Tuesday, October 30, 2018

First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennett

First Earl I See Tonight

Author: Anna Bennett
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series: Debutante Diaries #1
Pages: Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: October 30th 2018


An heiress with a daring proposal. An earl who’s determined to resist her. And a love that just might be written in the stars…

Recently jilted by his fiancée, David Gray, Earl of Ravenport is not in the market for a wife. Even if Gray didn’t have his hands full renovating his crumbling country house, it would take more than a bold marriage proposal from a headstrong young beauty to thaw his frozen heart. Gray is confident that spending a week at his ramshackle estate will change her mind about marriage, but every passionate moment he spends with her tempts him to change his…

A talented artist, Miss Fiona Hartley desperately needs her dowry money to pay off a blackmailer set on ruining her sister. The handsome earl seems a sensible choice for a husband…if only she can convince him that romance will play no part. But marrying in name only may prove difficult for Fiona. Gray can’t help but be dazzled by her genuine warmth. Yet as their feelings deepen, Fiona’s deadline looms. Will her secrets destroy them, or is true love their final destiny?


When I saw Anna Benett started a new series, I knew I needed to get my hands on it asap.
I love her writing style, her prose is beautiful and insightful. She is witty and doesn't write run off the mill romances.
So my expectations were high, I mean VERY high.
And honestly I wasn't disappointed, I think, I might have set the bar a bit too high.

Well, actually. My expectations were spot on for like 80% of the book. I got exactly what I wanted. But then it became a bit too gooey for me. To the point that I found it a bit soppy and everything felt a bit over the top and cliche. I was kinda a bit taken aback by Gray's sudden overly softie behaviour. Half of the declarations, felt like just that, declarations. Declarations that were planned out. And somehow, I felt Benett took two unique characters and a fun storyline, built them up to at the end quickly make them the usual usual... and throw in your HEA.
So that's what I didn't like about the book.
BUT I liked everything else.
I do think that most readers will not experience the same issues, I am a bit of a harsher critic, I know that. And as I said, I had very high expectations.
Also, I have no issues with the HEA. I am very happy with how it worked out in the end.

The character building was as always spot on. Interesting unique characters, people I could relate to and that felt real.
Well, most of them, except for the villain maybe, he was a bit too over the top. However, this was part of my last issues with the last part of the book.

The storyline is funny, unique and the perfect cute & fluffy. Just what I like in a HR.
Now the mystery wasn't a mystery, I knew quite early on who was the villain. And the way it was solved, was not exactly impressive, no amazing twists or anything. Again, my end part problems

The writing style is just as expected, beautiful and insightful (most of the time anyway). There are many sweet and funny moments. I shall keep my expectations as high as ever for Bennetts future books.

A wonderful book for lovers of the genre and I am looking forward to the next instalment!



 “Lord Ravenport,” Lady Callahan intoned, closing her fan with an expert flick of the wrist. “Please, allow me to present my daughter Miss Sophie Kendall and her friends Miss Fiona Hartley and Miss Lily Hartley.”
Gray exchanged the expected pleasantries, then turned to Fiona. A halo of loose curls crowned her head, and she worried her plump bottom lip. Her pink gown exposed the long column of her neck and the curve of her shoulders; he could almost see her pulse beating wildly at the base of her throat.
His instincts screamed for him to run right out of the ballroom, and yet his boots remained rooted to the floor. Worse, before he knew what he was doing he’d asked her to dance.
“It would be my pleasure,” she stammered, taking his arm.
As he led her to the dance floor he questioned his own good judgment—and not for the first time that day. He’d witnessed Miss Hartley trip and tumble into the orchestra at the Millbrook ball. He’d been dancing with Helena at the time but had paused to help her up.
So much had changed since then.
He had no idea if Miss Hartley’s dance partner had been to blame for the incident or whether she was prone to
falling, but just to be safe he tightened his hand on her waist. And they began moving to the music.
The first measure had barely played before she asked, “You received my letter?”
“I did,” he said noncommittally, twirling her beneath his raised arm.
When she faced him again, she looked him directly in the eye. “What do you think of my . . . offer?” she asked, her voice cracking on the final word.
He tamped down an unexpected pang of sympathy. “I think that we hardly know each other.”
“True, but that is easily rectified, is it not?” There it was—an unmistakable hint of desperation. And a sense of urgency that even her letter hadn’t conveyed.
“It is,” he conceded. “However, I suspect that the more we know each other, the less we’ll like each other.” Cynical but true in his experience. His parents certainly hadn’t grown fonder of each other. Neither had he and Helena.
She winced and looked away before regaining her composure. “Perhaps. But we needn’t like each other.”
Gray chuckled at that. “I never thought I’d meet some­ one more jaded than I.”
“So, you’ll consider my offer?” she pressed.
“I will not,” he said firmly. Under different circum­ stances, her fortune may have tempted him. But she was clearly intent on using him for her own purpose—and he suspected that she’d set her sights on him for reasons be­ yond his title. After all, there were half a dozen peers in attendance right now who’d leap at the chance to marry a young and unconventionally beautiful heiress.
But he was not one of them.
“It seems rather closed­minded of you to dismiss me summarily,” she shot back, displaying a boldness that was borderline rude—and refreshing.
“If I said I’d consider your offer, I’d only be giving you false hope. Delaying the inevitable.”
“The inevitable rejection, you mean,” she clarified. “Yes.” He was still reeling from the sting of Helena’s
rebuff and wouldn’t wish anyone that sort of pain and humiliation.
“Please,” she begged. “I realize that it’s highly unusual for a woman to propose marriage—”
“It’s unheard of.”
“Surely you must be curious—as to why I did it.” She looked up at him, her shining blue eyes challenging him to deny the truth of her words.
Gray shrugged. “You have your reasons for making the offer; I have my reasons for declining it.”
“Give me the opportunity to explain,” she pleaded. “Just a quarter of an hour to make my case. If, after that, you remain unconvinced, I promise I shan’t mention it again.” He must be out of his damned mind to consider engag­ ing in further discussion with Miss Hartley. The very last thing he needed was another conniving, self­serving fe­ male attempting to interfere with his life. He had opened his mouth to tell her so when someone bumped into his
Gray’s torso collided with Miss Hartley’s chest, and she stumbled two steps before he wrapped an arm around her slender waist, catching her just before she landed on the parquet floor. She gasped and clung to his jacket, her ex­ pression an odd mix of relief and mortification.
“Oh dear,” she breathed.
Their faces were so close he could see unexpected dark blue flecks in her irises and the individual freckles dotting her nose. “Forgive me,” he said.
“For what?”
For what indeed? Steering her into the collision? Grip­
ping her waist too tightly? Or for staring at the swells of her breasts and having decidedly wicked thoughts while he should have been shielding her from further embar­ rassment? Ignoring her question, he asked, “Are you all right?”
“I am.” Her cheeks turned a charming shade of pink. She blew out a breath and shot him a shaky smile. “When it comes to dance floor mishaps, I confess I’ve survived much worse.”
Gray looked over his shoulder to see how the other couple fared, surprised to find Helena and her dance part­ ner smiling apologetically.
And the truth struck him. For the last ten minutes, while he’d been dancing with Miss Hartley, he’d been completely, blissfully unaware of Helena and what she was doing. Even more remarkable, he’d forgotten that she was in the room. “Meet me in Hyde Park tomorrow,” he said to Miss Hartley, mentally cursing his own weakness. “I will listen to what you have to say, but don’t expect anything to
change my mind.”
The corners of her mouth curled in a triumphant smile. “Thank you. All I ask is that you allow me the chance to explain the advantages of the arrangement—for us both.” “Forgive me if I remain skeptical,” he drawled. “I’ll
meet you near the footbridge. Three o’clock?”

“You won’t regret this,” she said earnestly, but the prick­ ling sensation between his shoulder blades suggested he would. In spite of her naïveté and candor—or maybe because of those things—Miss Hartley could prove far more dangerous to him than Helena had ever been.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Review: Pestilence by Laura Thalassa


Author: Laura Thalassa
Series: The Four Horsemen #1
Pages: ebook, 382 pages
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: Published March 20th 2018


They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed.

Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed.

Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him.

And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she'll have to sacrifice her heart in the process


Pestilence is surprising in so many ways, that it left me in awe of Thalassa.

But before I even delf into the storyline, character building or writing style let's just take a moment and look at the cover.

Yeah. Exactly.
I'll give you another minute.

How gorg?
And that's all I shall say to it.

Well, except.
It is definitely the reason I looked at the summery and a huge portion why I decided to give this a try.
I thought this can only go two ways, it's either okay or really terrible.
And here is the first surprise of many. This is definitely more than okay. It is, in fact, a beautifully told dark story, that in some ways is so wrong, yet it is so right.

Pestilence is in many ways your adult fairytale. The kind that reminds me of the old slightly gruesome Grim's tales. Beautifully told, with plenty of gore and injustice, yet it leaves you all fuzzy and happy at the end. (and in this case some smut, hence adult)

I adore Thalassa's writing style. Her descriptions are beautiful, she sets a perfect pace, gets away with pushing boundaries, because she does it with subtlety and finesse.
This is the first book I read by her, I did check out her other books and there seems to be a common theme with them: they all look like dark beauties. I shall definitely read more by her.

The storyline. Sigh. so gruesome so heartbreaking and yet so beautiful. This is your total slow burn romance- no insta at all. It is borderline Stockholm syndrome as well. I totally adore it. Yet the end left me a bit eh. I don't exactly know why but somehow I felt a bit, dunno kinda what that's it? Well, except the last, last bit. Looking forward to the next book

The character building is probably my favourite part of the book. It's so subtly done, with so much finesse. I fell totally and utterly in love with both MCs. My heart broke for both of them, I was beyond touched by their slowly growing love.

The world building is gruesome perfection. In a case of Pestilence coming, that's exactly what I would expect. Freakn well done!

And then there are the ethical implications, the reasons for being, again the bordering Stockholm syndrome.. Thalassa didn't just do a cute & fluffy. She threw in quite a few existential philosophical thoughts as well. Some are simply implied, are like faith, others are starkly put out there, like how much can you accept from your lover, where is your ethic line you going to draw. Or even what is really wrong or right? What is mercy? Quite amazing and astounding that Thalassa managed to pack all this in a beautifully written love story actually.

I didn't expect this at all. I expected some cute and fluffy steamy kinda book with a gorgeous cover. Instead, I got so much more. Great world building, amazing character building and masterful storytelling make this one of my favourites book of 2018.
Can't wait for the next instalment.


Reviewed by Deniz

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Review: Accidentally in Love with the Pilot by Teri Anne Stanley

Accidentally in Love with the Pilot

Author: Teri Anne Stanley
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Pages: Kindle Edition, 197 pages
Genre: Romance
Release Date: August 13th 2018


Fighter pilot Ben Rutledge loves his solitude. Which means spending a month of leave in overcrowded, over-glitzy Las Vegas isn’t up his alley, especially after his friend ditches him. His first inclination is to bow out, and quickly. Instead, he finds himself sharing drinks—and a whole lot more—with a sexy woman celebrating her birthday. After all, it’s just one night, and he can go back to his quiet life tomorrow.

Megan Shuttlekrump doesn’t have time for a boyfriend, much less a husband. But a night of celebratory drinks with a handsome stranger ends with a ring on her finger—and no memory of how it got there. Her new “husband” is over the top hot, but he’ll be out of her life once his leave is over. As long as they can find out which of the thousand or so chapels in Vegas married them…


Accidentally in Love with the Pilot looks like a cute & fluffy, sounds like one as well.
And it does deliver exactly what the package says. Light-hearted cute & fluffy.
It's basically a what you see is what you get.

So on those bases, I got exactly what I was feeling for.

It is completely predictable. I mean completely and utterly. No surprises at all. Even the grand gesture. But I didn't care. Because it was sweet, funny fluff. It made me feel all sweet and fuzzy. Which is frankly why I read these kinds of books.
Though predictable, it's a fun storyline. For some reason, it reminded me of the old school romcom movies a la Doris Day, just with a dash of shmexy thrown it.
The only small thing I was a bit taken aback was the last announcement. I mean, I knew Stanley will throw that in, but I think the number was a bit, well over the top? Though it was for the last line clearly, which is funny. But I felt it drove home the kinda caricature aspects that surfaced during the book. I would have liked one less, in fact preferably two less.

The two MCs were both interesting. Both being introverts to some extent. Both being at times plagued by the same insecurities. I love Ben, even when he was a bit too perfect.
Their assumptions about each other, grated on me. They were both pretty presumptive and worse they never actually talked about it. EVER. I kept thinking, just talk to each other, problem solved. But noooo, we rather assume and be worried.
The supporting cast was quirky and funny. A bit over the top, to be honest, they very over the top. I mean even his family was eccentric, it felt a bit much. But I do like them.
Though Stanley does add a few issues the MCs struggle with, which made the MCs feel more real, it still is super lighthearted.
If you looking for deep character building. This ain't your book. If you feel like endearing characters who grapple with finding some love, then you at the right place.

So basically, it's nothing hugely suprising, nothing heavy.
As I said, what I see is what you get.
In fact, I am sure it isnt very memorable.
The writing style is not amazing, but it's not terrible either. Dialogues are fun and witty but not ingeniousnius or inventive.  The characters are quirky but have not much depth to them. The story line is sweet but predictable...
Honestly this probably should be 2.5 Stars, however, I did feel like exactly this kind of book so I am rounding it up. *shrugs* I know totally subjective, but I couldn't care less. I am feeling all pink and fuzzy atm. (thanks to reading this)

Accidentally in Love with the Pilot is a perfect lazy afternoon read.
It's lighthearted, sweet and leaves you smiling.
Cute & fluffy happiness which will leave you pink and fuzzy.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Review: Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes

Immortal Reign

Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Series: Falling Kingdoms #6
Pages: Hardcover, 391 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: February 6th 2018


As two lethal elemental gods set out to destroy Mytica, sworn enemies must become allies in the final fight to save the kingdoms.

Jonas continues to willfully defy his destiny, but the consequences of plotting his own course are drastic. As the fight for Mytica rages on, he must decide just how much more he's willing to sacrifice.

Lucia knows there's something special about her daughter and she'll do anything to protect her, even if that means facing Kyan alone.

Amara is called back home to Kraeshia. Grandma Cortas has her own plans for Mytica's future. She promises Amara power, revenge, and dominance if she agrees to be part of her scheme.

Magnus and Cleo's love will be put to the ultimate test. Dark magic is causing widespread destruction throughout the kingdom. Enemies across the sea are advancing. And unrest is stirring throughout the land. Is their love strong enough to withstand the outside forces tearing them apart?


Meh. I guess it had more of a dramatic flare than real substance to it? I mean, it's the end of the world and the elementals will be free and would end the human race in Mytica and yada yada yada but there wasn't a single moment when I felt like a character was in peril ya'know? I was anxious for the Magnus and Cleo reunion at first but as soon as that was out of the way there just wasn't anything that made me even want to grab the edge of my seat. It wasn't predictable or slow, it just wasn't intense enough for a finale. The multiple POVs weren't a problem for me (even though they were cumbersome) which is a shocker cause I'm not usually a fan (and there were soo many *rolls eyes*) but I think Rhodes handled it well enough.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that it's not a bad book but it's definitely not a great finale. I expect the last book in a series to be the best and this one tried to stand out, had the plot set right, the whole "world's ending" storyline in place..but..it just doesn't manage to deliver what it promised.

Disappointed 2.5 stars.



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