Start of a Series Book Review: Into the Wilderness

Book One

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donatti. This is described as a ambitious sequel to one of my favorite classics The Last of the Mohiacns, though you don’t need to read that to read this. Written back in 1998, after Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, this is one of my top five historical fiction romance books. Unlike Outlander, this doesn’t feature a time travel element, however it is directly linked to the series, as within the halfway point of book one, Clair Fraiser is outright mentioned for at least six pages as ‘the White Witch’. Its a nod to one of the biggest romance series of all time, that’s so well known it became a hit series on Hulu a few years back.

The story begins with Elizabeth, a spinster wishing to teach school in Paradise. But there’s problems. For one thing, her family is cash poor thanks to her brother’s gambling debts. For another, her father-the Judge-wishes her to marry Dr. Richard Todd. But she’s firm in remaining a spinster…until she meets Nathanial Bonner, direct descendant of Daniel (Dan’l) Boone. She is wary around him, unsure of what to expect of him-or this new land so rife with both bounty and troubles. Slavery is still legal. No one’s at first eager for a schoolmarm, worried more about cost and that what she teaches will not be useful to the students, apart from math or geography, reading or writing. She fights for her school, as well as her freedom in not to marry.

There’s lots of other problems scattered throughout the book. Someone attempting to run Nathanial and his people off of Lake in the Clouds, as they don’t want Indians on their territory. Rougher weather than usual settling in. A dangerous threat looming. And the potential for marriage in Elizabeth’s future, despite her wishes being made clear to her father. She struggles to grow used to her new home in Paradise, while the people struggle with the fact she’s not the spoiled princess they thought she’d be.

The story spans eight hundred plus pages, and evolves for at least six more books. I’d read book one at least ten times throughout the last fifteen years, and I’m still drawn in to the whole of it. Its one of my most favorite historical romances that I’d read in my life, and I am sincerely hoping it gets its own television series being linked with Outlander so. I cannot rate this highly enough, if you want fiction with depth, history, and romance as well as adventure, then I recommend picking up this book. You won’t regret doing so.

Final Rating: 6/5 stars

Book Review: The Bride Sale

The Bride Sale

Title: The Bride Sale
Author: Candice Hern
Series: Standalone
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Mass Market Paperback
Received: Library Loan
Rated: 4/5 stars
Review Word Count:
Notes:

First half of this book started off strong, and I very much fell in love. And then the plot took a direction about 200 pages in that I didn’t want or care about and the rest of the book was just a ‘meh’ experience, which is very disappointing. Verity is a strong character, the villagers are cruel and harsh, and the bride sale was a fascinating new historical detail that I hadn’t heard or read of before.

A Bartered Lady
Lord James Harkness is shocked to discover a “bride sale” taking place in his small English village — and surprised by the depth of his feelings for the unfortunate gentlewoman being auctioned off by a disreputable husband. But is it honor and nobility that compel James to outbid the townfolk for the proud, beautiful lady — or is it something more akin to . . . desire?
A Mysterious Lord
Verity Osborne is not sure whether good fortune or ill brought her to this dark, brooding man and his lonely manor house on the moors. Local talk brands James Harkness as evil — but Verity senses a gentleness underneath. She dearly longs for her liberty, but his sensuous touch causes her to stay. However, James must first trust Verity with his secrets if they are ever to share love’s rapturous freedom. And will the promised passion she sees flaming in his eyes warm Verity’s heart . . . or burn her?
-Description as Seen on Goodreads

This was is going on my ‘must buy at once’ shelf, because I just really adored the first half of this book. I should also note that I’ve never read Candice Hern before, at least not that I recollect, and so I’m definitely interested in reading more of the author’s works because she definitely has talent in regards to writing. The romance also wasn’t surprisingly heavy in this book, there was very little smut scattered throughout which made for a pleasant change as well.

Overall, I’m giving this 4 out of 5 stars, and hoping to discover more good books by this author in the future. I highly recommend reading this if y’all like learning about old Scottish villages, herbalists, scary castles by the sea, and a guy named Lord Heartless.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: Keep Her Safe

KeepHerSafeCover

{Look! I reviewed in time! And I thought I wouldn’t make it! Ha!}

Title: Keep Her Safe
Author: K.A. Tucker
Series: ?
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 448
Type of Book: Netgalley Ebook
Rated: 5/5 stars!

 

I rarely like thrillers. I rarely read thrillers. And yet, I’ve heard so much about this book that I had to try it out. And wound up falling in love with it, as cliche as it sounds. This book surprised me. It kept me up till 1 in the morning, eagerly flipping through to the very end. And what a bitter sweet ending it was!

I’ve never before read a K.A. Tucker book. I haven’t even really heard of K.A. Tucker until this book started floating around the blogs that I read that isn’t mainly scifi/fantasy. But the main attraction of this book was the cover, and it sounded interesting. It’s described as Making a Murderer meets Scandal. I’ve never watched Making a Murderer though I have, on occasion when nothing else was on, watched Scandal. And it fits, though I like to think of it as more along the lines of Law and Order: SVU meets Scandal.

To get into the nitty gritty-there’s suicides. There’s murder. There’s a scene that talks about child sexual abuse. There’s that same child who runs away. It’s got a teenager struggling to live in a shitty trailer park home, surrounded by drug dealers, wife beaters, and other such lovely people. *note the sarcasm* Basically if you have a rough past, and triggers, stay away from this book. Because it has all the *feels*.

I liked Noah best out of the characters of this book, but I also really identified with Gracie, the girl who lived in a horrible trailer park. The two of them together were my favorite parts of the book, and some of the only happiness that they found together. Both had terrible family history with one another, that made them separate and bring them back together years in the future. The both of them work together to fix what their families had wrought upon the world.

But every character had a deep personality that was startling and refreshing. Every one of them had reasons for doing things, reasons for living-reasons for dying. It made for a gripping read, and I read every page with avid interest.

My only complaint was the ending. I like happy endings. And this ending, while it had some good points, was more terribly sad than anything. Supposedly there’s a companion novel to this, though I don’t recall what the title was.

Nonetheless, this book is definitely worth reading, though be prepared for staying up all hours of the night trying to finish!

In the meantime, now that I’m done with this book, you can

-Pass Me That Book

Paperback Book Review: Glimmerglass

glimmerglasscover

Title: Glimmerglass
Author: Jenna Black
Series: Book 1/?
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Page Count: 295
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Type of Book: Library, Paperback
Rated: 4.2/5 stars

“I was trapped in Avalon. My Aunt was hunting me, my dad was in jail, and the only people who seemed to be on my side were a pair of Fae teenagers I barely knew.”

Dana Hathaway is the main character of this book, with an alcoholic mom and a father she’s never known who is supposedly a powerful Fae that lives in Avalon, which is in England (I believe). Avalon is a magical place on Earth, in an alternate Earth, where there are two worlds that intersect-Fae and Mortal. Most mortals don’t know about the Fae, or don’t believe in them. Dana Hathaway knows, however, that she is not normal. She is a half breed-half human, half Fae, and that makes her a Fairiewalker.

This book reminded me very strongly of a couple of other favorite fae type stories: The Iron Daughter series by Julie Kagawa, and the Switched series by Amanda Hocking. I really enjoyed this book, though I did wish that the main character wasn’t quite so naive. She runs away from her mother after her mother embarrasses her at a voice recital, and flees to her father…never realizing that this might have consequences. For one thing, she winds up meeting her Aunt Grace who is not as she first appears, and then she meets Ethan and Kimber who are siblings, in another dangerous situation. There are many attempts made on her life, and the usual ‘why is everything and everyone trying to kill me’ trope.

Turns out, she’s wanted by all kinds of fairie; but especially wanted dead, if she can’t be controlled, or coerced to a certain side. She’s finally safe at her dad’s-seemingly, of course. She doesn’t trust him, not after everyone’s lied to her, tricked her, tried to kill her, and so forth.

Glimmerglass is a well written book, but the characters can be frustrating at times. My favorite character was easily Finn the bodyguard. Who reminded me very strongly of Artemis’s bodyguard in the book series Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.

This is the first book of a series, which I didn’t realize upon snagging this from the library, but that’s fine with me-I get to read more of an interesting world filled with action, adventure, and intrigue-as well as the cliche’d romance, as well.

I highly recommend this series for all to read, because of its unique storyline, and interesting plot. 4.2 out of five stars!

Now,

-Pass Me That Book!

Upcoming ARCs

I’ve gotten a fair few ebook ARCs in my gmail lately. Some I’ve requested, a few of them are from authors who asked me to review their books on Amazon-and I’ve been getting a lot more of those kind of requests. Most of the time the books are good. But there are a rare few that I just didn’t care for at all. These are the books that I’m going to hopefully read soon and post reviews as promised. Two of which I needed to write reviews for before the end of December, but at the rate that I’m going, that’s going to be an epic fail. Sigh. Anyway, here’s the list:

1: Traitor’s Crux by Jessica Prather

2: Witchy Eye by D. J. Butler

3: Blood Rose by Danielle Rose

4: A Summer of Witches by M. Ganendran

5: Dragon Bone by Aldrea Johnson

So yeah, those are going to be the next books that I concentrate on. Some of the covers don’t look very appealing, and a couple of them look nice. It varies. The stories all sound interesting, though, now its just a matter of choosing which one to start with. I’m at least hoping to finish all of these before the end of the year and post reviews at that time as well. Other goals I have are:

*review every book on my shelves at home (that’ll take a while)

*make my blog a bit more organized in finding the books you want to read the review of

*somehow gain more traffic on my blog, to draw in more publishers/authors

 

And that’s what I’ve been up to lately. In between all of that, I’m still working on finishing my first book. It’s a YA epic fantasy novel, and one that I think is really good. I’ve got an editor looking it over now. I’m hoping to have it up sometime next year. Anyways. That’s all for now.

Happy holidays everyone,

Now-

Pass Me That Book!

Hardback Review: Even the Darkest Stars

Title: Even the Darkest Stars
Author: Heather Fawcett
Publisher: Harper Collins
Page Count: 304
Genre: YA Fantasy

Review:

This book was high on my expectations list, and did not disappoint. The cover fit extremely well with the story, which made me happy. I loved the dark blue cover of the book, and the title, which was initially what made me snag this book from the library. I now want to buy my own copy at some point in the future, it was that good. My only complaint was that it left off at a cliffhanger (readers of this book might groan at the obvious pun).

This book had it all-pet foxes as familiars, witches, demons, dragons, mountain climbing in dangerous terrain, and searching for an item as a means of a quest. The characters were driven, each in their own way, towards their own goals. You didn’t know who to trust, who to believe in when they had their scenes. Although I think my favorite scene was imagining baby dragons heading towards Chirri’s cabin.

Magic was complex, there was history of their world, and the Nightwood was a fascinating topic that I wished was discussed more often, because it contained witches who had a long time grudge against the human empire from blocking them off from the rest of the world. There was also ghosts in this book, which was a startling surprise, and there were explorers…

I just loved this book so much.

The author drew me in slowly, and built up until I had reached the very end. I knew that their situation wouldn’t be resolved when I had fifty pages left, and by the time I hit fifteen pages before the end of the book I realized that this was going to be one of those authors whose books I would snap up in a heartbeat in the future. She writes as though everything is desperate, the characters are at deaths’ door, there’s no more choices left…

And it’s exciting reading, full of adventure, magic, and mystery. There’s Lusha with her ravens, and poor Aimo, and River, and Ragtooth, and all of the characters I just loved to pieces. The story was epic, the book lived up to its expectations, and I couldn’t ask for more-but I am. I want book two. I want it now. Please don’t tell me that this is how the story ends, because if that’s the case, then that’s a terribly sad ending.

Overall, I give this book five stars. It was worth the wait, and I’m glad that this is still helping me out of my reading slump as well.

Go, read the book. I’ll wait.

Until then,
Pass Me That Book!