Friday, 15 January 2021

The Invasion by Peadar O'Guilin


Hardcover, 336 pages


Published March 27th 2018 by David Fickling Books


Series: Grey Land #2


YA UF


Library





I kind of wish there had only been a book 1, cos there there was...sort of happiness for now. But here, so not.




Nessa is accused of being a traitor and sent to jail. The Sidhe still want her head. They are preparing to invade and take back their land.




Anto is put into a squad of monster killers. At least he is not sent to prison like Nessa. She saved Ireland and this was her thanks?! 




And what happens to prisoners, oh they are put into a boat, but you can not leave Ireland, if you try you end up in the Grey lands. The land of living nightmares where the Sidhe find you, torture you, kill you for fun or change you into a crab or whatever they want




As you can see it is not a pretty story. There is lots of blood spilled, heartache and pain. The Sidhe might be beautiful, but they are cruel, evil and so very creepy.




I enjoyed it, it was a fast read and I wanted to know how things would turn out!






After so much danger, Nessa and Anto can finally dream of a happy life. But the terrible attack on their school has created a witch-hunt for traitors -- boys and girls who survived the Call only by making deals with the enemy. To the authorities, Nessa's guilt is obvious. Her punishment is to be sent back to the nightmare of the Grey Land for the rest of her life. The Sídhe are waiting, and they have a very special fate planned for her.

 

Meanwhile, with the help of a real traitor, the enemy come pouring into Ireland at the head of a terrifying army. Every human they capture becomes a weapon. Anto and the last students of his old school must find a way to strike a blow at the invaders before they lose their lives, or even worse, their minds. But with every moment Anto is confronted with more evidence of Nessa's guilt.


For Nessa, the thought of seeing Anto again is the only thing keeping her alive. But if she escapes, and if she can find him, surely he is duty-bound to kill her...


Thursday, 14 January 2021

Ship of smoke and steel by Django Wexler

Paperback, 366 pages


Published January 7th 2020 by Tor Teen (first published January 22nd 2019)


Series: The Wells of Sorcery #1


YA FANTASY


Own




I liked this one, what a great way to start the year. With something good!




Isoka is not a nice person, she is a gang enforcer. She kills without remorse, she'd kill her best friend to save her sister, but then Isoka does not have friends. But still, she is great reading about.




I felt like the book did not start off any YAish, when she gets to the ship it gets a bit more YAish, but not that much. Not angsty, silly romance, silly drama, ok sorry YA, but so many have these issues! It feels strong and it stands on its own. No need to label it.




The story is great. She is sent to a creepy ship that comes to collect people of a certain age with powers, and they are given as tribute, cos else bad things happen. And the ship is untouchable, and no one knows anything about it. 




What a creepy ship, why does it collect people with power? Who sails it? Why are there creepy things attacking?




We do learn a bit, but not enough. I need answers! I need book 2 at once.




Great book, quite the thrilling ride. Wexler does not disappoint.





When Isoka's magic is discovered by the government, she's arrested and brought to the Emperor's spymaster, who sends her on an impossible mission: steal Soliton, a legendary ghost ship--a ship from which no one has ever returned. If she fails, her sister's life is forfeit.




On board Soliton, nothing is as simple as it seems. Isoka tries to get close to the ship's mysterious captain, but to do it she must become part of the brutal crew and join their endless battles against twisted creatures. She doesn't expect to have to contend with feelings for a charismatic fighter who shares her combat magic, or for a fearless princess who wields an even darker power.


Wednesday, 13 January 2021

How to catch a queen by Alyssa Cole

Narrated by: Karen Chilton


Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins


Release date: 12-01-20


Publisher: HarperAudio


Contemporary romance


To review






Arranged marriage story! A woman who really wants to be queen!




Shanti has prepared all her life to be queen, ok yes I admit, a tad weird, I mean how many chances are there in the world to achieve that, but hey this is a romance so a lot more pretend kingdoms. I did not know how to take this ambition of hers, but then, I mean she really went all in for it. She studied, she mastered everything and when she finally got her chance she started to plan how to help her new country.




But, yes not that kind of story. Cut to her being mostly alone for 3 months, moving from her room to the library. No one giving an f or wanting her there. All her plans in turmoil. This is not a queen friendly country. No they have for decades had a queen for 4 months and then a new one and a new one and a new one and a new one.




But then she finally gets a chance and gets to speak to her husband. And he notices her brilliant mind (oh and how fine she is.)




Sanyu, yes i liked him. Not everyone wants to be king and his dad, and their advisor sure did a number on him. First, all those queens, so never any mother for him. An advisor ho kept telling him he was a failure, and a father who was known for his iron fist. This poor guy pops antacids like they are candy. But it felt so real, hell it would be scary to be king and suddenly must know what to do.




And no one told him he was to marry either so resentment there too.




She is the only queen ready to save this country, and together they could be great. But there is a road there and yes some drama on the way. It is fun, it makes you want to smack someone over the head and it felt new. I have sure never read about someone this driven to be queen!




I remember the couple for an earlier book and wanting to read it, and I finally had the chance. Enjoyable and refreshing.




Great narration by Chilton. She gets to portray characters from two made up kingdoms, and she gives the characters different accents so well. She has a nice range with her male and female voices and she truly brings the story together.







When Shanti Mohapi weds the king of Njaza, her dream of becoming a queen finally comes true. But it’s nothing like she imagined. Shanti and her husband may share an immediate and powerful attraction, but her subjects see her as an outsider, and everything she was taught about being the perfect wife goes disastrously wrong.




A king must rule with an iron fist, and newly crowned King Sanyu was born perfectly fitted for the gauntlet, even if he wishes he weren’t. He agrees to take a wife as is required of him, though he doesn’t expect to actually fall in love. Even more vexing? His beguiling new queen seems to have the answers to his country’s problems - except no one will listen to her.




By day, they lead separate lives. By night, she wears the crown, and he bows to her demands in matters of politics and passion. When turmoil erupts in their kingdom and their marriage, Shanti goes on the run, and Sanyu must learn whether he has what it takes both to lead his people and to catch his queen.



Tuesday, 12 January 2021

TMST: 2021

 

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. 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. Feel free to leave your links in the comments if you are participating.





Resolutions/words of the year - do you do them? What are they for 2021?



I never do them, because I ultimately fail. I do have wishes for 2021, like Covid calming down, people getting vaccinated. Life moving on.



SO here is my wishing post




We do FINALLY have our house ready, ok not ready, the workroom is filled with boxes, the garage needs to be finished and we have no yard. I do want more finished things!




But anyway I really want this to be a year with my daughter. Her father was so busy last year with finishing the house.  I want to go to the beach that is now close by, I want to take lots of bikerides to explore by road too. I want to with a friend find these rocks/caves somewhere in the woods where the people of this village hid 300 years ago in the middle of winter from marauding Russians. I want to take hikes, I hope that something kid friendly can be organized this year so we can attend with her. She keeps talking of things we did in -19 and hopefully next November maybe things can be held .



That's it!


EXPLORE



That is my word for 2021



We have already begun :)





Next week

Bookish jobs: if you could do something in the bookish world for employment, what would you choose and why


Monday, 11 January 2021

Carole's Monday: The Paris Deadline

 

Author: Max Byrd
Narrator: Dennis Holland
Title: The Paris Deadline
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 328 
Published:   August 20th 2012
Where I got It: Audible


Summary: 
Paris, 1926. Newspaper reporter Toby Keats, a veteran of the Great War and the only American in Paris who doesn’t know Hemingway, has lived a quiet life—until one day he comes into possession of a rare eighteenth-century automate, a very strange and somewhat scandalous mechanical duck. Highly sought after by an enigmatic American banker, European criminals, and the charming young American Elsie Short, the duck is rumored to hold the key to opening a new frontier in weapons technology for the German army, now beginning to threaten Europe once more. Haunted with his nightmarish past in the War, Toby pursues the truth behind the duck.

From the boites of the Left Bank to the dark prehistoric caverns of southern France, The Paris Deadline is a story of love, suspense, and mystery in a world stumbling toward catastrophe.



Review:
I stumbled upon this while looking at the mystery section in Audible. I had enjoyed a previous audio I listened to by this author, so I decided to give a whirl. 

It is 1926 and Toby Keats is an American newspaper reporter in Paris. He was a veteran of the Great War and loves this city. He loves his quiet life until he comes into a possession of a rare 18th century automate. It is a very strange and somewhat scandalous mechanical duck. It is highly sought after by an American banker, European Criminals, and Elsie Short. The duck is rumored to hold the key to opening a new frontier in weapons  technology for the German army. Toby will risk it all to find the truth.  

This was for a unique story with a unique set of characters and a weird mechanical duck. I had no idea what to really expect and I liked that. I really felt like anything could happen at any point. 

I did go back and forth on how I felt for Toby. I think I had a love-hate with him if I am to be frank. There were times I had to roll my eyes at him but I enjoyed his tale and he was a good egg. I was rooting for him to succeed and get the girl and the duck. 

That poor mechanical duck ;) 

There were some slow parts here and Toby seemed to ramble a bit. Which fit his personality. He was for sure a rambler and thorough. I mean - he is a writer after all and this is his writings and accounts of what happened during that weird time in his life. 

I adored the narrator. He was really good and his accents were fantastic from what I could tell. 

Besides for the slow parts, I really enjoyed this. It was for sure a unique story with a unique characters. I was not sure how it was all going to end and I will say the ending got me there! WOAH! So good. I would love to see more Toby and his adventures. 

I highly recommend this especially if you need a fun mystery. I'll give this 4 stars. 






Challenge(s):
- #2 for Audiobook challenge



 







Saturday, 9 January 2021

Part 2. DNFS of 2020

 


Again it is time for those poor books that just did not cut it.



Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan


I just did not feel it, and I always like Colgan. It was like too many people, too much of nothing


And that rich guy, son of Duke from Norway? What killed it there was that he wanted butter on his toast, just say butter, you don't have to say the Norwegian word, it is still butter 



The merriest magnolia by Michelle Major


I am soooooooo bored



The diary of a bookseller by Shaun Bythell

Boring. Next!



Raven Black by Ann Cleeves


Trying to find another mystery to love. Fail



The blackhouse by Peter May


Nope, I just can't get into these other mysteries



Still life by Louise Penny


Nope, not this mystery either.



A touch of stone and snow by Milla Vane


Been trying to listen for 2 months, I can not get into it



Everyone brave is forgiven by Chris Cleave


No time for something not good



Here to stay by Adriana Herrera


It was the male narrator, I just could not understand him




Better luck in 2021!!


Friday, 8 January 2021

Heartstone by Elle Katherine White

Paperback, 333 pages


Published January 17th 2017 by Harper Voyager


Series: Heartstone #1


Fantasy PP variation


Own





I did expect a bit more, since omg fantasy meets PP! And it was good, and I am certainly interested in more, but this was my last book of 2020 and I was like expecting epic ;)




15 minute to 2021. Will make this fast




Aliza was fun. I liked how she was nice to gnomes, and I do wonder about her heritage, I want to know more about that.




Daired was prideful as he should be. His friend Bensey was a better Bingley than Bingley, same for Aliza's sister.




Oh and their Wickham, what an asshole!




Monsters a plenty. Fighting, the PP story in the background. It was quite enjoyable. The romance was as quick as PP, but oh well.




I do want more. Something is still coming





Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.


It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.


Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.


Thursday, 7 January 2021

Audio: Duke looks like a groomsman by Valerie Bowman

By: Valerie Bowman


Narrated by: Christine Rendel


Series: The Footmen's Club, Book 2


Length: 8 hrs


Release date: 01-01-21


Publisher: Tantor Audio


Historical romance


To review





In the last book we saw how 3 men pretended to be servants at a houseparty, now we learned more about their bet. Rhys just wants to win the bet, he does not want to have someone fall in love with him and not his title like his friend does. Or like his other friend who jumps at the chance to find a traitor to the crown.




So Rhys works as a groomsman, and then the woman he thought the would marry comes to the stable. Omg, these two! Rhys left because of real reasons, but he should have told her! Then he got angry because she much much later on meets someone new. Well she had not heard from you in a year, of course she moved on. You do not get to be angry, you also left because you are a silly Duke! Julianne oh she got be angry, she thought he would propose and then he just left.




She tortures him quite a bit because he wants to win his bet and she does everything to make him fail. Rather amusing. And I also wanted them to talk, really talk, to get it all out. Also to fall madly in love again, as they never stopped.




Of course they are still silly even close to the end, only because they are both so stubborn, but love always finds a way.




I liked them, stubborn idiots as they were. It was an easy listen. Though it does end with a cliffhanger of sorts, about that third guy I told you about, he who wanted to find a traitor so this leads into his book.




It's always hard when one already has someone, I am always but what about! Oh do not worry, we meet her fiance' in the end and he is an asshat. Totally worth dumping.




Good narrator, easy listening too. Good voices, and as always, historical romance is so good in audio. I prefer it these days 





Rhys Sheffield, the Duke of Worthington, has bet his friends an ungodly sum of money that despite his loftiness, he can pass himself off as a servant at the house party of the Season. But when his clever ex-flame arrives and recognizes Rhys in the stables pretending to be a groomsman, she realizes it’s the perfect opportunity to pay him back for breaking off their engagement.


She’s the bride-to-be.


The lovely Lady Julianna Montgomery may be the only young woman at the house party who’s not in the market for a husband. She’s quite happily engaged to a marquess, thank you very much, and scarcely remembers the pain of being callously tossed over by the Duke of Worthington nearly two long years ago—till now.


All bets are off.


Rhys seems to be everywhere, flexing his muscles, laboring in the sun—and Julianna has never found him more appealing. With his signature charm, he persuades her to keep his secret. But when she learns he’s determined to win a bet of honor, she can’t resist playing a game of her own. She’ll spend the next fortnight tempting Rhys at every turn and making him lose his precious wager. Even if it means she must lose her heart in the process…


Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Audio: The perfect waltz

Narrated by: Heather Wilds


Series: Merridew Series, Book 2


Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins


Release date: 12-17-20


Publisher: Tantor Audio


Historical romance


To review




Sebastien has issues, it takes some time for us to figure out what those are. He is really protective of his sisters, who act strange. So what happened? People gossip about him, call him a killer and more. But Sebastien, awww I liked him! He is looking for a wife so his sisters can have a mother. So he wants a sensible woman who knows how to care, and not some high society miss.




While Hope hopes for a man who she can dance the last waltz with, and then she meets the dashing mysterious Sebastien. She is merry, sweet, the life of the party. Total opposite to him. But she hides dark things too.




They are meant to be, whatever others say, and there are sure naysayers. But then he wants a reliable grey wife, and that is not Hope.




I enjoyed it, I do wonder about the next book too, because her sister is not picking the right man.



Good narration. Great voices, and enjoyable listening at. Historical romance is so much more fun in audio






Society rogue Sebastian Reyne's search for a practical wife comes to a crashing halt when he dances with the effervescent Hope Merridew - and is seduced into a delicious intrigue of sensuality and desire.


Tuesday, 5 January 2021

TMST and a Bingo update

 

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. 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. Feel free to leave your links in the comments if you are participating.





What are your blogging goals for the new year?

'

I do not really have any. To keep on blogging, to keep in writing reviews, to keep in checking blogs. To keep on having fun! And discussing great books :D



Next week


Resolutions/words of the year - do you do them? What are they for 2021?






 I complained to Carole that I suck at updating my Bingo card so we tried to find a solution and that solution was Sheets in Google!



So if anyone wants to join the Bingo challenge, but like me suck at updating then we can send you an invite and you can write down that book the moment you finish it!







Monday, 4 January 2021

The Devil's Love by Julia London

 

Author: Julia London
Narrator: Anne Flosnik
Title: The Devil's Love (The Rogues of Regent Street, Book 1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 400
Published:   November 10th 1998
Where I got It: Audible


Summary: 
A woman's desire...

With dreams of a great romantic love, Abigail Carrington sails to England to marry the man she has loved since childhood, Michael Ingram, Marquis of Darfield. She believes her betrothed is a generous and noble man who has been longing for her. But the handsome man waiting for her at the altar is a dark, brooding stranger who rushes her into marriage, then abandons her at his country estate. Only the passion of Michael's kiss gives her hope that theirs can be more than a marriage of convenience.

A man's need...

With scandal shadowing his past, Michael, the Devil of Darfield, had no need for a wife. Remembering only the little hellion who made life miserable for him aboard her father's ship, he resents the agreement he made to marry her so he could save his ancestral home. Though determined to ignore her, he cannot stop thinking about his lovely violet-eyed bride. Her beauty tempts him. Her charm bedevils him. He tries to drive her away until he almost loses her. Then he vows to regain her love—before it is too late....



Review:
I've enjoyed this author's book last year and I found this randomly, so why not? 

The story follows Abby and Michael. Abby had been in love with Michael since her childhood. When her father dies, she sails to England to finally reunite with him and marry him. She grew being told that Michael was her betrothed and he was waiting for her for many years. The time comes for them to get married when Abby's father passes and she is old enough. When she arrives she is reintroduced to Michael who is anything but a man in love and excited to marry her. He rushes her to the alter and leaves the estate as quickly as he can. Michael, aka the Devil of Darfield, has no need or want of a wife especially this girl who was a hellion back in the day when he worked for her father on his ship. He resents the fact he HAS to marry her in order to save his ancestral home. Even though he wants nothing to do with her...he can't stop thinking about her. 

What a big ol' pickle for the two of them. They both were victims of Abby's father. He for sure manipulated both of them. Abby grew up thinking Michael loved her too and couldn't wait until she was old enough and ready to marry. While Michael was shackled into marrying her because of a contract. Poor things. 

Even though I felt bad for Michael I wanted to hit him. Yes. He was a total ASS. I get he thought she was part of the trickery from that old man, but good lord you can tell she wasn't! She just wanted to be loved and she was equally lied to. 

I did love Michael's friend Sam. I hope he gets an HEA! He was adorable. A part of me wanted Abby to run away with Sam ;) 

The ending was good and I'm glad Michael had to REALLY earn her back because he was an ass. Sure...again....I get his distrust because he has been tricked and used SO much over the years BUT she LOVES you man!!!! GAH.

The narrator was new to me. I adored her voices. She really fit the bill and I enjoyed her! Her changing accents was flawless. 

Overall, I really did enjoy this even though I wanted to smack Michael. I just wanted them to finally get their HEA. They both deserved it, but I am glad Abby didn't forgive Michael at the end there (I would have been livid). He had to really work for it and pray she would love him again. I am slightly curious about book 2. We'll see. I do not think it is about Sam so I'm not crazy interested. LOL I just want Sam to be happy next. I'll give this 4 stars. Not a bad way to start the year!

Challenge(s):
- #1 for Audiobook challenge

- #1 for Romance Bingo
"LOVE" in the title


 







Saturday, 2 January 2021

Romance Bingo Card for 2021

 





Hosted by: Blodeuedd @ Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
                                                                            Carole @ Carole Rae's Random Ramblings


Blodeuedd and I decided to host our own reading challenge again this year! 

We are doing a bingo sheet to mark our reading progress! The rules are below. 

Rules:

- It HAS to be a romance novel. 
- One bingo box per book (if your book meets a couple of these you have to pick just one)
- You can try and read all of them or just do one BINGO line. 
- There is one FREE SPACE
- Bingo Starts 1/1/2021 and ends 12/30/2021
- Join whenever

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, 1 January 2021

Stats and Bingo Challenge Update

 


I read 142 books in 2020



*82 audiobooks and 60 print books. Audiobooks win again!



*One book made it to a 5 star rating 2 years in a row, Wild Country by Anne Bishop since Carole and I reviewed them this year too and I re-listened.



*if my tags are correct then I read 27 historical romance books this year



* I read 39 fantasy books

      * 2 were fantasy romance



* 16 contemporary romance books



* 10 novella/short stories



* 10 urban fantasy, from which 5 were re-listens!



* 8 sci.fi books

         * one romance



* 4 paranormal romance books



* 9 historical fiction



* 14 mystery books

         * 12 Ruth Galloway and 2 Veronica Speedwell, lol



* 14 YA books




*20 books were by a male author (one anthology) and 123 by female authors (one shared anthology)

So no one tell me about woman to male ratio cos it is obvi strongly toward one way here. Wow






Carole's and my Romance bingo for 2020, well I did get 2020, but I did not mark all boxes, which is fun too. But then for this year I need to better myself. I update this card like twice a year which is so bad. I should mark a box at once! Cos now I was all, what was that book about? Did it fit?





I will post tomorrow about the 2021 Bingo challenge that we are doing





And do not forget about the 2021 Audiobook Challenge!





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