Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Review: To the Ends of the Earth by Skye Warren

Title: To the Ends of the Earth
Author: Skye Warren
Series: Stripped #5
Publication: November 14th 2016

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

A story about the lengths we go for love...

"What happens when a girl from a cult catches the eye of a strong, dangerous fighter? I loved this passionate story of a woman on the run and a man who is totally freaking obsessed with her." – Annika Martin, New York Times bestselling author

Another rundown apartment. Another job that pays cash. Every new city it becomes harder to hide but I can't stop running.

There are two men after me...
One wants to save my soul. The other wants to claim my body.

Part of me wants Luca to catch me, even knowing what he's capable of. An enforcer. A fighter. The only language he speaks is violence.

How far will he go to find me?
What will he do once he does?

A wild glance over my shoulder. The shadows are moving.
I'm about to find out.

TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH can be read as a standalone! It includes characters introduced in the Stripped series, so if you strongly prefer to read from the beginning, you can one-click Tough Love for free!

I don't know how it's even possible but for some reason I didn't know there was a fifth book in the Stripped series so I didn't get around to buying and reading it until recently. This is my favorite series by Skye Warren and this book confirms it yet again. 

I really enjoyed To the Ends of the Earth. It was a very quick read and it had just the right tempo for me. It wasn't rushed like some shorter books tend to be and the romance was so amazing. And gosh, how I loved Beth and Luca. They're my second favorite couple from the series (the first being Ivan and Candy).

This is the story of Beth formerly known as Sarah Elizabeth who grew up living in a cult. Now she's on the run with her one-year-old daughter from two men. One wants to save her soul, the other wants to claim her body, like the synopsis says. 

The scenes between Beth and Luca we're pretty heavy with chemistry but nothing actually happened until 70% of the book. I guess there could've been a little more sexy scenes but considering what happened to Beth in the cult I thought it was all written pretty well. Luca definitely didn't want to rush into things with Beth, no matter how much he wanted her and I liked him for that. And I loved how sweet Luca was with Beth's daughter. There definitely was the 'awww' factor with them.

Overall, To the Ends of the Earth by Skye Warren was a sweet and sexy story. It can be read as a standalone but as always I would recommend you to start from the beginning, starting with Tough Love. 

Author bio:
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

My other reviews in the Stripped series:
#0.5: Tough Love — 3/5
#1: Love the Way You Lie — 4/5
#2: Better When It Hurts — 3/5
#2.5: Even Better — 3.5/5
#3: Pretty When You Cry — 5/5
#3.5: Caught For Christmas — 4/5
#4: Hold You Against Me — 4/5

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Stacking The Shelves: January 13, 2018

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

This is my first book haul of 2018! :D

The three physical books you see below are purchased with a gift card I received for Christmas. And of course I couldn't resist buying the booklover mug. I love it so much!

Booklover Mug 
The Madness of Cambyses by Herodotus (Little Black Classics) — 3/5
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry

Hidden Blade by Pippa DaCosta
A Harmless Little Game by Meli Raine

Cursed City by William Massa

Gifted To Me:
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty — 

For Review:
The Phantom's Apprentice by Heather Webb
Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

For Review:
The Taster
by V.S. Alexander
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Have a great weekend and happy reading, everyone! ♥

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review: Caligula: A Life From Beginning to End by Hourly History

Title: Caligula: A Life From Beginning to End
Author: Hourly History
Publication: September 12th 2017

Genre: Nonfiction, History
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 3/5

* * *Download for FREE on Kindle Unlimited + Free BONUS Inside!* * *

Read On Your Computer, MAC, Smartphone, Kindle Reader, iPad, or Tablet.

Caligula was one of the first rulers of the Roman Empire, and yet numbers among the most famous. His family history is mired in political scandals, tragedy, and murderous plots to forward the agendas of shadowy cabals that sought to oppose the nation in its early infancy. The full story of his life begins long before his birth, and his legacy continues long after his sensational murder at the hands of those closest to him.

Inside you will read about...

✓ The Rise of the Roman Empire
✓ The Julio-Claudian Dynasty
✓ Caligula’s Rise to Power
✓ An Emperor Driven Mad
✓ An Emperor Becomes a God
✓ The Assassination of the Emperor
And much more!

A true product of his time, Caligula’s rich and colorful story is sure to draw you in until the very end.

"The history of Ancient Rome is as rich in intricacies and plot twists as any modern-day soap opera."

Caligula is probably the one ruler of the Roman Empire that fascinates me the most. A lot of mystery and intrigue surround him and his short reign of three years and ten months so I didn't hesitate to start this book once I received it.

I do have to admit that I was a tad disappointed that the first few chapters weren't actually about Caligula's life. It was mostly about some of the rulers who came before him, especially Tiberius. In my opinion, it wasn't actually until chapter six (out of the 9 + the conclusion) that it was really about Caligula. I do understand that we had to have a little backstory about the men that came before him but still, I would've rather read more about Caligula himself. 

Aside from all of that I did like this book as I do all of Hourly History's book. I don't think I could ever get tired to read about ancient Rome because I always learn something new. It wasn't any different with this time around so that in itself was a positive point for me. The Julio-Claudian dynasty was definitely very fascinating, it can't be denied.

Overall, despite wanting just a little bit more about Caligula himself, I definitely liked Caligula: A Life From Beginning to End. As always these books are quick reads and can easily be read in one sitting, which is what I did with this one. 

Check out my other Hourly History reviews:

More Hourly History reviews to come soon!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Taster by V.S. Alexander

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.

The Taster by V.S. Alexander
Expected publication: January 30th 2018 by Kensington

Amid the turbulence of World War II, a young German woman finds a precarious haven closer to the source of danger than she ever imagined—one that will propel her through the extremes of privilege and terror under Hitler’s dictatorship . . .

In early 1943, Magda Ritter’s parents send her to relatives in Bavaria, hoping to keep her safe from the Allied bombs strafing Berlin. Young German women are expected to do their duty—working for the Reich or marrying to produce strong, healthy children. After an interview with the civil service, Magda is assigned to the Berghof, Hitler’s mountain retreat. Only after weeks of training does she learn her assignment: she will be one of several young women tasting the Führer’s food, offering herself in sacrifice to keep him from being poisoned.

Perched high in the Bavarian Alps, the Berghof seems worlds away from the realities of battle. Though terrified at first, Magda gradually becomes used to her dangerous occupation—though she knows better than to voice her misgivings about the war. But her love for a conspirator within the SS, and her growing awareness of the Reich’s atrocities, draw Magda into a plot that will test her wits and loyalty in a quest for safety, freedom, and ultimately, vengeance.

Vividly written and ambitious in scope, The Taster examines the harrowing moral dilemmas of war in an emotional story filled with acts of extraordinary courage.

Praise for V.S. Alexander’s The Magdalen Girls

“Fans of Barbara Davis and Ashley Hay will enjoy this tenderhearted story of sinner, saints, and redemption.” --Booklist

“Alexander has clearly done his homework. Chilling in its realism, his work depicts the improprieties long abandoned by the Catholic Church and only recently acknowledged. Fans of the book and film Philomena will want to read this.” --Library Journal

Historical fiction is my favorite genre and I've always been a person that loves ancient history more than anything else but in the past year I've been drawn to books set in World War II and I especially like the sound of The Taster. I'm sure of will be one excellent read. I can't wait to get my hands on it and devour this novel. 

What do you think of this book? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Review: A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus

Title: A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus
Authors: David Blixt, Amalia Carosella, Libbie Hawker, Scott Oden, Vicky Alvear Shecter, russel Whitfield and Gary Corby (introduction)
Publication: October 17th 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Rating: 5/5

Odysseus as You’ve Never Seen Him Before

Odysseus, infamous trickster of Troy, vaunted hero of the Greeks, left behind a wake of chaos and despair during his decade long journey home to Ithaca. Lovers and enemies, witches and monsters--no one who tangled with Odysseus emerged unscathed. Some prayed for his return, others, for his destruction. These are their stories…

A beleaguered queen’s gambit for maintaining power unravels as a son plots vengeance.
A tormented siren battles a goddess’s curse and the forces of nature to survive.
An exiled sorceress defies a lustful captain and his greedy crew.
A blinded shepherd swears revenge on the pirate-king who mutilated him.
A beautiful empress binds a shipwrecked sailor to servitude, only to wonder who is serving whom.
A young suitor dreams of love while a returned king conceives a savage retribution.

The Odyssey Through the Eyes of its Shattered Victims
Six authors bring to life the epic tale of The Odyssey via the monsters, witches, lovers, and warriors whose lives were upended by the antics of the “man of many faces.” You may never look upon this timeless epic—and its iconic ancient hero—in quite the same way again. In the tradition of Madeline Miller’s Song of Achilles, and with the spirit of Lindsey Davis’ The Third Nero, and Kate Quinn’s Mistress of Rome, A Sea of Sorrow transports you to the endlessly fascinating world of Homeric Greece.

First of all I want to say that I'm a huge fan of these books. A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii, A Year of Ravens: A Novel of Boudica's Rebellion and A Song of War: A Novel of Troy. They were all really great and I simply adore them! Second, I want to say that usually I review each story individually but I'm not doing that this time around. I'm doing things a little differently with A Sea of Sorrow, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I think.The primary reason for this is that I didn't actually slow down enough to sit down and write decent reviews for each and every story. But this shows how much I enjoyed reading the book—whenever I finished one story I couldn't wait to dive into the next one. I just couldn't help myself. I was hooked!

Half of the authors of the book were unfamiliar to me, which is another thing I love about these books. I always get to know new authors that I want to read more books from. In this case David Blixt, Amalia Carosella and Scott Oden were new to me. Libbie Hawker, Vicky Alvear Shecter and Russell Whitfield I was already familiar with. I always really enjoy their writing. I was probably more excited to read the stories of the unfamiliar authors because I didn't know what to expect from them but they certainly didn't disappoint me.

I enjoyed each and every story but of course I had some favorites that left me feeling very impressed. These favorites were Hekate's Daughter by Libbie Hawker, The Siren's Song by Amalia Carosella and Calypso's Vow by David Blixt. They were all pretty tragic but also beautiful in a way, I thought. Especially the story of Calypso was brilliant to me. I loved it so much. But to be clear, I enjoyed each and every story. Not one was disappointing but these particular three left an impression with me. 

Overall, A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus was one amazing read. Like the synopsis says, "six authors bring to life the epic tale of The Odyssey seen through the eyes of its shattered victims..." which I think is such a unique and clever concept. I also love how the stories and authors don't fully focus on the mythology and supernatural but give it a realistic twist that made the stories all the more stunning.