Giveaways at Ex Libris

Monday, 31 January 2011

It's Monday, What Are you Reading? (#24)

It's Monday, What are you reading this week? is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read and the books to be finished this week.

Another week has gone by, with not that much reading done (grr, work is still exhaustingly busy, when I fall into bed around 1-1:30 am, I am too tired to read). And I can't even remember what I did during the weekend, it whooshed by in a blink.

Books I completed this week

This was such a fantastically enjoyable read, I loved every sentence, my only complaint was that it ended, I could have read on and on :-) Perfect contemporary romance, I can only recommend it with the highest praise. It is funny, sweet and steamy, the perfect combo ;-p


Books I am currently reading

Ex Libris will be a stop on the Haunted E-book tour next week, be sure to check back, J.L. Bryan will stop by with a guest post and there will also be some giveaways! ;-)

Books I can't wait to start soon

And what are you reading this week?

In My Mailbox (#34)

In My Mailbox
is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

And again the weekend flew by and I almost got nothing done.. grr.. Isn't that always the case? I'm sure even witha  3 day-long weekend we couldn't jam everything we wanted into it.

Anyway here is what I received this week in my real and virtual mailbox:

For review:

I'm curious, have heard great things about this book

mmm, sounds yummy! :-p

I was hooked at "Jane Austen Soap Opera" :-D


I've been yearning for this book ever since last October, but finally I have it in my hands. Love its fantastic cover and can't wait to read it!

So this is what was in my mailbox this week, and what was in yours?

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Book Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Title: Spirit Bound (Book #5 in the Vampire Academy series)
Author: Richelle Mead
Number of pages: 489 pages
Release Date: 18 May 2010
Publisher: Razorbill Publishing
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Razorbill Publishing, , Book Depository US, Book Depository UK,

Grade: 4.5 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer: Salvation has its price.

The words stunned Adrian for a moment, but he kept going. "You're lying. What you're describing is impossible. There's no way to save a Strigoi. When they're gone, they're gone. They're dead. Undead. Forever."

Robert's next words weren't directed at Adrian. They were spoken to me. "That which is dead doesn't always stay dead...."

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It's graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives outside of the Academy’s cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri. He's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.

But Rose can't forget what she learned on her journey—whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose's prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what—and who—matters most to her. In the end, is true love really worth the price?

Fall in love with Rose and Dimitri all over again in Spirit Bound, the eagerly awaited fifth novel in Richelle Mead's enthralling Vampire Academy series.

My Thoughts: Wow, Spirit Bound blew me away! This series just keeps getting better and better even though I thought that was not possible! I loved the angst and heartbreak of Book #3 (Shadow Kiss) but then came along Book #4 which lived up to the very high emotional intensity I expected and now Book #5 Spirit Bound still managed not to let me down even though I had some pretty high (*cough* maybe impossible *cough*) expectations.

The novel starts with these lines:

"There's a big difference between death threats and love letters - even if the person writing the death threats still claims to actually love you. Of course, considering I once tried to kill someone I loved, maybe I had no right to judge."

Tell me, isn't it an amazing introduction that instantly grips the reader? And so typically Rose.

Rose is back with Lissa at the Academy getting ready to pass her trials and graduate, while Dimitri made it his own personal life goal to stalk her by sending her weekly letters and reminding her that as soon as she sets a foot outside of school he'll be there, waiting for her, waiting there to kill her.

Despite this quite thrilling setting, I have to say the first half of Spirit Bound was so enjoyably light and happy, so far in the previous novels we haven't seen Rose have so much fun and be somewhat carefree. And it was good to finally see her get a break and enjoy her youth.

Lissa completely redeemed herself: even though she was a quite frustrating and irritating character for me in the previous novels (due to her selfishness and not being a good and attentive friend to Rose), in Spirit Bound she finally becomes the girl in whom I can see why Rose chose her as best friend. Finally she minds other things than just herself, she's there for Rose all the way through their neckbraking and mindblowing adventures, and for that I got to like her.

And what adventures they embark on! They break into the best guarded high security Moroi prison and manage to escape, they fly off to Las Vegas and spend a wild night there (with Adrian popping up too). They had mischiefs and adventures more fit to their youth than the previous dark events taking place in the previous books, but of course everything was spiced up with danger just the way we like it with Rose :-)

Rose is now with Adrian, and though I'm a die hard Dimitri fan, I have to say I like him. Love his casual laid-back, devil-may-care attitude, his humour and his intensity towards Rose. Love what a solid rock he is to her.

Then there is the 2nd half of the novel where things take a swift turn. The huge battle, the big showdown between Rose and Dimitri was everything we were led to expect since the beginning of Spirit Bound and wow! The consequences, implications and changes it all brought on certainly stirred up things.. And bam! we were again on the emotional roller coaster readers and fans of this series are so used to. We had that familiar heartache, frustration and agony. Richelle Mead manages to bring such swift and fresh turns that this series keeps rebounding and never getting dull.

I loved reading about Rose and her friends' stay at Court, it was nice to see them have some quiet time and rest from all the action and just go to different events, dress up and mingle and of course try to work through all the emotional complications.

For my biggest joy Christian was back! With him and Adrian present I can almost forgive Richelle Mead for leaving out Mason.
I discovered that the books of this series keep getting more and more adictive with each subsequent book: I devoured Spirit Bound in less than a day, and if Last Sacrifice was available I would attack it without delay! 

Here are a few of my favourite quotes of Spirit Bound:

1) Adrian during the dinner at his parents' house when he brought Rose over:

"I don't know, this college would probably have the same problem the last one did."
I frowned. "What's that?"
"Adrian," growled his father.
"It's okay," said Adrian breezily. He rested his arm casually on the table. "I don't really need a job or extra money. After Rose and I get married, the kids and I'll just live off of her guardian paycheck."

2) Dimitri as Strigoi during the big showdown battle to Rose:

"You're beautiful in battle," said Dimitri. His cold voice carried to me clearly, even above the roar of combat. "Like an avenging angel come to deliver the justice of heaven."
"Funny," I said, shifting my hold on the stake, "That is kind of why I'm here."
"Angels fall Rose."

3) Adrian and Rose are getting intimate:

Adrian cupped my face in his hands, his eyes filled with intensity and desire - and a bit of wonder.
"What are you, Rose Hathaway? Are you real? You're a dream within a dream. I'm afraid touching you will make me wake up. You'll disappear."
"Touch me and find out," I said, drawing him to me.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Cover: 8/10 (That is not how I picture Rose, but the guy looks dreamy and hot, would be a great Dimitri. Love his stubble! :-p)


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Book Review: Prelude to a Scandal by Delilah Marvelle

Title: Prelude to a Scandal
Author: Delilah Marvelle
Series: Book #1 in the Scandal series
Number of Pages: 384 pages
Release Date: 1 January 2011
Formats available: paperback, ebook
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: review copy provided by publisher through Netgalley
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, , , Book Depository

Grade: 4 stars

Novellus superbus!

Goodreads appetizer:

Lady Justine is willing to trade her good name, her reputation and her place in London's gossip-hungry ton to secure her father's release from prison. But when the notorious Duke of Bradford counters her offer with a proposal of marriage, the stakes grow higher still. For while the smoldering lord is famous for his conquests, the man is oblivious to both her devotion and her charms. And Justine is soon afraid she has wagered all for naught...

My Thoughts: Prelude to a Scandal is not your usual historical romance. It tackles heavier and more controversail topics than it is custom: homosexuality, treatment of homosexuals, sex addiction just to name the main ones.

My interest was instantly piqued with Delilah Marvelle’s author's note at the beginning of the novel. I found it intriguing to see that instead of giving us a usual, already used plot she was brave enough to go and explore a bit controversial and completely unheard idea. I mean a sex addict hero! And what really sold me the book and maintained my interest was how she portrayed the hero’s suffering. Through her realistic and not sugarcoated presentation I actually understood that sex addiction could really be a sickness (until now I thought that it was only an excuse used by those who couldn't remain faithful and stay monogamous), but Delilah Marvelle has conveyed Bradford's battle against his urges so perfectly it truly shook me.

Justine was a likable and interesting heroine: I loved how modern and independent (and fierce) she was, I also loved how she took matters into her own hand.

The other little detail which I found utterly charming and at time really funny were the chapter introducing quotes from the etiquette book. What a delightful idea! And I loved how they summarized the basic rule of society in connection with the actual chapter and how the story transformed, rebelled against the society norm of the period.

I have to say I found the Miranda storyline quite tiresome and unnecessary (especially her attempted seduction). I understand she had to play a crucial role in Bradford realizing he had a serious problem and he wanted to change his ways, but it irritated me how Miranda was unable to stay away from an abusive relationship and stand on her own feet (even with outside help). I found her too whiny and yet not genuine.

I agree with Delilah’s own thoughts she expressed in her own review of Prelude to a Scandal, I would have preferred if she did not have to tone down the story because of the contraints of the romance genre.

Verdict: Prelude to a Scandal is not your average historical romance novel. It explores novel and darker ideas previously unheard in romance books, but Delilah Marvelle spices up this darker side with humour, flowing narration and steamy and sensual love scenes. An interesting and entertaining historical romance you should give a try. I can’t wait to read book #2 and #3 and explore more of the unique historic London perceived by Delilah.

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Ending: 7/10
Writing: 9/10
Cover: 10/10 this cover is so beautiful I could spend minutes staring at it (well I actually did! :-p)

The Scandal series:

Book #1
Book #2
Book #3


Buy it:

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