I read it out loud at first, then my daughter took my nook and finished it. She said it was just like the show! My son said the same thing, but it wasn't really his thing. He only watched Littlest Pet Shop because his big sis makes him ;P
I'd recommend this for kids 6-10, it was pretty simplistic for my 10 year old, but she really digs graphic novels of late, and this one was a cute one.
If you've ever seen Littlest Pet Shop, this is exactly like the show, so you know what you're in for.
***ARC courtesy of the publisher via netgalley ...more
It's nice to start the New Year off with a good book.
When Flynn was a boy, he and his little brother were playing hide and seek. He looks up to find him, and his brother is missing.
Fast forward to adulthood, and Flynn has spent his entire life blaming himself for the loss of his brother. His family was devastated from this, and he's believed his brother was dead all these years. So he builds up the reputation of being the Viscount of Vice. And he revels in it.
But Emma knows better. She knows he's a good man, and although she doesn't know the specifics, she knows that he's not to blame. Now that she's 18, Emma is ready to go after Flynn.
Normally an 18 year old heroine bugs me. They are barely adults at 18, she's in her first Season, I mean I was pretty naive at 18. And I know it's accurate, but still, 18 is still a teenager. That being said, Emma never seems young to me. I liked that. But I don't know why she couldn't be a couple years older. Flynn for his part, knows how young she is, and tries to keep a healthy distance (he's about 9 years older). But he's been in love with her since he first saw her when she was maybe 12 years old.
I'm honestly surprised no one mentions that in any of the reviews I've read. It was presented so that you don't feel Flynn is a perv drooling over his buddy's sister, but it's not exactly glossed over either. Either way, it didn't bother me, because she's 18 when we start the story, and Flynn has kept his distance from Emma for all these years, so you don't feel as if he's dreaming and pining away over of his friend's little sister. In fact he makes a conscious effort to become a better man, which I loved.
The set-up is for the series, not just this novella, so when Emma is kidnapped by a street gang in Bath, it's hinting at things to come. The rescue is easy, but it shows you just how bad the villain of the next book (and possibly the series) really is. Flynn was a great hero. Between the missing brother, the kidnapped heroine, and looking at the next book, I see a pattern here, that looks very promising. I can't wait to read the next book!
I can't believe this is my first Shana Galen book! I swear I've read her before, but I guess not. I do have almost her entire backlist on my nook, though, so I'm set!
This is a spin-off series of her Jewels of the Ton series, the third book of which has Emma's brother, so there's the connection, and I'm excited, since as I said, I already have the whole series!
Anyone who wants a quick read, or a Shana Galen fix will really enjoy this, and I think it's a really good introduction to the series called The Covent Garden Cubs.
***ARC courtesy of Sourcebooks via netgalley...more
I've read and loved the first in this series, and I was surprised my young children did too! When I saw th Read this review on KK's Books & Reviews
I've read and loved the first in this series, and I was surprised my young children did too! When I saw this was up, I grabbed it!
This can't be read as a stand-alone, and it can't be read out of order. It was really REALLY difficult to read if you aren't up to date on the series. My kids and I have read the first 2, and we grabbed the 4th from the library, but unfortunately unless you've read all the books, you will be completely confused.
Now, I've given it a 4 because I can gather from the first couple books that I like what's happened between books 2 and 6. That being said, my daughter didn't finish it because she was confused, and while my son did read it, he said the same, that he didn't know what was going on.
We're trying to track down the other books, and between the library and the book store, I'm sure we can catch up.
***ARC courtesy of the publisher via netgalley...more
Steven McBride is an army captain on leave. He has a duty to perform that he’s been procrastinating, so of course, he is spending his time in London drinking and gambling.
In his incredibly drunken state, he can’t remember where he’s staying, so he sort of wanders around outside until he literally bumps into a beautiful lady.
Rose is being accosted by paparazzi, as usual, because although she’s a duchess, she’s a widowed duchess whose stepson is trying to have her title stripped, marriage to his (older) father annulled, and is tying up her inheritance and money in a horrible legal battle. And unfortunately that means she’s a gossip rag cash cow (or the Victorian equivalent).
Scandal follows Rose everywhere. And Steven makes it worse by drunkenly falling on top of her, and then being unable to untangle himself from her. Rose is able to smell the liquor on him, and she sees a disheveled soldier. So she tries to help him out by taking him in and giving him a meal.
But she has nowhere to stay, herself, and no money. But she’ll make do.
When Steven wakes up, Rose has brought him breakfast. They’re in her coachman’s home, and she is beside herself that the gossip has picked Steven as their latest target. As she’s apologizing, Steven realizes just how rare and sweet Rose is. So he tells her that in order to restore her reputation, they’ll tell the journalists that they’re engaged.
What follows is a sweet and super sexy story about their false engagement becoming a real one. With a visit from many of the Mackenzies that we already know and love, this novella was awesome! We see Steven’s brother, hero of the next book Rules For A Proper Governess, who helps Rose find a solicitor who will untangle the legal mess her stepson has tied her up in. We see a wonderful story with wonderful characters develop, and we see a wonderful happy ending.
Seriously, I loved it. It’s a long novella (like 160 pages!), and it’s wonderful from the first scene to the last. This book has all the magic and romance that you expect when you pick up a Jennifer Ashley book.
***ARC courtesy of the publisher via netgalley...more
I used to love Chelsea Handler, and I've been wanting to read her books for a while now, but maybe my tastes have changed? I don't know, but I'm not lI used to love Chelsea Handler, and I've been wanting to read her books for a while now, but maybe my tastes have changed? I don't know, but I'm not laughing even a little bit. I guess I'm over her. Which is a shame since I have several of her books. This is firmly on the DNF shelf for me....more
This was just what I needed tonight. A Highlander, a sassy Sassenach, and a guaranteed happy ending.
This novella starts out in London, where our heroine Lily is hightailing it out of town. There's a witch hunt brewing, and as a healer, the last thing she needs is rumors to point them her direction.
Taking what she can, she locks her shop, knowing it will probably be looted and destroyed if she ever makes it back, and she heads north to hopefully stay with a friend of hers.
She stowed away on a ship and ended up too far north. Scotland to be precise. And wandering around the countryside in the winter wasn't her brightest idea.
After being sent on an errand for his laird, Roderick MacDonald is happy to be heading back to the Highlands. His grandmother, the clan healer and seer, had warned Roderick that he would be bringing back the clan's next healer on this trip, and since she was getting older, they really needed her. And sure enough, he stumbles upon a very unconscious Lily, dressed as a lad. I love that he figured her out right off the bat, and I love that he took her under his wing.
He was traveling with Douglas men, and he wanted to protect her from them. At the first chance he got, he convinced them to head home, and he talked Lily into coming home to live with his grandmother. (Lily told him she wanted to learn from a healer, and he assumed she had a vision of his grandmother).
I liked this story a lot. It has a feisty, stubborn heroine, a protective and thoughtful hero, and a lot of passion. There's even an Easter Egg at the end (the hidden inside references to other series kind of Easter Egg, not the actual eggs) I see what you did there, Margaret Mallory. So for anyone in the mood for a short and satisfying Highlander novella, this is the perfect story for you.
The blurb for this book sounds right up my alley! I was so excited I actually bumped a book by one of my favRead this review on Got Fiction? book blog
The blurb for this book sounds right up my alley! I was so excited I actually bumped a book by one of my favorite authors so I could read this one.
This book starts out with a fabulous setup, and I loved the beginning couple chapters. Basicallyady Ivy is kissed by a mysterious man at a masquerade ball in her first Season. They flirt, and it’s sexy.
Lady Ivy’s father is accused of cheating at cards and dies in a duel that night, and Ivy and her sisters are tainted and hide from society. And then 5 years later the Duke and Lady Ivy meet again, and I began to hate this book.
By chapter 3, I think I was done.
But I really wanted to love this book, so I read the whole thing.
I had a big issue with the hero. He knows he has to settle down and do his ducal duty of marrying and popping out heirs, so his plan is to find the best courtesan in the ton and have a full month of 24/7 sexytimes. But on the way to his estate, he sees a Tudor-era tower, and decides he wants it. So he gets out and sees a woman, chases her down, gets told to leave her and her tower alone, and he sort of does, but with every intention of coming back and claiming both woman and tower.
He heads to his estate, and finds his niece and nephew there. Their father (his brother) is in the army, and their mother is off with her latest lover, so the servants brought the children to him. So he decides he needs a governess to keep them out of his hair while he still plans to spend the next month with the new mistress!
Lady Ivy, meanwhile, has realized that all the creditors their father owed are going to eventually take the tower, so she seeks employment as a governess. Lo and behold, the sexy duke who chased her needs one! ta-da! Problem solved.
To be honest, I love the premise-penniless daughter of an earl becomes governess to the Duke next door. But this book just never gave me all the sexual tension and getting to know each other that I love in books with this trope.
Even after hiring Ivy, who James knows is a lady, and the daughter of an earl, and remembers from that ball, he still plans on bringing the new mistress in for sexytimes. He even tells Ivy this, and then tells her he wants her to be the children's "true moral compass." What a pig.
Then he proceeds to compromise Ivy at every chance he gets. She even asks him if he'll fire her if she doesn't sleep with him. His answer? Oh baby, don't worry, you'll want it.
No. I'm sorry, but no.They don't have any scenes together at all where he isn't pressuring her for sex. She flat out asks if he's going to fire her if she gives in, and he just says, Oh you misunderstand. You'll want it more than I do. I repeat, he's a pig.
He's a pig and she's not behaving like the daughter of an earl, or like a governess. At only 34% in she's letting him touch her, and it reads as if she's unwilling.I just don't buy it. They have NO SCENES where they are jsut talking or getting to know each other at all. It's only scenes of him pressuring her, and her saying she doesn't want it, but her body betrays her. Gag me.
The title should be changed to Don't Force the Governess Into Compromising Positions Just Because You're a Duke.
I couldn't get on board with this. I love the trope, I love insta-lust, and this book still missed the mark.
I have mixed feelings on this book. I thought it would be like the "A Witchcraft Mystery" series, which I LORead this review on Got Fiction? book blog
I have mixed feelings on this book. I thought it would be like the "A Witchcraft Mystery" series, which I LOVE Secondhand SpiritsSecondhand Spirits, so I snapped it up!But while it's fun, it's really not what I expected. There's no romance, but there's a hint of a romance; being that this is a cozy mystery, that's fine. I figured it would be more about the murder.
And yet...there was something I can't put my finger on. The writing is simple. But it works for the story. And yet...
I'm not sure how to rate it. A 2.5? A 3 maybe? I mean I read the whole thing, and I liked the characters. I'll probably read the next book. But...
Again, mixed feelings. The mystery was really meh. For a mystery novel, that's not good. And with the romance being on the back burner, and Cookie's paranormal talents being hinted at but never explained, or looked into, it just seems that it could have been so much more.
The bare bones is that Cookie runs vintage clothing shop It's Vintage, Y'all. She hears that one of her town's wealthiest members was murdered. But the good news is that her items are being auctioned off! So Cookie heads over to the house to score some amazing clothing. And while she's there, one of the ladies starts talking to her. And whaddayaknow, it's the ghost of the murdered woman. Charlotte won't leave Cookie alone unless she agrees to solve her murder. She reminds me of Reese Witherspoon in that movie Just Like Heaven. No one else can see her, and she annoys the crap out of Cookie until she finally caves.
So Cookie and Charlotte go off to investigate her murder.
And, it's...kind of meh.
The funny parts are funny, the characters are well-developed (except for who we see as a potential love interest-I'd love to know more about him), but there's no sense of urgency. There's no "We have to figure this out as soon as possible!" It's very slow. A second murder should force Cookie to pick up the pace, and yet, it didn't do much. The ending was easy and quick. This is definitely a book you can pick up and read in one sitting.
I think I'll give this one a 3 star rating because I did enjoy the characters, and I like the basic concept. It's not bad, not by any means, it's just...meh.
This was a fun book. That's what I love about Tessa Dare books; you always know what you're getting. ThisRead this review on Got Fiction? book blog
This was a fun book. That's what I love about Tessa Dare books; you always know what you're getting. This book was witty, fun, sweet, and cute.
Lord Piers Brandon, the Marquess of Granville has been engaged to Clio Whitmore for years. Excuse after excuse has kept him abroad. He's a diplomat, and it just isn't the "right time" to marry Clio. Well, Clio is tired of waiting. In fact, she's been waiting for so long, many call her Miss Wait-more.
But no more. She's just inherited a castle, and she's ready to break the contract. Since her wandering fiance is due to come home (supposedly for good this time), she's got to get this taken care of soon. For that, she goes to his brother.
Lord Rafe Brandon was the heavyweight champ until he was beaten soundly at his last match. He hasn't boxed in years, but he's staging a comeback. He's in training when Clio finds him. And Clio then shocks him when she states her reason for coming; she wants Rafe to break her engagement to his brother.
But not only can Rafe not do that, he wants Clio to see how wonderful the wedding will be, so he arranges to have all the cakes, all the dresses, all the flowers, every single thing any bride would want. But the problem is, none of it impresses Clio. She doesn't want the wedding, so the things, the items, the material stuff, none of it, impresses her. BUT, Rafe and his desire to show Clio the wedding of her dreams, that impresses her. So much so, that she falls in love with him.
And for Rafe's part, he fell in love with Clio long ago. He's loved her since they were kids, and that's why he's stayed away from her. He's a barely literate bruiser who got kicked out of school for fighting and not learning his lessons. This is why it's so impressive to me that Rafe was able to not only run the estates, but run them well, while Piers was overseas doing whatever it is he was doing (which by the way, I really want Piers to be the next hero!).
Between trying to plan Clio's wedding, and staging his comeback, Rafe has to face some hard truths. And Clio was the perfect heroine to help him. I loved her. I don't want to give anything away, so this review is short. Well, short for me ;P
But just know that when you open this book, you know you're getting the trademark Tessa Dare wit, romance, and fun.
If you loved While You Were Sleeping, that awesome 90s movie with Sandra Bullock, you'll love this book. If you love Say Yes To The Dress, you'll love this book. If you love big, ham-fisted heroes who do everything they can to make the heroine smile, you'll love this book. If you love a hero who isn't your typical lord, you'll love this book. And if you love castles, and romance, and happily ever afters, you'll love this book.
At the end of Marked By The Vampire, Chloe was shown to be in trouble. At the beginning of this book, she’s trying to escape her bodyguard. She just wants to be free for a few minutes.
But she can’t truly be free.
Her father is a senator and he wants power. Whether it’s normal or paranormal, he wants it. And he’s used Chloe to get it.
Chloe isn’t human. Her scent calls to wolves everywhere. And unfortunately that means they can track her anywhere, even to a safe house, but they can especially track her if she slips her guard and takes off clubbing.
Connor has to keep Chloe close. Her scent affects him, but not as badly as it seems to affect other wolves. But make no mistake, it does affect him. She smells like sex and lust, and every male near and far wants her, but none so much as the bad guy, who was promised Chloe by her dad.
I won’t spoil the bad guy, because it’s a good plot twist. Just understand that it’s a very typical Cynthia Eden book; a hero who isn’t strictly a white knight, a fiery heroine, and a villain who you don’t necessarily see coming.
Cynthia Eden writes the best Paranormal Romantic Suspense out there. I’d recommend reading this series in order, and since The Wolf Within is free right now, I’d grab it and start....more
This is just what I needed! No one writes Paranormals like Cynthia Eden does!
We are going back to Purgatory,Read this review on Got Fiction? book blog
This is just what I needed! No one writes Paranormals like Cynthia Eden does!
We are going back to Purgatory, a sort of Alcatraz for paranormals. But things aren’t going so well. In the first book, the corruption may have been cleaned up, but who’s watching the cleaners? (Isn’t that a Latin phrase? Who watches the guardians or something like that) anyway, going back to the book, Olivia wants in. She’s on a mission to find out why some paranormals kill, and others don’t. She feels this is really important, and she’s been trying to figure it out with human serial killers, but it’s time to step up her game. What she doesn’t know, is that she only gets in because someone else wants her in.
Shane is an agent who goes in undercover. He’s trying to figure out what’s going on inside Purgatory. His boss knows something isn’t right, but can’t put his finger on what, exactly. What I loved about him, is that he knows who he is, and he’s fine with that. No self-loathing emo vamp boy here! He’s also not a jackass hero, he’s just strong, determined, and knows his own mind. I hesitate to use the term Alpha Male, since lately that meaning has morphed into controlling a-hole. But he’s more of the true Alpha hero from a few years ago. He’s protective and possessive without being a jerk. His cover is blown almost immediately too, which kick starts this book off with a bang!
I liked this book better than the first, The Wolf Within, but mostly because this book knows where it’s going, and what it’s doing. In The Wolf Within, I feel like it had to set up the new series, where this book was able to just jump in with both feet.
***NOTE THE WOLF WITHIN IS FREE AT THE TIME OF THIS REVIEW click here
The next book is fantastic as well, look for that review in a day or two.
***ARC courtesy of the author— however I then bought it because, sexy man cover!...more
This has been floating around the blogosphere as a fantastic romance. I wasn't too interested at first, uRead this review on Got Fiction? Book Blog
This has been floating around the blogosphere as a fantastic romance. I wasn't too interested at first, until I noticed that every single one of my friends had read and loved it! So what's a girl to do? Obviously, she reads it!
This is my review:
Read this book.
Seriously, don't wait, don't drag your feet; read this book.
I think it's listed as Women's Fiction, but that might be just to market it. It's definitely a Contemporary Romance, and it's spectacular!
Quick summary is that Mili was married at the age of 4 in a group ceremony. She never saw her husband again, but her grandmother has followed his stellar military career, and Mili dutifully does as well. He's handsome and intelligent, and Mili fancies herself in love with him. Which is good, right? Since they're married and all.
See, her husband had the marriage annulled a long time ago, since it was technically never legal to begin with. And before you can get too mad at him, he's happily married with a baby on the way. Until he receives a letter that reminds him of the village girl he was once married to. Turns out it was never annulled. So, he sends his brother, legendary Bollywood director and charmer of women, Samir, to obtain the divorce for him. He figures his brother can seduce or charm her out of the marriage.
So, Samir, facing some heat from the tabloids, welcomes the diversion. He heads off to America to find Mili (she's going to school in the US for a semester). And Samir promptly scares the crap out of Mili, who ends up falling off her bike and injuring her ankle. And in a crazy turn of events, Samir ends up caring for Mili for the next couple weeks, until she's healed. And it's adorable.
But he never tells her who he is, or why he's there. He pretends to be a neighbor. And it's heartbreaking when Mili finds out. Just heartbreaking.
But the resolution is totally worth the tears, and the ending was happy. It's a great book. I smiled the majority of the story, and it's a bit steamier than I expected, which was a good thing! ;)
What a fun idea! It's really for younger readers, but you might have to explain the choose your own aspeRead this review on : KK's Books & Reviews
What a fun idea! It's really for younger readers, but you might have to explain the choose your own aspect. My second grader thought the writing was too easy, but had trouble with choosing which direction to go. He kept wanting to turn the page directly and not understanding why he'd have to flip forward to another page.
There are about a dozen different choices here, which may be a bit much for this age group. Again, definitely for the younger crowd. I'd suggest first graders.
But it's still a neat and different type of book. If you have a Batman lover, or a graphic novel reader, this would be a great idea for you.
***ARC courtesy of the publisher via netgalley ...more
I like the Gaslight Chronicles series a lot, but I have to say that this isn't the strongest in the bunch. If yReview posted on Got Fiction? book blog
I like the Gaslight Chronicles series a lot, but I have to say that this isn't the strongest in the bunch. If you want the world building you get in a fabulous Steampunk, unfortunately you'll have to read in order. However, the romance works well as a stand-alone. So if you don't mind missing the world building, you'll be fine, i.e. won't be confused or anything.
In this (long) novella, we see Melody crash and burn on a test run of her latest dirigible. But she didn't fall out of the sky all on her own, she was shot down. The big question is, by whom?
The Earl of Blackwell has a smuggler problem, and he's out hunting them when Melody's dirigible crash lands in his front lawn. But he thinks she's one of the smugglers! It takes some convincing that she isn't, but he believes her pretty quickly. (which is why in a later scene I still don't know why he said he didn't believe her, and I'm not sure why she was so hurt. It was supposed to be a super emotional scene, but it left me scratching my head). Melody is really on assignment for the Crown. If you've been following the series, you know her family is part of a secret society that helps deal with Magick and mysteries.
Blackwell is stuffy, like stick up his arse stuffy. I can't think why, since he was a sailor and sea captain for most of his life, but I guess it's to show that he's trying to act like an earl. He must think they act like stuffy prigs?
Meanwhile, the earl is taking care of his niece. Remember how I mentioned he'd been a sailor? It's because his elder brother was the earl. But after a horrible carriage accident, his brother and his wife were killed, with his niece being the only survivor. There's a lot of gossip surrounding them, though. The village thinks that she's the cause of the accident and that Blackwell is the cause of the smugglers. A lot of this was sort of just set here and there, and it didn't need to be, or it needed to be fleshed out more to work. I just feel like there was a lot going on that only happened in the latter half of the story, and it really felt like it needed to have at least been alluded to sooner.
And the ending, really? That was the villain? Again, foreshadowing could have been used at any time.
I liked Melody, I love her friends and family, Victor, once he unstuffed himself, was a decent enough bloke, but the plot itself was kind of weak. Being that this is a novella, it could have focused on one aspect, rather than all those different rumors and tangents. In fact, the brother plot line was sort of left hanging. He was the picture of a perfect father, then he wasn't. But it went beyond ignoring his daughter. He was not even nice anymore. Yet this was sort of waved off as he found out his wife was having an affair.
However, it was still enjoyable, it was well written, minus the misuse of the pronoun "I," (<---this was a big deal to me. I hate when it's used incorrectly. Her editor should have known better-Here's a tip, if you can take out the friend's name, and it sounds wrong, it is wrong. "This coffee is for Victor and I," is wrong. It is, "This coffee is for Victor and me." You wouldn't say "This coffee is for I," now would you? Okay, grammar rant over. English teacher pants are off now).*
Okay, back to the story, I liked it, but it isn't the best in the series, so far I think Kilts & Kraken was my favorite. But it's still worth the read, and it's nice to see what's going on with some of Melody's friends.
This story was a bit of a let down. It comes across as an Urban Fantasy, but ends up being more of a Contempread this review on Got Fiction? book blog
This story was a bit of a let down. It comes across as an Urban Fantasy, but ends up being more of a Contemporary Romance with paranormal aspects. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, except…this was just too easy, and too light. I’d call it PNR lite.
So we have this amazing new paranormal concept-bringing in Russian mythology in the form of the Baba Yaga. We have a leather wearing, sword toting, dragon having, motorcycle riding witch. She’s called to a small town to help locate missing children. But, and it’s a big but, the plot becomes secondary to the romance. The story has all this exciting potential, and it’s not a kick-ass story with a kick-ass heroine. I was honestly expecting another Janet Begay from Stormwalker, or Kate Daniels from the Kate Daniels series, but I got a PNR lite.
Now, once I realized this wasn’t a super intense PNR, or UF, or even a Romantic Suspense, I was able to enjoy it a bit more. BUT (there’s that word again), it still was a bit of a let-down in the mystery/suspense department.
Basically children have been going missing for the past 6 months and everyone is stumped, especially the sheriff. The grandparents of one of the children call on the Baba Yaga to help find them. Enter Barbara Yager. She pokes around a bit, realizes that magic must be afoot, has an inkling of who’s to blame, and then goes and drops the ball. She has lots of chances to shine, and just…fizzles.
The sheriff is, well, he’s not my idea of a hero. He’s more of a Boy Scout. And I guess that isn’t bad,but I feel like there were several instances where he didn’t even stand up for himself, so it’s hard for me to see him standing up for others, let alone as hero material.
I have the next book Wickedly Wonderful, and I’m not really in any hurry to read it. It’s a shame. The mythology is there, it’s just that this doesn’t have the world-building I love that comes with PNR, it doesn’t offer much in the way of PNR for that matter.
As long as you know going in that this is NOT UF or PNR, it’s a contemporary romance with paranormal bits and pieces, or PNR lite, whichever you prefer, you should be fine. I think that might appeal to some readers as well, because I know not everyone wants an intense PNR, or a gritty UF.
It’s only 60 pages or so, so I was kind of excited to read this one before bed the other night. I’ve been in a PNR mood and this looks perfect for me.
But then I started it. It’s bad. Like really bad. Like I’m surprised this is a Kensington book bad. I wasn’t sure I was going to finish it once I saw how amateurish the writing was, but then the heroine is going to take away the hero’s will so she can make him do what she wants. I’m out. That’s not a trait I want in a heroine.
Quote that made me dnf:
“She was the last person Constantin wanted to see. And considering the promise he’d made to Lord Winthrop to stay at Thorncliff Towers indefinitely, coming back to camp was the last thing he was supposed to do.
That’s why she must go to Thorncliff Towers armed with the magic elixir. If she could get Constantin to drink it, it would allow her to command him without his knowledge. He would have no idea she was directing his actions—directing him to come and say good-bye to his grandfather on hisdeathbed, when he wouldn’t have the opportunity otherwise.“
I get the author is trying to justify her actions here with the “oh he needs to say goodbye to his grandfather” here, but that doesn’t work for me. You don’t take away a person’s free will unless you’re the villain of the piece. It goes on to say,
“Of course, Karina thought as she ground some more, I’m going to Thorncliff Towers with a more selfish reason in mind. Maybe I can get Constantin to fall in love with me.”
Let that sink in. While he’s under a potion she knowingly gives him to take away his will, she wants him to fall in love with her.
I loved it. I love this series, I love this author, I love this book. I can’t really go into mucRead this review on Got Fiction? book blog
I loved it. I love this series, I love this author, I love this book. I can’t really go into much detail about the plot, other than to say that Chase is one very complicated person. Many of you know by now who Chase is, (minor spoiler because it’s in the blurb) Chase is the Duke of Leighton’s sister Georgiana (he’s from Thirteen Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart).
Once upon a time, Georgiana, daughter of a duke, was sweet talked into sleeping with the stableboy when she was seventeen. And she thought they’d run away together. Instead, Georgiana was left heartbroken and pregnant. This was in the first series, Love By Numbers.
Not caring if she was mocked by the ton, Georgiana kept her daughter and was happy, until she realized the “stain” of her transgression was going to affect her sweet little girl.
She decided that the best thing she could do is control the ton. And control it she will. Through fair means or foul, Georgiana owns most of the ton. This is where it gets tricky. She can’t run the most exclusive gaming hell in London as a woman, so she sought out her partners, and she did her best to remain behind the scenes.
Except she couldn’t remain hidden away.
Now it’s about 10 years later, and she’s content. Until reporter Duncan West appears in her life. And he isn’t planning on leaving anytime soon. The mystery and the intrigue don’t stop there, this is a Sarah MacLean novel, after all.
Duncan West has his own secrets that must remain hidden, but as we know, it’s never that simple. Duncan and Georgiana have a beautiful romance, but one that seems doomed from the start. Adding in the fact that Georgiana feels that she has to marry a peer to give her daughter a much-needed legitimacy, this romance won’t have an easy path.
Edit: I will say we don't see as much of Chase as I wanted, I mean Chase has been built up to this huge person, but our book was more about Georgiana, than Chase.
I really can’t say too much else because it would give away more than I’m willing, but just trust me that if a novel says Sarah MacLean on the cover, you can judge it to be a 5 star book.
When this came across my inbox, I saw 2 things that made me click YES! Jeannie Lin, and Steampunk.
There’s no blurb up, at least not one that tells much, so I went in fairly blind. All I knew was that it would be set in China during the Opium Wars (Boxer Rebellion), and it was a Steampunk.
That was enough for me. And it was such a fantastic read!
I’d probably classify this as a Steampunk Adventure, rather than a Steampunk Romance, only because the romance is not the main focus.
Soling is the daughter of the Emperor’s head engineer. Her family has fallen from Imperial favor, and she, her little brother, her mother, and their nurse, are living in poverty. Once, her father was the Emperor's chief engineer, but after a naval defeat at the hands of Western invaders (which he told the emperor they weren’t equipped to win), he was chosen as the scapegoat and executed.
8 years later, Soling is barely keeping food on the table through her work with her village doctor. This is not only odd for a woman, but odd for a gently bred woman at that. She’s trying to secure enough money to eat, but unfortunately, the fall from grace was too much for her mother, so Soling has to put some of her money aside for the opium her mother is addicted to.
Soling has pawned most of items of value they had left from her old life, but she finally decides she has to sell the last item of her father's that she own. It’s a gold puzzle box. And no one will buy it. Desperate, and not knowing its worth, she presses ever deeper into the seedy parts of the city.
Her puzzle box has attracted undue, and unwanted, attention. The Imperial guard takes her and reunites her with, of all people, her former betrothed. He, then takes her to the prince. The prince believes her father was right; their navy had been no match for the Western forces. The prince also believes her father had designed a specific weapon, or explosive, before his death, and the prince wants it.
But the prince and her former fiancé aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed Soling. Before she knows it, she’s aboard a ship with one of her father’s former apprentices. And it’s clear he no longer sees her as a child.
He also brings a new theory to Soling. He believes the opium that is addicting their country is no ordinary opium, and that it’s got a more sinister element. He isn’t wrong.
Worried for her mother and little brother, Soling knows she has to get back to her family, but she also knows she has to see this adventure through.
There’s a lot going on, but Jeannie Lin writes so elegantly, you don’t realize how much politics factor into this Steampunk world until the end when you see where Soling is going. While there are gadgets aplenty, this book really focuses on the “punk” part of the Steampunk genre. With politics and rebellion dogging Soling’s heels, what can she do but continue her adventure?
I can’t wait to read the next book in the Gunpowder Chronicles, because I’m really invested in Soling’s journey, and I have to find out which side she chooses in the brewing rebellion.
With beautiful and vivid writing, Jeannie Lin transports you to 1800s China, and creates a world so fascinating, you won’t want to leave.
ETA: There is a spoiler (marked) in the comments. Trigger Warning for rape and abuse. Just a heads up in case it's not something you want to read
1.5 I don't even think it's worth the "it's ok" rating. This is 1.5 stars
Ramie was the weakest heroine I've ever come across. Ever. I get that's sort of the point-that she's broken, and scared, and weak right now, but the only strength I ever see in between her whispering and crying, was when it was time to play the martyr.
Our hero Caleb did something horrific to her, and she is never even mad. In my full review I think I'll spoil this [spoiled in comments-marked with a spoiler tag], because it needs to be talked about.
The ending was so abrupt that with the amount of damage done to Caleb and Ramie, I have a really hard time accepting that as a Happily Ever After, or even a Happily for now. They need therapy. Years and years of therapy. His love is not enough to fix what's wrong with her, and her forgiveness is not enough to rid him of what he did, let alone what the sociopath villain forced him to do.
I'm also over this author creating weak heroines. This is the second recent book where the heroine is so weak that the hero literally takes over running her life.
Now his family. My God, his family. What a bunch of dicks.
about 5 pages from the end, I DNF'd the book because of something one of his brothers said. Of course, once I cooled off, I finished it, but it wasn't worth it. This is a book that starts of forcefully and catches you up in the plot, only to have horrible things ruin what could have been a 5 star romantic suspense. We're left with a 1 star wanna be thriller. There is no romance at all. Whatsoever. A random dude who takes care of you and begins to run your life is not romance. There was no instalust to help this along and I truly felt the sex was completely inappropriate. (I'm so disgusted I can't even make an inappropriate sex joke right now). Basically, when you're traumatized and the hero knows you're traumatized, the last thing you need is sex. Ugh. All hail the magic peen. She will be healed through sex. Blergh. I'm done for now.
I've added the spoiler up here so you don't have to go hunting for it. It's still in the comments, but it's here now as well. Also, I was originally going to rewrite this review but I think I'll leave it as is, since we've had so much discussion about it.
(view spoiler)[So Ramie can psychically connect with someone, right? Well, she used to help the police track down kidnap victims. She's trying to recover from her last case alone in a cabin in the mountains. Caleb hunts her down. He accuses her of being selfish by not sharing her gift with the world. He shoves his sister's scarf into Ramie's hands, and she's instantly connected to Tori. Right as Tori is raped.
Ramie's body shows all signs of everything she and Tori go through. For example, Tori is slapped, and Ramie's head jerks to the side from the blow. She feels it too, she has a hand print on her face too. During this, Caleb realizes what he's put Ramie through and feels sick, but when he sees her body realizes he's watching her/his sister get raped, he can't believe he put her through this. BUT it's emphasized over and over and over that he hates himself for it, but he'd do it again.
OK, so as soon as she tells him where to find his sister, he calls his brothers and the cops and his sister is found. But he leaves Ramie curled in the fetal position, alone in the mountains, and says he'll come back. Meanwhile, he basically caused her to go through a rape and he's just like bailing on her. During this past year, Ramie was hiding from a stalker. She goes on the run. She eventually contacts Caleb after a year and says "You owe me." he's near obsessed with her and comes and saves her and takes her to his house. She's never mad at him. She is just like "Oh I understand. Of course you had to do that to me, you wanted your sister back." At least a small part of her should be mad.
The next big thing is that the killer establishes a psychic link with Caleb and has him cut Ramie up. Like torture. Nearly to death. And the ending happens in less than 10 pages. You can't just have "I love yous" after that and have it end. Like it was no big thing.There needed to be a lot more afterwards. Therapy, more showing them healing, showing them trying to deal with the PTSD.
I mean, how is an alpha male hero going to deal afterwards when he’s been forced to carve into the very fragile love interest? He literally tortured her. She nearly bled to death. The bad guy got inside his head and forced him to hurt the woman he loves. Seriously, how does he come back from that? Certainly not with “I love you, let’s move on.” (hide spoiler)]
Short review for the tl;dr :
Big fat nope.
***ARC courtesy of Avon["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
There's a short story called The Curious Case Of The Clockwork Menace that is sort of a prequel novella to this book. I say "sort of" because it is technically London Steampunk #3.5, but it truly is a prequel to this particular book, not the series. This novella is not imperative the book, but it really builds up the relationship the H/h have before it becomes romantic.
Quick backstory: They're both Nighthawks, and they're partners. Perry is private and keeps to herself, and Garret is not, but he respects Perry so much, that he also respects her need to privacy. In the novella, we see them solving a case, and we see at the end, that neither one of them has purely platonic feelings towards the other, but they refuse to act on them. It's actually quite a tightly written novella.
Now, in this book, Forged By Desire, it's a few years later, and we see that while nothing has changed...at the same time everything has changed. Garret has a tracker on Perry since nearly losing her once (in the novella) nearly broke him. They are each trying to pretend everything is okay, when clearly there is some tension.
This book has fabulous sexual tension, and it's the driving force behind the plot. Meanwhile, there is revolution afoot, and by the end, Perry and Garret need to figure out which side they'll be on.
I liked how Perry's past was handled, and I loved how intense that part of the book was. There are some hard truths she'll have to face before she can become who she's been pretending to be all these years. Or maybe she just has to realize she's not pretending, and she really is Perry, that she's not necessarily who she was in the past.
I hated how long it took her to admit that though. She's smart, she's tough, she's a great heroine, and yet it took her way longer than it should have to realize that's who she really was deep inside.
Garret was a great hero. At first you think he's a playboy, but soon you realize he's definitely smarter than he acts, and he's deeper than you think. He appreciated Perry, he gave her space, he respected her intelligence, he was perfect for her!
This whole series has been great, but I think these two are my favorite couple so far. With the political unrest cranking up and revolution in the works, our hero and heroine join previous characters in shaping the future of their world.
With sexual and political tension in the mix, the hero and heroine have a lot on their plate, yet this author handles it with a deft hand. If you're in the mood for a Steampunk series, this is an easy one to get into, but I'd definitely read in order.
***ARC courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca via netgalley