Tea, Rain, Book

Tea, Rain, Book

The BL branch of my Tea, Rain, Book blog: http://teareainbook.blogspot.co.uk/

 

You can also find me on the following sites:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/840708-melissa

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tea_rain_book

 

 

 

 

Booklikes-opoly (Turn #10)
Diary of an Accidental Wallflower - Jennifer McQuiston

So far my May plays in the game are few and far between. But I hope to finish at least one more book for BL-opoly before June 1st.

 

 

Previous turn (May 13th): New Orleans Square 21; I read Learning to Swim (Troy Chance #1) by Sara J. Henry; 296 pages, $3.00 to the bank. Current bank total: $48.00.

 

May 24th Roll: 7 (6+1)

New Square: Free Parking! Rolled an eight (even) so I was sent to the Electric Company (a MC working in STEM occupations or author name spells out Tesla).  I choose Diary of an Accidental Wallflower (Seduction Diaries #1) by Jennifer McQuiston. The hero is a doctor, so going with STEM occupation. 334 NOOK pages for a possible $4.00 to the bank.

 

Review
2 Stars
Review: Learning to Swim (Troy Chance #1) by Sara J. Henry
Learning to Swim  - Sara J. Henry

Highlight of the book is the fact when I sat down to fully invest in reading this book, I got it done in a day. So the book was completely read and I get full value for BL-opoly for my investment.

 

Lowlights (how many there were!):

1. Literary fiction version of a "romance" - yea, there is no HEA or even HFN. And so many problems within the "romance" between Philippe and Troy that was just borderline toxic relationship status.

 

2. Mystery is in the vein of literary/women's fiction, so there is not really a focus on actually solving the mystery until the last 50 pages. And the cops (Ottawa Police, Montreal Police, Lake Placid, NY Police, Burlington, VT Police) were given the stupid Keystone Kops treatment.

 

3. The MC, Troy Chance, is a SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE of a character. She is not like other women or into girly things/interests! My goodness, her smugness was aggravating to read. She was outfoxed by the killer until the very end and she was such a dim bulb. And every man she met was attracted to her and she had to fend off the hordes with a stick.

 

4. Weird conversational structures - French, then the translated English, then a random French sentence followed by more English.

 

There is a sequel, but I am not reading it. Be forewarned: the author comments on low rating reviews on GR and tries to explain away reviewers' issues with the book.

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Read for BL-opoly

Pages: 296 Value: $3.00

Review
5 Stars
Review: London by Edward Rutherfurd
London; the story of the greatest city on Earth. - Edward Rutherford

This was an intense look at the history of London from ancient druid period to the Blitz of the 1940s as seen through the eyes of a few families. I actually understand the Tudor period and the Restoration period much more now than when I took a class in college on the same topics.

 

The way the book is set up is each chapter being its own short story, making it easier to put down for the night and picking it up again in the morning. I am not used to reading long family sagas, so I had to refer to the family trees in the front of the book a lot; funny, I didn't need the maps of London in the different time periods at all - maybe because I have been to London many times that I knew where about the place was being described. My favorite chapter was The Whorehouse; why wasn't the political and social structure of the whorehouse in medieval times talked about in my college class? I feel a little cheated academically. If a character in the chapter I was currently reading was getting on my nerves, chances were high they weren't in the next chapter (rather it would be their descendants with different character arc). I also liked that I didn't have to read about endless battles; the book focused on political, social, and religious intrigue with splashes of family drama. There was also a healthy dose of Romance, and my favorite couple was Jane Fleming and John Dogget - they didn't get together until they were in their late 50s/early 60s. My least favorite chapter was the last one, titled The River - it was corny and an undisguised way of the author telling the reader how much research went into the book.

 

The men were described with one physical trait that belonged to the family (Duckets and Doggets had a white streak in their hair and webbing between their fingers; the Silversleeves had cartoon-ishly long noses; the Barnikels had vibrant red hair; the Bulls had the typical Anglo-Saxon fair hair and blue eyes). The women were physically described by their family traits and the size of the breasts, but were not objectified (well, maybe the whores) and were shown to be much more smarter and cunning than history often paints them. These were no wall flowers; these women were survivors.

 

I am really glad I took the chance and read this book; the size of the book intimidated me for only a couple of chapters, but I was soon reading 3 chapters a day and making decent progress without feeling like I was slogging through any part. I am going to read Rutherfurd's book New York late this year or next year.

Second Half of 2017 Read-a-thons/Challenges

Here is what I have for read-a-thons and challenges in the second half of 2017:

 

Booklikes-opoly: ends July 31, 2017

 

COYER Summer Vacation: June 17 - September 8, 2017

       For those doing the summer reading list option, there are three read-a-thons: June 30 - July 2, 2017; July 23 - 30, 2017; and August 20 - 27, 2017.

 

24 in 48 Read-a-thon: July 22 - 23, 2017.

 

Bout of Books Cycle 20: August 20 - 27, 2017

 

Dewey's 24hr Read-a-thon (autumn edition): October 21, 2017

 

Please let me know if you know of any other reading challenges going on in the second half of 2017!

 

 

Tea, Rain, Book's COYER Summer Vacation 2017 Sign Up Post

To sign up and for rules, see COYER Summer Vacation 2017 post

 

This is my second COYER (my first was last year's summer edition) and I really enjoy the book discussions (on FB and Twitter) and giving me incentives to keep reading during the summer.

 

COYER Summer Vacation has two ways to play this year: one way is to do basic "read anything you want in whatever format you want" COYER and the other way is to build your own summer reading list (a throwback to summers spent reading off a list given by teachers). I decided to go with the COYER Summer Reading List, as I like a focused group of books to track. I made two copies of my summer reading list, here on BL and on GR. My list is a mix of print and e-books, all from my personal library. I don't know if I will add more books as I read down the original list (see rules in the linked post); that will be a decision I make come in early August.

 

For the summer reading list, there will also be mandatory read-a-thons- the last read-a-thon will happen at the same time as Bout of Books Cycle 20, so I can participate in two read-a-thons in one week (of course, the read-a-thons end the day before school starts).

 

Now I just need to wait patiently for June 17th to come around.

 

 

RT Booklover's Convention 2017 - Day Two
Outfoxed by Love (Kodiak Point Book 2) - Eve Langlais What a Lady Craves - Ashlyn Macnamara Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War - Lauren Willig, Joshilyn Jackson;Hazel Gaynor;Mary McNear;Nadia Hashimi;Emmi Itäranta;CJ Hauser;Katherine Harbour;Rebecca Rotert;Holly Brown;M. P. Cooley;Carrie La Seur;Sarah Creech, Jennifer Robson, Marci Jefferson, Jessica Brockmole, Beatriz Williams, Evangeli An Extraordinary Union - Alyssa Cole Ten Days in August - Kate McMurray Kissing the Captain - Kianna Alexander Forbidden - Beverly Jenkins The Lawyer's Luck: A Home to Milford College prequel novella - Piper Huguley, Piper Huguley Tycoon - Joanna Shupe

Day One post

 

 

Wednesday (May 3rd) was the official start to the convention. I skipped the 7am work outs since I was still jet lagged, but I could only make myself get a few hours of sleep (a habit that lasted the entire convention). I hit up the coffee shop for a venti-sized tea and a piece of banana bread (I don't trust hotel catering to have enough food for all attendees) and met up with a fellow COYER group member and BL'er Lexxie (Unconventional Book Views)! After having breakfast with Lexxie, I went to the welcome breakfast; the guest speaker was Karen Robards. I thought she did an okay job opening the convention, but it seemed a lot of her speech was about previous, long ago RT cons and not much about this one. That was another theme - most attendees are long time RT convention goers and there is a feeling of cliques and talking about the old times. Then the staff at RT each had to take the mic to talk (boring)...which authors in attendance used that time to start pushing their books to the readers at their tables. Lots of aspiring and current authors writing "dark, gritty" romantic suspense is my take away.

 

First reader event I went to was Trope Bingo. The organizers did not plan to have so many people attend this event and ended up scrambling to set up more tables. Then more people showed up after another reader event closed due to running out of supplies. I had fun at the Bingo and met some readers that wanted to talk about what their favorite/least favorite tropes were.

 

Next I went to the Maple Syrup and Mounties reader event. This was one of the best reader events of the convention! Funny, smart ladies (authors Viola Grace, Lucy Farago, Eve Langlais, Ashlynn Macnamara, and Mandy Rosko) who organized and prepared for the crowd. The swag was pretty great too. FYI: Eve Langlais is pretty damn proud that she was able to put a moose shifter romance on the best seller list (Outfoxed by Love) and Ashlynn Macnamara is proud of her books' butt covers (Eton Boys Trilogy). These authors not only enjoyed interacting with the audience (it was a rowdy quiz type of event), but they seemed to really enjoy being around each other. One of my highlights of the convention.

 

Lunch time and then I stood in line for the one reader event I was most looking forward to - the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books Reader Recommendation Party! It definitely lived up to my expectations. I ended up winning a raffle, so I took home a short story collection centered around World War I called Fall of Poppies. I have been eyeing this book for some time now and when I saw it on the prize table I had to grab it. The Bitches were as lovely and funny as they are on the blog and on the podcast. Another big highlight for me, as it was truly about the readers talking about books with other readers.

 

Some books recommended:

The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne (historical set during the French Revolution)

The Iron Duke Series by Meljean Brooks (steampunk)

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper (paranormal)

Blood on the Earth (Soulwood #1) by Faith Hunter (spin-off of the Jane Yellowrock series)

Roller Girl (Lake Lovelace #3) by Vanessa North (f/f contemporary featuring a trans woman as one half of the couple)

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare (historical)

Bedchamber Games by Tracey Anne Warren (historical)

The Glassblower Series by Petra Durst Benning (historical)

Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy (fantasy)

The First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (sports contemporary romance)

Rites of Passage (Tulsa Thunderbirds #4) by Catherine Gayle (sports contemporary romance with HIV+ characters)

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1) by Amanda Bouchet (fantasy)

Anything by KJ Charles pretty much

 

 

The SBTB party was still going but I left after winning so I could make it to my first author panel, Welcome to Americana, featuring Alyssa Cole, Kianna Alexander, Kate McMurray, Beverly Jenkins, Piper Huguley, and Joanna Shupe. What a great discussion! Everything from the state of American historical romance (in terms of what is being published right now) to how they go about researching the history for their stories. Kate McMurray has a really great blog post on her website in regards to POC/LGBT+ people in historical romance not being present in mainstream historical romance and that readers really have to search to find the authors that are writing outside the mainstream. Most importantly, American historical romance is oversaturated with cowboys and mail order brides - and these authors are trying to expand American historical romance to include POC/LGBT+/urbanites. Everyone on the panel had some very thought-provoking things to say about racism, sexism, homophobia, and historical romance writing. Shout out to reference and research librarians for providing plot bunnies and historical research for the authors.

 

Took a much needed break from all the people, then headed to the Petticoats & Pistols party. Here the organizers actually had a big enough room that attendees could walk and mingle about without being crushed. I enjoyed the outfits the authors and cover models wore and the design of the party. Probably my favorite social event of the convention - it was low-key enough to take in at my leisure, but high-spirited enough to build excitement for the attendees. Here I got to meet Merry Farmer, a personal favorite of mine and talk with Joanna Shupe about her panel I attended. Shupe encouraged me to try my hand at writing historical romance. Maybe....someday.

 

After the party I was tired from being around so many people all day, so I got dinner and headed to my room. I didn't expect or intend to make this a very historical romance intensive day, but it is my favorite subgenre. So many new to me authors to try.

Read 318 out of 829 pages
London; the story of the greatest city on Earth. - Edward Rutherford

So far, so good. I took a break from reading my Booklikes-opoly book so I could get further into this book. I just had to renew the book for the second time, so I need to make this book my focus until it is done.

 

With that said, I am really enjoying it. Each chapter is its own short story/novella (depending on how long the chapter is); I am partial to the chapter on whorehouses. The Lady Godiva chapter was interesting too.

 

I am on the tail end of convention reading slow-down, so even though I really like the writing and the story, I need constant breaks to clear my head.

Reblogged
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$.99c Limited Time!

Grab your copies now while the sale latest.

Sale Running 5/15-5/21

 

 

I Dream of Dragons by Ashlyn Chase 
Roadside Assistance by Marie Harte
Test Drive by Marie Harte 
Sure Thing by Marie Harte
Never Resist a Rake by Mia Marlowe
Hungry Like the Wolf by Paige Tyler
Saving Jake by Sharon Sala 
Stealing Mr. Right by Tamara Morgan 
Rebel Cowboy by Nicole Helm 
Outlaw Cowboy by Nicole Helm 
The Untouchable Earl by Amy Sandas
Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Maria Bradley 

 

 

 

Reblogged from Angel's Guilty Pleasures
Reblogged
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Reblogged from Angel's Guilty Pleasures
Bout of Books Cycle 19 Wrap Up
Shimmy for Me: A California Belly Dance novella - DeAnna Cameron HEART OF THE SELKIE - Sam Asher Trouble in Tinseltown (Summer Flings, Book 1) - Aimee Duffy Misbehaving in Miami (Summer Flings, Book 2) - Aimee Duffy Forbidden - Beverly Jenkins

Declaration Post

Mid-week Update Post

 

Bout of Books

 

My Bout of Books cycle 19 started at the RT convention and involved traveling back home, so there wasn't a focus on doing the daily challenges this time around. The Friday before I left for Atlanta I did a massive download binge from the NOOK Store's free romance section (I do this when I am stressed for some strange reason). I hoped to get to some of these relatively short books to help pump up my stats for this cycle.

 

Thursday:

Finished first chapter of London: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd

Got to 36% of Forbidden (Old West #1) by Beverly Jenkins

 

Friday:

Finished Shimmy for Me: A California Belly Dance Novella by DeAnna Cameron

Got to 49% of Forbidden (Old West #1) by Beverly Jenkins

 

Saturday:

Read Selkie Heart by Sam Asher

Read Trouble in Tinseltown (Summer Flings #1) and Misbehaving in Miami (Summer Flings #2) by Aimee Duffy

 

Sunday:

Finished Forbidden (Old West #1) by Beverly Jenkins

 

Stats:

# of full length books read: 2

# of novellas/short stories: 4

# of plays: 1

# of pages read: 809

 

Save the Date! Bout of Books Cycle 20 is August 20th-27th

Booklikes-opoly (Turn #9)
Learning to Swim  - Sara J. Henry

 

April 27th and 29th:

Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins ($3)

A Wedding in Springtime by Amanda Forester ($4)

Killer in High Heels by Gemma Halliday ($3)

A Charming Crime by Tonya Kappes ($2)

Deep Deception by Cathy Pegau ($3)

Bank: $45.00

 

May 13th Roll: 7 (2+5) - New Orleans Square 21 (Read a book set on an island or that has an ocean on the cover). I choose Learning to Swim by Sara L. Henry; 304 pages ($4.00).

 

Review
1 Stars
Review: Selkie Heart by Sam Asher, Trouble in Tinseltown and Misbehaving in Miami by Aimee Duffy
HEART OF THE SELKIE - Sam Asher Trouble in Tinseltown (Summer Flings, Book 1) - Aimee Duffy Misbehaving in Miami (Summer Flings, Book 2) - Aimee Duffy

These three books are available in the NOOK store in the freebie section.

 

Selkie Heart by Sam Asher

First book in a trilogy about a selkie and a human. This 30 page story is how they met and fell in love, with an epilogue that was as long as the story and dropped all kinds of plot lines for future books. The random pictures of oceans at night did not add to the story at all. Will not continue with the series. The title is different here on BL from GR and the NOOK store.

 

Trouble in Tinseltown (Summer Flings #1) by Aimee Duffy

Three university friends decide to take the summer after their graduation to go globe trotting. Two of the friends are from very wealthy families, so it works; the third, the narrator named Ciara, is not from wealth nor does she even have a job or source of income. So she goes traveling, shopping, bar hopping with her friends and uses up her savings. This is some shallow Brit chick lit, with an added romance between Ciara and her friend's cousin Zack.

 

Misbehaving in Miami (Summer Flings #2) by Aimee Duffy

More sex scenes with Ciara and Zack. Elle (Zack's cousin) tries to have a fling with some guy she met on the beach, fling boy wants more. I can't do anymore from this series.

Review
1.5 Stars
Review: Shimmy for Me: A California Belly Dance Novella by DeAnna Cameron
Shimmy for Me: A California Belly Dance novella - DeAnna Cameron

Didn't enjoy this one. Abby is an immature brat who is sinking due to her own impulsive decisions and rash thinking (or lack thereof). Derek was a prick and a brat. Insta-lust turning into insta-hate than into insta-love is a weird relationship progression. Nothing here worked for me and I won't be reading any more from this series.

Review
3 Stars
Review: The Dateless Wonder by Anjali Mya Chadha
The Dateless Wonder - Anjali Mya Chadha

What if a British Mindy Kaling live tweeted her college friend's wedding? This is the script (plus notes from the playwright, the director, and the producer) of a one-woman show that was staged here in England a few years back that tackles dating from the POV of a late twenty-something British Indian named Jo-Jo. It was funny for the most part, but as an American I didn't quite understand some of the British pop culture references. This was Jo-Jo's first English wedding; up to now, she had only been to Punjabi weddings and so there were comparisons that are actually enlightening. A fun time to pass while riding home on the train.

Review
4 Stars
Review: A Wedding in Springtime (Marriage Mart #1) by Amanda Forester
A Wedding in Springtime  - Amanda Forester

Genie screws up her debut in front of the Queen and is branded an outcast. Genie blames Will Grant for screwing up her big moment. Really, it was Lord Chamberlin's gut distress that is to blame - yep, this Regency romance starts with a prologue dedicated to a fart joke.

 

Her aunt and mentor decides she needs to marry and quickly. Grant is too much of a rake, so poor Genie has to impress a bunch of dull suitors when she wants adventure with Grant. Grant and his crew (a duke and an earl, aka the heroes in the other two books in the series) are also trying to figure out who is the mole in the British intelligence agency that is feeding Napoleon information regarding the British navy activities. There is matchmaking dowager, a secret marriage, a second chance for a group of London orphans, lots of fun twists and a satisfying HEA for Grant and Genie. And thankfully, there was only two balls in the entire book.

 

I definitely want to read the other two books in the series.

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Read for Booklikes-opoly

Pages: 309 Bank: $4.00

Review
2 Stars
Review: A Charming Crime (Magical Cures #1) by Tonya Kappes
A Charming Crime (Magical Cure Mystery, #1) - Tonya Kappes

A quick, fun read but it suffers from first bookitis. Also it need a copy editor.

 

June Heal is trying to keep her mom's business alive. Her BFF (and crush) Oliver wants out from his uncle's watchful eye. So they move to Whispering Falls, Ky, a twenty minute drive from their hometown. But Whispering Falls is a very different place; the world building is fantastic and the people that populate the town each serve a specific purpose while also feeling realistic (save for their magical power/ability). There is a murder of the only person not well liked by everyone so there are a number of suspects, including Oliver and June. In addition to finding the killer, there is also an investigation into the truth behind Oliver and June's family history. So. Much. Backstory.

 

It all works out in the end, and I will read the next book in the series, but I am hoping for more in the plot line then Oliver and June's family story. I would also like to see a romance build up more between Oliver and June.

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Read for Booklikes-opoly

Pages: 155 Bank: $2.00

currently reading

Progress: 3%
Progress: 38%
Progress: 6%
COYER