Thursday, July 29

Audiobook Review: My Therapist, My Lover by Cris Beam





Author: Cris Beam
Narrator:  Aida Reluzco
Title: My Therapist, My Lover
Genre: Fiction, Novella, Short Story
Format: Audiobook
Published: June 10th 2021
Where I got It: Audible

Summary: 
A talented sculptor and her psychotherapist fall in love, transgressing numerous ethical boundaries. But as their relationship progresses, what began as a patient’s attempt to liberate herself from her past becomes the most abusive relationship of her life- and the most dangerous.

Review:
This was recommended for me to listen to and it is a quick listen so I never say no to quickies (wait...phrasing lol). 

The story follows a talented sculptor who falls in love with her psychotherapist and who in turn falls in love with her. They cross serious ethical boundaries and eventually into an emotional and physically abusive relationship. 

This made me extremely sad. I wanted to cry and shake some sense into our poor sculptor. The red flags are waving from day one. There is something wrong with this Rachel therapist person even when it was just a patient-doctor relationship. Our sculptor didn't stand a chance. 

It is a quick listen and I'm glad for it. It was very emotional and maddening. SPOILER it does end happy, but I was so worried. What a toxic mess they found themselves in for sure.

This could be triggering for some who may have suffered from this because it does show some of the abuse. I found it extremely interesting though getting her POV and her reasons why she stayed as long as she did. I've never been in that situation so it's always hard for me to understand WHY someone stays in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship. 

OOO! Nearly forgot - the narrator is amazing. Perfect for this story. 

Overall, this was an emotional and maddening short story. There is a lot of hate out there, but I liked it. It was quick and it gave me all the emotions. I will say it would not be a good listen for those easily triggered because it does go behind the scenes of abuse. I'll give this 4 stars.  










Challenge(s):
- #44 for Audiobook challenge





Tuesday, July 27

Joint Review: An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn






Hello all! Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "An Offer From a Gentleman" by Julia Quinn. Blodeuedd is in blue and I am in purple.





Author: Julia Quinn
Title: An Offer From a Gentleman
(Bridgertons #3)
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: July 1st 2001
Format: ebook & audio
Pages: 390

Summary:
Will she accept his offer before the clock strikes midnight?

Sophie Beckett never dreamed she'd be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton's famed masquerade ball—or that "Prince Charming" would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.

Who was that extraordinary woman? Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other—except, perhaps this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid's garb whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?


Discussion:

Third Bridgerton book! What did you think?

I’m glad we read it! I enjoyed it! Not my favorite of the series so far, but I liked watching these two find loveeee. 

I am a bit torn, I felt that it was 20 years old, and because of that I overlooked some of his tendencies. I do think I am happy that I did not start with these when I started reading Quinn cos as it stands now, would I have read more? Dunno

Ya - you could tell this was an older one of hers. Benedict was a jerk for a good chunk of it. WHICH men back in the day would never marry a maid...but the blackmail was uncalled for. I didn’t like that. He did redeem himself, but still...he was a jerkface. 

The blackmail was creepy. Totally creepy. I forgave him cos hey olden timey romance heroes had their weird ways. These days a romance hero will totally marry a maid, seamstress or whatever. Sure he will be all, but!!! But still. Here Benedict had other things on his mind

Very creepy and rude esp after she helped heal him back to health. I would’ve liked to see them get married and see how they introduce her to society. That would add some meat to the story and help redeem him more. I think him telling people to F off and defend his woman would’ve been delightful to see. You KNOW the ton would be meaaaaaaaan to her for sure. 

But now all they will see is a ward to the old Earl. Sure there will be gossip, but hey Lady Bridgerton is popular. I would rather see him tell people to f off.

Even being a ward with no real title would be beneath so many folks. They are terrible people. Could you imagine Mama Bridgerton and Benedict teaming up against those rich snobs? Man. I wish we could’ve seen that. I would’ve loved it. I also want to read a short story or something with Mama Bridgerton and the Maid War. Too much fun!!!

 So true. It’s like the book was just eh, no time for that nonsense about people thinking she is not good enough. Also yes the Maid Wars would have been fun!

I do feel like there were a lot of things she could’ve added to make this even better and help redeem Benedict from being an ahole and maybe develop their love more. I bet the tv show will add a lot of extra stuff so I’m kind of excited for when they get to his story someday.

OOOO I loved the ending with a certain character (not spoiling who) came out of nowhere and helped Sophie. Didn’t see that coming!!

Yes he does have ahole written on him in my eyes, I am sure the show will change it for the better. It does sound like I didn’t like it at all, but I did! It was light and nice (if I overlook certain things, at least it wasn’t a rapey 80s book). I can take some of Benedicts ways.

I’m sure they will or make him pay for and have to earn her more. Something. BUT same. I liked it. It was nice and light and Sophie deserved a HEA poor girl. F that stepmother!! MONSTER deserved to be locked away for the abuse. And yes, this for sure was a book that was written an eon ago and tbh...if this was a real romance in that time period this is how it would’ve been. Except...they would’ve never married. She would’ve been his mistress until he married or found someone different if she got too old/boring. 

But real life sucks! She would have been his mistress, had a few kids, maybe they would have been together a long time. Maybe he would have moved on. Maybe she would have been miserable cos she would never moved in his circles.

Also, her stepmother can die that stupid evil B! Ugh!!! Oh and yes that person who you talked about helped her, yes I liked that!

True! Real life sucksssss. Being a mistress is so unstable. The ton would never accept her fully. That stepmother should’ve been shipped to Antarctica. GRRRR. 

Hope they have ugly clothes in the show, lol. To show how evil the stepmum and Araminta are.

I think the stepmother’s name was Araminta and the one evil daughter was Rosalyn or something (they need to be shipped away together grrr). YEASSSSSS they should have even uglier clothing than Penelope and her family LOLL. 

Oh damn, I think you are right. How did I forget Rosalyn, eh, she was not as memorable as Posy. Posy was omg brain freeze…..you know the last kid of the Feathertons, omg I can’t spell or think. Watching tv, my bad.

Posy was the chubby daughter of Araminta that was treated poopy too. Kinda like Penelope. I think the two should become best friends. Which! Did you read the book or do the audio? I did the audio. 

I could see the actress who played Pen, but could I think of the name? Nope. I read it. Was it good in audio?

Yessss the audio was amazing bc the Queen of Audios read it...Rosalyn Landor! She was flawless and perfect as per normal. 

Ohh, I like Rosalyn Landor! Maybe that would have been better.

She always makes it a hair better even if it is meh. ^_^

A good narrator is gold :D So, a good book, but it has aged. Or we do not forgive things as easily?

Depends on how you look at it and feel. I enjoyed it even though it made me growl at the hero and he had to earn her love FOR sure. And yes, the narrator is gold. I totally recommend the audio but I am biased because I love this narrator. She is a queen!

He did cut it a bit late though...But he did care.

Yes. He for sure was not the best of the brothers so far. I think the show will make him more favorable...hopefully.

In the show I liked him best with Eloise. Other times, eh, did not really care. 

He is adorable with his siblings, especially with Eloise.

Huh, I was looking at the books I have read, and I could not find Eloise’s book, I am sure I have read it!

 I believe it’s book 5. 

I also seem to have disliked Gregory’s book but couldn’t find the review, just a rating, omg, whyyy

Maybe a future book ;) Revisiting it to see whyyy you did. I’ve only read the first, second, and this one. I do plan on reading all of them.

Phew, found the review on my blog! Must post it on GR

Yess you must!





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, July 23

Audiobook Review: Once a Scoundrel by Mary Jo Putney




Author: Mary Jo Putney
Narrator:  Beverley A. Crick
Title: Once a Scoundrel
(Rogues Redeemed #3)
Genre: Historical Romance, Adventure
Format: Audiobook
Published: 2017
Where I got It: Audible

Summary: 
An outcast on the high seas . . .

The son of a proud naval dynasty, Gabriel Hawkins was born to command the sea, until he leaves the Royal Navy in disgrace and is disowned by his family. As captain of his own ship, he's earned his living in ways both legal and illegal, and his experience makes him the best choice to ransom an aristocratic beauty captured by Barbary pirates.

Having avoided the traps of convention and marriage, Lady Aurora Lawrence is horrified by the prospect of spending her life as a harem slave. Her only hope of escape is a quiet, steely captain who has a history with her captor--and who will do anything to free Rory. Together they undertake a dangerous mission through troubled waters--and encounter another kind of danger as attraction burns hot within the close confines of his ship. But even if they endure the perils of the sea and enemy lands, can their love survive a return to England, where the distance between a disgraced captain and an earl's daughter is wider than the ocean?

Review:
This book has been elusive! I got tired of waiting for or looking for it (I even skipped over it to read the rest of the series) so I decided to bite the bullet and use my free monthly Audible credit on it. 

We follow the disgraced Gabriel Hawkins. He was born to a proud dynasty of naval officers, but he was disgraced from the Royal Navy and disowned by his family. To make his way in the world, he became a captain of his own ship and finds ways to make money. Be it in legal or even illegal adventures. Due to his experience, he is given the chance to rescue an aristocratic beauty who was captured by Barbary pirates and try to ransom her freedom on behalf of the family. Lady Aurora has dodged marriage for a long time, but being captured by pirates and possibly spending her life as a harem slave makes her wish for freedom and to return back home. Her only hope of escape is Gabriel and his crew. 

This was a lot of fun. I think this was my favorite of series so far. I think there are a couple of more left in the series. *does research* Yes, there is a short story and a new one coming out next week. WAIT...WHAT? OMG I MUST READ IT!!!!! 

ANYWAYS...SEE? Some things are worth waiting for I guess ;) 

I loved how eccentric Rory was and how adorable her cousin was. 

I loved Gabriel. Poor guy got dealt a shitty hand. Grrrrr to his family and to the Royal Navy! 

Oooooo and the side romance between Rory's cousin and the 1st mate was adorable! I'm so happy that the cousin found love. She deserved it just as much as Rory and good ol' Gabriel. 

What I really love about this author is that I typically buy these couples. Sure, they had a spark of insta-love here, but they talked and became friends and then lovers. I love that! And it made sense. I mean...they spent a couple of weeks at sea with nothing better to do. I really loved watching them fall in love. 

Now, I will say the resolution seemed a bit...easy and quick. I knew what was going to happen based on what I read in later books, but I expected more...drama? Mmm. Hard to explain without spoiling here...but yes, I thought I was going to be worried. I wasn't at all. I think I was more worried about the poor animals they had to drag along. Poor things crossing the ocean TWICE. Gah! I can't imagine how scared they were. 

The narrator was good! Her voices fit well. I will say Rory's and the cousin's voice were very similar so when it would flip to a different POV I did have rewind because it started not making sense. I really had to focus here. But everyone else's voices were different...even the guys.

In the end, I am so glad I finally got a chance to read/listen to this! It was worth the wait. I adored this couple or our side romance. I loved watching them all fall in love on the open sea. The ending was a little easier than I imagined, but it was nice to see them beat the odds and free Rory and her cousin. I'll give this 4 stars. 








Challenge(s):
- #42 for Audiobook challenge





Wednesday, July 21

Audiobook Review: Alien Knight Blind Date Disaster by Becca Brayden




Author: Becca Brayden
Narrator:  Teddy Hamilton
Title: Alien Knight Blind Date Disaster
(Lumerian Knights #3)
Genre: SciFi, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Published: August 22nd 2020
Where I got It: Audible

Summary: 
Honorable Lumerian Knight Falden Corshivad has sacrificed everything for his people. Legend even among his own kind, he has vowed to protect and preserve all that is left of their ancient heritage. Keep their existence hidden from the enemies that destroyed his planet. Enemies that continue to hunt for survivors.

Falden knows the recent attack on Earth was meant to flush the Lumerian Knights out of hiding. So, when Isabella Serrano, a nosy investigative reporter, starts digging a little too deeply into the recent events, he knows that for the safety of everyone, he must do whatever it takes to find out what she knows. Stop her from revealing the Knights at any cost. Even seduce her.

Unfortunately, Falden has spent the past two thousand years out of the dating scene. And worse, he has no understanding of human courting rituals. Luckily, his most trusted Knights have found the perfect guide in a popular men’s blog; “The Nice Guy’s Guide to the Hook-Up.” Results guaranteed! He will follow the instructions to the letter, even if every single one of the items on the list goes against his honor and belief as a Knight. He will win this woman over and seduce her into revealing her secrets.

With help from “The Nice Guy’s Guide to the Hook-Up", what could possibly go wrong?

Review:
Randomly stumbled upon this freebie in Audible. I needed a pure Sci-Fi romance for my reading challenge so I gave it a go. 

We follow Falden who is an honorable Lumerian Knight. He has sacrificed everything for his people. He has vowed to protect what is left of their ancient heritage and keep their existence hidden from the enemies that destroyed his home planet. He knows the recent attack on Earth was meant to flush him and his soldiers out, so when the investigator, Isabella, starts poking around and looking too deeply into the recent events, he knows that he must stop her. Even if that means seducing her. Isabella is set to meet a contact of hers on a fake blind date, so Falden brushes up his dating skills to try and win her over and reveal what she knows. 

Whoooops. Stumbled into book 3. Psssh. I am so bad. I swore I checked...oh well, it did fine as a standalone. You can tell there are other characters and couples that we missed out on, but this did fine.

It took me a minute to really get into this. I struggled at the beginning. Yes, I know Falden is acting like a jerk because of that damn dating book and Isabella is suffering through the terrible date because she thinks he is her contact for info...but it drove me insane. She wanted to smack him and I wanted to smack him....GAH. BUT she  was lusting over him even when he was acting like a D word. WHY????? Just because he has a hot body and a hot face....why? He was nothing but mean!!!!! Sure, as the reader we know better, but she should've threw her drink in his face and storm off. 

Even when they realized who was who and that it was fake and all the drama started, they didn't trust each other but they were quick to jump into bed and etc the moment they could. Okayyyyyyyy I guess....but the man was injured from saving her. I don't care how legendary you are or how old...you are hurt. No one bangs when they are bleeding out to the point that they pass out from the blood loss. SIGHS. 

Things DID get better after the first few. They actually for real talked and actually liked each other. I could finally get behind them as a couple. Thank goodness. 

The narrator was great. Loved his voices. Esp for some of the bad aliens. Creepy! Loved it! They worked perfect. 

In the end, I struggled with the beginning and them as a couple. Things got way better so I am glad I didn't give up. This ended up really fun and I am curious about the beginning novels and anything after this. So maybe I shall check them out one day ;) I'll give this 3 stars. 







Challenge(s):
- #41 for Audiobook challenge
- #20 for Romance Bingo - Sci-Fi




Tuesday, July 20

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Newly Discovered Authors



7/20/2021 What authors have you recently discovered and loved?

Ooooo! Fun question! I will say I have found soooo many authors recently!

- Been reading lots of Nalini Singh lately.

- Amy Rose Bennett's romance novels are a delight! She needs to write moreee. 

- Kristen Painter's winter elf series is fun!

- Oh! Lexi Blake is cute! I want to read. 

- Kevin Kwan has been fun! I need to read more. 


Those are just the first few I could think of between end of last year and beginning of this year. 






Monday, July 19

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke


Format: 245 pages, Hardcover

Published: September 15, 2020 by Bloomsbury

Fantasy Fiction Mystery Magical Realism

Library



Ok so this was weird. I hardly know what to say cos if I say anything that might be a spoiler.

Right, so this man lives in a weird house. The house has oceans and tides. Hallways filled with statues. No one living there except a man he calls The Other. And some skeletons. Such a weird place. No recollection why he is there, and if there exists anything else but this house.

Was it great? Nah. But I really wanted to know why this man was living in this house, that is not a house but a strange world at the same time. Hall after hall, you can walk for days.

And we do get an explanation, grateful for that. I can not say anything more.

And about the characters. Well, we know nothing about The Other. He is just there. Piranesi, as the Other calls the man, well we know nothing about him either. He is resourceful, he keeps a journal. He loves this house and likes to explore.

I did like it, because something kept me reading





Piranesi's house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.


Friday, July 16

Audiobook Review: The Perfect Play by G.S. Carr




Author: G.S. Carr
Narrator:  Trei Taylor & Ryan Kailbourne
Title: The Perfect Play
Genre: Short story, Contemporary Romance, Sports
Format: Audiobook
Published: June 10th 2021
Where I got It: Audible

Summary: 
Simone Thompson wakes up in a Vegas hotel suite to discover three things:

Her headache might kill her.
The guy spooned behind her isn’t some random Vegas hookup—it’s James Sumner, the NFL’s bad-boy wide receiver and her twin brother’s teammate.
There’s a ring on her finger—you know, the finger.


As part of a football family, Simone knows all about the game, the good, the bad, and the ugly. That’s why she joined her brother’s trip to Vegas in the first place—to keep an eye on him, not to end up entangled with her crush. Her very out-of-her-league crush.

James has always had the hots for Simone and now that they’re married, he sees an opening to prove to her that he's more than just a playboy and that they really do belong together. But if he’s going to win over his bookish princess, he’ll need to execute the perfect play…


Review:
This was recommended to me to check out and it's a freebie on Audible so why not!

We follow Simone and James. The two wake up in a Vegas hotel suite and discover they not only had a crazy night...but they are married. However, this could never work! They are so different! Simone has been a book-nerd and even works at the library and she was only in Vegas to hang out with and make sure her brother doesn't get into too much trouble while he parties with his NFL friends. James is NFL's bad-boy wide receiver. They soon realize that they have both been crushing on each other and this might be a chance to see if there is something there. 

Ahhhhh booze and Vegas mix too well but can lead to a crazy, insane night even for an innocent like Simone. 

I adored these two and they really were perfect! A weird way to start a romance. Maybe it was the push Simone needed to finally find her happiness in life! Yesss, yesss she feels she has to be the mother hen to her bro and her dad....but she deserves to be happy!

James is adorable and I loved him. 

I hope we get more books. Maybe something for Simone's bro or even another book following Simone and James. I feel like they still have some issues to get through. More pleaseeeee.

The narrators were perfect for the characters. Love them!

In the end, this was short and sweet, but there was some serious character development here and it was adorable to see them fall in love. Totally recommend it. 5 stars. 







Challenge(s):
- #40 for Audiobook challenge

Thursday, July 15

Book Review: Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh



Author: Nalini Singh
Title: Rebel Hard
(Hard Play #2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: ebook
Pages: 409
Published: September 18th 2018 
Where I Got It: Borrow from library

Summary: 
Nayna Sharma agreed to an arranged marriage in the hope it would heal the fractures in her beloved family… only to realize too late that a traditional marriage is her personal nightmare. Panicked, she throws caution to the winds, puts on the tiniest dress she can find, and ends up in the arms of a tall, rough-edged hunk of a man who has abs of steel—and who she manages to mortally insult between one kiss and the next.

Abandoned as a child, then adopted into a loving family, Raj Sen believes in tradition, in continuity. Some might call him stiff and old-fashioned, but he knows what he wants—and it’s a life defined by rules… yet he can’t stop thinking about the infuriating and sexy woman who kissed him in the moonlight then disappeared. When his parents spring an introduction on him, the last woman he expects is her. Beautiful. Maddening. A rulebreaker in the making.

He’s all wrong for her. She’s all wrong for him. And love is about to make rebels of them both.


Review:
EEEEEE! Book 2! Been waiting for this one for a bit! I liked book 1 a lot and I've been wanting Nayna's and Raj's tale!

Nayna agreed to an arranged marriage in the hopes that it would help heal the hurts in her family. However, she has created her own personal hell and nightmare with this promise. In order to find some peace, she throws caution to the wind by putting on her tiniest dress and allows a stranger with abs of steel to kiss her. Those arms belong to Raj. He was abandoned as a child and is adopted into a great family. In order to please that family, he agrees to an arranged marriage. Yet, he can't stop thinking about that kiss with that stranger. The two meet again after their parents arrange an introduction to each other as a possible marriage match. 

This gave me anxiety. Lots of it. Why? I JUST WANTED THEM TO GET MARRIED AND START HAVING CUTE BABIES but Nanya was so pig-headed. Sure Raj was a little bit of a jerk, but she started it after that kiss. Gah. 

I enjoyed this anxiety though. I knew it was going to be very sweet and melt my heart when they finally got past their issues and agreed to be together. Awwwwwwwwwwww!!! They deserved love so much esp Raj. Poor guy suffered so much rejection. Gah! Brought a tear to my eye. 

I did get very angry at Nayna. Sure, sure, I get why she had her issues with Raj and following through on her promise to an arranged marriage, but she was very mean a couple of times to Raj. It even seemed slightly out of character and Raj just...forgave her SO quickly. Yes, yes, love is blind....but I feel like this gives the wrong message to readers. It bugged me that Raj would cave so easily. Maybe it's because I am biased and I liked Raj a hair more. I don't know. Not sure why her being a B word bothered me so much. I can't really pinpoint WHY it triggered me so much about how mean she would be. 

I'm so glad a certain side character found love too esp after a reveal. Poor thing!

Overall, this was really good. Just be prepared to be angry at our H/h here and there, because they are both stubborn butts. And Nayna was a super jerk. Even with my issues with Nayna, I enjoyed it a lot. 3 stars from me. 







Monday, July 12

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: The Highlander's Destiny by Mary Wine

Narrated by: Timothy Campbell

Series: Highland Rogues, Book 2

Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins

Release date: 07-20-21

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Historical romance

To review




I do wish at that one book would have a woman come in to a new keep and everyone would be all; Nice to meet you! Oh we like you, let's be friends! But alas no, everyone be bitches.

Cora has an intended she has never met. But she is fierce, strong, and sure she would like to meet him, but she also wants more.

Faolan is a bastard, and well that blurb is weird. The whole keep is close to the coast and that tower is used for protection. A lot of people gets sent there. But many are asshats since he is the son of the previous ruler, and his half brother rules now.

Faolan and Cora meets during a storm. Why she isn't just sent back the next day, dunno. But instead she meet everyone at the castle. Ugh everyone is calculating, or mean. There is always a bitchy woman too. But things does progress quickly. Things go down and since we all know they will fall in love they will. A rocky road, but she wont let anyone hold her down, not the Church (booo you guys), or someone else.

I do like these books. Some hardships and love conquers all, and then everyone thinks they are awesome.

I also like that there are always new characters that intrigue me. I want Rolf to find someone, and Cormac. I need those books

I also think the narrator is great. I have listened to lots of highland romances with him now and I think he is great at accents and different voices. He fits well



Faolan McKay was the spawn of recklessness. A child conceived by moonlight outside the bonds of wedlock. His mother was banished to the rocky shores of the Highlands where she committed an even greater sin than seducing the laird’s son—she survived. And raised her son to be everything everyone whispered about him. To be feared was better than any position or sword.

Cora Mackenzie has been promised since she was five. But her intended has never even penned her a single note. Cora takes to the moors, finding satisfaction in building strength and pitting herself against the elements. She discovers a thirst for succeeding where everyone says a girl shouldn't.

Faolan wasn't one for tales by the firelight, but seeing the woman perched on the rocks of his island made him stop and stare. Battered by the wind and rain, she cared nothing for her hair or dress. Instead, she stood in the face of the elements, celebrating her survival. Aye, a mythical creature, one he should ignore but just can't seem to. Fate has locked them together, leaving him battling to resist the pull of his guest.

Whether or not she wants to know the man who saved her isn't up to her. A storm forces them to shelter together or die if they attempt to leave. She might not survive the encounter, but it's hardly the first time life has offered Cora no choice but to face what is placed before her.

Sunday, July 11

Book Review: Burning Ground by DA Galloway




Author: D.A. Galloway
Title: Burning Ground (Frontier Time Traveler series, #1)
Genre: Time Travel, Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Format: ebook
Pages: 450
Published: July 6th 2021
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion

Summary: 
Does time heal all wounds? Or do some last forever?


Pennsylvania, 1971: Graham Davidson is a young man with survivor’s guilt after the death of three siblings.

Estranged from his father and seeking a direction in his life, Graham learns about vision quests from a Crow Indian. He secures seasonal employment in Yellowstone National Park and embarks on a spiritual journey.

Wyoming Territory, 1871: Under a full moon at a sacred thermal area, Graham finds himself in Yellowstone a century earlier - one year before it was established as a national park. He joins the Hayden Expedition which was commissioned to explore the region.

Although a military escort provides protection for the explorers, the cavalry’s notorious lieutenant threatens Graham. His perilous journey through the future park is marred by a horrific tragedy in a geyser basin, a grizzly bear attack, and an encounter with hostile Blackfeet Indians.

Graham falls in love with Makawee, a beautiful Crow woman who serves as a guide. As the expedition nears its conclusion, Graham is faced with an agonizing decision.

Does he stay in the previous century with the woman he loves or travel back to the future?


Review:
Been excited about this book since the book cover reveal! I simply adore time-travel novels and I love Westerns so this is perfect!

Here we follow Graham who is trying to find himself and find some sort of happiness after his tragic past. There has been a lot of tension and some estrangement over the years due to lots of guilt and sadness from losing three of his siblings. He learns about vision quests from his friend who is Crow. He accepts a summer job at Yellowstone to try to have a vision quest. Under a full moon, Graham finds himself being transported to 1871 and goes on a journey that will forever change him. Should he stay in 1871 or go back home to the future?

Poor Graham. He has had a lot of sadness and guilt. I can't even imagine his guilt or his parents' guilt. So tragic. He for sure needed to get away. Maybe a whole century away seems a lot, but I think it was good for him. 

Awwww Makawee. Loved her. I did want more time with her. I want to learn more about her. She was so strong and she deserved love. OoooOOoo it's so hard to give away spoilers. ;)

But yes, Graham and Makawee deserved each other. I was for sure rooting for them!!

I am super curious to see what is next in the series. This is book 1 and there was a slight cliff-hanger so I want more for sure!!!! Ooooo! I want everyone to be happy!!!!!! I can't wait for the next book. WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!!!!!!????

Oh! I loved the photos that the author included here. It helped bring the story a live. It felt like Redfield or someone was writing Graham's story or something. It was really neat. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this. There is something here for everyone. Love, action, drama, and a people story. This was really good. I highly recommend it. I'll give this 4 stars. 







Saturday, July 10

2-in-1 Short Audio Review: The Raven & The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe




Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Narrator:  Dominic West
Title: The Raven
Genre: Classics, Short stories, Horror, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Published: 1845
Where I got It: Audible

Summary: 
'The Raven' is a poem recounting the descent into madness of a young man lamenting the loss of his lover. 


Review:
Needed some Poe in my life while I was cleaning so I picked a couple freebie audios on Audible to listen to.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh 'The Raven' is a classic. Always a blast to read/listen to. It is purely genius. 

I randomly picked this one narrated by Dominic West and the performance was incredible! Highly recommend this version if you want a quick listen. Def will re-listen to this during the Spooky season. I wonder if this narrator did another Poe....mmm....will have to research. 

But yes, this poem is great and it I feel reading aloud or audio is the way to go. 5 stars of course!



 









Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Narrator:  Mr. David Ian Davies
Title: The Tell-Tale Heart
Genre: Classics, Short stories, Horror, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Published: 1843
Where I got It: Audible

Summary: 
"The Tell-Tale Heart" captures this classic narrative of the unnamed murderer in all its exquisite vileness, its self-effacing insanity that poses rationality where none exists. 


Review:
Another Poe for meeee while I cleaned the house!

I've listened to David Ian Davies in the past and I had to check this one out. 

This is another classic that I've enjoyed in the past, but I never did an audio version of it. Honestly....I really enjoyed it especially with this narrator. I even got goose-bumps at one point. Awesome and fun!!

Highly recommend this version if you need a quick listen. The narrator is great. I also loved how this sounded like an old radio show. 

I'll give this 5 stars as well. 







Challenge(s):

- #40 & 41 for Audiobook challenge

Friday, July 9

Audiobook Review: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas



Author: Sherry Thomas
Narrator:  Kate Reading
Title: A Study in Scarlet Women
(Lady Sherlock #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: October 18th 2016
Where I got It: Audible

Summary: 
With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.

When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.

But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.


Review:
Another book for book club that I was already eyeballing. Perfecto!!!

We follow Charlotte Holmes who has always been different because of her inquisitive mind. She never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. After making a calculated risk, she finds herself a social pariah and an outcast fending for herself on the streets of London. After the city is struck with a trio of unexpected deaths and there is some suspicion that falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name with the help of a kind-hearted widow, police inspector, and a man who has long loved her. She investigates under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes. 

This was fun. I liked Charlotte a lot. She was different and she was smart and oooo so eccentric. Scary smart, but I adored her. She was brave and knew she wanted to be independent. Good for her!

I always get a wee worried about gender-swaps, but this worried well. I adored this version of Watkins. I hope she gets more spotlight in the next book. I would also loveeee an origin short story. She for sure lived a different life. I also want her to find love. Poor thing. 

There was a touch of romance here with Charlotte and a certain lord, but it didn't overtake the story and that made me happy. 

The mystery of the deaths was fantastic. I had ZERO idea who, why, and how. SOOOOOO good. The twist at the end was perfection. Fun and I was pleased that I couldn't figure it out. Even Holmes had a moment she wasn't 100% sure. 

Now, I will say the first couple chapters were a little rocky for me. I wasn't sure who was who and what was going on. Yes, in retrospect, I did like seeing Charlotte from the eyes of others like her sister, but it took me a minute to find my footing. 

The narrator was fantastic. I love her voices!! She is always a delight. 

In the end, this was a lot of fun. It was a great start to what I can image will be a fun series. This Sherlock is great. The mystery was awesome and I love the narrator. The first couple of chapters were a little rocky, but in the end I liked this a lot. I'll give this 4 stars. 



 





Challenge(s):
- #39 for Audiobook challenge