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.

Monday, February 27

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: I Want You to Want Me by Shana Galen

By: Shana Galen

Narrated by: Victoria Aston

Series: Survivors Book 12

Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins

Release date: 02-28-23

Historical romance /to review

Book 12 in the Survivors series and now all survivors are counted for, and have found love. It makes me wonder how many Galen books I have read. Quite a few

Nicholas came home after his horse crushed his leg. He become sort of a recluse and now his mother wants him to marry. He would rather be out in the stable lamenting his loss.

Amelia has spent her whole life caring for other people, and sure maybe she took a bit of a walk on the wild site the last year, but who could blame her. 

Things happen, and that leads to them marrying in haste. She fancies him, he pulls away. Why would she ever care for someone like him.

Old friends, and them finally getting their feelings straight.

Sweet, hopeful, and fun to meet all those that have come before. Oh and I hope that his sister gets a book

Good narration. I am quite used to this narrator by now and it works well

Nicholas St. Clare, youngest son of the Marquess of Averstow, was an avid horseman until his legs were crushed on the battlefield. Ashamed of his injury, he's become a virtual recluse on his country estate until his mother, the dowager marchioness, insists he marry. He hates his weakness and doesn't believe anyone can see past it.

Amelia Blackstock has always followed her family motto: A Blackstock doesn't run from trouble. It runs from us. Unfortunately, trouble caught up with her, and when the world finds out, she'll be ruined. When Lord Nicholas stumbles upon her sobbing, he tries to comfort her. His kindness backfires when they are discovered alone together, and Amelia faces even more scandal. Nicholas offers to marry her, but only if she'll agree to a separate bed chambers.

Amelia concedes to a platonic marriage, but as her feelings for Lord Nicholas grow, she wants more. Nicholas is drawn to Amelia as well, but he fears risking it all by revealing the ugly truth of his injury. Nicholas is the last of the Survivors. Will he be the only one without a happily ever after?

Sunday, February 26

Book Review: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Title: The Bromance Book Club
Series: Bromance Book Club #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports, Chick Lit
Format: paperbook
Pages: 352
Published: November 5, 2019
Where I Got It: My shelf (Xmas gift)

The first rule of book club: You don't talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott's marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

Had my eye on this one and was pleasantly surprised when I received this as an Xmas gift from the lovely Blodeuedd! Thank you!

Here we follow Gavin and Thea. Gavin is a second baseman on his major league baseball team. Even celebrity athletes have trouble in their marriages! Gavin recently found out that his wife has always faked the Big O. He doesn't take this well and is hurt deeply...so he doesn't react great about it...it is the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce and Gavin is out of hope. In comes the Bromance Book Club. Gavin will find help from a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. They read romance books and will use these books to help coach Gavin in saving his marriage. Thea has lost her trust in him so it will take everything he can to win her back. 

When I closed the book....I took some time to think it over. I DID enjoy this. I really did. I loved Gavin and his friends. I also really liked Alexis and Nessa. I loved the secret book club between manly men reading romance novels to help their relationships. Such a clever idea.

HOWEVER, I had TWO big issues. Get prepared for a rant and for some spoilers! SPOILER ALERT!

1) Thea. I get it...she has parent issues. They pretty much abandoned them so she has trust issues. She never really ever trusted Gavin with her heart and her past. SURE. I can get it. Her dad was a scoundrel and has married and cheated...married and then cheated. However, how can you punish Gavin for that? He never, ever cheated. Also, I don't understand why she wouldn't just tell Gavin the truth about anything. If anyone should have trust issues in this marriage it should be him. Omitting the truth is a lie sweetie. Maybe therapy could've helped? Say you're having issues in the bedroom and go from there. AND Gavin never ASKED you to stop going to college when you got preggo. He never ASKED you to give up your career for his career. So to use that against him is crap. AGAIN, Thea has some major issues so I can see why she has trust issues and etc. That isn't fair to make Gavin have to fix everything and beg and plead for you back. It takes communication, honesty, and patience for love to work. I am glad she seen the light and realized how toxic she had been. It took forever though. 

2) Liv (Thea's sister). I get that she has the same issues as Thea. They both had shit parents and have the same trust issues. I get it is her sister and she will stand by her side. However, she treated Gavin like he cheated and beat Thea to an inch of her life. Later on in the book, Thea hinted that she had a good time on their "first/redo" date and wanted to have smexy times with him Liv lost her marbles. You are supposed to be her sister. You are supposed to stand by her side. And also...be honest with her. Thea wasn't 100% without fault in the failure of the marriage. Gavin did nothing so bad that they can't fix it or go to marriage counseling to help fix it. She kinda realized she was being toxic....but not really. She does get her own book so maybe she'll realize how shitty she was to Gavin and realized she was projecting her daddy and mommy issues onto him. 

I bet you can tell that I was really holding this in LOL. Liv and Thea are pretty toxic in my humble opinion. Yes, Gavin messed up by being angry and giving her the silent treatment. Yes, Gavin messed up and left when Thea told him to go and move out. Sure. He should've stayed and fought and suggested therapy or something. It takes two to tango and it takes two to make a marriage work. They were both in the wrong in so many ways, but I felt like Gavin had to do all the work to rekindle that love and make up for his wrongdoings. She just said sorry once and he was all "I LOVE YOU AND FORGIVE YOU! LET US REMARRY!"  There is a scene when he strategically throws in the towel and leaves. Good for him. 


BUT I did enjoy this book even though I found Liv and Thea pretty dang toxic. I loved watching them rekindle their love. I loved the WAG drama. I loved watching Thea find herself again and go back to college. Good for her. I loved their kids. They were adorable and oh-so innocent. 

Vlad made me laugh. Mack was adorable. 

Alexis deserves the world and I want to read her book SO bad. 

This book is perfect for book club. I may make mine read it one day. So much to discuss. I'm sure this could lead to a lively debate. 

All-in-all, I had some issues with two characters but I did enjoy this at the end of the day. I want to read more of the series. I'll give this 3 stars. 

- #9 for Romance Reading Challenge - Sports Romance

Friday, February 24

Re-listen: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Author: Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Title: Murder of Crows
Series: The Others #2
Genre: UF, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Published: March 4, 2014
Where I got It: Borrowed from library

After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard - Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader - wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now, the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet - and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

Making my way through the series for the 2nd time. Been having an itch for this world and who knows when the next (or IF) will come out.

Meg has won the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard. Meg has had some trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. She is caught in-between two worlds. She is human but she is a prophet. While she is trying to find her place and find a balance in herself, an appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others. When Meg dreams about blood and black feathers in the snow they wonder if it is a vision of the future or a past attack. As the urge to cut and speak more prophecies surges, Meg, the Others, and some trusted humans must work together to stop a terrible man who wants to reclaim her. 

The events haven't even settled from book 1 and there is more trouble on the horizon. I know what happens but I was still nervous for our people. The humans are DUMB. SUPER DUMB. I honestly don't get why they have to be SO dumb!!!!!!! If I was in this world I would be BFFs with the Others. They are strong and magical. The humans in this world have nothing but some technology. Idiots. 

I remember barely liking Meg and Simon in my first read through. But by the end of the series I fell in love with them. I carry this love with me here. I love them but I can see WHY I was annoyed by them the first time around. They are so rocky in their friendships. Meg is traumatized and still trying to find herself.  

I adore Vladimir Sanguinati!

Now, I will say this one is pretty sad...we get to see more into the world of what the cassandra sangue (blood prophets) have to deal with. They are abused, manipulated, extorted, kidnapped, and raped/molested. Luckily they don't go into GREAT detail, but it does hurt your heart (or at least SHOULD). Humans are monsters to their fellow humans. No wonder why the Others do not trust them. But yes, far warning here in this book. 

The narrator is fantastic and perfect and wonderful. 

Yes, read this series. It is awesome. 

4 stars from me for this one. 

- #10 for Audiobook challenge

Thursday, February 23

Book Feature & Giveaway: A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson

A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson

Publication Date: October 9, 2021

Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: Dr. DuLac, Book 1

For fans of Barbara Erskine, Pamela Hartshorne, Susanna Kearsley, Christina Courtenay

Can echoes of the past threaten the present? They are 1500 years apart, but can they reach out to each other across the centuries? One woman faces a traumatic truth in the present day. The other is forced to marry the man she hates as the 'dark ages' unfold.

How can Dr Viv DuLac, medievalist and academic, unlock the secrets of the past? Traumatised by betrayal, she slips into 499 AD and into the body of Lady Vivianne, who is also battling treachery. Viv must uncover the mystery of the key that she unwittingly brings back with her to the present day, as echoes of the past resonate through time. But little does Viv realise just how much both their lives across the centuries will become so intertwined. And in the end, how can they help each other across the ages without changing the course of history?

Available on Amazon

Praise for Julia Ibbotson and A Shape on the Air

“In the best Barbara Erskine tradition … I would highly recommend this novel” Historical Novel Society

“Amazing …a really great book …I just couldn’t put it down” Hazel Morgan

"a beautiful tale … a must-read for fans of time-slip and time-travel" Cathie Dunn

"gripping, with a very real sense of sense of threat and danger, an enthralling mystery focused on hidden treasure, a wholly convincing romance, all across both timelines!" Anne Williams

"Lovely identifiable heroines in both time periods … I love the strength and vulnerability" Melissa Morgan

"Meticulously researched and wonderfully evocative. Loved it!" Anne Harvey

About the Author

Acclaimed, award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and the concept of resonances across time. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then an academic as a senior university lecturer and researcher.

She has published a number of books, including memoir, children’s medieval fantasy, a trilogy set in Ghana, and medieval time-slip, as well as academic works. Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 13
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, February 14
Review at The Book Countess

Wednesday, February 15
Feature at I'm Into Books
Feature at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Thursday, February 16
Feature at CelticLady's Books
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Friday, February 17
Review at Novels Alive

Monday, February 20
Review at Bookworlder
Feature at Tammy Reads

Tuesday, February 21
Feature at Books, Cooks, Looks
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, February 22
Feature at What Is That Book About

Thursday, February 23
Feature at Carole's Ramblings

Friday, February 24
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Feature at Reading is My Remedy


Enter to win a copy of A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

A Shape on the Air

Wednesday, February 22

Book Review: That Night in Vegas by Juliet Jake

Author: Juliet Jake
Title: That Night in Vegas
Series: What Stays in Vegas #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Novella, Short stories
Format: ebook
Pages: 92
Published: February 2, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

I was a jilted bride.
Left at the altar at an Elvis Wedding Chapel in Vegas.
He was tall, dark and smoking hot.
He gave me a sizzling wedding night to remember.
But after sneaking out the next morning, I realized why he seemed so familiar.
He’s a freakin' rock star.

That cover is so freakin' cute! Plus a jilted bride and a hawt rock star? Count me in!

Here we follow Ray and Tyler. Ray is jilted by a terrible man so she is finally free. Tyler is a rock star but he misses being a normal guy. They meet and have a night they'll never forget. After Ray sneaks out the next morning she realizes who he was and the world thinks they are married....

This was a lot of fun. I loved them both. I am so glad Ray was jilted. Her ex was a scumbag!!!! Toxic jerk. 

Tyler just wants to be a normal guy again. He loves music, but being a rock star is rough so it was refreshing to not be recognized by Ray.

Lots and lots of talking and hanging out. Having fun! And then some smexy times. It was insta-lust and insta-love, but they are smart about it. They know they have some personal and life issues before they can find their HEA. 

Very cute and short and sweet. 

I hope to get book 2 soon! There is still some stuff they will need to work out. 

4 stars from me. 

Tuesday, February 21

TMST: Pets!

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.

2/21: Time for a pet update! Tell us about yours

Awwww I am a proud furbaby Mama!! 

We currently have two pets. 

One cat named Mamyia. Nicknames include (but not limited to): Mimi, Maya, Ma'am, Loaf, Mama's Girl, Madame, and Missy. 

She is doing good from our last update in 2021! Oof so long ago! She is a Mama's girl and sweet when she wants to be. She is on a diet but not much I can do when she eats bugs and stuff out of the sink. We force her to play (even Ralph will try and play with her) but she is a loaf and only gets zoomies once in a while. She will be turning 8 in October!

We also have one dog named Ralph. Nicknames include (but not limited to): Ralphie, Ralphie-butt, Bootie, Goat Boi, Lord Ralphington, or Handsome Boi. 

He's doing good. Still the most handsome boy I know! He just turned 5 a few weeks ago. In January, we had to rush him to the vet because he was freaking out. He was shaking his ear and trying to hide in weird places. He kept looking around thinking something was there. Poor guy! They found that his ear was full of gunk and junk. They flushed it out and gave him medicine to fight any sort of infection or irritation. He is MUCH better now. 

Sadly, Toki has now passed away and has joined his brother over the rainbow bridge!

Monday, February 20

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Accidentally Famous by Marissa Clarke

Narrated by: Summer Morton

Series: Hideaway Harbor, Book 2

Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins

Release date: 02-23-23

Contemporary romance /to review

A cute story that would make a cute movie too. I am thinking netflix.

Cassidy is a normal woman working hard and loving her job. Then something happens and suddenly she has paparazzi hounding her. What happened?!

Jack Winston´s assistant happened. One wrong tag and suddenly everyone things Cassidy is dating Jack.

Drama ensues, and Jack comes up with a plan of fake dating. He needs some PR, and maybe it could work for them both. And obvi they are perfect for each other and fall in love

It was a sweet story, them falling in love, some drama of how can they be? They are from different worlds.

Good narration that made it work well. She made it flow well and had good voices for all. It was pleasant listening too

Jack Winston may be Hollywood’s biggest action hero, but he’s seriously burned out. He can’t even save himself from his PR team’s latest scheme: dating a starlet. But when his assistant accidentally tags Cassidy James from Blink, Maine (wherever that is) on social media, the paparazzi decide that she’s Jack’s latest fling. Now Jack needs to do some serious damage control…starting with the adorable home reno pro in paint-splattered overalls.

Cassidy is not prepared when the Jack Winston shows up in her quiet little town—and whew, he is that gorgeous in person. Before she can pick her jaw up off the floor, his PR team is bombarding them with a whole new plan involving “fake girlfriend,” “optics,” and “sign this NDA” (whatever that is). But no one warned her that Mr. A-List Action Star is hot, funny as all get out, and loves old houses as much as she does.

Now they have two weeks to convince everyone they’re in a fake relationship—two weeks that will drive Cassidy’s reno business through the roof and help Jack reclaim his “spark.” The plan is going fine, dare she say, perfectly...until she discovers something that will change everything.

Thursday, February 16

Book Review: Every Last Secret by AR Torre

Author: AR Torre
Title: Every Last Secret
Genre: Mystery Thriller, Romance, Suspense
Format: ebook
Pages: 291
Published: December 1, 2020
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Cat Winthorpe has worked hard to get what she has: a gorgeous home; social standing; and William, her successful, handsome husband. Then a friendly new couple moves into the estate next door. While cautious, a good neighbor like Cat greets them with open arms and warm hospitality.

Neena Ryder isn’t a fellow lady of leisure. A life coach with off-the-rack dresses, personal issues, and a husband who hasn’t delivered, she’s anxious to move up in the world. This beautiful new town is a step in the right direction. It’s also making Neena aware of what she doesn’t have. Namely, William. When Neena’s infatuation escalates into obsession, it’s just a matter of eliminating a few obstacles to get the life she wants. The life next door.

As Neena’s secret fixation grows, so does her friendship with Cat. But beneath their cordial interactions is a wealth of temptations, secrets, and toxic jealousy. For both women, the desire for a perfect life can turn perfectly dangerous.

I had my eyes on this when it came out a couple of years ago but I totally forgot about it. This was a re-read a member of our book club picked so yayy finally got myself a copy to check it out. 

Here we follow Cat and Neena. Cat has worked hard to get what she has...a beautiful home, social standing, and a successful husband. When a supposedly good couple moves in next door, Cat greets them with open arms. One half of that couple is Neena who isn't a fellow lady of leisure. She also worked hard to get where she is at. She is a life coach, has personal issues, a hazy past, and a husband who hasn't delivered in a while. She is anxious to move up in the world. This new town and Cat's husband will get her where she wants to go. Secrets, temptations, and toxic jealousy will run supreme. For both, the desire for the perfect life can turn dangerous. 

Holy cannoli!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT? 



Okay.......where do I start?

Neena is insane. OBSESSED with William 

Cat is also insane and also OBSESSED with William.

WHAT is it about William that is driving the women crazy????

WHAT is it about Neena that makes her so tempting for William...and makes Matt obsessed with her? Sure, sure I get Matt is Neena's hubby, but wth? Those dudes are crazy too. 

The first 30% was a little rough while the story and characters get going...but after that? You won't put it down. Looking back...I am grateful we had a slow start. Things start getting crazy and I had zero ideas what was going to happen. When I thought I had a clue we would take a WILD left turn and then backpedal and go right. It was a fun ride. It really was. 

The ending had me literally saying, "DAMN! WHAT?????" But then I smiled. That was a good ride. 

5 stars from me even with the slow-ish beginning, but it was much needed before getting into the crazy weeds. Worth the read my friends. It will make you feel sane. 

Tuesday, February 14

Audiobook Review: Better than a Box of Chocolates by Emily March

Author: Emily March
Narrator: Andi Arndt & Jason Clarke
Title: Better than a Box of Chocolates
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Short Story, Novella, Chick Lit
Format: Audiobook
Published: February 3, 2022
Where I got It: Audible

Valentine’s Day has always meant trouble for wedding photographer Ali Lovejoy. All her worst romantic disasters have happened on V-Day, so she’s made a habit of hiding out at home in her pj’s until it’s over. But when her best friend begs her do an engagement photoshoot on the dreaded holiday, Ali reluctantly agrees and travels to the quaint Colorado mountain town of Eternity Springs to help her bestie.

While scouting romantic locations for the shoot, Ali is stunned to encounter a naked man skinny dipping in the hot springs. After the most awkward meeting of her life, she eventually agrees to a Valentine’s date with the sinfully delicious stranger. Is she destined for a fresh new disaster - or will she finally find real love?

Randomly saw this in Audible and had to check it out esp since it is the season of luuuurrrve. 

Ali Lovejoy hates Valentine's Day because it always meant trouble for her. She has made a habit of hiding out at home in her pjs until it is over. When her BFF begs her to do an engagement photoshoot on the big V Day...she has to say yes. While scouting romantic locations in the quaint Colorado town, she stumbles upon a naked man skinny dipping in the hot springs. After the most awkward meeting of her life, she eventually agrees to Valentine's date with the stranger. 

This was an adorable novella! Two folks who hate V Day come together and have an ironic date on the big day....and of course they fall in love. Very cute. Not a crazy amount of drama and angst which was nice. They talk a lot and they don't jump each other's bones within a page or two. Very sweet and there was some comedy too. 

I did find it a little ridiculous how okay Ali was after being told by his grandma that they were soulmates and would marry by next V Day. I feel that should have freaked her out more. She was a tiny bit but not enough to be realistic. She hadn't even had a date with him yet!! 

Honestly, I think it would have been even better as a full-length novel. I would've loved to spend more time with them. And honestly...learn more about the town. It is small and he has a big family. His grandma can tell the future....how fun is that??? I would've liked to see the rest of his cousins/sibs fall in love too. What a missed opportunity! This could've been a fun family series.

For the narration, we had two different ones. One for Ali's and one for Max. They worked nicely together. I've heard both before so it was a nice surprise to hear them again. 

In the end, this was very sweet, funny, short, and slightly unrealistic This is the perfect V Day read to listen to while you eat some chocolate. The characters and town deserve a series and longer novels. Maybe someday? I'll give this 3 stars. 


- #10 for Audiobook challenge

Monday, February 13

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Flame Bringer by Elle Katharine White

Series: Heartstone (#3)

Format: 368 pages, Paperback

Published; November 12, 2019 by Harper Voyager


I liked book 1, but with this one. I felt sort of confused at times, and I felt myself not caring. It sort of dragged and then it all finished really fast.

I do not even want to talk a lot. It was boring. Glad it ended... on a sour note but still, the end.

It starts with the inconceivable: Wydrick, sworn enemy of the Daireds, is back from the dead, possessed by a ghast that grants him immortality and inhuman strength. From the isolated northern mountains, Aliza, Alastair, and Akarra chase him into the dangerous Old Wilds, realizing too late that he's led them into a blizzard. Before he vanishes, Wydrick utters a warning: A terrible, ancient evil has awoken, hungry for blood, and is headed their way.

The danger is closer than they know. The Tekari--sworn enemies of humans--are openly roaming the kingdom and are headed towards the capital, Edonarle. Then unexpected news arrives: riding like a dark dragon on the winds from the south, an ambassador from the Silent King of Els, has left the shores of the distant desert kingdom for the first time in centuries.

Unknown enemy? Or unexpected ally? Plunged into a dangerous world of royal intrigue and ancient grudges, Aliza and Alastair soon realize it will take more than steel and dragonfire to save their kingdom. For the silence of Els hides a secret that could shake House Daired to its foundations, and the time has come to settle accounts.

Silence, it seems, is about to be broken.

Thursday, February 9

Book Review: A Wife for Mr. Darcy by Mary Lydon Simonsen

Author: Mary Lydon Simonsen
Title: A Wife for Mr. Darcy
Genre: Historical Romance, Retellings, What-if
Format: ebook
Pages: 380 
Published: July 1, 2011
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

When he meets Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy is already courting another young lady and now, in addition to his original qualms, Darcy has a real matter of honor to overcome...

Been meaning to read this for a while now. Finally got this downloaded to read. 

This is a variation of the beloved P&P story. Mr. Darcy meets Elizabeth...but he is already courting another young lady. But feelings are strong...what will they do when they realize they love each other?

I'll admit.....I struggled quite a bit with this one. It was oh so slow. And this Mr. Darcy was different. I'm all about changing stuff, but he was super different. He even apologized SUPER early on for insulting Lizzie. Mmmm. 

However, I pushed through. I really wanted to complete this for multiple reasons. There were sprinkles of good moments through the boring. So yes, I pushed through. I was rewarded that the last 25% was really good. :D I loved watching Lizzie and Darcy be in love...get married....and that epilogue? ADORABLE. The love letters and words of love were soooo sappy but adorable. 

I wish I had liked this more though. Maybe it's just me? Seems like so many people LOVED this. Can't win them all. 

2 stars from me. 

- #8 for Romance Reading Challenge - Retelling/What-if
- #2 TBR Pile Reading

Wednesday, February 8

Audiobook Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Author: Patricia Briggs
Narrator: Holter Graham
Title: Burn Bright
Series: Alpha & Omega #5
Genre: UF, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Published: March 6, 2018
Where I got It: Borrowed from library

Now mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other–one that lurks too close to home…

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

For the last book I read of this series, I had to read the ebook since the audio was not available for some reason. This one, though, was there so I was so happy! I have missed this narrator! He really brings the story to life. 

Charles and Anna are mated werewolves and have faced many a threat during their time together, however, this threat is a little too close to home. The wildings are werewolves who are too damaged to live safely with their own kind or any human. Those werewolves were forced to live exiled on the outskirts of Aspen Creek. Close enough to the Marrok's pack if they need help, but far enough away to not cause any harm.  When the Marrok leaves the country, Charles and Anna are in charge. They are the ones on call when an SOS comes from the fae mate of one of those wilding werewolves. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf, but can't stop blood from being shed. They will have to work together to track down the attackers and a traitor amongst them. This will reopen a painful chapter of the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn.

This did not waste any time getting into the mud and blood! There was a lot to learn and unravel so I get why we had to get on the journey soon. There was so much information in this book that I feel my brain is tired. May need to take a mini break from the series to wrap my mind around everything. There is something big coming in both this series and its sister series with Mercy. *shudders*

We learned A LOT about this pack and the wilding werewolves. We also got to understand more about the Marrok (he even got a few moments to shine with his own POVs) and his mate, Leah. Still not a fan of her BUT I understand and respect her more. 

Love Asil! We got some good one-on-one time with him. I hope he finds happiness soon. There was one scene near the end that reminds us that he is a scary dude when crossed. Oof. I don't want to know what he did to that character. But that character did deserve it sadly. 

Ugh, the big reveal broke my heart. I didn't expect it and it made me really sad. :( It is a betrayal, yes, but I was hoping it came from elsewhere.  

LOVE Charles and Anna. They really do rival my love of Mercy and Adam but there is something about Mercy that I love so much that is hard to beat. 

The narrator is fantastic as always. I wouldn't want anyone else doing this series with Charles and Anna.

In the end, there was a lot of info here and a lot of action. Maybe a hair too much information and action sometimes. I'm glad the ending we got to see them all be happy together because things got very heavy at some points. We got to learn a lot about some of the pack and the wildings. And magic. Oooooooo there is something big heading this way. Makes me scared for our packs. I'll give this 3 stars. 

- #9 for Audiobook challenge

Monday, February 6

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: From Rags to Kisses by Shana Galen

The Survivors Series, Book 11

By: Shana Galen

Narrated by: Victoria Aston

Series: Survivors, Book 11

Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins

Release date: 02-07-23

Historical romance /to review

Jenny was a street urchin who meets a boy and decides to help him. She and Aidan becomes best friends and steals, and survives together. 

But then thing changed, his family reached out and he left her there. I get why she was mad, but I also do not get it. Because he wanted to see that she was safe, but she decided no, so can´t really blame him then!

Fast forward many many years. Aidan was sent to war, he came home and got rich. And Jenny found a viscount and got engaged. I did wonder about that, a lot! Like how does a poor nobody get a viscount!? But you have to read and find out.

Of course Aidan and Jenny are meant to be. They meet again. They resist the urge to fall madly in love again. But true love always win.

And do not worry about the Viscount. No funny business going on.

I have read 11 of these now! Almost out of survivors now.

Good narration.. She is always a joy listening to

When young Jenny Tate stumbles over the beaten body of a boy in the streets of the London slums, her only intention is to rifle through his pockets. But the bruised lad charms her into helping him, and the next thing she knows, Aidan Sterling and she are fast friends, navigating life on the streets. Jenny has learned never to trust or love anyone, but they learn to rely on other. And then Aidan betrays her in the worst way possible.

Aidan Sterling is one of the richest men in England. He has everything he wants and no one to share it with. After risking his life in the army, he returned to England and made a fortune. Now he keeps his loneliness at bay by focusing on what he's good at-making money. And then Jenny Tate steps unexpectedly back into his life. He's never forgotten her and never stopped loving her. Jenny hasn't forgotten him either, and she hasn't forgiven him. She's betrothed to a viscount and has a new life and wants nothing to do with Aidan. But the discovery of an ancient trunk, a hunt for a street urchin, and the interference of homing pigeons might just be enough to bring these two back together.

Saturday, February 4

2nd Read: Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn

Author: Kate Quinn
Title: Daughters of Rome
Series: The Empress of Rome #1
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback
Pages: 385 
Published: April 1, 2011
Where I Got It: My shelf (Won in a giveaway)

A.D. 69. Nero is dead.

The Roman Empire is up for the taking. With bloodshed spilling out of the palace and into the streets of Rome, chaos has become the status quo. The Year of Four Emperors will change everything—especially the lives of two sisters with a very personal stake in the outcome….

Elegant and ambitious, Cornelia embodies the essence of the perfect Roman wife. She lives to one day see her loyal husband as Emperor. Her sister, Marcella, is more withdrawn, content to witness history rather than make it. Even so, Marcella has her share of distinguished suitors, from a cutthroat contender for the throne to a politician’s son who swears that someday he will be Emperor.

But when a bloody coup turns their world upside down, Cornelia and Marcella—along with their cousins, one a collector of husbands and lovers, the other a horse-mad beauty with no interest in romance—must maneuver carefully just to stay alive. As Cornelia tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered dreams, Marcella discovers a hidden talent for influencing the most powerful men in Rome. In the end, though, there can only be one Emperor … and one Empress.

First, read this in 2014. Different sources say this is book 1 but some others say it is book 2. I guess it depends on how you look at it. It technically takes place before book 2. However, the book was published second. I picked this for my re-read in Book Club (every three months we all pick a re-read to make the others read - keeps it fresh). I decided on this one first instead of 'Mistress of Rome' because there are some spoilers about people's fate in book 2. I want to pick 'Mistress of Rome' when it is re-read time again (if they all liked it - the jury is still out since we don't meet for a while). 

So....Rome is falling apart from the inside out. We follow Marcella, Cornelia, and two of their cousins as they navigate this fragile world. Emperors are falling by the wayside. Even in peace...things are rocky and anyone can betray anyone. It is a cutthroat time. 

So much chaos!!!! I forgot how crazy things get throughout this year! I can't imagine being in their shoes. Even the peaceful times are so tension-y. 

Back when I first read this I liked Cornelia and Marcella more by the end (even though Marcella made some bad decisions but damn was she dynamic and so complex!!)...this time? I think I liked Lollia more! She was much more complex and layered than I gave her credit for like everyone else. Sure she is air-headed and whatnot but I truly appreciated her more. 

This was good. Very good! I want to read book 2 again asap. 

In the end, this was such a good book. Loved it then. Love it now. Chaotic and has a cast of interesting characters. It is a story you can't put down! 5 stars.