Friday, 29 May 2015

Hugh and Bess - Susan Higginbotham

Forced to marry Hugh le Despenser, the son and grandson of disgraced traitors, Bess de Montacute, just 13 years old, is appalled at his less-than-desirable past. Meanwhile, Hugh must give up the woman he really loves in order to marry the reluctant Bess. Far apart in age and haunted by the past, can Hugh and Bess somehow make their marriage work?

Just as walls break down and love begins to grow, the merciless plague endangers all whom the couple holds dear, threatening the life and love they have built.

My thoughts:
I read the book about Hugh's dad, and I must say this one was much better. This one I could actually enjoy. Though I do not like that she made it..cute? They liked each other too much. Is that fact or fiction?

Ok, Bess is told she must marry Hugh. She is 13, a widow, he is 30. The age thing did not bother me. Marry them away young before they do something stupid. It was the 14th century after all. They waited until she was mature enough for that other business.

Hugh is the son of a traitor. Bess the daughter of a newly made Earl with the king's ear. It was a political match. In this book they grow to like each other, and I guess that was nice.

Oh that time. I had forgotten that 3 of his sisters (kids!) were forced to become nuns when their father was executed. Women were cattle. Horrible :/

Conclusion:
All in all, I enjoyed this book. It felt very light historical fiction (the previous one was actually too heavy and felt like a textbook). An interesting couple too. 

cover
boring

Paperback, 287 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published October 29th 2007)
Historical fiction
Own


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Retribution - Mark Charan Newton

Having just solved a difficult case in his home city of Tryum, Sun Chamber Officer Lucan Drakenfeld and his associate Leana are ordered to journey to the exotic city of Kuvash in Koton, where a revered priest has gone missing. When they arrive, they discover the priest has already been found - or at least parts of him have. But investigating the unusual death isn't a priority for the legislature of Kuvash; there's a kingdom to run, a census to create and a dictatorial Queen to placate. Soon Drakenfeld finds that he is suddenly in charge of an investigation in a strange city, whose customs and politics are as complex as they are dangerous. Kuvash is a city of contradictions; wealth and poverty exist uneasily side-by-side and behind the rich facades of gilded streets and buildings, all levels of depravity and decadence are practised. When several more bodies are discovered mutilated and dumped in a public place, Drakenfeld realizes there's a killer at work who seems to delight in torture and pain. With no motive, no leads and no suspects, he feels like he's running out of options. And in a city where nothing is as it seems, seeking the truth is likely to get him killed ...

My thoughts:
I know that I do not read a lot of mysteries/thrillers, but I have noticed that I like the historical ones. And with the first book in this series, the fantasy ones works excellent too.

Drakenfeld has a new job. A priest has been killed and he is sent to investigate. We learn to know another country in this world, a people like the mongols who now try to settle in cities. Their queen wants to show the world how cultured they are. I do like learning more about this world, and he shows this new country so that I can feel like I am there too.

It's quite the mystery, who killed the priest? What on earth is going on in this city? I had not plan to read it in a day, but I could not put it down, so in a day it was.

A good mystery, an interesting world. And I do want more. I wonder where Drakenfeld will go next, cos this continent is in trouble. Big trouble is coming. 

Conclusion:
A fantasy series I would recommend.

Cover
eh

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 23rd 2014 by Macmillan
Drakenfeld #2
Fantasy
Library


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The talon of the Hawk and Negotiation by Jeffe Kennedy

A wounded warrior trapped by the sorceress who knows him better than he does himself…

General Uorsin escapes the last devastating battle, only to find himself alone on a mountain, feverish and no closer to finding the paradise that drives him on. Salena, greatest shapeshifter and magic-worker of her people, springs the trap she’s set to protect her land—and to prevent the ravager Uorsin from ever reaching it.

Together, they spend a night setting the terms that will determine not only the rest of their lives, but the fates of the peoples of the Twelve Kingdoms—and the thirteenth.

My thoughts:
This is the prequel to the Twelve Kingdoms books :)

Ok so this was a short story, not a lot to say. We go back in time to see how Uorsin (that bastard) and Salena first met and made their deal. Their deal that now shapes their children. And well, she was brave, I could never have done what she did...

It's free right now so hurry if you want to take a first look into this world.

Ebook, 27 pages
Published 2015
The Twelve Kingdoms #0,5
Fantasy romance
Free right now

Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.

Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead… 

My thoughts:
To be fair, I was never a fan of Ursula. She seemed like her father's child. The warrior princess who will follow duty. But the facade began to fall apart in this one. Sure she was still loyal, but also started to see reason. And I understood why she kept up that I am strong, I do as I am told thing....

So we all know by now that the king is an a-hole, and trust me, if you think he could not get any worse...oh you are mistaken, he truly is a tyrant. How Ursula still can follow him, oh I wondered, but she was shaped and broken by him. I felt so sorry for her.

But she will start to see that things must change. This kingdom is falling to bits. She must learn to let go. In the end she was almost my favorite sister..make that favorite. Her story was emotional.

There is love too. I did not really trust the guy, he loved too easily. She took her time and fought it, while he loved at once. And I being a suspicious person found that strange. At least he loosened her up.

And at the end I found out that there will be more books, so that will be fun. Dafne is up next, I have no idea what that will be about but I look forward to reading more.

Conclusion:
The most emotional of the three books. Our warrior heir finds her way.

Cover
She would wear more than that

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 26th 2015 by Kensington
The Twelve Kingdoms #3
Fantasy romance
Own


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Wedding bells in Christmas - Debbie Mason

Wedding bells are ringing in the charming town of Christmas, but not for Vivian Westfield. She's just had her heart trampled under the cowboy boots of Chance McBride and lost her dream job at a big-city newspaper. But when she returns for a wedding, she stumbles on a story that could resurrect her career. First, though, she'll have to deal with the handsome man standing in her way... and a still-burning flame that's too hot to ignore.

Chance recognizes trouble when he sees it. He just didn't expect to find it in the first-class cabin on the flight home for his father's wedding. Yet there she is, as gorgeous as ever. Vivi dared Chance to want things he knew he could never have. It's why he left her. But Christmas's meddling matchmakers have them firmly in their sights. So if they want to survive the next week, they'll have to play the part of an adoring couple—an irresistible charade that may give them a second chance at the real thing... 

My thoughts:
It was book 4, and sure there was talk about other couples, but I did not feel like I had missed out. It worked well as a stand alone. And that next book seems promising.

Viv is a hot-head. It's good to be curious, but curiosity killed the cat. She was reckless.

Chance lost his wife and child 5 years ago and will never love again. It's good to mourn, but life goes on and you can love again. And you obviously like Viv since you are protecting #stalking# her.

They had a fling, he left cos he can't love again. She is angry (oh and there is this other thing, not cool man.) Sparks fly, cos they can't stay away from each other.

To their help in this small town they have Aunt Nell. More about her! Not enough, not near enough of her. Ya know, the meddling older relative who likes to play matchmaker.

But, with all those good things I felt kind of..meh. I did not like Viv, there is a line she crossed of recklessness. And Chance was particularly stalking her even though he sigh, could not love again. I did not feel like they worked together. I did not feel the chemistry and I did not like them...

Conclusion:
But the suspense was good. Still, a meh book. 

Cover
Cute in a way

Kindle Edition 400
Expected publication: May 26th 2015 by Forever
Christmas, Colorado #4
Contemporary romance
NG


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