Meme · Monthly Round Up

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – May 31st

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.

We have a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK (that means we have Monday off work – well I have the whole week as it’s half term too) and for once the weather is warm and sunny. The heat has encouraged the flowers to start blooming – or producing buds at least!

Nipper is so exhausted by the sudden appearance of the sun he is having to relax inside.

Read This Month

I read a total of 18 books in May, one of them hasn’t had the cover released yet, so I wasn’t able to include it here. The vast majority were arc books, many of which I went on to purchase or had already pre-order. One was a DNF/skim read, some were great, others not so good and two were TBR reads, so that’s more crossed off the list.

Currently Reading

The Menopause Manifesto will pop my non-fiction cherry, at least in terms of being the first non-fiction book I’ve read for pleasure rather than for University or work.

Shadow Lands HAS to be on the list as this is the best Fantasy series I’ve read in a long time.

Up Next

OK, so these are exactly the same books as last week, but that’s because of a couple of short notice arcs and also a beta read.

That’s my week, how was yours?

Happy reading, Louise x

Books read in 2021 – 68 (63) including Phantom & Wraith beta read
Re-reads in 2021 – 5 (5)
Owned books from TBR list read – 12 (11)
5 Star reads – 18 (16)
DNF’s – 8 (8)

Book Review · Science Fiction/Dystopian

REVIEW – Dystopian Futuristic Romance // The Heir by Elin Peer

The Heir
(Men of the North #14)
by Elin Peer

The thing I most appreciated about The Heir was that this is enemies-to-lovers romance didn’t have any unnecessary, or forced, angst. What it did have was natural conflict, plenty of passion and an engaging plot. The chemistry between Thor and Linea was scorching, and I loved how they fought their feelings, convinced they shared a mutual dislike of one another.

These protagonists were well rounded, believable and easy to connect with and I soon found myself invested in their emerging relationship and feelings for one another. The dynamics of their upbringing gave the story extra depth and meaning. Whilst both have a Motlander mother and N’man father (I loved the NoMo’s moniker) each has been raised in a very different culture. However they still had plenty of common ground, and more similarities than even they perhaps realised.

I would have preferred it had the relationship timeline been a little longer, or we had seen more of them thinking about (obsessing over?) one another in the period between the beach encounter and the trip to France. Whilst I wouldn’t call it insta-love, things did feel a smidgen rushed. However the setting of the International Summit restricted the time period available, so I understand why the author made the choices she did.

Information about previous couples, and the opportunity to catch up with them, was cleverly woven into the story. There was also careful laying of groundwork for the final, and much anticipated, book featuring Freya and Victor.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Science Fiction Romance


The strongest crush can turn into the deepest resentment.

As a young girl, I had a massive crush on Thor Aurelius, the future ruler of the Northlands. That crush died nine years ago when he ridiculed and humiliated me to my very core. Now I resent his arrogant personality and avoid him at all costs.

When Thor disappears to get away from the intense pressure of being the heir to the Northlands, his father asks Linea to use her tracking skills and deliver an ultimatum to his heir.

Linea knows Thor will be furious and blame her as the messenger. She’ll have to face him anyway and prove to herself that she’s no longer a young, infatuated girl, but a strong and unapologetic woman who owns the quirkiness he once ridiculed her for. Problem is that the last time she saw the large and angry Nman, Thor threatened to spank her if she came back. He wouldn’t though… or would he?


Let’s Talk Bookish – May #4

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 Fridays, and you can suggest topics using the form that you will find on Rukky’s Contact page.

This week’s Let’s Talk Bookish prompt is



Prompts: What do you like to see in sequels? Are there any sequels you liked more than the first book? What makes some sequels disappointing? Do you feel like most sequels are worse than the original, or is that just an old wives tale? Do you get excited about sequels or do you prefer standalones?

What do you like to see in sequels?

What do I like to see in a sequel? Characters who stay true to themselves but who also undergo some growth. If I’m reading a sequel I will already have formed a connection with the main protagonists, so please don’t make them very different. I want any lose ends from the previous book(s) tying up and I want to revisit some familiar characters or places. Whilst I don’t want something too similar to what went before I also don’t want it to feel like a completely different set of characters, and even less do I want it to BE a different set of characters! In a nutshell I want familiarity.

Are there any sequels you liked more than the first book? What makes some sequels disappointing?

Yes, there are sequels I liked more than the first book. Sometimes this is because the author has developed better writing skills, or appears to have taken note of constructive criticism in reviews. Other times book #1, by necessity, has been a little bogged down by the scene setting and world building aspects, which in turn have impacted pace and fluidity of the story. Only recently I read Natural Sorcery by Marina Ermakova, and enjoyed it much more than the first book, Terrestrial Magic, for that very reason. I also felt the author elucidated Jordan’s character in a much better way.

I’ve already mentioned some things that make a sequel disappointing – unexplained changes in a character’s personality or a new set of protagonists. Added to that list would be a storyline that rewrites the history of a previous book, akin to the scene where Bobby Ewing stepped out of the shower in Dallas. If you reset one part of the story, it has a knock on effect on all the subplots and strands, such that some previous parts no longer make sense given the new knowledge. Sometimes it just feels as though the author has forced the book to hit a deadline, producing a rather flat and uninspired offering

Do you feel like most sequels are worse than the original, or is that just an old wives tale?

Not at all. In fact they can be better because often the first book has required substantive world building, whilst the sequel can allow greater exploration and development of the characters and situations. However you can have too many sequels. I do often start to feel the need for something fresh, something new, by book 5 or 6.

Do you get excited about sequels or do you prefer standalones?

This is entirely dependent on author, genre, plot possibilities and how much I enjoyed the first book. Sometimes I loved a world so much, or there is a side character who’s story I need, that I’m desperate for a sequel or two. Other times I feel as though the story is complete, there is nothing new that needs adding and that a sequel will only spoil what was an already perfect ending.

Book Review · Science Fiction/Dystopian

REVIEW – Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction // Erupting Trouble by Grace Hamilton

Erupting Trouble
(EMP Catastrophe Book 1) 
by Grace Hamilton

I was totally wowed by Erupting Trouble and will definitely be reading more work by this author. I flew through the book, barely pausing in my reading of it and completing it within a day. Hooked doesn’t even begin to describe the grip this story had on my.

This was by no means perfect, there were certain elements that felt a little glossed over and some situations felt easily resolved, but I simply didn’t care. The writing and characterisation were excellent, leaving me feeling as though I knew the protagonists. The Riley family were an interesting bunch, and how they chose to overcome the obstacles facing them were both interesting and well executed. The timeline was a little vague as were some specifics, for example what did Kathleen and Allison do at night? Did they pass through other towns whilst heading home?

Was the speed with which social norms crumbled believable? I felt it was, we’ve all seen a crowd suddenly turn violent, it doesn’t take much to push some people over the edge. The moral dilemma’s that were faced were fascinating, who knows what we would do to survive in a world gone wrong.

I will definitely be reading the next book – I can’t wait for it to be released!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dystopian Science Fiction


A father with a heart problem and a son determined to get him home…

Matthew Riley wants to believe that people will come together in times of great struggle, but as panic and chaos set in after a massive EMP event, he has to face the fact that the only people he can trust are his family. His ailing father, David, an Army vet, has the skills the Riley family needs to survive in the dark new world, but with no medication for his heart condition on hand, keeping him alive may be an impossible task as they journey home from what was supposed to be a simple day trip.

She’ll keep her daughter safe and reunite her family…

Kathleen doesn’t share her husband’s optimistic view of humanity. When the power goes out during a visit to her brother in prison, she and her teenage daughter will need to find their way out and start the long journey back to Galena, IL, in the hope they can reunite with the rest of their family.

They’ll defend their home…

With the rest of the Riley family gone, it’s up to Ruth and her grandson, Patton, to keep their newly renovated hotel safe for the family they know is coming their way. But food is running low and some see an elderly woman and a pre-teen boy as easy pickings.

In a broken civilization the only way to survive is strength in numbers. One family is determined to work together in this new world, but will they be able to defend themselves against desperate survivors?

Acknowledgements –
Photo #1 Matthew Ang on
Photo #2 Andrea Piacquadio on


Friday Book Blogger Hop – May 28th – June 3rd

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. 

Who is your favorite character…of all the books you’ve read? Why?

submitted by Julie @ JadeSky

I can’t say I have a favourite character, and I certainly don’t have a favourite book. There are just far too many for me to pick one above another and, despite slowing down these last few months, I read at least 2 or 3 books a week. This means that there are an awful lot of characters for me to have to chose from. It also means that characters I loved a year or two ago have been crowded out of my mind by those in more recently read books.

There are certain types of character, particular personality features, that I prefer reading about but even that is very much affected by mood, what other books I’ve read recently, what genres I’m into at that moment and occasionally by which direction the wind is blowing.

Generally I love an alpha male, but only if he is dominant and caring. The ones who are arrogant and keep secrets from the heroine, whilst insisting in total honesty from her, can go and boil their head whilst pulling their intestines out through their own noses. They also need to have a little bit of vulnerability that they only show to the heroine. Heroines need to be independent and resilient. They can also be mouthy and a bit bitchy, I’m not one of those readers who allows the man to be dominant but calls the female protagonist out when she is standing up for herself.

So for once I don’t have an answer, because I genuinely don’t tend to have a single favourite in anything.