Monday, 5 December 2022

Carole´s Monday: Hooked

Author: Emily McIntire
Title: Hooked
Series: Never After #1
Genre: Retellings, Dark, Contemporary Romance, & Fantasy
Format: ebook
Published: September 7, 2021
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

A dark and delicious fractured fairy tale reimagining of Peter Pan.

He wants revenge, but he wants her more…

James has always had one agenda: destroy his enemy, Peter Michaels. When Peter’s twenty-year-old daughter Wendy shows up in James’s bar, he sees his way in. Seduce the girl and use her for his revenge. It’s the perfect plan, until things in James’s organization begin to crumble. Suddenly, he has to find the traitor in his midst, and his plan for revenge gets murkier as James starts to see Wendy as more than just a pawn in his game.

Wendy has been cloistered away most of her life by her wealthy cold father, but a spontaneous night out with friends turns into an intense and addictive love affair with the dark and brooding James. As much as she knows James is dangerous, Wendy can’t seem to shake her desire for him. But as their relationship grows more heated and she learns more about the world he moves in, she finds herself unsure if she’s falling for the man known as James or the monster known as Hook.

This was picked for our book club. Seen it before and it seemed interesting, but never picked it up. 

This is a retelling of the classic 'Peter Pan'. James, aka Hook, has always had one agenda...destroy his enemy Peter Michaels. When Peter's twenty-year-old daughter, Wendy, shows up in his bar...he finally has the perfect plan. Seduce the girl and use her to help unfurl his plan. It goes perfectly until things in James's organization begin to crumble. There is a traitor in his midst. On top of that, his plans for revenge get a little more complex when he starts to see Wendy as more than just a pawn in his game. Wendy has been cloistered away most of her life by her absent father. She is pretty much the mother of her little brother. When she agrees to a spontaneous night with her new friends, she finds herself in an intense and addictive love affair with James. He is dangerous and the world he lives in is dangerous...but she can't stop herself. 

This was certainly intense at times. James isn't messing around with his charms and good looks, plus Wendy is the perfect victim so it wasn't too hard for him to seduce her. She has been emotionally abused and neglected by her father after her mother died. She's been alone and taking care of her little brother for years. 

I felt so bad for Wendy. She was a pawn for her dad and then, for a time, a pawn for James. The girl has a heart of a saint. She was never allowed to stick up for herself. Joining James in his dark world does toughen her up a bit and helps her find her voice. 

And maaaan this version of Hook....dang. He reminded me of the 'Once Upon a Time' version, but darker and more tragic. This James/Hook went through some stuff especially because of his Uncle. He is damaged and we all would. And then what Peter did? Oof! You can't help but root for Hook here.

There was one twist that angered me. I was good and surprising...but it made me really, really sad. I can't say because it literally is the big reveal near the end. Sobs!

I will say the resolution of the conflict was....too easy. I wasn't a fan. I feel like it was anti-climatic in a way. And I feel like a certain character wouldn't do what they did and be okay with it at the end of the day. Just didn't sit well with me. 

The epilogue had me "aww"ing the whole time. It was perfect. 

All-in-all, I did like this. It was certainly a dark retelling so be warned! I liked Hook and Wendy was certainly a darling. The ending resolution was too easy and I was bummed with the big reveal/twist because it made me super sad/mad. Other than those couple of things, I liked this. It was fun and steamy. If you like darker romances and retellings....I suggest this one. I'll give it 3 stars. 



Sunday, 4 December 2022

The seamstress of Sardinia

By: Bianca Pitzorno

Narrated by: Carlotta Brentan

Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins

Release date: 12-06-22

Publisher: Harper Audio

Historical romance / to review

It is the tale of a seamstress in the early 1900s. Life is not easy, her grandmother takes her in and teaches her her trade.

Her work takes her into other lives. Esther who marries a nobleman. The Americana, a journalist, who lives life her own way. A social climbing family who will have their downfall, and more.

It shows life as it was back then in Sardinia. And some really messed up things. Most shocking was the whole thing how a woman could be completely be cast out if she was unlucky. And because she had no home she would be branded a prostitute and sent to a brothel. I mean how many ways of effed up is that? It was not easy being a woman back then and the seamstress will learn that too.

The ending is so bittersweet. I was actually rather upset. But then it turned out well in the absolute end. Still, it does show that life is never eas.

I liked the narration. It fitted well with the era and tone. It flowed so well 

Born into poverty, the seamstress spends her days sewing in the houses of wealthy families. Her work is simple and honest; taught by her nonna, she skilfully prepares nightgowns, undergarments and children’s clothes, leaving the finer work of dressmaking to the ateliers in Paris.

Her story weaves in and out of the lives of the people she works for, whose secrets and scandals she is privy to. Some are kind and generous, others blinded by their desire to climb the social ladder. She dreams of freeing herself from the hardscrabble life she has inherited but can’t help being pulled back in by the love of the people around her.

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Best of November


Here are our best for November! Can't believe we are in the final down!!

Best Movie of the Month:

"Best movie. Guardians xmas special. Hilarious!"

Carole - Nadda this month. 
"Really only watched one movie and it was just okay. Too busy reading this month."

Best Book of the Month:

"So flipping good!"

"Best book! Awesome series."

Best TV show of the Month:

Blodeuedd -  What We Do in the Shadows (Season 3)
"What we do in the shadows s3 finally showed up on Disney. Binge!"

"The new season for Bob's Burgers is so funny and so good so far!! Still going strong. Finished the last two seasons of the Musketeers. Had me wanting more, but it had a good ending too."

Best Cover of the Month:

Carole's pick

Blodeuedd's pick

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Audio: Whiteout


By: Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon

Narrated by: Danielle Shemaiah, Nic Stone, Shayna Small, Bahni Turpin, Alaska Jackson, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Kevin R. Free, James Fouhey, Korey Jackson

Series: Blackout, Book 2

Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins

Release date: 11-08-22

Publisher: HarperAudio

YA fiction romance / to review

Usually I do not have this much trouble with many povs, but...yeah something did not click. Maybe it was all the different narrators? Maybe I can keep better concentrated when one person does all the voices. Now there were a lot of narrators and a lot of couples. I think maybe this one would have been better in print for me.

Right, smart girl messes up and now she has to get her girlfriend to forgive her. All her friends come to help. All while Atalanta is experience a snowstorm. People get stuck here and there and we get to see different couples and flashbacks of their stories. I did want more of a connection to the main person, now everyone had their time and for me that did not work as well.

It was good, but it could have been better for me. I just lost the connection

As the city grinds to a halt, twelve teens band together to help a friend pull off the most epic apology of her life. But will they be able to make it happen, in spite of the storm?

No one is prepared for this whiteout. But then, we can’t always prepare for the magical moments that change everything.

From the bestselling, award-winning, all-star authors who brought us Blackout—Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon—comes another novel of Black teen love, each relationship within as unique and sparkling as Southern snowflakes.


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