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The Songbird's Seduction - Connie Brockway

An interesting setting with interesting characters and a plot with fun, adventure and twist.

I quite enjoyed it.

 

Lucy was quite a character and her approach to everything was fresh and unique, and Archie - or Ptolemy - grew from boring to lively.

 

I also like the Aunts and the old love story, but I kinda wished we knew more about it.

But I don't like when coincidence plays too much in a book, and some plot twists were unnecessary.

 

I think I might have liked the book better if chapter 4 didn't exist.

 

This review is for a free copy courtesy of Montlake Romance via NetGalley.

Beauty's Beast - Amanda Ashley

This is a paranormal romance based on the beauty and the beast fairytale, my favorite theme.

 

It's quite a good romance, it starts really well, there are fantasy elements from the beginning when Eric is cursed into becoming a beast. Although I didn't care much for Eric or the reason he was cursed.

 

The transformation of Eric happens slowly, but he fears he is running out of time and he needs an heir to fulfill his promise to his father. Where would he find a women willing to marry a half beast?

 

Kristine is on death raw for murder and would do anything to save herself, even marry a total stranger who wears a mask.

 

As a romance this was good, the relationship development in the beginning between these two was written well, it's gradual and slow. Kristine was well written as well, her reactions and actions towards things made sense and were not rushed or unbelievable.

 

But unfortunately as the book progresses and we see more fantasy and paranormal elements things change. It starts to feel rushed and things happen that needn't be there, other scenes needed a little more explaining. Even the conversation between the characters starts to be stiff and flat.

 

It had a potential but it fell short.
I think it needed a bit of editing and a bit of concentration on just one side of the fantasy elements.

This review is for a free copy courtesy of Kensington Books via NetGalley.

The Winter Guest - Pam Jenoff

The book is written in a way that doesn't make it exciting or interesting, thing are just happening, slowly.

 

Helena and Ruth are twin sister from a small village in Poland during the WWII. With their mother hospitalized they had to start taking care of their three younger siblings. The war is getting closer and supplies are scarce. Things are very dangerous and people are disappearing everyday. As the sisters struggle in their daily life, the rivalry and jealousy between them affects some of their actions and might prove dangerous after Helena saves an American solider and tries to help him.

 

One would think that with a storyline like this it would be a really emotional and interesting read. Unfortunately it was flat and emotionless. The conversation were dull and the actions were slow. Some of the events that happens deserved a better reaction from me but I just didn't feel. I couldn't feel the romance or any sympathy towards the characters, except maybe for Helena at times.

 

An investigation in 2013 starts the book and then the story unfolds as one of the characters remembers the events, but at the end I didn't really see the significance of this investigation and why it was a big deal. There were other things that could have been investigated that might have had a more emotional response from the readers.

 

The accurate history and the events that unfolds makes this book gloomy and the writing makes it somber.

 

This review is for a free copy courtesy of Harlequin via NetGalley.

 

Bride Of A Scottish Warrior - Adrienne Basso

Set in Scotland in the 1314, Ewan is bastard born who has been knighted and awarded land and now is in search for a bride who is a lady with a dowery, being a bastard he is not accepted easily, but Brain McKenna has fought with him during the war and thinks he is good for his sister.

 

Grace has recently been widowed, she wants nothing to do with marriage and wishes to enter a convent, although she has been raised in one, she has another reason why she wants to return, and why she keeps refusing Ewan's advances and offer.

I didn't really connect with the characters and the romance, Ewan's character was not very clear to me, I kinda liked Alec's character better, he is Ewan's Captain of the guard and friend.

 

Grace's character I think changed, it might have been the circumstances she was in, and that her character grew and developed and she came into herself with Ewan, but I was Iike who is this?

 

Overall an average read that has all the elements of a highland romance but nothing new or emotionally gripping.

 

This review is for a free copy courtesy of Kensington Books via NetGalley.

Don't Let Go - Sharla Lovelace

I rarely read contemporaries, I don't enjoy them much, but the summery of this one interested me enough to want to give it a try, and I'm glad I did.

Really enjoyed it, such an interesting and emotional read, and the characters were very well written.

I enjoyed reading about the slightly older characters and their different problems. Jules had parenting problems with her teenage daughter and with getting over losing a child more than 20 years before. She had relationship problems and mother issues. It all felt real and I have to admit to tearing up a bit a couple of times.

The only problem I have with this book is that I wanted more about the teenage Noah and Jules.

 

<i>This review is for a free ARC courtesy of Beyond the Page publishing via NetGalley.<i/>

 

The Nightingale Girls - Donna Douglas

 

This was well written, light and fun.

 

I admit I only wanted to read it because I finished watching Call the Midwife and the Crimson Field and wanted more on Nurses at that time.

It certainly was not disappointing, the three main characters were interesting as you slowly got to know them, some really good secondary characters as well.

I just wish there were a bit more details.

 

Will defiantly check out the to other two books sometimes as I'm interested in knowing what happens with the characters.

Siege of the Heart - Elise Cyr

The medieval setting comes to life, which I enjoyed, it was also accurate as far as I can tell and the story needed, and I thank the author for that.

 

William the conqueror has just succeed on the throne of England and Alex one of his Norman knights is rewarded with marriage to Isabel and claim on her lands.

 

The setting and idea was predictable, and most characters were one dimensional, except for Isabel.

 

I quite liked Isabel, her father allowed her freedom and learning, she took her duties and responsibilities very seriously.  She was skilled in riding and weapons and can hold her own, and although some of her actions were a bit naive, I think it comes from the fact that she was sheltered in some way.

 

The book is a bit realistic in its approach to the history and the romance, which I don't really mind, it doesn't sweep you away, yet if one likes history its enjoyable.

 

This review is for a free ARC courtesy of Kensington Books via NetGalley.

 

A Wedding By Dawn - Alison DeLaine

I was totally uninterested in the book for the first half, it read like a sequel with references to characters and what happened to them.

 

I didn't connect with the main characters and found myself lost a bit. It was quite irritating, but I stuck to it.

 

Then it started to change I found myself a bit hooked on the second part of the book. And I didn't want to stop reading before finding out the ending.

 

It was all very predictable though with too many tortured characters.

 

This review is for a free ARC courtesy of Harlequin via NetGalley.

Lawless - Diana Palmer

I will do my best not give out any major spoilers but really it's all so predictable.

 

You know from the beginning that Crissy is going to choose Judd, he is after all the main character, but he was a total jerk and I hated him.

 

Every time Crissy and Judd are together having one of their boring conversations or really irritating arguments I grit my teeth and want to stop reading, and if it wasn't an ARC that I needed to review I would have.

 

Judd tells Crissy he doesn't want her every time he sees her, even though she is his wife, even though he actually does want her, and she tells him that she wants him.  He complains about the lack of money, then buys expensive gifts for the supermodel, spends more time with her than he does Crissy, to the point he forgets important dates and occasions.  He ignored Crissy when she tries to explain to him about problems they're having at the ranch, until it is too late.  He doesn't listen to her, he doesn't respect her.

 

Who listens to her and respect her and treats her like she deserves?

 

Cash.

 

The author knows enough to write a character like Cash, and then makes Crissy choose Judd over him! Seriously SERIOUSLY!!

 

I enjoyed the description of the ranch and the work, and everything else that was happening that didn't involve Judd.

 

I feel like I want to read more books by Palmer, maybe Cash's book!

 

<i>This review is for a free copy courtesy of Harlequin via NetGalley </i>

Blades of the Old Empire - Anna Kashina

At first I was confused and a bit lost, what was happening? Who was who? And why can't I feel any connection with the main character or the main romance!

Then I realized there is a book before this one, and I'm disappointed that I didn't read it.

Because I really enjoyed this one.
And I felt cheated in not knowing more about the characters, and the background.

Prince Kythar has magical powers in a land where it's forbidden, protected by a Majat (a warrior), he and his friends need to journey to where they can find support and help against an evil power that is rising.

The king his father is on a similar mission to another part of the (country?!)

I slowly became engrossed in their mission, and couldn't stop reading it.

And then something happened near the end and I turned into this grumpy creature that even my kids steered away from me. And for that to happen it means I was really into the book.

This might be a bit childish, but how could she do this to me( sniff sniff)

I didn't like or connect with the two main characters, Kythar and Kara. But there were a number of other characters that I enjoyed reading.

I might not go back to read the first book, but I'll be waiting for the next one to come out.

<i>This review is for a free ARC courtesy of Angry Robot via NetGalley.<i/>

 

A mystery and romance set in China

The Jade Temptress - Jeannie Lin

Once again Jeannie Lin writes a setting that is extremely enjoyable, and characters that are interesting and different.

We are introduced to most of the characters in the previews book "the Lotus Palace" and pairing Wu with Mingyu did not come as a surprise.

General Deng, one of the most important people in the empire, is found dead by Mingyu, who goes to Wu, the constable, for help even though it is known by everyone that she despises him.
Or does she?
Wu is a hard man with secrets and a mysteries past. He does not know how to deal with Mingyu the favored and most sought after courtesan. He doesn't have pretty words or poetry in him, a straightforward man in all his actions and words, it seems farfetched that she would be interested in him.

Yet while he tries to solve the murder mystery their relationship goes through changes that makes him wonder about her true feelings and motives.

The mystery was really well written with a few surprises, it was not easy to figure out which kept me interested.

I'm hoping the next installment in this series is about Wei Wei whom we see briefly in both books.

<i>This review is for a free copy courtesy of Harlequin via NetGalley.<i/>

 

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie  -  Jennifer Ashley

Ok, so I get why Ian Mackenzie is such an interesting character, I was really interested in how he acted and his reactions, I wanted to know more.  He was the only thing that made me go on reading. Unfortunately it wasn't enough.  

 

I didn't like everything else that was happening in the book, I didn't like how fast Ian and Beth got together, I didn't like how the language was too descriptive in their too fast relationship, I didn't like how a person like Ian who once decides what he wants he focuses on it completely, can take his time trying to woo and seduce a woman who clearly said she was interested.

I didn't like how everybody was running around from London to Paris to London to Scotland!

I didn't like how with men like the Mackenzies no one bothered with the murder mystery until Beth came along.

And I didn't like how Curry and the Mackenzies can find out everything there is about a person in a matter of an afternoon without google!

 

This does not seem like a real review, but it is how I feel.

These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

I'm not sure what drove me to look at this book, but I was instantly interested in knowing what happens to these two in an Alien Planet!

 

I'm not really a Sci Fi fan, I actually don't remember if I've read a Sci Fi book before, but really why not, apart from the interest I have in the plot, the reviews are really encouraging and the cover is gorgeous!

 

It doesn't take long to get into the setting, we're on a spaceship that is huge, it can hold around 50 thousand and it's really like a moving city than a spaceship. The privileged are into Victorian?! Fashion, they are dressed in corsets and flowing dresses and evening coats! The two main characters meet early one, there is instant attraction and the familiar different class dilemma arises, but not for long as the Icarus (spaceship) is in trouble and ends up crashing in a foreign planet where the only survivors are Lilac and Tarver.

Soon they are struggling to survive and trying to get help. But they also discover there are secrets in this planet that need to be uncovered in order to survive.

 

I enjoyed the writing, the chapters alternate between Lilac narrating and Tarver, in between these chapters there are bits of Tarver's interrogation after they are rescued.

I like that they were interested in each other before they crashed.

 

The plot was not entirely new, but I didn't mind because I was kept interested.

 

I think I might have rated it a bit higher if they were older! I know it's YA when I started reading it, put still, they were really young!

The Pleasure of Your Kiss - Teresa Medeiros

Well, that was a total waste of time.

I think it's all that Harem setting that annoyed me the most.  It was stereotyped and exaggerated so much, I mean who is Farouk anyway to have all that, I'm being a bit if a history geek, but during that time the Sultan if Morocco was Adbdulrahman, I'm quite sure they only had one, so that would make Farouk a Sheikh really, and Morocco!! since when did they have such extravagance.


And ALL that talk about pleasure, as if it's all they did over there, they live it, they teach it, they practice it, they breath it.  I should have known from the title.

 

I tried to tell myself it's all not meant to be serious, but I couldn't enjoy it.

 

i skipped so much because it was just all eye rolling for me.

 

I did, however like Poppy, she was a fun character.

 

I've enjoyed Teresa Medieros books before, so I will not let this book stop me from reading more.

Got some good books today @SIBF

SPOILER ALERT!
Me Before You - Jojo Moyes

I've read so many five stars reviews on this book, and it has been highly recommended to me that I just could not not read it.

 

And then I wished I hadn't.

 

Because, despite the 2.5 stars, it was emotionally draining.

 

It's not about getting to know the characters, it's not about romance (which BTW there was none), it's not about the good writing (which it had). It was about what the book was about and the fact that it was WRONG. Leaving me in the end, unhappy and unsatisfied.

 

But before the end, there was another thing that bothered me, how in the middle of our main character narration, there comes a chapter of another character narrating, which added absolutely nothing to the book, except maybe annoy me.

 

Now, I'm not saying I didn't like it, but at the point where I realized what's happening I got upset, I kept reading while thinking "what's the point?"

 

Besides, it wasn't a new idea, it has been done before, so really what's the point?

 

I don't believe in what they call Mercy Killing, or whatever, it's not that I was told that it was not right, no I really DON'T believe in it.
It is just another way of justifying suicide. We have no right to take a life, there is a reason for everything, and disasters are a way to strengthen our faith and give us another kind of strength. Allah gives life and take it, and there is an end to everything at the right time.