Monday, February 23, 2015

Early Review of I Loved a Rogue (The Prince Catchers, #3) by Katharine Ashe

      Classification: Adult Fiction
      Genre: Historical Romance
    Series: Prince Catchers (Book 3)
    Format: Paperback: 384 pages
    Publisher: Avon (February 24, 2015)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0062229850
    ISBN-13: 978-0062229854
    Author's Website:
    Notes: I bought this one.

“This ring is the key to your destinies,” (...) “This ring . . .” the Gypsy intoned, “belongs to a prince.”(...) “The rightful master of this ring,” she said soberly, “is not of your blood.” (...) “One of you will wed this prince. Upon this wedding, the secret of your past will be revealed.” ('I Married the Duke: The Prince Catchersby Katharine Ashe)

Twenty-two years ago, a mother sent her three daughters to England in the accompaniment of their nanny when their ship sank. They were the sole survivors. The villagers of the area tried to find their parents, but their search was in vain. The nanny they'd been traveling with had drowned and, with no one to claim them, the girls were sent to a foundling home. They were later adopted by Reverend Caulfield who had lost his wife and daughters just months earlier to fever. The only clue as to who the girls might be is a ring worthy of a king.

Finally, the girls will know the truth and the last sister will be wed. Will she follow her heart or will she fulfill the prophecy?
This was the third and final book of The Prince Catcher's trilogy. I recommend reading the previous two books, 'I Married the Duke' and 'I Adored a Lord'before reading 'I Loved a Rogue' because there are quite a few spoilers from the previous books in this one. 'I Loved a Rogue' nicely wraps up the trilogy in a satisfying way with one of my favorite male characters of the series, Taliesin. He's a brooding, misunderstood rogue of a man who happens to be a gypsy. I loved the chemistry between him and Eleanor as I felt the pages might spontaneously combust within my hands from the heat emanating from these two as I was reading.

For quite some time we've known Eleanor had a tendre for Taliesin, their childhood friend, but we never knew quite what happened between the two. I loved hearing the story of their relationship from little on and of how it grew and developed. I liked how even though they were parted, neither ever truly forgot the other. I admit at times Taliesin's wish to do the right thing made me want to figuratively smack some sense into him, but it did make the moment when he finally gave in to the temptation that was Eleanor that much more sweet. 

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. I loved the twist Ms. Ashe put in the story in regards to the prophecy. I enjoyed finding out what happened all those years ago and who the three sisters truly were. I felt Eleanor went a little bit overboard with her antics to save Taliesin, but I admit to shaking my head and laughing over it. The story contained a nice blend of  romance, suspense, drama, and humor that left me with a satisfied grin on my face. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a  STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. My only wish is that Ms. Ashe had cranked up the heat a little earlier in the book.  

Order of the series:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Title: The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)
Classification: Young Adult
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Format: Hardcover; 288 pages
Publisher: Poppy; 1 edition (September 7, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0316084239
Author's Website:
Notes: Borrowed this one from the library.This one was just made into a movie.

Bianca Piper goes with her friends to the local teen hang out, but she never really enjoys it like they do. While sitting and watching them dance from the sidelines she is approached by a guy with a reputation for being the school's biggest man-whore. She is attempting to give him the royal brush off when he confided in her...

"I actually need your help. You see, your friends are hot. And you, darling are the Duff."
"Is that even a word?"
"Designated. Ugly. Fat. Friend," he clarified. "No offense, but that would be you." 
"The point is, scientists have proven that every group of friends has a weak link, a Duff. And girls respond well to guys who associate with their Duffs."

And so the dance begins...
This was a very surprising book because it had a nice message packed into a very cute, clever, sometimes serious yet quite humorous story line. In one of the opening scenes Wesley Rush accuses our lead character, Bianca, of being the 'D'esignated 'U'gly 'F'at 'F'riend (ie DUFF). She's not a DUFF by any standards but the guy is playing up on her insecurities. Most girls/women don't like to be called fat and Wesley plays upon that fact. While it took me a while to figure it out, I believe Wesley is actually striking out at Bianca in much the same fashion as he feels she did of him. He's basically being a jerk and paying her back for being rather rude to him. I'm guessing it's his personal type of defense/revenge mechanism and as high school is a time when we gals are at our most vulnerable, he hits his mark. So while Wesley may be all male, I felt the following statement equally applied to him, "Calling Vikki a slut or a whore was just like calling someone the Duff. It was insulting and hurtful, and it was one of those titles that just fed off of an inner fear every girl must have from time to time. Slut, bitch, prude, tease, ditz. They were all the same. Every girl felt like one of these sexist labels described her at some point."

What I loved about the story is we see the impact Bianca has on Wesley and the impact he has on her. Each makes the other take an up close and intimate look at themselves and in doing so realize things they may have never have known about themselves. That realization makes the other a better person for it. The relationship starts off with them being attracted to each other yet despising one another and then slowly coming to the surprising realization that they actually really like and understand each other. At one point in the book there is a line that states, "I was the Duff. And that was a good thing. Because anyone who didn’t feel like the Duff must not have friends. Every girl feels unattractive sometimes. Why had it taken me so long to figure that out? Why had I been stressing over that dumb word for so long when it was so simple? I should be proud to be the Duff. Proud to have great friends who, in their minds, were my Duffs." I felt this was an important because we should all acknowledge our faults and insecurities so we can clearly identify and deal with them properly.   

Some of my favorite lines:
- "Wesley Rush doesn’t chase girls, but I’m chasing you."
- “Bianca, whore is just a cheap word people use to cut each other down,” he said, his voice softer. “It makes them feel better about their own mistakes. Using words like that is easier than really looking into the situation.
- "No matter where you go or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually."

I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. It was fun, witty, clever, and made go from intensely disliking the lead male character to liking him. I love when that happens. This is a story about growing up and into your own skin and liking yourself despite your faults. It's about realizing you should never make quick judgments about another individual because you may not know what is going on behind the scenes (ie "Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes"). It is the kind of story everyone can easily relate to and Ms. Keplinger does an excellent job of creating a tale which appears simple at first glance but truly delves into some deep subject matter. While I will admit that as a parent I was cringing quite a bit at the amount of casual sex in the book, I still remember what it is like to be in high school and there was quite a bit of that going on even when I was growing up. A lovely debut for this author. I definitely intend to read more of her books.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Most Anticipated New Releases for February 2015

The following list is comprised of books, short stories, and novellas my friends, family, and I are most looking forward to reading in February. It also consists of books by popular authors and other authors or books I've heard a lot of hype about. I am not flawless in my endeavors and sometimes I'll accidentally leave one or more books off the list that I shouldn't. Let me know if one of your favorites is missing. Sometimes my search techniques just don't work as well as I wish they did.

The list is divided into weekly releases. If you'd like to read a book's description, just click on the cover photo and you'll be magically transferred to Goodreads. Remember, a book a day keeps the boredom at bay! Happy reading.

February 1, 2015 - Death and the Redheaded Woman (An Auction Block Mystery) by Loretta Ross
February 3, 2015 - The Accidental Dragon (Accidentally Paranormal Novel Book 9) by Dakota Cassidy
February 3, 2015 - Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
February 3, 2015 - Better When He's Bold: A Welcome to the Point Novel by Jay Crownover
February 3, 2015 - By Book or By Crook: A Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates
February 3, 2015 - Casually Cursed (A Southern Witch Book 5) by Kimberly Frost
February 3, 2015 - Crash & Burn (Tessa Leoni, #3) by Lisa Gardner
February 3, 2015 - Dark Intelligence (Transformations) by Neal Asher
February 3, 2015 - Darned if You Do (A Needlecraft Mystery Book 18) by Monica Ferris
February 3, 2015 - Dragons at Crumbling Castle: And Other Tales by Terry Pratchett and Mark Beech
February 3, 2015 - Death of a Liar (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries Book 31) by M.C. Beaton
February 3, 2015 - Earls Just Want to Have Fun (Covent Garden Cubs Book 1) by Shana Galen
February 3, 2015 - An Early Wake (County Cork series Book 3) by Sheila Connolly
February 3, 2015 - At the Drop of a Hat (A Hat Shop Mystery) by Jenn McKinlay
February 3, 2015 - Forbidden to Love the Duke: The Fenwick Sisters Affairs by Jillian Hunter
February 3, 2015 - Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
February 3, 2015 - Get in Trouble: Stories by Kelly Link
February 3, 2015 - Ghost Killer (The Ghost Seer Series) by Robin D. Owens
February 3, 2015 - As Gouda as Dead (Cheese Shop Mystery Book 6) by Avery Aames
February 3, 2015 - Half the World (Shattered Sea Book 2) by Joe Abercrombie
February 3, 2015 - Hero by Samantha Young
February 3, 2015 - Invaded (Alienated Book 2) by Melissa Landers
February 3, 2015 - Island of Shipwrecks (The Unwanteds Book 5) by Lisa McMann
February 3, 2015 - Jaguar Pride (Heart of the Jaguar Book 4) by Terry Spear
February 3, 2015 - Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
February 3, 2015 - The Kind Worth Killing: A Novel by Peter Swanson
February 3, 2015 - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
February 3, 2015 - The Marauders: A Novel by Tom Cooper
February 3, 2015 - Miramont's Ghost by Elizabeth Hall
February 3, 2015 - Mrs. Jeffries and the One Who Got Away (Mrs.Jeffries Mysteries Book 33) by Emily Brightwell
February 3, 2015 - New Uses For Old Boyfriends (Black Dog Bay Novel) by Beth Kendrick
February 3, 2015 - Overcome (Breeds) by Lora Leigh
February 3, 2015 - Played by the Book (A Novel Idea Mystery 4) by Lucy Arlington
February 3, 2015 - Quarterback Draw (A Play-by-Play Novel Book 9) by Jaci Burton
February 3, 2015 -The Raven (Florentine series) by Sylvain Reynard
February 3, 2015 - A Root Awakening: A Flower Shop Mystery by Kate Collins
February 3, 2015 - Town in a Sweet Pickle (Candy Holliday Murder Mystery Book 6) by B.B. Haywood
February 3, 2015 - Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman
February 3, 2015 - Twisted Innocence (Moonlighters Series Book 3) by Terri Blackstock

February 10, 2015 - The Autumn Republic (The Powder Mage Trilogy) by Brian McClellan
February 10, 2015 - Blood Infernal: The Order of the Sanguines Series by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
February 10, 2015 - Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger
February 10, 2015 - Deadly Spells (Prospero's War Book 3) by Jaye Wells
February 10, 2015 - The First Wife by Erica Spindler
February 10, 2015 - The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
February 10, 2015 - I am Haunted: Living Life Through the Dead by Zak Bagans and Kelly Crigger
February 10, 2015 - The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
February 10, 2015 - Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado
February 10, 2015 - Motive (Alex Delaware, #30) by Jonathan Kellerman
February 10, 2015 - Red Queen (Red Queen, #1) by Victoria Aveyard
February 10, 2015 - The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6) by Richelle Mead
February 10, 2015 - The Shadow Cabinet (The Shades of London Book 3 by Maureen Johnson
February 10, 2015 - A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
February 10, 2015 - Twelve Days (John Wells Series Book 9) by Alex Berenson
February 10, 2015 - Unveiled (One Night, #3) by Jodi Ellen Malpas

February 16, 2015 - The Return: A Titan Novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout
February 17, 2015 - The Accidental Empress: A Novel by Allison Pataki
February 17, 2015 - The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes
February 17, 2015 - Dreaming Spies (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #13) by Laurie R. King
February 17, 2015 - The Master (The Game Maker, #2) by Kresley Cole
February 17, 2015 - Rise of the Fallen: Wars of the Realm, Book 2 by Chuck Black
February 17, 2015 - A Touch of Stardust: A Novel by Kate Alcott
February 17, 2015 - Vostok by Steve Alten

February 24, 2015 - After Ever Happy (The After Series Book 4) by Anna Todd
February 24, 2015 - At Wolf Ranch: A Montana Men Novel by Jennifer Ryan
February 24, 2015 - A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1) by V.E. Schwab
February 24, 2015 - Back in the Game: A Stardust, Texas Novel (Stardust, Texas series Book 1) by Lori Wilde
February 24, 2015 - The Black Widow by Wendy Corsi Staub
February 24, 2015 - Diary of an Accidental Wallflower: The Seduction Diaries by Jennifer McQuiston
February 24, 2015 - Dorothy Parker Drank Here by Ellen Meister
February 24, 2015 - Double Fudge Brownie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #18) by Joanne Fluke
February 24, 2015 - The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery
February 24, 2015 - One Wish (Thunder Point, #7) by Robyn Carr
February 24, 2015 - Highland Guard (The Murrays Book 20) by Hannah Howell
February 24, 2015 - Hush Hush: A Tess Monaghan Novel by Laura Lippman
February 24, 2015 - I Loved a Rogue: The Prince Catchers by Katharine Ashe
February 24, 2015 - Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles (Mahalia Watkins Soul Food Mysteries) by A.L. Herbert
February 24, 2015 - The Remaining: Allegiance by D. J. Molles
February 24, 2015 - Running Blind (One-Eyed Jacks Book 3) by Cindy Gerard
February 24, 2015 - Salt & Stone (Fire & Flood, #2) by Victoria Scott
February 24, 2015 - I Survived #11: I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 by Lauren Tarshis
February 24, 2015 - Shadow Study (Soulfinders Book 5) by Maria V. Snyder
February 24, 2015 - The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
February 24, 2015 - Soulbound (Darkest London, #6) by Kristen Callihan
February 24, 2015 - The Tempting of Thomas Carrick (The Cynster Novels) by Stephanie Laurens
February 24, 2015 - Thoughtful (Thoughtless, #1.5) by S.C. Stephens
February 24, 2015 - Unleashed (Uninvited Book 2) by Sophie Jordan
February 24, 2015 - A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing, #1) by Rhiannon Thomas
February 24, 2015 - Wild Horses (The Montana Hamiltons) by B.J. Daniels
February 26, 2015 - Prodigal Son: A Novel by Danielle Steel
February 26, 2015 - The Immortal Who Loved Me: An Argeneau Novel (Argeneau Vampire Book 21) by Lynsay Sands
February 26, 2015 - Mightier Than the Sword (The Clifton Chronicles, #5) by Jeffrey Archer
February 26, 2015 - Unchanged (Unremembered series Book 3) by Jessica Brody
February 27, 2015 - Sabotaged (Alaskan Courage Book #5) by Dani Pettrey
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