Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Review: The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson

The King's Damsel
By Kate Emerson
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Summary: In the fifth novel in Kate Emerson's highly acclaimed Secrets of the Tudor Court series, a young gentlewoman catches King Henry the Eighth's roving eye.In 1533 and again in 1534, Henry the Eighth reportedly kept a mistress while he was married to Anne Boleyn. Now, that mistress comes to vivid life in Kate Emerson's The King's Damsel.

A real-life letter from Spanish Ambassador Eustace Chapuys, written on September 27, 1534, reported that the king had "renewed and increased the love he formerly bore to another very handsome young lady of the Court" and that the queen had tried "to dismiss the damsel from her service." Other letters from Eustace reveal that the mystery woman was a "true friend" of the Princess (later Queen) Mary, Henry's daughter by Catherine of Aragon. Though no one knows who "the king's damsel" really was, here Kate Emerson presents her as young gentlewoman Thomasine Lodge, a lady-in-waiting to King Henry's daughter, Princess Mary. Thomasine becomes the Princess's confidante, especially as Henry's marriage to Catherine dissolves and tensions run high. When the king procures a divorce in order to marry Anne Boleyn, who is suspicious and distrustful of Mary, Mary has Thomasine placed in Anne's service to be her eyes and ears. And that's when she gets the attention of the king... 

Rich in historical detail and featuring a wealth of bonus material, The King's Damsel is sure to keep readers coming back for more in the exciting series!

Review: I absolutely love anything during the Tudor era, especially the juicy Showtime show The Tudors. So when I heard that this book was about a young girl who finds herself immersed in the Tudor world as Princess Mary Tudor's maid of honor, I knew I was going to enjoy it. 

The book starts out when Tamsin is 13 years old and, after her father dies, is forced by her new guardian, an extremely gross man, to leave her home and everything she loves to serve as Princess Mary's maid of honor. At first Tamsin is not sure how she will fair, but once she shares her storytelling ability with the young princess, Tamsin earns a special place in the Princess's eyes. Tamsin quickly finds a home serving young Mary, but we must not forget this is the time of Henry Tudor's reign, a time of scandal, shock, and secrets. At the age of 19, Tamsin soon finds herself serving none other than Anne Boleyn after many years of loyalty to Mary and her mother, Catherine. Surrounded by scandal and the undivided attention from the king himself, Tamsin is left to decide where her loyalties really lie and what she really wants out of her life. 

So much goes on in this book and I just couldn't get enough of it! There were many overlaps between the events of this book and the first season of The Tudors, and I loved seeing everything from a maid's point of view, especially when Henry came into the picture. The caring, handsome silk worker Rafe is also an element to love about this story. Rafe appears sporadically throughout Tamsin's time as a maid and each moment is as unforgettable as the last. But the whole business of marriage, money, and lands makes it difficult for Tamsin to make any real decisions. Such is life during that era I guess! 

As you can see, I just can't stop talking about this book! I became so immersed in the time period and life of Tamsin that I read the entire last half in one night. If you love historical romances, then this one is definitely the book for you! Not only do you get romance, but you get the entire context and magic of the time period as well. There is nothing more I could have asked for from a historical novel. I'm definitely checking out the author's other books in this series. And you all should too! Seriously, you're missing out on a phenomenal historical romance series!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (63)

This is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where every Wednesday bloggers highlight a book that they are eagerly anticipating the release of!

This Is What Happy Looks Like
By Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Summary: In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith's new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O'Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle," the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don't even know each other's first names.

Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don't tell each other everything; Graham doesn't know the major secret hidden in Ellie's family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.

When the location for the shoot of Graham's new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie's mom want her to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

Just as they did in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, the hands of fate intervene in wondrous ways in this YA novel that delivers on high concept romance in lush and thoughtful prose.

Oh. My. Goodness. A book like "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless In Seattle"? Give it to me now!!!!!!!! Not only did I love The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, but this book sounds absolutely amazing on its own. I love the whole idea of the online relationship that starts from an accidental email about a pig (what's the story behind the pig??). And Graham is my absolute favorite name ever (it's my bears name), so I know I'm going to really love the male lead of this book. Mmmm and he's a famous teen actor? And she has a major family secret? Seriously, someone give me this book now! I'm so sad it doesn't come out until April. APRIL! Boo :( I'm just going to have to dream about how amazing this book will be until I can get my hands on a copy....

Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekly Roundup [10/23-10/29]

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I had a blast spending time with my family and going to my cousin's wedding...I couldn't have asked for a better weekend! And it was a pretty successful weekend on Peace Love Books too! Here's what went on in the past week :)

All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin


Blogspiration (17)

This is a meme I found hosted by Growing Up YA and Saz101. Bloggers post something that inspires them every week and shares it with their followers! I love this idea, so I decided to try it out! Every Monday I'll share a picture/quote/video of something (most likely book related) that's inspired me this week :) 

I have no idea if this is true or not, but if it is, then that is absolutely fantastic. Harry Potter is so magical and I wouldn't be surprised if someone new picks up the book every 30 seconds. Harry Potter is responsible for spreading the love of reading and I don't think it'll ever end. I know I'm part of the Harry Potter Generation, but kids today are still picking up the books and reading them when they're 8 or 10 and it makes me so happy. I hope the magic of Harry Potter never dies and when the kids of this generation become parents, I hope that they read it to their kids and teach them to love such a fantastic world :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sundays In Bed With...

This is a new meme I picked up from Midnight Book Girl after seeing the meme picture and thinking it was absolutely adorable! I always read in bed at night, so I thought it'd be fun to share what books I'm going to be spending my Sunday nights in bed with!

I just finished reading the Volume 1 on Frankenstein (there are three) and it was pretty good! I'm really excited to see where this book goes because I don't know the details of the story. It should be interesting! And The King's Damsel is SUCH a good read, I just haven't had that much time to get through it. Hopefully I can spend some quality time snuggled up with this one tonight :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (25)

Stacking the Shelves is a new meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers share what they got throughout the week!

For Review

I am absolutely ecstatic for these books I got! Miranda Kenneally is one of my favorite authors, so I know I'm cracking into this one right away. And the other two look great too! I'm so excited to read these so I can share with you all how awesome they are! Make sure to check back for the reviews in the next couple of weeks :) 

From Giveaway

I was so excited when I won this book! The email didn't come with a link to a blog, so I'm not exactly sure which blog I won this from, but thank you! Entwined has been on my to-read list for forever, but now I actually have it, so nothing is standing between me and finally reading it! So hopefully I can get to this one soon! 

And that's it for me! A pretty great week if I do say so myself! What about you guys? What did you add to your shelves? I'd love to hear, so don't hesitate to share :)

Follow My Book Blog Friday (60)

This is a meme hosted every Friday by Parajunkee, where book bloggers answer a question each week and check out how others answered it. It's a cool way for bloggers and viewers to connect and learn more about each other!

Question: What writing device or trick most irritates you when reading a book? For example, if an author employs an omnipotent narrator that is sometimes considered bad form. 

Answer: Let me think...I'd say that the thing authors do that bugs me the most is when they don't develop a romance enough and it's like **BAM** they're in love! What about the chase? Isn't that what makes a good romance?? I'm reading this book to come along for the ride...the chase and journey is what makes the story interesting...

NOT a two second meet and greet that results in the most intense romance ever. That's not a story. And it gets annoying how super in love they are when they don't even know each other! When they meet each other and the very next chapter they're in love, I'm just like...

Because that's absolutely ridiculous and I just end up getting annoyed with the characters instead of completely immersed in their story. So if the book has extreme insta-love, I will not enjoy reading it. If the romance progresses (even if it's a bit obvious and cliche), I'll be a happy girl :) 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book Review: All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin

All You Never Wanted
By Adele Griffin
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Source: Publisher
Summary: With my eyes closed and Alex's core friends all around me, it was like I'd become my big sister, or something just as good. And so who cared if they were calling it Alex's party? One thing I knew: it would be remembered as mine.

Alex has it all—brains, beauty, popularity, and a dangerously hot boyfriend. Her little sister Thea wants it all, and she's stepped up her game to get it. Even if it means spinning the truth to win the attention she deserves. Even if it means uncovering a shocking secret her older sister never wanted to share. Even if it means crying wolf.

Told in the alternating voices of Alex and Thea, Adele Griffin's mesmerizing new novel is the story of a sibling rivalry on speed.

Review: Hmmmm I'm not really sure what to think of this book right now. It's definitely not like anything else I've read! Maybe it was too serious for my mood right now, but All You Never Wanted deals with some pretty serious stuff and the characters are really, well, strange? Confusing? Maybe raw is a better word. Needless to say, this book was a unique take on high school life. 

Thea used to be a bookworm, but now she's taken it upon herself to join the A-crowd, a crowd her older sister Alex has but could care less about. It seems that everything Alex has she doesn't really care about having, yet Thea would do anything to live that life. So when the girls' mom and rich new step father go away for the weekend, Thea plans a party that she hopes will clinch her popularity. With the help of Alex's boyfriend Joshua (another thing of Alex's that Thea wants so badly), they plan the party while Alex deals with her own issues. 

This may sound like your typical high school drama book, but there are really strange elements to the girls' stories. Alex has some serious issues where she freaks out at any moment. I'm not quite sure if she's anorexic or not, but trying to figure her out just takes too much thinking. And Thea's character tends to get quite annoying after a while. She is so obsessed with being friends with her sister's friends that I just want to shake her and tell her to give it up! That life isn't so glamorous, but maybe that's what makes her story so tragic. I don't know. There was just a lot of thinking about these characters and their raw emotions that you had to really pay attention to the story. 

Overall, this book was interesting, but a little too strange for my taste. For those of you who like that sort of gritty, serious YA book that gets you thinking, then this one is definitely for you. If you're more of a contemporary, cheesy romance lover like me, I'd skip this one for now.

Waiting On Wednesday (62)

This is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where every Wednesday bloggers highlight a book that they are eagerly anticipating the release of!

Star Crossed
By Jennifer Echols
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Summary: Wendy Mann loves her job rescuing celebrities from public relations scrapes. She grew up with nothing, and now she’s drawn to glitz, glamour, and a lighthearted lifestyle. She speaks her mind, so she’s just the tough cookie to tell stars the truth about how other people see them, even when they don’t want to hear it. But after six years at the top of her game, Wendy crosses the line. A star she was sent to save rebels against her and nearly gets her fired. To salvage her job, she must rehabilitate the career of a singing starlet with a penchant for posting inappropriate photos of herself and arguing online with her famous ex. Problem is, the ex is represented by Wendy’s arch nemesis from college, the hot and haughty Daniel Blackstone. And both stars are scheduled for a collision course on national television, broadcast live from Las Vegas.

Daniel’s uneasy when he hears Wendy Mann from his firm’s most hated competitor has been brought in to revive the career of his client’s ex-girlfriend. Daniel must win at any cost. And if he has to seduce Wendy to smooth the way to their partnership, he’s willing to sacrifice himself for the cause. But Daniel doesn’t count on the scorching heat between them—and when they get to Vegas, all bets are off.

Words cannot even begin to describe how excited I am for this book! Jennifer Echols is one of my absolute favorite authors, and now she's delving into the adult fiction genre! Yay!! Not that I don't love her YA books, I'm just super excited to see what she has up her sleeve for this book! This one sounds like a romance that I definitely won't be able to keep my mind off of! February definitely can't come soon enough :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekly Roundup [10/16-10/22]

Hello everyone! Another week has come and gone, and boy has it been a busy week! I had an amazing Quidditch Tournament that my team hosted this weekend, so I have barely had time to do anything but plan the tournament and play some Quidditch! So I didn't have time to post any new reviews this week :( I know, but I promise this week should be better! I promise! Anyways, here's everything I did manage to get done this week :) 



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blogspiration (16)

This is a meme I found hosted by Growing Up YA and Saz101. Bloggers post something that inspires them every week and shares it with their followers! I love this idea, so I decided to try it out! Every Monday I'll share a picture/quote/video of something (most likely book related) that's inspired me this week :) 

Haha, this literally describes my life. Seriously. Why can't the guys in books be real??? Each and every one of them are so perfect that I just want them all for myself :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (24)

Stacking the Shelves is a new meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers share what they got throughout the week!

From the Library

So after my huge awesome book week last week, I didn't get any books this week! Boo :( But to make up for it, I went to the local library and got a bunch of movies! Yay! I really want to catch up on the classics that I haven't seen, so I made sure I got some of those. I just watched It Happened One Night and it was actually really good! I'm so excited now to check out the other movies when I get the chance! 

And that's it for me! No books, but definitely some good movies! What about you all? What did you add this week? I'd love to hear, so please share! 

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