Monday, 30 November 2015

Alien in Chief - Gini Koch

As Kitty can tell you, it's not easy being the wife of the vice president - especially not when he's an alien from the Alpha Centauri system. And being a parent of preternaturally talented children, don't even go there. But she and her A-C husband, Jeff, have learned how to roll with whatever life and the bad guys throw at them - they think.

Kitty & Company have been savouring a few months of quiet since they got back from Beta Eight. But suddenly their peace is shattered by the arrival of a mysterious female assassin - who might be Jeff's missing niece, Stephanie. And that's just the beginning of the fun.

When the Alpha Centauri Planetary Council requests a visit with the president and vice president, things look politically dicey. When the most dangerous prisoners in the most secure supermax prison escape with ease, things look bad. But when the Mastermind releases a virus that kills people in a week, things go to Defcon Worse fast.

Now it's up to Kitty to save everyone important in the U.S. government - including her mother, her husband, and herself - before the virsu spreads through the rest of the country, and then the world. Plus she's facing invisible attackers, crazed assassins, a teenager in hiding, the most dangerous train ride ever, the disappearance of her beloved flyboys, and a mysterious alien who could be an enemy or the ally she needs.

and this time, the Mastermind's made it very personal. Either he's going down . . . or Kitty is. 

My thoughts:
500 pages of non-stop action. These people will never have a quiet day. But to be fair, they have had many quiet days since her second baby has been born. Quiet for a time then.

*Other aliens are coming to visit. Hey, what a state visit!
*The bad guys are still out there. And the mastermind, even if they know who he is but can't do anything about it. I really hate that guy.
*Let's see, other bad things going in. Someone is trying to kill everyone. But who is it?
* And a mystery virus that kills really fast. The clock is ticking on that one.

But I must say, the constant need to tell me what she is listening too. After 12 books I fear I am rather tired of that. I can live without that.

I also felt that there was not enough Martini. I know that she is a big girl and can handle herself, but sniff, I love Jeff. I want more Jeff and Kitty action (and I am not talking about the bed here.)

I have seriously started to doubt they will ever be happy on this planet. There are so many crazy peeps trying to kill them. That evil church. Hybrids. Sorry earth, maybe they should just leave and find a nice beach somewhere. But there are more books so hopefully they can find all the crazy ones and live happily ever after.

Conclusion:
This book does pack a few punches 0_0

Cover
Kick.ass!

Mass Market Paperback, 544 pages
Expected publication: December 1st 2015 by DAW
Katherine "Kitty" Katt #12
Sci.fi
For review


Sunday, 29 November 2015

Carole's Sunday Review: A fistful of fire - Rebecca Chastain


Author: Rebecca Chastain
Title: A Fistful of Fire (Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer #2)
Genre: UF & Fantasy
Pages: ebook
First Published: October 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)


Madison Fox survived her first week as California’s newest illuminant enforcer, defending her region against imps, vervet, hounds, and one lascivious demon. If her grumpy boss, Mr. Pitt, was impressed, he hasn’t told Madison. In fact, there’s a lot her boss has been closemouthed about, including the dark secret haunting his past.

But Madison’s problems are just igniting. Neighboring regions report an uncharacteristic flare-up of evil, fire-breathing salamanders blaze unchecked across the city, and Black Friday looms. Trapped doing cleanup amid mobs of holiday shoppers, Madison watches from the sidelines as dubious allies insinuate themselves in her region.

As suspicions kindle and the mysterious evil gains strength, Madison must determine who she can trust—and whose rules to follow—before her region and career go up in flames.




This is the second in the series. It could be read as a standalone, but I do encourage reading the first book first. 


Poor Madison! I get that she is a newbie, but I feel bad about how rudely everyone is treating her. Even in the paranormal world politics runs rampant. I also felt bad for Mr. Pitt the whole time. Poor guy...I'm happy to see that he really does like Madison and cares for her safety. She certainly has her dumb moments, but you can't really blame her. I would probably pull some of the same dumb things. She is new to this world and this role which people are trying to pull from under her feet. Again...poor girl.

Hilarious that this takes place on Black Friday. It proves my point about how horrible that event is. Its a day of greed, stupidity, and selfishness. It was awesome how the author incorporated this in this world. Clever, clever. 

The beginning was a little slow, but it was certainly the calm before the storm. So much drama. So many baddies. And so many twists that I wasn't sure what was going to happen and who was to blame! I love it when a story keeps me on my toes. I can't wait to see what happens next. I'm certainly glad the possible love triangle is still being avoided. I adore Nicko, but Madison needs a guy like Dr. Love to keep her sane. Nicko can find someone else. Maybe Madison's friend ;D. 

Honestly, I am so glad this series found me, because I was losing faith in the UF genre. The characters are interesting, the world new/different, and the story fresh and creative! Love it! I am curious to see what happens next.

In the end, I highly recommend this series. I advise reading the first one first though, because there are a lot of backstory I feel is essential. Granted, I can see this being read alone. The beginning was a little slow, but after a couple of chapters I could NOT put this down. A fun world and characters that entertain me. Too be honest, this was better then the first book which is rare! Out of five stars, I stamp this with 5. 







Saturday, 28 November 2015

#FitReaders Check-In: November 27, 2015

Sat 1.15 h walk
Sun 40 min walk
Mon 4 km bike, 1 h skiing
Tue, 8 km bike, 1 h workout class, 1 h yoga
Wed 4km bike, 1 h zumba
Thu 12 km bike, 45 zumba toning
Fri, 4 km bike, 30 min walk

I got an answer for my hives. I got strep urticaria. Of course I get strep without a sore throat, and hives instead #cursed. But it was nice going to workout class without feeling like I wanted to rip my skin off. 

Today's photo shows what happened this week. It all melted away.




Friday, 27 November 2015

Romance Friday: Worth and You'll be the death of me

Consummate man of business and rake at large, Worth Kettering repairs to his country estate to sort
out his familial situation, trusting the ever efficient (though as yet unmet) housekeeper, Jacaranda Wyeth, will provide his family a pleasant summer retreat. To his surprise, his household is manage by a quick-witted, violet-eyed Amazon who’s his match in many regards.

As Jacaranda and Worth become enamored, the family she’s kept hidden from him, the financial clients Worth feels singularly protective of, and the ragged state of affairs between Worth and his estranged older brother, Hessian, all conspire to keep Worth and Jacaranda apart. Worth must choose between love and profit, and Jacaranda must decide between loyalty to her family and the love of a man who values her above all others. 

My thoughts:
I am afraid I found myself bored, and nitpicking. So I will nitpick.

First the name Jacaranda, really? Who would name their kid that, and then? And then I saw what it meant. Really?
Also, Worth's brother Hessian, really?

She is mid 20s. She got the job as a housekeeper to a rich man, without ever having worked a day in her life. Even I could not get that job and I have worked. I also have a hard time believing her family would have let her go. The whole deal was so weird.

But hey, that did not matter. What mattered was the dullness. They talked, they talked and I grew bored. I still read it, cos I like her books, but this one was lacking. He wanted to marry her, she pulled away, and I never understood why. Sigh.

Conclusion
Not one of her best.

cover
meh

Kindle Edition, 332 pages
Published May 4th 2014 by Grace Burrowes Publishing
Lonely Lords #11
Historical romance
Own

Meddling landladies, fashion-tortured canines, psychotic best friends - is that what it takes to bring two love-jaded people together, or will they be killed with good intentions? Allison Leavitt is great at living in a make-believe world - she'd created one in her best-selling mystery novels, home of her fantasy man, a hard-nosed detective with a granite-encrusted heart. It's taken years for an artist to finally capture his image, the one she's lived with in her head for far too long. Imagine her shock when she discovers him standing in her living room! When the shock fades, one question remains: now that she's found him, what is she going to do about making fantasy reality? Displaced Los Angeles detective Jay Cantrall isn't happy with his Spokane, Washington assignment, and even more disgruntled with his whacked-out apartment house. The landlady runs around in muumuus whispering sweet nothings to her bizarre canine companion, who hates Jay but has romantic tendencies toward his leg. One tenant thinks nothing of staging mock murders, another is a man-shark, and his next-door neighbor, Allison, although incredibly delectable, seems to be incapable of little more than fish imitations. Besides, he learned his lesson where women are concerned: nothing can bring a man's downfall faster than a woman's lies. It seems that whenever Jay and Allison are near each other, disaster strikes. And when one of the disasters leaves Jay injured, guilt-ridden Allison decides to nurse the cranky cop back to health. But will her ministrations heal the wounds deep inside both of them, or will it end in yet another disaster? 

My thoughts:
You can read this one in a heartbeat.

Allison writes mystery novels. She has bad luck with men, (they just wanna mooch of her). She has never had an orgasm.

Jay is a cop with a chip on his shoulder. His brother is famous. Women want to be with Jay cos of his brother. He made a mess of his private life in LA.

They are now neighbors. He thinks is weird. She is all OMG, since he looks like how she imagined her main character.

There is a weird landlady. A neighbor plotting. A dog getting into trouble. Will they wont they. Insert Drama and then happily ever after.

Conclusion:
Short and cute. 

Cover
bad

Trade Paperback, 186 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Samhain Publishing
Contemporary romance
Own


Thursday, 26 November 2015

Romance Thursday: What the Duke Wants and Mark of the Gladiator

What the duke wants….
Is not three young ladies for wards.
Nor is the responsibility for finding them a governess.
Thankfully that is delegated to his housekeeper, who he might add is blind as a bat.
That really could be the only excuse she has for hiring Carlotta. 
Because Carlotta is far too beautiful to be a governess.
Temptress, yes. 
Unable to restrain himself—because restraint is not one of his virtues, his reputation is testament of that fact—he finds the young governess far more spirited, opinionated and tempting than he is able to resist.
And of course, because he’s an idiot. He falls in love.
Never questioning whether she’d be a willing participant.
Of course life isn’t that easy, not even when you’re a bloody duke. 
And after one meddling Lady Southridge, 
Leads to two fiascos, 
Three wards decide to take matters into their own hands.
Because what the duke wants…is simply to fall in love (preferably with the young woman in mind, falling in love too.

My thoughts:
Yes that is the blurb, it's not the best written or formatted. Yes it tells what the book is about but come on.

Carlotta is the daughter or a baron. Now she is a poor orphan, so she becomes a governess. And suddenly she is all, I know my place, it is below the stairs..but hey, your dad was still a baron.

Charles is a Duke. A young handsome Duke. Suddenly he had 3 wards and is all hell no! But one look at the hot governess and he is all hell yeah!

I did like that he wanted her from the start, and he wanted to do right by her. She was the one who was all but I am a governess! He was also a bumbling fool at times, and that is always nice.

Conclusion:
It was  a sweet one. No smexy times before the wedding here.


ebook, 240 pages
Published February 13th 2014 by Blue Tulip
Greenford Waters Legacy #1
Historical romance
Own

After an inconvenient display of mercy in the arena, the gladiator Anazâr is pulled from the sands and contracted to nobleman Lucius Marianus to train his new stable of female gladiators. His new charges are demoralized and untested, and they bear the marks of slavery and abuse. Anazâr has a scant four months to prepare them for the arena, and his new master demands perfection.

Anazâr’s surprised by how eager he is to achieve it—far more eager than a man motivated by only self-preservation. Perhaps it’s because Marianus is truly remarkable: handsome, dignified, honorable, and seemingly as attracted to Anazâr as Anazâr is to him.

But the rivalry between Marianus and his brother, Felix, sparks a murder conspiracy, with Anazâr and his gladiatrices caught in the middle. One brother might offer salvation . . . but which? And in a world where life is worth less than the pleasures of the crowd or the whims of a master, can there be any room for love? As a gladiator, Anazâr's defenses are near impenetrable. But as a man, he learns to his cost that no armor or shield can truly protect his heart.

My thoughts:
Look at that, I read a MM without knowing it. Well, I realised it after reading a bit.

Anazar is a slave and gladiator. And then he gets "hired" to train female gladiators.

Some of the smex scenes bothered me. He is a slave. Someone tells him something so he does it. I am just not ok with that. That is not smexy to me.

It is not historically heavy, the author tries to get by on little (to me at least), but then it is a romance so it does not have to.

There was also a suspenseful part, well sort of. You will see.

Conclusion:
Interesting, with a happy ending. Yes it is a romance, but I still did not think it could happen. 

ebook, 250 pages
Published November 26th 2012 by Riptide Publishing
Warriors of Rome #4
Historical romance / MM
Own


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Pennistan 1, 2 - Mary Blayney

Traitor's Kiss
When an enigmatic beauty rescues accused traitor Lord Gabriel Pennistan from a French prison cell, it's just the beginning of an adventure in mystery and seduction. For Gabriel has no idea who Charlotte Parnell is, or why she has saved him... and Charlotte has underestimated the sensual stranger who awakens in her a passion that culminates in a night of exquisite lovemaking. But when she abruptly vanishes, Gabriel will not rest until he finds her--no matter what the cost.... 

Lover's Kiss
In her worst nightmares, Lady Olivia Pennistan never imagined she would be kidnapped. And retired soldier Michael Garrett never expected to be her rescuer. But he could hardly ignore the naked young beauty scrambling through the forest. Neither anticipates sharing a kiss--or wanting another. The final surprise comes when Garrett is hired to protect Olivia and her family from the insidious threats that persist. As their simmering attraction ignites, rumors of Olivia's indiscretion surface--rumors she longs to make come true.... 

My thoughts:
Traitor's Kiss
I do not really know why I pushed through with book 1. Maybe it was because book 2 was coming after it so i thought why not.

It was just so dull and impersonal.

So this woman Charlotte, who we never gets to know. Whose skin I never get under. Rescues a British soldier called Gabriel. His family had hired her. He might be a traitor. So most of the book is them slowly talking and trying to get out of France. I do get to know him more, and yes yes, she is undercover, but still, if I do not know her I do not care for her!

This one was dull, and I did skim. Eh, I give it a 2.

Lover's Kiss
Omg, how dull these are!
Michael finds Olivia half nekkid in the woods. He has no personality. She has no personality. Dull things happen. More dull things happen.

Srsl, sometimes I do have trouble dnfing. It happens! If this had been two different books they would so have been dnfed. I skimmed this one much more than book 1.

Paperback, 720 pages
Published October 28th 2008 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2008)
Pennistan #1 & 2
Historical romance
Own


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Dukes are Forever - Anna Harrington

Battlefields and barrooms hold much more interest for Edward Westover, Duke of Swarthmore, than a little girl's fondness for dolls and lace. When he takes possession of his enemy's estate, everything that villain held dear-including his daughter-belongs to Edward. Hire a governess, arrange a dowry, give a few reassurances, and be off on his way-that's Edward's plan. But he's in for the shock of his life. For his new ward is a beautiful, impetuous, and utterly irresistible woman . . . 

Kate Benton is stunned. Who is this arrogant, infuriating man who's invited himself into her home and taken over her life? Her vow: to do everything in her power to convince him to leave her-and Brambly House-alone. Yet as chilly days melt into sultry nights, Kate sees glimpses of kindness underneath Edward's cool façade . . . and a passionate nature that takes her breath away. There's so much she doesn't know about this man. But does she dare trust this devilish duke with her heart?

My thoughts:
Oh Edward, so I understand why, but still, why? He is angry at a man, and the man deserves it. Edward buys all his debts, and the one good thing is that he is pushed into is taking that man's child as a ward. So yes that was good, so she would not be out in the streets. Still, revenge...

And he does try, taking a doll to the kid and everything.

Haha, there is no kid, just a 21 year old woman who loves her father. Why? I do NOT know. Her father was an ahole, who took everything of value, sold it, and left poor Kate alone and in debt. But it's hard to stop loving family even if they are aholes.

The rest is obvious;
Oh my ward is hot? Damn. Is she in her father's pay? Will she destroy me? She can't be trusted. All women are bad. But she is beautiful.

Where is my father? Why do I have a Duke as a guardian? Oh he is pretty. No, do not look at him. I will become a doctor. But he is so handsome. One kiss wont kill me.

They dance around each other. There is lots of smexy time (we all know I skim that, but for you who want lots then here it is.) There is drama, and there is a happily ever after.

Conclusion:
I'd read more by her. 

Cover
Nice, but so not her

Kindle Edition, 384
Expected publication: November 24th 2015 by Forever
The Secret Life of Scoundrels #1
Historical romance
NetGalley


Monday, 23 November 2015

Romance Monday: Maid for Love / Legacy

Maddie Chester is determined to leave her hometown of Gansett Island, a place that has brought her only bad memories and ugly rumors. Then she's knocked off her bike on the way to her housekeeping job at McCarthy's Resort Hotel by Gansett's "favorite son," Mac McCarthy. He's back in town to help his father with preparations to sell the family resort and has no intention of staying long. When Mac accidentally sends Maddie flying over the handlebars, badly injuring her, he moves in to nurse her back to health and help care for her young son. He soon realizes his plans for a hit-and-run visit to the island are in serious jeopardy, and he just may be "maid" for love. 

My thoughts:
It happened fast, but I would not call it instalove. And well dang it, it was so cute!

Mac crashes into Maddie. He feels bad and decides to help her, by living at her place, and helping with her child and work. And he soon realises that he likes her, he really likes her. And he likes her baby. And I was all awwwwww. It was so sweet of how he fell for them both. 

While Maddie fights it, sure he is hot, but she has a bad bad rep. Oh that made me mad. Men are stupid! Poor poor Maddie. So she was the sane one in this book, she wants to take things slow (or not at all).

Oh Mac's mum is an ass! Still not forgiven!

I enjoyed it and would read more

Cover
meh

Kindle Edition, 260 pages
Published April 28th 2011 by HJTB, Inc
The McCarthys of Gansett Island #1
Contemporary romance
Own
The last of the Murrays...
Christina Murray is elated to inherit her family's ancestral home in Scotland. But upon her arrival she is confronted by her breathtakingly handsome new neighbor, Ian Douglas...and an ancient family curse that comes with the castle.

A violent legacy of passion...

Seduced by Ian's easy Scottish charm by day, Christina dreams at night of three raven-haired beauties, ancestors who fell victim to the curse one generation after another: Katrine, the fiery Jacobite supporter who lost her heart to an Englishman; Jeanne, an accused witch; and Mairi, who shared a forbidden passion with the King of England.

Now it's Christina's turn to lie in that cursed bed... and loving Ian might just cost her life.

 MY thoughts:
Was this a romance? No Must have been romantic fiction then cos it was sad, and kind of depressing.

I guess it was Christina's story that had the romance, which it had. But it was also foreshadowed by the other tragic stories. See, she is cursed. A very old curse. She has inherited an estate. She meets a hunky man named Ian. She gets visions of other women through out time. And they all met nasty endings.

The first vision is of Katrine. A sad story about a woman falling for an Englisman around the time of Culloden.

The second is of Jeanne. A woman falling for a relative. She is happy, until. This one was so unfair.

And the last one, the one I waited for. Mairi if Shiels, the woman who (well in this story) was the mistress of Edward, the hammer of the Scots. This one was the most sad one. It was the one I liked the most and the most depressing one.

So yes lots of tragedy, heartache and deaths, and Christina is heading that way. Still, I enjoyed it at times, but yeah, sad.

Conclusion:
I have been thinking, what to rate it? Would I read more? It was just so depressing. So no.

Cover
meh

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published December 31st 1984)
Romantic fiction
Own




Sunday, 22 November 2015

Joint Discussion: Shadows of Asphodel - Karen Kincy






This month Carole and I will be reviewing "Shadows of Asphodel" by Karen Kincy.


Author: Karen Kincy
Title: Shadows of Asphodel
Genre: SciFi, Steampunk, Historical Fiction, Paranormal Romance, & Fantasy
Pages: ebook
First Published: September 2013
Where I Got It: My shelf (ebook freebie)


1913. Austria-Hungary. Ardis knows better than to save a man on the battlefield. Even if he manages to be a charming bastard while bleeding out in the snow. She hasn't survived this long as a mercenary without some common sense. 

When she rescues Wendel, it isn't because he's devilishly handsome, but because he's a necromancer. His touch can revive the dead, and Ardis worries he will return from the grave to hunt her down. Besides, a necromancer can be useful in this world on the brink of war. 

A gentleman of questionable morals, Wendel drops to one knee and pledges his undying loyalty to Ardis. She resists falling for him, no matter how hot the tension smolders between them. Especially when she discovers Wendel's scars run much deeper than his skin, and it might be too late to truly save him from himself.


B: Let’s get started, and this time with a book I actually enjoyed. Omg, enjoyed. No snow child, but good.

C: I have to agree! It was good. I didn’t really even notice that it was a Steampunk until I looked on Goodreads. hahaha but i’m not a huge fan of Steampunk, but I actually enjoyed this one! It wasn’t over-the-top and cheesy.

B: I do not need gadgets to be mentioned all the time, that is one bad aspect of some steampunk, but I also need some things to be mentioned cos else it’s just stupid. And I felt that this book walked that line well. Not too much, not too little. The perfect mix that made me believe in this world. And that is so important to me.

C: It was a good mix and I think that’s why I really liked it. Plus I loved the time period. Not Victorian like most steampunks, but during the 1910s.

B: Someone mentioned dieselpunk somewhere, but to be honest, I am not really one that keeps track. it was good, it was a nice period, pre war and all (and war that might not come in this world, but come on, we all know it will.) And I liked the mix of magic and tech. That is always a good mix.

C: I’ll be honest I’m not sure what dieselpunk is. 0_0 But yes, I loved the mix of historical, magic, and tech. It was nice. Did you like Ardis?

B: It’s not like I was all, I love her! She was tough as nails. I could respect that toughness. But yes I did like her. It just took me a while to warm up more to her. You then?

C: At first I really did, but then she fell in love with Wendel and was kinda obsessed with him really quick. I was hoping that the romance aspect would take a little while then. After a while, I did warm back up to her again, but she was overall just okay.

B: You have a point there. I did not think of that, but yes I was actually kind of happy when this other thing happened, and I had hoped that would continue. Instead she just got more into him, and I never felt that he loved, or liked her. She was just means to an end. The romance part did lack. Those two were not meant to be together. Him and someone else, yes, she and someone else, yes. thinking if the same person too.

C: I think he did like her...maybe not love. Honestly, I think she was something different and she was prolly the first girl/person to not judge him based on his ability.

B: I can settle for like, like is easy. But true love? No, not what I saw. That whole HE IS MAD part was really over the top too. I never saw any evidence, give me some evidence. Make it harder for me to like him, and then I will fall more deeply. Cos now he just seemed really nice. At least to me.

C: He had his sarcastic moments and was ruthless because death means nothing to him. But yeah - he was such a gentlemen throughout the story. I liked it, but I do feel he should have been more bitter at his parents…..unless he’s good at hiding it? IDK. I didn’t mind him being kind of a nice guy. I think I liked Wendel more than the other dude (the mage? I can’t remember his name)

B: I did really like Wendel, more than her. But I never felt the whole he is mad, and evil. I wish I had felt it a little bit at least. And yeah, sure he should be angry, but them they could never have kept them, maybe he grew to understand. He did hate the Asphodels more so maybe that took over.
That would be Konstantin ;) I liked him, nice side character. Oh oh, the twist, the person that shows up, that was weird. Her hint hint

C: YES that is his name. I totally blanked. Yes, he was a nice side character, but if I had to pick between the two I would be Team Wendel. I do want to learn more about Konstantin. And the twist was nice! Weird, but nice! I really didn’t expect it.

B: Always Team Wendel, just not, sigh, I wanna FEEL it. I hope book 1 makes me feel it more, I need to feel the romance. But awww Wendel, gotta love him.

C: :3 I loved how his ability was looked down upon by pretty much everyone - it was a nice. What did you think about the twist with Adris’ dad? I have mixed feelings….

B: I am not sure about it either. It felt strange, and did not make sense for me in a way. It felt too much HAHA, look what I did here. Suffer!

C: Honestly, I was hoping for something entirely different. It surprised me and I still can’t determine what I feel about that. I want to know more about how her parents got together now THAT would be a fun short story. ;)

B: That would make an excellent short story! I’d be into that.

C: :D Do you plan on reading the second in the series? I’m not sure myself. Like this was good and I do wanna find out what happens next, but for now I am still digesting this world and story. WHICH, again, I loved the world built in here.

B: I’d like to, but it’s an ebook. I can only buy ebooks on amazon, and I have like 50 cents left on this GC I got 5 years ago! Yes, I saved and saved it. So I actually can’t read more. But I hope it will be free one day *fingers crossed*

C: I think I would like to read especially if it is free or at the library (which...still free of course).

B: LOL. Well, to close this conversation. Would you recommend it? I would, it was an interesting world, sure it had a few faults, but still, interesting.

C: I would. It was fun and I was addicted to the first half. The second half drifted off a little bit, but overall I do recommend this to even those who are not the biggest fans of steampunk like me. ;)


B: Your turn next then to pick a book. And hopefully I will get my war book as soon as someone gives it back to the library.


C: I still really wanna read the war book. :D I’ll send some ideas ASAP!! The end?

B: Das End

















Saturday, 21 November 2015

#FitReaders Check-In: November 20, 2015 and The Ivy Chronicles

#FitReaders is hosted by Geeky Bloggers Book Blog  and That’s What I’m Talking About.

Join in 

Sat 6 km bike, 1 h walk
Sun 30 min walk
Mon 10 km bike
Tue 1h yoga, 8 km bike, 1 h workout class
Wed, 4 km bike, 45 min zumba
Thu, 30 min walk, 45 min zumba toning, 8 km bike
Fri, 30 min walk, 4 km bike

Sunset today at 15.28. So I actually had no photos from this week, not to mention I am suffering from a mystery allergy with horrid hives. But that did not stop me this week, itch a bit and then continue. But anyway, it snowed last nights so here are some pics at last.



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

Having lost her high-powered Wall Street job, her husband and her plush Park Avenue apartment in one afternoon, Ivy Ames emerges broken but unbowed. The newly-single mother-of-two picks herself up, dusts herself down and reinvents herself as a private school admissions adviser whose well-heeled clients will do (literally) anything to get their children into the A-list schools. Thus begins a fast-paced and very funny rom com as Ivy's bid to support her family and regain her self-esteem becomes a tale of modern-day reinvention - and unexpected romance. 

My thoughts:
I contemplated dnfing this one for the first 100 pages. I have no idea why I read on. Ivy was a pushover. Sure it's good to be nice but come on! Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself, not just roll around and show your belly. The things she put up with, arghh, it made me so annoyed with her.

But I read on as she tried to make a new career of helping parents getting into good private schools. That was amusing, the things they go through. Dang, that is a tough world. So yes that made it interesting to read.

Her tries at dating, not so much. That was messy.

Ivy as a person, pushover like I said, I did not like her.

But I finished it, it was an interesting look at things. Still, not really worth it.

Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Pocket Books
Romantic fiction
Own


Friday, 20 November 2015

Midnight Never Come - Marie Brennan

England flourishes under the hand of its Virgin Queen: Elizabeth, Gloriana, last and most powerful of the Tudor monarchs. But a great light casts a great shadow.

In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second Queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above. In the thirty years since Elizabeth ascended her throne, fae and mortal politics have become inextricably entwined, in secret alliances and ruthless betrayals whose existence is suspected only by a few.

Two courtiers, both struggling for royal favor, are about to uncover the secrets that lie behind these two thrones. When the faerie lady Lune is sent to monitor and manipulate Elizabeth’s spymaster, Walsingham, her path crosses that of Michael Deven, a mortal gentleman and agent of Walsingham’s. His discovery of the “hidden player” in English politics will test Lune’s loyalty and Deven’s courage alike. Will she betray her Queen for the sake of a world that is not hers? And can he survive in the alien and Machiavellian world of the fae? For only together will they be able to find the source of Invidiana’s power—find it, and break it...

My thoughts:
There are two courts in London, and two queens rule England. One Mortal, one Fae. I do like the Fae, and I'd loved to read even more about the different Fae and lands. 

Elizabeth and Vididiana They know of each other. To the rest The Fae ares stories. The tricksters, the fair ones.

Do I like Elizabeth? No, she is always so petty. Did I like Vivi? Gods no, she was one mad cow. You can see my point, things are not better in the Court of Onyx.

I need to get to the point. Lady Lune is sent to the mortal court. There she will gather information. At the same time we have Michael, new to the court and trying to get into Walsingham's good graces. And uncover who a hidden player is at court. The will obviously meet at one point, and maybe even like each other, at the end. Hint hint.

We have political intrigues. A spot of romance. The dangers of the fae. The dangers of a mortal court. And it makes so much sense. Of course the Fae were in the background, this works so well.

Conclusion:
I never expected the conclusion to actually arrive in this book, which was good! But it also makes me so curious what will happen in the rest of the series. 

Cover
meh

Paperback, 480 pages
Published November 13th 2015 by Titan Books (first published May 1st 2008)
Onyx Court #1
Historical fantasy fiction
For review


Thursday, 19 November 2015

The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison

The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.
Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend . . . and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne–or his life. 

My thoughts:
A stand alone, yes that is rare among fantasy these days. I did like that fact.

The elven emperor and his 3 sons dies in an accident (their airshipballon goes down, yes did I mention this was fantasy with steampunk elements. Even if they were few.) The one left standing is Maia, his half goblin son. Let there be drama.

A half goblin to rule over the elves? A boy of only 18? One that has not been to court, not learned the politics or manners. A boy they gossip about since his mother was sent away and his father did not care for him.

This was about politics. If you do not want that in your fantasy then this might not be for you. Maia learns how to navigate the backstabbing court. He learns to rule. And he is a natural, because he is kind, being kind he surprises people. But there are still intrigues. Who killed his family? Will they come for more?

Oh btw how the royal we got stuck in my head. Yes, of course we must speak like this. We are royalty. Anyway, I liked Maia, and I enjoyed this book. It was a fun change. 

Cover
eh

Paperback, 483 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Tor Fantasy (first published April 1st 2014)
Fantasy
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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Winter Mantle - Elizabeth Chadwick

Fresh from his defeat of King Harold at the Battle of Hastings, William of Normandy has returned home in triumph, accompanied by the English nobles he cannot trust to leave behind. For Waltheof of Huntington, however, rebellion is not at the forefront of his thoughts. From the moment he catches sight of Judith, daughter of the King’s formidable sister, he knows he has found his future wife.

When Waltheof saves Judith’s life, it is clear that the attraction is mutual. But marriage has little to do with love in medieval Europe. When William refuses to let the couple wed, Waltheof joins forces with his fellow rebels in an uprising against the King. William brutally crushes the rebellion, but realizes that Waltheof cannot be ignored. Marrying him to his niece, he decides, is the perfect way to keep him in check.

But is the match between the Saxon earl and Norman lady made in heaven or hell? As their children grow, Waltheof and Judith must choose between their feelings for each other and older loyalties. At the same time, the reputation of Waltheof’s Norman acquaintance Simon de Senlis continues to flourish. The son of William’s chamberlain, he shares a special bond with Waltheof, who rescued him from being trampled by a horse when he was a squire. Now Simon enjoys the confidence of both the King and the rebel earl. And when tension between the two ignites once more, it is Simon who is set to reap the reward.

My thoughts:
I have read almost all of her books, and I do like how she take characters that makes you want to read more.

In this one we have Judith, she is the niece of William the Conqueror, and she married a Dane/Englisman, Earl Waltheof. We get to see those big events, and we are also on the side, which I liked. You do not have to be in the middle of things to get the picture.

Judith, oh she was nice and turned into a bit of a shrew. Waltheof was nice, but did not really see the big picture.

But yes I thought the book would be about them, nope after half the book we get the POV of their daughter Mathilda and her marriage to Simon de Senlis. And it ended before the good part! Well the good part for me, I wanted to know about her second marriage to King David of Scotland. She was just so old, I get that they wanted a connection, still so old, could have been too old for kids (but was not), and I would have wanted to see the take on that.

Conclusion:
Interesting, but still not one of her best. She has many books after all. But worth the read.

Cover
nice

Paperback, 512 pages
Published January 31st 2007 by Sphere (first published January 17th 2002)
Historical fiction
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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Devastating hate - Markus Heitz

They are the enemies of the dwarves and control the darkest magics, but even then power of the Alfar has its limits. To save their own people, they must enter into an unwinnable war. Sinthoras and Caphalor, two very different Alfar, watch as their plans come to fruition: the hidden land - the home of the dwarves - has fallen to their army of trolls, barbarians and Alfar, and now the lands of the hated elves are within their grasp. But the alliance is beginning to crumble as greed triumphs over obedience. And Sinthoras and Caphalor face another threat: an enemy from the empire of the Alfar, thought to be defeated, has resurfaced, and while their best warriors fight in the hidden land, the Alfar homeland lies almost defenceless.

My thoughts:
I do not know if I should like or hate the Älfar. They are monsters after all, but then again, they are good to each other, they just dislike every other race that is below them...right.

So you see, the Älfar are a hard race to like. They want to conquer, kill and make slaves of others. But at the same time they love arts and making art of disgusting things...right. They are proud, beautiful, deadly and evil. Yes, they are rather fascinating aren't they?

They are campaigning to take over the human lands and kill the elves. They have dark ones at their sides and there will be death and ruthlessness.

We will follow Sinthoras and Caphalor, evil and with good qualities in their way. Another smaller pov is a young mage trying to warn other of these monsters. Morana, an Älf trying to get people to join the Älfar and a few other POVs. All showing the Älfar darkness. 

They really should disappear as a people, can't they play nice?

But, that is not the only thing in this book. An old enemy of theirs show up and they will have their comeuppance. 

Conclusion:
And at the end, what next? Oh they will continue to kill and conquer, just like before. Destruction to the end.

Cover
meh

Paperback, 600
Published June 2015 by Quercus Publishing (first published August 2011)
Die Legenden der Albae #2
Fantasy
Own


Monday, 16 November 2015

The unthinkable triangle - Joane Starnes

All is fair in love and war – or is it? What if Mr. Darcy’s rival for Elizabeth Bennet’s hand and heart is not some inconsequential stranger, but his dearest, closest friend? How is he to reconcile the claims of loyalty and kinship with the urge to pursue his heart’s desire? 

My thoughts:
I did say it somewhere, I have wanted to try a variation where Colonel Fitzwilliam proposes to her, and she accepts. She and Richard always seemed to fit, so what if he threw caution or the wind and got there first?

Oh yes, intriguing! 
This was not a prudent match. She comes with 100 pounds a year. He has his his army pay, which is not a lot. They get engaged at Rosings, well not AT Rosings, but at that time.

Oh no! Drama! We all know Darcy was on his way. Yes yes we all know she would have turned him down, but now she never has the chance. Now Richard tells her what an awesome guy Darcy is, now Richard helps things turn around. Now Lizzy actually starts to think Darcy is a good guy. Maybe she will start to think he is too good? Too nice? Too likable ;)

We also know that come on, she wont leave Darcy in the dust. But the way she handles the Richard situation was good. They are not meant to be together and he will see it too. I also liked Darcy more this way, he was so madly in love and torn apart when his cousin is with the woman he loves. Poor poor Darcy. 

Kindle Edition, 301 pages
Published September 23rd 2015
Pride and Prejudice re-telling
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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Carole's Sunday Review: A fistful of evil - Rebecca Chastain


Author: Rebecca Chastain
Title: A Fistful of Evil (Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer #1)
Genre: Urban Fiction, Fantasy, YA, & Paranormal
Pages: ebook
First Published: August 2014
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given by an author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)


Madison Fox just learned that her ability to see souls is more than a sight: It’s a weapon for fighting evil. The only problem is she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing. 



On the positive side, her money problems are over, she’s possibly discovered her purpose in life, and her coworker is smoking hot. On the negative side, evil creatures now actively hunt her, and deadly experiences are becoming the norm.



When she thinks it couldn’t get worse, a powerful evil sets up shop at a local hotel’s video game convention, and it’s got its eye on more than the gaming geeks: it is hungry for Madison’s soul. Madison needs to become an expert illuminant enforcer overnight to save her job, her region . . . and her life.



This is the first of the Madison Fox Illumnant Enforcer series. I'm excited to see where the story goes from here. 



Madison has an interesting power, she can see souls of people and things. She randomly finds a job posting and goes for it. Well, it leads her to use her ability to fight pure evil. However...she is a complete newbie and is thrown to protect a whole region. She meets new people and a new world.



I love the whole concept of the book/series. This is an interesting ability she has and it was very refreshing for this genre. I did like Madison. She's not kickass yet, but she is learning and is funny. Honestly, I'm glad she wasn't a "natural" at battle the forces of evil, she has LOTS and LOTS to learn. There is a lot of training still in her future. Yes...she does have her dumb moments which made me roll my eyes, BUT she is a complete newbie in this world and this job. 



Ooooh Niko you hot, hot man. ;) I liked him a lot and I want to learn more about him. But I did like Dr Love the Vet as well. I know, I know - Dr Love is a lame name, but I think its kinda funny and clever. I feel like there is a possibility of a love triangle in the future....BUT I have some suspicious on Dr Love...I hope he's not a baddie, but he seems too perfect hmmmmm. HOWEVER, what I really REALLY liked was that romance was not the center of this story. It wasn't Madison's main goal to find love, yes, she thought Niko and Dr Love were hot, but her main concern was saving her region. Major props to avoid the pitfall of a making the story to loved filled. I hope this remains the same in the second book.



My only issue was the lag that occurred after her first meet with a stronger evil. The lag only lasted about 25 pages, but it picked up again and thank goodness. 



In the end, this was a fun read. It was a refreshing read. Urban fantasies were blending together, but this was a fresh new story with an interesting cast and power. Also, I loved the fact that the romance was there a little bit, but it wasn't the center/core of the story. The lag killed me, but it didn't last too long. However, I am super excited for the second book in the series! I can't wait to see what Madison is up to next. I highly recommend this to those that want to read UF, but want something refreshing and fun. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 4 stars. 













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