Category Archives: Reviewers

Jennifer Blood, Vol. 1 by Ennis and Batista

With the release of Garth Ennis’ The Boys on Amazon, I’ve been checking out some of his previous work. Jennifer Blood is one such work.

Jennifer Blood, Volume 1
A Woman’s Work is Never Done
written by Garth Ennis
art by Adriano Batista
Dynamite
Feburary 2012

From the publisher: “Jennifer Blood is a suburban wife and mom by day – and a ruthless vigilante by night! Every day she makes breakfast, takes the kids to school, cleans the house, naps for an hour or two, makes dinner, puts the kids to bed, and kisses her husband goodnight. This suburban punisher is ready to be unleashed in a story that can only be told by the legendary Garth Ennis. Collecting issues #1-6 of the hit series, along with additional bonus material, sketches, cover gallery, and interview with Garth Ennis!”

The first five issues in this collection start with “Jennifer” narrating the story of her revenge against her uncles in her diary. The story is driven largely by the diary text and we know very little of what is going on until mid-issue five. All we know is that this woman lives a normal life during the day but has been planning for a long time to go on a killing spree of this mafia-like family over the course of a week. It is entertaining and violently satisfying. But then at the end of issue five, Ennis seems to want to speed things up so the diary says she will stop writing until the main bad guy (and last uncle) is killed. Issue 6 starts – starts! – with the infiltration of his base complete, all his men dead, and him dying while “Jennifer” spends almost the whole issue explaining to the uncle (and us) why she is on the killing spree. It completely jumps away from the cool planning aspects and straight to exposition. It feels rushed and unfinished.

There are multiple other volumes written by Al Ewing so the story goes somewhere, I guess. But the first volume falls flat. It builds to the very baddest of the bad guys and then just fast forwards to the end. I hope that The Boys doesn’t follow this template.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

Solaris by Lem

I had no idea what to expect here. the description seems to imply a love story and Very Serious Deep Thoughts. Man was I disappointed.

Solaris: The Definitive Edition
By Stanislaw Lem
Audible
1961

I’m going to tell you what I wish someone had told me [SPOILERS]: this is boring as heck. Not the charming slow moving classic SciFi with quaint science and thoughts on the future. No, this is an incredibly long winded story where long sections are nothing but back story on the planet. At first I thought it was interesting and wll thought out. After a time I just want to move on.

As for love, the way the main character treats the female lead is incredibly chauvinistic and demeaning. Very little actual love. In fact, he “falls in love” with the alien created version of his dead wife for almost no reason even though he loves her for not being his wife. Huh? If he doesn’t love her because she looks and acts like his wife what exactly is it he loves? Her lack of memory? Her charm? The fact that she a fake version of his dead wife? Makes no sense. But he does fall in love with his suicidal alien construct. Maybe. I don’t care. This story isn’t about love, it is about a man who longs for something he can’t have. That’s not romantic. It’s pathetic.

The alien (Ocean) is interesting. You’ll get no resolution here and that’s actually fine. But I’d prefer more time spent on the Ocean than on the constructs. A better solution is the main character recognizing that the Ocean is sentient and attempting to contact it, rather than longing for his dead wife/ dead construct to come back.

I powered through this but I don’t recommend it. There are simply too many better options.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

Midnight on the River Grey by Wilson

Rebecca Hunter and her Aunt Joan have lost their home in London and are summoned by her new guardian Mr.Lewis Browning to his reclusive country estate Greybourne Hall. After her brother Jacob’s mysterious death, she is determined to prove Browning is responsible for his murder and see how hanged. He is known by the locals as the Midnight Devil.

Midnight on the River Grey
by Abigail Wilson
Thomas Nelson
July 2019

Arriving at the Hall, Rebecca finds Lewis is not what she imagined and his motivation is unclear. As she and Aunt Jo settle into their new life, she begins her plans to uncover the truth regarding Jacob’s death. Rebecca begins to have nightmares or spells as her mother called them. Her mother was quite mad and Rebecca is sure she will be just like her.

Working on solving the mystery surrounding Jacob’s death, she has little clues to go on. She is beginning to believe Lewis is innocence of murder and Jacob’s death was just a horrible accident. Then Lewis’s friend and solicitor, Mr, Drake, is found dead close to the bridge where Jacob died. Who is behind his murder and why?

Rebecca has found new clues and is sure Jacob is alive. She must find him and learn the truth. Only then can she reveal her true feelings for Lewis.

Will Rebecca be able to unravel the mystery that surrounds Greybourne Hall and find happiness ever after?

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It covers a little mystery, intrigue, first love, and betrayal.

Highly recommend it to all readers.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

Engagement Plot by Phillips

Hanna Knight is on her way home in Embarrass, Minnesota in a raging blizzard when she comes upon an SUV stuck in a ditch. Helping the driver out of the car she takes him to her father’s house. To her horror, when he removes his outerwear, stands William Preston, CEO and handsome bachelor who had won the hearts of American women. The same man who seven months ago had stomped on her heart and left it to freeze to death by humiliating her in front of millions of people. What was he doing here?

The Engagement Plot
by Krista Phillips
Shiloh Run Press
November 2017

Hanna Knight is a Kindergarten teacher living in Duluth, Minnesota. Just for the fun of it she applied to be on the Reality Show called The Price Of Love. He was the CEO bachelor “looking” for love, and she, the small-town teacher with mortals tighter than some of the other contestant”s skinny jeans. To her surprise, he picked her. Each contestant was given a con. Each week, after crazy over the top dates, the contestants presented the wealthy man with their heart, which he could accept or not. After weeks of dates, William Preston had accepted her coin. When he proposed on screen, she gladly said yes and accepted the ring with eyes full of tesrs. She loved him with all her heart and pictured happy ever after. But it was not to be. In his last interview with ALIVE, he completely destroyed her. He inferred they had been intimate during a weekend. Hanna’s reputation is completely destroyed. In disgrace, she runs to her father in Embarrass.

Now here he is. In her hometown. What does he want? He is trying to make amends and talks her into continuing the engagement. Pop She returns to Nashville where they again give an interview on ALIVE to try to salvage her reputation.

Thing are going about as well as can be expected until she receives a visit from the CFO of William’s company. He tells Hanna that William has been asked to resign due to fraud. Feeling betrayed, she again runs home to Embarrass to hide and sulk. William’s father ask her to help him prove that William is innocent. He knows who is actually guilty of defrauding the company.

Will she help prove William innocent or will she seek revenge for him ruining her reputation?

I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

State of Lies by Mitchell

Georgie Brennan’s husband is dead.

State Of Lies
by Siri Mitchell
Thomas Nelson
August 2019

He went out one evening to pick up a part to fix the faucet in the kitchen and never returned. He was killed by a hit-and-run driver in a place he should not have been. She could not bring herself to go to the morgue to identify the body so she sent her father instead. There were several items missing from his personal belongings especially a knife that he always carried.

Georgia begins to hear strange noises in the crawl space beneath her house. Investigating the noise she finds his knife lodged between the rafters. She also finds a cryptic notebook in her husband’s writing in the backyard. Things starts to happen that she can’t explain like someone tried to run her off the road, she is being followed, and someone had been searching her house. She soon begins to question everything that she thought she knew. Then someone set fire to the house and she and her son barely escaped with their life. Someone wants her dead, but who and why.

Her four star general father is up for confirmation as Secretary of Defense and her son is struggling to come to terms with his father’s death. As she begins to interpret the cryptic notebook her husband had left she became involved in political intrigue that she was ill equipped to handle. Her husband was investigating what happened when her father, as a captain, was fighting in Desert Storm. It had something to do with the men that had served under him during this time. When she started talking to the men all die under mysterious circumstances.

Georgie received an email from her dead husband’s phone. What is going on? Her husband is dead, or is he? As she continues to investigate she begins to suspect that her hero father is a traitor. Lies and more lies. Does her mother know what her husband did? Has her whole life been based on lies?

Will Georgie go to the authorities and tell what she knows about her father? Will he be confirmed as Secretary of Defense or be exposed for who he actually is?

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommended.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

Ruined by Kade

Lennon Mayfield is back in Breathless, Georgia working on her thesis for a degree in Anthropology/Archeology. She has obtained permission from the city council to dig on land owned by the city. It is back-breaking tedious work but she loves it. She is hoping to find roots of North American human history in Breathless as there is evidence that ancient culture migrated through there. Things are going along smoothly until she encounters Gabriel Zemp who insisted she is digging on his land.

Ruined
Breathless: 2
Griffyn Ink
By Savannah Kade
May 2019

Lennon has a history with the Zemp family as she dated Brodie Zemp when they were in high school. Lennon has a secret involving Brodie and his father Robert. Brodie was killed in an automobile accident and Gabe blames Lennon for his death. He has hated her for such a long time it will do anything to prevent her from accomplishing her goals.

Lennon continues her daily dig findings several artifacts to substantiate her belief. Gabe starts coming around to watch her work and soon they become sort of friends.

Will Lennon be able to dig up Breathless and not reveal her secret? Will she and Gabe become more than friends?

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it to all readers.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

Convergence by Yttrup

Denilyn has a stalker.

Convergence
by Ginny L. Yttrup
Shiloh Run Press
March 2019

Dr. Denilyn Rossi is Department Chair at Pacific Covenant University and also an author. Her friend Dr. Ryan Alister is a Professor at the college. Today is the first day of the spring semester. She can’t find her special pen – it is always in her desk drawer. When she tries to power up her presentation for class it has been deleted . Not a good way to start the day.

The first time she sees him is at a book signing in Menlo Park. She feels someone watching her. He is standing outside holding a book. He looks familiar, but she can’t quite place him. The next time she recognized him. He is outside her church. He is the man she sent to prison. The man who tried to kill her. But it can’t be him. He is still in prison or is he?

Things continue to escalate. She tries to tell Keith how she feels. She is afraid and needs his support. He can’t handle it and leaves. He later divorces her. As everything started at Three Rivers Village, she decided to return to sort things out. As she nears the Village, her past, present, and future, like the forks of the Kawesch, converge. She had worked at Ride the Kawesch as a guide after college. She gets her old job back and settles in, waiting for her stalker to make an appearance

Things were not adding up. Being run off the road, sky diving parachute failing to open, this couldn’t be Bradley, her stalker.
She finally comes to realize who is trying to kill her. How did she not see the signs. Wallace tried to tell her.

This is a story of suspense, betrayal and friendship. I enjoyed the book.

Highly recommend it.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

Midnight At The Tuscany Hotel by Markert

Renowned sculptor Robert Gandy and his wife Magdalena own and operate the Tuscany Hotel in Southern California. Their elite guests are artists, actors, scientists and engineers who left their worries behind and came to create masterpieces.

Midnight At The Tuscany Hotel
James Markert
Thomas Nelson
April 2019

Magdalena’s life was not always so peaceful. She was left as a baby on the foundling wheel at the Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence, Italy one stormy night. Magdalena had a problem. She couldn’t retain any present memory, but could remember thing that happened years, even centuries ago, as if she really lived them. She was adopted by a sculptor at the age of ten years. He believed she was his muse and would bring him fame. He was very cruel and did unspeakable things to her.

One day when he was traveling she ventured into town and saw Robert. Each day she would return and eventually began a conversation with him. When Robert learned what had been happening to her, he devised a way to help her leave. They left Italy for the United States and settled in California were they built the Tuscany Hotel. Their son Vittorio was born, Robert continued to create beautiful sculptors, and the hotel was the place to visit. Magdalena dies and circumstances forces Robert and his family to move, abandoning the hotel.

Vittorio grew up, married and had a son. Returning home from the war, he is haunted by memories, and his former life is unrecognizable. His wife is afraid of him and his young son doesn’t remember him. His father has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t recognize anyone. One night he went missing and they found him at the abandoned hotel. Robert started drinking the well water which seemed to restore his memory and he could again create beautiful sculptors.

They reopened the hotel. Their guests were people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. They came to drink the water to regain their memory. Although the water was helping, it was slowly killing them.

When the guests learn the truth, will they continue to come for the water and have a life until the end or will they let the dreaded disease take over once again?

Midnight At The Tuscany explores the mystery of the mind, the truth behind the lore, and the miracle of inspiration.

A very good read. Highly recommend it.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

Unconditional Freedom by Cole

Daniel Cumberland was born free in Massachusetts, but his dreams died the night he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. It is during the Civil War war and people of color are being sold into slavery even if they are free. Daniel is rescued, but he is a changed man. He has lost all hope and is sort of drifting. When he is asked to join the Loyal League, the covert organization of the Black spies, he seizes the opportunity for revenge.

An Unconditional Freedom
The Loyal League 3
Alyssa Cole
Kensington
February 2019

When he is paired with Janeta, a double agent, he is aggravated by her being headstrong and too observant. In the beginning he was not aware that she was a double agent, but soon learned she was working for the the Confederacy and funneling information back that was harming the Union Army. As they embark on the mission to intercept Jefferson Davis and thwart Europe’s meddling into the war, she has misgivings about betraying Daniel as she has developed feelings for him. Daniel wants revenge and plans to kill Davis. She wants to prevent this at all cost.

Will Daniel succeed in his mission or will he find another way to help the Union Army? Will Janeta come to realize her misguided loyalty to the Confederacy?

The book is a well-written story of the hardship that the people of the South endured during the Civil War, especially the people of color.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

Perfect by Kade

‘When Are You Going To Marry Me?’ came from over Bailey Ann’s shoulder. She knew that voice. What was Finn doing here. No one came to Breathless, Georgia.

Perfect
Breathless: 1
by Savannah Kade
Griffyn Ink
April 2019

Bailey Ann Mayfield and Finn Mallory were High School sweethearts. Neither mothers approved of their relationship. Especially Bailey Ann’s mother who thought he wasn’t good enough for her daughter as he was an immigrant. The Mayfields were sort of royalty in Breathless and Bailey Ana was their princess and needed to be protected.

Even though Flynn had asked her to marry him a number of times she just wasn’t ready to do so. She left for college and they each went their separate ways. It had been five years said she had seen Finn and here he was back in town.

Bailey Anne had returned to Breathless to care for her ailing father. Now she was waiting for her two sisters, Harper Rose and Emma Kate to arrive so they could plan his funeral. The funeral is over, her sisters have gone, and she is left to handle disposing of the house and everything involving her father’s estate. Finn is in town to also dispose of his parent’s house. They were killed in a car accident a couple years ago. Bailey Ann and Finn agreed to work together getting the houses ready for the market. Working together resurrected old feelings for Bailey, but she knew she should not act on them.

Will Bailey Ann and Finn finally find happiness ever after?

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.