Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Christmas with a bunch of werewolves ... #TerrySpear #AHighlandWolfChristmas #DreamingofaWhiteWolfChristmas


This year a lot has been going on and I even missed writing a Christmas post


I really hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas!

At least, despite all technical problems and everything else that's been going down, I had time to read. And after reading many many other Christmas stories, it just had to be shifters.  
Shifters like werewolves and their likes, you know? 

After having reread A Very Jaguar Christmas, I just had to read another one (or two) of Terry Spear's books and it had to be something christmassy as well, of course. So I found A Highland Wolf Christmas and Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas and started to read - and didn't put my reader down till I had read them both.

I wasn't completely sure what to expect when I started to read "A Highland Wolf Christmas" because the blurb didn't sound that promising but, well, it was on sale, I knew the series and knew that I loved the other books and I was pretty sure that I'd like it because up to now, I really enjoyed every book by Terry Spear that I've read. In the end, the book was completely different from what I had expected after reading the blurb.

I had expected that the thing about money and the costs of the party would be a big part of the story but mostly it was Guthrie and Calla's shared love for spreadsheets and organization that comes up, rather something that they have in common than something that divides them. Even more important though, is the danger Calla is in due to her refusal to marry Baird as planned. With Guthrie and Calla falling in love, Baird being on the prowl and trying to get her back no matter how ...well, they certainly have a hard time of it and things will get much worse before they'll get a chance at their HEA.

As usual with Terry Spear's books, I really enjoyed reading this book. It was witty and captivating and I enjoyed every single page of it.




Tangling with a White Wolf--Best Christmas Ever, or Real Trouble?

Romance writer Candice Mayfair never missed a deadline in her life--until an accidental bite from a werewolf puppy turns her into an Arctic wolf shifter. She's forced to isolate herself in the wilderness to cope with her unpredictable shifting while she works on her deadlines. After all, for Candice, Christmas is just another day.

Enter private investigator Owen Nottingham, a wolf shifter hired to find Candice so she can collect her inheritance. They have a real problem: she must arrive home in human form, and that's not happening during the full moon. Besides, Owen has a new mission: to convince the pretty she-wolf her best move is to join his pack in time for Christmas...and to prove he's the only wolf for her.

Okay, so these are not very classical Christmas stories but I really loved the story about Candice and Owen and all their furry friends and, well, if you get to celebrate Christmas with those you care for and who care for you, well, I think that is one of the best things that you can wish for for Christmas. 

But....let's get back to Candice feeding a stray pup and ending up, okay, not as a pup but with fur herself. Those of you who have read "A Very Jaguar Christmas" might even recognize the little culprit whose greediness will change Candice's life. But some changes may even turn out to be one of the best things that could have happened to you no matter how bad they look at the beginning!

Oh, and let's face it - it's never easy to be a newly turned werewolf who can't control the shifting especially if you still live among mere humans and have to earn your living. That's why we (and Owen) find Candice in the wilderness when he comes looking for her because there is an inheritance to claim and with the full moon around the corner that makes their shifting unpredictable (putting it mildly) they have not much time left. 
And of course, there's also Christmas to consider and, well, with Owen being a bachelor and Candice being a very pretty she-wolf....yup, a lot of things to do, right?

I loved Candice and Owen and their chemistry and it was also fun to meet all those other shifters again and find out what's been going on in their lives. The book was once again well written, captivating and funny. I really loved reading it!



Friday, 22 December 2017

Worth of a Lady by Tarah Scot and Sue-Ellen Welfonder #WorthOfALady #NetGalley


No one guessed that an innocent would bring the Devil of Delny to his knees…

Spinster Chastity Hamilton is the Duke of Roxburgh’s heir. Her father insists she marry. She insists that the man who wins her hand must first find matches for her three younger sisters. Sir Stirling James takes up the challenge, and the sisters are shocked when he announces the engagement of their youngest sister to the Devil of Delny.

When Quin Ramsey’s surrogate brother Sir Stirling James informs him he is to wed the fourth daughter of a lesser duke, he refuses. But when he waltzes with the lovely innocent, he realizes that he wants no other man to waltz with her.

Somehow this book left me wanting for much more - unfortunately not for the right reasons. I wasn't anticipating the next pages, the next book or...what ever... but I felt as if somehow I must have missed the story or at least huge parts of it.

Oops, her father forces her to agree to the bargain, oops, Stirling has taken up the challenge, oops, he and the first groom to be turn up at first sight, the prospective but up to date very unwilling groom doing a 180 and declaring his wish to marry right away. Wedding, bliss, and happiness all over. Yay.

I was not only missing a real story but unfortunately, the characters are rather one-dimensional without any actual development of character or, well, development of anything, actually.
The story was pleasantly written and I kept reading but when I closed the book I just wondered whether I had somehow missed some pages and actually turned back to check whether there were passages or pages that I hadn' tread yet, but.....nope, that was not the case, I had really read every single page and hadn't missed anything.

I've read other stories by Tarah Scott that I really enjoyed reading but unfortunately, this one isn't one of them.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

The Traitor's Club: Jeb by Laura Landon #TheTraitor'sClub:Jeb #NetGalley

                 The Traitor's Club: Jeb by Laura Landon             


Against his better judgment, Lieutenant Jeb Danvers undertakes one last secret mission for the Queen. She has made him an offer he cannot help but accept. One that will secure his financial future. But when he discovers that the jewels she has sent him to recover are in the possession of the beautiful Mariah MacFarlane, he knows the jewels aren’t the only things in need of rescue.

Laura Landon is also one of those authors whose books I buy without even looking at the blurb because every book I've read so far has been amazing. The Traitor's Club series is her latest series and I really love those guys. We married off Hugh and Ford in the other two books and now Jeb is on his way to Scotland, right in the middle of intrigue, rebellion and - of course- danger. This assignment is meant to be his very last one, a special one that comes directly from the Queen herself who has promised him a very nice and useful reward.

Well, when he arrives in Scotland and gets to know his host's daughter Mariah, he might find that the unexpected rewards are the ones that really count. Oh, right, you have to get away first, preferably alive, to make things even more complicated. Let's just say that his host might think that Jeb has taken something of value on his trip back, maybe even two things and somehow things very soon get very rough.

Jeb and Mariah are a wonderful couple, tough, lovable, charming and so very much in love with each other that you can almost see the sparks flying off the pages.I really loved those two and I also loved the way the Traitors were there when one of their own needed them. The story is captivating and well told, keeping me glued to my reader from the first page on. I'm so looking forward to the next book in the series!


The Silent Duke (The 1797 Club #4) by Jess Michaels #TheSilentDuke #NetGalley

    The Silent Duke by Jess Michaels              


 Born mute, Ewan Hoffstead, Duke of Donburrow was abused by his wicked father and wretched younger brothers until an uncle swept in to save the day. Still, he carries the scars of his past with him, including a terrible belief that perhaps a “person like him” truly doesn’t deserve the title his uncle fought so hard for him to earn.

Recently widowed Charlotte may be the proper Countess of Portsmith to Society, but when she is around Ewan, she still feels like the enraptured little girl who met him decades before when her brother was best friends with him and his cousin.

A planned trip to spend Christmas with their families at Ewan’s estate reunites the old friends. But when a storm keeps the others from arriving on time, Charlotte decides to stop living in fear and pursue the man she has desired and loved her entire life. Ewan cannot resist her seduction, but he fears giving in to his heart. Especially when the family that disposed of him returns and threatens not only his life, but that of the woman he loves.

Another wonderful book by an author whose books I really love. Each and everyone that I've read so far, I've loved and "The Silent Duke" was no exception.

We met Ewan Hoffstead, the Duke of Dunborrow before when he turned up in one of the other books. The Silent Duke, the one who can't speak and who has much to tell. As well as his friends, the other Dukes, his family was somewhat lacking especially in the loving and caring department. When his uncle rescued him from his parents' home, he had already suffered a lot. The constant abuse has led to lots of self-doubts that are overshadowing his interactions with other people, well, especially those with women.

When due to circumstances his longtime friend Charlotte is his only guest, things start to change. Having lost him once, Charlotte doesn't want to give up on him for good without even trying to show him how things could be. Mix in a bit of family drama and some attempts at finishing Ewans life, stir in some of the warmth and the wonderful and loving characters that I've come to expect when reading a book by Jess Michaels and you'll end up with the perfect recipe for another amazing book that I've already read more than once up to now. Now I'm looking forward to the next book in this great series.


Monday, 18 December 2017

When a Warrior Woos a Lass (Highlander Vows: Entangled Hearts #6) by Julie Johnstone


The past haunts them. Treachery awaits them. Love will save them.

A shattered lass…

Scarred by the cruel whims of her late husband, Lena MacLeod lives in fear of men and marriage. So when the king’s edict obliges her to wed Scottish warrior Alex MacLean, she never expects to feel safe, let alone happy. But behind Alex’s fierce exterior lies a gentle, gallant highlander who renews her soul, emboldens her, and offers her the one thing she never thought she would possess—true love. Now that Alex has her whole heart, she’ll settle for nothing less than all of his.

A tortured highlander…

Haunted by violent nightmares of his dark past, Alex MacLean has put off getting married for as long as possible. But now he finds himself the husband of the fragile, beautiful Lena, and he’s drawn to her as he has never been to another. He vows to protect and heal her, and as she grows stronger, so does his love for her. Yet, his horrible memories and a treacherous task are preventing him from giving himself to her entirely, and the secrets he harbors threaten to destroy their life together.

A union…

When Lena uncovers a dangerous scheme involving Alex, she embarks on a desperate journey to save the man she loves. But Alex still hasn’t let her in, and he runs the risk of losing her—and his life—unless he can accept that his once delicate wife is now an ally strong enough to light his way.

This is by far not the first book by Julie Johnston that I have read and it not the first book in this series either and again this hero and his heroine took my heart by storm.

Seeing the two of them so vulnerable and on the other hand so determined to be there for the other one, wow... I couldn't stop falling in love with them. They are so sweet and hurt and messed up and both of them just desperately want to help the one they..yes, the one they love.
Somehow it was Lena who became stronger and more courageous with each page that I turned and the big, strong warrior, well, she made it her mission to get him there as well. Sometimes it's not the things you can fight or even touch that keep you prisoner but the things, the memories that your mind provides. And, well, despite his gentleness and his kind heart, Alex definitely has his share of baggage and for a man as strong as him, it is not easy to let someone else in to help.

Seeing Lena and Alex free themselves from the hurt and the pain of their past was amazing. Lena is a wonderful heroine, warm, loving and, yes, courageous, even when things get rough and I was so happy for her and for Alex. Alex might just learn that he has married more than he has bargained for a good way though. And Alex, wow, hard, demanding, fair, kind and gentle and just amazing.

Captivating and sweet, this book kept me glued to my reader. I loved the story and meeting old friends again, I loved those wonderful, complex and interesting characters and I was captivated once more by the author's way to tell those stories. After having read this book, I started to re-read the series and I must admit that I am really looking forward to the next books by Julie Johnstone and I just hope that we will learn more about our hero and our heroine in the future and, of course, about their friends as well.


Sunday, 17 December 2017

Moonlight over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan


I loved this book, plain and simple. I laughed and swooned a lot, I felt with our heroine and I really really hoped for this magical HEA - and the author delivered. A wonderful, very christmassy and very amazing and wonderful story that kept me glued to my reader. I just had to know what happened next and if the two of them would fall in love and overcome their obstacles. Those obstacles might not have been that huge from the outside but, as they are rather personal, from the inside it looked very different.

Getting to know Harriet and witnessing her warmth and her loving nature, seeing Ethan rediscover his heart and his feelings, I was so happy to see Harriet grow stronger and more secure of herself. She takes her life into her own hands but she still manages to care for others and to be there for them.
Okay, I might have wanted to kick Ethan the one or the other time but, well, let's just say that he is able to learn rather quickly and - considering his former relationships- I forgave him in the end.
The characters are authentic and real, it is very easy to take them into your heart and to feel with them. Harriet hasn't had an easy childhood but she didn't become bitter or hard but stayed warm and supportive. It is good to see how much she cares for her brother and sister and how close those three are but it is even better to see her spread her wings, gaining confidence and finding her own way.
Family is important to both of them and even though their families and their dynamics are completely different they are a very important part of their lives and a big support.

Warm, witty and very much in the spirit of the season, I really loved this book and will definitely read it again, probably next Christmas.


Friday, 15 December 2017

Running into Love by Aurora Rose Reynolds


Fawn Reed has kissed one too many toads and has finally decided that Prince Charming doesn’t exist. After countless mishaps, mistakes, and unmitigated disasters on the dating scene, she’s decided to give up and move on with her life…solo.

Everything changes, however, after Fawn runs into Levi Fremont, a homicide detective new to New York City.

Dedication to the job has rendered Levi’s love life nonexistent—until he moves in next door to the free-spirited Fawn. After a series of comedic run-ins push them together, will they finally give in to the inevitable and realize—maybe—they are perfect for each other?

When I saw this book on Netgalley, I realized that it was written by an author who will also attend RARE London in  February and I also realized that I hadn't read any books by her yet.The blurb sounded really promising so I just had to request an ARC of this book. Let's just say that maybe this was the first book by Aurora Rose Reynolds that I've read but it definitely won't be the last.
I really, really enjoyed reading this book even though the hero's bossiness and possessiveness sometimes made me a bit mad.

Fawn is attracted to Levi and she is rather shy and insecure so it definitely helps that he kind of bullies her into celebrating with him and letting him in her life and so on but sometimes I was a bit annoyed. He couldn't be sure that she felt for him the way she felt and if she hadn't shared his feelings, she might have been pushed into a relationship that she didn't want. Perhaps he would have realized it and would have accepted it but...
Apart from that I loved Levi and Fawn. Their chemistry is amazing and I just kept laughing and giggling and, of course, swooning my way through the book.

I also loved when their families meet, all this chaos, drama and laughter - wonderful! Fawn is a very sweet and loving character and the way she cared for the little girl just made me love her even more. Levi is also a wonderful character, despite his bossiness, hard cop and loving boyfriend all rolled up in one gorgeous package.

If you are looking for a sweet love, great characters and a lot of wit and humor, this book is the right one for you. If that's not what you are looking for---well, try it anyway, it is amazing!


Thursday, 14 December 2017

Wicked Seduction by Tina Donahue


Marnie is getting back on her feet after fleeing a bad relationship. As part of her new life, she arrives at Wicked Brand in search of tattoos to cover scars from a long-ago trauma, hoping it will allow her to finally feel pretty. What she gets is a hot Latin tattoo artist who sets every part of her afire.

Sexy as sin Tor can work magic with his stunning 3-D designs and wants nothing more than to see Marnie smile. She’s a rare combination of sweet and wickedly sensual. The kind of woman he can’t easily resist—and doesn’t try.

Their sessions at the parlor turn into evenings of steamy delight as they feed their carnal hunger and growing intimacy, playing shameless games that leave them breathless and wanting more.

When her ex shows up, determined to have her back under his control, the danger is real. But this time Marnie is stronger, determined…and no longer alone.

Okay, whereas Wicked Takeover couldn't entirely convince me yet, I read Wicked Seduction in one sitting and I really enjoyed reading it.

Tor and Marnie are wonderful together and I loved their chemistry. Both of them are interesting characters, very lovable and cute. I loved to see Marnie open up to Tor, I felt for her when we learned what had happened to her and I loved to see them fall in love. Having been abused before, Marnie doesn't trust easily and it is good to see her start to find her place and to find a home.

The book is well written, fast-paced and rather hot and steamy. There's a certain amount, - well, a lot of naked skin and their likes, so it might not be the right book for you if you tend to blush a lot but the two are sweet and where I skipped some pages in Wicked Takeover because it was just too much, I didn't have that problem in Wicked Seduction. Right, I know that the word "wicked" hints at some rather intensive sexual encounters so if you are alright with that, I can definitely recommend this book.


Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Demon Ash (Resurrection Chronicles #3) by M.J. Haag and Becca Vincenza


 The world is nothing like Mya remembers. While in Ernisi, cities have been bombed and burned in an attempt to stop the hellhounds and the plague. The survivors are doing everything they can to win back their world from the hell that was unleashed with the first quake.

With Drav's help, Mya reunites with her family, but they are far from safe. Marauders, hellhounds, and the infected are doing their best to destroy what's left of the world, and it's up to Mya and Drav to save it.

You know this feeling of dread when you start the last book of an amazing series? The feeling that this book has the power to destroy it all? No matter how good the other books were but a bad or even mediocre last book will bring them down. So, naturally, every last book in a series that I love, is something that I long for while fearing at the same time that I might be disappointed when I get it.

Do you know that feeling? Well, you can stop worrying, "Demon Ash" doesn't disappoint at all. It is simply amazing! From the first page on I was captivated by it and couldn't put my reader down. I loved meeting Mya and Drav again, getting to meet her family and see them interact with Drav and his friends. I laughed and giggled a lot, especially when Mya's mum was around, I stopped breathing, I might have shed a tear or two - and I absolutely loved every single page of this book.

This book was perfect, it was the perfect ending to a wonderful story. It took me on a long journey, getting to know Drav and his friends much better, seeing them interact with children (soooo cute) and women (even though they still have to learn the there are some questions....wellllll..... ), protecting those around them and of course, protecting Mya.
The whole series is amazing. It is funny and captivating and I loved each and every one of those books.


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Because of Him by Terri E. Laine - audiobook -


First of all, I must apologize. It's been a very long time now since I have posted my last review but life and the stupid internet or rather a lack of internet due to technical problems (old cables and such annoying things) interfered. But I am back now, my internet is back and ....the reviews are back!


 Because of Him by Terri E. Laine

read by 

  Jason Clarke and‎ Erin Mallon



Past and present intertwine with light and dark to tell a story ...Because of Him

Something inside me fiercely craves normal.
Sheltered all my life and taught to be afraid, I want to be bold, fearless.
Up until now I've kept myself and my heart safe.
Tade Astor, a guy so hot he steals my breath away, jeopardizes it all.

He isn't the kind of guy to give up on what he wants—me.
He’s determined to prove my safe world is missing something—him.
Even though he may not be the cocky guy I assumed him to be...
He’s definitely not the guy I should give my heart to.
But each time I see him, he becomes harder to resist.
I want to be brave and give him a chance... though it might come back to haunt me.

At the heart of Because of Him is a love story. But due to certain sensitive topics, it might not be suitable for all readers.

I got this book as an audiobook from the author with a warning that it might not be easy to listen to for some people because due to some sensitive topics it might trigger reactions. Okay, I didn't think that that would be a problem because even though some things are really hard to read and some books I would never read because I find them too hard to stomach, on the whole, I don't have a problem with such topics. That's what I thought at least.
I had definitely underestimated the effect of an intense and well-done narration versus reading myself. Listening to a good narration, you have fewer chances of blocking unwanted images and emotions than when you are reading the text yourself.

Soooo... if certain topics could be a problem, you might want to read it first instead of listening or - the trigger warning is real, the book deals with some really hard stuff. The author kept the fine balance between telling enough to get the horror of the things done to the young girl across and keeping it vague enough that the situation and the images weren't overwhelming.  It's a very fine line but without ever belittling the horror and the pain of everything that happens and that is done to her, Terri E. Laine succeeds at writing a story that is captivating and beautiful while still showing this very dark part of the human nature and the pain and the suffering of those who are caught in it.

Right, this book was absolutely intense, like - standing in front of your supermarket, listening on and on and finally going in with red, puffy eyes and such intense. It wasn't even the hard parts that really made me cry but the beautiful and wonderful parts in between. Tade's awakening love for Reagan, Reagan, spreading her wings, defying her mother (Oh. my. ....that was really hard. You get why her mother reacts that way, at least, you think you get it and you probably do so but nevertheless, this is so hard and I was so proud when Reagan pushed and fought to rid herself of her mother's fears and worries), daring to love and to trust. Nothing is easy for them because their history isn't easy and there are always those around them that interfere and make things even harder but I love how they fight for their love and how they stand together.
Reagan frees herself and Tade, well, I think you can see him grow and become more mature. He was never a bad guy (just a wild one) but loving Reagan makes him realize what really counts and well, just read it  - or listen to it.

The story is amazing, beautiful and, yes, I have to repeat it, intense and the audiobook is really well done. A wonderful narration that makes you feel and dread and hope even more.
As I ordered the print book the moment I finished the audiobook, I think it is safe to say that I can definitely recommend this book and I am really looking forward to the next books in this series. Gavin's story is already out and will find its way on my reader very soon....and next year, well, I am so very much looking forward to that one!


Monday, 27 November 2017

Romancing the Scot (The Pennington Family #1) by May McGoldrick

Romancing the Scot (The Pennington Family, #1)


In this stunning series starter by USA Today bestselling author May McGoldrick, meet the new generation of Penningtons...five brothers and sisters of passion and privilege. Enter their aristocratic world…where each will fight injustice and find love.

Hugh Pennington—Viscount Greysteil, Lord Justice of the Scottish Courts, hero of the Napoleonic wars—is a grieving widower with a death wish. When he receives an expected crate from the continent, he is shocked to find a nearly dead woman inside. Her identity is unknown, and the handful of American coins and the precious diamond sown into her dress only deepen the mystery.

Grace Ware is an enemy to the English crown. Her father, an Irish military commander of Napoleon’s defeated army. Her mother, an exiled Scottish Jacobite. When Grace took shelter in a warehouse, running from her father’s murderers through the harbor alleyways of Antwerp, she never anticipated bad luck to deposit her at the home of an aristocrat in the Scottish Borders. Baronsford is the last place she could expect to find safety, and Grace feigns a loss of memory to buy herself time while she recovers.

Hugh is taken by her beauty, passion, and courage to challenge his beliefs and open his mind. Grace finds in him a wounded man of honor, proud but compassionate. When their duel of wits quickly turns to passion and romance, Grace’s fears begin to dissolve…until danger follows her to the very doors of Baronsford. For, unknown to either of them, Grace has in her possession a secret that will wreak havoc within the British government. Friend and foe are indistinguishable as lethal forces converge to tear the two lovers apart or destroy them both.

I loved "Borrowed Dreams" by May McGoldrick, which is one of my All-time-favorites and I seriously can't tell you how often I've read and re-read that book. "Romancing the Scot" is the first book in the series about the Pennington Family, the book about the next generation.
Everything that I loved about "Borrowed Dreams" and its wonderful characters, can be found in this book again. You can feel Lyon and Millicent in their children and their children's actions and values. Their pursuit of justice and of what is right, their compassion and their love for those around them, are the perfect mixture of their parents' qualitites that I loved so much. And of course, we get to meet Lyon and Millicent as well.

If you read "Borrowed Dreams", you might remember Jo, sweet little Jo, whose birth we witnessed and well, there's also Hugh, Lyon's and Millicent's son. We meet those two in "Romancing the Scot" at a time, when Hugh slowly starts to open up to the possibility of loving again after having suffered a terrible loss during the war. Enters Grace, a young woman who is saved by Hugh and nursed back to health by Hugh and Jo. Grace has lost everything but she might just have found the one place where she finds a purpose and maybe even a place for her to stay. If she can avoid being killed or being convicted as a traitor, of course.

Right from the start this book felt so right that I already knew that this would become another favorite of mine. This is a book that I'll definitely read again and again and again and that I'll have to buy in print as well as soon as it is out (and I hope that there will be a print book as well!).
Somehow I need my favorite books in print as well even though I almost never read them because I always read the ebook. Nope, it's not logical, it's that nerd thing, you know? ;-)

 Oh, those if you who have read "Borrowed Dreams" will probably laugh as hard as I did, when Hugh and Grace start discussing certain books. Lyon and his refusal to read those volumes come to mind, somehow, don't ask me why, just - read yourself! 

Mann backt Glück von Marian Moschen

Bei diesem Buch bin ich hinsichtlich der Bewertung sehr zwiegespalten.
Eigentlich war ich hin und weg, als ich die ganzen tollen Rezepte gesehen habe und plante wahre Backorgien. So lange allerdings nur, bis ich die ersten beiden Rezepte nachgebacken hatte.

Geschmacklich sind die Endprodukte gut, keine Frage, aber bei beiden Rezepten waren die Angaben fehlerhaft und ohne entsprechendes Vorwissen um Backzeiten und Zutaten, wären die Sachen gar nichts geworden. Bei einem Rezept kann so etwas passieren, aber ausgerechnet bei beiden Rezepten, die ich bisher probiert habe? Das lässt mich einfach befürchten, dass es bei den anderen Rezepten ähnlich aussieht und ich muss gestehen, dass mir daraufhin erst einmal die Lust am Backen verging.

Mein erster Versuchen waren die Lavacakes:

Hier stolperte ich darüber, dass kein Backpulver oder überhaupt irgendein Backtriebmittel erwähnt wurde. Eine Suche im Netz ergab, das alle anderen Rezepte für Lavacakes Backpulver enthalten, also gab ich vorsichtshalber Backpulver dazu. So weit, so gut.

Normalerweise muss ich bei meinem Ofen aufpassen, dass Backwaren nicht zu schnell zu dunkel werden und sie häufig kürzer und bei weniger Hitze als angegeben abbacken. Dies habe ich hier nicht gemacht, guckte allerdings etwas komisch, als nach den angegebenen sieben bis acht Minuten noch nicht wirklich viel gebacken war. Ich habe die erste Fuhre Lavacakes also gut zehn Minuten drin gelassen, um dann festzustellen, dass sie viel zu roh waren und doch noch deutlich länger benötigit hätten. Den gewünschten Lavacake-Effekt, bekam ich erst, als ich die Cakes doppelt so lange im Ofen ließ wie im Rezept angegeben. Geschmacklich waren sie allerdings sehr genial.


Als nächsten ging ich dann daran, die Marzipan-Mandel-Cookies zu testen.
Hier war dann so viel, was nicht passte, dass ich nachher schlichtweg frustriert war. Geschmacklich ist das Ergebnis wieder sehr gut, aber die Beschreibung passt hinten und vorne nicht.

Laut Beschreibung soll ich aus zweihundert Gramm Marzipanrohmasse Kugeln mit einem Durchmesser von drei Zentimetern formen. Diese Kugeln sollen dann mit Teig umhüllt und dann in gehackten Mandeln gewälzt werden. Anschließend werden die Kugeln leicht platt gedrückt und gebacken. Er werden so viele Cookies zubereitet, wie sich aus dem Teig ergeben. 


Nun ja. Der Teig soll die Kugeln umschließen, also bestimmt die Anzahl der Kugeln letztlich ja die Menge der Cookies. Ich habe angesichts des Ungleichgewichts von Marzipanmasse (200g) und Teigmenge (alles in allem fast 800g), die Größe der Kugeln halbiert und bekam acht Kugeln. Sonst wäre jede der Marzipankugeln mit knapp 200g Teig umhüllt gewesen. Da diese Cookies auch noch sehr weit auslaufen, hatte ich auch so zwei Bleche nahezu kommplett voll, allerdings waren auf jedem der Bleche nur vier Cookies. Und irgendwo in der Mitte oder zum Rand hin, wie ein kleines Spiegelei, fand sich die Marzipankugel. 

 Auch hier musste ich trotz der generellen Tendenz meines Backofens die Backzeit sogar deutlich verlängern, damit die Cookies auch nur annähernd gebräunt aussahen. Da ich keine ungeschälten Mandenln da hatte, habe ich blanchierte gehackte Mandeln verwendet, allerdings hätte es optisch vermutlich wenig Unterschied gemacht, da die gehackten Mandeln sowieso im Teig versunken sind. Insgesamt schmecken die Cookies gut, zwar sehr fett, aber wirklich gut, optisch haben sie allerdings mit den kleinen, deutlich luftiger aussehenden Cookies auf den Fotos im Buch nicht wirklich viel gemeinsam. 

Vermutlich werde ich in Zukunft auch noch mal Rezepte aus dem Buch ausprobieren, da wirklich schöne Rezepte drin sind, aber in diesem Moment mag ich nicht mehr weiter experimentieren.

Drei Sterne, weil der Geschmack immer stimmt und für das Potential, empfehlen kann ich das Buch allerdings nur Leuten, die selber genug Erfahrung haben, um gegebenenfalls ungenaue Angaben zu erkennen und entsprechend darauf zu reagieren.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Forever Girl (Tagged Soldiers Book 2) by Sam Destiny


Three weeks changed everything for Tessa Rowan. She knows what she wants, knows who she is, and what her heart beats for. Now, ten months later, Tessa finds herself back in the US—permanently due to a streak of fate. Jazz has returned, too, though the man she finds is no longer the guy she fell in love with.

Corporal Jesse ‘Jazz’ Connor has had it all—and walked away, thinking he could always make amends later. Returning to the US after months in hell proves to him though that sometimes you cannot pick up the pieces. Add to that the biggest mistake of his life and you hit rock-bottom.

Tessa won’t give up and Jazz won’t give in, but sometimes you cannot fight your Forever Girl… can you?

Forever Girl, the second book in this series, drew me in just like Tagged for Life did. It kept me glued to my reader and had me shocked, sobbing and screaming in frustration, and hoping, don't forget that.
After everything that has happened between those two, when the worst has happened and Jazz returns a changed man, this book finds Tessa and him struggling to find their way back to each other.

To say that it is heartbreaking and intense doesn't come close to describing this story. On the other hand, it is not just the heartbreak and the struggles but also the love they share, even if things are rough right now, their friends who try to help and be there for them and of course, Tessa and Jazz themselves. Amazing characters whose chemistry is off the charts and who make you feel that they just belong to each other despite everything else going down.

Another wonderful story about love, heartbreak, about the need to be there for someone, to share the darkest hours and the biggest happiness. It is also a story about the respect for those out there, fighting for their countries and everything they believe in and for those who love them and fear for them. A ray of hope that sometimes things might turn out right and a reminder that those around us, those who struggle, might need a helping hand or two and that a simple hug goes a long way to show that you care.

I loved Tagged for Life and couldn't wait to read Forever Girl and I simply loved it. So. Very. Much.


Thursday, 23 November 2017

Tagged For Life (Tagged Soldiers, #1) by Sam Destiny

 Tagged For Life by Sam Destiny


Love is never simple. Love doesn’t understand a life plan, a needed vacation, or even lifetime dreams. True love marks you so deeply, you are simply tagged for life.

Life hasn’t turned out exactly how she thought it would for twenty-nine year old Tessa Rowan. She needs time. Time away to regroup, and have fun with her stateside friends. She needs forget all about looking for that all-consuming love she so desperately craves. So a trip to sunny California to see her friends is exactly what her heart craves.

Jesse “Jazz” Conner’s life is consumed by his service to his country. He was born a soldier. The Army is his home, his future, and undoubtedly his first love. His goal is to be the best, and to serve his country with pride. But when Jazz stumbles over a cute, but ragged looking blonde at the Monterey Airport, his resolve to stay focused on service is tested.

Tessa isn’t looking for a holiday fling, and Jazz doesn’t have the time to date . . . but neither of them can forget their first encounter. What begins as a chance encounter soon develops into a relationship neither is willing to sacrifice.

Can Jazz and Tessa find a way to be together? Or will they both walk away from their only chance at true love?

This review took me a bit longer to write as I got sucked in, again, while browsing through the pages when I was preparing to write the review - and I promptly read both books again.

I can‘t say whether this book drew me in right from the start or if it took me some pages to fall for Tessa and Jazz and their whirlwind of a romance but I can say that it kept me glued to my reader and made me feel and swoon and cry right along with the hero and the heroine.

Against all odds and especially against their friends‘ advice, Tessa and Jazz fall for each other. Hard. And irrevocably, no matter what everybody else thinks or says. (And believe me, you will get really mad at some of their wonderful friends when they try to save Tessa and Jazz from themselves...)
But what chance is there really for a happily ever after, when you know that your time is limited? That very soon endless miles of water won‘t be the only thing that will separate you?
And will all the heartbreak that is soon to follow be worth it?

I really really loved this book about love and friendship and about the things that really matter.
When I left Tessa and Jazz at the end of this book, I was very happy that the next book, Forever Girl, was already on my reader because...well, I had to know, you know?

Sooo, I can definitely recommend this book, at least if you have enough handkerchiefs and the one or the other pot of ice cream at hand.


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Scandalous Beat (Tempest #6) by Michelle Mankin

Okay, first I must apologize because the last weeks have been rather rough and I suffered a lot from headaches and lack of sleep so this site hasn't been as "active" as usual but...times are a-changing, fortunately.


A rock star. A stripper. Can a hookup lead to a happily ever after?
Juaquin Acenado.
A drummer. A rapper. A rock king.
My brother’s best friend.
Arrogant. Forbidden. Do-not-go-there-trouble.
The sexy Latino was too old for me when we first met and I was in high school. But he was my first love. I’ve never gotten over him.
Miriam Jackson.
Stripper. Exotic dancer. Her stage name is Queen.
My bandmate’s little sister.
Spicy and sweet. The spark that fires my inspiration. The rhythm to my beat.
She’s the one I imagine when I settle for the others. My ultimate fantasy. Only I can never have her.
Until I arrive in Vegas to record my solo rap album, visit a strip club, and there she is. Miriam was supposed to be in college, but she’s not. She is so not.
Sin City, a place where anything can happen, and I’m the only one in the band who knows her secret.
So why resist anymore?
Who could possibly stop me?

Juaquin and Miriam have been drawn to each other ever since she, at least, was far too young to even think of pursuing this attraction. They are torn between their feelings and the knowledge that these feelings won‘t be accepted by their friends and families, especially since Juacquin or King, as Miriam names him, is the drummer in her brother‘s band and, well, let‘s just say that Bryan, her brother tends to be a teenie tiny bit overprotective as their childhood was less than ideal.

Nevertheless Miriam dares to tell him how she feels – only to face rejection. Again. And again.
When everything else falls apart and she ends up working in Vegas on the Strip instead of studying at UCLA, those two meet again and maybe things are about to change at least if they are able to get over the rejections and insecurities of their past. When a mobster boss with a grudge is added to the mix, things get really rough…

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was well-written with an interesting and captivating plot. Many twists and turns kept me glued to my reader and when the worst happened, I was biting my nials (figuratively) and was shocked and upset and… When Miriam, Queen, slowly wins her life back and starts to confront her past, I cheered her on and was proud of her taking her life in her own hands. 
Sometimes, taking the first step will need a lot of courage but it will be worth it. It is never to late to confront the demons of your past and fight for a better life, a life lived according to your own wishes and your own plans. 
I loved to see Mike, her best friend and Juaquin care for Miriam and I loved the way all those guys stood together to help each other and those they consider family, no matter whether they are related by blodd or not. And, especially in these days, I loved to see the acceptance towards Alex and Mike as a couple as well.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Rogue Affair (Rogue) by Adriana Anders, Ainsley Booth, Amy Jo Cousins, Stacey Adgern, Tamsen Parker, Kelly Maher, Emma Barry, Dakota Gray



When all else fails, find passion.

Even more new romances for readers who can't get enough of everyday heroes and for everyone who wanted more of the Rogue Desire Anthology...

Okay, different authors, different styles, so I didn't like every story as much as the others but on the whole I really enjoyed reading this collection.
Many of the stories are not only about love in all its variations but they do also show the impact that bigotry, intolerance, hate, and racism have on peoples' lives. And they show that peoples' lives matter, no matter where they come from or whether they are white, black or - whatever.
These stories show the love of many different couples for each other, some of them homosexual, many of them somewhat steamy (some others very steamy) and, well, some of them are also a bit rough around the edges and some are a bit sweeter.
These stories are like a caleidoscope of human relationships that shows how much diversity enriches our lives and our society.
If you don't mind a bit of steam, a lot of love and many different and colourful characters, this collection of novellas might be just right for you!



Wednesday, 15 November 2017

(Sur)real by Melissa Haag


My sisters hate their gifts, but they don’t know how lucky they are. They have a home and family. I have nothing. But, I am Courage, and I know my purpose. I exist for one reason only: to complete the Judgement.

Olivia is blind, yet sees. And what she sees, she keeps to herself. Her father conspires for control while Olivia does her own plotting with forces that only she understands. Now, time is running out, and choices that will impact the world must be made.

We've been with the Judgements and the wolves in their lives now for a long time and now, this book is the final book in this amazing series, this is the end of our journey, this is the book where the Judgement will be made. This is the time when Hope, Prosperity, Wisdom, Strength, Peace, and Courage come together to change the future of our world.

Well, this book definitely did change my world. It's not just intense but also one of those books that you should never ever read in public because it'll leave you crying, sobbing, tentatively smiling, hoping...and sobbing once again.
A rollercoaster of emotions, knuckle-biting, kindle-throwing, hanky-crunching action from the beginning straight to the end that kept me glued to the pages.

This book and its characters stayed with me long after the last page had been read. The fate of so many of them ..well, there are some things that happened, let's just say that it'll take me even more time till I'll even start to forgive the author, IF I ever forgive her...

Gripping, intense, emotional - a worthy finale to an amazing series!


Tuesday, 14 November 2017





 An amazing new series by May McGoldrick 

that brings us right back to Baronsford and the new generation of Penningtons:

In this stunning series starter by USA Today bestselling author May McGoldrick, meet the new generation of Penningtons...five brothers and sisters of passion and privilege. Enter their aristocratic world…where each will fight injustice and find love.

Hugh Pennington—Viscount Greysteil, Lord Justice of the Scottish Courts, hero of the Napoleonic wars—is a grieving widower with a death wish. When he receives an expected crate from the continent, he is shocked to find a nearly dead woman inside. Her identity is unknown, and the handful of American coins and the precious diamond sown into her dress only deepen the mystery.

Grace Ware is an enemy to the English crown. Her father, an Irish military commander of Napoleon’s defeated army. Her mother, an exiled Scottish Jacobite. When Grace took shelter in a warehouse, running from her father’s murderers through the harbor alleyways of Antwerp, she never anticipated bad luck to deposit her at the home of an aristocrat in the Scottish Borders. Baronsford is the last place she could expect to find safety, and Grace feigns a loss of memory to buy herself time while she recovers.

Hugh is taken by her beauty, passion, and courage to challenge his beliefs and open his mind. Grace finds in him a wounded man of honor, proud but compassionate. When their duel of wits quickly turns to passion and romance, Grace’s fears begin to dissolve…until danger follows her to the very doors of Baronsford. For, unknown to either of them, Grace has in her possession a secret that will wreak havoc within the British government. Friend and foe are indistinguishable as lethal forces converge to tear the two lovers apart or destroy them both.


Sounds good? Read on!



 Looking the shipping crate over for damage and seeing none, he retrieved an iron crow from a workbench. Jo was standing inside the doors, eyeing the box doubtfully from a safe distance.
Come closer. It won’t bite.”
Not a chance. From the smell of that thing, a person would think you’re importing cadavers. Have you also taken up being a Resurrectionist as a hobby?”
He patted the crate affectionately. “This sweet thing has been sitting in the bowels of a ship from Antwerp. You know what the hold of a ship smells like?”
Actually, I don’t.” She held a handkerchief to her nose and drew closer. “But I think you’re correct with the reference to ‘bowels.’”
Hugh took the first nail out. “Well, stand back, since you’ve become so prissy. Though I recall a younger version of you leading the rest of us through bogs and marshes that smelled no better.”
Of course! But as I recall, we had frogs and turtles and the occasional dragon that needed hunting,” she replied with a smile. “Very well. Open it and let’s see this treasure of yours.”
Prying off the top took him only a moment. Throwing it to the side, he pulled back the tarp that covered the basket and then stared curiously at the dark green rags bundled at the bottom.
Leaning in, Hugh’s enthusiasm evaporated as a horrid realization settled in. This was no pile of old clothing. A shock of blond hair. A shoe. A hand. The body of a dead woman lay curled up in the gondola.
Bloody hell.”
What is it?” Immediately, Jo was at his side. “Good God!”
Hugh climbed in and crouched beside the body. He took her hand. She was cold to the touch. His heart sank. The crate had been shipped from Antwerp. To be trapped for so many days with no water, no food, in the cold and damp of the ship’s hold. He had no idea who this woman was or how she came to be in here.
The thought struck him. Perhaps it wasn’t an inadvertent act. Perhaps she was murdered and her body had been dumped into the crate.
Dismay and alarm clawed at him as he pushed away the matted ringlets of golden hair. She was young. He lifted her chin. The body had none of the stiffness of postmortem. He stared at her lips. He may have imagined it but they seemed to have moved.
Bright . . .” The whisper was a mere rustle of leaves in a breeze.
The fingers jerked and came to life, clutching at his hand.
She’s not dead,” he called to Jo, relieved. “Send for the doctor. I’ll take her to the house.”
His sister ran out, calling for help, and he lifted the woman. She emitted a low groan. Her limbs had been locked in the same cramped position for so many days. Hugh propped her over the side of the gondola.
Stay with me,” he encouraged. “Talk to me.”
Holding the woman in place, he clambered from the basket and then gently lifted her out, cradling her in his arms. She weighed next to nothing.
As they went out into the rain, he feared she was about to die. The exertion of trying to breathe showed on her face. He’d seen this on the battlefield. The final effort before death.
Starting up the path, he stumbled, not realizing the woman’s skirts were dragging on the ground. He staggered but caught himself before they went down. Her head lolled against his chest, her face gray and mask-like. She appeared to be slipping away. It would be a shame that she’d survived the crossing only to perish now.
A dagger point of anger pierced Hugh’s brain as he recalled another dismal day when he’d lifted two other bodies, wrapped in burial shrouds, from a wooden box.
Talk to me,” he ordered. “Say something.”
As he made his way up the hill toward the house, a bolt of lightning streaked across the sky above Baronsford. Thunder shook the ground and the sky opened, unleashing fierce torrents of rain on them.
His wife. His son. Hugh hadn’t been there for them. They’d died as he and the British army were being chased by the French across Spain. He’d been trying to save his men’s lives, not knowing that those most precious to him were suffering.
You’ve survived a horrifying ordeal. Give me the chance to save you.”
The woman struggled weakly in Hugh’s arms, and her head tipped back. He watched as her lips parted, welcoming the wetness of the falling rain.
We’re almost there.”
Bright . . .” she murmured.
He looked into her face and saw she was trying hard to open her eyes.
Yes, brighter than that crate,” he said, encouraged by her effort. Any movement, however small, gave him hope. “And you’ve been in there for Lord knows how long.”


The author(s) 

Author Bio

Authors Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick (writing as May McGoldrick) weave emotionally satisfying tales of love and danger. Publishing under the names of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey, these authors have written more than thirty novels and works of nonfiction for Penguin Random House, Mira, HarperCollins, Entangled, and Heinemann. Nikoo, an engineer, also conducts frequent workshops on writing and publishing and serves as a Resident Author. Jim holds a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance literature and teaches English in northwestern Connecticut. They are the authors of Much Ado About Highlanders, Taming the Highlander, and Tempest in the Highlands with SMP Swerve.

Author Links