Sunday, 25 January 2015

Showcase Sunday #65



Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. The aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.  



Hi all, it's been a while since we shared a book haul post with you, but seriously in that time we received some gems that make me want to throw away my schedule right away and get stuck in with them. 



 (Click on titles for Goodreads link)

    

  
  


Thank you to Simon Pulse, Poppy, St. Martin's Griffin and Random House

See what I mean? Where do I even get started? I was planning on reading Please Remain Calm on release day, but as usual life got in the way, but I'm hoping to finally get some time with it this weekend. And the rest of the books have been super high on my wish list, I've loved Echols Superlatives series, so I'm looking forward to Most Likely to Succeed. I'm super excited about going into Seraphina's world once more in Shadow Scale, I remember Seraphina was one of the first books I actually got when I first started blogging! Summers and Ockler have quickly become some of my favourite authors, so I know I will be devouring The Summer of Chasing Mermaids and All the Rage soon. And Spalding has really surprised me with her previous books and this one sounds super cute. Sarah Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses needs no introductions, the early reviews I've read have been pretty amazing, so I know I have an excellent read of me here.


Rachel's Haul:

Hi everyone! I've been a little slow about getting around to everyone because I'm on vacation at the beach:

Me getting a close look at tide pools

A gorgeous sunset!


 I'm having a great time and I finished Burned by Karen Marie Moning last night!! I LOVED it and my review will be coming this week.

(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

Burned (Fever, #7) Once Upon a Rose (La Vie en Roses, #1) And I Love Her (Green Mountain, #4) Crash & Burn (Tessa Leoni, #3)

I bought both the e-Copy and audio version of Burned and I loved going back and forth with both versions. I think I'm going to start the audio version again and listen to it on my commute next week.  As you all know, I'm a huge fan of Laura Florand so I was over the moon to get Once Upon a Rose! I'm told it's more of a cozy and cuddly read with less angst than her prior stories and I can't wait! The Green Mountain series by Marie Force is one of my favorite small town romance series so I'm looking forward to the latest installment. Megan has been kind of a witch in the last books, so it will be interesting to see if I like her in And I Love Her. Lisa Gardner's mysteries are light on romance, and don't always end happily in that department, but they're well-plotted and always keep me guessing!


Which books did you receive and are most excited about? Leave us a link in the comments below.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Review & Giveaway: Silver Thaw by Catherine Anderson

Silver Thaw by Catherine Anderson
Publisher: Signet
Publication date: January 6th 2015
My rating:  3.5 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18755773-better-homes-and-hauntings

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Coulter and Harrigan Family novels comes a brand-new contemporary romance series about first love, second chances, and hope reborn…

After years of living in fear of her husband, Amanda Banning has left him and moved to Mystic Creek, Oregon, for a fresh start. But she’s having a tough time providing for herself and her six-year-old daughter. Writing her secret yearnings on slips of paper and sending them into the wind helps her cling to the hope that things will get better…and that she can find happiness again.

Jeb Sterling has no idea that the handwritten messages he finds scattered across his land are the first hints that his life is about to change. Nor does he understand why he feels so compelled to help Amanda Banning and her daughter when a cold snap leaves them temporarily homeless. Maybe he’s inspired by Amanda’s courage or perhaps by her beautiful brown eyes. Either way, the man who once renounced love suddenly finds himself willing to do anything for the pair. Amanda seems to have given up on her dreams, but Jeb refuses to quit until he makes her every wish come true…


My Thoughts:
Silver Thaw was a feel good, sweet romance sure to reaffirm beliefs in a happily-ever-after.  The small town setting of Mystic Creek was a close-knit, loving community that made you feel warmth and a giving human spirit. 

Amanda worked up the courage to leave her abusive husband, Mark, with her seven year-old daughter, Chloe in tow, but a brutal winter storm threatens her already precarious situation.  Amanda barely scrapes by financially, living in a rickety rental house with no car, and very little winter clothes.  She’s trying to keep her spirits up but her life just seems like one blow after another.  As an exercise in therapy, Amanda writes notes on little pieces of pink paper and sends them off into the wind.  These contain messages like:

I wish I could meet a man as kind and wonderful as the heroes in one of the romances I love to read, someone who’d be a fabulous father to my little girl and make both of us feel safe.

I wish I could find secondhand winter boots for my little girl. I can’t afford new ones, and my boss says we’ll soon have deep snow.

Amanda doesn’t realize that her messages are being captured and read by Jeb Sterling, her hunky neighbor.  Jeb wonders at the author of these little pink papers, worries about someone who couldn’t afford a little girl’s winter boots especially with a storm coming.  His protective instincts come roaring to life and Jeb resolves to find out who this woman is.  When a storm comes and knocks out power to most of Mystic Creek, Jeb and others form parties to go out and assist any who are in need of help. When he stumbles upon Amanda and Chloe and sees exactly how dire their situation is, Jeb insists they come to his house for shelter.

Jeb was an answer to Amanda’s first note, a sincere and kind hearted man.  She had major trust issues, which were understandable considering the horrors Mark had put Amanda and her daughter through! I shudder just thinking about it! She‘s scared to fall for another man and possible trap, but Jeb slowly chips away at those feelings by treating Amanda and Chloe with love and tenderness they desperately needed. He’s powerfully attracted to Amanda and senses she’s attracted to him, too, but wisely takes things slow and doesn’t push her. 

Grabbing her tightly, Jeb cherished the brief moment of holding her. Oh, man, I’ve got it bad. If she can never love me back, I’ll have to accept it. But letting her go will half kill me.

Aww…Jeb!

As all the details come out about Amanda’s husband, Jeb realizes the danger they’re all in, because it’s obvious that Mark wouldn’t just allow her to leave and disappear without trying to find them.  It was a tricky situation because Mark cleverly tried to use the laws to gain an advantage.  I read some of this story with a feeling of dread over how this would play out and worried what Mark would try to get his way.  Men like that don’t usually take rejection well.  Thankfully, Amanda and Chloe had Jeb, and his family all pull together to help.  Just being around Jeb and his family strengthened Amanda enough that she regained some of her confidence and was able to stand up for herself, too.

Catherine Anderson wrote a sweet, heartwarming romance filled with loving family and friends, sure to give you the warm and fuzzies by the end.





Connect with Catherine Anderson:





Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Blog Tour: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Hi all today as part of The Mime Order blog tour by Samantha Shannon, I get to share some brilliant things with you. The Mime Order was a book high on my wish list and let me just say it didn't disappoint. Here's a bit about the book.


Publisher: Bloomsbury UK
Publication Date: January 27th 2015
My rating: 4 stars 
Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London. As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.

I’d thought that after being thrown into the world of The Bone Season I knew and would be prepared for what Shannon was going to throw our way in The mime Order, but boy was I wrong this complex world full with characters of subterfuge and many intricate layers blew me away. 

It was sort of strange being back in London with no rephaim around, I had become so associated to having their presence there all the time in The Bone Season, especially one in particular, you could sort of say I found myself sort of down coming back to London without them. But it was great being back with the Seven Seals once more and getting to know these characters once again. Despite Paige escaping Nashira, it felt like a rough bump being back home, could she even call it that? What could she do now that she was back? It didn’t feel right going back immediately to the Seven Seals, yes she had friends there, but Paige knew what she had to do, even if no one believed her. 

Paige was really stuck in a rut when she returned, she didn’t really want to go back to being Jaxon Hall’s mollisher, but with so many people after her, she would need the protection of his safety in order to achieve what she wanted to do. I was sort of torn with how I felt with the entire Jaxon situation, I know what Paige felt deep down she knew was the right thing to do, but Jaxon had been there for her when she had no one, he took care of her. Okay she had to do things she didn’t like but at least she was safe. My feelings towards Jaxon were really mixed throughout The Mime Order, he made me mad on occasions, but I couldn’t full on despise him yet. I was grateful that despite feeling all alone, Paige had great friends to turn to in Nick and Eliza, Nick was once again the rock that Paige needed when she needed cover to run her own errands and who no matter what would always have Paige’s back. Whereas Jaxon was a tricky character to pin down, I knew that my faith in Nick and Eliza would never falter. 

Shannon was able to create a fantastic world in The Mime Order, there were constantly things being thrown into disarray, the mistrust of anyone on the streets, there were so many allies, but who could you really trust? And things being brought up a notch, raising the stakes on Paige’s life. Shannon was smart in always keeping you occupied with thoughts on what could happen next. But all these brilliant build ups and tense scenes couldn’t make me forget my longing for one character in particular he was a formidable force to be reckoned with and one that I had fallen for in a massive way in The Bone Season, so of course I was dying for this person to finally make an appearance! let me just say he wasn’t around as much as I’d hoped for, but this guy sure made up for it in these scenes, of course I was constantly swooning! I need more Warden in the next book!

Shannon once again gave us a wonderful set of characters, some which had me rooting from them from the beginning, and others who left me baffled. The characters hand in hand with the exquisite world building that Shannon gave us really went on to create an impressive read in The Mime Order. Like I said before there was always something going on, always a constant risk each time Paige went out, despite her life being threatened in numerous ways, I admired Paige’s strength in how she constantly battled on. There was several heart in your mouth moments with you not knowing who will come out on top. But the last few chapters were my favourite, there’s this excellent build up to a tense scrimmage and honesty it was beyond spectacular reading it unfold. The Mime Order was a brilliant read littered with rich descriptions, heart stopping moments and characters who I’ve really become to love, If you haven’t already picked up this series yet, seriously what are you waiting for?




And now for the super special part I have a Scion Guide to share with you of Grub Street. 




This fantastic tour of The Mime Order has been running since the 15th of January, make sure you stop by the other wonderful blogs to check out their great posts too. 


 




Friday, 16 January 2015

Blog Tour: The Body Electric by Beth Revis



Hi all today as part of The Body Electric blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours, I get to share my review of this fascinating book, before that here's what the book is about.



Publisher: Scripturient Books 
Publication date: October 6th 2014
My rating: 3 stars
The future world is at peace. Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories. But not all is at it seems. Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing… Someone’s altered her memory. Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

The Body Electric was a really different read to what I was expecting it to be, it actually made me want to stop and think that all this could actually happen in real life. It was at times quite scary thinking about. Imagine being able to relive one of your favourite memories. It would be brilliant to be taken to this special memory you’ve had especially when you’ve had a crap day, but imagine being able to do this with a person that was special to you, but no longer around anymore. This is what Ella’s mum offers at her Reverie Mental Spa, not only is this a great way of connecting with loved ones, but Ella’s mum hasn’t got long to live herself, she’s suffering from Hebb’s disease and so being able to relive those memories that she shared with her husband is important to her. However not everyone see’s the Reverie Mental Spa this way, there’s a lot of people out there who want to use this to their own advantage, and use it to control other people.

This whole idea of entering in other people’s dreams reminded me a lot of the film Inception, a film which I’ve seen countless times and totally love. Because reliving memories is one thing, but being able to enter someone else’s dreamscape and experiencing it too is scary, especially when you’re able to gleam information from it for your own advantage, or even influence what happens in that dream. Ella soon discovers this is something she is able to do, so she doesn’t want to share this with everyone, she knows what they will do with that information, but she discovers it’s a way she can help her mum when she’s too weak to relive her memories. But soon enough other people discover what can be done and approach Ella to do the same, they say it’s for the greater good, but when Ella finds herself in too deep is there anyone Ella can really trust? 

I enjoyed this concept that Revis presented us with in The Body Electric, delving into people’s memories wasn’t as clear cut as everyone assumed it would be, being in some one’s mind and trying to make sense of everything whilst at the same time trying to remember that this wasn’t real life could be a real struggle. But I really liked Ella as a character, so if I was in her shoes I would probably do the same thing, especially if you’re told that you’ll be helping a lot of people out by doing it. I wish though that Ella thought things through before accepting, I know Ella had people who she couldn’t trust guiding her, and so it would seem like what she was doing was the right thing, but I’d wished she’d listened to somebody else more and earlier on. I really liked Jack, I understood that what he was saying was a lot of take in, but when you’ve actually stepped into his memories and realised he’s actually telling you the truth, don’t you think that you should try and trust him? I may be slightly more based towards Jack because I think he was able to win me over really early. He was a sweet guy, and you could tell that his feelings for Ella were genuine; I just wished that Ella was able to believe this sooner. 

The Body Electric had so many things going on, that it could be a lot to wrap your head around, but I enjoyed the fast pace, the rebellious androids thrown in the mix, the thrill of the chase and the constant questioning of who we could really trust going on in the story. Also throw in a swoony character who had me firmly in his corner, I really ended up enjoying The Body Electric. Revis has created an exceptional story in The Body Electric that I look forward to binge reading more of her work soon.




AUTHOR BIO: Beth Revis is the NY Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe series. The complete trilogy is now available in more than 20 languages. A native of North Carolina, Beth’s most recent book is The Body Electric, which tells the story of what was happening on Earth while the characters of Across the Universe were in space.




Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Mini Review: One Mad Night by Julia London

One Mad Night a Novella by Julia London
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: January 6th 2015
My rating:  3 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble 


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18755773-better-homes-and-hauntings

A delightful new contemporary romance novella from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London.
One winter's night a blizzard sweeps across the country, demonstrating that fate can change the course of lives in an instant...and fate has got a sense of humor.
Chelsea Crawford and Ian Rafferty are high profile ad execs in cutthroat competition for a client. When a major winter storm puts New York City on lockdown, the two rivals have to make it through the night together-oh, the many ways in which opposites attract...



My Thoughts:
One Mad Night was a short romance filled with fun, snarky banter and a satisfying conclusion.

Chelsea and Ian are top ad executives pitted against each other to win a prime account.  The cutthroat nature of advertising makes it so they both are at odds, with the higher ups not necessarily leveling with either of them.  Without the competition inherent with their positions Chelsea and Ian would naturally be attracted, they have combustible chemistry, so when the “snowpocalypse” rains down on New York and they’re inadvertently stranded in the office their attraction ignites and it’s impossible for either one to resist the pull. As they get to know each other, the competition for their major account becomes more secondary to their developing feelings. 

Sometimes I want a short story, something I can read and enjoy without committing to a large page count. It’s tough to pull off a satisfying story in a short amount of pages, but I’ve read novellas that have blown me away.  One Mad Night was cute and started off really strong: funny snarky banter, great sexual chemistry. I really enjoyed the overall story.  It was a quick, fun read, but as with a lot of novellas some of the depth of feeling was a little lacking.  I did absolutely adore the way things ended; it was everything I could’ve wished for Ian and Chelsea!  



 
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