Announcement

Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews is currently on hiatus. I hope to return to blogging sooner rather than later.

I will still be posting mini book reviews on Goodreads and talking books on Twitter so feel free to find me there.

Thank you and happy reading1


Thursday, January 31, 2013

REVIEW: "Crimson Frost" by Jennifer Estep

Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy, #4)
Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep
(Mythos Academy #4)

Young Adult -- Urban Fantasy
For Ages 13+
Steam Level: Kisses

K-Teen -- December 24, 2012
Paperback, 354 pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars




SUMMARY

For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself.


MY THOUGHTS

WARNING!  This review contains spoilers for earlier books in the Mythos Academy series.  I highly recommend reading the first three books before reading this review.

Once again Jennifer Estep takes readers on a harrowing and dramatic journey with Gwen Frost and the rest of the Mythos gang.  The last time we spent time with these characters Mr. Big Bad himself, Loki, was freed from his mythological prison and is now a threat to all of the Pantheon.  In addition, Gwen and Logan have finally stopped their little dance around each other and admitted their feelings.  So things are obviously set to get complicated at Mythos Academy.

Like most of the other books in this series, Crimson Frost starts off with a bang.  Gwen and Logan are having their first official date and things are going fairly smoothly until she is arrested by the Protectorate (Pantheon's police force) and charged with helping Loki go free.  For the rest of the book, Gwen must try to prove her innocence while dealing with new threats from the Reapers and the ire of her fellow students.

One of the best things about this series is the growth of our heroine, Gwen.  She started off as an immature and damaged girl who was feeling like an outcast in her new environment.  Over the course of the books, Gwen has grown more confident in her powers (even if they still scare her at times) and learned how to trust others to help her when she is in trouble.  She does still have a tendency to run off into dangerous situations without thinking things through, but not nearly as much as in the earlier installments.  Also, it is great to continue reading Gwen's unique voice with all the sarcasm and humor that Ms. Estep is fabulous at writing.

Crimson Frost really shows the strength of Gwen's friendships at Mythos Academy.  Despite the dire straits she find herself in, Gwen is immediately supported by all her friends and they do everything they can to help her clear her name.  I have really enjoyed getting to know all these kids and adults throughout the series especially the sexy Logan, the pink-loving Valkyrie Daphne, and the grouchy librarian Nickamedes.  This book also introduces us to some intriguing newcomers like Logan's father Linus, his stepmother Agrona, and, my personal favorite, Alexei, the enigmatic Bogatyr warrior assigned to watch over Gwen for the Protectorate.

As the fourth installment, this book delves even deeper into the mythology of Pantheon with a special emphasis on the artifacts being housed in the Library of Antiquities.  I loved this part of the plot due to my background in history and archives!  Like all the other Mythos books, Crimson Frost is full of suspense and potential danger.  The series is definitely getting darker and, as a reader, I found myself flipping pages quickly to see if the characters got through everything unscathed.  Always the sign of a good book for me!

Once again, this was a great installment in a series that is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  I have really become invested in these characters and their world.  Can't wait to read Midnight Frost and see what Estep gives us next!

SERIES INFORMATION

Mythos Academy
0.5. First Frost
1. Touch of Frost
2. Kiss of Frost
3. Dark Frost
4. Crimson Frost
5. Midnight Frost (Coming August 2013)

SIMILAR TITLES

Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins
Denazen series by Jus Accardo
Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter

SOUNDTRACK IDEAS

**Kings and Queens -- 30 Seconds to Mars (Mythos Academy theme song)


**Breathe of Life -- Florence + the Machine (Gwen's feelings while on trial)

**Let You Down -- Three Days Grace (Logan's feelings about his dependability)

**Cry -- Kelly Clarkson (Gwen at the end of the book)



BOOK CHALLENGE ENTRY





Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (43): "This is What Happy Looks Like" by Jennifer E. Smith




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases we're anxiously awaiting. 









This Is What Happy Looks Like 

THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE
by Jennifer E. Smith

Expected Publication: April 2, 2013
Young Adult Contemporary -- Poppy Publishing

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Frustrating Characters

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



TOP TEN MOST FRUSTRATING CHARACTERS EVER

~Frustrating because they act in ways that I dislike, but I do still like them as characters...
   
 1. Xhex -- Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward
  • Stop being so whiny and accept the fact that John Matthew loves you despite the whole Sympath thing!
2. Elizabeth Bennet -- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  •  Stop taking everything that Mr. Wickham says as the whole truth and give your sisters a break every once and awhile.
3. Colin Bridgerton -- Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
  • Stop being oblivious to Penelope's love for you and stop sitting around whining about not having anything productive to do.
4. MacKayla Lane -- Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
  •  Stop running off and getting yourself into unnecessary danger. 
5. Lachlain MacRieve -- A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
  • Stop acting like such an non-trusting jerk and blaming Emmaline for something she had nothing to do with.
~Frustrating enough to make me dislike them...

6. Cho Chang -- Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
  • Stop being such a crybaby and learn how to save yourself for once.
7. Bella Swan -- Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
  • Learn how to live life without a man, no matter how pretty he is.
8. Daisy Buchanan -- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Get over yourself and stop being such a spoiled brat.
9. Abigail Yager -- Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Stop being so wishy-washy about whether you trust Sundown or not.
~And finally...

10. All the too stupid to live (TSTL) characters in romance novels.
  • Just stop...I can't say anything more.

Monday, January 28, 2013

KINDLE DEALS (15)

I love finding free or cheap books for my Kindle so I decided to start featuring some of the best.  Take advantage of these great deals before they end!

FREE
Valor    Exclusively Yours (Kowalski Family, #1)  Midnight Man (Midnight, #1)  A Hint of Frost (Araneae Nation, #1)
  Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, #1)  Love's Portrait  Intentions of the Earl (Scandalous Sisters #1)  Her Wicked Ways (Secrets & Scandals #1)


Valor by Taylor Longford
  • YA paranormal with gargoyles!
Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey
  • Contemporary romance.  Reuniting childhood sweethearts.  I gave it 4 stars.
Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice
  • Erotica with a side of romantic suspense.  Very popular with my Goodreads friends.
A Hint of Frost by Hailey Edwards 
  • Paranormal romance with dragons.  Apparently includes a virgin and tortured hero.
Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan
  • Paranormal/horror romance.  I gave it 4.5 stars.
Love's Portrait by Monica Burns
  • Historical/erotica novella with a nude portrait and a rebellious widow.
Intentions of the Earl by Rose Gordon
  •  Historical romance with a hero bent on ruining the heroine's reputation.  I gave it 3 stars, but enjoyed the later books in the trilogy much more.
Her Wicked Ways by Darcy Burke
  • Historical romance full of mistaken identity, highwaymen, and a heroine who always seems to get into trouble.
$0.99
Destined  My Blood Approves (My Blood Approves, #1)  Rules for a Lady  Stolen Love (Sexy Historical Romance)
Squeeze Play (Richmond Rogues, #1)  How to Misbehave (Novella)  Control
Destined by Jessie Harrell 
  •  YA retelling of Psyche and Eros.
My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking
  • YA paranormal romance.  Involves vampires and a love triangle.
Rules for a Lady by Jade Lee
  • Historical romance with mistaken identity and love between a guardian and his ward.
Stolen Love by Carolyn Jewel
  • Historical romance with childhood friends.  A very popular author in this genre.
Squeeze Play by Kate Angell
  • Baseball-set contemporary romance.  Has multiple love stories at one time.  I gave it 3 stars.
How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox
  •  Contemporary romance with a community center director and a bad boy contractor.
Control by Charlotte Stein 
  •  Contemporary erotica with a repressed hero and a heroine who owns a dirty bookshop.
$1.99
The Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine (Sydney Dovedale, #1)  How to Deceive a Duke  Crazy On You (Lovett, Texas, #2)  Daisy's Back in Town
Austenland (Austenland, #1)  Deep Desires


Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine by Jayne Fresina
  •  Historical romance with a heroine who places an ad for a husband.
How to Deceive a Duke by Lecia Cornwall
  •  Historical romance where the heroine impersonates her runaway sister at a wedding.
Crazy on You by Rachel Gibson
  •  Contemporary romance.  Involves a slightly crazy single mom and a police officer.
Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel Gibson
  •  Contemporary romance with a heroine who returns to her hometown and meets up with the bad boy she left behind.
Austenland by Shannon Hale
  •  Contemporary romance with a heroine who is obsessed with Pride and Prejudice and goes to a Jane Austen-themed resort.  Movie adaptation is coming out sometime this year.
Deep Desires by Charlotte Stein
  • Erotica with two tortured characters who use voyeurism to learn how to trust one another.  I gave it 3.5 stars.
OTHER GREAT DEALS UNDER $4.00
Abandon (Abandon Trilogy, #1)  One Week Girlfriend  Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor, #2) 
Abandon by Meg Cabot
  • YA retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth.
One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy
  • New adult contemporary with a Cinderella-like plot and some unexpected twists.
Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas
  • Contemporary romance between a glass artist and a vineyard owner.




Friday, January 25, 2013

FEATURE AND FOLLOW FRIDAY (58): Late-Night Reading

Gain New Blog Followers

Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. Feature & Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!


This Week's Feature Blogs:
Books Are the Only True Magic
Sugar & Snark 


Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)
Q: What is the last book that kept you up late into the night just to finish it?

The most recent book that completely ruined my sleeping schedule was Shades of Earth by Beth Revis.  This is the conclusion to the wonderful Across the Universe trilogy and I had been eagerly anticipating it.  My preordered copy came in the mail the day after it was released and I finished it at about 4:30 the next morning.  My 5-star review of the book can be found here.


*******
I have created different ways for you to follow my blog: GFC, LinkyFollowers, email, Twitter, or Goodreads.  Comment, follow me, and I'll return the favor!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

REVIEW: "Kiss of Steel" by Bec McMaster

Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, #1)
Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster
(London Steampunk #1)

Steampunk Romance
For Ages 18+
Steam Level: Hot

Sourcebooks Casablanca -- September 4, 2012
Ebook, 448 pages

Rating: 5 Stars




SUMMARY

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.

MY THOUGHTS

Two of my favorite genres are historical romance and paranormal romance so when I find a book that combines them my anticipation went through the roof.  Thank goodness Bec McMaster's debut met every expectation that I had and beyond.  Almost everything about this book worked for me from the setting to the supernatural worldbuilding to the characters to the romance.

The London Steampunk series takes place in an alternate version of England which is an intriguing mix of the supernatural and steampunk.  The upper levels of British society are made up of people who are inflicted with a disease that causes them to age slower and crave blood.  This has shaped the entire culture and economy of the country which causes quite a few issues that the characters

The heroine of Kiss of Steel is Honoria who is a young lady trying to keep her small family together after her father's mysterious death.  Unfortunately, she is trying to do this while hiding from a malicious English lord who has put a bounty on her head and things are further complicated by the fact that her brother is showing signs of the virus that afflicts the lords and ladies.  Overall, I really enjoyed this character.  Her strength and the determination she had to keeping her brother and sister safe was very admirable and easy to relate to.  She did have some frustrating moments where I felt like her pride was a bit too much, but, thankfully, those incidents were balanced out with some really admirable moments.

And then we come to Blade who is one of my favorite heroes in recent memory.  I loved everything about this guy from his name to his look to his backstory, etc.  Blade is the self-proclaimed leader of the Rookery, the most dangerous slum in London, and has developed his own little gang to protect his interests throughout the city.  He also has a mysterious past that explains why he has the same disease that all the aristocracy have and why he has such a vendetta against them.  Another aspect of Blade that I adored was the vulnerability that he showed whenever he interacted with Honoria which is very refreshing in romance.  

The romance between Honoria and Blade was almost perfect.  The physical attraction was immediate, and unwanted on Honoria's part, but things quickly escalated to a more emotional level.  It was very obvious to me as a reader how perfect these two were for each other.  Their circumstances were different yet their ultimate goals were the same and it was really great to see that especially with all the darker aspects of this paranormal world.

There were quite a few plots to follow in this book.  Since it is the first in a series, there is the obligatory introduction to the world and the main players in it, but I never felt like I was being provided too much information at a time.  In addition to the romance, there was the business of keeping Honoria and her family away from the malicious lord who has been searching for them for years.  McMaster also sets up, what I believe to be, a continual storyline for the series with the creation of a possible cure for the blood-craving virus which is introduced through a murder mystery involving a vampire on the loose in the Rookery.

Overall, I found this debut to be well-written and highly entertaining.  I became fully engrossed in the world and eagerly anticipate returning to it in the future.  There are many roads that Ms. McMaster can follow with this series and I am excited to see what she does with some of these great characters especially Will the werewolf and Honoria's younger sister Lena.

SERIES INFORMATION

London Steampunk
1. Kiss of Steel
1.5. Tarnished Knight
2. Heart of Iron (Coming 2013)

SOUNDTRACK IDEAS

Cry Little Sister -- G Tom Mac 
**Theme song for the steampunk setting.

Lost -- Anouk 
**Honoria's feelings for Blade and how they change throughout the book.

Monster -- Skillet 
**How Blade feels about his life and his disease.


BOOK CHALLENGE ENTRY







Wednesday, January 23, 2013

REVIEW: "Shades of Earth" by Beth Revis

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
(Across the Universe #3)

Young Adult -- Science Fiction/Dystopian
For Ages 13+
Steam Level: Kisses

Razorbill -- January 15, 2013
Hardcover, 369 pages

Rating: 5 Stars




SUMMARY

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.

FUELED BY LIES.  RULED BY CHAOS.  ALMOST HOME.

MY THOUGHTS

WARNING!  THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE SERIES: ACROSS THE UNIVERSE AND A MILLION SUNS.

Holy crap!  That was my first reaction to completing this book and this series.  The way that Ms. Revis took what we knew about Amy, Elder, and the whole Godspeed plot and turned it on its head was unexpected and extremely entertaining.

The last time that we saw the Godspeed crew they were leaving the ship for good and trying to land on the planet that they had been circling for ages, Centauri-Earth.  Shades of Earth picks up right where A Million Suns left off with Elder, Amy, and over a thousand others heading towards the planet.  From there, readers watch as these people's lives change forever.

I have been kinda tough on Amy in my earlier reviews for this series, but this book really made me love and appreciate her.  The development of her character and the way that she grew up to become the strong-minded woman she is has been a real joy to read about in these books.  Shades of Earth allows Amy to reunite with her parents, but then forces her to really think about the differences between their opinions regarding the ship dwellers and hers.  I liked how she had moments where she was still a teenager who looked to her parents and the other adults for advice yet never took their word for absolute truth.  

One character that I have not had a difficult time liking and wanting to see more of is Elder.  I have been fascinated by his journey since the moment we met him.  A teenager who is forced, by tradition and tragedy, to become the leader of a group of people is an interesting story line especially when his authority is tested by the arrival of new people.  Watching Elder adjust to his leadership role in A Million Suns was a nice introduction to the trials that he faces in this book.  Now that the people from Sol-Earth are unfrozen, Elder must try to balance his urge to rely  on the authority of Amy's father while still maintaining the morale of his people. 

A new "character" that emerges in this book that I think requires mentioning in the review is the planet itself.  Readers have been hearing about this illusive world since the beginning of the series and I was super excited to finally see what it was like on the surface.  What I got was a world full of beauty and danger.  The gorgeous trees and lakes are balanced out with the existence of terrifying animals and monsters that the frozens and ship dwellers were not prepared for.  Revis allowed Centauri-Earth to develop a personality of its own which I really enjoyed and appreciated.

I can't say much about the plot of Shades of Earth without spoiling it for future readers.  But, what I can say is that the action starts from the first chapter and does not stop until the explosive and heart-wrenching ending.  Readers are exposed to almost everything a good conclusion needs: curious sites, political intrigue, death, destruction, and some very angry neighbors.

In conclusion, I found Shades of Earth to be a satisfying and adrenaline-pumping conclusion to an already amazing series.  The journey of Amy and Elder was mind-blowing and emotionally taxing, but worth my time and energy.  Revis does an amazing job of making her readers feel for her characters as well as forcing them to really think about the situation on Centuari-Earth and what they can learn from it. 


SERIES INFORMATION

Across the Universe Trilogy
1. Across the Universe
2. A Million Suns
3. Shades of Earth



SOUNDTRACK IDEAS

Nemo -- Nightwish
**Ultimate theme song for Elder and his journey throughout the series.


Cosmic Love -- Florence & the Machine
**Amy and Elder's love song.


BOOK CHALLENGE ENTRY





WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (42): "Heart of Iron" by Bec McMaster




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases we're anxiously awaiting. 








Heart of Iron (London Steampunk, #2)

HEART OF IRON
(LONDON STEAMPUNK #2)
by Bec McMaster

Expected Publication: May 7, 2013
Steampunk/Historical Romance/Paranormal Romance

In Victorian London, if you’re not a blue blood of the Echelon then you’re nothing at all. The Great Houses rule the city with an iron fist, imposing their strict ‘blood taxes’ on the nation, and the Queen is merely a puppet on a string…

Lena Todd makes the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a sympathizer for the humanist movement haunting London’s vicious blue blood elite. Not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger, and the one man whose kiss she can’t forget…

Stricken with the loupe and considered little more than a slave-without-a-collar to the blue bloods, Will wants nothing to do with the Echelon or the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds a coded letter on Lena—a code that matches one he saw on a fire-bombing suspect—he realizes she’s in trouble. To protect her, he must seduce the truth from her.

With the humanists looking to start a war with the Echelon, Lena and Will must race against time—and an automaton army—to stop the humanist plot before it’s too late. But as they fight to save a city on the brink of revolution, the greatest danger might just be to their hearts.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Most Wanted Settings





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



TOP TEN SETTINGS I WANT TO SEE MORE OF IN BOOKS


Born in Sin (Brotherhood/MacAllister, #3)1. Medieval Europe
Examples: Enchanted by Elizabeth Lowell; Born in Sin by Kinley MacGregor; Murray Family series by Hannah Howell.

2. Futuristic America (non-dystopian)
Examples: In Death series by JD Robb;  The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson;

3. Napoleonic France
Examples: Slightly Tempted by Mary Balogh; Ruthless by Anne Stuart; The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne;

4. Westerns
His at NightExamples: Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath; The Wives of Bowie Stone by Maggie Osborne

5. Late-Victorian/Edwardian England
Examples: Girl Bachelors series by Laura Lee Guhrke; Beast by Judith Ivory; His At Night by Sherry Thomas

6. On the Sea/Ocean
Examples: The Pirate Lord by Sabrina Jeffries; Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke; His Wicked Kiss by Gaelen Foley; Surrender to a Siren by Tessa Dare

7. Regency/Victorian-era British Colonies (Egypt, India, China, etc.)
Examples: As You Desire by Connie Brockway; The Other Guy's Bride by Connie Brockway; Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase; Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas; Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

The Bronze Horseman8. Russia
Examples: Midnight Angel by Lisa Kleypas; The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges; The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

9. Fictional Nations 
Examples: Ascension trilogy by Gaelen Foley

10. Historical Settings Other Than Great Britain/United Kingdom
Examples: The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale; Don't Tempt Me by Loretta Chase; Broken Wing by Judith James



Sunday, January 20, 2013

DEJA-VU REVIEW (2): Food-Themed Book


DJVR

Hosted by The Book Addict's Guide.  A feature that allows bloggers to write mini-reviews of books that they read before blogging or books that they never got around to reviewing.

Secret Desires of a Gentleman (Girl Bachelors, #3)The Secret Desires of a Gentleman
(Girl Bachelors #3)
by Laura Lee Guhrke

Once Upon a Time...

Maria Martingale was going to elope. But Phillip Hawthorne, Marquess of Kayne, put a stop to those plans when he learned his younger brother intended to marry a cook's daughter. Now, twelve years later, Maria discovers that the man who holds her fate in his hands is none other than the haughty gentleman who sent her packing—and he's as handsome and arrogant as ever.

Happily Ever After?

Always the proper gentleman, Phillip will do anything to protect his family from scandal, and when Maria dares to move in right next door, he knows scandal will surely follow. She is as tempting as he remembered . . . and the more he sees her, the harder it is for Phillip to keep his own secret desire for her a secret.


My Review: This is the third in Guhrke's fascinating historical series which takes place in the late-Victorian era, but can easily be read as a stand-alone romance.  The heroine is a pastry chef who is trying to own a shop while the hero is a starchy lord with a long-held secret.  I adore stories with the opposites attract theme and this one of my favorites.  Maria is an intelligent, determined woman who knows exactly what she wants and is willing to do anything to reach her dreams.  Phillip, on the other hand, takes some getting used to with his upper-class manners and his quiet nature.  But, I quickly fell in love with him and was rooting for him to reveal the truth about his feelings to the oblivious Maria.  Plus there's a great scene that pays homage the an infamous moment in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

The setting is unusual in this era of Regency-set historicals and is one of my favorite aspects of the book.  I love reading about the changes to English society and culture during the late nineteenth century like the rise of the middle class and all the new technologies.  I highly recommend this historical romance for anyone wanting an intelligent and character-driven love story.  

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Saturday, January 19, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (1) and IN MY MAILBOX (4)

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Two great features where bloggers can share what books they received during the week.


How Beauty Saved the Beast  Too Stupid to Live (Romancelandia, #1)  Something New Under the Sun (Falling Sky, #2)  Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)
The Seduction of Elliot McBride (Highland Pleasures, #5)  The Lady Most Willing...: A Novel in Three Parts  A Hint of Frost (Araneae Nation, #1)  What a Duke Wants
I Love the Earl (The Truth About the Duke #0.5)  One Night in London (The Truth About the Duke #1)  Escorted  Seduction of a Highland Lass (McCabe Trilogy, #2)
All Night with a Rogue (Lords of Vice, #1)  Tricked (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #4)  Greta and the Goblin King (Mylena Chronicles, #1)  Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)


~RECEIVED FOR REVIEW~
How Beauty Saved the Beast (Tales of the Underlight #2) by Jax Garren (urban fantasy/steampunk)
Too Stupid to Live by Anne Tenino (male/male romance)
Something New Under the Sun by L.A. Witt (male/male romance)

~PURCHASED~
Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis (YA science fiction/dystopian)
The Seduction of Elliot McBride (Highland Pleasures #5) by Jennifer Ashley (historical romance)
The Lady Most Willing by Connie Brockway, Julia Quinn, and Eloisa James (historical romance)
A Hint of Frost (Araneae Nation #1) by Hailey Edwards (paranormal romance)
What a Duke Wants by Lavinia Kent (historical romance)
I Love the Earl (Truth About the Duke #0.5) by Caroline Linden (historical romance)
One Night in London (Truth  About the Duke #1) by Caroline Linden (historical romance)
Escorted by Claire Kent (contemporary romance)

~RECEIVED FROM PAPERBACK SWAP~
The Seduction of a Highland Lass (McCabe Trilogy #2) by Maya Banks (historical romance)
All Night with a Rogue (Lords of Vice #1) by Alexandra Hawkins (historical romance)

~BORROWED FROM LIBRARY~
Tricked (Iron Druid Chronicles #4) by Kevin Hearne (urban fantasy)
Greta and the Goblin King (Mylena Chronicles #1) by Chloe Jacobs (YA fantasy)
Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes (YA fantasy)