“A Name Unknown” by Roseanna M. White— Book Review

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About The Book:

Rosemary Gresham is a thief, and a talented one at that. In fact, she is so talented that people hire her to steal stuff. o_O So it’s no BIG surprise that the mysterious Mr. V hires her for the special job of finding proof that Mr. Peter Holstein is a German sympathizer. Disguised as a librarian (best disguise, ever!),  Rosemary is soon hired by Mr. Holstein to organize his library (which is in a sad state of paper-ly shambles.) What will she discover… *mystery music sounds*

My Review:

THIS book.

Strong heroine? Check. Sweet, realistic romance? Check. Faith Content? Check!

I had read only a couple of Roseanna M White’s before this one—which I liked, by the way. However, this one tops them both so that it shines in a brilliant, sun glaring light. (Not REALLY, so no worries. Eclipse glasses are not needed for the viewing of this book.)

I loved the heroine of this story. She was witty, mentally strong, and street smart. She could take care of herself, and yet was still feminine. This is a balance that I think book heroines need to have more of, and Miss Rosemary Gresham is a prime example.  Also, her story of redemption was sweet. ❤

The hero, Peter Holstein, was also a pretty snazzy character. Honestly, I feel like I related to him in more ways than Rosemary. 😛 He’s a writer who gets sucked up into his own little world, and, as I’m a little familiar with this world, it was cool to read about his authorly quirks. These same quirks also kept him from being Mr. 100% perfect, and I liked that. Characters who are human need to have a flaw to seem real, and Peter would have been wayyy too perfect without his writing induced, distracted brain flaw. Also, the part with him having a stuttering disability was something I’ve never seen in a hero character, and made him all the more authentic. And perhaps more lovable because it made him an adorable fluffball of vulnerability that you just want to cheer on. 🙂

As for the overall story, it was an enjoyable story for me! I liked the subtle mysteries, and the included action scenes. The faith plot was also nicely put in, and made the story touching for me. Imagining the story without it would honestly make it not as good, in my opinion.

I also think White has a wonderful writing voice that engaged me into a world that I could see without her overwhelming  me with too many scenery details. Her characterization is wonderful, and I like how she added in real British slang words that gave this story an extra bit of world building seasoning.

I’m going to give “A Name Unknown” a rating of five, and am looking forward to its sequel, as well as trying more of White’s other published works. 😀

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

*Thanks to the author and publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

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“Shades of Milk and Honey” by Mary Robinette Kowal— Book Review

 

 

About The Book:

“Shades of Milk and Honey” is a somewhat simple regency romance that follows the story of Jane, a spinster who is not considered outwardly beautiful, BUT has talent with the art of glamour. The book follows her life as it is entwined with various other characters, and the ensuing drama caused by emotions and magic is rather like an Austen book, except, you know, there’s magic. 😛

My Review:

Have you ever wondered what a Jane Austen book would be like if it had a bit of magic? Well, Miss Austen never got around to writing a book like that (*sad face*) , but Mary Robinette Kowal did, and the result is fantastically charming…

Think about a proper British Regency book or film. Okay, now imagine the characters not only having to deal with the drama of society’s structures BUT also the fact that some people have talents to glamour things, while others do not. Think of a world where illusion can make rooms a bit otherworldly, or hide flaws in one’s features. Sounds fascinating, does it not? That is what this book does. It reads like a historical, but the woven-in magical parts complement it so that the story has an authentic flavor that tastes delicious. (Dare I say magically delicious? 😉 #sorrynotsorry) I am a lover of both historical fiction and fantasy, and so the blend of both was ever so lovely

Another thing I liked about this book? Well, as I’m  a young woman who considers herself to be not outwardly beautiful, I always love finding a book where the heroine is NOT the fairest in the land. It makes her much more relate-able for me. I liked that the story showed Jane for being a likable woman because of who she is inside. And, though she is shown as an inwardly strong woman, the story shows every now and again a vulnerability from her that is felt for not having the desired looks women crave. Jane is now one of my favorite heroines ever. ❤

Dislikes… Hm, one swear word. I also think that this story suffers from not being very fast paced. But that is not a terrible flaw.  Also, the ending was rushed, but since there is a sequel, I won’t complain too much about it.

Overall, “Shades of Milk and Honey” is a sweet book with enough drama to make it interesting. I personally would have preferred more action scenes, but that’s just me. I give it a rating of four.

Also, I listened to this book’s audio book version, and the author narrated it. She did an excellent job. *claps hands in a proper, regency era way*  😀

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

“Cinder” by Marissa Meyer—Book Review

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About The Book:

A retelling of the fairy tale, “Cinderella,” set in a futuristic world in the new East Asian city, New Beijing, and starring a cyborg Cinderella. It. is. so. awesome. 😀

My Review:


There are reasons this book has been gotten such praise. Not only is it a unique take on a classic fairy tale,  it’s also an interesting retelling with a Cinderella that won’t be easy to forget. She’s not the typical “perfect” girl waiting for prince charming. She’s a girl whose plight made me cheer for her— I wanted her to overcome her obstacles (Go Cinder. FIGHTING!). Sometimes her attitude was a bit much, but, over all, I found with her sense of humor, as well as her not- easily- seen- heart, that she is a heroine I liked reading about.  As for the prince, Kai? Yay for a prince who was a character who had more depth than the original Disney prince charming. I love his sarcastic wit, which definitely added some awesomeness to his interactions with Cinder. (He has ended up as being one of my favorite princes in books.)

I also liked most of the different “twists” this book took with the Cinderella fairy tale. I can tell that either one, Marissa Meyer put quite a bit of thought into giving an engaging read with unexpected turns, or, two, she’s a master at taking a story where the reader did not know it would go when they first started reading it.

I quite enjoyed the first book in the Lunar Chronicles. It has likable characters, as well as a setting (slightly reminiscent to Star Wars and even Wall-E) that gives the old fairy tale a fascinating perspective. The major things I wasn’t partial to in this story was that there was use of some bad words, and some of the story was sad, but I liked it over all liked it so much that I have read its novel sequels, re-read it TWICE, and, almost two tears ago, went on a few hours long trip to meet Marissa Meyer (one of the BEST DAYS EVER! Picture with her at bottom of this post.).

I give “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer a rating of five.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

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Fun fact: My hair is naturally brown. 🙂

“Close to You” by Kara Isaac— Book Review

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About (From Netgalley):

Allison Shire (yes, like where the Hobbits live) is a disgraced academic who is done with love. Her belief in “happily ever after” ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew nothing about. She finally finds a use for her English degree by guiding tours through the famous sites featured in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. By living life on the road and traveling New Zealand as a luxury tour guide, Allison manages to outrun the pain of her past she can’t face.

  Jackson Gregory was on the cusp of making it big. Then suddenly his girlfriend left him—for his biggest business competitor—and took his most guarded commercial secrets with her. To make matters worse, the Iowa farm that has been in his family for generations is facing foreclosure. Determined to save his parents from financial ruin, he’ll do whatever it takes to convince his wealthy great-uncle to invest in his next scheme, which means accompanying him to the bottom of the world to spend three weeks pretending to be a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan, even though he knows nothing about the stories. The one thing that stands between him and his goal is a know-it-all tour guide who can’t stand him and pegged him as a fake the moment he walked off the plane.

  When Allison leads the group through the famous sites of the Tolkien movies, she and Jackson start to see each other differently, and as they keep getting thrown together on the tour, they find themselves drawn to each other. Neither expected to fall in love again, but can they find a way beyond their regrets to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for?”

My Review:

If you know my taste is fiction, then you know that I don’t very often venture into contemporary set books. (I’m more of a historical and fantasy book gal.) But this one just looked so interesting. I mean, guys, it’s a romance that twists in elements of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. *cue all the dramatic LOTR soundtrack songs* Who knew such a thing would ever exist? Well, I’m here to say that yes, it does, and yes, I found it pretty awesome. It’s like a Hallmark film meets Tolkien, giving you part romantic comedy with flutter feelings, and part Middle Earth geek feelings that warm the heart with fan-love. Add in that it has points of Christian faith, giving it depth, and it’s just one of the most lovely little reads I’ve experienced. The author’s voice, shown majorly through her main characters, is also very entertaining. The book, while serious in some aspects, abounds with humor that is sure to warm hearts as it did mine. And to top it all off, the book had such a different setting than most Christian fiction. I don’t think I’ve ever read another book that takes place in New Zealand and with a heroine from there.  These aspects just made the story all the more wonderfully unique. So yes, I overall enjoyed this book. The only thing I did not fully care for is that there was one scene where I felt the romance had a bit too much touch-feely. But, other than that, nothing else begs to be complained about from me.

  In conclusion, I think “Close to You” by Kara Issac is a winner, and one to add to your TBR if you like contemporary romance and Middle Earth.  I give it a rating of four and a half, and recommend to mature teens and adults.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

*Thanks to the publisher through Netgalley for a free electronic advanced uncorrected proof copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. (This book is now available.)

“My Lady Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Aston, and Jodi Meadows — Book Review

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About:

A re-imagining of the story of Lady Jane Grey, the girl who, once upon a time, was queen of England for nine days…

My Review:

Before I read this book, I’d seen it around. However, for some reason it did not particularly pique my interest. Which, as I think about it, is somewhat odd as I was fond of the story of Lady Jane Grey when I was younger… Anywho, I one day decided to give it a try. Why this happened, I’m not 100% sure. It was a spur of the moment decision, but I’m glad I made said decision because I enjoyed this book.

The original story of Jane Grey is a sad one, but this story, while it does have some sad moments, was overall far from having a full-blown depressing tone one might expect from a retelling of Lady Jane Grey. In fact, this book really is not a retelling of the story, but more of a re-imagining of history. This book was one historical re-imagining that I wish was the true story.

So what did I like? It is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Who knew one could recreate a sad event from the past and turn it into a tale full of smile inducing comedy? That’s exactly what this book was for me. The story is told from three perspectives—Lady Jane, Lord Gifford (known as “G”), and Kind Edward the VI. I’m telling you this because I just have to say that I think King Edward’s POV was my favorite, and probably had the most amusing voice to me.

Another thing I enjoyed about this book is that the historical England in the story is not the historical England we usually learn about today today. In history, there are just people who are, well, people. However, in this book there are people who can transform into animals. I ❤ this.

Also, Jane is a historical bookworm. Yesssss. 😀

There was not a whole lot about this book that I did not enjoy. There were a few curse words (bleh), and some parts were slow. Not much else to mention when it comes to negativity.

All of the above (positive) things mixed into an overall lovable story that has me eager for the next book in this series. I think it’s supposed to be a Charlotte Bronte/Jane Eyre mashup, and I’m thoroughly awaiting its 2018 release.

If you’re looking for a book that will make you a smile, you might want to give this a try. (However, if you are a die-hard history purist, this book might make you faint.) I give “My Lady Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows a rating of four and a half.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

“Jane of Austin” by Hillary Manton Lodge— Book Review

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This retelling of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” was a mix of like and dislike for me…. The book was not holding my best attention until the last third, so I’ve divided some of the review to share my thoughts on the parts.

First Two Thirds:

The story started out all right. There was drama (girls had to go from being rich to poor because of their dad’s mistakes, and therefore ostracized because of their association with their father), humor (which I won’t go into detail so as not to spoil story), and…yeah. It was just a pleasant little contemporary read. The story then progressed with the sisters trying to deal with life issues and moving to a new place. It was all right, but not a page turning wowzer. (<— I know, not a real word. o_O )

It was just like reading a novel about everyday life, which is not a bad thing—I have enjoyed this quite a bit in the past. Like a said, it’s pleasant, but it did not have me picking up the book as often as I could have.

Last Third:

This is when my interest picked up and I was like, dude, this is kind of good. Things started tying together with the romances, the drama became more heart-pounding-ly intense, and the SWEET ending? Totally an AWWWWW! ending. So,  yeah, all of this helped perk my rating for this book.

I give “Jane of Austin” a rating of four. It is an overall well written book, and it does have its enjoyable parts, especially towards the end. It’s not a bad book, just simple and… sensible. 😉

Also, now I want to watch the 1995 version of “Sense and Sensibility.”

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

*Thanks to the Blogging for Books program for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

“The Hunter’s Moon” by O.R. Melling — Book Review

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About:

The story of two girl cousins who go on an adventure to see if the Irish world of Faerie is real. One of the cousins gets kidnapped by the faerie king (*gasp*), and the other cousin decides to rescue her cousin, going on a journey to do so…

My Review:

This was one of those books that was good in some areas, but not so great in other areas. *sad face* The descriptions could be so beautiful. The author gave many enchanting portrayals of  the world of Faerie. Her wording was gorgeous, and, as a fellow writer, I could not help but wish I could write just as prettily today one day. It was also interesting seeing all of the Irish elements, and how the Irish characters came off as authentic, using Irish phrases and whatnot.

Also, there’s a leprechaun. An urban city leprechaun. O_o

However, while this story had such overall potential, it lacked in the flow. The story felt quite a bit choppy in places, moving so fast that it felt like it was missing pieces to connect the jumps. It wasn’t missing plot stuff, but it felt like something could have added to it. I think the author could have given a little more time to parts of the story. She had the talent to write descriptions, but it seemed as if she was in a rush to keep the story going, and the end result was not a smooth as it could have been story. Romance that happened too quick was one of the biggest issues of this. 😛

I give “The Hunter’s Moon” by O.R. Melling a rating of three.

 

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.