Reviews

Review: The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso

Book Review

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso
(Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #1)
Fantasy

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Synopsis
A queen of a divided land must unite her people, even if they hate her, even if it means stopping a ruin that she helped create. A debut epic fantasy from an exciting new voice.

“I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me.”

Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves that nearly tore her nation apart. Her upcoming marriage to the son of her father’s rival heralds peaceful days to come.

But his sudden departure before their reign begins fractures the kingdom beyond repair.

Years later, Talyien receives a message, urging her to attend a meeting across the sea. It’s meant to be an effort at reconciliation, but an assassination attempt leaves the queen stranded and desperate to survive in a dangerous land. With no idea who she can trust, she’s on her own as she struggles to fight her way home.

What I thought

Okay, I am going, to be honest.  It was the series name that made me buy the book.  I thought the book synopsis was interesting, to begin with, but when I heard the series was called “Chronicles of the Bitch Queen” I was sold.  

Note:  I just realized this is a debut.  My mind is blown. I forgot about that until I was looking up stuff for this review.  How is this a debut?

I really enjoyed this book and I did not expect the ringer that Queen Talyien was going to go through in just book 1.  I mean we all now know that she is a fighter and I want to see her come out on top of this more than anything.  So yes please sell me the other books now.  

I found myself so addicted to the story that when I wasn’t reading the book because of work and stuff, I was carrying it around with me.  What is really crazy is that I am working from home so I was literally just carrying it from room to room.  Yes, upon reading this I know how crazy I sound, but I just wanted to continue reading it.  

I am not going to spoil anything but that husband of hers…I kinda hope something horrible happens to him.  If you want to talk about this please let me know otherwise I am going to go on a tangent and spoil things. 

By the end of this first book, all I want to do is give Talyien a hug, and I am not a hugger.  I am really excited to see where the next book is going to take us.  I mean there was so much that happened in this book that the next one can go in a couple of ways.  

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

Book Review

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare
(The Last Hours #2)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

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Synopsis
Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.

What I thought
I am having such a hard time writing this review because there is so much I want to say but I do not want to spoil this book for any of you.  So here we go.

This is the second book in The Last Hours series which follows the children of the characters in the Infernal Devices series.  So yes you do get some Will, Tessa, and Jem!  Personally, I do not like the modern-day shadowhunter books, but I can not express how much I love these books.  I have heard these books described as CW show where you have all these beautiful people that have angel blood running around.  I believe it was Regan from Peruse Project who said that and I can’t agree more.  

I love the ridiculous fun of these books. Yes, things happen, terrible things, but following these characters around is fun.  Watching some of the drama unfold is fun. Can you guess all the plot twists? Yep, sure can! But for some reason that does not take away from the enjoyment of it.  The way the author writes these books just pulls you in and you can not help but love the experience even though these books are huge.  

I think what makes us all love these books is that the characters do have real-world problems and they are written in such a way that you relate to them.  You may not even realize it at first then something happens and you just want to hug them and say that you understand.  They are not alone.  There are so many characters in this story and they are all so fleshed out that you feel for all of them.  This might be why no matter how outrageous these books are we will keep coming back for more.

I don’t know how I am going to wait a whole year for the next book.  That ending has me so excited because I think I know where this is all going to lead to!

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley

Book Review

The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley
Historical Fiction, Retelling

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Synopsis
In this gorgeously written and spellbinding historical novel based on Pride and Prejudice, the author of The Clergyman’s Wife combines the knowing eye of Jane Austen with the eroticism and Gothic intrigue of Sarah Waters to reimagine the life of the mysterious Anne de Bourgh.


As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.

After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?

In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge—leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune . . . and her life.

An extraordinary tale of one woman’s liberation, The Heiress reveals both the darkness and light in Austen’s world, with wit, sensuality, and a deeply compassionate understanding of the human heart. 

What I thought
Have you ever stumbled upon a book and realized that you really needed this story? And that story is based on a side character from a beloved book?  Well, here is that book for me.

There are a lot of people who don’t remember who  Anne de Bourgh is in Pride and Prejudice.  I will be honest I had to think about it for a moment too.  She is a side character you only see maybe once twice and it’s her mother that ends up overshadowing her character in the book.  This book is her life story and I loved it so much.  You are never really told anything about her other than she is sicky and I think that even Austen would like this telling of her.  Please do note that this is a slow-paced book from the perspective of Anne who is sometimes drugged. 

For anyone who has not read Pride and Prejudice (P&P) or does not really remember Anne, she is the cousin that was promised from birth to Darcy.  Neither Darcy nor Anne are supposed to have a choice in the matter because it was their mother’s wishes.  So I guess we all should be thankful that it does not appear that anything formal was set up.  Due to Anne’s father’s estate set up, it can be inherited by a woman which is very rare for that time.  So yes the sisters were thinking about how large an estate this would pull together if their children married, and not about the happiness of those children. 

In this book we follow Anne throughout her life and as sheltered as she is you really get to see her spirit as you go through this book.  I loved that we get to see her take her life into her own hands and finally come into her own.   Anne proves she doesn’t need a man to run her estate and I loved her for that.  

We all knew from P&P that Anne’s mother Catherine was a piece of work but drugging your baby just so they wouldn’t cry and would act well behaved is a whole new low.  As a mother I am appalled but I am sadly not surprised.  However, at this time Laudanum was the magic fix all and they were just beginning to realize how bad it was.  

I think my favorite part of this book is how Darcy and Elizabeth are brought back into Anne’s story later in life.  It really warmed my heart. 

I think that whether or not you are a P&P fan you would like this if you enjoy a good historical book set in Regency England.

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life by Bill Perkins

Book Review

Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life by Bill Perkins
Self-Help

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Synopsis
A Common-Sense Guide to Living Rich….Instead of Dying Rich


Imagine if by the time you died, you did everything you were told to. You worked hard, saved your money, and looked forward to financial freedom when you retired.
 
The only thing you wasted along the way was…your life.
 
Die with Zero presents a startling new and provocative philosophy as well as practical guide on how to get the most out of your money—and out of your life. It’s intended for those who place lifelong memorable experiences far ahead of simply making and accumulating money for one’s so-called Golden Years.
 
In short, Bill Perkins wants to rescue you from over-saving and under-living. Regardless of your age, Die with Zero will teach you Perkins’ plan for optimizing your life, stage by stage, so you’re fully engaged and enjoying what you’ve worked and saved for.
 
You’ll discover how to maximize your lifetime memorable moments with “experience bucketing,” how to convert your earnings into priceless memories by following your “net worth curve,” and find out how to navigate whether to invest in, or delay, a meaningful adventure based on your “spend curve” and “personal interest rate.”
 
Using his own life experiences as well as the inspiring stories and cautionary tales of others—and drawing on eye-opening insights about time, money, and happiness from psychological science and behavioral finance —Perkins makes a timely, convincing, and contrarian case for living large. 

What I thought
I received a copy of this book from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is not what I was expecting when I agreed to read this book.  I thought I was going to only be able to take one or two things away and call it a day.  Boy was I wrong.  Do not let the title of this book put you off, this book is not just for those people that have a ton of money in the bank it truly is for everyone.  I wish I would have had this book earlier in my life.  

So the point of this book is not to spend all of your money and care about no one. It’s about living your life to the fullest.  If you want to give money to charity or to your children/grandchildren why wait until you are gone. Why not do it now when they may need it the most.  

This book weighs heavily on gaining experiences rather than amassing material things.  This book speaks to the value of a well-lived life.  He talks about how our culture overemphasizes hard work and delayed gratification. (Yes this is so true)  There are just some experiences that you can not put off for later in life because your health will decline, that is just a fact,  and you can not do the same things at 60 that you could have at 20. 

He states in the book that if you want to apply his method of dying with zero that you should talk about your finances with a professional before you make the move.  So no he is not portraying himself as a financial planning expert.

Even though I do not have a ton of money and I am your average living from paycheck to paycheck person I learned a lot from this book.  I believe there are a lot of people out there that can gain some knowledge from reading this book. 

My Rating: /5

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Review: The Moria Pearls by Rosalie Oaks

Book Review

The Moria Pearls by Rosalie Oaks
(Lady Diviner #2)
Regency, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance

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Synopsis
Ohh I loved this book so much it had me sucked in from the first page. I had so much fun jumping back into this series.  I loved all of the banter that went on between the characters.   This book picks up shortly after the first one left off.  We are now all in full search of the Pearls.  

These characters are amazing I love how they all interact with each other.  I do love a good character-driven story.  The only character that I found that I did not like was Jaq’s sister who makes an appearance in this book and to be honest I am really hoping that she does not continue to the upcoming books.  She is the type of person that every time she is there all you want to do is shake her.  I just hope we are done with her but something tells me we may not be.  Oh, Perry…

I know I said at the end of the first book that I really wanted the romance that I thought was brewing but Beresford keeps running hot and cold and it is driving me crazy.  However, I think we are seeing another romance brewing and I can’t wait to see what happens there.  

Even Though this is the second book in this series is wrapped up very nicely and I can not wait to see what happens next. 

What I thought
Oh I loved this book so much it had me sucked in from the first page. I had so much fun jumping back into this series.  I loved all of the banter that went on between the characters.   This book picks up shortly after the first one left off.  We are now all in full search of the Pearls.  

These characters are amazing I love how they all interact with each other.  I do love a good character-driven story.  The only character that I found that I did not like was Jaq’s sister who makes an appearance in this book and to be honest I am really hoping that she does not continue to the upcoming books.  She is the type of person that every time she is there all you want to do is shake her.  I just hope we are done with her but something tells me we may not be.  Oh, Perry…

I know I said at the end of the first book that I really wanted the romance that I thought was brewing but Beresford keeps running hot and cold and it is driving me crazy.  However, I think we are seeing another romance brewing and I can’t wait to see what happens there.  

Even Though this is the second book in this series is wrapped up very nicely and I can not wait to see what happens next.

My Rating: /5

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Review: Never Call Me Vampire by Tamara Grantham

Book Review

Never Call Me Vampire by Tamara Grantham
(Legends of Crimson Hollow #1)
Fantasy

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Synopsis
The world calls him vampire.

But that’s not who I know. He’s my fellow patient at Crimson Hollow, a facility for those infected with the vampire virus. He’s lived for more than a century and been called many things. Vagabond. Circus freak. Prisoner. Murderer. Now he’s the world’s most famous person. He receives blood transfusions to stay conscious and rarely leaves the facility. He’ll never be free. Except in death.

And that was what he wanted…until I arrived. All I wanted was a cure. I wasn’t planning to fall in love.

He knows too much about my secret. And I’ve learned too much about his past.
Someone is plotting to unleash a serum that will destroy the entire world as we know it. But to save everyone—we must sacrifice ourselves.

They call him vampire. But only he knows his true nature

And I may never be prepared to accept it.

What I thought
I received a copy of this book from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tamara Grantham does it again! I have been a fan of her books since her Fairy World Series and once again I am walking away wanting more. I found myself so engrossed in the book, that I had read the majority of it in one day. I have to say that I did not see that ending coming and now I can not wait to see where this story goes.

I loved the two main characters. Amaya is such a strong main character and I could not help but to root for her from the beginning. Then there is Lucian and no matter how he acts you just develop a soft spot for him as his story begins to unravel.

Even though this is a series the first book wraps up and does not leave you hanging. I really appreciate it when an author can wrap up each book in the series so you are satisfied even though there are more. I know I have said it before but I am not a fan of cliffhangers. So this is a big win for me.

I am so thankful that I was sent a copy of this book and I cannot wait to pick up the next one.

My Rating: /5

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Review: A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins

Book Review

A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins
(A Lady’s Guide #1)
Historical Romance, Mystery

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Synopsis
An intrepid female reporter matches wits with a serious, sexy detective in award-winning author Manda Collins’ fun and flirty historical rom-com!

England, 1865 : As one of England’s most notorious newspaper columnists, Lady Katherine Bascomb believes knowledge is power. And she’s determined to inform and educate the ladies of London on the nefarious-and deadly-criminals who are preying on the fairer sex. When her reporting leads to the arrest of a notorious killer, however, Katherine flees to a country house party to escape her newfound notoriety-only to witness a murder on her very first night. And when the lead detective accuses Katherine of inflaming-rather than informing-the public with her column, she vows to prove him wrong.

Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham’s refusal to compromise his investigations nearly cost him his own career, and he blames Katherine. To avoid bad publicity, his superiors are pressuring him to solve cases quickly rather than correctly. When he discovers she’s the key witness in a new crime, he’s determined to prevent the beautiful widow from once again wreaking havoc on his case. Yet as Katherine proves surprisingly insightful and Andrew impresses Katherine with his lethal competency, both are forced to admit the fire between them is more flirtatious than furious. But to explore the passion between them, they’ll need to catch a killer.

What I thought
This was such a wonderful Victorian based mystery rom-com. 

As you probably already know I love when we get strong, smart, no backing down female characters, especially in this time in history, and that is exactly what we get in Katherine.  So why would Eversham not love her from the start…well her column to inform women the danger that is around them almost costs him his job…so maybe he has a little right to be mad. But hey I still can’t say she was completely wrong, but maybe it could have been handled a little better.  So as a result we get a great enemies to lovers story.

I enjoyed watching the interactions between the two as they have to admit that the other knows what they are about. Then realizing how they should work together rather than fight one another no matter how frustrating it might be, was very entertaining.  I did not realize who the killer was until close to the end of the story.  The mystery was well developed and I found myself enjoying it a lot. 

This was such a fun read and exactly what I needed at the time.  I am really looking forward to more books in this series.

My Rating: /5

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