Source: Edelweiss

Early Review – Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs #1) by Maya Banks

Posted September 5, 2012 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 / 0 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs #1) by Maya BanksNever Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
Series: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs #1
Published by Ballantine Books on September 25th 2012
Pages: 418
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.

Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.

Why have I waited so long to read Maya Banks? This was the perfect historical romance: steamy yet romantic. ‘Never Seduce a Scot’ is the start of a new series entitled ‘The Montgomerys and Armstrongs’ which I will most definitely be continuing!

The summary had me intrigued but I felt that the reference to Eveline being ‘fey’ had me expecting a paranormal historical twist, but… there wasn’t any paranormal anything to be found within these pages.

Eveline though, was a fantastic character and one that managed to light up the pages despite her lack of dialogue (at first). I really love it when authors create imperfect characters since it adds something ‘different’ to the otherwise typical historical romance storyline. Eveline was strong despite her inability to hear and despite the hostile environment she’d been forced into.

‘She twisted his insides into knots he had no hope of loosening.’

The romance was a bit insta-love but still managed to be heartwarming regardless. You can’t help but love Graeme because of his continued support of Eveline despite the fact that he’s being forced to marry her even with their family history. I loved their obvious chemistry and enjoyed being able to see how much he cared for her by the end pages.

This definitely won’t be my last book by this author! Fantastic!

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Early Review – 12.21: A Novel by Dustin Thomason

Posted August 3, 2012 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 / 0 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – 12.21: A Novel by Dustin Thomason12.21 by Dustin Thomason
Published by The Dial Press on August 7th 2012
Pages: 336
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-fi, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

For decades, December 21, 2012, has been a touchstone for doomsayers worldwide. It is the date, they claim, when the ancient Maya calendar predicts the world will end.

In Los Angeles, two weeks before, all is calm. Dr. Gabriel Stanton takes his usual morning bike ride, drops off the dog with his ex-wife, and heads to the lab where he studies incurable prion diseases for the CDC. His first phone call is from a hospital resident who has an urgent case she thinks he needs to see. Meanwhile, Chel Manu, a Guatemalan American researcher at the Getty Museum, is interrupted by a desperate, unwelcome visitor from the black market antiquities trade who thrusts a duffel bag into her hands.

By the end of the day, Stanton, the foremost expert on some of the rarest infections in the world, is grappling with a patient whose every symptom confounds and terrifies him. And Chel, the brightest young star in the field of Maya studies, has possession of an illegal artifact that has miraculously survived the centuries intact: a priceless codex from a lost city of her ancestors. This extraordinary record, written in secret by a royal scribe, seems to hold the answer to her life’s work and to one of history’s great riddles: why the Maya kingdoms vanished overnight. Suddenly it seems that our own civilization might suffer this same fate.

With only days remaining until December 21, 2012, Stanton and Chel must join forces before time runs out.

This is actually the first ‘2012’ type story I’ve ever read and it truly blew me away. Look up the definition of ‘page-turner’ and you should see a picture of this book. It was thrilling, addicting, and I couldn’t put it down. One of those that I was more than willing to sacrifice sleep so I could keep reading. 12.21 tells the story of an infection that once it starts spreading it cannot be stopped and how it could very well be the reason the Maya civilization originally disappeared.

I wouldn’t consider myself a 2012 fanatic but I have seen my fair share of Mayan prophecy shows on the History Channel and the Discovery Channel. I’ve never considered the fact that the world is truly going to end on December 21, 2012, but I think it’s a fair assumption that something may very well indeed happen that changes the world we live in. Or it could be like every other normal day, who knows. I guess we’ll just have to wait a few short months and find out firsthand. But the storyline in 12.21 of one possible outcome was terrifyingly realistic and incredibly convincing.

I loved how this wasn’t just an end of world tale and how it was actually linked to the very reason the Maya civilization disappeared so very long ago. Based on the Authors Note, ‘there is no evidence that the Maya suffered from a transmissible prion disease’, but regardless this was a riveting concept. Dustin Thomason created an amazing yet lifelike end of days story that is hands down my favorite read of 2012.

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Early Review – The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Posted July 19, 2012 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 / 0 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Light Between Oceans by M.L. StedmanThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Published by Scribner on July 31, 2012
Pages: 354
Genres: Contemporary
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

The debut of a stunning new voice in fiction— a novel both heartbreaking and transcendent

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.

‘There are times when the ocean is not the ocean – not blue, not even water, but some violent explosion of energy and danger: ferocity on a scale only gods can summon. It hurls itself at the island, sending spray right over the top of the lighthouse, biting pieces off the cliff. And the sound is a roaring of a beast whose anger knows no limits. Those are the nights the light is needed most.’

‘The Light Between Oceans’ is a historical fiction story with a dash of enough ‘contemporary lit’ to keep both fans of the genres entertained. This is the story of Tom Sherbourne and his wife Isabel who together made a tough decision years back but are only now being confronted with the fact that their decision was life-changing and unknowingly had a drastic impact on someone else’s life.

The story starts off one-sided telling the story of Isabel and Tom and the boat carrying a dead man and a baby just a few months old that they found washed up on the shores of Janus Rock. When on leave from Janus, Isabel and Tom discover the truth that Lucy’s mother, Hannah, is still alive. Her side of the story is finally told and it’s revealed just how Lucy came to be in a boat washed up on shore. Both sides of the story are truly heart-breaking and good luck trying to determine a ‘side’. Isabel has lost 3 children after 2 miscarriages and 1 stillbirth and fears that she will never be able to mother a child like she’s also dreamed of. After learning about Hannah, Isabel becomes resolved to continuing life as they have been because she feels it’s far too late to do anything at this point. Tom is not as easily convinced but doesn’t wish to take Isabel’s ‘only child’ and doesn’t want to take Lucy away from the only life she’s ever known. Isabel nor Tom can be easily painted wrong. I was mesmerized at how this heartbreaking tale could possibly end.

‘Time and again, Tom wondered at the hidden recesses of Isabel’s mind – the spaces where she managed to bury the turmoil his own mind couldn’t escape.’

The writing was quite beautiful despite the beginning being pretty slow going with all the details of Tom’s army days and his days alone on the island before Isabel joined him. There were also some detailed sections regarding the lighthouse and the upkeep and the overall importance of them. It didn’t go overboard with the details either but gave you enough detail to keep it interesting. So why only 3 stars? I was completely wrapped up in this story and couldn’t put it down, but then I’m not quite sure where exactly, but it veered into what I like to call ‘Lifetime movie territory’. Doesn’t mean the story went bad or anything but it just lost me a bit with the overabundance of drama. It seemed inevitable how this story would and should end and it felt like it was drawn out too much. Intriguing story, yes, but wasn’t anything that necessarily blew me away.

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