Monday, 10 October 2016

Book Review | When You Give a Duke a Diamond by Shana Galen

When You Give a Duke a Diamond (Jewels of the Ton, #1)When You Give a Duke a Diamond by Shana Galen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I started listening to this a month ago, but after the first disc I didn't continue, it wasn't really holding my interest. But I thought I'd give it another go. And I have to say, I really think I would've enjoyed this more if I had read a physical copy. For me the narration, (accents and pronunciation), were frustrating at times and pulled me out of the story a little. It was little things, 'calm' pronounced as 'colm' and some the narrator dropped her accents part way through dialog.

For me the other thing was that I didn't love the characters, William, the 6th Duke of Pelham, (our 'hero'), was an insufferable arse. He was really shitty to Juliet, the Duchess of Dalliance, (our heroine), he slut shames, talks about her unfavorably in public and private. Juliet has secrets of her own, which add a slight twist to the story, but if she'd come clean a lot of miscommunication would've been avoided.

Putting that aside, there were still parts of this I enjoyed, when I forgot he was a dick and once Juliet had unfrozen his frosty exterior I liked them together. They complemented one and other, but I still don't know how she could just forgiven him for his behaviour. But then, love makes you do the whacky! By far my favourite thing about this was the Countess of Sinclair, she was awesome and it was such a shame she was in it for so little of the story. She was the perfect combination of snarky mother hen that had no problem calling Pelham on his bullshit.

I would like to continue with the series, I enjoyed the writing style, it was more the narration and the characters that were the downer for me in this book. In the next book I'm hoping for more Countess of Sin and Fitzhugh, (one of the Dukes friends - minor character in this book and I'm guessing he will end up with one of the other ladies). I'm also assuming this will be a trilogy as there are three diamonds (Juliet, Fallon and Lily).

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Until, next time, happy reading :)


Friday, 7 October 2016

Book Review | HOT SEAL Rescue by Lynn Raye Harris

HOT SEAL Rescue (HOT SEAL Team #3)HOT SEAL Rescue by Lynn Raye Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We are back in the action again! Cody, one of the HOT teams SEAL operators is kidnapped by a mysterious woman in Vegas. Curious, he lets her take him. They team up but things don't go exactly to plan, cut to a few weeks later and Miranda and Cody have to work together again with HOT and Ian Black to bring down Victor Conti. There's lots of action as they head overseas, this time to Jorwani. Some of my favourite characters from previous HOT books make an appearance, (Lucky, Victoria, Mendez, Black to name a couple). When reading series like this I enjoy it when the author gives you updates on past characters/couples. It really cements together the idea of HOT as a family. I love how the guys rib each other all the time. As always, this was a fast paced satisfying read. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

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Have you read any of the HOT series?  I'm a huge fan of romantic suspense and I'm loving the spin off series as well, if you've read them, let me know your favourite one. Do you have any other romantic suspense series you love?  Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time, happy reading :)


Banned Books Week 2016 | Virtual Read Outs

As I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to do some virtual read outs sharing some of the diverse books that have been banned and/or challenged.  I've picked books I'm familiar with, that I've read or on my very long list of books to read!  As usual - things didn't go quite to plan, so I'm still adding read outs I've filmed.  But they will eventually all be linked in this post/on my booktube channel.

I'll keep adding to this list as I upload more read outs.  So what is your favourite banned book?

Let me know if you've participated in this years Banned Books weeks, feel free to link your posts or virtual read out in the comments so I can check them out.

Until next time, happy reading :)


Monday, 26 September 2016

Banned Books Week | September 25 - October 1

Yesterday marked the start of Banned Books Week, this year we are celebrating diversity.  In Australia, there aren't too many books that still actually banned or heavily restricted.  The ones that I know off the top of my head are American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis; Final Exit by Derek Humphry; The Peaceful Pill Handbook by Philip Nitschke and Fiona Stewart, (these are available although you have to be over 18 to borrow them).  And as far as I know The Anarchists Cookbook is the only one that is still banned in Australia.

I guess because I work in a public library we don't see books challenged like they would be in schools.  Although we do get complaints about covers occasionally, (last Friday was the first complaint I had received in a long time - a couple of Lawrence Block's 'hard case' books were questioned about content, and not about the covers, which I found interesting.  Before that a kids yoga book was apparently going to be instrumental in the downfall of society.  Personally, I don't get the reasoning behind book censorship, with maybe the exception of The Anarchists Cookbook (the less people who know how to make bombs the better).  For me, if you don't like a book, don't read it, but don't try to stop me from reading it.

This week I want to share some virtual readouts of books via my Booktube channel.  I'm already a little behind as I'm still waiting for books to arrive, but I would like to kick things off with The Color Purple by Alice Walker.  To make it easier to find I plan on having all of my readouts in a separate post and that way you can check out the different books I've chosen to share.

I also plan on listening to Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan - if it arrives in time, if not I will have it for next week instead.  I know that there is a  #bannedbooksathon happening and while I'm not officially participating, I will be checking out the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.  I also have a couple of graphic novels to read, (volume 5 & 6 of Saga), and some picture books that have been banned or challenged.

What about you?  Let me know how you plan on participating in Banned Books Week?

Until next time, happy reading :)


Monday, 29 August 2016

Read-a-thon | Bout of Books 17 Wrap Up

Bout of Books

Well! We've reached the end, I think this may have been to least amount I've ever read in a readathon to date.  That said I'm not too upset, I read pretty solidly Sunday morning until I had to get up and go to yoga and I haven't done that for ages.

The first book I finished was the lovely coffee table book:

This had some amazing photography and great insights into each place that is talked about.

I managed to finish one of the books that I'd started, so I'm happy that there is one less on my currently reading.  This was my lazy Sunday read.

I made progress on two other books that I've been reading, The Trees, (which I've been reading for quite some time) and Outlander, which I'd only just started listening to.  I finished 7 discs during the week - thank you commute!!

So at the end of it all, I finished 2 books, listened to 7 discs, all of which adds up to 617 pages.  Hopefully next time I won't have so much on so I'll be able to participate more.  How did everyone else do?  I hope that everyone had fun, (who am I kidding - of course you did!).  Let me know what you read, have you read any of the books I finished?

Until next time, happy reading :)


Saturday, 27 August 2016

Series Review | Disruption & Corruption by Jessica Shirvington

Both Disruption and Corruption fast paced reads,  I NEEDED to know what was happening.  I like the characters, the story didn't get too tropey and I had fun listening to both books.  I didn't love The Violet Eden Chapters, Shirvington's other series, so I was unsure what I would think of this and that is partly why I took so long to read it.  But I enjoyed this so much more.

Both books are set in a dystopian world, (and I am a sucker for those.  I think it's that extreme situations bring out the best, and worst, in people.  If the author can write well, they can craft amazing worlds with kick arse characters.  Or maybe I just want to watch the world burn while I read about it from the comfort of my sealy posturepedic wonderland.  Although this isn't 'everything has gone to hell and Maggie is eating burned bread' kinda dystopian.  Maybe I should call it futuristic? Prophetic perhaps,  After all, these days most people are wearing fitbits or smart watches.  In this series everyone legally has to wear an M-band, which monitors everything basically.  Once you're of age, you get to upgrade your band and use pheromones to find a favourable match.  Those with negative ratings, or 'Negs' get taken away for "rehabilitation"...notice I use "" we all know that isn't going to end as they say it does.

For some time before the story starts for us, Maggie has been searching for her father, a scientist that one day gives off a Neg rating and is taken away.  Her whole world changes and rather than forget about her father, she sets out to try and find him.  What she finds is a lot more than she bargained for.

Maggie Stevens is one of those characters, she's strong, flawed and not entirely likable.  But I don't need a character to be that or relatable for me to enjoy the story.  I just need them to not be idjits aka TSTL.  Maggie makes stupid mistakes, but she owns them, she isn't whiny, she doesn't pout and she gets shit done.  She's dogmatic and dedicated in her task - the fallout of that is evident in Corruption. And the sass!  The snark!  I love it.              

Quentin Mercer, be still my heart, from the start I knew that I would like him.  Obviously we as the reader, is clued in that he is going to be more than just the heir to M-Corp empire, you know underneath the usual posturing, privileged school boy - he's going to be a nice guy.

This being YA and dystopian, we know it has to have some romance and thank you Shirvington - it's not instalove!  You know where Maggie and Quentin's relationship is heading, but it was wonderful to read it all unfolding.  That build up and acknowledgement of something they don't quite understand and didn't expect to feel for each other.  I did almost have an a conniption when there was a hint of a love triangle, but thankfully it is resolved pretty quickly.  

The review wouldn't be complete without mentioning Gus, he is a tech wizard and is instrumental in Maggie's plan to find her father.  Maggie is blackmailing Gus, (she does that a lot), and the way he and Maggie bounce off of each other is great.  There are plenty of funny moments thanks to him.  And his and Maggie's relationship starts of with hate and ends up as the best kind of friendship.  

Disruption ends on a major cliffhanger, I recommend having the next book ready to go, I was stalking my holds until it arrived.  Thankfully I only had to wait a few days.  I don't know what I would've done if I'd read the first book when it first came out.  

Corruption continues almost immediately where we leave off.  As I mentioned before, we get to see the consequences of Maggie's actions and how she deals with it all.  The first book is all about finding out what is going on, the second is using that knowledge to do something about it.  There are a lot more characters that are introduced in the second book, many of them help to move the story along, so we don't really get to know much about them.  I think if this was a continuing series I would want more from the background characters.  

I thoroughly enjoyed both Disruption and Corruptions, for me this was a satisfying end to the duology.  That said I would not say no to reading more from Maggie and Quentin.

Both books were narrated by Hannah Norris, hats off to her, she did a great job.

Have you read these?  What did you think of them?  And if you haven't -  I 100% recommend!

Until next time, happy reading :)


Thursday, 25 August 2016

Read-a-thon | Bout of Book 17 Update Post

I'm going to have one post that will cover the full week of updates, that way it'll be much easier to update on the fly..lets get started!

Monday 22nd

Pages Read: 54 pages (The Trees by Ali Shaw)
Discs Listened to: 1 (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon)
Number of books read today: 0
Total number of books read: 0

Tuesday 23rd

Pages Read: 23 (Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey)
Discs Listened to: 1 (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon)
Number of books read today: 0
Total number of books read: 0

Wednesday 24th

Pages Read: 192 (Best Kept Secrets of Scotland by Michael Kerrigan)
Discs Listened to: 1 (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon)
Number of books read today: 1 (Best Kept Secrets of Scotland by Michael Kerrigan)
Total number of books read: 1

Thursday 25th

Pages Read: 0
Discs Listened to: 1 (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon)
Number of books read today: 0
Total number of books read: 1

Friday 26th

Pages Read: 10 (Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey)
Discs Listened to: 1 (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon)
Number of books read today: 0
Total number of books read: 1

I've had a pretty woeful reading week, I'm hoping that now I've finished work, I can smash it out of the reading, not my book.  That would be bad!

Saturday 27th

Pages Read: 20 (The Trees by Ali Shaw)
Discs Listened to: 1 (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon)
Number of books read today: 0
Total number of books read: 1

Sunday 28th

Pages Read: 72 (Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey); 36 (The Trees by Ali Shaw)
Discs Listened to: 1 (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon)
Number of books read today: 1(Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey)
Total number of books read: 2

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