Monday, June 27, 2016

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N Holmberg

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.
When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.
During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.
From the author of The Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption.

I have no idea how to review this book. I rate it high because the writing is great! Charlie can write! I'm just not sure how the story affected me. It's intriguing and twisty and strange and clever and what? and oh! and sigh.

Maire has amnesia. She can only remember her name. But she has a gift of baking emotions into the foods she bakes. She loves the people who took her in and are helping but soon Maire finds herself captured and sold to a strange, groudy man. Maire tries to escape and is almost crippled from a bear trap so she can't go anywhere unless the groudy man takes her. Their relationship is strange. But her time with him is kinda cool only because she's forced to bake a human-sized gingerbread house for a witch and a living gingerbread boy, among other treats.

Maire is visited by someone from her past, which keeps her sane and motivated. The more he appears to her, the more her fragmented memories start falling into place. But who they are and their place is crazy strange and unique.

This is a story of one's journey and the cosmic effects our choices make on others and the world.

V: Physical abuse and war
L: No
S: kissing, committed relationship 


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Deliverance ~ The Moses Chronicles vol. 2 by H.B Moore

 Experience the life of Moses as never before, following his journey from fugitive of Egypt to prophet of God. In this exhilarating follow-up to H.B. Moore’s biblical drama The Moses Chronicles: Bondage, the account of Moses’s flight from Egypt continues. Moses’s life as he knew it is over. He has chosen to stand for his beliefs at the cost of being cast out of his royal home and family. He is free of the wickedness of Egypt, but peace is not to be found, for Moses is as much an aimless wanderer as those in the nomadic tribe he encounters in the wilderness.

Exhausted by long weeks of travel, he nevertheless jumps to action when he observes a group of young women accosted by a band of Badrayan men at a communal well. These lovely daughters of Jethro are grateful for his help, and their Midianite tribe welcomes Moses with open arms. As he learns the ways of the Midianites, his kinship with Jethro grows—as does his admiration of one of Jethro’s daughters, Zipporah. But when Moses suddenly receives a burning call to free the very people he has long oppressed, will he have the courage to return to the land from which he has been exiled?

Opening line:
 "Moses's bruises had long since faded from deep purple to mottled blue, and finally to a pale yellow like the sane taht stretched beneath his feet."

Another great story based on Biblical events from Heather Moore. Her characters. setting, and story are fantastic.

The story alternates between Zipporah and Moses kept me intrigued and reading and falling in love with characters I know from the Bible but don’t really know. I loved reading about

Zipporah’s life in the desert and Moses’ transition from palace life to living as a desert nomad, how they met, and fell in love. Zipporah, Moses, Jethro, were all well-developed characters that I wished I could meet. The nomadic life was rich and full with yummy sounding food. The tribal wars were intense and realistic.

Heather always done a great job in her research and she writes in a way that weaves it all into a well-paced, tense, romantic story. Her writing is so good that sometimes I forget I’m reading fiction! BUT what if in the hereafter this story is close to the truth?

V: Tribal fighting
L: No
S: kissing

Thanks to netgalley for the advanced read in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Willowkeep by Julie Daines book review

  Charlotte Darby’s ship is sinking. Penniless and alone, she is struggling to care for herself and her young sister in the harsh seaport town of Kingston upon Hull. When a solicitor from London brings news that she is the heir to a vast estate in Kent, it seems her days of rough seas are over. Willowkeep is prosperous and grand, far too much for a shipping merchant’s daughter to manage, and she quickly comes to rely on the help of Henry Morland, the estate’s kind and handsome steward.

Henry has worked hard his entire life, but all the money he’s saved won’t be enough to get his father out of debtor’s prison. Henry’s fondness for Charlotte and her sister is only another reminder of his low status and lack of money. Though he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Charlotte happy and looked after, as the county’s wealthiest lady, she can never be his.

Courted by a charming man of the ton, threatened by those desperate to get their hands on her money, and determined to keep her sister safe from the same fate that cost her the rest of her family, Charlotte turns to the ghost of the beheaded queen, Anne Boleyn, for help. But no matter the size of the fortune, life—and love—are never smooth sailing.


Opening line:
“Twelve thousand a year?”

Henry and Charlotte. What better named pair? I loved reading their story!

Charlotte Darby is destitute and caring for her handicapped sister when she becomes the heiress to Willowkeep. She’s a kind, strong, funny lady with a fierce sense of protection and loyalty to those she loves, especially her sister who is frightened of almost everyone. I immediately started rooting for her. She’s also lucky to have a wonderful steward who feels compelled to take of her and her sister.

Henry Morland is taken in by Charlotte’s honesty and lack of airs. And somehow, Susan, the little sister, is comfortable and comforted with him. Henry is THE sweetest person with his own flaws that make him lovable. But he can never be with Charlotte because he is beneath her socially. And Charlotte has vowed never to marry.

An added bonus to the story is the letters Charlotte writes to Anne Bolen. Loved it and the cover that goes along with this part of the story. Keep reading past the last chapter for more love and affection.
The characters are well-written, the story flows and the pace is consistent. I couldn’t put the book down. If you want a good regency romance with wit, bravery, love of family, and a possible ghost, this book is for you! It’s worth your time!

L: No
S: No
V: some tense moments

Thanks to netgalley for the advance read in exchange for my honest review!


Monday, June 13, 2016

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

 When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

First line:
"It had never been proven that Lord Blackwell had killed his wife, but then the man in question hadn't actually denied it, either."

Oh my. I loved this book more than I thought I would! Because a twist on Beauty and the Beast with a twist of steampunk? I wasn't sure. But yes. I loved it.
Lucy's cousin is ill, which is very unusual for her so Lucy takes it on herself to help her get better. She arrives at Blackmoor Manor to rude servants, rumors of ghosts and murder most foul.
Lucy is smart (she's a botanist!) and witty (she takes on the Beast, er, Earl of Blackmoor) and brave (she survives so many attacks! Seriously! How many can one girl take?). She uncovers many of the mysterious surrounding the Manor and the family and in the meantime, finds herself caring for the Earl. He, on the other hand, pulls away from anyone who might betray him or hurt him and his brother. He's very protective of those close to him and doesn't give much to the wiles of women. But somehow, Lucy draws him in with her wit and spirit and bravery.
This story is set in the Victorian era with a bit steampunk, werewolves, vampires, magic and mystery and fairy tale. It's a great, clean romantic book that I would recommend to anyone.

L: No
V: animal and human attacks, poisonings, murder, but none graphic
S: kissing


Thanks to netgalley for the advance read in exchange for my honest review.