childhood and the events leading up to her parents deaths and after Sylvie's parents have died, the result of this is slightly disorienting, but brings us into Sylvie's mindset.  As the story unfolds, the battle of the natural versus the supernatural begin to unfold as Sylvie tries to determine what really caused all of the strange events in their lives and who really killed her parents.  I was very intrigued by Penny and Abigail and why they were believed to be haunted as well as their real sources of power of people.  Rose's character was an enigma, as well as an important part of the story; it seemed that no one understood her, including her parents that were supposed to be able to help children who were struggling.  The ending wrapped up rather quickly as Sylvie exposed the truth of her family .Overall, a suspenseful crime thriller with plenty of supernatural elements that will keep you guessing. 
 
 

The Disembodied

The Disembodied - Anthony Hains

My free space for Halloween Bingo so I can finally say I have a BINGO!

 

Griffin Rinaldin is a thirteen year old boy that is dealing with a lot of crap. His abusive father recently died and now Griffin has been diagnosed with Depersonalization disorder, where Griffin feels like he is outside of his body and looking at himself from someone else's point of view.  Griffin's sources of comfort in his life are his cousin Tanner, whose father is also abusive as well as his Grandfather Soren.  Soren tells Griffin stories of a mysterious young man with red hair taking revenge on abusers.  The stories are meant to help Griffin with coping strategies, but the red haired boy begins to take form in Griffin's life and Griffin is seeing him more and more often along with his out of body experiences.  
 
The Disembodied is a gripping psychological horror story that slowly pulls you in by weaving together different elements from both the natural and supernatural world.  A unique narrator and well developed characters fascinated me and made the book difficult to put down. All of the characters felt very real; they made mistakes, they felt real emotions and tried their best to get through everything.  Perhaps the most terrifying thing about the book is that most of the horror elements are firmly rooted in the natural world: abuse, mental illness, and addiction are all prevalent throughout the story.  My favorite parts however are the stories that Soren tells of the red-haired boy throughout history; these are great ghost stories that would stand on their own.  Overall, a thrilling and powerful story of love that masterfully combines elements from the horror world.
 
 

The Girl They Left Behind

The Girl They Left Behind - Roxanne Veletzos

Natalia was not yet four when the Bucharest Pogroms began, the killing of Jewish families in the streets. Natalia's parents are on the run when they make the heartbreaking decision that will keep both Natalia and themselves alive, they leave Talia on the steps of an apartment building while they escape to a friends attic and then Switzerland. Talia is quickly found and brought to an orphanage where she was adopted into the Goza family. Talia's wealthy adoptive parents, Despina and Anton give her everything she could hope for, they make it through the war only to have the Iron Curtain come crashing down on them. While the Goza's are doing their best to survive with the help of their friend Victor who works for the Party, Talia's birth parents are still searching for her and they might be the answer to Talia's survival once again.


The Girl They Left Behind is an astounding story of hope and courage based on the life of the author's mother. From the beginning when Talia's parents made the heartbreaking decision to leave her on the doorstep, I knew I had to find out the rest of her story. This book explored a part of World War II that I did not know a lot about including the Pogroms and life in Romania during the War. Talia's character showed amazing growth throughout the story, from a scared orphan to a woman taking risks for her survival. I could not imagine being either Talia's birth parents or adoptive parents and having to leave or send away their child for her own safety. I could also not imagine being Talia and knowing that two sets of parents sacrificed everything for my safety. More than anything, I was amazed that the author so very closely followed the story that her own mother had lived through, seeing the pictures at the end of the book really solidified the honesty of the story. Overall, a heartfelt account of remarkable people during World War II and the Soviet Occupation.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

 

Check out my blog post for a chance to win!

The Devil's Grin

The Devil's Grin - Annelie Wendeberg

Darkest London for Halloween Bingo!

 

​Dr. Anton Kronberg is England's leading bacteriologist.  Dr. Kronberg is called in to investigate a case of a cholera victim floating in the city's water supply.  While the fact that the victim died of cholera is pretty clear cut, the way the disease was received and how the body  found its way into the water supply opens up to many more mysteries.  When Sherlock Holmes is also brought into the case, Dr. Kronberg has even more to fear as Holmes quickly discovers Dr. Kronberg's secret that Anton is really Anna Kronberg.  Holmes and Anna find a tenuous relationship as the case brings them into dangerous scenarios with devious men and treacherous plots.


The Devil's Grin is an engaging Victorian Era mystery.  Dr. Kronberg is a very interesting character.  Her choice to live as a man in order to practice medicine is honorable, yet has many difficulties and bears the consequence of death if found out.  Since she could legally practice medicine as a woman in other countries, this seems like a strange and dangerous predicament to place herself into.  Other than that, I really enjoyed the sharp and witty writing, the mystery and the passion behind Anna's character.  The mystery was a slow burn and grew on me with a series of well crafted layers that started with what seemed like a simple case but quickly grew into a large conspiracy that took Anna under cover.   Another interesting aspect of the story was Sherlock's character, a tortured soul and amazing detective, yet very different from the classic Holmes character.  Overall, an engaging historical thriller in Victorian London. 

 

The Game of Hope

The Game of Hope - Sandra Gulland

 Hortense de Beauharnais  grew up during the unfortunate time of the French Revolution.  During this time many members of the aristocracy were woken in the middle of the night, dragged away and then imprisoned or killed.  Hortense's father was one of the many executed by guillotine and Hortense's mother, Josephine was one of the many imprisoned.  Josephine is now married to Napoleon, who is rising to power.  While Napoleon is fighting, Hortense attends The Institute, a boarding school for young women.  Hortense is a good student, especially in the arts.  Hortense  prayis for the protection of her brother Eugene, while fighting with Napoleon's troops.  She is also secretly pining for Christophe, a fellow officer with Eugene and dealing with Caroline, Napoleon's troublesome little sister.  Hortense has many painful memories of the past and her future is quickly changing as Napoleon gains power.  

The Game of Hope is the story of  Hortense de Beauharnais' coming of age.  Hortense would go on to become the Queen Consort of Holland; however, the events of her childhood help mold the adult she will become.  Focusing on the years of 1798-1800, we get to see a few years of Hortense's life as the Revolution was shaping France, it's people and Napoleon's rise to power.  Throughout everything that was going on with her country and her personal life, I felt that Hortense was very much captured as a regular young woman.  Written with much historical detail, I was fascinated to learn about the effects of the Revolution on those who survived as well as details of Hortense's private life.  I was amazed to know that Hortense was a composer, and that I am able to listen to her pieces being performed today.  While the focus of the story was on Hortense, I also had many glimpses into the rest of her fascinating family including the relationship between Napoleon and Josephine as well as fascinating Caroline.  Overall, an engrossing historical biography of an amazing woman in history that is filled with hope and strength. 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter - Hazel Gaynor

Grace Darling is the daughter of the Longstone Lighthouse keeper in the Farne Islands. She has dedicated her life to helping her father keep the light. Although, for a young women in the 1830's, this is not the life that is expected of her. Grace's life is put into the spotlight when she assists her father in rescuing the survivors of a shipwreck. One of the survivors of the shipwreck is Sarah Dawson, who has lost both of her children to the sea. Sarah is also the brother of George Emmerson, an artist who visited Longstone and formed a strong bond with Grace. Grace and Sarah become fast friends after their ordeal on the island and share a bond of courage and heartache.

One hundred years later, Sarah's great-great granddaughter, Matilda arrives in Rhode Island disgraced and pregnant, sent away from her hometown in Ireland to stay with her cousin and lighthouse keeper, Harriet. To keep herself busy Matilda sorts through an old chest, finding momentos of Grace Darling and George Emmerson. By learning the stories of Grace, Sarah and Harriet, Matilda finds strength within herself to what must be done.


The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter is a story of courage and bravery carried through time. The phrase "Even the brave were once afraid" is a theme throughout the book and something that each character realizes over time. I was pleased to learn the history of Grace Darling, I name I have heard of, but didn't know anything about. Much of what is written about Grace is fact-based and well researched. Through the writing I could perfectly picture Grace and her attention to her duties and well as her unease at becoming a heroine for simply performing the duty of a lighthouse keeper. Matilda and Harriet's story took a little bit longer to capture my attention; however, when all of the secrets throughout time are revealed, their bravery shines through and everything falls into place. As always, Hazel Gaynor's writing transports me easily through time periods with poise and captures multiple characters personalities perfectly. Overall, an amazing story of courage and love.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

Stanley & Hazel

Stanley & Hazel - Jo Schaffer

Murder Most Foul Square for Halloween Bingo!

 

St. Louis, 1934- the Great Depression has created a rift, sending most people into a spiral of poverty and accentuating the few rich families of Lindell Boulevard.  The upcoming famed Veiled Prophet Ball is supposed to be a celebration for everyone in the city, but has morphed into a debutante ball where the mysterious prophet chooses his Queen of Love and Beauty.  Hazel Malloy is one of the future debutantes of Lindell Boulevard. Her best friend Sandra's sister was queen last year.  Hazel would much rather go out on the town and watch the latest movie.  It is at the theatre that she meets Stanley, a budding news reporter whose family has been hit by the depression.  Stanley is the leader of the Knights, a group that is trying to help impoverished families.  Stanley insists on walking Hazel home after the movie when they stumble upon a masked man and a murder.  When they see that the woman murdered is Sandra's sister Evelyn, Stanley and Hazel feel compelled to dig deeper and uncover a plot connecting the families of Lindell, the Veiled Prophet and the radical new leader in Germany.
 
Stanley and Hazel is an adventurous, fast-paced historical murder mystery.  There is a lot going on in this book and it did take a bit of reading to introduce everyone and set the scene.  I really enjoyed Stanley and Hazel's characters and dynamic together.  Stanley is determined to do good with the station he was given and has an immense drive. Hazel is adventurous, intelligent and able to see outside of her world.  The time period of this book made everything more interesting.  The writing was excellent in transporting me to 1930's St. Louis with the differences between the classes of people, the gangs, the baseball games, the movies and manner of speech.  The mystery was excellent; a lot of different elements were incorporated, with different players, danger and unseen forces as well as the ominous rise to power of Hitler overseas. While one mystery is solved at the end, the bigger mystery of the Veiled Prophet remains to be solved in the next book.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
 

Madam Velvet's Cabaret of Oddities

Madam Velvet's Cabaret of Oddities - Nancy Stohlman
Creepy Carnivals for Halloween Bingo!
 
 
A woman so determined to be famous, she'll try anything.  So will her reflection.  Together, woman and reflection travel around until they find a place where they belong.  However, when they get separated, one is not sure how to function without the other. 
 
Written in the style of flash fiction, each chapter of Madam Velvet's Cabaret of Oddities ranges from a sentence to several paragraphs.  I have only read a few flash fiction short stories before, so reading an entire book in this style was definitely a new experience for me.  It did take me a few chapters to get into the story, but once I was in the groove, I was devouring page after page.  Much like the shards of the broken reflection, the story is told in bits and pieces.  Information is received out of order and sometimes out of context, there are flashbacks to the woman's childhood as well as visits from her future self.  There are peeks into the lives of other carnival workers like the Four-Legged Woman and the Human Skeleton as well.  With this style of writing, my imagination went wild creating the settings and characters in my mind.  Some of the settings and scenarios were outrageous, such as the Fantasy Hand-Job brothel, but the themes of self-worth and longing will be able to connect with any reader. Madam Velvet's Cabaret of Oddities is an eerie and different flash-fiction read, easily consumed in one sitting.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
 

Lore: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold

Lore: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold - Brinda Berry, Karen Y. Bynum, Laura Diamond, Jayne A. Knolls, Theresa DaLayne, Cate Dean
Diverse Voices Square for Halloween Bingo!
 
 
Lore is a collection of six short stories that re-imagines folktales and mythology from around the world and places interesting and romantic twists into each.   Written by six different authors, each story has a unique feeling and setting.  
 
Shimmer takes the mermaid tale and gives it a fresh spin with Draven and Coral.  Draven is spending the summer at his father's cottage after a heartbreak when he sees Coral alone at night, seemingly drowning herself. Draven is compelled to help Coral, but she may not need it.  I really enjoyed these characters for the short time that we know them as well as the modernized mermaid mythology.  I did think it wrapped up a little too quickly, but that is the nature of short stories.
 
Between is a modern story of the Arabic djinn brought to a modern high school. Lucy and Natasha have made peace with their bodies and have found love with each other at fat camp this summer.  When Lucy returns home skinny, everything changes.  She is finally accepted into the popular group, the Royals.  However, being a lesbian does not fit their mold.  This one made it difficult to like any of the characters, but there was growth even within the confines of the short story.  I enjoyed the arc of the djinn the most and that Lucy and Sienna were able to realize that love wins over popularity. 
 
Sunset Moon incorporates lore from the Blackfeet Native American mythology in order to reawaken a troubled teen.  Eloise takes the rap for her boyfriend and now has one strike too many, it's either jail time or nine months at a juvenile work home.  While there, Eloise is forced to learn about her heritage and meets Ven.  Ven is bound to help Eloise through the darkness, but she must accept the light.  I really liked learning about the dreamcatcher lore as well as watching Eloise find hope in her life.  This is one that I would have loved to see develop into a longer story.
 
The Jewish Golem and Frankenstein's monster are combined in The Maker.  After Brett is left with a traumatic brain injury, courtesy of his now ex-girlfriend Cassandra, his life is changed forever and he is bent on revenge.  Unable to get out and about much by himself, Brett unearths his family's hidden manuscripts and makes a creature that will be sure to seduce Cassandra and humiliate her.  The Maker is definitely the creepiest story of the bunch, but also the most surprising.  The Golem is the best character of this story.  
 
A Beautiful Morning was one of my favorite stories, a tale of the Mayan sun god Kinish and flower goddess Ishel.  Their love for one another made perfect sense, but was forbidden.  This was a sweet romance that incorporated the destructive nature of some of the other Mayan gods that may have led to the downfall of the civilization. I really enjoyed these characters and the glimpse into the complicated lives of the Mayan deities.
 
The Barricades turned out to be another favorite of mine even though the premise seemed really strange to me.  Set in the future on another world, the Fae and humans have escaped a dying Earth.  They were set to live as equals, but the Ethernal Fae's powers have placed the above the humans in every way.  When the dying Eternal prince Daniel is found within the human area, a very caring human girl, Casey risks everything to save his life.  This was a very sweet and action packed story laced with magic, greed and romance.  A lot of development was packed into this short story that made it seem like much more.
 

The Promise of Tomorrow

The Promise of Tomorrow - Annemarie Brear
Charlotte and Hannah Brooks flee their guardian's home suddenly after McBride attempts to force himself upon Charlotte in hopes of her becoming his next wife and having control of the substantial fortune that she was left when her parent's died.  Charlotte and Hannah have been on the road for a year before coming to a small mining town in Yorkshire.  There, the sisters are taken in by shopkeepers Stan and Bessie Wheeler.  Life begins to normalize once again for Charlotte and Hannah as Charlotte helps out around the shop and Hannah is enrolled in school.  However, a chance run in with McBride brings danger back into their lives.  No longer safe at the shop, Charlotte and Hannah are taken in by Harry Bellmont.  Harry has silently adored Charlotte from afar.  He is also quite lonely between managing his estate and the coal mine in town.  Charlotte and Harry's romance develops quickly and helps to keep her shielded from McBride, although his threat still looms.  With a War beginning, tensions rise as Harry joins up and Charlotte takes responsibility for the manor, Harry's unruly sister and the mine. Charlotte must now protect herself and her growing family while Harry is away.
 
The Promise of Tomorrow is a passionate historical romantic suspense.  We are thrown directly into Charlotte's nightmare as she is escaping McBride and thrown to the mercies of the open road.  The pace did slow down once the sisters found the Wheeler's shop, from there it seemed like every man in town was simply after  Charlotte for her novelty and looks and not much else.  I actually did not like how Charlotte and Harry first came together, it seemed very forced; however, once the two got their feelings out, the romance felt better.  The pace as well as my interest picked up again as the war began.  With both Harry and Charlotte's perspective of the war, I could feel the emotions and struggles from each side as Harry took pride in his unit, the teamwork and leading the effort with the men from his town for the war while Charlotte took on every responsibility she could in order to keep her mind off of the danger Harry was in as well as keep the town running.  With the war, I could see the depth of the love Charlotte and Harry held for one another. The suspense rose with McBrides's threats continued throughout the war and Harry's unit was endangered.  Written with engaging characters, history, suspense and sweet romance, The Promise of Tomorrow is a sweeping tale of World War I.
 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

Days of Reign

Days of Reign - Elisa M. Hansen

Doomsday for Halloween Bingo!

 

The planet of Eldon, formerly Earth, controls its citizens with religion and a strict, but corrupt moral code that holds great consequences when broken.  Women are not allowed to go to school, except to train as wives upon their 19th birthday.  They are property of men that are held in high regard.  Education for all has gone by the wayside and knowledge of religion is revered.  Infrastructure is crumbling, everything is polluted and  people are dying.  Zelenka is unique, her parents married for love and educated her including how to read and write.  Now, Zelenka is spying for the  Amaryllians, the people who defected from Eldon.  Fianna, an Amyrillian is trying to set up an interplanetary trade in order to rescue some of the more enlightened Eldon's.  Zelenka makes the decision to follow Fianna to a new planet when the man she believed loved her, Fraco, refuses a love match.  With Zelenka's 19th birthday approaching, leaving Eldon is her safest bet.  Amyrillis is paradise for Zelenka, but not for long.

Days of Reign is a unique dystopian read that takes common elements of our current society and brings them to the extreme to create a horrific world, but one that is not to different from our own.  Zelenka's character was easily relatable, an educated women in a society where women were supposed to be owned or kept, she is working for a way out and takes it.  Fraco is a very interesting character, he seems motivated by love, but is stunted by the world he lives in and how he has been raised.  He is willing to destroy an entire planet in order to get back the woman he believes he owns.  The world building on Eldon and Amyrillis is detailed, I could easily picture degradation of Eldon and the serenity of Amyrillis.  The books is written from multiple points of view, some of which I didn't quite understand the purpose of, at least yet.  The first part of the book takes place on Eldon and is fast paced and laced with danger.  The second half takes place on Amyrillis and is idyllic and refreshing, but slower paced as Zelenka takes in a new culture.  There is foreboding danger lurking, however which rises to a shocking and sudden cliffhanger ending.  

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.