Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carringer

Goodreads Summary:

Without a morsel of exaggeration, its publisher describes this debut novel as "a comedy of manners set in Victorian London full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking." At the center of Soulless's "parasol protectorate" is Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a young woman who lacks not only a suitor but also a soul. And those are not her only problems: When she accidentally kills a vampire, it begins a series of events that she must set out to resolve without the help of any proper authorities. A charming mass market original.

My Review:

I rated this book as 4 stars on Goodreads but I think 4 stars may have been a little generous. I would probably lean towards a 3.5 or even 3.25.

I struggled through the first half of the book. I'm not sure if it was the period speak that I was hung up on or if I simply was not fully invested in the story. Either way, it was slow reading and I found myself glazing over some scenes.

What I did enjoy were the interactions between Alexia and Lord Maccon! And once I was about half way through the book it turned around for me. I was more drawn into the story and curious what would happen next.

I’m not sure if I will be continuing this series. I will put it on the back burner so to speak and I may or may not go back to it in the future.

This Month on RAK - July

I participated in Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) again in July. What's RAK you say? Well, RAK is Book Soulmates brain child. The idea of RAK is to pay it forward by randomly sending people books/ebooks from their wishlists.

Go to Book Soulmates Blog for more information or to sign up.
This month I received Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
From Katrina at Novel Nonsense blog
Thank you Katrina :-)
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The below books were given to me outside
of the RAK program
but I wanted to say thank you to the lovely Jojo!

Wife for a Day by Patti Berg

Goodreads Summary:

Millionaire rancher Jack Remington hadn't expected trouble when he flew to Palm Beach for his sister's engagement ball. But his girlfriend called it quits and now his sister is anxious to meet the woman who's captured his heart. Then, a beguiling, flame-haired enchantress breezes into his hotel room with a tux and a seductive smile, and Jack's sure his troubles have come to an end. All he has to do is hire the beautiful tailor to be his fiancé--for just one night.
Samantha Jones is sure the sexy cowboy is out of his ever--lovin' mind. She's never been to a ball, never worn a fancy gown, and has no idea how to act like a socialite. She can't possibly pose as his wife-to-be. But trouble's been following Sam for too many months and the money Jack's offering is something she can't refuse. There's only one problem--their pretend kisses make her feel something very real--and there's the possibility that just one night will never be enough.
My Review:

First of all, who has an engagement ball? Haha, I think I’m a little like Samantha and would have no idea how to be a socialite! Although Samantha is full of spice and sass and she can definitely hold her own in any situation! She is a great character and I easily grew to love her.

Jack is used to getting his own way and in walks Samantha who challenges him at every turn. Can she put up with his stubborn ways and can he handle her strong will? You’ll have to read the book to find out ;-)

Somber Island by T. Lynne Tolles

Goodreads Summary:

Phoebe MacIntire, who is a servant to her father and sisters in her own house in Scotland in 1855, is an ordinary girl, with no big dreams for the future. She's perfectly happy in her humble life, with her cot in the basement and her little garden in the backyard. But when her father up and sends her to Newfoundland to be the lifelong servant to Lord Jacobs, she finds her life gets turned upside down.

Her journey across the Atlantic to her new home is long, scary and very unpleasant. When she arrives at the manor on a small island, she finds the beautiful place abandoned and only a note waits for her explaining her duties, the strange dietary requirements, and sleeping habits of her new master.

The very first night in her new home she's haunted in her dreams by a woman who clearly does not want her there and a strange blue-eyed man-wolf creature that follows the woman. Her dreams become more and more violent and mysteries start to be uncovered about a woman who was killed in a fire on the island, a creature that preys on anyone that comes to the island and a love story gone wrong that dates back over a hundred and twenty two years.

Join Phoebe as she explores the past, delving into witchcraft, and vampirism to help a brother save another from a life of sadness and misconception, making some amazing and surprising friends along the way.

My Review:

First of all, I love this cover! It’s beautiful, spooky, and quite fitting of the book!

Now on to the review…

I was a little unsure at the beginning; Somber Island begins by giving a small amount of background about Phoebe and then jumps right into the story. I felt as though I wanted to know more about Phoebe before she was sent away. But after reading more, the beginning did not bother me as much because you learn more about Phoebe and watch her develop as the story continues.

Although the book is based in the past, the language is a little more modern. For me, that small fact made the book flow more smoothly than I think it would have with period appropriate language.

Somber Island kept me absorbed and kept me reading. So, if you’re looking for a young adult book with an interesting mix of a werewolf, a vampire, a ghost and a witch then you should check it out.

I will definitely be reading T. Lynne Tolles’ Blood Series.

Winner - Summer Lovin' Anthologies

Hello, Hello!

It's time for some WINNERS!!!

The winner of Heat Wave is DONNAS!!

And the winner of Summer Lovin' is MAGAN!!!

I will be emailing you shortly!

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1) by Carrie Ryan

Goodreads Summary:
In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much Death?

My Review:

This was my first zombie book (technically they are Unconsecrated in this book, but zombies all the same) and it was a great introduction into the flesh eating undead! I already have my eyes on a few other zombie books!

For some reason I didn’t read this book in one sitting or in one day like is somewhat normal for me. Instead I read the first half little by little over two weeks and then finished up the second half in one sitting.

The first half is a little slower pace because there’s a lot to learn about the relationships between the Sisterhood, the main characters, and the Unconsecrated. The pace then picked up in the second half and I flew right through it. Well, aside from a certain devastating part where I had to put the book down for a minute because I was tearing up. Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised by this particular part but I was! I was also a little unsettled with the main character’s decision towards the end. Half of me was rooting her on and the other half was yelling ‘What the heck are you doing!?’. I just hope she’s happy with her choice.

Overall I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a good undead read!

Book #2 (The Dead-Tossed Waves) is in route to me as we ‘speak’!

Jennifer Lane – Guest Post & Giveaway!!

As my very first guest post, Jennifer Lane has kindly agreed stop by and talk to us about two anthologies.

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Jen, thank you for inviting me to your blog! I’m quite excited about the two Summer Lovin’ anthologies released by Omnific Publishing on July 5th. All proceeds will benefit the breast cancer research organization Save the Ta-tas

As one of the contributing authors, I can’t think of a better organization to support given that breast cancer has affected my family directly. My mother is a breast cancer survivor. Doctors diagnosed her seventeen years ago, luckily catching the naughty cells early. She had a mastectomy and is doing so well now—I’m really proud of her.

Do you like to read sweet Young Adult stories? If so, Summer Breeze is for you, featuring seven short stories.

Or, are you a reader who prefers Adult stories featuring hot heroes and naughty heroines? Check out Heat Wave

Both are available at Omnific Publishing. Please support a great cause!

My short story, Swim Recruit, is part of the YA anthology Summer Breeze. Here’s a summary of the story:

Not long after Abby Donahue’s family falls apart, she escapes on an airplane to Chicago for a recruiting trip. A talented high-school swimmer, Abby hopes to score both a college scholarship and some distance from her parents’ recent divorce. But is this university for her? 

Her first encounter with freshman swimmer Reese McGowan makes her nervous. He’s a tall backstroker with a mess of blond hair, glittering aquamarine eyes, and a suspension from the team for badmouthing the school to another recruit. As Abby unravels the mystery underlying Reese’s disdain, she begins to unlock her own hidden emotions about her father. Together Abby and Reese battle bullies on the team and inner demons, learning that flipper feet and fighting for family can actually be a good thing.

I’ve written adult romantic suspense novels (The Conduct Series) but this was my first foray into YA and first person point-of-view. I had so much fun writing the story, inspired by my own experiences as a college swimmer. I’m lucky to join twelve talented Omnific authors to support this cause.

I hope you experience some tantalizing breezes during the heat wave this summer!

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Jennifer, Thank you again! I appreciate you taking the time to talk with us! I am looking forward to reading both anthologies!

If you would like to learn more about Jennifer Lane and her writing, you can find her at the below sites:

Twitter: JenLaneBooks
Goodreads: Jennifer Lane

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Because this is such a great cause, I will be picking two winners. One winner will receive Summer Breeze and one will receive Heat Wave.
·        Following is not required (but of course is always appreciated)
·        Must be at least 13 years old to win Summer Breeze and 17 years old to win Heat Wave
·        You have until July 22nd at Midnight (est) to enter
·        The winner will be selected July 23rd using
·        I will email the winner and you will have 48 hours to respond to my email.

All you have to do is leave a comment including your name, email, and which of the anthologies you are entering to win!

This Month On RAK

I participated in Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) again in June. What's RAK you say? Well, RAK is Book Soulmates brain child. The idea of RAK is to pay it forward by randomly sending people books/ebooks from their wishlists.

Go to Book Soulmates Blog for more information or to sign up.

                           I was thrilled to receive some awesome RAK goodness in June!

- Cat from Thinking Cat blog RAK'd me with and ebook of The Girl Across The Water by Jody Kihara.
- Wendy from Wall-to-Wall Books blog sent me Shape Of Mercy by Susan Meissner
- Deanna from Polishing Mud Balls blog sent me Chime by Franny Billingsley
Thank you so so much Cat, Wendy, and Deanna!!!
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These were not specifically from RAK but I wanted to send a quick shout out to Kay and Emily!
- Kay from K-Books blog sent me ebooks of Books 2-5 of the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
- Emily from Red House Books blog sent me Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul
Thank  you so much Kay and Emily!
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These five ladies are all awesome so if you have a second show them some
love and check out their blogs.