Sunday, 31 May 2015

Attractive Nuisance - Jennifer Griffith

Date of Reading: 25/04/2015
Author: Jennifer Griffith
Format: Kindle E-book
Year: 2015
From: The author through eBooks for Review

Blurb from goodreads:
         Camilla Sweeten is serious about her job in the County Attorney's office. She's even working up the courage to ask her boss to consider her for promotion to deputy.
         Then, into court walks the gorgeous Zane Holyoake, and disaster strikes - in the form of a total brain fog right in the middle of her closing arguments. In front of both her boss and the meanest bear of a judge in the county, Camilla hears herself saying, "Like, I totally made my point," as though she'd flown in from 1980s California in a time machine airplane.
        Now her boss will never consider her for deputy - especially since Zane turns out to be a new lawyer, possibly brought in to steal her dream job.
         But when a notorious criminal is caught in their county, Camilla must focus on getting the thief convicted and not on Zane, who smells heavenly and is bent on distracting her with lunch offers and wacky Boy Scout stories that may melt her many resolves.
       It's going to take incredible willpower to ignore this attractive nuisance.

         I must confess that it is the green tinged cover image that prompted me to request a review copy. A combination of romance and mystery!!! -- just the thing I needed for my train journey to home. But the high expectations started to crush at the beginning itself.
         Camilla could have been a likable character, if the writer had resisted herself from putting down all her mental thoughts. After each dialogue there is a long description as to how she thinks about that particular line (which is supposed to be amusing, I know), cutting out the reader from imagining something. Short sentences of exclamation would have served the purpose much better.
          Then there is Zane and here I agree with Camilla; his ungrammatical sentences were far from being funny. As a non-native speaker I was forced to skip many of his lines which was difficult to comprehend.
Jennifer Griffith
        And the entire plot revolves around Camilla's reluctance to marry because according to her the right age has passed and now she won't be able to see her kids marry and to share the happiness of grandchildren. Well, what should I say? She is twenty seven and for her marriage is over??? And she needed a good looking guy to point out this utter nonsense. Did she really pass that barrister exam? I certainly doubt it.            

Friday, 1 May 2015

The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Emma Orczy

Date of Reading: 16/04/2015
Author: Baroness Emma Orczy
Publisher: Feedbooks
Year: 1905
Rating: 3/5

          I was searching for a classic to read and stumbled on this name on Suey's blog. Well, its a short, cozy book with some mystery and romance. Some of my great hopes regarding this was crushed on reading, as the characters were not completely developed and the author's constant ramblings on the virtues of aristocracy seemed to have got on my nerves. 
          More than a critique on the Reign of Terror, the story tends to focus on the nobleness of English gentlemen who daring their lives try to save the French aristocrats from guillotine and conveniently forgets that British also had their fair share of savagery when they beheaded King Charles I. And thinking of the cruelties they meted out to Scots and Irish, I doubt whether they have the right to condemn the French. But keeping this political prejudices apart, this is an altogether nice read you can finish very easily.

Now to the story:
scarlet pimpernel flower
         Setting is 1792, and the French Revolution has entered into the period of Reign of Terror, killing hundreds of aristocrats each day. A secret society of English gentlemen, named The League of the Scarlet Pimpernal, led by a single man has managed to save many from the clutches of guillotine. Name of the league refers to a red flower found in English countryside with whose symbol the leader signs his messages.
        The new French envoy to England, Citizen Chauvelin, is determined to catch this British pest. He blackmails Marguerite St. Just, a beautiful French actress now married to a wealthy fool, Sir Percy Blackney. Chauvelin has procured some papers which shows the involvement of Armand, Marguerite's brother with the secret society.
Frightened Marguerite finds the league's place of appointment, but Chauvelin is confronted by a snoring Sir Percy at the prescribed time and none other. Marguerite is having an estranged relationship with her husband  as she confessed that it is her unintended comments on Marquis de St. Cyr which has sent him and his sons to guillotine.
          But later out of desperation she reveals the danger Armand faces to Sir Percy but not her involvement with Chauvelin. Next day itself Sir Percy leaves to his estates which puzzles Marguerite. A search in his room reveals him to be the Scarlet Pimpernel and the thought terrifies her. Chauvelin is after him and unknowingly she has given away her husband's identity. So Marguerite follows him with Sir Andrew who is one of the members of the League.
          Though Chauvelin plans his trap very well Sir Percy escapes with Armand and Comte de Tournay whom he has come to save from imminent execution. He is warned in time by Sir Andrew and thus taking the disguise of a Jewish driver he joins the search party of Chauvelin. Marguerite gets captured while following them but later she is left with the Jew as Chauvelin intends to pursue Sir Percy.
          Marguerite's courage rekindles the love in the couple's lives and safely boarding on the schooner, the Day Dream, they sail for home.
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