Author Archives: What The Cat Read
I’m thrilled to be a part of the First to Burn book blast event and I offer my purrs of thanks to both Tasty Book Tours and the author, Anna Richland, for allowing me to read this book for an honest review. If you’d like to see all of the blogs who are participating in this event, please click on the banner above. =^.^=
Enjoyable characters and an intriguing plot line combine to create an action packed book! Richland definitely knows how to keep a reader on the edge of her seat.
Theresa is a fun character. She’s tough as nails, driven to succeed on her own, sarcastic at times, and expects everything to be orderly, but she’s also got a romantic, dreamer like side to her. She wants to live a normal life, or at least as close to normal as she can get, and I can’t begrudge her that. I can see a lot of myself in her character, which is why I think I liked her as much as I did while reading. Wulf is a mystery. He’s not exactly a wounded soul, but he’s been through enough over the years of his life to be guarded and a bit surly at times. When I first was introduced to him, I couldn’t help but think he was a bit reckless too, and as the story progressed, that thought grew. I’m not saying that he goes out of his way to put people, or even himself, in danger, but he doesn’t hold back when he gets into fights. And I don’t care that he’s immortal…taking bullets while attacking your shooter is reckless regardless of whether you heal right afterwards or not. Still, he was an interesting character and my whiskers did curl in enjoyment during many of his scenes.
As romantic couples go, I had difficulty accepting their relationship at first. Not because they didn’t make a steamy pair, they did, but because outside of instant attraction and their military careers, there didn’t seem to be much that really connected them. Maybe I’m over analyzing things (or I missed it completely), and yes, relationships have been built on less, but I couldn’t figure out what motivation either of them had for falling for each other. I enjoyed the romance scenes, loved the banter between both characters, and cheered at the end when they got their “happily ever after,” but I couldn’t keep from questioning why they initially got together in the first place.
The plot itself was amazing. I’ve always enjoyed the myth that surrounds Beowulf, so to read Richland’s spin on it was a treat. I’m rather looking forward to seeing where she takes things in the next book. And as much as I want to talk about what happens and how Beowulf ties in to the story, I don’t want to give away spoilers, so I’m sure my statement sounds rather ambiguous and for that I apologize. Let me simply say that the way in which Wulf discovered he was immortal and his connection to Beowulf is fascinating.
So what did I have a problem with, outside of the initial difficulty of believing the romantic interest between the lead characters? What kept me from giving this book higher than 3 paws? Call me an odd feline, but the book felt long to me. Several times I felt like the story could have ended, but it just kept going, one event after the other. And some of the events I felt could have either been left out or the resolution to them was to simple/too abrupt. I couldn’t help but feel like Richland was trying to pad her story by creating extra hurdles for her characters to jump through before reaching the end of the book. Not sure how much of this was done to set up for the rest of the series, or if it was just for effect, but just when I thought the story would end, I’d realize that I still had 30% of the book or more left to read. An example of a resolution that was just too simple: how Wulf handles the bad guy at the end. It’s just…sigh, I don’t know how to even begin to explain why it didn’t work for me.
Regardless, for a debut author, and the first of a series, I really liked this book and will definitely be reading the next one when it comes out. If you enjoy books that deal with myths, have a lot of action, mystery, and romance, you’ll want to check this one out and give it a try. =^.^=
About the Author:
Anna Richland lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. Like the heroine of FIRST TO BURN, she joined the army to pay tuition, a decision that led to an adventurous career on four continents (if standing on the bridge in Panama that divides North and South America counts as two).
She donates a portion of her book proceeds to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.
To find out about her October novella, HIS ROAD HOME, and the next Immortal Vikings romance, THE SECOND LIE, visit her website at annarichland.com and sign up for her newsletter.
Anna is offering one lucky winner a $10 Starbucks Gift Card! To enter, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below:
Happy Release Day to Heather Hildenbrand for her novel WHISPER! =^.^=
Release Date: August 13, 2014
The Cherokee believe when a person dies, their soul is reborn. Life is repeated. An endless cycle of lessons to be learned, love to be found, destiny to be fulfilled. For the past six months, in every flower, every bird, I’ve imagined my parents, relieved of their human forms.
Now, after five months at the Skye View Wellness Center, it was summer. A time for parties and friends, but that’s the last thing I want to do. So when my best friend Erin convinces me to attend a bonfire at Eagle Point, I can’t handle the crowd full of sympathetic stares or drunken class clowns who would use my tragedy as a way into my heart – or my pants. The solitude of the woods offers an escape, until I stumble upon a boy, unconscious and bleeding, his pockets stuffed not with identification but with poetry illustrating the beauty of dying. I’ve seen enough death. I will not leave this boy’s side.
Even after he wakes, when the only thing he can remember are visions of events that haven’t happened yet…
About the Author:
Author of Across the Galaxy, Whisper, and the Dirty Blood series. I write, read, and fuss at my kids. Oh, and I do laundry, lots of laundry. I’m pretty good at it, too. Sometimes I even read WHILE doing laundry – and fussing at my kids. I’m a multitasker.
For more information on my books, release dates, or just general stalker material, um, I mean FAN material, visit my website. I love hearing from readers!
Likes and dislikes? I love vintage tees, hate socks with sandals, and if my house was on fire the one thing I’d grab is my Amazon Fire TV! (oh yeah, I’m a fan of puns.)
Release Date: October 2014
Series: Iron Falls #1
The driver in a tragic car accident that killed her best friend, Devon Greer is consumed by guilt. When powerful hallucinations convince her that she’s seeing Rachael everywhere, Devon thinks she’s going crazy. But her friend isn’t truly gone.
To save Rachael from the faeries who stole her, Devon must pit herself against the Court of the Sidhe. Once she witnesses the true form of the fey, Devon’s life is in danger—and so are the lives of everyone she loves.
Now, Devon must not only protect herself, but also Jonah Seafort, Rachael’s cousin and the only person Devon can trust to help her. While the Sidhe walk among them, no one is safe…
About the Author:
Lover of books, nature, cats and shiny things. Active disliker of cooking, cleaning and stress. Mom, freelance editor & YA author – also a bit of a nerd.
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Happily-ever-after isn’t as happy or forever as Jane Austen makes it look. Just something Georgia Barrett learns when her sharp tongue costs her the only guy she’s ever really cared about: Michael Endicott.
Determined to move on, Georgia lands the lead role in the school’s fall musical. But to survive on stage, she’ll need to learn to express herself without her protective shield of snark. She soon discovers being honest with others means being honest with herself, and the truth is she’s still in love with Michael.
But from the looks of Michael’s new girlfriend, Georgia isn’t the only one who tried to move on. Apparently, some people are just better at it than others. And when Michael and his girlfriend join the cast of the fall musical, Georgia finds out that snark and stage fright are the least of her worries…
About the Author:
Stephanie Wardrop grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, a town mostly famous for being a railroad card in Monopoly. After giving up on her childhood goal of becoming a pirate, she decided to become a writer but took a detour through lots of college and grad school and ended up teaching writing and British and American literature. She’s the author of the Swoon Romance e-novella series Snark and Circumstance, based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and lives in western New England with her husband, kids, cats, and gecko.
I’d like to thank Tasty Book Tours, Avon Romance, and Katharine Ashe for the opportunity to be a part of this event! If you’d like to see all of the blogs participating in this tour, please click on the banner above. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. =^.^=
Ah, what a difference a sequel makes! May I say that I enjoyed this book much more than I did the first in this series. Not to say that I didn’t like the first book, but I definitely appreciated the characters and storyline in this book a great deal more when all is said and done. Yes, Ashe has earned some serious purrs this time around, murr!
I completely adored Ravenna. Her love of animals, overall gypsy nature, and desire to fight for the underdog won my heart right from the start. Thus far out of the three Caulfield siblings, she is definitely my favorite! Likewise Vitor made my heart swoon. While he wants to protect Ravenna, he’s also not afraid to let her be herself. He accepts her as she is and doesn’t seek to change her. Right there he’s won my respect and admiration. Together these two are the perfect couple. Their attraction for each other is seriously hot, and from the first moment they met I could help but grin in delight. They are a fun pair and I defy any fan of Historical Romance not to like them. Also I have to give a nod of acknowledgement to all of the secondary characters who made this book a charming read. I loved them all, even the catty twins whom I seriously hated for their behavior towards some of the other young ladies, and the rather inept mayor turned detective (he earned more than one eye roll from me).
Yes, I REALLY liked this book! Once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop. And it’s not just the characters that kept me intrigued, but the mystery element to the storyline was a fantastic touch. I wanted to know who did it, and I constantly kept revising my theory of who and why as the story progressed. Just when you think you have it figured out, Ashe would add a twist into the mix to keep you guessing. My only complaint in the end, and one of the reasons for why this didn’t rate as a 5 paw read, was that the answer to who did it had me shaking my head and asking “Did I really just read that right?” Usually with a mystery I can joke with friends about who the killer is, but in this particular case, I can’t do it because I’d literally be spoiling things. And if you don’t know by now how I feel about spoilers, then you obviously haven’t been paying attention to any of my previous reviews.
The other thing that kept me from giving this a full paw rating was that there were some events that I thought were unnecessary to the plot line. On the one paw I can see these scenes as being red herrings (Mmm herring) created specifically to divert the reader’s attention from the actual truth in order to keep the mystery going a bit longer, or in one specific case to make Ravenna admit her true feelings for Vitor, but on the other paw I think the story would have been just as strong without them. I mean, just how necessary was it for Ravenna to end up in the river or for Ann’s dress to be ruined? Or even for the dog to be dognapped? Okay, yes, in retrospect, I can actually see the importance for everything happening the way it did, but during the initial read I honestly felt that some of what happened just didn’t need to.
Having said that though, I will admit that Ashe can be a bit of a brutal writer as well, and I mean this in the best of ways because she knows how to pull emotion from her readers. I actually cried towards the end of the novel due to something that happens to a character whom I greatly liked. Yes, I actually felt like I’d been punched in the gut with this one scene and I did yowl in despair over it. Seriously, Ashe, if you end up reading this, did you have to add that heart wrenching twist? Really?!
So yeah, as reads go, this is definitely a fun one, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the final book of this trilogy! If you are a fan of Historical Romance, or if you were debating on whether you wanted to read this book or not because you were not all that enamored with the first of the series, let me say that you definitely don’t want to miss this one, murr! Purrs and tail waves to of approval to you, Ashe, for a job well done. =^.^=
About the Author:
Award-winning, best-selling author KATHARINE ASHE writes intensely lush historical romance, including How To Be a Proper Lady, among Amazon’s 10 Best Books of 2012 in Romance, and eight other acclaimed novels set in the era of the British Empire. With the publication of her debut novel in 2010, she earned a spot among the American Library Association’s “New Stars of Historical Romance.” She was a nominee for the 2013 Library of Virginia Literary Award in Fiction, and in 2011 she won the coveted Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Historical Romantic Adventure. Katharine is also a finalist for the 2014 RITA® Award, the highest honor in the romance fiction industry, for How To Marry A Highlander.
She lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her beloved husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt. A professor of European History at Duke University, Katharine writes fiction because she thinks modern readers deserve high adventure and breathtaking sensuality too. For more about her books, please visit her at www.KatharineAshe.com.
Katharine is offering three digital copies of I Married the Duke to three lucky winners! If you’d like the chance to be entered into the giveaway for this event, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below: