quotes Jennifer likes


"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."— Jane Austen

Saturday, November 1, 2014

STACKING THE SHELVES (56)

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A great feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers get to feature the new books they received over the past week.


~RECEIVED FOR REVIEW~

Gunpowder Alchemy (The Gunpowder Chronicles, #1)

Gunpowder Alchemy by Jeannie Lin
I love Lin's Chinese historicals and am excited to get an e-ARC of her new steampunk romance.

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WEEKLY RECAP

I READ...

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers -- So good! I loved almost everything about it from the heroine to the romance to political intrigue to the subtle fantasy element. Review coming soon.

Innocent in Death by JD Robb -- My favorite of the series so far!  The mystery was complex, the killer fascinating, and the strife between Eve and Roarke had me listening late into the night.  Review coming soon.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

THROWBACK THURSDAY-HISTORICAL ROMANCE EDITION (50)

Happy Thursday, everyone! This is a new feature hosted by Buried Under Romance and Love Saves the World.

What is Throwback Thursday: Historical Romance Edition?
Traditionally, Throwback Thursday celebrates nostalgia, asking participants to post a personal photo or an image from their past -- usually from 5 to 10 years ago. There are a lot of book blogs that also do a book-related Throwback Thursday.  Since Tin and Mary C. are unapologetic lovers of historical romances, they've decided to focus on this beloved genre.

Here are the rules:
1. It must be posted on a Thursday.
2. It must be a historical romance novel published before October 2008.

THIS WEEK I AM FEATURING...

A Most Unconventional Match (Wellingfords, #3) 
A Most Unconventional Match by Julia Justiss
Originally Published in July 2008

Hal Waterman's calling on the newly widowed Elizabeth Lowery is the caring act of a gentleman. And with her household in turmoil and a young son to support, she is certainly grateful for his help. Hal finds Elizabeth even more lovely than when they first met, but knows that she will only ever see him as a kind and often taciturn friend.

Elizabeth finds comfort and companionship in Hal's caring of her. But then a tantalizing desire starts to simmer. His reassuring strength and presence have become so very attractive...so alluring.


************
Such a sweet story!  Hal made me fall in love with him from the beginning with his adorable crush on Elizabeth, his shyness, and his business smarts.  I have a thing for big, quiet heroes and Hal definitely fits the bill.  I read this quite a few years ago and I don't remember much about Elizabeth, but I do remember liking her.  But, Hal is the true star of the story and that was fine with me!

All About Romance (A-)
Dear Author (B)
Karen Knows Best (4 Stars)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

REVIEW: "Dark Skye" by Kresley Cole

Dark Skye (Immortals After Dark #14)
Dark Skye by Kresley Cole
(Immortals After Dark #14)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality, Violence)
Paranormal Romance -- Supernatural Mix

Gallery Books -- Published in August 2014
Hardcover, 432 pages
Read in October 2014
Purchased from Amazon

THEMES
Alpha Hero, Kick-Ass Heroine, Demons, Witches, Virgin Hero

SUMMARY
ETERNAL OBSESSION

As a boy, Thronos, prince of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body—and left an even deeper impression on his soul.

ENDLESS YEARNING

Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.

CAN THE HEAT OF DESIRE BURN BRIGHTER THAN VENGEANCE?

With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?


FIRST LINE
"Crawling along a meadow on her hands and knees, Lanthe scoured the grass for berries or dandelions--anything to dull her hunger pangs as her stomach seemed to gnaw on itself."

MY THOUGHTS
Warning!  This review contains minor spoilers for earlier books in the Immortals After Dark series.
 
Dark Skye is a book that fans of the IAD series have been anticipating for years.  We have seen Thronos and Lanthe circle around each other for most of the series.  Things really came to a head when they were both captured by The Order in Demon from the Dark.  There have been a ton of stories that have developed from the capture and later escape of the Loreans and this is one of the best.

WHAT I LIKED
1. Lanthe -- I love the female characters in this series.  They are strong, intelligent, and not afraid to be themselves.  Lanthe truly embodies the sorceress type with her gold obsession, love for adventure, and desire to make the most out of life.  I really appreciated that she was not ashamed of her past sexual experiences and made her opinions known about the slut-shaming that unfortunately reared its ugly head.
"Besides, I don’t take issue with the term as much as the fact that you feel you can judge me. I despise judgmental people.”
“As do most creatures who deserve to be judged.”
“You got me. I’m a ho fo sho.”
-What did that mean?- “You speak like a human.”
She nodded, as if that hadn’t been an insult as well. “I watch a lot of TV."
2. Thronos -- While I wasn't so sure about him at first with the whole chasing and demeaning thing he had going on, Thronos definitely grew on me.  He has some real reasons to not trust Lanthe and is truly a product of a strict upbringing.  I could admire his loyalty to his family and his kingdom.  I also liked the fact that, once he learned the truth about his brother's exploits, he was willing to do anything to set things right.  I am not always the biggest fan of "destined mate" stories, but it works so well in this series especially when taking a grumpy hero and turning him into knots with a woman who is his complete opposite.
He stalked up to her, yelling, “Do not call me demon!”
She forced herself to hold her ground, then repeated his earlier words: "Sensitive about this, creature?"
“Demons are savage. Vrekeners have grace and a sacred purpose. We are descended from gods!”
"How do you know this?"
“From the Tales of Troth—sanctified knowledge passed on from one Vrekener generation to the next for millennia."
3. Journey Through the Portals --  One thing that makes the Immortals After Dark series stand out for me is the way that Kresley Cole combines steamy romance with amazing adventure.  Thronos and Lanthe escape from the Order's island and end up going on a journey through other worlds, thanks to her portal-hopping magic.  I loved getting to see these new worlds especially with Cole's eye for detail.  Some of them were dangerous, some seductive, some disturbingly creepy, but all were super entertaining to learn about.  Plus it was fun to see Thronos and Lanthe learn to rely on one another to get through their journey.

4. Nix and the Ascension -- Ah, Nixie!  One of my all-time favorite side characters really makes a statement in this book.  The Ascension is growing ever closer and Nix is making sure all her ducks are in a row.  I love seeing how everything is coming together and I'm excited for the big conclusion.
“Under your direction, La Dorada the Queen of Evil has arisen.”
“Dora and I are like this.” Nïx spread her arms wide. “Now, I’ll be the first to admit she’s not without faults. Very grumpy when she wakes up."
5. Old Favorites -- And, of course, I have mention all the characters that popped up in this one.  We have the usual suspects like Nix, but it was also fun to see what has been going on with Rydstrom/Sabine (Kiss of the Demon King), Bettina (Shadow's Claim), and Lothaire (Lothaire).  The cast of characters is another aspect of the series that I love and it was great to see them continue to be important to the overall plot even after they get their HEA.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
1. The only thing that kept this book from being a 5 star read for me was the ending.  Everything was going great and drama was unfolding and then it stopped.  It felt very abrupt...almost like we had reached the page limit.  I really enjoyed Thronos and Lanthe's story so I wanted there to be more of a resolution to everything they had to go through.

But, despite the quick ending, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dark Skye.  This series always knows how to grab my attention and keep it until the very end.  If you are interested in creative paranormal romance with a complex supernatural world and plenty of kooky characters, I can't recommend the Immortals After Dark books enough.


4.5 STARS


STEAM LEVEL
Fever -- Definitely graphic, but still emotional descriptions.


FAVORITE QUOTE
"This is a formal affair. Kali is wearing twelve skulls.”
Nïx’s eyes went wide. “I should’ve vajazzled!


BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. The Warlord Wants Forever
2. A Hunger Like No Other
3. No Rest For the Wicked
4. Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night
5. Dark Needs at Night's Edge
6. Dark Desires After Dusk
7. Kiss of a Demon King
8. Untouchable
9. Pleasure of a Dark Prince
10. Demon from the Dark
11. Dreams of a Dark Warrior
12. Lothaire
13. MacRieve
14. Dark Skye

OTHER REVIEWS
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (A-)
Dear Author (C)
Vampire Book Club (5 Stars)

SIMILAR BOOKS/SERIES
Demonica/Lords of Deliverance series by Larissa Ione
Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh 
Dark Hunters series by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Characters I Want To Be For Halloween


Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

~Top Seven Characters I Want To Be For Halloween~

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
1. Hermione Granger -- Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
What I Need: schoolgirl outfit, black wizard robes, wand, bushy brown wig, copy of Hogwarts, A History

Naked in Death (In Death, #1)
2. Eve Dallas -- In Death series by JD Robb
What I Need: short brown wig, black pants, black boots, long black leather coat, hot billionaire husband :)

Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #2)
3. Persis Blake -- Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
What I Need: pale blonde wig, seaweed-inspired outfit found here, palmport

Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.5)
4. Cinder Linh -- Cinder by Marissa Meyer
What I Need: black wig, mechanic's work outfit, cyborg leg 


Up From the Grave (Night Huntress #7)
5. Cat Crawfield -- Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
What I Need: red wig, black leather pants, black tank top, hot British vampire husband 


The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
6. Katniss Everdeen -- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
What I Need: dark brown wig, red dress with orange at the bottom, mockingjay pin  


Ouran High School Host Club, Vol. 01 (Ouran High School Host Club, #1)
7. Haruhi Fujioka -- Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori
What I Need: short brown wig, dark blue pants, light blue blazer, white shirt, tie 

Monday, October 27, 2014

REVIEW: "The Accidental Countess" by Valerie Bowman


The Accidental Countess (Playful Brides, #2)

The Accidental Countess by Valerie Bowman
For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

St. Martin's Press -- Published on October 28, 2014
Ebook, 304 pages
Read in October 2014
Received from Netgalley

THEMES
Comedy of Manners, Beta Hero, Friendships

SUMMARY
CAN A SCANDALOUS CHARADE...

For seven long years, Lady Cassandra Monroe has waited for the man of her dreams to return from the war. Unfortunately, he happens to be engaged to her flighty cousin. What Cass wouldn’t give to take her cousin’s place! When he mistakes Cass for Patience Bunbury, a fictitious friend her cousin has invented to escape social obligations…even with her future husband, Cass thinks this is her chance.

LEAD TO TRUE AND LASTING LOVE?

After defeating Napoleon at Waterloo, Captain Julian Swift is not quite ready to settle down and enter into his unwanted arranged marriage—especially when the real object of his affection turns out to be a beguiling beauty he meets at a party. Patience Bunbury is witty, independent, passionate…and, unbeknownst to him, the cousin of his current fiancée. When the truth about Cass comes out—and Julian discovers that their courtship is anything but accidental—will he surrender his heart to a woman who really is too good to be true?


FIRST LINE
"How can one attend the country house party of a person who does not exist?"

MY THOUGHTS
The Accidental Countess features a heroine with a long-standing crush, a soldier returning to England, and plenty of misunderstandings.  I am a huge fan of "comedy of manners" type stories and this book is a really entertaining one.  I continue to be impressed with Valerie Bowman's hilarious writing style and obvious love for her characters.

Lady Cassandra has been in love with Julian Swift ever since she was a teenager though she knows her crush will only bring heartbreak.  You see, he has been engaged to her cousin, Penelope, for years and Cassandra is sure that his heart will never be hers.  Julian finally returns to England and he is determined to get his engagement straightened out, but the problem is that he can't get alone with Penelope to talk about things.  A series of unrealistic, but hilarious situations commence and Cassandra ends up masquerading as the fictional Patience Bunbury at a house party where she and Julian begin a seductive dance around one another.

I really liked both Cassandra and Julian.  While I was not the biggest fan of Cassandra's deception, I understood her desire to be more than the quiet, proper young lady she is known as in society.  I have read the previous book in the series, The Unexpected Duchess, and know how easy it is to get sucked into Lucy Hunt's schemes.  Julian was very easy to fall in love with.  He is a sweet guy who has never felt like he truly matters to anyone.  His father viewed him only as the spare and pretty much told him that his lot in life was to die at war with honor.  I appreciated his desperation to straighten things out with Penelope before pursuing Patience (Cassandra).

As Patience, Cassandra is finally able to show her true self to Julian and their scenes together were just wonderful.  Their chemistry is written very well and goes beyond basic lust.  I did find myself wishing that they would just talk to each other about their feelings since that would avoid a lot of confusion, but that was part of the Shakespearean plot so it didn't disrupt my overall enjoyment of the book.

I also loved that we got to see more of Cassandra's friend Lucy and Jane.  Female friendships are always some of my favorite things to read in historical romance and their's is a great one.  They support each other's decisions and are willing to do anything to make their friends happy.  I can't wait to see Jane get her story next especially since it will (more than likely) involve her constant rivalry with Lord Garrett.

I received a free copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

4 STARS


STEAM LEVEL
Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.


FAVORITE QUOTE
"I cannot allow you to go to your grave, dearest one, without knowing how madly, passionately, desperately I love you.  I've refused all offers for some mad reason, thinking that I couldn't marry another man knowing he'll never fully have my heart, as it has always and will always belong solely to you.  I can only hope this letter will reach you before you leave this earth, my love.  And that after reading it, you'll know how much you have been truly loved."

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. The Unexpected Duchess
2. The Accidental Countess
3. The Unlikely Lady (Coming 2015)

SIMILAR BOOKS/SERIES
The Duchess War by Courtney Milan
Duchess By Night by Eloisa James
How To Marry A Marquis by Julia Quinn