Tuesday, May 31

Blodeuedd's Tuesday Review: Threads of Magic by Monica Fairview

Narrated by: Jennifer M. Dixon

Series: Mr. Darcy's Magic, Book 2

Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins

Release date: 05-24-22

PP variation

To review

I do like PP variations, in every shape and form. And in this one there is magic! Darcy is a royal mage and they are a proud bunch. Lizzy coming in from another set of life is not so welcomed. But they married, they found that they are connected in magic, but they still have a long way to go. Darcy being Darcy.

And the French mages are attacking!

This book takes place on Netherfield where they are hiding out. Lizzy is looked at with suspicion. They royal mages are being such asshats!

Magic, danger, war. Something is not right. Who to trust, and how to make them trust her?! Also, Jane shows up in this one. Nice change of things.

I enjoyed it. It was very different from other ones and follows everything loosely.

Good narration, it felt very fitting

Elizabeth Bennet may be a heroine, but by defying some of the most powerful mages in England, she has made enemies who will stop at nothing to embroil her in scandal. So when she is accused of endangering the Royal Mages through her reckless actions, she no longer knows who to trust. Even the gentleman she loves is taking their side. It seems the only person who believes her is the captive French mage who is imprisoned in the cellar at Netherfield.

Meanwhile, Fitzwilliam Darcy is willing to fight to the death to defend Elizabeth, if only she would stop getting herself into trouble. Why does she always have to break the rules? And why does even her sister Jane cause him so many problems?

Join us in this magical Jane Austen Regency variation. Set mostly in Meryton, with familiar beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice, you will once again be captivated by Elizabeth and Darcy as they struggle to find true love against the backdrop of England’s war with Napoleon.

Friday, May 27

Book Review: Weekend Wife by Erin McCarthy

Author: Erin McCarthy
Title: Weekend Wife
(Sassy in the City #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humor
Format: ebook
Pages: 231
Published: February 3rd 2020
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Billionaire businessman in need of a fake fiancée…

It should be the easiest job ever for an out-of-work actress, right?

All I have to do is pose as Grant Caldwell (the Third)’s fiancé for a fancy-pants weekend in the Hamptons. Easy. Wear designer clothing and sip champagne? Don’t mind if I do. Flirting with Grant? It’s so delicious I should be paying him.

Nothing can go wrong as long as I can keep my hands off of him.

But that’s the hard part. And I do mean hard.

Because Grant is sexy.
And bossy.
And surprisingly sweet, a real rarity in his pretentious family.

Oops. I’m not as good at faking it as I thought. Or maybe they call this method acting. Because it’s getting harder to figure out where my character ends and I begin…

It just might be the role of a lifetime.

Weekend Wife is a standalone romantic comedy with a sexy billionaire, a sassy heroine, and a Happily Ever After.

Randomly stumbled upon this in the freebies on Amazon and Mellanie had reviewed this a couple years back. It looked cute and it fit one of my reading challenges...so why not? 

We follow Grant and Leah. Grant is a billionaire who needs a fake fiancé for the weekend. Leah is an actress and she agrees. However, it is getting hard to fake the feelings they have for each other. 

I started off really liking this. Grant is a hunk and Leah is a darling. I was hooked. Some humor that had me chuckling. 

However, around page 100 or so....I lost interest. I kept reading because I was hoping I would reconnect, but I really never did. I was happy they finally realized they loved each other. The lust was there from page 1, but the love took a while. Which fit for them and for the story. However, I just skimmed and kept forcing myself to finish. 

Not sure why I really lost interest. Grant and Leah are okay and the humor did have me chuckle.

In the end, I liked the first half and I was hooked, but the last half...I struggled. I can't really pinpoint why, but I was just ready for it to end but I didn't want to DNF because I had hope. Maybe it just wasn't for me. I'll give this 2 stars.   

- #20 for Romance Reading Challenge - Fake romance

Wednesday, May 25

Audiobook Review - How Y'all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived

Author: Leslie Jordan
Narrator: Leslie Jordan
Title: How Y'all Doing? - Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived
Genre: Nonfiction, LGBT, Biography, Comedy
Format: Audiobook
Published: April 27th 2021
Where I got It: Audible 

Viral sensation and Emmy Award-winner Leslie Jordan regales fans with entertaining stories about the odd, funny, and unforgettable events in his life in this unmissable essay collection that echoes his droll, irreverent voice.

When actor Leslie Jordan learned he had “gone viral,” he had no idea what that meant or how much his life was about to change. On Instagram, his uproarious videos have entertained millions and have made him a global celebrity. Now, he brings his bon vivance to the page with this collection of intimate and sassy essays.

Bursting with color and life, dripping with his puckish Southern charm, How Y’all Doing? is Leslie doing what Leslie does best: telling stories that make us laugh and lift our spirits even in the darkest days. Whether he’s writing about his brush with a group of ruffians in a West Hollywood Starbucks, or an unexpected phone call from legendary Hollywood start Debbie Reynolds, Leslie infuses each story with his fresh and saucy humor and pure heart.

I saw this come out and I wanted to check it out because I adore Leslie Jordan. I want to read the other one too!

When Emmy Award-winner Leslie Jordan went viral, he had no idea what that meant or how much his life would change. 

Awwwww Leslie Jordan is a gem! I adore him. His voice. His comedy. And you can tell he has such a sweet soul. I would love to meet him one day!!! 

I am so HAPPY he narrated this because I would've been sad. His voice is such a comfort to me for some reason. It makes me happy and makes me laugh! I loved listening to him share some stories of his childhood and career stories like when he was filming 'The Help'. He shared funny stories, a couple sad stories, and even honest stories about when he suffered from addiction. 

I adored this from beginning to end. I literally didn't want to stop listening! Dang sleep getting in my way........

But yes, I highly recommend this especially if you like Leslie Jordan. I recommend doing the audio since he narrates it. 5 stars of course from me. 

- #25 for Audiobook challenge

Tuesday, May 24

TMST: Reviewing Books

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog. Feel free to leave your links in the comments if you are participating.

5/24/2022 Do you review every book you read? Why or why not? 

Yep! I review every book I read whether or not I liked it or even finished it. I try to keep the DNF to a small amount. I'm picky with what I read. 

I review every book for multiple reasons. 

1) I want credit on Goodreads and my other reading challenges..hehe 
2) I love sharing my thoughts...I'm opinionated.  
3) I want to share what I read so if someone else read it we can discuss 
4) If it is BAD I want to help people and let them know so they can make an informed decision. They may like it when I didn't but I list my reasons and they go on 
5) If I loved it I want to promote it and share it with the worrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrld!

Monday, May 23

B's Monday Review: Not Just Any Earl by Anna Bradley

Narrated by: Heather 

Series: Games Earls Play, Book 1

Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins

Release date: 05-10-22

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Historical romance

To review

This was short, and I did like that. Yes there was even some drama, but other than that they worked it out quickly.

The Templeton sisters are shunned cos their mother ran away with someone not her husband. Ugh the ton has a long memory. But then a good friend of the family whisks two of them away to London. Emmeline does not plan to make a match, she things her sister should make one. But that is book 2.

A stolen kiss leads to rumours. Emmeline meets a handsome Earl who she can not stop thinking about, and he can't stop thinking about her. But she does not want to marry. And the ton does love gossip.

They worked well together, and in the background another romance is budding that had me wondering. But that takes until book 2 to find out more-

Sweet and fast.

Good narrator. Different voices , and I could easily follow along who was speaking, and I could loose myself in the story.

It’s never been easy to be one of the five Templeton sisters, but for quiet Emmeline, the silver lining surrounding the dark cloud of her family’s disgrace is a life of comfortable obscurity. But when her sisters accept an outrageous wager that takes the family to London for a season, an unexpected kiss with a handsome earl thrusts shy Emmeline into the middle of a shocking public scandal.

Jonathan Parrish, the Earl of Melrose never meant to kiss Emmeline Templeton. It was an innocent case of mistaken identity, a stolen embrace meant for one of his vivacious admirers. Emmeline Templeton is perfectly wrong for him, and he’s never before spared the shy wallflower a single glance, but after a single kiss, the memory of her warm curves are imprinted forever on Jonathan’s fingertips, and he can’t forget the sweet taste of her lips against his.

But wherever the Templeton family ventures, gossip and rumor inevitably follow. If the secret wager that brought the sisters to London is revealed, it will shake London to its foundations. Will the blazing passion that brought Emmeline and Jonathan together end in a happily ever after, or will their hearts fall victim to the consuming flames?

Friday, May 20

Audiobook Review: A Love Like This by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

Author: Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
Narrator: Georgina Elizabeth Okon, Nene Nwoko, & Ike Amadi
Title: A Love Like This
Genre: Fiction, Short Story, Romance, Historical
Format: Audiobook
Published: November 18th 2021
Where I got It: Audible 

Yarima Lalo believes he has been murdered twice before. The cause? Love. To make sense of these vivid memories he cannot shake, he travels from Abuja to Kano with his new friend and love interest Aziza to meet an old woman who he might have known in a past life. She is skeptical at first—and hesitant to revisit painful memories of her own—but together, they dig deeper and deeper into the past, piecing together a shared history with ripple effects that could shape Lalo’s future.

Something about the cover and title drew me in. I didn't even bother reading the summary. I just started listening while I was getting ready for work. 

We follow Yarima Lalo who believes he has been murdered in his past two lifetimes. The cause? Love. To make sense of these vivid memories that he cannot shake, he travels to Kano with Aziza. Aziza is a friend, but there is a spark there too. Aziza is skeptical at first and has her own painful memories she wants to avoid, but she agrees to go help him. They meet an elderly woman who may have some answers. 

I found this really, really interesting especially since I am a HUGE believer of reincarnation. Which it made me smile when I realized what was going on. Sometimes it is so fun to just listen to a story and have no idea what is going to happen or what it is about. I should do it more. 

I loved watching Lalo uncover and make sense of the memories that haunt him. He was able to heal some wounds from the past with someone who knew him. I don't want to spoil too much since I felt it was a twist. There were so many left open wounds for him and for others that needed to be healed. It was nice.

The ending annoyed me though. It was pretty much a cliff-hanger! The author hinted at more journeys with Lalo...I hope we get more. So many unanswered questions. Such potential just dangling. Ugh!

Loved the narrators! We had three hear for each of the characters and I loved it. It worked well and the accents were perfect. 

In the end, this was a nice short story. The ending annoyed me so I hope we get another story for Lalo and his friend. Too many unanswered questions for my liking. *fingers crossed* for another book. I'll stamp this with 3 stars. 

- #24 for Audiobook challenge

Wednesday, May 18

Audiobook Review: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Author: Patricia Briggs
Narrator: Lorelei King
Title: Frost Burned
(Mercy Thompson #7)
Genre: Urban Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Published: March 5th 2013
Where I got It: Library

Mercy Thompson's life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman - the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack - has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy's life. But on the edges of humanity, a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more...

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can't reach Adam - or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They've all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. But she fears Adam's disappearance may be related to the political battle the werewolves have been fighting to gain acceptance from the public - and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outmatched and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

Slowly making my way through this series! I will catch up darnit!

Mercy Thompson has been through a lot of changes lately. Between becoming the mate of Adam, stepmother to his daughter, and learning more about her abilities. After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jess can't reach Adam...or anyone from the pack. Turns out that they've all been abducted. Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is alive but is angry and pain. She fears this kidnapping might be related to a political battle the werewolves have been fighting for a while now. Outmatched and on her own, Mercy will have to get assistance from any ally she can get even the most unlikely ones. 

I loved the change of format for this one. Mercy has to save Adam and her new pack. We get to see her interact more with her new stepdaughter and some of her allies that don't really get a lot of screen time. It was nice seeing her pull at her random ally list. And there was one I really didn't see coming. I won't spoil anything. ;) 

I did have a moment where I teared up a LOT. It's not really a spoiler, but kind of is....someone does die. Someone everyone loves. Ugh. My heart!!!!!!!! No names. Just have your Kleenex close at hand. 

There was another "death" but it has been a long time coming. I'm sure Adam was not sad at all. Poor Mercy. It is hard to say goodbye to an object you love. I don't think I was ready to say goodbye either. Maybe she'll find something just as good. *fingers crossed*

We do not get as much Mercy and Adam time here, but I think the author did alright with utilizing the mating bond for them to have SOME time together while she tries to find him. It was sweet and done well. I did want more time though ;) but I think I've gotten spoiled from the last book when it was their honeymoon. 

The narrator is perfect. I could sing praises for this narrator ALL day. Perfect voices! 

In the end, I did enjoy this a bit. No real big issues. I was missing the Adam-Mercy scenes, but I think I have become spoiled. This did make me feel and I am sad. This was tense and had lots of action. 4 stars from me. 

- #24 for Audiobook challenge

Tuesday, May 17

Book Review: Kiss of a Dragon by Alisa Woods

Author: Alisa Woods
Title: Kiss of a Dragon
(Fallen Immortals #1)
Genre: UF, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Format: ebook
Pages: 276
Published: July 6th 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

LUCIAN: I am a Dragon Prince of the House of Smoke… and I am dying. Five hundred years is truly enough for a man like me. A monster. Yet a ten-thousand-year treaty will die with me, if I don’t spawn a dragonling to take my place. My two brothers are no use in this task. It falls to me, the eldest by a hair’s breadth, and yet, I cannot face the horror of another sealing. Another death. Another woman’s blood on my hands.

ARABELLA: I was saved from death in a dark Seattle alley by an impossibly beautiful man who swooped in on golden wings. Now he’s taken me to his lair, opened my eyes to a world of immortals I didn’t know existed, and given me an impossible task—find him a mate. Then, and only then, will he set me free.

He needs her more than he wants; she wants him more than she should; and the fate of both the mortal and immortal worlds depends on not just repairing their hearts, but finding a Love that’s True…

Another find on Amazon!

Here we follow Lucian and Arabella. Lucian is a Dragon Prince of the House of Smoke and he is dying. However, if he dies a ten-thousand-year treat will also die with him if he doesn't spawn a dragonling to take his place. Arabella's life was saved by Lucian. When she wakes in his lair, the only favor he asks for her is to help him find a mate before he will free her. The fate of both the mortal and immortal worlds depends on them finding him love. 

I enjoyed this more than I thought. I really enjoyed watching Lucian and Arabella become friends and allies and then...something more even though they both don't want love. She is a lawyer on a mission to save people from domestic violence...and Lucian just needs a mate and a baby dragon. 

I felt so bad for Lucian. Poor guy had his heart destroyed in the past and it will take a special lady like Arabella to get past all his walls.

Loved the world-building!

Gah, I didn't realize this is technically a trilogy until it just ended. Sighs. I really do want to watch book 2 because I just want these two to be happy!!

In the end, I enjoyed this. I am bummed with how it ended and that there are technically two more books. I am curious to read more because I really liked this couple. I'll give this 3 stars. 

Monday, May 16

B's Monday Review: All The Duke I Need by Caroline Linden


Narrated by: Beverley A. Crick

Series: Desperately Seeking Duke, Book 4

Length: 11 hrs and 1 min

Release date: 04-26-22

Publisher: HarperAudio

Historical romance

To review

Phillippa was born in India. Then she left with her father, who remarried. Now she is orphaned, a spinster and companion to her grandmother, the Duchess of Carlyle. She is also a heiress and the Duchess wants her to have a season.

In previous books we saw the Duchess search for heirs, as her son is 60, and unmarried. She has some waiting in the wings, but the hunt continues.

In comes William, as the estate haven't really had a Duke for decades(long story), and the estate manager got to an age, well things are falling apart. 

Sparks fly between him and Philippa. But oh no, he is a servant! And he has secrets.

Work on the estate, fall in love, it was a rather drama free book, and I enjoyed that. Some are of course there, their road can't be too easy. But it works out well and they live happily ever after.

I have listened to her narrations before and I have enjoyed them. She does a good job with everyone and I always know where I have them

Raised in the splendor of Carlyle Castle by her doting guardian, the Duchess of Carlyle, Philippa Kirkpatrick is one of the greatest heiresses in England. The duchess is eager to see her wed, but Philippa hesitates to leave the only home she knows.

William Montclair is in London to expand his family’s trading firm, with little progress. Impulsively he takes a job managing the Carlyle estate—for the money, he tells his incredulous brother, and only for a year.

Philippa is shocked by the handsome, scandalously bold new steward. It’s all she can do to prevent the horrified duchess from sacking him on sight. She determines to teach him how to love Carlyle as she does, only to find herself reluctantly charmed by the rogue.

It’s true; Will is falling for everything about Carlyle…including the duchess’s beautiful ward. But he has promises—and secrets—to keep, and telling Philippa would resurrect a devastating family scandal. Not telling her, though, means he must break her heart—and his own.

Sunday, May 15

Audiobook Review: Alien King Crashes the Wedding by Becca Brayden

Author: Becca Brayden
Narrator: Teddy Hamilton
Title: Alien King Crashes the Wedding
(Lumerian Knights #1)
Genre: SciFi, Fantasy, Romance, Erotica
Format: Audiobook
Published: August 6th 2019
Where I got It: Audible 

Shy art dealer Sasha Montgomery is both nervous and thrilled to be invited to the Caldorian Earth Base for her best friend’s wedding to an alien warrior. She’s never seen an alien up close but she made a promise to be there, no matter how much the idea of being surrounded by hundreds of huge alien warriors frightens her.

Sash thinks she’s got it all under control until Dagan, the groom’s best friend, crashes the wedding. He’s smoking hot—way too hot to be an alien—and determined to seduce her.

Sasha gives in to passion with unexpected consequences. Ancient power rises in response to their new-found bond, and the once innocent Sasha discovers that Dagan has been keeping secrets. He’s not just another warrior, he’s a king, and the power rising between them hasn’t been seen in a millennium.

Sasha must learn to control the force clawing its way through her body or destroy them all.

I had read another one in the series a while back. I think it was book 3 or 4? I can't remember, but luckily this series seems to be okay to be read out of order. 

Here we follow Sasha Montgomery who is a human art dealer. She is shy and nervous. She's excited for her best friend's wedding to an alien warrior, but she is scared but curious at the same time. When she arrives she thinks she has it all under control until she meets Dagan. He is way too hot to be an alien and he is determined to seduce her.  Sasha gives into the passion but with unexpected consequences. Ancient power rises in response to their newfound bound but Dagan has kept a big secret. He is not just a warrior, but he is their king, and the power rising between them hasn't been seen in a millennium. 

It was fun watching Sasha and King Dagan falling for each other! They were together and married and happy in the book I read. Sasha def was a meek girl to begin with. Poor thing. She is so nervous and scared of her own shadow. This...brings me to my first big issue... 

The lust was literally INSTANT. Sure, sure, I get being lusty and whatever but they really jumped each other really dang quick. Too quick. And there were a few parts that became non-consensual and it bugged me.   

Sasha DOES eventually wake up to the realization that she doesn't even know Dagan AT all. She decides to take a few steps back and be on her own to mull over stuff. Good on her. Dagan needs to win her and woo her. 

I wish the author had slowed things down a bit. The plot seemed to be a freight train speeding by. 

The narrator was good. His girl voices are pretty good. It sometimes can be hard for a man to do good girl voices and have them all be a little bit different. Kuddos to him. 

In the end, this was fun but I did have some issues. The lust and love were WAY too quick and there were some questionable scenes that were kinda, sorta not consensual. I'll give this 2 stars. 

- #23 for Audiobook challenge
- #19 for Romance Reading Challenge - SciFi

Friday, May 13

Happy Friday the 13th! - 13 Fun Facts About Friday the 13th

I read a fun article earlier today and I wanted to share their 13 fun facts.

Click here to get to the actual article from CNN. 

"1) Celebrities born on Friday the 13th include Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Steve Buscemi, Max Weinberg and Peter Tork. Tupac Shakur died on Friday, September 13, 1996.

2) "Mark Twain was allegedly once invited to be the 13th guest at a dinner party. As the story goes, he went to the dinner despite a superstitious friend’s warning. Twain reportedly said, "It was bad luck. They only had food for 12."

3) In his No. 1 hit song “Superstition,” Stevie Wonder sings: “Thirteen-month-old baby, broke the lookin’ glass. Seven years of bad luck, good things in your past. When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer. Superstition ain’t the way.”

4) The 13th film in the “Friday the 13th” franchise was released by Paramount Pictures in 2017. A Friday the 13th video game also came out in 2017.

5) The band Black Sabbath released its debut album on Friday, February 13, 1970

6) The movie “Alive” is based on the true story of a plane crash in South America on Friday, October 13, 1972. Fourteen survivors were found in the mountains more than two months after the plane went down.

7) On Friday April 13, 2029, a large asteroid will fly close enough to the Earth to be visible without a telescope in Africa, Europe and Asia, according to NASA.

8) A mysterious piece of “space junk” fell to earth on Friday November 13, 2015. Astronomers captured video of it entering the Earth’s atmosphere and burning up.

9) The Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel offers special zombie, vampire and “Rocky Horror”-themed ceremonies on Friday the 13th.

10) In Ontario, Canada, motorcyclists gather every Friday the 13th for rallies that draw thousands of participants. The tradition dates back to 1981.

11) he word for fear of Friday the 13th is “paraskavedekatriaphobia.” The word for fear of the number 13 is “triskaidekaphobia.” Located near Philadelphia is the Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center, an organization that hosts parties centered on confronting common phobias like walking under a ladder and opening an umbrella indoors.

12) In some Spanish-speaking countries, Tuesday (Martes) the 13th is considered bad luck. Tuesday is feared because it is the day of the week associated with the Roman god of war, Mars. There is a cautionary saying: “On Tuesdays, don’t get married, don’t take a trip and don’t leave your home.”

13) Founded in 1882 by Capt. William Fowler, The Thirteen Club of New York was a group of skeptics who defied superstitions by hosting dinner parties on Friday the 13th. At the first dinner, the 13 members performed such unlucky feats as passing under a ladder. They dined on 13 courses, the first by the light of 13 candles. The devil-may-care group tipped over salt containers on the table but were forbidden from tossing any of the spilled granules over their shoulders. The small club evolved into a national organization that boasted such members Grover Cleveland and Theodore Roosevelt, according to the New York Historical Society. " 


Thursday, May 12

Audiobook Review: Daring and the Duke By Sarah MacLean

Author: Sarah MacLean
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Title: Daring and the Duke
(The Bareknuckle Bastards #3)
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: June 30th 2020
Where I got It: Audible 

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.

Finally getting myself to read this. One...it is the last book of the series and two....Ewan is the hero here so it was a struggle to want to read it. The author did a great job making him a baddie in the previous books so I was worried about this one. 

Here we follow Grace Condry and Ewan the Duke of Marwick. Grace has spent a lifetime running from her past. Betrayed by the only love she has ever had and was raised on the streets, she now hides her pain. She has become a queen of London's darkest corners. Life seems good in her world until the man she loved returns. Ewan is single-minded and ruthless. He spent decades searching for Grace after he made a terrible gamble to save her life. He learns she is still alive and wants to win her back. 

I feel so bad for Ewan and the other two boys. They were taken from nothing and forced to fight each other for the Dukedom. The old Duke wanted a boy but never got a son from his wife....his wife only provided a daughter that was not his. That old Duke was an evil SOB.  

When Ewan won he had to pretend to want to kill Grace so they had a chance to run away and save her life. However, that backfired on Ewan because the three really and truly believed he was aiming to kill them. And when he tried to track them down they told him Grace died. Which was a lie, but they were trying to protect her from him. BUT it all makes sense why Ewan freaked out and wanted blood. He lost the love of his life and his brothers "failed" to protect her after he made that sacrifice. It all made sense why Ewan wanted revenge. Can you really blame him? 

I'm glad that Ewan had to really and truly prove himself to Grace and the brothers. His actions caused the deaths of some of their people. Sure he didn't pull the trigger himself, but he made a piss poor decision. And yes, he deserved getting his arse kicked by the people and by Grace herself. 

I do wish that Ewan had told Grace the truth sooner. She would've forgiven him sooner. Yes, yes, it would've shortened the book, but I would've liked more time with them finding their footing with each other. I would've liked to see the wedding. 

Oh! There are some side characters I wish would get a HEA or even a brief mention on their fates. 

Ohhhh and I want to see the aftermath of what Ewan did at the very end. Curious how the ton truly reacted. 

I felt like this novel was def sadder than the others. There was a lot of history and a lot of bad blood and hurt feelings to sort through. We also spent the majority of the time down in Grace's world and I liked that. I needed a break from the petty ton.  And I loved, loved, LOVED Grace having a female brothel. Women deserve pleasure too. I would want to be an employee for Grace if I couldn't be rich in that time period. 

The narrator was good. I love her voices and you can't go wrong with Justine Eyre.

Overall, I enjoyed this. It was a slow burn and the characters had a LOT of healing to do before they could rejoice in their love. I'm glad the author gave Ewan the redemption he needed and it was done right. I do wish that we had more time with them actually being happy and in love. I would've loved seeing them get married and the brothers being happy for them. I also wanted more info on some of the side characters. I enjoyed this series and I think it ended well overall. I think book 2 was my favorite. I'll give this 3 stars. 

- #22 for Audiobook challenge

Tuesday, May 10

Book Review: Twenty Years Later by Charlie Donlea

Author: Charlie Donlea
Title: Twenty Years Later
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Historical Fiction, Contemporary
Format: ebook
Pages: 357
Published: December 28th 2021
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Hiding her own dark past in plain sight, a TV reporter is determined to uncover the truth behind a gruesome murder decades after the investigation was abandoned. But TWENTY YEARS LATER, to understand the present, you need to listen to the past…

Avery Mason, host of American Events, knows the subjects that grab a TV audience’s attention. Her latest story—a murder mystery laced with kinky sex, tragedy, and betrayal—is guaranteed to be ratings gold. New DNA technology has allowed the New York medical examiner’s office to make its first successful identification of a 9/11 victim in years. The twist: the victim, Victoria Ford, had been accused of the gruesome murder of her married lover. In a chilling last phone call to her sister, Victoria begged her to prove her innocence.

Emma Kind has waited twenty years to put her sister to rest, but closure won’t be complete until she can clear Victoria’s name. Alone she’s had no luck, but she’s convinced that Avery’s connections and fame will help. Avery, hoping to negotiate a more lucrative network contract, goes into investigative overdrive. Victoria had been having an affair with a successful novelist, found hanging from the balcony of his Catskills mansion. The rope, the bedroom, and the entire crime scene was covered in Victoria’s DNA.

But the twisted puzzle of Victoria’s private life just the beginning. And what Avery doesn't realize is that there are other players in the game who are interested in Avery’s own secret past—one she has kept hidden from both the network executives and her television audience. A secret she thought was dead and buried . . .

Picked this up for book club. Plus...I think I was itching for a good mystery/thriller soooo perfect timing. 

The story follows Avery Mason who is the host of a TV show. Her latest story will be about a murder from 20 years ago. It is laced with kinky sex, tragedy, and betrayal. With the new DNA technology, the New York medical examiner's office makes its first successful identification of a 9/11 victim in years. This victim is none other than Victoria Ford who had been accused of the gruesome murder of her lover. Along with that, there is a chilling last phone call from Victoria who begged her sister to prove her innocence. Avery will uncover a twisted puzzle of Victoria's private life. And what Avery doesn't realize is that there are other players on the board who are interested in Avery's own secret past. 

This book was certainly a puzzle. A lot of moving pieces. I found myself back reading just to make sure I didn't miss anything vital. This is really a book you HAVE to pay attention to. Between the Victoria mystery AND Avery's own personal history...there is a lot at play here. Some are tied together, some are not. 

I was a little unsure about this the first couple of chapters. This started really, really, really slow. There was a lot of character and story building going on SO it makes, but it was slow. 

Once Avery was on the hunt and doing her research and interviews, I was absolutely hooked. The last quarter had me staying up WAY too late on a work night. Whoops. hahaha. I literally could not put it down. I HAD to know what was going to happen next. 


I did not expect the ending. That left me certainly mouth agape and shocked. I even re-read to make sure I didn't misunderstand...I mean it was WAY past my bedtime. It was a shocker, but I was mad. Maybe it was because I had a certain hope in my head? Kuddos to the author, but I pissed at certain character(s). UGH. *shakes fist* 

 Honestly...this would make a great TV special. A few episodes maybe on Netflix or Hulu or something. It was intriguing and dang that twist at the end...

Major parts of the book revolve around 9/11 so it can be triggering for some. Avery interviews and looks into survivors who may have remembered Victoria on that day. I will admit that I was nervous about this since I have struggled to read and watch movies about this event in the past. I felt it was done tastefully and respectively, so I am happy with that. 

In the end, if you love a good mystery and thriller, this is certainly one you should pick up. It had all the elements. The beginning IS slow, so be warned there. There is a lot of character setup and world-building. Overall, I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 


Monday, May 9

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas

Format: 352 pages, Paperback

Published: October 29, 2020 by Corgi

Women's fiction


I needed a food book for my bookclub and picked up this one.

Connie goes with a group of old people to visit a xmas market in Germany, and to scatter ashes of a friend of theirs. Lots of bake and gingerbread talk, sweets is food so score there.

She is also to meet an online flirt. Right, talk about uber German. Loved rules, lists, time and ticked of boxes to see if she fit him (she did the same but still.)

And then she met someone else.

Dunno really, it was just...there. No special feelings about the book to be honest.

Residential-home caterer Connie has had one online-dating disaster too many. Hurt in the past and with her son to consider, now she's feeling hesitant. Then one of Connie's residents sets her up on a date at a beautiful German Christmas market - with the promise she'll take a mini-bus full of pensioners along with her...

Amongst the twinkling lights and smell of warm gingerbread in the old market square, Connie heads off on her date with a checklist of potential partner must-haves. Baker Henrich ticks all the boxes, but when Connie meets Henrich's rival William, she starts to wonder if ticking boxes is the answer.

Will Connie's wish for love this Christmas come true, and if so - with who?

Friday, May 6

Joint Review: Kiss Hard by Nalini Singh

Hello all! Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "Kiss Hard" by Nalini Singh. Blodeuedd is in red and I am in purple.

Nalini Singh
Title: Kiss Hard
(Hard Play #4)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Published: May 3rd 2022
Format: ebook
Pages: 329

Daniel Esera is a young god on the rugby field, a sexy and charming man who's got the world at his feet. There's just one problem: his sudden potent attraction to his number one nemesis--Catie River. No. Just no. Not happening.

Catie River is on her way to Paralympic gold, and she's not about to allow Danny "Hotshot" Esera to derail her plans. Too bad her body isn't cooperating. Even worse? Her heart might be coming along for the ride. No. Nope. Never.

The pair are united in their desire to remain enemies... until a stranger's reckless action threatens both their careers. Now, the only way out for Catie and Danny is to pretend to be in a relationship. How bad can it be? They're adults in full control of their hormones and their hearts. There will be no kissing. No PDA. And definitely no falling in love.

Let the games begin.

Since I read book 3 I have been dying waiting for this one to come out!!! 

I listened to them, so this was kind of weird, cos I kept hearing the narrator when I was reading. I must say I missed her!

I feel like I did at least one audio in this series. I’m blanking though. My memory is bad. 

I loved her NZ accent, sniff. So if I could change one thing then that would actually be to listen instead cos she was amazing! But this was fun too. Singh is amazing!

*does some digging* Ah yes, I did one of these with the narrator. #3 to be precise. I read over my review really quickly and I do remember liking the narrator a lot. However, you can’t go wrong! Reading or audio…Singh is good. I love her characters and her worlds. 

True true, I like her contemporary romances and her paranormal romances.  I can’t wait for her next psy book to come out. She is just always good.

I’m still playing catch-up with some of her paranormals. But she is good. This was good. And I love how she is willing to do different locations and whatnot. Like this is set in NZ. How often do we get NZ romances? 

tIt feels so refreshing, even if she is just like everyone else writing about what she knows - Well some do cave and write something boring set in NY ;) I really like the NZ aspect and rugby. And her pnr, I have not read all, but I am up to date with her latest.

Yess and I don’t recall ever reading a sports romance with rugby players. Maybe some guys that may casually play with their mates and whatever but with this one,, the rugby player is a celebrity. Oh and Catie working her way to win in the Paralympics. I loved Daniel. Big heart. And Catie too.

At the back of my brain I could see him and his team doing the Haka while I was reading. I feel like I need to watch a rugby game.
And yes Daniel was just so aww, cutie! And Catie was so cool, even if she had her issues with romance. But it will always work out. I liked the ending too. Go her!

It made sense why she was all anti-romance and anti-commitment. Between her unreliable father and emotionally-unavailable mother and that crappy ex….poor girl didn’t stand a chance. She really should see a therapist.Ooooo yes that ending was perfeeeeect! 

Yes she really needed to see someone to dig through her feelings. Her parents are the worst

Yepppp. Poor thing. And then wasn’t Daniel kinda a womanizer or at least a big ol’ flirt? So I can see why she was on the fence for a bit.

You always need some drama, and this was nice drama. It never felt like she made them suffer, lol

True, true. Plus, they have known each other for YEARS, so he totally understands and gets her worries and hesitations. Love him. He is so sweet. 

It felt so natural between them, cos yes they already knew each other. I was at home with them at once.

Same here. And it wasn’t insta-love which was perfect. They had the frenemies feelings, then more friendship, then lust mixed in, and then the love. It felt natural. 

I can’t say anything bad. A good romance. That is that lol

Indeed! It was a good romance. You really don’t have to read the other 3 but I would say at least read book 3. It was a nice stand-alone, but we do see the other couples and there are some references. 

I’d say perfect stand-alone, but if you want to know more and wonder about their family, the yes just read them all :D

The others are good too. I would highly recommend this series to romance lovers. 

Go read them :)
Oh and LISTEN!!! The audio is great

You can’t go wrong! Audio and reading…all great options!! I hope there is a book 5…doubtful bc I have no idea what couple would be next. 

Hmm, maybe one of her friends, his friends?

Was her bestie single? I can’t remember! She was a good egg and I would like to learn more about her. 

The end?

We shall see I guess! *fingers crossed* And yesss, the end. :) 

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.

Carole's reading challenge(s):
- #18 for Romance Reading Challenge - Sports romance