Monday, March 31, 2014

The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen

The Dancing Master


Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul--and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master--a man her mother would never approve of--but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village. . .and to her mother's tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a "good match" in Regency England.

My Opinion:

A spectacular read that brought unlikely and unique conflicts to the front of my mind, making me aware that anything can happen!

I highly doubt that Julie meant to do this but the book was a unique twist between a Jane Austen movie and Footloose in my opinion, which I found quite interesting. When I received this book in the mail I was excited, but after days went by and I still hadn't started it I started second guessing the book. I thought in my head, "The Dancing Master? Really? What kind of plot can be behind that?" So, you can see that I went into this book against it, not having high hopes. I thought it was going to end up being unintentionally comical.

However, this book went beyond expectation. (In a good way!) I was shocked by how much this book entranced me and I didn't want to put it down. This was a "stay up all night until my eyes couldn't take it anymore read", and I didn't regret it.

The characters were well built, all with their own flaws and imperfections, but good intentions. Of course, in every book you're going to come across those characters you love to hate, and you won't have any problem finding them in this book. But you will also come across characters that you so badly want to hate but can't.

This book was dedicated to a personal dancing instructor of Julie Klassen's and I am so happy that she didn't just dedicate the story to this woman, but indirectly incorporated her in it.

If I was to change anything about this book, i would have added more about Lady Amelia and Mr. Desmond's pasts. We get a couple briefs glimpses, enough to understand why they are important, but not enough to satisfy. These two were definitely mysterious and intriguing characters, I wish I would have been able to delve deeper into their backgrounds.

Rating: 5 Stars

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Funny- "Crush"

So, my siblings found these videos on youtube called Kid Snippets. I don't know if you have seen any of them or not, but I thought I would show one her this week. These guys crack me up! If you like this video please go and watch more. I promise they will bring a smile to your face!

This one is a conversation that two boys had about their "Crush". These guys lip sync to their conversation and act it out!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson

The Fairest Beauty


 A daring rescue.
A difficult choice.

Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother's jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie's one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe?

Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl's inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother's future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what.

When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts.

My Opinion:

I love reading re-tellings of fairy-tales, and this one was probably my favorite yet. There were some definite similarities between this story and Snow White, but also some very well thought through differences. I loved the fact that Gabe was not her betrothed, that he in fact, was not even supposed to be her "Prince Charming". Gabe was more than what Sophie saw for herself, but less than what Gabe thought she deserved, which was a really sweet twist on things.

When reading this I kept thinking of the TV series Once Upon a Time. It was a very nice blend between Snow White and Prince Charming's actual story to the one in the TV show. The difference is that I did not picture the characters like their actors at all. It was so much it's own unique story that my imagination was not hindered by these other story-lines. 

I liked the emotional issues that the characters went through. Sophie's was all about acceptance. How was she going to accept all that she deserved when she was fed lies her entire life about how ugly and useless she was? How was she going to accept herself?

Gabe's was about selfishness and greed. What was he willing to give up so others could be happy? Was he willing to give up Sophie so she could have a better life? What were his true motives in rescuing her anyway?

The one thing that I believe could have been done better was the The Cottage of the Seven. Obviously, this was supposed to symbolize the Seven Dwarfs from the real story, and I liked the concept of it. However, the way she went about it I feel made the story a little bit cheesy and unrealistic. In my opinion, it held the story back from its full potential just by a hair.

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fancy Friday- Regina George and Robin Hood

                                       I don't see why some people don't like this pairing. I don't care who Regina is with, as long as she'll be happy again. But I actually like Robin with Regina. They make a cute couple <3 They'd make a cute family with Henry & Roland. I just hope Adam & Eddy don't mess this one up! But based on the past 2 seasons, they probably will...

Regina Mills AKA The Evil Queen

 After Regina loses Daniel, she becomes the Step Mother of Snow White when she is forced to marry King Leopold. However, because of how dark she had become, no one saw her internal plans brewing to take  over. With all the hatred she holded she became a force to be reckoned with. After she tried dozens of times to repay Snow for taking her happiness by trying to split up her an David, she finally came up with a scheme that just might of worked- a curse. A curse that would take everyone to a new land called Earth where they would lose their memory and live alternate lives. After the curse, Regina becomes the Mayor of the city Storybrooke; she is "the only one" who still remembers her past life, and she thinks she has won.

But is her chance at happiness done with? Can she have a second chance? A long time ago, during a time that the queen would like to forget, someone told her that their was another that could make her happy. Somebody with a lion tattoo. All she had to do was find this person, accept the fact that David was gone, and make her move. Regina was to scared of losing someone again that she refused to find this second chance at happiness. However, after all that has happened will the two accidentally unite and fall in love? Or will the queen discover who he is and run away from her feelings?

Robin Hood

Robin was never swept up in the first curse, so he had no alternate life, but now that he has entered the story what roll will he play? And will he become an important part of anyone's life?

Of course I am a fan of this match up, and I can't wait to see how it all turns out! I mean, look at how cute they would look together!
                                                   #OUAT #OutlawQueen Lana Parrilla & Sean Maguire are so cute...hope this storyline finds a happy ending for the #EvilQueen 
Although, their are some kinks to work out in their relationship. ;)
                                      Courtesy of Samantha Lee I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS RELATIONSHIP BLOSSOM!
So, what do all of you think? Is it a good match up? If not, who would they both look better with?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tide and Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig

Tide and Tempest (Edge of Freedom #3)


 Two years ago, her fiance perished
during their voyage to America.

Now she discovers it may have been murder...

Dreaming of a better life, Tillie McGrath leaves Ireland behind and, with her beloved fiance by her side, sets sail for America. But when illness robs her of the man she holds dear, she's left alone with only a handful of tattered memories. While forging on proves difficult, Tillie soon finds some new friends at her New York boardinghouse, and begins pursuing a new dream--to open a home for orphaned children.

Despite two years passing, Captain Keondric Morgan has never forgotten the lass who left his ship so heartbroken. When a crewman's deathbed confession reveals her fiance's demise was the result of murder, the captain knows he must try to contact her. But his attention draws the notice of others as well--dangerous men who believe Tillie has in her possession something that could expose their crimes. And to their way of thinking, the best way to prevent such an outcome is to seize the evidence and then hand Tillie the same fate as her naïve fiance.

My Opinion:

Best suspense I have ever read! Not that I have read many... I normally don't like suspense novels. Many seem unrealistic to me because the main character/s almost die over and over again throughout the book. The danger they are in is mostly non-stop. I liked this a whole lot better because it's not like that. Sure, the characters are always on their guard, but people are not trying to "blow them up" every minute either. The whole plot just seemed much more believable than most.

I also normally don't jump into a series at the end. I like reading books in order of their series because I feel like I get a whole lot more out of them. Plus, I'm not getting the story twisted up. I have not read the first two books to this series, but I think it was completely fine this time. I don't think I missed a ton, and I don't think it will be hard to puzzle in the pieces when I go back and read the first two. Because I WILL be reading those too.

I thought these characters were very well developed and worked well together in the story. I wish I could read another book all about them. The romance was good, but not over the top, and I liked how their was a somewhat "imaginary" love triangle. At least for the Morgan brothers anyway.

I liked how none of the characters were perfect, and they all had past issues holding them back that they had to overcome. Tillie's was definitely the best, she had an issue with forgiveness, and I love how she overcomes it by feeling loved by others including God.

There's not anything I can think of to nit pick about this story. 

Rating: 5 Stars