Monday, 15 July 2019

The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French

Paperback, 421 pages
Published June 21st 2018 by Orbit (first published October 16th 2015)
Series: The Lot Lands #1

I did not actually want to read this book, I was told it was so grimdark, and I am not a grimdark fan. But I have come to realise that I do like grimdark, just not grimdark where the main characters rape or laugh while buddies rape...yeah no thank you. And those are so hard to find cos it's not like glowing reviews say it.

But then I found it for free on this take a book, leave a book bookshelf my library has. I had to try it, if I did not care for it I could just leave it there for someone else to take. Cos I was curious, even if I again was told it was not for me since I was not a SoA fan.

Oh and there is rape mentioned. But as long as my main guy does not do it, I am fine. This is a shitty place, the intestines in a dung heap kind of place. Orcs come plundering, killing and raping. The children of such unions are killed, left to die or given to orphanages. And they used to be slaves, kept at brothels, used at servants or made to work in mines. Until they showed their worth and now some patrol the borderlands on hogs. 
This is the arse of the empire.

It is dark, they kill, they joke, they talk shit. And there is politic. Their leader is tired, Jackal feels like he is leading them astray. Then a weird wizard shows up, not to mention they find an elf being tortured (and you do not mess with elves.)

I did like Jackal, he does have honor in him, and with that I can follow him. The only woman worth mentioning is a fellow soldier, and I did not like her one bit, ugh, the next book seems to be about her, I despair.

Some neg reviews talk how there are no women and the only women in it are whores. Well, this is the shithole of the empire,what do you expect. I do not want my fantasy to be 50/50 Utopia. What on earth could happen there to be interesting? Let me read about a fucking disaster where I would not want to live. Where I'd rather just drown in a river instead.

I really enjoyed it and read it in a day. It was an easy read, I want more, and just fuck, it was a shitty place to read about. It makes you want to swear. So much, and snort.

Is this made with women in mind? Cos I approve

Such is the creed of the half-orcs dwelling in the Lot Lands. Sworn to hardened brotherhoods known as hoofs, these former slaves patrol their unforgiving country astride massive swine bred for war. They are all that stand between the decadent heart of noble Hispartha and marauding bands of full-blood orcs. 
Jackal rides with the Grey Bastards, one of eight hoofs that have survived the harsh embrace of the Lots. Young, cunning and ambitious, he schemes to unseat the increasingly tyrannical founder of the Bastards, a plague-ridden warlord called the Claymaster. Supporting Jackal’s dangerous bid for leadership are Oats, a hulking mongrel with more orc than human blood, and Fetching, the only female rider in all the hoofs. 
When the troubling appearance of a foreign sorcerer comes upon the heels of a faceless betrayal, Jackal’s plans are thrown into turmoil. He finds himself saddled with a captive elf girl whose very presence begins to unravel his alliances. With the anarchic blood rite of the Betrayer Moon close at hand, Jackal must decide where his loyalties truly lie, and carve out his place in a world that rewards only the vicious. 

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Carole's Sunday Review: The Colonel and the Bee - Patrick Canning

The Colonel and the Bee
Author: Patrick Canning 

Narrator: Mil Nicholson
Title: The Colonel and the Bee
Genre: Steampunk, Adventure, Historical Fantasy, SciFi
Pages: Audiobook
Published:  June 1st 2018
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

The Amazing Beatrix works as an acrobat in a 19th Century circus, no home or family to speak of. When a daring escape from her abusive ringleader crosses Beatrix's path with that of the daring adventurer Colonel James Bacchus, the unlikely pair team up, fly to safety aboard the Colonel’s miraculous four-story hot air balloon, and begin a grand quest to find the most precious gem in the world, The Blue Star Sphinx. 

If the heroes can outmaneuver the deadly treasure hunters, escaped convicts, and double-crosses that await them, they may win the treasure they seek, or better yet, a sense of true belonging. 

This book had me hooked from the moment I read the title and then seen the book cover. I knew I had to read/listen to it. 

The story follows Beatrix/Bee. She was an acrobat in a circus with an abusive ringleaders. She decides its time to go after meeting Colonel James Bacchus. They team up and journey the world in the Colonel's amazing hot air balloon. Along with some friends they begin a grand quest to the find the Blue Star Sphnix. 

Normally books that are technically "steampunk" are out of my reading category. Not a huge fan. BUT this did not feel steampunk minus the hot air balloon that is pretty much the size of a house. Other then that I couldn't tell. It was perfect for the likes of me. I can't stand over-the-top steampunk novels. This had a splash of steampunk and it worked well for me. 

I liked Bee and the Colonel. Except the Colonel did have me worried. He seemed SO perfect at first. Smart, classy, funny, brave, adventurous, kind to everyone, proud, handsome, etc. I was worried, but then we got to see the real Colonel after a bit. The outside is perfect, but he has some flaws there. 

This was a fun adventure for sure. I had no idea how it was all going to end. Especially with the big twist and reveal. WOAH. Didn't see that coming! 

I enjoyed the humor and the writing style. I learned some new words for sure in this one! 

The ending was pretty good. It did make me happy how it all ended. 

I think my only complaint was how young Bee was. At first I thought she was older, but then I realized she is barely a teenager! I don't mind young characters, but I guess I assumed she was closer to being an adult. Like 16 or 17 or something of the like. It did work though. She was young and naive in a lot of things. 

The narrator was fun. She was a little old sounding for Bee (maybe this is why I thought she was a touch older). But I did enjoy her voice for the characters. She has an excellent way to bring the accents and the characters to life! Good pick overall there. 

In the end, I really enjoyed this story. It was full of life. I really want more adventures! The characters were a gem. The story was intriguing and fun. The narration was a charm. I adored this novel. And that cover???? Makes me want to go on a hot air balloon and travel the world! This novel was certainly a gem and I highly recommend it. I'll stamp this with 5 stars. 

Friday, 12 July 2019

Audio: Wicked Highland Ways by Mary Wine

Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
Series: Highland Weddings, Book 6
Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-28-19
Language: English
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Historical romance
To review

Brenda has suffered for 5 books now. For 5 books! This woman is cursed. I want to go there and kick everyone for letting her suffer. I have wanted a happiness for her so very long. I wanted everyone to ride to her rescue, everyone!

First she was married to an idiot at 16. Then when she was free the Earl of Morton, oh I can not even speak of that. Poor Poor Brenda. And now she has sacrificed herself to be sent to England to marry so that her cousin can keep his new bride. Her new husband to be we met in book 5 and he needs a kick in the nuts.

But Brenda has one person in her corner, Bothan Gunn. I love you Bothan, you never gave up. He rides to England after her, and he keeps fighting to win her. A lot more are thrown in their way. Until I just wanted to scream let her be happy!

She does fight him too, though she also fancies the pants of him. But she does not want to marry again (at the same time, go for it woman! Go for it. He is not like the rest.)

Drama, fighting and a true quest for a heart. I have enjoyed this series! I wonder what she will do next...

I really like Antony's narration. He is Highlanders to me. He does them so well. And he does do female voices well too.

Brenda Grant has no desire to marry. Ever since her first, horrible marriage, she's made herself into a hellion of a woman to keep men from wanting her. But the Campbells, her previous husband's family, are determined to find her a new husband. Highland Chief Bothan Gunn is smitten by the woman who won't be tamed. It takes all Brenda's willpower to resist the brawny Highlander who takes her to safety. But as they spend time together-and grow ever closer-Brenda finally finds the freedom she's been longing for all along.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Audio: Part-time Gods by Rachel Aaron

Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Series: Detroit Free Zone (DFZ), Book 2
Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 07-02-19
Language: English
Publisher: Audible Studios
Uran fantasy
To review

I actually enjoyed this one more than book 1, I do like when they keep on getting better!

Opal is having a hard time. She works as a cleaner, that is she buys the right to clean out places and sell the stuff she finds. But her dad cursed her so she has bad luck.

First, I found myself liking her dad, and that is so bad. He is a dragon, and he is not a nice, person. But I do feel that deep down he does care, but he is a dragon and dragons can not care for humans. Yes, I totally like her dad. But he is an overbearing crazy dragon that covets humans for his hoard.

So in this one she has to make money to pay off her dad so that she an be free. But she has constant bad luck. To help her she has Nick, who is like part cyborg, or when does you go fully cyborg?

There is weird things happening. There is running from dragons and dragon politics. There is a Julius cameo! Omg, I have missed him so much. I love love Julius...looooove.

Oh, the ending is SO evil, so very evil

This series is fun, Opal is strong and all she wants is freedom. The DFC is one crazy city, and the world is fantastic. Dragons, spirits and magic.

Narration Emily Woo Zeller
I have listened to her in  a few different audios now and i do like her narration. I like her different voices and she brings emotion and feel to the story. She makes Opal for me

Life in the magical mess of the Detroit Free Zone is never easy. When you’re laboring under the curse of a certain prideful, overbearing dragon, it can be down right impossible.   
My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m a Cleaner. At least, I used to be. Thanks to the supernatural bad luck that turns everything I do against me, these days I’m more of a walking disaster. Getting rid of this curse is the only way to get my life back. Unfortunately, dragon magic is every bit as sneaky and deadly as the monsters behind it, and just as hard to beat.  
But I’ve never been one to take her doom at face value. Cornered doesn’t mean defeated, and in an awakened city that rules herself, dragons are no longer the biggest powers around.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Audio: Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh

Audiobook, Length: 13 hrs, 23 mins
Narrator; Angela Dawe
Published June 4th 2019 by Tantor Audio
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity #3, Psy-Changeling #18
Paranormal romance
To review

This one felt dark, but as always Singh does make it great in every way.

First we have Memory, a psy who has been kept prisoner most of her life. She thinks of herself as a victim, and one with dark horrible psy powers. But she is strong and a survivor.

Aleksei has demons of his ones. His brother went rogue, his dad went rogue, will he go rogue? And then he hears the cries of a psy and goes to investigate.

He challenges her, she pushes back. They are both what the other one needs. And they take their time, considering, and it feels so right.

Then there is the darkness, the serial killer who has kept her prisoner and wants her back.

Though there is another plot too, a hidden darkness in the psy world. And when the serial killer story ends there was still almost 2 hours left, which felt strange. The other issues was then resolved too. I guess they had to be there at once so it might expand into the next book or something.

The psynet is failing and I do wonder how the will fix it...which means...I can't wait for more!

Great book, as alays! singh does not disappoint

I'd say Dawe's women have very throaty voices, very dark. Not all, but at least the main. But it fits. SHe has a great range and everyone feels distinct. Her female and male voices are great and she brings emotion and need into the story.

She is great to listen at and she brings the story to life. Now when I think of those books I missed, I'd say I would rather listen to those than read

The end of Silence was supposed to create a better world for future generations. But trust is broken, and the alliance between Psy, Changeling, and human is thin. The problems that led to Silence are back in full force. Because Silence fixed nothing, just hid the problems.
This time, the Psy have to find a real answer to their problems—if one exists. Or their race will soon go extinct in a cascade of violence. The answer begins with an empath who is attuned to monsters—and who is going to charm a wolf into loving her despite his own demons.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

TMST: Books from other countries

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

July 9th: What are some of your favorite books set in other countries?

Eeek, hard one! I am so bad with names, I would have to browse my keeper shelves. Also considering everything from the US is another country for me so assume that I still love those ;)
Make that ALL my favorite books are set in another country!
But yes no US or UK books. Those are too common and easy.

Also pre GR and I do not remember...

But ok. I shall begin.

Kin by Snorri Kristjansson is set in Iceland. Historical murder mystery

Asking for it by Louise ONeill is a book everyone should LISTEN to. Because it is hard, it is emotional and you want to rip your ears off. Set in Ireland

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver. Set in Spitsbergen (Norway). Dark, haunting, makes you afraid of the dark.

The Cellist of Sarajevo. Set in during the siege of Sarajevo. Sad and beautiful

Cleopatra's daughter by Michelle Moran. Set in Rome, and I feel stupid for not thinking that she had kids, and what happened to them!

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Beautiful!!! Spain 1945.

City of Thieves by David Benioff. Soviet WWII. I do not like to read books set in Russia during that time since they tried to pulverize us, but this was a really good book.

Ok, a certain toddler does not want me to continue so I will stop now and leave you with 7 books. Also fav book set in my own country is none, they all suck.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Skyward - Brandon Sanderson

Hardcover, 513 pagesPublished November 6th 2018 by GollanczSeries: Skyward #1Sci-fi YAOwn

Oh Sanderson, I do love your books! And at the same time, OMG man, finish one series at a time. ONE. He keeps coming up with new ones, and I do realise that I will be 60 or something when he finished Stormlight, just in the mean time he will have started 20 new ones. Oh wait, and he will be dead by then too. Sigh.

But anyway, he is an amazing writer!

I can't say Spensa is very likable at first, she is angry and driven. But he is so good that it works. She wants to be a pilot, and everyone sneers at her since her dead was a coward. People are the worst!

I mean this is a society that is under constant attack by aliens, one would think they need all the pilots they can get!

Interesting world, humans crashed and tries to survive in caves as aliens attack from the sky.


And at the end I crave more. The book is is so light and easy to read. 100 pages fly by in a second. I totally needed that!

And at the end I like her too.

Great book!

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Carole's Sunday: Viking's Prize - Tanya Anne Crosby

Viking's Prize
Author: Tanya Anne Crosby 

Narrator: Braden Wright
Title: Viking's Prize
(Medieval Heroes #2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: Audiobook
Published:  August 29th 2006
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

Betrothed to a count after spending most of her young life in a French priory, the beautiful Elienor is kidnapped by a golden-haired Viking warrior whose touch awakens her innermost passions.


In a fury of bloodlust and retribution, the Norse warriors storm Brouillard castle and take their vengeance as their leader claims his prize -- the breathtakingly beautiful Elienor. Carried onto the high seas by Alarik, her golden-haired captor, Elienor is shocked and humiliated as she trembles not from fear, but from the desire his brazen touch awakens in her.


Yet even in the land where he rules with an iron hand, Alarik is held mesmerized by ethereal violet eyes that see into his very soul -- and beyond. Beguiled and bewildered by her strange dreams and her fiery spirit he can barely control the passions she arouses in him. But tempted as he is to claim her and savor the pleasures of his fair prize, it is her heart he has sworn to possess and cherish forever....

I was craving a Viking story. It's been eons since I read one I think. Goodness...I can't even think of the last one I read. 

Elienor is betrothed to a French count, but after a Viking attack she is kidnapped by Alarik and his warriors. There is insta lust between the two, but they hate each other. It takes a while but the lust becomes love. And when I say it takes a takes FOREVER. While they get to know each other, there is a betrayal beyond the horizon. 

I did not like either the hero or heroine of the story right away. It took me a while to warm-up to them. He was too harsh and I was mad when he killed a certain character. Grr! Elienor annoyed me. Soon I did warm up to them. 

The love took eons but it worked because they both hate each other for multiple reasons and yes...he did kidnap it would be super Stockholm-y if it was insta love. There was a lot of trust and getting to know each other first. 

There was something that did really, really bug me. It was assumed that Elienor told him her big secret, but we didn't get to see it. I think that level of trust would've been really nice to see and experience. I really think that scene was needed to really cement their love. 

The ending battle was excited! So good, so good. Not 100% pleased with the decision with one character. He didn't deserve to be forgiven. SMH. Will not say, but I was annoyed.

The narrator was fantastic. Loved his voice!!! Sooooooooooooooooooooo good. And it was smexy for sure ;)

Overall, I did like this story. It was refreshing. This was slow-building but it worked. There was something missing and a scene I would've really liked to help cement their love. BUT oh well. Still good without it. I'll stamp this with 4 stars. 

Changing up my star stamp since the other one is acting up. This may not be my forever new one, but it'll do ;) 

Medieval set

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Our Challenge Update

We are over half-way through the year! I think it is time for a nice check-in with our Bingo Romance reading challenge! 

Let's start with the historical romance one first!

I have 7 checked off!

  • Victorian:The trouble with true love - Laura Lee Guhrke
  • Governess: Governess gone rogue
  • Widow: Lady Derring takes a lover
  • LGBTQ: Band SInister by KJ Charles
  • Highlander: This Scot of Mine by Sophie Jordan
  • Duke title: Anything but a Duke by Christy Carlyle
  • Anything/Free Space: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Now mine! Carole have 10 checked off 

  • Victorian: An Heiress at Heart by Jennifer Delamere
  • Pirate: Captured by the Pirate Laird
  • Widow/Widower: The Guise of a Gentleman by Donna Hatch
  • Highlander: Highland Spitefire by Mary Wine
  • Animal on Cover: To Tame A Wolf by Susan Krinard
  • Duke in Title: The Trouble with Dukes by Grace Burrowes
  • Time Travel: Beyond the Fortuneteller's Tent by Kristy Tate
  • Earl in Title: The Earl I Ruined by Scarlett Peckham
  • Spies: Revealed by Kate Noble
  • US Western: A Match Made in Texas by Margaret Brownley
  • Free space: The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin

Now, time for the contemporary romance challenge!

I have 17 checked off! WOO!

  • Military: Out of Time by Monica McCarty
  • Xmas: All I Want for Christmas is a Cowboy by Jessica Clare
  • LGBTQ:  Once ghosted, twice shy - Alyssa Cole
  • Pet on Cover: Playing for keeps - Jill Shalvis
  • Fireman: Flare up- Shannon Stacey
  • PNR: In a badger way by Shelley Laurenston
  • Enemies to lovers: In her sight - Katie Ruggle
  • Set in UK: The austen playbook by Lucy Parker
  • Horse: Cowboy stole my heart by Soraya Lane
  • Fake GF/BF: Prince on paper by Alyssa Cole
  • Suspense: Hidden by Rebecca Zanetti
  • Free Spot/Anything: Playing for keeps by Jill Shalvis
  • YA: Cake pop crush by Suzanne Nelson
  • HS: The secret of a heart note by Stacey Lee
  • Prince Princess: Pride Prejudice and Other flavors by Sonali Dev

Carole have 10 checked off. Not bad. 

  • LGBTQ: Hold Me by Courtney Milan
  • Parent (s): Reckless by Lex Martin
  • Billionaire: Trade Me by Courtney Milan
  • Horse: The Cowboy's Forgetful Bride by Leslie North
  • Set in the UK: Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan
  • UF/Paranormal: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
  • Xmas: Christmas Magic by Sandra Edwards
  • Sports: Ruthless King by Maya Hughes
  • Free Space/Anything: Sugar and Ice by Aven Ellis

Friday, 5 July 2019

Audio: Anything but a Duke - Christy Carlyle

Narrated by: Karen Cass
Series: The Duke's Den, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-14-19
Language: English
Publisher: HarperAudio
Historical romance
To review

Iverson is a selfmade man, known for taking chances and making money. But he is a commoner and some doors are closed. So he needs a noble lady to wed.

I did like him, ok so yes he is marrying for status, but the woman he would marry would probably only marry him for money. A match made in the ton. And all he does it for new inventions and the greater good.

There is also a tiny subplot where he tries to find out what happened to his mother and who she was.

Then there is Diana, an inventor, who visits Shark Tank, I mean The Duke's den. What is there not to like, she wanted to invent things, she loved science.

She will help him find a wife, he will help her invention.

And they fall in love, scratch that, he starts to feel things, she takes longer. I also liked that the plot really was about them getting closer and starting to fall. No unnecessary drama.

Enjoyable, and I hope the last friend finds love one day then too.

Karen Cass
I liked her voice. She fit really well for historical romance. She did different voices well, and I really got the feel of the time from her

Self-made man Aidan Iverson has seen more closed doors in his thirty years than he’s ever cared to count. As a member of the elite Duke’s Den, he has all the money he could possibly need, but the one thing he can’t purchase is true power. If roguish Aidan can’t buy his way into society’s hallowed halls, he’ll resort to a more extreme measure: marriage.
Brought up to be a proper lady, the only thing Diana Ashby desires is to be left alone to the creation of her own devices. But when her dreams are crushed, she must find another way to secure the future of her invention. Knowing his desire to enter her world, Diana strikes a deal to arrange Aidan’s marriage to the perfect lady—as long as that lady isn’t her. She doesn’t need any distractions from her work, particularly of the sinfully handsome variety.
As Diana and Aidan set out to find him an aristocratic match, neither are prepared for the passion that ignites between them or the love they can’t ignore.
In the Duke’s Den, can happiness ever be a winning prospect?

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Audio: A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Narrated by: Rachel Dulude
Series: Wayfarers, Book 2
Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-21-19
Publisher: HarperAudio
To review

I did like this one a lot more than book 1, but then I also listened to this, while I read book 1, and what can I say, audiobooks rock.

This was a Dual narrative. First we have Lovelace, yes we did meet her in book 1, but this is a stand alone, and I did also feel that I would not have needed to read book 1. In that one she had to be reset, and now she is in a body instead of a ship (being an AI and all). So she has to try to live as a human, and there is also the possibility of getting caught as it is illegal. And it was so fascinating as this AI is experiencing the world, getting friends and wondering what make her her. We also get different alien cultures thrown in as she lives in a place settled by many. And they are all so fascinating!

Then there is Jane, this was actually the POV I liked the most. She lives in a factory with other Janes. They are clones made for the purpose of sorting through trash. A horrible world and she gets away and works for years to get away. And we know she gets away as she meets Lovelace as Pepper. 

Does a lot happen? No not really. Jane's story is the story of a struggle to survive and grow up.
Lovelace's story is about finding yourself.

It is again a talking book, a character driven book, but it works wonderfully through audio. It is the perfect format.

I liked her voice. At first I wondered about one of her alien voices, but it was meant to be that way since they do not really speak, then I realised how great it was. Considering all alien races, humans and AI she does a great job with them all

Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in a new body, following a total system shutdown and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who’s determined to help her learn and grow. 

Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together. 

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet introduced listeners to the incredible world of Rosemary Harper, a young woman with a restless soul and secrets to keep. When she joined the crew of the Wayfarer, an intergalactic ship, she got more than she bargained for - and learned to live with, and love, her ragtag collection of crewmates. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Joint Discussin: The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns

Hello all! Carole and I will be discussing "The Woman in the White Kimono" by Ana Johns. We had a little fun with this one. C read the ebook version and I did the audio version. Fun! I am in red and C in blue. 

The Woman in the White KimonoAuthor: Ana Johns
Title: The Woman in the White Kimono
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Published: May 28th 2019
Pages: ebook & audiobook (I listened to the audio)
Narrator of audio:  Emily Woo Zeller, Lauren Ezzo

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage to the son of her father’s business associate would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor, a gaijin—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.

America, present day. Tori Kovac, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation—one that calls into question everything she understood about him, her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

Hello! I’m loving these last minute random picks! They seem to be doing pretty decent for us. :D

I would not really go that far. It was so freaking dull. It did pick up in like the last third, but still, the beginning. It was painful.

That is why I said decent ;) LOL Yes, the beginning was slowwwww but the last bit was amazing. I even had some tears. Just wish  the rest of the book followed suit. There was just a lot of filler or repeats of things that bogged the beginning down. Lots of reminders and extra backstory. 

 Lol, true. And even though I felt that it picked up, it was still slow somehow, I sped it up to 2.2x! It was the only way I could get through. My fav part was Naoko, the other pov, ugh, no thanks.

Yeaaa - I really didn’t care much about the present day POV of Tori. However, we had to know her too and her journey in order to really appreciate the ending there. But her POV coulda been smaller. She was the main issue of repeating stuff and etc. 

I get that we had to have that story to see the rest, but at the same time, we did not. We could just have followed Naoko, I feel then I would have been sad. Now I was all, that was cruel, the author tried to be smart and hide things, but it felt like a slap in the face to me. I was not sad. I was angry at the author instead.

I get the WHYS the author did it the way she did. It was the only way for Tori to truly let go. BUT I was so shocked! I was annoyed with the author, but I did give the author the reaction she wanted. I did cry. Mainly because I was shocked I think. But the ending was so good I felt. I do wish there had been a noticeable foreshadow or something. 

I also did not like that the prologue showed me what would happen to the lovestory. I have hope, even when I know that everyone will die. Here I had no hope for them. I did not know about her, but I knew he would leave and find the love of his life. This from page 1! Ugh, I was just so, why even read about their romance. SHe was not even the one! :/

I skipped the prologue so I was stunned by everything. I knew they didn’t end up together, but I didn’t know the whys and etc. And yes - I have a hard time marking this as a romance even though it is listed as one. The love was doomed from the start. Super obviously. I think I would’ve liked the format different. Tori’s journey all at the end. The jumping back and forth ruined surprises for me. 

Yeah, not a romance. I would have liked to see it as a historical fiction instead. No Tori. I felt the emotional impact for me would have been bigger. Shed a few tears and then see the light in the distance. I do not know how she would have done that, but it happened. Maybe she just could not see a way to fix it so she had to jump in time. It worked out but we do not know. Hmmm. I know you worried about X ;) I was at the point where I could no longer trust X either. Not until the end.

I liked him from the moment I met him. IDK why, but I liked him. I wanted her to get with him and love him. There was something about him. I wish the story was about him and her and fixing this together. He was so sweet. Sorry - I can ramble on and on. 

I liked him too. That is why I wanted to see how it came about. I also hope she never spoke an effing word to her family again. Gods, I hate them, UGH, her gran needs to die now!

YESSS! I hated them too. I am so glad she stood her ground. They kept calling her selfish and etc. No screw you guys! I am glad the mom gave in a little, but I wish she fought more. 

It just broke me inside when we got to that point when she was there. I wanted her to fight more, but how could she. I wanted her to like kick and scream. I hate that the best part of the book was this sad horrible truth.

But the mom was a product of her time and she had to be the dutiful wife and etc. Bleh. OooooOOOOO I agree, but I loved the ending so much. It was worth it the rest of the terrible journey for me. Maybe the audio was a different beast ;) but I really enjoyed reading it. How was the narrator(s)? 

I think not even the exciting sad part would have worked for me in print. In audio I finally felt things when we got to that part. There were 2 narrators, I have listened to one before, and yes that was Naoko. Tori’s narrator was new to me, and good? Nah, those parts were so boring, and a good narrator might lift them up, but this person could not do that, While Emily Zoo Weller as Naoko managed it.
And yes I listened to 2.2x. And that did not even feel fast! So either they talked really slow, or the story was slugged down, which it was. I did feel like whatever lacked was in the story itself

Mmmm. I’m glad I didn’t listen and I read. I feel there was more emotional impact at the end, especially since I skipped the prologue. 

This book did not need that prologue. It gave us nothing. And I would still rewrite this book ;) I just read GR reviews, it has such a high rating?!

Yess some major edits needed, but it was worth the read I felt. 

Not worth the read for me. It took too long to get good.

I think the ebook sounded a touch better. Which is a rarity for sure! 

And I say the audio was better, lol

BATTLE!! LOL. I may have to listen to clips of the audio to see ;)

Battle on!

LOLL. But I do like the whole theme about letting go and making peace with the sorrow and joy. That is why I can’t call this romance to me. Everything was doomed from page 1. 

Yes, nobody think of this as a romance. It was doomed. I did like how it should what happened with liaisons between American and Japanese women. Of course you had a freaking afterword! I did not have that so I did not realise the scope of things

I rarely read the afterwords and etc, but you must after this story. Soooo important. It really opened my eyes. I KNEW but I didn’t really KNOW and fully grasp the fact. So sad, so sad. 

And that is why I wanted more Naoko and not Tori. We should learn more about these things and here it did not come through as much as it could have. I mean not thinking of all those…..sadness

Yess, I feel like we should’ve meet Tori at the end and Naoko tells her all and then Tori has the reaction and etc. I feel like that would’ve made it more impactful. 

I really like that idea!

I think it would’ve helped a bit. I still think the story was impactful BUT it could’ve been more so with different formatting. Overall...I still cried at the end there. It struck my feelings. LOL

More anger for me ;)

Funny how that happens! 

Still, yes I am glad to have learned more! That place still strikes a chord in me, I feel so sad thinking about it.

Me too! SOOOO sad!!!
The end?

The end! 

About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging a long while now. The last couple of years the epic duo have been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.


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