Fiction Friday: Book Review- Born of Defiance (The League #7) by Sherri Lynn Kenyon

Born of Defiance (The League, #7)Born of Defiance by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book even though I barely understood it. Talyn is a fighter and an Andarion with no father. As a result of the latter, he faces discrimination on a daily basis. He is treated as less than a person. When Talyn decides to get himself a companion, his entire life changes and he decides he deserves to have something more. I have no idea what an Andarion is (and the book doesn’t explain what it is) but I enjoyed the book nonetheless. I also didn’t understand Andarion culture and tradition but the book explained those. This was a really intriguing book. The plot was suspenseful and the characters well-written and well-developed. I’m definitely going to be following this series. Whatever the Andarions are, they have a rich history and I can’t wait to learn more about them. I strongly recommend this series to all fans of fantasy.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m not sure how to review this without spoilers but I’m going to try anyway. This review may contain spoilers for the first two books in the series but I’m guessing you read them already if you’re reading reviews for ACOWAR (if you haven’t read them, go read them. They’re amazing and well-written and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM SO VERY MUCH!!!).

Feyre is back with Tamlin the Tool but this time she is determined not to let him push her aside. She is thirsty for revenge and she WILL have it. Honestly I didn’t expect much from Feyre- what was she going to do to Tamlin in his own court? Deny him sex as punishment for ruining her and her sisters’ lives? However this is not the Feyre we knew. This is no meek girl. This is the new Lady of the Night Court. She is dark and she embraces it.
My biggest issue with this book is that it was not as compelling as ACOMAF. I reread ACOTAR and ACOMAF while waiting for this to release. While ACOTAR was kind of boring at times, I found ACOMAF impossible to put down. ACOWAR however just tired me out at times and I found myself putting the book away just so I could get a break from the world (maybe Tamlin is just that boring). It was definitely difficult to read this book especially knowing that it was the end. Once things were in action, they were IN ACTION. I had to read during my breaks, during meals, before bedtime. And then the book ran out of pages and I had to go cry. What did I do with my life before I waited for ACOWAR to release? Did I even have a life?
I loved that I saw the return of so many characters that I loved throughout the series. ACOWAR also completes the first part of this series in a way that is both satisfying but still leaves room open for more. I can’t wait to read more about this world. Can the next book release already???

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Book Review: Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman (Playful Brides #7)

Never Trust a Pirate (Playful Brides, #7)Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first Playful Brides book I ever read was Daphne’s story (The Irresistible Rogue) and while there have been more than a few books released since then, I’ve always wondered what happened to Cade.
Apparently the mysterious Cavendish brother has moved in with Rafe and spends his nights out doing…something.
Danielle is a spy who has been hired to keep an eye on Cade but it isn’t long before an attraction sparks between them. Cade is supposed to be Danielle’s last job and the key to her freedom and a life of normality. So no matter how attractive she may find him, she has a job to do if she wants to get out of the business of espionage.
While I always like Valerie Bowman’s writing, I felt like this book was special to me since it reminded me of The Irresistible Rogue (of course, seeing characters from that book didn’t hurt matters eithers). All the spying, lying and disguises reminded me of The Irresistible Rogue and made this book different from the others in this series.
This book was well-written and entertaining. I can’t wait to read more of this series and I especially look forward to seeing more of Daphne’s younger cousin (hopefully in a story of her own).

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- Spring at Blueberry Bay by Holly Martin

Spring at Blueberry BaySpring at Blueberry Bay by Holly Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bella has been abandoned by her parents as a kid. She is also very broke. But when she finds a homeless man, Isaac on her doorstep, she takes him in and shares her last meal with him. What Bella doesn’t know is that Isaac is lying to her and is not who he seems to be.
I can’t say more without giving too much of the story away but if you’ve read Holly Martin’s other books then you probably will be able to predict the story. This book reminded me of Holly Martin’s other books so at first, I wasn’t really interested. It just seemed like a story that was told one too many times before. However I love Holly Martin’s writing so I pushed though and I’m glad that I did. Bella and Isaac are an adorable couple. It pissed me off that he lied to her but I eventually got over it. I loved their chemistry in this book and was really sad once it was over. Like all Holly Martin books, this one is full of colourful characters and I cannot wait to read more. I’ve developed an attachment to Bella’s cousins and would love to see them all get their happy endings.

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What’s on My eReader

Most of my June TBR are ebooks so I thought I’d share with you guys what’s on my eReader (which is actually just an Android tablet but I basically just use it for reading). I’m really excited for these books and I can’t wait to start reading them:

What's On My eReader

 

  1. The Internet Made Me Do It  (Avery Fowler 2.0 Trilogy Book 2) by Jennifer Ammoscato: This is the second book in the Avery Fowler trilogy which I read a while back and absolutely loved. I can’t tell you what this book is about as I don’t know (I want to go into this book knowing absolutely nothing) but I know it’s definitely a great read if you’re looking for something light and fun.
  2.  One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus- Five people walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Tell me you don’t want to immediately track down a copy of this book and find out how it ends.
  3.  Internet Famous by Danika Stone- Madi is intenet famous (of course she is, look at this book title) and she has a budding romance play out online which is absolutely adorable…until an online troll threatens it.
  4. Duke with Benefits by Manda Collins- I loved the first Studies in Scandal book and this one is no different. The bluestockings are back with another mystery and this time the focus is on the socially awkward Daphne and the really hot Duke. If you love mysteries or historical romances, I strongly suggest you read this series.
  5. Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman- I am currently in the middle of this and I don’t want it to end. I basically just follow this series partially for the romance but mainly to see the characters from the other books in this series. It makes me feel like I’m a part of their world and I love it!

Fiction Friday: Excerpt from “Duke with Benefits”

Duke_With_Blog_Benefits_Excerpt Blitz Banner

It’s here!!! The next book in the “Studies in Scandal” series releases 27 June 2017 and I am so excited to be part of the excerpt blitz. But first, I want to share the synopsis:

 

LADY + DUKE = TRUE LOVE?

Lady Daphne Forsyth is a brilliant mathematician with a burning passion for puzzles. When she learns that the library belonging to her benefactress houses the legendary Cameron Cipher—an encrypted message that, once solved, holds the key to great riches—Daphne is on the case. Unfortunately, her race to unlock the cipher’s code is continually thwarted by a deliciously handsome distraction she hadn’t counted on . . . and cannot resist.

Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland, is curious as to why Daphne is spending so much time snooping around his aunt’s bookshelves. He’s even more intrigued by her bold yet calculating manner: She is unapologetic about her secret quest . . . and the fiery attraction that develops between them both. But how can they concentrate on solving a perplexing enigma once the prospect of true love enters the equation?

Duke with Benefits is the second in Manda Collins’ Studies in Scandal series set in Regency England.

Who would think that ordinary blue-stockings would attract so much danger and mystery? Certainly not me. This series is my first experience with historical romance mysteries and I absolutely love these characters! This series is a must for anyone who enjoys historical romance or a good mystery.

Excerpt:

“There you are, my dear,” said the Earl of Forsyth with a beaming smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes.
Maitland saw at once that Daphne favored him. Her green eyes were the same shade as his, though there were lines of dissipation bracketing the earl’s. And though his expertly cropped blond hair was shot through with silver, what remained of its original color was the same shade as hers. But whereas Daphne’s gaze was focused off to the left of whomever she conversed with, like a bird hovering just over a branch, Forsyth’s speared one with cold calculation. As he did to Daphne now.
“You are looking well, Daphne,” the earl continued, stepping forward to embrace his daughter, who looked as uncomfortable with the contact as Maitland had ever seen her. “The sea air agrees with you. As I knew it would.”
“The sea is very beautiful,” Daphne replied woodenly. “Why are you here, Father?”
“Is that any way to greet your Papa?” the earl chided, stepping back from her and wandering farther into the room, standing to stare out at the gardens below through the window. “I’ve traveled all the way from London to see you. And this lovely estate. I must admit that when I first learned of your inheritance, I thought it was all some sort of trick. But you would have your own way and leave the loving bosom of your family no matter what I said. Now that I’m here, though, and see it in person, I must admit that it’s a lovely spot. And your chaperone, Lady Serena, is quite beautiful, isn’t she? A widow, I take it?”
His jaw clenched at the man’s mention of Serena, and Maitland thought perhaps it was time to announce himself. Daphne seemed not to realize he’d followed her in, and the earl was too busy waxing rhapsodic over the beauties of Beauchamp House.
“I don’t believe we’ve met, Forsyth,” he said forcefully, stepping up to stand side by side with Daphne. He gave a slight bow, perhaps not quite as deep as was warranted, but not caring. “The Duke of Maitland. I am a friend of your daughter’s, you might say.”
What he meant by that last, he could not say, but the man made every bit of protective instinct within him go on the alert. He was her father, but all the same Maitland knew that Daphne was no safer with him than she would have been with Sommersby if he still lived.
At the sound of the duke’s voice, Lord Forsyth turned with almost comical haste from the window and stared. For the barest flicker, he looked angry. Well, if he were upset at the knowledge that his daughter was not without friends, then he would simply have to swallow it. Because Maitland was damned if he’d leave her alone with the fellow.
“Duke,” Lord Forsyth said with a tilt of his head, “I am pleased to make your acquaintance. I was a friend of your father’s, and had little notion I’d be meeting you here. He was a good man, your father.”
His father had been nothing of the sort, but Maitland was hardly going to discuss it with Forsyth.
“I am here visiting my sister, Lady Serena,” Maitland said coolly, letting the other man know in tone rather than words that he had not appreciated the older man’s speculative words about her earlier. “And of course my cousin, Kerr. He only recently married another of the heiresses here, and resides here with her.”
Forsyth’s eyes narrowed at the implication that Daphne was well protected should her father wish to cause trouble. At least that was the message Maitland was endeavoring to send. And by the looks of it, Forsyth read him loud and clear.
“Capital, capital,” the earl said with false cheer. “A merry party you must all make here. I had no idea you were in such fine company here, Daphne. No notion at all.”
“Because we have not spoken since I left,” Daphne said, looking from her father to Maitland then back again, as if wondering what went on between them. “And now, father, I really must ask you to leave. I have a great deal of work to do and . . .”
“Don’t be absurd, Daphne,” her father said with a shake of his head. “I only just arrived. And there is something very important I must speak to you about.” He turned to Maitland with a raised brow. “I’m sure you’ll excuse us, Duke. I’m afraid what I need to tell my daughter is private family business.”
Maitland was opening his mouth to tell the man he would leave Daphne alone with him when hell froze over, when Daphne did it for him.
“Maitland stays,” she said, reaching out to grasp him by the arm. It was as much of a cry for help as he’d ever thought he’d see from her. Wordlessly, he slipped her arm into his, as if they were about to promenade round the room. He covered her hand with his, keenly aware of the thread of tension in her.
Once more, the earl’s eyes narrowed, and he turned an assessing gaze on Maitland, perhaps realizing for the first time the threat coming at him from that direction.
His jaw clenched, Forsyth said grimly, “Very well. If you wish your friend to witness our dirty linen, so be it.” As if needing to be in motion in order to speak, the earl began to pace the area between the window and the fireplace. “You know, Daphne, you left me without any obvious means of recouping what I lost from years of paying that tutor of yours, old man Sommersby.”
“You agreed to pay him,” Daphne said tightly. “After I threatened to expose . . .”
Hastily, Forsyth continued, “And I am currently in need of funds. As such, I must insist you return to London with me for the time being and meet a particular gentleman who has expressed interest in marrying you. Though his birth is not as high as yours, he’s quite wealthy and will make you a good husband, I trust. He’s assured me he has no concern about your odd ways, if you’re as beautiful as your portrait.”
Before Maitland could burst out with the string of invectives the other man’s pronouncement inspired in him, Daphne said, “I cannot marry this person. I’ve never even met him. You promised me that I would not have to marry someone for money as long as I won enough at the tables. I did so. You promised me, father.”
“I never actually promised, Daphne.” Forsyth said with a shake of his head. “If you chose to interpret it as such, that is not my fault. Now, go pack your things.”
Daphne’s hand on Maitland’s arm gripped him tightly. And before he even knew what he was doing, he said, “I’m afraid that’s impossible, Forsyth. Daphne is staying here.”
“I don’t know who you think you are, Maitland,” said the earl through clenched teeth, “but I am her father, and I am well within my rights to take her back to London. Now, kindly take your hands off of her and let her go pack.”
“It might once have been your right, Forsyth,” Maitland said coldly, “but Lady Daphne is my betrothed now and as such, she will remain here. With me.”

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Twitter: @MandaCollins
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http://www.mandacollins.com/

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Fiction Friday: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint AnythingSaint Anything by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I know lots of people love Sarah Dessen’s work but I have never been one of them. Her books always seemed really boring to me (with the exception of the one book about the girl working in a cafe, I don’t remember the title but I know I loved it). In retrospect though, I blame my dislike of Dessen on the fact that I was too young to really appreciate her work.
This book, on the hand, was really great to read. I found it comforting and entertaining. The story begins with Sydney who is at a trial where her brother is arrested. Sydney has always felt invisible in her brother’s shadow and now that her brother is in prison, things are no different. Needing some change in her life, Sydney changes school and meets Mac and Layla who become her new family.
I really related to Sydney’s character which was the main reason why I liked this book so much. It felt like catching up with an old friend. This was a quick easy read and I will definitely have to go find the rest of Sarah Dessen’s books (especially the cafe one-is it called something to do with desserts? I feel like it is). I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary novels.

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Fiction Friday: My Seven Favourite Contemporary Romance Authors

I don’t always read contemporary romance but when I do, I go for authors that I’ve already read before. Here are seven of my favourite contemporary romance authors.

 

My 7 Favourite Contemporary Romance Authors

 

  1. Nora Roberts- I feel like most of the world is obsessed with Nora Roberts and rightfully so. Her characters are real and her writing feels soothing. I’ve yet to find a Nora Roberts book that I didn’t enjoy.
  2. Lisa Kleypas- Like Nora Roberts, reading Lisa Kleypas books soothes me. I think it’s because I’ve read them all so often that rereading them feels like coming home to an old friend.
  3. Rachel Morgan- Rachel Morgan writes contemporary YA romance as Richelle Morgan. Her Trouble series is one of my all-time favourite YA contemporary books. It still breaks my heart that the series is over. The books were SOO good.
  4. Jennifer Gracen- Another automatic go-to author is Jennifer Gracen. Her characters usually have some sort of darkness or issue holding them back but it just makes me love them more.
  5. Holly Martin- Holly Martin’s books are light and lovely and they make me want to curl up in bed with a snack and read read read. LOVE THEM!
  6. Joanne Macgregor- I haven’t read that many YA contemporary romances by Joanne Macgregor (just Scarred which I really enjoyed!) but I love her writing and how real her characters are. She’s recently released a contemporary retelling of The Little Mermaid called Hushed.
  7. Kody Keplinger- I loved loved LOVED The Duff book and the movie. I haven’t read anything else by Kody Keplinger but it’s fine. I trust her writing. Also, I kinda threw myself at her books when I found them on sale at the bookstore (there was only one copy of each left and I didn’t want anyone else to get them).

What are some of your favourite contemporary books and authors? What authors do you buy even if you don’t know much about their books? I’d love to know below.

Fiction Friday: Bookish Gift Ideas

My birthday is coming up soon (and by soon I mean two months but whatever) so I thought it would be a great idea to share a list of bookish gift ideas. Even if my birthday wasn’t coming up, a gift guide for bookworms is always a good idea in my opinion. So here we go:

 

Bookish Gift Ideas

  1. A Kindle (or another newer Kindle if the bookworm already has one)- For those who don’t mind eBooks, Kindles are beyond amazing. You can store tons of your favourite books and read them on the go. I would gladly sacrifice my firstborn for one. (Kids just get in the way of your reading anyway).
  2. Book vouchers- I’ve never been gifted with a book voucher and this makes me sad. But if you give the bookworm in your life a book voucher, know that they will appreciate it immensely. It’s like you bought them a book but you let them choose the book (which is also another idea).
  3. A book- Okay this one is obvious but still a goodie. If you’re not sure what books they already have, go with treasured boxset. Like the pretty Harry Potter ones with the matching spines. Swoon.
  4. Bookmarks- Some bookworms really like bookmarks. Personally I always lose mine but I appreciate them nonetheless. Exclusive Books and Bargain Books have some really great bookmarks.
  5. Cash (so that they can buy books)- nuff said.

What gift suggestions do you have for a bookworm? What’s the one gift you always wanted? I’d love to know below.

The “Treat Yo Self” Book Haul

Last weekend  was the SPCA booksale and since I’m now a working adult, I decided to treat myself (because I totally never treated myself before I got a job). This is my book haul:

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And of course, no SPCA booksale haul is complete without a Bargain Books haul. I also visited two bookstores with regular priced books just so I could tell the books that I had a job but I still wouldn’t be buying them because they were expensive AF. I know, I have issues.

 

Bargain Books was having an Autumn sale but I only bought these two books… Because I already owned all the other books that were on sale. Think I might have to stop visiting Bargain Books so often.

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This picture might appear upside down because WordPress hates me and delights in messing up my blog.

What books did you buy most recently? And more importantly, do you own a print copy of ACOWAR? Let me know below.