Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Books Read and Listened To

Quite a big batch this time, but I'll attempt to fit them all into one post...

A Puppy For Christmas
by Carole Mortimer, Nikki Logan, Myrna Mackenzie
Published by HMB Special Format
Print book
ISBN 9781743066423

On the Secretary's Christmas List - Carole Mortimer
Bree has landed an amazing job but her new boss is a difficult, unreliable playboy - who is also infuriatingly gorgeous! When Bree looks after Jackson's son and energetic puppy, she realises what she wants this Christmas.

The Patter of Paws at Christmas - Nikki Logan
Ingrid has to spend Christmas with gorgeous zookeeper Gabriel Marque. They need to keep watch for the zoo's first litter of wild dogs. Will the patter of tiny paws bring them together... this time forever?

The Soldier, The Puppy and Me - Myrna Mackenzie
Christmas is a difficult time for war hero Trey McFadden and it doesn't help that his neighbour, Ella Delancey, and her adorable puppy, Fizz, seem determined on spreading festive cheer.(less)


I grabbed this one mainly for the Nikki Logan story, and that was definitely my favourite of the trio, although the Myrna Mackenzie story was fun too. I was less certain about the Carole Mortimer story as I was thrown out by the central puppy having been given as an unexpected gift. Still worth reading for the wild dogs and the fostered rescue puppy of the other two though.

Now You See Me
by S. J. Bolton
Read by Lisa Coleman
Published by Corgi Books
Audio book
ISBN 9780552159814

Is Jack back? More cunning, more illusive, and ready to play new games ...A savage murder on London's streets, 120 years to the day since Jack the Ripper claimed his first victim. A crime with all the hallmarks of a copycat killer. Detective Constable Lacey Flint has never worked a murder case. Now she must outwit a brilliant psychopath whose infamous role model has never been found. When the murderer claims another victim, Lacey agrees to be the bait to lure out the monster. But this killer is already one step ahead, and fixated on Lacey...

First in a new police procedural series featuring a DC with a slightly murky past (to say the least). As the bodycount mounts up, it becomes clear to her that there's more to the case than a copycat killer, but to reveal what she suspects and how she's figured out the killer's probable identity means risking her career. A great collection of characters, and even knowing that this was the beginning of a series didn't stop me from wondering repeatedly how Lacey was going to get out of each tricky situation, not to mention whether she was really the person she claimed to be.

The Sunne in Splendour
by Sharon Kay Penman
Published by Penguin Books
Print book
ISBN 9780140067644

"The Sunne in Splendour" is a magnificent historical novel about Richard III. Set against a vast, colourful canvas, it covers the whole period of The War of the Roses opening with Richard as a child of seven and following him through a turbulent youth and manhood to his betrayal and death at The Battle of Bosworth Field. The historical detail is brilliantly depicted and brings to life the atmosphere of the time with extraordinary immediacy and excitement.


A fabulous telling of the life of Richard III, although some of the theories in this version have been slightly quashed by the events of the past year or so. On the other hand, lots of other interpretations of events in here stand up very well. I'm tempted to track down a copy of the reissued version now.

Have You Any Rogues?
by Elizabeth Boyle
Published by Avon Impulse
ISBN 9780062322883

The Seldons and Dales have been mortal enemies for centuries, but that hasn't stopped the roguish Crispin, Viscount Dale and the impetuous Lady Henrietta Seldon from waging their own battle … of the heart. Every stray glance, every chance encounter threatens to reveal the secret passion that keeps drawing them together.

But finally after years of flirting with disaster, Crispin and Henrietta find themselves locked in a wine cellar, and now there is no denying the love and loyalties that have lured them and torn them apart time and time again. Will this one last chance, this tempting night of desire be the one that ignites a fire that will never be extinguished, no matter the price?


Reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.

The Cupcake Diaries: Spoonful of Christmas
by Darlene Panzera
Published by Avon Impulse
ISBN 9780062305121

For fans of Debbie Macomber comes Spoonful of Christmas, the fourth installment in the popular Cupcake Diaries series.

Andi, Rachel, and Kim each have their own reasons for wanting this Christmas at Creative Cupcakes to be special.

Andi is scared that Jake's job offer with another newspaper will move them to a different state.

Rachel, set to marry Mike on Christmas Eve, is afraid her cousin Stacey will ruin the wedding.

Kim fears she'll never get a ring and Nathaniel will leave her after the holidays are over.

What they didn't count on was having a modern-day Grinch try to steal Christmas away from them. Can they unmask the culprit before it's too late ... or will this be a Christmas to remember for all the wrong reasons?


Reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.

A Very Civil Wedding
by V.T. Davy
Published by Liberation Publishing
ISBN 9780957408852

One day the Princess will be Queen and, when that happens, she will be the Supreme Governor of our organisation. At which point, we will be in the position of having as our leader someone who is, in the eyes of the church, unmarried and living in sin. Unless we ask the Lord to bless her marriage now, how can we continue the same relationship with the crown? And what then for the spiritual life of the nation? We are the Church of England, we advise, and guide, and influence our lawmakers, and we’ve done so since Henry the Eighth’s day.

When Princess Alexandra, the eldest daughter of the Prince of Wales, wishes to marry her long-time partner, Lieutenant-Commander Grace Stephens, their wedding has the potential to cause a constitutional crisis. When the couple go further and request a blessing by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the British establishment must find a way to accommodate the wishes of the woman who will one day be the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

In this thoughtful and thought-provoking novel, V. T. Davy examines the relationship between the monarchy and the church; the arguments for and against same-sex marriage; how some of Britain’s oldest and most revered organisations have acted to give equality to homosexual men and women, and become stronger for it; and, what happens to institutions when they refuse to embrace the demands of an enlightened society. The novel’s surprising conclusion is that those most damaged by institutionalised prejudice are often the people you would least expect.

It is a book that will test the opinion of every reader wherever they stand on these issues.


To be reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.

Cut Short
by Leigh Russell
Published by No Exit Press
Print book
ISBN 9781842432716

D.I. Geraldine Steel expects the quiet town of Woolsmarsh to be dull. She quickly discovers she is wrong. The park is a place where children play, friends sit and gossip, people walk their dogs, or take a short cut to avoid the streets. But in the shadows a predator prowls, hunting for victims. A woman sees the killer and comes forward as a witness--someone whom the killer must stop at all costs. For D.I. Geraldine Steel, it is a race against time to find the killer before he strikes again, as public pressure mounts with the growing death toll.


First in a police procedural series, and it reads very much like the first novel it is. I found Geraldine difficult to warm to, and it felt at times she was being given more flaws than necessary. I'd like to read the next, however and gauge how the characters and writing develop.

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club
by Dorothy L. Sayers
Read by Ian Carmichael
Published by BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Audio book
ISBN 9781846071485

The dignified calm of the Bellona Club is shattered when Lord Peter Wimsey finds General Fentiman dead in his favourite chair. A straighforward death by natural causes? Perhaps...but why can no-one remember seeing the general the day he died? And, who is the mysterious Mr. Oliver? Lord Peter moves between London and Paris, salon and suburbs, to unfold the intriguing case.

A fun instalment in the Wimsey cases with a case complicated by multiple grasping heirs, all of whose inheritance depends on when the victim died in relation to another death with known timing that was definitely due to natural causes. Splendidly read as always by Ian Carmichael.
Tags: audio books, ebooks, good-bad-unread, goodreads, print books, reviews
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