EvieBones

Books are my sanctuary.

Some good ideas but all in all a jumbled mess

Addicted - Charlotte Featherstone

 

I will not ramble as much as in my last review but I will point out that I am having the shit$iest luck in picking up good books lately. This one was no different.

 

I will just jump to what bothered me because you all know the storyline: boy and girl like each other, they almost end up together, something has to get in the way and in the end love prevails.

 

 

What I see wrong with this story:

 

1. The title. Summary of this book and the title would like us to believe that they seriously dwell into the opium addiction and that our hero Lindsay is an addict which gets in the way of him and his heroine. Well no, that is for the most part not true. He is only an addict in the last third of a book and what got between him and his heroine was really unrelated to any of this. In all honesty, opium was only used when this book needed a reason to be longer otherwise it would all end in the first few chapters.

 

 

2. Plot lines that lead nowhere. We have several of those but I will mention three which are probably the ones that really struck a chord with me. First we have Lindsay's character in the first few chapters being described as this great benefactor who aides little people who weren't fortunate enough of being born into a title or wealth. That is mentioned once or twice and it seemed like this will lead somewhere, that it will give him depth, something interesting about him, especially when we see his thoughts such as:

 

"We’re born rich, the untitled man is not. He is the one who needs the chances in life."

 

But that is all we get. It is never corroborated with any evidence nor is it ever mentioned again. It really felt like the author wanted our hero to appear good and giving but later on just dropped that entirely. 

 

Then we have Anais' best friend Rebecca who ends up betraying her and coming between her and Lindsay and after she does come between them she is only mentioned once. One would think that such a villain would at least meet its rightful end and that we will get the satisfaction of seeing her punished or something but she all but vanishes and not even Anais' family ever wonders what happened to her best friend.

 

And lastly I will mention Anais' parents. They are both bad people, one right from the start and one is revealed as one later on. But both have their own bad traits and especially her father, the hypocrite, who harbours a secret which Anais learns of and does nothing with it, she does not confront him, she doesn't tell anyone, it is never spoken of again, not even if her mother learned of it and if they overcame it... nothing.

 

 

3. Characters. All characters are literally one trait. That's all there is to them. Or one quirk, as you wish. Lindsay, our hero, is an opium addict, Anais likes riding horses, Broughton is a stuck-up guy, Anais' mom is a money grabber, Anais' father adulterer, Lindsay's father is an alcoholic, Lindsay's mom is a saint for putting up with an alcoholic etc. Not one of them had something else, something more interesting about them, each conversation when they spoke of each other was about the same thing about a person over and over again.

 

 

4. Inconsistency. Something that confused me, and I am sure that I am not the only one. Lindsay says in the first half of the book that while in opium dens he had sex in his high state with whomever's body was on him, that it was normal for those places to have orgies and such and he even said:

 

"He used the opium so that he could dream of her, so that he could see her when he was fucking other women. There was no guilt that way."

 

But later on he keeps saying that unlike others in opium dens, he just can't have sex with anyone because opium rules him and he can only get up for one woman who stirs his blood and that is Anais. It kept bouncing from one statement to the other each time there was talk about opium dens. It's just...very confusing.

 

 

Now I will mention what I hated most about this book and why I almost dropped reading it, I read the last third of the book like I was chewing nails, very slowly and painfully but since it is a spoiler of sorts even though you see it coming a mile away when you read the book, I will put it under a spoiler tag.

 

I will explain what got between Lindsay and Anais. I did mention it was Anais' best friend Rebecca but I didn't mention how it happened.

On a masquerade ball Lindsay was supposed to meet with Anais at midnight and he knew which costume she will wear. Little before midnight as Lindsay was waiting for the meeting, one servant fed him some weird dessert which contained hashish which he never tried before and it messed with his mind. That servant was Rebecca and she donned Anais' costume which she stole from her and tricked him into believing she was Anais and Anais caught them making out in the hallway. And she fled. She didn't want to speak with him and made him believe she left for Paris and he followed her there when she actually stayed in his friend Broughton's cottage on his estate. 

(show spoiler)

 

And now we come to the thing I hate most about this book.

Before the masquerade ball Anais slept with Lindsay and of course that left her pregnant and she had the child in the cottage where Broughton let her stay and she GAVE THE BABY AWAY and no, they don't get the baby back later no, they make peace with that, that their own flesh and blood is now someone else's daughter. HOW THE F*CK COULD YOU DO THAT??? There is nothing making you do that. First she says that she gave the baby away because what would that do to her status in society? Oh what a b*tch. Then she said she had no other choice because Lindsay wasn't there and yet she was the one sending him on a wild-goose chase when she led him to believe she left for Paris. Then she says she couldn't keep her because she couldn't give the baby milk because she got sick after giving birth. Oh please, plenty of women in that time couldn't produce milk so they hired local women who had babies too to help out. Nothing she says makes any sense and most of all, what does that make you as a woman, a person.... you could have kept your child but you CHOSE not to because it was EASIER for you. After this transpired I started to hate her and I actually rooted for Lindsay to find someone more worthy but of course we can't have that because it would make too much sense.

(show spoiler)

 

 

All in all.

 

Conclusion is that first half of the book was rather boring for me, the second half I was grinding my teeth the entire time. There were some inconsistencies and characters are one-quirk characters. But the author does know how to write well and her usage of language is something that speaks to me so I will not give up on her books, I will just stay far away from this one.

 

 

“When  you  pout,  angel,  every  man  looks  at  you,  wishing  he  could  kiss  away  the  sadness  from  those lovely lips.”

F*ck no, no no no no and no !

Dark Fires - Brenda Joyce


This is a book made of plot holes, too many freaking conveniences, jumping to scenes unrelated to the ones we're currently in the middle of, jumping to a few years later, having 5 separate endings and characters who are made of one generic trait and show no other depth.

 


Dealing with some personal family issues I was sadly away from books and reading for the last few months and now that I have returned to one of my two favourite things in the world - reading (and anime) I thought to start with a good uplifting historical romance since this could be called my guilty pleasure genre. I even picked a book from an author revered as the 'queen of the historical romance genre' and the summary of it was quite intriguing.

 

All my hopes died a very slow death as I was reading this.

 

I am not being nitpicky here, don't get me wrong. The entire book is one big mess with only a vague idea of what the characters should really be like but no effort was put into actually making them so. This book is way too long for its content. The majority of it is just characters pondering and doing the exact opposite of what they're thinking and feeling. Why? Because there is no other story which would propel the story along so we resort to characters acting like the stupidest people who ever lived just for convenience's sake.

 

 

Let me summarise the story:

 

A 17 year old girl resembling a 12 year old is put in care of a 33 year old man who is suspected of murdering his wife whose body was burned beyond recognition (see where I am heading?) but there wasn't enough evidence to convict him of anything. In two days she arrives at his estate, they are both head over heels in love with another. Within a few days they leave for London where he sleeps with her completely unaware of his actions because he was apparently asleep and thinking he dreamt it (dear author, don't think your readers are that stupid). Then he says I need to marry you now because I deflowered you and he doesn't add to that because I also really want to so she thinks it's just about obligation and leaves him to join some theatre and he doesn't follow her. Cut to 2 years later. She performs in the theatre, has a 2 year old baby girl (yes, really really) and he suddenly comes back just because. And he pursues her, finds out about his kid, marries her but plot twist, his first wife comes back from the dead, then the second wife takes her baby and leaves him AGAIN without even talking things through and leaves for America with his best friend but this time he follows her and gets her back and she's also pregnant again. Then they leave for Texas where he needs to set some things straight with his family. Then she has a baby and they go back to England. The f*cking end.

 


My thoughts. Again.

 

These plot contrivances are so annoying, so unbelievable, so poorly written that I cringed every time I turned the page. I cannot believe how bad this reading was and I have read dozens and dozens of historical romance novels.

 

I have so many issues with it that I can't even list them all so I'll just mention a few.

 

1. Characters. Generic characters, very bland, poorly written. The author didn't succeed in establishing them as believable because she did noting with them so the readers could pick up and tell from their actions how our heroes should be like. It was told to us. For instance, everyone calls Nicholas a savage but he does nothing that would suggest others seeing him as one (I do not count him walking in his dirty boots in his own house). Also, they are very contradictory, Jane keeps saying about herself how she is very sturdy and not a crybaby and such and every single time she talks to Nicholas she cries. It's mindblowing really.

 

2. Characters being as$holes. First we have Nicholas who should be this dark Texan turned English man suspected of killing his wife and being very crude and manly and whatnot but he is actually such a sweeheart at heart, yeah right. In reality he had a great life with his family (except for that one secret they kept from him but you'll see that's also poorly written) and he was brought up well yet he intentionally gallops with his horse every single day through his well kept lawn just so his gardeners would have to set up all the grass back and clean it all day long. He walks with his dirty boots throughout the house just so his servants would have to clean after him. He f*cks his maid which almost seemed like rape because she is scared s*itless of him.
Then there is Jane. I will just say that every time anything remotely difficult happens she runs away because that is apparently the only thing in the world she knows how to do. And she doesn't even tell him he has a child. And when she's pregnant the second time and runs off to America she was thinking of not telling him, yet again!

 

3. All the unnecessary as$holish sex. Nicholas is sleeping with everything that moves apparently. But heyyyyy, he is such a sweetheart at heart you know. As soon as his character is introduced he is pissed so he practically rapes his maid then when Jane arrives he keeps on banging his mistress even though he really did fall for Jane I mean it's so clear in his actions non. Then when he marries Jane he STILL KEEPS SHAGGING HIS MISTRESS ! We also learn that he slept around when with the wife number 1. I mean, come on. And I am supposed to be smitten with him and root for his relationship with Jane to work? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

 

4. One plot hole that still keeps bothering me. When Nicholas takes Jane to London and they arrive she clearly points out that she should have taken the (raped)maid with her because she's taking a liking to her and she could use the company in London. Then when we cut to 2 years later and Jane recollects how she ran away from Nicholas she clearly says that she only had to ask that maid once to run away with her that night and she did. How the hell did that happen? Did you take out your cell and called her up and had her teleport to London from Dragmore? Or did she magically appeared there right before you decided to run away just in case you might do that and she could go with you.

 

5. Lindley. Jonathon Lindley is Nicholas' best and only friend (oh I wonder why) and when Jane arrives at Nicholas' estate he arrives there like 2 days later (she was only there for a week or so before going to London being there for 3 days then running off and voila 2 years later). Lindley will sleep with anything with a skirt so he makes a pass on Jane, Jane accepts the play to make Nicholas jealous and kisses Lindley. Then Nicholas punches him and Lindley is out of the picture until they meet him in London and greet him and his current partner at the theatre. So Lindley only sees Jane (and vice versa) two times. But 2 years later Lindley suddenly decided he is in love with Jane and seeing they were always "such good friends" Jane keeps accepting his advances. What is wrong with you, dear author??? She met him twice and didn't hear anything about him for two years and now they are suddenly best friends. It's the same at the end when she is in America. She is there for a few weeks and after seeing Grace (Nicholas' brother Rathe's wife) she is her best friend and confidant. I will shoot myself. There is absolutely nothing established between them other than one sentence, 'we became best friends'. Where, how the hell in such a short period of time??? Argh!

 


Conclusion.

 

I have many more issues with this book but I'll stop my rant here. I only gave it 1.5* because I gave Twilight one and everything is better than Twilight so that is the only small compliment I can give this book. Don't read it, don't waste your time.

Be a Writer that You already are

Robot Coconut Trees: Break Through Writer's Block, Unleash Your Creative Voice, and Become the Writer You Already Are - Kelsey Horton

* I have received this book through Goodreads Giveaways and I will be leaving my honest and heartfelt opinion on it.

 

** Note: I apologise for the delay in posting my review but I didn't wish to do it in a hurry so I took my time, re-read some chapters, put a lot of sticky notes throughout and focused on some exercises so I can fully grasp and appreciate this work that I so kindly received from its author.

 


I will start by saying that 'Robot Coconut Trees' is the perfect title for this book. Everyone who has read it will appreciate it tremendously. And I love the cover, it is full of colour, full of inspiration... full of life.

 

This book is an inspirational, spiritual, self-help type of a book in which the writer, Kelsey Horton, helps all of us, her readers, to unleash our creative voices and to become Writers that we already are. But this book is not just that, it's very difficult to put books like this in strictly labelled boxes because this book grows and expands from chapter to chapter and teaches us not just how to become writers but also how to love and accept ourselves as we are, to get involved in our communities more, to put our hearts out there and to be ready to receive all the good and bad that could come from it.

 

When it comes to helping us in our becoming a writer process, despite having exercises and advices, this book focuses more on breaking through our inner restraints and learning how to accept that we already are writers rather than giving us more technical advice on the process itself. In my opinion, this doesn't take away anything from the book itself because there are plenty of people out there - myself included- who do need to hear this and who do need help with unleashing ourselves because we think that the world doesn't need our boring stories or our uninteresting mundane books. This is the book which I would recommend to people to start with so they can be in a right state of mind before they set out on that journey which will not only make them better writers but better and more fulfilled people in general.

 

 

"We read and write to cling to a flickering hope that someone out there feels the same clatter of discordant emotions that we do. We toss our words out to the sea and beg for someone to identify with what we are saying and break through the isolation."

 

 

And this, along with many other thoughts and statements like this one, is something that has helped me see, really see. I am a very realistic type of a person, with somewhat of a negative outlook on the world and mankind and the future before us. But seeing so many of my doubts and negative thoughts clearly reflected and dealt with in this book has helped me realise... I am not alone. I am not the only one who thinks like that or who feels this way. There is someone out there who understands that part of me and who has been in the same spot on this journey of self-realisation that I am right now. And I felt - liberated. Because I see this isn't the end, this isn't how I will always be like if I dare to step out of my little dark corner and share my thoughts and fears and desires with the world.

 

I have been on the similar path that the author has been on. I was a creative child, my work has been published in magazines for children, I wrote poems, I loved seeing my thoughts take solid form as I wrote them down on a piece of paper. But the world has a knack for keeping us down, confining us all in the same safe little fake lives that others expect from us to have (like adults saying that writing isn't a real job right before you need to choose your college and direction in life) and smothering our creativity until it all becomes acceptably grey and unnoticeable. And many people will stay safe in those little bubbles going through life without even noticing the change of colours around them. But there are those who at some point in their lives realise that basic truth that they are different, that they are unique, that they are colourful and that they don't want quiet and safe, they want exciting and heartfelt and unruly and amazing and heartbreaking and tearful... but real, emotional, ever-changing path that will lead them to greatness.

 

The only problem I could see some people having with this book is that it is fairly repetitive. And I do admit that sometimes it is. But I will argue that it needs to be. Because the author is doing her best to reach our inner writers, our inner shining marvels, and she can't do that if she lets her words fall flat saying them once just for the sake of having it in there. She needs to repeat her convictions and encouragements and advices and positive thoughts so it will get through to us, so that it will break down our walls and touch our hearts.

 

On a final note, I will leave you all with a beautiful thought from our dear author which I have read many times over and which has made me a much happier me.

 

 

"This Universe is not a withholding universe: we can't 'blow it', we can't 'miss our chance' or 'throw that opportunity away' or fall prey to any other slew of imaginary failure stories. If we miss the boat once, a new boat will come around again - our boat this time, the boat that is a little more perfect for us. The boat we should have taken all along."

 


* This review has also been posted on my Goodreads page:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1895799646

Could have been better

Notorious Pleasures - Elizabeth Hoyt

 

Okay, so let me start by saying that I read this book as a stand alone, I didn't read the first book in the series because frankly I had no idea it was a series, the print in my country did not suggest that in any way. So when I finished the book and had trouble understanding what is up with that ghost, that disappearing pirate and the baby who receives presents and none of it was adequately explained at the end, I knew there must be a prequel, sequel, spin-off, anything, otherwise all of that makes no bloody sense whatsoever.

 

 

 

Summary.

 

Lady Hero is engaged to be married to a Marquis of Mandeville. Marriage was arranged by her brother, the Duke of Wakefield and Hero is satisfied with her brother's choice. She sees some good qualities in the Marquis and she knows the marriage will benefit her brother. 

 

But of course, she then meets his elusive brother, Griffin. Lord Griffin is apparently a womaniser, a Cambridge dropout and altogether a shady character. And she falls in love with him. Although the writer tells us he is not as good looking as his brother the Marquis, Griffin is much more human I would say, he is emotional, passionate, he is witty and he has a good heart. Whereas the Marquis is very cold, calculated and boring.

 

Hero and Griffin fall in love and they have to face their families and some other life's circumstances if they ever hope to be together. 

 

 

 

My opinion.

 

I am a sucker for historical romance, yes I am. Even though I don't read it all the time, if I see a book with a hint of this genre anywhere I will pick it up. It's that girly side of me which is a rarity. But I openly admit it.

 

However, this book just felt like it lacked something. The pacing was off, at first the story dragged then it rushed then meaninglessly dragged again to have an abrupt rushed ending.

 

Don't get me wrong, it was entertaining but not the best of its genre, that is for sure. And I am saying that while removing all the elements I didn't quite understand like the ghost, the pirate and the girl. I am saying this purely focusing on the main plot and that is a love story between our two main characters.

 

There were also parts of the story that made no freaking sense to me. Like this one, Lord Griffin had to do something to save his family of his father's debt so he started producing gin illegally to make money and because the piece of land that was given to him couldn't be used to produce crops or to grow anything because it was too far up north... and it was Griffin's job to save the family from debt because he had a good sense for business and he was smart and knew his way around... YET ! It never ever occurred to him to not grow anything on that barren land but to get plenty of sheep and sell or turn their wool into clothes. Like all of his neighbours were doing on that land. It never ever occurred to him why everyone has sheep *facepalms*.

 

And there are plenty of moments like that where characters are made stupid just to serve the plot. In other occasions they are smart and resourceful which is why it makes no sense for them to be so stupid in the plot-serving occasions. Please, dear author, don't think your readers are stupid, don't underestimate your audience in the future.

 

 

 

My serious dislikes.

 

1. Using underhanded means to force someone to say 'I love you'. Sometimes it works with the right characters when you know they are both experienced, wicked, sassy etc. but with a character like Lady Hero who was a virgin and was always a proper shy gullible lady her whole life it feels like bullying. This really put me off. 

 

 

"“Griffin, please,” she whispered.

“Do you want me?” he asked.

“Yes!” She tossed her head restlessly. She’d explode if he didn’t give her release soon.

“Do you need me?” He kissed her nipple too gently.

“Please, please, please.”

“Do you love me?”

And somehow, despite her extremis, she saw the gaping hole of the trap. She peered up at him blindly in the dark. She couldn’t see his face, his expression.

“Griffin,” she sighed hopelessly.

“You can’t say it, can you?” he whispered. “Can’t admit it either.”"

 

 

And after that he proceeds to talk to her like to a wh$re, and I mean it, look it up, he keeps saying how he'll stick it in her because that's all she wants from men etc.

 

 

2. After they finally get rid of the gin business and decide to go into legal wool business they make children from the orphanage to work for them. I know, I know, it wasn't that odd in those days but come on, throughout the whole book we are made to believe that Lady Hero is a true humanitarian, an angel for those little orphans and then when she finds a husband, she just says okay, we have free workforce and we'll use them as much as we can. Just doesn't feel right, especially not with her character.

 

 

 

Final thoughts.

 

I think that the author, Elizabeth Hoyt, does know how to write a compelling story. I think that she is talented and has a knack for a historic romance genre. I am not sure what exactly went wrong here. Did she think that the readers of historical romance are all not as smart or not into details or they just want a forbidden romance with the rest of the story just barely making any sense... I truly don't know. Maybe it's just me, and I can only speak for myself, but I feel like the author underestimated me as a reader and underestimated my intelligence. If I see this kind of writing from this author in the future too, I will know for sure but for now I can only hope it was just in this one instance. 

F*ck no with hell f*cking no on the side !!!

Death Unwept - Michele Bardsley

*Warning: Swearing and adult content ahead, tread at your own risk*

 

I think this will be a short review if I don't want to go berserk. Everything wrong with this book can be put into more pages than this book actually has. So let me just show you a couple of things...

 

 

1.

"Who says I don’t have two cocks?”
„He reached between his legs, grabbing his manhood. As she watched, his penis split in two, the new one the exact size and shape as the original one behind it. Both were deliciously hard.Goddess Almighty! She tossed away the dildo and crawled toward him. “There sure are some perks to fucking you.”"

 

Because why not. Let a demon DP her with his shape shifting unexplained morphing body of sorts. Oh, first it says demons have to be in humans, later when he saves her he is in his demon form and nobody bats an eye. Right.

 

 

2.

"“If you think I’m above fucking you so I can pretend you’re Damian,” said Maggie, “then you’re wrong. I’ll come on your cock and scream his name. I have no pride, demon. I have no honor.”
“I’ve always wanted you,Mags ,”lied the creature with Damian’s face. “I will take you any way you’ll have me. I don’t have any pride or honor either.”
“Well, damn. Aren’t we a pair?” "

 

Damian was the man she was allegedly in love with for 5 years and who recently died in front of her eyes. She has no problem with his half-demon brother shifting into his dead brother's form and fuck her like that. That's just... fucking incredible.

 

 

3.

"Heart pounding, she realized Maggie Mortis, big bad demon hunter, had nearly jumped out of her skin witnessing a guy get a cock plunged into his ass."

 

Yes... that happens right at the beginning of the book. You see, she loves Damian but he only goes for men. But since he has such a good heart, he lets her watch him fuck and get fucked from a secret room through a mirror. And she masturbates while watching him with others. Oh, but wait, there is more, proceed to the next point.

 

 

4. 

"She was still trying to process the idea that Damian had videotaped her. He’d never told her about his brother.Never said a fucking word in five years. But he’d been secretly taping her masturbating, screaming his name, listening and watching… and sending the evidence of her shameful passion to his brother."

 

Hahahaha, I don't even know whether to cry or scream or laugh hysterically because this is just a perfect way to end the book. Damian always taped her masturbating while watching him have sex with other men and he sent that to his brother thinking they might like each other without ever telling her and his brother fell in love with her watching her "sex" tapes. WHAT THE SERIOUS FUCK???

 

 

5.

And let me end with poor excuses that the author tries to put out as humour.

 

"My mother used to say that when life handed you lemons, you should make lemonade. But what do you do when life hands you demons? Make demonade?"

 

"“I think it’s gonna be difficult sticking both of those into your pants,” she said as she washed the two penises."

 

I have such a serious headache right now that I want to shoot myself. This is more stupid than the crap Trump shits out of his mouth, and when I say that I mean it's so low that I would give it negative stars if I could.

 

 

 

For anyone who thinks my review isn't objective, well duh, it's how I feel and think and no one can look at this objectively, seriously.

 

But let me add this... there is no story, everything that is supposed to make this more intriguing is just stitched around sex. "Story" goes like this:

 

Maggie lost her parents to a demon she wants to find, she says she hunts demons not that we see it, she lives in a mansion with her Guardian Damian and it is never explained why or why does she need one, what are they, who is this God and Goddess you keep mentioning, what are those realms, how those demon-trapping prisms work, nothing is ever explained. So she is in love with Damian for 5 years but he only likes men so she watches him fuck others and get fucked. Then he is killed. His half-demon brother whom he never mentioned appears. She fucks him in Damian form. Then she falls in love with him in less than a week. Then she fucks him with a strap-on she bought thinking Damian might let her do that to him but he didn't. Then she wants to know why the brother Raphael claims he loves her since he never met her and he never explains. Then a demon shows up and kills the housemaid and says Maggie is related to him then he poofs out. Then some High Priestess Meleena shows up and tells her they will catch him one day. Then Raphael tells Maggie he has been watching videos of her masturbating while watching Damian fuck taken in secret and that's how he fell in love with her. And then the best part comes... THE END!!!

 

Why do I do this to myself, really, why.... I am truly a book masochist. I'm going to go take a painkiller and try and get Men in Black to erase my memories of this...  of the existence of this. 

 

Don't read this, don't. Just don't.

Better than the first but still meh

Chained by Night - Larissa Ione

Everything about this book screams werewolves, not vampires. Everything. Living in a more primitive way, basing everything on instinct, secluded from the world deep in a forest, crazy feeding/sex time during a full moon and new moon (males/females), skin hotter than those of humans, related to Native American tribes, totem animals as guides/spirits, they fight with primitive weapons... I could go on really. 

 

It's as if though this series was meant to be about werewolves but then in the last second it was changed to vampires because it's an easier sell and it has wider audience/readers. 

 

Despite me not liking werewolves that much, I would prefer them in this situation than vampires. It's like taking away all the intelligence, grace, wisdom and elegance vampires usually have, as well as the cold calculated attitude and making them primitive and stupid and animal-like. Not sitting well with me. Not at all.

 

Also, this so-called vampires can die of a simple knife wound, just like humans, kind of sucks right. Nothing bothers them from the lore, like sun or garlic or wood and they have reflection in mirrors. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to add something new to your story but making the setting for werewolves and then changing absolutely everything that makes vampires vampires is ridiculous, come on. It makes me sad, it really does.

 

If you would take them being vampires out of the equation and just consider that a fight between two tribes with very skilled warriors, you would lose absolutely nothing. Being a so-called vampire doesn't add anything to the plot. It's just a fancy cover.

 

 

 

Summary.

 

I'll put in the simplest way possible. Mating between two clans has been decided. Rasha and Hunter will meet, spend a month together and then get mated. But. Rasha has an identical twin Aylin and she is the one Hunter falls for. The entire book is basically a: "I want Aylin but my duty to my clan is making me go with Rasha" and the guilt trip and the temptation then guilt again. Add to that going into a demon realm to pass some tests so that Hunter's first child (although he already had three before, don't ask) wouldn't have to be given to the demon that made the original vampires and some silly dispute between clans and you know everything about this book.

 

 

 

Characters.

 

Hunter is the chief of the MoonBound Clan. And has been since he killed his father 200 years ago. He agreed on mating the ShadowSpawn chief's firstborn daughter Rasha so Nicole's life would get spared. He isn't happy about the union since he hates Rasha. But surprise surprise, she has an identical twin sister Aylin who is accompanying her to the MoonBound Clan. And naturally Hunter falls in love with Aylin. 

 

Hunter is... well... male perfection in his looks and his smarts and he is an excellent warrior who deeply cares for his clan, he feels like the duty to the clan comes before his feelings and love. He is an okay character who has too much daddy issues still after all that time passed... I mean, man, move on. And he is still so enraged at Myne and he was the one who banished the guy, I don't really understand that logic. Yeah, yeah, there was a woman involved but she was just one of many and Hunter had no real feelings for her so it's all really about f*cking pride. 

 

The only thing we really know about Hunter as a person, fine... so-called vampire is that he loves video games. And movies. And he doesn't like to read. That's pretty much it. 

 

 

Aylin is the second born, a twin and she has a bad leg (birth defect) so she was always shunned in her clan. No one loved her, no one wanted her and the only one who tolerated her was her sister, Rasha. Aylin was considered bad luck and contagious because primitive thinking is that because of her bad leg she also somehow has bad blood and should never be allowed to breed. Wow... just wow. Harsh. 

 

 

"“If I accepted my place, I’d be dead, and you know it.” How often had she heard not only clan members but her own father say that she should have been drowned before she took her first breath? Aylin wondered what offended everyone most – that she was the second-born, the “cursed” twin, or that she’d had the audacity to be born with a deformed leg in a survival-of-the-fittest world."

 

 

She may not be the best in fighting but she has a big heart, an inquiring intelligent mind and she has a strong spirit and of course she is absolutely gorgeous, not one flaw on her perfect beautiful self. Not a single flaw in that amazing beauty -.- .

 

I really wish people would try harder to bring us well developed characters and more... more likeable, the ones we can associate with, the ones who will stay in our thoughts and hearts... not all those perfect boring forget-the-next-day bland characters. But oh well, I am just spoiled in my reading and my books I guess.

 

So Aylin goes with Hunter to the demon realm because her sister conveniently somehow that is not explained at all can't travel through portals. Although absolutely everyone else can. Including humans. I don't know. Convenient again. There she shows Hunter how different she is from her sister and they fall for each other completely. 

 

I'll give Larissa a break here. At least Aylin has some distinguishable characteristic, like her bad leg and her bravery despite the circumstances in which she was raised in and lived in.

 

 

 

All in all.

 

This book was better than the previous one in this series. The characters are more tolerable, action is better, it is more fast-paced and at least "how convenient" thing was not that frequent. It was there alright, just not as much as in the first book. 

 

I said it before and I will say it again. This is a complete werewolves tale with the last-minute to-so-called-vampires change. I hate that.

 

If any more books come out in this series, I will not be reading them. I was utterly disappointed in the first one and the second one, although it was slightly better, it was mediocre at best and with the worldbuilding I do not like there is no way any sequels will ever be better than this one and there are a lot of books out there that I could be reading instead. 

 

I'm sorry, Larissa. As far as I am concerned, this experiment of Yours failed. I will try to forget You ever wrote it. I will only associate Your name with Demonica and Lords of Deliverance world. That was and is fantastic. 

Sweet, sexy & sassy

Her Undercover Christmas - Gina Wynn

 

"Like the bravest of moths faced with the most beautiful of flames, she lifted her hand to touch the corner of his mouth.
 “Don’t!” Bastian reacted the instant her fingertip grazed against him, and grabbed her arm, jerking her finger from his warm skin.
“Does it hurt?” She traced the ragged scar with her eyes, instead.
“Not where you’d see a mark.”"

 

 

Ah, romance *sighs*... a romance with a bad boy with a twist and all of that under covers of snow in a remote cabin just before Christmas... add to that a heist gone wrong, running away from the gang and using a remote cabin that hasn't been lived in for 25 years (I think). 

 

I can tell you right away that this read is not all about romance and making you all wish you'd have your own Bastian in your life but it is also about finding your place under the sun, finding the place you fit in, it's about belonging. And even though it is more obvious in Bastian's case, Phil is also trying to live in two worlds not really fitting in any properly.

 

 

Summary

 

This book is a sequel to Her Dollmaker's Desire but I believe it can be read as a stand alone. If you do get a chance, read it as a sequel because you will understand Sebastian (Bastian for friends and family) better and you will understand his choices and his search for a place to belong to.

 

Let me give you a little Bastian background in case you aren't able to get the first book. Sebastian is well known as a gang leader in London, he is known as ruthless and mean and powerful, the kind of person you want to stay far far away from. But as we learned in the first book, he is actually an undercover detective, trying to get the gang sorted out as best as possible. Now, after more than a decade his undercover role leaked out and the gang is after him. He needs to leave it and London as well if he wants to survive. 

 

But then he gets a phone call and needs to return a favour to Rosa, a character we also met in the first book. She runs a restaurant and has ties to the Italian mafia, not by being in it but through her late husband who was involved in it and her family that she is trying to steer clear of trouble the best that she is able to. She is a formidable, strong and well liked woman who has done favours for Bastian, the gang leader, before. Now she needs his help.

 

She asks of Bastian to look after her daughter Philomena aka Phil because she knows she is getting mixed in some sort of trouble with her cousins. She needs someone outside the family to get her out of trouble. When Bastian tells Rosa he is an undercover cop and on the run, she is hesitant at first but still insists on collecting the favour. Bastian is an honourable man despite what many others may think and decides he should do this one last thing in London.

 

Phil got herself involved in a museum heist just because she wants to be noticed by Vinnie, a bad man in the aforementioned mafia who is handsome but all trouble. She sees a way out in this man so she is willing to break the law if that will get her near him. Needless to say that the heist goes all wrong and Bastian manages to get her out of there and storm away with her running from her cousins and the Brotherhood, his former gang. He takes them far away from London, despite her many complaints, and brings her to his remote cabin he didn't visit in more than two decades. 

 

And this is where our story full of regrets, questionable choices in life and little lies and unspoken desires with raw attraction begins.

 

 

Characters 

 

Bastian

 

"No one else showed him disrespect, but he enjoyed her feistiness. It made him real, again, instead of the character he’d created for himself, the main player in the fake life he’d lived to survive, and part of him basked in her unrestrained rudeness…the immature, spoilt brat side she hadn’t bothered to abandon at the door. No fake people."

 

In those few sentences we can see exactly what Bastian feels. He spent more than a decade working undercover as a gang leader, no one knew his real identity, not even his brother knew that he was actually a detective. He played a character of a bad boy, of the terrible gang leader, and he played it well. But he also lost a part of himself in all that. He could never be his real self and no one wanted him for him, everyone always needed something from his as a gang leader.

 

Now, when things have taken a downturn he is trying to find himself again, he is trying to find a place to belong to. He only has his brother, Peder aka Petey but he is happy with his girl and her family. No one else knows Bastian and his secrets. 

 

Phil was rude to him, too rude and she indeed did act like a brat but he found that refreshing. She was real to him, she didn't hide anything and she got to know him better in a very short span of time than others did in a decade or more. She got under his skin also because now he finally shed the gang leader skin and he knew he will only be Bastian from now on.

 

I find his struggle to find a place to belong to all too familiar and it resonates deep within me.

 

 

Phil

 

"She could ignore the few fibs to her mother and focus on netting her man, her lifestyle of choice. She deserved to live as his queen."

 

 

I find Phil.... insufferable, really. I do not like her as a person but I did grow to appreciate her as a person Bastian fell for.

 

Phil's story is a bit childish. She got involved in some bad business with her cousins just to get closer to Vinnie, a man in charge of all the other bad things that mafia does. She thinks that if she is by his side she will get anything she wants in life. See? Childish. And she is 23, very immature for her age. With her thinking and behaving I'd say she is 14 or 15 and her hormones are taking over good sense but alas it is not so. And she was never even close to Vinnie, she just sees him from time to time, she knows he is handsome and has money and power. Shallow girl.

 

When Bastian gets her out of that museum she starts being really mean to him. And I mean mean and rude and I would slap her silly. She's calling him all kinds of things like Scarface and Ugly... I mean... do You really shout those horrible things into someone's face? She does, does it a lot. And that was the reason I started hating her a little.

 

But when you do get to know her, you see that she grew up between a normal life and mafia life. Her mother tried to keep her safe and away but it was never completely possible. She also lost her father at a young age. So I suppose she did have some reason to feel out of place, to try and find her place to belong to, just like Bastian.

 

She does mature a little and she will continue to do so being by Bastian's side, I have no doubt in that.

 

 

All in all.

 

I had a great time with this book. It surprised me on many levels. I love Gina's style of writing, I am sure of that now that I read two of her books. She surprised me with this one by adding a couple of nice erotic scenes that added more layers and more attraction to the story. 

 

Bastian is amazing, he really is. And come on... scars are very sexy, who doesn't like that. It adds a lot to the person's character as well. Like all imperfections do. I hate perfect characters, there is no such thing as perfect and I cannot think of anything more boring than perfect. 

 

I hope this book gets a paperback soon so many more people can enjoy this beautiful story.

 

Why not 5*? Because of over-usage of Phil's rudeness and horrible names she keeps calling Bastian. And some little things like what happened to that little statue he turned to face the wall? If they had no bathroom in that cottage, did they go out on that horrible coldness? How did they dry themselves after that shower? I would personally punch Billy in the face after the granddad comment. People are being way too rude here.

 

One thing I absolutely adored but I don't want to spoil it for everyone... the tattoo. Those who read and will read will know what I am talking about. That is an absolutely beautiful gesture that almost makes up for everything else. I almost melted right there and then.

 

This book also made me laugh out loud on couple of occasions, like here when Phil is holding so tight to Bastian on his motorcycle that he said:

 

"He couldn’t cope if she spent the entire ride trying to bond them at a cellular level."

 

It just came out of nowhere and it made me laugh and grin at the same time. Thank You, Gina.

 

I will stop here before I confess my love to Bastian (he's taken, ladies) and say to my dear author, please keep writing and bring us more lovable, imperfect and utterly delicious characters.

Not as good as I hoped

Bound by Night - Larissa Ione

 

The title of this book should be renamed into "How Convenient" !

 

From the beginning to the end everything that happens is just so f*cking convenient for the storyline and the characters that it crosses into the absurd area.

 

I know I haven't explained myself properly but I am a little pissed off because this had so much potential and I know how Larissa Ione can write amazing things (check out the Demonica Series) and it just... it just didn't happen this time around.

 

For everyone who read this book, they will get my first line completely. For those of you who still didn't let me put it like this... even if all of the stars aligned exactly right and fate pushes for something to happen and freaking fairies pray for this to come out right, it's okay if it happens once but throughout the whole damn book things fall so perfectly into place that this isn't just fantasy, this is ridiculous. Even little girls would go... oh come the f*uck on *facepalm*.

 

 

Anyway, now that I got that out of the way I can speak more calmly. I hope.

 

Storyline is not that bad. It is interesting, it has tension, action, chapters continuously end on small cliffhangers so it drives you to read more and more until you finish the book at 3 a.m. like I did. I would say that it is pretty much consistent, as much as it can be with all the plot holes and gazillion unexplained things.

 

Worldbuilding is pretty bad. I mean... you would have to be pretty gullible and childish to truly believe that as soon as people discover the existence of vampires, they almost immediately enslave all of them. Vampires are more intelligent, stronger, faster, they live long so a lot of them are wise and patient and they have powers, every vampire has a different "superpower" or "talent" like disappearing etc. And humans just enslaved them like they were cute little kittens or something. Right. Even if you believed that, there are still other things that are not explained like this mysterious origin of vampires or how the enslaving happened or how the entire human race is just okay with torture and experiments of another race... and there's so much more but I just don't have the willpower to go further into this.

 

Characters are... hahaha... how should I put this... ehm... stereotypical paranormal romance vampire characters. Nicole is perfect, the embodiment of female perfection, perfect body, perfect face, perfect behaviour and intelligent. Riker is the embodiment of male perfection, perfect body, perfect face, perfect male specimen all in all. And they are both so perfect that they probably sweat perfection. Anyway, I digress. Females are all about birth, weaker sex, babies and irrational ranting here and there. Males are all about being male as in fighting, looking sexy in jeans, protecting those poor females and impregnating them. I mean, who has ever heard of Cat, the kickass vampire heroine in the Night Huntress series right? Nah... we like our typical cavemen vampires.

 

The insufferable heroine. Nicole. Just wow. What happened here Larissa? Did you write this under influence or something? I am just trying to understand what happened. Nicole is supposedly a super intelligent scientist who is well known in her field of study and at 28 she is famous and rich. But somehow she manages to bite her lip until it bleeds in front of hostile vampires, she knows the ins and outs of her company but can't discredit one single fake signature that gets her immediately fired??? She speaks out loud without realising. She thinks that normal underwear looks like granny panties. She immediately forgives Riker after seeing him dry hump a woman who looks like a 'skank'. She is a doctor, a scientist, an expert but she can't recreate her own medicine that keeps her alive... I could do this all day, folks. All day.

 

All in all. Why did I even bother reading this you might ask, well, honestly, I hope this is just a bad start of a good series. I am familiar with Larissa's books and I know how great she can be. If she just forgets about this clusterf*ck and starts anew with Hunter and acts like nothing happened, maybe, just maybe there is hope for this series yet. 

 

Would I recommend it? If you want to laugh at stupidity, yes. If you want some hot vampire scenes, yes. If you want a serious story with well developed characters, unfortunately no, stay far away from this one.

Picked up by chance and ended up amused and intrigued

Kletva krvi : vampiri u Versaillesu - Gordana V. Popović, Ange

Paris, 21. century 

 

Louis XXIV. is the young king of France, the French Revolution never happened, monarchy rules to this day and age. Gossip spreads.... apparently you can find vampires in Versailles and some even go as far as to say that everyone in Versailles is a vampire. But we begin this story with a young beautiful teenager called Angélique, the daughter of a duchess who is struggling to keep her head and her station while just being introduced to court. She inadvertently reveals the struggle for power between two of the most known and prominent families in France, family Condé and family Orléans. One is said to be the legacy of angels and the other of demons.

 

(*note: This book is originally written and published in French - Sang Maudit, Des Vampires a Versailles - tome 1 -, this Croatian edition is only a translation of the original book)

 

 

 

 

My thoughts

 

I picked this book up in my local library simply because I had room for one more book and this one's cover called to me, yes, yes I admit it. The cover is beautiful, the title most appealing and short summary on the covers called out to me like nothing else... history and alternate future, France, politics, intrigue and... vampires. Imagine the combination. I almost melted while I carried this book home happy as a little child whose mommy just bought him/her some ice cream or in my case, chocolate. 

 

And I will admit that this book has everything I hoped for. It is very engrossing, characters have depth and layers and we see their progress, story has so many elements that some people might find it confusing and get lost in it because there are so many references to French history and notable people as well as known events that you can fully enjoy it only if you understand it. And I loved this aspect. There is also a couple of action scenes and holding your breath ones. There is also a wonderful imagination of the two authors who write under the pseudonym Ange (Anne and Gérard Guéro respectively) about the future, or the alternate future, we would have if the French Revolution never took place. Modern and old combined. 

 

This book was definitely amusing. It kept me glued to my seat and it told a wonderful story. But. But. If only this wasn't a young adult book I would be ecstatic right now. Generally, I have no problem with the young adult genre, everything has its merits. But politics, intrigue, court and conspiracies and all of it told from a perspective of a 17 year old girl who does things in this book that are quite unbelievable for someone that age and especially someone who was pushed into that world a couple of days before... that aspect I had difficulties reconciling with. Because I am able to think and I know how the world works and how teenagers work, been there, done that, seen that. 

 

One more thing was the fact that three teenagers who are friends are also people who carry this story and all the events happening in this book. And each one is very different and we learn about all of them because it is all a part of a bigger picture which comes together in the end. Sometimes it is difficult to remember all the details about the bunch of information thrown at us in a very short time frame and that is if I am including the fact that all the historical references about everything, from places, people, events, books, ideas etc are already well known to the reader. 

 

If this was meant for the younger readers, teenagers I suppose, I do not see how they can fully appreciate this story not making all the connections properly and if it was meant for the more adult readers, why oh why make it a teenage heroine one???

 

I will not put any spoilers here and most of the things I would like to say would be considered a spoiler because every detail will be in the end relevant and I don't want to give any of the pieces away before time to those of you who plan on reading it. And I do encourage everyone who loves history, especially French history, old court intrigues and plots in the modern age, teenage heroins and vampires to read this, I believe it will surprise you as it did me.

Mixed feelings

Her Dollmaker's Desire (Beyond Fairytales) - Gina Wynn

 

"I need you. I need you right now, and I'll need you tomorrow, they day after, and next week. I'll need you always. Please forgive me for my past."

 

 

Romance? Check.

 

Difficult to love characters? Check.

 

Engrossing story? Check.

 

Inability to understand Amy? Triple check.

 

 

Not your usual contemporary romance but romance nonetheless. This novel has characters that I find very difficult to understand and relate to but their story still left me glued to my chair until I finished it. I read in all of my spare time because I needed to know how things will unravel and I was not left disappointed with the ending.

 

 

 

Summary

 

Amy is 28, a former ballerina and now a trying-to-be-a-journalist whose father got her the aforementioned job and who lives at home with her mostly-absent-father and her new young stepmother that she doesn't like... well, that feeling goes both ways actually. She danced most of her life until an accident happened that turned her life upside down and left her lost not knowing what and who to be anymore. She also has an overbearing, abusive, psychopath-like ex boyfriend and former dance partner who made her into this little frightened girl whose life is filled with his rules and trust me... those rules annoyed me to no end.... you will see soon. 

 

She is sent to do an interview with Tobias, a famous dollmaker, who has an exhibit of his life's work happening soon. There she meets his grandson, Peder. 

 

Peder is introduced to us as another dollmaker who instantly falls in love with Amy as she walks into his grandfather's home. He is smitten in a second. He is a leather clad, motorbike loving, tattoo having gorgeous-looking... dollmaker. Right. So... apparently he has some shady past which we only learn about more towards the ending so I am not going to spoil it for you. He is trying to do whatever is possible for Amy to relax, accept his company so he eventually make her fall in love with him. 

 

 

 

Characters

 

Amy is our heroine... but boy she is so unlikable... I don't even know how to describe it. She is 28 and she still living abiding by all of her abusive ex boyfriend's insane rules and she is a complete doormat. People trample all over her left and right. Everyone. Her father, her stepmother, her boss, her ex, the lady at the museum. It's remarkable how much people can throw at her and she will still say she is fuc**** sorry. Pardon. I just get so mad when I see that. I cannot relate to that character on no level whatsoever. But I am trying my best to at least partly understand her.

 

All of Amy's rules listed in the order as they appear in the book:

 

 

Rule Number 15: Know your place, always.

 

Rule Number 9: Mind your own business.

 

New Rule Number 83: Retreat, retreat, retreat.

 

Rule Number 23: You're just not that interesting; stop talking.

 

Rule Number 37: Always ask permission.

 

Out-dated Rule Number 1: Never question Jonathan.

 

Rule Number 19: Motorbikes...oh dear God.

 

Out-dated Rule Number 3: Eating...something about not doing it.

 

Rule Number 14: Be controlled at all times.

 

Rule Number 7: Whatever the situation, always remember to breathe.

 

Rule Number 93: Learn to break and enter.

 

Rule Number 8: Your opinion holds no validity and is of no concern.

 

Rule Number 11: There to be seen, never heard.

 

Rule Number 16: Calories don't really drop out when you cut the cake.

 

Rule Number 43: Little brains don't deal well with new concepts.

 

Rule Number 52: You can't do anything on your own.

 

Rule Number 19: The Victorians could teach us a lot about decorum.

 

Rule Number 5: When in doubt, count.

 

Rule Number 12: I watch you always.

 

New Rule Number 6: Stop expecting every man to have Jonathan's motives.

 

Rule Number 2: When in bed with a man, do not ever, at any time, for any reason, mention the ex. Nope, surely it should be Rule Number 2 ½: Thou shalt not consider the ex whatsoever during an intimate moment.

 

Rule Number 47: Memorise layout of houses owned by lovely men in case of awkward morning after situation.

 

Rule Number 32: Learn how to escape via drainpipe.

 

Rule Number 41: The people you spend time with reflect who you are.

 

New Rule Number 5: Judging a book by its cover was no longer allowed.

 

Rule Number 18: You'll never be worth anything without me.

 

New Rule Number 0: Ignore the rules.

 

Rule Number 25: Things could change for the better.

 

Rule Number 96: Never accept a sports bag full of cash from anyone. Under any circumstances.

 

Rule Number 1: Live happily ever after.

(show spoiler)

 

 

 

Peder (please do not look up what his name means in a Croatian translation) is a bit of a mystery for the most part of the story. He is supposed to be this hardass bad boy with a difficult past but also a gentle loving and caring dollmaker. Very hard stretch and very hard to put together. Especially since we ever know he makes that one doll of his love of his life. But okay okay. I can sort of understand his character more. At least he only had that one rule *sighs in relief*. 

 

Tobias is the dollmaker and Peder's grandfather and the person who helped Peder and Amy realise they were meant for each other. He is described as a recluse, a bit of an eccentric persona who also loved a ballerina, the love of his life and who inspired all of his work (dolls). 

 

Jonathan is Amy's ex. I don't want to spend too much time on him because if I was Amy and he did that to me, he'd be long gone from this world and no one would ever miss that abusive prick.

 

*puke*

  • "Jonathan liked his routine. Lying on a bed, quick feel between her legs – in, out, while she tried to think of something else, and then a shower because Jonathan found her disgusting and couldn't look at her until she cleaned herself up again."

 

 

Then we have Rosa, an Italian restaurant owner who helped Peder and his brother when they were growing up and getting into all sorts of trouble, Sebastian, Peder's half-brother who is presented to us as a leader of a gang but there comes a twist to this story later on, Belle/Maud, Amy's evil, not so evil stepmother, Mick, Amy's a$$hole of a boss who should spend some time with a dominatrix so he can be shown what a little insignificant a$$hole he really is. 

 

All of the characters we are introduced to add to the meaning of the story and there is a connection between all of them except for one person and his name is Nicodemus. Nicodemus is described in a lot of detail and introduced to us mysteriously with having a pet tarantula with him and visiting the old Tobias as though he will have a big meaning later on but no, we never see or hear of him ever again. It's a shame, I would have loved seeing his character a bit more, he seemed very interesting.

 

 

 

Thoughts

 

If I could... I would slap Amy silly, kill Jonathan, have a serious conversation with Amy's father, show Amy's stepmother and Amy's boss just how insignificant their little fits are and I would have paid more attention to Tobias but unfortunately I can't do any of it. So let me say the rest of my thoughts as if though I actually understand the characters.

 

Characters have pasts, they have layers, they mature and they develop well from what we see of them in the first few chapters. They move on and they find the strength to overcome their difficulties and reach a favourable ending to their story.

 

One thing I would like to mention to the author herself: Please bless us with a Sebastian story, I would be immensely grateful to you. 

 

The story itself is gripping, it very interesting and the writing is superb. The author wields her pen/keyboard well and I definitely enjoyed her style of writing. I also like her idea of a good bad boy so hey, another big plus for her.

 

The emotions run deep the deeper you go into the story so be prepared for it. It may not seem so at the beginning but eventually you do develop a bond with our main characters and you really have no choice but to root for them. I mean, as I finished the book, my breathing was laboured and my cheeks were flushed. So it's not all about creating characters everyone would like, it's about creating characters that will be remembered.

 

 

 

*I received a copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways and in return I gave my honest and heartfelt opinion on it.

Razočarana

Vragoljanka s Trešnjevke  - Marija Jurić Zagorka

Što reći... to nije moja Zagorka koju već znam u dušu jer sam odrasla uz njene romane i nebrojeno sam puta pročitala Gordanu, Gričku vješticu i ostalo. To je samo sjena žene koju smatram idolom.

 

Za samu priču dala bih joj 2*, no pošto ima nekih dovitljivih situacija i ipak se slavi žena koja može parirati muškarcima u svemu, to joj ipak donosi 3*.

 

 

Priča, po mom mišljenju, uopće ne spada u domenu romantične komedije već bi više mogla biti nazvanom 'kako žena može motat muškarce oko malog prsta'. Meni to nije bilo previše smiješno, a niti sam baš doživjela kakvu romantiku. Definitivno nije bilo snažnih trenutaka i velike emotivnosti kao kod ostalih Zagorkinih djela. 

 

Ovo mi se čini kao da je Zagorka pisala u nekim tinejdžerskim danima samo da joj prođe vrijeme. Slažem se da su likovi karikature i služe svrsi utoliko što prikazuju muškarce priglupima, ignorantnima i lako smotljivima kao što su nekada prikazivali žene, pogotovo u Zagorkino vrijeme. 

 

Ono što me se dojmilo jest naš lijepi "staro-zagrebački" govor koji je uvelike kajkavski i daje dodatan šarm knjizi. 

 

Štefica je glavna junakinja, prava puca odnosno vragoljanka s Trešnjevke koja je lagala da je plemenitog roda kako bi se mogla zaposliti u toj poznatoj tvrtci. Naravno, ona je moderna žena, žena koja zna da su žene jednake muškarcima i sposobne raditi baš kao i oni, a da ne pričamo uopće o pameti jel. Nije previše omiljena među šefovima iako radi dobar posao jer nije laka cura odnosno ne flerta i ne izlazi sa šefovima koji su joj se pokušali odmah prvi tjedan umiliti. Nakon što se direktorov sin vrati iz Amerike, a veliki je ženomrzac, susretne se sa Šteficom i između njih padne oklada. Ona će mu dokazati kako žena može lako smotati muškarce romantičnim i umiljatim pričanjem baš kao što on misli da svi muškarci mogu smotati žene. I tada nastupaju mnoge scene gdje Štefica u svemu dokazuje superiornost žena nad muškarcima.

 

Kao prvo, Zagorka puno previše odugovlači, iskreno, ova knjiga bi bila puno bolja da ima na pola stranica koliko ima sada. Ovako se sve te situacije razvlače u nedogled i sva ta Štefičina spretnost, dovitljivost i lukavost jednostavno ispare.

 

Drugo, nekonzistentnost. Likovi su pobrkani. Tri šefa Štefica na početku predstavi i opiše. Kasnije dva od ta tri šefa su zamijenjena.

 

 

Na strani 17, šefovi su ovako opisani: 

 

"Ne znam je li taj prokleti debeli tajnik Tumpić - koji se navek bedasto smije, ili Kralj, koji navek žmiri kak šišmiš po danu, ili je onaj komarac Belović koji popeva kak maček kad mu staneju na rep, a utvara si da ima krasni tenor."

 

A kasnije na strani 99 piše da je Belović šišmiš, a Kralj popeva. 

 

 

I kao treće, mislim da ovo jednostavno nije Zagorkin žanr u kojem se ona osjeća ugodno. 

 

Sve u svemu, lako štivo koje slavi žene, no po mom mišljenju je dosadnjikavo.

 

 

Primjer Štefičinog nadmetanja s direktorovim sinom ženomrscem, Tomicom:

 

 

"- Velim, ljubav je kao kijavica. Kad te pograbi, ne možeš ju sakriti - moraš kihati!

- Da, to je istina - veli on - ali kijavica i ljubav zaražuju samo slabunjave, kržljavce, a ne jake muževe. Zato...

- Nahladiti se može i snažni divlji vranac.

- Onda bi bio samo ždrebić.

- A ja vam velim da je krasni snažni vranac, a kiše kao mačkica."

And captured I am

Capture Me - Anna Zaires

 

"Now that I finally have her in my possession, the idea of someone else tormenting her is unbearable. Everything inside me screams that she’s mine—mine to fuck, mine to punish in any way I choose.

Nobody else will lay hands on her ever again."

 

 

Yes, she is, Lucas. She is all yours. Wouldn't we all sort of want to be... 

 

Khm... right. Maybe I got a little too carried away there but this book truly came to me at the right time, especially with the mood I have been in lately. And when I say came to me, that is really what happened, I accidentally stumbled onto the copy of this book and it drew me in, captured me if You will.

 

This book is meant for adult readers who need to know this is not an easy romance with a little bit of action thrown in. It's dark, it is to some taboo and it is hard but isn't that what makes it all the more worth it? I believe that it is so. 

 

Lucas and Yulia are not living an easy carefree life. Lucas is a second-in-command to a Colombian arms dealer and this is the life he chose for himself whereas Yulia is an Ukrainian spy who had no choice in the matter. Both of their lives are shrouded in danger and when they meet, their worlds collide. Fate seems to be working against them because despite of their attraction to one another, they find themselves on the opposite sides and that will only lead to pain.

 

When Yulia gets mixed up in almost killing Lucas and his boss, she gets captured by the authorities and eventually she is sent to Lucas to Colombia so he can exact his revenge on her. But the problem is that pesky lust and attraction, that inexplicable attraction that makes them both question themselves, their actions and binds their lives together although maybe not in the healthiest sort of way.

 

 

Yulia is a leggy tall slender elegant perfect skin blonde and Lucas is rough around the edges, perfect muscles, ice in his eyes, irresistible kind of man... and if I would just leave it at that you might think this is just another one of 'those kinds', the perfect blonde heroine and the hard exterior mushy inside hero who go through some hardship and live happily ever after. Wrong ! Big time wrong.

 

What is incredible about this book is how well Yulia is portrayed in all of her perfect exterior and hard life that she has had, and still has. She was recruited as a spy at just 11 and they made her whore her way through politicians to serve their needs since she was a teenager. She was also raped at 15. And all of that just made her tougher than the rest, it made her into a perfectly broken beautiful woman who has been used her whole life just because she has a little brother to protect. Which is something she mentions in a very interesting way:

 

 

"For some reason, his action makes me flush. There’s something so wrong, so dirty about that condom lying there. Perhaps it’s because I feel like that condom: used and discarded."

 

 

And what is the most incredible of it all, she doesn't sob about her life, she doesn't justify anything with it, she takes it as that is how it was supposed to be and there's nothing more to be said about it but look to the future.

 

Lucas we don't get to know that well personally and emotionally except for the few tidbits we learn about him, like how he is ex-military, how he has a wealthy lawyer family he didn't want to follow in their footsteps, how he murdered his commanding officer which finally got him into this business he is in now and how he has killed and tortured before and he will do whatever it takes to serve his boss. Until Yulia who got under his skin and all the revenge he had on his mind can't seem to come to life as he wished. He admits he is lusting for her but he doesn't yet see that it is far more than that.

 

 

"At that moment, I would’ve done anything to have her, crossed any line... committed any crime."

 

 

This book turned out to be incredibly complex. Characters are very well developed, the story is connected to somewhat current state Ukraine and Russia are in with the disturbance in the Donetsk area amongst others, it displays, although we're only scratching the surface of it, of how spies are made into spies and what kind of a (non)life they are leading, it is also borderlines on taboo like the relationship between Lucas' boss and his wife. His boos kidnapped his wife and held her captive and now she is 19, in love with him and married to him... Stockholm Syndrome much? But... you will not see or hear me judging because I actually find it very arousing, just the kind of a person I am. Something similar is now happening between Lucas and Yulia... he is her captor and she is his captive and her fear and lust are so intertwined that it is hard to discern whether she really wants him or he is actually forcing her in a way. Which is mainly the reason I called it dark romance.

 

For me though, it works, I love this pleasure/pain mix. In fact, I find it amazing. Because life isn't simple and the world isn't simple and you can only know the best of love if you experienced pain. 

 

 

 

"Mine. She’s mine.

The words are a primal drumbeat in my mind. I’ve never felt so possessive about a woman, have never wanted to claim one so badly. The desire is purely visceral, a need that’s as dark and ancient as the urge to kill."

 

 

I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 and I do have my reasons for it. First one was that Yulia is yet another incredibly beautiful flawless blonde. I don't mind beautiful heroines but she is literally described as a perfect porcelain doll. No one is perfect, everyone has flaws, everyone. That was my first downside. The second was that Lucas should have been on the team to rescue his boss... it would have added an amazing thrill to the story.

 

But...

This is a page-turner, a book that will captivate you and will not let you go until you have satisfied your need of knowing what will happen next. It is also face paced, you will read it fairly quickly and I imagine you will dive right into book no.2 in this trilogy (like I am about to). What I should also mention is that we read this story from both Lucas' and Yulia's perspective and that adds a certain extra flavour to it because Lucas' raw emotions and needs and Yulia's complicated mess she is feeling can only be understood through their own insight, their own story.

Wickedly engrossing page-turner !

Seeing Evil - Jason  Parent

 

 

"Silence had a way of unsettling the calmest nerves, particularly when it came unexpectedly."

 

 

Artful, smart, almost supernatural in some aspects (depends on your beliefs and your imagination) and absolutely mind-blowing.

 

I don't even know how to start for there are many twists that are beautifully woven and logically explained and the characters are real charms, developed with personal attachment and you can definitely correlate with them. But first things first.

 

 

 

Summary

 

Major Crimes Detective Samantha Reilly and a teenager Michael Turcotte go way back. When he was little he witnessed his parents' murder and she was the one who pulled him out of that situation. They are both peculiar people, loners who do not share their softer sides with anyone else but each other as fate would have it. 

 

Because Michael is a loner and he considers himself weird and out of place he becomes a target of school bullies who nearly kill him in their attempt to humiliate him. When he almost suffocates, he gets a gift (or a curse) which will change his life forever. And Samantha's as well. He can see people's dark futures. 

 

When one of his predictions becomes true, he knows that this is real and he will have to learn how to deal with it. It won't be an easy path though. When one of the girls in his school, Tess, hears about his gift she comes to him for help and that encounter will change Fall River's history.

 

 

 

Characters

 

 

Michael

 

Michael is our main character. We meet him as a toddler in the first chapter when he witnesses his parents' murder and encounters his 'guardian angel' Samantha for the first time. Later we see him as a teenager, a boy living in a foster home, and not his first one either. He is trying to be unnoticed in school, he doesn't really have friends and the only person he talks to about his life is Sam. One day he gets bullied in an extreme manner and gets a gift of seeing people's dark futures, about killings, crimes and brutal deaths. He sees these 'visions' when he touches a person who has a dark future in store. 

 

At first, he thinks it's just a one time thing but when it happens again, he realises he went from unnoticed boy to a 'freak' as he refers to himself. He has a hard time dealing with it because let's face it, it's not exactly a pleasant experience. Witnessing someone's brutal death is not something people love to do in their spare time. I love the way he is processing all of this. He is thinking as a teenager at first but later he seems to grow way beyond his years and it shows how he matures and begins to understand certain things. I just love this thought of his:

 

 

"That's just effing great. I'm going to have to wear gloves for the rest of my life, just like Rogue. At least she gets to fly. Is that what I am? A mutant? The idea of being a superhero like Wolverine and Rogue might have been cool except for one thing: in the X-Men comics, most humans generally hated the mutants. Just like they generally hate me."

 

 

Michael learns how to handle his gift, how to socialise and how to love and how to not judge people based on appearances only. He also learns just how strong he is and how much he is capable of.

 

 

Samantha

 

Imagine a hardcore detective who devoted her entire life to her job. She doesn't have friends, lovers or family. She gives every ounce of strength and her capabilities to her detective work. She knows she is good at it and she takes great pride in it. She came to this respected position from a normal police officer and that is her life's achievement. She never really thinks about what if's, she just focuses on one case after the other.

 

 

"She'd chosen to be a warrior against the depravity of humankind, but that didn't mean she enjoyed witnessing its imbalanced illustrations."

 

 

The only anomaly in her life is Michael. He somehow wiggled his way into her life and became a part of it. He thinks she is his only constant person in his life because foster families always change and he doesn't have friends. But he doesn't realise how much he is also helping Sam. Without him, she would be all alone too. 

 

Sam also grows throughout this book. Maybe not that noticeable as Michael but she definitely changes bit by bit. She becomes a bit more attached, emotional and eventually starts thinking of her future. Which made me really happy because I liked Sam, I liked how she handles herself and how she made a life for herself just as she wanted it to be.

 

 

Tess

 

Tess is one of those characters who are equally good and bad. Depends on how you prefer to see people, if you want to see more good or more bad in them. She is also a teenager and attends Michael's high school but until he became 'famous' in school they never interacted. After they do interact, their lives will be forever bound to one another.

 

She lives a life in hell. Her father is the devil and her captor whom she cannot escape. Her father is a psychopath and a serial murderer. And her abuser. Her mother died when she was 7 and since then he is her sole family. He teaches her how to be a 'proper woman' and 'not a whore like her mother, like all women' and he makes her assist him in his killings. Tess wants to escape that life but she doesn't have the courage, she waits for someone to help her or for him to finally kill her.

 

The problem we have is that she assists her father in killing people and doesn't say anything about it to anyone. We can argue that she is afraid for her life and that he 'brainwashed' her into being his accomplice but unfortunately that doesn't excuse one of horrid acts committed, not entirely at least. So she is both equally good and bad and that balance is very very delicate. 

 

Her future even at the end remains unknown.

 

 

 

My thoughts

 

I love this book, from the beginning to the the end. Especially the end ! I love how we don't get the happy all decided pink fluffy unicorn future. We get reality. Nothing is determined. There are many possibilities and people are fragile inside. They can turn to good or bad based on the people or events in their life. No one is inherently good or bad. Life and circumstances shape us into who we are.

 

Like Sam says:

 

 

"The future was what they chose to make it. Just like life."

 

 

We hold our future in our hands. But also we cannot predict what hardships life has in store for us. We have to try to be good and to prevail. It's on us.

 

I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good thriller, mystery, suspense, fast-paced page-turner. You will not be able to put this book down.

 

 

*I received this book through Goodreads Giveaways and I gave my honest and heartfelt opinion on it

Everything about water and much more

Water Is... - Nina Munteanu, Costi Gurgu, Emmi Itaranta

"Water connects what was once separate, urging it into a conscious being, melding into all an element of liquid heaven." - Rainer Maria Rilke

 


Wow, just wow.

 

I have no idea where to begin to describe all that I have read and learned from this 583 page book on water.

 

This book will tell you everything about water, what you think you knew and many more than you have ever imagined can be said about water. It tells about water's structure, forms, shapes, phases, uses, varieties, past, present and the rather bleak future but it is also intertwined with the author's personal journey which can also be better understood through many photographs that are included in this extensive book on water.

 

But first things first. I really like the format of this book. It doesn't have hard covers but it works much much better this way. It is quite heavy so I recommend everyone to take that into account if you decide to take it everywhere with you like I have, to me that doesn't matter, what matters is that I have a book with me. Regarding photographs, they are placed very elegantly, they can take a whole page or just be on the book's sidelines but it definitely adds to the experience and for the people who are visual types, it will help remember certain things. I loved the quotes about water like the one from Rainer Maria Rilke or Theodor Schwenk or our very own Nikola Tesla, I believe it is a great way to start a new chapter of the book. It shows us that water has been cherished and wrote about throughout our history and how could it not, it is a source of life after all.

 

Secondly, my apologies for taking longer to review this book than I usually do but since this is a science book and I am not a scientist, I took more time to read carefully through everything written. I felt like I was preparing for an exam because I put bookmarks on many pages and returned to reread certain passages like the one on what 'epitaxy' is (page 184).

 

And for the most important part. Water was here before us and water is a source of life. Yet, we tend to forget that fact and take water for granted. A lot of people do. It is just there. People are so convinced water will always be there, always available that they don't take notice on how many people die from thirst, how many areas of our beautiful Earth are suffering because of water shortage and/or pollution. Big companies tend to not care about the environment and use water to such lengths that it devastates the area around it. Water is being privatised and then charged a great deal of money for processed bottled water we are all so convinced is better than our tap water but that isn't so. It is perfectly explained in this book, I hope You take a look at it.

 

Now, I am speaking as a nonscientist and a person who cares about our environment. I drink water every day, I use it for cooking, cleaning, bathing and as a refreshment. Without water there is no me. There is no you. People wouldn't exist in the form that we do today. I know that and I am concerned about how our future will be like. Pollution, climate change, all of it affects all of us and most of us ignore it. It is a sad and concerning state of affairs.

 

The author Nina Munteanu goes towards the philosophical and spiritual aspects of water towards the end of the book, starting with the chapter 9. Water is Story then 10. Water is Prayer and that is not something I would have included in such a book which is why I gave this book 4*. Personally, spirituality, religion and alike should have been left out or maybe mentioned in a paragraph or two.

 

But once I read the author's afterthoughts I suddenly realised why she decided on doing all of it in such a way. Allow me to quote the author on this one:

 

 

"Early on, during the research and writing of this book, I discovered that this project on water had become a gestalt watershed for all the important moments in my life. Places I've been. Things I've learned. People I've met and with whom I'd had surprising discussions and realizations. All spanning many years. And many of them totally unrelated. And yet, now, with a sudden flood of context, their significance has transcended into a new fabric of meaning through surprising connection."

 

 

"Water Is... has incorporated a synchronicity that defies space-time. I have no doubt that it's the result of quantum entanglement.
Water is the singularity."

 

 

 

I believe this book should be a must read book for all the younger generations. It talks extensively about water but also sums up everything important, everything we need to know and everything people should be aware of especially regarding our future. 

 

I thank the author for sharing her knowledge and her personal journey via such an important book. 

 

 

*I have received a copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways and I gave my honest and heartfelt opinion on it.

A must read !

Ines' Words - Haidji

"Time does not kill.

What kills feelings

is

Indifference, or fear."

 

 

 

An otherworldly elegant and inspiring love story. 

 

 

It is very difficult to describe this story. So I will not attempt to do so. What I can say about it is that if you will enjoy it, you will not read it just once. You will pick up this book tomorrow and next week and read it again. For each time you do so, those melodiously written words will fill you with optimism and positive emotions and they will inspire you and give you hope. 

 

I consider myself incredibly lucky to read such inspiring works one after the other. My previous review was also written in sheer positiveness and now again I cannot do anything else but praise the author and read the book yet again for the lyricism and love that is felt on every page make me - happy. That is how I can describe it in the simplest way possible. 

 

Love story that transcends time and is enveloped in beautiful music that I urge you to listen as you read the story and encounter those works on different pages will send shivers down your spine.

 

The author is a creative and inspiring soul who knows how to lift our spirits up and make us believe that anything is possible. Not just that, but many messages you will encounter are simply timeless and worthy of noting down and reminding yourself every once in a while of those truthful words. 

 

 

"If I knew what to say

I would tell you

Everything I want

If I knew what to do

I would do for you everything it takes

If I knew how to love

I would love only you

For an eternal moment" 

 

 

I highly recommend this short story. It has touched my heart and moved my soul. So simple and elegant. So different and inspiring.

 

I am looking forward to reading another book by Haidji called Suicide Game. I have no doubt that I will enjoy it and I will share my thoughts on it with all of you when the time comes.

 

 

*I have received this book through Booklikes Giveaway and I gave my honest and heartfelt opinion on it

Mesmerising swirl of intricate poems and feelings brought to life

To the Heart: A poetry collection (Monday Road Poetry) (Volume 1) - Gina McKnight

 

Fate

 

You are the poem
I dream of writing,
The landscape
I long to paint,
The flashing star
I reach for,
The hand that
Holds my fate.

 


I tried to start my review with a beautiful line or a deep thought that would reflect my feelings after reading this poetry collection but alas I do not think my words can do it justice so I decided to start with a beautiful short poem that captivated my heart.

 

Gina McKnight's poems resonate deeply in one's soul and stay there long after the words have been read and processed. The feelings that echo in the words read are ones that inspire, give hope and speak of love. If I could, I would put all of the poems in my review so all of you could experience the same thing I have. But that wouldn't be fair to the author nor would I have enough space so after long thinking I have decided on sharing two poems that touched me deeply. One I have started this review with and the other I will place at the end of it so that the beginning and the end form a circle dedicated to the beautiful mind and soul the author possesses.

 

I do have to admit that one particular poem made me laugh then it made me grin and then I found myself thinking long of the one I love most deeply with a constant smile on my face. That poem is called "Monday" and you can find it on page 30. I urge you to read it if any way possible for now it is written on a piece of paper and it's hung on my wall so I can always smile whenever I see it when I pass by.

 

The harmony of the poems sweep you away and bare your soul so be ready to experience a wide range of emotions. These carefully selected poems are a perfect remedy for getting rid of bad emotions that keep you down. Read, smile, laugh, think, ponder, grin, imagine and most of all feel.

 

*I received a copy of "To the Heart: A poetry collection" by the author Gina McKnight through Goodreads Giveaways and this review is my honest and heartfelt opinion.

 

 


Forever

 

 

Forever is how long...

 

A fleur-de-lis moment,
A snippet in time,
Hung on a day,
Caught in my mind.

 

Ticks the big hand,
Thoughts bump and collide,
In taupes and euchres,
In webbed shadows you hide.

 

Grasping the moment,
Caressing the snippet,
Days haunt and hang,

 

You inhabit my mind
forever...