Thursday, June 29

Book Review: The Viking and the Drag Queen by VL locey

Author: VL locey
Title: The Viking and the Drag Queen
Series:  Campo Royale #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports, LGBT
Format: ebook
Pages: 214
Published: January 5, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (BookBub)

Who will emerge the victor on the battlefield of love?

Tyr Hemmingsen had his life mapped out at a young age. The only son of the late Danish hockey great, Elias Hemmingsen, Tyr has always done his best to follow the plans his father had laid out for him. Finish school, make it into the pros, become team captain, find a biddable young lady to marry, and win a championship so the Hemmingsen name lived on eternally on the side of a massive silver cup. Like the good son he is, Tyr has done as his father wished, no matter how it peeled away layers of his true self. Then, all the neatly placed supports that hold up his so-called life come crashing down during a night on the town. Tyr might be known as the “War God of Wilmington” on the ice, but there’s no battling the effect Gigi Patel LeBay has on him.

Elijah McBride lives for the spotlight. As Gigi, he bewitches and bedazzles the crowds at the Campo Royale Club. His vibrant stage persona is the face he presents to the world. Underneath the rouge, eyeliner, and lipstick is a young man who still feels the sting of his parents’ disapproval and rejection of the son who wears wigs and dates other men. With his drag family and older brother in his corner, he’s finally found peace in his life. Until the fateful night a massive hockey player shows up at the club. There’s a world of hurt in Tyr’s soft brown eyes, and Eli finds himself falling for the big man, despite all the barriers he’s built around his tender heart.

I was given this from BookBub a couple of months ago. I couldn't resist this! The title....the cover. Love it. 

Here we follow Elijah and Tyr. Elijah loves the spotlight. As Gigi, his stage name, he bewitches and bedazzles the crowds at the Campo Royale Club. He is confident and vibrant! However, under the makeup, he is a young man who still feels the sting of his parents' disapproval of him being gay. Enter Tyr who walks into the Camp Royale Club and is dazzled right away. He has been battling his true self for his whole life. His parents may be gone, but he still has his father's voice in his head that he needs to hide himself. He is scared to lose his new career in hockey if the world finds out he is gay. When the two meet it is electric and they can't deny the lust and the love that sparkles there. 

It's been a min since I've done this format. I am feeling lazy on this heavy rainy day so here it goes. 

The Good
- Loved Elijah and Tyr. How can you not???? They are both so different but they complement each other very well. 
- I can't remember ever reading a story about a Drag Queen. If I did they were not the main character that is for sure. Love the inclusion here. 
- Hockey!!! Love the sport and love the men behind it 
- The lust was instant and the love happens quick too, however, it oddly worked for these two. 
- The drama was minimum. No terrible exes. No craziness. I loved just watching them battle together to find their piece of heaven. 

The Bad and the Ugly
- This was too short. I needed more at the end. I want to see them get married and be happy! Maybe we will see them in all their bliss in the next book. 
- There were some backstory issues here. Some things didn't make sense to me. For example, Tyr was 13 (14?) when his parents both passed. By the time he was ready for college at 18, he mentions that his dad was mad that he decided on Creative Writing as a major. But...isn't he dead? How could he disapprove? I would've liked more clarification on this.

I liked this. It was a nice romance between two men who truly deserve all the love in the world. They were perfect for each other even with all their differences! A little short and a couple of blimps on the backstory. Maybe it being longer would've cleared up the issues. In the end, I'll stamp this with 3 stars. 

Wednesday, June 28

Movie Review: Death on the Nile (2022)

Title: Death on the Nile
Length: 2 hr & 7 mins
Released: 2022
Genre:  Mystery, Crime, Drama
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Hulu

While on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress

Been meaning to watch this. I honestly wanted to watch it at the theater, but I have gotten lazy with theater-watching esp since my hubby is meh about theaters. Sometimes I can con him to go with me, but maybe once or twice a year. 

We are back with Hercule! He is dragged along on a Honeymoon party with a rich heiress and her new husband to keep an eye on their guests because they fear for their lives. And of course, Linnette does not make it and now Hercule has to investigate the murder on a boat stuck with a lot of suspects in the middle of the Nile. 

I really adored the intro. It was nice getting to see some backup story on our hero. I did have a tear or two for sure when we find out what happens a little later on. Ooooo Hercule! You are a vain man, but we love you. You deserve to be a hair vain with all your success. 

I felt so bad for Linnette. She is rich but she can't trust anyone. Everyone has some sort of motive for wanting her dead. Gah. I couldn't live my life like that! Eeee.

Sooo....the whodunnit......I surprised myself by guessing very early on and being RIGHT!!!!!!!!!! Something teeny tiny happened and I was all "OOOOOOO there!" I must pat myself on the back for this. However, there was so much more on the who, why, how, etc. Plus, I wasn't 100% sure there are def some red herrings. I have read some Hercule stories in the past so maybe I am good at pinpointing the little things that people miss in his stories. Oh Hercule!

The setting was beautiful. Egypt is lovely. 

In some ways, I liked this more than the first, but I did have one big, big issue.........after the little prequel at the beginning the setup took forever. It felt like a lot of filler and tbh it could've been trimmed. Yes, yes, we do want to see everyone and learn about them. However, it just felt like it took too long for the murdering parts. The first film had a slow beginning too and it worked well. This felt too long though. 

But yes, a nice sequel. I don't remember ever reading this one so it was fun just watching as a newbie. I really should read more Hercule. There are 33 novels, 2 plays, and more than 50 short stories!! So much to read. Not sure how the writers are picking. 

Def recommend watching the first one first and then this one.

4 stars. 

Tuesday, June 27

Audiobook Review: Return to Shelter Beach by Terence Gray

Terence Gray

Narrator: Julia Mattison, Ali Zayn, Aaron Shedlock, & Full Cast
Title: Return to Shelter Beach
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit, Novella, Comedy
Published: August 11, 2022
Pages: Audible

Escape to Shelter Beach in this scripted, multicast rom com with an immersive soundscape. Just over the sand dune, a sweet summer romance with a dash of self-discovery awaits.

Grace Boyd is in dire need of a reset after her career—and personal life—go up in flames. When her fans discover that their favorite social media influencer was a teensy bit less than truthful in some of her posts, they couldn’t unfollow her fast enough. With her reputation in shambles, Grace retreats to her hometown on the picturesque island of Shelter Beach to tend bar (and her wounds) at her family’s inn...and strategize her next move.

As summer heats up, Grace is thrown for a sexy loop. She falls headfirst into a flirtation with a dreamy local fisherman (who was once her high school crush), and keeps running into the intriguing, if infuriating, British reporter-turned-author in the beach house next door. Amid snarky exchanges and heartfelt conversations, Grace is challenged in ways she never expected. While she reconnects with her past and explores new love, Grace's carefully curated image begins to fall away, allowing her to discover who she really is—and where she belongs.

Wanted to read this because it is a cute cover and oh-so summery! Sighs

Grace becomes an internet sensation. She loses it all when her reputation explodes when people realize she hasn't been fully honest. She retreats to her hometown to strategize her next move. 

This would be a DNF, but I pushed on because I really wanted to be able to count this toward my Audiobook challenge. And I had a teeny tiny bit of hope for this. I am one for self-torture I guess.

HOWEVER, and we can debate, I found myself making the narrator go so fast. I also wasn't paying attention at some did I TRULY listen to this? That is subjective I guess ;) At one point I think I even fell asleep for a minute! Or did I black out? Mhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. 

But yes, Grace was simply terrible and unbearable even when she is humbled. Her managers sucked. Her parents were meh. The hometown folk were just barely an eh. Yeah. So not for me AT all. Maybe you will like it more. Luckily it is quick and short.

- #28 for Audiobook challenge

Monday, June 26

Blodeuedd Reviews: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

By: Nalini Singh

Narrated by: Angela Dawe

Series: Psy-Changeling, Book 13

Length: 15 hrs and 47 mins

Release date: 06-01-17

Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Limited

Paranormal romance / Nextory borrow

I will try it make this short...not my favorite in the Psy-changeling books. It felt slow and I never connected to Vasic or Ivy. The constant check backs to the previous couple was not a favorite either. I liked those, but I wanted this book to be about this couple .

Silence has fallen. Psy are turning into monsters. The Es most awaken and try to heal the net. Vasic, an arrow falls for an empath named Ivy. And well, dunno really, but it dragged at times.

The narrator is wonderful. I do love Dawe and she is amazing.

But not the best book in the series

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he's done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch - if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life. For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake....

Having rebuilt her life after medical 'treatment' that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now she'll fight for her people - and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy's fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness...

Friday, June 23

Audiobook Review: Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs

Narrator: Lorelei King
Title: Storm Cursed
Series: Mercy Thompson #11
Genre: UF, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Published: May 7, 2019
Pages: Library

My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.
And a coyote shapeshifter.
And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word.

We will die to keep it

Back at it again with my girl Mercy and her pack. 

Mercy is a coyote shapeshifter and is the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack. No one is safe as the human politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae. There is a storm brewing and her name is Death. It will be up to Mercy and her pack to put an end to the dark and save those they promised to protect. 

This one made me sad. It is raining Zombies here....zombie humans, zombie humans, and heck even a zombie dragon. So much death here. This one did deliver an emotional punch. I was worried about all of our beloved characters. The baddies are dark and evil and will do whatever it takes for power. Scary indeed because they have no heart and they will not stop. *shudders*

After the events of this one, I am curious to see what the human politicians will do now. I'm itching for the next book!

The narration was fantastic as per normal. This narrator IS Mercy. The voices are always on point and perfect. I can't imagine anyone else narrating this. 

This was good. Can't wait to start the next...I am FINALLY catching up. 

5 stars.

- #27 for Audiobook challenge

Thursday, June 22

Book Review: Flawless by Elsie Silver

Author: Elsie Silver
Title: Flawless
Series:  Chestnut Springs #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western, Sports Romance
Format: ebook
Pages: 424
Published: June 24, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)

The rules were simple. Keep my hands off his daughter and stay out of trouble.

But now I’m stuck with her. There’s only one bed. And well, rules are made to be broken.

I’m the face of professional bull riding—the golden boy. Or at least I was, until it all blew up in my face. Now my agent says I have to clean up my image, so I’m stuck with his ball-busting daughter for the rest of the season as my “full-time supervision.”

But I don’t need a goddamn babysitter, especially one with skin-tight jeans, a sexy smirk, and a mouth she can’t stop running.

A mouth I can’t stop thinking about.

Because Summer isn’t just another conquest. She sees the man behind the mask, and she doesn’t run—she pulls me closer, even when she shouldn’t.

She says this means nothing.

I say this means everything.

She says there are boundaries we shouldn’t cross. That my reputation can’t take any more hits—and neither can her damaged heart.

I say I’m going to steal it anyway.

This was a freebie on Amazon and it seemed so perfect. Small town. Hot bad boy cowboy. Enemies-to-lovers. 

Rhett is a bad boy...a loose cannon. He was the face of professional bull riding and he was the golden boy all the ladies wanted and all the men wanted to be until he said some stuff and now he's in hot water with his sponsors. In order to help fix his image, his agent is sending in Summer. Summer will act as his babysitter and fix the damage he did. However, they will butt heads and she won't relent. Eventually, that hatred towards each other will turn into more, but that is a boundary they shouldn't cross since his reputation hangs on a thread as it is. 

Sighs. I hate Rhett. He was an ass and I wanted to kick him. Don't get me wrong, I love a good bad boy, but he was a total idiot and jerk. I kept reading because I had hope for him and I adored Summer. On paper, he gets better, but I never ever warmed up to him. He's full of shit and I don't buy it for a min. Summer deserves way better in my humble opinion. 

That being said....I had a hard time with this one. I pushed my way through it because I didn't want to give up. And then he said what he said in the hospital to her and I was so over him. However, I was nearly done with the book and I was curious to see how she would forgive him and how he would make it up to my girl. Yes, I get he said what he said because he wanted to hurt her and push her away. Still. Wtf man. 

Maybe this was a me thing? Soooooooo many people adore this book. Maybe I am a bitter old lady and Rhett didn't do it for me. 

Not sure if I will continue with series unless the next one is a freebie too. 

2 stars from me. 


Tuesday, June 20

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Reading Slumps

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.

6/20/2023: How do you get out of a reading slump?

Reading slumps are a lot of fun. I feel like I hit one or two a year especially when I have busy life stuff going. 

Defeating reading slumps depends on why or how you fell into the slump. But the core way is patience with yourself. You need to be kind and patient with yourself. The slump will pass especially if you love reading like me. 

If you find that you are struggling to shake the reading slump...I do have a couple tips:

- Re-read a beloved book. That sometimes can help rekindle the love. 
- Try a book you normally wouldn't read. This seems odd, but it is something different and will work different parts of your brain. Sometimes a slump might because you have just been reading too much of one thing. Too many HRs can make me feel like I am stuck in repeat. 
- Go for a walk and listen to an audiobook. For some reason this helps me. 
- Take a break. Give yourself a planned vacation and then just dive back in. I feel like reading can be like work and you need days off. 

After typing this up, I decided to look up some other tips. Click here to check out this article I found. 

Monday, June 19

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

By: Nalini Singh

Narrated by: Angela Dawe

Series: Psy-Changeling, Book 12

Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins

Release date: 06-01-17 by Tantor Audio

Paranormal romance / from nexttory

I still have my audiobook streaming? site, oh damn, did I forget to cancel it by the way?! Anyway so I went for Singh. I read them randomly through the years. Then I started the new ones and devoured them. I did realise that I never actually finished the previous ones.

Well this got dark fast. Sahara has been a prisoner for 7 years and tortured. Kaleb was tortured all his life. He has trying to find her for 7 years to save her. Her mind is all messed up.

Damn. Dark. Their previous relationship is balancing on the edge for me. I mean hmmmm.

They are together again. He is darkness but wants her safe. She is falling for me. 

I should have written this at once. It was really good. Had me on the edge. He moves the earth for her, literally.

Angela Dawe is an amazing narrator and I have loved her Psy books so it was fun to try the earlier ones.

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained blood red. A woman whose very existence has been erased. A love story so dark it may shatter the world itself. A deadly price that must be paid. The day of reckoning is here.

Thursday, June 15

Book Review: The World Queen Awakens by Micah Swanson Harris

Author: Micah Swanson Harris
Title: The World Queen Awakens
Series:  #1 Agents of the Rune Stone Ring Trilogy
Genre:  Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, SciFi
Format: Paperback
Pages: 429
Published: December 15, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

An innocent princess possessed! The evil goddess within her is ready to rise and reign in wicked glory as the Last World Queen!
Then Princess Freyja meets Ambrose, the young royal tutor who is as lonely as she is…and who secretly loves her.
Her only if he can activate a ring of secret agents to combat her curse.
But their leader is long dead, leaving the operatives unknown to each other.
How will Ambrose assemble in time a group whose members each believe he or she is an order of one?
Who will stand when...
The World Queen Awakens!

I read the original version back in 2020. The author was kind enough to send me the new and revised edition. I was excited to dive back into this world!!!! 

We follow Princess Freyja. She is possessed by an evil goddess who wants to break free and reign the world. Enter in Ambrose. He is hired to be the tutor of the princess, but he is so much more than that. Not only are they catching feelings, but the evil goddess is threatening to break free to become the World Queen. 

This was exciting to get back into the story. There have been some changes and expansions. I could be wrong because ya'lls know my memory is lacking.... (it has been 3 years) but I feel like some of the character development felt deeper. Which was nice to see. 

I actually didn't feel meh about the princess. I remember, before, wanting to kick her and it took forever for me to care about her. Here...she is still annoying and spoiled and bleh at the beginning BUUUUUUUUT...I feel like I warmed up to her sooner. Maybe it was the knowledge I KNEW she would get better? Who knows but I actually ended up liking her a lot. 

The world-building is top-notch for sure and I enjoyed learning the lore, history, etc behind this world. There are some moments things slow down for us, but it worked. 

In the end, I really enjoyed this...again. Love the world-building and the characters. Such a fun time. I'll give this 4 stars. 

- #19 for Romance Reading Challenge - Teacher/Governess


Audiobook Review: When Harry Met Harry by Sydney Smyth

Sydney Smyth

Narrator: Teddy Hamilton & Malcolm Young
Title: When Harry Met Harry
Genre: Contemporary Romance & LGBT
Published: June 23, 2020
Pages: Audiobook

Beautifully tender and unforgettably funny, prepare to fall in love with this modern-day nod to a classic romantic comedy.

Ever since their chance encounter as seatmates on the plane ride from hell, Harry “Harrison” Fields and Harry “Henry” Lee have had a love-hate relationship. But every time their paths have crossed over the years, they’ve grown to like each other more and more, even developing an unlikely friendship.

Now, Harrison is a fun-loving music teacher who wears his heart on his sleeve, and Henry is a hard-driving business man who’s still striving to get out of his father’s shadow.

As they go through life’s inevitable heartaches and losses, their friendship only deepens. Sure, there’s always been a simmering attraction between them but nothing worth threatening their friendship over...until one of them takes things too far. But when a valuable friendship hangs in the balance, is a chance at romance worth the price?

I knew I had to read this. The title is cute, the cover is cute, the summary is fun, and it is a nice nod to a romantic classic. 

Harry "Harrison" and Harry "Henry" had a chance encounter as seatmates on a plane ride from hell. They couldn't be more different! Some years pass and they meet again! The more and more they see each other the more they like each other and develop an unlikely friendship. As they go through life's heartaches and losses, their friendship deepens but things go haywire when one of them takes things too far and muddy the friendship. Could this be love? 

This was a cute novel. We have enemies who turn to friendship and then finalllyyyyy love. It was a long journey and there were times I was throwing a tantrum because OMG JUST KISS ALREADY! There is obv an attraction, but they have their own things going and they both don't see it right away. 

The ending was worth all the waiting. It was SO good. EEEE. I literally wanted to clap, but I finished the audiobook while I was driving so that is not advisable. But yes, you will cheer when they F.I.N.A.L.L.Y get on the same damn page. 

The narrators were good. I honestly thought they sounded alike so I barely noticed when it would jump to someone else. hahaha. That is probably a me thing. 

But yes, this was a fun and cute story. It does take a long time for them to finally get with each other. The ending was fantastic and totally worth it though. I'll give this 4 stars. 

- #26 for Audiobook challenge

Wednesday, June 14

Movie Review: Random Harvest (1943)

Random Harvest
Length: 2 hr & 6 mins
Released: 1943
Genre:  Drama & Romance
Rating: Not Rated
Where I Got It: Borrowed from my parents

An amnesiac World War I veteran falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-war life.

My parents watched this recently and then they passed it to me to watch too. It sat on my dresser for a few days because I stink at watching movies lately. Finally got myself to watch it. 

The story follows a WWI veteran who had lost his memory during the war. With the war at end, he is able to escape the asylum. He comes across a music hall star. She takes him under her wing to help him. Some time passes and he has come to terms he may never remember who he was. They fall in love, but everything is ruined when he goes to town for an interview. He has an accident and it restores his original memory right before his first accident during the war, but erases those post-war memories. 

This was actually really good. Yes, I had my doubts. Old b&w movies are 50/50 for me so I get nervous watching them. But this was one of the good ones. Very unrealistic and dramatic but enjoyable. 

This was sad....very sad. You can't help but feel bad for Paula. Kuddos for her, but I don't think I could stand it. I won't spoil anything since there is a big twist. Sure it is an old movie and I could spoil stuff, but I shall be good. 

My only issue was the ending. I feel like we could've cut some of the 2nd memory loss scenes a bit. I would've liked to see more time with everyone (not a spoiler) with their HEA. I feel like there will be some BIG convos that need to be have. 

Overall, if you are itching for a b&w I recommend this one. It was dramatic and tragic and romantic. The ending needed more, but I still enjoyed it overall. I'll give this 4 stars. 

Tuesday, June 13

Book Review: Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea

Author: Charlie Donlea
Title: Some Choose Darkness
Series: Rory Moore/Lane Phillips #1
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
Format: ebook
Pages: 307
Published: April 2, 2019
Where I Got It: Borrowed from the library

Forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father’s law office after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case . . .
In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies or clues behind—until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigations appeared to unmask the killer. Then Angela disappeared without a trace. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder. But the cryptic file Rory finds in her father’s law office suggests there is more to the case.
Making one startling discovery after another, Rory becomes helplessly entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell and what happened to her. As she continues to dig, even Rory can’t be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging . . .

This is the next book for my book club. I had enjoyed a previous book by the author so I was pretty excited for this one. 

Here we follow Rory Moore and Angela Mitchell. For Angela's POV it is the year 1979 and there is a serial killer in Chicago, however, the bodies of these missing women cannot be found. Thanks to Angela's unorthodox investigation, she is able to help the police unmask the killer. Still no bodies and she goes missing without a trace. In 2019, Rory Moore is a forensic reconstructionist. She helps shed new light on cold-case murders. When her father unexpectedly passes away, it is up to her to clean out her late father's law office and take care of his clients...she will find herself looking over a decades-old case and representing the serial killer from the 1970s when he goes up for parole. 

Okay. There is a lot going on in this one. Things start happening pretty quickly at the beginning, but there are some slowdowns which was nice. You need some time to learn about Rory in 2019 and Angela in 1979. They are both fumbling with life and what has landed in their laps. 

Omg....poor Rory. Her mom died a couple years ago, now Dad is dead, and then someone else she cares about passes too! Poor thing. She has a cold case she needs to work on and taking up the mantle for her father's clients. She hasn't used her law degree in a while and she is suppose to be in mourning. Lordiieeee. 

Of course, poor Angela too especially when you find out all the truths by the end.

When the big reveal of who the serial killer is I wasn't overly surprised. The person was super sus to me. However........there was something I was surprised by!!!!!! I can't say without spoiling. I still find someone sus of something. IDK, it just bugs me. Can't say. GAH so hard not to just spoil...okay. [SPOILER ALERT] I was totally surprised The Thief's business partner wasn't involved. I was waiting for an accomplice. I mean...he kind of did have a 2nd with his uncle. The uncle let him bury the bodies on his property. WHICH....what did he get out of that??? Sicko. But I truly felt the business partner was going to be a sicko too. [SPOILER ENDED] Okay, I got that off my chest. 

There is another reveal that I didn't see coming at all. Nice twist there. 

At first I was meh about to the two different time periods going on. By the end I grew to like it and understand why it was written the way it was written, but I think I would've liked just Rory's POV and to uncover stuff with her. Like I said...I did end up getting used to it and I did up liking Angela's side of the story.

In the end, this was pretty dang good. I would love to see this be a movie or show. Rory is a fascinating main character. And the twists and turns were good. I'll give this 4 stars. 

Monday, June 12

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Shadow Wizard by Jeffe Kennedy

By: Jeffe Kennedy

Narrated by: Deborah Balm

Series: Renegades of Magic, Book 1

Length: 10 hrs and 1 min

Release date: 10-26-22

Publisher: Brightlynx Publishing

Fantasy romance

Borrow: Nexttory

A new series, but also a direct continuation on the previous series. So def read that one first.

In that one Jedren and Seliah was left behind to protect Gabriel´s and Nic´s escape. But things went south and Jedren needs to save Seliah. Which makes things go south even further. And then they end up in hell, not literally hell, but close enough. At his mother´s house. And that house is Hell.

This world is also hell, if you are a familliar. And in the last series we saw that Seliah had gone mad from not being bonded to a wizard. Jedren is a spy (and everyone knows it), he is also an arrogant asshole, but sometimes something shines through and it shows that he has built up a tough shell.

They have an adventure together, they go through fire together, and they totally get the hots for each other.

Great narration. This is my second audio by this narrator and it works really well. I wish I had done all the books by her

Spy, manipulator, traitor… He might be her only salvation.

Lady Seliah Phel can’t escape feeling like she’s one of those fairytale princesses awakened from a long slumber—except that her life is no romantic story and there’s no happy ending in sight. Though she has her magic and she’s been rescued from the depths of madness that consumed her since adolescence, Selly finds that the years she lost aren’t so easily recovered. Everyone treats her like the child they remember. To prove something—perhaps only to herself—she’s recklessly volunteered to stave off a host of monsters with only the enigmatically alluring, cuttingly sarcastic, and probably deceitful wizard Jadren El-Adrel for company.

Jadren isn’t the heroic type. In fact, he’s not much of anything. Relentlessly groomed into a shadow of a man by his sadistic mother, he’s the perfect spy and tool, with no real will of his own. When he’s stranded in the wilderness with Seliah Phel, he figures the outcome is immaterial. Live or die, it’s all the same to him. But Seliah is a different story and she isn’t like anyone else. Though he reminds himself she’s basically a child in a woman’s body, he finds it increasingly difficult to resist her artless charms and relentless curiosity.

As their predicament goes from dire to disastrous, Jadren realizes his many failures have jeopardized Selly’s future, perhaps her very life. Far from home and trapped without resources, Selly has only Jadren to rely upon—the one person she can’t possibly trust. There seems no possibility of rescue from their friends and family back home at House Phel, so Jadren and Selly must work together to survive… if they can.

Wednesday, June 7

Audiobook Review: Forever and a Duke by Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes

Narrator: James Langton
Title: Forever and a Duke
Series: Rogues to Riches #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: November 26, 2019
Pages: Audiobook

Wrexham, Duke of Elsmore, is overrun by family obligations. With three sisters to escort about Town, a legion of cousins to look after, and aunties who insist he dance with every eligible young woman, he barely has time to manage his dukedom. When he finally carves out a moment to evaluate his family's finances, he learns that he―and his sisters―are on the verge of social catastrophe.

Eleanora Hatfield has an uncanny knack for numbers, but she knows from experience that dealing with the peerage can only lead to problems. Though she wants nothing to do with any titled gentleman, she reluctantly agrees to help when Rex seeks aid from her employer. What starts out as an unwanted assignment soon leads to forbidden kisses and impossible longings. But with scandal haunting Ellie's past and looming in Rex's future, how can true love lead to anything but heartbreak?

Finally decided to continue on reading this branch of the series. Too many book, so little time in life!

This follows our Duke Wrexham and Eleanora who is an auditor at a bank. Rex is overrun by family obligations....3 sisters, a legion of cousins, and his own dukedom. Some things have fallen to the wayside. When he finally carves out some time to evaluate his family's finances, he learns that his dukedom is on the verge of a social catastrophe. Enters Eleanora. She has an uncanny knack for numbers. When Rex comes knocking on the door of her employer, she decides that she can help...reluctantly at first. What starts out as an unwanted assignment soon leads to forbidden kisses and impossible longings. However, Eleanora has a past and family that makes it impossible for her to love the duke and be his duchess. 

I like Rex and I like Eleanora. They are both very sweet, kind, and smart. They both deserve all the happiness in the world. However, I didn't buy their love at first. It took a long time to see them as compatible. Sure lust can work for anyone, but the love? That took a while for them and for me honestly. 

I did enjoy them becoming friends and seeing him be fascinated by Ellie and her smart brain. She is whip smart. Both from just being good at numbers and from experience. She isn't a great beauty and I'm happy for it. She is average and nerdy and I loved it. It gets so exhausting seeing the gorgeous star always bag the duke. It's nice seeing someone like me get the man. 

But yes, there are some baddies afoot. And the reveal at the end will make you mad. That person deserves more than what they got. 

The ending needed more. I would've liked to see them on their wedding day maybe or something. Maybe we'll see them in the next. I want to see Ellie outsmart the stupid ones in the ton. 

The narrator is always fantastic. Literally a king of this genre. 

What more to say? This was very sweet. Lots of talking, some math, and a friendship and lust that turns to love. I'll give this 4 stars. 

- #25 for Audiobook challenge