Showing posts from April, 2014

Review: Hook's Pan (Kingdom #5) by Marie Hall

'Even the most evil had a tender side, and the most pure the propensity for destruction.'

I never thought I'd say this but here goes: I'm in love with Captain James Hook. Don't be fooled by the cover, this is less a fantasy bodice-ripper and more a fairytale legend getting the happy ending that he deserves.

I've always loved all things Peter Pan and Neverland, and for some unknown reason I have often had sympathy for Hook ( I remember even cheering him on at a local pantomime once!) Recent TV adaptations, Once Upon a Time in particular, have definitely begun to portray him in a more attractive light - in a dark and brooding bad-boy sort of way - which only adds to his appeal!

This story sees Hook still hell bent on revenge on Peter, but it turns out that he has good reason! Pan is presented as little more than a vile mischievous imp, and it is interesting to view his relationship with Hook from the Captain's point of view for a change. One hundred years from t…

April Book Haul

I went to the library this morning and picked up a couple of titles that looked really interesting. I only allowed myself two as I've already got five renewed, not to mention the number of NetGalley ARCs and Goodreads First-Reads that I have to get through! It's going to be a busy few weeks...

The Illusionists - Rosie Thomas

"London 1885. A shadowy and threatening place for a beautiful young woman of limited means. Eliza's choices lie between marriage and stifling domesticity or a downwards spiral to the streets. But Eliza is modern before her time and she won't compromise. One night at a run-down theatre she meets the charismatic Devil Wix - a born showman who is set on running his own company. His right-hand man is Carlo Boldoni, a irascible dwarf whose dazzling talent eclipses everything Devil tries to do. Forever linked to Devil by a boyhood tragedy is his friend Jasper Button, a gifted artist, and the fourth member of this strange crew is Heinrich, an enigmatic…

Question: Are there any film/TV adaptations that are better than the book?

I, along with millions of other costume drama fans, have been tuning into BBC1 for the past couple of nights to watch Jamaica Inn, an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's famous novel. Complaints about the sound quality aside, the two parts of the drama screened so far haven't exactly caught my attention, and I've found myself watching out of obligation - it's very rare for me to pass up on a period drama!

During the course of tonight's episode I sent out this tweet:

"Not gonna lie, Jamaica Inn isn't exactly making me want to read the book. Lots of dramatic moor shots and mumbling in a Cornish accent.."

which prompted a fellow twitter user and Du Maurier fan to defend the novel and encourage me to read it, deeming the BBC adaptation 'nonsense'. I do, of course have every intention of reading the novel, I've never been one to judge a book by its film. This does however cause me to ponder the question: Are there any film or television adaptations …

Review: Season of Light by Katharine McMahon

Paris, 1788.

Asa Ardleigh is in Paris accompanying her sister Philippa on her honeymoon. What she discovers there is a city full of ideas, and as tensions increase between rich and poor there is an ominous sense that something is about to change. Enter the young activist Didier Paulin. Dashing, impassioned and full of revolutionary ideals he bears more than a passing resemblance to Enjolras from Les Miserables (the film version at least), and Asa falls instantly in love. After a brief affair Asa must return to England, but she refuses to give up on her dream of a life with one of France's most prolific revolutionaries.

Then revolution breaks out.

Back home Asa becomes restless, even more so when her family encourage her to marry distant cousin and heir to the Ardleigh estate Harry Shackleford. Initially introduced in Paris, Asa despises everything Shackleford represents; his excessive wealth and family connections to the slave trade contrast entirely with her abolitionist ideals. In …

Release Day Blitz: Love's Sorrow (Means of Mercy #1) by Terri Rochenski

Today I'm taking part in the release day blitz for Love's Sorrow, a historical romance by Terri Rochenski. Check out the excerpt for part one of a sneak peek at the entire first chapter, and follow the blog tour for parts two to ten. Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a $10 Amazon giftcard and some Love's Sorrow goodies!

Love's Sorrow Means of Mercy #1 Historical Romance by Terri Rochenski Release Date: April 21, 2014 Publisher: Roane Publishing
Synopsis: Hired as a nanny for her cousin’s children, Anne Tearle finds security and a loving family. The children are a dream, but London society is a world of its own, one where a displaced farm girl has no business being. But, wealthy rake, Gavin MacKay, helps her to see associating with the upper class might not be as horrid as she first assumed. Like all things worthwhile, love comes at a price, and the cost soon bestows more anguish than joy. Lost, but not undone, Anne must find the courage to begin life anew, or …

Book Blitz / Giveaway: Meeting Mr. Wright

Today I'm excited to be part of the book blitz for Meeting Mr. Wright, a romance novel by Cassie Cross. The cover is gorgeous, and the plot sounds really interesting; I'll be looking forward to reading this one! Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a $50 Amazon gift card! Each individual blog taking part in the blitz also has one copy of the e-book to give away, so let me know in the comments if you're interested!
Meeting Mr. Wright by Cassie Cross
Publication date: April 17th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Callie Kirkpatrick promised herself she’d never fall in love again.
After catching her boyfriend Ethan cheating on her, Callie decides to retire from the dating game at the ripe
old age of twenty-four. Unfortunately for Callie, she’s going to have to see Ethan at her best friend’s upcoming wedding. Stranded in the airport during a weather delay on her way to the nuptials, Callie meets Nate Wright. He’s sexy and uncomplicated, and a one-night …

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Things That I'd Like to Own - Peter Pan edition.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

This week's theme is bookish things that I'd like to own. I was searching for inspiration for this week's list when I came across this T-Shirt in Primark this afternoon. It set me on an online hunt for more amazing Peter Pan themed goodies that I didn't even know I wanted until I saw them. I'm going through a bit of a Peter Pan phase in my life right now, I've graduated from university and grown up life is fast approaching.. but what I'd give just to be able to fly off to Neverland instead!

So without further ado, here is my list of bookish things that I would LOVE to own, Peter Pan style:

1) The first thing on my list was always going to be a Spineless Classic. For those of you who haven't heard of them they are essentially an entire book condensed into a work of art. There's hundreds to choose from and they're all amazing, but my top three are Murder on the Orient Express, Pri…

Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Angel of the Opera by Sam Siciliano

The premise of this book is as simple as it sounds: Sherlock Holmes is summoned to Paris to investigate the mystery of The Angel of the Opera (or The Phantom, if you prefer). I was immediately drawn to it as it is a clash of two of my favourite literary characters, and I was eager to see how Siciliano would tackle such a feud.

The first thing to say, or rather warn, about this novel is that there is no Doctor Watson. Instead the story is narrated by a Doctor Henry Vernier, Holmes' French cousin. Unsurprisingly, this affected the story and it just didn't have the same dynamic without John - Henry performed the same function but something just felt missing. Henry's dismissal of Watson's writings as full of inaccuracies also does little to warm the reader to him. As for The Phantom I liked the fact that Holmes took his side, after all they are both outsiders, and you see more and more similarities between them as the book progresses. Including most of the characters from t…

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Unique Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week, the theme is Most Unique books I've read. I found this list tricky to come up with, as most books are unique in their own way, give or take a cliché or two. Nevertheless, these few books stand out above the rest:

1) The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger Such a unique spin of the idea of time travel, I couldn't put this book down! (See here for my review)

2) The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
This little gem seems to be featuring on all of my lists lately but it really is something special!

3) Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Because who can say that Wonderland isn't unique! That, plus the mixture of poetry and nonsense that leaves the reader as perplexed as Alice herself makes for a one of a kind read.

4) Dracula - Bram Stoker
The book that launched a thousand vampires. I've lived near Whitby my entire life, but only had the guts to read Dracula last year. Really not my thing, bu…

Review: Park Lane by Frances Osborne

'To be fascinating, Bea thinks, a woman has to have secrets.'

The novel focuses on the stories of two characters who reside at Park Lane in London, Beatrice and Grace. Lady Beatrice is a privileged young woman who yearns for escape from the tiresome social conventions imposed upon her by her class. Under the influence of her aunt she joins the suffragette movement, becoming enraptured by Emmeline Pankhurst and acquainted with a man her family most certainly would not approve of. Grace is a maid at Park Lane, although she tells her family that she is a secretary. As the First World War breaks their secrets become inconsequential, and their stories collide in a way that no one could ever have imagined.

It took me a long time to get into this book, and I very nearly gave up many times. The narrative voice is written in third person present tense, and reads like a constant stream of the protagonists' thoughts, both of which take some getting used to. In the early chapters the pl…

Top Ten "Gateway" Books/Authors In My Reading Journey

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week the theme is Top Ten Gateway Books. I really loved this topic as it made me look back over my relationship with reading, from learning to read to studying English Literature at university. Reading has always been an important part of my life, and on reflection there are a number of books that mark turning points in my reading journey. 
1) Roger Red Hat - Sheila K. McCullagh
The first point in any reader's journey is learning to read at school. I learnt with what Google tells me were called the One Two Three and Away collection of reading books, but I've always known them as Roger Red Hat, Billy Blue Hat, Jennifer Yellow Hat etc.  I remember around ten years ago a friend whose mum used to be a teacher found the books in her attic and we re-read them all in an afternoon.

2) The Tale of Mrs Tiggywinkle - Beatrix Potter
A childhood staple. Family visits to the Lake District, The World of Beatrix Potter on L…