27 March 2015

Tour & Review: A Matter of Temperance by Ichabod Temperance

In a past that never was...

The year is 1869. Earth experiences the close pass of a comet never before seen. In its wake, many of Terra's inhabitants find themselves changed. Among men, prodigies rise in unprecedented numbers, while many ordinary adults suddenly find themselves possessed of preternatural genius. Likewise, non-hominid animals become self-aware and intelligent.

Fast forward to 1875. A young “comet prodigy” from humble beginnings, Ichabod Temperance, has become the world's foremost inventor. He travels to England to deliver his latest brilliant invention to a famous explorer, until Fate intervenes. Meanwhile, a lovely young Bluestocking, Miss Persephone Plumtartt, survives an experimental accident only to find herself imbued with a power she can neither understand nor control, while dark forces and malevolent creatures pursue her, leaving a gruesome wake of death. 

Yet, worse is to come. The naïve young inventor and the lovely intellectual find themselves fighting not only to save their own lives, but to prevent the destruction of all life on Earth.


Source: Blog Tour | Review Consideration

5 Words: Steampunk, sci-fi, disaster, supernatural, technology.

This was a very different steampunk story and I was very pleasantly surprised.

I read a lot of steampunk fiction and I've found that it usually tends to lean towards the fantastical. And while this was definitely fantastical it had far more of a science fiction base to it. And was surprisingly refreshing.

I loved the back story to the technology itself, how it all came about and how it affected different people. This universe has rules and it sticks to them.

I did sometimes find the creatures a little difficult to picture, but that didn't put me off. Probably made them more terrifying!

Persephone was absolutely my favourite character. She was headstrong and smart and I probably read Ichabod's parts of the story all the faster so I could get back to her narrative. That being said, I loved how enthusiastic he was, it was like when he told the story the words themselves bounced around in excitement. The voices telling the story were so distinct that even without the different fonts it was easy to tell who was speaking. Telling. Narrating. You know.

GIVEAWAY

Tour & Review: The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Café by Jenny Oliver

When Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say her newly inherited Dandelion Café has seen better days! And while her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London she remembers, Annie’s not convinced that Owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’ll be keeping for long. Not that she can bear the idea of letting her dedicated, if endearingly disorganized staff lose their jobs. Plus café life does also have the added bonus of working a stone’s throw away from millionaire Matt and his disarmingly charming smile!

One (shoestring budget) café makeover, a few delightful additions to the somewhat retro menu and a lot of cherry pie tastings later, The Dandelion Café is ready for its grand reopening! But once she’s brought the dilapidated old café back to life, Annie finds herself wishing her stay on the island was just a bit longer. She always intended to go back to the big city…but could island living finally have lured her back home for good?

Buy it Now!

Source: Blog Tour | Review Consideration | NetGalley Request

5 Words: Loyalty, memories, love, family, community.

This was a truly gorgeous read, and I loved every moment of my experience of Cherry Pie Island. I can't wait for the next book so I can jump back in!

I found that this book was very much a feel-good, fun, flirty book, perfect for cheering up even the dreariest of afternoons. It was relatively quick to read, and although I wanted more I was happy with how it ended.

The island is just adorable. It's a gorgeous little place that I just want to go to. Please. Now.

Annie accomplishes so much and as a reader I really felt for her. Jenny Oliver really goes all out and drags you into the very soul of her characters.

That ending? It was a little shocking and although one part of me wishes it had ended differently, I feel that that ending was perfect for the story.

Now, I'm off to find some cherry pie. And I don't even like cherries. 

GIVEAWAY

Win an e-copy of The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Café, Part One of Cherry Pie Island!

24 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #29

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 From My Childhood (Or teen years) That I Would Love To Revisit.

This is probably the hardest list to write, because even as a child I loved books. Although definitely not as much as I do now. So here is a list of the various books I loved as a child, or at least the ones that I still remember as vividly as when I first read them or had them read to me.
  1. Son of Black Beauty by Phyllis Briggs
  2. My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards
  3. The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
  4. Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson
  5. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
  6. The Twins at St. Clare's by Enid Blyton
  7. What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge
  8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
  9. Katie Morag Delivers the Mail by Mairi Hedderwick
  10. Tim Catchamouse by Sheila K. McCullagh


Want to know something really sad? Two of these are out of print and it breaks my heart that I'll never read them again. We passed all of our books on to our very large extended family, who then passed them on, and on, and on. So now they are lost.

What's your favourite childhood book?


My mum says The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen was the one I loved THE MOST EVER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD until I was about seven. I'd ask her to read it several times a day. Every day. And then the dog ate it. Or so she said...


21 March 2015

Review: First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan

Happily-Ever-After isn’t on Emily Donovan’s agenda…
Emily’s been too swept up in a challenging year of firsts, from becoming a stand-in mum to her niece Lizzy to moving to remote but beautiful Puffin Island, to think about love.

But that’s before charismatic local yacht club owner Ryan Cooper kisses her…

Ryan knows Emily has a complicated past that she’s struggling to face. So he makes it his mission to help her unwind and enjoy the chemistry they share.

Can the welcoming community of Puffin Island work their magic on Emily and get her to take her biggest leap of trust yet —putting her heart in someone else’s hands?5 Words: Fame, family, love, relationships, island.


Source: Purchase

5 Words: Fame, family, love, relationships, island.

How does Sarah Morgan do it? How does she manage to take you away to these perfect places? I'd already fallen in love with Snow Crystal with her last series, and with this new one, I am so in love with Puffin Island.

This was a fantastic read, a perfect escape.

Emily is a fantastic character, and I loved how she changed as you read. The further the story progressed, the more she grew up and discovered who she was. I loved the tension and the attraction, how when Ryan and Emily collided it was breath taking.

The island community is pretty awesome, and makes for a few smiles and giggles. It's a small place and seemingly everyone knows everyone else, and they all have each other's backs.

This is a pretty magical story that reminds you of the importance of family, whether they be your relations by blood or your best friends. 



19 March 2015

Review: Playing by the Greek's Rules by Sarah Morgan

It’s time to throw away the rule book...

Idealistic archaeologist Lily Rose craves a fairytale love, but in her experience it always ends in heartbreak. So now Lily’s trying a different approach – a fling with her boss, infamous Greek playboy Nik Zervakis!

Anti-love and anti-family, Nik lives by his own set of rules. There’s no one better to teach Lily how to separate sizzling sex from deep emotions! But, whilst Nik has the world at his feet, he also has dark shadows in his heart...

It starts as a sensual game, but can Lily stick to Nik’s rules? And, what’s more, can he..?


Source: Purchase

5 Words: Romance, family, relationships, love, forgiveness.

This book is pure indulgence. Sarah Morgan has done it again.

It's fair to say that this book is fun and flirty, and honestly? Quite fluffy. But sometimes that what you need, and this book is a perfect mood booster for a rainy day, something to brighten up a dull day and something to laze around with on a summers day.

This book is easy to dip in and out of, but I found that I didn't want to put it down.

It's crazy and passionate and gives you some insight into the Puffin Island characters - and I certainly hope Lily features some more in that series.

17 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #28

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 Spring TBR List.

Now, I have to be honest here... I'm not much of a forward planner when it comes to reading. I pick a book up, test the waters, see if it floats. I'm a mood reader and I love it. As such, this was a hard list to write! So here are the books I'm most anticipating this spring, even if I won't get round to them.

  1. Prudence by Gail Carriger
  2. Mind Games by Teri Terry
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses
  4. Weightless by Sarah Bannan
  5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  6. This Is Not A Love Story by Keren David
  7. The Beloved by Alison Rattle
  8. The Novice by Taran Matharu 
  9. Under My Skin by James Dawson
  10. The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Oh, would you look at that? A huge proportion of UKYA made it on to my list. It's just so darn awesome and these books all look amazing.

What's top of your TBR this spring?

16 March 2015

Blog Tour - Review + Giveaway: The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham


Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th century French girls can only dream of: Money, designer dresses, suitors and a secure future. Except, she suspects her heart may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithie in the family’s steam forge.

When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love.

Only the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure and restitution await her, if she can survive the voyage.


Source: Blog Tour | Review Consideration

5 Words: Steampunk, family, love, obligation, adventure.

It was so so good.

But goodness, this book could definitely do with having a better blurb. Because the awesomeness of this book is let down a little by it. If I hadn't just picked it up because of the title and cover, if I had read the blurb, I wouldn't have bothered. And I would have seriously missed out.

Marguerite, the main character, is very annoying at first. And I think she's supposed to be, because only if you can't stand her at first can you truly love her by the end.

It was a fantastic story, full of action and drama and a fantastic world. The bots were really something special, especially Outil.

This is a masterful steampunk story inspired by real events, and absolutely worth a read.

GIVEAWAY

  • Three (3) winners will receive a physical copy of The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham (INT)
  • Three (3) winners will receive a digital copy of The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham (INT)

03 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #27

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 You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVOURITE BOOKS SERIES from the past three years.

My actual all-time favourite list is subject to change. The top spot is always the same, because I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith is amazing and if you've never read it then you're seriously missing out, but when it comes to the rest of that list it's pretty fluid. And the past five years have been pretty epic for me when it comes to discovering new books and new authors.

These are my top ten favourite series that I've read/started in the past three years, and they're not necessarily that new themselves.
  1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
    Lets just throw the whole series in there as one entry, otherwise my whole list would be complete in just a few series. Throne of Glass has so many things going for it and although I didn't even like it at first it is AWESOME.
  2. Shades of London by Maureen Johnson
    This series! Seriously! I can't even... It's just amazing. I have a fierce love for ghosts and London and anything Ripper related, and this series blows my mind.
  3. At Somerton by Leila Rasheed
    You'll struggle to find any series as lavish and glamorous and sumptuous as this that still manages to stay completely down to earth.
  4. Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor
    This series was a bit of a surprise, because I hadn't been expecting to like it as much as I did. But with all sorts of mysteries and illicit happenings, I was hooked.
  5. Lacey Flint by Sharon Bolton
    You know when you read a book with an unreliable narrator and you just don't know what to think and you're constantly on your toes and trying to figure out what's true or real and what's not? This book is the absolute master of it.
  6. Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud
    Oh look, ghosts have made the list again! I guess it's an addiction, but there's something irresistible about the supernatural.
  7. Lust in the Tudor Court by Elizabeth Moss
    Let me just pause for a minute and fan myself. Because wow-sers, this series is HOT. Seriously hot.
  8. I am in love with Snow Crystal. If I could go to any fictional destination right now, I would chose Snow Crystal in a heartbeat. Because it sounds that amazing. And the people are so lovely. It sounds perfect.
  9. Oxford Blue by Pippa Croft
    There's something about this series that I just can't put my finger on. Something addictive and sexy and clever. Something that I could read again and again. Maybe it's the awesome characters, the amazing storyline or the astonishing settings, but I'm in love. And I hate Valentina.
  10. Stalking Sapphire by Mia Thompson
    I love Sapphire and how she lives this crazy double life, fooling almost everyone around her. I could barely stand the wait between the first two books and now I'm hoping and praying for a third. Because it was excellent.

What's your favourite series?