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review 2017-11-07 21:35
Review for Third Son's a Charm (The Survivors #1) by Shana Galen
Third Son's a Charm (The Survivors) - Shana Galen

This story has the best love declaration I have ever read! It had me having all the feels, specially for Ewan, the most alluring non-Viking Viking I've read. 
Lorrie is a young, passionate, spirited woman that has gone as far as try to elope because her parents won’t allow her to marry the man she loves. Seeing how his daughter will not be dissuaded from marrying the wrong man, her father hires Ewan Mostyn, the third son of an earl and an ex-soldier that’s mostly known for knocking heads together at a gambling club than for appearing at a dance ball. 
Ewan is a taciturn man, rejected by his father because he considers him an unworthy son, and judged by society because he is considered nothing more than a brute. Ever since he was a child, he was told he was stupid due to a learning disability and it wasn’t until he joined the army and later some sort of “suicide unit” that he finally felt he belonged somewhere. I fell in love with his honesty and quiet way of communicating. He had this genuine way about him that made him both charming and alluring in a very unique, gentle way. The author made a fabulous job conveying his emotions because to me they all felt real and relatable. 

People tend to forget that historicals include debutants and most heroines are barely of age when they are thrown into the marriage market. Lorrie is young so yeah, she’s going to act recklessly at times, but in my opinion she was not stupid but naïve. She was also determined, curious, and true to herself. She was capable of seeing in Ewan what he was not able to see in himself and that in turn gave him the strength to fight for what he wanted. If that’s not a worthy heroine then I don’t know what is. 

We get a secondary love story between Lorrie’s parents that I would have loved to see more of but at least it gave me more of an insight of why Lorrie and Ewan’s closeness was allowed. Oh, and let's not forget the other Saviors! There was such a brotherly banter and comradery among them that my heart melted a little bit every time I got to read about them. I was a little off put with something towards the end but other than this was a great book and a great start to a new series. 

** I was gifted a copy of this book and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.**
 

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review 2017-11-06 17:46
Dragonfly Song - Wendy Orr

This was kind of a hard book to review, mostly because it almost falls between genres. It's classed as an upper Middle-Grade historical fantasy, which, that's not wrong . . .

 

I felt like it had more of a classic children's fiction feel to it. It's coming-of-age, and also a sort of epic hero's journey, straddling children's lit and YA in a way that's often done more by adult literary works. It touches on many 'big ideas': deformity, religion/society, acceptance, adoption, trauma, bullying, disability, purpose/identity, fate . . . The format is creative and unique. The story arc stretches from the MC's birth to age 14 and is told in omniscient third person varying with passages in verse.

 

I'm not sure if there was a meaning to the alternating styles; at some points, I thought the dreamlike verse passages were meant to show the MC's perspective in a closer, almost experiential or sensory format as an infant, a toddler, a mute child . . . but then that didn't necessarily carry through, so perhaps it was more to craft an atmosphere for the story.

 

The setting is the ancient Mediterranean, and the story picks up on legends of bull dancing. The world feels distinct, grounded and natural, without heavy-handed world-building. It's a world of gods and priestesses, sacrifice and death and surrender. Humans seem very small within it, and as a children's book, it's challenging rather than comforting. There's death and violence and loss, handled in a very matter-of-fact manner, so I'd recommend it for maybe ages 10+, depending on the child. It's not gratuitously violent or graphic, but it's a raw-edged ancient world where killing a deformed child, having pets eaten by wild animals, beating slaves - including children - and sacrificing people as well as animals to the gods is just part of life. 

 

I was very kindly sent a hardcover edition via the Goodreads Giveaways program, and the book production is lovely. It has a bold, graphic cover with some nice foil accents, a printed board cover (which I prefer for kids books due to the durability), fully illustrated internal section pages, and pleasant, spacious typesetting.

 

Confident, mature young readers will find this an engaging, challenging and meaningful read with an inspiring story arc and some lovely writing. Hesitant readers and very young readers will probably find it a struggle. I'd give it 5/5 as a product, 4/5 as a literary work and 3/5 as kid's entertainment.

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quote 2017-10-30 02:06
I'm scared that I don't matter , even a little bit and no one matters and nothing matters . I'm scared that it all matters and I'm fucking it up . I'm scared I'm living my short short life wrong in every possible way . I'm scared I've already made so many mistakes and I dont have enough time to fix them . I'm scared I won't die with the slightest amount of dignity ,like on the toilet or watching bravo . I'm scared no one will care when I do . I'm scared that the only person I ever loved wasn't real . I'm scared I will never get over him . And I'm scared I'm making the same mistake again.
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quote 2017-10-30 01:14
so what's the point of what we do ? I asked if we can't provide that.
Well... He said . He handed me a napkin for my tears. Maybe part of its just to reaffirm to people.
Reaffirm what ?
He looked away and scratched his chin , covered in black and gray stubble . Then he met my eyes again , and for once he didnt look like a sad clown . He looked serious .
that we don't need as much closure as we think we do .
Page 187
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review 2017-10-21 07:43
Review: Tempted at Christmas by Kate Pearce, Jane Charles, and Elizabeth Essex
Tempted at Christmas - Kate Pearce,Elizabeth Essex,Jane Charles

I had the pleasure of reading the The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor series and I loved it so much that of course I couldn’t let the chance of reading these stories pass. Although the stories pretty much take place in the same setting they are not wholly intertwined so there is no specific order in which to read the books. 

The first story, Elizabeth Essex's A Merry Devil was a mix of a second-chance romance with a thrilling adventure. I particularly liked the way the relationship between the main couple developed and the little detail about the hero’s abilities was hidden until the end that also explained much about his past. 
The second story was And a Pigeon in a Pear Tree by Kate Pearce. A mistaken identity of sorts created the perfected setting for a romantic tale where the hero falls for the woman that sees the man and not the title for the first time ever. If only he could forget about the responsibilities that said title represented. This one had me laughing out loud and even though I kind of saw that end coming I was still hoping it ended the way it did. 
Last but not least was Jane Charles' His Mistletoe Miss. This was a sweet, clean story –no steamy or graphic sexy scenes- and the one with the most spirits and magical aspects. I thought the enchanted mistletoe was a lovely Christmas touch and the fact that it kept flourishing at the most unexpected times kept the story light. 

All in all in was great read and I absolutely recommend it. I will continue reading the series and will read more from each author. 

** I was gifted a copy of this book and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.**

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