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Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLeanNever Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels, Book 4
Published by Avon on 25 November 2014
Genres: Adult, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Girls & Women, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Social Issues
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

 

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England (1833)

First Line(s): “I love you.” Three strange words that held so much power.

Longtime readers of Sarah MacLean’s books will all remember Lady Georgiana Pearson from her appearance in Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart. She was a young mary sue of a girl who was the sister of a Duke and who was lured into a hayloft and ended up an unwed mother. To avoid an unwanted marriage she ran away and acted as one of the catalysts that led to her brother’s marriage and to Penelope’s ostrication which lead into the first Rules of Scoundrels book, A Rogue by Any Other Name. In Rogue, we meet Chase the elusive and mysterious partner in the Fallen Angel gaming hell and who played in instrumental role in the love stories of the 3 partners and its Chase’s story that has been coveted from the start. There was much speculation on who Chase was and it came as a surprise to many that Chase was Lady Georgiana all grown up. No longer meak but strong and a force to be reckoned with.

I was looking forward to Chase’s story from the start and when it was officially revealed to by Georgiana I was excited because from the moment she was introduced in Eleven Scandals wanted her to find her very own happily ever after. What I was a bit wary on with Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover was the hero of the story, Duncan West. West makes an appearance in the other books and I was never fully drawn to him. Although my thoughts on him may have been different if I’d been able to finish No Good Duke Goes Unpunished but as that one was a DNF I’m not sure what role he played in that story. I will also say that with Never Judge a Lady I struggled to get into the story. The prologue was just so-so and I thought there would have been more to Georgiana’s ruining based on the little snippets that we’d read before.

It wasn’t until around 25% or so that I became fully invested and unable to put the book down. I fell in love with the strong woman that Georgiana had become and I also fell in love with Duncan West. In Eleven Scandals, Georgiana was young and naive but she became this strong sassy woman and she needed someone equally strong to be her match. Anyone weaker than her in mental agility and power she’d walk all over and not be happy. She needed someone to challenge her, to complement her strengths, and to bolster up her weaknessness. Duncan was just as strong and powerful as she was and his backstory is heartbreaking and my heart just went out to this couple as they journeyed to their happily ever after. I found their story to be realistic and engaging and gave me all those heart-achy feels that I love. Their separation (for there is always a separation) broke my heart as I understood where both Georiana and Duncan were coming from, it made sense even as I wanted to shake them and beg them to defy convention and just take the leap.

I read the bulk of Never Judge a Lady in a single sitting and I hated when it ended. I loved the cameo appearance of Freddie Stanhope from The Season and I still really want him to meet his Petunia and get his own story. (I will never stop begging for this Sarah MacLean…so please just make it happen!) I also fell for a new character in this book, Viscount Langley and would love to read his story as told by MacLean. I know that the world of the Scoundrels is done but I do hope that with whatever series MacLean writes next that there will be little cameos and nods from these characters as they are all near and dear to my heart and I will miss them. Never Judge a Lady is a good end to a good series and its one that I think that all fans of MacLean will enjoy.

irishdarkblue

 

Never Judge a Lady Quote

 

 

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Nerds Unite: A Sharing is Caring Giveaway

Posted by Irish in Contest0 Comments

Tis the season…and all that jazz. You know how it goes. The holiday start (earlier and earlier these days) and it is all about giving. Well now it is time for some getting. With the help of 19 other bloggers we bring to you, Book Nerds Unite, a Sharing is Caring giveaway.

contest

It’s pretty easy to enter. Just click on the Rafflecopter link/widget and start following some great bloggers.  For your trouble we are offering a first place prize of $150.00 Amazon or Barnes and Nobles gift card and a 2nd place prize of $50.00 Amazon or Barnes and Nobles gift card. Really you are the big winner either way as you get to add some fabulous new blogs to your blog feeds. Good luck!

*giveaway is US only. It runs from 11/24/14 to 12/11/14. Winners are selected at random. Please don’t mark a blog as followed if you haven’t in fact followed. All entries will be checked.

**Graphic by Rachel from Hello, Chelly

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina BowenThe Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years, Book 1
Published by Self-Published on 24 March 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Debut Authors, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Hartford, Connecticut // Greenwich, Conneticut // Harkness,Conneticut // Etna, Connecticut // Unnamed, Wisconsin

First Line(s): “This looks promising,” my mother said, eyeing the dormitory’s ivy-covered facade.

I first heard about Sarina Bowen when an author friend recommended a title of hers called The Understatement of the Year which is the third book in Bowen’s Ivy League series. As I’ve mentioned a time or two I like to read a series in order and as this author friend also said the others were worth the read I decided to just go ahead and buy the whole lot and started reading the first book, The YEar We Fell Down. The Year We Fell Down is the story of Corey  Callahan and Adam Hartley (called Hartley by friends throughout that you pretty much forget his real name) and takes place over the course of a year at their school, Harkness University (Read: Yale without being Yale). Corey is a Freshman and is starting off school relearning how to walk after a freak Hockey accident several months prior. Hartley is also recovery from a hockey injury but his was the result of male stupidity that leaves him with a broken leg. They are neighbors and are instantly attacted to one another but there are several obstacles in their way. Queue up ALL THE CLICHES!

First there is the biggest hurdle, Hartley has a girlfriend. A long time girlfriend who is pretty and rich and is conviantely away for the semester in France. She is also a royal b*@#& and no one likes her, not even Hartley most of the time, so it often baffled me why he was even with the girl since all he did was point out all the things he disliked about her and the things he did like was that she was pretty and had money. (Head desk. Repeat.) Then there was Corey with her typical heroine hangups of how she’s not pretty enough and the added issue of her handicap which she thinks will prevent her from ever finding love. Especially with Hartley as he is just so handsome and amazing and just perfect in every way. (Head desk. Repeat.) But where Corey bugged me the most was her use of the phrase, hope fairies. It was childish and overdone and I swear my eye started to twitch be the end every time her internal monolgue went there.

For me, The Year We Fell Down, wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t super great either. There were typos and continutiy errors and random name changes throughout the book. There were some unbelievable bits and the fact that it really just barely didn’t cross the cheating line. Any regular reader knows that cheating is a big bookish turn off with me and has killed a book or two for me. There are books where there is mutal attraction but the one who is taken doesn’t actually cross the line but its a very fine line and there have to be other elements in the story that wow me enough to pull my brain away from fixating that character x is not single. The Year We Fell Down didn’t have enough of those elements and so every time Hartley was focusing thoughts on Corey in a romantic way (and vise versa) I kept yelling at the book “He has a girlfriend!!” It was a frustration and totally took away a star from my rating.

The Year We Fell Down wasn’t a train wreck though and I did really enjoy the secondary characters in the novel and I did like the school setting where it took place. While I think that Bowen’s writing needs a little polish and that this story could use another round of editing or two to clean up some things there is enough promise to it all to keep me reading the next books in the series. Plus, I did already buy them all so there is that as well.

 

irishdarkblue

Year We Fell Down Quote
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I Can’t Wait To Read

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday8 Comments

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this weeks topic is the sequels that we are pining for. Now I have sequels of books that I want to get to sitting on my shelf but I thought for this weeks topic I’d go with the sequels to books not yet out. These are the ones that I want on my shelf like now….some to read and some to just stare at because they are the last in a series and while I want to read them I don’t want the series to end…so they sit in limbo until I get up the nerver to finish them. For some this happens sooner rather than later. What are some of the sequels that you are looking forward to? Leave me a comment with your thoughts or a link to you top ten tuesday post!

 

unknown cover

 

1. Burning Sky Book 3 by Sherry Thomas (September 2015) – After how the second book ended I need to know how it all ends!

 

 

2. Half Wild by Sally Green (March 2015) – So curious to see where this one goes. I wasn’t expecting much from the first one and I devoured it. Now I want more.

 

 

3. Twist by Karen Akins (March 2015) – Need. More. Bree & Finn.

 

 

4. Deep by Kylie Scott (March 2015) – Jimmy’s story was an unexpected gem and this one involves Ben, a forbidden love and a baby….can you feel the drama?

 

 

5. Sweet & Wild by Viv Daniels (2014?) – This needs to be published…my heart broke for Hannah in the first book even though she wasn’t always the most likeable. But she was going through a lot and I just want her to find her HEA

 

 

6. A Darker Past by Jus Accardo (November 2014) – Its been awhile since I read the first one but I remember enjoying it and being sad when it was over so happy that a sequel is finally coming out.

 

 

7. Blood Queen by Rhiannon Hart (November 2014) – Rodden. That’s all you need to know about this series and why more is needed.

 

 

8. All Played Out by Cora Carmack (May 2015) – I really just want more Silas. But as his story is done then I’ll take stories of his friends.

 

 

9. Asa by Jay Crownover (April 2015) – He’s got one of the most normal names in this series and I believe this is the last book in the series so interested in seeing how it all wraps up.

 

 

10. Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones (May 2015) – This series is starting to get a big dragged out but I will stick with it a little longer.

irishdarkblue

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: Rushing Amy by Julie Brannagh

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Rushing Amy by Julie BrannaghRushing Amy by Julie Brannagh
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)
Series: Love and Football, Book 2
Also in this series: Blitzing Emily
Published by Avon on 11 February 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Edelweiss Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Seattle, Washington // Cannon Beach, Oregon

First Line(s): The wedding was over, and Amy Hamilton stood amongst the wreckage.

Rushing Amy is the follow up to Julie Brannagh’s Blitzing Emily and involves Emily’s younger sister, Amy. Amy runs a flowshop and its through her buisness that Emily meets her one true love Brandon. In Rushing Amy, Emily returns the favor (so to speak) by being the catalyst for Amy to meet her love interest, Matt. Matt is a former teammate and a friend of Brandon’s and he and Amy meet at the wedding of Emily and Brandon. Its a bit of a cliched meeting place but it works for this story. While the overall story of Rushing Amy was a cute, quick read there were things that bothered me with it.

My biggest issue was with how everyone seemed so overly concerened with Amy’s ovaries. A conversation about how old she was getting and how she needed to have babies soon or never seemed to pop up in almost every chapter. She would think it and others would comment on it and it just added this weird, creepy vibe to the whole story. One example of this is when Matt’s daughter tells Amy that she can’t break up with her dad because she wants siblings…um…seriously?? Ugh! This is 2014 not 1814 a woman’s main purpose in life and the source of all her happiness isn’t in having babies. I liked how Amy was focused on setting up her business and making it work but that strength of hers, her smarts and business sense was always overshadowed with talk of her baby making capabilites.

Matt also annoyed me a bit in how he wanted to take care of Amy buy tossing money at her and all of her problems. I get that he wanted to help but he never listened to what she wanted he just bulldozed in with what he wanted and her feelings be damned. Most of the time he was sweet and I liked that he was such a giving soul but listening is such an attactive skill and so few people seem to possess it. Amy and Matt could have avoided the whole pointless breakup if Matt just listened to her issues, provided advice when asked and then let her handle things how she wanted to handle them.

I enjoyed Rushing Amy but I didn’t think that it was as cute as Blitzing Emily. The issues mentioned above just took me out of the story and made me want to shake all the characters involved. I wanted them to find their HEA but at the same time they annoyed me enough that there were times when I didn’t care if they reached that point or not. There also wasn’t enough Brandon and Emily in this story and when they were there they didn’t seem like the same characters from the first book. I will continue to read this series but as of this posting I don’t think that Rushing Amy will be a book that I ever re-read.

irishdarkblue

Rushing Amy Quote

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Wish Would Get Their OWN Book

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday10 Comments

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this weeks topic is about the characters I wish would get their own book. These are all secondary characters in books that I loved (or most of them I loved) and who I would love to see have their own stories told. What characters would you like to see get their own books? Let me know in the comments below!

 start of me and you

1) Tessa and Ryan from The Start of Me & You by Emery Lord

The Season
2) Freddie from The Season by Sarah MacLean…he needs to meet his Petunia!! (I’d also like to see Viv and Ella get their stories told as well)

Demon King

3) Hayden Fire Dancer from the Seven Realms Series by Cinda William Chima. A prequel story starring the Demon King himself would also be something that I’d love to read about. We get glimpses of his story throughout the Seven Realms series but its just not enough!!

Assassin's Blade
4) Sam from The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Burning Sky
5) Kashkari from Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas

Something Real
6) Bennie(TM) from Something Real by Heather Demetrios

Since You've Been Gone
7) Collins from Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

open road summer
8) Dee from Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

fangirl

9) Wren and Regan from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Smart Girls
10) Bea and Neerja from Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

 

irishdarkblue

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: Promise Me This by Christina Lee

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Promise Me This by Christina LeePromise Me This by Christina Lee
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)
Series: Between Breaths, Book 4
Also in this series: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me
Published by Intermix on 07 October 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Erotica, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Netgalley Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 246
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-stars

First Line(s): I backed the brunette against the wall, my lips at her neck.

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Tennessee // Bridgeway, Tennessee

Promise Me This is the latest installment in Christina Lee’s Between Breaths seies and involves Nate and Jessie two characters that we’ve seen in previous books. Nate is a bit of a playboy and Jessie is a girl who acts tougher than she is. Nate is also playing a role as he is afraid of letting people get too close. He’s afraid of following his desires and ending up a man like his father. But as you read the book you see that Nate is just a big old mashmellow with daddy issues. For, his dad is physically abusive to his mom and when he was younger to him and his brother. Nate thinks he might turn out like him as he likes things a bit rougher in the bedroom and he’s afraid of going too far. Luckily for him he meets Jessie and she helps him work through his issues just as he helps her deal with hers.

Nate and Jessie are a good match for each and throughout Promise Me This I was cheering for them to get together. Although I did roll my eyes a bit at the BDSM aspects of the story as it was very light and just seemed to be tossed in as an after thought. Its a trend that I’ve been seeing crop in series these days where at least one book involves characters who engage in the life style, which is fine, but it doesn’t always fit with the story or the characters. These BDSM books are what I call BDSM light as they are shadows in comparison to other BDSM books I’ve read and just seem to be in the story because its part of a trend. This of course is just my opinion and could be a good intro for those who want to read more erotica but aren’t ready for Tiffany Reiz, Sylvia Day or similar authors.

Promise Me This was a quick read and once I settled down into it I read it in just a few hours. Its filled with all the usual cliches but it wasn’t a bad story just a tad bit unoriginal. I enjoyed Nate and Jessie’s romantic journey and there were parts of the story I could have done without but I enjoyed seeing characters from the previous books and I do look forward to any other books in this series that Christina Lee might write. Its not a heart achy book but Promise Me This is a great in between type read for when you are transitioning between genres or coming off a really good read.

 

irishdarkblue

 

Promise-Me-This Quote
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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Top 12 List: October 2014 / Month in Review

Posted by Irish in Contest, Month in Review, Top 12 List2 Comments

TopTwelve

Hello Internet!

By now you know the drill with this post. I list out the top books that I read and loved this past month and from them I choose the best of the best. This book then gets listed in my Top 12 List (check out my sidebar) and at the end of the year those 12 books are pitted against each other and my top book for the year is chosen.

 

The Contenders – 5 Star Reads

NA

 

I had no 5 stars reads in October but I did read a lot of good books the top two of which were All Broke Down by Cora Carmack and The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas. Both books I wasn’t sure when I started them if I would like them and then I ended up really enjoying them. This makes it hard for me to choose between them but choose I must. So for my favorite book in October 2014 I choose…..

Burning Sky

The Burning Sky is filled with some rich imagery and a well plotted fantasy novel that takes place in a fictional world and in 1883 England. This is a book that I immediately had to jump into the sequel, The Perilous Sea, the moment I finished it and I am now dying to get my hands on the third book. If you like a good fantasy then you need to give this one a shot.

What about you? What was your favorite book read this month? Let me know in the comments below. =)

 

Month in review – Here’s the other books I read this month:

(most books read during this month will be reviewed next month)

 

4 Star Reads

All Broke Down (Rusk University, Book 2) by Cora Carmack
Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
The Burning Sky (Elemental Trilogy, Book 1) by Sherry Thomas
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
The Perilous Sea (ELemental Trilogy, Book 2) by Sherry Thomas


3 Star Reads

Rowdy (Marked Men, Book 5) by Jay Crownover (3.5 Stars)
The 9 Lives of Alexander Baddingfield by John Bemelmans Marciano
Just One Night (Sex, Love & Stiletto, Book 3) by Laruen Layne
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre
Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt
Unstrung (Unwind, Book 1.5) by Neal Shusterman
The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years, Book 1) by Sarina Bowen
The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years, Book 2) by Sarina Bowen

 

2 Star Reads

NA


1 Star Reads

NA


DNF Reads – maybe I’ll try these again at some point, but for now they don’t resonate with me

The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen

 

Book reviews:

Miscellaneous Posts:

 

Places “Traveled” to this month:

See my “travel” index for a complete list of all the places I’ve been through books. (This is list currently out of date, my apologies for that! So check out my Month in Review posts in the interim)

Domain: Little Grind-on-woe via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
Domain: Delamer via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea
England: London via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
England: Kent via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
England: Slough via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
England: Windsor via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
United States: Colorado: Denver via Rowdy
United States: Connecticut: Etna via Blonde Date, The Year We Fell Down and The Understatement of the Year
United States: Illinois: Farmburg via The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
United States: Massachusetts: Boston via Through to You
United States: Massachusetts: Southboro via Through to You
United States: New Hampshire: Sterling via The Year We Fell Down
United States: New York: Brooklyn via Just One Night and Love the One You’re With
United States: New York: New York via The 9 Lives of Alexander Baddenfield
United States: New York: New York via Just One Night and Love the One You’re With
United States: Ohio: Cleveland via Horrorstor
United States: Texas: Unnamed via All Broke Down
United States: Unnamed via Bruiser
United States: Unnamed via Unstrung

 

Personal Highlights of October 2014:

Going to see Bastille in concert…such a fun show

Grizfolk #boston #concert #music

Participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon…looking forward to April’s event

I am forever and always #tramtrollope. Tea is grand and all but coffee is my dearest love. #readathon #challenge #coffee #mydunks #horrorstor #gradyhendrix #quirkbooks #amreading #amdrinking

Bringing back lunch time movies at work…we started with The Princess Bride and plan on watching something new every Tuesday/Wednesday until it warms up and we can eat outside again.

Today at lunch...this happened #movie #princessbride #lunch

But by far…the best part of my October was going to Paris! You can see all of my pictures by checking out my Instagram and looking up the hashtag #gailandthefrench trip and below find a picture  (or two) from each day of my trip.

Day 1 – Sacre Cour  and Le Père Lachaise. Cemetary – Sacre Cour is this beautiful cathedral and the views of Paris are amazing. Pere Lachaise is a place that you can easily get lost in. The graves are just so close together and so different from one another that there is this elegant beauty in this place filled with death. European cemeteries make the ones in the US look so sterile in comparison.

Sacre Cour #gailandthefrenchtrip #sacrecour #paris #france AnnaARC visits Victor Noir @naturallysteph #annaandthefrenchtrip #paris #lepèrelachaise #cemetery #france #iseedeadpeople #gailandthefrenchtrip

I brought my ARC of Anna and the French Kiss with me and we did a tour of the places mentioned in the book…and some places that weren’t specifically mentioned but that Anna probably would have gone to during her year in Paris. AnnaARC’s adventures have the instagram hashtag of #Annaandthefrenchtrip. This is AnnaARC with the Victor Noir grave at Le Père Lachaise cemetery.

Day 2 – The Louvre and Musee d’Orsay

Kings and Queens once walked these grounds #gailandthefrenchtrip #paris #france #stairs #louvre

A non-traditional shot of the Louvre…this former palace is so big and filled with so much amazing art. Its impossible to see everything and so we just looked at the highlight reel and spent a lot of time in the Egyptian wing.

David! Look at the clock!! #gailandthefrenchtrip #paris #france #museeorsay

The sculptures at the Musee d’Orsay are stunning and I just loved the use of space in this former train station. Not to mention these clocks!

Day 3

Intermission waiting area #gailandthefrenchtrip #paris #france #operahouse #phantomoftheopera

Palais Garnier – The Paris Opera house….words can’t describe the opulence of this building. We had a wonderful tour guide and I just loved wandering around this building.

Light fixtures and stained glass...two other loves of mine #gailandthefrenchtrip #paris #france #notredamn

Notre Dame is just as pretty inside as you would imagine…and no picture can do those stained glass windows justice!

Found Point Zero!! Just walked by it several times & around building first #headdesk #paris #france #gailandthefrenchtrip

Point Zero Paris! I love finding markers like this whenever I travel. This one was a pain to find even if it was right out in the open. We walked all around Notre Dame before circling back to the front and then wandering around until we just stumbled on it. You’d think there would have been more markers…or perhaps we were just over tired…but all that matters is that we did find it and we made a wish.

Le Tour Eiffel all lit up #eiffeltower #gailandthefrenchtrip

The Eiffel Tower at night….this is so much larger than I ever imagined it to be and is a marvel to behold.

Day 3

Arc de Triomphe #gailandthefrenchtrip #arcdetriomphe

The Arc de Triumph – and just a mere 265 + another 70 sprial stairs to get to the top a tiring journey but one that is worthwhile for the views. Just wish the day had been a little clearer.

Tour Eiffel from the Arc de Triomphe #gailandthefrenchtrip #eiffeltower #arcdetriomphe

In France…I also found my name (or at least a version of it) on a coke bottle!

As close as I'm prob gonna see of my name on a coke bottle #gailandthefrenchtrip

Day 4

Hall of Mirrors - this was a little underwhelming #versailles #gailandthefrenchtrip

The first part of the day was spent at Versailles….the above photo is in the Hall of Mirrors. I liked Versailles but Hampton Court in England still holds the number one slot in my heart for favorite palaces. Though Versailles beats all of the palaces I’ve seen with the sheer size of its gardens. Would have loved to been able to fully explore them but it was a little chilly and my feet would have hated me if I’d tried.

Fountain zoomed in #versailles #gailandthefrenchtrip

A fountain at Versailles

Day 5

Glad to know I'm really here...because I wasn't sure #gailandthefrenchtrip #locks #locksoflove

While walking along the Pont Neuf Bridge I found a lock with my name on it.

This clock so pretty & gorgeous on the street - near the Conciergerie @tapestry100 #gailandthefrenchtrip #clock #Conciergerie

This beautiful clock was on the outside of the Conciergerie – built in the 1200s by Saint Louis and where Marie Antoinette spent some time before her beheading.

Words can't describe how amazing the upper level of Sainte-Chapelle is. It's a totally blurt "wow" out loud as you come up steps and see it #gailandthefrenchtrip #saintechapelle #lookingup #nofilter

If you are ever in Paris, make time to go see Sainte Chapelle. There are no words to describe just out amazing the stained glass windows are. I believe I gasped “wow” aloud when we walked up the stairs to the upper chapel and then we just stared in awe at all the brightly lit stained glass windows. Saint Louis new how to make beautiful buildings that lasted for centuries.

Tour Eiffel at night - love the sky in this one #nofilter #gailandthefrenchtrip #eiffeltower

I took many photos of the Eiffel Tower but this is one of my favorites.

Day 6

Main Street #gailandthefrenchtrip #DisneyParis

Our last day was spent at Disneyland Paris – which is similar to Disney here but its in Paris so it makes it better. It was a fun day even if employees at the park lied to me and I couldn’t see the stained glass windows in the Castle.

What were some of your October highlights?

 

2014 Reading Goal Progress
(click the link to see how I’m doing with my challenges)

Monthly Contest

***Be sure to read the terms and conditions before entering. ***

Enter to win a copy of my top pick of the month (or other book if in a series) and a $10 amazon gift card. This contest is open internationally (as long as The Book Depository ships your country) but If you live outside the US and you win then then the GC will be the equivalent to $10 US dollars. The sequel, The Perilous Journey, may be substituted in place of The Burning Sky.

The winner of last months contest is: Vivian

Congratulations, you should expect an email from me shortly if not then please feel free to email me as sometimes my mail acts a wee bit wonky.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Friday, November 7, 2014

Review: Blitzing Emily by Julie Brannagh

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Blitzing Emily by Julie BrannaghBlitzing Emily by Julie Brannagh
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)
Series: Love and Football, Book 1
Also in this series: Rushing Amy
Published by Avon on 07 January 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Sports & Athletics
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 496
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Seattle, Washington // Redmond, Washington // Kirkland, Washington // Leavenworth, Washington

First Line(s): Emily Hamilton planned to kill her sister. She just had to figure out where to hide the body.

Blitizing Emily by Julie Brannagh is the start of an adult contemporary romance series that involve a fictional football team based in Seattle, Washington. The first book centers around Emily, a rising star in the opera word and Brandon who is one of the star players on the Seattle Sharks. Their meet/cute is nothing short of adorable and its quickly followed by a hospital visit and a misunderstanding that leads to the media thinking that they are engaged. As Brandon is trying to change his image from playboy to serious he somehow manages to convince Emily to play along for a month.

What follows is a cute romance that I read in just a few hours enjoying most every minute of the ride. I liked the chemistry between Emily and Brandon and loved how Brannagh wrote their story. Well, other than the pointless breakup and the whole lack of communication that could have settled so many problems. I also got a bit frustrated with Emily’s sister Amy who couldn’t keep a secret if her life depended on it and just some other things that rubbed me the wrong way. There were moments in the story that made me sigh with frustration but then there were also those moments that make my heart ache and just give me all those wonderful happy/sad type feels.

Blitzing Emily isn’t a perfect book and there were some continuity errors and other issues that kept me from totally falling head over heels with it. But overall this was just the right book for me at the time I read it. It hit all those notes that I love in a book even while it contained some things I didn’t like. I liked how Brannagh managed to write a story with a football star and an opera diva, people from such opposite spectrums of fame, and make it work. I adored Brandon’s character and just loved all of his moments with Emily. Blitzing Emily was a fun, fast read and its one that I’d recommend to all who love a cute, sports themed romance and who are in need of a light and fluffy distraction. I enjoyed this one and will be looking out for Brannagh’s other titles too.

irishdarkblue

 

 

 

Blitzing Emily Quote

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Through to You by Lauren BarnholdtThrough to You by Lauren Barnholdt
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)
Published by Simon Pulse on 08 July 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Edelweiss Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Southboro, Massachusetts // Boston, Massachusetts

First Line(s): This is how it ends: with me crying in a bathroom at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, cursing myself for being so stupid.

Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt was a quick, easy, brain candy sort of read. There is nothing deep within its pages and for me, was just a so-so contemporary young adult romance. The story focuses on Harper who is a good girl who passively exists in high school along with one of her few friends, Anna, who was super annoying and a character I did not like. Harper’s love interest is Penn, the very cute bad boy loner who can have any girl in school but for some reason impulsively writes Harper a note telling her he likes her sparkle. I liked the premise of the book and the set up of the meet-cute but what followed was just a hum-drum predictable story where I never really bought this couple as a couple.

Harper and Penn where your typical high school characters although Penn has some serious issues and, in my opinion, needs a whole lot of therapy. He’s the sort of character who blows more cold than hot and would constantly push Harper away. Often being cruel in the process. I honestly don’t know why Harper put up with his bullshit and why she always seemed to accept his non-apologies. I get that Penn was dealing with some serious things and that his home life wasn’t the greatest but his attitude left much to be desired. Harper herself was also pretty passive and accepting and was a bit of a Mary Sue.

Through to You was a quick read and I like how Barnholdt writes but it just seemed a bit too formulaic and there wasn’t enought depth or heart within its pages. I never felt that heat achy feeling when our couple was going through their stuggles as they journeyed to their happily for now. Instead I found myself sighing at all the cliches that were contained withing its pages. For me, Through to You was just an average read but its not a total waste of time. Its a book that would make a good pallet cleanser when you are coming off a book high or something that was super emotional. Its not a book that I would rush out to read and I probably won’t ever re-read it but Lauren Barnholdt will still have shelf space devoted to her on my bookcase.

 

irishdarkblue

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