Sunday Wrap-Up ~~ 2022 Week #26

Welcome to my weekly round-up post where I link up with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberley @Caffeinated Reviewer as well as The Sunday Salon meme hosted by the wonderful Deb @Readerbuzz. Do please pop by their blogs and show them a little love 💗.

Life Last Week

I managed to remain dry-eyed for the dance show, which was definitely one of the best ones we’ve seen them do. My daughter could join the adult class, but most of them are at least twice her age, if not closer to mine, so at the moment she doesn’t think she will do that.

We’ve had some stunning evening skies, along with high temperatures and torrential downpours. It’s no wonder we Brits are obsessed with the weather – we just have so darn much of it, and often in the space of one day!

The exams have finished and our Year 11 cohort has officially left. They got quite emotional, despite having spent the last six months looking forward to leaving us! We are holding a celebration event and giving them a proper send-off on Wednesday – so fingers crossed it stays dry!

Last Weeks Books

The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday was a delightful rom-com perfect for the summer – especially if you get to spend it on a beach somewhere warm.

Twisted Fate was a buddy read. In the end, I absolutely adored it and am looking forward to reading part 2 next month. The first third desperately needed a ruthless edit, boy did it drag with its endless sex scenes which added nothing to the story.

My final read was an arc, Violent Desire, which is an MM Paranormal Vampire romance. This is the author’s first foray into a series of standalone books and so far so good.

Currently Reading

Her new start is about to bee-gin!

Having moved into her mum’s spare room after a disastrous break-up, Kayleigh Harwood is desperate for a fresh start. When she sees an opening for a new beekeeper at Elderflower Grove she jumps at the chance – despite not knowing a thing about bees…

The abandoned manor house holds a mystery of its own – the previous owner vanished years ago – and locals have been inventing stories about the manor ever since. Unable to resist the urge to look around, Kayleigh is shocked to find drop-dead-gorgeous gardener Carey living inside!

Carey explains that the house and surrounding land is at risk of being demolished, endangering the bees, and he has been staying there to protect it.

Convinced the secret of the house holds the key to saving Elderflower Grove’s bees, Kayleigh is prepared to do everything she can to help. But is she ready to find her own happy-ever-after too…?

Looking forward to…

… Wednesday’s End of Year Celebration Event (even though we still have 5 weeks left of the school year).

… going for one of our local walks, we missed it last week due to the dance show.

… fresh raspberries from the garden.

2022 Reading Stats
Books read – 71 (68)

Re-reads –  8 (8)
Owned books from TBR list read – 17 (16)
5 Star reads – 14 (14)
DNF’s –
16 (16)


~~ Friday Book Blogger Hop ~~ 24th – 30th June

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. 

What is your reading preference – fiction or nonfiction?

submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

Fiction every time for me. The only nonfiction I only nonfiction texts I have read in a long time are online news articles. I did attempt a non-fiction challenge last year but it became clear very quickly that I wasn’t even going to finish one nonfiction book. They just do not appeal to me and the ones I have tried have not held my attention for very long.

Do you prefer facts or fiction in your reading material? Let me know in the comments.

Book Review · Meme

#TBRChallenge2022 – Post #6

Deacon (Gideon’s Riders #2)
by Kit Rocha

I’m a whole week late with this post – I was a few days late finishing the book too! This month’s prompt had me reading a book that I really enjoyed, fingers crossed for more success next month.

She didn’t know what she was aiming for. Sense had abandoned her. She hadn’t thought this through, hadn’t considered the angles. There were a hundred ways she could end up regretting this, and by tomorrow she’d have a list. Tonight, she had the soft kiss of leather under her skin as she opened his belt. She had the giddy beat of her heart, the thrill of doing something so, so reckless. Damn near everyone who mattered in the world was a few dozen paces away…

Read as part of the #TBR2022 Challenge – https://wendythesuperlibrarian.blogsp….
June focus – “After The War”

I bought this 5 years ago on 5th June 2017 and have been meaning to read it ever since. The Gideon’s Riders series is set in the same world as Kit Rocha‘s Beyond series, just a few years after the end of the revolutionary war with Eden. Deacon is the leader of Gideon’s Riders, a man with an ice-cool demeanour and a dangerous secret. Ana is the only female rider, struggling to carry the weight of expectations. The chemistry between them is undeniable but Riders join the squad knowing that their death is on the cards, so emotional attachments are not encouraged.

Reading this reminded me why, at one time, this author duo was one of my favourites. (They sadly slipped off when their books became trad published and too expensive for my budget.) These authors have such an easy-to-read writing style. They generate prose that flows smoothly whilst also capturing your imagination, as well as creating wonderful characters who always manage to steal your heart.

The plot followed a very familiar formula of good guys fighting for love, honour and justice versus bad guys who are in it for the money and notoriety. Woven in amongst that are themes of loyalty, belief, love and grief, mixed up with a generous helping of steam. The plot moves at a good pace, it had that perfect balance of swift enough to engage and hold my attention but not so quick it left me confused.

I enjoyed absolutely every second of getting to know Ana and Deacon. Both are complex characters, strong, determined, tough and yet also terribly human and beset by the doubts and worries that torment us all. We get to see both of them grow in the story, as they learn more about themselves and the world around them. It’s often through the eyes of others that we see the truth, which was definitely the case here.

Whilst the story can be read standalone, my opinion is that the series is best read in order. I also think reading their Beyond series would enhance the experience even more. That series is set several years before this and whilst there is still plenty of plot, the books are a little more focused on the romance and erotic aspects.

Deacon was watching her like she was the most precious, beautiful thing he’d ever seen, and she knew with sudden certainty that this was what she’d remember every time she reached for her locker. Deacon, stroking her cheek, staring at her like she’d invented sunrise.


Genre – Dystopian/Science Fiction Romance

Synopsis – Ana has trained most of her life to achieve one goal: to prove that anything men can do, she can do better. Now she’s Sector One’s first female Rider, and being the best is the only way to ensure she won’t be its last. Distractions aren’t allowed–especially not her painful attraction to the reserved but demanding leader whose stern, grumpy demeanor has already gotten into her head.
Deacon has spent the last twenty years trying to atone for his past, but the blood he spilled as a mercenary and assassin will never wash away entirely. If his riders knew the extent of his sins, he’d lose their trust and respect. It’s easier to keep them all at arm’s length, especially Ana. But his newest recruit’s stubbornness is starting to crack his defenses.
And their sparring matches are driving him wild.
The passion sparking between them can’t be denied, but neither can the vengeance barreling toward Deacon. When his old squad comes back to punish him for his betrayal, Ana and the Riders are squarely in the line of fire. The only way to save his people may be to make the ultimate sacrifice.

But first, he has to convince Ana not to follow him straight into hell.

Overall Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Plot ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 🤍
Characters ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
World Building ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 🤍
Writing ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Heat Level 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥


Tell Me Something Tuesday #TMST

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Jen @That’s What I’m Talking About, where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the questions from Jen’s blog and answer it on your own.

What are book no-nos that make you figuratively want to toss a book across the room?

The answer to this depends a little on the genre. Any book that is set in the “real world” has to retain some sense of that. I know this is a work of fiction but I still have to believe in the events that happen. For example I read a book this year that I DNF’d at 60%. It has pushed the boundaries more than once of what one could happily imagine happening in real life, but nothing too ridiculous. However when the “hero” informed the heroine that she didn’t need to see a therapist for her PTSD/rape trauma and that he would heal her using information he had read on the internet….! That still makes me want to howl in frustration and ire. If you want to forget reality then write a fantasy/sci-fi/ alternate reality book.

In all fiction, contemporary or otherwise, I can not abide –
1 – Deliberately withholding something important/miscommunication/when the author deliberately has the character start to mention that very important thing but the conversation gets interrupted – repeatedly. If the only way you can create tension is by doing this then you need to hone your writing skills.
2 – Characters who have no personality or are written like a caricature. I’m the heroine so I am clever, witty, and beautiful but don’t realise it, and not like other girls. I am the hero so I have a dimple, am so sexy I leave everyone speechless, and I have a secret that will devastate the heroine. I’m a main character but am so boring you won’t even remember my name.
3 – Weak heroines with no agency. That many of these are written by female authors is just shockingly saddening.

There are other no-nos that will make me DNF a book, but not leave me seething with anger and a need to obliterate said book from existence.

Book Review

#BookReview #UrbanFantasy #HelenHarper

A Charade of Magic #1
Helen Harper

Having never read a Helen Harper book before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one. The blurb ticked all the right boxes and thankfully the book didn’t let me down either. This first instalment of Mairi’s story grasped my attention from the very first page and never let me go until the very last line. I am thoroughly enraptured by this delightful story and will be waiting on tenterhooks until the next book is out.

Set in an alternate reality that felt to be somewhere in the late Victorian or Edwardian period, Hummingbird is written in the first person from the heroines’ point of view. With themes of oppression, misogyny, poverty and greed we journey with Mairi from indentured servant through to inexperienced spy and finally watch as she becomes a revolutionary ingenue. I had expected somewhat of a cross between a cosy, witchy mystery and urban fantasy. This turned out to be a little harsher, darker and with the inclusion of both swearing and a sex scene is definitely aimed at the 18+ audience.

I warmed immediately to Mairi, she is a fighter, resilient and caring, with huge inner strength and a strong sense of moral duty. Despite being occasionally rash, belligerent and fool-hardy, she is the kind of heroine that feels real and is easy to relate to. The wide range of side characters adds depth and colour to the story but also the conundrum of who to trust and who is dangerous.

The writing style was very easy to read, the prose flowed smoothly and very easily held my attention. I was delighted with how many times the author threw a little plot twist in, taking me completely by surprise. The book ends on a very soft cliffhanger, with a lot more adventuring to be had and story to be told. I will most assuredly be continuing with this series.

Overall Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Plot ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Characters ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 🤍
World Building ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 🤍
Writing ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Heat Level 🔥 🔥 🔥

Alternate Reality Fantasy Romance


The best way to live in the Mage ruled city of Glasgow is to keep your head down and your mouth closed.
That’s not usually a problem for Mairi Wallace. By day she works at a small shop selling tartan and by night she studies to become an apothecary. She knows her place and her limitations. All that changes, however, when her old childhood friend sends her a desperate message seeking her help – and the Mages themselves cross Mairi’s path. Suddenly, remaining unnoticed is no longer an option.
There’s more to Mairi than she realises but, if she wants to fulfil her full potential, she’s going to have to fight to stay alive – and only time will tell if she can beat the Mages at their own game.
From twisted wynds and tartan shops to a dangerous daemon and the magic infused City Chambers, the future of a nation might lie with one solitary woman.

Hummingbird is the first thrilling book in A Charade Of Magic. The fight for freedom starts here.