Wednesday, March 22

Audiobook Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Author: Ilona Andrews
Narrator: Renee Raudman
Title: Magic Rises
Series: Kate Daniels #6
Genre: Urban Fiction, Paranormal Romance, & Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Published: July 30, 2013
Where I got It: Borrowed from library

Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.

Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…

Kate is one of my favorites! I am getting sad that there are only so many books left! WAAAH!

But for this will want to read the others books first. Lots of references going around.

Kate and Curran are struggling to solve a heartbreaking issue among the Pack's children. For some reason...some kids fail to survive to adulthood. There is a medicine that can help but the European packs won't share the recipe. However, they will get a chance to be given some if they agree to arbitrate a dispute between some of the European packs. It has all the makings to be a trap, but they have no choice if they want to save the future. 

This one broke my heart in a few places. 1) Those poor kids and parents! 2) Curran and Kate are having some issues. UGH Poor Kate. I wanted to kick Curran SO hard!!!!!! 3) The whole Desandra thing was super sad. 4) And the ending. OMG! I actually had a tear for a certain person I never thought I would care about but ended up adoring. MY POOR HEART!

Lots going on here. Some drama, some romance, lots of action, lots of much fun. And the different setting was very refreshing! Loved learning more about different packs and different creatures/etc. 

The narration is flawless as per normal. 

So good. Probably one of the best of the series for sure. I wish I could give this more than 5 stars. But 5 stars it is. 

- #14 for Audiobook challenge

Tuesday, March 21

TMST: Famous Authors from Michigan

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.

3/21/2023 Tell us about some famous author from your city/state/country

Famous? Mmmmmm I'm going to have to do some digging for this one. I know a few people that have written books that are from my state or city. I live in the US so I could list a few, but I'm going to try and research Michigan folks. *vanishes to the Googleverse*

*pops back* is what I found!

  • Lyssa Kay Adams! She wrote 'The Bromance Book Club' which I read a little while ago. She certainly is making a name for herself. :) I can't wait to read more by her. She currently lives in Michigan. Not sure if she was born and raised here, but cool that she is here. 
  • Steve Hamilton. I have seen his books everywhere so that is fun that he is a Michigander. Looks like he is known for mysteries and thrillers. I'll have to finally check out one of his books. 
  • Mitch Albom. Originally born in New Jersey, but he currently lives in Michigan. I feel like I knew this fact, but still nice to see a familiar name! Plus I have read many of his books! 

Those are the names that stuck out to me when thinking and researching. I'm sure I've seen (and maybe even read) some books by other Michigan folks. Here is a list I found that has a bunch of names of authors tied to Michigan in some way. 

Monday, March 20

B's Monday Review: A Hate Like This by Whitney Dineen & Melanie Summers

By: Whitney Dineen, Melanie Summers

Narrated by: Lila Winters, Jason Keller

Series: Gamble on Love Mom Com Series, Book 2

Length: 7 hrs and 24 mins

Release date: 03-07-23 by Tantor Audio

Contemporary romance/ to review

Moira has 3 kids, is a single mum, owns a diner, and just living her life in Alaska. In comes Ethan, who she has met before. A lawyer from LA who wants to write a book.

Whatever they feel at first is quickly swept away by a budding lust. And wondering where they can take this. Two very different lives.

I liked Moira, she felt real and the only support network she had was here in Alaska.

Ethan falls hard, he was a really nice guy who wanted to give her the world.

The drama, oh these two. Moira needed to see it from his point too. But it all works out and they live happily ever after.

Good narration by two narrators switching chapters. They made the voices work well at their own chapters and it felt easy listening

Single mother Moira Bishop hates when her family interferes in her love life. If life as a young widow isn't hard enough, just add three boys, a slew of unruly pets, and ownership of Gamble Alaska's only diner. The last thing she needs is a man to look after too.

Entertainment lawyer to the stars Ethan Caplan hates his clients. There's only so much coddling and placating a man can do in a lifetime. He's finally decided he's had enough, so he escapes to the tiny no-horse town of Gamble to work on the novel he's always wanted to write.

Positive that Alaska will be distraction-free, Ethan's sure he can pen a bestselling legal novel. That is until he lays his eyes on Moira Bishop. Suddenly he finds himself having five meals a day at the diner, just so he can talk to her for a few minutes.

When Moira's son wins tickets to a Dodgers' game in L.A., Ethan jumps at the chance to play host to the family. He's sure he can win her over by showing her how glamorous life could be with him. With the help of his friends, he plans the date to end all dates, hoping one incredible night will change her mind about giving love a second chance.

Will Moira open her heart to Ethan? Will Ethan do what it takes to prove that he can be the man Moira and her boys need in their lives?

Saturday, March 18

Movie Review: Jumanji - Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Jumanji - Welcome to the Jungle
Length:  1h 59m
Released: 2017
Genre:  Action/Adventure, Comedy, & Fantasy
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Hulu

Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game.

Click here for the trailer

Been meaning to watch this for an eon....but just never got around to it. It popped up as recommended on Hulu SO I decided it was time......and I ended up watching it twice. 

The movie takes place after the end of the original. The Jumanji game washed up on the sand. It is picked up and it is a little bit different. Instead of the classic board game, it is now a video game. Four teenagers decide to try it out and get sucked into this magical video game. The only way to escape is to work together and save Jumanji. 

This was SOOOOO much fun. I loved it!!!!!!!!!!! Like I said earlier I watched it twice. Once...alone. The second time I made Hubby watch it with me. We both love video games and the original so it was nice to get all the jokes. Even if you don't play video games, it is still funny. 

Great cast! Couldn't pick anyone better. They are so fun together. 

We had some nice nods to the original which was nice. One I didn't even catch until Hubby pointed it out. *chef kiss* Beautifully done. 

This was fun, funny, heartwarming, action-filled, and just plain entertaining. 

I do plan on watching the sequel. It's not on Hulu like this there will be a delay for sure. 

In the end....5 stars. LOVED it. 

Friday, March 17

Book Review: Magic Gifts by Ilona Andrews

Author: Ilona Andrews
Title: Magic Gifts
Series: Kate Daniels #5.5
Genre: UF, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Novella
Format: ebook
Pages: 146 
Published:  December 24, 2011
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

It isn’t often that Kate Daniels and the Beast Lord Curran get to take a break from protecting their pack and enjoy some time for themselves. So when Curran offers Kate a romantic dinner in town, there’s no way she’s going to pass.

But their quiet night doesn’t stay quiet for long. The trouble starts with a necromancer dying at a nearby table, continues with bloodthirsty vampires crashing though the windows, and ends with more blood on the walls than any dining establishment needs.

Pulled into a deadly game neither wants to play, Kate and Curran find themselves dealing with the vile undead and tolerating a clan of maniacal, hard partying Vikings while desperately trying to save the life of an innocent child...

Been itching to read this one!! Finally was able to get it from my library. No audio...which bummer....but beggars can't be picky ;)

Kate and her love, Curran, finally are getting a break from protecting their pack. They are taking some time for themselves. When Curran offers to take Kate on a romantic dinner in town...there is NO way she is going to pass. However, the quiet night is ruined when a necromancer dying at a nearby table chaos ensues. They are pulled into a deadly game that they do not want to play. In order to save the life an innocent child, they will have to deal with undead, Vikings, and something unspeakable.

Kate and Curran need a day a week! NO a year! Nooooo 5 years. However, it is their role of leaders and the pack and innocent folks need them. 

I really, really enjoyed this one. It was quick, but not too quick. Honestly, I would've been fine with this being a full length novel! But it worked at the length it was. 

Loved the blend of Viking and Cherokee lore! That was one bad monster. Curious to see if they will need to knock on that door later on. Feels like there are things unfinished with that monster!!

The real baddie was terrible. I'm glad karma found its way to that character. Terrible person. HOW COULD YOU DO THAT?! No spoilers....but grrr to that person. 

I enjoyed this one and I want to see more Vikings and that monster. 

5 stars from me. Super fun novella for the series!!

Tuesday, March 14

Re-listen: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Author: Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Title: Vision in Silver
Series: The Others #3
Genre: Urban Fiction, Paranormal, & Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Published: March 3, 2015
Where I got It: Borrowed from library

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before; both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

2nd time around! Slowly re-reading the series. 

The Others have freed the caged Blood Prophets....but those who have been used and caged for so long are struggling to live. They are in danger from the outside world and from themselves. Simon and Meg will try their bests to help them even though Meg is still deep in her own throes of addiction to prophecy.  On top of all of this, there is a shadow of hatred and war spreading from the humans. 

Gave this 5 stars years ago and I'm giving it 5 stars again. This series just keeps getting better and better! And it for sure has stood up the test of time!!! 

Love Meg and I still defend her actions here. Everyone was mad. Sure, I get their points...but I think they were just freaked out because of her blood can be dangerous. Yes, she should've been smarter but something bad was going to happen if she didn't do what she did. That kid was being a brat and do something. 

WHICH Lizzie was dumb, but she is just a pup. Their pups do selfish and annoying kid things too. The Others are on edge....that is their only excuse for blowing that situation out of proportion. 


Yes, we are learning more about our mains. There is danger and some fun times with our folks. 

Damn humans! They are so dumbbbbbbbb. I guess I don't get WHY they are the way they are, but herd mentality I guess. They are prey and think like prey. 

I did the audio version again because the narrator is perfection for this series. 

In the end...5 stars! Such a great series. 

- #13 for Audiobook challenge

Monday, March 13

Blodeuedd's Monday: Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker

Narrated by: Heath Miller

Series: The Up-and-Under, Book 1

Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins

Release date: 10-06-20

Fantasy/ Mg?

It was short so I gave it another go, but it was rather dull.

The story is mentioned in her book Middlegame, another one I dnfed. Her style either works really well for me, or not at all.

This was two kids lost in Wonderland, and blah blah. More books coming. But it could be a fun MG adventure for some

Good narration, but not a story to hold me

Avery is an exceptional child. Everything he does is precise, from the way he washes his face in the morning to the way he completes his homework - without complaint, without fuss, without prompt.

Zib is also an exceptional child, because all children are, in their own way. But where everything Avery does and is can be measured, nothing Zib does can possibly be predicted, except for the fact that she can always be relied upon to be unpredictable.

They live on the same street. They live in different worlds.

On an unplanned detour from home to school one morning, Avery and Zib find themselves climbing over a stone wall into the Up and Under - an impossible land filled with mystery, adventure and the strangest creatures.

And they must find themselves and each other if they are to also find their way out and back to their own lives.

Thursday, March 9

Book Review: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Author: Rachel Hollis
Title: Girl Wash Your Face
Genre: Self-help, Nonfiction, & Memoir 
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 240 
Published: February 6, 2018
Where I Got It: My shelf (Book Depository)

Founder of the lifestyle website and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media, Rachel Hollis has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own. Now comes her highly anticipated first book featuring her signature combination of honesty, humor, and direct, no-nonsense advice.

Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.

From her temporary obsession with marrying Matt Damon to a daydream involving hypnotic iguanas to her son's request that she buy a necklace to "be like the other moms," Hollis holds nothing back. With unflinching faith and tenacity, Hollis spurs other women to live with passion and hustle and to awaken their slumbering goals.

Recently, I joined a new little book club that is trying to get off the ground. The current theme is self-help books. We each pick a book and pass it around. So, in theory, later this month I should be borrowing a book from someone else while they borrow this. I am excited! Curious to see how this book club goes! I picked this one because I have heard non-stop good things....even my BFF has this on her I figured it was time to check it out. 

This is written by Rachel Hollis who has a lifestyle website, is a CEO, and has written books in the past. This book goes over life, love, body-issues, motherhood, and so much more. 

Sooooooooooooo I avoided GR reviews because there is a def a split with half loving this...and half hating this book. I wanted to read this and not have their voices/words in my head to make me biased. I suggest you do the same. 

There were some really impactful sections and quotes that really hit my soul. There were some moments where I had to stop and really think about it. She talks about mental health issues, working on boundaries, setting realistic goals, never giving up, working hard, negative self-talk, therapy, trauma, and even body issues. 

There is a religious tone here and there, but, for me, it was honestly easy to ignore. Some of the quotes and life lessons were super relevant to drive a certain point home. It never felt preachy or that she was saying Christianity is the only way. Which I highly appreciate! 

Now...there was one part that really bugged me about her view on losing weight and whatnot. She made it so simple...too simple....just eat less and eat healthy. Boom. You'll drop weight and you will be healthy. You shouldn't eat anything bad because you need to take care of yourself. Sure...she is not 100% wrong and I can agree on some of her viewpoints! Eat good and take care of yourself. You owe it to yourself to treat yourself right. However, losing weight or gaining weight is not that black-and-white.

Now, I will applaud how she really promotes therapy. That is just so important.. Even if you had a perfect childhood and never had anything bad happen to you ever, I'm sure there is SOMETHING to talk about and work through. Therapy is a fantastic tool for deep issues or just day-to-day issues. I am so glad she kept saying it. 

But yes, this was a quick and easy read. I was able to finish this in just a couple of sittings. I did go back and re-read a few parts since I wanted to take notes for the book club coming up at the end of the month. She is funny and I enjoyed her writing style. This is def a good book if you want something not crazy involved for a self-help.

There are some good quotes! Like, "...the gift of life is that we get another chance tomorrow." Or "This is your life. You are meant to be the hero of your own story." OR, my personal fave, "SOMEONE ELSE'S OPINION OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS!" Some good gems FOR SURE.

In the end, I enjoyed this. It was good. It had some good things you can put in your back-pocket. Some good tips to navigate this wild thing called life. I had one big hiccup, but everyone is allowed their own opinion. I'll give this 3 stars. 

Monday, March 6

Blodeuedd's Monday: Text and Confused by Whitney Dinneen & Melanie Summers


By: Whitney Dineen, Melanie Summers

Narrated by: Avery Reid, Alexander Cendese

Series: An Accidentally in Love Story, Book 6

Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins

Release date: 03-14-23

Contemporary romance /to review

This was a cute one. Toni wants a change in her dating life, so she disses the cute working man (too handsome, too everything), and instead opts for the boring white collar guy. But life is never that easy and she gets the wrong number. She wants to take it slow so they start to text each other, and both are falling in love. Awww what could be better!? Well, she was texting the wrong guy.

Toni was a bit prejudiced against Connor. Not his fault he is handsome, and seemingly like the other guys that did not want to settle down. She got to know him through texts and should have realised he is perfect.

Sumner was an ahole who ghosted her and she still gave him a chance. Also listening to one POV and believing that POV...wait, is this Pride and Prejudice? Yes, dang Sumner is Wickham!

But everyone gets their stories straight and live happily ever after. A cute romance with some twists. Connor was the best

Good narration by this pair. It worked well and they got the voices done in a manner that fitted them. It flowed well and was easy listening to. They worked well together.

I'm Toni Capella and I'm a bad-man-o-holic. (Hi, Toni!). But it's a new year and for the first time in my twenty-nine years I'm determined to attract Mr. Right. So when super-hot contractor Cooper Flint walks into my office, I immediately put him on my "no way" list. Besides, my eye is on another new coworker, Sumner Livingston. Handsome, well-heeled, and professional, Sumner is nothing like my usual type, which I assume makes him perfect for me.

I insist Sumner and I keep our budding relationship separate from work. I even suggest we do our initial courting via text while we get to know each other better. Things are going beautifully and just when I'm starting to think he's "the one," I find out there's been a horrible mix-up. My boss accidentally gave me Cooper's number, not Sumner's, and I'm falling for Mr. Wrong, again.

Unfortunately, after I break it off with Cooper, I discover that Sumner isn't the good guy he portrays himself to be. When Cooper rescues me from a compromising situation, I belatedly realize I might be been missing out on the man of my dreams. Have I lost my chance at true happiness or is there some way I can convince Cooper I'm the woman he needs?

Sunday, March 5

Audiobook Review: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Author: Stuart Turton
Narrator: James Cameron Stewart
Title: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy, & Historical Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Published: February 8, 2018
Where I got It: Audible

Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked-room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense.

Gotta love book club. I had my eye on this one but never gave it a chance until this was picked to read in my book club.

Here we follow Aiden who knows the rules to the game. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can figure out who the killer will be and break the cycle. He wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. He has 8 hosts to try to solve it or the loop begins again and his memories are wiped clean. 

What a cool concept. Mixture of Agatha Christie-esque mystery and 'Groundhog Day'. So cool and def a great book to spark conversation. 

Now...I will say I struggled hardcore at the beginning. It was slow and slightly confusing. WHICH you are supposed to be confused-ish. This is Aiden's narrative. You only know as much as he knows. Very, very slow to get the story off the ground. I do think some parts could have been trimmed down a wee bit. 

Once you get past the first couple of chapters things start speeding up and you can see that there is more to the story and characters. Aiden has a mountain to climb for sure. I don't want to give away any spoilers.....but he has a full plate and not everything is as it seems. 

I go back and forth about Anna. Not sure what I would do in Aiden's place. A part of me would want to save her too, BUUUUUUUT after a big reveal....mmmm. 

The ending was good. Def has a slight open-ended feel to it which I liked. 

OOOO and that one BIG, BIG twist???? Oof. That got me good. I didn't see it coming. There were a lot of twists that tied in but it was so good. 

The narrator was okay. The voice is familiar but I can't remember where I had heard it before. The female voices were subpar. They all sounded alike (minus the old lady who was more distinct). The guy voices were good. 

This was a tough review to write ;) I didn't want to give anything away. 

But yes, pretty good especially for a book club. I can't wait to discuss this with the gals! 

Lots of mystery. A slowwwww beginning and some parts could've been slimmed down a wee bit, but once you get into the thick of things you won't want to stop until you figure out what the heck is going on. I enjoyed this. 4 stars. 

- #12 for Audiobook challenge

Friday, March 3

Movie Review: Persuasion (2007)

Length:  1h 33m
Released: 2007
Genre:  Historical Romance
Rating: Not rated (maybe a PG?)
Where I Got It: My shelf (DVD)

Anne was in love with Frederick, who was rejected by her snobby parents 8 years ago. They've now hit hard times and rent out their mansion to his brother-in-law. He returns a Royal Navy captain. Will he remember Anne?

Click here for the trailer

I haven't watched this in quite some time and it felt perfect to end the month of love with!

Anne was in love with Frederick years ago, but she was convinced to leave him since he was a nobody and had no money. Years later, her family has hit hard times and has to rent out their home. The new tenants are related to Frederick. He returns but now as a Royal Navy captain. She still loves him, but would he even remember her after all this time?

Love, love, love this movie. The best rendition of the book yet! The cast is perfect and the writing is lovely. It really does follow the book pretty well. Like always they make artistic changes, but they did a great job honoring the book and the characters. 

This Wentworth is swoon-worthy. Love him. 

But yes, watch this version if you can. I can watch this a million times and never tire of it. 

5 stars of course. 

Thursday, March 2

Best of February

Here are our bests of February! 

Best Movie of the Month:

Blodeuedd - Nada this month
"Who knows as usual?"

"Rewatched this for Feb! This is a gem and a treasure. A must watch!"

Best Book of the Month:

"This had me all over the place emotionally. So good."

"Best book of the  month goes to the re-listen of Marked in Flesh. All the feels. Cried a river."

Best TV show of the Month:

Blodeuedd -  The Rookie (S4) & Bling Empire: New York
"I watched s4 of the Rookie. I have also tried to watch Vikings Valhalla, and omg, not going well. I thought I had watched several eps but was still on ep 1. Says a lot. I also watched Bling empire NY for the DRAMA."

"Finally got myself to watch the final season of Lucifer. It tore me up! Such a good show...sad to say goodbye. And randomly turned on Sex Education bc it has a bunch of actors I am liking....and it blew me away. I totally binged all three seasons in a matter of a couple days. Can't wait for the next season!"

Best Cover of the Month:

Carole's pick

Blodeuedd's pick

Wednesday, March 1

Book Review: Hunterland by Dana Claire

Author: Dana Claire
Title: Hunterland
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, & UF
Format: ebook
Pages: 352
Published: February 7, 2023
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the publisher/author for my honest and unbiased opinion)

Liam Hunter has warded off hungry vampires, slayed monstrous beasts, and put agonized spirits to rest since he was old enough to hold a stake. When trouble comes through the Hunterland message board, the Hunter family hits the road. Nurses are dying at high schools across Wisconsin in a string of fishy so-called suicides, and the trail leads to Falkville Falls High, where Liam clashes with Olivia Davis, whose maddening family seems inexplicably embroiled in this haunting mess. Liam deals with monsters, not people. Things just got more complicated. Can Liam find out who or what is responsible before the next murder, or will this vicious death cycle have no end?

With only their father to care for them, Olivia Davis has always mothered her little sister, Pepper. But when the Hunter family opens her eyes to the hidden underworld of real monsters lurking in the dark, she realizes she can’t protect Pepper from this newest threat alone. She’ll have to join forces with the wayward boy who irritates her the most to take down a monster that’s too close to home. That’s if her own family doesn’t stand in her way

When I first seen the cover and read the summary...I knew I had to read this! Plus I am always up for monster hunters!

Liam Hunter has hunted pretty much every monster you can imagine. From vamps to agonized spirits. Through the Hunterland message board, Liam and his family go on another mission. Nurses are dying at high schools across Wisconsin. They look like suicides but super fishy indeed. The trail leads to Falkville Falls High where Liam will clash with Olivia Davis whose family seems to be embroiled in this mess of a mission. Olivia's mother died years ago and she is left to mother her little sister while her father works. When the Hunter family rolls into town....her eyes will be opened to whole different and scary world. 

This is for sure a book you won't be able to put down! I finished this in just a couple of sittings. I had to know all the mysteries. And yes, there are a lot running around in this. 

This did have some Supernatural-feels but in a YA world which was fun. Some parts are super, duper YA so keep that in mind. 

I did have some issues with Liam. There are some times I really liked him, but there are some times when he rubbed me the wrong way. I'm sure I would've reacted like how Olivia would! He def deserved her ire! I think that boy needs a quick kick in the romp! Maybe he'll grow up more in the next book? He is oh so mature in so many ways....but in others? Nope.Immature and annoying. He was just a bit too much sometimes. 

Honestly, it was nice getting a duo narrative so we could learn more about Liam and Olivia and see things from their point of views. 

It was also nice seeing the character development and relationship building between these two. From Olivia and Liam at each other's being being friends...and then something more. They still have a way to go since they are both guarded (esp Liam) but it is sweet seeing their love grow slowly.

OH.MY.GOODNESS....the ending!!!!! HOW CAN YOU LEAVE ME LIKE THISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS??????? I am so invested now! I need to see what happens next!!!! GAH!

In the end, I did really enjoy this. I had a hard time with Liam, but I enjoyed the story even when I wanted to kick his butt. ;) So many mysteries, so much action, lots of chemistry, and so many monsters! I'll give this 4 stars. 

- #10 for Romance Reading Challenge - Enemies-to-lovers

Tuesday, February 28

Joint Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Hello all! We will be discussing "Shadow and Bone" by Leigh Bardugo. Blodeuedd is in red and Carole is in blue.

Leigh Bardugo
Title: Shadow and Bone
Series: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance, Paranormal
Published: June 5, 2012
Pages: 369

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Literally can’t wait for season 2! Reading this made me even more excited!!

Reading this made me less excited. It ruined it for me *sobs*. Even the Darkling was ruined. I feel the need to rewatch s1 and all its glory.

Oh yesss hubby and I are planning on rewatching S1. This made me excited to rewatch. It’s rare but the show is so much better. This felt like a rough draft of the TV show script lol. 

Omg, yes, it does feel like a rough draft! The show is so much better. The book was for me rather meh and SO many things annoyed me.

The book was super, duper YA. The convos felt awkward and choppy. The show was YA but it didn’t feel like it was. 

Every last thing was super YA. All those things that make some YA books so annoying to read, and that some seem to love. Where to even start?! One of the last things that annoyed me was when Mal got really angry at her for wearing the Darklings colors. Like wtf man, toxic much?!

Oh yes! I get Mal being mad thinking she betrayed him. BUT so toxic. She literally had zero choice. 

Maybe we were supposed to think it was hot that Mal, who had never looked at her, suddenly got super obsessive over her?

He wanted what he couldn’t have. Sure she was a friend but the moment he seen her with teh Darkling he was all “WHA????? SHE IS SUPPOSED TO LOVE ME!” He is a jealous boy. I liked the show version so much better. Sure he was blind to his love to her but you could see it and feel it that he actually cared about her. Here? It felt like she was the only one chasing and yearning. 

Yes it was very one-sided, and I am not a fan of the book Mal now. You do not need toxic people in your life Alina. But then the book Alina was also so very YA. Can¨t say I liked her either.

Oh yeah her whole “I AM SO UGLY” was so annoying. Sure she is no great beauty but I kept rolling my eyes. Obv she has some looks because I think the Darkling was attracted to her and Mal obv was! Again….TV Alina was much more palatable. 

The whole I am mousy, ugly, and everyone else commenting on it. And how she thought she could not be a Grisha cos she was not beautiful. And then the whole how magic changed her, but oh, it only made her hair better and her skin glow…well then you are not ugly Alina, you just need some feed, better haircare and a good night´s sleep. Those parts. Ugly duckling mary Sue

For real! She was in the dirt and mud as a solider of course you will need some good skin treatment and some fatting food. Yepp. She def was an ugly duckling Mary Sue. 

As for the Darkling, well I ADORE Ben Barnes. He is so evil and hot. While book Darkling was boring, grey, and no personality. He was just there and meh. Everyone was meh.

Like we said earlier this felt like a rough draft of the TV script. WHICH kudos to the show they stayed pretty true to the storyline. They filled it with great dialogue and acting to make everyone not meh. 

Great acting, better dialogue, fleshed out characters. They did improve on it so much in my opinion. It was there, just hiding.

Indeed!! I am curious about book 2. Maybe it gets more fleshed out? I feel like this one was rushing. IDK. I’m scared to read book 2. Haha

Nothing happened in book 1, She got discovered, met a mean girl, and then a LOT happened. But however it happens, I can´t wait for S2!!!!! As for reading book 2, meh, not that keen. Maybe we should read the thieves instead, but I feel very meh ;)

Maybe someday we’ll read book 1 of the thieves to see how well the show did. Haha. But yeah, I’m not feeling it anytime soon. We have a whole list of other goodies we want to check out this year!

On to better things! But it was interesting to read this and compare. If I had read it first I would not have been that interested in the tv show.

Yes! For sure a rare gem. Rarely do we get a show/movie that surpasses the book! I loved comparing the two. So it was fun. It does have me excited to get started on the show right now. Maybe I’ll read book 2 after watching season 2 to compare again. Someday. 

I just saw on Fb something like only 20 days left! Eeeeek

Literally jumping for joy! Can’t wait! 

The end?

The end! :D 

About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging for a long while now. For 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.