Wednesday 30 June 2021

Audio: Scandal in spring by Lisa Kleypas


Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells

Series: The Wallflowers, Book 4

Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins

Release date: 06-15-21

Publisher: HarperAudio

Historical romance

To review

Daisy is the last wallflower to find someone, and she is not having any luck. She loves books, she likes adventure, and she wants someone special. And English lords wants someone biddable.

I liked Daisy, she was herself and did not want to settle.

In comes Matthew, the man her father thinks she should marry. Ugh, what a toad Matthew is. Except, he got hot since she last saw him. But ugh, he is still so business oriented and not what she wants, or is he? Of course he is! He fancies her, she can't look away, but does, cos ugh. But she needs his steadiness and he needs her. And I liked Matthew, sure he was not like her, but that is why they worked so well together.

There is some drama too at the end, eeek, drama. It had me worrying.

A houseparty, two people falling in love. A sweet book.

Great narrator, I really like her for these books. She fits well, and all her voices are narrated for their best fit

Quirky and fun-loving American heiress Daisy Bowman is the last unmarried Wallflower. Her exasperated father has informed her that if she can’t find a husband by the end of her third London season, she will be forced to marry a man she hates—the ruthless entrepreneur, Matthew Swift.

Daisy is horrified. A Bowman never admits defeat, so she decides to do whatever it takes to marry someone...anyone...other than Matthew. What she doesn’t count on, however, is Matthew’s unexpected charm, or the blazing sensuality that soon flares beyond both their control. And Daisy discovers that the man she has always hated just might turn out to be the man of her dreams.

But when a scandalous secret is uncovered, it could destroy both Matthew and a love more passionate and irresistible than Daisy’s wildest fantasies.

Tuesday 29 June 2021



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.

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

Same old same old. Been working. Business as usual. Been trying to read books. I visit the book mobile every week. I haven't been to the big library since....*crickets*, been some time since I visit our main library too.

Still trying to get our house in order. At least my books are on my shelves now, but I need more shelves built and that might take a while.

Been trying to find paths around here, but damn, it is hard! No damn paths. But that makes sense. This village is at the edge of the sea. And yes water all around. And lakes in the woods. No where to walk, so I guess no one ever made any paths. Of course only a walk away there is a hiking trail that is 12 km long, so I am good ;) 

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 28 June 2021

Movie Night: Awake


This month we decided to discuss 'Awake' (2021). A touch late since we couldn't meet up to discuss until Sunday morning! Whoops! ;) 

I am  in green and Carole in purple.

Title:  Awake

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Released: June 2021
Rating: TV-MA
Length: 1h 36min



Sooooo that was intense!!!!!! Dang!

I was not sure what to expect, but omg, I have had insomnia, so to think about this, ugh, scary. And yes it got INTENSE

Same here. I had no idea what to really expect. The trailer and the summary are very vague. I watched this late at night and then I was up until 3 am because I could not sleep. Sure my insomnia is bad and all BUT I think this had me up thinking. Could you imagine??? Not being able to sleep and just knowing you only have about 6 days before your brain pretty much explodes???

I can promise you though, that I would not be as effed up as some of these people. Like omg, wtf is wrong with you all!?

I’m sure a lot of them already had major issues to begin with. Esp the soldiers...mental illnesses and whatnot probably get doubled in a brain when it can’t sleep. Pills can only do so much!! 

True, but ok so that first place where you notice that people are crazy, they had lost one night of sleep, ONE! And ok I can’t go into it, but omg, omg, people are evil

TBH - some people need only the smallest excuse to lose their minds and riot and kill people. They figured “ brain will explode so might as well loot and pillage while I can!” People are evil 100000000% 

It was scary, so very scary. I would rather not think about it cos I might have trouble sleeping again. But it was also good, what else can people do, die is the only option.

I wouldn’t last the whole time knowing that there might be no cure. Last as long as I can to wait, but at one point I couldn’t handle it. I was so scared for her and her kids. Esp the girl because she could sleep!! I can’t fathom how terrified she was. All of them. And then the solution was pretty dang simple. Don’t wanna spoil it...but I thought the world’s smartest people would figure it out…..smh

After I finished I thought that the Russians and the Chinese def figured it out. Cos they probably went overboard at once and was all, aha! Sorry US, but you need some torture.

Oh, I’m sure they had it figured out by day one. It sort of made sense. I jokingly said the solution out loud and then I was right. I was kidding! I’m sure if this REALLY happened the US gov wouldn’t figure it out at all. 

And since nothing works, nobody could tell anyone anything. Not that they would, they would be all, we will survive ,mowuahahahah

TRUE. I didn’t think of that...with the power being out other country officials wouldn’t be able to talk and share info (as if they would). How scary! Esp if your loved one was traveling for work or something! Scaryyyy!!!! This whole concept was scary and some believe that a big enough solar flare would indeed knock out power. *shudders*

As long as it doesn’t knock us out! My brother would be ok in the new world, he has a really old car, better store that for later. Need transportation ;) prepare!

Hahaha! I know some people with old cars but I’m sure they would be gone by the time I walk to them! Hahaha. 

True. He does live very far away from walking. Dunno where one would go anyway. I am already in the middle of nowhere.

You would be safe for a while until those that survive the city start making their way away from the city. I’m in the country but only about 10 mins from a decent city SO we would need to pack and get outta here and head to my parents. Or just stay here and fortify. Scary to think that people lose their minds so quickly. No bonding to survive. Everyone for themselves! I would like to think movies like this are wrong, but we know that is how it would play out FOR sure. 

I am pretty far out bike-wise, but when I think about it, yes better go even further. Just pack everything on bikes and go. But then what, wait and die? Ugh, these things are scary to think of. Zombies are one thing, but people, normal people when they lose their shit?! Yikes

Scared people are scarier and more dangerous than any Zombie or monster. Like that cop at the church! Was he already 2 or 3 days in from not sleeping? Did he pull an all-nighter at work? He lost it PRETTY dang quick. 

I thought the woman was scarier, who even thinks of that??!?! But yes the cop lost it, maybe he had done a night shift before it all so he was already 2 days in, but still!

Yessss I forgot about her! What a psycho!! The first thing she says…” Let’s sacrifice the girl!” Whaaa??? It’s been 24 hours CALM down lady. 

Psycho! Not the first thing I would think that would solve it

I would immediately start trying different things like pills or foods or drinks. People just panicked first. Except for those youths. LOLLL they had a block party. That did make me chuckle. Of course, the college kids are all “WHOO HOO LET’S MAKE FIRE AND DRINK!”

And then, how can you drive your cars? Ehh, what the hell do you learn there in the school? Stupid kids

Hahaha. Right???? Made me laugh! 

Now - I do wish we had more backstory about the mom and the kids. That would’ve been nice. I still rooted for them, but I feel like I would’ve liked the mom more if I knew their backstory more. We got little snip bits and whatnot here and there. But I wanted more. 

I did feel that what we were given, when so little was actually not even necessary. She could just as well have been a hard-working mom who had to leave her kids at their gran cos she had to work nights. Because now we did not learn more than I guess drugs cos of PTSD?

I would’ve been fine if they kept it simple. Dad died, mom worked 80 hours a week, kids are mad they never see But they hinted that mom has issues from the war and the dad dying (I guess in the war too?) and she maybe had drug issues? They didn’t really elaborate and I think we needed that. Don’t beat around the bush and tease us. 

Yes, exactly, just keep it simple. And I do wonder, what happened then? How many survived in the end? Did all animals die too?

Yess the ending pissed me off a bit. You can’t just leave it like that unless they do a sequel which would be dumb at this point. I think they hinted that the animals are fine except for the monkeys because they are similar to us and share the same DNA or something. They were not clear on that either. 

So many questions. But in the end, good movie :D Watch it, and prepare to lose some sleep. Haha

Agreed! More details would’ve been nice, but all around a good movie! Makes you think and wonder. Don’t watch when you are about to go to bed!!! Hahaha. 

The end?

Good pick! ;) And yesss the end!

Friday 25 June 2021

Audio: Unravel the dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Series: The Blood of Stars (#2)

13 pages, Audiobook

Published: July 7, 2020 by Penguin Random House

YA Fantasy


It was not as excellent as book 1, but it was still a great book, and I love the fact that it was a duology. Because we have an ending ladies and gentlemen!

Maia saved the man she loves, and now she is becoming a demon. This book is a lot about her struggling with that, trying to find a way out or slow the progress. Edan, the man she loves is also gone (not dead! just gone.)

And the kingdom is falling to pieces. The Emperor needs magic to stay "fresh", but that is gone now. His bride to be is unwilling, her father wants to tear the country apart. And Maia is in the middle of that since she has sewn the wedding dresses.

And all hell breaks loose.

Edan did not have a big role, Maia obvi had and I liked how she struggled with her darkness. Lady Sarnai does sound fascinating, tough as nails and I wonder about her. Great characters all in all.

I like the world too, Chinese mythology/history meets fantasy world. I see that she has written another series set here and I would love to explore that one too.

Great narrator, distinct voices, her thumb on the pulse of the book. She made it come alive

Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

Thursday 24 June 2021

Audio: Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells

Series: The Wallflowers, Book 3

Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins

Release date: 06-15-21

Publisher: HarperAudio

Historical romance

I was not sure that I would want to read about St:Vincent, but I read good things, and I gave him the chance for redemption. Because in the previous book he is a monster, and I was all no, nope, not a chance. But knowing me, I still gave it a go. An I am glad for it! It was really good

And hey, I even liked it better than the previous one! Here we see that he is not the rake, and monster he was portrayed to me. It was more bark than bite, that still does not make it ok though. But I can forgive him, he does save Eve.

Evangeline is more or less being held prisoner by her maternal family, abused, and now she is told to marry her cousin. So she asks the only person she knows could help, a broke aristocrat in need of an heiress.

Plus a gambling club, and a some danger and there is the story.

I like them together. He got her out of her shell, and she got him to think he could behave in another way. I really felt that these two fell for each other. They slowly warmed up to each other, and saved each other.

A good book, romance, danger and much more

I enjoy this narrator, she is really good. She has the romantic tone down, and has a good range of voices

Desperate to escape her scheming relatives, Evangeline Jenner has sought the help of the most infamous scoundrel in London. A marriage of convenience is the only solution. No one would have ever paired the shy, stammering wallflower with the sinfully handsome viscount. It quickly becomes clear, however, that Evie is a woman of hidden strength—and Sebastian desires her more than any woman he's ever known.

Determined to win her husband's elusive heart, Evie dares to strike a bargain with the devil: If Sebastian can stay celibate for three months, she will allow him into her bed. When Evie is threatened by a vengeful enemy from the past, Sebastian vows to do whatever it takes to protect his wife...even at the expense of his own life.Together, they will defy their perilous fate, for the sake of all-consuming love.

Wednesday 23 June 2021

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

 Series: Harbinder Kaur (#1)

416 pages, Paperback

Published: May 16, 2019 by Quercus

Fiction Mystery Thriller


I really like her books! This is not my awesome Galloway series, so I was a bit unsure, but she had me hooked from page ! Damn she is good.

The book has 3 povs. Claire, a teacher, who is writing a book about a long dead writer. Her teenage daughter, who is dating someone too old in her mother's opinion (and mine!) And Harbinder, the detective on the case. Because Claire's friend and colleague is brutally murdered, and there is a connection to Claire.

And then she finds a note in her diary, ohhh spooky! Did the murderer write it? How?

I was so into this book, who is the killer? I as always suspect everyone.

It is strange, but Griffiths is the only writer I can truly get behind, I have tried a lot, but I never find anyone in her style. And her style rocks! Next one please

Death lies between the lines. A dark story has been brought to terrifying life. Can the ending be rewritten in time?

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer RM Holland, she teaches a short course on it every year. Then Clare's life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an RM Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer's works somehow hold the key to the case.

Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn't hers...

Tuesday 22 June 2021



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.

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

Oh that has to be tv! Damn I love tv. All those movies, all those shows! All those shows you just watch with one half eye open when you are too lazy to do anything. All those shows that you binge ep after ep.

Dunno what more to say, I am quite addicted. I always watch tv when I write reviews and blog

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 21 June 2021

Carole's Monday: Peony in Love

Author: Lisa See
Narrator: Janet Song
Title: Peony in Love
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Published: June 26th 2007
Where I got It: Audible

In seventeenth-century China, three women become emotionally involved with The Peony Pavilion, a famed opera rumored to cause lovesickness and even death, including Peony, the cloistered daughter of a wealthy scholar, who succumbs to its spell only to return after her death as a "hungry ghost" to haunt her former fiancé, who has married another

I've been wanting to read this book for a long, long time. Sighs...I was scared to actually dive in because it seems people LOVE it or HATE it. Finally got myself to check it out. I decided to do the audio version since I like the narrator. 

We are in seventeenth-century China and three women like so many others become emotionally involved with the opera called The Peony Pavilion. This opera is rumored to cause lovesickness and even death. This happens to Peony who is the cloistered daughter of a wealthy scholar. She succumbs to the opera spell and after her death, she returns as a hungry ghost to haunt her former fiance.

HEAD'S up...there are some spoilers here because I just could not help myself. I tried to control myself so I avoided BIG spoilers just little ones so move forward with caution. ;) 

Okay...I will admit I struggled tremendously at first. I had issues with Peony, her parents, and the world overall. They want these girls to be pure and be sheltered to the point of madness sometimes. They call it lovesickness....but these girls want love and freedom. They want it so bad that they cannot see past it and just decide that they are done with life. They can't control anything but what they put in their they starve. Poor things. issue was how selfish Peony was. Yes, yes, I get that she can't help but be in love with the first non-family dude she sees because of how sheltered she was. BUT girl legit knew him for 3 days. He thinks he loves her too but they do nothing. "Well - we are engaged to others soooo byeee.", and in protest of marrying another man, she goes all emo. Writes sad poems and starves to death??? SIGHS. Maybe WAIT and see who it is that you are engaged to. You never know!!! And lo and behold it was your dream guy. Tragic so tragic. How dare you do that your beloved father and mother. You are their only child. How could you be so selfish and dramatic about a guy you knew for not even 3 days. You talked for just a few hours overall. GAH.

Of course, everyone blames the opera that she got to watch. "YEP, just another girl who becomes cursed." OKAY...........MAYBE, JUST MAYBE IT IS THAT SHE HATES HER LIFE! Maybe she wants to know who she is marrying. Maybe she wants to go to town or just be treated like a human and not a goat being sold. Crazy thought...maybe talk to her........see what's going on. Maybe tell her who the to-be-hubby is. I know, I know it was the world and it was that bad for these girls so it was realistic. It just drove me insane. 

After she died things got really, really interesting. I couldn't stop listening. I had to know what was going to happen next. It was an interesting view of what the afterlife is like. It was so sad in so many ways. 

I loved when Peony realized as a ghost she has certain abilities. So cool. Wrong on how she used it at first, but we all would do the same thing. I know I would for sure. It was nice seeing her use her abilities for good near the end.  

Watching Peony grow and mature as a ghost was the best part of the story. I honestly wept when she and another ghost (don't want to give away BIG spoilers) did what they did at the end to bring happiness to people who deserved it. It brought a tear to my eye.

This was a really emotional book. I think we are supposed to have strong feelings throughout this which I did. I hated Peony and the human world. I was sad when she died and had to say goodbye. I felt scared for her as she was trying to find her way as a ghost. I wept when her parents seemed to have neglected her and didn't finish the funeral rites they needed to. I felt her anger and pain seeing her love remarry. I felt her desires and wants to be loved and remembered. I felt her despair and her joy. I felt all the emotions. When this ended I couldn't help but smile and wipe a tear away. 

I honestly think the narrator really helped with this. I do not think I would've liked it as much if I had to read it. The narrator is amazing. She really brings so much life to the characters and story. Fantastic! She did great. 

Okay...okay...I'll stop while I'm ahead. I can honestly ramble about this because there is soooo much to discuss. Perfect for a book club I think.

I'll give this 4 stars. It would be 5, but I did struggle at first. 

- #35 for Audiobook challenge

Friday 18 June 2021

Audio: Just last night by Mhairi McFarlane

By: Mhairi McFarlane

Narrated by: Maya Saroya

Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins

Release date: 05-04-21

Publisher: HarperAudio


To review

This one turned out to be really compelling. The secrets! I just really wanted to see how it all turned out.

Eve, Ed, Justin and Stevie are best friends. Eve and Ed had a thing years ago and there was always something there. Even though she has moved on, and Ed has his Hester (that no one likes). But then something happens, and secrets! Omg juicy secrets that had me craving more. Nothing is what it seems like. What is friendship worth? How much do you really know someone?

I liked Eve, she was just normal you know. Suzie seemed like a handfull, Ed no, he was a doormat, Justin, well I never really got to know Justin. Sorry Justin. I was all over how Eve would handle things.

I can't say too much. Things happen, secrets come out, people are not who you think they are, and someone from her past comes around, and I wonder if I can hope.

A story about loss, secrets, friendship and lies. I really enjoyed it. When I had to stop listening I was all nooo, what about x!?

The narrator was great and really had me hooked. She had good voices for everyone and kept the tempo going

Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the four are as close as ever, Thursday night bar trivia is sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed. Maybe she should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed still thinks about it, too. 

But then, in an instant, their lives are changed forever.

In the aftermath, Eve’s world is upended. As stunning secrets are revealed, she begins to wonder if she really knew her friends as well as she thought. And when someone from the past comes back into her life, Eve’s future veers in a surprising new direction....

They say every love story starts with a single moment. What if it was just last night?

Thursday 17 June 2021

The Irish princess by Elizabeth Chadwick

Paperback, 480 pages

Published April 16th 2020 by Sphere (first published September 12th 2019)

Historical fiction


It has been ages since I read my last Chadwick! I wasn't a fan of he E of A books, so I stopped. But then I noticed a new one, and another new one, and I had to try again. I have missed her books, they are always filled with details and she brings out people you would never read about otherwise. And she really loves and excels at the 12th century.

Aoife is a princess of Leinster. And the Irish Kings keep fighting each other, then her family has to flee and end up in England. The choices her father does will doom Ireland, but then again, the English would have come sooner or later. Help us, and you can have some pieces of Ireland. Well thanks for that Diarmait! 

To get some English help, Aoife marries Richard de Clare. And it was here I started to know this family, it all came together. Their child would marry William Marshall. Quick fact, Isabel and William will have a bunch of sons who never manages to get any kids (except one daughter). It was said to be a Irish curse, spooky! But their male lines would die out. Ok I got off track, but this is what her books makes me do, google the shit out of everything.

She made me like Aiofe, and everyone else, ok maybe not the horny dog that was Henry II, or Richard's sister. But it is all fascinating, and I am so there in her books. At those battlefields, during the ordinary times.

Another winner from her.

Ireland, 1160

Aoife MacMurchada is just 14 years old when her father Diarmit, King of Leinster, is brutally deposed, and her family is forced to flee Southern Ireland into English exile. Diarmit seeks help from King Henry II, an alliance that leads him to the charismatic Richard de Clare, lord of Striguil, a man dissatisfied with his lot and open to new horizons.

Diarmit promises Richard wealth, lands, and Aoife's hand in marriage in return for his aid, but Aoife, has her own thoughts on the matter. She may be a prize, but she is not a pawn and she will play the game to her own advantage.

From the royal halls of scheming kings, to staunch Welsh border fortresses and across storm-tossed seas to the wild green kingdoms of Ireland, The Irish Princess is a sumptuous, journey of ambition and desire, love and loss, heartbreak and survival.

Wednesday 16 June 2021

Audio. The wolf and the woodsman by Ava Reid

Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld

Length: 13 hrs and 10 mins

Release date: 06-08-21

Publisher: HarperAudio


To review

I really enjoyed this one. But then I am all for as many monsters as possible in my fantasy.

Evike is a pagan, everyone else in her village has powers, she does not. It is not easy for her, and I would let that stupid village rut. She is half Yehuli too (Jewish), so the strikes keeps on coming. I liked Evike, even though I felt that for someone that is 25 she sure acted like 17 at times. This is an adult book, but yes she could easily have been a teen and this YA. She does make stupid decisions, and if this is fantasy then she is practically middle aged already.

Omg, so much happens, how will I cram it all in!

So her village is filled with asshats and they offer her up as a sacrifice so off she goes with the woodsmen. Ugh her village, srsly, Evike was too nice.

So this world, fake fantasy Hungary is ruled by a king whose ancestors have conquered nearby pagans. Pagans should be killed screams some, since yes this fantasy world is ruled by a certain fantasy religion. And there is nothing I despise more than zealots. We are right, everyone should burn! Grrr, they make me so angry. Evike and her asshat village are peaceful and kind. And just cos they do not believe some fake god then they are bad. They believe what they can see, like all the monsters out in the woods (there are plenty), and the magic they craft. And put in some Yehuli (already told you who they are), who are also persecuted cos of their believes.

This world, even if it does borrow a lot, was just so wonderful. Creepy monsters, interesting magic, and ugh zealots! And political intrigue. Gaspar, the rightful heir, had a foreign mother so now he is a Woodsman (hunting monsters, killing pagans), his father the king a real piece of work, doomed him to it. And he has a creepy brother who is the biggest fanatic of them all and wants it all for himself, but since he is a bastard (literally), that can't happen.

I just keep going with this review!

Gaspar and Evike hate each other, tolerate each other, likes each other a tiny bit, and more develops. I liked their journey to the capital, she kept telling these stories and I like a story within a story.

What more, it seems that the country up north is fantasy Finland? I mean cold, reindeer, the finnish name for sky, the count from that part has a Finnish name. I mean I did listen to the audio so I could be wrong, but Hungarian and Finnish are related so yes why not make them closer in this fantasy world.

Rich and interesting fantasy world. Steeped in Hungarian history, and Jewish mythology. Fascinating magic and a quest that seems utterly hopeless.

I mentioned Evike acting young and it feeling YA then, but you know what, the end, that was pure adult. It was a good happy ending, but it was a real ending, and the only ending I wanted. It stayed true to this world.

A fantasy book I could recommend to everyone

I liked Saskia, she is a great narrator and she does a wonderful job with this world. I am right there with them, she gives voices to everyone and catches the feel of the book. Perfect for audio

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline - her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman - he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.

Tuesday 15 June 2021



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?


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

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...

 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.   

- #34 for Audiobook challenge
- #19 for Romance Bingo - Horse on the cover


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