Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Giveaway Hop!!

It's been a while since I participated in a hop, so I figured "why not??" There are a TON of books that have been released or will be released this summer that I am dying to read so for this giveaway, I am offering you a choice of the following books: 

Items will be shipping from Amazon (US) or Book Depository (INT). Just please fill out the Rafflecopter below and check out the TONS of other stops on this hop!

Giveaway ends at midnight on Tuesday, August 7, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other stops on this hop here:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

Title: Thief of Shadows 
Series: Maiden Lane #4
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: June 26th, 2012
Genre: Historical Romance

A Masked Man . . .

Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he's the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles—protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.

A Dangerous Woman . . .

Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she's asked to tutor the Home's dour manager in the ways of society— flirtation, double-entendres, and scandalous liaisons—Isabel can't help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar—and his lips so tempting.

A Passion Neither Could Deny

During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything—the Home, Isabel . . . and his life.

Review: I don't really know how Elizabeth Hoyt does it but umm...diz-amn! She had me hooked again with "Thief of Shadows." This fourth installment of her Maiden Lane series was well worth the months I eagerly anticipated its release.

This book focuses primarily on the story of Winter Makepeace - meek and saintly manager of an orphanage during the day; dashing and quick masked hero by night. Yes, I know it sounds cheesy but trust me, it really works! Winter has basically taken what amounts to a vow of celibacy. It's probably just as well because he's drab, kind of rude, and really humorless. That is...until Lady Isabel Beckinhall unleashes a side of him that has long since been suppressed.

What I Loved: Well, I don't think I need to gush more about Elizabeth Hoyt but...woman really knows how to write! The love scenes are loaded with anticipation and so much deliciousness that it practically makes you squirm. The story itself flowed so well and there were parts when I was truly affected by revelations made within the book ::sniffle::.

I really loved Lady Isabel, as well. She was such a strong, feminine, and yet fragile figure (not in the "wilting flower" way that kinda irks me, either). As the book progressed she was revealed to be a truly multifaceted character who I'd really love to know in real life. I know there's book boyfriends out there. Can she be my book BFF?

What I Didn't Like: Well...it's not so much that I didn't like this but...holy hell Winter sure got on my nerves! It was really frustrating to read some of the things he did or didn't do because, frankly, he has always come of as rather rude to me. I didn't care for him from the previous books so I was definitely a little jaded going in.

Without giving anything away, I must mention that there were two or three points that I kinda thought to myself "WTF Winter?" But the positive of this is that he mostly did redeem himself by the end.

Yay or Nay: A big 'ol resounding YAY! There's a lot going on in this book...and some of it isn't pretty. Although the fluffiness that we all enjoy is still there, there are moments of sadness, vulnerability, and desperation. They are beautifully countered with the true happiness, romance, and deep resounding love that we all enjoy in romance novels.

I would strongly suggest to any historical romance lovers to pick this series up! Although this installment can read as a stand-alone story, it's worth it to read the whole series because the sum of the story is really that wonderful!

Goodreads  |  Amazon  |   Author's Site

4/5 Teapots!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Feature & Follow #2

The Feature & Follow Blog Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel @ Parajunkee and Alison @ Alison Can Read. The purpose of it is to help out new book bloggers (such as myself) and make it easier for ALL bloggers to get together once a week and support each other by commenting on blogs and following!!

1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the follower.

This week's features are Alisa @ Books Are My Reality and Michelle @ Concise Book Reviews.
This week's question is:

What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school? 


Two of my ABSOLUTE favorites, which I still count amongst my top 10, are Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. Both of those left lasting impressions on me - especially Frankenstein, which I've reread since and loved just as much as the first time.

Please follow either via GFC or Networked Blogs.
I appreciate you stopping by and I can't wait to return the favor!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

Who doesn't love a great book deal? Check out the following steals, currently available at Amazon. All of these are either books I currently own or have been on my wishlist for quite some time.

Prices are current as of 7/26/12.

Young Adult Paperbacks and Hardcovers

All books are $4.40 or less

Paperback Romance
(All books are $4.00 or less)

If you plan on purchasing any of them, I would much appreciate it if you used the affiliate links above. This way, I can start putting together a little piggy bank of funds that will be used for future prizes and other giveaways!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Design!

Totally on a whim, I decided to completely re-do my blog design. It's much more...pink...and bright. I figured, Hey! I review a lot of chick-type books so why not??

Credit completely goes to the amazingly talented Itkupilli, from whom I obtained both the header and the background image.

There will be more content revisions in the coming days but since I'm extremely satisfied with the current design, I think it's here to stay for a while. Let me know what you think!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases bloggers are eagerly anticipating.

I'm waiting for...

A gritty, atmospheric coming-of-age tale set in New York’s Lower East Side

Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream—she has her own apartment on New York’s Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when her real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream.

The sounds of the city grate against Cat’s nerves, she shrinks away from human touch, and can barely think the words “I love you” even when she feels them. Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father who’s found happiness in another woman, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But then someone comes along who makes her want to stop escaping her life and actually live it, only she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control. Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping tale and the reader won’t want to look away.

This book is one I only heard about recently and I am absolutely DYING to read! It doesn't come out until April 2013, so I have quite a wait, but am still excited! It contains a lot of my key buzz-words ("gritty?" "poignant and raw?" umm...yes please!). I think this may be a rough read but, if done correctly, those reads have an amazing way of sticking with me. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: The Rake by Mary Jo Putney

Title: The Rake  
Author: Mary Jo Putney
Publisher: Kensington/Zebra  
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: A man's past doesn't have to map his fate, especially when a woman holds the key to his destiny in this timeless novel by New York Times bestselling author and legend in historical romance Mary Jo Putney...

Disinherited and disgraced, Reginald Davenport's prospects cried for a dire end. But fate has given him one last chance at redemption—by taking his rightful place as the heir of Strickland, his lost ancestral estate. Davenport knows his way around women, yet nothing prepares him for his shocking encounter with Lady Alys Weston.

Masquerading as a man in order to obtain a position as estate manager of Strickland, Alys fled a world filled with mistrust and betrayal. She was finished with men—until Strickland's restored owner awakens a passion she thought she would never feel. A passion that will doom or save them both…if only they can overcome their pasts.

Review: Mary Jo Putney sure got me out of my reading funk with this gem!

The story centers on Reggie Davenport, who is a rake in every sense of the word. He likes his behavior scandalous, his women wanton, and his drink a-plenty. Unfortunately, unlike other casual drinkers, alcohol has become quite a problem for Reggie and has lead to black outs, as well as regrettable behavior.

The female lead is Alys Weston, strong, stubborn, and with a hint of self-esteem issues. What makes Alys so unique is that she's tall, with long legs, and a set of mismatched eyes. What makes Alys so relate-able is that she feels like she's always stood out for her physical characteristics (a total appeal to me as a tall, dorky girl).

As Reggie and Alys form a bond over their shared interest in Davenport's estate (of which Alys is a stewart and Reggie had inherited), a passion forms between the two of them that is only unleashed after our rake has been drinking. Aside from the obvious physical attraction, there is also a real sense of respect that both our leads have for each other. I also loved their back-and-forth flirting humor.

As the characters slowly revealed themselves to each other, the story built on them and the relationships around them. I loved that Putney incorporated the lives of other characters into the story and that it did not come off as cluttered. I really enjoyed the side stories as much as the main one!

The only complaint I had was the lack of steamy sexy scenes. They were almost glazed over to get to the meat of the story. While in this case, that story was good enough for it to work, it was a little disappointing to have those highly anticipated scenes not be milked for every ounce of the sexy goodness they provided.

Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read that I'd definitely recommend to any fans of historical romance.