Book Review (#97): Amok by Anna Tan

57760576. sy475

Title: Amok

Author: Anna Tan

Publisher: Teaspoon Publisher

Published: June 2021

Rating: 3/5

All Putera Mikal wants is to gain the Amok Strength, the supernatural power granted by Kudus to the Mahan royal family. No matter how religiously Mikal keeps his vows, Kudus still denies him the Strength—whilst his father, Sultan Simson, flaunts the Strength despite his blatant defiance of the Temple and the priests’ visions of coming doom.

Then the prophecies come true.

Taken captive, Mikal must find a way to liberate his people and restore his throne in Maha—and the key to this is the Amok Strength. But what does it take to gain Kudus’ favour?

I finally finished reading the book Amok by Anna Tan and I am ready to provide ya’ll with an in-depth and HOPEFULLY SPOILER FREE REVIEW.

Before we start, I would like to thank Anna Tan and Teaspoon Publishing for providing me with this ARC in return for an honest review. Let’s get started ladies and gents!

Amok tells the story of Prince Mikal, Prince of Maha, first city-state of Terang and his struggles in faith to their God Kudus due to the fact that he has yet to come into his Amok strength powers. The Amok strength is a legendary power that all royals can gain access to once they come of age (mind you Mikal is 15 at the start of the book). But no matter how much he keeps his vows and does what he is supposed to do nothing has changed and he still has yet to gain any Amok strength. 

Then some BAMBOOZLEMENT happens! Where Maha is invaded and destroyed by their enemies and the people of Maha, royalty included is thrown into a life rife with suffering and humiliation where one does not know who is friend nor foe. How will Mikal overcome this obstacle and gain back his honour, his pride and his rightful place in Maha as Maha’s royal Prince.

DUN DUN DUNNNNNN

If you follow me on my bookstagram (do follow me guys if you haven’t, links down in the description) you would kind of realize I took issue with one and ONLY ONE aspect of this book and that aspect was my utter disdain and annoyance with the main character Prince Mikal.

OMG I DONT EVEN KNOW WHEREEEE TO BEGIN WITH ANNOYANCE WITH HIM.

Ok ok I will chill and talk about other aspects of the book first.

Push my disdain for the main character aside, I actually really enjoyed this book. The writing is great and reeled me in like I was a fish on a hook, floundering around trying to understand my own roller-coaster of emotions as I was reading this book.

I liked the Malay phrases as well as the Malay elements used in the books makes me feel included you know, because duh I’m Malay (Sarawakian Malay but whatever still Malay). It was so much fun reading how the men practiced silat, they used keris and parang to fight, seeing how they used baju kebaya and samping along with calling people according to their titles such as Baginda Paduka, Laksamana etc because let’s be totally honest who uses those terms now in their daily life? (unless you work with the sultan I guess but for everyday people you dont really call people Laksamana do you?)

The plot was awesome… really kept you at the edge of your seat and when some characters that I liked died I did feel the pain of loss because you want them to survive. You want them to be able to overcome this enormous adversity and go home and be happy.

But alas, like I said previously, the enjoyment of this book I could not fully savour due to my problems with the main character. 

The main issue I have with Prince Mikal is the fact that he is mostly self-centered, entitled, privileged and the most whiny character I have ever read. Yes, you can make a defense saying that he is a child and whilst I agree 15 in our modern standards is still a baby but back then 15 you are already considered a man and mature plus he is a Prince. Mikal isn’t an ordinary boy, he is a Prince with responsibilities attached to that royal bloodline of his and yet because we read this book from his perspective all I saw was an entitled and spoiled Prince who needs to have everything given and delivered to him on a silver platter.

Not only that, my god, is he stupid. He is so absolutely idiotic. 

I say this because Prince Mikal has become a prisoner of war and is now a slave for his former servant Yosua. Not once did he ever think to pretend to be a slave/pretend to be broken and humble himself so he could learn the enemy’s routines and memorise the relative map of the enemy’s land which in turn could help him devise a way to escape. Something ya know, anything, but no all we read for pages on end is just Prince Mikal constantly… CONSTANTLY… complaining why me, why didn’t I get my Amok strength, why is this happening to me, this is not fair, always about him and his predicament.

First few weeks I get it man you’re in shock and you dont know whats going on what’s going to happen but as a Prince that must have had some sort of training like get your shit together man. Devise a plan. Like okay, right now you’re in this predicament how will you get yourself outside of said predicament which reminds me that Prince Mikal is a reactive character.

Things happen to him, the plot moves him along instead of him making decisions that affect the plot. This happens for most of the book where shit just happens to Mikal and he would complain about it to no end. It is towards the end of the book, I would say the last 100-200 pages he changes into a more proactive character but by then it was too late for me. 

Also, kan, he keeps complaining Kudus left him la, doesn’t love him la, this and that… sikit-sikit lost faith… ITS SO FUCKING ANNOYING… I GET IT LIFE IS HARD BUT THIS IS A FUCKING TEST FROM GOD… You think God when he tests you he just gives something that you can easily overcome especially for a person like Mikal who follows everything by the book but doesn’t truly have faith. He says he does and he says he has an epiphany and he will change and have more faith and truly follow Kudus (which to be honest with you gave me hope for him I wanted to like him damn it!) but then some small shit happens and Mikal is back to being that whiny punk that doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together and is all like omg Kudus why you left me, how could you Kudus, are you even real? MALAS AKU EH ORG KDAK TOK… PADAH TEK CAYAK AN KUDUS TAPI IDUP SUSAH SIKIT ALU LOST FAITH BAGUS SIK PAYAH EH… BAGUS SIK PAYAHHHHHH… AISH SETAN BENA

I gotta calm down… I gotta chill.. This wasn’t supposed to be a rant review…I cannot delve further into this without going into spoilers so I will just continue to my next issue.

This issue isn’t so much a deal breaker, it’s just confusing and that is the loyalty that Yosua has for Mikal. I dont get it… sometimes its borderline romantic so I am not sure if the author is queer-baiting or I am just not used to this type of unexplainable loyalty. 

This is because you don’t get to see the why of the loyalty, Mikal says that they grew up together and are best friends but that’s the thing, you have to wholeheartedly believe what Mikal says. You don’t get to see it unfold. You don’t see other characters talk upon how close they are and the background for it. There is no concrete foundation that you as a reader can see and understand the why. 

I had a microscopic problem with the magic system of the book. It’s not bad, I just wanted more explanation on how it worked, who gets what etc because it was pretty loose so you have to use a lot of your imagination to fill in the blanks. 

Again, I have to reiterate, everything else in this book chefs kiss… the writing SUPERB! IF EVEN THE WRITING PUN I DON’T LIKE TRUST ME FAM I WOULD’VE DNF’ED THAT SHIT but I didn’t because the writing is genuinely good. Plot also BOMBASTIC! It’s just the main character that was meh for me, maybe it’s because I am 28 and had to be the breadwinner of my family for the longest time and had to hold that amount of responsibility that when I see a whiny character that doesn’t even try to improve their own situation by any means necessary I truly cannot empathise. 

Thus, concludes my review for the ARC Amok by Anna Tan and again my review is my own and is only focused on the book and NOT the author. 

Review: Gone by Elisabeth Naughton

31295327

Rating: 3/5

Three years ago, Alec McClane and Raegan Devereaux lived every parent’s worst nightmare: their one-year-old daughter, Emma, was abducted from a park when Alec turned his back for just a moment. Emma was never found, and presumed dead. The crushing trauma, plus Alec’s unbearable guilt, ended the couple’s marriage.

Now a four-year-old girl matching Emma’s profile is found wandering a local park. Alec and Raegan are heartbroken to discover she’s not their daughter but are newly motivated to find closure…and each secretly feels desperate to be in the other’s presence again.

Alec suspects his vengeful biological father is behind Emma’s disappearance. But as Raegan investigates other abductions in the area, she sees a pattern—and begins to wonder if Emma’s kidnapping is actually linked to something more sinister.

As Alec and Raegan race to uncover the truth, a long-burning spark rekindles into smoldering passion, and they realize they need each other now more than ever.


REVIEW

I got this book AGES ago from Netgalley and only got round to reading it now because well I just felt like it so do take into consideration that my review is based on an ARC I received 2 years ago… I just checked my Netgalley account. Make that THREE years ago. Yikes!

Right off the bat I felt like the characters were very two dimensional as there was a lot of telling the readers about their past rather than showing it. Having the characters tell their past doesn’t allow the readers to fully engage in them or be as invested causing some of the drama that unfolds in the plot to fall flat.

Not all the emotional plot points fell flat though there were that did make me tear up thinking about the repercussions but that had more to do with the situation rather than the characters themselves. Anybody with a heart would cry imagining if their child was abducted and there was no news whatsoever.

Now that I think about it the male protagonist, Alec McClane, was seriously annoying. It was always about how he couldn’t handle the disappearance of his child , how he is still in pain, how he goes into shock and how he had the really shitty upbringing. Well BOO HOO! What about his wife? Did she not feel the pain of losing her child too? It’s not all about you sometimes okay Alec. It takes two to tango in a relationship like God! That guy got on my nerves. I don’t give a damn how hot you are, please have some heart and think about the other person who is also hurting by this horrific incident.

Plot wise, I felt that the pacing of the book was fast paced which I liked because I just went through the book in one night but I felt really confused as to the genre of the book but this I should have read the blurb or something first so my bad hahahah.

When I chose this those many moons ago, I thought it was going to be a nice thriller mystery type of book with a dash of romance and reading it now it read more like a romance with a dash of thriller and mystery although had I read the blurb I would’ve seen that it was a romance heavy book. I wish the sex scenes were more explicit because man I have not had any action in awhile and your girl is THIRSTY!

Oh! Before I forget (this links back to the plot thing), the execution of the plot twist and the reveal seriously fell flat for me. The plot twist and the reveal at the end I felt was great. It’s very predictable yes but it could have been better had the execution of it been great. These two things could’ve been improved had there been more breathing room for the readers to digest everything, all these revelations were revealed at super speed and the pacing just went off the charts from there and due to that the emotional punch that the author wanted to portray lost its zest

Review: Kiss Me at Christmas by Valerie Bowman

37638149

 

 

Title: Kiss Me at Christmas

Author: Valerie Bowman

Published: 30th October 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary

A spirited lady facing spinsterhood. A common man with a noble mission. And a surprise that just might be waiting for them under the mistletoe. . .

Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf abhors Christmas. Carol singing and holiday cheer only remind him of a dark time. When a close friend calls on him for help, Daffin is happy to capitalize on the distraction. But when he learns the lovely Lady Regina is the one in danger, he’s to become bodyguard to the captivating woman…

Regina has one mission: to find a night of passion in the arms of a gentleman. Considered firmly on the shelf, Regina has given up on marriage—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be denied the pleasure married ladies experience. Daffin has long captured her attention…and when a threat calls him to her side, the sparks between them ignite. But how can a hired bodyguard find his way into Regina’s noble heart?

Review

This book was yet another disappointment delivered in the Historical Romance genre to me. I am genuinely surprised that this genre gave me two disappointments in quick succession. This has never happened before.

Right, the reason this book is a disappointment because it started out really strong. Guns blazing right out the window and yet the more I read the more the plot just unraveled itself and at last I was left with a steaming pile of poop. 

Cheesiness aside (because its Valerie Bowman, I know her writing and plot will be cheesy eventually, it’s becoming her signature move) the one thing that annoyed me about the characters and the plot of this book was how idiotic and illogical everything was.

First of all, no spy on Earth will continuously announce themselves to be spies every bloody second (IT BEATS THE DAMN PURPOSE OF BEING A SPY IF YOU ALWAYS ANNOUNCE YOURSELVES TO BE SPIES NO????).

*The meaning of spy literally says to get information from the enemy discreetly…. DISCREETLY!*

Like all right, I understand you are a family of spies I do not need to be reminded of it every single fucking second alright? I have read the previous books. Let’s just get on with the damn plot already. It is so annoying. Oh we are spies this, we are spies that, there is no need to hide behind the door because we know you are there because we are what?.. oh yeah we are spies. Jesus Christ I tell you. I FUCKING BLOODY GET YOU ALL ARE BLOODY SPIES. LET IT GO.

Image result for tywin saying a king is no king if they have no announce it

Same shit except it’s spies in this case.

Don’t get me started on the plot itself. It is so idiotic. So, you’re telling me this Lady (daughter of whoever) who is in love with this Duke who is to be engaged to Regina is behind all of it? All the assassination attempts in the hopes that maybe… MAYBE he will fall in love with her instead. WHAT THE FUCK and mind you all of this is only revealed right at the end of the plot with no exposition and no explanations on how the hell did this even happen. That has to be the flimsiest reason for an assassination attempt I have ever heard in my life. This girls plan is so convoluted and stupid it’s hilarious and bloody comical. 

The thing that annoyed me the most was how convenient it was for Regina to finally marry Daffin towards the end when the whole GOD DAMNED FORSAKEN BOOK was about her just absolutely in mental and emotional torture because he isn’t a blue blood like her and they can’t marry due to their status. Like, she says her uncle is the barrier between her and Daffin for a happily ever after and that he is hard headed that he would never agree for a union between them to ever happen but at the end all that needed to be done was have a few family members sit him down and say that Daffin truly makes Regina happy and he is all for it. 

Do you know how annoying it is when you root for a couple to be together to overcome this (what seems to be a huge ass) obstacle only to realize they made a mountain out of a bloody fucking mole hill. 

Image result for flips table gif

Yeah… It is very annoying.

And it really is disappointing because the book started out really good, writing was great, pacing was great, everything was great, I thought it had nicely timed humor as well but I have no idea why after it passed the halfway mark everything just went to hell.

*Book was given by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Not The Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt

38309947

 

Title: Not The Duke’s Darling

Author: Elizabeth Hoyt

Publisher: Forever

Published: 18 December 2018

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 3/5

Summary

Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe–the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family–appears at the country house party she’s attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.

Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognizes Freya, masquerading amongst the party revelers, and realizes his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins. Sins he’d much rather forget. But she’s also fiery, bold, and sensuous-a temptation he can’t resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he’ll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, Harlowe will have to earn Freya’s trust-by whatever means necessary.

Review

This book left me shook and not in a good way….

Image result for sis was shook gif

If you have been following my blog for awhile you may by now know that I just LOVE Elizabeth Hoyt with a burning passion! I have read three of her books (thank you Netgalley) and all of them has a rating no lower than a 4.

Don’t believe me.. here is a list of the books I read by her.

So, I had full expectations to love this book too and imagine my utter shock and disbelief that I did not like nor enjoy this book. How? How even? How did this happen? Did I read it wrong? This shouldn’t be happening… I legit had an identity crisis when I realized this book was just not doing it for me. I mean how? HOW.COULD.THIS.EVEN.HAPPEN???????

The main reason why I didn’t like the book was because the heroine was so unlikable for me. I felt that she was just so full of herself and I just wanted her to get off her high horse and get back down to Earth. Why I felt this way I myself am unsure.

The heroine, Freya de Moray, is the Macha in the secret society called the Wise Woman whereby the post essentially makes her a spy for them. At first, I was really into it because strong female characters are what I live for but the more I read the more I saw that nothing happened. At least no spying happened. Like at all. Elizabeth didn’t show us Freya’s past achievements or whatever for her to attain such a posting. She didn’t show how competent Freya was in being a Macha. I wanted to see and read and live and go through what Freya did in her espionage business but all I got was redundancy which I will explain below.

Image result for so boring gif

The redundancy came in the interaction between Christopher and Freya. They keep playing tug of war with their feelings for each other and after awhile the interaction just bored me out of my mind. They keep going over the same argument of her unable to forgive him for what he did in the past and her fear of losing her independence by being committed to him. These fears are legitimate but how it was written honestly was so tedious to read.

SPOILER CENTRAL!!!

Now to the plot. The plot for me had too many things going on which distracted me from the main plot which was the Wise Woman plot and obviously the romance between Christopher and Freya. I mean you have the sub-plot of having Christopher being blackmailed, the Wise Woman vs the Dunkelders (attempted murder sub-plot), Wise Woman vs parliament (some act that allows witch hunting), mysterious death of the wife of the next door neighbor and what not. For me it felt like so many things are happening at once and you would expect a lot of action but there was just a lot of talk… so much talking.

Image result for tell me why gif

Indeed do tell me why I am not enjoying this book

Last but not least was the Wise Woman itself. Again, it felt like all talk no action with them. Maybe because it is just the first book that I felt like I had no idea who these people were and how they worked. It wasn’t fleshed out as much as I had hoped for.

The book for me wanted to be so many things at once yet were none of them at the same time. I am unsure had I read this at a later date I would have enjoyed it more, I don’t know. This book just wasn’t for me. Would I recommend it yeah definitely, Elizabeth is still a talented writer and would I read more books from this series? Absolutely! I need to know that this was just a fluke and will not be a usual occurrence.

But all hope is not lost. I did like one part of the book very very much and that was when Freya proposed to Christopher AFTER she had initially turned him down. I also liked how Christopher gave her space when she needed it to make up her mind about him. I thought that was nice.

*The book was given to me by the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review

Breathless… Review

36048592.jpg

Title: Breathless

Author: Celeste Bradley & Susan Donovan

Published: 12 June 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Source: Netgalley

Rating:  4/5

Goodreads synopsis

She was “the Swan.” London’s premiere courtesan. Men want to be with her. Women loathe her success and yet admire her beauty, her riches, her independence. But when the jealous wife of her lover moves to have the Swan banished from her home on the high seas, she winds up crashed against Spain’s rocky coast with no shoes, no clothes-and no name. Taken in by a tortured, sensuous man known as The Artist, the Swan comes to know the woman she wants to be—her artist’s siren.

When Art Professor Brenna Anderson is in danger of losing her post at Harvard, the rule-following, prim professor is at a loss of how to salvage the shreds of her life. But when a new painting in the mysterious Siren collection is discovered in a dusty old house in France, Brenna does the unthinkable—hops on a plane to uncover the identity of the beautiful, enigmatic woman who is the subject of the paintings.

There’s just one hitch—the frustrating, irritating, bold and beautiful art hunter, Fitch Wilder, is also looking for the Siren. He’s been a thorn in Brenna’s professional side for years, but when their individual quests lead them to team up despite being enemies, a whole new sumptuous world of art and culture opens up for the two of them. And with it, they enter a realm of passion and love…

Review

I was quite excited when I was invited to read this book because I was interested to read how the authors were going to merge the two differing perspective between the perspective of the ‘The Swan’ in the past (Regency England-ish) and Brenna who is in the present. These two ladies are our protagonists for this book. It also helped that the book was sold to me as a mystery book with a huge whollop of romance.

After reading it, I have to say that my feelings are mixed regarding this book. Not that it isn’t good, no, the problem here lies with me. I just came to realize that contemporary romance just isn’t my thing. This realization hit me whenever I am reading the third person POV for Brenna’s part of the story, my eyes just glaze over and internally I am just praying that it will be over soon but when I read the historical romance aspect of the book which was written in the first person narrative, there just wasn’t enough material for me to read and I would be wholly disappointed that I had to return to reading about Brenna.

For me, Brenna’s romance with Fitch Wilder was so boring. Boring because of the predictability of it and how fast Brenna fell in love with Fitch, maybe it was longer than I give it credit for in the book but to me it felt like she fell in love with the guy within two weeks because the time lapse between them first meeting to when they fell in love felt so short but then again I am really bad at keeping track of the time anyway so this point is up for debate.

There was nothing for me to root for between these two characters and when Fitch admitted to lying to Brenna and her freaking out and their make up I just felt like ‘Jeez woman, just get over it’. Yes, this lying thing that Fitch did hit a raw nerve because of Brenna’s past and her estranged father but I just could not relate and in all honesty I gave zero shit but had the exposition or reasoning for her freak out been more fleshed out then maybe I would have given her the benefit of the doubt.

All in all I felt like the Brenna and Fitch aspect of the book was just not for me as it was predictable and boring but I live for parts of the book that was in ‘The Swan’s’ POV. Parts of the book which was written in her POV which was in the past was so interesting and dynamic and full of life and intrigue and mystery. The start of the book opened to her literally half-drowning in the ocean in the middle of nowhere so you are like what is going on????? Is she going to be okay?

‘The Swan’s’ POV was just SO good! She had to do many a different things back in her day to survive and prosper and prosper she did. She overcame so many hardships in her life that by the time she met a nice man on this island and was genuinely happy you couldn’t help but be so happy for her as well but the ending of her part of the book just KILLED ME DAMN IT!

The ending left me with a book hangover. I just could not get over it because why? Why would you do that to her? After all she went through that woman deserves eternal happiness!

So, yeah that sums my review.

Present plot: It was okay a bit meh for me

Past plot: THIS SHIT IS WHAT I LIVE FOR!

Hence, the 4 star rating.

*The book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review

A Duke Like No Other… A Review

 

36048635

Title: A Duke Like No Other

Author: Valerie Bowman

Published: 1 May 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 3/5

Summary

First comes love, then comes marriage. Unless it’s the other way around. . .

General Mark Grimaldi has sacrificed everything for his military career, working his way through the ranks without the benefit of a nobleman’s title. Now, his years of dedication are about to pay off—with an offer for a prestigious promotion to Home Secretary. There’s only one condition: Mark must be married. Aside from the small matter of not actually wanting to be wed, Mark faces another troubling problem: he already has a wife.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent ten contented years in France without her husband—and without regret. When Mark asks her to return to London and play the part of his beloved wife, she sees her chance. But neither of them is prepared for news that will throw Mark’s future into chaos…nor the undeniable desire they’ve rekindled. Maybe happily-ever-after can happen the second time around in A Duke Like No Other, the next Regency romance from Valerie Bowman.

Duke_Like_No_Other,A_FB_Cover_AVAILABLE_NOW.png

Review

I really enjoyed this book, honestly I did, I even overlooked the seemingly random discrepancy in the plot (possibly due to the book not being edited properly it is after all an e-Arc) but I truly felt the plot for this book was lackluster and weak.

The first few chapters started out strong and full of possibilities on the ‘why Nicole and Mark broke up’ mystery; could it be Nicole or Mark cheated on each other? Could it be Nicole had to backstab Mark? What is it? So my hopes on the why was sky high and it was shot down when the truth of their estrangement was explained and the reason just felt inadequate to me.

The reason for their estrangement could be more fleshed out and the author could have gone more in depth because the duration of their estrangement which is 10 years, you would think the reason would be some cataclysmic event or something so when you find out that it is over something petty you start to think really? Really? That was it?

Another reason that my enjoyment for this book was diminished was because Mark was written to be this suave spy-master, all smart, cunning and just overall a pretty intelligent guy hence I was expecting so but instead what I got was this guy who was a bumbling idiot. He interpreted things wrongly or guessed the wrong culprit, like if it was once or twice and had something to do with Nicole I’d understand; estranged wife and mixed emotions can muddle your brain, but it seems like he got everything wrong so again it made me wonder this is the spy-master? Jesus, if he was spy-master then I’m Queen of England.

Last reason that I did not enjoy the book so much was the cheesy ending, it’s just not my cup of tea. I like happy endings but I dislike the cheesy dialogues and the whole ‘Omg, you’re the love of my life BS’, the cynic in me is just like STFU will you. I felt like if you loved each other so much then why 10 years passed before ya’ll did anything? I get back in the day communication isn’t as fast as now what with social media and whatnot but honestly even back then 10 years estrangement is a bit of a stretch.

 

WWW Wednesdays

img_1384-0

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words and you just answer three simple questions and BA-DA-BOOM! You are done.

So the three WWW’s are:

  • What are you currently reading
  • What did you recently finish
  • What do you think you’ll read next

Currently reading

 

Recently Finished

 

Reading Next

How Book Blogging *coughs*Netgalley*coughs* Changed My Reading Habits

I review more and less books

Image result for meh gif

Confusing I know. I review more books from Netgalley but review less hardcopy books from libraries or my own books unless I run out of reviews for my Netgalley books then any draft reviews from other sources will do to keep my blog up and running. I do this not because I dislike reviewing hard copy books but more because with Netgalley it gives me a chance to up my rating whereas other sources they don’t so I have no obligations.

I read more books but less diverse ones

Pre-Netgalley I only read books from the library because I didn’t have enough money to buy new books, at least not fully priced ones, which forced me to read diversely; murder mysteries, contemporary, middle grade, historical fiction, non-fiction, biographies, self-help, art, you name it but now… now I just read a lot of historical romance with dashes of other genres. It kills me but at the same time historical romance has become my comfort zone, it is so easy to read and digest. There is no nuance to it, I don’t need to think I can just ride the wave of feels. I can read 3 in a day man whereas other genres it takes me DAYYYYSSSSSSS… WEEKS to finish.

Image result for it takes forever gif

I buy less books but my TBR pile is off the charts

Surprising I know! I swear after Netgalley my need to buy physical books has lessened immensely but at the same time I can’t control myself from clicking that request button on Netgalley thus why my rating has NEVER been above 37-38%. Every time I manage to read a ton of Netgalley books I request twice as more. It’s a problem I know.

I made friends

Image result for i have friends gif

Not a lot but that’s just because I am not the type to comment on other bloggers post, it’s more towards I don’t know what to say other than saying it was a great review or great post or that I found the post insightful. I am not the best at any sort of banter but anyways yeah, I made friends and it’s nice when I have a post up and I have actual readers who read my stuff consistently. It’s flattering. My previous blog had no audience.

I feel guilty re-reading books

Image result for what is life gif

When you have a Netgalley TBR pile as high as your roof that NEEDS to be read and reviewed you would feel guilty of re-reading too. I only re-read Harry Potter recently because my reading slump due to a slew of unfortunate books has dampened my optimism in reading.

 

Encounters With a Rogue… A Review

34442004.jpg

 

Title: Encounters With a Rogue

Author: Deb Marlowe

Published: 7 March 2017

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 3.5/5

Summary

An Unexpected Encounter

Tall, practical girls might not be worth much in man’s world, but Miss Lisbeth Moreton knows she’s worth more than the squire’s prized heifer.

To change her fate, she’s run off to a date with destiny at the British Museum. Her would-be swain never shows, but an unexpected encounter with Lord Cotwell and his lonely ward might lead to altogether new prospects . . . and perhaps to love.

A Waltz in the Park

James Vickers once believed honor and family duty to be his life’s work. Now he knows better–and he’s appointed himself as silent witness to his father’s sins. His greatest goal is to act as the continuously pricking thorn in his lordship’s side–and scandal is his greatest weapon. He has no use for an innocent young miss.

Propriety is Miss Adelaide Stockton’s most important asset. She must be all that is prim and proper if she’s to live down her parent’s misdeeds and have any hope of catching a husband. She must avoid scoundrels like Vickers at all costs.

Yet fate has thrown them together–and given each a key to the other’s ambition. A bargain is struck…but together they find that gaining what one desires most is far more difficult than a waltz in the park.

Review

This book is actually two novellas so I will review it individually.

An Unexpected Encounter

Rating: 4/5

I really liked the plot to this novella because I found Lord Cotwell to be an adorably shy and awkward guy. He was refreshing to me because he wasn’t suave, he wasn’t drop dead gorgeous, he wasn’t smooth with the ladies, he was just an average joe with a kind heart who loves doing mechanics. He said all the wrong things at the wrong times even though he means well. The plot was nice and sweet and I wished it was a full fledged novel instead of a novella but I enjoyed it immensely nonetheless.

A Waltz in the Park

Rating: 3/5

I didn’t like this novella so much. I unfortunately found it boring and so tedious to read as I didn’t feel a connection with the main characters and pretty much that really from me regarding the second novella. Nothing much to say except it was boring for me.

Overall, these two novellas does make me more interested in reading more works from Deb Marlowe because in both novellas the protagonists weren’t the atypical characterization expected from historical romance.

*The book was provided by the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review

The Luck of the Bride… A Review

36048625.jpg

Title: The Luck of the Bride

Author: Janna MacGregor

Published: May 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 5/5

Summary

Family secrets, mistaken identities…love and money make people do crazy things in The Luck of the Bride, the third Cavensham Heiresses novel.

March Lawson has never had much luck, and in a desperate move to save her family, she’s been posing as the Marquess of McCalpin. But when she’s summoned to a meeting with the Marquess himself, March expects jail time…not to be bewitched by dark hair and sapphire eyes.

Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin and heir to the Duke of Langham, finds himself drawn to March despite the judgments from his peers. He isn’t sure he can trust March, especially since Michael has a secret that could ruin him and his family.

But society conspires to keep March and Michael apart, and when March is accused of not being who she says she is, will Michael toss her aside or fight for the woman he’s come to love?

Review

I thought I was over my love for historical romance books as I had tired of reading them whilst I was in the struggles of my reading slump but the publisher had emailed me inquiring whether I was interested in reading this book and I thought “well, I have read the others I might as well continue on” and continue I did and let me say…

I LOVED IT!

Reading this book I had no expectations whatsoever and so it took me by surprise when I was so absorbed by the book that I finished it within a day. I found the book to be entertaining, funny, adorable and heart wrenching.

20180319_093554_00011130588115.png

As much as I loved historical romance they have never brought tears (tears of anger and disappointment doesn’t count) to my eyes up until this book. I felt for the female protagonist, March Lawson, so much that I just wanted her to be happy because damn it she deserved it! Everything in her life was so unfair and finally… FINALLY she was to achieve happiness with a man she loved but all that was almost robbed from her as she was framed for something that she didn’t do and it broke my heart when her lover, Michael Cavensham, doubted her love. Like why GOD DAMN IT!

I didn’t expect the book to be so intense for me emotionally. Janna (the author) truly blew my socks off.

20180319_095249_0001831854256.png

Aside from my feelings for the main female protagonist, I must say that I also loved how the author included letters from March’s youngest sibling, Lord Bennet Lawson, to Michael. This is because I found it so cute and endearing how he would misspell his words or cross some sentences out because it was grammatically wrong and how some words were misspelled but he had not realized it. It shows his young age. Also, I loved how Bennet as young as he was became a wise and brave young man when it came to the safety and happiness of his sisters especially March. He went to Michael personally and talked to him man to man on the fate of March. It broke my heart because the situation that permitted that meeting was when March was framed and also because as the reader you can see how Bennet has grown from a baby to a fine young man. I felt like a proud parent.

I didn’t quite liked the ending though not because it wasn’t appropriate nor good but because I wanted March to make Michael suffer a little bit more. The pettiness in me wanted Michael to grovel for March’s affections and forgiveness. It has been a daydream of mine where a man chases me across the globe to prove his love so I was hoping it would come to fruition here but alas it didn’t but it is fine everything else in the book was completely amazing that I am willing to overlook this slight misgiving I have with the ending.

20180319_094411_0001552161679.png

Another thing that I liked was how the author included dyscalculia (it’s a form of dyslexia but with numbers) as well as a gay character in the plot as I felt that it was in line with the changing perceptions of modern readers.

In conclusion, I truly felt that this book was by far the best in the Cavensham Heiresses series. It kicked me in the feels when I least expected it.

*The book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.