30 September 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #16

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

This week is Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read.

This list was quite a thought provoking one! So, on to the books and the reasons. Five good ones that were hard for me to read and five bad ones.

THE GOOD
  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
  2. The Midnight Rose
  3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
  4. A Dance of Ghosts by Kevin Brooks
  5. Timeless by Gail Carriger
THE BAD
  1. The Girl Who Never Was
  2. The Selection by Keira Cass
  3. Starcrossed
  4. The Bone Season
  5. Ink

What's yours?

28 September 2014

Review: An American Duchess by Sharon Page


It's 1922, and New York heiress Zoe Gifford longs for the freedoms promised by the Jazz Age. Headstrong and brazen, but bound by her father's will to marry before she can access his fortune, Zoe arranges for a brief marriage to Sebastian Hazelton, whose aristocratic British family sorely needs a benefactor. 

Once in England, her foolproof plan to wed, inherit and divorce proves more complicated than Zoe had anticipated. Nigel Hazelton, Duke of Langford and Sebastian's older brother, is as austere and imposing as the family's ancestral estate. Still reeling from the Great War, Nigel is now staging a one-man battle against a rapidly changing world—and the outspoken Zoe represents everything he's fighting against. 

When circumstances compel Zoe to marry Nigel rather than Sebastian, their heated quarrelling begets passion of another sort. But with Nigel unwilling to change with the times, will Zoe be forced to choose between her husband and her dreams?


Source: Purchase

5 Words: historical, romance, surprising, aristocracy, progress.

I got to around the half way point in this and thought "oh, what a sweet ending!"... But it wasn't the end.

An American Duchess takes a much used trope in historical romance and goes far beyond the usual happily-ever-after. Where most books end with the wedding and the honeymoon, this book goes far beyond.

This was a sweet book that had me totally engrossed. I couldn't tear myself a way from the pages. The characters really came to life and I loved reading about Zoe and her passions. And she was one hell of a passionate character.

Langford was a little bit infuriating at times, but it was the way his character was. Watching him develop and grow and change was fantastic, and it really upped the power of this story.

This book is Downton Abbey meets My Last Duchess, with a dash of Girl Power for good measure. I loved it and will definitely look out for more of this authors work!

And look at that cover. Just sit and stare at it. I did.

25 September 2014

Review: Diamonds and Deceit by Leila Rasheed

The London Season of 1913 is in full swing, and Rose has never felt more out of place. She can't help but feel like a servant dressed up in diamonds and silk. Then she meets Alexander Ross, a young Scottish duke. Rose has heard all sorts of gossip about Alexander, but he alone treats her as a friend. Rose should know better than to give her heart to a man with a reputation, but it may already be too late.

Meanwhile, Ada's also feeling miserable. She should be happy - she's engaged to a handsome man who shares her political passions and has promised to support her education. So why does she feel hollow inside? She knows that without this marriage, her family will be ruined, but it seems that in matters of love, the Averley's can only follow their hearts...


Source: Purchase

5 Words: Lavish, historical, romance, betrayal, scandal.

I am in love with this series.

Yet again, Leila Rasheed plunges us into the luxurious world of the people at Somerton and I loved it.

This series will be one I can easily reread again and again. I love the characters and how they all have their own distinct voices and personalities that really come through when you're reading from their perspective.

I was so disappointed in Laurence. He was so good around Ada, a different person really, and if he hadn't been such a dick-head it could have actually worked. But Charlotte isn't totally to blame, from reading her perspective I really understand her motives. I actually pitied her a little bit! But her mother? Well, I definitely don't like Lady Westlake.

Rose really struggled in this book, even more than in the first book. But she's such a strong character and I loved how everything ended for her. I could read about Rose all day, and how she gallantly stumbles through the life she's thrust in to. She puts up with so much, coping with some of the nastiest people and most awkward situations.

This book is just as lavish and extravagant as the first, perhaps even more so. And now I have so long to wait for the next one!

23 September 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #15

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

This week is Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read list.

Why are these lists always so hard? Not many new releases here, mostly stuff that's been sat on my TBR and that I'm finally going to get round to reading. Hopefully. Think I'll get through them?

  • The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
  • Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
  • Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin
  • Geek Girl: Model Misfit by Holly Smale
  • Trouble by Non Pratt
  • Slated by Teri Terry
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Heart of Dread: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
  • The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper
  • An American Duchess by Sharon Page

What are you going to read this fall?

21 September 2014

Showcase Sunday #17


Showcase Sunday is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea and is a chance for everyone to show off what they've acquired during the week.

Lots of lovely books this week, I can't wait to share them all with you! And, a giveaway is coming up this week as I review some books I picked up at a certain author event. Also, a bookswap with my guest-blogger!

THE HAUL


I reviewed Secrets and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed earlier this week and I loved it so much - I just had to get the Diamonds and Deceit straight away! Burn for Burn has been on my TBR for a long long time and there's been a lot of praise for the series with the third book coming out, so I finally just got it. The Girl in the Steel Corset piqued my interest a while ago - I quite enjoy steampunk stories. So really it's the same story for Ruby Red, I'd heard a lot of good things about this one too.


Steph's coming over later today to do another book swap, but I just couldn't wait to share this weeks book haul with everyone.

18 September 2014

Review: Secrets and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

One house, two worlds...

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies' maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can't help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada's beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family's honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name-but it would mean giving up her one true love... Someone she could never persuade her father to accept.


Source: Purchase

5 Words: History, romance, upstairs, downstairs, responsibility.

If you like Downton Abbey, you'll love this. I did. Secrets and Sapphires nicely filled up that empty gaping hole that's been sat inside of me while I wait for series five.

I loved the intrigue and the lifestyle and even the class system. I loved the whole upstairs, downstairs relationships and how Rose was so torn by how those relationships were starting to change. She's such a loyal and proper young girl, such a gem of a character. She has all of this ammunition and never once does she use it.

I also loved how Ada had all of these internal conflicts. As much as she wanted one thing, she wanted another just as much. But there's no way she can have both. And I'm not sure whether she'll be happy with the compromise she was offered at the end, but I think it was a quite happy medium and I hope her feelings start to change.

This book is luxurious and extravagant, deceptive and eccentric... This book has a bit of everything, all set against the lavish backdrop of Somerton.

As unbelievable as the ending was, I even liked that! This book was pure escapism, and such a pleasure to read

I can't wait to get my hands on the next book.

16 September 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #14

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

This week is Top Ten Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More.

This was a hard one! There are so many authors I just haven't gotten round to reading more of, but they're on my list. I'll get to them. One day. Maybe. Eventually. I hope. So on to my list, as always in no particular order...

  • Lucina Riley
    I read The Midnight Rose earlier this year and I loved it. It was all kinds of wonderful, a truly beautiful if dauntingly long book.
  • Elizabeth Wein
    It was when I listened to the audiobook of Code Name Verity that I feel in love. I don't know what it was, but the mix of Wein's writing and Christie's narration made me fall in love.
  • Sarah Dessen
    When I was younger, I'd look at Sarah Dessen's books then think "eh, one day" and head for Sarra Manning instead, but oh my. When I read Last Chance I was charmed.
  • Dawn O'Porter
    I don't think I can put into words how much of an awesome book Paper Aeroplanes is. Which is why I don't understand why I haven't read Goose yet, despite having a signed copy sitting looking pretty.
  • Mandy Baggot
    Made in Nashville was just such a fun read. Thinking back to it makes me smile, months on, and I really want to read it again. So why haven't I picked up another of her books? I'm not sure.
  • Tania Unsworth
    The One Safe Place was one of the first books I reviewed on the blog this year, and it's still one I think back to. It was fantastic, well written and jam-packed with wonderful world building.
  • Katie Flynn
    I think I had the wrong idea about her books - I thought they were your typical romantic sagas that you'd find lounging in charity shops. How wrong was I? A Christmas to Remember opened my eyes.
  • Geoffrey Gudgion
    It's safe to say that I'm not a fan of horror, but Saxon's Bane blew my mind. With it's typically British subtlety and the creepiest atmosphere I've ever experience when reading, I'm definitely a fan.
  • Rainbow Rowell
    I read Eleanor & Park a while ago, it was one of the first books I read in 2013, and I can only remember how much I enjoyed it. But I'm not sure if any of her other books appeal to me in quite the same way?
  • Leila Rasheed
    I've only just read it, but Secrets and Sapphires was so lavish and such a pleasure to read that I can't wait to get my hands on the next one.

What about you?


14 September 2014

Showcase Sunday #16

Showcase Sunday is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea and is a chance for everyone to show off what they've acquired during the week.

Lots of lovely books this week, I can't wait to share them all with you! And, a giveaway is coming up this week as I review some books I picked up at a certain author event. Also, a bookswap with my guest-blogger!

THE HAUL


All of the lovely books! Acid is a NETBA book that I've been after for a while, but had always been sold out, so when I saw it I had to grab it. My little sister picked out Since You've Been Gone, I had some Waterstones points to spend and couldn't decide on a second book.


Acid by Emma Pass
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Mateson
Langdown Manor by Sue Reid
The Poppy Factory by Liz Trenow
One Last Dance by Judith Lennox

THE BOOKSWAP


This is where me and Steph get together to swap and talk books over a drink. Because that's what two bookish best friends do best.


Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade by Oliver Bowden
The Glimpse by Claire Merle
The Doomspell by Cliff McNish
Fated by Alyson Noel
Echo by Alyson Noel
Mystic by Alyson Noel

What have you got this week?

04 September 2014

Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L Armentrout

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi - pure-bloods - have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals - well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:
Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.

Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem - staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.


5 Words: family, school, training, plotting, death.

This book surprised me a little. I wasn't altogether sure that I was enjoying it at first and a lot of it seemed awfully familiar. But by the time I reached the end I was ready for the next one.

As predictable as a lot of the story was, there were twists and turns and I kept reading. And I want to keep reading. 

I wasn't sure about the main character, but she definitely grew on me. I loved the fact that she felt pain. I loved that when she returned she couldn't just slip back in with no problems and that she hurt all over. It made it a much more believable storyline.

02 September 2014

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway: Forecast by Elise Stephens

Calvin isn't a teenager, not really; instead, he’s spent his life trying to protect his mother and sister from his alcoholic father. Calvin keeps a knife close and sleeps with one eye open, even years after his father has left the family. A summer vacation spent at their late grandfather’s estate promises him and his sister the chance to leave their problems behind. 

Instead of blissful freedom, they find the old house harbors secrets at every turn, like a mysterious stone door in the forest with rumored powers to give its entrants the gift of future-seeing. When Calvin faces the return of his seemingly-reformed father, he throws himself through the door to receive the gift of foresight. But the door offers more doubt than certainty, and the future he sees is riddled with disturbing confusion. With a revenge-obsessed lawyer hunting him down and a secret society out to control him, Calvin must figure out how to stop what he’s started before he loses what he holds most dear. 

As he battles the legacies of his past and the shadows of his future, Calvin must accept help from unlikely sources, give trust he never thought possible, and learn that the greatest challenges lie not in the things to come, but in the present moment.


5 Words: future, family, revenge, power, deceit.

You know when you get so caught up in an ebook that you don't even think to charge your kindle and then it dies when you're madly swiping to the next page and you want to cry?

Yes. That happened.

It's fair to say that this book is nothing like what I expected it to be.

I loved the relationship between Calvin and Cleo and how much Cleo changed - she needed to grow a pair and she did. And I loved how Natalie put such a spanner in the works.

The whole Forecast thing was a little weird and I didn't understand it, especially when it came to VisumOris, but the characters didn't seem to understand it either.

This was a good book about seeing the future, and I loved the restrictions and problems that come with such power.

GIVEAWAY