Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Early review: Meet the Earl at Midnight - Gina Conkle

It's going to take a Beast to tame this Beauty 

Enigma Earl. The Phantom of London. That's what the gossip pages call Lord Edward Greenwich, a mysterious nobleman who doesn't show his face in London Society. With a reputation like that, no wonder Lydia Montgomery is horrified to be dragged from bed and packed off to live with him to save her mother from penury.

While Lydia has received all of the training a lady should endure, she's decidedly un-ladylike. She despises her corset and isn't interested in marriage. She'd prefer to remain unmarried and spend her time improving her art. But if she wants a chance at happiness, she'll have to set aside her fear of the earl and discover the man hiding behind the beast.

Will Edward and Lydia's greatest discovery be each other before time runs out?

My thoughts:
It's not often I come across a hero like this. Half his face normal, the other side filled with scars. He does not want to go out in society, he can't get anyone to marry him. He just sits at home.

There is our story, he needs a woman and an heir. Luckily he finds Lydia, a spinster, an artist, a woman who says what she wants. But a woman who needs to save her family. While Edward is a scientist and now a recluse, and I liked him. And I sure wanted Lydia to save him, for him to move on, for them to be happy.

Most of the book, and then I mean most takes place in his house. It really is about them getting to know each other. I liked that as when they spent so much time together I believed them falling in love.

Conclusion:
A nice romantic tale.

Cover
I guess it's the other side of the face that scares people

Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 6th 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published January 1st 2014)
Midnight Meetings #1
Historical romance
for review


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Author Interview and Giveaway: Juliana Stone


Today I interview Juliana Stone :)

Welcome!


1. Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Sure! I’m a Canadian with a love of music, books, hockey and baseball. I’m married with two kids.  Our house is also home to the most gentle dog you’d ever meet and the cat who drives her crazy!

2. Can you tell me about your book, The Day he kissed her?
The Day He Kissed Her is book 3 in the Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series and it is Mac’s book. He’s my tortured hero who thinks he doesn’t deserve anything good in his life, but all that changes when he hooks up with his one night stand from New Year’s Eve, Lily St. Clare.

3. Can you give me 3 reasons why Mac is the man to read about?
Mackenzie come’s from an abusive past so he’s got a lot of demons to deal with.  BUT, he’s loyal as hell, he likes to have a good time and man does the guy know how to make a woman purr. 

4. Sometimes it’s fun to imagine who would play certain characters in a movie. Who would you see play Mac and Lily?

I based my character Mac on the very hot Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy fame, and Lily I’d pictured like the blond prosecutor on Law and Order, SVU. Cool as a cucumber. 

5. You have also written PNR and Sci-fi. Is there any other genre you would also love to try?  
Right now I’m also writing young adult contemporary fiction. My debut BOYS LIKE YOU releases in May.  I’ve got a middle grade book but it’s still kind of hush hush, but yes, I’m kind of dipping my toes all over the place and loving it.

6. What is coming next from you?  
BOYS LIKE YOU, the contemporary young adult releases in May. After that I have JACK which is book 2 in my Family Simon series and that release this summer. We’re also chatting about more Crystal Lake books and I should have more information about that in a few weeks.

Thanks!

Giveaway
1 copy of The day he kissed her

1. US and Canada
2. Ends  May 10th
3. Just enter


Monday, 28 April 2014

The opposite of Maybe - Maddie Dawson

A heartfelt, funny, and all-together human novel about the best mistakes a person can make.

Jonathan and Rosie have been together so long they finish each other’s sentences—so when he (finally) proposes and asks her to move across the country with him, everyone is happily surprised. But when things suddenly unravel, Rosie sends Jonathan packing and moves back home with Soapie, the irascible, opinionated grandmother who raised her. Only now she has to figure out how to fire Soapie’s very unsuitable caregiver, a gardener named Tony who lets her drink martinis, smoke, and cheat at Scrabble.

It’s a temporary break, of course—until Rosie realizes she’s accidentally pregnant at 44, completely unequipped for motherhood, and worse, may be falling in love with the sentimental, troubled Tony, whose life is even more muddled than hers. 

It’s not until Rosie learns the truth about her mother’s tragic story that she wonders if sometimes you have to let go of your fears, trusting that the big-hearted, messy life that awaits you may just be the one you were meant to live.

My thoughts:
Sometimes life just seems to stagnate. Rose and Jonathan just are.. but are they truly happy? There seems to be a lot of little things that show that they might not be perfect for each other. But they have been together so long, and they are happy-ish.

Jonathan is obsessed with tea-cups..yes, I said that. That is all there is in his head. She deserves more.

Rose is no better, cos they both gave up on what they really wanted long ago. She used to write poetry, he made pottery. They are that childless couple that is happy to be just the two of them. But what would the book be without complications?

Jonathan moves across country, Rose moves in with her grandma. Someone needs to take care of Soapie, but then there is Tony who lives there too and does take care of her. I liked Tony, he was a good friend to Rose. Because then life gets more complicated when she finds herself pregnant at 44. What do do then?

It's about Rose coming to terms with her pregnancy. Soapie trying to say that Rose should get more out of life. And slowly Rose might or might not realize what she wants.

Conclusion:
A nice book, it had this kind of lazy Sunday night vibe (ok no one knows what that means, but it was nice and relaxed.) And I am glad how it all turned out in the end.

Cover
ok

Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2014)
Fiction
For review


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Green-eyed Demon - Jaye Wells

Things to do:
1. Rescue sister.
2. Murder grandmother.
3. Don't upset the voodoo priestess.

The clock is ticking for Sabina Kane. Her sister has been kidnapped by her grandmother, the Dark Races are on the brink of war, and a mysterious order is manipulating everyone behind the scenes.

Working on information provided by an unlikely ally, Sabina and her trusty sidekicks--a sexy mage named Adam Lazarus and Giguhl, a Mischief demon--head to New Orleans to begin the hunt for her sister. Once there, they must contend with belligerent werewolves, magic-wielding vampires and--perhaps most frightening of all--humans.

But as much as Sabina is focused on surviving the present, the past won't be ignored. Before she can save those she cares about most, she must save herself from the ghosts of her past.

My thoughts:
The beginning was a bit meh, maybe I was not in the mood, maybe it was just slow. But it picked up and I was glad it did. Cos else...SO not good.

Sabina needs to save her sister. She takes her demon sidekick with her, and her sexy "friend" Adam (they both want more). Off to save Maisie in New Orleans. Which means vampires, weres, mages and sinister things, and voodoo. 

Right so slow at first but then suddenly (even if it took a long time), it picked up and I had to finish it the same evening. I just had to. Cos I learned of something and ohhhh I need to know more!

Conclusion:
Off to read the next one then.

PS. Sorry to tease you with that *insert music of doom* thing, I had another plan, but oh well, you must wait for the music of doom thing.

Cover
Nice

Paperback, 376 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Orbit (first published February 1st 2011)
Sabina Kane #3
Urban fantasy
Own


Saturday, 26 April 2014

Mishel Reviews: Secrets of a Bollywood Marriage - Susanna Carr

After the glitter settles…  
Tina Sharma and Dev Arjun's whirlwind romance made them Bollywood royalty, but beneath the glitz and glamour there's trouble—Tina is about to demand a divorce!  

But Dev won't give in without a fight, so he proposes a deal: play the dutiful wife for two months, then he'll let her go. Tina is furious! He clearly regrets their shotgun wedding, so why stay together a day longer? But it isn't the days she should be worried about….  

As Dev turns up the heat, Tina may just find herself wishing for a lifetime of pleasure with her devilishly delicious husband!

My Take:
I have to admit this is my first Harlequin Presents read. Secrets of a Bollywood Marriage marks book 3228, according to Amazon! That’s a crazy number of books! Anywho, my knowledge of Bollywood movies, fashion, lifestyle, etc is extremely limited. I’ve always been interested in learning more about Indian culture and it was really refreshing to read a romance in that setting. I can’t guarantee authenticity and accuracy but I’d like to think the author stayed as true to the traditions and customs portrayed in the novel as possible. I also loved the idea of a marriage on the brink of divorce and having a couple fight for their happily ever after. 

Tina is an underdog heroine married to the prince of the Bollywood world. Growing up in the slums and having to struggle her way to her current position everyone, from fans to fellow actors and actresses, is very skeptical and judgmental of their marriage. The tragic circumstances the couple faces soon after their marriage is definitely crippling but not beyond mending. Tina insists Dev married her only out of duty while the rest of the world thinks she seduced him just for fame, fortune, and a way into the Arjun Empire. She wants a divorce and she wants one now! But Dev refuses to give in without a fight. He demands Tina stay with him for a while longer so he can reel her back to his side. Love is a battlefield and it’s up to both parties and their arsenal of emotional tactics to determine who will win.

While I really enjoyed a lot of aspects of the novel I felt even at 192 pages it was too long for the story that was being told. I found myself a little frustrated at the lack of communication between Tina and Dev. The fact that they were both standing in each other’s way was very redundant. I felt their heartache and I felt the rip in their marriage but I wanted to smack them both many times! They were obviously making things a lot harder than it needed to be by simply not being forthcoming with their feelings about their lives, their emotions towards each other, and their outlook on life. While I was definitely rooting for them and their marriage to succeed I found their problems and petty jealousies got old and tired very quickly. However, I will say that every time the two came together was electric. I adored the realistic passion the couple shared.  

Things progressed quickly enough but nothing really stood out for me to love the book. This one had a number of pluses and minuses that balanced out to a pretty enjoyable read. I wasn’t blown away and I may or may not be reading another book by the author. I guess it all depends on the subject matter and if I feel like giving her another go. I think many people will enjoy Tina and Dev. They had pretty good personalities and were a very decent couple to read about. I can definitely see a lot of people liking this one more than I did and I say give it a go if the synopsis appeals to you.


Secrets of a Bollywood Marriage by Susanna Carr
Published March 8, 2014 by Harlequin
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Rating: 3/5
Tags: Contemporary Romance
Received eARC for review 




Friday, 25 April 2014

Words of Radiance - Brandon Sanderson

In that first volume, we were introduced to the remarkable world of Roshar, a world both alien and magical, where gigantic hurricane-like storms scour the surface every few days and life has adapted accordingly. Roshar is shared by humans and the enigmatic, humanoid Parshendi, with whom they are at war. Among those caught up in the conflict are Brightlord Dalinar Kholin, who leads the human armies; his sister Jasnah, a renowned scholar; her student Shallan, a brilliant but troubled young woman; and Kaladin, a military slave who, by the book’s end, had become the first magically endowed Knight Radiant in centuries.

In Words of Radiance their intertwined stories will continue and, as Sanderson fans have come to expect, develop in unexpected, wonderfully surprising directions. The war with the Parshendi will move into a new, dangerous phase, as Dalinar leads the human armies deep into the heart of the Shattered Plains in a bold attempt to finally end it. Shallan will come along, hoping to find the legendary, perhaps mythical, city of Urithuru, which Jasnah believes holds a secret vital to mankind’s survival on Roshar. The Parshendi take a dangerous step to strengthen themselves for the human challenge, risking the return of the fearsome Voidbringers of old. To deal with it all, Kaladin must learn to how to fulfill his new role as leader of the restored Knights Radiant, while mastering the powers of a Windrunner.

My thoughts:
I have been trying to write this review for 3 hours now. I just can't put down words about how amazing the world and book is. Sanderson is a world building genius. The thought he puts down into his worlds are inspiring. And this time around I realized something I had missed, most of his books are connected cos they are in the same universe, "the Sanderson universe", not called that, he even has a name. They are all different magic and such, but like I said, world building genius who created a universe.

Yes it is long, very long, very very long. But do not let that scare you. I got caught up in the world, I could not tear myself away from this book, it lay there radiant and called to me. I even cried at one point as the book tore a  hole in my soul.

The book has 3 main POVs, and a few smaller ones. We follow Kaladin who is no longer a slave (and I am his fangirl). I loved his POV, and it was the POV that made me cry that one time.

Then we have Shallan, in this world the men fight, the women do everything else so she is smart and resourceful. Loves to think and draw. I remember that it took a while for me to really like her in book 1, but she sure has matured and I respect her now.

Then there is Dalinar, with the world on his shoulder, how I liked the end, go Dalinar.

Except for Shallan's part (as she is on her way) most of the book takes place in the shattered plains. We have fighting against the enemy, fighting among themselves and different factions trying to steer events or make things not happen. So I have NO idea who to trust of the strangers at this point, lots of shadowy figures. Lots of things I want to know.

Also there is a lot of artwork inside that truly lifts the book even higher.

Conclusion:
The series is amazing, this book is amazing, did I say amazing already? I did? Ok, it's awesome. If you love fantasy you must read this book. If you love books, then read this book. It's masterful and I could not put it down.

Highly recommended. 

Cover
Nice but the one of Shallan inside is really good, I have that one as my wallpaper.

Hardcover, 1087 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Tor Books
The Stormlight Archive #2
Fantasy
For review


Thursday, 24 April 2014

The mage in black - Jaye Wells

Sabina Kane doesn't have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, the leader of the vampire race, just tried to kill her. When she arrives in New York to meet the mage side of her family, the reunion takes the fun out of dysfunctional. 

On top of that, the Hekate Council wants to use her as a pawn in the brewing war against the vampires. Her mission will take her into the bowels of New York's Black Light district, entangles her in mage politics, and challenges her beliefs about the race she was raised to distrust. And Sabina thought vampires were bloodthirsty.

My thoughts:
Ok so you all know about middle book/second book syndrome...well this book was actually better than book 1 *high fives self*.

I hope the rest of the series will be good too cos as it is now it's cool, kick-ass and did I say cool? Oh I did, well it was ;)

Sabina is...arghh ok I will not say the word again. Kick-ass (oh B you are so original). In the last book she left LA, cos that is what you should do when you gran tries to stake you, the evil vampire bitch she is. So Sabina tries her luck with the mage side of the family.

There we meet her twin sister. New people...nuff said. Her pet demon, yay, and of course Adam whom she likes.

There are fights, prophecies, assassins and a cliffhanger ending that makes me want book 3 at once.

Conclusion:
I like it.

Cover
nice

edit: I have to tell you that the book was read and review written late December *insert music of doom* You'll see

Paperback, 326 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Orbit
Sabina Kane #2
Urban fantasy
Own


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

India Black and the Widow of Windsor - Carol K.Carr

Black is back—Her Majesty’s favorite spy is off to Scotland in this new adventure to ensure the Queen doesn’t end up getting killed.

When Queen Victoria attends a séance, the spirit of her departed husband, Prince Albert, insists she spend Christmas at their Scottish home in Balmoral. Prime Minister Disraeli suspects the Scottish nationalists plan to assassinate the Queen—and sends the ever resourceful India and the handsome British spy, French, to the Scottish highlands.

French will take the high road, looking for a traitor among the guests-and India will take the low road, disguised as a servant in case an assassin is hiding among the household staff. India is certain that someone at Balmoral is determined to make this Her Majesty’s last Christmas…

My thoughts:
I do think I liked this one even better than book 1. It might have been the downstairs/upstairs things ;)

Right, so our favorite brothel owner has been sent to Scotland. There she will play the part of a servant. Being a former whore, India does know how to act and get information. Sure she is not the best all the time, but who would be that when put in a situation like this without any schooling. So I like her.

French is there too playing the bored aristocrat who does what he wants. And there was something almost said that the beginning that sure had me wondering. Will we never learn more about him?

Amusing situations, danger, spying and one strange old lady. India sure has her hands full in this book. I also wonder if the almost flirting between her and French will lead somewhere...oh yes the questions. I guess I just need to read book 3.

Conclusion:
A Christmas gathering turned deadly. Two spies, a lusty nobleman to avoid and the question of who is trying to kill the queen. A fun book that had me guessing.

Cover
works

Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 17th 2014 by Titan Books (first published October 4th 2011)
Madam of Espionage Mysteries #2
Historical /suspense/spy/mystery
For review


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Otherwise Engaged - Amanda Quick

Miss Amity Doncaster, world traveler, is accustomed to adventure and risk. Benedict Stanbridge, a man of science and a spy for the Crown, has faced danger in the darker corners of foreign lands. But they are about to face a threat that is shockingly close to home . . .

One does not expect to be kidnapped on a London street in broad daylight. But Amity Doncaster barely escapes with her life after she is trapped in a carriage with a blade-wielding. Her quick thinking, and her secret weapon, save her . . . for now.

But the monster known in the press as the Bridegroom, who has left a trail of female victims in his wake, has survived the wounds she inflicts and will soon be on his feet again. He is unwholesomely obsessed by her scandalous connection to Benedict Stanbridge—gossip about their hours alone in a ship’s stateroom seems to have crossed the Atlantic faster than any sailing vessel could. Benedict refuses to let this resourceful, daring woman suffer for her romantic link to him—as tenuous as it may be.

My thoughts:
This was sure no fluffy romance, I liked that. It felt more like a hybrid.

The back story is over in a few pages, Amity and Benedict meet and part, and that's it. Then Amity gets kidnapped, but she is no swooning miss. She uses the weapons she have and gets away. She is resourceful, and independent (she travels and writes about her travels after all.) I liked Amity, she was a good heroine. Interested in everything and inquisitive.

Benedict, I am just going to call him a nerd because he was and I loved him for it. He is an engineer and loves everything about it. But he is also honorable, brave and with a good head on his shoulders.

I got two characters I enjoy and want to see together. There are also some good side characters.

The story was good too, it moved easy and suddenly I had finished the whole book. Light, yet suspenseful. Amity got away from a murderer who is still alive. So to stay alive they will team up and try to find the guy. There is also another danger in the background that has to do with how they two met in the first place.

Conclusion:
Suspense, danger, spying and romance too of course. I enjoyed this one.

cover
I approve

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Putnam Adult
Ladies of Lantern Street #3
Historical romance
For review


Monday, 21 April 2014

Valour's trial - Tanya Huff

Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr is a Confederation Marines marine. She's survived more deadly encounters and kept more of her officers and enlistees alive than anyone in the Corps. Unexpectedly pulled from battle, Torin finds herself in an underground POW camp that shouldn't exist, where her fellow marine prisoners seem to have lost all will to escape. Now, Torin must fight her way not only out of the prison but also past the growing compulsion to sit down and give up not realizing that her escape could mean the end of the war.

My thoughts:
I have been waiting for this book ever since I read book 1 (yes I read the blurbs for the rest of the books, I am too curious). Anyway, great premise so I waited.

It's starts with Torin getting ready for battle and then bam! (it takes a while for the bam but bear with me). So bam! Torin wakes up in a tunnel, she is now a POW. All while Craig refuses to believe she died in battle and tries to find her.

That was the premise I was interesting in. Torin in a POW camp, and not any POW camp. A weird underground jail where they do not know who put them there in the first place. And Torin wants out, and nothing stops Torin cos she is a kick-ass marine who never gives up.

I was also curious about the war thing as I started to wonder about things (just like Torin), like why they are even fighting. No one knows. And we do learn a few things about the whole war.

Conclusion:
This book does not have as much action as previous book, it's more of an adventure of sorts and I liked it. Still fast and furious.

Cover
They are all the same

Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 17th 2014 by Titan Books Ltd (first published May 27th 2008)
Confederation #4
Military sci-fi
For review


Sunday, 20 April 2014

3 Reviews in 1: Rebekah Turner, Jill Myles, Penny Watson

Lora Blackgoat, smuggler and mercenary, has been lying low after a job gone bad made her a laughing stock in the industry. When a childhood friend turns to her for help, Lora leaps to restore her reputation and starts hunting a killer who is stalking the gas-lit streets.

She never expects that her path will lead her to the Order of Guides, a sadistic militant religious organisation - or to Roman, a deadly and dangerously attractive half-angel warrior who also hunts the killer.

When Lora discovers that the killer has broken fundamental laws of magic to enter the city, she also uncovers a conspiracy that leads back into her own dark past.

My thoughts:
I am going to try for really short, I know I say that sometimes, but, ok really short:

1.) Reasons you chose this book
The cover looks kick-ass, and it was free.

2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book
It was a pretty cool world, even if the world was never really explained. So I guess some sort of other dimension to our world and there were humans and otherkin...yes I would have liked to know more about the world. Anyway, cool heroine, a hunt for a killer and a good premise.

But maybe it was because I read it over a month, I was never really hooked. Still good.

3.) Reasons you are recommending this book
If you like UF in another world.

Cover
I'd like a head still cool

ebook, 331 pages
Published November 14th 2012 by Escape Publishing (first published November 13th 2012)
Chronicles from the Applecross #1
Urban fantasy with other genres in there
Own

When a car accident takes Leah Sunderland's life, she finds herself in dire need of divine assistance. Her fairy godmother comes to the rescue, but her help comes with conditions. As a fairy godmother, the only assistance she can offer deals with (you guessed it) fairy tales. To win a second chance at life, Leah must play out the tale of The Little Mermaid.

Armed with a mermaid tail and nothing else (not even a voice!), she has one month to make a nobleman fall in love with her, or else she'll die permanently. But the nobleman she must seduce is a hard, fierce warlord who thinks she's a spy and the mistress of his enemy.

Can she win him over before the thirty days are up? Or is she in danger of losing her heart as well as her life?

My thoughts:
A fun sexy novella,

Characters:
Leah, goes from our time to Medieval times, and becomes half mermaid thanks to a spell. Poor girl can't speak either when out of water. So that causes some issues.

Royce, honestly creepy at times, sure he is always nice, but the things he says. But then times, the situation, I got it. But...ok anyway I got over it and wanted them together.

A fast romance as if she does not get him to love her she dies. Throw in a an evil lord who wants the castle, the spell that makes her crave the water and some sexy times and this is what you get.

Fun!

Cover
It works for me

Kindle Edition, 174 pages
Published August 28th 2011 by www.jillmyles.com
Once Upon a Time-Travel #3
Time-travel romance
Own

City slicker Ami Jordan was just dumped by her back-stabbing boyfriend, has no job prospects, and can't find a decent cup of coffee in the entire state of Vermont. The last thing she needs is a sexy, bearded lumberjack complicating her life. Even if he’s smart, talented, and has the hottest ass she’s ever seen.

Tree house builder, environmental champion, and Bulldog owner Marcus Anderson has no patience for flatlanders with an attitude. But when landscape designer Ami Jordan shows up at his log cabin, he suddenly develops a hankering for a high-maintenance city gal. Now his house looks like a jungle, his recycling is in disarray, and his libido's on fire. 

He's a lumberjack in love.

My thoughts:
Ok I might just understand the author's beard obsession now ;) She sure makes Marcus sound so hot *wipes away some drool*

Ami and Marcus are both great characters. There is lust, there is playing and I believe that they fall for each other.

A bit of hot monkey sex on the porch.

A bit of humour.

And you have a "lumberjack" and a city slicker falling for each other, but then having to have to decide also what they want. So insert a tiny bit of drama and then this is the cake you get ;)

Oh and the new cover is soooooo much better. I have to show it to you guys.

Cover
Yeah no, but the other one is good

Kindle Edition, 114 pages
Published September 2012 by Penny Watson
http://www.pennywatsonbooks.com/lumberjackinlove.htm
Lumberjack in Love #1
Contemporary romance
Own



Saturday, 19 April 2014

Beauty Dates the Beast - Jessica Sims

WANTED
Single human female to join charming, wealthy, single male were-cougar for a night of romantic fun—and maybe more.

Me: The tall, sensuous, open-minded leader of my clan.

You: A deliciously curvy virgin who’s intimately familiar with what goes bump in the night. Must not be afraid of a little tail. Prefer a woman who’s open to exploring her animal nature. Interest in nighttime walks through the woods a plus.

My turn-ons include protecting you from the worst the supernatural world has to offer. Ready for an adventure? Give me a call.

Vampires and doppelgangers need not apply.

My thoughts:
I do like her Myles books, but why she did not keep that name who knows. It would have made it easier for me.

There was a softness and lightness to the book, it's how I like my PNR. We have Bathsheba who works for a dating agency, and Beau who is a shifter and wants to date her. The human! *gasps*

The drama is that her sister is a wolf shifter but is in hiding cos all wolves I saw here were asses. But they want her. Asses. Oh and something is after Batsheba, something else.

I understood Batsheeba and her urge to protect her sister, sure she could have told him things, but hey urge to protect was stronger. And Beau was at time a bit too alpha, I mean honestly. But then humans are weaker so he has a point there.

Conclusion:
All in all a light fun book.

Cover
eh

Mass Market Paperback, Original Edition, 353 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Pocket
Midnight Liaisons #1
Paranormal romance
Borrowed


Friday, 18 April 2014

The Wild Ways - Tanya Huff

Alysha Gale's cousin Charlotte is a Wild Power, who allies herself with a family of Selkies in a fight against offshore oil drilling. The oil company has hired another of the Gale family's Wild Powers, the fearsome Auntie Catherine, to steal the Selkies' sealskins. To defeat her, Charlotte will have to learn what born to be Wild really means in the Gale family...

My thoughts:
Anyone who have read book 1 know that the Gale's are a bit strange, and for you who haven't, well then you are in for a surprise and I will not say more.

Book 1 was about Allie and now it's her cousin Charlie's turn. Charlie is a wild power and has not really found herself (in the magical meaning). So she becomes involved with helping some selkies, and no she does not go there on her own free will. A meddling aunt is behind it. Charlie was fun, full of live, loving her music and family.

The plot about helping the selkies, Charlie finding herself and also a bit about Charlie's new relative Jack, who also has to find himself as he is a Gale now.

But, the book had some issues, well one issue. It felt jumpy, like she at times went from thought to another thought as she was writing. I can't remember if book 1 was like that too. But it did not feel like I ever got used to it.

Conclusion:
An urban fantasy that feels very different from the run of the mill UF books out there.

Cover
eh

Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 17th 2014 by Titan Books (first published November 1st 2011)
Gale Women #2 Enchantment Emporium #2
Urban fantasy
For review


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Author Interview: Iris Anthony

Today I interview Iris Anthony about her new book The Miracle Thief. There is also a giveaway.

Welcome!

1. Who is Iris Anthony?
Iris Anthony is a pseudonym I use for my general market historicals. The other book I released this spring under my own name, Siri Mitchell, is a madcap comedy set in the 1920s in Boston. I wrote The Miracle Thief (set in the Dark Ages of Europe) first and then Love Comes Calling right after. On the continuum of ’intense and brooding’ to ’light and zany’, these two novels would sit at opposite ends of the spectrum and yet they’re both still absolute reflections of me. They both examine the concept of worth. As a writer I find myself very susceptible to the influence of the time periods I’m researching. Some readers might think me very inconsistent as a writer if that wasn’t understood. I tend to reflect back the culture and tone of historical eras I investigate. I guess that makes me a bit of a chameleon. 

My Siri books are generally set in the United States. I write them for the inspirational market, so even if the endings are bittersweet, they’re always flavored with hope. But I’ve always had a bad case of the ’Why?s’ and with Iris I feel like I can ask more questions about life and meaning and purpose than I can with Siri. I’m also able to set my books in Europe. Either way, I tend to like overlooked time periods or stories that haven’t really been told before. Siri and Iris both have very itchy feet, so I’m forever wandering the halls of history, never stopping in one era for very long.

2. Can you tell me about your new book, The Miracle Thief? 
It’s set in what some historians call the darkest hour of the Dark Ages, in the years 911/912. It’s written from the perspective of its three female protagonists: a princess, a pilgrim, and a nun. They all look to a relic of Saint Catherine in hopes that she will intercede on their behalf. A crafty archbishop and his band of Danes (Vikings), however, want to stea l the relic for their own purposes. As much as I could, I included historical characters and when possible, I tried to make sense of the turbulent and confused history of the period...if only so I could explain it to myself. 

3. To those who have not read this book, was one of the POVs, Princess Gisele real or not? 
That is one of history’s great mysteries! If she truly lived, Princess Gisele was the daughter of King Charles the Simple (or Straightforward). In 911 when he signed a treaty with Rollo the Viking, part of the agreement was Gisele’s hand in marriage. Though Rollo did sign the treaty, Frankish records don’t record a marriage even though the Danish records do. If she lived, she would probably have been born when her father was in his very early teens. The idea of him fathering a child at such a young age is the main reason early historians supposed her to be a figment of imagination. Although Charles was twice married, Gisele appears in neither of those official geneologies which would have made her illegitimate. Carolingian kings often had concubines so the fact that he may have had an illegitimate daughter would not have been uncommon and he is credited with several other illegitimate children. With little historical material to go on and only the briefest sketches of those who really did exist, I inferred relationships by the outlines of the gaps in my research. Did I put the puzzle together right? I don’t know. I don’t know that we’ll ever know. But the little bits and pieces of history I uncovered as I was writing seemd to confirm my ideas and the story and characters feel right to me. I guess the reader will have to be the judge!

4. What was the inspiration behind these 3 very different women?
The story came from a book I happened upon which referenced monks stealing relics from each other during the Dark and Middle Ages. Since I was interested in that idea, I had to set up a situation in which a relic needed to be sought for something. Gisele, of course, was inspired by the legendary princess and the question of whether she did, in fact, marry Rollo. Danes are the villains in my story and I have them seeking the relic as well, but I needed someone willing to stand up to them in defense of St. Catherine, no matter the cost. That inspired my nun, Julianna. Nuns of the period weren’t all admitted to convents as virgins. Many came later in life after having been widowed or following affairs with powerful men. I wanted Julianna to have knowledge of the world beyond the abbey’s walls in contrast to my pilgrim, Anna, who had been very sheltered. I really wanted to write about a miracle in this book because I wanted readers to grapple with what they believed about faith and the miraculous. In order to do so, I needed a character in desperate search of one. I also wanted the miracle to be visible, so she needed to have a physical deformity. Those criteria inspired Anna. 

Between the three characters, I was hoping that most of my readers would be able to place themselves on the continnuum of faith: true believers, like Anna, whose hope rarely wavers; those, like Julianna, who are drawn to the promise of grace, but have a difficult time believing themselves worthy of it; and those like Gisele who are driven to faith by desperate situations. 

5. Are you working on something right now and if so, what? 
I’m currently editing next spring’s Siri book, Like a Flower in Bloom, which is set in 1850s England during the period of great conflict between faith and the maturing science of botany. It’s a comedy of manners that I’m referring to as my anti-Victorian novel. I’m also researching my 2016 Siri release which I’m setting at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, also in the 1850s. 

Thanks!
Thank you so much for having me!

Giveaway
1 copy of The Miracle Thief

1. Open to US and Canada
2. Ends April 26
3. Just enter :)
Or ask anything...or tell me if you'd want to marry Rollo the viking


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

India Black - Carol K.Carr

When Sir Archibald Latham of the War Office dies from a heart attack while visiting her brothel, Madam India Black is unexpectedly thrust into a deadly game between Russian and British agents who are seeking the military secrets Latham carried. Blackmailed into recovering the missing documents, India finds herself dodging Russian agents, seducing spies and embarking on midnight sleigh rides.

My thoughts:
Now this was a different kind of heroine. India is a former whore who is now the proud owner of her own brothel, you go girl. She can now rest her feet and have a glass of whisky while she tries to keep her girls in line.

But more than that is happening as this is a mystery/spy novel. India gets blackmailed to help her country. And a former whore does have her charm and that is why they want her. But India was cool, and continued to help everyone through the book. Because this woman does not give up. Which is of course why there are more books about her helping the government ;)

To her help she has a street rat (I am just gonna call him that) that comes in handy. And the mysterious spy Mr French. I can't wait to get to know him more for here it felt like we just brushed the surface.

Mystery, danger, spy-game, a touch of humour and a resourceful woman is what you get in this book. And that is takes place in the late 1800s is truly the best part. It make it a bit more exciting, and harder for them too.

Conclusion:
A fun book, and I can't wait to see what India comes up with next.

Cover
nice

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: April 17th 2014 by Titan Books (first published November 23rd 2010)
Madam of Espionage Mysteries #1
Historical Fiction / mystery
for review


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Mark of the Demon - Diana Rowland

"Why me? Why now?" That's what Beaulac, Louisiana, detective Kara Gillian was asking herself when an angelic creature named Rhyzkahl unexpectedly appeared during a routine summoning. Kara was hoping to use her occult skills to catch a serial killer, but never had she conjured anything like this unearthly beautiful and unspeakably powerful being whose very touch set off exquisite new dimensions of pleasure. But can she enlist his aid in helping her stop a killer who's already claimed the lives--and souls--of thirteen people? And should she? The Symbol Man is a nightmare that the city thought had ended three years ago. Now he's back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he, too, is well versed in demonic lore. 

Kara may be the only cop on Beaulac's small force able to stop the killer, but it is her first homicide case. Yet with Rhyzkahl haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head...

My thoughts:
Yay another UF series to enjoy :D And one that already has a few books out so that means no waiting...ok it does mean waiting for me to get them. But not years I hope.

On to the story. It's the old but awesome story of a detective trying to solve a case. But Kara is also a summoner and summons demons in her basement. So she is cool.

The case in hand is a serial killer that leaves strange markings, so it's up her alley. To her help she has a handsome Fed, and well....a super sexy Demon messing with her. I do like a being that I do not know if he is good or bad or just...everything at once.

Police work, demon business, a nasty killer and just a good book to read. I love a book i can finish in a day (being sick works ;)

Conclusion:
Yay, I want more.

cover
eh

Paperback, 370 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2009)
Kara Gillian #1
Urban fantasy
Own


Monday, 14 April 2014

Black Heart - Christina Henry

As a former Agent of Death, Madeline Black is no stranger to witnessing violent ends. But being the one to cause them is an entirely different story…

Despite her having saved Chicago from a vampire invasion, the Agency wants to get Maddy off their payroll—permanently. With the deadly Retrievers hot on her trail, she has no choice but to trust Nathaniel to port her to safety. But even the exotic and dangerous world that she winds up in is not as peaceful as she would have hoped. Caught in a turf war between a group of fae and a disturbingly familiar foe, Maddy soon discovers that the twisted plots of her grandfather, Lucifer, and his brothers extend even into this unknown realm.

Now, with enemies gathering on all sides, Maddy’s fate is looking darker than ever. And to protect her unborn son from her adversaries, she may have to tap into a power she hoped never to access…

My thoughts:
I do like this series and when I finished the book I went online t at once to find out when the next book is coming out. The fall! Woe me!

The writing has also gotten better with each book, book 1 was a bit, eh, the story was awesome but it had some issues (but was still awesome ;). The only problem this book had was a conversation that was a bit silly in the middle of the book. But who cares, cos the rest is kick-ass.

Maddy is being hunted by the Agency since she left. She and Nathaniel got down and dirty (mixed feelings about that. She met her third uncle and revelations were made in the last that has an impact here. To protect her she is sent far away and gets into trouble. But she also meets someone whom I liked.

She kicks more ass. She learns a few secrets and something big happens and I got mad. Arghhh, evilness going on. The pace is good and something is always going on. Just too bad Lucifer was so busy with his baby mama, cos he is always cool to read about.

Conclusion:
I can't wait for more.

Cover
Cool

Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Ace
Black Wings #6
Urban fantasy
Own


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Carole Reviews: Raising John - Jennifer Lesher

Author: Jennifer Lesher
Title: Raising John
Genre: contemporary, fiction
Pages: ebook
First Published: January 17th, 2014
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion

"How do you go on living when you have done the unforgivable? How do you love a mother you barely remember? John is an orphan who misses the mother he hardly knew. Robert is the drunk driver who killed her. As the story opens we meet 4-year-old John, who wonders why his mother had to die. Robert wakes up in lockup, expecting to sleep off a blackout and go home, until he learns of the accident he caused.


John grows up under the care of his devoted maternal grandmother, who grapples with guilt over her daughter’s past. Just as John is on the cusp of manhood, he must confront his mother’s death anew and question everything he has come to believe about himself and the people he loves.

Robert is sentenced to 4 years in state prison. His incarceration begins a journey that will have a profound effect on not only himself, but on the life of the boy he orphaned, and on the legacy of the young mother who died."



Like earlier stated I was given this book for my honest and unbiased opinion from the publisher/author.


Wow. Just wow. I am stunned by how much I liked it. I absolutely loved it. I finished this in one day. That hasn't happened in a while. It was a simple read and quick read, but man it was a good read. The writing was overly done and anyone can read this. I loved how the author wrote this. 


Even though there was four POVs it worked. You knew when the POV would change (at each chapter with a POV change there would be a month and year and location - so you never got confused) and I highly praise authors who do that. The POV changes made sense and helped you understand the story better. I'm really glad that the author established Mary (the mom who dies) as a character. You get to know her and her story through her eyes. It was nice. Normally stories like these the dead parent is marginalized and you never get know them. It's actually kind of sad, because you know the mother more then John. :/


Honestly...the author threw me through a loop. The twist certainly surprised me. I can not say for it is a big spoiler. Just like John, I was hurt and angry by this spoiler. WHAT?! What are the chances? Crazy shit. *shakes my head* Loved the spoiler though. It was a good one and in some cynical part of me I'm glad that that person had to suffer and still suffers with the fact he killed Mary. I wish that Mary was killed, but the irony is fantastic and karma is a revengeful witch (you know what I really mean). 


I loved, LOVED this book. However, the ending confused me. I think I know what was inferred, but I'm not sure...mmmmmm. I'm still gnawing over it and trying to wrap my head around it. I do wish that ending was a little more solid and less making the reader assume and guess. Mmmmmmm. It's still making me think. hahaha. I guess the author is brilliant and has left an impression on the mind of the reader. 



In the end, I loved this book. I loved the characters, the story, and they way it was presented by the author. Even though the ending left me a little unsure, because it was not very solid, I stilled loved it. This is defiantly on the list of Favorite Book of the Year. ^.^ I would recommend this book to everyone, even as a YA (but I would advise the older of those in that age group, because there is some language). Out of five stars, I grant this 5 stars. 




Saturday, 12 April 2014

Dangerous Women anthology

All new and original to this volume, the 21 stories in Dangerous Women include work by twelve New York Times bestsellers, and seven stories set in the authors’ bestselling continuities—including a new “Outlander” story by Diana Gabaldon, a  tale of Harry Dresden’s world by Jim Butcher, a story from Lev Grossman set in the world of The Magicians, and a 35,000-word novella by George R. R. Martin about the Dance of the Dragons, the vast civil war that tore Westeros apart nearly two centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones.

Writes Gardner Dozois in his Introduction, “Here you’ll find no hapless victims who stand by whimpering in dread while the male hero fights the monster or clashes swords with the villain, and if you want to tie these women to the railroad tracks, you’ll find you have a real fight on your hands.  Instead, you will find sword-wielding women warriors, intrepid women fighter pilots and far-ranging spacewomen, deadly female serial killers, formidable female superheroes, sly and seductive femmes fatale, female wizards, hard-living Bad Girls, female bandits and rebels, embattled survivors in Post-Apocalyptic futures, female Private Investigators, stern female hanging judges, haughty queens who rule nations and whose jealousies and ambitions send thousands to grisly deaths, daring dragonriders, and many more.

My thoughts:
- Introduction by Gardner Dozois
Yawn

- “Some Desperado” by Joe Abercrombie - A Red Country story
Eh, I mean not bad, but not good either, just kind of eh

- “My Heart is Either Broken” by Megan Abbott
First it was kind of meh, but then it got better as the husband, and I, started to wonder if the mother had killed the child.

- “Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland
*yawn* One of Queen Eleanor's kids is watching things unfold and as she does not know anything, she sees nothing. Meh

- “The Hands That Are Not There” by Melinda Snodgrass
It started off very meh but gradually got better.

- “Bombshells” by Jim Butcher - A Harry Dresden story 
This one was dull and skimworthy

- “Raisa Stepanova” by Carrie Vaughn
Eh, ok I guess...at times.

- “Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale 
Boring. No memory of it

- “Neighbors” by Megan Lindholm
It was very meh, but the end was cool

- “I Know How to Pick ’Em” by Lawrence Block
I have NO idea what happened in this one, yawn, skim. Boring as watching a ball of yarn

- “Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson 
Kind of good. Cool world

- “A Queen in Exile” by Sharon Kay Penman 
Interesting cos made me google Constance

- “The Girl in the Mirror” by Lev Grossman 
A Magician's story, boring. Did not work as audio

- “Second Arabesque, Very Slowly” by Nancy Kress 
Very interesting and creepy world

- “City Lazarus” by Diana Rowland 
Very dull. Did not keep my attention

- “Virgins” by Diana Gabaldon - An Outlander story 
Did NOT make me wanna read Outlander. Boring

- “Hell Hath No Fury” by Sherilynn Kenyon 
Slept through like 90% of it

- “Pronouncing Doom” by S.M. Stirling - An Emberverse story 
Ok story 

- “Name the Beast” by Sam Sykes
I really should have written about these when I still remembered them...something elves, humans, forgettable 

- “Caretakers” by Pat Cadigan
Sure it was ok but rather dull

- “Lies My Mother Told Me” by Caroline Spector - A Wild Cards story
Did not work for me

- “The Princess and the Queen” by George R.R. Martin - A Song of Ice and Fire story 
Omg, so duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuull! I had to give up, I was all 4 hours of this shit? No, I an take 1 hour but not any more. So I clicked to the end. The whole book was all about blah bla had this dragon and blah blah that one and the king's cupbearer was named bla, son of x and x, lord of, well you get the idea.

Short stories on audio feels like a fail. Also wtf dangerous women? Where?! There were a few, and then I mean a few. Many stories were about men and then  a woman was mentioned but they were about men. And those about women were not dangerous at all.

Conclusion:
I would NOT recommend this book

Hardcover, 784 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Tor Books (first published December 2013)
Fantasy/ sci-fi/ Historical fiction well bloody everything I do not give a f*ck
Library


Friday, 11 April 2014

Warlord - Elizabeth Vaughan

Lara of Xy and her Warlord, Keir of the Cat, have been through much together. Lara abandoned her lands and people for love of him.  She adopted his ways and learned of his tribe. Together they have faced plague and insurgency -- and despite these struggles, they have known happiness and joy.

Now they face their most arduous task: Keir must take Lara into the Heart of the Plains, and introduce her as the Warprize to the warrior-priests.  She must be tested--questioned, examined, watched--and must find favor with the warrior-priests and the tribe's elders before they will confirm her as a true Warprize.

But in Lara's heart there are doubts--for what if she is found wanting? Will Keir give up everything he knows to be with his Warprize?

My thoughts:
I am sad to see the end of this series, sure there is a book 4 but that one is not about Lara and Keir. And sure the book had a satisfying ending but it was not THE END. No, they still had battles before them. But I am happy with what I got.

It seems Keir did not tell Lara everything about being a warprize *sighs* men! So they are separated and she has to fight her own battles. Not everyone is happy with her *grumbles something about stupid Iften shitten*. I like Lara, she is courageous, and Keir is swoonworthy.

The Elders talk, Lara heals, Keir tries to get people on his side. Hell will break loose. Revelations about things I already guessed and yes a HEA. I would have been mighty mad if not.

Conclusion:
I do not know what to say right now. A lovely series about a healer and a barbarian, what more could a girl ask for?

cover
eh

ebook, 336 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Tor Paranormal Romance
Chronicles of the Warlands #3
Fantasy romance
Own


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Somewhere beyond the sea - Amanda James

Doctor Tristan Ainsworth has returned with his family to the idyllic Cornish village close to where he grew up. The past has taught him some hard lessons, but he'll do anything to make his wife happy—so what's making her so withdrawn? 

Karen Ainsworth daren't reveal her true feelings, but knows her husband has put up with her moods for too long. A chance to use her extraordinary singing voice may set her free, so why shouldn't she take it? Surely her past can't hurt her now?

As a tide of blackmail and betrayal is unleashed to threaten the foundations of their marriage, Karen and Tristan face a difficult question. Is their love strong enough to face the truth when the truth might cost them everything?

My thoughts:
At first I did not know whether it was Tristan or Karen who had the secret (silly me ;) Because yes Karen was agoraphobic but there were things Tristan said. Anyway you will find out. I was only a bit, that is the secret? at first. That can't be the secret, and was it really the secret? Well you will find out ;) but trust me it was worth it.

Karen loves to sing, well she used to. Now she does not want to meet people or go outside. Tristan loves the village and the life, but he also wants his wife back to how she used to be. And it causes tension in their marriage.

And then there was the secret, a big one. There is blackmail, suspense, tension and romance too. The couple is already married but there can still be romance as they find each other again. Even if they are already in love and happy.

As I read on I understood Karen better, I always liked Tristan too as he was happy and was always trying. A good man.

Conclusion:
A book about moving on (and letting go of the past.)

Cover
I like it

Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: Out now 2014 by Choc Lit
Women's fiction
 for review


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Miracle Thief - Iris Anthony

Do you believe in miracles? Sister Juliana does. She's seen miracles happen as she tends Saint Catherine's altar and guards her relic. Yet she doesn't quite dare to believe that even Saint Catherine could help her atone for her wicked past.

Anna does. And she so desperately needs one. In a time when a deformity is interpreted as evidence of a grievous sin, in a place where community is vital to existence, Anna has no family, no home, and no master.

Princess Gisele wants to. A miracle is the only thing that can save her from being given to a brutal, pagan chieftain in marriage.

For those who come in faith, saints offer the answer to almost any prayer. But other forces are plotting to steal Saint Catherine's relic, to bend the saint's power to their own use. Penitent, pilgrim, and princess -- all will be drawn into an epic struggle where only faith can survive. But in a quest for divine blessings, only the most ruthless of souls may win the prize.

My thoughts:
This is a book with 3 POVS, and 3 very different women. Juliana, a nun atoning for past sins. Anna, who has a deformity that makes people shun her and she looks to the saint for healing. And Gisele, a princess who is to marry a viking invader, whether she wants it or not.

I know Anna had a really crap time, as people thought the reason she was wrong was cos of some sin. And I felt for her. And yes poor Gisele, but she was a princess after all and princesses marry to build alliances. I felt most sorry for Juliana, because she had been passionate, happy in love and given all that up to become a nun. And in a time when sex before marriage was such a sin, she was troubled even years afterwards.

A negative thing would be that some of the time jumps made me a bit confused, but I got over it. Moving on.

So we have Juliana in a convent dealing with a new abbess. Gisele wondering if God really wants her to marry a heathen. And with her POV we get the politic of the era too. And lastly Anna, who bring a POV of the poor and forgotten as she struggle to get to the convent.

Even if I had already googled Gisele, I was glad for the author's afterwords about who was real or not. Nice touch.

Conclusion:
An interesting tale about 3 women caught in different conflicts.

Cover
ok

Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Historical fiction
for review


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