Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

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

~Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read~
For this week's list, I decided to focus on books that I liked, but had a hard time reading due to the subject matter.

The Book Thief
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak -- Holocaust

2. Dreamland by Sarah Dressen -- Domestic violence

The Fault in Our Stars
3. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green -- Cancer

Thirteen Reasons Why
4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher -- Suicide

Breathing Underwater (Breathing Underwater, #1)
5. Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn -- Domestic violence from the viewpoint of the abuser

Visions in Death (In Death, #19)
6. Visions in Death by JD Robb -- Serial killer who takes victims' eyes (Review)

Aftermath (Aftermath, #1)
7. Aftermath by Cara Dee -- Kidnapping and torture

Living Dead Girl
8. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott -- Kidnapping and rape

Broken Wing
9. Broken Wing by Judith James -- Rape and torture

Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #8) Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #12)
10. Acheron/Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon -- Unimaginable torture (Review for Styxx)

Monday, September 29, 2014

REVIEW: "What a Wallflower Wants" by Maya Rodale

What a Wallflower Wants (Bad Boys & Wallflowers, #3)
What a Wallflower Wants by Maya Rodale
(Bad Boys and Wallflowers #3)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality, One Scene of Sexual Violence)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

Avon -- Published on September 30, 2014
Ebook, 384 pages
Read in September 2014
Received from Edelweiss

Beta Hero, Tormented Heroine

Miss Prudence Merryweather Payton has a secret...

Everyone knows that she's the only graduate from her finishing school to remain unwed on her fourth season—but no one knows why. With her romantic illusions shattered after being compromised against her will, Prudence accepts a proposal even though her betrothed is not exactly a knight in shining armor. When he cowardly pushes her out of their stagecoach to divert a highwayman, she vows never to trust another man again.

John Roark, Viscount Castleton, is nobody's hero...

He's a blue-eyed charmer with a mysterious past and ambitious plans for his future—that do not include a wife. When he finds himself stranded at a country inn with a captivating young woman, a delicate dance of seduction ensues. He knows he should keep his distance. And he definitely shouldn't start falling in love with her.

When Prudence's dark past comes back to haunt her, John must protect her—even though he risks revealing his own secrets that could destroy his future.

"Are you there, God?  'Tis I, Prudence."

I thought this was a decent conclusion to a series I have really come to enjoy.  In the first two books of the series, readers have seen Prudence Payton sit by quietly as her best friends find true love and happiness.  It soon became obvious that something was keeping Prudence from hunting for a husband like most young ladies in this time period.  What a Wallflower Wants provides readers with an explanation for her discomfort with society and gives her the opportunity to show how strong of a character she is.

I have had a soft spot for Prudence from the beginning so I was excited to read her story.  I love how Maya Rodale portrayed her character.  She did not back away from the ugliness of the past, but also made sure that it didn't define Prudence.  There was so much to admire about Prudence with her kindness, her intelligence, and her strength which wasn't obvious to most people including her.

John Roark was the perfect person to help Prudence regain her confidence.  He is a charming lord who comes upon Prudence while she is walking towards an inn in a downpour.  I loved how he was able to tell that she had to complete this journey on her own, but was willing to do anything to help her once she arrived.  John just had a gentle and fun-loving personality that helped bring Prudence out of her shell without having any expectations beyond friendship.  There were definitely some unexpected elements to his character that I enjoyed reading about as the book moved along.

My main issue with What a Wallflower Wants was the fact that I thought the romance developed too fast.  It is a "cabin romance" which is a theme that I enjoy so I understood the reasoning behind the quick turnaround.  I guess I just wanted the aftermath of being stranded at the inn to give Prudence and John more time to develop as a couple.  I thought they were a cute couple, but insta-love just isn't something that I enjoy reading about so I had to lower the rating of the book overall.

I have been a fan of Maya Rodale's writing since her debut back in 2007 so I was super happy to see cameos of characters from her Writing Girls and Negligent Chaperone books.  Seeing Lord Huntley return and show how much he has changed since The Rogue and the Rival was a true delight.  I also liked that the appearances did not seem cliched or unreasonable for the situation at hand.

While there were definitely parts that disappointed me, I am pretty happy with the way the Bad Boys and Wallflowers series ended.  The three heroines were easy to relate to and I wanted them to be happy.  I definitely look forward to what Maya Rodale comes up with next.

I received a free copy of this book from Avon via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


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

"That was the truth, wasn't it?  Everyone had their flaws and exhausted themselves trying to hide them.  Nothing was perfect."

REVIEW: "Forged by Desire" by Bec McMaster

Forged by Desire (London Steampunk, #4)
Forged by Desire by Bec McMaster
For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality, Violence)
Steampunk Romance

Sourcebooks -- Published in September 2014
Ebook, 416 pages
Read in September 2014
Purchased from Amazon

Alpha Hero, Kick-Ass Heroine, Unrequited Love, Vampires

Captain Garret Reed of the Nighthawk guard has a deadly mission: capture a steel-jawed monster preying on women. He hates to put his partner, Perry, in jeopardy, but she’s the best bait he has. Little does he realize, he’s about to be caught in his own trap.

Perry has been half in love with Garrett for years, but this is not exactly the best time to start a relationship—especially when their investigation leads them directly into the clutches of the madman she thought she’d escaped.

"He dreamed of red silk."

Warning!  This review contains spoilers for earlier books in the London Steampunk series.

Amazing!  I loved almost everything about this book with its kick-ass characters, tension-filled romance, and continued development of a fascinating world.  While I'm sure each of the London Steampunk books could be read as stand-alones, I highly recommend that readers at least check out My Lady Quicksilver (book 3) because the conclusion of that book has repercussions in this one.

Readers of the London Steampunk series met Garret and Perry in the last book as members of the Nighthawks, the police arm of the infected Echelon.  They had obviously been friends for awhile and it was only a matter of time until romance entered the fray.  Things really get moving on that front when Perry goes undercover at the opera and shows that she isn't just a tomboy.  Now, Perry and Garret must deal with their changing relationship while searching for a potential serial killer amongst the upper class of British society.

I loved both Perry and Garret's characters.  Perry is the center of this novel with her mysterious past that seems to be coming back to bite her.  She is intelligent, kind, and very strong though she does have a problem with trusting others.  Garret lived on the streets until being picked up by former Nighthawk leader, Sir Jasper Lynch, and he isn't afraid to use his charm to get what he wants.  An unfortunate injury has forced the blood virus to start growing rapidly in his body and he is trying to adjust to this change while falling for his best friend.

The romance in Forged By Desire is full of chemistry.  These two have been circling each other since the previous book and that made for some delicious scenes.  Bec McMaster did a masterful job of showing the physical attraction between Perry and Garret, but she also showed that they get along on an emotional level.  They have been friends for ages and that intimacy is important in the long-term success of this romance.

Most of this book focused on the hunt for a serial killer, but there were also some developments in the overall series storyline.  The continued spiral into madness of the prince consort is obvious and there are finally people gathering together to stand against him.  I love getting to see more of the inner workings of the Echelon which it seems like will be the setting for the next book, Of Silk and Steam.  And, of course, I have to mention the cameos from Blade and Honoria (Kiss of Steel) and Lena and Will (Heart of Iron).  This series is getting better and better and I am excited to read more of it next year.


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

1. Kiss of Steel
1.5. Tarnished Knight
2. Heart of Iron
3. My Lady Quicksilver
3.5. The Curious Case of the Clockwork Menac
4. Forged by Desire
5. Of Silk and Steam (Coming 2015)  

Sunday, September 28, 2014


A list of new releases that grabbed my attention for next month.  These are organized by expected publication date.  As always, release dates are subject to change.


The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)
The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan (MG fantasy)

Rules For A Proper Governess (MacKenzies & McBrides, #7)
Rules For a Proper Governess (Highland Pleasures #7) by Jennifer Ashley (historical romance)

Outcome (Aftermath #2)
Outcome (Aftermath #2) by Cara Dee (M/M contemporary)

This Night So Dark (Starbound, #1.5)
This Night So Dark (Starbound #1.5) by Amie Kaufman and Meghan Spooner (YA science fiction)

Not in the Script (If Only . . . #3)
Not In The Script (In the Script #) by Amy Finnegan (YA contemporary)

Immortal (Fallen Angels, #6)
Immortal (Fallen Angels #6) by JR Ward (paranormal romance)

The Love Match
The Love Match (Sisters of Scandal #3) by Lily Maxton (historical romance)

Darling Beast (Maiden Lane, #7)
Darling Beast (Maiden Lane #7) by Elizabeth Hoyt (historical romance)

Once Upon a Christmas Kiss
Once Upon a Christmas Kiss (Wicked Widows #3.5) by Manda Collins (historical romance)

The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years, #3)
The Understatement of the Year (Ivy Years #3) by Sarina Bowen (NA contemporary)

Billionaire with Benefits (Romancelandia #2)
Billionaire with Benefits (Romancelandia #2) by Anne Tenino (M/M contemporary)

Stand By You (Belonging #3)
Stand By You (Belonging #3) by A.M. Arthur (M/M contemporary)

Foundation of Trust (Cost of Repairs, #5)
Foundation of Trust (Cost of Repairs #5) by A.M. Arthur (M/M contemporary)

Famous in Love
Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle (YA contemporary)

The Accidental Countess (Playful Brides, #2)
The Accidental Countess (Playful Brides #2) by Valerie Bowman (historical romance)

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)
Burn For Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews (paranormal romance)

Talon (Talon, #1)
Talon (Talon #1) by Julie Kagawa (YA fantasy)

He's No Prince Charming (Ever After, #1)
He's No Prince Charming (Ever After #1) by Ella Daniels (historical romance)

Scandalous Summer Nights (Honeycote, #3)
Scandalous Summer Nights (Honeycote #3) by Anne Barton (historical romance)

Only Enchanting (The Survivors' Club, #4)
Only Enchanting (Survivors' Club #4) by Mary Balogh (historical romance)

The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane (Rhymes With Love, #4)
The Viscount Who Lived Down The Lane (Rhymes with Love #4) by Elizabeth Boyle (historical romance)

Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements, #2)
Stone Cold Touch (Dark Elements #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (YA paranormal)

Archangel's Shadows (Guild Hunter, #7)
Archangel's Shadows (Guild Hunters #7) by Nalini Singh (urban fantasy) 

Saturday, September 27, 2014


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

The Hook Up (Game On, #1)
The Hook-Up by Kristen Callihan -- I have heard so many amazing things about this new adult romance that I had to buy it.

Sleigh Ride (Minnesota Christmas, #2)
Sleigh Ride by Heidi Cullinan -- I liked the first Minnesota Christmas book so I had to request the sequel from Netgalley.


Evernight by Kristen Callihan
Snow Falling On Bluegrass by Molly Harper
Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan
Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh

Thursday, September 25, 2014


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.


Dancing at Midnight (Splendid, #2) Dancing at Midnight (Splendid Trilogy, #2)
Dancing At Midnight by Julia Quinn
Originally Published in 1995

When a suitor tells Lady Arabella Blyndon that he is willing to overlook her appalling bluestocking tendencies on account of her looks and fortune, she decides to take a break from the Marriage Mart. So during an extended stay in the country, she never expects to meet Lord John Blackwood, a wounded war hero who intrigues her like no other man.

Lord John has lived through the worst horrors of war, but nothing could have been as terrifying to his tormented heart as Lady Arabella. She is intoxicating, infuriating...and she makes him want to live again. Suddenly he's writing bad poetry and climbing trees in the pitch-dark night, just so he can dance with her. But when the harsh light of day replaces the magic of midnight, can this tormented soul learn to love again?

Another of my favorite JQ books!  I think this is one of the first I read of hers after the Bridgerton series.  I loved that this one featured a tortured hero and a bluestocking...two themes that I have come to be obsessed with ever since.  You can rarely go wrong with Julia Quinn and this book shows why.