Category: Books/Movie

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

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image via imdb

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Sam Redford, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol

Director: David Yates

Time: 2hrs 13mins

Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Rating: 8/10

The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards. This is set about 70 years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. It’s the middle of the 20s and the times are troubled since the already fragile equilibrium of secrecy of the world of wizard are unsettled and are at a risk of being exposed. When creatures from Newt’s suitcase escapes and creates disasters the MACUSA Congress struggles to maintain the balance. Newt needs to catch all his creatures before the authorities catch up to him and his creatures.

This was a fantastic movie; it immediately throws you into the Harry Potter world. This is a little different from the main Harry Potter franchise there was more on the magical creatures and it was set before Harry went to school and studied the book. The filming was superb, the cast was amazing and the acting was just out of this world. I couldn’t wait to see all the magical creatures on the big screen again and having that little taste of the magical world again. I wasn’t disappointed. I would highly recommend watching this. Although I would have preferred the film to be in the UK rather than the States, though.

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The Jaguar King by Anna McIlwraith

image via Goodreads
image via Goodreads

Title: The Jaguar King

Author: Anna McIlwraith

Series: Caller of the Blood

Book: #1

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Shapeshifters

Published: 28th November 2015

Goodreads Rating: 3.97

My Rating: 4/5

Magic is real? Big deal. Bills still gotta be paid.

Especially when you’re heading into vet med. Emma Chase is nothing special – if anything, with a roomie who turns into a jaguar on a regular basis, she’s the sidekick, not the heroine. Her superpowers have more to do with acing her finals and overworking herself. Knowing her best friend’s secret makes it easier to justify her own inclination to keep people at a distance, but it doesn’t change her life.
Until others like him show up on her doorstep, convinced she’s the fated saviour of their race, telling her she’s destined to command the magic of – well, Emma doesn’t quite catch that part, she’s too busy getting her ass the hell out of there.
What she does know? The Jaguar King is after her, his rivals want her dead, and she doesn’t have to believe in prophecy to believe they’ll stop at nothing to catch her.
Violence. Magic. Inappropriate humour. Step into a world of wonder and savagery in a gritty urban fantasy with an unlikely heroine, sizzling heroes, and complicated villains. The Jaguar King is a full-length read and the first in a series, and all the books have satisfying resolutions as well as a series-spanning story arc. Definitely no cliff-hangers – just bad-ass shifters with one goal: claim the prize. Claim the Caller of the Blood.

First Sentences

Night rolled over the city like smoke, and to Beata Salcedo, the air seemed to burn with the restless taste of prophecy.

My Thoughts

Emma Chase is just a normal girl who’s studying to become a vet and interning at the local vet’s office. Her roomie, Ricky turns into a Jaguar regularly but that’s just all part of her life. Until Ricky’s brother turns up on her doorstep telling her that she needs to run from her current life as the Jaguar King is after her and his rivals want her dead. But on top of it all the shapeshifter community thinks that she’s the prophecised fated one and that she’s destined to command the magic.

From then on Emma’s on the run from the Jaguar King and other’s that she doesn’t even know about. Even though she doesn’t quite believe in the prophecy but that didn’t stop people from coming after her.

I was introduced to this book by a friend of mine. I do love a good supernatural book. I really enjoyed read this, I loved Emma, she was funny, brave and she stands up for herself. I do love a strong female lead, even though she doesn’t always understand what’s going on around them but she tries her best to solve her own problems.

This book is a little different from the usual supernatural shapeshifter books that I’ve read. It mostly surrounds the Jaguar kingdom which is quite different from the usual wolf, lion and dragon shifter novels. There’s a lot of mysteries surrounding each of the characters where it compels you to read further and when the time comes the author explains. You feel like you’re learning about the new world through/with Emma which is a really interesting and exciting journey. Not only has that but the first book used very different animals as her characters. Very different from the usual animals used. Of course, as the series goes on the usual dominating animals come out to play as well but not in the beginning.

I really enjoyed the plot line that the author has planned out. It was a little slow to start out but once you get into it it’s a really fantastic story. Emma’s character was brilliantly compiled, she’d just make you laugh at the most serious times.

I fell in love with each of the characters differently whether they were good or bad. There wasn’t a cliff-hanger at the end but it was completely open for another book which was well done. I cannot wait to continue on with this series and see what other trouble Emma gets into.

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We Need A Little Christmas by Sierra Donovan

image via Goodreads
image via Goodreads

Title: We Need a Little Christmas

Author: Sierra Donovan

Series: Evergreen Lane

Book: #2

Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Holiday, Christmas

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: Sept 27th 2016

Goodreads Rating: 3.94

My Rating: 2/5

“ARC given for an honest review”

With its festive Snowed Inn and year-round Christmas store, the pretty town of Tall Pine knows how to do the holidays right. But this year, Liv Tomblyn’s homecoming trip may be bittersweet. Liv’s grandmother died soon after Thanksgiving, leaving a lifetime of belongings to sort through. Soon Liv is surrounded by memories, including a retro silver Christmas tree. And there’s Liv’s old friend Scott Leroux—the one-time class clown who’s become the town’s go-to handyman.

Scott enjoyed helping Liv’s Nammy with little fix-it jobs in recent years, but now he’s wondering if the crafty grandma had a much larger project in mind. Everything—from Nammy’s mysteriously malfunctioning heater to that silver tree—seems to be conspiring to throw Liv and Scott together. Not that Scott objects. For though Liv insists she’ll leave Tall Pine when the holidays are over, he’s hoping their holiday kisses might thaw her resolve and make this Christmas truly unforgettable…

First Sentences

It shouldn’t be hard to recognise her own sister.

My Thoughts

Liv is back in her hometown since leaving for college. The only reason she’s back now is because her grandmother passed away and she needs to help her mum and sister to clean out her grandmother’s house. When she arrives she doesn’t see her sister coming to pick her up instead in her sister’s place is Scott Leroux the class clown but now the town handyman.

I got a hold of this book just before Christmas. So I was completely in the Christmas Spirit of things whether it was with my reading or watching. This was a light-hearted read and it was full of Christmas Spirit. I liked both Liz and Scott but I felt that it was a stretch to them. Scott didn’t really have much to do with Liz’s family aside from doing the odd jobs with Liz’s grandmother. The love interest between them wasn’t hot and heavy it was sweet. But I felt for most of the book that their story actually dragged on a little bit longer than I thought should have been. I wasn’t mind blown with the characters or their chemistry but it was a fun easy read for the holiday season.

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The Last Air Bender (2010)

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image via imdb

Cast: Noah Ringer, Dev Ratel, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Cliff Curtis

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Time: 1hour 43mins

Genre: Action, Adventure, Family

Rating: 5/10

This follows the adventures of Aang, a young successor to a long line of Avatars, who must master all four elements and stop the Fire nation from enslaving the Water and Earth tribes for their own needs. This is a movie version of the animation series.

I loved watching the animation series when I was younger I remember waiting every time a new episode came on. But when I watched this movie it just didn’t quite live up to the series and I felt that it was just a remake of the whole animation series into a really short movie. I wasn’t impressed.

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The Game Plan (2007)

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image via imdb

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Madison Pettis, Kyra Sedgwick, Roselyn Sanchez, Morris Chestnut, Hayes MacArthur, Brian White

Director: Andy Fickman

Time: 1hour 50mins

Genre: Comedy, Family, Sport

Rating: 6/10

Joe Kingman is a huge football star; he’s got the fame, women and money. Everything in his life is perfect. Then one day he finds an 8-year-old girl at his apartment door claiming to be his daughter. Then comes his road to parenting as her “mother is in Africa”. In the beginning, everything that can go wrong goes wrong but eventually, Peyton gets Joe to understand her and wrapped around her finger.

This was very big on football, football isn’t a huge draw for me but it was a hilarious movie to watch. There was some really heart-warming moment at the end of this movie. I really enjoyed watching this movie, it doesn’t need a lot of thinking and it’s funny all the way through.

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Christmas Baby for the Princess by Barbara Wallace

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image via Goodreads

Title: Christmas Baby for the Princess

Author: Barbara Wallace

Series: Royal House of Corinthia

Book: #1

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: Harlequin

Published: 8th Nov 2016

Goodreads Rating: 4.0

My Rating: 2/5

“ARC given for an honest review”

Princess Arianna of Corinthia fled to New York when she discovered her pregnancy, faced with either marrying the man who deceived her or a royal scandal. But when a pickpocket leaves her penniless, she must turn to handsome restaurateur Max Brown for help…
Max can’t resist rescuing this enchanting stranger. And as his newest (and worst!) waitress brings festive sparkle to his solitary life, her mysterious past make him wary… Can he hope Arianna is here for life…not just for Christmas?

First Sentences

Arianna was going to be sick. Stomach churning, she slumped against the brick wall and took a shaky breath.

My Thoughts

This was a quick read but it wasn’t anything special. I didn’t really relate or get into the characters. Arianna was nice enough but she really didn’t pull me into the story. And I just couldn’t believe with Max’s personality that he would fall in love that fast. It just really wasn’t my cup of tea.

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Welcome Home for Christmas by Annie Rains

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image via Goodreads

Title: Welcome Home for Christmas

Author: Annie Rains

Series: Hero’s Welcome

Book: #4

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Christmas, Holiday

Publisher: Loveswept

Published: 8th Nov 2016

Goodreads Rating: 4.16

My Rating: 3/5

“ARC given for an honest review”

Three-hundred-and-sixty-four days a year, Allison Carmichael doesn’t mind being single. It sure beats dating another loser, and it keeps her heart safe. Then there’s that three-hundred-and-sixty-fifth day: Christmas Eve, the traditional time her entire family gathers together—and gangs up on her, demanding to know when she’s going to get married. This year, she swears, is going be different. And that’s why, at a charity auction she’s throwing on-base, she buys herself a man.
Sergeant Troy Matthews insists that he’s not for sale. His time is, though, and he’s happy to donate it. Happier still when he learns the identity of the winning bidder: the redhead with the killer good looks and smart mouth who runs the veteran’s centre. Allison needs Troy’s help to fool her family into believing they’re an item, and he’s all too happy to indulge her. But by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, their little charade is working a little too well . . . because Troy’s falling head over heels.

First Sentences

Troy Matthew’s morning had started off with a bang when a few grunts had decided to road race down the 35-mile-per-hour back roads on base.

My Thoughts

As it’s the season I’ve been reading quite a lot of Christmas themed books. This happens to be one of them. This is the first book that I’ve read in the series as well as with this author. Allison Carmichael doesn’t want to head to her family’s Christmas celebration alone this year. She had enough of her mother analysing her relationship status. Allison is a sweet girl but she becomes kind of a push over when her mother is concerned. Allison’s dedicated to her job and will stop at nothing to help the kids at the orphanage to have a happy Christmas. She runs a charity party to raise money for the kids. Part of the charity is to auction of military men to help the wives of guys who have been deployed to help do the little things around the house. When Allison wins the bid on Troy she gets a plan in her head to fake a relationship and takes Troy to this year’s family celebrations.

OMG, I just love Christmas. This story was sweet, happy and full of Christmas miracles. I couldn’t help but to fall in love with both Troy and Allison and it’s made me that much more emotional with the Christmas season upon us. I loved how that the characters were slowly developed and it wasn’t just instant love, they conquered their fears and really made each other better. There were, however, certain situations that made me roll my eyes and it was a little overdone but what the heck it’s Christmas. I would recommend this for the season. It’s sweet, cute and very light reading.

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Seduced by a Dragon by Alisa Woods

image via Goodreads
image via Goodreads

Title: Seduced by a Dragon

Author: Alisa Woods

Series: Fallen Immortals

Book: #5

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Dragon, Shapeshifters, Adventure, Action, Fantasy

Publisher: Sworn Secrets Publishing

Published: 2nd January 2017

Goodreads Rating: 4.59

My Rating: 4/5

“ARC given for an honest review”

Falling in love was never in the cards for Leonidas. An angry witch made sure of that—if he loses his heart, he loses his life. But the treaty guaranteeing peace will die with him unless he wins the True Love of a woman and she bears him a dragonling. When a fiery red-headed witch comes along with plans of her own, five hundred years of guarding his heart and opening his bed might not be enough to protect him.
Because Love is Magic… and the fate of the mortal and immortal worlds depends on Rosalyn and Leonidas not only opening their hearts but surviving a Love that’s True…

First Sentences

Leonidas needed a way to die.

My Thoughts

Following on from the previous book Leonidas had fallen in love with Rosalyn which triggered the age old curse that had been cast on him which is turning him and pushing him closer to his death. To be honest I loved the first books of the series and didn’t love Leonidas’ story as much. But this book has made me love Leonidas that little more. I felt that his falling in love with Rosalyn was a little too fast for it to be true love. But I still kept on with the story, I loved the action throughout this book and there was much more depth into the curse than the first book in this series. I enjoyed the dialogue between the Summer Queen and Leonidas was very enlightening and I was well played by the author. I can see there to be a future story there. I did, however, love Rosalyn’s character, she was fiery and strong even when she’s terrified. I would be interested in seeing where their story leads in the last book.

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To Blackmail a Di Sione by Rachel Thomas

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image via Goodreads

Title: To Blackmail a Di Sione

Author: Rachel Thomas

Series: The Billionaire’s Legacy

Book: #3

Genre: Romance

Publisher: Harlequin

Published: 23rd Aug 2016

Goodreads Rating: 3.46

My Rating: 2/5

“ARC given for an honest review”

“When you’ve finished making offers for the bracelet, I have a proposition for you.”
Billionaire Liev Dragunov has spent a lifetime plotting revenge against those responsible for his family’s ruin. Finally, he has the way: Bianca Di Sione.
She’s denied their obvious attraction and coolly rebuffs every request to work for him—until he finds her weakness: a diamond bracelet she desperately needs!
Bianca must become his fake fiancée if she wants her trinket! But the taste of revenge isn’t as sweet as desire, and Liev discovers that she is innocent in more ways than one…

First Sentences

Bianca Di Sione scanned the busy conference room from her vantage point at the back, looking for her sister Allegra.

My Thoughts

I read this one just as I finished another in its series. I just found out that this series each book is written by a different author. I didn’t really enjoy this book. The characters didn’t jump out for me, they didn’t have that much chemistry between each other and didn’t really catch my attention like other books in its series. I was a little disappointed with this book.

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Criminal Minds (2005)

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image via trakt

Cast: Matthew Gray Gubler, Kirsten Vangsness, Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, AJ Cook, Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Drama

Seasons: 12

Based in Quantico, Virginia, the Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU) is a subsection of the FBI. The team is called up by the different local police force to assist in cases that involve serial or extremely violent killers. The team profiles the unknown perpetrator in order to catch them. Due to the nature of the work by the BAU, it being extremely psychologically demanding and that they spend a lot of time together in the air flying from city to city the team members have created a bond and are fiercely loyal to the team and each other.

I really love this show I’ve been following it since it’s started. I love each of the characters and what they bring to the team. There are lots of reviews saying that the show is very much like CSI but I felt that it was different. CSI is more based on physical evidence whereas Criminal Minds is more on the psychology of what makes the perpetrators tick and why they were doing the crimes. The casting was amazing! Jason Gideon was the perfect start to the series and as the team outgrew him or as he outgrew the job. Spencer Reid is just an amazing human being with this super knowledge and eidetic memory. Love Penelope Garcia with her super computer genius that helps the team conduct searches. She’s definitely me favourite. Jennifer Jareau who turns from team media expert to a profiler in the later seasons. David Rossi joins the team after leaving the FBI for a couple of years, Emily Prentiss comes from Interpol and joins the team with her multiple languages and knowledge from her stations overseas. Derek Morgan who’s insanely loyal and fantastic at his job and of course there’s their unit chief Aaron Hotchner who’s unflappable and a little drill sergeant. After all these seasons the team goes through the ups and downs through each of these cases which also changes their personal lives but they’ve stuck together through it all. But when we came to season 12 we see that Hotchner leaves to protect his son and Morgan leaves to start his own family. The team has Prentiss as their unit chief and Luke Alvez joins them from the Fugitive Task Force where he was responsible for capturing fugitives on the run.

I was completely heartbroken when Morgan left the team but I completely understood after what happened to him and now he’s got a child on the way. But the best thing that came was that they bought Prentiss back. She’s been one of my favourites ever since she joined the team. To be honest I can rave on and on about this show and what I love about it but now I would love to hear what your thoughts on the show are? Do you love it? Who’s your favourite?

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Di Sione’s Virgin Mistress by Sharon Kendrick

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image via goodreads

Title: Di Sione’s Virgin Mistress

Author: Sharon Kendrick

Series: The Billionaire’s Legacy

Book: #5

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: Harlequin

Published: 18th Oct 2016

Goodreads Rating: 3.84

My Rating: 3/5

“ARC given for an honest review”

Dante Di Sione could forgive the beautiful blonde he kissed in the airport lounge for accidentally taking the suitcase with his grandfather’s precious tiara in it. But then she has the nerve to blackmail him into accompanying her to her sister’s wedding!
So when news of their supposed engagement breaks, Dante takes his revenge and ensures that Willow plays the part of his loving wife-to-be to the full. Only, he has no idea that Willow has faked all that bold confidence…and is a virgin!

First Sentences

Dante Di Sione felt the adrenaline pumping through his body as he walked into the tiny airport terminal.

My Thoughts

To be honest I was a little sceptical that I would have enjoyed this book at all. Because starting the series from book 5 probably isn’t the best way to begin a series. But once I got started I just had a really hard time to put it down. I enjoyed the quick read; the faster pace the characters and the setting. I felt that this book was sweet, there was a tiny bit of complication with their relationship, and romantic and it also had a slightly darker side to it too. It had a really good combination of all of that put together.

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