REVIEW: The Leopard Stratagem by T.A. Uner

The Leopard Stratagem (Leopard King Saga, #2)

The Leopard Stratagem
(Leopard King Saga #2)
Author: T.A. Uner
Publisher: Createspace Indpendent Publishing Platform
Published: September 23, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
My Rating:

fourstars

Camus Scorpio, the vicious criminal overlord, who for years tormented the good merchants of Rome, is dead. His ruthless army of thugs and bloodthirsty killers wiped out by the avenging force of Tullus the Leopard King, the Leopardess Celestra, and their Troupe.

But the victory is a costly one. Anna, Tullus’ lover, is dead, and her departure serves as an open wound to all her friends in the Troupe. Needing time to collect himself and continue developing his magical abilities, Tullus decides to seek out the wisdom of a reclusive wizard named Hradack, also known as the Leopard Master and a product of the Age of Paladins.

In Rome Eliana becomes involved in political intrigue and finds herself caught up in a conspiracy involving a persecuted race called the Dryads.

Decimus, now a prominent Centurion in the Praetorian Guard, is assigned to a new Roman Legion in Switzerland, where he faces the biggest challenge of his military career.

As Tullus’ power in Elemence grows, he foresees a hideous plot by an unknown enemy called Serpentus, who has kidnapped his Troupe friends and is holding them hostage on the island of Capri.

Unbeknownst to Tullus, Serpentus seeks revenge against the Leopard King and Celestra, and has armed himself with arcane powers. Under the tutelage of a fanatical cleric, Serpentus harbors plans of destroying the Leopard King and Celestra before embarking on a destructive path of conquest.

MY THOUGHTS…

“Life isn’t always about answers. Sometimes the questions themselves can Enlighten  us.”

I was given an Advance Reading Copy of this book free from the author, T.A. Uner in exchange for an honest review.

This sequel is another masterpiece from the talented author T.A. Uner. I truly found myself compelled and drawn with this book– The Leopard Stratagem, the second installment of the Leopard King Saga. What happened during the first book (The Leopard Vanguard) was intense but I found out that this book is way better when it comes to the plotline and action scenes.

In this book, Tullus’ character improves a lot. He becomes stronger and much more determined to learn about the many things he can possibly do with his magic. Through the guidance of Hradack, the master of the Elemence, he was able to make himself better along with Celestra.

This book is hands down cleverly thought-out. I love the pacing and the originality the author crafted. However, I had a single issue. Most of the male characters seem to lack  a bit of consistency and uniqueness. I think their personalities also weren’t clearly defined. Added the fact that majority of their names ended up with letter us and ius so yeah, sometimes my mind was messed with the names, too.

But overall, this book is amazing and it kept me interested the whole time. And ugh, the cliffhanger ending, man! But it’s okay. I’m used to that kind of ending. Lol. 😀

My Rating for this Book: 4 Stars

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REVIEW: The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding by Stacy Reid

The Duke's Shotgun Wedding

The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding
(Scandalous House of Calydon #1)
Author: Stacy Reid
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Published: April 14, 2014
Genre: Romance, Historical Romance
My Rating:

five-stars

Victorian Era England…
As far as rash decisions go, it was formidable. But Lady Jocelyn Rathbourne’s will remains strong. If the only way to save her family’s estate and reputation is by aiming a small pistol at the Duke of Calydon, then so be it. For Lady Jocelyn demands satisfaction – and she will have it at any cost. Even if it means demanding the hand of the intense and foreboding Duke himself… But she’s made the first move against a very dangerous opponent… For Sebastian Thornton is no stripling to be trifled with. The lady has played her hand. Now it’s his turn. For Sebastian is in need of a wife. And to find a wife with spirit and fire – even if she means to only marry for his money – would be a great prize indeed. And he intends to thoroughly take his pleasure with her… and demands his own satisfaction in return.

MY THOUGHTS…

“You came into my life and completely turned it upside down, when all I wanted was a biddable wife to give me an heir.”

I’ve read The Irresistible Miss Peppiwell by Stacy Reid and it really fascinated me in a heartbeat so I didn’t hesitate to grab The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding and have it a go. And again, Stacy Reid did not fail. I absolutely love this novella!

It’s fast-paced and really compelling. I love how the main characters interact especially how their connection became deeper every second. I thought Sebastian and Jocelyn’s love story is worth extending, I just wished Stacy made it a bit longer because I so want to read mooooore of them together! I think their romantic quest is too short-lived and it leaves me craving for more, more, and more.

However, I rated it 5 stars because the plot is absolutely perfect. I could not find any flaws in this book. It’s romantic, and not in a boring and cliche way. The characters also did not annoy me at all. And the ending is brilliant! *sigh*

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Friday’s Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female (#2) – July 18, 2014

Friday’s Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Kristin of Romance Bound. Anyone can participate! To play along:

  • Grab any of your favorite books.
  • Choose a female character whom you think is a feisty, fabulous, and fierce woman.
  • Describe the reason why you think she is feisty, fabulous, and fierce.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
    (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists.
    • Share a link to your own Friday’s Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female in the Comments and I’ll be checking it out!

    —————————————————————————–

    This week’s Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female is Lillian Bowman of It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers #2) by Lisa Kleypas

    It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2)

    Most of the historical romance female characters possess these qualities but Lilian Bowman, I guess, has it all. She’s not that beautiful according to the author but she has the fierceness that will make every royal man in London bow on her. In the book, Ms. Lisa described her as a woman with stubbornness. A daughter of a rich businessman in America, she was expected to behave in a womanly way. That means, she has to stay modest, shy, sweet, and with good manners to the ton. But what she did in the book were the opposite. Instead, she was seen doing horseback riding, playing boyish sports, and even joining men’s conversations at balls– which at first, didn’t please her love interest Marcus, Lord Westcliff. But don’t you know that being feisty, fabulous, and fierce in her own way eventually took the heart of Marcus? That’s the perfect thing about this heroine. 🙂

    Now share your thoughts and bring out your favorite favorite Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female character! 🙂

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REVIEW: Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire, #1)Queen of Someday

fourstars

ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES…

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

MY THOUGHTS…

I received an ARC of this book free from the author and netgalley in exchange for an honest review. First, I was really smitten by the book’s cover. Isn’t it so stunning?

I was even surprised to find out that the book does not only tell a typical, plain story but it outlines the life of the Russian leader Catherine the Great. Honestly my knowledge about history is so poor so I paused reading it for a while and review the background of Catherine the Great so as to have a better idea about the main character. Then I returned to reading and found it even more interesting.

I have to admit that the book is utterly brilliant. Ms. Sherry D. Ficklin has the wit to write down solid descriptions of the characters and put extra charm to them.

I love Sophia (Catherine the Great). This woman is true to her name. She’s great in every sense of a word. I admire her courage and intelligence. She’s a headstrong character who makes striking and great decisions and she has the inner power that will make women really proud. I also love her selflessness and the way she prioritizes her family rather than her own happiness. I just felt awed by the fact that she craves the feeling of being loved.

“Is it so wrong to dream of romance and tenderness? Of love?”

I also admire Alexander. I am so thankful for his existence in this book. He’s the character that’s too perfect to describe.

“There are many beautiful and wonderful things to see at court.”

“Like what?” I ask playfully.

He looks right into my eye and smiles. “Well, there’s you for one.”

“Are you flirting with me?”

Sergei. I can’t decide if he’s better than Alexander or the other way around. All I know is, he’s equally admirable.

“Be careful Princess. When waging a war of the heart, you must only fight if you are absolutely sure you can win.”

The plot is also impressive. I was honestly taken aback especially in the last remaining chapters. Goodness, that was such a twist!

As a whole, I didn’t regret reading this book. I enjoyed it and learned a lot about history, too so it’s like killing two birds with one stone. The greatest thing I also liked about this book is the profound messages of the story beyond what are written. It teaches you something about life and it simply gives you the encouragement to live and accept life’s challenges with bravery. One thing I also learned after reading it is to never trust anyone so easily.

And yes, the essence of love above all things. This book very well accentuates the true meaning of love.

No matter how many romantic poems you recite, no matter how many glorious tales of love you read, how can you really understand the condition if you’ve never found yourself in it?

My Rating for the Book: 4 Stars (For those who love historical fiction with a touch of drama, romance, and intrigue, this story will not disappoint you.) 🙂

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REVIEW: Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3)

almost

five-stars

In this classic novel of two willful lovers caught in a breathless adventure of deception and betrayal, #1 New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught has created a powerful and unforgettable masterpiece.

ELIZABETH CAMERON

The Countess of Havenhurst possessed a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But her reputation is shattered when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thornton, a notorious gambler and social outcast.

IAN THORNTON

A dangerously handsome man of secret wealth and mysterious lineage, his voyage to Elizabeth’s heart is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and a venomous revenge.

Destined for each other, yet wary of each other’s motives, Elizabeth and Ian engage in a dance of suspicion and passion that tests the very soul of their star-crossed love. As a twisting path of secrets takes them from London’s drawing rooms to the mysterious Scottish Highlands, Elizabeth must learn the truth: is Ian merely a ruthless fortune hunter at heart?

MY THOUGHTS…

Okay, I know it’s a bit late to write a review for this book, but since this is one of my favorite books up to date, I thought I’d share how I felt about this wonderful tale and how it made me think about a perfect, true love.

For me, this book is McNaught’s ultimate masterpiece next to Whitney, My Love. I’m glad it’s the first historical romance book that I’ve read since I found it really unforgettable. This book has everything. It has an A-factor storyline. It’s classy. It’s bewitching and truly a book that historical romance lovers can’t dare to put down.

“Look, Elizabeth, isn’t he divine in a sort of mysterious, wicked way?”

The characters here are remarkable. Ian Thornton, the unacknowledged son of a Duke, met Lady Elizabeth Cameron few years ago at a London ball. Their first meeting was a whirlwind romance. Unfortunately, it didn’t end well but instead, their ‘affair’ turned into a memory both of them didn’t want to remember at all. After few years, fate led them back together but this time, Elizabeth needed him for marriage. And so their romantic past was eventually rekindled in some sort of wicked way.

I know it’s a typical romance plot, but how can I ever explain how wonderful their dialogues were? The witty banter, the undeniable chemistry both characters exude, and the romantic twist Judith is famous for. And of course, the way McNaught makes you feel as though she’s taking you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. All of these are what everyone will expect from this book.

The Book Is…

Pros

Extremely romantic. A fascinating and compelling read, with beautiful settings that are well-defined.

Con

It has events that will make you feel anxious and heart-broken at the same time.

What I Think about the Characters

Elizabeth Cameron

I love this character. She possesses a rare gentleness which Ian fell in love with. I also love how McNaught defined her physical features. I can imagine that she’s really beautiful inside and out.

Ian Thornton

He appears to be a dangerously handsome man. I also admire how he became wealthy not because he is the son of a Duke but because he attained it on his own. He’s also a guy every woman dreams of.

My Rating for this book: 5 Stars (It’s worth re-reading!)

Favorite Quote from this Book

“Why did happy memories fade and blur until one could scarcely recall them at all, while horrible memories seemed to retain their blinding clarity and painful sharpness?”

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