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review 2018-02-20 21:48
A stubborn modern-day heroine who learns a lesson or two along the way.
The Royal Deal (Chasing the Romantics, a Series of Original Fairy Tales Book 1) - Rosalind Driver

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, check here if you want to get your book reviewed) and thank her and the author for the ARC copy of the book, which I freely chose to review.

I love fairy tales. I know some of the classic ones are cruel, harsh, and less than politically correct, but I do love them. And I am always intrigued by new versions of old fairy tales, or completely new fairy tales.

This short fairy tale has elements of the classics: a King and father, insisting that his daughter must marry the man of his choice (for political reasons); a Princess and daughter, Faith, who wants to follow her heart (she hardly knows Jaeger, the young prince she is due to marry. She always assumed she would marry the older, more mature, Mikhail, who is known for his caring attitude towards his people, although she does not know him well either); a challenge/mission… This time, the princess is not just passively waiting for a prince to come and rescue her (although she hopes Mikhail, who has been missing for a long time, will come back before her 19th birthday when she is supposed to get married). She decides to go to her father and make a deal with him. She wants to prove that she is not a useless thing that needs looking after. Her father agrees that if she can survive for three months in the forest, without any outside help, she will be free to marry whomever, whenever.

Faith is headstrong, rushed, and impulsive. She knows that she lives a life where she is totally dependent on others, (princesses don’t even get dressed by themselves), and has been trying to learn how to do things for herself, but she soon realises she has not thought things through. She should have negotiated the conditions of her deal to her advantage (she does not even have appropriate shoes to wear, does not know how to light a fire, and has no weapons to defend herself from wild animals or any other dangers she might encounter).

Faith learns a lot in the three months she spends in the forest. She meets a hermit who helps her (despite her insistence that she does not want to cheat); she realises that she must think before she acts and that we need to learn to walk before we can run. Her beliefs are put to the test, as are her prejudices, and although she knows she has a specific role to play due to her position in life and she is not free to do as she likes, she cannot help but end up feeling quite close to the hermit.

The story, written in the third person, is made up of vivid vignettes illustrating both, Faith’s life in the castle at first, and then her attempts at survival in the forest (mostly unsuccessful and lucky escapes, including a lovely interlude with a bear cub). This is not a story about a girl who suddenly discovers she is good at everything and has a natural talent to survive in the wild. She makes mistakes, is sorely unprepared, and keeps getting into trouble. She is about to give up but the hermit helps her and convinces her to keep going. The story dedicates much more time to the first couple of days when we meet Faith and she goes into the forest, than it does to the rest of the three months. Although there are some stirrings of a possible romance, and Faith has to admit to having developed feelings for the hermit, she is more passionate about tasting some chocolate after not having tried it for a few months than she is about any of the men in her life.

As some other reviewers have noted, this is no magical fairy tale, this is the tale of a determined (obstinate?) girl who learns the value of being prepared, of working hard for what you want, and of being truly independent.

The big reveal will not be a surprise to most readers, although it does tie things up nicely, and the actual ending, which some readers feel is a bit rushed, I thought made perfect sense and proved that Faith had learned from her experience and grown up.

The actual fairy tale is shorter than the e-book length suggests, as it contains a sample of the next fairy tale in the series (that looks quite good too).

An original fairy tale, which could facilitate interesting discussions about female role models (beware of the mention of her purity, which might be difficult to explain to very young kids), and the first of what looks like a very interesting series.

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review 2018-01-21 21:14
Chasing Christmas Eve: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel - Jill Shalvis

Colbie Albright is tired of having to run her mom and brother's lives.  All three of them are adults but ever since Colbie's father ran out on them, she has been the adult in the family.  Now that she is a best selling author, she needs a break from her life, her family and New York City.  Colbie decides to "runaway" to San Francisco, CA for a break.  Shortly after arriving, Colbie is walking through the district of Cow Hollow wanting to see the crazy famed love legend fountain when a huge dog runs into her causing her to fall into the fountain.  Guess who's walking the dog....Spencer Baldwin, one of San Francisco's top 10 most eligible bachelors!

Spencer lives a quiet, simple life.  He may be super rich from selling his company, but he has sworn off relationships after Clarissa did such a number on him.  He would rather just be alone and invent new things and hang with his best friends.  He never expected to meet a woman who has captured his interest in every way possible.  Spencer realizes that she doesn't know who he is and he finds that refreshing.  What he doesn't realize is that Colbie is actually famous too and since he doesn't know who she is, that is refreshing for her.

These two quirky people find an instant connection and decide that for the three weeks that Colbie will be in town, they will hang out.  Of course this quickly turns into much more, more than either of them ever thought could happen.  Now they must both decide if this connection is worth keeping.

I just adored both of these characters.  Spencer is my perfect type of guy.  Super smart, cute and just down right sweet and Colbie complimented him perfectly.  I loved their happy ending! 

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text 2018-01-02 18:45
December 2017 Round-Up
The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror - William Meikle
Everybody's Fool: A novel - Richard Russo
Slade House: A Novel - David Mitchell
The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir - Maude Julien,Adriana Hunter
Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers - Joe R. Lansdale
Wrestle Maniacs - Duncan P. Bradshaw,Jeff Strand,Werner Leins,Eryk Pruitt,Jason Parent,Gabino Iglesias,Adam Howe,David James Keaton,James R. Newman,Katherine Kurtz
Chasing Ghosts - Glenn Rolfe
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit - Michael Finkel
March (Book One) - Andrew Aydin,Nate Powell,John Robert Lewis
Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

I read 18 books during the month of December!

 

Audio Books:

 

Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan

Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo

The Devil's Own Work by Alan Judd (actually read in August, but forgot to add!)

Slade House by David Mitchell

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

 

Total: 5

 

ARCS

 

 

Alive in Shape and Color: 17 Paintings by Great Artists and the Stories They Inspired

The Ghost Club by William Meikle

Artemis by Andy Weir

The Only Girl in the World by Maude Julien

Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers

Green by Sam Graham-Felsen

Cemetery Dance Select: Michael Marshall Smith

 

Total: 7

 

Reads for Review

 

Chasing Ghosts by Glenn Rolfe

Wrestle Maniacs (anthology)

 

Random Reads

 

The Walking Dead (Book 13) by Robert Kirkman

March Book One: by John Lewis

The Wicked + The Divine Book One: The Faust Act

Scrooge and Marley by Kurt Hollenbach

READING CHALLENGES

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge: 

(Horror Aficionados Group on Goodreads)

Goal: Read 40 books I already own in 2017 

 

January Count: 1

February Count: 2 

March and April Count: 0

May: 2 (Boo! and The Well)

June & July: 0

August: 1 The Talented Mr. Ripley

September: 1  Carter & Lovecraft

October: 0 (But had LOTS of fun with Halloween Bingo!)

November: 0

December: 0

Running Count: 7

 

As you can see this was a massive fail! I've challenged myself to the same number of books I already own in 2018. Hopefully I'll be more successful this time around!

 

Graphic Novel Challenge:

(Paced Reading Group on GR)

Goal: Read 25 Graphic novels in 2017 

 

January count: 5

February count: 2

March count: 5

April count: 5

May count: 3

June count: 4

July count: 4

August count: 5

September: 1

October: 1

November: 0

December: 3

 

Final Count: 38!

Challenge Met!

 

I plan to read a TON of graphic novels in 2018 but I'm not formalizing it with a challenge. 

 

Thanks to Booklikes for creating this place which it makes it so easy to make friends with fellow readers! Happy Reading in 2018 everyone!

 

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review 2017-12-19 22:38
Chasing Ghosts by Glenn Rolfe
Chasing Ghosts - Glenn Rolfe

 

Have you ever read Jack Ketchum's OFF SEASON? If you did and you enjoyed it I recommend you give CHASING GHOSTS a go!

 

This novella flies by with the usual type of horror happenings. A gathering at a cabin with a bunch of hipsters ends up turning out to be something of a snack bar for your local hillbilly cannibals. With people disappearing, (mostly) one by one, and then the same happening to those who go out to look for them, this is not exactly original fare for horror lovers.

 

What I think made this novella more fun than most, was its fast pace, the new and unique ways of captivity and death, and the likable, (mostly), characters.

 

CHASING GHOSTS is not perfect, there were just a few punctuation and grammar errors, but not enough to bother me. I've read a few stories from Mr. Rolfe now, and it's my position that he keeps getting better and better.

 

Enthusiastically recommended, especially for those horror fans that love the work of Jack Ketchum, or love the whole redneck cannibal trope. This one's for you!

 

You can pick up a copy here: Chasing Ghosts

 

*I received a free e-copy of this novella in exchange for my honest opinion. This is it.*

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text 2017-12-16 17:34
Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis $1.99v
Chasing Christmas Eve: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel - Jill Shalvis

Meet cute...

Run for the hills—temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long.

Make merry...

Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot—chemistry he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener…just because she “gets” Spence immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it?

…and hope for a miracle.

Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.

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