Review: The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo

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Title: The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo

Author: Kerrigan Byrne

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Published: 28 August 2018

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary

The bravest of heroes. The brashest of rebels. The boldest of lovers. These are the men who risk their hearts and their souls—for the passionate women who dare to love them…

He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…

A LEGENDARY LOVE

Lorelei will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when he takes her in his arms?

Review

I have been busy with work and chatting up this guy from work although on this front it seems more like I am cornering myself into the dreaded friendzone which is such a shame because I would like to do the Devil’s tango with him if you get my drift so anyways back to the point, the point is that I just have been living life too much to be bothered to even read anything but when I received an email from a publisher asking me if I was interested in reading the next book from Kerrigan Byrne I was like…

“BITCH! You ain’t even gonna ask! It’s always YES to Kerrigan!”

Because girl, the last two books I read by her was just so bomb! I waited months to get the next book so as you can see my expectations are pretty high… pretttyyyy high so when I read it I was just so so confused by how disappointed I was.

The writing for this book felt so sub-par for me and the plot itself was flimsy AT BEST. Don’t even get me started on the atrocious dialogue present in this book. It

The first half of the book was great and I enjoyed the puppy love between Lorelai and Ash as it was so cute and innocent but towards the latter end of the book, the plot was borderline on non-existent and the dialogue/conversation happening between the two main characters were so repetitive and had no meaning nor resolution in sight.

Also, there were a lot of plot points in the book that in my opinion was written purely just for plot progression because honestly said plot point had no bearing whatsoever on the overall plot of the book one wonders why did the author even include it in the first place? One example for this is when Lorelai for some God damned reason fainted in a make out sesh with Ash and miraculously she never fainted again after that even though it was said that she does this FREQUENTLY as a way her body handles stress.

Another thing that annoyed me was how the author doesn’t show what happened to any of the characters and instead just tells us what happened as if that will satisfy our curiosity. By doing so, the author strips the readers empathy for the characters because I swear to God I could not give a shit about the characters whatsoever. I mean I can’t relate to Lorelai and her being a victim of abuse neither can I understand why Ash is so God damned pissed all the God damned time. Like bro, take a chill pill man. Jesus.

I think I was highly disappointed by the book because I waited months for it. MONTHS! Her other books were that good that I waited MONTHS! Will I continue to support the author, yeah definitely one disappointing book might just be a fluke because she is definitely talented.

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

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I was supposed to upload this review on the 21st but my internet was down and I had to go for TBOSIET training and completely forgot so here it is hahahaha.

My Bookish Pet Peeves

“Pet Peeve: Something that a particular person finds especially annoying”

It took me awhile to think of book related things that annoy me because I am relatively low maintenance when it comes to books.

I don’t mind when a book cover is skewed or the dust jacket is lopsided or folded incorrectly.

I don’t care if the sizing of books I buy that comes in a series isn’t uniform or standardized.

I could care less if my books has stickers on them.

I am even fine with insta-love.

The standards are THAT LOW (as I usually say if I managed to read Fifty Shades of Grey AND Twilight I can read and plough through anything) but a few has managed to irk me and so read ahead and enjoy!

Recyclable vocabulary

I find it perplexing that in historical romance different authors from different publishing companies always recycle phrases, vocabulary or even metaphors to describe the male anatomy. They usually compare a male’s penis or other parts of the body to either wood or steel or worse… velvet steel. I understand that in this genre everything is stereotypical and comes in a template but it makes you wonder is that the extent of vocabulary knowledge that a historical romance authors have?

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Ignorant Beauty

Another trope that just grates on my nerves. Why is it that in a book usually YA or contemporary romance, the female lead never realizes their beauty when they are obviously drop dead gorgeous. It boggles my mind because this is not normal. I am not the most beautiful woman on Earth yet I realize that I am at the most minimum cute. So if I know this of myself why can’t these characters do the same? Why must their beauty only be validated by a man? Why must their physical beauty only be known after a man has pointed it out to them? Why can’t these women acknowledge that they are beautiful and just own it? Had said female characters for example suffer from mental illness such as body dysmorphia then that is fine because that in itself is a whole other can of worms to be discussed. I feel like this trope need to die already and die a horrible death.

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Bookception

I just recently came to know this as one of my bookish pet peeves to be honest. I realized it when I was reading ‘Bookishly Ever After‘. In this book I had to read not one but two stories of which both are equally bad. I am not interested in reading a book read by the main character and written in the actual book that I am reading and especially not when both of them are just badly written and not to mention boring. A snippet here or there is fine to increase the readers interest but chapterSSSS is truly pushing the limit.

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The Mary Sue

My ultimate NEMESIS. This trope is not even an annoyance any longer as it has evolved from being just an annoyance to being an absolute despicable inhumane species of a trope. The best example I can give is Rey from the Star Wars franchise. I am all for girl power and feminism and all round bad assery but when her skills and powers are given with no background no explanation no nothing that is just bad writing and a cop out way to appease the masses of SJW (social justice warriors). Isn’t it better to flesh out her character to show how she had gotten so powerful in the movie? To show that this girl who has innate talent had to work hard to get to where she is but no she can do no wrong, she is the best and will be the best. She has no character struggles. She is beautiful, she is powerful and is apparently perfect in everything. It annoys me because this is not realistic, yes one might argue that Star Wars as a whole isn’t realistic but character development and growth and struggles are the same regardless of genre or medium used to express it.

Another example is Feyre from the ACoTAR. She is perfect in everything, everybody loves her, powerful beyond her imagination blah blah blah blah.

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So, there you have it my bookish pet peeve. Feel free to comment on your bookish pet peeve maybe I would realize another one that I never knew I had I am quite slow on the uptake in these matters.

Also have a youtube video on this matter although in said video I am just a rambling idiot because I have yet to master the speaking my thoughts eloquently in front of a camera.

The Eighth Day by Mitsuyo Kakuta

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Title: The Eighth Day

Author: Mitsuyo Kakuta

Published: 1 May 2010

Publisher: Kodansha

Rating: 4/5

The year is 1985. Kiwako is an ordinary office worker, in love with a married man, until an unwanted abortion causes her to snap. She kidnaps her lover’s six-month-old baby and runs away with her, eventually taking refuge in an all-female religious commune. Here, she attempts to raise the girl.

Fifteen years later, the child, Elena, is an adult contending with the difficulties of returning to her “natural family,” made up of a mother who doesn’t come home, an alcoholic father, and siblings with whom she can’t connect.

Review

You would think that with a plot where a scorned woman kidnaps her ex’s baby and then took refuge in a religious commune aka A CULT (?!!!), there would be far more things happening in the storyline that would put the plot to the Mission Impossible movies to shame but alas it was not to be and I went into this book expecting action, drama, intensity and MORE action but what I got was the complete opposite which is a slice-of-life type of book which let me tell you is definitely lacking in the action-drama department but surprisingly I kept on reading even though nothing much was happening.

The book was interesting in subtle ways, it didn’t focus much on the kidnapping of the baby but instead focused on how Kiwako would raise the baby in the situation that they were in and it was the prose of the book that captivated me. The prose was simple and unassuming yet it is the main reason why I kept on reading even though half the time I was wondering where exactly is the plot going to take us and the ending of the book was realistic in a way that it was messy and a lot of things weren’t answered like how it is in the real world.

Whilst reading this book I really pity the baby who was kidnapped and the young woman she grew to be. I honestly pitied her. She was raised well by the woman who kidnapped her she had a happy childhood living on an island heck even living in the cult the kid had a happy childhood only for it to be destroyed due to adults selfishness.

Top Ten Tuesdays

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks topic is “Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover (or In the Title)”

So, try to guess what is my favorite color based on the books I chose… I swear its easy…

 

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

I review more and less books

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

 

Pelukis Jalanan… A Review

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Title: Pelukis Jalanan

Author: Teme Abdullah

Publisher: Iman publication

Published: January 2016

Source: Library

Rating: 5/5

I am quite prejudiced against my own race especially when it comes to  literature which explains why I rarely if ever read any Malay books. Not to say I don’t, I do, just very very rarely. The last Malay book I read was I think about 5-6 years ago (Projek Memikat Suami) and that was due to me watching the tv drama version of it and really enjoying it and when I knew it was adapted from a book I instantly bought it.

The reason for this whole prejudice needs a whole post on its own but basically its sexist, non-progressive, stereotypical and lacks any character development and why I am discussing all this instead of reviewing the book in question is because of these prejudices is why I never sought to even want to read Pelukis Jalanan even though I saw it on my twitter feed for years.

Incidently, I saw this book in the library and thought to myself I don’t want to be prejudice anymore so why don’t we give it a go and I did and I loved the book!

I loved the book due to a few reasons and they are listed below:

  • Relatability

Relatability because the guy is Malay and a muslim like myself . He did his SPM like me (true he is smarter but that’s not the point). He too had phases of having trouble to uphold his religion not due to lack of belief but because of life interfering and making one lose focus. So, I liked that and also the author is pretty funny and how he talks/writes is how I would write or react.

  • Mixing of English and Malay

My Malay is absolutely APPALLING, ABHORRENT, DISGUSTING…mind you just choose any synonyms and it will apply to my lack of knowledge in Malay. I truly feel that English is my mother tongue. So, anyways this book uses a mix of both language and it was a lifesaver because then I can fully understand what is being conveyed.

  • Bravado & YOLO

The first few pages of the book already states that Teme (the author) didn’t have a place to stay, didn’t have enough money for food or heck was even enrolled in the university he was planning to go for when he decided to go to UK. That alone made me feel like “DAMN! This guy has balls!”. He just has the guts to just go and YOLO the f*ck out of it and prays for the best which obviously made me want to read on because I want to know is this guy going to be okay.

Yeah, those are my reasons for loving this book and I enjoyed the book so much I actually bought the second book of which I haven’t started yet but I will soon.

Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks topic is “Books That Surprised Me”

  • I expected this book to be a 3-4 rating for me like all her previous books I have read but surprisingly I really enjoyed this book. Who knew? Even gave it a 5 rating.

Review of Holiday in The Hamptons

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  • I rarely read Malay books let alone manage to enjoy one but this book opened my eyes that not all Malay books are shit. I liked it so much I actually bought the second one almost at full price (I say almost because it was 20% off) and coming from a book cheapskate like me, that says A LOT.

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  • You and I both know what I truly feel for this MONSTROSITY! Two years on and I am still riled up thinking about the plot. I can’t even, because if I do my rant will never end. The injustice I felt at having spent my hard earned cash for this trash is inconceivable.

Review of HP & The Cursed Child

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  • I hated this book as well as I felt the synopsis was VERY misleading but for some unbeknownst reason I can’t seem to forget nor shake off the themes discussed in the book.

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  • This book surprised me because I didn’t expect the book would be so tedious and torturous for me to read.

Review of Bookishly Ever After

Booktube review of Bookishly Ever After

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Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Book Quotes

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks topic is “Favorite Book Quotes”.

_After all this time___Always,_ said Snape- (1)

Hello (1)

_After all this time___Always,_ said Snape-

Hello

_After all this time___Always,_ said Snape- (2)

_After all this time___Always,_ said Snape- (3)

I have realized that I don’t read a lot of series and I really want to get into another series but what series though? Any good recommendations?

 

Dumpling Cats… A Review

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Title: Dumpling Cats

Author: Sarah Sloyer

Published: 21 June 2017

Publisher: Dover Publications

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads summary

Waffles is a relaxed feline who loves to read, and Cheeks just can’t get enough to eat. These fun-loving characters are just two of the 25 dumpling-shaped crochet cats in this whimsical collection. The cuddly crochet critters were inspired by the Pokémon™-like craze Neko Atsume, a game that enables you to attract cats to your backyard and “collect” them. Each little dumpling has a name and personality points that add up to big fun!
You don’t have to be an expert to crochet and collect these adorable kitties — the patterns are suitable for crocheters of all skill levels. Easy-to-follow instructions are accompanied by full-color photos and simple drawings. The directions explain every stage, from ears to tail, and some of the patterns include accessories and costume items. Plus, there are bonus patterns for a cat bed, food bowls, and more!

Review

I really liked this book because come on, cute crochet kitties? Like, hello… what is there not to like?

From the cover to the end the book was aesthetically pleasing and kawaii approved! At first, I was worried on how the instructions for crocheting the kitties will be because I have some patterns are difficult for me to understand from the get go and I have to actually crochet it first and understand as I go and re-do some aspects of the pattern to get it correct but not for the patterns from this book.

The patterns were easy to follow as it had step-by-step detailed instructions and photographs, which by the way was superb. There is 25 patterns in this book as well as extra patterns for miscellaneous things such as food bowls, boxes and a pet bed.

I would highly recommend this book to anybody who likes to crochet as the finished products can be used for gifts or any of the sort.

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

Books I Could Re-Read FOREVER

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

And the introduction out of the way let’s get started! This weeks topic is BOOKS I CAN RE-READ FOREVER!!!!!!

Do I even need to do this list honestly? You guys know which books I can read forever. If you don’t then you must be new…

Harry Potter Series

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Like Duh! I thought that now I am 25 my mind would have changed and I would find more problems with them or just generally find more flaws that the 7 year old me missed but I recently finished Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone and to be quite honest I enjoyed it more now as an adult as compared to when I was a kid because now I can appreciate how talented J.K. Rowling is (which is why I am a tad bit sad that her Cormoran Strike series didn’t captivate me as much as Harry Potter did) and how much time and creativity that was spent on building the characters, the plot, the world and their interactions. I had many moments where I laughed out loud reading HP and The Philosopher’s Stone and it has made me want to re-read the series all over again (Not Harry Potter and the cursed child though… that book will NEVER be canon in my eyes. OVER MY DEAD BODY WILL I CONSIDER THAT BOOK CANON… Even now I still can rant over the injustice that is that book. Ugh I can’t even… it will only get my blood pressure up). The book was just so good for me (I say book because you never know maybe the later installments I finally find flaws to critique).

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

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I really enjoyed this series. I enjoyed it so much I spent over RM 300++ to buy the next series; The Kane Chronicles and The Heroes of Olympus series, of which I partially regretted because I had realized too late that I did not enjoy Rick’s new writing style and how his newer books lack any consequence and felt so juvenile-ish. With Percy Jackson, yes the books are for middle graders especially the first few but as you read you grow with the characters. The stakes get higher and characters die (not the main characters but you can win them all) so you feel like shit is going to hit the fan any moment. I would definitely re-read if my library stocked these books in order because I swear they don’t have them all and it infuriates me. Why get a book in a series if you’re not going to get the whole series. I don’t understand that logic.

Millenium series

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I am not too sure why I even like re-reading this series. I just kind of do especially the third book (The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest). I haven’t read the newer ones from this other author and I probably won’t not that I didn’t try. I did. It just wasn’t as engaging anymore.

Sabriel, Lirael & Abhorsen

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Yeah they’re from the Old Kingdom Series but I didn’t read Clariel and some other books from the series and have only read these three hahahha. I really like this series because as much as I hate Garth Nix and his huge time jump between books (excluding Lirael and Abhorsen) I quite enjoy reading about different heroines and their differing strengths and weaknesses and their character growth. It is intriguing to see how the environment of said heroines has a huge influence on their power and how they tackle obstacles in their way. Like Sabriel who has been trained to be an Abhorsen is calm, cool and collected and knows her shit whereas Lirael who was an unknowing Abhorsen but was raised as a Clayr is unsure, nervous at first but bloomed to be a resourceful and intelligent heroine. I have heard that Clariel was an Abhorsen who went rogue so yeah all of the heroines are interesting in their own way.

Funny how I don’t say historical romance as books I can re-read forever because I feel that historical romance isn’t the type of book you would call evergreen or timeless because I loved Judith McNaught books when I was younger but now re-reading it again I realized that the books were very problematic. Also, historical romance is the type of book that doesn’t have much nuance and it is like if you read one you have read them all.

And so yeah these are the only books that I can see myself re-reading it forever. I haven’t found any other books that I feel deserves to be on the forever list as of yet but I am still searching.