At last!!!!!! Song of Songs by Beverley Hughesdon

 

GREAT NEWS!!!!  Newly released as a Kindle read by Canelo books,  AND at last Eve will be published, too, can’t wait!

Song of Songs  is my most favorite book of all time and I read it every now  and then.  I was given it in a proof edition with a bland cover, the one here I think spoils it. The story is far more noble than this trashy piccie!

Born into rich Edwardian family,  Helena is always the ungainly, awkward one, who loves her twin brothers, Robbie and Eddie.  In several traumas, she is recued by the footman Jem, which explains a lot of her later actions, although the text doesn’t make any hooks into it, so maybe its my interpretation.  Oh, how I wish I was born then, with no housework, allowed to sit about and read and write, waited on hand and foot, but most of all, horses to ride, at will, for pleasure,and no mucking out! The life in a way prefaces that of Downton Abbey. I’m telling a lot of the plot here,  but only because I need to explain how it relates to my enjoyment!

Helena grows to a teenager and after a misalliance with her cousin gets shifted off to Germany to learn music, as a punishment, which turns out into a blessing as she has a real ability to sing.  First world war arrives, and Helena trains as a Nurse – and the descriptions of this culture shock are wonderful, as are the accounts of her duty in the Hospitals on the warfields in France.  One twin dies, another survives but is damaged in his lungs.

Helena has this romantic fantasy about Gerald, her Officer love, who she does eventually get engaged to, but he is killed.  During the war, Helena meets  Ben, who is working class engine driver in peace time.  They meet after the war, and it is to him Helena flees when she helps in he suicide of her dying brother.  Ben takes advantage of Helena, coercing her into marrying him.  They begin life in his home town, another culture shock for Helena, but it is only when Helena finds out her Gerald was gay, she has a nervous breakdown, also born of her war work.  Recovering, she returns home, and through her healing, finally realises that she loves Ben and the book ends with the birth of  their son

This is a real beauty and beast tale, something which is in Beverley’s other books.   Helena is so human, but courageous.  Her breakdown is a way to healing.  Maybe I like this because I identify with her, in having earlier in life stupid love affairs, and then finding my own beast !!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The French Twist series by Sandra Bird

Bon Appetit: A Novel (French Twist Book 2)   Piece de Resistance: A Novel (French Twist Book 3)  Let Them Eat Cake: A Novel (French Twist Book 1)

The first book in the trilogy had me intrigued to follow French Twist series, to follow Lexi’s  training, lifestyle and way to the happy ending. I was looking on it as a complete contrast to my own journey on this, as someone from a broken and dysfunctional family, with no faith and few morals (!). It was a somehow quieter and less painfull road that Lexie took, and even so was thoroughly enjoyable. Yet, compared to some of my capers, it was a little bland- but maybe that’s jealousy talking! Enjoyed all three as really good Christian novels.

 

Yet maybe it’s a reflection of American culture (as the UK’s highest aspiration used to be to marry a Doctor), Lexi ends up with the Lawyer dull Dan. Never was there such a lacklustre, uninteresting man with no depth. Can’t understand why she fell for Mr Wishywashy. Each to her own I suppose!!!!!!

Ring of Fire:An Alaskan Adventure by Tanyo Ravicz

The premise of this story was appealing. It had the Alaskan landscape as a back drop to the macho character of Hank and the intrigue of the foreign guests. And I read quite a lot. Then I gave up.

This book was printed through a publisher. So he must have had some editing input. He’s won awards. I’ve read literary books before. But never one that has an entire paragraph in one sentence. And not just one time, frequently. Ok there were occasional , ‘s and –s. It was like reading a book while suffocating. It would take so little work to write it breathably. Shame.

 

Broken Heart Syndrome by Susie Tate

If you’re looking for a real Valentine’s read, take this!

It’s so rare to find something that’s well written, a bit different and with good characterization on the free lists, that this one I guzzled over a weekend!  The hospital setting felt real, no doubt as Susie is a  Doctor. The thing that struck me the most was how Frankie had real genuine problems to overcome-so often in a novel it’s just a little man blindness or stubbornness, but this made her really believable. Tom came over as the stereotype scruffy Doctor but Oh, so human, not one of these imagined men!   A really good love story, where all have to grow up, be healed and move on, sometimes our prejudices and scars take one heck of a struggle to overcome, but we can. Great plot, great array of characters, misunderstandings, bad peeps, real peeps. Loved it. In fact I’ve just downloaded the sequel

Alex Cotton, Writer Review

 


I felt bound to do an author review as I haven’t enjoyed someone’s work so much for a long time!

I picked up the first of Alex’s books on the freebies and I was so hooked, that I had to read them all. Born the same year, we share many of the same experiences from childhood through to teenage and marriage – but  I’m not saying exactly which apart from the country dancing!  However, what struck me through reading these parallel experiences, is as you’re growing, you feel that you are unique and have no conception that others are going through the same experiences and same culture shock – and although we don’t share this one, I never realized just how many other kids went off and got the make-up out after David Bowie’s Starman performance on TOTP until I heard it on a tv programme!

The now completed Quadrology (my word) takes us through Alex’s marriage, birth and  childhood of her daughter until today, and her family doesn’t get any less wacky. The four could easily make one volume, hilarious and well rounded.

Alex has a unique and funny style. The books could have been written as deeply dark and traumatic, but no, they’re treated with humour, tolerance with a straightforward voice that keeps you gripped and want to read on. I hope she never has an editor tell her to change her style, do this and that to the editing of the works, she is unique, but I imagine form reading her work, she would probably just tell the aforesaid editor to get stuffed! I’d love to see her try some fiction!

So any ladies born in the early sixties, who were teenagers in the 70s, read and just enjoy, and see a another perceptive on your own growing years!

I felt bound to do an author review as I haven’t enjoyed someone’s work so much for a long time!

I picked up the first of Alex’s books on the freebies and I was so hooked, that I had to read them all. Born the same year, we share many of the same experiences from childhood through to teenage and marriage – but  I’m not saying exactly which apart from the country dancing!  However, what struck me through reading these parallel experiences, is as you’re growing, you feel that you are unique and have no conception that others are going through the same experiences and same culture shock – and although we don’t share this one, I never realized just how many other kids went off and got the make-up out after David Bowie’s Starman performance on TOTP until I heard it on a tv programme!

The now completed Quadrology (my word) takes us through Alex’s marriage, birth and  childhood of her daughter until today, and her family doesn’t get any less wacky. The four could easily make one volume, hilarious and well rounded.

Alex has a unique and funny style. The books could have been written as deeply dark and traumatic, but no, they’re treated with humour, tolerance with a straightforward voice that keeps you gripped and want to read on. I hope she never has an editor tell her to change her style, do this and that to the editing of the works, she is unique, but I imagine form reading her work, she would probably just tell the aforesaid editor to get stuffed! I’d love to see her try some fiction!

So any ladies born in the early sixties, who were teenagers in the 70s, read and just enjoy, and see a another perceptive on your own growing years!

I felt bound to do an author review as I haven’t enjoyed someone’s work so much for a long time!

I picked up the first of Alex’s books on the freebies and I was so hooked, that I had to read them all. Born the same year, we share many of the same experiences from childhood through to teenage and marriage – but  I’m not saying exactly which apart from the country dancing!  However, what struck me through reading these parallel experiences, is as you’re growing, you feel that you are unique and have no conception that others are going through the same experiences and same culture shock – and although we don’t share this one, I never realized just how many other kids went off and got the make-up out after David Bowie’s Starman performance on TOTP until I heard it on a tv programme!

The now completed Quadrology (my word) takes us through Alex’s marriage, birth and  childhood of her daughter until today, and her family doesn’t get any less wacky. The four could easily make one volume, hilarious and well rounded.

Alex has a unique and funny style. The books could have been written as deeply dark and traumatic, but no, they’re treated with humour, tolerance with a straightforward voice that keeps you gripped and want to read on. I hope she never has an editor tell her to change her style, do this and that to the editing of the works, she is unique, but I imagine form reading her work, she would probably just tell the aforesaid editor to get stuffed! I’d love to see her try some fiction!

So any ladies born in the early sixties, who were teenagers in the 70s, read and just enjoy, and see a another perceptive on your own growing years!

The Nothing girl by Jodi Taylor

I haven’t read a great book for ages, and suddenly two come along at once, the other I will review presently. This book is going to be a strong contender for my favourite book ever, (Sorry Beverley Hughesdon)  I may even buy a hard copy for the shelf.

Jenny is obviously better than her family make her out to be, and I sort of guessed what was up from the start, but it didn’t matter. Here is the most masterful growth of a heroine to fullness and love.  Russell, is almost a Shakespearean flawed hero and the plot is superb. I’m not going to talk about the plot, except to say, it has it all, thwarted loves, misunderstandings, comic pauses, grand denouements, bad baddies and a mega ending, not to mention, countryside, old houses and the horses and donkey.

But what made it most for me was, Thomas, Jenny’s mystic horse/angel. I thought at first as a Christian, this is not good. I did wonder if she was ever observed talking to him- that would have given the family grounds……. But it took me back some years ago, when Dave and I were having problems and I had a weekend away to myself. I took myself for a walk and I was off my beaten track, map reading and so on edge. As I turned a corner along a hedgeline, I was suddenly aware I was not alone, I was being followed by a large brown horse, he was with me and protecting me. (We strode on home together, him behind me. I must go and find my diary recording of this to check!). So Thomas, I have no problem with, and the ending, for a stiff necked old trout like me, had me in tears. Wonderful.

Studs and Stilettos by Bev Pettersen

I seem to be finding firm favourites on my Kindle trips and Bev is one of them. I just love the mix of horses, romance and a good mystery. Emily was such a nice bimbo at the start and Dan just a bit dumb but they both muscled up through the course of the book, through the course of misunderstandings and a sneaky little sub plot that eventually took over.  This was a guzzle book that I haven’t had for a long time. Bravo!

I didn’t realise it was a follow up to Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash, wish I’d read that first, never mind!

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