Updates and Thoughts

Happy First Day of Fall, Y’all!


How are you celebrating the first day of fall? I had a Salted Caramel Latte from Starbucks and protested this 90 degree F day by wearing a sweater (notice the pregnant belly below, as evidence to why I have not been as active lately). 

Speaking of pregnancy. Wowzers. This one has really taken a toll on me. I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarium recently – if it sounds familiar, it’s probably because you heard about Duchess Kate having it. Mine is more of a “mild” case in comparison to some women who spend weeks or months in the hospital, have a PICC line placed to administer meds and fluids, etc., but has been rather debilitating for me nonetheless. If you want a more detailed description for HG click here. As a result of HG early in my pregnancy I was unable to read a lot, but the past couple weeks I have started to be able to read again. I’m still perpetually nauseous, but not throwing up as much and thus, able to read again!  *happy dance*


So, what have I been reading? Well, mostly some historical romance (because these pregnancy hormones, ya know 😉) and of course, TOWER OF DAWN *screams*. I am hoping to eventually be able to do a full review of ToD, because you guys. It. was.awesome. A quick run-down of what I’ve read in the last couple weeks is below.

Click on the cover or title to be taken to Amazon to purchase the book.

Cold-Hearted Rake 

A twist of fate . . .

Devon Ravenel, London’s most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities . . . and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl’s three innocent sisters are still occupying the house . . . along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon’s own.

A clash of wills . . .

Kathleen knows better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny—and from the first moment Devon holds her in his arms, he vows to do whatever it takes to possess her. As Kathleen finds herself yielding to his skillfully erotic seduction, only one question remains:

Can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she’s ever known?

 

Marrying Winterborne

A ruthless tycoon
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…

A sheltered beauty
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable…the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…

Marrying Mr. Winterborne

 

Devil in Spring

An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy — and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven…

Historical Romances have never really been my thing, but I really enjoyed all of these. I may look into more Lisa Kleypas books. 


And then, obviously:

Tower of Dawn 

Since it’s a sequel I won’t put in the book description, but as I said above – I loved it! I know Chaol is a hotly debated character in the fandom, as most people either love him or hate him, but I adore him! I give it a 5/5. It’s my second favorite book SJM has written (behind ACOMAF). 


Other reviews of the Throne of Glass series on my blog:

Throne of Glass 4/5 stars

Crown of Midnight 5/5 stars

Heir of Fire 4/5 stars

Queen of Shadows – didn’t do a review here because it was my least favorite in the series and just couldn’t muster up the fucks to write a review. 2/5 stars

Empire of Storms 4/5 stars


Well that about wraps it up for now, thank you so much for reading and sticking with my [very poorly managed for the last few months] blog! I promise I am trying to blog more and check everyone else’s blog more as well! 

Top 5 Wednesday (on Thursday? Oops) (11)

Remember a couple weeks ago when I said I was going to do these every week again?

… oops

I am going to try and do what I used to do and have scheduled posts for when I know I will be having busy weeks at work. The biggest reason I have been so far behind on EVERYTHING is because my sons’ baseball seasons started. I have a 5 year old and 7 year old who both play. Of course they are on different teams, and practice at different times AND days of the week, including two practices a week where I have to leave work an hour early to make it there. SERIOUSLY, who makes practice START at 5pm?! Oh, and their games are at two different field locations.

My cup runneth over and I still have another 2 months of it. Wish me luck.


Well now that my whine fest is over, let’s move onto the goods. 

This feature is hosted in the Top Five Wednesday group on Goodreads.

The topic this week is….


.1.

Tahereh Mafi

In light of the announcement made yesterday, she moved to the top of my list. I adored the Shatter Me Series and have been waiting for her to release a new YA novel. I didn’t read her middle-grade novel because it’s not really my taste, but I’m so excited for more Warner Juliette. 😉


.2.

Sarah Lyons Fleming

I will literally read anything this woman writes. I’m currently waiting for her to release the second book in her City Series (review on first book here), and I have already re-read her Until the End of the World Series (review here) twice now. It’s possible that another re-read will happen before the next book is released (she says she’s shooting for a June release). 

I’ll just be here…waiting:


.3.

Sarah J. Maas

God, I feel like this one is obscenely obvious, but I’m waiting on ACOWAR right now (like thousands of others, lol). I had to include it though, forgive me. 😂😂 


.4.

Suzanne Collins

I loved The Hunger Games so I will definitely read anything new she releases. I haven’t read Gregor the Overlander because again, middle grade isn’t my taste. 


.5.

Colleen Hoover

I’ve read 4 of her books, but I’m currently working my way through the rest. She does contemporary romance so well and has complex characters with unique backstories. 


Top 5 Wednesday (10)

Gah. It’s been almost a month since I posted a top 5 Wednesday! I’ve been such a bad blogger the last month! I’m hoping to get out of this funk I’ve been in. 

 

This feature is hosted in the Top Five Wednesday group on Goodreads.

The topic this week is….


.1.

Maybe it’s because this book is fresh in my mind since I just read it a couple weeks ago (read my review here), but this was the first book I thought of. I think the maneuvering in the asteroid belt would be intense. There are a few scenes that I can picture being awesome video game scenes:

  1. The explosion and subsequent escape in Kismet
  2. Navigating the underground tunnels in Cray with the Mechs on your tail
  3. Restoring health points in Stronghold, followed by the attempted escape
  4. The prison break on Earth

.2.

     

I feel like this book will probably be on a lot of people’s lists, because duh. With the popularity of Assassin’s Creed, Throne of Glass would be an obvious hit. Plus, the potential for so many games would be great if you did one game per book!


.3.

   

This is one of my new favorite series! It’s not very well known, but it would make a great game. It’s full of action, to include hand-to-hand combat, foot chases, multiple locations to escape, knife and sword fights, and gun fights. Plus a super sexy Viking warrior. Each book is packed with enough material for an entire game, so you would potentially have 4 games with varying locations and villains. Read my review on the first book here


.4.

So this would be more of a puzzle and simulation game, but I still think it would be a good one!


.5.

  

This is probably another series that will be on a lot of lists, but it would really make a great game! 


So what was on your list? Make sure you leave a link to your post below so I can check it out!

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Audio, via Audible
Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans

As a reminder, I review sequels a little different from other reviews. I am going to hide the description from the main page so you will have to click “Read More” due to potential spoilers from previous books in the description or my review. 

Also, there is some swearing in this review….just be warned. 

See my reviews for the other books in the series here:
–   The Assassin’s Blade
–   Throne of Glass
–   Crown of Midnight
–   Heir of Fire
–   Queen of Shadows —> I didn’t do one on my blog. It was my least favorite book and I would only rate it 3/5 stars. SJM turned Chaol into a complete asshole, which was so out of character for him IMO. I have some other issues with the book, but I’m not getting into them here. 

Rating:

 

GIVEAWAY: A Court of Thorns and Roses (Kindle Edition)

GIVEAWAY

Hey there! To celebrate World Book Day I would like to give away a Kindle Edition of A Court of Thorns and Roses. ACOTAR is one my favorite books so I’m always looking to get more people hooked on the series. I was going to do a physical book giveaway, but something came up and this ended up being the only way I could do it this month.

I am hoping to start doing giveaways every couple months though! The following giveaways will definitely be hard copies. 🙂

This Giveaway will end at midnight on 3/6/17. 

Anyway, if you haven’t heard of ACOTAR, you can read my review here.

 

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.


Checkout the Rafflecopter below to enter! Good Luck! Thank you for entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

After the giveaway ends I will e-mail the winner a link to download the book. You will need an Amazon account and access to the Kindle App or a Kindle device. 





Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Audio, via Audible
Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans

As a reminder, I review sequels a little different from other reviews. I am going to hide the description from the main page so you will have to click “Read More” due to potential spoilers from previous books in the description or my review. 

See my reviews for the other books in the series here:
–   The Assassin’s Blade
–   Throne of Glass
–   Crown of Midnight

Rating:

 

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Title: The Assassin’s Blade
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Paperback (self-purchased)

Description (Source: Amazon):

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, she’s sworn to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer for hire, Sam.

In these action-packed prequel novellas to Throne of Glass, Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and avenge tyranny. But by acting on her own terms, will Celaena truly free herself from her master, or will she suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery?”

Overall Assessment:
The Assassin’s Blade is a collection of 5 Novellas set in Erilea that take place before Throne of Glass. I’m going to separate the review by each novella and then give an overall rating.

WARNING: There are spoilers in this review for Throne of Glass. 

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, 72 pages, 4/5 stars:
This is the book in which we are introduced to Celaena, Sam, Arobynn, and the other assassins. Sam and Celaena, who do not like each other, are sent on a mission to the Dead Islands by Arobynn, but are not told the details of the deal. Once they find out that Arobynn is intending on entering the slave trade the assassin duo decide to put their differences aside and help the slaves escape.

At first Celaena is callous, cold, and arrogant in this book, but we (and Sam) get to see her softness toward the helpless (slaves). 

The Assassin and the Healer, 37 pages, 3/5 stars:
After a severe beating by Arobynn Celaena is further punished and sent on a journey to the Silent Assassins in the Red Desert. Before she gets there she meets a young aspiring healer, Yrene.  I don’t feel like it made a big difference in the character development of Celaena, unless Yrene will be showing back up in later novels.

The Assassin and the Desert, 106 pages, 4/5 stars:
This was my second favorite of the novellas. Celaena finally makes it to the Red Desert where she meets a variety of other assassins and trains with the master of them. The master of the silent assassins shows Celaena compassion and teaches her that Arobynn may not be the man she believed him to be. We also meet Ansel in this novella, who shows up later in the series. 

The Assassin and the Underworld, 104 pages, 4/5 stars:
Celaena has returned from the Desert and is given a new assignment by Arobynn. Sam and Celaena decide to work on this together and we see their relationship develop. Celaena grows a lot in this book as she finally realizes what love is and begins to feel real emotions for the first time in years. 

The Assassin and the Empire, 98 pages, 5/5 stars:
My poor heart. I knew it was coming because I had already read ToG, but UGH. I ugly cried when Celaena found Sam. You have to read this novella to appreciate the depth of Celaena’s pain at this loss and her hatred for Arobynn. This novella ends with Celaena being put in the wagon and on her way to Endovier. 

“She would tuck Sam into her heart, a bright light for her to take out whenever things were darkest. And then she would remember how it felt to be loved, when the world had held nothing but possibility. No matter what they did to her, they could never take that away”

– The Assassin’s Blade, page 434

Overall Rating:

   

Final Thoughts:
– I definitely recommend reading the prequels, as you are introduced to several characters in The Assassin’s Blade that reappear in later books. I would especially be sure to read the prequel before reading the fourth book in the series (Queen of Shadows). There is a major character in QoS that you meet in tAb. Understanding this character’s previous relationship with Celaena is important. Not to mention knowing the pain Celaena feels regarding her relationship with Sam cannot be adequately understood if you don’t read tAB. 

Link to purchase book:


 

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Audio, via Audible
Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans

As a reminder, I review sequels a little different from other reviews. I am going to hide the description from the main page so you will have to click “Continue Reading” due to potential spoilers from previous books in the description or my review. 

Rating: