Book Chick City - Urban Fantasy & Romance Reviews http://www.bookchickcity.com Urban Fantasy & Romance Reviews Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:13:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 NAILS: Tanya Burr ‘Penguin Chic’ & ‘Little Duck’ http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/nails-tanya-burr-penguin-chic-little-duck.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/nails-tanya-burr-penguin-chic-little-duck.html#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:00:10 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=61612 tanya-burr-nails-1

As with the lip glosses, there is quite a large selection of colours to choose from so I decided to get two; Penguin Chic and Little Duck. As with all hyped products I’m always a little sceptical, and with all the rave reviews coming out from other bloggers and youtubers, I thought there may be a little bit of bias considering that Tanya Burr herself is a very popular beauty youtuber. But as I always like to make up my own mind, I wanted to try them out myself before forming an opinion.

When I received the polishes I was surprised at the cuteness and quality of the packaging, and I love the names of the polishes too. Little Duck is a light duck egg blue. It’s so pretty, especially for this time of year. Penguin Chic is a greyish taupe with mauve undertones, a great nude that really compliments my colouring.

The formula for both is pretty good but slightly different from each other. Little Duck is fairly thick and virtually opaque on first application, whereas Penguin Chic takes three coats to be fully opaque and the formula is slightly watery. However, both formulas were easy to work with and with Little Duck there was no streaking, plus they both lasted on my nails for a good 3-4 days before any chipping occurred and even then it was very slight.

LITTLE DUCK

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PENGUIN CHIC

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I loved wearing both these colours, but I would say that Penguin Chic is my favourite, just because I think the colour is just so pretty and I know I will wear it again and again. Little Duck is a great shade too but I will probably just wear it during the spring months.

Have you tried these nail polishes yet?

*Originally posted on my second blog: obsessiveblonde.com

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REVIEW: The Cherry Tree Café by Heidi Swain http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/review-the-cherry-tree-cafe-by-heidi-swain.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/review-the-cherry-tree-cafe-by-heidi-swain.html#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 17:00:23 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=61731 The Cherry Tree Café by Heidi SwainA book that combines the charm of The Great British Sewing Bee with the delights of The Great British Bake Off, I was expecting good things when I downloaded The Cherry Tree Café by Heidi Swain from NetGalley.

The book begins with our protagonist, Lizzie Dixon, about to share an anniversary meal with her boyfriend, Giles. As far as she is concerned, they are the perfect match and he spoils her rotten, with her fully expecting him to propose. Instead, he lands her with the news that he is getting back together with his ex-girlfriend, Natasha, and that they are getting married in a few months time. Understandably devastated, Lizzie gathers her stuff together and moves back to her home village, desperate not to let her mother know what a disappointment her life has become.

To avoid her mother for as long as possible, Lizzie stays in a flat owned by her best friend, Jemma, who is thrilled to have her friend back and can’t wait to share her news. Jemma has purchased The Cherry Tree Café with her husband, a place that they loved in their youth with its picturesque setting and business potential. However, they are struggling to get the café ready for its grand opening, with the building work and décor taking a lot longer than they had originally planned. With Lizzie’s help and ideas, the café is sure to be a success, but is she ready to commit to staying in the village again?

Besides her help with the decorating, it is Lizzie’s sewing skills which become the prominent feature of the plot, as she creates various needlework masterpieces with which to decorate the place and has the locals clamouring for lessons. She is convinced to run sewing classes from the café to draw in even more business, but part of her is still hoping that Giles might call and want to rekindle their romance. Then there is the issue of Ben, her high school crush who has also returned to the village with a broken heart and is helping Jemma with the café. Is there a potential for a relationship when there is baggage on both sides?

I must admit that I was more disappointed with this book than I expected to be, as I was hoping for a fun story filled with baking and creativity and was instead met with a lot of character indecision and angst. We only hear about baking once or twice, with no word about the food served in the café, and only get to witness Lizzie sewing a handful of times. For something that is supposedly her passion, it doesn’t feel as though she spends much time thinking about it or even describing her creations. Compared to other craft-based books I’ve read recently, there were no details about how to sew or crochet, with the focus purely being on the finished result.

However, as I’ve already indicated, my main problem with this book was the main character. I failed to connect with Lizzie at all and found her to be increasingly annoying as the plot wore on. In the beginning she appears to have some sense of direction by returning to her home village, but when she gets there all she does is obsess over Giles and whether or not she should try to get him back. This was made more frustrating when you consider the fact that he never treated her nicely, changing her personality to fit in with his world. When she finally does stop mooning over him, she seems to move straight onto Ben with little build up, suddenly declaring that she loves him.

I grew frustrated with Lizzie’s constant indecision and obsession over men, as she does very little for her self esteem and everything she does appears to be very self-centred. She shows very little consideration for Jemma and the café at times, especially when she is ready to up and leave at any moment. She is even selfish with Ben, as she is desperate to know why he has returned to the village and offers some scathing comments when she does learn the truth, not at all appearing sympathetic.

I really struggled to understand where the relationship between her and Ben was coming from in this book, as it just appeared to be thrown together out of convenience and undergoes very little development. It just so happens that they both had crushes on each other at high school but never really goes any further into their chemistry or any other connection they might share. I think we only get to see one kiss throughout the entire book, yet they are miraculously a couple by the finale. I was highly disappointed with this turn of events, as I was hoping that the disappointment of Giles would be made up for with a romantic conclusion.

On the whole, this book just didn’t tick the romance boxes for me, focusing single-mindedly on Lizzie’s selfish endeavours and not enough on her interactions with other people. I wouldn’t have minded so much if it actually felt as though she had learned from the plot, but I honestly didn’t feel that Lizzie had grown as a character or even learnt from her mistakes during the book. This would have been made easier if we’d seen more of her sewing skills or more of the actual Cherry Tree Café, but sadly I think that this book missed the mark in creating a fun and creative romance.

Rating: 3 Stars


The Cherry Tree Café by Heidi Swain
Contemporary Romance
Simon & Schuster (16 July 2015)
Ebook: 464 pages

Website || Goodreads || Amazon UK: Kindle || Amazon US: Kindle

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Weekly Roundup: 20th – 26th July 2015 http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/weekly-roundup-20th-26th-july-2015.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/weekly-roundup-20th-26th-july-2015.html#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 09:00:35 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=61970 Weekly Roundup Banner

Hi Guys! Hope you’re having a great weekend. Here’s the low down on what happened at BCC this week…


FEATURES & REVIEWS



CAROLYN’S ROUNDUP


Raine Falling (Hells Saints Motorcycle Club #1) by Paula MarinaroThis week I finished binge watching Sons of Anarchy. I loved this show SO much and will be reviewing it soon. However, to try and fill the gaping void I decided to read a motorcycle club romance. I started with Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley, the first book in the Chaos series. I did enjoy it but didn’t love it. The first half of the book was great, but the second half lacked lustre. However, I’m now reading Fire Inside, the second book in the series.

Following on with the MC theme, I downloaded Raine Falling by Paula Marinaro, the first book in the Hells Saints MC series. I’m only a few chapters in but I’m enjoying it so far and the narrators are good. I’m also listening to the third book in the Adrien English gay mystery series, The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon. I’m about half way through and as usual it’s a fun listen.

For the coming week I’m hoping I’ll finish Fire Inside so I can move onto Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley, as that’s the one I’m really looking forward to reading.


LAURA’S ROUNDUP


Bound by Flames - Jeaniene FrostI have been re-reading Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed this week after watching the film and reading Grey, I felt like I wanted to get back into reading Ana and Christian’s story once more. I’ve very nearly finished them, I imagine by the time you read this I will have. I have actually enjoyed them. I’d forgotten that there are times when I wish Ana would kick Christian’s arse a bit more, but overall, editing issues aside, I do enjoy the books.

My next book is going to be Bound by Flames (Night Prince #3) by Jeaniene Frost. I actually started this a couple of weeks ago and then got sidetracked, I think I’m about 20% through the story. There was nothing wrong with the book at all – I just got distracted by another book. Or perhaps you could argue the fact that I got sidetracked means it didn’t hook me in quick enough? But I am most definitely a fan of Frost’s writing and I plan to finish this book this week. It’s that start of the summer holidays, so I’m not sure how much more I will get through than that, so that’s it for me :-)


HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?


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WEEKEND READS: MC Romance, Gay Mystery, Paranormal Romance, and More… http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/weekend-reads-mc-romance-gay-mystery-paranormal-romance-and-more.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/weekend-reads-mc-romance-gay-mystery-paranormal-romance-and-more.html#comments Sat, 25 Jul 2015 09:00:52 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=61973 What are you reading this weekend? Anything you think we should be reading, or maybe your current read is just a bit… bleh. Whether you’re loving or hating your current read, we want to know about it! We love to hear about books (as if you didn’t know).

Here’s a run down on what we’ll be reading this weekend:


CAROLYN


fireinsideThis weekend I’ll be reading Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley, the second book in the Chaos motorcycle club romance. I enjoyed the first book in the series, Own the Wind, and although I’m not as interested in Hop and Lanie’s story, I couldn’t skip it as I have to read a series in order (damn OCD). Let’s hope it’s good.

My current audiobook is Raine Falling by Paula Marinaro, another biker romance (I need my fix after I finished Sons of Anarchy). It’s the first book in the Hells Saints MC series. I’m only a chapter or two in so I don’t really have am opinion on the story yet, but so far I like the narration. I’m also listening to The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon, the third book in the Adrien English mystery series. I’m about half way through and I’m enjoying it so far.


LAURA


Bound by Flames - Jeaniene FrostThis weekend I will be finishing Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James if I haven’t already by the time you read this, and then moving onto Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost (Night Prince #3). I did start Bound by Flames a couple of weeks ago and then put it down because I wanted to read Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley so much on its day of release.

Then I watched the Fifty Shades of Grey movie and decided to read the books, so poor old Vlad and Leila (Bound by Flames) got put on the back burner. I used to be really disciplined at sticking with one book once I started it, but now I am a bit more fickle. So anyway, I shall be picking up from where I left off and hopefully finishing Vlad and Leila’s story. As I am a big Frost fan, I am sure it will be a good one.


WHAT ARE YOU READING THIS WEEKEND?

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CURRENTLY WATCHING: Orange is the New Black, Oz, and Vikings http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/currently-watching-orange-is-the-new-black-oz-and-vikings.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/currently-watching-orange-is-the-new-black-oz-and-vikings.html#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:00:00 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=61844 We love a good TV show, especially if it’s a long running series, so we thought it would be fun to make it a bit of a feature here at BCC. Every fortnight we will be talking about the shows we are currently watching, whether they are re-runs of old classics or a shiny new series we’re excited about. This week, it’s all about Vikings, Orange is the New Black, and Oz.


LAURA


oz season 6This week in TV land has all been about finishing series we have been watching. I have finished season 3 of Orange is the New Black and I want series 4 to start right now – I cannot wait a whole year! I have also finished season 2 of Vikings and I don’t think I have as long to wait for season 3 thankfully. Both awesome series if you haven’t watched them already.

Another series I have been watching and we’re coming right to the very end of is Oz. This is a show I really wasn’t sure about watching, but my husband assured me it was a TV classic and I really should. For those of you have never heard of or seen it, it is a 90s TV show about life in a maximum offender’s men’s prison. It is seriously, seriously violent. I think it might be one of those most violent things I have watched. There were times when I actually didn’t watch the episode because it was just that violent. From rape to torture, think of a vile thing one man can do to another man and it pretty much happens in this show. But, and I say this tentatively as now I have (very nearly) finished all six series – watched over a period of months – I’m pretty sure I will never re-watch it. However, I will say it is very compelling viewing. It’s an odd thing as very few of the characters are actually likable, but you do become sucked into their fates.

Then, on a lighter note – I also finally got around to watching the Fifty Shades of Grey movie – review of that to come, so watch this space. I would say in quick summary that I liked it, but not sure I loved it.


WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING RIGHT NOW?

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NEW VIDEO: My Top 10 Horror Novels http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/new-video-my-top-10-horror-novels.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/new-video-my-top-10-horror-novels.html#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:58:18 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=61976 Today’s video is my top 10 horror novels. I love horror. I love reading it, watching it, basically I love scaring myself silly! I hope you enjoy the video :)

Click the image to access the video, or click here.

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REVIEW: The Secret of Us by Liesel Schmidt http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/review-the-secret-of-us-by-liesel-schmidt.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/review-the-secret-of-us-by-liesel-schmidt.html#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 17:00:52 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=61343 The Secret of Us by Liesel SchmidtI wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I downloaded The Secret of Us by Liesel Schmidt from NetGalley, as I definitely hadn’t anticipated being pulled into such an emotional story.

The book opens with Eira Larson on a date with her fiancé, Matt, at their favourite restaurant, where she is expecting them to discuss wedding plans and generally enjoy a pleasant evening in each other’s company. In no way is she prepared for what happens next, as Matt tells her that their engagement is a mistake and leaves with her with an ‘I’m sorry’ scrawled across a napkin. Heartbroken and lost for words, Eira is left with the task of rebuilding her life from scratch, which she chooses to do in the sunny state of Florida.

Three years later, Eira is waiting tables at a busy restaurant when she spots a man identical to Matt, being beyond angry when he shows her no recognition whatsoever. With all her heartache coming back to her as if it were yesterday, Eira tips a drink over Matt and his dining companion, Charles, and storms out of the restaurant. She doesn’t understand how he could possibly turn up on her doorstep after all this time, let alone not recognise her, but this could be the only opportunity she has to get the answers she needs to move on.

Realising that her first impressions in this instance might be misplaced, Eira needs to be brave enough to take the leap and trust the man in front of her. He might not be the Matt she so deeply loved, but she needs to accept that that life is gone, and the answers she is waiting for will change everything that she thought she knew. However, if she is brave enough to take this chance then there might be an even brighter future awaiting her, one which leaves the past firmly where it belongs.

Upon beginning this book, I was gripped from the first chapter and couldn’t put it down until I’d devoured all of the initial build-up about Eira and Matt. I loved learning about their relationship and how their friendship had developed into something more, culminating in the proposal and engagement that Eira had dreamed about. I was keen to know why Matt would suddenly call off their plans and leave Eira in the dark, but to know the answers I would have to wait for the conclusion, much like the heroine herself. Admittedly, I did think the pace slowed down a little after this introduction to the pair, but we do jump three years into the future and have the new characters of Oliver and Charles to deal with, not to mention Eira’s best friend, Maggie.

More than anything, this book is about Eira’s growth as a heroine and how she learns to stand on her own two feet. At the beginning, she is very unsure of herself and allows herself to be walked over, never willing to make a stand for the things she really wants. Her move to Florida was the first thing she did for her own benefit, taking the bravest step of her life and leaving her old life behind. However, the emotional journey of this book only serves to prove that distance is not necessarily the answer, as after three years Eira can be brought right back to the start with a single meeting. It takes facing your problems to truly move on, and this can only be achieved by being brave enough to find out the truth and face it head on.

The plot of this book is truly moving as we are placed right alongside Eira when the truth begins to come out. This is a slow process, as we are given the facts at a gradual pace so as to not overload the plot with detail, and it really works well given the context of what happens. I really enjoyed finding out what had happened to Matt and why he made the decision to leave, although certain elements of this were guessable and not as surprising as I had hoped. Nevertheless, the truth is realistic and heartbreaking, leaving Eira with some difficult choices to make and some hard advice to give.

The only thing that really let this book down for me was the development of Eira’s new relationship, as it is very obvious who she might end up with and yet there is very little time dedicated to the pairing. I could almost get behind it, but I felt that it had been thrown together and didn’t flow as smoothly as I was hoping it would. Instead, the conclusion it felt rushed and contrived, giving us the ending that Eira deserves but not necessarily in the right way.

Regardless of this new relationship letting the book down for me, I was enthralled by Schmidt’s writing style and can’t forget how strongly I was pulled into the plot at the beginning. I felt that there was something special in the way the story was written, which only served to make it that much more harrowing when the truth comes out. Beginning the book with the break up worked well, and the conclusion brings everything full circle in a pleasing way, giving us a glimpse of the future that Eira deserves. I’m keen to read more by Schmidt if this book is anything to go by, as I think she has a real talent for contemporary writing.

Rating: 4 Stars


The Secret of Us by Liesel Schmidt
Contemporary Romance
Carina UK (13 Apr 2015)
Ebook: 320 pages

Website || Goodreads || Amazon UK: Kindle || Amazon US: Kindle

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BEAUTY: Liquid Eyeliner Disaster http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/beauty-liquid-eyeliner-calamity.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/beauty-liquid-eyeliner-calamity.html#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 17:00:00 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=61660 photo-31

Ok, so as a woman in her 40s with very limited experience with makeup, I thought I would try and get to grips with a product I’ve never used before; liquid eyeliner.

To get a rough idea I watched a few videos on YouTube of lovely young ladies with lots of experience giving great advice and useful tips. To be honest, it looked a cinch.

So I excitedly pick up my first liquid liner (Marks & Spencer’s Limited Collection in Black) and sat myself down at my dressing table and began applying the liner. I thought it was pretty easy at first. I’d applied a fairly straight line and seem to have a pretty steady hand. Then, as I was about to smugly declare it a success, I blinked. Eyeliner all up my eyelid.

After cleaning up my eye, and shrugging off my dented pride, I tried again. This time I willed my eyelids not to move, but it seemed that they have a mind of their own. But I outwitted them. Every time they blinked I would follow with a bit of liner. This seemed to work quite well. My lids and I were working together, we were a team.

When I finished both lids I looked in the mirror. The line was straight, well mostly, and I’d gotten really close to the lashes, ok, fairly close, but still they were pretty good. There were small gaps where I could see skin and I didn’t look anything like the ladies from the YouTube videos. I know they are all in their twenties with young fresh skin, no fine lines or wrinkles, but really. I should look better than this. I’ve been told I look in my 30s you know.

I suppose it could be because I don’t have particularly thick lashes, so maybe that was the reason, maybe I just needed to get closer to the lash line. So I picked up the liner again, and working in unison with my blinking lids, I drew a thicker line closer to the lash line. I sat back and looked in the mirror, patting myself on the back for a job well done. There were no gaps and it looked really professional. I picked up my glasses and popped them back on my nose (I can’t see a thing without them) and moved in to take a closer, less blurry look at my amazing achievement. My eyes were not quite as well done as I had first thought. The liquid liner was closer to the lash line, so that was an improvement, but it had also coated my lashes, making them stick and clump together like a 10 year old mascara!

So after cleaning up my eyes a second time, I’m nothing if not determined, I decided to just apply the liner as I had done originally, then add mascara, and maybe that was the magic ingredient that would pull this look together.

I’d nearly reached the winning line, but then I go and like the idea of a flick, so instead of just leaving it there and ending on a semi-high note with a line applied and done, I decided it would be lovely to do a winged effect. Big mistake. I’m not sure what happened. I ended up a complete mess, with eyeliner up my eyelid (I thought me and my lid were a team…obviously not), poking myself in the eye (which I can tell you really hurts), and a flick so jagged it looked like a set of stairs on my face.

In the end I decided to accept defeat, instead of taking the liner off completely and starting again I cleaned up around it and left it at that. Maybe I’m just not the liquid eyeliner type. It was fun having a play but unless I get it done by a professional makeup artist, this is one product that I won’t be out using again.

Do you like and use liquid eyeliner? Have any of you 30-40 years olds had any luck with it? Let me know :)

*Originally posted on my second blog: obsessiveblonde.com

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REVIEW: Taint by S. L. Jennings http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/review-taint-by-s-l-jennings.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/review-taint-by-s-l-jennings.html#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 17:00:11 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=61758 Taint - JenningsI’m having such a problem writing this review, there’s SO much that I want to say, and I just can’t make coherent sentences right now! Ok, breathe… *exhales*

Who is Justice Drake and what does he do? Justice Drake is sex, he instructs it, he demands it, he owns it and if your cheating, lying scumbag husband is too busy fucking his secretary, JD will teach you how to bring your husband to his knees and you’ll have him eating out of your *ahem* palm in no time 😀 Justice Drakes turns housewives into whores, heck, I’m not even married and I’m converted!

I have been waiting for Taint for such a long time and I just devoured this book, I was hooked from the beginning. The summary, although enticing is pretty vague and I wasn’t sure what I was going to get when I started. I actually liked that I went into this book blind. I went through a mix of emotions and I was really quite surprised by the reveal towards the end of the book.

Justice Drake is the owner of Oasis, a hidden spa/sexual retreat for women who are having problems in their marriage. These women are rich and married to high profile men, who are all cheating on their wives, wanting to save their marriage the husband’s send their wives to JD’s school of fuckery. JD is honest, strong, egotistical, crude and is all about the business. He loves his job, his gets off on it and he makes a lot of money doing it. But he has rules. Never get close to a client, it’s strictly business, and never let them see who you really are. Justice has a lot of front, but there’s a lot more to him, he has layers of loneliness and hurt and as much as he tries not to, he begins to feel for one of his clients, which can only end with his world crashing down around him.

“You love the lifestyle you live, and instead of licking your wounds and moving on, you’d rather fix your broken marriage. And I’m here to help you.” “But how?” A slow, sardonic smile unfurls across my face. “I’m going to teach you how to fuck your husband”

I absolutely loved everything about Taint. The pace was perfect, I never wanted to stop reading. The sexual chemistry between Justice and Ally was electric and magnetic, the friendship was funny and sweet. JD is super hot, and sex just oozes out of him. The lessons he has with the women are funny and steamy. There are no words for how much I loved this book! There are readers that say there isn’t any plot or character development, but this book is just one you devour and love for what it is. I could talk for days about how and what JD teachers these women, but all the fun is finding out for yourself. I’m sure fans of Alice Clayton, Christina Lauren, and Tara Sivec will love Taint.

Rating: 4.5 Stars


Taint by S. L. Jennings
(Sexual Education #1)
Erotic Romance
Avon Books (24th Feb 2015)
Paperback: 288 pages

Goodreads || Amazon UK: Paperback / Kindle || Amazon US: Paperback / Kindle

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REVIEW: The Major’s Faux Fiancée by Erica Ridley http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/review-the-majors-faux-fiancee-by-erica-ridley.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/review-the-majors-faux-fiancee-by-erica-ridley.html#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:00:13 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=61488 The Major's Faux Fiancée by Erica RidleyA series that continues to grow better with each book, The Major’s Faux Fiancée by Erica Ridley is the next instalment to take a haunted returnee from the war and show him the love of a strong woman.

I loved the premise of this book when I read the description on NetGalley, as this book sees Daphne Vaughn in need of a knight in shining armour to rescue her from the dastardly intentions of her new guardian. Since the recent death of her father, she has been under the guardianship of Captain Steele, a notorious pirate who would like nothing more than to be free of his burden. As such, he has told Daphne to choose a husband by the end of the month or instead find herself thrown into Bedlam. Of course, he has prepared a list of eligible suitors for her, which nonetheless features rakes and scoundrels who have as much desire to wed Daphne as she does them.

In a desperate attempt to save herself, she gets in contact with her childhood friend, Major Bartholomew Blackpool, willing him to stage a fake engagement with her until her birthday in a month’s time. At which time, Daphne stands to inherit a decent amount of money, which would enable her to set up on her own and pursue her charitable endeavours. She is an avid reader of the newspaper and is keen to help the miners, weavers, or anyone else in need of her help that struggles to stand up for their rights.

Responding to Daphne’s appeal for help marks a big step for Bartholomew, as it is the first time he has left his house in several weeks. He lost one of his legs during the war and has since seen his self as a broken man, refusing to accept any invitations to society events for fear of being a laughing stock. The last thing he wants is to embarrass himself in front of his former peers, but he is willing to put on a show if it means Daphne can earn her freedom. Of course, the two then find that playacting might be harder than they thought, as there is a clear attraction between them – yet neither wants to ruin the other’s reputation by crying off their engagement or force a marriage.

What I particularly loved about this plot was the idea of a false engagement, especially when the consequences could be so disastrous for both parties. Whichever one of them calls off the relationship will ruin the other’s chances at ever getting married, destining one of them to a life spent alone. Blackpool is already convinced that his injury will leave him alone ‘til the end of his days so has no desire to ruin Daphne’s future prospects, but she sees past his injury and knows that someone will love him just the same. She has already resigned herself to spending her life as a free agent able to help those who need her, focusing her life on charity with no desire to be shackled to a controlling husband for the rest of her days.

As a heroine, Daphne was headstrong and stubborn, determined to be a benefit to others rather than a burden. However, at the root of all her charitable efforts is a simple desire to be loved and appreciated, having lost all of her family and wishing to feel useful to someone. She has never considered the possibility that there might be a man out there who could love her for who she is, charities and all, seeing her only choice as a life spent alone. When it comes to Bartholomew, her initial feeling of gratitude soon gives way to something more, as she sees past his inner demons to fully appreciate him for who he is and not what he lacks. His missing leg is never an issue for her, and she only wishes that she could make him see past it too.

This is the biggest issue that Blackpool has to face throughout the course of the book, as his engagement to Daphne means that he has to be seen out with her in society, encountering all those he has shunned since his return from war. Without his leg he can’t even dance with his betrothed, so attending society functions is especially excruciating for him and makes him feel unworthy of Daphne’s attention. Even though he knows their relationship has an expiry date, I liked how he slowly began to care for her more and more, even going so far as to help her with her charity work and take an interest into the things she was most passionate about.

I must admit that the chemistry between the pair was not as electric or romantic as I was hoping for, even though I did enjoy the slow burn style of relationship. We get to see very little physical attention between them, with them barely touching or kissing until near the conclusion of the book. As such, I didn’t feel like as much tension was allowed to build up between them, as more of the book is devoted to how they are perceived in society rather than how they interact with each other. I would have liked a little more chemistry to go along with the great plot, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this historical novel.

Rating: 4 Stars


The Major’s Faux Fiancée by Erica Ridley
(Dukes of War #3)
Historical Romance
Intrepid Reads (1 June 2015)
Ebook: 250 pages

Website || Goodreads || Amazon UK: Kindle || Amazon US: Kindle

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Weekly Roundup: 13th-19th July 2015 http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/weekly-roundup-13th-19th-july-2015.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/weekly-roundup-13th-19th-july-2015.html#comments Sun, 19 Jul 2015 09:00:56 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=61863 Weekly Roundup Banner

Hi Guys! Hope you’re having a great weekend. Here’s the low down on what happened at BCC this week…


FEATURES & REVIEWS



CAROLYN’S ROUNDUP


The Hell You Say - Josh LanyonOver the last couple of weeks I haven’t really read very much, and that’s because most of my reading time has been taken up by Sons of Anarchy. I’m not sure why I didn’t watch this show years ago, but as all seasons were free on Amazon Prime, I decided to give it a go. This series is amazing and I will be doing a review soon so I won’t go into my thoughts here.

I did manage to finish an audiobook though which was Jet by Jay Crownover. It was better than the first book, Rule, although the narrator for the male character was a bit off at times, but overall I enjoyed it.

I’m still reading, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara on my ipad kindle app, and my current audiobook listen is The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon, the third book in the Adrien English gay mystery series. I’m not sure what my next physical book will be… maybe it will be an M/C romance to fill the void left by Sons of Anarchy


LAURA’S ROUNDUP


Ride Steady - Kristen AshleyI daren’t say it, but I think I might be getting better at reading at the moment and able to fit a bit more in. Let’s hope I haven’t jinxed myself there. The first book I have read since our last roundup was Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley (Chaos #3). I started it as soon as it was released and demolished it pretty quickly. I am rather fond of her biker romances and this one was no exception. I do feel a bit Ashley-ed out for the moment. Do you ever get that with an author? I have read quite a few back to back, so I am going to take a break.

After reading Grey by E.L. James on holiday and just this week watching the Fifty Shades of Grey film, I quite fancied giving the trilogy another go. I started Fifty Shades of Grey, but just wasn’t feeling it at all. I think it just felt too repetitive after reading Grey. I was just going to abandon the trilogy, but then I watched the movie and decided I actually wanted to read book two instead, so I am now reading Fifty Shades Darker and enjoying it much more. So I think I will just bypass book one and read books two and three instead.


HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?


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WEEKEND READS: Erotic Romance, New Adult, and a Crime Thriller http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/weekend-reads-15.html http://www.bookchickcity.com/2015/07/weekend-reads-15.html#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2015 09:00:43 +0000 http://www.bookchickcity.com/?p=61861 What are you reading this weekend? Anything you think we should be reading, or maybe your current read is just a bit… bleh. Whether you’re loving or hating your current read, we want to know about it! We love to hear about books (as if you didn’t know).

Here’s a run down on what we’ll be reading this weekend:


CAROLYN


A Little LifeThis weekend I’ll be continuing with A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara on my iPad Kindle app. This is literary fiction and I’ve heard that it’s a very powerful, emotional read. I’m not that far in but it’s pretty good so far, although I feel it’s just setting the scene. There’s not a lot of dialogue, with a lot of telling rather than showing so it’s a little slow going but as it’s a 700+ page book I think it will take a few more pages before it really kicks in.

My current audiobook is Rome by Jay Crownover, a new adult contemporary romance, and the third book in the Marked Men series. I didn’t love the first book, Rule, although it was an ok listen, but I like Jet, the second book a lot more, so I have high hopes for this one.


LAURA


Fifty-Shades-DarkerThis week I have entered back into E. L. James’ Fifty Shades world. It started with Grey on holiday, I tried to read Fifty Shades of Grey again last week, but just found it too repetitive after Grey.

Then, on Monday of this week I watched the Fifty Shades of Grey movie and after it was finished I just felt like I wanted to read the books again. To carry on with Ana and Christian’s story where the film had left us with that awful cliffhanger (yes I know how it ends but still). So after struggling with book 1 I decided to bypass it and started reading where the film left off.

This weekend I am away but I will mostly be reading Fifty Shades Darker and if I finish it will probably move onto Fifty Shades Freed. Do you know, I know this isn’t the greatest book, I know it isn’t brilliantly written – but like the Twilight series – I still love these books and I don’t care!


REBECCA


First One Missing by Tammy CohenThis has been a fairly slow reading week for me as I’ve had so much on, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into a new book this weekend.

My book of choice is First One Missing by Tammy Cohen, a crime thriller about the families who are left behind after their child is murdered. So far, the book seems really interesting as it keeps switching between the perspectives of the family, the detective and a journalist reporting on the case. There has even been a chapter that could have been from the killer’s perspective, so I’m keen to find out who he is and whether he is the one responsible for killing these children.

I like how this book is focused on the families left behind rather than the bare bones of the case, and I’m sure I’ll devour this book as quickly as I did Cohen’s Christmas thriller, Dying For Christmas.


WHAT ARE YOU READING THIS WEEKEND?

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