Uncategorized · Reviews · Books

Review: Nora Roberts, The Obsession *****


  I recently read one of the Queen, Nora Roberts, recent publications, The Obsession. It is difficult to say you are up to date with Ms.Roberts as she seems to constantly have a new publication out, between her various series and pseudonyms, the woman is a machine. While I have been a long term fan of Roberts books, I admittedly mostly only read her romantic suspense stories as my personal preference is to have some drama in my romance, and I’m not great at reading a purely romance novel.
This novel is honestly my favourite of her publications to date. And while I don’t think it’s perfect, the plot hit so many of my catnips (a term I have learned recently from the Smart Bitches Podcast) and made it such a hard book to follow up. I couldn’t finish a book for a while afterwards and had to move genres to recover from the greatness of this book.

Blurb 

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton. 

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away
Genre

So to outline, this book is a romantic suspense, a mystery/horror and crime novel. Personally, I would recommend this story for people who like some romance with their suspense/crime rather than someone who needs a lot of romance in their books. As it is a very crime, mystery, suspense heavy book (can you tell I’m struggling to define the genre).  I’ll leave it at romantic suspense, as my mother read this book after me and she equally loved it despite being much more of a pure romance reader.

Review

  So like I said I loved this book! So let me break down some of the ways.

This book has been written like two books in one, as the introduction to the overall mystery is a self contained mini book in the first six chapters. Admittedly this threw me initially as I wasn’t expecting it in what I assumed was a straight laced romantic suspense, I’m gonna try and avoid any spoilers, but this “mini book” is a little bit of horror crime story which sets up Naomi, our heroine’s, backstory. It is very ‘Criminal Minds’ meets ‘I Survived’, and I love crime stories so it a pro for me, but it is dark so I just want to let people know as it could be a con for others. As I mentioned my mum did read this book after me and had to come to me a couple of times just to get some reassurance that it got happier, she survived but she made it through.

(Trigger warning for anyone sensitive to stories involving rape and kidnap)

“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.” 

Character

  Once you get through the intro into the main story we have a new beginnings style romance with a heroine I adored. Naomi is a strong independent woman, who has a successful career and has taken on a big new project and a new life chapter, restoring and renovating a big house on the coast, settling down for the first time in her life. Naomi grows throughout the book, fulfilling everything I love about a heroine who can save herself and overcome her own fails. She is best thing about the book however there are so many aspects to love!

Romance

  There are multiple romances, in my opinion, as there is not just the romance with the lovely hero but there is a dog romance, which is something I love. (Cons) As one of the few cons of the book, other than the initially slow pace, was that for a long time I found Naomi to be quite an emotionally stunted and distant character which I found difficult to grow attached to. Until the dog came along! Which is so sweet and is a real character builder and makes Naomi so personable and much more relateable. However this is not to say that the hero is outshined by the dog, Xander, our hero is great. He is a reader (swoon), a dog lover and is happy for a woman to be independent and solve her own problems. While being caring and heroic enough for the romantic suspense aspect of the book and willing to give her a kick (or a hug) when she needs it. 

Suspense

  However along with the romance is the suspense and mystery aspect of this book which is just great. With the dark introduction I felt that there was a low laying level of tension throughout the book, just waiting to emerge. However as an avid crime watcher I love trying to figure out the mystery in a novel as I go (and preferably before we are told by the plot) and this book had me held in the mystery right until just before the reveal, And it was so good!  The suspense aspect of this book is a very gory and crime heavy plot, which I felt was a little darker than can be expected for Nora Roberts but with all the great qualities of a Roberts romantic suspense.

Small plot bunny 

*Now it’s not a bad spoiler but Naomi’s brother turns up in the book later on and I really want Nora Roberts to write his book! So if somehow Piatkus see this, please ask her! 😆

Conclusion

  I loved this book and I am still trying to recover and find a new read to match up. The balance of romantic to suspense was perfect to me, as I like a dark, strong mystery but with a clear, defined romance with strong characters, especially a strong female character who loves what she does and knows who she is. Highly recommend.

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Beauty · Reviews · Uncategorized

Beauty Favourites 2015

So new year and i want to diversify, i know i will never be a beauty blogger full time but this is something i have been learning more about and am determined to try. Honestly i am more invested in skincare than cosmetics purely, because when my skin is at its best i don’t feel the need to wear as much make up, as much i am learning to enjoy playing with make up looks.

So below i have chosen a few of my favourite cosmetics to share with you with some mini reviews.

First is Lips;

Below is my favourite combo of lip products at the moment

First i have 6 of the seven colour’s of the Bourjois Rouge Edition; Velvet. These are Bourjois’s liquid to matte lipsticks and they are my favourite as they are really easy to apply, solid colour in one coat and as soon as they set that is your lip colour sorted for the day. Very rarely do i ever have to apply a second coat.They are also the most comfortable lipsticks i ever wear as i don’t feel dry or tight, just velvety as they are described. I also love them for the winter periods, as my lips always get very dry and these don’t make them look even dryer.

The colours shown below are;

first row, l-r: Peach club & Nudist

Second row, l-r Grand Cru & Hot Pepper

Third row, l-r Pink Pong & So Hap’pink

These are showing quite well except for the red tones on the second row, as Grand Cru is a very dark purple red and hot pepper which is a very true red with a blue under tone, easiest way to wear red i have ever found. This is my current favourite colour combo, Bourjois in ‘Beau Brun’ with urban decays lipliner in ‘liar’. This colour is a burnt red/nude colour, its hard to describe but it is my favourite everyday colour which is both dramatic and wearable.

Liar is also beautiful on its own although it is more of a nude brown tone, rather than a red tone.

 On my no lipstick days when i am just trying to fix my dry lips or mostly when i am in work stuck in a room with air con on all day, Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour lipstick as well as their 8 Hour gel, not shown here, is amazing. Super moisturising but light and not sticky, it doesn’t taste amazing but it works so well but i don’t care.


Next for the Eyes;

Next is a recent discovery from the very end of 2015, but it is absolutely worth the mention. Prior to discovering this mascara from Wayne Goss’s Youtube channel i was set on the Urban decay Perversion mascara, but it is 3 times the price of this Boots own brand mascara, Falsifeye HD in blackest black. Two coats creates really long, black lashes, which doesn’t flake and is build-able and its only £6!!!

My second must have product is Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr creme eyeshadow, my two favourite colours are ‘On and On Bronze’ and ‘Creamy Beige’. These are both great for everyday wear on their own but i love to use these as a base for powder eyeshadows.
Lastly, Foundation;

Here are the three foundations i have been using all year, now to be honest i haven’t quite found my perfect foundation yet but these are all great for different reason.

1)Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra 24H, Colour 010

This is my work foundation, it stays all day and doesn’t move despite how oily my skin is which is my main problem when it comes to finding a perfect finish, also the color is close to perfect. This is the lightest colour Lancome makes but it is still maybe one shade too dark, too yellow toned while i have a pinker undertone.

2) Urban Decays Naked Skin, Colour 0.5

This is my favourite foundation when it comes to colour and how it feels on the skin. However, despite the fact the Urban claims that this skin is designed for oily skin, if i wear this makeup to work it separates half way through the day and looks patchy. However on a normal day or night out it is a great foundation.

3) BareMinerals, Complexion Rescue BB, Colour Opal 01

Compared to the other two foundations this is a tinted hydrating gel creme. It has a very light formula which gives a very light amount of coverage. However this was my favourite to wear during the summer, especially while i was away in Portugal with my family. This was especially because this BB has an SPF 30 but is very comfortable and i was able to wear it even when i was away paddleboarding and i didn’t get burnt despite how easy my skin is effected by the sun.

 

This is just an overview of my favourite products and i hope to do another post focused more on skincare later in the year when i master my skincare routine. As is becoming a pattern i would love to hear your feedback on this post as i work to improve.

Maebhe

Beauty · Reviews · Uncategorized

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre, Rouge Noir

Hellos

So i am going to open this post with a huge disclaimer. I am by no means a beauty professional, i have no qualifications and everything i know is self taught/researched. All products were purchased by my little self and all opinions are my own, so take from them what you will.

So I recently discovered that as part of their Christmas campaign this year Chanel has relaunched the 1995 classic ‘Rouge Noir‘, and it is all truly gorgeous.

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre, Rouge Noir

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Chanel Rouge Noir Christmas 2015 (Image Source: Marie Claire)

I discovered this re-release through the amazing Caroline Hiron, skincare expert, blogger and YouTuber. She is a continuous source of entertainment and knowledge, and the reason behind my skin’s improvement in the last few months. In one of Ms Hirons September vlogs, she previewed some of the Rouge Noir pieces she had received and I simply fell. It has been twenty years since Rouge Noir’s initial launch following its premier in the cult film Pulp Fiction were it was wore by Uma Thermin. Its re-release has had quite a buzz as it is considered an iconic colour by Chanel and even collectible, resulting in it being sold out numerous times as i experienced today, as it was already sold out at Boots but i was able to snap up one of the last four at House of Fraser. At the moment the possibility of buying everything in the collection is beyond me, so i settled on my favourite product;

Brand: Chanel, Illusion D’Ombre Longwear Luminious Eyeshadow

Colour: Rouge Noir

Price: £24 (Boots) £25 (House of Fraser)

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Review

This is a cream formulation eyeshadow unlike any i have previously owned. One of my favourite cream shadows which i wear daily is the Maybelline 24hr Colour tattoo in On-and-On Bronze. It is a great eyeshadow for everyday wear and is an essential part of my quick morning make-up routine, however this is completely different, specifically the consistency and the finish. Where the maybelline is very shiny once applied and makes a great base for other powder shadows, the Chanel transforms from cream to powder when applied, without the fall out. It is also a really build-able colour, where it can go from a light shadow to a deep, dramatic smokey look.

I genuinely only bought this product today and after returning from my day Christmas shopping in Belfast i have taken off my original eyeshadow and put this on, so i am sitting in my fluffy pajamas with my fancy Chanel eyeshadow on trying to take a photo which shows how lovely it is in real life. On the eye it is purple, black, brown colour with a purple sparkle in the finish, which isn’t glittery which made me extra happy because glitter is not something i like in my eye looks.

So i tried to take a couple of photos but my photography skills just clearly weren’t up to the mark.

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However, i hope that this little video can capture some of the quality of the shadow, its iridescent quality and a better demonstration of the colour.

I already have plans for this being my new go to colour as well as being my look for my work Christmas do which i already have my outfit for. I am planning on this being my first OOTD (laughing at my miserable use of YouTuber terminology). But this is a start, i hope you’s like and i would love to hear your opinions.

mwah, Maebhe

Tea Blog · Uncategorized

Tea Blog: Long needed Catch up!

Hello my tea lovelies,
I am ashamed to say that this is the longest leave of absence I have yet on my little blog but my life is currently in the middle of a serious transition. I have moved house 3 times in my life and I have never moved beyond my little town in Northern Ireland. Now however I have taken the plunge and after successfully graduating from Queens University this July, I got accepted into Napier University in Edinburgh! So it is time for one giant move and a huge leap in the hope of achieving my career dreams – working for a publishing house.

So tea, and today cookie, in hand, its time for an update.
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Last we spoke, I have just finished celebrating my 21st birthday, first with my family at home and then with my friends from Uni. It was an amazing weekend, especially since I don’t really celebrate my birthday due to the time of year most people are away on holidays etc, plus being the centre of attention is not exactly my favourite thing in the world. I also mentioned a special birthday present that I was waiting to receive in the post – this was my 14″ Cambridge Satchel bag in purple. I am completely in love with it. This I received from my parents and I divered and divered over whether I should let them buy it, because I don’t spend that kind of money on a bag of all things. However my mum convinced me that it was a life long present that would age with me and it is even more perfect now that I am going back to uni for another year. Its still in its box, bubble wrap & all. I am determined I am going to do a box opening & review video. I will be brave!

Now I am in the middle of organising everything I need for the year to live. I’ve bought cutlery, plates & bathroom cleaning products for the first time ever! I feel seriously grown up. As well as the painful experience of organising my finances for the year. :s However one life saver has been thrown my way during this whole process & that was with work. I currently work in a Nike Outlet store in Ireland, and thanks to my lovely boss & my soon to be boss – I have been transferred. This is one giant rock lifted from my shoulders, meaning one less thing to worry about once I move. That word, move, is seriously starting to stress me out.

Stress has been the main reason for my absence. As it has caused me to have a serious case of readers block. Even tho I have a growing tower of unread books I cant seem to pick up anything new. I am stuck re-reading favourite books, & as tacky as it may seem to some, romance novels have been one of my absolute life lines at the minute. I my case specifically historical romances, as they appeal to the historian in me, even those which make me want to write an author & their editor a letter explaining some of their historical mistakes so they don’t repeat them :), but these books, the likes of Lynsay Sands, Johanna Lindsey and Kinley MacGregor aka Sherrilyn Kenyon, all guarantee a little thrill, a lot of romance and a happy ending. Which just help me to de-stress and feel better. I might do a mini, collective review on these. However they are all quite old and people have probably read them, so am never sure if people would be interested.
Opinions please?

However the only reason I have managed to make it this far with only minimal stress acne and panic attacks is thanks to my English Besties Hannah and Siobhan. However I have to throw out a special shout out to Siobhan, without whom, my parents probably would have had to institutionalise me. Even while on away on holiday with Hannah, She has been sharing my stress and tolerating our many phone dates/rants, as she is in a similar situation, moving to do a masters. I owe her serious hugs when I next get to see her, I hope she knows how much I appreciate her – so this is my little way of letting her know for certain. mwah!

But not only is my life crazy but my extended family too. On one side of the family there have been two engagements and on the other side there have been two new additions to the family, only six weeks apart. Which means lots of presents and parties to celebrate. And finally my brother and a couple of my numerous cousins have been receiving their examination results this week for gcse and alevels. Stressful again but successful for the most part.:)

So I mostly just wanted to say a little thank you for sticking with me and I hope yous are willing to continue to stay with me during my adventures in Scotland which I am planning to do more kinda travels blogs on. As I have never been to Scotland so I want to share my first visit with yous.

I Love and appreciate all my Tea Buddies, & I promise it wont be as long until my next update & hopefully my readers block will end too as my stress levels decline, so reviews too. And here is a link if anyone wants to try the White chocolate and Cranberry cookies I baked and I am currently enjoying. They are seriously delicious!

Mwah!,
Maebhe x

p.s I also have a craft project on the way. As I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that I crochet? 🙂 Would you’s like to learn how to make these little spring flowers?
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Reviews

Review: Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies #updated

warm bodies

Synopsis:

‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead. Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins. This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won’t be changed without a fight…

Review:

*Okay First please don’t do what i did and mentally go “A Zombie Romance??… & Stephanie Meyer likes it….Meh”
This was actually a really surprising and interesting book which I ended up really enjoying. But another signpost
Although I haven’t watched the movie adaptation yet, from the trailers alone I know that the movie has a different plot twist to the book. Because I saw the trails about mid-way through reading this book and got excited about what was coming up and then suddenly the book was finished and I kept expecting there to be more. The movie adaptation has clearly upped the tension with the action sequences near the end. The book is a lot more focused on the romance between R and Julie as well as its underlying focus on the importance on society and how people create society: Deep stuff 😀 I try but I’m not such a deep person when I’m reading for enjoyment. Plus I read this on the kindle & for some reason my brain switches to relaxed mode and all the my history/student brain turns off. Making me miss ‘intellectual’ plots or subtopics. 🙂

Characters;
This actually accounted for my favourite part of the whole book. Unlike most zombie novels these zombie “R” developed a personality, which as it grew, only made him a more intriguing character. As for a zombie he sure did think a lot and about indepth things. Love, Life, Death…and the space inbetween.

However as is to be expected from a zombie novel this is nearly entirly based on internal monologues. The only slight issue i had with this was i kinda wanted more external monolgue with Julie. Because she was a really interesting character as well. Because one of my greatest hates/dislikes when it comes to YA novels…
*which this novel is classified as but tiny warning there is swearing and minor references to sex in it (which i will come back to).
…is faffish, stupid female characters. My gosh i just want to smack them up side the head.
But this wasnt Julie. SHe was fiesty and funny and strong willed. While still maintaining the approachibility of a normal girl (being courted by a zombie during the apocalypse).

Plot
Overall i really enjoyed this book but to be honest, without spoiling anything i was a little dissapointed with the ending. It was a little ‘p.g’ when i’d gotten excited from the trailer.

Hpwever overall the story follows R’s discovery and eventual love story. After meeting julie during a ‘human/food hunt’ he saves her from the others and brings her back to his airplane, where their relationship develops and R begins his transition as well as the chaos which ensues from these actions and changes.

I loved the airport location because the similarity of the situation because one of R’s favourite activities is to go around on the escalators when the power’s working.
Another totally minor aspect which for some reason made me laugh and oddly add a layer which made me think “if a zombie apocalyse ever was ever to happen this was so be real”, but the attempts by the zombies to have sex even tho their bodies are no longer capable the human desire for tactile contact with another kept them trying.

However ending did drive me a little mad, it left me needing soo much more. Because it didn’t really seem to end. Just cut off. But I have heard that there is supposed to be a sequel and im hoping that it will give me some of the answers im looking for after reading this book. (Goodreads is saying a 2014 supposed release)

Movie & Images
The movie is something i’m excited to see and in some ways i think i might prefer it to the book just because of the actions scenes.

And a final comment about the book. The beginning of each chapter has an anatomy image for a different body part. Even tho it doesnt really play a role in the plot i really liked the way it set up the feeling for each of the chapters and it helped keep that zombie feeling despite the lightness of gore in this book and the emphasis on the romance and R’s development.

Conclusion

SO i would recommend this book just realise that it is an inspiration for the movie although there does seem to be alot of cross over from what i’ve seen so far. But i will write a short review when i see the movie and see how much does cross over and how they compare. But its a light, easy and enjoyable read especially as this is one of the first zombie books i’ve ever read because they hadn’t really appealled to me as characters. 🙂

If any of you’s have read it let me know what you’s have thought and if you’s are gona see the movie

Maebhe

Reviews

Review: Angel Adoree, The Vintage Tea Party Year

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This is a very different kind of book compared to my reviews so far, but it is filled to the brim with the quirky, fun, vintage things that I love! The Vintage Tea Party Year is a how to guide to planning the perfect vintage inspired Tea Party ever. This the second book for this party planner/author, Angel Adoree and this book is different from your traditional party planning/inspirational guide, as it lays out ideas in 12 separate chapters, each with their own theme representing the main causes of celebration, broken down to represent the 12months within a year, i.e taking us from New years Eve travelling through the 12months/chapters to Christmas day.

I found this book completely by accident in my local library, sitting on the new arrivals shelf and it called to me.
I had seen Ms. Adoree’s first book in Waterstones and thought it looked interesting and while I would have loved to buy it just for all the vintage hair ideas inside, I didn’t feel that I cooked enough to afford it at this time, (the stresses of student living), but now I’m pretty sure I will have to buy it if it is anywhere near as good as the second book.

Starting from the cover, the book is just eye catching! Its 3D effect of sunken windows, allowing us to peer inside a beautiful, white Victorian or Georgian manor house filled with seasonal images, as well as vintage inspired images tie in to the individual party themes. This added to the appeal of this book, because admittedly I picked it up because the cover was really pretty and I was intrigued by the all vintage inspired hair etc 🙂

Secondly the content, and the most important part.
So I’m gonna break this part down into three parts; Food, crafts and hair

Food:
SO the food ideas in this book look amazingly good. Being completely honest, I am not a chef, Nowhere near one, so I had my mum look at it and she felt that the book contained a great range of recipes, with variations in difficultly and length of time needed to prepare. So if you just wanted to make canapés for a quick nibble before going out with girls or just to sit in with a glass of wine, through to more complex and yummy looking main meals. I particularly enjoy the ‘moctails’, these were imitations of alcoholic cocktails like the strawberry daiquiri, which appealed to me a lot because im not really a drinker.

So I cant cook in regards to proper, dinner type food, especially meat :s, other than making myself a BTL 🙂 but my cooking joy is baking and desserts & there are soo many in this book that I want to try. From crazy cakes which the shape of just made me think of the Lord of the Rings to simpler things like biscuits. But these are things I want to try & if I do I will let you know how it goes.

Crafts:
This is something I love, as can be seen in my hollow book clutch tutorial on my blog link here: https://teacupsandraindrops.wordpress.com/category/d-i-y-projects/
But there are some really cute and simple craft ideas in this book, one of my favourite which I defiantly will be trying is how to make a mini top hat. I love mini hats, already have a hairclip Santa hat and witch’s hat which I wear to work during the specific holidays. But its really simple looking with a lot of directions.

Another things was the invitation and thank you card ideas which come in the book with full images you can scan as well as more stuff on her site which I will post at the bottom of this review.

Hair:
Finally the hair! This had to be my favourite part of the whole book because, I think I mentioned in my new years blog that my mum is a hair dresser, so this is something I have grown up with, learning how to do put ups and blow drying hair etc. But as I have gotten older one of the styles which I have grown to love is vintage hair. Specifically 1920-30’s hair. The kind of things which remind you of old war posters and pin-up girls. And one of my favourites is pin curling my hair and just leaving it to cool while I do my make up for a night out. Makes me feel all glamorous. 🙂 This book has some really interest hair ideas, some of which take a different approach to vintage hair than Im used to, as well as cover a whole range of intricacy levels. Admittedly one negative is that I think some may be a little hard to follow due to the necessity of it being still pictures and text, so that if your not used to this kind of put up it could be a little difficult to follow, specifically the victory rolls. But the rest or more basic and focus on curling etc. which are a lot easier to understand. 🙂

Conclusion:
I think this is a great book, especially as a gift (to someone else or yourself). Its got a great range of ideas, events and difficulty levels within it which I think means that it would be suitable for any age range. It would also appeal to a variety of people from those who simply love vintage inspired clothes, hair etc., people into cooking, through to people who love to celebrate and throw the odd party. And finally its also an extremely pretty book so even if its just a book for inspiration it will look good just sitting around your house. 🙂

5 teacups!

http://vintagepatisserie.co.uk/the-vintage-tea-party-year/

please feel free to comment or ask questions and I’ll help any way I can 🙂

Maebhe

Reviews · Uncategorized

Review: Kresley Cole, Shadow’s Claim

Shadow’s Claim: The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist #1

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Blurb:

   Shadow’s Claim features Prince Trehan, a ruthless master assassin who will do anything to possess Bettina, his beautiful sorceress mate, even compete for her hand in a blood-sport tournament—to the death.

He won’t be denied…
Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people, striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself—until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore’s most fearsome villains.

She’s bound to another…
Desperate to earn her guardians’ approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she’s lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure.

A battle for her body and soul…
Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina’s heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium’s worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away—or stoke Bettina’s own desires to a fever-pitch…

Review:

This review is a little hard for me, because i love Kresley Cole’s novels. Her Immortals After Dark(IAD) series is just awesome and she has an amazing ability to mix humour, drama, romantic suspence and tension into her works. While maintaining that lightness that makes it an easy and fun read. And she’s actual one of the authors im hoping to do a series review on 🙂

So her last IAD novel was Lothaire, a character whose story i have wanted to hear for a long time now and i wasnt dissappointed! Now admittedly i wanted to kick Lothaires ass a number of times, but that is part of his character, a figure who straddles the line between being evil and just self centred, he’s hard to figure out and thats why he was able to get away with it. Also the female lead, Elizabeth Pierce was awesome, so funny  and not what you’d expect as his kinda girl lol, and she definatly gave as good as she got.

Good Stuff:

Now it wasnt a bad book but im just wanted to fore warn you’s that there is a mini-rant near the end because i did have a small problem with this book, mostly in relation to Bettina, the heroine. However this was still a good book, and it still got me curious about the world and some of the other characters sound awesome. Bettina just wasnt my favourite, i didnt understand her character fully or her motivations- it could possibly be just that her thinking was too far away from mine or because she’s very different from the heroines i prefare. Especially in comparison to Tehran, who is a really mysterious character, who at first is quiet and hard to work out, but as the story progresses, his character develops as well as a dry sense of humour.

The setting for the story was an orignal take in comparison to her other books, with the setting being based in a alternative plan than we have ever experienced as well as the set up of a battle for her hand. I found quite original and surprising. There were twists and surprises within this book, both for the plot and the characters which kept me both interested and entertained 😀 I also love the little interaction with Lothaire in this book, he really is one of my favourites-  a fun balance between evil and just plain old crazy.

The love triangle which causes so much controversay as well as cause so much drama, was an interesting twist but also one of the reasons i grow to kinda dislike Bettina, but as i learned more about her i grew to understand her hesitation, especaially as she is soo much younger than our traditional heroines. And she does have some pretty awesome skills, both traditional and magical :).

Warning! Mini-Downer:

Now back to this book, this world is within the IAD universe but slightly seperate but we were initally introduced to it through the last novel. So when i heard about this book and what it was about i got really excited. And while i still liked it, i was a little dissappointed, but more because of Bettina than anything else. I just couldnt get myself to like her. Didnt hate her, just couldnt get into the story really well, cause i found her kinda waffley. I have loved books in the past that arent character driven, but she just isnt as strong a character

In conclusion i still definately like this book and worth a read, but i would advise reading other books in her main series before this one because they are definatly better in my opinion, but also because they lay a foundation for this book and would make it much more understandable and enjoyable. Especially Lothaire (can you tell i am fangirl-ing a bit over Lothaires book) 😀

Not my longest review but i did honestly get confused over this book because i liked it, just didnt love it. And i think i may have set too high a standard going into it because there are some of her books i absolutly love, that i was alittle let down. But it did develop the over all plotline and i’ll definatly still want to read the next one 😀

So if you’s try it let me know what you’s think and if you’s agree or disagree with me and if you’s read any of her other books first?

I love to hear from you’s

Maebhe x

Reviews

Review: Naomi Novak, Temeraire

Blurb:

Naomi Novik’s stunning series of novels follow the global adventures of Captain William Laurence and his fighting dragon Temeraire as they are thrown together to fight for Britain during the turbulent time of the Napoleonic Wars. Captain Will Laurence has been at sea since he was just twelve years old; finding a warmer berth in Nelson’s navy than any he enjoyed as the youngest, least important son of Lord Allendale. Rising on merit to captain his own vessel, Laurence has earned himself a beautiful fiancee, society’s esteem and a golden future. But the war is not going well. It seems Britain can only wait as Napoleon plans to overrun her shores. After a skirmish with a French ship, Laurence finds himself in charge of a rare cargo: a dragon egg bound for the Emperor himself. Dragons are much prized: properly trained, they can mount a fearsome attack from the skies. One of Laurence’s men must take the beast in hand and join the aviators’ cause, thus relinquishing all hope of a normal life. But when the newly-hatched dragon ignores the young midshipman Laurence chose as its keeper and decides to imprint itself on the horrified captain instead, Laurence’s world falls apart. Gone is his golden future: gone his social standing, and soon his beautiful fiancee, as he is consigned to be the constant companion and trainer of the fighting dragon Temeraire!

Temeraire (Temeraire, #1)

Review:

I shall try not to fangirl too much over this book, but i have to say i am completely in love with not only this book but now the whole series. Not only is the concept an awesomely addictive idea. Especially for a history major like myself. I love Alternate History, like steampunk etc, but add Dragons into the mix and i think i may have reached Book Nirvana. 😀 Because yes i have a serious love of Dragons in fiction, one of the first books i remember having was a bout a girl with an invisible pet dragon.

The characters in this book were also amazingly good. The character development throughout the novel just pills you through the book. Especially as the development of both Temeraire and Laurence are irrevocably tied together, creating a partnership which you immediately invest in and just want to watch grow – transitioning from father to son to something similar to a big brother to wee brother relations despite the exact opposite being true in relation to sheer mass and physical threat, which is made even stronger by the dragon to rider relationship/tie mythology in the story.

Laurence has a real British gentry, character but alot warmer and more caring while remaining a faulted and growing character. He’s not born into this role, but thrown into it head first without a life jacket with the whole of england sitting on his back and turns his whole life of the set track he had believed he was gona live. Which is something i loved about Laurence as a figure, because while it initally wasnt a future that he wanted, planned or expected – but he proudly took control, adapted and prepared himself and his life for the changes that would come and got on with things. Which in the end turned out even better than he hoped and resulted in a friendship that he could no longer imagine his life without. And something i would love to be able to learn from it and make myself a better person and prepared for what life throws at me.

Temeraire is an adorable character. And first i’ll just clarify that he is not one of those dragons from high fantasy or Harry Potter which only roar and are generally chained to a wall or constantly being slain 😦 He is a dragon so is kick ass and action packed, but he’s also a nerdy dragon, who loves to read and learn about complicated topics e.g. science and philosophy – much to Laurence’s challenge although also being ridiculously proud :). He is a breed all of his own even for a Dragon. But i dont want to give anything away so i’ll not go into too much detail. But he is a truely adorable and lovible character who you can not help but love. So if in my dreams i could own a dragon – Temeraire would be the one 🙂

In relation to the story line, the alternate history fascinated me because i had just done a french revolution module last semester, and while i really enjoyed it, adding in an aerial threat with dragons increasing the threat to the nations which just sent my brain spinning and the fiction writer emerged inside my brain, so that even when i’d set down the storyline kept growing in its only little mellowdramas and adventures and then was able to return to follow the offical story line. Which is something which marks a truely awesome book for me that it inspires me to write and get lost inside my head and look like the crazy student on the train, smiling like a mad person or equally looking on the verge of tears, with my eyes as wide as possible to hope they dont spill over because i feel so connected to the characters.

And yes i am already reading the second book, and i was able to finish this book despite the fact that i was and still am buried under Hell Week which has now mutated into Hell Month! Sign of True Love! lol 😀

So i totally recommend this book to anyone who likes alt history or even normal history as she does tie in alot of the actual history especially figures from the period. ANd of course classic fantasy fans, because honestly who doesnt love dragons!

Please comment if you’ve read this book or think you might try it.

And as always let me know how im doing or if theres anything yous think i should improve on 🙂

Thank you, and i hope you’s enjoyed

Maebhe x

Reviews

Review: Jennifer L. Armentrout, Obsidian

Tea-in-hand: Yep!

Blurb:

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Review:

From my little tea blogs it is clear to see that 3rd of university is currently running me into the ground despite the fact that im only 2 and a bit weeks in. So although as usual i have an ever growing book mountain beside my bed i was in need of a light, fun read and for me that generally mean YA fantasy/romance – with a hint of comedy. And with this book that is exactly what i got with this book and more! 🙂

This was such a fun read and was a great example of a love/hate relationship done right. And i have expectations in this regard as i have mentioned before that Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors and is the queen of the love/hate relationship. But this was exceptionally well done, especially within a YA novel, as the comedy through the book kept it light and keep the characters tantalizing close to caving to what they were feeling or possibly killing one another despite the danger they were already in. 🙂

The main characters Daemon and Katy are an awesome and combustible combination. Their developing relationship was incredibly enjoyable to follow as Daemon is a self-admitted pain in the butt! But a hot pain in the butt so that makes up for it, or as he likes to refer to any of his more noble moments – as bonus points 🙂 like in primary school. And katy is an incredibily likeable and relatable character, especially as she is a book blogger and altho i am very new to this, it made it even more enjoyable as a wanted to relate that much more. And as she develops in the book she is definatly no push over and gives as much as she gets.

One of my most memorible quotes and definatly one im gona use in my own life is her referance to her “Bitch switch” which Daemon and his free running mouth seemed to set of alot- Love it!

The progress of the story is rather traditional in relation aliens arrival on earth and involvement of the government etc etc. But it also has a new take on their origin, power and the good verses evil complex has a good and interesting take on things. And that is problem the main thread in this book so i dont want cause any serious spoilers. But to say danger and forced interactions i.e Daemon and Katy ‘stuck’ with one another for ‘safety sake’. 😉

I found this book through my Book Lovers Review email, where they have a Halloween Competition going on and for the rest of this month they have convinved some of their favourite authors to write little halloween snip-its – Awesome I Know! And i loved the little snip-it and their so much that i had to get the book on my Kindle. Which is a big compliment from me because i am so indecisive when it comes to YA books as a recent number i’ve read have been bad to say the least, probly just from bad choice but they have all started to sound the same.But this book took a whole different spin on things.

This isnt much of a spoiler but to say this is the first time i’d read any YA novels with a focus on aliens would be putting it mildly, as its not something i have ever really had an interest in im more of a werewolf girl myself :). But this book has changed my opinion and im definatly gona have to buy the 2nd book in the series, as exciting things appear to be happening. 🙂

And one final quote because i loved it and i believe this is something all girls should learn to recognise from a young age, whether they heed the warning is up to themselves – not sure to message would stick with me either if i discover a daemon who was interested in me lol

Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the Holy Trinity of hot boys.”

As always i would love to hear from you’s, especially if any of you’s decide to give it a try.

And all feedback of things you liked, disliked, need to improve on my little bloggie attempt are welcome as i hopefully continue to improve.

Maebhe

Reviews

Review: Amanda Carlson, Full Blooded

Tea-in-hand: Check

Blurb:

Born the only female in an all-male werewolf race, Jessica McClain isn’t just different – she’s feared.

After living under the radar for the last twenty-six years, Jessica is thrust unexpectedly into her first change, a full ten years late. She wakes up and finds she’s in the middle of a storm. Now that she’s become the only female full-blooded werewolf in town, the supernatural world is already clamouring to take a bite out of her. Now her new Pack must rise up and protect her.

But not everyone is on board. There are certain superstitious werewolves who think Jessica means an end to their race – and they’re not about to go down without a fight.

Okay so i am in LOVE with this book for a number of reasons:

1. I Love Werewolves. Okay since i was no age i have loved werewolves because i would sit with my dad and watch old horror movies  and one of my early memories i have of going out with my dad to walk our first dog, Finn and he told me a very silly joke which stuck with me – (p.s only works under a full moon :D) “i used to be a werewolf, but im alright nooowww(howl this!) – crappy i know but it stuck with me. And i love searching for new werewolf protagonist books – but sadly i have failed to find many that have a new or interesting adaptation because while i like the traditional wolfman mythology i prefare the new propably more shape shifter mythology were they have more control over there ‘alter ego’.

2. Kelley Armstrong. Okay i was pretty much sold on this book by the tags on the cover which said that fans of Kelley Armstrong should read this book. Because Kelley Armstrong’s book Bitten introduced me to the world of Urban Fantasy and fuelled my addiction. I thank her daily. 😀

3.Karen Chance. Is another author whos book i love because that are weird and exciting and funny but these are different blogs. But if yous try her books are want to know more please ask. I would love to convert more people to these books because Cassandra Palmer is one of my favourites characters, she makes me laugh so much and is a disaster magnet. But back to Book! This was her review/quote on her site:

“Amanda Carlson’s FULL BLOODED is full of all good things: danger, excitement, an original, LIKEABLE heroine and some great mythological mayhem. Bring on book 2!”

~ Karen Chance, NYT & USA Today Bestselling author

Story:

Okay after my fan girl moment. – BEWARE may be minor spoilage!

This book has a is really good storyline altho admittedly at first it kinda worried me that it would be too similar to Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten – because there is a similarity in refer to the storylines basis, which is that she is only female werewolf in the world. But to be honest the similarity ends there!

Jessica McClain is completely unprepare for her ‘complete’ entrance into the supernatural world, as after her 26th birthday she turns for the first time to her surprise and the surprise of her family. Who had believed she was never shift as her twin brother who was also a were- had already changed and the change traditionally came alot earlier for male werewolves.

As stated in the blurb, her ‘existance might spell out the doom of her race’ but more specifically it is her change in to a full werewolf and not merely an oddity, being a twin was her first failure in regard to her existance as they are extremely rare in their society but being female was the biggest problem. But before her change a majority could simply ignore her existance. But the discovery of her turning forced their recognition of her existance.

But this is were her life begins to turn upside down as the consquences of her emergence into the supernatural society and their reactions. And there is a minor love interest in this book, but Jessica is definately the sole focus of this book, but the ‘Guy’ is pretty awesome- can we say tough-as-nails. 😀

Jessica:

Jessica is a fun character, because she is a very self-confident and funny character. But there is one flaw within this book that annoyed me, but i am a little nick-picky. Her toughness and ‘no, dont save me’ got a little repeatitve at one stay of the book about 3/4 of the way through. And while i am not a huge fan of ‘damsels in distress’ in books, because it has to be written really well or they end up being really annoying, but the opposite can also be true, where a female character is sooo determined to be independant, when its more assistance than ‘me cave-man, you woman’ senario. Woo little rant there, female middle ground is hard to find in protagonist characters.:)

But i definatly wouldnt want this to put yous off reading this book, as over all it is awesome and funny. Especially as it is a new author i am even more impress and i am definately wanting to read the second book already.

As always i would love to hear if any of you’s decide to give this book a go. And i’d always like to hear contructive criticism and any thoughs on how i can continue to improve. Thank you, hope this didnt get too rambly cause it was done over a couple of nights due to dodgie computers 🙂

Maebhe