Friday, December 15

Book Review: The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett


Author: Elizabeth Jane Corbett

Title: The Tides Between
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: ebook
Published: Oct 2017
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

In the year 1841, on the eve of her departure from London, Bridie's mother demands she forget her dead father and prepare for a sensible adult life in Port Phillip. Desperate to save her childhood, fifteen-year-old Bridie is determined to smuggle a notebook filled with her father's fairy tales to the far side of the world.

When Rhys Bevan, a soft-voiced young storyteller and fellow traveller realises Bridie is hiding something, a magical friendship is born. But Rhys has his own secrets and the words written in Bridie’s notebook carry a dark double meaning.

As they inch towards their destination, Rhys's past returns to haunt him. Bridie grapples with the implications of her dad’s final message. The pair take refuge in fairy tales, little expecting the trouble it will cause.



First of all...I love that cover. I was instantly drawn in to it. It is so beautiful! 

The story follows a few people on a journey to the new world to start new lives away from England. There is Bridie who's father just passed away and she is clinging to his memory and fairy-tales. There is Alf who just married Bridie's mom and is trying to show that all he wants is what is best for the family. Then there is Rhys who is traveling with his preggo wife and is trying to escape his past. 

Birdie needed a swift kick in the butt. Yes, yes, her father is passed away and her mom moved on really quickly. I get it, I do, but she was horrible. So horrible. Yes, the mom did seem to move on really quick, but the dad wasn't the best of people. Nice guy, but not good at supporting his family because he was too concerned drinking and the fairy-tales. But yes...I couldn't stand her. I liked the other characters though. They were fun to read about. 

I loved the fairy-tales that are told. It really added to the story honestly and it was really charming.

This was really slow moving in a lot of spots, but I enjoyed the journey that all these characters took. There was a lot of growth and development on that tiny boat and it was interesting to see even Bridie even though she killed me .However, there were some parts that seemed to drag ooooonnnn and oooonnnnn. 

NOW! That ending was intense and sad, but full of hope all wrapped in one. So good. Made everything worth it. 

In the end, this was a good read about people learning and growing while on a journey to start a new life. I do hope there is a sequel...I am curious to see what happens to these characters next. I'll give this 3 stars. 


Tuesday, December 12

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Book Disappointments of 2017


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.


Books Disappointments of 2017


The cover is so beautiful and it had an original plot. I was so intrigued, but I was so let down.  











Another one were it wasn't horrible. It was just meh. Some good parts, some horrible parts. I was really looking forward to this one and I ended up disappointed in the end.










This seemed like it would be a contender for Best Book of the Year, but alas, it fell horribly short. It had all the elements, but I think the author tried too much and it was boring. 

I had heard SO many amazing things about this one. When I finally found a copy I had jumped for joy, but alas....I ended up being highly disappointed. I feel like this was the biggest disappointment of the year for me. 

Monday, December 11

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: To Catch an Heiress by Julia Quinn

When Caroline Trent is kidnapped by Blake Ravenscroft, she doesn’t even try to elude this dangerously handsome agent of the crown. After all, she’s been running from unwanted marriage proposals. Yes, Blake believes she’s a notorious spy named Carlotta De Leon, but for six weeks until her twenty-first birthday, when she’ll gain control of her own fortune, hiding out in the titillating company of a mysterious captor is awfully convenient—and maybe just a little romantic, too.

Blake Ravenscroft’s mission is to bring “Carlotta” to justice, not to fall in love. His heart has been hardened by years of intrigue, but this little temptress proves oddly disarming and thoroughly kissable. And suddenly the unthinkable becomes possible—that this mismatched couple might be destined for love. 

Mass Market Paperback, 377 pages
Published July 30th 2002 by Avon Books (first published July 1st 1998)
Agents of the Crown #1
Historical romance
Library

My thoughts:
For some reason my library had two "new" Quinn books. They do not seem to know the order of things, sure this is book 1 but when I emailed and asked if they would get book 2 they said they had so many Quinn books. But hey I read one ;)

Anyway in the middle of the book it turned into an almost farce. Oh the things that happened, it made me lol. It was so silly, but fun.

Ugh, I am bad at reviewing today. Get it together gal!

Blake is an agent that needs to catch a spy. He does catch a woman. Idiot him thinks she is the spy even though she says he kidnapped her. Fun times! Obvi these two fall in love too. Oh and his fellow agent was fun, you know book n 2 that the library wont be getting cos they have so man Quinn books (totes out of order.)

Conclusion:
Rather silly and fun

Cover
Dull

Sunday, December 10

Book Review: The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen by Collins Hemingway


Author: Collins Hemingway

Title: The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen (Volume1)
Genre: what-if, Historical Romance
Pages: ebook
Published: June 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

Tradition holds that Jane Austen lived a prim and proper life as a single woman. But what if she wed a man as passionate and intelligent as she—and the marriage remained secret for 200 years?


The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen is a trilogy that resolves the biggest mysteries of Austen’s life, the “lost years” of her twenties—a period of which historians know virtually nothing.

- Why the enduring rumors of a lost love or tragic affair? 

- Why, afterward, did the vivacious Jane Austen prematurely put on “the cap of middle age” and shut herself away to write her books? 

- Why, after her death, did her beloved sister destroy her letters, journals, and diaries from this period?


The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy presents an original love story, based on actual history, to put forth a believable, compelling, and plausible answer to Austen’s lost years.


Go with Jane Austen as this thinking woman, and sensitive soul, seizes the opportunity for meaningful love with a man who inspires her and understands her independent spirit—the one man worthy of her mind, heart, and soul.



I love what-if stories, but I hate them at the same time especially if I want it to be the real thing that happened. This is the case for this one. This story follows a Miss Jane Austen. Instead of dying a spinster, she gets to be married to a man who really loves her. It took a while for her to realize she is supposed to be with this gentleman, but it does happen. No spoilers here…it is in the title. LOL

But yes, this was short and sweet. I am curious to read the next book in the trilogy. The next books follows Jane and her hubbie as they work out as newlyweds. I really like her hubbie a lot. I wish he was a real guy. Sure he is based off a real person who did propose to Jane which didn’t fall through (as we all know). He was a sweetie and I feel like Jane was so mean to him unnecessarily so. You could tell he loved her from the moment he stumbled onto the page. 

This was light and fun. I really enjoyed how you could see bits and pieces of her books scattered around the pages. I loved how the author showed possibly where she could’ve gotten her inspirations for her stories. It was a nice touch. Some were obvious, but some were done in a way that could be missed. Loved it. 

There were some eye-rolling parts like the part with the balloon. The balloon-ride was fine, but the whole repercussion that Jane and Ashton had to deal with afterwards. Yes, I get the ton are jerks, but I really feel like everyone overreacted. Especially Jane’s parents. Sure, sure, I get that it was scary and balloons were a new thing, but really? Jane was with a family friend and an old French guy. I highly doubt anything scandalous happened there.

Jane bothered me sometimes. She was actually kind of mean. For example, Ashton had gotten a bundle of tickets (I guess it was cheaper to buy 10 then just 5 – I can’t remember) and he offered to take Jane and her sister. Jane was a jerk about it saying how she didn’t want to be in his debt. Like really? Just take the damn ticket woman. The ticket was basically free. Gah. It bothered me sometimes with how cold she acted towards people. 

I enjoyed the few pages of letter exchanges. Sometimes it bothers me, but it actually helped move the story along in a fun way. It also showed, slowly, how feelings were changing and morphing. It was fun to see how friendship turned to love. It was very nice. 

In the end, this was a short, light, and fun read. I loved the whole what-if Jane didn’t say no and actually got to get married to a man who really did love her. I highly recommend this if you even mildly like Jane Austen and her novels. I’ll stamp this with 4 stars. 
  







Saturday, December 9

Movie Review: The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)


Film Title: The LEGO Batman Movie
Length: 1 hr and 44 mins
Released: 2017
Genre: Action, Adventure, & Comedy
Rating: PG
Where I Got It: Borrowed from the library


SUMMARY:
A cooler-than-ever Bruce Wayne must deal with the usual suspects as they plan to rule Gotham City, while discovering that he has accidentally adopted a teenage orphan who wishes to become his sidekick.






TRAILER:





Review:
The Lego movies are always fun. Lego plus a superhero? Bound to be a good one. 

I loved the whole premise of this that everyone needs family and friends. Of course, Batman is a loner and must learn this lesson the hard way. They made this usually over-used concept work and feel fresh and new. 

This was a fun watch and I was constantly laughing at the jokes and the references. I loved the Joker. He was the best. All he wants is Batman to admit that he is his Arch Nemesis but Batman won't. Poor Joker. I felt really bad for him...Batman broke is wee little heart. 

The characters were entertaining even the baddies. Sure, Batman was the main character, but the side characters all were complex and had their spotlight and part in the story. 

I'm not sure what else to say. This was a cute film and I enjoyed it. There were laughs and feels. The whole Lego art is fun and just adds to the humor. This was the best LEGO movie I have seen. I have watched a couple of others and they were not as good as this. For some reason, this just worked so well. 

The writing was great. I enjoyed the dialogue. The action was action-packed and I was glued to the TV. I had to know what was going to happen next. 

This is a good movie for the whole family and I highly recommend it.  Fun and entertaining. I'll give this 5 stars.






Tuesday, December 5

Book Review: Too Scot to Handle by Grace Burrowes


Author: Grace Burrowes

Title: Too Scot to Handle (Windham Brides #2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: ebook
Published: July 2017
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

As a captain in the army, Colin MacHugh led men, fixed what was broken, and fought hard. Now that he's a titled gentleman, he's still fighting-this time to keep his bachelorhood safe from all the marriage-minded debutantes. Then he meets the intriguing Miss Anwen Windham, whose demure nature masks a bonfire waiting to roar to life. When she asks for his help to raise money for the local orphanage, he's happy to oblige.

Anwen is amazed at how quickly Lord Colin takes in hand a pack of rambunctious orphan boys. Amazed at how he actually listens to her ideas. Amazed at the thrill she gets from the rumble of his Scottish burr and the heat of his touch. But not everyone enjoys the success of an upstart. And Colin has enemies who will stop at nothing to ruin him and anybody he holds dear.



I picked this book up since I heard it was good (thanks Blodeuedd!) and it was on sale in Amazon on Black Friday. It is book 2 so my plan was to get it…find book 1 somewhere and then read this one. BUT after reading a couple of pages (just because I was curious…I SWEAR!) I was hooked. I am bad….I know.

Lucky me that this did well as a standalone. I am curious to read book 1 because the first couple seemed interesting and I want to learn more about them. I want to read book 3 next. I am not sure who it follows, but I still want to read it.

Now, this story follows Anwen (weird name) and Colin. Anwen is obsessed with her orphanage she is the patroness for.  Colin is trying to find his way in the crazy world of Society. He comes from Scotland and is newly titled. Anwen and Colin know each other because of their family members marrying. Plus everyone knows everyone in the ton.

They were a sweet couple. They always kinda liked each other, but after spending some time together with finding ways to get money for the poor orphans they fall in love. It was very sweet and no major drama there. They are fighting to save the orphanage and no one objects to them being together.

Until drama hits like a brick-wall. I guess at who would be the “baddie” a mile away, but I didn’t anticipate it to actually true…I wanted to like that person. Total asshat though. That person and their family member needed to be punched. A good sense of reality. Jail would’ve worked too. Something. I am curious to see what is going to happen to them in the future. It annoyed me that nothing really bad happened to them since they are members of the ton. (No spoiler there) I feel like something more should’ve happened to those sleazy people.

At first I was not a fan of the group of orphan boys having a POV. I didn’t think they would be a HUGE role in the book, so I was annoyed with. However, as the story went along I realized they were huge players in the story and I grew to adore them.

In the end, this was a cute story with two really sweet people who unite while trying to save people who need it. There is some drama and then a HEA. Very sweet. I am curious to read more by the author! She has a way about her writing that I really liked. I do recommend this if you are looking for something sweet! I’ll give this 4 stars.  







Monday, December 4

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines

The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know—your standard apocalypse. 

The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it’s hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly. 

Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.

Escaping the attacking aliens—not to mention her shambling crewmates—is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter. 

As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance… a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago. 

My thoughts:
Janitors in space, why not, I have seen it before (you have to watch Space Janitors, omg, looove that show).

Humans as always effed up and are now mindless beasts. The planet is kaputt. In comes aliens, saves a few and put them to work. As mercs and as janitors. One of those janitors is Mops, smart, resilient and really good at cleaning. And suddenly she is in charge of a space ship and what the, how does one even steer this thing? Ha, perfect.

I did have issues reading it, but that was ebook issues, I can not read ebooks anymore. The baby says NO. It takes too long reading them and that makes me lament. Funny should be read fast. You hear that, read it fast to enjoy it :)

Right where was I. Alien conspiracies. Bad aliens wanting to shoot them out of the sky. Scary humans. And so many things to clean!

Conclusion:
There is humour, there is action, but mostly there is humour, witty, sarcastic and fun.

Cover
Of course I love it


Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: November 7th 2017 by DAW
Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse #1
Sci-fi
Netgalley

Sunday, December 3

Book Review: Maybe in Paris by Rebecca Christiansen


Author: Rebecca Christiansen

Title: Maybe in Paris
Genre: YA, Fiction
Pages: ebook
Published: June 2017
Where I Got It: My shelf (Netgalley)

Keira Braidwood lands in Paris with her autistic brother, Levi, and high hopes. Levi has just survived a suicide attempt and months in the psych ward—he’s ready for a dose of the wider world. Unlike their helicopter mom and the doctors who hover over Levi, Keira doesn’t think Levi’s certifiable. He’s just . . . quirky. Always has been.

Those quirks quickly begin to spoil the trip. Keira wants to traipse all over Europe; Levi barely wants to leave their grubby hotel room. She wants to dine on the world’s cuisine; he only wants fast food. Levi is one giant temper tantrum, and Keira’s ready to pull out her own hair.

She finally finds the adventure she craves in Gable, a hot Scottish bass player, but while Keira flirts in the Paris Catacombs, Levi’s mental health breaks. He disappears from their hotel room and Keira realizes, too late, that her brother is sicker than she was willing to believe. To bring him home safe, Keira must tear down the wall that Levi’s sickness and her own guilt have built between them.



Now I really, really want to go to France. I mean...that has always been a dream destination for me, but now I'm twitching because of how bad I want to go. 

Anyways...

The story follows Keira is an American girl who is addicted to anything French. She loves the language, the food, the culture, the history, the art, and Marie Antoinette. She is a girl of my own heart in a lot of ways. She reminded me a lot of High School Carole. Well, Keira has had a plan to go to France with the hot French foreign exchange student once she can get him to love her. She has some hope when she invites him to the prom and he says yes. Well...no spoiler alert since it is on page one, it does not go well at all. 

After the debacle called "prom", Keira is brokenhearted, but things get worse. During the night, for some reason, her brother decides to kill himself. They save him and send him to the hospital for help. After some tests and whatnot, the doctors diagnose him with a form of Autism, bipolar disorder, and depression.  Poor kid! How did no one realize there was something seriously wrong with him this whole time?? Bad parenting I would say. 

Things happen and the doctors say it might be good for the brother and Keira to go on a France trip. What could go wrong with a selfish teenager and a teenager with Autism being alone in Paris? Again...bad parenting. 

At first, things go okay. Levi does well with very few issues. Sure he says some inappropriate things when they have to wait in line or for some of the weird food Keira makes him eat while he just wants McieDs, but the first few days go fine. Then they go to Versailles and that is where things start to go wrong. 

Levi says some hurtful things about Keira's love of the palace of and of her favorite queen. However, I did enjoy their conversation about historical figures they would save if they could time travel. Keira lists a huge list of some tragic figures like Marie Antoinette. Levi says he would save Hitler. Keira and I were all WTF dude? But then he explains that he wouldn't save his life when he tries to kill himself. He says that he would save Hitler from himself. He would go back far enough before he took power. Maybe help him get into Art school or not get into the army. He would save him by finding him a nice life as an artist or some such career. I was really awed by this. And it made me sad because I really felt it spoke a lot about Levi calling out for help in a way. It was a lovely scene for sure. 

After that scene, things did get sour. Sure, Keira met a hot Scottish boy who is there in Paris with his band. They hit it off of course. You can't blame a girl, but then she started neglecting her brother. I won't spoil anything, but honestly Keira! You idiot you. You have a brother who needs to be watched...>_> Again, the parents AND the doctors should've said no. It should've been a family trip or something not just the two of them. 

I liked the characters even though I felt the mom was a foolish woman who wins worse Mother of the Year. Josh, the stepdad, was the better parent but even he was an idiot. Yes, everyone did something dumb and bad...however...Levi and Keira are teenagers...they shouldn't be expected to know right from wrong in ALL scenarios. Levi needed help YEARS before any of this happened. Sighs. 

This was a really good book. I could hardly put this down. Sure the parents were idiots, but what do you expect from a YA? I enjoyed the journey everyone had to go on. The ending was good and I liked it. It fit. I hope they all learned and grew from the experience. They seemed to!

Yes, this was very YA, but I feel like the author did a good job not making it TOO YA or TOO adult. It was a nice mix. I honestly felt like I was reading Keira's diary. It worked well. 

My only complaint, besides for the terrible parenting styles, was the format. There were parts were Keira would read a text or read a note and there would be no indications whatsoever. The text was italicized or quoted or anything. It just blended in with the rest of the paragraph. I had no idea when the note or text was over. Very frustrating. 

In the end, this was a good read for sure. I was hooked from page one! A couple issues, but easy to look over because I enjoyed the journey of the characters. I especially enjoyed following Keira while she explores Paris. It made me hungry and want to travel there right now! I'll give this 4 stars. 







Friday, December 1

Best of November



Hi All! 

This is just a fun little meme that Blodeuedd and I are going to try  and do once a month. Give a little shout-out and "badge" of honor to our favorite book and movie of the previous month. This month we'll share our favorites of November.


First, favorite movie:

My choice is......Cowboy Bebop The Movie


"Good story, good baddie, fantastic music, and the art is lovely. A good film even if you never watched the show. It felt good revisiting this movie after all these years."


Blodeuedd's choice is...................xXx: Return of Xander Cage


"Sigh, I can not find any good movies! SO best for this month goes to XXX Return of Xander Cage. Because action is mindless fun. It was not a good movie, lol, but it was a fun and one that kept me watching."



Next, Book favorite:
Up first is Blodeudd's pick............Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell


"Best book goes to Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell. It was fun, light, interesting fantasy world and just what I needed!"






"Can't help but love a good murder mystery with a strong cast of characters! This was fun and I enjoyed the ride. I hope Fanny gets to solve some more crimes!"




About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging a long while now. The last couple of years the epic duo have been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.





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What was your favorite book of the month? Please share below!