Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Samstag, 22. Oktober 2016

The Debutante's Dilemma (Classic Regency Romances Book 16) by Donna Lea Simpson



Pamela Neville is a free-spirited young beauty who has no intention of subjecting herself to the stifling restrictions of London society—until her grandmother lures her with an irresistible offer. The indomitable dowager promises to teach her everything she needs to know to elicit a proposal from Sir Colin Valens, the man Pamela has adored since childhood.

Soon Pamela is feigning the same coy disinterest of the other women of the ton—and catching Colin’s eye in the process—but the green-eyed gamine can only be demure for so long. And each time she indulges her more wild, carefree side, she runs headlong into the startlingly handsome Lord Strongwycke, who seems to find her entrancing just for being herself. Suddenly Pamela finds herself with the vexing dilemma of being pursued by two different gentlemen, and in what seems like the span of a heartbeat both men offer for her hand.

Now Pamela faces a choice between clinging to the dreams of a girl and a life that would allow her to live as the free spirit she longs to be.

When Pamela comes to London, she is not willing to adapt to the ways of the ton but then her grandmother dangles the ultimate "carot" in front of her - getting fit to become the kind of woman her childhood love Colin would want to marry. Easier said than done though, for somenone as spirited as Pamela but finally -finally!- Colin notices her. The question is, if he is really the right man for her or could there be someone else, someone who is her partner in crime when it comes to not submitting to the ton's rules and who loves and respects her just the way she is?

I really enjoyed reading this book but sometimes I had to remind myself that the heroine is a young girl and therefore is entitled to behave like one...especially when tries to decide whom she really loves. Actually I felt a bit like handing her a pack of ice cream and sitting her down for a nice chat because for a while her indecisiveness reminded me of times when I was a teenager and well, you know what I mean. The times when someone was lovesick, when someone was in love and "he is so sweet but he kissed so well and..." ,well, that kind of thing.

Apart from that it was a really sweet and well written story with interesting characters and a very loveable heroine and hero.
This is not the first book by Donna Lea Simpson that I've read and it won't be the last, again I found a book that captivated me and made me feel with the characters and their fate.
I loved reading this book and I'm looking forward to the next book by the author!


Freitag, 21. Oktober 2016

From Wales to Cumbria and Dumfries ....and Wigtown!

Lately I was rather busy so it's just now that I have the time to write about our trip going from Hay-on-Wye to Wales and on and on to Dumfries where I found the most amazing book store of all those that I visited on this trip.
But, well, let's start in Wales where we went after our visit to Hay-on-Wye!

After having spent some time in Llandovery 
in South Wales, where the statue 
Llewelyn ap Gruffydd can be found whose gruesome fate represents a stark contrast to this wonderful place, we went on to North Wales.
In North Wales we made the first try to exchange our wind screen that, well, let's say a rendezvous with something on the road left us with a lasting memory... Unfortunately the wrong screen was delivered, so still a wind screen with a "spider app" but apart from that we met many nice people and saying good bye wasn't easy.

In North Wales we stayed at one of the most beautiful camp sites of our tour, Aberafon, next to Caernarfon. Aberafon is not only very cozy and friendly but also located with direct access to the beach, some of the pitches are actually almost situated on the beach. North Wales was even mor beautiful that South Wales, I think, it is a bit wilder, the hills, well, mountains, are steeper - oh, that was something, right? Going up in first gear at a snail's pace is an experience in itself but at least we got to the top, no matter how long it took. In North Wales we went to Snowdonia with its amazing landscape and its cows that were roaming there right in the mountains.
From North Wales we went to Cumbria by way of Gretna Green. Okay, everybody who knows my blog, knows that I love historical romances and Gretna Green being the first village on the scottish side and known as the go-to for all those who wanted to marry without the consens of their parents and eloped in those times was a must. I thought. I mean, almost every other book sees a more or less happy couple on its way to Gretna, right? So I had to see this place where people went to get married "over the anvil".

I leraned my lesson. Some places shouldn't be visited if you want them to keep their charm. Gretna Green was a nightmare. One store next to the other, their products ranging from the cheapest, chinese, "real scottish" souvenirs sporting to the somewhat more sophisticated articles with very sophisticated prices. A piper could be found as well as some photowalls where you could take a phot of your loved ones looking out of the carriage taking them to Gretna and such things. Oh and don't forget all those bis signs for those firms that turned the "myth gretna green" into a big and profitable All-Inclusive-Business.

From Gretna Green we went on to Dumfries the same day, more precisely to Kirkcowan near Newton Stewart to the without doubt most remarkable camping site of our tour. At least Balloch O'Dee was definitely the only camping site where not only chicken could be found running between the tents but also dogs and horses. First I thought that it was rather chaotic and a bit strange. The next day it felt cozy, personal and nice and just, well, different - in the end it wasn't easy to leave. It was also the only camping site where tea candles and incense could be found in the washing rooms and the kitchens which were lit every evening. You can't expect much comfort, though all that is necessary, I think, but you'll find nice and helpful people there and a wonderful place to relax. Even better than this camping site is the fact that it is not far from Wigtown, the scottish book town with its second hand book shops!
Of course I found some books here as well (Surprise, surprise!) and I loved to browse all those shops that are definitely worth visiting! One of them was the most amazing and most beautiful book shop and the one we loved most on this whole trip.
Mostly the shop offers old and very old (and very very old) books but also some that are more recently published and also (I think) some new ones.

I don't think that any book lover can resist this wonderful, very lovingly decorated shop, at least I couldn't resist. It started rather innocently with the shop just being called "The Book Shop", but behind this name you'll find a book lover's paradise!
This shop is so cozy and welcoming, inviting the reader to enter and browse through its vast collection of books on a grat variety of subjects. You jsut walk on and on from one room to the next and it's not just the books but also the many loving details that make this shop special. Inscriptions, small etails like candelabers or bigger ones like skeletons (yes, even a skeleton may be inviting...) - and well, all the little touches.

The entry area of this wonderful shop:

 “Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.”
W.C. Fields

"A mind amongst books, like fire in the heather"


Who doesn't dream of such a cozy corner right in the middle of his books?

Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.

Terry Pratchett

A cozy place at the fireplace for the diligent author 
Don't stand on
     this if you
                   think it

    Good advice, isn't it? - This is the scottish corner where I found a sweet little (and very old) book about the different tartans, explanations about the clans, their badges, slogans and arms by a tartan outfitter from aus Edinburgh:

 I love it!
And I found another book in this shop that had been on my wish list for some time, Old Filth by Jane Gardam:

I think, I'm to be recommended as it was really hard to leave with just two books... Well, people started asking where we'd put my husband when he would join my daughters and me a week later because the car started to look a bit...full? So that might have helped me here.

This day had to end sometimes as well and we had to got back to the camping site where we, just wanted to mention that, tried to exchange our ...yes, our wind screen the other day. Again they brought the wrong screen....
Never mind, new town, new luck - we were promised that we'd get the right screen at our next destination and so we left the following day to go to

~To be continued~

Donnerstag, 20. Oktober 2016

Honor's Splendour by Julie Garwood - Hörbuch ~Review in German~



This classic medieval romance from New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood is a fan favorite—a beautiful lady needs rescue from a knight in shining armor, and gets an alpha warrior instead.

In the feuding English court, gentle Lady Madelyne suffered the cruel whims of her ruthless brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in vengeance for a bitter crime, Baron Duncan of Wexton—the Wolf—unleashed his warriors against Louddon. Exquisite Madelyne was the prize he catured...but when he gazed upon the proud beauty, he pledged to protect her with his life. In his rough-hewn castle, Duncan proved true to his honor. But when at last their noble passion conquered them both, she surrendered with all her soul. Now, for love, Madelyne would stand bravely as her Lord, the powerful Wolf who fought for...Honor’s Splendour.

Einmal vorweg: Das Buch selbst liebe ich, allerdings hatte ich das Pech, mich dafür entschieden zu haben, dieses Buch als Hörbuch zu kaufen. Aus reiner Sturheit habe ich bis zum Ende durchgehalten, allerdings durfte ich es nicht im Auto hören, wenn meine Tochter dabei war, weil sie die Art und Weise, wie es gelesen wurde so peinlich und furchtbar fand und ich selber habe die Fenster immer geschlossen gehalten, weil mir die Vorstellung unangenehm war, dass jemand "draußen" diese merkwürdigen zutiefst männlichen Stimmen, diese geradezu anzüglich klingenden Parts und so weiter hören könnte. Mir ging es dabei nicht um die Inhalte, sondern darum, dass ich mich streckenweise in einem falschen Film wähnte, weil alles gehaucht, geseufzt und irgendwie geradezu karikaturartig gelesen wurde.

Trotzdem habe ich nebenbei noch mitbekommen, dass es sich um eine klassische "Garwood-Story" handelt, mit ausgesprochen sympathischen Charakteren, einer "leicht" naiven, dabei aber liebenswerten Heldin, deren herzliche Art nicht nur die harten Kerle um sie herum für sie einnimmt. Ihr Bruder Louddon ist jemand, der einem mehr als eine Gänsehaut verpasst, während der harte, raue Baron Duncan mit seiner geradlinigen und ehrenhaften Art den Leser, okay, vermutlich eher die Leserin, sehr schnell überzeugt, dass er genau der richtige für unsere sensible und liebenswerte Heldin ist.

Dieses Buch ist zwar nicht mein Lieblingsbuch von Julie Garwood, aber es ist eine schöne und gut erzählte Geschichte, mit deren schriftlicher variante ich mich dann demnächst dafür belohnen werde, dass ich dieses Hörbuch bis zu seinem bitteren Ende gehört habe. Es kommt selten vor, dass ich erleichtert aufatme, wenn ich ein Hörbuch durch habe, hier war dies aber definitiv der Fall - und ich werde kein Buch wieder hören, das von dieser Erzählerin gelesen wurde. Zwar hatte ich in die Hörprobe hineingehört, da fand ich es nicht gut, aber auch nicht so schlimm, hatte aber unterschätzt, wie sich "nicht so schlimm" über etliche Stunden auswirkt.

Gesamtfazit - Buch vier Sterne, Hörbuch eins und die Erkenntnis, kein Hörbuch mehr zu nehmen, bei dem ich nicht hundertprozentig von der Erzählerin oder dem Erzähler überzeugt bin.


Dienstag, 18. Oktober 2016

Über Wales und Cumbria nach Dumfries...und WIGTOWN!

In der letzten Zeit war hier recht viel los, so dass ich wenig Gelegenheit hatte, endlich weiter an meinem Reisebericht zu schreiben, dabei war es in diesem Abschnitt, wo ich den schönsten der Buchladen unserer Tour besucht habe. Aber erst einmal zurück nach Wales, wo es uns nach Hay-on-Wye verschlug. 

Nach einigen Tagen im schönen Llandovery 
in South Wales, in dem sich auch die Statue 
findet, dessen doch recht grausiges Schicksal einen ziemlichen Kontrast zur schönen Umgebung darstellt, zog es uns weiter nach North Wales.

In North Wales gab es einen ersten Versuch, unsere vor Hay-on-Wye kaputt gegangene Windschutzscheibe auszutauschen, was leider an der falschen Scheibe scheiterte, ansonsten gab es auch hier wieder unwahrscheinlich viele ausgesprochen nette Leute, mit denen wir uns gerne unterhalten haben und von denen uns der Abschied teilweise nicht ganz leicht fiel. 

In North Wales blieben wir auf einem der schönsten Campingplätze unserer Tour, dem bei Caernarfon gelegenen Aberafon. Aberafon ist nicht nur unwahrscheinlich gemütlich, sondern auch noch direkt am Wasser gelegen, so dass einige Stellplätze fast auf dem Strand gelegen sind. North Wales war aber nicht nur wegen des Campingplatzes ein echtes Erlebnis, sondern auch weil die Umgebung fast noch schöner war als in South Wales. Und die Hügel deutlich steiler, im ersten Gang mit Anhänger den Hügel hochschleichen, ist schon ein Erlebnis der besonderen Art, aber wir kamen hoch und das ist ja die Hauptsache! Ein besonderes Erlebnis war allerdings unser Ausflug nach Snowdonia in den Nationalpark mit seinen beeindruckenden Bergmassen und freilaufenden Kühen.
 Nach North Wales fuhren wir dann über Cumbria nach Gretna Green. Okay, jeder, der meinen Blog kennt, weiß, dass ich Historical Romance liebe und da Gretna Green als erster Ort hinter der schottischen Grenze das Heiratsparadies für alle die war, die die Erlaubnis der Eltern oder Vormunde umgehen wollten, war der Ort natürlich ein Muss. Immerhin brennen in den Büchern doch recht häufig unglückliche Paare in Richtung der schottischen Grenze durch, um sich dort "über dem Amboss" trauen zu lassen.

Ich lernte hier wieder einmal, dass man manche Orte vielleicht doch lieber nicht besuchen sollte, damit sie ihren Zauber behalten. Gretna Green war für mich eine absolute Katastrophe. Geschäft reihte sich an Geschäft, von Billigstsouvenirs aus Plastik im flotten, chinesischen Schottenlook bis hin zu den etwas kultivierteren Artikeln mit den sehr kultivierten Preisen. Der Dudelsackspieler fehlte natürlich genauso wenig die Fotowände, hinter denen man sich fotografieren lassen konnte oder die Werbewände für die Firmen, die den "Mythos Gretna Green" in ein großes, lukratives All-inclusive-Geschäft verwandelt haben.

 Von Gretna Green aus ging es aber am selben Tag noch weiter nach Dumfries, genauer gesagt nach Kirkcowan bei Newton Stewart auf den definitiv außergewöhnlichsten Campingplatz unserer Tour. Zumindest war Balloch O'Dee der einzige Campingplatz, auf dem nicht nur Hühner frei zwischen den Zelten herumliefen, sondern auch Hunde und Pferde. Was auf den ersten Blick recht chaotisch wirkte, wurde im Laufe unseres Aufenthaltes einfach gemütlich und besonders. In den Waschräumen fanden sich Teekerzen und Räucherkerzen und alles war sehr entspannt und friedlich. Viel Komfort darf man nicht erwarten, aber ansonsten war es schlichtweg nett. Fast das Allerschönste war allerdings die Nähe zu Wigtown, der schottischen Bücherstadt! Hier in Wigtown habe ich natürlich auch Bücher gefunden (welch ein Wunder, nicht wahr?), zumal es hier auch wieder einige Antiquariate gibt und darunter mehrere, in 
denen es sich auf jeden Fall lohnt einmal zu stöbern. Unter anderem fand sich hier in Wigtown auch der wirklich schönste Buchladen unserer Reise. Vorrangig gibt es hier alte bis sehr alte Bücher, aber auch modernes Antiquariat und vereinzelt ein paar neue Bücher (meine ich zumindest gesichtet zu haben).
Ich glaube, es gibt keinen Buchliebhaber, der diesem wirklich liebevoll gestalteten Buchladen widerstehen kann - ich konnte es zumindest nicht, dabei fängt es fast harmlos an, der Buchladen heißt nämlich ganz simpel einfach nur "The Book Shop", aber dahinter verbirgt sich ein Paradies für Buchfreunde!
Dieser Laden ist einfach nur gemütlich und einladend, dabei hat er ein sehr großes und vielfältiges Sortiment, so dass man sich sozusagen von einem der Räume in den anderen "durchstöbert". Hier sind es dann allerdings nicht nur die Bücher, die einem in Auge fallen, sondern auch die vielen, kleinen, liebevollen Details in den Räumen selbst, die diesen Laden zu einem Erlebnis machen!

Der Eingangs (- und Kassen)bereich dieses wunderbaren Ladens:

 “Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.”
W.C. Fields

"A mind amongst books, like fire in the heather"


Wer träumt nicht von so einer gemütlichen Kuschelecke inmitten seiner Bücher?

Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.

Terry Pratchett

Hier ein kleiner  Kaminplatz für den eifrigen Schriftsteller, samt Sessel, Stehlampe und allem Drum und dran.
Don't stand on
     this if you
                   think it

    Good advice, isn't it? - Hier ist übrigens die schottische Ecke, wo ich ein kleines Schmuckstück fand, ein Tartan-Musterbuch mit Erklärungen zu den verschiedenen Clans, ihren Tartans, Badges, Clanmottos und Wappen eines Tartan-Ausstatters aus Edinburgh:

 Ich finde es wunderschön!
Ansonsten fand ich in diesem Laden noch ein anderes Buch, das unbedingt mit musste und das sich schon lange auf meiner Wunschliste befand:

Man sieht, ich habe hart an mir gearbeitet und mich zurückgehalten, allerdings lag das auch daran, dass allmählich der Platz im Auto immer knapper wurde...

Und auch dieser Tag neigte sich irgendwann dem Ende zu und wir mussten wieder zurück zum Campingplatz, auf dem wir übrigens am Tag zuvor noch den zweiten, ebenfalls gescheiterten Versuch, eine neue Windschutzscheibe zu bekommen, unternommen hatten. Auch hier kam wieder die falsche Scheibe an...
Das sollte sich dann aber endgültig an unserem nächsten Zielort ändern, versprach man uns. Also brachen wir am Tag nach unserem Ausflug nach Wigtown zu unserem nächsten Ziel auf: GLASGOW!

~Fortsetzung folgt~

Sonntag, 16. Oktober 2016

Too Hard to Forget - Amanda Balfour


 Abandoned by her father and her fiancé, Nicole Waltham is forced to seek employment with Lady Scott when she has nowhere else to go. Against her better judgement, she becomes embroiled in a scheme of marriage by Lady Scott and her nephew.

Notorious rake Lord Brandon Montagu needs a bride in order to collect his inheritance but is determined to remain independent, not letting marriage complicate his lifestyle. Once married, he cannot let this spirited, courageous woman know she has captured his heart. If his past has taught him anything, it is love does not last.

Love blossoms between the reluctant lovers, but betrayal follows close on its heels. Her heart broken, Nicole flees to France into the middle of the French Revolution. Brandon must rescue the woman who is too hard to forget. Will he succeed, or will the guillotine claim both their lives?

Phew, it wasn't easy to decide on the number of stars for this book.
On the one hand I really enjoyed rading it and seldom put it down but on the other hand I was a bit frustrated in the end.
It just felt as if the end was a bit rushed and, well, there wasn't really a need or a logical explanation for the action that lead to the events in France in the last part of the book (okay, if you don't count the stupidity and illogical reasoning that seem to be a part of being in love as a reason...). Apart from that, this whole part left me rather dissatisfied. I felt that the book should have been longer and the part about France and the events there more detailed to lessen the feeling of it being rushed.

I really enjoyed reading about Nicole and I loved to see how Brandon and her got closer and I could have kicked him sometimes (a lot) when he was stupid and arrogant and of course, people like Nicole's former fiancé and Brandon's former mistress are people that are easy to loathe - so all in all I liked the book and I know that I'll read it again despite my problems with the last part.
Even despite the last part, it would have been four stars instead of three if the hero and the heroine didn't have the tendency of talking to themselves in their mind that got a bit on my nerves. It doesn't happen all the time but too often for my liking.

Apart from that the book is well written and captivating which made it difficult for me to decide on the number of stars but in the end I remembered my feeling of ...I guess, deflation is the right word here...when I read the last part and settled on three stars.


Amazing new books........

This month some books are finally out that I just have to share with you! 

One of them is a debut of an author with whom I've been discussing other authors' books at length for quite a time now never knowing that she was hiding such a talent!
***Congratulations, Stephany Wallace, I really love your book baby!***

Hidden Magic

How would you feel if you discovered magic was real, and the kind of powers that until now you’ve only read about are actually part of this world?

Cynwrig "Cyn" Bressall is a Celtic warrior with the unique ability to harness and wield Druid magic in a way never before seen. Making him the only Druid Warrior to ever exist. After surviving a horrible night that began the extinction of his race, Cyn has spent the last two thousand years searching for the only man that can lead the Order of the Druids and mend the scars marring his soul. Instead, his quest leads him to a woman whose essence is unlike anything he's ever felt.

Orphaned as a baby and raised by her loving but over protective grandfather, twenty-three year old Briana "Bri" Anwell has led an isolated life. Friendless and stuck in a job with no prospect, the self proclaimed flower child finds solace in her only friends. Books. And imagines an adventurous life in a magical world where anything is possible.

So when a sexy stranger suddenly appears in her world as though he stepped out of her favorite story, she dismisses him as a figment of her imagination. But soon she realizes he's so much more than he seems.

He signifies everything she's fantasized about, but is there a place for her in his extraordinary world?

And finally, after having waited a whole year, I'll be able to read how Nikolas, the hero of the Relentless-Series by Karen Lynch "survived" his experience with meeting his mate and, well, finding her a bit different and one might even dare say - a mite bit difficult as well. 
I can't tell how often I've read those books up to now and I also listened to the amazing audio books a couple of times as well - oh, and did I mention that I have not only the audio books and the ebooks but also "real life paperbooks"? 

And finally, after all this time,  Warrior will be out on October 25th!

The warrior has finally met his match.

Nikolas Danshov is the Mohiri’s finest warrior, fearless and lethal with any weapon. For almost two hundred years, he has devoted his life to keeping humans safe from the demons that walk the earth. Revered by his people, he is a legend in his own time, a warrior undefeated in battle, and prepared for anything. Until her.

On a routine job in Maine, a twist of fate brings Nikolas face-to-face with the one person he had never expected to meet – his mate. Sara Grey is unlike anyone he’s ever met. Beautiful and fiery, she ignites his desire, while her innocence and vulnerability awaken a fierce protectiveness in him. Now all he can think of is keeping his mate safe from the dangers that hunt her, even if she fights him at every turn.

You know Sara’s story. Now read it again, through the eyes of her warrior.

 Soooo....don't they sound tempting? Well, you'll find my reviews for both of them on here soon!