Friday, 31 May 2019

Alice by Christina Henry


Paperback, 325 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Titan Books Ltd (first published August 4th 2015)
Series: The Chronicles of Alice #1
Fantasy Dark Fairytale
Own

My Thoughts
After having read Lost boy, I knew what she could do and well she sure did something strange and special. This is not the Alice you know. It is better, it is adult, it is sad, it is a fairytale gone bad.

Alice was rich and ended up in Old City, where ganglords rule, and poor people starve. Someone broke her and her parents sent her to a mental hospital. For 10 years she has suffered there and wondered what actually happened. All she remember is long ears and a teaparty.

This is a fantasy world and a city made up from new and old. Rich and poor. We only see the poor part and it is horrific. The bosses who rule are monsters. They rule with an iron fist and if you think monsters think again, they are not just evil, they are dark.

And she will have her adventure. I can not really say more, Alice in Wonderland, goes Alice in the underworld. There is magic, monsters and so much gruesome darkness.

I enjoyed this dark "re-telling", and even though it ends with a positive note, more is to come and I do want more to see what happens to these characters 


In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo with the screams of the poor souls inside. In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blonde, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn't remember why she's in such a terrible place-just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood... Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago. Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful. And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice. 


Thursday, 30 May 2019

Audio: The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal



Narrated by: Soneela Nankani, Deepti Gupta
Length: 13 hrs and 10 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-30-19
Language: English
Publisher: HarperAudio
Fiction
To review

My Thoughts
Always when I read something about travel in India it is always so exotic, filled with foods and no dangers at all. But this other shows the side that I always read about in the news. The latest story I read about this child was so horrifying that I wanted to cry.

The sisters are told to dress modestly, not to walk alone and still they all fear at times. Men in groups, leering, brushing up against them. It is that dark side of India, and they do come across a women's movement too. They try to fight back, even if the odds are against them. And it is certainly a story that needs to be told too.

But let us start at the beginning. With 3 sisters, Raj, Jez and Shirnia whose mother pass away and before that she tells them to go on a pilgrimage. To visit holy sites and to get to know each other again.

Raj the oldest is 43 and her son has found a girlfriend only a few years younger than Raj. She is the mother hen who is strict
Jez is a struggling actress with a scandal brewing. She is the wild one
Shirnia, the one who went into an arranged marriage and moved across the world. She is the diplomat.

I liked these sisters. They certainly had their issues, they did not really want to be here, but they come together in the end and become stronger than ever before.

This book touch on another subject too.  And you know what...I am going to put it in a spoiler because you might ut two and two together. Daughters. And I learned something new, I mean I knew that abortions are high and who wants a girl. But that even rich people do it was horrifying, I just wanted to scream why? Why are girls so bad? It really made me sad.

It is a road trip. It is family drama. And it was a really good story to listen to. I enjoyed it a lot. I should check out that previous book by her too.

Narrator
I really liked her voice and her different voices for the sisters. You could always hear who was who with everyone who showed up. She was perfect.

Ha, I did not realise that the mum was a different narrator. I just thought this one did an amazing job, but yes the mother has another narrator who did a good job too

Blurb
The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirnia were never close and barely got along growing up and now have grown even further apart as adults. Rajni, a school principal, is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a 30-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking "good" sister, married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life.

On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time.

Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives - and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their mother long ago - a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again.

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. "I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society," Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. "I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be raised outside of India."


Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Audio: The summer cottage - Viola Shipman



Narrated by: Tanya Eby
Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-23-19
Language: English
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
Womens fic
To review

My Thoughts
I remember seeing something about 50+ people finding love, and no, this is not a romance, but maybe she finds love (she totally does!). And it felt nice to see someone mature find love too.

Adie Lou has been through a divorce (her hubbie left her for a college student, that asshat!). And even though she has a well paid job, she wants more. She wants something new. She is tired of her jo, tired of seeing men pass her for promotions. She needs to find herself again.

So she decides to make her grandparents summer cottage into a b&b. Of course I at once thought of a Finnish one and was all how?!? But it seems this one has over 8 bedrooms, so that is bloody palace. But it will not be easy. She knows nothing about that kind of life. There is so much work to be done. She has doubts. She finds friends, and yes she does get a chance of some romance too.

I do confess that it is really cheesy sweet. Everything works out and there are quotes everywhere. I would brand it Hallmark feel good book. Make this a Hallmark movie and it would fit right in. And I liked that, the sweet, the hopeful tone of the book.

Narrator
I have listened to Tanya Eby before, and I do like her voice. She also fitted very well for this role and this sort of story. It was enjoyable listening to her and I find her different voices well done.

Adie Lou Kruger’s ex never understood her affection for what her parents called their Cozy Cottage, the charming, ramshackle summer home - complete with its own set of rules for relaxing - that she’s inherited on Lake Michigan. But despite the fact she’s facing a broken marriage and empty nest and that middle age is looming in the distance, memories of happy childhoods on the beach give her reason for hope. She’s determined not to let her husband’s affair with a grad student reduce her to a cliché or to waste one more minute in a career she doesn’t love, so it becomes clear what Adie Lou must do: rebuild her life and restore her cottage shingle by shingle, on her terms.
But converting the beloved, weather-beaten structure into a bed-and-breakfast isn’t quite the efficient home-reno experience she’s seen on TV. Pushback from Saugatuck’s contentious preservation society, costly surprises, and demanding guests were not part of the plan. But as the cottage comes back to life, Adie Lou does, too, finding support in unexpected places and a new love story on the horizon.
One cottage rule at a time, Adie Lou reclaims her own strength, history, and joy by rediscovering the magic in every sunset and sandcastle.


Tuesday, 28 May 2019

TMST. Fave authors


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.

May 28th: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Ugh, always when I want to find something on GR I can't! I know there was this most read author thing. Oh well...

*Brandon Sanderson. I have read everything (well almost), and he is just so good. Though he writes too many things at once and I also really hate him.

*Patricia Briggs. Mercy! I love those. But I also really enjoy her fantasy books, those are just so light and fun.

Edit. Oh they took it away! But I liked that feature!

Let us continue.

Sebastien de Castell, though I wish he would write another adult series now ;)

hmm, this is hard, because when I think of an author I remind myself that oh I did not like that other series of theirs. So let's think of it this way. My must buy authors, even if only with one series:

*Brian McClellan. His fantasy series rocks

*Christina Henry. I do like her new fairytale books too

*Seanan McGuire. Toby for life!

Ugh my brain is not working! But that is enough for now :)


Monday, 27 May 2019

Council -Snorri Kristjansson



Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 16th 2019 by Jo Fletcher Books
Series: Helga Finnsdottir #2
Historical thriller mystery Crime
To review

I read reviews of book 1 who said it was not viking enough, which I felt was silly because it was Iceland and it was totally viking. Viking is more than raiding. But here I felt like the author tried making it more viking.

Here we have a king in a part of what is now Sweden. His people are coming to a council. Someone seems to want to make that council fall apart. And being a king back then you always worry about other kings too.

Helga is the heroine from book 1. That is she is the smart one who solves crime. Since this is after all, Viking noir, or whatever we should call it. And it is very Scandic. She does a lot of thinking, because what else can you do at that time. The only way to solve a crime is to think and ask questions.

There is a body, and, well I did not see anything coming. As for the end, what? It can not end like that? I have no idea what will happen in the next book. If I have to guess, well we have been from Iceland to Sweden so maybe, maybe she will solve a crime in Viking York or something. 

It was not as light in reading as book 1 (I did miss that), the author threw in a lot of curveballs and I never knew what to expect. Also, if that one person is not punished in book 3 I am going to be so freaking mad. I want death! A cruel death for that person.

I enjoyed it, and, arghh I can not sto thinking about book 3. Do not leave me like that

BlurbAfter five years on the road, Helga has finally settled near King Eirik’s court in Uppsala, where she’s well-regarded as a healer. She’s even in a relationship, of sorts.
But life is about to get a bit more exciting, for King Eirik has summoned all those who owe him fealty to the King’s Council and tempers are already flaring. The body of an unknown boy is found near the river, but with delegations from all over the country arriving and rumours of an imminent attack, there are more important things to attend to than the death of a nobody . . .
Only Helga suspects murder, until a second body makes it clear that someone is intent on breaking up the King’s Council – and that a traitor walks among them . . .


Sunday, 26 May 2019

Carole's Sunday Review: Spell of the Highlander

Spell of the Highlander (Highlander, #7)
Author: Karen Marie Moning 

Narrator: Phil Gigante
Title: Spell of the Highlander
(Highlander #7)
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, SciFi, Contemporary
Pages: Audiobook
Published: August 30th 2005
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)


It's taken him eleven centuries to find the right woman. He's not about to lose her now.


Jessi St. James has GOT to get a life. Too many hours studying ancient artifacts has given the archaeology student a bad case of sex on the brain. So she figures she must be dreaming when she spies a gorgeous half-naked man staring out at her from inside the glass of an ancient mirror. But when a split-second decision saves her from a terrifying attempt on her life, Jessi suddenly finds herself confronting six and a half feet of smoldering INSATIABLE alpha male.


Heir to the arcane magic of his Druid ancestors, Cian MacKeltar was trapped inside the Dark Glass eleven centuries ago. And when the Dark Glass is stolen, an ancient enemy will stop at nothing to reclaim it. For Jessi, the sex god in the mirror is not only tantalizingly real, he's offering his protection—from exactly what, Jessi doesn't know. And all he wants in exchange is the exquisite pleasure of sharing her bed.... 


Been meaning to read this for a while. I honestly forgot about the series until this popped up when I was looking for an Audio to buy with my free credit. Why not? I've been delaying reading the rest of the series for a bit now. 

The story follows Cian who was tricked and trapped inside of the Dark Glass for eleven centuries. Eee gags. Finally, the glass is stolen and pretty much dropped on Jessi's lap. His only hope. Jessi is working herself to the bone to graduate and really has zero life. Well...a whole bunch of life is landed in her lap and she has to help Cian or she might die. Oh dear. 



Now, I would for sure read the three before this. There are some major references here that would be a touch confusing. You would be fine after a while, but I can see some head-scratching especially near the end when some old characters come and join the story. 



At first, I liked the cover a lot. But then it annoyed me because the girl looks nothing like the main character Jessi. Jessi has short, black hair. This chick on the cover has long and light hair. Grrr. 



Now...the story was exciting. I had zero idea of how this was going to end. WELL. I know they were to have an HEA....but HOW and WHEN? It seemed so impossible. I felt so bad for Cian. I can't imagine the hellish existence. Sure he is able to come out of the mirror for little bouts of time IF someone summons him. And sure he can see outside the mirror. But gah! I am surprised the man didn't go insane. Jessi for realz needed a life. I get wanting to graduate and etc...but lord 4 hours a sleep a day and that is on a good day???? 



The characters were okay. They did get better at the end there, but at first, they were soooo boring and didn't really have a personality. By the end, I adored them. But it was a rough road at first. I especially got SO annoyed with Jessi. WE GET IT! YOU HAVE BIG BOOBS! Stop mentioning it! GAH! *grumbles* And Cian? Be more of a horny monster you big oaf! Yes, yes, I get you haven't done the deed in eleven centuries and you haven't been in polite society in a while. But the first words are you trying to mind control Jessi to take off her top? SMH. Men. Barbaric oaf. BUUUUT like I said...I grew to adore him when he was able to calm down and realize he can't be like that. 



ooooOOOoooo that ending was SOOOO good. I am SO curious to see what the Fae Queen has up her sleeves next. ^_^



The narrator was fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved the sound effects. I loved his accents and voice changes especially when Cian was behind the mirror. So cool. He was neat and I want to listen to more by him. 



In the end, I did like this. Cian and Jessi were rough to love at first, but I grew to like them. The narrator was fantastic!!!! Darn that cover though! I wish it actually looked like Jessi. I'll give this 3 stars. 





 




Friday, 24 May 2019

Audio: The Austen playbook - Lucy Parker



Narrated by: Billie Fulford-Brown
Series: London Celebrities, Book 4
Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-22-19
Contemporary romance
To review

My Thoughts
Being a Austen fan I do admit to wanting more actual Austen stuff. They kept rehearsing for this play that I wanted to know more about.

And as for our characters, hmm, maybe he is price and she prejudice ;)

Freddy is a rising star of the west end, just as her father wanted. To carry own the legacy of his mother. But all these drama roles are just so so, meh. Freddy carried this stupid guilt around and I wanted to tell her to let it go and do what she wanted!
'
Griff is a critique, and he is feared by all. Someone has to say what others do not. You go Griff.

Anyway, Freddy takes part in an Austen mingle play, it takes place at Griff's estate. He is doing a movie about her gran. They meet, they argue, they fall in love. Other cast members cause havoc, family members cause havoc and there is a scandal brewing.

Like I said, more Austen please. Not we got a mystery surrounding her gran instead. And I did not actually feel these two fall in love. It just suddenly happened, chemistry was rather low.

But it was  a amusing one and it did not feel US romance like, more Britain romance wise (the author seems to be NZ so I guess that makes sense then).

Narrator
I did like the narrator. She did a great job keeping my attention on things , and she played different characters well. She really made the book better for me.

Freddy Carlton knows she should be focusing on her lines for The Austen Playbook, a live-action TV event where viewers choose the outcome of each scene, but her concentration’s been blown. The palatial estate housing the endeavor is now run by the rude (brilliant) critic who’s consistently slammed her performances of late. James “Griff” Ford-Griffin has a penchant for sarcasm, a majestic nose, and all the sensitivity of a sledgehammer.
She can’t take her eyes off him.
Griff can hardly focus with a contagious joy fairy flitting about near him, especially when Freddy looks at him like that. His only concern right now should be on shutting down his younger brother’s well-intentioned (disastrous) schemes - or at the very least on the production (not this one) that might save his family home from the banks.
Instead, all he can think of is soft skin and vibrant curls.
As he’s reluctantly dragged into her quest to rediscover her passion for the stage and Freddy is drawn into his research on a legendary theater star, the adage about appearances being deceiving proves abundantly true. It’s the unlikely start of something enormous...but a single revelation about the past could derail it all.


Thursday, 23 May 2019

Soulbinder - Sebastien de Castell

Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 4th 2018 by Hot Key Books
Series: Spellslinger #4
YA Fantasy
Own


My Thoughts
I did like the book, but at the same time, I do not know, I feel that it is starting to drag on, It could well have been a trilogy, but at least 2 more books are coming. I just want to know if there is a cure for the shadowblack! And the next one does sound thrilling, he is gonna kill a queen!

Kellen goes to find some monks that can cure him....and I can not say a lot cos spoilers!

They are light and easy to read. Fun adventures. And I did like that he was on his own, but Recihis was not with him! This was horrible, that squirrelcat brings all the wit and makes the books fun.

Ugh, I am not good at writing today. I need to sleep.

What conclusion had a reached? Yes, this series could have been shorter. Less hijinks, more something real. But they are still fun.

Blurb
Kellen and his murderous squirrel cat, Reichis, are on their own. They've heard rumour of a mythical monastery, known as the Ebony Abbey. It's a place that outsiders can never find - but Kellen is getting desperate. He's been told that the monks inside the Ebony Abbey know more about the Shadowblack than anyone else - and that they even know how to cure it.

Then Kellen and Reichis are separated and for the first time, Kellen must face the world alone - and venture deeper into shadow magic than he ever knew he could.


Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Audio: The tiger at midnight - Swati Teerdhala

Narrated by: Sneha Mathan
Length: 12 hrs and 44 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-23-19
The tiger at midnight #1
Publisher: HarperAudio
Fantasy YA
To review

My Thoughts
When it comes to YA fantasy I do always have to suspend belief, as the teens are always the best in the world at something ;) But hey you can still enjoy the ride.

Esha, is 16-17, and the fiercest deadliest assassin spy in the world. Everyone fears the Viper. Did I feel that it as shown, nah, not really, she makes mistakes and sure I can see her take out someone, she has trained after all, but best in the land? No. Also why send a kid to take out the general? Best in the land *snickers* 
She lusts for vengeance and I liked that she truly was a grey person. She kills without remorse.

Kunal is also supposed to be this great soldier, and I do say that his tracking skills are awesome, but otherwise he is a bit of a bumbling fool. Omg the times he gets hit over the head, this poor guy must have brain damage! When I think about it it felt a bit, look, women are just superior than men, look at this silly man.
But I liked Kunal, he is nice, he was a follower but he learns some hard truths.

Again, I get that it is YA, but why are always the best fighters kids? Why do they always send out kids? Srsly, are there no adults with like 20 year experience that would fare better? That will always be my issues with YA. Kunal is sent out with some other guys to track down the Viper, sure, send out the 16 year old boys, I am sure all the adult soldiers are dead.

Ok, dang, this sounds so negative now! No no! I enjoyed this book, what else could the author do, this is YA, they have to be best and young.

I liked the Indian fantasy setting, I never see that in fantasy. I liked the feel of the lush jungle, tigers sneaking around and the talk of food and customs. I liked how the countries need a woman ruler and a man ruler in their own country. And now there are two male rulers and one country is suffering. It was fascinating. She created this amazing world.

Conclusion
And when it ended, arghhh, why is there no blurb for book 2? I need to know what happens to Kunal and Esha, mostly Kunal cos I like that bumbling fool

Narration
She has this smooth voice that I enjoyed listening too. The accents were really fitting and went so well with the characters. Nice distinctive voices too
I'd listen to more by her,even if she sounded older I'd say she was perfect for YA.

A broken bond. A dying land. A cat and mouse game that can only end in bloodshed.
Esha lost everything in the royal coup - and as the legendary rebel known as the Viper, she’s made the guilty pay. Now, she’s been tasked with her most important mission to date: taking down the ruthless General Hotha. 

Kunal has been a soldier since childhood. His uncle, the general, has ensured that Kunal never strays from the path - even as a part of Kunal longs to join the outside world, which has only been growing more volatile. 

When Esha and Kunal’s paths cross one fated night, an impossible chain of events unfolds. Both the Viper and the soldier think they’re calling the shots, but they’re not the only players moving the pieces.
As the bonds that hold their land in order break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both the soldier and the rebel must decide where their loyalties lie: with the lives they’ve killed to hold on to or with the love that’s made them dream of something more.


Tuesday, 21 May 2019

TMST


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.

May 21st: Are most of your review books for publishers or are you reviewing books of your choice?

These days I do review mostly for publishers. And that is because I listen to so many audiobooks, the one print I manage once a week is usually one of my own.

But all that I do review are those of my own choice. Ugh, that has me thinking. I am starting work in 2 months! I will have no audio time! I will never read again *laments*.

The review books are the ones where I take chances, my own, not so much, fantasy fantasy fantasy. SO thank you publishers for letting me take those chances I otherwise would not


Monday, 20 May 2019

Audio: A prince on paper - Alyssa Cole



Narrated by: Karen Chilton
Series: Reluctant Royals, Book 3
Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-30-19
Language: English
Publisher: HarperAudio
Contemporary romance
To review

My Thoughts
I have no idea what it is this redheaded prince fascination, I mean Harry, come on, not handsome. But for you all who think so then this is a treat for you. A redheaded playboy prince who gets in trouble a lot and whose philanthropist mother is dead. And whose name is Johan.

Johan who has fancied Nya from afar. Sheltered Nya whose dad is a traitor and who told everyone that Nya is sickly and can not do anything. Yes her dad was a real piece of work.

Back to the start. Yes this is book 3 but it works perfectly as a stand alone. She attends her cousin's wedding and I guess that was book 1? And then she has this other friend there and that I do know is book 2 because I listened to a novella about that one.  I do love a good stand alone.

I liked Johan because he did not want to be a playboy prince. He does it all to keep the attention on him and not his brother. 

Nya kept playing this mobile game and as I am currently addicted to one, then hey I get that girl! I liked how she wanted to become something else, but at the same time, there was nothing wrong with being her and she had to learn that.

They meet, they flirt, there is family drama and they live happily ever after. I enjoyed it.

Narrator
I liked her Nya voice and Johan's accent, but the Scottish one, even if I did not hear a lot, it was pretty bad. She had nice distinctive voices and her voice was nice listening to.
Romance always rocks in audio

Nya Jerami fled Thesolo for the glitz and glamour of NYC but discovered that her Prince Charming only exists in her virtual dating games. When Nya returns home for a royal wedding, she accidentally finds herself up close and personal-in bed-with the real-life celebrity prince who she loves to hate.

For Johan von Braustein, the red-headed step-prince of Liechtienbourg, acting as paparazzi bait is a ruse that protects his brother-the heir to the throne-and his own heart. When a royal referendum threatens his brother's future, a fake engagement is the perfect way to keep the cameras on him.

Nya and Johan both have good reasons to avoid love, but as desires are laid bare behind palace doors, they must decide if their fake romance will lead to a happily-ever-after. 


Sunday, 19 May 2019

Carole's Sunday Review: The Catherine Howard Conspiracy


The Catherine Howard Conspiracy (The Marquess House Trilogy #1)
Author:  Alexandra Walsh 
Title: The Catherine Howard Conspiracy
(The Marquess House Trilogy #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, What-If
Pages: ebook
Published:  March 28th 2019 
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)




What secrets were covered up at the court of Henry VIII …? 



Whitehall Palace, England, 1539 



When Catherine Howard arrives at the court of King Henry VIII to be a maid of honour in the household of the new queen, Anne of Cleves, she has no idea of the fate that awaits her. 



Catching the king’s fancy, she finds herself caught up in her uncle’s ambition to get a Howard heir to the throne. 



Terrified by the ageing king after the fate that befell her cousin, Anne Boleyn, Catherine begins to fear for her life… 




Pembrokeshire, Wales, 2018 



Dr Perdita Rivers receives news of the death of her estranged grandmother, renowned Tudor historian Mary Fitzroy. 



Mary inexplicably cut all contact with Perdita and her twin sister, Piper, but she has left them Marquess House, her vast estate in Pembrokeshire. 



Perdita sets out to unravel their grandmother’s motives for abandoning them, and is drawn into the mystery of an ancient document in the archives of Marquess House, a collection of letters and diaries claiming the records of Catherine Howard’s execution were falsified… 



You all know my love for what-if and mystery tales! This was right up my alley so I couldn't deny it!



The story follows Perdita in 2018 and Catherine Howard in the 1500s. Perdita and her twin thought that they were cut off from their granny but after their granny dies they realize they are left the Marquess House and all of her money. After moving in, Perdita sets out to uncover the motive for the granny abandoning them. This leads to a darker and more intriguing mystery...did Catherine Howard really die?



I did really enjoy both POVs. I am always inclined to like the historical one a touch more and it was true in this one. Catherine Howard isn't given much love since she wasn't queen long. Her and poor Anne of Cleves are pretty much ignored in the wife series of Henry. *laughs at own joke*. Do I believe Catherine had an affair? I wouldn't blame her in the slightest! However, she was not dumb. I don't think she really did...c'mon the man already murdered one wife and it was your cousin! One would have to be daft for sure. That is why I always questioned the whole thing personally. But again...he was old and gross...can't blame a lass for wanting love!



This tale was a huge what-if. WHAT if Catherine's death was faked? How? Why? And by who? Certainly not by good ol' Henry. *grumbles about insanity and murder* 



Now...I agree that Henry had the temper of a wild man, especially in his later years. Do I think he was physically abusive? Maybe...but I don't think he really was. The author really wanted to make sure you hated this man. It is nice and refreshing to see him in this light. Really filling in those bad guy shoes. Some people weren't a fan of this...but I think it fit and it was refreshing. It was also refreshing to see Catherine Howard differently. She wasn't some dumb little girl. She had a brain and I liked it. It was different. 



I did enjoy the mystery and the what-if-ness. SO unlikely for 100 reasons, but that is why I liked it. History is written by the winners. We will never, ever truly know. 



My only issue was the explanations of certain things. I know it is a what-if, but I felt they were a little weak in explanations. 



Also, I wanted more in the ending! YOU CAN'T LEAVE ME LIKE THIS AUTHOR!!! NOO! 



Overall, I did like this book. It was refreshing and I was glued from page one. I read it in a couple of sittings because I had to know what was going to happen next! I like that the author took risks with the characters and the story twists. All-in-all, not a bad what-if tale! I'll stamp this with 3 stars. 







Friday, 17 May 2019

Audio: Storm cursed - Patricia Briggs



Audible Audio, Unabridged, 10 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2019 by Penguin Audio
Series: Mercy Thompson #11, Mercy Thompson World - Complete #16
UF
Own

My Thoughts
Hey, look at me! I did a Mercy audiobook! It did not feel as strange as when I did the last Kate Daniels in audio. I do not know why,  but here, well I felt this was Mercy's voice. This was Mercy's world. It was also my first Lorelai King and I liked everything she did.

And this was such a palate cleanser after another audiobook I read before. I needed this which felt quick and light. 

Trouble is brewing as always. There are goblins, zombies (not your usual kind) and a political meeting. And she will save the day as she always do. Thank to friends. And there are also some consequences this time.

Fun all the way through. Action, sadness, abit of loving with Adam (hey I liked Adam, maybe the narration made me finally truly  warm up to him. Even if my heart is always Bran's- Speaking of him, no Bran! Gods I hate his wife. Rant over).

Great add to this series. This one has not disappointed me so far.

Narration
My first King book! I liked everything she did. Yay



Blurb
My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.

And a coyote shapeshifter . . . And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn't stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word. We will die to keep it.


Thursday, 16 May 2019

Blackwing - Ed McDonald


Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 2017 by Gollancz
Series: Raven's Mark #1
Fantasy
Own

Edit: 
This review was written on my phone...I am not a phone reviewer person, never again

My Thoughts
This felt like a dark world. I mean it was a dark world! A war tore the country apart, creating a wasteland called The misery where dark creatures roam and beyond ancient magra wants to cross. All This country have is a deadly macho and so e powerful goodlike mages. And The machine seems go be broken.

, p, ause. God damm spellcheck! 

Anyvway cool world. Those powerful mages are strange. What are they? The good and The bad

Galharrow was 40. A drunk. Messed up, but i liked him . He did not apologize. 

Save the world then

I am never writing a review on my Phone again. This sucks. My brain is fried!
This is so not a well written review. Sorry book!

Conclusion:
I enjoyed and will read more




Blurb
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer's legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if they cannot solve the ancient wizard's paradox, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again, and all will be lost.

The war with the Eastern Empire ended in stalemate some eighty years ago, thanks to Nall's 'Engine', a wizard-crafted weapon so powerful even the Deep Kings feared it. The strike of the Engine created the Misery - a wasteland full of ghosts and corrupted magic that now forms a No Mans Land along the frontier. But when Galharrow investigates a frontier fortress, he discovers complacency bordering on treason: then the walls are stormed, and the Engine fails to launch. Galharrow only escapes because of the preternatural magical power of the noblewoman he was supposed to be protecting. Together, they race to the capital to unmask the traitors and restore the republic's defences. Far across the Misery a vast army is on the move, as the Empire prepares to call the republic's bluff.


Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Audio: Cake Pop Crush - Suzanne Nelson



Narrated by: Elise Arsenault
Series: Wish Series [Nelson], Book 1
Length: 4 hrs and 50 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-09-19
Language: English
Publisher: Tantor Audio
MG fiction
To review

My Thoughts
Sometimes a Middle grade book is good, because they are just so short. Not to mention sweet and this one had that we can conquer everything.

Alicia's dad runs a bakery and she works there, and she really loves baking. Loves it! Her specialty is cake pops. Did I know what they are? Nope. Have I seen one? Nope. DO I want to taste one? Yes. Alicia is nice baking loving girl who has her besties.

But then a chainstore opens and the bakery struggles and the new boy at school is the son of the CEO. Instant enemy, but also this mail feel without any mail involved. They obviously like each other, but she thinks he is the enemy, and he is really clueless. That was bit hard to get, no one is that clueless.

A bit of crushing, a lot of baking, lot of friendship and some drama. And most of all, the good guy wins. But that is why it was good. We need feel good, everything is going to work out books too.

Narrator
I did like everything she did with voices and storytelling, and if I had to complain it would have been that she did not sound MG. But then I am not saying I would like someone actually younger, more like a younger voice. But it really did not matter cos she was great at what she did


Sometimes friends, school, and boys can be a recipe for disaster!  

Alicia Ramirez has always loved baking. Her family owns Say It with Flour, the small bakery in town. And Ali's specialties are cake pops: delicious confections on a stick. But Ali's sweet life turns sour when a sleek coffee shop opens across the street, giving her bakery a run for its money. Worst of all, the owner's son, Dane McGuire, likes to bake, too. He's the new kid in Ali's school...and happens to be annoyingly cute.  

When Dane and Ali engage in a bake-off to prove who is the cake-pop master, it's Ali's chance to save Say It with Flour. But will she be able to rise to occasion...and ignore what her heart might be telling her?


Tuesday, 14 May 2019

TMST


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.

May 14th: Do you prefer action-driven books or quiet books? (Courtesy of Roberta@Offbeat Ya)

I do not know. I guess it also depends on what action-driven means, to some it might mean constant, to others not. But ok, I will say action-driven, especially when it comes to audio. When I read a good quiet can be really good, one that you just sink into. But listening to it is not the same.

Huh, i have such short answers!


Monday, 13 May 2019

Audio: Hidden by Rebecca Zanetti

Narrated by: Roger Wayne
Series: Deep Ops, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-16-19
Language: English
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Romantic suspense
To review

My Thoughts
Pippa is running from something in her past. I felt sorry for her, I would have run too. Ugh her mother is all I am saying! Worst mother of the year. So she stays mostly indoors, has one friend and then one day a sexy guy moves into the house next door.

Malcolm, Malcolm, yes he likes Pippa from the start, but the lies man, the lies! And again, totally understandable. He needs lies. It is his job. But he is a good guy that just wants to protect the weak.

I want to say more, but, ok so the thing does come up quickly, but I still do not want to talk about it. It has a better feel if one does not know why she hides or what he is doing. But I liked it. It was creepy. A running from worthy.

They get close. She wants to be normal, he falls in love. But the secrets, the secrets! And then there is drama and suspense too as the lies are catching up and baddies are coming.

I enjoyed it. A nice amount of romance and suspense.

Narration
I actually liked the voice for another guy better than the main. The main was ok, but it was just so manly and rough. Ha. He was such a male. 

But yes as you can see the voices were distinct and I liked that. I knew where I had everyone. He did the drama, romance and suspense well too.

Hide. That's all Pippa can do to escape the terror chasing her. But now that she's off the grid in a safe house, she finds plenty of interesting things to watch through the window. Like her new neighbor, with his startling green eyes, killer smile, and sexy bad-boy tattoo....
Run. Malcolm West is fleeing the hell he unleashed in his last assignment as an undercover cop. A backwoods bungalow sounds like the perfect place to start over. Until he discovers he's been set up.... 
Fight. Someone's gone to a lot of trouble to bring them together. No matter how much he resents that, and no matter his own driving needs, Malcolm will have to dig deep and let loose the banished killer inside himself, or Pippa's fears could come true faster than the flip of a bolt in a lock....


Sunday, 12 May 2019

Carole's Sunday: The Bladesmith by Megan Grooms


The Bladesmith
Author:  Megan Grooms

Title: The Bladesmith (The Fayhaven Trilogy Book 1)
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: ebook
Published:  March 29th 2019
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)




As a female bladesmith Lena is barely making ends meet. Upon learning the castle is hiring a new Master Bladesmith she decides she cannot miss the opportunity. Can she get them to look past her gender and see her abilities? Once she meets Zander and he accepts her without question, hope builds within her. When secrets are revealed and Lena learns the truth about her family’s history, she isn’t sure what will happen. Will Lena get everything she has ever wanted, an adoring man and a position she loves, or will her life be forever changed by the truth that has been kept from her?


The cover was what caught my attention right away. It is just so cool and I can't look away. 



The story follows Lena who has taken over her father's sword store after he passed. He trained her and she is naturally skilled, but she is a woman so men stink and are mean to her. This causes her to barely making ends meet. She decides she has to take the chance to apply to the new Master Bladesmith position at the castle for the royals. She meets Zander who looks past her gender and only sees her skill and her kind heart. 



Poor Lena. I felt so bad for her. Men stink!!! She is good at her job and she has a passion that equals any man!! I'm so glad Zander was smart and realized talent where it is. I liked Zander a lot due to that. I still liked him even though his big secret was revealed. I get WHY he lied. But I also get Lena's POV on this. 



The story did seem to drag a little bit and was really slow-paced, but this really was focusing on Lena, Zander, and the world. I do wish there had been more action, but I get it. I do think we needed this slower start. There was some drama that kept everything moving, so that helped. 



OH that ending! I had guessed it, but I was still shocked! So good. I am SO curious to read book 2. HOW CAN YOU LEAVE ME LIKE THIS AUTHOR!!?!?!?!?! GAH!



But yes, overall, I did enjoy this story. It had some drama for sure, but it was slow-paced since it was just opening up the world and characters. I liked both Lena and Zander a lot. I cannot wait for book 2! I'll give this 4 stars. 



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