Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Mini Reviews: Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi, The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross, Always by Lynsay Sands

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Time Enough for Drums
    by: Ann Rinaldi

Publication Date: May 9, 2000
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Page Count: 256 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Sixteen-year-old Jem struggles to maintain the status quo at home in Trenton, New Jersey, when the family men join the war for independence.There are signs of rebellion in the Emerson household several years before the actual American Revolution hits in 1776! Brought up in a relatively liberal household, Jemima Emerson is quite a challenge for her tutor, John Reid, who is known as a Tory with strong ties to England. How could Jem's parents be friends with a man who opposes American freedom? Jem longs for freedom on every level, in the home and her homeland— and John represents the forces that restrict her. Jem and her family soon find themselves fighting for freedom in whatever ways they can in the Revolutionary War. Before long, Jem discovers that there is much more to Mr. Reid than she ever imagined. Her feelings about him change when Jem realizes that John shares her love of freedom— and will risk his life to defend it.

I remember reading this book when I was younger, and I just LOVED it. I have always been a historical fiction girl and read tons of it when I was younger. Since I am all about Hamilton the musical right now, I found myself wanting to reread this one as it is set during the Revolutionary War.
Jem isn't an easy character to like at first. She's stubborn as all get out and can be quite childish. There are times when I wanted to shake her because she would say things that proved her immaturity. I think that's what I like best about this book though. She might start out that way, but the war, her lessons with her tutor, and the changing world force her to grow up and she ends up being a resilient, strong young woman.
I will be very honest. The romance in this book is absolutely my favorite part. I love reading the scenes between Jem and her beau. Hate to love romances are always a favorite of mine, as are forbidden romances. I won't say much more but watching it unfold definitely had me feeling giddy.
I adored Jem's brother, Daniel, and their relationship with one another. Jem's relationship with John Reid is quite strained, as it is abominable to her that her family is such good friends with a Tory when they clearly support their right to independence. John could be quite hard on her, but it is his firm hand that really aids in Jem's growing up and learning how to handle future trials.
This book does read more juvenile than a normal young adult book, but that didn't bother me too much. I did feel the transition from the last chapter to the epilogue felt a bit off to me though, and I wish that had been fleshed out a bit more.

The Girl with the Windup Heart (The Steampunk Chronicles #4)
    by: Kady Cross

Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Steampunk
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 396 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

In 1897 London, a final showdown is about to begin.

London's underworld is no place for a young woman, even one who is strong, smart and part-automaton like Mila. But when master criminal Jack Dandy inadvertently breaks her heart, she takes off, determined to find an independent life, one entirely her own. Her search takes her to the spangled shadows of the West End's most dazzling circus.

Meanwhile, taken captive in the Aether, Griffin King is trapped in an inescapable prison, and at the mercy of his archenemy, The Machinist. If he breaks under the hellish torment, The Machinist will claim his powers and control of the Aether itself, and no one in either world will be safe-especially not Finley Jayne and her misfit band of friends.

Finley plunges headlong into the Aether the only way she knows how, by temporarily dying. But she cannot parry The Machinist's maneuvers for long. To defeat him for good, Griffin will have to confront his greatest fear and finally come face-to-face with the destructive power he wields.

I have really enjoyed the books in Kady Cross's Steampunk Chronicles, so I don't know why I waited so long to start this final book in the series. While books 1 and 2 were good, I absolutely LOVED these last two. Part of it has to do with Finley and Griffin's relationship and seeing how that has progressed into so much more. They balance one another so very well and I loved seeing them together. I desperately wanted more of them!
Each story follows the same set of characters, but features a different character's overarching storyline. This one follows Mila and Jack Dandy and I have to admit I really enjoyed those two. Mila is part automaton like the synopsis says and she is still learning the ways of the world. She may start childlike in essence, but she is incredibly smart and learns quickly. Her and Jack's relationship really surprised me, considering what a cad Dandy is. He likes Mila, but knows he's a scoundrel and she would do better to find someone honorable that could provide her the life she deserves. I liked seeing Mila go off on her own, as it really knocked some sense into Jack. He has his own demons to face and when it came down to it, he finally does what he needs to in order to put those demons to rest.
Meanwhile, we have Finley and the gang dealing with The Machinist, who is more dangerous than ever because now he has managed to take Griffin. Griffin has been growing weaker for awhile now and it's not too difficult for the Machinist to use the Aether against him. I admit I thought there would be a bit more action when it came to this storyline, but it ended up getting resolved in the last 10% of the book, which seemed a bit fast. For as much trouble as he had given them, it seemed like it was wrapped up rather easily.
I really enjoyed this final book in the series though and am quite happy with how everything played out.

   by: Lynsay Sands

Publication Date: Nov. 24, 2015
Publisher: Avon Romance
Genre: Historical Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: e-ARC received via Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 400 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands returns with the unforgettable story of a reluctant bride and groom who soon find common ground in the bedroom . . .

Bastard daughter to the king, Rosamunde was raised in a convent and wholly prepared to take the veil . . . until King Henry declared she would wed Aric, one of his most valiant knights. Suddenly she found herself promising to love, honor, and obey.

Rosamunde's education had not covered a wedding night, but the handsome warrior she was now bound to seemed intent on giving her a lesson in the art of pleasure. In no time, Aric was certain she would surrender to the irresistible passion he promised.

And while Rosamunde's spirited nature often put her at odds with her new husband, his mastery in seduction was quickly melting her resolve—and capturing her heart.

I have been excited to dive back into historical romance and I've heard great things about Lynsay Sands' books. Sadly, this one just didn't really do it for me. I never once felt connected to the characters or the story.
Rosamunde is King Henry's illegitimate daughter and has been grown up living in an abbey after her mother passed away. She is all set to take her vows, when her father comes and marries her off to Aric, who has just cancelled his own engagement after finding his betrothed with another man. Things get off to a rather awkward start for them, and while the situations were meant to be humorous, they just felt forced and over the top for me.
I also felt Rosamunde and Aric's connection was a bit lacking as well. Despite it being an arranged marriage, I would have liked a bit more build up between them. Aric is a gruff, grumpy hero and his constant asinine behavior with Rosamunde, while fun, was a bit much. I hated how he treated her. I understand he'd been burned in the past, but he should have just told her his fears instead of making her feel incompetent.  
Overall, this just didn't enthrall me like other historical romances I've recently read have, and I don't think it was one that had an overly spectacular storyline. The sexy times were sizzling though, so I have to say I did enjoy those. I'll try a different Sands book in the future and hope I have better luck with it.

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  1. I've read a couple of Lynsay Sand's historical romances, and though I've enjoyed them, I never found them AMAZING either. I'm sorry to hear this one didn't work for you.

    1. Bummer! I was excited to read her, but I'll have to look at your reviews on GR first before the next one.

  2. I need to find myself a copy of Time Enough for Drums. I mean it's HR, forbidden romance and hate to love? How am I ever going to resist it? :D

    The Kady Cross series is also one I've been dying to read. I've heard really good things and I'm happy that the story wrapped up well for you. :)

    I read one book by Lynsay Sands and really liked it, but I haven't heard the best things about this one. I don't think I'd enjoy it very much because I usually need to feel a connection to my characters and between them too. Sorry this wasn't great, Jess.

    Lovely reviews!!

    1. Time Enough for Drums reads a bit juvenile, but it's just one of those books that will always remain special to me because I fell so in love with it when I was younger. :)

      I really liked Kady's series. The first two books were ok, but the second two made the series so worth it.

  3. Lovely reviews!

    I used to really enjoy historical fiction, but lately I just can't get into them. And I actually haven't read much steampunk...which I need to remedy! I also just LOVE hate to love romances as well. Glad The Girl with the Windup Heart was a lovely conclusion to the series! I might have to check that one out.

    1. Thanks Magen! Have you read the Bridgerton books by Julia Quinn? Those are so much fun! Otherwise, I haven't read alot of HR either. Steampunk is one genre I haven't read much of either, but Kady's series really worked for me.

  4. Oh I forgot about that Kady Cross series but now I remember that it was one I wanted to check out. Its a shame that Cross book didnt work because whoa pretty cover lol. Great reviews!

    1. Definitely check out Kady's series! It's so good! The first two books are a bit lackluster, but the last two are so wonderful. (I think it's because the romance plays a larger role, HAH)


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