Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: The Hummingbird Heart by A.G. Howard

Title: The Hummingbird Heart
Author: A.G. Howard
Series: Haunted Hearts Legacy #2

Publication: August 15th 2017
Genre: Gothic Romance ~ New Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: 5/5

Shortly after escaping a circus tragedy, young Italian orphan, Willow Antoniette, seeks refuge at The Manor of Diversions—a holiday resort in England born of a ghost story. For eleven years, she’s raised alongside the children of the resort’s owners: Julian, his twin brother, Nick, and their younger sister Emilia. Now that Willow is of marriable age, she's determined to escape finishing school along with everyone's efforts to make her a proper lady. The only man she wants to spend her life with is Julian, after all. Yet how can she tell him, when he thinks of her as nothing but a friend?

As a machinist and engineer, Julian Thornton prefers a governable life. He can't allow his ever-deepening attraction for Willow to distract from his amusement park plans to lure a younger, wealthier clientele to their family's resort. In hopes to escape Willow and find investors, Julian sets off on a transatlantic ocean liner headed for the St. Louis World’s Fair, unaware Willow has secretly stowed away on the same ship.

A tiny, mute orphan named Newton and a pair of haunted Italian shoes bring Willow and Julian face to face on deck. Forced to work together to solve the mystery of Newton and his vindictive, ghostly companion, Julian and Willow can no longer fight their untapped passions. However, time to admit their true feelings is running out, for the ghost and her murderer have enlisted them as unsuspecting pawns in a karmic game of cat-and-mouse that could cost all of them their lives.

The Hummingbird Heart was such an adventure! As much as I enjoyed the first book (The Architect of Song) I loved this one even more. The story simply had it all; romance, mystery, ghosts and a lot of swoony moments between the two lead characters.

The story is set nineteen years after The Architect of Song and features one of Nicholas and Juliet's sons, Julian, as one of the main characters along with Willow who's been living at The Manor of Diversions ans raised alongside Julian, his twin brother Nick and their younger sister Emilia.

At one point Julian ends up going to the St. Louis World's Fair on a transatlantic ocean liner. But what he doesn't know is that Willow, the woman he has been having feelings for has secretly come aboard as well.

I loved both characters, especially Julian because he wasn't the any usual heroes in books that I've read about. I loved that he's an engineer and that he designs amusement rides. Willow was a great character to read about as well. I loved her spririt. She had so much fire within her, even though her past was quite tragic.

My favorite part out of the whole book was the time Julian and Willow spend on board of the ship. I lvoed the whole atmosphere of it and combined with the author's gorgeous writing it was all even more amazing.

Aside from being a romantic historical and paranormal story it was also a mystery. It was one I really enjoyed and kept me on my toes. It just was one unexpected twist after another and I didn't see any of them coming so I can only applaud the author for this. 

And gosh... was it one amazing romance! Like I mentioned before there were many swoony moments. Willow and Julian really had some amazing chemistry going on between them. They both had their flaws but in the end I thought it made them all the more perfect together.

I also feel like I should mentioned that the next book is going to be about Julian's twin Nick. And I'm just so excited about this, you have no idea! 

A.G. Howard is the #1 NYT & International Bestselling author of several young adult retellings and spinoff novels, including her gothic Alice in Wonderland Splintered Series, and RoseBlood, a Phantom of the Opera inspired adaptation.

When writing, A.G. is most at home weaving the melancholy, magical, and macabre into her settings and scenes. In her downtime, she enjoys rollerblading, gardening, and visiting 18th century graveyards or abandoned buildings to appease her muse’s darker side.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Books I Read On Vacation

Hi everyone! So since I'm back from vacation it's time that I talk a little about all the books I've read. I read 12 books in three weeks, which is a pretty good amount, I think. And 8 of them were historical books even. Thought that's not much of a surprise. I'm also happy to say that I got through all the books I set for myself. Yay! I basically enjoyed them all and haven't read one that's rated lower than three stars. I'm really happy about that. I'm going to feature them all below and tell you what I thought about them. I will post full reviews of them in the coming weeks and months, though. So be sure to keep an eye out for those!

The Books:

The Hummingbird Heart by A.G. Howard ~ 5 stars
I loved this book even more that the first one, The Architect of Song. The setting was amazing like we're all used from a book by A.G. Howard but oh it was so wonderful!

Mermaid by Jodi Picoult ~ 4 stars
I couldn't resist this short story by Jodi Picoult. It was really good and had a very unexpected twist and ending.

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare ~ 4 stars
I loved this book and I'm now convinced that I MUST read all of this author's book. I have only read 2 full books and one short story of hers but haven't been disappointed yet. 

Waterfell by Amalie Howard ~ 4 stars
FINALLY a book about mermaids (sort of...) that I really enjoyed. I was really hooked by the story and thought the heroine was just so great!

I'm so glad I read A Song of War. Honestly should've read it when it first came out. It was so freaking epic and easily one of my favorite books of the year. Just MAGNIFICENT!

The Tower and the Emerald by Moyra Caldecott ~ 4 stars
I kind of randomly started reading this book because I bought it while I was on vacation but it turned out to be so great. Such a classic adventure!

Eagles in the Storm by Ben Kane ~ 5 stars
This was my favorite book I read and it was just SO satisfying. It's the last in the Eagles of Rome trilogy and obviously I was very happy with the ending.

Portrait of a Conspiracy by Donna Russo Morin ~ 3 stars
I had kinda wished I enjoyed this one a little bit more but overall it was a pretty good read.

The Amethyst Bride by Kelsey McKnight ~ 3 stars
I loved the relationship between the two main characters, although it was just a tad too rushed for my liking. Still enjoyed it a lot, though.

The Artist's Muse by Kerry Postly ~ 4.5 stars
Oh this was a very, very special book. And I'm very excited to post my review of it soon!

The Sin Eater by Jennifer Harlow ~ 4.5 stars
This is the book I'm the happiest about that I loved it because it could've gone either way. And Oliver is still my favorite vampire EVER!

Wilde in Love by Eloisa James ~ 3 stars
This was a good read and pretty unique. Just the drama was a little too much for me.

Reviews of all these books to come soon!

Have you read any of these books? Or do you want to read them? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Stacking The Shelves: August 19, 2017 [Vacation Book Haul)

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly bookish meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews & Reading Reality.

Hi everyone! I just got back from my vacation yesterday so this STS post will be about the books I've bought in the last three weeks. :D ♥

Five of the books below (The Tower and the Emerald, Masterpieces of the Egyptian Museum of Cairo, Wondrous Realms of the Aegan and The Holy Land) I bought for 2€ each. And The Wright Brothers biography for 50 cents so not too bad, right? I'm so happy with all of them. I already read The Tower and the Emerald, which I was really surprised about that I liked so much and right now I'm reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. 

The Tower and the Emerald by Moyra Caldecott
The Wright Brothers: First in Flight by Tara Dixon-Engel & Mike Jackson
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Masterpieces of the Egyptian Museum (No link sorry)
Wondrous Realms of the Aegan by Time-Life Books
The Holy Land by Time-Life Books
Mexican Art by Paul Hamlyn (No link sorry)

And of course I couldn't resist buying some ebooks in the meantime too. Buying Thousands was a no brainer. My favorite dark romance author and one of my favorite series of hers. Pim and Elder make my heart ache, though. Wish You Were here was unexpectedly on sale so of course had to buy that one. And last but not least... finally got around to buying Mistress of Rome. It's been long overdue since I already read book #2 and #3 (luckily they can be read as standalones) but now I finally have it. I can't wait to read it!

Thousands by Pepper Winters
Wish You Were Here by Reneé Carlino
Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

Have a great weekend, everyone! ♥

Friday, July 28, 2017

♥ I'm On Vacation! [28/07 - 18/08] ♥

It's that time again when I go on my yearly vacation to the Belgian coast. This time I'll be gone for 3 weeks instead of two, from July 28th until August 18th. Hopefully the weather will be nice because last year it was raining a lot, sadly enough. So fingers crossed! I won't be blogging during this time, obviously but I'll still be around on social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (especially on insta stories.)

I'll be going on a lot of trips while being there so hopefully I can read some books. 
I made a poll on Goodreads asking which book I should read first. I'll be reading the books in order of the poll results. I would love it if you all could give it a vote.

Click here to go to the poll or go to the link below.


See you all again in a couple of weeks! ♥

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Co-Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

After buddy reading many books, Christina of Booklover's Teaparty and I decided to do something different and do a co-review.

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Publication: May 2nd 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens Books

Genre: Fantasy ~ New Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo

Rating: 5/5

A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

Was there anything that stood out with the storyline to you?

Stephanie:  I felt like it focused more on several characters than just Feyre (although Feyre is still the lead of the book.) Her sisters played a huge part the story. We also learned a lot more about some of the secondary characters.

Christina: A lot going on in this book. So much happened, which is no surprise compared to how big it is.  Felt as if we had more characters in the spotlight so to say, BUT something I am very happy with is that it still didn’t change the POV from Feyre. It was still Feyre’s POV and her seeing the other characters and being around them. An Feyre has definitely grown a lot since the first book.

What are your thoughts on Feyre and Rhys in the book?

Stephanie:  I can't say anything but LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM. They're a OTP of mine for a reason. Their bond and connection is really strong and continued to be so in the book. 

Christina: Loved them! I like how we don’t have to have the added romantic drama between them, if there’s problems they work on them and talk about. Really shows how deep their bond is. So yeah love them and root for them, always!

How would you describe the book in one or two words?

Stephanie:  I can't really think of one particular moment without spoiling the story but I thought that Nesta especially had a lot of amazing moments. I loved her. 

Christina: I feel like with these books, the title says a lot as well.. so other than those two words I guess revelations and love maybe.

What's your favorite quote of the book?

Stephanie: "Two Illyrian males making me sweat in one morning. What’s a female to do?"

Christina“Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.” 

How was this book compared to others in the series?

Stephanie: I definitely felt different from the others. But I also think that all books are pretty different from one another. ACOMAF is still my favorite if I have to choose between them but I did love this one as well. And it has my favorite cover. Felt like I should mention that. 

ChristinaLike the others I loved this one. It really shows how far they have all come. Feyre has grown so much since the first book which was more obvious due to the strong presence of her sisters in this one. Huge huge book with so much happening.

What are your overall thoughts?

Stephanie:  Just like the first two books, I loved A Court of Wings and Ruin. I loved how detailed it was and how we found out more about several of the characters, not just Feyre and Rhysand. Although they're still my favorite characters. Especially Rhys! The story stopped my heart a few times (damn you SJM!) but I loved every single moment of it. It was perfect!

Christina: Overall I absolutely loved it! Also gave us a lot more to be revealed about other characters as well, which I am still wondering about and so eager to find out. I spent half the book wondering what was up with this and that character and how it would play out. And gotta mention those amazing moments with just Rhys and Feyre, I seriously loved those whenever they were there. 

Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses series, as well as a USA Today and international bestselling author. Sarah wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in thirty-five languages. A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. Empire of Storms, the fifth Throne of Glass novel,is available now.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

♥ Holly's Boys ♥

Highly recommended story to check out!