Saturday, July 29, 2017

Historical Romance Reading Challenge 2017
July Update


Back in January, I posted about joining the Historical Romance Reading Challenge hosted by Ezrah over at  I Heart Romance & YA. Well, so far this year I've managed to read five Historical Romances! I signed up to become a  Viscountess which is 6 - 15 books so I'm very close to meeting my goal!

Books Read So Far


Do you like Historical Romance? If so let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday
The Duchess Deal
(Girl Meets Duke #1)
by Tessa Dare

'Waiting on Wednesday' is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine, it spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Check them out for links to more awesome blogs!



Release Date: August 22nd 2017
When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules… 

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And unlimited teasing.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

Why I'm Waiting

To say I've been on a Regency Romance binge lately is a bit of an understatement. I've always loved this genre but had gotten immersed in YA so much over the past couple of years. I am so happy that I've found my way back and I also think my taste are evolving as a reader. I may just be a romance reading addict!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Short & Sweet Review
{Regency Romance}
The Importance of Being Scandalous
by Kimberly Bell

This early Victorian series follows the daughters of the Scandalous Bishop family.


A horse race in trousers on Rotten Row. Visiting a gaming hall in a dress that would make her mother faint. Sneaking an invitation to a masquerade ball attended by only the wickedest, most debauched members of society…

None of these things are scaring off bookish but strong-willed Amelia Bishop’s stuffy, egotistical fiancé.

The only thing left is to entice childhood friend Nicholas Wakefield into a truly engagement-ending scandal. The Wakefields are the height of propriety, and Nicholas’s parents have made it clear a wife from the neighboring Bishop family would be unacceptable…

But Nicholas would give up his family and his fortune if Amelia would ever see him as more than just a childhood friend. He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both, because he’s got a plan that will change her mind about him being merely the boy next door.

Source: Netgalley
Format: ebook
Genre: Regency Romance
Setting: England (Victorian Era)
Series: Tale of Two Sisters #1
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Entangled: Select
Release Date: July, 25th 2017

My Review...

Where oh where do I begin...As of late, I've been in a serious Regency Romance binge and I don't foresee an end in the near future, especially since I adored this story! Some authors can make this genre feel 'stuffy' but Kimberly Bell created a story that was utterly entertaining, action-packed & plum-full of swoon-worthy chemistry between Amelia & Nick!

This book involves one of my favorite tropes, friends to lovers! Amelia & Nick have known each other since they were children and I couldn't be happier with the progression of their relationship! Of course, nothing is easy; enter Amelia's fiancee (whom, of course, I detest!) who throws a nice, healthy wrench in things. I mean, what would an entertaining romance be without an egotistical fiancee to get in the way of true love? To sum it up, the plot is wonderfully entertaining! 

I can't forget about Amelia's sister, Julia. She's an absolute riot and I have a feeling that the next book will be her story! In fact, (even though I love Amelia's character) if I had to choose between Amelia or Julia, I'd have to choose Julia. I just loved her personality. 

My favorite scene was the horse race on Rotten Row. The scandal that Amelia stirs is thoroughly entertaining and I couldn't have been happier on how she handled herself during the race! 



All in All: This book of chock full of charming characters (in the vein of Julia Quinn's characters), hilarious scandals, a romance between two characters with undeniable chemistry and a perfectly-paced plot! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Blog Tour
{Review + Giveaway}
The Scandal of it All
by Sophie Jordan
The BEST Romance I've read ALL year!



It takes two to make a scandal…

What kind of woman ventures into London’s most notorious pleasure club? An outsider like Graciela, the Duchess of Autenberry, snubbed time and time again by society because of her Spanish roots. Ela longs to take a lover for a single, wild night, and within the walls of Sodom there are gentlemen to suit every forbidden taste. If only she were not so drawn to the smoldering Lord Strickland…a dangerous man who sees beyond her mask, and could ruin her reputation with a mere whisper.

Lord Strickland never permitted himself to fantasize about the sultry, off-limits lady, but then he never expected to find Ela in a place so wicked, looking for what he’s more than too happy to give. She may not be to the ton’s taste, but she suits him perfectly. First, however, he must convince her to trust in this dangerous desire—and in the promise of forever unleashed by one wild, scandalous night. 

Source: Edelweiss
Format: ebook
Genre: Regency Romance
Setting: London (Regency Era)
Series: The Rogue Files #2
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: July, 25th 2017
Follow the Tour HERE

My Review...

This book exceeded every single expectation I had and ended up being my FAVORITE ROMANCE OF THE YEAR SO FAR!! I just adored the dynamic between Graciela & Colin! They had everything I could possibly ask for in a perfectly matched romance:
  • Chemistry - OMG it was OFF THE CHARTS!!
  • Love - For me, Chemistry & Love go hand-in-hand and this story had plenty of both! It made it even better with the fact that it's first-time love!!
  • Forbidden Romance - When two characters fall for each other and it's oh-so-wrong but also oh-so-right; well that's my favorite trope! For heaven's sake, he's her step-sons best friend! 
    • Just to be clear - Graciela & Colin aren't that far apart in age for modern day but, she's six years older than him and back then that was practically unheard of and scandalous in the Regency Era! 
  • Graciela is an outsider - I'm not sure why (maybe because I feel like one myself?) but I love when a character doesn't quite fit into societies standards but, be damned they find happiness anyway. 
    • Not only is she an outsider for being from Spain but she's also a widow with a teenage daughter. By societies standards, she was 'put on the shelf' so-to-speak and I couldn't be happier that she found her Happily Ever After!
  • Huge (but slightly predictable) surprise! Of course, I can't tell you what it is. That would steal your excitement finding out for yourself. 
  • Fast-Read - It usually takes me an average of 10 days to finish a book, I finished this one in two. I JUST COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN!
  • The ending - Made me cry tears of JOY! If you follow my blog then you know I don't like sad books. This one is emotional without being sad...really, I didn't want this book to end! Can we have a novella, please!?

All-in-All

Do you like romance with love & steamy chemistry? Well if so, this one is for you regardless if you usually read historical, contemporary or any other subgenre of romance! Perfect for romance lovers who've never read a historical before! 


About the Author

Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s the New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author of more than twenty novels. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with anything that has a happily ever after. You can visit her website for more information. 

Rafflecopter Giveaway (An Avon Historical Romance Print Prize Pack)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Mini-Review
All Chained Up
by Sophie Jordan

There are bad boys and then there are the men of Devil’s Rock . . .

Some men come with a built-in warning label. Knox Callaghan is one of them. Danger radiates from every lean, muscled inch of him, and his deep blue eyes seem to see right through to Briar Davis’s most secret fantasies. But there’s one major problem: Briar is a nurse volunteering at the local prison, and Knox is an inmate who should be off-limits in every way.

Knox feels it too—a shocking animal magnetism that drives him to risk his own life to protect Briar’s. Paroled at last, he tries to resist her. She’s too innocent, too sweet, and she has no idea what Knox is capable of. But a single touch can lead to a kiss—and a taste . . . until the only crime is denying what feels so right . . .

Source: Public Library
Format: ebook
Setting: Texas (Badlands)
Series: Devil's Rock #1
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: March, 29th 2016

My Review...

 This is an adult book & not recommended for young readers.

I don't recall ever reading a romance with an ex-con before. That being said, I was a little timid going into this one. However, I should have known that the author, Sophie Jordan wouldn't disappoint. I had literally just finished reading a Regency Romance by her and since I loved it so much I needed more stories by her. Well, I guess it's no surprise that I UNQUESTIONABLY LOVED THIS ONE!! Also, I shouldn't have been surprised since readers are calling this one Prison Break with a romance and Happily Ever After!


The chemistry between Briar and Knox was hot! There are quite a few smexy scenes between Briar & Knox, Sophie pulled them off without feeling like they were too much, everything fit into the story perfectly and felt completely authentic. 

Knox definitely goes through an adjustment period since he's been locked up for eight years. I'll admit, there a few times he would have scared the crap outta me but everything he does, he does with honorable intentions and there is a scene in the end where he most certainly proves himself to Briar. Briar's sister doesn't like Knox, she wants Briar to be with someone 'normal' and 'safe' and she ends up getting over that and tells Briar she should be with Knox pretty quickly. Now I believe she would have ended up coming to that conclusion eventually, once she got to know Knox better. However, I think she may have come to that conclusion a little too soon, considering how much she displayed her dislike of Knox initially. 

One of my favorite things about this book were the side characters. Reid's book is next and I'm looking forward to it but my most-anticipated book I'm looking forward to is North's (Knox's brother)! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cover Reveal
{A YA Horror Short Story}
Her
by Danielle Rose


Title: HER
Genre: YA Horror, Short Story
Publisher: OfTomes Publishing
Cover Art by  Gwenn Danae
Cover Text by Eight Little Pages
Expected Release Date: Sept. 19th, 2017
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

Kemper Academy is over a hundred years old, but it has only recently reopened after a series of murders and stories of hauntings shut it down. Avlynn, a new student, refuses to let the rumors scare her, chalking them up to a bit of friendly freshman hazing. But when night falls and screams draw her from her room, she finds the truth is much more horrifying than any ghost story. 


About Danielle

Danielle Rose holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. Currently residing in the Midwest, where she spends her days dreaming of warmer temperatures, when she’s not writing, she enjoys pretending she lives in California, spending an embarrassing amount of time at Hobby Lobby, and binge-watching Netflix.





Thursday, July 6, 2017

Guest Post
Top 10 Fantasy Books
by Theodora Goss
author of
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

I will be buddy reading this with @chocomeiske starting Monday the 10th and cannot wait! 


Theodora's Top 10 Fantasy Books...

I've been reading fantasy as long as I can remember. My favorite book is still The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. When I was a child, I would go to the library each week to pick out books by Edward Eager, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander, E. Nesbit--but they had to include magic. Magic was the sine qua non. After all, why would anyone read a book without magic--what was the point? I eventually came to appreciate more realistic fiction, but I never stopped loving fantasy. The books I have listed below are some of my favorites, mostly for adults--I've tried to choose books that readers might not have heard of, but would enjoy. Although this list is numbered 1-10, don't think of those numbers as a ranking system--all the books I have listed are equally wonderful. Instead, think of them as a guide: read the first one, then go on to the second one, and so on. What a wonderful, magical path that would be!


1. Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees

The town of Lud has banished magic, although fairy fruit is still being smuggled over the border from Faerie. What will Mayor Nathaniel Chanticleer do once Faerie starts to enter and claim the town as its own? He must go on a perilous quest to save both Lud and his son Ranulph from the lure of magic.


2. The Once and Future King by T.H. White

Before King Arthur was a legendary hero, he was Wart, an awkward boy taking lessons from the wizard Merlyn, who turns him into various animals so he can understand himself and humanity. This is the story of Wart as he grows up and eventually becomes the king who believes that right is more important than might.


3. Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Lolly is tired of being a reliable spinster aunt, so she moves to the village of Great Mop and makes a deal with the Devil: she will serve him as a witch if she can just have her freedom. This book is a dark, cool drink of empowerment for the women no one listens to.


4. The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

Princess Irene and her friend Curdie must defeat the goblins who wish to kidnap Irene and force her to marry the goblin prince Harelip. Luckily, they have the help of Irene's magical great-great-grandmother, who is more than she seems. The sequel, The Princess and Curdie, is just as good.


5. The Wood Wife by Terri Windling

Maggie Black leaves her life on the West Coast for the Arizona desert. Her mentor, the poet Davis Cooper, has died, and as she goes through his papers, she slowly discovers the secrets of his life as well as the magic that exists in the desert landscape. This novel is in part a love letter to the American Southwest.


6. Modern Classics of Fantasy, edited by Gardner Dozois

This is my favorite collection of fantasy short stories, with classics like Fritz Leiber's "Space-Time for Springers," Ursula Le Guin's "Buffalo Gal, Won't You Come Out Tonight," and Peter Beagle's "Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros."


7. Little, Big by John Crowley

When Smoky Barnable meets Daily Alice Drinkwater, he immediately falls in love. Through their story, we learn the history of the Drinkwater family and its long relationship with the world of Faerie. Is this a novel or a very long prose poem? I think it could be both . . .


8. Ombria in Shadow by Patricia McKillip

Who will rule Ombria after its prince, Royce Greve, dies? His powerful great-aunt Domina Pearl wants to claim the throne by acting as regent for his son Kyel, but Ombria is really two cities, and the shadowy, underground Ombria is starting to rise again.



9. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

Ged is wild and proud and full of magic--can the school for wizards on Roke help tame him? Not before he makes some terrible mistakes and learns the price of magic. Le Guin's tale is a parable of growth--we must all learn what Ged learns to become fully human.


10. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Magic no longer works in England--that is, until Mr. Norrell demonstrates that it is both very real and very powerful. For a while, he is the only working magician in England, until Jonathan Strange appears to help and challenge him. Meanwhile, Napoleon is on the march, and the Faerie realm has plans of its own.

About Theodora

Theodora Goss's publications include the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions (2007), a short story anthology co edited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; and The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a two-sided novella in an accordion format. She has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, Locus, and Mythopoeic Awards, and on the Tiptree Award Honor List. She has won the World Fantasy and Rhysling Awards.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

New Adult Paranormal Romance Review
Blood Rose (Blood #1)
by: Danielle Rose

There’s no wrath like that of a witch scorned.

As one of the only spirit users in her coven, Avah has been chosen to wield The Power, the ultimate weapon against the immortal vampire species witches have been at war with for centuries.

But on the night of her birth rite, Avah’s coven is attacked. Forced to seek refuge among the very beings she’s sworn to kill, Avah vows revenge on those who took her former life from her.

As Avah slowly transitions into a life of blood and war, she realizes everything she’s been told is a lie.


Source: Amazon Kindle Library
Format: ebook
Genre: NA Paranormal Romance + Urban Fantasy
Setting: Northern California & Oregon, Modern Day
Series: Blood #1
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: OfTomes Publishing
Release Date: June 21st, 2017

My Review...

Blood Rose has all of the elements I love in a New Adult Paranormal Romance: Magic, Mayhem, Intriguing Plot Twist, & Romance!

Character Development- I really connected with the main character, Avah. In the beginning, she thinks she knows who she is and what her goals are, however, her situation rapidly changes beyond her control and everything she thought she knew is flipped upside down. I love the way she handled herself and others around her. She's open-minded and has a beautiful heart, it was wonderful watching her discover herself, and what a wonderful person she becomes!

Genre- I wanted to touch on the genre because I love New Adult, Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance but it's not often you come across a book with three genres in one! I have a really hard time trying to find New Adult Paranormals and am so glad that I found this one, I'm now a Danielle Rose auto-buy fan! In fact, I've already pre-ordered the next book in this series titled Blood Magic & it comes out August 1st!

The Plot- It gave me the feeling I look for in books, the reason I love to read! The entire book kept pulling me in, so much so I forgot the world around me and didn't want this book to end.

The Romance- I enjoyed the romance in this one. Not epic but I feel that it can be in the next book. I don't want to say too much for risk of spoiling it but I do like Avah's love interest! 💘

If you have a fondness for New Adult Paranormal Romance & New Adult Urban Fantasy + magic, witches & vampires then I highly recommend this one to you! 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Monthly Recap
&
TV Shows
May & June 2017



Hi everyone! It's been awhile since I've done a monthly recap. I'm not sure why I skipped May, but I figured I'd do a recap for May & June!

Updates...


I know I touched a bit on this in my last update but I wanted to delve a little deeper into it... I've decided to just go with the flow and read whatever I'm in the mood for when I pick up a book. Before I started this blog back in July of 2015 I would read anywhere from 50 to 150 books a year.

I noticed after blogging the number of books I read started dropping. I realized I don't do well with planned books to read, it started feeling like a second job VERY QUICKLY. I knew that if I wanted to continue blogging it can't feel like a job. So for the past few weeks it feels like a weight has been lifted. No more obligations, reading is fun again!

Now saying that, some small part of me in the back of my brain tells me that that trait makes me a not-so-good blogger. But at the end of the day I have a VERY mentally demanding job (plus long hours) and I read & blog for fun, a way to re-energize and step away from all of that. (Plus, I know it's a touchy subject but I have made ZERO $4.56 in ads but I don't get anything until it reaches 100.00 dollars , so I refuse to add stress to something that I love.)

All of that being said, I do love reading & blogging. I've decided to do it when I feel up to it. Working 50 + hours per week, sometimes I just want to read and that's it. I'll always love books and maybe someday be able to blog full-time, that's my dream. So if I read a book that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE, then yeah, I will write up a review so I can let the world know how amazing it was. But if I read a three star book? If I feel I should write a review, I will, if not then I won't.

What about you? Do you feel obligated to post or do you blog just whenever the mood strikes? I'd love to chat about it and reading schedules!

Books I read in May


Books I read in June...




Well I'm off to watch an episode of Shadowhunters & Originals. Then later tonight Zoo with my husband. I can't wait for October for the debut of The Crossing! (I'll leave the trailer below for you to watch if you'd like.) What's your current favorite tv show?