November Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

black and white image of a man walking away from the viewer into the fog - he's walking alongside a barbed wire fenceThe Tyack & Frayne series by Harper Fox  Well… less of a review and more of a series recommendation really.  As you might know, I attempted to cut off the top of one of my fingers a few weeks ago and the recovery period has left me struggling with typing. As a result I took a break from review books while I recovered (well, mostly recovered) and read/listened to things already on my TBR/TBL. As much as it is a privilege and pleasure to read review books and have early access to them, it is also a delight to read or listen just for fun. 

One of the fantastic things I did over the past few weeks was listen to all of the Tyack & Frayne mysteries by Harper Fox. The entire series is not available on audio yet (alas), but the first 7 book are and – joy of joys, they’re all available in the Audible Plus catalogue. (Also at the time of writing this, book 1 is available to buy for only $3.99.) The series is built around Cornish local police officer, Gideon Frayne and Lee Tyack, a clairvoyant who is called in by the Truro police to consult on the disappearance of a young girl from Gideon’s village. There are mysterious and spooky goings on and along the way, Gideon and Lee fall deeply in love. Each of the available audiobooks is self-contained – no cliffhangers – but they do need to be consumed in order as they build one upon the other.

I love the connection Gideon and Lee have and I also enjoy the Cornish setting and the use of local myth and legend which adds to the atmosphere.

January Round Up

Monthly Mini Review (well, kind of)

back view of a woman with long dark hair in a purple dress standing on a balcony in a white palace overlooking far away snowy mountain peaksThe Far Pavilions by MM Kaye, narrated by Vikas Adam.

The narration by Vikas Adam is excellent.

I picked the audiobook up last year in a sale, largely due to the narrator.

The story is full of colonialism and very not okay things however so I can’t recommend it. I read the book many years ago before I knew much about anything (I was about 15 I think) and it was an interesting “experiment” to reread/listen to it now when I have somewhat of a clue. (I realise the privilege inherent in that statement.) Nobody really needs my white lady hot take on the detail though. I guess it’s a book which shows how shitty white people have been to Brown people but I think that kind of book would be better written by a Brown person. South Asian opinion about the book is much more important than anything I have to say about it.

I’m not giving the book a star. I can’t in good conscience rate it highly but the narration is very good – honestly just about everything Vikas Adam did with the performance was flawless. There were only a couple of words which revealed he’s an South Asian-American rather than South Asian-Brit but that’s hardly a thing to worry about given how much was good about his narration. But I can’t rate the book based on the narration alone. Hence, no rating.

On Apologies, Forgiveness and West Ravenel

I listened to Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas recently and I loved it so much I decided to read the book as well. If anyone has been following my Twitter feed at all, it won’t be a surprise that I have fallen hard for West Ravenel, the hero of Devil’s Daughter. I’m not alone. Janine from Dear Author is similarly obsessed – I believe she’s re-read the book three times now. Her review of the book is here and my review of the audiobook is at AudioGals here. Janine and I also had an epic email thread going where we gushed and squeed and reveled in the West Ravenel goodness so it’s clearly a book which has captured our imaginations.

Gold toned cover with a picture of a beautiful red-haired woman in a creamy-gold ball gown evening dress trimmed with peach coloured flowers

As much as I enjoyed the audiobook, reading the print/digital version is a different experience again. Things I’d forgotten or somehow glossed over come into sharper focus in print for me. Whereas on audio I feel better able to understand certain subtext (I believe this is because the narrator does some of that interpretation for me and thank god for it I say – it’s not something I’m really good at. Or, maybe hearing the words produces a more instinctive emotional response than seeing the words? Or if not more instinctive, different? Who knows?). In any event, the other night when I was reading, a particular line stood out to me and it was kind of a revelation.

Merry Christmas!

I’ll be taking a few days off over Christmas and the new year but will be around on Twitter. Who knows? I may even get around to posting some 2017 Favourite Reads lists in January. That’s the plan anyway.

To everyone who has visited the blog, or chatted to me online, to my friends, to those I admire and those I wish were my friends (!), to all my fellow romance bloggers, to the awesome women of #metoo and to all those who #resist, I wish you the compliments of the season, peace, love and safety. To those who supported me after the passing of my stepdad this year, a special thank you.

For those who do Christmas, have a Merry Merry Christmas. To those who don’t, Happy Holidays. May you find laughter, love and joy in the coming days – and refreshment to keep being awesome next year. Thank you for your friendship, support and inspiration this year.

~ Kaetrin ~


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