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Genre: Historical

Friday, July 22, 2016

Review: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia QuinnBecause of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesbys,
Published by Avon on 29 March 2016
Genres: Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Historical, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Social Issues
Pages: 375
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Kent, England // London, England (1779)

First Line(s): It wasn’t that Billie Bridgerton was lacking in common sense.

I’ve always been a fan of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series of books so I was excited to see that she was writing a prequel (of sorts) that goes back in time to visit Billie Bridgerton, who is the infamous Edmund’s quirky older sister. In BECAUSE OF MISS BRIDGERTON, Edmund is just a teenager, away at school but through Billie we see that the quirks of the Bridgerton clan are a long ingrained thing and as a reader I wouldn’t have it any other way. Billie’s hero is her long suffering neighbor, George Rokesby, who is heir to an Earldom and the older brother of Edward and Andrew (AKA Billie’s partners in crime.) BECAUSE OF MISS BRIDGERTON is a total opposites attract story and I loved every single moment of it.

I just loved the banter between not just George and Billie but with all of the characters. It was real and funny and just helped me to whiz through the pages. I loved how Andrew took great delight in baiting George and Billie because he realized (as did most others) just how perfect they’d be for each other long before they came to that conclusion. Andrew is definitely a character that I adored and I can not wait to read his story! The chemistry between George and Billie leaps off the page and I loved watching journey as they got to know each other and fell in love. It wasn’t an easy journey, because Bridgerton stubbornness and the pride of an English lord but for the reader it was a fun one.

Because of Miss Bridgerton Quote

 

I found that I flew through the pages of BECAUSE OF MISS BRIDGERTON and loved all the various layers of the story. There is more to this book than just boy meets girl which just adds to the realism of the story. My one big complaint would probably be that BECAUSE OF MISS BRIDGERTON had to end as I hated to say goodbye to these characters. If you look slow burn stories with fun banter and shenanigans then look no further than this book. This story pretty much has it all and totally made my heart ache!! Oh the feels that it will make you feel!!

I hated to put BECAUSE OF MISS BRIDGERTON down and the moment I finished I was torn between reading it again or in restarting the original Bridgerton series. While I didn’t do either I do still plan to re-read the original Bridgerton books and fall in love with this family anew. BECAUSE OF MISS BRIDGETON is classic Julia Quinn and its sure to delight both new readers and old. I’m eager to see just where Quinn takes these Rokesby brothers next and I hate that I have to wait a whole year for the next book!! At least I’ll have George and Billie and their numerous nieces and nephews to keep me company until then.

irishdarkblue

IR - Because of Miss Bridgerton

 

Add Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas to Goodreads.

Add Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

four-stars
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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Audio Review: The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: The Immortal Heights by Sherry ThomasThe Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas
Narrator: Philip Battley
Series: Elemental Trilogy,
Also in this series: The Burning Sky, The Perilous Sea
Published by Harper Audio on 13 Oct 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Friendship, Historical, Love & Romance, Magic, Romance, Royalty, Survival Stories, Suspense, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Burning Sky, The Perilous Sea

Place(s) Traveled To: The Sahara Desert // Delamer, The Domain // Atlantis

First Line(s): Somewhere in the most immense desert on earth, a thousand miles south of the Mediterranean Sea and just as far west of the Red Sea, rose a line of sheer sandstone cliffs.

THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS is the third (and final) book in Sherry Thomas’s Elemental Trilogy and as such I was terrified to read it. I had an ARC of it long before it was published but I couldn’t bring myself to pick it up because once I turned that last page then it was be over. I would have to leave this world and these characters and while I can always re-read the series its just not as special as that first time. Those moments that make your heart pound because you know that your favorite characters may not live to see the end of the story. But in the end, the lure of Titus and Iolanthe was was strong and my love of the audio version was too strong for me to stay away.

As always, Philip Battley does an amazing job bringing all of these characters to life. You would think that its an odd choice to have a predominately female POV story narrated by a male actor but it really works for this series. Battley becomes all of these characters and I hear his voice in my head when I pick up the print version of these books. Battley’s voice combined with Thomas’s words make for an enthralling story and I always hated when I got to my destination and had to stop listening. This is definitely one of those series where I recommend the audio over the print because the narration is just so good.

Immortal Heights Quote

THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS is not a perfect book there where times I rolled my eyes and wanted to shake some of the characters for the things that they did. They could be annoying and frustrating and I just wanted to wrap them up in a cocoon of protectiveness and prevent them from coming to harm. The ending was also a bit anti-climatic based on all that came before but its also one that worked for the story. I also didn’t hate the epilogue which, as regular readers know, isn’t something that happens often.

I loved this whole series and I am so sad to see it come to an end. The random head jumping and the action of some of the characters could be frustrating at times but I loved them in spite of all their flaws. I loved the prose of this book and how the words just flowed over me. Its an addicting story that made me laugh, made me cringe, and made my heart ache. Its a must read for any fantasy lover and I can’t recommend it enough.

 

irishdarkblue

Irish Recommends - Burning Sky

Add

four-stars
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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

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

Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFeversDark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin, Book 2
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 02 April 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Historical, Historical Romance, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, War & Military, Young Adult
Pages: 385
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift, Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Nantes, Brittany/France // Rennes, France // Morlaix, France //Tonquedec, France (1489)

First Line(s): I did not arrive at the convent of Saint Mortain some green stripling.

When GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers (my review) came out back in 2012 I devoured it. While I was wary at first I totally fell under the spell of these Medieval assassin nuns. I then later received an ARC of DARK TRIUMPH and my first thought was to pick it up immediately and read it but it was far out from publication date and so I put it aside. And there it sat on a shelf until last year when a friend and I made a pact to do a co-read of it. DARK TRIUMPH picks up right around when GRAVE MERCY ends but switches POV from Ismae to Sybella. Sybella was an interesting character in GRAVE MERCY so I was looking forward to her story. However, I didn’t quite fall for DARK TRIUMPH as deeply as I did with GRAVE MERCY and I think that’s due in part to the POV change.

I just didn’t find Sybella to be as likable as Ismae nor was she as nuanced a character. Yes, Sybella was a strong heroine that overcame a pretty shitty upbringing but I just didn’t care about her the same way that I did Ismae. I also really didn’t buy the romance in this story. There was just so little development in that area that I just didn’t feel any chemistry when Sybella and Beast finally declared their love for each other. Though I really did like Beast, he was an bright and entertaining light throughout the story. I liked the camaraderie that he and Sybella shared but there just wasn’t enough of them together for them to form that much needed spark.

Dark Triumph Quote

But what bothered me the most about DARK TRIUMPH was how repetitive it was. I get that some recap is needed to refresh fans from what happened in GRAVE MERCY but Sybella just kept thinking the same thoughts over and over again. So much so that there was very little in the way of plot development in DARK TRIUMPH. This book was all hurry up and wait and there was very little action. It was very much a middle book in a series and was more filler and fluff than anything of substance. As such I found this one really easy to put down and stay down while I was reading.

When I did pick it up I was I found myself in the story but I had to force myself to pick it up each day. And I did that mostly so that I could finish around the same time as my friend. There were times where I was tempted to skip over parts and I feel that if I had done so then I wouldn’t have missed very much at all. Most of the action/plot that happens in DARK TRIUMPH comes at the end. The rest is just waiting around for something to happen. There were just so many missed opportunities in DARK TRIUMPH that just left this one lacking for me. As such, while I do plan to finish the series at some point, I don’t have the burning need to rush out and see how it all ends. What say you readers, does the HIS FAIR ASSASSIN trilogy end with a bang or a fizzle? Leave a comment or catch me on social media and let me know if I should prioritize MORTAL HEART or not.

irishdarkblue

IR - Grave Mercy

Add Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Scarlet by AC Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Finnikin of the Rock to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Monday, December 28, 2015

Review + Excerpt: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Blog Tour, Contest, Excerpt, Review1 Comment

Review + Excerpt: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

Review + Excerpt: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLeanThe Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel,
Also in this series: A Scot in the Dark
Published by Avon on 29 Dec 2015
Genres: Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Historical, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, People & Places, Road Trip, Social Issues
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

Sophie’s Society Splash

When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin. . . it’s filled with it.

Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!

Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.

War? Or More?

He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . .

Also by this author: The Season, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart, Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover, A Scot in the Dark

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England // Cumbria, England // Sprotbrough, England // Mossband, England // (1833)

First Line(s): If only the Countess of Liverpool hadn’t been such an admirer of aquatic creatures, perhaps things would have turned out differently.

Long time readers of my blog will know that I am a big fan of Sarah MacLean’s books. She tends to write strong, fiesty heroines and the rogues who fall for them. This is no different in THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN and fans of MacLean will find a lot to love in Sophie and King. There is so much to like about Sophie that its hard to put it into words and I just love what she brings out in King, who could be sullen fellow if left to his own devices. Sophie adds a little topsy-turvey into his life although this is not something she’d ever admit to as she is the most tame of her family who all thrive off their scandalous behavior in London. There is so much to like in THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN but the parts that I love best is the banter between Sophie and King. They are both quick witted and sharp and just really play well off each other. They truly are a perfect match even if they both refuse to see it much of the time.

Another aspect that I adore in THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN is that it is a road trip book. I love a good road trip story and its not one that you see very often in historicals, for obvious reasons, and I just love MacLean’s take on it. Sophie’s journey isn’t like most journey’s and I just love how she manages to fool those around her. Everyone but King that is. Which just makes you want to shake them a bit because as I reader you can clearly see how right they are for each other even as they are in denial. King sees Sophie for who she is and she does the same with him. This is something that neither has experienced as they are always judged by the stories that are told about them or their family.

Rogue Not Taken Quote

 

There were some things that I didn’t like as much in THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN such as the cryptic references to King’s past. I’m never a fan of cryptic references and I always just want to shake the character doing it to spit it out! King’s history is also nothing unique but it does explain a lot in shaping who he is. I also wasn’t a fan of the little headlines that began each chapter. I found them to be distracting and hard to ignore. I did try to skip them but always seemed to find myself reading them and then wishing I hadn’t. They just didn’t add anything to the story for me. THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN also includes an epilogue, which regular readers will know that I usually do not like, but in this case I found it a cute addition to the story. It was nice to get a glimpse of where Sophie and King ended up after their main story ended and I hope to see cameos of them in the next book, A SCOT IN THE DARK (Goodreads).

Overall though, I really enjoyed THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN and think that it will appeal to new and old fans of Sarah MacLean. Its a quick read filled with an entertaining cast of characters. The secondary characters are all fleshed out and they all add to the story even if they are just being discussed and they don’t appear in a scene. I liked the mentions of MacLean’s other books, however brief, as it just helps to flesh out this world that she has created in her stories. The banter of Sophie and King will make you laugh out loud and there are lots of heart achy moments that will really make you fall in love with these two. Oh, there are times when you want to shake Sophie and King for being stubborn but the best thing about a MacLean romance is that you know that eventually the hero and heroine will find their HEA and it will totally be worth the journey in getting there.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - The Rogue Not Taken

Add A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare to Goodreads. (Click here to see my review.)

Add The Bride by Julie Garwood to Goodreads.

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Excerpt


(Being shot on the Great North Road isn’t exactly a thing people expect to happen, and Lady Sophie Talbot finds herself in the rooms above The Warbling Wren pub, under the welcome care of a rather mad doctor and the watchful eye of the rather infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley. There are worse things, she supposes. Or are there? Not for King.)

“If you want a bath, you’ll have to accept my help,” he said.

She pursed her lips at that, her gaze settling longingly on the steaming bath. “You mustn’t look.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.” It might have been the most obvious lie he’d ever told.

Somehow, she believed it, nodding and throwing back the coverlet to step out of the bed. She came to her feet, the top of her head at his chin, and he resisted the urge to help her across the room. “How do you feel?” he asked, hearing the gravel in his words. He cleared his throat.

“As though I’ve been shot, I’d imagine.”

He raised a brow. “Clever. There’s food when you’ve bathed.” The words summoned a low growl from her, and her hands flew to her stomach. Her cheeks turned red, and he smiled. “I take it you are hungry.”

“It seems so,” she said.

“Food after the bath. And then sleep.”

She met his gaze. “You’re very domineering.”

“It’s a particular talent.”

“What with you being called King.”

“Name is destiny.”

She moved past him to the high copper bathtub. He resumed his place against the wall, arms crossed, watching her carefully as she reached down, her long fingers trailing in the hot water as she sighed her anticipation. The sound was like gunfire in the room—pure, unadulterated pleasure. It was delicious.

King stiffened. He was not interested in the lady’s pleasure.

If only someone would tell his body that.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 Sarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, obsessed with historical romance and bemoaning the fact that she was born far too late for her own season. Her love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees from Smith College and Harvard University before she finally set pen to paper and wrote her first book.

Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, baby daughter, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She loves to hear from readers. Please visit her at www.macleanspace.com
four-stars
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Review: When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa DareWhen a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare
Series: Castles Ever After,
Also in this series: Romancing the Duke, Say Yes to the Marquess
Published by Avon on 25 August 2015
Genres: Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Historical, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: A Week to be Wicked, Romancing the Duke, Say Yes to the Marquess, Lord Dashwood Missed Out

Place(s) Traveled To: Invernesshire, Scotland (1817)

First Line(s): Dear Captain Logan MacKenzie, There is but one consolation in writing this absurd letter. And that is that you, my dear delusion, do not exist to read it.

The fake fiance/boyfriend isn’t a new trope in the romance world but what happens if that fake fiance you created, wrote letters to and then killed off suddenly showed up on your doorstep. This is the dilemma that Madeline Gracechurch faces at the start of Tessa Dare’s newest book WHEN A SCOT TIES THE KNOT. This is the third book in her Castles Ever After series but unlike most romances there is little to no connection between these books so they can be read independently or in any order. Of the books in this series, WHEN A SCOT TIES THE KNOT is my favorite. It was filled with so much humor that I often found myself laughing out loud. I just loved Maddie and her aunt and also her Captain.

In order to read WHEN A SCOT TIES THE KNOT you have to suspend belief just a bit when it comes to Maddie’s letters making it to some someone with the name of her invented fiance and that all the details she’d mention would be real. But once you get over that its so easy to get lost in the story. I adored Logan and loved his interactions with Maddie. I loved that he read her rambling letters and got attached to her before he’d even met her. Granted he did have other reasons for wanting to marry Maddie but once you understand his motivations its hard not to adore him. Plus the chemistry between Logan and Maddie practically sizzles off the page and they quickly became one of my favorite Tessa Dare couples (Minerva and Colin though are still tops.)

 

When a Scot Ties the Knot Quote

WHEN A SCOT TIES THE KNOT is a fast paced, full filled story that I found hard to put down. It had me laughing one moment and then making my heart ache in the next. There were times when Maddie and Logan frustrated me when they refused to communicate but over all I just loved them. Overall, though Maddie and Logan were so good together. I loved the trust that Logan showed in Maddie and the genuine love between them both. Maddie is smart and sassy and Logan appreciates and encourages it even as he gets all wigged out by her interest in the natural world. This just makes him all the more lovable because he is a big tough soldier and yet he’s afraid of bugs. It was entertaining to say the least.

If you enjoy a good historical romance then you really should consider picking up a Tessa Dare. Her books are always a good time and the pages just fly by as you get lost in the story. They are always filled with a little humor and contain smart women. Tessa Dare is one of my go to authors when I need a good pick me up to get lost in for a bit. When you pick up a Tessa Dare book you know you are in for a good time and that is definitely the case with WHEN A SCOT TIES THE KNOT.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - When a Scot Ties the Knot

 

Add One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

four-stars
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Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. SchwabA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Series: A Darker Shade of Magic,
Published by Tor Books on 24 February 2015
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Historical, Mystery & Detective, Parallel World, Politics & Intrigue, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Witches & Wizards
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To:
Red London: Arnes
Grey London // Windsor // Eton: England
White London: Makt

First Line(s): Kell wore a very peculiar coat.

Not long ago my Twitter was all a buzz with VE Schwab’s A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC and even now, months after its release, there is still a lot of chatter about it. Since I love a good fantasy I decided to give this one a shot and was immediately intrigued by the blend of magic and parallel worlds. On its surface, A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, seems like the perfect book for me but I found it incredibly easy to put down and difficult to pick back up again. When I was reading it I was absorbed but it was fleeting and when I had time to think about it something about the story just fell flat for me.

While I get that this world is new(ish) and so there is a lot of set up to be done I found it to be very repetitive with its content. There was no reason for all to be resaid over and over and over it again. It got old and frustrating and I would find myself skipping some paragraphs just to get things moving along in the hopes that new facts would appear. Only not much happened for most of this book. Again I know that there is a lot of set up to be had to set the rules of these worlds that Kell finds himself traveling through but it was slow and boring and suffered from too many POVs. That’s right, there was that dreaded headjumping that I really can’t stand in a book. I don’t mind when perspective shifts in a book but I do take exception when its for a paragraph or two and into random heads on a one off basis just to make it easier to move the story along. This just frustrates me to know end and I know it made me roll my eyes and sigh with every new instance.

Darker Shade of Magic Quote

There was also a mystery element to A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC that I found to be really predictable and while I don’t always dislike a story for its predictableness it does make things more interesting when things aren’t so in your face obvious. Especially when the characters seem to actively turn a blind eye to things that are crystal clear to the reader. The characters themselves were all a bit two-dimenstional. There was noting super special about any of them and I often found myself wondering why I should care about what they were doing or the trouble they were getting themselves in. Not to mention the forced love interest between Kell and Lila and what could be a potential love triangle forming for the next book. #blergh

Despite all of this though I really didn’t dislike A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC but I didn’t love it either. I’m in no rush to see what happens next and am on the fence on if I’ll read that book or not. For me, this story is forgettable and there is nothing that really sets it apart from other stories. Though I do think that with a little fine tuning it could be a story with a most excellent premise. I think that maybe this read was just another instance where I let myself get pulled into the hype and as such had higher expectations for it than I should have. As such, I found A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC to be more of a mediocre read and didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

irishdarkblue

 

 

IR - Darker Shade of Magic

 

Add A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris to Goodreads.

three-stars
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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Audio Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Narrator: Lucy Gaskell, Morven Christie
Series: Code Name Verity,
Published by Bolinda Publishing on 06 June 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Historical, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 10 hours 7 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Free Download
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Ormaie, France // England – Various (mid-1930s – early 1940s)

First Line(s): I am a coward.

When it comes to Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity there is a lot of suspension of disbelief that must occur on the reader end of things. For while its a beautifully written story the series of events that occur in the first half of the book just would never have happened. Not that a young girl wouldn’t have been captured and tortured by the Nazi’s but that her interrogators would have allowed her to weave her story of nonsense for as long as they did when they were trying to obtain valuable information.

There were also a lot of crazy inconsistencies throughout the narrative of Code Name Verity and I know some of it was because Verity was weaving her little deceptions but some of it just did not make sense with the time period or the history of the war. So I found myself sighing a lot. Especially when a slip of a girl, no matter how smart and talented, was able to fool so many soldiers in the German army. I get that Verity was good but again they wouldn’t have allowed her to tell her history and the history of Maddie for as long as she did as there was no value to that story. Yes it was a pretty story but it lacked substance.

Code Name Verity Quote

Despite all my issues with Code Name Verity I did like the beginning of the book. That portion of the story that was told by Verity. I liked the narrator for that section, Lucy Gaskell, and it was her narration that kept me listening even as the story annoyed me. A good narrator can make or break a book and the Gaskell certainly kept me invested. I didn’t like Morven Christie’s narration as much but I think that was do in part that I didn’t really like the POV of that section. For I’ve listened to clips of Christie of on other audios and I like that snippets so I definitely think that it was the text and not the narrator that caused my dislike.

There is a lot of bait and switch in Code Name Verity and even though I guess the bulk of the story early on I didn’t mind as much. What I did mind was how the second half was almost a whole different book with a whole different writing style. And the clever clues that were laid out in the first half were swept aside and the reader was bludgeoned with revelations and told over and over just how smart and clever Verity was. Events just took on that too good to be real aspect and so my interest in the story started to plummet.

Perhaps, Code Name Verity, just had too much hype surrounding it that I set my expectations high. But I don’t see the masterful novel that others who read it before me did. I was frustrated throughtout most of the story and often rolled my eyes at some of the revels. If I had read this in print I probably would have DNF’d after tossing the book across the room a few dozen times. But I liked the narrator so I persevered. I’m not sorry that I read it as Code Name Verity was well written I just wasn’t a total fangirl for the plot.

irishdarkblue IR - Code Name Verity

Add Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add The Wrath and the Dawn  by Renee Ahdieh to Goodreads. (Review coming soon)

three-stars
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Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: Four Nights with the Duke by Eloisa James

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Four Nights with the Duke by Eloisa JamesFour Nights with the Duke by Eloisa James
Series: Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers, Book 2
on 31 March 2015
Genres: Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Historical, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, England (1797 & 1800)

First Line(s): At fifteen, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington already had a pretty good idea of what hell was like.

When I picked up Four Nights with the Duke by Eloisa James I was in need of a happy, feel good, brain candy read to get lost in for a couple of hours. If you’ve ever read Eloisa James then you know that her stories really deliver when you are looking for a distraction from reality. From its opening scene to the very end I was lost in this world and it was perfect for what I was looking for at the time. Four Nights with the Duke sucked me in from the start and I didn’t stop reading until I reached the end a few hours later. While I didn’t always like Vander I did always love his interactions with Emilia’s nephew Charlie. Especially their first meeting. Those scenes totally made the book for me and let me forgive him during those times when he was being an ass.

Because, dear reader, Vander could be a stuck up ass at times. After all who wouldn’t want to stay married to a Duke? But Emilia isn’t your typical heroine. She was pretty self sufficient in a time when the majority of women couldn’t say that. She earned her own income but lacked the power in order to obtain custody of her nephew. I enjoyed Vander and Emilia’s love story and I believed their journey even when there were times when Four Nights with the Duke felt like it was a Gothic novel. This made for a bit  of a cheesy plot at times and if I had read this one at another time that may have annoyed be but I read this at the right time so I was mostly entertained.

Four Nights with the Duke Quote

Vander is a flawed by redeemable character. He makes assumptions at the start and is able to realize the error of his ways. Emilia is a bit prideful at times but I love her strength and sass. They are characters in a book but they feel like they could be real people. Their story is one that you can get lost in and was a delightful way to pass an afternoon. Four Nights with a Duke is a book that I will probably revisit from time to time to check in with these characters and I am curious about the other books in the series.

Four Nights with the Duke is the second in a series, and the eighth in a larger series by Eloisa James none of which I’d read prior to this book. Despite this I didn’t feel at all lost while reading this story and it did make me curious about the book that came before, Three Weeks with Lady X (Goodreads)Three Weeks stars Vanders BFF and his quest for love and I’m curious to see what sort of cameo that Vander might make in that story. Though at the same time it might be odd seeing Vander without Emilia as they have become a solid unit to me. Definitely a book that I would recommend, though its not a book for everyone.

irishdarkblue

IR - Four Nights with the Duke

Add Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Guhrke to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-half-stars
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Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: Lion Heart by AC Gaughen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Review: Lion Heart by AC GaughenLion Heart by AC Gaughen
Series: Scarlet,
Also in this series: Scarlet, Lady Thief
Published by Bloomsbury on 19 May 2015
Genres: Abduction, Adaptation, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Historical, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 348
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Scarlet, Lady Thief

Place(s) Traveled To: England – Bramber Castle, Sussex // London // Silchester // Winchester // Bristol // Bridgewater // Glastonbury // Oxford // Nottingham // Edwinstowe
(around 1192)

First Line(s): There was no light.

After finishing AC Gaughen’s Lady Thief (my review) I was so glad to have an ARC of Lion Heart to dive into as that ending was killer!!  The ending of Lady Thief wasn’t as bad as the ending of The Orphan Queen (my review) but it was not fun and I hated where all of my favorite characters ended up. Things are never good when there are lives in peril after all! So with barely a pause between the two books I grabbed Lion Heart and learned the fate of Scarlet and the gang. While I believe that Lady Thief has the biggest emotional turmoil of the series Lion Heart does not disappoint and in true Gaughen fashion the entire book is a roller coaster ride. My only consolation as I read this book was knowing that it couldn’t end on another cliff hanger as it was the last in a series. So there is an ending but as we’ve learned with Gaughen she isn’t your typical happily ever after sort of writer.

There is drama and tension in spades in this book but there is also a lot of laughter. Oh how I enjoyed all the scenes with Allen a Dale and loved the new character of David. The bromance between these two characters was epic and totally one of my favorite parts in the whole story. Oh, I loved the Scarlet and Rob bits too…because hello Robin Hood!! But there was just something fresh and fun about Allen and David. I also loved who Scarlet let herself be in this book. Of all the characters Scarlet has gone through the most changes both emotionally and physically. She’s proven her strength time and again and yet she’s still constantly being thought as a little bit less because she’s a girl. But Scarlet being Scarlet she always quashes those around her who think that she isn’t just as capable as them by proving just how much better she is. As kick ass heroine’s go, Katniss has nothing on Scarlet.

Lion Heart Quote

 

Then there is the plot. Oh my stars this story will gut you, heal you, and then gut you all over again. Just when you think these characters are safe Gaughen tosses in another obstacle just because. And along the way she always adds in all these little heart achy moments that almost make you forget how she’s shredding your soul a bit. Lion Heart is a book that will make you laugh and cry and really earn your way to an ending that I think will satisfy readers. Life is messy and not everything ends happily and Gaughen does a great job of highlighting all of that over the course of the Scarlet series. I think that fans of the series will like how this book ends and that they’ll also be sad to close that final chapter.

Like all good stories I hated for this one to end. I love this world and these characters and I am going to miss them all something fierce now that Scarlet is over. This will be a series that I revisit when I have the time and I know with each re-read I’ll fall in love with it even more. Gaughen is such a talented writer and I love how she wove together real history into the beloved Robin Hood story. I love how strong and real all of her characters were and I can not wait to see what she comes up with next. This is not a series that you want to miss, though it is probably one you’ll want to have all the books waiting around you before you start reading. Because in case I didn’t mention it the ending of Lady Thief is a killer.

 

 

irishdarkblue

 IR - Lion Heart

Add The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Lady Thief by A.C. GaughenLady Thief by AC Gaughen
Series: Scarlet, Book 2
Also in this series: Scarlet, Lion Heart
Published by Walker on 11 February 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Historical, Historical Romance, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 308
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Scarlet, Lion Heart

Place(s) Traveled To: Edwinstowe, England // Nottingham (roughly 1191)

 

First Line(s): The fire breathed, the dying embers flaring and cooling in a hot pulse.

 

Lady Thief by AC Gaughen is the second book in her Scarlet series which is a retelling of the Robin Hood story where Will Scarlet is not a boy but a kick ass girl. Lady Thief starts out with a bang and its not long before my emotions are turned to a pile of goo. I had tears in my eyes by the time I hit the half way mark and didn’t know what else Gaughen could do to make the ending so horrible. Until I got there and I wanted to toss my book across the room. AC Gaughen is an evil evil author and that ending was so uncalled for!! But damn if Gaughen didn’t deliver a stellar book as she systematically ripped out the heart of this poor reader.

When you hit the end of this book you just sit back and go…wow.

Its a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions and the action is pretty much non-stop once it gets going. And if you thought that Guy of Guisbourne was bad, just wait until you meet Prince John! This book is filled with lots of old friends and includes so new one as well. Stepping into its pages is like stepping into a hug until you are knifed in the heart by all emotions and feels that this book brings. This book made me swoon and it made me cry and it made me shout things like “No! No! No!!” There is tension and intrigue and so much goodness that the pages just fly by.

 

Lady Thief Quote

 

Lady Thief is a book that is far and above its predecessor Scarlet. Everything is just so much more in this story and once I started I found it hard to put down and when I hit that ending I was so glad that I had Lion Heart by my side because my need to know totally surpassed my fear of endings. Seriously, I don’t know what readers have done with themselves as they waited for the third book to come out because as I said on Goodreads when I hit the final page “WTF is up with that ending?!?! Sweet mother but Gaughen is the most evil of authors right now!!!!”

The dialect speak does still get to me a little but it seems like its less in Lady Thief than it was in Scarlet or maybe I’m just more used to it now. Lady Thief is a wonderful little book (even if it hurts your soul a little) and its one that I strongly recommend for all to read. There is something in it for everyone…action, adventure, romance, intrigue, and so much more. If you haven’t checked it out yet then you are seriously missing out. I’m also giving away a copy of Lady Thief (or other book in this series) as part of my January 2015 wrap up post just head over to this post and enter for your chance to win!

 

irishdarkblue

 
IR - Lady Thief

 

Add The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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