It's hard to pass up a Caity Shaw story. Her travel mishaps are very relatable and that's why I fell in loveReview also posted on lampshadereader.com
It's hard to pass up a Caity Shaw story. Her travel mishaps are very relatable and that's why I fell in love with the character. In Live to Fly Another Day, Caity focuses on family and her genealogy research.
It's always a delight to read about Caity's adventures (or rather misadventures). Something is always going negative but in such a funny way that you can't help but giggle at her expense.
I really enjoyed her dog Mac. Let's just say he brings out her certain tendencies to act just like her mom, much to her chagrin of course. It was truly entertaining. Caity's and Declan's relationship grows even more and he, as a character is growing on me as well. He's just so darn sweet.
Caity's side project of researching into her family history builds in this installment. Her long lost uncle Geroge plays a crucial role in this and I gotta say I wanted to bop him over the head towards the end of the story. So glad that was a fleeting feeling though...
Caity doesn't travel as much in this one, but I loved the planning that went into saving George's estate and the various side characters were also fun. Enid, Fanny, and Thomas all are great additions. (Well, Enid is a slag ;) ). I loved learning that new insult, going to definitely use it more in conversations!
I feel like with each book I become more endeared to the characters and their ups and downs. Caity's is like a roller coaster that I hope doesn't end soon.
Pick this series up if you love family drama, klutzy heroines, rambunctious puppies, hot Irish men, and characters that you just want to bop on the head ;).
Not bad but not great either. For an assassin she's not really assassin like. Okay so she wants to kill but she's not cool and calm like one. I wouldNot bad but not great either. For an assassin she's not really assassin like. Okay so she wants to kill but she's not cool and calm like one. I would have liked it more if they didn't ship the assassin theme too much. Mercenary might have been better.
Also, her past exploits sounded more interesting than the story itself. It did get slow in the middle, but overall it was still entertaining to read. Regardless of the issues I had with this book, I'm still interested in the rest....more
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy, via NetGalley of this book.
Lady Mechanika is back and is investigating a mystery that hits close to home. Her friend Mr. Lewis is exhibiting strange behavior and Lady Mechanika must be a friend first and put her search for her master on the back burner. Steam punk, and mystery still abound in this volume.
I always giggle like a rabid fan girl when it comes to Lady Mechanika. Is it her kick assness? Her wit (sometimes sarcastic), her heartbreaking backstory, her totally cool outfits, of just the steampunk in general?
First off let me just squee in delight over Inspector Singh making an appearance. I really do wish he played more of a role in the series in general. But I get it, Lady Mechanika is sort of a lone wolf-slash-half human-slash-half machine...thing.
The mystery in this volume focuses on Mr. Lewis. Usually I love him. He's such a goof that his somewhat drunken stupor is sort of endearing. He was quite defeatist and gullible this time and I wanted to slap him out of it. How he could have easily fallen for the gorgeous fairy is understandable given the skeletons in his closet.
Although, the "villain" in this volume strayed from the usual baddies Lady Mechanika encounters. Was she really evil? Maybe. But I could almost feel sorry for her towards the end. And poor Mr. Lewis. It really left it all up in the air as to his relationship with Lady Mechanika. Hope it's not irreparable.
More Inspector Singh please!
We got a taste of the Reapers in this volume, but it was short lived. Pretty cool looking villains though. Right?
Any wonder why I have a girl crush on Lady Mechanika? She's just so darn sexy!
I really want an art print of this.
Overall, I really can't fault this series. It's just so fun to read. The artwork is amazing and the characters memorable.
If you like graphic novels, kick ass heroines, and steampunk, well...what are you waiting for!? Read these from the beginning to get the scope of the world (and backstory) to Lady Mechanika.
It's been awhile since I've read an honest to goodness ContemporaReview also published on lampshadereader.com
*Received a review copy from NetGalley.*
It's been awhile since I've read an honest to goodness Contemporary Romance. Kind of glad I did. I went into Once Upon a Bad Boy with fresh eyes and a heart that was willing to have another go at the genre. This is the perfect book to take with you to the beach, since summer is just around the corner.
Okay, let me start by saying that I just jumped into this series. It's book #3 and while reading this book, I didn't feel out of place at all. It's such a cozy feeling reading about characters that have such great chemistry with each other. The friendships are where it's at, let me say. Especially between our heroine, Sadie and one of her besties Ana. Ana is a hoot.
While talking about donuts and love lives:
"Delayed gratification only works up to a point." Ana eyed her up and down pointedly. "Trust me, you don't want to end up with a stale donut."
"Ryan was grocery store cake. You don't fall in love with grocery store cake."
(Me thinks she'll be eating those words later...) <---see what I did there? ;) har har har.
Anyways, this is a second chance at love romance between Sadie and Bo. Childhood sweethearts that broke up and miraculously find their way back to each other. I liked the movie star aspect of this as well. Sadie is an aspiring actress who got a big role in a major film. Coming right out of the soap opera scene and kind of labeled a spoiled brat (which she's anything but! I was kind of worried about that), Sadie wants to prove to herself and her audience that she has the acting chops. Bo finds his way back to her by being the stunt coordinator on set. So sparks fly (angry sparks on Sadie's end), friendships are rebuilt, and the sizzling between the sheets happens. Major sizzling, I might add. In fact, I was kind of tired of it midway through the book. A big chunk of the story is dedicated to it. I wanted them to get back on track with filming the movie.
There are secrets being held in this story, a major secret that not even the reader is privy too until almost the very end of the book. Well, let me say that there was something Sadie wasn't telling us (the reader and Bo), but her actual thoughts weren't made clear until much further in the story. I actually liked that, because even then it still wasn't brought out into the open until she told Bo. So big surprise. It was handled well and Bo handled that news realistically in my honest opinion.
All in all, this was a fun and fast paced read with some good drama thrown in. Totally beach worthy read, if you're headed that way this summer. ...more
The hacker romance concept was a bit new to me and I found myself totally entertained throughout this one. I'vOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
The hacker romance concept was a bit new to me and I found myself totally entertained throughout this one. I've never had so many laugh out loud moments while reading a book. Kate and Ian's banter was the best.
I liked the cute play on Robin Hood, where hacker Ian robs from other hackers and gives money to Kate's food pantry. It really was sweet.
However, I'm not sure how I would feel in Kate's shoes if someone admitted to me that they hacked my information, only just because. Ian had a slight controlling personality, but that was downplayed by his playfulness and his sweetness.
Despite how I loved their relationship, certain aspects just slowed down the pace and I was getting tired of hearing about nighties and lingerie. It picks up past the half way mark, and a little suspense is thrown in for good measure.
Overall, I would like to read the next book in the series, but I'm not rushing for it. ...more
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Help. I've suffered a book coma! Vermilion Lies left me reeling and has ruined me for all other vampire themed books. If you're looking for a super fast paced, gut punching novel, this is the one for you.
Let's revisit my statement about book coma, shall we?
It's not uncommon for the author, L.D. Rose, to totally make me feel for the characters that she writes. She has a knack for writing fast paced action and for writing lust inducing heroes. Or shall I say, unconventional heroes. Because what's cooler than vampire hybrids kicking evil vampire butt?
Rose's heroes and heroines are tattered, bruised, and brutally put through torture. It's a dark dystopian type world that the Senary (our heroes) live in. Where humans are few and vampires (or leeches as they're referenced in the series) have taken over cities.
Each of the Senary hybrids have certain talents that have manifested within themselves. In Dax's case, his ability is to conjure ice from his hands. (Whereas, for example, in Releasing the Demons, Blaze had the ability of fire).
"Cindel looked at the hybrid with new perspective, tuning into the dark aura radiating from his pores. It eddied around him like a storm, a maelstrom of blue, and the deeper it went, the colder it became, much like the open ocean itself."
Dax's vampire hunting leads him to Cindel. An equally tortured soul who happens to be a vampire and because of that, persona non grata to all of the Senary. They're chemistry was on fire! (or should I say ice cold in this instance?), and of course you'll encounter that famous trope of enemies to lovers. Cindel, is a little strange, in that for a vampire, she's actually more human in emotions and crying. But despite my description of her, she is a very deep character who has been tortured and abused by her sire (the main baddie in this story).
Both Dax and Cindel push the limits of their attraction and lot's of sizzling scenes are to be had. While most of the story revolves around them, it's always a pleasure to revisit the other characters like Blaze and Jon from the previous 2 books. I love the camaraderie of the Senary. Their banter, nicknames for each other, and tight knit bonds.
From beginning to the end, this book was filled to brim with action--bloody action. Gore. So much gore. But I'm not complaining. It's written well, and that's just what you expect with this kind of setting.
So yeah, I forgot. Book coma.
By the time I finished this book, I pretty much experienced a whole gamut of emotions. Just like the characters in this book, I too left bruised and battered. But in a good way. At the risk of spoiling anything, Dax goes through A LOT in this book. It's heartbreaking.
I do believe this series can be read out of order. Everything is presented in a way that would make sense if you just picked it up....more
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy, via Goodreads First Reads, of this book.
Jeepers! What a mystery. I loved every word of this and totally enjoyed Gina's POV.
With my love for anything 1920s-1930s, I haven't read a story that takes place in a Speakeasy. Those seedy, "sin" filled places, makes for plenty of excitement. In Murder Knocks Twice, Gina finds herself employed as a cigarette girl in an era where alcohol was forbidden, but breaking the law was rampant.
After finishing this book, my thoughts were, "I need more now."
I loved getting to know Gina, Gooch, Ned, Roarke, the Signora, that I didn't want to leave their world. Their world being 1920s Chicago. Mobsters, prohibition, speakeasy's, shady characters galore. Capone, while not part of the story was still there in all of his glory. I loved the intertwining of history with the fiction of Gina's world.
Gina, in order to makes ends meet and to support her ailing father, takes on a job as a cigarette girl at The Third Door. A Speakeasy run by the Signora and her husband. She replaces a girl who was stabbed on a train (mysterious in itself), and finds herself slowly digging deeper into the mysteries that surround her.
I really enjoyed the realism of the dialogue and the fun banter between the characters. It might have started out slow, but once you start getting into the story, it really does pick up.
I don't like that the blurb kind of gives away who gets murdered, but at least when it happens it still is a surprise. It's all about the how and the why of it. Marty was just the tip of the iceberg. True to mysteries (and a little nod to Hercule Poirot), the ending was fun with the whole group together as the murderer and plot is unveiled. I wouldn't call this a cozy mystery, but the murders aren't too violent (heh what a sentence).
There is a little romance going on in here as well between Gina and Roarke, but since this is a series, it doesn't fully develop in the first book. But I do love the no nonsense of it all.
This series is definitely one that I will follow up with. I can't wait for more. I mean, what else could happen to Gina?
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy, via NetGalley, of this book.
Goodness! It seems like forever since I read a Cozy Mystery. Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien fills that empty spot in your reading agenda to bring likeable characters and a murder mystery that's not at all gorey and that's all the way fun.
Cute cover aside, Murder Lo Mein takes place in the interesting atmosphere of a mall. Lana Lee's family restaurant Ho-Lee Noodle House, is running for the coveted title of Best Noodles in Cleveland. Competing against other Chinese restaurants, Lana Lee's family is all in and ready to win it.
Okay, so all this talk about food made me super hungry while reading this. I wanted to taste all of the dishes presented in the competition. I also totally related to the lead character Lana because of this:
"On top of my addiction to noodles and book buying, I had a weakness for doughnuts."
Yes! totally relatable. Instant like. Girl, you speak my language!
The beginning sets the tone and the excitement of the competition and Lana's mother's total obsession for winning, and the drama of the snarky judge and spurned contestants from previous contests. It's all ripe for murder motives I tell ya! The fact that any one of them could be a suspect really had me on my toes. There was one character who was obviously suspicious but the author wrote it in way that you could totally second guess yourself. I mean, Lana did... a lot.
One aspect that I wasn't too excited about was the dynamic between Lana and her boyfriend Adam. Since this was my first book to read from the series I might have missed the connection and the familiarity, but for someone who comes into this new, like me, it could be a little confusing. There seemed to be no real chemistry between them. Adam, being a cop, was the cliche' protective one who didn't want Lana getting involved with cases (well duh), but he was a little to authoritative in that department. It wasn't really romantic, and even in the story they say that they don't really see each other a lot, so no romance building. So, it was a meh for me on that.
For an amateur sleuth perspective this one was fun to read. I really got to like all of Lana's friends and the interesting stores that she is surrounded by. I would read more in this series, just to see what else could happen to poor Lana. Plus, give me all of the noodles!
If you're one of the lucky ones and plan on heading to the beach this summer, well I've got a book recommendation for you! Barefoot Beach by Debbie MIf you're one of the lucky ones and plan on heading to the beach this summer, well I've got a book recommendation for you! Barefoot Beach by Debbie Mason provides fun, family dynamic, sweet romance, matchmaking grandmothers, and drama.
First off let me say that I couldn't get enough of this installment. I finished reading this after waking up in the middle of the night. 4 hours later, I knew this was one of my favorites in this series.
At first, I wasn't sure what to think of the main female protagonist, Theia. The first few chapters seem like there was something stuck up her butt. I didn't care for her attitude. But after some things were pointed out to her (you gotta love small towns), she softened a bit.
Marco, the hunky fireman, had a definite role in it. This whole series revolves around a large family trying to save Greystone Manor, which has been in their family for generations. It's rival in the next town is trying to buy them out and make room for condos.
So a lot of back and forth about family members either wanting to sell their share and being on Team Greystone. It's fun to read that's for sure.
If you also enjoy the fake relationship trope this one has some cute and funny scenes.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy, via Netgalley of this book.
One will find a truly unconventional heroine in Death and the Harlot by Georgina Clarke. If that sort of thing piques your interest then you're sure to love Lizzie Hardwicke, a gentlewoman turned prostitute, who finds herself trying to clear her name from suspicion of murdering a client.
Death and the Harlot
Death and the Harlot takes place during Georgian England. It's always a nice change from the often used Victorian era. The author makes good use of the seedy underbelly of England in what was a time during the Industrial Revolution.
Lizzie's character is quite unlike those one would expect to read about. She's not shy about being a prostitute and frankly I don't mind. Her exploits are not completely detailed except for the key descriptive factors of her clients. So it's not all about the act of prostitution, but more about the lives of herself and the girls she lives with, including the madam of the brothel.
But boy howdy the opening scene is one to really set the tone of her character and the rest of the story. Her disgust with her current client is felt thoroughly and was utterly cringe worthy. It had me thinking, "This is our heroine?" The answer to that my dear reader is a resounding YES!
"I am a whore, not a fortune-teller."
Lizzie's character grew on me slowly and her interactions with her fellow brothel mates actually made me grin on a few occasions. She's a total sweetie, but also hardened by the lifestyle that she was not expecting to happen to her. Her fortitude is put the test when she finds herself as a key suspect in a client's murder.
Enter Constable William Davenport, a sort of quintessential gruff guy who disapproves of Lizzie's "occupation" and totally doesn't trust her. (Okay, if that doesn't count for some sexual tension, I don't know what does.--Which, btw, I'm totally banking on to blossom and grow in future installments. *Fingers crossed*). They incidentally do have the certain chemistry developing and he grudgingly approves of her help to solve the murder. Because her livelihood is at stake and those of whom she has grown to think of as family.
The story picks up pace after the main event and I grew to love the mystery even more. Lizzie's adventure takes her around the shady streets of London and although her character doesn't take offense to her being shunned and called "whore" by "respectable" people, then I did for her. I felt protective of this harlot (sorry Lizzie) and was rooting for her wherever she went.
Lizzie does keep some strange company as friends but that's what makes this an even more enjoyable read. I liked the semi surprising ending ( I really did have my suspicions), I like how all the clues added up to that plausible result.
I'm really hoping for more in this series, since it is called "A Lizzie Hardwicke" novel, so I'm kind of impatient. Wonder what else could happen to her?...more
Not bad for a Victorian thriller. While stepping into this out of order, it wasn't too hard to get used to the characters. Thomas De Quincey was apparNot bad for a Victorian thriller. While stepping into this out of order, it wasn't too hard to get used to the characters. Thomas De Quincey was apparently a real person so I'm not an expert on the history. It was a fast paced read with a creepy and psychotic villain terrorizing the upper class. A sort of vendetta plot. I could see myself picking up the other books in the series....more
I'm a sucker for David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. Hands down the best actor to portray that role. So naturallyOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
I'm a sucker for David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. Hands down the best actor to portray that role. So naturally when I saw that he was narrating this audiobook, it was an instant buy for me.
Kind of fun knowing that the actor that plays Colonel Hastings was also in it. But! Not all of the short stories were narrated by Suchet. Not a total disappointment but it was weird that Hugh Fraser took on the Poirot role.
Anyway, these were fun short stories. The only complaint I had was that they kind of ended abruptly right before the next story fired up. They totally could have been longer. I really couldn't tell you one that really stood out to me from this set, but I did enjoy it for what it was worth....more
This audiobook is perfect for Alien's fans and Sci-Fi readers alike. It takes place right after the first Alie Originally posted on lampshadereader.com
This audiobook is perfect for Alien's fans and Sci-Fi readers alike. It takes place right after the first Alien movie ends. Ripley has been in cryo sleep for over 30 years.
Listening to this was like watching a movie, but better. There were realistic sound effects that didn't distract from the storytelling at all. It's hard to talk about this book because everything could be a spoiler, but it stays true to what Alien is and always will be: characters that you like will die. It's a sad fact but that's how gorey stories go.
I gotta say the woman who voices Ripley's character sounds exactly like Sigourney Weaver that I had to double check to make sure it wasn't her.
Rutger Hauer (for fans of Blade Runner) is perfect in his role. This series written by Tim Lebbon is considered canon....more
Claire's story is a heartfelt one. Suffering from PTSD, she struggles to findOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
-Received a copy from NetGalley.-
Claire's story is a heartfelt one. Suffering from PTSD, she struggles to find her center. After being a victim to a terrorist shooting, Claire loses her future and her sense of being safe in public places. She places her recovery around those who love her and her two closest friends Peyton and Steffi.
But a betrayal and the passage of time force Claire to become deadset in her views and insecurities. The small town playboy and brother to her now frenemy, comes back to town with a mission.
While I did not agree to Logan's motives (which were to try and win forgiveness on behalf of his sister), and his way of forcing Claire to obviously do what she didn't feel comfortable doing (which was to break out of her comfort barrier). I did appreciate that he was just trying to be a friend.
His sudden awareness about being attracted to her may have been a bit forced and Claire being the total opposite of him, may have contributed to me rolling my eyes a few times at both of them. Claire may seem to come off as bitter, but I guess she's earned it. Her family didn't help her situation either by always being worried and telling her to "be safe". Granted, she did need the push to break free, and Logan was totally responsible for all character growth for her. So it was nice to see his playboy character taken down a notch by grumpy Claire.
"For all the ways he'd criticized Claire for letting fear stop her from trying new things, he'd let fear stop him from grasping on to love."
I like the sub story of Claire and Steffi owning their own contracting business. Claire's love for decorating and design was a fresh spin on her otherwise tough character. It also plays a factor in bringing Logan and Claire together as well....more
My Favorite Cowboy is your quintessential romance with a little suspense throOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
-Received a copy from NetGalley.-
My Favorite Cowboy is your quintessential romance with a little suspense thrown in. You've got two characters who are dead set against serious relationships.
"He knew better than anyone that he had no intentions of settling down. He'd never be able to get past his abandonment issues enough to trust someone with his heart."
Well little does Caleb know that when he meets Audrey (a former HEA believer), sparks will fly and so will the zippers--to his pants. *ahem*
If you read further in the story you'll get this:
"Dammit, Audrey. Tell me to walk away!"
With that one word, he was lost. Utterly.
Besides those gems, I really did enjoy the plot including the horses. The whole suspense was Audrey trying to figure out who was poisoning them and why. While she becomes the target as well, it becomes quite an entertaining read.
While I did enjoy this, I wasn't really invested in the characters. I won't go out of my way to read the next one, but If I do come across it, I won't say no.
I jumped into this series with this one so you could as well. I enjoy Donna Grant's historical romances and it was a treat to read one of her contemporaries....more
Ah, Sebastian. He’s one hell of a butler after all. I’m currently watching the anime along with the Manga seriOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
Ah, Sebastian. He’s one hell of a butler after all. I’m currently watching the anime along with the Manga series. (Although TBH, I’m way behind on the Manga version). I have to say that I love it. Such a unique concept of a demon butler taking “care” of a young Earl during the Victorian Era. Quite a lot to take in but the story isn’t so hard to grasp.
In volume 2, they are still trying to figure out Jack the Ripper’s identity and a fun, but creepy little snafu happens to Ciel. Towards the end of this volume is a sad realization and the moment where I thought that this was a great Manga. Full of surprises, laughs, fantasy, and food. Yes, the food still is prominent. I want all of it....more
One of my favorite Woman's Fiction authors, Jamie Beck, brings us a new book series set in Sanctuary Sound, Connecticut. The Memory of You has all of the signatures true to a Jamie Beck story and will guarantee a few heartbreaking themes as well as heartwarming.
This series brings a certain divergence from a typically book by Jamie Beck. A form of PTSD plays a major role in each of the heroine's lives and while Steffi's is not completely explained in every detail, it's pretty much apparent what happened to her.
Steffi moves back to her hometown to recover from a mugging (and horrid assault) that happened to her. For those who don't like to read about those kind of themes, no worries, nothing is really explained in full detail, just implied. That experience causes Steffi to space out and causes some added troubles for her.
She has a small business of home remodeling with her childhood friend and she finds that moving back to her hometown is not without troubles as well.
Enter: an old flame.
This story also has the second chance at romance trope. Steffi and Ryan's relationship was hard won but well worth the emotional trust roller coaster. Steffi ghosted Ryan during college for completely selfish, but understandable reasons: (she wanted to live her life and didn't want to get tied down). While it is a cruel way to dump someone, I felt like Ryan wanted to hold on to that grudge way too long.
"He'd changed, no doubt. She'd started that ball rolling; then his wife and his job had exposed him to even more injustice, making him cynical and, sometimes, bitter."
Thankfully, that doesn't last too long in the story, and Steffi's problem is the main concern to the story and plot. However, let me point out the little gem that is their relationship when it does get rolling again:
"Time slowed while they held each other's gaze, shoulder to shoulder, flashbacks floating around them like dandelion fluff. He suppressed the sudden urge to kiss her right there in the moonlight."
The Memory of You is really such a robust read, full of relevant themes that can speak to a lot of people out there. While it tips the scale more towards Women's Fiction, it has enough romance in it to really balance it out. The friendships and family theme are prominent and introduces new characters that I can grow to love....more
While this is listed as a YA book, I would take into account the subject matter of the book. Jack the Ripper iOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
While this is listed as a YA book, I would take into account the subject matter of the book. Jack the Ripper is an interesting subject and one that I have been reading about for awhile. Since his crimes (murders of prostitutes in the most horrendous way) were never solved, there is plenty of room for fictional speculation. Stalking Jack the Ripper has an interesting tag line: I was the girl who loved The Ripper.
That line alone made me go into the story with high expectations and it actually made me think that the mystery would be cut an dry. However, expect a lot of smoke and mirrors, because there are actually a few more suspects than I thought there would be.
I loved the constant question that I was asking myself: Who the heck is it really?
It's a gritty world, as Victorian London is wont to be. Audrey Rose, our protagonist, takes some getting used to. She does fall into strong woman category, but I could not find her endearing. Her questionable decisions which had the potential to put her in danger, were a little annoying because of how her character was supposed to be level headed and "smart".
Besides that, it was a fairly fast-paced read that kept me on my toes. I really enjoyed the secondary characters and the unique take on the infamous murders. It also has a sort of Steampunk feel to it, for those who enjoy that genre. Some chapters do have images (not from the actual murder scenes) but ones that tie in with what's going on in the story.
"The dead speak to those who listen. Be quieter than even them."
Quite possibly my favorite installment so far in The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw series. I really enjoyed the setting of this story and the whole macQuite possibly my favorite installment so far in The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw series. I really enjoyed the setting of this story and the whole macaron incident was fun.
Caity's relationship with Declan develops even more so and her ongoing research into her family history continues with even more surprises revealed.
Overall, I really liked this one and found that Caity keeps growing as a character and she has matured a lot since the first book. ...more
I'm not usually prone to jump on really popular books because I've quite often been underwhelmed by them. GirOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
I'm not usually prone to jump on really popular books because I've quite often been underwhelmed by them. Girls of Paper and Fire was in my November OwlCrate box so I decided to give it a go. It turned out that this was a book that I couldn't put down. I was pleasantly surprised by all that this book had to offer.
"Even that which seems impossible at first can be overcome by strength of mind and heart."
**Just a little warning to those who might be sensitive to certain themes in books. This has instances of sexual abuse/rape in it. Although not explained in detail, the reader is aware of it happening.**
In the world of Ikhara, humans and non-humans (demons) live in a contentious environment ruled by a demon King. Lei is in a villiage that prefers not to interfere too much with politics and hopefully stays out of the King's notice. However, when Lei's mother is taken forcibly from her home, the unfortunate village must come to terms with all that is around them. After that event, Lei's life becomes routine again until it's her unlucky fate to be taken by the King's General.
There's so much world building in this book with interesting characters. The demons are actually human/animal hybrids. Ox/human, bear/human, bird/human, etc. They, of course are the higher caste. Lei, being human, is on the lowest level and treated horribly. They are called paper skin because of their vulnerability and thin skin. Lei really has two things to look forward to, finding her mother and finding out what her word is. Or in other words her birth-blessing. Everyone gets one at birth and it determines the fate of the person wearing it. Their word is revealed on their 18th birthday.
It's this birth-blessing that carries Lei through after her abduction and forced into the harem of the King. With 8 other paper girls, Lei lives in fear for the time that she gets called to be with the King. It really is such a nail biting and heart wrenching story. Natasha Ngan has such a way with words that it flows really easily. Despite such a vast world, with politics and rules, it really was not overwhelming. It's really easy to get caught up with the everyday struggles of Lei. It was amazing to read about Lei's growth throughout. How it really was just about her when she first arrived at the palace and how it took love to make her open her eyes and really figure out what was going on around her.
While the ordeals of all the girls was horrible and the King a total douche of a character, I loved the friendships that were forged and Lei's forbidden love. Her tenacity to fight back and her ability to fiercely protect those she cares about make the climax of this book even more amazing.
I have to say Lei's and Wren's love is the sweetest love story that I have ever read. I love those two girls and I can't wait to see what the next book in the series brings them. The story sort of ends in a cliff hanger, but not one that I'm mad at really. I'm curious to know more about Lei's unique eyes and what it really means as well.
A little side note:
I didn't know how much this excerpt from the book would be quoted everywhere, but when I read it, it pretty much summed up my whole experience with the book, so I'm quoting it too. :)
We might be Paper Girls, easily torn and written upon. The very title we’re given suggests that we are blank, waiting to be filled. But what the Demon King and his court do not understand is that paper is flammable. And there is a fire catching among us.
I knew about the TV series before I knew that it was based on the book by Caleb Carr. I picked up this prettyOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
I knew about the TV series before I knew that it was based on the book by Caleb Carr. I picked up this pretty hefty book because I enjoy the setting and genre. Set during the Gilded Age of America, 1896, it follows the story of a reporter and his friend psychologist (Alienist), Dr. Laszlo Kreizler as they try to solve murders of young boy prostitutes.
It's an immense world that takes time to adjust too. The author tends to be very descriptive when it comes to locations and ambiance. It's really slow going in the beginning, but the plot definitely picks up after the first murder and it becomes more enjoyable once the characters are introduced.
The murders are actually quite gruesome. But it actually makes the reader feel invested as the characters are to find the murderer.
I loved the camaraderie between John (the reporter) and Dr. Kreizler. It has a Poirot/Captain Hastings feel to it, but a little different.
The story plays on the prejudices against foreigners and the hardships therein. (One of the main reasons, the boys were taking on prostitution).
Crime scene descriptions are very detailed, so if you are opposed to that, this is not the book for you.
Such detail to everything, made it more real....more
What more can I say about Angel? Rather, how much more can I say about her character and how much she grows onOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
What more can I say about Angel? Rather, how much more can I say about her character and how much she grows on me every time I delve into this wonderful series.
I listen to this series in audiobook format, which I highly recommend. Allison McLemore, brings the southern twang without being cringey and cliche’. However, I did notice that 3/4 of the way through this book it sounded like the narrator had a cold and Angel’s character sounded stuffy.
I did enjoy the plot of this book a lot. The whole movie set zombie idea with real life zombies thrown in the mix was fun and suspenseful. Angel really has the worst luck and it is turned up to the max in this one. As far as the romance goes, it was not hot and heavy. Not complaining, because I really think Angel does not need that right now....more
For those of you who read my blog, you might know that I'm a total fan gOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
Received a review copy from NetGalley.
For those of you who read my blog, you might know that I'm a total fan girl for Lady Mechanika. These eye candy graphic novels are such a treat to read and has made me 100% invested into the characters and this Steampunk world. The Clockwork Assassin is the perfect blend of Steampunk, murder and mystery.
Vol. 4: The Clockwork Assassin, follows Lady Mechanika in her hometown with a new threat and new adventure. Besides, my sexy Detective Inspector Singh is back in this installment *squee!*. This time however, Lady Mechanika and her side-kick friend Mr. Lewis are the chief suspects in an investigation involving murders of high profile people.
I rather enjoyed this one simply because it had more elements of Steampunk in it than the previous installment. I'm also hoping for a little romance between Lady Mechanika and Inspector Singh in the future because the chemistry is strong between those two. It's always just a tease; I just know it's coming.
As always, the art is lovely to look at and it's fun to see the cover variations at the end of the story.
There might be a little cliff hanger-y type ending to this one. I'm not mad at that though. It's just a hint of a villain that will probably evolve to become worse than present. So, in one word: chills. Super excited for the next adventure.
If you like graphic novels, kick ass heroines, and steampunk, well...what are you waiting for!? Read these from the beginning to get the scope of the world (and backstory) to Lady Mechanika.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
I've practically waited a long time for Hal's story. That cute little rambunctious kid, all grown up and a knight no less. A ladies man through and through, I enjoyed seeing Hal grow up (in character) in this story. Gift of Honor, follows Hal's journey through the tumultuous time of King Richard II's rule of England; and finding love as well.
Hal certainly does not have it easy being a knight during King Richard II's rule. This little back story takes place throughout the books in this series and it's nice to learn a little history at the same time. (BTW, it's not necessary to read these books in order). Serving King and Country is what he has learned to do and wants to live up to his Brother's and Father's example.
Through unfortunate circumstances Hal finds himself bereft of his honor and shamed. On his desolate journey back to his home he encounters Elinor. Although, one might say it's wasn't in the best of circumstances. However, their love does bloom in the close confines of a little cottage and through the bonding with falcons.
Now, it's Elinor's story that really pulls at the heartstrings. Why is it that there always has to be a harpy of a woman behind every heartbreaking story? (well make that: one horrible Father, one spineless Cousin, and one absolutely horrendous (deserved her fate) harpy of a woman). But I digress. I did find that I enjoy my heart being dragged through mud before receiving my reward of reading a HEA.
Elinor was an interesting character in that she is a Medieval woman who knows about Falconry. (Put that down as one of my favorite jobs a historical heroine can have.) That also includes, her independence and as her relationship with Hal grew, her sense of low self worth. The "I'm not good enough for him" mentality. Which, in fact, made me want to shake her towards the end of the story. But, I still loved her, and her story. ...more
The girls at Two Love Lane are a pleasure to read about. While Second COriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
Received a review copy from Netgalley.
The girls at Two Love Lane are a pleasure to read about. While Second Chance at Two Love Lane is book 3 in the series, it does read as a standalone. Having missed reading the second book in the series, I did not feel that I missed any storyline since this book focuses on Ella.
It was a light read, full of giggly moments and sweet romance. I found that I enjoy reading stories including fictional movie stars. It brings a sort of new dilemma in relationships involving movie stars and regular people. How would they make it work? The scheduling, fame, and all that. As the title of the book states, Ella and Hank get a second chance at their relationship. While Hank is a big movie star, Ella has put her dreams of also becoming a star on hold and now works at Two Love Lane as a matchmaker.
The story has a Rom-Com feel to it when Ella and Hank find themselves in the same town and same house after all those years apart. It really was a cute read, and had the added drama of Ella's large Italian family thrown in for good measure. However, I don't feel like that side story added much to the main plot.
Author Kieran Kramer excels with creating very likeable characters and creating fictional friendships that are fun to read and follow....more
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
All good things must come to an end. Sad to see that this wonderful series is over. The last story in the Dark Destinies series, Dark Child of Forever, follows Dominic's and Cassidy's adventure to the ultimate climax.
S.K. Ryder brings vampires to a whole new level.
Vampires are simply vampires, but in the Dark Destinies Dominic wants to unite vampires and convert them into beings of love, not hatred nor fear. This journey sees Dominic evolving from just a youngling vampire into the master of all. Of course his quest to see his dreams come true must come with road bumps. The biggest one called, Adilla. Quite honestly, a brat with anger issues.
Dominic's and Cassidy's relationship grows.
If you love getting the "feels" reading about characters, Dominic and Cassidy is the perfect example. Having read the first two stories in this trilogy, one can really get a feel about how much these too have grown. One being a vampire and the other human bring all of the expected problems, but this story actually focuses on it. I loved that Dominic wanted to give Cassidy a child, but obviously couldn't. (BTW--major tears with this story-NO SPOILERS).
Secondary characters that I actually love now.
One character that has truly evolved is Jackson. Hate for vampires was his major personality trait. But his growth was a major "aww" moment. He was actually cute. (You could not have gotten this response from me in book 1 and 2).
I wished Serge got more play in this story. Totally underrepresented. He is the quirkiest vampire that I've ever read about and was totally happy to read his HEA as well.
OMG this ending. Totally satisfying, but sad for me because it's the end. So glad that the author gave the reader what they wanted and still keeping the integrity of the story.
Y'all I LOVE THIS SERIES. But if you want to read it, start from book 1....more