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Steampunk Mystery Audiobook Review: Firebrand by A.J. Hartley

Firebrand by A.J. Hartley (Alternative Detective #2)

audiocopy courtesy of Audible Studios

Synopsis from Goodreads
Once a steeplejack, Anglet Sutonga is used to scaling the heights of Bar-Selehm. Nowadays she assists politician Josiah Willinghouse behind the scenes of Parliament. When government plans for a secret weapon are stolen, their investigation leads right to the doorsteps of the city’s superexclusive social club, Elitus. Ang has a chance to catch the thief, but only if she can pass for a foreign princess. Her best chance to learn the ways of royalty lies in the aloof Dahria Willinghouse and the intense Madame Nahreem, a woman possessing high standards and unusual pets.

Yet Ang has other things on her mind. Refugees from the north are trickling into the city, but an ambitious politician is proposing extreme measures to get rid of them. She soon discovers that one theft could spark a conflagration of conspiracy that threatens the most vulnerable of Bar-Selehm. Unless she can stop it.

Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UKBook Depository


* * *

Firebrand gets another high rating from yours truly, because it's an exceptionally original story with a unique voice.

First, the narrator on audio, Noma Dimezweni. I adore her! She truly brought Ang and all the supporting characters to life.

Historical Romance Review: Luck Be a Lady by Meredith Duran

Luck Be a Lady by Meredith Duran (Rules for The Reckless #4)


Synopsis from Goodreads
Romance sizzles between a famous heiress and an infamous crime lord in this fourth sexy novel in the Rules for the Reckless series from the USA Today bestselling author of Fool Me Twice.

The Wallflower

They call her the “Ice Queen.” Catherine Everleigh is London’s loveliest heiress, but a bitter lesson in heartbreak has taught her to keep to herself. All she wants is her birthright—the auction house that was stolen from her. To win this war, she’ll need a powerful ally. Who better than infamous and merciless crime lord Nicholas O’Shea? A marriage of convenience will no doubt serve them both.

The Crime Lord

Having conquered the city’s underworld, Nick seeks a new challenge. Marrying Catherine will give him the appearance of legitimacy—and access to her world of the law-abiding elite. No one needs to know he’s coveted Catherine for a year now—their arrangement is strictly business, free from the troubling weaknesses of love. Seduction, however, is a different matter—an enticing game he means to ensure she enjoys, whether she wishes to or not...

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


* * *
While I powered through Lady Be Good, I lost some of my steam with Luck Be A Lady.

The reason? I didn't think the characters lived up to their potential.

Paranormal Fantasy Early Review: Midnight Labyrinth by Elizabeth Hunter

Midnight Labyrinth by Elizabeth Hunter (Elemental Legacy #4)

ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
He’s one human caught in a tangled maze of theft, politics, magic, and blood.
 In other words, it’s just another night.

Benjamin Vecchio escaped a chaotic childhood and grew to adulthood under the protection and training of one of the Elemental world’s most feared vampire assassins. He’s traveled the world and battled immortal enemies.

But everyone has to go home sometime.

New York means new opportunities and allies for Ben and his vampire partner, Tenzin. It also means new politics and new threats. Their antiquities business is taking off, and their client list is growing. When Ben is challenged to find a painting lost since the second world war, he jumps at the chance. This job will keep him closer to home, but it might just land him in hot water with the insular clan of earth vampires who run Manhattan.

Tenzin knew the painting would be trouble before she laid eyes on it, but she can’t deny the challenge intrigues her. Human laws mean little to a vampire with a few millennia behind her, and Tenzin misses the rush of taking what isn’t hers.

But nothing is more dangerous than a human with half the story, and Ben and Tenzin might end up risking their reputations and their lives before they escape the Midnight Labyrinth.

MIDNIGHT LABYRINTH is the first book in an all new contemporary fantasy series by Elizabeth Hunter, author of the Elemental Mysteries and the Irin Chronicles

Release date: November 7, 2017.

Amazon kindle US/UK


* * *

I knew, I just knew that a full-size novel with Ben and Tenzin in it would be a riot.

These two are a perfect combination of warm familiarity and ridiculous amounts of snappy dialogues between a cranky, antisocial vampire legend and a charming, quick-witted and too curious for his own good human.

Friday Mini-Reviews #107 Erotic Romance Edition: Tiffany Reisz, Lydia Michaels and Allyson Young & Alisha Rai

Michael's Wings by Tiffany Reisz (The Original Sinners #6.3)

egalley thanks to 8th Circle Press

Synopsis from Goodreads
Griffin has just popped the question—yes, that question—and Michael doesn’t have an answer. He flees town for New Orleans to see his confidante and sometime-Domme, Mistress Nora. Will a weekend of beignets and beatings help him untangle his knotted-up heart?

Thus begins Michael's Wings, the eponymous novella that kicks off the latest entry in Tiffany Reisz's LAMBDA Literary Award-winning* Original Sinners series.

This companion collection to fan-favorite The Angel also contains six previously-published stories starring Mistress Nora's favorite angel and Griffin—his master, his true love, and the sexy-as-hell bane of Michael's existence.

Release date: November 7, 2017.

Amazon kindle US/UK


Michael's Wings is about Griffin popping the question to Mike who is freaking out about it.

Griffin in Wonderland describes Griffin and Kingsley crossing paths for the first time, which was the making of Griffin as we know him.

Gauze talks about Michael's accident and how him and Griffin deal with the trauma.

The Theory of the Moment describes Griffin and Melissa, Michael's mom meeting and conversation.

The Couch talks about the boys first serious argument with some naughty and wise advise from Nora.

A Better Distraction is about Griffin trying to let Michael study with mixed results.

Finally, Christmas in Suite 37A describes couple reconciling after a long break.

Bottom line, this is a sweet and totally adorable collection of everyday and pivotal moments in Griffin and Michael's life with Nora's subtle coaching in between. Loved it, recommended to all the fans.

* * *

"Крылья Майкла" о том, как Гриффин просит руки Майкла.

"Гриффин в Стране Чудес" рассказывает о встрече Гриффина с Кингсли, когда Кинг ставит нашего золотого мальчика на правильный путь.

"Марля" - о несчастном случае Майкла и о том, как он с Гриффином справляются с травмой.

"Теория Момента" - о милейшей встрече Гриффина с Мелиссой и их разговоре о ее сыне, Майкле.

"Диван" - о первой большой ссоре между ребятами и лукавом совете от Норы .

"Отвлечение Получше" - о попытке Гриффина оставить Майка заниматься уроками, и что из этого выходит.

И наконец, "Рождество в Номере 37А" - о примирении пары после долгой разлуки.

Если подытожить, то это - очаровательная коллекция историй о бытовых и важных моментов из жизни пары, с незаметным курированием от Норы. Советую всем фанатам автора.  

Forfeit by Lydia Michaels and Allyson Young (Degrees of Separation #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads

The debut novel of a masterfully emotional, high stakes trilogy that will have readers forfeiting tradition to gamble with love…

December and Austin have a traditional, storybook marriage complete with defined roles. Married young, they’ve shared nearly a decade of passion and love. December’s submissive nature is perfectly suited for her husband’s authoritative, yet adoring personality and he seamlessly holds the indisputable role of head of the household.

But Austin harbors secrets, and the pressure of losing his job makes those festering skeletons impossible to ignore.

Turning to alcohol instead of his wife, Austin finally drives December into the arms of their closest friend, Cord, despite her intense loyalty. Cord has loved December since the day they met. His moral compass is challenged and lines are blurred when Austin steps aside and insists Cord take his place.

Forfeiting all, Austin must face a harsh truth. Take control of his life, or forever lose the woman he loves.

WARNING: This book contains subject matter suitable for mature reading audiences. Some content may be offensive to sensitive readers. Degrees of Separation is a ménage trilogy with many emotionally graphic encounters and challenging situations that break the rules of traditional romance.

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


On one hand, I have all the sympathy for the main heroine. Girl, I've been there, done that, got a t-shirt. December herself is a sweet and kind soul. I instantly liked her. Cord was a typical hero material, and I enjoyed him as well. Austin was a typical alcoholic unable to get over his failures and major wounds to his ego.

What infuriated me was this complete lack of understanding of how to deal with alcoholism. Come on, guys! Have you heard of googling it? If my spouse or loved one had it, I'd sure as hell research everything I could to help them out. Telling someone to pull yourself together and stop doesn't cut it. That person can DIE from following such advice. You need medical help and supervision. Ugh! So, I don't recommend this book for this reason and probably won't bother reading the rest.
* * *
 С одной стороны, я испытываю симпатию к главной героине. Я там был, мед, пиво пил и футболку получил. Декабрь - милая женщина, добрая и светлая. Да и Корд - лучший друг ее муж, герой, которого легко полюбить. Остин - типичный запойный алкоголик, потерявший работу и запивший, не в состоянии смриться с неудачей из-за своей гордыни.

Что довело меня до белого каления - это наивная вера Декабрь и Корда в то, что Остину надо просто собраться волей, бросить пить и привести себя в порядок. Ну, ребята, погуглите вы алкоголизм! Если он последует вот такому совету, он и умереть может! Ему нужна в начале медицинская помощь и наблюдение, чтобы высохнуть. Вот идиоты! Из-за этого продолжение прям читать не хочу.

Glutton for Pleasure by Alisha Rai (Pleasure #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
They’re craving something sweet. She likes it spicy.
Devi Malik knows how to heat things up. She does it every night as head chef in her family’s Indian restaurant. Her love life, though, is stuck in the subzero freezer. Now, with a chance to fulfill a secret fantasy with her long-time crush and his brother, it’s time to put her desire on the front two burners.
For Marcus Callahan, a love-’em-and-leave-’em attitude isn’t only a necessary evil of their kink. It’s a protective device. Lately, though, his brother Jace has been making noises about craving something more.
Jace’s dissatisfaction with their lifestyle grows with every glimpse of sweet little Devi. Yet Marcus is too haunted by the pain of their shared past to give love a chance.
Despite their reputation for vanishing with the dawn, they discover one night with Devi isn’t nearly enough. And Devi finds herself falling in love with two very different men.
It’ll take more than explosive sex to light up the shadows surrounding the Callahan brothers’ secrets. But Devi’s never been afraid of the dark…

Warning: This title contains two sizzling men for the price of one, ménage a trois, oral sex, anal sex, fun toys, great food, and creative uses for syrup and dressing rooms.

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


I freaking loved Alisha Rai's latest, so I thought I'd go through her backlist starting with Glutton for Pleasure especially as it's written in the same universe.

What can I say? It's her first published work, so the quality is nowhere near her latest, Hate to Want You. It's straight off erotica instead of erotic romance, so while Devi is a lovely tease of a potentiality awesome character, Jace and Marcus are mostly cardboard. Some good moments, but shaky at best.

* * *

Честно, купила " Жадную до Удовольствия" из-за того, что прочитала последнюю книгу Алишы Рай запоем. Книга эта - ее первый блин и как видно, комом. Ну, первая изданная книга; со стилем и уверенностью пера она еще здесь не сообразилась, и это очень видно.

Дэви - хорошенькая героиня, и в проблесках ее жизни чувствуется большой потенциал. А вот Джейс и Маркус совсем картонные. Да и жанр здесь - чистая эротика вместо эротического романа. Советовать не буду, но и отпугивать не хочу.

November Book Releases I'm Dying to Read!

So many heavy hitters released this month!!! Midnight Labyrinth is AMAZING! Michael's Wings is lovely, and I am beyond excted to read Fence from C.S. Pacat!

What are you waiting for in November?
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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?
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