Monday, 26 January 2015

The Tears of the Rose - Jeffe Kennedy

Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen? 

My thoughts:
The adventure continues! This book is about the youngest princess, Amelia. The spoiled and beautiful one. The one who liked to party, who married her prince charming at 16. The one people assumes has no brain cos she is so pretty. The one who is told to be an avatar of their Goddess, cos she is so pretty...

But that is not now. Now she is a widow. She is told her husband was killed by her kidnapped sister. Who now lives with demons. She is told a lot of things. And not all things true. She is a pawn but slowly she starts to realise things, that she does not need to be a pawn. That she can find out the truth herself, and that, yes people could be lying to her. But the road there is long.

At first I did want to shout at her, ok so that was not her fault. She is lied to and of course she believes those lies. Why wouldn't she? I just wanted her to find out the truth and to be herself. But it's a dangerous game. Her father wants destruction, the church wants obedience. These countries are going to hell.

The end is pretty brutal, sometimes a cliffie is all ok, I can live with it. But here, omg, omg, no! I can't live with that, I want the next book to see what happens! The 3rd book, that is about the 3rd sister, but stuff is still going on with Amelia..ok calm down, things will be resolved...hopefully. And people will live happily ever after.

This is light fantasy/fantasy romance. I enjoyed it and duh, I want more. There is cliffie! after all. I can't wait to see how it all plays out.

Conclusion:
Recommended. 

Cover
It looks like she is wearing a top, not good

Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 25th 2014 by Kensington
The Twelve Kingdoms #2
Fantasy romance
own

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Carole's Sunday: Stardust - Neil Gaiman

Author: Neil Gaiman
Title: Stardust 
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, & YA
Pages: ebook
First Published: 1998
Where I Got It: My shelf (Borrowed from library)

"In the sleepy English countryside of decades past, there is a town that has stood on a jut of granite for six hundred years. And immediately to the east stands a high stone wall, for which the village is named. Here in the town of Wall, Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. One crisp October night, as they watch, a star falls from the sky, and Victoria promises to marry Tristran if he'll retrieve that star and bring it back for her. It is this promise that sends Tristran through the only gap in the wall, across the meadow, and into the most unforgettable adventure of his life."

I've honestly never heard of this book until it was picked for the Book Club. I was a little weary about reading this, but it certainly was an adventure and I nice add to our book list for the book club. I can't wait to discuss it. 

Ooooooooooooooooo! Victoria you dumb, dumb, witch. Poor Tristran...instead of being honest saying she didn't "love" him like he did her, she sends him out on a simple little errand to go to the magic land and get the falling star and then MAYBE she'll kiss him and if he is lucky she might consider marriage. >________< Gah. 

So yes, the beginning was rough for me for that reason and that is was slow and there were a lot of character introductions. There are a lot of people who want that damn star! Things got better when Tristran did manage to find the star - which made the book much more interesting. It was a twist and I liked it. I can't say what happens when he finds the star, but it was good. 

I loved the including of fairytales and fables! It was a nice! Especially the lion vs the unicorn for the crown. That was my favorite little bit - the unicorn was my favorite!

The only thing I did not like at all in this book was the random parts with lots of violence and/or non YA words/scenes. I'm mostly referring to the death of a character (that I liked - of course) that was brutally murdered. Okay...I think what bugged me was that it was an animal. I felt that these scenes took away the "fantastical" feel of the book. It just stuck out like a red thumb and it wasn't needed.

Overall, this was a fun adventure. I honestly would have never picked up this book on my own, so I am grateful for the book club introducing this to me. There were a few scenes I didn't like because 1) it took away the "fantastical" feel of the book and 2) it bugged me. The beginning was slow, but it got a lot better. I would highly recommend this to those that like fantasy-type books. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 3 stars (it was going to be 3.5 - so a rounded 4 - but the animal murder took away a .5).  

Favorite Character(s): Tristran (even tho he was blinded by the love he had for Victoria), the star (sassy!), and Trsitran's mom

Not-so Favorite Character(s): Victoria and the witch (>_____>) 


Saturday, 24 January 2015

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-In Jan 23 2015 and The Lascar's Dagger review


Sat, 1,5 h walk
Sun, 1.10 h walk
Mon, 9 km bike, 1,5 h yoga
Tue, 30 min walk, 6 km bike, 45 min workout class
Wed, 1 hour zumba, 4 km bike
Thu, 30 min walk, 4 km bike and I hit 15 000 steps for the first time :D
Fri, 30 min walk and 4 km bike

Good week, I was happy to reach 15000 one day :) . That was thanks to walking at work, which I did not count cos the kids walked so slowly, ha, and a trip to the library with them. And when I got home grocery shopping and that 30 min walk.

Oh and the bike thing, it's not like I workout two times in a day. I just take the bike to work...always, come snow, rain, ice...


..............................................

A theft in a faraway land --- with repercussions that reach around the world... 
The world thinks of Saker Rampion as a priest, a gentle man preaching peace. The truth is, he's a spy for the head of his faith, posted in the court of King Edwayn.

It's a time of fear --- as a mysterious and monstrous disease sweeps the country ---but also opportunity ---lucrative trade is opening up overseas, and what's grown on the Spice Islands is rumored to cure the demonic plague.

However when the king uses his own daughter as a pawn in trade deals, Saker cannot help but get involved. And for his trouble, he may just end up excommunicated, or even dead..

My thoughts:
Arghh, I am not having a good time with my xmas books! This book had some good parts, but most of the time it was dull or I wanted to kick a character in the nuts.

Saker, our good priest who is a naive little idiot. I mean come on, you are a spy? HA. A naive little idiot. Yes I did not like him after a certain point.

Sorrel, ok she was sort of interesting but she needed backbone.

Mathilda, oh I hate this bitch. That was not cool!

So no characters to like. The world building was there, but lacking. The story felt slow and not a lot happened. The way of the Oak was interesting, I did like that, but would have wanted more explanations of this religion.

1/3 of the book was good. The rest was eh, the last part was skim worthy.

Conclusion:
I am so disappointed.

Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Orbit
The Forsaken Lands #1
Fantasy
Own

Friday, 23 January 2015

Historical Romance Friday x2 reviews

Douglas Allen, Viscount Amery, hates having arrived to his title without knowing how to manage his properties. Guinevere Hollister is a distant family connection raising her daughter in rural obscurity while stewarding the estate. Douglas reluctantly puts himself in Gwen's hands for lessons in land husbandry and discovers beneath her prickly exterior a woman of passion and honor. Yet despite the closeness they find, she will not marry him.

When the powerful Duke of Moreland arranges an engagement between Gwen and his heir, Douglas knows the marriage is not what Gwen wants. In Douglas's eyes, Gwen deserves to make her own choices, and he will take on family, the meddling duke, and Gwen's own lonely, stubborn heart to ensure his lady's happiness. 

My thoughts:
This book takes place before the Windhaven books, and now when you mention it, I do remember Gwen from that first book. I remembering wondering what her deal was.

But read this one before, afterwards, where ever. Cos I have not read a single book in the series to which this book belongs. Some Lords thing, oh well, it did not matter. It truly is a good stand alone book.

Douglas lost two brothers in a year, older brothers who made a mess of the family money. Now he wants to buy a new estate but needs advice. He was a nice man, he wanted to do the right thing. He loved deeply.

Gwen could have been broken, but was not. She stayed strong for her daughter. I did like that in her and her need to protect her child.

They fall in love. But oh no, the family of her daughter's father shows up. What do do? But do not worry, love always win in the end.

Conclusion:
Nice. 

Cover
Ugh, no

ebook, 384 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Lonely Lords #8
Historical romance
Own

When Quentin Blackwell, Earl of Devlyn, discovered the woman he loved was carrying another man’s child, he refused to marry her. In retaliation, her father ruined Devlyn. When Sophie Hamilton, the man’s eldest daughter, comes to him with an unexpected offer, Devlyn seizes the chance for vengeance. What he doesn’t bargain on is how revenge could cost him the one thing he wants the most. Sophie’s love.

All her life, Sophie’s tried to earn her father’s love to no avail. Even her one chance for happiness was crushed beneath his tyrannical thumb, leaving her firmly on the shelf at forty-one. Sophie accepts her fate until she impulsively uses her father’s criminal activities to escape a life of servitude and right a wrong at the same time. She never really expected the Devil of Devlyn to actually accept her rash proposal, and she certainly hadn’t planned on falling in love with a younger man.

My thoughts:
The thing that was different in this one was her age, ok, brace yourselves...she was OLDER, and not just by a year, but by like, what was it, 9? I know, scandalous! 

Sophie hates her dad, her sister, her home.
Quentin hates her dad, and her sister.
Sophie comes to him and tells him that he can get revenge, and her.
He is all, hm, a trick? But I can do her, and I do want that revenge.
So tadaa, they marry. He introduces her to the pleasure that she wanted.

But oh no! Her sister does NOT like that he turned her down but married Sophie.
Her father is not happy.
Her brother is not happy.

I liked this one. Sophie wanted to live and to get away from her bitch of a sister and her effing dad.

Quentin was known as the devil. But he was a nice guy. Sophie's sister wounded him deeply but he still falls for Sophie and does some chasing.

Conclusion
There is a bit of drama (her bitch of a sister!), they get it on, they start to fall for each other and they live happily ever after.  Nice.

Cover
Something is off with the neck, but otherwise good

ebook, 244 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Maroli SP Imprints
Historical romance
Own

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