Monday, December 30, 2013

Review of If Wishes Were Earls by Elizabeth Boyle

Title/Author: If Wishes Were Earls (Rhymes With Love #3) by Elizabeth Boyle
Publisher/Date published: Avon, December 31st 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Harriet Hathaway has loved only one man her entire life: the Earl of Roxley. But when he ignores her at a ball, she takes rather desperate steps to catch his eye and her plans find her ruined and without any hope of gaining Roxley’s heart. So it is much to her amazement when Roxley proposes marriage to save her from ruin. But Roxley’s proposal isn’t quite on the up and up and when she finds out she’s just another piece in one of his plots and japes, she vows revenge.

Roxley is desperate to pull his family from the brink of ruin, and the only way to gain a lost fortune is to prove to his aunts that’s he’s “reformed” his life and is determined to settle down. But the bride-to-be that he thought would be most amiable is doing everything to turn his life and his heart upside down. Harriet Hathaway had always seemed the most sensible girl he knew, but now this siren of a stranger he’s engaged to is leaving him feeling anything but sensible. Harriet is about to steal not only his heart, but quite possibly the keys to the Roxley fortune.

Ok, so the summary above isn't quite true to the story. Roxley does ruin Harriet, but he doesn't propose to save her from ruin and she doesn't vow revenge on him. So I was basically a bit confused at first, but then I just went with it and it was ok.

Harriet has a strong will of her own. And she's set her heart on Roxley, so she's doing everything in her power to make sure he marries her. She was actually a little scary in her determination. I mean, getting yourself ruined to trap a man isn't exactly endearing behaviour to me. That's a big no for me. But I did love that she knocks Roxley to the ground as a kid when he's being all high and mighty 'But I'm an earl', so I forgave her, but she isn't my favourite type of heroine.

Roxley is a bit of a mess. I mean, he loves Harriet and ruins her and then he doesn't go see her for 8 months. I was ready to cry DOUCHE when it turns out he has a bit of honour left in him somewhere. His excuse was that he's suddenly stopped being lucky at his gambling and other endeavours, but he didn't know that the morning after he ruined Harriet and in my opinion in those days he should have just married her straight after. It seemed pretty irresponsible of both of them.
But Roxley is being all tortured man-like and it was pretty funny! I also liked how much he cared about his aunts!

I think my lack of enthusiasm for the hero and heroine let me to not have all the feelings I like to have while reading a romance novel. Don't get me wrong, it was an enjoyable read, but from the summary I had just expected something a little different and a bit more filled with tension and for me it just wasn't there. Also, it was pretty obvious from the beginning where exactly those damn diamonds everyone has their panties in a bunch over had been hidden.

If Wishes Were Earls was a nice, relaxing read, but not my favourite in the genre.

My rating: 3 stars

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review of Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

Title/Author: Taste of Darkness (Healer #3) by Maria V. Snyder
Publisher/Date published: Harlequin MIRA, December 31st 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.

But there's a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever. Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.


Guys, I adore Maria V. Snyder's writing! I always know I'm going to enjoy her books when I start them! And I was very anxiously awaiting Taste of Darkness!
And while it wasn't my usual 5-star read that I've come to expect from Snyder, it was still a really good read!

Avry is a character that I can SO relate to! She's a Healer and practices usual medicine as well alongside her healing powers and I just think that she's awesome. Though I sometimes wanted to yell at her for being headstrong and reckless and all that, but it's not very interesting if a character is perfect. I like that Avry is a more mature character and has a mature relationship with Kerrick, though it got a little too lovey-dovey for me at times. I mean, there was hardly any tension there! They keep getting separated and angsting over if they'll see the other person again and I wanted to be like: THEN JUST STOP SPLITTING UP @#$%& because this didn't seem to be a very productive way to spend time.

This also means that a lot of the book is filled with searching for Kerrick/Avry, waiting for Kerrick/Avry and the pace was a little slower than I would have liked and would have expected. I mean, there was still a whole lot to be resolved and the pages were dwindling and I was REALLY worried about how Maria V. Snyder would tie everything up in the end. But she did manage it rather neatly and while the part with Tohon was pretty anticlimactic, the rest of it was well done and gave me closure for this series.

I loved seeing Avry make sense of the Plague and the Peace and Death Lilies and figuring out how it all worked and it was just genius! I've also grown really fond of the monkeys and Belen and Flea and would just like to gather them all for a big hug. Aside from the part where Flea was being an ass, but he's a growing boy, it's to be expected that they act a little annoying every now and then.
Also, I could have done without the Skeleton King, he was SO CREEPY! I'm thankful I haven't had any nightmares starring him yet..

Taste of Darkness was a fitting ending to this series that I enjoyed very much!

My rating: 4 stars

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everybody!!

I'm spending the day with my family and tomorrow we'll be going over to the boyfriend's family :) (we have two days of Christmas here in Holland) I'm also bringing my dad's dogs home with me tonight, so fun times with the puppies ahead!

I hope you're all having a wonderful day (or days) and spending time with the people you love! I'm off to prepare for the epic food fest :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Review of The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

Title/Author: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, December 31st 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to — only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future — until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are — and falling in love.

I so wanted to love this book. Because the cover looks so cute and the story sounded sweet and I had comitted to being on a tour for it. The last reason is quite possibly also the only reason I actually finished it instead of DNF-ing, which I frequently considered.

I could actually identify with Wren quite a bit because she's also tired of being called 'quiet'. Do people realise how annoying that is? Because it's seen as a bad thing generally and being told that you could 'show a little more of yourself' again and again is tiring. And quiet people don't always have quiet feelings, ok? But enough about my frustrations. I was secretly cheering that Wren was running into some of the same obstacles I was when I was in high school because of this being quiet thing. So we were off to a pretty good start, I liked her family and the catering hall, holla Arthurian themed things!

But then Grayson entered the scene and everything just sorta fell apart. I really, REALLY did not like Grayson with the poor little rich kid thing he had going on and just plain old being a douche. Also, the moment he lays eyes on Wren, he's convinced that they'll share something special. WTF??? I mean, seriously, that is just a big load of crap. And coming from the guy I just didn't believe all this lovey-dovey stuff. I mean, obviously guys have feelings, but this was just ridiculous.

And Wren, who I liked before, just forgave him for every crappy thing he pulled! Something is not working for me when I'm actually rooting for the two main characters to NOT end up with each other. I probably wouldn't have forgiven Grayson and especially not with the lame excuses he gives for his behaviour. I mean, come on, he just bullshits her and she's like ok, I love you. WTF??? But maybe I'm just not a very nice, forgiving kind of person.

I was also kinda annoyed by Wren's claiming to love Grayson, but then kissing another guy and being confused by the sparks between her and that other guy. While the other was a douche as well, he was actually more interesting than Grayson and I could have gotten behind that ship. Maybe.

There was just a whole lot of insta-love and douche-baggery and too little growing of a spine for the female MC. And I found myself rolling my eyes quite a bit throughout reading The Promise of Amazing. The whole thing just wasn't working for me.

My rating: 1 star

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Daisy Update (52)

Hi guys!

So the blog has been lacking updates somewhat... I've just been so busy! And I'm not even sure what I've been so busy with, but I'm so ready for a couple of days off!

My residency is one thing that's been keeping me busy, lots of 'homework' for the one day a week we have classes at the university and the other four days with seeing patients and trying to juggle a social life next to that. I'm really enjoying my residency, but man, I just need a few days of not having people complain about stuff and then I'll be good to go again! I had one evening shift, which was ok and last Friday I worked the night shift and it was both really weird and pretty fun, our last patient of the night was this really cute 2-week-old baby (who thankfully wasn't sick) and it left me with warm and fuzzies.

So yesterday I tried to catch up on sleep and failed and I couldn't manage to keep warm on my own because I was so tired. We did go see a concert, we'd seen the band play before, but this time they were doing an acoustic version of all their songs and it was AMAZING! They're really talented!

Over the past three week we celebrated Sinterklaas with the boyfriend's family, had a nice day with my mom and her new boyfriend, had the puppies staying with us (which definitely made me get off the couch a lot more), I went to an amusement park with my friends, went out for drinks with the other residents and decorated our Christmas tree:

A real tree doesn't fit in the apartment and I like this one, the boyfriend's dad made it for us :)

I have tomorrow off to compensate for the night shift and I'm probably gonna spend it picking out a new washing machine as the one we have is broken... Tried to turn on the stupid thing this morning and it wouldn't start and now it's taken the clothes I put in hostage... UGH! So either the boyfriend (who is as electronically challenged as I am) will fix it or we'll just order a new one, though it's highly inconventient with the holidays and the extra time it'll probably take before it'll get here...

Anyway: yay only one more day of work before Christmas is here and my mini-break starts! :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review of Kisses, She Wrote by Katharine Ashe

Title/Author: Kisses, She Wrote (The Prince Catchers #1.5) by Katharine Ashe
Publisher/Date published: Avon, December 3rd 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Christmas in town has never been so steamy...

Handsome as sin and scandalously rakish, Cam Westfall, the Earl of Bedwyr, is every young lady's wickedest dream. Shy wallflower Princess Jacqueline of Sensaire knows this better than anyone, because her dreams are full of the breathtaking earl's kisses. And not only her dreams — her diary, too.

But when Cam discovers the maiden's not-so-maidenly diary, will her wildest Christmas wishes be fulfilled in its pages... or in his arms?

Awww, guys, I like a good Christmas romance novel! :) And this novella by Katharine Ashe was a quick, sweet read!

I met Jacqueline in I Married the Duke, which didn't work so well for me, but I really liked the Princess of Sensaire and was curious about her lovestory. And Katharine Ashe didn't let me down this time, I definitely enjoyed Kisses, She Wrote a whole lot more than I did I Married the Duke!

Jacqueline is intelligent and only shows her wonderful personality to those she knows and loves. And she's got a major crush on Cam, who from the description sounds like a man I'd crush on big-time as well! He's honorable and smart and just all-man-goodness! And I love that he writes poetry!
They're both being pushed into marriages they don't want by their family and I just wanted to shake Jacqueline's mother and tell her to stop ruining her daughter's life! I also wanted to rap a ruler on Cam's knuckles for reading Jacqueline's diary, because that's just a big NO right there, but as it all worked out between them in the end, I was ok with it.

They really form a friendship which grows into something more and I loved seeing them together, sparring and enjoying each other's company and I just swooned ok??
So yes, I enjoyed Kisses, She Wrote very much!

My rating: 4 stars

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blog Tour and Giveaway! The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

On December 31st The Promise of Amazing is being released! Isn't the cover adorable? :) To follow the rest of the tour, go here for the tour schedule!

Goodreads summary: Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future — until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are — and falling in love.

About the author: ROBIN CONSTANTINE

Robin Constantine is a born and bred Jersey girl who moved down South so she could wear flip-flops year round. She spends her days dreaming up stories where love conquers all, well, eventually but not without a lot of peril, angst and the occasional kissing scene.

Her YA debut, THE PROMISE OF AMAZING, will be released in 2014 by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.


Want to win a signed copy of The Promise of Amazing? Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review of Pushed by Corrine Jackson

Title/Author: Pushed (Sense Thieves #2) by Corrine Jackson
Publisher/Date published: Kensington Teen, November 26th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: She didn’t know how far she’d go — until she was pushed.

Remy O’Malley was just learning to harness her uncanny healing power when she discovered the other,darker half of her bloodline. Now she lives trapped between two worlds, uneasy among her fellow Healers — and relentlessly hunted by the Protectors.

Forced to conceal her dual identity, and the presence of her Protector boyfriend Asher Blackwell, Remy encounters a shadow community of Healers who will put her loyalties to the test.

Pushed to the limit, with the lives of those she loves most on the line, Remy must decide whether to choose sides in a centuries-old war — or make the ultimate sacrifice and go to a place from which she may never return...


So you might remember how I wasn't a really big fan of the first book in the series, Touched. I was however interested in the whole Protector-Healer thing enough to pick up the second book in the series. And it worked a little better for me than the first one, which might have something to do with the fact that Asher was mostly absent. Cause I'm still not digging him.

Remy doesn't really seem to get a break, aside from a mom who didn't take very good care of her, she now has to deal with her grandfather, who gave me the creeps. Grandpa's should be only be allowed to be cuddly and protective. I didn't like him.
I did get a bit annoyed with Remy's woe is me attitude, because really, while I get that her life is anything but easy, she's a bit too willing to give up and sacrifice herself and UGH! I needed her to stop putting everyone else first and just realise that she's also worth something and not just as a healing prodigy. I so wanted her to stand up for herself.

Guys, I so want to talk about the ship I'm shipping, cause it's not Remy and Asher, cause I still don't like Asher, but I'm afraid I'll spoil things, so I'll just put it all here and you can light up to read:
**I'm SO shipping Remy and Gabe!! EEEEE! I mean, IT IS PERFECTION! Well, maybe not perfection in that she's 'in love' with his brother (I'm not convinced), but they have this whole love-hate thing and it is SO GOOD! I felt indifferent about Gabe in the first book, but here he's just wormed his way into my heart and it is AWESOME. Now if only Remy could get behind the ship, we'd be very happy together.**
I'm not really digging the love triangle though and I'm kinda scared that the author isn't shipping MY ship... But it was so perfect... *sigh*

I still really like Remy's dad, her stepmom and her stepsister, they are all kinds of awesome and light up the scenes they're in. They really care about Remy and show it in their actions and I liked it. They're also just good people. I also really liked one of the new characters we're introduced to: Erin, another Healer. She's a sweet girl and I liked seeing her and Remy become friends.

Some batcrap crazy things go down in Pushed and at times I was just going WTF??? Seriously, how can so much bad stuff happen to one person? It was a little much for me. While this isn't my favourite series, I think I'm gonna stick with it and read the final book in the trilogy, if only to get closure on the love triangle and get answers to some other questions I'm still having.

My rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Review of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title/Author: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publisher/Date published: Disney Hyperion, December 10th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder — would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

Guys, this book slayed me. In the best possible way. I just finished reading it and I'm still a bit bleary-eyed staring at the computer screen, trying to make sense of the fact that I finished it and it's over. My heart is in this book.

I almost passed up on this book because I'm not really a fan of stories set in space. I know. I KNOW. I'm so glad I listened to the gushing I heard about These Broken Stars and decided to read it anyway! And it was a good life choice! Also, it's not really set in space, only a little, so I was good on that part as well :)

Where do I even start... These two characters made the book. Lilac is amazing and brave and tough and not the spoiled society princess she appears to be and man, I just loved her! I love that she knows so much about mechanics though it's not a normal hobby for a girl from a rich family. I love that she's stubborn and doesn't complain and that she's smart!

But guys, nothing can beat Tarver. I ADORE HIM! I loved reading the chapters from his POV even more than I did the ones from Lilac's and I'm usually more drawn to the girl's voice, but this amazing man just stole my heart! He's strong and kind and capable and just my kind of good guy! I loved his voice! And I loved how much he cares about his family and that he writes poetry and just how he cares for Lilac and GAH, he's just amazing ok??

For pretty much the whole book it's just Lilac and Tarver and I didn't mind for one bit. I didn't need anyone else interfering with this perfect partnership and their dynamic and just EVERYTHING! I so wanted to shake them at first and sit them down so they'd TALK TO EACH OTHER! So they'd clear up the things they thought about each other that weren't true and would just see how perfect they were for each other and GAH JUST KISS ALREADY!!! OMG, all that tension was amazing, but at one point I just needed them to be together because my heart couldn't take it anymore!

And then there was this twist that was awful and made me cry and made me wonder how this could ever be fixed. And it made my happy feelings turn a whole lot darker. I really don't want to spoil anything, but wow, that was incredible and made me read the last part of the book in no time at all, because I had to KNOW!

You guys, These Broken Stars was a rollercoaster of feelings and I think I left a piece of my heart between its pages. Please just go read it when it comes out, because you don't want to miss this book!

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Daisy Update (51)

Hi guys!

It's been a while! The last update was over 2 months ago... I haven't really been in my happy place this past couple of months and this is why there haven't been that many blog posts in general. I'm actually doing pretty well, but blogging is something that requires that part of my brain that hasn't really been working lately. But I'm hoping to fix this! Cause I love blogging :)

I'll highlight a couple of things that happened the last two months:

-I had a teeny tiny birthday celebration on September 23rd, went out to dinner with the boyfriend, one of my friends and her boyfriend and it was wonderful and relaxing and just all around what I needed that evening to be. The company of people who know me well and yummy food, I loved it!

-Later that week I went out to dinner with the boyfriend, my brother and his girlfriend for my brother's birthday. We went to a sushi restaurant and man, do I love sushi! It was fun to spend time together just the four of us :)

-I worked my first weekend shift (which is SO MUCH better than the ones I had last year! This one only lasted from 8AM to 2PM, I was so surprised!), which was pretty quiet, but did have me stitching up a huge gash in someone's chin at 8.30AM. It was pretty cool :)

-Some of the other residents and I went out for a high beer. This basically means that we got 4 special kinds of beers and some snacks and just had a blast! It was nice to sit down together and get to know each other outside of the university! However, I'm not drinking beer again anytime soon...

-I went to see Beth Hart in Tilburg and it was AWESOME! I didn't know many of her songs before going to see her play, but she's incredible live! And I love her LA Song! She's also really funny :)

-We had our first and second book club meeting! In October we read More Than This and I still don't know what to say about that book, so my review is still non-existant. For November we read The Bone Season and JUST GO READ IT EVERYONE! The beginning is slow and there's a lot of info-dump, but after that it's simply amazing and THE ROMANCE! ALL THE SWOONS! There'll probably be a review for that sometime in the next couple of weeks.
I love meeting up with these girls and discussing the book (for about 10 minutes) and everything else! It's just nice to see everyone in person and really get to know the person behind the blog and Twitter handle.

-The boyfriend and I are looking at new places to live, a real house instead of an apartment and it's both exciting and terrifying! And kinda frustrating that the only houses for rent in Nijmegen are old and ugly... So we're looking at other options as well, though it'd be perfect if a pretty house somewhere around here became available for a reasonable price..

-I had a conference in Maastricht, which was all about emergency-care and was really interesting! After the conference, we had a dinner and party at a castle near the Belgian border and when we got there I just couldn't believe that all that was for us! I mean, a lot of the people there were residents like me and I've never been to anything this fancy before! Also, I don't think I've ever had wine that was that expensive before, it tasted so good! We went with almost our whole resident-group and it was so much fun!

-I went to see Catching Fire with the boyfriend and two of our friends and it was OMG SO GOOD! ALL THE FEELINGS! For more of my thoughts on this incredible move, go here.

I guess that were some of the highlights. In between these I've been working and studying and running around trying to keep everything running smoothly and at times remember to sit on the couch for a bit and just enjoy a quiet evening with the boyfriend.

Today is filled with sitting on the couch with my dad's dogs, reading, blogging and going for a long walk later on. I love quiet Sundays like this!

So how are you all doing? For those of you in the US: did you have a nice holiday weekend? Spend Thanksgiving with your family? And for my fellow Dutch bloggers: have you finished shoppping and writing your verses for Sinterklaas?