Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Dienstag, 29. November 2016

Ondine - Heather Graham






 Ondine by Heather Graham


Blurb:

 HE SAVED HER WITH CHIVALRY. HE LOVED HER WITH SAVAGERY.

When handsome Lord Chatham rescued the golden-haired Ondine from England’s gallows, he demanded only one thing in return . . . her hand in marriage. In gratitude, Ondine consented to his plans—yet refused his touch.

Though his smoldering desire aroused her own secret longings, Ondine defied her mysterious husband. Until suddenly, in the notorious court of Charles II, the sapphire-eyed beauty was plunged into a web of danger and desire, jealousy, and romance. As secrets exploded, and swords clashed in vengeance, the strangers in marriage became partners in passion, and lovers on fire . . .



When I wrote my review for Heather Graham's book "When we touch", my last sentence was that this "was the first but definitely not the last book by Heather Graham that I have read". After having read "Ondine" I know that this sentence is still true - and that I'll definitely have to read her earlier books as well.

"Ondine" was a book that I rarely put down because it captivated me from the first page on.
Warwick, the fierce and hard Lord of Chatham captured my heart right at the beginning - and tested my patience almost till the end. Rough, hard but honorable to the core even when I just wanted to kick him because, you know, sometimes it is advisable to open your eyes instead of suffering for nothing just because it seems the honorable thing to do. Talking might help as well  of course but hey, he is a man.  Guess, that says it all, doesn't it?
Nymph or gallow's bride - or both? Ondine barely escaped the hangman's noose at Tyburn Tree and she should be grateful for that and concede to her husband's wishes as it is little enough that he expects from her in exchange for her rescue. If it weren't for her own secrets and her own history it might have been easier, certainly the role he expected her to play was easy enough to play but when feelings interfere and old wrongs have to be righted, well, then things definitely get much more complicated!

Like "When we touch" , this book is also much more complex than I had expected it to be. Once again I found a wonderful, thrilling and captivating story full of suspense with complex, interesting and authentic characters and a great story line. When I browsed through the book while writing this review, I found myself engrossed in it once more.
I really really enjoyed reading this book and I know that I'm already looking forward to future books from Heather Graham!

★★★★


Montag, 28. November 2016

Sweetest Regret by Meredith Duran










Blurb:

At a house party in the countryside, the joyful spirit of the Christmas season threatens to sweep Georgiana Trent under the mistletoe—and back into the arms of the dashing rogue who broke her heart two years ago. Little does she know that Lucas Godwin has no intention of leaving until he has reclaimed her as his own.

Alright, I loved this novella but I must admit that there were times when I was so furious when I was reading it that I almost threw my kindle at the wall. How can somebody be so calculating, ruthless and so mean and so...argh.
Okay, okay, right, I mean, it is a christmas story so I was sure that I'd get my HEA for Georgiana and Lucas but it wasn't that easy to get there, believe me.

Of course it is never easy to meet a former love especially if the parting was rather abrupt and left many questions open and even more if you should just by some umwelcome twist of fate find yourself and said former love as co-hosts to a bunch of very important strangers.
Right, exactly what happened to Georgiana and Lucas one not that very wonderful christmas. At least in the beginning it wasn't that wonderful but fortunately after a rather rough start the two of them start to talk to each other and discover some  answers to those aforementioned questions.

I loved that the hero and the heroine really talk to each other and don't jump from one misunderstanding to the next and I loved that they found their way back to what they had two years ago and that they still care for each other the way they did.
This is a very nice and sweet christmas story, well written with loveable characters that I really enjoyed.

★★


Dienstag, 22. November 2016

Campbell's Redemption: A Highland Pride Novel (Highland Pride #3) by Sharon Cullen










 Blurb:

With Cait Campbell hiding Scottish fugitives from the British crown, who should arrive wearing his English-style coat but Iain Campbell, the traitorous clan leader and the man responsible for her husband's death. Iain seeks a healer for his fallen kinsman, and out of a sense of duty Cait is obliged to help. Her uncanny ability to read people is powerless against his dark, impassive gaze, yet Iain is kind in a way that moves her.

In Cait's company, Iain is overcome by painful memories of his best friend, her husband, who died protecting him. But grief shows weakness—a luxury he cannot permit, because Iain is playing a dangerous game with the British army. One small misstep and he could be branded a traitor or executed as a spy. But even with political tensions mounting to a fever pitch, Iain can't get Cait out of his mind. What he doesn't know is that Cait is playing a deep and deadly game of her own, and their love could put everything—even Scotland itself—in peril.
 


As much as I loved MacLean's Passion, the second book in the Highland Pride Series by Sharon Cullen, I must admit that this third book, Campbell's Redemption is even better! Once started, I couldn't put the book down and I enjoyed every single page of it right from the beginning right up to the last page.

The Campbell and I - well, I wasn't really sure what to think of him, when I read MacLean's Passion and I wasn't sure whether "we" could trust him or not but in this book and its story he really redeems himself and all his actions.
I felt with him, when things went bad, I fought my tears, I smiled and I was furious while I read this wonderful and well written story about the Campbell and Cait, the widow of his former first. Reading how Cait slowly starts to trust life, reading about Ian's love for her - how could I have put the book down before knowing that everythins truly and really ends well?!? Well, as well as one can expect in such times.

That was another thing that I loved about this book. It is not just a love story even though that story and its characters are amazing but it also tells a bit more about the English and their rule in Scotland after Culloden.

Usually we are almost exclusively made aware of the horrible losses and the terrible treatment of the Scots at the hands of the English. You can find all of that in this book as well, you read about the injustice, the horror, the refugees and the helplessness of the people but in this book you also get an idea what other possiblities there might have been, an idea how the Scots might even have profited from a cooperation with the English, at least on a small scale, how further tragedies might have been avoided - all the time knowing that in the end the worst happened and the clans were demolished and the Scots' weapons were taken.
Nevertheless,  it was good to get another perspective that never tried to minimize the horror and the loss but that tried to give hope.

Well written and well plotted, amazing, complex characters - this book has it all and I can whole-heartedly recommend it!

★★★★★


Montag, 21. November 2016

Perfektion: Die Wissenschaft des guten Kochens, Band 3: Backen










 Inhalt: 

Wussten Sie, dass Cookies, die mit braunem Zucker gebacken werden, weicher und saftiger sind als die mit weißem Zucker? Oder dass Kuchen mit 16 °C kalter und schaumiger Butter perfekt aufgeht? Backen ist Kunst und Wissenschaft zugleich. Hier erfahren Sie, welches Mehl für zarte Kuchen das beste ist, welche Schokolade den verführerischsten Geschmack zaubert, wie Backpulver funktioniert - und warum manchmal auch ein Wodka die Lösung für einen mürben Kuchenteig ist. Freuen Sie sich auf mehr als 100 Rezepte und interessante Tipps zum Backen von Brot, Kuchen, Cupcakes und Co. Die wissenschaftlichen Grundlagen werden einfach und praxisbezogen dargestellt - mit vielen Fotos, Infografiken und Ergebnistabellen. So werden auch Sie zum Meisterbäcker!



Wow, dieses Buch hat mich echt überrascht! So ganz sicher war ich mir nicht, worauf ich mich da einlasse, auch wenn Rezepte drin sein sollten und so, aber es klang vom Waschzettel her schon fast zu theoretisch. Tja, Theorie gibt es auch ganz viel, sozusagen viele, viele nützliche und hilfreiche Tipps zum Backen, sowie andere interessante Fakten rund ums Backen, Lebensmittel und deren Zubereitung.

Manches Mal habe ich ja schon auch geschmunzelt, wenn ich las, dass man beispielsweise für wissenschaftliche Zwecke herumgefragt und bei jemandem im Schrank ein seit drei Jahren abgelaufenes Vanillearoma und eins, das seit zehn Jahren abgelaufen ist, gefunden und im Dienste der Wissenschaft verbacken hat. Dabei fiel mir übrigens ein, dass ich auch dringend mal wieder alles durchgucken sollte, ob bei mir in den Schränken noch alles aktuell ist oder ob sich da auch noch irgendwelche wissenschaftsfördernde Bestände tummeln...

Was fügt man dem Baiser zu, damit er beim Backen schön seine Form behält, wie wenig Zucker darf man verwenden, kommt beim Sahneschlagen erst der Zucker zur Sahne oder vielleicht doch lieber anders herum, Rührmaschine oder vielleicht doch lieber der Handrührer und was um alles ist der Unterschied zwischen natürlichem und alkalischem Kakao?

Alles Fragen, die dieses Buch umfassend beantwortet und noch viele, viele mehr. Es bringt Spaß, einfach in dem Buch zu stöbern und die Kästen mit diesem Wissen, die als "Praktische Wissenschaft" betitelt sind, durchzugehen und hier und da den einen oder anderen Tipp mitzunehmen oder diverse Informationen im Vorbeigucken zu speichern. Prägnant und auf den Punkt gebracht und trotz des sachlichen Inhalts nie langweilig und trocken, prägen sich diese kleinen Wissenshappen nämlich sehr gut ein.

Aber auch sonst gibt es unwahrscheinliche praktische, meist sehr einfach umzusetzende Tipps samt der dazugehörigen Informationen, warum das so ist und wie das funktioniert, beispielsweise, wenn es darum geht, wie man eine gute Brotkruste erzielt oder warum Brötchen im sehr heiß vorgeheizten Ofen besser gehen, Beispiele für eine Glutenminimierung (Kein glutenfreies Backen, hierzu bietet das Buch keine Informationen!) oder Informationen über Mehl und wie man es am Besten einsetzt, um auch hier nur ein paar der vielen Beispiele zu nennen.

All diese sehr sachlich erscheinenden Punkte sind eingebettet in Rezepte, die einfach nur Lust machen, den Ofen anzuschmeißen und loszubacken. Die Rezepte werden von ansprechenden, äußerst appetitanregenden Fotos begleitet, die allerdings passend zum Rest des Buches nicht in Hochglanz gehalten, sondern auf mattem Papier gedruckt sind, was aber insgesamt passt, auch wenn das bei Kochbüchern ja seltener der Fall ist, da es den etwas sachlicheren Charakter des Buches noch betont.

Dieses Buch werde ich mit Sicherheit noch oft wieder zur Hand nehmen, wahlweise, um Informationen nachzulesen oder einfach nur leckere Sachen nachzubacken. Und wer jetzt zum Beispiel wissen möchte, wie man das schönste Kakaoaroma beim Kochen heißer Schokolade erzielen kann, ob mit Kakaopulver, Bitterschokolade oder vielleicht doch eher mit ungesüßter Schokolade...tja, der sollte sich dieses Buch kaufen, es wird diese und alle anderen Fragen, die einem so einfallen könnten, beantworten!

★★★★★


Mittwoch, 16. November 2016

Manga Classics: Jane Eyre - Stacy King










Blurb: 

As an orphaned child, Jane Eyre is first cruelly abused by her aunt, then cast out and sent to a charity school. Though she meets with further abuse, she receives an education, and eventually takes a job as a governess at the estate of Edward Rochester. Jane and Rochester begin to bond, but his dark moods trouble her. When Jane uncovers the terrible secret Rochester has been hiding, she flees and finds temporary refuge at the home of St. John Rivers.


My teenaged daughter loves Manga and we love british classics so this Manga obviously was a must. The first thing my daughter said was that it was really sweet. It is a Manga alright but it captures the essence and the story of the book very well. Despite the story being a classic, in this form it is fresh and lively and fun to read.

I have read many classics, including the original "Jane Eyre" but I always love to read good adaptions of a book that I enjoyed. Another perspective, another media in this case as well and it feels familiar and brand-new at the same time.

This adaption is a wonderful way to get to know the story for those who don't like to read the original story by Charlotte Bronte but would like to know more than just the movie all the same. Classics are not everybody's cup of tea and if you don't like the style or just can't get into it, it is nice to have an alternative. This Manga is indeed an alternative in such a case but it is also a wonderful addition if you already know the original and liked the story.
The drawings are well done and beautiful, my daughter and I both enjoyed them and the whole book immensely!

If you love classics, if you love Manga or if you just want to know if you could love the classics, this book and  - I dare say - this whole Manga Classics Series is definitely worth a look!

★★★★★

 

 


Dienstag, 15. November 2016

The Viscount's Mistress by Claire DuLac










Blurb:

Lawrence Sutherland, Royal Navy Captain and the Viscount of Glenrith, has just struck a devil’s bargain. To save his family from financial ruin, he needs the help of his closest childhood friend, Violette. They must work together so he can gain the hand of her wealthy but spoiled heiress cousin and make a mutually beneficial marriage—a sound business arrangement for them both. In return for her help, Lawrence offers Violette the one thing she covets most—freedom. With his help, she can leave England and her cruel family behind.

But there is a vital flaw in this near-perfect plan. Violette Pélet de Castelmarou is secretly in love with Lawrence and has hidden it for years. Yet now she finds herself feeding him lines and coaching him through sticky social situations in order to win over her cousin. But when emotions get involved, hearts become inextricably entangled.

When the time comes, will Lawrence be able to say goodbye to Violette or will he compromise her virtue and make her his forever?



I'm not completely sure how much I like this book.
I was so furious sometimes because the hero just behaved like an insensitive, egoistical ...erm, let's say... idiot. Yes, an idiot because he is so convinced to do the right thing and that he has to suffer just to help and that he has to act selflessly and in the end, well, right, he loves her, that's why he hurt her with his stupid, absolutely egoistical and ...argh...well, idiotic ways. There's nothing selfless and just suffering because you behaved like a boar doesn't make it better. I might have thought better of him if at least in the end it would have been totally clear that it is the love for the heroine that gets him to use his brain again but that's only a part of it. He just realises what he doesn't want and what is not worth his interest and that it might be better to pursue the one he loves. Well done, right? NO.
It might have been easier to deal with all this, if I hadn't taken Violette to my heart almost from the moment I "met" her. Violette is so sweet and life has been so hard for her that I just wanted to protect her because the one she loved and who supposedly loved her, our friend and hero Lawrence, didn't really do a good job of it.
Well, all is well, that ends well, isn't it? So I guess, on the whole the book is good. It is well written and despite being a bit (more) upset every now and then, I really enjoyed reading it.

★★


Dark Ruby by Laura Landon









Blurb:

To escape the memory of a horrific kidnapping that he barely survived, Alexander Linscott, Marquess of Halverston, flees to one of his country estates determined to master his demons. But when Mrs. Daisy Moore arrives on his doorstep applying for the position of housekeeper, he knows his life has taken an unexpected turn. She is clearly not who she pretends to be.
 
Lady Isobel Culver has no intention of falling in love. She’s on the run and can’t afford to risk giving her heart to anyone, especially a man as tortured as the Marquess of Halverston. But when fate intervenes and brings her to the altar with the murderous villain her father intends for her to marry, Alexander becomes the only man who can save her. If loving her doesn’t cost him his life first.


I read the other books of this series already and loved them and I read many many other books by Laura Landon as well so it wasn't such a big surprise that I also loved "Dark Ruby" and have already reread this book as well as the other books of this series.

It is not just the interesting and varying stories and the wonderful, multi-facetted characters that I love but also the way those characters interact, how they care for each other how they help each other and how authentic and unique each of them is.

This book is about Alexander, the Marquess of Halverston, whose kidnapping was part of "Ransomed Jewels", the first book of the series. While Claire and Barnaby along with Major Bennett tried everything to get him out of there alive, they couldn't prevent him to suffer horribly at the hands of his kidnappers. Hoping that some distance and peace will help him fight his demons, he flees to one of his estate where he meets Daisy Moore, his new housekeeper - and a woman who is running from her own demons.

It is wonderful to see how slowly those two start to trust and to help each other and how love helps them overcome their demons. Again Claire, Major Bennett and Barnaby are there to lend their support and to do whatever is necessary to help those they love.

I really really enjoyed reading this book and couldn't put it down - and when I read the last page I just started to reread the whole series.

★★★★

The British Table: A New Look at the Traditional Cooking of England, Scotland, and Wales by Colman Andrews









Blurb:

The British Table: A New Look at the Traditional Cooking of England, Scotland, and Wales celebrates the best of British cuisine old and new. Drawing on a vast number of sources, both historical and modern, the book includes more than 150 recipes, from traditional regional specialties to modern gastropub reinventions of rustic fare. Dishes like fish pie, braised brisket with pickled walnuts, and a pastry shop full of simple, irresistible desserts have found their way onto modern British menus—delicious reminders of the depth and breadth of Britain’s culinary heritage. The book blends these tradition-based reinventions by some of the finest chefs in England, Scotland, and Wales with forgotten dishes of the past worthy of rediscovery.


Wow - an abundance of amazing and easy-to-follow recipes, great pictures and wonderful texts to go with the recipes, relaying historical facts or anecdotes connected to those recipes or the food discussed, personal stories to go with them or ... just wonderful stories or interesting facts that make you browse this book and read a bit here and there as if it was a novel.

This book is interesting and captivating to read and it is a collection of marvellous recipes that are well presented and just want you to grab your cooking spoon and do some serious cooking. All you ever wanted to know about british food and much more that you never thought of, can be found in this wonderful book. And if you don't want to read - well, never mind, just look at the pictures! If you weren't hungry before you started reading, believe me, one look at the photos andthat will change!

I really really love this book and I'm looking forward to trying many more of the recipes!

*Just a note - this book is obviously not a book for vegetarians 
but it is a wonderful collection for all those who love traditional british food.*


★★★★

Dienstag, 8. November 2016

Welcome Home for Christmas (Hero's Welcome #4) by Annie Rains ~In English~











Blurb:


Three-hundred-and-sixty-four days a year, Allison Carmichael doesn’t mind being single. It sure beats dating another loser, and it keeps her heart safe. Then there’s that three-hundred-and-sixty-fifth day: Christmas Eve, the traditional time her entire family gathers together—and gangs up on her, demanding to know when she’s going to get married. This year, she swears, is going be different. And that’s why, at a charity auction she’s throwing on-base, she buys herself a man.

Sergeant Troy Matthews insists that he’s not for sale. His time is, though, and he’s happy to donate it. Happier still when he learns the identity of the winning bidder: the redhead with the killer good looks and smart mouth who runs the veteran’s center. Allison needs Troy’s help to fool her family into believing they’re an item, and he’s all too happy to indulge her. But by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, their little charade is working a little too well . . . because Troy’s falling head over heels.



Welcome Home for Christmas is one of those "Feel-Good-Stories" that are an essential part of all this chrismas-feeling going on at this time of the year. Who doesn't love a sweet and romantic version of the Christmas Carol (especially with a Marine who definitely doesn't resemble Scrooge at all and a heroine who is, well, better looking and sweeter than Scrooge's nephew either)?

The story is well plotted and well written. It made me laugh and swoon and of course, it also made me roll my eyes - just the way a good romance should. I really enjoyed reading it and I loved to see how Troy and Allison find their way to each other despite all the well meant advice given to them and their own personal insecurities.

A heartwarming, wonderful story, great characters and a big basket full of christmas feelings - just right for a nice evening at home, snuggled up in your favorite chair with a nice cup of tea at your side.

★★★★

 

 

One Summer of Surrender (Seasons #3) by Jess Michaels










Blurb:

Lucien, the Earl of Stenfax has been engaged twice, but only in love once. That was with his childhood sweetheart, Elise. When she threw him over for a man with more money and a higher ranking title, it broke him. Now she’s widowed and he finds himself drawn to her again, like a moth to her flame.

Elise had her reasons for walking away from Lucien, reasons he doesn’t understand. Back in Society, she’s now financially desperate and is even considering becoming someone’s mistress. But Lucien keeps appearing at the most inopportune moments and it’s only a matter of time before the desire between them explodes.

Time will tell if Lucien will be able to see past his lusty drive for revenge. And if Elise can convince him she’s worthy of more, despite the past.



I've read many books by Jess Michaels already and loved each and everyone of them. This one, which is the third in the "Seasons"-series, is every bit as amazing as the other ones. Those of you who have read the wonderful "An Affair in Winter" or " A Spring Deception" already know most of the main characters - and I'm sure that you'll love to see what becomes of Lucien and Elise whose former engagement and its unfortunate ending were the driving force behind Grant's involvement in "An Affair in Winter" which led him to Rosalinde.

(Oh, by the way - if you haven't read the other books in this series, yet, you shouldn't miss out on them, zhey are amazing and sweet!)

Soo, it's Lucien and Elise now and obviously, considering everything that went down between them, it is not easy for them to reconnect no matter what their traiterous feelings and their bodies might think. Of course it is not just Lucien himself, Elise has to confront but also his family. A family that felt like her own years ago and who despise her now. Adding a miserable marriage, a widowhood without a pence to her name and an heir of her husband's who threatens her...perfect, isn't it? Well, that's why Elise is desperate and looking for help in places where Lucien doesn't want to see her...
Some chemistry can't be denied, as Lucien will find out for sure.

What I really love about Jess Michael's stories is not just that they are well written and keep me glued to my reader from the beginning to the very end of the book but also that they all have a unique touch. Sure, they are romances and I expect a hero and a heroine with a difficult courtship of some kind but every book of hers has its own story and you don't get the feeling that you've read it all before. "One Summer of Surrender" is no exception there. It is a book that made me smile and laugh and *coughs slightly* swear at the stupidity of men in general and Lucien in particular and maybe there might even have been a tear or two at times...

A wonderful book with complex and authentic characters - I love it!

★★★★★



Montag, 7. November 2016

Unmasking Miss Appleby (Baleful Godmother #1) - Emily Larkin









Blurb:

On her 25th birthday, Charlotte Appleby receives a most unusual gift from the Faerie godmother she never knew she had: the ability to change shape.

Penniless and orphaned, she sets off for London to make her fortune as a man. But a position as secretary to Lord Cosgrove proves unexpectedly challenging. Someone is trying to destroy Cosgrove and his life is increasingly in jeopardy.

As Charlotte plunges into London’s backstreets and brothels at Cosgrove’s side, hunting his persecutor, she finds herself fighting for her life—and falling in love…



I loved this book and couldn't put it down. It is not just well written and has amazing, authentic characters but it is also imaginative and very special. You know, this touch of something different that makes an ordinary story like "she loves him, he loves her and thy find each other against all odds" rather special and something that captivates you.

First I was a bit wary because I wasn't sure, considering the  part about faeries and shape shifting and such stuff, if the book wouldn't be a bit too fantastic because I was in a mood for something decidedly romantic. Well, it is romantic  - and much more. This book took me on a ride on an emotional roller coaster with the romantic parts (and others) and at the same time I loved how natural the shape shifting part was. It just fits in, people get used to it and it is just a means to an end - and of course it is fun as well. Who did never dream of flying, for example?

The book touches sensitive subjects in an equally sensitive way. Sometimes I was furious, I was shocked, I was sad - alright, there might have been a tear or two - and I was also very happy and a bit (more) sentimental.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and can definitely recommend it!

★★★★★


Veiled In Blue (The Emperors of London #6) - Lynne Connolly









Blurb: 


Governess Eve Merton would have fallen into serious trouble on her walk home if a handsome stranger had not stopped to help her. But when Mr. Vernon gives her a lift on his horse, he makes no secret of his attraction. As a well brought-up young lady, Eve does her best not to notice, but when he sets about courting her, she knows she’s in trouble. For she has a secret: she is the daughter of a deposed king, which means not only is she without a dowry, but also that her life is in danger…

Little does Eve know that Mr. Vernon has secrets of his own. In truth, his name is Julius, Lord Winterton, and he’s well aware that Eve is the offspring of the Old Pretender. In order to save his sister, he must convince Eve to wed—though he wants nothing to do with love. But as the two grow closer and an attempt is made on Eve’s life, Julius may realize that fighting his heart’s true desire is a battle most pleasurably surrendered…


 
I can't say how often I've read "Rogue in Red Velvet" already, the first book in the "Emperors of London"-Series and I've never realised that it is a whole (wonderful) series! Well, naturally I've tried to make up for this oversight since I've found out. "Veiled in Blue" is actually the sixth book in the series and I loved it as much as I loved "Rogue in Red Velvet".

When I started to read "Veiled in Blue", I was thrilled to meet some of my favorite characters from the "Rogue" again right at the beginning. Even though this story is the story of Julius, Lord Winterton whom we met already in "Rogue in Red Velvet" and Eve Merton, another one of the descendants of the last Stuart King of Britain, we get to meet several of the other Emperors from the former books and find out how their stories went on.

A well plotted and interesting story with wonderful, complex characters and an author who definitely knows how to write - and how to write well- this book captured me right from the first page on and kept me glued to my reader till the very last page. And then I went and bought the next book (backwards) in the series because I just had to know what happend to everyone between the first and the sixth book. I'm still working on it but this
series as well as this book are really highly recommendable. Each of the books can be read as a stand-alone but I guess that my example shows that this won't do for long and that you'll probably want to read all the others as well once you've started.

★★★★

Samstag, 5. November 2016

The Reckless Love Of An Heir (Marlow Intrigues #7) - Jane Lark








 Blurb:


For Lord Henry Marlow, the future Earl of Barrington, life is for living before he accepts his duty. No wager is too risky or challenge too dangerous – until a racing injury forces the Barrington heir to return home and prepare for his destiny. But the one thing Henry will not do is bow to his parents’ wishes and propose to his childhood friend and neighbour, beautiful Alethea Forth. And he’ll not put up with her disapproving sister, Susan, either, no matter how much he enjoys their verbal sparring…
Kind-hearted, bookish Susan Forth has always thought Henry arrogant and self-centred, and has never hidden her dislike of the rogue! But this injured, vulnerable Henry reluctantly brings out her natural compassion, and a shocking desire for the man who is expected to marry her sister! A stolen kiss leads to a forbidden passion – and for the first time in her life, Susan knows what it’s like to be reckless – with a man who is finally learning to care.
But when tragedy strikes, their secret love is all that holds them together – and could tear their lives apart…



This was again a book that I really enjoyed and that made me laugh and cry and grin and...well, you get what I mean.

When Lord Henry Marlow comes back to his parents estate to recuperate after a near fatal accent, Alethea is already waiting for him. And she is waiting for a proposal. Impatiently. Even though they have known each other since childhood and have been meant for each other since then, they are not officially betrothed, yet, and Henry doesn't really want to change this status.
While he slowly heals he gets to know Susan, Alethea's sister much better, whom she always took for granted and for whom he never really cared much as she always disaproved of him and everything he did. Susan has forever lived in her sister's shadow but somehow things start to change and for the first time Henry really sees her. And the more he really gets to know her, the more he falls for her. Hard. Now there's just the question if there could be a future for them as Althea still considers him hers.....

I really loved to see the change in both, the hero and the heroine. Henry, who becomes more aware of those around him and Susan who slowly steps out of her sister's shadow and blossoms. The characters are well developed and authentic, the side characters as well as the main characters. The story is interesting, well spun and well told. The moment I finished the book I looked for other books by Jane Lark so, well, I can definitely recommend this book..

★★★



Freitag, 4. November 2016

Hilo 01: Der Junge, der auf die Erde krachte... von Judd Winick







 Inhalt:

Mit nichts als einer silbernen Unterhose bekleidet, kracht Hilo eines Tages auf unseren Planeten und hinterlässt einen riesigen Krater. Er weiß nicht, woher er kommt und wie er auf die Erde kam. Zum Glück trifft er D.J., der sich redlich Mühe gibt, Hilo mit den Gepflogenheiten der Menschen vertraut zu machen. Anfangs verläuft alles zwar reichlich chaotisch, aber friedlich. Doch dann entdecken sie Hilos Geheimnis und stürzen in das größte Abenteuer aller Zeiten!


"Hilo 01: Der Junge, der auf die Erde krachte..." ist ein etwas chaotisches Buch, aber die Geschichte ist ausgesprochen liebenswert und ich denke, viele der als Zielgruppe angepeilten jüngeren Leser können sich mit den Helden gut identifizieren, insbesondere, da Daniel, der Junge, der den Jungen findet, der auf die Erde gekracht ist, ein ganz normaler, nicht wirklich selbstsicherer, sondern etwas eigenbrötlerischer Junge ist, dem nicht die ganze Welt zu Füßen liegt. Wer sich mit Daniel nicht identifizieren kann, findet in Gina mit ihrem Pepp noch eine schöne Identifikationsfigur - und alle anderen genießen einfach so diese spannende, toll gezeichnete und schön gemachte Story!

In Richtung Graphic Novel/Manga gehend, ist Hilo eine wirklich fesselnde Geschichte, die mit viel Bild und wenig Text aufwartet, wie das bei Comics jeder Art nun mal so ist und so vielleicht auch den einen oder anderen Lesemuffel dazu bewegen kann, zum Buch zu greifen.
Bei Comics finde ich immer die Art der Bilder wichtig, da es ja leider auch viele nicht wirklich schön gezeichnete Comics gibt. Diese hier sind fröhlich und klar gezeichnet und insgesamt sehr ansprechend.
Als Altersgruppe sind Kinder von 10 bis 12 Jahren angesetzt, allerdings denke ich, dass man auch schon jüngere durchaus für diese liebenswerten Geschichte begeistern kann, in der es auch viel um Freundschaft geht und darum, wie man sich selber wahrnimmt.

★★★

To Win a Viscount (The Daughters of Amhurst #2) - Frances Fowlkes







 Blurb:

England, 1820. To gain a certain marquess’s notice, Lady Albina Beauchamp aims to win the derby. What she hadn’t planned for is the price handsome Mr. Edmund White asks in payment to train her to race: each lesson for a kiss.

A first place finish isn't the only thing worth racing for

Lady Albina Beauchamp is in love with the Marquess of Satterfield. Unfortunately, his only interest is in horses, and doesn’t know she exists. But when the marquess confesses he will bestow his undying admiration on the jockey racing the winning horse at Emberton Derby, Albina sets out to win his affections by training to race.

Mr. Edmund White is a master groomsmen for the Earl of Amhurst in line for a viscountcy, should he abandon his passion for horses and become a respectable sheep owner. But horses are his love--until he meets Lady Albina and her silly notions of racing. When she affirms she will enter the derby with or without his assistance, Edmund not only instructs his student in racing, but seduction as well.

For Albina, a first place finish isn’t the only thing at stake. She must decide whether to take her place in society...or follow her heart and love a groom.



Just a short impression because I really didn't know what to make of this book. 

I have already read another book by Frances Fowlkes and liked that alright but somehow this one and I didn't get along. The story sounded intriguing and the writing was okay but I really couldn't get into it. I started to read it several times and never got really far because I lost interest. In the end, when I finally finished it, it was on the whole a, well, a nice story but it lacked some substance and some real action. Unfortunately the characters lacked substance as well and couldn't make up for the lack of action. They were very likeable but rather one-dimensional instead of complex. 

I wasn't sure  how to rate it because I'm not sure if we just got of on the wrong foot because it is well written, so I settled down for three very weak stars.


 ★★


Donnerstag, 3. November 2016

Voll fett kochen - Pia Westermann

  








Inhalt:
 
Sündige Soulfood-Rezepte für Tage, an denen die Seele durchhängt und der Magen knurrt oder auch einfach für Genießer und die Lust am Essen.
Es gibt seltsame Dinge auf dieser Welt - auch und gerade, wenn es ums Essen geht. Der neuste Trend aus Korea zum Beispiel nennt sich Mok-Bang: Menschen filmen sich beim Essen - vor allem lecker-ungesunder Dinge -, und Tausende schauen via Internet live dabei zu. Aber: Nur zuschauen, wenn andere genießen? Und überhaupt: Was ist an den Tagen, an denen Seele und Magen nach Soulfood rufen? Nach Eiern, Käse, Speck und Schokolade? Da darf, da muss es einfach sein: Voll fett kochen und voll fett genießen! Low Carb und Fitness-Studio stehen morgen wieder auf dem Programm, heute gibt es Verbotenes und verboten Gutes: Double-Cheese-Omelette, Käsepolenta mit Pulled Chicken, Churro-Schoko-Waffeln und und und. Zum Alleine-Essen oder mit der besten Freundin, aus Frust oder aus purer Lust am Genuss. Und wer dennoch lieber nur Schauen möchte: Mit seiner coolen Aufmachung und den Mmmh-Foodfotos ist das Buch auch optisch reinstes Soulfood - und viel, viel besser als Mok-Bang


Der erste Kommentar meines Mannes als er in diesem Kochbuch blätterte, war, dass das ja mal ein Kochbuch ist, das normale Rezepte enthält und nicht nur extrem gesunde oder extrem "irgendwasse" Rezepte. Ich muss ihm da ja Recht geben - viele Kochbücher heute widmen sich tatsächlich nur noch der Frage, was wie gesund ist und wie man sich ernähren soll. Rezepte rein um der Rezepte und des guten Geschmacks wegen, gibt es nur noch selten.

Wer gerade Diät macht, sollte entweder nicht zu diesem Buch greifen - oder sich einfach gedanklich darauf vorbereiten, die Gerichte entsprechend abzuwandeln, vieles davon lässt sich nämlich durchaus auch ein wenig kalorienärmer gestalten und ganz ehrlich, manchmal darf man auch einfach schlemmen und etwas einfach deshalb essen, weil es einem schmeckt und zwar genauso so - mit Fett und Sahne und Zucker und allem, was so verpöhnt ist.

In diesem Buch finden sich "normale", leckere Rezepte, die keinerlei Weltanschauung vertreten, keine besonderen Ernährungsphilosophien repräsentieren, sondern einfach nur schmecken wollen. Mit Sicherheit sind sie nichts für jeden Tag, weil sie doch sehr gehaltvoll sind, das gebe ich ja zu, aber für ab und an, um sich mal etwas anders zu gönnen oder weil einem einfach nach fettig und zuckrig ist (oder schlichtweg nach genau diesem leckeren Essen), finden sich hier wunderbare Rezepte, von denen meine Familie sofort begeistert war. Ob flüssig wie etwa heiße Schokolade mit Marshmallows oder Victoria-Spritzkuchen, Reuben-Sandwich, Zitronen Carbonara oder selbstgemachte Cheese Crust Pizza, süß, deftig, sättigend oder zum Naschen, hier findet sich für jeden Geschmack etwas und dank der übersichtlichen und ausführlichen Anleitungen sollte es auch kein Problem sein, die Rezepte auch gut nachzukochen!


★★★★
 
 

A Season at Brighton (Eversley #3) by Alice Chetwynd Ley








 Blurb:

One eligible bachelor, three beautiful women, one family rivalry…

When the Countess of Nevern writes to say that her son, Viscount Pamyngton, is unexpectedly returning home to Nevern Hall, Lady Denham sees a perfect opportunity for one of her daughters to capture him in holy matrimony.

The only question is which girl will he choose?

Of the three Denham girls currently out in society, Eleanor is deemed the most attractive, even if she is rather young, and quite fancies the idea of marrying Pamyngton and becoming the next Countess of Nevern.

Louisa, the eldest, cares not a jot for Pamyngton or his title, as her heart lies elsewhere — she is hopelessly in love with a clergyman whose meagre living makes him an entirely unsuitable suitor.

And Catherine is an impetuous little minx, who often speaks without thinking and is far too flighty to be the wife of a viscount!

This is not the first time a union between Nevern and Denham has been contemplated.

Plans were once made for a marriage between Pamyngton and Fanny Denham, the oldest of the six Denham girls, but when the viscount fell madly in love with the beautiful Georgiana Eversley, the wedding was cancelled.

Fanny is now happily married to a colonel and residing in Brighton — and Louisa, Catherine, and Eleanor have been greatly looking forward to visiting their sister on a bit of a holiday.

But Pamyngton’s arrival at Nevern Hall throws these intentions into disarray.

Lady Denham has absolutely no intention of letting any of her girls out of her sight as long as Pamyngton remains nearby.

But Catherine has other ideas and determines that she shall just have to make her way to Brighton herself.

Her adventure quickly runs afoul as she discovers the dangers of being a solitary young woman walking the roads with neither protection nor money.

So when a mysterious stranger helps her to return home unscathed she is deeply grateful.

However, Catherine is mortified to discover the next day that her handsome stranger is the very same Viscount Pamyngton that her mother desires her to marry.

Desperate to avoid further embarrassment, she does her best to avoid Pamyngton all together.

But it’s only when he starts to take an interest in her older sister Louisa that Catherine realises her true feelings.

Is she already too late…? 



When Viscount Pamyngton returns home, he is a bit astonished to learn that his mother, the Countess of Nevern, is setting him up to get married. She and her friend Lady Denham think that he'd do well to marry one of the many daughters of Lady Denham. I mean, five girls still unattached call for desperate measures, don't they? And the same counts for an unmarried son of 30 who shows no intention of changing his marital status, obviously, at least according to his mother. That's why the poor daughters of Lady Denham are not allowed to go to Brighton as promised.

Now we come to said desperate measures again because not all of the young ladies are content to sit around and wait for a certain Viscount instead of going to Brighton. So that's how Catherine Denham ends up being rescued by Viscount Pamyngton when she tries to travel on her own to Brighton. Due to this rescue those two get to know each other rather well - and, well, let's say that at least one (or maybe even both) of them wouldn't mind to deepen this relationship but alas...nothing is ever that easy, is it?

I really loved the well developed characters in this book, especially Catherine, the second eldest of the "available" daughters who cares for each and every one, gets upset very easily but gets over it just as easily either. Her spirited and forgiving nature paired with her natural wit turned her very quickly into my favorite characters but her elder sister Louisa was very sweet as well - and I must admit that I was a bit upset to see how she was suffering because she is not allowed to be with the one man she really loves. Viscount Pamyngton was also a very charming and nice character whom I liked a lot.

The story itself is reliable and apart from some twists foreseeable but in a good way. It is not just another one of "those stories" with exchangeable characters but you get the kind of story you expect and it is the characters and the wonderful telling of the story that make the difference and turn it in an interesting reading experience that you'll enjoy and cherish, at least that's what I did.


 ★★★


Mittwoch, 2. November 2016

Wicked little Secrets - Susanna Ives











Blurb: 

It's Not Easy Being Good...

Vivacious Vivienne Taylor has finally won her family's approval by getting engaged to the wealthy and upright John Vandergrift. But when threatened by a vicious blackmail scheme, it is to her childhood friend that Vivienne turns; the deliciously wicked Viscount Dashiell.

When Being Wicked is so Much More Exciting...

Lord Dashiell promised himself long ago that his friendship with Vivienne would be the one relationship with a woman that he wouldn't ruin. He agrees to help her just to keep the little hothead safe, but soon finds that Vivienne has grown up to be very, very dangerous to all of Dash's best intentions.

 

This book made me laugh so hard... I read it in the evening when the kids were already in bed and the next morning my daughter told me that she couldn't sleep because I was laughing so much and it was too loud.
I can't even say what I enjoyed more, the story with its many twists and turns or the adorable and original characters or if it was just the whole packet of story, characers and a wonderful wit and dry humor that kept me up till late at night and let me finish the book first thing in the morning when I opened my eyes, reading the last pages while having breakfast.

Well, it wasn't all fun and roses though, there were times when I couldn't read because of those stupid tears and of course there was also the occasional furious outburst and some eye-rolling when someone (especially the male parts always seem to be prone to stupid actions, don't they?) acts in an extremely stupid way or well, don't forget about those vicious people who make rakes and ordinary thieves look like saints...

As it is usual in the books by Susanna Ives, it's not just the hero and the heroine that are special but also the side characters are remarkable and well developed.
Another book by a wonderful author and definitely a book that I can recommend whole-heartedly.
After having read (and loved) "How to impress a Marquess", I just had to read more by Susanna Ives and well, I was happy to see that there're still some books by her left to explore - I'm so looking forward to it!

★★★★

Dienstag, 1. November 2016

When a Laird Finds a Lass (A Highland Fairy Tale #2) - Lecia Cornwall







 Blurb:

 She is his greatest enemy and his only salvation.

Malcolm MacDonald, a lawyer in Edinburgh, unexpectedly inherits his father’s title of Laird of Dunbronach, forcing him to return to a place he hasn’t seen since he was a small child. To gain the trust of a wary clan, Malcolm must act upon their insistence that he cast aside his English betrothed and marry a Highlander.

However, they have one condition—no lasses of the barbaric clan MacLeod.

When he finds an unconscious woman in the sea, he brings her back to his clan but not before doing the one thing that could save her life—hiding her all too telling MacLeod plaid. When she wakes with no memory of who she is, Malcolm vows to keep the little he knows about her identity a secret. As new dangers threaten his clan, the mysterious lass teaches Malcolm some very important lessons about how to be a Highlander and a laird.

But secrets never stay secret for long, and when she finds her plaid, her memory returns and she flees. Malcolm is forced to make a difficult choice to win her back, facin
g his darkest fears and his worst enemy for a chance at true love.




To keep a selkie....

...you've got to hide its sealskin. So what about beautiful lasses that get washed up on the beach? Can you keep them when you hide their plaid?

Malcolm MacDonald never expected to find a beautiful but badly injured girl at the beach but as to that - he never expected to find himself at a beach at all especially not at this beach and certainly not as laird of the Clan MacDonald, that's for sure! But when this beautiful, unconscious stranger turns up wearing the plaid of the MacDonald's worst enemy, he can do but hide the plaid and take care of the lass. Will that be enough to ensure her safety? And what will happen, when she remembers her name, will Malcolm be able to keep her?
things get even more complicated, when his cousin Maccus, a drunk, given to raping and terrorising the lasses, turns up, expecting to become laird in Malcolm's stead...
Will Malcolm be able to overcome all hindrances and become a true laird of his clan and keep Marcail at his side?

The book is well written, full of twists and turns with very likeable characters and I really enjoyed reading it. I loved all the hints at mystic things and little twists like that, that fit so well in with the atmosphere of the book and the time and place where it is set. I laughed, I sighed, I was upset and I smiled a bit goofily - well, I really enjoyed reading this book!

★★★★

 

 

How to Impress a Marquess (Wicked Little Secrets #3) by Susanna Ives










Blurb:

TAKE ONE MARQUESS: Proper, put-upon, dependable, but concealing a sensitive artist's soul.

ADD ONE BOHEMIAN LADY: Creative, boisterous, unruly, but secretly yearning for a steadfast love, home, and family.STIR in a sensational serialized story that has society ravenous for each installment.

COMBINE with ambitious guests at an ill-fated house party hosted by a treacherous dowager possessing a poison tongue.

SHAKE until a stuffy marquess and rebellious lady make a shocking discovery: the contents of their hearts are just alike.Take a sip. You'll laugh, you'll swoon, you'll never want this moving Victorian love story to end.

 

This book was amazing! It kept me on a rollercoaster of emotions - one moment I was laughing and giggling, the other moment I could have hugged and comforted someone (and dried the one or the other tear of my own), the next I did some swooning and then there were those scenes were I was spitting mad and would have loved to tell someone exactly what I think of their behaviour....

First of all - those characters! How can't you love someone like George and Lilith, Penelope and, oh, you just have to love Beatrice either, those four are so lovable and so authentic and original , it's really great!
We won't talk about Lady Marylewick or those ... cousins...of Lilith's though, I hated them almost from the start and believe me - it didn't get better, nope. Not at all.

And then - the story. I laughed so hard about the "Colette and the Sultan"-parts, especially in the end when things get heated and the fans....well, best read that for yourself, it is so funny and I just loved it! Apart from that the story was well constructed and well written and kept me glued to my reader till the end. 
This is definitely a story that I'll read again and even though it was the first book by Susanna Ives that I've read it won't be the last!

★★★★★