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Chinese Drama Review: Go Go Squid!

Go Go Squid (2019)


Episodes: 41
Status: Completed

Synopsis from MyDramaList
A cute romance between an adorable singer who develops a crush on a guy that she is too scared to approach, he is a genius in the field of computer engineering and a legend in the world of professional gaming.
It is late evening when Han Shang Yan walks into an internet cafe. While helping her cousin watch the shop, Tong Nian catches a glimpse of Han Shang Yan and immediately falls for him. She is usually brave, outgoing and has tens of thousands of followers from singing covers online, but she fumbles whenever she encounters him.
She is used to interviews, but can't even utter a word when speaking to him. He is cold, hard to reach and not the type of guy to be interested in girls, but Tong Nian's unique personality and her persistent ways to get close to him begin to catch his attention.


9/10

* * *
This was an absolute cuteness overload for me, peeps! The closest I can compare it with is Penny Reid's Elements of Chemistry series. It's geeky and adorable and very addictive.

Contemporary Romance Early Review: Grit by Elizabeth Hunter

Grit byElizabeth Hunter (7th and Main #3)


ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
He’s been patient; she’s been busy.
Patience is running out.

Melissa Oxford is a widow with a ranch, an orange grove, a goat-obsessed ten-year-old, and not enough time. She doesn’t have time to make friends. She doesn’t have time to stop and chat, and she definitely does not have time for a boyfriend.
Which is fine, because Cary Nakamura is far from being a boy. Cary’s the man who helped Melissa plant her trees. The friend who keeps offering advice, even when she’s is too stubborn to take it.
He’s also the man who kissed Melissa in broad daylight on a sidewalk in Metlin, California, smack in the face of God and everyone.
But while Melissa may spend a little too long dreaming about Cary from a distance, she knows the kind of passion he promises is more than she can handle.
She just doesn’t have the time.
But sometimes, no matter how busy you are, life makes you stop. It pulls you up short and makes you see things a little more clearly. Things like…
The people you can count on.
The dreams you keep pushing away.
And the passion that can’t be denied.
GRIT is a stand-alone, friends-to-lovers romance in the Love Stories on 7th and Main series by Elizabeth Hunter, author of INK.


Release date: Sept 3rd, 2019.

Amazon kindle US/UK

8.5/10

* * *
 Grit is my favourite book in the series, peeps. Perhaps, because it involves farmers, goats and orange groves. Perhaps, it's the characters I can relate to the most.

Korean Drama Review: Search: WWW

Search: WWW (2019)

Status: Completed
Episodes: 16

Synopsis from MyDramaList

This drama is about the conflicts, the wins, and losses one experiences when working. It will follow the story of 21st century women, who chose to not be a wife or a mother and successfully work without discrimination or impediments.
Bae Ta Mi works as a director for a big web portal company. She is in her late 30's and is quite competitive. With her competitiveness, Ta Mi enjoys success. The methods she uses to win has her wondering if she is doing the right thing with her life. Has she sacrificed too much of her personal life for success?

Park Mo Gun is a man in his 20's and is a gifted composer. He creates music for video games. Mo Gun meets Ta Mi at an arcade. He falls in love with her due to her competitive spirit.


9/10

* * *
It's no secret that in the last year I have fully immersed myself in the world of Asian Dramas. And I am hoping to lure some of you down the rabbit hole with this particular gem.


More often than not, Asian dramas surprise me with reversed gender stereotypes and the absolute kickassery of the female leads; in this, Search: WWW is one of the best I've seen in awhile.


It follows three strong, successful women at the peak of their careers in rival search engines in South Korea. In fact, most of the badass characters in this drama be that heroines or vilainesses have been women. The three male love interests had subdued secondary roles as pretty ornaments to flesh out the female leads. *grins*


Bae Ta Mi "Tammy" get thrown under a bus by her friend and boss to take the blame for manipulating keywords in the search engine during a presidential election campaign. She manages to twist the situation and shift the blame to someone else, but she resignes from her beloved company devastated and gets picked up by the rival search engine in order to get it to the top. While she is going through the turmoil, she meets Park Mo Geon, who is 10 years younger and owns a company creating music for the video games. He is smitten and pursues her relentlessly, while she suffers from guilt from being attracted to him and constantly tries to push him away. Tammy is not interested in kids and marriage, and that's some serious issues considering that Park Mo Geon intends to have both sometime in the future. The chemistry between them is off the charts, and there are many poignant and touching moments.

Song Ga Kyung, Tammy's ex-boss is forced  to betray her because her search engine is being manupulated by the head of the powerful conglomerate, who is also her mother-in-law in an arranged marriage. The whole series she is not only trying to outmaneuver and prevail against all odds, she wants to take that b*tch down! Her and her husband have a bittersweet relationship, both caught up in the scheme and both trying to help each other to win.

Finally, Cha Hyun "Scarlett", is a fiery executive in the rival engine, Tammy starts working in. She is very talented and has an explosive temper, and she is also a very old friend of Song Ga Kyung. While she learns to work with Tammy towards success, the two bond and help each other through various troubles. Scarlett falls for a younger kdrama actor, a gentle and thoughtful guy, her complete opposite. The situations between them are hilarious.


Overall, this drama is a tightly run ship with a fantastic finale. It satisfied me on so many levels, it showed true friendship between women, and none of these three had any need at any point to rely on men. Extremely refreshing, great soundtrack as well and I can't recommend it highly enough. Watch it!


Fantasy Romance Review: Altered by Vicki Stiefel

Altered: The Made Ones Saga (Book #1) by Vicki Stiefel


ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
The Eleutians are dying out, one female at a time. To save their species, the powerful Alchemic Clan conscripts women from parallel worlds, altering them into the perfect breeding stock.
Kitlyn, a retired circus equestrian broken in both body and spirit, awakens on a strange world in her own much-younger body. She has been transformed into a Made One, but the gift of youth and the promise of a new life come at a terrible price.
Rafe, the Wolf Clan's warrior champion, vows to find the cause of the species' decline. He's certain the Alchemics' bid to save the Eleutians is but a thin veneer masking a dark purpose.
That vow becomes hard to keep with the threat of an inter-clan conflict and the arrival of the proud Made One named Kitlyn.
To save herself and those like her, Kit must carve a dangerous path in this new reality and make a choice that may cost her her freedom, her life, and the life of the Eleutian warrior she's come to love.


Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

7.5/10

* * *
  I always read Vicki's books with great pleasure. They are so vivid, original and incredibly cinematic, I can almost imagine them on the big screen. Altered is no exception.

Contemporary Romance Review: Hooked by Elizabeth Hunter

Hooked by Elizabeth Hunter (7th and Main #2)


ecopy courtesy of the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
She’s in high heels; he wears hiking boots.
Can these two opposites make romance in Metlin work?

Tayla McKinnon is not a small town girl. The fashion blogger moved to Metlin with two goals in mind: help her friend start a book store and have a little fun. A year later, Tayla has made new friends, successfully launched INK, and is ready for a new challenge. Too bad she can’t get a certain rock-climbing, comic book geek off her mind.

Jeremy Allen has been playing the long game with Tayla, even though the avid outdoorsman was certain she was the one from the minute he set eyes on her. They may have different tastes, but their chemistry is undeniable.

When a job opportunity from a new fashion start-up lands in her inbox, Tayla takes it as a sign. She’s not meant for a small town, even though her best friend and her inconvenient crush are trying to convince her otherwise.

Jeremy can’t believe Tayla would be willing to leave her new life behind, but maybe he’s been playing it too cool. Summer in Metlin can sizzle, which gives Jeremy an excuse to turn up the heat.

Hooked is a stand-alone, opposites-attract romance in the Love Stories on 7th and Main series by Elizabeth Hunter, USA Today Bestselling author of INK.


Amazon kindle US/UK

  9/10

* * *
This turned out to be a really cosy, beautiful contemporary romance series, Elizabeth Hunter has started. Ink was lovely, but in my view, as the author started settling in into Meitlin lives, Hooked was even better. I don't know why I'm surprised as it happens with every book from Elizabeth Hunter I read.

Urban Fantasy Review: How to Dance an Undead Waltz by Hailey Edwards

How to Dance an Undead Waltz by Hailey Edwards (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy #4) 


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Keep a spot open on your dance card. This is one ball you don't want to miss.

Grier is nursing a broken heart after Boaz announced his engagement to another woman, but life goes on. Or it would if vampire assassins would stop taking pot shots at her every time she leaves Woolworth House. Seriously, who sends archers to deliver murdergrams these days?

To protect herself, Grier must pull out all the stops, even if it means revealing her darkest secret. All eyes are on her, and — for the first time — she begins to understand why Linus wears so many masks. But the target isn’t Grier, and when the archers single him out, it feels like one of their arrows might have struck what remains of her heart.


Amazon Kindle US/UK

8.5/10

* * *
I hope you are following this series that way I am, which is bingeing. Because it's worth it. I am worth it. *grins*

March New Book Releases I'm Dying to Read!

Wild Country by Anne Bishop (The World of The Others #2)


In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side...without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.


Add to Goodreads

* * *

Now that I caught up to everything, I can't wait to see what happens in this book. This series is so nail-bitingly intense! 

 A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn


Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker's brother calls in a favor. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly's house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée--much to Stoker's chagrin. But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed. Every invited guest has a connection to Romilly's wife, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day three years ago, and a dramatic dinner proves she is very much on her husband's mind.

As spectral figures, ghostly music, and mysterious threats begin to plague the partygoers, Veronica enlists Stoker's help to discover the host's true motivations. And as they investigate, it becomes clear that there are numerous mysteries surrounding the Romilly estate, and every person present has a motive to kill Rosamund...
 


Add to Goodreads

* * *

Another excellent series here. Every time I read about Veronika's adventures I have so much fun!

 A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

 

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident--or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan's unceasing expansion--all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret--one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life--or rescue it from annihilation.


Add to Goodreads

* * *

The premise snagged me, and while I know nothing about this author I am willing to try this book.

  The Devil and The Dancer by Elizabeth Hunter


 Sometimes falling is the safest step to take.

Chloe Reardon has a problem, and his name is Gavin Wallace.

Okay, Gavin isn’t exactly a problem, unless you consider a highly attractive wind vampire with dubious intentions a problem. Especially if that vampire is your boss. With an affinity for kilts and excellent taste in music.

But none of that matters because Chloe Reardon has had enough of dangerous men. Danger is overrated. Danger is the opposite of sexy. So Gavin is the last man—or vampire—on earth she needs to let into her heart.

Except what if the most dangerous man you knew was also the one who made you feel the strongest?

The Devil and the Dancer is a paranormal romance novella in the Elemental Legacy series. 


Add to Goodreads

* * *
 I actually have this one as a review copy and looking forward to reading it as I really like Chloe and Gavin.


Urban Fantasy Review: How to Break an Undead Heart by Hailey Edwards

How to Break an Undead Heart by Hailey Edwards (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy #3)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Grier finally has the one thing she’s always wanted: Boaz Pritchard. Too bad her dream boyfriend is keeping her up nights, just not in a sweaty or fun way. Boaz has dialed down the Southern charm and stopped returning her calls. His job forces him to keep secrets, but his radio silence is cranking up her suspicions. He’s a shameless flirt, but he’s her shameless flirt… right?

Soon an attack on Woolworth House leaves her with bigger problems than he loves me, he loves me not. Vampires are on the prowl, and they aren’t the only predators circling. A new threat has emerged, one with blood rights to Grier. With enemies closing in on all sides, she must choose her allies, and the decision could make or break her… and her heart.

Warning: This book contains a buttload of zombie parakeet poop. Like grab a poncho and thank me later. Watch out, y’all. It’s about to hit the fan. Hearts will break, and heads will roll. Literally.


Audible US | Amazon Kindle US/UK

8.5/10

* * *

So much cool stuff. Each book gives a little bit more juice, and it just becomes a little bit more delicious. I am starting to dread discovering that Linus is a closet villain (so far, he is not), but that boy is just a liiiittle bit too perfect. 

Urban Fantasy Review:How To Claim an Undead Soul by Hailey Edwards

How to Claim an Undead Soul by Hailey Edwards (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy #2)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Life was simpler for Grier when she was flat broke and a social pariah. Now she's carrying the baggage that goes along with the title of Dame Woolworth, and shouldering that weight is giving her a serious crick in the neck. Her work as a Haint is the one thing that makes her feel normal, but even that's more paranormal than usual.

Spirits are vanishing from well-known hot spots on the ghost tour circuit, and vampires are turning up as shriveled husks. When Grier stumbles across the menace preying on Savannah's supernatural community, what she uncovers is bigger than a few flickering lampposts gone dark. It's a deadly threat unleashed by one of their own, and the cost of saving her city might be her life.


Audible US | Amazon Kindle US/UK

8.5/10

* * *
 It's the second book in series and I am still enjoying the ride. It's a helluva one at that! I think the author is just warming up.

Steampunk Fantasy Romance Review: Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster

Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster (London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy #1)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Three years ago, London society changed forever, with a revolution placing the widowed Queen firmly on the throne her blue blood husband tried to take from her. Humans, verwulfen and mechs are no longer considered the lesser classes, but not everybody is happy with the new order…

Entire families have gone missing in the East End. When Caleb Byrnes receives an invitation to join the Company of Rogues as an undercover agent pledged to protect the crown, he jumps at the chance to find out who, or what, is behind the disappearances. Hunting criminals is what the darkly driven blue blood does best, and though he prefers to work alone, the opportunity is too good to resist.

The problem? He’s partnered with Ingrid Miller, the fiery and passionate verwulfen woman who won a private bet against him a year ago. Byrnes has a score to settle, but one stolen kiss and suddenly the killer is not the only thing Byrnes is interested in hunting.

Soon they’re chasing whispered rumours of a secret project gone wrong, and a monster that just might be more dangerous than either of them combined. The only way to find out more is to go undercover among the blue blood elite… But when their hunt uncovers a mysterious conspiracy, Byrnes and Ingrid must set aside their age-old rivalry if they have any chance at surviving a treacherous plot.


Amazon Kindle US/UK | Book Depository

8.5/10

* * *

I had a long break from steampunk which means I missed on quite a few of Bec McMaster's books.

Mission: Improper restored my desire to read more in this genre, - it was really vivid, visceral and extremely entertaining. As it's the first book in a spin-off from London Steampunk series, the plot has a long development in making and I can not wait to delve into it even more.

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KARINA IS READING

READING

The Night Circus
Legacy
Gabriel's Inferno
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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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