Thursday, July 31, 2014

2014 Desafio Ficção Histórica Portuguesa / Portuguese HF Challenge

And here is another update for this challenge. It hasn't had as many entries as I hoped for and I have been considering whether to continue with it or not. I have decided to go on and keep it going till the end of the year.

E cá está outra actualização deste desafio. A adesão não tem sido a esperada e ponderei desistir. Mas resolvi continuar até ao final do ano e esperar por melhores dias.

8 books read so far for this challenge. / 8 livros lidos para este desafio até ao momento

Book list / Lista de livros:
  1. Verão Quente by Domingos Amaral, reviewed by Ana T.
  2. Nação Crioula by José Eduardo Agualusa, reviewed by Inês Montenegro
  3. D. Afonso Henriques by Diogo Freitas do Amaral, reviewed by Ana T.
  4. Padeira de Aljubarrota by Maria João Lopo de Carvalho, reviewed by Inês Montenegro
  5. Inês de Portugal by João Aguiar, reviewed by Ana T.
  6. A Filha do Barão by Célia Correia Lourenço, reviewed by Inês Montenegro
  7. Filipa de Lencastre by Isabel Stilwell, reviewed by Inês Montenegro
  8. Segredos de Amor e Sangue by Francisco Moita Flores, reviewed by Inês Montenegro

Reading suggestions for this challenge can be found here I'll update the list as I find more titles. Recently a portuguese publisher has announced a series called the history of Portugal in romances that I think might be interesting


Algumas sugestões de leitura para este desafio podem ser encontradas aqui. Acrescentarei mais titulos à medida que os for ncontrando. Recentemente a Editora Saida de Emergência anunciou uma coleção chamada a História de Portugal em romances que me parece poder ter alguns titulos de interesse.

The list of books read for the 2013 challenge can be found here. A lista dos livros lidos em 2013 pode ser encontrada aqui.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Reading and Blogging Pause

I am so sorry for this unexpected pause in my reading and blogging. Sometimes life happens and our daily routine changes. My professional life has been full of ups and downs lately and I am trying to make something of it. 

I'm afraid I won't be able to post much in the near future but I hope to came back to it eventually. I will post an update on the Portuguese Historical Fiction Challenge soon. It hasn't exactly been a success this year but if someone would like to pick it up and continue it just let me know.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Turn My World Upside Down - Maureen Child

Josefina 'Jo' Marconi's world just shifted out of orbit. Both of her sisters are pregnant, she's facing finals in her quest to at last get her college degree, the man who traumatized her in college is running for a Senate seat, and she has to move back into the family home and watch over the boy whose very existence shattered her nice little world. Ten-year-old Jack is the product of an affair her father had while her mother was dying of cancer. Ever since Jo found out about this, she and her father have been walking a wide berth around each other. As if that wasn't enough complication, Cash Hunter--the man known as "The Woman Whisperer"--has moved back to town. He has a reputation: once a woman sleeps with him, she's completely satisfied, and she immediately heads off to save the world. As Jo becomes more and more interested in Cash, she learns that he's determined not to sleep with any woman he wants to stick around--especially not Jo. And Jo becomes just as determined to seduce him and prove that she's the one woman who will stay by his side. Together, Jo and Cash have to teach Jack and each other the true meaning of family and trust.

I have to admit I was a bit worried about reading Jo's book because reading the blurb Cash didn't seem the least bit appealing (woman whisperer???) but I have to give it to Child. Despite a few problems I really enjoyed reading this. In fact it may well be my favourite.

There was a lot going on in this story. Jo's past for one. We finally find out what happened to her that shaped he in who she is today and it is not pretty. While I cheered when she finally dealt with it I am not sure all that bonding is totally believable.

That she is the way she is is what keeps her from forgiving her father as fast as her sisters and what keeps a barrier between her and her half brother Jack. I did like it when she finally addresses those situations and feels free to move on.

Seeing as Jo had so many baggage I really don't think we needed a hero with the same amount of problems but there you go, that what Cash was. I loved how he bonded with Jack and how despite their sparring he and Jo manage a friendships of sorts over the boy. That he was there to support her when she needed was really well done and while I think it took him almost to long to see reason it didn't bother me too much because I knew he would turn up eventually.

I read somewhere that Child is Irish. That is funny because these books feature a very loud and proud Italian family. Sometimes I felt they were a bit too loud and proud but, not being Italian, I hesitate to say if it's overdone or not. That they love each other and fight with and alongside each is a wonderful testament to any family and I couldn't help appreciating that.

Grade: 4/5

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Countess Conspiracy - Courtney Milan

Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.
Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership...even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.

It took me a long time to write this review because I really had a hard time collecting my thoughts about this book. I wanted to love it. The idea of female scientists in the past appeals to me and I would love to see them recognised. I also liked the idea of someone as steadfast in his feelings as Sebastian apparently was. The thing is, I didn't really like Violet!

I'm thinking that it might be because I felt little empathy with her character. I couldn't help feeling sorry for her and her past but I never warmed up to the character.

On the other hand I loved Sebastian. I loved his sense of friendship, how strong his love for her was and how that made him  better person. I couldn't understand why he had fallen in love with her but I liked him.

Surprisingly I also liked Violet's mom very much. I only realised it more than halfway through the book but she was  very intelligent lady and with the courage required to save herself and hr daughters.

I am curious about the next book but I am not sure if I will be in a hurry to get it as Milan's heroines don't seem to work well for me.

Grade: 3/5

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What I've Been Watching: Castle - Season 5

As I've mentioned on my review of the 4th season of castle I was wondering if they could successfully continue the series after that final twist.
I have recently finished the 5th season and I am very happy to say that I enjoyed it very much and in my opinion they did a good job. A lot can go wrong when you no longer have the tension of unrequited love but I think Castle and Beckett manage really well in their new relationship. Castle is less immature but still funny and open minded and Beckett is less troubled but still sharp and focused on her job.

I did like the mysteries presented in each episode and the relationship between the main and the secondary characters, both those in the precinct and Castle's family. I actually think the secondary cast is part of what makes the hole thing work. 

And we are treated to another twist in the final episodes. I won't say I was completely surprised by it because I think Beckett really deserves something more but I am curious to see who they will make it work.

You can find the DVD here 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Three Weddings and a Murder - Anthology

"The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright" by Tessa Dare
Because of a foolish mistake in her youth, Miss Eliza Cade is not allowed "out" in Society until her three older sisters are wed. But while she's trying to be good, Eliza keeps bumping elbows--and lips--with the notorious rake Harry Wright. The passions he stirs in her are so wrong...but she just can't resist Mr. Wright.
"The Misbehaving Marquess," by Leigh LaValle14288458
Having awaited the return of her husband for half a decade, Catherine Raybourne, the Marchioness of Foster, has no intention of reconciling with her misbehaving marquess. But when he insists he needs an heir--immediately--she must confront her own lingering desires. Can she protect her heart while attempting to win his once again?
"The Lady Always Wins," by Courtney Milan
Railway financier Simon Davenant has waited seven years for a second chance with his childhood sweetheart and best friend. He isn't about to let his impending financial ruin destroy the opportunity. This time, he'll do anything he can to secure her hand in marriage--even if it means losing her heart for good.
"Solomon's Wisdom," by Carey Baldwin
Bad-boy-turned-pediatrician Charlie "Drex" Drexler returns to Tangleheart, Texas hoping to reconnect with his old flame--but Anna won't cooperate, his dark past resurfaces, and his best friend's baby disappears. How will Drex and Anna mend their broken hearts while dodging bullets and racing to bring baby home safely?

Another anthology I had in the TBR pile and decided to pick up when I had an afternoon free. My favourites were Tessa Dare's and Courtney Milan's. They were both interesting with developed characters and while none were characters I liked they were readable stories.

The other two weren't as interesting to me and, especially, the last one felt  bit disjointed.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Night Broken - Patricia Briggs

17562900An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need—and Mercy knows it. But with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right.Soon, her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy.Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s ex is more than a bad man—in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies start piling up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.

I was looking forward to this book ever since I first heard about it. I haven't been tempted by the other Briggs series but this one and the A&O set in the same world are real favourites.

This story follows closely the same plot lines that has been developed in the previous books: Mercy is living with her mate and his pack but the pack, or at lest certain members have a hard time adjusting to Mercy and she is given a hard time. While it didn't stop me from enjoying the book I think it's time to give it a rest.They should either accept Mercy or go away before this starts to be boring instead of just annoying.

Besides said pack members in this story Mercy has to deal with Adam's ex-wife who is on the run from a monster. I didn't much like Christy. She is manipulative and self centered. But I never really felt Mercy was threatened by her because Adam did a good job of not allowing her to play him like she did some of the others. I wouldn't have minded to see live elsewhere though.

The monster Christy is running away from is based on an interesting mythology and I really liked that. I also liked the new character - Gary - and was a bit disappointed in Coyote. He and Christy would have made a good match.

I was sorry not to see Bran though...

Grade: 4/5


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