Thursday, 30 April 2015

Blood Lust - Zoe Winters

KEPT:
No one should have to be on the run from their family. Family is who you can trust, right? Dark magic users are the ones on the don’t trust list. Yet, when Greta learns the werecat tribe plans to sacrifice her on the full moon to steal her potent magical blood, she ditches common sense in favor of running to the one man who can protect her. Will Dayne kill her as he has so many others of her kind, or is his grudge against her family strong enough to save her?

CLAIMED:
Anthony is cold, ruthless, undead, and hard to like. Yet, all it takes is one human with amnesia, to soften his heart. Ever since being bitten, Charlotte hasn’t been the same. More than anything, he wants to return to a time when she saw him for the man he is, instead of the monster she’s discovered. A time before she feared him. 

In the midst of a power struggle for vampire king, it soon becomes clear that the only way to protect a fragile human in his care is to claim her as his mate. Meanwhile, his deepest wish is to have his lover awakened from the memory loss that took everything... not just the memories he meant to erase. 

MATED:
Be small. Be invisible. It’s an odd life mantra for a human woman in a world of monsters. But Jane’s blood contains a touch of vampire magic, making her their victim over and over. With her faster-than-normal healing time, she’s an ideal punching bag for the abusive vampire she’s been living with, the one she thought might protect her this time. 

Paul owes a debt to the werewolf alpha, and Cole doesn’t care how he gets paid: flesh or coin. $10,000 or Jane? The human is a small price for the vampire to pay to be debt-free.

Cole is attractive and warm---so different from the coldness and death Jane has grown used to. If the werewolves didn’t have a worse reputation than the vampires, being taken by the alpha might feel like rescue, but Cole’s growing possessive nature, makes Jane fear he’ll only abuse her like the others. If he doesn’t, could becoming an alpha’s mate free her from the vampires for good? 

My thoughts:
3 novellas in 1.

Kept was the first one. Greta is a shifter, Dayne  iss a wizard. She needs help, he can give it.
This was pnr and I liked it, omg. But I do think it was because there was no instalove, no alpha ahole. Just a woman on the run, and yes she was in heat so yes they got it on. But that was not love, that was lust. It worked. I enjoyed the story.

Claimed was at it seems now the weak  one of the bunch. And it was all cos it was the most pnr one. Anthony was a total alpha-hole. I mean seriously. He attacked, almost killed her, held her hostage. Then at the end they were in love. Ugh. But it was still a good story, with weak points.

Mated was the last one an about Jane who can see vampires, and therefore is spending her time with them. For good and bad. She was with an asshole and that is how she ends up with Cole, the werewolf alpha. And you know the story, they will be mated. I enjoyed this one, he was not an alpha-hole. He wanted to protect her, and the love was the mated kind.

Conclusion:
So yes behold, I liked a paranormal romance. Nice stories all in all.

Cover
They have heads so I have to say ok

Paperback, 360 pages
Published August 2nd 2010 by Incubooks
Preternaturals #1, Blood Lust #1-3
Paranormal romance
Own


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Rebel Queen - Michelle Moran

When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the 1850s, it expects a quick and easy conquest. After all, India is not even a country, but a collection of kingdoms on the subcontinent. But when the British arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, expecting its queen to forfeit her crown, they are met with a surprise. Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies—one male, one female—and rides into battle like Joan of Arc. Although her soldiers are little match against superior British weaponry and training, Lakshmi fights against an empire determined to take away the land she loves.

Told from the perspective of Sita, one of the guards in Lakshmi's all-female army and the queen’s most trusted warrior, The Last Queen of India traces the astonishing tale of a fearless ruler making her way in a world dominated by men.

My thoughs:
First, yay! New Moran book! Loved it!

Honestly that blurb, I kept waiting for her to be this Warrior Queen with her big armies, but nope. Not a good blurb for telling me things that did not happen. But again then I was surprised instead when things happened. So yes the blurb is there but do not mind it.

Sita grows up in a little village. Her family belongs to the warrior caste and her life is spent at the house as that is what women should do. I loved the small (and horrid) details.. Like how female babies are killed cos they are female, and then they tell people the wolves got them. Women are worthless. Silly men, what happens if you kill all women? Like when her grandmother took her to a temple to sell her 0_0 A kid! But that was religious prostitution. Sita was lucky though, she had a warrior for a dad who trained her so that would not be her fate.

The rani in the kingdom of Jhansi where Sita lives has female body guards, (10?) so that is what Sita trained for, and obviously she won her place, duh. So no female army. Just female bodyguards who were fierce indeed.

The palace was interesting. Clashes with fellow warriors. Intrigues. Friendships. And the danger of the British. Yes those British, this book certainly did not make me like them. Ok so both sides will do horrible thing when the fighting starts. But, the Jhansi kingdom, and the either Indian kingdoms were "good" kingdoms. The British just wanted more land and stuff and to take over. The "rebels" only fought to save their countries.

So yes a war will come, but it's over quickly and in the last 100 pages. It was sad too cos it changed history and kingdoms fell apart. I would have loved to see "India" as it was then. Temples at their best, palaces and everything. But then it was bad too, like things I have mentioned. So live there would have sucked.

But all in all it makes an interesting book. I have not talked a lot about actual things that happen. Because I was so fascinated by the history and culture. Those small and little things that just makes a book so good. A well researched and interesting book. I do wonder where she will take us next? Somewhere interesting for sure. I could write on and on.

And I must say, it killed me not to google Rani Lakhsmi to see how it would end for her and her husband's kingdom. But I managed to hold myself  and read about it here ;)

Conclusion:
Another great book from Moran. I do recommend all of them.

Cover
good

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Touchstone
Historical fiction
For review


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Divine and Dateless - Tara West

Good girls go to Heaven. Bad girls go all the way... 

What can be worse than electrocuting yourself while getting ready for your Internet date? Realizing the hot stud you’ve been fondling is the Grim Reaper? Being chased by a sex-crazed bloated, naked corpse? 

How about an eternity of more bad hair days and horrific dates? Or lusting after the one guy in all the afterlife whose hydrophobia rivals his fear of commitment? 

Yeah, that’s a whole lot worse. 

My thoughts:
If this is what people believe heaven is like, then heaven sure sucks. Who would want to go here? UGH!.

So Ash electrocutes herself and dies. She is taken to Heaven and it's glorious. You have your own personal sex-slave...I do not care if "it" was called a valet, that was a freaking sex-slave. And you can pig out without getting fat.

But oh oh! There was a mistake in accounting and she belongs on the second floor, but gets sent to the 12th cos of the mistake. So if the 12th looks exactly like our world, then the other floors in purgatory must SUCK!!! You have to work, go to church and be creepy nice to everyone so that you get credits and can go into heaven. And the lower you are the more time that will take. Seriously working now, and then working for another 2000 years, no thank you.

And that is what Ash has to do, find a job, find friends, find something to eat that is gluten free. And to buy things, you spend credits, so it will take ages to go to heaven. The afterlife sucks, if you have been a totally normal person then yes the afterlife sucks.

But things are looking up. There is a sexy Grim! And then there was the thing that almost made me cry, sheesh, pms much?!

Conclusion:
Still, it was good. If I found freebie 2 then I would read it, but buy it, nah.

Cover
eh

Kindle Edition, 258 pages
Published July 5th 2014 by Shifting Sands Publishing
Eternally Yours #1
Contemporary romance paranormal
Freebie


Monday, 27 April 2015

Scoundrel's Kiss - Carrie Lofty

Turning his back on his old life as a rogue, Gavriel de Marqueda has joined a monastic order in Spain and taken a vow of chastity. Before he becomes a monk, he must pass one final test: help a woman who has lost her way. But when he lays eyes on Ada of Keyworth, he is tempted beyond measure by her sultry beauty and dangerous curves. 

Far from her home in England, Ada has been battling inner demons for more than a year. When she discovers that her only friend has abandoned her, she has no choice but to grudgingly accept Gavriel's help. But Ada is not fooled. Though Gavriel wears the robes of a monk, Ada sees that he is a virile man who looks at her with a hunger that matches her own—one that begs to be satisfied again and again. 

My thoughts:
Ok this was somewhat different, and by different I mean it was set in what now is Spain. Cool :)

I also liked the facts and tidbits she gave us, and I think this would have been even more interesting as a historical fiction novel. It made me want more facts and less romance, but that is just me.

I did not like all the "what happened before" thoughts, I have not read book 1, I do not need that. Moving on...Ada was different for the reason that she was an opium addict. Though she kicked that habit too fast. Make her suffer a bit.

Gavriel was your usual kind of tortured hero, born a slave, made into a weapon. Now a monk (weird order, interesting, they could marry!)

He saves her, he takes care of her, even though he finds her a burden. She is all, FU. Oh woe me, and my past.

Then they start to fancy each other and he is all, I am a monk! And I have a past! She is all I want you. So obviously they like each other, but oh oh, drama, someone is after them. Action. I love you. The end.

Conclusion:
Hey it was Spain (well the kingdom of..I forgot, Leon was next to it). So I enjoyed it. 

Cover
Those heads again

Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Zebra
Medieval #2
Historical romance
Own

Wohoo, another one from my TBR pile gone. I need some kind of countdown thing


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Joint Discussion: The Heresy Within - Rob J.Hayes


For this post, C and I will be reviewing 'The Heresy Within':


Author: Rob J. Hayes
Title: The Heresy Within
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Sci-Fi, & drama
Pages: ebook
First Published: November 2014
Where I Got It: Freebie

Thanquil Darkheart is an Arbiter of the Inquisition, a witch hunter tasked with hunting down and purging heretics. Thanquil Darkheart is also something else, expendable.

When the God-Emperor of Sarth tells Thanquil there is a traitor operating among the highest echelon of the Inquisition he knows he has no choice but to sail to the city of Chade and follow the Emperor's single lead.

The Black Thorn is a murderer, a thug, a thief and worse but he's best known for the killing of six Arbiters. These days he travels with a crew of six of the most dangerous sell-swords in the wilds. 

After a job well done they find themselves on the run from the law once again but the boss has good news; a new job, the biggest any of them have ever pulled. First, however, they need to evade capture long enough to secure travel to the free city of Chade.

Jezzet Vel'urn is a Blademaster; a swords-woman of prodigious skill but she knows that for a woman like her in the wilds there are two ways out of most situations; fight or screw. Truth is, all too often for Jezzet's liking, it comes down to a combination of the two. Jezzet is chased half-way across the wilds by a vengeful warlord until she makes it to the free city of Chade. Instead of sanctuary, however, all she finds are guards waiting to turn her over for some quick gold. 


B: Helooooooooo

C: Hola!!!!! So...shall we begin? I fear this will be a short-ish review. o.o

B:Yeah, I did NOT finish this one. How far did I make it now again? I have a feeling it was p 20 or something.

C: I “finished” it. hahaha I stopped actually reading about 25 and then skimmed it. 0.0 BAD! YOU NO FINISH!!!!! *points finger accusingly* hehehe just kidding.

B: Says the girl who skimmed the rest. But goooods, wasn’t it dreadfully boring!

C: It was, it was. Even the “exciting” parts could barely catch my attention. I just skimmed and skimmed and then actually read the last couple of pages - I felt bad.

B: I just checked my dnf review. It seems I made it to p 50! Wohoo me ;) But I could not remember anything about those first 50 pages. because I was bored from page 1. Everything was bad, characters, story, nothing fell into place for me.

C: Same. I just couldn’t grasp feelings for the book. Its something I should’ve liked! It was a mix of Lord of the Rings & that ‘Witcher’ series (I have not read the series, but I played the one game and I loved the storyline and main guy). However, it fell FLAT with me. Bleh.

B: The religious stuff seemed semi interesting, the girl just taken could have been interesting. The men, no. The woman who did something at the beginning...I got a feeling I would have been so annoyed by her if I read on. Ohh look at me, strong warrior woman, whatever. See, I did not like anything. Even the interesting bits failed to catch my attention. That book would have needed one big re-write.

C: I couldn’t agree more. The girl WAS annoying. And not even being “strong warrior woman”, it was because she liked to solve issues with sex. Gah, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at all the sex. There was a lot more sex than I expected.

B: Ok, then my feeling about her was right, maybe she said something. Like I said I was bored and did not pay attention. But omg, can’t she even be strong on her own!? Why make her solves issues like that? Can’t she just fight. But no, she is a weak woman who uses sex. So written by a man. I never got to any sex parts so I can’t say about that, but sometimes in fantasy sex is just there for ohh look at this, they have sex *eyeroll*.

C: t was annoying because she WAS a strong woman! She could easily fight her way out, but nah, sex is more fun….whatever….like you said….obviously a man wrote this. I don’t mind the sexy scenes, but I want there to be meaning behind it. NOT just filler. WHICH there is A LOT OF FILLER IN THIS BOOK!

B: That reminds me of another book. The sex was only there to make it all grim *eyeroll*. I have HR to read if I want that, not grim, but you know, lots of passion. In  my fantasy I want more. So a big fail for both of us?

C: A HUGE big fail for both of us I am assuming. haha

B: And I picked it, by LOKI! ;) Sigh, better luck next time.

C: *pats back* Can’t win them all. hahaha Want a cookie?…*hands plate of cookies*

B: I so need cookies after  my big failure

C: *crunches on cookie* I bet my big failure is on the horizon. Good review!!!!!

B: aye, that reminds me, we got nothing picked for May *music of doom*

C: CRAP! Emergency MEETING!!!!! *blares alarm*

B: Your turn…. ;)

C: 0.0 *crunches on cookie*











Saturday, 25 April 2015

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-In April 24 2015 and Ruthless Heart review


Sun, how did I miss it? Walked something
Mon, 4 km bike, 30 min walk
Tue, 1 h workout class, 8 km bike
Wed, 4 km bike, 30 min walk
Thu, 8 km bike, 1 h zumba
Fri, 4 km bike, 30 min walk


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

Sheltered all her life, Eliza Hunter never imagined herself alone in the vast Utah plains, much less trailing a mysterious, rugged man hired to hunt down her beautiful younger sister. Unable to reveal the truth about her pursuit of him, Eliza plays student to his teacher, transforming herself in the process. And when she finds herself sharing the warmth of Grady's campfire, wrapped in his arms, hypnotized by his power, soon she is a naïve spinster no more. . .Grady Wolfe is more than a loner, he's a man forever on the run. With a body and soul finely honed from living off the land, Grady knows he should leave the irresistible woman alone, but she stirs something in him he hasn't felt before. Now he's lost in the woods for the first time in his life--with a dangerous job to do. And no one--not even the luscious Eliza--is going to stop him. . 

My thoughts:
*coughs* Too much smexy times. Haha, yes that got your attention didn't it. So yes if you want your historical with lots of passion then this is the book for you. For me, eh, if I have read one scene I have read them all, I do not need several pages, and then again, and then again. I want to see them fall in love instead. But they wanted to do it like rabbits.

Great and now I forgot his name..Grady? *checks* Ok yes Grady is a bounty hunter, bad and bad. Eliza is a mormon who runs away after her sister runs away. Since Grady is the one after her sister. She just tags along and he lets her..right. But then she does have lovely breasts as he likes to tell her a lot. And the money he spends on her, yikes, are you made of money!?

Eliza was a bit naive, but duh! She was raised that away.
Grady was tough and yes I did like that he showed it. He is not nice. Even if I would have kicked him in the nuts but still....

It was a good book, I could have done with less passion and more on the trail though. They were somewhere? What? She did skinnydip. That is all I learned about nature. I am in such a mood today. Yes smexy scenes bore me. There I said it.

Cover
meh

Kindle Edition, 273 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Kensington Books
Heart, #1
Historical romance, western
own


Friday, 24 April 2015

Shadow on the highway - Deborah Swift

May 1651. England has been in the midst of a civil war for nearly ten years. The country has been torn in two, and the King is getting ready to make his last stand against Cromwell’s New Model Army. 

Abigail Chaplin, a young mute girl, has lost her father to the parliamentarian cause. But with her family now in reduced circumstances, she is forced to work as a servant at a royalist household - the estate of Lady Katherine Fanshawe. 

Abi is soon caught up in a web of sinister secrets which surround the Fanshawe estate. The most curious of which is the disappearance of Lady Katherine late at night. 

Why are her husband’s clothes worn and muddy even though he hasn’t been home for weeks? How is she stealing out of the house late at night when her room is being guarded? And what is her involvement with the robberies being committed by the mysterious Shadow on the Highway? 

My thoughts:
I can't say I like this period in English history (it's great to read about though), but I kept thinking how I would NOT like to live then. Civil war. You are in, you are out. Death, despair, down with rich people! Ugh Cromwell, I do not like him. All that religious strife too.

Anyway. Abigail lost her hearing when young, and has a hard time finding a job. And of course there is the whole civil war going on too. She gets work at a nearby manor, where only 3 servants and a young noble woman live. Yes things are not good in England. Katherine, the young noblewoman was headstrong, a bit too headstrong, but I got that she wanted to be more free. They become friends, stuff is happening, there is a pinch of romance and mentions of highway robbery. I mean hey, more highway robbery please, I was promised it, but it was just mentioned and never really shown.

Conclusion:
It was short, interesting, and more seems to be coming. Of course I already wikied her so I know what will happen. 

cover
I need a whole head

Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by Endeavour Press
The Highway Trilogy #1
YA, Historical fiction
Own


Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Grendel affair - Lisa Shearin

We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…

When I moved to New York to become a world famous journalist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I’m Makenna Fraser, a Seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out—usually saving my skin in the process.

Our cases are generally pretty routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city’s subway tunnels. And the murderer’s not human. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel—yes, that Grendel—shares his ancestor’s hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. And with New Year’s Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. Because if we don’t find him—and the organization behind him—by midnight, our secret’s out and everyone’s time is up.

My thoughts:
I was a bit disappointed. I liked her other series, it was good going on amazing, and I read them all pretty fast. This series was more good going on ok. There are good books that make you want to read more, and then there are good books that do not make you wanna read more. There are many shades of 3.

So we have reached the conclusion it was good, but nothing special...

Mac is a seer, she works for an organization. There are supes, normies do not know. She has a human partner (maybe a love interest, maybe not, nothing so far.) She was kind of meh, Ian was kind of meh.

Some Norwegians showed up, everyone was blonde, not everyone is blond, but whatever.

There are monsters, action, dragon, and this mysterious guy that had one line and was the only person I wanted to read more about.

Conclusion:
So yes sure it was good, but not good enough.

Cover
A bit too fakey

Mass Market Paperback, 292 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by Ace
SPI Files #1
Urban fantasy
Own


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The perfect mistress - Victoria Alexander

Widowed Julia, Lady Winterset, has inherited a book—a very shocking book—that every gentleman in London seems to want. For a charismatic businessman, it's a chance to build an empire. For a dashing novelist, it could guarantee fame. But to a proud, domineering earl, it means everything. . .

Harrison Landingham, Earl of Mountdale, can't let the obstinate Julia release the shameless memoir that could ruin his family's name. But the only way to stop her may be equally sordid—if far more pleasurable. For his rivals are intent on seducing the captivating woman to acquire the book. And Harrison isn't the sort to back away from a competition with the stakes this high. Now the winner will claim both the scandalous memoirs and the heart of their lovely owner. . . 

My thoughts:
When I am besieged by dnfs, the only thing to do is to read a HR. And so I did, and I enjoyed it.

Julia is a widow in need of money. She is sweet and proper. And then she gets the memoirs of her notorious great grandmother. A woman of many affairs.

Harrison is a proper gentleman, and if I called Julia proper then she is wild next to this one. He is rather stiff and wants to find a wife by looking at a list of proper things a wife should be. Oh I like the proper ones, they always loose their heads. Oh I totally forgot, so the reason these two meets is that Harrison's dad is mentioned in the memoir! OMG, NOOOOOO! Scandal has never touched this family, the horror.

The story is then, he wants her to not publish the book. She needs money. He has plans. She has alternatives. He starts to have feelings.

Conclusion:
It was fun, and I enjoyed it :) 

cover
eh

Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Zebra Books
Sinful Family Secrets #1
Historical romance
Own


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A Dance with Danger - Jeannie Lin

A promise sworn on the edge of a sword…

After a failed assassination attempt on a corrupt general, Bao Yang is a wanted man. Taking refuge with an ally, Yang accidentally compromises the man's daughter when they're discovered alone. To save her honor, he must marry the beautiful Jin-mei immediately!

In Yang's arms, Jin-mei feels alive for the first time. She's determined not to lose him, even if it means joining his perilous mission… But when she realizes just how destructive Yang's path could be, can she convince him that their life together could be so much sweeter than revenge? 

My thoughts:
These are so fun! China over a thousand years ago. Romance, danger, fun! There is nothing like it. I have said it before, but yes what I like the best is the fact that it is set in China. It's different. It's fresh. It's good.

In this one former rebel leader Yang is on the run. He is seen with a woman. Her dad gets mad and boom! They are married. But Jin-mei does not mind. She wants more from life, and he is hot. But then there is the whole I am on the run, I can't have a wife thing.

Sure they are married, but they get to know each other after that. They fall in love after they have met and it was a nice journey to see. Also there is danger as people are after him. I do like romance and danger. I even liked quiet village life (they went though a village), because it was new to me.

Conclusion:
This is a different sort of historical romance. Broaden your horizon, and visit China. There is romance, swords and dangers to be had. 

Cover
Good

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Expected publication: April 21st 2015 by Harlequin Historical
Tang Dynasty #5, Rebels and Lovers #2
Historical romance
Own


Monday, 20 April 2015

Iron Night - M.L.Brennan

Underachieving film theory graduate and vampire Fortitude Scott may be waiting tables at a snooty restaurant run by a tyrannical chef who hates him, but the other parts of his life finally seem to be stabilizing. He's learning how to rule the Scott family territory, hanging out more with his shapeshifting friend Suzume Hollis, and has actually found a decent roommate for once.

Until he finds his roommate’s dead body.

The Scott family cover-up machine swings into gear, but Fort is the only person trying to figure out who (or what) actually killed his friend. His hunt for a murderer leads to a creature that scares even his sociopathic family, and puts them all in deadly peril. 

Keeping secrets, killing monsters, and still having to make it to work on time? Sometimes being a vampire really sucks. 

My thoughts:
Wow, I really like this series! Yay for a new good series found! Oh no, there is the despair, what if it turns bad? Nooooooo! Happy thoughts, happy thoughts!

Fort is a bit more kick-ass now than in book 1. His brother had been training him. And I liked to see the growing he did. Become more sure of himself, being able to take charge. But he still has a lot of growing to do.

And we found out why he still is human...but I can't say more about that. Back to the story.

A murderer is loose and Fort wants to find that person, thing or whatever. It leads him to something big, so it's good he has his side-kick kitsune with him. And Suze is awesome, so sure of herself, kick-ass and just cool.

I can't say anything about the bad guy..bad guys..bad ones..but cool. I liked it. I really liked. But then I like that..which I can't say.

It was nice to see more of the family dynamics too. I actually like his brother now, and even his insane sister.

Conclusion:
So yes of course I recommend it and I need more.

Cover
Nice

Mass Market Paperback, 305 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Roc
Generation V #2
Urban fantasy
Own


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Carole's Sunday Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone

Author: JK Rowling
Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Sci-Fi, & Classics
Pages: 310
First Published: June 1997
Where I Got It: My shelf (From my parents? Its been sitting there for ever)

Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in ten years.


But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.



This is my second time reading through this book. It has been YEARS since I read it. I think I read it a couple years after it came out. I wasn't much into fantasy in my youth, but I heard good things from my fellow youth, so I decided to give it a chance. I liked it then and I liked it even more my second time reading it. I gave it a re-read because it was selected for the book club. :)


I forgot how much was left out in the movie. There is many other characters and little plots that was left out. Bummer. Especially the bank scene, they cut that by 90% in the movie. Whenever I think of Harry Potter, I oddly think of the bank. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps its because I was amazed by it and the author certainly brought such an odd thing to life. 


JK Rowling certainly does have a talent for bringing this world to life. It doesn't seem "fantasy"-like...it feels real. I wish it was real. haha. That would be a lot of fun. 


It felt so weird at starting at the beginning after reading the last book and knowing the ending. So many things seemed so ironic (she prolly didn't mean it to be), but there was a lot of foreshadows as well. However, it felt nice to go back to a more "simpler" time in the Harry Potter world. Harry was so innocent and happy. Yes, there was action and some scariness, but it was simple and the baddie was easily beaten at this stage because he was just finding his footing too.


Dawwwwe, I can't wait to re-watch the movie at the book club meeting. :3


In the end, I think I liked this better then the first time I watched it. Is it because I knew the ending? Or do I like fantasy more so now then I did back then? I have no idea, but for some reason I flew through this and liked it a lot more then I did in my youth. I totally recommend this for everyone who likes fantasy or is new to fantasy. I also recommend all kids should read this. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 4 stars. 


Favorite Character(s): Snape, Harry, Ron, & the owl
Not-so Favorite Character(s): The main baddie (duh) & Hermione (she still bugs me for some reason in the first book)




Saturday, 18 April 2015

#FitReaders Check-In: April 17, 2015 and DNFs



Sat, 1.20 h walk
Sun, 1,5 h walk
Mon, 6 km bike, 1,5 h piloxing
Tue, 8 km bike, 1 h yoga, 45 min workout class
Wed, 30 min walk and 4 km bike
Thu, 8 km bike and 1 h zumba
Fri, 4km bike + 30 min walk
Sat, Walked 3 hours at the book etc fair so let's call that at least a 30 min walk, and 15 km bike



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

DNF time

It was ok, but I had already read 2 other books and I had started this one before those. It did not hold my interest, and then I skimmed a 100 pages, and then I skimmed the rest. I want more than just ok, and it is freeing that I can dnf my own books.

It was rom sup but it felt mostly thriller from what I read, and I was bored.


I was bored.
Oh but maybe it was just too grim for you?
Grim? What? No I was BORED!

If I can't even try to bother to skim when I reach p 50 then it is def a lost cause. I do not care if it gets really awesome by p 400. I will never reach that!


I am a cruel cruel mistress. My poor books. This one, sure it was good I guess (not for me though.) I was bored, I could not get into it, and I could not care less.


I dunno. Stuff happened. I skimmed, I skimmed some more. Yawn. DNF. It was ok, but who wants ok?

I looked forward to this one, but I was bored by it and made it to p 50. Did I continue for another 500 pages, and 2 more books. Gods no!

The characters felt flat. The story never took off. I never connected to either people or events. I was stuck behind, looking on, not caring.




Friday, 17 April 2015

The sentinel mage - Emily Gee

Her magic may be the only thing that can save a prince—and the Seven Kingdoms.

In a distant corner of the Seven Kingdoms, an ancient curse festers and grows, consuming everything in its path. Only one man can break it: Harkeld of Osgaard, a prince with mage’s blood in his veins. But Prince Harkeld has a bounty on his head—and assassins at his heels.

Innis is a gifted shapeshifter. Now she must do the forbidden: become a man. She must stand at Prince Harkeld’s side as his armsman, protecting and deceiving him.

But the deserts of Masse are more dangerous than the assassins hunting the prince. The curse has woken deadly creatures, and the magic Prince Harkeld loathes may be the only thing standing between him and death. 

My thoughts:
A kind of light-ish fantasy. There wasn't really that much worldbuilding, fine there are different kingdoms and a sea, and one kingdom likes to conquer others..ok. Not what I call lots of worldbuilding. And the magic part, I guess it's hereditary? How do people get different powers? I do not know, I was not told. I was just told the bad kingdoms killed everyone with magic and another continent did not. Still, good.

The story then. A curse is making people into bloodthirsty beings. There is one way to stop it so the magic peeps comes to the bad kingdom to get a prince. The one prince who can stop it, then one who has magic. The judgmental idiot who judges before seeing facts, gods that one part that happened made me so mad. I would have beaten him to a bloody pulp. I could take the idiot things he said but that one part. Yes I do NOT like Harkeld.

The magicians, shapeshifters are a nice group. Innis is the one in focus, she is young and being built as Harkeld's love interest. She thinks he has hidden depths, and sure he has, just as he stops being an idiot. I liked his friend more.

Conclusion:
A lot of people are hunting for them.There is action and at the end I did want more. Sure I complained about stuff, but it was light and fun and I will read more. I almost finished in a day, that is good.

Oh I forgot, there is also this young boy fleeing for his life. And Harkeld's half sister who has to married a creep who is only there to have smexy times with her.  Though I should not call it smexy times, it was marital rape. So she had it bad. 

Cover 
good

Paperback, 509 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Solaris
The Cursed Kingdoms #1
Fantasy
own


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Vengeance of the Demon - Diana Rowland

Demon summoner Kara Gillian is on the wrong side of the law, and there's evidence to prove it. Too bad the courts don't accept "fighting demonic forces" as justification for murder and mayhem.

Yet Kara has problems that go way beyond her legal woes. When the enemy demonic lords spur their human accomplices into high gear, master summoner Katashi aggressively pursues their goal to establish a permanent gate between Earth and the demon realm. To hell with the consequences for humanity.

The line between ally and enemy blurs as Kara gathers the remnants of her posse to prevent a devastating demonic incursion, but a shattered trust may cost them the war and put Kara behind bars. With treachery rife, and her loved ones in danger, Kara must call upon the essence of who she truly is in order to rally back from a crushing loss.

And if she can't, the world is going straight to hell. 

My thoughts:
This one felt like another filler. Sure, it was still good, just, filler. The only thing happened is that Jill gives birth, no surprise there. After all there is a baby on the cover.

The bad peeps are still bad.
The good peeps are still good.
Kara is in trouble after the last book. Someone saw her and that is not good so she is under investigation.
Zach is hiding. Jill is soon to pop. Ryan is avoiding her. And I am all, hey where did all the man candy go? Suddenly she had no love life at all. Pooh!

But yes filler. Stuff happened. But nothing big truly happened. There are still a lot of questions. I still want soooo many answers. And I do look forward to the next book. I just hope, it will not be another filler.

Cover
awesome

Mass Market Paperback, 405 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by DAW
Kara Gillian #7
UF
Own


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

All spell breaks loose - Lisa Shearin

I’m a seeker who found the Saghred, a soul-stealing stone that gave me unlimited powers I never wanted. Now I’ve lost the rock—and the magic it gave me—to a goblin dark mage whose main goals are my death and world domination. This is more than incentive enough for a little trip to the goblin capital of Regor with a small band of good friends, not-so-good friends, and one outright enemy. Don’t ask.

All we need to do is destroy the Saghred, kill the mage, and put a renegade goblin prince on the throne. Did I mention I’ll be doing that with no magic? 

My thoughts:
The end. I am sad, and happy. Sad that it's over. Happy that it did not drag out and turn bad, I hate when a series does that.

The stone is gone, but they need to destroy it so they go to Goblin land. Seriously, I need a pic of a goblin, the whole grey and pointy teeth thing and super hot. I need an image here. I can imagine it, and not.

Right, hot goblins, no that was not what I was supposed to say. Team Tam! But we all know Team Tam has been doing badly and been forgotten now for a few books. Sad. She is all Mycheal and I am all whatevs. Fine, they suit each other and will live happily ever after. Just, sexy goblin!

Forget Tam now. Ok, but it's hard!

Conclusion:
Anyway. Destroy the stone. Kill some goblins. Survive. Be happy. I liked how it all ended :)

Team Tam! Oh come on, stop that now. Team, TAM! Sigh. ;)

Cover
nice

Mass Market Paperback, 290 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Ace
Raine Benares #6
Fantasy
Own


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The royal we - Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy-tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess. But it's adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall - and thus Bex who accidentally finds herself in love with the eventual heir to the British throne. Nick is everything she could have imagined, but Prince Nicholas has unimaginable baggage: grasping friends, a thorny family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a native. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex reflects on what she's sacrificed for love -- and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break. 


My thoughts:
Kate meets William and finally love conquers everything. Oh wait, I mean Rebecca meets Nicholas and live happily ever after. Yes it was Kate and Will fanfiction. Sure it was fun, but it would have been even better if it had not been so obvious. The cold dad, the are they bastards? The queen. The exes. The playboy mooning younger brother. Kate's sister, oh I mean Bex's sister. Change more things.

Hey I already told the entire story! Bex meets Nick. He is the crown prince of England. She is an American student with a dad who invented this sofa and made them rich. They become friends, they become more. But oh no! The drama of the royal family. Those damn paparazzi! The damn judging public! Would I chose the live she chose? Gods no. Always in the eye of the public. Everyone else dictating what you can do and can't do. People telling you how to dress. No fun!

Anyway you know the story. You know how it will end. Though I must say yes it ended with sort of a question mark. Is another book coming? Cos..something was brewing on the horizon. Something not in the story you all know.

Conclusion:
It was a fun, cute romantic book.

Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Grand Central Publishing
Contemporary romance
NG


Monday, 13 April 2015

The Darkest Hour - Maya Banks

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super elite, top secret, family-run business.

Qualifications: High intelligence, rock hard body, military background.

Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the US government can’t…

It’s been one year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly last saw his wife Rachel alive. Overwhelmed by grief and guilt over his failures as a husband, Ethan shuts himself off from everything and everyone.

His brothers have tried to bring Ethan into the KGI fold, tried to break through the barriers he’s built around himself, but Ethan refuses to respond… until he receives anonymous information claiming Rachel is alive.

To save her, Ethan will have to dodge bullets, cross a jungle, and risk falling captive to a deadly drug cartel that threatens his own demise. And even if he succeeds, he’ll have to force Rachel to recover memories she can’t and doesn’t want to relive—the minute by minute terror of her darkest hour—for their love, and their lives, may depend on it. 

My thoughts:
The suspense part was a bit slow. They went to rescue Rachel and that was over in a minute. More suspense and danger there would have been nice. The suspense comes back later as why was she kept alive in the first place? Someone is after her.

I read a KGI book long ago, book 2 I think. I liked it, and now I finally read more. There is a bit of romance, a bit of suspense, and one big family. But that is why there can be many books as there are many Kelly men ;)

Anyway. Rachel has been a prisoner for a year, so she is so effed up. Nightmares, hallucinations, she is scared and has no memory (though her and Ethan getting it on happened way too fast.)

They get to know each other again, and then danger comes and then they live happily ever after.

Conclusion:
The book was short, I read it fast, and I enjoyed it. 

One down, over 100 more to go from my TBR pile.

Cover
ok

Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Berkley
KGI #1
Romantic suspense
own


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Carole's Sunday: Immigrant soldier - K.Lang-Slattery

Author: K. Lang-Slattery
Title: Immigrant Soldier - The Story of a Ritchie Boy
Genre: Historical Fiction, Biography
Pages: 391
First Published: February 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)


Immigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy, based on the true experiences of a refugee from Nazi Germany, combines a coming of age story with an immigrant tale and a World War II adventure. On a cold November morning in 1938, Herman watches in horror as his cousin is arrested. As a Jew, he realizes it is past time to flee Germany, a decision that catapults him from one adventure to another, his life changed forever by the gathering storm of world events. Gradually, Herman evolves from a frustrated teenager, looking for a place to belong, into a confident U.S. Army Intelligence officer who struggles with hate and forgiveness


This book came across at a perfect time! I was really in the mood for a nice HF set during WWII especially with focus on the Nazis and the Holocaust, due to Boyfriend and I passing by the Holocaust Museum in Michigan. We live close by and I had gone there with my class in Middle School. Such an experience. I really must go again...even though I was sobbing like a child the whole time. It is SO tragic. Boyfriend never has been there, so I think that is something he needs to experience.


ANYWAYS

Poor Herman....but kuddos to him taking up the uniform and fighting against those that ruined his country and his life. He was lucky to avoid the camps, but many people that he knew where arrested and sent there. 

Herman was such a brave and successful guy. How come I never heard of him? Well...that is a silly question, because there were millions and millions of people who did amazing things during this time period, so it is near impossible to hear/read all their tales. I am glad his niece shared his story.

The author did a wonderful job bringing this world alive. I was drawn in from page one. I felt like I was a fly in the room. A silly metaphor, but true. The only thing lacking was some emotion. I didn't connect with Herman emotionally. I felt bad and proud of him, but I didn't connect with him emotionally. I think the author focused too much on facts and the story, which works for me too, but I do love connecting emotionally as well. 

I really want a TV special or a movie about Herman! That would be awesome. His story really needs to be told.

In the end, I enjoyed this story. I am deeply proud of Herman, but I certainly felt bad for him. His country and old life was ripped away from him due to hate. Ugh, how can people deny what the Nazis did? There is SO much proof. GAH. ANYWAYS (I will avoid that ramble, because that is a whole different post and issue), I totally recommend it for those that like HF and/or biography-type books. This was a good one and I really think this should be turned into a TV special or a movie. *nods* Out of five stars, I stamp this with 4. More like 3.5, but I rounded since I do not do decimals.


Favorite Character(s): Herman and Herman's uncle

Not-so Favorite Character(s): Herman's mother (just for the fact she waited sooooo long to leave. Why not leave with her son? *sighs*) and of course those damn Nazis (WHY, WHY?! GAH)



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