Rane Aria

Just reading, drawing,crocheting and enjoying naps

Surrender to the Marquess by Louise Allen

Surrender to the Marquess (The Herriard Family) - Louise Allen

 It's always a treat to pick up a Louise Allen book, she weaves some of the best regency history in all her books with engaging characters and places. This book happily surprised me when I found out it was the third book in the Herriard line along with Forbidden Jewel of India & Tarnished Amongst the Ton, this time picking up with Lady Sara Herriard.

 Sara has put everything behind her to start anew in a seaside town, healing after the sudden death of her husband. Her quiet world is turned up side down when she runs into Lucian Avery, Marquess of Cannock and his sister hiding their identity for some reason. Between Lucian and Sara's word sparing, Sara finds out more of why the Marquess is hiding and also trying to fight the draw Lucian has on her.

Lucian thought a quiet seaside town would be perfect after his sister's terrible elopement. He find himself at odds with Lady Sara who brings out his sister out of her sadness and brings out of his temper. The more he finds himself thrown together with Sara the more he fights his desire for her and the more he learns he just can't fight his feelings.

 Much like the rest of her family, Sara is someone who is fighting the period of time she was born in. She doesn't come across as modern like we are now, but had beliefs and common sense that was looked down on women in that time. I loved Sara she was strong and had alot to put up with the men in her life and the code of honor she didn't agree with. The back and forth between her and Lucian that was the best part IMHO in the book as it showed the trust and the ideas of "honor". Between the two I think Sara changed the less, only grew stronger as a person and was willing to love again and risk her heart on someone that was different in views with Lucian.

 Lucian on the other hand, could be a hardheaded with his life, family and his views. He changed the most, when he put himself in Sara's shoes and looked at her from her views. This toward the end gave way to a bit of a misunderstanding that dropped my rating along with another incident. I felt after the road Lucian took with Sara he would understand her more, but it was a big step back in my view. Do I think with Sara by his side he keep going forward. Yes. Still a bit of a downer. Yup. Along with the misunderstanding I truly didn't care for the sister and her beau who always tend to get into trouble that felt like it was just there to move the story along and cause headaches for everyone.

 In the end this was the beauty of the story, no matter the trouble that comes one's way. If a couple finds common ground, understanding and love, they can work through alot together. Another wonderful keeper from Louise Allen!

 

Have You Tried These 40 Types of Pizza?

  Damn, I guess I better get on the ball!

Bad Housekeeping: An Agnes and Effie Mystery by Maia Chance

Bad Housekeeping: An Agnes and Effie Mystery - Maia Chance

 Agnes Blythe is at a all time low in her life. After supporting her professor boyfriend for years in his career he sudden dumps her for the local Pilates instructor, kicks her out of the house and is going to judge her academic paper when she returns to school. To top it off, Agnes' Great Aunt Effie has shown up into town suddenly and wants to remodel the old family inn. Then to make matters even worse Agnes also runs into the town evil busy buddy Kathleen Todd who she has an heated exchange with, only for Kathleen to wind up dead her her Aunt's fixer-upper inn!

 Now Agnes and her Aunt are murder suspects and team up to track down the clues in who really wanted Kathleen Todd out of he picture.

 

 I enjoy a fixer upper cozy mystery, with the fixer upper leading to more then what they fixer bargain for. In this case sadly, the inn was rarely showcased in the grand scheme with just a few scenes to it. The mystery was well done with Agnes and Effie tracking down a who started a rumor that lead to bigger clues and the trail of enemies Todd had.

 

 I think the weakest part of the book was the characters themselves. I never found myself liking Agnes are Effie and while I did chuckle at some of the antics, I can say I never felt they endeared themselves to me. Agnes was always going on about her weight, her ex, her new beau(?), her aunt. The "woe is me" got a bit old with her and wanted her to be stronger. This of course is the first book in the series so I wouldn't be surprised to see hopefully bigger changes in her character as the series goes on.

 

  In the end this was a nice little cozy with an big range of characters and a small town feel to pass the time with.


A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden

A Gathering of Ravens - Scott Oden

 Know as a skraelingr to the Danes, orcneas to the English and fomoraig to the Irish. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. His name is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind. Driven by an centenaries old vengeance, Grimnir takes hostage a young Christan and drags them into this blood soaked and war torn world in order to fulfilled his oath.

 

 I was very surprised when I found out Grimnir was an Orc. I've have never read a book with an Orc as an protagonist. Now don't think Grimnir is some goodie two shoes. Far from it. He's an a**hole! He does alot of questionable and doesn't think who he has to grin under his heel to get what he wants. So when he comes across as young Christan he drags them from the new world faith to the old world ways.

 

 Oden weaves an incredible tale using the mythology of Norse and many others, taking pieces from Beowolf to Balor and it works completely. It flows and makes so much sense for Grimnir backstory and his "family" line of war-thirst monsters. The story can be very violent in a violent time of the middle ages where war of clans and new faiths are fighting for dominance, the old magic giving way to the new faith of Christ words.  The balancing act of this time showed not only the change of the world but the change of Grimnir himself. In all his acts of war and violent, he does keep his word, and had a honor he follows to the bitter end but he's part of a dying breed of warriors.

  Many of the characters you meet along the way from the fae folk to the willow trees to the kings and witches. All have something to gain in this world where only the strong-will survive and each come with a big personality. None such as Grimnir "companion" who starts off as a hostage and later bears witness to the change of times at his side. In the end both Grimnir and the young Christan grew to really respect the other with a tale that reaches long after them both.

 

 Placed in the age of change and violence and rich with history, Oden created an world with the last Orc and warriors of old and the birth of the new in a truly amazing tale.

 

 

 

Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullet

Single Malt Murder: A Whisky Business Mystery - Melinda Mullet

 When Abigail Logan's Uncle Ben dies and leaves her a whiskey distillery, the world traveled photographer is at a lost in what to do with a whiskey distillery?! With her best friend and whiskey expert Patrick and her wheaten terrier Liam in tow. She goes to see what her Uncle Ben's life was like in the small Scottish Highlands village and this old distillery. Even before she can set eyes on the place, she starts getting odd and strange threats. Thinking it was just a bit of misogyny on a woman running a whiskey distillery, that thought is blow outta the water when a dead body of an employee is found dead in one of the vat. Now Abi is trying to find out who is trying to close down the distillery and untangle everyone's hidden motives..

 

 Finding a new cozy mystery series that catches you right at the start is like finding a new favorite dish or drink? I was quickly wrapped up in the world Melinda Mullet created in Single Malt Muder.

 

 I enjoyed the cast of characters, in Abi you have someone whose witness and seen much through the lens of her camera. This gives her an different perspective with people and places. This is a huge strength that helps her with all the clues thrown her way. Abi is in no way some perfect person. She can be hard-headed and a bit blind to those around her. Much like her Uncle Ben and his love for the distillery, something she has to overcome in her jealousy of her only family member, and see how much Ben wanted her to be a part of. The rest of the cast of characters are slowly touch upon but nothing to concrete which I think is an opening for the rest of the series.


Abi does have a future suitor in the work (maybe) and I did like the interaction between the two that starts off pretty rocky and ends up with a great understanding of one another and a little bit more?

 

 I enjoyed the mystery of the story, when you think it was going one way, the clues would point another direction and while I had my suspicion on who was behind it, I was still surprised when it all came together in the end.
 Along with the distillery, the village is very rich with characters and even more places to explore, I can't wait to see more from this series!

 

Reading progress update: I've read 4%.

A Gathering of Ravens - Scott Oden

Hmm this is new! A Orc as the protagonist...

 

 

Gardenia by Kelsey Sutton

Gardenia - Kelsey Sutton

 With the recent murder of her best friend, Ivy clock is ticking down. Since she was a child, Ivy could see the time of someone's life pass with a clock above their heads. Now her own time is running out the closer she looks for the killer on the loose. One who maybe closer then she thinks...

 

 Gardenia at times pulls me one way then another. The setting of the story takes place in a small town, the thing was it could have been any town. Which perhaps the author was going for, as this killer could attack anywhere. I just wish there was more descriptions to make it a solid little town, and true time and place. This was the trouble I had with the story- I wanted more.

 I felt for Ivy and really truly understood where she was coming from. Her seeing her own time slipping away, she tries to help those around her from the small to big things. Sadly, the rest of the cast didn't shine so bright and was only there to move the story along or just be a stumbling block in her path.

 

 The mystery aspect of the book was the best, but it took sometime for the pace to really pick up. Then again the trouble was Ivy stumbling after this serial killer with vague clues and the major clue smacked her and the reader in the face. Which surprised me greatly in a good way and made alot of sense, this though felt somewhat rushed toward a conclusion.

 In the end this turned out to be a good book with a good suspense plot.


 

 

Happy Spring

 

 

 

 

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

A Crown of Wishes - Roshani Chokshi

  Everyone has that book they come across and fall hard for. That book that stays on the keeper shelf to be taken down time and again to re-visit the world the author has created. In 2016 The Star Touched Queen was the book for me. I read and re-read the book captured by the author's words and world building and how it came alive right in front of my eyes.

 

  So when A Crown of Wishes was announced I was elated but also reserved, something that comes with every sequel of an amazing book. What the Star Touched Queen had in it's weak points, A Crown of Wishes had none. Everything was perfect! The world building again just shines so bright with each word just blossoming with one amazing description after another. And while this maybe called a sequel of some sorts it can and does stand alone with the world and one of characters being the only connection.

 

  The characters of Gauri, the princess of Bharat,sister of Maya from The Star Touched Queen and Vikram the Fox Prince have so many facets that by the end you truly knew how they changed and grew from just the first few pages. From their distrust of one another to friendship and finally to love for each another. Their developing relationship made the book just that more enjoyable and deep, along with their banter. Again it just went to show you that loving someone can change your world and open your eyes to other things you may have missed or passed by. Gauri was so use to war and Vikram was use to playing the politic game. The both have to overcome so much relying on each other and themselves. The Tournament of Wishes they compete in was something completely different from we known in this genre of books.

 

 Unlike other Tournaments or “Games” danger and strife was not Gauri and Vikram's sole companions. This was tournament of discovery of one self, that in itself is an adventure that can damage or heal wounds. But it's a discovery nevertheless, a discovery and some hard lessons that Gauri and Vikram grew from. They were able to understand and see things they may have not been able to before. Growing up to be stronger individuals and even stronger together.

 

A Crown of Wishes is another stunning book with a world I can't wait to re-visit time and again that leaves me with complete joy in my reader's heart.

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

A Crown of Wishes - Roshani Chokshi

Absolutely beautiful! Just had to re-read it again and maybe another few re-reads in the future...:D

Reading progress update: I've read 10%.

A Crown of Wishes - Roshani Chokshi

 Just loving this, so so good!

 Also stopped being lazy and made myself a new badge for NetGalley ARCS

 

Dying Breath - Heather Graham

Dying Breath: A Paranormal Romance Novel (Krewe of Hunters) - Heather Graham

When Vicki and the baby she is caring for Noah are almost killed by a madman, this triggers an ability in her to see the ghosts of the once living. Years later Vicki is once again pulled into a murder and kidnapping case when her named is mention in baffling clues.
This case reunites her with the cop who saved her and baby Noah all those years ago now a Special Agent- Griffin Price who works with the group called the Krewe of Hunters, paranormal agents. As the clues keep adding up along with missing women, friends and family of Vicki are pulled into the maelstrom of this killer calling themselves the Undertaker. Griffin and Vicki with the help of their ghost companions have to figure out the clues and stop the Undertaker before they strikes again.

I found myself enjoying the mystery and the history of clues that intertwined deeply with the city of Boston. I was fascinated with the places and the people.
What I wasn't to keen on was the odd bits of dialogue from the characters. Perhaps it was due to the formatting (which I worked with on my laptop, tablet and kindle just in case) but it felt very choppy and odd with alot of unneeded examination marks!! The characters of Griffin and Vicki were okay but I didn't feel their romance and would have been okay if they were just partners in this case with a slow burn between them. Much of the rest of the characters were pretty much just there to move the plot along.

 

 

I was very surprised in the outcome of the case and loved the suspense toward the end of the book and who was behind the Undertaker.
With this being the #21 book of the series, it was so easy to get into the book without having to read the rest of the series which I plan to check out.

In the end I really enjoyed the story and loved the history of Boston, but felt the characters just needed a bit more time to blossom.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 34%.

Dying Breath: A Paranormal Romance Novel (Krewe of Hunters) - Heather Graham

Dunno,if it's the formatting or just the writing but, the way some of the characters speak just throws me off. Some speak like their tweens when they're adults. The plot is good though.

 

   Thank you everyone for their hugs and support for my Smokey the cat and myself.

 

Yesterday, my beautiful old man crossed the Rainbow Bridge surrounded by his family. He lived a long happy 18 years. I will forever be grateful for the vet staff who took such great cared of him- rooting for him and also mourned along with me. I'm also so blessed for my family along with Mia (my doggie), 

 

 

                           Thank you Smokey for all the joy you gave me

   

                                   

 

How Lucky Am I to Have Something That Makes Saying Goodbye so Hard- Winnie the Pooh

Going away for awhile...

  Life has given me a kick in the heart. 

 

  My best friend and beloved cat of 15 years collapsed. He's in the hospital under great care from a loving doctor and staff with round the clock care. We don't yet know what's wrong, but we can only hope and pray. I can barley even concentrate on anything or even write this from wanting to cry or bringing on a panic attack. So am walking away from the net for a time and wait and see and hope and pray. Take Care everyone

 

  *hugs* 

 

  

 

Romance Bingo 2017 - Bingo Blackout

 

 

                           

 

25.Savage Thunder by Johanna Lindsey

24.Rouge: Rogue's Honor by Brenda Hiatt 

23.Fairy Tale Retelling:The Frog Prince by Jenni James

22."Headless" Woman:The Marquess' Temptation by Jessie Bennett

21: Man in a Kilt: The MacKinnon's Bride by Tanya Anne Crosby
20.Love is Murder:His Desire by Sheila Kell
19.Twins: Borrowed Stilettos by Rebecca J. Clark
18.Interracial Couple: The Princess, The Pea and the Night of Passion by Rosetta Bloom
17.TSTL:The Wedding Duel by Katy Madison
16.Wedding Bells: Confessions of a Wedding Planner by Michelle Jo Quinn
15,Girl/Guy Next Door:Sweet Girl by Cristin Harber
14.Pirates:Heart of Fragile Stars by Cynthia Wright
13. Key to my Heart: Rowena's Key by: A.J. Nuest
12. Young Adult: Home is Where the Heartbreak is by: Tess Oliver
11.Second Chances: Then Came You by Wendy Lindstrom
10. Urban Fantasy: The Alpha's Bed by Michelle Fox
9.New Adult: Wander and Roam by Anna Kyss

8. Secret Billionaire: Dirty Billionaire by Meghan March

7.Insta-Love: The Mill Owner's Son by by Lillian White
6.Gothic Romance:The Property of a Gentleman by: Catherine Gaskin
5.Free Square:Lord Rivington's Lady by Elieen Jackson
4.Historical Romance: Georgina by Clare Darcy
3.Best First Time: The Devil Earl by Deborah Simmons
2.Blown Away: Regina by Clare Darcy
1.Regency Romance: Red Rose by Mary Balogh

 

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