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Who’s the Winner in “The Hating Game”

27213238The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
William Morrow: August 9, 2016
Genre: Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

Outstanding Adventure!
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The Hating Game is an absolutely delightful contemporary romance, which is an unusual pick for me, but one I do not regret since it is one of the best contemporary romance novels that I’ve read in a long time. If you’re in the mood for something light yet smart and sassy, The Hatting Game is a must read.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman work together. Both are assistants to two CEOs of a publishing house that has merged and it was not an amicable amalgamation. For Lucy and Josh it was pretty much hate at first sight. Lucy tried to befriend Josh and when that didn’t work, the hating game was born. When you sit across from your mortal enemy each and every day it’s quite natural to turn your mutual animosity into a childish game. However, things start to change when both Lucy and Josh are considered for a new position within the company. The best person might win, but it just might be at the expense of a newfound romance.
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Crime Fighting Viscount Leaves London in “When Falcons Fall”

25258226When Falcons Fall by C.S. Harris
NAL: March 1, 2016
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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C.S. Harris’ eleventh installment in her Sebastian St. Cyr series takes the dashing viscount out of London and into the countryside when Sebastian and his wife investigate Sebastian’s mysterious parentage. However, Sebastian’s personal quest is stalled when, during their stay at Ayleswick-on-Teme, none other than Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew discovers a young woman’s body. The young squire charged with seeking justice is quick to ask for Sebastian’s support and it soon become apparent that this is no suicide. Now, Sebastian and Hero are caught up in a local investigation with too many suspects and a disturbing personal connection. (more…)

Adventuring Year in Review: 2015

As 2015 wraps up, its time for the Adventurers to reflect on what we loved most this year. This is always a tough post to write because how do you pick your favourites? We can only presume this is like picking your favourite child: sacrilegious! Yet, we push forward since, heck, it’s fun to revisit the ones we enjoyed the most.

Jaclyn’s Favourite Adventures

11890816This year’s been a bit unusual for me. I switched jobs and ended up commuting over an hour each way to work every day. Every. Single. Day. Obviously this dramatically changed my reading habits. I wasn’t able to read as much and I discovered a love for the audiobook (a format that I never thought I would actually embrace). And despite my newfound love for audiobooks, it turns out it’s a format that I found extremely hard to review; it’s hard to refer back to the book when you don’t have it physically in front of you. That being said, Lyndsay Faye’s The Gods of Gotham is my favourite audiobook that I’ve listened to this year. Followed very closely by Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. Both have outstanding narrators, which I have learned is rather important when you’re listening to someone for over an hour. (more…)

Top 5 Friday: Lady Detectives

The mystery genre is a favourite of mine. There’s something about the mystery formula that just works for me. The bad guy is always caught and the hero or heroine always get their man. The particular feature that is my catnip is the concept of the lady detective. Whether it’s a historical or contemporary setting, I always enjoy a story that features a woman detective. She doesn’t have to be a super sleuth but she does have to solve crimes. Happily there are many books out there that feature this type of character. My list for today is my current favourite lady detectives that I’ve read so far.

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Utterly Fantastic: “The Gilded Hour”

24611868The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati
Berkley: September 1, 2015 (Historical Fiction)*

Outstanding Adventure
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The Gilded Hour is latest (and launch of a new series) by historical fiction writer Sara Donati. Having loved her Wilderness series, I jumped at the chance to read her latest that features the ancestors of the fictional Bonner family introduced in Donati’s Wilderness. It is one of my most anticipated reads of the fall. Here, the setting in 1883 New York and focuses on two cousins, Drs. Anna Savard and Sophie Savard. Both these young doctors face trials, both personally and professionally, and through them readers are taken on a tour of historic New York. And, it’s one of those books that you finish and can’t quite let go – which makes writing a coherent review that praises the awesomeness that is this book quite difficult! (more…)

Reading ‘The Rose Garden’ in Devonshire, England

the rose gardenThe Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley
Allison and Busby: 2011 (Fantasy / Time Travel / Historical Fiction)

Outstanding adventure!
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There isn’t much I like more than reading books set in the places I travel to. Sometimes, reading these books before I travel will make the trip seem more exciting; sometimes, reading them while I’m there allows me to emotionally and intellectually immerse myself more fully in (or even provide distance from) the experience of travel and adventure.

That will come as no surprise to our followers, since our whole blog is about the places you can go with books. No surprise that we love traveling almost as much as we love reading.

As soon as I learned that Devon and Cornwall are neighbors, I knew that a re-read of Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden was a must. It is perhaps my favorite Kearsley novel, and it’s set in Cornwall. OK, so I wasn’t actually in Cornwall. But Devon is as close as you can get, I believe –  and there are several cultural and geographic commonalities between the Cornwall I was reading about and the Devon I was adventuring in.A re-read is often more comforting than a new read, and comfort is no bad thing on a solo trip to a foreign country. Also, I couldn’t think of another book that wasn’t Hound of the Baskervilles that was set in Devon. Or, maybe I didn’t try very hard, having decided on The Rose Garden.

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Signal to Noise: Best of 2015

signaltonoiseSignal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Solaris: February 10th, 2015 (Fantasy / Coming of Age / Fiction)

Outstanding Adventure! vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

This story about three teenagers growing up in 1980s Mexico city drew me in so slowly and seductively that I hardly realized it was happening, until I felt compelled to turn page after page. The real world faded away as the vivid colors of Meche’s, Sebastian’s, and Daniela’s Mexico City surrounded me.

Meche, the main narrator, is a fifteen-year old misfit who spends all her time with two other misfits at her school, Sebastian and Daniela. Meche, the ringleader, goads Sebastian and Daniela into practicing magic with her portable record player after she discovers she can make inexplicable things happen if she wants it hard enough while playing the right song.

The narration splits between all the main and close supporting characters, and between two time periods: their fifteenth year, in 1988, and twenty years later, when Meche returns for the first time to attend her father’s funeral and nine days of mourning. Sometimes, split narratives can be distracting, but they rounded out the characters and the story here. As the story progresses, we find out that something terrible happened between the trio of friends, and Meche is deeply opposed to seeing Daniela and Sebastian when she returns. Slowly, it is revealed what happened and why the friendships disintegrated. (more…)

This book is much more than “Only Enchanting”

21805544Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh (Survivors’ Club #4)
Signet: October 28, 2014 (Historical Romance)*

My rating: Outstanding Adventure (5/5)

Only Enchanting is the fourth installment in Mary Balogh’s amazing Survivor’s Club series. Each time I finish one of Balogh’s historical, I close the book thinking damn this woman can write. Balogh stands out in the historical romance genre in that she creates such fully realized characters that are often imperfect, and deeply emotional. What I like about Balogh’s romances is that I find them wholly realistic. The hero and heroine are capable of petty thoughts towards each other, and can be spiteful in their anger, but each time I read these scenes they never come off as a token nod to resistance to romance; rather, I can imagine anyone in a relationship thinking these things. Balogh’s romances tend to be subdued, but it’s the relationships that she creates that continually stand out in her novels. Only Enchanting is no exception.

Mrs. Agnes Keeting is a widow at twenty-six. She wasn’t in love with her husband, who died three years ago, but she misses that contentment. Since coming to live with her older sister, she has found happiness, but she is rocked back on her heels when she meets Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, when he visits his friend Viscount Darleigh. She has no idea what to do with these new found feelings that she’s never experienced before; she does not want to feel this out of control. But, Agnes is tempted to take a risk and is convinced by Flavian to marry him. (more…)

Courtney Milan does it again in ‘The Suffragette Scandal’

17343236The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister #4)
July 15, 2014 (Historical Romance)*

My rating: Outstanding adventure (5/5)

Another wonderful, thought-provoking historical romance from the awesome Courtney Milan; she really can do no wrong when it comes to romance. The Suffragette Scandal concludes the Brothers Sinster series, although this is one more novella forthcoming that features a character introduced in Suffragette Scandal. I’ll be sad to leave the series, but I can’t wait to see what this author dreams up next; I depend on her for great romances that make you think. Every time I pick up a Milan book I always expect the usual historical romance fare, and each and every time I am blown away with how out of the ordinary her tale unfolds, and her latest is no exception.

Frederica “Free” Marshall is a young woman of twenty-six and the owner and editor of the Women’s Free Press: By women – for women – about women. She certainly has challenges being an independent woman in 1877, but she doesn’t let that stop her from pushing away until she gets small freedoms for herself and other women in the world. However, as strong and independent as Free is, there are some who would go to any lengths to shut her down, especially since she turned down their “gracious” offer to become their mistress, and surprisingly Edward Clark was not that man, meaning Milan effectively turns the conventional and expected into something new and so much more meaningful. (more…)

The adventure so far…

Today marks the one year anniversary of The Book Adventurers, so we thought we’d take today to reflect on our adventures so far. It’s been an interesting experience jumping into the book blogging world, but it’s been a lot of fun for us both. Check out both of our highlights below…

Jaclyn

When Stacey asked me to run a book blog with her a year ago I jumped on the band wagon. It was an idea I had been toying with, but needed the extra motivation to actually get started. Blogging has had its ups and downs – sometimes you just want to read a book for fun rather than to review – but it’s been a great project that I’m looking forward to continuing. And I like to use the blog as a legitimate excuse to read, not that I really needed all that much motivation, when you tell people you’re reading for your blog, it’s like having another job. Instant legitimization.

Looking back over the year, it’s clear that I’ve read way too many books (but not really), so choosing the best adventures is very tricky. But there’s always going to be some that stand out. Here’s my top six books from my first year as a book blogger:

Wake  The Goblin Emperor Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War

Cruel Beauty The Unbound (The Archived, #2) Murder of Crows (The Others, #2)

And because that was so tricky, I also had to add my runner’s up…

The Devil’s Workshop by Alex Grecian
Dawn’s Early Light by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber
Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn
An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James

Stacey

There are so many things to love about book blogging – the creativity, learning to code (just a little), sharing opinions and connecting with other readers, and obviously, reading. My favorite part has been to make connections between books that feel similar. I hope you, fellow adventurers, have enjoyed our Read-Alikes, too! It’s hard to compare how I felt about different books at different times, but here goes – my top six adventures from my first year of reviewing:

The Best of All Possible Worlds The Shadowy Horses Jaran (Jaran #1) The Other Tree Dirty Magic (The Prospero's War #1) The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora

And because Jaclyn is right, here are a few Honorable Mentions:

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
Raven’s Shadow by Patricia Briggs
Girl Genius by Phil and Kaja Folgio
The Waking Engine
Bittersweet Magic by Nina Croft

Now that I know what Jaclyn’s favorites are, I’m going to have to go read them immediately…

And those are our highlights for year one of The Book Adventures. What have been your favourite books that we’ve reviewed? What would you like to see more of? Do you find the Read-Alikes useful?