Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1) by Catherynne M. Valente

Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1)Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“What mirrors we are, set to face each other, reflecting desire.”

Oh what an incandescent fever dream of a book. I want to start by saying that I can’t tell you what this book is about even if I sat on my laptop for days typing. This is a dream, a folkloric tale, a fantasy, a romance, a winter dance, an unbelievable winter, a cacophony of sounds and a world of tastes in a cold birch tree filled Russia.

Where birds can be husbands, worlds exist in a single house, Trees are goblins and your friends with a veela. I guarantee you this will be the weirdest book you’ll ever read. It doesn’t follow any rules. Anything can happen in a sentence. Its Topsy turvy, wicked and cruel; it doesn’t give a damn about your feelings.

This story is about Marya Morevna, Death and Russia.

“I burn, I freeze; I am never warm. I am rigid; I forgot softness because it did not serve me”.

You never know up from down, everything is written in circles this story doesn’t deal with people as we know it. They don’t speak like us or act like us. This is the most Russian book I’ve ever read and I loved it for that. Its an allegory of Russia. It seems to be a painting with words about the Russian soul.

” I look at you and it’s like my throat being cut.”

There is something so alluring about Russia right? a land in perpetual winter, a language so unlike anything, writing so different from the ones we know….its so ‘other’ so out of reach..its almost seductive.

if you want to be seduced by something eerie, juicy and dark; open your mouth and eat this book, core and all.

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Teaser Blitz: Duke Of Desire (Maiden Lane #12) by Elizabeth Hoyt

This is my MOST anticipated fall romance release guys! I’m so lucky to be part of the blog tour *heart eyes* The Maiden Lane series is the most extensive, intricate and realistic Historical Romance series I’ve ever read and the next book in the series is sure to be a top notch! I’m happy to bring you an exclusive TEASER of Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt


“Iris tasted of red wine—the red wine she must have drunk at dinner—and all the reasons he shouldn’t do this fled his mind. A vital chain broke in his psyche and everything he’d held back, everything he’d restrained with all his might, was suddenly set free. He surged into her mouth, desperate for the feel, for the taste of her, his wife, his duchess, his Iris. She was soft and sweet and warm and he wanted to devour her. To seize her and hold her and never let her go. The deep unfathomable well of his urges toward her frightened him, and he knew that if she became aware of them, they would frighten her as well.
But that was the thing—she wasn’t aware of them. She thought she was simply consummating their marriage or some such rot, God help them both.
She gripped his naked arms and the beast within him shuddered and stretched, claws scraping against the ground.
Dear God, he wanted this woman.
But he had to remember—to keep that human part of his mind awake and alive—that he mustn’t seed her.
Must never do as his cursed father had done.
He broke from her mouth, feeling the pulse of his cock against his breeches, and trailed his lips across her cheek to her ear. “Come with me, sweet girl.”
She blinked up at him, wide blue-gray eyes a little dazed.
He covered her mouth again before she could speak—either to consent or decline—and drew her slowly backward, step by step, toward the bed, until he hit it with the backs of his legs. He broke the kiss, looking down at her, her wet ruby lips parted, her cheeks flushed pink.
She looked edible.
“Raphael,” she whispered, his name on her lips like a plea, and something within him broke.
This wasn’t what he wanted. This wasn’t right. But it was the only thing possible and it would have to suffice because it was all he could do.
And trying to resist was killing him.
He traced a hand up her arm, over her shoulder, to her neck, and from there touched her bound golden hair. “Will you take down your hair for me?”
She gasped—a small, quick inhalation—and nodded.
He watched as she raised her arms, her stormy eyes locked on his, and withdrew the pins from her hair one by one until the heavy mass fell like a curtain around her shoulders. He bent then and gathered the locks in his hands, burying his face in her neck, inhaling her.
His woman.
He felt her tremble against him and then her fingers speared through his hair. “Raphael.”
He lifted his head.
Her hands fell away and she began undressing, her head bent down as she unhooked her bodice. He saw that her fingers fumbled and he knew that a better man would turn aside. Would give her privacy to collect herself and disrobe with modesty.
But he wasn’t such a man. He wanted all of her—her mistakes and her private moments, her shame and her worries—everything she held back from the rest of the world. As he wanted this. This moment of fumbling.
This moment of intimacy.
She pulled the bodice from her arms. Untied her skirts and let them pool around her feet before kicking them aside. Glanced up at him and then worked at the laces to her stays.
Her unbound hair fell over her shoulders, nearly to her waist, thick and swaying gently as she moved.
She was beautiful.
She pulled her loosened stays off over her head and stood in chemise, stockings, and shoes. The tips of her breasts peeked out from beneath the thin cloth.
She began to bend for her shoes, but he stopped her. “No. Let me.”
He grasped her by the waist and lifted her to the bed.
Carefully he drew off her slippers, letting them drop to the hardwood floor before running his hand up her left calf. The room was so quiet he could hear each breath she drew. She watched him as he reached under her chemise, into that warm spot behind her knee, tugging at the ribbon of her garter.
Her breath hitched.
He glanced up at her as he found bare skin. Hot, so hot under her skirt. He could almost imagine he smelled her, standing between her bent legs. He pulled the first stocking off and moved to her other foot, smoothing his thumb over her arch, over that high instep, that sweet, delicate ankle. The curve of her calf—one of the loveliest curves in nature—elegant and perfect. Someday he’d like to draw her nude.
The faint, almost inaudible whisper as he pulled the ribbon off raised the hairs on the back of his neck. His nostrils flared and he couldn’t wait any longer. He lifted her bodily, moving her farther up on the bed, placing her head and shoulders against the pillows, and then pushed up her chemise, crawling between her spread thighs and settling to enjoy what he’d found.
There. There she was, her pretty, pretty pink cunny, all coral lips and wispy dark-blond curls. He hiked her trembling legs over his arms, ignoring her gasp of shocked surprise. He glanced up once and saw wide, wondering eyes gazing back at him. Her gentlemanly first husband had evidently never done this to her.
More fool he.”

YOWZA wasn’t that excerpt something!? This book is going to be sizzling with intense chemistry and that special magic that only Elizabeth Hoyt books have.Lookout for my review which will be up next month! In the meantime Preorder your copy! Synopsis below

Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and-nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him…only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.

Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.

Much to Raphael’s irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life—and bed. Soon he’s drawn to both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael’s past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael’s own demons?

Be sure to grab your copy!
Buy the Book!

About the Author:
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series.Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The NightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Men tell stories. Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over.”

I wasn’t going to write a review for this because this is the type of book that you should just know you should read; the type of book that you hear is good and you trust the praise enough to pick it up. Honestly, this book was an experience. Reading a World War II book is so unlike reading any other sort of book.

This book tore me open and exposed the most resilient parts of me.
I was there with these women, I was going through this. I was surviving and stitching myself back up and putting one foot in front of the other.
I realize I’m not saying much about the book and thats on purpose because you just have to trust me and everyone else who sings its praises and read it. There is a reason it was on the NYT bestseller list for so long.

I will say that this book is lush the writing is so vivid, you see and smell and taste everything…the french food being cooked in a country cottage, the herbs growing in the garden the sound of the Nazi’s marching into the town square and the sweat of fear in each passing day.

This novel is both compulsively readable and bleak
beautiful and disgusting
depressing and uplifting
the dichotomy that is woven throughout is masterful Kristin Hannah has all of my respect she is a prolific writer.

What is the book about?
its about WOMEN, and how they survive and endure

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Autumn Book Tag

Autumn Book Tag (created by @seelieknight)

No it’s not too early, yes Autumn officially starts on the 22nd of this month…so?

1. Best autumnal themed book cover?
2. Which fictional friend group would you trust with a Ouija board?
3. Which book setting would you love to be celebrating in during Halloween night?
4. Best autumnal food description inside of a story?
5. Which fictional character would you dress as?
6. An antagonist you would pledge your allegiance to?
7. The creepiest book you’ve ever read?
8. A book you’ve yet to read but will read this October?
9. Which fictional character would you put in charge of the decorations for a Halloween party?

1. For the best autumnal themed book cover it’s a tossup between Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon and Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I choose DiA because it’s a beautiful golden orange color that just screams orange and I choose Uprooted cover because it’s a golden yellow and has a tree/forest theme on the cover. I haven’t read Uprooted yet but its on my Autumn reads list 

2. This is such an important question! The first friend group that came to mind was Blue Sargent and her Raven Boys from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Simply because they love the paranormal but I have a sneaking suspicion that Gansey would try to conjure up some long dead magical Welsh person and we’d all be fucked.

3. Is it considered cheating if you use Harry Potter for two answers? Oh well! To me Harry Potter is all things autumn for sure. As a kid I wanted nothing more than to be in the Great Hall during the Halloween feast and even now it’s still #halloweengoals. In the movies the floating pumpkins and all the british sweets looked like the ultimate Halloween time.

4. Back it again with the Harry Potter…yes yes yes. For this I have to go with Butterbeer!!! Just like nothing screams autumn to me like HP when I think of autumn food I always think of butterbeer and pumpkin juice from Harry Potter (besides everything pumpkin and toffee apples) Butterbeer is always served warm and its always frothy in a big mug and it gives off all those cozy autumn feels.

5. Hmmm this was a tough one but I have to pick to dress as Claire Fraser from the Outlander series/books. On the show she wears the most amazing period pieces! Gorgeous dresses and comfy knit wear and very autumnal plaid ensembles. Every episode I just admire her wardrobe more and more. It doesn’t hurt that I love everything historical, Scottish and have a weird obsession with knitting and plaid.

6. Here I go again with Harry Potter..but I just have to pick Draco for this one. He is literally my favorite villain and I have pledged my allegiance to him since I was 13. I love him and I don’t think he’s a villain and I usually make friends with anyone I meet who loves him and ships Dramione.

7. This is easy; the creepiest book I’ve ever read was Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I couldn’t read that book in the dark always had to be outside in the sun reading it that’s how dark, twisted and creepy it was. The book has to do with this woman who survived her family being brutally murdered when she was a child and how she has to reconnect with her past when new details of the murder resurface. The book made me so scared I couldn’t finish it but I hope to soon.

8. I have a ton that could go on this list but look out for my Autumn Reads post that will be going on the Autumnal Equinox! But for this question I will say A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I’m doing a buddy read of this with my book spirit animal Melanie and I can’t wait.

9. Ok this was hard to choose. My original choice was April from Parks and Rec but I have to say I’d pick her and Lucian from the A Court of Thornes and Roses series by Sarah J Maas..I just HAVE to..he’s from the Autumn Court and he has beautiful red hair he is the personification of Autumn and he’d know exactly how to make everything autmnAF but April would add a touch of creepy and that’s what I want.

This was fun! Oh this is actually my first tag on my blog  yay.
I live in New England I feel obliged to give you some New England Autumn Views because New England = Autumn

I’ll tag my Book Buddy/Sprit Animal Melanie from Meltotheany and Beatrice!

September TBR

Its September TBR time! Before I say anything else I have to preface and say that to me TBR pile/list is more like a framework..I don’t always stick to them. So yet again, here is another overly ambitious TBR. Some of the books mentioned will be carry over’s from the previous months TBR.
First lets start with the Rereads I want to tackle.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Physical, YA Fantasy) I just finished Harry Potter 3 and I’m feeling this book! But its sooo long! At least 720 pages and I want to tackle another long book so we will see which of the two I get to.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Physical, Historical) I have a brand new copy of this book, the beautiful blue floppy paperback and I can’t wait to reread. I’m so overdue for this reread. I was also supposed to have this read months ago because I wanted to reread the 3rd book (Voyager) before the season 3 premier of the awesome Outlander show ….so I failed but maybe if the book goods answer I can have this reread soon. 

Physical Books/Library books
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Ruthfoss (Adult High Fantasy) I’m currently halfway done with this book…..I started it months ago and put it aside and now I’m pick it back up and its so good its gearing up to become one of my all time favorite fantasies so far.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (Historical Fiction) This book and I are connected cosmically..Everywhere I turn I see this book; there are signs everywhere pointing me towards and I finally started it last night and its so vivid! I know I’m in for a good cry with this one.
A knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin ( Adult High Fantasy) I have major GOT withdrawals so I figured reading this collection of short stories based in the ASOIAF world (100 years before the main series) would be a perfect way to sooth my broken heart.
A World of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin ( Adult High Fantasy) I also got this one from the library and its BEAUTIFUL :O the artwork is stunning! This is a sorta background info and insider guide to the whole world of Ice and Fire and I’m so here for it. Hopefully I can get to this.
The Shadowhunters Codex by Cassandra Clare (YA Fantasy) This is another carry over from last month’s that I can hopefully get to because this is the last book in the Shadowhunter world that I’ve yet to read.
Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) By Sarah J. Maas (YA Fantasy) This comes out September 5th and I’m very on the fence about whether or not I’m going to be reading it. I own the previous book and have read it but honestly I’ve fallen out of love with SJM and her lack of diversity. If I hear enough good reviews for this book I’ll pick it up but I don’t want to support her and buy it.

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (Historical Romance) I’m so mad at myself for not reading this yet..I am about 10% in and I just want to focus solely on this when I pick it up again so I’m requesting it from the library and hopefully holding the physical book can help me just read this. The little I’ve read has been magical.
The Scot beds his wife (Victorian Rebels #5) by Kerrigan Byrne (ARC, Historical romance) I’m very lucky to be part of the blog tour for this (expect that blog tour in the beginning of Oct) so I’ll be getting to this book at the end of this month. I’m super excited I have a very public obsession/weakness for Scottish men in books so this shall go smoothly.
Bad Reputation( Bad Boys of Sports #1) by Nicole Edwards (ARC, Contemporary Romance) I have another weakness and its for sports romances I’ve read so many and can’t get enough and this is a Hockey romance that just sounds delicious (buddy read with the fab Meltotheany)

Yes Yes I know this is entirely unfeasible and you’re right…This is more of a roadmap of all the books I hope to get to but like I mentioned..maybe I might get lucky 😉 Thanks for reading guys and stay with me to see if I conquer this one.

Posted in TBR

August Wrap Up

Hey guys! So I didn’t read as much as I did last month and it’s a bummer but I have faith for next month. I read a total of 6 books which isn’t too bad.
First book I read was:

The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne (2.75/5 stars, Historical Romance) This one was a bit of let down for, while it started off strong it just got really unrealistic and anachronistic and I wasn’t able to connect with the characters as much as I’d have liked to. But still I’m holding out for this author because I’ve heard the series gets better and also I have an arc for the newest book in this series as well.

The Devil’s Cut by J.R. Ward ( 4/5 stars Contemporary Romance) This was my highly anticipated finale to one of my all time favorite series! It was a great read. There was nonstop reveals in this book and constant curveballs I could not have predicted the outcome of this if I tried. I didn’t give it 5 stars because ultimately I felt like this one set aside many of the others couples’ HEA or rather tied them up too quickly for the resolution in the problems of another one and I didn’t like that.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling ( ReRead 5/5 stars, YA Fantasy) What can be said that hasn’t already been said honestly? I loved loved LOVED this reread! Best decision I’ve made this year was to reread the HP series. There really are so many subtle little things in the books that don’t make it to the movies that are so important and enriching in the overall Harry Potter experience. If you want to know something about this book just knows this; Crookshanks is the MVP of this book.

Celtic Celtic Tales: Fairy Tales and Stories of Enchantment from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales by Kate Forrester (4/5 stars, Mythology) Every story in this book was so different and yet so similar to all the rest. There was this underlying thread of oddness that isn’t seen in more popular fairy tales that made this reading experience irregular and singular. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for something odd to read or something simply magical.

The Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin (4/5 stars, Fantasy) this was my only audiobook this month and it was amazing. I’m so investing in this world that GRRM has created and this book was a quick listen and it did not lack for anything. This book takes place in the same world as the ASOIAF but doesn’t include any characters we know. It’s the story of a girl who befriends an ice dragon and it left me breathless. The writing in this is so beyond any fantasy I’ve read. I recommend this if you’re curious about the ASOIAF series but don’t want to commit yet.

Royally Endowed (Royally #3) by Emma Chase ( 3/5 stars) I adore Emma Chase and this series. I loved the first two and was so excited for this one. At the beginning I feel in love with this story, the main couple’s journey was so enchanting but boy oh boy this just disappointing me, it didn’t deliver….the last half of this book just became a bad lifetime movie.

That’s it for the wrap up guys! As you can see, I only got to 3 books from my August TBR and that’s because for me at least TBR are more of a framework and less set in stone. Stay tuned for another highly ambitious TBR.

Royally Endowed (Royally, #3) by Emma Chase

Royally Endowed (Royally, #3)Royally Endowed by Emma Chase
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Because he’s gorgeous, but even more than that—he makes me feel wanted. Valued and important, like I’m someone worth protecting. Knowing this man would give his life to shield me, guard me from pain or danger—it’s a heady thing. An arousing, stirring thing. “

3.5 “The Bodyguard” stars.

This was so enjoyable! I adore Emma Chase’s Royally series it honestly has a special place in my heart at this point. Its just the perfect blend of funny, sweet, romantic and steamy coupled with smooth and steady writing. I was highly anticipating this book and it was good!

This book is about Ellie Hammond, Olivia’s sister from the first book and her romance with the royal bodyguard Logan St. James. Their story takes place over a couple of years (Ellie is 17 and Logan is 22 dw nothing happens until later) where we get to see how they slowly but surely started and grew their romance.

The pacing of this book was so great, at least for the first half of the book. I love reading about them when they were younger and watching everything just grow. I enjoy the Dual POV, thats my book catnip.

But sadly enough I started to disconnect from the story around halfway to 2/3 into the book. Around the time the whole secondary conflict rolled around. It was so cringe to me MILD SPOILER –>(there was a crazy stalker guy threatening Olivia and co. ) This conflict cheapened the the rest of the book for me 😦 It made things seem like a bad lifetime movie.

I also felt like there was something missing with Logan’s character. But at the same time I think I would have enjoyed this book at a different this is a classic case of “its not you its me” because I did rather enjoy it.

Besides the bad plot devices I loved Ellie’s character, it was a highlight for me. I really sympathized with her. Every time that she talked about how Logan made her feel safe and cared for in the beginning I honestly shed a tear.

I loved being with her on her journey from teen to adult.. all the while longing for Logan it was so sweet. This was a cute conclusion the the series ❤
We get to see a lot of action from the previous couples as well which was a huge plus.

I’d give the beginning of the book 4.5 stars and the rest 2.5 so it averages out to 3.5 total.

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