Wednesday, 31 May 2017

By Blood Divided - James Heneage

Destiny, inheritance, the world shifting from east to west. This is an epic novel set in an age of dramatic change.

Siward, scion of a great dynasty, commands the Varangian Guard and has vowed to defend the Roman Empire to the last. Makkim, renowned general to Ottoman rule, has vowed to destroy it.

They are enemies in war, but unknown to them, they are also rivals to inherit one of Europe's greatest fortunes. Even worse, they are competing for the love of the same woman.

Their vast inheritance lies in Venice, as does the famous courtesan they both love. She is the reason they will find themselves fighting on the walls of Constantinople, in one of the most dramatic sieges in history. 

My thoughts:
Reading this made me think that I wanted to see it as a movie. A Ridley Scott movie, I so miss his epic historicals. I need some fighting, walls tumbling and cities taken. it would work great for that. Drums beating and.... ok enough blood thirst from me now.

The book is about two men, two cousins on opposite sides of a never ending battle. Siward is a Varangian and is great at it. He loves being a soldier. And I liked him. But poor guy inherits a bank in Venice and must leave all that. The Eastern Church needs money. Venice does play a big roll in this book. With it's secrets, alluring courtesans (as he will find out when we meet the POV of Violetta who does what she wants, no man can stop her.) and conspiracies. Venice is a snake pit to be honest. A beautiful cesspool. 

The other big POV is that of Makkim, a general of the Ottoman Empire. And they are set on taking Constantinople.  The big fight is coming, but at the end. First the chess board needs to be set. Plans made and intrigues unfold. Makkim, well he was devout to his emperor, even though the second guy had major flaws. He had been indoctrinated and was a true muslim and could not really see any other points of views at first. He might have been a general but he was still a slave as a janissary.

It was interesting getting the povs from both sides and knowing history, well I knew what would happen in the end...

I must mention Violetta again. She has a POV too, somewhat smaller but still as big as these two guys. I liked how free she was, even if she stuck in a golden cage in a way too, even if she did not see it that way. Being a courtesan did give her respect and being able to move between worlds. And hey, I always like when there is a bit of romance, slowly growing.

A great book that had me hooked. I needed to know that everyone was going to be all right. The battle of Constantinople was coming and they would obviously all be there. 

At the end there was a few notes from the author. I did not know that Siward's grandfather had a trilogy of his own. Sounds good. Also, I really want to read a book about Henry the Navigator. That guy sounds really interesting.

Conclusion:
Great historical fiction set at an interesting time in history. It kept me hooked and it felt like I was there.

Hardcover, 496
Expected publication: June 1st 2017 by Quercus Books
Historical
For review




Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Tell me something Tuesday: May 30th: How do you handle the DNF books?


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

This week's conversation starter: 
May 30th: How do you handle the DNF books? 

Before it was hard, I finished so many crappy books. Books that sucked, books that were badly written. Books that made me throw them at the wall. But I felt this need to finish them. After a while I started skimming, then I just read the end of the book. And then finally I reached that stage where I just said F it! I am not going to spend my time reading bad books, I am not going to spend time at those I do not care about when the library has a million books I want to read. And more coming all the time. Before I get to those old ones the library will have given them away to make room for new ones.

So yes, these days I start a book and if it does not impress me I dnf it. And I am fine with it. There is too little time in the world to spend reading books I do not care about (not to mention I have 2000 freebies or so from amazon =_=). I Dnf like there is no tomorrow. I do not have a limit of pages read, sometimes I know from page 1, sometimes it takes a bit longer.

But sometimes I fall back into those old habits and read a book that I give a 1. ugh, why did I even bother!? And sometimes I still read those just ok books and feel all why? This was not good. Why did not not read a good book instead? But it's hard to let go sometimes, especially if it's a book by an author you like.

Mostly though, I am all, too many books, too little time.

Luci in March


Monday, 29 May 2017

Toughest cowboy in Texas - Carolyn Brown

Last time Lila Harris was in Happy, Texas, she was actively earning her reputation as the resident wild child. Now, a little older and wiser, she's back to run her mother's café for the summer. Except something about this town has her itching to get a little reckless and rowdy, especially when she sees her old partner-in-crime, Brody Dawson. Their chemistry is just as hot as ever. But he's still the town's golden boy-and she's still the wrong kind of girl.

Brody hasn't had much time lately for anything other than ranching. Running the biggest spread in the county and taking care of his family more than keeps him busy. All that responsibility has him longing for the carefree days of high school-and Lila. She may have grown up, but he still sees that spark of mischief in her eyes. Now he's dreaming about late-night skinny dipping and wondering how he can possibly resist the one woman he can never forget... 

My thoughts:
Honestly! The people in this town! Oh she is too wild! She is bad news! I was just waiting for them to like accuse her of murdering someone. And sure, she was a daredevil as a teen, but hold your judgment people! Especially his gran and mother, but then they had their own reasons for disliking her, stupid selfish reasons.

Lila and Brody were in love, but in secret. Not winning my love their Brody. He messed up for sure as a teen. But it was also a good thing, because she left that small town, she made something of herself. And now she is back and she never stopped loving him.

Not everyone in the town is an asshat, but there are some. They made me so mad, I am glad she was above it but still.

It really is Brody who has to make his mind up, and do the chasing for this to work, and hey, I like that. And as how he is, a true cowboy. While she tries to be calm, but that wild child still lurks in there (the one who can not let him go).

Conclusion:
It was a truly sweet romance

Cover
Nice

ebook, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 30th 2017 by Forever
Happy, Texas #1
Contemporary romance
Netgalley

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Carole's Sunday Review The secret speech

Author: Tom Rob Smith
Title: The Secret Speech (Leo Demidov #2)
Genre: Historical Fiction. Thriller, Mystery 
Pages: 416
Published: April 2009
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Used Bookstore)

he Soviet Union 1956: after Stalin's death, a violent regime is beginning to fracture. It leaves behind a society where the police are the criminals, and the criminals are innocent. Stalin's successor Khrushchev pledges reform. But there are forces at work that are unable to forgive or forget the past.


Leo Demidov, former MGB officer, is facing his own turmoil. The two young girls he and his wife Raisa adopted have yet to forgive him for his part in the brutal murder of their parents. They are not alone. Leo, Raisa and their family are in grave danger from someone with a grudge against Leo. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance. Leo's desperate, personal mission to save his family will take him from the harsh Siberian Gulags, to the depths of the criminal underworld, to the centre of the Hungarian uprising—and into a hell where redemption is as brittle as glass



This is a sequel and I do believe you need to read the first book or at least had seen the movie adaptation. There is a lot of references and character developments that need to be read and understood to fully grasp this story. 



This book follows Leo and his family three years after the events of the last book. He and his wife, Raisa, are struggling to raise the two girls they had adopted. The youngest has forgiven Leo for the part he played in the deaths of their parents, but the oldest daughter is a dang psychopath. She hates Leo and blames him for her parent's death EVEN though he tried to intervene AND he saved her and her sister from a life of misery in an orphanage. Leo and Raisa have a lot more patience then I would. 



At the same time of Leo trying to hold his little family together and do well in his secret department that no one can know about. The government realized that someone needs to investigate and take care of any homicides that happen, but the public can't know that Stalin's Kingdom is flawed. 



Things happen and Leo's world is thrown upside down. Poor guy cannot catch a break. All he wants his a happy family and a decent job. 



This was enjoyable, but it took awhile for me to be hooked. The beginning was a little confusing and I had NO idea how the new characters would play a role. I feel like the structure of the beginning needed some major work. I GET what the author was doing, but it just made me confused about who was who and how it all played a part in the story. IT DID make sense once the story got to a certain point though. 



I enjoyed the action and the mystery. However, it did feel melodramatic and not realistic. I'm sorry, but Leo should have died 50 times over the course of the book. I love Leo, but even Jason Bourne would've died along the way...too much "lucky" breaks for him. Also, I questioned his sanity and motives. I get WHY, but really? After everything, you are still willing to jump into Hell and save someone who doesn't want to be saved? Mmmm. 



Also, the main baddie confused me at a certain point. I get the want of revenge and all....but really? *SPOILER ALERT* You are going to work for the government to just get revenge on Leo who was ordered to arrest you BY the government? Wouldn't the main aim be to kill as many government officials as possible? Maybe unite with Leo to bring down Stalin? *END OF SPOILER* Doesn't make sense to me. Silly. 



Honestly, the character developments did intrigue me, especially at the end. I am excited to see what the next book holds for Leo and Raisa. 



In the end, this was pretty okay. The first book was WAY better, but I still enjoyed this. There were some confusing parts and character motivations that left me scratching my head. It was more action-y and melodramatic. Overall, though, I do recommend reading the first book and then reading this one. Out of five stars, I'll give it three.  












Friday, 26 May 2017

Friday Movie Night: Suite Française

Movie time :)

During the early years of Nazi occupation of France in World War II, romance blooms between Lucile Angellier (Michelle Williams), a French villager, and Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts), a German soldier.

Director: Saul Dibb
Writers: Saul Dibb (screenplay), Matt Charman (screenplay) | 
Irène Némirovsky ... (based on the novel by)

Stars: Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas, Margot Robbie

My thoughts:
Now how to write a movie review, see, this is why we have discussions. Those work so well for me.

I liked that it was sort of silent, I am so bad with words today. There was just this calm over it. A scared calm, the war has slowly come, now it is there, but the true horror does not really show at once.

The acting was good, though to be honest, Williams did not really impress at times. I got that she was timid, but still, for me she was not the best one for the role. But she did grow into it,

There is a lovestory, but it is not a lovestory. They never say words of love, they slowly move towards each other even though it is wrong. But you feel it, they want to love, even if it would be more tragic for her.

And yes there is a war going on. We are not at the front, we are in a sleepy village, where people spread gossip about each other, turn on each other, and also help each other.

A good sleepy movie that had me scared I would cry ( I did not ;)



Thursday, 25 May 2017

Owl and the electric samurai - Kristi Charish

The International Archaeology Association (IAA) is responsible for keeping all things supernatural under wraps. They’re also responsible for ruining the promising archaeology career of Alix Hiboux, better known as Owl.

Needless to say, Owl’s still a little sore about that.

Just to keep Owl’s life lively, the IAA has opened a bounty on the two designers of World Quest, the online RPG that is much, much more than it seems. Owl needs to locate the notorious gaming duo before the other mercenaries do. But finding the gamers won’t be easy since every clue points to them hiding out in the legendary lost city of Shangri-La. Not to mention that the last time Owl and the game designers spoke, their conversation didn’t exactly end on the best note…

Meanwhile, undercurrents of supernatural politics are running amok in Tokyo, dragging Owl and her friends into a deadly game of wits with an opponent who calls himself the Electric Samurai. The cost of losing? All-out civil war between two powerful supernatural factions.

All in all, just another great day on the job.

My thoughts:
I listened to book 1 on audio, then I read book 2, and now I am back to audio and I guess  because I started it on audio I just prefer the audio. I need those voices.

Owl does not have it easy. The IAA is after her (and it was never her fault to begin with). She is under the employment of a dragon and the worst, someone has her cat. Noo, not Captain. I do love a good cat sidekick. He is just there you know, and his growls plays a big part.

I like Owl, she is snarky (sure maybe too much for her own good but who cares). She loves cats and history. Gotta love that.

Anyway, in this one she must find two guys for the IAA and that is just the beginning. In comes the mystery of the electric samurai. And it does become a great adventure. Action, snark, danger and suspense.

Narration by Christy Romano
I do like how she plays the different part and I enjoy listening to her voice. I think she does a good job narrating this one.

I never know what to say when it comes to narration, I mean, I liked her voice and that is all I need.

Conclusion:
I am reeeeally looking forward to book 4 now cos omg that ending. Dang! That was intense and something bad happened. Something that will alter everything. I can't wait to see how it works out. I need it now.

Cover
ok

Audiobook, 12 hours 33 min
Published May 8th 2017 by Audible studios
The Adventures of Owl #3
Urban fantasy
For review

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Maybe this love - Jennifer Snow

Hockey player Ben Westmore has some serious skills---on and off the ice---and he's not above indulging in the many perks of NHL stardom. When a night in Vegas ends in disaster, he realizes two things: 1) it's time to lie low for a while, and 2) he needs a lawyer---fast. But the smoking-hot woman who walks into his office immediately tests all his good intentions.

Olivia Davis doesn't need anyone derailing her career---or her dreams of starting a family---least of all a skirt-chasing player like Ben. But soon he's unleashing a full-court press to convince her that he's the real deal. She's slowly falling for his sweet, rugged charm, but with so much on the line, Olivia has to decide whether Ben can truly change---or if he's just playing the game.

My thoughts:
He was drunk, he did something stupid and now he needs to get out of his mess. And honestly it was not a bad thing he did. But yes still a mess. And sure he was a player, but I can forgive that. He just needed the right woman ;)

Olivia liked her job, she was focused and she wanted a baby. She is also the opposing lawyer. But how sparks flew. But she should stay away. But damn he was fine. Though how she could be all I can't do that, when she did not even tell him her secret.

They can't date but they grow closer. I liked that he wanted her, and she, well she does want a family and thinks he can't give her that. Being a player and all.

And there is hockey too of course, it's a sports romance after all. He plays hockey and should focus so he does not croak. It's Stanley Cup after all! At least I get hockey so I liked that.

Conclusion:
Will they wont they. Yes they will

Cover
Cute


Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Expected publication: May 30th 2017 by Forever
Colorado Ice #2
Contemporary romance
Netgalley

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Tell me something Tuesday: What do you do when you hit a blogging wall?


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

This week's conversation starter: 
May 23rd: What do you do when you hit a blogging wall?

I have been lucky to be honest. I have never felt like I want to give up, but I have had rough times. I have wondered why I even do this. Those times I have wanted to try new things (I still have ideas that I never used). But in the end every time I just go back to my reviews. They are simple, they do not take a lot of time. They are there, I love them.

Wow, I am no help at all today. I have seen others hit that evil blogging wall and I just can not help. I have made it through, it has never been that bad. But I do worry it might come later this year.

But breaks to seem to help some. Just take your time, relax, and hopefully come back stronger.

Luci in Feb

Monday, 22 May 2017

Author Post and Giveaway: Michele Summers



Today's guest is Michele Summers. She will tell us a bit about her heroine. And at the end there is a giveaway :)

Marabelle’s favorite summer activities 

Tennis is a huge favorite summer activity for Marabelle. She teaches lessons and clinics and plays in a USTA league for women. Living in North Carolina, she always makes time to hit the beach for a couple of weeks to soak up some rays, collect seashells and cook some fresh seafood. And when the heat is unbearable in August, she heads to the NC Mountains for a long weekend and cooler temps. Besides playing more tennis surrounded by beautiful mountains, she enjoys antiquing and hiking. 

What are some of your favorite summer activities?

Thanks for hosting me! It’s been fun.

Giveaway
1 print copy of Sweet Southern Trouble

1. US only
2. Enter by answering her question
3.  Ends May 28th

EXCERPT
“Coach Frasier, may I be perfectly frank?”
“Have you ever been anything else?”
Marabelle hesitated before answering. “Well, no, but I think it’s an admirable trait.”
Nick bit the inside of his cheek to keep from smiling. “Then certainly don’t change on my behalf.”
Blinking huge, chocolate-brown eyes, Marabelle looked more determined. Her face—sans the paint—was attractive. Faint freckles were scattered across her small, pert nose, but her mouth—by far the main attraction—had that bee-stung look that Hollywood stars coveted. For a moment, he wondered if her lips were as soft as they were full, if she tasted…
Where had those thoughts come from? She’s a kindergarten teacher, for chrissakes. He punted those unwanted thoughts right out of the stadium, and got his head back in the game by focusing on her small hands, which seemed to talk even more than her sexy, full mouth.
Marabelle paced in front of the large, white, dry-erase board. “Trinity Academy has a very important fund-raiser every spring that the whole community supports, and this year is going to be extra special, because they’re raising money to improve the football field and add two more tennis courts. And—”
Nick had heard this pitch a million times. Same setup, different location. “And you want me to contribute to the fund? Right?”
She stopped pacing. “Well, it’s more than just your money. Don’t get me wrong, your money is huge.” Nick chuckled at her lack of tact, but she ignored him, intent on lining up dry-erase markers in alternating colors.
“We need your help in contacting your celebrity friends and asking them to participate in the golf and tennis tournaments,” she said, leaning the markers against the board. “And we want you to ask the single, eligible men you know to sell themselves in our bachelor auction,” she finished all in one breath and turned, knocking all the markers to the floor.
“Um, what?” Nick shook his head as he bent to help her gather the scattered markers. This had to be a joke. “Are you secretly filming me for YouTube or something? Is this some sort of practical joke?” He’d had enough of being secretly filmed to last a lifetime, and if this fairy-tale character thought she could pull a fast one on him, she had no idea who she was up against. His gaze darted around the classroom, searching for a hidden camera. The room looked clean. Then he smirked. “Did my offensive coordinator set this up?”
Kneeling on the floor with puckered brows, Marabelle asked, “Who?”
Nick handed over three reds and two blues. “Coach Prichard. We’ve been arguing about the draft, but I didn’t think he was this upset.”
Right on cue, she turned stern schoolteacher. Standing, she released the handful of markers on the metal tray, her back as straight as if fused with a goalpost. “Coach Frasier, this is not some reality TV show, and I don’t even know your offensive coordinator. But if he’s upset, I suggest you make nice, and maybe you guys will start winning some ballgames.”
Splaying hands on his hips, he delivered one of his fiercest stares. “You tetched in the head or something? Are you telling me how to coach a professional football team?”
Marabelle didn’t flinch. A room full of five-year-olds must be tougher than he thought. Curling her fingers around a ruler in the metal tray as if she might rap his knuckles, she said in the same firm, schoolteacher voice, “If there’s dissension among your staff, it would be prudent to smooth things over. Arguing with your staff is bound to affect the players. It just goes to reason.” Tap, tap went the ruler in her palm.
Nick swore under his breath. Many a rookie had backed down from his most intimidating stare. Its effect was legendary. But not on crazy Marabelle. “Ms. Fairchild, you don’t know jack shit about coaching football.” Nick rarely lost his temper off the field, but she’d managed to push all his buttons. He knew his young team had struggled last season. He certainly didn’t need reminding from little Miss Muffet. He had the team’s owner, general manager, and the press for that. But Nick believed in his team. They had raw talent, and with good coaching and proper discipline, they’d only get better. Yet, it still rankled when he was confronted with their less-than-stellar record.
He didn’t need this hassle. “I’m out of here,” he muttered, starting for the door.
“Coach Frasier, please wait!”
Nick whipped around to squash the crazy, ruler-toting fairy once and for all, when three high school boys barged through the classroom door, carrying large tennis bags over their shoulders.
“Hey, Coach, you comin’ to practice today?”
“What?” The theme song from The Twilight Zone played in his head. Why would he be coming to practice here?
“Whoa! You’re Nick Frasier,” said the tallest of the boys as all three gazes landed on him.
Nick plastered on a smile, not wanting his scowl to be reported all over social media. “Hey, guys. What’s up?” All three eagerly shook his hand, talking at once. “You boys play for the tennis team?” Nick asked in between introductions and hand pumping.
“Yeah. We’re heading to practice and wondering if Coach is coming.”
“Coach?” Still confused, he searched their faces.
“Surprise, surprise,” Marabelle chimed softly next to him.


Title: Sweet Southern Trouble
Author: Michele Summers
Pub Date: May 2, 2017
ISBN: 9781402293641

An ambitious Southern belle 
Marabelle Fairchild knows she’s a gal who can get things done. Feeling unappreciated at the exclusive private school where she’s a kindergarten aide and varsity tennis coach, Marabelle determines to score with the next big fundraiser. What she doesn’t expect? A smokin' hot football coach to throw her off her game...

A reclusive NFL bachelor...
NFL coach Nick Frasier is Raleigh’s most eligible bachelor, but he wants to focus on  his career…not his playboy status. He doesn’t need a smart-mouthed, pint-sized kindergarten teacher pestering him. So he cuts Marabelle a deal—in exchange for Nick sponsoring a bachelor auction starring him and his gorgeous celebrity pals, Marabelle will pose as his fiancée to ward off unwanted advances. 

What could possibly go wrong?

MICHELE SUMMERS writes about small-town life with a Southern flair, and has her own interior design business in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Miami, Florida. Both professions feed her creative appetite and provide a daily dose of humor. | 


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Carole's Sunday Review: Mistletoe at Moonglow


Author: Deborah Garner

Title: Mistletoe at Moonglow (Paige MacKenzie Mysteries #2.5)
Genre: Fiction
Pages: ebook
Published: November 2015
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Amazon Freebie)

A Christmas novella with cookie recipes included! 


The Timberton Hotel has always provided a perfect Christmas retreat for regular guests, as well as newcomers. But the small town of Timberton, Montana, hasn't been the same since resident chef and artist, Mist, arrived, bringing a unique new age flavor to the old western town. When guests check in for the holidays, they bring along worries, fears and broken hearts, unaware that Mist has a way of working magic in people's lives. Old-fashioned time spent together, exquisite food, conversation and a snowball or two offer guests a chance to trade sadness for hope. One thing is certain: no matter how cold winter's grip is on each guest, no one leaves Timberton without a warmer heart.



Awwweeee sometimes you really need a heart-warming tale in the middle of May. I found this randomly as a freebie on Amazon and I decided I needed to read it ASAP.



This was a short novella about Mist and her crew running the Timberton Hotel in a small town in Montana. Mist has a certain talent in helping people who come to her hotel. She is simply the nicest person and I wish I could go to her hotel. 



The guests varied from a family who just lost their son, a man who has to be away from his family on Xmas, a young lady from Arizona just trying to get away from her problems, and so forth. 



The characters were a little 2D, but it is a short story and there are a lot of characters, so it is bound to be tough to do much there. 



It was a quick read and I highly enjoyed it. I want to learn more about Mist and see her work her magic on more people who really need it! For sure read this. It put a smile on my face.



ALSO! I LOVED the recipes at the end. Super yummy! I want to try them this Xmas. :D 



Out of five stars, I'll give this a 4. 











Friday, 19 May 2017

Friday Night Movie: The Light Between Oceans

A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from a drifting rowing boat.

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Writers: Derek Cianfrance (written for the screen by), M.L. Stedman (novel)
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz 

Drama/Romance
2 h 13 min


Musings:
Omg, I cried for over 30 minutes. This was brutal, my heart broke in a million pieces. It was so  heartbreaking.

That is honestly all I would like to say, how I cried and cried. You know it will be sad, and still you watch it.

A man becomes a light keeper, he takes a wife, they find a baby. Oh you know that will not end well. But they are happy on their little island. It's a beautiful but desolate place, and they so love each other.

And then I cried and cried and cried and cried. It was a good movie, but so freaking sad.

Fassbender and Vikander do well in their roles. He is the silent one, she is the longing one.

But yes SAD



Weekend Update: A new Arrival

And here is an update in case you missed it :)

I miss my fitreaders posts, but yes I am going to not do those for some time now. But anyone who wants to join in then go do it :D. It does help, it pushed me to do things so I had something to show at the end of the week :D And you can do whatever you want, yoga, walking etc.

Anyway, to the post then ;)


What did you bring home?
He is still not cool with it


This is Sigrid. She finally arrived 2 weeks too late on the 12th of May. They tried inducing labor on Thursday but that did not work so there was another try on Friday with strong meds.

This pic was mostly for the view I had :) And cos I do not want to show her too close.


I call her Siggi. I did not mean to go with some super ancient Nordic name, but she just is a Sigrid.

Like I said before, I have read LOTS and I have posts scheduled for months. Don't think I have time to read that much, I just saved and saved posts so I would have something to show.

Sigrid /ˈsiːɡrɪd/ is a Scandinavian given name for women from Old Norse Sigríðr,meaning "victory", "wisdom", and "beautiful". Sigrid = Sigr + fríðr ("victory" and "beautiful", respectively).

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Buns - Alice Clayton

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

My thoughts:
It was the cover, I had seen those other two around and I just had to read this one for the cover. I did read the first book in her red head series, that one was funny, this one did not have that humour.

Anyhow. Clara is sent to save a hotel. She was very focused, loved her job and wanted to do it right. And she has issues, she has been in foster care and now she is all I dare not love. Sometimes I wish there was a book where the mains did not have issues ;)

Archie thinks she has too many ideas (even though they are all good ideas but he is stubborn). And he has issues too, but he let go of those faster than her.

These two fight, oh but the tension is there and they just want to rip each other's clothes off. But they fight, then there is passion and they will fall in love, stubbornly ;)

Conclusion:
A nice romance, with buns, those yummy buns...I am talking about the ones you bake! I mean hello

Cover
It amuses me

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Gallery Books
Hudson Valley #3
Contemporary romance
Netgalley


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Carole's Wednesday Review: The Princess Bride - William Goldman

Author: William Goldman
Title: The Princess Bride
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, & Comedy
Pages: 398
Published: 1973
Where I Got It: My Shelf (B&N)

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be...well...a lot less than the man of her dreams?


As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad's recitation, and only the "good parts" reached his ears.



Now Goldman does Dad one better. He's reconstructed the "Good Parts Version" to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.



What's it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.



In short, it's about everything.



I had read this book eons ago. I barely remember much about it, but I LOVE the movie so I knew I had to buy this and give it a re-read. 



This is for sure a MUST read book especially if you like the movie. There is so much more story plot, character development, background, and hilarity. Simply fantastic writing and story-telling. 



I do go back and forth about how I feel about the author's "narration" mixed in. It did add some humor and complexity, but in some parts, it ruined the flow of the story. It is genius of the author to make it seem like an abridged version of the "classic", but it is his own classic. Clever, but if the reader doesn't know what is going on, then I can see how it is confusing. The movie did something similar and a part of me thinks it was done better. 



There is so much going in this story: love, revenge, sword fights, giant rats, hilarity, torture, miracles, and etc. 



*swoons* Ooooh Westley. I always forget how much I love him. Buttercup is a super snot at the beginning and I wanted to kick her, but she does get better. I still don't understand why she decided to marry that Prince. Maybe I am just a tragic person, but I would've just died alone in my own pool of misery. So yeah - I get why Westley was POed. 



Now, the ending was brilliant. It does have that romantic POW, but it also spreads a serious message about how life really isn't a fairy tale all the time. What I loved about the book is the more "realistic" message it gives. Yes, it is a fairy tale but a realistic one. Hard to explain, but it was great. 



Overall, I love this story. I love this book. I love the characters. A must read for everyone. I'll stamp it with 5 stars. 





Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Tell me something Tuesday How do you keep up with your blog?


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

This week's conversation starter: 


May 16th: How do you keep up with your blog?
I keep it simple. I do not write long reviews, I do not take notes. It would be such a hassle honestly. So my reviews take no time at all. I sit down, I write them. I want them to be my thoughts for the moment, my feelings fresh in my mind. Even if I sometime leave them too long, which is bad. I really should write them within a day or I forget what I feel.

So the reviews are done fast, I have also come to realise that scheduling posts are awesome! It makes it so easier. There has been times when it has been stressful to get a post up in a hurry. Instead I can just schedule. I can recommend it.

And I answer comments whenever I am online ...ahem and watching tv. Yes I can not focus on just one thing. From there I make visits to other bloggers and then go visit those blogs I follow.

Then there are emails to keep up with *delete*.  Then there is the author posts and such to deal with, but that go fasst. I do not have many posts like that these days.

I have no idea if I have answered anything. I just keep it simple.



Monday, 15 May 2017

Carole's Monday Review: Raging Madness - Jude Knight

Author: Jude Knight
Title: Raging Madness (Redepenning #2)
Genre: Historical Romance & Mystery
Pages: ebook
Published: May 2017
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion.)

Ella survived an abusive and philandering husband, in-laws who hate her, and public scorn. But she’s not sure she will survive love. It is too late to guard her heart from the man forced to pretend he has married such a disreputable widow, but at least she will not burden him with feelings he can never return. 

Alex understands his supposed wife never wishes to remarry. And if she had chosen to wed, it would not have been to him. He should have wooed her when he was whole, when he could have had her love, not her pity. But it is too late now. She looks at him and sees a broken man. Perhaps she will learn to bear him. 

In their masquerade of a marriage, Ella and Alex soon discover they are more well-matched than they expected. But then the couple’s blossoming trust is ripped apart by a malicious enemy. Two lost souls must together face the demons of their past to save their lives and give their love a future.


This is book 2 of the series. I did not read the first one (I had no idea there was a first one, oh well), but this did well as a stand-alone; I think the other book followed two other characters - not 100% sure though. 

But yes, this story follows Ella and Alex. The two of them have had lots of horrible stuff happen to them from the past and in their present. Ella comes to Alex for help and a part of Alex needed helping too. They had loved each other but never acted on it since Ella had been previously married to a scum-bag. But fate throws them a bone and they really have to work for it. It was not an easy road for them. Which I really do love that in a romance...you know they are going to end up together, but it is fun watching the journey and having that worry that they may not. 

There is LOTS of drama and a lot going on. Ella had the roughest time...yes, Alex had a rough patch too, but I feel Ella had a lot on her plate. There were a couple of times I did tear up for her. BUT a lot of it could have been avoided if THEY COMMUNICATED! GAH! *rips hair out of head* Just say what you mean and how you really feel. Gah! Yes, yes, if they did that then there would've never even been a second book. I get it, but still maddening. 

Anyways...

It did take me FOREVER to finally get into the book. I had a hard time the first 20 or so pages. Not that the beginning was slow, it just did not grip me right away. I also had an issue with the flow of the story during some parts. It just felt uneven and chunky. The rest of the book flowed well overall. Also, there were some unrealistic parts that had me sigh.

Besides for the first 20 pages, the flow in a couple spots, and a couple cheesy parts I really enjoyed this book. It was sad, but it was a beautiful story of two people going through so many trials and heartaches to finally be together. I do recommend reading this if you love a story about moving forward and finding happiness. Out of five stars, I shall stamp this with....4. 












Friday, 12 May 2017

Magic Binds - Ilona Andrews

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this...

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar.

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in a never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules… 

My thoughts:
What can I say, it's book 9 after all. We all know Kate is totally kick-ass, and I do like her darker side. It shows more now. Her father's legacy is hanging like a sword over her. The power of magic is influencing her. And she did claim Atlanta, not an easy thing to live with. But I like all that, she is struggling without even realising it all times.

This book is sort of a filler and sort of not. The peace between her and Roland is not an easy one. And now he has kidnapped Saiman (oh and there is thing happening and I am so curious about how that will impact things, but hey I can not say a word.)

And of course the wedding date of her and Curran is coming closer, but then there is that whole Atlanta will burn and you will all die thing if that happens.

Conclusion:
I enjoyed the ride. I liked her dealing with her legacy. I even grew to like Julie (we have had our ups and downs). I liked to learn more about her family. But...I also wished more had happened. I want a big showdown soon.

Cover
Curran looks very serene there

Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published May 4th 2017 by Ace (first published September 20th 2016)
Kate Daniels #9
Urban fantasy
Own

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