January 29, 2017

Loved It: Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

Series: Standalone
Format: eGalley
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Fantasy

A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.

HEARTSTONE by Elle Katharine White is (or was) on my January reading list. It has a curious premise, to say the least, and a little risky too IMO. For a book to suggest that it's based on a beloved classic like Pride and Prejudice is asking for immediate comparisons from the get-go. 

January 26, 2017

Shelley Liked: Wondering Sight by Melissa McShane #Historical #Fantasy @mmcshanewrites @CuriosityQuills

Series: The Extraordinaire's 2
Format: Mobi | 322 pages
Release Date: January 19, 2017
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Source: Publisher
Genre: Historical | Fantasy

Sophia Westlake is an Extraordinary Seer, gifted with the ability to see past, present and future in Dreams and Visions. Her talent led to the destruction of the Caribbean pirates plaguing England’s shipping and gained her renown and the accolades of her peers. But when she accuses a prominent politician, Lord Endicott, of embezzling from the Army, her Dream is “proved” false and she is disgraced, her reputation ruined and her career in the Army’s War Office over.

Humiliated, Sophia returns to London, but Lord Endicott follows her, intent on making her life increasingly miserable. Furious and desperate, Sophia takes the only course left to her: she sets out to discover Lord Endicott’s criminal enterprises, to expose him as the fraud he is and bring him to justice.

Sophia’s allies are few, but loyal. Cecy, her best friend, supports Sophia in her quest, while her cousin Lady Daphne, an irrepressible Extraordinary Bounder, is always ready for a challenge that will strike at Lord Endicott’s heart. And always watching her is the mysterious Mr. Rutledge, who claims to be interested in Sophia’s friendship—and possibly more than that—but who has an agenda of his own.

But as Sophia delves deeper into prophetic Dreams, Cecy and Daphne begin to fear for Sophia’s health and sanity. Driven to collapse by her frequent Dreaming, Sophia is forced to reevaluate her motives: does she want Lord Endicott brought to justice, or is it revenge she seeks? As Sophia draws closer to the secret of Lord Endicott’s criminal enterprise, a counterfeiting ring, his torment of Sophia increases, until the two are bound together by their respective obsessions. Though Sophia insists she is in control, her friends fear she is turning into the man she most hates.

Sophia’s Dreams and Visions are leading her to just one place: the destruction of Lord Endicott. But the cost of her vengeance may be too high—and may demand the sacrifice of her own life.

WONDERING SIGHT is the second installment in author Melissa McShane's The Extraordinaire's. The author returns to Regency London, circa 1812, where there are some extraordinary people living in this era. From seers, to scorchers, to bounders, sharpers & movers they all have some pretty remarkable abilities & skill sets. This time out, Author McShane writes about an entirely new cast of characters outside of Burning Bright. 

January 24, 2017

Shelley's Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Spring Releases I Want To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This weeks Feature:

My Top 10 Spring Releases I Want To Read:
(March 21-June 20, 2017)

10. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

9. A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

8. Spectacle by Rachel Vincent

7. Cold Reign by Faith Hunter

January 22, 2017

Steampunk Sundays: Romancing The Inventor by Gail Carriger

Series: Supernatural Society 1
Format: mobi
Release Date: November 1, 2016 
Publisher: Gail Carriger
Source: Gift
Recommended By: Lee of Rally The Readers
Genre: Steampunk | Romance | F/F

Imogene Hale is a lowly parlourmaid with a soul-crushing secret. Seeking solace, she takes work at a local hive, only to fall desperately in love with the amazing lady inventor the vampires are keeping in the potting shed. Genevieve Lefoux is heartsick, lonely, and French. With culture, class, and the lady herself set against the match, can Imogene and her duster overcome all odds and win Genevieve's heart, or will the vampires suck both of them dry?

This is a stand-alone LBGTQ sweet romance set in Gail Carriger's Parasolverse, full of class prejudice, elusive equations, and paranormal creatures taking tea.

Delicate Sensibilities? This story contains women pleasing women and ladies who know what they want and pursue it, sometimes in exquisite detail.

Supernatural Society novellas can be read in any order.

The first in Gail Carriger's self-published novella series, The Supernatural Society, ROMANCING THE INVENTOR is sultry and bold while maintaining the same flirty and cleverness of her famed bestselling series, The Parasol Protectorate.

January 21, 2017

Bought, Borrowed & Bagged [227]: Hello 2017!

BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, ongoing events and book movie or television news. 

BB&B is an homage Barron's Books & Baubles from Karen Marie Moning's smash hit series, Fever. 

January 17, 2017

Loved It: Undead and Done by MaryJanice Davidson

Series: Undead 15
Format: Hardback
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Chick-Lit

Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor continues her rule in Hell in the scorchingly funny finale to the Undead series from New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson.

It had been a well-kept secret for centuries, but now the existence of vampires is all over the news, thanks to Betsy Taylor’s half-sister (and frustrated former Antichrist), Laura. Life for the undead will never be the same, and it’s up to Betsy to do some damage control. But her interview on the local news doesn’t exactly put out the fire. It more or less pours kerosene on it.

With all the added attention on supernatural beings, the werewolves are more than a little agitated (never a good thing) and demand that Betsy gets her interview skills, and her family, in order. And while things go from bad to worse in the world, Hell continues to be hell—especially when Betsy’s new parole program gets about as complicated as you’d expect.

With a PR team launching a vampire-friendly campaign, the Devil at large and out to make trouble, and mermaids on hand to see who falls—and how hard—the end isn’t just near. It’s here. And if anyone knows how to go out with a bang, it’s the Queen of Hell.

My first book read for 2017 and it’s a bittersweet farewell. The last book in the Undead/Queen Betsy series, UNDEAD AND DONE ended in true Betsy fashion: outrageous yet surprisingly genius. Now MaryJanice Davidson did say that this is NOT the last time we’re going to see Queen Betsy & Co. as her other series belong in the same universe (yay!) so that had me freaking out a little less. I try to take comfort in the little things. *new mantra*

January 13, 2017

Listened & Loved: The Leviathan Chronicles by Christof Laputka

Narrator: Radio Drama feat. 60 Voice Actors
Launched: September 9, 2010
Episodes: 38 (600 pages Podiobook)
Length: 30 mins.-1 hr.
Genre: Sci-Fi

The Leviathan Chronicles tracks Macallan Orsel, a young genetic scientist in present-day New York City who discovers that immortality is not a fool's fantasy, but rather a reality for several factions of powerful immortals living among us. Across centuries and continents, they have battled for supremacy--and Macallan must suddenly grapple with a mysterious and lethal virus, a covert government organization aware of the immortals--and her own family's connection to both. In order to save herself and the immortals, Macallan must learn to use a key hidden within her own DNA. But a deadly secret has been kept deep in the bottom of the ocean for over a thousand years that could threaten not just the immortals, but all of mankind.

Sci-Fi is a struggle bus for me reading-wise. Though there are exceptions, often times I can't wrap my head around discussions and explanations of advanced technologies incorporating scientific laws to make the feats believable to an extent and so on and so forth. Basically, I need some kind of prop, preferably visual, to completely appreciate the science part of the fantasy.

January 9, 2017

Liked It: Blood Vow by J.R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Legacy
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: December 26, 2016
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Paranormal Romance

#1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward returns as her thrilling, original spin-off series set in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues! When a brooding vampire warrior-in-training teams up with a quick-witted aristocrat to solve a deadly mystery, the only thing more dangerous than their mission is their undeniable attraction.

Trainees at the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center continue to prepare for the war against the Lessening Society, but fighting is the last thing on Axe’s mind. Still plagued with the guilt of his father’s death, the brooding loner finds himself battling an unlikely attraction to Peyton’s enticing, aristocratic cousin, Elise. Elise feels it, too – especially when the two are thrown together in unusual circumstances, and she must decide whether she can trust Axe as she uncovers the mystery surrounding her sister’s death.

Meanwhile, Mary and Rhage are fostering Bitty, a young pretrans orphan, and hope to adopt her… until the appearance of a young male claiming to be Bitty’s blooded uncle threatens to tear the new family apart.

Much like the first book in this spin-off series, BLOOD VOW basically follows the same formula: new couple and a Brother’s story thrown in together, different strokes same story basically. I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood world, I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of these Caldwell vamps. That said, it’s more of a hit or miss thing for me right now. There were a few installments that were good and some were entertaining, to say the least. As for BLOOD VOW well: