Let’s Talk Bookish – April #2

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, that is hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books  and Dani @ Literary Lion. It’s a chance to discuss certain topics, share opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Posts are written on Friday’s, and you can suggest topics using the form that you will find on Rukky’s Contact page.

This is my first foray with this meme, but I do hope (and plan) to make it a regular feature.

This weeks prompt is


Do you have any book boyfriends/girlfriends? What makes you fall in love with them? Is there anything all your favourite book boyfriends/girlfriends have in common? Do you prefer they come from certain genres?

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Do you have any book boyfriends/girlfriends?

As an avid fan of romance books so the very brief answer is yes, I do have book boyfriends. Lots and lots of book boyfriends. I’m particularly fond of Ronan in Reaper by A. Zavarelli, Leonhardt from Rough Surrender by Cari Silverwood (and Ryke from Branded Possession) , Marshal Kellee who can be found in The Messenger Chronicles by Pippa DaCosta, and Ari from The Escape Artist by Kitty Thomas. Oh I mustn’t forget the half-cyborg Leonidas from Lindsay Buroker’s Fallen Empire Series.

There are a whole host of heroines who I would love to be best friends with but, since the question suggests in a romantic way, I won’t be naming them here (though Kesh from The Messenger Chronicles is high on the list!)

What makes you fall in love with them? Is there anything all your favourite book boyfriends/girlfriends have in common?

The truth is that I am a sucker for a damaged hero, nothing tugs on my heart strings more than a guy with a story. The number one requirement is for the author to have made me care about their hero, and that is generally achieved through creating a character with depth and layers to their personality. I also need to feel an emotional connection to the story/main protagonists.

Most of them are alpha males, or at least dominant in some way, hopefully knowing one end of a flogger from the other. At the very least they should be protective, as well as worshipping the heroine, but without crossing the line into arrogance and controlling behaviour. Nothing is guaranteed to turn me off quicker than a man presuming to know what a woman wants or needs without having the courtesy to ask her first.

Do you prefer they come from certain genres?

I count myself amongst the millions of others who love romance. Contemporary doesn’t feature very highly on my list, but I do enjoy romantic suspense, PNR (witches, magic, demons rather than vampires or shifters), SFR and Dark romance. I have, however, also fallen in love with book heroes from Urban Fantasy, Fantasy and Science Fiction too. I’m an equal opportunities kinda gal.

Who are your book boyfriends/girlfriends?

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Friday Book Blogger Hop – April 9th – 15th

Friday Book Blogger Hop

 The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books. It is now hosted by Billy @Coffee Addicted Writings. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 

9th – 15th – Does the cover of a book affect whether you are more willing to read it?

submitted by Julie @ JadeSky

I totally judge books by their covers, though the biggest deciding factor when purchasing is author, followed by blurb. For an author I don’t know, then a good cover would encourage me to read the blurb and possibly try a sample. A bad or uninspiring cover can definitely put me off a book.

However positive reviews or recommendations from bloggers/reviewers who share similar tastes are by far the most likely decider in choosing to read a book. Unless it’s a favourite author, and then I’ll one click and read without reading the blurb or taking notice of the cover!

REVIEW – Fantasy/ Alternate Reality \\ These Violent Nights

These Violent Nights
by Rebecca Crunden

Photo by Jovana Nesic on Pexels.com

This is a substantial book, with quite a number of characters and a pretty convoluted plot. The blurb on covers the tip of the iceberg referring to the first few chapters of part 1, with the book being divided into three distinct parts.

The classic tale of good v evil is totally spun on its head, with two parallel worlds that have very different power structures. Thorn and her best friend Thistle live on the Earth, where humans are being hunted to extinction by the magic wielding Suriia. Lucien and his pack live on an Earth where the Suriia, and their magic, are supressed, where they are second class citizens with few rights and fewer luxuries. The fact that one Earth wasn’t an exact inverse of the other really made the set up more interesting and the morality more complex.

The myriad of characters we meet and get to know was amazing, though my preference would have been to have had some of the “bad” guys as more prominent characters too. The main protagonists felt fleshed out, engaging my interest and readily drawing me into the story. The world building was good, with subtle exposition rather than obvious information dumps. It did mean that occasionally I was left a little perplexed, mainly around the different races of Suriians. I did read an arc copy of the book, so it could be that the published version includes a glossary of the Suriian terms used.

We experience Thorn’s Earth in part one, followed by Lucien’s in part two. The rather abrupt transition between the two proved to be quite jarring considering how emotionally invested I was in Thorn’s story. It did feel as though I was starting again from scratch, as part 2 introduced a new cast of characters. I can fully understand why the author chose to present things the way she did, though my preference would have been to have learnt of the two concurrently, so that my investment in the story held steady throughout.

The final third of the book was chock-a-block full of unexpected twists, turns and surprises. It ticked all my boxes and drew the story together into a very satisfying ending. The time spent on Salfar did feel somewhat very rushed though. Throughout the book there were periods of time that were skipped but the author always made clear that some time had passed. Something I would like to have seen was an examination of how time spent by Thorn in the Suriia section of Earth changed/affected her or how time in the castle on Salfar affected Lucian and his pack.

Overall I found this to be a well written, detailed and entertaining story with a good cast of characters.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Low Fantasy

Once upon a time, inhabitants of another world tore a hole through the universe and came to Earth. They called themselves Suryas, and rivalled humans in knowledge and skill with one great exception: they had magic.

War followed. Humanity lost. And three hundred years later, humans are on the brink of extinction.

Orphans Thorn and Thistle live in hiding. They are the last of their families, the last of their friends. They scrape by, stealing to survive and living on the streets or hiding in sheds. But even under the brutal regime of the Suryas, there are places where humans can mingle in secret with magical sympathisers, and one night Thistle gets an unexpected offer of marriage from a Surya with high standing and friends in all the right places. For Thistle, it’s a chance at safety and comfort; for Thorn, it’s a chance to find the ones who killed her parents.

And so the pair move into the capital city of Courtenz. An urban monstrosity of magic and might, false friends and flying cars, drones and death tolls, the new city promises a fresh start – and new love – for both.

But if there’s one thing Thorn knows for certain, it’s that dreams can swiftly turn into nightmares. 

Can’t Wait Wednesday // Wednesday Shelf Control

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine

#CWW – Fortune Fae Academy #2 by J.R. Thorn

Paranormal Romance


Release Date – 13th May

My Alpha captured me… and now I can’t remember why I ran from him in the first place. Literally.
My memory has been fractured and tossed into the Web. My mission is to reclaim who I used to be. My Alpha? He has other plans.

It’s a race to gather the lost fragments of my soul tossed into the fabric of space and time. He broke me. Now he wants to put me back together how he sees fit. All the while forcing me to take horrendous obedience classes at Fortune Fae Academy like I’m some sort of pet to be trained.

Axel might be my only hope—the lesser of two evils. With his help, my Betas and I might just be able to get out of this mess. There will be a price to pay, but anything is better than being enslaved to my Alpha forever. Even if he does awaken something in me that says this feels right… and my body tends to agree whenever he’s around.

I have to stay strong and remember I ran from him for a reason. Darkness torments my dreams every night and I know something bad is coming. If I don’t figure out a way to run from it in time, I can kiss the shards of my soul goodbye—for good.

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out the introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the linked post, and jump on board!

Shelf Control – The Last Girl by Kitty Thomas

Paranormal (Vampire) Erotic Romance

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13483989-the-last-girl

Six years ago strangers broke into Juliette’s house; she was home alone. She kept her eyes closed, praying that if she didn’t see anything, she wouldn’t be killed. No one harmed her. In fact, one of the thieves protected her. Now Juliette’s dreams are haunted by him.
Christian has waited to take her, resisting the urge each night. It always ends badly with human pets. They’re too fragile. The longer he can wait, the better, because the moment he takes her, the clock on her life starts ticking down.
Then she’ll be gone forever.

So my fellow book lovers – what are you currently reading and is it from your TBR list?

The Belle and the Beard by Kate Canterbary

The Belle and the Beard by Kate Canterbary is releasing April 23, 2021!

Pre-order your copy today!      

Amazon: https://geni.us/BATBam

Apple: https://geni.us/BATBab

Nook: https://geni.us/BATBbn

Kobo: https://geni.us/BATBkb

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2YQv5Lj


If you find yourself publicly humiliated, out of work, and unemployable at 35—not to mention newly single—here’s how to salvage your life:

1. Run away. Seriously, there’s no shame in disappearing. Go to that rustic old cottage your aunt left you. Look out for the colony of bats and the leaky roof. Oh, and the barrel-chested neighbor with shoulders like the broad side of a barn. Definitely look out for him.

2. Stop wallowing and stay busy. It doesn’t matter whether you know how to bake or fix things around the house. Do it anyway. Dust off your southern hospitality and feed that burly, bearded neighbor some pecan pie.

3. Meet new people. Chat up the growly man-bear, pretend to be his girlfriend when his mother puts you two on the spot, agree to go as his date to a big family party. Don’t worry—it’s only temporary.

4. Cry it out. Screwing up your life entitles you to wine, broody-moody music, and uninterrupted sobbing. 

5. Get over it all by getting under someone. Count on your fake boyfriend to deliver some very real action between the sheets. 

6. Move on. The disappearing act, the cottage, the faux beau–none of it can last forever. 


If a hell-in-heels campaign strategist moves in next door to you, here’s how to survive the invasion:

1. Do not engage. There is no good reason you should chop her wood, haul her boxes, or pick her apples. 

2. Do not accept gifts, especially not the homemade ones. Disconnect the doorbell, toss your phone over a bridge, hide in the basement if you must, but do not eat her pie. 

3. Do not introduce her to your friends and family. They’ll favor her over you and never let you forget it.

4. Do not intervene when she’s crying on the back porch. Ignore every desire to fix the entire world for her. By no means should you take her into your arms and memorize her peach-sweet curves. 

5. Do not take her to bed, even if it’s just to get her out of your system.

6. Do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with her.

Warning: This story includes a meet-burglary, an immortal cat, a biohazard of a banana bread, a meddling mother, fancy toast, and a temporary fling that starts feeling a little too permanent.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – April 5th

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a wonderful place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be, reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! Everyone is welcome. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn over at The Book Date.

Happy Easter, if you celebrate it, happy April otherwise! We have a long weekend here in the UK, in fact as a teacher I have two weeks off and probably three or four weeks worth of DIY, cleaning and sorting that I’m hoping to squash into it! The last few days have seen some gorgeous weather in the East Midlands, we had family around for an outside only visit on Good Friday and were all pleasantly surprised by how warm it was. Well how warm until the sun went behind a cloud and then it felt pretty cold! Sunday was warm enough to walk in a short sleeved sweater but the forecast for today and tomorrow is for possible snow.

Read This Week

Deep Blue Sea was only a short story, but it has been on my TBR for too long. It brings the number of books removed from my “by-it-so-read-it” list to 10. I’ve also had several re-reads this year, either for completing an already owned series, or because a follow up book was released.

Currently Reading

I’m concurrently reading this alongside a beta read.

Up Next

Two more books from my get ’em read list and an arc or two are in my near future. Hopefully I will have read a least one of them by this time next week!

Happy reading x

Books read in 202141
Re-reads in 20215
Owned books from TBR list read 10
5 Star reads12

#SixForSunday // April Week #1

Six For Sunday – April – The Viper-inspired ones

Six for Sunday (#SixForSunday) is a weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But a Lot. The prompts for each week are up well in advance and they are a great way to share your love of all things book.

4th – Books with snakes on the cover/in the title
11th – Magical books
18th – Fictional islands you’d like to visit
25th – Characters who would make great ships captains

Decieved: House of Sin #2 by Elizabeth Naughton

Contemporary Romance

Some doors were never meant to be opened…

I made a fateful mistake. I should never have peeked behind the doors into his forbidden world.
But I did, and now I’m a prisoner. Trapped by the man I thought loved. The man I once foolishly trusted. The man who, despite his lies and deception, I continue to crave.
He can melt my resolve with one rough, whispered demand, and I feel myself giving in to the desire he still stirs inside me. And yet, if I want to survive, I must find a way to escape. Because if I don’t, I’m afraid I’ll be consumed by a shadowy world that will ultimately destroy me.
Lost forever in his wicked House of Sin

Snake Heart by Lindsay Buroker

Fantasy / Steampunk

Tasked with an impossible mission, hunted by the very people he wants to protect, Yanko White Fox is the only one who can save his nation from famine and anarchy. Armed only with his fledgling skills as a wizard and accompanied by allies he’s not sure he can trust, he must track down an ancient relic before his enemies find it first. But countless obstacles stand in the way, including his mother. The deadly and infamous pirate Snake Heart cares nothing for the family—or the son—she abandoned, and wants the artifact for herself.

Closer to the Chest by Mercedes Lackey


Herald Mags, the King of Valdemar’s Herald Spy, has been developing a clandestine network of young informants who operate not only on the streets of the capital city of Haven, but also in the Great Halls and kitchens of the wealthy and highborn. In his own established alternate personas, Mags observes the Court and the alleys alike, quietly gathering information to keep Haven and the Kingdom safe.
His wife Amily is growing into her position as the King’s Own Herald, though she is irritated to encounter many who still consider her father, Herald Nikolas, to be the real King’s Own. Nonetheless, she finds it increasingly useful to be underestimated, for there are dark things stirring in the shadows of Haven and up on the Hill. Someone has discovered many secrets of the women of the Court and the Collegia— and is using those secrets to terrorize and bully them. Someone is targeting the religious houses of women, too, leaving behind destruction and obscene letters.
But who? Someone at the Court? A disgruntled Palace servant? One of the members of the Collegia? Someone in the patriarchal sect of the god Sethor? Could the villain be a woman? And what is this person hoping to achieve? It isn’t blackmail, for the letters demand nothing; the aim seems to be the victims’ panic and despair. But why?
Mags and Amily take steps to minimize the damage while using both magic and wits to find the evildoer. But just as they appear to be on the verge of success, the letter writer tires of terror and is now out for blood.
Mags and Amily will have to track down someone who leaves few clues behind. They must thwart whatever plans have been set in motion, and quickly—before terror turns to murder.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

YA Fantasy

OK so technically it’s a Basilisk but it looks pretty snake like on this cover! I don’t mind admitting that I really enjoyed this series.

Ever since Harry Potter had come home for the summer, the Dursleys had been so mean and hideous that all Harry wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange impish creature who says that if Harry returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor and a spirit who haunts the girls’ bathroom. But then the real trouble begins – someone is turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possible be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects… Harry Potter himself! 

Nathan by Elin Peer

Contemporary Romance
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50899493-nathan

OK, a slight cheat here with no snake visible. However snakes were a very significant part of the plot, and had been used to mentally torture the hero when he was a child.


I’ve only got 5 books to share this week, as I prefer to feature books I have read or own, and can’t think of a sixth book. Do you own books with snakes on the cover or in the title?

Let’s Talk Bookish – April #1

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, that is hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books  and Dani @ Literary Lion. It’s a chance to discuss certain topics, share opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Posts are written on Friday’s, and you can suggest topics using the form that you will find on Rukky’s Contact page.

This is my first foray with this meme, but I do hope (and plan) to make it a regular feature.

This weeks prompt is


suggested by Jillian @ The Bookish Butterfly

Do you ever put off the books you actually want to be reading? What do you end up reading instead? Why do you put off the books that you would rather read for other stories? Do you treat reading books you’re excited for as a reward?

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

I do often sometimes find myself putting off reading books that I actually want to. The main reason over the past few years has been due to my addiction of signing up for arc books leaving me no with no free time. There have been occasions where a fear of missing out, a lack of self control or an over eagerness of grabby hands mean I’ve needed to read 3 or 4 books in one week. The last 18 months has seen me make a concerted effort to reduce that level of commitment. I’ve unsubscribed from PR company emails, left quite a few author arc groups and actively avoid sites where arc books can be requested/ downloaded.

For a good three years, I had so many arc books to complete, I rarely got to read any of the books I was choosing to purchase. It reached the point where I had over 300 e-books that I had bought but not read because, quite simply, I never had the time to do so. Even worse is that I know I am unlikely to read a good proportion of those books as my reading tastes have changed in the interim.

This year, I made a bookish resolution to actually reduce the number of unread-but-paid-for books on my kindle and, whilst the reduction isn’t huge, I have made steady progress on that front. There are still times when I end up with more arc books to read than I would like. Sometimes this is because, coincidentally, several authors I still arc read for all have releases at the same time, other times it’s because I’ve fallen off the wagon. Like many book addicts I still haven’t completely weaned myself off of arc reading, though my excuse is that it does allow me to read most new releases from my favourite authors. My fear is that I otherwise will not get to read them.

For a while I was still buying new releases from authors I’ve enjoyed previously, books that friends recommended, or just ones that caught my eye. However I realised this was just adding to my problems and I was running the risk of never reading them. I’m still tempted when I see a TBR book on sale, but I know that they probably will go back on sale again in the future and also that the world won’t end because I haven’t bought it. In particular I learnt my lesson when I bought a trilogy of books from an author I enjoyed in the past. By the time I got around to trying book 1, and deciding I really disliked it, I was no longer able to return any of them for a refund. Thankfully all had been released at a reduced price, so it wasn’t too expensive a lesson, but it was a salutary one.

An unexpected side effect of cutting back on “commitment reads” is that when I find myself with free reading time I actually can’t decide which of those 300+ books to read! For so long my reading has comprised of “I need to get this read asap”, that I seem to have lost the ability to go with the reading flow! I’ve ended up doing re-reads of old favourites because it’s less intimidating than trying to prioritise my horrendous TBR list.

Sometimes I put off those books I want to read because I don’t actually have the time to read them. Sometimes it’s because the choice is too overwhelming. And then there are those occasions when I just want to read brain fluff.

So, are you a book procrastinator or do you read as you please?

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REVIEW – Erotic Thriller \ Violent Retaliation by C.P. Mandara \ 5 Stars

Violent Retaliation
(Twisted, Dark and Deadly #3)
by C.P. Mandara

That bastard is more cunning than a really cunning fox
who’s just been appointed Professor of Cunning
at the secret headquarters of ‘Ban Fox Hunting Forever’.

Just a bit of housekeeping first. This is the third book in an ongoing series which must be read in order. It also ends on a cliff-hanger. Whilst the series can be read separately, since the author has gradually filled in all the details about his background and his history with James and Lois, reading the Special Agent Novels first will provide a fuller picture of Adie, James and Lois’ life in the preceding few months.

I spent the first chunk of this book wanting to smack Adie over the head with a heavy object and to have carnal knowledge of him, in equal measure. He’s an arrogant, selfish, SOB but he’s also a little boy looking for someone to love him. And silly Adie has decided that he is in love with Lois, his former-best-friend’s wife.

My father is legendary.
So am I,
and she’d know if she’d just let me in her pants.

What Adie is actually suffering from is a kind of reverse Stockholm syndrome. Lois is the first non-related woman who has shown him even a little bit of genuine affection. One who has met his kinks head on and has held her own against him. So of course, with no good examples in his life as guidance, he is convinced she is his one and only soul mate. Silly boy.

That’s the trouble with life, though. It is cruel.
It’s mean and heartless, and just when you think you’ve got it all figured out,
it rears up to stab you in the back.

Mel (Ione) is one tough cookie, though by the time Adie’s finished with her she has singed edges and some interesting new body art. And should she get the chance to enact some revenge, that girl is going to seize it with both hands and take her sweet time extracting her pound of flesh. Oh I am looking forward to that possible eventuality.

Whilst Adie and Mel/Ione were playing and having fun, James was having a much worse day, and things weren’t great for Lois either. There is a lot of crazy in the book. It’s like a cross between James Bond and Fifty Shades, with a great dollop of Austin Powers “yeah baby” madness thrown in for the hell of it. At one point I thought the whole book was going to be one scorching hot, erotically charged torture scene, however I was proved wrong when the plot took an abrupt turn, closely followed by lots of fast paced adventure, daredevil motorbike riding, knife throwing and a horny boss. The only downside of reading it was that now I’ve got to wait until the next one releases for another fix of Mel and Adie. Get writing Ms Mandara!

“You’re a f***ing joke, Dumortier.
How is it that you’ve stayed alive this long?”
That is actually a very good question.
“I’ve mostly hidden away in dark, underground caves with really good security.

You should try it sometime.”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dark Captive Romance

I have James’ sister right where I want her – screaming my name out and begging for mercy. James is going to piss his pants when he sees the video I’m about to send him. He’ll come running so fast his feet won’t touch the ground.
That’s when I’ll get my hands on his wife. She should rightfully be mine and I always take care of what’s mine.
There’s just one problem – she’s fucking pregnant.

I’ve got less than two days to live. My wife has been kidnapped by a crazy-ass bitch of an arms dealer who plans to put a bullet in her head, and I need to speak to my ex best-friend in order to rescue her. It’s a fantastic plan. He’s in love with her and intends to make her his.
I am going to kill him – if someone doesn’t kill me first.

Friday Book Blogger Hop – April 2nd – 8th

Friday Book Blogger Hop

 The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books. It is now hosted by Billy @Coffee Addicted Writings. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 

Do you think you will ever get tired of blogging?

submitted by Julie @ JadeSky

I’m sure at some point in the future I will. Or perhaps life changes will mean it is no longer something I have time for. I can’t see myself book blogging for another 20 to 30 years or so. However I have no intention of stopping blogging any time soon, and I haven’t grown bored in the last 3 or 4 years I have been blogging about books.

Joining in with blogging memes has definitely made a huge difference to my levels of engagement, as well as my overall enjoyment of writing posts. I’m hoping that continues to be the case in the future too, for a few more years yet anyway.

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