Eligible – Curtis Sittenfeld

25852870Title: Eligible
Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Genre: Romance
Series: The Austen Project #4
Goodreads Rating: 3.63/5

Synopsis: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER . . . Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible tackles gender, class, courtship, and family as Curtis Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.


This version of the Bennet family and Mr. Darcy is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend, neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

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What I thought about the book: Perfect for a summer holiday book if anyone is looking for one. It’s a nice story about all the relationships we experience in modern life. I think Sittenfeld did a great modernising Pride and Prejudice and I really liked a lot of the changes she made to some of the characters. Catherine de Bourgh, for instance, is much more appealing.
Not my normal choice of book but I enjoyed it.
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My Rating: 
4 paws 3.5

Get the book on Book Depository



Beauty & the Beast Retellings

There are actually a lot of these out there and I’ve only read a tiny fraction of what’s available. A lot of the retellings are YA which I don’t really read and a lot of the adult ones are erotic. But there are some books inspired by the tale that reach a happy medium. Here are the ones I’ve read and the ones I’d like to read.

Currently Reading

I’m starting this book today. A lady in my book group just finished it and said it was great. Just look at that cover!

Beauty of the Beast – Rachel L. Demeter

Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1)A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.


Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.


Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

Retellings I’ve Read

Depravity (Beastly Tales, #1) Depravity, Deceit, & Devastation – M.J. Haag

This is a trilogy following 16-year-old Benella. The books are short (approx. 170 pages each), they could easily be combined to make one. I can’t decide if this is YA or NA, there are some mature situations and attempted rape. It’s a pretty good retelling but a lot of it could have been cut out. Did we really need every detail of Benalla picking vegetables and cleaning the castle? This is probably the only retelling I’ve read that has a curse with transformed servants.

Beauty and the Beast: An Erotic Tale (Sensual Fairy Tales Series Book 1) Beauty and the Beast – Jax Lawrence

This is a freaky sex one. It’s really short and seems to end in the middle. I’m guessing there’s a sequel. It’s just dirty and makes no sense! The beast is cursed to endure beastliness and scorn from the villagers until he can be sexually dominated *eye roll*. I read this because I read a really good review that didn’t reveal anything of the plot. I also didn’t read the synopsis. Luckily it was short.

These books are considered a kind of retelling. They have a beauty and a “beast” (usually a scarred man that’s still super hot) but there’s no curses or castles.

The Vixen and the Vet (A Modern Fairytale) The Vixen and the Vet – Katy Regnery

This is a sweet romance. I don’t usually go for sweet romances but I enjoyed this one. Savannah Carmichael is trying to revive her journalism career by interviewing wounded veteran and town hermit, Asher Lee. During their interviews, they become friends then fall in love. You know how it goes…

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3) Lover Awakened – J.R. Ward

I love this book!!!!!!! This is the 3rd book in The Black Dagger Brotherhood (awesome series, you should totally read it). It follows the troubled and battle scarred Zsadist and the beautiful Bella. Since this is the 3rd book in a series I can’t really go into the plot without spoiling previous books but it’s amazing! My favourite book in the series (I’m only up to 7 though). The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a group of vampire warriors (with silly names) at war with soulless humans called lessers.

If You Deceive (MacCarrick Brothers, #3) If You Deceive – Kresley Cole

Ethan MacCarrick is a scarred and vengeful rake determined to punish Madeleine van Rowen for her parent’s crimes against him. Madeleine needs a husband or she’s out on the streets. Ethan decides to lead her on and ruin her. Nobody writes romance like Cole. I absolutely love her!

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, #1) The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie – Jennifer Ashley

This book is something special among historical romances. Ian Mackenzie has Asperger’s syndrome but it being 1881 he was seen as being a bit mad. He spent his youth in an asylum, an experience that left a lasting mark on him. He meets Beth Ackerly and decides she’s a beauty he must have. Throw in a murder mystery and you got yourself a great book.

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) A Hunger Like No Other – Kresley Cole

Another one by Cole. This is the second book in her very popular Immortals After Dark series. Lachlain is a werewolf gone completely nuts after 150 years of torture by vampires. Emmaline is a vampire half-breed and his destined mate. Everyone in Immortals After Dark has a soul mate….guess it’s a handy way to deal with the instalove. This one wouldn’t be one of my favourites from the series. Lachlain is way too possessive and Emmaline really struggles to stand up for herself (she kicks butt in the end though). The best part of this series is the Valkyrie. They are awesome!!! I want to be Valkyrie!!

Retellings I want to Read

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast Beauty – Robin McKinley

Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels, #3) Lord of Scoundrels – Loretta Chase

When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2) When Beauty Tamed the Beast – Eloisa James

To Beguile a Beast (Legend of the Four Soldiers, #3) To Beguile a Beast – Robin McKinley

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1) Cruel Beauty – Rosamund Hodge

Firelight (Darkest London, #1) Firelight – Kristen Callihan

Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1) Romancing the Duke – Tessa Dare

Master of Crows (Master of Crows, #1) Master of Crows – Grace Draven

Have you read any of these books? What retellings would you recommend? 

Beauty and the Beast by Jax Lawrence

30985130Title: Beauty and the Beast
Author: Jax Lawrence
Genre: Erotica
Series: Sensual Fairy Tales #1
Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5
Why I read this: Read a good review, it’s short and I couldn’t sleep.
Every year the village sacrifices a maiden to the beast. The maiden disappears, and no one knows what happens to her.
Beautiful and passionate Belle couldn’t care less, she’s more interested in catching the eye of her father’s handsome stablehand. All her fears are realized when she’s kidnapped by the villagers and left, bleeding and naked, at the mercy of the beast.
Yet the Beast does not turn out to be what she expected. For one, he’s the sexiest thing she’s ever seen. For another, he’s not interested in killing her. He’s interested in something else, something she’s always fantasized about.
Is the the one who can break his spell? Can she sexually dominate him for three days?
This fast-paced erotica includes BDSM (with safe words), masturbation, and a beast. A very big beast.
What I thought about the book:
This was not so good…there was potential for a good story but it didn’t deliver.
There’s no real character development or description….Which is fine I guess… it’s very short and the whole point was for Belle and Beast to do the nasty (with whips).
There’s no real ending. I’m guessing it’s meant to be a cliffhanger but it seems to just end in the middle.
The whole thing was meh.
Favourite Character: n/a
My Rating:
1 paw
Smut 4

Jane Steele – Lyndsay Faye Review

25868918Title: Jane Steele
Author: Lyndsay Faye
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: n/a
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Why I read this:
TBR pile reading challenge

Synopsis: Reader, I murdered him.

A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked – but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London’s underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate’s true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household’s strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him – body, soul and secrets – and what if he discovers her murderous past?

What I thought about the book:

This was absolutely brilliant. I was hooked from the very first sentence and couldn’t bare to part with it after.

Having previously read one Jane Eyre retelling and being bitterly disappointed in it, I didn’t really have high expectations for this one. But boy was I in for a treat! Primarily, it isn’t exactly a retelling, more a murderous narrative with roots deeply embedded in Brontë’s book. Far more adventurous and thrilling than the original, Jane Steele’s life ebbs and flows in a similar but ultimately different fashion to Eyre’s. The mystery of the missing jewels and Mr Thornfield’s past kept me bolted to the pages till the end.

I wasn’t sure what to make of Jane’s character at first. I thought she might be a bit of a sociopath, but I grew to love her. I can honestly say she’s now one of my favourite all time characters.

Mr Thornfield, I loved from the moment we returned to Highgate House. His sarcastic humour and caring nature are very endearing. (I wouldn’t normally add a historical fiction character to my Book Boyfriends but he’s a definite contender)

Every aspect of this book has gotten under my skin and lives there now. It’s one of the rare stories I will think of often.

Favourite Character: Mr Thornfield
My Rating:
5 paws
Smut meh
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Uncivilized by Sawyer Bennett

22611596Title: Uncivilized
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Genre: Adult Fiction/Erotica
Series: Uncivilized #1
Goodreads Rating: 3.99/5
Why I read this: Decided to read a Tarzan retelling for the craic with all the hype around for the movie.
Synopsis: Savage man, loner, warrior… I am dangerous at my core. I have lived amidst the untamed wild of the rainforest, in a society that reveres me and where every woman falls before me in subjugation.

Now I’ve been discovered. Forced to return to a world that I have forgotten about and to a culture that is only vaguely familiar to my senses.

Dr. Moira Reed is an anthropologist who has been hired to help me transition back into modern society. It’s her job to smooth away my rough edges… to teach me how to navigate properly through this new life of mine. She wants to tame me.

She’ll never win.

I am wild, free and raw, and the only thing I want from the beautiful Moira Reed is to fuck her into submission.

She wants it, I am certain.

I will give it to her soon.

Yes, very soon, I will become the teacher and she will become my student. And when I am finished showing her body pleasure like no other, she’ll know what it feels like to be claimed by an uncivilized man.

What I thought about the book:
This is a dirty book, simple as. The story and writing are a bit weak at times and I came across a few typos.
I didn’t like any of the characters. Moira was alright but Zach made no sense at all. I couldn’t feel any real connection between them and a lot of the dialouge made me cringe.
If you want a book for some dominate/submissive sexy times and little story, then this is the one for you.
My Rating:
2 paws
Smut 4