Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Pirate's Lady by Julia Knight

The Pirate's Lady (2012)
Julia Knight
Grade: C++
Genre: ship, historical romance
Sex scenes: almost non-existant
Source: NetGalley

The brilliant, uncatchable Van Gast only wants one thing: Joshing Josie. He loves her with every fibre of his being and almost had her, but fate intervened and he’s been chasing her ever since. When Josie comes to save him during a twist and propositions him with a challenge that he can’t resist, Van Gast finds himself doing the chasing once again, hoping to catch the biggest prize of his life …

In Estovan, there are ten thousand gold sharks on Van Gast’s head and looking for a crew isn’t going to be easy when potential crewmates could make so much more simply by turning him in. He leaves it to his friend Holden to put together a crew that are lured more by the chance to work with the infamous Van Gast than the thought of all that money, while he tries to catch up with Josie long enough to discover what on earth she’s planning.


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merlin 5.12: The Diamond of the Day I

This is the first of the two-part finale and I'm beyond ecstatic. Yes, after five years, one of my favourite television shows is ending, but it's going to be good - I know it because it can't be anything but I want Arthur to find out about Merlin's magic as soon as possible so that he can witness Merlin using it for the force of good, but that was never going to happen. Anyway, if you want a reminder of the other episodes of series 5, then look no further: Arthur's Bane Part 1, Arthur's Bane Part 2, The Death Song of Uther Pendragon, Another's Sorrow, The Disir, The Dark Tower, A Lesson in Vengeance, The Hollow Queen, With All My Heart, The Kindness of Strangers and The Drawing of the Dark

In Morgana's castle with Mordred at her side, the sorcerer Ari (Peter Guinness) is brought in, smiling evilly, thinking that Morgana has another errand for him to run. Instead, he's the one who should be shaking in his boots because Morgana uses him to demonstrate to her entourage and supporters that she has the means to get rid of Merlin's magic. After all:
"Arthur is nothing without Emrys; and Emrys is nothing without magic."
This line previewed at the end of last week's episode, but watching it in context is everything. So even though I knew it was coming, it's still going to be devastating.


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Considering Kate by Nora Roberts

Considering Kate (2001)
Nora Roberts
Grade: A-
Genre: 'contemporary' romance
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own
Stanislaski series: (1) Taming Natasha, (3) Falling for Rachel, (4) Convincing Alex and (5) Waiting for Nick

Once I read Waiting for Nick, I couldn’t not start Considering Kate – NR and her Stanislaski series is just much too addictive. Considering Kate wasn’t what I expected (though I didn’t know what to expect) but all in all, it was a brilliant way to round off what is arguably NR’s most consistently excellent series.

At twenty-five and still in her prime, Kate has decided that it’s time to retire from the stage and return home to open up her own ballet school. It’s a difficult decision to make, especially since she’s still so young, but years of endless rehearsals, performances, travelling and making small talk with those in the arts and culture circles has made Kate weary and she longs for a family and life of her own in the small town where she grew up. An old building in the area has recently gone on the market and while neglected and in need of serious refurbishment, it’s the right place for what Kate wants; and what Kate wants, she gets.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Passion by Lisa Valdez

Passion (2005)
Lisa Valdez
Grade: A-
Genre: historical erotica
Sex scenes: scorching
Source: own
Passion Quartet: (1) Passion

I don’t need to tell you that contemporary erotica is currently taking the publishing world by storm; who knows how long this will go on for, but I’m hoping that it will be a long time. In my books, anything that gets the romance genre more accepted and recognised amongst wider society is a good thing. Historical erotica isn’t nearly as big and I for one hadn’t ever set foot in this territory, mostly because I had no idea where to start. Passion is one of those books that I have meant to read for ages because I’ve heard so much about it; when I saw it on eBay, I leapt at the chance to own it despite knowing absolutely nothing about what it was about, or that it would be as hot as it is. It has its flaws, but boy am I glad that I bought it.


Merlin 5.11: The Drawing of the Dark

Really, you should be shot if you haven't watched episodes 1-9 already. If you have and want a reminder, read all about it here: Arthur's Bane Part 1, Arthur's Bane Part 2, The Death Song of Uther Pendragon, Another's Sorrow, The Disir, The Dark Tower, A Lesson in Vengeance, The Hollow Queen, With All My Heart and The Kindness of Strangers

I didn't think that I would ever see the day when I would feel sorry for Mordred, be on his side and want to cry for him, but every day (and every episode of Merlin) is full of surprises. His presence has been a constant threat throughout the entire series, not only because of legend, but in particular this series because he's had an active role; this episode is really Mordred's episode. There's several glimpses of hope where we think there might be a chance for redemption and a happy ending, but this is fate after all, and you don't mess with fate.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Waiting for Nick by Nora Roberts

Waiting for Nick (1997)
Nora Roberts
Grade: A
Genre: 'contemporary' romance
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own
Stanislaski series: (1) Taming Natasha, (3) Falling for Rachel, (4) Convincing Alex

I have been waiting for Freddie and Nick’s book since Falling for Rachel when Nick was first introduced and the pair met for the first time. At thirteen, with her first glance at the rugged, nineteen-year-old bad-boy, Freddie tumbled headlong into puppy love that has only developed into the real thing over the years. Fresh into New York to start a new life for herself, Freddie is determined to partner with Nick and slot herself into his life until he asks himself why she wasn’t there all along. All the Stanislaskis know that Freddie is in love with Nick as well as she knows it herself; now it’s just time for Nick to realise the same …

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Merlin 5.10: The Kindness of Strangers

Haven't seen episodes 1-8 of series five? That should be criminal, but regardless, click here to see my round-ups: Arthur's Bane Part 1, Arthur's Bane Part 2, The Death Song of Uther Pendragon, Another's Sorrow, The Disir, The Dark Tower, A Lesson in Vengeance, The Hollow Queen and With All My Heart

We begin in the forests as some unlucky soul is being pursued by Morgana and her minions. When he is captured, we see that it is Alator, the Catha priest hired by Morgana last series (?) to kidnap and torture Gaius into revealing Emry's identity. Morgana knows that Alator knows, and is determined to torture it out of him.

Merlin is accompanying Arthur and Gwen as they take a ride through the forest and have some time to themselves (Merlin's presence doesn't count). Merlin notices a strange burn mark on a tree, evidence from Morgana and Alator's earlier struggle during the latter's capture, but Merlin doesn't know that yet. He feels the weight of powerful magic in the air and tries to convince Arthur that something bad happened here, but as might be expected, Arthur doesn't take his servant seriously. Merlin goes back on his own and finds papers and other personal items that look like they've been abandoned unwillingly. Most importantly, he finds a coin/token which Gaius later tells him is the mark of a Catha priest.


Friday, 14 December 2012

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster (2012)
Jamie McGuire
Grade: C+
Genre: New Adult
Sex scenes: mild
Source: NetGalley
Beautiful: (1) Beautiful Disaster

This is the sort of book that I should hate. I can’t really identify with any of the characters; Travis is an asshole; it’s much too long; the characters all take the blatantly wrong decisions when it’s clear that it’s the last thing they want, yet continue to pretend to each other that all is merry; and the emotional ping-pong is worse than an Eastenders omnibus. Yet why did I stay up until past 3am to finish it and why can’t I help but like it? Read on …

Abby Abernathy came to Eastern University with her best friend America to make a fresh start for herself, away from everything that surrounds her less-than-perfect past and family life. She’s going to keep her head down, study hard and make something good for herself to erase her ugly past. They she meets Travis Maddox …


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Books!


L-R: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter, Waiting for Nick & Considering Kate by Nora Roberts, Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts and Reflected in You by Sylvia Day 

I did some work as a Brand Ambassador for graduate-jobs.com back in October and got paid in Amazon money. It's not as good as real money, but when you have a book-buying, book-owning, book-reading addiction like I do, it's gold. It's taken me since October to decide which books I wanted. I had a list of about twelve but the annoying thing was that most were cheaper on Book Depository! There was no way that I was buying a more expensive version from Amazon, regardless of the fact that I had a voucher.

So they arrived Monday, of course, when no one was in, and so I picked them up today. I'm unbelievably excited to start, but I could say the same about the 60-odd books in my room that I have yet to crack open not to mention all the Galleys I've got waiting for me ...

Which book would you start first? Have you bought lots of new books recently?

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

At Last by Jill Shalvis

At Last (2012)
Jill Shalvis
Grade: A-
Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: mild
Source: NetGalley 
Lucky Harbour series: (4) Lucky in Love, (5) At Last, (6) Forever and a Day 

The last thing that Amy Michaels wants is a relationship, yet her Chocoholics Anonymous group are determined to get her there. Now that Mallory has her HEA with Ty and Grace is still trying to get a job, never-mind a relationship, they’ve decided that Amy is next.

Amy has one mission in Lucky Harbour: to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and find her hope, peace and heart. With her grandmother’s journals committed to memory and her sketchbook in hand, Amy puts her dislike of the outdoors to one side and ventures into the dense countryside that surrounds the town … only to promptly find herself lost. And knowing her luck, who comes to her rescue? Only Matt Bowers, uber hot forest ranger and for the sake of her fickle hormones, a guy she wants to stay well away from.

Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas

Dream Lake (2012)
Lisa Kleypas
Grade: C+
Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: milder than might be expected from Lisa Kleypas
Source: own
Friday Harbour: (1) Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour, (2) Rainshadow Road
   
After getting divorced when her husband left her for another man, Zoë Hoffmann has sworn off men for good. She has teamed up with her feisty, outgoing cousin Justine to set up a B&B on Friday Harbour and business is booming. With Zoë in charge of all the cooking and baking, she’s in her element and very content with life.

Zoë’s mum abandoned her when she was young and her father followed suit by passing her off onto his mother. When she gets news that ‘Upsie,’ as she calls her grandmother, has had a series of mini-strokes, developed vascular dementia and will require constant care, Zoë doesn’t even consider any other option but moving Upsie in with her. Upsie owns a small lake house in Friday Harbour, but years of neglect and disuse has made it uninhabitable and it will need extensive repairs in order to adapt it to Upsie’s needs. Luckily, Justine knows just the man for the job: Alex Nolan.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Merlin 5.09: With All My Heart

Want a reminder of episodes 1-8 of series five? Click here: Arthur's Bane Part 1, Arthur's Bane Part 2, The Death Song of Uther Pendragon, Another's Sorrow, The Disir, The Dark Tower, A Lesson in Vengeance and The Hollow Queen. Beware of spoilers, spoilers and you guessed it: more spoilers! The first paragraph already contains a spoiler, and so you're not even getting a taster before you have to click 'Read More'!

You seriously don't want to miss this episode. It's a convenient way of getting around a recent thorny problem which is a slightly annoying way to make everything better just as it has been announced that the series is about to end, but whatever, I'm not complaining. Much. Just WATCH IT

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Cover Reveal: The Elite

I've read virtually no YA books in 2012, but The Selection by Kiera Cass is by far my favourite. I liked the cover when it appeared on NetGalley and while the summary sounded great, the cover was definitely my motivating reason for requesting it for review.

The cover for book two, The Elite, doesn't disappoint. The theme for The Selection was initally a great choice and so they've done well in following it and keeping with the theme, yet the colour scheme gives the book it's own character and independence. It's stunning.

I can only keep my fingers crossed that it's going to be available on NetGalley in the new year! Can't wait for April 2013!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Merlin 5.08: The Hollow Queen

Read all about Merlin season 5, episodes 1-7 here: Arthur's Bane Part 1, Arthur's Bane Part 2, The Death Song of Uther Pendragon, Another's Sorrow, The Disir, The Dark Tower and A Lesson in Vengeance. Spoilers like crazy! If you're going to read this post without having watched the episode or any others before it, then do take the time to read my highlights of each.

Gwen and the guards stumble upon a boy wandering inside the grounds of Camelot. Gwen persuades them to let him go - he's only a boy, after all. He manages to make his way into the castle and locates Merlin to ask for his help. Somehow, he knows that Merlin has magic and desperately needs him to go with him and heal his sick sister. Merlin initially refuses but eventually can't help but give in to this plea for help.


Much Ado About Nothing Movie Poster


There's really too many upcoming films releasing news at the moment that I'm getting excited about. I don't know how my heart is going to cope when the trailer comes out for Much Ado.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Movie Trailer

Watch here!

I love Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. Granted, I haven't cracked one open in years nor read beyond book three, but I'm happy with that. I'm not entirely sure that I'll be able to say that I still love the series if I do touch book four. I had been completely content at the time of reading City of Glass in the knowledge that it was the last book in the series. I was pretty pissed when I heard that there was going to be more books, because it meant that the HEA would be fucked up. Authors have got to learn when to stop.


Checklist

Criminal law unassessed essay - tick
Victoria Fisher essay competition - tick
Merlin episode round-ups - tick
NaNoWriMo - not so much ...

I may not have finished NaNo, but I'm pretty pleased with my progress overall this month. November has been beyond hectic and I just capped the week with a 10-4pm Fair Trade Market where I did not quite as well as I would have liked (you never do) but generally very good. And it's not even Sunday yet!


Sunday, 25 November 2012

World Book Night 2013

World Book Night 2013 titles!

What is World Book Night?
Entering into its third year, WBN is at its core, an initiative to get more people reading. With literacy rates falling and people spending more time interacting with their electronic devices instead of the physical written word, it's no wonder that such a programme came about. In total, a million books are given away on the 23rd April and people who receive copies are encouraged to pass the book on when they've finished in order to spread the message about the books that have been chosen.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Merlin 5.07: A Lesson in Vengeance

Missed episodes 1-6 of series five? Never fear! You can catch up here: Arthur's Bane Part 1, Arthur's Bane Part 2, The Death Song of Uther Pendragon, Another's Sorrow, The Disir and The Dark Tower

SPOILERS, okay? Don't read if you haven't already watched the previous episodes or read my break-downs of them. Know that you'll be subjecting yourself to considerable heartbreak if you read with the intention of watching the episodes after. There's nothing quite like watching the show for yourself, so watch them first!

Arthur is very proud of himself for remembering his anniversary. He and Gwen are riding in the countryside (with Merlin tagging along reminding them constantly that he isn't there, of course) when they are ambushed. When Arthur's Knights later find traces of sorcery, Arthur begins to agree with Merlin that there was no way that it could have been a coincidence.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012: Halfway there time-wise if not in wordcount ...

Day Fifteen. I should have 25,005 words by 23:59pm tonight but that's not going to be happening. For one thing, I'm exhausted after staying up late almost every day this week if not every day, trying to bang out the words and I have a full weekend of SIFE/Enactus revelry starting tomorrow with an estimated 3 1/2 hour drive up to Grantham. 400 SIFE students, PGL camp and undiluted SIFE cheesiness? BRING IT ON.

Still, I'm on 22,607 which I consider to be pretty respectable considering the amount of work that I've got to do besides NaNo. Thankfully, my Equity seminars are finished for this term, but I've still got two essays I should be writing, three other seminars to prepare for, notes to catch up on, textbooks and cases to read ... and that's not even including my SIFE stuff. Boy, am I behind.

I'm pretty pleased with myself for making it this far and now that I've got past the 20K mark (the 25K one will feel even better) I don't want to stop. It will be a huge shame if I don't finish now and I'll be pretty pissed off with myself. It looks like I've got another fifteen days of little-to-no-sleep ahead of me. Joy.

Keep up with my NaNo daily wordcount on the sidebar on the right. Isn't it awesome? You'll find out in fifteen days time whether or not I've reached 50K or not. Until then, don't expect any reviews. Bonus if there are any. Why is one day only twenty-four measly hours?

Merlin 5.06: The Dark Tower

Missed Merlin series 5 episodes 1-5? Find them here: Arthur's Bane Part 1, Arthur's Bane Part 2, The Death Song of Uther Pendragon, Another's Sorrow, The Disir. Beware of spoilers! 

Awful, awful spoilers here. There's no way that I can avoid talking about them, just because it's so heinously against the grain of what's expected from this interpretation of the legend that I'm gobsmacked. More to the point, I don't want to not talk about them. I do hope that there's a real reason for this betrayal - hasn't Arthur been through enough already? So if you plan on watching this episode for yourself and want the 'surprise', as it were, then don't ruin it for yourself and read my review.

I'm seriously heartbroken by this episode; as if The Disir hadn't been bad enough already, they've just completely made me hate a character that I don't normally love. I just don't know how they could possibly take Merlin down this route, especially, like I've said, the shocking blow we received last week. Like there aren't enough evil regular and special-appearance characters already, they had to add another to their midst.


Sunday, 11 November 2012

Merlin 5.05: The Disir

Episode 5 already! Read my lowdown's on the previous episodes here: Arthur's Bane Part 1, Arthur's Bane Part 2, The Death Song of Uther Pendragon and Another's Sorrow.

Beware of spoilers. Don't read if you plan to watch the episode.

WOW was this episode something. Not only is it packed full of highs and lows, but IMO, it's the single most important episode with regard to Arthur's destiny and Merlin's role in it, in a very long time, if not ever. It made me want to cry (a lot) and I have three pages of notes and quotes that I'm going to try and condense into something hopefully resembling logical thought. Apologies if it doesn't.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Admin update

The Favourite Books tab has been updated a little to include some of the fabulous books and authors I've discovered this year. I have a feeling that I might overhaul it again soon to list alphabetically by author rather than title ... when I have more time.

I've taken the plunge and started NaNo. For the first time ever, I didn't have a detailed plan of exactly what was going to happen and a full list of character names etc and I'm sort of liking it. Even in hte years where I had a plan, there were some areas where I would just let my characters take me where they wanted and that's exactly what I'm doing now. For my whole, 50,000 word novel. Apart from a vague idea about the general plot and where I want Marissa and Josh (my protagonists!) to end up, I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen the next time I open up my NaNo document. And you know what? The thought thrills me. I'll be updating my daily total wordcount on the right between the 'About Me' and 'Blog Archive'. As you can see, I had a brilliant day yesterday with 3,205 words bringing my total to 4921 which is just below on target. Let's see what today brings.

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Demands by Mark Billingham

The Demands / Good as Dead (2011)
Mark Billingham
Grade: C+
Genre: crime
Source: NetGalley / library 
Tom Thorne: ... (10) The Demands

Detective Sergeant Helen Weeks visits her local newsagent just as she does every morning after dropping off her son, Alfie, with the childminder. Her chewing gum, chocolate and newspaper are pretty standard staples for her morning commute into work and she always has time for a few minutes of polite conversation with the newsagent, Mr Aktar, while he counts her change. What she doesn’t expect this particular morning is to have a gun pointed at head and be taken hostage.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Merlin 5.04: Another's Sorrow

See my round-ups of episodes 1, 2 and 3 of series 5 here: Arthur's Bane Part 1, Arthur's Bane Part 2 and The Death Song of Uther Pendragon

We begin with Princess Mithian and her father being taken hostage in their own castle by Morgana and Oden. Arthur killed Oden's son last series (I think) and Oden killed Uther in revenge. Mithian's home/palace/castle is something - I want it. Stately and beautiful without being overly opulent, it makes you wonder why Camelot isn't as nicely decorated. Anyway. Morgana has promised Oden that she will deliver Arthur straight into his hands to do with as he wishes - who wouldn't be tempted by that?


Monday, 29 October 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

For those of you who don't know (shame on you!) NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It's a global event that takes place every year during the month of November where participants are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel during the space of 30 days. Yes, that's right: 50K. In 30 days.

I participated in NaNo during the Novembers of 2008, 2009 and 2010. I won in 2008 and 2009. I think I was something like 2K short in 2010 and I didn't bother trying in 2011 because I just had way too much stuff to do.

So will 2012 be my year? About a month ago, I got the sudden urge to take part again. I'm a subscriber of the newsletters and slowly over the last month or so, there's been a steady trickle of official newsletters that has got me increasingly excited for something that I know that there's no way that I will finish this year. Yet I still want to do it.


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Merlin 5.03: The Death Song of Uther Pendragon

See my round-ups of previous episodes in Merlin series 5: Arthur's Bane Part 1 and Arthur's Bane Part 2

We start out fairly innocuously with Arthur and Merlin out in the forest, hunting. Why Arthur decides to take only Merlin with him on a hunting trip is beyond me (and beyond Arthur, too) but I digress. They hear screams and stumble upon a village sacrifice with a human as the aforementioned unfortunate. The woman is about to be burned at the stake for sorcery but Arthur forces the village leader at swordpoint to release the woman and take her into the woods. She's on her deathbed but gives Arthur a gift to thank him for his "kindness and compassion." It's a horn, but not any ordinary horn: "It has the power to summon spirits of the dead" and Arthur has a very clear idea about what he's going to do with it.

Back in Camelot, it's the anniversary of Arthur's coronation - and also of Uther's death. As a result, Arthur is deeply unhappy and he doesn't even want to talk to Gwen about it. The next morning, he orders Merlin to ready their horses and not let anyone know that they're going on a trip.  They arrive at the Great Stones of Nematon - which looks very like Stonehenge - in order to call upon Uther's spirit as Gaius had said of the legend.

Monday, 15 October 2012

FIRST CHAPTER PREVIEW OF TIFFANY REISZ'S 'THE PRINCE'!!!

Note my excitement.

I randomly checked Ms Reisz's twitter account yesterday and saw that there would be a preview of the first chapter, released today. It's beyond awesome. Check it out here.

We know that much of the book is set in Søren and Kingsley's childhood at the Jesuit boarding school where they met. The sample chapter as above begins as Kingsley arrives in his idea of hell and is pretending that he can't speak a word of English. Like most people, he is haunted by the beauty of the music flowing from Søren's hands, but terrified by the man himself:

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed (2011)
Ally Condie
Grade: B-
Genre: dystopian YA
Source: library
Matched: (1) Matched, (2) Crossed

When Society decides what you eat, what work you do and who you have children with, not everyone is going to blindingly obey. The vast majority have been indoctrinated to believe that this is the only path to follow, but underneath the surface, if you know where to look, dissenters exist aplenty. Society has its ways of controlling those who are more vocal in their dissent; those like Cassia are more aware of what will happen to them if they lash out and instead keep one ear open for any news to do with the Pilot who it is said will lead The Rising.

Merlin 5.02: Arthur's Bane Part 2

See my round-up of episode 5.01, Arthur's Bane Part 1

We open with Morgana waking from a bad dream. She's in bed, hair unkempt in her usual Amy Winehouse-esque fashion and fully-dressed with boots on - who does that? I love how my main focus is how she's probably making her bed dirty when she's plotting to kill Arthur at the same time ... must get my priorities straight! Anyway, she seeks comfort from her bad dream and we turn to the other side of the room to see a dragon! Aithusa! The same dragon that Merlin hatched last series or the one before! How on earth did Aithusa escape from the Great Dragon?! What's going on in the world?! If you hadn't already guessed, this is a cause for great concern.

Arthur and Merlin are still with their captors and making their way slowly to Ismere. They know that they can't be delivered into Morgana's hands like a sacrifice, but are biding their time to make their escape. Strangely enough, Mordred seems to be on their side and when they do manage to have the upper hand and make a run for it, he stands by and lets them go. Arthur decides to spare his life, despite having ample opportunity to kill him, much to Merlin's despair.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis

Lucky in Love (2011)
Jill Shalvis
Grade: B+
Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: hot-ish
Source: NetGalley
Lucky Harbour: (4) Lucky in Love, (5) At Last, (6) Forever and a Day

Mallory Quinn is tired of being good. In the small town of Lucky Harbour, she’s heralded as the only sane Quinn family member against the backdrop of her parents’ divorce, her sister Karen’s suicide when Mallory was sixteen and her remaining siblings Tammy and Joe’s hoyden and wild ways. She might love her job as a nurse at the local hospital and she’s content in her grandmother’s old house, but being good hasn’t got Mallory anywhere in the boyfriend department and she thinks it’s time to try out a Mr. Wrong for a change.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Merlin 5.01: Arthur's Bane Part 1


It's conducive to my good health if they're shirtless ALL the time
Merlin is one of my favourite shows and so I was beyond ecstatic when I heard that it would be back on TV. As if that wasn't enough, the abundance of hot, naked, sweaty men in this episode makes me want to weep with joy. I found this random image on the left with the help of my good friend Google; it doesn't appear on the show but I couldn't help myself from sharing.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

It seems that some time has passed since the end of Season 4 and Arthur and Guinevere are well settled into married life. Unfortunately, after a length of relative peace, that's about to change. Sir Gwaine was sent out with three score of men six weeks ago and there’s been no word since. There's rumours floating around that the Ismere estate is back in use and Morgana is the one to blame.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

ENACTUS Sussex, here we come!



What is Enactus, I hear you ask. Well, basically the same answer to the queston 'What is SIFE?' Until Sunday 30 September 2012 where the new name was announced at the Opening Ceremony of the Enactus World Cup in Washington D.C., Enactus had been known as SIFE since the organisation's inception in 1975 by its founder, Jack Shewmaker. With new criteria and a much different approach taken by students than initially intended, it was time for the name and logo to reflect our work in a meaningful way.

What is Enactus?
Enactus is a global, not-for-profit organisation that works with business and university leaders to assist university students in setting up their own Enactus teams to make a difference in their communities. Students use an entrepreneurial approach to solve the problems and answer the needs of groups in communities by teaching them skills that enable them to improve their quality of life and standard of living in a sustainable way. This is usually a mixture of soft and practical skills, but is hugely dependent on the needs of the group that the Enactus team are working with. 


Friday, 5 October 2012

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Bared to You (2012)
Sylvia Day
Grade: B+
Genre: erotica
Sex scenes: beyond scorching. Possibly more sex than I've ever read in a single novel
Source: own / NetGalley
Crossfire: (1) Bared to You

BE WARNED: Bared to You has more sex than even I was expecting. I didn’t count, but I’m hazarding a guess that there’s more sex and more orgasms than Fifty Shades of Grey. I was reminded of Ms Reisz’s writing with regard to the unapologetically intense nature of the sex (though nowhere near as heavy on the bdsm) and the sex in Bared to You was (IMO) more powerfully written than Fifty Shades of Grey (not difficult and review coming soon, I promise). Expect in this review: spoilers, unashamedly crude, lurid details and excerpts from scenes that will get you hot and bothered. It might get squicky. Read on at your peril.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

*ENACTUS World Cup LIVE!


Update: 22:56pm GMT - EnactusUSA, Belmont University are the winners of the Alvin Rohrs World Champion Trophy! Well done to them! Their presentation was different, their delivery smooth and just an all-round brilliant Enactus team. Spring Back Recycling is an example of a truly great, truly innovative Enactus project and they should be very proud!

Also well done to the other three finalists who competed in the final as well as the rest of the Enactus teams who travelled to Washington DC for the World Cup. Enactus Southampton, you did us proud! 

Final standings:
Winner - Belmont University, USA
Runner-up - French University of Egypt, Egypt
Third place - HR College of Commerce and Economics, India
Fourth place - Midlands State University, Zimbabwe

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Watch here

Inordinantly excited for the live-streaming of the Enactus World Cup Final rounds! At 18.15 GMT, we'll be watching the Awards ceremony for the Semi-finals and if I thought that last night's award ceremony for the first round was nerve-wracking, this is going to be something else. After that, it's going to be straight into the presentations for the Final round and it will be IMMENSE. Here's to the next five hours staring at my laptop screen ... Good luck SIFE/Enactus Southampton!!!

*Formerly known as SIFE. There may be a post to come shortly; depends on how I feel - Update: see said post here

Monday, 1 October 2012

Firefly and Contract Law

I had really never thought about Firefly and contract law in quite this way.

Very good examples and if my brain wasn't quite so fuzzy from illness, I would be able to think about the contract issues in Firefly a lot clearer. Definitely need to sit down and re-watch the entire series just to consider it from a contractual perspective.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

TED: The Global Food Waste Scandal - Tristram Stuart

Love, love, LOVE this TED talk



I have a huge thing against food waste. I've got to admit that I probably did it a lot as a child when I just didn't want to eat something, but now I regularly ignore sell-by-dates, scout out the 'reduced' items in supermarkets and even find myself peeling mould off bread that is otherwise perfectly fine to eat. I don't care if this makes you cringe; I despise throwing away food.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Too Tempting to Resist by Cara Elliott

Too Tempting to Resist (2012) (Grand Central Publishing)
Cara Elliott
Grade: B-
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: shy of hot
Source: NetGalley
Lords of Midnight: (1) Too Wicked to Wed; (2) Too Tempting to Resist

Widowed Lady Eliza Brentford is nearly at the end of her tether with her younger brother's wastrel antics. All Harry wants to do is spend and gamble away money they don't have, give his liver a cause for concern with his excessive drinking and accumulate as many notches on his bed post as possible. With the notorious Gryffin Dwight, Marquess of Haddan as an idol, it's no wonder that Eliza is worried for the future of their family home. With a few more commissions in her work as an illustrator, Eliza will have finally saved up enough money to buy a small place of her own that she so desires, but until then, she'll have to live with her brother's debauchery with no way of stopping him.

Once Upon a Time: Hat Trick / The Stable Boy / The Return

Episodes 1.17, 1.19 and 1.19

Episode 1.17: Hat Trick

Could he get any broodier?
This was my third episode of Once Upon a Time before I started watching from the beginning and good thing that I had seen it before because our TV went weird and didn’t record this episode. What I will say will be very brief indeed because I can’t really remember much of it.

In Storybrooke, MM has escaped from jail and Emma has gone out to look for her. She meets an elusive man called Jefferson and gives him a lift back to his mansion. He invites her in and offers a drink; Emma, Emma, Emma. Surely as Sheriff and more importantly as a single, attractive young woman, you should have learnt by now not to accept drinks from strangers? Clearly not. She’s knocked out and when she wakes up, tries to escape. Who does she find behind a door when she’s looking for a way out? Only escaped fugitive Mary Margaret. Jefferson finds them, makes Emma tie MM back up and drags Emma away for a special task that he has in store for her …

Jefferson needs Emma to make his hat work so that he can return to his own land. Somehow, he knows that she is the saviour who can restore magic to Storybrooke and he is desperate enough to trap her in his home with his hat until it works again. Emma is still a non-believer and isn’t giving up that easily …


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught

Whitney, My Love (1985) (I read the 1999 reissue)
Judith McNaught
Grade: C
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: that 80s type; controversial rape/almost-rape scene, depending on which version you read
Source: own, second-hand

The wilful and defiant Whitney Stone has driven her father so completely mad with her unashamed and brazen pursuit of the reluctant Paul Sevarin that he has decided to send her away to Paris with her aunt and uncle. Whitney is distraught; she is convinced that Paul is her one-and-only true love and to be separated from him like this (even though Paul has only ever given the impression that Whitney is a spoilt, childish little girl) ruins all her plans for the future she has planned for them. When it becomes clear that Whitney has no choice in the matter, she becomes determined to come back from Paris such a changed woman so that Paul will be falling at her feet begging her to marry him …

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Cover rant: Nora Roberts



My love affair with Nora Roberts is well-known amongst regular readers and well-documented on this blog. The recent covers for her US contemporaries have been great (Bride Quartet and Inn Boonsboro) – very dreamy and romantic – and I’ve loved them. There’s been some slight changes for a few titles for the UK versions, but they’re ones that I can live with.




NR’s books are constantly being reissued and none so more than ever for Kindle with brand new spanking covers to match. I’ve generally approved (MacKades, Dream trilogy, Stars of Mithra) because they’ve been great choices. NR has been writing since 1981, so her ‘contemporaries’ thirty years ago can’t really be called as such today, but she writes with such a timelessness that it doesn’t matter; her books could be set in the seventeenth century and you might not notice. While you can probably tell with the older books that it is slightly out-of-date, there is never enough to properly pinpoint the book to a set timeframe, and so I find myself not really caring that it is twenty years old and some practices just aren’t done anymore. This is Nora Roberts for Chrissakes: she’s The Master.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Angel by Tiffany Reisz

UPDATE!!!: I've found the proper Harlequin UK cover for The Prince! By 'proper' I mean that it matches the ones for The Siren and The Angel and isn't the one with the blindfolded guy or the piano and crop. A shame, because both are great but this one is truly beautiful.

The Angel (2012)
Tiffany Reisz
Grade: B+
Genre: erotica like you've never known erotica before
Sex scenes: hotter than the eighth circle of hell (you have to read it). Contains the most sadistic yet strangely titillating sex scene I've ever read. I swear even the most hardened erotica readers might be slightly put off, though this may be my relative inexperience in the genre peeking through. Also contains homosexual sex scenes, threesomes and lashings of innuendo to blow your mind (amongst other things) away; there's nothing that Ms Reisz doesn't (or won't) do
Source: NetGalley
The Original Sinners (The Red Years): (prequel) Seven Day Loan (1) The Siren, (2) The Angel, (3) The Prince, (4) The Mistress

Ms Reisz has no qualms about sticking her hand in your chest (amongst other places …), yanking your heart out and leaving you still breathing to boot. And the worst thing is, she’ll enjoy doing it and you’ll be left begging for more (I know I am). The best kind of erotica writer.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts

Chasing Fire (2011)
Nora Roberts
Grade: B
Genre: romantic suspense
Sex scenes: mild
Source: library

Rowan Tripp is an experienced smoke jumper and for half of the year, she spends her time risking her life for the thrill of fighting fire. She has followed in the footsteps of her father, ‘Iron Man Tripp’ who has long retired from the business and Ro is every bit as good at her job as her father was. With a new crop of rookies to train and torture, as well as the usual fires to put out, Ro is going to be busy.

Ro always makes it a point never to sleep with a colleague, and definitely not a rookie at that. Gulliver Curry is persistent like she’s never seen before and Ro finds herself persuaded by his boyish charms and good humour. As always, it’s a tough summer and Gull provides light relief and a shoulder to lean on whenever Rowan needs it. As the summer progresses, it seems as if Rowan is going to need it a lot …

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sacrifice by S. J. Bolton

Sacrifice (2008)
S. J. Bolton
Grade: A
Genre: gothic thriller horror
Source: library

In my experience, ‘S. J. Bolton’ and ‘happy endings’ are not used together in the same sentence. Now, I’ve only been blogging seven months, but I’ve already reviewed Awakening, Now You See Me, Blood Harvest and Dead Scared; Sacrifice makes it a full complement. I would describe none of the first four titles as having a happy ending. Sure, the crimes are solved, the bad guy is locked away/punished and the protagonists are no longer in danger, but their futures are often left uncertain and Ms Bolton perversely leaves us unsatisfied with the paths she’s made for the characters we’ve come to love. The exception is the secondary couple in Dead Scared, so there’s some hope left in me yet for her future works.

Sacrifice was Ms Bolton’s first novel and it’s a chilling and stunning debut. Annoyingly, it’s the book I’ve read last, but what can you do. It’s terrifyingly good and I’m finding it very hard to measure it against her other novels; one thing I do know is that it is a definite keeper.

Key of Light by Nora Roberts

Key of Light (2003)
Nora Roberts
Grade: A
Genre: contemporary romance / supernatural / magic
Sex scenes: mild
Source: library
Key: (1) Key of Light

It has not been a good day for Malory Price and she is in danger of seeing her Malory Price Life Plan go down the drain after twenty years of careful planning. She’s had her dream job at The Gallery for seven years, but has almost got herself fired in a single day. Not only did she call her boss’s new wife a bimbo, but she then spilt a latte on said bimbo’s suit (genuinely by accident) and is now driving through a storm to the magnificent Warrior’s Peak after an ominous invitation to a party that no one else Malory knows has been invited to. What she finds is beyond her wildest dreams …

It quickly becomes apparent that Malory and two other women are the Peak’s only guests. Dana Steele is a librarian and single mother Zoe McCourt is a hairdresser; besides being more-or-less the same age, they have never met and have little in common. Or so they think. All are agreed that this ‘party’ is more than a tad creepy, but their hosts, the stunning Rowena and majestic Pitte have no bad intentions towards these three women ... on the contrary, Malory, Dana and Zoe could be their saviours …

Monday, 3 September 2012

Notorious by Nicola Cornick

Notorious (2011)
Nicola Cornick
Grade: C
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: middling
Source: library
Scandalous Women of the Ton: (4) Notorious, (6) Forbidden

Lady Caroline Carew is society’s most sought-after and successful matchbreaker and has recently arrived in London for her latest job. Her newest targets are Miss Francesca ‘Chessie’ Devlin and the higher born Fitzwilliam Alton, heir to the not-inconsiderable Alton estate. Once she has secured a proposal from Fitz (which she will later gently turn down) her work is complete; with the money that she will earn from this job, she will have enough to settle down to a respectable life with the twin boy and girl she has promised to raise as her own. What ‘Caroline’ didn’t rely on was Francesca being the younger sister of James Devlin …

Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Hunter and The Hunted by Kelley Armstrong

The Hunter and The Hunted (2012) (short story collection)
Kelley Armstrong
Grade: B+
Genre: urban fantasy
Sex scenes: not even mild
Source: NetGalley
Otherworld Tales omnibus

SLIGHT SPOILERS FOR THE WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD SERIES. BE WARNED.

The Hunter and The Hunted is a series of three short stories featuring Kelley Armstrong's heroines of her Women of the Otherworld series.

Story One is called Stalked and follows Elena and Clay on their honeymoon. After years of being together on-and-off, they have finally taken the plunge and got married; this is the first time that the proud parents have left their twins while they go and enjoy themselves. It's not quite the relaxing break that Clay had planned for his mate: there's a mutt trailing them and Clay is trying his damnedest to keep this fact away from Elena while he removes it from the equation.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Ice Princess by Elizabeth Hoyt

Aren't I on a roll these two days? I've probably jinxed it now, but here's another while I'm at it. I'm really quite pleased with my output, but really need to work harder to tackle my backlog of reviews. As a result, I've not really been able to start a lot of books that I've wanted to, but I figure that it's the reviews that are the priority, rather than the new books.

Blogger is annoying me at the moment. I can't figure out how to post a post with a picture on the top without Blogger automatically inserting a blank line at the top before the text. It hasn't happened in this post since I've got this note at the top, but it's done it to the last half dozen reviews or so. Any ideas? Fixed it!


The Ice Princess (2009) (novella)
Elizabeth Hoyt
Grade: A
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: not quite hot
Source: NetGalley
Princes Trilogy: (1) The Raven Prince, (2) The Leopard Prince, (3) The Serpent Prince

Coral Smythe is the madam of the most infamous brothel in London, Aphrodite’s Grotto and does her job well. At only twenty-four years old, her age is one of the things that she’s most desperate to hide behind her elaborate mask and brazen behaviour. Coral knows her way around any man, but there’s one who is impervious to her and her girls’ (and boys!) advances that always presents an irresistible challenge.

Captain Isaac Wargate never makes any attempt to hide his contempt for the woman he only knows as Aphrodite. When he wins seven nights of her exclusive company, Isaac would rather use his time to uncover her secrets and past rather than her body.

Coral isn’t used to men just wanting to talk to her. She started out in the business young, and while it’s been two years since she’s last let a man touch her, Isaac is different. Isaac wants to know her, not Aphrodite and Coral doesn’t know how to be herself around men when all she’s learned to do is try and please them. As their relationship progresses at a lightning fast speed, Coral is in danger of letting Isaac penetrate the only place she’s never let a man enter: her heart.

Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Scandal in Spring (2006)
Lisa Kleypas
Grade: B+
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: hot-tish
Source: own
Wallflowers: (1) Secrets of a Summer Night, (2) It Happened one Autumn, (3) Devil in Winter, (4) Scandal in Spring

At twenty-two years old, Daisy Bowman is in great danger of becoming a spinster. Considering all the time she has spent as a ‘Wallflower’ with her sister and friends, Daisy has resigned herself to the idea of staying unmarried forever. She would be very happy to live with her married sister Lillian and spend all her time reading and pursuing her own pleasures, but Daisy’s father has vowed to have her married to his protégé, Matthew Swift if she doesn’t find herself a husband of her own in three months. As Mr Swift is the last person in the world that she would want to be married to, Daisy is very keen indeed on finding her own match.

Mr Bowman might have three sons of his own, but none hold a candle to Matthew Swift. He’s business savvy, knows Bowman’s Enterprises inside out and is the son that Mr Bowman wished he had. Mr Bowman has no desire to pass his business on to his sons, but the only way that Matthew will be able to run it is if he marries Daisy.

My Olympic Experience

Abominably late - very sorry. I'm trying to type this as I'm watching the opening ceremony for the Paralympic Games. Paralympics GB have just arrived in the stadium and I really can't put this post off for any longer.

Well, yes, I can delay it even more as it is clear that I wasn't able to finish this post last night. Well, here you go. 

The sixteen days of the Olympic Games have shown that London really did step up to the plate and produce a spectacular show. Much like many other people across the country, I'm left wondering what the hell I'm supposed to for the next month before I go back to uni. I've just had a massive overdose of the best sporting events in the world, and now I want more.

I was a supporter of London hosting the Olympics all along. Some people have moaned that we don't have the money to host the Games and we'll only damage ourselves further, but I was always an optimist about it. Yes, the Copyright Cops may have been out in full force and there was much speculation before the Games started about whether the London transport system would be able to cope, but I always viewed such criticism as silly, typically British attempts to put down the Olympics before it even started. Well, it didn't work. We delivered and our Games will be remembered for years to come.

Besides watching avidly in front of my television (and laptop) screen, I haven't had much direct interaction with the Olympics. I've been watching my friends post on Facebook pictures of themselves dressed in their volunteer outfits, looking like they're having the time of their lives, but it had never really occurred to me to apply to do the same. I really wish now that I had.


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Once Upon a Time: Heart of Darkness

Episode 1.16

We’re back to focus on Snow and James’ relationship and this is a big episode for them. The last we saw of them, Snow had just swallowed the potion to make her forget her broken heart, and James has escaped his arranged marriage to search for Snow. He’s ridden off with Red to escape King George’s pursuing men and Red has promised to hold them at bay while he gets as far away as possible. Ominously, we see her shed her luxurious red cloak just as she casts her eyes to the full moon and see her eyes flash red …

Meanwhile, the potion has had some negative after-effects on Snow. She has no idea of James’ existence or her love for him and rather than being a good thing, the dwarves are all fed up with her behaviour. She’s turned nasty and vindictive and a terror to live with. When they confront her, she leaves to go and kill the Queen. Grumpy is convinced that this isn’t the right answer and so drags her to Rumpelstiltskin so that he can reverse the potion’s effects.

Once Upon a Time: Red-Handed

Episode 1.15

After all the episodes that we’ve seen Red/Ruby helping out Snow or in Granny’s, she finally gets her chance in the spotlight. This episode has an interesting take on Red Riding Hood and Peter and the Wolf.

In fairytaleland, it’s the time of the month when the wolf comes out to play. Hunting trips only ever end with good men slaughtered and Red is sick of being cooped up in the house under her grandmother’s watchful eye. One morning, she finds Snow hiding out in their chicken coop and takes her in. She confesses that she’s in love with a boy from the village, but Granny isn’t keen on their relationship. Snow urges Red to do what she thinks is best for love, and Red gets it into her head that if she kills the wolf, there’ll no longer be any danger and so Granny can’t object to her relationship with Peter.

On hunting down the wolf during daytime wearing their gorgeous cloaks, Red and Snow discover that the wolf is actually human! And they think it’s Peter! They form a plan for Red to sneak out and tell Peter, but it all ends in blood and tears as it turns out that Peter isn’t the wolf, but Red. Her cloak is the only thing that stops her from turning during the full moon and she’s gone without it so that Granny doesn’t know that she’s not in the house. It turns out that the condition is hereditary; just as Granny and Snow find Red, the hunters begin to descend. We end with Snow and Red running away from the scene of the crime.

AlphHole heroes

This is a FANTASTIC article from Heroes and Heartbreakers.

Too often AlphHole heroes are let off easy from their asshole behaviour because he's had a bad childhood or any of the other 'empathy coupons' that are listed in the article, when in fact they deserve a good kicking!

I might just have to use the phrase 'AlphHole heroes' more often.

Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

Thief of Shadows (2012)
Elizabeth Hoyt
Grade: B
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: shy of hot
Source: NetGalley
Maiden Lane: (1) Wicked Intentions, (2) Notorious Pleasures, (3) Scandalous Desires

As the manager and head-honcho of the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children, Winter Makepeace has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. Not everyone is so sure that he can handle it on his own and a certain patroness who has more money than sense is determined to see Winter gone.

Lady Isabel Beckinhall has been charged by one of the original patronesses of the Ladies’ Syndicate for the Benefit of the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children, to make Winter presentable to society. The children may have been moved to a new home after the old one burnt down, but they are still in dire need of funds and they don’t stand a chance of survival if Winter behaves in his usual dour and staid self to potential donors. In addition to their lessons, Isabel finds it her mission to stop Winter being usurped from his position as manager. As Isabel begins to teach Winter the art of making small talk and generally how to act in polite society, both find themselves drawn in a romance/seduction that neither anticipated or wanted.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas

Rainshadow Road (2012)
Lisa Kleypas
Grade: B
Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: steamy
Source: library
Friday Harbour: (1) Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour

Lucy Marinn knows first-hand what’s worse than getting dumped by your boyfriend of two years: getting dumped by your boyfriend of two years for your sister. Kevin Pearson is the lowest of lowlifes. As for Alice Marinn, she is used to getting what she wants. She nearly died after contracting meningitis as a child and as a result, she was spoiled and indulged afterwards; unfortunately, this is still the case even though she is an adult. Alice has had excuses made for her all her life and Lucy herself has forgiven Alice for a lot of things over the years, but this may be just the one thing that she can’t forgive and forget.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt

Scandalous Desires (2011)
Elizabeth Hoyt
Grade: B+
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: not quite as hot as might be expected from Elizabeth Hoyt
Source: library
Maiden Lane: (1) Wicked Intentions, (2) Notorious Pleasures

Widowed Silence Hollingbrook has a history with Charming Mickey O’Connor and it’s not a very pleasant one. A year ago, she spent the night in his bedroom (quite possibly the most innocent night of Mickey’s life) in order to free her husband from a crime he didn’t commit. Though they did nothing but stare at each other all night, neither her husband nor her siblings would believe that Mickey – the most notorious pirate in St. Giles – hadn’t touched her. When William died at sea, Silence moved into the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children run by her brother, Winter.

As manageress of the Home, Silence must care for and ensure the safety and well-being of all the children in her care, but one child holds her heart: Mary Darling was left on her doorstep a year ago as a newborn infant and Silence has raised her as her own. When she wakes one day to find Mary Darling missing, Silence goes to the only person who might have a clue where she is: Mickey O’Connor.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Forbidden by Nicola Cornick

Forbidden (2012)
Nicola Cornick
Grade: A-
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: hot
Source: NetGalley
Scandalous Women of the Ton: (4) Notorious, (6) Forbidden 

The Earl of Templemore has never given up hope that his granddaughter is still alive; when new evidence arises that Lady Marguerite Catherine Rose Saint-Pierre might be living right under their noses, he sends his godson and current heir to discover the truth. Lord Henry Wardeaux is guaranteed to become penniless if this girl is indeed Lady Marguerite (the Templemore estate being only one of a handful in England that can be inherited through the female line) but Henry involves himself in the investigations anyway and finds himself drawn like a moth to a flame.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson

Before I Go To Sleep (2011)
S. J. Watson
Grade: B+
Genre: psychological thriller
Sex scenes: the boring type you get in mainstream fiction
Source: library

There was a lot of hype about Before I Go To Sleep when I was on a work experience at Random, which is how this book was brought to my attention. It was high in the charts and the book club title on Eastenders for that week. The concept sounded interesting and my curiosity was piqued; being a Random book, it was likely deliver. When I saw it at the library, I thought that I might as well go for it, otherwise I would never pick it up again.

Memories are precious things; without them we would have no identity, no links with our fellow humans and nothing to attach us to the world around us. Christine knows what this is like; or, at least, she re-learns what this is like on a daily basis. Every morning, she wakes up lying in a stranger’s bed, next to a married man after a one-night-stand, with no idea where she is. The truth is that she lost her memory in a terrible accident and has to re-learn everything about her life every day before she goes to sleep, only to forget it all again by morning.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A Lady's Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran

A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal (2011)
Meredith Duran
Grade: B-
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: shy of hot
Source: library

Simon St. Maur, the ninth Earl of Rushden might be titled, but he is completely penniless. The previous Earl made sure that all his money would go to his twin daughters – one of whom has been missing for more than ten years. The recently deceased Earl, however, had never given up hope and Lady Katherine Aubyn will be coming into half of the money when she comes of age. The other half is to go to Lady Cornelia Aubyn, Katherine’s twin, long presumed dead.

Nell Whitby works in a factory and the most exciting thing in her recent existence was standing up to her employers to ask for better working conditions for the girls. Her mother died several months ago and she is living with her abusive brother and his wife, trying to earn enough money to break out on her own. One night on leaving the factory, she and her friend Hannah spot a society picture of the Lady Katherine who bears a remarkable resemblance to Nell herself. Nell thinks nothing of it, but she doesn’t know what this will mean for her future.