Catherine Howard: Henry’s Fifth Failure by D. Lawrence-Young
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I wasn’t sure whether to give this a 2* or 3* so I think it is somewhere inbetween.
This book is written from the perspective of Catherine Howard, who becomes the 5th wife of Henry VIII, and Robert Butcher, a butcher’s son who dreams of making a better life for himself and enlists as a soldier at the Tower of London.
Catherine is a pretty girl, who, even at her young age, knows how to use her charms to attract the men. She has several suitors, who she manages to have secret assignations with, and who all manage to clamber through the window of the Maidens’ Chamber at night and climb into her bed. She eventually catches the eye of the King, who marries her and for eighteen months all is well until she rekindles a friendship with Thomas Culpepper, which is her downfall.
A soldier’s life at the Tower is not what Robert Butcher envisaged. He witnesses the beheading of Anne Boleyn and the cruel treatment of many others at the hands of Henry VIII. He eventually leaves.
The book is interesting in as much as it gives the reader an insight into what life would have been like in those days, but I didn’t like the way the book was written. The use of conversation as a way of explaining life at court and life at the Tower seems to be an easy way out for the author to tell his story.
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At Their Own Game by Frank Zafiro
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jake Stankovic, a former cop, now earns a living dealing in stolen property with his two sidekicks, Matt and Brent, while managing to keep out of the clutches of the law. With money tight, Jake decides to break into drug dealing, something which he has avoided up to now, because of the dangers involved, but just this once he takes the risk – a big mistake – he soon finds out, as he gets involved with Ozzy the local drug dealer.
At the same time, Helen, who is the ex-wife of detective Falkner, returns and wants to renew the affair that she and Jake had years ago when Jake was still a cop. This re-ignites Falkner’s hatred of Jake and he begins to harass him in every way possible. Jake now seems threatened on all sides. He wants to trust Helen, but something about her return niggles away at him. Ozzy is after his blood. He even suspects one of his sidekicks of being a traitor. Poor Jake, we all get dragged into the sorry state of affairs and whilst wanting to be on Jake’s side, a ruthless streak within his character makes us step back and look at him in a different way. What lengths will a person go to when the chips are down?
It is a compelling story, with many twists and turns, but one that makes us question our own morals. Would we resort to the way Jake deals with his friends and enemies alike?
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I am pleased to introduce today a very nice lady, Shirley Ford, the author of With Love from Libby, a fictional motivational story about following our dreams.
‘’Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.’’
~ Pope John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) ~
All the young Libby ever wanted was to become a police officer. She finally achieves her dream and begins a promising career in the police force. Then Jack enters her life; a charismatic man, who sets his sights on her. She quickly falls for his charms and although friends try to discourage her relationship with Jack, she is unable to break away. She soon finds herself married, with two daughters and…
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Changing Lanes: A Novel by Kathleen Long
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really loved this story even though it was so predictable. Abby, the main character loses her job; and her husband-to-be ups and goes to Paris, France, a few weeks before their wedding, to spend some time alone to ‘find’ himself, without telling her. The house they have bought together back in Abby’s home town is infested with termites. She is unable to move in. Her only option is to return to her parents’ home and try and make sense of all the awful things happening to her.
The first person she sees as she arrives at her parents’ home is Mick, her boyfriend from years ago when they were both in their teens. It is a life changing moment for both of them.
There are some good messages in this book, which definitely resonated with me, about living in the now and living your dream, which the author has been able to express with the help of Abby’s lovely but slightly dysfunctional family.
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