Books are my sanctuary.

Lovecraft inspired horror set in India

City of the Shrieking Tomb - Patrick Rogers

City of the Shrieking Tomb is a wonderful suspense filled tale which will leave you with that cold shivering feel which all good tales must when coming from this genre. 


First of all, let me just say that the title of the book is amazing. First time that I heard about it, I simply knew it will be on my to-read list and I was amazingly lucky to get this book in an ebook format in an exchange for a fair and honest review (thank you Patrick A Rogers). 


This is my first peak into a fully Indian setting and the city of Humayunpur which will intrigue even the most demanding of readers with its history and the secrets it holds. For this review I will mostly focus on my thoughts about the book rather than going into deep explanations because I honestly think that it would take away the freshness and uniqueness of the story itself if I would spoil anything for (I hope) a lot of new readers.


In short, the story revolves around a photographer called Rick who unintentionally winds up stranded in Humayunpur and becomes a guest of Awaz who is an even more interesting character than the protagonist on occasions. In this city foreigners are not warmly welcomed and they do not look kindly upon others intruding on their history and their customs so Rick who is photographer is forbidden to take photographs of the most intriguing of places, Humayun Ka Maqbara, an ancient mosque in ruins. He is drawn to this place and to the city itself all the more as time goes on. It seems to be a supernatural pull or an otherworldly link that is stronger than him and so he remains stuck in this irrational strange world. 



This horror is unlike most horror stories today, it is more eerie and unsettling rather than gory and flashy. The best way I can describe it is by comparing it with the original Halloween movie to modern horror movies today like The Bye Bye Man. Original Halloween built up the atmosphere on suspense and creeping unsettling darkness that made you uncomfortable in your own skin just like this book does. Modern horror movies today are mostly flashy loud jump scares that do nothing but make you jump in your seat because of the loudness of the noise and when that is over you forget about the movie because there was nothing worth remembering about it, like many horror books today which just want you to feel revolted by some gruesome image where there is no quality to it and you will soon forget about their existence. 


This book will stay in your memory. Eerie is the best way I can describe this book like. And it is very difficult to write a review worthy of that feeling. 


What I can put as a downside and the reason this didn't make it to 5* for me is some lacking editing but that is quite understandable given the circumstances. Also, there's a lot of talking and explaining things in this book and for some people that might be a big drawback but for me it wasn't that much of an issue, at times I welcomed it, at times it did seem to go on for a bit too long but since I am absolutely new to the Indian setting I think it was mostly okay. 


If you enjoy creepy and eerie, please do give this book a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised by something different, something new and something original.

From where do all those 5* ratings come from I will never understand

A Scoundrel by Moonlight - Anna Campbell

"Dear God, wait until she saw his cock. If his chest made her nervous, she’d run screaming once she caught sight of it. He wasn’t a monster. He knew he was in proportion. But his proportions were notably generous. He’d managed previous encounters without injuring his partners, but Eleanor was a virgin. Perhaps he should ask her to close her eyes when he removed his breeches."



What a load of bollocks. 


Yeah, I've said it. This is hands down the worst book of this series and it just had to come at the very end so it left such a vile taste in my mouth. All those people leaving 5* reviews have clearly: 1. never read a good book, 2. have been hit in the head, 3. are taking some kind of drugs, 4. have amnesia of everything that is good and right about this world. 5. have never encountered the word love or romance in their lives, 6. are personally associated with the author and/or were given books in exchange for better reviews or for some reason 7. like everything that is wrong about historical romance genre.


Right, so I got that out of my system, wonderful. First of all, the title doesn't suit this book at all. Who exactly is this scoundrel in the title... the righteous honourable selfless Lord Leath or very prim and proper Miss Trim... they are both so very scoundrelish that I simply cannot decide. Secondly, dear author, if you had no idea what to do next, you didn't have to force this quick cash grab just to have something published. Because this is exactly what I have said, a quick cash grab, adding one more character to the Sons of Sin series (that only had bastards of the ton originally which is why it is called The Sons of Sin... explain to me how exactly is Lord Leath, a legitimate child of a famous honourable praised influential family a son of sin exactly??? ).


I won't dawdle on this too much, it's clear that my opinion is in the minority here but it just irks me so to have my time wasted intentionally. I read this book only because I have read the previous ones, I like the sons of sin idea, but how the hell does Leath fit into this at all??? I am so tired and exhausted after dragging this read throughout this week.


This book is so dry, there is not one original thought in it, there is nothing that would make me find it at least a bit redeemable, even the godforsaken sex scenes were so dry I am surprised they didn't turn into dust and got blown away with the wind. This just follows the same formula, get two people who are not society's ideal couple into a perilous situation and they will eventually get together, and I mean eventually, like after a thousand years it seemed, if I would have to read one more line of inner thoughts about how I love him so much but I would just be a burden to him and would tarnish his reputation I would stab my eyes with a fork. Hopefully a very dull fork. Pain would be such a relief at that point.


Everything in this book is wrong, it is so CONTRIVED it honestly leaves me lost for words at times. If this just so conveniently didn't happen in this convenient accidental place because of that totally convenient not at all contrived reason with the help of that convenience and simply pissing on reader's intelligence this oh so convenient love might not turn out to be so convenient after all.


First half of the book Eleanor Trim so wants to marry Lord Leath but he can just have her as his mistress. The second part of the book Lord Leath begs Eleanor Trim to marry him but she keeps on refusing saying it is for his own good. Honestly... *sigh. And their so well thought out reasons and feelings shift in less than a second. Without any explanation. Just ah, yes, for two hundred fucking pages I have been saying no to marrying you because I am a poor nobody and I would ruin your career and your mother would hate you and you would no longer have a place in society but now that I was in one stupid perilous situation I totally want to marry you and all the reasons against it just simply vanish. Why would we mention such silly things as me ending your political career or me hurting the health of your frail mother even more or me making you a laughingstock of the ton... what reasons? This is fiction, people, reasons have no place in historical romance genres you know. Yeah, I am being sarcastic and after everything this book has put me through I think I have a right to be.


Did I mention that the awkward dry scene of him taking her virginity lasts for 21 pages? I didn't? Oh, well, let me correct that. So yes, their first sex scene together, without the flirtation before that mind you, takes 21 pages of the book, and I will add to that that immediately after this sex scene finishes, another one starts as soon as they wake up and it lasts for another 6 pages. 27 pages of the awkward humping. Lord give me strength, and no, I do not mean Lord Leath in this instance.


The worst thing is that the one thing that keeps them together, this misunderstanding without which they would never have stayed together, is the most contrived thing in the history of contrived things. Lord Neville's henchman, Greengrass, fellow from one of the previous books, has kept the diary of Lord Neville's detailed deflowering and consequent sex encounters with many women across England. He goes through the list and keeps on having sex with those same women and he also blackmails them into giving him money. Eleanor initially thought Leath was the one who did all those deflowerings because apparently Neville used his nephew's name in his evil wrongdoings and it is never explained why really. He was his family, if anyone found out his name would be tainted too, it doesn't matter that he might have thought Leath was acting all too good and proper. Makes no freaking sense. And now this Greengrass wants Leath to pay up for not making the diary public. And they arrange to meet at some tavern or whatever and Leath has all of the 'bastards' with him when they thoroughly inspect the place one day in advance and make note of all the exists and surroundings. And what do you think happens? CONTRIVANCE, that's what. They missed to notice a third exit and a whole freaking back alley where it leads to, not to mention the escape and tunnels from the cellar... where were they looking? Alternate universe??? And they clearly say this:


"...sidling to bring the end of the alley into view. It was ominously empty. How the hell had they missed this exit? Last night, he and the others had thoroughly checked the inn. He’d have laid money that they’d counted every door and window." - p.244 look it up if you don't believe me. Most intelligent, cunning, brave, influential men of the Society and they missed an entire back ally of the establishment. I have to say that is an achievement in itself truly.



I will stop now. My head hurts so much from all this nonsense. My suggestion? Read the other books in the series (my favourite is about the Hillbrooks), pretend this one doesn't exist. If anyone happens to wonder why I still haven't left reviews of the other books in the series, the reason is that I wanted to read all of the books before leaving reviews and since I ended with this one and this one made me so angry I wanted to start with this one whereas reviews are concerned and put it out of mind as quickly as possible.


And if you wonder why after all that I ranted about I am still giving this book 2*? The answer to that is simple and will always remain the same. Because it is still better than Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey.

Story just doesn't click, I did not feel at all interested

The Prince Kidnaps a Bride - Christina Dodd

This seems to be the final conclusion to the series (aka the third book) that I didn't even know existed, or to rephrase it, I had no idea this book belonged to a series. And I have no idea how they are connected.


I have a couple of big grievances with this book:


1) First of all, for such a simple story it is way too long, filled with fillers basically or side quests, just to pad the story for some reason. Unnecessary, kills any desire for continuing on and makes you feel extra sleepy (proven!).


2) What is wrong with that title? Seriously, prince Rainger never kidnapped anyone, let alone his bride. Why is there even a kidnapping in the title, this story is about the princess' journey home. The title is very misleading.


3) Inconsistencies + unbelievable love. I could go on for hours on this subject. Seriously, I could write three times the length of this novel of the reasons what the hell is wrong with this so called love and how they got to it. But I have no energy because I prefer reading better books instead. One thing that seriously bothered me is something I think someone already mentioned in the comments but I am going to repeat it anyway. So prince Rainger claims that when he was in prison and when he had his one per year torture (which is also quite ludicrous, person who tortured him would have done it on more than one per year occasion, especially when he would indulge in alcohol a bit too much or when his wh*ring wife would piss him off) the one thing he held onto was the image of princess Sorcha. Awwww right? Well NO!!! Because when he managed to escape the prison and wanted to marry a princess to reclaim his country back, from the three sisters Sorcha was the last one he went to find, so after her two sisters whom he wanted more than her he already found married. And not just that, but later on we find out that they disliked each other growing up, they never wanted each other. And now when he went to find her as his last option and only treated her as a means to an end they suddenly proclaim old love with everlasting effects. Oh screw that.


4) Rainger had no problem finding the three sisters far from their homeland where they escaped but the sisters' grandmother who was a strong and unyielding ruler and a woman who loved them dearly couldn't manage to find them. Such a believable story indeed.


5) What was up with that moronic kidnapping at the end??? There was no suspense, there was no drama, there was nothing basically. It was such a stupid thing to put there as some sort of last minute action drama will-they-live moment that I actually laughed and just wished for the blasted thing to end already. 


6) There was absolutely no point in Rainger deceiving Sorcha about his identity. Not one single damn point. 


7) Losing her virginity in a magic-surrounded environment to a deceiving as*hole who even upon meeting her didn't really fall in love, he just wanted to marry a princess so he could get his country back. Yeah, I'll root for that undying love alright. And may I remind you again that she was his last choice from the three sisters... yeah... everlasting love right there.



The only reason I didn't give this book 1 star is because of the brothel scene that I actually quite enjoyed. And this one I won't spoil because if you are still set on reading this book, then I will leave you with at least one small good surprise to help you survive the rest of this long, oxymoron ridden, mutually exclusive, plotholes filled, unbelievable love *coughs and chokes as she writes the word* story.

*deep long sigh... and another half-assed HEA crossed from my list

An Intriguing Proposition - Sydney Jane Baily

First and foremost, I am not familiar with the work of Sydney Jane Baily. I have never read any of her books and this is the first time I have heard of her. I stumbled onto this prequel on InstaFreebie and I gave it a fair chance. 


This book is a prequel to The Defiant Hearts series and it is not a full length novel, it has 98 pages and only comes in ebook format. 


To keep things nice and short, here's my honest opinion about An Intriguing Proposition.


This book skips on the worldbuilding and any character development. It throws you in the midst of a story that deserves a whole prequel of its own. Irony is that this is a damn prequel. We only get the basics of a plot, if I can even call it that, that is summed into a few sentences. The rest of the story is an unbelievable mess of the most idiotic coincidences and stupid people who think they are in love because they saw each other once in a bank and exchanged a few words. 


I am not going to dwell too much on all the bad things, and trust me there's a whole damn list of them, but I am going to mention a few good things. I liked the setting of a story and in its very essence, the idea of the story. The final product did not turn out well but I give credit for the idea alone and a few quirky lines of dialogue that made me smile, well, I had a hint of a smile on my face at the very least.


I honestly hope that this book does not reflect on the rest of this series nor on the author's work in general. I am of the opinion that everyone deserves a second chance so I will most likely give this author one more chance if I come across one of her books. But it has to be said that people with a sharp mind, good wit and even mediocre intelligence will probably not like this book because even on the lower HEA standards this is not a success.


If anyone happens to know if any of the author's other books are better, I am happy to note it down and put it on my to-read list.

Only for people already familiar with both forms of exercise

Yoga-Pilates: The Ultimate Fusion for Health and Fitness - Jonathan Monks

I will keep this review short and on point. I do not think Pilates and yoga should be combined in any way, shape or form. They are two separate forms of exercise and have their own rules, principles and outcomes. 


Pilates is a safe method of exercising that doesn't make the body bend in any unnatural way or go into any movement that we do not already use in our daily lives. Yoga is almost the opposite. The movements in yoga are those of extremes and in my opinion only experienced and knowledgeable people should do it. Those people are familiar with moving their body to the extremes through safe methods whilst the casual practitioner can do a lifetime of lasting damage to the body. One sudden movement in a complicated position can dislodge something, twist something, strain something, break something etc.


I am all for exercising and living healthy but I also think that people do not educate themselves enough and do not go into exercising with a concentrated and prepared mind so the exercises given to them should be the safest and harmless as possible. Then the person can get all the benefits it they go into it with their heart and mind but also if they do not, they will not suffer any consequences. That is why I believe that combining Pilates and yoga is not a good thing or a good way to go.


Apart from that, the book is not meant for beginners or for people who have never heard of any basics of Pilates and/or yoga. This book offers some good advice in certain areas and some exercises and it offers a nice sequence of exercises but that is pretty much it.

Beginner's guide to mat Pilates

The Pilates Body: The Ultimate At-Home Guide to Strengthening, Lengthening and Toning Your Body- Without Machines - Brooke Siler

This book serves as a good beginner's guide to the basic mat Pilates as taught by the J.H.Pilates himself. And that is a very important thing to mention which I will explain in a bit more detail later on.


Brooke Siler is an incredible woman with a renowned name. She studied Pilates under the famous Romana Kryzanowska who was Pilates' disciple. She is an intelligent woman whom I admire greatly.


This book has a very good introduction to Pilates, with the basic rules and principles which is something that I always find as a good way to start a book on Pilates because people are not generally very familiar with the basic principles and the ones who are are usually glad to be reminded of them or simply appreciate it being mentioned because it is the core of everything people will learn later on.


'The Pilates Body' also contains wonderful pictures along with the informative text. This is another aspect of this book that I highly appreciate. Most people are visual beings and will only understand something if it is shown to them not just explained in words. 


Now to return to what I mentioned when I started writing this review. Brooke Siler follows Pilates' teachings blindly, which I am not saying is a bad thing but even though that man was a genius in his own time, with the advanced science and an advanced world of sports and fitness some things have changed over time. I am a Pilates instructor myself and I have studied his teachings as well as the teachings of the first and second generation after him. With all of that knowledge and with the advanced medical research I have found that some things do not sit well with me regarding his teachings. For instance, hyper extension and flexion of the spine have proven to be more harmful than beneficial over time, neutral spine position is what we should aspire to in the exercises. Also, he was a man who dealt with his disciples one on one. Always. He changed the exercises for each individual to apply it to his needs and a wanting outcome. Most Pilates instructors do not have that luxury today. We work with a group of people and we can't concentrate all of our attention to just one. We deal with working busy stressed mothers and fathers who find Pilates classes to be a small step away from their busy lifestyles so we cannot force them to work exactly as Pilates instructed. Pilates was a very strict man who demanded from people to focus all of their energy and attention to Pilates classes. We need to make the exercises as safe and harmless as possible so even if the people do not go into them wholeheartedly at least they will not suffer any long term consequences. 


And in the end I will add that I owe my overwhelming thanks and gratitude to Asja Petersen, a woman who knows of no limits, a woman with an amazing spirit and a sharp mind. She is one of the people who will lead Pilates into a new era. 



"Pilates is the complete coordination of body, mind and spirit" (J.H. Pilates), so for everyone who is trying to get or stay healthy, to get or stay fit in body and mind and who is interested in seeing their body completely transform and flourish I urge you to try Pilates and give it the chance it deserves. 

Temeljno znanje iz područja fitnesa i Pilatesa

Priručnik za instruktore fitnesa - Marija Andrijašević, Marino Bašić, Tomislav Biščan, Igor Čerenšek, Marko Črljenec, Matija Dunaj, Davor Emeršić, Tomislav Gluhak, Jozo Grgić, Mirna Hajnic, Damir Laštre, Stjepan Heimer, Maja Jelavić, Marija Jurina, Vana Košta, Vedran Omerhodžić, Mladen Palenkas, Vladimir P

Ovaj se priručnik sastoji od temeljnih znanja potrebnih za uspjeh u području fitnesa i Pilatesa. Napisan je od strane vrhunskih stručnjaka koji su saželi svoje stručno znanje na ono najpotrebnije i najvažnije za početnike i sve one koji se ozbiljno žele baviti ovim područjem.

Priručnik sadrži nekoliko kategorija koje obuhvaćaju:

1. Osnove anatomije i fiziologije vježbanja
2. Principi vježbanja, fitnesa i zdravlja
3. Životni stil - upravljanje i promjene
4. Zdravlje i sigurnost u fitnes okruženju
5. Komunikologija

Priručnik je napisan stručno, ali je lak za razumijevanje te sadrži mnogo slika, opisa, tabela i primjera kako bi se čim bolje predočilo i vizualiziralo čitateljima i onima koji žele naučiti svo znanje ovoga područja.

Ovo je kamen temeljac na koji se kasnije može jednostavno nadograđivati specifično i detaljno znanje pojedinog usmjerenja.

Hvala svim autorima i hvala Fitnes učilištu na ovom neprocjenjivom znanju.

Okay for what it is

The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright - Tessa Dare

This is a novella written by Tessa Dare. It is a standalone story that isn't related to any of the author's series of books.


As novellas go, this story is pretty short, it spans through several years and you have a few chapters that start with one year later so a lot of the story is 'missing'. Basically, all of the parts where the characters would be able to grow and develop new characteristics and make us feel more attached to them are missing. Instead, we just focus on a few encounters of the main characters and of course their insta-love.


Miss Eliza Cade is the youngest of four sisters and she isn't allowed to officially come out in society until all of her sisters are engaged/married. She did something mischievous when she was 14 so her dad doesn't trust her and is worried that her coming out sooner would take the attention away from her sisters and possibly ruin their reputation because Eliza is loud, likes to show off and likes to be center of attention and can get into mischief easily.

Mr.J.Harrison Wright is a scoundrel, the duke's heir who spends his life going from one woman to the next and doing things a respectable heir of a duke wouldn't do which is why the duke cut him off and he has to wait until he inherits to come into money. At least that is how we first meet him. But of course that is only how he appears to be, not what he is. He has reasons for becoming the way he is and that turns out to be redeemable for him in the end.

They meet and they fall in love and then spend the next couple of years dancing around each other believing the other to be less than he/she is but eventually learning different and getting together. No surprises, no twists, no suspense.



"She was alone with the scandalous, dissolute, no-good—
             “Mr. Wright,” she whispered.
             He inclined his head most civilly. “In the flesh.”
             The way he said that word, “flesh,” pushing it into the air with a cavalier flick of the tongue . . . it made Eliza’s skin prickle.
             There was a dangerous beast in this room. And it wasn’t her.
             Mr. J. Harrison Wright and his colorful misdeeds were the stuff of all the scandal sheets and the talk of every drawing room. He was heir to the elderly Duke of Shiffield, to the Duke of Shiffield’s quite public despair. There were the usual tales of drinking, gambling, wenching, and general dissolution. And then there were the true scandals—the staggering debts of honor gone unpaid, his expulsion from a famed gentleman’s club, and whispered tales Eliza could never quite manage to hear.
             The one constant in all these stories?
             Mr. Wright was a scoundrel."



So you might wonder why I gave it a 3* rating if I am not that passionate or thrilled about it. Because for what it is it was alright. You have to rate books by many standards, not just oh, it didn't sweep me off my feet so that's a 1*. This book is very well written, it has some good moments that make you smile, the couple has good chemistry, there are some laughs to be had and it is entertaining for a short read.


All in all, I recommend this read for the historical romance lovers who are short on time and they want a short cute story to pass the time but for something more this isn't the answer. If you want to enjoy yourself more, try full length novels by Tessa Dare, that should do the trick.

Charming and compelling

A Night to Surrender - Tessa Dare


"In recent years, Spindle Cove had become the seaside destination of choice for a certain type of well-bred young lady: the sort no one knew what to do with. They included the sickly, the scandalous, and the painfully shy; young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men . . . All of them delivered here by the guardians to whom they presented problems, in hopes that the sea air would cure them of their ills.
As the only daughter of the only local gentleman, Susanna was the village hostess by default. These awkward young ladies no one knew what to do with . . . she knew what to do with them. Or rather, she knew what not to do with them. No “cures” were necessary. They didn’t need doctors pressing lancets to their veins, or finishing school matrons harping on their diction. They just needed a place to be themselves.
Spindle Cove was that place."



This series is about Spindle Cove and its interesting residents. Why do I think they are interesting? Because they don't fit in the Society and I definitely recognize myself in them so I can understand the characters.


This is the first book in the series. The story revolves around Susanna and Bramwell who find love under very unusual circumstances. I will not spend a lot of time writing about the storyline because I am sure that giving a general description of the place, the regency era and the basic undertone of this book is sufficient for any historical romance reader.


Susana is a 25-year-old unwed only child of a genius father who creates weapons for the army. She is a resident of Spindle Cove and in charge of all of the ladies who come there because they are in some way cast away from the society. She is intelligent, clever, capable, pretty and determined to keep men away from the women in Spindle Cove so women can feel more at ease and be themselves during their stay there. Bramwell is an officer who hurt his knee in the war and barely managed to keep his leg and he is on a mission to regain his post as a commanding officer and returning to the front lines in Spain to fight Napoleon's army. He thinks that his honor and his father's honor depend on his ability to return to war and defending their country.

The last thing on both of their minds is love but because of some stubborn sheep and bombarding them with black powder the fate for both of them will reveal its true plans.


I will also keep my thoughts about the book rather short because I said a lot about my feelings in the previous review I did which was about the fourth book in the series that I happened to read first (


This book is not as humourous as the fourth book in the series, Any Duchess Will Do, instead I would say it is more charming and heartwarming. Well, except for the first chapter with those stubborn sheep, that was amazing. Since this is the first book in the series, I imagine that the author took her time to set the tone for this series and that her writing gradually improved in some aspects as she got closer to her characters and to this world she created. Nonetheless, this doesn't take that much away from this book. It all depends on a reader, what he/she finds more endearing in this genre. For me, I appreciate both, and so I gave this book the same rating as I did for fourth book.


One thing that I also appreciate is the research the author does before setting the book in a certain historical time period and I believe that Tessa Dare did a great job concerning that. She even explained some of the things mentioned in this book at the end of the book under author's note. That is what every great author should do if they want their readers to get completely immersed in the story. If you understand the time then it is easier for you to understand the people and their actions better.


All in all, I find this a compelling story and a good regency world that I can easily enter and become a part of and feel for the characters. What more can a reader ask for? I also feel that I should add that I do not understand lots of comments in reviews who gave this book a one star rating based on the fact that the main heroine is a modern woman of her time that is fighting for women's rights in her own way but ends up in love with a man and gets married. Why is that a bad thing? Do all women who want equal rights for both sexes need to be without men and love in their life just to prove to some non-existent entity that they are feminists? I think that women can fight for their rights and have families and love just the same. Even more so maybe. Plus, in the regency era, especially in a high society, women who were openly voicing out such ideas were ostracised. Before you give this book such a low rating you need to understand the world setting which then commands the characters' actions and motives.


Thank you, Tessa Dare, for entertaining me and making me laugh. As a voracious reader that is a real blessing to me.



You’re human. We’re all scared, every last one of us. Afraid of life, of love, of dying. Maybe marching in neat rows all day distracts you from the truth of it. But when the sun goes down? We’re all just stumbling through the darkness, trying to outlast another night.” Colin downed another swig of wine, then stared at the bottle. “Excellent vintage. Makes me sound almost intelligent.”

Tantalizing and humorous read

Any Duchess Will Do - Tessa Dare


She is perfect for being imperfect and he is damaged beneath his perfect exterior.



This book was almost perfect, amazing gem in the sea of historical romances and I am thrilled that I stumbled upon it in my local library.


I've read 375 pages of this book in one sitting and I believe that says enough about how good it is written.





Pauline Simms is a barmaid and a local farm girl who dreams about becoming more and living a better life and with her intelligence and sturdiness she is on her path of achieving what she wants but she knows it will take her many many years of hard work to do it.


And then enters Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, and opens the possibility of making those dreams into reality much sooner than she expected.


The Duke's mother is demanding an heir of her only child and she is demanding of him to get a wife to do it, any wife at all will do because she can make any woman into a duchess. And to thwart his mother's intentions he chooses the pretty barmaid, the worst person for the job. Since his mother isn't backing down, he offers the barmaid one thousand pounds to fail at becoming a proper duchess.


Pauline is first angry at the notion that those two are crossing swords at her expense but then she decides to go along with their play so she can become her own woman and own her own bookshop as she always desired.


Pauline and Griffin do not plan to fall for each other because they are the most unsuitable match imaginable but fate seems to have other plans for them in store.





The author, Tessa Dare, knows how to captivate her readers with her storytelling, no one can argue against that. She captures us in her world and doesn't let go until we devour every single word written about it. And that is what makes a great author.


Storyline is consistent, interesting, believable and charming as hell. Characters are written as people not as one character trait or one cliche after another which makes us feel for them and become them, at least until we finish the story, and the plot itself is in a way so extraordinary that you can't help but go along with it. It's a cinderella story in a regency setting in a way.


If I would have to name something that bothered me it would be our main hero, Griffin. I think his character wasn't developed enough so some of his actions to me were not properly motivated or the motive just wasn't explained enough. Which in itself made me not care so much about certain things in the plot.


But the most positive thing besides the great chemistry our two leads share is the humour. It was so funny and charged with such positive energy that I now, on only two hours of sleep, feel happy and energised and altogether positive. 


I plan on reading more of Tessa Dare's books and I have great expectations ! Definitely recommended for everyone who loves historical steamy romance.

Nope and no no no no !

Dad's Best Friend - Candy Stone

I never realised that so many things can be so wrong in just a 24 page story... damn... wish I never knew.


So... the heroine gets dumped by her boyfriend whom she took for granted then we jump to several weeks later when she's going on a small vacation and her car breaks down in the mountains so the guy who comes to pick her up along with her car is an overweight stereotype of a man and of course, a rapist from whom she is saved by the man she calls uncle Jimmy who is not her uncle and she practically forces her dad's best friend to fuck her. Then the ending:


They never tell her dad, this never meant anything to them besides a good fuck, he marries and never tells his wife, the heroine marries and divorces and still receives regular sex visits from despite him still being fucking married. And yes, that is all said in the last couple of sentences.

(show spoiler)


If I would rant on everything that is wrong with this story I would write three times the length of this actual story so I'll keep it simple and short.


1. This book isn't romance, it's an episode of a sexual encounter that seems quite forced on the older man.


2. This short story makes no fucking sense! She forgot her dad's best friend in life also has a cabin near the place she wants to go on a vacation to despite the fact she spent half of her childhood there. And she gets into a car with a man who clearly insinuates he wants to have sex with her and then she is so damn surprised when he actually tries.


3. Jimmy, her dad's best friend and our hero in this story, is trying really hard to resist this woman because he says it isn't right and she just keeps on going, jumping into his bed and masturbating, getting outside naked and stretching before going swimming, taking his fingers and dipping them into her private parts and so on until he actually gives in and they fuck for one night.


4. First Jimmy keeps on saying no and resisting and running away from her then when he snaps and wants her she runs away screaming no and then she returns and seduces him again. What in the actual fuck? Why am I even reading this argh !


5. The ending, if the story didn't get you miserable then this ending surely will. Clustered in a few last sentences you realise they remain assholes for the entirety of their lives. Oh I am so happy having to read this, truly my life now is oh so much richer than it was an hour ago.



Conclusion !


Don't be a fucking asshole in life and maybe better things will happen to you.

Good idea of a hero but not the luckiest implementation

Knocked Up By The Billionaire  - Alice Moore

A romance story that wanted to be one with an edge but to me it failed in that regard. To me it was simply a light hearted romance story that had no real conflict and since the beginning you knew that characters will end up together without any real issues standing in their way.


I got this book for free on Instafreebie and this was my first time reading this author so I will give her a benefit of a doubt and not lower my rating to 2 which if I go by all the factors included would be a more realistic rating.





Natalie worked very hard to open her bakery and now she is working just as hard to keep it open and profitable. Since she doesn't have a lot of time for dating she decides to experiment with her darker side and go to a master/slave aka bdsm seminar. There she is insantly taken by Nash and they start a relationship. Little later she finds out that she is pregnant and moves in with him and they live happily ever after.


Now my issues with this book:


1. If you go the BDSM route (and please do) then really go that route, not do it half heartedly. And by that I mean how Nash keeps saying he is her Master and kinky but doesn't really act the part. He is loving, caring, sweet talking, wants kids and a wife and white fence and all that. Just like any other man in romance novels. If you can't do BDSM then please don't. Because we who love it and practice it do not appreciate being said how licking semen off the floor is disgusting or choking is not natural etc. It is insulting so please stop. Either do it right or don't do it, write what you are actually comfortable with.


2. Characters have absolutely no obstacles to not be together. They are both single, attractive, young, interested in each other and they both want a family. The only thing that was tried to be pushed as an obstacle is that Natalie's bakery would have to be now put on hold, which makes no sense because Nash can buy her half of the freaking city if he wanted to so there are absolutely no obstacles to overcome.


3. If you try to portray the hero as a billionaire womanising bad boy then don't just say that in one sentence and then for the rest of the book show him in a completely different light. And by that I mean that he is actually a loving sweetheart who really wants to settle down. I don't see the point.


4. Adding a sub-plot which leads nowhere to add more pages. More accurately adding a remodeling of the building where bakery is located in and making a big deal and fuss about it when later on it is not even mentioned. It was set up to seem like later that will turn on Natalie and Nash will have to step in to save her but nope, nothing, that whole beginning of the book was entirely pointless.



There are, of course, positives to this book as well which I thoroughly enjoyed. Such as some of the ideas and thoughts the main hero displayed here and there. If he would have been a character like that to his core and from the beginning to the end of the book I would have loved it.



"I wanted a slave; I wanted someone that lived and breathed for me, not for herself.




I was born in the wrong damn century."



"I like slaves. I like to take women like you that have the weight of their world on them and break them down to the core. Women that aren’t used to being ordered around but want it. Women that would never be caught dead in public being told what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. I want you to learn to trust that I would never make you do something that goes against who you believe is yourself. And then, I want you to submit to me knowing that no one will ever be able to shake that belief."



"I want a woman that lives for me. A woman that can make it look like she's her own person, but in reality belongs to me, blood and soul. I want a woman that obeys me but still makes her own choices - makes her opinion known."



Now that's a perfect man in my humble opinion. Truly a missed opportunity in this book. I would have loved actually seeing that character presented here and not an everyday sweetheart who falls head over heels in love with this woman first time he sees her.


I hoped for something different, something new but I was left slightly disappointed.


If nothing else, this book was worth reading if for nothing else then for this sentence that made me laugh and with which I wholeheartedly agree:



"I was born in the wrong damn century."

What a wonderful discovery !

Nailed by my Dad's Best Friend - Corinne Matthews


"He was her father’s best friend! How could she have been turned on? It upset her and it angered her."



And that is the gist of it haha, but seriously, all romance lovers should get their hands on this new book and read Corinne Matthews because it is worth your attention.


I discovered this book on Instafreebie (you get free ebooks every week so check it out) and the summary attracted me, it was right down my alley. I have never heard about this author before and then I realised that this was something brand new so I got even more excited.


And my expectations were all met and I got something extra to add to my favourite romance authors. What an incredible day.


Summary goes something like this:


Rachel is an only child and wants to move to her own place because her parents are somewhat overprotective and she wants to build a life of her own. Helping her with fixing her apartment is her dad's best friend Simon. As they spend more time together they see each other in a different light. They realise they are both adults and single and very much attracted to each other. Add to that a stalker who adds a lot more spice to this book and you have a great read.



"As she helplessly obeyed Simon’s order, she realized in a haze of shock and pleasure that this time she was being taken by a man, not an inexperienced teenager."



"Their chemistry was explosive, he thought. She was the first woman he had met who turned him on within seconds. He really wanted to hear her scream."



This book has romance, thriller and a good addition of naughty and steamy added to it so it is definitely my kind of a ride.


If I had to nitpick I would say that pacing was a little off. It would have been perfect if the ending wasn't as rushed and if misunderstandings weren't resolved in a single chapter.



But everything else right on. Keep writing, Corinne, I'll be waiting for the next one ;)

Bonus chapter to Hades' Daughter / freebie from the author

The Beginnings of the Grim Reapers: A Hades' Daughter Bonus Chapter - Charlotte Carol

This story is a freebie I received from the author Charlotte Carol when I subscribed to get the latest news and announcements on her webpage.


This chapter is a bonus chapter to the Hades' Daughter, a book I am looking forward to reading.



Our protagonist is Reid Brice and the story starts with him being impressed with a woman with whom he is currently having a conversation with and soon he has a flashback where his character is developed and his motives are explained.


This flashback tells us about his difficult childhood, his involvement with crime which set him on a course of becoming a gang leader.



I liked this story and I like the way author writes and weaves words together.


What I found slightly lacking was a better explanation and a more detailed description on why and how Reid started to hate and resent the rich so much. I know it sort of comes with the territory concerning his circumstances but since this was his story I just thought it could have been explored in more depth.


All in all, I am very intrigued regarding this world the author brought to us and I look forward to reading Hades' Daughter as well as other books from this author.

Good and bad

Monster: Part One (The Monster Series Book 1) - Evangeline Lee

This is supposed to be the first novella out of three that were supposed to be released in the span of four weeks time but for the life of me I cannot seem to find others from this series but this one so I will only review what I have on my Kindle and what I was able to read.


This novella is a contemporary mystery/crime, adult erotic romance with a dark edge novella which plays around with abduction and rape as lightly as it would be dangling rope in front of kittens.


I think that from my point of view this story held a lot of promise in the first half but then it came undone in the second half when the storyline pretty much fell apart and the characters became either non-existent in personality or overly sex driven to the literal point of becoming a psychopath.




"I wanted to show her that her high and mighty superiority, her degrees and diplomas, her privileged existence, her sense of security, was a façade. I was going to breach the fortress that was her privacy. I was going to leave my mark on her life like a dog pissing to mark his territory, and one day soon, I was going be in her bed fucking her brains out."



All this said in that one first sentence would be perfectly understandable in this kind of a story if the female protagonist Mina ever did anything of the sorts. She didn't. She is barely present in this novella. She is simply there for the real main character Mikhail to obsess about after meeting her just once. Yes, one look at the woman and our main ex marine, ex special ops, enhanced ex soldier is completely taken with her. I wouldn't mind it so much if Mina was at least interesting or different from a horde of good looking women out there.


That was my first complaint. I didn't find them believable as a couple at all. Maybe this is due to the shortness of the story. So I won't judge too harshly because of that.


But the second complaint I have that even with the story being so short, some things make no sense whatsoever.

Example: Mikhail is an enhanced soldier who is on the run from a government that created him and now wants him dead so he assumed a different identity. He gets captured by the FBI because of some mafia involvement and when in custody he meets a doctor who was present at the early stages of the Program when he was turned into the enhanced soldier. And for no apparent reason or any other connection, previous or more personal, this doctor helps him in every way possible, even with his escape plan and with providing him the address of his student Mina. It's just not believabe. It took me out of the story. There is no connection or friendship between them. There is no reason for that doctor to risk his career and life to help a man like Mikhail.

(show spoiler)


There were a couple of passages/sentences that I liked very much, that were what I thought this whole story would be like.



"Nothing like making a woman orgasm to point out how they were creatures of the flesh just as much as men.
Bring her down to my level."



"Revenge is cleansing. It's the only way to move forward because it sets things right. Civilization is this thin veneer that overlays the beast beneath it, hiding its true nature."



All in all, I think this was a good novella to pass the time and interesting enough to make me pick up the second one in the series (if I had one).


If only it had been a little longer and more consistent and provided us with more characters' personality so I would care more about what happens with the protagonists I would certainly give it more stars as I would be more invested.

Još jedan dio svemira, malen, ali vrijedan

Simonovi Grimoari (Intermezzo) (Volume 2) (Croatian Edition) - Viktoria Faust



Ova je kratka priča dio svemira "U anđeoskom liku zvijeri" spisateljice Viktorie Faust.

Priča nam predočava i objašnjava Simonovu prošlost i njegov susret s osobom koja će mu promijeniti život, to jest, ovaj naš ljudski život, a i onaj vampirski nakon njega.

Neću mnogo duljiti o samoj priči jer ne želim odati detalje Simonova života, no reći ću kako u ovoj priči susrećemo spisateljicu Viktoriu Faust u njenom više realističnom viđenju svijeta no onom fantastičnom na koji smo toliko navikli iako se sama priča naravno sastoji od nekoliko fantastičnih elemenata.

Srž priče je Simon, njegov jadan život, njegova odbačenost od ljudi i svijeta, njegovo ne-pripadanje nikome i ničemu i toliko željeno pronalaženje svrhe njegova prisustva u ovom okrutnom svijetu. Lutanje od jednog mjesta do drugog, razočarenja i bol koja ga prate nisu laka tema koja svakome odgovara. U ovoj priči nećete naći sretan bijeg od svakodnevnih briga i problema već ćete suosjećati s protagonistom ove priče kao da suosjećate sa vlastitim djetetom.

Svima koji su blisko upoznati sa djelom "U anđeoskom liku zvijeri" preporučam čitanje ove priče jer kao jedan maleni dio slagalice dočarava taj svijet u njegovoj punini kada ga spojimo sa ostalim dijelovima koji su mnoge od nas držali budnima do ranih jutarnjih sati i zatim su se stopili s našim snovima i našim životima.

Hvala spisateljici na još jednom čarobnom dijelu slagalice jednog od mojih omiljenih fantastičnih literarnih svemira.