Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review of Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex

Title/Author: Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex
Publisher/Date published: St. Martin's Press, July 31st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "For generations, the Kents have served proudly with the British Royal Navy. So when her younger brother refuses to report for duty, Sally Kent slips into a uniform and takes his place — at least until he comes to his senses. Boldly climbing aboard the Audacious, Sally is as able-bodied as any sailor there. But one man is making her feel tantalizingly aware of the full-bodied woman beneath her navy blues...
Dedicated to his ship, sworn to his duty — and distractingly gorgeous — Lieutenant David Colyear sees through Sally’s charade, and he’s furious. But he must admit she’s the best midshipman on board — and a woman who tempts him like no other. With his own secrets to hide and his career at stake, Col agrees to keep her on. But can the passion they hide survive the perils of a battle at sea? Soon, their love and devotion will be put to the test..."

Guys, if I can tell you one thing about my reading habits, it's that I love a good crossdressing. Even though sometimes it's just ridiculous that not everyone sees through the dirt/hat/whatever sort of cover up. I don't know many women who could pass for a man.
That said, I LOVE IT! And in a romance novel it usually creates wonderful tension and excitement and OMG! WHEN WILL I BE DISCOVERED moments.

So I was all kinds of excited when I read the summary for Almost A Scandal. And then I started reading. And waited for the good stuff. And waited. And then waited some more. I'm sad to say it never really got to the point where I got excited about the story itself or the writing.

Sally is a nice enough heroine and I liked that she was really knowledgeable about everything midshipmen should be knowledgeable about. I know diddly-squat about this, but I respect a girl who actually applies herself to learning everything there is to know about what she in her heart of hearts wants to do. And with her having spent so much time on her father's ship, it seemed logical that she'd have the required skills. I did think that she was a bit too perfect, she was liked by EVERYBODY, even those who did not like her at first. It was just a little hard to believe at times.

I liked David, but I never really fell for him like I wanted to. He was a little too rigid and the last couple of chapters put me off a bit. I was really angry at him for things I shall not mention in lieu (why yes, I do know some fancy words) of spoiling certain happenings.

David discovers pretty quickly that Sally is in fact a girl without a real OH NO! moment for Sally and I was disappointed by this. I love the big discovery moments! For me this also diminished the tension between the two. I don't know how else to put it, but the romance was missing that little oomph that makes me feel all the things.

As a first in the series, I got a bit overwhelmed by all the family members in the later chapters as they seemed to make sort of random appearances. I wasn't really feeling the romance and without that driving me on, it read rather slow and was too much historical and not enough romance. Which is fine, but not what I was expecting from it.

My rating: 2 stars

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review of Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Title/Author: Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, August 21st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "After the grand explosion of her relationship, seventeen-year-old Max Scott developed what every girl in the history of the world has been waiting for: a way to get over being dumped. Now Max is the go-to guru for heartbroken high-school girls all over NYC. But when her ex unexpectedly shows up in her neighborhood, Max’s carefully controlled world starts to unravel. With her clients’ hearts hanging in the balance, Max will have to do the seemingly impossible: get over him once and for all."

I've heard great things about the Nanny Diaries by the same two authors and was really excited when I saw they'd written a YA novel! So of course I jumped at the chance to read and review this wonderful sounding book!

So I am a bit sad to say that I didn't end up enjoying this book as much as I wanted to. I think part of this was due to the writing style not really working for me. The third person present form for some reason made me feel like there was a big wall between me and the characters and I never fully succeeded in bridging that wall throughout the novel.

I didn't feel like I really got to know Max and that's probably what bothers me most. I felt like I was left hanging, like her friends were and I still don't really know how to describe her. I did like that she genuinely wanted to help other girls. She made some bad choices and was just not doing so well confronting her own problems, but that's what made her a bit more interesting.

I admit that I was kind of wondering what was so special about her that everyone listened to her, getting instructed about what to do to get over heartbreak and guys falling for her. I think this also goes back to the not really feeling like I got to know her thing. It was all slightly hard to believe for me.

Though the writing style was really not for me, the story itself was nice, it didn't blow me away, but it was a light read and had some funny moments.
My rating: 2,5 stars

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Daisy Update (19) and Book Haul (2)

Hi guys!

So I've been MIA a bit over the past 1,5 week. The weather gods decided it was time for a little tropical summer time in Holland and we suddenly had temperatures up to 40C over the weekend. And while I love our apartment very much, it's even hotter inside than out when the sun is shining, so I avoided it like the plague and fled to a nearby lake to survive the day in the shade. Which meant virtually no computer time, but it's raining again, so YAY CATCHING UP ON BLOGGING! :)

So last weekend was spent swimming, buying a new fridge (which I'm ridiculously excited about, we now have a fridge with a light, functioning freezer and basically IT WORKS, HOORAY!), going out to dinner and sitting on the balcony drinking rosé and sangria. It felt like a mini-vacation :)

Then on Monday my brother had to defend this master thesis and after that he graduated! I'm SO proud of him! We went out to dinner with my parents, his girlfriend and my boyfriend to celebrate and just had a wonderful time! I did feel a bit bad for the guys, cause they had to wear a suit in the heat, while I could just chill in my pretty dress :)

Work was a bit quieter this week, the floor I was working on is still half closed for the summer, so the number of patients is a lot more manageable than the floor I've been working the past 1,5 month, so that was kinda nice. I had my first ever on call evening Thursday and the patients and I both survived it, so yay!

Friday night the boyfriend and I just sat on the couch together and watched TV. We finally got around to watching Serenity after really liking Firefly and being SO disappointed the series ended after so few episodes... I enjoyed Serenity less than the series, but it was nice as well.

Yesterday I visited my parents, my brother also come over for dinner, it was fun to just hang out with our little family, we pretty much never do that anymore because of everyone's busy schedule. Later that night I went over to the boyfriend's parents' house and we stayed over and socialized there for a bit with his brothers and their girlfriends, which was nice as well.

Today is the day in which I will do nothing except catch up on blogging, reading and relaxing. And quite possibly watch the new ANTM episode :) The fact that it's been raining since I got up this morning is doing nothing to make me regret this decision ;)

Bookish Update: I've been a bit failing at reading this week because of all the business with family and a presentation at work. But I will try and catch up today! I also celebrated my second payday by buying 3 books (which in the grand scheme of things isn't even all that much, yay self control!).

My Book Haul for the past three weeks:
- The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margo Livesey
- Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
- THe Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima (already read and LOVED)
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- Lessons From a Scandalous Bride by Sophie Jordan (already read and LOVED)
- Auracle by Gina Rosati
- Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
- The List by Siobhan Vivian

- Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (SO MUCH LOVE!!!)
- Endlessly by Kiersten White

- Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I won this book from Sarah @ Sarah Says Read who is all kinds of wonderful and sent me a lovely card with the book! Thank you so much, I absolutely LOVE this book and can't wait to reread it!!

For review:
- The Mephisto Kiss by Trinity Faegen
- How To Disgrace a Lady by Bronwyn Scott
- The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente
- Crewel by Gennifer Albin
- The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
- Much Ado About Magic by Shanna Swendson
- Cleopatra Ascending by Maureen Lipinski
- How TO Deceive a Duke by Lecia Cornwall
- Victoria Rebels by Carolyn Meyer

I'm SO excited about all these books! And to show you one last time how ridiculously happy I was when my beautiful copy of Throne of Glass got here, I'll leave you with this picture:

I hope you're all having a nice Sunday and a wonderful week!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Review of Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Title/Author: Midnight in Austenland (Austenland #2) by Shannon Hale
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury Publishing, February 6th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.
Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And - perhaps of the most lasting importance - could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?"

I was really excited about Midnight in Austenland because ever since reading the first book, Austenland, I had been dying for more set in this wonderful place. I had also been hoping to hear more about Jane and the gentleman I can't remember the name of for some reason and if their happily ever after had lasted, but alas, we can't have it all.

I'm sorry to say that after reading Midnight in Austenland, I have to admit to liking Austenland better. It was a bit happier and more romancy than this one was and it worked better for me. But I did enjoy Midnight in Austenland as well! It just felt slightly darker and definitely more mature, which isn't a bad thing at all.

I really, REALLY liked Charlotte, she's been really hurt by her ex-husband and has put all her emotions away in order to deal with it. I liked how throughout Midnight in Austenland she realised just how much she had been hurt and how much of a scumbag her ex-husband actually was. I mean, seriously, I would have unmuzzled my lawyer and get every cent back if I'd been her, after kicking him in a sensitive place of course. Seriously, that guy was a first-class douchebag.
Anyway, Charlotte was curious and took action when needed and she was just really nice. And a true mama bear, which made me like her even more! The only thing that annoyed me were her constant conversation with her 'Inner Thoughts'. I mean, sure, I never have conversations with myself, but maybe some people do, but it was just a bit overdone and detracted from the story in my opinion.

The romance was sweet, even though I wasn't really feeling it. But the guy was nice (don't want to spoil anything by telling his name) and funny, I'd just really wanted to fall in love along with Charlotte and that didn't happen. I did love that near the end he shows that he's gotten to know her really well in the space of two weeks.

The dead body in the secret attic room thing didn't really work for me. It was rather convenient sometimes how Charlotte figured it all out and it felt a bit like a mad chase. It definitely added a darkness to it I hadn't been expecting.

I did really enjoy Midnight in Austenland, but I liked Austenland better and actually feel the urge to re-read that now. If you're into murder mystery/romance this will probably work better for you than it did for me, as I'm more a lover of straight up romance.

My rating: 3 stars

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review of Lessons From a Scandalous Bride by Sophie Jordan

Title/Author: Lessons From a Scandalous Bride (Forgotten Princesses #2) by Sophie Jordan
Publisher/Date published: Avon, July 31st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley and bought a finished copy

Goodreads summary: "A life can change in an instant...
No one knows this better than Miss Cleopatra Hadley, who went from poverty to plenty when she discovered one of England's richest men was her true father who wanted her to share his wealth... if she married into the upper echelons of Society. A high price to pay for someone whose mother taught her just how dangerous a marriage could be.
An imposing yet impoverished Scots nobleman, Lord Logan McKinney knows he must wed some vapid title-hunter with a substantial dowry in order to restore his once-thriving estate. Having the vibrant Cleo nearby, however, makes his task even more unpalatable—for she tempts him like no other woman... just as he's precisely the sort of man she most fears: exciting, unpredictable, fiercely passionate. But when attraction proves too powerful, they succumb to a kiss that quickly leads to lessons too scandalous for even the darkest nights."

Guys, I've raved about Sophie Jordan's amazing talent when it comes to writing swoonworthy historical romance before. And I'm going to do it again, cause I absolutely LOVED Lessons From a Scandalous Bride!!!

I mean, gosh, this was just everything I wanted from a historical romance! It had a likeable heroine who had issues that were not because of being a bit cray-cray in the head, but real issues. A swoonworthy hero who totally made me cry, wonderful tension and believable romance. ALL THE THINGS!

And like the first book in this series, Lessons From a Scandalous Bride flows seemingly effortlessly. I just flew through the book, it was wonderful! I love how Sophie Jordan introduces us to the characters and lets us get to know them without there being information dumps. I LOVE her way of storytelling!

I also really liked reconnecting somewhat with Marguerite, the main character from Wicked Nights With a Lover. She adds some humor to the story and it felt a bit like catching up with old friends.

Usually it's the female angst about the romance that has me in tears, but this time it was Logan who made me cry! He was just plain awesome and seriously, he sounds like my kind of guy: a mix of sensitive and all-maleness.

But really, I cannot somehwat incoherently gush about this novel and Sophie Jordan's writing in general enough! I repeat my statement: if you're interested in the genre AT ALL, you should read one of her novels. I absolutely adored this one, but they're all amazing. She made me feel ALL THE THINGS and bonus points for totally making me cry! LOVED IT!

My rating: 5 stars

Monday, August 20, 2012

Review of Secrets of an Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore

Title/Author: Secrets of an Accidental Duchess (Donovan Sisters #2) by Jennifer Haymore
Publisher/Date published: Forever, February 1st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess...
It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn't resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he'd fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a Madman at his own twisted game - or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart."

Sometimes a book starts out and you find yourself annoyed and wondering if you should read on. That happened to me with this one and I am SO extremely glad that I did read on! Cause it got so much better after the first couple of chapters! Don't let yourself be put off by them if you find yourself annoyed like I was, because Secrets of an Accidental Duchess turned out to be a lovely story!

So the thing that annoyed me was that the hero had this instant-possessiveness going on and well, that just really puts me off. He sees her across a ballroom and immediately thinks of her as 'his angel'. Yeah, that was kinda weird. But he totally redeems himself! And I was really liking him in a matter of chapters :)

You see, even though I have been known to LOVE historical romance that have two people fall in love over a short period of time (sometimes it's only a couple of days), it's also a bit weird. Cause you can't know someone well enough to love them in 2 days. That's not love, that's a crush, one that can easily turn into love, but it can't happen the first time you lay eyes on someone.
And Secrets of an Accidental Duchess didn't have this at all! I LOVED the fact that Max and Olivia are allowed to fall in love over an extended period and that they don't actually start their relationship off by physical contact but spend some serious time together. LOVED IT! It made my romantic little heart very happy!

The overprotectiveness of Olivia's sisters and their husbands was a bit annoying at times, but yeah, I kinda got over that because the romance was lovely. There's also a crazy evil guy in this story and even though I thought he could have been developed a bit better (he's pretty cartoonish and I actually thought he might pull out a cat and start petting it while going MUAHAHAHAHA and doing the pinky thing) (you guys do know Dr. Evil from Austin Powers right?) he did give the story something more than it just being a lovestory and I loved the friendship between one of Olivia's sisters and the wife of said evil loony.

I really liked Secrets of an Accidental Duchess and I've already added the other 2 books in the series to my to-read list, the excerpts at the end of this one were SO interesting I just have to get my hands on the other two!

My rating: 4 stars

Friday, August 17, 2012

Review of The Goddess Legacy by Aimée Carter

Title/Author: The Goddess Legacy (Goddess Test #2,5) by Aimée Carter
Publisher/Date published: HarlequinTeen, July 24th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "For millennia we've caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimée Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows.
Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness….
Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal.
Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another….
James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others; but never knew true loss before….
Henry/Hades's solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope…."


Guys, I am SO in love with this series! Aimée Carter just makes Greek Mythology come to life and I love the twists she's given to the myths!

You know how you sometimes wonder why people are/act the way they do? Well, in The Goddess Legacy you can find out about all the Greek gods I've come to love. And it's SO GOOD!

Calliope/Hera's story is really, really sad! She made a mistake early on and has suffered for it ever since. All she's ever wanted was for her husband to love her and be faithful to her, but we all know the stories about Zeus. Yeah, faithful isn't really a word I'd associate with him...
I'm still really, really angry at her for doing the things she did in Goddess Interrupted, but I understand a little better what drove her to it.

Persephone's story made me understand her better as well. I sort of get what happened now and while I still don't really like her and BOO for crushing Henry's heart, it's good to see the other side of things. It wasn't all her fault.

I loved getting a closer look into Henry's thoughts and the part where he first meets Kate is just adorable! It reminded me of why I love him so much!

I really enjoyed Ava and James' stories as well, but the three mentioned above stood out to me more.

But really, all reading this book has done is make me even more excited for The Goddess Inheritance! I NEED it to be 2013 so it can just be here already! GAH!
I'm not much of a fan of short stories, but Aimée Carter has managed to convince me they can be really good as well! I absolutely love the insights I've gotten in the these 5 characters!

My rating: 5 stars

Bout of Books 5.0 Update (3)

So I thought yesterday would be another day of FAILING the read-a-thon, but sometimes insomnia comes in handy :) It could also be that the book I'm reading is just SO ADDICTING! Gah, I just love Sophie Jordan's historical romances... :)

Time read: about 45 minutes
Books finished: 0
Evaluation: doing ALL THE THINGS at work and also needing some boyfriend time left me without much reading time...

Time read: about 30 minutes
Books finished: 0
Evaluation: doing ALL THE THINGS at work again, between getting home at 8PM and having to go to a birthday party at 9PM I didn't have much time to breathe, let alone read..

Time read: 3-4 hours
Books finished: 1 (HOORAY)
Evaluation: doing some of the things at home, but managed to read as well :)

Time read: 3 hours
Books finished: 0
Evaluation: doing ALL THE THINGS at work and only managed to read so much because of the epicness of the book combined with a bout of insomnia cause it's really hot here (Summer has finally arrived, YAY!)

How are you all doing?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Book for Every Season: Bout of Books Challenge!

This awesome challenge is hosted by Kristilyn @ Reading in Winter!

Ok, so all these books take place in the season under which they're listed.

Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett

Unbreak my Heart by Melissa C. Walker
Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Kate Strohm
Past Perfect by Leila Sales
Juliet by Anne Fortier

The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter: most of the story takes place during Fall and Winter
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams

Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin: WINTER IS COMING!

Why are Summer and Fall so much easier???

Just for fun, I've made an extra list of books I associate with a certain season, simply because they have a certain feeling or I read them in that particular season:

A Night Like This by Julia Quinn
Gilt by Katherine Longshore

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Die For Me by Amy Plum

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (because I discovered it on FictionPress one autumn)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (I actually got this book for Christmas and read it immediately, so it'll always have that Christmasy feel to it for me)
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Some aren't logical and just a feeling, but I KNOW OK. I associate books and music with things happening in my life at that time, so the season is a natural part of that.

How about you, what are books you associate with a particular season?

Bout of Books 5.0 Read-a-Thon Update (2)

So yesterday was my day off and I did a little better :)
I still went shopping with the boyfriend and had to study for a bit, and we had dinner at with the boyfriend's brother and his girlfriend, but all in all it wasn't a totally unproductive day reading-wise.

Time read: about 45 minutes
Books finished: 0
Evaluation: doing ALL THE THINGS at work and also needing some boyfriend time left me without much reading time...

Time read: about 30 minutes
Books finished: 0
Evaluation: doing ALL THE THINGS at work again, between getting home at 8PM and having to go to a birthday party at 9PM I didn't have much time to breathe, let alone read..

Time read: 3-4 hours
Books finished: 1 (HOORAY)
Evaluation: doing some of the things at home, but managed to read as well :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bout of Books 5.0 Read-a-Thon Update!

So you know how I was keeping my goals all relaxed? Yeah, that's pretty much a good thing, cause I've hardly had time to read AT ALL the past two days... It's pretty sad.

Both days I worked overtime and yesterday was my boyfriend's mother's birthday, and after that I just completely crashed. I've already read about an hour today and while I do need to run some errands today and we're having dinner with the boyfriend's brother and his girlfriend, and I have to prepare a presentation and study for a course I'm taking in about three weeks time, I'm sure I'll have SOME time to read!

Yeah, that doesn't sound very hopeful to me either...

Anyway, my progress so far:

Time read: about 45 minutes
Books finished: 0
Evaluation: doing ALL THE THINGS at work and also needing some boyfriend time left me without much reading time...

Time read: about 30 minutes
Books finished: 0
Evaluation: doing ALL THE THINGS at work again, between getting home at 8PM and having to go to a birthday party at 9PM I didn't have much time to breathe, let alone read..

Review of Wicked In Your Arms by Sophie Jordan

Title/Author: Wicked In Your Arms (Forgotten Princesses #1) by Sophie Jordan
Publisher/Date published: Avon, July 26th 2011
How I got this book: got it from my brother as a Christmas present!

Goodreads summary: "One of the most notoriously eligible bachelors in Europe is finally ready to marry...
For fiercely independent Grier Hadley, being the illegitimate daughter of one of London's most unsavory characters has only one advantage: an enormous, ill-gotten dowry.
Prince Sevastian Maksimi knows where his duty lies: he must find a well-bred young lady — one with a considerable fortune to her name — wed her promptly, and get to the business of producing an heir.
The last thing Grier needs is some unattainable prince curling her toes with his smoldering glances and wicked suggestions. As far as Sev is concerned, she lacks the breeding to become a princess. And yet one kiss from this arresting female is all it takes for him to realize that anyone else in his arms would be unthinkable..."

Oh Sophie Jordan, how I love your historical romances! Even though it was slightly mortifying to receive this from my BROTHER as a Christmas present, I cannot regret putting it on my wishlist, cause it was simply wonderful!

The story just flows seemingly effortlessly and I breezed through the whole novel in no time at all! I was fully immersed in Grier and Sev's story and the thing that's keeping me from giving Wicked In Your Arms the full five stars, is that it didn't make me cry. And I wanted to so badly!

Grier is a character I'd want as my friend. She's a little short of respectable, but she's not about to take crap from anyone because of that. I loved how strong she was and how conflicted she was about Sev.

And I'll be honest with you guys, SEV! Seriously, he's the uber alpha male with his princeness and being a military man and just *SWOON*. I don't think I would have resisted all of the amazing maleness of him either! I loved how he chased after Grier and how the two of them just couldn't help themselves around each other.

That little something extra that would have brought tears to my eyes wasn't there, like I'd come to expect from Sophie Jordan's novels. But nevertheless, I did enjoy myself immensely! The characters were loveable, their chemistry was really good and the romance was absolutely swoonworthy! I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series Lessons from a Scandalous Bride, which focuses on Cleo, Grier's lovely half-sister!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Monday, August 13, 2012

Review of Goddess Interrupted by Aimée Carter

Title/Author: Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test #2) by Aimée Carter
Publisher/Date published: Harlequin Teen, March 27th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley and bought it cause I couldn't resist owning my own copy after I loved The Goddess Test so much!!

Goodreads summary: "Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she'll have to fight for it.
Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.
As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.
Henry's first wife, Persephone."

So you guys remember how much I loved The Goddess Test? I'm a Greek mythology geek through and through and proud of it :) So I can't for the life of me understand why I waited this long to read this beautiful sequel!!

It took me a little longer to get into Goddess Interrupted than it did The Goddess Test, but Aimée Carter weaves such a wonderful tale that I couldn't help but fall in love with the characters and the world she's created all over again.

Kate is still the wonderful main character I remember from The Goddess Test. I loved how brave she was, even though some of her actions were sort of ill-advised, she never crossed over into the too-stupid-to-live category. I could easily imagine making the same choices. I was so proud of her for repeatedly putting herself out there with Henry when she didn't get much encouragement from him. She was genuinely trying to work on their relationship and I applaud the girl for not running off when things get hard.

And Henry, beautiful broken Henry. The Henry I'd gotten to know and love in The Goddess Test was a bit absent in Goddess Interrupted, but in the end he showed up and it was epic... I love him, he's a flawed character and he doesn't always make it easy to love him, but I do just the same.

What I love so much about Aimée's storytelling is that I'm RIGHT THERE with Kate. I'm there when she has doubts and when she feels lonely and despairs if Henry will ever love her like she loves him. And I cried SO HARD. I mean, I'm used to getting tears in my eyes at heartbreak, cause I'm a big ol' sap, but there were tears streaming down my face, TEARS EVERYWHERE! It was so, SO good!

And OMG! THE CLIFFHANGER ENDING! I was going NOOOOO! You can't leave me like this!! I'll have to wait over half a year for the next book!! It will be excruciating! I had not seen that coming. AT ALL.

So thank you, Aimée Carter, for sharing Kate and Henry's story with me and the rest of the world. Thank you for making me fall in love with them and just feeling ALL THE THINGS! Seriously, ALL THE THINGS!

I think I can even forgive you for that ending, somewhat.

The Goddess Inheritance really needs to be here right now...

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bout of Books read-a-thon 5.0 Goals!

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

From the Bout of Books blog:
"The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 13th and runs through Sunday, August 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 5.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
-From the Bout of Books 5.0 team"

So I had SO MUCH FUN in May with the Bout of Books read-a-thon! I also had a lot more time to participate then, but this will not stop me from trying my best this time around!
I'm working all week, except for Wednesday and the weekend, so I'm going to keep my goals casual and not stress myself out too much about it.

My goals:
-Read as much as I can given the 40 hours of work I do in 4 days.
-Participate in the chats when I can

That's it.

Are you participating as well? Link me and I'll check out your goal post :)

Daisy Update (18)


I hope your Sunday has started of as good as mine has! The sun is shining, there's a blue skye, I had a delicious breakfast and this afternoon we have a family barbecue :) AND THE BOYFRIEND'S HOME!!! YAY!!!

So, like I mentioned last week, the boyfriend was entertaining kids all week and I was left all by my lonesome (yes, I do in fact like to be a bit overdramatic). And I missed him a lot, but I still had an ok week :)

On Tuesday I went over to one of my friends for dinner, she and I used to share the appartment I now live in with my boyfriend and we don't hang out nearly enough these days. It was really fun, we watched the Olympics and just talked all night. I also love to exasparate her boyfriend, who is used to me doing this, so it's all good :)

Wednesday was my day off and I just relaxed and read and even cleaned up a bit cause the boyfriend was coming over for dinner! He was only here for about 2 hours, but it was so wonderful to have him with me! I missed having him here and available for hugs and to talk with and to just be here with me. So I did make a little extra effort with dinner and to look pretty, it felt sort of like a date :)

Yesterday the weather was so nice I couldn't resist sitting on the balcony all day. The only problem with this is that it's so hot there I can't really sit in the sun very long. So I put two big pillows on the ground and just tried to hide in the shade provided by the railing. And it was still a bit too hot, but bearable. And I totally read up a storm! I managed to finish two books, it's been a LONG time since I finished two books in one day and it felt a bit like I was doing my own little readathon :)

And then last night I could finally pick up the boyfriend, only to have him fall asleep about 15 minutes after we got back here. Poor guy was so exhausted from the whole week with late nights and long days that he just crashed. But it's so nice to have him home again that I didn't much care if he was asleep or not, as long as he's here :)

This afternoon and evening will be full of family time and FOOD, as we're having the annual family barbecue! It's nice to see everyone and especially two youngest cousins, who are all sorts of adorable!

I hope you're all having a lovely Sunday!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Review of When You Wish Upon a Duke by Isabella Bradford

Title/Author: When You Wish Upon a Duke (Wylder Sisters #1) by Isabella Bradford
Publisher/Date published: Ballantine Books, July 31st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "Raised in the Dorset countryside, Lady Charlotte Wylder doesn’t care one bit about well-bred decorum. The dark-haired, blue-eyed beauty would rather ride a horse than attend a stuffy ball. So when Charlotte learns that she is to leave immediately for London to wed the Duke of Marchbourne, a perfect model of aristocratic propriety, she is less than enchanted with her arranged marriage.
But to her delight, their first encounters are brazenly flirtatious, and their wedding night burns with passion. March’s broad shoulders and dark countenance make Charlotte want to rip every button off his waistcoast. She may even be falling in love with her new husband. Yet whenever their desire boils over, March reluctantly pushes Charlotte away. Will past secrets and present misunderstandings mire their marriage in scandal, or serve to strengthen a bond that is destined to last a lifetime?"

I'm a bit conflicted about this book.

It starts with Charlotte, a tree-climbing heroine, who doesn't know of her arranged marriage until the day a solicitor comes to fetch her to London for this purpose. At this I wanted to say: BAD PARENTING. I mean, seriously, she'd been betrothed from birth, you'd think that in the 18 years following they'd have a moment where they sat her down and explained to her what was expected of her when she'd come of age. But perhaps that's just me.

Anyway, this had me expecting all kinds of excitement and angst and getting to know each other and falling and love. And some of it happened, some of it didn't and some of it was slightly weird.

I liked Charlotte, even though she was 18, which is slightly younger than most historical romance heroines, she knew what she wanted and knew to fight for it. Also, I loved the relationship with her sisters we get a glimpse of at the beginning.
The Duke of Marchbourne was just.. awkward. He didn't have a lot of social skills and doesn't really know how to deal with women, specifically his wife. I just wanted to shake him at times!

Their first meeting was awkward and cute and the kissing was hot! But the sexytimes weren't all that sexy to me... And really, I could get how things could happen like they did, cause people didn't really communicate and the crazy ideas March and Charlotte's aunt had were probably valid for the time, but seriously, if your wife is crying AFTER, you're not doing it right. Also, if she's not crying AFTER other times, you're doing it right (or at least better). Not the other way around, THIS WAS SO FRUSTRATING!

I kinda thought that they fell in love a little too quickly. I mean, I get the attraction and all, but it was just really fast! And they were so at odds with each other and not understanding each other, it didn't seem like a solid enough base to go to love.

Even though it wasn't my favourite read, I didn't once consider DNF-ing it. Isabella Bradford writes an engaging story and while it did made me roll my eyes at some things, I was still entertained. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author and continue with the stories of Charlotte's sisters!

My rating: 3 stars

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review of Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Title/Author: Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1) by Susan Dennard
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, July 24th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia...
Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper — The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.
And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor... from her brother.
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance."

This is a hard review for me to write, because I wanted so badly to love this book. Because Susan Dennard seems like a really wonderful person and she's a debut author and I REALLY want to love all the books by awesome people! Maybe even more so because her best friend is an author whose work I love and who gives the best book recommendations.
But in all honesty, I can't say that this was the book for me.

I'm not much of a fan of zombie books, but I kept reading reviews that stated even if you didn't like zombies, you'd still enjoy this novel and they weren't present a lot. Which was true. And I don't think it was the creepy Dead that were the problem for me.

I wasn't sucked into the story and I couldn't bring myself to care about the characters. There was just something missing and I kept wondering if I should just put it down, but because I wanted to love it so badly I stuck with it. Eleanor was a bit bland to me and I only ever really liked one of the characters: Jie. Jie is awesome. Jie is a Chinese girl who shaves her head and wears men's clothing and kick a whole lot of ass. But other than this, I don't really know a lot about her. Still, she is awesome.

I couldn't warm up to Daniel as a love interest, he was so annoying! I didn't really feel the chemistry between him and Elaenor and it just didn't work for me. Mostly though, I think none of the characters were fleshed out enough for me to love them or actually care what was happening to them. And to me, that is a problem.

I guessed who was the necromancer pretty much in the first chapter, so the whole plot twist wasn't all that twisty for me. I did think the Dead were sufficiently creepy (seriously, if you're dead, please stay that way, cause it creeps me out when zombies go around trying to eat people! The only way I'm ok with the undead is when they're still rational, like vampires or revenants) and it would have been interesting to learn just a little bit more about how the whole necromancer thing worked.

I did think that in the end the book redeemed itself somewhat by the last chapter, which I felt in my sappy little romantic heart. I don't want to give anything away, but THIS I felt. The strength of that last chapter is what I would have wanted for the whole of the novel and it's making me question whether or not I should continue with the series.

I struggled with this book and in the end I don't think it was the book for me, but I know a lot of people really loved it!

My rating: 2 stars

Monday, August 6, 2012

Review of Persuasion by Brenda Joyce

Title/Author: Persuasion (The Spymaster's Men #2) by Brenda Joyce
Publisher/Date published: HQN Books, July 24 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Betrayal Tore Them Apart
Amelia Greystone was deeply in love when the earl of St. Just abruptly ended his courtship and left Cornwall ten years earlier. So she is stunned when Simon returns, recently widowed. Now she must forget the past they shared and his betrayal and console him as any neighbor would. Simon has changed - he is dark and haunted now - but he can still make her reel with a single look. When he offers her the position of housekeeper, Amelia knows she must refuse. But for the sake of his children,she throws all caution to the wind...
Passion Will Reunite Them
A British spy, Simon Grenville is now playing both sidesin a time of war, his goal to keep his sons safe. Yet when heis brought face-to-face with the woman he once loved, he realizes nothing about his feelings for Amelia has changed-if anything, they are even stronger. Still, Simon knows he must stay away from Amelia; his life is too dangerous now. But sometimes passion is too strong to be denied..."

So this thing with spies and all is a whole different type of historical romance than the ones I usually read and I was excited to give this type of plot a try. I mean, it had to be exciting, right??

Turns out being a spy is kinda depressing. And a whole lot of dangerous for everyone, including your family. And I KNOW this is probably closer to the truth than any other portrayal of it. But, well, in my romance novels I'm not always looking for reality and it sort of put a gloomy feel over the whole novel, and I would have liked to just get the warm fuzzies, which is what I'm personally looking for when I read a novel in this category.

But let's talk about what I did like: Amelia was a very warm and caring person and she had an enormous heart and was great with kids. I really loved this side of her character. I also really liked that Simon was so protective of his family, even though he did some pretty stupid things in the past, he was stepping up as a father and well, that is kinda sexy in my opinion (see, there goes my swooning over the good-guy parts again).

What I didn't like so much was the fact that after Simon completely shattered Amelia's heart 10 years ago, they take one look at each other and are in love again. Even though Simon is acting like a royal b-hind. It felt off to me. I mean, sure I can get there still being something between them, but if someone had hurt me like that I'd be SO ANGRY! And not all 'oh, let me hold your hand while you're being rude and hurtful'.

The lovestory just didn't work so much for me, though Simon gets his act together, it just takes him somewhat too long for my taste. And well, the sexytimes weren't all that sexy. And there was a lot of 'crying out' going on. In random conversations as well as at more appropriate times. Amelia went around 'crying out' at everything and I found myself wondering why nobody told her it was annoying or if she was actually saying something. I mean, if I just randomly starting ooh-ing or aah-hing or just making non-comprehensible sounds at everything, I think my family would tell me to stop it or take me to a doctor to have me get checked out.

Also, near the ending I was worried the story would be dragged out over a sequel, when in my opinion the story could have been done already. And I was thinking 'but how will they get this resolved in a satisfying way in only 20 pages'. Which didn't happen by the way, it was rushed and awkward and was a plotline that could have been either skipped or had to be fleshed out a bit more in my opinion.

I know I sound negative and this wasn't really a bad book. It just wasn't for me and between to me the unsatisfying lovestory, the depressing background of spying in the war between France and England and the rushed ending, I'm left feeling disappointed.

My rating: 2 stars

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Daisy Update (17) and Book Haul (1)

Hi guys!!

Yes, that is actually a picture of the delicious food I had last night :)

I'm starting to get more comfortable at work and everything just seems to cost a little less energy, so I thing I'm starting to get the hang of this whole doctor thing ;) I got my almost-finished schedule till December and let me tell you, with the on-call things and night shifts and all, it's pretty scary. But oh well, it's all part of the job and I knew this going in.

Yesterday I went shopping with friends I've known since high school and we're all really big fans of food. We have this thing where we always take pictures of the food we eat together before we start, the picture above shows the incredibly good Mexican food we had last night! :)
It was fun, we explored a city we hadn't been to before and got baby clothes as gifts for one of our other friends, we're going to visit her and her tiny baby this afternoon.
And of course we shopped for ourselves :) I got a pretty new dress, a shirt and a cute skirt. And no shoes this time, GO ME!!

A while ago, my Broke and Bookish buddy Kelly tweeted me this picture cause it reminded her of me:
And it is just plain awesome and so me, so it's a really big accomplishment for me to go shopping and not come home with new shoes. My boyfriend was very proud of me ;)

This week I'll probably feel a bit sorry for myself, as the boyfriend is gone for the week, doing volunteer work at a kid's week in the town his parents live and will be there till next Saturday. He's only been gone for a little over 2 hours and I already miss him...

Bookish news: Anyway, in bookish news, I managed to finish 2 books in the past week, which is a whole lot better than 1 in 11 days. I also broke my ban to celebrate getting paid for the first time being a doctor and it was EPIC! :)

My Book Haul of the past 2 weeks:

- Supernaturally by Kiersten White
- Swept Away By a Kiss by Katharine Ashe
- The Locket by Stacey Jay
- Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
- A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell
- Empress of Rome by Kate Quinn
- Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
- The Thing About the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt
- Debutantes by Cora Harrison

For Review:
- When the Duke Found Love by Isabella Bradford
- Yesterday's Sun by Amanda Brooke
- Much Ado About Magic by Shanna Swendson

I keep staring at all the pretties and feeling all kinds of guilty for not just reading them the moment they get here...

I hope you all have a great and relaxing Sunday and a wonderful week!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review of Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Title/Author: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Publisher/Date published: HarlequinTEEN, July 24th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again."

This novel is definitely a step outside of my comfort zone. I don't read a lot of contemporary novels and when I do, they're usually of the cute, fluffy kind. So, this one right here, dealing with tough subjects, is something I pick up with a bit of hesitation.

But I must say that I'm very glad I did! It was amazing and it completely sucked me in and it made me feel ALL THE THINGS!

I really liked both Echo and Noah, they're characters that I could easily imagine having gone to school with me. All their complexities made them seem very real and I just wanted to hug both of them and tell them everything would be alright. They've been through a lot and though Noah appears to be rough around the edges, underneath he's a good guy. And you guys already know how much I love good guys!

I loved seeing Echo and Noah grow as persons throughout the novel and making tough decisions. I loved that their relationship was good for both of them and they're equal in it. I was shocked and horrified by the awful things that had happened to them both, I really want to go all ragey about one of the characters, but SPOILERS!

While I did love the relationship between Echo and Noah, I did think they went from attraction to love REALLY fast. I mean, for two kids who have major trust issues, it happened pretty early on and I was a bit thrown off by it.

But the writing was simply amazing. I was right there with Echo and Noah experiencing it all and the alternating POV made me connect with both of them, which earns Katie McGarry extra brownie points! I found myself staying up at night way past my bedtime to continue reading and not even feeling tired. Also, Pushing the Limits made me cry. And I love it when that happens!

So while I did take issue with the not insta-love, but really-early-love, this was an intoxicating read. I didn't want to put it down and though firmly outside of my comfort zone, I'm so, SO glad I decided to pick it up, cause I would have missed out on a wonderful read otherwise!

My rating: 4,5 stars