Melody
Mira | March 2017 | 400 pgs
Source: Library




Do you love stories about lighthouse? Tiffany Reisz's The Night Mark not only has a lighthouse setting during the 1920s at a quaint beach town in South Carolina and also it was an intriguing story about a woman's destiny after she discovered the crumbling yet beautiful Bride Island lighthouse and the legend surrounding it. 

In present time 2015, thirty-year-old Faye Barlow has been living her life filled with regrets and remorse after she's lost her husband, Will, to a car-jacking accident. Her remarriage was a failure since she couldn't love the man who is Will's best friend. Even four years after Will's passing, Faye still thinks of him everyday and she knew no man will ever replace him in her heart. When a job offer comes along to photograph South Carolina's storied coast, she accepts it since that is the only thing that keeps her going. 

In the quaint beach town, she has her eyes set on the crumbling Bride Island lighthouse. Left deserted, she hears that there is a sad story surrounding the lighthouse; that the lighthouse keeper's daughter was drowned in 1921. Faye is drawn to this young lady named Faith Morgan, and one night of visiting the lighthouse has dragged her into the past after she is struck by a rogue wave. There, Faye encounters the lighthouse keeper who looks very much like Will. His name is Carrick Morgan and Faye feels a connection with him. Is this a sign about Will's promise to her that he'd take care of her for as long as she lives? Or is it even possible to love two men separated by time? 

The Night Mark is a wonderful time travel love story that tugged at my heartstrings. While I was very much invested in Faye's story, the Bride Island lighthouse setting and the 1921 timeline are another elements which had me drawn to this story. The author has done a great job in capturing the feel of the 1920s as we see Faye trying to adjust her life as she come to live like Faith Morgan's. Like Faye, I was easily attracted to Carrick due to his gentlemanly and his upright demeanours. Most of all, I was intrigued as in how this story would end; after all what is Faye supposed to do under such complicated circumstances? This is a novel not to be missed if you love a good time travel love story.



Well have you voted for the book I've to read during my vacation next week? If you haven't already, I'd appreciate it if you could take some time and help me with the selection (click here). It's so hard to pick which book to read among the list and this is where you come in and decide for me. :-)


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Melody
June is coming soon and that means school holidays and a short vacation is in order. I'll be taking a short break off of blogging next week for a short trip and I need your help in selecting a book for this purpose. I'll read the top TWO choices (just in case I finished one, well you never know, right?) based on the most votes. And as for the rest, I'll still get to them at some point. :-)

Here is the list of books to choose from (click onto each link for more info of the book):

I Found You by Lisa Jewell


Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney


The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle


The Breakdown by B.A Paris


Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances


Thank you and happy reading! (You may also wish to cast your vote under the comments section if you like.)  

Melody
Penguin Publishing Group | April 2017 | 384 pgs
Source: Purchased



What I love about Julie James' books is her characters, their sharp and witty dialogues and how they always make me smile at the end of the story. 

Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd are both FBI agents. Once a lawyer and an Army Ranger respectively, they are both good in their works and their outstanding performance continues to shine when they are trainees at the FBI training squad at Quantico. Jessica and John have their own strength and weaknesses during those tough training sessions and whether if it is a personality clash or a streak of rivalry between them, most of the times they don't see eye to eye and their dislikes for each other finally ended after they go their separate ways after their graduation, thinking that there is little chance they would see each other again considering the different location they are working.  

As fate would have it, they meet again six years later. As if that is not enough, they are to be partners for a high-profile undercover sting. It is a challenging assignment and that involves a charismatic and a well-liked Florida politician who takes bribes to solve entrepreneurs' "problems" through his connections in various aspects. It is both bad news and bad timing for Jessica and John. For Jessica, she has just divorced with her Hollywood producer husband and for John, this would be his last undercover job if he is selected for FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team. He has recently split from his cheating girlfriend and that feeling was made worse especially since the other guy is one of his good friends. With so much at stake and with Jessica's and John's complicated relationship, it is easy to think that their camaraderie would be nil but the plus side of this assignment is they get to stay at a romantic beachfront resort as part of the investigation for their role as a pair of interesting business partners who want to invest an eatery place but are met with several difficulties which obstruct their plans. And this is where they would approach the corrupt politician for his help. 

While it was fun reading this enemies-turn-couple kind of story, it wasn't really the "how?" but more of the "why?" that made this story such an interesting read. I loved reading the dynamic between Jessica and John; from the beginning of their (heated/competitive) exchanges to the camaraderie they shared working with each other until something has changed alongside their assignment. And, there was another obstacle towards the end which I felt would delight all romantics after reading those last moments. 



© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody

Set in the capital city of Seorabeol during the Silla Dynasty, this drama depicts the coming-of-age story of a group of youths and how they later became elite knights called "Hwarang" (also known as the Flower Knights for their pretty face). 

The beginning of the story was an important setup of the plot, as we see the friendship between two peasant youths named Moo Myung (starring Park Seo Joon) and Sun Woo (starring Lee Kwang Soo). Moo Myung has no family except Sun Woo; and Sun Woo is hoping for a day that he could find his father and younger sister, Ah Ro (starring Go Ara). At that time, the young faceless King Jinheung (starring Park Hyung Sik) is a mysterious figure and the Queen fiercely protects his identity to avoid political plays and assassinations for his throne. Sun Woo is killed as a result of catching a glimpse of the King's face unknowingly after he heard his title being called out by his General. Moo Myung vows for vengeance and take up Sun Woo's identity after he has found Sun Woo's family. Ah Ro, on the other hand, is elated that her elder brother is back but she has that queasy feeling about him as there are times she feels her heart flutters. 


What follows after is the Queen commands a knights group be formed for the future Silla. A few youths from the noble families joined the group due to their 'True Bone' bloodline while some are 'half breed'. Sun Woo became one of the Hwarangs due to some complicated connections while the hidden young King joined under a fake name, Kim Ji Dwi, for other reasons - a means to be a stronger person in terms of everything as well as getting closer to Ah Ro after he has fallen for her at first sight. 


The rest of the story follows the trainings of the Hwarangs, the conspiracies within the Royal Court as well as the love triangle involving "Sun Woo", Ah Ro and King Jinheung. And of course, the bonds within the Hwarangs is another highlight as we see their relationship changes from enemies to being camaraderie (the 'True Bone' and 'half breed' don't get along due to their status differences). I had an enjoyable time watching Hwarang for many reasons: a well-crafted plot with a cast of wonderful characters, the portrayal of courageousness, humanity and wisdom in "Sun Woo" (especially for his love for Ah Ro), the bromance between "Sun Woo" and King Jinheung and finally, how each Hwarang has become a changed person after all the consequential events happened in Silla. Being a fangirl I couldn't help buying a copy of the drama photobook as keepsake (never mind if it is in Korean as long as there are pictorials, right? And it also includes the main characters' picture cards, yay!)



© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody
Bloomsbury Childrens | May 2017 | 720 pgs
Source: Purchased



Where shall I even begin? This third installment of A Court of Thorns and Roses series evoked so much emotions in me and as much as this book wrapped up Feyre's story, I wasn't ready for it to end (However, Sarah J. Maas stated that there would be more tales of Prythian in 2018. Yes, that makes me a very happy fangirl.)

Now this book is a hard one to review; not only to avoid spoilers but also there are so many things happening and most of all, it was about war and vengeance and we all know how dark and nasty they are. So many lives are at stake and at times sacrifices are to be made under such circumstances. And of course, we also see Feyre, High Lady of the Night Court, what she would do to save Prythian and all from the King of Hybern's invasions. This is an epic finale about deceits and conspiracies, about power and courage and finally, about love, hope and giving. And my dear reader, this is as far as I could say. I thank the author for giving us such a cast of wonderful (unforgettable) characters and that intense, emotional roller coaster ride throughout the reading journey.

Related links:
A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1)
A Court of Mist and Fury (#2)

(This series are not suitable for younger readers as they contain mature content.)


© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.