Friday, October 27, 2017

THICK AS THIEVES by Megan Whalen Turner

Deep within the palace of the Mede emperor, in an alcove off the main room of his master’s apartments,. Kamet minds his master’s business and his own. Carefully keeping the accounts, and his own counsel, Kamet has accumulated a few possessions, a little money stored in the household’s cashbox, and a significant amount of personal power. As a slave, his fate is tied to his master’s. If Nahuseresh’s fortunes improve, so will Kamet’s, and Nahuseresh has been working diligently to promote his fortunes since the debacle in Attolia.

A soldier in the shadows offers escape, but Kamet won’t sacrifice his ambition for a meager and unreliable freedom; not until a whispered warning of poison and murder destroys all of his carefully laid plans. When Kamet flees for his life, he leaves behind everything—his past, his identity, his meticulously crafted defenses—and finds himself woefully unprepared for the journey that lies ahead.

Pursued across rivers, wastelands, salt plains, snowcapped mountains, and storm-tossed seas, Kamet is dead set on regaining control of his future and protecting himself at any cost. Friendships—new and long-forgotten—beckon, lethal enemies circle, secrets accumulate, and the fragile hopes of the little kingdoms of Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis hang in the balance.


  Opening line:
"It was midday and the passageway quiet and cool."

I LOVE the Queen's Thief series (most the King of Attolia) and I looked forward to holding this book baby in my wee hands and take my time reading it. When it came in the mail, I settled myself on my comfy-reading couch near a sunny window and began. I didn't get far, maybe 2 chapters before I had to set the book down do adulting things like fix dinner for my hungry family (seriously! Couldn't they just pour some cereal and milk?)(JK)
But I didn't make it back to the book and it languished on the side table, calling out to me, wanting me to caress its pages again. For some reason, I was able to resist it's siren call. Probably because I didn't care about Kamet or the Attolian who "steals" him. I ended up buying the audio book so I could listen to it while I did house and yard work and it only took a few hours to finish.
I did enjoy the story and the characters. BUT the biggest disappointment for me was so little of the king and queen of Attolia. So little! And then the author threw in something that made me think they wouldn't make it into the next books, how many that will be. AND I thought this book wrapped up the series. NOT.
I probably will read more only because I LOVE this series.


4 1/2 STARS

Friday, October 20, 2017

LIES JANE AUSTEN TOLD ME by Julie Wright

Ever since Emma read Pride and Prejudice, she's been in love with Mr. Darcy and has regarded Jane Austen as the expert on all things romantic. So naturally when Emma falls for Blake Hampton and he invites her home to meet his parents, she is positive an engagement is in her future. After all, Blake is a single man in possession of a good fortune, and thus must be in want of a wife.

But when it turns out that what Blake actually wants is more of a hook-up than a honeymoon, Emma is hurt, betrayed, and furious. She throws herself deeper into her work as CMO of Kinetics, the fastest growing gym franchise in the nation. She loves her work, and she's good at it, which is why she bristles when her boss brings in a consultant to help her spearhead the new facilities on the East Coast. Her frustration turns to shock when that consultant turns out to be Blake's younger brother, Lucas.

Emma is determined not to fall for Lucas, but as she gets to know him, she realizes that Lucas is nothing like his brother. He is kind and attentive and spends his time and money caring for the less fortunate.

What she can't understand is why Lucas continues to try to push her back into Blake's arms when he so clearly has fallen as hard for her as she has fallen for him. It isn't until Lucas reveals to Emma that he was adopted into the Hampton family that she begins to understand his loyalty to Blake as well as his devotion to the child April-she is Lucas's biological niece.

Emma opens up to Lucas about the feelings of abandonment she has harbored ever since she was a child and her mother left the family. As she helps Lucas deal with his past demons, she is able to exorcise some of her own.

Realizing that her love life is as complicated as anything Jane Austen could have dreamed up, Emma must find a way to let Blake know that it's time for him to let her go and to let Lucas know it's time for him to love her back.


 Opening line:
"Jane Austen is a horrific liar."

LOL!
That is a great opening line. And for Emma Pierce, the sum of her romantic relationship.
Emma is a Marketing guru in a successful health club company. Her boyfriend is hot and rich. Her BFF is supportive and funny. Emma's got a great life! Until she breaks up with said boyfriend because he was having dinner with another girl. Not wanting to hear his excuses, she stomps off only to be approached by the younger brother, Lucas.
They rest, as someone likes to say, is history. Lucas is hired as a temporary consultant to Emma's company and they are thrown together as partners. Of course, this leads to thoughts and ideas and both fighting the attraction because Emma is his older brother's girlfriend and Emma because she's on the rebound. But they push each other away more because they both feel inadequate with all the baggage they emotionally carry.
The Emma comes through her tough times is beautiful and she learns to trust and let someone close to her. It's a fun, romantic story with ups and downs and a bit of kissing.
This is a great read for anyone wanting a good, clean romance!

Thanks to netgalley for the early read!


5 STARS

PS I LOVE the cover!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

THE FIRE QUEEN by Emily R. King

In the second book in The Hundredth Queen Series, Emily R. King once again follows a young warrior queen’s rise to meet her destiny in a richly imagined world of sorcery and forbidden powers.

Though the tyrant rajah she was forced to marry is dead, Kalinda’s troubles are far from over. A warlord has invaded the imperial city, and now she’s in exile. But she isn’t alone. Kalinda has the allegiance of Captain Deven Naik, her guard and beloved, imprisoned for treason and stripped of command. With the empire at war, their best hope is to find Prince Ashwin, the rajah’s son, who has promised Deven’s freedom on one condition: that Kalinda will fight and defeat three formidable opponents.

But as Kalinda’s tournament strengths are once again challenged, so too is her relationship with Deven. While Deven fears her powers, Ashwin reveres them—as well as the courageous woman who wields them. Kalinda comes to regard Ashwin as the only man who can repair a warring world and finds herself torn between her allegiance to Deven and a newly found respect for the young prince.

With both the responsibility to protect her people and the fate of those she loves weighing heavily upon her, Kalinda is forced again to compete. She must test the limits of her fire powers and her hard-won wisdom. But will that be enough to unite the empire without sacrificing all she holds dear?



 Opening line:
"Death has a stench, and it is not decaying flesh but the bitter scent of smoke clawing into my pores."

I enjoyed this book just as much as the first one! I was enthralled from the beginning and had a hard time putting the book down (I'm two hours behind in my chores!!).
Kalinda is the same brave woman we watched grow in book 1 but now she feels guilt for making bargains to save her empire and those bargains didn't quite work out.
Deven is still the devoted guard who wants to help and protect everyone.
The two are separated and a new "man" comes on the scene: Prince Ashwin. He is instantly enamored with Kali. Unfortunately for him, he looks just like his daddy who Kali killed: Turek.
There are also new friends added, who I really like, and new relationships. There was tons of palace intrigue that I thought Kali could dismiss because of who she was and how strong she is but that didn't happen. There are reasons...
I was so annoyed and frustrated with certain characters that I didn't mind when they were no longer part of the story. :)
Kali has a decision to make: be set free or defend her people. It's a big decision with lives and love in the balance.
Emily King does a great job developing characters and worlds and pulling readers in from the beginning (and the readers don't get the floors mopped because they. can't. stop. reading!).
I WILL read the third book! I can't wait to see what happens next!

Violence: fighting, whipping, death
Sex: kissing
Language: none