Book Review

Book Review: A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1) by Deanna Raybourn

Rating: ☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Mystery + historical fiction + romance
Length: 339 pages
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

London, 1887.

After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth.

THIS SLOW-BURN PARTNERSHIP IS AMAZING.

I read this based off a recommendation on Bookstagram and I was HOOKED.

I love Veronica. She is sassy and snarky and my kinda woman. I love that she chooses her own path and pursues the things she is passionate about. Veronica took her situation into her own hands (accepted some needed help) and figured out what plan would work best for her.

Stoker though? YES. Oh my goodness. Rugged, wild, gruff, yaaaaaas. But among those qualities is also the fact he never tried to control Veronica. They disagreed and argued, and then he would know she was going to make her own choices, AND HE WAS OKAY WITH THAT. They’re not even in a relationship, yet this slow-burn is going to ruin me. I can’t wait to see how they develop over the series. I hope they’re end game.

The mystery was great too. It actually kept me on my toes. The release of information was a slow trickle that was interesting and really added to each scene. It was crazy how everything actually unfolded. I did not see the entire picture at all. It loosely reminds of a better version of Stalking Jack the RIpper (which was fine, and I haven’t read the other books yet, but that’s kind of a vibe I got). So if you like those books, I would definitely recommend these!

There’s a big historical aspect to this as well since it’s set in London, 1887. That plus a mystery and some romance-esque things made for a solid read. I love a good historical aspect when it fits the plot well.

Overall audience notes:

  • Mystery + historical fiction + romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some witty/flirty banter; discussion of having relations, but no actual scenes
  • Violence: murder, fire, physical. guns; somewhat bloody/gory

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Give Off an Autumn Vibe

Whoa hey guys, it’s been awhile for Top Ten Tuesday! If I’m being honest, it’s because I wasn’t loving the topic choices and found myself struggling to come up with anything for the posts.

This one is also a struggle for me *shrugs,* so don’t take any of these to heart because this is total autumn books vibes according to Cait. But, I do think these give off some kind of aura that’s perfect for the fall!

I tagged my reviews in the title if they have been posted.

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Pretty much purely based on the cover. Though I did like this book!


The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

There’s something about witches that truly screams AUTUMN.


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I will say I feel like Circus’ give off a autumn vibe too. The dark magic, romance, and a travelling carnival. SO GOOD.


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

As hands down, my favorite movie to watch whenever I want a movie, this has to be on here. This book is so comforting, and fall is all about snuggling.


Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

I’m not sure I have a good reason for this one other than it just SPEAKS TO ME. Maybe it’s the cover, or the darkness, or the library involved in this story. Autumn is somewhere in there y’all.


Lockwood & Co. Series by Jonathan Stroud

I still need to read the last two books for this series, but this is great for fall! It’s got ghosts, mystery, and a great trio of friends.


Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

I haven’t read this…yet (waiting on my library hold!). BUT IT HAS PUMPKINS. And if that doesn’t say autumn well then I don’t know what to tell you.


The Stormlight Archive Series by Brandon Sanderson

What I really love doing during the fall? Picking up a MEGA fantasy and taking my sweet time reading it. These books? PERFECT FOR THAT.


Verity by Colleen Hoover

Need a good book for fall? Look no further than a thriller that will LEAVE YOUR MIND BLOWN. I’m still reeling from it.


Hunted by Meagan Spooner

What’s better in autumn than a retelling? Especially a Beauty and the Beast one? Hunted was a great version!

What books say autumn for you? Have you read any of these? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: One Day in December by Josie Silver

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 409 pages
Author: Josie Silver
Publisher: Broadyway Books
Expected Release Date: October 16th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

INFINITELY BETTER AS IT WENT ON.

So close.

This was another so close to DNF. I have unfortunately hit a streak of these, but luckily I am still giving them a chance! I started this as an audio book while owning a copy. I did NOT like the audio. I have no concrete reasons, couldn’t connect with the narrator, hated the MC and there was too much language for me to listen comfortably.

So I turned it off and instead tried reading the book. I read it over a month in short spans when I didn’t have to pick up my next book immediately. Did this help? YUP. Game changer.

Laurie really annoyed me at first with her inability to chill about Jack. I couldn’t handle the crazed enthusiasm to find this ONE GUY after seeing him ONE TIME. Then her continual pining for him while he was dating her best friend really bothered me.

Finally, finally. Laurie grew up a bit. Accepted the fate in her hands at present and went about her life. They all did. And from there I saw a growth in friendships, relationships, work, family, many areas! It was terribly difficult to watch the struggles, pain, and hardships that these three had to fight through. The story really blossomed and I was falling hard for Laurie, Jack, and Sarah.

By the end, the story had wrapped around my heart and held it in a tight grip as the movie-like ending rolled on the page. IT WAS SO PRECIOUS. And while cheesy was exactly what this book called for and made me hand over four stars. Why four? I personally could not handle the unnecessary use of language. It was flagrant, out of place and I didn’t like it. Also, since it took so long for me to go give this story a chance I knocked it down a bit.

If you’re like me and curious about this book, I would definitely give a try! Reese Witherspoon picked this book for a reason!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary fiction romance
  • Language: a lot of strong language
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs, love scenes (ranging from fade-to-black to mildly descriptive)
  • Violence: car wreck, physical, emotional
  • Trigger warnings: cheating (by way of kisses), cheating (emotionally attached to someone while with someone else, yes, I do count this as a form of cheating)

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Book Review

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Avoiding On My TBR and WHY

This is such a fun week! I’m excited about this topic and dove right into my TBR to find some books.

I found a list of books that I’m definitely hiding from for a myriad of reasons. Check them out below!

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

WHY – I have heard great things about this middle grade series, but it’s also a LONG series and LONG books. And I just haven’t hit the mood of wanting to read them yet. I can get them all digitally from my library though which is a huge plus.


Eidolon (Wraith Kings #2) by Grace Draven

WHY – I really loved the first book, Radiance, and thought I’d dive right into the next one but never got the chance. Now I’m afraid I’ve waited too long and won’t love it like I want to. So there it sits on my TBR.


The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

WHY – I have seen SO MANY CONFLICTING REVIEWS Y’ALL. Everything from 1 star I hated this, to 5 star this was amazing. Which is why I stare at it on my shelf and have yet to pick it up.


Princes at War by Deborah Cadbury

WHY – I am a mood reader. And I haven’t really been in the mood for a non-fiction. I picked this up for super cheap on Book Outlet and I really hope to get to this soon. It sounds interesting!


Hunting Prince Dracula & Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

WHY – I’m including these together since they’re by the same author. I have wanted to continue this series and binge the last two before Capturing the Devil came out. My library hasn’t gotten EFH yet though. And I’ve requested a few times without getting anywhere. They have the first two so I thought they would be cool with getting the third? UGH.


The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer #3) by Elizabeth May

WHY – I’m not loving this series as much as I’ve seen other people. And since I’ve been reading it through the library it’s turned into an out of sight, out of mind book. I might eventually get to it, we’ll see.


Vortex Visions (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #1) by Elise Kova

WHY – Okay, it’s no secret around here. I LOVE THE AIR AWAKENS SERIES WITH MY WHOLE BOOKISH HEART. This is the next series and is a spin-off. Oh how I want to read it. Oh how I’m frightened to meet new characters and know I will compare it to Air Awakens.


The Devil’s Thief (The Last Magician #2) by Lisa Maxwell

WHY – After super enjoying The Last Magician, I was excited to get to The Devil’s Thief. Then I saw some reviews and people seem to hate the second book?! WHY. This makes me want to pick it up, and also hide from it.


Us Against You (Beartown #2) by Fredrik Backman

WHY – I LOVED BEARTOWN. And thought I would pick up book two immediately. I spoke to a Bookstagram friend about why she DNF this one. She mentioned that it was a bit repetitive if you read it right after Beartown (they go over everything that happens in book one). So for now I’m putting this away until I can’t remember Beartown quite enough to really love this one.

What books are you hiding from on your TBR? Are any of these on your list? Lets talk in the comments! Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read That I’d Like in My Personal Library

Ohhhh this post hurts my heart.

Why?

BECAUSE I JUST WANT THESE BOOKS IN MY LIBRARY.

I am counting any books that I don’t physically own. A couple of these I have digitally or as an audio book. I really want the physical books so I can stare at the pretty covers all day.

Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

Air Awakens | Fire Falling | Earth’s End (5 stars – RTC) | Water’s Wrath (5 stars – RTC) | Crystal Crowned (5 stars – RTC)

I don’t think I will ever not shout about this series. IT’S AMAZING. AND THE COVERS ARE SO BEAUTIFUL. I only own these on my Kindle, and I desperately want them as physical books. Anyone want to do a book trade? (I am absolutely serious).


Arc of a Scythe Series by Neal Shusterman

Review for only the second book (third book will be out in November): Thunderhead

This series is INSANE and makes me worry every time I read about it. I never want a world like this, but I do love them as a book!


The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

I have reviews for the last two books: The Girl in the Tower | The Winter of the Witch

OH MY GOODNESS. Top 10 favorite all-time series. And I read it from the library. All I want are these books y’all. Seriously.


The Bone Season Series by Samantha Shannon

I know this series is far from completion, but I really enjoyed binge reading these 2 years ago. Book four is hopefully being published in 2020. YAYAY.


Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes

I only have reviews from the last two books: Crystal Storm | Immortal Reign

This was an amazing series! Lots of POV changes, ships sailing, trickery, death and tender moments. And I really love these covers.


Alexander Hamilton and Grant by Ron Chernow

Not gonna lie, the only reason I want these is proof I read two 1,000+ books in a month. These were also fantastic history books, but yes. I would love proof *shrugs*.


Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire | The Well of Ascension | The Hero of Ages

My hubs and I both loved these so much that we want them for our personal library (we listened to them through Audible). We’re slowly growing our Sanderson library.


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

I LOVED THIS ROM-COM. It was the first one that really got me onto rom-coms. I have picked up a great handful since then.


The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone | Paper and Fire | Ash and Quill | Smoke and Iron

I am so excited for the last book!! This series is a bit different than I usually go for and it’s probably the reason I’ve really enjoyed it.


The Bridge Kingdom Series by Danielle L. Jensen

MY FAVORITE BOOK. AND I DON’T PHYSICALLY OWN IT. UGH. But, I’ve listened to it twice and flippin’ think it’s fantastic. So there’s that. You should read it too.

What books do you want for your library? Are any of these already on your shelves? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆.5
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 416 pages
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: Imprint
Release Date: February 1st, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In an unforgettable love story, a woman’s impossible journey through the ages could change everything….

Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather’s stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.

The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of Dr. Thomas Smith, guardian to a young boy who is oddly familiar. Mistaken for the boy’s long-missing mother, Anne adopts her identity, convinced the woman’s disappearance is connected to her own.

As tensions rise, Thomas joins the struggle for Ireland’s independence and Anne is drawn into the conflict beside him. Caught between history and her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the life she knew for a love she never thought she’d find. But in the end, is the choice actually hers to make? 

LYRICALLY BEAUTIFUL.

Once again, I was swept away by the way Amy Harmon writes.

This book is steeped in the magic of studying family history. Harmon draws heavily from her own travels to Europe and the time period from which her great+ grandparents lived. It is so important to know and understand where we come from and WtWK convinced me (and I know that wasn’t the point) to look at my own history.

The romance is yet again so precious. How understanding is Thomas? Because you better believe I would be freaking out a lot more if “Anne” showed back up, 5 years missing from her time period, without a clue as to what happened. Their story flowed at a good pace and I was shipping them forward continually.

I was really caught up in how this book would resolve. It was unclear if everything was going to fall into place, but never fear Harmon brings things full circle leaving me completely happy with how it came together.

My only reasoning for giving it a 4.5* is that there is a lot of history put in there. Discussions about the rebellion, civil war, political meetings, etc. Yes, they helped me understand what was happening, but it was thick with this information. I felt it was taking away from the fact that this is a romance novel at it’s base.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Very little language
  • Romance: some intense make-outs and glossed over love scenes
  • Violence: guns, fire