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The Postman Knock #104

Hello, peeps!

I had a productive week all around. The olive harvest is finished and I'm moving onto Christmas preparations, which is really nice. I already made one Christmas wreath and gave it away :)

Blog Ahead challenge was finished successfully. I had a goal to pre-schedule my December posts, and I did it. The only thing that wasn't done was guests posts from the authors, but I will only receive them next week.

Anyway, how was your week?

I'm readinig for my own pleasure right now and it's wonderful!
I've READ:

SEVENTH GRAVE AND NO BODY was fab! Loved Charley's snarky comebacks, and Reyes was extra delicious. I really loved A LONG, LONG SLEEP as it was a gorgeous sci fi YA, and I haven't read many of those this year. At last, REBEL BELLE was tons of fun! As you can see I rediscovered my love for YA at the end of the year when I felt like I abandoned the genre, and this book made me laugh.


Okay, I know I had Elizabeth Hunter's story for review from All The Stars Look Down but I wanted to review the whole lot, so I bought the anthology anyway. I'm still reading Night Shift, but Lisa Shearin's story was such a good introduction to her new series that I impulse bought the first book in it, The Grendel Affair.

This is it for me, boys and girls. Have a fun weekend, 

Sci Fi Romance Review: Cottonwood by R. Lee Smith

Cottonwood by R. Lee Smith


Synopsis from Goodreads
They never meant to come to Earth. They were never allowed to leave...

Welcome to Cottonwood.

 Amazon kindle US/UK


* * *

I feel compelled to explain my rating system to you, my dear ladies and gents, before we go any further.

 You see, I used to rate everything I enjoyed as 9 or 10 out of 10, but in the last couple of years I got picky (discerning) and re-evaluated the whole thing. Now the most common rating you find on this blog is 8.5/10 which is an equivalent of 4 ish stars. Anything above that deserves such adjectives as extraordinary, mind-blowing and searingly beautiful.

Cottonwood is my second 10/10 book this year. First one was Beauty and The Mustache by Penny Reid. Both didn't deserve anything less.

Fantasy Romance Review: The Silver Pear by Michelle Diener

The Silver Pear by Michelle Diener (The Dark Forest #2)

Egalley courtesy to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
An unlikely princess . . .

Kayla is determined to master her new-found abilities as a wild magic witch. She's learning everything she can so she and her betrothed, Rane, can put a stop to the sorcerers who are recklessly gathering their power, building up their magic to take each other on in a war that will destroy the countries of Middleland.

An even more unlikely sorcerer . . .

Mirabelle's father was one of the greatest sorcerers in Middleland, but when he used the magic in the silver pear to bespell his pregnant wife to give birth to the greatest sorcerer who would ever live, he never thought that child would be a girl. Mirabelle is nothing like a usual sorcerer, confounding every expectation, and when she comes to the rescue of Rane's brother, Soren, she makes a decision few sorcerers would. She saves him, rather than herself, losing the silver pear in the process.

And using magic always exacts a price . . .

With war not just a possibility but simply a matter of time, there are no neutral parties and no fence-sitters in Kayla and Mirabelle's new world. Everyone is either an ally or an enemy and there is a price to pay for everything. The question is, how high will it be?

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


* * *
This was a pleasant fantasy, ladies and gents, even if a little bit dull until the events sped up in the last third of the book. Personally, I loved the first book in the series more. It was also a perfect clean romance - no swearing, no explicit lovemaking, safe to read for teens or even middle graders (just a note, if any of you are on the lookout for one).

Erotic Romance Early Review: The King by Tiffany Reisz

The King by Tiffany Reisz (The Original Sinners #6)

Egalley thanks to Harlequin

Synopsis from Goodreads
Cunning. Sex. Pure nerve. Only this unholy threesome can raise him to his rightful place as a rule of Manhattan's king kingdom.

Bouncing from bed to bed on the Upper East Side, Kingsley Edge is brilliant, beautiful and utterly debauched. No carnal act of chemical compound can relieve his self-destructive heartache—only Søren, the one person he loves without limit or regret. A man he can never have, but in whose hands Kingsley is reborn to attain even greater heights of sin.

Kingsley's plan to open the ultimate BDSM club—a dungeon playground for New York's A-list—becomes his obsession. His expertise in domination can't subdue the one man who wants to stop him. The enigmatic Reverend Fuller won't rest until King's dream is destroyed, and so the battle lines are set; it's one man's sacred mission against another's…

Release date: Nov 25th, 2014.
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository | Fishpond


* * * 
While not as emotionally draining as The Saint, The King is utterly delicious.

Bear with me here... I'm having trouble gathering my thoughts on this book into something coherent. *grinning*

The Postman Knock #103

Hello, everyone!
I missed last week's post because there were no new books on my shelves, but happily this week I'm back to normal (don't know for how long!). I'm in the middle of olive harvest and our days are cloudy and overcast which is the reason I'm not online as much (we are saving solar electricity) and don't go commenting on other blogs, peeps. Sorry and hugs to you all!

I've READ:
ALL THE STARS LOOK DOWN was gorgeous! I'm in a full Christmasy mode right now and can't wait to share my review with you all! SCENES FROM THE CITY was another fab collection of short stories from Penny and a total treat. Sadly, I wasn't impressed with THE KOLDUN CODE. What an ending! It put me in a bad mood... THE SILVER PEAR was a nice read, and made for a pleasant afternoon. I'm berating myself for requesting DARK TRIUMPH for review. i really don't gel with this author.  SHADOWS AND GOLD was simply wonderful. Yay for Ben and Tenzin, and huge love to Elizabeth Hunter! At last, REMNANT was sweet and short. I'll be picking this series up for sure.


Thank you, Elizabeth!

Check out Smashwords!

This is it for me.

P.S. I finished my review copies for this year (woohoo!), so I'm taking a page from Kimba's book and declare December a month with no ARCs (review copies). God, that will be a nice change... I am feeling excited right now!


Friday Mini Reviews #34: A Charm of Magpies series by K.J. Charles



The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles ( A Charm of Magpies #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell.

Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn't expect it to turn up angry.

Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude... and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.

Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn't the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.

Warning: Contains hot m/m sex between a deeply inappropriate earl and a very confused magician, dark plots in a magical version of Victorian England, family values (not the good kind), and a lot of swearing.

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US($3.44)/UK(£2.01) | The Book Depository


I have to thank Betsy, my personal book guru, for this series. Otherwise I'd never have found it. The Magpie Lord was tremendously entertaining, sharp, and witty and had a lovely blend of few of my favorite genres: historical fiction, fantasy and romance.

The main characters - Lord Crane, a thirty seven year old aristocrat who spent twenty years of his life in China and Stephen Day - a young and powerful magician working in London have so much powerful chemistry and snark between them that along with a clever plot this book was a pure pleasure to read.
* * *
Книгу я эту обнаружила по рекомендации моего личного книжного гуру, Бетси, и читала всю серию одним махом с огромным удовольствием.

Свежо, мило, каверзно, харизматично и прекрасная пара главных героев вкупе с умным сюжетом честно не дают читателю скучать. Несмотря на то, что это историческое фэнтэзи с элементами М/М романа, читать очень рекомендую.

A Case of Possession by K. J. Charles (A Charm of Magpies #2)


Synopsis from Goodreads
Magic in the blood. Danger in the streets.

A Charm of Magpies, Book 2

Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. True, Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician’s disappearing act bothers Crane more than it should. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, Crane knows a smart man would hop the first ship bound for China. But something unexpectedly stops him. His heart.

Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes watching him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. And Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to.

The rats are closing in, and something has to give…

Warning: Contains m/m sex (on desks), blackmail, dark pasts, a domineering earl, a magician on the edge, vampire ghosts (possibly), and the giant rats of Sumatra.

Amazon kindle US/UK
 So far this is the strongest book in this series (and I've read everything up to date). Really engaging plot, and the sparks between Lucien and Stephen fly all over the place now that they are in the relationship.

I loved that despite such a difference in their stations both characters interacted as a pair of equals and they were both powerful in their own right.This was absolutely wonderful, gripping and lush!
* * *
 На настоящий момент - это самая сильная книга серии ( а я знаю, я прочитала всё, что в ней издано). Очень хороший, энергичный сюжет, да и искры между Люсьеном и Стефаном так и сыпятся когда они начинают полноценные отношения.

Мне особо понравилось то, что несмотря на такую разницу в социальном статусе, оба считают себя равными друг другу и являются сильными характерами - будь то Лорд Крэйн с его контрабандистским прошлым или Мистер Дэй с его магией, которую подпитывает его любовник. Очень советую.

A Flight of Magpies by K. J. Charles (A Charm of Magpies #3)


Synopsis from Goodreads

Danger in the air. Lovers on the brink.
A Charm of Magpies, Book 3
With the justiciary understaffed, a series of horrifying occult murders to be investigated, and a young student who is flying—literally—off the rails, magical law enforcer Stephen Day is under increasing stress. And his relationship with his aristocratic lover, Lord Crane, is beginning to feel the strain.
Crane chafes at the restrictions of England’s laws, and there’s a worrying development in the blood-and-sex bond he shares with Stephen. A development that makes a sensible man question if they should be together at all.When a thief strikes at the heart of Crane’s home, a devastating loss brings his closest relationships into bitter conflict—especially his relationship with Stephen. And as old enemies, new enemies, and unexpected enemies paint the lovers into a corner, the pressure threatens to tear them apart.
Warning: Contains hot-blooded sex, cold-blooded murder, sinister magical goings-on and a lot of swearing.
Amazon kindle US/UK

Ooh, what an ending! Brilliant! This is a book which starts with a bunch of troubles for Stephen and Lucien and it gets progressively worse for Mr. Day, until he feels like he will break under pressure. Both have to overcome a lot of personal issues and at last find a compromise for their future together. A very bloodthirsty book, which I especially enjoyed reading. *grinning*

* * *
Ууу, какая кровавая концовка! В этой книге Люсьену и Стефану приходится пережить множество неприятностей в личном и профессиональном плане. особенно нелегко приходиться мистеру Дэю да так, что иногда ему кажется что от напряжения и физического истощения он просто сломается. Однако обоим удаётся победить противостоящих им врагов и наконец согласиться на компромисс по поводу совместного будущего. Просто прекрасно написано!

Dark Fantasy Review: The Scholomance by R. Lee Smith

The Scholomance by R. Lee Smith


Synopsis from Goodreads
For centuries, there has been a legend of a hidden school where magic is taught by the demons who dwell there to anyone who seeks them out, but they ask a terrible price: Anyone who reaches the door of the Scholomance may enter, but the Devil takes every tenth student who tries to leave.

A hidden school. Demonic masters. An inescapable fate for one out of every ten graduates. But Connie would do anything to have the magic her best friend was born with.

And Mara would do anything to get Connie back.

Amazon kindle US/UK


* * *
 R. Lee Smith's books are always are revelation for me. She messes with your head, makes you question your own sanity and moral compass, and wraps it all up in a delicious plot so you aren't able to stop reading until you reach the last sentence.

If you read and loved Heat, The Scholomance is for you. In a way it reminded me of Anne Bishop's UF series as "the otherness" of R. Lee Smith's monsters is pure perfection.

Historical Fantasy YA Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassin #2)

Egalley thanks to Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Synopsis from Goodreads
When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons.

But her assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to live for...

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


* * *
 I wasn't happy with Dark Triumph which is strange because I quite liked Grave Mercy. I am quick to acknowledge that it was purely personal. I did not enjoy the way Sybella's POV was structured and because of that I wasn't fully immersed into what was happening and mostly couldn't concentrate on Sybella and Beast's journey.

Fantasy Audiobook Review: Twilight's Dawn by Anne Bishop

Twilight's Dawn by Anne Bishop (the Black Jewels #9)

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads
Return to the world of the Black Jewels with New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop.

Anne Bishop's "darkly fascinating"* (SF Site) Black Jewel novels have enthralled readers and critics alike with their mixture of fantasy, intrigue, and romance. Now in Twilight's Dawn, Bishop returns to the Blood realm with four all-new captivating novellas.

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


* * *
 The last book in The Black Jewels series was to my surprise a collection of four stories. They weren't short and left me bittersweet and teary eyed.

Contemporary Romance Review: The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (Don Tillman #2)

Egalley courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Synopsis from Goodreads

GREETINGS. My name is Don Tillman. I am forty-one years old. I have been married to Rosie Jarman, world's most perfect woman, for ten months and ten days.

Marriage added significant complexity to my life. When we relocated to New York City, Rosie brought three maximum-size suitcases. We abandoned the Standardised Meal System and agreed that sex should not be scheduled in advance.

Then Rosie told me we had 'something to celebrate', and I was faced with a challenge even greater than finding a partner.

I have attempted to follow traditional protocols and have sourced advice from all six of my friends, plus a therapist and the internet.

The result has been a web of deceit. I am now in danger of prosecution, deportation and professional disgrace.

And of losing Rosie forever.

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


* * *
I don't know about you but I wasn't as taken with The Rosie Effect as I was with The Rosie Project. Maybe because the first book was a product of 5 years of careful work, and the second came out a year after?

While Don never failed to make me smile, I felt mostly sad for his confused emotional state and slightly less believing in his  way of thinking. But mostly I was furious with Rosie.

Fantasy Romance Review: Entreat Me by Grace Draven

Entreat Me by Grace Draven


Synopsis from Goodreads
Afflicted by a centuries-old curse, a warlord slowly surrenders his humanity and descends toward madness. Ballard of Ketach Tor holds no hope of escaping his fate until his son returns home one day, accompanied by a woman of incomparable beauty. His family believes her arrival may herald Ballard’s salvation.

...until they confront her elder sister.

Determined to rescue her sibling from ruin, Louvaen Duenda pursues her to a decrepit castle and discovers a household imprisoned in time. Dark magic, threatening sorcerers, and a malevolent climbing rose with a thirst for blood won’t deter her, but a proud man disfigured by an undying hatred might. Louvaen must decide if loving him will ultimately save him or destroy him.

A tale of vengeance and devotion.

Amazon kindle US/UK


* * *
Miss Draven keeps writing these stunning, surreally beautiful books, damn it! I'm in total awe of this author. You know how sometimes you find someone's book and you feel like they totally get you and your taste? Like they are your bookish soul mates and completely dig you? Yeah, that feeling.

There are a few authors who fall under this category in my book, and Miss Draven became one of them with Master of Crows. Entreat Me only confirmed it.

The Postman Knock #102

Phew, busy, busy week!
 I caught a cold, but I am working hard on both planting (done) and my Blog Ahead challenge (in progress). For those of you who think I gave up on your blogs, I am working on my back log of commenting. It's insane how much time it takes! Even if I don't comment, please know that I am reading you and I'm with you in spirit *hugs*

I was craving something comforting as it's getting cold here, so I READ:

I love VAMPIRES IN AMERICA series by D.B. Reynolds so after Vincent I suddenly wanted a re-read and indulged myself with those three. I also read A CHARM OF MAGPIES series through my book guru's, Betsy, recommendations. So delicious! It's a m/m historical fantasy romance between a roguish lord who spent 20 years in China and a young but powerful magician in London. Really, really well done and very refreshing. At last, I finished THE ROSIE EFFECT and I'll talk about my contradictory feelings on this book next week.


Yay, my pre-order of latest Joanna Bourne arrived at my kindle unexpectedly early. Can't wait! She is an amazing author.

Plus Interlude with Tattoos from the same author was free on Smashwords!



Both books were highly anticipated releases of next year so I'm just super excited to read them!


Thank you, Penny for a wonderful surprise!

This is it for me, peeps! And how was your week?
Tchau, stay warm!

Friday Mini Reviews (Audiobooks edition) #33: Anne Bishop, Anne Bishop & Jim Butcher

The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels #7)

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads

The national bestselling Black Jewels saga continues

Theran Grayhaven is the last of his line, desperate to restore the land of Dena Nehele. But first he needs to find a Queen who remembers the Blood's code of honor and lives by the Old Ways.

Languishing in the Shadow Realm, Lady Cassidy is a Queen without a court. But when she is chosen to rule Dena Nehele, she must convince bitter men to serve once again.
Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

This was an unexpected turn in the series, ladies and gents! After many adventures of Daemon, Lucivar and Jaenelle, the focus goes back to a troubled land of Dena Nehele which desperately needs a new Queen. Lady Cassidy might not be a glamorous choice, but her gentle nature and steady approach slowly conquers her Warrior circle one by one, until Theran Grayhaven starts messing around with things he doesn't understand.

I have to say, that despite not knowing Lady Cassidy I liked her straight away and really enjoyed her story, so this is much recommended addition to this series.
* * *
Прекрасное дополнение серии несмотря на то, что эта книга отходит от описания жизни Дэймона, Люсивара и Жанель и преподносит нам новых персонажей. Фокус сюжета на землях Дина Нахил, которые отчаянно нуждаются в новой Королеве, которой становится леди Кассиди по совету Жанель.

Кассиди мне пришлась по душе сразу же; своей милой натурой и твёрдой рукой она завоевала круг своих воинов одного за другим, пока идиот Тэйрон Грейхэйвен не привёл в её дом ядовитую гостью... Замечательная книга, очень советую читать!

 Shalador's Lady by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels #8)

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads

For years the Shalador people suffered the cruelties of the corrupt Queens who ruled them, forbidding their traditions, punishing those who dared show defiance, and forcing many more into hiding. Now that their land has been cleansed of tainted Blood, the Rose-Jeweled Queen, Lady Cassidy, makes it her duty to restore it and prove her ability to rule.

But even if Lady Cassidy succeeds, other dangers await. For the Black Widows see visions within their tangled webs that something is coming that will change the land-and Lady Cassidy-forever...
 Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

Shalador's Lady continues with Lady Cassidy's story which is why I had to review both books together. It also ends it very nicely! Cassidy and her loyal Warriors move the court from Grayhaven to Shalador after Theron refuses to throw his guest out of the manor, and steadily the surrounding lands start to prosper. Soon the whole of Dena Nehele is looking up to Lady's Cassidy and wants to be under her rule while Theron's stupidity is slowly driving everyone away from him and out of his city.

Great books, I really enjoyed them both. Recommended!
* * *
Леди Шаладора - это продолжение истории Кассиди, и именно поэтому я решила обе книги прорецензировать вместе. После того как она уезжает со своим кругом воинов из Грэйхэйвена и переселяется в Шаладор, тучи над Тэйроном сгущаются всё больше и больше, а он как последний идиот этого совершенно не видит.

В то же время Шаладор под руководством Кассиди процветает, и вот уже остальные земли Дина Нахил просятся под её правление, и Кассиди престоит сделать всё ввозможное, чтобы предсказание Жанель о судьбе Дина Нахил не исполнилось и гроза миновала её людей стороной. Милые книги, мне очень понравились!

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher ( The Dresden Files #3)

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads

Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden’s faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. All par for the course for Chicago’s only professional wizard.

But in all of Harry’s years of supernatural sleuthing, he’s never faced anything like this: the spirit world’s gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble—and not just of the door-slamming, ‘boo’- shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly.

Someone—or something—is stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn’t figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself....
Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository | Audiobook

Wow, everyone I know was telling me how the series changes on the third book, and I have to say they were damn right! It goes up to a new level of tension, intrigues and grisly murders.

The new Harry Dresden is dark, and I'm loving it! I definitely felt the mood of earlier Anita Blake, and I think the narration was very tight and choke full of ghosts, faerie god-mothers, eery vampires and vengeful demons. Obviously, James Marsters sleek voice only added to the richness of this book. Very much recommended for the fans of old school dark fantasy.
* * *
Ни фига себя! Я должна признаться, что все кто говорил о том, что эта серия радикально меняется к лучшему на третьей книге были чертовски правы!

Новый Гарри Дрезден - тёмен, мрачен и готов на всё, чтобы спасти своих друзей и любимых. Мне он очень пришёлся по душе! Между странными призраками, маниакальными вампирами, мстительными демонами и настойчивыми феями-крёстными матерями, книга подойдёт всем поклонникам тёмного фэнтези и особенно ранней Аниты Блэйк. Голос Джеймса Марстерса только добавляет глубины её напряжённой атмосфере. Очень советую!
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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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