Sunday, August 28, 2016

Stacking the Shelves {157}

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

It's been so long, y'all! Hi! I looked at my last STS, and I had just been picked for my jury! That's kind of crazy, since that took two entire weeks (and I loved every minute of it--except the reading of the verdict), and then we had the Harry Potter midnight release (SO fun!). And NOW I'm starting grad school. I told y'all I got into both, and I decided to go to Indiana University. I'm studying Library and Information Science online! I don't know what that'll mean for blogging, but I'm obviously hoping to continue--it just may be more sporadic. I'm curious to see how working full time, going to school part time, and blogging will be!

ANYWAY, on to the books! There's quite a few!

For review:

Yesternight by Cat Winters
The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean
Do You Want to Start a Scandal? by Tessa Dare
The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner

Wait for Me by Caroline Leech
The Freemason's Daughter by Shelley Sackier

The Danger of Desire by Sabrina Jeffries
Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson


Rebel Magisters by Shanna Swendson


Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Books I read this week:
Rebel Magisters by Shanna Swendson

I'm currently reading:
Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

This is... however many weeks' worth since my last STS. I don't even know anymore. :)

Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Blog Tour: This Earl is On Fire by Vivienne Lorrett {Review + Excerpt + Giveaway}

Release date: August 2, 2016
Author info: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play
The sheltered daughter of a country baron, Miss Adeline Pimm comes to London looking for adventure… and finds it in the form of a bloody, unconscious man slumped in the doorway of her family's rented townhouse. Though his identity is a mystery, Adeline is inexplicably drawn to the handsome, injured man and vows to nurse him back to health. 

Liam Cavanaugh, the scandalous Earl of Wolford, is startled when he awakens in an unfamiliar bed, wrapped in bandages that hinder his eyesight, with no memory of why he was beaten half to death. Although he can't see the witty young woman who tends to his wounds, her alluring voice--and a single stolen kiss from her soft lips--help soothe his pain. But when he is fully healed, Liam is not ready to let go of the one woman who stirs his deepest longings. 

Liam will do whatever it takes to see Adeline again, even if it means giving up his rakish ways. But his disreputable past is not so easily forgotten and his secrets are far more dangerous than he-or Adeline-ever imagined. 
I loved The Debutante Is Mine, so of course I had to snatch up a copy of This Earl Is on Fire as soon as I possibly could! And I wasn't disappointed, just like the previous book, This Earl Is on Fire is sweet, fun, and pretty much just a delight.

This Earl Is on Fire starts off with a bang, with Adeline and her parents finding Liam on their doorstep, bloody and bruised. It sets off her relationship with Liam, which I loved, because I don't feel like too many historical romances work quite so heavily on the idea of love at first sight. There's something to be said for an instant connection you simply can't deny, and that's what Adeline and Liam feel. It's through their time together that they come to love one another, but it's all kicked off by that instant spark.

Like the first book, I felt like a lot of the ending was rushed. There's some definite groundwork for the villain who pops up, but it still feels like he comes out of nowhere, rubs his hands together in a dastardly way, and then disappears, not quite without damage, but close to it.

But (maybe partially because that ending section is so small) I was more than won over by our familiar characters and our new addition in Adeline. Adeline is unexperienced, yes, but she's also determined and realistic. She doesn't think she'll find happiness in a marriage, so she's set on never marrying. She only wants to go to London to show she's perfectly capable of taking care of herself and then she's content to go home and live as she will, without a husband. I'm all for a girl set on independence, and I love that her relationship with Liam never takes that away. That determination shows in that she's willing to give up happiness to have her freedom, not to be coddled and babied as she has been, and it's completely winning.

The Season's Original series is such fun, and with how quick they are, you'll fly through them, ready to read the next!

About the author:

USA Today bestselling author, VIVIENNE LORRET loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order … but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Duke’s Christmas Wish, and the Season’s Original Series.

            “Your swelling has diminished completely,” she said, feeling a strange fluttering in the pit of her stomach. Then she gripped the key tightly as if it were her life’s purpose. “Your flesh is somewhat bruised, however, and purplish in places. When you arrived, we weren’t even able to see that you had eyes.”

“And now that you are able?” There was an edge of mockery to his tone and—yes—to his lips too. Now there were appealing fissures on both sides of his mouth.
“Are you seeking a compliment? I had not taken you for a vain peacock,” she chided, feeling comfortable enough to tease him in return. Yet, that quickly altered when he reached up and closed his hand over hers.
He tugged her closer. “Your expression reveals little. And there are no mirrors nearby to show me whether I am merely bruised or disfigured. That pretty blush upon your cheeks could be because you are here in your nightdress and shy about it, not necessarily because you think I am handsome.”
Were all the gentlemen in London this bold? She held her breath, trying not to move and wanting to absorb every sensation caused by her hand in his grasp. Her skin rejoiced, sending shivers of warmth through her like sparks from flint and steel. His thumb swept back and forth over the mound of her thumb. Then his fingers curled casually as if touches such as these were commonplace. At least, for him...
           “I like the look of you,” she confessed, holding his gaze. A man who’d suffered such a beating deserved that, at least.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Blog Tour: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco {Review + Playlist}

Hey hey hey! I'm so excited to be hosting a stop on the Stalking Jack the Ripper blog tour, hosted by the Knights of Whitechapel, the book's street team! As I've just finished reading and am completely pumped, I'll be sharing my review and a playlist that I think only makes your reading experience better. :)

Release date: September 20, 2016
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Pages: 336
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository | Indiebound
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
I have an unhealthy fascination with Jack the Ripper... It might be more than unhealthy, really--but I've written a long research paper on him and gobble up info kind of constantly. (To the point where I have dreamed about it more than once. Freaky dreams, y'all.) Needless to say, anytime a book is centered around Jack the Ripper, I'm there, with bells on. Of course, a deep interest in Jack the Ripper isn't going to make a book. And excitingly, Stalking Jack the Ripper may have gotten me to read with its subject, but it won me over with its dark tone and fierce heroine.

As I said, THE TONE. I've seen mentions of Gothics in a lot of talk around SJTR, and that's a good comparison. SJTR has that wonderfully (at least in my book!) ominous tone, where you know something bad is coming without fully knowing what it is, you're constantly switching opinions as to who the bad guy is, and there's even a little bit of the supernatural coming into play. There's just the right balance of darkness, with bits and pieces of humor and lightness from Audrey Rose's interactions with Thomas, making for a really engrossing read.

And Audrey Rose! I just love her! She's feisty and brave, and both her loyalty and her drive are so admirable. What's so great is that she's constantly challenging conventions of her time--but Maniscalco never makes her overtly so, to the point that she'd be too much for the people of her time. That's not to say her thoughts aren't definitely too much for her time, but she's only looking for a bit of freedom at the moment, and it reads a lot more authentically than a lot of other books.

I have a feeling I could talk about this book for altogether too long, but I'll calm myself down. (I could literally dedicate paragraphs to how much and what I love about Thomas, so be glad you're being spared!)

If you love a gritty, historical mystery that's scary without being too much so, Stalking Jack the Ripper is a sure bet for you.

About the author:

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

Her debut, STALKING JACK THE RIPPER (JIMMY Patterson Books/Little, Brown September 20,  2016), is a Young Adult Gothic horror inspired by the Ripper murders. It’s about a Victorian-era lord’s daughter who defies society expectations by secretly apprenticing as a forensics examiner, and soon finds herself embroiled in the investigation of a serial killer who is stalking London’s East End.

And here's my playlist! I'm always trying, when I make these, to accentuate the tone of the book or the overall themes. In this case, the tone did most of the work itself, but this is music I thought fit that foreboding, creepy kind of feel. (Plus it's just awesome music.)