Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review- How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan

How They Met, and Other Stories on Goodreads

 BOOK SUMMARY:

Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a confection from David Levithan that is sure to appeal to fans of Boy Meets Boy. Here are 18 stories, all about love, and about all kinds of love. From the aching for the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down. What is love? With this original story collection David Levithan proves that love is a many splendored thing, a varied, complicated, addictive, wonderful thing.


Release date: 2014 (first published January 8th 2008)
Published by: Electric Monkey
Page numbers: 307

REVIEW: 

Authors normally pick up a pen to write, but I always imagine David Levithan picking up a wand. We might still be waiting for our Hogwarts letter, but I'm a 100% sure that David Levithan topped his OWLs and NEWTs, because he is a wizard and magic runs in his blood. He makes magic. I always, always imagine him waving his wand and words just coming out and forming that whole Avada Kedavra and Expelliarmus magic or something like Tom Marvolo Riddle- I am Lord Voldemort.

Now that I've proved that my most favourite contemporary writer of our time is a magician, let me tell you that he was as magical during his high school as he is now, because How They Met, and Other Stories is a collection of short stories written by the author in his school years. "If he's THAT incredible when he's so young, imagine what he'll do later", I'm sure someone must've said this to young David, and it goes to say, without doubt, that he kept getting better and better, to the point where he has established himself as a bright, brilliant, sparkling and shining star of an author.

How They Met, and Other Stories is incredible and every story is so different and unique that it feels like it's written by different people. Of course, I loved this collection as a whole, but some of my absolutely favourite stories were: Starbucks Boy, The Alumni Interview, The Number of People Who Meet on Airplane, What a Song Can Do and Without Saying. But I have to say that my most favourite story was Lost Sometimes, which is a sexy story of two boys in a more physical relationship. I have read almost all books by David Levithan, but I've never read something so sexy, gorgeous and exhilarating.

A book I always wanted to read, How They Met, and Other Stories had stories that I both loved and liked, but none that I didn't like. I didn't have any expectations, but I was way too happy with what I got, because the lovely magician never fails to deliver. I loved the book, but this book has proved that I love David Levithan even more.


Buy the book: AMAZON (IN)/ FLIPKART

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review- The Trouble With Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Summary-

If she has her way . . .

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her . . .

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him . . .

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice . . .

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work . . .


Release date: Septtember 27th, 2016
Published by: Avon
Page numbers: 384

Review-

I truly enjoy reading all Jill Shalvis books. They leave me feeling happy and sighing over the sweet happy endings which the couples get at the end of each book. The Trouble With Mistletoe is the second book in her Heartbreaker Bay series. I LOVED the first book in the series which was Sweet Little Lies but I had a feeling that I wasn't going to enjoy this one as much as its predecessor. Unfortunately my instinct was right on this one and it turned out to be an okay read for me. 

Let's start with our heroine Willa. Willa is one of the people in the core group of friends whom we'd met in Sweet Little Lies. She has had a hard childhood in foster care but she runs her pet shop with determination in the present. Willa was a sweet heroine. Fragile in some ways but it looked like she fell in love with everything and everyone and got attached really quickly. What she doesn't expect is for Keane, her high school crush to walk in her pet shop with his Aunt's cat. The worst part? He doesn't remember her. At all.

Keane was not bad by any means. There was just nothing super remarkable or noteworthy about him. He flips houses for a living and works hard at constructing them to the best of his and his team's ablities. Keane genuinely doesn't remember Willa from the past but he is attracted to her now. Keane has his own scars where relationships are concerned. He thinks he is incapable of love and feelings.

Keane and Willa made for a nice couple. They were genuinely into each other and it was easy to see that they cared about each other despite their bad experiences from the past. What I did not like was how out of character both these characters behaved after about 60% of the book. Their actions were silly and it was like their personalities made a complete 360. I did not like it nor did I feel it was necessary for them to behave the way they did.

But the book was not all bad obviously. It was just that it was not up to par with Jill Shalvis standards. It is still probably better than most books out there, that I know, but it could've been better. My favourite parts in the book were when the whole gang was together. I cannot wait to see what happens in Elle and Archer's book. I have high hopes for them. So The Trouble With Mistletoe was an okay read for me.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by the authors/publishers via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Release Day Blitz- A Highlander's Christmas Kiss by Paula Quinn



BOOK INFORMATION

Title: A Highlander’s Christmas Kiss
Author: Paula Quinn
On Sale: September 27, 2016
Series: Highland Heirs, #5
Publisher: Forever
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99 USD

A STRANGER'S SMILE

Christmas may be coming to Linavar, but Temperance Menzie is far from joyful. Grief-stricken over the death of her father at the hands of the Black Riders, she almost didn't see the wounded stranger in the woods. And now she's determined to give this braw, brooding Highlander the help she couldn't give her father. But there's a secret lurking in the depths of his blue-gray eyes. And Temperance won't rest until she uncovers it . . . 

A LOVER'S KISS
A killer for hire. It's the last thing Cailean Grant ever thought he'd become, but being part of the Black Riders was his only way to survive. Now, his guilt grows day by day, along with his desire for the beautiful, brave lass nursing him back to health. As Christmas, the season of miracles, draws near and the truth of his identity threatens to come out, Cailean must risk the only thing he has left to lose – his heart.


BUY THE BOOK


Excerpt

She stopped walking and pulled on his hand to stop himas well. “Who am I to you?”
What? What had he said? He realized quickly enough,scowled, and then smiled, giving in to what his heart was telling him. “Ye are—” He paused, not truly sure what to say. He hadn’t wanted to care for her, but he did. He’d let her in, but how could he have denied her entrance? She’d been through much, thanks to him, and yet she still smiled, she still sang, she still had compassion to help him heal.
He began again, reaching for her. He pulled her closerand wrapped his arms around her plaid- encased body, shielding her from the wind. “Ye are my candle in the dark.” He stopped again to take her in. He smiled. “I’m better at puttin’ a quill to m’ words than I am at speakin’ them.”
Her wide, beautiful eyes glittered like the snow dustingthe braes. He wanted to lose himself there in the expectant hope that lit her gaze.
“You’re doing just fine,” she assured him softly. “Continue,please.”
He shoved aside everything on his mind but her. Whatwas left scared the hell out him. “I canna—”
She waited in silence while he fought his demon for her.Her hope began to fade to disappointment.
It made him smile to think her hope was to be with himand she was waiting to hear him tell her.
“I canna take my gaze from ye, lass. No matter what I’mdoin’, m’ eyes find their way back to yer rich dark hair fallin’ over yer flawless jaw, the relaxed curl of your bottom lip that tempts my legs to bring me to wherever ye are. I lay awake at night imaginin’ yer soft inhalations of breath. They fill my heart with something other than mortar and fury. I want to bring ye to me but I’m unworthy of yer dreams. Still, I want to be in them, as ye are in mine.”
“You see?” she said breathlessly. “Just fine.” She closedher eyes and parted her lips when he dipped his head to hers.
He moved his mouth over hers, basking in the intimacyof kissing her, capturing her short, eager breaths. His senses came alive and he used each one of them to fill himself with her. She tasted like passion and innocence. When he slipped his tongue over hers, she opened her arms and coiled them around his neck, covering them both in his plaid. He listened to her heart beating like ancient drums. Or was it his own heart he was hearing? He withdrew a hairbreadth so he could look at her again. The sight of her dreamy-eyed and wanting more nearly drove him mad. He brushed his nose across her temple to her hair, drinking in the scent of her, like the familiar fragrance of peat and pine. “Ye’re bringin’ me back to life, lass.”
He kissed her again, barely holding back the passion raginginside him to be released.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


New York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three beautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo. She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven. She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.


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Monday, September 26, 2016

Review- The Guardians of Halahala by Shatrujeet Nath

Summary-

THE PRICE OF A PROMISE. PAID IN BLOOD.

The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction.
But was the Halahala truly destroyed?
A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it.
As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos!
A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend.


Release date: Decemeber 2014/Second edition:August 2016
Published by: Jaico Publishing
Page numbers: 428

Review-

Sarika and I had the pleasure of meeting Shatrujeet Nath at Pune International Literary Festival in 2015 AND 2016. Shatrujeet is an amazing person, great to talk to and  he was kind enough to send us a copy of his book, The Guardians of the Halahala. Now I have to admit, I have been procrastinating like hell to get to this book. It is just that mythology sometimes, well, bores me. But The Guardians of the Halahala has clearly changed that for me. I am kicking myself for not having picked this up earlier but I do get to read the next book, The Conspiracy at Meru right away so yay for me!

Now the gist of the book is that Shiva, the Omniscient One swallows Halahala, a deadly poison, to save the universe from extinction. But not all of it is destroyed and Shiva places the poison in the hands of Vikramaditya to protect it from anyone who might want to misuse it. And so begins the journey of Vikramaditya along with his Council of Nine to protect the Halahala while also protecting the kingdom.

I'm not sure how exactly to explain everything here, but I'll try and most things should be enjoyed while reading the book anyway. First of all, I loved how Shatrujeet sketched out all the characters. Vikramaditya along with the Council  were nicely fleshed out with their own unique personalities. Not only that but the remaining allies of Sindhuvarta, the kingdom, also had important parts to play. You'd think it would get confusing with so many people but somehow it didn't. New characters were introduced at a steady pace and I could actually keep track of everyone.

The next thing I want to mention is Shatrujeet's writing. It was amazing. Clear and precise and so very engaging. It kept me hooked and I kept flipping the pages to see what would happen next. I also loved Shatrujeet's portayal of women in the book. I can only imagine how hard it had to have been in the olden times but the ladies in the Council were treated as equals with just as much respect. Obviously, Shanku and Kshapanka are my favourites. But I really do like the entire council.

There is lots of action in The Guardians of Halahala. The battle scenes were thrilling. There are many enemies, some known and some unknown. Every player has intentions of his own and I'm looking forward to seeing how it will continue to play out. I am happy to say that I've sucessfully finished reading a mythology fiction book, one which I genuinely enjoyed. One whose sequel I'm looking forward to reading. The Guardians of Halahala was a great read.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway- A Player for a Princess by Tia Louise

APAP FOR WEB 

About A PLAYER FOR A PRINCESS

From the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, the game continues…

Zelda Wilder is on the run, this time from the ruthless assassins who’ve decided she knows too much to live.

“Playboy Prince” MacCallum Lockwood Tate isn’t about to let the beautiful player who stole his heart get away—if only he could decide whether he wants to save her or strangle her for her dangerous choices.

After tracking her down to a casino in St. Croix, Cal follows Zee back to Tortola where he intends to keep her safe. One problem: Zelda’s criminal liaisons are two steps ahead of her.

Lives are threatened, and all of the players’ skills are tested in this plot to capture a killer and save a princess.

Cinderella meets Ocean's Eleven in this CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE DUET featuring secrets, lies, royal high jinks, scams and double-crosses; breathless, swooning lust, cocky princes, dominant alpha future-kings, and crafty courtiers, who are not always what they seem.

Review-

A Player for a Princess is the second book in the Dirty Players series by Tia Louise. This book starts off right where the first book, The Prince and the Player ended. The ending for the first book was not exactly cliffhangerish but it was definitely unfinished. Unlike the last book where we get Rowan and Zee's point of view, in this book we get only one couple's point of view that is Zee and Cal's. I'm having some mixed feelings about the book but overall I did like A Player for a Princess.

Let's start with Zee. Zee is on the run. She thinks she isn't good enough for Cal and she doesn't want to put Cal or her sister Ava in harm's way. I had really enjoyed Zee's point of view in the first book but I did find her to be stubborn and obstinate in this one. There was definitely danger around Zee but she refused Cal's help. I mean she was still lovable and strong and a survivor but she was very stubborn as well.

I was really glad to see that we got Cal's point of view in this book. He shone in the last book and I so badly wanted to see his thoughts and emotions. Cal was intense in his feelings for Zee and we really got to see what a long way he's come from being the playboy prince. Cal took responsibility for his actions and he was so ready to rescue Zee.

The chemistry between Zee and Cal was great as always. I loved them as a couple in the previous book and I did like them here as well. But unlike the previous book, Zee and Cal are not always together in this one. I think the separation irriated me a bit and I thought that Cal was just sitting and waiting for an amount of time while Zee had to suffer quite a bit. The book dragged for me in some parts.

This is where I also felt like Ava and Rowan should have been there for Cal and Zee for the crucial bits. They were there at some points but I was not satisfied with that. Another warning is that this book does contain some violence. It was not horribly graphic but it was pretty harsh. So A Player for a Princess was definitely not as fun as the previous book and it had a more serious tone. But I think I'm just comparing the two books because I read them back to back. Things do get resolved in this book but a few threads are left open for the next books. So, in conclusion, A Player for a Princess was not my favourite but it was still a good read.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.

Grab A PLAYER FOR A PRINCESS now:


ADD it on Goodreads: http://smarturl.it/PLPgr
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TP&TP with series


★★★ Missed Book #1? ★★★ Pick up THE PRINCE & THE PLAYER for just .99c for a limited time!!! “Tons of laughs, sex, and suspense...THE PRINCE & THE PLAYER had me on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, and blushing like crazy!” – Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads 

Let the games begin... 

Runaway Zelda Wilder will do whatever it takes to secure a better life for her and her sister Ava. Crown Prince Rowan Westringham Tate will do whatever it takes to preserve his small country.

When Zee is blackmailed into helping a vengeful statesman take down Rowan, she never expects she'll be pulled into a web of lies and international intrigue--much less that she'll find herself falling for Cal, Rowan's "playboy" younger brother.

Ava's no help, as she finds quiet walks in the moonlight discussing poetry and leadership with the brooding future king irresistible. Even more irresistible is kissing his luscious lips.

They're in over their heads, and the more time passes, the more danger the sisters are in. Shots are fired, and it's soon clear even a prince might not be able to rescue these players.

★ GET The Prince & The Player for .99c for a limited time
Print Copies: Amazon | Createspace
Audiobooks: Amazon | Audible | iTunes

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Want to win a $50 Amazon giftcard and an audiobook of THE PRINCE & THE PLAYER? Enter to win via the rafflecopter below!

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About Tia Louise

The “Queen of Hot Romance,” Tia Louise is the Award-Winning, International Bestselling author of the ONE TO HOLD series. From “Readers’ Choice” nominations, to USA Today “Happily Ever After” nods, to winning the 2015 “Favorite Erotica Author” and the 2014 “Lady Boner Award” (LOL!), nothing makes her happier than communicating with fans and weaving new tales into the Alexander-Knight world of stories. A former journalist, Louise lives in the center of the USA with her lovely family and one grumpy cat. There, she dreams up stories she hopes are engaging, hot, and sexy, and that cause readers rethink common public locations...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Review- Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling

Very Good Lives on Goodreads

 BOOK SUMMARY:

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life’s most important issues with acuity and emotional force.
 


Release date: April 14th 2015
Published by: Little, Brown and Company
Page numbers: 80

REVIEW: 

Before I begin writing about Very Good Lives, I just wanted to point out that I read this book on an epic day in magical history, and that's 31st July, 2016 which aside from marking the birthdays of my hero Harry Potter and my Queen J. K. Rowling, also happened to be the release of the most awaited book that had Potterheads all over the world go mad, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Well, I read it more in honour of the Queen's birthday, but it was a special day overall. 

I have never reviewed a J.K. Rowling book before, and frankly, I don't need to; because no matter what she writes, it's gold, it's always going to remain etched in my heart and it's going to get five out of five bright and shining stars. Nonetheless, I decided to write something about Very Good Lives because I honestly feel that this book deserves to be read as much as Harry Potter, because it is very important. I don't know how she does it, but JKR makes me cry every time with her powerful writing, that conveys so much. 

Very Good Lives is barely a half an hour read, which gives us the opportunity to read the speech JKR delivered at the Harvard 2008 graduation. I so wish I had graduated from Harvard in 2008, but that's when I got done with school, so I feel it's easy to pretend this was written for me. Anyway, the speech is packed with so much power and influence that it really touched me and had me thinking how is it that we Potterheads haven't made a big deal out of this beautiful piece of art? Because it certainly deserves that. 

There's not much I want to say aside from the fact that JKR knows how to tell stories AND influence people better than anyone else. She keeps saying that all the magic we need is within us, but really, she is magic. Everything she does is wonderful. I don't care when everyone reads this book, but I sure hope they do, because they might not know this, but they need it. Read this book. Please. 

Buy the book: AMAZON/ FLIPKART

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review- A Player for A Princess by Tia Louise

Summary-

From the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, the game continues… 

Zelda Wilder is on the run, this time from the ruthless assassins who’ve decided she knows too much to live.

“Playboy Prince” MacCallum Lockwood Tate isn’t about to let the beautiful player who stole his heart get away—if only he could decide whether he wanted to save her or strangle her for her dangerous choices.

After tracking her down to a casino in St. Croix, Cal follows Zee back to Tortola where he intends to keep her safe. One problem: Zelda’s criminal liaisons are one step ahead of her.

Lives are threatened, and all of the players' skills are tested in this plot to capture a killer and save a princess.


Release date: September 20th, 2016
Published by: TLM Productions LLC
Page numbers: 236

Review-

A Player for a Princess is the second book in the Dirty Players series by Tia Louise. This book starts off right where the first book, The Prince and the Player ended. The ending for the first book was not exactly cliffhangerish but it was definitely unfinished. Unlike the last book where we get Rowan and Zee's point of view, in this book we get only one couple's point of view that is Zee and Cal's. I'm having some mixed feelings about the book but overall I did like A Player for a Princess.

Let's start with Zee. Zee is on the run. She thinks she isn't good enough for Cal and she doesn't want to put Cal or her sister Ava in harm's way. I had really enjoyed Zee's point of view in the first book but I did find her to be stubborn and obstinate in this one. There was definitely danger around Zee but she refused Cal's help. I mean she was still lovable and strong and a survivor but she was very stubborn as well.

I was really glad to see that we got Cal's point of view in this book. He shone in the last book and I so badly wanted to see his thoughts and emotions. Cal was intense in his feelings for Zee and we really got to see what a long way he's come from being the playboy prince. Cal took responsibility for his actions and he was so ready to rescue Zee.

The chemistry between Zee and Cal was great as always. I loved them as a couple in the previous book and I did like them here as well. But unlike the previous book, Zee and Cal are not always together in this one. I think the separation irriated me a bit and I thought that Cal was just sitting and waiting for an amount of time while Zee had to suffer quite a bit. The book dragged for me in some parts.

This is where I also felt like Ava and Rowan should have been there for Cal and Zee for the crucial bits. They were there at some points but I was not satisfied with that. Another warning is that this book does contain some violence. It was not horribly graphic but it was pretty harsh. So A Player for a Princess was definitely not as fun as the previous book and it had a more serious tone. But I think I'm just comparing the two books because I read them back to back. Things do get resolved in this book but a few threads are left open for the next books. So, in conclusion, A Player for a Princess was not my favourite but it was still a good read.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.