Saturday, 31 January 2015

Book: His Highness the Duke by Michelle M Pillow

I received a copy of His Highness the Duke, book 5 of Dragon Lords, in exchange for my review.

Aeron Grey is one of the only survivors of her planet's destruction, the other being her sister Riona. Having overheard plans to destroy the Qurixilian people, Aeron goes against the orders of the Federation, her employers, and sets out to warn them. But having lived on the straight and narrow, Aeron knows nothing of stealthy missions and leaves the organisation to her larger than life sister. Riona's plan involves signing up to Galaxy Brides, meaning that Aeron meets Bron, the High Duke and fifth inline to the throne, and the dragon shifter that is convinced that she is his and he is hers...

Link to Goodreads 
Link to amazon

His Highness the Duke was different from the previous four books in the series, and not just because of the shift in setting and characters. There was a completely different tone to the book than the others, mostly because of Aeron and Bron's relationship, but also to do with the ultimate threat.

The threat is different from those faced by Bron's cousins, whereas the focus for them was on the Var, the focus for Bron and his brothers was on the Tyoe, but more than that, the threat was actually kind of in the background of this story,being set up to be resolved in future books. I didn't mind this, but it could be annoying for some readers due to it not being resolved in the book itself.

There was an interesting side conflict going on as well, mainly that Bron and Aeron got a little carried away on their wedding night and actually had sex (which breaks tradition). This caused Bron to panic a lot about breaking tradition which wasn't good as far as he was concerned, and Aeron to worry because her race of people started dying once they had sex. Because it was the fifth book in the series, and life spans had already been brought up previously, I didn't actually feel too worried about this thought if I'm honest, which was a bit strange!

Aeron and Bron's relationship stabalised a lot quicker than the Princes' did. They had a connection and a physical attraction from the start and there wasn't so much tension caused by hiding the truth as the Princes' had. This led to their issues coming in other places, but I found that they worked together on an emotional level easily and could talk it out.

I liked Aeron, she was a strong woman that had no problem with being exactly that; a woman. She could enjoy being physically more fragile than a man but at the same time didn't want to be treated as intellectully or emotionally inferior. It really endeared her to me.

His Highness the Duke counts towards Winter COYER

2015 Bookish Resolutions: January Progress Report


I can't believe it's the end of January already! It's been a crazy month for me it must be said, though I've still had time to do plenty of reading! There's still time to sign up for Bookish Resolutions by visiting mine or Michelle's blog!

I must say I've been getting a little over excited each time I realised that someone new had signed up for this challenge! It's the first time I've ever hosted, and even with Michelle reassuring me in the background I was still a little worried about it!

So here's my update for my Resolutions!

Resolution 1: Listen to 4 Audiobooks this year.

Well I started one...does that count? I guess this is the resolution I'm doing badly on!

Resolution 2: Read 1 'classic' book a month

I've done this one (ish). The ish is because by the time this post has gone live I'll have finished Tales of the Jazz Age by F Scott Fitzgerald, but as of this moment (while I'm actually writing) I haven't finished.

Resolution 3: Read at least 6 Netgalley books this month

I didn't actually keep track of how many Netgalley books I read after the first 6, so now I have to go back over all I've read this month to figure it out! And all my Netgalley reads have helped me to up my % by 1.3! Might not seem like a lot, but with the number of unread Netgalley books I have, it definitely is!

  1. Guilty Pleasures by Jane O'Reilly
  2. The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen
  3. Blind Passion by Bonnie Dee
  4. Zoey Rogue by Lizzy Ford
  5. Eternity by Tmonique Stephens
  6. Freak of Nature by Julia Crane
  7. Everlasting by Tmonique Stephens 
  8. A Dangerous Expectation by Cecilia Gray
  9. A Flirtatious Rendezvous by Cecilia Gray 
  10. Purenet by HJ Lawson
  11. Evermore by Tmonique Stephens
  12. The Pleasure Principle by Jane O'Reilly
  13. The Observations of a Curious Governess by Viveka Portman
  14. The Boleyn Deceit by Laura Andersen
Resolution 4: Read 2 books a month that have been bought

Managed this one! Well actually I more than managed this one, I was quite impulsive in my reading this month!
  1. Cinderella the Wicked Truth by Keli Wolfe
  2. Jealousy by S L Scott
  3. A Duchess in the Dark by Kate McKinley
  4. The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Frank Bukowski
  5. Havoc by Autumn Grey

Resolution 5: Complete one of my writing projects.

This is kind of a hard one to measure because of the fact that I haven't actually set myself any word targets for any of them. But I have done a fair bit of work on Cloaked, the sequel to Awakening. At the end of December I'd written 5740 words, now I'm at 8062. More than that though, I'm now into the 'bulk' of the story, rather than the scene setting beginning and the (even for me writing it!) annoyingly dramatic ending. As I was writing I did end up coming up with how to use the ending in the next book (which I do already have a name for!)

So now it's YOUR turn! Link up below and let us all know how your resolutions have gone! 



Friday, 30 January 2015

Book: The Pleasure Principle by Jane O'Reilly

I received a copy of The Pleasure Principle from Netgalley in exchange for my review.

Verity has always settled for mediocre bed partners and fantasies about better. But when Cal walks in on her crying after she discovered her ex wrote a bad review on a website called ratemyshag, everything changed. Cal is determined to show Verity that she is worth something, and that that something is much better than her ex gave her. Verity is going to take some convincing though…

Link to Goodreads

I quite liked Cal as a character. It surprised me slightly after meeting him in the first book, Guilty Pleasures, and basically discovering that he as ultimately a lot of a voyeur. But of course there was always going to be more to him. In this case it was that he actually seemed to care about Verity and how Verity felt, both physically and emotionally.

Verity on the other hand annoyed me in places and she really shouldn’t have. The reason she annoyed me was because of all her insecurities, which weren’t really her fault when it comes down to it, but ultimately I couldn’t help find annoying. She didn’t feel attractive, or like she was good in bed, but even when Cal told her she was she didn’t believe it. So basically Verity was a normal woman, but in this case I didn’t like that so much.

Saying that there was some crazy chemistry between them, there were several scenes that really worked (and some that I wasn’t so sure about) and it felt like they were progressing at a good pace for their relationship (basically benefits followed by actual emotion.

I thought The Pleasure Principle was enjoyable nut didn’t make me sit up and go ‘wow’.


The Pleasure Principle counts towards Winter COYER & 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge

Book: Guilty Pleasures by Jane O'Reilly

I received a copy of Guilty Pleasures from Netgalley in exchange for my review.

Tasha likes a little danger to get herself off, and that has led to her pleasuring herself at work. But when one of her fantasies comes true, and Ethan catches her in the act, she doesn't expect it to be one of the best things that ever happened to her. Ethan shows her that she enjoys a bit more than a little danger, and their shared pleasure brings them closer together. Whether they like it or not the couple start to feel more and more for each other and when something bad happens at the architect's office they work at, they have to make a choice...

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Tour: All That Burns by Ryan Graudin

I received a copy of All That Burns, book 2 of All That Glows, in exchange for my review.

Having given up her magic for the love of her King, Emrys is acting as liason between the Fae court and the human one. Though Richard is pushing through integration laws, acceptance of the Fae isn't as smooth as it could be. When Queen Tatiana calls Emrys away and reveals that a prisoner has escaped from the Fae prison, a series of events is caused that almost leads to the downfall of everything that Richard and Emrys love and want to build.

I was excited to read All That Burns having really enjoyed the previous book, All That Glows last year. And I have to say it took me by surprise several times and had me staring at my phone going 'what?!?!?!'...definitely in a good way though! 

I liked how Emrys and Richard's relationship wasn't quite the happily ever after that was expected at the end of the previous book, something that was helped along by Guinevere and her interference,  and that ultimately their feelings were tested. 

At one point another character, Kieren, was introduced and he really confused me. Part of me was loving the budding intimacy between him and Anabelle, but the other part was confused about what was going on between him and Emrys. Emrys was feeling some sort of connection towards him and part of me thought 'oh no not a love triangle' only to be surprised (and kind of happy) with the outcome (kind of happy because for some of the characters it wasn't the best ending! )

I loved the way that different folk lore was included in the story. It was each individual story weaving together that made it magical, and that included the legends and folklore surrounding Camelot. Actually I really liked the suggestion of what actually happened between Arthur,  Guinevere and Lancelot, it answered a few questions I've always really felt about why a happy Queen to a celebrated King ran off with his knight.

The other main plot point surrounded human acceptance of the Fae and other magical creatures. Basically there was descent about whether it should be done or not and this resulted in a political movement.  The magic and the politics did weave together eventually,  well they were from the beginning but it was revealed later on, making it a complex web of intricacies. It did make the conclusion of the book feel like it had been well reached and that the  characters really worked for it.

The characters themselves were mostly introduced in the previous book, though there were some new ones. What I liked about them was that no matter who each character w as, Fae/mortal, male/female, royalty/'common', they all had strengths, and they were all different. Meaning that when they worked as a team, they worked well. It meant that each character was strong in their own right but needed others to make them better. I liked the dynamic.
I really enjoyed All That Burns, it was a story that just seemed to fly by!

All That Burns counts towards Winter COYER and 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge.

All That Burns (All That Glows #2)
by Ryan Graudin
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 10th 2015

Synopsis:

In this thrilling sequel to All That Glows, the worlds of magic and mortal are colliding as London celebrates its new king, marking an era of unity between the Faery realm and the human one. Emrys, the Faery guard to the British royal family, sacrificed her powers to be with King Richard, choosing love over immortality. But now, as Emrys struggles to navigate her place between the Faery queen’s court and London’s lavish galas, danger looms beyond the Thames.When a prisoner with dark, strange magic breaks out of Queen Titania’s labyrinthine prison, endangering Emrys's king and sparking an uprising, Emrys must make the hardest decision of all.

Will she reclaim her magic to save Richard’s life and lose him forever? Or stay powerless as the kingdom goes down in flames?





by Ryan Graudin




Ryan Graudin is doing a preorder special through her local indie Blue Bicycle Books. You can pre-order a signed copy of All That Burns and get a free ALL THAT BURNS tea (a ginger plum flavored black tea). Don’t miss this special offer! Click here to pre-order a signed copy of All That Burns.


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Follow the All That Burns by Ryan Graudin Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.



My name is Ryan and I've been writing ever since I grabbed one of my dad's old tax ledgers and created this masterpiece: see image.

My writing has since improved, though my obsession with wolves has remained relatively the same (I even own a wolf-hybrid pup.) My childhood was a happy, sunny thing. I grew up on a steady diet of fairytales, salt-marshes, music and brothers who would re-enact Redwall battles with me in the back yard. I went to an artsy sort of high-school that allowed cello recitals in the hallways and impromptu poetry slams in the cafeteria. It was there I decided that writing was what I wanted to do more than anything.

I'm officially a grownup now (I suppose one must admit that once they turn 26). My diet still includes fairytales, salt-marshes and art, but there are a few new loves thrown in. A big one is travel. Pieces of my heart are scattered like breadcrumbs all over the globe--I've bartered them off for writing inspiration, so I suppose it's a fair trade.

When I'm not cramming my earthly belongings into a backpack and waiting in airport security lines, I'm doing one of the following: Writing YA novels, Photographing weddings with my husband, Making our little white cottage more homey, Playing with my wolf pup, Trying out Korean r├ęcipes, Haunting local coffee shops with my friends.



Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Book: The Boleyn Deceit by Laura Andersen

I received a copy of The Boleyn Deceit, book 2 of The Boleyn Trilogy, in exchange for my review.

Keeping their love a secret from the ever amourous King William, Minuette and Dominic are embroiled in the schemes and plots the surround the Tudor dynasty. While William is determined to marry Minuette, others wish that he would honour the French treaty and marry the Princess he is promised to. Meanwhile, though resigned to a foreign marriage, Elizabeth still has hope that she could be able to marry her lover, Robert Dudley. But now she has been told something by John Dee, something that could completely change her life and give her something that she never thought she'd have...

Link to Goodreads 
Link to amazon

I loved book one of The Boleyn Trilogy and was looking forward to reading book 2, and I tell you what, it blew me away. I was quickly dragged back into the Tudor court in which the characters live, even though several of the characters never existed in history (including the King!). So much so that even though I'd finished the book (and started another one) I wanted to dive back into the story (so maybe reading book 3 isn't that far away!) There aren't that many books that have quite begged me as much to be read!

The historical characters that are a part of The Boleyn Deceit were all well thought out, or at least I thought so. I think that Elizabeth very much reflects a younger version of the Queen that she will become, and you can see the journey that she is going down to become her. Other historical characters included George and Jane Rochford, neither of whom would have been alive under 'normal circumstances' (quick history summary; George Boleyn was executed alongside his sister Anne for incest/adultery/defaming the King, and Jane Boleyn was executed alongside Katherine Howard, 5th Queen of Henry VIII, for helping her commit adultry). Their marriage is the strained one often depicted at the same time as being more complex and they actually come across as a bit of a power couple!

There are two main love stories going on in The Boleyn Deceit. That of Minuette and Dominic, which was complicated by William's intentions towards Minuette, and Elizabeth and Robert Dudley. While Minuette and Dominic had a passionate, but restrained affair, mostly to keep their friend happy and in the dark, everyone knew about Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, yet nothing ever happened between them, reflecting history to a point it would seem.

The love triangle, though I am reluctant to call it that due to it being clear from the start where Minuette's intentions lay, had all the hallmarks of Tudor intrigue, both with a slight parrallel to the story of Anne Boleyn, as well as having double meanings and secrets. There was also the level of being found out.

I loved this book, I'm looking forward to the next one!

The Boleyn King counts towards Winter COYER2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge & 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge

Book: The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen

I received a copy of The Boleyn King from Netgalley in exchange for my review.

What if Anne Boleyn hadn't miscarried her son? What if Henry VIII had never had her beheaded? Almost 18, Henry IX, better known as William, is about to become monarch in his own right, and his inner circle has been reunited after years apart. Made up of his sister, Elizabeth, his friend Dominic, and a young orphan Minuette, child of Anne Boleyn's friend from the French court, the four of them travel through the intrigues of court, from matters of treason, through to matters of the heart, little knowing where the latter could leave them...

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Book: Jealousy by S L Scott

Jealousy is book 2 of From the Inside Out.

Jules is steadily getting over her heartbreak when Dylan left her, and moving on with Austin. If only Dylan could do the same. Dylan wants Jules back, whatever the cost, and when he plays, he wins. Jules knows that Dylan is the cause of her years of anguish, and even so a part of her is drawn to him even if Austin is making her happy. The cracks are beginning to show in Jules and Austin's realtionship and who Jules choice will change all of their lives...

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon

Monday, 26 January 2015

Tour: Dawning Apocalypse by Jill Cooper

I received a copy of Dawning Apocalypse, book 3 of Dream Slayer, in exchange for my review.

Natalie Johnson spends her days pretending to be a normal high school student, while her nights are filled with doing her job; slaying vampires and other evil that infest her town. But the vampires are acting strangely, for some reason they are able to communicate with her, come out in the daytime and masquerade as human. Figuring out how to stop them, and what is causing them, takes most of Natalie's time, though with the help of her friends and her mentor, Charlie Buckle, she knows that she can do anything.

For some reason it seemed to take me ages to read books 1 & 2 of Dream Slayer (which is no reflection on the books themselves as I really enjoyed them, I think it was more what was going on at the time outside of books!) but Dawning Apocalypse seemed to fly by. Natalie is more mature in this book than she has been before, and spends less time worried about how she looks or how people see her. Instead she just gets on with it, though I do think some of that is her feeling secure in her relationship and in her friendships.

I found the relationship between Paladin Natalie and Slayer Natalie interesting in Dawning Apocalypse. Whereas before they had some similarities, they seemed to stray further from each other in this book, even if their feelings towards the men in their lives kind of overlapped a bit and confused them. Their relationships themselves had even taken different turns, and while Tristain has grown on me as a match for Paladin Natalie, I'm still very confused about how I feel about Damian. There is something off about him.

The vampires, and other magical elements of the story are like nothing that I've read before, and come across as unique and interesting. I had no idea how Natalie was going to save the day (though I had little doubt she would!) and this led to a few surprises along the way.

One of the best things about this book though is the focus on relationships. A lot of young adult fiction has a tendancy to forget about family relationships, sad but true, whereas Dream Slayer doesn't. Yes there is the romance between Natalie and Tristan, but it is built on a friendship, but alongside that are lots of other different types of relationship and it works well.

Dawning Apocalypse counts towards Winter COYER


finale tour banner Resolve  EbookThe epic two book finale starts here. The stakes are higher. And the enemy is one of their own. It's all come to this. This moment in time. Everything Natalie Johnson has fought for. Newly promoted paladin commander Natalie Johnson is about to bring the demonire tracking system online. If she's successful Meadow's Creek may finally be safe from bloodsuckers. If not, the egg on her face will be enough to make a gourmet omelet. But when old friends and foes begin showing up in town under questionable circumstance, it's clear something new is on the horizon. The murder of a prominent official threatens to cripple the brittle peace Natalie has brought to town. Alternate realities and timeline jumps all converge revealing truths, deceptions and worst of all, roads not taken. Natalie must face her worst fears, her biggest regrets, and most of all a deep longing that nothing will ever be the same again. Meanwhile a long sought after ally brings them all to the brink of madness. And his betrayal? Could be the biggest heartbreak of them all. In the tradition of young adult vampire fiction such as Twilight and Buffy the Vampire slayer, comes The Dream Slayer.

Buy on Amazon

  Fury EbookThe 2nd part in the epic finale starts here. Once [SPOILER] believed in her and now, one last time, Natalie will put everything to the test to bring him back. But with half of Natalie’s team in critical condition, the fight won’t be easy. WOMP’s order to shoot [CENSORED] on sight to protect their vast empire of secrets will pit Natalie against the organization she’s been faithful to since she first heard the word paladin. Now that relationship will be put to the test. Natalie will find a way to restore his soul, no matter the risks. No matter the stakes. Even if it means revealing her identity and location to her mortal enemy. And the end? Well, it might just prove to be the very beginning. In the tradition of young adult vampire fiction such as Twilight and Buffy the Vampire slayer, comes The Dream Slayer.

Buy on Amazon

Finale Promo

jillcooperAbout the Author:

I could write this in the third person. I could tell you what I like, where I was born, and what my favorite things are.

But instead, I'll say I don't want to write like everyone else. I don't want to craft stories you've read a thousand times before. I want my novels to be a cinematic experience, blending themes, genres, and situations unlike any you've ever read.

I want to break the rules. I want you to break out in a cold sweat as you read my books out of fear, love, and excitement. I want my books to be an experience. When you finish, I want you to feel something. Good or bad.

If you do, then I'll have succeeded. If not, I'll keep trying. Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Literary Addicts | Goodreads | Tsu  

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Book: The Uninvited by Jill Cooper

I received a copy of The Uninvited in exchange for my review.

Since defeating yet another enemy, Natalie and her friends have discovered that their town is being overrun by vampires. Having to fight them off at every point, Natalie's school work and romantic life are beginning to slip, but she has more to worry about than that...the vampires seem to be evolving, and are no longer constrained to the mythology that seemed to hold until now...