Tags

April Book Tag

Hi everyone! I hope you are keeping well!! Where I am, it’s feeling very much like the whole “April showers” today as it raining steadily, but I have great hopes for the May flowers. 🙂 Rain Here GIF | Gfycat

Anyway, I thought of this book tag that I would love to do. I have a feeling it’s probably been done by someone else, but I am not sure by who. If you think it’s a fun tag, you are more than welcome to take part. In fact, please do! I would love to see which books you would use to spell the word April. You could pick your favourite books, but I think I will pick the books that I have read most recently. Here goes… 

– A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

P – Pawsitively Secretive (Witch of Edgehill #3) by Melissa Erin Jackson

– If I Live by Terri Blackstock

– Lost Boy (The Neverwood Chronicles #2) by Chanda Hahn

 

30008834Pawsitively Secretive eBook by Melissa Erin Jackson ...35481814. sy475 36336121. sy475

Which books would you use to spell April?

Talk to you all next time!

Emma

Book Reviews

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

I’ll be honest, this was a bit of an impulsive read. I have seen it on the library shelves quite a few times, but I was never interested enough to check it out. With the libraries closed, I saw it on the available e-book shelf and thought, “Why not? It has a pretty cover.” 

Do I regret? I don’t know what to think… I read the whole thing so that’s something, right? But let me be straight with you, this book is about teenagers who are special and so, are bought by the nobility to be their surrogates. This concept as a whole is a little cringy to me. It’s so twisted. Which I suppose is true for other novels well. I think one factor that made it bearable was that it was women who headed this. In fact, men are hardly present. Well, except for Ash. A few words on that relationship… It felt like it happened so fast and they were asking to be caught. I did like how they connected because of their backgrounds and their status as “slaves.” It was such a relief for Violet to have someone that she could connect with and who understood her. 

The writing was quite engaging. Ewing did a good job of keeping things moving and always having something interesting going on. Also, the world-building was really well developed and lastly, I especially loved the place that music had! 24585267. sy475

I can’t say I really recommend this book; I especially do not recommend it for younger teens. Not only do Ash and Violet sleep together, but the whole concept of impregnating young women against their will is not an upbuilding topic. Perhaps in the next book, Violet breaks free from this system, but I do not think I will be reading book #2.   

Stay safe, everyone!

And wash your hands. 😉

Just Washing My Hands GIF by PM_ME_STEAM_K3YS | Gfycat

Book Reviews

Jackaby by William Ritter

Hello blogging friends! I know it has been a while since my last post, but as I’m sure you all understand, things have been absolutely upside down lately.

Anyway, on the bright side, I’ve had more time to read. I’ve missed being able to sit down with a book so I am looking forward to tackling my to-read list. The first book I chose to read was “Jackaby” by William Ritter

“This world is full of dragon-slayers. What we need are a few more people who aren’t too proud to listen to a few fish.”

Now, to be honest, I usually don’t care for books written by men. (No offence guys!) I just find it harder to relate to the characters especially since it is written primarily from a male POV. However, Jackaby is written entirely from Abigail’s POV which I was a little leery of at first. But my skepticism quickly dispersed! Actually, I must applaud Ritter. I was pleasantly surprised by how he presented Abigail and in fact, how he portrayed all of the characters.

Firstly, Abigail was courageous, if not a little reckless, and intelligent and quite obviously eager for adventure. At one point she is a little down because the people around her seemed to be special in some way and she was not, but I actually found this quite compelling. We so often read about heroines who have all kinds of special abilities and whatnot, but Abigail still accomplished much even though she did not. What can I say about Jackaby….? I loved his quirkiness! Even his crazy hat. He is a unique and intriguing character who is, of course, modelled quite closely after Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed this, though, and found that the supernatural element was a fun twist.Beastly Bones (Jackaby, book 2) by William Ritter

My one qualm was that although the setting was America, I got London vibes the entire time. The atmosphere felt very English for some reason.

Lastly, this was a delightfully clean read.

I am quite sure I will be reading the next book and am especially interested to discover if Charlie Cane will appear again.

TTFN! Stay healthy and well! ❤

Emma

Book Reviews

Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez

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No, I have not fallen off the edge of the world, but, yes, I have been drowning in an ocean named university. Thank goodness for reading break because I have finally gotten a chance to read and review a book. 

This was a library find and I’ll be honest, one of the reasons I checked it out was because of the stunning cover. (I know, terrible, right?) 

Anyway, this story is a retelling of the tale of Tristan and Iseult. I liked the world that Perez built; it was both unique and compelling! The hate between the two kingdoms and the relationships between the characters made for an intense plot. Branwen fought against a stubborn princess, pirates, and magic to achieve peace and through it all, she was brave and did not lose sight of her goal. 

I can’t say I was 100% on board with Branwen and Tristan’s romance. It didn’t feel healthy because Tristan was seemed to be infatuated with Branwen and Brawen kept all these dark secrets from him. A side note, it’s based on Tristan and Iseult. Branwen’s name isn’t Iseult, it’s not even Eseult. Yep, I saw that one coming. 

I think what turned me off was Tristan’s description at the beginning.Image result for ew gif

“But when she did, her own breath buckled in her throat. He was the most handsome man she’d ever seen, even with his cuts and bruises…. Dark curls, wet and bloody, framed elegant cheekbones and a mouth that was almost too perfectly formed.” 

Also, the entrance of the fox was not super fluid. It went a little like, “There’s a fox! Oh, right, a fox is part of the ancient tales too.” So ya… 40096288. sy475

Lastly, this was mostly a clean read. There is no profanity; although, two people are caught right after sleeping together. 

Despite this, I am rather interested to see what happens next. I may read the next book… I better tackle my NetGalley list first, though.  

 

I hope the next time is not so far away.

Bye for now!

Book Reviews

Maid Marian by Elsa Watson

What a wonderful adventure! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 

The voice that Watson used was charming and interesting and it was clear that she had done some research surrounding this time in history. Just the entire atmosphere, and also the dialogue, was unique. Image result for maid marian gif

Maid Marian herself was a lovely character. There was a lot of thinking on her part, so I felt that I got to know her very well. She was an independent, intelligent, and sometimes rash woman. In addition, the story began with her being rather naive. Throughout the narrative, this resulted in consequences but also allowed for growth. I am a little surprised, though, that I liked her so much because she was at times more of a passive character and hovered at the sidelines while Robin Hood dashed about accomplishing daring feats. However, she was a hero in her own right. Her battle wasn’t the same as Robin’s and so, her journey was different and required other skills. 

This was also a clean read. While it is insinuated that Robin and Marian have sex after they are married, it is not explicitly described. 

All in all, I would recommend this book. Plus, I think it could use some more reviews (it only has 162).   

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Book Reviews

Beast of Rosemead by Lucy Tempest

I love Beauty and the Beast retellings. In fact, Beauty by Robin McKinley is one of my absolute favourite books. However, with this one, I had a really hard time getting into it. It may have been partly the world-building. I still feel confused about it. The dresses, horses, and swords suggest something more medieval, but the dialogue is modern. Further, on the dialogue. It felt like the characters yelled too much and this was accentuated by the overuse of exclamation marks. I am one for the careful use of exclamation points, so having one almost every other page was a little too much. Lastly, Leander’s treatment of Beauty made me rather uncomfortable. Maybe it was getting a little too close to abusive. I mean this is a tricky subject because some would argue that even Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” carries this (what do you think? Add your thoughts in the comments – I’d be interested to hear them).
So, anyway. This book didn’t go super well and I doubt I will read any more books from this series.

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P.S. I’m not sure if like the cover… The background, dress, and word art are beautiful, but the figure looks a little too much like a Barbie…

Thank you to Netgalley for providing an ARC. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Reviews

The Navigator by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown

Often I love the first book of the series, but then I’m not as crazy about the second one. The Navigator though… it was amazing! Related image

The story started out a little slow, but once the crew arrived in Neverland… I had to hold on to my hat because I got sprinkled with pixie dust and there was no way I could keep my feet on the ground. Neverland was a magical and beautiful place that held many marvellous things such as mermaids, dragons, imps, and of course, the much-feared Croc. This last one, the croc, was intelligently worked into the plot and I wonder if he’ll come up in the next book. I have a suspicion that he might…  

Now, of course, Wendy Darling. As usual, she was brave and daring and although she was looked down upon as a woman, she made a place for herself as the navigator. The naivety that she seemed to possess in the first book, dissipated as she experienced death and war. Really, her character development was phenomenal! Over the span of these two novels, she has grown so much. Now about Peter… In this book we learn a detail about Peter’s past that was so shocking, yet made complete sense. I did not see that one coming! And suddenly, I totally love Peter and I am desperate to know what will happen to him. Is there something between Wendy and Peter? I’m not sure… I suppose I will have to find out. Related imageYet, of course, I must mention Captain James Hook. I’m still not sure how I feel about him. He’s somewhere between villain and good guy, but it’s a little grey. I don’t like how he treats Wendy most of the time, but he does have his moments where he seems to have a heart. 

Once again, the writing was beautiful! It was neat, but at the same time colourful and exciting. 

“The gray veil now hung behind them, and before them lay the sun-bright shores of Neverland, its emerald green foliage and pearl white beaches stretched out upon a turquoise sea.” 

Lastly, this was a clean read. There was violence, but there were no sex scenes and the level of language is very low. Which makes me love this book even more! 35510314. sx318

I’m am so excited for book #3! And if you haven’t read either of these books yet, then you must! They are absolutely captivating and will keep you reading far into the night because you just need to know how this adventure will unfold. 

P.S. Book #1 only has 229 reviews! This is horrendous! Please, give it a read and write a review. Even if it’s only a few sentences, it will be helpful. 

Book Reviews

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

“I felt in this new adventure I was rousing to life again. I was a butterfly, newly emerged from the chrysalis, damp winged and trembling with expectation.”

This was an exquisite tale! 

I was instantly struck by the writing. It is so beautiful and deep. Raybourn does not simply tell the story, she paints a vivid landscape. Simply put, it is a piece of art. Also, this story was intelligently written. Either the author is talented lepidopterist like Veronica or she did some thorough research. Further, the author created such vivid characters. In some ways, Veronica was naive and in others, she was experienced. Through it all, she was feisty and absolutely fearless – she faced calamities with cool composure. Her relationship with Stoker was amusing and intriguing. Obviously, it is a slow burn romance, but Veronica keeps him at arm’s distance and treats him with placid indifference. I am very interested to see how this relationship develops… As for the man Stoker. He was a stormy individual who, at first, I was not entirely drawn to; however, as the story progressed, I found myself learning to like him.  30008834

“I abhorred weakness of any kind but most particularly in my tea.”

While the plot was entertaining, I found that it was rather bogged down by dialogue. Stoker and Veronica talk so much that it became exhausting. Yes, it was elegantly written, but it was excessive. Also, this was not a clean read. There is mention of crude language, plus some that is written out and while there are no explicit scenes, it is alluded to and Veronica is a woman of loose morals – her trysts with foreign men are frequently mentioned.      

I do believe, though, that I will read the sequel. I am curious to where Veronica’s adventures will lead.

“That is the hallmark of a good partnership, you know – when one partner sees the forest and the other studies the trees.”  

P.S. Aren’t the covers stunning?!? I am very much in love with them. ❤

Book Reviews

Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher

This was a sweet and beautiful contemporary romance with a dash of historical flavour. 

Ashley and Ben both had spotty pasts. Ben as a recovering alcoholic struggled with the past and rebuilding relationships, while Ashley wrestled with the pain of a brother addicted to drugs and alcohol and with finding peace in God. These two people connect when Ben approaches Ashley for help with his new equine therapy facility – Harmony Barn. They labour on this project together and eventually find themselves falling for each other. But it isn’t all sunshine and roses; no, there are disappointments and hardships. Yet, through it all, Ben and Ashley are moulded into stronger characters who see God’s hands through it all. 

There is also a lovely connection between Ben’s family Bible and flashbacks to the 1940s and Andrew Hennings experience of World War II. This aspect connected beautifully to the previous book and added another tone to the story. 

The writing, while simple was neatly done and Hatcher did a wonderful job conveying the emotions. This was also a clean read which was quite enjoyable.    

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Book Reviews

Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman

This story began so beautifully! Sleiman painted an enchanting world and instantly dropped the reader into a suspenseful situation. Really, this prologue was stellar and simply crackled with energy.

The little thieves were adorable, but at the same time fierce and willing to fight for their freedom despite their young age. Even though she was also young, Merry bravely led them and loved them like a family. But Timothy… I wasn’t crazy about him. He obsessed over fame and fortune and although he mostly changed his tune, it still occasionally came up. Allan was a sweetheart! I think he was one of my favourite characters. In all of these characters, though, I found a great tendency to be attracted to others by their appearance. While this does play a part in romance, it took too great a foreground in this story. Also, Merry’s doe-eyes were emphasized waaay too much. I think the reader will get the drift after mentioning it twice.

The writing was good and the plot was interesting. Although, I found that it slowed down. This is the opposite of the last book I read, Hunted by Meagan Spooner, which began slowly but advanced as it went along. One of the things that bogged Dauntless down, was all of the thinking. The characters spent so much time in their own head that I began to skim.35098412

Lastly, this was a clean read!  

Keep an eye open for my next review:

The Queen’s Rising.