Friday 28 June 2019

Senlin Ascends - Josiah Bancroft

Paperback, 389 pages
Published January 16th 2018 by Orbit (first published February 18th 2013)
Series: The Books of Babel #1
Fantasy Steampunk

I am going to be totally honest.
I do not like the cover, I did not want to pick it up cos of it
The premise does not sound like something for me.

Still, I heard good things and I picked it up, and I am glad I did! This was one weird story, and weird can be so good.

Senlin goes on a honeymoon with his wife to the tower of Babel. He thinks he will see the most wonderful thing in the world. The truth is that the tower of Babel is Hell on earth, and Heaven. Until it turns to Hell. I would not go there.

He looses his wife. Yes we barely even meet Marya. And every place in the tower and outside is a kingdom to itself so finding her is like finding a needle in a skyscraper.

The  he has adventures as he slowly makes his wife through this tower.

Danger, strange things, absurd events. He has them all. And he is not a , oh I do not know how to sat it. At the start he is a proper headmaster, strict and goes by the rules. But this changes.

And then it ends and I need more.

I can not even describe it, but is worth reading.

The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants. 

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he'll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure. 

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action. 

Thursday 27 June 2019

The long way to a small angry planet by Becky Chambers

Paperback, 404 pages
Published August 13th 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published July 29th 2014)
Series: Wayfarers #1
Sci fi

May 2019: This is just so boring

June 2019: Started again...still reading.

As you can see, I dnfed once, because it was just so slow. I was on p100 and nothing had happened. For some reason I picked up up a few weeks later and then the slow pace fitted so I finished. Though was it good? Honestly I do not know. I realise the strength in her writing, she is good, but this is really a character driven book, and you truly have to be in the mood for it. It is slow, there is a lot of talking, and even though I now finished I do not know if I can give it more than an ok rating..

It does have good parts, it is just really slow.

I only finished cos I have book 2 to read, otherwise I could have let it be. But I will listen to book 2 and see if that works better

Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.
Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe. 

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Audio: The Song of the Jade Lily - Kirsty Manning

Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-14-19
Publisher: HarperAudio
Historical fiction
To review

This one takes place during WWII and present time. With the grandmother and granddaughter. As always with dual timelines I did find one more interesting, and that was Romy's in -39. This one would have worked great as just that too, sure the other POV brought mystery, but still.

Romy and her parents leave for Shanghai in -39. And as always I googled things and the Chinese diplomat in Vienna did give Jews a chance the flee.

Shanghai is another world to them, and she loves it. Of course half is also under Japanese occupation. I did feel the book was lighter, not the right world, but later on they are all put in a ghetto. Evil things are told, but at the same time she fast forward the more troublesome years. Not that I want all darkness, this was not that kind of book.

Romy studied to become a doctor. She met Li, who became her best friend. She hoped her brother who was in Dachau would come to Shanghai (yes that was rather heartbreaking). I liked Romy.

Then in present day Alexandra looses her grandfather Wilhelm, and she takes a job in Shanghai. All she knows about her true origin is that Wilhelm and Romy adopted her mother from Shangai. So she investigates when Romy is closemouthed.

Ok so this was actually the weak point. The secret was not a secret at all. It was cruel of Romy to make it into a secret and not tell her daughter the truth. Because it was NOT a secret. Everyone would have been happier with it out in the open. Sigh, flimsy secrets.

So I can not say much about the child Romy adopts, the secret needs to unravel. Just, why it was a secret I do not know. Cruel, very cruel to keep it so.

There is heartache to be had in Shanghai, sadness, and hope for a better tomorrow. I enjoyed the story, and the end is rather bittersweet.

I have listened to Saskia before and I like her style. She manages well with accents and male and female voices. You easily fall into her narration.

1939: Two young girls meet in Shanghai, also known as the “Paris of the East”. Beautiful local Li and Jewish refugee Romy form a fierce friendship, but the deepening shadows of World War II fall over the women as they slip between the city's glamorous French Concession district and the teeming streets of the Shanghai Ghetto. Yet soon, the realities of war prove to be too much for these close friends as they are torn apart. 
2016: Fleeing London with a broken heart, Alexandra returns to Australia to be with her grandparents, Romy and Wilhelm. Her grandfather is dying, and over the coming weeks, Romy and Wilhelm begin to reveal the family mysteries they have kept secret for more than half a century. As fragments of her mother's history finally become clear, Alexandra struggles with what she learns while more is also revealed about her grandmother's own past in Shanghai. 
After Wilhelm dies, Alexandra flies to Shanghai, determined to trace her grandparents' past. Peeling back the layers of their hidden lives, she is forced to question what she knows about her family - and herself. 

Tuesday 25 June 2019

TMST: Blogging

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.

June 25th: How do you keep going when sometimes blogging feels like too much?

Yes honestly how do I do it? It feels stressful and too much a lot of the time.
There are books that need to be read.
I want to have posts up!
I need to write said reviews.
I want to visit and comment on my blogs!
Emails to write and answer.

But the thing is that I love it! (and hate it), I could not stop even though I want to, Though now I have actually relaxed a tiny bit, before I was all I need to check blogs this minute! Now I am , ok I am busy, it can wait 2 days (Sorry Karen! I used to be first on your blog *sobs* lol.)

  • So one answer is I learned to relax and let go a bit, and sometimes when life got too hard, I deleted all new posts so I had no blogs to visit. That felt wonderful!

  • And I wrote short reviews, I could still say all I wanted in them. They did not need to be an essay as long as I got my point across. So yes write short ones! They are still good. Because if you are like me then you want to write something at least, that is how I remember when it takes 3 years for me to get the next book.
  • I am not going to say do not accept too many books cos dang that is hard! I am trying that with audiobooks since I know I will be busy soon, but how to choose, how to choose?! But I will try because then the pressure will not be as big.
  • I like doing tmst because then I have something else than just reviews, and this one spring I wrote them all in advance, so that meant I had posts for 6 months! Point to self, i should do that now!
  • I also have Carole over once a week (might ask her to do twice a week, surprise Carole, I hope you say yes ;) And that helps. Because I am still so dang obsessed with having posts. Yes, I am addicted to blogging.
Ask yourself, do you still love it? If the answer is not then take a step back. I have seen SO MANY come and go, so many. This can be a love for a year, for 5 years, it does not mean you have to love it forever. You can always come back.

And as for all those emails I know we all get, I just delete most of them. I am not going to answer everyone and say no thanks. Just delete, just delete.

This is supposed to be fun! All that matters are books. Remember that, books. However you want to write about them, short, long, pics, mix it up.

Monday 24 June 2019

The Duchess Deal - Tessa Dare

Mass Market Paperback, 370 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Avon
Series: Girl Meets Duke #1
Historical romance

I liked this. There is nothing like a sweet Tessa Dare, and fun to boot!

Emma meets her Duke when she wears the most hideous wedding dress in history. And he asks her to marry him. Ha, I love it. Ok so sure he only wants a wife so that he can have children. But hey that is a minor detail to work through.

And yes half his face and body is scarred and he hides from society. His last fiance left him cos she did not want a beast. Poor man.

Emma is so Emma. She gives him nicknames, she tell him they must interact. She falls for him and he falls for her.

Oh and she meets fun new friends! I would totally read their stories too.

fun times!

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.
His terms are simple:- They will be husband and wife by night only.- No lights, no kissing. - No questions about his battle scars.- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.
But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:- They will have dinner together every evening.- With conversation.- And unlimited teasing.- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love… 

Saturday 22 June 2019

Carole's Sunday : The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin

The Sword Dancer (Lovers and Rebels, #1; Tang Dynasty, #4)Author: Jeannie Lin
Narrator: Sarah Lam
Title: The Sword Dancer
(Lovers and Rebels, #1; Tang Dynasty, #4)
Genre: Historical Romance, Fiction, Mystery
Pages: Audiobook
Published:  January 1st 2013
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

Sword dancer Li Feng is used to living life on the edge of the law—a woman alone in the dangerous world of the Tang Dynasty has only her whirlwind reflexes to trust. She will discover the truth about her past, even if that means outwitting the most feared thief-catcher of them all...

Relentless, handsome and determined, Han sees life—and love—as black and white. Until he finally captures the spirited, courageous Li Feng, who makes him question everything he thought he knew about right and wrong. Soon he's faced with an impossible choice: betray the elusive sword dancer he is learning to love, or trust his long-disregarded heart and follow her to dangerous, tempting rebellion... 

Been meaning to start on this one! The first 3 of the series was really good. I was worried at first since it has been sooooo long, but this does well as a standalone, so I am happy. 

The story follows Li Feng who is a sword dancer. She is alone in the world and has a single mission...finding out what happened to her family. On her trail is the handsome and relentless Han. He is a notorious thief-catcher. Li Feng makes him question his black and white view of the world. The two dance around each other and stumble upon a mystery that they require them to team up. 

I really enjoyed this. The beginning was a touch slow for me character-wise. Lots of action, but it takes a while for the two to really blossom to each other and the reader. They were so 2D at first, but after a couple of chapters, we got to see them and their demons. Lots of hurt and issues they needed to get through before they could come together in love. Which worked well. 

The mystery was good and bigger than I thought it would! That huge twist left me mouth agape. Did NOT see that coming. I am happy though with it. 

I was so worried for these guys...the HEA seemed SO impossible. However, it was able to happen at the end there. It always does...but it seemed so impossible. The author didn't cheapen this by giving it a cheesy, unrealistic ending. It worked seamlessly. It was good and made sense to me. 

OOOOOOO that baddie! *shakes fist* Evil!!!!! 

Now...the narrator...I go back and forth. I feel like I've heard her before. I can't remember. But I liked her...but at times I was meh. So I guess I'll say she was okay. I feel like they could've used the 2nd voice for Han. She was okay for Li Feng though. 

Overall, I liked this a lot even with my on-the-fence feelings for the narrator. Great character development and story-telling. I'll give this a 4. 

2019 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge
Book 14 of 16/25

Friday 21 June 2019

Audio: Pride Prejudice and other flavors by Sonali Dev

By: Sonali Dev
Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
Release date: 05-07-19
Series. The Rajes #1
Publisher: HarperAudio
Romantic fiction /PP variation
To review

I am not the biggest fan of modern adaptions, because most of the time I see nothing of the story in them, but here it shone through in a wonderful way. She did pp justice and managed a great adaptation. 

Trisha is the proud surgeon. But her family ties are not the best because of something that happened 15 years ago. 

Arghh, Wickham, he was loathsome in PP, and here she is a bitch. Evil calculating bitch. It was a very fitting modern Wickham, smile and dagger in the back.

DJ is a great chef, but his sister is really ill and he quit everything to take care of her. But he needs money. He is the prejudice then, and Trisha does make it easy for him. Of course I did like Trisha, her pride in her work was justified. Of course she could have seen that other do just as important things. And DJ just saw a rich girl, but she was so much more. But that is PP.

They clash, a lot! They argue, he despise her, she starts to fall. There is Wickham lurking and spreading lies.

I so want to read about Trishas brother, all I am saying. But I am thinking her cousin and younger brother might get their books and not him.
Also her other cousin was really fascinating!

Back to the story. It does follow PP, so you know they will have their fights and reconciliation, and slowly fall in love. They just really have to work for it.

A good story, a really nice PP version.

I have listened to Soneela before and liked her. She is great with accents as she juggles British, American, Indian, and they all work well. As well as the different voices for everyone,

Only in a family like the Rajes could San Francisco's most acclaimed neurosurgeon be considered the black sheep. Dr. Trisha Raje has developed groundbreaking technology and won the respect of her peers and the life-long gratitude of her patients. Still, her large, close-knit family-descended from old Indian nobility-has certain rules to uphold. Trusting outsiders is frowned upon. Disloyalty of any kind is unacceptable. Trisha never intended to jeopardize her brother's political aspirations, yet her long-ago actions inadvertently did just that. At last she has a chance to turn that around.
Up-and-coming chef DJ Caine has known people like Trisha before-people who judge his background and find it lacking, who put pedigree above character. He may need the lucrative, career-making job the Rajes offer, but he has little time for Trisha, especially when he learns that she's the arrogant surgeon who wants to perform an untested procedure on his sister, Emma.
As the two continually clash, their assumptions shatter like spun sugar on one of DJ's stunning desserts. Drawn to DJ's steadiness, humor, and passion-as well as his extraordinary food-Trisha begins to reexamine her view of the world, while challenging his beliefs about the nature of family. But there's a past to be reckoned with before they can hope to savor a future bursting with delicious possibility.

Thursday 20 June 2019

Audio: Highland Crown by May McGoldrick

Narrated by: Raphael Corkhill, Saskia Maarleveld
Series: Royal Highlander, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-30-19
Language: English
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
For review
Romantic fiction historical

I must say, this was not historical romance. Not quite historical fiction either, so let us say romantic historical then.

See, it was more about the struggle of the Scots, riots, talks of freedom, the run from the evil British, her being a doctor, than actual romance. When the book ended all I thought was Scotland needs to be free! So yes that says a lot.

Isabella are running from the British army (though I did think they spent WAY too much effort on finding her.) On her way to freedom she finds a cranky, but nice old lady. And then she meets Cinead.

Oh yes Cinead, the blurb makes it so that we get to know his secret, but that actually comes out at the end. Of course it was quite easy to figure out. But he was this nice guy who wanted to protect her, and that is so not easy with all those evil Brits after her. Brits are so EVIL! I know about what they did in Scotland, how they took land and destroyed villages, but ugh, they are so evil.

It was not the light read that I expected. Lots of darkness, mistrust and it does not even end with a solid hea, as the author says that their hea will continue in the next books (which are about her sister and stepdaughter.)

I did like it, but yes I do confess it was not what I expected.

Raphael Corkhill, Saskia Maarleveld
I have not listened to Corkhill before, but I did enjoy his narration, and he made it seem like the Cinead point and the quotes at the beginning was narrated by two different narrators. So that was very well done. Also Scottish accent, rawr

I have listened to Saskia before and I do enjoy her style. Isabella and a certain cranky lady sure shone through

Inverness, 1820 

Perched on the North Sea, this port town - by turns legendary and mythological - is a place where Highland rebels and English authorities clash in a mortal struggle for survival and dominance. Among the fray is a lovely young widow who possesses rare and special gifts.    

WANTED: Isabella Drummond 

A true beauty and trained physician, Isabella has inspired longing and mystery - and fury - in a great many men. Hunted by both the British government and Scottish rebels, she came to the Highlands in search of survival. But a dying ship’s captain will steer her fate into even stormier waters...and her heart into flames.     

FOUND: Cinaed Mackintosh 

Cast from his home as a child, Cinaed is a fierce soul whose allegiance is only to himself...until Isabella saved his life - and added more risk to her own. Now, the only way Cinaed can keep her safe is to seek refuge at Dalmigavie Castle, the Mackintosh family seat. But when the scandalous truth of his past comes out, any chance of Cinaed having a bright future with Isabella is thrown into complete darkness. What will these two ill-fated lovers have to sacrifice to be together...for eternity?

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Mr Darcy's Refuge - Abigail Reynolds

Kindle Edition, 238 pages
Published August 22nd 2012 by White Soup Press (first published August 1st 2012)
Pride and Prejudice variation

I finally Dled the kindle app on my phone, cos hell, nope I do not ever read them when I dl on my computer and then I can not find them. Though this did take me 2 months, ooops. Note to self, if you start one then do finish too.

To read it this long was not a good idea. I totally forgot how they fell in love *hangs head in shame* But hey, still fun!

They have to interact during a flood. Darcy is quite the hero, and Lizzy has to agree.

They will fall in love, have to struggle for their love. Mr Bennet is quite the d*ck. Wickham is up to his old tricks, and omg Jane has quite the love story of her own and I applauded that at the end. Well done, well done!

variations that mix things up are always fun

Trapped for three days by a flood, and trapped forever by society because of it….
The river isn't the only thing overflowing in Hunsford when a natural disaster forces Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy to work together. The residents of flood-stricken Hunsford, seeking refuge in the parsonage atop the hill, are unaware they are interrupting Darcy's disastrous proposal. Even worse, the flood has washed out the only bride to Rosings Park, stranding Darcy with the woman who has just refused his offer of marriage. But it may already be too late to redeem Elizabeth’s reputation…. 

Tuesday 18 June 2019

TMST: Arcs

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.

June 18th: Do you think Advanced Reading Copies are worth it?

I guess yes and no. I love getting an ARC and getting to read it sooner. I am so bad at waiting. And they do create good buzz too!

But I would love to get a book just as much after it has been published and give it as much love.

Any book I choose to read is a good book (well hopefully).

Ack so short again! But that is all I have to say :)

Monday 17 June 2019

Audiobook Challenge 2019 - Check in

2019 Audiobook Challenge
Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30-50
Marathoner (Look Ma no hands) 50+

And here are the books I have listened to this far!
  1. The Secret of a heart note - Stacey Lee
  2. The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
  3. Cowboy stole my heart - Soraya M Lane
  4. Unmask me if you can by Shana Galen
  5. The cowboy and his baby by Jessica Clare
  6. A night Divided by Jennifer A Nielsen
  7. The unlikely adventures of the Shergill sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal
  8. The Summer cottage by Viola Shipman
  9. The Austen playbook by Lucy Parker
  10. A prince of paper by ALyssa COle
  11. The tiger at midnight by Swati Teerdhala
  12. Hidden by Rebecca Zanetti
  13. Grave destiny by Kalayana Price
  14. To wed an heiress by Karen Ranney
  15. Storm cursed y Patricia Briggs
  16. Londons best kept secret by Anabelle Bryant
  17. The night visitors by Carole Goodman
  18. The infamous Duchess by Sophie Barnes
  19. In her sights by Katie Ruggle
  20. COme from away by Genevieve Graham
  21. Tides of Honor by Genevieve Graham
  22. The beast player by Nahoko Uehashi
  23. A memory called Empire by Arkady Martine
  24. The ruin of kinds by Jenn Lyons
  25. In a badger way by Shelley Laurenston
  26. The deepest blue Sarah Beth Durst
  27. This Scot of Mine by Sophie Jordan
  28. Can't escape love by Alyssa Cole
  29. The lieutenant's nurse by Sara Ackerman
  30. In another time by Jillian Cantor
  31. If you're out there by Katy Loutzenhiser
  32. Band sinister by KJ Charles
  33. Cursed by keri Arthur
  34. California girls by Susan mallery
  35. Devil's daughter by Lisa Kleypas
  36. We set the dark in fire by Kay Tehlor Mjia
  37. Wild country by Anne Bishop
  38. Bad influence by Stefanie London
  39. Lady Derring takes a lover by Julie Anne Long
  40. The fammiliars by Stacey Halls
  41. When you read this by Mary Adkins
  42. Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman
  43. The curiosities by Susan Gloss
  44. Polaris rising by Jessie Mihalik
  45. Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely
  46. Storm glass by Jeff Wheeler
  47. Rogues rush in by Tessa Dare
  48. Governess gone rogue by Laura Lee Guhrke
  49. The lost girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
  50. Circle of shadows by Evelyn Skye
  51. The trouble with true love by Laura Lee Guhrke
  52. A brother's price by Wen Spencer
  53. Flare up by Shannon Stacey
  54. Playing for keeps by Jill Shalvis
  55. The unteachables by Gordon Korman
  56. The only woman in the room by Marie Benedict
  57. Once ghosted, twice shy by Alyssa Cole
  58. 99 percent mine by Sall Thorne
  59. All I want for Christmas is a cowboy by Jessica Clare
  60. Minimum wage magic by Racehl Aaron
  61. When me meet again by Kristin harmel
  62. Out of time by Monica McCarty
  63. Ten kisses to scandal by Vivienne Lorrett
I will def NOT manage this many come Fall. I guess I will be glad if I manage 1 per week then

Sunday 16 June 2019

Carole's Sunday: Pride and Sensuality - PO Dixon

Pride and Sensuality: A Darcy and Elizabeth Short Story
Author: P.O. Dixon
Narrator: Pearl Hewitt
Title: Pride and Sensuality (Darcy and Elizabeth Short Stories)
Genre: Historical Romance, PP variation, & Short story
Pages: Audiobook
Published:  March 27th 2014
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

With his mind agreeably engaged on the pleasures that await him once he and his dearest, loveliest Elizabeth are man and wife, Darcy's patience wanes, and he begins to wonder if he will ever find time alone with his betrothed.

Elizabeth is not oblivious of the discomfort Darcy must surely suffer. Not only does she have the key to his heart; she knows how to use it.

A random find on Audible. I was feeling a short story and I think I needed a little Darcy/Elizabeth in my life. 

The story follows Elizabeth and Darcy after Elizabeth said 'yes' to the propose. It is a few days before the wedding and they are in a lot of love and lust. 

This was sweet and short and gave me the Elizabeth/Darcy fix I needed. They are adorable and I loved the interactions not only between them but between all the siblings. It was cute. 

Now - I was a little thrown off with the title. There really was no smexy time. It was nice to just see them kissing and talking and Darcy introducing Elizabeth to new things like cocoa. There was a lot of lust, but they are creatures of their time so I can see them waiting for their marriage but doing other things instead. 

Read one by the author a while back and I remember it being meh, but I like the writing style. Glad I gave this one a try! It made me more curious about the author.

I do wish it was longer. It ended at an awkward moment story-wise.

The narrator was perfect for an Austen-y story. I want to listen more by her. 

In the end, I liked this. Short and sweet. I wanted more at the end there. I'll give this 3 stars. For sure worth it if you need some Austen-y type stories in your life. 

Friday 14 June 2019

Snowspelled - Stephanie Burgis

Paperback, 166 pages
Published September 4th 2017 by Five Fathoms Press
Series: The Harwood Spellbook #1
Alternative history fantasy novella

My Thoughts
This is a novella so the end came really fast and was wrapped up in a tidy bow just like that. But eh, it works, how she came to the answer no clue.

Alternative history were there is magic and elves in England. The elves stays in their land and there is a truce, but Cassandra does come across one and it has ramifications.

Only men have magic, but Cassandra did have magic too, but not anymore, srsly, why not? What happened. Why are we not told?

Houseparty a la Austen with a mystery to solve.

It was light, delightful and fun. I will totes read more

In nineteenth-century Angland, magic is reserved for gentlemen while ladies attend to the more practical business of politics. But Cassandra Harwood has never followed the rules...

Four months ago, Cassandra Harwood was the first woman magician in Angland, and she was betrothed to the brilliant, intense love of her life.

Now Cassandra is trapped in a snowbound house party deep in the elven dales, surrounded by bickering gentleman magicians, manipulative lady politicians, her own interfering family members, and, worst of all, her infuriatingly stubborn ex-fiancé, who refuses to understand that she’s given him up for his own good.

But the greatest danger of all lies outside the manor in the falling snow, where a powerful and malevolent elf-lord lurks...and Cassandra lost all of her own magic four months ago.

To save herself, Cassandra will have to discover exactly what inner powers she still possesses – and risk everything to win a new kind of happiness.

Thursday 13 June 2019

Audio: The Secret of a heart note - Stacey Lee

Narrated by: Nancy Wu
Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-30-19
Language: English
Publisher: Tantor Audio
YA fiction
To review

What can I say, YA fic is just so fun in audio. Light, fun and they tend to be shorter. Perfect.

In this one we meet Mimosa, an aromateur. She spends her days mixing "potions, and taking care of flowers. And now she is even in High School.

Brief sidetrack. How on earth do they stay a float if they do not charge people?

And then her mum leaves on an assignment, and Mimosa makes a mistake fixing two people up. And meets Court, and falls in love.

But love witches can't fall in love, if will destroy their nose, and without a nose you can not work.

Also, no wonder there are not that many around, I am sure the stake took a lot.

I enjoyed it. Mimosa was nice, there was romance, drama, but all in good amounts.

The narration was well done and I easily fell into this world. She made me scent the flowers. She did well with different voices and made the story come alive

Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, 16-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking - all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn't want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman's son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn't always a choice you can make.  

Wednesday 12 June 2019

Audio: The flatshare - Beth O'Leary

Narrated by: Carrie Hope Fletcher, Kwaku Fortune
Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-28-19
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Romantic fiction
To review

This was sure one strange arrangement. They share a bed, but have never met! He works nights, she works normal hours so they never meet. But they share the same flat, the same bed. A start to a new fun friendship.

Tiffie needs a place to live, and fast, so she goes for this. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend, he is already engaged to someone else and she had been living with him up until now. Yes he sounds like quite the charmer. She is colorful, fun and with a smile on her face. I liked her at once. She also starts writing notes to the flatmate she has never met.

Leon is more of an introvert. He works nights to pay for his brother's lawyer and he needs even more money. 

They interact through notes. Everywhere in the house. They get to know each other. She coax him out of his shell. And other things happen.

Like his hunt for someone a patient used to know.
Her realising that she does not need her ex.
And them falling in love.

It was a sweet story with heart, but also a lot of depth. There are realisations to have and they dealt with a lot of emotional heartache.

 I wonder how they did the notes in the book. Here it does work well when they just read them out loud. There are also phonecalls and they work too since they use some kind of muffler? They narrate well and the story really flows through their narration

After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.  
Desperation makes her open-minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night-shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.  
Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes - first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.  
But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea...especially if you've never met.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Audio: Cowboy stole my heart - Soraya Lane

Narrated by: Callie Beaulieu
Series: River Ranch Series, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-14-19
Language: English
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Contemporary romance
To review

Sam is a horse whisperer, and Mia has a horse that needs help. A perfect match.

Mia is a rich girl, who has made a path of her own. She is an accomplished show-jumper who tries to prove herself to others. Her weakness is her dead friend's horse, a demon that can not be tamed anymore.

Sam is the horse whisperer with scars of his own. Demons in his past and he has lost the will to love.

Mia, oh Mia. She really should have said everything at once. She put his life in danger. Idiot! I also found something that happened later on idiotic too. I wanted to slap her again. I got it at first, but then, why oh why? She does not deserve him. I am very I will slap you happy lately.

Ok so these two have their worked cut out for them. First there is the whole is she only a rich girl thing to get over. Then things heat up but they both do not want a relationship. And then there is more drama.

I must say that I was really curious about how Sam's sister ended up with his best friend. That must have been quite the story. Also Mia's brother seems up next and that looks to be promising too.

Anyway, yes Mia did have her spot of weakness, but overall it was a good book that felt fast. I liked their shared love of horses and they did seem like a great fit.

Romance, horses and drama.

It takes true grit to build a billion-dollar dynasty like the Ford family ranch. But when it comes to finding love, all it takes is one handsome cowboy to steal a woman's heart.  
She's riding solo.  
As one of the heirs to the River Ranch fortune, Mia Ford is practically Texas royalty. But that doesn't mean she's some pampered princess. She can saddle up and ride a horse as well as any man, even a hard-working cowboy like Sam Mendes. For years, she's harbored a crush on the strong, silent horseman. But how can she make a move when she's his boss?  
He's taking the reins.  
Sam Mendes is through with love - or so he thought. Still recovering from a breakup, he's doing everything in his power to resist Mia Ford. It's bad enough she's the kind of beauty who drives men wild with desire. It's even worse she's got him so worked up, aching to kiss her lips, when he's supposed to be working her ranch. Is this lovestruck cowboy willing to risk losing his job - and breaking his heart - to win the girl of his dreams?  

Monday 10 June 2019

The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso

Paperback, 515 pages
Published April 19th 2018 by Orbit
Series: Swords and Fire #2

My Thoughts
Ok so I was crushing hard on someone in this book, haaard! Leave Marcellus behind and run away with this guy, stat! He was the perfect trickster/fool *dreamy sigh*. You hear me, Amalia! You forget that other guy this instant!

Right. So in the last book Amalia became a Falconer, which means she controls someone with magic. She does want to make it better for those with magic, so they do not have to be forced to become falcons. She did not choose to become a Falconer either, but what can you do. And Zaira is a big mouthed...*thinks about it* Oh she has grown on me, like a wart. I like her and her big mouth.

War is coming so they go to Vaskandar to try to stop it, since Amalia's mum is a big shot and Amalia's gran is a queen in a neighboring country. I must say, bravo to creating Vaskandar. I often complain of lack of worldbuilding, but I felt Vaskandar. It was such an interesting country, I wanted even more.

Prince Ruven, grrrrr, I wanted to kick him in the nuts. Hate that guy! All that is rotten in Vaskandar.

The crush I had I kept hoping that would be a good guy, I will not say any name ;) 

Adventure, blood and magic. I can't wait to read more! Arghh, I need book 3!

Across the border, the Witch Lords of Vaskandar are preparing for war. But before an invasion can begin, they must call a rare gathering of all seventeen lords to decide a course of action. Lady Amalia Cornaro knows that this Conclave might be her only chance to stifle the growing flames of war, and she is ready to make any sacrifice if it means saving Raverra from destruction.

Amalia and Zaira must go behind enemy lines, using every ounce of wit and cunning they have, to sway Vaskandar from war. Or else it will all come down to swords and fire. 

Sunday 9 June 2019

Carole's Sunday: The Channeler - Jenna Ryan

The Channeler (Continuum Series, #1)
Author:   Jenna Ryan
Title: The Channeler (Continuum Series, #1)
Genre: YA, Paranormal, SciFi, Fantasy
Pages: ebook
Published:  January 18th 2019 
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

Caleb Swift knows he's a complicated guy. He sees the unseeable: winged beings that haunt both his dreams and his waking visions. He knows the unknowable: horrifying visions of countless unspeakable futures he feels powerless to prevent. And if that weren't bad enough, these potent revelations might be driving him insane.

Who needs that kind of trouble?

Not Caleb. He's doing his best to live a totally uncomplicated life, to ignore the visions of doom that hound him relentlessly. But no matter what he does, one particular vision still plagues him. The one with the girl. The girl who's in mortal danger (or will be soon). The girl only he can save.

Now Caleb has a choice. To ignore his gift, to live the ordinary life he so desperately desires, even if it means letting her die...

Or to act. To interfere. To become extraordinary. And let one girl's future turn his present completely upside-down.

This immediately caught my attention. The cover, the title, the story, and the character. I knew I wanted and needed to read this story right away. 

The story follows young Caleb. He has visions of countless unspeakable futures and it kills him he can't change any of them. He tries to live a totally normal life, however, there is a girl who he sees in one of his visions that he can't get out of his head and knows he needs to try and save.

I gobbled this story up. I finished it in a couple of sittings. I was enthralled with Caleb and the world right away. Sure it was slow-paced at first, but we were getting introduced to Caleb and his pals. It takes time. The slowness bugged me a touch, but I think it needed it. 

Caleb was a fun character even though his moodiness bugged me sometimes. I liked Darla and I really adored Gav. He was a hoot. 

As much as people wish they want the power to see the future, it is not all daisies and rainbows. It honestly is a pain the romp and I felt sooooo bad for Caleb. I can't imagine that life! He was so miserable and it drained him. Poor guy. 

It did drive me bananas about his enemy. We don't get much on it. Maybe in the next book we'll get to see more that enemy and more of the supernatural part of the world. There was some, but I felt we spent a lot of time in the mortal world. Buuuuut I have hope for book 2! I wanna see more of the supernatural and I want to see that enemy of Caleb's get it's butt get kicked. 

OoooOOOooo that ending. It was good. Very cliffhanger-y...but it worked for this. I am invested and want to know what happened. I have hope! But we shall see. 

Overall, I did enjoy this. It was a quick read and I finished it in two sittings. A couple little, minor things that bugged me, but nothing extreme or something I couldn't look past. The ending, oddly, was good. I'm not usually one for cliff-hangers of that magnitude, but it worked for the story. Are you surprised? I AM! I am excited for book 2! I'll stamp this with 4 stars. 


Copyright © 2008-2020 Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell All Rights Reserved. Proudly powered by Blogger

  © Blogger template Starry by 2008 Modified by Lea

Back to TOP