Saturday, 31 December 2016

#FitReaders Check-In: December 30, 2016

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

Join in


Sat 30 min walk
Sun 1 h walk walk
Mon 1h walk
Tue  30 min walk
Wed  4 km bike. 30  min walk
Thu  30 min walk
Fri  rest

Last Fitreaders for the year! Thank you all for a great year, this is a great challenge!. You all keep me motivated.






Friday, 30 December 2016

Best of 2016



To be honest, it seems I had a pretty bad book year. Rating wise, my average rating is 2.9! Now that is bad. These days I even try to avoid those ok books, but I guess I finished a lot of them this year. Sigh.

I have read 265 books this year, 25 of those were 4 star books....

Taking a quick look at the list and trying to remember ;) I might miss quite a few
I read:
8 audio books
14 novella/short story
1 graphic novel

And now to Best of

Best Historical Romance


I love HR, I read them for the fun of it, but even though I really like them, they seldom get that 4, because I am very cruel. Therefore I was very surprised when this one got a 4 this year. It was just that good.

Best Fantasy

This is book 2 in a series, and well I have suffered from book 2 syndrome a lot. But here, wow. Such a good book. Even better than book 1! I was impressed. That is how a series should evolve.

Runner-up

I usually do not do this, but when looking through GR and checking my reviews...well, I used the word intense a lot. I mean A LOT! Another series that just keeps getting better.

Best YA

I like how she writes, I liked the darkness of it all, and the world created. Great YA.

Runner-up

This one has not been translated, a shame really.

Best UF

This was one of those where it did take me a while to warm up to the series- But this one was excellent and one of those I need to pee, but F IT! I have to finish this book.

Best Steampunk

Ok, so it might be one of two steampunk books I read this year, and it was fantasy too, but it has to be on this list. Also BEST sidekick cat ever!

Best Er  tic romance

I seldom read this since I skim already in contemporary romance, but I read it, and damn, it was good! It was better than the contemporary romance I read this year. It gets both prizes.


Best Historical Fiction/Horror

This one actually gave me the chills. After having finished it I had to look out the window so no one was watching me. Such a claustrophobic feeling.

Best Fiction

How to be a young woman in a country where women are worth nothing. A powerful story.

And last, Best Memoir *coughs*
My cheat genre pick ;)


Because the series is just so fun and everyone should read it.

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

And last a shout out to


 You all keep me motivated. Thank you!! This is the best challenge to have



Thursday, 29 December 2016

The language of dying - Sarah Pinborough

A woman sits beside her father's bedside as the night ticks away the final hours of his life. As she watches over her father, she relives the past week and the events that brought the family together . . . and she recalls all the weeks before that served to pull it apart.

There has never been anything normal about the lives raised in this house. It seems to her that sometimes her family is so colourful that the brightness hurts, and as they all join together in this time of impending loss she examines how they came to be the way they are and how it came to just be her, the drifter, that her father came home to die with.

But, the middle of five children, the woman has her own secrets . . . particularly the draw that pulled her back to the house when her own life looked set to crumble. And sitting through her lonely vigil, she remembers the thing she saw out in the fields all those years ago . . . the thing that they found her screaming for outside in the mud. As she peers through the familiar glass, she can't help but hope and wonder if it will come again.

Because it's one of those night, isn't it dad? A special terrible night. A full night. And that's always when it comes. If it comes at all. 

My thoughts:
"There is a language to dying. It creeps like a shadow alongside the passing years and the taste of it hides in the corners of our mouths. It finds us whether we are sick or healthy."

This is the story of a woman who sits by her father bedside. Her siblings are sent for and they come. We learn their history, their history with their father. And later more about the narrator's life.

It's not a long book, it's a novella really. It is beautifully written. It never gets sad, it is just the way of things.

But there is also something in the shadows, something she once saw. The one thing that gives this the fantasy vibe, but only when she thinks of that. Never anywhere else. It was something strange....

It was a good, short book, that you can read in one sitting.

Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 1st 2016 by Jo Fletcher Books (first published 2009)
Fiction
In exchange for a review


Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Wicked as they come - Delilah S Dawson

When nurse Tish Everett forced open the pesky but lovely locket she found at an estate sale, she had no idea she was answering the call of Criminy Stain, from the far off land of Sang. He’d cast a spell for her, but when she’s transported right to him, she’s not so sure she’s ready to be under the spell of another man. (It didn’t go so well last time with controlling, abusive, domineering Jeff.) If only Criminy wasn’t so deliciously rakish….

Half the inhabitants of Sang are Pinkies—human—and the other half are Bludmen, who in Tish’s world would be called vampires. But they don’t mess with any of the bat/coffin/no sunlight nonsense. They’re rather like you and me, just more fabulous, long living, and mostly indestructible. (They're also very good kissers.) But when the evil Mayor of Manchester (formerly Bludchester) redoubles his efforts to rid Sang of the Bludmen once and for all, stealing Tish’s locket in hopes of traveling back to her world himself for reinforcements, Criminy and Tish must battle ghosts, sea monsters, wayward submarines, a secret cabal, and thundering Bludmares to get the locket back and allow Tish to return home…but has she found love with Criminy? Could she stay in Sang forever? 

My thoughts:
I have let this review wait way too long, I always forget my feelings then...

I am not entirely sure I get the whole Sang world. So it is a parallel universe...BUT when you are there your body is still in this world. So that was a bit, whaat? It's not like only your mind traveled, your body is in two places. That makes no sense. I read a short story from the story, and felt the same. Like was she crazy? And here, well the same feeling, she could just be insane, dreaming this and then dying.

Anyway. She comes to this crazy victorian world where instead of just us humans there are bludmen too. And it seems to have spread and most animals are vicious fangmonsters too. But she meets a hot guy who runs a Carnival. He is all, this is meant to be. She is all, what is going on? And she keeps going back and forth.

There are evil things going on. The vamps are good people. She falls in love and they live happily ever after...or her body slowly decays as she lies in a crazy coma.

Cover
Hmmm, it works

Mass Market Paperback, 395 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Pocket Books
Blud #1
Paranormal fantasy romance
Own


Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Lady Claire is all that - Maya Rodale

Claire Cavendish is in search of a duke, but not for the usual reasons. The man she seeks is a mathematician; the man she unwittingly finds is Lord Fox: dynamic, athletic, and as bored by the equations Claire adores as she is by the social whirl upon which he thrives. As attractive as Fox is, he’s of no use to Claire . . . or is he?

Fox’s male pride has been bruised ever since his fiancée jilted him. One way to recover: win a bet that he can transform Lady Claire, Society’s roughest diamond, into its most prized jewel. But Claire has other ideas—shockingly steamy ones. . .

By Claire’s calculations, Fox is the perfect man to satisfy her sensual curiosity. In Fox’s estimation, Claire is the perfect woman to prove his mastery of the ton. But the one thing neither of them counted on is love . . . 

My thoughts:
This was a fun one. Claire and Fox SO did not fit together. She was smart and talked about maths until people wanted to stick needles in their eyes. While Fox was the golden one of society, handsome, perfect, he had everything (until he was dumped for an actor.) Also he has no idea what Claire drones on about and she thinks he is an idiot.

Of course, there lies a drama in it all. He makes a stupid bet that he can make her into a ton darling. Really stupid man, but then the man pushing him is even more of an idiot.

Claire was so fun, she did not give a damn about the things you should discuss. She just wanted to find someone to discuss math with.

And Fox, even if he did not understand a thing she said, he did start to understand her and I liked how he fell for her. He fell for her, while she might more have fallen for those kisses at first ;)

As I read it I had to check if her sisters stories were coming, seems they already had been told. And I do think those might be fun too.

Conclusion;
All in all, fun, cute light read.

Cover
Nice

ebook, 384 pages
Expected publication: December 27th 2016 by Avon
Keeping Up with the Cavendishes #3
Historical romance
Own


Monday, 26 December 2016

Four weddings and a sixpence Anthology

“Something Old”
Julia Quinn’s prolog introduces her heroine Beatrice Heywood and the premise for Four Weddings and a Sixpence.

My thoughts:
Just an introduction to the women and the coin.

“Something New”
In Stefanie Sloane’s unforgettable story, an ever-vigilant guardian decrees that Anne Brabourne must marry by her twenty-first birthday. But love finds her in the most unexpected of ways.

Thoughts:
Anne needs to marry. She meets a Duke. They form a friendship while she hunts for a man.
Nice little story

“Something Borrowed”
Elizabeth Boyle tells the tale of Cordelia Padley, who has invented a betrothed to keep her family from pestering her to wed. Now she’ll need to borrow one to convince them she’s found her true love.

Thoughts:
I liked Cordelia. What an idiotic idea of hers, but it paid off. I liked that how much he really did love her.

“Something Blue”
In Laura Lee Guhrke’s story, unlucky Lady Elinor Daventry has her sixpence stolen from her and must convince the rake who pilfered the coin to return it in time for her own wedding.

Thoughts:
I was not sure about this hero, and even at the end. Hmm, I just do not know. But then her father was evil. Dilemma! Still a good story.

“... and a Sixpence in Her Shoe”
Julia Quinn finishes with the story of Beatrice Heywood, who never believed that the sixpence was anything but a tarnished old coin—until it led all of her friends to true love. But her faith in the coin is tested when it keeps sending her to the wrong man! 

Thoughts:
I do believe this to be my favorite. Bea lived a quiet life. Her hero wanted a quiet life after all the looks his eye gave him. People can be so cruel! A lovely story how they fell in love.

Conclusion:
This was an anthology that worked and all stories were strong. Cute, romantic and short.

ebook, 1st edition, 384 pages
Expected publication: December 27th 2016 by Avon
Historical romance
Edelweiss


Sunday, 25 December 2016

DNFS and Merry Xmas


Holiday! Since it's  Xmas Eve when I write this I have already opened a few pressies, yay books.

And two dnfs cos it is the season ;)


My thoughts were: Meh, way too long for it to be this boring, and meh again


Saturday, 24 December 2016

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-in Dec 23 2016

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

Join in

Sat 30 min walk
Sun 30 and 30 min walk
Mon 4 km bike, 30 min walk
Tue  4 km bike
Wed  4 km bike. 30  min walk
Thu  30 min walk
Fri 1 h walk

I am on holiday :D Yay, so not much biking for the next two weeks since when I bike, I bike to work and back, and others places too ;) But the roads have been hell this week, everything turned to ice, booo. And now winter is gone



And Luci got a new box :D
There might have been things for me in it but he was sure in it before everything was out



Friday, 23 December 2016

Risky Christmas - Jill Sorensen and Jennifer Morey

Holiday Secrets by Jill SorensonAfter witnessing her husband's murder eighteen months ago, Leah is in hiding and has no plans to celebrate Christmas. Though she tries to resist, her handsome new neighbor awakens long-buried feelings of attraction...and brings a killer to her door.

Kidnapped at Christmas by Jennifer Morey Chloe is a struggling artist and thoroughly bored with her life--until a rugged FBI agent pulls her into a fast-paced adventure...and a sizzling love affair! The only damper on their mistletoe madness is a vengeful mobster who won't stop until they are both silenced...forever. 

My thoughts:
2 novellas in a xmas wrap.

Holiday Secrets by Jill Sorenson
Leah is in witness protection, and afraid of her own shadow. Xmas is at the door. Oh look there is a sexy neighbor next door too. One who is really nice, but yes she is afraid of everything. Also not sure why the killer is after her, sure she is a witness but does her statement get thrown out if he kills her? And gets away with it that is.

Anyway, there is some suspense at the end, guess why.
And they fall in love, fast, yet slow, but fast since it does take place during a short period of time.

Kidnapped at Christmas by Jennifer Morey 
I do not think it is standard FBI practice to use an innocent person of the street like that. She could have been killed!
Clohe meets Agent. And then there is suspense...guess why.
And during that they fall in love and live happily ever after.

Conclusion:
Short, nice, good for xmas.

Mass Market Paperback, Silhouette Intimate Moments #1679, 224 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Harlequin
Romantic suspense
Own


Thursday, 22 December 2016

A Season of Seduction - Jennifer Haymore

Although the widowed Lady Rebecca has sworn off marriage, men are another matter. London's cold winter nights have her dreaming of warmer pursuits—like finding a lover to satisfy her hungry heart. Someone handsome, discreet, and most importantly as uninterested in marriage as she is. Someone like Jack Fulton.

A known adventurer and playboy, Jack seems like the perfect choice. There's just one problem: Jack isn't interested in an affair. He needs the beautiful, mysterious Lady Rebecca to be his wife. And he doesn't have much time to persuade her. A secret from Jack's past is about to surface, and by Christmas Day he'll be either married to Rebecca or dead. 

My thoughts:
Jack Jack Jack *shakes head* It is hard to like someone who is not honest. And I do want to kick him in the nuts.

Rebecka, oh she made SUCH a mistake. Damn girl, that was so stupid. But 4 years later she is a widow wondering if she should have some fun.

They meet. There is lots of passion in their story. They mess up. There is drama. Dishonesty, me wanting to kick him in the nuts. But all in all, they do care for each other, but there is that one big issue that you know will mess it all up.

Conclusion:
A nice story set before xmas. Not that much xmas in it, but hey still a xmas book.

Cover
Well it least there is a xmas feel to it

Mass Market Paperback, 379 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Forever
James Family #3
Historical romance
Own


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The trouble with Dukes - Grace Burrowes

The gossips whisper that the new Duke of Murdoch is a brute, a murderer, and even worse—a Scot. They say he should never be trusted alone with a woman. But Megan Windham sees in Hamish something different, someone different.

No one was fiercer at war than Hamish MacHugh, though now the soldier faces a whole new battlefield: a London Season. To make his sisters happy, he'll take on any challenge—even letting their friend Miss Windham teach him to waltz. Megan isn't the least bit intimidated by his dark reputation, but Hamish senses that she's fighting battles of her own. For her, he'll become the warrior once more, and for her, he might just lose his heart. 

My thoughts:
More Windhams! Oh there are a lot of them, but this time it's time for the cousins to find love.

Megan, well the different thing about her is that she wears glasses, and that does set her apart. But she has a suitor *coughs asshat*. But she is pushing him away, and we learn why *coughs he is an asshat*.

Hamish was a soldier, and one with a pretty rough reputation. Then he inherited a title, and he is still rough around the edges, and a Scot to boot.

They meet, they like each other. They talk they flirt, but wait, she is almost engaged to that other guy *asshat*. There lies the dilemma, oh and that Hamish is a fool who is all, but I am bad for you, I got a rep. Silly man *smacks him over the head* She loves ya.

Conclusion:
Cute. And it was fun to meet the family again.

Cover
Cute

Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published December 20th 2016 by Forever
Windham Brides #1, Windham #9
Historical romance
Edelweiss


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Always in my heart - Freda Lightfoot

Life has been difficult for her over the war, having been held in an internment camp in France simply because of her nationality. Thankful that her son at least was safe in the care of his grandmother, she now finds that she has lost him too, and her life is in turmoil.

Prue, her beloved sister-in-law, is also a war widow but has now fallen in love with an Italian PoW who works on the family estate. Once the war ends they hope to marry but she has reckoned without the disapproval of her family, or the nation.
The two friends support each other in an attempt to resolve their problems and rebuild their lives. They even try starting a business, but it does not prove easy.

My thoughts:
The book jumps a bit in time. The war is over and Brenda returns to her husband's home. Oh but everyone there are so mean, arghh, I wanted to hit them, well especially the evil sister in law. She was, ugh, trust me. She was bad!!!! No one believes she was married. And she has lost her child. And here begin the flashbacks, how she met Jack, their time in France, the start of the war, how she was sent to a german prison camp, and how she searched for her son.

And while those flashbacks continue we get to see her trying to build a new life for herself. 

But the book is not only hers, her sister in law Prue (the good sister, not the evil one) is in love with someone she should not love, and she has her own struggles.

The book does deal with some heavy things, but at the same time because of how it is written it never feels dark or anything. It's like there is always hope and light at the end of the tunnel. And there will be happiness, at the very end.

It was a short, sort of light (with touches of dark). There is romance, hope, war, and one evil woman. 


Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 15th 2016 by HQ (first published February 25th 2016)
Historical fiction
For review


Monday, 19 December 2016

Anthology: A Winter Wonderland

“A Winter Wonderland” by Fern Michaels
Angelica Shepard left New York for Christmas in Colorado to relax and unwind—but an out-of-control snowboarder almost had her laid to rest. When she wakes up in the hospital, all she remembers is the handsome angel who saved her…

“The Joy of Christmas” by Holly Chamberlin
Not all happiness is good for you—or that’s what Iris Karr thinks when she decides to move away instead of marrying her sweetheart Ben. Even years later, living with that decision isn’t easy—until a familiar face comes to call her home for the holidays…

“The Christmas Thief” by Leslie Meier
Elizabeth Stone is ready for a white Christmas in Tinker’s Cove, Maine—until a fancy Yule ball at the Florida hotel where she works dumps snow on her plans. The sponsor’s jewels have gone missing and the police are asking about her ties to a cute mystery guest. Good thing Elizabeth’s mother, Lucy Stone, flew down to surprise her. ‘Tis the season for a little investigating…

“The Christmas Collector” by Kristina McMorris
Estate liquidator Jenna Matthews isn’t one for Christmas nostalgia. But when one grandmother’s keepsakes suggest a secret life, unwrapping the mystery leads Jenna—and her client's handsome grandson—to the true heart of the holiday spirit… 

My thoughts:
“A Winter Wonderland” by Fern Michaels
Wow, talk about instalove! I know it's a novella, but wait..they met...they talked for a few secs the next day...then they were in love?
Omg so insta.
This one had a case of needed to be longer. Needed some meat on the bones. It could have made a cheesy hallmark movie for sure.

“The Joy of Christmas” by Holly Chamberlin
Sad fact, but it was so boring, snooze alert.

“The Christmas Thief” by Leslie Meier
She should change jobs and make new friends...just saying.
A theft at the hotel!....at the end, so before that the book is about man meeting woman.

“The Christmas Collector” by Kristina McMorris
I finished this one yesterday...and I have forgotten what it was about. It must have been really bad

ConclusioN:
All in all a meh anthology

Paperback, 471 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Zebra
Contemporary romance
Own


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Discussion: Dragon Bound by Linda K Hopkins



Happy Holidays everyone!  Thank you for participating in voting last month for a book for us to read this month. It was a close vote, but ultimately the book that was chosen was "Bound by a Dragon" by Linda K Hopkins. 
Author: Linda K Hopkins
Title: Bound by a Dragon (The Dragon Archives #1)
Genre: Fantasy and Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: May 2014
Where I Got It: On my Shelf (Amazon)


At twenty-two, Keira Carver needs to find a husband, and quickly, but the prospects in her small medieval village are not looking too good. So when Aaron Drake, a handsome stranger, takes up residence at Storbrook Castle, set deep in the surrounding mountains, Keira takes notice. Just as interesting is the fact that a fire-breathing dragon has also moved into the neighborhood, and is rumored to live in caves beneath the mountain fortress. What exactly is the connection between Aaron Drake and the dragon? And when the dragon rescues her from the unwanted attentions of some village boys, who will set out to rescue her from the huge, scaly, fire-breathing monster?



C: So dear readers we are discussing the book that voted for! I will say that this was better than I expected. So yayy voters!



B: I am glad it was fantasy romance, cos had this been pnr I promise you I would have hated it ;)



C: LOL I agree. It was cute and cheesy. 



B: Omg, soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cheesy. It was light, a fast read and the cheesiness was just, LOL



C: It did get a little sad when Aaron was talking about the history of the dragons and how they came into being. Poor minors!! So sad!!! But I really liked the backstory it was super original. 



B: I could not take anything seriously, not even evil stalker guy, and that was weird. Cos that guy should have been shot. Effing asshole. But the cheesiness and how everything was so perfect between these two took away the evilness. It was not the whole totes meant to be, cos that was not really there. They just met, loved and we all knew they would live happily ever after. And no one questioned why they could marry at the end, I mean she was no one after all.



C: Yes, very cheesy, but I oddly liked it! LOL. But yes I hated that creepy guy….I just don’t get how he blinded everyone even when MULTIPLE PEOPLE were witness to his assholeness. That didn’t make sense to me at all. And I do think there should have more conflict in them being together. BUT I totally get why Kiera didn’t question because why would you mess that up ;) Take the ring and run girl! LOL Get him to the altar ASAP!!! 



B: It was a bit too much, I am sure every women in that village would have seen through that guy. He was such a creep. But nope, everyone thought he was perfect...and not even her mum listened to her? Wtf. Not cool mum. That I did not get. If your daughter says he is a creep, he is a creep. Also the other guy owns a castle, I am sure every mother would want that instead.



C: RIGHT!? I hated the mom. She was terrible. Her reasonings were stupid. She needed a kick in the face. Now...I am curious about the sister, Anna, I read a snipbit of her book and I feel that her story is going to be less “cheesy” and have more conflicts. I really want to read that one. 



B: Yes, I saw that it will take two books for her to get her man. I can see it being less cheesy by a mile. But who knows. Maybe it is just as cheesy, and that is not bad. It was a cute book that I could enjoy even if I could not take the conflicts seriously.



C: Maybe Anna is the true main character. This was just a prologue of sorts? I want to read forward with the next one! Lol



B: I did see that Kiera will be in some action in another book too, so, eh who knows.



C: Mhmmm I’m not sure. But yes, this was cute and I liked how the author included a lot of dragon scenes. It made me happy. It was cool that the person is forced to change and be all dragony once in awhile or they will get weak and die. 



 B: Speaking of dragons, she totally had the hots for the dragon before the man, freaky ;)



C: I noticed that too! What a weirdo! ;)



B: Ugh, not thinking of that anymore now. LOL I really do not know what else to say, it was cheesy, good, but oh so cheesy. Two people meet, fall in love, one is a dragon who eats people, one is a nice spinster. End of story.



C: It was a good light read to read by the fire with all this snow. Brr! But yes. It was good. Best one in a while from my memory! Good job votes. We may need your assistance next month too ;)



B: By Loki, this is horrible. We have picked SOOO many bad books, so this cheesy one is actually one of the better ones this year *headdesk* We really are cursed.



C: Maybe we are actually cursed dragons who pick bad books! Maybe we should eat humans too! D: 



B:Ha, might be true.



C: The only logical explanation!



B: The end



 C: Yes, the end. :) 






Friday, 16 December 2016

#FitReaders Check-In: December 16, 2016

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

Join in

Sat 30 min walk
Sun 1.40 h walk
Mon 4 km bike
Tue  4 km bike
Wed  4 km bike. 30  min walk
Thu  4 km bike, 30 min walk
Fri 4 km bike, 30 min walk



Thursday, 15 December 2016

The prince who loved me - Karen Hawkins

Prince Alexsey Romanovin enjoys his carefree life, flirting—and more—with every lovely lady who crosses his path. But when the interfering Duchess Natasha decides it’s time for her grandson to wed, Alexsey finds himself in Scotland, determined to foil her plans. Brainy, bookish, and bespectacled, Bronwyn Murdoch seems the perfect answer—she isn’t at all to the Duchess’s taste.

Living at the beck and call of her ambitious stepmother and social butterfly stepsisters, Bronwyn has little time for a handsome flirt—no matter how intoxicating his kisses are. After all, no spoiled, arrogant prince would be seriously interested in a firm-minded female like herself. So…wouldn’t it be fun to turn his “game” upside down and prove that an ordinary woman can bring a prince to his knees… 

My thoughts:
This was a Cinderella story where she actually liked her stepsisters and stepmother.

Brownyn is a bookworm (yay for that), she is on the shelf (and does not care). She is helpful and good.

Then there was Alexsey, I was unsure about him. He only wanted her for a quick fling. He did not care if he ruined her and by association her sisters. But it was hard to dislike him since I knew they would live happily ever after. Still, in the beginning, he was an asshat, one that started to fall for the person he meant to seduce and leave.

Alex's gran want him with a pretty woman who can move in society. Bronwyn is not really that.

But you know, they dance around each other. There is passion. There is drama and there is a HEA.

Conclusion:
Good, cute.

Cover
cute

ebook, 384 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Pocket Books
The Oxenburg Princes #1
Historical romance
XoXO after dark monthly read


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Shadow's claim - Kresley Cole

Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people—striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself - until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore’s most fearsome villains.

Desperate to earn her guardians’ approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she’s lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure.

Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina’s heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium’s worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away - or stoke Bettina’s own desires to a fever pitch.... 

My thoughts:
Oh these silly immortals.

Trehan finds his mate. But Bettina is all I am in love with my bestie. Ok...and she still thinks she is fated for that other guy. But you are obvi Trehan's mate. Oh, you guys are stupid. *screams* You are his mate stupid woman, no, you can't do it with that guy, you will both be miserable. Gods, you all are so stupid.

But it was cheesy, fun, and she was all look at his peen and wanted to be all over that. Even though she also was I am SO in love with someone else.

To be honest, Bettina was lame, stupid and lame. I wanted to hit her. Trehan deserved better. He was cool.

The ending was so fast, that conclusion, I actually wanted more drama, like make someone suffer.

It worked for me cos it was entirely in another dimension, so it was more fantasy romance.

Conclusion:
Funfilled weirdos fight and are angsty.

Mass Market Paperback, 481 pages
Published November 27th 2012 by Pocket Books
The Dacians, #1, Immortals after dark #13
Fantasy romance
Own


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Caught in the act - Jill Sorensen

As the owner of a flourishing Latin American crafts boutique, Karina Strauss should be basking in her success. Instead she’s worried about her troubled sister, the girlfriend—and prisoner—of drug lord Carlos Moreno. Kari wants no part of that life, but when she helps a friend cross into the United States illegally, two men on opposite sides of the law take notice: Moreno and Adam Cortez, the handsome border protection officer who lets Kari off the hook. It’s not just Kari’s tantalizing flash of skin that catches Adam’s attention—her drug cartel connections bring back the demons of his past. 
her success.

Moreno demands that Kari smuggle a package for him in exchange for her sister’s freedom. Adam also gets dangerously close, tempting her to surrender and fulfill her wildest desires. As Kari prepares for the drug run, dark secrets, violent criminals, and deadly consequences lurk around every corner. But concern for her sister drives Kari toward a terrifying act, despite Adam’s warnings, despite her overwhelming fears—and despite the odds against coming out alive. 

My thoughts:
It was light (well in that that it was easy and fast to read). It was not light in other ways, ya know, violence, drama and passion.

Kari was, well pretty stupid, she smuggles someone across the border. She agrees to smuggle drugs, yes yes I get that she wanted to save her sister. Who was happy where she was, even if way into drugs. But still it was all, come on girl! Get some help, but fine get caught in rot in jail.

Adam was nice, but who the heck was he not fired at once. That guy was not a good border guard.

The cartel members were eeeeeeeevil.

So these two semidiots meet, lie, do it, fall in love and live happily ever after. After some violence and anger

Conclusion:
It was good!

Cover
boring

Paperback, 387 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Bantam
Romantic suspense
Own


Monday, 12 December 2016

Interview and Giveaway: Christy English



Today I have author Christy English over for an interview.
Welcome!

1. Tell me about yourself.

I am woman who has spent her entire life dreaming. I used to do a lot of theatre, and acting is dreaming on your feet with a script in hand. Creating a character and finding out how she thinks and what she wants and where her heart’s desire is…that is so much fun. And now I do that in my novels, except that I get to see into the minds and hearts of a lot of different characters and spend time with them. You have to love your book family, because you write multiple drafts and then you revise even more as you take notes from editors, copy editors, and proof readers. Love the world that your book creates because you’ll be living there awhile.

When I’m not writing, I like to drink hot tea with milk and sugar. I like to take walks in the beautiful green mountain country I call home. I love to have dinner with my friends and sit and cuddle with my honey. My life is simple, but beautifully simple. I am well aware that I am blessed, and I am grateful.

2. Tell me about this new book?

In HOW TO TRAIN YOUR HIGHLANDER, Mary Elizabeth, the sword-wielding, knife throwing hoyden of books one and two, finally meets her match in Harry Percy, Duke of Northumberland. Mary Elizabeth does not put her sword down when she falls in love, and she keeps wearing all of her knives, but Harry is the kind of man who is not put off by a strong woman. He falls in love with her fire and her pure heart, and she falls in love with him. True love doesn’t run perfectly smooth, because she has a lot of issues she has to work out before she can marry him, both with herself and her family, but the love between Mary Elizabeth and Harry is real from page one. Of course, the thing that helps Harry the most in his courtship is that Mary has no idea he’s a duke.


3. How about some inside info on Mary?

Mary Elizabeth likes to hunt and fish and walk for miles on her father’s lands, alone or with her da. She would be perfectly content to live out her life in the glen she was born in, and never leave it. But in HIGHLANDER, she begins to see that as much as she loves her home, there is something more to life than mere contentment, which is a kind of sleep. She meets Harry and wakes up in a hurry, and begins to discover the joy that comes with love. Mary Elizabeth is a joy-filled woman, so she takes to love like a salmon to its home river.

4. What makes our hero tick?
Harry has been alone all his life. He was estranged from his father and he was never truly one of the fellows at Eton or at Cambridge, because to be a duke is to be a sort of prince, and that sets a man apart. He has one friend, Clive, but other than Clive and his mother, no one truly knows Harry and he has learned to live with that. Until he meets Mary Elizabeth, and the walled cage he was living in cracks open, and the sunlight comes in.

Thank you!


GIVEAWAY
1 copy of How to train your highlander

1. US only
2. Ends DEc 17
3. Comment and you are in

Title: How to Train Your Highlander
Series: Broadswords and Ballrooms, #3
Author: Christy English
Pub Date: December 6, 2016
ISBN: 9781492612933

She’s the Hellion of Hyde Park…

A foolproof plan to avoid marriage:
1. Always carry at least three blades.
2. Ride circles around any man.
3. Never get caught in a handsome duke’s arms.

Wild Highlander Mary Elizabeth Waters is living on borrowed time. She’s managed to dodge the marriage banns up to now, but even Englishmen can only be put off for so long…and there’s one in particular who has her in his sights.

Harold Percy, Duke of Northumberland, is enchanted by the beautiful hellion who outrides every man on his estate and dances Scottish reels while the ton looks on in horror. The more he sees Mary, the more he knows he has to have her, tradition and good sense be damned. But what’s a powerful man to do when the Highland spitfire of his dreams has no desire to be tamed...

Ever since Christy English picked up a fake sword in stage combat class at the age of fourteen, she has lived vicariously through the sword-wielding women of her imagination. A banker by day and a writer by night, she loves to eat chocolate, drink too many soft drinks, and walk the mountain trails of her home in North Carolina.

Buy Links:




Sunday, 11 December 2016

Carole's Sunday Review: The Shack - William Paul Young

Author: William Paul Young
Title: The Shack
Genre: Christian Fiction
Pages: 248
First Published: May 2007
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Xmas gift a while back)

Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his "Great Sadness," Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.


Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.



This has been collecting dust on my shelf for a bit. My aunt got this for me. I've avoided it because I knew this was going to be a crier and this did not disappoint. Also, this is technically a "Christian Fiction", so not normally something I grab, but sometimes I'll stumble upon one that looks good. 


Let's go back to the crying-ness. There some sad tears and some happy tears. Mostly sad tears. Ugh....I can't imagine having to deal with this...not at all. I do not have children of my own yet, but I have children in my life I care about. Just...horrible. 



Now, this book is about Mack (the father of the child) and his journey to self-forgiveness and coming to peace with what tore his world apart. It is also a book about Mack finding his way back to God and self-love. 



I didn't expect what the author did when Mack got to shack. Crazy and different. This was the part that got very heavy handed with the religious talk. It was interesting to read the author's view on Christianity. Now, I must applaud the author for not shoving Christianity down the throats of reader. This can be read by those who are not Christians. 



The ending was good. It made me cry. But it was happy tears. 



There is more I would like to say, but there are a lot of spoilers. I will say that I loved Mack's (and even his family's) road to recovery and being able to move forward. I loved the message that was given about forgiveness. Forgiving is important, but one won't ever forget what happened. Forgiving someone who did you ill is not necessarily for the person who did the bad thing...it is a way for the wronged to be able to move forward and not be stuck in the past and wrongs. 



In  the end, this was certainly worth the read even though it was a Christian Fiction and made me cry. I liked the characters. The religion was poured on a little thick, but that is my bias. I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 









Saturday, 10 December 2016

Saturday Movie Night: Gilmore Girls


This month we have a special edition of Saturday Movie Night! We will be discussing "Gilmore Girls - A Year in the Life"! This is a TV movie series that is pretty much a continuation of the TV show. 



Title:  Gilmore Girls -  A Year in the Life
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama 
Running Time: 1 hour and 37 minutes
Rating: TV - 14
Released: 2016

Set nearly a decade after the finale of the original series, this revival follows Lorelai, Rory and Emily Gilmore through four seasons of change.


TRAILER: 



DISCUSSION: 
C: Now...this was a long time coming! I have been waiting for years for them to give some sort of closure/continuation of the show!

B: I can honestly not remember the end of the last season so for me it was a pleasant surprise.



C: I remember a wee bit. It's been SO long...so I think I forgot a lot.

C: Valid, valid. Now. What did you think about the structure of each episode/movie? Each one was over an hour long and took place in each season.
B: Eh, new eps, new life, all the better :D

B: They did feel looong, I would rather have had more eps. Now they were mini movies and sort of slow at times. But I did like the seasonal thing.

C: I think I would have preferred more episodes instead of short movies. I liked how they structured each piece IE Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. However, you are right...some parts dragged...especially in the first and last one.



B: They all blur together now, do I can not remember what dragged, except for the musical, snooooooze fest

B: It felt like they had nothing else to show so they invented that stupid musical! I was not really a fan of the Wild thing either.

C: . I hated the musical part. Like...it was so unnecessary to the whole plot. Ugh. I get that the one song had “meaning” and blah blah blah, but they could have cut out the rest of the musical bits. Too long.
C: Hahaha you are bad ;) I like Luke a lot. However, I am not the biggest fan of Lorelai (*gasps ensue*) I know, I know...she is like the main character next to Rory. But...I feel like she treats Luke like crap. And she horrid to her parents (which I get they have a bad relationship, but eh).
C: MMhmmmm I was neutral. I hated how it made Luke feel. But I think it was good for her...GAH so hard not to give spoilers….as a character. B: You know what, speaking of that, I am not a fan of them. They make me feel meh. I always wanted them to date but when they finally did I was all eh, bored now.
C: LOL the parents are stupid, but the whole funeral scene was so wow. You can’t think of one thing? ONE THING? >_< Yes, what Luke said wasn’t nice. BUT that was their original plan set down by Lorelai. They have separate lives and they come together at nighttime and sleep. I think they are both selfish people….but Lorelai is worse. She only ever considers Rory. Don’t mind my deep rooted contempt of her. XD
B: No comment on the parents, they have a bad relationship. As for her and Luke, well I still remember what he said. I take care of mine, you take care of yours. That had to stung. I also felt like they had grown apart. Sad but true. But the end gave me hope B: LOL, OMG. Let us agree to disagree, I like Lorelai more than Rory ;) I think Rory was a leaf in the wind in these eps. How could she be so unsuccessful?
C: Yesss! It killed me! Like….WTF? WHY? Rory is not a stupid girl...but she acted SO stupid. The ending. GRRRR!
C: Haha. Finnneeeee ;) I like Rory, but she bugs me with her love issues. I’m not sure how I feel how they made her unsuccessful and flighty. It seems SO not her. B: I thought she would be on top of the world, and she was just SO not. I did like her storyline in that aspect. I expected more. C: In a way, it made the show more interesting to see her be at her lowest. It was not AT all what I was expecting. B: True, it made for a good story, but it was just so not her. Not even to mention her lovelife, wtf, not cool.
C: Nope. Same here. BTW - which of Rory’s bfs was/is your favorite and least favorite? My favorite was Jesse (I liked Dean a lot too) and my least favorite is Logan. My hatred for Logan is like a dead red rose…..lolllll
B: That ending messed it up! I did NOT like it. It felt cliche and ugh no. I have seen that. C: Sad thing is I totally called it was going to happen, but I didn’t think they actually would do it. There was a huge foreshadow about 15 mins before the ending. I legit said, “No...they better not.” ugh and they did it. No. B: We all know how the history will end… C: Yup….I can already see how the future eppies are going to end up looking like. Sighs. However, I am a fan I know I’ll watch it. B: I will watch too, but I am not looking forward to it now



B: I lost all respect for Logan. I did not like how she and Dean had that thing. I am not really a fan of her and Jesse, but he is her Luke and after she has tried a few they will end up together. I want a new boyfriend, and not Paul ;)
C: Paul? Who’s that?.......BAHAHAHA! I think I’m funny today. But I can get behind a new and better BF for Rory B: That was honestly so weird, poor Paul.
C: I’m done. It was good, but it could have been better. Hopefully the next eppies don’t do what I think they are going to do.
C: Hahaha I thought it was hilarious. XD Mainly bc I had an ex with that name and he was nice like him, but forgettable. I barely can even remember what he looks like. B: Bad you ;) Done? C: *fingers crossed* The end?
B: The end



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