Monday, 29 February 2016

Owl and the Japanese Circus - Kristi Charish

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.

My thoughts:
Now first there is the whole should I review this differently cos it was an audio book thing...

Let's do that, first up story:

Alix got screwed over and now she hunts for treasures for other people. I am not that happy about that, but I liked her too much to stay mad. If I were to dislike a fault it is the fact that she never listens and rushes in, she is too headstrong and wants to save everyone.

Vampires are after her because of a botched job. A dragon hires her for another. And she does not even likes supernaturals (but it seems that when you dig for treasures you will come across them and your world will never be the same.)

She has a cat for a sidekick, yay.
She has some feelings for this guy.....can't say more.
She has a friend in Japan, and she totally needs good friends because she is trouble.
Oh and she plays way too much Warquest (I forgot the name of the made up game, was it this?), but that was actually fun to hear about.

I liked her, I enjoyed the story.

Now to the narration.
Hmm, what to say. Well the narrator did an excellent job. They really make it or break it for me. She was great and I enjoyed listening to her voice. Sometimes the accents were a bit..hmm, but overall amazing job.

And now I do not know what else to say about the narration...it did make me want to listen to book 2 like this too. But then reading is fun and goes faster ;)

Conclusion.
A great start to this series.

Christy Romano (Narrator), Audible Studios
Audible Audio, 14 hours and 55 minutes
Published December 29th 2015 by Audible Studios (first published January 13th 2015)
The Adventures of Owl #1
urban fantasy


Sunday, 28 February 2016

Sunday Discussion: The song of Achilles - Madeline Miller







This month Carole and I will be discussing "The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller.

Author: Madeline Miller
Title: The Song of Achilles
Genre: Historical Fiction & Fantasy
Pages: ebook
First Published: September 2012
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library


Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles' mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. 

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.



B: So where to begin with this epic story (that wasn’t epic at all.)

C: Hahaha. I must comment that it was better than I had thought…..BUT it was still only decent for me.

B: True, I thought I’d dislike it, but I enjoyed it, well to a point, then it  started to draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag.

C: Yes. It certainly was sooooo slow. SO much talking. I did like the beginning when they were young. It was nice to see young Achilles before Troy or even thinking about going to Troy. However, that was still slow.


B: Slow, but good. The worst part was so the war. NOTHING happened. We saw NOTHING. The most boring war in the history of wars.  I could have handled slow but boring, no, just no. The

second part made it an ok read


C: Agreed. I honestly did SO much skimming during the war part, because it was boring me. Which is a bummer!! The last couple of chapters got MUCH better, so I’m glad it ended

strongly.


B: With everyone dead,...ok so I knew that, but still, I was all why did I even read this? I hate endings

like that and I so did not get the whole oh look there is someone visiting me. Did the Greeks believe in ghosts?


C: I believe they did. Especially if they didn’t properly take care of the remains of the dead. Poor

Pat. I actually kinda sorta liked him in this. Normally, I find him annoying, but I liked him in this one. I don’t mind endings like this, because I do like tragedies! LOL

B: Many did believe that. Sucks to be him. It was just so weird and all floating and stuff. I, oh I do

not know. It was all what was it for? Stupid Pat, you brought on his destruction. Maybe someone could have told him that. I mean Achilles´mum did hate him

C: Honestly though! If Achilles’ madre JUST flat out said, “Yo - if you go you will kill Achilles….so

like...don’t go.” For goodness sakes! I’m sure if he was told THAT he would have stayed and cheered from the sidelines.

B: Stupid Greeks. I am glad they all died. Talking about stupid people, I hated his son so much. What a

little creep. Ewwwww.

C: YES! He was a little snot. >___> Especially what he did to Hector’s innocent baby. Like what

the hell? I hate that part of the story.

B: I know you have been fed ambrosia and whatever, but still 13 and a man. How old was Andromache by then too? God I hate that creep, I wanna go back in time and strangle him and cut of

his *beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep*

C: Bleurgh. Annoying little buttface! LOL Sooooooo what did you think about the portrayal of Achilles in

this?

B: I have no feelings at all. he was just there. He was nothing special, I never saw him as a hero. He

was kind of dull.

C: Agreed. I’m glad he wasn’t an arrogant snot like he normally is portrayed as in other renditions.

BUT he was boring. He felt very 2D to me.

B: I wish for arrogant at times, cos this. So boring. The hero of the Greeks? Ha.

C: He’s no Stamos for sure! LOLLLLL Any final thoughts?

B: Ok wait. Let me see. Good first part even if it was slow cos I can like that. The war was boring. We

never got an insight into Troy. The Greek men are creepy rapists, especially you snotfaced devil. Achilles was a boring guy. Good old Pat was nice, but nice guys finishes last, and dies. Ha. Oh, I wanted more Gods. Now we just got that bitch of a mother.

C: still feel for Pat. But yes, the beginning was a good slow. The middle due to the boring war was uberly slow. Achilles in no Stamos. I wanted more Hector and insight into the Troy side as well. The last couple of pages, for me, were pretty good. I had low expectations for this, but it was a wee bit better than I thought….so a win-ish?


B: I had so low expectations (since I knew this war was stupid), so for me it was a huge win. I just wish

the end was as good as the beginning cos the beginning was really good for me. I liked the style and then it all went up in flames. Like the city of Troy.


C: Oooooh Troy. I feel bad for the innocents like Hector’s wife and child. But I have to agree. The style

was nice. I am curious to see if the author has anything else.

B: For me I hope it is a happier book ;)

C: She might be an evil writer and only write overly sad tales of woe and despair.

B: How depressing.

C: Very. The end?

B: The end.

C: Your turn! hehehe



B: And I said that YA book ;)

C: oooooh right! I nearly forgot! Excited. I hope it’s good.




Saturday, 27 February 2016

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-in Feb 26 2016

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

Join in 


Sat 30 min and 30 min walks
Sun 30 min walk. 20 min shoveling snow
Mon 4 km bike
Tue 1 h yoga. 1 h workout class. 8 km bike
Wed 6 km bike. 15 min walk
Thu 30 min walk. 8 km bike. 3 km skiing. 45 min zumba toning
Fri 4 km bike, 30 min walk
Sat 5 km skiing


I have next week off from work, well work is closed since it is "sport holiday" here. BF has planned lots of skiing. No classes either since that is closed too.




Luci and his bestie Leevi



Friday, 26 February 2016

The Immortals - Jordanna Max Brodsky

Manhattan has many secrets. Some are older than the city itself.  The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone -- just the way she likes it. She doesn't believe in friends, and she doesn't speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous. 

In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago -- when her name was Artemis. 

My thoughts:
This one was very cool, but then Greek Gods where my first love. I was a really weird kid who fell asleep to audiobooks about Greek myths. Nothing makes you sleep as a kid as the story of Helios son who flew to close to earth. Aww, the good old days.

Which brings us to this book and Selene. She helps women. Her memories about her past are ever changing and she is fading. Because she is a Goddess and no one believes in her anymore, so therefore the fading away. Which is totally awesome, if I were to believe I'd go for ancient ones anyway. Kind of sad too, they have no believers, and they were actually real her.

She is nothing like her myth anymore, since she has wandered the earth alone for so long, being almost human. But not nearly anything close to human. She has changed.

And yes the rest of the Gods are still around too, those that have not faded. For even if no one believes, they still believe in what they stand for.

Right so yes, cool worldbuilding!

The story is about strange murders, she is on the case, someone else is on the case and the hunt is on.

Conclusion:
I liked learning more about her, the fading and more. A nice concept and I have no idea what will come next. Not an idea. But I look forward to more. This was a promising start.


Cover
meh

Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by Orbit
Olympus Bound #1
Urban fantasy
NetGalley


Thursday, 25 February 2016

Camille and the lost diaries of Samuel Pepys - Bob Marshall-Andrews

1670, Restoration England. Bawdy, sensual and in the shadow of renewed conflict between King and Parliament. The prospect of a new civil war haunts English life. Royal advisor Samuel Pepys is dispatched by Charles II to negotiate a secret treaty with Louis XIV of France. 

Troubled by failing eyesight, the acclaimed diarist requires a scribe. After a chance meeting, he employs the beautiful Camille, a fugitive French actress, pursued by powerful French nobility and driven by terrible revenge. As they journey to Paris, tracked by violent and mercenary agents of Parliament, an improbable literary love story unfolds in an atmosphere of deadly danger and political intrigue. 

My thoughts:
I did actually not know anything about Pepys, and I did not google either. Mostly cos the book started at the end so I knew he would die...since we all die, duh. Not of anything else. I knew nothing of this diary either, but after did I did google and did see that he did write a diary.

Which takes us back to England. A tense time. They have a king again. There has been a civil war. There are the boring ones in boring clothes being all down with the monarchy. And there are the rest.

Which then takes us to France where life is good, except for the fact that women can't act at the moment, boooo! So Camille dresses as a man who dresses as a woman on stage ;) Confusing? Ha, I would not want to be her. This also gets her into trouble which takes us once again to England where these two meet.

The story itself spans under a month. But we do get to see flashes from Camille's life at first. But after that, well it happens fast. And then there is this 30 years later thing so we can catch up again. But I would love to have seen what happened to both during those years. Not just the exciting time.

The story felt light to read, things happened, some famous people walked by, but still the best part was still her early life. I liked the normalcy, and as she was like she was, she would have had fame and adventure whatever she did.

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published February 23rd 2016 by whitefox
Historical fiction
For review


Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Author post and Giveaway: Emily Greenwood


Welcome to Emily Greenwood :)


Writing Regency Widows with Emily Greenwood
I’ve been wanting to write a Regency widow’s story for a while, and with Eliza in HOW TO HANDLE A SCANDAL, I finally got my chance. Why a widow? The short answer is freedom, independence, and knowledge.

In a number of ways, a Regency widow had more of the freedom to act on her own that women of today enjoy, which makes her potentially more easy for modern readers to identify with. One of the most frustrating creativity-stimulating aspects of writing about young, unmarried Regency ladies is the unwritten social code of the time. Ah, those Regency rules! It’s fun to figure out how to either play within the rules or break them, and I love writing about young ladies just discovering courting and kisses. But the challenging reality for a romance writer is that single young ladies in the early 1800s weren’t supposed to be alone with men. So how will they kiss? Or have the kinds of intimate, relationship-building encounters that we all want to see them have? It can’t all happen during a chaperoned tea party.

A widow, excitingly, wasn’t held to the same strict standards, and it wasn’t an instant scandal if she was with a man on her own. So, possibilities!

And then there’s the issue of independence. When a Regency woman married, she became part of a single unit whose head was her husband, which meant that she gave up her legal status as an individual. She also gave up control of her money, land, and other assets she brought to the marriage. Not the most appealing scenario for a modern woman, and wickedly, some of us give a silent cheer whenever one of those fictional Regency ladies is liberated from an unfulfilling marriage. Once a husband died, a widow regained the rights she’d lost at marriage. She could once again own property, she could inherit property from her husband, and any property she’d brought into the marriage would revert to her.

Is it any wonder that many widowed women chose not to remarry?
Eliza, the heroine of HOW TO HANDLE A SCANDAL, thinks she’s going to be one of those happily single widows. Deemed a scandal during her first Season, she marries a kind, serious man in an attempt to remake herself into a more virtuous person. When he dies after a few years, she’s sorry to lose him but grateful for everything he gave her. Now independent and with money and a house of her own, Eliza’s looking forward to a fulfilling, meaningful life as a single woman.

Everything’s going according to plan until Tommy Halifax, one of the casualties of her scandalous Season, returns to England after being gone for six years. He’s incredibly handsome and dashing, and all the ladies of the ton are whispering about how swashbuckling he is, and suddenly Eliza’s long-repressed temptation to be scandalous is beckoning.

Which leads to the other fun thing about widows in the Regency, at least as far as a romance writer is concerned: knowledge. Having been married meant that even if a woman had had an unsatisfying sex life with her husband, or a bad one, or even none at all, no one expected her to be innocent. Which is why when Eliza decides that she needs to visit a high-class brothel for an important reason, she convinces herself that it won’t be too much of a disaster if she’s discovered there because she’s a widow.

Fortunately, it turns out that Eliza is wrong, and disaster does loom, though for completely unexpected reasons, and she’s not going to stay a widow for long. But though the last thing she wants is to marry again, this time she’s choosing the perfect man—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Handle a Scandal by Emily Greenwood
The Scandalous Sisters, Book 2
ISBN: 9781492613688
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance 

About the Book
THEY THOUGHT THE DEBUTANTE WAS SCANDALOUS
Miss Elizabeth Tarryton was the toast of the London Season the year she was seventeen and spurned young Tommy Halifax. A careless flirt who didn't know what she wanted, she was startled into laughter by his public proposal of marriage. Furious and heartbroken, Tommy promptly left home for a life of adventure in India.

IF THEY ONLY KNEW ABOUT THE WIDOW
Seven years later, Elizabeth has much to make up for, but the methods she chooses for doing good are as shocking as her earlier wanton behavior--should the ton ever find out. Tommy returns to England a hero, with no intention of allowing himself to be hurt by a woman ever again, but he's fascinated nonetheless by Elizabeth, now widowed and more alluring than ever.

Buy the Book
BAM

About the Author
Emily Greenwood worked for a number of years as a writer, crafting newsletters and fundraising brochures, but she far prefers writing playful love stories set in Regency England, and she thinks romance novels are the chocolate of literature. A Golden Heart finalist, she lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Connect with Emily Greenwood


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Tricky twenty-two - Janet Evanovich

Something big is brewing in Trenton, N.J., and it could blow at any minute. 

Stephanie Plum might not be the world's greatest bounty hunter, but she knows when she's being played. Ken Globovic (aka Gobbles), hailed as the Supreme Exalted Zookeeper of the animal house known as Zeta fraternity, has been arrested for beating up the dean of students at Kiltman College. Gobbles has missed his court date and gone into hiding. People have seen him on campus, but no one will talk. Things just aren't adding up, and Stephanie can't shake the feeling that something funny is going on at the college - and it's not just Zeta fraternity pranks. 

As much as people love Gobbles, they hate Doug Linken. When Linken is gunned down in his backyard it's good riddance, and the list of possible murder suspects is long. The only people who care about finding Linken's killer are Trenton cop Joe Morelli, who has been assigned the case, security expert Ranger, who was hired to protect Linken, and Stephanie, who has her eye on a cash prize and hopefully has some tricks up her sleeve. 

My thoughts:
The best one in a while. Srsly, when was the last good one?

Still, everything was the same.

Stephanie manage to blow up and destroy many cars.
Ranger called her babe
Morelli and her had a fight
Granny pulled out her gun
Lola was being Lola
They messed up with the skips.

But something was there, something that has been missing. The humour was back and not just the same old same old.

Still, why can I not quit these?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? But, BUT there was hope at the end, but knowing Steph she will F it up and we will be back to the same old stuff 

Paperback, 292 pages
Published November 17th 2015 by Bantam Books
Stephanie Plum #22
Library


Monday, 22 February 2016

A lady's revenge - Tracy Devlyn and Duality by Renee Wildes

British agent Cora deBeau has spent the last three years seducing secrets from the most hardened of French spies while searching for her parents’ killer. When her latest assignment goes awry, she suffers at the hands of her French captor until Guy Trevelyan, the Earl of Helsford and master cryptographer, saves her during a daring rescue. Scarred and wary of men, Cora shies away from the one man who could heal her savaged heart.

After rescuing Cora from a French dungeon, Guy discovers it was one of his deciphered messages that led to her captivity. Guy strives to earn her forgiveness while outwitting their enemy. But will he find the scars on her wounded soul run too deep? 

My thoughts:
OH there is only one person in this dungeon, damn! Oh well, I will rescue that person anyway, even though the only person in this dungeon was supposed to be the woman called raven. The awesome spy. But this woman can't be her. I almost changed my mind and left her there.
Great logic there Guy.

I will not tell Guy that I know this is a trap, I will rush headstrong into it, even though we could make a trap ourselves and save us a LOT of time. But I am just a headstrong young woman that do not listen to men.
And almost gets kidnapped more times than I can count.
Sheesh.

But it was still fun. The villain was an idiot too. I mean you had her SO many times. LOL.
The heroine was an idiot cos she kept putting herself in the villain's path.
The hero, well he was actually not an idiot later on, but how he put up with her. Oh man.

The fall in love. She is all I am ruined..yeah, you were a spy. Duh. Women! They conquer the bad guy and live happily ever after. 


Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Nexus #1
Historical romance
Own
Dara Khan Androcles is really in over her head this time. From childhood she s been forced to hide her half-dragon mage fighting skills behind a public persona as a healer. Now, with a traitor and his demon threatening the throne of Safehold, Dara has no choice but to turn reluctant warrior and seek help.

She strikes a bargain with runaway Elven prince Loren ta Cedric and his sentient, pain-in-the-butt war mare, Hani ena. Loren s not only too handsome for Dara s own good, the powerful empath can see right through to the pain that drives her.

Loren can't help but feel Dara s every hurt, physical and emotional. Though his need for her drives him half mad, he must stay his course to see justice done for his people. Even if it means swearing a Life Debt to the distracting mortal.

That vow, made in the heat of their parallel quests, carries more power than either of them guessed. The power to bond the unlikely pair as Life Mates. The power to lay bare the fears and desires that could bind them to a single purpose or tear them apart.

All the while a demon awaits, ready to destroy all that they hold dear.

My thoughts:
Oh this was a silly light fantasy romance. Do not expect any world building. It starts off in a country and then suddenly there are lots of more things. Like it took a 1 day to walk to the elves and I was all, whaat? Cos weren't they fairytales? Or wait, just, never mind. The world building lacked

But if you want a little romance about a woman who has nothing and meets a cute guy, who then turns out to be a prince, and whose family are assholes to her (well not all). And then we find out she was more than just a silly little peasant. And she is an awesome healer too btw, and everyone loves her. And then they live happily ever after.

Oh and there is a bad guy, but to not worry, it takes 80% of the book, one week, for all nations to meet him in battle. And then it's over in 10 pages and there is this loooooooooooooooooong blah blah blah where they find happiness.

But hey, it was ok, I just think it could have been fleshed out more. 

ebook, 411 pages
Published October 21st 2008 by Samhain Publishing
Guardians of the Light #1
fantasy romance
Own


Sunday, 21 February 2016

Blog Tour Review: The Stylist - Rosie Nixon


When fashion boutique worker Amber Green is mistakenly offered a job as assistant to infamous, jet-setting 'stylist to the stars' Mona Armstrong, she hits the ground running, helping to style some of Hollywood's hottest (and craziest) starlets. As awards season spins into action Mona is in hot demand and Amber's life turned upside down. Suddenly she catching the attention of two very different suitors, TV producer Rob and Hollywood bad boy rising star Liam. How will Amber keep her head? And what the hell will everyone wear? The Stylist is a fast-paced, fun-packed rummage through the ultimate dressing up box. 

My thoughts:
A chic-lit style of book, I have missed those. The humour, the lightness, all fun you know. I need those kind of books. They make me happy.

To the story!
Amber does have a good eye, but she is not super into everything. I guess she is more the artistic type of person. She does like fashion, and gossip. And I did like her, she was normal.

And who could say no when a famous stylist asks you to help out! Money, glitz, glamour and Hollywood! Nope, even I could not say no, and I know nothing about fashion. Amber at least works in boutique and knows her labels.

The book is divided into 5 big events, Globes, Baftas, Oscars, and well you will see. We get to see how the world of styling is crazy and very stressful. And you certainly do not want your client to end up on the worst dressed list. That would break you. I would so never work in this world, insaaane.

But...Amber's boss is weird and the world might just be too stressful.

As for romance if you are wondering, well, there is not really any romance. I would more call it flirting, hey you meet a cute guy and you flirt. So that is that. She is too busy with anything else. But that is ok, I liked the focus where it was.

A nice book that I could read fast.

Conclusion:
Funny, fashion and fabulous. 

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 11th 2016 by Mira
Chic lit/women's fiction
For review

Author bio:
Rosie Nixon has been joint Editor of HELLO! magazine for the past five years where she relishes the role of hands-on editor with a love of all things celebrity, royal and fashion-related. She previously held senior positions at glossy women's magazines including Grazia, Glamour and Red. In her career she has been lucky enough to attend a multitude of glamorous award ceremonies, premieres and showbiz weddings all around the world. The Stylist is her debut novel.

Social info: 
#TheStylist



Saturday, 20 February 2016

Carole's Saturday review: Life after Joe - Ann Benjamin


Author: Ann Benjamin
Title: Life After Joe
Genre: Chick Lit
Pages: ebook
First Published: July 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)

When the love of your life leaves, where do you go? 


When thirty-something Liz McNeil is unexpectedly widowed, she has no idea what to do with her life. After the initial shock of her husband's death wears off, she packs up her car and sets off on a tour of the country with Joe's urn in the passenger seat. Using social media to connect with a variety of friends and family, Liz works through her grief in a number of unpredictable methods. As she shares her experience via blog posts, on a road trip full of surprises, Liz takes what life has given her and makes the best of her situation. 




Liz just lost her husband and she is trying to move on and grieve. She decides to go on a roadtrip with her dog and her husbands urn. It is no normal roadtrip...shes on a mission to make a stop to key figures in both her and her late husband's life. 



Feelings. Lots and lots of feelings. Lots of sad moments, lots of funny moments, lots of angry moments, and so forth. This made me feel. I was worried it would just be full of sadness, but there is hope in this and it made me happy. I had many moments of blurting out exclamations and questions. "What would I do?" "You go girl." "So sad!" "Really? Weird!" And so forth. Poor Boyfriend had to deal with that and me asking what he would do if I died. hahaha. Gotta love when a book makes you think like that and can't help but blurt out emotions. 



I had a love-hate relationship with the way the story was told. Liz has a blog about her journey. It was certainly unique and a way to really get into the mind of the character. However, some posts seemed overly long and ranty. I would skim from time-to-time. I understand that the blog is acting as a personal diary and all that, but some of the long rants didn't really help progress the story. But yes - I loved it, but then at points I didn't.



I hated Joe's father....buttface. That is all.



Adrian?? I'm not sure how I feel about him and that whole situation. I had hopes elsewhere personally. Like maybe Will. Hmmm. Sorry to be vague...I can't explain much further....just not sure my feelings on that.



This certainly was a refresher for me especially in the Chick Lit arena. It made me think and feel. I read this in only a couple of sittings. I highly recommend it. Is it book of the year? No, but it was good. Some of Liz's choices surprised me especially in regards to Adrian. I liked the blog post set-up, but sometimes it annoyed me. 



In the end, I shall stamp this with 3 stars. 





Friday, 19 February 2016

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-in Feb 19 2016 and The Last Romanov

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

Join in 

Sat and this is why i need to document my week on twitter..no idea, I guess I walked something...
Sun 30 min walk
Mon 4 km bike
Tue 1 h yoga. 8 km bike. 1 h workout class
Wed 4 km bike. 1 h zumba
Thu 8 km bike, 45min  zumba toning
Fri 4 km bike, 30 min walk

Guess it was a bad week for photos too, srsly what did I do?



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

She was an orphan, ushered into the royal palace on the prayers of her majesty. Yet, decades later, her time spent in the embrace of the Romanovs haunts her still. Is she responsible for those murderous events that changed everything?

If only she can find the heir, maybe she can put together the broken pieces of her own past - maybe she can hold on to the love she found.

Bursting to life with the rich and glorious marvels of Imperial Russia, The Last Romanov is a magical tale of second chances and royal blood. 

My thoughts:
I had high hopes cos I really liked the other book I read by her, and reading on I still had high hopes. But, I never truly connected and time just moved so fast and I had not time to breathe and know anyone.

Darya's mum was a noble woman from a diamond family. Her dad was a Russian noble. Darya was really speshul and had an opal eye that made her hallucinate. See saw some kind of Goddess and she also saw her old reincarnation. Oh and other stuff. Then Darya became a nurse at 17 to the ...whatever, crown prince. Cos she could heal and had that freaky eye.

All good so far.

But somewhere along the rode I just felt that the magic took too much place. Her with her ambergris and seeing that goddess. Being all chummy with Rasputin. Not liking Rasputin later on as 7 years had gone by and I was all what? Time moved too fast, I never felt like I knew why people did anything.

The romance part was botched up too. That could have been so much better. Everything could have been so much better.

So..ok read, cos the beginning had promise. The rest was a mess 

Paperback, 333 pages
Published April 3rd 2012
Historical fiction
Own



Thursday, 18 February 2016

Pride and Prejudice Thursday: Chosen and Geogiana Darcy's Diary

The Bennet family changed dramatically when Mr Bennet nearly lost his life. The rekindled love between him and his wife encouraged a unifying bond amongst their five daughters. Their story unfolds as each eligible young lady walks down the aisle, taking her husband’s hand and forever leaving the name of Bennet behind. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy was a tormented man. His sister’s recent accident and the lifelong difficulties she was now to face plagued him. While visiting his friend, Darcy crosses paths with a young lady. He is immediately captivated and soon seeks out an introduction and dance with Elizabeth Bennet. Could it be that his parents, though they are no longer with him, are leading him right to the arms of a family who can help both he and his sister heal from all they have suffered? Will the instant connection Darcy and Elizabeth both feel for each other be able to weather the storms that come when a secret past connection is revealed? 

My thoughts:
This one was SO sweet. Everyone was so nice, except for Caroline. If you think she is bitchy otherwise, then here, omg, the most annoying bitchy woman who I just want to punch in the face.

But everyone else was sweet. Because in this what if Mr and Mrs Bennet found their way to each other. So Mrs Bennet never turned into that annoying woman that she is. She was really nice, he was really nice.

Darcy meets Elizabeth, and does not insult her.
Bingley and Jane meet and are dull as always.

Mary is nice and meets a man, and I was all yay, but then dang! In book 3 we get to see that first. What???! I wanted that conclusion now. Here we just got Lizzy and Darcy. Such a shame. Cos it was sweet and fun.

Kindle Edition, 283 pages
Published May 5th 2014
Leaving Bennet Behind #1
Pride and Prejudice variation
Own

Mr. Darcy's younger sister searches for her own happily-ever-after.

The year is 1814, and it's springtime at Pemberley. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have married. But now a new romance is in the air, along with high fashion, elegant manners, scandal, deception, and the wonderful hope of a true and lasting love.

Shy Georgiana Darcy has been content to remain unmarried, living with her brother and his new bride. But Elizabeth and Darcy's fairy-tale love reminds Georgiana daily that she has found no true love of her own. And perhaps never will, for she is convinced the one man she secretly cares for will never love her in return. Georgiana's domineering aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, has determined that Georgiana shall marry, and has a list of eligible bachelors in mind. But which of the suitors are sincere, and which are merely interested in Georgiana's fortune? Georgiana must learn to trust her heart and rely on her courage, for she also faces the return of the man who could ruin her reputation and spoil a happy ending, just when it finally lies within her grasp. 

My thoughts:
This was a sweet one, through Georgiana's eyes in diary form.

House party!
Eligible bachelors!
Aunt de Burgh wants to find her a husband!
Caroline is sad!
I am writing too many exclamation marks! 
Wickham is an ass!
Anne needs a man! Oh but do not tell her mother.

Right so there is the plot. Georgiana takes a look at the men, they are meh. She helps her cousin. And she dreams about Colonel Fitzwilliam. I could live with the whole cousin thing, what makes it icky to me is that he helped raise her, which made him more like a brother. I can read about the pairing and wish them luck. But it is not my fav pairing (I always wanted to see him with Kitty ;) Haha.

But it was cute :)
I wonder if I got book 2 somewhere.... 

Kindle Edition, 236 pages
Published April 20th 2011 by Wilton Press
Pride and Prejudice Chronicles #1
Pride and prejudice sequel
Own


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Where'd you go Bernadette - Maria Semple

Bernadette Fox has vanished. When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces.

Which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where'd You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are, and the power of a daughter's love for her mother. 

My thoughts:
The first part of the book was great, the middle part was only ok and frankly depressing at times. The last part was good. I do wish it had been constant, but oh well.

The story is told via emails between two women, between emails between Bernadette and her virtual assistant in India, and via many other things. Later we learn that Bee is writing a book and has all of this is her source, trying to piece together why her mum went missing.

Bernadette has many issues, that's for sure. Creativity drove her a bit mad.
Bee is a good kid.
The dad is all about Microsoft, and maybe he should listen more.

I did like the way it was told, those emails gossiping, the insight into others, and then the big question, where'd she go? That even had me worried for real, and I liked how it all tied together at the end.

Conclusion:
But yeah it was just sad at times, depressing really. But it turned out well in the end.

Cover
eh

Paperback, 330 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Back Bay Books (first published 2012)
Fiction
Library


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Bigfoot Loose and Finn Fancy Free - Randy Henderson

Finn Gramaraye is settling back into the real world after his twenty-five-year-long imprisonment in the otherworld of the Fey. He's fallen in love again with Dawn, the girl next door who waited for him. He's proved his innocence of the original crime of Dark Necromancy, and he's finding a place in the family business--operating a mortuary for the Arcane, managing the magical energies left behind when an Arcane being dies to prevent it from harming the mundane world.

But Finn wants more. Or different. Or something. He's figured out how to use the Kinfinder device created by his half-mad father to find people's True Love, and he'd like to convert that into an Arcane Dating Service. It's a great idea. Everyone wants True Love! Unfortunately, trouble always seems to find Finn, and when he agrees to help his friend, the Bigfoot named Sal, they walk right into a Feyblood rebellion against the Arcane Ruling Council, a rebellion being fomented by unknown forces and fueled by the drug created by Finn's own grandfather. 

My thoughts:
What would I compare this book too, oh I forgot that I hate comparing books. Ok let's not compare it to another book. Instead let me tell you that it is urban fantasy mixed with humour and a mystery. 

Finn is not a kick-ass hero. No, he is nerd lost in time since he spent 25 years getting his memories sucked out of him and not experiencing anything new (read book 1 to understand.) He is clumsy at times, but trying his best. And for that I like him, he is really normal, well for the exception that he is a necromancer.

In this book he decides to use an invention to find true love for people, well people and people.... His first client is Bigfoot, and soon Finn is in trouble. The Fey are up to something. The Arcana Council are asses as always. War seems to be brewing again. And can poor Finn ever find the time to get time for a date with his girlfriend?

Like I said, humour! I always like that. A mystery as someone is dead, but what really happened? That got really complicated. 

I did find the book even better than book 2. Something I do like when that happens. And at the and I found myself looking forward to book 3. Everything ended well enough, but yes there is something going on....

Conclusion
An amusing urban fantasy tale


Paperback, 512 pages
Publication: February 16th 2016 by Titan Books
Finn Fancy Necromancy #2
Urban fantasy
For review


Monday, 15 February 2016

The clothes on their backs - Linda Grant

Vivien Kovacs, a sensitive, bookish girl grows up sealed off from the world by her timid Hungarian refugee parents, who conceal the details of their history and shy away from any encounter with the outside world. She learns how to navigate British society from an eccentric cast of neighbors -- including a fading ballerina, a cartoonist, and a sad woman who wanders the city and teaches Vivien to be beautiful. She loses herself in books and reinvents herself according to her favorite characters, but it is through clothes that she ultimately defines herself. 

Against her father's wishes, she forges a relationship with her uncle, a notorious criminal and slum landlord, who, in his old age, wants to share his life story. As he exposes the truth about her family's past Vivien learns how to be comfortable in her own skin and how to be alive in the world. 

My thoughts:
This was one of those, oh what to call it, calm ones, not slow, just silently being there. A story that just happens, but one I could not put down.

Vivien grows up in postwar London. Her parents are Hungarian immigrants who fled before the war broke out. She knows nothing about their past. She loves books, she loves clothes, and she does not want to be like them always inside, always careful. It's the story of her growing up.

But that is not the whole story. She is curious and she reaches out to the uncle her parents does not speak about. And the second story begins, the story about his life, and the life she did not know her dad had. And all those little things that makes sense now. 

The story of life in Hungary could have been a story in itself. War, persecution, starvation. You name it. But then I liked Vivien and the flashbacks to that life. I liked the calm way it was told, fine, slow way it was told, but it's not slow! I did finish it in a day.

Conclusion:
A well told story.


Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Virago Press (UK) (first published October 2nd 2008)
Fiction
Library


Sunday, 14 February 2016

Carole's Sunday Review: Across Borders - Lee Ducote


Author: Lee Ducote
Title: Across Borders
Genre: Fiction 
Pages: ebook
First Published: February 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by publisher and/or author for my honest and unbiased opinion)



Lawson Caine, an eight year veteran of the Border Patrol, is stationed in Presidio Texas with legendary lawman Capt. James Garrett. Lawson, who is from a long linage of lawmen, has gained the respect and reverence from his team, Dale Chanson, Terry Bennet, and the crazy member, Alex Sweeny. Together as a team their mission is to protect the US by patrolling the borders of Mexico for illegal aliens and the never ending drug trade. 

James Garrett, who goes by the name Cap, has trained many young rookies from the academy and served as a father figure before turning them over to other stations within the four states that border Mexico. Their greatest task and personal vendetta is to capture a famous smuggling lord who is barbaric and callous leaving many Mexicans to die in the rugged terrain of West Texas. Over the last few years Lawson and Sweeny have built a brotherhood and together they work through the struggle of Sweeny becoming a widower and raising his eight year old daughter all while keeping a guarded eye on the border. 

Lawson never expected anything to come between his dedication with the Border Patrol and his brotherhood with Sweeny until he meets local pharmacy owner, Lia Gonzales. Against her father’s wishes and the dissension she causes with her family Lia continues to see Lawson not realizing the inevitable consequences. Love blind, Lawson leads his team into a dangerous situation with Lia’s brother, who works for the smuggling lord, and loses more than his relationship with Lia. 

This is my first read from this author and I couldn't wait to read this, because it is so different. Yes, there is an impossible love story mixed in, but the characters were refreshing and the plot new. 


I loved Cap and his team members.They were fun. I was worried that all those extra side characters would not be done well and would be 2D, but the author did a wonderful job giving them in depth personality and traits. This is hard to do, but it was done well. I'm not sure how I felt about Lia. I liked her in the beginning, but then some of her decisions bugged me. Totally GET her hesitance, but still.



Honestly, I'm glad there was romance and action in this. It seemed really balanced and realistic. This would make a cute movie. 



My only real big complaint was the beginning. The beginning was really sloooooowwwwww; it felt like nothing was going to happen. I will be honest...I almost gave up. However, I pushed through and after 25 pages or so - it got so much better and I could hardly put it down. It's also an easy read, so once I was hooked and I flew through it. 



I can't really say much else - but one part really made me sad. :( 



Overall, this was a fun read. Something new and refreshing. The characters were fun and the drama/action was intriguing. The beginning was sloooooowwwwwwww, but it did get better. One part made me walk away for a minute, but I love when books make me feel like that. I would recommend this to those who need a quick read, but something interesting. I stamp this with 4 stars.








Contributors

Copyright © 2008-2016 Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell All Rights Reserved. Proudly powered by Blogger

  © Blogger template Starry by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008 Modified by Lea

Back to TOP