Saturday, October 31

Movie Review: Halloweentown (1998)



Film Title: Halloweentown
Length:     1h 24min   
Released:    1998
Genre:  Adventure, Comedy, Family
Rating: R
Where I Got It: Disney+


SUMMARY:

When a young girl living with her good-witch grandmother learns she too is a witch, she must help her grandmother save Halloweentown from evil forces.




TRAILER:




REVIEW:
Awww this movie series had been a favorite of mine when I was a youth. It was nice revisiting this world and these characters X amount of years later. 

The story follows Marnie, Dylan, and Sophie Pipe. Marnie loves Halloween and wants so much more. Their mysterious granny comes over for her yearly visit which always ends with a fight. While granny and mom are fighting, Marnie witnesses granny use magic. The three kids follow their granny and find there is another world out there that is magical and Halloween every day. However, there is a darkness hiding. 

Soooo cheesy, but soooooooo fun. This is fun for not only the kids for the adults. It has humor and serious moments too. 

Oooo that baddie was easy to pinpoint, but it was fun. I am still bummed the baddie was the baddie. The character was very sweet. A touch creepy....but sweet. 

I really want to watch the rest now! I watched this twice already haha. I watched it during a girl's night and this week. I wonder if I con BF to watch the others with me since it is Halloween after all. ;)

In the end, a cute and fun Halloween movie for all ages. I'll give it 4 stars. 










Friday, October 30

Audiobook Review: The Summer of You by Kate Noble




Author: 
Kate Noble
Narrator: Alison Larkin
Title: The Summer of You
(The Blue Raven #2)
Genre: Historical Romance, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 343 
Published:  March 31st 2010
Where I got It: My shelf (Audible)


Summary: 
Lady Jane Cummings is certain that her summer is ruined when she is forced to reside at isolated Merrymere Lake with her reckless brother and ailing father. Her fast-paced London society is replaced with a small town grapevine. But one bit of gossip catches Jane's attention--rumors that the lake's brooding new resident is also an elusive highwayman.

Jane must face the much-discussed mysterioso after he saves her brother from a pub brawl. She immediately recognizes him from London: Byrne Worth, war hero and apparent hermit--whom she finds strangely charming. The two build a fast friendship, and soon nothing can keep this Lady away from Merrymere's most wanted. Convinced of his innocence, Jane is determined to clear Byrne's name--and maybe have a little fun this summer after all.

Review:
Finally diving into book 2. It's been a hot minute since I read book 1. I had to re-read my review to remind myself. Nearly forgot about this series. Whoops. 

The story follows Lady Jane is who certain her summer is ruined when her brother forces her and their father to reside in their home in Merrymere Lake. Her father is ailing and her brother is not helpful at all. She feels isolated and stuck, but there is a rumor that the lake's new resident is also the elusive highwayman. When this new resident saves her brother and she gets a chance to meet this mysterious man, she recognizes him from London..Byrne Worth. She is convinced he is innocent of this remember and becomes determined to clear his name. 

This was a fun listen. I enjoyed it and I'm glad it could do well as a stand alone since I barely remember book 1. It was calmer and didn't have as much intrigue as book 1 did (from what I recall) but there was a mystery lingering in the background which will play a huge role especially near the end.I liked it. It didn't take over the story, but it's there...just building. Very nice. 

I liked Byrne. He is grumpy and wants to be left alone. Can you blame him? He was injured during the war both physically and mentally. When he's awake and sober he's in constant pain. When he's asleep...dreams haunt him. Poor guy. He needs a girl like Jane to help him for sure. 

Which....I liked Jane more as we went along. I found her whiney at the beginning and a little bitchy....but then I realized she was right and she really had sacrificed a lot when their mother died and their dad started withering away mentally. Screw her jerk brother! Help your sister take care of your father darn you! There is something terribly wrong with him!!! Gah. I wanted to shake that boy. Sure he wants to just have fun and blah blah, but you are near 30. Get yourself together man! As Byrne said to you...grow up sirrah!

*calms self*

But yes - I liked our couple. They fit perfect and they needed each other. It started off as friends with a sprinkle of lust. It took a while for love to really bloom. It worked and I liked it for them. They both have their issues and are scared to really get the other involved. Can you blame them?

The narrator was awesome. I love her voice. I've enjoyed past books she has read. She is good and works for this genre. 

All-in-all, I liked this a lot. It took me a little bit to like Jane, but I loved her and Byrne together. They fit well. This was a nice romance and the mystery was fun. I'll give this 4 stars. 












Challenge(s):
- #51 for Audiobook Challenge





Thursday, October 29

Book Blast! : The Bachelor's Bride by Holly Bush


The Bachelor’s Bride by Holly Bush

Publication Date: November 17, 2020
Holly Bush Books
eBook; 244 pages

Genre: Romance/America/Victorian
Series: The Thompsons of Locust Street, Book One


Meet the Thompsons of Locust Street, an unconventional family taking Philadelphia high society by storm…

1868 Elspeth Thompson is the middle daughter in a family with tightly held secrets. While she loves her family, she longs to break out from their overprotective hold, to find herself, to be noticed for who she is rather than as chaperone to her beautiful younger sister, Kirsty, or underling to her elder sister, Muireall. A chance meeting under scandalous circumstances offers her the opportunity to be seen for herself, but the repercussions could lead to the downfall of her family.

Confirmed bachelor Alexander Pendergast enjoys his position as the right-hand man of one of the most influential and powerful politicians in Philadelphia. Heir to the largest textile mill on the east coast, Alexander is handsome, charming, and the ultimate catch on high society’s matrimonial market. But he has no interest in settling down with a pampered debutante. He doubts the perfect woman for him actually exists…until he meets Elspeth Thompson.

But the Thompsons and Pendergasts move in different circles, and Elspeth has no desire to be judged and found wanting by Philadelphia’s first families. Though she tries to resist Alexander’s charms, when he comes to her family’s rescue, she knows there’s more to him than she’d first thought. But Alexander realizes that his ambitions may have placed Elspeth and her family in grave danger. With an unseen enemy determined to uncover the Thompson family’s secrets, Alexander grapples with secrets of his own, secrets that could cost him the only woman he’s ever truly cared about.

When Elspeth finds herself in terrible danger, can she muster the inner strength of her ancestors to save herself and her family and find the courage to meet love head on?

Available for Pre-Order on Amazon & Barnes and Noble

About the Author


“Love always has something to say. Sometimes it shouts from the highest hill, and sometimes it whispers so softly one must listen closely to hear. Do not turn away. It is a rare and precious commodity. Treasure it.” The Gentrys of Paradise

Holly Bush's historical romances are set during the turbulent and transformative years of the late 1800’s. The first two books in her newest series, The Gentrys of Paradise, released in the spring of 2017 and began with the novella Into the Evermore where readers meet Virginia horse breeders, Eleanor and Beauregard Gentry. The following books feature their children, Adam, Matthew, and Olivia. For the Brave is Matthew’s story and is the first full length book of the series. Olivia's book, For This Moment, released in the spring of 2018. The final book, For Her Honor, is now available.

The Crawford Family Series following the fortunes of the three Boston born Crawford sisters and includes Train Station Bride, Contract to Wed, Her Safe Harbor, and companion novella, The Maid’s Quarters. Cross the Ocean and Charming the Duke are both British set Victorian romances. Fan favorites stand-alone historical romance novels include Romancing Olive and Reconstructing Jackson. Holly's books are described as ‘emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance.’

She also writes General Fiction under the name of Hollis Bush.

Holly makes her home with her husband, one happy Labrador Retriever and a clever Jack Russell rescued from the pound, and two difficult cats in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Connect with Holly at www.hollybushbooks.com, on Twitter @hollybushbooks, and on Facebook at Holly Bush. Follow Holly on her Amazon author page to receive new release updates and on BookBub to check out her reviews and get sale information.

Book Blast Schedule

Tuesday, October 27
Probably at the Library

Wednesday, October 28
Books & Benches
Locks, Hooks and Books

Thursday, October 29
Novels Alive
Carole's Ramblings

Friday, October 30
Books, Cooks, Looks

Saturday, October 31
Passages to the Past

Monday, November 2
Coffee and Ink
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, November 3
Rajiv's Reviews

Wednesday, November 4
History from a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, November 5
What Is That Book About

Friday, November 6
CelticLady's Reviews

Saturday, November 7
Nursebookie

Monday, November 9
Donna's Book Blog

Tuesday, November 10
The Intrepid Reader

Wednesday, November 11
The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, November 12
A Darn Good Read

Friday, November 13
Gwendalyn's Books
Tangents and Tissues

Sunday, November 15
WTF Are You Reading?

Monday, November 16
The Lit Bitch
Jorie Loves a Story

Giveaway

Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on November 16th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Bachelor's Bride

Wednesday, October 28

Audiobook Review: Cowboy Honor by Carolyn Brown


Author: Carolyn Brown
Narrator: Chelsea Hatfield
Title: Cowboy Honor
(Longhorn Canyon #2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 400 
Published:  September 25th 2018
Where I got It: My shelf (Audible)


Summary: 
Patience was never one of her virtues. After her SUV runs off the road in the middle of a Texas blizzard and her cell stops working, Claire Mason is about to snap. Getting back home to Oklahoma with her four-year-old niece is top priority. And lucky for her, help comes in the form of a true Texas cowboy...

Levi Jackson has always been a sucker for strays. So he can't help getting involved when he comes across Claire and her little niece shivering in the cold. By offering them a place to stay until her car is fixed, he can make sure the two are taken care of - and get to know the sassy Claire better.

What starts as something awkward and temporary starts feeling cozier by the minute. And soon Levi is hoping he can convince Claire she has a permanent place in his heart.

Review:
I really adored book 1 and I've been itching to start this one. I found an audio of it on Audible so I decided to try it that way!

The story follows Levi who is the foreman of the ranch. He has always been a sucker for helping strays so when he stumbles upon Claire and her niece stranded and cold. He brings them in and takes care of them until the storm is passed. Claire was just trying to get herself and her niece home but a scary Texas blizzard runs her off the road and totals her car. She has zero cell service and not a lot of food. Lucky for her Levi shows up and takes them up to the ranch. 

This was a very sweet romance. Not a lot of drama here. It was very calm. No crazy exes. No lies. The only issue that they had is that they are both fiercely independent people, but who have HUGE hearts and a desire to be loved. I really liked this concept. Sometimes you just want a sweet romance that any sort of "issues" that can complicate a relationship and easy-ish to resolve. 

Cade is still my favorite cowboy of the series so far (granted this is only book 2) but Levi is a runner up. They are both SO sweet (sorry for using this word a lot but it is the best word I can use) and adorable. I'm a little nervous about Justin in the next book. He's Levi's best friend and Cade's brother but I'm not crazy about him. He's not a BAD dude but he is for sure a womanizer with a capitol W and he's rubbed me the wrong way the last couple of books. We shall see. He'll need a firecracker of a woman to tie him down.

Claire's niece was adorable! She is bound to grow up and be a little firecracker like her auntie. Again, I always get worried when kids show up in books because author's can fall easily into a trap of making the kid too adult-like or too 2D in personality. However, the author did fantastic! I loved this little girl. I hope she has a strong presence in the next books. 

OOOOO that surprise???? Christmas miracles do happen! I cheered! I can't say what but it made me happy. 

The narrator did a good job. I liked her voices for all the characters. The little girl voice was a little grating at first, but I either got used to it or the narrator calmed it down. 

All-in-all I did adore this. Not as much as book 1, but I really loved the sweetness of the story. No crazy drama or antics. A very sweet couple and an adorable little girl. The narrator did well and maybe I'll listen to book 3. We shall see ;). I'll stamp this with 4 stars. 










Challenge(s):
- #50 for Audiobook Challenge





Tuesday, October 27

Time for TV Tuesday: The Great (Season 1)





Recently Finished:




Through: Hulu

"A royal woman living in rural Russia during the 18th century is forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of Russia, when she marries an Emperor." - IMDb


The summary really does nothing to describe this show. We follow the story of Catherine the Great in her early years and when she first arrives to Russia to marry Peter. She is young and na├»ve but she realizes that Peter is useless as an Emperor soooooo she should take the crown herself and lead this nation. 

This had humor and had drama. And as they proclaim this is occasionally true and accurate. They don't try to hide that they had some fun with the story and characters sometimes. Which worked for the story. 

Oooooooooo this was funny and sad all at the same time. 

I had a hard time hating Peter all the time. He's just a dumb, spoiled dude. The actor is adorable too so it makes it hard fully hating him all the time. But then there were times I wanted to stab him myself and be done with it. Loved the actor for this role. 

Poor Catherine. I was a little worried about who they casted to play her, but it worked well and she did excellent. 

I just loved the overall cast. It was fun. 

BF even started watching with me when he realized how fun this was. 

Yes, be prepared for some historical inaccuracies, but it was overall enjoyable and I want to rewatch it. I hope they do a season 2 soon. This ended a little open-ended. If you don't know the real history you wouldn't know. And I was a sobbing mess!!! SOBS! SEASON 2 PLEASE!!!

5 stars of course ;) 








Monday, October 26

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: A Duke a Dozen by Shana Galen

Narrated by: Victoria Aston
Series: Survivors (Shana Galen), Book 6
Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
Release date: 10-20-20
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Historical romance /To review




I like this series. The survivors of a doomed troop from the war. This time we did not have time to hang out or meet the rest of the gang. This was Finn's book. Oh and his older lady, wink wink.

Finn comes to Annabell thinking she had slept with his brother, cos she is the Wanton Widow after all. Of course that is just the Ton gossiping cos a widow liked to have fun once! Anyway, his brother is dead and he has questions. Which leads to him helping her out. Roadtrip!

She is almost 15 years older. She has issues with men after her horrible marriage.

He is a young Duke who needs an heir, and a spare.

They become friendly, they want to become more, there can never be a happy ending, or?

I was all for a widow of 45 finding love again. You go girl! And getting a young Duke on top of that.

I enjoyed it. There was also a little romantic sidestory too about someone close to them, no spoilers. 

I have listened to Ashton many times and she is always good. She does historical romance well. Voices, tone, everything. She takes you back.



They call him the Doomed Duke.

Phineas Duncombe, ninth Duke of Mayne, should not be the duke. After all, he had four—count them—four older brothers! Phin never wanted the dukedom, and the suspicious circumstances of the eighth duke’s death lead Phin to question the Countess of Longstowe. The beautiful widow isn’t at all what Phin expected. He’s intrigued by her and determined to seduce her. The countess is not interested in Phin romantically, but when she comes to him with another request, he can’t deny it. A few days in the country with Lady Longstowe reveal two truths to the new duke. One, he cares for the countess much more than any other woman he’s ever known. Two, Phin either has very bad luck or someone is trying to kill him.

They call her the Wanton Widow.

Annabel was barely eighteen when she was married to the elderly Earl of Longstowe. A harsh, sadistic man, the earl’s death was not something Annabel mourned. Now in her mid-forties, Annabel enjoys her widowhood and has no desire to ever be under a man’s thumb again. Not even a handsome duke like Mayne, who is far too young for her anyway. Annabel’s one desire is to find the daughter who was taken away from her. For that she needs a man with power and status. She needs the Duke of Mayne. When the two are thrust together, Annabel struggles to fight her attraction to the charming Phin. She’s losing the battle. But can she ever trust another man, especially with the one part of herself she’s never given away—her heart? 

Sunday, October 25

Joint Review: Exit Strategy by Martha Wells






Hello all! Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "Exit Strategy" by Martha Wells. Blodeuedd is in red and I am in blue.





Author: Martha Wells
Title: Exit Strategy
(The Murderbot Diaries #4)
Genre: SciFi, Novella
Published: October 2nd 2018
Format: ebook
Pages: 176 

Summary: 
Murderbot wasn’t programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right?

Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah—its former owner (protector? friend?)—submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit.

But who’s going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue?

And what will become of it when it’s caught?


Discussion:
I must say that this was my least favorite, frankly I was pretty bored most of the time.

Gah! Me too. The first couple of chapters I was really intrigued but then….I slowly started yawning and just waiting for it to end. 


I was at page 60 or something and was all caught up in my own despair, why wont it eeeeeend!!! I am sorry but this really soured the series for me. There is a 5th, I have not even checked what it is about cos I do not care.

Right? I am tempted to say goodbye to our beloved bot. BUT I am willing to try the next one but I do worry. 

You are kinder than I am, I am all bye bye Murderbot. There was nothing of Murderbot in this one. Where is that humour? It was just Murderbot being all blah. All those things that made the series fun were gone.

I think I chuckled once? Yea - the humour was gone and Murderbot was only badass once at the end which was cool, but it was so dry and there needed to be more. 

I am sad, I’d say this was barely ok. I had to push through. Stuff happened, but nothing really happened.

Sighs...I miss ART. LOL

Where art thou Art!

ART HAS MY HEART! Murderbot...I am willing to try one more….but meh. 

Number 5 is full length, FULL LENGTH?!?! What if it sucks? *cries*

UGGGGH. I think I would need to switch back to audio if that is the case. I did the ebook this time since my library had it. The narrator is good so maybe it’ll help??? Sighs. 

 I am weary, we could do 5, but how about a Murderbot break in November? 

Maybe we just need a break. Yes. I am good for that. Maybe taking a break and then jumping back in will work. The heart grows fonder with a little separation. Lol Or they could bring ART back? 

Break it is, and let’s hope Murderbot gets her groove back. Now to figure out what to read in November then…

Yes. *fingers crossed* We’ll find something. Maybe we can do something xmas-y ;)


I am all for xmassy

Woot!!! Soooo yes. This was my least favorite of the series. It was not funny and Murderbot seemed off this time around. Bummer overall for me. 


Disappointing. Sloooow.

Super sad. I have hope for the next. 

The end?

The end my friend! Until next time. 






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.


Saturday, October 24

Book Review: Tempted by Anna Ray


Author: 
Anna Ray
Title: Tempted (Mafia Sinners Book 1)
Genre: Novella, Romance, Contemporary, Mystery
Format: ebook
Published:  July 25th 2020
Pages: 94
Where I Got It: My shelf (Netgalley)


Summary: 
This was supposed to be just business. No one said anything about falling in love.


I can’t stand Daniel Marino. He’s an insufferable flirt, a womanizer, and all he seems to care about is money—and sex. But he’s also the one paying me, and I need the money too much to turn down the job. Still, I feel like there must be more to him than a businessman and a playboy. If only he would let me see it.


Laura Byrne is the first woman to resist me in years. The moment she stepped into my office, I knew I wanted her in my bed. I might be her boss, but she still doesn’t back down from my challenges. And it just makes me want her more. The longer I spend pursuing her, the more I realize this isn’t just about sex anymore. It’s about making her mine.


Daniel and Laura will have to navigate a rough road to become closer, and even if their differences don’t tear them apart, Daniel’s mafia enemies might.


Read on to see how the sparks fly when these two heated personalities collide!

Review:
Been meaning to read this for a little bit. It sort of got buried in my virtual book shelf. 

We follow Laura Byrne and Daniel Marino who hate each other with a burning passion. Daniel is a womanizer and is part of a Mafia Family. Laura needs the money and accepts a job from Daniel but wants nothing to do with him or his world. But a job is a job. 

I was meh about both of our MCs. They were okay, but I didn't connect with either of them. That was my biggest issue with this. I enjoyed the story a lot! It was fun watching these two people get over their hatred of each other and find love. The mystery was a nice touch as well, but I really did not jive with either of them or even any of the side characters. 

This was short. Maybe if it was longer I would've had time to connect with SOMEONE. 

The mystery was good, as I mentioned. It wasn't the main focus of the story, but it worked and it added a little danger to the story and did help get these two together in a way. 

I would never want to be part of a mafia family....too dangerous but it always fun reading about it ;)

Overall...not a crazy amount to say. It was short and fun. Not crazy about either of the MCs but I did have fun with watching them fall in love and the mystery unravel. I'll give this 3 stars. 



Challenge(s):
- #10 on THE BAD BOYS OF ROMANCE challenge

Thursday, October 22

Audiobook Review: Death Overdue by Allison Brook



Author: 
Allison Brook 
Narrator: Mia Gaskin
Title: Death Overdue
(The Haunted Library Mysteries #1)
Genre: Cozy mystery, Paranormal, Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 329 
Published:  October 10th 2017
Where I got It: My shelf (Audible)


Summary: 
Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she's offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies.

The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie's determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it's the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura's case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al.

Review:
I picked this up without even reading the summary. Decided to take a gamble! All I check was that this was book 1 of the series ;) And I feel my gamble worked out well. 

The story follows Carrie who is about to leave again and go somewhere warm. The heart of the traveler rarely stays somewhere too long. However, she is offered a good job as the head of programs and events at the local library. She was going to deny the job at first but with the gentle nudge from the a ghost she decides to take the job and stay. Her first major event at the library is Al Buckley who is a retired detective and claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster 15 years ago. During his presentation he suddenly keels over and dies. Carrie feels responsible and decides to try and uncover who killed Al and Laura Forster. 

Woah. I expected a mystery and maybe a murder...but it turns into two! Haha you should've seen my face since I was totally going in blind to this book. Loved it. 

The mystery had a lot of twists and turns but I stuck my guns to who I thought it was and I was right. HAHA! I shall pat myself on the back. However, I will say....I doubted my choice especially as more clues and hints and red herrings popped up. The ending was fantastic! I cheered when Carrie did what I was wanting her to do since nearly the beginning. You go girl! 

I liked Carrie. She was very sweet. I did get really sleepy during her long-winded explanation of nonimportant things. Like what everyone was eating at the table or her shopping trips that didn't really seem to push the story along. I think I would've been more forgiving if this was more of a journal/diary format? 

I loved our ghost friend. She was funny and a nice cherry on top of this story. I hope she is in more books. Well...I do want her to find peace and not haunt the library anymore, but I like her a lot so I am selfish and want to see her more. 

The narrator was good. I liked her voices and she did well overall. No issues there. She fit and did well with all the characters. 

In the end, I did like this. A good mystery with a fun set of characters which includes the library ghost. Fun. There were some moments that dragged on a bit, but overall, this was a nice holiday cozy mystery for Halloween AND Thanksgiving. I am tempted to check out book 2. We shall see. 3 stars is what I shall stamp this one. 











Challenge(s):
- #49 for Audiobook Challenge





Wednesday, October 21

Audiobook Review: How to Catch a Wicked Viscount by Amy Rose Bennett


Author: Amy Rose Bennett 
Narrator: Sienna Frances
Title: How to Catch a Wicked Viscount
(The Disreputable Debutantes #1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 352
Published:  August 27th 2019
Where I got It: My shelf (Audible)


Summary: Shy, bookish Sophie Brightwell is expected to make an advantageous match to improve her family's fortunes. However, Sophie's plans to make a spectacular debut go horribly awry when she and her three closest friends are expelled from a young ladies' academy for unbecoming conduct. Since the ton will be sure to close their doors on these disgraced debutantes, they determine that unconventional means need to be employed in the husband-hunting market. Rakehells—the beau monde's wickedest members—might be the only men willing to overlook a young lady's besmirched reputation.

But how does one catch a rake?

Nate Hastings, the devil-may-care Viscount Malverne, is the older brother of Sophie’s best friend, fellow disgraced debutante Lady Charlotte. When a terribly foxed Nate accidentally compromises Sophie, Charlotte strikes a wicked bargain: in order to avoid a scandal and the parson's mousetrap, Nate must help Sophie snare a husband. But as Nate fulfills his obligation and begins to instruct the lovely Sophie in the art of luring rakes, he soon finds himself battling his own fierce attraction to her.

Review:
What a fun series this might be! I grabbed book 1 to give it a try. Plus....look at that cover! It is beautiful. The colors and that dress?! Love it. 

Sophie Brightwell who is expected to make a good match to improve her family's fortunes. However, all seems over when she and her friends are expelled from a young ladies' academy for unbecoming conduct. Since many men in the ton will not be able to look past their scandalous ways, these disgraced debutantes decide that the best husbands will be the rakehells of society. Enter in Nate Hastings. He is a rakehell and Sophie's best friend's older brother. One night while he is terribly foxed, he accidently compromises Sophie, so in order to appease his sister and keep her from telling someone, he strikes a bargain....help Sophie find a husband. However, he soon finds himself battling his own attraction for Sophie Brightwell. 

What a fun story overall. A very different take and it was refreshing. We have a group of friends who are expelled from their lady school so their pool of men are going to be smaller. I guess that is the best course! Finding men who can't really judge since they are also very judged by the ton as well. It works!

I liked Sophie, but I LOVED Charlotte. I can't wait for her book. I do not think that one is out yet. We didn't really get much time with the other 2 friends yet, but I liked them so far. 

Now....I did NOT like Nate. He is an idiot. He is an arsehat. He is selfish. He is a jerk. He needed a good kick in the romp. Nope. Sophie should've said yes to another suiter who obviously like her and seemed like a good catch. Sighs. I hope he gets a HEA. He's not really a rake so I do not think he will get any of the other girls. But I do hope we get to see him find love someday. Poor fella. 

Yes, I enjoyed this story overall, but it was a little rough because even when Nate got himself in order, I really didn't forgive him or warm up to him fully so it made it hard for me to 100% enjoy this. Yes, yes, I understand he is a bad boy and rake. He had 100 excuses why he doesn't/can't get married and why Sophie is not suitable for him BUT he still kept getting in the way of Sophie moving on and finding a man to love her. He kept toying with her and then pushing her away. GAH. It got old and annoying. A part of me wanted her to marry someone else and let him stew in his misery. SURE he did make amends and did a lot for Sophie, so I can see her forgiving him and accepting his proposal finally, but still. GAH. 

Switching gears because I can simply ramble about my annoyance with Nate all day...the narrator was fantastic! I really hope this narrator does the next one of the series (yes - I will more than likely do the audio for the next as well especially if this narrator does the next one too). 

Overall, I did like this BUT Nate made it hard to love this one. I get he is a rake, but it doesn't mean he should be a big jerk. The narrator was wonderful. I'll give this 3 stars. 










Challenge(s):
- #48 for Audiobook Challenge

- #9 on THE BAD BOYS OF ROMANCE challenge



Monday, October 19

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Christmas Holiday House by RaeAnne Thayne


Narrated by: Vanessa Johansson


Series: Haven Point, Book 12


Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins


Release date: 10-13-20


Publisher: Harlequin Audio


Contemporary romance


To review

A cute xmassy book.

Abby comes with her son to a sweet little town. She will only stay a little while to help out a friend's grandma. And Abby is sweet, kind. She lost her husband and is trying to move on with her life.

Christmas is also around the corner, and they are prepping the house for it. Very xmassy, with snow, skiing and more.

And of course she meets at first grumpy guy called Ethan, who thinks his grandma should be in a home so she wont get hurt. But Ethan was a sweetie, also a stupid idiot who thought he was incapable of love. Men!

But yes it is a simple story, they meet, they become friendly, they want more. And they live happily ever after,

One weird thing though, his sister had this backstory where she finally ended up with her bestie. I felt like they could have had their own book.

Sweet and short.

Good narrator. I liked what she did with her voices. And easy story to listen to




A widowed young mother's search for the perfect Christmas for her little boy leads her to Silver Bells, Colorado. There, Abby Powell finds a heartwarming small-town community--with snow!--as well as less-than-jolly Ethan Lancaster, a single-minded businessman who has learned the hard way that love and family are not for him. But he never counted on the lovely newcomer to town--or her the emotional pull she and her son, Christopher, have over him. As Ethan and Abby work together to restore Holiday House, Ethan's historic family mansion, in time for Christmas, Ethan's heart begins to open along with his home.

Sunday, October 18

Book Review: The Jade Tiger by E.W Cooper



Author: 
Title: The Jade Tiger
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Format: ebook
Published:  October 14th 2020 
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)


Summary: 
NEW YORK, OCTOBER 1928. The Big Apple teems with the glitter of Bright Young Things, Prohibition, and scofflaws-the perfect place for Penelope Harris to start her life over. As a former opera singer turned Shanghai nightclub owner, she's seen and done a lot, maybe too much. With any luck, she'll leave more than The Jade Tiger casino behind her-a murdered husband, a blackmailing torch singer, and Thom Lund, the ex-cop who stole her heart. But Penelope has never had that kind of luck; her past is already waiting for her in New York.

When someone murders her chiseling blackmailer at an out-of-control party and Thom is accused of the crime, Penelope must face down her darkest memories to prove his innocence. Is the murderer her cousin Charles, suckered into a hasty marriage by Penelope's blackmailer? Or is it Penelope's over-protective mother, who can't remember a thing after a blow to the head? Or was it Thom after all, ready to commit murder to save Penelope from the blackmailer's wicked plans?

Among the opulent mansions of the obscenely wealthy and the grit of a Hell's Kitchen speakeasy, Penelope and Thom must navigate double-crosses, bad liquor, bootleggers, and dark, obsessive love to find the murderer before the past reaches out to put a noose around both their necks

Review:
The cover drew me in and then the summary had me super curious to read this. Yes, the cover is simple, but there is something about it that I can't stop looking at it. 

It is 1928 and Penelope is looking to start her life over and leave the past where it belongs. Penelope was a former singer turned nightclub owner in Shanghai, but when her husband is murdered she decides to go back to New York. However, the past never stays buried. She is soon approached by a blackmailer and things get worse when that blackmailer is killed at a party and a man who owns her heart is accused. 

Poor Penelope. She cannot get the peaceful life she wants and deserves! Poor thing. And poor Thom. 

Yes, I liked Penelope and Thom right off the bat. I just want them to be together and happy!

The mystery was certainly a mystery. I had no idea who or why! Yessss, there are a lot of people who would have an excellent motive for murdering that person. I felt bad for the cops...because there are a lot of suspects and lots of bad blood and secrets running around. I don't envy them this mystery. 

Now, there are a lot of dialogues that did seem to drag a tiny bit, but I do feel it was important conversations to the characters and even for the reader. Lots of clues, red herrings, and so forth. It fit and even though I was anxious to move forward it was important to read through.


The revelation was a surprise and I applaud the author for the twists and turns! That was one heck of a end. I enjoyed it immensely! It really made me curious about if there will be a book 2. 

Overall, I did really like this. It was short, but good. A very good mystery for a cold fall day. I'll give this 4 stars.