Reviews

Review: Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

Book Review

Jo & Laurie
by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
Young Adult, Retelling, Romance
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis
1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March is shocked to discover her book of scribbles has become a bestseller, and her publisher and fans demand a sequel. While pressured into coming up with a story, she goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration—museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself!

But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever?

What I thought
I was sent a copy of this book from Megan Beatie Communications through Net Galley for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I feel the need to state that this review is coming from someone that has not read Little Women nor have I watched the movie. I feel this is important to point out because I think that if you have read Little Women or even watched the movie you would already have some connection with these characters from the beginning.

I am a fan of Melissa de la Cruz’s books and this one did not disappoint.

This story takes place between the publication of Little Women and Good Wives. This book is first and foremost a love story between Joe and Laurie. But another bonus is that this book shows how a whole everyone in a family can deal with grief differently. I do not think this was meant to be a main plot point but I think it was displayed well.

This book took me about 100 pages to really get into it but I really think its because I did not know the original story.
I loved watching Joe and Laurie’s relationship. Everyone in the story knew that those two were meant to be together except Joe. She had a lot to work through to discover that she is allowed to be happy too. I liked the portrayal of grief and depression in this story and seeing how it was worked through. I felt so many feelings while reading this book that I did not expect to feel.

I recommend this book to anyone that thinks that the story sounds interesting. Just note if you have not read Little Women it will take a little bit to connect with these characters.

My Rating: /5

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

Reviews

Review: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

Book Review

The Beautiful
The Beautiful
by Renée Ahdieh
(The Beautiful #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

What I thought
I was in need of beautiful writing and gripping storytelling and I knew that Renée Ahdieh would deliver.  I love her writing, I was sucked into the story from the beginning.

I know there have been quite a few reviews complaining that there were not vampires until the end of the book.  So I want to address this first, this isn’t really the case.  Now hear me out I think the issue is vampire culture has changed over the years (twilight onward).  I’m not criticizing the change so don’t come after me, but this book relies on old vampire lore knowledge.  They are everywhere in the book if you know how to look for them.

I loved this book.  I liked that I finally got a vampire book to read that sticks to the old culture, maybe I am just showing my age but oh well.  I personally just can not get into the “twilight age” of vampire books.  This is going to be either you love it or you hate it kind of book.  So I am interested in seeing your thoughts below if you liked it or not.

The next book in this series is supposed to be out on June 2, 2020, and I really hope that the date does not change.  I cannot wait to pick it up.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

New Releases

Book Blitz: Reverend of Silence by Pamela Sparkman

Reverend of Silence
Pamela Sparkman
Publication date: January 14th, 2020
Genres: Coming of Age, Historical, Young Adult

A coming of age story about faith, love, and overcoming society’s prejudices during the American Antebellum period.

In 1810, Lucy Hallison suffered from a severe illness at the age of three, and later recovered, a deaf-mute. Unable to relate to the world in which she lives, she’s often ignored and sometimes treated with cruelty. Until a boy, Samuel Burke, steps into her life at the tender age of seven, coloring her world and showing her what it means to be seen, to not be invisible, to be understood.

The two become inseparable childhood friends, and as they grow and mature, there is the promise and hope of something more that also grows between them. But the hope of something more is put on hold so she can attend The American Asylum at Hartford for the Deaf and Dumb, the first of its kind, requiring her to leave the only home she’s ever known and the only boy she’s ever loved.

But while she is away, tragedy strikes, and Samuel is now the one unable to relate to the world in which he lives, unable to find his own voice, and withdrawing from everyone and everything he’s ever known.

When Lucy returns home from school, she has one goal in mind—to put color back into his world the way he had once put color into hers.

Because Samuel Burke had been her voice when she had needed him most.

Now, she is determined to be his.

Note: Inspired by real people and true historical accounts.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Google Play

Excerpt

“He ordered me out?”

Papa Burke removed his spectacles, then rubbed a hand down his face. He looked like he had aged ten years in the last ten days. He pulled out a chair at the kitchen table and gestured for me to sit across from him as he put his spectacles back on.

I sat and waited for him to answer my question, the one I hadn’t asked him. Why? Why had Sam ordered me from his room? My hand came to rest over my heart. It ached from his rejection.

Days. I had spent days at his bedside, waiting for him to wake up, hoping that he would, caring not only for him but for his parents every second of those days. Never in my wildest imaginings did I think he would toss me out the moment he did. If he had kicked me in the teeth, I don’t think it would have hurt this badly. It took everything in me not to cry right here at this table.

Papa Burke leaned forward, his eyes searching mine. “I’m sorry,” he signed. “You didn’t deserve that.”

My eyes burned. I knew that. I wanted him to tell me something I didn’t know. I leaned forward as well and asked, “Why was I tossed out?”

He tapped his fingers on the table, a silent beat I couldn’t hear. He looked like a man trying to gather thoughts to put into words. I waited, watching his fingers as they moved up, down, up, down. Until his fingers went still. Then they formed the words, “Sam doesn’t want you to see him like this. He feels weak.”

I frowned, signing my response. “I don’t fault him for being weak. He’s injured!” I stood, feeling agitated. “He’s had a fever! He almost died! I know he’s weak!”

Papa Burke also stood and came to stand before me. “Not that kind of weak.”

I blinked, trying to understand his meaning.

“He doesn’t feel like a man.” Papa Burke eyed me pointedly. “He has no pride. He doesn’t want you to see him like that,” he emphasized, pointing above our heads to the second floor.

Oh.

I reclaimed my seat and shut my eyes. Stupid, stupid man. Yet, at the same time, my heart broke all over again. For Sam. I knew from watching my father how hard men could be on themselves. I’d just never thought Sam would.

Papa Burke put his hand on my shoulder. I glanced up.

“Go home, Lucy.”

My breath caught. That was the first time I’d been issued that command. Everyone was tossing me out? No one needed me anymore? Noah had left without saying goodbye, and now the Burkes were telling me to leave?

“I don’t want to go home,” I signed with a trembling hand.

Papa Burke’s face was sad. He lifted me up to stand. His hug was sympathetic. He released me and said, “Then go back to school. Sam needs some time.”

My nose tingled. My jaw ached. My eyes stung. My chest felt like it was being cut from the inside. Sam needed time. He just didn’t need me. Message received.

I glanced around the room, taking in all the details and all the memories. I packed them all away, but I didn’t know where to place them. My heart felt too fragile. My mind too burdened.

So I left them right where they were and walked out the door.

Author Bio

Pamela Sparkman grew up in Alabama. She became an avid reader at a young age. The written word has always fascinated her and she wrote her first short story while still in elementary school. Inspiration for her stories always begins with a song. She believes music is the pulse of life and books are the heart of it.

When she isn’t writing, however, she’s spending time with her family and taking one day at a time.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

 

Reviews

Review: A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles

Book Review

A Case of Possession
A Case of Possession
by K.J. Charles
(A Charm of Magpies #2)
Historical Fantasy, Romance
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis
Magic in the blood. Danger in the streets.

Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. He knows Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician is doing his disappearing act more than seems reasonable—especially since Crane will soon return to his home in China. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, there’s only one thing stopping Crane from leaving the country he loathes: Stephen.

Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes on him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to.

The rats are closing in, and something has to give…

What I thought
I said that I was going to let my library decide if I was going to read this book,  It all depended if they were going to get a copy.

After reading the first book in this series I went into this one with low expectations.  I think I just expected way too much from the first book and I really didn’t like Lord Crane very much.  And being a character-driven person that really matters to me.  So going into this one knowing that I was not going to like him, I enjoyed this book so much more.

I liked how you got to see more of Stephen’s job and how his team works together.  I really liked how you can see how much his partner really cares about him.  I also liked how Crane evolved and wasn’t as big of a selfish arse as he was previously.  Don’t get me wrong he was still an arse just not as bad.

In the end, I am glad that I gave this book a chance.

My Rating: /54 Stars

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Deadly Curious by Cindy Anstey

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:  Deadly Curious by Cindy Anstey

Deadly Curious
Deadly Curious
by Cindy Anstey
Young Adult, Historical

1834. Sophia Thompson wants nothing more than to be one of the famed Bow Street Runners, London’s most elite corps of detectives. Never mind that a woman has never before joined their ranks–and certainly never mind that her reclusive family has forbidden her from pursuing such an unladylike goal.

She gets the chance to prove her capabilities when an urgent letter arrives from her frantic cousin Daphne, begging Sophia to come look into the suspicious death of Daphne’s brother.

As Sophia begins to unravel the tangled threads of the case–with the help of a charming young policeman–she soon realizes that the murderer may be even closer to her family than she ever suspected.

Expected publication: April 14, 2020

Add to Goodreads

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

Reviews

Review: Lusus Naturae: A Lord Carlston Story by Alison Goodman

Book Review

Lusus Naturae A Lord Carlston Story
Lusus Naturae: A Lord Carlston Story
by Alison Goodman
(Lady Helen #1.5)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical, Regency
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis
This novella is from Lord Carlston’s perspective and starts at the point in The Dark Days Club when he and Lady Helen meet for the first time.

What I thought
I didn’t know this existed until I was looking up my list of series I want to work on this year. I was so excited to find it and even better, it was free. This novella is from Lord Carlston’s perspective and starts at the point in The Dark Days Club when he and Lady Helen meet for the first time. I really enjoyed seeing the same interaction from his point of view.

Reading this short story reminded me how much I enjoyed the first book and now I really need to pick up the next one.

My Rating: /5

5 Stars

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Blood Countess by Lana Popović

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen: Blood Countess by Lana Popović

Blood Countess
Blood Countess
by Lana Popović
Young Adult, Historical, Horror

In 17th century Hungary, Anna Darvulia has just begun working as a scullery maid for the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Báthory. When Elizabeth takes a liking to Anna, she’s vaulted to the dream role of chambermaid, a far cry from the filthy servants’ quarters below. She receives wages generous enough to provide for her family, and the Countess begins to groom Anna as her friend and confidante. It’s not long before Anna falls completely under the Countess’s spell—and the Countess takes full advantage. Isolated from her former friends, family, and fiancé, Anna realizes she’s not a friend but a prisoner of the increasingly cruel Elizabeth. Then come the murders, and Anna knows it’s only a matter of time before the Blood Countess turns on her, too.

Expected publication: January 28, 2020

Add to Goodreads

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook