Friday, 28 June 2013

ARC review: Forsaken by the Others - Jess Haines

Have a one night stand with a vampire, and you can end up paying for it for eternity. P.I. Shiarra Waynest, an expert on the Others, knows that better than most. Yet here she is, waking up beside charismatic vamp Alec Royce with an aching head…and neck. Luckily, Shia has the perfect excuse for getting out of town–namely, a couple of irate East Coast werewolf packs who’d like to turn her into a chew toy.

On Royce’s suggestion, Shia temporarily relocates to Los Angeles. But something is rotten–literally–in the state of California, where local vampires are being attacked by zombies. Who could be powerful enough to control them–and reckless enough to target the immortal? Following the trail will lead Shia to a terrifying truth, and to an ancient enemy with a personal grudge…

My thoughts:
There we have it again, Jess Haines is eeeeeeeevil! Evil I say! Darkness! Here I was reading and running through the fields with flowers in my hair when BAM! A truly evil cliffhanger that made me sit up and say noooo! And also it made me use way too many exclamation points in this paragraph.

What more can I say after that evil ending. I can't think now. I need the next book, I crave it. I mean an ending like that, oh man...I am being a horrible tease now. But she is very good at these kind of endings, you want more at once.

Ok the book (before the ending) was about a quick look at Shiarra and Royce. Kissing ;) Aww Royce, still way too little Royce in this one. Cos Shiarra and Sarah goes to LA. Meets the vampire master of LA. Meets a werewolf and most important of all, zombies! Zombies are running amok and it's up to Shiarra to figure out why.

Zombies, danger and Shiarra dealing with the after effects of book 4 and there are quite a few. I do wonder what will happen with her strange blood...

Conclusion:
So here I am, waiting for the next book. I can't even imagine where the events in this one will take her. Recommended series. If you want urban fantasy then look here.

Cover
Cool

H&W Investigations #5
Urban fantasy
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: July 2nd 2013 by Zebra
For review


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review: Fourth Grave Beneath my Feet - Darynda Jones

Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above . . . or at least get dressed. It becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. But the more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.

In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved.

My thoughts:
I often reach this conclusion when it comes to good books....this author is evil!!!! First all the tempting with Reyes, who makes my (well you figure it out), then all the secrets, what is gonna happen and what Charley really is. And then leaving me craving more, just like a zombie craves brains. So there you have it, Darynda Jones is evil.

And you know I can't write a normal review when it comes to these books. The mere though of Reyes makes my insides melt. He is sex on a stick. And *fans myself* heaven help me.

Charley is so kick-ass and funny, dang, I want her as my best friend! The mystery made me go 0_0, yes I never manage to see it coming *applauds*. Reyes, oh I was supposed to go on and look who I came back to....

Conclusion:
Anyway totally recommended. 'nuff said.

Cover
Ok

Charley Davidson #1
Urban fantasy
Paperback, 339 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published October 30th 2012
Own


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Author Interview and giveaway: Jayne Fresina

Today’s author interview is with Jayne Fresina.

Welcome!

1. Could you tell me 3 fun facts about yourself?
JF: When I cook I like to pretend I'm on my own cooking show (as long as there's no one watching). I love the smell of new shoes and shoe boxes so much I wanted to work in a shoe store when I was a child. I like texting stupid messages to my husband during the day, just to annoy him.


2. Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal (quite the mouthful!) is your new book. A little info
about it to new readers?
JF: Lady Mercy arrives in the village to attend her best friend's wedding, but finds herself having to step in and try to fix things when the bride gets cold feet. Unfortunately, Lady Mercy has some past history with the jilted groom, who calls her "Lady Bossy Drawers", and he quickly assumes she has something to do with this. It just so happens that this isn't the first runaway bride he's known and he now blames Mercy for both.  


3. It is a part of a series, but can a reader just jump in feet first or do they need to know the beginning?
JF: It's the third in the Sydney Dovedale series, but it's not necessary to have read the previous two books. Lady Mercy and several characters in this book have appeared in the previous stories also, but now they are all grown up!


4. As someone who knows the beginning, oh what a little pest Mercy was in book 2. Was she fun to write?
JF: Very much so. Some readers might find her annoying in the beginning - I understand that perfectly, because she's very confident and opinionated - but she has some personal issues to work through. Eventually, in this book, she learns that not everything in life can be controlled or kept in neat and tidy order. And it wouldn't be much fun if it was. She learns to let her hair down a little. After all, who's perfect?


5. What is coming next from you?
JF: The next and final book in the Sydney Dovedale series. The story line for Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction actually runs parallel to the plot here in Lady Mercy's story, because when Molly Robbins becomes a runaway bride in Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal, she goes off to London on her own adventure, which readers will learn all about in the fourth book.

Thanks!

Giveaway
1 copy of The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne 


1.US and Canada
2. Ends July 6th
3. Just enter, as simple as that

LADY MERCY DANFORTHE FLIRTS WITH SCANDAL BY JAYNE FRESINA – IN STORES JUNE 2013

When a Perfectly Proper Lady...
Lady Mercy Danforthe always has a plan. It's what makes her such a successful matchmaker, and why she's obligated to spend a great deal of time generously organizing the lives of her friends and family. But there's one man beyond her help. One man whose recklessness she can't rein in; whose chaos she can't contain. Her ex-husband, Rafe Hartley. Her one—and only!—mistake.

Flirts with a Reckless Rogue...
Rafe has never forgiven Mercy for running out on him. Their hastily annulled marriage may have one lasted three hours, but that doesn't mean he needs her help finding a proper wife. Someone needs to teach little Miss Know-It-All a lesson about keeping her adorably freckled nose out of other people's business. And it just so happens that Mercy "Silky Drawers" Danforthe still owes him a wedding night...

A Scandal's Never Far Behind!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jayne Fresina sprouted up in England, the youngest in a family of four girls.  Entertained by her father’s colorful tales of growing up in the countryside, and surrounded by opinionated sisters— all with far more exciting lives than hers— she’s always had inspiration for her beleaguered heroes and unstoppable heroines. Look for the fourth book in the Sydney Dovedale Series, Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction in March 2014. For more information, please visit www.jaynefresina.com.

To purchase Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal




Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Review: My Life as a White Trash Zombie - Diana Rowland

Angel Crawford is a loser. Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she's a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who's been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn't have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there's a job waiting for her at the parish morgue—and that it's an offer she doesn't dare refuse.

Before she knows it she's dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey—just when she's hungriest!

My thoughts:
This and the trailer for an upcoming movie gave me zombie nightmares, scary ones! But luckily the book wasn't scary ;) No, it was funny and utterly weird.

Angel is a zombie, well she does not know it yet. And yes zombies eat brains, and they rot. Awww the sweet life. Angel was sure a different kind of heroine, street smart, white trash and living with her abusive alcoholic dad. Then she dies and her life turns around...sort of. It worked. I was not sure when I started how it possibly could work, but it does. There are zombies among us, and they crave that juicy grey matter.

The book is about her and her new job. And why a serial killer is hunting people in her town. Romance, well, she has a stupid one and off boyfriend whose ass should be dumped, but I am only giving you all the beginning. More came.

Conclusion:
A funny book. Still zombies are totally gross and I want more.

Cover
Dos Santos!
White trash Zombie #1
Mass Market Paperback, 310 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by DAW
Own Urban Fantasy


Monday, 24 June 2013

Review: Shaedes of Gray - Amanda Bonilla

Darian has lived alone for almost a century in the shadows of the night. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind—an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

Darian finds herself struggling to keep her employer, Tyler, at arm's length, especially since his seductive smile makes her want to break her rules about love. The work he offers is necessary to protect the innocent—and a welcome distraction. But when Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she has taken on more than her conscience will allow, but a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished.

My thoughts:
As always with UF I had high hopes, but they did not pay out. It was a good book, but yes with UF I always want to really like the book. Not just like it. And this book was tricky. I read it in one sitting, but I was never fully invested. The end was good, there I read fast to see what happened. Exciting stuff and it left me wanting more. Cos who were the X, yes I can't say more, you will just have to read and see.

One thing annoyed me a lot, and always annoys me in books. They were like "why did you go there stupid girl?!" Hello! Because you NEVER told her what she needed to know. It was the constant, oh you will learn about it later. Well do not blame her then. Tell her EVERYTHING she needs to know at once. This is the thing that makes me go grrrr so very often. I get why books use this but it's so stupid. If someone was in danger then of course I would tell them everything. I would not tell them bits and pieces until they went insane and almost died.

But ok I digress. Darian was kick-ass. Taylor was mysterious. Xander the king was a complete ass, no sorry I can't like him. I hope we are not meant to, gods I hope she does not end up with him.

Yeah, it sounds like I did not like this one at all. But it was good through out it all.

Cover
I both like it and do not like it

Shaede Assassin #1
Urban fantasy
Mass Market Paperback, 316 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Signet Eclipse
Library


Friday, 21 June 2013

Carole Reviews: After Dark - Haruki Murakami

Author: Haruki Murakami
Title: After Dark
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy, Contemporary
Pages: 191
First Published: December 2004
Where I Got It: Borrowed from Library

"A short, sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami’s masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore.

At its center are two sisters—Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny’s toward people whose lives are radically alien to her own: a jazz trombonist who claims they’ve met before, a burly female “love hotel” manager and her maid staff, and a Chinese prostitute savagely brutalized by a businessman. These “night people” are haunted by secrets and needs that draw them together more powerfully than the differing circumstances that might keep them apart, and it soon becomes clear that Eri’s slumber—mysteriously tied to the businessman plagued by the mark of his crime—will either restore or annihilate her.

After Dark 
moves from mesmerizing drama to metaphysical speculation, interweaving time and space as well as memory and perspective into a seamless exploration of human agency—the interplay between self-expression and empathy, between the power of observation and the scope of compassion and love. Murakami’s trademark humor, psychological insight, and grasp of spirit and morality are here distilled with an extraordinary, harmonious mastery."

This is the second time I've read this book and the second book I've read by Mr. Murakami.

Ahhhhhhhh, I needed a good dash of Haruki Murakami's writing in my reading. I haven't read anything by him in a long time and this book flashed in my mind. I remember liking it a lot before, I had given it four stars a while back, but now that I've grown and I have a better grasp of his writing style, I adore this even more.  He reminds me a mixture of Poe and of O'Neill and then thrown in the Japanese flavor with it.There is just something so magical about his stories. There is something so heavy and thought provoking. 

Especially this one.

My brain is still trying to connect all the connections together. Everything in his stories somehow, someway connect. Everything has purpose. I really like that. It really makes your mind avoid wanting to skim, because a clue to what the hell is going on is hidden in the text. Fantastic. I know, I know I'm acting biased because I am in utter awe of the author. Loving his writing makes me feel slightly biased. Haha. Oh well.

Poor Mari...all she wanted to do was just read her book and forget the world, but no, no, she is forced (due to her goodness) to interact with the people of the night. She is forced to take a glimpse of a world a million miles away from her. However, thanks to her small adventure she gained insight to herself. It made her stronger, more confidence, a chance at love, and a chance to clear up her misty relationship with her sister.

I love nearly everything about this tale...but the only thing that irked me a little was an uncertain ending. He left it up to the reader to dictate what happens. Yes, he gives some possible foreshadows for you to use to create the ending, but still...it's left up to reader to really decide. I HATE THAT! It normally doesn't bug other people, but for me its annoying. I want to know! I didn't make the story, so I don't want to decide what happens. Sighs. Oh well.

In the end, this is a good book. I would recommend this book and the author (himself) to those that love a little bit of darkness, a little bit of humor, thought-provoking theme, interesting characters, and a story that will make you take a second look at society, reality, and yourself. In the end, though, I still have to give this 4 stars, due to the ending.

Favorite Character(s): Mari (reminds me of me in a way)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Mmmmm the business man (jackass). 
*CaroleRae*


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Lady Scoundrels' discussion: Trick of Time by JL Merrow

Today it's time for Trick of Time by JL Merrow

Ok how about those sex scenes?
Ram: Clichéd.
Ana: What sex scenes? Is it a way to start a book discussion?
Blod: Well there was some licking in...ahem areas where..yeah and cuddling LOL
Ana:What kind of discussion is it exactly? Licking??? I feel scandalized now.
Blod: You told me to start! All I remember is the licking and the ohh whore! pants dropped scene.
Ana: Ram asked us to read a bawdy book, that’s what it was.
Ram: ...I asked you to read a M/M novella. Of course it’s a bawdy book.
Blod: Hihi, well there had to be some whore action considering 
Ana: it was all ridiculous but the most ridiculous of all was the time-travel aspect. Senseless
Blod: What! Noooooo! Time-travel rocks.
Ana: time travel is like rocks - plenty of writers have shipwrecked and some of them, they’ll never learn. I have never read a book where it was done right. 
Blod: Why was it bad?
Ana: How can it be called good? It lacked logic.
Ram: Whut? Why is what can be called good? 
Ana: Time travel and you should know it the best, our resident scientist.
Ram: Har har har.
Blod: I am a daydreamer, I believe and love all the silly things
Ram: I thought the logic was done well enough for a novella. I wasn’t expecting lengthy pseudo-scientific explanations. That a play in a certain theatre acted as a key to unlock a wormhole into another year worked for me. It’s called suspending disbelief, which I signed up for when I picked a book about time-travel.
Ana: But it was never explained why it was that particular play and not the other ones and why it affected only Ted, not anybody else. It was rubbish.
Ram: The accident. A series of coincidences. 
Ana: I snort in your general direction, coincidences. There are no coincidences in good books, novellas or otherwise.
Blod: GOD did it...ok maybe not.
Ana: what God and why he/she took that particular care of a queer? Idiotic.
Blod: Oh I should not joke about that, it was the universe
Ram: I’m starting to think you just wanted a book to rip apart now. 
Ana: No, not at all. I am not that mean. I am MEANER. This made me mad because it WAS bad.
Blod: Well I enjoyed it, fluffy time-travel, some whore smexing, and it was short
Ram: Sometimes fluff is good, although I’m usually allergic to the stuff.
Ana: damn, don’t tell me...and pray, how come Jem could travel along Ted without one single consequence? HOW?
Blod: Oh Ana, just believe
*Ana spits venom and fire* not a cat in hell’s chance. So tell me what else did you enjoy apart from the smexing and homoerotic fluff?
Blod: …..eh, true love wins?
Ana: true lust takes over?
Ram: Angst.
Ana: what angst? 
Ram: Ted’s suffering before the time travel bit and his continued worry about what his dead husband would have thought.
Ana *cackles* oh yeah, he suffered for about 10 minutes and then he had a blowjob and stopped, poor thing ;p.
Ram: It was a novella. Try to remember that. And he’d been alone for year and a half.
Ana: I hate novellas, it is known. You owe me a good novel, m/m but good.
Ram: I thought I’d already recommended you one good one with a rent boy. This balances the scales.
Ana: ? Refresh my memory, please.
Ram: What I need by Theda Black. 

Ana: *looks at it suspiciously* too short.
Ram: Maurice? American Love Songs? Counterpunch (with modern slavery)? Dark Space? The Marrying Kind? Muscling Through by JL Merrow?
Ana: will do.
Blod: Hey you guys, do not talk too much without me! *reads that Ana hates novellas* Well I do too
Ram: Oops.
Blod: But for a novella this one worked. I am usually very meh about them and they do not make me want to read more
Ana: It didn’t work for me, not really. Ok, maybe the fluffy scenes but still they were silly.
Ram: Silly? Yes. Bad? No. 
Blod: I do confess that I never got why Ted was so in love and I did think the rent boy was just after a quick easy way out. But it was a novella, I forgive it
Ana: well, I don’t. I am not a forgiving kind I suppose.
Blod: It was even the best Scoundrel book so far
Ana: now that’s pure outrage
Ram: *snort* I think I liked Song of Scarabeaus more though :P
Blod: Do not even mention that boring book to me
Ana: yes, Song of Scarabaeus was far better. ;p
Ram: *giggles*
Ana : who would you recommend this one to *nobody, say nobody* ?
Ram: Someone wanting to read a short M/M time travel story. Don’t expect to be wowed and be prepared to suspend disbelief. 
Blod: Fans of m/m
Ana: NOBODY.
Ram: You’re nobody then? Liar.
Ana: Nemo, call me Nemo *swims away*
Ram: It’s your turn to pick a book...
Ana: hahahahahahaha, wait and seeeee....

...problems with the broadcast. No one was able to get the last word and the discussion is still ongoing. We apologise....


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Review: The Firebird - Susanna Kearsley

Nicola Marter was born with a gift: when she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When the gallery she works in receives a wooden carving she can see the object’s history and knows that it was named after the Firebird, the mythical bird that inspires an old Russian fairytale and was once owned by Russia’s famed Empress Catherine. 

Nicola’s investigation into the Firebird’s origin draws her into the 1715 world of Anna Logan and leads her on a quest through Scotland, France and Russia, unearthing a tale of love and sacrifice, of courage and redemption.

My thoughts:
I liked the fact that this book was connected to the other two Kearsley books I have read. The winter sea introduced us to two figures in the past and now we see their daughters journey. But like her other books she also have people looking into the past. Those two are Nicola and Rob, and Rob we met in The Shadowy Horses, where he was a kid with the sight. Two books connected in this third one.

Like I said, it's about Nicola and Rob. She can touch objects and see their past but she is no where as good at it as Rob. They know each other from before and meet again when she needs to track down the origin of a statue. There is some hidden attraction there too. But Nicola is not as open with her powers as he is. Theirs is the journey from place to place, tracking down a woman named Anna who lived 300 years ago.

And here is the good part, I got totally hooked on Anna's story. It was so good, and sad and I just had to know! They track her from her origin and onward and I can't tell you much without telling it all. But that was a good story. I wanted the whole story as just one story, it was that interesting.

Conclusion:
A book that got me hooked.

Cover
Meh

Fiction/historical fiction, Paperback544 pages, Published June 4th 2013 by Sourcebooks Landmark
For review


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Review: The City - Stella Gemmell

Built up over the millennia, layer upon layer, the City is ancient and vast. Over the centuries, it has sprawled beyond its walls, the cause of constant war with neighbouring peoples and kingdoms, laying waste to what was once green and fertile. 

And at the heart of the City resides the emperor. Few have ever seen him. Those who have remember a man in his prime and yet he should be very old. Some speculate that he is no longer human, others wonder if indeed he ever truly was. And a small number have come to a desperate conclusion: that the only way to stop the ceaseless slaughter is to end the emperor’s unnaturally long life.

From the rotting, flood-ruined catacombs beneath the City where the poor struggle to stay alive to the blood-soaked fields of battle where so few heroes survive, these rebels pin their hopes on one man. A man who was once the emperor’s foremost general. A man, a revered soldier, who could lead an uprising and unite the City. But a man who was betrayed, imprisoned, tortured and is now believed to be dead...

My thoughts:
I think the best way to describe this book is epic. It was truly epic. I know fantasy is usually epic, but here the word gets it's true meaning. The story is deep and feels complex. It's fascinating, and the world building and story telling was awesome.

It's about a an empire on feet of clay. A city slowly eating itself and spitting out soldier after soldier. Women thrown into the war machine until the only people left are maimed old soldiers and a few lost children. There is no time for making children when everyone is away fighting. Fighting for the enormous city and the emperor. Everything else if forgotten.

The story jumps in time after we meet 2 children and an old man. An old man of importance. After that we get to know a female soldier and learn more about the endless war. Gemmell is also good at inserting facts and history about why the city is like it is. Why it keeps on fighting and we learn more and more.

Bart and Em show us the city itself and how life inside is not easy. Fell and Indaro shows us the war outside. There are threads everywhere in this vast book that slowly is being handled by someone. Pulling everyone together for one last showdown.

The book is not one I rushed through to know more. Instead I had to take it easy because that is just how it's told, how it has to be. And when I finished I was not sure, should I be happy? The ending is both a happy one and an uncertain one.

I know I give 3s to everything cos 3s means it's good and that I enjoyed it. But this one has to get a 4 cos of the good writing.

War and politics is what you get with this book. I also liked how she has taken from so much and put it together in a melting pot. Until I just can't say where from everything is (even if it is fantasy). There is Rome, the East and more. I was also interested in The Immortals, where did they come from? I do want more from this world.

Cover
Nice

Fantasy
Paperback, 560 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Bantam Press
Own


Monday, 17 June 2013

Review: Lady Mercy Danforthe flirts with scandal - Jayne Fresina

Lady Mercy likes her life neat and tidy. She prides herself on being practical - like her engagement to Viscount Grey, whose dark colouring co-ordinates very well with her favourite furnishings. But things start to get messy when her best friend abandons her fiance at the altar, leaving it up to Mercy to help the couple. There's just one problem. The jilted man is Rafe Hartley—Mercy's former husband.

Rafe has not forgiven Mercy for deserting him when they were seventeen. Their hasty marriage was declared void by law, but in his eyes the bossy little vixen was still his wife, even if the marriage lasted only a few hours. And Mercy "Silky Drawers" Danforthe still owes him a wedding night.

My thoughts:
Lady Mercy was the annoying brat from book 2, and Rafe still calls her that, brat. Two people that are so wrong for each other, that they just might be right for each other.

Lady Mercy loves order, and to play around with other people's lives. But she is sweet, in her own way. She just wants things to be perfect.

Rafe is all the things she is not. He can be messy, does not care what people think and does what he wants too. Kind of Lady meets the tramp (if we make the tramp a farmer.) But the attraction is there, beneath the annoyance they feel for each other.

I would not call it an easy love story. He calls her brat and all kind of things. She wants him to find happiness with someone else. They argue, then they yell, then they kiss. Love can sure be found in all places and these two will fight it to the bitter end.

conclusion:
An amusing tale that I read fast.

Cover
Cute

Sydney Dovedale #3
Historical romance
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca


Friday, 14 June 2013

Review: Hubble Bubble - Jane Lovering

Be careful what you wish for …

Holly Grey only took up witchery to keep her friend out of trouble – and now she’s knee-deep in hassle, in the form of apocalyptic weather, armed men, midwifery … and a sarcastic Welsh journalist.

Kai has been drawn to darkest Yorkshire by his desire to find out who he really is. What he hadn’t bargained on was getting caught up in amateur magic and dealing with a bunch of women who are trying really hard to make their dreams come true.

Together they realise that getting what you wish for is sometimes just a matter of knowing what it is you want …

My thoughts:
I liked that you could make up your own mind about what happened in this book. Did they really do magic? Or was it just by chance? I will go with magic cos magic is always cooler.

Holly was a practical woman. She takes care of her brother. She does not do long term relationships. She does not see the big problem in her own life. But I liked that about her, it brings the drama in a good way. She needs to think about what she really is doing and then she can move on.

The love interest then, oh how these two jumped around each other and never got it done right. Kai is a journalist with issues of his owns that he is trying to deal with. 2 emotionally scarred people finding their way, and each other. It was a long way there, but for these it just could not happen fast. That would have made no sense.

Yes yes the witchy stuff. They form a circle, things gets spooky, and there are creepy men in the woods. Things gets scary too. Not all is what it seems. And maybe the circle gets some happy endings of their own too ;)

Conclusion:
Magic or no magic? Drama., love and friendship is what this book brings.

Cover
Not a fav but it works for the story

Women's fiction
Paperback, 356 pages
Published June 7th 2013 by Choc Lit
For review


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Carole Reviews: Gaijin Cowgirl by Jame DiBiasio

Author: Jame DiBiasio
Title: Gaijin Cowgirl
Genre: Mystery, Action
Pages: 393
First Published: March 8th, 2013
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author to review for my honest opinion.



"Working Tokyo nightclubs is easy money for beautiful and troubled American Val Benson – until a client with a rather unusual hobby – painting the private parts of his female liaisons – reluctantly gives up a map to a stash of Japanese war loot and tempts his favorite girl into a dangerous treasure hunt.

The Congressman’s daughter is not the only one interested in the map: Yakuza, bent cops, human traffickers, rogue CIA agents and her father are hot on her trail, snapping at her high heels.

So begins the dark, epic journey of a new anti-hero of Asian Noir, a protagonist both ambiguous and courageous, and utterly unreliable. From comfort women and tomb-raiding in Japanese-occupied Burma to the murderous echoes of the Vietnam War, long forgotten crimes come roaring back to life, as Val leaves a trail of destruction and chaos in her wake.
Together with her best friend, the equally unreliable nightclub hostess Suki, Val travels through Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok to the Thai-Burmese borderlands for a dramatic showdown with her pursuers. Finding the treasure before everyone else does is her only hope for survival, and perhaps redemption."


Finally finished this. Gotta hate when exam time gets in the way of reading. Oh well. 

At first this was really, really slow moving. I wasn't sure Val's story was going to finally drift into the crazy treasure hunting, mystery, action story the summary talks about. However, once the story did explode it was good! It made the wait worth it. Perhaps the slow being was a way to make it seem more realistic and to establish the characters and the setting.

The story was good and I liked the different blend of characters. However, I loathed Val with every bone in my body. I tried SO hard to like her, I really did...but I couldn't. She was a spoiled brat and selfish. Poor Charlie...he was such a great guy and he wanted to love her and take care of her...but no...>.> I really wished that Suki had been the main character. She was interesting and I wanted to learn more about her. I also had a secret wish that she and Charlie would hook up. 

The ending took me by utter surprise. However...not in a good way. I was not happy with how everything ended. Yes, there was a cliffhanger and I'm mad. Hopefully the author writes a sequel soon. Though I don't like Val, I do want to know what happens to her and how everything will end up.

In the end, this was a fun adventure. The author sure does have a way of writing and he always kept me on you on your toes. Though I disliked Val, I did enjoy her story. I hated the ending, but I wouldn't mind finding out what happens next for her. I would recommend this to those that need a little shake up in their reading and for those that love mysteries/adventure novels. Frankly...this would be a good movie and I would watch it. Out of five stars, I shall give this a solid 3. 

Favorite Character(s): Suki, Charlie, and the Painter (*SPOILER ALERT*I just liked him because he was super complex and he was a great baddie*SPOILER ENDED*)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Val and Papa Benson




*CaroleRae*


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Review: Billion dollar cowboy - Carolyn Brown

A Billionaire Can Buy Anything...
Colton Nelson was twenty-eight years old when he won the Texas Lottery and went from ranch hand to ranch owner overnight. Now he's desperate to keep the gold diggers away. It shouldn't be too hard to find a pretty girl and hire her to pretend to be his one-and-only.

Or Can He?
Laura Baker's got mixed feelings about this--she's on the ranch to work, not to be arm candy. On the other hand, being stuck for a while in the boondocks with a gorgeous cowboy isn't half-bad.

What neither Colton nor Laura expects are the intensely hard lessons they have to learn about the real cost of love...

My thoughts:
You know you will get some sweet romancing when it comes to a Carolyn Brown book, and add sexy cowboys to that too.

In this new series we meet billionaire Colton who is running from the crazy women that want his money. Colton is nice, hardworking, loves his farm, and yes he is also sexy and has lots of money.

Then there is Laura, who has issues from her past and a sister in trouble. Laura is the nerdy girl with glasses. The girl with commitments problems. The sweet girl who loves gardening and has no problems with farm life. So they are perfect for each other, but they just had to get past a few speed bumps first.

The whole premise is nice. She is his fake girlfriend and of course that means they get close. It's a fake romance that blossoms. All while we have a nice atmosphere and get to meet everyone on the farm. It's a close family, a nice family. I enjoyed meeting them all, and seeing Colton and Laura falling in love.

Conclusion:
Cowboys! Romance! You know it :)

Cowboys & Brides #1
Contemorary romance /western romance
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
For review


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Review: The Magic of "I do" - Tammy Falkner

Claire Thorne is a faerie on a mission. When the governing body of her world puts a prohibition on magic, she escapes to the human world and straight into the arms of Lord Phineas Tremble. When he insists on being her crime-solving partner, she does everything she can to get rid of him—until she realizes his gift for smooth talking might come in handy when tracking down a killer. Before long, Finn has his hands full keeping Claire out of trouble, because the two of them together create more sparks than her faerie dust ever could...

My thoughts:
This book takes place after book 1 ended, but you do not have to read book 1 to be able to follow it. Instead you get to know one angry fairy who is "kidnapped" by a rogue, the brother of the man her sister married.

Yes so Claire is a fairy from fairyland. Her sister married a duke and got a HEA. While Claire is sent with Phineas to be out of the way. And that can mean only one thing, romance. Claire tries to stay by her fairy rules, but attraction is something you can avoid for a while, but not forever. While Phineas, oh he is a rogue. I mean one thing that happened had me looking up and saying wow almost. Cos well that is not something I would have thought would take place. What you wonder? Ha, like I would spill the beans. Just trust me, roguish behavior, in a sort of good way.

The drama takes place in that well she is duh a fairy and should not fall for a human. Then there is something else. And then at last there is a really bad guy who I want to kick. Powers conspire to keep them apart.

Conclusion:
It was cute with a few hot moments. A light book that I read fast.

Cover
Cute

Faerie #2
Historical paranormal romance
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
For review


Monday, 10 June 2013

Author Interview and Giveaway: Tammy Falkner

Today Tammy Falkner is over for an interview and there is a contest too :)

Welcome!

1. How about 3 fun things about yourself to start this with?
TF:  1.  I am the ultimate sports mom!
2.  I have a houseful of boys.  I wouldn’t know what to do with a girl if I had one!
3.  My husband has banned me from bringing home any more dogs from shelters.
4.  Bonus fact—I hate cats.  So I only have five of them.

2. Your new book is called The Magic of ”I Do.” Could you tell me a little about i
t?
TF:  It’s the story of Lord Phineas Trimble and Claire Thorne. Claire’s a faerie, and Finn has been tasked with taking her to the country to hold her hostage while his brother takes care of some business.  After a little too much to drink, they get too close, and then Claire vanishes before the sun comes up.  Three months later, she tumbles into his chambers through a magical painting.  With the threat of murder hanging over their heads, they tumble into more and more trouble together. 

3.  Would you rather live in Faerie or the human world? And why did you choose the one you chose?
TF:  I believe in magic, but only the kind of magic you create by doing good deeds and being a good person.  So, I choose the human world.  

4. How did you decide to write about fairies?
TF:  I had already written about vampyres and Lycans in the Regency period, writing as Lydia Dare.  I started to think about all the other creatures that might live and interact with the ton.  Faeries came to mind, particularly those who have missions and are forbidden from falling in love with humans.

5. What is coming next from you?
TF:  Next up from Sourcebooks is THE MAGIC BETWEEN THEM in January of 2014.  It’s the last installment in the faerie series.   And I also have the first book in a New Adult series called TALL, TATTED AND TEMPTING in July of this year.  I’m really excited about it!

Thanks!

GIVEAWAY
Book 1 in the Regency Faery series, A Lady and Her magic

1. US and Canada only
2. Ends June 19th
3. Just go ahead and enter :)

THE MAGIC OF “I DO” BY TAMMY FALKNER – IN STORES JUNE 2013

Desperately Seeking Excitement...
With the temporary prohibition on magic on the land of the Fae, Claire Thorne might as well go back to the Regency world. The haut ton has just as many annoying rules as her world, but at least they have parties and dances. Plus, the roguish Lord Phineas "Finn" Trimble is there...

When the feisty faerie tumbles into his room through a magical portal, Finn can't believe how completely unpredictable she is. Even before the two stumble into a dangerous intrigue that threatens both their worlds, Finn discovers that his hitherto carefree life is about to go up in smoke...

Praise for A Lady and Her Magic:
“A dash of Jane Austen and a sprinkle of faery dust make this book a treasure.” —Kathryne Kennedy, author of The Elven Lord series

“Charming and filled with the magic of love and faith...Falkner's tale whisks readers into a realm of enchantment.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Marvelous magical mayhem.” —Midwest Book Review

“Absolutely enchanting...a delicious Regency fairy tale beautifully written.” —Romance Junkies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As half of the Lydia Dare writing team, Tammy Falkner has co-written ten books, including A Certain Wolfish Charm and In the Heat of the Bite. A huge fan of Regency England, her regency paranormal series combines the magical elements of both mystical faeries and the glittering regency ton. Tammy lives on a farm in rural North Carolina with her husband and a house full of boys, a few dogs, and a cat or two. Visit her website, www.tammyfalkner.com, for more information. 

To purchase The Magic of “I Do”


Friday, 7 June 2013

Author Interview and Giveaway: Anne Cleeland and Tainted Angel

Today I interview Anne Cleeland and there is a giveaway at the end :)

Welcome!

1. Who is Anne Cleeland?  
 I’m a mild-mannered research attorney, so I suppose you could say that technically, I’ve always made my living by writing— but instead of fiction I wrote dry-as-dust legal briefs (adverbs and adjectives strictly prohibited.)  I love reading, and so I decided one day to try my hand at writing the kind of stories I love to read.  My favorite stories are about ordinary women swept up in extraordinary events, so that’s what I like to write.

2. Could you tell me about your new book, Tainted Angel?  
Tainted Angel is the first book in a series that I like to call “Regency Adventure,” even though technically there is no such subgenre. The story is basically a Regency version of Mr. & Mrs. Smith.  The heroine is an agent for the Crown, but her spymaster suspects she is “tainted”—a double agent working for Napoleon. Her love interest has his own dark secrets—unless his affection is feigned and he is actually setting a trap to reveal her own treason.  The story offers up a compelling game of cat and mouse, as the attraction between the two spies becomes more powerful than their mutual distrust—and the fate of the world hangs in the balance

3. What was the inspiration behind this book?  
I’ve always loved the Regency era and it’s a great time period for storytelling, with so many possibilities to choose from.  In this series, the year is 1814, and Napoleon is exiled on the Island of Elba after having surrendered for the first time.  However, he’s about to escape and try to conquer the world again, and so the enemy is trying to gather together enough money and treasure to fund the next war. Each of the stories features British agents who are battling French agents behind the scenes in order to thwart this treasure hunt.  In Tainted Angel, the heroine is supposed to be trying to discover who is stealing shipments of gold that are slated for Wellington’s army—until, that is, she realizes that she is suspected of treason, and the net starts tightening around her.

4. What more can we expect from this series?  
Daughter of the God-King is the next book in the series, coming out in November. Also set in 1814, it is about a heroine who travels to Egypt after her famous archeologist parents disappear, only to discover that various factions from the last war are desperate to find her—for reasons that are unclear. She begins to suspect that her love interest is not what he seems, and she doesn’t know whether she can trust him, or trust no one as she uncovers one devastating secret after the other, all while the next war looms on the horizon.  

In The Bengal Bridegift, the heroine has grown up in India because her father was a sea captain for the East India Company—unless he wasn’t, and was instead a traitor to the Crown.  Meanwhile, the enemy believes she knows where her father hid a cache of diamonds disguised as her bridegift, and they are in ruthless pursuit of her and of this imagined treasure.  Her love interest is a former Barbary pirate, who may or may not be after the diamonds himself.

5. And now to a tricky one, tell me which books you love most in the world ;)
I love a wide variety of books but in particular I enjoy the Regency period—Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and Tracy Grant.  I also love mysteries and adventure—I was a big fan of Agatha Christie and Edgar Rice Burroughs growing up—so this series combines all those elements into Regency adventure stories.  

Thanks so much for allowing me this opportunity; I hope your readers enjoy Tainted Angel, now available at Amazon or in a Barnes & Noble near you. 

GIVEAWAY
1 copy of Tainted Angel

1. US and Canada only
2. Ends June 16th
3. Just enter :D


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Lady Scoundrels' discussion: The Sister Queens - Sophie Perinot


This time we discuss The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot

Ana: Who loved this wretched book? Who?

Ram: Not me.

Blod: Yes fine fine! No I did not love the book I chose. *swears*

Ram: In Swedish? Gimme examples. Teachers skipped that part.

Blod: Satans helvete också!

Ana: You know, let’s stick to Queen’s English...

Ram: Why? This is more interesting than the book.

Ana: Should I write something in a fine Polish slang? Don’t tempt me.

Blod. yes please

Ram: Yes!

Ana: The Sister Queens - jaka cholerna szmira!

Blod: Lol, yes we obviously do not want to talk about the book. 

Ram: Ugh, no we don’t. And I haven’t DNFed it officially.

*Ana grits her teeth* It is supposed to be a historical fiction account told by two Middle Ages queens: Marguerite de Provence, the Queen of France and the wife of Louis IX (also known as Saint Louis,  a devout Catholic who expanded the scope of the Inquisition in France ) and her sister Eleanor de Provence, the Queen of England. 13th century. And what I get? A first person narration of two very modern ladies. They use modern French. They think like a 21st century woman would. Let me also add: a very shallow woman.
;P

Ram: A first person narration from alternating points of views. Their voices were indistinguishable.

Ana: : Here I agree completely. Sometimes I had to check several times which of the two sisters’ narration I was reading.

Blod: I got tired of the book and went on wikipedia and checked some stats instead, that was more interesting than the book. The book was all, ohhh sex, happy, orgasm, oh no my hubby does not love me *yawn*

Ram: Yeah. I’d rather have read the dry historical facts than this fictional account, although it’s not the worst possible. I would imagine.

Blod: I agree, it was not BAD, it was just....I did not care.

Ram: The quintessential MEH.

Ana: I would compare this book to a Barbie doll dressed up as a medieval princess or to one of the productions of  André Rieu who takes a popular classic tune, rapes it, makes it wear a whore’s clothes and pimps around, pretending it is still a classic, cheapening the whole experience.

Blod: applauds, well said

Ram: And not being offensive at all while doing it...

Blod *dead silence*

Ana: EVERYBODY agrees? Gasp!

Ram: ...Could not care less. And I’ll still end up finishing the book.

Blod: I read the end, still I did not care. I do want to read about these women, just not this book

Ram: It’s historical fiction. There are no such things as spoilers.

Blod: I had to see if it improved...it did not.

Ram: I was told, by the person whose review convinced me to put this on my tbr shelf, that the start is bad but that it gets better. It does get better, marginally.

Ana: I haven’t noticed. Really it gets better? I can’t believe it. 
Your least favourite character?

Ram: Of the two sisters? Marguerite.

Blod. Whiny Marguerite

Ana: What about our dear saintly king Louis?

Blod: Boring mama’s boy. And yes stupid religious ass. He was more fun when he smexed Marg up all the time.

Ram: I’m predisposed to hate all things religious, well, not quite. But he didn’t have a voice in the book.

Ana: I so hoped that Blanche de Castille would be a more pronounced character. NO such luck. She was one kick ass lady.

Ram: Marguerite was on her way getting there, to becoming the second dragon, but then she had the affair. And that’s as far as I’ve read.

Ana: LOL but but...it was a DNF? Don’t tell me I was the only one who got to the end.

Blod: I Dnf:ed, since it was my book I felt I could ;) I did not want the torture to continue. It was not true his fic. It was more lalala pretty princesses in lala land.

Ram: I’ve not DNFed. Officially. I’ll still read the end but I was... distracted while reading this. A lot. Pretty clouds outside. Should I send you pictures?

Ana: Yes please *cries*. I am horrible at not finishing a book.



Ana: Who would you recommend the book? ;p

Blod: For those who like the fluffier kind of historical fiction 

Ana: I would say a Middle Grade history geek, nothing more serious. Ram?

Ram: I would recommend an actual history books to people interested in the period and these people.

Ana: So nobody?

Ram: Maybe to someone who has to read every single book there exists about Eleanor.

Ana: And wants to laugh. A lot.

THE END



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