Tuesday, June 30

Short Story Review: Shattered Regret by Emrys Apollo

Shattered RegretAuthor: Emrys Apollo 
Title: Shattered Regret
Genre: Short story, Fiction, & Fantasy
Format: ebook 
Pages: 11 
Published: February 3rd 2020 
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon) 

Eleven years after banishing his wife for a domino effect, Dominic Aeris has regrets.  He can't hide his pain from his brothers, but he can certainly hide his tears in the rain.

A random find on Amazon! Clearing this shelf out for sure!

The story takes place 11 years after Dominic was forced to banish his wife and now he has many regrets.

Okay - so I want more. This was a short story, I understand, but now I want more. What happened? Is she coming back? Will he go get her? WHAT IS HAPPENING!? GIVE ME PLEASEEEEEE!

But yes, really good, but there needs to be. I was confused a little bit and I need to know what happened and what will happen. More, please. :D

I adored this author's way with words. She truly knows how to evoke emotion! Beautiful. 

3 stars. 

Monday, June 29

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean

Narrated by: Justine Eyre
Series: The Bareknuckle Bastards, Book 3
Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 06-30-20
Language: English
Publisher: HarperAudio
Historical romance
In exchange for an honest review

Justine Eyre is great narrating as always. She makes me forget that her male voices are actually her. She always sweeps me away with her range. I like how she does them.

Did I think I would like Ewan after what he has done in the past 2 books? Not really, BUT, see, my memory is lacking. And it was a year since I listened to book 2, which means I had totally forgotten what an ahole he had been.

Ewan and his 2 half brothers was pitted against each other by their crazy ducal father. Grace was the Duchess' bastard who was made to pretend to be a boy until the Duke could get one of his bastards to take over. Ewan won, the rest fled for their lives, and built themselves as kings and queen of the bad part of London. Oh and Ewan hates his brothers cos he think they failed to protect Grace, and that is why he has been a total evil bastard for the last two books.

But she is alive. And she hates him. And he really loves her and would do anything for her. Damn, see there is where he got me, he loves her, all he ever did was for her.

And she is a true queen of the underworld. With her fancy brothel catering for women, her gang of spies and her security force of kickass women. She needs no man. But then she still loves him underneath that hate.

SO they spar. So he tries to win her back. It was another sort of book. Revenge, lost love and sadness.

I enjoyed it.

Grace Condry has spent a lifetime running from her past. Betrayed as a child by her only love and raised on the streets, she now hides in plain sight as queen of London's darkest corners. Grace has a sharp mind and a powerful right hook and has never met an enemy she could not best...until the man she once loved returns.

Single-minded and ruthless, Ewan, Duke of Marwick, has spent a decade searching for the woman he never stopped loving. A long-ago gamble may have lost her forever, but Ewan will go to any lengths to win Grace back...and make her his duchess.

Reconciliation is the last thing Grace desires. Unable to forgive the past, she vows to take her revenge. But revenge requires keeping Ewan close, and soon her enemy seems to be something else altogether--something she can't resist, even as he threatens the world she's built, the life she's claimed...and the heart she swore he'd never steal again. 

Sunday, June 28

Joint Review: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Hello all! Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman. Blodeuedd is in red and I am in purple.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Title: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Genre: Fiction
Published:  May 9th 2017 
Format: audiobook & Hardcover
Pages: 336 

Summary: No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation that they had been living. Ultimately, it is Raymond’s big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. If she does, she'll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.

So this was one of our try one at sort of random and do not look for the one we really want to read.

It was fun going random! I think it took off the stress a little bit!

And it did work out, this book was good, weird, I’d still not recommend it, I am so torn, lol.

It did! I liked it. I totally recommend it. Buuuuut I did the audiobook so maybe the audio was better than the paper/ebook version?

I think I am torn because I am not sure everyone would like it, but considering I could not put it down, and that ending was wow. Who knows, maybe I would rec it too

Ahhhh true. I didn’t think of that. Eleanor...she is an interesting character. She is hard to like and even remotely understand. She for sure went through a lot of traumatic things as a child and there is something mentally wrong with her. I think I read somewhere she has Asperger syndrome I believe. 

I felt at once when I read it that she had Aspergers, and that is why I worried when you went the audio route, if the narrator could bring that to life. Because reading it is so obvi. And yes, poor woman, trauma shaped her. Not to mention she does seem to be a functioning alcoholic too

Yess and I think she just fell down that rabbit hole. She had no friends or family to care about what she was doing and when. I think once she started getting friends it was easier for her to get off the juice. Poor thing. I am so glad Raymond realized how awesome she was. 

Her coworkers, ugh. Raymond was the sweetest man ever! I am glad he accepted her for the person she was. The rest were so blind cos she was not “normal.”

Screw her coworkers, they were asshats. I liked her boss tho. He seemed very nice. Yassssss Raymond was adorable. Such a good pal. His mama was sweet too. 

I liked her boss.Ray’s mom was a cutie. Eleanor finally found better people to talk with. 

 Yesss Eleanor needed friends. Maybe one day she’ll find a guy who really loves her. But she has a lot to work out. I would love a book 2 even if it's just a quick little novella/short story. I want to see her happy! 

I had some weird pink stuff in my writing, weird..
I still have hope for her and Raymond, wait, is that a spoiler?!

Nawww I don’t think so. This isn’t a romance and it made clear at the beginning they are only friends. We can always cover it that bit!

Ok, yes not a romance. Just a story about a messed up woman who needs to deal with her past. Why is her mum in prison? Oh and damn that ex of hers! I know she was not bothered, but damn!

I think deep down she was bothered, but it is just another layer of her terrible, sad past. It’ll probably bubble up as well one day and she’ll have to work through that, but it won’t be nearly as traumatic as her mummy. OMG I hated that she called her mummy. Hahaha I think that is my only complaint. Esp how the narrator said it. It bothered me. Maybe it was because we knewwwwwwww she was a bad person and you only say mommy or mummy to a mom you really adore and care about (or little kids).. It’s very childish and it felt wrong because that lady was a monster!

 I felt it fitted. She was a child back then, her mommy was her mommy even if she was a bad person. So she still thinks of her mother as her mommy. She never had another mommy. In her brain the 10 year old child is saying it. Also, well  that stuff ;)

Valid, valid. I guess it makes sense when the big ol’ secret and truth comes out. It still bothers me LOLLLL. 

I guess the narrator went full out on the mommy then ;)

Yesss she really did. And when the mom called herself mummy. Like “Tell your mummy”.  I got goosebumps. Her evil lady voice was spot on. It was creepy. 

I want to listen to that too! Cos her mother was the worst!

She really was! Gah. Poor Eleanor.

Ok, what else. That ending? Wasn’t it amazing!

THAT ending. I guessed one of the secrets but the big one? SHOCKER! I had backed it up and re-listen so I could make sure I heard what I thought I heard. LOL. 

It really was all wait!? What?! Damn! I did feel it was the best part of the book

It was. Everything built up to that reveal. Like holy cannoli batman. Dang gurl. 

Anything more to add? I am still conflicted. Hard to put down. I binged it, but it might not be for everyone. I am glad I read it, and yes ending, WOW!

Yess I binged too esp near the ending. The last 4 hours I could not stop. So good. But nothing more to add for me without major spoilers ;)

The end then

The end! Until next time folks!

About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging for a long while now. The last few years the epic duo has 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.

Friday, June 26

DNF - Lyric's Accidental Mate by Elle Boon

Lyric's Accidental Mate (Iron Wolves MC, #1)
Author: Elle Boon
Title: Lyric's Accidental Mate
(Iron Wolves MC #1)
Genre: PNR, Fantasy
Format: ebook
Pages: 201
Published: October 20th 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie) 

Lyric Carmichael is a shifter in trouble. When a pack of rogue wolves attacks her, she knows she will have to fight for her life. Being a member of the Iron Wolves MC and a wolf shifter, she’s used to fighting, with the odds stacked against her, she’s not sure she’ll make it out alive.
Rowan Shade, a member of the Special Forces has fought many battles, so wading into the fight to save a gorgeous woman is second nature. Being bitten by Lyric in order to save him from a fate worse than death, and finding out there are supernatural beings, is one of the most erotic experiences of his life. He just hopes they live long enough to explore more of this new and wild world.
As Rowan and Lyric explore their new relationship, the danger to the pack intensifies. When they find out one of their own has betrayed them, the strength of the entire MC is needed in order for them all to survive the upcoming battle. 

Clearing out these freebies!

The story follows Lyric and Rowan. Lyric is a shifter and Rowan is a member of the Special Forces. Lyric finds herself in trouble and Rowan jumps in to save her, but he accidentally is bitten and joins the supernatural world. 

Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for PNR? This has the ingredients to make an excellent story! It is fresh and different.....but nope. Not for me today.

I tried reading this for nearly 2 weeks and I just couldn't get myself to stay awake. I'll have to try this another day maybe. I do pick one book a year to try again (usually near the holidays bc I love giving second chances and I believe in Xmas miracles). Gah. I hate giving up, but I just couldn't get myself to move forward after chapter 2. 

DNF for now. D: Not for me. 

Thursday, June 25

Audiobook Review: Entreat Me by Grace Draven

Entreat MeAuthor: Grace Draven 
Narrator: Stacey Holmes
Title: Entreat Me
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Retellings
Format: Audiobook 
Pages: 323 
Published: December 16th 2013
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

Summary: Afflicted by a centuries-old curse, a warlord slowly surrenders his humanity and descends toward madness. Ballard of Ketach Tor holds no hope of escaping his fate until his son returns home one day, accompanied by a woman of incomparable beauty. His family believes her arrival may herald Ballard's salvation.

...until they confront her elder sister.

Determined to rescue her sibling from ruin, Louvaen Duenda pursues her to a decrepit castle and discovers a household imprisoned in time. Dark magic, threatening sorcerers, and a malevolent climbing rose with a thirst for blood won't deter her, but a proud man disfigured by an undying hatred might. Louvaen must decide if loving him will ultimately save him or destroy him.

A tale of vengeance and devotion.

I've loved previous novels by this author and I seen this was a freebie on Audiobook in my Escape Package so I jumped on the chance to listen!

The story follows Ballard and Louvaen. Ballard is afflicted by a centuries-old curse by his former wife. He and his son are slowly losing their humanity. Ballard has no hope until his son brings home a beautiful woman who may be the key to solving their curse. In comes Louvaen! She is determined to rescue her sister from becoming ruined by this stranger, she follows them to his castle and comes face-to-face with Ballard and his cursed life.  

This was for sure a huggggeeeeee and crazy take on Beauty and the Beast. I loved it. It was a nod to the classic, but it was completely different too. Very fun! I didn't even really realize it until Ballard gifted Louvaen a magic mirror and then it dawned on me! Too fun. 

I loved Louvaen. I want her to be my friend. 

Ballard was sweet. But I do understand WHY his dead wife cursed him. He wasn't a nice fellow back then. He was blood-thirsty and only cared about war and power. 100% warlord with a capital W. BUT F that wife. Why curse her poor son??? He was just a baby. Gah. She was a terrible lady too. 

I also liked Ballard's sorcerer and other staff members. They were fun and added a lot of charm to this otherwise dark story. Especially the sorcerer's and Lou's love/hate relationship. That was fun. Always throwing jabs and jokes at each other. I liked it. 

OMGGGG that baddie was a creep. He deserved a worse end!

The narrator was fantastic. She had me hooked from the first page. I could NOT stop listening. I finished this in just a couple of sittings. She really has a great range of voices. The sister's voice was annoying, BUT it fit her. 

Overall, I loved, loved, LOVED this story. I want to relisten to it! Maybe even read it one day to see if I like it just as much as the audio. I'll give this 5 stars for sure. Highly recommend it. 


- #27 for Audiobook Challenge

- #5 on THE BAD BOYS OF ROMANCE challenge

Monday, June 22

B's Monday Review: The Fiery Crown by Jeffe Kennedy

Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 26th 2020 by St. Martin's Press
Series: Forgotten Empires #2
To review

I know my example might sound like a cliffhanger, but hear me out;

The end, omg so intense. It was like the author took the characters, took them to a cliff, laughed manically and then pushed them all over, and made them hit everything on the way down. "Luckily" they did land before the ground, and they did break everything. So it was not a total freefall, and for now they are safe on a tiny tree sticking out from that cliff and it might break any second.

Poor Lia. How could you be so cruel to Lia! In the first book I was a bit blaze about everyone, but here, Lia is not truly human, I do not get the whole thing. I wonder about so much since well queen of something that might waken, that will be intense too.

Conri, I was not impressed by him either in book 1, frankly he deserved to be pushed from that cliff and not saved. But he saves himself here, and I will not push him. I get that his life has been hell and all he wants is revenge.

Oh and the evil emperor must die a really painful slow, like really slow, like brought to death, nursed back, brought to death, nursed back and then have every piece of him..oh oh bloody eagle. Yes let's eagle that sucker!

Two people dancing around each other because they both want to save the world. Then darkness, so much darkness. Romance, no, this is not a romance. But it might be. One day.

Omg Lia! I am still in freefall from that cliff.

Book 3 will be something else 

Conri and Lia’s marriage of convenience has turned into an uneasy alliance. If only the two leaders could agree on something. Driven by revenge, Conri wants to attack Emperor Anure before the tyrant gets to them first. But Lia needs to keep Calanthe safe, and refuses to sacrifice her kingdom. Their ongoing battle for control has built up tension they’re both more than happy to release in bed, the only place where they find common ground. But Conri and Lia are developing deeper feelings for each other that are complicating matters. In the second book in the Forgotten Empires trilogy, Conri and Lia find their loyalties torn, and with Emperor Anure’s threat growing, will they be able to risk everything with each other before it’s too late?

Sunday, June 21

Book Review: Honeymoon Alone by Nicole Macaulay

Honeymoon Alone
Author: Nicole Macaulay 
Title: Honeymoon Alone
Genre: Romance, Contemporary set, Chick Lit
Format: ebook
Pages: 312
Published: December 3rd 2019 
Where I Got It: My shelf (Netgalley) 

Just how reliable are psychics - specifically psychics hired by your sister for wedding entertainment?

When irrepressibly romantic Lucy Gray is ditched at said wedding by her date in front of her whole family, the promises of a psychic seem better than her pity-riddled reality. The psychic's advice seems insightful: stop ignoring fate's signs - fate will lead you to love. But when "fate" leads Lucy to London, she finds herself tangled in a web of lies. In a story about finding independence and taking chances, Lucy learns that leaving everything up to fate can be dangerous - and jeopardize her chances at happily ever after

Sooo this was an explosion of genres! Chick lit with some romance with some comedy and some action near the end there! I am glad I read this. 

The story follows boring ol' Lucy Gray. She is ditched at her sister's wedding by her date in front of her whole family. A psychic at the wedding provides some solid advice to allow fate to lead her to love. Take a chance! A chance appears like a miracle for Lucy to go to London during Christmas time. Maybe the psychic is right as she finds herself on a vacation that gives her the independence she deserves, but there is some danger, too, that can ruin everything.  

Awww Lucy. She has a huge and overprotective family. I can see why she took that leap of faith and got on the plane. I would've. I want to! Someday Carole...someday. *grumbles about still needing to get a passport*. 

This was a fun book. I even had BF curious when I would provide updates. Lots of drama especially near the end. I had zero ideas about what was going to happen...especially with the big ol' twist! RUN LUCY RUN!

I hattteeeddd Oliver. Ugh. Surrrreeee after a certain scene I did understand him and...I liked-ish him then, but still. Bleh. 

I was meh about Cary too.

There were huge lulls especially in the middle when Lucy was just exploring London and Paris. It was nice to just see the city through her eyes since I've never been. However, I do feel like some of the lull could've been cut a hair. 

THAT ENDING. Holy cannoli batman. That was good. Again...I didn't see THAT happening. I had a bunch of theories, but nope...nope. 

Overall, I did really like this. I would love to see this become a movie or something. It was a lot of fun. Some lull and a couple of characters I was meh about, but I highly recommend this for those that love a good chick-lit. I'll give this 4 stars. 

Saturday, June 20

Movie Review: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 PosterFilm Title: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)
Length:     1h 34min 
Released:    25 March 2016 (USA)
Genre:  Comedy, Romance
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Hulu


A Portokalos family secret brings the beloved characters back together for an even bigger and Greeker wedding.



Been meaning to watch this movie. I had LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the first movie when it came out in 2002. It was so fun and cheesy and cute. I was scared to watch this because it has been so long and I do worry about sequels. 

The story follows our beloved Portokalos family. It has been years since we last saw them. They are older and the kids are growing up. Toula is facing a new life change...her daughter is about to go away to college. But where? At the same time of her crisis, her parents are having their own crisis....the marriage certificate was never officially signed in Greece years ago...soooo by the law they are NOT married. 

This was a chaotic mess, but fun. This family really makes me laugh, but I love them. Apart of me wishes I was part of their family, but then there are some similarities to my own big family and it reminds me that I can barely handle my own so I would not survive this one. 

I do love that we got to learn more about some of the other members of the family. It was nice.

John Stamos makes an appearance in this for like 10 mins. He's so hawt, but his character was totally just written up for him last second. Pah-lease. I get you wanna add him, but I wish he had more influence over the story or a bigger part. Maybe a hot cousin? IDK. Something. I feel like he was just there for eye candy. 

The acting was 50/50 in this. Half of the crew were fantastic and fun! The other half? Ugh. What happened? Did you forget how to act? I usually don't name names, but Toula seemed so....stiff. She had one octave in her voice. Even when she was angry...it didn't seem like she was angry. Was she like that in the first film? Mmm I'll have to dig that up and rewatch it someday. But yes. It was awkward sometimes with awkward acting.

The ending was CUUTTTTE and it made me happy. Like the first film, they are leaving some wiggle room to have another sequel. CUTE! I hope someday maybe. I do want more time with this family. 

Overall, I did like this film. It was cheesy and cute and made me chuckle. If you liked the first one, you will like this. It was nice to see everyone and learn more about our side characters. Not as good as the first movie, but it did okay. I'll give this 3 stars. 

Friday, June 19

Audiobook Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2)Author: Alyssa Cole
Narrator: Karen Chilton
Title: A Duke by Default
(Reluctant Royals #2)
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction
Format: Audiobook 
Pages: 374  
Published: July 31st 2018
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

Summary: New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice, and his attraction to her, but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

Book 2! I was a little worried about starting this because I wasn't a fan of Portia in the first book. However, I believe in second chances and I wanted to get to know her and see her find love. Andddd being set in Scotland certainly helps ;) 

The story follows Portia who is done disappointing everyone and herself. She accepts an apprenticeship with a swordmaker in Scotland. She has stopped drinking and having sex so she can find the real her. She did not expect that her gruff and sexy boss would get under her skin. Tavish doesn't need or want the spoiled American telling him how to improve his armory even though all the points she makes seem legit. He tries to rebuff her and ignore the growing attraction, but when she discovers that his absent father is a duke? Well...they will need each other during this whirlwind of change. 

Okay..I was wrong about my opinions on Portia. I AM SORRY! I actually adore her. Sighs. She got under my skin. I felt so bad for her when we get to dig into her thinking and feelings and her family life. Screw her parents. They suck. >_> I want to throttle them. Maybe we'll get some more closure with them when we read Portia's sister's little novella. IDK but I feel so bad for Portia. 

I liked Tav the moment he and his grumpy-ass came onto the scene. LOL He was a big jerk, but I liked him. He is rough around the edges, but he is very sweet in his own way. It took him a bit to really come around to anything and everything, but Portia is equally stubborn. It took foreverrrrr and a day for the two to find out they needed and loved each other. I wanted to kick both of them, but it makes sense it took so long. Lots of hurdles and issues to get around. 

This was really good. I think I liked it a hair better than book 1. Shocker! I know! 

I think what really made me appreciate this was the very serious issues underlining a lot of the story. Racism and anti-immigrant issues. It made me sad, but it made the story feel more realistic. I am so glad Tav will have a chance (in this fictional world) to make a difference. He is such a good guy. 

The narrator was good. Her Scottish accent was a lil hit or miss if I am, to be honest. Everything else worked okay. I did have some moments when I had to rewind so I knew who was speaking. Some of her voices for some characters were very similar to each other, so I would forget who was speaking. Her old lady British Queen accent was SO on point though! loved it. She pulled that off so well. I hope she can use that voice more ;) 

Overall, I really, really liked this. Maybe even a touch more than book 1! I am glad my opinion on Portia was flipped. I actually adored her. Tav was awesome too. I'll give this 4 stars. 


- #26 for Audiobook Challenge
- #17 for DUKE in title.