Body and Soul by Stacey Kade

12871657Title: Body and Soul (Ghost and the Goth #3)

Author: Stacey Kade

Publisher: Hyperion 2012

Genre: YA Paranormal

Pages: 316

Rating:  4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Challenge; Ebook; 52 Books – W51

Alona Dare is now trapped in Lily Turner’s body, and no matter how many psychics she and Will Killian visit, it looks like she won’t be getting out anytime soon…

One of those series that I’ve been wanting to finish if only to say that I finished it.  And I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this series ender. Alona and Will are intriguing characters. I liked following their journey after the events of Queen of the Dead. Plus we get appearances from Misty and other former friends of Alona’s. A nice enjoyable two day read for my Christmas vacation.

Ghost and the Goth

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Soulbound by Kristen Callihan

51C4dmm6v8L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Soulbound (Darkest London #6)

Author: Kristen Callihan

Publisher: Hachette Book Group 2015

Genre: Paranormal

Pages: 366

Rating:  4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Reduction; Ebook; Seriously Series; 52 Books – W50

Once two souls are joined . . .
When Adam’s soul mate rejected him, there was more at stake than his heart. After seven hundred years of searching, his true match would have ended the curse that keeps his spirit in chains. But beautiful, stubborn Eliza May fled-and now Adam is doomed to an eternity of anguish, his only hope for salvation gone . . .

Their hearts will beat together forever
No matter how devilishly irresistible Adam was, Eliza couldn’t stand the thought of relinquishing her freedom forever. So she escaped. But she soon discovers she is being hunted-by someone far more dangerous. The only man who can help is the one man she vowed never to see again. Now Adam’s kindness is an unexpected refuge, and Eliza finds that some vows are made to be broken . . .

An enjoyable volume in this series. I wasn’t a fan of Eliza or Adam in the previous books, but they definitely grew on me over the course of this one. I really came to pull for them throughout the book. The storyline was fun. The ending was satisfactory. But my favorite part was encountering all the previous characters in the series. The little glimpses of Ian and Archer were great. And I liked seeing more from Lucien and Sin. The ending left the series open for another book.  At least I hope so…

Darkest London

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The Masque of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willig

51445NNRV7L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation #2)

Author: Lauren Willig

Publisher: New American Library 2006

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 464

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Reduction; 52 Books — W49

…But now she has a million questions about the Pink Carnation’s deadly French nemesis, the Black Tulip. And she’s pretty sure that her handsome onagain, off-again crush, Colin Selwick, has the answers somewhere in his archives. But what she discovers in an old codebook is something juicier than she ever imagined.

I think I liked this volume even more that the first. Really it came down to the characters. I really enjoyed Henrietta and Miles as our main characters. They were incredibly likeable and fun. Plus their romance was very believable. I enjoyed the furtherance the larger storyline while giving more attention to a few specific characters. And of course, I enjoy the little glimpses into Eloise and Colin. I’m taking a bit of a break from their series while I travel, but I fully intend on continuing in late January.

Pink Carnation:

  • #1 The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
  • #2 The Masque of the Black Tulip
  • #3 The Deception of the Emerald Ring
  • #4 The Seduction of the Crimson Rose
  • #5 The Temptation of the Night Jasmine
  • #6 The Betrayal of the Blood Lily
  • #7 The Mischief of the Mistletoe
  • #8 The Orchid Affair
  • #8.5 Away in a Manger
  • #8.7 Ivy and Intrigue
  • #9 The Garden Intrigue
  • #10 The Passion of the Purple Plumeria
  • #11 The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla
  • #12 The Lure of the Moonflower

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The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

84351Title: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (Pink Carnation #1)

Author: Lauren Willig

Publisher: New American Library 2006

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 426

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Reduction

Nothing goes right for Eloise. The one day she wears her new suede boots, it rains cats and dogs. When the subway stops short, she’s always the one thrown into some stranger’s lap. Plus, she’s had more than her share of misfortune in the way of love. In fact, ever since she realized romantic heroes are a thing of the past, she’s decided it’s time for a fresh start.

Setting off for England, Eloise is determined to finish her dissertation on that dashing pair of spies, the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. But what she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: the secret history of the Pink Carnation—the most elusive spy of all time. As she works to unmask this obscure spy, Eloise stumbles across answers to all kinds of questions. Like how did the Pink Carnation save England from Napoleon? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly escape her bad luck and find a living, breathing hero all her own?

Another book that has been sitting on my shelf for years… and I have no idea why I haven’t picked it up before now as I loved this one! Amy and Richard are amazingly fun characters. I loved all the side characters from Miss Gwen to Delaroche. And Eloise was a great person to connect to for the modern time period. The storyline took a few liberties with history, but kept the spirit of the time period that I appreciated. I can’t wait to see more from Eloise in the sequels. And of course, I want to hear more about the League of the Pink Carnation.

Pink Carnation:

  • #1 The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
  • #2 The Masque of the Black Tulip
  • #3 The Deception of the Emerald Ring
  • #4 The Seduction of the Crimson Rose
  • #5 The Temptation of the Night Jasmine
  • #6 The Betrayal of the Blood Lily
  • #7 The Mischief of the Mistletoe
  • #8 The Orchid Affair
  • #8.5 Away in a Manger
  • #8.7 Ivy and Intrigue
  • #9 The Garden Intrigue
  • #10 The Passion of the Purple Plumeria
  • #11 The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla
  • #12 The Lure of the Moonflower

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The Prince Kidnaps a Bride by Christina Dodd

Prince-Kidnaps-a-Bride-210x339Title: The Prince Kidnaps a Bride (The Lost Princesses #3)

Author: Christina Dodd

Publisher: Avon Books

Genre: Romance

Pages: 362

Rating:  3/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Reduction; A to Z: P; Seriously Series

Betrothed in the cradle, Princess Sorcha and Prince Rainger were destined to rule their countries together. Then revolution sent Sorcha to a remote Scottish convent—and Rainger into a dungeon so deep rumor claimed he was dead.

Now danger threatens, and Sorcha must travel home with a simple fisherman as her companion—Prince Rainger in disguise. Changed by his imprisonment from a careless lad to a dangerous man, he’s determined to win back his kingdom—and the woman he wants more than life itself. But can he protect a woman who believes every person she meets is her friend, every tavern is an opportunity to sing bawdy songs, and each turn in the road hides new adventure? To keep his princess safe, he must resort to his most treacherous weapon: seduction.

Well I finished the trilogy. This wasn’t the best at all. I hated Sorcha and Prince Rainger annoyed me in this volume. The entire set-up of their relationship really bugged me. I just couldn’t understand the continual lying and disguises. And some of the interactions were just ridiculous! Oh well. Another series I can cross off my list.

The Lost Princesses:

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The Barefoot Princess by Christina Dodd

Barefoot-Princess-210x339Title: The Barefoot Princess (The Lost Princesses #1)

Author: Christina Dodd

Publisher: Avon Books

Genre: Romance

Pages: 349

Rating:  4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Reduction; Seriously Series

Life in exile has taught the passionate Princess Amy to hate injustice, and on the enchanting English isle of Summerwind, she finds injustice personified in the powerful and wickedly handsome Jermyn Edmondson, marquess of Northcliff. Since he has stolen the islanders’ livelihood, Amy decides to stealhim. She kidnaps the arrogant nobleman, chains him with his own manacles, and holds him for ransom.

It’s a simple plan, destined to succeed. Surely Jermyn’s uncle will pay his ransom. Alas, his uncle would be delighted if someone killed his nephew and left him to inherit the title and fortune. And holding the furious, guileful, sensual Jermyn chained in her basement provides a challenge to Amy’s restraint…and her virtue.

I liked this one better than the first book in the series. Glad I kept reading the trilogy. Amy and Jermyn are fun characters. And the side characters give the book even more. I enjoyed the storyline and the reappearance of Prince Rainger. Really I could have done without the sex scenes. They were a bit much and I do lie a good sex scene. Oh well. I’m hoping to finish the series before I leave for Indiana…

The Lost Princesses:

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Some Enchanted Evening by Christina Dodd

Some-Enchanted-Evening-210x338Title: Some Enchanted Evening (The Lost Princesses #1)

Author: Christina Dodd

Publisher: Avon Books 2004

Genre: Romance

Pages: 363

Rating: 3/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Reduction; Seriously Series; 52 Books – W47

One of Scotland’s most dangerous men, Robert MacKenzie is dazzled by the enchanting beauty who rides into the town he is sworn to defend. Though he is wary of the exquisite stranger, Clarice stirs emotions within him that Robert buried deeply years before. And now he must have her at any cost, vowing to gain her trust through the powers of his sensuous seduction.

Torn between her need to protect her secrets and her aching desire for the dark, tormented earl of Hepburn, Clarice is pulled into Robert’s glamorous world . . . and into his perilous plan for justice and revenge. And with the winds of treachery swirling around them, a runaway princess must draw Robert’s heart from the shadows and make him believe in happily-ever-after.

A decent fluffy romance to tide me over this week, but it’s nothing special. There were a few scenes that I could do without. And the sex scenes weren’t that great. But the story was decent and I really liked Clarice as a character. I’m sure I’ll be continuing this series…

The Lost Princesses:

  • #1 Some Enchanted Evening
  • #2 The Barefoot Princess
  • #3 The Prince Kidnaps a Bride

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Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

51Z3ZotTWfL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Furiously Happy

Author: Jenny Lawson

Publisher: Flatiron Books 2015

Genre: Nonfiction – Memoir

Pages: 329

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Nonfiction Adventure (perpetual); TBR Reduction; 52 Books – W46

In Furiously Happy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea.

But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

I love her, I love her, I love her! Just like her first book, this volume made be reflect, cry, and laugh (mostly laugh) at all the ridiculous episodes of her life. Life lessons abound disguised as silly arguments with her husband and strange encounters with the outside world. I loved diving more into her world even the parts that aren’t so nice. I’m so glad I preordered this one. I had to wait almost a month before I had time to read it, but when I did I pounced. Now I feel like I should reread her last book… Maybe in January.

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Someday My Prince by Christina Dodd

51fYf4H3btL._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Someday My Prince (Princess #2)

Author: Christina Dodd

Publisher: Avon Books 1999

Genre: Romance

Pages: 384

Rating:  3/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Reduction; Seriously Series; 52 Books – W43

Princess Laurentia leads a fairy-tale life, attending glittering balls and wearing beautiful gowns. But after the ball is over, Laurentia finds herself getting into bed…alone. She dutifully agrees to choose a husband, but when she casts her eyes over her sea of suitors, she doesn’t see a single man worthy enough to claim her.

But Who Will She Choose?

Then suddenly, she is swept off her feet by Prince Dominick, soldier of fortune, black sheep of his family…and the man hired to protect her. He’s brazen enough to steal her kisses, yet tender enough to soothe her with one touch. He makes no promises, speaks no vows of forever…yet Laurentia can’t help but hope that her prince has finally arrived.

Another disappointing fluffy romance. I did like this one better than the first book of the series, but I still didn’t like the characters very much. Laurentia has a bit of character and Dom is an interesting guy, but their relationship is fraught with issues. Overall I was just so disappointed in this book.

Princess

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The Runaway Princess by Christina Dodd

51HXhcqC6IL._SX293_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Runaway Princess (Princess #1)

Author: Christina Dodd

Publisher: Avon Books 1999

Genre: Romance

Pages: 360

Rating:  3/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Reduction; Seriously Series

English orphan Miss Evangeline Scoffield has spent her life contenting herself with dreams. But with an unforeseen inheritance, she can afford one perfect summer. She buys herself expensive clothes, travels abroad, and presents herself as a lady of mystery. But she quickly discovers her mistake, for a darkly handsome man appears at her bedroom door, claiming to be a Crown Prince–and her fiancé. Her denials count for nothing. Danior will do anything to have her. Seduce her, abduct her, or when danger explodes about them, flee with his unwilling bride into a world of peril, promise and passion.

I was hoping that this would be a great feel-good romance after so many serious fiction books and nonfiction books. Alas, I was a bit disappointed in this one. I found Evangeline to be a huge contradiction of character. And Danior was a huge brut. The fact that he almost raped her really put me off him as a character. I enjoyed the storyline, but the characters really fell flat for me. I have the sequel sitting on my shelf. I may just read that next just to finish out the duo.

Princess:

  • #1 The Runaway Princess
  • #2 Someday My Prince

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