Exciting News!

You guys, guess what?  I’ve moved over to wordpress.org!  After seeing Heidi‘s post about Book Host, I knew it was the perfect thing for me.  It was sort of a spur of the moment decision, and it happened so fast, that I do feel a little overwhelmed, but I’m super excited about this!  Ashley migrated my posts so quickly, and she’s been wonderful to work with!

brave gif

Anyway, this is going to be my last post on quinnsbooknook.wordpress.com.  BUT certainly not my last blog post.  I would love for you to check out where I’ll be posting from now on – quinnsbooknook.com!

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Audio Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

girl of fire and thornsThe Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Publisher: Greenwillow
Age Group: Teen
Source: Audible
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

 

Rating

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

My Thoughts

I’ve been procrastinating writing my thoughts for The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.  I’m just not sure how to adequately put all my thoughts and feelings into coherent words.  But, I’m going to try, because that’s why I started blogging – to talk to other book lovers about the stories I’ve read.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns is one emotional read, and the real gem is the main character, Elisa.  Princess Elisa is the bearer of the Godstone – the only bearer in a hundred years.  Bearing the Godstone means that the bearer is destined for some great service, and it has put a lot of pressure on Elisa’s shoulders.  Despite being a princess, and being the bearer, Elisa is incredibly self-conscious.  You see, Elisa finds a lot of comfort in food, which has resulted in Elisa becoming overweight.  And on top of that, Elisa feels estranged from her older sister, and her father; she doesn’t really have anyone she’s particularly close to.

I loved The Girl of Fire and Thorns so much solely because I loved Elisa.  She’s self-conscious, but she’s also so incredibly smart.  She shows her courage over and over throughout the whole novel, in so many way.  The way Elisa accepts all the changes in her life is amazing, and definitely not something I could have done at sixteen (or ever, really).    Elisa’s character growth throughout the story is amazing.

It did take me a little bit to get into the book.  At first I thought the book was going to focus on religious beliefs too much for my taste, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Religion and faith do play a large part of the plot, but it never becomes preachy, and really added a lot to this world that Carson created.  I also struggled a bit at first because I thought the book was going to be about the court happenings, and I really didn’t care for those types of games.  But then the plot changes directions, and whoa, baby I fell hard for this book.

I’m really glad that I chose to listen to The Girl of Fire and Thorns via audiobook.  I’m not sure if I would have stuck with the book because I wasn’t feeling the beginning if I was reading the print version.  But the audiobook made it a little bit easier for me to enjoy at the beginning, and then when the change happens, I couldn’t put it down.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns will pull your emotions from one direction to the next, but in a very good way.  I had ALL THE FEELS, and I definitely want to read the other two books in the series.  I highly recommend this one.

Posted in 4 Star Reviews, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Top Ten All Time Favorite Romances

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.

toptentuesday

This week’s TTT is all about our favorite books in any genre of our choosing.  Since I love the romance, and since this genre covers so many books, I thought it would be the perfect genre to focus on.

In no particular order . . .

Adult Romances

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I mean, seriously!!  Mr. Darcy!

2.  Julia Quinn
Haha, okay this is an author not a single book, but I feel like it’s ALMOST impossible to go wrong with her.  But if I HAD to narrow it down, I’d choose The Viscount Who Loved Me, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, and How to Marry a Marquis.  OH!!!  And What Happens in London.  Yeah, obviously I couldn’t just choose one JQ book.

3.  A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
Tessa Dare is a recent discovery, and what a fantastic discovery.  It’s really hard to just pick ONE of her books, but I think the I have to focus on A Week to Be Wicked.  Colin and Minerva’s story is just so much fun.  But very close behind would be A Night to Surrender and Romancing the Duke.

4.  A Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
Oh my gosh, you guys, no one does the whole reformed hero like Kleypas does.  This book is A-Freaking-Mazing!  All the feels.  Also, Evie is one of my favorite heroines ever.  I so identify with her regarding her shyness.

5.  The Secret by Julie Garwood
I LOVE Julie Garwood’s historicals.  Serious love, you guys.  But there is something about this one that really speaks to me.  Iain and Judith are just too sweet.

6. Edenbrooke Julianne Donaldson
If you are interested in romance, but not the sexy times, or if you just like romance win general, you must read this one.  It’s sweet, and fun, and the main characters are amazing.  Actually, I kind of want to re-read this one now.

7.  Every Boy’s Got One by Meg Cabot
You all know I love Meg Cabot.  Well, maybe you didn’t know, but you do now.  This is my favorite adult book of hers.  It’s typically light and funny Meg Cabot fair, but I especially loved the main characters.  It even has a Pride and Prejudice feel.  Who doesn’t love that?

Teen Romances

8.  Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
I get all the feels with McGarry’s book, but this is my favorite of hers.  Although I really loved Dare You To and Crash Into You, there is something about Noah and Echo’s story that I can’t resist.

9.  Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
You guys, this book is amazing.  Just the way Rowell describes holding hands makes me swoon.  It’s a little bittersweet, though.

10.  The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
If this isn’t the cutest story ever, I don’t know what is.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, I could go on and on here.  I just love the romance.  But these are some of my ALL TIME FAVORITES EVER!  Do you like romance?  What are your favorites?

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Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

white hot kissWhite Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Amrentrout
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Teen
Source: Netgalley
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Summary from Amazon:

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Rating

4 out of 5

3.75 out of 5

My Thoughts

If you were to head over to my Review Master List, and look under “A” it would be quite clear that I really like Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books.  I’ve read her Lux series, her Wait for You series, and a few of her standalones.  Obviously, I’m a total fan.  So I was pretty excited to read White Hot Kiss, the first novel in the Dark Elements series from Harlequin Teen.  And you guys, I was NOT disappointed.

I’m always more interested in the characters of the story, than the plot, so let’s focus on the characters first.  Besides, although there’s lots going on the plot department of this one, I think that White Hot Kiss is more character driven, anyway.

Layla is a very typical Armentrout main character.  She’s nice, likes good looking boys (who doesn’t?), but also isn’t afraid to stand up for herself.  I love that she is a typical Armentrout main character . . . but at the same time, I feel like I could replace Layla with any of Amentrout’s main characters, and it wouldn’t be confusing at all.  And I’m wanting a little bit difference between all these female leads.  Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Layla.  I love how she tries to make up her own mind about things, even though she’s been taught one thing all her life.  And I like that she isn’t a pushover.  And I like that she is just plain likable.  But, I would also like something a little different.

So, you guys, there’s kind of a love triangle going on in White Hot Kiss.  And if you’ve been reading my blog, then you probably know my feelings about love triangles (I HATE THEM).  BUT, I actually didn’t mind this one.  I’m not saying that I’m a total convert now, and want love triangles in my books, but the LT didn’t make me want to toss the book out the window in frustration.

The two guys are Zayne, a Warden that Layla has grown up with, and who has always stuck up for Layla, even though most other Warden stay far away, and Roth, who is a freaking Upper Level Demon.  I like both guys, a lot!  Layla doesn’t have to choose between them or anything (at least not in this book), but I can see why she would care for both of them.  Zayne is the golden boy, and Roth is full of attitude, and sort of on the same level as Daemon from Armentrout’s Lux series, although Roth isn’t nearly as snarky.  I do think it’s pretty clear which one Layla should end up with, but I also don’t feel like the love triangle was just thrown into the story for the sake of having a love triangle.

The story is very fast-paced and easy to read.  I read 3/4 of White Hot Kiss in one sitting, and then finished it the next day.  Again, the flow of the book is very Armentrout-esque.  If you’ve read her books before, I think you’ll know what I mean.

I definitely liked White Hot Kiss, and I’m really excited for the second book in this series.  If you’re a fan of Armentrout’s books, especial her paranormal series, then I think you will love White Hot Kiss.  And if you are thinking of trying out Armentrout’s books, this is a great place to begin.

Posted in 4 Star Reviews, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Book Haul #43

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga’s Reviews.  The Sunday Post is a weekly event hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  Here we can share what new books we’ve picked up this past week as well as other interesting book news.

Another small book haul this week.  I’m actually thinking of doing these book hauls every other week.  What do you think?  I haven’t decided yet.

Library:

jane the fox and me

Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt & Isabelle Arsenault
I’ve been waiting for this graphic novel to come in on hold for literally 2 months.  My library system only had a few copies and I wasn’t the first person on the holds list.  BUT it finally arrived and I’m so excited to read it.

these broken stars

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Okay, so I actually have the print copy of this book from the library right now, but I also wanted the audiobook.  I think I’m going to read this via audio.

Life Tidbits

  • Phew, it has been a long week.  I’m so excited to have Sunday and Monday off.
  • I want to get so much stuff done on my two days off.  Usually I dread doing stuff like that on my days off, but I’m kind of looking forward too it.  I’m on such an organization kick right now.
  • I’ve been addicted to Mahjong Safari on Pogo.com.  I’ve been wasting SOOO much time playing that game.  Luckily I can listen to an audiobook while I play, so it’s not REALLY wasting time, right?
  • Winter is still definitely here in Central New York, but you guys, the end is in sight, now.  I hear birds chirping in the morning!!!!
  • I actually hate when Daylight Savings Time begins.  My body just does not adjust to the time change well.  It’s not just losing the hour, it’s something else.  How do you guys feel about it?
Posted in Book Hauls | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

Review: A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare

lady by midnightA Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove #3)
Author: Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon
Age Group: Adult
Source: Amazon
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Summary from Amazon:

A temporary engagement, a lifetime in the making . . .

After years of fending for herself, Kate Taylor found friendship and acceptance in Spindle Cove—but she never stopped yearning for love. The very last place she’d look for it is in the arms of Corporal Thorne. The militia commander is as stone cold as he is brutally handsome. But when mysterious strangers come searching for Kate, Thorne steps forward as her fiancé. He claims to have only Kate’s safety in mind. So why is there smoldering passion in his kiss?

Long ago, Samuel Thorne devoted his life to guarding Kate’s happiness. He wants what’s best for her, and he knows it’s not marriage to a man like him. To outlast their temporary engagement, he must keep his hands off her tempting body and lock her warm smiles out of his withered heart. It’s the toughest battle of this hardened warrior’s life . . . and the first he seems destined to lose.

Rating

3.5 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

My Thoughts

I’ve been devouring Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series, but I’ve been trying to read them slowly.  I don’t want to finish this series too quickly because, you know, then it will be over. And I’ve just been loving this series.  A Lady by Midnight may be my least favorite in the series so far, but it was still a wonderful addition to the Spindle Cove series.

Kate Taylor, Spindle Cove’s resident music teacher, is all alone in the world.  After being left at Margate school at just 5 years old, she’s been on her own.  She remembers nearly nothing of her time before Margate, and she’d give just about anything to have a family of her own.  There’s nothing really to dislike about Kate Taylor.  She’s independent, intelligent, and full of hope.  She’s kind, and she embraces life in Spindle Cove.  However, as much as I like Kate, I can’t say that anything about her personality really stood out to me.  It’s been two days since I finished this book, and very little actually remains in my mind about Kate.

Thorne has always been very mysterious, and I’ve found him quite intriguing since the start of the Spindle Cove series.  He’s that strong, silent type – and seriously, that’s my kind of hero.  He’s definitely not one to beat around the bush, and he doesn’t sugar coat what he says, which does explain some of the animosity between Kate and Thorne.  I definitely found Thorne a bit more memorable than Kate, especially his childhood.  I also really like that Thorne is self-made.  When you read a lot of historical romances set in Regency England – well the heroes do tend to be those born into nobility.  And although there is nothing wrong with that, I’m an American.  And I think we kind of like the whole self-made story.  So I really loved that Thorne was able to make something of himself, even in Regency England.

I read A Lady by Midnight in one sitting.  I spent Friday reading, reading, reading, and it was a great way to spend my time off.  I did think that a few climatic points were a bit out-there, but, as I’ve said many, many times, I do not pick up an historical romance for realistic reading.

As I mentioned above, A Lady by Midnight is a great addition to the Spindle Cove series.  Is it as memorable as A Night to Surrender or A Week to Be Wicked?  No, not in my opinion.  But if you like historical romance, you’ll like this one for sure.

Posted in 3 Star Reviews, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Review: A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

week to be wickedA Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove #2)
Author: Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon
Age Group: Adult
Source: Amazon
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary from Amazon:

When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin…time is not on their side. 

Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.

Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be…anywhere but Spindle Cove.

These unlikely partners have one week to

• fake an elopement
• convince family and friends they’re in “love”
• outrun armed robbers
• survive their worst nightmares
• travel four hundred miles without killing each other

All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.

What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.

Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble. And maybe…just maybe…love.

Rating

5 out of 5

5 out of 5

My Thoughts

I’ve been gorging on romance novels lately.  After reading A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare, I couldn’t wait to read the next full-length novel in the Spindle Cove series.  But at the same time, I was nervous, because how could A Week to Be Wicked be as amazing as A Night to Surrender?  But, you guys, Tessa Dare created such a wonderful, amazing, book, and I actually liked A Week to Be Wicked even MORE than the first book – which is saying a lot.  Basically, Tessa Dare writes my kind of books.

In A Week to Be Wicked, we follow Minerva, Spindle Cove’s spectacles-wearing geology expert and Colin, Lord Payne, reluctant resident, and lady’s man, of Spindle Cove, as they travel to Scotland.  I first met Colin and Minerva in A Night to Surrender, so I had an idea of what A Week to Be Wicked would be like, who I thought these two characters where.  I was wrong, though.  Well, slightly, anyway.  Dare brings so much more to Minerva and Colin than I was expecting, but also keeps them like their A Night to Surrender selves.

Minerva is a bit geeky, really.  She loves to read, she wears glasses, and her passion is geology.  She’s the middle child, and she has an older sister (Diana) who’s beautiful and sweet and kind, and a younger sister who’s beautiful and a little wild.  Minerva’s mother doesn’t always have the nicest things to say about her middle daughter, but Minerva weathers it well.  I loved that Dare didn’t make Minerva a stereotype, though, of that geeky, overlooked girl.  Minerva is just Minerva.  She loves rocks, and her sisters, and Spindle Cove.

I was actually really surprised with how easily Dare made me fall in love with Colin.  Ovbiously, I was expecting to like him, but I wasn’t sure if I could truly love him as a character.  He’s a bit reckless, even irresponsible at times, both traits that I don’t usually find attractive.  But there is so much more to Colin, and Dare showcases it perfectly.  Oh my gosh, and can Colin make up stories!  Definitely one of my favorite parts of the book was when Colin was inventing all these tales and telling them to the people they met on their way to Scotland.  It was hilarious, and I loved him all the more for it.  And of course, Colin’s refusal to call Minerva her name, always calling her other names that being with M, was adorable.

There were no slow parts in A Week to Be Wicked.  Honestly, I couldn’t put this book down.  I started it Sunday, and finished it on Sunday.  I loved seeing how dislike and misunderstanding bloomed into like, respect and then love between Colin and Minerva.  Really, who can resist a hate-to-love story?  It always brings to mind Pride and Prejudice and we all know how perfect that book is.  But, seriously, it was the perfect way to spend my Sunday.

As much as I love romances, I am not into sappy stuff.  I say this because, usually I’m not super into huge, emotional declarations of love.  Simple “I love yous” are more my style.  But I totally got all swoony with Colin’s declaration.  It wasn’t sappy at all, but he certainly was very clear on elaborating all the reasons he loved Minerva (this totally isn’t a spoiler – this is a romance – this is what always happens).  I couldn’t stop sighing and smiling.  Even hours after finishing the book.

A Week to Be Wicked is near perfection in my mind, and is one of the few historical romances that I will read again.  I loved the characters, the humor, the hate-to-love relationship.  Basically, I loved almost everything.  I wanted to start the third Spindle Cove novel right after finishing this one, but forced myself to wait a few days.  But I only ended up waiting four days, because I just need to read more Tessa Dare!!

Posted in 5 Star Reviews, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments