Book Review: Ashley's War, The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Ashley's War:  The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a non-fiction book published in April 2015.  The story follows several women and their quest to become the first women to be in combat along the Green Berets and Army Rangers. This is a book that was selected in my workplace for discussion between women and/or veterans.  The book discussion was broken into three parts much like how the story was broken up.  It garnered great conversations. Some of the things that happened in the book didn't surprise me, such as how physically demanding the tryouts were to be part of the special operations.  It's a demanding job that requires people to be not only physically strong but mentally strong.     What did shock me was that it took the military so long to allow women to fight along men on the battlefield.  Another thing that astonished me were how accepting most of the men in the Army Rangers were of the women fight

Book Review: The Shop on Royal Street (Royal Street, #1) by Karen White

book review the shop on royal street royal street 1 karen white

The Shop on Royal Street (Royal Street, #1) by Karen White is the first book in a spin off series from the Tradd Street book series.  Nola Trenholm is looking for a fresh start in New Orleans after having some hiccups in her personal life.  However, that's proving to be more difficult than she realized it would be with her house renovation.

This book was the October book selection for the book club I belong to.  After hearing a couple of people say it was a little slow in the beginning, I was worried that I wouldn't like the book.  When I finally sat down to start reading The Shop on Royal Street, I had to agree that it was slow to start.  However, once I got two or three chapters in, the storyline really started to pick up making it hard for me to put it down, and I can't wait for the next installment to come out.

I loved the fact that this book took place in New Orleans, Louisiana.  It's one of my favorite cities to visit.  Add in the paranormal elements, and it was the perfect book to put me in the mood for Halloween.  It's super creepy without being scary.  I completely creeped myself out one night after reading part of the story.  

The situations and predicaments the characters got into were realistic to me, especially for the characters ages.  There still is so much drama in one's life when you're in your twenties.  Most of the characters were likable, but my favorites were Nola, Jolene, and Beau.  I even liked Melanie and Christopher.  However, I didn't care for Mimi as I found her to be a bit suspicious, and I really didn't like Michael. 

There isn't really much I can complain about other than it took a long time to get all of Nola's backstory.  I wish I had known this was a spinoff series prior to reading this book so I could've potentially read the original series first.  It's not necessary to do so, but I think I would've enjoyed The Shop on Royal Street a lot better if I had, or if the author simply hadn't taken so long to give the reader all of Nola's backstory, it would have made me happier.

All in all, The Shop on Royal Street (Royal Street, #1) by Karen White was fantastic.  I gave it four out of five stars, and I can't wait for the next installment.  I might have to tide myself over by reading the Tradd Street series in the meantime.


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