26 April 2017

Borrowed Books // Where I Realise I Need More Fantasy In My Life

Borrowed Books
Borrowed Books is a feature I started when I first began visiting the library again. I wanted to try and make sure I spoke about the books I borrowed and figured this was the feature to do it in. I normally review and say my thoughts on them. What makes it different from when I write my mini reviews in Bite Sized Books? Absolutely nothing, I just like to confuse folk. Anyway, these are the latest couple of books I’ve borrowed and loved because libraries are brilliant, you should go visit yours and see what you can find.

The Rook
Published: 1st August 2013
Source: Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mystery
My Rating:
The body you are wearing used to be mine.

So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, THE ROOK is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.
This was such a surprising read and I don't know what to say exactly to explain why. I’d had it on my radar for a little while and expected to enjoy it, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from it. I knew it was meant to be a Harry Potter spy top book but I was completely unprepared for what I got.

I couldn’t out this book down once I started. I was fully absorbed in the book and Myfanwy’s story as she tries to figure out who she was, who she is, and who on earth has it out for her. I loved the fact that there was a whole cast of characters and it was a complex world set in the modern day. I was continually trying to figure out who had wiped Myfanwy’s memory and who put her in her predicament. The fact I hadn’t a clue whodunnit until the end just demonstrates how well it was written. I suspected everyone!

I did have some gripes, I felt like the whole book was extra confusing and could have been made a touch clearer. But that may have been because I didn't figure things out until the end and once it got explained to me I felt like smacking my head and going 'duh'. The other thing is that Myfanwy should have figured out how to pronounce her name far sooner. Anyone that knows even a bit of Welsh names, as in able to correctly pronounce Welsh towns, would know how to say her name right. I wish that had been corrected immediately because I was saying it right in my mind but I knew that wasn’t how she was saying it. What a nightmare!

Apart from minor gripes I adored this book. I loved how intricate the world was and how it was written to be slightly hilarious and everything was a little weird and it totally worked for me. I loved the fact it kind of addressed the concept of nature vs nurture with the whole memory thing with the way Myfanwy’s personality changed completely with all her former memories removed she was a totally different person which leads you to question does that mean personality is formed by experience as much as being part of who you are? I just really liked what was done with this book. Now I need to try and get my library to get the second one.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Published: 3rd September 2013
Source: Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
My Rating:
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.
This book has been on my radar for a very long time, essentially since I first began blogging. I was even more interested after reading The Darkest Part of the Forest because that book showed me she is a fantastic author yet still I didn’t pick this up. When I saw it at my local library I knew I had to commit and enjoy it. I realised it had been a good long while since I’d read any kind of vampire book so I knew this would feed my craving for the paranormal. I just wish I knew why I always wait to read books I know I’ll enjoy.

This book did an excellent job of being a love letter to the vampire genre without romanticising vampires too much. It was a sharp dose of reality about vampires a lot of the time and didn't fall into the Twilight trap. There were no sparkling vampires and gentle creatures feeding only on animals. All vampires were deadly, they were monsters and whilst folks romanticised them when they came face to face with them it was all very different. This is the book I'd want to give to teenage girls thinking of reading Twilight.

Tana has grown up in a world where vampires have become public knowledge. They accidentally revealed themselves and now the world must put up with them whilst trying to prevent the spread of the vampire infection. Coldtowns have emerged where vampires and those infected with vampirism are expected to seclude themselves and anyone is allowed to enter, but no one is allowed to leave. Tana ends up at a party where everyone is slaughtered by vampires and her, her ex boyfriend and a boy she has never met are forced to flee. She ends up going to a coldtown believing herself to be infected so it’s the only way to go

It is an excellent YA book but I'd expect no less from Holly Black. More importantly it's a good book outside of the YA genre. It hooked practically from the start and I was constantly thinking about reading. It reminded me that I don't read anywhere near enough vampire or paranormal books and that it's not hard to make me fall in love with secondary characters.

Have you read either of these? What did you think? I read two fantasy books from the library. What was the last book you borrowed?

24 April 2017

The Upside of Unrequited // It’s So Fluffy!

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Published: 11th April 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating:
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love-she's lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can't stomach the idea of rejection. So she's careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.
 
Then a cute new girl enters Cassie's orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly's cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness-except for the part where she is.
Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny, flirtatious, and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.

There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's an awkward Tolkien superfan, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

I have been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard about it and so I was majorly daunted by it when I got approved on Netgalley. I mean, I’ve hyped it up majorly in my mind so I was scared to read! Luckily, I saw Nick review it and she enjoyed it so I decided to put my big girl pants on just getting reading. Good thing I have Nick around to tell me what to read, isn’t it?

If I had to describe my immediate feelings for this book upon finishing in a single gif it would be this:
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This book was freaking adorable. I mean, there was lots of teen drama and stuff happening but it was also the cutest!

It's strange, it sort of began with Molly being cute and meeting a quirky girl in the toilet (Mina) and the inevitable making friends in toilets (this always happens in clubs and I love it). It then had the greatest meet cute for Mina and Cassie (Molly’s sister) with the awkward merge of friends which always occurs. It then turned into an awkward teenage angst thing as Cassie became invested in her relationship with Mina leaving Milly to feel alone. It had Molly doing the ‘will they, won't they’ thing with Will and Reid and then the book turned back to a teenage cute-fest that is Molly and Reid.

As I said, it felt a bit strange.

I mean, the book stayed cute all the way through but there was a slight change in tone as Molly fell into that pit of obsessing which happens when you start overthinking things and know you are and simply cannot stop yourself no matter how much you try. She became anxious within the book and definitely had some self-esteem issues to deal with but it all felt so very genuine.


I think that's what I really loved about this book. Albertalli really knew how to describe the thought process of a slightly obsessive, anxious person. I cannot claim to suffer from anxiety but I am an anxious person when I let myself be and so I could totally understand Molly's entire thought process in this book. Even when she was being totally crazy and you wanted to stop her all I could think is ‘I've been there’. That feeling of reality within the book is what made me fall in love. That and the really amazing characters.

The characters were the best. I loved Molly with every fibre of my being. She was quirky and creative without even realising it. She basically lived the Pinterest life and you just know you would never be able to recreate the cool things she makes because no one can. Pinterest fail is a thing. Molly was sassy, though. She was freaking hilarious. I loved her with her sarcasm and awesomeness. And her twin, Cassie was awesome. Sure, she could be selfish at times. Who isn’t at seventeen? But she was there for her family and friends when needed ready to cut a bitch who was giving anyone the side eye. And those two together, sure they fought and argued but they were such brilliant sisters who were close and figuring out how to stay close as they grew up and had new people in their lives who were as important as family. I mean, that is a difficult thing to learn.

And Reid whose cheeks and I want to smush and I just want to take him everywhere in my pocket because the boy be cute. Just, ugh, I am fully in love with Reid. I am not convinced boys like that existed when I was at school but there should have been because I would have loved him.

Molly and Cassie's moms! Honestly, they were parent life goals. It’s so fun to see parents I recognise in books because they are similar to my own. I may not have two moms but their general attitude to parenting is so like my mom and stepdad. I love it. They were involved and they were ready to call Cassie and Molly out on things but they were never too involved and controlling. They allowed them both to make their mistakes because parents should let their children make the mistakes and learn because how else will they learn?

Basically, in my slightly spoilerish flailing I have to say I loved it. I loved the writing. I loved the book and I am sat here questioning why the hell I've not read Albertalli's first book? My fear of reading was unfounded and crazy and I will undoubtedly be reading this again in the future.

Have you read this, what did you think? What was the last brilliantly fluffy book that you simply had to tell everyone about repeatedly?

23 April 2017

Sunday Summary // 23.04.2017

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Another week has gone and I am tired! Also, annoyed because I was ready to say this week had gone quite well and I woke up with conjunctivitis this morning so I’m in a bad mood now. I can’t remember having it before so it is just unlucky on my part. I now have a strong urge to buy things to make myself feel better. I might just play video games instead.

It has been a tiring week getting up that bit earlier to get into work. That being said, I have actually enjoyed my commute into work. I’m not just catching the bus anymore, I get to experience the train and it’s so nice. It turns up when it says it will and if there are delays you know about it! Add in the fact that I can read on them then I’m pretty happy. I may have to stop being cheeky and getting a lift everywhere, I’ll wait and see what I think when the kids are back at school and there’s traffic.

I don’t want this post to be all about work (really guys, you hear about all the dramas) but I will say a couple more things. First off, don’t you hate it when you’re right about someone who joins your team? Someone new started about a month ago and we said as soon as they moved onto the team they wouldn’t last and to no ones surprise she left on Tuesday. She never wanted the job and should never have been offered it. She was more a hindrance than a help and we are basically left in the lurch as someone else is leaving next week (we knew this was happening but she got a job abroad so really, I would too) so yeah… we are a touch screwed and your manager really doesn’t appreciate having an ‘I told you so’ shoved in their face so I’ve had to restrain myself. Just, it’s so annoying when you can see how things are going to end up and can do nothing stop it.

There we go, rant done.

This week has been more of a good week than anything, though. That’s helped along by the fact Monday was a bank holiday so I just stayed home reading. And then work wise it was meh, but when I wasn’t working it was great. I saw a friend who was back home for a flying visit and I did my usual trip to the pub with my bestie to catch up on life, the world… things. It’s always good catching up with her. And then shopping this weekend which was fun but exhausting.

What I’ve Been Reading

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I’ve been stuck in this rut since rereading the Rephaim series. I adored it but I wanted more. I am so glad Paula Weston has a new book out this year because I am all over that. I did read The Upside of Unrequited which was amazing (review to follow) it is just so cute and cute. Heaps of cute and fluff. But reading that meant I was in another reading rut. There’s something so difficult about finding a book after reading good ones… so I settled on rereading in the end. Going Too Far is one of those books which just fills a craving. It’s strange considering I disliked the book first time I read but really enjoyed second time around and loved again this third time. It’s strange how my brain works.

New To Me

Beginner's Guide Love And Other Chemical ReactionsThe Unlikable Demon HunterWe Own The Night
I’ve been very restrained this week. I have seen books I’ve wanted but I’m trying to be smart. I even resisted the urge to go into my local bookshop when I was shopping to prevent book buying. I do have a few things in my basket online which may get bought later on but I am trying to wait until payday here. Progress guys!

And there is my week, it’s been busy but I’ve been happy. How has your week been? Any good books? And how do you deal with deciding what to read next when you’ve read so many good books in a row?

19 April 2017

Bite Sized Books // Why Don’t I Read More Sports Romance… Or More Sarina Bowen?

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This time I’m combining two reviews, both of books in Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series. I did this because I loved both books and totally want to talk about them and I really didn’t want the reviews to be spaced out with weeks between them trying to remember to post a review. It was also whilst reading these I remembered I totally have a thing for sports romance so why haven’t I read more. I will want all the recs below please so I can do some reading catch up.
rookie move Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers #1) – Sarina Bowen
Published: 6th September 2016
Source: Bought
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports Romance
My Rating:
A brand new sporty, sexy series from USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

Georgia Worthington and Leo Trevi were the golden couple of their high school. He was the hockey team captain, she was a tennis star. Until graduation, when tragedy pulled them apart.

Five years later, everything's coming together for Leo. His dreams of playing professional hockey seem to be coming true as he's called up from the minors to play for the NHL's newest team. The only problem? The team's publicist is the woman who broke his heart.

As she tries to prove herself as the senior PR specialist for a major NHL franchise, the last thing Georgia needs is the distraction of her former flame. But when Leo arrives at the press conference that can make or break her career, Georgia realizes that the man she put her on ice might still be able to melt her heart.
I haven't read some good old romance in a couple of weeks and this book has reminded me of that fatal error. I also haven't read enough of Sarina Bowen's books and that is a seriously fatal error I will be remedying swiftly. I had only read the first in her NA series and her books co-authored with Elle Kennedy and I seriously need to read her back catalogue.

What made this book so great? Well, turns out I am a major fan of sports romance. I forget this until I read another awesome sports romance and this one was great. Ass into the fact it's a second chance romance and I am there.

I will say this felt very similar to Bowen's NA books and I know this is more of an adult romance but if you're trying to transition from NA to straight up romance then this is that middle ground. It does have some of the elements that are so frequently seen in NA, such as a tragic backstory, but much like Elle Kennedy managed to write a romance which sensibly handled a woman who had been raped and her handling that past trauma so does Bowen in this book. Georgia may have been raped and that affected her life but it is handled so sensibly the impact it had on her.

I think I loved this book because Georgia this relatable character who is trying to make a life for herself and thinks she's got a pretty good handle on things until her ex is back in her life in the most shocking way and her attitude towards Leo is crazy. I didn't get how she wasn't climbing him like a tree but, you know, I did get why she was hesitant. I like when the biggest obstacle between a couple is themselves and that was definitely the case with Leo and Georgia. It was Georgia putting up barriers and her realising that was awesome.

I do think the reason I enjoyed the book quite so much was Leo, though. He wasn't a player or a bad boy, he was this really sweet man who had his heart broken when he was young and viewed seeing Georgia again as a second chance for them as he never really stopped loving her. He was so sweet and patient and sure he acted rashly but he was so hot doing it and his heart was always in the right place.

This was a fantastic start to a series I cannot wait to continue. Bowen has proved she is an awesome romance writer and not one to be overlooked.

hard hitter
Published: 3rd January 2017
Source: Bought
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports Romance
My Rating:
He's a scrapper in the rink, but he's about to learn that playing nice can help you score...


As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O’Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of fighting, O’Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He hides his pain from the coaching staff, but when his chronic muscle strain becomes too obvious to ignore, he’s sent for treatment with the team’s massage therapist.

After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini needs a timeout from men. She’s focusing only on work: rehabilitating the Bruisers’ MVP. O’Doul is easy on the eyes but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O’Doul heal, but as the tension between them starts to simmer, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good…
I actually bought the two Brooklyn Bruisers books not because I wanted to read more Sarina Bowen (I know, for shame) but because I kept hearing about this book on the Smart Bitches podcast. I was first mentioned at the beginning of this year and they specifically said about O’Doul not liking to be touched and having to see a massage therapist and I was totally there. As soon as I knew the hero didn’t like to be touched I wanted to read so I bought these two books because I wanted to read Hard Hitter but hate reading series out of order. As soon as I realised I was enjoying Rookie Move I was even more excited to start reading Hard Hitter and God damn it was a hit too.

As I said, the premise of the book is that Patrick O’Doul is a hockey player, the enforcer (so basically the guy who gets into the fights on the ice when someone steps out of line on the other team), and he is currently suffering from pains from his job so gets referred to the team's massage therapist, Ari. Ari has recently gone through a tough break up and very much against dating and wouldn’t dream of compromising her job so the chemistry between these two is obviously off the charts. Like, fan yourself hot off the charts. You definitely can’t complain about a lack of chemistry with this romance, but the romance isn’t the sole reason I loved this book.

I loved this book because I loved Patrick. He has all kinds of issues he seriously needs to work on but he is a little trier and I adored him for that fact. He was forced into the massage therapy but he begins to enjoy it because he begins to trust Ari. But that’s not the only thing he works on. He has spent so much time having to be alone (and pretty much liking it that way) so even though he works as part of a team he never lets others in and he works on building solid connections 10 years after originally joining the team. Like he never lets people in his apartment but then he lets in Ari, and then Ari, Becca and Georgia and then really it’s a slippery slope from there. Just those little things of him growing and realising no man is an island essentially was brilliant.

I did like Ari a bit less because she was fast to jump to conclusions even though she really should know better. Yet she is willing to give others the benefit of the doubt. I know she’d been burned by her ex so I forgave her judgey mc-judgerson moments because I got where they were coming from. She had a few trust issues and a whole heap of doubt about herself and it was good seeing her figure herself out (with a few pushes from those around her) but I definitely took my time warming up to her.

In the end, this book worked for me because it was sports romance (seriously, I have a strong urge to see a proper hockey game now and I haven't had that urge since I watched The Mighty Ducks as a kid). I adored the romance in it and Patrick is a star, I love him, I want to keep him in my pocket the precious little cinnamon roll that he is. I love that he is this majorly tough guy but inside he is all squishy and soft. So yes, this book was all Patrick all the time for me. It is still a totally brilliant book ignoring his brilliance as well.

So there you have my reviews for the first two Brooklyn Bruisers books, I am now ready for Pipe Dreams (although, where is Becca’s book. That’s the book I want ever since the first book where it was blatantly obvious her and Nate were meant to be with his awkward blushing and total awesomeness).

Have you read these books? What did you think? And please recommend sports romances to me and remind me I need to read all of Bowen’s back catalogue.

17 April 2017

Goodbye Days // A Book You Need Tissues For But Crying Is Worth It

Goodbye Days
Goodbye Days – Jeff Zentner
Published: 6th April 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
My Rating:
Can a text message destroy your life?

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths.

Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli’s bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn. But not everyone is willing to forgive. Carver’s own despair and guilt threatens to pull him under into panic and anxiety as he faces punishment for his terrible mistake. Can the goodbye days really help?
First thing to know before you pick this book up? You will need tissues. You will ugly cry no matter how much you try and stop yourself. It’s inevitable so just accept it. Second of all, you will probably feel some rage at a few characters and it is awful but it just makes the ending all the more satisfying, you know?

This is the first book I’ve read by Jeff Zentner, I know everyone talks about The Serpent King but I haven’t read anything by him before. He is an author I've heard many a good thing about but I am so glad I waited to read this book by him first. I was emotionally wrung out by the end but so very, very happy as well.

This book is centred around Carver who has lost his three best friends in a car accident and is blaming himself because he texted them around the time of the car accident. It leads him on a path of guilt and self-discovery as he spends time with the families of those he loved trying to help them get some closure whilst also trying to get closure for himself. There is a mixed response from the family of his loved ones because too often we want to find someone to blame when we lose someone. It has to be someone's fault because bad things can't just happen.

I haven't cried so much reading a book in a long time. I know I get emotionally involved in things very easily, much like Carver I cry at YouTube videos about good deeds, but this book will hit you in the feels and then beat you around the head with your emotions right until the end. But in a good way, you know? You may be ugly crying but you'll be happy about it, trust me. It’s one of those books which puts your through the ringer and drains you but it’s so good.

I think this book works because of Carver. He isn’t the best person. He isn’t the most likable character. He acts rashly and like a bit of a dick at times but he has lost his best friends. That support structure you usually fall back on when you make bad choices in gone and he is struggling. He is blaming himself for losing those closest to him and this is a difficult thing to handle and so that instant connection you make with him is vital to this book. I definitely wouldn’t have liked this book as much if I hadn’t gotten what Carver was going through.

Like I said, if you’re looking to cry like a baby read this. And if you want some awesome characters and a really good read, you should probably read it then too.

 
What was the last book which made you cry? And have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

16 April 2017

Sunday Summary // 16.04.2017

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Happy Easter! At least those who celebrate it. For everyone else Happy Chocolate Egg Day (that’s what I like to celebrate).

It’s been a slower week blogging wise for me. You may have noticed I only had two posts up and I am way behind on comments and I really need to catch up on blog reading but I’m enjoying taking it a little slower for the past week. Hopefully, a little time away will recharge my batteries. I have plenty I want to say but I’ve not got the same motivation to stay up late to get it all done.

As for real life? It’s been a strange week. Our office has now got everyone moved in from all of the offices who will be merging here. It has meant it’s been louder in the office, busier in the kitchen, and it’s strange to finally put faces to names when I’ve been emailing and calling these folks for a while. It’s meant that going to work kind of feels like going to a new school as you see all these strange faces about. It’s a very weird feeling but I’m getting used to the new office at least. I am nervous about the fact I will finally be getting public transport to work next week. I’d been getting a lift from someone on my team but she’s on holiday next week so I must finally brave the longer commute, at least there’ll be time for reading! I just think this new office makes me feel like I’ve started a new job and I’m still figuring out my routine. I should be settled by the end of the month, I hope.

I had my first experience of getting my nails done this week, as well. A friend bought me a gift voucher to have gel nails done at the salon she goes to for my birthday. She arranged an appointment for me so I had to be brave and let a stranger do my nails. I was a little less than gracious about the gift when I got it as it really, really is not my kind of thing. I avoid getting my haircut because I don’t like small talk so why on earth would I want to sit for an extended period of time getting my nails done? At least with a haircut you don’t really need to make eye contact. Thankfully, it was quite nice. I will probably never pay to get my nails done again apart from a really special occasion but it was nice. I now have pretty purple gel nails that are a perfect shade for spring. It’ll just be hell waiting for them to grow out.

What I’ve Been Reading

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I’m quite pleased with my reading this week. I enjoyed The Rook, although it took me way longer to read than expected. It was a really interesting fantasy world which was kind of like a cross between X-Men and Mi5. It was totally cool and I will read the second book eventually. I also got around to reading The Coldest Girl In Coldtown, a book I was excited about being released and took years to finally read. It was an excellent take on the vampire genre. It was both a love letter to the genre without romanticising the fact that vampires are killers. I mean, they drink blood, they can’t really be all good. And then I finally began the reread of Paula Weston’s Rephaim series this weekend which I’ve been wanting to do ever since Nick posted her reviews of them. I mean, this series! I love it so bad.

New To Me

To Sir With Phillip With Love738 DaysSleepless in ManhattanSunset in Central Park3299422126047680
I feel like I justify my purchases every week and really, I am happy with them so no justification necessary. I got a whole bunch more free books but I won’t include those because those will fill a page. Especially as I may not read them. I literally just see free book, especially free book from a big name author and I can’t say no. I mean, I got Sunset in Central Park free and a bunch of others, it’s impressive. I gave in to buying 738 Days because I’d been thinking about it for a while. I figure why not buy the paperback? And my newest Julia Quinn book was used so that was pretty cheap. I’m a huge fan of second-hand books. And Under her Skin was 49p for Kindle, who can say no to that? And Burn had to be bought as I’m reading the series again and I really want physical copies (yes, I am weird like that).

Am I the only one who sees the word free and wants something? I can’t be the only one hoarding free books for Kindle? And how has your Easter been? Anyone got anything interesting or done anything interesting?

14 April 2017

My Thoughts // The Fear Of Not Having A Post Queue

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This time last week I had absolutely no posts in my queue and it filled me with fear. I haven’t had no posts lined up in my queue for months now. I have had things lined up and ready to go and planned ahead for the past few weeks. Sure, I’ve had to finish off posts and brush up a few things. Every so often I’ve had to write a post and slot in my queue but all in all, I’ve been able to sit back and relax. It’s been refreshing. I saw I was posting that final post and I actually thought about delaying posting until I had a few more reviews and things lined up. It was only a moment of thinking about delaying and then I realised that was stupid and to get a grip but it really got me thinking, why am I so scared about not having a post ready and lined up in advance?
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When I started blogging I didn’t have a queue, I decided to start a blog, I chose a name and designed my blog and wrote up a post and published it. I didn’t have a review ready. I had no discussion post ready. I had no Top Ten Tuesday. I had nothing and I didn’t care. I found it exhilarating, this sense of freedom I had to do what I wanted when I wanted. I thought it was so cool that I had gotten myself my own little corner of the internet to do with it what I will and it felt amazing. I posted as and when I wanted and often didn’t finalise my post until seconds before I posted.

Now I post things which I wrote a week, a fortnight, a month ago and when people comment on my review I have forgotten everything I have to say. I find myself having to read my post again to be able to respond to what someone else said. Or I’ve written a review fresh from finishing a book but two weeks later when I post it I find that my thoughts have changed. I don’t feel as critical or I’ve noticed a few flaws and basically, my thoughts are different about books two weeks after as opposed to immediately after finishing.

Now I have to slowly work on my posts day by day I am excited about the feeling of freedom I have again. Sure, I have ARCs I want to review and there are monthly and weekly posts I always do but for the next couple of weeks, at least, I am working post by post. Sure, I’ll slowly build up my queue again but that will take time and until then I can just take it easy and remember why I love to blog.

Do you feel scared at the prospect of having no posts queued up? And do you enjoy the freedom you have when you have nothing queued up?

10 April 2017

Somebody’s Baby // A Romance That Felt More Real Than Most

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Published: 4th April 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Small Town Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
Veterinarian Rory Gallagher chose a different path from his brothers, both of whom became first responders in the lovely little town of Darling, Vermont. Rory’s always had an affinity for animals—and the ladies. Known for his impressive track record in breaking hearts, Rory never meant to hurt anyone; he’s just never been in a hurry to settle down. It’s not as if he needs to pay a visit to the town’s famed Kissing Bridge to magically find love. He’ll know The One when he sees her. . .right?
Oaklee Ferguson is the kid sister of Rory’s best friend—and, even now that she’s all grown up, remains immune to the pet-doctor’s charms. When she shows up at Rory’s clinic late one night—devastated after hitting a stray dog with her car—Rory’s so-called “bedroom eyes” are the last thing on her mind. Still, his care and kindness toward the dog, and his concern for her feelings, catches Oaklee by surprise. . .and soon the two (and rescued dog makes three!) begin to share a deep connection that neither could have ever imagined. Could it be that love has been waiting for them by the bridge all along?
I have been reading Donna Alward’s Darling, Vt. and really enjoying it but I have to say this book may have been my favourite. Oaklee and Rory’s story was one I could relate to. These two couldn’t deny their chemistry and their connection but they had both been burned and were scared to put their heart’s at risk again. I mean, I enjoyed the past two books but this one really got to me and I loved it. It may have helped there was a dog involved as well. Everyone loves a dog.

Like I said, this book is about two people scared to risk themselves for love. Oaklee was Rory’s best friend’s sister growing up so she was off limits. Years later, they definitely have chemistry and they are both interested, but they don’t want to risk their friendship or themselves. We can all relate to that. Add into the fact that they’ve both experience some pretty brutal heartbreak and you can see why they’re both hesitant to start something up.

I think this book worked because of the hesitancy of both characters. Too often in romance you have two characters getting involved with one another when they have baggage they need to sort and they end up hurting the other because of it. This time you have Rory and Oaklee both trying to give the other distance to not risk a friendship and to avoid causing the other pain. Sure, that approach also had flaws but it’s nice to see folks giving a little consideration to one another before venturing into a relationship they are definitely not ready for.

Basically, I liked the fact that the characters felt real. Oaklee is a woman who has pushed many a person away after her heartbreak at college and is now trying to exude a confidence and togetherness she doesn’t really possess as she tries to stay in control of her career. Rory, on the other hand, has been burned by love so goes on numerous dates which never really get past date two to try and make it seem like he doesn’t care about settling down. They are both people keeping up appearances so it was nice to see them allow a bit of chaos into their lives in the pursuit of love. Add in a poor dog that needs a home to recuperate in and I was totally sold on this romance.

Do you find yourself being drawn to calmer romances that are more like real life at times? Or do you prefer the escapism of the crazy sauce romances out there?

09 April 2017

Sunday Summary // 09.04.2017

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Hello and welcome to the end of another week. Have you had a good week because I am in an amazingly good mood this week? I mean, it began a bit badly but it picked up by the end and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because it’s because the sun has been out the past couple of days, I mean, it’s been warm enough to sit in the garden with a book and required sun cream! Sunshine definitely makes you a bit happier. Maybe it’s because I’ve just finished reading a good book which made me cry like a baby. It’s hard not to feel happy after having a good cry.

We moved office this week and it was something I was dreading. I definitely think the office move attributed to the blechness of the beginning of the week. Everyone was stressed because the move was so disorganised, our office manager was being no help and basically those in charge of the office move couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery so in the end when no one had organised moving anything to the new office we loaded up cars with boxes and drove to the new office in work time to move ourselves in. Turns out some of the departments who moved before finance had no system and couldn’t print when they got there so I suppose we should be grateful we even had desks when we got there.

I do think my new office is far nicer and a far better atmosphere than our last one. It still smells like fresh paint and we have an honest to go lunch room. We are all open plan and so it’s a lot less oppressive than the last one could be when someone was in a bad mood everyone felt it. There will be teething problems but we’ll see how it goes. Add in the fact I’ve been getting a lift into work the past few days and I’m feeling happy. I’ll see how it goes when I’m sat on public transport for 2 hours a day.

The only flaw in my new office is that I’ve not had time to read during my commute and then on my lunch, with the new lunch room I’m stuck chatting to people. I’m not complaining (mostly) but damn I miss my half an hour in the middle of the day to escape. Fingers crossed for next week.

As for non-work related life? I have finally seen Beauty and the Beast! It was fantastic, I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did but I cannot wait for the DVD release because I will be buying it. I adored the original so I was conflicted about seeing this but it was just as good as the original and it was a film all of its own. I recommend it to everyone, it was a win for Disney. I also had a fun night out at the pub, sometimes it’s fun to chat about everything and nothing and so I’m glad I did that.

And I ended the week with some warm weather. It has been 18°C here in the UK and so I’ve been sat outside in the sun getting too warm and potentially burning because I am pale and burn easily. It has been nice, though. It does mean I will be sore in the morning but I'll make the most of the warm weather while I can.

What I’ve Been Reading

32728258Goodbye Days
I said I haven’t had as much time to read and this is proof of this. I’ve finished just two books this week and I feel a bit bad, but then I’ve binge watching The Night Shift and been exhausted. With going out and doing other things something had to give, for me that was books. Maybe it’ll pick up next week.

New To Me

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I know, it’s bad when you’re new books outnumber your read books but it was one of those weeks where I saw good deals for books I have been wanting to read and couldn’t say no. Add in the fact Want To Play is me buying a book I’ve already read (and want to see if I still like it a second time around). I don’t feel bad because I’ve given up on feeling bad about the books I buy.

How has your week been? Anyone else find life getting in the way of their reading? And has anyone else had some nice weather to enjoy lately? It’s always nice when a touch of summer comes early.

07 April 2017

My Thoughts // Books Which Shaped Me

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I have been blogging for over three years. My blogoversary was last month and I didn’t do anything to celebrate (for shame, I know) but I wanted to mark it in some way. I’ve been sitting on this post for about a month because of that face. I could have written about what I’ve learnt during my time blogging but, to be honest, I’m still learning and what I do know everyone else has taught me so I don’t really feel comfortable relaying other people’s knowledge. Anyway, I decided instead to focus on books. I started this blog because I like reading and so I figure my three year blogoversary should be about books.

I have been reading since I was young and sure, sometimes I wasn’t as avid a reader as I am now, but I have been reading for as long as I can remember. I didn’t stop reading at secondary school or high school as many did. I didn’t get put off reading after you pass the mandatory ‘you will learn how to read’ years. In fact, I was encouraged to read by my nan who is wonderful and I am forever grateful to her. I want to look back on the books I remember most growing up and were the books I loved.

The books I remember most from when I was really young are simple. I adored the Dr Seuss Sleep Book. I read it all the time convinced it would put me to sleep (it didn’t, but try to read it without yawning). And that book was followed by longer books with fewer pictures. Books like The BFG and Matilda were my next port of call. Mostly I was reading books my nan gave me.

My nan can be attributed with a lot of my reading, to be honest. She was the reason I read Harry Potter (obviously this book was going to be included on here) and Harry Potter was probably the point I loved reading. At the same time as reading Harry Potter I also discovered Jacqueline Wilson's books. I was fully obsessed with her writing. She even did an author visit to my primary school but I had a music lesson scheduled at the same time as her visit and ended up missing seeing her! It was utterly unfair considering I was a girl who actually liked reading!

My memories of reading then get a bit fuzzy. I know I was in year 4 (so aged 8-9) when I was reading Harry Potter and and Jacqueline Wilson but I don’t remember much for a while. I read a lot of teen books as I got older and the next lot of books I remember distinctly growing up is the Fearless series by Francine Pascal. I was full on obsessed with that book series for a while, I never finished it (my library didn’t have all of the books) but I loved it for a long while. I then moved onto LJ Smith’s Secret Circle series and the Wicca series by Cate Tiernan. I went through a long phase of witches there. I loved the idea of witches and wanted to read all of the books which included them.

At around that time I was also becoming obsessed with contemporary books. I was much like I am now, I loved contemporary and fantasy and I loved a book best when there was a romance as well. I discovered two authors who I still love today. I discovered Meg Cabot and her Princess Diaries books and her Mediator series and her 1-800-Missing series. I began reading everything Cabot I could get my hands on. I read my first historical romance in the form of her YA books Nicola and the Viscount and Victoria and the Rogue but I didn’t actually discover my love for historical romance until I read some after I began blogging.

Once I discovered Meg Cabot it’s about the same time I learnt there was a teen section of books in my local book shop. I then read quite a few books which would now be classified as YA. I bought Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning (there was a girl with pink hair on the cover, I couldn’t not). And it was there I learnt I love a girl who likes music, but I don’t like boys in bands as much. I became a loyal reader of hers and she will feature again later on.

By the time I was fifteen I was finding myself growing out of YA (I thought so, anyway) but didn’t know where to turn next. I began to read whatever I could a hold of, in my case the books my mom was borrowing form the library. My mom was going through a phase of reading a whole heap of contemporary romance, most of it what would have been classified as chick-lit then. I discovered two very important authors. I discovered Sophie Kinsella and Jennifer Crusie. I adored Kinsella’s Can You Keep A Secret? (still do and it’s on my shelf, I should really reread). It’s where I learnt whilst miscommunication in romance can be frustrating it is also insanely fun. And Crusie’s Crazy for You and Bet Me where I learnt I have a thing for her writing and also for cocky men (ala Cal who is charming without trying) and oblivious men in denial (like Nick). Really, this is the point I should have known romance was my thing but it still took a few years.

Once I went to university I read a whole lot less. I began reading again when I turned 21. I got my first Kindle for my 21st birthday and I have no regrets. I’d forgotten what I enjoy to read before I got that Kindle. I bought a lot of different books and spent a long time learning what I enjoy to read after a three year reading break. I discovered Sarra Manning had published some adult romances and so I read those, still didn’t fully realise I enjoyed romance (I know, I was crazy) but I did learn I loved all the romances she had done so far. Those books are still some of my favourites.

I also discovered YA books with my new Kindle. I read The Hunger Games for the first time right before the first film came out and fell into a bit of a blackhole of YA dystopian. I read Matched and Delirium, I absolutely adored the Birthmarked series (I need to reread to see if it’s still as good as I think). And towards the end of 2012 I discovered an author I still love. I bought Daughter of Smoke and Bone for £3.35 and I had bought it simply because it was cheap and sounded vaguely interesting. It was actually Miss Peregrine’s which I’d really wanted to read. Turns out I was surprised by the book I wanted less.

I discovered book blogs during my time reading a whole heap of YA dystopian as I was determined to find more books to read. I didn’t follow them religiously but I did go to blogs to find new books. in 2013 I read less but I enjoyed far more of what I read. I read only 40 books (yeah, I know) but those books were Throne of Glass and Fangirl, Nowhere But Home and The Bone Season. They were mostly books I adored and still I was learning what I liked to read.

It was in 2014 which I started blogging and it was then I finally learnt romance was my thing. I drifted from YA contemporary to the romance genre (much like I did at 15). It was only when I became part of the blogging community I really learnt what I do and don’t like to read. I am glad I did and I am so glad I started blogging.

What I learnt from writing this post is I have basically loved romance ever since I started reading. It took me a long while to realise what I liked in reading but now I do it’s great. I mean, I love fantasy and I love a good mystery and I really love books that punch me in the feelings but romance. That will forever be my bread and butter. I don’t know why it took me so damn long to realise it. It’s amazing how my reading now has a lot of links back to my reading growing up. I still love books with witches in and I still love to get immersed in a series to binge read. But yeah, mostly I really love a book which features a good romance in it.

Have you looked back at your reading pre-blogging and seen how it is similar to your reading now? And has your reading changed as much as you think?

05 April 2017

Letters to the Lost // A Heart-Breaking and Brilliant YA Read

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Published: 6th April 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating:
Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither of them knows that they're not actually strangers. When real life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. This emotional, compulsively-readable romance will sweep everyone off their feet.
Letters to the Lost was an impulse request on Netgalley on my part. I hadn’t heard of it before but the pretty cover and interesting description got me interested. I am always glad for a book I’m unfamiliar with to surprise me and make me love it.

Letters to the Lost is very much a heartbreaking read. I was sat through a lot of it close to tears as my heart broke for both Declan and Juliet, but then I was also completely hooked by their anonymous exchange and the will they won’t they nature of their reveal to one another. I couldn’t but the book down and it has led me to a bit of a YA reread thing but I love it for that fact.

I think the reason the book clicked for me is because both characters were flawed and heartbroken and lost and putting on brave faces. Juliet has lost a mother and is lost without her, even though her mother was home so infrequently the letters they write to one another was something she continued to do even after her death. For Declan, he is cast as a ‘bad boy’ and a rebel who is going nowhere when really he is just as lost and blames himself for the loss he is also suffering. Ugh, the loss was utterly heartbreaking, honestly, when they both spoke about it in the book I was in tears.

The story is strong in this as well. It’s not simply girl falls for an anonymous letter writer. Its girl falls for mysterious new friend but also is drawn to Declan and is dealing with the loss of her mother. And it’s boy likes girl but is crazy closed off from the world and has some major parent issues that need to get addressed more and struggles to come to terms with his loss whilst he has barely any support structure in place. It’s a really great book about grief and the consequences.

I mean, I had issues with the book. It seemed to be a bit OTT at times with Juliet’s reactions to big reveals, yet she is a teenager and she is still going through the loss of her mother so I could excuse her breakdowns. And Declan was so stoic and closed off and his issues could have been resolved far sooner if he was willing to open up and trust those around him. I got why he didn’t but ugh, words are your friend people! Why does no one ever get this?

Also, I wish the best friends featured more in the book. They were mentioned and had roles to play in the book so they definitely didn’t appear and disappear as the book developed but I did feel like they could have played a bigger role. I wanted to know more about Rev most of all, he was such an interesting character and I don’t feel like he fully had a chance to come into his own. And Juliet’s best friend didn’t get to appear enough so I can’t even think of her name off the top of my head but instead have to look it up. To be fair, that doesn’t mean much, I am bad with names, but even so!

So, yeah, if you're wanting a sweet and emotional (it can be both, ok) contemporary YA then this is the book for you. The characters are interesting without being annoying. The story and format will hook you. You’ll be on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster really and I’m telling you you’ll enjoy every moment.

What your favourite contemporary YA that you’ve read lately? And don’t you love it when a book surprises you?

04 April 2017

Looking Forward // April 2017

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I’m mixing things up a bit this month. Normally I only include books which I haven’t read yet and I am excited to read but this month I decided to include all the books I’ve both read and haven’t which are being released this month. I want to get folks excited for books and I want to make sure everyone wants to read too. Basically, I am attempting to spread the love whilst failing epically at talking myself out of spending money.
33224718 Geekerella - Ashley Poston
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Retelling, Young Adult
Release Date: 4th April 2017
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Red Sister – Mark Lawrence
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 6th April 2017
Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.
It's not until you're broken that you find your sharpest edge.


A brilliant new series from the bestselling author of PRINCE OF THORNS.

"I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin"


At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

A brilliant new series from the bestselling author of PRINCE OF THORNS.

Why Am I Excited?

Well, I’ve read it so it’s easy to give reasons why I’m excited for everyone else to get reading but it is one I want to get my own copy of. I mean, it’s a brilliant book and it’s one for all those who have been a part of any fandom ever. Also, I am very much in love with Darien and I’m not normally a fan of celebrities in books.

Why Am I Excited?

I got an ARC of this book in my Illumicrate box and I’ve not started yet but it sounds amazing. I’ve not read anything from Mark Lawrence before so I am a little nervous about it. It looks utterly awesome, though.
33857632Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: 6th April 2017
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Alex, Approximately – Jenn Bennett
Genre:
Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: 6th April 2017
Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither of them knows that they're not actually strangers. When real life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. This emotional, compulsively-readable romance will sweep everyone off their feet.
Bailey “Mink” Rydell has met the boy of her dreams. They share a love of films and talk all day – Alex is perfect. Well, apart from the fact that they’ve never actually met . . . and neither of them knows the other’s real name.

When Bailey moves to sunny California to live with her dad, who happens to live in the same town as Alex, she decides to track him down. But finding someone based on online conversations alone proves harder than Bailey thought, and with her irritating but charismatic (and potentially attractive?) colleague Porter Roth distracting her at every turn, will she ever get to meet the mysterious Alex?

From the author of Night Owls comes a story of summer, first love and hidden identities . . .

Why Am I Excited?

Another book I have read already but had to make sure got a feature because it is an utterly amazing read. I know some people haven’t enjoyed it but I seriously loved this book. I loved the connection between Juliet and Declan and they were utterly adorable and then the book dealt with grief and a complicated relationship between parents and children. I just loved it.

Why Am I Excited?

I have been excited about this book for ages and all I see is rave reviews of this book. I want to read it so bad so I need to get a hold of a copy. I mean Jenn Bennett writes good books anyway but this is a sex positive books which everyone seems to have loved I want to read like last week.
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Duels and Deceptions – Cindy Anstey
Genre: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: 11th April 2017
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The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: 11th April 2017
Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father's choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan.
Until Lydia—and Robert along with her—is kidnapped. Someone is after her fortune and won't hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert's help, Lydia strives to keep her family's good name intact and expose whoever is behind the devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is in fact what she truly wants…
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.

There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

Why Am I Excited?

I mean, it’s a historical and a romance and it sounds awesome. I heard about this book last year and I’ve just been counting down to the release ever since. I have enjoyed all the Swoon Reads books I’ve gotten so I don’t doubt I will feel the same about this one. I just need it in my life already.

Why Am I Excited?

Another one I actually have an ARC of but I’ve not read it yet. I am so excited/nervous about this one as I’ve not actually read an Albertalli book before but I heard about this one at the beginning of the year and I wanted to get reading it.
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Fireworks – Katie Cotugno
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: 11th April 2017
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It Happened on Love Street – Lia Riley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: 25th April 2017
From Katie Cotugno, bestselling author of 99 Days, comes Fireworks—about a girl who is competing with her best friend to become the new pop star of the moment—and all the drama and romance that comes with it—set in Orlando during the late-'90s boy-and-girl-band craze.

It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was the level-headed one, always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, New York Times bestselling author Katie Cotugno’s Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.
The most romantic place she never wanted to be . . .

Pepper Knight moved to Everland, Georgia, as step one in her plan for a successful legal career. But after this big-city gal's plans go awry, going home with her tail between her legs isn't an option. So when the town vet-and her sexy new neighbor-offers Pepper a temporary dog-walking job, she jumps at the chance. No one needs to know that man's best friend is her worst nightmare . . . or that Everland's hot animal whisperer leaves her panting.

The last thing Rhett Valentine wants is to be the center of small-town gossip. After his first love left him at the altar, he's been there, done that. These days, life is simple, just the way he likes it. But sultry southern nights get complicated once sparks fly between him and the knockout next door. When she proposes a sexy, secret fling-all the deliciousness and none of the prying neighbors-it seems too good to be true. And it is. Because Pepper's determined to leave Love Street, and when she goes, she just might take his heart with her . . .

Why Am I Excited?

A book set in the 90s? I am totally down for that. I have enjoyed Cotugno’s past two books, I had issues with them but I enjoyed them and this is the last chance I’m giving her to totally impress me but I am excited. I think it’s the 90s setting, I am a 90s child after all.

Why Am I Excited?

I blame this one on Nick. All of it. She told me about this book on Twitter and then I got myself a review copy! What?!?! I am insanely excited to get reading but I’ve been waiting to read until it’s closer to the release because that’s how I roll. I adore romance and I trust Nick’s opinion absolutely.
And those are my books for April (maybe, if I can get them all anyway). Have you read any of these? Is there one I should read first? And have any missed any books because you know what I need is more books on my TBR?