Monday, 31 July 2017

Gather the daughters - Jennie Melamed

GATHER THE DAUGHTERS tells the story of an end-of-the-world cult founded years ago when ten men colonised an island. It's a society in which men reign supreme, breeding is controlled, and knowledge of the outside world is kept to a minimum. Girls are wives-in-training: at the first sign of puberty, they must marry and have children. But until that point, every summer, island tradition dictates that the children live wildly: running free, making camps, sleeping on the beach. And it is at the end of one such summer that one of the youngest girls sees something so horrifying that life on the island can never be the same again.

My thoughts:
I wish I could write this well written awesome review, but sometimes you are at a loss for words to do the book justice. I will do my best but I might ramble on.

The book stayed with me as I read, it stayed with me when I finished it, and I still think about it and want to pick the author's brain. To know, to know...TO KNOW.

Cults are scary. These people truly believe they serve their God and their ancestors, but as you read on you realise they serve their own good. There are those who serve, there are those who blindly follow and there are monsters. 

I want to say so many things! But spoilers! It felt like a punch to the stomach when the realisation hit me of what this cult is about. I felt sickened to the core. And as I read on something else hit me, what if...what...if? This cult is so wrapped about in their lies and cruel ways and as the daughters start to question things so did I..what if? Yes I am being cryptic but when you start to question you will understand. But before that that horrible revelation is laid before you and it is gruesome.

On an island there lives a cult. Girls are married young. You obey your father, you obey your husband. You have 2 children. They grow up, you die. That is life. But before that there are the summers and at first I was all why? But the summers of freedom are both a curse and a blessing. They get to run wild, to be children, and well to escape the mosquitoes. But then you realise that most are just too indoctrinated that everything that happens is just a part of life. Sure the summer of freedom is lovely, but normal life is good too. And that is not the way things should be. All these poor children, all these poor families.

I really can not do it justice. You have to read it for yourself and feel that kick in the gut when things come together. To see these brainwashed sheep go on about their lives and, just read it! It shows the power of words, how the masses blindly follow.

Conclusion:
A well written thought provoking book. One of the best I have read this year. Might be the best book I have read this year.

And yes be warned, there are trigger warnings. It is a cult after all. Things are not always pretty inside a cult.

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 25th 2017 by Tinder Press
Fiction
For review


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Too Scot to handle - Grace Burrowes

As a captain in the army, Colin MacHugh led men, fixed what was broken, and fought hard. Now that he's a titled gentleman, he's still fighting-this time to keep his bachelorhood safe from all the marriage-minded debutantes. Then he meets the intriguing Miss Anwen Windham, whose demure nature masks a bonfire waiting to roar to life. When she asks for his help to raise money for the local orphanage, he's happy to oblige.

Anwen is amazed at how quickly Lord Colin takes in hand a pack of rambunctious orphan boys. Amazed at how he actually listens to her ideas. Amazed at the thrill she gets from the rumble of his Scottish burr and the heat of his touch. But not everyone enjoys the success of an upstart. And Colin has enemies who will stop at nothing to ruin him and anybody he holds dear. 

My thoughts:
There are a lot of Windhams running around, and this series is about the Windham cousins. Sure people are mentioned but you do not need to have read about all those siblings finding love to enjoying this new series. Of course the more Windham the merrier and they are fun to read.

I liked Anwen. Not one thing wrong with her. A good head on her shoulder, sweet and she good with her orphans. 

Colin, well nothing wrong with Colin either. Two really nice people who fitted each other perfectly! And they knew it and they went for it.

Now I am not saying everything was trouble free. The orphanage that Anwen helps out with is in trouble. Money is needed and she wont leave them on the street.

But between that these two fall in love. There is some drama. There is this asshat. And then they live happily ever after.

Conclusion:
I enjoyed it, and the next one looks to be really good. I am a sucker for a Duke book.

Cover
nice

Kindle Edition, 385 pages
Expected publication: July 25th 2017 by Forever
Windham Brides #2
Historical romance
NetGalley


Saturday, 29 July 2017

Saturday Movie review: Carol

Not again! I posted two things on the same day again, omgg mummy brain!


In an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's seminal novel The Price of Salt, CAROL follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) begins to question her competence as a mother as her involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) come to light.

Director: Todd Haynes
Writers: Phyllis Nagy (screenplay), Patricia Highsmith (novel)
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson 

Drama/Romance (2015)
1h 58 min

Musings:
A slow movie. It is a theme (you will see in coming reviews.) It might be drama, but it never gets dramatic,

Blacnhett does a good role as the mature, but still a sort of flighty woman. While Rooney is good as the more silent one. She just watches. How on earth they get it together I do not know. They do take their time.

So yes it's a movie about a married woman meeting a shopgirl. But then her husband knows about her tendencies already. Not that he approves, but she wants out anyway. A slow building friendship forms, then a very slow building romance. A road trip and a tiny bit of drama.

But, yes it was very slow. I could watch it since I wanted to see what happened, but sloooooow.




The strawberry hearts Diner - Carolyn Brown

Being broke, unemployed, and stranded back in the tiny town of Pick, Texas, was not part of Jancy Wilson’s plan. Yet here she is, watching her car literally go up in smoke—along with her last-ditch hope of staying with her cousin in Louisiana. When Jancy spies a Help Wanted sign hanging in the window of the quaint Strawberry Hearts Diner, the memories of the two years she spent there as a teenager—and the lure of the diner’s beloved strawberry tarts—are enough to draw her in and plant her feet…but only temporarily.

Raised by parents who refused to settle anywhere for long, Jancy has never known what it is to have roots. Now that Jancy’s swept up by the warmth and character of this quirky little community—and by the pull of an old crush—it’s beginning to feel like home. She’s making friends and even discovering the sweetness of falling in love. But when the town is threatened, Jancy knows it will take more than its legendary tarts to save it. Can she fight for this little Texas town—knowing she might not stay forever?

My thoughts:
This book was all these tarts are awesome, the best ever and oh my I am drooling! I need to try those strawberry tarts. My mouth was watering through out the entire book.

Jancy has no one and then she gets stranded in her gran's hometown. Poor thing, she only meant to visit the grave and then she is there, no money, no car, nothing to her name. But this is a C Brown book and that means a lovely small town where people are friendly. She gets a job, she gets a place to sleep. There are some great people in this town. And Jancy is a nice woman, just unlucky in love and she has made mistakes because of that.

The diner is run by Nettie and Vicky. Two good women and one of them might find herself being sought after too ;) Then there is Vicky's daughter Emily with her own love story. But this is still Jancy's story and yes she finds romance too. Love and strawberry tarts all around.

Conclusion:
Romance, friendship and good honest people. That is why I like Brown's books. The people and the towns they live in. Oh and that she always makes me want to eat or drink something that she mentions.

Cover
nice

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Expected publication: July 18th 2017 by Montlake Romance
Women's fic/contemporary romance
Netgalley


Friday, 28 July 2017

Review and Giveaway: Chasing the Sun - Katy Colins

Georgia Green is on the conveyor belt to happiness.
Live-in boyfriend, perfect career and great friends, it seems like Georgia is only a Tiffany box away from her happily ever after. But when she arrives in Australia for her best friend’s wedding and is faced with the bridezilla from hell, she starts to realise that she might not want the cookie-cutter ending she thought.

What was meant to be a trip full of sunny days at the beach and wedding planning over cocktails, has turned into another problem for her to fix – just like the ones she’d left behind. With hardly any time for her boyfriend, let alone herself, it feels like there is just too much to juggle. It might be time for Georgia to step off the conveyor belt to find the balance in life and see if she really can have it all…

My thoughts:
The perfect beach read, if only it had not been grey, cold and rainy here. But hey, then the book is a perfect rainy day curled up with a book and warm cup of tea kind of book.

Gerogia has a great boyfriend, a fun job and her own company. Life is good. And yes later I saw that she has had adventures in earlier books and met her boyfriend there. But this works absolutely perfect as a stand alone and is meant to work like that.

This time her journey takes her to Australia. A wild hen night before her friend's wedding. Watching her friend become bridezilla. Seeing what Australia has to offer and yes a few surprises too. All in all an enjoyable ride.

Georgia was fun to read about and it did make me curious about those other books, where she finds herself, finds her man and I guess starts her company?

Conclusion:
The book is light, fun and easy to breeze through. Perfect for...duh, the beach :D

Cover
 I must say, the cover is not so fitting cos they never chill at the beach.


Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: July 27th 2017 by HQ
Chic Lit
For review

Giveaway
A copy of chasing the sun
Europe only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Katy Colins (@notwedordead) is a best-selling author and award-winning travel blogger (www.notwedordead.com) with over 44K followers on Instagram.

After Katy’s wedding was called off in 2010, she made the life-changing decision to travel solo around South East Asia, leaving behind her successful career and selling everything that wouldn’t fit into a backpack. As she travelled, Katy finally put her adventures and thoughts into words and secured a six book deal with Harper Collins.

Chasing the Sun is Katy’s fourth novel featuring the inimitable Georgia Green, and the perfect beach read for this summer.


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Audio Review: Keeping it Hot - Sydney Landon

Zoe Hart owns the coffee shop in one of the hottest upscale resorts in Florida, run by her childhood best friend, Dylan Jackson. Even though Dylan is a workaholic, he still finds time to enjoy the beautiful women who pass through his hotel-all of them except Zoe. She has been in love with Dylan for years without him noticing. But with her thirtieth birthday fast approaching, she realizes she can't keep pining away for a man who doesn't show the merest sign of romantic interest in her. When Zoe launches her plan to shed her tomboy image in Dylan's eyes, she's thrilled once he starts to notice her in a whole new way. But she'll have to face the risk that seducing her best friend might come with lasting changes to their longtime friendship . . . 

My thoughts:
At first I wondered whether I would like Dylan. Nothing against him, it's just was he blind? But as the book progresses, nope he was not blind. Let me start from the beginning.

Zoe, omg, really girl, khaki shirts and a polo shirt, and you wonder why he does see you as one of the boys. I also do not get how anyone could wear a polo shirt in Florida, since here, well  if it is above freezing it is summer. But still in her clueless state she is a 29 year old virgin who works too much. I did not have a prob with her being 29 and a virgin. If she wanted to save herself then good for you. Though her not even getting to second base was a bit far fetched.

Dylan also worked too much. And he liked the ladies. But he is a good guy, and I liked how he appreciated his friendship with her. Also he had noticed that she was a woman, and he had thought about it, but the fugly clothes helps hide the fact she might be a hottie.

The book is about her wanting to give it a go, so she turns up the heat, dresses in a few showier pieces and makes him notice her. But the question is can their friendship survive it? And can they be more?

I enjoyed it.

Narrator Nicol Zanzarella
I actually did have a problem here, she had a drawl or something and I just get annoyed really quickly. I had the narration on 1.8p speed to make it better and that did make it better. That way I could enjoy the narration. I guess on slower speeds it was just one of those the voice did not click things.

But I still think it is a story better heard than read. Cos else maybe you would think too much of the whole why does not Dylan see her thing ;)

Audio CD, 6.5 h
Published July 11th 2017 by Tantor Audio
Breakfast in Bed #1
Contemporary romance
For review


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bound - Sue Tingey

Lucky de Salle was dragged into the Underlands against her will, but there she discovered a whole new world - and a whole new life. She always knew she was psychic, but discovering her ghostly best friend was in fact her demon half-sister - and she herself is half-demon - came as a shock. Falling in love with two men wasn't in her game plan either, but that's working out brilliantly.

Or it was . . . but now Jinx the Deathbringer has been kidnapped by Lucky's enemies, who intend to use his powers to destroy the worlds above and below. And Jamie has tried to use his own powers to control her, destroying her trust in him.

Now Jamie and his fellow Guardians have been ordered to bring Jinx back in - dead or alive - before he can rain destruction down upon the earth.

If Lucky is to save him, and forgive Jamie, she is going to have to learn to use her own burgeoning powers - and fast!

My thoughts
This really is the best triangle that is not a triangle. For the men there was never any question of who she would choose. It was obvious she would have both of them, and she never thought of anything else either. Everyone is happy together and if this was more of a romance book then I am sure you would get to see that action too ;)

Anyway. In this one everyone is happy together. Well...not everyone, Kayle is dead and is back to being Lucky's ghost buddy. Kayla's lover is being a bit of an asshat at times. Lucky gang is happy. But then Jinx goes and gets himself kidnapped and the happy triangle is a unhappy duo.

Better rescue Jinx before something bad happens. And yes there are evil plans underfoot in this one. One evil enemy. Revelations. And much more.

I like these because they are light. Not light in their story though. But this one was a bit "lighter", some bad things happened in book 2, and sure bad things happen here too, but it is not the same. The lightness comes from the way it is written and the humour that is sprinkled in here and there. I like a story that you can read fast and enjoy.

Conclusion:
I have enjoyed the ride and this world. I like how the author never even came across the dreaded triangle territory, instead she just went with a nice menage a trois. Two smexy demons, one half demon who does not stand a chance. I am sad to see it end. But it ended well.

Paperback, 350
Published June 29th 2017 by Jo Fletcher Books
The Soulseer Chronicles #3
Fantasy
For review


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

TMST: Low ratings and Silence Fallen


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: 
July 25th: When you first started blogging were you hesitant to give out a low rating? Has that changed?

Omg yes!! It was SO HARD. I still remember this crappy book I gave a good grade cos I just did not dare give the author a bad rating. It took a year and then I went back and gave that piece of crap a 1 mowuahahahahah. Seriously, it was a really really bad book. Trust me, SO bad.

Most times I was afraid to be honest. Authors were big and scary. Books I read on my own I could give low ratings but those authors scared me. And not only because I did not want to disappoint. I said yes to a lot of crap and the authors were not that nice. I have talked about it before but they got mad for 4s and wtf. It also gave me a really bad picture of self publishing. Which sucks, but I still have those feelings.

Now I am not afraid anymore. If a book is bad, then I am going to give it a low rating. I would hate to read a book that had all 5s and then hate it. I want all ratings. The good and the bad. So I am not afraid to give out the bad ones, they are needed. If they were not around then hell, I'd stop reading reviews! I'd just go back to trusting my gut and honestly buying less books cos it is hard to trust your gut.

I am happy I got over that bump. Now I am more stingy with good ratings instead ;)

A sunny day in April


Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise... 

My thoughts:
Wooo, finally :D I wanted to wait for the US pb  but could I could not stand it any longer.

I liked seeing Mercy on her own. It was a nice change for once, and yes sure I missed Adam and the pack. We still got Adam's pov as he searched for her. But yes it was nice seeing her do her own thing.

She gets kidnapped and then she escapes. All alone in Europe. Who to trust? We meet some new people, learn some new truths? Nah, not really. But she does it on her own because she is cool like that.

I do not have a lot to say. I mean it is book 10. It was a good one and I liked the new setting. I would actually have preferred more Mercy and less Adam, haha, well he was just trying to find her and she was exploring.

It did not take a long time to read,  mostly cos I wanted time to fly by, and I really wanted to finish it.

Conclusion:
Another good Mercy book

Cover
I do not like the UK ones

Paperback, 371 pages
Published March 9th 2017 by Little, Brown Book Group
Mercy Thompson #10, Mercy Thompson World - Complete #14
Urban fantasy
Own


Monday, 24 July 2017

Author Post and Giveaway: Anna Schmidt

Today's post is by Anna Schmidt and at the end you can win a copy of her previous book :)

Welcome!

What are three interesting details about the setting of Last Chance Cowboys: The Outlaw?

  1. The story takes place toward the end of the 19th century when the West was becoming more civilized and settled. By this time people could travel by train as well as stagecoach, some houses had indoor plumbing and towns were more than just a wide place in the road with streets and shops and even city squares.
  2. While most structures in Arizona at this time were adobe with tiled roofs, I wanted Miss Dooley’s boardinghouse to be a structure completely at odds with its neighbors so I made it a back-East Queen Ann Victorian partially because Amanda is out of place when the story begins.
  3. Because both THE DRIFTER and THE LAWMAN took place on the Porterfield ranch or in the small town of Whitman Falls, I wanted to move this story away from those relatively safe places and put it in Tucson where the characters were taken out of their more natural element and tested by a new environment.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning author ANNA SCHMIDT delights in creating stories where her characters must wrestle with the challenges of their times. Critics have consistently praised Schmidt for her ability to seamlessly integrate actual events with her fictional characters to produce strong tales of hope and love in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. She resides in Wisconsin.

Find her online:


ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Last Chance Cowboys: The Outlaw
Author: Anna Schmidt
Series: Where the Trail Ends, #3
ISBN: 9781492613022
Pub Date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Western Romance

“‘Someone like me?’ Is that how you see me, Amanda? As someone people should fear?”


I don’t know what to think,” she said. “One minute you seem so dangerous, and the next you’re sweet and caring and…”


He took a step closer, his eyes sweeping her face. “And which do you want me to be?” His voice was low; it sent shivers down her spine.


Both,” she whispered, and lifted her face for a kiss.

Amanda Porterfield longs to experience real adventure. So when she’s offered a position in bustling Tucson, she leaps at the chance despite unknown dangers—dangers like the mysterious Seth Grover.

As an undercover detective working to stop a gang of outlaws, Seth can’t afford the distractions a woman like Amanda inspires. Yet when the fiercely intelligent beauty is thrust into the middle of a heist gone wrong, Seth will fight for a future that may never be theirs…even if it means risking everything he holds dear.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Seems raffle has done a few changes, not happy- Anyway US only


Sunday, 23 July 2017

Carole's Sunday Review: Mask of Innocence - Marion Shepherd

Oooops. two Carole post up by mistake! My bad


Author: Marion Shepherd
Title: Mask of Innocence 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: ebook
Published: Feb. 2017
Where I Got It: Netgalley

The Marchant family live in Cedar Grove, a majestic Tudor manor house nestled within the rolling Cotswolds hills. 


Upon the untimely death of their tyrannical father, Richard and Francesca Marchant are caught up in a web of dark family secrets, manipulation, murder, abduction and obsessive desires. 



Francesca is a rebellious and spirited young girl, despised by her stepmother Catherine, and relentlessly pursued by the obsessive Rufus Donaldson. She becomes the subject of a dangerous conspiracy to force her into an unwanted marriage, jeopardising her future with the man to whom she has given her heart. Can her brother, Richard, rise above his own lustful desires and save his beloved sister? 



I instantly fell in love with the cover and it seemed to be very interesting, so I decided I had to read this. 


The Marchant family seems to be perfect on the outside, but it is all a lie. When the mean dad dies, they hope it will get better, but it doesn't. There are so many family secrets and manipulation going on. Poor Francesca is being harassed and stalked by the nasty Rufus. Evil man. Stinks to be her. 



There were a lot of twists and turns and I found that refreshing. I had a hard time staying hooked though. Along with the twists and turns, there were a lot of slow parts that I skimmed over. I honestly felt like I was on a roller coaster. I was drinking in every word one moment and then the next moment I was yawning and waiting for the next exciting thing. 



The only character I could stand was Francesca at times. Isobel and Sanjay weren't bad either. However, I had a hard time connecting with anyone really, so it made it hard to stay hooked and curious what was going to happen next. 



The ending was really good! It was a nice way to tie everything together. So yes, this ended on a good note. 



In the end, this was okay. I had a hard time connecting with the characters and staying hooked with the story. There were a lot of good twists and the ending was done well. I do recommend it if you like historical fiction. I'll give this three stars. 









Carole's Sunday Review: Betrayal at Iga - Susan Spann

Author: Susan Spann
Title: Betrayal at Iga (Shinobi Mystery #5) 
Genre: Historical Fiction and Mystery
Pages: 248
Published: July 2017
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher)

Autumn, 1565: After fleeing Kyoto, master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo take refuge with Hiro s ninja clan in the mountains of Iga province. But when an ambassador from the rival Koga clan is murdered during peace negotiations, Hiro and Father Mateo must find the killer in time to prevent a war between the ninja clans. 

With every suspect a trained assassin, and the evidence incriminating not only Hiro s commander, the infamous ninja Hattori Hanz, but also Hiro s mother and his former lover, the detectives must struggle to find the truth in a village where deceit is a cultivated art. As tensions rise, the killer strikes again, and Hiro finds himself forced to choose between his family and his honor.



This is the fifth book in the series. I read the 4th one (I still need to back track and read the others) and I think you should at least read that one before this one. 

The mystery duo Hiro and Mateo continue. We get to learn more about Hiro and that made me happy. It was nice to see where he came from and how he became who he is. It was nice to get to know more about one of our heroes. I do admit I have a wee crush on Hiro. ;D

I liked the mystery too. It took a long time for me to guess who the murder is, but I did figure it out. Lots of subtle, under-the-table hints and clues. Looking back I am mad at myself for not figuring it out a few pages sooner. Kuddos for the author. 

I love the writing style of the author. She really knows how to weave characters, mysteries, and the world. Beautiful and I want to read more. 

My only issue with the story was how dragged out it felt. There was a lot of repeating information that we, the readers, already knew. But that is my only complaint. 

I can't wait to read more. I need to back up and read the other ones. I encourage reading book 1. Out of five stars, I'll give this 4 stars. 









Saturday, 22 July 2017

Saturday Night Movie: A Promise

A romantic drama set in Germany just before WWI and centered on a married woman who falls in love with her husband's protégé. Separated first by duties and then by the war, they pledge their devotion to one another.

Director: Patrice Leconte
Writers: Patrice Leconte (screenplay), Jérôme Tonnerre (screenplay) | Stefan Sweig (novel)
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman, Richard Madden |
Drama/Romance

Lenght: 1h 38 min


Musings:
Now this to be honest was a rather dull movie. A young man meets his boss' young wife. But nothing happens. They steal glances at each other. They talk. But nothing is said about love. They just are, they wonder, they go on with their lives.

So it's more emotional cheating, and well it does fit. They restrain from expressing what they feel, and it is not like I can blame him, or her for that matter. You can not help who you fall in love with.

But omg it was soooooo slow. I kept hoping the war would start and he would be sent away and I would finally see some action, but alas, that was not to be. But I am not saying it was truly boring. Now in its utter slowness I could watch it. It had its moments, but yes be warned. It is sloooooooooow.

As for the acting, yeah, they did well. And it's always nice to see Rickman.



Friday, 21 July 2017

Audio Review: Just the thing - Marie Harte

Gavin Donnigan left the Marine Corps a shell of a man, hounded by guilt for deaths he couldn't prevent. But teaching a self-defense class at the local gym brings some stability to his life-along with a gorgeous leggy blonde who won't give him the time of day. Zoe York lost her twin sister to a freak car accident a few months ago. She's been struggling to bury her grief, but it isn't until she signs up for a self-defense class with its distractingly hot instructor that she begins to come out of her shell again. With the memory of her sister telling her to live a little, Zoe decides a fling with buns-of-steel Gavin Donnigan might be just the thing. Soon they're sparring both in and out of the gym. And for the first time in a long time, each is looking forward to tomorrow.

My thoughts:
I have read about heroes with issues but Gavin sure suffered. He had PTSD and he cried. He cried! Those issues guys have a chip on their shoulders but they never cry. This felt real. He felt broken. He had spent 14 years in the marines and now he worked as a trainer. He tried to keep a smile on his face, but the guy was yes, broken.

Zoe is broken too. But not near as much. She is dealing with the loss of her sister. And this thing does bring them together. They both lost loved ones. They both grieve.

And there was a lot of smexy times. Like a lot. Like a bit too many for my taste as you know I skim things. But hey that does not bother me, I just go past it and get to the grieving, issues and romance stuff. But for those of you who like it, well there is plenty to go around.

I liked Gavin because he was so vulnerable. Zoe was the stronger one here and I liked to see them get closer and really have to work for it.

Conclusion:
A good book

Narrator: CJ Bloom
She did a good job, but her men sure sounds macho. But then they are macho so that makes sense.
All in all a good narration.

Audio CD, 10 h
Published July 4th 2017 by Tantor Audio
The Donnigans #2
Contemporary romance
For review



Thursday, 20 July 2017

Our dark duet - Victoria Schwab

Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human, no matter how much he once yearned for it. He’s a monster with a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own. 

My thoughts:
Omg that ending. I tried to look at her webpage of there are more books in the series, but the page was down. Woe is me! If not, well I mean in a way it was a perfect ending. It fits. In another way, I so need more from this world! This can not be the end. I do not want to leave yet.

The last book ended with a bang. Kate is hunting monsters in another city. August has embraced his inner monster and is keeping the city of Verity safe from monsters (well half the city, read book 1 to get that. Srsly, read book 1. Do not jump right in.)

Kate was still Kate, but August. He had just wanted to be human, and now, after his brother passed he had to step up. I felt his change and it saddened me. But this is a dark world.

I really can not even explain the world. Monsters that are burn when people die and they hunt people in different ways. A city torn apart by warring families. Everyone just trying to get by. A dark world that is not black and white. It is grey, very grey.

And now there is a new monster hunting, and it was a new scary one. And an enemy from book 1 is back too.

Conclusion:
I enjoyed this book. I read it fast too because I raced to the end. I needed to know. SO read it, but start with book 1.

Cover
Growing on me

Paperback, 470 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Titan Books
Monsters of Verity #2
Paranormal / YA / Fantasy /Dystopia / UF
For review


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Cursed - Sue Tingey

Lucky's being wooed by Jinx, the sexy Deathbringer and Jamie, the gorgeous Guardian, so the daemon world isn't too bad 

But before Lucky can really start to enjoy her new life in the Underlands, Kayla's men are slain and Kayla herself is kidnapped by the Sicarii, assassins-for-hire members of a death-cult.

Lucky's nemesis Henri le Dent has somehow escaped the Chambers of Rectification and court torturer Amaliel Cheriour is also missing . . . and daemon princess Kayla is just bait to catch Lucky.

For Lucky's own powers are growing, and Amaliel has his own nefarious paln to use her. But first, he has to get past her Guards, not to mention Lucky herself . . . 

My thoughts;
Ok so when I said book 1 was light, I never meant light as in the story is light. And the same goes for book 2. There is darkness, death and danger. But the writing feels light, it's not too long and it's one of those read in a book day.

Oh and there is romance now. And yes I have to confess, there is a triangle, but see, it does not bother me cos there is no triangle. There is never any oh who to choose? See this gal is all, f that, both are mine. And both are hers to do what she wants with. So no triangle, just 3 demon-humans falling for each other. Well, all I say you go girl and go for it.

But this was not a romance book, she thinks about her hotties, but there is no time for romance as her sister gets kidnapped. And someone is after her too. There are assassins to run from. A father growing mad. And the whole she can see dead people thing, and in the underlands that is not a good thing. The dead tell tales. 

I enjoyed it and like I said before I read it in a day. Once again it ended with a  cliffie that was not a cliffie. Everything is sort of good for now, but you know things will go down in the next one. I am also glad I have the next one so I can find out what will happen.

Conclusion:
Hottie demons, evil minions and a fun read. On to the next one at once

Paperback, 400 pages
Publication: May 5th 2016 by Jo Fletcher books
The Soulseer Chronicles #2
Fantasy
For review


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Every Heart a doorway and TMST: Do you find it is easier to read and review books that you have picked up on your own?

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Guests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost. 

My thoughts:
When I saw this one was free from TOR I went all omg, now now now! I do like MacGuire's books but I had not read this one. It was a novella. I had doubts. But fear not, she is a wonderful writer after all and this was just up my alley.

Nancy comes to a home for well, troubled teens. Her parent's put her there to get better, but the home is not really for that. The women helping them knows very well they are not crazy. They have all been to different worlds. Now they need to learn with the loss of those worlds and being in the real world.

Now this was fascinating. All these worlds, so many worlds! All these kids stumbling in and then out of them. The loss they need to deal with then.

As for the School. Well sinister things are afoot. Nancy are thrown in the middle of things and a good story unfolds.

A really good novella.

Cover
nice


Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Tor.com
Wayward Children #1
Paranormal
Novella

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: 
July 18th: Do you find it is easier to read and review books that you have picked up on your own? 

Honestly, sometimes it is the exact opposite. Because books I have bought, received or picked up at the library, well I have a low tolerance with those at times. I find it easy to dnf them. To just let them go. While when it comes to review books I try harder to read them.

Books I have picked up on my own, right, so higher tolerance for dnf.
When it comes to books I buy I spend a lot of time investigating them so to say. When it comes to library books I just pick books and yes that might be why I dnf a lot. They are not always for me.

Review books comes first, so I would not say I have it easier to read my own books. They come second, that is if it is not books I really really want. And those I usually get for xmas or my bday. Yes I do not buy books whenever. I  wait for xmas and my bday ;)

When it comes to reviews, well I review everything that I read. So it does not matter what it is.

I guess my question is no? Since everything is equally easy to read and review.


Luci on April 30th. He was NOT amused


Monday, 17 July 2017

Author post and giveaway: Amy Sandas

Today I have Amy Sandas over for a post about the London Underworld. You can also win a copy of her previous book at the end :)

Welcome!

My latest release, Lord of Lies, has several scenes that take place in the seedy and dangerous underworld of London. The great city’s slums and rookeries in the time of the Regency were a fascinating and vice-filled setting. Fascinating, mainly in its juxtaposition to the glittering world of the ton. Regency high society was about decadence and extreme expressions of wealth and luxury. On the other side of the coin, London’s East End was filled with cutthroat criminals, gangs, prostitution, addiction, and a general sense of desperation as the inhabitants of the rookeries and slums survived by whatever means necessary.

As soldiers returned home after the war with France, jobs became harder to come by and poverty levels increased. It is noted that the Regency period saw a significant rise in children being perpetrators of crimes, mainly thefts. Boys and girls as young as six were often used for tasks and jobs that adults either couldn’t do as easily or simply didn’t wish to do. It was thought that if a child was caught, the authorities might be lenient in their sentencing. While this was occasionally true, children could still find themselves shipped off to the penal colonies in Australia, sent to the city prisons, or sentenced to the gallows.

Children were taught the tricks of the trade by various means. While many of the children were orphans, some still lived with one or both of their parents. A child might fall into thievery by becoming associated with the wrong crowd while their parents were busy making end meet, but others were taught to steel by their parents who sent them out each day to acquire valuables with a threat of dire consequences should they return home empty-handed.

Children without homes or family often became members of gangs that worked together in housebreaking missions or scams designed to fleece the unsuspecting. Along with teaching the skills of thievery, gangs provided much-needed protection. Whether due to affection, a code of honor, or threats of violence, members of gangs often remained loyal to each other and to their leader, to the point of refusing to give each other up if questioned by authorities. Some gangs could be made up exclusively of children with a leader as young as thirteen. Girls and boys worked and lived together. In some cases, young boys were reported as having a ‘kept girl’ or ‘flash girl’ in an imitation of relationships displayed by their adult counterparts.

Children of the slums clearly had to grow up fast—frighteningly fast. We get a glimpse of this in Lord of Lies when the hero and heroine work together to save children at risk of being exploited and abused by a crime boss. Gratefully, as an author I am able to make sure the children are rescued from their intended fate. So many real-life children of the London’s Regency underworld were not so fortunate.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Lord of Lies
Author: Amy Sandas
Series: Fallen Ladies, #3
ISBN: 9781492618782
Pub Date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance

You do strange things to me, Dell Turner. Tell me I am not alone in what I feel.”
His voice was low and rough. His eyes burned. “You are not alone,” he said.

Portia Chadwick longs for a life of adventure. When a dangerous moneylender kidnaps her sister, she dares to seek help from a man known only as Nightshade. Soon she finds herself charging headfirst into his world of intrigue and danger—and unexpected passion.

Dell Turner grew up in London’s back alleys and gin lanes. Vowing to escape his low beginnings, he hires himself out to society’s elite. When he accepts a job from a beautiful debutante, he doesn’t anticipate her relentless determination to join his mad occupation…or her unnerving ability to inspire emotions he thought long buried. She’s as dangerous to him as his world is to her, and yet Dell can’t bring himself to turn Portia away—even if it means risking her life.





Thank you!

GIVEAWAY
A copy of The untouchable earl

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Ends July 22nd
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today Bestselling author Amy Sandas’s love of romance began one summer when she stumbled across one of her mother’s Barbara Cartland books. Her affinity for writing began with sappy preteen poems and led to a liberal arts degree from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She lives with her husband and children near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Find Amy Online:
Twitter: @AmySandas




Sunday, 16 July 2017

Carole's Sunday Review: Mistress of the Wind - Michelle Diener


Author: Michelle Diener
Title: Mistress of the Wind 
Genre: Fantasy, YA, and Retellings
Pages: ebook
Published: December 2013
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)

Bjorn needs to find a very special woman . . . 

The fate of his people, and his own life, depends on it. But when he does find her, she is nothing like he imagined, and may just harbor more secrets than he does himself.


Astrid has never taken well to commands. No matter who issues them . . . 
She's clashed her whole life with her father, and now her lover, the mysterious man who comes to her bedroom in darkness and disappears to guard his mountain by day as a bear, is finding it out the hard way. And when he's taken by his enemies, no one is prepared for Astrid's response. 

It is never wise to anger the mistress of the wind . . . 

A captivating and magical adult retelling of the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon.



I've heard so many good things about this and then it became an Amazon freebie. 


What an amazing and fun adventure this was. It was so magical and whimsical...I could hardly put this down. I finished this story after a couple of sittings. I for sure want more. 


The story follows Astrid and Bjorn. Astrid is a peasant girl who has a strange connection with the wind. Bjorn is a lord who is cursed by a troll and must find his true love in order to save himself and his people. 


The best part of this book was the fact that Bjorn saved Astrid, but Astrid saved him. No damsel in distress and that made it even better. In the end, they are equals. I do think that Astrid's journey was the best and her story was the best I think. 


I loved the world and characters. I want to learn more about this world and what it has to offer. I especially want to learn about the other Hags in more detail who helped Astrid master her gift. 


This was a good one and I do recommend this one. It is a very good retelling and it is written well. The characters and world was fun. Out of five stars, I'll give this 5 stars. 





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