Friday, 31 July 2015

Master of Crows - Grace Draven

What would you do to win your freedom? This is the question that sets bondwoman, Martise of Asher, on a dangerous path. In exchange for her freedom, she bargains with her masters, the mage-priests of Conclave, to spy on the renegade sorcerer, Silhara of Neith. The priests want Martise to expose the sorcerer's treachery and turn him over to Conclave justice. A risky endeavor, but one she accepts without hesitation--until she falls in love with her intended target.

Silhara of Neith, Master of Crows, is a desperate man. The god called Corruption invades his mind, seducing him with promises of limitless power if he will help it gain dominion over the world. Silhara struggles against Corruption's influence and searches for ways to destroy the god. When Conclave sends Martise as an apprentice to help him, he knows she's a spy. Now he fights a war on two fronts--against the god who would possess him and the apprentice who would betray him.

Mage and spy search together for a ritual that will annihilate Corruption, but in doing so, they discover secrets about each other that may damn them both. Silhara must decide if his fate, and the fate of nations, is worth the soul of the woman he has come to love, and Martise must choose continued enslavement or freedom at the cost of a man's life. And love. 

My thoughts:
I compared. I know! Silly silly me. But I had just read Radiance, and I loved the banter and easy comradeship between the two characters. While here, I compared and found it not as good.

Silhara was kind of an a-hole a lot of the time.

Martise was meak. Ok so yes she was a slave, but then at times she talked back. if she truly was a slave that would have gotten her beaten before. She kind of went from timid to extreme. Oh and worst spy ever, she did not even try.

The worldbuilding was missing.

I am all negative now. But the characters were still interesting. The story still good. I just compared, and compared. 

I did like the God bits, or Gods. That was interesting.

Conclusion:
A light fantasy romance with the emphasis on romance, and a bit of passion. So yes good, but not as good as Radiance. See, still comparing! 

Cover
Good

ebook, 276 pages
Published July 13th 2009 by Amber Quill Press
Master of Crows #1
Fantasy romance
Own


Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Raven Queen - Jules Watson

She was born to be a pawn, used to secure her father’s royal hold on his land. She was forced to advance his will through marriage—her own desires always thwarted. But free-spirited Maeve will no longer endure the schemes of her latest husband, Conor, the cunning ruler of Ulster. And when her father’s death puts her homeland at the mercy of its greedy lords and Conor’s forces, Maeve knows she must at last come into her own power to save it. 

With secret skill and daring, Maeve proves herself the equal of any warrior on the battlefield. With intelligence and stealth, she learns the strategies—and sacrifices—of ruling a kingdom through treacherous alliances. And to draw on the dangerous magic of her country’s oldest gods, Maeve seeks out the wandering druid Ruan, whose unexpected passion and strange connection to the worlds of spirit imperil everything Maeve thought true about herself—and put her at war with both her duty and her fate. 

My thoughts:
Some books have that, omg there was magic in the past! feeling, and some do not.

Here the author had Iron Age Irish people living in a world where Gods and Goddesses were heard. Were the Sidhe were around. Where there was magic. But, I did not believe in it. It was historical fantasy, fun to read, but not real.

It's the story of Queen Maeve, who went down in history as a maneater, but then history changes when men write it, Christian men. She was married to kings and princes. She loved her country, and she wanted to fight for it. I did like her strength.

The story of Deidre is told in the background too, but she has her own depressing book.

I could actually have done without the real magic, and  the weird druid guy who spoke with the Sidhe. I am sure people will love that, but as I did not have that omg magic used to be real feeling, it just fell short for me.

And I did know the legends, so I knew what would happen. Still it was interesting to see how she changed things. Though I do confess that I did not understand the ending at all.

Conclusion:
Good. But could have been amazing...

Cover
ok

Paperback, 544 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Spectra
Historical fiction
Own


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The secret of happy ever after - Lucy Dillon

Michelle doesn’t believe in fairy tales. She’s a hard-headed businesswoman, making a fresh start in a new town. And when she decides to take over a neglected book shop, she knows the perfect manager. 

For book-loving Anna, it’s a dream come true—and not just because it gives her an escape from her three demanding step-children and their adorable but hyperactive Dalmatian. Although she’s been thinking that her own fairytale ending hasn’t really turned out the way she hoped, Anna’s passion for the classics is transforming the shop. The customers, and even Michelle, are falling under the spell of the magical stories of romance, adventure, and lost dogs. 

But when secrets from her past threaten Michelle’s new beginnings, and trouble strikes at the heart of Anna’s household, can the wisdom and courage of the stories in the bookshop help the two friends—and those they love—find their happy ever after? 

My thoughts:
I have been wanting to read a Dillon book for some time now. And this summer I decided to try to read at least 10 library books, and Dillon was one of those.

A nice little town/village. I'd love to live there, it sounds nice.

Two Povs. Anna who lives with her husband, and he has shared custody of 3 kids and a dog. I felt sorry for her. She tried so hard to please those kids. She took care of them, the dog, the house. She wanted a child of her own, but her husband said wait. But for how long? One is ready to leave for uni, and then it would be to late for her. Her POV was about the struggle trying to please everyone except herself.

Michelle, oh she has secrets she never told anyone. Like why did she leave her husband. Why does she not read? We find out. She was headstrong, with a keen head for business. And since there will be happiness, maybe there is someone real out there for her too ;)

Books! Anna loved books. She got an awesome new job. She tried to get the kids to read. And mostly she talked about books and she made me want to re-read my old favorites, and those books she spoke about. I do love a book about books.

Conclusion:
A lovely book.

Paperback, 512 pages
Published November 10th 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton
Romantic fiction
Library


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Storm Born - Richelle Mead

Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants. . .

Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy—one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie's first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.

Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne'er-do-well, and the ones who don't want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her...

My thoughts:
I have been trying to find a new UF series to read and this was a gift. Better get started then.

Eug, ugh, I forgot how to spell her name, Odile as she likes to call herself is a shaman. She is pretty kick-ass and sends and kills fairies off to fairieland. A lot of Others are suddenly after her cos of a prophecy. Ohh, I do like my prophecies, and hers was a dark one.

What I did not really like was this wannabee love triangle. She hooks up with a cutie with secrets. Kyo was nice, but yeah, secrets. And it's not really a love triangle at first. She also meets Dorian, a fairie king who wants to get into her pants. But then he really really wants to get into her pants cos of..spoilers. So it's not like he is all LOVE. But I can not say what the future will bring. Will the love triangle deepen, or will it fade away? *wishes for fade away* I can deal with a love triangle as long as she does not love both.

The book takes place in the real work and in the Fairie lands. And I did like the latter part. They are so lusty, angry and love their games.

Conclusion:
A promising start, as long as she does not keep on collecting men ;) I will def give book 2 a go. 

Cover
ok

Mass Market Paperback, 361 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Zebra
Dark Swan #1
Urban fantasy
Own


Monday, 27 July 2015

A Bollywood Affair - Sonali Dev

Mili Rathod hasn’t seen her husband in twenty years—not since she was promised to him at the age of four. Yet marriage has allowed Mili a freedom rarely given to girls in her village. Her grandmother has even allowed her to leave India and study in America for eight months, all to make her the perfect modern wife. Which is exactly what Mili longs to be—if her husband would just come and claim her.

Bollywood’s favorite director, Samir Rathod, has come to Michigan to secure a divorce for his older brother. Persuading a naïve village girl to sign the papers should be easy for someone with Samir’s tabloid-famous charm. But Mili is neither a fool nor a gold-digger. Open-hearted yet complex, she’s trying to reconcile her independence with cherished traditions. And before he can stop himself, Samir is immersed in Mili’s life—cooking her dal and rotis, escorting her to her roommate’s elaborate Indian wedding, and wondering where his loyalties and happiness lie.

My thoughts:
The second book in a row where I have a liar to read about. But here the lie was bigger and worse somehow.

Mili got married at 4. She has not seen her husband since that, but she waits, and tries to learn how to be a good wife. So yes in one aspect she was a bit naive. But in another way not. She had waited all her life, so whole waiting she thought if I am better at this or that then maybe...

Samir has some issues from his childhood, but he is now a big time director of Bollywood movies. He only had this bad boy rep, but he is a real sweetie underneath. And now he is gonna save his brother from an unwanted marriage.

So his brother could not remember he was married and married someone else...I guess they are not big on bureaucracy there. 

Samir lies and Mili starts to like him. That had me worried. He was only after an annulment for his brother. He played her...until he started to fall for her. That is a lot to forgive.

Mili was supersweet, and Samir was too, even if he was lying much of the time. But this was a romance so everyone lived happily ever after

Conclusion:
And yes I expected more since everyone was all, best romance ever! It was good. Nothing groundbreaking like I thought. It was like any other romance, same formula, just with characters from India.


Cover
Nice

Paperback, 294 pages
Published October 28th 2014 by Kensington
Contemporary romance
Library


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Joint Discussion: The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon



This month Carole and I will be reading "The Bone Season" by Samantha Shannon.


Author: Samantha Shannon
Title: The Bone Season
Genre: Dystopia, alternative history, fiction
Pages: ebook
First Published: August 2013
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library


The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.


It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.


B: Let’s get started then :)

C: Let’s first talk about the beginning. Thoughts?


B: No thoughts. It was a beginning. I knew on page 1 that this will not go well for me, and it did not.


C: Agreed. I knew that it was going to be a “meh” for me. I was stuck on page 5 until last night when I pushed forward. It DID get better, but yeah...meh.

B: I would actually say that the beginning was the best part, after half or so I just wanted to carve out my eyes. I was so bored.

C: I did enjoy part of the middle. But then the feelings of “love” started to show and it just made it more meh for me. I think the romance kinda ruined it for me as well. It was already meh and I was JUST starting to kinda sorta enjoy myself, but that cut the fragile ties and made it a meh again.

B: Even if I say the first part was the best, it was still infodumping for the sake of infodumping. Then she got to Oxford, and she turned really stupid didn’t she? I was all, seriously? What is this? This does not make sense! Oh and the love, eh, I never paid attention to it. It was too this will happen, ohhh, and I was all I do not care. This is not a mystery

C: She did get reaaaaaaaally dumb. I was hoping I’d like her, but nope. I agree there was a lot of infodumping, but it oddly didn’t bug me too much. I found it slightly interesting. NO. This was NOT a mystery, I pretty much knew what was going to happen next the whole time. I guessed the ending and I was 80% right. haha

B: She should have spread out the info a bit, because yes some things had potential. But then there was the flashbacks too that suddenly started and those bothered me. I never liked...I have forgotten her name. I just know she was stupid, and oh so perfect. And then I read there are 6 more books…6!!!!!!!!

C: Ugh 6? I was done after this one! (Paige *winks*) But yes I felt the flashbacks were out of place….maybe they would have been good to replace some of that infodumping at the beginning. So...what do you think of the whole premise of people having powers? It was cool I think.

B: That did, hmmm, well it had potential, it was kind of cool. But there were so many different powers! It felt a bit too much, could not one person have 1, instead of there being like 50 different powers that suddenly showed up. I do not know, the whole world building in this one is starting to get on my nerves.

C: I thought it was cool, but there were too many powers and it confused me on what was what. I feel like she tried to shove sooooo much into this box. Maybe not introduce certain powers until the next book.

B: That would have worked much better. Too much of everything now. Which made it too boring. And made me not care. Oh and I forgot to mention earlier that the name Paige tells me nothing. Ha, I have totally forgotten her.

C: Why was her name Paige? It feels too common. Everyone else has badass names while she is stuck with Paige. A silly complaint to have with a book, but the name seemed out of place for this world. I do like the name Jax though! I wish we could have seen more of her world as an outlaw before she was captured.

B: She could have had some badass Irish name, since she was from Ireland, but no. And yes more outlaw stuff could have been cool. She was better then. In Oxford she got careless and stupid. If she was my slave she would have been dead. But she was a Mary Sue wannabe so of course she gets the only sexy good guy around.

C: HAHAHAHA. You are bad. ;) But honestly...I would not have suffered her idiocy either, so she would not have lasted long as my slave either. He was sexy and a good guy, which I don’t think she deserved….

B: Anything more we can complain about? Like the bad guy, a very cliché bad guy.

C: Ugh. Why bring it up? I can barely remember the baddie, because it was so cliché. I was waiting for the evil “MWUAHAHAHA” cackle and then telling all her plans for world domination to Paige. WAIT...I think she did have a huge-ish monologue about world domination. Can’t remember though. You couldn’t remember Paige’s name, I can’t remember the baddie’s name.

B: I can’t remember anyone’s name anymore. Oh well, who cares. There was something I wanted to mention….and now I can’t remember that either. Tell me something while I think.

C: Mmmmmmmm. Ummmm….for all the infodumping, I wish she would have talked more about Paige’s power. I barely understood what the point was for it for her little gang. Was she just monitoring people’s spirits or whatever?

B: Do not start me on her powers, not a clue! Could have been done better. And now I remember! This was an adult book, but for me it felt soooo YA. Sorry YA, but some of your books are sooooo YA.

C: Yes, it did sound more like YA then an adult book. :/ Not even Rowling’s books sounded YA (well - the first one did, but the rest of books felt older). Maybe it was because the author was trying to make this narration sound like a 19 year old writing it or whatever.

B: Something like that. Big sigh from my part, I chose a bad book :/

C: Hey my last choice was a big bummer too. :( Hopefully next month’s selection will be better!

B: Aye, and what will you choose? ;)

C: Spoilers! I shall not say here. But I did find something random at the store and I got you a copy too! (It was super cheap like a buck) And I am intrigued! I’ll send it out ASAP, so it gets to you!

B: Yay, fun :)

C: Good job today! The end?

The end













Saturday, 25 July 2015

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-in July 24 2015 and Whisper Kiss review


Join in :D

Sat, 1 h bike, 30 min walk
Sun, 1 h walk
Mon, 45 min yoga, 30 min walk, 2 h bike
Tue, 1 h walk, 1 h  bike
Wed, 40 min walk
Thu, 1 h bike, 1 h walk
Fri, 1.5 h walk

Good week. But I am annoyed. I had a visit from a twitter friend so we biked and took the car to some places around. And I forgot my camera! Nooooo! Like these awesome 700 year old ruins. I do like my pics from my walks, as you all have noticed. And my phone camera, well I also like quality (two here were with my phone, not as good)


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

One man's mission ignites one woman's fire...

Niall Talbot has volunteered to hunt down and destroy all the remaining shadow dragons - who were weakened by the destruction of the Dragon's Blood Elixir - before they can wreak more havoc. Among them is his dead twin brother, making Niall's mission not only dangerous but personal.

Tattoo artist Rox believes the world is a canvas to be made more beautiful. An unconventional spirit who isn't afraid of anything, she doesn't even flinch when a shape-shifting dragon warrior suddenly appears on her doorstep. And as a woman who follows her heart in matters of passion, she makes the perfect mate for a firestorm with Niall... 

My thoughts:
Omg...I actually finished a PNR book! Ok so I was not all wohoo, more like between ok and good. But it gets a 3 cos I survived a PNR book and then it must be good.

It took a really long time for them to do it! *high five* Right, why am I high fiving that? Duh, cos I am tired of insta love where they do it minutes after they meet.

I did not feel like it was insta love. She did not want a man. He knew she was his mate so yes he wanted to protect her, but still I felt like they slowly fell for each other.

The world was interesting. It was book 5, but I got into it easy enough. Bad dragons, good dragons, fighting.

The mate thing was creepy though. You are mine, we mate, we make baby. We are. Ok, I just met you mister, I am not gonna make a baby with you.

Conclusion:
I read a PNR book!

Paperback, 391 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Signet
Dragonfire #5
PNR
Own


Friday, 24 July 2015

The taming of the billionaire - Jessica Clare

Edie’s an overbearing cat behaviorist who’s not big on people. Magnus is a newly-rich game developer who likes to be in control. When the two of them meet at Gretchen and Hunter’s masquerade engagement party, the loathing is mutual. Unfortunately for them—and everyone else—they’re in the wedding party together and must deal with each other for the next few months.

But when Magnus’s younger brother falls for Edie’s sister, he begs for his brother’s help in concocting a plan to win her over. If Magnus can keep the prickly Edie occupied, his brother will have time to woo Edie’s sister. Of course, Magnus isn’t interested in the slightest, but Edie is…intriguing. And stubborn. And smart. And sexy. And they might have more in common than they thought.

Before long, it becomes a challenge between the two of them to see who will be tamed first. But how’s Edie going to react when she finds out that Magnus is using her? And how’s Magnus going to handle the fact that he’s fallen for a cat lady? 

My thoughts:
I was all this is gonna end badly, this is gonna end badly *biting nails* Men!!!

I liked Edie, she was real. Yes people said she was bitchy, but the girl just had a bit of edge on her. She had a bad knee and limped. She loved cats. I adored her.

But poor woman. Her sister. Sheesh! Overbearing, manipulative little bit##! Edie still loved her sister, but the way she made Edie dependent on her, not cool.

Which brings us to the men. Magnus was, ok I can forgive the talk in the beginning. I can even forgive him doing what his brother told him, even if he should have told her earlier. Because, omg, he starts to love cats! *melts*

His brother was an idiot who fell for a pretty face. I did want to hit him several times...make that every time I saw him *gives him the evil eye*

Oh and Gretchen is awesome! But yikes the mouth on that woman.

As you can see a great cast. I liked how they started to fall for each other, even if the game at the beginning was pretty unforgivable. But he was a truly nice guy! And I liked that she was not perfect.

And it had cats!

And very smexy dirty talk smexin. Which I do skim since I am weird, but if you like that then you will certainly like this.

Conclusion:
These billionaires are fun to read about.

Cover
meh

Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published July 21st 2015 by InterMix
Billionaires and Bridesmaids #2
Contemporary romance
For review


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Radiance - Grace Draven

Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined. 

Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light. 

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart. 

My thoughts:
I liked the humour in this one. The things they said to each other made me snort.

He thought she looked like a boiled mollusk. Her smile reminded him of a horse. Her eyes freaked him out. She said she would have clobbered him if she met him in the night. His smile was the stuff of nightmares and he looked like a dead eel. LOL.

Now you go all whaat? But trust me it was funny! You see they came from different races. So to him she was a pink ugly thing. And to her he was a grey monster. But they talked even if they found each other hideous. They tried not to smile too much (cos that was scary). They liked how the other person was on the inside. You have to love that. They found each other's company soothing. They had their nicknames for each other in good spirit. And they fitted so well together, they just had to get past the ugly exterior first.

Two countries. A prince from one, a niece of a king from each other. Marry. Try to like each other. Two cultures that are different in every way, and the food stuff again made me snort. They have a long way to go and it was hardest on Ildiko because she is the one that has to live in this new country where that race are up at nights cos the sun hurts their eyes. I liked her spirit, and I loved his acceptance.

But there are dangers too. Everyone is not happy with this alliance. And in the shadows there is a bigger threat. One that made me go all noooo! at the end. The next book will be brutal on my poor feelings. I just know it! My poor feelings!

Conclusion:
It does end well, but yes that evilness on the horizon. I do wonder how it all will play out. I'd recommend it to romance and fantasy fans. It's so amusing

Cover
ok

Kindle Edition, 297 pages
Published January 13th 2015 by Grace Draven
Wraith Kings #1
Fantasy romance
Own


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Only ever yours - Louise O'Neill

eves are designed, not made.

The School trains them to be pretty

The School trains them to be good.

The School trains them to Always be Willing.

All their lives, the eves have been waiting. Now, they are ready for the outside world.

companion . . . concubine . . . or chastity

Only the best will be chosen.

And only the Men decide.

My thoughts:
I have been thinking about this review for a while now. The book was intense, brutal, a future I hope will not come true.

I read it in one sitting. I am not sure I even blinked while reading. I just could not stop, the horror, the normality of it all.

All their futures suck. But if they are engineered right, maybe they will not feel those kind of feelings.

This is the future. Not a lot of people left in the world. Women bear sons. Girls are made, and then put to live in a "school" until they are chosen or not. 

You can be chosen as a companion, this is the best according to all, you have sons, you are killed at 40. You do everything your husband tells you, you are his slave. If you do not give him a son he will send you to the Pyre.

You can be chosen as a courtesan, which technically is a prostitute. You must do everything a man tells you, and you must look like you are loving it. You will never have children.

Or you can become a Chastity, take care of newer generations of girls. In silence, alone. It's not like this is a good choice either. They are all miserable choices, ones you do not make, they are made for you.

Or you can be sent underground and never seen again.

At school you are taught to do all the things a woman must do. And you must obey, be proper, never cry, always be calm. You must look good, be thin. Be perfect, and there is always improvement. You are never perfect. And you are always being told that.

In this world we follow freida. As a girl she is property and therefore she is freida, not Freida. Who can't sleep. Who is afraid of not looking her best for picture day. Who has gained a tiny bit of weight. Who must lose it or she wont be chosen. Who wants to be like the nr #1 girl. Who is a follower. Who breaks herself in trying to follow. Who gets broken by others trying to be perfect, thin and pretty.

The atmosphere is horrible at that place. Nr 1, nr 1! You have to be chosen by the right man. If he wants to beat you you will smile and thank him.

I could talk for ages on the misery of it all. And it was so good. A world were women are cattle. A fascinating world in it's horror. All choices will be bad, and what will happen to this class?

My version was the adult version, I have no idea what that means. But a YA version came first, and then they wanted to market it to adults too. Maybe they made it darker. All hope is lost to those who enter here.

Conclusion:
I totally recommend it. 

Cover
That doll is creepy, but it fits, they are dolls, being made

Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 2nd 2015 by Quercus (first published July 3rd 2014)
Dystopia, fiction
For review


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The art of sinning - Sabrina Jeffries

American artist Jeremy Keane refuses to return home and take over his father’s business. He’d much rather sample bevvies of beauties abroad, in search of a model for the provocative masterpiece he’s driven to paint. When he meets Lady Yvette Barlow at a London wedding, he realizes she’s perfect for his work—and determines to capture the young heiress’s defiant spirit and breathtaking sensuality on canvas.

No stranger to scandal, Yvette agrees to be Keane’s subject—in exchange for his help gaining entry to the city’s brothels he knows intimately, so she can track a missing woman and solve a family mystery. But when their practical partnership leads to lessons in the art of sinning, can they find a bold and lasting love? 

My thoughts:
I am always here with my, this felt different, well it did! Maybe it was because he was a American, he is so not Ton then. Also, he was an artist, and you all know those artist types ;)

Jeremy is an artist, and lately he has painted more bleak things. He has a past he wants to forget in America. His family wants him back. Then he sees his muse and have to paint her. So yes I got the whole, I am wounded and can never love again. That stuff hurts, but we all have to move on. Man up.

Yvette has a secret too. And with the ton around, yes I understood why it's a bad one. She was a bit too hasty though. Come on woman! You are nobility, there is danger around. Poor Jeremy who was faced with you!

They have their dance while he paints her (oh oh, her brother, he was yummy, I hope his book is next.) She wants Jeremy's help with a secret, he will do anything. They start to fall but he is all woe is me! And she is all, I want have someone with half a heart. You go girl, you deserve more!

Conclusion:
A cute dance that turns passionate. 

Cover
Ok

Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published July 21st 2015 by Pocket Books
Sinful Suitors #1
Historical romance
NG


Monday, 20 July 2015

Evie undercover - Liz Harris

When libel lawyer, Tom Hadleigh acquires a perfect holiday home - a 14th century house that needs restoring, there’s a slight problem. The house is located in the beautiful Umbria countryside and Tom can’t speak a word of Italian.

Enter Evie Shaw, masquerading as an agency temp but in reality the newest reporter for gossip magazine Pure Dirt. Unbeknown to Tom, Italian speaking Evie has been sent by her manipulative editor to write an exposé on him. And the stakes are high – Evie’s job rests on her success.

But the path for the investigative journalist is seldom smooth, and it certainly never is when the subject in hand is drop-dead gorgeous. 

My thoughts:
Evie, Evie, I do confess that what she wanted to do was so wrong. So bad. But, I understood.

Evie is working undercover to get the dirt on hot lawyer Tom. She really wants to be a journalist, really wants to! But she only got a job at this crap gossip rag. And if she does well there then maybe she can get a better job. I did get her drive. And she does think the guy she is investigating is dirty. So I get the lying, the games.

But...Tom is a good guy. He is nice, he is a good lawyer. He thinks Evie is nice. 

She works for him. They start to see each other in another light. There is flirting. There are wonderful days in Italy. There is starting to fall for each other.

And then there are lies, a bit of drama, and a happy ever after. There needs to be a HEA :)

Conclusion:
Romance, lies and the Italian sun.  It will make you want to visit Italy

Cover
ok

Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by Choc Lit (first published September 14th 2012)
Women's fiction
For review


Sunday, 19 July 2015

Carole's Sunday review: Doctor Margaret in Delhi - Waheed Rabbani


Author: Waheed Rabbani
Title: Doctor Margaret in Delhi (The Azadi Series #2)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: ebook
First Published: May 5th, 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (give to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

This historical fiction novel continues with Margaret's journey from the time she and her Canadian husband participated in the 1854 Crimean War. 

Doctor Margaret travels alone to India to be with her parents at the American Presbyterian Mission at Futtehgurh, and then on to her posting at a hospital in Delhi. There she has to not only overcome work pressures, but also deal with her intimidators and intrigues of the Mughals, at the Delhi Red Fort.

Margaret's tormentor since her childhood, Captain Albert, also joins a British regiment bound for service in India. The Russian, Captain Count Nicholai, whom Margaret had met in Crimea, also arrives in India under the guise of a French physician.

The events leading up to the Indian Mutiny/Rebellion that breaks out in 1857 profoundly affect not only Margaret's life, but also of those who love her and others’ who wish her harm.

Also, mixed-up in the bedlam is one of the King of Delhi, Shah Zafar, Red Fort’s Guard’s sepoy, Sharif Khan Bhadur, the grandfather of Doctor Wallidad, an American doctor.

The Azadi Series covers the exciting events and turmoil that inflamed India from 1857 to 1947, and led to her independence. Those incidences engulf the characters of this story at that time, and then later their descendant's lives, again in the 1960s. 


This is the second in the series. I did not read the first book, but this does stand alone pretty well. I honestly do want to read the first book, so I can get to know her husband before he died and understand more of the hatred of her childhood tormentor Captain Albert. However, I was able to understand the story pretty well; just missing some backstory is all.

This was a really good historical fiction. The first two chapter were a little dry, but once the drama began I was hooked. I got this done in one sitting pretty much. It was good and a quick read. However, it did have that old feeling of writing to it, which I liked immensely. It felt real and written in that era, so I approve.

Speaking of which, the writing style was beautifully done. The descriptions of the area brought India to life!

I am bummed that it was left on a cliffhanger, but I am curious to see what is coming up next for Margaret! I have hope for her, but I know some bad times are coming up for not only her, but for India itself. I worry, but I am curious to see how everything ties together and what is coming next! But yes...the ending was good, but it was a cliffhanger and those make me twitch!

Poor Margaret...especially near the end. :/ I really liked her, but I felt really bad for her. No matter what she did something would go wrong and she was screwed over. Especially at the end. I hope everything works out for her in the next book!

In the end, this was a pretty good historical fiction. I do want to read the first book and the next one! It does well as a stand alone, but it will make you want to read the next one in the series. I liked Margaret, but I did feel bad for her and I hope she gets a HEA. It doesn't seem so, but I am hopeful. The writing style was beautiful and it truly made the story come to life. It was a quick read, so I recommend this to those that need a quick historical fiction fix! So, I shall stamp this with...4 stars.










Saturday, 18 July 2015

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-in July 17, 2015 and The Gentleman's impertinent daughter


Join in :D


Sat, 1 h walk
Sun, 1 h walk
Mon, 1.15 h yoga, 1 h bike, 1 h walk
Tue, 1 h bike, 30 min walk
Wed, nothing :/
Thu, 1.5 h bike
Fri, 1 h bike

I get lazy when BF is on vacay too



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


When Fitzwilliam Darcy visits Hyde Park with his sister, he expects nothing more than a quiet walk on a fine day. Instead, he meets a young woman who challenges his ideas and pulls his sister out of her melancholy. He soon realizes Elizabeth Bennet is the only woman in the world with whom he could spend the rest of his life. 

Elizabeth, clever and self-assured, refuses to change for the sake of gaining a husband, a prospect she finds impossible regardless. With wit and independence rather than fortune, she is entirely convinced no sensible man would have her, and she cannot respect a fool. Can Darcy prove to be this impossible man? Or is a figure from his past an insurmountable obstacle to a future with The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter? 

My thoughts:
First, you all know of the "incident" last week, and if you missed it, well there was this BBA thing. But I enjoy JAFF, and no one is gonna put me off reading these fun stories. So back in the saddle. And I was gifted this one by one nice author.

I liked how this started. He had time to watch her, and not say certain things. Oh Darcy, I may love you, but you are an ass Sir.

Anyway they meet in a park. He never went with Bingley. They like each other. They meet again. Wickham does show up. But meeting at another place makes such a difference for many things.

A short novella that actually made me like Darcy more. That goes for Lizzy too when I think of it. They were not so proud and prejudiced ;)
But it did make me dislike her mother more, oh that woman.

Conclusion:
And then they lived happily ever after. Fun :)

Kindle Edition, 87 pages
Published July 16th 2014
Pride and Prejudice variation
Gift/for review



Friday, 17 July 2015

Author Interview and Giveaway: Liz Harris

Today's interview is with Liz Harris. There is also a giveaway of her new book at the end (and I will review that one on Monday, so stay tuned)

Welcome!


1. Tell me about yourself?
I was born and brought up in London.  

After getting a Law degree, I spent six years in California, living in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. There I did a variety of jobs, from looking after children to returning hired cars to distant locations; from waitress in a top restaurant to cocktail waitress on Sunset Strip; from secretary to the top dog in a large Japanese trading company to ‘starlet’ at MGM Studios. It was all brilliant! 

Real life eventually intervened, and I came back to England, did an English degree and went into teaching.

My hobbies include travel, particularly to Italy, France and the US; reading books of every genre; cinema and theatre, and doing cryptic crosswords.

I’ve two sons, a husband and the most comfortable computer chair that I’ve ever sat in.


2. And your new book, Evie Undercover?
As a matter of urgency, hunky Libel lawyer, Tom Hadleigh, must visit the 14th century house he recently bought in Italy on a whim. Alas, Tom has a teeny problem: he can’t speak a word of Italian; his Italian surveyor can’t speak a word of English, and his regular interpreter isn’t available to accompany him.

Enter auburn-haired Evie Shaw, ostensibly an agency temp, in reality the newest reporter on the gossip magazine Pure Dirt. Through the manipulation of her editor, Evie, who’s half Italian, is sent to work for Tom as an interpreter. 

For Tom, his house is going to be his sole focus for their week in Italy. But for Evie, it isn’t! Her focus must be the exposé she’s got to write about Tom, or lose her only offer of a magazine job after months of searching.

But the path for the investigative journalist is seldom smooth, as Evie is about to find out.

3. What made you want to write a rom com?
It may sound weird, but the location asked for it. I was in Umbria, lying by the pool, and I looked back up the lavender-covered slopes to the grey stone walls of the fabulous house which inspired the novel, and I knew I just had to set a book there. In that moment, too, I knew that the sun, the scenery, the chilled prosecco and the yummy Italian food, were the ideal ingredients for an entertaining and lively rom com. With the right hero and heroine, too, of course!

4.  Tell me a bit about Evie?
Evie is both determined and enterprising. Only someone as resourceful as Evie could play the trick on Tom that she plays at the start of the novel. She’s not about to let a little thing like the sheer impossibility of the task she’s been given to do in so short a time, deter her. No, failure’s not a word in Evie’s vocabulary, and nothing is going to stop her from getting her story. It can’t—keeping her job depends upon her success

5. And then we need to know about Tom!
I think the sexiest characteristic a man can have is a sense of humour. When good-looking Tom walked into my head, with amusement playing across his lips, I knew I’d found my witty, sexy hero.
And being a highly successful lawyer is pretty attractive in a man, too. Yes, Tom’s got it all.

6. What are you writing right now?
I’ve had to pause in writing my next novel  in order to answer the call of the edits! I’m editing Golden Tiger at the moment, which comes out in the autumn. Set in the American West, Golden Tiger is the story of a Chinese girl and an American man at a time when love between Chinese and Americans was strictly forbidden.

Thanks!
Many thanks to you, Book for Life, for your questions. I’ve really enjoyed answering them.

To find out more about Liz Harris: 
Follow: in order to answer the call of the edits! I’m editing Golden Tiger at the moment, which comes out in the autumn. Set in the American West, Golden Tiger is the story of a Chinese girl and an American man at a time when love between Chinese and Americans was strictly forbidden.




Giveaway
1 e-copy of Evie Undercover

1. Open to everyone, Pluto included! ;)
2. Ends July 22nd
3. Enter by commenting here

To find out more about Liz Harris:

Evie Undercover Blurb:
When libel lawyer Tom Hadleigh acquires a perfect holiday home, a 14th century house that needs restoring, there’s a slight problem. The house is located in the beautiful Umbria countryside and Tom can’t speak a word of Italian.

Enter Evie Shaw, masquerading as an agency temp but in reality the newest reporter for gossip magazine Pure Dirt. Unbeknown to Tom, Italian speaking Evie has been sent by her manipulative editor to write an exposé on him. And the stakes are high – Evie’s job rests on her success.

Buying Links:



Thursday, 16 July 2015

Review and Giveaway: Ruin - John Gwynne

First I will start with the giveaway :)

Giveaway
1 autographed copy of Ruin

1. Open to everyone in the universe
2. Ends July 21st
3. To enter just comment :)

And now on to the review

The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures. At his back stands the scheming Calidus and a warband of the Kadoshim, dread demons of the Otherworld. They plan to bring Asroth and his host of the Fallen into the world of flesh, but to do so they need the seven treasures. Nathair has been deceived but now he knows the truth. He has choices to make, choices that will determine the fate of the Banished Lands.

Elsewhere the flame of resistance is growing - Queen Edana finds allies in the swamps of Ardan. Maquin is loose in Tenebral, hunted by Lykos and his corsairs. Here he will witness the birth of a rebellion in Nathair's own realm.

Corban has been swept along by the tide of war. He has suffered, lost loved ones, sought only safety from the darkness. But he will run no more. He has seen the face of evil and he has set his will to fight it. The question is, how? With a disparate band gathered about him - his family, friends, giants, fanatical warriors, an angel and a talking crow he begins the journey to Drassil, the fabled fortress hidden deep in the heart of Forn Forest. For in Drassil lies the spear of Skald, one of the seven treasures, and here it is prophesied that the Bright Star will stand against the Black Sun. 

My thoughts:
I so should have checked if this one was the last one or not, I was all, they are not going to make it! Oh there is one more book. Well that explains it, and then noooooo! I want the next book now!! Nooooooo!

Let's try to make this simple. We have Corban, a young hero who is told he will save the world. And I have enjoyed his road, slowly he has gained his confidence. Then there is Naithan, who also has been told he will save the world. I do loathe him, but so far it has not been his fault. He is the bad guy, he just does not know it. Except he learned so in the last book so now he really is bad,

Then there is Jael, who took a kingdom by force and I hate him. Lykos, who has a kingdom in his hand and wants to crush it. Jeradis, a seemingly good guy who thinks he is following the good guy, but he is not. That breaks my heart because he is good.

And now some of the good ones. Edana, a queen in exile trying to stay alive. Meican and Fidele running from Lykos. Yes, there are a lot of people in this book. It's one big book after all. I remember  reading book 1 and checking who was who a lot, but I when I got into it it was easy. 

There are good guys, there are bad guys, and then there are good guys who are bad guys. There are liars, and manipulators. It's not black and white, there is a lot of grey in this book.

As for the story. Many are running for the lives, or trying to find allies. While others kill and pillage, and crush those not following them. And slowly it is shown that the story itself is not black and white either. I went all whaat?! That was one big surprise.

The end then. It was pretty brutal, hopeless and sure one big cliffie. I have no idea how the book 4 will turn out now. That was one big ending. He sure know how to throw a punch, or a hundred!

Conclusion:
I look forward to book 4, I am biting my nails to find out what will happen to them all.

Cover
the details are prettier in rl

Hardcover, 672 pages
Published July 16th 2015 by Tor UK/Panmacmillan
The Faithful and the Fallen #3
Fantasy
For review


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Dark Horse - Michelle Diener

Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she's made a powerful ally--a fellow prisoner with whom she's formed a strong bond. Sazo's an artificial intelligence. He's saved her from captivity and torture, but he's also put her in the middle of a conflict, leaving Rose with her loyalties divided.

Captain Dav Jallan doesn't know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he's not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead, all except for one strange, new alien being.

She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5's owners, the Tecran, look set to start a war to get it back and Dav suspects Rose isn't the only alien being who survived what happened on the Class 5. And whatever else is out there is playing its own games.

In this race for the truth, he's going to have to go against his leaders and trust the dark horse.

My thoughts:
Please tell me where I can find sexy aliens with pointy ears...please? Pretty please with sugar on top? I want a Dav of my own.

Rose was kidnapped, tortured and experimented on by creepy claw aliens. But she found one friend. One who will do anything to free him and her. And then she is rescued....by pointy eared aliens! Yay, elves! Lol, well sort of.

Before I say more, I must say that yes I am a bit afraid of sci-fi. I always thinks it's all space, ships and guns. Cold somehow. Which is silly. There are all kinds of sci-fi. And yes there was space, there were ships and even guns. But there were awesome interactions. A great heroine. Interesting world (well corner of space), and a good story. It did make me want to read more sci-fi.

Back to the story. She is rescued. She is a strange sentient being they have never encountered. Friend or foe? Who else is out there? And when the aliens who took her finds out they will surely be mad. So it's building and building. And in the mean time I enjoyed getting to know her and this world better.

And when it ended I would have loved to read more. I do hope she will write more too. It does seem I need more aliens in my life, more aliens on ships, hopefully with pointy ears (oh I do not have a weakness for pointy ears, what a thing to say...fine I admit, they are hot).

Conclusion:
More adventures in this world would be fun.

cover
meh

ebook, 468 pages
Published June 15th 2015 by Eclipse
Sci-fi
Own


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