Juuli's Bookshelf

Capturing Cara by S.E. Smith

Capturing Cara  - S.E.  Smith

The story should have been shorter. I didn't like Cara. Author wanted to show her as a cute perky genius but it didn't work for me. She annoyed me. I understand why Jarak was so upset. You can't have a person on a spaceship, who wants to take everything apart to see how it works. I was actually surprised they reached Valdier in one piece.
The main characters didn't communicate. They didn't discuss their problems. Something happened and Cara's reaction was to run away and Trelon had to chase after her again. They had sex and it seemed to solve all their problems.
I'm still interested in the world and this race's existence. I'll probably read the third book. Hopefully Trisha is a lot more pleasant and saner than Cara.

Abducting Abby by S.E. Smith

Abducting Abby - S.E. Smith

I don't read contemporary erotic romances because the relationships there are usually quite unbelievable or just creepy. But when the story is about aliens, shifters, or cyborgs, then these characters are already so unbelievable, I can read and enjoy almost everything. Yes, I know - it's my kind of logic.
Abducting Abby was short and easy to read. The hero came form a distant planet and was quite unique. The story didn't flow very smoothly, the virgin heroine turned into a sex kitten within a minute, and for a warrior race these men weren't very capable of protecting themselves and their mates, but I still liked the world and its strange race.

The Crime at Black Dudley - Margery Allingham
Estonian copy of the book The Crime at Black Dudley
Estonian copy of the book The Crime at Black Dudley

Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks

Highlander Most Wanted - Maya Banks

I liked the story and the characters a lot, but it got annoying, how author stressed Genevieve's past suffering all the time. I understood the first time. She was held captive. Her kidnapper was a monster. She suffered horribly. Maya Banks didn't have to repeat it over and over and over again. I'm not simple-minded and my memory is still quite good. Every time I actually started to enjoy the story, the author went back to it. And mostly these weren't even Genevieve's memories she gave us. The author just said she had suffered and would never again be totally happy or well again.

Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt

Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane) - Elizabeth Hoyt

 

I finally had time to finish reading this amazing story. I also have to say that this is my second attempt to write my opinion about Scandalous Desires. It's not as thorough as the first one because my computer crashed and I had to start again.

About a year ago Silence Hollingbrook tried to save a person she loved and lost everything - her marriage, her family's trust and her reputation. Now she lives in an orphanage and helps her brother to run it. She also raises Mary Darling - a little girl, who was left at her doorstep.
Charming Mickey O'Connor is a cold and calculating river pirate. He is also the man, who ruined Silence's life. But when Mickey has to hide his daughter, he chooses Silence - the brave woman he can't get out of his head. Mickey's enemy finds out where his daughter is, and Mickey has to convince Silence to live with him. In the name of the child Silence is ready for everything. She makes a deal with Mickey - she lives is his house until the threat is eliminated and after that she is free to leave with Mary Darling. Mickey has other plans - he wants to keep Silence with him for a long long time.

I loved the story and these wonderful characters. Even the Vicar of Whitechapel. He was the meanest and cruelest villains I've ever read about in romance novels. The things he did ... I hated him and at the same time wondered, why he was as he was. Can a person be born evil or was he just mentally ill?
Mickey was a jerk. A selfish and mean bastard who relished in his way of life and had no plans to change it. At the beginning of the story he had no 

feelings for his daughter. He just wasn't ready to lose something he owned, and Mary Darling was definitely his property.

(show spoiler)

  Still I enjoyed his character a lot. He managed to redeem himself and his road there was a truly enjoyable read.
Silence was an admirable character. She had so much inner strength. Her defying Mickey made me laugh my head off. The scenes with Mickey's men, Lad, and Mary Darling were humorous and cute.
This story also has some really intense and emotional moments and quite a lot of contrasts - the poverty of slums and Mickey's luxurious house, the elegant opera house and the peaceful manor house near London - it made the story fast paced with enough romance, emotional moments, humour and action. And the fairy tale was as fascinating as always in Elizabeth Hoyt's books.
Scandalous Desires is now one of my favourite historical romances and I'm definitely going to read the next books.
5 stars

 

Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt

Notorious Pleasures - Elizabeth Hoyt

The heroine of the story Lady Hero, the new benefactor of the orphanage, is a perfect sister and a lady. She also has a perfect fiance - a wealthy marquis, who unfortunately has quite an imperfect brother.
Lord Griffin Reading is a rake. He loves drinking and women and there's a rumour that he seduced his brother's late wife. Hero and Griffin don't like each other at all, but when Griffin finds out that Hero visits slums without telling her fiance or her brother, he makes her promise to go to the orphanage only accompanied by him. The more time they spend together, the more they realized that first impressions are not always right. Hero only pretends to be perfect and Griffin has spent years trying to restore his family's fortune, so that his mother, sisters and brother (yes, the wealthy marquis) could live in comfort.

The story begins with a wicked scene and continues with an amusing hate-lust-love relationship, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The book had a good flow, so when the chapter ended, I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The background story (making gin and problems this drink caused) gave the book a haunting and really sad feel. It also made Griffin Reading more real because the the choices he had to make, these weren't easy. He was loyal, charming and was almost from the beginning ready for commitment. Not very common in romance novels. His banter with Hero made the story lighter giving it balance.
I loved Hero's views and choices. Yes, there was a moment when she was utterly annoying, but her heart was in a right place. It was understandable, why she wasn't ready to fight with her brother. The consequences would have been quite devastating for the main couple.
The side characters weren't as formed as in the first story. I wanted more about Lavinia. She was such a fascinating woman and her relationship with Thomas intrigued me a lot.

Actually, this is two stories in one book deal, because at the beginning of each chapter, there is a small part of a fairy tale. So, after you have finished the book, you have read a hot historical romance and a cute fairy tale as well.

Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt

Wicked Intentions - Elizabeth Hoyt

The story takes place in the 18th century London, where a slum orphanage is in trouble. Its benefactor has recently died and brother and sister (Winter and Temperance), who keep the place, haven't had any success in finding a new one. At the same time several women are murdered and cut in the slum. One of the victims was a mistress of Lord Caire, a man with unusual desires in the bedroom, who decides to find the murderer. Because he doesn't know the slums very well, he asks Temperance to be his guide.

The setting was interesting but spooky. Every time Temperance went outside at night, with or without Caire, I was a nervous wreck, because author really took me to those slums, which were so dangerous and awful. I didn't know, if the heroine was really brave or utterly stupid to risk her life like that. I have to admit, she was an interesting character - a saint with the shocking past. I liked her dedication to the children and her will to stood up against her brother. Her family members created fascinating side characters. I can't wait to read Silence's story.

Lord Caire was a mysterious hero. I hadn't read or even heard about his condition before. Such a cold and lonely life. He had so many flaws. I think that's the reason, why I sympathized with him so much. I wanted him to feel something and to be happy.

The romance was hot and a little bit shocking. I didn't expect so wild scenes. Even more shocking was, how much I enjoyed reading them. Caire really had a way with words. The suspense part wasn't the greatest. The author didn't give glues and Caire's investigations weren't very structured. I also missed the confession. Yes, the author gave reasons but still, I wanted the murderer to say why the murders were committed.

English is not my first language, therefore there were several words I hadn't heard or seen before. I actually enjoyed using my kindle dictionary to find the exact meaning.

Enjoyable historical romance. Can't wait to read the second book. 4 stars

Born of Fire by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Born of Fire - Sherrilyn Kenyon

I don't know if I should curse or thank my friend who told me to read The League books. I have a new obsession now and it's not pretty. I've been reading like crazy and I don't even remember if I have done my chores or not. I probably have but because of the books it's been autopilot all the way.
I liked the first book but the second blew my mind - it was such an emotional roller coaster. Syn's story broke my heart. I can't believe that after all he went through, he was such a decent man.

Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley

Lady Luck - Kristen Ashley

This story was slow, annoying, and rude. The beginning was strange, the heroine tstl and the hero, well, let's say I really wanted to wash his mouth with bleach. It doesn't matter what your skin colour is, a real man never calls women like that, especially his own wife.
2 stars and I still feel I'm too generous.

One Heart to Win by Johanna Lindsey

One Heart to Win - Johanna Lindsey

I like books with mistaken identities and this was just that. A girl has to travel across the country to meet his father for the first time and to marry his father's neighbour's son. The idea of the marriage is to end the feud between two families. But the headstrong girl is not impressed by her parents decisions and hatches a plan of her own. She pretends to be a house keeper to find out why her mother left her father. Of course her plan doesn't work as she hopes. Some ways it works even better and other ways much worse.

I liked the beginning of the story. Tiffany was spoiled and headstrong and she didn't want to meet her father at all. I liked their trip to Montana but after that everything went downhill. I couldn't see this spoiled girl, who wanted to marry a New York dandy and had visited a kitchen twice in her life, washing dishes and cooking. She matured too quickly. Sure, author wanted me to believe, that she was playing a part, but it just wasn't believable.
The mystery of Tiffany's parents was good but it popped up randomly and the conclusion of it was so disappointing. Why such a rush? I wanted more details.
The story had wonderful secondary characters - so, that's why I give it 3 stars.

The Tale of Tsar Saltan (Estonian cover)

 

I just wanted to show you the Estonian cover. It's so beautiful and so are all the illustrations inside the book. These were done by a really talented Estonian artist Evald Okas. He illustrated the book in 1955. 

The story (in verses) was translated by Estonian author and poet Felix Kotta. 

Both men have left this world behind but their work lives on.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey

Scary, sharp, intense, exciting, confusing, witty, ...

The aliens attacked in waves. The first wave took out electronics, the second wiped out people who lived on the coastal areas, the third brought a plague, the fourth wave assassins who look like ordinary people until they blow your brains out.
And now ... it seems the 5th wave is on its way. What can it be? Who can you trust? How much worse can it get before it all ends?

Cassie has lost everything. She has been alone for months now, and she is not quite sure she is sane anymore. But she made a promise and she will keep it or die trying.

Zombie is dying of plague. He can't forgive himself for letting his family down, when they needed him the most. He would do anything to prove his worth.

Nuggat is a six-year-old. He has seen his mother die and he hates aliens with passion.

So, all these characters, and many others, live in a burning, decaying world. They know, they are as dead as their families and friends, the only difference is that their suffering hasn't ended yet. Still, they go on and fight for their lives because

We're here, and then we're gone, and it's not about the time we're here, but what we do with the time.


I actually couldn't put the book down. It wasn't the most original storyline but the author has written it very cleverly. You read and think - "oh, that's good, there's hope", and then you are going to have doubts..."no, it can't be so simple, there's something wrong, I can smell a rat" and then author soothes your fears and everything seems going well, except, there is still a small part of your brain sending out these danger alerts. A little later you start feeling like Cassie - not very sane anymore. Next thing you do, is checking the sky for alien's mothership. Yep, been there, done that. To my relief, it was only the full moon.

Also, Rick Yancey used quite a lot of repetitions. Sometimes it's annoying, but in here  It really made the story creepy.
Waiting for the publication of the second book.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly  - Cynthia Hand

My friends love this book, people I've met through goodreads adore the story, but I ... hesitate

I actually don't know how to rate Unearthly. The world was fascinating, I loved the setting of the novel so much, and Clara was such a complex character.
But at the same time I feel cheated. I can't believe that THIS was her purpose...

to sacrifice everything for the cause she doesn't even understand. Let's face it, Clara doesn't know anything about being a part-angel. Her mother withholds information and assumes that her teenage daughter will behave like a trained monkey because of her heritage. 

(show spoiler)

How can a person be so naive? There were moments I wanted to throw the book, and I couldn't because I read the story on kindle.

I'm also disappointed because, although I found out some facts about Christian, I didn't learn to know him. Every time somebody mentioned "perfect god-like" Christian, I had Twilight and Evermore flashbacks. So, yeah, it ruined the story.

Angela was a weird character. She was so pushy and I couldn't decide if she was good or evil. There was something creepy about her - I actually think, she believed herself to be better, smarter, and stronger than Clara. I loved Tucker and Wendy. They were real, fun and adorable.

I'm team Tucker all the way. Christian just has to find another blond chick to fly away with.

(show spoiler)


I also have a crazy theory about Jeffrey and why Clara's dad left. I guess, I should read the second part of the series ... but I don't want to because of Midas. I hate how author left me hanging not knowing his fate. I'm not ready to be heartbroken if the worst happened. Can you imagine what Tucker might feel? No, I'm so not ready to read the second book.

Wow, this is definitely the longest opinion I've written. I think that counts, too. Shows that the book didn't leave me indifferent. And if I really have to give it stars ... 4 stars

Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner - James Dashner

It took me less than 24 hours to finish this book. The chapters were short and I found myself reading them non-stop one after another.
The beginning was weird and slow. The words the boys used, were silly and they didn't want to explain anything. Rather frustrating. At page 32 I actually thought this book wasn't for me and stopped reading. But Thomas was already in my head. As much as I wanted to ignore him, I couldn't. It was only fair to get some answers. So, I finished the book, got the answers, and I didn't like them much. The saying "end justifies the means" has never sounded right, but in this book it was so awful, it made me sick. Those poor children.
The setting was spooky, the characters interesting, the monsters utterly disgusting, and the pace was good. There was also a twist, I didn't see coming. I'm definitely going to read the second book.

SPOILER ALERT!

Unleash the NIght by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Unleash the Night - Sherrilyn Kenyon

I love this story.
Wren and Maggie were amazing. I enjoyed how their story developed. It didn't happen overnight and there was enough time for them to learn things about each other. It made the story more believable. And the twists. OMG. I actually didn't see them coming at all.
Nicolette Peltier was a big disappointment. She was such a warm person in previous books but in Unleash the Night she acted like a major bitch. She actually 

struck Aimee. I know she came around

(show spoiler)

but I can't forgive her that. At the same time I miss the old Nicolette. I want the sweet and protective Mama Bear back.

Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Seize the Night  - Sherrilyn Kenyon

I don't even remember why I stopped reading this series years ago. But after reading this book I really wonder, what the hell was I thinking about. This book rocks. I've read two books from Chronicles of Nick series and I couldn't understand the prologue at all. Seize the Night gave a lot of answers and it's so sad, it makes me cry again. Yes, I was actually crying while reading this book.

Valerius was a Roman general. Now he is a Dark Hunter in New Orleans. His grandfather killed Kyrian and Zarek is Valerius's half-brother. Both hate his guts and try to make his life as miserable as possible. Nick's friends harass the man whenever they can, and Amanda's sisters curse him every time they meet. Zarek has a habit to struck his "dear brother" with lighting bolts. Actually, it's quite amazing, how Valerius can work at all.

Somehow he manages until Tabitha believes him to be a Daimon and stabs the poor man. Realizing her mistake she takes the injured Valerius at her place. Turns out the hated and cruel Roman is actually quite a decent man. When new danger rises its ugly head, Valerius and Tabitha join forces to save her family and the world.

I was afraid that Valerius was going to be some kind of a "poor me, everybody hates me, but I'm so brave" martyr. It never happened. He didn't feel sorry for himself - he was afraid and so sad, but never annoying. Tabitha was such a nut in previous books I didn't know what to expect. What I got, was amazing. She was full of life and fun, but still a kick-ass vampire slayer. I thoroughly enjoyed their romance.
This book has a good flow - it's exciting, humorous, romantic, and heartbreaking. Dark Hunter world keeps getting more complex and interesting with each following book. All the previous couples and characters are still part of the story and I can't wait to find out more about the mysterious woman named Kat.