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review 2017-02-21 21:04
June Jenson and the Shield of Quell by Emily Harper-Mohammed
June Jenson and the Shield of Quell - Emily Harper

Well now, this was a lot of fun! I already knew that June and I would get along famously. After all, she's an accomplished Oxford professor, loves her grumpy old grandfather, and simply wants to make a name for herself in the world of archaeology. What's not to love? My only hope was that her journey would be just as exciting as she was shaping up to be. Happily, that was exactly the case!

Massive love goes to Emily Harper for crafting such enjoyable characters. Although I already knew I'd love June, it was really her grandfather that stole my heart. His giggle worthy attempts at complimenting June, his deep dislike of trousers (I feel you on that, Professor), and his need to keep his accomplishments in the forefront of his mind, were all things that endeared him to me. Pairing him with June, who just didn't know how to handle him at all times, was perfection. I loved watching them interact, and thought he added a perfect spice to the mystery!

Now, the mystery itself, shall we? I thought Harper did a brilliant job at laying out all the breadcrumbs as June fell further down the rabbit hole. From the moment she was inducted into the secret "Alliance" guarding the shield, I knew that things were going to get interesting. What I didn't expect was how much fun this whole mystery would be. As June and her rather unusual entourage searched for answers, I breathlessly followed after them. There was the perfect amount of humor, mixed in with all the action. As I said, a ton of fun.

Am I ready for the next book? Absolutely, I am! Which, thankfully, I also have in my possession. Expect to see a review of that book as well, very soon. While you wait, pick up June Jenson and the Shield of Quell! It's well worth your time!

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review 2017-02-21 02:13
The Gargoyle Hunters, by John Freeman Gill
The Gargoyle Hunters - John Freeman Gill The Gargoyle Hunters - John Freeman Gill

1974 is a hard year for Griffin Watts. His parents have split up and they argue over money when they do see each other. He’s growing up with little guidance in a chaotic household. Plus, there’s a girl he likes, but Griffin has no idea how to be with girls. In The Gargoyle Hunters, a coming-of-age novel by John Freeman Gill, Griffin gets a hard lesson in hanging on to the past as he works with his father to save New York City’s architectural heritage from neglect and urban renewal...


Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review consideration.

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review 2017-02-20 21:01
Daughter of a Thousand Years
Daughter of a Thousand Years - Amalia Carosella

Freydís is the daughter of Erik the Red in 1000 AD Greenland. Much like her father and brothers, she is fiery and passionate. However, Freydís is passionate about the old gods while Christianity is spreading throughout her people and her family. Freydís' devotion to Thor now marks her as different. She is still determined to make her own fate and practice in her own way, regardless of her brother's or husband's wishes. When the opportunity arises to sail away to Vinland with a man who shares her beliefs, Freydís takes the opportunity to follow her own path. A thousand years later, Emma Moretti has found her path within the Heathen religion of her Icelandic ancestors. Although she has kept her faith a secret since it will likely ruin her father's election chances. Congressman Moretti has run on the platform of Christian family values every election cycle and it hasn't failed him yet. Emma has moved back home this election cycle and has taken an adjunct professor job at the college. Through her class, her faith is revealed and threatens to destroy her and her family.

As a lover of dual time stories, I enjoyed reading about the parallels of Freydís' and Emma's lives one thousand years apart. Emma and Freydís are strong women that show immense courage, they are both true to themselves while trying to live up to their family's wishes. Both women are strong in their faith, even in times of turmoil. I did not know much about the time of Erik the Red and Leif Erikson's voyage other than that it happened, so I enjoyed reading about the journey from Freydís' point of view. I was surprised to learn about the switch in religion in Greenland and Iceland in 1000 AD to Christianity and away from the gods and goddesses. I was also curious about the rise of the worship of old Norse gods in present day. From both sides of history, religion and religious freedom are strong themes. Usually in dual time stories, I am pulled further into one story than the other. In this case, I was pulled further into Emma's plight at first and then Freydís' plight later. I felt more for Freydís's struggle with religion as everyone else turned towards the newer Christianity and she was losing her family. At the same time, Freydís had more freedom with her relationships and was even able to have a relationship outside of her marriage. I felt more for Emma's struggle when her hiding her religion was costing her a chance at romance. Emma's story picked up again for me near the end when she became free in her beliefs. Overall, a wonderful mix of historical fiction and contemporary fictions that compares women's struggles and religious persecution through time. While a lot has changed for the better, Emma and Freydís's stories of courage and standing up for their rights still emanate today.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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review 2017-02-20 05:27
The Girl from Rawblood, by Catriona Ward
The Girl from Rawblood: A Novel - Catriona Ward

Some families describe their histories as haunted due to wars, famines, and other traumas. But in Catriona Ward’s The Girl from Rawblood, the family is genuinely haunted. The Villarcas of Rawblood have all died young and horribly after getting married. Consequently, Iris, the youngest and last of the Villarcas, has grown up isolated to protect her from the family curse. Even though she follows her father’s rules (most of the time), the curse might be coming for her anyway...


Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review consideration.

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review 2017-02-18 20:47
upside: light femdom, downside: i want to dick punch this guy
Tangled in Sin: A Bound and Determined Novel - Lavinia Kent

A generally informal review... in theory I'll put together a cleaner one to send to netgalley and  post on my main blog.  But something for now.


Not necessarily out of any particular inclination or fetishism on my part, but I've been really getting tired of the guy ALWAYS being the dominant one.  And we get in book where we meet this strong minded, strong willed female lead... who turns out to be the subbiest of subs.  Not that you don't see that behavior in both men and women, but let's mix it up, no?


James has the whole alpha male/I know what's right for the wimmin thing going on... which is pretty much how they got into this whole situation (and why Cynthia, 'Sin', is pissed off at him).  And he just does not get it when it's spelled out to him pretty plainly.  Well, that detail may be a bit historically accurate, but considering how little actually historical details matter in this book besides scenery, it's slightly less necessary.


Sin... well both her and Jasmine had some pretty damn good moments.  Jasmine really doesn't put up with shit from her brother.  Sin is the innocent ingenue here, but she's not stupid.  I actually had trouble not freaking out at one scene where she's on her way to an assignation, and is literally trying to figure out how to make her escape b/c she's learned that James is the reason for the abduction and if he finds out she knows he'll probably not let her leave until they have to get married.  Like, her thought process just hit me in the gut.  But she's smart, she gets what she wants and she makes him see what the hell she's talking about.


Two bits I liked:


"You are missing the point entirely and this is why I would  not marry you if I felt I had any choice.  You decided what I want or what I should want and then I am expected to agree with you.  How would you feel if I did that?  If I made the decisions about what you should want?  If I took control?"




"I will give you some credit for what I can see is a great compromise on your part.  I just wish you could understand mine.  You think you have the right to decide what choices I can make by myself and which I need help with.  You cannot trust that I can decide when I need help?"


"When I am your husband it will be my right and indeed my responsibility to make those decisions."


"Do you hear yourself?  And you wonder that I am not sure if I wish to wed you.  Hell, I am not sure I wish to wed at all."


His brow furrowed, the lines between his eyes growing deep.  "I truly don't wish to argue with you, Sin."


"But you refuse to see my point."


"I am trying.  I don't understand what has you so upset.  Men make certain decisions.  It has always been this way."


"That doesn't mean it always should be."

Also, the stick up his ass creep who's been hanging around Madame Rouge's (now Blanche's)?  He ended up worse for wear after encountering him.  *applauds*

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