Monday 31 May 2010

Review: Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
The wolves of Mercy Falls, book 1

Genre: Paranormal YA
Pages: 392
Published: 2009

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human ... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever. 

I never know with paranormal YA book, I either love them, hate or think they are ok. But this, it was better than ok., but not enough to love. The love only goes to dystopian books cos they are so freaky. But this was an excellent book. Honestly, best paranormal YA book I have read.

Then there was the translation question. That can break a book, make it childish or not capture the spirit. Considering I really liked this one then it must have been a good translation, and who knows perhaps I would have liked it even more in English.

This book is about Grace and Sam. Each chapter it about either one, and each chapter begins how warm or cold it is. Grace has watched the wolves ever since being rescued by one as a child. Sam has watched Grace since he was a child, or puppy. He saved her, and he longs to speak to her. But even if he is human in the summers he never gets the chance. So he watches from afar until one day when they meet, and fall in love. But a wolf and a human can not be. He only lasts for the summer.

I liked that it was from both POV's. I got to hear Sam's thoughts and Grace's. There was some flashbacks and soon the story become clearer.

But the best part I think was the way she created these wolves. In the summer when it's warm the can shift and become human, and when the winter and cold comes they stay as wolves. And there is nothing they can do about it, they cannot cheat it either. They must become wolves, wherever they are.

Young love, puppylove, haha, I had to. They really fall for each other but then perhaps they have always loved each other. He from afar, and she has loved the wolf. The romance is by no means easy, the cold is coming, and each time he walks out it is a struggle. The fall is just around the corner, and when the book end, well then I wonder, and realise that I do want to read more. I need to know if they somehow can be together because the is a bigger and darker question on the horizon, and there can be no HEA.

The wolves can be pretty brutal too, and in this book they are hunted because of an attack on a human. There is danger on both sides.

Great YA really, a good paranormal werewolf romance that leaves you a bit chilly. The cold is creeping into your bones while you read.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: The Swedish cover went for the English one, and it's nice,even if it took a while to see the wolf.
Reason for reading: Library book
Final thoughts: This is a paranormal series that I do can tell you to read.

Saturday 29 May 2010

Review: Tell me something - Adele Parks

Tell me something by Adele Parks

Genre: Contemporary romance/chick-lit
Pages: 480
Published: 2009

Elizabeth has wanted two things her entire life to keep her happy and fulfilled – an Italian husband and lots of rosy-cheeked bambini. The first is ticked off, now she’s bagged dark and sexy Roberto, the second is proving harder to achieve.

But when Roberto loses his job and decides to leave London for romantic Italy and the family business, Elizabeth hopes the change in lifestyle might help her relax and boost her chances of conceiving their longed for child. Except, no matter how much ice cream she eats in the sun drenched piazza, it’s impossible to relax when her wily mother-in-law (the original black widow) seems hell bent on destroying her marriage. The language barrier is proving tricky too, as is Roberto’s beautiful, significant ex who practically lives next door.

Is Elizabeth’s ferocious hunger for a baby enough to hold a marriage together or is it ripping it apart? And why is she suddenly craving the company of a gorgeous, blonde American stranger? Her filthy, flirty thoughts about him are totally inappropriate.

I really should write a review at once, I only read this last weekend, and things are already slipping. But hey it's the weekend so this can be a short review.

Elizabeth is obsessed with a big O. All she thinks about is babies, babies and babies, and babies with her wonderful Italian Husband. Because that is her other obsession, Italians. She loves the country and has only dated Italians all her life. How she managed that I do not know. Anyway 6 years into the marriage and no babies, and every time she gets her period her world breaks down. She wants them, and needs them. But it seems her fluids kills his juices, or something like that. It's a killing field and what can a girl do who wants that bambini? Perhaps it's a sign that Roberto gets fired and they move. Italy, her  other big obsession can surely cure the fact that their stuff is toxic to each other.

Happily ever after? Haha, NO! Omg, in comes mother in law from hell. I cringed every time she said something. She hates Elizabeth and she does everything she can to destroy the marriage. She pretends now to understand what Elizabeth is saying, keeps offering her only meat to eat when she is a vegetarian, makes her look bad in front of Roberto so he complains. Their marriage slowly breaks apart.

This was a good book, but that mother in law, yes I will say it, a bitch. It hurt to read it sometimes cos she was just on her case constantly. And I mean even if Elizabeth sure made mistakes, and yes maybe she should have been less baby obsessed, it was still such a poisonous environment. I longed for her to just go, go away and leave that place. But what to do when you live in the same house as your mother in law, who also keeps her clothes in your closet, while you have just your bags.

There was laughs, and there was heartache in this book. And then there was friendship, light, and romance. Things always works out for the best even if the road there is rocky.

Blodeuedd's Cover Thoughts: Her legs creep me out, and you should see the backcover. They are too skinny, too airbrushed, she has no thighs. Yak.
Reason for reading: Library book
Final thoughts: A funny, romantic book for the summer

Thursday 27 May 2010

ARC Review: The Wolf Next Door - Lydia Dare

The Wolf Next Door by Lydia Dare
The Westfield Brothers 3

Genre: Historical paranormal romance
Pages: 384
Published: June 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

Rogue, Rake…Werewolf. Years ago on a full moon, Lord William Westfield gave way to his inner beast and nearly ruined young Prisca Hawthorne. Knowing he can never trust himself in the arms of the woman he loves, he throws himself into a debauched lifestyle. When Westfield discovers he has a rival for Prisca's love, he decides if she's going to marry a Lycan it damn well better be him. But time is running out as Prisca's other suitor takes an instant and potentially fatal dislike to Westfield.

I must say that this was my favourite book of the 3. Why, well everyone that have read them know about William and Prisca, their constant banter and how they seem to loathe each other, but at the same time they do seem to like each other...a lot. With that in mind I started this book.

We finally get an explanation why Prisca takes every opportunity she gets so verbally abuse William. There was a failed elopement years ago, and neither got over that. It is obvious that they still have feelings for each other, but Prisca does not trust him, and William is a notorious rake by now.

Her brothers are finally tired of her and has a plan, marry her off to William. But there is another suitor, and he is one big bad wolf. William will not back down now. It's all or nothing, and he is not ready to loose her.

Like I said before I could not wait to read Prisca's and William's story because they are at each other all the time. I was wondering how they with their constant bickering could see past that and fall in love. Well I can tell you that is not an easy road. They are still bickering, and the tension is running high in this book.

Prisca is a nice heroine who is not afraid to speak her mind, even if that leads her into trouble. And William, oh he is such a flirt, but with such a good heart that it just makes me wanna hug him, and the smack him over the head.

This is a fun book, you know it with those two, she is always at his throat, and he is trying to seduce her one way or the other. There is the merry hunt, and what happens afterwards. And then there is the big bad wolf lurking in the shadows, wanting Prisca for himself. 

These two made this book the best so far. It had something for everyone, werewolves (yay), damsels in distress, witty remarks, and some lines that nearly killed me from laughing. For example when she asks why he always has something in his pocket. That, lol, has to be read.

A good werewolf story set in the regency era, and a nice conclusion to the Westfield story. All brothers had something special, but I do think I am starting to like William the best after this.

Tensions are running high, when a wicked werewolf finally meets his match, and passion can't be denied no longer.

Blodeuedd's Cover Thoughts: Just look at her eyes.
Reason for reading: Copy from the publisher
Final thoughts: Do you want the a historical romance, but with a bit of extra? Then werewolves might just be for you....3,5

And if you wanna have a go at these books, then enter my contest here for Tall, dark and Wolfish

The Cover for book 4, *warning* Do read book 3 before reading the blurb, cos there is a spoiler alert.

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Guestblog: Lydia Dare + giveaway

Today I welcome Lydia Dare to my blog. The authors of A certain Wolfish Charm, Tall Dark and Wolfish and in June: The Wolf Next door. Be free to ask questions, and enter the contest at the bottom of this blog. Where you can win Tall, Dark and Wolfish.

It becomes apparent when you sit down to create a new world that you also have to create characters to fill that world.  In our series, creating the gentlemen Lycans was easy.  They were charming alpha-rakes who became wolves at “that time of the month.”  In the days leading up to the moonful, they get a little lusty, not to mention a little more surly.  But, aside from that, they’re fairly average men with the same wants and desires as the normal Regency rake.

In Tall, Dark and Wolfish, we wondered what might happen if a Lycan couldn’t change into Lycan form with the coming of the moonful.  It would certainly be like losing a part of his being, particularly with Benjamin. He liked being a Lycan and reveled in the moonful each month.  So, when it came time to change and he didn’t, he was heartbroken.

There were no apothecaries or physicians in Regency England who could heal his wolfish self, not to mention protect the side of himself that he has kept a secret for so long, so the idea of a healer was born. And what better healer could there be than the fiery red-head, Elspeth Campbell.  Of course, Ben is not at all aware he’s going to find the woman of his dreams; he simply thinks he’s looking for an old crone who can heal what ails him.

That’s how the coven was born. Còig is a Scots Gaelic word that means “five.” Of course having one solitary witch who could restore Benjamin to himself would be much more fun if there were more waiting in the shadows to get in the way of his budding relationship with Elspeth.  Give them each their own powers and it became even more interesting.

Each witch has her own special powers, as did their mothers before them.  Elspeth can heal with the tips of her fingers, or her heart as the case may be.  Caitrin can see the future, even though it may be difficult for her at times.  Blaire is super strong and can make sparks fly from her fingertips.  Rhiannon controls the weather, or at least her emotions do. And Sorcha can ask plants to do her bidding; they might bud, wither and die or stretch across the ground to entangle an overly-amorous Lycan.

Of course, once a character walks into a novel, readers (and the authors) tend to fall in love with them and want to see more of them.  So, when the witches walked into Tall, Dark and Wolfish, we knew they each needed their own story, mainly because it would be such a waste to not use all those spectacular talents to create future mayhem.
The members of the Còig came from our imaginations, but there is a bit of truth to the potions and plants they use to accomplish their goals. Not much truth, we admit, but there’s a bit. Eggs and blueberries are reported to be led by the moon, but we did take some creative liberty with them when Elspeth uses them in Tall, Dark and Wolfish. And, yes, we took liberties with other witchy characteristics as well. That’s the beauty of making up your own world – you get to populate it as well. 

We hope you enjoy the antics of the Còig and that you want to read their stories, which will be out by the spring of 2011.

In Lydia Dare’s debut trilogy, Regency England has gone to the wolves!

He’s lost the most important part of himself…

Lord Benjamin Westfield is a powerful werewolf—until one full moon when he doesn’t change. His life now shattered, he rushes off to Scotland in search of the healer who can restore his inner beast, only to find she’s not at all what he expected…

She would make him whole, if she could…

Young, beautiful witch Elspeth Campbell will do anything to help anyone who calls upon her healing arts. Then Lord Benjamin shows up, and she suddenly discovers she may need him even more than he needs her…

About the Author
Lydia Dare is the writing team of Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson. Both Tammy and Jodie are active members of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and live near Raleigh, North Carolina. They are working together on their next paranormal historical trilogy as Lydia Dare, which will be released by Sourcebooks Casablanca in Spring 2011! For more information, please visit

Open US and Canada.
2 winners will receive Tall, Dark and Wolfish
Ends May 29th

Thanks for visiting :)

Sunday 23 May 2010

Review: The Second Assistant

The Second Assistant by Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare
A tale from the bottom of the Hollywood ladder

Genre: Chick-lit
Pages: 357
Published: 2005

The heroine of this gossipy tale is Elizabeth Miller, a young, former campaign worker for a US congressman who finds herself between employment opportunities. Unable to obtain any more socially responsible work, Lizzie is lured into the job of second assistant to an executive at a glitzy Hollywood agency. Once there, she's hit with all the "pick-up my dry cleaning," "walk my dog," "hire strippers for my party" torment that the higher-ups can dish out. At first Elizabeth is isolated, out-of-place, and under dressed in her new world, but she makes friends, builds her wardrobe, and eventually grows to care for her menial job, her Ritalin-snorting boss, and the entertainment industry in general. Finally, she reaches the conclusion that thousands of other Californians have before her: what she really wants to do is produce. 

I had a strange feeling with this book. It was fun, I giggled, and I read it real fast, but at times I didn't feel it.  I don't know, I just didn't feel.

But if we forget that for a moment. This is a book about Elizabeth who leaves the political world and gets a job as a second assistant at a big time agency. But it's a cut-throat world. The famous wants it all and their way, the bosses are mad and she feels lonely. But she does come close to a co-worker and a guy she meets. She fancies a producer, and she makes a fool of herself with another one. But as time goes by she grows to like this crazy world.

I liked Lizzy even if things at times sure fell into her lap, she was lucky even if she was unlucky too. The guys sure seemed to like her too. But still, she was nice, but she sure could have been a bit less naive, I mean it is Hollywood.

The people at the agency were just as I could have pictured them. Angry bosses that are never in, and pretty young assistants that did something.

The love then, well first there is the producer crush, but he is a bit of a slut. There is the nice guy she meets at the coffee place, the sleazy guy she meets at a party, and the guy she fancies at a distant. Yes there is love, and I had my hopes for who she should end up with

The book gave me some laughs, because you know there will be comedy in a chick-lit book that takes place in LA. There was love, and backstabbing. A cute and funny book that I read a lazy Saturday.

I just wished the ending could have been a bit more, we were left off so soon, but then there is a part 2.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: I do like chick-lit covers.
Reason for reading: Library book
Final thoughts: Funny

Friday 21 May 2010

Review. The Calligrapher's Daughter - Eugenia Kim

The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim

Genre: Fiction
Pages: 400
Published: 2009 by Henry Holt and Co.

A sweeping debut novel, inspired by the life of the author’s mother, about a young woman who dares to fight for a brighter future in occupied Korea

In early-twentieth-century Korea, Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, longs to choose her own destiny. Smart and headstrong, she is encouraged by her mother—but her stern father is determined to maintain tradition, especially as the Japanese steadily gain control of his beloved country. When he seeks to marry Najin into an aristocratic family, her mother defies generations of obedient wives and instead sends her to serve in the king’s court as a companion to a young princess. But the king is soon assassinated, and the centuries-old dynastic culture comes to its end.

In the shadow of the dying monarchy, Najin begins a journey through increasing oppression that will forever change her world. As she desperately seeks to continue her education, will the unexpected love she finds along the way be enough to sustain her through the violence and subjugation her country continues to face? Spanning thirty years, The Calligrapher’s Daughter is a richly drawn novel in the tradition of Lisa See and Amy Tan about a country torn between ancient customs and modern possibilities, a family ultimately united by love, and a woman who never gives up her search for freedom. 

Another win. This was a great book, and I would recommend it to fans of Wild Swans by Jung Chang, Leaving Mother Lake by Yang Erche Namu & Christine Mathie, and even Memoirs of  a geisha by Arthur Golden. I got the same feeling as I got from those books, and not just because those took place in China and Japan, and this one in Korea. No, it was because two of those were about real events, and in this one the author was inspired by her mother's story. There was reality and everyday life. And life in a time of turmoil.

This was the story about Najin, a girl who is not named and gets her name by mistake, a name that doesn't even mean anything. She lives in Korea, a country occupied by Japan, and life gets harder and harder as the Japanese tries to oppress the people. She is headstrong, much to her fathers regret. And thanks to her mother she gets to attend missionary school, and she has a real yearning for education. But her father wants to hold on to the old ways, and tradition. While she wants more. 

I admired her a lot, because she was so strong and wanted so much. And then there is the way they spoke then, I was fascinated. She meets the emperor and thanks him for remembering a a screen her dad had painted.

"Thank you for your Imperial Highness's kindness to this persons worthless family.
And that is not the only time she says something like that, but it is used in other places. So yes rather fascinated by the way they spoke back then.

It is a story about a girl growing up, going to school, and everyday life. And watching the political unrest around her. Her dad getting beaten and put in jail, people dying after a failed protest march, a woman taking her own life after being raped by soldiers. Land being given away to Japanese families, and Korean families starving. At the same time she also spends time at court, and watches the fall of the royal family, as the emperor is murdered. Her dad who was a famous calligrapher, and who had a lot of money slowly poorer and poorer.

But she never says that this is wrong, and this is right. The book tells it as she sees it, and also sometimes from her father's and mother's POV. There is also a mention about a certain rebel leader up north, but her dad is not so big on communists, even if they fight the Japanese.

This was such an enjoyable story. 30 years of Korean history in a country that truly changed during that time. There is friendship, hardship, and even romance promised as the grows up as the Armstrong woman she was.
A truthful look at a time gone by.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: Very pretty.
Reason for Reading. I picked this one out from the catalogue they had.
Final thoughts: I recommend it. It was a lovely story, and so well told....4

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Review: The Brothers of Gwynedd - Edith Pargeter


Pages: 722
Published: May 1st 2010 Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Historical fiction

A Burning Desire for One Country, One Love, and One Legacy That Will Last Forever.

Llewelyn, prince of Gwynedd, dreams of a Wales united against the English, but first he must combat enemies nearer home. Llewelyn and his brothers—Owen Goch, Rhodri, and David—vie for power among themselves and with the English king, Henry III. Despite the support of his beloved wife, Eleanor, Llewelyn finds himself trapped in a situation where the only solution could be his very downfall.

Originally published in England as four individual novels, The Brothers of Gwynedd transports you to a world of chivalry, gallant heroes, and imprisoned damsels; to star-crossed lovers and glorious battle scenes; and is Edith Pargeter’s absorbing tale of tragedy, traitors, and triumph of the heart.

I am a part of Sourcebooks Summer reading club, and we will read this big book over the summer, and have a few chats along the way. This is then a review of the first book, Sunrise in the West.
The first Blog Chat Night will take place on May 24th at 7:00pm EST and is hosted by Amy of Passages of the Past.Join us there.

I do confess that I am pretty happy to only have read book 1 so far because this book is pretty big, but then there are four novels in it.

This is the story of 4 brothers, with the focus on Llewelyn ap Gruffyd, he is the second born son to Gruffyd ap Llewelyn. The Welsh did not look at bastards like the English did, but because of who Llewlyn the Great was married to, an English Princess, it was the second born son that took the throne of Gwynedd and Gruffyd was not happy about that. There was war, and Gruffyd and his oldest son Owen was inprisoned. Later on they were again imprisoned in England together with his wife Senena, and their sons Rhodri and David. Only Llewlyn managed to stay in Wales and grew up fighting, and later fighting the English.

Sounds complicated? Well that is history. Later when all brothers are back, and the former Prince David is gone they divide the kingdom between each other, and well that is never a good idea. Because they all want a piece and Llewelyn understand how Wales should stand united against the English that is breathing down their necks.

This book follows the childhood, and up to their adulthood when they are all back in Wales. It is very much a brother against brother story, as it is Wales against England. The English who do not understand their customs.

My favourite part, haha, they mentioned Mur-y-Castell, because they were riding there, I mean I had to love them mentioning the name of my blog.

But this is also a very heavy book, the language felt very, 50s,60s 70s? Old, in a way written back then and it was written in the 70s. It's not an easy book to read, it can be a bit dry. I have no problems with Welsh names, surnames and place, I did choose my blogname for a reason, so that is not the problem. It was more her way of writing.

This is then a book for the hardcore historical fans because I promise that it is filled with history. And all seen through the eyes of Samson, who later becomes the scribe of Llewellyn. And you will certainly learn a lot.

There are plenty of other reviews to check out as the tour continues:

May 18 Reviews

Between the Pages 
And there are more dates :)

Saturday 15 May 2010

Review: The Girl with Glass Feet - Ali Shaw

The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

Genre: Fiction, ?
Pages: 288
Published: 2010 Henry Holt and Company

Strange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St Hauda's Land. Unusual winged creatures flit around icy bogland; albino animals hide themselves in the snow-glazed woods; jellyfish glow in the ocean's depths… and Ida MacLaird is slowly turning into glass.

A mysterious and frightening metamorphosis has befallen Ida – she is slowly turning into glass, from the feet up. She returns to St Hauda's Land, where she believes the glass first took hold, in search of a cure.

Midas Crook is a young loner, who has lived on the islands his entire life. When he meets Ida, something about her sad, defiant spirit pierces his emotional defences. As Midas helps Ida come to terms with her affliction, she gradually unpicks the knots of his heart, and they begin to fall in love…

What they need most is time – and time is slipping away fast. Will they find a way to stave off the spread of the glass? The Girl with Glass Feet is a dazzlingly imaginative and gripping first novel, a love story to treasure. 

I honestly do not know where to start. How do I explain a book like this, how can I get you all to see the magic in it?

It is a strange tale about a girl, Ida who returns to St Hauda's Land in search for answers. Her feet are turning into glass, yes glass. She does not know why but she remembers a man who had mentioned glass bodies in the bog. Could he hold the answer? Here she meets Midas, a strange young man who loves to take photos, and they fall in love, slowly, awkward, but in love.

Perhaps you now see the strangeness in this book. Her body is slowly being transformed into glass, and when it finishes, well no one can live in a body of glass. These islands are a strange place. There is talk about a strange animal with white eyes, and this whole place seems to ooze strangeness. Like it is some kind of distant land far far away where these strange things can still exist, hidden away from the rest of the world. And the people here have grown used to them. Used to finding strange things like moth-winged cows.

It was a great story, hauntingly beautiful and sad. I felt like I was there, on this damp, cold island. The language took hold of this feeling and made me stay. It is not a happy story, there is coldness creeping in the edges of this book and there are a lot of unhappy people in it. Still it felt magical.

The story is not just a story, it jumps in time. We get to see Midas' dad, who wasn't a nice man, and who shaped who Midas is now. We also get to see Ida's past, and she hadn't a nice dad either. Their mothers seemed frail. And then there is the longing, both had mothers who others longed for. Lost passions, with more sad flashbacks. To understand the now, you have to understand the past.

I shall not forget the lovestory. Midas meets Ida, they see something in each other. The slowly move towards each other, and they seem so perfect for each other. But the clock is ticking, not only to find a cure, but for them to finally do something. 

I liked Ida, I would not have been as brave as she was, to see my feet turn to glass would surely have driven me insane. And I had to love Midas, he was strange, but so lovable. I could picture him before me.

This is Shaw's first novel, and if he continues in this style then I am sure we will hear much more about him.

If I sum it up, it is like a strange fairytale, the girl with glass feet, and the awkward prince she meets.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: Simple and nice.
Reason for Reading: I picked this one from their catalogue and got it from the publisher.
Final thoughts: This is just a book you have to try for yourself. Words can't describe it....4

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Review: Changeless - Gail Carriger

 Changeless by Gail Carriger
The parasol protectorate, book 2

Genre: Historical, romance, steampunk, paranormal
Pages: 374
Published: 2010

Alexia Tarabotti, now Lady Maccon, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears -- leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her into the backwaters of ugly waistcoats, Scotland, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only a soulless can.

She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it. 

First oh oh oh, the end! But ok I will not start there, so re-wind.

Alexia is happily married with her husband, well as happy as those two can be, because they love to tease each other for sure. She is now quite fashionable, and people actually do speak about her. Not to mention that she is secretly the mujah in the city. But then the book starts with a bang, a missing husband, a city with no paranormals, well except those camped on her lawn, and Ivy with big news. Soon she puts her foot down and gets to the bottom of things.

I kept marking pages where I found good quotes and then I gave up cos good and funny quotes were just everywhere.

Everyone else was outraged, imagine the wife of an earl appearing at dinner with frizzy hair. Even in Scotland such things were simply not done.

This is one of the reasons why I love this book and series. The proper manners. I kept giggling everywhere when people gasped because someone mentioned shaving or things like that. These things are one of the highlights with this book.

Another reason is the witty language, that combined with my first love and the mix is just simply wonderful.

Of course I do love Alexia too, she is very logical, might be the soulless part, and she loves her manners too. Even if I think she was somewhat changed now. Must be the constant nudity she sees around werewolves ;) And Conall is still mmmmm, what a werewolf!

Lord Akeldama not to be forgotten, I have to love him. And he calls her the strangest things. I have fallen for Ivy, she was so much fun, and she has her romance in this book too. I wonder what happens in book 3? Carriger always has got some great side charcters.

Now where was I? The book is funny, giggles promised! The language is witty, the manners are excellent. The plot is interesting, I the reader do not know who to trust or what is going on. There is romance, and hot werewolves, with a sprinkle of some very proper vampires.

But then the big OMG! The ending, oh how it left me wanting more. I do confess that Carriger is very evil indeed, she made me wish I could invent a time-machine and go straight to September and buy book 3. I need book 3 this instance to find out what is gonna happen. I do warn you, it is somewhat of a cliffhanger and it will make you drool for book 3, Blameless.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: Lovely.
Reason for reading: own copy.
Final thoughts: If you haven't noticed by now that I loved this book then you haven't been paying attention ;)

Saturday 8 May 2010

Review: Shadow's Edge - Brent Weeks

Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks
Night angel triology, book 2

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 608
Published: 2008

Kylar Stern has rejected the assassin's life. The Godking's successful coup has left Kylar's master, Durzo, and his best friend, Logan, dead. He is starting over, new city, new friends, and new profession.

But when he learns that Logan might actually be alive and in hiding, Kylar is faced with an agonizing choice: will he give up the way of shadows forever and live in peace with his new family, or will he risk everything by taking on the ultimate hit?

This book took some time to read, not cos it was big, but cos it was so emotionally draining. I read 50 pages and had to stop. And took a break for some time. The reason, well let me put it like this. I saw a glimmer of hope, then I turned around and Weeks stabbed me in the back and left me bleeding.I should have learned not to trust it but I kept turning around and getting hit again and again.

He is an excellent writer and he has created a rich world, but there is darkness, such darkness that I had to take those breaks from it.

And the darkness he creates it not a darkness that I read and think no way (well except for those cannibals, but then that happens too, like that plane crash in the Andes.) But here the deal was war, and what happens during and after it. People do not live happily ever after. No there is death, rape, and bloody murder. It is brutal and it happens every day in real life too. The thing is just that Brent Weeks put it here for all to see, and he really pushes it.

It is not a gore fest in blood and guts. Yes there is death, and horrible things. But he tells about them, without going in to details, because that would really have been bad. Now they are just there in this dark, dark world without hope.

But ok, something about the story then, Kylar has left the fallen city and gone to another with Elene and young Uly.. But then he hears that Logan might be alive, but in a place worse than hell. Can he really turn his back on his nice new life and go back to what he used to be? The answer is pretty obvious, he may be a killer but he is also nice and wants to help his friends. He is loyal, and righteous (well most of the time, I mean he was an assassin.)

This story started away from the horror, but went there via the side characters, while Weeks dealt blow and blow of hopelessness. But he has such strong characters that never give up even after the horrors that are happening to them. And there is still one more book, this one left with hope again but there are things to be seen too. I just have one hope, that he keeps Kylar alive, because I want him to be happy.

One other thing is how he made me see one character in a new light, one I should, have hated, but even among this hopelessness there is forgiveness. All hope is not lost.

Great series, even if it is dark. Take your time reading it, or perhaps you are not like me and I can deal with these things. I always have a hard time to deal with sadness, and darkness. Which is weird since I love fantasy and big war scenes, but I still wanna live in lala land and see HEAs and freakin unicorns.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: What can I say, I like it.
Reason for reading. My own book
Final thoughts: Dark fantasy, but awesome.

Thursday 6 May 2010

Review: Tall, Dark and Wolfish - Lydia Dare

Tall, Dark and Wolfish by Lydia Dare
Westfield brothers, book 2

Genre: Paranormal romance historical
Pages: 384
Published: May 2010 Sourcebooks Casablanca

The reckless, rakish younger brother of a powerful duke, Lord Benjamin Westfield transforms into a wolf under the light of the full moon—until one fateful evening when he doesn't change and his life is shattered. Fearing he may never be able to change again, Benjamin sets out for Scotland in search of a witch who can heal his inner beast. The noble werewolf is drawn to the beautiful young woman, but what does he have to offer in this broken state?

I heard about Benjamin in book 1, all I knew that he was somewhere in Scotland and his family didn't know where or why. Well this is the explanation. First he is of course a Lycan like his brothers, second, he can't transform any more after an incident with a woman. From a friend he learns that perhaps a healer/witch in Scotland can help.

Benjamin is like his brother in that aspect that he is afraid to love and be loved. He wants to control the beast and perhaps that is the problem. He is rather torn and lost when he can't change any more, and the rake in him seems to drift away cos of his loss.

But where would we be without some romance. The old healer he is looking for is a beautiful young woman and he is not called a rake for nothing. But when is love ever easy. This woman has a bunch of friends who are very protective and need her to stay with them. Even if that means sending away someone she loves. Yes they aren't that clever now are they, but they meant well, and I had trouble disliking them. I would also protect a friend, and they thought it was for the best. And they were just fun, I'd love to see them find love. Now that could be a cool spin-off.

Lord Benjamin, well I do like a werewolves, they are just so manly and not afraid to show it. Elspeth was sweet, and she truly did not stand a chance when he showed up. Of course who could resist a werewolf.

This book had the romance, and the wolves do tend to become very carnal when the moon is full as he puts it. I liked that they wanted to be with each other, and how the other girls got in the way. he had to fight some for his love. And of course he was also very stupid cos of his Lycan state, but he has to learn too,

One thing that I just had to get used to was that ye this was Scotland, so there was the accent. Luckily I had read this other book and was up to speed what it all meant. But I am glad it wasn't more of it.

This book had me reading like crazy at the beginning, I wanted her to find out about him being what he was, I mean she had to heal him. And the rest of the book I wanted to know if the witches would get in the way, or if anyone would do something stupid (heroes and heroines always do something stupid ;).

All in all a good shifter story and I do think I liked this more than book 1, I guess we just have to see if I( like book 3 even more. Nice historical setting, sweet romance, and cool shifters.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: Loving it, I am not just saying this cos I love the color green, but it is the green, and then her piercing green eyes and that castle ( and yes there was some man nipples too, but I honestly watched the castle.)
Reason for reading: From the publisher
Final thoughts: Who can say no to a werewolf. 3,5

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Review: The Man who Loved Pride and Prejudice - Abigail Reynolds

The Man Who loved Pride and Prejudice by Abigail Reynolds

Genre: Contempory romance
Pages: 448
Published: May 2010 by Sourcebooks Casablanca (previously published as Pemberley by the Sea)

Pride and Prejudice is the quintessential women's novel but many men love it, too When marine biologist Cassie Boulton and Calder Westing III, a modern-day Mr. Darcy, share one passionate night by the sea, Cassie thinks she may have found her happy ending. But with devastating secrets from the past and Calder's family determined to keep them apart, Calder tells her about his feelings the only way she'll let him by rewriting her favorite book, featuring the two of them as Darcy and Elizabeth.

Just  mention Pride and Prejudice, be is sequel, re-make or something else and I want to have a go at it. This one I liked and it had me at the "ball" where they meet. She asks him to dance and he says no, and then she leaves with a sense of having been judged and found wanting. She got me there.

It is the story about marine biologist Cassie who every summer comes to the cape to study the sea life and sit in her lab. This year she has her friend Erin with her and Erin meets a nice guy, Scott and dances away with him. While Cassie meets a reserved man who doesn't seem to want to be where he is. It is dislike at once, but there is also something else there, a passion that takes hold of them, but Cassie walks away because a poor Elizabeth with secrets does not get her Mr Darcy.

There is a lot of passion between these two when they finally get together, even if it is for a short time. Then the book takes a turn and they go their separate ways, but he wants to win her back and he has already called her Elizabeth Bennet. And I went awww, a guy who re-writes P&P to put them in it! So where can I meet him. He is like Mr Darcy, all hidden feelings and never saying the things he may want too. But then there is that other side to him, that gentle and caring side that we do not get to see at first. When it comes out I get happy.

There was some negative aspects though, it felt at times like the book was finished, but then it picked up another thread. I mean I do not mind cos more to read, and that is never wrong, but the passages felt new when you thought the end was near (well not that near cos I could still see the pages.) But at least the resolved everything, and I haev to give her credit for that because I like endings where I know it all.

This was a sweet book, a nice re-telling of an old story. Some characters where in it, others not. It was her own version but you could still recognize some important things, but never so much that it felt like just another re-telling. Now it was her own story, with PP inspiration,and  that worked great. What was left was a rich guy meets a nice so rich girl, and his family disapproves. And then there is Bingley and Jane.

I liked Calder, I liked Cassie, I enjoyed their love story, and sweet romance.

One thing left me thinking though, how much Abigail Reynolds knows about marine biology? Cos she was not afraid to go in to that lab and explain things. And to choose a subject like that, perhaps she has studied it.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner. I really like this one, it is so sweet and the couple looks happy.
Reason for reading: From the publisher.
Final thoughts: Sweet story, 3

Sunday 2 May 2010

Review: Mistress by Mistake - Maggie Robinson

Mistress by Mistake by Maggie Robinson

Genre: Historical romance
Pages: 352
Published: April 2010

 Scandal is only the beginning…

Charlotte Fallon let her guarded virtue fall once—and she’s paid dearly for it ever since. She swore she’d never succumb to men’s desires again. But even a village spinster’s life miles from temptation can’t save her from a sister with no shame whatsoever. Or a heart that longs for more, whatever the cost…

Sir Michael Bayard found more than he expected in his bed when he finally joined his new mistress. He’d fantasized about her dewy skin and luscious curves, assured her understanding that what passed between them was mere dalliance. But he didn’t expect the innocence and heat of her response in his arms. Nor her surprisingly sharp tongue once she was out of them…

A few days of abandon cannot undo the hard-learned lessons of a lifetime. Nor can an honest passion burn away the restraints of society’s judgments. Unless, of course, one believes in nonsense like true love…

First I'd like to say that this perhaps more is a spicy historical romance, cos these two do spend a lot of time in bed, or in other places.

In this story Charlotte is left behind by her courtesan sister. The sister was supposed to be Sir Michael Bayard's new mistress but she got married and left Charlotte to explain. Bay comes home and finds a woman in his bed, and cos of some missing jewels she stays in his house.

Ok, first I must say that I liked her writing, and the story was good, and sure a lot of passion. But, it is the big but here, I was not too fond of how things came to be. 

Bay comes home and starts touching a sleeping woman (not happy about sleep-sex!), then he says that instead of her sister she has to stay cos of those jewels. And she stays, but there I feel that it is too forced, and she is an idiot for not running away. Yes ok the scandal if her sister had stolen the jewels but still. he is a beast. There are also some other things about what he does to make her stay and this episode with his crazy old flame but I feel are too much.

Half way through the book I leave that behind and try to move on since I do want these two to get a happy ending.

I can see that Bay desperately wants love, and poor Charlotte is living as a spinster with regrets about something that happened long ago. She needs love too. They are so perfect for each other but of course they can't see it cos he calls her things and she thinks he is a fiend. But then this is a book and a book needs drama.

So I did have problems with some plotlines, oh I am so picky! But for the rest of you, I am sure you would eat this story up, it is sexy as hell, while staying within that boundary and not moving beyond into other genres, and making it too hot to handle. But it sure brings some steam, and a bit more than your average HR.

It also had some nice side characters, like the other mistresses on the street. I would love to read more about those.

Blodeuedd'sCover Thoughts: Love it, and she does have a scandouls red dress.
Reason for reading. My own copy.
Final thoughts: A hot historical romance

Saturday 1 May 2010

Review: The Ask and The Answer - Patrick Ness

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Chaos Walking, Book 2

Genre: Dystopian, sci-fi, YA
Pages: 544
Published: 2009

We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode.. 

I was blown away by book 1, and even if this wasn't that mind-blowing it was still a great book. The first was What, what, what!! And this one was more what, what, what?

Ness has this gift for total confusion. Who to trust, who to believe, I haev no idea. Everyone is telling things, everyone is lying. There is chaos walking the planet.

Todd has made it to Haven with the dying Viola, but there he is met by Mayor Prentiss and the army and Viola is taken away. He is put into jail, and later forced to work with the now President Prentiss's son, putting the alien Spackle to work. All this while Prentiss is being really nice to him, and telling him things so that he does not knwo what to believe any more.

There is Todd chapters and Viola chapters as she goes down another road and hears another versions of the same story. All while they just want to find each other again.

I still do not know what to believe. Why were all the women in Prentisstown killed? I know the President is poison, but still, what to believe?

The thing here is that things escalate, the president is yes a monster and whatever he seems to say he does not trust women. I mean they did kill all the women in their town. But then there is those that oppose him and they are not right either. The next book will be called Monsters of Men, and this is something that Viola and Todd says in book 1 or 2, war makes monsters out of men and that is so true in this book.

This is chilling Dystopian fiction that should be read. It will grab hold of you with a bunch of questions, and how that planet will get peace I do now know. The first book was about them on the run, things happening all the time. This book is more lies and propaganda, and trying to stay human when everything is chaos around you.

I am truly looking forward to book 3, not only cos this book ends with a major cliffhanger just like book 1 did.

Cover thoughts: Not a fan.
Reason for Reading: Library book
Final thoughts: Great! I loved it.


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