Cinder

CinderCinder is the first book to the series Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. This is a young adult series that I had heard about from a librarian. I had actually seen the cover when it first came out but I brushed it off because I don’t read a lot of young adult and it was dealing with cyborgs. I don’t read a lot of science fiction as it doesn’t really interest me but I was encouraged to try the book, so I gave it a shot, and I am glad that I did. I liked this novel. It was an adaptation of Cinderella but it was created in this fantasy type world. I will admit that at times I felt it was a little long but I got over those moments and continued to enjoy the book.

So the story Cinder is basically about this teenage girl who is a ward of this mother and her two daughters. Cinder is not just human but part cyborg. She does not remember her past but know that her parents had been killed and she survived a horrific accident. To make a living Cinder is a mechanic which is where she will meet Prince Kai. Though this is not a fairy tale where they immediately fall in love. This is a time of war and disease that is destroying the people.

I liked Cinder’s character. She was an interesting character being a cyborg and the mystery about her life beforehand intrigued me. I also liked Prince Kai and thought at times he could make a decision faster but then remembered he had all his people to think about, not just his feelings. The other main character is Queen Levana who is pure evil when it comes to getting what she wants.

There is a lot to this book and yes it can be predictable but I felt that Meyer’s wrote the story well. She leaves the book at a cliffhanger which I don’t really like. Its because I have to usually wait forever to read what happens next. Well I guess I was thinking ahead because I made sure to check out the rest of the series. I will be reading Scarlet next.

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Under Disguise Is A Challenge

Lady In Disguise was a short novel with plenty of characterization and an interesting plot. This was not a favorite but it pulls enough intrigue to keep you reading on how the characters will fare in the novel. From this one novel I am not put off from the author because you always have to try a second round.

Lady Victoria Courtney is in love with Richard but her chances of actually being with him is very slim as he doesn’t care or notice her. When Victoria happens to pass an actress a plan is vised as Victoria will take the actresses part and become the mistress of Henry. This will get her closer to Richard.

Richard, Marquis of Lansdon had a pack which his mother made and he would in no ways fulfill. He would pick which ever girl and it seemed clear it was Charlotte but all is questioned as he encounters Henry’s mistress which he has to watch over.

All fared well towards the end but it was a struggle and Diamond does give a sweet ending even though it was not thought to happen.

Go With The Devil Or Stay Away

Drifting from one series to another from one author can get sometimes confusing but I guess I am lucky that each series from Lynsay Sands is completely different (Highlanders, Vampires and Regency). I got the first book surprisingly from the series Devil of the Highlands, the book itself is also called, Devil of the Highlands.

Evelinde did not know what to do. She was set to be married to the Devil of Donnachaidh. If she denied her stepmother she would punish her but Evelinde wondered if the Devil was so bad especially after they kissed. Evelinde knew she was going to go with the Devil himself but what she did not expect was the man beneath the name.

Cullen, Laird of Donnachaidh is known as the Devil. He bears the name well but those who know him best understand the man underneath. He does not speak much but his actions show the true man inside. Cullen is happy with the choice of brides but what confounds him is how to make his wife happy. He wants her to trust him but she wants him to open up. They will bump heads but danger will be around the corner and another accident could happen.

Starting the book I was completely immersed into the stories dialogue right away and intrigued about the Devil himself, Cullen. I liked how Sands made him a man of action and not much on talking. But what was even a better transition was how the character Evelinde was able to make him want to change.

Evelinde from the first page was your strong heroine who you wanted to cheer on and have her find happiness away from her stepmother. You wouldn’t think it was in the arms of the devil.

The banter between the two was fun and I liked that Cullen was a good man. It was nice not reading about a laird who was angry all the time. Sands keeps the story light with the few accidents which happen in the book and you will find out the truth about those accidents that made Cullen the Devil to some.

I am interested in reading the next book of the series, Taming of the Highland Bride, where Evelinde’s brother will be fighting his way to win the heart of a Scottish woman who he is betrothed.

When You Dare

Wow! That is the only word for the first book of the series Edge of Honor. Lori Foster starts with a bang with When You Dare and will not stop until you finish the book. The summary of the book got my interest but it wasn’t pulling me to read it like so many of Foster’s books but once you start there is no stopping. I kept reading in one sitting from the first page to the very last.

Dare Macintosh is a professional mercenary and is on a mission to find his best friends sister who has been taken. Dare accomplishes his mission but is now strapped with another complication. He picks up Molly who was there with Alani but Molly did not fit the right image to human trafficking. Dare knew she would not survive so he took her as it was the right thing to do. But Dare has questions and only this woman would be able to tell him.

Molly Alexander was taken. Her body hurt, her mind not clear. She still had no idea why all she knew was she was safe with this man named Dare. Molly knew the one thing she had to do and that was to find out who would kidnap her. As a writer she had a few enemies but none she knew that would go to this extreme. Molly will put her trust into Dare as they faced her attackers and the attraction which sizzled between them.

As I read the book I was in awe of how much I really liked the story. The characters were hard edged, complicated and multidimensional. The plot as well had many quirks that made you smile and fantastic twists that you could see happening but you get so wrapped up into the story you only concentrated on the subject at hand.

Dare, wow. He was fantastic. I loved his sexual tension, his macho tendencies and his love for his dogs and friends. Chris who was a friend was delightful. He was quirky and just right. As with Molly she was incredible with her strength through the entire plot. As the reader you cheered her on.

The villain was not clear or at least suspected but Foster did a good job at giving subtle hints and wrong misdirection. Along with multiple characters who could be the bad guy. And the villain was obsessed in a quiet way which gave plot mystery and a really good betrayal.

I was interested to know if Foster would give Alani her own story and happily I found out she will in the third book. This looks to be like a series which will hopefully continue with many more but no one knows except the author. Pick up and enjoy When You Dare and once you are done get ready for the second book with Trace in Trace of Fever.

Nearly a Lady

Winnefred Blythe has been a burden all her life as no one wanted to take care of her which is why she learned to do everything herself except for the help of  Lilly. Surviving on very little Winnefred and Lilly are unexpectaly visited by one of the family members who have but them in this lifestyle close to poverty.

Gideon Haverston knew his stepmother had done wrong to these women but he learns just how bad it was as he visits. Gideon will be overwhelmed with wanting to help these two women especially Winnefred. He does everything he can to help repay these women for what they had to endure. But there is something that is blocking Gideon from letting her all the way in, a past wound that has not healed.

Nearly a Lady is a novel written by Alissa Johnson. I was not sure of how the story would go if the women would be believed or if Gideon would just brush them off, but this is a romance so of course Gideon is our hero. How Johnson writes the story the author is involved with the characters and you feel for them all.

Winnefred is quirky and afraid of society but the thing that the reader will like most is she is a delicate girl with seasickness. Johnson brings humor to her character that she is not as tough as she appears.

Gideon is hiding from his past and only towards the end will you hear the whole story. Johnson makes it hard for Gideon to get over the past and right down to the wire to get Winnefred back.

I liked how the side story of it all was about Lilly and the man she had lost who will happen to come back into her life.

Nearly a Lady is a fantastic novel by Alissa Johnson with humor within the ton of society.

A Love Match by Barbara Allister

“Stephen Huntington modestly told Miss Rosemary Wyatt that his only title was that of Honorable.  But Rosemary could see that this did not stop this wealthy, charming, devastatingly handsome gentleman from being the catch of the London marriage mart.

Why then did the Honorable Mr. Huntington set about courting an untried woman like her when the ravishing Clarissa Ravenwood set her cap fro him?  What dark intent might lie behind Stephen’s dazzling smile and glowing gaze?  Rosemary had good cause to fear all men-and this one above all.  For she had no weapons to defend her heart against a love that well might be too good to be true.”

This was a wonderful book to read for the Regency Romance.  Barbara Allister brought a different type of romance to the book.  There was romance but it centered over Rosemary’s problem with crowds.  I have to say it was enjoyable to read and it was not as predictable as most romance books.

I liked Rosemary’s character.  She was unpredictable, shy, not sure of herself, but is at certain points all at the same time.  I also love the character of  Stephen who was everything she needed.

This book had romance but not overly romanctic, had a nice story where two find love in the end while helping each other.

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

I was blown away as I finished the book.  Couldn’t put this down.  “Chinese Cinderella” is the true story of Adeline Yen Mah who was the unwanted daughter in her family.

“A Chinese proverb says, “Falling leaves return to their roots.”  In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to paint an authentic portrait of twenith-century China as well as to tell the story of her painful childhood and her courage and ultimate triumph over despair.

After her mother dies giving birth to her Adeline’s affluent, powerful family consisders her bad luck.  Life does not get any easier when her father remarries.  She and her siblings are subjected to their stepmother’s disdain, while her half brother and half sister are thoroughly spoiled.  Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not what she really yearns for-the love and understanding of her family.”

The family is cruel to Adeline per normal but when their grandmother dies everything changes.  The stepmother is the one in charge and she is particularly cruel, the father doesn’t do anything about it.  He doesn’t care and for Adeline it is even worse.  Father doesn’t care enough to even listen to his daughter.  The children are all separated.  The two half siblings are with the parents and get everything nice while the others get all second handed things.

For Adeline her family treats her poorly.  They one time killed her little chicken, beat her, gave her a drink that was half urine, shipped her away, and blatantly ignored her.  They even were separating Adeline from her Aunt whom Adeline considered her best friend.  Adeline though had one outlet at her school and that was the friends she made there and that she was the smartest one in her class.  She kept winning awards but that all went away.  Whenever Adeline would tell them or if they found out they thought she was bragging and finally they took her away from that school and to a different one.  In the boarding schools Adeline is forgotten.  No letters, no visitors.  All Adeline had was her intelligence and the few friends at these schools.  But Adeline never stopped fighting to get the approval of her family.  In the end she does in a way but it is still not a complete love.  But Adeline does gain the chance to do something of her life.

While reading the book I was sometimes close to tears which is a little ridicules I guess but I am an emotional person.  She thought of herself of the unwanted daughter because she took away their mother and the family encouraged this thought.  The family I despised.  Ye Ye and Aunt Baba are her only allies.  The third brother was relatively nice but only on his own.  Everyone else was cruel, unjust, would beat her verbally and emotionally, and finally they made sure she was unwanted.  They shipped her away to different boarding schools, one in the middle of war.  I wanted to have Adeline saved by one of her friends parents but that never happened.  But Adeline’s greatest strength was her resolve to not give in to her families ways and to keep going in school where she excelled and was accepted by her peers.  Finishing up the book the ending was a perfect beginning for Adeline’s life.

Chinese Cinderella is a touching novel that every person reading will be able to relate on some level to Adeline and the struggle that she had to endure.  The novel will make you angry, frustrated, cry and smile as Adeline Yen Mah tries so hard her entire life to make something of herself.  In the end she finally does but it is truly for herself.