Thursday, 16 February 2017

{Review} From London With Love by Diana Quincy

From London With Love
By: Diana Quincy
Published by: Loveswept on February 7th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance (Mature)
Source: Review copy

Emilia St. George is moments away from marrying the admired grandson of a duke when the man who once jilted her decides to kidnap her at the altar. It’s the second time in five years Hamilton Sparrow has ruined her wedding day, and Emilia isn’t about to forgive him. The mere sight of her ex-fiancé revives painful memories—and, most regrettably, aching desires that refuse to be ignored.
Scanning the guests at Emilia’s wedding, Sparrow spots a familiar face: an assassin he recognizes from his days as a spy in France. Whisking Emilia away, he’s pleasantly surprised by her newly formed curves. Could this be the same flame-haired slip of a girl once promised to Sparrow? And does the fop she still insists on marrying realize what a prize she is? True, Sparrow left Emilia at the altar. But he’s afraid that the only way to right that particular wrong is to risk the one thing he’s always guarded: his heart.

I received a review copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has been a while since I last read a historical romance and the first sentence of the summary captured my attention immediately. It made me want to just find out more.

From London With Love does not disappoint. I'm utterly captured by the characters and the story. The book started with Emilia being kidnapped by Sparrow, the man who broke their engagement five years ago. The thing that I like about reading this book is that I get to guess who the culprit was as the story progresses. I must say that even though it is quite obvious, the process is still enjoyable. It's also fun to read about both Emilia and Sparrow, how they deny their attraction only to come together again in the end.

Although this is book 3 of the series, I have absolutely no issues with reading this as a standalone. I actually finished this book in two sittings but procrastination got the better of me and I only managed to write the review now. Would I recommend this book? Definitely with those who wants to have an enjoyable and light reading.

P.S. We've moved to Bookish Michelle. See you there!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

{Spotlight} Once Upon Two Kingdoms by Anna del C. Dye

Once Upon Two Kingdoms by Anna del C. Dye

Published on 30 Jan 2015
Genre: YA Medieval Romance
Page Count: 240

Freedom to Choose is Paramount for any human

An arrangement made when Elizabeth was just a babe ties her to someone she has never met, never spoken to, never loved. Now she desires freedom—a way to choose her own path—her own husband. The moment Elizabeth meets Patrick she knows he is her soul mate. But when you are bound to a crown how is any choice your own?

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“People should be free to choose, once they are old enough to know what they want, and can take respon­sibility for their choices,” I whispered, watching you, my little baby, asleep so peaceful in contrast to the rage that brewed in me.

“How could your father condemn you this way while forcing me to stand by, unable to do anything but des­pair? I know he felt wretched. That doesn’t help the pain in my soul.

“I begged him on my knees, but it was no use. Your path in life was sealed and no human could break it asunder. All I could do was leave the sad scene, crying miserably with you in my arms.

“Still, I am not alone in my misery. Before they left, she murmured that she wanted something different, but it was too late. She was as devastated as I.

“I … could hardly bear the burden put on my shoul­ders by them. Oh, Elizabeth, I tried my child, I tried to protect you and I have failed you…”

About the author

Anna received the Editor’s Choice Award from the International Library of Poetry and had her article entitled A New American Mother published by Desert Saints Magazine. Her short story entitled Amerine—Fairy Princess won an award in a League of Utah Writers contest later to be published by Kalkion Magazine. (Now it has been published as an e-book.) Other articles about family and relationship have been published frequently in the MOMS CLUBÒ of Salt Lake Valley-West. She has published 7 books on her Elf series. Her and Rodney’s love story was published by Deseret book in the anthology entitled Angels Round About compiled by July C. Olsen. Another of her articles was included in the Anthology Mother’s Message in a Bottle, edited by Tyler Hayden and published by Nimbus Publishing.

She and her husband have four children. Three princes and a princess and live in Taylorsville, Utah.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

{Review} The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Young Elites by Marie Lu
The Young Elites #1

Published on 7 Oct 2014
Genre: YA Dystopia
Page Count: 355

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

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I must confess that I am new to Marie Lu despite the hype around her other series, Legends. It was the idea of the mysterious and powerful gifts that survivors of the bloodfever attained that got me interested in The Young Elites.

Lu has a smooth writing style that makes it easy for me to follow her characters through the story. However, I couldn't quite connect with the characters. Yes, I did felt sympathy towards Adelina for what she went through and that was it. There wasn't much on the romance portion as well. The fight scenes, however, were well-written. Generally a good read but I kept getting the feeling that it could be better. Hopefully book 2 will make up for the few shortcomings in the first one.

Recommendation: Borrow the book if you want to read it. Buy if you want to admire the cover.

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Sunday, 2 November 2014

On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence by Kasie West

Published on 1 July 2014
Genre: YA Romance
Page Count: 296


For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

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On the Fence is a light and enjoyable read which I finished in one sitting. The characters in the books are such darlings and when you mix in all the family teasing, the sweet chat by the fence and the character development in Charlie, it becomes a difficult-to-put-down book for me.

There isn't much going on in the book except the progress and transition in Charlie as she went from a tomboy to slowly discovering how to be a girl, how to go about handling it and to accept herself for who she was was. The love interest may be obvious for the start but that doesn't hinder my reading. 

I'll be sure to read other books by the same author!

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Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Troublemaker Next Door by Marie Harte

The Troublemaker Next Door by Marie Harte
The McCauley Brothers #1

Published on 3 June 2014
Genre: Romance
Page Count: 337

He can fix her sink, but can he wrench his way into her heart?

Flynn McCauley never thought he’d be so cliché as to fall for the girl next door. But when Maddie calls him over to help fix her faulty sink, he’s a goner. Too bad the fiercely independent interior designer wants nothing to do with him. Even worse, he’s forced to rely on the advice of his nosy brothers—and his five-year-old nephew!—to figure out how to make her give him a shot.

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Picked up this book after I saw the review at Caffeinated Book Reviewer and know that I will enjoy reading this book. We get to met the McCauley brothers--the whole lot of them--though this book focuses mainly on Flynn (nice name by the way). I enjoy reading the brotherly bonds--how they'd tease, fight and care for one another. 

Maddie is a tough girl and had a super bad day and it just so happens that Flynn was in her house, which she shared with 2 Abby and Vanessa, when she was venting to Abby. Imagine her shock when Maddie found out that there's a stranger in her house who heard her rant--but no, she turned her anger on him. Interesting right?

Maddie was told to apologize to the poor man, who came to help them with their sink, and so she did. The chemistry between the two of them was prevalent throughout the book and Maddie was just too stubborn to realize what was it she was feeling. *rolls eyes* Kudos to Flynn though! I had to admire his patience throughout their whole encounter and "agreement" and it came to a surprise to me that he was the one who realized his feelings first. 

I laughed a little at the epilogue, totally taken aback by the small surprise there. I'll definitely be picking up the second book and read about the second McCauley Brother. 

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Friday, 1 August 2014

{Cover Reveal} Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista by Aven Ellis

Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista by Aven Ellis

Release Date: September 10, 2014

Recent college graduate Avery Andrews is ready to begin a new life in the big city. She's landed an apartment in Chicago's famed Lincoln Park neighborhood–and has her eye on the cute commodities trader just a floor above.

If Premier Airlines knew about her fear of flying, they never would have hired her to be their marketing assistant—but it's not like Avery wants a lifelong career. Right now she simply wants a job to pay her bills…and fund a few little shopping excursions, too.

Her new lifestyle comes with a price tag, as Avery is not only faced with paying a ridiculous rent but finds she's perceived as one of the vacant, husband-hunting fashionistas who live in the area. Avery resents this stereotype—so she doesn't want a lifelong career, and she loves fashions she can't afford, but that doesn't mean she is empty-headed and spoiled, does it?

When an opportunity to participate in a documentary at work arises, Avery finds a two-fold solution to her problems. She'll earn extra money for it, and the documentary will show her as a serious career woman, enabling her to shed that husband-hunting fashionista label for good.

When the camera is on, Avery attempts to be a motivated professional woman. But when she is challenged by Deacon Ryan, the videographer assigned to cover her story, Avery finds herself wanting things she was never supposed to want—like a lasting career—and Deacon. And Avery might just gain more from the experience than a perfect career image and extra cash to put in her Tory Burch wallet…

About the author

I have always loved to write. I completed my first novel at the age of 15—an angst driven high school romance (Boy meets girl! Evil girl likes same boy! A deception! Will true love prevail?) Though I truly wanted to be a fiction writer, I also knew it was more practical to pursue a job in the communications field and write fiction on the side. So I went off to Purdue University and earned a degree in communication, writing for The Exponent along the way (apologies to anyone who fought through reading those early attempts at journalism.)

After a stint writing for a community newspaper and a public relations agency, and not enjoying what I was writing at all, I found myself a non-writing job and continued writing at night and on weekends. I completed multiple manuscripts that found a home under my bed. Complete it, print it, stick it in an envelope, slide under bed. It became a routine for me, similar to "Lather.Rinse.Repeat."

Finally, years later, I wrote Connectivity. I loved this story; I loved writing for William and MK. I became brave enough to share this story with new friends who became equally as passionate about these characters and their journey. They encouraged me to submit it to a publishing house. Then, in a critique group session, wine was poured and one of my partners, Lauren Linwood, pointed her finger at me and demanded that I submit Connectivity to a publisher, telling me the words every writer dreams of hearing—this will sell. I ended up submitting Connectivity to Soul Mate Publishing and now can happily say I am a published author.

I live in the Dallas area with my family. I enjoy clipping out recipes I will never get around to trying, working out, and chatting with friends on social media. I am particularly fond of British actors named Benedict and Henry. I love shopping and fashion and admit to being obsessed with whatever the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing. I am also obsessed with any show or cookbook featuring Gordon Ramsay.

And I do not believe in the Lather.Rinse.Repeat theory when it comes to shampooing my hair.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

{Blog Tour Giveaway} Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen

Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen

Published on 22 July 2014
Genre: Contemporary
Page Count: 350

Dakota Halifax loves to be in love. In fact, as one of Las Vegas’s premier wedding planners, she’s built a whole career around romance. Which is why her own wedding has to be nothing short of perfect. And then her fiancé jilts her. While she’s waiting in her wedding dress. On a cruise ship already out at sea.

Once back on dry land, Dakota tries to pour her heart into her business and weekly wedding advice column, Get Ready to Wed. But how can the heartbroken celebrate others’ true love? When she reconnects with her childhood best friend, surprisingly sexy and all-grown-up casino bouncer Brendan West, Dakota wonders if maybe she can fall back in love with being in love.

But then her ex reappears, begging for another chance, and suddenly Dakota questions if she’ll ever understand love. Can someone once-burned and twice-shy ever find her way down the aisle again?

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About the author
Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children. 


The cover is just so cute! I like that pink background.
What do you think about the book?