Mini-Review: Gilt, The Offering, Brambleman


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Title: Gilt

Author: Katherine Longshore

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free–
and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

Review: This author and book reminded me of Philippa Gregory’s writing. Kitty is friends with Catherine Howard, who worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart. Kitty is brought to court, to a world filled with fabulous gowns and jewels. The writing is great, and the setting was amazing and well-described. I loved Kitty and how she interacted with the other characters. A solid historical fiction.

The Offering

Title: The Offering

Author: Desiree Bombenon

Genre: Romance, Suspense

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Jake and Amanda Bannon had planned to unplug in Oahu for a much-needed vacation, but the mai tais will have to wait. They have a kidnapping to solve. Jake’s got a winning smile and a head for business strategy. His wife, Amanda, has a quick wit and a knack for sensing things before they happen. The Bannons may look like the perfect picture of a power couple, but when Jake and Amanda hang up their smart phones for a week of R & R in Hawaii, they never expect to get caught in the adventure of their lives. As the couple clinks glasses on a breezy lanai overlooking the Pacific, terror is brewing on the Big Island. High in the steep jungle mountains, the Bannons’ friends from back home have crossed paths with a fate worse than they could ever have imagined. Depressed since her parents’ divorce, teen Taylor Wright connects online with a fellow brooding soul, Carlos, and agrees to arrange a meeting with him during her family’s Hawaiian vacation. Now Taylor, along with her mother and stepfather, has vanished. When Jake and Amanda receive an alarming call from Taylor’s father, they’re on the case. From shootouts to death-defying vertical climbs, the Bannons embark on a rescue mission to find Taylor and reveal the dark motives of Carlos and his voodoo cult.

Review: I wasn’t certain about this book when I read the synopsis, but the book was an enjoyable read after all. The writing was okay, and the plot was enjoyable. I liked the whole voodoo cult part. The characters could’ve been better developed though.


Title: Brambleman

Author: Jonathan Grant

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Down-and-out Atlanta writer Charlie Sherman has no idea what madness awaits him when a mysterious stranger convinces him to finish a dead man’s book about a horrific crime that’s gone unpunished for decades. What Charlie inherits is an unwieldy manuscript about the mob-driven expulsion of more than 1,000 blacks from Forsyth County, Georgia in 1912. During the course of his work, Charlie uncovers a terrible secret involving a Forsyth County land grab. Due to its proximity to Atlanta, the stolen farm is now worth $20 million-and a sale is pending. When he finds the land’s rightful owner, Charlie becomes convinced he’s been chosen by a Higher Power to wreak justice and vengeance on those who profit from evil. And then things go horribly wrong. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: Forsyth County, famous as the birthplace of Hee-Haw’s Junior Samples, has for most of the past century, existed as an intentionally all-white community bordering the black Mecca of Atlanta since 1912, following one of the 20th century’s most violent racist outrages-including lynching, nightriding, and arson. In 1987, the sleepy community gained notoriety when a small march led by civil rights firebrand Hosea Williams was broken up by rock- and bottle-throwing Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and their sympathizers. Bloody but unbowed, Williams returned the next week with 25,000 followers in one of largest civil rights marches in history. There was talk of reparations. Oprah came. Protests and counter-protests yielded a landmark Supreme Court case on free speech. But most importantly, white people flocked to Forsyth. It became the fastest- growing county in the nation, the richest one in Georgia, and one of the twenty wealthiest in the U.S.

Review: Brambleman was definitely original, combining historical fiction and mystery. The main character, Charlie, gets put through so many ordeals I thought he was going to collapse any moment. The book is great though, the characters are realistic, and the plot is a real page-turner.

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