Category: Books

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Six of Crows follows dirty hands Kaz Breker as he tries to assemble a crew to do the impossible – break into one of the most heavily guarded prisons and kidnap a prisoner.
His team consists of a gambling sharpshooter, a heart render and the man who wants to kill her, a girl who specializes in secrets and a privileged youth.
If they don’t get killed, this job will leave them rich and able to achieve their wildest dreams. Of course the tensions between them mean that they will have to learn to work together first.
Compelling, well-written with incredible world building this book was such an adventure. The characters are funny and colourful. The plot was surprising and suspenseful. There were crazy twists around every corner which I loved! After finishing this, I had to get the next book immediately. This book is definitely worth all its hype.

View all my reviews

Fiction Friday: Book Tour- Excerpt from A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman

Summary:

First comes love, then comes marriage. Unless it’s the other way around. . .

General Mark Grimaldi has sacrificed everything for his military career, working his way through the ranks without the benefit of a nobleman’s title. Now, his years of dedication are about to pay off—with an offer for a prestigious promotion to Home Secretary. There’s only one condition: Mark must be married. Aside from the small matter of not actually wanting to be wed, Mark faces another troubling problem: he already has a wife.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent ten contented years in France without her husband—and without regret. When Mark asks her to return to London and play the part of his beloved wife, she sees her chance. But neither of them is prepared for news that will throw Mark’s future into chaos…nor the undeniable desire they’ve rekindled. Maybe happily-ever-after can happen the second time around in A Duke Like No Other, the next Regency romance from Valerie Bowman.

EXTRACT:

Mark quirked his mouth into a half smile. Nicole had always been direct. It was one of the things that had first drawn him to her. She wasn’t about to let him get away with arriving unannounced without admitting that he wanted something. Good, because he liked to be direct too. “You’re right. I do want something from you.”
“Say it.” She crossed one leg over the other and for the life of him he couldn’t stop staring at how those breeches hugged her long legs. Outside, he’d been slightly obsessed with how they hugged another part of her anatomy. And that shirt . . . the one that was exposing her chest in a way that made the back of his neck sweat. Leave it to Nicole to have her hair down and to be wearing breeches while riding around a French château on a horse named Atalanta. She’d been besting the comtein the race they’d been engaged in. That was also like her. She adored competition and hated to lose at anything. If he had any hope of her saying yes to his proposal, he needed to make certain he didn’t become her adversary . . . again.
He glanced around the drawing room. Outfitted in rose and cream silks with the occasional hint of green, the room was tastefully decorated. The château itself was large and well appointed without being ostentatious. She had access to his money but had never spent a shilling of it. No, this was all a result of her own money or her family’s.
He spread his arms wide along the back of the settee. “No reminiscing? No catching up? No discussing the good times?”
Her dark red eyebrow inched even higher. “Were there good times? I seem to recall those being few and far between.”
“There were a few.” In bed. He tugged at his collar.
She poked at the chignon on the back of her head. Only she could make a quickly put-together hair arrangement look effortlessly gorgeous. Several tendrils of the long red locks fell to frame her face, which wore a decidedly disgruntled look. “Out with it. I’m quite busy. I’m attending a dinner party this evening and I must dress.”
Mark bit the inside of his cheek but ultimately he couldn’t keep the comment that had sprung to his lips to himself. “A cleaner pair of breeches?” Damn, she looked good in those breeches. She looked good altogether. Better than good. The years had been kind to her. The fresh-faced plumpness of her cheeks had given way to a slenderness that made her cheekbones prominent. Her lips were still full and pink and inviting. Her hair luxurious, soft and smooth. Her eyes looked more world-weary, to be sure, but their sea-foam-green depths were still astute and intelligent. Her body was still trim and fit. Her thighs looked even fitter, probably from riding astride. Ahem. What he wouldn’t give to see those thighs once more, to have them wrapped tightly around his—
“Despite my present appearance, I do own a gown or two.” Her words snapped him out of his indecent line of thought. She gave him another tight smile.
He stood, crossed to the nearby sideboard, and poured himself a brandy. “Going to meet the comteagain?”
“Careful,” came her throaty voice from the settee. “It’s nearly sounding as if you’re jealous.”
Still facing the sideboard, he cocked his head to the side. “Jealous? Whatever does that word mean?”
“The comteis a friend, nothing more.” Her voice sounded dismissive. He didn’t believe her, however.
Mark splashed more brandy into his glass. “I’m certain you’d tell me if he weren’t.”
“I’m certain you’d care.”
Mark turned back toward her and took a healthy swig of his drink. “A man doesn’t like to think of his wife in the bed of another.”
She actually rolled her eyes at that comment. “Oh, you’ve been celibate all these years then?” she countered, her voice dripping with skepticism.
He had been, but he’d die a slow death back in the French prison camp before he told her that. However, he wasn’t so unrealistic as to think Nicole would have remained untouched. They had agreed to part ways, hadn’t seen each other in ten years. She was a beautiful woman in the prime of her life. Still, the notion of punching the comtedead in the face held a great deal of appeal at the moment. “I’ve never been one to kiss and tell, love.”
She gave him a tight smile, which clearly indicated she didn’t believe him, either. “You’re a general now?” she asked abruptly, clearly ready to change the subject.
“I am.” He moved to the window and looked out across the lavender fields, one arm held behind his ramrod-straight back as if he were surveying a battlefield. The stance was still comfortable for him even after all these years of working for the Home Office.
“I suppose congratulations are in order.” The tea arrivedand Nicole poured a cup for herself and splashed in a liberal amount of cream. He remembered that about her. She took her tea with no sugar, just cream.
“No congratulations needed,” he intoned, taking anotherswig of brandy.
The silver spoon she used to stir her tea clinkedagainst the delicate china teacup. “I must admit, I’ve often wondered when I’d get a missive that you’d been killed.”
His chuckle was humorless. He turned to face her.“Such little faith in me? Or wishful thinking?”
“Neither,” she replied, lifting the cup to her pink lips.“Just a profound knowledge of how reckless you are.”
He inclined his head. “Used to be.”
“Really?”She raised a brow. “Is that why you’ve come? To tell me you’ve changed?”
He chuckled. “I haven’tchanged that much.”
“I’m not surprised.” She set down her teacup andcrossed her arms over her chest. “Tell me, Mark, why have you come?”
He saluted her with his glass, the amber-colored liquid shining in the afternoon sunlight. “You were right. I need a favor from you.”
She didn’tso much as bat an eyelash. “Of course you do. What’s the favor?” She picked up her cup once more and took a sip.
He downed the final splash of brandy and met hergaze. “I need you to return to England with me for a few months and pretend to be my loving wife.”

Author Bio:

VALERIE BOWMAN grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides and Playful Brides series.

Buy Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Indie Bound
Powells

Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter: @Valeriegbowman
Facebook @ValerieBowmanAuthor
Pinterest

Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

The Perfect GirlfriendThe Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“The Perfect Girlfriend” follows Juliette, a possessive and slightly psycho ex-girlfriend who is determined to show her ex, Nate that she’s perfect for him in every single way and dumping her was a mistake. She gets a job as an airhostess at the airline he works at, she stores his favourite snacks in his apartment and she tries to stop him from dating anyone else.
The first 150 pages was painfully slow and I didn’t enjoy it at all. And then I did what I always do when it comes to mystery novels and I skipped to the end (DON’T DO THIS). What I found left me speechless and I picked the book back up with renewed enthusiasm.
However after reading the entire book I don’t feel like the end is an end. It’s certainly interesting but I feel like there could have been more to the book afterwards.
This was a shocking unpredictable read which I enjoyed however I don’t think it was that memorable (i.e there will be no rereads here). Juliette was great as an unreliable narrator and while her past was tragic I found it overdone. I especially enjoyed her character. She is intriguing, twisted and so very terrifying. It was great seeing everything from her viewpoint and that put an interesting spin on this book.
I don’t think I’ll recommend this to anyone because I simply found it okay (although if you’re someone who enjoys mysteries and thrillers, you might be interested in this book).

View all my reviews

Book Review- Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1)Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I decided to reread this series before I tackle Hero at the Fall. I was in a reading slump when I read Rebel of the Sands AND Traitor to the Throne so I needed to renew my excitement for this series before it ends.
Amani dreams of leaving her deadbeat town and when she encounters Jin, she gets the opportunity to do so. But on their way out of the town, the two of them keep getting caught up in trouble, adventures and encountering mystical creatures (none of which I have EVER seen before). The only way I can describe this novel without spoiling anything is to say that it is totally unique. It was surprising and unpredictable and I loved every second of it. Since I read this so long ago and was in such an awful book slump , I also couldn’t remember lots of details about this book. Rereading was a great way to get back into this world and I can’t wait to binge-read the rest of this series. If you haven’t read this yet, now is the perfect time to binge the series.

View all my reviews

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer

Winter Glass (Spindle Fire #2)Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I cannot remember the last time I binge-read a book especially one that was over 300 pages. This was a wonderfully compelling read and I couldn’t go to bed until I finished it.
Winter Glass picks up immediately after Spindle Fire (so if you haven’t read that already, pick it up before you get this). Aurora’s engagement to William is planned while Isabelle plans to create an army to fight the upcoming war. However, much like the first book the sisters are soon separated and left to find their identity independent of each other.
I love how this is a story of two sisters who love each other so much that they would do anything to save the other.. This book was compelling, well written with great world-building. I kind of wish that the world was expanded on though because I loved the fae and their customs here. I also enjoyed how the cliche love triangle plot device was used in this novel. It is done very cleverly and very beautifully. (Again, for the first time in a long time, this was a love triange that DIDN’T make me roll my eyes.
I found the ending a bit lacking- after so much doom and terror, I had expected more. However I did love the way this book ended. It was beautiful. READ THIS BOOK NOW.
Four stars because this isn’t a book I would reread in a hurry (it is great but I feel like it is too heavy for a reread) but I did enjoy this book immensely. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy or books about the fae.

View all my reviews

Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Rogue is Back in Town by Anna Bennett (The Wayward Wallflowers #3)

The Rogue Is Back in Town (The Wayward Wallflowers, #3)The Rogue Is Back in Town by Anna Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rogue Sam is given the task by his brother to empty a rundown house or be cut off. Sam agrees but is surprised when the occupant of the house, Miss Juliette Lacey refuses to leave. She believes the property belongs to her family while Sam and his brother are sure that it belongs to them. Determined not to fail in his task, Sam decides to move in to the ramshackle house. After all, the house belongs to his brother and it would not be a hardship to live under the same roof as the attractive Julie. What Sam doesn’t realise is that Julie has a past with his brother.
I was really intrigued by this whole storyline. Julie and Sam have a clear attraction to one another but she kissed his brother a while back. I found the whole “decent brother, scoundrel brother” part cliche at first but it played out wonderfully.
This was a great read and I enjoyed it immensely. I’m only sad that it took me so long to finish this book because I was in a book slump. Definitely give this a try if you enjoy historical romance fiction.

View all my reviews

April TBR

I AM NO LONGER IN A BOOK SLUMP!!!!

I would like to thank Audible, without who I would probably still be skipping through books like crazy. I would also like to thank Sophie Kinsella and her shopaholic series for reminding me that reading is supposed to be fun. For the first time in a while, I am actually pretty pumped about this month’s TBR. I CAN TAKE OVER  THE WORLD (okay, no but I can make a dent in my TBR though. Just watch me):

1) Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer: I love love LOVED the first book in this series and I am so glad I got a review copy of this. Don’t even wait for me to finish it, guys. Just go get Spindlefire and thank me later.

2) The Luck of the Bride by Janna MacGregor: Another one  of my all-time favourite historical romances. I think this only comes out in May but I can’t wait so I started reading it already.

3) The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton: The title sounds like one of R. L Stine’s Fear Street novels and I AM ALL FOR IT! I don’t know this book but I love it (though that has been happening alot lately. I need to stop)

4) Wren Hunt by Mary Watson: This is a book about magic. That is all I need to know.

5) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: This is my current Audible listen and I am not impressed. I’m just holding on though because I also considered returning Six of Crows when I first listened and now I’m in love with that series and everyone in it.

My April TBR just looks like me gushing constantly and THAT IS WHAT IT SHOULD BE! Can you tell how thrilled I am to finally be interested in books again? I feel like I’ve come home after being away for ages!

What are you reading? Have you read any of these titles? I’d love to know!

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella (Shopaholic #2)

Shopaholic Abroad (Shopaholic, #2)Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Becky is back to her old shopaholic ways and for some reason, she STILL doesn’t see anything wrong with it. When Luke moves to New York, he takes Becky with him and it is like she has discovered heaven. Fifth Avenue shopping, sample sales, etc. Every day brings with it a new shopping spree. However when Rebecca doesn’t realise is while she’s piling on her credit card debt, someone is following her and her little habit. This was a predictable book but I enjoyed it immensely. Luke finally develops a bit more of a personality and Becky is as hilarious as always. It is a bit annoying how she is so absent-minded and didn’t find it odd that someone kept asking questions a bout her. Especially since by the end of the book, she redeems herself by discovering something that saves a business. This was a wonderful feel-good book and I can’t wait to read the next one.

View all my reviews

7 Sources for Cheap Books

Most people assume that my beautiful book collection is expensive. And considering the way that I buy books, it sometimes tends to look like I spend too much money on books. Firstly that’s not a thing. Secondly, I hardly ever buy books at full price. I might pay full price for Sarah J Maas or a signed book but that is it. Here are my seven sources for discounted books.

 

 

Print Books:

If you’re a print reader, these stores below are going to become your best friend. I know this because I am already obsessed with them and spend most of my time on their sites.

1) Reader’s Warehouse: My personal equivalent of Bookstore Heaven. Reader’s Warehouse has tons of discounted reads and I love them for it. Their stores are only in Cape Town and Johannesburg but they deliver all over South Africa. Deliveries over R250 are free and that is usually how I shop from them. If you’re ever near a physical store  though, I definitely suggest you check them out.

2) Raru: Raru is an online site selling items from video games and toys to books and movies. They are also the cheapest 99% of the time. If I need a new book and I am willing to pay full price, I usually compare between Raru and Reader’s Warehouse before making a decision.

3) Bargain Books: My Durban version of  Bookstore Heaven. Personally I am not a fan of all their stores but their Galleria and Umhlanga stores have great deals ALL THE TIME. Some of my greatest finds were Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas for R89, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer for R70 and their wonderful 3 YA novels for  R150 deals. I get butterflies just thinking about it. They also have a factory store in Cape Town (why is all the great bookish things in Cape Town though?).

4) Secondhand stalls: Secondhand stalls are the reason I don’t order books online as much as I used to. I am close to having a pile of books fall on me. Two of my favourite secondhand stalls are the SPCA booksale and the Last Chance books stall at the Stables market. The quality of the books range from excellent to shabby but I have found some great reads so I am definitely not giving this habit up anytime soon.

eBooks:

5) BookBub: I don’t use BookBub that much (although now that I’ve seen their website on my PC, I really should) but they have been great for finding new and cheap reads. I signed up with them and every day I get an email with a list of discounted titles. It’s great because all you have to do is see if you’re interested in the book and then just click on wherever you wish to purchase it from.

6) Amazon Kindle: My absolute favourite for all of my eBooks. I think this stemmed from my time on Netgalley but I am in love with my Kindle app and sometimes just browse the Kindle store for fun. If you haven’t joined yet, DO IT!

7) Author newsletters: Subscribe to your favourite author’s newsletters so you know when they have a book going on sale. This is my favourite way to catch up on previous books in a series that I might have missed.

 

What are your tips on saving money when it comes to books? Did you try any of the tips I mentioned? Have you visited any of those stores? I’d love to know below.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In an unusual dystopian world, society is distracted by it’s troubles by the Selection, which is a combination of The Hunger Games and the Bachelor. America doesn’t want to be Selected- she is already in love with someone else- but she realises that it is what is best for her family. When America finally meets Prince Maxon, the two of them begin a tentative friendship. Maxon knows that America is not interested in him but he finds her honesty refreshing.
This was the first audiobook I ever listened to and I found it just okay. The story was cliche and pretty easy to predict. However I did find this book pretty fun (and then I came home and read spoilers for the rest of the series and ruined any chances of me finishing the rest of the books). This was a great light read and it took me out of my reading slump. Definitely read this book if you’re looking for something fun and cheerful.

View all my reviews

Follow

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: