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Korean Drama Review: Because This Is My First Life

Because This is My First Life (16 episodes)


Synopsis from Wikipedia

Because This Is My First Life[2] (Hangul이번 생은 처음이라; RR: Ibeon Saengeun Cheoeumira; lit. This Life Is Our First) is a 2017 South Korean television series starring Lee Min-ki and Jung So-min about different points of view on careers, relationships and marriage. The series marks Lee Min-ki's first small screen lead role since 2007. It aired on tvN every Monday and Tuesday from October 9 to November 28, 2017 at 21:30 KST.





 8/10

* * *


Because This Is My First Life is one of those Korean drama series I really liked. 16 episodes are very manageable for a small binge, it's quirky, funny and very thoughtful, and it's also about breaking stereotypes people automatically follow.

Romantic Comedy Series Review: Arden St. Ives by Alexis Hall


How To Bang A Billionaire by Alexis Hall (Arden St.Ives #1)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Rules are made to be broken . . .

If England had yearbooks, I'd probably be "Arden St. Ives: Man Least Likely to Set the World on Fire." So far, I haven't. I've no idea what I'm doing at Oxford, no idea what I'm going to do next and, until a week ago, I had no idea who Caspian Hart was. Turns out, he's brilliant, beautiful . . . oh yeah, and a billionaire.

It's impossible not to be captivated by someone like that. But Caspian Hart makes his own rules. And he has a lot of them. About when I can be with him. What I can do with him. And when he'll be through with me.

I'm good at doing what I'm told in the bedroom. The rest of the time, not so much. And now that Caspian's shown me glimpses of the man behind the billionaire I know it's him I want. Not his wealth, not his status. Him. Except that might be the one thing he doesn't have the power to give me.


Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository


 How To Blow It With a Billionaire by Alexis Hall (Arden St.Ives #2)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads

Be careful what you wish for . . .

Once upon a time there was a totally ordinary boy who fell for a cold, beautiful prince. Only it's not a fairy tale, it's my life. The prince is a billionaire called Caspian Hart. And we're trying super hard to live happily ever after.

He's everything I want, need, and can't resist: a man who looks like a god and bangs like the devil. Except he's still got his rules and he's still got his secrets . . .

But if there's one thing Caspian's taught me it's that you should never settle for less than you're worth. And I'm worth his trust. I have to show him that I see him. That I'm not afraid of his passion, or his power, or his past. And that I won't settle for less than everything.


 Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

9/10

* * *
This.

This was absolutely delightful. Warm, funny, sexy, sharp and adorably geeky. It felt like homecoming. I wolfed first book down and bought book two straight away. 

Will be back in business shortly


Hey, peeps!

Sorry I disappeared. Last year I had no passion for reading or reviewing and I feel like I let you and myself down. Happy New Year, by the way! I'm just such a ray of sunshine, aren't I?

Our life is very full and demanding and it's so tiring and exhilarating (don't I wish I had Grammarly installed right now to check if I wrote this word correctly) that there was no space left inside me to fill with books I had to review.

It was stressing me out, and with my slight touch of OCD not allowing me to read and review a book out of reviewing order (God forbid!) I kept putting things on the back burner.

Still, the wish to express my thoughts and excitement about what I've just read hasn't gone away, and maybe it just needed an adjustment to a set of rules I myself made up?

So, I am doing reverse psychology, lovely folks. At least for 1 year.

I am not accepting books for review, even from my most favourite and cherished authors (and I do love you, guys, unequivocally). But I'll buy your books when they are out and review them full of excitement there and then without worrying of doing it out of order. Pinky promise.:)

I'll be spontaneous and inspired. And best thing? I won't feel pressured to express my excitement about something in an orderly and timely fashion.

Freestyle, b*tches!

And I'm out.

P.S. Love you all xxx


Fantasy Anthology Review: Seasons of Sorcery by Jennifer Estep, Grace Draven, Amanda Bouchet and Jeffe Kennedy

Seasons of Sorcery: A Fantasy Anthology


ecopy thanks to the authors

Synopsis from Goodreads
WINTER'S WEB BY JENNIFER ESTEP
An assassin at a renaissance faire. What could possibly go wrong? Everything, if you’re Gin Blanco. This Spider is trapped in someone else’s icy web—and it seems like they don’t want her to leave the faire alive . . .

A CURSE FOR SPRING BY AMANDA BOUCHET

A malevolent spell strangles the kingdom of Leathen in catastrophic drought. Prince Daric must break the curse before his people starve. A once-mighty goddess trapped in a human body might be the key—but saving his kingdom could mean losing all that he loves.

THE DRAGONS OF SUMMER BY JEFFE KENNEDY

As unofficial consort to the High Queen, former mercenary Harlan Konyngrr faces a challenge worse than looming war and fearsome dragons. His long-held secrets threaten what he loves most—and he must make a choice between vows to two women.

A WILDERNESS OF GLASS BY GRACE DRAVEN

The stretch of sea known as The Gray rules the lives of those in the village of Ancilar, including widow Brida Gazi. In the aftermath of an autumn storm, Brida discovers one of the sea's secrets cast onto the shore—a discovery that will change her world, mend her soul, and put her in the greatest danger she's ever faced.


Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

8.5/10

* * *
 WINTER'S WEB  is alright. A solid 7/10, and as I stopped following Gin's adventures a long time ago, it was difficult for me to get back to this world. Still, a cool look at what can go wrong at Renaissance Fair and an enjoyable description of ridiculous costumes for main heroes.

Holiday Anthology Release Day Review: The Stars Afire by Elizabeth Hunter

The Stars Afire by Elizabeth Hunter 


ecopy courtesy of the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
A new anthology of short fiction featuring your favorite characters from the Elemental Mysteries.



In Lost Letters and Christmas Lights, Christmas in Rome wasn’t quite what Giovanni and Beatrice had in mind, until a set of misplaced letters leads them back to their library in the heart of Italy. Serafina Rossi hadn’t expected vampires for Christmas, but the thought of meeting the cantankerous and intriguing ally of her employers was more than she could resist.


Giovanni Vecchio has a headache, and Richard Montegu is it. In Finding Richard, Giovanni and Beatrice head east to New York City in order to take care of a little problem who’s been spotted off-off-Broadway.


Giovanni and Beatrice return to Italy in Desires of the Heart. With their nephew growing older every year, Giovanni and Beatrice travel to Rome for the holidays, this time with a new vision for their future and the future of their family.


THE STARS AFIRE is a short story and novella anthology in the Elemental Mysteries series by Elizabeth Hunter.
 It includes previously published short fiction, as well as all new stories featuring Giovanni and Beatrice.



  Amazon US | Amazon kindle US

8.5/10

* * *
 This was a lovely re-read of previously published short stories, plus three new ones which I've really enjoyed! Elizabeth also threw in a sneak peak of Blood Apprentice in the end (a new Ben and Tenzin book which comes out soon), and oh boy, it wet my appetite! *grins*

Sci-Fi Series Review: Breakaway and Breakeven by Michelle Diener

Breakaway by Michelle Diener (Verdant String  #1)


review copy courtesy of the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
Sofie lives in the shadow of Felicitos--the tethered way station built to funnel Garmen's mineral wealth up to the top of the atmosphere, where it's loaded onto space ships. Because Garmen is a breakaway planet, not part of the Verdant String Coalition, the companies that control it are free to run things as they see fit, and Sofie is part of the resistance that wants to end their rule.

Her main goal, though, is to get away from Garmen altogether, and leave the drudgery and violence behind her. That goal is complicated by her involvement with Leo Gaudier, a shadowy crime lord whose ability to cheat the companies that own Garmen is something she admires. And when she stumbles on a terrible new direction the companies are taking, a secret alliance that will endanger everyone she cares about, she sees her chances of escape slipping away.

Leo is all too aware he doesn't know enough about Sofie, something his own security detail is not slow to point out, but he can't keep away. When Sofie reveals her links to the resistance, and shows him those in control of Garmen have begun swimming in dangerous waters, he realizes his plan to overthrown them in a careful operation of a thousand cuts is no longer workable.

The time has come for a single, lethal strike--and that will not be without consequences . . .

 
Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

 Breakeven by Michelle Diener (Verdant String #2)


review copy courtesy of the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
Dee had been fighting one war, only to find herself caught up in another . . .

When circumstances leave Dee stranded on the Breakaway planet of Lassa, she has to choose--take the easy way out, or stand and fight an enemy much like the one she left behind on her home world of Garmen.

For Sebastian, leading the Lassian resistance has come at a heavy price. Forced to gamble the last of his resources on a risky ploy to get some leverage over the Core Companies that run Lassa, he stares defeat in the face when it fails. There's no backup plan left. Nothing more to work with. And all around him, people are starving, and it looks as if the Cores have entered a deal with a hostile alien force, to enrich themselves even more.

But Dee inspires him. Even though it's his fault she's on Lassa to begin with, her courage and steady calm are the assets he needs, and unbeknownst to both of them, she has with her the key to bringing the Cores to their knees.

Now they just have to turn the lock in time.

 Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK

8/10 or 4/5 

 A solid four star series for me, guys! Dynamic, tightly written and easy to read in one go. I sure hope that they will somehow tie to Class 5 series in the end, which were immensely entertaining on their own.

BREAKAWAY is a story of Sophie and Leo fighting evil corporations (Cores) running havoc on Garmen, a breakaway planet Cores pretty much own. Leo plays a self-made successful businessman, who in reality works to undermine Cores power and profits. Sophie is a proper action heroine and can be insanely brave and reckless which doesn't fit her sleek and stylish image of beautiful blonde working for higher ups of Garmen. In reality she is a Resistance agent who is binding her time to collect enough information to bring the Cores down.

Fantasy Romance Review: Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven

Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven (Fallen Empire #1)


Egalley thanks to Ace Books

Synopsis fromGoodreads
A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.

But this year is different.

Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion--and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. And unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will risk everything to return to the Empire--and burn once more.



  Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The BookDepository

9/10

* * *
Guys, guys, this book is amazeballs! I totally cried at the end. First of all, this is Grace Draven we are talking about: an author I always trust to deliver.

Secondly, the story is ruthless and at the same time, kind, bittersweet and raw. I kept thinking of Spartacus, with a smidgen of C.L. Wilson and Elizabeth Vaughan in that sense, that the main hero is a conqueror himself. Or he goes from a slave to a conqueror. And the main heroine... Holy crap, peeps! I loved her spirit and the depth of her self-awareness.

Romantic Comedy Review: Level Up by Cathy Yardley

Level Up by Cathy Yardley (Fandom Hearts #1)


ecopy from the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
Geeky introvert Tessa Rodriguez will do whatever it takes to get promoted to video game engineer– including create a fandom-based video game in just three weeks. The only problem is, she can't do it alone. Now, she needs to strong-arm, cajole, and otherwise socialize with her video game coworkers, especially her roommate, Adam, who’s always been strictly business with her. The more they work together, though, the closer they get…

Adam London has always thought of his roomie Tessa as “one of the guys” until he agreed to help her with this crazy project. Now, he’s thinking of her all the time… and certainly as something more than just a roommate! But his last girlfriend broke up with him to follow her ambitions, and he knows that Tessa is obsessed with getting ahead in the video game world.

Going from friends to something more is one hell of a challenge. Can Tessa and Adam level up their relationship to love?



  Audible US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK

8/10


 Fun, easy, upbeat series with the right amount of geeky humour to suit the fans of The Big Bang Theory with a dash of  New Girl. I blitzed through three books I had and would have happily munched on more.

September New Book Releases I'm Dying To Read!

Guys, I know I suck! Sorry for the internet silence for the past month, but it's been the busiest on the farm and there are no breaks from long hot days. By the time I'm in bed I have 30 mins of reading max and I'm asleep...

Anyway, as soon as it cools down, I expect to pick up reviewing again. Phoenix Unbound is amazing, pre-order it! Especially if you enjoyed Elizabeth Vaughan's Warprize or C.L. Wilson's The Winter King. This has that kind of feel to it. I luuurved it! 
What are you dying to read this month? Dish it out! :)

August New Book Releases I'm Dying to Read

Some epic releases this month, yes? I am nervous about the last Kate Daniels, peeps... It will truly feel like the end of an era, which is why I'm avoiding any reviews or previews. What are you dying to read in August? Let me know.


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KARINA IS READING

READING

The Night Circus
Legacy
Gabriel's Inferno
Touch

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In case of zombie apocalypse

Hey, guys! I feel like I should say this just in case :)
If you'd like to sponsor a fellow book addict who sometimes can't sleep at night worrying that she won't have enough books to read if internet goes down in the event of zombie apocalypse (I'm convinced it's one of the top five ways to go for human race) you can donate through Paypal to olivesandacorns at gmail dot com or buy a book through any of the links provided with my reviews which will send me a small percentage from the sale. All proceeds will go towards my enormous TBR. I will also shelter you on the remote farm in Portugal when zombie apocalypse starts provided you survive getting there. There will be books, yay?
Thank you! Love you all

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