Sweep of the Blade is the first novel in this series to not feature Innkeeper Dina Demille. Instead, we learn her sister Maud’s fascinating story of love, heartbreak and honor. Seeing through Maud’s eyes her love for her first husband and consequent betrayal by him I understood more the barrier she built to save herself, and her daughter Helen from caring for anyone that much again. When she helps her sister defend her Inn and meets Arland her will starts to bend until she agree’s to go with him to House Krahr to determine how well she and Helen would fit in.
Maud is such an interesting character! She is a warrior, scholar, mother and woman who just kicks A&&! If you looked up fierce in the Ilona Andrews dictionary, you’d see a picture of Matilda “Maud” Demille. A human married into a vampire House, Maud had to show her worth by knowing every single fact about that vampire world. Those facts combined with her knowledge from an education growing up an Innkeeper’s child made her a silent threat. As she navigates House Krahr those skills become invaluable as she uses them to infiltrate behind possible enemy lines.
Arland, Marshal of House Krahr, is as funny and unique as in previous books, but in this one we see a more serious side. He is back home where he has a job to do and outside influences take up a lot of his time. This doesn’t take away from his determination to win Maud as his wife and be a father to Helen. He does this by allowing Maud to shine on her own. I LOVED that!
Helen as in the last book, steals the show. She is sassy, brilliant, and fierce like her mom. A veritable mini-Maud, albeit she is a human-vampire hybrid. I hope somewhere in our future Helen has her own series!
The Innkeeper series is one of my favorites. I’ve listened and read each book numerous times and always find a new tidbit to keep me coming back. Sweep of the Blade only added to the allure, and the ending? Oh boy! I can’t wait to read what happens in the next novel!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
” got my copy of this around 4:00 this morning, and devoured it in one setting. So much love. I don’t usually like books where one of the main characters already has a kid, but this one is a big exception. Helen is an absolute favorite of mine – I would go so far as to say my favorite kid in a series, period. So, so much fun.” Wicked Scribes
High school dropout, Alex Stern, wakes up in a hospital the soul survivor of a multiple homicide, and is offered a chance to start her life over at Yale. All expenses paid. Wanting to get away from the life she’d been living, Alex says yes and moves across country where she finds herself living among the privileged, but that privilege comes with a price. Alex’s job is to monitor the activities of eight societies. Their occult activities become more dangerous and it’s evil starts grasping at the edges of the life she’s trying to re-build.
I’ll admit, horror novels are not my thing, but Ninth house feels more fantasy than horror. I’m a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and this novel definitely had elements that were similar to that series, although it didn’t have the humor. Like Buffy, Alex Stern is a fascinating protagonist. She isn’t a “chosen one” but the fact that she can see ghosts has shaped her entire life. Not able to live a normal life, she gave up and started living on the outskirts of one. Taking drugs takes the edge off her ability and whereas she was never a full drug addict, she lived among many. When Yale came calling she was ripe for the picking, and the fact she saw ghosts? That was the first good thing to happen because she could see ghosts.
When she enters Yale her world expands from the supernatural. This whole new world opens up before her and her job is to police and make sure no one uses their “skills” to take advantage of anyone. A departure from her previous life for sure, but one that she takes to suprisingly easy. When a murdered girl drops into her lap, Alex starts to investigate and it’s at this point that the book really takes off!
At about 30% into the book I was able to immerse myself in the story and started to really appreciate all of the details of this world Leigh Bardugo created. Set in current time, but with elements of the magical and supernatural, Ninth House is unlike other novels in that it merges the real with fantasy so seamlessly. As Alex investigates this murder and delves into each of the eight societies at Yale I was gripped by questions and read quickly as I sought the truth of those answers through Alex. This is one of those novels that you’ll pick up again and discover new revelations that you somehow missed in the first reading. I’m already blocking off time to listen to the audiobook when it comes out! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
The story of the meteoric rise of a rock band and the demise of that same band. Set in the 70’s, Daisy Jones and the Six unveils a story of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but told documentary style. The band takes the reader on a voyeuristic journey through the experiences of everyone involved. The two leads narrated by Jennifer Beals, Pable Schreiber, Benjamin Bratt and more, I was riveted by the characters, awestruck by the casualness of the era towards sex and drugs, and hopeful that the resolution would give me a happy ending for the characters I had come to love.
I’ve read that the story is based loosely on the rise of Fleetwood Mack but in my mind Daisy Jones was more of a Goldie Hawn than a Stevie Nicks. Daisy was just so carefree and sweet although her choices were self destructive to the extreme. When she finally gets her big chance, paired up with a rock band called The Six, her steely ambition contrasts interestingly with that sweet demeanor. As Jennifer Beals voices the character, those two traits come across so strongly, but in this soft easy voice. She did an outstanding job of making Daisy someone we could love, even though her addictions get worse and her actions are painful
Billy and Graham Dunne along with four other members of their band are on a slow rise towards fame when that rise gets a boost by their hit performed with Daisy. When a Rolling Stone writer points out their sizzling chemistry it’s decided that Daisy will join the band. Pablo Schreiber who narrates Billy Dunne’s character gives voice to Billy’s pragmatic character and was fantastic in his portrayal. Benjamin Bratt narrates the voice for Graham Dunne and tells an emotional journey of love between he and pianist Karen Karen that is heartbreakingly real. I’ll admit to driving through the mountains and balling my eyes out towards the end of this novel. Graham and Karen’s story was amazing.
If you loved the movie Almost Famous, I think you will enjoy Daisy Jones and the Six. Listening to it was like listening to an ensemble cast from a movie. I can’t name all of the narrators, but believe me when I say they did a hell of a job and I can’t imagine not listening to it again and again. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“If you love a gripping yarn, stories about real people and their struggles and a plot that is entertaining and exciting, look no further than Daisy Jones And The Six. Believe the hype, it’s real.” Bibliobeth
“I do not think that you necessarily need to be a music lover to enjoy this book, but it will certainly help. I found the scenes that involved writing lyrics completely fascinating and I loved that the book gives the reader an inside look in to the music industry.” Kristin Kraves Books
Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, and hopefully hearing about what you’ve picked up off your shelf. So here goes!
First Sentence Read: “The fog came without warning, swift skeins of milk-white vapor curling across the Yorkshire countryside, ethereal init’s beauty.”
First Sentence Read: “Lady Taylor had bugs in her walls and not the kind that had jointed legs and crunchy bodies.”
I have been on a huge historical mystery jag and am trying to mix things up with the second novel in the sci-fi series by Jessie Mihalik. I hope it starts quickly because I’ve got my eye on another historical! Lol. Sometimes you just get in that mood for a certain genre, you know?
What kind of book are you in the mood to read today?
As I sit here high on life and leftover Halloween candy, I’m reflecting back on the month of October. It went almost as quickly as the Milky Way bars out of my Halloween candy stash!
My reading slowed down quite a bit in October. Part of that was ending my old job and starting the new one (it’s going fabulous so far!), but mostly it was because I was in the mood for some historical mysteries and those take a little longer for me to read and listen to. Here are some great books from my October reading list.
OCTOBER- BEST READS!
Yes, this was NOT a historical mystery! LOL. My favorite fantasy duo released the next installation in the Innkeeper Series and I rushed to read this one. It was as good as was promised! Review has been written and scheduled!
This is the 5th book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. Our Viscount Devlin likes to solve mysteries utilizing his position in society to go where Bow Street can’t. There are a LOT of novels left in this series and I’m listening to them instead of reading. The amazing Davina Porter is the narrator and she makes me forget that I’m living in Tennessee and not in 18th century England. Her characterizations are incredible. For those of you who have listened to the Outlander series, it’s the same narrator.
My recommendation is to really give yourself time to read this one continuously. It’s take about 30% in before I was fully invested, but when I hit that point I didn’t want to stop. It was really good!
November 1st was the start of the ebook embargo by MacMillan publishing. They are limiting our local libraries to an 8 week wait on newly published books and then only allowing them to own it for a specifies length of time. For most of us who can’t afford to buy every single book we want to read this is a HUGE deal! I wrote a post notifying my fellow book lovers about the details of what was going on and asked you all to sign a petition. If you missed those details, please click the link below.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that I have a lot of reading in front of me! Whereas I don’t have a lot of reviews that must post in November, I have quite a few in early December! I’ll try to wrap those up and get them written early so I can relax around the holidays!
Enjoy your own month of reading and let me know if you read a really great book. I’m always looking to add to my TBR!
Brought up by a treasure hunting father Theodora is used to researching historical artifacts and adventuring through foreign countries. When her father goes missing while searching for an artifact of Vlad the Impaler, she joins forces with her childhood friend and teenage love, Huck. Together they retrace her fathers path and dodge the enemies who are closely following them. As each clue is uncovered and the danger gets greater Theodora and Huck rediscover their feelings for each other.
I have mixed feelings about this novel. When I read the synopsis about searching for a relic of Vlad the Impaler’s I’d expected a darker mood to be set, almost gothic. Even with danger following their every footstep the mood seemed a little lighter than I expected. That was a little disappointing. Despite that disappointment, I did really like Theodora and Huck. She was the perfect heroine, intelligent, sassy, and brave. Actually, I thought she outshone Huck in the bravery department! To give him credit though, Huck was the more emotional of the two and wore his feelings on his sleeve. It was a nice change in a YA novel.
I love historical fantasy novels and the Lady Rogue had all of the elements that I look for in that genre. There was action, danger, and romance as well as historical tidbits that kept the story flowing. The mystery involving Vlad’s ring let me down just a smidge, but the romantic elements made up for that lack. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“Folklore, hidden family secrets, romance, adventure, mystery, castles, cursed artifacts – this book is a wild romp. It’s a little lighter on fantasy than I expected; instead, it ventures into historical fiction, and the setting descriptions are vivid and rich. I’m not sure if the author plans a series, but if she does, I’ll be adding the next book to my list.” Books and Such
“Overall I am a little disappointed because after I loved Starry Eyes so much I thought that I would love Jenn Bennett writing fantasy even more. If you are looking for a fantasy adventure novel I might look elsewhere, but if you enjoy romance or are a big fan of Jenn Bennett I would totally give this one a shot.” Devouring Books
Kristen Peterson is one of those girls that is effortlessly beautiful, sarcastically funny, and everyone’s best friend. The moment Josh Copeland meets her he knows she’s the woman for him. With her boyfriend on deployment, Kristen has plenty of time to hang with her best friend helping her plan her wedding. As the maid of honor to Josh’s best man, they are thrown together on many occasions and develop an easy friendship that could turn into so much more, except for two things. Her boyfriend and the fact that she has a medical condition that will make her unable to have children.
This was one of those books that is a delight to read at least for the first half of the book. I loved Kristen’s personality. She was so freaking funny but also had so much heart. She and Josh together were really effortless and the tension that built between them as she fought to keep that wall up was extreme! As the second half of the book rolled along I’ll admit to moments where I wanted to kick her in the shins to just make her get over herself and give him a chance. Thankfully the tender moments outweighed the frustrating, but I did seriously question my resolve to finish this book.
With the exception of a lack of communication skills, Josh was the perfect guy. Handsome, had a great job, and a good personality. The fact he was so nice was kind of unreal but knowing I was reading a fantasy filled romance novel I let myself enjoy his wonderfulness. There were a couple of tense emotion filled scenes where he just shone and I again wanted to kick Kristen in the shins because her reactions just didn’t make sense! LOL! Who wouldn’t want to do everything in their power to be with this guy?
Thankfully, knowing this is a romance and a happy ending is pretty much guaranteed I chose to enjoy the ride and not question things too much. The ending was happy just as I’d hoped and this amazing couple fought through adversity and then some… to finally get that happy ending. The Friend Zone had moments of hilarity mixed with tension filled heartbreak. I hit all points on the emotional spectrum and still enjoyed the novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“What I expected upon picking up The Friend Zone was a light-hearted, fluffy contemporary romance perfect for summer. And while the book delivered with the romance, angst, and humor, it also contained a layer of emotional complexity that was unexpected in the best way.” Paws and Paperbacks
“The Friend Zone in three words: Witty, Relatable and Emotional” Novel Gossip
After looking through the November releases I’ve realized that I’ve fallen off on keeping up with a few series and because I haven’t read the second book, chose not to include the much anticipated third release in a couple of different series. I’d imagine you’ll take a look at my Top 5 and think, “where’s …!” Because of that and the fact there seems to be a huge number of cowboy romances being released (not my favorite at all!) I struggled a bit to find five. So… Here are my 5 most anticipated November’19 book releases.
#5 MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE
Synopsis: We come from two different worlds. I’m from the streets. She might as well live in an ivory tower. I made my living with my fists. I doubt she could even throw a punch. Our paths never should have crossed. We never should have met. That doesn’t change the facts. I would sell my soul to taste those red lips. Fight the devil himself to hear her laugh. Burn in hell to have a single night. Scarlett Priest shouldn’t even know men like me exist, but sometimes temptation is stronger than will. If this is how I go down, it’ll be worth every second of the fall.
Jack Nolan is a gentleman, a journalist, and unlucky in love. His viral success has pigeon-holed him as the how-to guy for a buzzy, internet media company instead of covering hard-hitting politics. Fed up with his fluffy articles and the app-based dating scene as well, he strikes a deal with his boss to write a final piece de resistance: How to Lose a Girl. Easier said than done when the girl he meets is Hannah Mayfield, and he’s not sure he wants her to dump him.
Hannah is an extremely successful event planner who’s focused on climbing the career ladder. Her firm is one of the most prestigious in the city, and she’s determined to secure her next promotion. But Hannah has a bit of an image problem. She needs to show her boss that she has range, including planning dreaded, romantic weddings. Enter Jack. He’s the perfect man to date for a couple weeks to prove to her boss that she’s not scared of feelings.
Before Jack and Hannah know it, their fake relationship starts to feel all too real—and neither of them can stand to lose each other.
he first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.
Billy Winston’s family is going to see him happy and in love if it’s the last thing they do.
No one deserves a happily-ever-after quite as much as the second oldest Winston brother and his lady love, Claire McClure (aka Scarlet St. Claire). Cruelty and circumstance tore them apart almost twenty years ago. Secrecy and bitterness kept them separated.
But you know who’s tired of their separation and stubbornness? Everyone. Especially Billy Winston’s family. And now they’re going to do something about it.
Well-meaning interference means the star-crossed lovers can’t stop tripping over each other in the hills of Tuscany, the catacombs of Rome, and the waterways of Venice. Billy and Claire find themselves thrown together and at the mercy of the Winston siblings’ shenanigans.
But will their forced proximity bring them together? Or push them even further apart?
This second-chance romance brings back the entire Winston gang, playing cupid in one last story of love, hi-jinks, and family collusion.
Synopsis: Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues—a bee, a key, and a sword—that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life.
Lacey Burke is a self professed musical geek, want to be composer, and walking sex ed factoid. Brought up by a mother who was pregnant at 16, Lacey has been given educational safe sex tips by her now nurse mother, since she achieved “that” age. Now, due to her frustration with the abstinence based sex education at her high school this virgin is giving safe sex tutorials in the rest room at lunch. All she wants to do is play music with her band and maybe get her first kiss out of the way!
I really enjoyed the contradiction between virginal and slightly naive Lacey with the girl who can spout facts about condom usage and how-to instructional’s. I can honestly say I learned something useful while reading this YA novel, all while enjoying a tale about a girl who has a crush on one of her best friends! The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me was a different kind of YA novel. Full of safe sex conversations, but also eye opening about how clueless this fictional school system was in how to speak to the teens of today.
I loved Lacey. She was a great main character surrounded by zany friends who were sexually active and different. She has two best friends, both of whom have hooked up with each other, but still remain best friends. Evita identifies on the ace spectrum and is President of their high school LGBTQIA group. Theo is their third, definitely hetero, and has a girlfriend that neither Evita or Lacey like. He’s an all around nice guy, but there are moments when he deserves a swift kick! When Lacey’s feelings for Theo change, the book also introduces Lacey’s own sexuality into the mix. For a girl who had never kissed a boy until Theo, she was very well informed and prepared.
I love stories where an underdog gets to fight for her beliefs and gets the chance to turn the tide towards something good and right. This novel pits Lacey and her friends against an aged school curriculum and at the same teaches young adults about safe sex, without it being a tutorial. I thought the author did a good job at avoiding a massive dump of information, and instead allowed Lacey’s advice to speak for itself.
The author also did a good job of introducing a diverse cast and making their interactions relatable and real. It seemed especially applicable to the world we live in today and I can only think this novel would have a broad appeal because of it. I’m kind of surprised I haven’t heard more mentions about this one? Hopefully, if it has been on your radar, my mention will push it to the top of your list!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“I think the main reason why I didn’t give The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me a full four star rating is that I wasn’t 100% invested in the relationships. I did enjoy Lacey’s relationship with her mom (who is a nurse and SUPER open with her daughter, in a way that sometimes provides comic relief), but overall, the relationships weren’t super exceptional for me, and I was sort of wishing for less of the friends and dating drama.” Blossoms and Bullet Journals
“Overall, I loved the characters. They were entertaining, funny, and passionate. I loved the message the story was sharing. It’s one I really could have used in a book when I was young and learning. I loved all the parental support the kids had from their parents. I only wish this book had been longer. ” Classy x Book Reviews
Tate Jones and Sam Brandis meet and fall in love while on a two week vacation in London. He was her first lover and confidant and ultimately broke her heart. 14 years later Tate is an actress who shows up for a role of a lifetime and finds out the screenwriter is none other than Sam. This reconnection brings up all of her past hurts. Will they take advantage of this second chance?
OK, boy, this story was so much more than the brief synopsis above. Another huge plot point is the fact that Tate’s father is this huge actor and is cast in a supporting role in the movie. Tate has always wanted to have a better relationship with her father and her journey towards the discovery of who they both are is at times heartbreaking and is such a great sub plot to this novel! I really feel that without that additional conflict the story would have fallen a little flat. I’m always a sucker for daddy issues and boy, this daddy has issues!
I loved Sam right from the start and was just as heartbroken as Tate when their relationship couldn’t get past their first big conflict. However, it was Tate and her family/friends that held this story together. Her Nana and mom were awesome and her best friend Charlie was funny and ferocious.
I recently read Christina Lauren’s Unhoneymooners and that novel was hilarious and fun. This novel had more heart and depth. There was some humor from the cast of characters but there was a lot of emotional turmoil in Tate’s heart and it was that emotion that drew me in. I feel like this novel was different than their other books because of how adult the topics and the maturity of the characters. If you look for those heart tugging moments in the books you read then you need to pick this one up! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️