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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, peeps!
For what it's worth I am sorry the blog has been put on the back burner this year.
I miss it, I miss interactions with you all, but the reality is that I physically don't have enough steam to read and review as intensely as I used to do.
Our little homestead in Portugal, Olives and Acorns, took off in ways we could not imagine. This year flew by in a whirlwind of work, while surrounded by tight and very rewarding community of friends we seemed to acquire along the way and with tons of social engagements.
We are juggling two building projects at the moment along with our normal chores and find ourselves more and more in mentoring positions. Us, can you imagine?! *grins*
I've also undergone a personal transformation in the last 6 months by losing a lot of weight and improving my health along the way. It wasn't dieting, it was a lifestyle change, and I still feel surprised every time I look at myself in the mirror. Major thanks to KetoGains facebook group and their scientific approach to food and body recomposition.
Joy? high five, sister! From a fellow low carber. *winks*
Me from May to December this year

All in all, it was a fantastic year, full of change and new explorations. I hope you had a good year too, and here's to another great one! 

I don't promise anything for 2018, apart from that this blog won't go dark. I will continue reading and reviewing, albeit at a very slow pace and hope you forgive me for that, folks.

Lots of love, big hugs to you all, be safe, stay warm and have a blast!

Karina xxx

Urban Fantasy Review: Destined for Shadows by Susan Illene

Destined for Shadows by Susan Illene (Dark Destiny #1)

ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
When you’re human in a supernatural world, life can have unexpected twists.

Cori has spent the last few years trying to get herself back on track after tragedy struck in the worst possible way. She’s opened a business, made new friends, and even helped save lives. Sure, she doesn’t tell anyone about the dark deeds haunting her, but she does her best to make up for them whenever she can. That includes helping her new neighbor, a half-angel who has just spent a hundred years in Purgatory, adjust to modern life.

Bartol is damaged inside and out. The torture he has suffered left him with no desire to interact with the outside world, and so far he’s pushed everyone he knows away. Cori can’t help wanting to do what she can for the traumatized immortal—even if it requires being a little pushy—because she’s drawn to him for reasons she can’t explain. And, anyway, a little crankiness has never been enough to scare her off.

But her plans are about to come crashing down when a man from her past returns with vengeance on his mind. He’s not human anymore, and he wants Cori dead. In the end, it might not be her saving Bartol, but the other way around.

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK


* * *

As a spin off, this is off to a solid start. It sets the scene nicely, it delves into the backstory of two main characters, and it's keeping us up to date with what's happening in Fairbanks.

My only complaint is that Cori & Bartol's interactions are very muted and sparse until they aren't. I needed them to build themselves up to that spark and sexual heat slower, especially considering how damaged they both are.

Friday Mini Reviews #108: Ben Aaronovitch, Eloisa James & Tiffany Reisz

A Rare Book of Cunning Device (Peter Grant #5.6)

free on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads
Somewhere amongst the shadowy stacks and the many basements of the British library, something is very much amiss - and we're not talking late returns here. Is it a ghost, or something much worse? PC Peter Grant really isn't looking forward to finding out....
Audible US/UK
It's a tiny short story, one of Peter Grant's numerous errands, I picked up for free on audio. It's fun and it even manages to replicate a rich background of British library, among stacks of which Peter and a designated to the task librarian are hunting weird mechanical spiders. Enjoyed it.
                                                               * * *
Это повесть - малютка, описывающая одну из многочисленных ежедневных задач, стоящих перед Питером Грантом. Автору, несмотря на краткость истории, удалось передать красоту и величественность Британской библиотеки, среди полок которой Питер вместе с коллегой-библиотекарем охотится на странных механических пауков.
 The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James (Fairy Tales #3)


Synopsis from Goodreads

Destiny will be decided between the sheets in this all-new tale of The Princess and the Pea.

For Olivia Lytton, betrothal to the Duke of Canterwick—hardly a Prince Charming—feels more like a curse than a happily-ever-after. At least his noble status will help her sister, Georgiana, secure an engagement with the brooding, handsome Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, a perfect match for her in every way . . . every way but one. Tarquin has fallen in love with Olivia. Quin never puts passion before reason. And reason says that Georgiana is his ideal bride. But the sensual, fiery, strong-willed Olivia ignites an unknown longing in him—a desire they are both powerless to resist. When a scandalous affair begins, they risk losing everything—Olivia's engagement, her sister's friendship, and their own fragile love. Only one thing can save them—and it awaits in the bedroom, where a magnificent mattress holds life-changing answers to the greatest romantic riddle of all.
Audible US | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository
Okay, it started great, witty, sparkling and fun. I loved Olivia, her hapless intended, her reserved sister and of course Quinn, the main hero. But then, it turned into a hot mess. The weird seduction and especially the bizarre French adventure read like they were written by a different person. I don't know what happened but I did not like it.
                                                          * * *
Ну, началась книга весело, с задором и искорками. Мне нравились здесь все: и язвительная Оливия и ее рассудительная сестра, ее простачок-жених и конечно же главный герой, Куин. Потом произошло нелепое сооблазнение и карикатурное французское приключение в стиле Блакаддэра, и у меня было такое впечатление, что я читала двух разных авторов. Не лучшая работа автора.

Mischief by Tiffany Reisz (The Original Sinners #8.6)

kindle freebie

Synopsis from Goodreads
When Nora's young lover Nico admits he's always wanted to celebrate a real American Halloween, she summons him to Halloween Town, USA—a.k.a. Salem, Massachusetts—for two nights of nothing but candy, sex, and mischief.

If necessary, they can skip the candy.

Amazon kindle US/UK


Oooh, it was lovely! Nico, you naughty boy! I freaking adored this novella, it was snarkalicious, hot and peppery. A pure Halloween treat.
                                                       * * *
Милейшая короткая история! Нико, какой же ты хулиган! Ну жутко понравилось... язвительно, горячо и с перчиком. Настоящая конфетка на Хэллоуин.
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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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