08 November 2017

Bite Sized Books // The Arcs Which Time (Or I) Forgot Part 1

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I am currently on a quest to conquer my Netgalley shelves by the end of the year (or at least to no longer have 26 books to review on there). I have a whole heap of books I simply forgot/no longer fancied reading and I am going to power through or at least read a solid way in (between 10 and 25%) and give them that chance to hook me. There are a few I know I will review and a couple of 2018 releases, so it’s not as bad as I’m making it in my head… but it’s quite bad.

This first batch of books (because I hope to have 3 or 4 of these posts up through to the end of the year) I had planned to call this batch the DNF Chronicles after I skimmed The Scot Beds His Wife to get an even vague idea of the story and because Duke With Benefits ended up being abandoned. I thought Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index might be the same as I didn’t think I was in the mood for more YA… I was wrong. And then after being guilted into reading Completely by Nick I discovered that all my unread ARCs weren’t misses, I was just not giving them a full chance. These are my mini reviews for those books.

15. The Scot Beds His Wife
Published: 3rd October 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating:
The Scot Beds His Wife is the next lush, captivating Victorian romance in the Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne.

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him...more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity...

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own...



I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
This one I agreed to review simply for the fact it mentioned a Scot (because who doesn’t love a good Scottish accent?) and I really wanted to enjoy it. I read the beginning and although it was a bit dark and twisted I could see a close bond between two brothers shining through and was thoroughly interested in the story. I thought I would see this brotherly connection between Liam (or a previous book in this series) Gavin and I was totally wrong. Maybe I’d have had a better idea if I’d actually read any of the previous books in this series, but I was mislead and that really affected my enjoyment.

When the book moved to the present the story just wasn't as interesting. I guess I should have read the summary a bit more closely as it did mention that this was about rogues and criminals. I just wasn't quite prepared for it and found the characters a little absurd and I couldn't connect. I genuinely didn't care for their story and ended up skimming through the book to the end. I probably wouldn't have even done that if I hadn't have gotten an ARC so felt obliged to be able to offer some thoughts on the book.

This book was not for me and I admit I was probably wrong to want to read. If I'd have read the summary I would have known it wouldn’t be what I was thinking in my head and I probably wouldn’t have been as interested in reading. You live and learn, don’t you?

Duke with benefits
Published: 27th June 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: DNF 
LADY + DUKE = TRUE LOVE?


Lady Daphne Forysthe is a brilliant young math prodigy with a burning passion for puzzles. When she learns that the library belonging to her benefactress houses the legendary Cameron Cipher a mathematical p that, once solved, holds the key to great riches Daphne is on the case. Unfortunately, her race to unlock the cipher s code is continually thwarted by a deliciously handsome distraction she hadn’t counted on. . .and cannot resist.

Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland, is curious as to why Daphne is spending so much time snooping around his aunt s bookshelves. He s even more intrigued by her bold yet calculating manner: she is unapologetic about her secret quest. . .and the fiery attraction that develops between them both. But how can they concentrate on decoding a mathematical mystery once the prospect of true love enters the equation?

Witty, sensual historical romance that will captivate readers. Romance Junkies
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
I decided I was still fancying a good historical romance after finishing The Scot Beds His Wife, one where I didn’t have to flick through to the end just to sate my curiosity about what happened (it was ridiculous, don’t bother) so I picked up Duke With Benefits as I knew it was on my ARC list and I figured why not? I read the first book this series with Kaja and Danya and it was highly ridiculous and the mystery in it hadn’t been great and the characters weren’t brilliant, what on earth possessed me to read the second?

I tried valiantly but this one just didn't click for me. This is partly to do with how sudden the romance is. There isn't build up you are told the Daphne and Dalton have chemistry, there is a rejection of a possible affair to explore this chemistry and then you jump forward in time to the cipher mystery this book focuses around whilst our MCs supposed chemistry continues. I didn't feel this at all. Maybe it had been too long between reading the first one and this one where you would have noticed the chemistry. I don't know, but in the end, I felt like I'd been told more than seen the chemistry for myself, I didn’t even get to the good stuff with the romance because it felt so stiff and forced. Never a good sign for a romance.

Maybe I was too harsh but this romance and this series maybe won’t be one I continue for obvious reasons.

Published: 1st June 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
This moving and uplifting debut follows Juniper Lemon, heartbroken after her older sister Camilla's unexpected death, as she navigates the holes that have been torn in her world, and the mysteries that Camilla left behind.

It's hard to keep close a person everyone keeps telling you is gone.

It's been sixty-five painful days since the death of Juniper's big sister, Camilla. On her first day back at school, bracing herself for the stares and whispers, Juniper borrows Camie's handbag for luck - and discovers an unsent break-up letter inside. It's mysteriously addressed to 'You' and dated July 4th - the day of Camie's accident. Desperate to learn the identity of Camie's secret love, Juniper starts to investigate.

But then she loses something herself. A card from her daily ritual, The Happiness Index: little notecards on which she rates the day. The Index has been holding Juniper together since Camie's death - but without this card, there's a hole. And this particular card contains Juniper's own secret: a memory that she can't let anyone else find out.

The perfect summer read for anyone who loved All The Bright Places or The Fault In Our Stars.



I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.


This was the point I realised my ARCs weren’t all misses and those reads I’d put off because of bad reviews or simply because I’d not heard enough about them was judgey of me and I needed to do better.

Was this book a totally original YA contemporary? No. Did it matter? Not really. I may have felt like I'd seen some of these characters in one form or another in various YA but it didn't once bother me because this book was about much more than romance or friends (although, those things played significant roles within the story) this book, at it's heart, is about loss and grief and that was what was important with this one.

I began this book unsure of what to expect, to be honest, I was drawn in my the cover and the cool name. I needed little more than that for the story to appeal to me. I began reading and I was still uncertain what the book was about but with the mentioning of a sister that Juniper didn't wish to be reminded of and the various mentions of condolences it wasn't hard to tell this was a book which very much centred around less. It was heart-breaking to see Juniper struggle with the loss of her sister, especially as throughout the book you learn how close the two girls were. They were friends and Camilla played a major role in Juniper's life, pushing her out of her comfort zone to try new things and have new life experiences. The absence is never more obvious when you learn that as Juniper is still grieving and keeping herself separate at the start.

I enjoyed Juniper's quests within the book, especially with the lost and found things. I know some of the choices she made weren't right or fair but everything she did she with good intentions. She was never being cruel, she was just on a continual quest to make things right as she could never do that with her sister.

I enjoyed the friends Juni found along her way in the book. Kody was so sweet and I loved seeing her at the start, especially as she grew closer with Juni and Kody finally got to be herself and break from her old self. And Angela was so sweet with her love for unattainable men and how she was the most understanding for Juni. I wasn't as big a fan of Nate's, but I think that's because I easily saw that there was more to him than it initially seemed (nothing bad, I just saw things coming). It was Brand I loved, though. I know you shouldn't have a thing for bad boys, but I am a sucker for a fictional bad boy, especially when he was a real softie really. I do not forgive all of his actions in the book (there should have been grovelling) but I understood why he did as he did.

This wasn't a perfect read but it had me tearing up in all the right places and I didn't even notice the time as I read and those are really the signs of a good old enjoyable read

Completely
Published: 26th September 2017
Source: Netgalley/Bought
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
Everest. If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere. Maybe even New York, where Ruthie Knox takes her charming rom-com style to new heights.


Beneath her whole “classic English beauty” appearance is an indomitable spirit that has turned Rosemary Chamberlain into something of a celebrity mountain climber. But after an Everest excursion takes a deadly turn, Rosemary is rescued by her quick-thinking guide, New York native Kal Beckett. Rosemary’s brush with death brings out a primal need to celebrate life—and inspires a night of steamy sex with the rather gorgeous man who saved her.

The son of a famous female climber with a scandalous past, Kal Beckett is still trying to find himself. In the Zen state of mind where Kal spends most of his time, anything can happen—like making love to a fascinating stranger and setting off across the world with her the next morning. But as their lives collide in the whirlwind of passion that is New York City, the real adventure is clearly just beginning. . . .
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

I got both an ARC and preorder myself a copy of Completely. I was excited for it’s release. I did a happy dance getting approved for the ARC. I was excited! So why did it take me so long to read? In fact, it was a tweet from Nick which guilted me into picking this up (thank you, Nick, you help me make good choices). I will forever be ashamed I didn't read this sooner but I'm also glad I waited until I was totally in the mood for a romance read as this book was a perfect example of romance done right.

I admit, I think I waited because I had some doubts. I loved the idea of the book and everything I’d hears about it but remembering what I knew of Rosemary from the last book I wasn't overly enamoured with her and wasn't sure I'd enjoy a book focused on her and her journey. Turns out I'm an idiot because I loved it. She was a powerful woman who had spent far too long as wallpaper. She finally had her freedom after divorcing Winston and choosing to climb Everest was part of her being her. When it doesn’t even remotely go as planned and she and her team are evacuated off of Everrest she ends up growing closer with Kal, an ice doctor on Everest (I didn’t know what that was either, I got a full mountain climbing education with this one). The romance which develops between the pair is brilliant, their chemistry is crazy, but I loved that they grew as friends as well. Like seriously, they were adorable and I loved them.

The thing is, this is a romance. It has an utterly brilliant romance between Rosemary and the slightly younger Kal (yay for an age difference romance which doesn't feature an older man) but it's way more about Rosemary finding herself and who she is it's her journey to who she is and also Kal's journey to regain his focus. Along the way the two just happen to fall in love and I love them for it. Rosemary was very lost, that was obvious from the first page. She is on a quest to find herself, which I think any woman is who is coming out of a long term relationship and has had children and is now trying to figure out who she was before marriage and being a mother. I think a lot of people will relate to Rosemary. I loved her realisations as she learnt what she actually wanted from life. And Kal! He used to be a sweet idealist thinking he could save the world, it sucked that he had to learn it isn’t as simple as having strong ideals but also work, and failure and a whole heap of picking yourself back up and trying something different. I really loved him figuring out his purpose once more, and the fact that he time with Rosemary helped him do that. The pair helped push one another forward and that’s what should happen in any good relationship.

This was a brilliant romance. I expect no less from Knox and I totally enjoyed every page. Kal and Rosemary are fantastic, the romance is brilliant, and this is a romance with an awesome story which links so well with the rest of the series which I hadn’t totally expected!

Have you read any of these books? Which ARCs have you put off reading for far too long? Anyone else discovered some brilliant books from their neglected book pile?

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