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Friday, January 31, 2014

*[Blog Tour Review] Isabella: Braveheart of France by Colin Falconer

Isabella: Braveheart of France
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She was taught to obey. Now she has learned to rebel.

12 year old Isabella, a French princess marries the King of England - only to discover he has a terrible secret. Ten long years later she is in utter despair - does she submit to a lifetime of solitude and a spiritual death - or seize her destiny and take the throne of England for herself?

Isabella is just twelve years old when she marries Edward II of England. For the young princess it is love at first sight - but Edward has a terrible secret that threatens to tear their marriage - and England apart.

Who is Piers Gaveston - and why is his presence in the king’s court about to plunge England into civil war?

The young queen believes in the love songs of the troubadours and her own exalted destiny - but she finds reality very different. As she grows to a woman in the deadly maelstrom of Edward’s court, she must decide between her husband, her children, even her life - and one breath-taking gamble that will change the course of history.

This is the story of Isabella, the only woman ever to invade England - and win.

In the tradition of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick, ISABELLA is thoroughly researched and fast paced, the little known story of the one invasion the English never talk about.

Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 275 pages (Paperback)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Publication Date: September 24th 2013 by Cool Gus Publishing

Before reading Isabella: Braveheart of France I knew very little about Isabella. In fact I think the last time I read anything about her was in my grade 12 World History class 6 years ago and while I remembered very little about her, I do know that at the time I was taking that class I really enjoyed what I read.

Isabella: Braveheart of France was a lovely read. I enjoyed the fact that the book was written by a male author. I'm one of those readers that really enjoys when authors write about characters (historical or not) who are their opposites gender wise. To me it shows that they're wiling to try something new out and go out on a limb to tell their story. Sometimes it can be hit or miss but Isabella: Braveheart of France was a hit for me.

I liked learning more about Isabella through Colin Falconer's writing. She was groomed from a very early age to be a ruler of the people which was all well and good but it saddened me to think that because of her upbringing she didn't get to experience a true childhood which I think everyone is entitled to but alas times were different. Throughout the book we are able to Isabella's growth and see her come into her own as a ruler.

I liked that the author made his book very accessible. I expected the book to be a heavier read than it was but was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't like that at all. It was a very quick read as well and I polished it off in just a couple hours of reading time and found it quite entertaining.

My only issues with the book was that I found that sometimes the pacing was off and things sped along story wise too quickly and that I wish there had been a little more detail in the book because sometimes I was left holding strings and wondering how one scene flowed to the next.

Overall though I thought Isabella: Braveheart of France was an enjoyable read, and I'm very glad that I signed up for the tour. Now that I've read one book about Isabella, I'm excited to read another, and another because I think she's a fascinating woman.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to delve into some historical fiction about Isabella of France. It's a quick, well written historical read that makes you feel as though the author is bringing history to life.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.
Enjoyed It!


Friday 56 #10

This is a fun meme to do hosted by Freda's Voice If you'd like to join on the fun go to The Friday 56


 *Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it.
Warrior Daughter 
Inspired by first century AD warrior women, Janet Paisley's Warrior Daughter is a gripping adventure about one young woman's struggle to survive in the harsh Celtic wilderness.
2,000 years ago on the Isle of Skye, a warrior is born.
Daughter of an Iron Age warrior queen, Skaaha is wild, headstrong and revered. But she is also a child, and when a chariot race leaves the queen dead and her menacing rival Mara in her place, Skaaha's charmed life lies in ruins.
Vulnerable, her future imperilled, Skaaha seeks to forge a life beyond the new queen's reach. But with rumour, fear and danger sweeping the island, she cannot remain unmoved. Broken by brutal misfortune, alone in a world of mistrust, Skaaha must unearth the courage to confront her enemies in defence of her people.
Illuminated by the great Celtic fire festivals, Warrior Daughter is inspired by the historical Scathach, a fierce warrior woman of the first century AD and forerunner to the equally ferocious Boudicca.

Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 320 pages (Paperback)
Publication Date: Published November 1st 2009 by Viking (first published June 4th 2009)            

The warriors had come to celebrate Lunasa, the festival of fostering and fecundity which marked the end of summer. Reclining in the forge-keeper's house beside his brother, their leader Vass, tucked into steaming fish stew and watched a subdued Skaaha serve drink to his men.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cat Thursday #33

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s) and then link up at the host's site: The True Book Addict. It's all for the love of cats!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

*[Blog Tour Review & Giveaway] Something to Prove (The O'Leary's #3) by Shannyn Schroeder

Something to Prove (The O'Leary's, #3)

Two ambitious people team up to prove themselves to their families—and find there may be more to their partnership than just business. . .

Elizabeth Brannigan is determined to show her father she's capable of running the family business. Saving his struggling Chicago bar seems like the perfect project. But she'll need a little help dealing with the rough crowd. Who better to assist her than the handsome co-owner of a thriving Irish pub? Of course, with so much work to do, there are bound to be a few late nights. . .

Colin O'Leary's father passed away before he could prove to him that he wasn't a screw-up. Now he wants to show his brother he's responsible enough to own a bar of his own—and Elizabeth may be able to help him. But when their professional aspirations clash, tempers—and passions—flare. Are they mature enough to mix business with pleasure—or will they have to choose between the two?
Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 178 pages (Kindle)
Source: NetGalley ARC
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Expected Publication Date: January 16th 2014 by Kensington Publishing Corp.
Something to Prove was my first read by Shannyn Schroeder and it turned out to be an awesome first read by this author. I don't read many contemporary romances as I lean more towards historicals or paranormals but this year I'm trying to read more in this genre and this was the perfect start.
Right away I liked Colin. He was so sweet and endearing I just couldn't not like him and he was the star od the whole romance for me. I loved how he was trying to prove himself to his family after running off when his dad passed away and thought he was a genuinely loveable guy. Throughout the book though I just kept wishing that the people in his life would loosen up especially his younger brother who treated him like crap and Elizabeth who was a super Type A personality.
Elizabeth came off as really bitchy for a lot of the book and that was because of her upbringing. She always felt like she had to push herself because of her father pitting her against her elder brother for control of his company and it made her clumsy, anal retentive and annoying for much of the book and it wasn't until the end of the book that she actually grew on me.
That being said, don't o thinking that I didn't like the romance between her and Colin because I 100% loved it. I thought they were perfect for each other. Colin was so easy going and Elizabeth was so in your face that they complimented each other wonderfully and the chemistry was FANTASTIC. I loved their love plain and simple.
Overall, I thought that the romance was awesome. The chemistry was great, the writing was perfect and I loved that there was humour thrown in to lighten the mood and I really liked the banter between the two characters. Seeing them grow together was one of the best parts and I can't wait to read another of Shannyn's romances.
I highly recommend Something to Prove to fans who want a funny, sexy contemporary romances with realistic characters. Though it's book 3 in the O'Leary series it can be read as a stand alone without any issues.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.
Loved It!

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To purchase the book via iTunes CLICK HERE


Library Loot #6

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)VitroSong of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter, #2)The Magicians' Guild (Black Magician Trilogy, #1)How to Train Your Dragon (How to Train Your Dragon, #1)

Waiting On Wednesday #97

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine and is where we can talk about books we are looking forward to being released.
Ember Island: A Novel
A riveting story of secrets and scandal

1890: Orphaned as a small child, Tilly Kirkland found a loving, safe home with her grandfather in Dorset. But nineteenth-century England is an unforgiving place for a young woman with limited means and as her grandfather's health fails, it seems perfect timing that she meets Jasper Dellafore. Yet her new husband is not all he seems. Alone in the Channel Islands, Tilly finds her dream of a loving marriage is turning into a nightmare.
2012: Bestselling novelist Nina Jones is struggling with writer's block and her disappointing personal life. Nothing is quite working. After a storm damages Starwater, her house on Ember Island, she decides to stay for a while and oversee the repairs: it s a perfect excuse to leave her problems behind her on the mainland. Then Nina discovers diary pages hidden in the walls of the old home. And a mystery unravels that she is determined to solve.
Though the two women are separated by years, Starwater House will alter the course of both their lives. Nina will find that secrets never stay buried and Tilly learns that what matters most is trusting your heart.
Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 448 pages (Paperback)
Expected Publication Date: April 15th 2014 by Touchstone
Why I'm Waiting:
Back in 2012 I read Kimberly Freeman's other novel Wildflower Hill and I loved the emotional rollercoaster it took me on so much that it was one of my favourite books of the year. I love her writing style and can't wait to read this one when it comes out. If you're interested my review for Wildflower Hill you can do so by clicking HERE.
Traitor's Blade
The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards for a nobleman who refuses to pay them. Things could be worse, of course. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while they are forced to watch the killer plant evidence framing them for the murder. Oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening…

Now a royal conspiracy is about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world. A carefully orchestrated series of murders that began with the overthrow of an idealistic young king will end with the death of an orphaned girl and the ruin of everything that Falcio, Kest, and Brasti have fought for. But if the trio want to foil the conspiracy, save the girl, and reunite the Greatcoats, they’ll have to do it with nothing but the tattered coats on their backs and the swords in their hands, because these days every noble is a tyrant, every knight is a thug, and the only thing you can really trust is a traitor’s blade.
Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 384 pages (Paperback)
Expected Publication Date: March 4th 2014 by Penguin Canada (first published February 27th 2014)            
Why I'm Waiting:
I love historical fiction and I love it especially when there's a royal conspiracy so when this one popped up on my radar I was like "HELLS YEAH!" literally, and yes I do mean literally. Plus it's written by a Canadian author and I'm all for supporting Canadian authors and it sounds awesome.
What are YOU waiting for this Wednesday?  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

*[Blog Tour Review] Trapped By Revenge (A Shelby Nichols Adventure #5) by Colleen Helme

Trapped By Revenge (A Shelby Nichols Adventure #5)
With summer over Shelby is looking forward to having some time to herself while the kids are back in school. A phone call from Uncle Joey ruins her plans, but she manages to take it in stride. After lunch with her friend, she promises to meet with the private investigator who was spying on Uncle Joey, but this simple task turns into a disaster. Not only does she find the P.I. dead, but a slip of paper with her name on it under his lifeless hand implicates her for his murder. Desperate to prove her innocence and find the person who killed him, Shelby begins a frantic search. She enlists the aid of the local mob boss, Uncle Joey, his hit-man, Ramos, and her police detective friend, Dimples, but soon finds that nothing can save her from becoming entangled in a sinister plot. With her life on the line and no way out, she finds herself trapped by revenge, and realizes it will take all her skills to escape. Now she must choose where her loyalties lie, and hope she doesn’t trade something bad, for something even worse.
Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 193 pages (Kindle)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Publication Date: November 12th 2013 by Createspace (first published November 11th 2013)             
This was my first read by Colleen Helme and while the book is the fifth installment in the Shelby Nichols and I haven't read the previous four books in the series I still enjoyed trying out a new author that has been on my to read pile for awhile.
I thought Trapped By Revenge was a good, quick cozy mystery to curl up with. I read it in about 2 hours while I sat on the couch the other night snuggled in with the cats. I liked Shelby as a character. She wasn't uppity and I thought she had a really good sense of humour. Plus the fact that she's able to read minds really added that little touch of something different that set this cozy apart.
Trapped By Revenge is the story about Shelby trying to figure out who killed a local P.I. as well as trying to figure out the who and why behind her being prime suspect in the murder all while working for who Uncle Joey whom I gather is a local crime boss in her neck of the woods. She has to do all of this while shielding her mind so she doesn't get bombarded by everyone's thoughts but also balancing her life as a boss, wife and mother.
While I did enjoy the story overall and thought that it was written well with a plot that was both easy to follow and entertaining, I at times felt very lost because I hadn't read the 4 books before this one and I kind of wish that there was a bit more of a recap in the storyline for readers who don't realize this is part of a series or haven't read the previous ones for whatever reason. The one main problem I had though was I felt like it bounced around from scene to scene a little to quickly for my tastes and I was sometimes left with questions about things.
Overall though, I enjoyed reading Trapped By Revenge. Though it is book 5, I can't wait to go read the rest of the books in the series very soon. The story was well written and enjoyable with minor issues and I can't wait to see what led up to the events in this book by reading the others.
I would recommend Trapped by Revenge for fans of the Shelby Nichols series, fans of cozy mysteries with lots of laughs, and a mind reading female sleuth. I would recommend reading the series in order though to avoid any confusion.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.
Liked It!
To "Like" Colleen on Facebook CLICK HERE
To "Follow" Colleen on Twitter CLICK HERE
To become a "Fan" of Colleen  on Goodreads  CLICK HERE
To visit Colleen's Website CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via Amazon CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via Barnes & Noble CLICK HERE

Teaser Tuesday #32


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read• Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.
Green Rider
Karigan G’ladheon, running away from school, is traveling through a deep forest when a galloping horse pounds up to her, its rider impaled by two black-shafted arrows. With his dying breath, he tells her he is a Green Rider, one of the magical messengers of the King. Before he dies, he makes Karigan swear to deliver the message he’s carrying, and gives her his green coat, with the symbolic brooch of his office. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, Karigan becomes a legendary Green Rider—for when given to the right person, a Rider’s brooch awakens the magic inside….
Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 464 pages (Paperback)
Publication Date: November 4th 2008 by DAW Trade (first published November 1st 1998)            
My Teaser:
Pg. 91
You must kill them all, the eagle said. Using his sharp beak, he plucked a hatchling from The Horse and smashed it against a rock, much the way she had seen gulls crack crabs open along the seashore. You must do it now while their shells are still soft. They harden as we speak. Kill them all.

Top Ten Tuesday #53

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Top Ten Characters I Would Never Want To Trade Places With:
Gollum/Sméagol from The Lord of The Rings Trilogy. He's all kinds of crazy! I feel sorry for him but at the same time he got what he deserved.
Voldemort from Harry Potter. He's also all kinds of crazy and should be number one on my list but I'm too lazy to move it. Again, he's got a sad story but he also gets what he deserves and I really wouldn't want to be him.
Gretchen Lowell from the Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell series by Chelsea Cain. This lady is out there and has serious issues.
Cathy, Cory, Chris and Carrie from V.C. Andrew's Flowers in the Attic. The things they went through were horrible.
Lochan and Maya from Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden. Because of their mother they were forced into roles that weren't theirs to play thus leading to a very inappropriate romance. 
Ned Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire. If you're familiar with the show/books you'll know why he just isn't a man I'd like to be.
Rob Stark again, fans of the franchise will know that Rob just doesn't have the staying power to make me want to be him.
Meredith from Such A Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess. This girl was failed by so many people, I just couldn't be in her shoes and make it out.
Eli from The Compound by S.A. Bodeen. His dad lied to him and his siblings and hid them in a bunker for YEARS, kept their mom pregnant and was going to use the babies for food. How's that for dysfunctional?
Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman. I was a fan of the graphic novels before I was a fan of the show and yeah in the show he has to face a lot of harsh realities but the graphic novels can really make a person grateful that they aren't him.