The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

Synopsis: You never know who’s watching…

Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign.

But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house…

How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…?

Review: Here’s a novel I was curious to try. The cover is very intriguing!

Corinne and her sister Ashley are both going through a bit of a rough patch. Corinne has been trying for a while to have a child with her husband and IVF isn’t working which is having a big impact on their lives. As for Ashley, she doesn’t understand why her husband keeps coming home later and later, doesn’t talk to her anymore… Maybe he’s having an affai. She’s determined to find out what’s going on, even though, at the same time, she doesn’t want to know. It’s hard enough to deal with, but then Ashley starts getting anonymous phone calls and Corinne finds pieces of the dollhouse her father made for her when she was a little girl. Yet no one believes her. What exactly is going on?

I really enjoyed following this story which has a very oppressive atmosphere. We alternate points of view in the chapters which allows us to better understand the characters. On top of that, we also have a point of view of a person whose identity we don’t know, but who we will discover towards the end.

Yes, it was a very interesting thriller and I was curious to know the identity of the person behind it. Because if there are few characters other than the main ones, it’s difficult to be sure of the culprits.

A good discovery!

 

La Demoiselle à l’Eventail de Lyliane Mosca

Résumé : Le charme de leur rencontre à Menton reste pour la jolie Raffaelle, la fille du Sud, et pour Sacha, l’écrivain du Nord, une parenthèse enchantée. Mais sans suite…
Or si le chemin vers le bonheur est semé d’embûches et de cruelles vérités, Raffaelle et Sacha savent qu’il en vaut la peine.
Un roman plein de charme, et dans l’air du temps. 

A vingt-trois ans, Raffaele a des rêves plein la tête, le coeur généreux et une passion pour la photographie. Depuis la mort de sa mère, elle a dû mettre ses aspirations de côté pour veiller sur ses frères et soeurs. Mais le destin lui offre la chance de rencontrer son écrivain préféré, Sacha Aubanel, de passage à Menton. Celui-ci, attiré par le mélange de fragilité et de fraîcheur de la jeune fille, lui propose de le guider dans la cité. Moments enchantés pour l’un et l’autre : elle est sous le charme ; lui aussi, mais son coeur est déjà pris. Et puis Sacha vit loin, à la lisière du pays franc-comtois, dans une nature secrète qui l’inspire et adoucit tant bien que mal le manque de son frère, disparu mystérieusement.
Mais, si le chemin vers le bonheur est semé d’embûches, sinon de cruelles vérités, la demoiselle du Sud et l’homme du Nord savent qu’il en vaut la peine…

Avis : J’avais déjà lu un roman de l’auteure alors quand j’ai reçu celui-ci et même si je ne savais pas trop à quoi m’attendre, je me suis demandé ce que l’auteure allait nous proposer.

Nous suivons ainsi l’histoire de Raffaele, une jeune fille éprise de liberté, mais qui pourtant vit dans une cage et de Sacha un écrivain qu’elle rencontre lors d’un de ses passages à Menton. Raffaele a des rêves, elle aspire à de nombreuses choses, mais sa famille semble en avoir décidé autrement. Et ce n’est jamais facile d’aller dans le sens contraire. Alors quand elle rencontre Sacha, elle se sent éprise, mais elle sait que rien ne pourra se passer, car il vit déjà avec quelqu’un. De son côté, Sacha a lui aussi un coup de cœur, mais il a sa vie et s’ils continuent d’échanger par lettre, il repart très vite chez lui, auprès d’Astrid. Mais voilà, cette femme pourrait bien cacher de nombreux secrets.

J’ai bien aimé le roman. J’ai généralement un peu de mal quand il n’y a pas de chapitres, mais finalement, ça n’a pas été un problème. On suit alternativement avec plaisir les deux personnages en les voyant évoluer et voir ce qu’ils veulent faire de leur vie. Une vie dans laquelle ils ne semblent pas pleinement épanouis.

Comme je le disais, c’était à nouveau une bonne découverte de l’auteure !

Les Lueurs du lendemain de Jennifer Cody Epstein

Résumé : Deux générations. Trois femmes. Une trahison impardonnable.

Berlin, 1933. Amies depuis leur plus tendre enfance, Ilse et Renate, deux adolescentes, sont confrontées aux bouleversements provoqués par la montée du nazisme. Séduite par l’esprit de corps et l’idéal prônés par les Jeunesses hitlériennes, Ilse incite Renate à s’enrôler, mais celle-ci, juive, est cruellement rejetée. Lorsque les lois de Nuremberg sont promulguées, les jeunes filles se retrouvent alors ennemies malgré elles…

New York, 1989. Ava, la fille d’Ilse, hérite des lettres écrites par cette dernière à Renate. En les lisant, elle plonge avec stupeur dans l’histoire de cette femme qui n’a jamais su l’aimer.

Fresque haletante et poignante, Les Lueurs du lendemain se penche sur les retombées intimes et invisibles du nazisme, et sur les conséquences dévastatrices des choix faits durant les heures les plus sombres de l’Allemagne.

Avis : Je suis toujours très intriguée par les romans se passant pendant la seconde guerre mondiale, et j’ai craqué en découvrant celui-ci.

On suit dans ce roman le destin de trois femmes : Isle et Renate, deux jeunes meilleures amies qui vont être séparées par la guerre, une ayant une ascendance juive et l’autre entrant dans des groupes aryens. Ce n’est pas facile, et c’est difficile de voir Renate se retrouver seule, être détestée par tout le monde alors qu’Isle, elle, monte au pouvoir. Intéressée par ce qu’elle pourrait devenir, elle balaye tout sur son passage, même si parfois elle peut faire preuve de clémence. Et puis il y a Ava, la fille de Isle, une fille qui a peu connu sa mère qui était froide et distante. Une mère qui a toujours refusé de partager ses secrets. Mais voilà, Isle est morte et Ava va découvrir son passé, mais aussi celui de Renate.

C’était un roman très touchant, mais aussi très dur. Ava va enfin faire face au passé d’une mère qu’elle ne connaissait pas et découvrir des révélations auxquelles elle ne s’attendait pas du tout. Un roman très intéressant à découvrir !

Excerpt: TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by Christopher Paolini

EXCERPT

Cold fear shot through Kira’s gut.

Together, she and Alan scrambled into their clothes. Kira spared a second of thought for her strange dream—everything felt strange at the moment—and then they hurried out of the cabin and rushed over toward Neghar’s quarters.

As they approached, Kira heard hacking: a deep, wet, ripping sound that made her imagine raw flesh going through a shredder. She shuddered.

Neghar was standing in the middle of the hallway with the others gathered around her, doubled over, hands on her knees, coughing so hard Kira could hear her vocal cords fraying. Fizel was next to her, hand on her back. “Keep breathing,” he said. “We’ll get you to sickbay. Jenan! Alan! Grab her arms, help carry her. Quickly now, qu—”

Neghar heaved, and Kira heard a loud, distinct snap from inside the woman’s narrow chest.

Black blood sprayed from Neghar’s mouth, painting the deck in a wide fan.

Marie-Élise shrieked, and several people retched. The fear from Kira’s dream returned, intensified. This was bad. This was dangerous. “We have to go,” she said, and tugged on Alan’s sleeve. But he wasn’t listening.

“Back!” Fizel shouted. “Everyone back! Someone get the Extenuating Circumstances on the horn. Now!”

“Clear the way!” Mendoza bellowed.

More blood sprayed from Neghar’s mouth, and she dropped to one knee. The whites of her eyes were freakishly wide. Her face was crimson, and her throat worked as if she were choking.

“Alan,” said Kira. Too late; he was moving to help Fizel.

She took a step back. Then another. No one noticed; they were all looking at Neghar, trying to figure out what to do while staying out of the way of the blood flying from her mouth.

Kira felt like screaming at them to leave, to run, to escape.

She shook her head and pressed her fists against her mouth, scared blood was going to erupt out of her as well. Her head felt as if it were about to burst, and her skin was crawling with horror: a thousand ants skittering over every centimeter. Her whole body itched with revulsion.

Jenan and Alan tried to lift Neghar back to her feet. She shook her head and gagged. Once. Twice. And then she spat a clot of something onto the deck. It was too dark to be blood. Too liquid to be metal.

Kira dug her fingers into her arm, scrubbing at it as a scream of revulsion threatened to erupt out of her.

Neghar collapsed backwards. Then the clot moved. It twitched like a clump of muscle hit with an electrical current.

People shouted and jumped away. Alan retreated toward Kira, never taking his eyes off the unformed lump.

Kira dry-heaved. She took another step back. Her arm was burning: thin lines of fire squirming across her skin.

She looked down.

Her nails had carved furrows in her flesh, crimson gashes that ended with crumpled strips of skin. And within the furrows, she saw another something twitch.

 

 

 

Kira fell to the floor, screaming. The pain was all-consuming. That much she was aware of. It was the only thing she was aware of.

She arched her back and thrashed, clawing at the floor, desperate to escape the onslaught of agony. She screamed again; she screamed so hard her voice broke and a slick of hot blood coated her throat.

She couldn’t breathe. The pain was too intense. Her skin was burning, and it felt as if her veins were filled with acid and her flesh was tearing itself from her limbs.

Dark shapes blocked the light overhead as people moved around her. Alan’s face appeared next to her. She thrashed again, and she was on her stomach, her cheek pressed flat against the hard surface.

Her body relaxed for a second, and she took a single, gasping breath before going rigid and loosing a silent howl. The muscles of her face cramped with the force of her rictus, and tears leaked from the corners of her eyes.

Hands turned her over. They gripped her arms and legs, holding them in place. It did nothing to stop the pain.

“Kira!”

She forced her eyes open and, with blurry vision, saw Alan and, behind him, Fizel leaning toward her with a hypo. Farther back, Jenan, Yugo, and Seppo were pinning her legs to the floor, while Ivanova and Marie-Élise helped Neghar away from the clot on the deck.

“Kira! Look at me! Look at me!”

She tried to reply, but all she succeeded in doing was uttering a strangled whimper.

Then Fizel pressed the hypo against her shoulder. Whatever he injected didn’t seem to have any effect. Her heels drummed against the floor, and she felt her head slam against the deck, again and again.

“Jesus, someone help her,” Alan cried.

“Watch out!” shouted Seppo. “That thing on the floor is moving! Shi—”

“Sickbay,” said Fizel. “Get her to sickbay. Now! Pick her up. Pick—”

The walls swam around her as they lifted her. Kira felt like she was being strangled. She tried to inhale, but her muscles were too cramped. Red sparks gathered around the edges of her vision as Alan and the others carried her down the hallway. She felt as if she were floating; everything seemed insubstantial except the pain and her fear.

A jolt as they dropped her onto Fizel’s exam table. Her abdomen relaxed for a second, just long enough for Kira to steal a breath before her muscles locked back up.

“Close the door! Keep that thing out!” A thunk as the sickbay pressure lock engaged.

“What’s happening?” said Alan. “Is—”

“Move!” shouted Fizel. Another hypo pressed against Kira’s neck.

As if in response, the pain tripled, something she wouldn’t have believed possible. A low groan escaped her, and she jerked, unable to control the motion. She could feel foam gathering in her mouth, clogging her throat. She gagged and convulsed.

“Shit. Get me an injector. Other drawer. No, other drawer!”

“Doc—”

“Not now!”

“Doc, she isn’t breathing!”

Equipment clattered, and then fingers forced Kira’s jaw apart, and someone jammed a tube into her mouth, down her throat. She gagged again. A moment later, sweet, precious air poured into her lungs, sweeping aside the curtain darkening her vision.

Alan was hovering over her, his face contorted with worry.

Kira tried to talk. But the only sound she could make was an inarticulate groan.

“You’re going to be okay,” said Alan. “Just hold on. Fizel’s going to help you.” He looked as if he were about to cry.

Kira had never been so afraid. Something was wrong inside her, and it was getting worse.

Run, she thought. Run! Get away from here before—

Dark lines shot across her skin: black lightning bolts that twisted and squirmed as if alive. Then they froze in place, and where each one lay, her skin split and tore, like the carapace of a molting insect.

Kira’s fear overflowed, filling her with a feeling of utter and inescapable doom. If she could have screamed, her cry would have reached the stars.

 

Synopsis: A brand new space opera on an epic scale from the New York Times bestselling author of a beloved YA fantasy series.

It was supposed to be a routine research mission on an uncolonized planet. But when xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic beneath the surface of the world, the outcome transforms her forever and will alter the course of human history.

Her journey to discover the truth about the alien civilization will thrust her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact, epic space battles for the fate of humankind, and the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

Excerpt: TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by Christopher Paolini

EXCERPT

Cold fear shot through Kira’s gut.

Together, she and Alan scrambled into their clothes. Kira spared a second of thought for her strange dream—everything felt strange at the moment—and then they hurried out of the cabin and rushed over toward Neghar’s quarters.

As they approached, Kira heard hacking: a deep, wet, ripping sound that made her imagine raw flesh going through a shredder. She shuddered.

Neghar was standing in the middle of the hallway with the others gathered around her, doubled over, hands on her knees, coughing so hard Kira could hear her vocal cords fraying. Fizel was next to her, hand on her back. “Keep breathing,” he said. “We’ll get you to sickbay. Jenan! Alan! Grab her arms, help carry her. Quickly now, qu—”

Neghar heaved, and Kira heard a loud, distinct snap from inside the woman’s narrow chest.

Black blood sprayed from Neghar’s mouth, painting the deck in a wide fan.

Marie-Élise shrieked, and several people retched. The fear from Kira’s dream returned, intensified. This was bad. This was dangerous. “We have to go,” she said, and tugged on Alan’s sleeve. But he wasn’t listening.

“Back!” Fizel shouted. “Everyone back! Someone get the Extenuating Circumstances on the horn. Now!”

“Clear the way!” Mendoza bellowed.

More blood sprayed from Neghar’s mouth, and she dropped to one knee. The whites of her eyes were freakishly wide. Her face was crimson, and her throat worked as if she were choking.

“Alan,” said Kira. Too late; he was moving to help Fizel.

She took a step back. Then another. No one noticed; they were all looking at Neghar, trying to figure out what to do while staying out of the way of the blood flying from her mouth.

Kira felt like screaming at them to leave, to run, to escape.

She shook her head and pressed her fists against her mouth, scared blood was going to erupt out of her as well. Her head felt as if it were about to burst, and her skin was crawling with horror: a thousand ants skittering over every centimeter. Her whole body itched with revulsion.

Jenan and Alan tried to lift Neghar back to her feet. She shook her head and gagged. Once. Twice. And then she spat a clot of something onto the deck. It was too dark to be blood. Too liquid to be metal.

 

Synopsis: A brand new space opera on an epic scale from the New York Times bestselling author of a beloved YA fantasy series.

It was supposed to be a routine research mission on an uncolonized planet. But when xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic beneath the surface of the world, the outcome transforms her forever and will alter the course of human history.

Her journey to discover the truth about the alien civilization will thrust her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact, epic space battles for the fate of humankind, and the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

Chaos Reigning by Jessie Mihalik

Consortium Rebellion, Book 3

Synopsis: Interplanetary intrigue and romance combine in this electrifying finale to the Consortium Rebellion series.

As the youngest member of her High House, Catarina von Hasenberg is used to being underestimated, but her youth and flighty, bubbly personality mask a clever mind and stubborn determination. Her enemies, blind to her true strength, do not suspect that Cat is a spy—which makes her the perfect candidate to go undercover at a rival House’s summer retreat to gather intelligence on their recent treachery.

Cat’s overprotective older sister reluctantly agrees, but on one condition: Cat cannot go alone. Alexander Sterling, a quiet, gorgeous bodyguard, will accompany her, posing as her lover. After Cat tries, and fails, to ditch Alex, she grudgingly agrees, confident in her ability to manage him. After all, she’s never found a person she can’t manipulate.

But Alex proves more difficult—and more desirable—than Cat anticipated. When she’s attacked and nearly killed, she and Alex are forced to work together to figure out how deep the treason goes. With rumors of widespread assaults on Serenity raging, communications down, and the rest of her family trapped off-planet, Catarina must persuade Alex to return to Earth to expose the truth and finish this deadly battle once and for all.

But Cat can’t explain why she’s the perfect person to infiltrate hostile territory without revealing secrets she’d rather keep buried. . . .

Review: I loved the first and second volume and I was really looking forward to this third and final part. And it must be said that once again, the author completely carried me away with her story.

We follow this time the character of Catarina in this conclusion, the youngest of the Von Hasenberg family. It is far from being an easy life, especially when she has to keep a mask on at all times to pretend to be someone she is not. So when her stratagems allow her to go on a retreat to an enemy’s house, she wants to take advantage of it to find evidence. But she doesn’t expect her sister to get involved. Yes, because her sister refuses to let her go alone and wants her to take a bodyguard with her, a man as handsome as he is dark, to pass him off as her companion. That’s out of the question, and yet our heroine may not have much choice.

I had a really good time with this story and it was a delight to discover Alex and Catarina. Of course, we will also see Bianca and other characters with pleasure.

The author offers us a good conclusion and I can’t wait to learn more about the new series she’s preparing for us!

 

Chaos Reigning de Jessie Mihalik (VO)

Consortium Rebellion, Tome 3

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : En tant que plus jeune membre de sa Haute Maison, Catarina von Hasenberg est habituée à être sous-estimée, mais sa jeunesse et sa personnalité volage et pétillante dissimulent un esprit intelligent et une détermination sans faille. Ses ennemis, aveugles à sa véritable force, ne soupçonnent pas que Cat est une espionne, ce qui fait d’elle la candidate idéale pour infiltrer la retraite d’été d’une Maison rivale afin de recueillir des renseignements sur leur récente trahison.

La grande sœur surprotectrice de Cat accepte à contrecœur, mais à une condition : Cat ne peut pas y aller seule. Alexander Sterling, un garde du corps calme et magnifique, l’accompagnera, en se faisant passer pour son amant. Après que Cat a essayé, sans succès, de se débarrasser d’Alex, elle accepte à contrecœur, confiante en sa capacité à le gérer. Après tout, elle n’a jamais trouvé une personne qu’elle ne puisse pas manipuler.

Mais Alex s’avère plus difficile – et plus désirable – que Cat ne l’avait prévu. Lorsqu’elle est attaquée et presque tuée, Alex et elle sont obligés de travailler ensemble pour déterminer l’ampleur de la trahison. Alors que les rumeurs d’attaques généralisées contre Serenity font rage, que les communications sont coupées et que le reste de sa famille est piégé hors de la planète, Catarina doit persuader Alex de revenir sur Terre pour exposer la vérité et mettre fin à cette bataille mortelle une fois pour toutes.

Mais Cat ne peut pas expliquer pourquoi elle est la personne idéale pour infiltrer un territoire hostile sans révéler des secrets qu’elle préfère garder enfouis . . .

Avis : J’ai adoré le premier et le second tome et j’étais vraiment très impatiente de me plonger dans ce troisième et dernier volet. Et il faut dire qu’une fois de plus, l’auteure m’a complètement emportée par son histoire.

Nous suivons cette fois-ci le personnage de Catarina dans cette conclusion, la cadette de la famille Von Hasenberg. C’est loin d’être une vie facile, surtout quand elle doit garder en permanence un masque pour se faire passer pour quelqu’un qu’elle n’est pas. Alors quand ses stratagèmes lui permettent de partir pour une retraite dans une maison ennemie et qu’elle désire en profiter pour trouver des preuves, elle ne s’attend pas à ce que sa sœur s’en mêle. Oui, parce que cette dernière refuse qu’elle y aille seule et désire qu’elle emmène avec elle un garde de corps, un homme tout aussi beau que sombre, pour le faire passer pour son compagnon. C’est hors de question et pourtant il se pourrait bien que notre héroïne n’ait pas vraiment le choix.

J’ai vraiment passé un très bon moment avec cette histoire et c’était un régal de découvrir Alex et Catarina. Bien sûr, on verra aussi Bianca et d’autres personnages avec plaisir.

L’auteure nous propose une bonne conclusion et je suis impatiente d’en apprendre plus sur la nouvelle série qu’elle nous prépare !