Thursday, January 24, 2013

Too Good to be True

Last January I happily discovered Karen Marie Moning and her fabulous Highlander series and although I didn’t discover the Fever series until much later in the year, KMM was one of my best discoveries of 2012. It seems I’m keeping with this tradition again this year, I’ve just finished my first Kristan Higgans book and I think I’m in love.

Too Good to Be TrueToo Good to be True is the story of Grace Emerson. Grace lives in a small town in Connecticut. Recently dumped by her ex-fiancé, who’s now dating her sister, the history teacher and Civil war fanatic has had it with her family looking at her like a wounded puppy so she does what she thinks is the best solution- she invents a fake boyfriend.

When Callahan O’Shea moves in next door, they get off on the wrong foot and things don’t go so smoothly from there. Grace wants to know all about Cal’s illustrious past and while she is secretly fantasizing about him, she knows he’s not the right guy for her.

The characters of Grace and Cal are really good, they have a lot of chemistry but there is also a lot of laugh out loud moments from the moment they meet throughout the rest of the book. Higgins fills the book with great one liners and truly funny moments.

While this is a romance novel, there is a lot more going on in the story than Grace falling in love; she’s also trying to find herself again after being dumped by her fiancé and learning to stand up for herself. Her family plays a pivotal role in her story, not just her role in the family, but their love lives as well.

Higgins surprised me a few times and the story took a few turns I wasn’t expecting, which I really enjoyed. Although I knew Grace and Callahan would get a HEA it’s nice to break out of that romance mold once in a while and be taken by surprise.

One thing that surprised me but by no means disappointed me was the lack of hmmpm in the book. While it was implied, Higgins never went into descriptive detail. I actually found it refreshing and felt the book had a lot more to offer that it was able to stand on its own without the hmmpm.

What did annoy me in the book was Grace’s sister Natalie. She needed a good slap. She’s spoiled, sheltered and has never had anything bad happen to her. She is dating her sister’s ex-fiancé for crying out loud and she doesn’t see anything wrong with that and Grace just stands by and accepts it?

This was the first Kristan Higgins book I read and it was not the last, she snagged me with Too Good to be True. I really loved this book and this led me to discover other books by Kristan Higgins. I’m looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Lost Wife

The Lost WifeIn pre-war Prague, Lenka and Josef are young students and blissfully in love. When war looms, they are separated, but decades later in New York chance upon each other again.

I liked the premise of The Lost Wife and I knew it was going to be a tragic story going in, any book that focuses on WWII and the Holocaust are bound to be tear jerkers. There were definite bring out the tissue moments but overall I wasn’t impressed with this one.

The novel starts at the end in New York and through Lenka and Josef’s perspectives, shifts back in time to tell their story from the beginning until they meet again in New York.

I couldn’t connect with Josef through most of the story and although I can’t imagine the horrific and tragic circumstances that family and lovers were forced to face, I still found myself judging him for leaving Lenka behind in Prague.  

At times the same memory is told from both Lenka and Josef’s perspectives and I thought it was redundant and should have focused on the most important voice.

Lenka’s voice was more powerful and her story is the heart and soul of this novel. She was an incredible woman and I was happy that after the war, she was able to build a life and seemed to be more than content.
I did enjoy some of the questions the book raised, would you be able to flee to safety and leave your family behind, not knowing what horrors they would face but knowing things were going to be bad. How do you choose between your husband/wife and your parents.

The ending was the final straw for me; I wanted to throw the book by that point. I felt like it was a real letdown. The whole novel is building to Lenka and Josef’s reunion and I wanted a whole lot more than the author gave us. I wanted to at least be given Lenka’s perspective on seeing Josef again.

Overall, this was not a great read for me. I loved the premise and I think it had a lot of potential but it just didn’t grab me the way I was hoping it would.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quote of the Day

“It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.” 
― Oscar Wilde

Friday, January 11, 2013

Free Book!

Last January I happily discovered Karen Marie Moning and her fabulous Highlander series and although I didn’t discover the Fever series until much later in the year, KMM was one of my best discoveries of 2012. 

It seems I’m keeping with this tradition again this year, I’ve just finished my first Kristan Higgans book and I think I’m in love. I've already picked up a few more of her books and I'm flying through them. 

Today on Barnes and Noble, Nook users can get a free copy of Kristan' s book Just one of the Guys. For Kindle readers, I believe there is a way for you to download  the Nook app and get the free book that way, or read on your computer.

Here's the link - enjoy! 

Just one of the Guys by Kristan Higgins

Just One of the Guys  Being one of the guys isn't all it's cracked up to be…So when journalist Chastity O'Neill returns to her hometown, she decides it's time to start working on some of those feminine wiles. Two tiny problems: #1—she's five feet eleven inches of rock-solid girl power, and #2—she's cursed with four alpha-male older brothers.

While doing a story on local heroes, she meets a hunky doctor and things start to look up. Now there's only one problem: Trevor Meade, her first love and the one man she's never quite gotten over—although he seems to have gotten over her just fine.

Yet the more time she spends with Dr. Perfect, the better Trevor looks. But even with the in-your-face competition, the irresistible Trevor just can't seem to see Chastity as anything more than just one of the guys…
Synopsis from Goodreads.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A little something to get through the day...

Quote of the Day

"I love you, a nighean donn. I have loved ye from the moment I saw ye, I will love ye 'til time itself is done, and so long as you are by my side, I am well pleased wi' the world."
- Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross Chapter 99: Brother

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Iced (Dani O'Malley, #1)The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be. 

Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux. 

When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.

Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.
Synopsis from Goodreads.

It took me a little while to get into Dani’s POV as opposed to Mac’s in the Fever series. They are completely different voices, not to mention all of the feck’s. But I did get used to it and was soon engrossed in the fever world. I did find myself missing Mac and Barrons though.

I loved seeing more of Ryodan in Iced and it looks like he is going to be a main character in the rest of the Dani O’Malley series. On the flip side, at first I felt the same way about Christian. I loved him in the Fever books but his character does a complete 180 in Iced. He just comes across as really creepy and I don’t think all of it has to do with him becoming an Unseelie prince. I hope in future books he tones it down. I loved Dancer as well but there is definitely more to him than he’s letting on. I’m looking forward to finding out his deep, dark past.

I would like to see Dani age a bit more in the next two books. Partly because I would like to see her character’s transformation with a little emotional maturity but mainly because there is some major sexual tension going on and it’s built to the point where Ryodan, Christian and Dancer all are going to be vying for her affections and I want to see who she will choose.  Right now I’m sticking with Ryodan because the feeling I got in Iced was he was the one.

The mystery itself was decent and kept me guessing but for me it’s really hard to be in Fever Dublin without Mac and Barrons fighting the good fight and I kept wondering what they were up to that kept them away from the mystery.

I will definitely continue reading this series. Not only does it keep me in touch with the Fever world until the next Mac and Barrons book (which won’t be for a few years) but KMM has snagged my interest in Dani and I want to see how she grows up. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the next installment. Until then we can always re-read Fever. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Quote of the Day

I have come to believe that love is not a noun but a verb. An action. Like water, it flows to its own current. If you were to corner it in a dam, true love is so bountiful it would flow over. Even in seperation, even in death, it moves and changes. It lives within memory. 
- Alyson Richman, The Lost Wife

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Outlander Challenge - January Link-up

Hi Outlander Fans!

Here is the January Link-up for the 2013 Outlander Challenge.
I'll post a link to this post on the Outlander Challenge page.

Thanks everyone and happy reading!

Quote of the Day

"From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived." 
— Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Quote of the Day

“You choose what you can live with and what you can't live without.” 
― Karen Marie MoningShadowfever

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Historical Fiction Challenge

I'm way behind on reading challenge sign ups for 2013 but here's a great challenge, hosted by Historical Tapestry. I've been reading a lot of historical fiction the last few years and this challenge suits me and ties in with the Outlander challenge as well. 

I'm signing up for Renaissance Reader now. 

Here are the details, to sign up, head over to Historical Tapestry here .

2013 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
We are excited to announce that the we will again be hosting the 
Historical Fiction Reading Challenge in 2013, and we hope that 
you are all excited at the prospect of joining in.

The challenge will run in the same way as it has over the 
last couple of years that we have hosted the challenge. 
The only thing that has changed is the names of the categories.

Here are the details:

Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created. 

To participate, you only have to follow the rules:

everyone can participate, even those who don't have a blog
 (you can add your book title and thoughts in the 
comment section if you wish)

add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name
and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post
 (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will
 guide us directly to your review)

any kind of historical fiction is accepted 
(HF fantasy, HF young adult,...)

During these following 12 months you can choose 
one of the different reading levels:

20th century reader - 2 books
Victorian reader - 5 books
Renaissance Reader - 10 books
Medieval - 15 books
Ancient History -25+ books

You can tailor the challenge to suit you in whichever way you like! 
For example, I know of one participant who over the last couple of years 
has only read historical mysteries as it suits their own reading tastes!

The challenge runs from 1 January to 31 December 2013.

Outlander Challenge 2013

There's still time to sign up!!

I know it's a little late to be posting a challenge but I haven't seen anyone else hosting an Outlander challenge and I would really love to do it!

2013 will see the release of Book Eight in the Outlander series, Written in My Own Heart's Blood. Die hard fans like me are sure to be re-reading all of the past books in anticipation of the new release (no date yet, expected Fall 2013). Hopefully there will be many more readers who discover and fall in love with the series for the first time as well.

Some guidelines:

* Challenge runs from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013

* Goal is to read all of the Outlander novels as well as the Lord John Grey novels.

* All book formats are accepted: Bound, e-Book, Audio.

* Anyone is welcome to participate, you do not need a blog to sign up. Those without a blog can post reviews to Goodreads, Amazon etc.

* Each month simply link up your name and review(s) to Mister Linky I will post every month. **Please link directly to the review, not your blog**

Level 1: 1-4 books
Level2: 5-8 books
Level 3:9-11 books
Level 4: All 12 books

Outlander Books include: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes and An Echo in the Bone. * Written in My Own Heart's Blood is being included**

Lord John Grey books include: Lord John and the Private Matter, Lord John and the Hand of Devils, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade and The Scottish Prisoner. 

*To join the challenge write a post about it, grab the badge and sign up with Mr. Linky with a link to your post. If you don't have a blog, just sign up with your name or leave a comment.