Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review of The Way to a Duke's Heart by Caroline Linden


Title/Author: The Way to a Duke's Heart (The Truth About the Duke #3) by Caroline Linden
Publisher/Date published: Avon, August 28th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "Charles de Lacey, Lord Gresham, is running out of time, running from his responsibilities, and running from love.
Destined to be a duke, Charles de Lacey has led a life of decadent pleasure, free of any care for propriety or responsibility. It comes as a terrible shock to learn that he might be stripped of everything, thanks to his father's scandalous past. He has no choice but to find the blackmailer who would ruin him — and his only link to the villain is a woman who may be part of the plot...
To save his fortune and title, he vows he'll stop at nothing — in fact, he's all too eager to unravel the beautiful, tart-tongued Tessa Neville. She intrigues him and tempts him like no other lady ever has. With only his heart to guide him, and keenly aware that his entire future is at stake, Charles must decide: is she the woman of his dreams, or an enemy in disguise?"

I'd only ever read a novella by Caroline Linden before, the writing in I Love the Earl was really good, so I was excited to start a full length novel by her!

And I was absolutely not disappointed! I loved both Tessa and Charlie with all their amazingness and flaws and just wonderful chemistry!

Tessa is a mostly misunderstood 'widow', because of her status as a widow, she's allowed her eccentricities and she's never thought to marry again. While Charlie had some bad luck in love in the past (or maybe just bad taste in women) and just ran wild and free. I loved that Tessa was taking care of business for her brother, because she had a better head for it than he did. Society doesn't like it, but have to deal with her or get none of her brother's money invested in their cause. I liked that she was analytical and not so prone to hysterics.

I really liked Charlie, he's come to defend his family's honor while his brothers are off enjoying the honeymoon period with their new wives. I love that he finally stepped up and took part in finding the blackmailer and that he was so nice to Tessa's elderly companion.

One thing I didn't like so much was the whole side plot with Charlie's old lover, I felt like it just slowed the whole story down and the whole finding out who the blackmailer was felt somewhat off, as the person had only been mentioned once maybe and wasn't a real part of the book up until that point.

I really enjoyed the chemistry between Tessa and Charlie and how they accepted each other without feeling the need to change the other person. Near the end I wanted to shake Tessa for something, but it worked out in the end. Caroline Linden didn't make me cry, but she came close a couple of times, so I'm good.

My rating: 4 stars

Monday, October 29, 2012

Daisy Update (23) In which I'm like a broken record: busy, busy, busy

Hi guys!
It's Monday instead of my usual Sunday for this Daisy Update, but as I was working a 24-hour shift yesterday I was a little short on time to blog.

I've been SO BUSY! I've been somewhat absent from Twitter and blogs and everything because I've barely been home in the last week. Two weeks ago I wasn't scheduled to work an evening shift, but someone asked me to switch, so I wound up working Wednesday evening, which was actually pretty ok. That weekend I was barely home, we had a birthday party on Friday and at one point I was so tired that I just fell asleep if I wasn't talking. Saturday I had double booked myself with friends, had a high tea with friends from college and at night a birthday party for two of my best friends from high school, which was really fun! We went out and got hit on by two guys who were about 5-6 years younger, which is always funny. They didn't really get my humor though, one said after asking my name 'That's a name you don't here often,' to which I replied 'I do." He didn't get it. Oh well.

Sunday my boyfriend's grandparents celebrated being married for 55 years which is HUGE! I mean, seriously, that's a LONG time. We just hung out with his family and played some games and ate lots of food. With these parties there's usually more eating being done than anything else ;)

Oh, and I went shopping on Monday and bought a new winter coat:


I'm in love with the color :)

Last week I had Wednesday off, I LOVE having Wednesday off! It's so relaxing and I'm much more rested for the rest of the week. Why did I ever ask to switch to Monday?? Silly me... I caught a cold and was feeling pretty sorry for myself Monday through Wednesday, but lots of tea must have cured most of it :)

On Thursday the boyfriend and I went to see Maximo Park and it was GREAT! Even though the cold I had led to me almost falling asleep standing up before they started playing, I absolutely LOVED it! They all had amazing energy! I've seen them once before in my home town, which was a great show as well. Here's one of my favourite songs by them:



Saturday we had a going away party for one of the boyfriend's friends who will be spending 6 months in Turkey for his job, we've been plotting to see if we can visit him there in April when it's nice and warm and gorgeous there. Later we had dinner with the boyfriend's parents and after that we just watched some TV together at home.

Yesterday my shift was actually pretty quiet, there weren't that many patients and the nurses and I had time to sit together for about 2 hours just chatting before we had to go back to work, it was nice :) I didn't have to get up at night, so that was nice and SO MUCH BETTER than last time! We'll see what happens the rest of the week, I'll be working the night shift till Friday.

Bookish update: due to me being so busy I barely had time to read and it took me a shameful 7 days to complete Palace of Stone.. If it stays this quiet, I anticipate some more reading being done this week and next week is my first week off in 4 months, so YAY!

I pre-ordered myself some books. Again. I can't help myself... This week was a combination of me feeling sorry for myself for catching a cold and payday induced need to SPEND MONEY. Oh well.

Hope you guys have an amazing week!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review of Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale


Title/Author: Palace of Stone (Princess Academy #2) by Shannon Hale
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury Children's Books, August 21st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley.
Goodreads summary: "Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city seems a thrill beyond imagining. When Miri and her friends from Mount Eskel set off to help the future princess Britta prepare for her royal wedding, she is happy about her chance to attend school in the capital city. There, Miri befriends students who seem so sophisticated and exciting... until she learns that they have some frightening plans. They think that Miri will help them, that she "should "help them. Soon Miri finds herself torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends' ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city."

***WARNING: SPOILERS POSSIBLE FOR BOOK 1***

So, only a little while ago I read Princess Academy and absolutly LOVED it! So imagine my excitement when I could almost immediately move on to the sequel! Sadly, I think this one worked somewhat less for me than Princess Academy did.

It took me a freaking week to read it! Which is slightly embarassing and not really a reflection of the book whatsoever as I was just crazy busy and I probably would have finished it sooner if I wasn't. That said, I didn't really find myself constantly thinking about the story when I wasn't reading it and didn't feel an irresistible urge to pick it up no matter how busy I was.

I loved Miri in Palace of Stone just as much as I did in Princess Academy. She's young and she makes mistakes, but she owns them and tries to fix it when faced with the less than desirable outcome of said mistakes. I love her courage and her resourcefulness. I love that she's a good, loyal friend and that she calls people on their bullshit.

And there are so many other characters for me to love! I mean, Peder stole my heart in Princess Academy and even though he's mostly all clueless boy, he's just adorable and sweet and I love the moments between Miri and him.

I didn't much care for most of the new characters that were introduced. I thought they were pretty ruthless and taking advantage of Miri's naivety. The one person I did really like in the end was the queen, because she learns to exert her influence and stand up for what she believes in.

The storyline is darker than in Princess Academy, and that's ok, because they grow older and are faced with real world problems outside of the ones they faced on Mount Eskel. I love that we delve a little deeper into the linder lore and there are some nice twists due to it.

Overall I did really enjoy Palace of Stone, but I didn't LOVE it. I think it was mostly due to the set of new characters that I wasn't really taken with. I do think these two books are wonderful and if I had a little girl in my life, I would gladly pass them on to her to read them, because I think they're adorable and have a powerful message, especially Princess Academy.

My rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review of A Lady By Midnight by Tessa Dare


Title/Author: A Lady By Midnight (Spindle Cove #3) by Tessa Dare
Publisher/Date published: Avon Books, August 28th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "A temporary engagement, a lifetime in the making...
After years of fending for herself, Kate Taylor found friendship and acceptance in Spindle Cove - but she never stopped yearning for love. The very last place she'd look for it is in the arms of Corporal Thorne. The militia commander is as stone cold as he is brutally handsome. But when mysterious strangers come searching for Kate, Thorne steps forward as her fiancE. He claims to have only Kate's safety in mind. So why is there smoldering passion in his kiss?
Long ago, Samuel Thorne devoted his life to guarding Kate's happiness. He wants what's best for her, and he knows it's not marriage to a man like him. To outlast their temporary engagement, he must keep his hands off her tempting body and lock her warm smiles out of his withered heart. It's the toughest battle of this hardened warrior's life... and the first he seems destined to lose."

I must confess I've never read one of Tessa Dare's novels before, even when I've heard good things about them. What can I say, too many books, not enough time to read them AND make a living. So I was excited to start this one and I must say that as far as first impressions go, this one was enjoyable enough!

There's this classic plot of a warmhearted heroine and a hero who has closed off his heart to anyone but despite his best efforts doesn't manage to keep the heroine from breaking down his walls. Guys, I love this plot. I do. Call me sappy, but isn't it a terribly romantic idea that a man would change his view of love for you?
And most of this plot was executed in a way that made my heart happy, though at the end I kinda wanted to slap the hero and tell him to snap out of it, because seriously, you can go too far in the whole 'I'm not good enough for her' way of thinking.

I really liked Kate. She's not perfect and she's not always perfectly nice to everybody, but she knows when she's made a mistake and she's not afraid to own up to it and I respect that in a person. I really liked that while she needs her share of protection, as most historical romance heroines do, she's not afraid to speak up for herself and take matters into her own hands when she wants something.

Corporal Thorne is such a broken hero! He denies himsel so much and I liked seeing him transform from this withdrawn man to one who is fully in the moment when he's with Kate. Though I did think the whole tortured past they shared put a bit of a damper on the sweetness of the lovestory.

Also, there was a cute puppy who played a huge part in the story. What else could you possibly want??

A Lady By Midnight was a sweet, sexy lovestory that for once didn't involve glamorous ballrooms which was refreshing (though I do REALLY like those kind of novels as well). It's an old-fashioned breaking the iceberg story that had me rooting for the main characters to figure everything out. I'm definitely checking out some of Tessa Dare's other books!

My rating: 4 stars

Friday, October 19, 2012

Review of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


Title/Author: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi
Publisher/Date published: HarperCollins, November 15th 2011
How I got this book: bought it last year but failed to read it until now.

Goodreads summary: "Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior."

Guys, I actually pre-ordered this last year and then took 11 months to pick it up. Last week I heard Tahereh Mafi was coming to Holland soon and I felt the need to prepare to fangirl because seriously, how many chances do I get for that around here? And holy smokes, WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG??? I am so in love with this book, it's not even funny, I finished it at 2AM and wanted to tell the whole world (a sleepy, grumbly world) how much awesome was in these pages!

I had to get used to the writing a bit at first, because it's different. But different in a beautiful, amazingly GOOD way! There was so much beauty in the prose alone that even if the plot hadn't been making me excited, I would have still kept reading for the mindblowing way Tahereh Mafi has with words. I wanted to slow down and revel in every sentence and at the same time I couldn't stop myself from speeding on because I NEEDED to know what would happen next RIGHT AWAY!

And I haven't even told you about my love for the characters! Juliette is sheer awesomeness. She's beautiful and broken and just has such a sense of right and wrong and is trying to cling to her sanity when she's been locked up for 264 days. My heart broke for her and soared with hope right along with her. She's fragile and strong at the same time and her personality just sucked me in and made me want to give her a hug. I can't imagine going without really touching another person all your life, it's horrifying to imagine!

I have been hearing about the love 'triangle', but for me there never really was a triangle in this story, because seriously Adam has no competition. He is such a GOOD guy, and you guys know about my weakness for good guys, I loved the history he and Juliette share and with every revelation I loved him more.
And all you people putting up Warner as a possible third in the love 'triangle', NO. Just, no. He's such a psychopath, I get that there's a reason for him being this messed up version of a human being, but I can't see him as a potential love interest. Not even if Adam wasn't in the picture.

Shatter Me was such an intense read that I just had to come up for air a couple of times! But I felt compelled to pick it up right away, so these breaks weren't that long. It's not often that I'm this blown away by the beauty of the phrases as well as the impact of the story! Shatter Me had me feeling ALL THE THINGS and I cannot wait for Unravel Me to be released!

My rating: 5+ stars

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review of Much Ado About Magic by Shanna Swendson


Title/Author: Much Ado About Magic (Enchanted, Inc #5) by Shanna Swendson
Publisher/Date published: NLA Digital Liaison Platform LLC, August 15th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Katie Chandler is back in New York and at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc. – and just in time. The city’s in the grip of a magical crime wave from spells that wizarding whiz Owen Palmer thinks look awfully familiar, and the rogue firm Spellworks is raising its profile in the magical world by selling protective amulets. It’s Katie’s job as the new director of marketing for MSI to fight this battle of public perception while Owen and the other wizards try to uncover what’s really going on.
What Katie doesn’t realize is that her idea to stage a showcase for MSI’s magical achievements is playing right into a devious plot more than three decades in the making. Now Katie has to do damage control that has nothing to do with marketing. To save the magical world, she’ll have to prove who the real enemy is, and doing that will require digging deeper into Owen’s mysterious past than he wants anyone to go. If she fails, she not only stands to lose a magical war, but she could also lose the man she loves."

***WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1-4***

I really, REALLY loved the first book in this series, Enchanted, Inc, and while I have enjoyed books 2-4 as well, they never really got to the same level as Enchanted, Inc. I hadn't really expected there to be a book 5, but when I saw it up on NetGalley, I couldn't resist, because this is is just such a fun series!

Basically, I would love to be Katie Chandler. As a 20-something she discovers about magic and gets to work at a magical company and her boss is MERLIN! I mean, how freaking awesome is that? This is sort of like my Hogwarts fantasy only more grown up.

Throughout the books Katie's been trying to have a relationship with Owen, who is a good guy and a very powerful wizard. But Owen isn't really very good at relationships, he's somewhat less talented at interacting with other people than he is at catching magical bad guys. And while I know that if the characters have a perfect walk off into the sunset moment in the first or second book, it is somewhat less interesting to read about their relationship after that, I just found myself going: GAH, give these two a break already!
I mean, come on, how many times can you NOT have a date? Every time they try to do something together other than chasing evil, they get disturbed by new evil loons. They don't seem to make any real progress in their relationship. But they are pretty sweet together, so I can sort of forgive this.

As for the romance itself: these books are pretty clean. There's some kissing, but that's pretty much it.

I like that these books are just fun chicklit with a magical element! There's a serious threat, but there's also time for funny moments and I love Katie's sense of humor. I did think that she took a lot of crap from him and if I were her I would have stood up for myself a long time ago, but she does so in the end, so it was all good.

Also, Owen has tamed real live dragons and is adorable in his social awkwardness.

Guys, this was an easy, breezy read, perfect to relax with after a busy day at work and while it wasn't my favourite, it was still pretty darn cute and I'm still rooting for Katie and Owen and all the other characters I've come to love!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Monday, October 15, 2012

Review of The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's Court by Michelle Moran


Title/Author: The Second Empress: A Novel op Napoleon's Court by Michelle Moran
Publisher/Date published: Crown Publishing Group, August 14th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "After the bloody French Revolution, Emperor Napoleon’s power is absolute. When Marie-Louise, the eighteen year old daughter of the King of Austria, is told that the Emperor has demanded her hand in marriage, her father presents her with a terrible choice: marry the cruel, capricious Napoleon, leaving the man she loves and her home forever, or say no, and plunge her country into war.
Marie-Louise knows what she must do, and she travels to France, determined to be a good wife despite Napoleon’s reputation. But lavish parties greet her in Paris, and at the extravagant French court, she finds many rivals for her husband’s affection, including Napoleon’s first wife, Jos├ęphine, and his sister Pauline, the only woman as ambitious as the emperor himself. Beloved by some and infamous to many, Pauline is fiercely loyal to her brother. She is also convinced that Napoleon is destined to become the modern Pharaoh of Egypt. Indeed, her greatest hope is to rule alongside him as his queen — a brother-sister marriage just as the ancient Egyptian royals practiced. Determined to see this dream come to pass, Pauline embarks on a campaign to undermine the new empress and convince Napoleon to divorce Marie-Louise.
As Pauline's insightful Haitian servant, Paul, watches these two women clash, he is torn between his love for Pauline and his sympathy for Marie-Louise. But there are greater concerns than Pauline's jealousy plaguing the court of France. While Napoleon becomes increasingly desperate for an heir, the empire's peace looks increasingly unstable. When war once again sweeps the continent and bloodshed threatens Marie-Louise’s family in Austria, the second Empress is forced to make choices that will determine her place in history — and change the course of her life."

Guys, I loved Michelle Moran's YA novel Cleopatra's Daughter. And ever since I've been dying to read more by her as I've heard nothing but good things about her writing. And while I did enjoy this novel, there was something stopping me from falling in love with it the way I did with Cleopatra's Daughter.

I think there were some clues in the summary, namely that it's just SO LONG! There's so much going on and it focuses on 3 characters that are so different that it takes a LOT of time to explain everything and get a good sense of who they all are. And the book itself wasn't that big, spanning 312 pages. So when I was finally feeling comfortable with the characters, the story was over.

I thought this would center more around Napoleon and Marie-Louise's relationship, but while there's a lot of talk of the emperor, he's not really present all that much. It's more focused on the relationship between Paul and Pauline and Marie-Louise, who are the 3 main characters.

I really liked Marie-Louise (or rather Maria Lucia). I liked that she wasn't a whimpering woman, she actually tried to do something about her situation. I loved her for sacrificing herself and understanding at that age that it was necessary for her family. And I really respected that while she could have taken a lover while she was married, she had made the decision not to and to stay true to Napoleon. Well, up until he was dethroned, but I was kinda ok with the way that worked out. It must have been hard for her to compete with Jos├ęphine, who was still very much alive and present in Napoleon's life.

Pauline was another story, GAH, I really, very strongly disliked that woman! She was just delusional and selfish and cruel... I wanted to slap her! I get that she was sick, but it started way before that spiralled out of control! I really didn't like reading the chapter from her POV.

I could respect Paul in all other things than his love for Pauline. And towards the end his disappointment in her made him somewhat cruel as well, which while I applauded him for sticking up for himself, made me uncomfortable. I did like that he seemed to be the voice of reason for Pauline and Napoleon at times.

While I did enjoy this story and the look it gave me into these historical figures, I didn't feel an urgency while reading The Second Empress. I didn't feel the stress and fear at Napoleon's imminent downfall. Michelle Moran's writing was really engaging, but the characters put me off a bit.

My rating: 3 stars

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dewey's Read-a-Thon End of Event Meme

I'm so sad the read-a-thon is over! I always have a blast and waiting six months for the next one is just too long!

I managed to finish another book, yay productivity! :)

Pages read: 842
Books finished: 3

Distracted by: lunch, snacks, Twitter being shiny :)



The End of Event Survey:

Which hour was most daunting for you?
I kinda just fell asleep at 3AM, but other than that I was doing pretty well.

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Shatter Me sure sucked me in and kept me engaged!

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Not really, you guys seem to have everything running smoothly!

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
EVERYTHING.

How many books did you read?
3, I'm kinda proud of this :)

What were the names of the books you read?
Much Ado About Magic by Shanna Swendson, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and A Lady By Midnight by Tessa Dare.

Which book did you enjoy most?
Shatter Me!

Which did you enjoy least?
The other two were both enjoyable as well.

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I will try my very bestest to clear my schedule again so I can participate!! I absolutely love it, so I'd say very likely. I'd participate as a reader again :)

Now excuse me while I go shower, write reviews for the books I've read and then maybe just watch some TV. Or read, cause I'm not really tired of it, even after 24 (ok, 18) hours of it!

Hope you all had fun as well!

Read-a-Thon Update 3

So I kinda slept for 6 hours... Yeah, I'm not sure what happened either.

Pages read: 556
Books finished: 2

Distracted by: sleep and a warm cuddly boyfriend, also: breakfast!

But I'm back on the couch and ready to rock the last 4 hours of this read-a-thon!

Read-a-Thon Update 2

Hi guys!

Still hanging in there? I've been doing much better the past couple of hours. I think it mostly had to do with the book I was reading and it just sucking me in, LOVED IT!

My progress:

Pages read total: 458
Books finished: 2

Distracted by: staying hydrated and because of that frequently having to take a bathroom break. And picking the boyfriend up from the train station, yay he's home again :)

I've finished Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and you guys, it was SO INSANELY GOOD! I needed to get used to the writing at first, but it was just so stunning! I wanted to read as fast as I could to find out what would happen next and savor it because the writing was just beautiful!

I'm off to bed to read from there and maybe catch some sleep as I do have some social obligations tomorrow.

Be back in a couple of hours!

And I'll leave you with a cute puppy:


EDIT:

Mid-Event Survey

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
A bit, but not so much, just really wanting to go to bed and be all warm and snuggled up :)
2) What have you finished reading?
I've finished Much Ado About Magic by Shanna Swendson and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
3) What is your favorite read so far?
Shatter Me, I have no words for how much I loved that book!
4) What about your favorite snacks?
I haven't been snacking much, I need to get on this when I return from the bed.
5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
I have! I've visited the people who were nice enough to leave me a comment (I'm not up to date on this, will catch up when I manage to drag myself away from the bed again.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Read-a-Thon Update 1

For everyone needing something else to stare at for a moment aside from their books:


You are welcome.

My progress so far:

Pages read: 120
Books finished: 1 WOOHOO!

Distracted by: the boyfriend (but always in a good way), Twitter, blogs... FOOD.

I'm about to start my second book: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi :)

Hope you're all enjoying yourselves!

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon!! IT'S HERE!!

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon

Hi guys! How are you all this fine Saturday?
Of course it's time for the bi-annual 24-hour read-a-thon! It's one of my favourite reading events and I've managed to mostly clear my schedule, so I'm ready to go!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
As always, I'll be reading from Holland :)

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I haven't really figured out my stack yet, I'm just going to try and finish reading my current book and then I'll start planning.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Snacks! I'm excited about all my snacks! They're so important... I think my pepernoten (best described as little spiced cookies) covered in chocolate are what I'm most excited about.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
My name is Daisy, I'm a 25-year-old doctor, live with my boyfriend of 7 years and like to snuggle up under a blanket with a good book.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I was way to busy with other stuff during the last read-a-thon, so clearing my schedule is a big step towards actually being able to participate :)

Have fun everyone! It's time to get my read on :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review of The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Stephanie Laurens


Title/Author: The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae (The Cynster Sisters Trilogy #3) by Stephanie Laurens
Publisher/Date published: Avon, February 1st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Three heros, three rescues, three weddings.
We joyfully request your attendance at the wedding of Miss Angelica Cynster
...but not until she and her hero confront a devious enemy and lay to rest an ancient grudge in the Scottish Highlands!
Headstrong Angelica Cynster is certain she'll recognize her fated husband at first sight. And when her eyes meet those of a mysterious nobleman across a candlelit ballroom, she knows beyond doubt that he's the one. But her heart is soon pounding for an entirely different reason - when he hero abducts her!
The eighth Earl of Glencrae has no choice but to kidnap Angelica, the one Cynster sister with whom he hadn't wanted to tangle. But to save his castle and his clan, he must persuade her to assist him - and he's prepared to offer marriage to seal the deal."

I was glad I didn't give up on this series after I didn't really care much for the second book In Pursuit of Miss Eliza Cynster, because this one worked MUCH better for me. Like in the other one, they did sort of mutually fall in love with not much obstacles or angst or anything, but it still took a little work and I liked it.

Angelica is a much spunkier heroine than Eliza was and I liked her spirit. Sure she's young and doesn't have much experience with men, but coming from the Cynster family, she had a LOT of examples about how to 'manage' them. I loved that she was daring and trusting and even though I doubt most people would have gone along with Dominic's (the earl) plan, it didn't seem like a too-stupid-to-live moment, so I was good :)

Also, it takes them 188 pages to kiss. Seriously. And really, it worked and I was going KISS ALREADY!!! GAH! There was a excellent tension building going on and their first kiss was everything it should be in my humble opinion. I kinda liked that Angelica was more chasing him than the other way around, cause usually it's the men doing the chasing. Angelica took matters into her own hands (sometimes quite literally) and I love when a heroine knows what she wants and isn't afraid to take it. I did have a laugh out loud moment when Angelica uses a little gentle manipulation on Dominic and then says to him after 'Don't worry, you'll get used to it.'

And Dominic was a really great hero. He's big and manly and he's got the whole clanleader thing going on that was very attractive! With his protectiveness and sense of honor, I loved it. And I loved that he and Angelica actually talked about things and worked together. The whole backstory as to why Dominic had to kidnap a Cynster sister was pretty good and there's some serious crazyness involved!

The only thing that stopped me from giving the book 5 stars is that there was just no tension after they kissed and Angelica lost her virginity. I liked the story well enough, but the feelings they experienced just weren't as intense for me.

But The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae was a really enjoyable read and I do really like the whole Cynster family! I just didn't have the love/starcrossed drama I like to see somewhat of in my historical romances.

My rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review of The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore


Title/Author: The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies #2) by Pittacus Lore
Publisher/Date published: HarperCollins, August 23rd 2011
How I got this book: own a copy.

Goodreads summary: "I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me... he's one of us.
Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us — if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another.. but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?
They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio — and failed.
I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.
And I'm ready to fight."

**WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR I AM NUMBER FOUR**

So it's been a while since I read I Am Number Four, about a year I'd guess. And I really liked I Am Number Four, and was DYING to know what would happen next and then totally spaced on actually reading The Power of Six. Yeah, I suck.

The part that kinda bugged me in the first book, the romance between John and Sarah, was luckily pretty absent in this one, as we don't see much of Sarah herself. We do have John angsting over his love for Sarah and his male hormones picking up Six's femaleness, but we don't have loveydovey scenes like in I Am Number Four. Usually I'm all for the kissing, but these books don't really need that in my opinion.

There's a lot of action and it was really good! I liked that we got to know another 'number' and how it showed just how loosing your faith can change your circumstances. I loved Marina, she's such a strong girl and I loved that she took another girl under her wings when she was having enough trouble of her own as it was.

But seriously, who really stole the whole novel was Six. Six is awesome. She kicks butt, she's a no-nonsense kind of girl and she's always willing to help. She knows what everything they're doing is about and it was nice to see her being kickass as well as letting her guard down and showing her more vulnerable side. And seriously, if I'd been her, I'd have ripped John apart towards the end because he was being such a jackass and just irresponsible and GAH! But yeah, Team Six!

And I still can't help but smile any time Bernie Kosar's in a scene, it makes me wish I had a pet. Especially one as awesome as this little guy.

It's mostly John, Six and Sam on the run and getting to know Marina a little, and while that was pretty entertaining, I would have liked to learn a little more about the how and why of things and I'd expected to learn a little more about their Loric background and everything surrounding their Legacies. There was some of it and I think that was also my favourite part of the novel.
I did like that John seemed lost without Henry. I mean, Henry was such an important part of his life, so if he'd just continued on without a backward glance it would have been odd.

It took me a week to read this, and it's not that big a book. I think it was a combination of me being really busy and the book not being all that exciting, I could easily put it down and then pick it up again sometime later and not really feel bothered by this. I didn't feel fully immersed in the story. I really hope that'll change with The Rise of Nine, which I'm reading soon!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Daisy Update (22) In which I do lots of work...


Because who doesn't like lolcats!

So yeah, that's basically me today. This week was just exhausting. It wasn't all bad exhausting, but all in all it's kinda turned me in a zombie today. But as most of today I'm alone in the apartment, and the boyfriend already knows this look, it's ok :)

Monday 3 of my friends from high school came over for dinner and it was really nice to just hang out and talk about everything. We always end up talking medicine, because 3 of us are doctors and it's sort of therapeutical to talk about everything you see as a doctor with people who are experiencing the same things.

My regular shifts at work were ok, not too busy and I like working on a nursing floor again instead of the ER. Thursday I was working the evening shift as well and it was just so busy! I didn't have time to eat and when I got home I still had so much adrenaline in my system that I couldn't sleep, so that left me pretty tired Friday.
Friday night I just chilled at home with the boyfriend, he'd been away all other nights except for Monday and it was nice to just spend some time together, we watched the 2 new episodes of How I Met Your Mother, I love that show!

Then Saturday it was my turn again to work the 24 hour shift and it was hard. I really don't mind working on the weekend very much and my previous two 24 hour shift were pretty ok. But this one had me running around trying to keep everyone alive, in which I mostly succeeded, but I had zero time to eat and had to get up at night twice because there were a couple of really sick patients who needed a doctor.
I do really love my job and it does feel pretty darn good to actually save someone's life, but sometimes it's nice to have it in somewhat smaller doses. It was pretty stressful and I think I only slept for about 3,5 hours total.

I got home this morning and thought I would just nap in the afternoon, but I couldn't really focus and ended up sleeping a couple of hours. I've had some caffeine now and feel better. It'll be even better when the boyfriend gets home later and gives me some hugs, cause I kinda need them to fully relax.

In bookish news: I think the cold weather and having to get up while it's still dark outside are getting to me and I've just fallen asleep a couple of times this week at night when I had planned to read some more. I did finish The Crown of Ember and posted my raving review. You guys, it was SO GOOD! I still can't get over all the feelings that book gave me and GAH, why can't the sequel be out today?

I loved that one of my high school friends mentioned she'd tried to read Fifty Shades of Grey and said "It was porn! I couldn't read it while my mom was sitting next to me!". With all the hype I'm kinda curious about it, but I'm not sure if it's worth giving a try because it doesn't really sound like my kind of book. We'll see.


This week is the only week till the end of the year that I don't have to work an evening shift, so my evenings will be gloriously free and I will spend time with the boyfriend and read and basically do all the things I didn't get to do last week! And of course next Saturday is Dewey's 24-hour Read-a-Thon! Any of you guys participating? I had so much fun the last couple of times! For now it looks like I have a clear schedule, yay!

Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review of The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson


Title/Author: The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson
Publisher/Date published: Greenwillow Books, September 18th 2012
How I got this book: bought it with my own cash moneys. I think I pre-ordered it about 6 months ago.

Goodreads summary: "Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy."

**WARNING: THIS WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS***

You guys, I am afraid this will be more gushing than actual review because I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK! And I have all these feelings! And they will not be repressed!

With Humberto's brutal death Rae Carson made me do the ugly crying, shocked face NOOOO, wishing I could unread that part. I'm still kind of wishing I could unread it. And I thought I, uhm, I mean Elisa, could never love someone again. And I was DEAD WRONG! And the falling in love was glorious and exciting and sexy even when it was just HANDS BRUSHING!

Ahem.

I already loved Elisa in The Girl of Fire of Thorns, but in The Crown of Embers she goes through SO MUCH character growth again! I'm feeling like a proud momma watching her become a woman and come into her own! She's intelligent and funny and at one moment I so respected her because she cared more about possibly losing her wit than getting a new scar.
She is my kind of sarcastic funny and I giggled at this one quote:
"If a kidnapper comes at me, what am I supposed to do? Say, 'Excuse my, my lord, while I pull my enormous quarterstaff out of my bodice?'"

I love her spirit and that she's loyal to the ones she loves and gives away a piece of herself to each of them.

And Hector. Hector is not a boy but an amazing man who completely stole my heart with his fierce protectiveness and just the noble soul that he is! His sense of honour is humbling, even though it sometimes gets in the way of the kissing.

The stakes are high and the quest is epic and there's a whole world of new information to find out about the Godstone and its powers! This series is exactly what I love about fantasy! Rae Carson managed to break my heart again with that ending, but it was so mindblowingly amazing that I think I can forgive her for that. But please don't hurt Hector in The Bitter Kingdom, cause I don't think I could take it...

The wait till Fall 2013 will be excruciating.

My rating: 5+ stars

Monday, October 1, 2012

Review of The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James


Title/Author: The Ugly Duchess (Fairy Tales #4) by Eloisa James
Publisher/Date published: Avon, August 28th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "How can she dare to imagine he loves her…when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess?
Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of her soon-to-be duke's passion.
Still, the tabloids give the marriage six months.
Theo would have given it a lifetime... until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry. Society was shocked by their wedding; it's scandalized by their separation.
Now James faces the battle of his lifetime, convincing Theo that he loved the duckling who blossomed into the swan.
And Theo will quickly find that for a man with the soul of a pirate, All's Fair in Love — or War."

I was a bit hesitant to start The Ugly Duchess, because I was disappointed with The Duke Is Mine, or more accurately: the second half of The Duke Is Mine. But I'm happy to say The Ugly Duchess did not suffer from the same problems as The Duke is Mine did!

The plot was pretty unique as far as romance plots go! I've never before read about a man forced into marriage, being made to leave by his wife and then turning pirate! It was SO GOOD! I mean, there's all this tension BEFORE the big event after which she tells him to never come back, because you KNOW something is bound to go wrong because you've read the summary and know this.

Eloisa James really shows what a great storyteller she is with The Ugly Duchess! I was swept up in the story and I could easily see both sides of the fight Theo and James were having! I'm usually angry at one of the parties, but in this one I was just so sad for them both!

I thought Theo was a really strong female character. She knows what she wants and she takes care of business after James leaves England. I love how she managed to turn the estate profitable again and how she's not ready to just fall into James' arms straight away when he comes back.

And James! *le sigh* That man... He is just swoonworthy and a good man underneath it all. He had issues with both his parents and it has made him into the slightly damaged, but beautiful man he is. I loved how he genuinely finds Theo beautiful, even when she's not conventionally so according to the rest of the world. Goes to show how beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Together they had amazing chemistry! Everything that was missing in The Duke Is Mine was there for me in The Ugly Duchess: a likeable hero and heroine, sexy sexytimes, tension, wonderful chemistry and a couple I could root for! Also: PIRATES! They make everything better. The only thing that would have made it better and would have made me give it 5 stars is if I would have cried. But maybe better luck next time?

My rating: 4,5 stars