Tuesday, 15 June 2021

TMST


 

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 type of reviews do you find helpful in choosing (or avoiding) your next read?




ALL OF THEM. 

Ok, not really, some I do not like, like glowing ones that are just two lines and look so fake. Or reviews that are all love this, and then you realise that the person has not even read the book yet!



Or, these are the worst. The ones that are all positive, but you still get the feeling that the person did not like the book, but goes by the line always say something nice. NO! Do not do that, tell it like it is!



I want reviews that are real. If they are real they can be two lines. If they are real they can be looong. Just make them real, negative, positive or meh.





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Monday, 14 June 2021

Carole's Monday: Once a spy

 



Author: Mary Jo Putney
Narrator: Beverley A. Crick
Title: Once a Spy
(Rogues Redeemed #4)
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: September 24th 2019
Where I got It: Audible

Summary: 
Love and survival in the shadow of Waterloo...

Wearied by his years as a British intelligence officer, Simon Duval resigns his commission after Napoleon’s abdication. Hoping to find new meaning in his life, he returns to England, where he discovers his cousin’s widow, Suzanne Duval, the Comtesse de Chambron. Working as a seamstress, living in reduced circumstances, Suzanne has had a life as complicated as Simon’s. While both believe they are beyond love, their sympathetic bond leads him to propose a marriage of companionship, and Suzanne accepts.

She didn't want or expect a true marriage, but as Suzanne joins Simon in a search for his long-missing foster brother, warmth and caring begin to heal both their scars—and a powerful passion sparks between them. Then news from France threatens to disrupt their happiness. Napoleon has escaped from Elba and Wellington personally asks Simon to help prevent another devastating war. Only this time, Simon does not go into danger alone. He and Suzanne will face deadly peril together and pray that love will carry them through...

Review:
 Accidently read the book after that which was okay. It was nice to backtrack to see Suzanne and Simon fall in love. 

The story follows Suzanne and Simon. Tired by all his years in the British army as a spy, Simon resigns his commission after Napoleon abdicates. Hoping to find new meaning in his life, he returns to England where he discovers his cousin's widow. Suzanne Duval was the Comtesse de Chambron. Now she is working as a seamstress in England. The two decide to marry because they both believe they are beyond love and lust. A nice friendship and a marriage of convenience will work. They didn't expect or want a true marriage, but as Suzanne joins Simon in searching for his long-lost friend and foster brother, they realize that love and passion are possible. However, Napoleon's escape from Elba will bring peril to Europe and this couple. 

A little bit of the mystery was ruined since I did read book 5 before this one. I for sure say read this one before, but this does stand well as a standalone from the rest of the series.

I liked this couple. One of my favorite couples in the series 100%. They went through some terrible things. He was a spy during a bloody war. She was in France during the Reign of Terror. Lost her hubbie, title, lands, and freedom. On the way to escaping her boat was taken over and she was taken to be a whore in a harem. They are both really damaged. I loved watching them rekindle their friendship, get married, fall in love, and then lust. It was sweet. I loved how much they talked to each other and trusted each other. 

I adored the side characters as well. They were very well-rounded and I wanted them to be safe and happy too. 

However, I struggled a little bit because the pacing was all over the place. Things would drag to the point of me wanting to fall asleep and then jump to heart-racing fast where I couldn't listen fast enough and then it would drop to slow and tedious.

Also, I felt the treatment and recovery that Suzanne went through after her terrible experiences....seemed wrong. It felt like all she needed was a good man. True, Simon is awesome and patient and kind...but I feel like she needed a therapist or something. Love can't always fix deep-rooted issues and traumatic experiences.

The narrator was fantastic as per normal. I could sing her praises. 

In the end, I liked many parts of this, but there were some things I struggled with for sure. The series was fun and I enjoyed it overall. But for this, I will give it 3 stars.   








Challenge(s):
- #34 for Audiobook challenge
- #19 for Romance Bingo - Horse on the cover







Friday, 11 June 2021

Hang the moon by Alexandria Bellefleur

Narrated by: Lauren Sweet


Series: Written in the Stars #2


Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins


Release date: 05-25-21


Publisher: HarperAudio


To review




Brendan believes in romance and true love, he loves romantic movies. He is the creator of a dating app,but has not found the one.




Annie is busy with her job and travels the world. Is she happy? Eh. She travels a lot, but never gets to actually see anything. She is also jaded in love, dunno why really, just cos some were asshats is no reason to never try love.




He is the brother of her bff. And I did like that his sister never said anything. So sick of books where siblings are like do not touch! Ehh, if that is your bff, then shouldn't you be happy? not here though, Annie's bff thinks this isa great idea!




He shows her Seattle, which I liked, because it felt like i got to know the city. And they fell for each other, but the drama is her oh no I am moving! Oh no, my job! Oh no, what if he dumps me!




A good cute story




Nice narrator too. I easily fell into this story





Brendon Lowell loves love. It’s why he created a dating app to help people find their one true pairing and why he’s convinced “the one” is out there, even if he hasn’t met her yet. Or...has he? When his sister's best friend turns up in Seattle unexpectedly, Brendon jumps at the chance to hang out with her. He’s crushed on Annie since they were kids, and the stars have finally aligned, putting them in the same city at the same time. 




Annie booked a spur-of-the-moment trip to Seattle to spend time with friends before moving across the globe. She’s not looking for love, especially with her best friend’s brother. Annie remembers Brendon as a sweet, dorky kid. Except, the six-foot-four man who shows up at her door is a certified Hot Nerd and Annie...wants him? Oh yes.




Getting involved would be a terrible idea - her stay is temporary and he wants forever - but when Brendon learns Annie has given up on dating, he’s determined to prove that romance is real. Taking cues from his favorite rom-coms, Brendon plans to woo her with elaborate dates straight out of Nora Ephron’s playbook. The clock is ticking on Annie’s time in Seattle, and Brendon’s starting to realize romance isn’t just flowers and chocolate. But maybe real love doesn’t need to be as perfect as the movies...as long as you think your partner hung the moon.


Thursday, 10 June 2021

Widowland by C.J.Carey

Hardcover, 400 pages


Expected publication: June 10th 2021 by Quercus


Alternative history


To review





I finished this in a day, so yes I was sick and home and had time, but still, I totally binged.




I really liked what if stories. What if England and Germany had made peace? What if England now had a Protector, the royal family had been killed and they had brought back Edward and Wallis since he was German friendly. What if the UK was totally isolated and they did not know what happened in the rest of the world. And how The UK was this weird place where women was designated titles and worth. Pretty, young and Aryan? First class. A widow, childless and over 50? Low class, shut away in a crumbling part of the city. The best thing you can do is work, then marry and have kids. Many kids. Make-up, bad mouthing the regime and sex outside marriage is not tolerated.




This was a grey brainwashed world. They had all gone through training to forget the Before times. Men who had survived the war had been sent away to labour camps. There were 2 women per every man. Resistance is futile.




And then we have Rosa, brainwashed to not think of the Before times. She edits classics to make them more regime friendly. Not that reading or being literate is encouraged. Like is Pride and Prejudiced good? No, Elizabeth needs to be more quiet and timid, and stay within her class. Everything is edited, from history to literature.




But she does have passions hidden deep, but she keeps them in check. And then she is sent out to interview women in Widowland, and she starts to think again...




I liked it, yes alternative history is so interesting. All those what ifs. The UK turned into a really scary place. So dull and, huh, honestly what I know think of more like Soviet. Grey, mindless drones and everyone spying on you. And then insert evil German ideologies.




And it was so easy to read that I just could not put it down.





London, 1953, Coronation year - but not the Coronation of Elizabeth II.


Thirteen years have passed since a Grand Alliance between Great Britain and Germany was formalized. George VI and his family have been murdered and Edward VIII rules as King. Yet, in practice, all power is vested in Alfred Rosenberg, Britain's Protector. Britain is the perfect petri dish for the ideal society, and the role and status of women is Roseberg's particular interest. Under the Rosenberg regulations women are divided into a number of castes according to age, heritage, reproductive status and physical characteristics.



Rose belongs to the elite caste of Gelis. She works at the Ministry of Culture rewriting literature to correct the views of the past. She has been charged with making Jane Eyre more submissive, Elizabeth Bennet less feisty and Dorothea Brooke less intelligent. One morning she is summoned to the Cultural Commissioner's office and given a special task.




Outbreaks of insurgency have been seen across the country. Graffiti has been daubed on public buildings. Disturbingly, the graffiti is made up of lines from famous works, subversive lines from the voices of women. Suspicion has fallen on Widowland, the run down slums inhabited by childless women over fifty, the lowest caste. These women are known to be mutinous, for they seem to have lost their fear. Before the Leader arrives for the Coronation ceremony, Rose must infiltrate Widowland and find the source of this rebellion.




But as she begins to investigate, she discovers something that could change the protectorate forever, and in the process change herself.


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