Review: Six Crimson Cranes

Synopsis:

Shiori’anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted. But it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes. She warns Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to forswear–no matter what the cost.

Weaving together elements of The Wild Swans, Cinderella, the legend of Chang E, and the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, Elizabeth Lim has crafted a fantasy like no other, and one that will stay with readers long after they’ve turned the last page.


Review:

I have found a new favorite author and book with this one. I totally LOVED this book. I laughed. I cried. I was soo disappointed the next one isn’t out yet.

Review: The Bachelor and the Bride

Synopsis:

London, 1866

Dr. Barnabus Milligan has always felt called to help people, whether that means setting a broken bone or rescuing the impoverished women of London from their desperate lives on the streets as part of his work with the Dread Penny Society.

Three years ago, he helped rescue Gemma Kincaid by marrying her in secret to protect her from her family, notorious grave robbers who were intent on keeping her working in the trade.

But their unconventional relationship is nearly over before it begins when, six months after they exchange vows, Gemma realizes her love for Barnabus is unrequited. To protect her heart, she leaves, telling Barnabus to contact her if his feelings for her ever grow beyond a sense of duty.

When Gemma finally receives a letter from Barnabus, inviting her to return home, she hopes to find a true connection between them. But she quickly learns that he only wants her help to foil the Kincaids, who have been terrorizing the boroughs of London, eager to gain both money and power.

Heartbroken once more, Gemma agrees to help, but she warns Barnabus that she will not stay for long, and once she goes, he’ll never see her again.

Yet as the couple follow the clues that seem to connect the Kincaids to the Mastiff, the leader of London’s underground criminal network, Gemma and Barnabus both realize they might make a better match than either of them suspected. Perhaps the marriage that had once saved Gemma’s life, might prove the means of saving Barnabus—and his lonely heart—as well.

But before the once-confirmed bachelor can properly court his secret bride, they’ll need to evade the dangerous forces that are drawing ever closer to the hopeful lovers and the entire Dread Penny Society itself.


My Review:

I totally loved this book. I loved the growing relationship between Barnabus and Gemma. Everything was woven together very nicely. Highly recommend reading this.

This book has is all: romance, suspense, mystery, and interwoven Penny Dreadfuls! Even if you haven’t read any other of the series, you’ll enjoy this one.

I received an ARC from Shadow Mountain.


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Review: A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice

Coming April 5, 2022

Description

Based on the remarkable true story of the Carpathia—the only ship and her legendary captain who answered the distress call of the sinking Titanic.

Just after midnight on April 15, 1912, the passenger steamship Carpathia receives a distress signal from the largest passenger liner ever built, RMS Titanic, which is on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York.

Captain Arthur Rostron is awakened to an enormous maritime emergency with little information to guide his actions in answering the call for help. Is the dire threat to the unsinkable Titanic accurate? His ship is more than four hours away; will Carpathia hold together if pushed to never-before-tested speeds? What if his ship also strikes an iceberg? How many of Titanic’s 2,200 passengers will the Carpathia be able to accommodate? And with the freezing temperatures, will there be any survivors by the time the Carpathia arrives?

Kate Connolly is excited to join her sister in America and proud to be traveling on the grand Titanic, which was built in her Irish homeland. As a passenger in third-class accommodations, she is among the last to receive instruction and help after Titanic hits an iceberg. Among the chaos of abandoning ship, the chances of her securing a spot in a lifeboat appear grim. With the help of several men, also from Ireland, Kate finally reaches the upper decks and feels lucky to board Lifeboat 13, although no one knows if or when a rescue ship will come. She fears the icy water and wonders if they’ll all freeze to death. After seeing their magnificent ship submerge into the abyss, and hearing the cries of hundreds of fellow passengers drowning, it is almost too much to bear and Kate fleetingly thinks succumbing to her ordeal is the easiest escape.

Told in alternating chapters from the perspective of Captain Rostron on the Carpathia and Kate Connolly on the Titanic, this historical novel is a compelling, heart-pounding account of two eyewitnesses to an epic disaster. Rostron’s heroic and compassionate leadership, his methodical preparations for rescue, and his grit and determination to act honorably and selflessly to save lives and care for the survivors, sets the course for this awe-inspiring story.


My Review:

You will need a tissue for tears when you read this book. I cried soo many times. Arthur Rostron and his crew deserve to be remembered for the heroic deeds of that night, and this book does an excellent job at that. If anything, I did feel that a bit too much was spent on survivors guilt.

Thank you to Shadow Mountain for the ARC.

New Release: Reality Show Romance (My Korean Crush Series Book 4) by Shannon Kent

‘Til the end of the show do us part

Letty McDonnell—a hug first and ask questions later kind of gal—stumbles into an unexpected scandal with her favorite K-pop star when she spots him at the airport. Is it bad timing or a blessing in disguise? The international publicity leads to a job offer from the reality show Marry My Stalker, where the two pretend to be man and wife as they complete a variety of crazy couple missions.

Wacky challenges, jealous fangirls, and a language barrier can’t slow Letty down. Especially when she has handsome translator, Ben Park, whispering in her ear. He steers her away from cultural faux pas and offers behind-the-scenes encouragement as she maneuvers the unfamiliar public arena. But is he sincerely interested or just doing his job? The affectionate words her fake husband says for the cameras are always repeated by Ben’s caring voice, and Letty begins to wonder if a romance without spotlights or red carpets is the real path to true love.


My Review:

This book was a lot of fun.  This book starts after Flower Boy Tour Guide, where we first met our leading lady, Letty.

We start off at the airport, where a classic K-drama scene unfolds. Letty literally bumps into her favorite star and becomes an overnight gossip sensation. Not to miss out on the free publicity, the Kpop singers  agency launches a web show, Marry My Stalker. Because Letty doesn’t speak Korean, she gets her own charming translator, Ben.

From the array of  reality brides, to the camera crew, the Kpop stars themselves, and to Letty’s developing relationships with her co-stars and translator, this story will keep you turning (digital)  pages.

A delightful modern day fairy tale.

Only  $0.99 today, January 23, 2019.

Review: Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s

 

The Lie
Women in Hollywood are just pretty faces. But Silvia Bradshaw knows that’s a lie, and she’s ready to be treated as an equal and prove her worth as one of Hollywood’s newest film editors.

The Love
She and Ben Mason had worked together as editors before Silvia got her big break, so he’s the perfect person to ask for feedback on her first major film. But even as their friendship begins to blossom into something more, a lawsuit surfaces, jeopardizing both of their jobs—as well as their fledgling romance. Audrey Hepburn once said: “The most important things is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” Silvia agrees. Or she used to. It’s one thing to risk her job and her heart, but can she really risk Ben’s too? Does she have the right to make decisions for her own happiness when they affect so many other people?

The Breakfast
With everything to lose, Silvia meets Ben for breakfast at his favorite diner, Tiffany’s, for one last conversation before the credits roll on true love.


My Review

This book was fun in a lot of ways.  Silvia, a cancer survivor is both a courageous spunky woman and a woman that  is afraid of what she can’t see. Both literally and figuratively.  Will she take the risk and tell  Ben she loves him?

Ben is the perfect book boyfriend. He is loyal and willing to give up his dream for Silvia. Will she figure it out before she loses him?

Rounding out the cast is Grandma, Emma, and Walt.

Highly recommended. To say anymore will give spoilers.

 

I relieved an Advanced Reader’s Copy. (Thank you Shadow Mountain!)

Book Review: Wizard for Hire

 

What if there was a wizard in your hometown who offered his services to anyone in need? What if you were scared because your scientist parents had been kidnapped and you couldn’t tell the police?

What if you stumbled across a classified ad in your local newspaper that read, “Wizard for Hire. Call 555-SPEL”? Would you call?

Fourteen-year-old Ozzy is desperate to find his parents, but he’s not so sure about the ad….He’s read about wizards in books like Harry Potter, but they couldn’t actually exist in the world today, could they?

Enter Labryinth, aka “Rin,” who dresses the part. Sort of. His bathrobe and high-top tennis shoes seem unorthodox. At least Rin acts like a wizard, but Ozzy has his doubts. Do real wizards write notes on their shoes and eat breakfast for every meal? Most of all, Ozzy just wants to know if Rin can cast any magic spells.

With the help of a robotic-talking raven invented by Ozzy’s father, a kind and curious girl at school who decides to help Ozzy, and, of course, a self-proclaimed wizard who may or may not have a magical wand, Ozzy begins an unforgettable quest that will lead him closer to the answers he seeks about his missing parents.


My Review:

5 Stars

I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this book.  As a reader, Middle Grade novels are interesting. Sometimes they are bland and boring, and other times you stumble on a fun  book. This is one of the fun ones.

All the characters fit into place, which is something I liked.  My favorite character was Clark, the robotic raven. He’s awesome. He has some of the best lines, is fluent in two languages (English and Chirp), and has a fondness for metal. His quest for romance, and his flare for taking care of problems are some of the comedic moments in the story.

I received an ARC  from Shadow Mountain. (Thank you!)

#wizardforhire #Netgalley

 

 

Review: Miss Wilton’s Waltz

miss walton's waltzSynopsis (as provided by publisher)

A follow-up to Josi S. Kilpack’s bestselling Proper Romance title The Vicar’s Daughter.

Lenora Wilton has spent her life hiding behind the keys of her beloved pianoforte and the vibrancy of her younger sister, Cassie. But Lenora is ready for a change and travels to Bath to live with her Aunt Gwen and teach music at an all-girls’ boarding school. She is different in Bath—more comfortable with herself—and enjoys the freedom and independence of her new life there.

When Lenora meets Aiden Asher, she finds herself attracted to him, but her unexpected feelings become more complicated when she learns that Catherine—Lenora’s newest and most troublesome student in the school—is Mr. Asher’s niece. Catherine is a difficult student, and Lenora works hard to make progress with the girl.

When the chemistry between Lenora and Aiden increases, they share a passionate kiss by the River Avon, and Lenora feels it is the beginning of a new forever—until she learns that Aiden has withheld an important detail about his life that changes everything.

Lenora closes her heart to him, and Aiden, caught between his obligation and his heart, must do what he can to make amends. And Lenora, after years of hiding from everyone and everything, faces a decision only she can make.


My Review:

I  noticed this title pop up on social media, so I wanted to get my hands on a copy. I had read and enjoyed The Vicar’s Daughter. 

This story continues with Lenora’s story. She’s not residing in Bath with her Aunt Gwen and teaching music as a school for girl.  Lenora is also naive and  is now sneaking out dressed as a man to sit by the river at night, which has become her place of solitude.  Her false sense of security is shattered when a stranger catches her at the river. Their paths cross again at the school, and Lenora’s quiet life becomes quite a challenge.  Will she rise to it, or run away again when things become too hard?

I loved this book. You really got a sense of Lenora’s personality, and  found her admirable. I also liked Aiden and his niece Catherine, and I rooted for them to find their happy ever after.

I received an ARC.

AMAZON   *   BARNES AND NOBLE

 

*This title hits the shelves on May 1, 2018 and is available for preorder.

Book Review: K-Love (A Korean Drama Series, Book 1)

KloveChase has been set up. She finds herself on a blind date with a Korean hottie, and all because her mom obsessively loves Korean romance dramas. It turns out that Daniel Bak is actually really dreamy, but things take a turn for the worse when Chase happens upon stolen research on her university professor’s laptop. It throws her into the arms of wealthy corporate heir Hyun Tae, who also happens to be Daniel’s best friend.

Caught between both men, and hunted down by a vengeful CEO, Chase must rely on Hyun Tae’s protection. But when the drama settles, where will her heart land?

BUY

 

 


My Review:

I loved this book. I loved Chase’s mother, Chase, Hyun Tae,  Daniel, and Jooh Suh.  Each character fit in nicely.

There were a few things to note: the authors are human. There are a few errors (omissions and typos.)  I mention this only so that readers that have trouble turning off their internal proof-reading app, they are aware, so that hopefully the little hiccups won’t distract too much from an otherwise fun story.

The other issue would be there’s Korean phrases written out so readers could attempt to pronounce it, but no translation was given. This does not distract too much from the story though. (But moving forward I would hope a glossary is added.)

Overall, this was an excellent book. If you like Korean dramas, you’ll enjoy this. If you like adventure and romance together, you’ll like this. However unlikely a romance is between an American college student, and a Korean chaebol (rich heir to a big company), or celebrity is, this is still fun. After all, aren’t books supposed to give us a break from daily life and allow us to dream?

Chase’s mother asks Korean student, Kim Hyun Tae if he’d go on a blind date with her daugher, Chase. He says no, but his best friend Daniel says yes. And so begins the simple love triangle present in many Kdramas.

Chase meets Hyun Tae first, and this should have been a hint to me that he was the actual male lead. (I couldn’t decide at first if it was Hyun Tae or Daniel, because of which one accepted the blind date.) He’s polite, she’s a klutz.

Daniel asks her out on the blind date via a text, while she’s in heading to her first class–gym. There she meets Daniel. (Kdrama watchers, you can probably guess how that goes.) Daniel recognizes her, but doesn’t introduce himself yet. This boy has a secret to keep, and he plans to keep it.

Of course, love never runs smooth. We have spies, and a company take down in the works, all while Chase, Hyun Tae, and Daniel have to navigate love.

Grab your copy, and let me know what you think. 🙂

You can visit Devon Atwood and Alice Cornwall at their blog.

New Release: Celebrity Superhero

celebritysuperhero

When Anna Eom isn’t reading fantasy novels, she’s obsessing over her favorite K-pop group, SUPER. Each boy in the group has a different superpower, but Sungwook stands out from the crowd with his super-speed and super-strength, not to mention his super-hotness.

The day that SUPER’s latest music video drops, Anna’s mom does the worst thing imaginable and cuts the wi-fi to make her clean house instead. All because some old family friends are visiting them from Korea. Not only are the almost-strangers cutting her time short with her favorite K-pop group, but she knows she’s going to be thrown together with a boy she only remembers as a bully.

Caleb might be her age, but the last time she saw him ten years ago he stole her precious Disney princess necklace. What’s worse is Anna’s mom has threatened to clear her bookshelves if she doesn’t greet the old friends at the door with a fragile vase as a gift.

Anna complies, planning on getting back to her books as soon as she can, but when her parents open the door it’s not Caleb standing on the other side, but Sungwook from SUPER. Judging by the way he caught the vase she dropped with lighting speed, his super-powers might not be fiction.

BUY 


I had the pleasure of reading this before it was out. I’ve been wanting to share it for awhile now, but set the goal of announcing on it’s release day. This book was delightful. I read it the first time in one day. This book is a delightful romantic comedy, complete with hilarious mix-ups, and adventure.

Even if you don’t particularly like Kpop, you’ll connecting with Anna. What teenager hasn’t daydreamed of dating/marrying their favorite celebrity?

Imagine you discover the kid you don’t remember fondly, that your parents want you to marry, is that celebrity?

Imagine he seems to do some extraordinarily feats, just like in his videos?

And he’s keeping something a secret from you, and even admits as much?

What conclusions will bookish Anna come to?

Read this book for an enjoyable story.

Review: Dance: Cinderella Retold

 Dance: Cinderella Retold (Romance a Medieval Fairytale Book 3)

Synopsis (from GoodReads)

A dutiful daughter. A prince forced to find a bride. If the shoe fits…

Once upon a time… When the Emperor’s army comes recruiting, Mai signs up, seeing it as the perfect escape from her stepmother and a lifetime of drudgery. Armed with her mother’s armour and a pair of magic shoes, Mai marches off to war…only to find herself sharing a tent with the General’s arrogant nephew, Prince Yi. The best swordsman in the Empire, Prince Yi wants to make war, not love, but the Emperor insists this will be Yi’s last campaign before he must marry. Prince Yi has never met his match…until now. Can one woman win the war and the prince’s heart?


Review:

I was happy to see another Asian infused title. And a Cinderella inspired book, with a bit of Mulan thrown in.  It sounded awesome. I started this book picturing the beauty of a Chinese, or even Taiwanese TV drama, as I decided that Taiwanese actor Jiro Wang would be perfect for the role of Prince Yi.

There were some typos. Writers, Editors, and Proofreaders are human, so that wasn’t a big deal. (I actually like seeing that the people behind the books are human.) Some of the dialogue was stilted. I was actually disappointed that it was always “dutiful” daughter, or “dutiful” son. Why not use filial?  The story though was entertaining. I liked Mai/Mao. I liked Prince Yi.

My issues with the book are with the sexual content. I’m of the notion that a YA novel shouldn’t describe sex. Alluding is one thing, and this book alluded to it early on when the Emperor told Prince Yi he had to get married and produce an heir. (It was a bit crass.)  The scene of the women following the soldiers after the battle was ill done. It didn’t make us a party to the act, but it was still ill done. I could have over looked that. But I draw the line with the last chapter. That chapter takes the book from PG13 to R.  Thankfully it was short, and with a few lines deleted, the story would have been much improved.

I truly wish that authors wouldn’t feel the need to stoop to putting smut (adult content/erotic scenes) into a book. Allusion is okay. It’s enough.

Should you wish to read this book, be warned. If you want flinch free books, don’t read the last chapter beyond Prince Yi letting Mai’s hair down.