Book Confessions #1: Covert Op

Book Confessions Logo

It’s here ladies and gents. Finally! I spent hours trying figure out what book confession I should fess up. I have a lot. At first, I wanted to start with one of my biggest secrets, then I thought maybe I should be tame. Don’t want to scare people away or be too boring, right?

So, after said hours I finally came up with something in the middle. Here it goes…

I’m pretty sure that many of you are familiar with Ally Carter, Best-selling Author of the Gallagher Girl series and now Embassy Row series. She also wrote Heist Society.

I started the Gallagher Girl series in Grade 11 (junior year) and boy did I latch onto this series like those tight jeggings. I first read the third installment in the series because someone had taken the first and second book out from the school’s library. And boy, the minute I met Cammie and the squad, the series became my world. Literally. I barely slept. I don’t really know what hooked me in first, romance (’cause I’m a sucker for book romance- Zack and Cammie, Joe Solomon and Cammie’s Mom?) or a world of espionage. I think it was the espionage, because as I finishing high school, I was convinced I was going to be a spy. And I was still sad that Fringe ended. Anyone remember that series?

Gallagher Girl Series

I really loved the unravelling of secrets that came up and how the girls were a united front. Smart and they can be anything they wanted. The mere fact there was a black British girl in the series, Bex, I took it as a sign. This is who I was supposed to be. Not British. I was supposed to be a spy like Bex. I loved all characters in the series, but Bex was my girl. Fearless, fierce, and ready to knock you out. I even had a picture where I posed as her with my bitten apple (cover #3) on my BBM. Remember BBM? Ole Blackberry days. Lol, I even asked my dad why he was not a spy so that I could be his legacy. Bless my dad for not institutionalising me.Lol, I even started doing research, about agencies in my country and other countries. I started searching information about different agents and assassins. Learning the lingo. I even attempted teaching myself different languages. Movies like RED, series like Covert Affairs, and the rest of action entertainment became more than entertainment, they were my drug, my drive, and motivator to make it into the espionage world. I watch documentaries on the subject. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *I’m laughing out loud where I am right now.*

I was so serious about this spy thing that I changed my personality. I wanted to be more like Bex. Minus the exercising part, I wasn’t into exercising then. My arms got enough exercise from flipping pages at night, thank you very much. I became more paranoid, cynical and aloof. I even stopped using my phone. In fact, during my summer holiday after high school. I told my dad not to buy me a phone, and only half-way through my second semester of Uni did I slightly let go of the idea of being a spy and started using a phone- LOL. I found out that I don’t take orders well. I’m inherently defiant and stubborn, so going into that world would have been being my fastest ticket to early death. Imagine the hits on me. By MI6, the CIA and the Russian Government. Let’s not forget assassins and private contractors. Although I must be honest, I’m still holding hope that someday I will be a spy. Maybe I’ll start my own agency. When I’m not too busy reading that is.

Side track: In United We Spy, Liz Sutton gave the most beautiful valedictory speech ever, and  it stuck with me all throughout the first year in varsity.

“A Gallagher Girl can be anything and anyone…” – I stand to be corrected for the exact words used. But you get the idea. Trust me, if you read the series, you were a Gallagher Girl. Period.

Back to my encounter with Ms. Carter, once I had to return the rest of the Gallagher Girl books, for a week because I was basically hoarding the series, I got myself a copy of Heist Society. Man, talk about addiction. On top of being a spy, I wanted to be a thief too. Lol! I being serious. I even remember my English teacher giving me the look…the-did-you-read-these look. I don’t know if it was obvious that I had fallen hard for the dark world. Or if the look was because of my looonng reading list, looonng wacky reading list. And it was bad. I probably had a handful of romance but mostly it was on the extreme end of thrillers, horror, crime and espionage. But really, I figured if I don’t become a spy at least I will be a con artist. Logical and rational. Like the espionage world, I Googled everything there is to know about that world. Sometimes when shopping with friends or on a lunch date I casually pass my knowledge about spies and con artists. In public. Like I’m talking my a new method of taking a selfie.

Heist Society Books

If I had to choose the world I would want to live in, I’d choose the con artist world. That squad did everything in style. If I had to choose to be who I want to be, I’d choose both. Yes, I’m that messed up. Please don’t inform the authorities… this is a false alarm, NSA.

I started reading Embassy Row, and I liked it but I’m waiting for the series to be done then can I only continue.

Ally Carter’s books were not the only one’s I read that convinced me that I was ‘meant’ to be a spy or con artist. Authors like Jennifer Lynn Barnes and Robin Benway played a role too. And much more.

Ally Carter has new editions out of the Gallagher Girl series with some extras. Check them out.

I hadn’t intended to write this much, but once I started fessing up this story I couldn’t stop. I hope you enjoyed my Book Confession. If you have had similar predicament as me here, let me know so that we can have a good laugh about it.

Covertly,

Duchess♥

P.S. I’m hoping to do this tag every second Friday. Be on the lookout. If you want to the tag, please acknowledge me (for my idea) and you can tag anyone you want. You can also use the logo. 😉

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SUMMER GAMES…

SUMMER GAMES REVIEW BY DUCHESS READING

 

Ladies, can we all just take a minute… or five to gawk, drool, and swoon at Lance Parker and his abs?

Drooling for Lance Parker

 

Okay, another gawk-drool-swoon for Freddie Archibald… let it all out, ladies.

Drool for FreddieBefore I begin to rave about this book, I’d say get yourself a copy of Scoring Wilder… it just makes this sports romance sweeter. Um… because Liam Wilder!

Settling the Score…

…has it all. A touch of fairy-tale? Yes! A dose of real life? Uh, yeah! A helluva of Romance? Yesss! One or two modern day monsters? Yep! Hot guys? Imagine Calvin Klein male models. Yeah, a continent full of those fine specimen. Okay, close your mouth, girl. 😉

I went into this book thinking: Playboy meets a nice girl with great ambitions and falls hard, add a few hurdles and speed bumps and viola happy ever after. But, nope. Rachel (R.S. Grey) had other things on her mind. Forbidden love. At least for a while.

I thought I’d had my fill of forbidden love stories. That I can only take it in small doses. But this forbidden love story, which really wasn’t forbidden at all- semantics were, I wanted it all. I devoured it.  It took me longer to finish, but not because of lack of good content, but because I knew if I devoured it all in one go, it will be over way too soon. And Greed has never looked good on anyone.

I loved that Rachel took us through a journey, and didn’t just thrust us into a whirlwind romance. I loved that, from the beginning, we got a taste of Brazil. We also got a taste of the Olympics village. I found myself wondering why I wasn’t ever committed to sports. I found myself wanting to join a team so that in four years time I’d be going to the Summer Games too.

This whole novel, for me- when I truly think about, it felt like Andie and Freddie were telling me their story, especially Andie. Instead of me watching from the outside. I really don’t want to say more, because I know this will be filled with spoilers if I write more. This book was that good. I will say this, though, the primary supporting characters were ah-mah-zing. Can they be my friends? Pretty please? Because, squad goals. I never say that but really, they all are squad goals.

Freddie was anything but a playboy or even a bad boy. He’s kind of the guy every mother wants for her daughter. His character was simply amazing and humbling. I think that’s why I sort of fell for him #BookBoyfriend. He was unexpected and I’m being honest. Again, I don’t know how to write this review without spoiling it for those who haven’t read it. Everything I want to write, right now, will be giving out way too many key elements of the story. Especially if I talk about F-F-Freddie.

Andie, as well, was unexpected. Like going to McDonalds for chicken nuggets and getting served real chicken nuggets, instead of dried cardboard unexpected. That was Andie- a real chicken nugget. If you’ve read, Scoring Wilder, all I can say is what Kingsley went through with the media Andie went through that and more. To endure that kind of hostility from teammates and harshness from strangers you have to so strong. And Andie was exactly that. I wanted to be her when her confidence rose. It was beautiful. When everyone expected her to accept defeat, she rose like a phoenix from proverbial flames. To be honest I wanted to be her all the time. Because…Freddie.But mostly, I wanted to have the drive she had. The confidence she had in herself, her body, her ability.

One thing I didn’t like, was that this book was slightly similar to Scoring Wilder, but after mulling over the idea I think Rachel did so purposefully. Kingsley and Andie are different in their own right. I think the characters from Scoring Wilder crossed over because of the kind of support only those characters can give.

I’m looking forward to the next book in the Summer Games. Rachel, if it is not too much to ask for, can that  hot soccer guy with bad English get his own book or happy ever after too? Guys, they way this guy was speaking English was adorable. Really cute.

I give this book four stars, but because the epilogue and the epilogue of the epilogue satiated me, I give it one extra star. Go big or go home, right?

I’ve read about four or five R.S. Grey books so far, started this year and I’ve loved them all. I will probably review some. Having said that, I recommend this book and much more to come. I also recommend the author. Her writing style is captivating.

Hope you enjoyed this review, and I know I didn’t make sense half the time but… F-Freddie. Blame him for my incoherence.

Like or share. If you’ve read the book, want to know more or you just want to sign a petition to join Becca, Kingsley and Andie’s squad comment.

Currently working on my abs, legs, arm, and overall physique,

Duchess♥

 

 

 

Red Hill

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Have read anything by Jamie McGuire? If you have not, get any book by her and be addicted. If you have then you know the next three words mean the world to bibliophiles. TRAVIS F*^KING MADDOX. Though, I think, MADDOX will suffice. Don’t you think? As you can tell, Red Hill is not the first book I have read by Jamie McGuire, nor will it be the last. The genre, however, is new (by Jamie, for me). Thriller! At night…

See what I did there? Hahahahaha!

 Thriller

Probably should warn you that when I say thriller it means there’s romance too. But Thriller is the main main genre, and romance is a very close second.

First, the book is told from three different people, all from different walks of life. Second, it is set in our time. Lastly, a zombie apocalypse is real in this fiction time of ours.

With that said, at first, I struggled to get started because I don’t like zombies. At all. Somehow I knew when Scarlet, one of the narrators, said “…the world ended on Friday” she meant zombies. I just knew. Moving from that page to the last was a struggle. I mean a three to five weeks of struggle. I eventually decided to just read it because I got the book from the library and I kept renewing it online. I also didn’t want to waste petrol (gas) by going back and forth to the library and not actually reading the book. Once, I pushed myself to read more, I was not disappointed.

The first two or so chapters went at a leisurely pace and the book took the time to reveal how it all started, at least, I think it took time. So, I was not suddenly thrust in the mayhem of the apocalypse. We got to know Scarlet a bit, which is important in order to understand her obsession in the last few chapters. The way Jamie McGuire reveals the cause of zombies it’s fascinating because you get to see it from the doctors’ perspective. The curiosity is there. You can almost feel their reaction when they learn about the bite, the effects and the diagnosis. It’s was like watching Grey’s Anatomy.

The way hell broke loose was chaotic. Apocalyptic. And so real. As a reader, I loved it. I found myself laughing at some graphics. What can I say, I am a bad person.

The lovely Scarlet took us on a thought-provoking parental journey. One I cannot begin to fathom. 

Nathan took us on another parental journey that was challenging. It was not the parental aspect that stood out for me, even though it was touching. It was humanity aspect that made my head run with thoughts of ‘what if I was there.’ Back to Nathan. People, whether you read or did not read this book, you love Nathan. He was it. I loved that his character was honest and human. He was not macho. If you’re macho, you probably would have died in this book. As I said, Nathan was not the kind. He is the type of guy you want in your corner. I’m not doing him justice.

Miranda added a ‘me’ perspective, you can even say a selfish perspective. As a reader, you got to see the event through a college student who just wanted things to go according to plan. At least for once. We have all went through that at some point in our lives, some of us, on a weekly basis. So, no matter what, I got Miranda.

For every character, life as they knew it changed. Scarlet was no longer a nurse and Nathan was no longer thinking about his wife-by-law and his miserable job. It was survival of the fittest. Miranda was going through some sort of a love triangle. Yes, a love triangle during a zombie apocalypse. This love triangle raised a few questions: should she follow her heart; should she stay with the guy she has learned to love and who loves her or should she give herself to the zombies? That last question was mine.

The most interesting thing about Red Hill was how the characters coincidentally passed each other until they all got to Red Hill. It struck me how in life we go through the same thing. We just miss meeting the right people. Imagine if they all met each other at one place and made it to Red Hill together? I digress.

Romance. I think Nathan and Scarlet were made in the stars. Pardon, my romanticism. However, the romance in apocalyptic times was just the right dose to give a read the hope needed. Jamie did not play with our hearts, she made the whole thing real.

Like, share and comment. Even if it is to gush about the Maddox brothers. 😉

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

P.S. I mean no disrespect to the Muslim people. #Love

Her Backup Boyfriend

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New Author! There are so many authors out there. I get excited when I find a new author on my favourite genre. You guessed it, romance. Her Backup Boyfriend, as you can tell is as cliche as The Bold And The Beautiful. You can roll eyes, sometimes I read romantic cliches like nobody’s beezneez. Especially fake boyfriend types, the fake husband is at the top, though.

Sidenote: Romantic cliches are good for the soul, sometimes.

I have had an eye on this book for quite some time and when I finally got it, you can imagine what I did. I dropped everything of course. And I loved it.

Kate was a delight but typical for this kind of romance. Aside from the romantic stance of: he-broke-up-with-me-but-I-want-him-back  and this-one-makes-my-heart-skip-a-beat, Kate was truly a well-rounded character. I liked that at the end she was true to herself. I loved, yes loved, that she was not a one-dimensional character. I usually don’t like red heads in books but she was one of my favourites. And that list is short. No offense to red heads, brunettes rule.

Dominic was an interesting fellow. He was not what I initially thought he was going to be. So, that was refreshing. I don’t like that he was jaded, I think it would have made the book more interesting if he was not. Two people who are jaded on love is not my thing. Unless there’s a perfectly good reason why. I believe one character has to be in broken pieces while the other has to believe in roses and rainbow love. Too much?

The supporting characters were amazing. They took us out of Kate and Dominic romance bubble and showed us that they are actually fully functioning adults. I’ve observed that authors tend to forget about supporting characters and they leave them in a cliffhanger. And then, bam, supporting character pops out of the thin air… Or ink.

I’ve been obsessed with the ending of books. And pretty much the ending of everything. I believe how you end says more about you than how you begin. As you can imagine, when it comes to romance books, I want a cliche ending. Happy ducking ever ducking after, people. With that said, the ending of this book was satisfactory. I liked the ending because it echoed my thoughts. “No regrets.”

I don’t know if I will read the next book in the Sorensen Family Books, but I am teeny weeny bit interested on how the whole family finds love.

Have you read any of Ashlee Mallory books or Entangled: Bliss books? What’s favourite Cliche romance book?

Like, share and comment. I don’t bite. I’m actually nice. 🙂

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

Beneath Him

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Oh my Lordy, beneath him was everywhere in this book. And get your mind out of the gutter. It’s not beneath him, beneath him. This book is my first from Komal Kant. I’ve sampled a couple of her books but this is my first read. It was not what I was expecting. I’m not even sure what I was expecting. But it was not this.

Beneath Him was such a pleasure to read. A callous rich housewife, a compassionate father and sister and friends that are friends. The collision of Nick and Sky’s world is an absolute delight. It had a nice edge, the banter was amusing and the Matt situation did not go down like I thought it would. Think the Graysons from Revenge. Season 1, Episode 1. With a kid, and Danny having an interest in Emily; but Emily is the nanny.

I loved the Prologue. I’m a fan of any thing unconventional, so this floored me:

-Someone once told me that we are only as good as we believe ourselves to be. I've let myself forget for too long.-

I had to read this three or four times before I actually proceeded to read the book. And at some point I found myself going back to it. Nick also refers to it somewhere in the middle. Now, please read it again. Wait for five seconds to let the words sink in and hover in your brain. Now think about it. How true is that? How often do we forget that? I could write an essay based on this quote. (Cue *eye roll*)

Nick was as callous as his mother. A total jerkface. My favorite was when he kept saying this is not who he is. And saying he was hiding his true self. He buried the old him in copious amount of night stands. He was so tortured and so lonely that my heart cried for him. Of course that was after I realized that he was not exactly who he was acting out to be. Of which, every chapter you see public Nick chipping the exterior giving way to real Nick. Once the façade came off, Nick was definitely worth the fuss. Worth the drama. And man this guy had baggage. The kind I’m not sure I could help carry.

Family played such a big role here. And when I say big, it doesn’t necessarily mean good. It just played a big role. And I liked that. I also like the fact that Komal made Nick have friends from early childhood and they were not stuck-up rich kid. It was proof that Nick was not a stereotype. Hate stereotypes in books.

Sky, dearest Sky, best line from Nick about Sky.

-My Sky was different from your sky. My Sky was the earth- gentle, full of life.-.png

Can be all be like Sky? Not for Nick or for any guy. For you. I already said I want to be like Helena, but if can’t reach Helena be Sky. Or better yet, be you. The great you.

Sky didn’t have much of a family but she had a best friend. Those one’s you wonder why you even friends with them, let alone best friend. But then they make feel so good, they make remember why you’re best friends. And probably will be forever. Ever had that friend?

Oh, Sky knew how to bake. This part was torturing. The need to eat a cupcake or cookies while reading the parts that had cupcakes and cookies was high. Very high.

Okay back to Sky. Sky had a backbone. And she was passionate and so kind. Love that girl. She had so much to offer, but I feel like she was swallowed by the banter and I didn’t see her grow. She was constant throughout. Nick, however, dealt with some demons.

Nick’s aristocratic mother was scary. I would’ve quit day one after meeting her. But what she said to Sky was so demeaning and horrible she was practically oozing blue blood every time she said anything to Sky.  This woman takes the black out of everyone. She got me so riled that my thoughts were along the lines of, ‘Uh, uh, she ain’t talking to my girl like that, is she? Sky, hold my weave, my earrings and my fake Chanel bag, oh-kay, gurl? I’mma show this blue blood how we red bloods fights.’ Insert appropriate hand gestures and body language. Seriously, though.

There are two things that bugged me:

  1. I needed more Nick. I needed more of his thoughts. I felt like he was still hiding.
  2. I was not happy with that epilogue. I literally would’ve been happy with: They got married, had a child and live down the street. They still drive each other but nothing that ol’ BK can’t fix. I was unsatisfied with that epilogue.

I give three crowns to this book = to three stars. And I recommend it.

Thanks for reading! Now, feel free to send the rolling eyes emoji. Tell me what you thought of the post and if you’ve read Beneath Him, what did you think. Just drop me a comment, I swear I’ll be nice. Don’t forget to like, reblog and whatever cool things you can do here.

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

I’m back? Oh, and Feb TBR

I’M BACK?

So hi, everyone! Or should I say, Happy New Year, everyone! Is that still applicable even 40 DAYS into the new year? I think it is. Maybe after three months is not applicable. That’s usually when you forget about the new year resolutions. Speaking of resolutions? What are yours? And are you keeping up with them? I don’t have any resolutions this year, thanks for asking. 🙂 No for real, I really don’t have any resolutions, even weird and quirky ones I usually have like not eating chocolate for a year. I kept that resolution till end, if you were wondering. The other one was no eating junk food for a year, it lasted for three months, um, because DORITOS, Mac D and BK. Oh, one year I tried being a vegetarian but that lasted for a month… or less. I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to chicken and chicken wings. Some steak. This year though, I’ve decided to take one day a time. How’s that going, you ask? It’s simply going, with it’s peaks and troughs of course.

So by now you’re probably wondering about the question mark. The mark that poses a question is to simply say I don’t know how long I’m back for because Uni starts next week and I don’t know how’s that going to turn out, in terms of work load and stuff. Plus there are some personal things I’d like to try this year, and they are going to take time. However, if everything goes as I wish it to go, I’ll be here more often and with a schedule. I need routine. I’m chaos without a semblance of routine. I’m finally accepting that fact.

Now, I have to apologize for my leave of absence. Probably should have started with an apology, I have such bad manners. I just went phew out of blog-sphere. So, I’d like to apologize from vanishing into thin air. All I can say is exams, holiday and family. Did I mention exams? Oh and a ton of books that I’m never going to review because I forgot them. I really do not know what I was reading. Do not judge. I have holiday brain syndrome. I am looking forward to catching up with everyone and doing some tags. Don’t forget to tag me.

What to expect from Duchess? Well, this year I’m trying out new authors, to me their new, and non-romance genres. Some may have romance in it but the main genre won’t be. My menu is going to change. I don’t know when but I know it is. Mainly because it’s currently a mess. I’m going to add a new feature called Book Confessions. This year I’m also participating in the PopSugar Book Challenge. Unlike last year, when I said I will but didn’t. This it is happening. And there’ll be more videos as well, and majority are mostly not going to be book-related because YouTube- does that explain it? Okay, let me be clear, because there are so many funny things I’ve recently watched and would like to share them with you.

FEBRUARY TBR

My February TBR list is not long at all. I just wanted light reads to last me till end of this week. Plus as I mentioned above that this year I’m trying new authors and genres, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with too many books. And because, I don’t have money. Broke. When am I not ever broke? My currency is weak against the dollar so you can imagine how much I pay. And I’m not working so, I’m practically taking a big chunk out of my allowance. And something should be said regarding the fact that I forfeit clothes, underwear and socks for books. And, people, I really need new socks. My socks have holes. All of them. I’m okay with it though, because I believe at some point in the future books are going to be an investment. And to me, right now, they are an investment.

TBR LIST

  1. F*ck Love – Tarryn Fisher (Review Coming Soon)
  2. Her Back-up Boyfriend – Ashley Mallory (Review Coming Soon)
  3. Beneath Him – Komal Kant (Review Coming Soon)
  4. Unfamiliar – Erica Cope and Komal Kant (Review Coming Soon)
  5. Red Hill – Jamie McGuire (Review Coming Soon)
  6. The G File – Hakan Nesser (Currently Reading)

The rest of the TBR list consists of my textbooks.

Tell me about your book resolutions, new year resolutions and your TBR list. Or you can tell me of the most bizarre resolutions or goals you’ve had. Let’s be weird and quirky together.

Don’t forget to like this post. And comment to tell me what a bad blogger I am. Or how awesome I am.

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥