Member Book Reviews – #RRBC

Welcome to RRBC Member Reviews!  We know you’ve probably shared it on Amazon (or, maybe Amazon took your review down and are refusing to put it back up for whatever reason), but we’d also love to know what you thought of the RRBC books you’ve read.

Please leave the title of your book, the author of the book and your review (along with your star-rating) down below in the comments section.  Before you leave, we’d also appreciate you clicking the share buttons on this page and sending it to all your social media platforms!  Members who have had reviews removed from Amazon will get credit if they share their reviews here.

Happy Reviewing!

Flipping Over Honest Reviews

 

1,186 thoughts on “Member Book Reviews – #RRBC”

  1. A great day to all! I recently reviewed VINDICTIVE ANGEL by Karen Black on Amazon and gave it 5-stars. Here it is in its entirety:

    How would you feel if a known killer or abuser of children somehow escaped punishment because of a witness disappearing or an arresting officer forgetting to read the perp his rights? You’d be pissed, right? Would you kill that person if you had the means?

    Four perps, who gained their freedom because of a technicality, were all found murdered during the last two years. Would you cheer the killer?

    Recent clues are steering the police toward the killer. Will they learn the identity of a serial killer or find they are dealing with a Vindictive Angel?

    Great story, without errors, one that kept me captivated until the end. Highly recommended! Another great story, Karen!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HI everyone, here is my review of Hype by Yvette M. Calleiro:
    Hype was a most interesting read for me. I grew up and attended school in South Africa and my experience was very different from the life of a school girl described in this book. I couldn’t help thinking that the strict rules I grew up with were helpful in preventing some of the prejudices towards other people, based on their appearance and behaviour, that were described in this book. We wore school uniforms, had to tie our hair back and wore no makeup. We most certainly did not demonstrate affection towards the opposite sex during school hours. It was an excellent insight into school life in America.

    Cici is a popular cheerleader and her boyfriend, Ryan, is on the football team and is also popular. He is voted Homecoming King which demonstrates his place on the schoolboy social ladder. Cici is an interesting character as she is totally self absorbed and selfish in many ways, but she is devoted to her mother and wants the best for her. This love is exploited later in the story. Despite her giddiness and obsession with maintaining her social position at school, Cici is naïve and innocent. This aspect of her character is demonstrated a few times in the book.

    When Cici’s mother, a successful lawyer who works long hours, decides to marry a man she met six months previously, Cici discovers that one of the most uncool girls in the school, a Goth the students call Grub, will become her step-sister. Cici is most displeased abut this situation and doesn’t want Grub raining on her parade. Cici, however, comes to realise that bad things can happen in life and these events can shape a person and cause them to exhibit certain behaviours. Cici comes to appreciate Grub when her own life spins out of control.

    This book tackles the difficult subject of schoolgirl rape and I felt those scenes were well handled and appropriate for a YA audience. The horror of the situation was conveyed without the author going into to much detail. The book also covers the type of counselling and student support that is available in the American school system which was interesting.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1FJIFJIJN1Z1Y

    Liked by 1 person

  3. CONTEMPLATIONS OF A WOMAN TURNING 65, by Pat Garcia, is not what I expected. Contemplating her mortality, Tessie isn’t sure what she has to live for. Her friends have passed, she lives alone, a 64 year old virgin whose 65th birthday isn’t far away. Is it too late to dream of love, even a family? “Doesn’t every girl dream of one day finding her Prince Charming…?” The author has penned a heartfelt short story with a memorable main character and I was absolutely charmed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MEMORIES OF MOM I AWARDED A 5STAR REVIEW.
    Who could not enjoy these fourteen stories of Memories of Mom. In the U.K. we call her Mum and I did so much of that while growing up. The theme for me dipicts Mother’s constant dancing in attendance to her children and showing her love for them.
    I was touched by Wanda Adams Fisher’s story ‘Sharing and Caring’of her mom making her lunch to take to school and telling her to give half to a kid she saw without lunch and telling Wanda that that maybe the only food they get all day.
    And Nonnie Jules words of the book of there being ‘no one in the world who could ever replace her,so I beseech you to hold onto her because one day you might have to finish this life without her.’
    I shed many tears whilst reading the lovely stories of writers mothers, but none as much as those last words in the book. Thank you all.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I have read and posted the review on Amazon (on May 26, 2022) under Gabby
    A Candle in the Darkness By Karen Black

    A short read with encouragement in the supernatural realm:
    Escaping from her family’s onerous condolences, Valerie trudged into a long drive in stormy weather. The author employs the flashing lightning, whistling gusts of wind, and violent rain to reflect Valerie, the main character’s, profound grief for her husband’s sudden death. Devastated, she is convinced that her husband is gone forever. An emergency tornado warning prompts her to find shelter in an unassuming traveler’s motel amid her desperation. The story evolves nicely from this point. Although the ending is somewhat predictable, Ms. Black tactfully instills warmth into the storyline and Valerie’s heart through the canning jar candle, the brief conversations in the cellar with Dorene, the motel owner, the root beer, and the other companies, Stephen and one couple.
    The story is wrapped up in an inspirational and hopeful fashion: Loved ones may be gone physically, but their spirits can remain around to provide comfort and hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading “Candle,” Eichin. It is one of the first stories I wrote and while it is, of course, fiction, I believe there is some truth to the premise. I am so pleased that you understood what I was trying to convey.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I reviewed The Ex Chronicles, by Maura Beth Brennan. With a sense of humor that I loved, the author has woven a short story that should make most readers smile. Angie is in love, or maybe it’s lust. Either way Bryce is her guy, even though she isn’t necessarily his gal, at least not the only one. When Angie sets out to confront Bryce, her plans go laughably awry. She leaves him and goes home, where her mother’s matter of fact opinions and “fractured cliches” are priceless. Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I just completed my 5-star review of Hype by Yvette Calliero on Amazon. This was a really good story and, of course, flawlessly rendered by Yvette. My apologies to Yvette for taking so long to post the review. I’m a terrible slowpoke! Here’s the review:
    I began reading Hype even though I’m not particularly a YA fan. However, I am a fan of Ms. Calleiro, who always delivers an engaging story. I was not disappointed. This is a well-written tale about high-schoolers and their concerns, including the most gut-wrenching of concerns – sexual assault. The characters are well-drawn and feel authentic, right down to the over-confidence and cockiness of the main character, Cici, and her belief that, as one of the popular crowd and a cheerleading captain, the world is destined to go her way. The story initially seems to support that view, but things change for Cici as her widowed mother remarries and Cici suddenly acquires a stepfather and a stepsister—Gaby, known as “Grub” and one of the school outcasts. My only complaint about this book was that there was so much detail about the day to day lives of these teenagers. I would have enjoyed the beginning of the book more without quite so many mentions of classes, meetings, schedules, etc. Although that slowed down my interest initially, the plot soon pulled me in as I sensed an undercurrent of danger in one of the character’s interest in Cici. I won’t give away the main storyline, but for me the tension built as that character’s interest and involvement in Cici’s life grew. I especially loved the interaction between Cici and her new stepsister and nemesis, Gaby. Gaby really had my sympathies and as she finally reveals to Cici why she acts as she does, the story really came together and delivered a satisfying climax. Highly recommended, especially for YA readers.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Good evening, all! I just completed a 5-star review on Amazon and elsewhere for MEMORIES OF MOM: RAVE SOUP ANTHOLOGY, 2022. Here is my review in its entirety:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the fourteen short stories in MEMORIES OF MOM: RAVE SOUP ANTHOLOGY, 2022. Even though each story depicts memories of a different mother, I found a common thread in all of them: A mother’s love for their children. In fact, I can take snippets from each story and work up a description that would fit my mother to a “T”. We always knew our mother as the farmer’s daughter.

    My mother died ten years ago at 89, her final year as a resident in a memory nursing home. She had dementia, and every visit and story was a new experience for her. During that time, we siblings learned something about her she kept a secret all her life. She was experiencing flashbacks and suffered during her nightly nightmares; reliving events from her younger days. This is how we learned that during WWII, she harbored Jews and helped them escape from Germany. Some of her dreams forced her to relive those times when German secret police sought her out, and when not finding her and my newborn sister in their hiding places, the Gestapo took away her supporting neighbors instead – never to be seen again.

    Unfortunately, she had no recollection of these events during the day and could not answer questions about her life during the war. We could only put together bits and pieces of her during that time – not enough to even write a short story – by what the nursing staff reported the following day. We wondered how different our lives would have been if we knew this all along. In her case, a mother’s love extended beyond her immediate family.

    Don’t miss out on this anthology – snag your copy. I’m certain you will find a part of your mother in these fine accounts. Thank you, Nonnie Jules, for putting this all together.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I read MEMORIES OF MOM and loved it! What an outstanding collection of memories, written by members of RRBC and RWISA! I have reviewed the book on Amazon. “…Where the memories you make with your children are forever ingrained in their hearts.” MEMORIES OF MOM is an absolutely delightful collection of memories from fourteen different authors that will take the reader through a variety of emotions. I doubt that there is anyone, who won’t identify with at least one memory, and most will find half a dozen recollections that remind them of their own mom.

    Did you ever wonder about those eyes in the back of her head? Could it be that she was the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter and had supernatural abilities? It could be, but more than likely she was a typical mom who just knew what her children were up to. And there is, of course, the almost magical qualities of a mother’s hands and everything those hands manage to accomplish over a lifetime.
    What you teach your children is what they learn and a lot of what you teach, you learned from your mom. “Thanks, Mom!” It’s a quote that we might not repeat often enough.

    Perfect for Mother’s Day, these wonderfully written memories will be appreciated any time of year. This is one of those books that is meant to be read over and over.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Happy Monday to all. I just completed my review of Mennonite Daughter: The story of a plain girl by Marian Beaman. Here is her 4-star review in its entirety:

    Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl by Marian Beaman is a memoir like no other that I’ve read. It is a story of a young girl growing up in Lancaster, PA, and raised in the Mennonite religion. It’s a strict religion, and readers will learn about the many rules and regulations regarding this sect. It’s emphatic on wearing a ‘plain’ wardrobe and following a ‘plain’ existence.

    Marian’s father beat her periodically for her outspoken personality and failure to follow his rules. She was a rebel at a young age and was already determined that this life was not what she wanted. In high school, she visited New York City with classmates which helped her decide.

    Unlike the Amish and Quakers, I didn’t read that the Mennonites join as a community to help neighbors erect new buildings, assist with planting and harvesting, etc., but they drove cars, had electricity, and watched television. Maybe it is so, but the author chose not to include it in her work. To me, it seemed like it was every extended family for themselves.

    I noticed some repetition in the story and had to pause in places when the author jumped back and forth in time. For instance, writing about things when she was fourteen and then jumping to when she was sixteen, then returning to the earlier timeframe. I also thought there was an overuse of scripture verses in the story. Otherwise, this was an error-free and interesting story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, John, for taking the time to write a very detailed review of my memoir. And I’m glad that you learned something new about a specific culture in a bygone time and setting. Again, thanks!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Amazon has just posted my review of Joy Lilley’s Figs, Vines, and Roses: https://www.amazon.com/review/RHXF63PI7DT5A/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

    Here is the review:
    Figs, Vines, and Roses, an English historical romance by Joy Lilley, charts three generations of the Merryweather family beginning in nineteenth century Derbyshire and later moving to Kent. The star of the narrative is Isabel (Izzy) Merryweather, who begins an innocent, comfortable life, expected to learn the social graces as a young girl and then marry well within her social class.

    The idyllic setting is soon interrupted with conflict, even scandal, which moves the plot line forward. There is the suggestion of incest, a torrid love affair, an unwanted pregnancy, and loss of various family members, even a beloved pet. At least twice the author embeds the title Figs, Vines, and Roses into the narrative, perhaps to underscore the novel’s themes. I saw the figs as symbolizing fruitfulness and fertility; roses, representing true love; and vines, indicating various familial connections.

    It is obvious author Lilley understands the historical context of the period which she may have enriched with additional research. The book shines when Lilley uses dialogue but lags with extensive exposition. Overuse of the passive voice interfered somewhat with the readability. Still, there is much to love about the main character Izzy, her unfolding hopes and dreams, which eventually extends to embracing a fulfilling career, almost unheard of with an upper-class woman in this era.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 5 stars for Maura Beth Brennans short story ‘I’ll be right back’
    A well written short story. Maura Beth always manages to create interesting, unusual characters.Those who don’t seem to follow the expectations of others.
    The story focuses around an unlikely married couple.He much older,she from the wrong side of the tracks.
    If you like a tale that has a most unexpected ending,
    “I’ll be right back” Is one for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have read and reviewed Two Faces of Janus by Linnea Tanner. 5-Star

    Two Faces Of Janus is an authentically written short story that takes place in Ancient Rome. The male protagonist, Lucius Antonius, is a young man from a rich and politically influential family. He is cautiously optimistic, because of his family’s influence and familial connections to Emperor Augusta Caesar, that he will be appointed to the Imperial Court as a praetor. He is hoping for the two-faced god Janus, the god of new beginnings, to favor his path to this new success. Little does he know, there are highly charged political undercurrents at work that are beyond his control.

    This becomes a case of guilt by association or the sins of the father scenario. Augustus makes demands of Lucius that force him to make hard choices and determine what is really important to him.

    This story is eloquently written and an immediately engaging story. The authentic descriptions and dialogue put me in every scene, taking me back in time. Ms. Tanner does a wonderful job of conveying the internal struggle’s Lucius faces, and his actions as he maneuvers the situation are believable. I was so drawn into the lives of these characters I had to look up their history. For me, this story was history coming to life in the words of Linnea Tanner. I highly recommend this shot story.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I have read and posted reviews on Amazon (on February 11, 2022) under Gabby.

    Hype (Five stars)
    by Yvette M. Calleiro

    A must-read book for teenagers and young adults

    The first thing I noticed upon opening this book is that this manuscript, HYPE, is written in the first-person point of view with the present tense. As I read along, I understood and applauded the author’s choice; it’s appropriate for this genre and age group. It also powerfully drives the narrative forward as the story unfolds.
    Adolescence is the period of transitioning from childhood to adulthood. It’s a time filled with excitement, challenges, turbulences, confusion, and temptation. Ms. Calleiro depicts these youngsters’ experiences with keen yet sensitive phrasings. The dialogues and scenes are well crafted, reliable, and engaging, even for readers far beyond that age.
    In the first half, the tones and voices of the main characters are fun and light-hearted, yet readers can sense the undercurrent of distress through the author’s skillful plotting. In the second half, the primary character, Cici, encounters unexpected horrendous events, which change her life forever. Ms. Calleiro demonstrates her superior writing expertise in illustrating Cici’s internal despairs and wranglings facing the unspeakable ordeal.
    This book, HYPE, uncovers a hidden tragedy in society and how it affects the unfortunate youngsters’ psychology and life; the scar can linger and last forever. However, the author also provides positive guidance and outlook for the victims, with an upbeat ending. Another profound message conveyed through this book is: Do not judge a person by their appearance. Be compassionate because you never know what they are going through.
    I strongly recommend this book for teenagers and young adults! (less)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I have read and posted the review on Amazon (on February 11, 2022) under Gabby.

    Two Faces of Janus: Story of Ancient Rome (Five stars)
    by Linnea Tanner

    This book starts with a concise yet succinct description of the family background of a young man, Lucius Antonius. Despite the hint of the family’s trouble past, he was jubilant and filled with hope and political ambition that brilliant, carefree afternoon.
    In the following paragraph, the author cleverly applies Ovid’s epic poem to foretell what may unfold. The interaction with his good friend, Gaius Caesar, in the garden and depiction of the changing atmosphere, “A shadow from a storm cloud drifted over us,” shows tension gradually building up. Readers can appreciate Ms. Tanner’s outstanding writing mastery in just one chapter.
    Throughout the rest of the manuscript, the author transports readers back to two thousand years ago with vivid accounts of the architecture, wardrobes, scenes, and dialogs in that era. At the same time, Ms. Tanner tactfully portrays the familiar human pitfalls of power-hunger and manipulative design for personal and political gain, which haven’t seemed to change across time and space.
    The story concluded with Lucius’ exile as a pariah amid his sorrow and suppressed vengeance. He contemplated whether Janus had completely shut the door or would open the door for him in the future while he sets his slave-lover free.
    This manuscript is a well-written short yet profound narrative. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Greetings, everyone. I recently read Genuine Deceit by Joy York and finally posted a review. It is an easy to read, entertaining mystery that will keep the reader engaged. The story line is a good one. It grabbed me at the outset, and notwithstanding some slow spots, kept my attention through the unexpected ending. The characters are well defined. The dialogue was appropriate for the circumstances and believable. If you enjoy mysteries, this one is probably for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Happy National Vietnam Veterans Day! I just completed my 4-star review of GENUINE DECEIT by Joy York. It is as follows:

    Reagan Asher’s grandmother was brutally murdered by a burglar in her home. Why?

    When Reagan comes to the small town in Ohio to bury her grandmother and to help in the investigation, her friend, Mattie, dispatches her brother-in-law, Aiden – a former Navy Seal – to help protect Reagan while she’s in town.

    Suppose everything you ever learned in life about your family was not real…
    Suppose you discover that the props you played with as a child were real…

    More break-ins occur and the home is eventually trashed – grandma must have hidden something of value. Surely not the costumed jewelry as there was no interest in them.

    Reagan and Aiden take it upon themselves to find the killer. They do find a stash of jewels hidden in a decades-long box in one of the rooms; why they were hidden and who put them there? Surely this is what the burglars are after.

    The killer(s) feel that Reagan knows where the jewels are hidden. Characters are kidnapped, shot, and beaten severely in attempts to locate the missing items. Reagan and Aiden are not telling. There are so many questions that require answers and the author continues to tease readers with twists and turns along the way. The final chapter brings everything together and will definitely floor readers when the bomb is dropped.

    I have to admit some portions of the story dragged on, especially when re-telling the same thing to different characters…this happened a few times. Eliminating those would shorten the story and help to maintain an exciting pace instead of bogging down. I also found several typos/added words that I will share with the author in a PM.

    All-in-all, Ms. Joy York did a wonderful job in keeping readers guessing during this edge-of-your-seat ride. I recommend Genuine Deceit to everyone who enjoys a great who-done-it.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Hi all. Happy March almost over. I posted my 5 star review for Flipping by Eichen Chang-Lim on Amazon. It begins, Author Eichin Chang-Lim weaves a story of college, family and community struggles set in Taipei. The main characters, Jon-Sun, the night student and SuAnn the day student, are opposites socially and financially in their family make up. The traditions are strong and forgiveness for parental disobedience non-existent. Grab this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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