Friday 28 February 2014

Mr Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore - Robin Sloan

Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a Web-design drone and serendipity coupled with sheer curiosity has landed him a new job working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. And it doesn't take long for Clay to realize that the quiet, dusty book emporium is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few fanatically committed customers, but they never seem to actually buy anything, instead they simply borrow impossibly obscure volumes perched on dangerously high shelves, all according to some elaborate arrangement with the eccentric proprietor. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he has plugged in his laptop, roped in his friends (and a cute girl who works for Google) and embarked on a high-tech analysis of the customers' behaviour. What they discover is an ancient secret that can only be solved by modern means, and a global-conspiracy guarded by Mr. Penumbra himself... who has mysteriously disappeared.

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book, mostly because how it was written. I do love a well written book, and this one managed to mix humor, tech and the love of books with mystery. I do not like to compare books, but if I would have to, yes a bit of Carlos Ruiz Zafon vibes with the whole something strange afoot. 

For a book lover, this is the book to read. Clay, our hero starts working at a bookstore. Not many people comes by but some of those who do are strange and there is where a mystery is born. Who are they? Why can't he look at the books from the forbidden section? And the mystery grows.

To his help he has a cute google girl, his old fantasy loving friend and of course Mr Penumbra.

The hunt for the truth was good, I liked the use of technology in it, and the whole feeling I got. I love books, I will always love books and yes I need real books too.

A book lovers dream. Put in a mystery and google, and this is what you get. Well written and excellent.


Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 27th 2014 by Atlantic Books (first published January 1st 2012)
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore #1
For review

PS. Thank you my blog angel for my blog make over :D

Thursday 27 February 2014

The Bride Insists - Jane Ashford

When governess Clare Greenough learns she's inherited a fortune, the good news comes with a catch: it will be held by her cousin until Clare can find a husband. 

To stave off ruin, Jamie Boleigh, the seventh Baron of Trehearth, agrees to marry Clare under the condition that she keeps the money, a provision he hopes to overturn. Their passionate relationship becomes a battle of wills. 

When the cousin tricks Jamie into betraying his wife, he'll have to prove the truth or lose her forever.

My thoughts:
For a romance, there was not a lot of romance (but there was passion ;). When you read it you will understand. They had to build their relationship first.

Clare is a governess, and she longs for something else. She inherits money, but typically, her idiot evil cousin has a say on how she can spend it. Poor Clare, she just wanted freedom. To make her own choices, to have her own money. So she marries someone who needs money and signs a contract.

Jamie, oh Jamie. I wanted to kick him in the balls. It works really well with hating him for parts of the book (do not worry about that!). I am not going to say where the issue lay, but it had to due with him being a male, and thinking a certain way at times. Then I wanted to kick him in the balls and slap him.

So as you can see their hasty marriage does come with issues. They move closer, they move further apart. Insert 2 siblings, a house falling apart, some passion and two strong wills.

I must say it has been a while since I wanted to slap someone like this. Mostly it's cos they are evil or does evil things but here, it was just different. And when they all got their heads straight it was nice to see a HEA.


Paperback, 416 pages
Expected publication: March 4th 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Historical romance
For review

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Carole Reviews: The Korean Word for Butterfly - James Zerndt

Author: James Zerndt
Title: The Korean Word for Butterfly
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: ebook
First Published: March 27th, 2013
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion

"Set against the backdrop of the 2002 World Cup and rising anti-American sentiment due to a deadly accident involving two young Korean girls and a U.S. tank, The Korean Word For Butterfly is told from three alternating points-of-view:

Billie, the young wanna-be poet looking for adventure with her boyfriend who soon finds herself questioning her decision to travel so far from the comforts of American life;

Moon, the ex K-pop band manager who now works at the English school struggling to maintain his sobriety in hopes of getting his family back;

And Yun-ji , a secretary at the school whose new feelings of resentment toward Americans may lead her to do something she never would have imagined possible. 

The Korean Word For Butterfly is a story about the choices we make and why we make them. 
It is a story, ultimately, about the power of love and redemption."

Like earlier stated I was given this book by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion.

I've been DYING to read this book since I first hear of it. I read a few reviews a while back and I was tempted to buy it, but I waited for it to go down in price (I'm frugal...I can't help it). When the price went down, I was about to buy it, but I luckily got asked to review yayy!

This was definitely a good book. I was so absorbed, I could hardly put it down. Of course I'm reading this during moving out and etc, so my free-time was scarce. Sighs. Such is life. When I did have the time, I was reading this. 

The characters were all different with different stories, but they were all connected in some way. I hated Billie, but I did like her story. I liked all the stories, but I wanted to punch Billie in the face. Poor Joe...I know he wasn't as supportive at one point (can't say what), because he was stuck in his own head and grief. It isn't right, but everyone mourns/deals with life issues differently. Billie wasn't AT all supportive of him or even remotely understanding. It was an issue that both had to deal with and make peace with. She was so damn selfish and self-absorbed she didn't care how others felt. Near the end she got better, but still...meh.

I loved Moon. 

It was nice to get different POVs (which are nicely stated when the POV switches). It was nice to see how Koreans see Americans and the American soldiers. Honestly...I didn't know that many hate that Americans are there. When my cousin was stationed there last year, he said the the majority liked the fact the Americans are there. Perhaps it was different years ago (this was set in the early 2000s, so it might have been different). I loved learning more about the Korean culture. It was nice and interesting.

I really liked this book. I'm mad at myself for waiting SO long to actually get my hands on it and read it. I recommend people who like people books to read this. It was a nice change up in my reading. I rarely read anything set in Korea, especially more modern books. The characters and the story were great and well written. Out of five stars I shall stamp this with 5 stars. ^.^

Favorite Character(s): Moon, Hyo, Joe, and Yun-ji 
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Billie

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Reviews x2 Cecy Robson

The Wird sisters are content to avoid the local vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region—until one of them blows up a vampire in self-defense. Everyone knows vampires aren't aggressive, and killing one is punishable by death. But soon more bloodlust-fueled attacks occur, and the community wonders if the vampires of Tahoe are plague-ridden.

Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha's family to keep the area safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and—oh, yeah—not lose her heart to the wrong guy or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, he's coming for her and her sisters. 

My thoughts:
This was a fun and light,  I'd say UFR :)

Sure there was the triangle that was so beyond PNR. I mean vampire and wolf, duh. But hey sure it's old school but it works. It's not Celia's fault that a vampire master lusts after her (I am sure her blood is very delish). And not her fault that she sees a hot alpha wolf and starts to lust after him and he her. Yes Aric is one sexy wolf.

The sisters were fun and they might just find love here. I liked them all. They are all weird too, not really human, but not supernatural either. I do wonder about that, sure we got the explanation but!

The men, mm I did like Misha the vampire. Aric the werewolf was so alpha and it could have annoyed me, but I guess I am in the mood for alpha today.

The ending was no cliffie but hey I still want more at once. I need to see what happens to them all.

I hope book 2 will be great too!

Something looks wrong

Mass Market Paperback, 350 pages
Published December 31st 2012 by Signet Eclipse
Weird Girls #1
Urban fantasy romance

After Celia Wird and her sisters help master vampire Misha save his family, their powers are exposed to the supernatural community of the Lake Tahoe region. But fame comes at a price, and being “weird” isn’t always welcome.

To make matters worse, Celia desires the love of Alpha werewolf Aric, but his pack is bent on destroying their relationship to preserve his pureblood status. And once weres start turning up dead—with evidence pointing to the vampires—she must face the prospect of losing Aric forever. But the chaos only masks a new threat. An evil known as the Tribe has risen—and their sights are set on Celia and her sisters.

My thoughts:
Omg this book was brutal! Absolutely brutal. The last part had me curled into fetal position and angry as hell. And the end, the end! It was evil and delicious. It made me want book 3 like crazy. I could gush and gush, but the last part, so freaking good. And eeeevil.

I should say something then, but honestly all I can think of is the end, and the Aric part. Gut wrenching. 

Can't I just gush and gush? *thinks about the end again* I am so dying here.

4 cool sisters. Their kick-ass boyfriends. Evil things emerging. Ass-kicking. Celia and Aric trying to be together. *me becoming angry hulk*. Evil things going on. And a sweet, yet evil ending.

There I said it. Just read the book!


Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by Signet
Weird Girls #2

Monday 24 February 2014

Author Interview and Giveaway: Jane Ashford

Today's guest is Jane Ashford, and there is an awesome giveaway too.


Tell me about yourself....
Jane: I’m a born writer – never happier than at my keyboard making stuff up. : )

What made you decide to re-release your backlist titles? 
Jane: I felt there were good stories in these books that readers would enjoy. Fortunately, historical romance doesn’t get dated. No need to wonder why nobody has cell phones or knows about Google. 

And about your new book, coming out in March: The Bride Insists?

Jane: It’s tells the story of a young woman, Clare Greenough, who’s working as a governess after her family’s home passes to a cousin. She gets unexpected good news – she’s inherited a fortune from her great uncle the nabob. But that same despicable cousin, Simon, is a trustee until she marries, and he’ll make sure she can’t enjoy this windfall. Clare decides to “buy” a compliant husband on the Marriage Mart, someone who will agree, in writing, to let her control her own money. Baron Jamie Boleigh takes that bargain, to stave off ruin of an estate he’s been fighting to save for most of his life. Being a man of his time, he believes that Clare will recant eventually and become a proper, submissive wife. As he sees it, it’s only natural. Clare thinks they’ve established an equal partnership. The result: two passionate people on a collision course. 

Why is Clare and Jamie the couple to read about?
Jane: As they discover that passion, though glorious, is not enough to make a marriage, they grow and change, and gradually find their way to a much deeper alliance.

Are you working on something right now?
Jane: I’m in the midst of a new Regency historical called Married to a Proper Stranger. It’s the story of a couple who are separated a month after marriage, when the husband is tapped for a two-year diplomatic mission to China. The book begins when they’re reunited, both much changed by their experiences during their time apart. Sparks fly as they struggle to get to know each other all over again.

Thanks for having me here on your blog!

Three of Jane Ashford’s beloved backlist titles are now back in print! Look for Man of Honour, The Three Graces and The Marriage Wager in stores now! 

For a chance to enter to win a prize package of all three of these wonderful backlist titles, leave us a comment below—tell us your favorite historical time period or leave a question for Jane. 

As stated a prize pack of Man of Honour, The Three Graces and The Marriage Wager!

1. Open internationally
2. Ends March 8
3. To enter, answer the question posted

Leave your email (or twitter) adress to be entered. That is if your email can't be found in your profile.

Jane Ashford also has a BRAND NEW book coming out in March 2014: THE BRIDE INSISTS:

Sparks fly in this sexy, fast-paced Regency romance by acclaimed, bestselling author Jane Ashford
When governess Clare Greenough learns she’s inherited a fortune, the good news comes with a catch: it will be held by her cousin until Clare can find a husband. To stave off ruin, Jamie Boleigh, the seventh Baron of Trehearth, agrees to marry Clare under the condition that she controls the money, a provision he hopes to overturn. Their passionate relationship becomes a battle of wills. When the cousin tricks Jamie into betraying his wife, he’ll have to prove the truth or lose her forever.

To Preorder The Bride Insists:

Sunday 23 February 2014

Historical Fiction Reviews: 3 in 1

Young Eleanor, niece of King Edward II, is delighted with her marriage to Hugh le Despenser and her appointment as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Isabella's household. But before long, Eleanor realizes that her beloved Uncle Edward is not the mighty ruler his kingdom-or his queen-expected.

Hugh's unbridled ambition and his intimate relationship with Edward arouse widespread resentment, even as Eleanor remains fiercely loyal to her husband and to her king. However, her allegiance may cost her dearly.

My thoughts:
The book was interesting, but that is just was the history itself that was interesting. Not the book.

For me it could have better. As it was now, it just did not know whether it was fiction or non-ficion. Everything had to be told, every little detail about everyone in the country. There was even a mention of something that would not happen in years. The characters could not imagine that, I do not want to know that either. We are not tellers of the future. So less of that, and more focus on characters. Without telling everything.

Still it was interesting to read about Eleanor de Clare.(even if she has TSTL moments). She married a man beneath her status cos the king told her to. Hugh was, well honestly I would have liked that he was portrayed even darker cos he was powerhungry. But I never felt we should see him as a bad man. We totally should have. And of course there is everyone else, nobles, royals. Plots, traitors, war, and a bunch of psychopaths really ;) I would NOT have wanted to be her.

Paperback, 499 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published July 25th 2005)

A child born in the plague year of 1348, abandoned and raised within the oppressive walls of a convent, Alice Perrers refused to take the veil, convinced that a greater destiny awaited her. Ambitious and quick-witted, she rose above her obscure beginnings to become the infamous mistress of Edward III. But always, essentially, she was alone.... 

Early in Alice's life, a chance meeting with royalty changes everything: Kindly Queen Philippa, deeply in love with her husband but gravely ill, chooses Alice as a lady-in-waiting. Under the queen's watchful eye, Alice dares to speak her mind. She demands to be taken seriously. She even flirts with the dynamic, much older king. But she is torn when her vibrant spirit captures his interest...and leads her to a betrayal she never intended. 

My thoughts:
I do not really know what happened, it could have been growing all week. I was all come on, 600 pages? Why is that needed? Cos honestly nothing happened in the book.

I started to read, it felt ok, but then I started to skim and skimmed to the end. I could have worked through it and given it a good rating but it was a library book which means...I gave up and skimmed. I have too many books. I need awesome, if the library do not give me awesome I go all eh.

I am also not a fan of the this is me, the narrator, I am old now and telling my story. I want to live in the moment. I do not want the narrator as a old woman there with me at the same time looking back.

Paperback, 480 pages
Published 2012 by Mira Books

Sadie Appleby has lived all her life in her small village. One night she is rudely awoken by her older and bolder sister, Ella, who has robbed her employer and is on the run. The girls flee their rural home of Westmorland to head for London, hoping to lose themselves in the teeming city. But the dead man's relatives are in hot pursuit, and soon a game of cat and mouse begins.

Ella becomes obsessed with the glitter and glamour of city life and sets her sights on the flamboyant man-about-town, Jay Whitgift. But nothing is what it seems - even Jay Whitgift.

Can Sadie survive a fugitive's life in the big city? But even more pressing, can she survive life with her older sister Ella?

My thoughts:
I wanted more from this one but it fell kind of flat for me.

First we got Ella who is a bitch. She robs her previous employer and goes to London to get pretty things and a man. I never liked her, I guess I was never meant to like her but I think she got off too easy.

Sadie could have been good, but she was just a mouse who should have found some courage and not let her sister walk all over her. First maybe she should have understood that robbing was a shitty idea.

The book takes place in London where they girls try to get by, but the whole on the run, making a new life was sort of dull.

Interesting premise, but not for me.

I prefer the other one 

Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by Pan Macmillan

Saturday 22 February 2014

Mishel Reviews: Maiden Flight - Bianca D'Arc

Series or Stand Alone: Dragon Knights series, book one
Release Date:  September 2013 – paperback (First Published February 2006) 
Publisher: Samhain
Pages:  173
Author Site:
My Rating: 3.5/5 
Source: Kindle Freebie
Cover: I don’t like the original cover – at all. The new cover is nice though – everyone on there is good looking and a dragon is included, thumbs up!

War is coming for the dragon knights…but love may find them first.
A chance meeting with a young male dragon seals the fate of one adventurous female poacher. The dragon’s partner, a ruggedly handsome knight named Gareth, takes one look at the shapely woman and decides to do a little poaching of his own.

Sir Gareth both seduces and falls deeply in love with the girl who is not only unafraid of dragons but also possesses a rare gift—she can hear the beasts’ silent speech. He wants her for his mate, but mating with a knight is no simple thing. To accept a knight, a woman must also accept the dragon, the dragon’s mate…and her knight, Lars, too.

She is at first shocked, then intrigued by the lusty life in the Lair. But war is in the making and only the knights and dragons have a chance at ending it before it destroys their land and their lives.  
This book has been revised for rerelease.

Product Warnings: Contains dragons, their sexy knights and a damsel who is not quite in distress. Sizzling hot m/f/m scenes may leave you breathing fire.

Apparently I have a thing for dragons, and there aren’t even any shifters in here, go figure! I was actually pretty surprised at how much I liked the plot of Maiden Flight. A lot of the story was world building, character introduction, and crazy hot m/f/m sexytimes. This is my first ménage a trios read so it’s exciting to get something new under the reading belt. Being a short kindle freebie I was pretty satisfied overall. I’ve read some reviews that mention how similar this is to Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series and I can’t comment on that because I haven’t had the chance to start her books yet. I can do some similarities between authors and the worlds they create but I really don’t like copycats, just saying. I hope I don’t find out in the future that it was a little too alike for my tastes…

The storyline concept was actually really interesting if not a little over-the-top. The dragons are intelligent, fierce, and very loyal warriors. They are matched with a human knight that they can telepathically communicate with. But the bond doesn’t stop there – the dragons are unable to mate until their knight counterparts find their mate first. Why, might you ask? Well knight and dragon have such a unique bond that they can actually feel what the other feels. So in other words the dragon sex drive is so strong that it would drive their knight insane if they had no mate to run to. This exceptional fact made all the sex scenes pretty fascinating. If there was human sex, there was sure to be dragon sex involved as well, and vice versa. This I could handle. The insta-love on the other hand I had an issue with.

I mentioned in a previous review that I used to absolutely adore the idea of love at first sight. It’s such a dreamy and romantic idea that I still sometimes like to daydream about it. But reality and reading well-paced romantically involved books has shifted my judgment. I find myself actually cringing and rolling my eyes pretty far in the back of my head when insta-love hits a heroine and/or hero. Sadly in Maiden Flight’s case the couple (and the third-wheel!) gets hit pretty hard. Now of course once I got my eyes to focus in their proper position I just accepted the fact that it was part of the story. After that I could enjoy most of what was going on.  I actually enjoyed the romantic situation between the heroine’s mother and her perspective beau. It was slower-paced and much more realistic. 

Although there wasn’t much of a plot to be found I still enjoyed the book. I liked Maiden Flight so much that I went ahead and bought the next couple of books to see how the story progresses. I am hoping the sex scenes become a little bit more creative and the characters get more fleshed out. I’m hoping for more of the plot to come to the forefront about the war going on, the politics within the Lair, and I’d like to see more interaction between the characters. I like me some sex but I also like some dialogue, some intrigue, something, anything really. Hopefully I’ll get some of that with the upcoming books.                      

Friday 21 February 2014

The Days of the Deer - Liliana Bodoc

It is known that the strangers will sail from some part of the Ancient Lands and will cross the Yentru Sea. All our predictions and sacred books clearly say the same thing. The rest is all shadows. Shadows that prevent us from seeing the faces of those who are coming.

In the House of Stars, the Astronomers of the Open Air read contradictory omens. A fleet is coming to the shores of the Remote Realm. But are these the long-awaited Northmen, returned triumphant from the war in the Ancient Lands? Or the emissaries of the Son of Death come to wage a last battle against life itself? From every village of the seven tribes, a representative is called to a Great Council. One representative will not survive the journey. Some will be willing to sacrifice their lives, others their people, but one thing is certain: the era of light is at an end.

My thoughts:
This was different because at times it frankly just felt..well too real. Like yes that could have happened, those people could have lived in the Americas. Some fantasy books are just too easy to put in a special country or place. But it still worked because in the end, yes in the end it was different. So very different.

I already told you this is a fantasy world set in a sort of America, both the south and northern part is here. All mixed into one where different people live. There is also magic and a strange creature of some sort that live among them. Across the sea in the Ancient Lands lives the North Men and there also lives a darkness. Which is what this book is about. Darkness is coming, or is it? Messengers are sent out to gather "ambassadors" from all the tribes, clans and lands to talk this over.

There was this sort of magic shimmer of the story. I was never truly there, more sort of in the air above them looking down (ok that makes no sense but it's hard to explain.) I was never in their hearts or heads. It's not like any fantasy I have read, well except for this one strange cool one, because yes it was different and strange at times. The language more poetic somehow. And she does begin and end like this was a saga told now, from a time long long ago.

I had to check, yes this is the only one translated to English so I had to read a blurb in Spanish to see what's next. Because even though it is a series it all came to a fine conclusion. But more is to come.

Different sort of fantasy


Paperback, 318 pages
Published January 2nd 2014 by Atlantic Books (first published 1999)
original title: Los días del venado
La saga de los confines #1, Saga of the Borderlands #1
For review

Thursday 20 February 2014

Winter - Sierra Dean

Eloise “Lou” Whittaker can’t shake the feeling she’s forgetting something.

After surviving the explosion of the Poisonfoot Library, she struggles to find her footing again, and she’s grateful Archer Wyatt is there to make sure she’s all right. But Archer seems to be around an awful lot and Lou has trouble controlling herself when she’s with him. She should be thrilled the most popular guy in school wants to be with her, but still, there’s that nagging feeling…

Cooper Reynolds knows he ought to let Lou go. He was putting her at risk by letting her in the first time, and now that she’s a blank slate he should just let her go on blissfully unaware of his curse. But she’s given him a taste of something dangerous… hope.

Can Cooper and an unlikely ally help Lou break free from the spell she’s under? And can they do it before a new force threatens to destroy the whole town?

My thoughts:
This does not happen a lot, but..I liked book 2 better than book 1. Usually book 2 is where I go all sigh, but here. I devoured this one. It also felt, well more original, and it's own.

Lou does not remember Cooper. Cooper tries to stay away but loves her. *music of doom* Archer is trying to win Lou over and he is a handsome, but an evil ass. His family are watching over the curse and arghhh *hates Archer and his family*. Just let them be!!!

Most of the book is Lou going on with her life, Cooper wanting her to remember and pieces falling into place. I learned more about the curse and then, then I turned the page and the book ended. That is the problem with ebooks, I did not brace myself for it. And it came, I was shocked and I wanted more.

A YA series that got even better. A forbidden romance (those are the best), a curse that needs to be broken and just lots of good stuff.

ebook, 179 pages
Published February 15th 2014 by Sierra Dean )
Dog Days #2
YA /paranormal romance
For review

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Autumn - Sierra Dean

Cooper Reynolds's life is going to the dogs... literally. 

As if being a high school senior in a small Texas town wasn't hard enough, Cooper has bigger things to worry about than who he'll take to prom and whether or not the Poisonfoot Padres will win homecoming. He has less than a year before his eighteenth birthday, when a curse placed on his family will doom him to live in coyote form forever. 

The last thing he needs to complicate his already messed-up life is a girl, but fate has other plans in mind for him when it brings Eloise "Lou" Whittaker to Poisonfoot. She's grouchy, sarcastic and has no love for her new Texas home, but she might be exactly the right person to help Cooper break the curse. 

The clock is ticking, and Cooper will have to decide if he's willing to let Lou in on his dirty little secret before it's too late.

My thoughts:
I knew there were secrets but then more secrets showed up at the end. Secrets and secrets.

Lou comes to a little town, she does not want to live there but has no choice. And yes she meets a guy, a very mysterious guy who everyone tells her to stay away from.

Cooper is the guy everyone avoids. But that was no secret there for me, the city may not know, but it was already told  to us that every male in his family turn coyote at 18...and stays that way. So poor guy has something to look forward to soon.

But more is going on than that. Like why do they all become coyotes? Why do his mum and her grandmother tell them to not see each other. Why are there other strange things going on?

But I must say, sometimes it kind of reminded me of Beautiful creatures..I have not read the book, but I did see the movie and yeah..similarities. 

And it had an evil ending too, oh of all the cliffies. Must read book 2 soon. Like now!

Love, magic and hostile feelings.


Paperback, 262 pages
Published June 12th 2013 by Createspace (first published June 11th 2013)
Dog Days #1
YA /paranormal romance

Tuesday 18 February 2014

The MacGregor's Lady - Grace Burrowes

Asher MacGregor has returned from years wandering the Canadian wilderness to assume an earldom he’s avoided, and to seek a bride he does not want. He’s saddled with an additional family obligation in the form of Boston heiress Hannah Cooper, whom he is to escort about the London ballrooms so she might find an English husband. 

Hannah is no more interested in settling in Britain than Asher is in returning to the New World, and yet their sympathy for one another soon turns to passion. With Hannah anxious to return to the family she’s trying to protect in Boston, and Asher bound to his earldom in the Highlands, they must trust in love to span an ocean of differences and difficulties.

My thoughts:
Oh these two *goes in and shakes them by the neck*. But I understood, I understood.

Asher is finally back in Scotland and settling down as an Earl. He wants to do the best he can. I really liked him, he was crush worthy.

Hannah has been sent to find a husband. She does not want to because she wants to be in Boston protecting her mother and brothers from their stepdad. Yes you can see where this is going.

First there is friendship where he takes her to a pub. Now that was funny. Then they start to fall, but they both know that she has to go back and he has to stay. I kept wondering how they would fix it, I had an idea first, but now, there would still be issues.

So that leaves us with passion, two lovers trying to find away and despairing. Meddling members of family. Morelands showing up. And quite the scandal brewing.



Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
MacGregor Trilogy #3
Historical romance
 for review

Monday 17 February 2014

Author Post and Giveaway: Christina Courtenay

Today Christina Courtenay is over with a post about smugglers, and there is a giveaway of her new book at the end :)

What is it about smugglers that makes them seem romantic and fascinating when in actual fact they were nothing but common criminals?  It’s strange, but they are almost on a par with pirates and highwaymen, their misdeeds seen through rose-tinted glasses. We should abhor these men, but we don’t – we love them!

Perhaps it was their spirit of enterprise that captivates us?  Or the fact that they helped put food in the mouths of the poor hungry fishermen’s families who might otherwise have starved?  One could argue that they were like Robin Hood, only operating on water instead of deep inside Sherwood Forest.

The truth about their lives and nefarious activities was probably not in the slightest bit romantic, but you wouldn’t expect that to stand in the way of a romantic author, would you?  Which is why the hero of my novel The Secret Kiss of Darkness is a smuggler AND a good guy, not a criminal.

Smugglers didn’t refer to themselves by that word, they were ‘free-traders’.  To me, that says it all - they didn’t think they were doing anything wrong.  On the contrary, it was obviously their opinion that the government of the day was wrong in preventing them from trading freely with the French and putting such high taxes on imported goods.  It makes sense when you think about it, although the small fact that they were breaking the law does sort of weigh against them.

We all know poor people had a hard time in the past, so can we really blame them for wanting to earn the kind of money smuggling could bring?  I don’t think so.

If you visit the coast of Devon or Cornwall, in south-west England, you’ll find lots of secluded creeks and coves which are eminently suitable for ‘free trade’.  It’s easy to imagine the longboats of these free-traders rowing silently towards the shore with nothing but a feeble moon to guide them, then pulling onto the sand and beginning the task of unloading their precious cargo.  They would have worked in almost complete silence, everyone knowing their job and what had to be done.  In no time at all, the goods would be making its way either to local hiding places or towards London, where it was usually sold.  And unless the Excise men knew where to look, they didn’t have any hope of catching anyone.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?  And not really so very bad.  Well, that’s my take on it anyway – what do you think?

Thank you very much for having me as your guest today!

1 copy of The secret Kiss of Darkness

1. Open to all
2. Ends Feb 22
3. Just go ahead and enter :)
And be free to ask questions

PS. Check that your email is in your profile, otherwise you wont be entered. And if not then leave email or twitter here.
You have 48 hours to respond if you win.

Must forbidden love end in heartbreak?
Kayla Sinclair knows she’s in big trouble when she almost bankrupts herself to buy a life-size portrait of a mysterious eighteenth century man  at  an  auction.

Jago Kerswell, inn-keeper and smuggler, knows there is danger in those stolen moments with Lady Eliza Marcombe, but  he'll  take any risk to be with her.

Over two centuries separate ies separate Kayla and Jago, but when Kayla’s jealous fiancé presents her with an ultimatum, and Jago and Eliza’s affair is tragically discovered, their lives become inextricably linked thanks to a gypsy’s spell. Kayla finds herself on a quest that could heal the past, but what she cannot foresee is the danger  in her own future.Will Kayla find heartache or happiness?  

ISBN:  978-1781890677

Buy links:-
Amazon US:  (not until March)

Sunday 16 February 2014

Carole Reviews; Four Sisters, All Queens - Sherry Jones

Author: Sherry Jones
Title: Four Sisters, All Queens
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 434
First Published: May 8th, 2012
Where I Got It: Borrowed from Library

"Amid the lush valleys and fragrant wildflowers of Provence, Marguerite, Eléonore, Sanchia, and Beatrice have learned to charm, hunt, dance, and debate under the careful tutelage of their ambitious mother—and to abide by the countess’s motto: “Family comes first.” 

With Provence under constant attack, their legacy and safety depend upon powerful alliances. Marguerite’s illustrious match with the young King Louis IX makes her Queen of France. Soon Eléonore—independent and daring—is betrothed to Henry III of England. In turn, shy, devout Sanchia and tempestuous Beatrice wed noblemen who will also make them queens. 

Yet a crown is no guarantee of protection. Enemies are everywhere, from Marguerite’s duplicitous mother-in-law to vengeful lovers and land-hungry barons. Then there are the dangers that come from within, as loyalty succumbs to bitter sibling rivalry, and sister is pitted against sister for the prize each believes is rightfully hers—Provence itself. 

From the treacherous courts of France and England, to the bloody tumult of the Crusades, Sherry Jones traces the extraordinary true story of four fascinating sisters whose passions, conquests, and progeny shaped the course of history."

After reading Sherry Jones short story 'The White Queen', I knew I had to read one of her full novels. I was not disappointed!

The story has 4 POVs. Each sister gets the luxury of telling her side of the tale. I'm really glad that Sherry Jones did it this way, because there is so much going on, but it made it possible to keep everything together. Major kuddos to the author for announcing when the POV was changing. ^.^ It made me happy. 

I'm really sad, because I liked the Blanche the White Queen in the short story, but in this...not so much. She was a total -excuse my french - chienne. She was rude and selfish and down right mean. Yes, I get she is a Queen and she loves her power and her son, but the first moment she meets Margi she calls her a "countrybumpkin". You don't even know her! She was a young girl forced to marry YOUR son! >.> Throughout the whole book she was a monster to Margi for two stupid reasons: 1) Margi is pretty and Blanche hates pretty girls and 2)Her son really liked her, so she feared that Margi would steal him away for her. I mean c'mon! Blanche convinced her son that it is a sin to lust and love your wife. Stupid. Stupid! STUPID!

Okay...I'm done about my rant on Blanche. 

I liked all the sisters and their POVs. I felt bad for them, because they were born in the wrong time period. They were all strong and had strong hearts. Given the chance they could've had the world, even shy Sanchia who had a horrid fate. Sanchia would have shined if they allowed her become a nun. But no - "family comes first" and she was forced to marry Richard. That did not end well...of course. Poor girl. 

This was a really good book and I loved every second of it. I would have to force myself to put it down and go to work. hahaha. I just needed to know what was going to happen next. Sherry Jones has dazzled me with how she writes. It captivated me. I felt like I was there! She brought each world to life. 

I highly, HIGHLY recommend this to those that like Historical Fiction or for those that want to give this genre a try. I shall stamp this with 5 stars. ^.^

Favorite Character(s): Margi (I liked all the sisters, but she was my favorite), Beatrice (2nd favorite), Joinville, and Henry (at the beginning, but he ruined it when he became pig-headed *sighs*)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Blanche (she ruined herself for me), Charles, Louis, Richard, and Abraham. 

Saturday 15 February 2014

Carole Reviews. Crash and Burn - Anne Marsh

Author: Anne Marsh
Title: Crash and Burn (The Men of Crash, Fire, and Rescue #1)
Genre: Short Story & Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: June 19th, 2013
Where I Got It: My shelf (free on Amazon)

"The marines of Crash, Fire and Rescue wait at the end of the flightlines, racing to the rescue when a military jet crashes. They’re first on the scene. First to put out the flames. And first to fight to pull an injured pilot from the burning wreckage. Dane Roberts loves his job - but he never expected his latest rescue to be a blast from his own past.

Military pilot Laura Jo Dawson hasn't stopped running since high school and her one night with the sexy quarterback. He wanted to hang on; she needed to go. She lives for the adrenaline rush of flying, of pushing herself harder, higher, faster. When her experimental jet crashes and Dane carries her to safety, however, suddenly running looks less exciting. And spending time in the arms of her sexy rescuer looks better and better..."
This was a short story...and I had to keep reminding myself of this. 
Even though this was a short story, I have to shake my head at the quick make-up romance. Dane and Laura had a quick fling in High School. I'm glad that the author had them have a crush on each other beforehand. After this fling, though, Laura Jo ran off without a word. Yes, I get that her father abused her, but it was kinda rude to abandon Dane. He liked her and she liked him. I would have been MAD if that happened to me. I doubt I would be able to forgive her and wanna go back to her. Maybe thats just me....
No spoiler needed....but Dane saved her when she crashed her plane. From there it was downhill...uphill? Depends on how you look at it. They decided to meet in some building on the military base to have a couple drinks. As you know that turns into doing the McDirty (it is a romance and short story). Okay. They are both off duty, but still....someone could walk in. I just don't get it myself. During this Dane was trying to convince her that they should be a couple....why? She should be begging him...not the other way around.
Anyways, this wasn't a bad short story especially for it being free. I get that it is a short story, but things just seemed overly fast and it didn't make sense at times. Dane deserved better. Yes, I know she had issues, but still....meh. I would recommend this to those who like romances and short stories. In the end I shall stamp this with 1 star. 
Favorite Character(s): Dane
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Laura Jo

Thursday 13 February 2014

Valentine’s Round-Robin Romance: Part 5 by Isabella Connor

I am taking part in Choc Lit's Round Robin story for Valentine's Week. Five Choc Lit authors have written a 500-750 word section of the story, taking the lead from the author before them. And you can follow the story at each stop, read and win the prize at the end.

Part Five
by Isabella Connor

In the kitchen, slumped over a mug of coffee, Shelly thought of roses and redundancies, of her lost job and her lost love.
    Get a grip, she told herself. Jake Starkey had never been her love. Just an illusion. He didn’t deserve her devotion.
    She looked at the bouquet on the counter, next to the empty bottle of Chardonnay. She’d found the flowers outside her door, after she’d ignored four long rings at the doorbell. They were the reason she'd drunk herself into oblivion last night, embarrassed that her mother had sent roses in an attempt to brighten up her Valentine's Day.
 'Things might get better,' Jan had clucked on the phone, probably tapping the side of her nose at the same time. 
Nice idea, Mum, but it hadn't made her feel better. Just reminded her she was a failure at relationships.  
  Jake Starkey had been the focus of her attention for the last four months. The hope, the dreams, the fantasies – they’d kept her going through a long cold winter. She’d not make that mistake again. No more unrequited love … 
Unrequited love. She’d heard those words yesterday in the flower shop. The florist – Ethan – had seemed to guess by magic her sad situation. He hadn’t made her feel pathetic, though. Not then, nor after Jake had dropped his bombshell, reducing her daydreams to dust. Ethan had packed up her things and got her safely into a cab, staring through the glass, looking concerned. He had nice green eyes. And a head full of dark curls … You look like the rose … 
She hadn’t even thanked him for being so nice.  Well, she’d set that right as soon as she’d showered, and put some make-up on. Now, where had she put that pink pashmina …
Shelly entered the flower shop but there was an unknown woman behind the counter. 
‘Can I help you?’
‘I was looking for … but he’s not …’ Shelly’s voice trailed off. 
‘Ethan’s making a delivery. He’ll be back soon. Can I give him a message?’
‘No, it’s okay.’ About to leave, Shelly caught sight of the white rose in a vase on the counter.  She remembered hissing at Ethan to take it away… ‘Could you tell him thanks for helping me out yesterday. I had a bit of a crisis.’ 
‘Are you Shelly?’
God, Ethan must have told her about yesterday’s fiasco. 
‘I’m so sorry about what happened. Ethan was gutted. He used to work for Jake Starkey. Five years ago. He was made redundant too. That’s when he set up this shop. Decided to be his own boss.’
‘I see.’ It must have been hard for him to be reminded of all that, yet he’d seemed more concerned about how Shelly felt. 
‘Did you like the flowers?’
‘The yellow roses. Ethan chose them specially. I tried to deliver them, but you weren’t at home.’
Roses … chosen specially for her … roses on Valentine’s Day …
‘Ethan will kill me for saying this, but I’m his big sister, so I’m allowed – he thinks you’re gorgeous.’
Gorgeous. Shelly was blushing, probably a deeper pink than her scarf. But the woman was smiling which gave her confidence. And a mad kind of courage.
 ‘I’d like to buy some flowers.’
Ethan trudged into the shop. His heart just wasn’t in it today. Thank God Sandra was there. She gave him a big smile. Probably a pity smile. 
‘Any customers?’ he asked.
‘One. She bought something. For you.’
Ethan frowned. ‘Me?’
Sandra pointed to a vase on the counter. It had held only the Michelle rose, but now that was surrounded by a dozen yellow ones.
‘Oh my God … was it … did she …?’ His mind was reeling with possibilities, and his mouth was refusing to work properly.
‘She left a card.’ 
Ethan took it, staring in shock at the writing. The name of a restaurant with a date and time, and the words No more unrequited love.
And for once the leftover Valentine’s Day balloons and pink teddy bears didn’t seem even remotely out of place.

Happy Valentine’s Day from everyone at Choc Lit!

Question: What colour are Ethan’s eyes?
When you’ve collected all five questions (which can be found at the end of each section of the story) send your answers to to be entered into our Valentine’s Day giveaway!
Isabella Connor is the pen name for  Liv Thomas  and  Valerie Olteanu.
Liv Thomas was born and raised in the South of England. She always had the dream of becoming a writer, but never had the confidence to pursue it completely. After positive responses to Lord of the Rings fan-fiction, she decided it was time to make the dream a reality.  Wife and mum, Liv works for the NHS, and is employed at the hospital which first featured in Channel 4′s One Born Every Minute. Liv is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Valerie Olteanu grew up in Scotland, and her childhood ambitions were to travel and to be a writer. After studying English and Art History at the University of Glasgow, she moved to London where she worked in the Literature Department of the Arts Council England.  Some years later, she decided to teach English and see the world. She lived and worked in Croatia, the West Bank, and Mexico, before settling with her husband in Canada. She is currently an adult educator in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Beneath an Irish Sky  is their debut novel.

The Secret Kiss of Darkness - Christina Courtenay

Must forbidden love end in heartbreak?
Kayla Sinclair knows she’s in big trouble when she almost bankrupts herself to buy a life-size portrait of a mysterious eighteenth century man at an auction.

Jago Kerswell, inn-keeper and smuggler, knows there is danger in those stolen moments with Lady Eliza Marcombe, but he’ll take any risk to be with her.

Over two centuries separate Kayla and Jago, but when Kayla’s jealous fiancé presents her with an ultimatum, and Jago and Eliza’s affair is tragically discovered, their lives become inextricably linked thanks to a gypsy’s spell. Kayla finds herself on a quest that could heal the past, but what she cannot foresee is the danger in her own future.

Will Kayla find heartache or happiness?

My thoughts:
I liked this one because fates intertwined are always fun ;)

Right so we got two stories. First the tragic love story of Eliza and Jago. So why is it tragic? She is married and he is an innkeeper (and the bastard brother of her husband). They meet, the fall in love. All set in the late 1700s.

In modern time we have Kayla who is about to get married and buys a portrait of a handsome man. And that causes her a bunch of problems, with her fiance, with life in general. She needs to find out what happened back then, and maybe, just maybe she will get a HEA of her own (of course she will! Would I steer you guys wrong?)

So we have that love story and Kayla trying to find some answers. There is even a bit of suspense at the end. And yes of course there is a bit of romance too.

I liked how it all came together.

I like it more the more I stare

Paperback, 336 pages
Expected print US publication: March 15th 2014 by Choc Lit (ebook out)
Romantic Fiction / Women's fiction
For review

Btw check this out, more details here and I will have my post up tomorrow


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