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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-11-10 03:47
Meet A Rogue At Midnight
Meet A Rogue At Midnight (Midnight Meetings Book 4) - Gina Conkle

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

Meet A Rogue at Midnight by Gina Conkle is book 2.5 of her historical romance series Midnight Meetings. Even though the books have been published with quite a bit of gaps in between, I enjoyed this series so far. A new installment was a long time coming and so glad I finally got to read it!

Midnight Meetings is rather themed on the popular fairytales. Book 1, Meet the Earl at Midnight, was about a reclusive Earl whose face became somewhat disfigured from an accident. A nerd by heart, Edward wasn’t meant to be the heir but fate led him to become the Earl of Greenwich when his elder brother died suddenly. Our h, Lydia was ‘given’ to him in exchange of a debt of her slimy step-father. One night from her comfy bed, Lydia finds herself doing something she wasn’t even dreaming of; in a MOC with a stranger. An Earl no less! Edward, who was leaving for a scientific voyage very soon, needed to marry ASAP to ensure an heir for his legacy and this was his hasty solution. Not that he didn’t like Lydia, oh no! He was smitten from day one, though he was never good at showing his feelings. So, after a bit of push and pull and some misunderstandings, Edward and Lydia find their HEA. Though I found the middle of the story a bit slow because of the above mentioned push and pull, I loved how it all came together in the end.

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review 2017-11-07 07:47
The Gingerbread Man by Rana Giglio
Harcourt School Publishers Signatures: Rdr: The Gingerbman K the Gingerbread Man - Harcourt Brace

Title:  The Gingerbread Man

Author:  Rana Giglio

Artist: Henrik Drescher

Genre:  Fantasy / Humor / Retelling / Fairy Tale

Year Published: 1997

Year Read: 2017

Publisher:   Harcourt Brace & Company

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Some Mischievous Behavior and Scary Imagery)

 

Gingerbread

I have this weird confession to make: I once had a dream about a book that was illustrated by Henrik Drescher that was obscured and in my dream, I ended up buying the book since I am a huge fan of Henrik Drescher’s works. Well, I have to say that that dream actually came TRUE since I just recently bought this rare and obscure book called “The Gingerbread Man” which was retold by Rana Giglio along with artwork by Henrik Drescher and I have to admit that this book was a blast to read!

This book is basically a short version of the original fairy tale “The Gingerbread Man” and it pretty much retells the story about how an old couple bakes a gingerbread man and the gingerbread man ends up coming to life and running away from the couple, while yelling out:

“Run, run,
As fast as you can.
You can’t catch me.
I’m the gingerbread man!”


Will the gingerbread man escape the couple, the horse, the cow and the fox?

Read this book to find out!
 


Wow…just wow...this had to be the weirdest yet most creative version of “The Gingerbread Man” I had ever read! I have to warn you though that this little children’s book is only EIGHT PAGES LONG! Not the usual 63 pages you get from most children’s books…EIGHT!!! So, I was quite surprised at how much of the original “Gingerbread Man” story they were able to get in such a short book, but it eventually worked out alright as this book serves to be an outline of sorts about how the “Gingerbread Man” story is told. Rana Giglio did a great job at retelling this classic fairy tale as the narrative is short and simple enough to read through and it really conveys the true story of the Gingerbread Man through just a few words on each page. But, the true highlight of this book is none other than Henrik Drescher’s colorful and bizarre illustrations as they bring this book to life and we are treated to a livelier version of the “Gingerbread Man” than ever before! I was intrigued with the artwork of the gingerbread man itself as it is drawn much more differently than the average look for the character as the gingerbread man is much more human like in appearance and it has wobbly limbs instead of short and thick limbs like it usually does in most adaptations.

I will admit that I was a bit disappointed that this book was a bit too short since I wanted to see more of Henrik Drescher’s artwork through a much more extended version of the story. I also will admit that I was a bit freaked out by the gingerbread man itself as while it is quite a unique design for the character, the fact that it has such wobbly limbs and oddly shaped eyes just put me on edge. I mean, just look at this thing!

Gingerbread

Overall, “The Gingerbread Man” is an instant treat for anyone who wants to read a more obscure version of the classic fairy tale! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since the images of the gingerbread man might scare some small children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-23 03:09
Her Duke at Daybreak
Her Duke at Daybreak (Mythic Dukes Trilogy) - Wendy LaCapra

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

Wendy LaCapra's triumphant return to the HR writing is a lovely story full of love and yearning. Her Duke At Daybreak, is a novella and the first in her new Historical Romance series, Mythic Dukes.

It’s been 2 yrs. since I’ve read and loved Wendy’s debut the Furies series. So when I recently learned of the upcoming release of a new novella, I was beyond thrilled. I’d say the wait was worth it. Wendy didn’t disappoint cause I loved it to bits! :) I generally have what I like to term as “the novella syndrome” with a short story, where it feels like something is missing or everything is rushing fast towards the end. Very few authors can pack any type of emotional punch in those short few chapters, let alone build any satisfactory connection between the main characters. Even though I would've loved a few more chapters just to enjoy Ash and Alicia together, IMO Her Duke at Daybreak was perfect as it was.

Duke of Ashbey is our typical ‘angsty’ Duke. He lives mostly as a recluse because of a so-called curse and the bad name on his family due to a murder that happened years ago. Ashbey, whose nick name is not known (at least I can’t remember he was called anything other than Ash) always wears a façade of dark and somber. Even his mistresses would leave unsatisfactory even if he was a generous benefactor. Not because he was bad in bed, quite the opposite in fact, but because they thought he’s incapable of any emotional attachment. Not even a little bit of affection. His long deceased wife Rachel would vouch for it cause she seemingly couldn’t stand his presence. A MOC, Ash wasn’t married for long before his marriage was in shambles. Rachel judged him based on the bad name attached to his family, believing in the curse. She made sure he knew how much she despised him before dying in a fire that killed his father too. Another reason why Ash believed himself cursed without any salvation.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-07 03:20
Resilient Love
Resilient Love: Banished Saga, Book 7 (Volume 7) - Ramona Flightner

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

Resilient Love, book 7 of Ramona Flightner’s epic Banished Saga, is quite aptly titled as we find our favorite characters going through ups and downs like any normal couple will, weathering incidents bound to test their love for each-other. This is one of the more unique attributes of this Saga, that the story of a couple isn’t finished with the HEA. As we find new things to appreciate in this series, the Saga continues as it should showcasing their lives with all its glory, as well as its difficulties.

The Banished Saga, when it began, was onset of suffragist movement of Boston 1901. Along the way we met many characters, including our favorite, the first couple of the series Clarissa and Gabriel in Banished Love. Their story was ongoing in books 2 and 3, Reclaimed Love and Undaunted Love. They still make appearances in the latest installments. We also met Clarissa and Gabriel’s family. Clarissa’s own brothers Colin, and Patrick who wasn’t introduced until much later. Her cousin Savannah and best friend Florence, both avid suffragettes and worked with Clarissa throughout. Gabriel’s younger brothers Richard and Jeremy were also introduced, as was their long lost uncle Aidan.

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review 2017-09-25 00:00
Buzz Books 2017 Young Adult Fall/Winter
Buzz Books 2017 Young Adult Fall/Winter - Publishers Lunch I am a little late to the party with this one (it's September and this sampler came out in May for these Fall books), but I thought I'd check out this sampler from NetGalley as I enjoyed getting a preview with another similar excerpt round-up. Plus I'm a new reviewer so it was something I could get my hands on!
There are so many great books coming out in the YA category at the moment, so some of these books are already getting buzz (even without sending out samplers) and for some, it may be easy to get lost in the fray. There's a pretty broad range of books here (13 in all!) so there's something for everyone. Here are some standouts:

'Solo' (Kwame Alexander) - This obviously will not be the right book for everyone, and you can tell that immediately when you start reading the poetic verse. It's a coming-of-age story, written in song, about a teenager called Blade Morrison and from seeing the buzz around this book, this might be one I would actually prefer to go the audio route; it's narrated by the author, which is something I love, and would help with any struggle with the fact that it's verse/poetry. Actually reading along at the SAME TIME as hearing it would be amazing too, because I think this might just be a groundbreaker, and it may be easy to dismiss this one based on it being verse. Perfect for music and poetry lovers. Fascinating.

'Girls Made of Snow & Glass' (Melissa Bashardoust) - This is one of those that has had a lot of buzz around it; for me, I was initially drawn in by the simplicity of that beautiful monochromatic cover design of the icicles! Stunning. 'Snow & Glass' is described as a 'feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White Fairytale'; although we've had quite a few retellings of fairytales of late, what I hear is that this is a complex and magical look at the relationship between stepdaughter/stepmother and this is NOT a damsel-in-distress story (thank goodness). The excerpt is a slow introduction into the story but I would love to read this one in its entirety.

'All Rights Reserved' (Gregory Scott Katsoulis) - The title sticks with me right away (I'm a photographer), and it's honestly genius with respect to the premise of the book. Set in a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted (are we that far off?), a girl called Speth chooses to stay silent in protest, and refuses to speak, rather than to pay every time she opens her mouth. When I read this synopsis I immediately began to think about the current day's debates over the right to protest, and THEN the excerpt immediately starts with references to suicide (so trigger warning right away); I know pretty quickly this is not going to be the book for everyone either. Quite a bit of controversial content and lots to talk about. I want to keep reading this dystopian novel as I'd love to see how Speth navigates this frustrating world.

'Warcross' (Marie Lu) - Without a doubt, this was/would have been/is the highlight for me, and by this point, I'm happy to say I've read the book. I read a sampler ahead of time, and preordered the book; after picking it up, I had read it by the next night. Had I not had photos to go take, a dog to walk, and my child to keep alive, I expect I would have read it quicker! Needless to say, I devoured Warcross faster than just about anything I've read of late. While this is about a teenage hacker and a virtual-reality game that has taken over the world, which before this, wouldn't sound like anything I would read, this book is amazing. The imagery and plot take you to a colorful and exciting world very quickly and you become so immersed in it that suddenly Marie Lu has you wanting Book 2 (and she says it's in the works) immediately upon finishing. LOVED it. And all because I read the sampler.

'Beasts Made of Night' (Tochi Onyebuchi) - The short excerpt that I read in this sampler was one that I had been looking forward to reading for a while (the book, which is about dark magic, appropriately debuts on Halloween). The book is set the city of Kos, where a young sin-eater called Taj wrestles with his livelihood and his desires; this novel immediately throws you into the Taj's world, and you can just sense this will be a book filled with rich imagery, complex world-building, and I have high expectations for vivid fantasy and great characters. I hope the buzz delivers!

*Thanks for making my book list even longer!

Note: The whole of this excerpt edition can be found at buzz.publishersmarketplace.com


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