Tuesday, 15 June 2021

TMST


 

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog. Feel free to leave your links in the comments if you are participating.




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




ALL OF THEM. 

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



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



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





6/22/2021 What’s your favourite form of media (apart from literature, that is)?


6/29/2021 Mid-Year Update: What have you been up to?


7/6/2021 How do you approach writing reviews?


7/13/2021 What are your favourite posts to read?


7/20/2021 What authors have you recently discovered and loved?


7/27/2021 Where is your favorite place to read during the summer?



Monday, 14 June 2021

Carole's Monday: Once a spy

 



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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








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







Friday, 11 June 2021

Hang the moon by Alexandria Bellefleur

Narrated by: Lauren Sweet


Series: Written in the Stars #2


Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins


Release date: 05-25-21


Publisher: HarperAudio


To review




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




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




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




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




A good cute story




Nice narrator too. I easily fell into this story





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




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




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


Thursday, 10 June 2021

Widowland by C.J.Carey

Hardcover, 400 pages


Expected publication: June 10th 2021 by Quercus


Alternative history


To review





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




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




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




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




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




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




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





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


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



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




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




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


Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Priest of Gallows by Peter McLean

 

Paperback, 362 pages


Published May 27th 2021 by Jo Fletcher Books


Series: War for the Rose Throne #3


Fantasy


To review





Damn, that ending all, stuff happened, stuff really happened. I need more.




Thomas, aye I liked him from the start in book 1. He is direct, fair, and brutal. And caught in something he can't get out of. He keeps getting deeper and deeper with The Queen's men. The organization that keeps everyone in check. One way or another. Usually with a sword on someone's throat.




Oh the queen's men are worse than gangsters. At least with gangsters you know they will stab you in the back, but with these people, no idea, they are the spider in the web. Controlling everything. I am not even sure what to think of the wife he had to marry anymore. I should like her? No? I can't trust anyone anymore.




Political fantasy, but at the same time not, Thomas is mostly on the streets doing the grunt work. You know, putting those swords at people's necks. And this whole world is falling apart. I truly have no idea what the next book will bring. 




Great fantasy series. Makes you crave more. I am at a loss for words. You just have to read it, and obvi the two before to experience it fo yourself.




Tomas Piety has everything he ever wanted. In public he's a wealthy, highly respected businessman, happily married to a beautiful woman and Governor of his home city of Ellinburg. In private, he's no longer a gang lord but one of the Queen's Men, invisible and officially non-existent, working in secret to protect his country.




But when the queen's sudden death sees him summoned him back to the capital, he discovers his boss, Dieter Vogel, Provost Marshal of the Queen's Men, is busy tightening his stranglehold on the country.




Just as he once fought for his Pious Men, he must now bend all his wit and hard-won wisdom to protect his queen - but now he can't always tell if he's on the right side.




Tomas has started to ask himself, what is the price of power? And more importantly, is it one he is willing to pay?


Tuesday, 8 June 2021

TMST


 

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog. Feel free to leave your links in the comments if you are participating.




Best character jobs: what are some jobs characters have had that you loved or would like to do? 



I really have no idea. Most characters have rather dangerous jobs, all my fantasy and UF favs.  I am sure there are some  quiet librarians in there whose jobs I could have. I am not one for danger and adventure. I never realised this would be so tricky





Monday, 7 June 2021

Carole's Monday: A tail as old as time





Author: Elle Hay
Narrator: Thérèse Plummer
Title: A Tail as Old as Time
Genre: Novella, Womens Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Short Story
Format: Audiobook
Published: January 21st 2021
Where I got It: Audible

Summary: 
Ever since Alana Diaz adopted her cat Furrari, she has found herself in a feud with her infuriating neighbor, whom she knows only by the name on the passive aggressive notes he leaves on her door - R. Jones. Alana works hard all day, and the last thing she needs when she finally relaxes on her balcony with a glass of wine and her new furry roommate is her neighbor’s dog barking his head off. The only solution is to retreat inside. So what if her neighbor has smoldering good looks? It’s ruined when he glares at her little fuzzball of joy for upsetting his dog Kevin. And who the hell names their dog Kevin, anyway?

But when Furrari and Kevin both go missing, Alana and Jones are left with no choice but to team up. As their pets lead them through the beaches, fancy hotels, and more all over Coral Gables, two lonely, jaded people might find they've been chasing the wrong things all along.

Review:
Stumbled upon this little gem. Such a cute cover, title, and cute pet side-kicks. 

We follow Alana Diaz who has found herself in the middle of a feud with her infuriating neighbor after she adopted her cat Furrari. Alana works hard all day and the last thing she needs is her hot, jerk neighbor leaving passive aggressive notes on her door and not being able to relax on her balcony with wine because of that dog next door constantly barking. Things change when Furrari and the dog Kevin both go missing and Alana and the neighbor have to team up and find them.

This was cute. Super cute. It was adorable watching these enemies join forces and realize they have the feels for each other. First some lust and then they get to know each other and realize there is more. I do think they resolved their issues a touch too quickly. Yes, yes this is a novella and a short story, BUT there was some bad blood there because of all the passive aggressive notes. Maybe if the search went on longer I would've believed it more. 

The little twist at the end was adorable!! I love that kitty and pup! Little stinkers. 

The narrator was perfect for this story! Her girl and guy voices were great. 

Overall, this was a cute tale of enemies falling in love while finding their pets. A quick, good listening for the summer! I'll give this 4 stars. 






Challenge(s):
- #31 for Audiobook challenge





Friday, 4 June 2021

Audio: Where the rhythm takes you by Sarah Dass

Narrated by: Antonevia Ocho-Coultes


Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins


Release date: 11-05-21


Harper Audio


To review





A YA novel inspired by Persuasion, yes please.




Reyna spends all her time at her father's hotel. And ever since her mother passed that is all she wants to do. I liked Reyna, but that poor girl needed to live her life and not obsess over a hotel.




It has only been like 2-3 years since the breakup, it did feel short. But it is after all only inspired by Persuasion. They really lived for their angst there.




Reyna's former bf shows up. He is hot stuff now, famous, cool girlfriend on his arm (or is she?).




They avoid each other, they have to spend time together. Reyna tries to figure out her life, slooowly. And there will be happiness, and her finding out what she want, and actually doing that.




I enjoyed it.




Ok so I am not an expert, but to me the narrator's Caribbean accent sounded good. It really got me feeling this place and the people here





Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at the Plumeria, her family's gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It's been two years since Reyna's mother passed away, two years since Aiden--her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything--left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna's friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try and keep the Plumeria running.




And that's when Aiden comes roaring back into her life--as a VIP guest at the resort.




Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal--the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them . . .


Thursday, 3 June 2021

Best of May

 





Happy June everyone!!!! Hitting the halfway mark!


Here are our best of May!


Best Book of the Month:


"Best book Tender is the flesh. Because it was highly disturbing and well written"







"Oooo this was a tough pick! But I have to pick Magic Bleeds. AWESOME! FUN! KICKASS! ALL THE YESSES."




Best Movie of the Month:

Carole - Mortal Kombat
"Honestly...I didn't watch any movies but this one so not much to go against BUT it was soooooo good. I can't wait to watch it again and for the 2nd film to come out."





Blodeuedd - Nada this month



Best TV show of the Month:


Blodeuedd - Blood of Zeus
"Blood of Zeus. I did mean to, but I could not stop watching."








"I cannot stop raving about this show!! I am addicted. MORE PLEASE!"







Best Cover of the Month:


Carole - "Bayou Baby 100%! That blue and that pup! Love it."







Blodeuedd - "Best cover. Spin the dawn (amazing book too)"









Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Tender is the flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

Paperback, 221 pages


Published November 5th 2020 by Pushkin Press (first published November 29th 2017)


Original Title: Cadáver exquisito


Fiction Dystopian


Library





Well this was revolting, I love meat, but fake meat is great, just expensive. I would not go freaking insane and start eating people!




Animals carry a virus. People lose their minds and start eating each other. Well, we obviously need regulations. Let's breed people and then slaughter them! Veal, I mean kids are tasty. And we can hunt people too just like we did animals. Perfect plan! Omg, it was horrific and they even have a run through the plant at one time so we see every step. And they are all so used to it so they think it is normal, because they are not human after all, they are bred for a purpose.




But then it's not like they only eat the special meat (which is really expensive btw),no, sometimes when old people die they are sold for meat, and more. So anything goes. Meat is meat. And the kids growing up thinks this is normal. Wtf.


And Marcos, he seems to used to this, and over it, he does not even want meat anymore (well finally someone who can go vegan, I mean sheesh.) And then he gets a special present, to eat or sell.




This world is dark, and real in its madness. I mean who really got a virus. Because humanity is tainted. But it is easy to see how we would downgrade some, to make them not human anymore.




Good and horrific. Short too 





Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans—though no one calls them that anymore.




His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—“special meat”—is legal. Marcos tries to stick to numbers, consignments, processing.




Then one day he’s given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved. 




Tuesday, 1 June 2021

TMST


 

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog. Feel free to leave your links in the comments if you are participating.




Share some of your favorite LGBTQ books.



Oh, you know I suck at remembering things! When questions like this I usually check tags, but I do not have a tag like this. They will all be under romance...or something else. Also something seems to be wrong with GR for me, my pages are so messy and reading them are painful



Ok, but what comes to mind is Like a love story by Abdi Nazemian. It was great!



Still browsing, now I am browsing shelves from other people and hope my books shows up, srsly, does anyone else have this problem with shitty shelves? Why do they look like this? 



I can't go through 80 000 books! But hey if one really sticks out it was Like a love story so one is enough


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