Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Review: Rosemarked - Livia Blackburne

A healer who cannot be healed . . .

When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

A soldier shattered by war . . .

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.

This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes.

Rosemarked Series:
Rosemarked
All the Wandering Light (2018)

Visit the Livia Blackburne's website for more information

Review:
Zivah has dedicated her life to becoming a healer so she can serve her people but when an outbreak of the rose plague affects Amparan soldiers currently visiting her village she ends up getting infected herself while treating her patients. There are only three possible outcomes to the rose plague and the vast majority of people don't survive the first infection. Rare survivors end up Rosemarked which means they're still highly infectious and can continue to spread the disease even though they no longer have symptoms, the disease always flares back up at some point and will invariably lead to death but there is no way to tell how long it will be before that happens. Even rarer survivors can become Umbertouched, they are now completely immune to the plague and are no longer contagious so are allowed to return to their lives rather than remain in quarantine. Unfortunately for Zivah she becomes Rosemarked and now instead of serving her village as a healer she is forced to live alone on the outskirts unable to touch or be touched for fear of spreading the plague.

As Zivah quietly experiments on herself hoping to find a cure to the plague her life is turned upside down when her village leader asks her to help with a secret mission. The village has been coming under increasing threat from the Amparan Empire and along with the Shidadi Tribe they have a plan to infiltrate the Amparan army with an Umbertouched soldier but they need Zivah's help to pull it off. Dineas was tortured by the Amparan's and is seeking revenge but at the same time he wants to protect his people and the best way to do that is to find out more about the threats they face.

I absolutely loved this story, it's a bit of a slow build so don't expect lots of high stakes action from the very first page, but I was completely captivated from very early on and enjoyed the clever world building and realistic characters. I loved seeing the way the plague effected both Zivah and Dineas, initially they have pretty low opinions of each other but they gradually become friends as they work together against a common enemy. Life isn't easy for either of them and the deeper they get into their undercover work the harder it is to know who the real enemy is. You do have to suspend belief a little about the way Zivah was able to remove Dineas' memories using her healing skills but could bring them back for short periods of time when she needed to talk to him but it added such an interesting dimension to Dineas' interactions with the people he met that it didn't bother me at all.

The slightly slower pacing in the beginning really pays off in the second half of the story when things start to get much more complicated and we start to uncover some interesting secrets. The ending was edge of your seat stuff and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Umbertouched. It's funny because I've not seen much buzz around this book in the blogosphere but it's one of the most unique series I've come across in a while and it's definitely one I'd recommend to YA fantasy fans.

Source: Received from Turnaround in exchange for an honest review.

Other reviews of this book:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Hardback:

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets House Editions - to buy or not to buy?


I'm sure EVERYONE must have seen the new Chamber of Secrets House covers that Bloomsbury are publishing this June. What I really want to know is what everyone thinks of the idea though?

I was one of the fans who was thrilled when they announced the Philosopher's Stone House covers, I was determined to only buy the Hufflepuff versions but they were so beautiful that I ended up buying the entire set of eight. No I can't tell you why I needed them all but they take such beautiful pics for bookstagram LOL. You can see some of the pics I took in this post I wrote last year and I have zero regrets for buying them, but.....

....it does mean that I now have a RIDICULOUS amount of copies of Philosopher's Stone, there's my original paperback, the hardback with the cover art designed by Jonny Duddle (I bought a box set of the whole series because I loved those covers so much), then my Spineless Classics poster which was made with the full text of the book, the gorgeous illustrated edition and now eight house covers. That's not including the kindle version and audiobook! So, let's just add that up quickly, I now have fourteen - YES, FOURTEEN!!! - copies of Philosopher's Stone! Yup, I definitely have a problem LOL.

Twelve of my copies of Philosopher's Stone

And that leads me to my dilemma when it comes to the House editions of Chamber of Secrets (and Bloomsbury have confirmed there will be House editions for the entire seven book series). I would love to have the entire series in Hufflepuff colours, but at the same time I know me and I know what will happen if I start buying more of these books. I'm going to end up with all the houses just like I did with Philosopher's Stone. I can justify having a paperback, hardback, kindle and audiobook for all seven books. I can justify buying the illustrated editions as they're released because Jim Kay's illustrations add so much depth to the stories. Luckily I don't have to justify buying more Spineless Classics posters because they only made the first book (and hallelujah for that because all my wall space is taken up with bookcases and I have no room for more posters LOL).

What I can't justify is buying 8 more copies of every book, I can't do it financially, I don't have enough shelf space and to be honest I feel like they're starting to take advantage of fans at this point. Let's look at the figures again, if I buy them all I'd end up with 14 copies of Philosopher's Stone (tick), and 13 copies of the other six books in the series. That's NINETY-TWO copies of seven stories! And we're not even talking about the numerous copies of the Hogwarts Library, the scripts for the Cursed Child play and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie and dozens of books about the making of the movies, the characters, the beasts, the costumes, the book and model sets and all the other HP world books I've already bought over the years.

Putting the Harry Potter logo on ANYTHING has pretty much become a license to print money these days. I know I'm not the only crazy Potterhead who spends far too much money on HP merch in all it's shapes and forms - over half the Christmas presents I received this year were HP related and I've run out of space in my dedicated HP cabinet to even put all the stuff I own! - but there comes a point where you have to try and start drawing a line and I'm trying to convince myself to draw the line at these new House editions.

They're just so pretty.....

I'm pretty much doomed to failure because I'm already trying to talk myself into just buying the Hufflepuff versions so I'll have them as a set. What remains to be seen is if I can stick with just the Hufflepuff ones because if I buy the whole set of Chamber of Secrets then I will HAVE to buy the rest of the series as they release over the next five years. The collector in me won't allow for anything else! And this is why it sucks to be a book hoarder LOL.

The full set of Hardbacks (with the gorgeous patterned sprayed edges!)

The full set of Paperbacks

In case you missed it here's the official Bloomsbury trailer:




So what do you think of the House Editions? Do you love them or hate them? Are you planning on buying any or even all of them? And can someone please find a way to make me stick to buying only the Hufflepuff versions? I'll be forever grateful if you can!

Monday, 29 January 2018

Cover Reveal: Bring Me Their Hearts - Sara Wolf

In a new series Publishers Weekly has listed as "one of the most anticipated YA's of 2018", we're excited to share the cover for Bring Me Their Hearts! NYT bestselling author Sara Wolf delivers a fast-paced, gritty fantasy sure to thrill fans of Holly Black, Sabba Tahir, and Sarah J. Maas.


About the book:

Zera is a Heartless-the immortal, unaging soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger's control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a prince's heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum: if she's discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy Zera's heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d'Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him-every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him-until the arrival of Lady Zera. She's inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The prince's honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser's heart.

Literally.

--

Buy Links:

Entangled Publishing: https://entangledpublishing.com/bring-me-their-hearts.html
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07232WZBF
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bring-me-their-hearts-sara-wolf/1126358416
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bring-me-their-hearts/id1237042410
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bring-me-their-hearts
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35144326-bring-me-their-hearts

Release Date: June 5th, 2018

--

About Sara Wolf:

Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

Visit Sara Wolf's website for more information

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Review: Claimed in Shadows - Lara Adrian

In this pulse-pounding new Midnight Breed vampire romance novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Lara Adrian, passion explodes between a daywalking member of the Order and a fiery female warrior whose shadowy past will test the bonds of both duty and desire.

As the son of a formidable Breed warrior, Aric Chase has been devoted to the Order all his life. With his training completed, all he needs is one successful mission before he can join the fight to destroy the Order’s chief nemesis, Opus Nostrum. His rare ability to daywalk lands Aric an assignment in Montreal, where he learns he’s to be teamed with another new recruit, a beautiful, but tough-as-nails Breedmate named Kaya Laurent.

Independent and driven, Kaya wants nothing more than to become a full-fledged member of the Order. Having grown up in squalor and neglect on the streets of Montreal, she longs for the close-knit family she’s found during her training to be a warrior. Eager to prove herself, she is thrilled to be given the chance at a key operation—even if she must share the mission with an arrogant, far-too-seductive Breed male who’s practically Order royalty.

Their unwanted partnership soon erupts into a desire neither of them can resist. But when Kaya’s past reaches out from the shadows to call her back, she must decide between protecting a dark alliance that could shatter her dreams of joining the team and a truth that could not only forfeit Aric’s faith in her, but bring the enemy right to the Order’s door.

The Midnight Breed Series:
A Touch of Midnight (Novella included in The Midnight Breed Series Companion, now also available separately)
Kiss of Midnight
Kiss of Crimson
Midnight Awakening
Midnight Rising
Veil of Midnight
Ashes of Midnight
Shades of Midnight
Taken by Midnight
Deeper than Midnight
A Taste of Midnight (Novella)
Darker After Midnight
The Midnight Breed Series Companion
Edge of Dawn
Marked by Midnight (Novella)
Crave the Night
Tempted by Midnight (Novella)
Bound to Darkness
Stroke of Midnight (Novella)
Defy the Dawn
Midnight Untamed (Novella)
Midnight Unbound (Novella)
Midnight Unleashed (Novella)
Claimed in Shadows

Hunter Legacy Series:
(A series of standalone romances set in the Midnight Breed world)
Born of Darkness

Visit Lara Adrian's website for more information about the Midnight Breed series you will find excerpts from each of the books. Lara can also be found on Facebook & Twitter where she posts regular updates or you can join other fans to chat about the books over at the LAMB (Lara Adrian Midnight Breed) Forum

Review:
I'm a huge fan of the Midnight Breed, it's been my favourite PNR series for a long time now and in my opinion Lara Adrian's books just keep getting better and better. The last few novellas have been great but they were about some of the European Order members so this is our first chance to catch up with the core order members in a while. I hadn't actually realised how much I missed them until I started reading this but it was absolutely wonderful to see so many old familiar faces and I'm loving getting to know the next generation too.

The Order has been trying to put a stop to Opus Nostrum for a while now, this terror group wants to wipe the Breed off the face of the planet and now that they have access to UV weapons they're an even more dangerous enemy. Every lead the Order get seems to reach a dead end and Opus Nostrum are always one step ahead so they really need to work fast to get information from their latest suspect. Aric is Sterling and Tavia's son and twin to Carys, his rare daywalker abilities make him the ideal Order member to go undercover at a high class wedding where they might have a chance to interrogate their mark. He has been teamed up with Kaya, a breedmate who has worked hard to prove herself a valuable asset to the Order. Both Aric and Kaya are desperate to become fully fledged members and this assignment is the perfect time to show off their skills. Kaya's unique breedmate ability to read people's mind with a touch, combined with Aric's ability to wipe memories should make it easy to get information on Opus Nostrum without tipping their hand but field jobs hardly ever go exactly as planned and if things go wrong they'll be on their own.

Kaya was such an easy character to like, she has worked so hard to prove herself to the Order and although she's no match for a member of the Breed in physical strength she holds her own pretty well and brings her own set of skills to the party. Kaya had a difficult upbringing and there are things about her past that she's incredibly ashamed of so she's keeping some pretty big secrets because she's terrified of being kicked out if the Order learns the truth. She would never do anything to hurt the Order, they've become the family she always dreamed of, but when you've been hiding something for so long it just gets harder and harder to come clean.

Aric initially comes across as a little self centred and arrogant but once you get to know him you realise he's not a bad guy. His parents have always given him and his sister everything they could ever want but they both had to earn their place in the Order - there are no free rides given no matter who your parents are. In fact, having such important family members have only made him feel like he has even more to prove to live up to their reputation. He is drawn to Kaya immediately but they're both reluctant to start any kind of official relationship, partly because he doesn't plant to stay in Montreal for very long but also because Kaya knows her secrets will come out eventually and she doesn't want to lie to to him. What starts as a fairly antagonistic relationship soon grows into mutual respect and that allows them both to give in to the simmering attraction that was there all along. I loved their romance and found it very easy to root for them as a couple.

We also get the chance to catch up with some of the original couples, Nikolai and Renata are in charge of the Montreal chapter of the Order and they have some exciting things going on in their lives so we see a fair amount of them both along with their adopted daughter Mira and her mate Kellan, but we also get a glimpse of Lucan, Gabrielle, Rio, Dylan, Chase, Tavia, and some of the others. I loved getting to know Rafe (Tess and Dante's son) and really hope we get a book for him but I don't think he's going to be ready for a relationship just yet so we might have to wait a while. This series is just getting better and better, the fight against Opus Nostrum is heating up, the danger to the Breed is increasing and the Order's task to protect Breed and humans alike is just getting more complicated. I love where Lara Adrian is taking these books and and can't wait to get my hands on the next instalment!

Source: I received an ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Books Read in 2017

~A~
A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic book 3) - V.E. Schwab
A Fistful of Fire (Madison Fox book 2) - Rebecca Chastain (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
A Fistful of Frost (Madison Fox book 3) - Rebecca Chastain (This was a beta read so I won't be reviewing until I've read the finished version)
A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars - Yaba Badoe
A Local Habitation (October Daye book 2) - Seanan McGuire
A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time book 14) - Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles book 1) - Amanda Bouchet (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
A Questionable Client (Kate Daniels book 0.5) - Ilona Andrews (Short Story) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
A Red-Rose Chain (October Daye book 9) - Seanan McGuire
A Valiant Light (Demon Trappers book 6) - Jana Oliver
After I Fall (Falling book 3) - Jessica Scott
Aftermath (Sirantha Jax book 5) - Ann Aguirre
Alice in Brexitland - Lucien Young writing as Leavis Carroll
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Carousel Book - Lewis Carroll (Pop Up Picture Book)
Alien Education (Katherine "Kitty" Katt book 15) - Gini Koch
All He Wants for Christmas - Anthology
An Artificial Night (October Daye book 3) - Seanan McGuire
Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter book 10) - Nalini Singh
Ariadnis (Erthe book 1) - Josh Martin
Art Life - Bev Speight (Art Book)
Artemis - Andy Weir
Ashes of Honor (October Daye book 6) - Seanan McGuire
Ashwin (Gideon's Riders book 1) - Kit Rocha
Asking for More (Asking for It book 2.5) - Lilah Pace (Novella)

~B~
Bad Moon Rising (Dark Hunters book 18) - Sherrilyn Kenyon
Barbarian Lover (Ice Planet Barbarians book 3) - Ruby Dixon
Barbarian Mine (Ice Planet Barbarians book 4) - Ruby Dixon
Berlin and Potsdam - Bernhard Schneidewind (Travel Guide)
Beast in Shining Armor (A Kinda Fairytale book 2) - Cassandra Gannon
Beyond Doubt (O'Kane for Life book 1) - Kit Rocha (Novella)
Beyond Forever (O'Kane for Life book 2) - Kit Rocha (Novella)
Blackwing (Raven's Mark book 1) - Ed McDonald
Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires book 13) - Chloe Neill
Blade Song: Special Anniversary Edition (Colbana Files book 1) - J.C. Daniels
Blind Faith (Sin Brothers book 3) - Rebecca Zanetti
Blind Tiger (Wildcats book 2) - Rachel Vincent
Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson book 2) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Blood Bound (Unbound book 1) - Rachel Vincent (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson book 4) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Bloodfever (Fever book 2) - Karen Marie Moning (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Bound (Soulseer Chronicles book 3) - Sue Tingey
Break My Fall (Falling book 2) - Jessica Scott
Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles book 2) - Amanda Bouchet (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Bronze Gods (Apparatus Infernum book 1) - A.A. Aguirre
Burn for Me - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review) (Read four times this year!)

~C~
Caraval (Caraval book 1) - Stephanie Garber
Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark book 1) - Veronica Roth
Cat Querkles - Thomas Pavitte (Colouring Book)
Catch My Fall (Falling book 4) - Jessica Scott
Ceremony in Death (In Death book 5) - J.D. Robb
Chaos Choreography (Incryptid book 5) - Seaman McGuire
Chaos Falls (Chaos Rises book 3) - Pippa DaCosta
Chaos Unleashed (Chaos Rises book 2) - Pippa DaCosta
Cherish Hard (Hard Play book 1) - Nalini Singh
Chester 5000-XYV (Chester 5000 book 1) - Jess Fink (Graphic Novel)
Chester 5000-XYV: Isabelle & George (Chester 5000 book 2) - Jess Fink (Graphic Novel)
Chimes at Midnight (October Daye book 7) - Seanan McGuire
Christmas with a Spy - Cynthia Eden (Novella in the All I Want for Christmas Anthology)
Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles book 1) - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Crave Me (O'Brien Family book 3) - Cecy Robson
Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega book 1) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Cursed (Soulseer Chronicles book 2) - Sue Tingey

~D~
Damon (Colbana Files book 0.7) - J.C. Daniels (Novella)
Danger's Halo (Holly Danger book 1) - Amanda Carlson
Danger's Race (Holly Danger book 3) - Amanda Carlson
Danger's Vice (Holly Danger book 2) - Amanda Carlson
Darkfever (Fever book 1) - Karen Marie Moning (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Daughter of the Burning City - Amanda Foody
Dawn Study (Chronicles of Ixia book 9) - Maria V Snyder
Deacon (Gideon's Riders book 2) - Kit Rocha
Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega book 4) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Dead of Night (Soldier Girls book 1.5) - Michael Grant (Novella)
Deadlines and Dryads (Terra Haven Chronicles book 1) - Rebecca Chastain (Novella)
Defending Their Mate Part One (Last Pack book 2 part 1) - Moira Rogers (Novella / Serialised Novel)
Defy the Stars (Constellation book 1) - Claudia Gray
Destined to Live: One Woman's War, Life, Loves Remembered - Sabina van Der Linden-Wolanski with Diana Bagnall
Doubleblind (Sirantha Jax book 3) - Ann Aguirre
Dreams and Slumbers (October Daye book 10.1) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)

~E~
Edge of Forever (Soul Eater book 6) - Pippa DaCosta
Enclave (Razorland book 1) - Ann Aguirre
Endgame (Sirantha Jax book 6) - Ann Aguirre
Endurance (Razorland book 1.5) - Ann Aguirre (Novella)
Eternal (Carolina Beach book 2) - Cecy Robson
Even the Darkest Stars (Even the Darkest Stars book 1) - Heather Fawcett
Exiled (Phoebe Meadows book 3) - Amanda Carlson
Eyes on You - Laura Kaye (Novella)

~F~
F*ck Club: Con (F*ck Club book 2) - Shiloh Walker
F*ck Club: Riley (F*ck Club book 1) - Shiloh Walker
Fair Game (Alpha & Omega book 3) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Feel Me (O'Brien Family book 4) - Cecy Robson
Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson book 9) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist book 1) - Renee Ahdieh
Forbid the Sea (October Daye book 7.2) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
Foundation (Razorland book 0.5) - Ann Aguirre (Short Story)
For 100 Days (100 Series book 1) - Lara Adrian (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
For 100 Nights (100 Series book 2) - Lara Adrian
For 100 Reasons (100 Series book 3) - Lara Adrian
Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson book 7) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Frostblood (Frostblood Saga book 1) - Elly Blake
Full of Briars (October Daye book 9.3) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)

~G~
Game of Thrones Mask: House Lannister Lion - Steve Wintercroft (Craft Book)
Gentlemen Prefer Heiresses (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James book 4.5) - Lorraine Heath (Guest Review)
Glory (Glory MC book 1) - Ana Jolene
Godsgrave (Nevernight Chronicles book 2) - Jay Kristoff
Grimspace (Sirantha Jax book 1) - Ann Aguirre

~H~
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 20th Anniversary House Editions (HP book 1) - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (HP book 3) - J.K. Rowling & Jim Kay (Illustrated Edition)
Harry Potter: Magical Film Projections: Patronus Charm (Activity Book)
Harry Potter: The Character Vault - Jody Revenson
Haunted Blade (Colbana Files book 6) - J.C. Daniels
Heaps of Pearl (October Daye book 8.1) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
Heart on Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles book 3) - Amanda Bouchet
Homecoming (Mercy Thompson book 0.5) - Patricia Briggs (Graphic Novel)
Hopecross Jilly (Mercy Thompson book 7.5) - Patricia Briggs (Graphic Novel)
Horde (Razorland book 3) - Ann Aguirre
Hunt - Rachel Vincent (Novella) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega book 2) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)

~I~
Ice Planet Holiday (Ice Planet Barbarians book 4.5) - Ruby Dixon (Novella)
In Little Stars (October Daye book 0.5) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
In Deepest Consequence (October Daye book 7.8) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
In Sea-Salt Tears (October Daye book 5.1) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
IncrediBuilds: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Niffler - Ramin Zahed (Deluxe Book and Model Set)
Incredibuilds: Harry Potter: Buckbeak - Jody Revenson (Deluxe Book and Model Set)
Incredibuilds: Harry Potter: House-Elves - Jody Revenson (Deluxe Book and Model Set)
Incredibuilds: Harry Potter: Quidditch - Jody Revenson (Deluxe Book and Model Set)
Incryptid Short Stories Narrated by Elsie Harrington (Incryptid 5.1) - Seanan McGuire (1 Short Story)
Incryptid Short Stories Narrated by the Aeslin Mice (Incryptid 6.5) - Seanan McGuire (1 Short Story)
Innkeeper Chronicles Volume 1 (Innkeeper Chronicles books 1-3) - Ilona Andrews
Instruments of Darkness (October Daye book 7.6) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
Iron Gold (Red Rising book 4) - Pierce Brown
Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson book 3) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)

~J~
J.K. Rowlings Wizarding World: Magical Film Projections: Creatures (Activity Book)

~K~
Killbox (Sirantha Jax book 4) - Ann Aguirre
Kiss of a Demon King (Immortals After Dark book 7) - Kresley Cole (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Little Miss Shy Goes Online Dating - Roger Hargreaves
Lonely Planet Pocket Berlin (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Nepal (Travel Guide)

~M~
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels book 1) - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review) (Read twice this year)
Magic Burns (Kate Daniels book 2) - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Magic Mourns (Kate Daniels book 3.5) - Ilona Andrews (Novella) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels book 3) - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Magic for Nothing (Incryptid book 6) - Seanan McGuire
Make Me Believe - Shiloh Walker (Novella)
Marine Biology (San Andreas Shifters book 0.5) - Gail Carriger (Short Story)
Marked (Soulseer Chronicles book 1) - Sue Tingey (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Martians Abroad - Carrie Vaughn
Mask of Shadows (Mask of Shadows book 1) - Linsey Miller
Masquerade (Micha Grey book 3) - Laura Lam
Mastering Her Senses (Blasphemy book 2) - Laura Kaye
Melt for Me (Against All Odds book 3) - Elisabeth Naughton (Novella in the All I Want for Christmas Anthology)
Merry Christmas, Baby - Katie Reus (Novella in the All I Want for Christmas Anthology)
Midnight Unbound (Midnight Breed book 14.6) - Lara Adrian (Novella)
Midnight Unleashed (Midnight Breed book 14.7) - Lara Adrian (Novella)
Moon Called (Mercy Thompson book 1) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street book 6) - Samantha Young
Mr Greedy Eats Clean to get Lean - Roger Hargreaves
Mr Happy and the Office Party - Roger Hargreaves
My Last Name (Incryptid book 3.6) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)

~N~
Never Shines the Sun (October Daye book 7.1) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
Nevernight (Nevernight Chronicles book 1) - Jay Kristoff (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Night Broken (Mercy Thompson book 8) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Night of Cake and Puppets - Laini Taylor (Novella) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
No Sooner Met (October Daye book 6.2) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
Northern Lights (His Dark Materials book 1) - Philip Pullman
Not Safe for Work - Charlotte Stein (Novella)

~P~
Pantomime (Micha Grey book 1) - Laura Lam (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Paradise Found (Bandicoot Cove book 2) - Vivian Arend (Multi-Author Series)
Perdition (Dred Chronicles book 1) - Ann Aguirre
Phantom Kiss (Chicagoland Vampires book 12.5) - Chloe Neill (Novella)
Protecting Their Mate: Part 1 (Last Pack book 1 part 1) - Moira Rogers (Novella / Serialised Novel) (Read Twice)
Protecting Their Mate: Part 2 (Last Pack book 1 part 2) - Moira Rogers (Novella / Serialised Novel) (Read Twice)
Protecting Their Mate: Part 3 (Last Pack book 1 part 3) - Moira Rogers (Novella / Serialised Novel) (Read Twice)

~Q~
Quick Trick (Rough Riders Hockey book 1) - Skye Jordan (Novella in the All I Want for Christmas Anthology)

~R~
Rapture in Death (In Death book 4) - J.D. Robb
Rat-Catcher (October Daye book 6.1) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
Razr (Demonica book 11.8) - Larrisa Ione (Novella)
Restoration (Razorland book 2.5) - Ann Aguirre (Short Story)
Ride 'Em (Giddyup book 1) - Delphine Dryden
Ride Rough (Raven Riders book 2) - Laura Kaye
Ride Wild (Raven Riders book 3) - Laura Kaye
River Marked (Mercy Thompson book 6) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Roar (Stormheart book 1) - Cora Carmack
Rock Hard (Rock Kiss book 2) - Nalini Singh (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Rope 'Em (Giddyup book 2) - Delphine Dryden
Rosemary and Rue (October Daye book 1) - Seanan McGuire
Royal Bastards - Andrew Shvarts

~S~
Saga: Volume 1 - Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Graphic Novel) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Saga: Volume 2 - Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Graphic Novel) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Saga: Volume 3 - Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Graphic Novel)
Saga: Volume 4 - Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Graphic Novel)
Scorpion Trap (Soul Eater book 4) - Pippa DaCosta
Serpent's Game (Soul Eater book 5) - Pippa DaCosta
Shadow Bound (Unbound book 2) - Rachel Vincent
Shadowplay (Micha Grey book 2) - Laura Lam (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Shattered Glass (Chronicles of Ixia book 8.5)- Maria V. Snyder (Novella)
Shifting Shadows (Mercy Thompson Anthology) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Shore to Shore (October Daye book 8.2) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson book 10) - Patricia Briggs
Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson book 5) - Patricia Briggs (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Silver Silence (Psy-Changeling Trinity book 1) - Nalini Singh
Silver Stars (Soldier Girls book 2) - Michael Grant
Sinful in Snow (Spurs & Stripes book 2) - Laura Wright (Novella in the All I Want for Christmas Anthology)
Sons of Ares #1 - Pierce Brown (Comic)
Sparrow Hill Road (Ghost Stories book 1) - Seanan McGuire
Spiroglyphics: Rock Heroes - Thomas Pavitte (Colouring Book)
Stage of Fools (October Daye book 7.3) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
Star Wars: Where's the Wookie? 2 (Activity Book)
Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer book 1) - Laini Taylor
Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles book 2) - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Sweet Rapture (Rapture book 3) - Alexandra Ivy (Novella in the All I Want for Christmas Anthology)
Sweet Revenge (Sin Brothers book 2) - Rebecca Zanetti

~T~
Tamed by a Tiger (Eternal Mates book 13) - Felicity Heaton
Tangleweed and Brine - Deirdre Sullivan
Tease Me, Baby (O'Connor Family book 2) - Katie Reus (Novella)
Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium - Paul Kidby (Coffee Table Book)
The Act of Hares (October Daye book 7.5) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga book 1) - Elise Kova
The Bastard Legion (Bastard Legion book 1) - Gavin G Smith
The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden
The Black Lily (Vampire Blood book 1) - Juliette Cross
The Bone Witch (Bone Witch book 1) - Rin Chupeco
The Brightest Fell (October Daye book 11) - Seanan McGuire
The Card Sharp (Vestigial Tales book 4) - Laura Lam (Short Story)
The Christmas Truce (Original Sinners book 0.9) - Tiffany Reisz (Short Story)
The Demon Prince (Ars Numina book 2) - Ann Aguirre
The Dragon's Playlist - Laura Bickle
The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga book 2) - Elisa Kova
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo - F.C. Lee
The Fisherman's Net (Vestigial Tales book 2) - Laura Lam (Short Story)
The Fixed Stars (October Daye book 8.5) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
The Ghoul Vendetta (SPI Files book 4) - Lisa Shearin
The Golden Umbrella: Nepalese Folktales - Eva Kipp, Hem Rai, Dilip Sapkota, Rajendra Bajracharya & Parmeswari Shrestha
The Good, The Bad and The Undead (The Hollows book 2) - Kim Harrison
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Heartstone Thief - Pippa DaCosta
The Hunt (Devil's Isle book 3) - Chloe Neill
The Language of Thorns (Grisha fairytales anthology) - Leigh Bardugo
The Last Namsara (Iskari book 1) - Kristen Ciccarelli
The Lay of the Land (Incryptid book 0.21) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
The Leopard King (Ars Numina book 1) - Ann Aguirre
The Mechanical Minotaur (Vestigial Tales book 5) - Laura Lam (Short Story)
The Merman's Kiss (Mates for Monsters book 1) - Tamsin Ley
The Merman's Quest (Mates for Monsters book 1.5) - Tamsin Ley (Short Story)
The Mills & Boon Modern Girl's Guide to Turning into Your Mother - Ada Averse
The Night Before Christmas - Clement C Moore (Children's Book)
The Raven King (Raven Cycle book 4) - Maggie Stiefvater
The Red - Tiffany Reisz
The Seafarer's Kiss - Julia Ember
The Snake Charm (Vestigial Tales book 1) - Laura Lam (Short Story)
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials book 2) - Philip Pullman
The Tarot Reader (Vestigial Tales book 3) - Laura Lam (Short Story)
The Thorn and the Blossom - Theodora Goss
The Voice of Lions (October Daye book 7,4) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
The Winter Long (October Daye book 8) - Seanan McGuire
Theirs to Take (Blasphemy book 3) - Laura Kaye
Through This House (October Daye book 4.5) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
To The Nines (Stephanie Plum book 9) - Janet Evanovich
Total Surrender (Sin Brothers book 4) - Rebecca Zanetti
Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time book 13) - Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands book 2) - Alwyn Hamilton
Treasured by a Tiger (Eternal Mates book 14) - Felicity Heaton
Trump's Christmas Carol - Lucien Young writing as Watt T. Dickens
Turned by a Tiger (Eternal Mates book 12) - Felicity Heaton

~U~
Untouchable (Immortals After Dark book 8) - Kresley Cole

~V~
Valen (Guardians of Hades book 2) - Felicity Heaton
Vampire Fight Club (Demonica book 6.5) - Larissa Ione (Novella)
Vanguard (Razorland book 4) - Ann Aguirre
Villain - Samantha Young (Novella)

~W~
Wanderlust (Sirantha Jax book 2) - Ann Aguirre
Wanted & Wired (Tether book 1) - Vivien Jackson
Way Down Deep - Charlotte Stein & Cara McKenna
Where's Kitty? Dot-to-Dot (Puzzle Book)
White Hot (Hidden Legacy book 2) - Ilona Andrews (Read four times this year!)
Why I March: Images from the Woman's March Around the World (Photography Book)
Wicked Ugly Bad (A Kinda Fairytale book 1) - Cassandra Gannon
Wild Card (Wildcats book 3) - Rachel Vincent
Wildfire (Hidden Legacy book 3) - Ilona Andrews (Read four times this year!)
Witchborn - Nicholas Bowling
With Honest Trifles (October Daye book 7.7) - Seanan McGuire (Short Story)
Wonder Woman: War Bringer (DC Icons book 1) - Leigh Bardugo

~X~

~Y~

~Z~

2017 Totals:
Novels read = 208
(of which 51 were rereads)
Novellas read = 32
Short Stories read = 34
Other Books:
Graphic Novels = 9
Travel Guides = 3
Childrens / Picture Books = 2
Colouring / Activity / Puzzle Books = 6
Book & Model Sets = 4
Craft / Art / Photography Books = 4

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Blog Tour: A Week to Be Wild - JC Harroway (Guest Post: Writing Contemporary Settings)

I'm thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour to celebrate the release of one of the first books in the new Mills & Boon Dare range, A Week to be Wild by JC Harroway. I have a fab guest post from JC to share with you but first let me give you a bit more information about the book!


A daring game of temptation

She’ll play his game―but only by her rules!

Alex Lancaster is an adrenaline junkie. He’s also a sexy British billionaire who should come with his own warning signs. When Libby insists she is done with men who live on the edge, Alex coaxes her out of her comfort zone―professionally and very, very personally. Libby’s taking a high-stakes gamble, but the pay-off could win her everything…

Visit JC Harroway's website for more information

Doesn't it sound awesome! Now I'm going to hand over to JC Harroway for this fab guest post about giving stories contemporary settings:

Writing Contemporary Settings
by JC Harroway

London, Paris, New York- the iconic cities we love provide the perfect backdrop to the intense, passionate relationships at the heart of every DARE story and pave the way to a whirlwind romance of all our wildest fantasies. These vibrant settings are rich with possibility when it comes to DARE characters, who can come from any walk of life. But How does a contemporary setting build on the DARE promise?

  • The sophisticated locations-be it glamorous nightclubs, swanky hotels or fast-paced corporate office blocks-provide the tantalizing sizzle of an ultra-contemporary romance. With DARE, we view life well and truly in the fast lane! Dare characters are successful, affluent and want life on their terms.
  • Of course alongside this high octane living, our characters face real world problems relevant to modern life-career crises, family dynamic dramas or personal problems, Dare heroes and heroines have a lot to contend with.
  • Of course the biggest issue they face is the romantic relationship itself, and here the contemporary setting comes into play, perfectly. Setting evokes mood, be it a tryst in a dark intimate corner of an elegant restaurant, or an illicit encounter in a deserted boardroom late at night with the city lights spread out below.
  • The iconic landmarks of famous cities not only ground the reader in time and place, they allow the characters to do something ordinary, but with a twist, of course-a meet cute when cell phone dies seconds before capturing the view of the London Eye, a love scene back dropped by a view of the Eiffel tower through a hotel room window, or a getting to know you scene while playing tourists, especially if one of the characters is from out of town.
  • Back to nature. Of course, our characters need a daily dose of vitamin D and exploring the great outdoors can be fun, too. Whether it's cruising the Thames or the Seine, viewing the city from a helicopter ride or jogging in Central Park, the opportunities for flirty fun and games are endless.
  • Contemporary settings allow for fast paced action, intensely passionate love affairs and the ups and downs of daily life. Who wouldn't want to visit London's highest restaurant or attend a wedding at a boutique winery…?
  • Making the most of a contemporary setting means employing the senses- the hoot and rumble of city traffic, the bump and jostle of a crowded street, the breathtaking city views from the top of a skyscraper.

All this glamour and sophistication helps to fan the chemistry between the hero and heroine to the max and we, the readers, have a ring side seat as they are swept along into one sexy, passionate and bold journey.

_______________________________

Thanks for stopping by JC, I love getting to explore different cities through stories, books can be a great way to travel without leaving home LOL.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the posts on the blog tour too!

Friday, 26 January 2018

Review: Iron Gold - Pierce Brown

The old world is dead. But what will rise from its ashes?

Darrow was born a slave. He became a weapon.

He ended centuries of Gold rule, broke the chains of an empire, and now he's the hero of a brave new republic. But at terrible cost.

At the edge of the solar system, the grandson of the emperor he murdered dreams of revenge.

In his hidden fortress in the oceans of Venus, the Ash Lord lies in wait, plotting to crush the newborn democracy.

And, at home, a young Red girl who's lost everything to the Rising questions whether freedom was just another Gold lie.

In a fearsome new world where Obsidian pirates roam the Belt, famine and genocide ravage Mars, and crime lords terrorise Luna, it's time for Darrow and a cast of new characters from across the solar system to face down the chaos that revolution has unleashed.

Red Rising Series:
Red Rising: Sons of Ares (Graphic Novel, originally published as 6 comics)
Red Rising
Golden Son
Morning Star
Iron Gold
Dark Age (September 2018)

Visit Pierce Brown's website for more information

Review:
Iron Gold picks up the story ten years on from the end of Morning Star, the Rising was successful but there has been a decade of war and although Mars is now free the Republic are still fighting the Ash Lord for control of the planets on the edge of the solar system. Previously the entire story has been told from Darrow's point of view but here Pierce Brown opens up the world even further by introducing three new POV characters too. I have to admit I was a little nervous about having so many new narrators to the story but it actually worked really well and allowed us to see so much more of the bigger picture. Trust me, there is SO MUCH going on in the wider world that we'd have really missed out if the story wasn't written this way.

Of course Darrow's story was the one I was most excited about but I have to admit it was kind of hard to see how far he's fallen here. Darrow has given his all to the war effort and it's cost him in his personal relationships with Mustang and in particular his young son. As much as I know Darrow always does things for the right reasons (as he sees it) he does make some very questionable choices here that make life increasingly difficult for anyone who has been by his side for all these years. I honestly have no idea how he's going to turn things around at this point but the next book is going to be interesting for sure!

Alongside Darrow's POV we also get to see Lysander's side of the story, he's spent the last 10 years in exile with Cassius. It's hard to say much about what they get up to because it would be too easy to spoil things but I have to say Lysander isn't my favourite character in the series right now. Another POV character is Ephraim, he's not someone we've met before but he does have a link to people we're familiar with. At first he didn't seem like an obvious choice for a narrator, he's a disillusioned Rising fighter who has pretty much given up on life and now puts all his effort into criminal activities, but as you get to know him you'll understand why he has an important tale to tell.

By far my favourite new POV character was Lyria, she's a young red who was rescued from one of the mines on Mars by the Rising. She was promised freedom but the Sovereign has failed her and along with hundreds of thousands of other reds she has been living in abject poverty in refugee camps on the surface. It was actually pretty heartbreaking to see that 10 years on life for the majority of reds hasn't actually improved, in fact in a lot of cases it's worse than ever because they now have no sense of purpose. Lyria is a fab character, she's been through so much but she's a fighter and she's looking for a better life for herself and whats left of her family.

As well as meeting so many new characters we also get the chance to catch up with favourites from the previous books: Sevro (always my favourite!) and Victra, the Howlers, the Telemanus family and so many others. It was great to see what everyone is up to but also pretty terrifying, we already know Pierce Brown doesn't pull his punches and none of his characters are ever safe so this book is sure to raise your blood pressure! There is far too much going on for me to detail the plot but the story had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through and jumping to different POVs with almost every chapter just raised the tension even further. This is a very worthy follow up to one of my favourite series, it definitely doesn't work as a standalone so whatever you do don't skip the original trilogy but if you loved those books you won't want to miss this one.

Meet the narrators:

Darrow

Lyria

Ephraim

Lysander

Source: Received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Hardback / Paperback / Kindle:

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Review: Ceremony in Death - J.D. Robb

Meet me tomorrow, midnight.
Aquarian Club.
TELL NO ONE.

When New York cop Frank Wojinski is found murdered, death gets very personal for homicide detective, Eve Dallas - and she'll stop at nothing to find Frank's killer.

But then another victim is claimed: Frank's own granddaughter. As Eve delves deeper into the case, more mutilated corpses are discovered. Then a dead body is placed outside Eve's home.

Drawn into the sinister world of a sexual satanic cult, Eve must put her life on the line to uncover a sadistic killer, before she becomes his latest victim.

In Death Series:
Naked in Death
Glory in Death
Immortal in Death
Rapture in Death
Ceremony in Death
Vengeance in Death
Holiday in Death
Midnight in Death (Novella)
Conspiracy in Death
Loyalty in Death
Witness in Death
Judgement in Death
Betrayal in Death
Interlude in Death (Novella)
Seduction in Death
Reunion in Death
Purity in Death
Portrait in Death
Imitation in Death
Big Jack (Novella in the Remember When Novella)
Divided in Death
Visions in Death
Survivor in Death
Origin in Death
Memory in Death
Haunted in Death (Novella)
Born in Death
Innocent in Death
Eternity in Death (Novella)
Creation in Death
Strangers in Death
Salvation in Death
Ritual in Death (Novella)
Promises in Death
Kindred in Death
Missing in Death (Novella)
Fantasy in Death
Indulgence in Death
Possession in Death (Novella)
Treachery in Death
New York to Dallas
Chaos in Death (Novella)
Celebrity in Death
Delusion in Death
Calculated in Death
Thankless in Death
Taken in Death (Novella)
Concealed in Death
Festive in Death
Obsessed in Death
Devoted in Death
Wonderment in Death (Novella)
Brotherhood in Death
Apprentice in Death
Echoes in Death
Secrets in Death
Dark in Death (2018)

Visit J.D. Robb's website for more information.

Review:
Eve takes any murder personally but when the deceased is a fellow New York cop that just makes her all the more ready to bring the killer to justice. When a second body is left outside Eve's home she finds herself drawn into investigating a satanic cult. As the case gets darker and Eve is forced to work without some of her usual backup personal relationships start to suffer and the killer is more than ready to take advantage of her distraction.

Ceremony in Death was another great instalment to the In Death series, in some ways I think it was darker than some of the other books and it was the first time that there seemed to be a bit of a paranormal twist to the story but I enjoyed the slight change in direction and it was fun to see Eve so out of her comfort zone. Eve is a realist who absolutely refuses to believe in the supernatural so she's determined to find a scientific answer to the mysterious events surrounding the case but Roarke is much more open to the idea of magic and wants to make sure she's protected no matter what she's facing. I love how their differences make them a stronger couple and it's great to see their relationship growing stronger in every book. Roarke is definitely becoming a favourite book boyfriend but I think Eve is brilliant too.

Some of Eve's other relationships are tested in this book though, there are certain things she's asked to keep secret from Feeney and that is really hard for her because he's one of the few people she can normally turn to for advice. When he finds out she's been hiding things he's understandably upset and it puts a wedge between them but luckily for them both Roarke is there to talk some sense into both of them. Eve also has a moment where she's a little hard on Peabody but I liked the way they managed to talk things through and were both able to admit the mistakes they made. It's great that the side characters in this series are so well developed, the stories aren't just about Eve and Roarke and we're getting to know lots of the others too which just adds to the world J.D. Robb has created.

This is such a huge series that it's going to take me a long time to catch up but I'm looking forward to spending more time with everyone and have a feeling that the best is yet to come.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

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