My Random Thoughts

January Wrap up

So I’m going to split my monthly reads into two sections Reading challenge and Other reads.

Reading Challenge

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid KemmererI got off to a good start this month where I read four books in four days (husband wasn’t happy, but that’s the norm)

First read of the month was A Heart So Fierce and Broken¬†was an enjoyable read and one I had been putting off for some time. I’m glad I did read it when I did as I was able to go straight into the second book with only a couple of days wait. I still think Harper is a character that should be seen more in the fantasy worlds. I love how she doesn’t let her disability get in the way of living her life and I think more people should have her attitude.

Depravity by M.J. HaagMy next read was a suggestion made to me by a friend on Facebook after I told her about what I had just read and that book (or more specifically series) was Depravity Beastly Tales #1. At times I felt this was more Cinderella that Beauty and the Beast when I consider Benella’s sisters. What awful people they were. I’m glad my sisters and I aren’t like that, even when we fight like cats and dogs. Not quite the Beauty and The Beast story I was expecting with the likes of the Baker who doesn’t take money for his bread but takes it in other means which I would never do.

Tanner and Splane are little shits and their parents need to sort something out about them as they don’t respect women. Bryn also doesn’t respect herself but like I said before I don’t care for her or Benella’s other sister who annoyed me that much I have failed to remember her name.

The Beast is a mystery throughout this book because he seems to take a shine to Benella when everyone else seems to get punished. At first, I wondered whether it was because he felt sorry for her but when he accepted her terms of staying I soon changed my mind.

Deceit by M.J. HaagIn the Beastly Tales #2 a.k.a Deceit we’re with Benella and the Beast at his humongous home with the library I was envious of. I love how Benella tried to free The Beast of the curse by slowly walking him through things and getting information from her father’s workplace. Not many women would ever do what she has done. I know I wouldn’t of but I wouldn’t have thought about going to a brothel to get information on well their specialist subject. I got annoyed that Bryn found a husband and tricked him into marriage but they were a subplot an the main story quickly resumed with a pissed off and jealous Beast.

Not going to like then ending pissed me off. How dare Tanner and the Baker do that to Benella and people to stand there and watch. It’s disgusting and I know it happens in real life more than I care to think about.

Devastation by M.J. HaagAnyway onto the Beastly Tales #3 called Devastation where Benella is back with her father and had been branded a whore by people who are far more better whores that she is. Her father leaves his home and his teaching position to take up residence and employment with The Beast and Benella has to come along for the ride. I like the twists and turns in this with the enchantress being three or four different people and setting tasks that seem impossible for The Beast to compete by a certain time. Benella, as expected, takes it in her stride and shows just how intelligent she is while fighting an internal battle.

All in all, considering this was a Fairy-tale rewrite and a fantasy there were a few elements from the real world. The writing was great and the characters were so full of emotion that you don’t get with some. A series worth reading.

Of Beast and Beauty by Chanda HahnI have a review draft saved for Of Beast and Beauty. It’s one of those books where you enjoy it that much you can’t quite put what it was you enjoyed about it into words.

I enjoyed the magic involved it putting this together and the character development. The villain in this was fairly predictable for me but there was a twist that I wasn’t expecting. I loved that the characters danced around each other and their feelings.

The almost ending was really good and I loved that it brought it to a full circle and could be read as a stand-alone and as part of The Daughters of Eville series. I am looking forward to the rest of them.

Beauty and the Beast by Nikki DeanI started this series because after I read these Beauty and The Beast retellings Kindle Unlimited thought that I would be interested in these.

Beauty and the Beast by Nikki Dean

These four books form the start of the Frisky Fairy Tales where we make our way through retellings of Beauty and The Beast (of course), Little Red Riding Hood, and The Little Mermaid.

Considering these are called Frisky Fairy Tales book one is rather tame and is all about Beast (this is the actual name he goes by) and his fantasies involving the prisoner who he allows to go home every so often so she can tend to her poorly father who she traded her place with as his prisoner.

Beauty and the Beast by Nikki DeanI am going to write these books altogether as they almost blur into one. Unfortunately, with this series, it was sometimes difficult not to get the characters mixed up with the Disney film. The Gaston of this series name wasn’t dissimilar so it was hard not to picture the one from the 1991 film.

Beauty and the Beast by Nikki DeanI liked that although she was a prisoner, the magic mirror was a way to get messages from the castle to where ever she was. Whether it was a message to her father or a conversation with Beast while she was away from the castle.

The one thing that was a little off-putting for me was the fact that when it came to finding out Beasts true name it was all well and good that he shared a name with my Celebrity crush. The downside is he decided to shorten it and go by the name Ian. Might just be me but Ian is a middle-aged man and if you were going to shorten the name Sebastian then usually people go for Seb.

So 9 beauty and the beast retellings don’t seem like a bad start to the challenge I set myself and I’ve just found out about another one that will be released later on this year.

Other reads

Blood Oath by Raye WagnerBlood Oath was a Kindle Unlimited suggestion based on my previous reads, it’s likely because of the author.

Wasn’t the best read to start the year but I felt like I needed to pursue with it because I know the author has done really good work previously and I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. As I have already mentioned in my review of Blood Oath I was still confused more than halfway through as to what was going on. I am all for dark broody Dragon Shifters but something was missing from this and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Shadow Wings by Raye Wagner

I decided to carry on with the series as sequels have been known on occasion to be better than the predecessors. This was the case with this. You can read my review of Shadow Wings here. What was missing in the first book was apparent in this and the character development was so much better. What I don’t get is why do so many men seem to fall for the awkward girl? I was the awkward girl and that was a deterrent and men/boys couldn’t get away from me fast enough.¬† However, although it was better than Blood Oath I couldn’t bring myself to finishing the series or as my friend put it why chop off your finger when you can chop off your whole arm?

Tales & Time by G. Bailey

Tales & Time is probably one I should have read later on in the year as it is was a story based around Sleeping Beauty. In my defence, the synopsis said she was a descendant of a fairy-tale and didn’t specify which one exactly.

Tales & Darkness by G. BaileyIs it just me or does there seem to be an abundance of stories set in academies at the moment on Kindle Unlimited? Every other book is in a boarding school of some sort whether fairytale, supernaturals, firstborns, magic, or royalty.

I’m going off-topic, each of the characters mentioned in this series has a fairy tale ancestor. As I have mentioned Madilynns is Sleeping Beauty and there was also Tinkerbell Little Mermaid and Rumplestilskin mentioned too.¬† Luckily in this one, I wasn’t reminded of Mr Gold from Once Upon A Time.

Tales & Dreams by G. Bailey

So this series is a reverse harem which again is beginning to crop up some more. Madilynn has two sets of twins, her ex-boyfriend to a certain point and also a Prince of Darkness. Doesn’t go much into doing the deed but each lad has their moment with her.

It wasn’t that long ago since I read this but it’s hard to sum this series up without a shed load of spoilers but it is only them I am remembering now and I will now do wrap-ups when I go along so I am not struggling to say anything at the end of the months. Whoops

Rocks and Flowers in a Box by Cynthia Hilston

Rocks and Flowers in a box was a lovely story set in World Ward Two in America. This was the second book in the series but I didn’t read the first one. You don’t have to read the first one as it flows well and you can get the gist of what has happened easily.

The first chapter brought it home for me as one of the main characters had a heart attack and the way the author wrote it reminded me of when my dad had one and it was very true to life. You can read my review about Rocks and Flowers in a box here.

The Faerie Games by Michelle MadowThe Faerie Games was one of those books where I decided to read it because the covers stood out against the crowd. The covers are beautiful and I love the colours used. Anyway, Selena has never stepped foot off her Island due to strict parents but there’s always one who wants to break the rules and she does so with the help of her best friend Torrence.

The Faerie Pawn by Michelle Madow

Once she is off the Island she gets kidnapped by a man with remarkable eyes and then entered into a competition where there are only two options. Kill or be killed. It’s like the Hunger Games meets the Olympics with the Roman Gods and their powers thrown in for good measure.

What I liked was the fact that Jupiter has never chosen a champion before so Selena was a Wildcard in more ways than one. She’s not only half-blood Fae like the other champions but she is a half-blood witch with no power other than that of Jupiter (really need to stop trying to put Zeus).

The Faerie Mates by Michelle Madow

I also liked the idea of the soulmate mark. I have read Fan-Fics and such on Tumblr with this idea but never really seen them be published before so if anyone knows of this soulmate mark type thing please pass it on.

What I am fairly gutted with when it comes to this series is that I thought it would be these three books and that was it. However, I have now come to realise that this is not the case and at the end, we find out there is another part to all of this which hasn’t been released yet.

I am an impatient person when I have read the majority of a series and it’s not ended where I thought it would.

The first two book reviews are here The Faerie Games and The Faerie Pawn.

Asperfell by Jamie ThomasAsperfell isn’t due to be released until February the 18th. I like the idea of a magic prison where the main character was put there and wasn’t aware she had any magical abilities.

Briony reminded me of my sister in some respects, it doesn’t matter what she wore she would be absolutely filthy within 5 minutes. There was a lot of back story to this but it made sense once you got past a certain part of the book and I hope Briony and Prince Elyan manage to make there way back to where they’re needed but I have a feeling it might be a long wait for me for book two. Review to come soon watch this space.

19 Books out of 100 in my Goodreads challenge for 2020. I surprised myself by just how many I was able to get through. Let’s see what February brings as the pressure is now on at work so I hope next months count is still in double figures.

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