Book Review -Royally in Trouble

SUMMARY

As a former member of a popular girl-band, Paisley Sutton knows what it means to be in the spotlight. So after she takes on an event- planning gig for the new Sugar Creek Renaissance faire, she’s counting on a smooth opening night. But when one of the cast is murdered, Paisley knows her event has gone lethally off-script.

When her old flame Beau is named the prime suspect, Paisley enlists the help of her trigger-happy ex-CIA grandmother and aunt. As she tries to keep the faire alive and fights off her matchmaking family, she uncovers secrets that might just get her killed. Can Paisley shine a light on the killer in time, or will the faire be her final curtain call? Continue reading “Book Review -Royally in Trouble”

Book Review -Rose in Three Quarter Time

I’m a romantic at heart. Over the years I’ve read many romances which I’ve loved. But every now and then I run across a book which isn’t just a romance but also thoroughly romantic. Have you ever read a novel(la) which is a love story with a city? My first experience with this was Rachel McMillan’s Love in Three-Quarter Time. It achieved the impossible, supplanting my long held love for all things Paris with a new one for Vienna -a city I’ve never even seen. That love affair grows and expands with McMillan’s second Vienna novella, Rose in Three Quarter Time.

SYNOPSIS

Rose MacNeil is a gifted, but undiscovered violinist when Oliver Thorne first meets her after a performance. Oliver, once a talented cellist, is now a famous conductor for the Ranier Quartet in Vienna after an accident ruined his ability to play. Rose dazzles Oliver both personally and professionally. He encourages her to stick around Vienna until a spot in his orchestra opens up. In the meantime the two strike up a friendship, bumping into each other and wandering around the beautiful, historic city.

Rose finally gets her chance and is offered the position of first chair. However, her visa is denied. Oliver, desperate not to lose her, and Rose, desperate to hold onto her big break, enter into a marriage of convenience. But Oliver’s contract has a strict morals clause which prohibits relationships with members of the Quartet, so they must keep their new relationship a secret.

This isn’t the only challenge Oliver and Rose face. Oliver tries to keep to his self-imposed vow to love Rose from a safe emotional distance and respect her wish for friendship only. Rose finds herself falling for her friend as they live together and she sees the real man behind the fame and position. Add in a hauntingly gorgeous city and the romance of their mutual love of music and these two may just find themselves breaking all their own rules.

For my full review of this delightful story, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat.

 

 

Film Review – A Star Is Born (2018)

As a classic film aficionado, I’m not generally a fan of remakes. There are a few exceptions to that rule, but generally I avoid them. This is why I had no plans to watch the latest reincarnation of A Star Is Born. I’ve seen three of the previous films, including the Constance Bennett vehicle What Price Hollywood?, and excluding the version featuring Barbara Streisand. I had no desire to see yet another interpretation. But then the reviews started rolling in from fellow classic film lovers and they were all positive. So, I decided I had to watch it to decide for myself.

SYNOPSIS

Each version of this film revolves around the same story. An established and famous male star, discovers a new talent. He then acts as mentor and eventually lover to this woman while guiding her through the process and pitfalls of fame. However, as her star rises, his declines thanks to his increasingly bad public behavior while battling his demons in the form of toxic addictions.  There are differences among all five versions of this film. However, they are not significant as to change the main story line and character arcs. In the latest version of A Star is Born the names of the main characters are changed from Esther Blodgett and Norman Maine to Ally and Jackson Maine. Also, unlike the first three films, Ally and Jackson are singers and not actors. Continue reading “Film Review – A Star Is Born (2018)”

Top Ten Tuesday -Book Villains

Today’s Topic:  Villains (favorite, best, worst, lovable, creepiest, most evil, etc.)

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

Everyone appreciates a good villain. Someone we can love to hate as we root for their selfish, wicked schemes to ultimately fail. After all, what is a hero without an evil counterpart to defeat? However, I strongly believe that no one is past redemption, no matter how bad them seem. I don’t look at people as my enemy. The real villain is that which lies within a person’s heart that motivates their corrupt actions. That is why, I decided to focus on a different type of villain for today’s list. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Book Villains”

Rita Hayworth Blogathon -Affair in Trinidad (1952)

I’ve never read a full biography about Rita Hayworth. The small amount of information I do know about her has always left me sad. From her earliest years, Rita was dominated by selfish men, starting with her father and continuing on to husbands, and men in the film industry who shaped her image. In many ways, her life was tragic one.

The knowledge of her personal life has always influenced my experience watching her films. I’m usually left with a feeling of both compassion and the melancholy of wondering what if? What if she had been in charge of her own career? What if she had found one man who would protect her instead of using, cheating and abandoning her? It is through this lens I view her performances.

SUMMARY

Affair in Trinidad begins with death. The police arrive at a local nightclub to speak with the deceased’s widow, Chris Emery (Hayworth). She is famous all over the island as a dancer whose beauty draws in scores of customers. Initially the police believe the death may be a suicide, but after seeing and speaking with the gorgeous Chris, they suspect foul play. Chris is surprised by the news but not devastated. She and her husband Neil had drifted apart in their marriage. Continue reading “Rita Hayworth Blogathon -Affair in Trinidad (1952)”

Book Review -The Blue Castle

SUMMARY

All her life, Valancy Stirling lived on a quiet little street in an ugly little house and never dared to contradict her domineering mother and her unforgiving aunt. Then she gets a letter—and decides that very day things need to change. For the first time in her life, she does exactly what she wants to and says exactly what she feels.

At first her family thinks she’s gone around the bend. But soon Valancy discovers more surprises and adventure than she ever thought possible. She also finds her one true love and the real-life version of the Blue Castle that she was sure only existed in her dreams…

MY THOUGHTS

I’m going to admit to my deep shame that I can’t remember ever finishing a book by L.M. Montgomery. Yet, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the Anne of Green Gables television series. So, when The Blue Castle kept popping up as a personal favorite of various authors I read, I knew I had to read it. Still, it sat on my TBR list for longer than I care to admit. Continue reading “Book Review -The Blue Castle”

September Classic Film Quickie Reviews

This month I managed to watch twenty-four films I had never seen before. Of those, four were foreign classics. Sadly I didn’t love any of this month’s foreign film choices.

Tony Curtis, Janet Lee & Dean Martin
Who Was That Lady (1960)

Several of these films surprised me in a good way including She’s Working Her Way Through College and Without Reservations. Others surprised me in a negative way. I also watched two film adaptations of Tennessee Williams plays. All in all, September was a productive month for me in terms of classic film. Continue reading “September Classic Film Quickie Reviews”

Top Ten Tuesday -Longest Books I’ve Read

Today’s Topic: Longest Books I’ve Ever Read

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

I’ll have to confess, this week’s topic gave me pause. I wasn’t sure I would be able to participate. I don’t generally read that many long books. With so many on my TBR pile and so little time, I always figure why read one long one when I can read two or three shorter ones in the same length of time? Also, I have a very hard time DNF-ing books I am not enjoying. So I hesitate to invest my time in a longer book, knowing that if I don’t like it I will still feel obligated to trudge my way through the remaining pages in misery. Still, I have managed to read my way through some longer books in my long years of being an avid reader. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Longest Books I’ve Read”

Classic Film Review -Swing Time (1936)

SWING TIME SUMMARY

In order to marry his hometown fiancee, gambling dancer John “Lucky” Garnett (Fred Astaire) heads to New York to make $25,000. His friend and sidekick Pop (Victor Moore) follows him like a faithful dog. On his first day in the city, Lucky has an unfortunate first meeting with Penny (Ginger Rogers), a dance instructor. Not only do Lucky and Pop almost get Penny arrested, but they also cause Penny and her friend Mabel (Helen Broderick) to lose their jobs. Even though Lucky convinces Penny’s boss (Eric Blore) to re-hire her, she is not so easily won over.

But Lucky is in luck because he and Penny are now dance partners. The more time they spend together, the more they begin to fall for each other. However, both try to resist their mutual attraction. Lucky has not forgotten his purpose for being in New York, even though he never mentions it to Penny. As for Penny, her long time admirer Ricky Romero, continues to propose to her despite multiple rejections. Meanwhile Pop and Mabel connive to see Lucky and Penny end up together.

For the full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

 

Book Review -Written in the Stars & Written in the Dust Duology

SUMMARY 

No one is happy about beauty queen Brooke Landgon’s return to Hope Canyon, Arkansas, least of all Brooke herself. Not her old friend Holly Christian, nor Holly’s friend Hunter Pierce, and definitely not Brooke’s first love Gatlin Moore. But after her marriage fails and her grandmother dies leaving Brooke her house, return she does. Brooke has a lot of fences to mend in Hope Canyon, but she would rather hole up at her grandmother’s house and ignore everyone. But that’s almost impossible in a town this small.

Holly is dealing with her own wish to hide after her fiance dies without telling anyone he had broken up with her. She just can’t tell the truth about the town’s golden boy without hurting everyone. So she strikes an odd bargain with her estranged childhood friend. She will give Brooke a place to stay and help Brooke while she fixes up her grandmother’s house if Brooke will act as a buffer for all the well-wishing citizens of Hope Canyon.

But these two ladies are as different as chalk and cheese. Not to mention, there are two men harboring some long-simmering feeling towards these two opposites. Hunter has always been in love with Holly, but was the third wheel in a lopsided friendship with Holly and her fiance Chad. While Gatlin is still boiling mad at Brooke’s abandonment of him years ago.

It’s amazing what the return of a prodigal can stir up in one small town. Change is on the horizon for four people who have forgotten how tight the past can tie people together. Continue reading “Book Review -Written in the Stars & Written in the Dust Duology”