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Friday, August 22, 2014

Review: Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan


Title: Talk Sweetly to Me
Author: Courtney Milan
Series: Brothers Sinister, book 4.5
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Courtney Milan
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Nobody knows who Miss Rose Sweetly is, and she prefers it that way. She’s a shy, mathematically-minded shopkeeper’s daughter who dreams of the stars. Women like her only ever come to attention through scandal. She’ll take obscurity, thank you very much.

All of England knows who Stephen Shaughnessy is. He’s an infamous advice columnist and a known rake. When he moves into the house next door to Rose, she discovers that he’s also wickedly funny, devilishly flirtatious, and heart-stoppingly handsome. But when he takes an interest in her mathematical work, she realizes that Mr. Shaughnessy isn’t just a scandal waiting to happen. He’s waiting to happen to her…and if she’s not careful, she’ll give in to certain ruination.”
Talk Sweetly to Me is the last installment in the Brothers Sinister series by Courtney Milan.

Rose Sweetly’s is not an ordinary woman; first, she is smarter than most men in an era where women are expected to be nothing more than mothers and wives. Secondly, she is of African descent, a black woman in a racist society plagued with prejudices. Despite those limitations Rose does what she loves, she works for an astronomer doing mathematical calculations.
Rose might be an analytical woman, but that doesn’t mean she cannot admire her neighbor, the known rake, Stephen Shaughnessy.
Stephen knows he doesn’t have the best reputation, he writes a scandalous column for a women’s newspaper and has well-earned fame as a rake. Stephen has always liked women, but has never been intrigued by one as he is by Rose Sweetly. He loves the way she looks and loves the way her mind works.
Stephen wants Rose in his life and is willing to do anything to win her heart, even if that means learning mathematics.

I liked Stephen in The suffragette Scandal (book 4th in the series), but I adored him in this book. Stephen is a good man. He has a big heart and he’s very caring. He’s funny, smart, witty, honest and sinfully handsome. I loved how he was able to see the real Rose and how he was there for her when she needed him most.

Rose is one of those heroines that are very easy to like and to admire. She is not just an intelligent woman, she is a genius. She is caring, strong and reserved. She knows she has to be more careful than most because of her race, notwithstanding the limitations society has placed on her, she has a good life and is successful at what she does.

Rose and Stephen had already met when the story starts. Rose likes Stephen from afar, she knows there are many factors against them and a relationship between them will be almost an impossibility, for that reason she tries to keep her distance from him. Something very difficult to do with a man as persistent as Stephen.
Stephen knows what he wants and he wants Rose. He’s a dreamer and doesn’t worry unnecessarily. He doesn’t consider the discrimination Rose experiences until he sees it first hand.
Their romance is sweet and fun. Their mathematical banter is hilarious, it made for very interesting scenes. Seeing them fall in love was a very nice and fun treat.
Rose and Stephen know their future won’t be an easy one; a mixed-race couple in the 1880s is not a normal occurrence, but they are together and willing to fight for their love. They know that together they are stronger than alone.

As with previous books in this series Mrs. Milan gives us strong characters and social problems of the time.
Talk Sweetly to Me is the first historical romance I read with a black heroine and I can only hope more writers follow Mrs. Milan example. Kudos to her for her originality and for giving us an interracial couple in a historical romance book. *applauds*

Talk Sweetly to Me can be easily read as a standalone, but I recommend you to read previous books first, especially The suffragette Scandal (book 4th in the series) where Stephen was first introduced.

I’m sad to see this series come to an end, but I’m happy Mrs. Milan ended it with such a cute couple as Rose and Stephen.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
The Governess Affair (Prequel novella)
The Duchess War
A Kiss For Midwinter (Novella)
Talk Sweetly to Me (Novella)

Other reviews Goodreads

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why You Should Read/Listen The Riyria Revelations Series by Michael J. Sullivan


In 2011 I discovered The Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan. I consider a lucky day the day I came across this series. Why? Because The Riyria Revelations made me fall in love with the fantasy genre all over again. I love this series so much I have read it twice. Last couple of weeks, for the first time, I listened to the audiobooks and let me tell you something, they are GREAT. They are so good I couldn’t stop listening until I reach the very end. They are long audios, but they are excellent. Tim Gerard Reynolds narration is top notch, he brings to life the characters and the world. I really cannot recommend them enough. 


The Riyria Revelations has everything I look in a fantasy series, great characters, complex world, magic, action, humor, and much more. I love this series so much I want you to give it a try, I promise you you will not regret it. 


To give you a little taste of what The Riyria Revelations is all about I’m sharing with you some of my favorite quotes from the books.

“Hadrian shook his head and sighed. “Why do you have to make everything so difficult? They’re probably not bad people—just poor. You know, taking what they need to buy a loaf of bread to feed their family. Can you begrudge them that? Winter is coming and times are hard.” He nodded his head in the direction of the thieves. “Right?”
“I ain’t got no family,” flat-nose replied. “I spend most of my coin on drink.”
“You’re not helping,” Hadrian said.”
“So,” Royce said, “you want us to escape from this prison, kidnap the
king, cross the countryside with him in tow while dodging soldiers who I assume might not accept our side of the story, and go to another secret prison so that he can visit an inmate?”
Arista did not appear amused. “Either that, or you can be tortured to death in four hours.”
“Sounds like a really good plan to me,” Hadrian declared.“Royce?”
“I like any plan where I don’t die a horrible death.”
“There are still eight of us,” Guy pointed out. “Not exactly an even fight.”
“I was thinking the same thing,” Mauvin said. “Sadly, there’s no one else here we can ask to join your side.”
Guy looked at Mauvin, then Hadrian, for a long moment as the men glared across the ash at each other. Then he nodded and lowered his blade. “Well, I can see I’ll have to report your misconduct to the archbishop.”
“Go ahead,” Hadrian said. “His body is buried with the rest of them just down the hillside.”
“There you are!” he shouted at them. “Father has half the castle turned
out looking for you.”
“Us?” Hadrian asked.
“Yes.” Fanen nodded. “He wants to see the two thieves in his chambers
right away.”
“You didn’t steal the silver or anything, did you, Royce?” Hadrian
asked.
“I would bet it has more to do with your flirting with Lenare this afternoon
and threatening Mauvin just to show off,” Royce retorted.
“That was your fault,” Hadrian said, jabbing his finger at him.”
“You're not going to charge us for the tower, I hope," Hadrian said. "But if you are, it was Royce's fault and should come out of his share.” 
“Their jobs were almost too clean for Royce's taste.”
“See, that’s the difference,” Mauvin said. “I suffer a loss and people console me. Royce suffers a loss and whole towns evacuate.”
Trust me, give this series a chance and thank me later. 

Books in the series 
Theft of Swords (The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha) 
Rise of Empire (Nyphron Rising & The Emerald Storm) 
Heir of Novron (Wintertide & Percepliquis)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Top Off Tuesday: Fight For Me by Bethany Bazile


Today is Tuesday! You know what that means? Yes, today is that special day in the week when we can treat our eyes to some delicious eye candy. It’s Top Off Tuesday! Top Off Tuesday is a feature hosted by Felicia from The Geeky Book Blogger's Book Blog, Amanda from On a Book Bender, and Christi from Smitten with Reading.

The cover I have for you today is the cover for Fight For Me by Bethany Bazile. I haven’t read this book, but this cover makes me want to fight for it. What do you think?

I just needed someone to show me how to fight for me…

When tragedy hits Alexis Cole is shattered. She carries the blame on her shoulders after losing a big piece of herself. When Ryder Hayes sweeps back into her life, she has something to hold on to, but just as quickly as he appeared he was gone. When fate-or meddling parents-throw them back together they can no longer deny the heat that’s burned between them for years.

Ryder has always wanted Lexi, but he’s never fought so hard against something in his life. Saving Lexi from her past was never on his agenda, but he could never bear letting her drown in it. With his UFC championship title on the line, the last thing he needs is to be distracted by Lexi. When she’s thrown back into his life he can no longer fight their attraction. But once he claims her he knows he’ll never let go.

If you also want to participate on Top Off Tuesday head over to Felicia’s blog to share your link or just to see which other blogs are participating.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Early Review: It's in His Kiss by Jill Shalvis


Title: It's in His Kiss
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Lucky Harbor, book 10
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 26th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
ONE KISS CAN LAST FOREVER
Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now's her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam's eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile.

Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can't resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca's heart?
It's in His Kiss is the tenth book in the Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis.

Jill Shalvis has never disappointed me, I know I can trust this series when I’m in a reading slump or just when I want to read something light and fun; that was the case with previous books and that was the case with It's in His Kiss.

For years the small town of Lucky Harbor has stolen a place in my heart; reading a new book in this series is like coming home, where you get to visit old friends and make new ones.

In It's in His Kiss we meet Becca Thorpe and learn more about Sam Brody (Ben’s friend, book 9th, Once in a Lifetime).

Becca needs a drastic change in her life, with that in mind she embarks on a road trip. Becca doesn’t have a destination, she only knows she wants to be in a place on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, after driving for days she stops for couple of weeks in the little town of Lucky Harbor, what a better pit stop than a town with that name. Becca’s new rental place might not be much, but the view makes up for the condition of her apartment, especially when across the street, the boat charter owners are on deck in their swimsuits.
Lucky Harbor is not only a charming town it is also a hotspot for dreamy guys and one of them is Sam Brody. With the help of his two best friends, Sam runs a boat charter company and also builds boats. Sam was content with his life, he thought he had everything he wanted in his life until the day he crosses path with Becca. He knows she will rock his boat, but he can’t resist her.

Becca is a great heroine; she’s sassy, smart, generous and strong. I liked her since the first paragraph and I liked her even more during the course of the book.
Sam is broody, witty and a protector at heart. He had a tough time growing up, but has done wonders with the opportunities life has given him; but not everything is perfect in his life, because of his bad experiences it’s very difficult for him to trust other people.
Becca has always taken care of other people, but nobody has taken care of her. Having Sam there for her when she needs him is a new experience for her and something she can get used to easily. Sam loves to take care of the people he loves and seeing Becca cherishing his attention is more that he could have ever hope. Feeling Becca’s openness and generosity of heart is something new to Sam, something he realizes was missing in his life.

I really loved Becca and Sam. They are just perfect for each other. Their personalities balance each other wonderfully. The chemistry between them is off the charts and the way they play it is fun, hot and sexy as hell; but not everything is fun and play between them, they have problems, they have ghosts from their past, but together they can conquer everything they want. They simply are what the other needed in his/her life.

We are also introduced to Sam’s friends Cole and Tanner. Life has made them more than friends, they have become family. I really love their bromance; their interactions are fun and left me wanting to know more about them. Luckily (for me and fans of this series) they will be the protagonists in the next two and final books in this series.

In this installment we also see some characters from previous books and as in previous installments, Lucille is present and bringing many laughing out loud moments.

It's in His Kiss is a book about friendship, family, redemption, new beginnings, and the power of love. Jill Shalvis does an excellent job (as always) balancing strong themes with humor and the perfect amount of hotness. It's in His Kiss can be read as a standalone, but all the books in this series are made of awesome and deserve to be read. If you like contemporary romance and you haven’t read this series… can I ask you… What are you waiting for?

It's in His Kiss is the perfect summer read. You don’t believe me? Here is the proof:

I’m looking forward to next book in the series, He’s So Fine. He’s So Fine will be Cole and Olivia’s story and will be released on September 30th.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Stars


Other books in the series
Simply Irresistible
The Sweetest Thing
Head Over Heels
Lucky in Love
At Last
Forever and a Day
Always On My Mind
It’s in His Kiss (August 26th)
He’s So Fine (September 30th)
One in a Million (October 28th)

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Movie Trailer: The Theory of Everything


Starring Eddie Redmayne (“Les Misérables”) and Felicity Jones (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), this is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of – time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed. The film is based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, by Jane Hawking, and is directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh (“Man on Wire”).

Trailer



Friday, August 15, 2014

Review: Return of the Highland Laird by Amy Jarecki


Title: Return of the Highland Laird
Author: Amy Jarecki
Series: Highland Force, book 4
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Rapture Books
Source: Review copy from author
Format: E-book
An untimely tempest transports two miserable and lost souls to England’s Abbey Wood where they stumble across each other’s paths. Lady Jane, a battered woman and accused murderess—Laird Alexander, fleeing his keep after blaming himself for the accidental death of his wife.

Both souls must heal their wounds. Both souls have reason to keep their identities hidden. This misshapen pair discovers each needs the other—though neither is willing to admit dependence.

Alexander must return to his kin and resume his laird’s mantle. Lady Jane must clear her name and find forgiveness. But before healing can begin, it is essential they learn to trust…and love.
Return of the Highland Laird is the fourth book in the Highland Force series by Amy Jarecki.

Laird Alexander MacLeod of Raasay is devastated after he was unable to save his wife when she fell to her death. Theirs was an arranged marriage and their relationship wasn’t one of love but one of respect. Still, his guilt for being unable to protect her and his need for solitude let him to the rash decision of sailing the six-men birlinn all by himself. Decision he soon regrets when he is hit by a storm and is force to land on the English coast. Alexander has the misfortune of landing in Bees, a town known for its thieving population and for its hate for all things Scottish. Instead of finding refuge from the storm Alexander is robbed, mauled and left for dead.
After stumbling all night, Alexander finds a rundown cabin in the middle of the forest.
Lady Jane Whitehaven suffered eight years of abuse from her husband, the Earl of Whitehaven, until the night she accidentally killed him in self-defense. Jane knows the courts won’t see it that way and knows she will be executed if she is apprehended. That night, Mr. Cox, the head valet at Buttermere Castle, helped her escape and since then she has been living in hiding. The last couple of months haven’t been easy for her, but she has done the best with her new situation.
Lady Jane is afraid of helping Alexander when he comes knocking to her door, but she can’t leave an injured man to fend for himself. She provides the help she can and in exchange Alexander will help her fix the dilapidated cabin.
An arrangement that was supposed to last for couple of days, turns into weeks. The more time they spend together the more they want to be together, but they both have secrets, secrets that could turn deadly if they are not honest and careful.

I met Alexander in previous book, Beauty and the Barbarian. I liked him then, but wasn’t crazy about him.  He was a good Laird, a good brother and it was obvious he respected his wife but was not in love with her; apart from that I didn’t know much about him to get a better picture.  After reading Return of the Highland Laird I’m a little bit in love with him. Alexander is sweet, caring, protective and hot as hell. I really liked his inner strength and how loyal he is.

I have mixed feelings about Lady Jane, I admired her strength, but at the same time I wish she had been a bit more honest with Alexander. I understand her misgivings, her life is in peril and after everything she has suffered it was difficult for her to trust Alexander. Still everything would have been easier if only she would have been able to trust him as much as he trusted her.

There is an instant attraction between them, but because of their pasts their relationship is built slowly. I really liked how things developed between them; it made the relationship believable and swoon worthy.

We see some characters from previous books like Bran, Ian, and Lady Anne. Even though their cameos are short they are powerful. It was nice to see them and see where they are in their lives.

Return of the Highland Laird is novella that feels like a full-length novel. It’s a book about redemption, forgiveness and the power of love.

The Return of the Highland Laird can be read as a stand alone, but I recommend you to read previous books too. They are all excellent. Mrs. Jarecki does an outstanding job mixing real events of the time with fiction. I recommend the Return of the Highland Laird to historical romance fans. If you like highlanders this is a novella and a series you need to read.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Captured by the Pirate Laird
Return of the Highland Laird

Other reviews Goodreads

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