Tag: England

Review: Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

Posted June 6, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Title: Meant To Be

Author: Lauren Morrill

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publication Date: November 2012

Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone


Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley book.

Review:

Julia’s school trip to London should be exciting, taking in culture and history. But her plans change when she’s buddied with Jason, the class clown and all around crazy guy who can’t seem to stop breaking the rules.

Now Julia is starting to break some rules of her own. She’s always been waiting for her childhood crush, Mark, to come back into her life. But a mysterious texter, Chris, seems to have stolen her attention for now.

And what is going on with Jason, who seems more interesting than she first thought?

I’ll be honest. I first tried to read the book a few months ago, before it came out. But I was having a very hard time with Julia. She follows the rules, looks down on people, and has her nose a little bit too high in the air. So I put the book down and promised myself I would come back to it later. And I’m glad I did.

Julia is pretty unlikeable at the beginning of the book, but this just makes her challenges larger than anyone else in the story. By the end, I liked Julia and appreciated her journey.

Jason is on the far side of the spectrum too. Too outlandish, too childish. But again, his character changes in a different way than Julia. While Julia grows, reaching outward, Jason unfolds, exposing himself and his vulnerabilities.

The story is predictable, but not in a bad way. I still enjoyed reading about their adventures together in London. And the plot was fun, light and easy to read.

Overall, I think it’s a great summer romance book.


Rating 7 Pretty Cool Would Recommend

Posted June 6, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments


Review: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Posted May 2, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 3 Comments

Title: Shades of Milk and Honey

Author: Mary Robinette Kowal

Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: August 2010

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One

Synopsis can be found here.
I purchased this book.

Review:

Jane Ellsworth is a bright, smart yet plain girl. But while her sister has all the beauty, Jane has a clever wit and amazing talent with magic. Twenty eight years old, and sadly resigned to becoming a spinster, Jane is surprised when their sleepy town encounters some major changes, thrusting Jane into the forefront. She makes new friends, comes into secrets and perhaps, perhaps, may just get her heart stolen!


I’m sorry, what? Jane Austen’s world with some magic woven in? Sign me up!

This was a book club book and I’m so happy it was! I had been planning to read it for a while now but with my ever growing pile of books, it was down on the list.

What struck me most was the language. The author does such a fantastic job of paying homage to that brand of writing, without it becoming too cheesy or dated. It flows naturally on the page and the beautiful scenes with Glamour and magic woven in are effortless. I love this England.

Jane is sensible, humble but clear headed. Of course, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to Lizzie Bennett! And her sister Melody is a dreadful combination of immature, selfish and hopeless romantic. A few different characters spring to mind from Austen books, but you get the picture. While Melody is my least favorite character in the story, she does a wonderful job of bringing Jane out, causing tension and misunderstandings!


I loved the writing, I loved the magic. 
A quick and stylized historical fiction that remakes Austen’s England into something still charming but fantastically different!

If you love Jane Austen and love magic, give this one a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted May 2, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 3 Comments


Review: Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan

Posted February 7, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Title: Winterblaze

Author: Kristen Callihan

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Forever

Publication Date: February 2013

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Three

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.

Review:
Well Kristen Callihan, you’ve done it again.

In the third book of the Darkest London series, we carry on with Poppy Lane. Winston, former inspector, was attacked by a werewolf in the last book and discovered an entire underground and paranormal world that he didn’t know existed. Sad for him, he realized that Poppy did know, and was heavily involved in this world. Winston, hurt and confused, left Poppy and that is where this book picks up.

Winston is such a swoon-worthy character. He’s broken, physically and emotionally, from the last book and is trying to piece himself together again. Poppy, strong and very stubborn, has the weight of the world on her shoulders. her relationships with her sisters is far from stable, and now that her husband has left her, she carries on with a broken heart, alone and with very few people to turn to.

Enter a threat on Winston and his life and Poppy springs into action. She’s going to save the man she loves, whether he wants her to or not.

I love Poppy. Seriously. I know she can be seen as cold and calculated, but I really feel for her. She feels deeply, loves deeply, but has enormous responsibilities on her shoulders and cannot afford the open emotion that her sisters can. She cannot be seen as weak. Her life and other lives depend on it. She is such a great, sympathetic and complicated woman, fighting between what she wants and what she has to do.
The story has lots of fun twists and the reader is shuttled back and forth between the present day and the past. The past when Winston and Poppy are courting, falling in love. They are bittersweet memories that establish Win and Poppy as a loving couple, and it’s super heartbreaking to see where they are in present time and how far they’ve come. It works perfectly to balance the danger and violence surrounding the plot, and it really moves Poppy and Win’s new and fragile relationship forward. I saw where they’ve been and was excited to see where they were going to go.

Love the plot. What a page turner! People are gonna get hurt, folks. Hold on tight.
And the secondary characters are interesting, especially the set up for book four. I won’t give it away, but I cannot wait for that story.

A fantastic addition to the series.

Rating 9 Awesome, like Cookies and Ice Cream

Posted February 7, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment


Review: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

Posted November 1, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Title: The House of Silk

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Publisher: Mulholland Books

Publication Date: November 2011

Genre: Adult Mystery

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
Audiobook from audible.com


Review:


Sherlock is back!
It seems that everywhere you turn nowadays, there’s a Holmes reference. Sherlock, on the BBC, is by far one of my favorite shows at the moment. And Elementary has come out switching the Holmes and Watson relationship up a bit.
And then there’s The House of Silk, which came out last year and is endorsed by the Arthur Conan Doyle estate. And it lives up beautifully.

Watson is old now, and writing his memoirs. But there is one case that he has never shared with anyone and that is the House of Silk. Reaching into his memory, Watson narrates a twisted mystery filled with wrong turns, misconceptions and dangers. Even when Holmes is in peril, and Watson isn’t sure how they will get out of it, Holmes stays calm and cool, keeping his observations and theories close to the chest.

From what started as a simple robbery case, leads the pair into the darkest parts of London, to the highest pedestals of society. People don’t want Holmes to know about the House of Silk, and they will do anything in their power to stop him.

A slow and well laid out mystery, I loved Horowitz’s writing. I was easily transported back to that age, the sights and smells overwhelming me. When Homes was in danger, I was on the edge of my seat. And as the clues carefully began to unfold, I followed Holmes’s logic too. While the ending wasn’t a huge surprise as I had already begun to put the pieces together, the ride was fun. And the best part, a little cameo from a mysterious mathematician.

I listened to the audiobook which was well read, with great feeling and depth. Derek Jacobi’s deep and soulful voice was excellent as Watson, bringing much life into the dear doctor.

Overall, a great Sherlock read.

Rating 7 Pretty Cool Would Recommend

Posted November 1, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments


Review: Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Posted October 15, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Title: Haunting Violet

Author: Alyxandra Harvey

Publisher: Walker Publishing

Publication Date: June 2011

Genre: Young Adult Ghost Story

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I purchased this book.

Review:

Violet has spent her childhood helping her mother “contact” spirits, as in fooling everyone into believing she is a medium. However, one day, Violet finds that she can really talk to spirits. And the dead have a lot to tell her.

I really like Alyxandra Harvey’s Drake Chronicles, so I was excited to give this stand alone novel a try. The book is much more serous in tone, taking place in Victorian England with all of the era’s rigid rules and social restrictions. Immediatley, it’s obvious that Violet’s problems is not restricted to only being haunted by ghosts. Her dear mother is a huge source of danger, manipulation and abuse. The ghosts are scary, but Mrs. Willoughby is scarier.

The challenges Violet has to face, coming to terms with her own gifts, finding the murderer of this innocent girl, choosing between to very different suitors are well balanced. Harvey’s dialogue is natural. It’s easy to believe that Violet and Elizabeth are friends, why she is attracted to Colin and how years of being treated by a selfish mother has cost Violet.

The book started off slow for me, it took me a couple of days to get into it. But by the time I was over half way through, it picked up and I finished the rest in a night. It’s worth the wait. While I didn’t love it as much as I do The Drake Chronicles, Haunting Violet is still a well written ghost story with a creepy personality.


Rating 5 Ok, Decent Like Diet Coke

Posted October 15, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments


Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Posted October 1, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 11 Comments

Title: Soulless

Author: Gail Carriger

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: October 2009

Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One

Synopsis can be found here.

Review
Alexia was just minding her own business, in the library, trying to eat some delicious looking items when the inconsiderate vampire attacked her! Lucky for her, she was able to defeat the rude monster! But the adventure doesn’t stop there. Because Alexia is thrown into a mystery of vanishing vampires, an Alpha werewolf who she can’t seem to stop arguing with, and her social life and reputation on the verge of ruin. What is a soulless girl to do?

Love. Love. Love.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I sat down to read Soulless. I knew the series was popular and adored. While I haven’t had much luck with Steampunk novels in the past, I wanted to keep an open mind about this one. I mean, by the synopsis alone it seemed like a story I would love.
I was right.

Alexia is hysterically funny. Brave and fearless, she doesn’t know it but she has suffered quite a bit of self esteem issues from her ridiculous family. But that doesn’t stop her! It merely adds another layer to Alexia, the old spinster at age twenty six. Old beyond her years and an outsider from society and her family. Which is probably one of the reasons why Lord Maccon is so taken with her. They argue constantly. She has a mind of her own. She doesn’t listen to anything he tells her to do. And this infuriates him, as well as endears her to him.
Lord Maccon, head of the BUR and Alpha werewolf to his pack, is strong, short tempered and a lively male romantic lead to Alexia.

Carriger’s writing is sharp, clever and witty. Laugh Out Loud moments abound and the dialogue flows swiftly and easily, charmingly using older language. I was surprised by how much of a romantic book this turned out to be, instead of staying in the Urban Fantasy realm. But don’t be put out! The romance is hot and sweet, the bad guys creepy and the characters are a fun, heartwarming, over the top mix.

Don’t miss this. I’m sorry I waited so long to read it.
That said, I was supposed to read a couple of other books, but set them aside to start Book Two in the series. Addicting.

Rating 9 Ridiculously Awesome, Like Cookies and Ice Cream

Posted October 1, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 11 Comments


**Romance Report** Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa Everett

Posted September 24, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Title: Ruined by Rumor

Author: Alyssa Everett

Publisher: Carina Press

Publication Date: May 2012

Genre: Adult Romance

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone


Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.

Review:
Roxanna Langley is stunned when her fiance announces that he can no longer marry her, after waiting for five years!

When emotions get the best of her, she is seen with the Earl Ayersley, Alex Winslow. Rumors abound and suddenly, these two are thrown into a situation neither of them could have seen coming!

I love Alyssa Everett’s first book A Tryst With Trouble, and very sad that it hasn’t come out yet! (The publisher went under and the fate of the book is still unknown.) Lucky for us, Ruined by Rumor is safe and ready to read!

Of course, I loved Earl Ayersley. He’s incredibly shy, socially awkward and faithful. I like how they were thrown together through circumstance, how noble he is and how he uses quotes to express himself. Forgive me, but I also enjoyed his temper. When it finally happens, it’s deserving and shocking. Alex is so calm and conservative through the entire book, you know there’s some mad passion under there somewhere!

Roxanna is naive and sweet. I can’t say I loved her; I like my heroines with a little more bite. But she didn’t bother me and she seemed like a good match for Ayersley. I do wish she had more of a back bone, especially when it came to George, the Major who jilted her.

There are so many misunderstandings between these two characters, it seems almost unbelievable. But because Everett is an expert with dialogue, it’s clear that Roxanna and Alex are afraid they’re hearing the worst of what the other is saying. I sorta wish George was a little bit more charming. It was so clear that he was up to no good, I just wished he would go away and a couple of times I wanted to slap Roxanna for finding him so dreamy. I mean, come on girl. Think!

I really enjoyed Ruined by Rumor. I couldn’t wait to get home and read more.

Rating: 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted September 24, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments