Sunday, 31 July 2016

Carole's Sunday Review: Royal Exile- Fiona Mcintosh


Author: Fiona McIntosh
Title: Royal Exile (Valisar Trilogy #1)
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 441
First Published: Jan 2008
Where I Got It: My shelf (Dollar Tree)

From out of the East they came riding like a merciless plague—destroying kingdom after kingdom and the sovereigns who had previously mocked the warlord Loethar and his barbarian horde. Now only one land remains unconquered—the largest, richest, and most powerful realm of the Denova Set… 

Penraven.

The Valisar royals of Penraven face certain death, for the savage tyrant Loethar covets what they alone possess: the fabled Valisar Enchantment, an irresistible power to coerce, which will belong to Loethar once every Valisar has been slain. But the last hope of the besieged kingdom is being sent in secret from his doomed home, in the company of a single warrior. The future of Penraven now rests on the shoulders of the young Crown Prince Leonel who, though untried and untested in the ways of war, must survive brutality and treachery in order to claim the Valisar throne.



Looking at all the comments and reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, it seems that you either LOVE this book or you don't. No in between. One of my friends liked the book quite a bit, so I decided to get it and try it. 

Simply...sighs.

The first 60 pages had me hooked. I flew by these pages...but...it lost me. I didn't care and nothing made sense. The plot literally died before my eyes. The story seemed to drag on and on and on and on. I get character building and getting a feel for the world and the situation. BUT FOR THE LOVE OF PIE LETS MOVE IT! It was about page 120 before anything really important happened. Sighs. 

The characters were meh. The baddie was certainly a baddie....I really didn't understand his motives. Yes, power and killing seemed to be all he wanted. Whatever. The King and Queen were weak. Why did they just GIVE up? Where is the fight? FIGHT BACK!!!!!! At least die with dignity and honor. 

There were too many POVs. Once a character died, like the King, the author added another one. It was too much. I was able to keep track who was who and who was talking, but it slowed everything down. She should have stuck with maybe 2 or 3. 

Okay - confession time.....I did not finish this book. I skimmed and skimmed and then I got tired and went to bed. I woke up and looked at it and said I'm done. My first DNF in YEARS. I feel like a quitter, but I couldn't go on. So....a DNF. 

In the end, this was a total failure for me. I tried my darndest to finish, but I got about halfway and threw in the towel. My first DNF in about 6 years. Damn. 


I shall stamp this with 1 star. 




Saturday, 30 July 2016

#FitReaders Check-In: July 29, 2016

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

Join in!

Sat 30 min and 30 min walk
Sun 1 h walk walk
Mon 1 h walk. 1 h yoga. 14 km bike
Tue 30 min walk
Wed 1 h yoga. 14 km bike, 40 min walk
Thu 6 km bike, 6 km walk
Fri 14 km bike, 30 min and 30 min walk 
Sat 7 km bike. 30 min walk




Friday, 29 July 2016

Pleasure and Purpose - Megan Hart

The handmaidens of the Order of Solace are each named for the exquisite service that best reflects their true calling. Their greatest delight is giving pleasure?devoted as they are to fulfilling the desires of the mind, the needs of the soul, and the cravings of the body. 

Meet Stillness, called upon to soothe the conscience of a man in need of redemption after a shocking act from his sexual past. Then there's Honesty, whose vow of Solace is to a prince looking for a submissive handmaiden. Instead, he gets the unexpected. And finally, Determination, a handmaiden confronted with a client lost in a haze of random sex and drugs. She has just the plan to literally whip her man into shape. 

My thoughts:
Now why do I read E Rom when I am a such well known smex scene skimmer? Well I have had the book for years and I thought why not! Since it always sounded good to me, and it was all before I knew that I was a serial skimmer.

And it was good, really good in fact. If I actually liked these sort of books it would surely have been a 4, now I really can't give it that, since I do not. I mean...they do do it a lot ;)

I liked the world, they may call itself whatever they want, they still bring most of their solace in the form of sex. So temple prostitutes then, many cultures have had those. That is where the smexy times come in. 

This is a 3 novellas in a book, they are all connected, as 3 friends finds solace, and true love with Handmaidens.

It was light, I liked that it was a fantasy E romance. No real worldbuilding, but that does not matter here. I mean hello, it was novellas that had a lot of smex. 

I enjoyed the stories, and to see these unlikely pairs fall in love and find that solace.  Just a bit too much smex for me, whips and all.

Cover
Boring

Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Berkley
Order of Solace #1
Erot fantasy romance
Own


Thursday, 28 July 2016

My Lady of Cleves - Margaret Campbell Barnes

Written by world-renouned historical novelist Margaret Campbell Barnes, My Lady of Cleves gives readers an intimate portrait of the warm, unpretentious princess who never expected to become Queen of England. Knowing the king's ravenous desire for a son, and aware of the disastrous consequences of not bearing an heir, Anne of Cleves bravely took on the duty of weathering the Tudor King's temper, whims, arrogance, and irresponsible passions--and won the hearts of his subjects in the process.

A treat for readers of Tudor fiction and those fascinated by the complex relationships of Henry VIII and his wives, My Lady of Cleves leads readers into a world of high drama and courtly elegance. 

My thoughts:
She was a good writer and it showed, she did not try to put words in her characters mouths, words that did not belong. She did not make it too flighty or too much like a textbook. It made it interesting.

Anne of Cleves, well better to be divorced than beheaded. Though in this one you do get sad for her, since she could not leave even after her divorce. Maybe she wanted something more? But then again, she had her own household, no man to bother her, life must have been pretty good that way too.

So this book follows her from Cleves to her short marriage, and what happens afterward. Him marrying again, and again. I did like her, she seemed like a sensible woman. And she needs a story too, because gods, that Boleyn woman has TOO many books. I am so bored by her. Jane was a bit dull, the Howard kid was stupid. Catherine you always see in the background anyone and Parr, well eh, so yes Anne of Cleves has a good story to tell too.

Interesting story.

Paperback, 331 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 1946)
Historical fiction
 own


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Goblin Quest - Jim C Hines

Jig is a scrawny little nearsighted goblin-a runt even among his puny species. Captured by a party of adventurers searching for a magical artifact, and forced to guide them, Jig encounters every peril ever faced on a fantasy quest.

My thoughts:
I was unsure about this one to be honest, it was the story of a scrawny goblin after all. But I should not have feared, it was a Hines book after all.

This one was amusing, oh those silly humans ;) See Jig lives with the rest of the goblins where goblins live. And sometimes pesky humans aka adventures come into those caves looking for stuff, killing goblins and just being so darn annoying.

And that is what happens. A dwarf, a wizard, a prince and a thief comes looking for something and Jig have to help them. There is danger, adventure, treasure and one scared, yet brave goblin.

Conclusion:
I need to read more Jig books. I can't wait to see what he does next.

Paperback, 346 pages
Published November 7th 2006 by DAW (first published November 2nd 2004)
Jig the Goblin #1
Fantasy
Own


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Thunder Road - Sierra Dean

Being Chosen was supposed to be a gift. 

That’s what Tallulah Corentine’s parents told her when they handed her over to the Rain Chasers on her seventh birthday. It was an honor to be born with a destiny, to be hand selected by the gods before taking her first breath. She should be overjoyed. 

Twenty years later, Tallulah is still waiting for the gift. She might have the power of the storm at her fingertips, but she’s spent her whole adult life living under a cloud. 

A cross-country trip to find the wayward son of Seth, god of the storm, turns into a fight for her life when she dupes Death out of a valuable treasure. With only a wily con man, a dangerously handsome bad-luck priest, and a lot of lightning to help her, can she deliver the package and keep herself out of an early grave? 

Or will Seth be looking for a new Rain Chaser before it’s all over? 

My thoughts:
I liked this world of Gods, at first I was a bit... just those goods? But it seems Gods are known by different names in different places but still the same god, so the big one here is known as a few other things too. And I just like Gods, I do!

But, yes our world, just with many more real Gods. And people being born to serve those Gods. Like Tallulah, and poor her. She never stood a chance. She was born with the sign and given to serve Seth. There are rules and she goes around delivering thunder to those who pay tithes, and some are just after revenge. But one good thing was that after she brings forth some thunder and lighting, she must sleep and eat and oh how I would eat everything without gaining anything...oh the little things to focus at. Lol. My mind drifts, back to business.

To the point then. She must find someone, she must stay alive as others are after her, and she fancies someone. Danger, a bit of passion, thunder and meddling Gods. There is a lot to handle.

Conclusion:
A fun start to a new series, an interesting world and nice characters.

Cover
nice

Kindle Edition, 273 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by Sierra Dean
Rain Chaser #1
Urban fantasy
In exchange for an honest review


Monday, 25 July 2016

Renewed Hope - Rose Fairbanks

Sometimes love needs a second chance. Told against the backdrop of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy's timeless love story, Renewed Hope continues the story of Sufficient Encouragement through the eyes of three couples experiencing love for the second time.

James Fitzwilliam may be the Viscount Arlington, but ten years ago he walked away from money and prestige to marry a servant girl against his family's wishes. Unexpectedly, she died, and he has spent the time since trying to forget his loss. At last determining to marry with no hope of love, he settles on his cousin Anne de Bourgh - the very lady he cast aside years earlier.

Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam is a celebrated war hero and has loved only one woman. Her plot to use him to entrap his brother, the heir of a wealthy and powerful earl, crushed him in ways even battle could not. Years have passed, but the wounds remain. He knows better than to trust a lady again but is defenseless against the captivating Lady Belinda Crenshaw. Instead of proving faithless, she proves constant to the naval captain she loved who died at sea mere months ago. As Richard attempts to convince Lady Belinda to love again, his plans for retirement disappear.

Caroline Bingley has not always been mercenary and title grasping. Once upon a time, she was a naïve girl who fancied herself in love with a shopkeeper's son with poor prospects due to the colour of his skin. When war broke out with France, he chose to prove his patriotism just as Caroline recognized her family would grieve over the match. Breaking the engagement nearly destroyed them both. Meeting Jacob Truman again could be the answer to all their dreams or their worst nightmares. 

My thoughts:
That blurb really told everything that happens...then again, I already knew what would happen. And not because this was a variation, but because these things happened already in book 1. Just in the background because that was Lizzy's and the others story. While here the background people come into light and share their POVS.

Here Colonel Fitzwilliam gets his chance to find true love. Their story was nice, even if Belinda was all no, no love for me! Because she had loved and lost.

His brother Viscount Arlington does his duty to the family. But that story does not really get a conclusion here, and I think Anne really well step up in the next book.

And then there is Caroline, arghh, I hate when I like her. I want to despise her, but here, oh she is tired of it all and she wants to change. And I like her. Poor Caroline. She needs love too, she just have to stop caring about money and power first. Good for her to go for love.

Book 1 and book 2 is sort of the same then. Just from different POVS. We get to see Darcy in the background while he hunts for Lizzy. But it is not his story, it is the other's. Though it did bother me that we sill got no real endings here. There will be more. I would have liked an ending since I already read their story two times.

Side characters needs love too.!

Kindle Edition, 200iah
Published July 19th 2016 by Rose Fairbanks
When Love Blooms #2
Pride and Prejudice variation
In exchange for an honest review


Sunday, 24 July 2016

DNFs



The Golden Key - Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, Kate Elliott
This was very dull

Charity by Lesley Pearse
This was depressing

A perfect Heritage by Penny Vinczenzi
I am not gonna read 700 pages when I am all meh

Love in a cold climate
Even the blurb told me no, but I had so I tried it

White Wedding by Milly Johnson
Something something, yawn yawn

About a girl by Lindsey Kelk
I did not like the choices she made, I was kind of bored even though it was kind of good...and not. I gave up

Marshallows for breakfast by Dorothy Komsoon
Was this like fiction hidden in a chiclit cover? I like both. But this one was meh


Saturday, 23 July 2016

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-in July 22, 2016

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

Join in!

Sat 1.20 h walk
Sun 30 min walk
Mon 20 km bike.  1 h yoga
Tue 30 min walk. 5 km bike
Wed 1 h yoga. 33 km bike
Thu 6 km bike, 30 min walk
Fri 30 min walk

Bought new shoes, so shorter walks this week, and been busy with other things, BF has been all, let's go for a bikeride! So did two long ones ;)
Oh and yes that is where I do outdoor yoga





Friday, 22 July 2016

Joint Discussion: Morning Star - Pierce Brown



This month Carole and I will be discussing "Morning Star" by Pierce Brown


Author: Pierce Brown
Title: Morning Star (Red Rising #3)
Genre: Sci-FI, Fantasy, & YA
Pages: ebook
First Published: February 9th 2016
Where I Got It: Library
Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.


Finally, the time has come.


But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.


B: BOOM! The end. Let us begin.
C:Yes! SO what shall I say? I honestly did NOT expect ANYTHING with the ending...especially the bit about Mustang.



B: No, it came as a surprise. A happy surprise...sort of. A surprise I will not give the world for. I still think that universe will burn.

C: Yes. I agree. I was shocked. I wanted to know SO badly what was going to happen. I think I sped through this faster than the other two books and those were WAY smaller than this. B: Same, I did read 400 pages in a day. That is what vacation is for. Mostly I was so surprised (again) that I did not hate the beginning ;) And I just could not put it down, I needed to know what would happen. In my opinion, this truly was the strongest one of all 3, though, I do like the last 200 pages of book 1 the most. That was so mothereffing brutal, loved it. C: The beginning had me hooked from sentence one. Poor Darrow. >_< I rather have the physical torture...not that. That was brutal. Same here. I flew through the first few chapters. And then I flew through the last ones too. A small lag in the middle, but I still couldn’t put it down even during the drag because I HAD to know what was going to happen. The brutality and bloodshed was not as bloody as the last two. What do you think? B: I missed the brutality and bloodshed, I think I am a bookish sociopath. But I just did not get that same feeling, it was toned down, this one really was more YA. And they were older, so that was strange. I wanted gore and guts because that is what he gave us before. Now I just got the feeling that I totally could take Darrow in a fight...not in hand to hand combat, but playing on those pesky feelings he have and then I’d stab him in the eye! Yikes, look at me! What about you? C: Same here! I missed the brutal world from the other two books. Maybe it was because they were older and had to be more tricky! Darrow was super weak in this. Reality smacked him in the face. I think the Gold version and Red version of Darrow blended into this one. Sooooo it makes sense? Gah. Lots more feely-feel emotions in this one. B: You make so much sense, yes he was more Red in this one. Letting go of that Gold coldness. So I can forgive him...not that there was anything to forgive. How about other characters? I still do not care for Mustang, I just do not know. I like Servo, that is one messed up weirdo. Cassius...still want to stab him for being an idiot. Valkyries rule! That was the only time I had chills. C: I go back and forth on Mustang. I personally liked Victora (or however you spell it) more. I wanted them to be together. Valkyries were kickass. Cassius and Aja needed to be stabbed. xD After reading all the books, have you decided what color you would be if they forced you? B: After meeting the Outer Rim Golds, aye, those were smarter and did not send their kids to a slaughter house. So yes I am still Gold, or Pixie, I want the easy life, but without being sent to be raped and killed by my friends. C: I think I would be a Pixie myself. The Golds (even the outer rim golds) are all cra-cra. LOL B: Did you see that there will be another series set in the aftermath of these events? 2017 something. oHHH yes I need it. C: Really??? Had no idea. Will Darrow still be the hero/main character? I am tired of him. I want to see the world through another pair of eyes. Maybe a gold’s eyes or something. Knowing this...I stick to my theory that the world will still burn. B: The name is Iron Gold, sounds promising for some Gold action. But from the blurb I do not know, but I believe it will be about someone else. And we will see them from the sides of it all. Since stuff is going down for sure. After some of the events, chaos, so much chaos. C: Interesting. I am curious. We should check it out for sure!! There was something I did want to say…..mhmmm...blanking. You go - I’ll think. B:10 years after the rebellion, so can’t be Darrow then, he is OLD then. Hahhaha. Ok let me think. Best so far, I am even giving it a 4 since he managed to create a good beginning. I did not think he had it in him. It is rare a series ends on a high note for me. Since I wanted to dnf book one, except those glorious last pages that were so effed up. Good times. Anything yet? C: Can’t remember what I originally had in mind to say. But you did bring up an excellent point. It is a rare thing that a series ends so well. I was worried, super worried, that this would be a fail. I’m leaning towards a 4 myself. I feel this better than the other two! The second book was crap to me, but this sure made up. B: Book 1, crap beginning, excellent ending. So that was a 3. Book 2 was overall good, so a 3. And since this one was better overall it had to be a 4. It did surpass those other two for me, he just got better at what he was doing. But the series as a whole would get a 3. How long is your lunch? Should we wrap it up? C: My sad lunch is drawing to a close...so we should sadly wrap up. I wish I could say more, but there are so many things that I could spoil, so I shall refrain. There were lots of surprises and the writer kept me on my toes. I whipped through this a crazy person and I enjoyed the journey. There were a couple of parts that made me roll my eyes and could have been cut to shorten the story. This was calm compared to the other two...not as much brutality which I wanted! Final thought dearie? B: He upped his game, kudos to that, and to make it short, I agree with everything you say in your paragraph. On to the next book! C: *charges* TO THE NEXT BOOK! *cough* Who’s turn is it? I am confused. LOL B: No idea...you, I say you. C: FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE! ;) *charges again* B: ;) Eeek my laptop is dying! Enjoy the rest of the day!




Thursday, 21 July 2016

Succubus Blues - Richelle Mead

When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical? 

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic. At least there's her day job at a local bookstore--free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can't. 

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle's demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won't help because Georgina's about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny. . . 

My thoughts:
Funny UF, yes, just what I needed!

Georgina was so not kick-ass. She had luck, she had sex appeal and she could not help letting those dirty innuendos out.

She works in a bookstore (yay) and she loves books (yay). She does have sex for souls and has done so for millenia (job sucks). She has a cat! SO I liked her.

But someone is hunting immortals in Seattle *scary music*

She does care and wants to investigate, but she is also dealing with her favorite author coming to town. Oh what a fangirl she is. And there is a hunky guy on the horizon too. Maybe she can finally let loose a bit.

Conclusion:
I liked this, I read it fast, it was amusing, and I will read more

Cover
SO UF

Mass Market Paperback, 375 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Zebra (first published February 27th 2007)
Georgina Kincaid #1
UF
OWN


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Geist - Philippa Ballantine

Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off the malevolent haunting of the geists...

Among the most powerful of the Order is Sorcha, now thrust into partnership with the novice Deacon, Merrick Chambers. They have been dispatched to the isolated village of Ulrich to aide the Priory with a surge of violent geist activity. With them is Raed Rossin, Pretender to the throne that Sorcha is sworn to protect, and bearer of a terrible curse.

But what greets them in the strange settlement is something far more predatory and more horrifying than any mere haunting. And as she uncovers a tradition of twisted rituals passed down through the dark reaches of history, Sorcha will be forced to reconsider everything she thinks she knows.

And if she makes it out of Ulrich alive, what in Hell is she returning to? 

My thoughts:
Sorcha battles geists and more, and sends them packing. Which brings me to the world at once, I did not learn that much, so the world building lacked. And therefore I call it light fantasy, and for me light fantasy is well light, but also with a lacking world building. I would have liked more of a world, I confess to that. Still I also like a good adventure.

Sorcha was 35-40, which I liked. She was rather serious, she had a meh marriage. And she is known for being tough.

Merrick is young and sort of just of out school. Her new partner. And well...did not learn much about him,

Raed, him I liked. I felt like I got a clearer picture of him. The young pretender to the throne. We all know what happen to those. He will not get that throne. He is also cursed, and it's a bad one.

And off on an adventure they go. There are geists, some romantic feelings going around, bad people plotting, and a bigger conspiracy to unravel.

Conclusion:
It was not mindblowing or anything. And now you are all are gonna go all, sorry you did not like it...I did like it. It was good, just not mindblowing. So it was good, and I am curious what will happen in the next one. On my wishlist it goes. Light fantasy is fun to read sometimes.

Cover
cool

Mass Market Paperback, 294 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by Ace
Book of the Order #1
Fantasy
Own


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Lonen's War - Jeffe Kennedy

Alone in her tower, Princess Oria has spent too long studying her people’s barbarian enemies, the Destrye—and neglected the search for calm that will control her magic and release her to society. Her restlessness makes meditation hopeless and her fragility renders human companionship unbearable. Oria is near giving up. Then the Destrye attack, and her people’s lives depend on her handling of their prince…

When the cornered Destrye decided to strike back, Lonen never thought he’d live through the battle, let alone demand justice as a conqueror. And yet he must keep up his guard against the sorceress who speaks for the city. Oria’s people are devious, her claims of ignorance absurd. The frank honesty her eyes promise could be just one more layer of deception.

Fighting for time and trust, Oria and Lonen have one final sacrifice to choose… before an even greater threat consumes them all. 

My thoughts:
I did not really know who to root for at first. The Barbarian Horde was all kill them all! BUT they claimed that they had been attacked first. As for the people of Dara I only had Oria's opinion and she had no idea why they were attacking. Except for them being barbarians. So I was not too happy about the Destrye to be honest. And not at all when things comes to pass later on.

It's not a fantasy romance, there is not an inch of romance in it. But I guess there will be in coming books. Cos duh, you read the blurb and think that they will hook up. But he keeps thinking of someone else and I am so not down with that. But then he thinks of Oria too, and I am all no you didn't! It did not really make me love Lonen. He has to prove himself in book 2 if he is gonna win me over. He does better himself, but in another way it just makes it all worse.

Oh and you should see him go all but she said! Oh man, she is not the ruler of this place. Silly little Destrye. You will see.

As for Oria's family, they do not show that much redeeming traits. Maybe the city really should burn.

I have no idea where I am , let me see. Oria aka stuck in a cover, can't use the magic she should, never leaves said tower. And Lonen the barbarian who goes all I trust her.

Fighting. Trying to make peace. Inviting trouble. The foundation for the whole city cracking...

Conclusion:
It was an interesting story, there are some...things I would like to learn more of. The romance part seemed utterly doomed and hope not. I'd like some romance, maybe some happy banter too.

ebook, 233 pages
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Brightlynx Publishing
Romantic fantasy Sorcerous Moons #1
For a review


Monday, 18 July 2016

Vigil - Angela Slatter

Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds. The daughter of one human and one Weyrd parent, she has very little power herself, but does claim unusual strength - and the ability to walk between us and the other - as a couple of her talents. As such a rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace between both races, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden from us.

But now Sirens are dying, illegal wine made from the tears of human children is for sale - and in the hands of those Weyrd who hold with the old ways - and someone has released an unknown and terrifyingly destructive force on the streets of Brisbane.

And Verity must investigate - or risk ancient forces carving our world apart. 

My thoughts:
This could be UF, but I do not want to group it with that, because it is just so much more and different. The author herself says she writes dark fantasy, so dark urban fantasy mystery then. If you read UF you know how those go, kick-ass, fast etc etc. But this was fiction traced with the weyrd. Read it find out.

First we do have to start with Fassbinder, I had to google it, it means Cooper. What? I had to, mostly to see if it had something do do with her dad's occupation. Ahem. No, but he was a kinderfresser, and if you want to know what that is then you have to read this book. If you are well versed in German myths you might have heard of them.

When I have that out of the way. Verity can walk both worlds, Weyrd and Normal. They live among us, and for the most part cause no trouble.  But it is very us and them. She is the one the Weyrd sends out to deal with things, she is the one that deals with the cop that knows about them. The two mysteries she has to solve is who is stealing children and who is killing sirens. The first one brings her back to her past, the second one, well who can make a woman with wings fall to her death? Intriguing.  It was a good mystery, and it brought us deep into this world. Which was great because I wanted to know more about the Weyrd and I did.

Verity herself was a nice heroine, mostly because even though she has quite the strength inherited from her dad, she was just normal you know. There are those heroines that are all kick-ass, but Verity felt normal. Which is why this book was more fantasy fiction in that aspect. It felt like there is this underworld to the streets of Brisbane. Oh, which I totally loved too. It's nice to read some Au fic for once.

I lost my train of thought, in the middle of my review! I could go on and on...

It was a good book, one that you have to take your time with. Some books should not be rushed, which does not mean that I did not read it in a day. Sure I read it in a day, but I took it slow. To savor it.

Conclusion:
I look forward to more in this world. Great potential there.

Cover
nice


Kindle Edition, 351 pages
Published July 7th 2016 by Jo Fletcher Books
Urban fantasy Mystery
For review


Sunday, 17 July 2016

Carole's Sunday review: Dating tips for the unemployed - Iris Smyles


Author: Iris Smyles
Title: Dating Tips for the Unemployed
Genre: Fiction & Humor
Pages: 320
First Published: June 28th 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

In twenty-four absurd, lyrical, and louche episodes, “Iris Smyles” weaves a modern odyssey of trying to find one’s home in the world amid the pitfalls and insidious traps of adult life. A wickedly funny picaresque touching on quantum physics, the Donner Party, arctic exploration, Greek mythology, Rocky I, II, V, IV, VI, and III respectively, and literary immortality, Dating Tips for the Unemployed is a wistful if wry ode to that awkward age—between birth and death—when you think you know what you want but aren’t quite sure what you’re doing.


When I read the summary I felt like I had no choice but to read it. It is something different and unique, but with the same message that books like this want to get out: finding yourself and finding where you belong. 



Hilarious and sad all at the same time. I loved the main character - Iris. She was a mess as she was stumbling her way through relationships, family meetings, and just life in general. I loved her. I seen a lot of myself in her, so this made it so MUCH funnier! However....I will be honest....it took me about five stories before I realized that this book was centered around the same character. You are probably asking yourself what I am talking about? At first I thought it was different characters, until I re-read the summary and I realized it was the same character.



Why? Well, I think it was because the beginning was jumping around so much. At first the storyline was scattered around so much that I thought it was different people. I finally realized it was still Iris. That is honestly my only compliant. The beginning confused me, because it was jumping years too much.



Other than that, I couldn't put this book down. I simply adored the stories and the characters. Some of her exes needed a slap in the face! Ugh. But sometimes Iris was a total snot and selfish. 



Honestly? I want to read more by the author. I love her voice and writing style. She can be tragic and funny all in one sentence. She certainly knows how to encompass life, because life is tragic and funny all at the same time. Brava!



In the end, I highly recommend this if you want a story about people stumbling through this silly thing we call life. The characters were fun. The stories were fun. My only compliant is the beginning, because it jumped around too much for my liking. Out of five stars, I stamp this with....mhmmm....4 stars.







Saturday, 16 July 2016

Saturday Scribbling Challenge and Fitreaders




This is a fun little writing challenge that Carole and I have come up with! We each challenge each other with the selected theme. 

This month we decided to do something a little different. We decided to do a poetry challenge! We then had to go find a photo that we personally feel matches what our story is about. 

First....my poem:
Ode to War
WWI inspired fantasy poem
by Blodeuedd

With a brave heart
and proud mind
I rode.
You are a hero, they told me.
You will save us all, they sang.
My parents smiled,
My friends they laughed.
But now I lie here,
broken and beaten.
Where are you who cheered me on
who hugged me close?
Where are you who promised me honor?
Where are you who promised me everything?





Now, Carole's poem (sorry it went long, hahaha)




Make This Stop 
Inspired by 'I'm Not the Only One' by Sam Smith
by Carole Rae

My heart is pulled
And stuck in between multiple roads,
Multiple ways,
Multiple times,
Multiple dreams,
Multiple desires,
Thump, thump
Blood rising
Palms sweaty
My heart is caught
In between places
Where to choose?
What to do?
No one to choose. 
Left in between
Breathing 
Failing
Breathing
Stilled
Wanting all,
Losing more. 
How to feel?
What to think?
I want it all,
But could lose all. 
I want to be happy. 
I want to be glad,
But all I feel is sad
And mad. 
Mad at the decisions
That lock me in place. 
That tell me what to feel
What to think. 
Make it end. 
Make it stop.
Make this heart choose one way
Or no way at all. 
It is all too much. 
Too many feelings.
I rather be stone,
I rather be alone. 
Make this stop.
Thump, thump
Make this stop. 




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

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Friday, 15 July 2016

If the Earl only Knew Excerpt and Giveaway

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it all purely imagination?

When my first book was published I was so proud to have my mom read it for the first time. Only later I realized the mother character in the book was a complete shrew, which might have made my mom wonder. I had to reassure it had nothing to do with her. My books are pretty much out of my own head and any similarity to real life is purely coincidental.

Rafflecoptor Link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

An Excerpt

Are you ready for this?” asked her brother, pulling on his worn wool greatcoat.
Quite.” Lady Kate chose to misinterpret his meaning. “I have prepared an accounting for each one of our investors, providing details of their original investment and return.”
Robert Ashton, Earl of Darington, took the large ledgers from her hands. “Not what I meant.”
I shall never be ready. But let us do it anyway,” she said crisply. She had developed a keen accounting for each one of their investors, but such a meeting brought the prospect of seeing one particular investor. A man she never wanted to see again.
Ever.
Would he be there? Would he dare come?
Lady Katherine has no beauty, no fashion, no conversation, and no accomplishments save being the sister to an earl, and an impoverished one at that. Years later, his voice still rang in her head.
It had begun innocently enough. While at university, Robert had become acquainted with Tristan Arlington, the second son of the Earl of Wynbrook, who had invited them to spend the Christmas holidays with his family. Tristan’s mother had been particularly kind, and for a brief moment Kate had thought she had finally been accepted. But it was not to last.
Kate closed her eyes and remembered her fateful visit. She had heard voices coming from the open library door and stopped. She knew she ought not to eavesdrop, but she could not help pausing outside the door and listening to the conversation between Tristan and his elder brother.
Darington might not be so bad—one can forgive lack of conversation in a gentleman—but you must admit the sister is poor company indeed,” drawled Tristan’s elder brother.
Dash it, John! What a gudgeon you are,” exclaimed Tristan. “Kate’s not had the advantages of feminine company is all. Their mother died bringing them into the world.”
Perhaps, but is that any reason for Mother to sponsor her coming out with Jane this spring?”
Why should Mother not bring out Kate with our sister?” cried Tristan. “Quite kind of her.”
Because it may prove an embarrassment to Mother. I do not mean to offend, but your friend’s earldom was only recently created. Darington’s father must have done something quite heroic in his naval career to rise from a baronet to an earl. You know how society disdains social climbers.”
Social climbers!
Six years later, the words still ground like grit in her teeth. How she had hated him!
They came to a stop with a jolt and Kate opened her eyes to the intimidating sight of rising colonnades of the Bank of London. Her pulse pounded in her temples as they were led to a sitting room designed for meetings of the rich and the even richer. Dark mahogany paneling lined the hall, and all the furnishings from the curtains to the chairs were resplendent in rich jewel tones. Everything around her spoke of wealth and power.
Surely he would not be here. He would send his solicitor, not come in person. There was no need. She had almost convinced herself of his certain absence when they entered the room.
He was there.
The bastion of society stood warming himself by the fire, dressed impeccably in a dark blue, double-breasted suit that was tailored to perfection. She could not help but drink in his form. His broad, square shoulders revealed a powerful build, yet he had a trim waist and muscular thighs that were on the edge of indecent in his skintight buckskin breeches. With his chestnut hair, green eyes, and square jaw he was the very definition of a handsome man.
It was him.
John Arlington, the Earl of Wynbrook.

The only man she had ever kissed.


Title: If the Earl Only Knew
Series: The Daring Marriages, #1
Author: Amanda Forester
Pubdate: July 5th, 2016
ISBN: 9781492605492

The chase is on in award-winning author Amanda Forester’s brand-new Regency romance series!

A sizzling scandal just waiting to happen…

Orphaned at a young age, Lady Katherine Ashton and her brother have spent most of their lives on the high seas, seeking to restore their family fortune through somewhat dubious means. After that kind of adventure, Kate knows she won’t ever be accepted as a proper society lady.

To the annoyingly clever, temptingly handsome, and altogether troublesome Earl of Wynbrook, society ladies are a dead bore. Kate, on the other hand, is scandalous, alluring, and altogether fascinating. And Kate can’t decide which she relishes more, the thrill of chasing fearsome pirates, or having Wynbrook chase after her…


Amanda Forester holds a PhD in psychology and worked many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance was way more fun. A Publishers Weekly Top Ten author, her books have been given starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews. Whether in the rugged Highlands of medieval Scotland or the decadent ballrooms of Regency England, her novels offer fast-paced adventures filled with wit, intrigue, and romance. You can visit her at www.amandaforester.com.



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Thursday, 14 July 2016

Temptation Ridge and The Body at the Tower

Shelby McIntyre has big plans—plans that include finding Mr. Right. Her dream man will have a clean-shaven jaw, creases in his pants and hopefully and advanced degree. What she gets is rugged Luke Riordan.

At twenty-five, after five years as her mother's caregiver, it's time for Shelby to experience freedom and adventure. Time for travel, college and romance. But when she visits Virgin River, she runs into Luke Riordan, decidedly not whom she has in mind.

A handsome Blackhawk pilot, Luke exited the army after twenty years, four wars and having been shot out of the sky three times. At thirty-eight he's tough and jaded. His major was in one-night stands, with a minor in commitment avoidance.

Technically, these two are all wrong for one another. But sometimes what you want and what you need are two different things…two very good things. 

My thoughts:
I always said I would read a Carr, and now I did.

But so many stories and people! And since it's a series, I mean yikes how many people showed up! I did not feel lost, I just wished it could have been more focused on Luke and Shelby. Now I had to care about a bunch of other peeps too. Like Shelby's uncle who is having a romance with a a movie star. And this woman who meets a doctor (can't say more there). And then there are people who found love in previous books.

Shelby, a 25 year old who has not lived, but taken care of her mother, is the one looking for love.
And then there is a 38 year old veteran who is all, no love for me. You know one of those men who thinks they know best, and you just wanna hit them (fine, yes I want to hit everyone!). Because they always think they know what the woman should do, but in reality everyone is happier as it is.

So they meet, fall in love, have their romance in this small knit community. They have their drama and then they live happily ever after.

Conclusion:
Good

Cover
meh

Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Mira (first published 2009)
Virgin River #6
Contemporary romance
'Own

Now nearly a full-fledged member of the Agency, the all-female detective unit operating out of Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls, Mary Quinn is back for another action-packed adventure. Disguised as a poor apprentice builder and a boy, she must brave the grimy underbelly of Victorian London - as well as childhood fear, hunger, and constant want - to unmask the identity of a murderer. Assigned to monitor a building site on the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament, Mary earns the confidence of the work crew, inching ever nearer her suspect. But if an irresistible desire to help the city's needy doesn't distract her and jeopardize her cover, unexpectedly meeting up with an old friend - or flame - just might.

A suspenseful and evocative window into a fascinating moment in history, The Body at the Tower is the much-anticipated second outing with a daring young detective. 

My thoughts:
I did not read book 1, but I felt it worked anyway. I quickly got into the world, but of course when this guy showed up I did wonder what had happened between them in book 1.

BUT, I know they said she was not big, but still, how does a 17 year old get away pretending to be a 12 year old? See I never get that in books, mostly cos when I was 12 I could not have played a 12 year old boy. Damn, they were short, it took them to like 16 to get near me in height. And then there is the whole thing that something recognizes her and likes her and I was all euwww, she is dressed and pretends to be a 12 year old boy. I know you know she is a woman, but still, that is nasty. I could not get behind that budding maybe one day romance.

As for the book...Mary is part of an agency of spies (women), and she is on a case. Who killed this guy, wow, the road there was long and I did not really get how they found any evidence. It was all too sudden. The mystery part was lacking.

Conclusion;
But hey, it was still a good book. A bit of a mystery, spying, weird maybe romance...still on the fence about that. And not to mention a cool heroine. A light mystery.

Paperback, 344 pages
Published 2010 by Walker Books
The Agency #2
YA (historical mystery
Own


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