Saturday, 31 January 2015

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-In Jan 30 2015 and A Dark Guardian Review

#FitReaders hosted by Geeky Bloggers Book Blog  and That’s What I’m Talking About.

Sat, 1 hour walk, and 30 min walk
Sun, 1 hour walk
Mon, 4 km bike, 30 min walk
Tue, 1 hour yoga, 6 km bike, 30 min walk, 1 hour workout class
Wed, 4 km bike, 45 min zumba, 30 min walk (and hitting over 17 000 steps :D
Thu, 4 km bike, 1 hour walk
Fri, 30 min walk, 4 km bike

Yay for getting 17 000 steps that one day. I also forgot my fitbit one day, so that sucks. But all in all a good week.

I have also noticed that I work a lot at work so that is good, on weekends, not so much, but that is what walks are for.



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

Have you ever wanted to travel through time with weapons crafted by the Fae themselves? To experience adventure so thrilling and dangerous you don't know if you will live to see tomorrow? To know that the lives of your men and villages depends on the accuracy of your instincts? To lead a group of highly skilled warriors from other times and realms? Now my men and I are faced with fighting creatures only thought to live in legend but which have been brought to Earth by evil bent on annihilating all the realms. That is my life--and I love it.

At least I did until I found myself staring into the angelic, innocent face of Lady Mina of Stone Crest. In all the time I have led The Shields I have trusted my instinct to keep us alive, yet now I don't know what to believe. Everything points to Mina as the evil summoning the creatures, but she proclaims her innocence.

I should be able to see through her lies, if she is indeed lying, but my attraction to her blinds me to even that. The last time I found myself so attracted to a woman, it nearly cost me the lives of my men. I cannot allow that to happen again. I won't allow that to happen again.

Yet every time she looks at me, begging me with those blue-green eyes to believe her, I find myself sinking farther under her spell. Her mouth is a temptation mortal men will never know and her love will either bring me the peace I thought I'd never find--or the death I've managed, thus far, to avoid.

My thoughts:
Arghh, it could have been so much better! It was all there! Romance, danger, medieval times, drama and a monster. But, omg they screwed it up.

Ok so your sister keeps telling you are ugly, and you are too blind to see that everyone else loves you? I know that shit can mess with your mind but I got so sick of it.

But seriously, the worst part was how Hugh kept believing that Mina was the bad guy up till the end. Even when he had heard she was not. Even after he knew he loved her, even after they had sex! No, she is the bad guy, he feels it. Omg, really? It's so obvi not her! Maybe look at that bitch of a sister, that drunk of a bother, hey look at a villager. But no, it's her.

And there comes to a point where I just go all wtf, not again! EVERYTHING in this book could have been explained if people would have chilled for 1 second and asked a question, explained or just stop being effing children!!!

It's still gets a 2 though even if I hated everyone. Cos it had potential, it just got messed up by everything else.

ebook, 316 pages
Published 2006 by DL Grant, LLC
The Shields #1
Historical paranormal romance
own


Friday, 30 January 2015

Author Post and Giveaway: Linda Mitchelmore

EVERYTHING COMES IN THREES – or how I wrote my trilogy.
By
Linda Mitchelmore

Which comes first? – the chicken or the egg? It’s a perennial question and, in a different form, is one often asked of novelists. How do you start? What comes first? Do you have a situation and then fit characters to it? Or characters that are larger than life in your head and you have to find a story to fit them into? Or perhaps there’s a place that you’ve been to that has affected you deeply, or there’s a place you want to go to, if only in your head and with the aid of the internet and travel books?

For me, my ‘Emma’ trilogy (the third, EMMA AND HER DAUGHTER, published 9th January 2015) began when my husband and I were researching family history. We discovered that my husband’s Great Uncle George, had crewed on two fishing smacks that fished out of Brixham. One was lost to the sea – although with no loss of life, thank goodness – and poor old George was badly injured on the other. This injury meant he had to vacate his tied cottage, and his wife and fifteen-year-old daughter with him. Fortunately for George and his family his mother took them all in. But the workhouse back in the late 1800s/early 1900s was an all too present uncomfortable alternative for others in a similar situation.

Using the writers tip, What If?, I transposed George’s situation onto his daughter. What if a girl that age had been orphaned by the sea? What struggles might she have? How vulnerable would she be to men who might prey on that vulnerability? And what if she took the only route she could - as Emma does in book one of my trilogy - and lived under the roof of a single man, older than she was, which set tongues wagging?

So, I had my heroine in my mind. A hero, Seth, came to me fairly quickly. All heroines, and heroes, need those who aid them in the telling of their story, and those who hinder them. I quite like writing baddies and my trilogy has four stinkers! Seth’s father and two elder brothers are cruel and criminal. But I was conscious of not making just men the baddies so I have a truly evil female baddie, Caroline. I was also aware that Emma needed a friend, someone who was there for her through thick and thin and when she went to work at Nase Head House, Ruby was there waiting for her.

I know a lot of people write a detailed synopsis before they start. Some write character profiles of all their main characters and often their secondary ones as well. I did this for Emma and Seth, but no more than a couple of paragraphs. There are those who plot and those who fly by the seat of their pants when they’re writing and I am most definitely a ‘pantster’!

And so I began to write. I had Emma and Seth fairly well established in my mind and as they walked across the first pages of my novel, other people began to appear in my mind – Beattie Drew, Matthew Caunter, Ruby Chubb, Olly Underwood. TO TURN FULL CIRCLE (the first in my trilogy) is a book that can stand alone but Emma was still only eighteen-years-old when it ended. I felt she had more living to do, more of her story to tell. And so I began on a sequel, EMMA:THERE’S NO TURNING BACK. That begins where the first book ends, and it takes Emma through the growing-up process, but there is more pain along the way for her. She and Seth are now a couple, but Emma also has a kindly benefactor in Matthew Caunter, a very charismatic man who lives dangerously. Just as Emma, Seth, and toddler, Fleur, prepare to emigrate to Canada, Matthew makes a reappearance in Emma’s life. She has to make a choice. And she chooses Canada and Seth. And this book, too, could have ended there. But Emma still had hopes and dreams. Would they ever be fulfilled? EMMA AND HER DAUGHTER gives Emma the happy ending I know now that I wanted for her when I began writing her story, although I didn’t know it then.

Writing a trilogy has been a steep learning curve. When writing a second book enough information about the main protagonists’ background has to be filtered in without it reading like a history book with all the flashbacks. And then, when I wrote the third, I had one heck of a lot more information to filter in while telling a completely new story, with some new characters this time. I’ve been asked which of the three I enjoyed writing most and the answer has to be EMMA AND HER DAUGHTER. I hope now that readers will enjoy it, too.

Giveaway:
1 e-copy of Emma and her Daughter

1. Open to everyone in the world
2. Ends Feb 7th
3. Just enter :)


Blurb: 

Can ‘second love’ be true love?
It’s 1927 and Emma has returned to England from Canada with her teenage daughter, Fleur. After the tragedies of the past, Emma is ready to start again in Devon, the place she used to call home – despite the bittersweet memories it brings back.
But memories are not the only thing that she has to contend with. There’s also the secret she’s been keeping from her daughter; the secret that’s revealed when an unwelcome visitor comes back and threatens to turn their lives upside down.
Throughout it all Matthew Caunter is rarely far from Emma’s thoughts and, as it happens, much closer than she thinks. Could he be the key to her finally finding happiness, or will Emma discover the hard way that some people are just destined for heartache?

Author links:
Buying links:


Thursday, 29 January 2015

Historical x2 reviews: The Naked Gentleman and Undone

John Parker-Roth cannot believe that marriage is necessary for his happiness. He would far rather pursue his interest in horticulture, but if one day he should find a female who shared his passion for flowers—a level-headed, calm sort of female—he might reconsider. Certainly the lovely young woman who has just tumbled into his lap will not do, as she possesses neither of these admirable qualities. 

Yet Miss Margaret Peterson does have many things in her favor. To begin with, she is a true English rose, blushing a delectable pink. And she is not entirely clothed. Her full mouth begs to be kissed. If only she would not wriggle so . . . oh, dear. He cannot ignore the sudden vision of her in his bed, but he must.

What? Is Meg actually asking him to kiss her? Well, well, well. John Parker-Roth is a gentleman, first and foremost. And he cannot turn down a lady’s request . . . 

My thoughts:
I liked it, but at the end I went, would I read more? No, not really. Oh well I guess it was just ok then.

I had problems through out the book. First, Meg drags men into the bushes..ok, that is beyond stupid. And it seems everyone knows about it! Ok that is not even funny, she would be ostracized and ruined. Who cares who her friends are then. You just do not drag men into the bushes! I think she told us why but I forgot. To get married? To see how kisses the best? Stupid girl.

So she is a stupid girl who samples kisses and then when she could get married she is all no. *eye roll*

John was no catch either, he was pretty boring and when did they fall in love? I never felt it. Not even at the sudden ending.

And they never even got it on! SO, yes I know I skim those parts but it was just so what is this? It's not like she isn't already ruined.

The thing that bothered me the most where the side characters. I was reading about Meg or John and suddenly a new characters showed up and got her or his own sidestory and I was all, who are these people? Who cares!

Oh, and no one is naked in this one

Conclusion:
Just ok then. 

Cover
ok

Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Zebra (first published 2008)
Naked Nobility #6
Historical romance
Own

Inspired by the tale of Rapunzel, Lila DiPasqua offers a new steamy, emotionally charged historical romance in the acclaimed Fiery Tales Series . . . Rescuing this beauty from the ‘tower’ is only the beginning . . .

Maintaining her ruse as a commoner, and trusting no one has kept Angelica safe. But a chance encounter with a handsome stranger lands her right where danger lies. Now, this sinfully handsome man with arresting blue eyes and a polished manner thinks he’s saved her life, when in fact he’s placed her in great peril. She’s intent on keeping him and everyone else at arm’s length. Yet, the smoldering attraction between them is difficult to deny. And impossible to ignore . . .

As commander of a number of privateer ships, Simon Boulenger dresses and speaks like an aristocrat, and has obtained wealth. But he is still not a noble. Or an officer in the King’s Navy. His lifelong dream to elevate himself from his station of birth and attain a respectable place in society is dead. Worse, he’s ensnared in a deadly scheme, and must get out. But how is he to stay focused on his dangerous mission when the mysterious beauty has him utterly intrigued? He can’t afford the distraction any more than he can resist the carnal hunger she stirs. Simon soon discovers that she’s not only a passionate soul mate, but a woman born into privilege. A woman he can never have. But they’re in too deep. Their hearts are at risk . . . as well as their lives. 

My thoughts:
First, there was nothing of Rapunzel here. Was that supposed to be the kidnapping from the convent? So nothing of the fairy tale. But then it only says inspired, and that does not have to mean alike...I guess.

So she writes these more erot (I am not gonna say the word cos I read once how blogger does not like it) tales. Can't say much about that, I am a smexy scene skimmer. Have you seen one throbbing member than you have seen them all. *yawns* *skips a few pages* What? It's just so boring, get to the story already.

Ok the story. So this guy kidnaps a woman from a convent..eh rude much? Thanks a lot for kidnapping me and bringing me to France. The place of my dooooom! Yes the heroine Angelica has run from France and does not want to be here. But Simon has a throbbing member and wanted to save her from a wicked nun.

Angelica had a wicked stepdad.

Simon hates this guy who steals from the king. Simon also have issues of wanting to be nobility.

Angelica does not want to tell her real name or anything.

Simon gets very upset when she ...something I can't say, but COME ON! Asshole much?! F that man, I would not have forgiven him that easily but she wanted that throbbing member again.

France, a ship, an island. Thinking how they can't be together cos omg she is a noble, and he is not. He must sacrifice his happiness so she can marry some noble, have 10 kids and die from syphilis that he got from his many mistresses.

Conclusion:
Haha, but honestly, it was a fun tale, even with the skipped scenes ;)

cover
ok ish

ebook, 350 pages
Published April 23rd 2012
Fiery Tales #4
Erot Historical romance
Own


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Romeo Romeo - Robin Kaye

Rosalie Ronaldi doesn't have a domestic bone in her body. All she cares about is her career, so she survives on take-out and dirty martinis, keeps her shoes under the dining room table, her bras on the shower curtain rod, and her clothes on the couch .

Nick Romeo is every woman's fantasy - tall, dark, handsome, rich, really good in bed, AND he loves to cook and clean. He says he wants an independent woman, but when he meets Rosalie, all he wants to do is take care of her. Before too long, he's cleaned up her apartment, stocked her refrigerator, and adopted her dog ... So what's the problem? Just a little matter of mistaken identity, corporate theft, a hidden past in juvenile detention and one big nosy Italian family too close for comfort .

My thoughts:
To be fair, even though I would LOVE to have a man like Nick..well he was just a bit too, to freaking perfect. I mean he cleaned her place, he cooks, takes care of her. Gods, if I would not have to do that and read instead, sigh, happy times. Still...too perfect. I must have issues when I would love to have a man like that but at the same time not. But maybe it was more his macho I will take care of you ways. Clean, just do not be too bossy. Yes, that would work.

Oh, I should talk about the story too? But I was thinking of my dream man! Never mind.

Rosalie is a workaholic with a boyfriend she feels meh about.

Nick is one of NYs most eligible bachelors and loves them, and leaves them.

They meet, have fun, suddenly they are always together, but still refuses to believe either of them could fall in love, truly fall in love. Oh you idiots. Of course you will fall in love and live happily ever after.

Conclusion:
Cute and fun. 

Cover
nice

ebook, 255 pages
Published October 30th 2008 by Sourcebooks, Incorporated (first published 2008)
Domestic Gods #1
Contemporary romance
Own


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The prodigal mage - Karen Miller

Many years have passed since the last Mage War. It has been a time of great change. But not all changes are for the best, and Asher's world is in peril once more.

The weather magic that keeps Lur safe is failing. Among the sorcerers, only Asher has the skill to mend the antique weather map that governs the seasons, keeping the land from being crushed by natural forces. Yet, when Asher risks his life to meddle with these dangerous magic, the crisis is merely delayed, not averted.

Asher's son Rafel inherited his father's talents, but he has been forbidden to use them. With Lur facing devastation, however, he may be its only hope. 

My thoughts:
I would not say that this series can be read just like this. You will not get the entire back story. Sure you could enjoy it, but you really should read the series that takes place 10 years before. And the prequel that explains why all these people are in trouble anyway.

But anyway this book; 10 years ago they saved Lur and got rid of Morg. The Olken and Doranen are now equals (before the Doranen were the Lords and if the Olken used magic they got killed.) Asher the hero from the previous series is married with 2 kids. He is a stubborn mule as always. The Olken and Doranen still bicker and are idiots. The country is not saved after all and after 600 years of magic hitting it the world is falling apart.

That is our story. Can Lur be saved? Is the rest of the world dead? Will anyone be left standing, cos honestly this world is going to hell. Some people just should not be allowed to have magic.

People argue, whine and are idiots. Still it's nice old school fantasy. I do wonder how it will play out.

But yes, I do think the books should be read in order. 

Cover
Good

Paperback, 631 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Orbit
The Fisherman's Children #1
Fantasy
Own


Monday, 26 January 2015

The Tears of the Rose - Jeffe Kennedy

Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen? 

My thoughts:
The adventure continues! This book is about the youngest princess, Amelia. The spoiled and beautiful one. The one who liked to party, who married her prince charming at 16. The one people assumes has no brain cos she is so pretty. The one who is told to be an avatar of their Goddess, cos she is so pretty...

But that is not now. Now she is a widow. She is told her husband was killed by her kidnapped sister. Who now lives with demons. She is told a lot of things. And not all things true. She is a pawn but slowly she starts to realise things, that she does not need to be a pawn. That she can find out the truth herself, and that, yes people could be lying to her. But the road there is long.

At first I did want to shout at her, ok so that was not her fault. She is lied to and of course she believes those lies. Why wouldn't she? I just wanted her to find out the truth and to be herself. But it's a dangerous game. Her father wants destruction, the church wants obedience. These countries are going to hell.

The end is pretty brutal, sometimes a cliffie is all ok, I can live with it. But here, omg, omg, no! I can't live with that, I want the next book to see what happens! The 3rd book, that is about the 3rd sister, but stuff is still going on with Amelia..ok calm down, things will be resolved...hopefully. And people will live happily ever after.

This is light fantasy/fantasy romance. I enjoyed it and duh, I want more. There is cliffie! after all. I can't wait to see how it all plays out.

Conclusion:
Recommended. 

Cover
It looks like she is wearing a top, not good

Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 25th 2014 by Kensington
The Twelve Kingdoms #2
Fantasy romance
own


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Carole's Sunday: Stardust - Neil Gaiman

Author: Neil Gaiman
Title: Stardust 
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, & YA
Pages: ebook
First Published: 1998
Where I Got It: My shelf (Borrowed from library)

"In the sleepy English countryside of decades past, there is a town that has stood on a jut of granite for six hundred years. And immediately to the east stands a high stone wall, for which the village is named. Here in the town of Wall, Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. One crisp October night, as they watch, a star falls from the sky, and Victoria promises to marry Tristran if he'll retrieve that star and bring it back for her. It is this promise that sends Tristran through the only gap in the wall, across the meadow, and into the most unforgettable adventure of his life."

I've honestly never heard of this book until it was picked for the Book Club. I was a little weary about reading this, but it certainly was an adventure and I nice add to our book list for the book club. I can't wait to discuss it. 

Ooooooooooooooooo! Victoria you dumb, dumb, witch. Poor Tristran...instead of being honest saying she didn't "love" him like he did her, she sends him out on a simple little errand to go to the magic land and get the falling star and then MAYBE she'll kiss him and if he is lucky she might consider marriage. >________< Gah. 

So yes, the beginning was rough for me for that reason and that is was slow and there were a lot of character introductions. There are a lot of people who want that damn star! Things got better when Tristran did manage to find the star - which made the book much more interesting. It was a twist and I liked it. I can't say what happens when he finds the star, but it was good. 

I loved the including of fairytales and fables! It was a nice! Especially the lion vs the unicorn for the crown. That was my favorite little bit - the unicorn was my favorite!

The only thing I did not like at all in this book was the random parts with lots of violence and/or non YA words/scenes. I'm mostly referring to the death of a character (that I liked - of course) that was brutally murdered. Okay...I think what bugged me was that it was an animal. I felt that these scenes took away the "fantastical" feel of the book. It just stuck out like a red thumb and it wasn't needed.

Overall, this was a fun adventure. I honestly would have never picked up this book on my own, so I am grateful for the book club introducing this to me. There were a few scenes I didn't like because 1) it took away the "fantastical" feel of the book and 2) it bugged me. The beginning was slow, but it got a lot better. I would highly recommend this to those that like fantasy-type books. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 3 stars (it was going to be 3.5 - so a rounded 4 - but the animal murder took away a .5).  

Favorite Character(s): Tristran (even tho he was blinded by the love he had for Victoria), the star (sassy!), and Trsitran's mom

Not-so Favorite Character(s): Victoria and the witch (>_____>) 



Saturday, 24 January 2015

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-In Jan 23 2015 and The Lascar's Dagger review


Sat, 1,5 h walk
Sun, 1.10 h walk
Mon, 9 km bike, 1,5 h yoga
Tue, 30 min walk, 6 km bike, 45 min workout class
Wed, 1 hour zumba, 4 km bike
Thu, 30 min walk, 4 km bike and I hit 15 000 steps for the first time :D
Fri, 30 min walk and 4 km bike

Good week, I was happy to reach 15000 one day :) . That was thanks to walking at work, which I did not count cos the kids walked so slowly, ha, and a trip to the library with them. And when I got home grocery shopping and that 30 min walk.

Oh and the bike thing, it's not like I workout two times in a day. I just take the bike to work...always, come snow, rain, ice...


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

A theft in a faraway land --- with repercussions that reach around the world... 
The world thinks of Saker Rampion as a priest, a gentle man preaching peace. The truth is, he's a spy for the head of his faith, posted in the court of King Edwayn.

It's a time of fear --- as a mysterious and monstrous disease sweeps the country ---but also opportunity ---lucrative trade is opening up overseas, and what's grown on the Spice Islands is rumored to cure the demonic plague.

However when the king uses his own daughter as a pawn in trade deals, Saker cannot help but get involved. And for his trouble, he may just end up excommunicated, or even dead..

My thoughts:
Arghh, I am not having a good time with my xmas books! This book had some good parts, but most of the time it was dull or I wanted to kick a character in the nuts.

Saker, our good priest who is a naive little idiot. I mean come on, you are a spy? HA. A naive little idiot. Yes I did not like him after a certain point.

Sorrel, ok she was sort of interesting but she needed backbone.

Mathilda, oh I hate this bitch. That was not cool!

So no characters to like. The world building was there, but lacking. The story felt slow and not a lot happened. The way of the Oak was interesting, I did like that, but would have wanted more explanations of this religion.

1/3 of the book was good. The rest was eh, the last part was skim worthy.

Conclusion:
I am so disappointed.

Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Orbit
The Forsaken Lands #1
Fantasy
Own


Friday, 23 January 2015

Historical Romance Friday x2 reviews

Douglas Allen, Viscount Amery, hates having arrived to his title without knowing how to manage his properties. Guinevere Hollister is a distant family connection raising her daughter in rural obscurity while stewarding the estate. Douglas reluctantly puts himself in Gwen's hands for lessons in land husbandry and discovers beneath her prickly exterior a woman of passion and honor. Yet despite the closeness they find, she will not marry him.

When the powerful Duke of Moreland arranges an engagement between Gwen and his heir, Douglas knows the marriage is not what Gwen wants. In Douglas's eyes, Gwen deserves to make her own choices, and he will take on family, the meddling duke, and Gwen's own lonely, stubborn heart to ensure his lady's happiness. 

My thoughts:
This book takes place before the Windhaven books, and now when you mention it, I do remember Gwen from that first book. I remembering wondering what her deal was.

But read this one before, afterwards, where ever. Cos I have not read a single book in the series to which this book belongs. Some Lords thing, oh well, it did not matter. It truly is a good stand alone book.

Douglas lost two brothers in a year, older brothers who made a mess of the family money. Now he wants to buy a new estate but needs advice. He was a nice man, he wanted to do the right thing. He loved deeply.

Gwen could have been broken, but was not. She stayed strong for her daughter. I did like that in her and her need to protect her child.

They fall in love. But oh no, the family of her daughter's father shows up. What do do? But do not worry, love always win in the end.

Conclusion:
Nice. 

Cover
Ugh, no

ebook, 384 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Lonely Lords #8
Historical romance
Own

When Quentin Blackwell, Earl of Devlyn, discovered the woman he loved was carrying another man’s child, he refused to marry her. In retaliation, her father ruined Devlyn. When Sophie Hamilton, the man’s eldest daughter, comes to him with an unexpected offer, Devlyn seizes the chance for vengeance. What he doesn’t bargain on is how revenge could cost him the one thing he wants the most. Sophie’s love.

All her life, Sophie’s tried to earn her father’s love to no avail. Even her one chance for happiness was crushed beneath his tyrannical thumb, leaving her firmly on the shelf at forty-one. Sophie accepts her fate until she impulsively uses her father’s criminal activities to escape a life of servitude and right a wrong at the same time. She never really expected the Devil of Devlyn to actually accept her rash proposal, and she certainly hadn’t planned on falling in love with a younger man.

My thoughts:
The thing that was different in this one was her age, ok, brace yourselves...she was OLDER, and not just by a year, but by like, what was it, 9? I know, scandalous! 

Sophie hates her dad, her sister, her home.
Quentin hates her dad, and her sister.
Sophie comes to him and tells him that he can get revenge, and her.
He is all, hm, a trick? But I can do her, and I do want that revenge.
So tadaa, they marry. He introduces her to the pleasure that she wanted.

But oh no! Her sister does NOT like that he turned her down but married Sophie.
Her father is not happy.
Her brother is not happy.

I liked this one. Sophie wanted to live and to get away from her bitch of a sister and her effing dad.

Quentin was known as the devil. But he was a nice guy. Sophie's sister wounded him deeply but he still falls for Sophie and does some chasing.

Conclusion
There is a bit of drama (her bitch of a sister!), they get it on, they start to fall for each other and they live happily ever after.  Nice.

Cover
Something is off with the neck, but otherwise good

ebook, 244 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Maroli SP Imprints
Historical romance
Own


Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Summer Queen - Elizabeth Chadwick

Based on up-to-date research, Elizabeth Chadwick brings Eleanor of Aquitaine's magnificent story to life, as never before, unveiling the real Eleanor.

My thoughts:
I usually like her books more. Ok that does not mean I did not like this book. No, I enjoyed it. It was well-written, it's just, I usually like them more you know.

I do have a theory. See, most of her books that I have enjoyed have been about people totally unknown to me, or a little know. But Alienor, yeah, I know everything. Yes I know she married Louis, yes I know it took ages to get a kid. Yes I know she went to Jerusalem, yes I know she tried to get an annulment, yes I know she did get it and married Henry. Huh, my problem was that I knew too much?

But then, why have I read a million books about the war of the roses?`*thinks* To be fair, all those books have been about different players. Well played brain, but not this time.

So yes my issues was that I was never surprised. I knew it, it was the stories I knew, mixed with some fiction. Oh curse this mind of mine!

But it's still a good book. She was an interesting woman. But to be fair...I would rather have read a book about her grandmother Dangerouse. I guess to to prefer lesser known characters, and I guess that is why I try to stay clear of the well known Tudors.

Conclusion:
But hey, if you want a book about Eleanor, then read this one :)

PS. Ok, so she is 13, married, having sx for the first time. It hurts for a sec and then it feels good...come on! Why, why? why does every freaking virgin in every freaking book always feel pleasure? Let her feel nothing. I am not gonna go into a talk about sx and orgasm from v sx *grumbles*.

Cover
eh

Paperback, 478 pages
Published June 1st 2014 by Headline
Eleanor of Aquitane #1
Historical fiction
own


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Queen is Dead - Kate Locke

Book two in a thrillingly original new urban fantasy series—set in a dark alternate world where the Victorian age never ended...

Xandra Varden is the newly crowned Goblin Queen of England. But her complicated life is by no means over.

There are the political factions vying for her favor, and the all too-close scrutiny of Queen Victoria, who for some reason wants her head. Not to mention her werewolf boyfriend with demands of his own, and a mother hell bent on destroying the monarchy. Now she's the suspect in a murder investigation—and Xandra barely knows which way is up.

What she does know is that nothing lasts forever—and immortality isn't all it's cracked up to be. 

My thoughts:
So..I read book 1 yesterday, and this morning I picked up book 2 and read like 200 pages before work. And then finished the book when I got home. And now, I do not have book 3, oh sad me. I totally need the book.

The goblins wants Xandra as their queen cos the surprise in book 1 was that she is a goblin! I did like that twist. And I really like the goblins. They are nice and they are crazy and digs into meat like animals.

Vex, eh, ok sure he is good, I like them together. I do like my weres. I just wonder how it will play out since she is goblin queen and is is alpha wolf.

The world is still amazing and I despair. Humans will never tolerate others. And most vamps are such asses. Halvies are used, so how on earth will everyone live happily ever after? I seriously can see no end to this. Other than rivers of blood that is.

Right! The story. Ok back to the story. Her brother goes missing, she investigates and deals with the whole goblin thing aftermath.

Conclusion:
Awesome series. 

Cover
Cool

Paperback, UK Edition, 333 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Orbit
The Immortal Empire #2
Alternate history / urban fantasy
Own


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Last Hit: Reloaded - Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick

There was a time when Nick loved the fear he instilled in his enemies. His tattoos alone promised danger, but it was the look in his eyes that delivered on it. A contract killer since he was just a boy, Nick has now forged a new life and a new identity with the woman who followed him, captured him, and changed him.

He terrified Daisy. Once. But she couldn't resist, and she ignored every warning. It paid off. Now she's part of a new beginning, a fresh start in America helping him to leave behind a reckless and violent past as a professional killer. But the past is never easy to outrun, especially when so much of it thrives on revenge.

A new threat has emerged from the shadows, and now Nick and Daisy have no choice but to rely on Nick's killer skills to protect them from everything they've tried so hard to escape. 

My thoughts:
I do not know if it was done on purpose or not, but this novella works splendidly as a stand alone. You know how some, kind of work, but things still bother you? Well here I was told things, and I could just ease myself into the story. The story shows how their life goes on.

Of course that does not mean that I do not want to know more about how they met. It would be interesting too see. I know things now, but to actually see it, interesting.

Right, so this is a novella about Daisy and Nick. Nick is a former killer for the Russian mafia and he has started a new life now. He is the big strong brooding kind of guy. "They bother you? I kill them." Ok to be honest, a bit too protective, but sometimes a girl just wants to feel safe.

Daisy's dad home schooled her and did not let her go outside. It was weird, I liked reading about her, but I did not like her. She was so awkward (well duh), naive and was all I need frieeeeends! Most of the time when I meet characters like this I do not like then and do not care to read about them. But I liked reading about her (even if I did not like her personality, we could so not be friends, sure she is nice and would bake me cookies but girl, you are too insecure.) But to read about, aye that I liked.

The book is about...well I can't tell you everything. These two moving on with life, doing it a lot. Her wanting friends and, omg, does someone know where they are? or not?

Conclusion;
Sex and danger. I enjoyed it, and would like more.

Kindle Edition, 134 pages
Published January 20th 2015 by InterMix
Hitman #2.5
Contemporary romance /suspense
for review


Monday, 19 January 2015

God save the queen - Kate Locke

The Year is 2012—and Queen Victoria still rules with an immortal fist.

She's the undead matriarch of a Britain, where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground, and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. A world where technology lives side by side with magic, where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath) and Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day.

Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it's her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But things get complicated when her sister goes missing. Xandra will not only realise she's the prize in a dangerous power struggle—but she'll also uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire itself. 

My thoughts:
Omg yes! *fistpump

I have for weeks been reading bad books, ok books, and good books (which is good, but you know...) I have been missing awesome and finally! I started reading it, and I never put it down. Well ok once for that obligatory tweet about how I am reading an awesome book.

It had everything I wanted. Cool heroine, action, danger and omg awesome world! The plague made aristocrats into vamps and weres and goblins. Now the nobility rule England and Queen Victoria is a vamp. Humans hate them though. A world of old world dress code, manners, and new tech. A strange steampunk mix cos hello Victoria is still queen after all.

Alexandra, our heroine, is a half blood and a member of the guard. She was pretty kick-ass.

The story goes like this. Her sister is missing. What is going on? Oh oh conspiracy? Oh oh sexy guy? Oh oh twist!! Loved that twist. Damn happy I have book 2 *fistpump.

So yes of course I would recommend this. Danger, suspense, awesome world, and even a hot guy. Hello, what is there not to like?!

Conclusion;
Very happy with this book. 

Cover
cool

Paperback, UK Edition, 354 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Orbit
The Immortal Empire #1
Urban fantasy
Own


Sunday, 18 January 2015

Joint Review: The Favored Queen - Carolly Erickson

Author: Carolly Erickson
Title: The Favored Queen
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 295
First Published: September 2011
Where I Got It: Carole: my shelf (Book section at store), And I from Carole

"Born into an ambitious noble family, young Jane Seymour is sent to Court as a Maid of Honor to Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s aging queen. She is devoted to her mistress and watches with empathy as the calculating Anne Boleyn contrives to supplant her as queen. Anne’s single-minded intriguing threatens all who stand in her way; she does not hesitate to arrange the murder of a woman who knows a secret so dark that, if revealed, would make it impossible for the king to marry Anne.  

Once Anne becomes queen, no one at court is safe, and Jane herself becomes the victim of Anne’s venomous rage when she suspects Jane has become the object of the king’s lust. Henry, fearing that Anne’s inability to give him a son is a sign of divine wrath, asks Jane to become his next queen. Deeply reluctant to embark on such a dangerous course, Jane must choose between her heart and her loyalty to the king.

Acclaimed biographer and bestselling novelist Carolly Erickson weaves another of her irresistible historical entertainments about the queen who finally gave Henry VIII his longed for heir, set against the excitement and danger of the Tudor Court."

For this review, me and Carole decided to do a joint review! If it's successful, we'll be doing a monthly joint review! Fun times! We did a Q&A for this book. At the end of the review, I typed a few more words about how I felt about this book:




1) There are a lot of complaints of the historical inaccuracies in this book, what do you think/feel about the liberties taken by the author?
B: I understand the complaints and sometimes stuff like that truly bother me. But it mostly has to do with language or how they act. Here it was more that she yes took liberties about facts and hey I can roll with that. It's fiction, it has to have some drama, cos else it becomes dry and I become bored. If I did not sign up for non-fic I do not want that. But sure there were things that were a little too much...


C: I'm an open-minded lady when it comes to to entertainment and the liberties they take in books and movies. I get it...some aspects of history is boring for those that don't like history (or even those who do). The author took A LOT of liberties, but I have come to realize she does that in all her books. For this one...there were a few scenes I couldn't help but laugh at or roll my eyes or get annoyed. However, compared to some of her other books, this one was not too bad. 


2) What did you think of how the author portrayed Jane Seymour?
B:I have never really had an opinion about Jane. Mostlty because people write about Anne, Anne, Anne, omg I am so over ANNE! Sure, a bit too much Anne in this one too, sigh. But anyway, Jane, I liked her, she was sensible, most of the time.


C: I applaud the author for how she portrayed Jane. I normally don't like Jane (and I still don't), but it was nice seeing this side of Jane. Jane was stronger and not so idiotic like in other adaptations. I feel odd...because I liked her. 0.0


3) What do you think would have happened to Jane's son, Edward, if he had lived a long, full life?
B:Carole answered this before me and damn she nails it. Yes I am sure the world would have thought of Henry as an ass, and I am sure Edward would have to try to re-write history a bit to make his dad better. And because of this father I think he could have ruled well and ok let's not talk about everything Like maybe no Spanish Armada, aww the possibilities. 


C: Oooooh. Tough one. Ummm, honestly, I think Henry VIII would not have been as remembered. He was remembered because he was an ass and because of his two daughters. Edward would have been remembered instead. 


4) What Queen (Catherine, Anne, or Jane) would you have stood behind? Or would you play neutral? 
B:I would definitely go for nneutral It was not a good court to be a part of. I would try to play it as safe as I could and for GODS sake hope that Henry did not look at me. But if I had to choose I queen I would go for Catherine.


C: I wish I could say Queen Anne, but she was certainly hated in reality and in the book. Everyone hated her for "seducing" the King and kicking Catherine off the throne. I would have played neutral, honestly. Just go along for the ride and not kick up too much dirt. It's bad to say, but King Henry and his bipolarness scares me. hahaha


5) Would you marry King Henry VIII? If not, why? If so how come? Though...like you had a choice. ;)
B:Young Henry, not old. But rather no Henry. He was way too lusty, but then which king would not be? But his problem was more the hacking of heads things. Did you look at that guy?! Off with her head! Yeah, no thanks Henry. I'd rather be his mistress, cos then he would just hopefully send me away and give me stuff and make me marry someone else.


C: Mmmmmmmm, maybe young Henry. Not old Henry after Jane. Bleurgh. He was gouty and HUGE! I would not want Queen Catherine Parr's fate to take care off an elderly, sickly man while I am super young and be afraid he would get grumpy and have my head hacked off. 

6) Would you be a nun, peasant, or court lady in this time of the book? Your choice.
B:A nun would be good, but sigh, how boring! Not to mention..ahem...well you know.
A peasant's life would be so hard and I am seriously lazy.
Lady it is. I would be a pawn of my father, of my brother, married to some guy, playing dangerous games, but hey at least I'd have  better chance of surviving if I got sick.


C: I really wish I could say I would be content as a peasant or nun...but I would be a court lady. It is dangerous and can seriously stink especially with arranged marriages, but alas...you have nice stuff and you for sure will have food on your table. I would keep my head down and stay away from political stuff though. Not worth getting my head hacked off. 


7) Do you think the King felt anything for Jane or was she just a baby machine? And what about our dear King's sperm count? SO many ladies, so few living kids?
B: She was tolerable, she could be fertile. Yes why not give her a chance if it does not work out just get rid of her. I mean he knew how to now.
As for his sperm, yes that was my question. Sure he had kids (mostly the bastard ones), but still he spread it around a lot. I did read this interesting article after this and sure maybe. But like Carole will say, we would need that blood to check.


C: No. At this point, he was desperate for kids. I think the first two wives broke his heart, so he was over love. He just wanted a baby boy. He only "loved" Jane because she gave him a son.  I think there was something wrong with the King or how he treated his preggo girls. He stressed them out and it caused miscarriages. Also, there is a theory that the RH factor of the blood types might have had something to do with the first two wives. I wish we could do some blood work on him!


8) Which character was your favorite? Least favorite?
B: Favorites, *coughs* Honestly no favorites.  But, yes I am partial to Catherine, so her.
Least favorites, Henry, but that is obvious. Anne, cos I DO not like her.


C: My favorites were Jane (oddly), Anne (even tho she was super bitchy in this one), & Charles Brandon. My least favorite was King Henry (he was a super ass and he nicknamed Anne "puffball" or something like that - what? Really? Stupid nickname), the Prophet Nun (*shakes my head*), and the guy - I can't remember his name - who almost killed Anne (I get it...she had the Sweating disease, but you sir are an ass). 




Saturday, 17 January 2015

Mage's Blood - David Hair and #FitReaders: Weekly Check-In Jan 16 2015

#FitReaders hosted by Geeky Bloggers Book Blog  and That’s What I’m Talking About.



Sat, 1 hour walk
Sun, 1.10 hour walk
Tue,  11, 694 steps (4km bike and I guess..1 hour walk?)
Mon, 8 km bike, 1,5 hour yoga
Wed, 1 hour zumba, 4 km bike
Thu, 9 km bike, 1 hour zumba
Fri, 30 min walk, 4 km bike

No pics :/ During weekdays there is too little daylight, and only walked in the evening last weekend.

The flat abs challenge is not going that well, I realised that I had missed that I was to start a new series, so I had to go back a week. Oh well, it will just take a bit longer than a month ;)

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


Most of the time the Moontide Bridge lies deep below the sea, but every 12 years the tides sink and the bridge is revealed, its gates open for trade.

The Magi are hell-bent on ruling this new world, and for the last two Moontides they have led armies across the bridge on ‘crusades’ of conquest.

Now the third Moontide is almost here and, this time, the people of the East are ready for a fight . . . but it is three seemingly ordinary people that will decide the fate of the world. 

My thoughts:
I was disappointed. I love great worldbuilding. I do not mind if you borrow from cultures in our world, just by the gods, change some things at least!

This world has the Mafia in Sicily and they even speak Italian there.
There are the roaming Romani.
There is Jerusalem, and trust me, it's not like it's a place call Ach*meh*otu and I just guessed it. No, it's called Hebusalim. Like with the Romani and mafia it's so freaking obvious.
There is the West, and the East and the East is so our East and they have declared Jihad there. There are Emirs, there are camels, there is even the India place with Kama Sutra.
There is a Jesus like guy. There is the Roman empire.

The planet is called Urth *groans*

Fine, could the characters have saved it?
Half and half. Aleron was pretty interesting (even though he was stupid). His aunt Elena was pretty interesting.

That guy following the girl he loves was NOT interesting. I skimmed his parts. The story if the girl he loved and her new man, was NOT interesting. I skimmed her parts.

The only reason I am giving this a 2 is cos of Aleron and Elena. The rest was bad. No originality at all.

Paperback, 671 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by Jo Fletcher Books
Moontide Quartet #1
Fantasy
Own


Friday, 16 January 2015

Author Post and giveaway: Sherri Browning



Guest Post: Lady Averford's Top Tips for Matchmaking

When you read Thornbrook Park or An Affair Downstairs, you learn that Sophia, Countess of Averford, considers herself a bit of a matchmaker. In fact, she can’t help but try to pair up the single people in her life. But she has a few rules…

1. Make sure the match benefits the matchmaker. 

If one wants to keep her sister close, for example, one should try finding her a bachelor who happens to live in the same neighborhood, or even the same house, so much the better.

2. Age doesn’t matter, until it does. 

Older men are perfectly suitable candidates for marriage, as long as they have a title or estate. Without a title or sizable estate, older men are likely to seem quite stodgy and impossible. 

3. Looks aren’t everything. 

In fact, it matters very little what a man looks like as long as he has the right position, connections, and manners. 

4. Opposites attract.

Having some things in common can be helpful for making conversation over the breakfast table, perhaps, but conversation can lead to arguments. Sometimes, it’s handy to have no similar interests at all, especially if one marries a man who isn’t particularly witty or good-looking. In which case, the secret to a successful marriage might be spending time apart.

5. Social standing is everything. 

Everything! I can’t stress it enough. Good-looking or bad, fat or thin, witty or dull, polite or boorish, old or young, any of it can be tolerated as long as the marriage elevates one’s standing. Or, at least, doesn’t detract from it. 

Daughters of earls shouldn’t consider marriage to any less than an earl, for example. Princes or dukes are ideal, but an earl will do if he is also good-looking and intelligent. The lower the rank, the more a man needs to add to his appeal in other ways. But certainly, don’t put anything above rank. 

There you have it! Happy husband hunting, and best wishes.


Rafflecoptor Link: a Rafflecopter giveaway



Title: An Affair Downstairs
Author: Sherri Browning
Series: Thornbrook Park
ISBN: 978-1-4022-8682-7
Pubdate: 1/6/2015

The attraction of the forbidden cannot be suppressed…

Lady Alice Emerson is entirely unsatisfied with the endless stream of boring suitors her family finds appropriate. She wants something more. Something daring. Something real. Each tiresome new suitor only serves to further inflame Lady Alice’s combustible attraction to Thornbrook Park’s rugged, manly estate manager, Logan Winthrop. Despite Logan’s stubborn attempts to avoid her, Lady Alice is irresistible, and so is the forbidden desire exploding between them…

If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, don’t miss the fascinating Edwardian world of Thornbrook Park.

About the author:
Sherri Browning writes historical and contemporary romance fiction, sometimes with a paranormal twist. She is the author of critically acclaimed classic mash-ups Jane Slayre and Grave Expectations. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Sherri has lived in western Massachusetts and Greater Detroit Michigan, but is now settled with her family in Simsbury, Connecticut. Find her online at www.sherribrowningerwin.com.

Buy Links:
Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1uEbg42


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