Tag: 5 Reviews

Guest Review: Longbourn by Jo Baker

Posted October 10, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review:  Longbourn by Jo BakerReviewer: Tina
Longbourn by Jo Baker
Published by Knopf
Publication Date: October 8th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Pages: 352
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five-stars

Pride and Prejudice was only half the story • 

If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them.

  In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.

Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own.

I have to begin by saying how much I enjoyed Longbourn by Jo Baker. I was immediately swept up in this tale which is basically the story of Pride and Prejudice through the eyes of the below-stairs staff. It is well-researched and beautifully written, and dedicates itself to show the reader the grueling life of the servants in the early 19th century.

Longbourn assumes the reader is already familiar with the works of Jane Austen, so begins immediately with the tale of the servants. Instead of presenting us with the seemingly glamorous lifestyle of the Bennett family, we are instead whisked away below stairs where we find the people who were responsible for all the back-breaking tasks that made that lifestyle possible.

Jo Baker is definitely an amazing story-teller. I was entirely captivated by this book. The author provides vivid details into the lives of the servant staff which made me feel like I was transported back in time and experiencing it all for myself.

You will find yourself becoming attached to the staff and rooting them on, feeling their despair, and wanting the best for them as you follow their struggles and daily hardships. It will make you appreciate all the daily conveniences that we have in our own lives today.

I totally recommend Longbourn to anyone who loves the works of Jane Austen or who, like me, is just fascinated with tales of domestic service in the early 19th century. You will not be disappointed. This one is a classic!!

five-stars


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Guest Review: The Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill

Posted October 6, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Center of Gravity by Laura McNeillReviewer: Tina
Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill

Publication Date: July 14th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Pages: 320
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five-stars

The truth could cost her everything.

Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is wonderful.

Or is it?

When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss.

If only Ava could believe her own excuses.

Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.

Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town, Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game?

Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem.

This review is gonna be really short. The reason? Basically because there is nothing much for me to say except this….”Read this book!”

If you are a fan of Gone Girl like I am, you will definitely LOVE Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill. I stayed up until I read the last page knowing that I had to get up for work in a few hours! And, I think I held my breath through chapter 60 until the end of the book! THIS is the kind of book a reader like me searches for. So read it…today.

 

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Review: Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

Posted June 8, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Heart of Obsidian by Nalini SinghReviewer: Rowena
Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: June 4th 2013
Genres: Romance
Pages: 384
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five-stars

Step into New York Times bestseller Nalini Singh’s explosive and shockingly passionate Psy-Changeling world…

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.

A woman whose very existence has been erased.

A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself. A deadly price that must be paid.

The day of reckoning is here.

From “the alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist) comes the most highly anticipated novel of her career—one that blurs the line between madness and genius, between subjugation and liberation, between the living and the dead.

This review will discuss characters and that might be spoiler-y so read on with caution. 🙂
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I feel like this book has been a long time coming. I didn’t know that I wanted this book until Holly said that it was her favorite in the series. I knew this was Kaleb Krychek’s book and while I was curious about him, I didn’t necessarily like him.

I went to the book signing that Nalini Singh had for this book at Mysterious Galaxies in Redondo Beach (it’s gone now, boo!) and I was sitting at that signing listening to Nalini talk about this series, about this book and I had absolutely no clue who Judd was, what a Changeling or Psy or Ghost was but I sat there and listened because I’m a fan of romance and books.

I could seriously kick myself for waiting so long to read this series. This book was so freaking good. I freaking love Kaleb. I loved his book. I loved his heroine. I loved just everything.

Kaleb is an ex-Councilor who is on a mission. He’s got things to do and someone to find so when he finds that person, I kept wondering…now what? She didn’t have any clue who he was and his intentions weren’t clear so I didn’t know if he meant this woman harm or if she was a tool to all of the plans he had. What she became was so much more than I was expecting and holy cow, I adored their romance.

Sahara Kyriakus was abducted when she was 16 years old and for seven years, she was locked away from her family, from her friends and from her life. She’s Faith’s younger cousin and as we got to know her throughout the story, my admiration for her grew and grew. She’s rescued by Kaleb Krychek and taken to this gorgeous house that she’s never been to but Krychek says belongs to her. Her every wish is granted and Krychek answers any question put to her so she feels safe with him. Or as safe as she’s felt in the last seven years.

On top of the second chance romance blooming between Kaleb and Sahara, there’s a whole bunch of other stuff going on. There’s the shenanigans of Pure Psy, there’s the shift in the Arrow Squad, there’s the Ming situation with the SnowDancer pack and I thought Singh did a great job of bringing all of those stories together, keeping the reader invested in a lot of things without taking away from Kaleb and Sahara’s romance.

Singh continues to impress with this book. She really knows what she’s doing and she’s got a gift that I can’t seem to get enough of. I really liked seeing Kaleb become more and more human with each passing memory from his shared childhood with Sahara. My heart broke for them and what they went through but holy cow, their romance really rocked my socks. That’s some serious love right there and between two people who were supposed to Silent, feel no emotion.

I loved everything about this book. I loved the romance, I loved the conflict in the Psy world and I loved the little tid bits we got from the Arrows. Vasic, Aden, I’m really loving what we’re getting from them. My issues from Tangle of Need weren’t an issue in this book. I didn’t think that the romance suffered from everything else going on so I was happy to see that. This is probably one of my favorite books in the series and I’m so anxious to continue my journey through the rest of the books.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Reading Order

Slave to Sensation
Visions of Heat
Caressed by Ice
Mine to Possess
Hostage to Pleasure
Branded by Fire
Bonds of Justice
Play of Passion
Kiss of Snow
Tangle of Need
Heart of Obsidian
Shield of Winter
Shards of Hope
Allegiance of Honor

five-stars


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Review: Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh

Posted June 6, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Kiss of Snow by Nalini SinghReviewer: Rowena
Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #10
Also in this series: Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation, Tangle of Need, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Allegiance of Honor, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Silver Silence, Silver Silence
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: May 31st 2011
Genres: Romance
Pages: 464
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five-stars

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would've been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.

Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other's secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna's darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…

This book freaking slayed me.

I’ve been waiting for Sienna to grow up so that she can hook up with Hawke and Nalini Singh really brought it with this one because when I finished, I looked like this:


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My mind was completely blown by just..everything. The strength of the feelings that were unleashed between Hawke and Sienna. The heartbreak that Sienna went through before Hawke stopped being a dumbass. The depth of power that Sienna comes into over the course of the book. That war at the end of the book and the way that Sienna swooped in and just freaking slayed. I pictured Sienna going home with Hawke after that final battle scene, looking like:


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The action, the romance, the story that’s building in the background of each book so far, everything made for such a freaking great story. I finished this book with a big ass smile on my face because this book was everything that I hoped it would be.

I’ve loved Hawke since the beginning and when I picked up on the under currents between him and a young Psy, I was all about it. I didn’t care about the age difference. I was all about Hawke waiting and the chemistry building while Sienna came into her womanhood. I was prepared for the walls that Hawke would put between him and Sienna, understanding that she deserved more than he could give her. I loved seeing him battle with himself and then with Sienna and I really loved seeing him give in to everything with Sienna. Going into this book, I was curious to see how things would work out since Hawke’s mate died and he wasn’t supposed to get another one. The way that everything came together worked for me. I was one happy camper in the end.

As much as I loved Hawke and I loved him a lot, it was Sienna that made this book for me. I commiserated with her unrequited feelings for Hawke in the beginning and then I was right there with her when she was trying to figure things out with her being what she was.

Nalini Singh knocked this story out of the park. I loved everything about this book. The frustrations I felt, the swooning I did, everything. I loved it all.

Reading Order

Slave to Sensation
Visions of Heat
Caressed by Ice
Mine to Possess
Hostage to Pleasure
Branded by Fire
Blaze of Memory
Bonds of Justice
Play of Passion
Kiss of Snow
Tangle of Need
Heart of Obsidian
Shield of Winter
Shards of Hope
Allegiance of Honor

five-stars


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Review: Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh

Posted June 1, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bonds of Justice by Nalini SinghReviewer: Rowena
Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: July 6th 2010
Genres: Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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five-stars

A Psy-Changeling novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Shards of Hope, Shield of Winter, and Heart of Obsidian..."the alpha author of paranormal romance" (Booklist).

Max Shannon is a good cop, one of the best in New York Enforcement. Born with a natural shield that protects him against Psy mental invasions, he knows he has little chance of advancement within the Psy- dominated power structure. The last case he expects to be assigned to is that of a murderer targeting a Psy Councilor's closest advisors. And the last woman he expects to compel him in the most sensual of ways is a Psy on the verge of catastrophic mental fracture...

Man, this book.

Bonds of Justice is the eighth book in the Psy/Changelings series and it’s a book that hit me right in the feels at every turn. I know that I’m in the minority with my love of all things Bonds of Justice but I can’t help it. I loved Max and Sophie right from the jump.

Max Shannon is a human detective who was hired to find out who is targeting Councilor Nikita Duncan’s senior advisors. They’ve been dropping like flies and Nikita trusts Max, a human who has a natural shield against any Psy mental invasions, to find out what’s going on. His partner on this case is Justice Psy Sophia Russo who retrieves memories from the worst criminals on the planet for a living. She’s brought in on cases where the facts and evidence don’t add up and a more concrete look is needed.

Max and Sophie are intrigued by the other. Sophie, who can hear anything and everything of the people around her and the people who touch her, can’t hear anything where Max is concerned. He is the Bella to her Edward (from Twilight). Sophie is interesting to Max because her job, the way that she carries herself and the curiosity he can feel coming his way from her make for one interesting interaction after the other. Max is thoroughly attracted to Sophie but won’t push a pursuit because he’s got to find a way around her shields. Justice Psy’s don’t live long and Sophie’s almost at the end of her rope.

Sophie didn’t want to get close to Max, knew that it wasn’t the wisest course of action for her but the heart wants what it wants and hers wants Max. Seeing these two fight their attraction and then turn to fight for each other was such an entertaining read and it hit every one of my “I LOVE THIS” feel buttons.

Max’s relentless determination to chase this killer down, protect Sophie and then find a way to be with her forever hit me in the feels and I just absolutely loved the hell out of him. He was my favorite kind of hero. Fierce, determined and hot damn sexy all rolled up in the best damn package ever. He was fair and he was hard working and the love he had for Sophie melted me at every turn.

Sophie was a great heroine. She knew that she was different from the other J-Psy’s and seeing her hide things from the Psy Net and her superiors and then seeing her grow into her own as she came into her feelings for Max was great. I loved that once she made the decision to find a way to fight for Max, she was all in. I really loved seeing the iciness around her thaw with each passing day spent in Max’s company. I loved seeing her learn how to be a part of a couple and I loved the loyalty she displayed toward Max and how good she tried to be for him. She was strong and she was smart and I really liked her for Max.

There’s a lot going on in this book but I enjoyed being all wrapped up in all of it. Trying to figure out who was behind the killings, trying to figure out how Max and Sophie could be together, how to fix Sophie and just everything, I enjoyed the hell out of everything. Nalini Singh has created characters and a world that I just can’t get enough of and this book was just one more reason I fell in love with this series to begin with.

Reading Order

Slave to Sensation
Visions of Heat
Caressed by Ice
Mine to Possess
Hostage to Pleasure
Branded by Fire
Blaze of Memory
Bonds of Justice
Play of Passion
Kiss of Snow
Tangle of Need
Heart of Obsidian
Shield of Winter
Shards of Hope
Allegiance of Honor

five-stars


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