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review 2017-05-01 01:21
Brief Thoughts: The Governess Affair
The Governess Affair - Courtney Milan

The Governess Affair
by Courtney Milan
Brothers Sinister #0.5 (prequel novella)



She will not give up…

Three months ago, governess Serena Barton was let go from her position.  Unable to find new work, she’s demanding compensation from the man who got her sacked: a petty, selfish, swinish duke.  But it’s not the duke she fears.  It’s his merciless man of business—the man known as the Wolf of Clermont.  The formidable former pugilist has a black reputation for handling all the duke’s dirty business, and when the duke turns her case over to him, she doesn’t stand a chance.  But she can’t stop trying—not with her entire future at stake.

He cannot give in…

Hugo Marshall is a man of ruthless ambition—a characteristic that has served him well, elevating the coal miner’s son to the right hand man of a duke.  When his employer orders him to get rid of the pestering governess by fair means or foul, it’s just another day at the office.  Unfortunately, fair means don’t work on Serena, and as he comes to know her, he discovers that he can’t bear to use foul ones.  But everything he has worked for depends upon seeing her gone.  He’ll have to choose between the life that he needs, and the woman he is coming to love…

This novella would be my first foray into Courtney Milan's work, and I will admit that I'm not disappointed.  While I feel like this novella could have been developed a bit better, it gives a pretty satisfying, even if kind of boring introduction into the world of the Brothers Sinister.  Maybe if this were a full-length novel instead of a short novella, we would have been able to delve a little deeper into each character's backgrounds?

Instead, this novella simply stood out a little awkwardly as a teaser, especially with the ending chapter wherein we get introduced to the next generation--this I hadn't realized until partway into those last two chapters, since I'm not familiar with Milan's other books, nor did I take any time to really read the summary of following books in this series.

Nonetheless, the way in which the boys we will meet in the novels are introduced really kind of felt forced.

Anyway, I did enjoy The Governess Affair.  It was written well, and the while there were certain, brief moments that felt distasteful, I had no problems with either the story nor the characters.

If I had to choose something I immensely enjoyed about this story, I'd probably say it was the banter between Hugo and Serena.  In contrast, while I can see that the author tried to make out Serena and Frederica's relationship to be that of close, loving sisters, it was actually kind of hard to believe--so I wish they could have had a stronger relationship.

Otherwise, The Governess Affair was a sweet, short story to pass the time.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/04/brief-thoughts-governess-affair.html
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text 2017-04-30 15:30
Bout of Books 19
Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team

This will be my third participation in the Bout of Books read-a-thon.  For links to update posts related to other read-a-thons I have participated in, click here.

I love these week long read-a-thons, and even though I haven't always participated, I do try to make time for them.  This time around, I almost forgot about this upcoming Bout of Books due to the busy past couple months I've had.  This would have been a shame since I will actually be taking a week-long vacation from work, coinciding with this read-a-thon week.

I swear, I didn't purposefully plan it that way, and I actually DO have more non-bookish activities planned, including a road trip with the family to visit my cousin at college who will be graduating from Pharmacy school this coming Mother's Day weekend.

In the bookish life, I'm hoping to catch up to everyone else playing Booklikes-opoly.  Having landed first on the Jail Visitor square, then landing in Jail, my Bank is seeing a bit of non-movement.





My goal is always to read as many books as I can.  This time, I'm going to try to be more ambitious and set a challenging goal.  Basically, I'm hoping to at least read as many books as I'm allowed to roll for BL-opoly during this week.  Being that we are allowed to roll only every other day, that gives you at least four rolls during the week.

Then, I'm going to add two more books... just because.

Main Goal:  Read 6 books
Bonus Goal:  Read for at least 8+ hours daily, or on average



Read-a-thon Hopefuls


I actually have no idea what I will be reading during this week, because I'm kind of basing my reads off of what I end up rolling for Booklikes-opoly.  However, here are a few books I AM hoping to finish outside of the BL game, if I get a chance... and some books that I'm hoping will get read if I happen to land on the right squares.


The truth is, these are all books that I've been meaning to read since the beginning of the year, as well as some books that I've been meaning to get to since I started the series two months ago.

I know, there are a lot, and more than likely, I will not get to all of them, and dependent on my BL-opoly rolls, I may not even touch anywhere close to these books.  But definitely, I would like to get Backwoods by Jill Sorenson and Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis read.


Links to Update posts

(coming soon -- subject to change)

I don't know how often I will update for the Bout of Books week.  I WILL be updating more regularly for BL-opoly though, so I may just cross-link the two and update Bout of Books and BL-opoly at the same time.

We shall see how it all works out.


I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/04/read-thon-bout-of-books-19.html
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text 2017-04-29 23:23
BL-opoly | Fifth Roll and Read-a-thon Day Activities

I'm almost glad I didn't commit to participate in any reading for Dewey's Read-a-thon.  I've been spending more time trying to figure out what I want to read than actually reading.

Anyway, I'm going to try to make this a simple post with no Magnetic Monkey... monkeying around.

I rolled once already as a regular roll after finishing up the last book for my previous turn.  After clarifying, I was told I am allowed three extra rolls on top of this first roll--and with one set of doubles rolled, I basically rolled five times today.

Roll #5:  Landed on Paradise Pier 25 | Read a book set during Victoria's reign (1837 - 1901) or that is tagged steampunk on GR.

I have two books I am interested in reading for this category... but chances are, I will end up reading The Duchess War.  I was wanting to start with The Governess Affair, the prequel novella, but the setting of the novella just barely falls outside the time frame given for Victoria's reign, so I may try to get it read before jumping into The Duchess War.

On the other hand, I am wanting to read The Perfect Poison as well, needing to finish the Arcane Society series, but I still need to read Running Hot first before moving onto this one.

I don't necessarily have to read my books in the order I rolled, right?


The Duchess War is 271 pages = $3.00.

The Perfect Poison is 364 pags = $3.00.


Following are the 3 extra rolls in celebration of the Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon!

Roll #6.1:  Landed on Main Street Station | Read a book that involves a trip across the United States, or that has a national monument on the cover.

I really don't know what to choose for this game space, so chances are, I'm just going to skip it.  I've got four other books to read after today's rolls anyway.

Roll #6.2:  Landed on Main Street 11 | Read a book that takes place between 1945 and 1965 or that was written by an author who was born before 1955.

In contrast, I will be reading a book for this game space.  Jayne Ann Krentz, if Wiki is to be trusted, was born pre-1955.  This is perfect because, like I've stated, I've been meaning to finish the Arcane Society series.


Running Hot is 352 pags = $3.00.


Roll #7:  Landed on Cars Land 16 | Read a book set in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or California, or where the page count ends in 1, 9, 2, or 6.

Once again, I've landed on a perfect game space!  I will be reading Backwoods by Jill Sorenson, which will effectively help me finish the Aftershock series.  This entire series has been taking place in California, and after a quick skim of the first chapter, this one does as well.


Backwoods is 378 pages = $3.00.


Roll #8:  Landed on Water Works | Read a book with water on the cover, or where someone turns on the waterworks (i.e., cries) because of an emotional event.

I did a little bit of shuffling, because originally I had thought of Backwoods first when I landed on this square.  As you can see, the cover DOES have water on it, but at the same time, this book also fit for Cars Land 16 due to its setting in California.  So after a quick search through my TBR, I found a book that will help me knock off two other challenges: Reading Assignment, and Mt. TBR.

It's a little hard to see, but there's a beach and waves, erego water.  Yay!

But I have to wait until May to read this to count for Reading Assignment.


Before the Storm is 336 pages = $3.00.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/04/bl-opoly-fifth-roll-and-read-thon-day.html
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text 2017-04-29 20:54
Booklikes-opoly | Read-a-thon Day Freebie Rolls!! #6, #7, #8
Booklikes, the book blogging social platform


Following on the tails of my Fifth Roll, I decided to separate out this post so things don't look so cluttered.  I tend to over-ramble already anyway and I'm sure everyone will probably get tired of my long-winded story-like posts for each roll.  And then this post ended up being longer than I expected, so stay tuned for another update post later for the books I will be reading!

Anyway, as decreed by Moonlight Reader this fine morning, in celebration of Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon, we are all being granted three extra rolls!  I'm super excited, since, seeing everyone else's updates, I'm lagging far behind, especially after landing on the Jail Visitor Square on one roll, and then landing directly in BL-opoly Jail the next.

My overall running updates since the first roll are at the very end of this post.

Essentially, today is the day to establish three more books to read, with three extra rolls, and going by the announcement, if you land on a square that doesn't give you a book to read, you get to roll again and not have it count against the three extra rolls.

Then, read or not, it's up to you, but you get a chance to pick up three more books to read.  I'm totally up for it, even if I'm not sure if I'll be able to read all three books I end up getting.  But at least I'll have that choice and can play catch up with my Bank Balance.  As a question was answered, we don't have to read all the books on Dewey's Read-a-thon day to count, which I'm glad about, because I definitely won't be able to finish all these books in one day, that's for sure.

I'm personally not really participating in the 24 hour thon, myself, but I'm very happy that we don't have to be participating to have the three extra rolls!!

Once again thank you to Moonlight and Obsidian for this fine game, and thanks for the new extra rolls today!

Here is my Read-a-thon Day 3 Freebie Rolls:

My First Freebie Roll, Roll #6.1 & #6.2:  Ended up being a Doubles roll first, so I rolled again.



For the First Read-a-thon Extra Roll (Roll #6.1 & #6.2), I first landed on Main Street Station 3 after rolling a Double 12; and since I rolled doubles, I rolled again and landed on Main Street 11.

Follow my progress live:


And Magnetic Monkey might be getting a little out of control...  But hey, he's having fun, right?  He's been sitting in the visitor square with Teddy Bear the entire time we've been in Jail, so I'll cut him some slack.

My Second Freebie Roll, Roll #7:


I rolled a 6 and ended up on Carsland 16.


So, for some reason, I couldn't get Teddy Bear game piece to stay on the space.  He kept sliding and I just hope that his magnet isn't losing juice.  Fortunately, Magnetic Monkey, hanging around as usual, decided to give his pal a hand and made a ledge for him to sit on.  Friends are great!!

My Third Freebie Roll, Roll #8:


Water Works Space Says:  "Read a book with water on the cover or where someone turns on the waterworks (i.e. cries) because of an emotional event.


We finally stop on Water Works after a last roll of 8.  And Magnetic Monkey looks like he's finally worn out from all the activity, so maybe it'll be quiet for a while.

Meanwhile, it looks like I've got some decisions to make, two of which I've already made.  Like, for instance, I'm probably not going to read a book for Main Street Station, as I can't really think of a book that meets those criteria off the top of my head.  However, I already know what I want to read for Water Works as well as Main Street 11.  I will still have some thinking for Cars Land 16.

Once again, stay tuned for an update on what I will be reading for all of these game square tasks.  Chances are, I may only choose two books, though I'd hate to squander these rolls.  These seem to be my best rolls yet, as I've landed on two squares that I really needed to use!

Current Bank:   $30.00

  • Roll #1 (4/15):  A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn / 345 pages = $3.00
  • Roll #2 (4/17):  The Paris Assignment by Addison Fox / 284 pages = $3.00
  • Roll #3 (4/21):  False Memory by Dean Koontz // Donated 200 pages ($2.00) to the Jail Library
  • Roll #4 (4/23):  Rolled three doubles, ended up in Jail. / Total of $4.00 Earned
    • #4.1:  Schoolgirl by DAZAI Osamu / 50 pages = $1.00
    • #4.2:  Don't Look Away by Leslie A. Kelly / 323 pages = $3.00
    • #4.3:  300 pages of sentence to be served // 332 pages read total
      • Storming the Castle by Eloisa James // 138 pages served
      • False Memory by Dean Koontz // 194 pages served
  • Roll #5 (4/29):  In progress



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/04/booklikes-opoly-read-thon-day-freebie.html
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text 2017-04-29 19:28
Booklikes-opoly | Moving Onto the Fifth Roll!
Booklikes, the book blogging social platform


So it took a little while to get to my next roll, but here I am, finally.  Having rolled three doubles on April 23rd, I ended up landing on two regular game task spaces, then BL-opoly Jail.  This is quite ironic (is that the correct usage of that word), since I'd just landed in the Jail Visitor Square (same square, different purpose), on the roll previous and read 214 pages of a book, donating 200 pages to the Prison Library.


So I decided to just go ahead and read books for all of the game spaces I landed on.  For a full summary, read my post for Fourth Roll Activities.

And here's a very simple, basic summary of what happened:


  • Roll #4.1:  Rolled a Double 3 = 6 and landed on Adventureland 24.
    • Read Schoolgirl for 50 pages = $1.00, increasing Bank to $27.00.
  • Roll #4.2:  Rolled a Double 6 = 12 and landed on Mystery Square 35.
    • Read Don't Look Away for 323 pages = $3.00, increasing Bank to $30.00.


  • Roll #4.3:  Rolled another Double 3 = 6 and went straight to BL-opoly Jail.
    • Listened to Storming the Castle, clocked at approx. 3 hours, at a book page equivalent of 138 pages.
    • Finished reading last 194 pages of False Memory.
    • Both reads totaled 332 pages, fulfilling the 300 page jail sentence to be served!

With the new, modified rules, as decreed by Moonlight Reader, we are now allowed to roll outside of odd numbered days as long it wasn't just yesterday that you rolled.  So you can only roll as frequently as every other day, but you don't have to wait for an odd numbered day.  I was hoping I'd finish my read early and be able to roll yesterday, which would have been fine since I hadn't rolled since 4/23, almost six days ago.  But that didn't happen, so I am rolling today, finally.

Here is my fifth roll:



I rolled an 11, and since I've been sitting pretty in BL-opoly Jail for a while now, I will move from there, landing myself on Paradise Pier 28.


We're all excited to be out of Jail, as well as finished with a long, dragging read.  Magnetic Monkey is doing his happy twirl, and Teddy Bear game piece is... well, he's just hanging there, but take me word on it that he's quite excited.

I'm not entirely certain I know what book I want to pick for this space.  I'm not entirely familiar with the Victorian era and what books would work, nor have I ever really been too interested in steampunk.  So I'm going to use a Goodreads Victorian Romance page I stumbled across to see what I can find that would interest me.

There are a bunch of Sherry Thomas books from my own TBR listed as Victorian, though I'm not sure if I'm feeling Sherry Thomas at this moment...  Maybe a new author?

That being said, is there a way to tell if a book is Victorian era if the author doesn't include a year at the beginning of the book?  I know some historicals have a time setting presented on the first chapter, but I don't think they all do.

However, I am very much considering that new Sherry Thomas book, A Study in Scarlet Women, which I believe takes place during this time period.  Going to check and see and make my decisions.

Otherwise, I might just skip this space since, with Moonlight's newest Read-a-thon Day announcement, I've got three other freebie rolls I can make anyway.

More updates to follow soon.  I'm going to establish all of my rolls for today first.  Stay tuned for another, separate post.

Current Bank:   $30.00

  • Roll #1 (4/15):  A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn / 345 pages = $3.00
  • Roll #2 (4/17):  The Paris Assignment by Addison Fox / 284 pages = $3.00
  • Roll #3 (4/21):  False Memory by Dean Koontz // Donated 200 pages ($2.00) to the Jail Library
  • Roll #4 (4/23):  Rolled three doubles, ended up in Jail. / Total of $4.00 Earned
    • #4.1:  Schoolgirl by DAZAI Osamu / 50 pages = $1.00
    • #4.2:  Don't Look Away by Leslie A. Kelly / 323 pages = $3.00
    • #4.3:  300 pages of sentence to be served // 332 pages read total
      • Storming the Castle by Eloisa James // 138 pages served
      • False Memory by Dean Koontz // 194 pages served


Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/04/booklikes-opoly-moving-onto-fifth-roll.html
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