Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Review: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

February 26th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

Source: Received for review

Publication date: January 27, 2015

Publisher: Avon Books

Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #4

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

About the book:

Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can’t be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family’s infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She’s the type of girl you don’t notice until the second—or third—look, but there’s something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she’s the one.

Iris Smythe–Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can’t quite believe it’s all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can’t help thinking that he’s hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes.

My Review:

Wow, I cannot believe I happened to read books from two of my all time favorite authors, back to back and hated both!  I never thought the day would come I would ever write a 2 star review for either but here I go again.

The majority of the book was pretty slow going.  Richard has some dark secret that is hinted at for a good 2/3 of the book which in itself was kind of irritating.  We know he thinks Iris will hate him and he laments over it yet he trudges on with whatever stupid plan he came up with.  So while both Richard and Iris had a wit I really admired and I liked them both I couldn’t love him since so much of his character revolved around this dark secret he’s holding.

THEN we finally find out what the secret is and OMG I seriously cannot believe Julia Quinn went there.  Yes, I can see why he was afraid Iris would hate him and rightfully so.  Then the way he spoke to Iris once she found out.  There was no shame or apology, just a “you’re my wife damn it, this is how it is and you will suck it up.”.  Yes, he berates himself in private but still what a total d-bag.  He finally tries to redeem himself in the last 30 pages of the book but too little, too late.  He doesn’t make any grand gesture or anything.  Just throws out an “I’m so sorry, we will fix this” and then poof! Iris forgives him.  WTF?!  I had actually liked Iris for the majority of the book and felt bad that she got trapped into this situation but then for her to forgive him so easily.  I guess I don’t have that kind of a heart.

Ugh, I cannot get over this “hero” and hope Julia Quinn will return back to actually writing heroic characters.  I have read every single one of her books and am a huge fan but just couldn’t stomach this one.

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Posted in 2 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction, Romance | No Comments »

Review: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

February 25th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Source: Purchased myself

Publication date: July 29, 2014

Publisher: Razorbill

Series: Bloodlines #5

Rating: ★★★★½

About the book:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

My Review:

Wow, talk about book hangover.  The Fiery Heart had me screaming at the end about how Richelle Mead left us  hanging and I couldn’t wait to grab Silver Shadows.  So fortunately with Amazon’s 1-click I was able to dive into Silver Shadows.  The Fiery Heart was my favorite book in the series but Silver Shadows was a close second.

It was pretty darn intense watching Sydney trying to survive in the Alchemist re-education camp.  It’s actually pretty darn amazing how far Sydney has come in my eyes.  I went from not liking her in Bloodlines and giving up on the series to falling in love with her character.

I will say the main reason I didn’t give this the full 5 stars was Adrian.  He’s almost completely regressed back to his old behaviors which really irked me.  I love Adrian but seeing him pretty much give up on Sydney and live most of his days and nights drunk drove me insane.

The story itself was great and kept me turning those pages and thankfully I already had The Ruby Circle on hand when I finished.

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Posted in 4 Star Books, 5 Star Books, Books, Young Adult | No Comments »

Waiting on Wednesday: Rook by Sharon Cameron

February 24th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Waiting on Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week is Rook by Sharon Cameron.  It’s due to release on April 28, 2015.

Rook by Sharon Cameron

About the book:

History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.

Find it Online:

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Posted in Books, Young Adult | 6 Comments »

Review: Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery

February 23rd, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: July 1, 2010

Publisher: HQN

Series: Fool’s Gold #2

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

About the book:

Back in high school, Liz Sutton was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Then she’d stolen the heart of the most popular boy in town, and their secret romance helped her through the worst of times. Until Ethan Hendrix betrayed her and everything they’d ever meant to each other. Devastated and pregnant, Liz left Fool’s Gold, California–forever, she thought….

Now Liz must return to town and face the man who doesn’t know of their son’s existence. And this time she won’t have the option of making a quick getaway. Ethan and Liz can’t deny their passionate attraction, even after all these years. But will their desire be enough to spark a second chance at love?

My Review:

Wow, I never thought I’d see the day that I would give a Fool’s Gold book a 2 star rating because I adore Susan Mallery and this little town she’s built.  I have been reading this series out of order depending on which books I pick up at the library or pop up in my used book store.  So I’ve read a bunch of books in this series and am only just finding my way back to this one.  Yes, some haven’t worked as much for me as others but Mallery’s writing usually keeps me in love enough with the town they are all 3 star or higher books. This one, however, was a total and utter fail.

My main issue was with Ethan. I hated him from the start. I found his self-righteousness, self-pity and anger towards Liz unreasonable and horrible. As a mom I can understand anger over missing seeing your child growing up but honestly whose fault was that? He was a total jerk towards Liz when they were teens and obviously didn’t deserve her then. Then his excuse that nothing happened between he and Pia when Liz found them naked in bed together? Pathetic, especially since it’s because he was too drunk to get the job done. Then rather than truly blaming his dead wife for keeping the information from him (who by the way he only married because he knocked her up as well.) he puts all the anger back on Liz. Even more pathetic. And come on, even though it’s brought up a couple times it is referred to more as a joke over his habit of getting girls pregnant. He claims “since when is doing the right thing bad” when he talks about marrying his previous wife and willing to marry Liz. Ummmm, how about doing the right thing from the start and not getting them pregnant in the first place if you don’t actually WANT to marry them? I kept waiting for Ethan to redeem himself and he never truly does. The nail in the coffin was when he started bad mouthing Liz to their son. No matter how angry I may get at my children’s father I would never, ever bad mouth him to them. I think it’s disrespectful and immature. You should never drag your kids into a fight like this. The worst part is though he finally admits he was wrong when Liz confronts him, he never deals with it with their son. He does this several times as he makes several sexist comments and other dumb statements to their son. Ethan is basically a child caught up in a temper tantrum and lashing out.

I also had mixed feelings about some of the side characters and the town itself. There is a lot of apology about no one stepping forward or noticing the abuse Liz went through when she was a child. Yet, somehow again they overlooked that a 14 yr old and an 11 yr old were living on their own for months! Liz notices immediately when she arrives that they look unkempt, their clothes were dirty and their shoes falling apart. No one else seemed to notice this? I get her nieces were trying to hide it but those are pretty blaring signs in a small town. Liz’s oldest niece, Melissa, also got on my nerves being a spoiled brat abou the potential move from Fool’s Gold and being ungrateful for all Liz has done for them. That though was at least understandable because she is 14 and has been through a lot but it still grated on me. And then there was Pia who I actually liked in the the other books. It irked me that while she went through a lot and was a self-admitted b**ch to Liz in high school she never comes outright to apologize. Even Denise, Ethan’s mom, eventually apologizes.

Lastly came Liz who I actually really liked and admired at how well she did for herself, for being such a great mom and showing such restraint when hateful people passed judgment on her choices with no facts. BUT I hated how she rolled over so often when Ethan lashed out at her. I get she had guilt that he missed out on their son’s early years but honestly most of that wasn’t her fault. So why should she be a door mat to his anger? Then to keep sleeping with him. That’s what ticked me off. No matter what horrible things he did, she kept going back for more.

Ethan’s sisters were just about the only redeeming part of this story and I will say it’s a testament to Mallery’s writing style that I kept reading to the last page hoping for some great turnaround. I still highly recommend this series but steer clear of this one book.

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Posted in 2 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance | 2 Comments »

Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

February 22nd, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Source: NetGalley

Publication date: February 24, 2015

Publisher: Mira

Series: Soulfinders #1

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book:

Once, only her own life hung in the balance.

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she’d survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek’s job – and his life – are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret – or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is – while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

My Review

I am a huge fan of Maria V. Snyder. Her Glass series books were amazing and I really enjoyed her Study books as well. I didn’t realize she was continuing the Study series so when I found out about Shadow Study AND that I got more Valek I was soooo excited! It’s been awhile since I read these two series so I was a little lost when I first started. I quickly got back into the entire world though and as I read the details of the earlier books all came back. I LOVED it. I couldn’t stop reading and though I guessed the big surprise early on it still didn’t ruin the story.

I was so stinking over the moon that we got to learn more about Valek’s past and how he came to be where he is now. It made me fall in love with him even more. Yelena’s self pity at times was a little grating but understandable after what she had to go through. Ari and Janco were just as endearing but I wish we had seen a little more of them. There were a couple new characters introduced that should prove intriguing in future books.

Fans of the earlier books definitely won’t be disappointed!

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Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Fantasy | 1 Comment »

Review: The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

February 16th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

Source: Library

Publication date: November 19, 2013

Publisher: Razorbill

Series: Bloodlines #4

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

My Review:

So you know those books that you love so much but want to throw them across the room because of the major cliff hanger?  That’s me right now with this book.  I LOVED it and despite it being after 11pm, having to get up at 6:30am to get the kids to school and then a full day of work I am so tempted to go buy the Kindle version of Silver Shadows so I can start reading it now.  And yes, this is even though I have it on hold at the library and can go pick it up tomorrow.  That is how badly I want to know what happens next.  Sigh.

Despite that I have to say I loved just about everything about this book other than the cliffhanger.  Sydney has definitely grown on me despite my initial dislike of her character.  Adrian can really do no wrong and I adore the rest of the gang.  Even Zoe was interesting because you know what’s coming and yet I feel like there’s going to be so much more to her in future books (or at least I hope so!).

The story line was enthralling despite not a lot of action.  I loved seeing the relationships between everyone deepen and as they have to face their own inner demons.  This is probably my favorite book in the series so far.

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Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Paranormal, Young Adult | No Comments »

Review: Be Mine Forever by Marina Adair

February 15th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Be Mine Forever by Marina Adair

Source: NetGalley

Publication date: January 21, 2014

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Series: St. Helena Vineyard #4

Rating: ★★★½☆

About the Book:

For Trey DeLuca, the idea of settling down was entirely unsettling. As VP of sales for his family’s wine company, he’s never in any one city—or with any one woman—for long, which is how he likes it. But when family obligations keep him temporarily grounded in his hometown, he finds the perfect distraction. She’s sweet, gorgeous, and sexy as hell…only her life screams commitment.

Between raising her son and struggling to keep her dance school afloat, Sara Reed has her hands full. Dance students she needs—a steamy tangled sheets cha-cha with a self-admitted commitment-phobe? Not going to happen. But sparks fly as the town prepares for a big Valentine’s Day gala, and Trey strikes a deal with Sara…he’ll “manny-up” and watch her son in exchange for ballroom lessons.

With love quickstepping ever closer, Sara needs to teach this playboy some new steps or risk losing him—and her heart—forever.

My Review:

Marina Adair is one of my favorite romance authors and I am in love with the St. Helena Vineyard series so I had high hopes for this one. Sadly it didn’t grab me the way the previous books have. Trey was ok but nothing dazzling for me. He was just missing that spark his brothers held. Sara didn’t grab me at all. I adored her son but Sara was just blah to me. There was a point towards the end of the book I actually completely disagreed with her behavior and this coming from someone who also has small kids. I get she was afraid of disappointing her son but I felt she was behaving selfishly too.

I did love almost every scene that included the rest of the DeLuca clan. Trey’s brothers were just as endearing as in their own books, I loved seeing glimpses of their wives and children and was happy to see Frankie even making appearances. Chichi and her cronies cracked me up and honestly everything except Trey and Sara were fabulous.

So while not a favorite in the series the rest of the family managed to save the story.

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Posted in 3 Star Books, 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance | 1 Comment »

Happy Valentine’s Day: My Favorite Romantic Reads

February 14th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Fave Romantic Reads

If you are looking for some great romantic reads this Valentine’s Day here are some of my favorites.

Young Adult Reads

SweetSeries_FB_Banner

The Sweet Series by Wendy Higgins is amazing.  I totally sigh for Kai.  Get Sweet Evil here.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

The entire Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead is another fabulous read and I am in love with both Dmitri and Adrian.  Definitely don’t judge this one by its cover. Get Vampire Academy here.

New Adult

I’ll admit this is a genre I don’t read too much of but I love what I’ve read so far so have a huge list of to read books.  If you have any suggestions of your fave please tell me in the comments.

One Percenter by D.R. Graham

This wasn’t one of the steamier NA reads I’ve read but you hardly notice because the story drags you in.  It’s also my first motorcycle club read.  I’ve already picked up Sarah Castille’s Rough Justice thanks to this one.  Pick up your copy of One Percenter by D.R. Graham here.

Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros

This was one that sat on my Kindle for ages and when I finally read it I wanted to kick myself for not reading it sooner.  I LOVED IT!  Get your copy of Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros here.

Contemporary Adult

Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Marina Adair

I totally fell in love with Marina Adair after I read this one.  Get Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Marina Adair here.

When We Met by Susan Mallery

I love Susan Mallery’s entire Fool’s Gold series.  Can’t get enough!  When We Met was fabulous and the best thing is you don’t really have to read them in order. :)  Pick up When We Met by Susan Mallery.

The Doctor's Fake Fiance

Victoria James is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!  Get The Doctor’s Fake Fiancee here.

Seven Day Fiance by Rachlel Harris

Rachel Harris is another author who is on my auto-buy list.  Love her!  Get Seven Day Fiance here.

Historical Romance

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

This was the book that introduced me to Julia Quinn, one of my all time favorite historical authors.  Get The Viscount Who Loved Me here.

thebride

You really can’t go wrong with any of Julie Garwood’s historical romances.  Get The Bride here here.

Posted in Books, Historical Fiction, Romance | 3 Comments »

Waiting on Wednesday: End of Days by Susan Ee

February 11th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Waiting on Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week is End of Days by Susan Ee.  It’s due to release on May 12, 2015.

I’ve been waiting for what feels like forever to find out what happens in this series!  There aren’t many angel series I’m a fan of besides Cynthia Hand’s but this is one of them.

End of Days by Susan Ee

About the book:

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

Find it Online:

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Posted in Books, Dystopia, Fantasy, Paranormal | 2 Comments »

Cover Reveal: Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

February 10th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Nalini Singh is one of my all time favorite authors so I am thrilled to be taking part in her cover reveal of Rock Hard due out March 10, 2015!

Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

About Rock Hard:

In New York Times Bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past…

Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.

Find Rock Hard Online:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads

About Nalini Singh:

Nalini Singh

NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about hot and wickedly tempting rock stars. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.

Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, whileAngels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Also, don’t forget to swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page for the Rock Kiss series, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the books.

STALK HER:

 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway:

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Posted in Books, Cover Reveal, Giveaways, Romance | No Comments »

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