Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Review: Firespell - Chloe Neill

Dark Elite, book 1

Genre: YA, urban fantasy
Pages: 278
Published:  2010 Gollancz

As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face…

When Lily’s guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she was shocked. So was St. Sophia’s. Lily’s ultra-rich brat pack classmates think Lily should be the punchline to every joke, and on top of that, she’s hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building.

The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout’s a little weird—she keeps disappearing late at night and won’t tell Lily where she’s been. But when a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout running from a real monster.

Scout’s a member of a splinter group of rebel teens with unique magical talents, who’ve sworn to protect the city against demons, vampires, and Reapers, magic users who’ve been corrupted by their power. And when Lily finds herself in the line of a firespell, Scout tells her the truth about her secret life, even though Lily has no powers of her own—at least none that she’s discovered yet… 

Plot:
Lily's parents are going to Germany and decides to leave her behind in a fancy private school. She misses her home and her friends, but one good thing is the girl she shares the 4 bedroom room with. But then Scout is pretty weird and sneaks off in the middle of the night. Something strange is going on, and on top of it all she has a run in with the mean girl squad.

My thoughts:
I did enjoy Chloe Neill's voice, and reading this one made me want to check out that adult series of hers too.

Sure not that much happened at first, but I liked that. the book was building up to something. We got to see the school, see her make a friend, meet the Mean girls (oh why are there always mean girls, they are so bitchy and think they are all that.) And then she started having doubts about why her parents had gone away, why she was there, and what the heck Scout was up too. When she finally did learn the truth things picked up, and there was some action at the end. It also promised for one exciting book 2.

I liked Lily even if she was a bit too curious for her own good at one point. She was also very human in her fears later, and she showed great courage. There was also this love interest with a boy from a boy's school and he seemed sweet. I do like some romance with my action. Scout was one cool kid, and the mean girls, well they were mean. But then this was a private school and what would that be without the brat pack.

The world was interesting, people have magic and they either go bad, or they hunt the baddies. They are supposed to be some vamps and demons too, guessing from the blurb, but did not get to meet those yet.

All in all, I was happy with this book. I never know with YA, but this one delivered. 

Final thoughts and recommendation.
It seems UF YA fits me better than PNR YA, and I enjoyed this book. It was a fast read, an interesting world, budding romance, and some action. I would give it a 3,5 cos it is a YA I could recommend to adults and teens. It also has promise to get even better when the real fighting starts.

Reason for reading:
Curious about Chloe Neill

Cover:
ok

Review copy from the publisher

Monday, 29 November 2010

Review: Fused - Kari Lee Townsend

Samantha Granger experiment book 1

Genre: MG, sci-fi contemporary
Pages: 192
Published: November 2010 Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

After Sam is fused with her cell phone, she's ready to conquer the world! Or at least the 8th grade...

When Samantha Granger touches a meteor while talking on her cell phone, her life is changed forever: her body now has all the capabilities of her phone (GPS, phone, text, camera). She secretly calls herself a "Digital Diva" as she rushes to answer emergency calls. But will her identity be discovered when sparks fly (literally!) between her and Trevor, her dreamy crush? Samantha has to get a handle on her abilities and quick, because when Sam gets kidnapped and the entire town is in danger, she is the only one who can save them.

Plot:
Sam is just like any other teenage girl, except for that her parents have moved around a lot since they are scientists. Now she is at a new school, she has got a great bff, and a crush on this really cute boy. But then she touches something that fell from the sky and she gets fused with her cell phone, she is a waling GPS, and she can hear the super hero in her calling.

My thoughts:
The book was cute, fun and short. I think it works well for girls and boys. For girls there is Trevor, the boy Sam has a crush on, and her trying to deal with that (while having this weird crazy powers), and for the guys there is the fact that she decides to become a superhero. The book is MG but works for YA too.

Samantha was a nice girl, she is not the most popular girl, she is not the smartest, she is just your average teenager, that is before she gets crazy powers. Powers that later are explained, the whole phone and meteor thing.

Something is always going on, Sam in school being suddenly really smart in geography class, trying to deal with Trevor, or when the evil queen bee Ali is feeling threatened by her (there is always that mean girl). Trying to save people in need or when the situation gets out of control since she is feeling someone stalking her.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
Like I said, great for boys and girls, MG and YA. This is a book I could recommend to someone younger since it was a nice book and it did get a bit exciting too. I enjoyed it too, it was short, and I always did enjoy a superhero story.

Reason for reading:
I am always in for something new.

Cover thoughts:
Good colors

From sourcebooks for review

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Review: A Secret Affair - Mary Balogh

 Huxtable Quintet, 5

Genre: Historical romance
Pages: 340
Published: 2010

Born a commoner, Hannah Reid has been Duchess of Dunbarton since she was nineteen years old. Now her husband is dead and, more beautiful than ever at thirty, Hannah has her freedom at last. To the shock of a conventional friend, she announces her intention to take a lover—and not just any lover, but the most dangerous and delicious man in all of upper-class England: Constantine Huxtable. Constantine’s illegitimacy has denied him the title of earl, so now he denies himself nothing. Rumored to be living the easy life of a sensualist on his country estate, he always chooses recent widows for his short-lived affairs. Hannah will fit the bill nicely. But once these two passionate and scandalous figures find each other, they discover that it isn’t so easy to extricate oneself from the fires of desire—without getting singed.

Plot:
The Duchess of Dunbarton decides to take a lover after her year of mourning is over. The man intended is Constantine Huxtable, known as the devil. But neither of them is what they seem to be.

My thoughts:
Oh, book 5, it seems I missed some but then it does not really matter. This book stands alone, and it's not like you do not know that all the previous couple would get HEAs anyway. The book was rather fun so I could see myself starting from the beginning.

I think what I liked the most was that nothing was it seemed to be. Hannah is notorious, she married at 19 a man well over his 70s. People called her a gold digger behind her back and her husband gave her everything she wanted. She also has escorts taking her to balls so she has quite the reputation. But no, she hides behind this mask that is The Duchess and behind it is a sad vulnerable girl who does not believe in love any more. I liked her from the start, even when I also had the wrong ideas about her, but I soon learnt the truth.

Constantine was the same. He was born before his parents got married so that meant he could not become the earl, which lead to a distant cousin become earl (all the previous books was about that family). But he is not upset, he likes them. He also has this reputation as a rake and that is actually true, he does take a new mistress every season. But this season his starts to fall in love, and he shows sides of him no one knew about.

Therefore I liked the book, the people with secrets, falling in love even though this is only a affair for one season. The book was easy to read, and there was some drama too at the end.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
Sure, cute and nice enough. So easy to read, and quick. It felt light and I enjoyed that so I could recommend it. And it was so lovely to finally get a HEA. I have missed that.

Reason for reading:
Since this is the 2nd ever HR book the library has bought so of course I read it

Cover:
I like it


The Winner of The Queen's Pawn is:
Amused!

Congrats, will email you shortly :)



Saturday, 27 November 2010

Review: Lords of the White Castle - Elizabeth Chadwick

Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 688
Published: 2000

From inexperienced young courtier to powerful Marcher lord, from loyal knight to dangerous outlaw, from lover of many women to faithful husband, Fulke's life story bursts across the page in authentic detail. A violent quarrel with Prince John, later King John, disrupts Fulke's life ambition to become 'Lord of the White Castle' and leads him to rebel. There are perils for John at every turn. No less dramatic is the dangerous love that Fulke harbours for Maude Walter, a wealthy widow whom John wants for himself. Negotiating a maze of deceit, treachery and shifting political alliances Fulke's striving is rewarded, but success is precarious. Personal tragedy follows the turbulence of the Magna Carta rebellion, culminating in the destruction of everything for which Fulke has fought. Yet even among the ashes he finds a reason to begin anew.



I sadly got disappointed again so going with format again, it makes it easier to express my thoughts at a time like this.

1. Reason you chose this book
Not that I knew it then by Fulke Fitzwarin is to believed to have been the origin of Robin Hood. I like history.

2. Reasons you liked or disliked this book
- I do not know, but it made me skim again. The first half was boring, then he was a wild outlaw and it captured my attention again and the book got good. But then again at the end it was boring and those things could have been skipped. It just told when babies came, when they married and what happened.

- It's not like I always loved her books in the past either. No, one I didn't like at all, 3 I loved, 2 I didn't enjoy that much. But that was when I was 11-14. This book just goes in the did not enjoy pile then. She has gotten much better, with research and how she writes. Here no one managed to capture my interest. The characters fell flat sometimes. 
- Why was it never mentioned that Maude had children with her first husband, I would think that was a big part just to leave out like it never happened.

- But I did enjoy the outlaw parts, they were on the run, they were in Wales, and they taunted King John, who is really dislike now.

- In the end I just did not connect with anyone, and the book was just too long when I was skimming for the first 300 pages. Why did I then go on, well I still remember those books I loved before. Perhaps I just grew up, I hate to think I would feel like this if I re-read those 3 books I loved in the past.

3. Reason you are recommending this book
- Since I just found it ok I can't. But if I like all Chadwick's books then go ahead, even if I would rather recommend the newest one. Also it  was fun to learn that he could have been Robin Hood.



 I just feel horrible for thinking that this book is just ok. But then all authors evolve and get better.



The winners of The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick
I am late with presenting them and they might even have their books by now, lol. If not then the book will arrive next week. Enjoy :)

BookBirdDog
Ashley

Friday, 26 November 2010

Guest Review: Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble - HP Mallory

Jolie Wilkins, book 1

Genre: Urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Pages: E-book, 206
Published: 2010
Review by Lis

A self-deprecating witch with the unique ability to reanimate the dead. A dangerously handsome warlock torn between being her boss and her would-be lover. A six hundred year old English vampire with his own agenda; one that includes an appetite for witches. The Underworld in a state of chaos. Let the games begin.

Life isn’t bad for psychic Jolie Wilkins. True, she doesn’t have a love life to speak of, but she has a cute house in the suburbs of Los Angeles, a cat and a quirky best friend.

Enter Rand Balfour, a sinfully attractive warlock who insists she’s a witch and who just might turn her life upside down. Rand hires her to help him solve a mystery regarding the death of his client who also happens to be a ghost. Jolie not only uncovers the cause of the ghost’s demise but, in the process, she brings him back to life!

Word of Jolie’s incredible ability to bring back the dead spreads like wildfire, putting her at the top of the Underworld’s most wanted list. Consequently, she finds herself at the center of a custody battle between a villainous witch, a dangerous but oh-so-sexy vampire, and her warlock boss, Rand.

----------

Remember how a while back I reviewed How to Kill a Warlock? That was H.P. Mallory's second book. Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble is the first. I got both books at the same time, but decided to wait a bit for the second review. After reading the book I wonder how I managed to wait this long!

The set-up for this book is much the same, though unlike in the other book, Jolie has no idea who she is. When the book starts she is just one of the many women out there trying to make a living. In her case as a fortune-teller, because she is aware she can do things others can't. This all changes when Jolie meets tall, dark & extremely hot (and 150+ years old) warlock Rand. Rand quite literally turns her whole world upside down when he tells Jolie she is a witch. Of course, the meeting is not just that random, Rand wants her help with a dead and see-through client.

The stories might be different, but there are elements between the stories that are the same. Without trying to make this a compare feast, the biggest was the host of (male)characters that meet the main character and have an interest or two in her. Don't get me wrong, I loved the characters. H.P.  Mallory certainly has quite the talent for writing funny, witty and likeable character. Even the evil queen b(w)itch  Bella was likeable, even though she is evil with a capital e. Again the strength an weakness of the book was in its characters. If you want to know who they are...well you're just going to have to read the book, now don't ya? Suffice to say, there are enough (hot ones) to keep you interested!

What I especially liked about this book, apart from the story, was the world building. Many authors take the (paranormal)setting for granted. This author doesn't. As a result you have a vivid picture of the world the characters live in and how it functions. While the subs or paranormals in the book are nothing new, basically your average witches, warlocks, vampires, ghosts and werewolves, the author manages to write them in an entertaining manner.

What I liked less was Jolie's constant doubting of herself. Get over yourself woman! Sorry, sometimes that really annoys me in women. Yes, everyone has their doubts, but the reader is constantly reminded of her shortcomings and her struggle to accept that she is a witch. Though I did like that she grows throughout the story and that she is the one to make a move on Rand, while Rand is the one trying to be a gentleman and restrain himself. Hehehe, beware modern women, old man!

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble  is a witchy wicked read. It might be chick lit (or not, depending on how you look at genres), but it's quite an entertaining and funny read that will have you thirsting for more. Did I mention yet that Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble is basically a set-up for an epic battle lurking just out of view, beyond the horizon? No? Well it is. And you'll definitely want more!

 Lis is back with one of her fun reviews!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Review: The Ex-Boyfriend's handbook - Matt Dunn

Genre: Kind of chick-lit for men...lad-lit (not gonna use that other word, spam alert ;)
Pages: 368
Published: November 2010 Sourcebooks

"It's not me-it's you."
When Edward Middleton hears those words from Jane, his girlfriend of ten years, he knows he's in serious trouble. Determined to get her back, Edward realizes he must learn how to make women want him again. But one thing is certain: if he's to be Jane's Mr. Right, he needs to turn himself around. From Atkins to waxing, Edward works his way through the makeover alphabet. But can he rise from the ranks of discarded exes, or will his journey take him in another direction entirely?

Ok for, my chick-lit for men thing, well, I mean it has the way of chick-lit, but it's from a male POV, and instead of all that romance there is more humour. Something for women to enjoy and also a book that men will like.

Plot:
One day Edward comes home and his girlfriend has left for Tibet. She has left a note telling him that he has left himself go so he starts this journey to improve his looks, his job, his life, in hope to get her back when she comes home from Tibet.

My thoughts:
I do chick-lit and this is the male equivalent I guess. It was funny and I enjoyed it. Edward, or cuddly Teddy is such a sweet guy and I feel for him at once. Sure he could have worked on his relationship but still just because he has changed is not an excuse to dump him. Of course after this ordeal he is even more of a keeper. He does see that his job is going nowhere, that he really should loose a few pounds, and that he could learn how to dress better.

His accomplish in all this is his friend Dan, a playboy and he thinks he is a gift to women. But it is fun to see him try to get Edward to get on with his life, and Edward does learn how not to deal with women. Aww, I liked that he saw that Dan's way is not his way. Other big players are his nymphomaniac boss, the waitress at the pub who gives him advice, and his personal trainer. A good little cast that all sees things from different perspectives.

The book was funny and I could see it was written by a male because sometimes when they explained things to Edward they did it in this storylike fashion, I mean like explaining the art of the first date in football terms and how the games goes. That was not used but you get the idea. I found it very amusing.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
It was a fun book, I do like humour, and kept wondering what Edward would do in the end, get his ex back or find another, better woman. A woman who loved him for himself. I think I am gonna give this one 3,50 because it was fun and easy to read, but the best part that both and women could really enjoy this one.

Reason for reading:
Lol, there was a quote from Sophie Kinsella on the cover

Cover: Nice

From the publisher

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Review: A Darcy Christmas - Amanda Grange, Sharon Lathan, Carol Eberhart

Genre: Historical, romance
Pages: 304
Published: October 2010 Sourcebooks

From two bestselling and a debut author comes heartwarming Christmas tales sure to delight Jane Austen fans

From Amanda Grange, the bestselling author of Mr. Darcy's Diary and Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, Christmas finds the Darcy's celebrating the holiday with preparations for a ball, but the festivities are interrupted by the arrival of a very special gift... Ever sensual and romantic, Sharon Lathan highlights everything that's best and most precious in the celebrations of the holiday season. After a quarter of a century together, Darcy and Elizabeth reminisce... Jane Austen meets Charles Dickens! Carol Eberhart's Mr. Darcy's Christmas Carol finds Darcy encountering ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, who show him his life if pride keeps him from his one true love.

Plot:
There are three stories in this book. Mr Darcy's Christmas Carol by Eberhart is the story where Mr Darcy meets three spirits of Christmas, sounds familiar, well it is. He sees the past, the present, and a future he does not want. He better make amends.

The Christmas Present by Amanda Grange has the couple visiting the Bingley's over Christmas, and Lissy is pregnant and then there is a special gift coming.

A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan portrays the family over many years, always on Christmas.

My thoughts:
Ahh the Christmas feeling is over me now. I will start with the first one because I can so see Mr Darcy as a sort of Scrooge. He is pining for Lizzy and then he sees what he have done. And the future, poor Mr Darcy, he would not want that. It was fun to see the story with Mr Darcy in it. I kind of wish they would make a little Christmas tv show out of it.

The Christmas present was sweet, they truly love each other and it's always heartwarming to see it.

In A Darcy Christmas I meet the characters I know from Lathan's Darcy series, and I especially liked the story where one daughter sets her eyes on the boy she wants when she is 3. No I wonder how many more books there will be in this series of hers, because there are sure a lot to write about with all the kids they get.

This was something sweet before the holidays, Lizzy and Darcy in love and spending Christmas together.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
For those that enjoy the Lathan books then this one should be read too since it's the same Darcy world. But all in all they can all also be read like this. Short stories filled with love, and Mr Darcy. Something fun for the Darcy lover out there. Because that is what they all were, sweet. It gets a 3,25, hard to say more since they all are short, and I felt different about all of them.

Reason for reading: 
I like Austen sequels.

Cover: Ok

Copy from the publisher

Monday, 22 November 2010

Guestpost and giveaway: Christy English with The Queen's Pawn

Today I have a guest post by Christy English, and at the bottom of this post you will find a giveaway of The Queen's Pawn. And it's open to all. So join in.

Welcome to Mur-y-Castell!



Royal Scandals at the Court of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine
Guest Blog by Christy English, author of THE QUEEN’S PAWN
and TO BE QUEEN: A NOVEL OF THE EARLY LIFE OF ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE


In my first novel, THE QUEEN’S PAWN, I touch on one of the royal scandals of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine’s court, specifically, King Henry’s relationship with the young French Princess Alais. Alais came to England, betrothed to Prince Richard the Lionhearted, only to become the mistress of his father, the king. THE QUEEN’S PAWN explores the political intrigues and personal pain surrounding this liaison. Needless to say, Henry’s dalliance with the princess was frowned on by his courtiers, his sons, the King of France, and of course, Queen Eleanor.

But the scandals of the royal court of Henry II began even before Henry was king in England. In the year 1151, Eleanor was still Queen of France; she had been married for fourteen years to King Louis VII. Eleanor’s first marriage never produced a son and heir either for the duchy of the Aquitaine or for the kingdom of France. While King Louis seemed content that this was the will of God, Eleanor was not, and she worked for years to arrange an annulment that would set her free from the prison of her first marriage.

And now, we begin to see where the scandal come in: a little less than a year before Eleanor’s annulment was granted, eighteen year old Henry, Duke of Normandy, came to Paris to be confirmed as Duke by his overlord, King Louis of France. Eleanor and Henry met in a moment of instant mutual passion that I wrote about in my upcoming novel, TO BE QUEEN. After Eleanor was freed from her marriage to the King of France in the spring of 1152, in July of that year, Henry and Eleanor met at her palace in Poitiers, and married secretly.

Why marry in secret, you ask? The marriage that allied the great duchies of Normandy and Aquitaine should have been a wedding to rival that of Prince William and Kate. With one major difference: Eleanor and Henry married without their overlord’s permission. Their feudal lord was none other than her ex-husband, King Louis of France.

Once word of their secret marriage reached Louis, he was furious. Jealous and betrayed, Louis rode to war against the erstwhile couple. Henry of Normandy, as great a politician as he was a warrior, managed to make peace with Eleanor’s first husband, though the relationship between Henry and Louis was strained for years to come.

Henry went on to reclaim the throne of England, his rightful inheritance that had been taken by the usurper, Stephen of Blois. Upon Stephen’s death, Henry was crowned King of the English, and Eleanor was crowned Queen. For the first fourteen of their marriage, Eleanor and Henry were happy. Producing a child every year or two, they were allies and partners, working together to maintain the empire that they had created. Stretching from England, Ireland and Wales down to Normandy, Brittany, Anjou and the Aquitaine, no such empire had been seen since the time of Charlemagne. But with two people as strong willed as Henry and Eleanor, the marriage did not stay serene.

The scandal that drove a major wedge between Henry and Eleanor went by the name Rosemund Clifford. A young girl, a mere knight’s daughter, Rosemund has been described as the opposite of Eleanor. Quiet, demure, with soft blonde hair and clear blue eyes, Rosemund was a girl untouched by politics, who owned nothing save the clothes on her back. Henry was charmed by this girl, and set her up in a house of her own near his hunting lodge at Woodstock. But while this house was being built, Henry had the audacity to place his mistress in the royal castle at Oxford. Eleanor, eight months pregnant with their last child, Prince John, journeyed over the Channel in winter to see this Rosemund for herself. When she found the girl tucked away in her own keep, just as the gossips had said, a rift was torn in Eleanor and Henry’s marriage that was never truly made whole again.

Seven years later, Eleanor united with her sons in a rebellion against King Henry, the greatest scandal of Henry’s reign. Henry defeated his sons on the field of battle and forgave each of the boys, but placed Eleanor under house arrest. She stayed locked away until Henry died in the summer of 1189.

Royal scandals in the court of Henry II always had political ramifications, but often rose from personal conflicts. When ruling monarchs square off against each other, the personal becomes political, and once happy partnerships turn into a morass of betrayal.  


Thank you Christy for this great guest post.
And now to the contest

THE CONTEST PART IS CLOSED
Giveaway:
*1 copy of The Queen's Pawn

*Ends November 26th
*Open WORLDWIDE
*Please leave your email if it's not in your profile, or email it to me, Blodeuedd.

*Comment on the post, ask a question or just say you are entering :)

*And I usually do not do this, but if you twitter about this contest, post it on your blog, or something else to spread the word you will get 1 extra point for each thing you do. Just leave links for the things you do. You can come back later to post them.


The Queen's Pawn - Out NOW

Princess Alais of France travels to England to marry Richard the Lionhearted, the son of King Henry II, armed only with her dowry, the valuable Vexin. When Alais arrives in the land of her father’s enemies, she is welcomed by the beautiful and powerful queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor, the richest and most influential woman in Europe, sees a kindred soul in the young French princess. Intrigued by the girl’s strength and fire, Eleanor adopts Alais as her protégée, teaching the girl what it takes to be a woman of power in a world of men. But Eleanor and Alais’ love for each other is threatened when the capricious and imperious King Henry meets the lovely young princess. Fascination with the king draws Alais deep into political intrigue, and she soon discovers what Eleanor is prepared to do to retain her position as queen. Alais, the one-time pawn, takes ruthless action of her own, as the two women become rivals both for the king’s love and the throne of England itself.


Who is Christy English?

I am a writer of historical fiction centering on Eleanor of Aquitaine, Alais of France, and the Plantagenets of the 12th Century. Look for my novel THE QUEEN’S PAWN from the New American Library, an imprint of Penguin.

My second novel, about Eleanor of Aquitaine’s marriage to Louis VII of France, TO BE QUEEN, will be published by the New American Library in April 2011.

When I am not writing about Eleanor of Aquitaine, Alais of France, and the Plantagenets of the 12th Century, I am at the theatre, visting the Metropolitan Museum of Art or roller skating in Riverside Park in New York City. Join me on my continuing adventures at ChristyEnglish.com.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Review: Mini Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella

Shopaholic 6

Genre: Chick-lit
Pages: 432
Published: 2010

Becky Brandon thought motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true: a shopping friend for life! But it’s trickier than she thought. Two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping.

Minnie creates havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is “Mine!” and she’s even trying to get into eBay! On top of everything else, Becky and Luke are still living with her parents (the deal on house #4 has fallen through), when suddenly there’s a huge financial crisis.

With people having to “cut back,” Becky decides to throw a surprise party for Luke to cheer everyone up. But when costs start to spiral out of control, she must decide whether to accept help from an unexpected source—and therefore run the risk of hurting the person she loves.

Will Becky be able to pull off the celebration of the year? Will she and Luke ever find a home of their own? Will Minnie ever learn to behave? And . . . most important . . . will Becky’s secret wishes ever come true?

Plot:
Becky and Luke live with her parents since they can't find a house. The country is suffering from an economical crisis, and people have to cut back. Becky wants to shop, her daughter Minnie is out of control and then Becky wants to throw a party for Luke. It's bound to be a disaster.

My thoughts:
The book is fun as always but by now, well I mean it's not as funny because she is an addict and she really needs help. Some serious help. Because even if it's not as bad as before she is out of control, and Minnie is showing the signs of a future shopaholic. So no, addiction is not funny now when this is book 6.

What to say about this one, she is silly as always, she loves a good deal, she hides things from Luke. I do feel for him, and I wonder how he puts up with it. Minnie, she is a little kid so no wonder she runs around like crazy.

This book is no longer laugh out loud, but it still gives me a few smiles, and the ending gives room for yet another book. Where I really hope she will get some professional help.

What I do like are those letters here and there in the book. Becky is sending some financial advice to the government, that is hysterical.


Recommendation and final thoughts:
If you like Kinsella then I am sure you will enjoy this one too, because in the end it is still amusing because Becky is just insane. But I do wished it would have been funnier.

Reason for reading:
Chick-lit makes me happy, and I want to know happens.

Cover: 
Fun and cute

Friday, 19 November 2010

Review:The Queen's Pawn - Christy English

Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 373
Published: 2010

Princess Alais of France travels to England to marry Richard the Lionhearted, the son of King Henry II, armed only with her dowry, the valuable Vexin. When Alais arrives in the land of her father’s enemies, she is welcomed by the beautiful and powerful queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor, the richest and most influential woman in Europe, sees a kindred soul in the young French princess. Intrigued by the girl’s strength and fire, Eleanor adopts Alais as her protégée, teaching the girl what it takes to be a woman of power in a world of men. But Eleanor and Alais’ love for each other is threatened when the capricious and imperious King Henry meets the lovely young princess. Fascination with the king draws Alais deep into political intrigue, and she soon discovers what Eleanor is prepared to do to retain her position as queen. Alais, the one-time pawn, takes ruthless action of her own, as the two women become rivals both for the king’s love and the throne of England itself.

Plot:
The blurb does say it. Princess Alais is sent to marry prince Richard, but instead when she grows up she becomes King Henry's mistress.

My thoughts:
My second book about a mistress of King Henry, in a month, well he did get around.

This book was made into Eleanor parts and Alais parts. So it changed POV every chapter and that worked. It was interesting to see what these two women felt and needed. I must say I got truly fascinated by Eleanor, she was so strong, and she did what she wanted.

Alais then, well I liked her when she was young and naive, then when the book came to a turning point I felt she was a bitch. That might seem harsh, but she played games she was too young to play. She bedded the king for revenge and wanted to take the crown and become queen. She was saddened by Richard's infidelity but never considered that the king surely never would have stayed only by her side. But the bitchiness was needed, there had to be some drama, and she had to learn a lesson. I even felt a bit sorry of fair Rosamund, his other mistress that he had kept for years. In the end it just made me like Eleanor more because she played the game so well. And I wondered how she could be so forgiving of Alais who she had loved like a daughter.

This book is not entirely historically correct, she does play with years and what happened. She changed some things and it fitted. It made the story interesting and asked that little what if. It did also make me think, if it is true, how could we know for certain, anyway, how could he? She was a princess, what a scandal.

This book gives it a more happy ending. It does not say anything but it does hint, I like it in a way. It makes you think that all worked out while in reality they did not stand by her.

The whole book is written with such ease, which of course then makes it easy to read. The words just flow by.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
I will give it a 3,75 just because of that easy way it was written. I would recommend it to historical fans, and to others. It was a nice book to read, and it did make me wonder, was he handsome? Lol.

Reason for reading:
I didn't know anything about Alais, so I wanted to know more.

Cover: Love it.

Come back on Monday when I have Christy over and she talks about royal scandals.

I got the book from the author

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Review: Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris

Sookie Stackhouse, book 9

Genre: paranormal romance
Pages: 312
Published: 2009

Except for Sookie Stackhouse, folks in Bon Temps, Louisiana, know little about vamps-and nothing about weres.


Until now. The weres and shifters have finally decided to reveal their existence to the ordinary world. At first all goes well. Then the mutilated body of a were-panther is found near the bar where Sookie works-and she feels compelled to discover who, human or otherwise, did it.


But there's a far greater danger threatening Bon Temps. A race of unhuman beings-older, more powerful, and more secretive than vampires or werewolves-is preparing for war. And Sookie finds herself an all-too human pawn in their battle.


I think it's time for a short review again, what else to do after 9 books. How much could I have to say? Other than go on and on about Eric.

1. Reason you chose this book.
After 8 books I want to know what happens. I can give up now. Not cos I love the series, just cos I get a bad case of what happened OCD

2. Reasons you liked or disliked this book.
- Eric, omg, I liked page 92
"Darling you can nail my ass anytime." Lol, if she does not end up with him I will be so mad!
- Same old same old, not bad, not excellent.
- The plot is the same as in all books, Sookie has man problems, someone tries to kill her and there is a mystery. Yes it works better than in previous books but something must happen soon or they will truly stagnate.
- I honestly thought something more would happen when the shifters came out but nothing. Instead there was a fairy-war.
- In the end a nice book that I read really fast, simple and ok.

3. Reasons you are recommending this book.
- If you have read the previous ones then I guess keep on reading. If you haven't read the books then give book 1 a chance, if only so to get to book 4 with the famous shower scene.

Btw. I do hate the covers.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Guest post: Helen Hollick and The Forever Queen giveaway

Today I have Helen Hollick over for a guest post And at the bottom of the post there is a give-away of 2 copies of her book The Forever Queen.

Welcome!


Hello and thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I thought I’d talk a little bit about the Vikings, as they play a very big role in my latest release, The Forever Queen, about Emma of Normandy who became a great Queen.

If accepted history is to be believed, the “Vikings” were the bad lot of the late eighth to mid eleventh centuries. They would not be out of place in modern times kitted up in leathers and making a nuisance of themselves on their motorbikes.  However, the myths of history are not always accurate: i-víking is a term which means “to go raiding” but was soon appropriated to describe the Scandinavian sea-farers from Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden – the North Men - much as the term “Anglo Saxon” has come to be used for the Angles, Jutes, Friesians and Saxons – the English.

Nor is our image of huge, broad-shouldered men in fur cloaks wearing horned helmets leaping ashore from their dragon-prowed boats to rape, pillage and plunder completely accurate. Sorry, there were no horned helmets, and there was very little pillaging and raping.

Christian churches became a prime target because that was where the gold and valuables were. All else was no different to any other period of unrest in history. The original Celts came from Europe, perhaps got into a few fights with the indigenous people, but mostly settled peacefully. Then the Romans came. Ditto. Then the Anglo Saxons. Then the Vikings, with the Normans following behind - although the Norman encroachment into England was slightly different, and is the subject of my next novel, I Am The Chosen King (US edition of Harold the King) Norman, however, is an abbreviated form of North Man – a Viking. The Danish were the main settlers, particularly in northern England, Yorkshire especially. They settled in great enough numbers to influence the change of the political and cultural map and even affected the English language. For the ordinary people, I doubt the change of dominant people made much difference. For the Church, it was a disaster. Which is why the Vikings received such a bad press. The monks, after all, were the ones who kept the written records and who wrote the history down.

The North was the main settlement area primarily modern Yorkshire, Northumbria, Cumbria and the Midlands. York – Jorvik – is perhaps the best example of how England almost became part of Scandinavia after 865. The Jorvik remains are re-created as a living history tour experience, and I have to say, done very well. The feeling that you really are walking down a “Viking” street, with all the sights, sounds and smells is incredible.

Raids on England were somewhat sporadic until the mid 800’s but by the late 850s Viking armies had started to over-winter in England, their numbers gradually becoming larger armies with an obvious intention of conquest. In 866 York capitulated and by 867 the kingdom of Northumbria was under Viking supremacy. From  876 the army moved south, forcing most of Wessex to submit. Nearly all of England was in Scandinavian hands.

Enter King Alfred the “Great”. Almost defeated, he hid in the marshes of Athelney in Somerset but re-formed his army and defeated the Vikings in 878 at Edington in  Wiltshire. His victory enforced an uneasy peace during which he established a navy, built fortresses, and constructed an efficient defensive strategy. When the Vikings returned in the 890s Wessex was able to resist. At his death in 899 Alfred was king of an independent English kingdom. It was Alfred who ordered the 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle', a record of contemporary events to be written – the custom surviving from his reign until the 12th century. If it were not for the Viking raids, and Alfred, we would probably know very little about this period.

Alfred’s son Edward the Elder (899-924) and his grandson Æthelstan (924-939) were even more important to England. Edward, with his sister Æthelflæd, widow of the Mercian king, conquered the south of England from the Danes. Æthelstan continued the fight, and his  greatest success was victory at Brunanburh in the north. He became the first, true, King of All England.

The Norse presence remains today, reflected in modern place-names: for instance, towns with endings of -
by  which meant homestead or village : Derby, Rugby, Whitby, Selby, Grimsby
thorpe (or thorp, thro, trop) ‘farm’: Scunthorpe. Grimethorpe
toft or tofts - a house or a plot of land: Lowestoft

By contrast, much of East Anglia and Essex kept a majority of typical Saxons names, while Devon and Cornwall retained their British (Welsh) origins. Yet “English” did not disappear – rivers, fields, forests kept their “Saxon” names, indicating there must have been communication between the old settled and the new settlers.

Many Old Norse words survive in the dialects of modern north east England – Newcastle Upon Tyne’s “Geordie” accent as a good example. To many a Southerner the words are indecipherable - even in the eleventh century, it was remarked that the “Northerners” spoke very differently. The North/South divide has not changed much!

Much of the Norse language has become part of the English language. Words such as 'husband', 'knife' and 'window', while many surviving words are connected with farming and boats.

The subtle blending of one race of people with another is an interesting and intriguing part of English history. The Normans, under the command of William Duke of Normandy completed the Scandinavian conquest in 1066 – or did they?

For all the raiding, pillaging, plundering, raping and settling, these vast North Men armies and their various leaders did not wholly conquer the English.

For proof, I am writing this in English, not Danish, Swedish or French…!


Blodeuedd:
Thank you Helen for this interesting post :) 


Giveaway:*CLOSED*
*2 copies of The Forever Queen to 2 winners
* Ends: 22nd November
 * Open to US and Canada.
* If your email is not in your profile then please leave it here, or email it so I do not have to hunt you down if you win.
* Ask a question, comment on the guestpost, or just tell me you're entering :)



THE FOREVER QUEEN BY HELEN HOLLICK – IN STORES NOVEMBER 2010
What kind of woman becomes the wife of two kings, and the mother of two more?

Saxon England, 1002. Not only is Æthelred a failure as King, but his young bride, Emma of Normandy, soon discovers he is even worse as a husband. When the Danish Vikings, led by Swein Forkbeard and his son, Cnut, cause a maelstrom of chaos, Emma, as Queen, must take control if the Kingdom—and her crown—are to be salvaged. Smarter than history remembers, and stronger than the foreign invaders who threaten England’s shores, Emma risks everything on a gamble that could either fulfill her ambitions and dreams or destroy her completely.

Emma, the Queen of Saxon England, comes to life through the exquisite writing of Helen Hollick, who shows in this epic tale how one of the most compelling and vivid heroines in English history stood tall through a turbulent fifty-year reign of proud determination, tragic despair, and triumph over treachery.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Hollick lives in northeast London with her husband, daughter and a variety of pets, which include several horses, cats and two dogs. She has two major interests: Roman / Saxon Britain and the Golden Age of Piracy--the early eighteenth century. Sourcebooks Landmark will release the next chapter on Helen’s 1066 saga, I Am the Chose King, in Spring 2011. For more information, please visit http://www.helenhollick.net/

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Review: The Forever Queen - Helen Hollick

Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 622
Published: November 2010 Sourcebooks Landmark

Married to a king incompetent both on the throne and in bed, Emma does not love her husband. But she does love England. Even as her husband fails, Emma vows to protect her people-no matter what. For five decades, through love and loss, prosperity and exile, Emma fights for England, becoming the only woman to have been anointed, crowned, and reigning queen to two different kings, the mother of two more, and the great aunt of William the Conqueror.

Plot:
Emma of Normany married King Aethelred when she was 13. One son would become Edward the Confessor. But the Swein Forkbeard of Denmark invaded together with his son Cnut, and all was lost. But Emma was one strong woman who after her husband's death married Cnut, and once again reigned as queen of England.

My thoughts:
I loved it, the story was so rich in history and details, and it was exactly like a good historical novel should be like. Following the facts, but still inventing and creating a book utterly wonderful.

Emma was a truly fascinating woman. Mother to two kings, wife to two kings, stepmother to kings, because yes England saw a lot of kings during her time there. I was enchanted by the story. The first part was about her horrible marriage to Aetheldred, not fit to be king, seeing her distancing herself from her kids was heartbreaking. The second part was about her other marriage and I do hope that it was true that they had a loving marriage. That she finally found joy with Cnut. It was certainly more romantic.

This book is filled with history, what else to expect, the book spans 40 years of her life. And I could even start to tell about all the things that happened. There are vikings raiding,  there is fighting over the crowns, a lot of times. Treachery, jealousy, kings dying, fighting between English earls, you get the point. There is never a dull moment. Because something is always happening, and when nothing is happening it is just nice to relax and enjoy her life for a bit.

Awww, I do love good historical fiction. It just warms me right up. So fun to google later too and discovering more.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
I am giving this book 4,25 because I could not put it down, even though this was one big book! I would with all my heart recommend it to lovers of historical fiction, and to the rest of you, this is a woman worth reading about. It had everything, but mostly it had her, and I do wonder why not more books are written about her. She certainly deserves a spotlight for her interesting life. The book itself was well written, and was never cluttered with facts or dull. It was a joy to read.

Reason for reading:
Long ago I read a book by a Swedish author and that was the first time I met Queen Emma, I never forgot her and I even wrote a paper about her in uni, so when I heard about this book I jumped at the chance to read about her again.

Cover thoughts: Ok

The book was previously published under the name: A Hollow Crown: The Story of Emma, Queen of Saxon England

I received the book from the publisher

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Review: The Conquest - Elizabeth Chadwick

Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 576
Published: 1996

A young Saxon woman suffers the harsh consequences of the Norman invasion of England in this epic melodrama. After both her husband and brothers suffer violent deaths at the hands of the conquerors, Ailith temporarily loses her wits and attempts to take her own life. Thwarted by Rolf de Brize, a lusty, sympathetic Norman, Ailith agrees to assume the position of chatelaine of his English estate. Though she bears his child and spends many contented years as his mistress, she reluctantly realizes that the fundamental gulf that separates them is too wide to sufficiently bridge. When she discovers that Rolf has betrayed her both physically and spiritually, Ailith flees, bequeathing her young daughter a bitter legacy of love and loss.





I am going to use this format again because I just do not have enough things to say when I did not enjoy the book. So I want to keep it short and simple.

1.) Reasons you chose this book
Because I enjoy Chadwick's books and the story sounded really good and interesting. Great era too.


2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book
- It was boring, I do not know what made it so and I never connected to anyone in this book.
- The story was way too depressing, I know a certain somebody said that she had thought I was a romantic at heart, and she was so right, I am, I need some happiness. Here, oh sigh, Ailith is sad cos her husband died, she becomes Rolf's mistress, he is married, and he likes women too much. The first part of this book is sad and does not end well. The second part is about her daughter Julitta caught in a loveless marriage and in love with a married man. Ok so the second part was better cos I had hope it would get better...one day. 
- The story could have been good, but for me it did not work this time. But to others, it does have everything, passion, love, loss, drama, betrayal, even pirates! Yes you heard me, pirates.
- In the end it was sort of ok, only because the second part was better.


3.) Reasons you are recommending this book
I just can't since I did not enjoy it, but I have seen other reviews and they have liked it. For me it was just the story this time that did not work. It happens, and this poor book got skimmed a lot.


Saturday, 13 November 2010

Review: Str8te Boys - Evangeline Anderson

 Or the tale of how I lost my m/m virginity





Genre: m/m
Pages: 60
Published: 2009

How far would you dare to go…to win it all?

Maverick Holms and Duke Warren share almost everything—a college soccer team, an apartment and the same extremely competitive nature. Thanks to that never-back-down spirit, they’re about to share more than they bargained for.

The game is “gay chicken”. The rule: get as close as possible without kissing, and the one that pulls away first is the loser. The problem: neither of them likes to lose. It isn’t long before the game becomes an excuse to touch and kiss in every possible forbidden way. And after they pose for a gay website to earn extra money, things really heat up.

Suddenly Duke is talking lifetime commitment, and Mav is backpedaling as hard as he can, not sure if he’s ready to accept all his best friend is offering him. Or the truth about what he is.

Plot:
The blurb does say it all for once.

My thoughts:
Oh how scared I was, who is the chicken here really. Not to mention I have this aversion to e-books these days, but this one was short, I took bf's minilaptop and started reading.

Two guys playing games and daring each other to go further. Maverick and Duke was truly the perfect couple for me to start with. Two straight men falling for each other and exploring. Mav has doubts and Duke is in love. I really liked them both and they eased me into this genre. It was a sweet tale about love, oh and it was HOT. Hehe, mostly it was hot, and then love at the end. A great little novella that didn't rush things, cos things had been happening for a long time and now when they were about to go separate ways things heated up.


Recommendation and final thoughts:
Not that I am an expert, I do not even know how hot hot is, but yes I would recommend this to my fellow m/m readers, and for someone who is as chicken as I was this is a good book to start with.  I enjoyed this little tale, and I am happy to have read it.

Reason for reading:
Everyone seems to read these so I wanted to give one a go and when I won a gc from Closetreader I took my chance.

Cover: I do like it ;)

And that was my tale for the day

Friday, 12 November 2010

Review: A bitch named Karma - Stephanie Haefner + I am guestblogging



Genre: Romance, chick-lit
Pages: 164
Published: 2010
Review by Lis

Karma may be a bitch, but sometimes she knows what she’s doing.

When author Lexi Marshall’s perfectly fabulous life of designer clothes, nights on the town with her sexy boyfriend, and a successful writing career literally go up in flames, she must take on Karma and fight to gain control over her life.

Lexi believes her cliché-filled novels are the reason for Karma’s wrath and after a high calorie pity party, she’s determined to rebuild her life to what it once was...that is, until her gynecologist utters a phrase she never expected or wanted to hear: she’s pregnant. Unfortunately, the father is her fresh out-of-the-closet best friend and not the new man in her life.



B. really does know what kinda books she sends to me. Once again I was surprised at the book. The blurb reads like one of the many many many romance books out there with a main character in a bind and pregnant and out on the market for a baby daddy. Furthermore I thought that the blurb didn't match the cover. Yes, I told you I'm shallow right? I like me pretty covers and this one is a bit standard. No, now worries, this is not going to be a bitch review.

For the first part of the book or so, I found the main character, Lexi, a shallow, self obsessed, airheaded bitch. Yes, I know not nice. This is why I only read very very few romances with women in the lead. So for the first part I was pretty much raising my eyebrow at various instances along with rolling my eyes and sighing.

But it gets better. A lot better, in fact. It turns out that Karma can teach this woman something and sometimes you just need to hit rock bottom to know something has to give even if that is you.
So I quite enjoyed the second part of the book along with the support cast that make this story so much richer. Though at parts it really sucked to be Lexi. I mean, I would cringe if I found out my best friend was gay after I slept with him and then to learn you're pregnant. Ouch.

There are several more instances that made my cringe in sympathy, but it was good to read that Lexi could change, grow and learn. She is a strong-minded woman. One that could accomplish anything if she put her mind to it. I liked that a lot, because I just hate characters that give up and wait for a man to rescue them!

The writing is funny and witty and that is something I enjoyed more than the story. While this might not really have been my thing – and really, this book had the unfortunate timing of being read just after I read a wicked awesome book by one of my favorite authors – it is not a bad read. I can really recommend it if you looking for a breezy, amusing but serious contemporary romance read.


LIS



And now to a message from me :) I am a guest today over at I swim for Oceans


Melissa asks the strangest and funniest questions, so come over and see.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Review: Rogue - Rachel Vincent

Shifters 2

Genre: urban fantasy
Pages: 394
Published: 2008

Okay, so cats don t always land on their feet.

I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I ve made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my father, the Pride, and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I m working harder than ever, though I always find the energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on- and off-duty.

But not all of my mistakes are behind me. We re beginning to suspect that the dead are connected to a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet--two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear.

I am going to try the new review format created by Jenny @Jenny Loves to read and Staci @ Life in the Thumb


1.) Reasons you chose this book

I really liked book 1, I mean really liked it, great UF and I knew I had to read more. The choice was obvious and I got this book.

2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book

I did not love it as much as I liked book 1 but it was still a great book.

* The tension between Marc and Faythe is great, even know when they are together. And then there is Jace, I do like tension
* Great UF has some nice action and this book has this. Someone is killing strippers, and toms. And then a big secret is revealed and that could mean the end of Faythe. The book had me reading fast so I would get to the end and see what happens.
*Love the world. Shifters, cats, yay, and the fact that tabbies are so rare.
*I had heard complaints that this book was not as good as the rest, cos of Faythe, but did not see that. She is still hotheaded, but I do wish she would let Marc into her life.
*It wasn't a full-blown cliffhanger but it was still a cliffhanger at the end and I am so gonna read book 3 soon.

3.) Reasons you are recommending this book

If you are looking for a new urban fantasy series to read then go for this one. It's so good! There is drama, action, and love trouble. If you are a paranormal romance fan then go for this one too, sure not as much romance, but the tension makes up for that.


Ps. Cool new format girls :) Nice and simple and I could make it a short review.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Review: Child of the Northern Spring - Persia Woolley

 Book 1 of the Guinevere trilogy

Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 512
Published: November 2010 Sourcebooks Landmark

The story of a queen who deserves to become a legend-a startlingly original tale of Arthur & Guinevere

Often portrayed as spoiled, in Persia Woolley's hands Guinevere comes alive as a high-spirited, passionate woman. When she is chosen by Arthur to be his wife, Guinevere's independence wars with her family loyalty. As the wedding approaches and hints of rebellion abound, she learns that the old gods are in revolt against the new Christian church, and that scattered kingdoms are stirring from their uneasy peace. This is Arthurian epic at its best, filled with romance, adventure, authentic historical detail, and a landscape alive with the mystery of Britain in the Dark Ages.

Plot:
The story about Queen Guinevere, her childhood, and how she met and married her king Arthur.

My thoughts:
This story felt a bit truer than some as the author tried to keep the real facts in mind. The Romans have left, Saxons are invading, England, and Wales are made up from different kingdoms and under Ambrosius, Uther and no King Arthur they have a high king. Old Ways are meeting the new Christian church.

This first book was not really about Arthur yet, instead she grew up and had flashbacks, and while riding to her wedding a friend of his explained recent events, and from that the reader learnt what has been going on. They do meet at the end of the book and marries. But that is it for now.

Gwen then, well I did like her, but one thing annoyed me and that was how people constantly mistook her for a page, first, if that happened to me I would get upset, but even Arthur laughed it of.f I guess he liked having a woman who can be mistaken for a boy. Nice that she was no spoilt princess but still, even in pants a woman can look like a woman. As for Arthur, I did not get to know him so much in this one so can't say much about him. But there was some other nice characters, Bedivere, and her childhood friend Kevin, I still wonder what happened to him.

Not much happened here, it was more a prelude to bigger things to come. The book felt ok, and there was no magic, and I do like reality when trying to understand the myth.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
For Arthur fans, and those who enjoy HF. Will I read more, well that is the question, I could, but as it is now I like where it ended. With them happy and married. And I can imagine them getting babies and living happily ever after. Instead of no babies, Lancelot, torment, agony and death. Here I got my happy ending. True fans can muster on.

I liked the beginning, the second part may have struggled on a bit since not much happened. And I may have been hoping Lancelot would show up ;) Still a nice start to a series, and an easy book to read. A good book for you Arthurian fans.

Reason for reading:
I was curious about this ever so depressing story.

Cover: meh

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Review: The Silver Locket - Margaret James

Genre: Historical fiction/romance, women's fiction
Pages: 336
Published: November 2010 Choc-Lit

If life is cheap, how much is love worth? It's 1914 and young Rose Courtenay has a decision to make. Please her wealthy parents by marrying the man of their choice - or play her part in the war effort? The chance to escape proves irresistible and Rose becomes a nurse. Working in France, she meets Lieutenant Alex Denham, a dark figure from her past. He's the last man in the world she'd get involved with - especially now he's married. But in wartime nothing is as it seems. Alex's marriage is a sham and Rose is the only woman he's ever wanted. As he recovers from his wounds, he sets out to win her trust. His gift of a silver locket is a far cry from the luxuries she's left behind. What value will she put on his love?

Plot:
Rose Courtenay has had a privileged upbringing, but she is bored of it and she does not want to marry the man her parent's tell her to marry. The big war had started and she runs away to become a nurse. In France she meets Alex Denham, a boy from her past, he has a bad reputation and he is married. But still she falls on love.

My thoughts:
I was not sure about Alex, I mean he got the girl pregnant, and married her, very good, and proper considering, but then he wants to flee his marriage because all along he was in love with Rose. So I felt kind of, you made your bed, now just lay in it! But still he really loved Rose, oh it was hard, I did fall in the end, because he has just done the right thing, and I did wonder if that kid was even his. His wife was a horrid golddigger so her I did not like one bit.

Rose then, she was nice, and she wanted more from life. Can't blame her for falling for a handsome soldier, even if he is married.

There was also a sidestory with two sisters, one a friend of Rose and fellow nurse, the other one, well I can't say, spoiler alert. But via her I learnt something about a side character in the book. Something not nice.

I had wished for more war, I know, that sounds strange but this war was the last honest one, it was more between soldiers than what war is these days. And I felt there was not enough of the plight and horror. But then again that was perhaps could so it could focus on these two. Because this story was about two people running from problems, but at the same time finding themselves and doing courageous things. It was not so much about the romance, it was there, but it was more the growing they did, and how they tried to put things right.

Final thoughts and recommendation.
I felt it was a bit jumpy at times, and I actually think this could have been a good book written in letterform. Or I am just obsessed with war and letters.
Who to recommend it to,sure there is romance, there is war, so perhaps if you want a bit more drama with your fiction, but still some romance. And also an interesting book about WWI. I think it might get a 3, just because I wanted more war, but then I am weird.

Reason for reading:
Always been fascinated with WWI

Cover: Very fitting.

From the publisher

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