Mini Reviews (Maya Banks, Sarah MacLean, Kenneth Oppel)

I seem to love letting the read books pile up after I finish them, so I’ll be doing a mini review post for some of the ones I’ve finished to save some space. Of course “mini” review means short, so we’ll see how longwinded I get … 

never seduce a scotNever Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #1) by Maya Banks

Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Bought (ebook)
Rating: 5/5

So this was my very first Maya Banks book! I had heard SO many wonderful things about her books and decided to finally – FINALLY! – give her a try since I love historical romance and wanted something fun to read. This one fit the bill perfectly! Although, when I started reading, I was a little nervous since the main character was deaf — not a bad thing about her, but how would that convey in the book? Would we constantly be in her head? Would there be chemistry between her and the male lead? Soon I was completely devouring the book and loving the fact that even though one of the characters really didn’t speak, there was still TONS of chemistry between her and the male lead and SUCH a great story to be had! The characters in this story were very engaging and had such depth to them. And I kind of loved the whole family-hating-family aspect of it all, like a forbidden romance. It was kind of predictable towards the end, but I had so much fun reading this story and know that I’ll have to go back to the series soon — as well as try some of Maya’s (many) other series.

rogue by any other nameA Rogue By Any Other Name (The Rule of Scoundrels, #1) by Sarah MacLean

Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Won (Paperback)
Rating: 4/5

Just like Maya Banks, I had heard so many good things about Sarah MacLean. I had won this book and was very interested to read it, but thought I might not like it because of the hype. Turns out, it was a nice little book, though I definitely didn’t love it like everyone else. I think a lot of this was because of the whole “adventure” part of Penelope’s life. All she wanted was adventure and really, what she got didn’t seem very adventurous to me, and by the end of the book I was kind of annoyed by the whole “adventure” prospect. However, I did kind of love Bourne and I felt like him and Penelope had some great chemistry, AND I loved that they were getting together after knowing each other as children. This was one of those books that went on and on and had me thinking that all things could be resolved if only the two characters would just talk to one another, for goodness sake, BUT it was still a nice historical romance read. I’m still interested in the rest of the series … I’m sure it has to do with Penelope’s sisters, or the other men at Bourne’s gambling hell, but either way I’m sure they’ll be fun as well.

such wicked intentSuch Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, #2) by Kenneth Oppel

Genre: YA Horror
Source: Won (Hardcover)
Rating: 5/5

When I won a copy of Such Wicked Intent from the publisher, I was so excited. I had just finished the first book in the series and was eager to dive into the second. This was two years ago. Clearly, I wasn’t as eager as I had thought. I was hesitant about diving in this past week because I figured I would forget everything from the first book and this one wouldn’t make sense, BUT I just don’t have time to reread ALL the books now, so I dove in. And was pleasantly surprised at how engaging the whole story was, how super creepy aspects of it were, AND how easy it as to really get into it, having read the previous one years ago. Kenneth Oppel sure knows how to write creepy! And it’s written in such a gothic and interesting way. I loved all of the characters, especially how different Victor, Henry, and Elizabeth were from one another. And for most of the book I wanted to strangle Elizabeth, but that was a good thing. I’m pretty sure the reader was supposed to feel that way. What else can I say? Mud babies. No, no thank you. Super awesome book – I’m not sure if there are going to be more in the series, but I sure hope so! It ended in a way that made me think there could be more, so we’ll see. At any rate, I do want to read more Kenneth Oppel!

Have you read these books? What are your thoughts?


{Book & A Cuppa} Wednesday’s Book & Tea

It’s Wednesday! The middle of the week! What better way to celebrate than with a book and a cup of tea? OK, maybe I celebrate every day with a book and a cup of tea! I thought it would be fun to try and have a day a week, though, where I share with you what I’m reading and what’s in my teacup!

Today I’m drinking a delicious blend, Coconut Calypso!

Coconut Calypso

When I first opened up this bag of Steeped Tea white tea, I was a little taken aback because the smell was quite overwhelming. I figured that the tea itself might taste way too strong for me — and for other people who like coconut but don’t want their tea to taste like they’re drinking it out of a coconut shell. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. It’s very subtle and smooth, with a very nice light aroma of coconut.

The nice thing, too, is that it’s a white tea, so I can steep it 3 times! Sadly, I made a carafe using up all of my steeps, but that just means I get to enjoy it all morning, right?

The Summoning And Coconut Calypso

Now, onto today’s book! I had just finished my Kenneth Oppel book yesterday, so it was time to start another one! I knew I wanted something spooky, since Halloween is well on its way, so I started Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan.

mary the summoning

Here’s the synopsis:

There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY.” A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though–at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary–and Jess–before it’s too late?

Spooky, right? I remember when I was younger, my friends and I would try and “summon” Bloody Mary and I would always, always get so freaked out! I mean, I love ghost stories, but the idea of being all by yourself in a bathroom with a candle in the dark staring into a mirror waiting for a ghost to appear is so scary!

I’m not too far into this one yet, only about 10%, but I’ve heard really good things, so I hope it’s a gooder!

Have you read The Summoning? What’s in your tea cup this morning? 


Horror Shorts #ReadAThon Week

Halloween is one of my favourite times of the year. In previous years, I made October the month of scary movies, but with my new little guy, I really don’t want to put on a horror movie to watch in the background during the day and who can stay up at night when they’re old and caring for their child? I know, I know, I’m a grandma.

This year I knew I couldn’t let Halloween pass without some horror in my life, so I thought I’d pick up a book or something … until I came across Flavorwire’s list of the 50 Scariest Short Stories of All Time (thanks to Quirk Books for sharing!). What better way to get some delicious horror into my life at this time of year than with a short story! Perfect for someone who doesn’t have huge chunks of time to read.

I thought I’d make even more fun of it and have a whole WEEK dedicated to reading some horror short stories — and thought maybe I’d invite my readers to join me!

Short Story Read-A-Thon

This week I’m hoping to get through at least 10 of the stories. Some of these I can listen to, or listen through YouTube, which works for me. The original Flavorwire list had 50 stories but I picked out the ones where they included a link to the story (since I’m cheap like that and like things easy!) … and out of those ones I picked out the ones that looked the most interesting. Hopefully I can get two a day done and be good and spooked by the end of the week!

Care to join me? Why not sign up at the link below:

Here are my choices of stories I’m going to try and read:

  1. The Infamous Bengal Ming by Rajesh Paranesweran (Listen HERE)
  2. Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman (Read HERE)
  3. The Veldt by Ray Bradbury (Read HERE)
  4. The Other Place by Mary Gaitskill (Read HERE)
  5. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates (Read HERE)
  6. The Signal Man by Charles Dickens (Read HERE)
  7. The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs (Read HERE)
  8. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe (Read HERE)
  9. The Road Virus Heads North by Stephen King (Read HERE)
  10. Casting the Runes by M. R. James (Read HERE)
  11. The Dunwich Horror by H. P. Lovecraft (Read HERE)
  12. Out of Skin by Emily Carroll (Read HERE)
  13. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Read HERE)
  14. The Green Ribbon by Alvin Schwartz (Read HERE)
  15. Miriam by Truman Capote (Read HERE)
  16. Dial Tone by Benjamin Percy (Read HERE)
  17. Le Horla by Guy de Maupassant (Read HERE)
  18. A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner (Read HERE)
  19. The Landlady by Roald Dahl (Read HERE)
  20. The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis by Karen Russell (Read HERE)
  21. Silent Snow, Secret Snow by Conrad Aiken (Read HERE)
  22. The Babysitter by Robert Coover (Read HERE)

All of these are from the Flavorwire article, PLUS I think I have a few of my own somewhere to read, including the short that Neil Gaiman released last year!

If you have any recommendations of really good horror short stories, be sure to comment below!

Are you going to join me in my week of horror short stories?