Book Review: The Heart of the Alchemist

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About the book:

 

Title: The Heart of the Alchemistheart of the alchemist

Author: Penny Wells

Published: August 13th 2017 by Blushing Books Publications

Source: received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy

Blurb:

When the love of her life dumps her, Katie spends three years living with a broken heart.

Seeing him with his new fiancée prompts her to make some changes, but before she can, Katie is torn abruptly from twenty-first century Chicago.

Landing in Elizabethan England, she finds herself in a room with a handsome alchemist named

Robert. Unable to send her home, Lord Robert assumes the role of her guardian and helps her learn how to live in 1566 London. Robert’s father, the spymaster to Queen Elizabeth, sees the value in Katie’s knowledge from the future and allows her to come to court. Plunged into a world of scandals and secrets she doesn’t understand, Katie risks her life to earn Lord Robert’s trust.

As a man with questionable intent begins to pursue her, stirring Robert to jealousy, Katie discovers she may feel more for Robert than she thought. Being a woman in the sixteenth century where she may be disciplined, married off, or locked away is fraught with perils. But has Katie found love despite these dangers?

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

I think this is my first time travel romance, which is strange. How come I’ve never come across one? Ok, never mind. For one first time travel romance books I’ve ever read, this was not that bad, though I would have expected more.

The blurb describes well enough the plot but let me give you a bit more. Katie ends up in Lord Robert’s alchemy lab after his failed experiment to obtain gold. She finds herself in Elizabethan England, with no internet or phone (or denim), captive in a strange man’s house. But as scared as she may be of the entire situation, Robert has at least the same amount of worry. Step by step, they will earn each other’s trust and Katie will be thrown into a world of secrets and spies.

I have no complains when it comes to the writing, my main issues are related to how the story was built. For me, it was not very believable how easily Katie has forgotten about her family. I had the feeling her worry was mostly for the material things she would miss, not necessarily her loved ones.

As a trigger warning, there is a scene of violence towards her that was too much for me. I have not experienced such acts, but I would expect any woman to fight a little, not accept it and that’s it.

Lord Robert was living too much in his father’s shadows. He gave me the impression of being afraid of him, like he was cruel, old man. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad book, it has things that I enjoyed. As I was mentioning, the writing is not bad at all. For example, Lord Robert’s panic when he sees this strange woman, dressed in weird clothes, in his lab and the way he tries to deal with the situation are really some great scenes. The author has done a great research on the customs from that era, so the documentations is visible. The romance is built quite well also.

So yes, I am going with a 2.5 stars (round up 3 stars) for this one. I liked it, just that it could have been better. Let me know your thoughts below. Enjoy!

 

About the Author

Penny Wells has been writing stories since she knew what a story was. She loves reading penny wellsand especially enjoys a lush fantasy novel or an engaging historical drama. Wells lives in the United States with her husband, who is an avid reader of nonfiction. When she isn’t wrapped up in the consumption or crafting of words, she can often be found curled up with a warm drink and cozy craft.

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Book Review: The Watcher of the Night Sky

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About the book:

Title: The Watcher of the Night Sky (The Aronia Series Book 1)watcher of the night sky

Author: Rachel Pudsey

Published: June 11th 2016 by Pronoun (first published December 28th 2014)

Source: received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy

Blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Abigail Crumble was never much for talking about love and marriage and other such nonsense – no matter how often her boy obsessed best friend pestered her to do so. Or so she so adamantly proclaimed.

Yet on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Abigail makes the biggest, most contradictory mistake of her life. She wishes on the stars for love, or even the smallest amount of attention, without knowing the full impact of such a feat.

Abigail soon finds her simple life in chaos as princes, men and mysterious creatures come to her door, each adamantly in love with her and refusing to leave her side.

Mixing fantasy and romance, The Watcher of the Night Sky begins the tale of one girl’s quest to rid herself of a curse that was definitely far more than she wished for.

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

There is a say: “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it”. This is the perfect line that would go with this book. At her fifteen years, Abigail wishes she could be in the center of attention, like her beautiful best friend. She has been the source of many mockery and only in her better days she was treated with indifference. So why is she to blame for wishing some of that attention?

Things get out of control when a bunch of guys show up on her doorstep, asking for her hand in marriage. Now she must figure out under what kind of spell they are, if she has casted it and how. A lot of questions to be answered in just the right number of pages.

When it comes to our main character, the author has done a great job depicting her innocence. Her lack of knowledge when it comes to boys, love and marriage is almost tangible. She has no clue how to handle the hoard of men wanting her. But she is in for a major reveal soon enough.

The other characters are from very diverse worlds and they are unique in their behavior as well. At times, I got lost in all their banter and “fights” to win Abigail’s heart. It got so noisy and at some point, I wanted to get in there and yell: “QUIET!!!”, so that she can get some time out and figure things out. Sometimes, men can be frustratingly annoying!

The writing was not bad. It was simple and overly descriptive, but it served a purpose and went much in line with our characters and story. The beginning was quite slow and there are some scenes in which Abigail moved around town with all these strange men following her. This was kind of weird. But once the reader gets past that, all is for the better.

So this was a good start for a series. First book leaves you with a major cliffhanger, so be ready for Book No. 2. And take a moment to admire the cover! I love the moon, the dress, the dark colors… Yes!

 

About the Authorrachel pudsey

Rachel has been writing stories since as long as she can remember. An obsession with Point Horror books led to her first novel being written at the age of ten. Truth be told, it wasn’t very good.

The following years were spent writing, dreaming, reading thrillers, romantic comedies, fantasies, occasionally playing guitar, and dabbling in song writing.

Rachel was born and raised in Scotland. A graduate of psychology, she now resides in South Korea. She has dabbled in teaching children, but after a few blessed years has succumbed to teaching business English to adults in Seoul.

 

 

Book Review: The Nanny Arrangement

 
Their story would make one heck of a country song. 

THE NANNY ARRANGEMENT
Country Blues #2
Rachel Harris
Releasing May 22, 2017
Entangled Bliss
Soft-spoken  and shy Hannah Fisher is determined to make the man she’s loved her entire life  finally see her as a woman. With the help of a makeover, a new
mission—Operation Find My Happy—and the convenient forced proximity of a tour
bus, she vows to win her best friend Deacon’s heart.
 
Former bad  boy and current fiddle player Deacon Latrell has the world at his fingertips: a  new gig with a famous band, plus his best friend on tour as his son’s nanny.
Life couldn’t get much sweeter. Now if only he could stop imagining kissing the
daylights out of his childhood BFF…
 

With one friend set on  pushing the boundaries and the other afraid to rock the boat, one thing’s for  certain—their story would make one heck of a country song.


My Review:

As you’ve probably figured out by now, this book is about two friends trying to deal with their attraction for one another, in different ways: one tries to get the other’s attention, where the other tries not to put their friendship in danger.  The question is how do you cross the “Friend Zone” without destroying it?

I found the story quite enjoyable, especially because it covers with sensitive aspect of becoming more than friends. There may be more things I was not quite comfortable with, but at the end of the book, I felt satisfied enough with giving three stars.

Hannah is a nice character. She’s determined to make Deacon see her as more than his best friend, after a year away from him. Being away from her loved ones made her become more confident and become mature enough to follow her goals. Throughout her childhood, she found comfort in Deacon, him being the only kid her age interested in becoming her friend. Because of her stutter and her cheap clothes, she has always been regarded as an outsider.

With a significant number of people that had abandoned him, Deacon appreciated the little girl’s gesture of talking to him that day and ever since he’s done and nothing but protect her. She’s given him the family he’s never had. Her parents welcomed him and provided support when his drunk mother was not able. He has a great career ahead only because of his best friend. She pushed him towards his dreams, so he wants to fight this insane attraction at all costs, or else it will destroy their friendship, his heart and especially his little boys heart. His son regarded Hannah as the mother she never had the chance to meet.

I like this fight that torments each character and I like more that they were pushing for completely different things. But I was not at all comfortable with all the talk and no action from Hannah’s side. She is portrayed as such a determined person, willing to do a lot to gain Deacon’s heart. But only when pushed by her new friends does she act on her plan. And I also was a little confused at what Deacon’s feelings were. We also find out things about his ex-girlfriend, with whom he appeared to be in love at some point. She is described to be such a mean person and criticized that at some point you get to hate her completely, even though she’s not a character in the book.

I still have mixed feelings about the story, but at least now I can say I enjoyed it. I expect more from the other books in the series.

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing. 


An admitted bookaholic and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!
 

Book Review: Darkness Falls

[This will be a very quick post and review as I strongly believe I’ve received and older version of the book. My review is for the copy received]

 

Book Review:Princess Adele’s Dragon

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Princess Adele’s Dragon by Shirley McLain. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 31 May till 13 June, you can view the tour schedule here.

Princess Adele's DragonPrincess Adele’s Dragon
By Shirley McLain
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 22 March, 2016

Blurb:
Princess Adele lives with her brother, Robert, the King of Valdoria in the castle. There has been a monster terrorizing the Kingdom for months. The King has finally come to a decision on how to deal with the monster but the Princess can’t agree with him. For the sake of the Kingdom Princess Adele decides she must be the one to kill the dragon. She couldn’t live with herself if her brother went ahead with his plans.

What Adele found on her quest changed her life and the lives of those around her. She was a strong young woman who knew what she wanted and would do whatever it took to get it. Follow Princess Adele as she battles to save her home and her life.

You can find Princess Adele’s Dragon on Goodreads

You can buy Princess Adele’s Dragon here:
Amazon

My  Review:

I was quite enthusiastic to read this book, since the blurb really caught my attention (I am also a secret fan of princesses, but that’s a secret!).  Still, ever since the first pages the action was very predictable and it left kind of nothing to expect for the end. I finished it, hoping to find a significant twist, something that will completely blow my mind and would make me forget the predictability from the beginning.

Unfortunately it did not happen. I liked the book, don’t get me wrong. Just that I seemed to guess what would happen next. The characters were nicely built; the action was not absurd – just easy at times. I liked also that the author kept the medieval language and customs for the entire book. I would also say that the plot is classic and that some of the evil characters are dumb – not sure if that was the intention, but that’s how I see them.

Taking into account that it is a rather short book, I think the action happens pretty fast. On the other hand, I see potential to improve it, either by adding a little bit of suspense or some twists, or by making it a children’s book, with princesses and dragons. For this version though, I stick with my three stars.

 

About the Author:
Shirley McLain makes her home in Sapulpa Oklahoma with her husband and their fur family of four dogs and three cats. She also has two grown children, six grandchildren and twin great-grand sons. She has/is living a Shirley McLainvery full life. She retired after working thirty-two years as a RN and then began a full time writing carrier. She and her husband enjoy their five-acre country home. It is a perfect setting to let Shirley’s Muse work it’s magic. Shirley is an eclectic writer and has always enjoyed the writing process. Shortly after her retirement she woke up one morning with the thought that she was going to write a book. She didn’t stop writing until she’d finished her first book. So far she has published four books which are now on Amazon. Her goal is to bring as much enjoyment to her readers as they deserve and want.

You can find and contact Shirley here:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Princess Adele’s Dragon. These are the prizes you can win:
– 15 e-copies of Dobyns Chronicles by Shirley McLain

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Book Review: Surviving High School

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Book & Author Details:SHS
Surviving High School
by Lele Pons & Melissa de la Cruz
Published by: Gallery Books
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Vine superstar Lele Pons—“one of the coolest girls on the web” (Teen Vogue)—teams up with #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz (The Isle of the Lost) in this lovable debut novel about the wilds and wonders of high school that’s as laugh-out-loud addictive as Lele’s popular videos.

Ten million followers and I still sit alone at lunch. Lele is a bulls-eye target at her new school in Miami until, overnight, her digital fame catapults the girl with cheerleader looks, a seriously silly personality, and a self-deprecating funny bone into the popular crowd. Now she’s facing a whole new set of challenges—the relentless drama, the ruthless cliques, the unexpected internet celebrity—all while trying to keep her grades up and make her parents proud.

Filled with the zany enthusiasm that has made Lele into Vine’s most viewed star, this charming novel is proof that high school is a trip. From crushing your crushes (what’s up with that hot transfer student Alexei??) to throwing Insta-fake parties with your BFFs and moaning over homework (GAH) with your frenemies, high school is a rollercoaster of exhilarating highs and totally embarrassing lows. Leave it to Lele to reassure us that falling flat on your face is definitely not the end of the world. Fans of Mean Girls will love this fun and heartwarming fish-out-of-water story.

 
Purchase:
 
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My Review:

The book’s main focus is about how Lele, a Venezuelan teenager, tries to fit in at her new school in Miami. Even though the story is based on Lele Pons’s real life, I’m trying to judge this from a YA fiction book, not an autobiography or something of the sorts. Our character is very known on the Internet, having a very successful Vine account where she uploads videos inspired by real life moments.

The book was interesting to a point. I expected more from it. I understood that someone may be famous online, while being not so popular in school (is this really such a bad thing?). She does have some friends and people to hang out with and somehow she craves more. I did appreciate her maturity when it comes to her relationship with her best friend Alexei. From a writing point of view, I loved the funny parts and I loved that the drama was set to a minimum, even though the main character was focused on her looks as any teenager would be.

It is a good start, but I wanted more and I felt like something was missing from the story. I would have expected more action, I would have expected to know more on how she started posting her videos or why Alexei wanted to help her. I don’t know…. Something to light that spark of “book addiction”. If this is inspired from the real Lele Pons’s life, I can say she had some interesting moments and I am happy all went well in the end.

 

AUTHOR BIOS:
Lele Pons was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved with her family to Miami when she was five years old. She got her start when she created a page on the video-sharing app Vine in December 2013. Originally intended as a fun outlet to showcase her creativity, her vines evolved into comedic sketches and pulling practical jokes on family and friends. Her following grew from five thousand local followers to more than ten million by November 2015.

Today she is one of the most recognizable names on social media, and has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Teen Vogue, Time, and more. Lele has been nominated for three Teen Choice Awards, a People’s Choice Award, and a Streamy Award. In 2015, she was invited to the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama to help launch her campaign for disadvantaged kids to go to college. Lele graduated from high school in 2015 and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books for readers of all ages, including the Witches of East End, Blue Bloods, and Descendants series.

Tour-wide giveaway (US only)

  • 2x print copies of Surviving High School

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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Book review: The Horse List Challenge

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About the Book  28473883

Title: The Horse List Challenge

Author: Anna Lores

Genre: Erotica, Romantic Suspense

With a violent ex-husband hot on her trail, Ava Black seeks comfort in the arms of Jameson “Brady” Ross, The unrequited love who protects her.

Having healed from the physical abuse at the hands of her ex, she devises a naughty wish list – she calls her Horse List – to help empower her.

Will Brady finally fulfill her sweetest fantasies and become her partner? Or will the man who dominates her dreams and desires, the wealthy Eric North, come for her?

Does she have the strength to fight for her life and love, or will she succumb to demands of her powerful ex-husband?

 Author BioAnnaLores

Anna started writing romance as a by-product of insomnia. After a year of late night reading, she borrowed her son’s laptop after he went to bed each night, and set about breathing life to her very own characters. After a month of writing in the middle of the night, she was surprised with a new laptop of her own to pursue her dreams. With a B.A. in English Literature and a desire to fill her world with wonderful stories she and her close friends could not just talk about, but gush over, she shed her job as mom of three in the late night hours and assumed her alter ego of dirty girl.

Links

Buy on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Anna-Lores/e/B00YQ2GYXU/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Author Site: www.annaloresauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AnnaLoresUS
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/annalores

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14064436.Anna_Lores

 

 

My review:

First of all, I did not read the first book, so it was a little hard for me to understand the full depth of Ava’s trauma.  After being abused by her husband and abandoned (or so she believes) by her son’s father, she finds shelter next to her best friend Brady. He tries to get her help she needs to recover physically and emotionally from the pain he inflicted on her in their Dom-Sub relationship. They soon discover they have long wished for one another as more than friends and let the passion take control.

In my honest opinion, the character was too fragile and overreacted in some moments. I also believe her attraction to other men except her boyfriend was again exaggerated. I had difficulties understanding her issues. She was constantly surrounded by men – either bodyguards, potential Doms, husband, boyfriend, father of the son. Too many men were there to tend to her needs and she still felt insecure. This was a little weird.

There were too many issues that were not to my liking, but I still managed to finish the book. So taking this into account and also the fact I skipped most of the story, I’ll go with three stars. Overall, the story was not that bad and Ava’s trauma was very well presented by the author. I do recommend you however to read the first book.