Reviews

Review: Stories to Read by Candlelight by Jean Lorrain, Patricia Worth (Translator)

Book Review

Stories to Read by Candlelight
Stories to Read by Candlelight

by Jean Lorrain, Patricia Worth (Translator)
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Synopsis
‘Stories to Read by Candlelight’ contains eight stories first published in the 1890s by the French author, Jean Lorrain, translated here into English for the first time as a collection. Jean draws the reader back in time to his provincial childhood when his grandmother’s seamstress would tell him stories that gave him goosebumps and made him jump under the covers. The characters have a mythical quality, whether fantastical beings who long to be real, like the embroidered Princess Mandosiane, or real people like the eccentric Madame Gorgibus accused of being a wicked fairy. The stories fall between legends and fairy tales, a genre favoured by a few Decadent authors protesting against realism and regretting technological progress.

What I thought
Thank you Henry Roi for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Stories to Read by Candlelight are stories told to Jean Lorrain during his childhood by his grandmother’s seamstress in the 1800s. These stories to me felt kinda Grimm fairy tale-esque. I enjoyed these tales but I did not find them as “scary” as the author did when he was remembering them.  The stories were entertaining in the respect that they felt like old fairy tales, but for me, that is all.  I enjoyed them for what they were but I do not see myself seeking them out to reread later.

If you enjoy old tales you will enjoy these 8 stories.

My Rating: /53 starsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

Book Review

Heartstone
Heartstone
by Elle Katharine White
(Heartstone #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
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Synopsis
They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.

What I thought
Lesson learned, Brittnay over at Perfectly Tolerable has amazing taste when it comes to books.  She said I would love this one and she was right.

This book is sold as Pride and Prejudice with Dragons, and that is exactly what you get.  You do not need to know anything about the original story to enjoy this one. Which is great since I know not everyone has read Pride and Prejudice. My favorite thing about this book is that the author was able to take the essence of Pride and Prejudice and make it completely her own.  So if you are a fan of P&P you are not just getting another rehashing of the story but an all-new story to love.

So if you like hate to love romance, broody males, independent females, and a fantasy setting with magical creatures you need to pick this book up.

My Rating: /54 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: This Earl of Mine by Kate Bateman

Book Review

This Earl of Mine
This Earl of Mine
by Kate Bateman
(Bow Street Bachelors #1)
Regency Romance
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Synopsis
In a desperate bid to keep her fortune out of her cousin’s hands, shipping heiress Georgiana Caversteed marries a condemned criminal in Newgate prison. The scoundrel’s first kiss is shockingly heated, but Georgie never expects to see her husband again. Until she spots him across a crowded ballroom. Notorious rogue Benedict Wylde never expected a wife. He was in Newgate undercover, working for Bow Street. To keep their marriage of convenience a secret, Wylde courts Georgie in public, but the more time they spend together, the more their attraction sparks. Could an heiress with the world at her feet find happiness with a penniless rake? Kate Bateman’s This Earl of Mine is a delightful start to the Bow Street Bachelors series, with witty banter, dynamic characters, and swoon-worthy romance.

What I thought
Before this year I can count how many romance books I have ever read on one hand.

Not that I ever thought that romance books were bad I just couldn’t find the right fit for me. Well as we grow and our reading tastes change we find things we didn’t know we were missing. Well apparently I was missing Regency Romance but I am very specific. I like my women to be more bluestocking and my men to be Rakish. And if you toss some witty banter and hate to love romance in there I am hooked.

I enjoyed this book so much! There was no unnecessary drama just to make the story go on. I liked the more straight forward approach instead of a lot of fluff.

Georgie “finds” a way to ward off her cousin who wants to take her money and keep control of her late father’s shipping company. Become a widow by marrying a condemned man. So what do you do when a few months your husband walks into a ballroom? Well, you will have to read the book to find out lol. I loved the interactions between these two characters. Benedict appreciated the fact that Georgie had a head for business and did not look down on her for it which was very rare for that time. I loved the chemistry between them even though they denied it so much.

I can not wait to read the next book in this series. I really liked all of the side characters and can not wait to get all of their stories.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: Crystal Crowned by Elise Kova

Book Review

Crystal Crowned
Crystal Crowned
by Elise Kova
(Air Awakens #5)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
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Synopsis
Long live Solaris. One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?

What I thought
Elise Kova sure knows how to end a series!  This was the final book in the Air Awakens Series and let me tell you this was a ride.

I am very happy to say that I am not disappointed in the ending of this series as a whole.  I have not had great luck with the endings of some series this year, but this one I can happily walk away from.

This book was not afraid to go dark.  

I feel that this book was longer than it needed to be there was a lot of traveling and/or just passing the time it seemed. Don’t get me wrong it was not bad it just dragged along in some places.

I need some answers! Who was Vi really? I had this idea at one point that she was really Aldricks mom…the fire gave me that idea.  And then we have Daniel…oh Daniel what happened to you? Part of me does not want an answer to this and another part demands happiness lol. 

If you have not picked up Air Awakens yet you really should.  If you would like to see my reviews for the other books in this series please click any of the below.

Air Awakens | Fire Falling | Earth’s End | Water’s Wrath

My Rating: /5

4 Stars

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Reviews

Review: Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Book Review

Bringing Down the Duke
Bringing Down the Duke
by Evie Dunmore
(A League of Extraordinary Women #1)
Historical Romance
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Synopsis
England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke…

What I thought
I am very out of the loop when it comes to Historical Romance books since this is something new that I am picking up.  So when I saw this book absolutely everywhere I caved and bought a copy. I have to say it was worth every penny.

This book was so good I couldn’t put it down. No, really I stayed up until 4am finishing it (I am normally in bed by 10pm). This book took so many things that I like: hate to love romance, 1800s time frame, strong female character, brooding male character and so on. So naturally it has Pride and Prejudice vibes and I am here for that 100%.

There was one thing that I couldn’t quite figure out and it’s just me over analyzing things I know. However, Annabelle gets a scholarship to go to Oxford in exchange for joining the suffragette movement, but if not for the scholarship is this something she would have ever done.  When she is around the other women she doesn’t seem to have the same passion for the cause. Well…the passion really only surfaces when she is speaking to the Duke. I know in the grand scheme this does not matter but that is the only reason it did not get 5 stars.

My Rating: /54 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger

Book Review

How to Marry A Werewolf
How To Marry A Werewolf
by Gail Carriger
(Claw & Courtship #1)
Steampunk, Fantasy, Romance, Historical
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Synopsis
Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

WEREWOLVES

The monsters left Faith ruined in the eyes of society, so now they’re her only option. Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge.

But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.

AMERICANS

Backward heathens with no culture, Major Channing has never had time for any of them. But there’s something special about Faith. Channing finds himself fighting to prove himself and defend his species. But this werewolf has good reason not to trust human women.

Even if they learn to love, can either of them forgive?

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate series comes a stand alone romance set in the same universe. Look out for appearances from favorite characters and the serious consequences of unwarranted geology.

A Note On Chronology
The Claw & Courtship novellas can be read in any order. This book can be enjoyed without having read any of Gail’s other works. Set in the spring of 1895 this story occurs after events chronicled in Romancing the Werewolf.

More?
This story is contemporaneous with events at the beginning of Reticence (final Custard Protocol book). Channing is first introduced to readers in the second Parasol Protectorate book, Changeless. He also appears briefly in Romancing the Inventor

What I thought
This is the first book in the Claw & Courtship Novella series. In chronological order, this one falls during the same time as Reticence the final Custard Protocol book. This book can be read as a standalone! I have to say that Gail has really upped her game with this one. I didn’t realize how much I truly liked Channing until this book, or how much I wanted him to be happy. From the time he has been introduced he has been moody and you never knew that led him to be that way. In this book, you learn some of Channing’s back story before he became a werewolf and why he is generally untrusting and why he seems to hate vampires so much. I know it seems like a lot of information for such a small book but I am here to tell you that it is so beautifully written that you feel as if you are getting a full novel. When we first meet Channing is when he goes toe to toe with Alexia but she was an Alpha so the last thing that he expects is a little American girl going toe to toe with him at the docks in London.

As much as this is a story for Channing it is also the story of Faith, who has been sent to London to make a match with a werewolf. To London society, this is not shocking but for an American it is. In America, Werewolves are not excepted in society and they then to be more savage. So why would her mother send her to make this match?

Watching this story play out I felt a whole range of emotions. I was angry, sad and so very happy. Since this book can be read as a standalone I highly suggest picking it up. No after writing this I want to go back and give it another read.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: Cage of Destiny by Jennifer Anne Davis

Book Review

Cage of Destiny
Cage of Destiny
by Jennifer Anne Davis
(Reign of Secrets #3)
Young Adult, Fantasy
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Synopsis
Destined from birth to be the next empress of Emperion, Allyssa grew up at court weighed down by the expectations of the crown. Kingdom and duty always came first.

Until now.

Having survived the brutal kingdom of Russek, she is given the choice to walk away and live a peaceful, quiet life. But it also means giving up everything she knows and everyone she loves. Before she decides, word reaches her about an assassination attempt. Donning her secret persona—that of a vigilante—she sets out to eliminate her enemy once and for all.

As Allyssa fights the demons of her past to save her future, she realizes she never had a choice. She can either embrace her destiny or be caged by it.

What I thought
Somebody tell me how there is more books after this?!?!?!

No really don’t because I can not wait to pick up the next one.  

Once I started this book I did not want to put it down. Sometimes being an adult is hard lol.  

So I loved how this book started out stating that this may or may not be the end of Allyssa’s story.  Since this series is now complete, I know for a fact there are 2 more books, but I don’t know if the main characters change or if its a continuation.  I have so many questions. I am going to make a guess that this is the end of Allyssa’s arc and we may be finally getting to see her brother maybe. I haven’t even read the synopsis for the last two books. Once a series starts I like to go in blind unless they are companions and the characters change with each book.  

One thing I can say for sure is that if the story was to stop here I would be satisfied. Which leads me to say that I am scared to death to pick up the last two.  I really like how this ends here and the characters have been through enough they deserve this ending. So here is to hoping we mix up the main characters just a bit.

If you enjoy Young Adult Fantasy that isn’t afraid to get a little dark then you should try this series out. I have loved the journey through these first 3 books so much.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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