Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Because of Miss Bridgerton - Julia Quinn

Sometimes you find love in the most unexpected of places... This is not one of those times.

Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbors for centuries, and as a child the tomboyish Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband... someday.

Sometimes you fall in love with exactly the person you think you should...Or not.

There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest and heir to the earldom, but he's arrogant, annoying, and she's absolutely certain he detests her. Which is perfectly convenient, as she can't stand the sight of him, either.

But sometimes fate has a wicked sense of humor...

Because when Billie and George are quite literally thrown together, a whole new sort of sparks begins to fly. And when these lifelong adversaries finally kiss, they just might discover that the one person they can't abide is the one person they can't live without... 


My thoughts:
I do like Quinn's books, they are sweet! 
Though to be honest, nope, I have not read all the Bridgerton books, as this is their aunt, it obviously takes places long before those books.

Anyway, this is about Billie Bridgerton. She helps her dad with the estate, she knows every tenant and animal, she wears breeches and hunt. And she knows that she might not be a proper miss, but she does not care.

George Rokesby watched Billie run wild with his younger brothers and sister when they were kids. He thinks she is a hoyden.

They do not care for each other.

Awww, I know right, the perfect start. She thinks he is boring, he thinks she is too wild. But all the other Rokesby's have left. These two end up together, they have actual conversations. And then the banter starts, you know you can never go wrong with banter, cos it will make them realise that they actually like each other.

A sweet story. I liked how their love for each other slowly dawned on them.

Cover
Not really fitting for the era, but I will take it

Mass Market Paperback, 375 pages
Published March 29th 2016 by Avon
Rokesbys #1
Historical romance
Own


Monday, 30 January 2017

Wicked Cowboy Charm - Carolyn Brown

Josie Dawson is new in town, but it doesn't take a local to know that Deke Sullivan is trouble--in a smokin' hot package. He's sweet, sexy, and has charmed just about every woman in Dry Creek, Texas. Well, Josie won't be next. She'll keep her distance, even if he is great with babies and makes a mean cup of homemade hot chocolate.
Deke Sullivan really is a one-woman type of guy. He just had to do a lot of looking to find that one woman. Now he thinks he's found her and he won't let a strong, sassy gal like Josie slip away. Just when he's wondering how to convince her he only has eyes for her, they get stranded in a tiny cabin during a major blizzard. If Deke can melt her heart before they dig out of the snow, he'll be the luckiest cowboy in Texas . . . 


My thoughts:
I have said it before, and I will say it again. I like Brown's books because they are sweet. There is always good banter going on and it makes me want to visit where they are and have some pie or something.

In this one, Deke meets Josie. She is staying with her brother, she has plans, and they do not include a wild cowboy who flirts around. But destiny does have a way of making own plans. Like having them stranded in a snowstorm, just the two of them, well and a dog and an old man. For days. I did like how they got to know each other. They still fought that attraction, but ha, you can try it, but you will fail.

You could see they would fit well together, they just had to get there in their heads first. But it made for an interesting journey, even if the first half was being crammed together in a bunkhouse.

Conclusion:
As always then, a sweet romance with a good couple, and a great side characters.

Cover
Nice


Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 31st 2017 by Forever
Lucky Penny Ranch #4
Contemporary romance
NG


Sunday, 29 January 2017

Sunday Discussion: Nothing to Envy - Barbara Demick



First book of the year! *cheers* We will be discussing 'Nothing to Envy' by Barbara Demick. We've changed the format a hair. Blodeuedd is in blue and Carole is in red/brown.
Author: Barbara Demick
Title:Nothing to Envy
Genre: Nonfiction
Pages: ebook
First Published: December 29th 2009
Where I Got It: On my Shelf (Amazon)


Award-winning journalist Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years--a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today--an Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, where displays of affection are punished, informants are rewarded, and an offhand remark can send a person to the gulag for life. Demick takes us deep inside the country, beyond the reach of government censors, and through meticulous and sensitive reporting, we see her subjects fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions, and struggle for survival. One by one, we witness their profound, life-altering disillusionment with the government and their realization that, rather than providing them with lives of abundance, their country has betrayed them.


Let us begin.

Yes, let us begin….first I want to say that poor North Koreans!! The ending was hopeful-ish that many are realizing that things are not that great, but they still have to pretend to live.

I found it sad, since this book was written a few years ago and they had hope then that their country would change. But, they will surely all be dead before then :/

Super sad. I just can’t even imagine living there.

The sad part is not even the camps, the starvation, or the fear of being ratted out by a neighbor. The scary part is how people believed because they are being brainwashed since birth. Every freaking person. That is just messed up. Our glorious leader will save us. HA, your glorious leader is eating great food and driving around in a fancy car and living in a mansion.

Agreed. The brainwashing is the scariest part. It happens everywhere though and that is even more scary. Luckily in “free” countries we do have those that use their brain and don’t let the brainwashing happen. However, in North Korea they have to believe in the lies in order to survive. It’s so tragic. :/

The part that hit me was when the doctor escaped to China and saw a bowl of rice just sitting there, and then she realized that all those things she had heard were wrong. The rest of the world was not a hellhole. Instead dogs ate better than people in North Korea :/

That got me too. All the moments of the characters when they realized, “Crap...this place is crap and I gotta get outta here.” Hit me hard, because it’s hard to leave.

Yes, all those moments were tough one. They realized this was hell, they were told the rest of the world is crap, but no other choice than to actually go and take a look. So they did.

I think my favorite story was the doctor’s. I felt so bad for her with all those sick kids. I wouldn’t be able to handle it, because there is zero you can do.

I liked the lovers too cos they were so caught up in their own world, and the woman who believed, but then she realised she had to survive, and to survive, she had to change. She made a real change in her life.

Yes, they were all good. I do wish I didn’t read chapter one, because I feel it was more like a prologue and it gave away the ending to the lovers, so I wasn’t that into them because I knew it was going to break my heart.

That is why prologues suck. I do wish it had been about one person so we could have looked deep or whatever. But at the same time I liked that it was about different people from different background who all came to leave that forsaken land.

I go back and forth about how I feel. I liked having different views during the same time period and how things impacted them. However, like you, I do feel like I would’ve liked a more in depth background of a character.

In-depth would have been good. I am not saying this was an awesome story. BUT, it was an interesting book about life in a miserable country. And I wanted to know what happened.

Very interesting and I learned a few things. I think my biggest issue was that it felt like a history book. Yes, yes, it is a nonfiction, but the writing was lackluster in my opinion. I felt like I was reading this for a class in some instances.

Sorry journalists, but it did feel like a newspaper article, and that was what it had been. She did not write as maybe an author would have. She writes well, but not ...compelling? Hmm, dunno what it was. I have only read one NK book before and that was one actually not as good, it felt like a YA book. It did not touch on what people did to survive, it touched no bad things. It was too clean. Here we saw the bodies in the streets. I felt this one was more real in that aspect.

You could tell this was written by a journalist. Interesting, lots of information, you get the facts, and it makes you think/feel. However, it wasn’t compelling and pretty. No pretty words or anything like that.

At least I feel it was one of the better ones I have chosen lately ;) Cos I did read it in almost a day.. It is a fascinating country. And an evil one.

Hahaha it was for sure worth the read. I read it in a couple of sittings. I do encourage others to read this. You know what scares me? How people predict North Korea will crumble and fall apart in X amount of years and they still haven’t. They still keep going and surviving. I wonder if they will ever crumble and those people can finally be free.

Everyone is just so scared so even when things are bad, they go on, they die. As long as the Leader is there, I fear it will not fall. It would take a drastic regime change.
This book also made me think how people can be so taken by a leader, and even though he has flaws, they do not see them.

It’s sad and scary. You can see that even in the modern world too. People are so easily fooled.

There are so many silly things, like how he invented hamburgers, how he is a god. How his dad would risen from the dead if they just believed hard enough. That is brainwashing for sure. Something about a unicorn too, sigh.

LOL yeah there are so many things that they actually believe in. I just don’t get it myself. I do want to read more and try to understand.

So, we can agree it was good with a nonfic for once then? :) I do also say that if not this one, then others should really read something set in North Korea.

Yes! It was also a good shake-up to our normal discussions. And yes, people should read a book like this set in North Korea. It truly made me appreciate the things we have.

Like food! Or that I can say that my own government sucks without being sent to a camp. Oh and my government does suck ;)

OMG yes food. I can’t even imagine….that is not how I would want to go. Oh! Please. My government is WAY worse now ;)

But still not as bad as North Korea...yet.

Oh gods, both of our governments are way better than that. If we were in North Korea just saying what we just said would end with us disappearing and being killed. *shudder*

II can not even imagine!
So...the end?
Your turn next.

The end I suppose. Honestly, this is a topic that can be talked about all day. LOL But I need to go digging for a good choice.

Yeah, it would never end. Oh and I am hungry, dinner is ready. Could not say that in north korea….


I am going to go eat lunch myself!








Friday, 27 January 2017

#FitReaders Check-In: January 27, 2017

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

Join in!

Sat 1 h walk
Sun 30 min walk walk
Mon 4 km bike, 45 min water aerobics
Tue  4 km bike
Wed 4  km bike, 30 min walk
Thu 4 km bike, 45 min zumba toning, 30 min walk
Fri 4 km bike

No pics, grey and icy


Thursday, 26 January 2017

Succubus on Top - Richelle Mead

Love hurts, and no one knows it better than Georgina Kincaid. If she so much as kisses Seth
Mortensen, the shy, sexy writer she's been dating, she'll drain his life force. Admittedly, the shapeshifting and immortality perks of a succubus are terrific, but it's completely unfair that a she-demon whose purpose is seduction can't get down with the one mortal who accepts her for who she is. . .

It's not just her personal life that's in chaos. Doug, Georgina's co-worker at a local bookstore, has been exhibiting bizarre behavior, and Georgina suspects something far more demonic than double espressos. She could use an assist from Bastien, an irresistibly charming incubus and her best immortal friend, but he's giving Georgina some highly distracting come-hither vibes. Georgina is going to have to work solo on this one-and fast, because soon, Doug's life won't be the only one on the line. . .

My thoughts:
I am confused, did the way she works change? I felt the whole demon thing fell apart.

The book was also totally boring, nothing happened! I mean omg, so boring! She did absolutely nothing. Sucked off some guy in a bar, talked to coworkers, spent time with her boyfriend.

And do not even get me started on her relationship with Seth. He must be a saint. I get that this is her work, but uh no you didn't.

I was very disappointed by this instalment. Dull, lifeless, I did not even like her. I will not read more. Calling it quits now. Total second book syndrome. Sometimes I still read book 3 after one of these, but now, nah.


Mass Market Paperback, 333 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Zebra (first published January 1st 2008)
Georgina Kincaid #2
Paranormal romance
Own


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

With fate conspire - Marie Brennan

Marie Brennan returns to the Onyx Court, a fairy city hidden below Queen Victoria's London. Now the Onyx Court faces its greatest challenge.

Seven years ago, Eliza's childhood sweetheart vanished from the streets of Whitechapel. No one believed her when she told them that he was stolen away by the faeries.

But she hasn't given up the search. It will lead her across London and into the hidden palace that gives refuge to faeries in the mortal world. That refuge is now crumbling, broken by the iron of the underground railway, and the resulting chaos spills over to the streets above.

Three centuries of the Onyx Court are about to come to an end. Without the palace's protection, the fae have little choice but to flee. Those who stay have one goal: to find safety in a city that does not welcome them. But what price will the mortals of London pay for that safety?


My thoughts:
This was a sad one, ok now you think omg am I gonna cry? Haha, no, I do not mean SAD, just you know melancholic. But never sad! The Fae have lived and loved London, but the iron has poisoned Father Thames. The railway is destroying more and more. The Onyx court is dying, iron is everywhere. And I do like the Fae, even if they have their share of rotten eggs too. And the Court is desperately trying to find a way to survive.... It's just sad to see them struggling.

But this book is not about the court for once. It is about Eliza, who is looking for her love that was taken by fairies. Also, she is in trouble with the law cos of the Fenians. I liked her story, her struggles, and how she never gave up. She really wanted to find Owen again.

The second big POV was Dead Rick, a fae, and honestly, eh, I did not care. He was not doing a lot, he was not doing the nicest things. And I just liked Eliza much more.

I guess this was the end then. A good conclusion to the series, and honestly, they do work as standalones cos there are new characters and the last one took place 150 years before.

Conclusion:
A nice end to this series. Intrigues and a dying land. 


Paperback, 632 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by Titan Books (first published August 30th 2011)
The Onyx Court #4
Historical fantasy
for review


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Forests of Dru - Jeffe Kennedy

Once Princess Oria spun wicked daydreams from the legends of sorceresses kidnapped by the barbarian Destrye. Now, though she’s come willingly, she finds herself in a mirror of the old tales: the king’s foreign trophy of war, starved of magic, surrounded by snowy forest and hostile strangers. But this place has secrets, too—and Oria must learn them quickly if she is to survive.

Instead of the refuge he sought, King Lonen finds his homeland desperate and angry, simmering with distrust of his wife. With open challenge to his rule, he knows he and Oria—the warrior wounded and weak, the sorceress wrung dry of power—must somehow make a display of might. And despite the desire that threatens to undo them both, he still cannot so much as brush her skin.

With war looming and nowhere left to run, Lonen and Oria must use every intrigue and instinct they can devise: to plumb Dru’s mysteries, to protect their people—and to hold fast to each other. Because they know better than any what terrifying trial awaits… 

My thoughts:
I just hate the Destrye! Poor Oria. Fine, there are nice people there too, but so many are just asshats. All," she is a witch! She has bewitched him! Use her as a slave and marry one of your own kind! " Asshats! She is lying there half dead, but of course she is at fault. Grrrrrr!

I guess I should be happy cos she is with Lonen, but they are just so mean! She is weak because she needs her magic. He is weak cos of their journey there. And people do not want her around so that is not exactly making them stronger.

The book is not long, it's a novella. They get better, there is drama and they try to figure out how to make her better.

Conclusion:
But things are coming, I am intrigued by new events. Things will get dangerous too. I am looking forward to more. 

ebook, 140 ish
Expected publication: January 24th 2017
Sorcerous Moons #4
Fantasy romance


Monday, 23 January 2017

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight - Darynda Jones

A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah...demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all. 

My thoughts:
I should have written this when it was fresh in my mind, oh well.

I never remember how I exactly felt about previous books, but I do feel like whatever steam it may have lost it picked up again. And that ending, wow.

So...well obviously things have gone down in previous books. I still feel so sad that she can't be with Beep. I mean that is beyond heartbreaking. Beep!

Where to begin? I wanted more Reyes, ok so Reyes was there and they got hot and heavy. But he was not there..Reyes!!

Charley said some things in the last book and angels are stalking her. But if she wants a beef with God then she will have one. She is a goddess after all.

She has a new case, one she really should have left alone. Things will get dangerous. But that is Charley for ya.

Family issues. Godly drama, you name it.

And then there were a few new revelations that I did not see coming.

Conclusion:
I do need the next book at once

Cover
still meh

Ebook, 352 pages
Expected publication: January 24th 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin
Charley Davidson #11
Urban fantasy romance
Netgalley


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Carole's Sunday Review: Beyond Derrynane

Author: Kevin O'Connell
Title: Beyond Derrynane (The Derrynane Saga, #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 348
First Published: June 7th 2016
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

Wed in an arranged marriage to a man nearly fifty years her senior, sixteen-year-old Eileen O'Connell goes from being one of five unmarried sisters to become the mistress of Ballyhar, the great estate of John O'Connor, one of the wealthiest and most influential men in Ireland.

When O'Connor dies suddenly seven months into their marriage, Eileen must decide whether she will fulfill her brother's strategic goals for her family by marrying her late husband's son.


Headstrong and outspoken, Eileen frustrates her brother's wishes, as, through the auspices of her uncle, General Moritz O'Connell of the Imperial Austrian Army, she, along with her ebullient elder sister, Abigail, spend the ensuing richly-dramatic and eventful years at the court of the Empress Maria Theresa in Vienna. The sisters learn to navigate the complex and frequently contradictory ways of the court--making a place for themselves in a world far different from remote Derrynane. Together with the general, they experience a complex life at the pinnacle of the Habsburg Empire.


Poor Eileen. She had such a hard time of it. She is first forced to marry a guy who is way older than she is. Sure, he is nice, but he takes forever to really warm up to her and even remotely like her and then he dies. She is sent back to her family and her brother is already lining up husbands for her. C'mon give the girl some mourning time! Through some events she ends up taking her sister Abigail to Austria with her uncle. 


This was an interesting read. Eileen was an interesting character and I am curious to follow her story further. Abigail was entertaining; I think I liked Abigail more than I liked Eileen honestly...maybe it was because I see a little of myself in her. Eileen's late husband was nice, but he was old and didn't last long so I didn't really grow too fond of him. Everyone was meh. Eileen's brother was a jerk. He needed a swift kick in the shins. 


The beginning was super sloooooooooooow. I didn't truly get hooked to the story until about halfway or so when Eileen arrived in Austria to serve in the court of Empress Maria Theresa. There was a lot of character building and world-building in the first half. Maybe a little too much, but I think it was needed.  


Now, when the ending came, I was upset, I wanted it to keep going. I really want to see what is next for Eileen and her sister. Well, I know my history and I know what is going to happen, but I want to see how Eileen handles everything.


I am really glad the author made sure to announce the month, year, and location. There was a little bit of jumping around and I would've been so confused without those indications. 


This was an excellent opening book to the saga. It wasn't amazing, but it was good. I really feel like this was a set-up for some real good drama in the upcoming books. I can't wait!!


In the end, this was pretty good. The beginning was super slow, but once you got past the character and world build-up, it got way better. The characters were interesting and the story was addicting. Poor Eileen! I am curious to see what is in store for her in the next part of the saga. I for sure recommend this if you like historical fiction. Out of five stars, I'll give this 3. 





Saturday, 21 January 2017

#FitReaders Check-In: January 20, 2017

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

Join in! 

It is fun, you can do any form of exercise you want and *notices she has not updated the logo, oops, goes do fix that and get a 2017 one  for this post*

Lol, yes join us :)


Sat 1 h walk
Sun 1 h walk
Mon 4 km bike, 45 min water aerobics
Tue  2 km bike
Wed 2  km bike, 30 min walk
Thu 4 km bike, 45 min zumba toning
Fri 4 km bike, 30 min walk




Thursday, 19 January 2017

The original Miss Honeyford - MC Beaton

Miss Honeyford was sour on romance, but she had been duly dispatched to London to save the family fortune by hunting for (and securing) a wealthy husband - and thereby proving her role as a loving if not entirely dutiful daughter. Honoraria obeyed. But if she was reluctantly willing to surrender her hand, this beautiful young lady who could ride, shoot, and argue with any man was not about to lose her head or her heart to any of the dismal cads 'n lads of the Marriage Mart. First she met the arrogantly attractive Lord Alistair Stewart, who treated her infuriatingly like a little girl. And then she met the skillfully seductive Lord Channington, who treated her intoxicatingly like the desirable full-grown woman that she was. But now that she had a choice, which role would she choose and just how much risk was she willing to run?

My thoughts:
I should have realised this was an oldie, but I saw it later on when looking for the cover. So old school in the sweet sense. They hate each other, and then they fall in love.

Honoria likes to speak her mind, she smokes, she drinks, she hunts, she rather spends time with men than with women.

But, uh oh. They men see her as a boy. Like she cares, but off to the city she is sent.

She does change, she becomes very, hmmm....wait looking for the right thing to say. But she becomes so naive. Srsly if everyone says that guy is a seducer then maybe you should believe them you stupid chit. GOD, this was so 80s in that aspect.

And then there is the guy she argues with the entire book, and then realises that they love each other. But there is drama and she is an idiot and I was all, wait, when did these two fall in love?

Conclusion:
Ha, but yes it was super sweet and I enjoyed cos damn these can be read fast. 

Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published January 15th 2014 by RosettaBooks (first published 1985)
Historical romance
Own


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Spectyr - Philippa Ballantine

The second novel in Ballantine's series. In a realm of mystics and magic, the Order of Deacons stands between the here and now and the Otherside. Its mission is to protect the citizens of the Empire from malevolent geists--no matter where or when...

Though one of the most powerful Deacons, Sorcha Faris has a tarnished reputation to overcome, which is why she jumps at the chance to investigate a string of murders in the exotic city of Orithal. But it is there that her lover, the shapeshifting rival to the throne, is targeted by a cruel and vengeful goddess, unwittingly unleashed by the Emperor's sister. 

My thoughts:
Hmmm, I did not really focus on what I was reading. Not the best of weeks. It was good, but my focus was so off. Seriously, I was about to pick it up yesterday....and realised I had finished it the day before. Yeah. Sorry book. I might have missed a thing or two.

So...evil goddess wants to kill that guy with a beast inside of him. Sorcha the one with magic and her partner wants to stop that, and get out of town. Since her husband is a dick. Yes yes I know, I really kept my attention on this. Sigh.

Evil goddess was evil, sprinkle in some surprises. One was sad. Oh oh, wtf with that freaking royal bitch. Grrrrrrrrr. I hope she gets what is coming to her.

I am so glad it worked even if my attention was nowhere to be found. I hope I am in a better mood when I read the next one.

Cover
Nice
Mass Market Paperback, 1st Edition, 310 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by Ace (first published May 21st 2011)
Book of the Order #2
Fantasy
Own


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Highland bride's choice - Amanda Forester

In this first installment, the clan has gathered for May Day festivities, and Laird Campbell is trying to arrange marriages for his younger sisters. Practical Elyne Campbell is pleased to marry whomever her brother has chosen for her. Unfortunately, she is more attracted to Tavish Grant, the cousin of her intended, than the prospective groom himself. When she is caught outside the castle gates during a siege and is forced to spend time hiding with Grant, the attraction grows beyond all hope of practicality. 

My thoughts:
Ok so the only reason why I read 2 novellas was cos I had only read 1 book! 1 book and it was already Sunday. One big in 6 days made me shaky, lol.

This one was a fast one where the brother sends for bridegrooms and Elyne is all, fine, I can marry, who needs love anyway. Haha, oh you girl, yes she meets her intended and he is so meh, but dang his cousin is fine.

The love happens fast, they do not have many days on them to fall in love so it's fast and sudden. And then they live happily ever after.

Short and nice

cover
Always stabbing themselves with those swords

Kindle Edition, 89 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Campbell Sisters #1
Historical romance
Own


Monday, 16 January 2017

A torch against the night - Sabaa Tahir

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both. 

My thoughts:
Two days later, as always...I also want to make this short cos I am 2 reviews behind...

It was good, but nope, not AS good as the first one. That one was darker, and even if this one was dark, it felt...YA dark (that is not a good thing.)

Elias was a ghost of himself and did not do a lot. Sure I wanted him to live, but at the same time meh.

I think I did not really care for Laia in book 1? I can not remember, but here I sure did not. What a forgettable boring girl. She is no heroine in my eyes.  And that whole guy thing, *eyeroll*

Helen, hmm, I do not really want a happy ending for her, because she is killing a lot in this book. I get that she is second to the Emperor now, but sheesh, that guy is insane. Stop killing people. I hope you die, even if you are the most interesting person in the book. Also she was so, oh Elias!

The whole book is about them getting to that prison. It did not have the same edge. It bordered on ok at times.

But I will read more, I want to know what happens. And even if it was good I was disappointed. Nothing was the same as book 1. Not the characters, not the story, not the world.

Cover
boring

Hardcover, 452 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by Razorbill
An Ember in the Ashes #2
Fantasy YA
Library


Sunday, 15 January 2017

Carole's Sunday Review: Left at the altar - Margaret Brownley

Author: Margaret Brownley
Title: Left at the Altar (A Match Made in Texas #1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 340
First Published: November 1st 2016
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Won in a giveaway)

Welcome to Two-Time Texas: 


Where tempers burn hot

Love runs deep
And a single marriage can unite a feuding town
...or tear it apart for good 


In the wild and untamed West, time is set by the local jeweler...but Two-Time Texas has two: two feuding jewelers and two wildly conflicting time zones. Meg Lockwood's marriage was supposed to unite the families and finally bring peace. But when she's left at the altar by her no-good fiance, Meg's dreams of dragging her quarrelsome neighbors into a ceasefire are dashed. 



No wedding bells? No one-time town.


Hired to defend the groom against a breach of promise lawsuit, Grant Garrison quickly realizes that the only thing worse than small-town trouble is falling for the jilted bride. But there's something about Meg's sweet smile and determined grit that draws him in...even as the whole crazy town seems set on keeping them apart. 

What a super cute book! I could hardly put this one down! I finished this in just a couple of sittings which is rare for me for this genre. Honestly, I want to read more by this author and in this fun town. 


Let's back-track a bit....



The story follows Meg and Grant. Meg is the daughter of one of the feuding jewelers and she is engaged to marry Tommy who has been her best friend and is the son of the other party in the feud. They are hoping that their marriage will bring the feud to an end. However, Tommy decides the marriage is not for him because Meg wants to stay put and he wants to see the world. Legit reasons...but this should've been something discussed BEFORE the big wedding day. Well...like the title suggests, Tommy leaves poor Meg at the altar. 



This betrayal makes Meg's dad furious, so he decides to sue Tommy for breaking his promise to his daughter. Tommy decides to hire the new lawyer in town, Grant. Poor Grant getting caught up in the feuding families. But it does wonders for his reputation and makes him a popular face and lawyer in town. He also gets to meet and fall in love with the jilted bride herself, Meg who thinks all of this is silly and doesn't want to sue Tommy. 



Heck...I would sue if a guy did that especially back during this time period! Marriage is extremely important to women. It was one of the only ways to get a household of their own. It's such crap and it is embarrassing to be left ON the wedding day. Such crap. 



Now, this all sounds like heavy material, but the author made this enjoyable and made it funny! Sure there were some sad, dark moments, but the majority was fun and light. I needed a book like this for sure. 



My only complaint were some of the random things that didn't seem to help move the storyline along at all. Like the prisoner. Maybe he'll play a bigger role in the next book? We shall see I guess. But overall, it wasn't necessarily a huge issue. Just not sure how some of the things tied in with the main story. 



In the end, I really liked this! It was funny. It was cute. It had a fun cast of crazy Texans and one guy from Boston who somehow got in the middle of the mess. There were some serious moments, but it was done well and didn't take away from the story. Everything blended well. There were some moments and events that seemed to not tie into the story. But they might in the next book. I'm excited to read the next one! I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a light romance with some humor. Out of five stars, I'll give this a 4.





Saturday, 14 January 2017

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-in Jan 13 2017

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

Join in



Sat - Mon I did not write it on twitter so..?`Maybe a 30 min walk here and there. At least 8 km bike on Mon
Tue  4 km bike
Wed 4  km bike, 30 min walk
Thu  45 min walk, 4 km bike, 45 min zumba toning
Fri 4 km bike
Sat 1 h walk



Thursday, 12 January 2017

Smiler's fair - Rebecca Levene

Yron the moon god died, but now he's reborn in the false king's son. His human father wanted to kill him, but his mother sacrificed her life to save him. He'll return one day to claim his birthright. He'll change your life.

He'll change everything.

Smiler's Fair: the great moving carnival where any pleasure can be had, if you're willing to pay the price. They say all paths cross at Smiler's Fair. They say it'll change your life. For five people, Smiler's Fair will change everything.


In a land where unimaginable horror lurks in the shadows, where the very sun and moon are at war, five people - Nethmi, the orphaned daughter of a murdered nobleman, who in desperation commits an act that will haunt her forever. Dae Hyo, the skilled warrior, who discovers that a lifetime of bravery cannot make up for a single mistake. Eric, who follows his heart only to find that love exacts a terrible price. Marvan, the master swordsman, who takes more pleasure from killing than he should. And Krish, the humble goatherd, with a destiny he hardly understands and can never accept - will discover just how much Smiler's Fair changes everything. 

My thoughts:
I should have written this at once while I remembered names!
*looks at blurb*

No one was particularly hero like, more like a gang of antiheroes, and to be honest, villains.

Nethmi, is the one sent to marry some old guy. I mean I get it, but at the same time, come on girl, that is the way of a noblewoman.

Dae Hyo, keeps mourning his slaughtered people.

Eric, was the whore who kept wanting more.

Marvan, was this psycho guy who loved killing. Riiight, not someone to meet.

Krish, oh yes the lost prince who grew up a goatherder but not even he was the hero from the beginning. Even he fs up.

Which is strange, cos with all this seemingly dark characters one would think it would be a dark book, but it wasn't. It felt lighter than epic, not by much. We did not really get to see the world much, it was more about the characters running in different directions making bad decisions so that they one day can meet up, or not. I did learn about their religions since Krish is the Moon God born again. Or so they say.

Conclusion;
The book kept a nice pace, which meant it was always good, never ok, never awesome either. Good enough for me to want to see more because all things holy, what the f. Seriously deranged people some of them.

Cover
boring

Paperback, 404 pages
Published January 1st 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published July 31st 2014)
The Hollow Gods #1
Fantasy
Own


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

True North - Liora Blake

While most novelists would consider jetting off to Hollywood for a TV interview rather exciting,
small-town Montana writer Kate Mosely finds it all a bit exhausting. After losing her husband in a car accident where she was behind the wheel, Kate has finally found her bearings in the world again, rebuilding a simple but stable life. And even if that means a lot of lonely nights watching old movies and quiet days writing obituaries for her hometown newspaper, Kate’s not sure she’s ready for her life to change—again.

Until she shares the stage—and a whole heap of carnal gazes—with rock star Trevor “Trax” Jenkins. Despite his intimidating on-stage bravado, underneath it Kate discovers a man with a Rilke poem tattooed on his arm, an appreciation for cronuts, and a snarky wit that matches her own.

As she and Trevor explore their heated chemistry, the scarred parts of Kate’s heart begin to heal, making room for a love so passionate it makes her want long-forgotten things equal parts naughty, heart-swelling, and joyful. But when a searing exposé in a trashy gossip magazine sends Kate running, will it threaten their chances at forever? 

My thoughts:
I liked the premise of this one. Small town author meets rockstar. What is there not to like?

Sooo late with this review, sigh. Let us make it short.

Kate is an author. She is a widow. From a small town. Intellectual.
Trevor is a rockstar. Bad boy image. Bad boy lyrics.
But she needs to be shaken up, and he can do that. So they fit really well together. And it does click at once and you feel it.

Too much smexy times though, yup ;) I was all, get to the drama (which does come), get to the romance. But aye, you know me. So for you all who like that, passionate for sure.

It was a good romance, I liked these two together. Mostly cos he sure did the chasing

Cover
Headless

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published April 6th 2015 by Pocket Star
True #1
Contemporary romance
Free on XoXo after dark




Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Review and Giveaway: The Edge of the Blade - Jeffe Kennedy

Jepp has been the heart of the queen s elite guard, her Hawks, since long before war split her homeland. But the ease and grace that come to her naturally in fighting leathers disappears when battles turn to politics. When a scouting party arrives from far-away Dasnaria, bearing veiled threats and subtle bluffs, Jepp is happy to let her queen puzzle them out while she samples the pleasures of their prince s bed. 

But the cultural norms allow that a Dasnarian woman may be wife or bed-slave, never her own leader and Jepp s light use of Prince Kral has sparked a diplomatic crisis. Banished from court, she soon becomes the only envoy to Kral s strange and dangerous country, with little to rely on but her wits, her knives and the smolder of anger and attraction that burns between her and him . .

My thoughts:
I so could not see a happy ending for these two. With some books, you just know, like obviously, they will live happily ever after. But here, yes I actually had doubts. Because they are SO different, I know I say that in other reviews too, but here, well they were really different! Like reeeeally different.

Jepp is all warrior, and if she wants a quick tumble, then she has a quick tumble. And she does not really care who, or what gender they are. But her latest tumble was not really the best idea. A foreign prince who plays by other rules and thinks she is only his. Jepp was not any woman, she takes no such bs. She wanted freedom, to do whatever she wanted and she did come from a country where women were as important as men.

Kraal, well, he came from a society where women are kept hidden. Where women have no power. Where women are to be protected. Where women can't do anything on their own. And women can sure not fight there. Women rulers, ha, what a silly notion. Yes you can see why these two would clash, cos even though he totally falls for her, and likes that she can hold her own. His country can not accept that. 

How can they possible be together? And as seen in the last book she was on her way there as an ambassador. He is a prince. She can't keep her mouth shut. They are so wrong for each other. And how they argue. How they fight. She wanted a one night thing, he wants more. Oh the fights they have, delicious. 

But the book is about more than that. A whole new society to see, stupid men! And something to find. Hidden powers in dark (I hate them). And things will get dangerous.

Conclusion:
A good fantasy romance, and one with a strong couple that really has to fight for that HEA. Cos do not worry, this is a romance. If there was not a HEA I would have thrown it at the wall ;)

Cover
Cool

Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 27th 2016 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
Uncharted Realms #2, The Twelve Kingdoms #5
Fantasy romance
Own

And now to a Giveaway of the previous book /books!

There is only one giveaway, but, different rules:

If the winner is US/Canada then they will receive a print copy of


If the winner is international then they will receive an e-copy of one of the novellas
Negotiation, Heart's Blood or The Crown of the Queen 

Ends Jan 14th
Enter by Commenting
Remember that if I can't find your email in your profile and page then I can not find you.
The winner has 48 hours to respond


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