Monday, August 8, 2016

Blog Tour: This Earl is On Fire by Vivienne Lorrett {Review + Excerpt + Giveaway}

Release date: August 2, 2016
Author info: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play
The sheltered daughter of a country baron, Miss Adeline Pimm comes to London looking for adventure… and finds it in the form of a bloody, unconscious man slumped in the doorway of her family's rented townhouse. Though his identity is a mystery, Adeline is inexplicably drawn to the handsome, injured man and vows to nurse him back to health. 

Liam Cavanaugh, the scandalous Earl of Wolford, is startled when he awakens in an unfamiliar bed, wrapped in bandages that hinder his eyesight, with no memory of why he was beaten half to death. Although he can't see the witty young woman who tends to his wounds, her alluring voice--and a single stolen kiss from her soft lips--help soothe his pain. But when he is fully healed, Liam is not ready to let go of the one woman who stirs his deepest longings. 

Liam will do whatever it takes to see Adeline again, even if it means giving up his rakish ways. But his disreputable past is not so easily forgotten and his secrets are far more dangerous than he-or Adeline-ever imagined. 
I loved The Debutante Is Mine, so of course I had to snatch up a copy of This Earl Is on Fire as soon as I possibly could! And I wasn't disappointed, just like the previous book, This Earl Is on Fire is sweet, fun, and pretty much just a delight.

This Earl Is on Fire starts off with a bang, with Adeline and her parents finding Liam on their doorstep, bloody and bruised. It sets off her relationship with Liam, which I loved, because I don't feel like too many historical romances work quite so heavily on the idea of love at first sight. There's something to be said for an instant connection you simply can't deny, and that's what Adeline and Liam feel. It's through their time together that they come to love one another, but it's all kicked off by that instant spark.

Like the first book, I felt like a lot of the ending was rushed. There's some definite groundwork for the villain who pops up, but it still feels like he comes out of nowhere, rubs his hands together in a dastardly way, and then disappears, not quite without damage, but close to it.

But (maybe partially because that ending section is so small) I was more than won over by our familiar characters and our new addition in Adeline. Adeline is unexperienced, yes, but she's also determined and realistic. She doesn't think she'll find happiness in a marriage, so she's set on never marrying. She only wants to go to London to show she's perfectly capable of taking care of herself and then she's content to go home and live as she will, without a husband. I'm all for a girl set on independence, and I love that her relationship with Liam never takes that away. That determination shows in that she's willing to give up happiness to have her freedom, not to be coddled and babied as she has been, and it's completely winning.

The Season's Original series is such fun, and with how quick they are, you'll fly through them, ready to read the next!

About the author:

USA Today bestselling author, VIVIENNE LORRET loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order … but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Duke’s Christmas Wish, and the Season’s Original Series.

            “Your swelling has diminished completely,” she said, feeling a strange fluttering in the pit of her stomach. Then she gripped the key tightly as if it were her life’s purpose. “Your flesh is somewhat bruised, however, and purplish in places. When you arrived, we weren’t even able to see that you had eyes.”

“And now that you are able?” There was an edge of mockery to his tone and—yes—to his lips too. Now there were appealing fissures on both sides of his mouth.
“Are you seeking a compliment? I had not taken you for a vain peacock,” she chided, feeling comfortable enough to tease him in return. Yet, that quickly altered when he reached up and closed his hand over hers.
He tugged her closer. “Your expression reveals little. And there are no mirrors nearby to show me whether I am merely bruised or disfigured. That pretty blush upon your cheeks could be because you are here in your nightdress and shy about it, not necessarily because you think I am handsome.”
Were all the gentlemen in London this bold? She held her breath, trying not to move and wanting to absorb every sensation caused by her hand in his grasp. Her skin rejoiced, sending shivers of warmth through her like sparks from flint and steel. His thumb swept back and forth over the mound of her thumb. Then his fingers curled casually as if touches such as these were commonplace. At least, for him...
           “I like the look of you,” she confessed, holding his gaze. A man who’d suffered such a beating deserved that, at least.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Blog Tour: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco {Review + Playlist}

Hey hey hey! I'm so excited to be hosting a stop on the Stalking Jack the Ripper blog tour, hosted by the Knights of Whitechapel, the book's street team! As I've just finished reading and am completely pumped, I'll be sharing my review and a playlist that I think only makes your reading experience better. :)

Release date: September 20, 2016
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Pages: 336
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository | Indiebound
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
I have an unhealthy fascination with Jack the Ripper... It might be more than unhealthy, really--but I've written a long research paper on him and gobble up info kind of constantly. (To the point where I have dreamed about it more than once. Freaky dreams, y'all.) Needless to say, anytime a book is centered around Jack the Ripper, I'm there, with bells on. Of course, a deep interest in Jack the Ripper isn't going to make a book. And excitingly, Stalking Jack the Ripper may have gotten me to read with its subject, but it won me over with its dark tone and fierce heroine.

As I said, THE TONE. I've seen mentions of Gothics in a lot of talk around SJTR, and that's a good comparison. SJTR has that wonderfully (at least in my book!) ominous tone, where you know something bad is coming without fully knowing what it is, you're constantly switching opinions as to who the bad guy is, and there's even a little bit of the supernatural coming into play. There's just the right balance of darkness, with bits and pieces of humor and lightness from Audrey Rose's interactions with Thomas, making for a really engrossing read.

And Audrey Rose! I just love her! She's feisty and brave, and both her loyalty and her drive are so admirable. What's so great is that she's constantly challenging conventions of her time--but Maniscalco never makes her overtly so, to the point that she'd be too much for the people of her time. That's not to say her thoughts aren't definitely too much for her time, but she's only looking for a bit of freedom at the moment, and it reads a lot more authentically than a lot of other books.

I have a feeling I could talk about this book for altogether too long, but I'll calm myself down. (I could literally dedicate paragraphs to how much and what I love about Thomas, so be glad you're being spared!)

If you love a gritty, historical mystery that's scary without being too much so, Stalking Jack the Ripper is a sure bet for you.

About the author:

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

Her debut, STALKING JACK THE RIPPER (JIMMY Patterson Books/Little, Brown September 20,  2016), is a Young Adult Gothic horror inspired by the Ripper murders. It’s about a Victorian-era lord’s daughter who defies society expectations by secretly apprenticing as a forensics examiner, and soon finds herself embroiled in the investigation of a serial killer who is stalking London’s East End.

And here's my playlist! I'm always trying, when I make these, to accentuate the tone of the book or the overall themes. In this case, the tone did most of the work itself, but this is music I thought fit that foreboding, creepy kind of feel. (Plus it's just awesome music.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Review: The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson

Release date: July 7, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 470
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia's life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There's Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.
Goodness, why did I wait a year from when I got this to read it? What's wrong with me? I do this all the time, y'all, and I still never learn. On the bright side, I waited till I had a copy of The Beauty of Darkness, so I can read anytime, instead of waiting--though I'm deeply nervous to finish this series!

Weirdly, I did try to read this one prior to its release, but it couldn't hold me. I always knew I'd come back to it, but I had a lot of trepidation starting again, afraid I'd still not be able to get through it. Not the case! From the beginning, I didn't remember much of my original attempt, but I was so absorbed in the story. It's so fun to watch Rafe and Lia, especially, as they navigated the Komizar and Venda, and get their way out of tough scrapes.

And I loved seeing Venda. As you could expect, actually being in the supposedly savage country proves that it's not quite the irredeemable, terrible place it sounded in The Kiss of Deception. Lia quickly comes not only to appreciate its people and culture, but to love them. She feels a deep connection to their history, and they welcome her with open arms--a reception she's not seen from her own country.

What's the best, though, is that Lia really comes to fight for herself. She starts still a little reliant on Rafe and his plan to get out, but soon she realize that things are only going to happen if she makes them happen. So, she quickly becomes a master manipulator--and wins the people of Venda over. She proves herself adaptable and intelligent.

Needless to say, The Heart of Betrayal is a worthy sequel. The stakes set up in The Kiss of Deception are raised, and it only makes me more excited for The Beauty of Darkness!

About the author:

Mary E. Pearson is the award-winning author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles, The Miles Between, A Room on Lorelei, and Scribbler of Dreams.  She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband and two golden retrievers.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Stacking the Shelves {156}

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

Hellooo! Exciting news this week! Remember how I was applying to grad school? Well I was accepted to one! I only applied to two, so halfway there! The other is the one I really want to go to, but it's always nice for that validation, eh? :)

For review:

Do You Want to Start a Scandal? by Tessa Dare


Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

Books I read this week (two weeks!):
The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

I'm currently reading:
And I Darken by Kiersten White

So that's been my week! I got called for jury duty--and picked for a jury--this week, so I've done almost no reading, as that's allll day. Hopefully today and tomorrow that can change, at least a bit!

Otherwise, the new Harry Potter is out next weekend! I'm working the midnight release, so I doubt there will be a STS post up, unless I'm lucky enough to get around to the post early--though unlikely. 

Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Hunted by Meagan Spooner {124}

Title: Hunted
Author: Meagan Spooner
Release date: March 14, 2017
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Well. Excuse me while I go lie in a corner until this is out. That's the perfect way to cope, yes?

 So what are you guys waiting on this week? :)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Stacking the Shelves {155}

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

Hellooo! Miss me last week? I didn't want to get behind on comments any more, so I just didn't post, so we'll be seeing two weeks of books! It's not too many, but quite a few. I've banned myself from spending any money but the essentials, so there won't be many purchases in the coming weeks. Maybe I'll get caught up on review books? :)

For review:

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean


A New Hope (Star Wars Little Golden Books) by Geof Smith

This was a special during the Star Wars event at work on Friday--only 25 cents!--so I had to get one. I mean, a quarter!


Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer
Everland by Wendy Spinale
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

I had to save the best for last! I was so excited to be able to trade for this and will be getting to it sooner than later! Drools. :D

Books I read this week (two weeks!):
The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson
The Virgin & the Viscount by Charis Michaels
Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker

I'm currently reading:
The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

So that's been my week! Or two weeks. That means only a quarter spent on books in two weeks! I probably won't be able to beat that. Ever. 

Otherwise, I'm all applied to grad school. Now I just wait! Hopefully it's not too long, since it's mid July and schools start in August or September. I'm a little freaked, but in a good way. :)

Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves {123}

Title: Blood Rose Rebellion
Author: Rosalyn Eves
Release date: March 28, 2017
In an alternate Victorian England where social prestige stems from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, sixteen-year old Anna Arden is barred from the society she yearns for by a defect of blood. She believes herself Barren, unable to perform the most rudimentary spells. Anna would do anything to belong, but after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spells, Anna finds herself exiled with her aging grandmother to her grandmother’s native Hungary. 

Her life might well be over.

But in Hungary, Anna finds that nothing about her world or her own lack of magic is quite as it seems. Fissures in the Binding that holds her world’s magic are expanding, and the ancient creatures bound by that spell beg Anna to release them. As rebellion sweeps across Hungary, Anna’s unique ability to break spells becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romani, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted—or embrace her ability, destroy the Binding, spark a revolution, and change the face of magic itself.

This book will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy and Naomi Novik's UPROOTED.

AHHHHH, If it's Victorian and it's got magic, it's got me. But then you mention the Grisha books and Uprooted? GIMME.

 So what are you guys waiting on this week? :)