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Avid reader who loves finding new authors with well written books. Am interested in reading and reviewing various genres and am always looking for the next good read.

Upcoming Books to Read and Review

  • 44 Charles Street by Danielle Steel
  • Code Blue by Richard Mabry
  • Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb
  • Vandalism of Words by Derek Haines

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Red Queen Review

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory, 400 pages, 2010


Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness. Her mother mocks her plans, revealing that Margaret will always be burdened with the reputation of her father, one of the most famously incompetent English commanders in France. But worst of all for Margaret is when she discovers that her mother is sending her to a loveless marriage in remote Wales.
Married to a man twice her age, quickly widowed, and a mother at only fourteen, Margaret is determined to turn her lonely life into a triumph. She sets her heart on putting her son on the throne of England regardless of the cost to herself, to England, and even to the little boy. Disregarding rival heirs and the overwhelming power of the York dynasty, she names him Henry, like the king; sends him into exile; and pledges him in marriage to her enemy Elizabeth of York’s daughter. As the political tides constantly move and shift, Margaret charts her own way through another loveless marriage, treacherous alliances, and secret plots. She feigns loyalty to the usurper Richard III and even carries his wife’s train at her coronation.
Widowed a second time, Margaret marries the ruthless, deceitful Thomas, Lord Stanley, and her fate stands on the knife edge of his will. Gambling her life that he will support her, she then masterminds one of the greatest rebellions of the time—all the while knowing that her son has grown to manhood, recruited an army, and now waits for his opportunity to win the greatest prize.
In a novel of conspiracy, passion, and coldhearted ambition, number one bestselling author Philippa Gregory has brought to life the story of a proud and determined woman who believes that she alone is destined, by her piety and lineage, to shape the course of history.

The is the second book in the "Cousins' War" Trilogy. The first book having been "The White Queen" which continues to follow the war between member of the rival branches of the Plantagenets (the houses of York and Lancaster).

The Red Queen is about the Lancastrian, Lady Margaret Beaufort, who is the mother of Henry Tudor (Henry VII). Lady Margaret is a direct descendant of John Beaufort, the legitimized son of John Gaunt (son of King Edward III) and Katherine Swynford. Although the Beauforts were officially barred from inheriting the throne, they played an important role in the dynamic struggles in 15th century England.

The story is narrated by Lady Margaret who is made out to be overly religious (in her view) and without any real redeeming qualities. It would have been nice to hear the views and the inside goings on of the other characters who were introduced but we were fully ensconced in Lady Margaret's one-track mind of making her son, Henry Tudor, King of England. She was first married at 13 and was a widow by the time she was 14. Following the birth of her son, her marriages and alliances were built to further her cause to ensure that her son Henry was kept safe and would be mentally and physically able to fulfill his destiny.

Lady Margaret may not have been a particularly likeable individual, but I also think that she acted according to her class and to that time period so was realistically portrayed. She was certainly influential as the mother and founder of the Tudor dynasty.

The pace of the book kept going nicely and I found it to be quite an enjoyable read.

Rating 3 1/2 out of 5

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Predetermined Endings by Destiny Booze

Predetermined Endings by Destiny Booze, 2009, 252 pages


Angelica Chappell's story made huge headlines. Only a few months ago, she released a new pharmaceutical drug called Krytonix that effectively slows the spread of cancer cells. She had no idea her story would attract the attention of a serial killer. Suddenly, she is a target whether she realizes it or not. This killer is interested in more than her life. He wants her reputation, too. His first mission is to sabotage Krytonix. 

William Pierce worked undercover for the FBI for five years to bring down a ruthless mobster that he ultimately is forced to kill. Two months have passed by since that assignment. Still, William saw things he can't talk about. He did things he can't talk about. He believes his soul is damned. Returning to "normal" everyday life isn't an option. He isn't the same man he used to be. He refuses to return to FBI headquarters, and instead, becomes a rogue agent with an agenda. 

When Pierce's agenda leads him to Chappell, it will take both of them to keep Angelica alive and figure out who is after her. William soon finds himself developing feelings for Angelica. Too bad for her killer, William worked as a trained hit-man for the mob. Will he find her killer and hand him over to the legal system to see that justice is served, or will he search and destroy? 

This was a gripping novel right from the opening sentence and I could not put it down. There were so many twists and turns and I loved how it kept you guessing and even rooting for the "bad" person throughout the novel. I am looking forward to reading many more novels by this very talented author.

Medical thriller, FBI and police intrigue, mafia, hitmen = my perfect novel.

This novel will keep you guessing and will make you want to read it over and over again. It is actually back on my list for books to read and I want to read it again. Not many books after being read, make this list so that tells you how much I enjoyed it.

I would highly recommend this novel to everyone!!!

Rating 4.5 out of 5