Archive for October, 2012

The autobiography of a remarkable man, this book gives us a look at the background and life of an interesting coach.  It begins with his schooling and how he became a PE teacher, and then charts his career coaching voluntarily until rugby turned professional.  He’s a man who does things his way and isn’t afraid to tell authority where to go.

This is a well written, enjoyable story of a remarkable man and a life t hat has been lived to the fullest.  An ordinary bloke, Graham Henry as given all to succeed and encouraged others to realise their dreams.  This is an intimate look at an inspiring man who tries his best and demands it of others.

It was really interesting to get a glimpse of the mentality of professional sportspeople and the best and worst aspects of games of rugby.  He doesn’t make excuses for losses, instead explaining why he thought they happened.  Not a rugby fan, I skimmed the rugby talk but enough stayed with me to prove interesting.  I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this book.  Bob Howitt did a good job as co-writer and there were little snippets of dry humour throughout.

HarperCollins

Supplied by HarperCollins

Reviewed by Jan

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This is two books – Masques is the first ever book by Patricia Briggs, and has been reprinted and published with it’s the sequel, Wolfsbane. When she went back over a book she wrote 20 years ago, Briggs was horrified and edited it extensively!  The explanation of how the books were born is amusing to read.  As the writer’s husband said, the plot has been done before, but this is told in a refreshing, interesting story.  I don’t want to give any spoilers so will keep this brief.

Aralorn is a noble lady who gave up everything to become a mercenary, travelling the land and having exciting adventures.  Having green (natural) magic through her mother’s side, she can shape shift and assume the form of many animals, an advantage when you’re a spy.  In Masques, Aralorn is given the mission of gathering information on the powerful Geoffrey ae’Magi, the leader of all wizards.  Wolfsbane has the story of her father dying and Aralorn returning to her family home to mourn him.

An exciting story with action, adventure, evil mages, disposed kings, and dragons, good vs evil in this fresh new story.  Any ages can read this book; Tamora Pierce fans will love it.  Hugely enjoyable, these stories are different from her Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series but just as compelling.

Orbit

Reviewed by Jan

Supplied by Hachette

Archangel’s Storm – Nalini Singh

Posted: October 20, 2012 in Review
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Jason is .a spymaster, an angel and one of Raphael’s Seven.  Very good at remaining unnoticed, he has the ability to merge into shadows.  Flashbacks to a tragic event in his past help you understand why he doesn’t trust easily and is remote.  The daughter of Nivriti (Neha’s sister) and Eris, Mahiya was raised by Neha, the Archangel of India, who saw her as a constant reminder of her husband’s betrayal.  Used as a whipping boy for centuries, Mahiya has remained strong and managed to fool everyone into underestimating her.  Now Eris is dead, Neha has no need to keep her alive to torment him with her presence.

This book takes place directly after Archangel’s Blade and it is at the wedding of Dmitri and Honor that Jason discovers that there has been a murder.  Eris, the Consort of Neha – Archangel of India, has been savagely murdered.  Jason is asked by Neha to investigate – as long as he swears a blood bond to her first.  The only available person is Mahiya.  Stuck with each other, they begin to investigate Eris’s murder, and then more bodies turn up.  Along the way, Jason discovers Mahiya has an incredible strength of character, as well as plans of her own……….

A real who-dunnit with lots of steamy scenes, this is an exciting read with strong characters.  We also get to follow Dmitri and Honor as she is made.  Not my favourite in the Archangel series, which may have something to do with Neha being the Queen of Poisons and snakes are everywhere, this book is an interesting read.

Supplied by Hachette

Reviewed by Jan

Tangle Of Need – Nalini Singh

Posted: October 13, 2012 in Review
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Adria is a Snow Dancer soldier who has returned to the den after the messy end of a long relationship with a less dominant wolf.  Riaz is a Snow Dancer lieutenant whose chosen mate, Lisette, is human and in love with her husband.  The immediate attraction the two feel toward each other is red hot and sizzling.  There are many very steamy scenes that are R18.  Adria is not Riaz’s mate though.  There is some doubt they can have a future together.

Adria is afraid to fall in love with Riaz, as his heart belongs to another.  The scars his uncompleted mating bond leave begin to heal though, and Riaz works hard to convince Adria he has no more interest in another woman and she is his choice.  Then Lisette appears as the liaison for the Changelings with the Human Alliance.

Hawk and Sienna have a big role in the book, with their relationship being explored more.  Other familiar characters also return; Lucas and Sasha, Vaughn and Faith, Judd and Brenna.  There’s a tightly woven plot that raises a lot of questions to be answered latter in the series (I hope). I’m really looking forward to finding out more about Kaleb and the breaking of Silence the Psy are experiencing.  I also really want to read Vasic’s story.

This is not a standalone story, you need to read the other ten Psy-Changeling stories to understand this world, or at least the preceding Kiss Of Snow to get a sense of what is happening.

Reviewed by Jan

Supplied by Hachette

Catronia is madly in love with her music promoter husband, Ivan, after 20 years of marriage.  They live an ideal life, Cat and the children in the charming Cotswolds home, Ivan working in London and whizzing down to see them every weekend.  Then Ivan appears on a reality show and leaves Cat for a younger woman.

Ivan is a serial philanderer who loves the ladies and having a stable home life.  Handsome and charming, he’s gone through most of the female stars his business promotes.  Now he’s got the chance to raise his profile by appearing as a judge on a talent show.

Jack is Ivan’s US based partner in their music promotion business.  Still mourning his late wife Sonia, he has never approved of the way Ivan treats Cat, one of his close friends.

Kendall is a former reality star turned pop star with a huge addiction problem and lots of emotional neediness.  She has an immense talent and is hopelessly in love with Jack, her father figure manager.  Until she arrives in London to perform and meets Ivan.

Lex is a friend and employee who Jack’s who is in love with Kendall.  Viewed as only a friend by Kendall, he’s treated to hours of her pouring out her feelings about Jack.   He’s devastated when she meets Ivan.

Ava is Ivan’s protégé on the talent show, an amazing singer and sweet kid.  Ivan is desperate to sign her to the stable of talent he represents.  Then she meets Lex and sparks fly.

A hugely enjoyable story with closely entwined people falling in and out of love with each other, I recommend this book to Jilly Cooper and Fiona Walker fans.  It’s a feel good read that’s perfect for when you want to escape.  A fairly predictable plot but there’s lot of drama and you’re left hoping things turn out right to the very end.   Read it, you won’t be disappointed.

Supplied by HarperCollins

Reviewed by Jan

Assassin – Tara Moss

Posted: October 7, 2012 in Review
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Makedde Vanderwall went to Europe on a case in the last book and discovered a hit man after her, sent by the wealthy, powerful Cavanaugh family.  Now she’s missing, presumed dead by her loved ones and enemies.  She managed to kill the hit man and take over his life though.  Now she’s discovered a high price on her head and knows every hit man in Europe will be after her.  Besides, she has unfinished business with the Cavanaugh’s……

Andy Flynn, Mak’s former boyfriend, is heading up a criminal profiling unit and trying to adjust to life without her.  He’s chasing a sadistic murderer with similarities to the ‘Stiletto Killer’ and back in Sydney.  Then Mak reappears, with a laptop implicating the Cavanaugh’s in murder.  She’s determined to bring them down and needs Andy’s help.

Tightly plotted and with a lot of action, this book keeps you breathlessly reading in anticipation of finding out what happens next.  The ending was perfect.  Loved it.  It was a good ending to the series as well, with everything wrapped up nicely.  I had read the first in the Mak Vanderwall series but not the rest.  I was quickly able to follow the plot as Tara Moss gives enough back-story to enable you to understand what’s been happening, without causing the story to halt.

Supplied by HarperCollins

Reviewed by Jan

Hobbit Stamps

Posted: October 5, 2012 in nonfiction
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NZ Post is releasing a limited range of stamps and commemorative coins to celebrate the release of the Hobbit.

Pre-order yours now here so as not to miss out.