May 11, 2015

Book Review: The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

Summary (
An idealistic suffragette...
Miss Frederica "Free" Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women's rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope...but she needs more rope, and she needs it now.

...a jaded scoundrel...
Edward Clark's aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She's only a pawn to use in his revenge.

...and a scandal seven years in the making.
But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it's too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past...and once the woman he loves realizes how much he's lied to her, he'll lose her forever.

My Thoughts:
I have been up and down with the Brothers Sinister series, I have to admit. I loved the prequel novella, but didn't enjoy the Duchess Wars, Heiress grew on me, and I really did love The Countess Conspiracy. 

So I knew I had to read The Suffragette Scandal, if only to finish the series, sadly this one falls into the "I didn't like it/meh!" category for me. It's nothing specific really, other that I just didn't connect with Free, I wanted to, she sounded great but I just didn't have a bond with her (the way I did have a bond with Violet, and perhaps that's why I'm judging this book a little harsh). 

I did like the hero, Edward Clark, and I could empathize  with him a lot, but he was only one half of the story and not enough to carry it all way way through in the end. But really, I think it just comes to personality types this time around, I really don't enjoy people and characters with Free's personality so this book wasn't for me, still it was well written and well researched and it has its moments of being as good as any other Courtney Milan book (which is very good!). 

And it was nice to catch up with older characters from previous books. 

May 9, 2015

Book Review: Batgirl Vol. Burnside 1 by Stewart, Fletcher and Tarr

Summary (GoodReads):

Barbara Gordon is no stranger to dusting herself off when disaster strikes, so when a fire destroys everything she owns, she spots the opportunity for a new lease on life – and seizes it! 

Following the rest of Gotham City’s young adults to the hip border district of Burnside, Barbara sets about building an all-new Batgirl…and discovers new threats preying on her peers! As the new hero of Burnside, Batgirl gets started by facing twin sister assassins on motorcycles! Collects BATGIRL #35-40.

My Thoughts:

I'm a little conflicted about Batgirl of Burnside, which compiles 7 chapters of the Batgirl comic. I know it's supposed to be a bit of a reboot as part of the New 52 event and all, but I felt like I was missing something, like there was stuff I was supposed to know and I didn't. 

That said, I still could understand pretty well what was going on int he story, and what Barbara Gordon was doing, and how she was moving on with her life after an accident, but I felt like I had almost no clue on what people's relationships to each other were. 

Still the book was interesting, the artwork was cute -  even if there were a few too many shots of Barbara in her underwear for me - and there were lots of things that I really liked, like her new Batgirl costume - I WANT her letter jacket - and my favorite panels were actually the ones where she was hanging out with her friends, though I admit they got a bit crowded sometimes. 

All in all, though, I kind of want to keep reading this story, make sense of it more as it were, because, like I said, very cute  artwork and a really modern approach to the character. 

May 4, 2015

Book Review: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen

Summary (

She's hiding something big. He's hiding someone small.

Scarlet Crowley’s life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror. 

It’s a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet’s fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID — with a newly minted name on it — she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she’s falling for.

Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.

The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won’t work anymore. And if they can’t learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they’ve struggled to keep.

My Thoughts:
I officially LOVE the Ivy Years Series and this book!!

First let me paint you a picture: I was busy! I had a ton of work, papers to grade and a tight deadline but I was suffering from a bit of burnout so I decided to pick up this book... and it worked like a charm soothing my fried brain. 

I love the style of writing that Sarina Bowen has, she just pulls me right into her stories. 

Other than that? Well, I already knew and liked Bridger from The Year We Fell Down and I was happy to get to know him better this time around, get inside to see what his deal was. He was an excellent brother for his sister Lucy and worked so hard to keep things looking like normal. 

It even made sense, the secrets he kept and why - I'm usually frustrated when people don't ask for help when they need it, but in his case, it made sense and it was for a rather unselfish reason, even if it complicated things a lot.

As for Scarlet, her story was heavy and scary and I thought she was pretty brave, even when she didn't react the way I wanted her to. She was pretty clear on rights and wrongs, but wasn't above stepping on grey areas.

Plus, I really liked Bridger and Scarlet together and how they interact and build a relationship even with the little time they have to spend together due to the secrets each keeps.

All in all, I think I liked The Year We Hid Away even more than The Year We Fell Down and I liked that one a lot.
starstarstarstarstarPersonal Favorite 

May 2, 2015

Book Review: His First and Last by Terri Osburn

Summary (GoodReads)

At eighteen, Lorelei Pratchett couldn’t wait to get out of her hometown. Twelve years later, her Hollywood dreams have fizzled and she’s back—temporarily, she thinks. Though she throws herself into saving the old theater and starting a baking business, small towns have long memories, and Lorelei’s wild past still haunts her. It doesn’t help that her ex-boyfriend, Spencer Boyd, is even hotter, smarter, and more distracting than before.

The fiery Lorelei that Spencer knew years ago may have become closed off and cautious, but their chemistry hasn’t faded one bit. Losing her a second time is unthinkable to him, yet Lorelei is convinced she doesn’t belong in Ardent Springs. Somehow, Spencer needs to show her that everything she needs is right here: family, friendship, new beginnings…and a man who’s never stopped loving her.

Warm, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny, His First and Last is an irresistible story of first love and second chances

My Thoughts:
All in all, I liked His First and Last, even though it was a bit of a shift to move from Anchor Island to Ardent Springs and start over with this series. But by now I trust Terri Osburn enough to just run with it.

The story does start a little slow as we establish whom Lorelei and Spencer are and whats their story, and then it starts to build in layers. But the author keeps Lorelei and Spencer in the center and actually takes the time to explain why Lorelei hates the town so much and kind of why Spencer loves it. That was very interesting.

I got distracted with the setting up of the town, though, it didn't always feel organic, but all in all I'm growing to like Ardent Springs and I was REALLY intrigued by the next book up! I think I'm going to really like that one.

As for His First and Last, it was a nice read, if a bit slow in places.

May 1, 2015

Book Review: Sinful by Joan Johnston

Summary (GoodReads):

After a tragic accident takes Delta sergeant Connor Flynn's wife, he faces the toughest fight of his life-battling his in-laws for custody of his two young children. He needs a make-believe wife to take care of the kids while he runs his Wyoming ranch. 
Who better than a woman he already knows and likes-his late wife's best friend? 

Forced to live under the same roof, Eve must hide a love that has never died, while Connor fights his growing need for a woman who was forbidden fruit during his marriage. Can two lonely people set adrift by fate and haunted by guilt find redemption in the healing embrace of love?

My Thoughts:

Well, I have mixed feelings about Sinful. I was very intrigued by the premise of the book - I'm a sucker for the 'I've been secretly in love with you my whole life!' thing, though I admit it's rarely done to my satisfaction.- but the execution wasn't what I hoped for.

To start with, apparently this book, while it's the first in the King's Brats series, it also belongs to a bigger universe called Bitter Creek; and from the start I felt like I was missing something. Like there was info I needed but didn't have.

The prologue felt more like a cold open... only that it didn't have much to do with the actual story, it reeked of set up, but I wasn't sure for what. We were constantly teased with family secrets and feuds, but there was absolutely no pay off, just more set up.

Also, there were a lot of things that were made to be a big deal but weren't really, like King kicking his daughters out of the house (with a year of head notice and when they are all grown ups that allegedly already make their own money?) and they act like it's the end of the world because they don't get to live in a ranch where they don't seem to spend a lot of time to begin with... sounds a bit much. 

The actual story about Connor and Eve seemed to take a backseat to the many feuds going around, they had some chemistry and seemed to like each other well enough, but I never really felt like Connor wanted more than a mother to his kids. And they both came off as a little cowardly *SPOILER* they had really been pinning for each other for 20 years, and the whole diary thing? yeah that was Convenient! *END OF SPOILER*

I'm a little curious about all the secrets, sure, but I'm not sure a) the reveals are going to be satisfactory, and b) that they author isn't going to keep setting up for a few more books, so I think I'm going to cut this series loose.