In My Mailbox (63)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.


for review:

 "Beneath a Starlet Sky" by Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Khalighi Hopper



 "Ripe for Pleasure" by Isobell Carr

  expect a contest for this one soon!

"Nowhere Near Respectable" by Mary Jo Putney


 "Noah Barleywater Runs Away" by John Boyne

 from the author of "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas"

"Dark Descendant" by Jenna Black


 

contest wins:
"Warped" by Maurissa Guibard

won from Alexis at Reflections of a Bookaholic
"Claude and Camille" by Stephanie Cowell

won from Darlene at Peeking Between the Pages 
"Pretty Neat" by Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch
 
  
"What Would Mr. Darcy Do?" by Abigail Reynolds

won from Blodeuedd at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

What did you receive in your mailbox this week???

"Dark Descendant" Mini-Review

"Dark Descendant"
by Jenna Black

Publisher: Pocket
Release Date: April 26, 2011

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:


From the acclaimed author of the Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist books comes the gripping first novel in a new series about a private eye who discovers, to her surprise, that she’s an immortal huntress.
Nikki Glass can track down any man. But when her latest client turns out to be a true descendant of Hades, Nikki now discovers she can’t die. . . . Crazy as it sounds, Nikki’s manhunting skills are literally god-given. She’s a living, breathing descendant of Artemis who has stepped right into a trap set by the children of the gods. Nikki’s new “friends” include a descendant of Eros, who uses sex as a weapon; a descendant of Loki, whose tricks are no laughing matter; and a half-mad descendant of Kali who thinks she’s a spy. But most powerful of all are the Olympians, a rival clan of immortals seeking to destroy all Descendants who refuse to bow down to them. In the eternal battle of good god/bad god, Nikki would make a divine weapon. But if they think she’ll surrender without a fight, the gods must be crazy....

My Mini-Review: 

While I think fans of Urban Fantasy will enjoy this book, it was too dark for my tastes. I liked the idea of the characters being descendants of mythical gods. The gods were from the mythologies of different cultures, some well known, some lesser known. Even with this great starting point, the violence and cursing turned me off of this story. I suppose those aspects appeal to readers of the genre though because it seems to be common in Urban Fantasy books. I like the tone and voice in my reads to be a little softer and gentler, not so aggressive and in-your-face. I think I would like to try one of the author's YA fantasy books, because the grittiness might be toned down.


Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5 

Setting: 4/5
Romance: 2/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 3/5


 

Bottom Line:I would recommend this book to Urban Fantasy readers because of the twist on the mythological characters, but this book didn't quite fit my tastes.

Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop April 29

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!












 
 




If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

"Sweet Valley Confidential" Review

"Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later"
by Francine Pascal

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: Mar 29, 2011

Source: sent by publicist

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Now with this striking new adult novel from author and creator Francine Pascal, millions of devoted fans can finally return to the idyllic Sweet Valley, home of the phenomenally successful book series and franchise. Iconic and beloved identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are back and all grown up, dealing with the complicated adult world of love, careers, betrayal, and sisterhood. 


My Review: 


I didn't think this book was as awful as the other reviews are making it out to be. However, the author makes really bold choices about her beloved characters, and some of the choices are bound to make long time fans angry. While the book isn't rocket science, it's the equivalent of a juicy soap opera. Lots of fluff, and all the drama you need for a relaxing afternoon read.


It's hard to say that the Wakefield twins have "grown up" but it is ten years later. Elizabeth and Jessica are still caught up in the same type of fluffy, selfish story lines we saw them in during high school. Now the residents of Sweet Valley are cheating on spouses instead of boyfriends and girlfriends. Jessica is still wildly selfish and Elizabeth is still a goody two shoes martyr. As the book itself says "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose," which means "The more things change, the more they stay the same."


I always had a soft spot for Bruce Patman, and he comes out as the 'most changed for the better' from Sweet Valley High. Lila Fowler fans, she barely makes an appearance, much to my dismay. As for the other characters, I won't give any spoilers, but I can see how huge fans of the series who remember every detail from the books would be disappointed and saddened by the direction of some of the characters (cough...Todd...cough).  


I didn't care for the New York storyline at all. Elizabeth had moved to NYC, and all of the events and characters from that part of the story seemed so irrelevant to the soapy drama happening in Sweet Valley. Readers want to know about their old favorites not disposable new characters. 


Another part of the book that I didn't like was the style of font for the flashback scenes. It literally made my eyes hurt. I don't think it was a proper font for reading such long passages.



Main Characters: 2/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5 

Setting: 4/5
Romance: 2/5

Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 3/5


 

Bottom Line: An angsty, drama-filled visit back to Sweet Valley. The author made bold choices for her beloved characters that may or may not please hard-core fans.

Waiting on Wednesday (64)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"Between the Sea and Sky"
by Jaclyn Dolamore
Bloomsbury
Release Date: Oct 25, 2011



The following description is from goodreads.com:
 
For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

Oooh, another book about mermaids!! I love it! The cover is so gorgeous too! Can't wait to read this one.

What are you waiting for this week???

Winners Announced!! Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop!

Winner Announced!!
 
Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by and entered the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza  giveaway here at In the Hammock!

 
The winner of the "Falling Under" ARC is:
 
 
loveangel132
 
Winner was chosen via random.org random number generator. Congrats to the winner!! I have emailed the winner for her mailing address. Winner has 3 days to respond :) A huge thank you goes out to  everyone who entered!! Congrats!!
 

Teaser Tuesday (32)

Yay for "Teaser Tuesday" from MizB of Should be Reading!!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!  







My teaser Tuesday pick:


" He had a way of blending in, being unseen. It was part of what made him successful. That and the ruthlessness. "




p 5 "Defiant" by Kris Kennedy

Georgette Heyer Grab Bag Giveaway!

To celebrate the Royal Giveaways on The British Babes Book Brigade Facebook Page, Sourcebooks is offering a mystery Georgette Heyer romance to TWO readers of my blog!




Check out my post about the Royal Giveaways here, and comment on THIS post with your email for a chance to win one of two mystery Georgette Heyer books.


There will be two winners, the book you win will be a surprise!


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Sourcebooks has generously provided two surprise Georgette Heyer books for readers of my blog! There will be two winners, the book will be a surprise!

All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this post with your email address! Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy
 
Extra Entries:
+1 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
+1 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)

Rules:
  • US only
  • No PO Boxes please
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Books will be mailed out by Sourcebooks
  • Ends Monday May 2
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

In My Mailbox (62)


Happy Easter, everyone!!
 
In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.
 
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter!!


for review:

"Tempest Rising" by Tracy Deebs


 It doesn't get much better than a book about mermaids!

"The A-Circuit" by Georgina Bloomberg & Catherine Hapka


Do I have a soft spot for horses or what?? This looks great!

"Scandalous Women" by Elizabeth Kerri Mahon


Truth is stranger than fiction!

"Just One Season in London" by Leigh Michaels


Sometimes Regency short stories are just what you need!

"In the Heat of the Bite" by Lydia Dare


This author's titles are a hoot!! The stories are really cute too, although the covers don't look very historical.

"What Alice Forgot" by Lianne Moriarty

 
This isn't my usual style, but the premise just looks too interesting to pass up!

What did you receive in your mailbox this week??

Royal Giveaways on Sourcebooks' British Babes Book Brigade Facebook Page!


Royal Giveaways on Sourcebooks' "British Babes Book Brigade Facebook Page!"


I don't know about you, but I am totally caught up in the Royal Wedding craze!! I can't believe it's next week!!

Here's how Sourcebooks' British Babes Book Brigade is celebrating the Royal Wedding:   

from Sourcebooks:
"The royal wedding is only a week away and we are going to be celebrating all next week. Starting Monday we will be doing a giveaway every day until the big celebration on Friday. But these are no ordinary giveaways – these are royal wedding prize packs!

3 winners will be randomly picked each day:

- The 1st place winner will get a William & Kate wedding memento (it is top secret for now (just like Kate’s dress J) but check the page out on Monday to find out – oh and they are all different so there will be a different memento each day).  Along with that they also get their choice of three books from any of our British Book Babes. 

- The 2nd  place winner will have their choice of any two books from any of our British Book Babes.

- The 3rd  place winner will have their choice of one book from any of our British Book Babes"

Stop by and check out the British Babes Book Brigade on Facebook and enter the contest today!!

Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop April 22

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!








 
 

My Answer: I definitely hunt down other books by an author that I like!!

While you're here, why not check out the contests I have running this week!

Waiting on Wednesday (63)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"Across the Great Barrier"
by Patricia C. Wrede
Scholastic
Release Date: Aug 1, 2011



The following description is from goodreads.com:



From New York Times #1 bestselling author Patricia C. Wrede, the second in the series of magic on the western frontier.
Eff is an unlucky thirteenth child - her twin brother, Lan, is a powerful seventh son of a seventh son. And yet, Eff is the one who saved the day for the settlements west of the Great Barrier. Her unique ways of doing magic and seeing the world, and her fascination with the magical creatures and land in the Great Plains push Eff to work toward joining an expedition heading west. But things are changing on the frontier.
There are new professors of magic for Eff and Lan to learn to work with. There's tension between William and his father. And there are new threats on the frontier and at home. To help, Eff must travel beyond the Barrier, and come to terms with her magical abilities—and those of her brother, to stop the newest threat encroaching on the settlers.
With wit, magic, and a touch of good pioneer sense, Patricia C. Wrede weaves a fantastic tale of the very wild west.



I love all of this author's books that I've read. Can't wait for this one to be released!

What are you waiting for this week???


While you're here, why not enter the contests I have running this week??
 
 
 
 
 

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway!!

Welcome to my stop on the "Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop" hosted by Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Once Upon a Twilight!


Here at In the Hammock Blog, I'm giving away an
ARC of "Falling Under" by Gwen Hayes!!



I'm passing my copy of the ARC on to one of my readers! 

GIVEAWAY RULES:

The winner will receive an ARC of "Falling Under" by Gwen Hayes


All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this post with your email address!
Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy.
 
There are no extra entries for this one, I know you all are wanting to get to each giveaway quickly! All you have to do is be a GFC follower!

Rules:





  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Books will be mailed out by me 
  • Ends Mon April 25 at midnight
  • Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

    Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop!

    Giveaway and Review: "Never a Gentleman"

    As part of the "Never a Gentleman" blog tour, I have my review and a giveaway of 3 copies of the book, sponsored by Hachette!

    "Never a Gentleman"
     by Eileen Dreyer

    Publisher: Forever
    Release Date: April 1, 2011

    Source: sent by publisher

    My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
     
    Summary from goodreads.com:
    HE HIDES HIS TRUE COLORS . . . Miss Grace Fairchild is under no illusions about her charms. Painfully plain, she is a soldier's daughter who has spent her life being useful, not learning the treacherous ways of the ton. She may have been caught in a scandal with society's favorite rogue, but how can she marry him when it means losing herself?
    WHILE SHE HIDES HER TRUE SELF . . .
    Diccan Hilliard doesn't know which of his enemies drugged him and dumped him in Grace's bed, but he does know the outcome. He and Grace must marry. To his surprise, a wild, heady passion flares between them. Yet Diccan is trapped in a deadly game of intrigue Grace knows nothing about. Will his lies destroy Grace just as he realizes how desperately he needs her? And how can he hope for a future with her, when an old enemy has set his murderous sights on them both?

     
    My Review: 

    It really bothers me to give this book such a low rating, but this kind of book isn't my style. I've seen many fantastic reviews of this book, I think it's one of those books that you either absolutely love or hate. Possibly the problem for me was that it was packaged as a mainstream historical romance. When I pick up a book like this, I want to read about two characters who love and respect each other. I also don't want to worry about disturbing bedroom scenes. This book broke both of those rules.

    (slight spoiler ahead)

    I read Dreyer's previous book, "Barely a Lady" and there was a red flag for me in that book because the hero gushed about romantic feelings towards his mistress. But I liked her dramatic writing style, so I decided to give this book a chance. But this book takes the mistress storyline to whole new level.

    I was trying to give the mistress storyline a chance because I knew Diccan was being blackmailed into it. But then "the scene" happened, followed by how readily and eagerly Grace accepted it. When the characters have lost respect for themselves, then I lose respect for the story. I pretty much checked out of the book at that point. It was so far from anything I would want to read.

    (end spoiler)

    Grace was such a sad character with no self esteem, and she didn't make progress towards building her self worth. I have no problems with characters who are at a bad place in their lives or who have low self esteem, but they gain more self worth as the story goes on. These stories are inspiring to me. But Grace was painful to read about. For instance, in one scene, all Diccan did was enter the room and look at her. The thoughts that went through her head were along the lines of 'why does he hate me?' 'I can tell he hates my dress' and 'He thinks I'm so ugly.' (these are not exact quotes, they are what I remember). She got all of this from one look. I would sure hate to live inside her mind. How she reacts to "the scene" only reinforces how little she loves herself, and I hate to see women having to read about this. As a woman, I want to read about women being strong, or learning to be strong, and not blindly 'putting up with' and embracing a man who treats them terribly.


    Main Characters: 1/5
    Supporting Characters: 3/5

    Setting: 3/5

    Romance: 1/5

    Uniqueness: 4/5
    Cover: 5/5
    Writing: 3/5



    Bottom Line: I hate giving negative reviews, but that's how strongly I felt about this book. I have seen fantastic reviews of this, so I know some people are loving it, and I'm glad they are able to see it from a different place than I can. I just have a problem with the lack of love and respect that the characters have for each other and for themselves, as well as the poor attitude towards women.




    GIVEAWAY RULES:

    Hachette books has generously provided three copies of this historical romance for readers of my blog!

    All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this review with your email address! Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy
    Extra Entries:
    +1 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
    +1 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)

    Rules:
    • US and Canada only
    • No PO Boxes please
    • Must be a follower to enter
    • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
    • Leave a comment with your email address
    • Books will be mailed out by Hachette
    • Must be 18 or over 
    • Ends Tues May 3
    Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

    Teaser Tuesday (31)


    Yay for "Teaser Tuesday" from MizB of Should be Reading!!

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:



    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 


    My teaser Tuesday pick:


    " And when I open the door and slide in, it's more than strange: it's weird. I've been in his car hundreds of times but always in the backseat.  The front seat is Elizabeth's place, but now here I am. "




    p 54 "Sweet Valley Confidential" by Francine Pascal

    "The Lightkeeper's Ball" Review

    "The Lightkeeper's Ball"
    by Colleen Coble

    Publisher: Thomas Nelson
    Release Date: April 19, 2011

    Source: sent by publisher

    My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    Summary from goodreads.com:


    Olivia seems to have it all, but her heart yearns for more.
    Olivia Stewart's family is one of the Four Hundred-the highest echelon of society in 1910. When her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, Olivia leaves their New York City home for Mercy Falls, California, to determine what befell Eleanor. She suspects Harrison Bennett, the man Eleanor planned to marry. But the more Olivia gets to know him, the more she doubts his guilt-and the more she is drawn to him herself.
    When several attempts are made on her life, Olivia turns to Harrison for help. He takes her on a ride in his aeroplane, but then crashes, and they're forced to spend two days alone together. With her reputation hanging by a thread, Harrison offers to marry her to make the situation right. As a charity ball to rebuild the Mercy Falls lighthouse draws near, she realizes she wants more than a sham engagement-she wants Harrison in her life forever. But her enemy plans to shatter the happiness she is ready to grasp. If Olivia dares to drop her masquerade, she just might see the path to true happiness. 

    My Review:

    This historical Christian romance had a little bit of everything, and I loved it all! I will admit, the book started out a little slow for me. I thought it was going to be a typical run of the mill Christian romance. I was even a little confused by the two characters named Mr. Bennett. But I encourage you not to quit reading if you're feeling the same way. This book turns into a quick-paced, modern-thinking mystery and romance.

    My favorite thing about the book was the positive message about women's roles. I enjoy Christian fiction, but sometimes I feel like they look at women in an old fashioned way, which is so far from the way I feel that it discourages me from reading a lot of books in the genre. But this book took a very forward and modern view on women's roles, and their value and worth. Harrison was especially encouraging of Olivia taking charge of her life and breaking out of society's rules for women. Harrison respects Olivia as a woman and a partner, and even more importantly, Olivia respects herself as a woman.

    I also liked that the author doesn't shy away from the passionate side of Harrison and Olivia's feelings for each other. These feelings are discussed in a respectful and realistic way, not glossed over or ignored like some books in the genre do.

    I appreciate that Harrison had a large role in the book, the story wasn't skewed towards Olivia's point of view. The mystery definitely kept me on my toes, and never overshadowed the romance or the personal stories in the book.


    Main Characters: 5/5
    Supporting Characters: 4/5 

    Setting: 4/5
    Romance: 4/5

    Uniqueness: 4/5
    Cover: 4/5
    Writing: 4/5


     

    Bottom Line:A lot of people have raved about the cover of this book, but in my opinion, the story is even better than the gorgeous cover.

    In My Mailbox (61)

    In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.
     
    It's been a while since I've posted my IMM because of Spring Break! I'd like to call this post "So many books, so little time!"


    for review:


    "Sweet Valley Confidential" by Francine Pascal


     It's finally arrived!! I've been waiting forever for this to be released! I'm a SVH addict! Yay!!


    "The Guardian" by Margaret Mallory


    Her previous book, "Knight of Passion", was so awesome!

    "A Heart Most Worthy" by Siri Mitchell


    I loved her previous book, "She Walks in Beauty"!



    "Clarity" by Kim Harrison



    "Only Mr. Darcy Will Do" by Kara Louise




    What's in your mailbox this week???



    Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop April 15

    Happy Friday, Everyone!!

    It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!








    My Answer: Yes!!! I'm lucky! My mom, both of my grandmas, and my bff all read!! Yay me!!!




     
     
    Answer: Athena in "Athena the Wise" is still learning how to be 'wise.'  Nobody's perfect, not even goddesses! Life is all about learning, and that applies not just to kids but adults too!





    If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

    Review and Giveaway! "Goddess Girls: Athena the Wise"

    Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams have generously provided an awesome Athena the Wise Swag Bag and a copy of the book for one lucky reader of my blog! See contest info after the review!

    "Athena the Wise" (Goddess Girls #5)

    by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

    Publisher: Aladdin
    Release Date: April 5, 2010
    Source: sent by author

    My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Summary from goodreads.com:

    Join the class at Mount Olympus Academy with this new series that puts a modern spin on classic Greek myths!
    Athena the Wise (April 2011): Zeus says Heracles has to do 12 tasks or get kicked out of MOA. Athena's not sure it's wise, but she agrees to help out.  

    My Review: 

    The Goddess Girls series is one of my favorites, and "Athena the Wise" is an especially sweet installment! As a romance fan, I love the cute romance blooming between Athena and Heracles. I also love Athena's relationship with her so embarrassing dad, Zeus. 


    As with the previous Goddess Girls books, there's a subtle but important message woven throughout the story. The book takes a look a the varying shades of right and wrong. It also explores anger and revenge. The authors are never preachy but instead ask the reader how far is too far when it comes to revenge and retribution.


    Readers of the series get to revisit all of our old friends from Mount Olympus Academy, including the animal companions. Athena's relationship with her dad, Zeus, the principal at MOA, was first explored in the first book in the series, and I loved the way it was developed here. You can tell he just embarrasses her so much in all the classic ways that parents can embarrass their kids. But she loves him so much no matter how embarrassing he gets. 


    Heracles is a great mortal hero. His list of 12 labors that he must accomplish are pretty impressive for a 12-ish year old! I love that Heracles is a great guy but he's not perfect. Instead of fighting or arguing though, Athena and Heracles talk it out to understand their differences and learn about each other. 


    The romance in this book is oh-so-sweet! I couldn't help but get a serious case of the warm fuzzies when I finished the book. The romance will keep the most boy crazy goddessgirl interested while still being completely age appropriate.


    Main Characters: 5/5
    Supporting Characters: 5/5

    Setting: 5/5

    Romance: 5/5 (love it)

    Uniqueness: 5/5
    Cover: 5/5 (LOVE all the covers!!)
    Writing: 5/5




    Bottom Line: Another wonderful book in the Goddess Girls series, "Athena the Wise" is not to be missed!


    Check out my reviews for the first four books in the series:


    More info on the series at: http://www.joanholub.blogspot.com/

    GIVEAWAY RULES:
    Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams are generously providing one lucky reader an Athena the Wise Swag Bag!! The swag bag was carefully put together by the authors and includes:

    * GODDESSGIRLS bead necklaces made by Joan and Suzanne.
    Strung on colorful stretchy cord, they can be shortened into bracelets. (Beads & cord packages purchased at Michaels say they're not for under age 14. Actual colors will vary.)
    * Plush lion (Heracles comes up against a fierce lion in the book!)
    * Athena the Wise book signed by Joan and Suzanne
    * Bookmark featuring six Goddess Girls books

    All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this review with your email address!Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy.

    Extra Entries:

    • +1 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
    • +1 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)

    Rules:
    • US only
    • Must be a follower to enter
    • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
    • Leave a comment with your email address
    • Ends Sunday May 1
    Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

    "Exit the Actress" Review

    "Exit the Actress"
    by Priya Parmar

    Publisher: Touchstone
    Release Date: Feb 1, 2011

    Source: sent by publisher

    My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    Summary from goodreads.com:

    While selling oranges in the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, sweet and sprightly Ellen "Nell" Gwyn impresses the theater’s proprietors with a wit and sparkle that belie her youth and poverty. She quickly earns a place in the company, narrowly avoiding the life of prostitution to which her sister has already succumbed. As her roles evolve from supporting to starring, the scope of her life broadens as well. Soon Ellen is dressed in the finest fashions, charming the theatrical, literary, and royal luminaries of Restoration England. Ellen grows up on the stage, experiencing first love and heartbreak and eventually becoming the mistress of Charles II. Despite his reputation as a libertine, Ellen wholly captures his heart—and he hers—but even the most powerful love isn’t enough to stave off the gossip and bitter court politics that accompany a royal romance. Telling the story through a collection of vibrant seventeenth-century voices ranging from Ellen’s diary to playbills, letters, gossip columns, and home remedies, Priya Parmar brings to life the story of an endearing and delightful heroine.

    My Review:

    I've been very intrigued by Nell Gwynne for some time and this book was a really enjoyable read about her life. The "cast" is full of colorful characters. It's difficult sometimes so read books and watch movies about historical figures because each author puts their own spin on their personality. I really liked Parmar's vision of Nell/Ellen, I thought she treated her with dignity and respect, in spite of her being most famous for being a mistress.


    I thought the journal format would be awkward at first, but I found it made the book move really quickly. I loved the "Ambrose Rose" articles (even though I was wrong about his identity!) but I found the letters often unnecessary. I liked that they tied King Charles into the story from the beginning, but they seemed irrelevant to me.


    What I liked best about this book is that it made me think, both about Ellen, and myself. It made me want to research even more about Ellen and her contemporaries, and see for myself what's fact and what's fiction. It also made me think about what I would have done in her shoes. I don't agree with some of her choices, so it's interesting to think about what I would have done differently.


    I have such a soft spot for Charles Hart, Ellen's first lover. I felt like Ellen was pretty hard on him and he was so good to her and her family as well. Sure, he was sulky and jealous, but who wouldn't be when they knew their lover didn't love them anymore? One of the kickers for me was when Hart was taking Ellen and her family to his country house to escape the plague. People were beating on the windows begging to go with them, but Hart wouldn't let them add another person because of the danger of being infected. Ellen knew she and her family would be out there begging if not for Hart. I feel like this was supposed to make Hart look mean but really wasn't he just protecting them from the disease wiping out most of London? Ellen had a way of not appreciating what she had. She also mooned about later in the story saying she wanted only one man who would love her. But I feel like she didn't want that when she had it with Hart. 


    The supporting cast was great in this book, especially Teddy. At first I thought he was going to be written as some kind of caricature of a man who was famous for playing women onstage. But I quickly realized Teddy wasn't a caricature or a mockery at all, but a sweet, caring friend to Ellen, who was always there when she needed him.


    Main Characters: 4/5
    Supporting Characters: 5/5 

    Setting: 5/5
    Romance: 3/5

    Uniqueness: 4/5
    Cover: 4/5
    Writing: 5/5


     

    Bottom Line: This is a very enjoyable book. the characters come to life and are lovingly written. And most importantly, it makes you think.

    Waiting on Wednesday (62)

    Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

    This week I chose:

    "Sweetly"
    by Jackson Pearce
    Little, Brown
    Release Date: Aug 23, 2011


    The following description is from goodreads.com:

    SWEETLY is a modernization of Hansel and Gretel and a companion book to SISTERS RED.

    Twelve years ago, Gretchen, her twin sister, and her brother went looking for a witch in the forest. They found something. Maybe it was a witch, maybe a monster, they aren’t sure—they were running too fast to tell. Either way, Gretchen’s twin sister was never seen again.

    Years later, after being thrown out of their house, Gretchen and Ansel find themselves in Live Oak, South Carolina, a place on the verge of becoming a ghost town. They move in with Sophia Kelly, a young and beautiful chocolatier owner who opens not only her home, but her heart to Gretchen and Ansel.

    Yet the witch isn’t gone—it’s here, lurking in the forests of Live Oak, preying on Live Oak girls every year after Sophia Kelly’s infamous chocolate festival. But Gretchen is determined to stop running from witches in the forest, and start fighting back. Alongside Samuel Reynolds, a boy as quick with a gun as he is a sarcastic remark, Gretchen digs deeper into the mystery of not only what the witch is, but how it chooses its victims. Yet the further she investigates, the more she finds herself wondering who the real monster is, and if love can be as deadly as it is beautiful.

    You know I love retellings, and "Hansel and Gretel" is one of my faves! That cover is fierce, I gotta say!! If you haven't noticed the witch's face, take a second look!

    What are you waiting for this week??

    Teaser Tuesday (30)

    Yay for "Teaser Tuesday" from MizB of Should be Reading!!

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:




    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 


    My teaser Tuesday pick:


    " What did she say to that? She could hardly express how much she admired him for that simple thing.  "




    p 93 "The Lightkeeper's Ball" by Colleen Coble

    Free Ebooks Available Now for Kindle and Nook!

    Spring Break is over :( Time to stock up on some free ebooks!
    These ebooks are available for free for Kindle and Nook for a limited time!! Grab them before they're gone!

    "A Cottage by the Sea" Ciji Ware


     (update: no longer free)
    Kindle

    "Delivered with Love" by Sherry Kyle

    not avail for Nook

    "50 Ways to Hex Your Lover" by Linda Wisdom

     (update: no longer free)
    Kindle


    "Thicker than Blood" by C.J. Darlington


    Happy Reading!!


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