Friday, 31 October 2014

Romance Friday: Slow Hand - Victoria Vane

In rural Montana...
Wade Knowlton is a hardworking lawyer who's torn between his small-town Montana law practice and a struggling family ranch. He's on the brink of exhaustion from trying to save everybody and everything, when gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office. She's a damsel in distress and the breath of fresh air he needs.

Even the lawyers wear boots...

Nicole Powell is a sassy Southern girl who has officially sworn off cowboys after a spate of bad seeds-until her father's death sends her to Montana and into the arms of a man who seems too good to be true. Her instincts tell her to high tail it out of Montana, but she can't resist a cowboy with a slow hand...

My thoughts:
I am gonna do it like this today;

Characters:
Wade is a lawyer, and a cowboy. Well he would not call himself that, but hey his folks have a ranch, and he dresses like one ;)

Nicole does not like cowboys. She used to like them too much, and she had too many bad relationships.

Story.
Nicole comes to settle her father's estate. Wade is the lawyer. He likes her ass (well he does ;) She should not, but who can resist those tempting lips!!

Drama:
He is a cowboy, she shouldn't! He has a bit of family issues.

Other characters:
This is their books, but in the background is his brother (now that guy has a chip on his shoulder!) and Nicole's sister. She needs a HEA.

Conclusion:
Lots of passion as sparks fly. Romance and a man that does the chasing

Cover
Nice looking cowboy ;)

Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Expected publication: November 4th 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Hot Cowboy Nights #1
Contemporary romance
For review


Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Relic Guild - Edward Cox

Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us.

It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawling city at the heart of an endless maze where a million humans hosted the Houses of the Aelfir. The Aelfir who had brought trade and riches, and a future full of promise. But when the Thaumaturgists, overlords of human and Aelfir alike, went to war, everything was ruined and the Labyrinth became an abandoned forbidden zone, where humans were trapped behind boundary walls a hundred feet high.

Now the Aelfir are a distant memory and the Thaumaturgists have faded into myth. Young Clara struggles to survive in a dangerous and dysfunctional city, where eyes are keen, nights are long, and the use of magic is punishable by death. She hides in the shadows, fearful that someone will discover she is touched by magic. She knows her days are numbered. But when a strange man named Fabian Moor returns to the Labyrinth, Clara learns that magic serves a higher purpose and that some myths are much more deadly in the flesh.

The only people Clara can trust are the Relic Guild, a secret band of magickers sworn to protect the Labyrinth. But the Relic Guild are now too few. To truly defeat their old nemesis Moor, mightier help will be required. To save the Labyrinth – and the lives of one million humans – Clara and the Relic Guild must find a way to contact the worlds beyond their walls. 

My thoughts:
In a world where there is only one city, and a labyrinth,...our story takes place. There are other places, but they can't be reached. So everyone is just stuck. Well that sucks for them.

There was a great war, now magic is gone (and is considered bad!). So everyone just, well tries to live the best they can.

There are a few POVS. Clara, a whore with a secret (she is a shifter, and that could get her killed. ) And then there is the Relic Guild, a hidden organization with people who still have magic. They need her as an old enemy is rising. Oh those old enemies, they always are so evil.

It was an interesting world and premise. The weird labyrinth. The place where the bad Aelfir were put. The city that just lives on but does not really live. A strange world. I would so have wanted to know more about the Aelfir, oh well :/ They went away after the war.

But I would have wanted more, I did not really feel the world. It was there, but I would have wanted a bit more world building. The same with the characters, I wanted more from them too. I could not truly feel them or their actions.

Still, go Clara, it's always good that a former prostitute gets to shine too. She has promise. And I so want to know more about the Aelfir, what? I was curious.

Conclusion:
A strange dark world on the brink of doom

Cover


Hardcover, 432 pages
Published September 18th 2014 by Gollancz
Fantasy
Review copy


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

An Irish Promise - Isabella Connor

Art historian, Rachel Ford has returned to the Irish village of Kilbrook intent on keeping her promise to take revenge on the school bullies who ruined her childhood and destroyed her family.

Australian actor Finn MacKenzie sets hearts fluttering when he turns up in sleepy Kilbrook to help his aunt with a school production. He seems to have a charmed life, yet his confident façade hides heartbreak and tragedy. Although Finn isn’t looking for love, when he meets the mysterious Rachel, there's a definite spark between them.

Rachel is torn between her desire for revenge and this new love affair. She doesn’t want to deceive Finn, but can she trust him to keep her real identity a secret? And will he understand why she must keep her promise, no matter the cost?

My thoughts:
It started of good, and then the secrets started to roll out and I could no longer put it down. It was revelations I had not seen coming.

This is the story of Rachel who goes back to the village she hated, where she was bullied. And omg I HATED the bullies, effing cowards! How can kids be so cruel?! My heart bled for her and I got so mad. At first I was a bit taken aback, why go back and look for revenge? But as the story progressed and we got to see her diary, well my mind sure changed.

Finn is an actor from Australia and is staying with his aunt. He meets a pretty girl and falls for her. But can it be? They will go separate ways soon, and then there is the whole revenge thing she has not told him about.

There are other characters I'd like to talk about. Those I hated and liked. But I will leave you with some secrets not told. All things are not what they seem. There was this one character that I started to like because, oh I can't say. Just read and you will like that character too.

With the whole revenge thing it's not as you can guess a contemporary romance. Yes there is romance, after some time, they take it slow, they get to know each other, as they should. There are doubts, there are secrets.

There is also friendship, heartache and a nice village (but I wish people had stood up to those bullies years earlier).

Conclusion:
A story that got me hooked.

cover
meh
Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: Nov 7 from Choc Lit
Romantic Fiction
For review


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Silver Bough - Lisa Tuttle

Nestled on the coast of Scotland, Appleton was once famous for its apples. Now, though the orchards are long gone, locals still dream of the town’s glory days, when an Apple Queen was crowned at the annual fair and good luck seemed a way of life. And outsiders are still drawn to the charming village, including three very different American women.

Enchanted by Appleton’s famously ornate, gold-domed library, divorcée Kathleen Mullaroy has left her cosmopolitan job to start anew as the town’s head librarian. Widowed Nell Westray hopes for a quiet life of gardening in the place where she and her husband spent their happiest moments. And young Ashley Kaldis has come to find her roots, and learns that the town’s fortunes turned when her grandmother was crowned Apple Queen–then mysteriously disappeared.

When a sudden landslide cuts Appleton off from the wider world–and the usual constraints of reality–the village reveals itself to be an extraordinary place, inhabited by legendary beings, secret rooms, and the blossoming of a rare fruit not seen in decades. Most unexpected is a handsome stranger who will draw all three women into an Otherworld in which luck and love will return to Appleton–if only one of them will believe. 

My thoughts:
I really like her style. It's so fairy'tale, but at the same time it fiction. It makes me believe.

This is the story of Appelton. Once it was a nice little town with orchards, now people are leaving. All because of the last Apple Queen and the bad luck that followed.

Our 3 heroines are: Kathleen, a librarian. Nell, who has a few apple trees. And Ashley who wants to know why her grandma left so suddenly and never came back there. They are all different, they are all skeptics, they are all outsiders and they will all meet a handsome stranger.

Because here it is where the magic comes in. There really is something special about this not so much an island anymore. There really are things hiding, and not shown. There really is bad luck over the island, and all cos of an apple. And as the story progresses, more things are shown, you can be a skeptic first, but then you see.

Conclusion:
Tuttle really needs to write more mythic books about Scotland. I like it. I like how it makes me want to believe that there still can be traces of magic, and other beings around :)

Cover
Nice

Paperback, 457 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Jo Fletcher (first published January 1st 2006)
Fiction / Fairy-tale
Own


Monday, 27 October 2014

A Blight of Mages - Karen Miller

Hundreds of years before the great Mage War, a land lies, unknowing, on the edge of catastrophe...

Barl is young and impulsive, but she has a power within that calls to her. In her city, however, only those of noble blood and with the right connections learn the ways of the arcane. Barl is desperate to learn-but her eagerness to use her power leads her astray and she is banned from ever learning the mystic arts.

Morgan holds the key to her education. A member of the Council of Mages, he lives to maintain the status quo, preserve the mage bloodlines, and pursue his scholarly experiments. But Barl's power intrigues him-in spite of her low status.

Together, he realizes they can create extraordinary new incantations. Morgan's ambition and Barl's power make a potent combination. What she does not see is the darkness in him that won't be denied. 

My thoughts:
You can read this before the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series, or afterwards. I read it after and I liked it that way. I got to see how the mages came to Lur and who Morgan was. But this is a prequel that takes place hundreds of years before the other series so, your choice ;)

In the land of Dorana everyone is a mage. But the Higher families have more power and can go to College. Barl does not belong to the finer families, but she has so much power and potential and she wants to attend a good school. She is an artisan, but she wants so much more. She really should keep that temper in check. 

Then we have Morgan who is so absorbed in his work, and who falls hard and fast for her. Well let's call it what it really is, obsession. An obsession that will still echo in the next series.

But these two together is not good. They want to explore new kinds of magic, all while their country is falling apart.

Damn how things went badly here. I mean I knew things would be bad cos I read the series that comes after this book, but still!

Conclusion:
This could easily have been an own series too. But I liked it as one book

Cover
meh

Paperback, 767 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2011)
Kingmaker, Kingbreaker 0.5
Fantasy
own


Sunday, 26 October 2014

Carole Reviews: Pandemia - Jonathan Rand

Author: Jonathan Rand (& Christopher Knight)
Title: Pandemia
Genre: SciFi, Dystopia, and Contemporary
Pages: 370
First Published: May 2006
Where I Got It: Borrowed from the library


"The world was warned.

The last great flu epidemic near the beginning of the previous century killed millions upon millions of people. Now, a new super-flu has infected humans and wreaked havoc in every country of the world in a matter of days."

This isn't typically a genre I read, but this was picked for the October book in my Book Club, so onward I go. 

Honestly, it wasn't too bad for a dystopia. The beginning skipped around a little bit and I didn't like it, but the timeline does smooth out after a few chapters. Which...brings me to my next point...I disliked how short the chapters were. Each chapter was only about 3 pages long. I understand why the authors did this, but it just made the story seem choppy sometimes. 

Besides for all of the that the story was a fun ride. I especially loved the fact that it was set in Michigan and I knew all the places they were talking about. It made the story more personal for me. However, I do question how long it took to get to Otter Lake from Saline. I don't think the authors did their research before writing the book. Otter Lake is only 2 hours away from Saline and is not by Gaylord...unless there is another Otter Lake, but I doubt it. Hmmmm *shrugs* But Boyfriend is from Otter Lake, so it was kind of cool to imagine the town being completely empty. 

Anyways...the characters were interesting. A little predictable, but I'm glad there were only four main characters. It allowed for the reader to get connected with the characters, but not get bored with them. There is a lot of time and "slow" parts where nothing happens, so having a few characters helped, but there wasn't too many characters that it was overwhelming. I am glad they included an epilogue, but I didn't really like what happened. It seemed to HEA and "simple". 

In the end, this wasn't at all bad for a dystopia. I don't usually care for that genre, but I liked this book. It wasn't over-the-top and it seemed like if the bird flu where to conquer the world that would be how it is. I didn't really care for the short chapters and the beginning, but the rest was fun. I'm not sure if there is another Otter Lake up north (I was trying to look it up and found nothing), so I am left to assume they either were mistaken or they made it up or it exists but isn't on the map. *shrugs* Oh well. I am pretending they went to the Otter Lake I know. haha. I would recommend this to people who like dystopia type books or who are looking for something different on their reading shelf. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 4 stars. It is more like 3.5 stars, but i rounded. 

Favorite Character(s): Sierra and Eddie
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Kevin (he bugged me)



Saturday, 25 October 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in Oct 24 2014 and Forbidden Magic by Jo Berverley

A quick note, if you haven't checked the page then do so :) Anyone can join in, and you do not have to walk, you can do anything :)


This challenge is organized by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger's Book Blog

Saturday 30 min walk
Sunday nada
Monday 5 km bike and 1 hour walk
Tuesday 5 km bike
Wednesday 5 km bike and 1 hour zumba
Thursday 5 km bike and 30 min walk
Friday 5 km bike and 1 hour walk

Not happy with this week. Some classes were cancelled cos of a "holiday". Work kept me from others, and work being utterly horrible made me too meh to do anything :/ 

.....................................

Left penniless after her parent's death, Meg Gillingham is in dire straits. Reluctantly, she turns for help to her only legacy: a magic statue that will grant wishes. Meg never expects the statue to bring her a marriage proposal, especially not from a handsome earl. But when his dark secrets are revealed, putting her life at risk, she dares not believe in another kind of magic: true love...

My thoughts:
It started off so good (well sort of.) Heroine with lots of siblings deals with bastard landlord (who was an effing scumbag.) Said heroine has a magic nekkid statue that you make a wish on. Ok sure. She makes a wish and gets a handsome Earl. The earl needed to marry before his 25th bday and found her. Magic or not?

See, good so far. The handsome earl is really nice, takes care of her siblings and married life seems fine.

Riiight, see this is when it started to fall apart. Around half way through. There is the big misunderstanding that could be dealt with in a second. There is the heroine being TSTL. Then there is the stupid plot that just made me go all wtf? I am done with this! It just become too stupid, it drove me insane. A shame really cos it was really good until that. Cute and nice, and then it turned to mud.

Conclusion:
I would not recommend it, and now it has turned me from reading anything else by this author.

Cover
Cute

Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by NAL Trade (first published August 28th 1995)
Historical romance
Own


Friday, 24 October 2014

Romance Friday Novella style x3

Emily Allard-Smith enjoys running her tiny bed and breakfast in quiet Bluebonnet, Texas. The only problem? It’s haunted, and she’s got no one to call when things go bump in the night.

Enter Jericho Lozada. He’s tall, sexy, mohawked, and good with his hands. He’s also not scared of Em’s ghost. And just when Em decides that she needs a man in her life with lots and lots of tattoos…her ex shows up again.

Now Emily has to figure out if she wants to keep a hold on the ghosts of her past…or look into a future with Jericho. But does Jericho even want a future with her?

This novella contains a Harley, a hero with a mohawk, and not a single paranormal event. Promise!

My thoughts:
This book was fun, cute and had some smexy times too :D What  I am saying is that this novella, as it was only 60 pages, still gave me everything I needed.

A nice heroine, a cool hero. A haunted house! or? They meet, they fall for each other, there is passion and then love.

I'd like to read more of these Bluebonnet stories

cover
cute

ebook, 71 pages
Published September 1st 2014 by Smashwords
Bluebonnet #4.5
Contemporary romance
Own

Years ago, Rolling Stone magazine dubbed the nine collective children of the most famous band in the world “Rock Royalty.” Now all grown up, the princes and princesses are coming back to L.A.’s Laurel Canyon to discover if love can be found among the ruins of a childhood steeped in sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

One touch will start a fire…
World-weary band tour manager Ren Colson leaves his London business behind for a stay in Southern California, never expecting to wake up beside Cilla Maddox. Cilla Maddox—who in the years since their last meeting has turned sexy as hell. But she deserves more than a man hardened by long nights, dark roads, and too many faceless women.

One night will change her world…
Cilla Maddox not once imagined she’d see the bad boy of her dreams again. But then he’s sharing her air, her home, her bed. Though he claims he has no heart, she wants it to be hers. Can she convince him that the flames that leap between them might signify forever?

My thoughts:
A novella, my copy had 160 pages. So it was short, but it worked.

Cilla and Ren are not siblings, but grew up at the same place. Their fathers are rockstars, asshole rockstars who just left their kids at the ranch. And there were lots of kids. So they both have issues.

Cilla is frigid and asks Ren to help. Ok so I get why there had to be a lot of smexing ;) But eh, for a novella like this it felt like it was too much. They just smexed around and suddenly after no time at all they were in love and fighting it. So it was good, just...I am a smex scene skimmer these days.

So if you want a passionate couple that are too headstrong to realise that they are in love then read this one.

Cover
meh

Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Published July 17th 2014 by Christie Ridgway (first published January 1st 2014)
Rock Royalty #1
Contemporary romance
Own


In high school Sarah fell for her best friend’s older brother—one of the sexy, Scottish McLaughlin boys. But a painful betrayal showed her she’d been a fool to give her heart to a bad boy. At least it made it easier to leave him and move halfway around the world when her Navy dad got stationed in Japan.

Eleven years later, the death of her grandmother has forced Sarah back to Whidbey Island for a month. It’s the length of time she must stay in her inherited house before she’s allowed to sell it, take the money and run. But when she sees Ian, bad as ever and still looking like sin on a stick, she can’t keep her mouth from watering.

One look at Sarah stirs up the regret lingering in Ian’s heart—and never-forgotten desire lingering in his body. He should walk away, especially since divorced single mothers aren’t his style. But when she starts showing up at his family’s pub, he can’t resist a little casual seduction for old time’s sake.

One thing quickly becomes clear, though. The heat between them is causing an avalanche of secrets and betrayal and nothing will ever be the same.

Product Warnings
A bad-boy hero who’s good with his hands, a heroine who’s trying to be good. Contains liberal consumption of Scotch whisky, a Highland Games competition, men in kilts wielding large poles, and a potential Sarah McLaughlin of the non-musical kind.

My thoughts:
She sure manages a lot in under 200 pages. But it works, most of the time. I think the only neg thing was that one thing did not get a conclusion. A certain old friend who showed up, showed up again, and then it was done?

Ok, back to the beginning.

Sarah shows up to settle her grandma's affairs. She meet up with her old BFF, and well look at that, she also meets her old BF. The one that got away. The one she is so mad at, and mad about.

Ian is a sexy bad boy Scot. He always loved her, and could not forget her. So duh, of course they can't stay away from each other.

They meet, argue, lust, there are secrets, revelations and a HEA. Cute, I'd read more.

Cover
Cute

ebook, 213 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
The McLaughlins #1
Contemporary romance
Own


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson

How far would you go for revenge if someone killed your father? If someone destroyed your city? If everything you ever loved was taken from you?

David Charleston will go to any lengths to stop Steelheart. But to exact revenge in Steelheart’s world, David will need the Reckoners—a shadowy group of rebels bent on maintaining justice.  And it turns out that the Reckoners might just need David too.

My thoughts:
Ok, so this was a bit different than the other Sanderson books I have read. It was futuristic, sci-fi, dystopic superheroic. It would be a good superhero book, oh and a good graphic novel too.

Something happened and people around the world got superhero powers. Which seems to have turned them all into sociopath psychopaths. Destroying cities, killing people and taking over and making themselves kings.

David lives underground, as everyone who is not important has to live there. He is a nerd, and most of all he wants revenge on the ruler of the city. I liked him, but then I do like nerds.

It was kind of non-stop action all the time. Hunting down bad guys, running from bad guys, blowing things up, hiding from bad guys and last, one epic fight. There are surprises, revelations and well, I enjoyed it. Yes it was different, yes I do prefer his fantasy books, but it was cool.

Cover
meh

Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Ember (first published January 1st 2013)
Reckoners #1
YA
Own


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Anthology: Unidentified funny objects 3

SCIENCE FICTION. FANTASY. HUMOR.

This is the third annual volume of Unidentified Funny Objects and it contains twenty-three humorous short stories from some of the genre's best-known authors, as well as talented up-and-comers.

ebook, 302 pages
Published September 20th 2014 by Smashwords Edition
Sci.fi, fantasy, fairy-tale, paranormal
For review

My thoughts:
Yes, it's time for the second anthology of the week!

Foreword - Alex Shvartsman
....

On the Efficacy of Supervillain Battles in Eliciting Therapeutic Breakthroughs - Jim C. Hines
Pretty cool and strange. A short story that worked well on it's own. About a girl standing on her own and getting work done.

The Right Answer - James A. Miller
Yes what is the right answer when an alien shows up? Nice short one.

The Gefilte Fish Girl - Mike Resnick
A man tells his mum about the mermaid he loves. Funny.

Master of Business Apocalypse - Jakob Drud
Magicians prevents the apocalypse, time after time. A bad boss can ruin it all.

Carla at the Off-Planet Tax Return Helpline - Caroline M. Yoachim
The title says it all. It was really funny!

Why I Bought Satan Two Cokes on the Day I Graduated High School - Nathaniel Lee
Angels everywhere, poor Satan gets his ass kicked and a kid befriends him. Nice.

Company Store - Robert Silverberg
Not for me. This guy have to buy things only from one company.

The Door-to-Door Salesthing from Planet X - Josh Vogt
Poor salesman :/ 

Picture Perfect - Matt Mikalatos
I honestly can't remember what it was about

The Discounted Seniors - James Beamon
Some are not grateful when this guy saves the day.

That Must Be Them Now - Karen Haber
I only remember it was not for me

Notes to My Past And/or Alternate Selves - Sarah Pinsker
You would not think a list would be funny but it was so amusing :)

The Real and the Really Real - Tim Pratt
A human left alone in a world of robots. Ohh I liked the twist in this one.

Into the Woods, with Zombunny - Camille Griep
A fairytale! Ha, I enjoyed this one a lot. I am not gonna say which fairytale.

Live at the Scene - Gini Koch'
Newsteam reporting about aliens. Funny :)

The Newsboy’s Last Stand - Krystal Claxton
I liked this one about a newsboy telling bad news, and then throwing in god ones. Good.

The Full Lazenby - Jeremy Butler
Weird story about ..well just read it ;)

Do Not Remove This Tag - Piers Anthony
A jinnni turns up and wants to live large.

Super-Baby-Moms Group Saves the Day! - Tina Connolly
All in emailform and it worked great. Amusing.

The Choochoomorphosis - Oliver Buckram
Lol. Weird very short story.

The Fate Worse than Death - Kevin J. Anderson and Guy Anthony De Marco
Dracula gets a guest, an annoying one. Nice

Elections at Villa Encantada - Cat Rambo
About something. Did not keep my attention

Infinite Drive - Jody Lynn Nye
Investigators investigate. Eh

Like with all anthologies, some stories were good, some ok, some not to my taste. But almost all were funny (except those that were meh then.) And a nice mix too of sci-fi, fantasy, fairy-tale and all the rest and weird.

The kind of book that you could read before bed, one story a day :)


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Rogues Anthology

This thrilling collection of twenty-one all-original stories, by an all-star list of contributors, will delight and astonish in equal measure with their cunning twists and dazzling reversals. George R. R. Martin himself offers a brand-new A Game of Thrones tale, chronicling one of the biggest rogues in the entire history of Ice and Fire. Also featuring stories from Gillian Flynn, Joe Abercrombie, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch and more!

My thoughts:
Anthology; lots of genres, lots of rogues. Men, and women. all rogues, bad ones, good ones.

George R.R. Martin “Everybody Loves a Rogue” (Introduction)
Meh, who needs introductions?

Joe Abercrombie “Tough Times All Over”
Lots of people running around stealing from each other. I really should read the book I have by him

Gillian Flynn “What Do You Do?”
Creepy feeling that grows and grows and the end, ohh creepy. I did not realize that it was that Flynn! Bad me. Now I want to read her book.

Matthew Hughes “The Inn of the Seven Blessings”
A man finds a myserious box. I enjoyed this one. Great thief, great story.

Joe R. Lansdale “Bent Twig”
Contemporary. Guy looking for a missing girl. Good, thriller ish.

Michael Swanwick “Tawny Petticoats”
Conmen in a weird New Orleans. Interesting, but could have given more.

David Ball “Provenance”
A caravaggio is found and we get the tale of it's journey. The flashbacks where the most interesting thing.

Carrie Vaughn “The Roaring Twenties”
20s, hidden night club, paranormals doing their thing. Eh.

Scott Lynch “A Year and a Day in Old Theradane”
Fantasy. A thief gets in trouble. Very cool world.

Bradley Denton “Bad Brass”
A guy decides to solve a crime for some reason. meh

Cherie Priest “Heavy Metal”
It felt a bit confusing, then it got better, but still what? What was that?

Daniel Abraham “The Meaning of Love”
Fantasy. This one I enjoyed. A rogue needs to find someone for a friend. Cool world.

Paul Cornell “A Better Way to Die”
No idea what truly happened here. Not for me.

Steven Saylor “Ill Seen in Tyre”
Two travelers arrive in town, trouble found. Rather interesting. Historical.

Garth Nix “A Cargo of Ivories”
Two men has to find something. Kind of boring.

Walter Jon Williams “Diamonds From Tequila” 
Thriller like story about an actor. Would make a good action movie.

Phyllis Eisenstein “The Caravan to Nowhere”
A minstrel on a journey. Had promise, but did not deliver for me.

Lisa Tuttle “The Curious Affair of the Dead Wives”
2 detectives get a case. Interesting, kind of freaky story.

Neil Gaiman “How the Marquis Got His Coat Back” 
I guess I should read more by him. Now I was all, guy meets mushrooms? What?

Connie Willis “Now Showing”
Now this one was funny, and strange! Great writing.

Patrick Rothfuss “The Lightning Tree” 
I must say I was impressed (considering how bored I was by his book *coughs*) But this fantasy story was amusing.

The Rogue Prince, or, a King's Brother by George R.R. Martin
Why is it so dry!? Something out of a history book, and then I did not even get the fun part.


I have said a little about every story now (cos if I said more then this would be looong). Some stories were good, some ok, some not to my taste. But that is also cos it was from all genres. We had thrillers, fantasy, historical etc. I enjoyed that. Much to try, much to enjoy. It was a nice way of mixing it up. I never knew what would come next, and some authors I will keep my eye on.

Though I must say, it was long ;) I had to keep notes cos I am dreadful with names so even if I remembered a story I could not put a name to it.

But I did feel it was my kind of anthology (surely cos of all the fantasy stories in it :)

Cover
meh

Hardcover, 832 pages
Published August 29th 2014 by Titan Books
Fantasy / thriller / mystery etc
For review


Monday, 20 October 2014

The Silver Pear - Michelle Diener

Kayla is determined to master her new-found abilities as a wild magic witch. She's learning everything she can so she and her betrothed, Rane, can put a stop to the sorcerers who are recklessly gathering their power, building up their magic to take each other on in a war that will destroy the countries of Middleland.

Mirabelle's father was one of the greatest sorcerers in Middleland, but when he used the magic in the silver pear to bespell his pregnant wife to give birth to the greatest sorcerer who would ever live, he never thought that child would be a girl. Mirabelle is nothing like a usual sorcerer, confounding every expectation, and when she comes to the rescue of Rane's brother, Soren, she makes a decision few sorcerers would. She saves him, rather than herself, losing the silver pear in the process.

With war not just a possibility but simply a matter of time, there are no neutral parties and no fence-sitters in Kayla and Mirabelle's new world. Everyone is either an ally or an enemy and there is a price to pay for everything. The question is, how high will it be?

My thoughts
In this book we have two couples and their POVS.

First there is Kayla (the heroine of book 1) and Rane. And they are on to the sorcerers that are trying to take over the land(s). Kayla is a princess, a witch, and very much in love with her not so noble fiance.

Rane collects and sells magic objects. And feels he is not worthy his princess (why the two are together you have to read book 1 to see.)

We also meet the only female sorceress in the world, Mirabelle (magic made her) and she is going to meet Rane's brother Soren. Soren who HATES magic, lucky for Mira she is pretty and might sway him. Oh and she is nice, something not said about the rest.

Right. So we have couple nr 1 learning about magic and wanting to take down baddies.
While couple nr 2 will meet, and flee baddies while looking for a magical object.

Which means we have a bit of suspense, fantasy (since this is fantasy, duh), and romance with the old and new couple. And then they will all live happily ever after. Because that is all we want in the end after all :)

Conclusion:
'Magic, romance and danger.

Cover
Nice

Paperback, 364 pages
Published September 29th 2014 by Michelle Diener
The Dark Forest #2
Fantasy romance
for review


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Haunting Nathan - Lillie J Roberts

A natural skeptic, Nathan Daniels is challenged by his professor to write his thesis on existence of spectral energy—supernatural in nature. Entertained by the idea and prepared to debunk the possibility, he’s in for a shock. Not only is his new apartment haunted, but he finds the hazy pull of the pretty blonde in white go-go boots and pink miniskirt irresistible. 

Ande Conners is caught in lonely limbo—and unfortunately—stuck wearing the Halloween costume she died in decades earlier. Pacing the same apartment without hope of change or release, she can almost feel her absent heart beating faster when Nathan moves in and sets up his ghost busting equipment. 

Reaching out to him in those moments between consciousness and dream, she seeks his help. Can they make a connection? Will he be the one to help her move beyond this world or does fate have something else in store for the two of them?

My thoughts:
Ok so this is a very short story, but as time does pass in it, it feels longer :)

Nathan moves into a haunted house cos he needs to write a thesis about  paranormal activity. But he is not really a believer.

Ande is a ghost and she wants to move on, but can't. People can sense her sometimes, but she wants more. Hey, who wouldn't?

So of course these two will meet, in a way, I am not telling you more. But in the end, oh I wont say anything. But it even has a happy ending! I can tell you that. So it's sort of a haunted romance.

Conclusion:
The end. Short and nice.

Kindle Edition, 1st, 70 pages
Published September 28th 2014 by Lilac Rose Press
Haunted Dreams #1
Paranormal /romance
For review


Saturday, 18 October 2014

A rogue by any other name - Sarah MacLean and Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in Oct 17 2014

This challenge is organized by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger's Book Blog

Saturday 7 km bike and 30 min walk
Sunday 40 min walk, 7 km bike
Monday 5 km bike and 45 min zumba toning
Tuesday 5 km bike,  30 min walk
Wednesday 10 km bike, and 1 hour zumba
Thursday 5 km bike 
Friday 5 km bike, 1 hour yoga and 1 hour walk

Sigh, ever since the Fall of Antibiotics my health has been crappy, so this was the week of pink eye and now my sinuses are acting up (surely that sore throat from earlier spread). I should take it easier but then I would never get anything done.


-------------------------


A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures.

Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them... even her heart.

My thoughts:
Ok a review of thoughts coming up. So that means SPOILERS because I am gonna talk about what I feel...what happens...



spoilers darling, spoilers


I am at page 100 now and wtf, I hate this guy. I freaking hate this guy! He kidnaps her, he manages to seduce her and then he says mean things and leaves her when she is most vulnerable. And then they have to marry because these were fucked up times. I hate him. All he cares about is his land, well you know what, I hope you get castrated. 

200
He is still being a d¤ck. There was another sex scene and it made me uncomfortable. She was into it, he just kept thinking about his revenge.

280
Can this guy stop whining?! Boo I lost everything, boohoo me. Poor me. I hate everything and everyone. I shall have my revenge. Be a MAN.

On a plus side, still being a total asshole, he does suddenly feel something for his bride. *eyeroll* You mean your best friend from childhood who you kidnapped so you could have your precious land? Whatever man, whatever.

The end
So am I supposed to be happy that he FINALLY saw the light and gave up his revenge to be happy with the woman he loved. That stupid idiotic woman who kept loving him. He did not deserve her. This could have been an old school romance, the only thing missing was actually hitting and abusing her.

Conclusion:
But, MacLean is a good writer, I will give her that. I just hated the story. So it was ok because good writing, terrible story. Of course I really want to just rate, hated it.

Cover
Ok

Mass Market Paperback, 386 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Avon

The Rules of Scoundrels #1

Historical romance

Own


Friday, 17 October 2014

Romance Friday. The House on Blackberry Hill - Donna Alward

Abby Foster is a fish out of water in the Maine coastal town of Jewell Cove. The crumbling Foster estate, left to her by a relative she never even knew, has everyone’s eyes on her—an eerie reminder of the long-buried family secrets that have haunted her…forever. Single, stunning, and sometimes too strong-willed for her own good, Abby’s plan is to sell the house and hightail it back to Nova Scotia. But another part of her is intrigued by the idea of starting over somewhere new—and finally learning the truth about her heritage.   

Enter Tom Arseneault. The best contractor in Jewell Cove, Tom is determined to restore the beauty and prestige of the Foster mansion—and maybe even work his charms on its beautiful new heir. The attraction between him and Abby is undeniable, and the more time Tom spends on the house the more he wants to be in it with her. But Abby’s not sure she can trust him—or anyone in Jewell Cove who seems to know more about her family history than she does. Home: Is it really where the heart is after all?

My thoughts:
A cute contemporary romance, I could leave it like that, because that is really enough.

But fine, I will say more ;)

Abby has inherited lots of money and a house, and all from a relative she did not know about. So she goes to see the house and discovers family secrets. It was a bit strange, cos there was this paranormal aspect with a ghost. Most of the time you can leave it to the fact that she only imagined it, but no, there really was a ghost here. Ok forget about the ghost. Abby always wanted family, always wanted a home. Can she find one here? Well duh yes!

Tom is a contractor and wants to fix her house. And yes they start to fall for each other. But he still thinks about another girl, and Abby does not want to stay. They become friends, they fall in lust, and they have their happily ever after.

I liked this town, but then I love small towns. They always gossip, everyone is friendly and I always go all awww, I wanna live there!

Conclusion:
Cute.

Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Jewell Cove #1
Contemporary romance
Own


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Crown of Midnight / Heir of Fire - Sarah J Maas

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

My thoughts:
And so it begins. 

*I doubt anyone was fooled by that opening scene. And if they were...sigh. She is the most useless assassin ever. Feelings!? Wtf? Assassins kill for money and she could not hurt a fly 

*Why is she blushing? Is she an innocent country miss who has never heard the word kill before? Seems so. Honestly. And u want me to believe this pathetic thing has killed hundreds? 

* Chaol still has nightmares of his first kill...how exactly did this guy become captain of the guard? Is everone else dead? 

*Ok the male courtesan. Is she trying to be YA and say he has only female patronesses when in reality there would be lots of male costumers too. Or is reality to crude? 
*A few Pages Later. Oh now he has male clients too. Was it only at the virgin auction he had none. How convenient.

* Gods you are useless! Caught again! And poisoned! 

* Yawn. For a book about a killer there is not a lot of action. Just dresses. Reading. Secrets doors. Staring 

*The king is sure a better killer than her. Him I believe. He is evil.

*Seems she can only kill in flashbacks. Why is she such a loser in reality?

*OMG I GET IT!!!! He is the captaIn of the guard. DO NOT MENTION EVERY OTHER PAGE

* Seriously? So they know she is spying. Worst assassin EVER

*Gods Chaol. How effing stupid are u? That does it. I dub thee TSTL
* And now she is tstl

*Sigh. I hope no one was surprised at the most obvious plot ever. Who she is. Saw it at once. But did not like the contradiction of it at one point. When she in her thoughts wondered where x is when she is x. Badly written

And that ends this book, and I have nothing to say. See notes.
Ps. Not as amused now anymore.

Kindle Edition, 433 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Throne of Glass #2
YA / Fantasy
Own

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. 

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

My thoughts:
Ok what did I learn during the first 100 pages..

Well this Fae guy told C she sucks and I was all... in your face! Cos everything he said was true.

P200
Honestly nothing has happened!!!
I do like Manon though, she is evil and though not like stupid C.

300
I am boooooooooored. Nothing happens. Even the witches are boring cos there is no point to them. Everyone is boring...well except C's cousin, I like him

*370. Boooooooooored. Skimming

*430 great. Now they are playing quidditch. How the hell will a war start and end in 30 p

*The End: Damn it !!!!! I thought this was the last effing book!! Stupid me! I should have checked. Ok I am DONE with this shit!!!!!!!!

No, I do NOT recommend this series. I hate everyone, they are all such losers. Nothing happened in this book. And omg just pick a MAN already. How YA can you get.( Fail

Kindle Edition, 565 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Children's
Throne of Glass #3
YA Fantasy
own


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

An English Ghost story - Kim Newman

A dysfunctional British nuclear family seek a new life away from the big city in the sleepy Somerset countryside. At first their new home, The Hollow, seems to embrace them, creating a rare peace and harmony within the family. But when the house turns on them, it seems to know just how to hurt them the most—threatening to destroy them from the inside out. 

My thoughts:
I liked this. It was not HORROR, but it was indeed horror. Now what do I mean with that? It was more subtle, and it grew and grew until I was all, I sure hope my house is not haunted 0_0

A dysfunctional family, wait a moment. I just have to say that this family should have been in family therapy and the parents should have gotten a divorce. Toxic! Anyway, the family wants to move, to improve their relationship and then they see the house. See there it starts, the subtle strangeness. They freaking love the house, they want to marry the house and dance around it singing. And the house feels it.

We have a mother who was dependent on a friend. A father who wanted to rule. A sister with an eating disorder. And a son who plays soldier. But everything changes. The house is amazing, they are all happy. They eat pancakes and smile. But, the house knows. The house is watching, and there are ghosts playing around.

Slowly we see that there is something going on. Things move on their own. And as the family realizes this, everything starts to fall apart. It goes from happy to chilly to creepy. Subtle...English. Because sometime it's you who are the dark one.

Conclusion:
A nice ghost story :)

Cover
Ok for a ghost story


Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Titan Books
Horror /fiction
For review


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Spring - Sierra Dean

Just when Cooper Reynolds and Lou Whittaker think they’ve weathered the worst of their trials, they come face to face with the most dangerous, clever villain they’ve ever experienced. One Wyatt brother was bad enough, but now that Archer has called on his brother Christopher for help keeping Lou and Cooper apart, the young couple is about to learn what real trouble looks like.

Christopher has come home determined to get Lou away from Cooper once and for all, and he isn’t afraid who he hurts or what bridges he burns to get the job done. With Cooper’s time running out and Lou struggling to control her growing powers, the last thing they need is more conflict. Too bad things are never as easy as they hope.

With a mysterious pair of FBI investigators in town and the clock ticking, Cooper and Lou need to learn to work together before they’re torn apart forever.


ebook, 178 pages
Published October 10th 2014 by Sierra Dean
Dog Days #3
YA /Paranormal romance
For review

My thoughts:
I have been trying to write this review for an hour now, and I am struggling. See, there was this cliffie of doom. Oh those evil cliffies! I was all noooo! And then the book ended. So yes, evil cliffie alert for sure.

Poor Lou and Cooper. What a f:ed up town! Everyone hates Cooper, and I am all f u guys! Why the hate!? Poor Cooper :/ Not to mention that in a few months he will turn into a coyote and never be human again. Poor Cooper, that is all I gave to say.

And Lou, poor Lou too! Stuck in the middle of a curse. There has to be the witches, the watchers and the poor cursed ones. I would just say screw you all and go. But then she loves Cooper and she is trying to save him. Trying to find out more about the curse, all while avoiding those darn watchers.

Right, the baddies, arghh Archer, hate him, arghh Christoper, his brother, I hate him more.

And then the end come. After having rushed around (Lou) and Cooper becoming sadder the end came with a bang, and now I need more at once.

Conclusion:
I do like this YA series :)

Cover Snark
I kind of like it


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