ARC August – Week 4 Wrap Up

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THE END OF ARC AUGUST!!

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These past 4 weeks have been such a great experience – my first full-blown book-community event, and I’m so happy that the girls from Read Sleep Repeat hosted it this year. If they do it next year, I’ll definitely have another go at it.

This year I managed to read a whopping 12 ARCs, which I’m really happy about. Here are the links to each week’s wrap up posts, which in turn link to the reviews for each week’s ARCs.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Also, here’s Week 4’s reviews:

Chivalrous
Running With Scissors
Wolf, WY

Also, a huge thank you to the publishers who provided me with all these E-ARCs via Netgalley. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have been able to do this.

Lots of love to all you book nerds out there,

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Book Review – Chivalrous

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Title: Chivalrous

Author: Dina L. Sleiman

Synopsis: With Her Future In Jeopardy, This Unforgettable Heroine Won’t Go Down
Without a Fight!

Strong and adventurous Gwendolyn Barnes longs to be a knight like her chivalrous brothers, but her parents view her only as a marriage pawn. When her domineering father makes plans to see her wed to a brutish man, Gwendolyn must fight for her future.

She’s surprised, however, for that clash to include a handsome, good-hearted newcomer. Allen of Ellsworth arrives in Edendale searching for his place in the world, but he finds in Gwendolyn the most unexpected of women.

Tournaments, intrigue, and battles–along with twists and turns aplenty–await these two as they struggle to find love, identity, and their true destinies.

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This e-ARC came from Bethany House publishers on Netgalley, so a big thank you to them.

As for this ARC – the last one of ARC August for me – I have mixed feelings. This book follows the story of Gwendolyn, a woman who wants to prove her worth as a knight, and Allen of Ellsworth, who lost the love of his life to another man. It’s a medieval romance with a strong heroine.

Reading this, I instantly loved Gwendolyn – she reminded me strongly of Finnula Crais, the heroine of Meg Cabot’s ‘Ransom My Heart’ – and I was rooting for her from the get-go. I’m a sucker for a good, strong female character who can defend herself as well as any man (like Katniss, but not quite as martyr-like).

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Allen on the other hand, didn’t tickle my fancy that much. I can’t quite explain it, but I just wasn’t that interested in the chapters involving him. I was much more into Gwendolyn.

The story itself was interesting enough, but there were several occasions where I just got a little tired of the medieval, Robin-Hood speak. This was very Robin Hood-ish, with a little of The Sword In The Stone thrown in for good measure. This could have been made better by perhaps modernizing it a little, but that’s just my personal opinion.

Until doing a little research, I was unaware that this was a sequel in a series, but judging from the synopsis of the first book ‘Dauntless’, either book could be read as a stand-alone book. I’d recommend this to anyone interested in medieval YA books, similar to the aforementioned ‘Ransom My Heart’.

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Book Review – Wolf, WY

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Title: Wolf, WY

Author: A.F. Henley

Synopsis: There’s nothing like a fresh start, and for Randy, still nursing wounds left by a cheating ex and harboring a deep mistrust for all things corporate, Wolf, Wyoming seems like the perfect place to start over. Secluded, quiet, and self-sufficient, Wolf is bound to not only inspire, but to bring Randy the peace he needs. The view’s not bad, either.

Vaughn O’Connell and his family are Randy’s only neighbors for miles, and while Randy knows it’s somewhat unlikely that a man with three kids is gay, it doesn’t hurt to look. When a misunderstanding brings Randy face to face with both Vaughn and his eighteen year old son, Lyle, Randy’s not sure what to feel about either of them.

But things are not what they appear in Wolf, and the closer Randy gets, the stranger the O’Connell family seems…

Rating: 2 stars

Review: First of all, thank you to Less Than Three Press publishing for providing me with this e-ARC courtesy of Netgalley, in exchange for this honest review.

Honestly, this book is one of the few ARCs I had to shelve as a DNF. It just didn’t interest me or drag me in, and I’m not in the habit of reading books I have no interest in.

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I don’t even know what else I didn’t like about it – it was written well, and the characters had promise, but I guess I just wasn’t into it. I also found that the ‘plot twist’ was evident from the start. Anyone with half a brain could have figured it out. I mean, come on? All the emphasis on wolves? Duh.

I am sorry that this is a DNF, but I just wasn’t into it. ‘Wolf, WY’ comes out October 21, so have a go at it when it comes out – maybe you’ll like it?

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Book Review – Running With Scissors

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Title: Running With Scissors

Author: L.A. Witt

Synopsis: Eighteen months ago, drummer Jude Colburn made the biggest mistake of his life when he walked away from his band just as they were on the brink of success. Now, he’s got a second chance. The band’s bassist just quit, and Jude plays bass almost as well as he plays drums. The other band members aren’t thrilled, but they are desperate.

Running with Scissors needs him, but there’s one condition: no hooking up with bandmates. That’s what ruined things eighteen months ago, after all. Jude’s on board, but no one warned him about the drummer who replaced him. A.J. Palmer is shy and unassuming . . . until he hits the stage. He gets Jude’s attention from the first beat, and suddenly that “no hookups” rule isn’t so easy to follow.

Keeping secrets on a tour bus isn’t easy either, and it’s only a matter of time before the band catches on. When everything hits the fan, Jude has to choose: a second chance at the career he’s always regretted leaving, or a shot at the man of his dreams?

Rating : 4 and a half stars

Review: First of all, thank you to Riptide Publishing for providing me with this e-ARC via Netgalley!

Ok, so where do I even begin to review this? This book is definitely for more mature readers – there’s some explicit content, but it’s so well written that it’s erotic and sexy, but also romantic.

Basically Jude made a huge mistake with his ex, and he left the band they had founded with their childhood friends. However, he’s pulled back in on a semi-permanent basis when the band’s bassist quits. It’s difficult enough as it is to be around his bandmates again, but now there’s a hot new drummer in the band who happens to be an animal in the sheets. Now Jude has a whole new set of problems to work through, alongside the ones he already has.

I particularly liked how the author slipped in an asexual character into the story – Jude’s bandmate Richie. It’s very rare to find an asexual character in literature – I don’t think I’ve ever read about one, so props to the author for that, and the cool way it was slipped in. There was no fuss made about it.

Also, some of the lines in the book are awesome:

‘Jude was like walking, talking catnip.’

‘The “call this thing off” ship sailed away, sank, and was never heard from again.’

‘Six feet of temptation in a ripped Pink Floyd tank top. And he was coming right this way.’

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Even I fancy A.J after that last quote. Basically I recommend this to anyone who liked my review of Not My Boyfriend, or anyone who likes hot guy-on-guy romances.

Running With Scissors is published on 31st August 2015.

ARC August Week 4 Update Post

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It’s Monday, which means the start of the final week of ARC August! This whole month has been so much fun, and I’m definitely going to do this again next year, because it’s so great. I’ve boosted my Netgalley ratio quite a bit, which is great – went up to 75% actually.

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Anyway this week I’m going to finish it off with these three books:

Chivalrous (Dina L. Sleiman)
Running With Scissors (L.A Witt)
Wolf, WY (A.F. Henley)

Can I manage to keep up my 3-book streak? Wish me luck.

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ARC August Week 3 Wrap-Up

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And…another week of ARC August done and dusted. There goes Week 3 – just one more week to go! This whole month has been such an experience, being my first proper attempt at a book community event like this (TBRTakedown didn’t really count since I didn’t even finish one of those books).

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This week I read and reviewed all three of my ARCs for the week, and I had mixed reactions about them all. Read all about it below:

When We Were
Witches and Wolves
Witch, Cat and Cobb

I especially enjoyed the latter of the books, because…well, you can read all about that in the review.

I’ll see you all again on Monday for the final week’s update post, but in the meantime, talk to me in the comments about your ARCs that you’ve read this past week.

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Book Review – Witch, Cat And Cobb, & Witches and Wolves

Finally I’ve finished this week’s ARC goal! Yay!

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Title:
– Witches and Wolves (Kelly D. Smith)
-Witch, Cat and Cobb (J.K. Pendragon)

Synopsis:

Witches and Wolves – Life in the woods is usually fairly quiet, which suits Tory perfectly. She can focus on her witchcraft without the noise of the city or nosy neighbors, and the only visitor she gets is her ex-boyfriend—until late one night when she opens the door to find an unfamiliar wolf who promptly curls up in Tory’s bed and falls fast asleep.

Long used to wolves, Tory lets her be, and has no complaints at all when the morning reveals the wolf to be a beautiful woman. New to being a wolf, out in the woods to learn control and get more comfortable with her new life, Gee eagerly accepts when Tory offers to help her—and she doesn’t seem opposed to any other offers Tory might make.

But not everyone approves of werewolves, and Gee isn’t the only new visitor to the woods…

Witch, Cat and Cobb – Destined for an arranged marriage she wants nothing to do with, Princess Breanwynne decides that the only option for escape is to run away. Upon the announcement of this plan, her trusted pet cat reveals he can talk by asking that she take him along. Listening to his suggestion to venture into the lair of the Swamp Witch proves to be a very bad idea, but Breanwynne would rather face a witch any day than be forced to marry a prince.

Ratings:

Witches And Wolves – 2 stars
Witch, Cat and Cobb – 4 stars

Review: Since these two ARCs (from Netgalley by the way, so thank you to the respective publishers) are both short stories, I figured I’d just combine them into one review. One of these, I enjoyed very much, whereas the other I did not particularly enjoy.

First, the one I didn’t enjoy – Witches and Wolves by Kelly D. Smith. This centres around a witch named Tory who finds a wolf outside her house late at night. Inexplicably, she allows this wolf into her house for the night and the next morning she finds the wolf is actually a girl. Shocker. However there is hunters after her, so that’s trouble.

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I just didn’t enjoy this ARC that much. It may have been just a short story, but I still feel it went too quickly and was over too soon. There was no character development of any kind, no chance for the reader to get invested in these characters. Everything happened over the course of a few pages and then – over. That’s it. I mean, I’m just as much a fan of insta-love as the next girl, but this relationship went too fast for my liking. The writing was good, but I feel like it could have been better developed.

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The second ARC that I read though…that was amazing. Written by a queer author, the story brings together three characters – a princess, a witch and a cat who isn’t really a cat. Unlike the other, this story had a beginning, a middle, and an end, and there was actual plot! I can’t reveal too much without giving off spoilers, so I’ll keep it short and sweet – there’s twists and turns which keep you interested, there’s gender issues addressed (which I loved) and it’s all around a great queer fantasy story.  I’d recommend this one to anyone who loves queer fantasy or just fantasy romance in general.

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