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December New Book Releases I'm Dying to Read!


Well, hell! Not very promising, this month's book releases, eh?
What are you waiting for, peeps?

Friday Mini Reviews #55: J.D. Robb, Jane Lovering & Darynda Jones




Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb (In Death #7)

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads
Lieutenant Eve Dallas is on the trail of a serial killer and has made a discovery - all of the victims have been traced to Personally Yours, New York's most exclusive dating service. As the murders continue, Eve enters into a world of people looking for their one true love - and a killer searching for his next victim.
Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

8/10

Holiday in Death was creepy and engaging, and it also gave Peabody more active role to play as a bait for the killer. I also adored her budding relationship with MacNabb. These two are hilarious. The villain is somehow more obvious to the reader than to Eve Dallas, but it's forgivable. And Eve in her unique style manages to do some Christmas shopping without really doing it. *grinning* I wish it was my superpower...
* * *
 Праздники в Смерти - книга, навевающая холодок, и в то же время я ей заслушивалась. Пибоди умудряется сыграть более активную роль в расследовании в качестве приманки для убийцы, да и на неё с МакНаббом с их развивающимися отношениями смотреть смешно. Ев в типичном для неё стиле, умудряется закупиться рождественскими подарками без похода по магазинам, и даже очевидность злодея не убивает нашего хорошего настроения.


 Vampire State of Mind by Jane Lovering (Otherworlders #1)

bought

Synopsis from Goodreads

Jessica Grant knows vampires only too well. She runs the York Council tracker programme making sure that Otherworlders are all where they should be, keeps the filing in order and drinks far too much coffee. To Jess, vampires are annoying and arrogant and far too sexy for their own good, particularly her ex-colleague Sil, who’s now in charge of Otherworld York.

But when a demon turns up and threatens not just Jess but the whole world order, she and Sil are forced to work together, and when Jess turns out to be the key to saving the world it puts a very different slant on their relationship. The stakes are high. They are also very, very pointy and Jess isn’t afraid to use them, even on the vampire that she’s rather afraid she’s falling in love with ...
Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

6/10
This book started really well but lost itself between paranormal romance and urban fantasy along the way. Great ideas, fabulous British snark, and on the whole, recommended! I am pretty sure there are a few more books in this series, and I'll be grabbing more of them.
* * *
Эта книга началась замечательно, однако по дороге запуталась между жанрами: остаться ли ей городским фэнтези или перейти в паранормальный роман? Читателю остаётся непонятным послание автора. Однако идеи свежи, британский юмор как всегда остёр и книгу в целом рекомендую!


Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson #8)

bought

Synopsis from Goodreads

With twelve hellhounds after her, pregnant Charley Davidson takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. But after months of being cooped up there, Charley is ready to pop. Both metaphorically and literally since she is now roughly the size of a beached whale. Fortunately, a new case has captured her attention, one that involves a murder on the very grounds the team has taken shelter upon. A decades-old murder of the newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows is almost enough to pull her out of her doldrums.

Charley’s been forbidden to step foot off the sacred grounds. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders. They have the entire team on edge, especially Reyes. And if Charley didn’t know better, she would swear Reyes is getting sick. He grows hotter with every moment that passes, his heat scorching across her skin every time he’s near, but naturally he swears he’s fine.

While the team searches for clues on the Twelve, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life….
Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

6/10

My major complaint about this book which I've rated as the lowest in this series, is the last quarter of it. WTH?!! It felt like a total cop out. All the build up, the tension and anticipation,and then poop! It all conveniently disappears. You'll know what I meant when you read it for yourself.
* * *
Больше всего меня в этой книге разочаровала последняя четверть сюжета! Ну уж очень не понравился рояль в кустах для Чарли, который так удобно разрешил все её проблемы. И это после нескольких лет напряженного ожидания противостояния с дьяволом...

The Postman Knock #143

Hello, everyone!
Another week of olive picking has gone by which means that now we have almost a tonne of olives in the press. I am quite happy with our progress and have been enjoying listening to non-stop audio books as they are perfect for this kind of work.

READ/LISTENED TO:

GIRL WAITS WITH GUN was much more timid and slow than I expected. I still enjoyed it though. DELUSION IN DEATH  was pretty good as well, quite intense and interesting. At last, CHRISTIAN was fabulous, and I inhaled it in one go.

FOR REVIEW/NETGALLEY:

Thanks to Penny Reid, St. Martin's Press and Audible Studios!

BOUGHT:

Reading it now, yum!

Hope you are enjoying your reads as much as I do mine, peeps! Have a great Sunday, tchau!



Friday Mini Reviews #54: J.D. Robb, Caroline Hanson & Jessie Burton



Vengeance in Death by J.D. Robb (In Death #6)

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads
He is a madman with the mind of a genius and an expert with technology who stalks his prey, then taunts the police. Eve Dallas found the first dead man in his own home and the second in a vacant apartment. They both had links with a secret.
Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

8.5/10

This is a pivotal book in Eve/Somerset relationship. He finally sees her as an asset to Roarke and as a good human being despite all her shortcomings. Great mystery story as well!
* * *
Это поворотная книга в отношениях между Ив и Сомерсетом. Он наконец-то понимает, что в ней видит Роарк и примиряется с её присутствием в его жизни. Да и сам детективчик хорош!

Love is Darkness by Caroline Hanson (Valerie Dearborn #1)

kindle freebie

Synopsis from Goodreads

Valerie Dearborn wants a cotton candy life filled with light sweetness, but it’s more like a puffer fish: pointy, unusual, and—if not prepared exactly right—deadly.

In London for graduate school, Val knows she's finally free. Her father and ex-almost-boyfriend are back in California and she's out of the Vampire hunting biz for good. Or is she?

She draws the attention of Lucas, a 1600 year old Vampire, and King to his kind. He’s also wicked hot. As golden as Lucifer, and just as tempting, he makes Valerie an offer she can't refuse— help him find out if the Others (Empaths, Fey and Werewolves) still exist or he'll stop protecting those she loves.

Lucas tells her that Empaths were a Vampire’s biggest weakness before going extinct hundreds of years ago. While the Fey or a Werewolf might kill a Vampire, an Empath could enslave them, seducing or harming with emotions at will. The one detail he leaves out? Valerie is an Empath.

And after 1600 years of an emotionless existence, Lucas wants Valerie like a recovering alcoholic wants a wine cooler.

Can she keep those she loves alive, stop Lucas from munching on her, survive a fanged revolution and still find a way to have that boring, normal life she’s always wanted? Probably not, but boy is she gonna try!

This is a full length novel and contains adult content.
Audible UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository
7.5/10

Carmel from Rabid Read recommended this series, and I quite enjoyed the first book. It's not overly melodramatic, and the vampires in it are believable. They are bored,capricious and ruthless. The fans of D.B. Reynolds and Laurel K. Hamilton should appreciate it.
* * *
 Знакомый мне блог порекомендовал эту серию, и первая книга мне понравилась. Вампиры здесь умирают от скуки, капризны и кровожадны, так что придутся по вкусу любителям Д.Б. Рейнольдс и Лорелл К. Гамильтон.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton 

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads

Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam-a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion-a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant

"There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed..."

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella's world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes' gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
 Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository
7.5/10

It is a really pretty book to read, beautifully written, gloomy, quirky and atmospheric. I know a lot of people had trouble with slow narration, but on audio it worked really well. The characters is the strength of this book, weird, wonderful and so very different from each other.
* * *
 Это красивая книга, передающая атмосферу истеричной нервозности, мрачная и экцентричная. Я знаю, что многим не понравилось очень медленное развитие сюжета, однако в аудио формате слушалась эта книга превосходно. Сила Миниатюриста в его замечательных, сильных и интересных характерах. Читайте!

Steampunk Novella Review: Clockwork Menagerie by Karen Kincy

Clockwork Menagerie by Karen Kincy (Shadows of Asphodel #2.5)


Egalley thanks to Curiousity Quills Press

Synopsis from Goodreads
1914. Konstantin would love to hide in his laboratory and dissect the clockwork dragon captured from Russia, but the Archmages of Vienna have other plans. He finds himself shipped off to St. Petersburg as the scientific attaché to an ambassador. His orders? Look, but don't touch. Of course, he considers this an impossible request with so much enemy technomancy to explore.

To make matters worse, Konstantin has to work with the dashing zeppelin commander Himmel, a man who should also be untouchable. They can't act on the smoldering attraction between them without risking it all. Faced with an illegal relationship and a devious rival technomancer, Konstantin might not return from this mission in Russia without conquering the forbidden.


A companion novella to the Shadows of Asphodel series, from Konstantin's point of view.


Amazon kindle US/UK

 7.5/10

* * *
This was a nice read, a bit underdeveloped on a personal level, but nice.  What I enjoyed most is the portrayal of Russia. I know it's steampunk and I know it doesn't have to be culturally or historically accurate, and I know that inconsistencies always piss me off no matter the excuse. And yet, Clockwork Menagerie was above reproach. I was reading about Konstantin having a cup of tea on the train and it struck me, that Karen Kincy made it familiar for me, - I knew and loved this Russia, and it made me very happy.

Urban Fantasy Audiobook Review: Black Rook by Kelly Meade

Black Rook by Kelly Meade (Cornerstone Run Trilogy #1)


Audio copy thanks to Audible Studios

Synopsis from Goodreads
She never saw this coming…

Brynn Atwood is a low-level Magus whose unpredictable precognitive powers have made her an outcast among her people—and an embarrassment to her highly-regarded father. After a frightening vision in which her father is murdered by a loup garou man, Brynn decides to prove herself by finding the killer, and stopping them at any cost.

Her target is Rook McQueen, the son of a small-town loup garou Alpha. Despite being the youngest of three, Rook is first in line to inherit the role of Alpha, a duty he isn't sure he's capable of fulfilling. When Brynn finally meets Rook, she doesn't expect the attraction that draws her to him—and him to her.

No longer believing him a murderer, Brynn and Rook strike an alliance to find her father's real killer. But when his older brother is targeted by an unknown enemy, Rook will have to choose between his growing feelings for Brynn and his duty as the future Alpha of his community.

Audible US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK

8/10

* * *

I'm always cautious going into a new urban fantasy, but this was a really decent, surprisingly bloody read. It's somewhat similar to Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs - its matter of fact practicall ruthlessness with no embellishments worked well for me.

The Postman Knock #142

We are so tired, guys and gals. Picking lots of olives, having guests over and still doing all our chores. I have a queue of tasks which need t be done, but olive harvest absolutely comes first. We've picked over 500kg in the first week and expect to do about 2 thousand kilos in total. Wish us luck!

I am finished with my ARC pile for this year. There are still a couple of books I'm waiting to receive for review, but otherwise I'll just concentrate on the books I bought for myself ages ago. It's cold and close to holidays, and I just crave some comfort reading. Don't you?

READ/LISTENED TO this week:


TREACHERY IN DEATH was good! I always enjoy reading about dirty cops receiving justice, and Eve played it really well here. RECIPES FOR LOVE AND MURDER was amazing! I really comforting and atmospheric cozy mystery with delicious recipes. NEW YORK TO DALLAS had a lot of psycho bubble and was quite hard to read, but I was picking olives, so I persevered *shrugs* I had fun with CHAOS IN DEATH  as it was a retelling of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. ASKING FOR IT was provocative, well-written and hot. I read it overnight. CELEBRITY IN DEATH was a classic who'd done it mystery, and a solid read. At last, I pretty much inhaled SWEEP IN PEACE as soon as it came out. Loved it! 

BOUGHT:


Read Ilona Andrews and I'm enjoying Amy Stewart right now. A very quiet book.

Yours faithfully,





Friday Mini Reviews #53: J.D. Robb, Tijan & Anthony Ryan



Ceremony in Death by J.D. Robb (In Death #5)

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads
Even in an age of cutting-edge technology, old beliefs die hard...

Conducting a top secret investigation into the death of a fellow police officer has Lieutenant Eve Dallas treading on dangerous ground. She must put professional ethics personal loyalties. But when a dead body is placed outside her home, Eve takes the warning personally. With her husband, Roarke, watching her every move, Eve is drawn into the most dangerous case of her career. Every step she takes makes her question her own beliefs of right and wrong - and brings her closer to a confrontation with humanity's most seductive form of evil...

 Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

8.5/10
Again, this is one of my favorite books in this series as it involves a dash of paranormal, a serious heist and a pretty dumb villainess. All oh so cliche but fascinating nevertheless! Also, we get to know Jaime who will have cameo performances in a few future books.
* * *
Опять, это одна из моих любимых книг серии, так как она оказалась такой запоминающейся - щепотка магии, дым и зеркала, а также очень, очень тупая злодейка. Мне аж было от неё неудобно! Мы также знакомимся с Джейми - одним из многих второстепенных персонажей серии, который продолжает появляться и помогать в различных расследованиях в будущем.


Fallen Crest Public by Tijan (Fallen Crest High #3)

bought

Synopsis from Goodreads

Sam's first day at Fallen Crest Public doesn't go well. Some girls want to be her. Some girls want to destroy her. And some just don't like her. All in all, despite being protected by Mason and Logan, it's still only the strong survive. Sam will not only have to survive, she needs to learn how to conquer too, but there's another battle growing. Things are about to come to a disastrous end between the towns, Roussou and Fallen Crest. Sam's other main dilemma? Keeping Mason and Logan from getting arrested or hospitalized. 

Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

 6.5/10
An absolutely exhausting book, the worst out of all three, peeps. I know I said that this series was addictive, but even I have a limit for drama, and oh boy, it was reached and more here. Also this girl kept changing her mind like a bloody yoyo, and I wanted her to just choose something and stick to it.
* * *
Замучала меня эта книга просто! Она - худшая из всех трёх. Я знаю, что сказала, что мне эта мыльная опера понравилась, однако эмоций здесь был перебор. Я еле дочитала, да и меня выбесило, что наша девушка прыгала от одного решения  к другому и не могл ни на чём остановиться.


 Blood Song by Anthony Ryan (Raven's Shadow #1)

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads

We have fought battles that left more than a hundred corpses on the ground and not a word of it has ever been set down. The Order fights, but often it fights in shadow, without glory or reward. We have no banners.

Vaelin Al Sorna is the Sixth Order's newest recruit. Under their brutal training regime, he learns how to forge a blade, survive the wilds and kill a man quickly and quietly - all in the name of protecting the Realm and the Faith.

Now his skills will be put to the test. War is coming. Vaelin must draw upon the very essence of his strength and cunning if he is to survive the coming conflict. Yet as the world teeters on the edge of chaos, Vaelin will learn that the truth can cut deeper than any sword.
 

 Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

6.5/10
I wasn't impressed with this book, peeps. Mostly I blame the narrator. Sometimes you are incompatible with certain voices, and this was the case for me. The guy droned on and on, and on... I found the hero incredibly dry and uninspiring, which is why I have no clue if the book was any good.
* * *
Не впечатлила меня эта книга, дамы и господа.. И виню я во всём рассказчика! Сухой у него вышел какой-то главный герой, неинтересный. А я вот и не знаю теперь понравилась ли бы мне книга больше, если бы я читала её, а не слушала.

YA Fantasy Review: Ward Against Destruction by Melanie Card

Ward Against Destruction by Melanie Card (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #4)


Egalley thanks to Entangled Teen

Synopsis from Goodreads
Ward de’Ath used to the think that nothing could be more terrible than death. Now he realizes there are worse things. Like his never-ending hunger for blood. Even if he conquers the unbearable cravings that drive him headlong toward destruction, he’s a wanted man with a bleak future.

Assassin Celia Carlyle learns she is the only one who can protect Ward from disaster. She loves him–she wants to help him, but no one can tell her how to save him from himself. And the confusing voices in her head scream to let him go.

But Ward's dark trials keep mounting. A malevolent evil is rising in the land, threatening to unleash horror upon the world. The only way Ward can defeat it, and have the chance to marry Celia, is by accepting his fate and becoming the one thing he swore he would never become...


Amazon kindle US/UK

8/10

* * *
 This is perhaps the darkest book in The Chronicles of A Reluctant Necromancer, and it's a very fast read.

The Postman Knock #141

Hey, peeps! How was your week?
We are starting olive harvest today, so wish us luck! :) The weather is supposed to be gorgeous for the next 10 days, sunny and crisp.

Here is what I've READ/LISTENED TO since the last time:


While I'm not sold on this series yet, BLACK ROOK was engaging. I'll be reading more. CLOCKWORK MENAGERIE was an okay read with some fun moments. WAKING HEARTS was lovely, I enjoyed it so much! And of course, LAND OF THE BEAUTIFUL DEAD was just as mind-blowing as I thought it would be. I love Miss Smith so, so much! I had to DNF RUINED and LOCKE & KEY as the writing style didn't work out for me. 

FOR REVIEW/EDELWEISS:

Thanks to the publishers! Looking forward to it so much!

BOUGHT:

So, so good. READ IT!

This is it. Enjoy your weekend, lovelies! xxx

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In case of zombie apocalypse

Hey, guys! I feel like I should say this just in case :)
If you'd like to sponsor a fellow book addict who sometimes can't sleep at night worrying that she won't have enough books to read if internet goes down in the event of zombie apocalypse (I'm convinced it's one of the top five ways to go for human race) you can donate through Paypal to olivesandacorns at gmail dot com or buy a book through any of the links provided with my reviews which will send me a small percentage from the sale. All proceeds will go towards my enormous TBR. I will also shelter you on the remote farm in Portugal when zombie apocalypse starts provided you survive getting there. There will be books, yay?
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