ARC Review – ‘A Bride At His Bidding’ by Michelle Smart

TitleA Bride At His Bidding
Author: Michelle Smart
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: 16th January, 2018
Page Count: 192 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Book Depository)

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Hired by her enemy. Yet tempted to say “I do..”. Billionaire Andreas Samaras is nobody’s fool. And his beautiful new employee, Carrie Rivers–an undercover journalist–is playing a dangerous game. He’ll keep her at his command until he can expose her deception… But when her ruse is revealed, there’s only one way to protect his spotless business reputation: blackmail innocent Carrie to the altar!

This is a thoroughly delightful romance story and I enjoyed every moment of it. The author subverted so many tropes and specifically addressed a lot of the issues I’ve had in the past with romance novels, it’s almost uncanny how this seems to be written specifically to please me!

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The Book Quay’s bookstaGlam box: ‘Superhuman’

The Book Quay offers a bookstaGlam box which includes a book as well as normally between 6-9 items, a few of which are specially chosen as props for bookstagram or blog posts. You have the option of purchasing a ‘no-book’ box or if you choose to include the book, they often have up to 3 book options available  across different genres (and usually customizable with either hardcover or paperback). This is a review of their ‘Superhuman’-themed box.

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The Book Quay – bookstaGlam box
Cost: $1,500 PHP (roughly $39 AUD or $29 USD)
Shipping Costs: $750PHP worldwide (about $20 AUD or $15 USD)
Payment Method: Credit Card & Paypal
Mailed Out: normally in the second month they’re named for (eg. the Jan/Feb box will probably ship in February)

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Book Review – ‘Chimera’ by C D Bell

Title:  Chimera
Author: C D Bell
Genre:  Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: 10th October, 2017
Page Count: 432 pages (ebook)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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The forest is full of secrets.

Nessa Kurland is adjusting to life as a weregirl—she is transforming with ease and running with a pack she cares for deeply. Her boyfriend Luc is a fellow shifter, and Paravida, the corporation responsible for unethical genetic experiments on the residents of Tether, has pulled out of town, leaving the community safe.

But that’s just how it appears on the surface.

Nessa returns home from a run with the pack to find an FBI raid and the shocking news that her mother Vivian is being held without bail for violations so serious she may be facing life in prison. What did Nessa’s mother, a small-town vet tech, do to threaten Homeland Security? Vivian’s secret past leads Nessa to discover there is more to her own story than she ever imagined.

The wolves that are running through Tether’s woods are not the same pack Nessa knew before. These are not all natural wolves. And they are breeding.

Nessa’s transformation is only just beginning.

In CHIMERA, the second installment in the Weregirl trilogy, Nessa confronts the truth of who she is, where she comes from, and what she has to do to survive.

I haven’t read the first book in this series, but that didn’t hinder my reading experience with Chimera. Obviously there was some backstory I wasn’t familiar with, but it was fairly easy to fill in the blanks. I’m very picky about the YA books I choose to read because there are a lot of toxic tropes and unfortunate themes prevalent in the genre, but fortunately Chimera ticks all the right boxes to make this an enjoyable read.

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Book Review – ‘All The Ways To Here’ by Emily O’Beirne

Title:  All The Ways To Here
Author: Emily O’Beirne
Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT+
Date of Publication: 1st November, 2017
Word Count: 83,280
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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In this sequel to Future Leaders of Nowhere, Finn and Willa come home from camp to find everything is different. Even as they grow more sure of their feelings for each other, everything around them feels less certain.

When Finn gets involved in a new community project, she’s forced to question where her priorities lie at school. Meanwhile, her dad has moved interstate, her mother is miserable, and her home feels like a ghost town.

Willa’s discovering how to negotiate the new terrains of romance and school friendships when an accident at home reminds her just how tenuous her family situation is. Suddenly, even with her dad in town, she’s shouldering more responsibility than ever.

As they try to navigate these new worlds together, Finn’s learning she has to figure out what she wants, and Willa how to ask for what she needs.

I previously reviewed  Future Leaders of Nowhere (here) and fell in love with Finn & Willa and co, so imagine my excitement when the author contacted me to offer a digital copy of its sequel for review. 😀 My only concern was whether or not All The Ways To Here would live up to my high expectations, and I’m so relieved and thrilled to report that it did indeed! ❤

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ARC Review – ‘My Lady Governess’ by Elise Clarke

Title:  My Lady Governess
Author: Elise Clarke
Genre:  Romance (Historical/Regency)
Date of Publication: 20th December, 2017
Page Count: 200 pages (ebook)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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One knight, one runaway heiress, one rollicking romance: A breath of fresh air in Regency romance!

Proud and haughty, Lord de Waare is almost as medieval as his castle…until he accidentally abducts a governess, who turns out not to be a governess at all, and who shows this knight that his heart is not as armoured as he thought.

A girl with a dangerous past, Marina would happily disappear again, but since de Waare won’t let that happen, then the least he can do is help her clear her name. But moving back into society is dangerous for her and for the stern man she’s coming to love. She knows the rules of honour and society, and she won’t allow de Waare to compromise the principles that define him.

But de Waare didn’t become the Crusader by accepting defeat. Faint heart never won a fair lady, and de Waares always win.

To be fairly blunt, I had a strong dislike for this book until at least 25% in – I was very close to DNF’ing it and moving on, but I’m always reluctant to do that with ARCs and try to make it at least 50% through before giving up. And lo and behold, I actually started enjoying myself finally and ended up finishing this in one sitting.

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Review – ‘Abounding Might’ by Melissa McShane

Title:  Abounding Might
Author: Melissa McShane
Genre:  Fantasy, Romance, Alternate History
Date of Publication: 3rd October, 2017
Page Count: 363 pages (ebook)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Calcutta, 1813. Lady Daphne St. Clair, who as an Extraordinary Bounder is capable of transporting herself anywhere in the world with a thought, has longed to serve in the Army for years. But an unexpected weakness at the sight of blood makes her responsible for a good man’s death in battle. Unable to serve on the battlefield, Daphne is sent to India to be transportation for the Governor-General’s wife and children. In disgrace, Daphne fears she will never achieve the fame and glory she has worked so hard for.

A chance encounter with Captain Phineas Fletcher, attached to the Honourable East India Company as a troubleshooter and investigator, leads to Daphne being given a new opportunity: help Captain Fletcher discover the truth behind a series of strange occurrences in the town of Madhyapatnam. Daphne is willing to do anything to restore her reputation, even something as small as Captain Fletcher’s investigation. As the days progress, her attachment to the members of the team grows deeper, as does her growing attraction to the captain.

But as Daphne and Captain Fletcher dig deeper into the mystery, the truth turns out to be much more sinister than anyone imagined. Dark currents run deep beneath the pleasant surface of Madhyapatnam, and the echoes of a twenty-year- old story threaten not only the Company’s rule over the town, but the safety and well-being of everyone in it. Soon only Daphne’s talent and courage stand between Madhyapatnam and the evil that threatens to overwhelm it.

I absolutely adored the first book in this series (‘Burning Bright‘ reviewed here) and skipped the second as the plot didn’t appeal to my personal tastes, but I was intrigued by ‘Abounding Might‘. While it didn’t match the high standards of book 1, which was practically perfect in my eyes, it was still an immensely enjoyable read with a riveting plot and endearing characters.
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The Book Crate – October 2017: Something Is Lurking!

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The Book Crate is an Australian book subscription box “for newly released young adult books and other goodies straight to your door.”

The Book Crate
Cost: $30.00 AUD
Shipping Costs: $15 within Australia; $25 worldwide
Payment Method: Paypal or Direct Bank Transfer
Mailed Out: between the 15-20th of each month

The Book Crate has just begun shipping internationally, and the cost is only $25 AUD! With the Australian dollar being less than the American dollar, buying this would work out to be in a similar price range as most US boxes – for eg. Hoot Loot Box is about $39 USD and LitJoy Crate is $40.47 USD, while $55 AUD for this box converts to $43 USD.

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Hoot Loot Box – September 2017: Vile & Villainous

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HootLoot is a book subscription box that features a fresh, new YA book each month along with a combination of boutique bath and beauty samples, bookish treasures, apparel, and exclusive author content.

Hoot Loot Box
Cost: $29.99 USD
Shipping Costs: $9 within the US, $15 to Canada and $25 worldwide
Payment Method: Credit Card & Paypal
Mailed Out: from the 15th every other month

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‘Masked’ by J D Wright

Title:  Masked
Author: J D Wright
Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy/Science Fiction
Date of Publication: 15th August, 2017
Page Count: 220 pages (ebook)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Vada’s To-Do List:

– Turn 18 (check!)
– Register super name
– Order supersuit
– Attend superhero indoctrination
– Graduate high school
– Start kicking criminal tail

Vada Lawson can’t wait to be a superhero. Born into a family with special powers, she’s been training to fight criminals and villains her whole life. But her indoctrination into the underground super community is derailed when normals start breaking out in superpowers themselves.

Not trained to control their new abilities, the normals are frightened and vulnerable. Then their mutilated corpses begin turning up all over town. What the heck?

Somehow, with the help—and hindrance—of an annoying newly-minted super named Orion, Vada has to stop the chaos before it destroys her and everything she holds dear…and ruins her superhero debut.

No one ever said that being a superhero was easy… 

After tremendously enjoying Dreadnought about a teenage girl with newly discovered superpowers trying to make a difference, I thought I would equally enjoy Masked, about a couple of teens with powers using them for good. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I try to find the good in anything I read, but this book was a long hard slog with very little to reward my perseverance.

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