30 November 2017

Monthly Wrap Up // November 2017

Monthly Wrap Up_zpshjihxrbe.png
Hi guys, welcome to the end of another month. I have been absent a bit this month and it sucks but sometimes real life invades. I’ve had plenty going on in my real life: friends getting married; Christmas shopping to be done; and moving my nan into a care home. Real life has been busy and we now need to begin the lengthy process of packing her things up and arrange selling the house so it’s not over yet.

It has been a good month, though. I may not have blogged much or read as much as usual but I honestly have felt good this month, just not blogging wise. I’ve actually felt a little disconnected of late from the whole book community (or at least the little corner I visit) so that’s been a bit disheartening. I’ve got a list of things I want to in the run up to the end of the year, though. Fingers crossed the sprint to the end of the year means I start to get a bit involved again.

Has anyone else started thinking about their reading/blogging challenges for next year? I have, I started thinking about it in mid-November and now have a personal reading challenge all written out. Hopefully my book prompts will help encourage me to pick up a few books from my shelves. I know it might be a bit early to think of next year but I’m already beginning a month of wrapping up 2017 so it’s no surprise I’m thinking of next year.

Can’t Stop Listening

New Year's Eve – Taylor Swift
Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin
(why yes, I did go see Thor and I have been playing this on repeat, how could you tell?)
Golden Slumbers – Elbow
(Does it look like I care that this years John Lewis advert isn’t a total tear jerker? It’s still cute and I love this song)

November Reads

Completely7. Burn For You
Favourites: Completely // Burn For You
2328169011761452Christmas With Her Millionaire Boss29868612Flame in the MistMister Hockey

I haven’t read as much but I did still have a few favourites. I mean, not as many favourites as I might like but two romances certainly hit the mark for me.

November Posts

November Links

No links this month. I’ve read brilliant posts but I’ve failed to save any so I apologise. I’ll do better to wrap up the end of the year, I promise.

Reading Challenges

Guys, I have forgotten to include my reading challenges for the past three months or so. I have made no progress apart from on my discussion posts (yay) and so I won’t even bother including them. I’ll have a round up of challenges and resolutions next month and I’m feeling lazy… also I stopped caring about all but my discussion posts because they are really fun to write (expect my ideas keep coming and I don’t write them down and then they’re gone forever!).

And that is my November. It’s been hectic and crazy and a whole bunch of being forgetful. How has your month been? Everyone else shocked the end of the year is fast approaching?

26 November 2017

Sunday Summary // 26.11.2017

Sunday Summary
I am exhausted guys. I am typing this Saturday night after getting back from the wedding of one of my best friends. It was stunning, such a lovely day. I am utterly exhausted now, though. I woke up hungover this morning after having a totally amazing night with my friends. I saw some faces I haven’t seen since I finished school and had a great old party. We danced and drank until late in the night and then managed to make our way back to the hotel. There was a free bar so my one friend got a little messy but we all had such a great time celebrating our friend's marriage. She looked beautiful. I learnt as well that a tipi wedding in November is great except you have to go outside to go to the toilet and hot damn does it get cold. As long as you dance a lot you don’t notice, though.

So yeah, I am exhausted after this weekend and I cannot wait to sleep in my own bed and just relax. I have a full day planned on Sunday, though, so I’m glad I have Monday and Tuesday off of work. I plan to relax in my pyjamas and get some online Christmas shopping done. It will be awesome.

This week has been busy in preparing for the wedding so I haven’t done a whole lot of reading. Or anything else really. I’m behind on all things blog related so I will catch up with you guys soon. I am not writing any posts (apart from a wrap-up post for the month) next week while I catch up with things. I’ve got some time off work and I plan to use it well.

What I’ve Been Reading

29868612Mister Hockey
I’ve been slowing down with reading this week as I’ve been busy but I enjoyed Mister Hockey. I think I’ll really love the second book, Head Coach, the characters were introduced in this book and they seem like they will be awesome together. And I’m continuing to read A Life in Parts. It’s really interesting. I’m loving dipping in and out as I have time.

New To Me

This Mortal CoilHead Coach
There are a few new books, but not many. I went shopping last Sunday to start my Christmas shopping, I actually bought nothing Christmas related but I got a few gift ideas and got a book and a couple of wedding related things so it wasn’t a total failure. I bought This Mortal Coil after seeing Kelly’s review for it and I am so excited to read! I also pre-ordered Head Coach after finishing Mister Hockey and so I’ll be picking that up soon.

What have you all been up to? Isn’t it great how things like weddings help you get back in touch with old friends? It also really made me want to read some wedding romances, any recs?

24 November 2017

Anything But Books Tag

So, I saw this tag which Tracy posted over at Cornerfolds, like an age ago (seriously long ago). I knew I wanted to do it and I have slowly been writing my answers ever since. I was short a post for this week (because I don’t want to post two reviews again, they get boring) and I have not had chance to finish my discussions recently. So… you get a post where we look at stuff unrelated to books and you can feel like you are one step closer to understanding me.


dragonball z
I was full on obsessed with Dragonball Z when I was a kid, I would come back home from school and watch it on Cartoon Network. Also, I loved Ren & Stimpy, although I was definitely not old enough to get the humour. I liked As Told By Ginger because it was totally relatable to me at that age. X-Men was one of the earliest cartoons I watched and I loved it, I was in love with Remy LeBeau and wanted to be Rogue and then I was obsessed with X-Men Evolution when that was on TV. I loved Animaniacs, that was so one of my favourites. Daria! I loved Daria, she was my idol as a teen with her sarcasm and dry humour. I watched a lot of TV and still do.


I can’t pick just one! I am always listening to something and the song I am obsessed with can change week to week. I will say I a listening to Taylor Swift’s new album on repeat a whole lot since it’s release. It’s not on par with her last one but I still love it a whole lot. The songs have grown on me, especially New Years Day.


Playing The Sims. Or binge watching stuff. I’m very good at spending an entire day watching one film after another. They don’t even need to be part of a series or even the same genre, sometimes I just like getting lost in a bunch of films when I feel look chilling. This is one of my favourite ways to spend hangover days because it’s very easy on the brain. Currently I am watching The Punisher but the last show I binge watched seriously was Stranger Things 2.


I don’t know, I feel like I’m pretty open with you guys. I’ve been honest about my watching of Eastenders, I love watching that show and it’s so ridiculous. I mean, maybe X-Factor? I actually really love these reality TV ‘talent’ shows (I do think that’s a loose interpretation of what it really is) but I love them. X-Factor and The Voice I am all over them. Also, I adore the Ninja Warrior programs. I first saw the show when I was in New Orleans (the US version) and me and my mom loved it and then they did a UK version and I fully adore that show. I would love to attempt the course (without having to go on TV to do so). I doubt I’d get very far but it looks a right laugh.


Everything! I seriously love learning new things, but I don’t ever learn anything in-depth, I’m just that girl who is constantly Googling something because something has come in conversation I need to know more about or I heard something mentioned on TV and must learn all the things!


Guys, I feel like I have no random skills! I mean, I can tell you insurance related things and finance type things but I have no cool skills. I learnt how to play the trumpet when I was at school… does that count? I would fail epically at that now, though.


Erm… I did my whole website design when I made over the blog? I know it’s nothing fancy but I had to do a whole bunch of reading up on how to the things I wanted to. I’m okay with computers and I have the basics of HTML down but I was impressed with my blog redesign. I didn’t quite to do all the things I wanted to but I did a lot so that’s a plus for me.


tenor (1)
Seriously, I have no personal projects. I think planning my bullet journal for next year kind of counts. I also have started coming up with my own personal reading challenge for next year. I’d say you guys could join in but it’s really specific to the books on my shelf. It’s just a list of weirdly specific challenges to get me reading more of the books I already own. One category is ‘Book I was so excited for but then I saw a bad review for it so never read it and left it to gather dust’. I literally stared at my shelves to get ideas because my shelves make me feel guilty so 2018 is the year of reading or DNF those books which make me feel judged.


So many things. Like, me and my friend were discussing the other night about how with the way online shopping is going eventually people will never leave their house. You’ll deliver a friend to your door and then a weird dystopian film idea happened where people live in cubes and never leave with everything being delivered to them until one person escapes somehow and these are the things I think about.


I adore Nutella, like that should be on all sweet food always.
Marmite is the greatest thing on toast… unless I am fancying something sweet then you obviously have Nutella instead.
I prefer writing with fineliners than biros, my favourites are Stabilo ones just because I like the pack they come in with all the colours.
My favourite colour used to be purple (and still is when asked) but brightly coloured things also now appeal, like lime green and bright pink.
My favourite radio station is Absolute Radio as they have a no repeat guarantee during the week.
My favourite film is The Fall (because it’s visually stunning) but also every rom com in existence because I am a sucker for romance.


I blame this on the fact I mentioned Nutella. Did you know Nutella and bananas go very well together? They do. Especially on a toasted sandwich. Just saying. Give it a go.

And there is a tag where you get to know me and some of my weird thoughts a little better. Enjoy.

21 November 2017

Flame in the Mist // I Enjoyed It And It Gave Me Some History Reading Urges

Flame in the Mist
Published: 16th May 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
My Rating:
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn, comes a sweeping, action-packed YA adventure set against the backdrop of Feudal Japan.

Mariko has always known that being a woman means she's not in control of her own fate. But Mariko is the daughter of a prominent samurai and a cunning alchemist in her own right, and she refuses to be ignored. When she is ambushed by a group of bandits known as the Black Clan enroute to a political marriage to Minamoto Raiden - the emperor's son - Mariko realises she has two choices: she can wait to be rescued... or she can take matters into her own hands, hunt down the clan and find the person who wants her dead.

Disguising herself as a peasant boy, Mariko infiltrates the Black Clan's hideout and befriends their leader, the rebel ronin Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, Okami. Ranmaru and Okami warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. But as Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets that will force her to question everything she's ever known.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

I really loved Ahdieh’s last book duology, The Wrath and the Dawn, so when I heard she was writing another book I obviously added it to my TBR. I then preceded to wait for reviews because I was wary all the same. The second book in The Wrath and the Dawn duology left me with some doubts. It introduced one of my favourite characters but it also left me rolling my eyes at the convenience of the ending. I then saw reviews for this book. Some were good some were bad and so when my request on Netgalley got approved (after the reviews had come in) and I was even warier and a little less excited to start it. Which is why I waited so very long to start.

Did I love this book as much as Ahdieh's last one? Probably not. Did I get sucked right in all the same? Damn straight I did.

The reason I wanted to read this, beyond recognising the name of the author, was because I was interested in the history and the actual setting of this book. Also, I knew that the MC dressed as a boy and attempted to find out why she was attacked but was led to question what she knew. I cannot attest to the accuracy of the Feudal Japan setting and the accuracy in the history and cultural elements but it appeared authentic and from what little I do know it was good. I would like to do more research into Japanese history, though, as I know the shift from feudalism to a more modern era was rapid and intriguing. I felt like there was more to the story than I could appreciate from my reading so I would be interested in learning some more about all of that because my historical learning about Japan was all post WW2 really.

I will say this book wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I didn’t love everything, but it was damn enjoyable. I liked the characters. Mariko was smart and although she did suffer from thinking she was smarter than those around her and she had the blinders on when it came to her family. Yet, she grew a lot throughout the book. She wasn’t totally unwilling to recognise her flaws and although she often looked things in the wrong way she developed and I loved her for that. And the members of the Black Clan were many layered and interesting! I do wish that there was more background to the Black Clan members but I reckon that’s something that might be explored in the next book (we’ll see). The secondary characters probably needed a touch more growth and development.

I also felt like some of the story was predictable. A couple of twists at the end I didn’t see coming but then some I did. I can’t reveal what I did and didn’t expect but I did find my attention drifting at times because it felt familiar. I think this may be a problem for many a book lately. Maybe I’ve burned myself out a little with reading, I do a lot of it so I’m bound to notice familiar elements.

It was a good book and I enjoyed it and that surprised me. It doesn’t match my love for Ahdieh’s Wrath and the Dawn but I appreciated it and I hope the second book will be stronger in this series than the last one.

Have you read this book? What did you think? And do you notice that it’s harder for books to surprise you lately or is this just me?

19 November 2017

Sunday Summary // 19.11.2017

Sunday Summary
It's Sunday once more. I have to say this week has dragged. It began slowly and progressed slowly and it’s left me feeling very meh about everything because I’ve been tired and it’s been cold so I’ve not wanted to leave the house and with the clocks changing a while back I realise I experience very little daylight. I leave the house and it’s still dark outside, it’s only just light as I get to work and then I leave work and the sun has set a good hour or so ago. I don’t really leave the office during the day because we’re on an industrial estate and there are no shops in walking distance which I can get to in the half hour I have for lunch so I think my lack of sunlight has been getting me down a bit. I do love the colder days, though, but I’m struggling to find a good thick coat to keep me warm if it gets arctic over Winter.

Apart from my weather and long week grumbles, it’s been a decent week. I realised it was my only full working week this month, every other week I’ve had time off so that may be why I’ve been a bit down this week. We have all decided to go to our Christmas party with work, though. Me and the other person who has worked on my team thought we should probably go this year. The food is all kinds of pretentious again but hopefully, it’ll be edible. And there’ll be free alcohol, and no one can say no to that, even if we will have work the next morning.

I have a friends wedding next week and it’s the first of my close friends to get married so scary! I am excited, though. It should be fun but it involves a road trip down to the venue. I will be having another quiet week on the blog since I’ll be gone Thursday to Saturday but it’s getting to the Christmas period so it’s totally cool for me to do that I think.

What I’ve Been Reading

29868612Flame in the Mist7. Burn For You
I can’t even claim I’m in a slump lately, I’m just not feeling a strong urge to read which kind of sucks but it’s okay. I’ll just have to deal with a backlog of books at some point. I have been enjoying everything I’ve been reading this week, though, and I deem that a success. It’s not too often I like every book I’ve been reading, which is good. I’ve been reading Bryan Cranston’s book ever since my brother returned it to me and I have to say, I see why he was slow reading it. it’s the kind of book broken up into small sections so you can dip in and out as you please and I quite like that. I read one of my old ARCs, Flame in the Mist, and I actually really enjoyed it. I saw a couple of negative reviews and wrote it off as a book I wouldn’t like… I was wrong. I do want to read some of the history that’s the background for Flame in the Mist now, though. And Burn For You is a rec from Nick an she was so right. A fake relationship and New Orleans are a recipe made in heaven.

New To Me

Mister HockeyPlay One7. Burn For You
Just a few new books this week. Yay! And they’re all romance brought onto my radar because of Nick (she’s pretty much the only place I get romance recs now).

What have you been up to this week? Anyone else finding themself slowing down a bit in the run-up to Christmas?

16 November 2017

Bite Sized Books // The Arcs Which Time (Or I) Forgot Part 2

Bite Sized Books_zpsszuklfto.png
You guys might have thought I wouldn’t continue with my lost ARCs series but I totally am… even if one of them is actually only like a week old. I still read two more ARCs on my reading list and that is a victory for me while I stall in my reading.

Published: 10th August 2017
Source: Author
Genre: Science Fiction
My Rating:
When destiny and desire collide...

In a community full of supernatural powers, eighteen-year-old Jewel longs for a life of normalcy. But nothing in her life is ordinary. And suddenly she discover she's more abnormal than she ever realized--complete with a past she never knew existed. Once a goddess from ancient Greece, Jewel is the main reason everyone has their special abilities.

As she struggles with her newfound knowledge, Jewel encounters the mysterious god of Egypt, Anubis. With a past she has no recollection of, she tries to deny the pull she has for the sexy god. But, destiny has other plans. As she uncovers more secrets about who she really is, Jewel is pulled into a dangerous world surrounded by a prophecy--a prophecy that both terrifies and intrigues her. Will Jewel accept who she once was for a chance to become who she's meant to be?
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

I first saw this book over at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and was interested. It sounded original with the inclusion of gods and mythology, and the mixing of different mythologies. I do love a good mythology based book, after all. I admit, I had my own ideas of what this book would be like and it ended up being nothing like I was expecting and that is both a good and bad thing.

I was not expecting the sci-fi element to this book. I think because I knew there was a Greek/Egyptian gods element I was expecting more of a fantasy read and that was what I was craving so there was that. It meant I was waiting for elements to be included which never came it didn’t feed that craving of mine. I did like the really unique take on the gods, though. I loved the originality as it made them far more interesting and original than you get in most mythology influenced books.

I struggled to connect with the characters a little. I think because there wasn't enough introduction to the story and characters for my liking. Instead, it just gets going with all these characters introduced and you're dropped into the world of the Evols. In some ways that is a good thing, I prefer a fast pace, but I would have liked to get to know Jewel a bit more first so I could have felt a bit more connected with her from the start. The same goes for Anubis who begins loving Jewel and it was obvious. I would have liked him to be a touch more reserved about it so it would have felt like they were falling for one another from the start. I do love a good romance after all.

Despite feeling a distance from the characters at times I was interested in the story. I would have liked to learn more about the Egyptian gods but I hope that will come in the next book as Jewel learns more so shall we. I think this was a good start and it was interesting and fast paced with plenty more to come.

Christmas With Her Millionaire Boss
Published: 1st November 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
The magic of Christmas…

Abandoned by his mother on Christmas Day, James Hammond wishes he could simply erase the date. So when his company buys a new toy store devoted to Christmas, he wants to seal the deal and get home. Until he finds himself injured and under the care of employee Noelle!

Nobody loves Christmas more than young widow Noelle Fryberg! But could she be the one to change his mind and melt the millionaire's guarded heart?

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

I have been seeing plenty of Christmas themed romance lately and so when I saw this on the Mills and Boon Insiders list of ARCs I thought perfect. Millionaire romance set at Christmas? Sounds like it should be fun with a touch of heart-warming thrown in. It definitely met expectations unlike Acceptance. It was Christmassy and heart-warming and totally predictable. I kind of needed that, because romance is always predictable but I kind of wanted it to surprise me in some way.

Noelle is the woman who loves Christmas and loves working in a place where it is Christmas everyday providing toys and joy for children. So, when James Hammond comes along buying the company and possibly threatening the comfort she has had in the small-town she has lived her whole life you just know she didn’t give him a warm welcome. She is happy in the spot she’s carved for herself and she doesn’t have time for Grumpy Hammond glaring at folk and threatening to change store traditions. She hopes to get rid of him as soon as possible and then a drone in the shop gives him a concussion and forces him to stay. James Hammond wants out of Fryberg as quickly as possible. He doesn’t like Noelle and he hates Christmas, even if he runs a very successful toy store chain. When he’s forced to spend more time then expected with Noelle, though… well, the two end up growing close and the pesky attraction gets in the way.

I admit, it was predictable, there was the usual not wanting to be together. They get together, then there’s a whole thing where one of them has a crises and flees which leads to misunderstandings which keep them apart. Then they eventually get their happily ever after. I liked them as a couple but they definitely needed to have a few pages for me to really grow attached to them. The biggest flaw outside of predictability was that the characters never felt fully real to me. They needed a bit longer to develop and get together and may have enjoyed it far more.

A good festive read which could have been great but was just enjoyable and a good way to spend an evening.

Anyone else find themselves by books when they do and don’t meet expectations? Sometimes they meet expectations too closely and so fall into the trap of being predictable, and others go too far from what was expected that I end up not getting the read I fancied.

14 November 2017

Here We Are Now // I Enjoyed It But Thing Were Left Unresolved For Me

Here We Are Now
Here We Are Now – Jasmine Warga
Published: 7th November 2017

Source: Publisher

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

My Rating:
Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she'd ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense - kinda - because Julian Oliver is Taliah's father, even though her mother would never admit it to her.

Julian asks if Taliah if she will drop everything and go with him to his hometown of Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his father - her grandfather - who is nearing the end of his life. Taliah, torn between betraying her mother's trust and meeting the family she has never known, goes.

With her best friend Harlow by her side, Taliah embarks on a three-day journey to find out everything about her 'father' and her family. But Julian isn't the father Taliah always hoped for, and revelations about her mother's past are seriously shaking her foundation. Through all these new experiences, Taliah will have to find new ways to be true to herself, honoring her past and her future.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

This was such a brilliant read. I didn't get totally absorbed, like I'd hoped, but considering it's relatively short length I enjoyed it plenty.

Taliah, Tal to her friends, has never met her father in person, but she's seen plenty of him on TV and magazines. He is a rockstar and after 16 years he turns up on her doorstep. It's a farfetched story idea. It would basically never happen in real life, but for this books purposes it was a good idea and it was interesting to read about. I found some of the plot points hard to believe (mainly that a sixteen-year-old would be left home alone while a parents goes to Paris for work for a few days and also that she would immediately go on a road trip with a dad who she had never met). My minor grumbles about farfetched plot points aside, though, it was an easy book to read all about learning to let people in. Finding family. And learning that people are not just who they seem to you. They are multi-faceted and you cannot know all of them all at once.

I really liked the characters. Taliah was so cool with how she adored music and worried it was part of her trying to emulate a father she doesn't know, yet she was also shy and reserved. She was slow to trust but loyal as hell to those she loves. And Harlow, her best friend, was interesting and cool and I wanted to get her so much more than we did. All I know is that she was a bit of a hipster, into music, and that her girlfriend, Quinn, was in a band. I definitely felt like she could have been explored as a character way more. She was Tal's opposite in many ways and I would have liked more of them together and actually being friends because most of Harlow and Tal together in this book was about them airing their issues and Tal being upset that she felt like she was losing Harlow to Quinn. I liked them having issues as friends because that is friendship but I would have liked their bond to be felt some more.

Julian, Tal's dad, was great because you kind of expect him to be the stereotypical ageing rocker and he actually ended up being more than that. He had his issues and he was a bit of a big kid. He didn't feel parental in the book, but much of that will be because he hadn't been in that role before. I liked how he slowly got to know Tal and Tal let him in and got to know who he was and is. I adored the father/daughter bonding, especially as they were relative strangers. Them bonding and growing to accept one another as family was pretty cool to read.

I think my issue with this book really comes down to its length. The book isn't that long (what YA is?) but I wish it had been longer. There were so many story threads which weren't truly resolved. Whilst this was done for effect, you can tell the way the book is ended is intentional, it was frustrating because I have unanswered questions. They aren't things I need to know, but I would have liked to have known. I would have happily have read so much more. Especially as I enjoyed seeing the past history of Tal's parents and how they met. I would have liked to see their story continuing to the present day too. And getting more resolution to Tal and Harlow's friend issues as they learn to grow together as friends.

It was a fun and easy read and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend it and I will have to read more by Warga.

Have you read this? Do you agree that there were unresolved elements to this book?

12 November 2017

Sunday Summary // 12.11.2017

Sunday Summary
Once more it is Sunday. I had a less relaxing weekend this weekend as I had a normal weekend, no two day weekend. I also had numerous errands to run Saturday which is always a drag because all I really want to do is sit and play video games and listen to Reputation on repeat. Like, I am obsessed with Taylor Swift’s new album right now. I know, I should be embarrassed but just try and stop me. Teenage me would be utterly ashamed of current me’s taste in music.

I’ve recently rediscovered my PlayStations and I love it. I discovered that Final Fantasy IX has been released on PS4 and I was all over buying that (after my brother convinced me as it had a couple of extra modes added in) and it was the best/worst decision. I know everyone raves about the genius of Final Fantasy VII and that is an amazing game, but 9 will always be my favourite as it’s the first FF game I played properly as a kid. The one where I learnt to play and follow the story and really enjoyed it. I then spent several hours playing over the past week and I am totally in love. Who needs to read books anyway? I am so loving playing an old favourite and they have FFVII so that may be purchased next, because who wants to play new games when you can replay old ones?

I saw the new Thor film this week and I am in love! I adored it. It was so funny and totally fitting to reboot a character without actually recasting and redoing it and Thor needed this film because he was the boring avenger. Loki was more interesting a character than Thor ever was, but now I want to rewatch the marvel universe films because of reasons but I don’t own any of them and I wouldn’t be able to figure out what order to watch them in. Release order, maybe? I need to get these films!

And that is my week. Nothing exciting really but lots of wanting to return to old favourites. We did go to the care home and pick a room for my nan, and we have a moving date for her so hopefully it all goes smoothly. I honestly want her to be happy there and the nurse we spoke to was so lovely and really made me feel happy with our choice. The social worker has said when she moves they’d rather we hold off visiting too much for the first week so she can get used to the staff. My mom says she might pop by and see how she is and see if anything is needed, though. I’ll be away so I probably won’t be able to visit until a few days after she has moved in anyway.

Also, I won a competition. Two in fact! I got an ebook of Lauren Layne’s latest, An Ex For Christmas which I can’t wait to start reading. And more exciting, a little while back I won a Lucy Parker competition and got a signed copy of Pretty Face and it arrived yesterday and it’s awesome! She even sent me some chocolate and I thought Lucy Parker couldn’t do anything which would make me like her more but she has!

What I’ve Been Reading

11761452Christmas With Her Millionaire Boss
Erm… it’s been a slow week? I honestly can’t settle on a book. I tried reading Burn Mark (from my pile of last chance books which have lurked far too long on my shelves) and I just couldn’t connected. And then I picked up Christmas With He Millionaire Boos expecting a quick fun read. And it was fun and totally seasonally appropriate… but I didn’t finish it anywhere near as quickly as I’d hoped. In fact, I’ve probably read more fanfic this week than actual books.

New To Me

The Last NamsaraI Temporarily DoOnce Upon a Rose23276983Morning Star
I realise my new books far outweigh my read books, but I can’t resist a good deal! And all of these were part of a deal and a girl has to stock up their Kindle! No, I know. No excuse but I’m going to be going on a ban soon for Christmas.

What have you been up to this week? Has anyone else seen the new Thor and wants to flail with me?

10 November 2017

My Blogging Problems // My ARC Failings

My Blogging Problems
I am like a million miles behind on my ARC reading, it’s crazy. I didn’t intend for it to happen but it did. I actually used to be a really good reviewer. My Netgalley rating was in the 90% range and I only ever had books on my shelves that weren’t published yet. I was totally in control and ready to conquer all the books. I would request and be confident my review would go up on my blog around the time of publication. Then something happened this year and I don’t know what. I got into some reading slumps. My mood reading got crazy. I just didn’t feel a strong urge to read. Whatever happened my ARCs got out of control. I think I requested books I wasn’t totally convinced I wanted to read. I gave into hype pressure and then avoided reads. I waited until it was too close to the publication date and I am the worst about reading when the pressure is on. My brain gets all contrary. ‘Oh, you need to read this book by next week? Don’t you want to reread that book you read five years ago instead?’ because yeah, my brain sucks.

I have plans on how to conquer my ARC pile (and books which have sat gathering dust on my shelf for forever). I will embrace DNF-ing with those which are way, way overdue and I’m not getting into and start focusing more on those books on my shelf. ARCs will be just those books I genuinely cannot wait to come out.

My question to you guys is: is there a point you give up on ARCs? Like, do you admit you’re never going to get that review up if it’s been two months after the release date or is it better to review whenever, regardless of how long after publication it is?

Obviously, if I receive a copy of a book and actually agree to take part in a blog tour or whatever I put the pressure on my brain and force myself to read, no matter how much I’m not feeling it. I make sure I get to the end and get my thoughts on screen or whatever, but those ARCs I requested off of Netgalley and then get approved for like three weeks later and am slightly less excited for so they then linger on my Kindle until well after publication. Should I still be getting reviews up for those? Should I spend my time reviewing them? Or should I just focus on current releases? I mean, I feel like it’s only polite to put the effort in and review. I put the effort in to request and it’s my own damn fault I didn’t read them sooner. I obviously want my Netgalley ratios to be good and for a publisher not to blacklist me (do they do that? I bet they do). I’m just wondering, at what point do you not even bother attempting to read an ARC? I’m planning to read, or attempting to read all those on my shelf but I wanted to know what your ARC attitude was.

Anyone else failing with their ARC reading? What do you do when you get behind? Do you still review all old ARCs and what about DNF-ing ARCs?

08 November 2017

Bite Sized Books // The Arcs Which Time (Or I) Forgot Part 1

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I am currently on a quest to conquer my Netgalley shelves by the end of the year (or at least to no longer have 26 books to review on there). I have a whole heap of books I simply forgot/no longer fancied reading and I am going to power through or at least read a solid way in (between 10 and 25%) and give them that chance to hook me. There are a few I know I will review and a couple of 2018 releases, so it’s not as bad as I’m making it in my head… but it’s quite bad.

This first batch of books (because I hope to have 3 or 4 of these posts up through to the end of the year) I had planned to call this batch the DNF Chronicles after I skimmed The Scot Beds His Wife to get an even vague idea of the story and because Duke With Benefits ended up being abandoned. I thought Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index might be the same as I didn’t think I was in the mood for more YA… I was wrong. And then after being guilted into reading Completely by Nick I discovered that all my unread ARCs weren’t misses, I was just not giving them a full chance. These are my mini reviews for those books.

15. The Scot Beds His Wife
Published: 3rd October 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating:
The Scot Beds His Wife is the next lush, captivating Victorian romance in the Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne.

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him...more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity...

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own...

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
This one I agreed to review simply for the fact it mentioned a Scot (because who doesn’t love a good Scottish accent?) and I really wanted to enjoy it. I read the beginning and although it was a bit dark and twisted I could see a close bond between two brothers shining through and was thoroughly interested in the story. I thought I would see this brotherly connection between Liam (or a previous book in this series) Gavin and I was totally wrong. Maybe I’d have had a better idea if I’d actually read any of the previous books in this series, but I was mislead and that really affected my enjoyment.

When the book moved to the present the story just wasn't as interesting. I guess I should have read the summary a bit more closely as it did mention that this was about rogues and criminals. I just wasn't quite prepared for it and found the characters a little absurd and I couldn't connect. I genuinely didn't care for their story and ended up skimming through the book to the end. I probably wouldn't have even done that if I hadn't have gotten an ARC so felt obliged to be able to offer some thoughts on the book.

This book was not for me and I admit I was probably wrong to want to read. If I'd have read the summary I would have known it wouldn’t be what I was thinking in my head and I probably wouldn’t have been as interested in reading. You live and learn, don’t you?

Duke with benefits
Published: 27th June 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: DNF 

Lady Daphne Forysthe is a brilliant young math prodigy with a burning passion for puzzles. When she learns that the library belonging to her benefactress houses the legendary Cameron Cipher a mathematical p that, once solved, holds the key to great riches Daphne is on the case. Unfortunately, her race to unlock the cipher s code is continually thwarted by a deliciously handsome distraction she hadn’t counted on. . .and cannot resist.

Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland, is curious as to why Daphne is spending so much time snooping around his aunt s bookshelves. He s even more intrigued by her bold yet calculating manner: she is unapologetic about her secret quest. . .and the fiery attraction that develops between them both. But how can they concentrate on decoding a mathematical mystery once the prospect of true love enters the equation?

Witty, sensual historical romance that will captivate readers. Romance Junkies
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
I decided I was still fancying a good historical romance after finishing The Scot Beds His Wife, one where I didn’t have to flick through to the end just to sate my curiosity about what happened (it was ridiculous, don’t bother) so I picked up Duke With Benefits as I knew it was on my ARC list and I figured why not? I read the first book this series with Kaja and Danya and it was highly ridiculous and the mystery in it hadn’t been great and the characters weren’t brilliant, what on earth possessed me to read the second?

I tried valiantly but this one just didn't click for me. This is partly to do with how sudden the romance is. There isn't build up you are told the Daphne and Dalton have chemistry, there is a rejection of a possible affair to explore this chemistry and then you jump forward in time to the cipher mystery this book focuses around whilst our MCs supposed chemistry continues. I didn't feel this at all. Maybe it had been too long between reading the first one and this one where you would have noticed the chemistry. I don't know, but in the end, I felt like I'd been told more than seen the chemistry for myself, I didn’t even get to the good stuff with the romance because it felt so stiff and forced. Never a good sign for a romance.

Maybe I was too harsh but this romance and this series maybe won’t be one I continue for obvious reasons.

Published: 1st June 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
This moving and uplifting debut follows Juniper Lemon, heartbroken after her older sister Camilla's unexpected death, as she navigates the holes that have been torn in her world, and the mysteries that Camilla left behind.

It's hard to keep close a person everyone keeps telling you is gone.

It's been sixty-five painful days since the death of Juniper's big sister, Camilla. On her first day back at school, bracing herself for the stares and whispers, Juniper borrows Camie's handbag for luck - and discovers an unsent break-up letter inside. It's mysteriously addressed to 'You' and dated July 4th - the day of Camie's accident. Desperate to learn the identity of Camie's secret love, Juniper starts to investigate.

But then she loses something herself. A card from her daily ritual, The Happiness Index: little notecards on which she rates the day. The Index has been holding Juniper together since Camie's death - but without this card, there's a hole. And this particular card contains Juniper's own secret: a memory that she can't let anyone else find out.

The perfect summer read for anyone who loved All The Bright Places or The Fault In Our Stars.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

This was the point I realised my ARCs weren’t all misses and those reads I’d put off because of bad reviews or simply because I’d not heard enough about them was judgey of me and I needed to do better.

Was this book a totally original YA contemporary? No. Did it matter? Not really. I may have felt like I'd seen some of these characters in one form or another in various YA but it didn't once bother me because this book was about much more than romance or friends (although, those things played significant roles within the story) this book, at it's heart, is about loss and grief and that was what was important with this one.

I began this book unsure of what to expect, to be honest, I was drawn in my the cover and the cool name. I needed little more than that for the story to appeal to me. I began reading and I was still uncertain what the book was about but with the mentioning of a sister that Juniper didn't wish to be reminded of and the various mentions of condolences it wasn't hard to tell this was a book which very much centred around less. It was heart-breaking to see Juniper struggle with the loss of her sister, especially as throughout the book you learn how close the two girls were. They were friends and Camilla played a major role in Juniper's life, pushing her out of her comfort zone to try new things and have new life experiences. The absence is never more obvious when you learn that as Juniper is still grieving and keeping herself separate at the start.

I enjoyed Juniper's quests within the book, especially with the lost and found things. I know some of the choices she made weren't right or fair but everything she did she with good intentions. She was never being cruel, she was just on a continual quest to make things right as she could never do that with her sister.

I enjoyed the friends Juni found along her way in the book. Kody was so sweet and I loved seeing her at the start, especially as she grew closer with Juni and Kody finally got to be herself and break from her old self. And Angela was so sweet with her love for unattainable men and how she was the most understanding for Juni. I wasn't as big a fan of Nate's, but I think that's because I easily saw that there was more to him than it initially seemed (nothing bad, I just saw things coming). It was Brand I loved, though. I know you shouldn't have a thing for bad boys, but I am a sucker for a fictional bad boy, especially when he was a real softie really. I do not forgive all of his actions in the book (there should have been grovelling) but I understood why he did as he did.

This wasn't a perfect read but it had me tearing up in all the right places and I didn't even notice the time as I read and those are really the signs of a good old enjoyable read

Published: 26th September 2017
Source: Netgalley/Bought
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
Everest. If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere. Maybe even New York, where Ruthie Knox takes her charming rom-com style to new heights.

Beneath her whole “classic English beauty” appearance is an indomitable spirit that has turned Rosemary Chamberlain into something of a celebrity mountain climber. But after an Everest excursion takes a deadly turn, Rosemary is rescued by her quick-thinking guide, New York native Kal Beckett. Rosemary’s brush with death brings out a primal need to celebrate life—and inspires a night of steamy sex with the rather gorgeous man who saved her.

The son of a famous female climber with a scandalous past, Kal Beckett is still trying to find himself. In the Zen state of mind where Kal spends most of his time, anything can happen—like making love to a fascinating stranger and setting off across the world with her the next morning. But as their lives collide in the whirlwind of passion that is New York City, the real adventure is clearly just beginning. . . .
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

I got both an ARC and preorder myself a copy of Completely. I was excited for it’s release. I did a happy dance getting approved for the ARC. I was excited! So why did it take me so long to read? In fact, it was a tweet from Nick which guilted me into picking this up (thank you, Nick, you help me make good choices). I will forever be ashamed I didn't read this sooner but I'm also glad I waited until I was totally in the mood for a romance read as this book was a perfect example of romance done right.

I admit, I think I waited because I had some doubts. I loved the idea of the book and everything I’d hears about it but remembering what I knew of Rosemary from the last book I wasn't overly enamoured with her and wasn't sure I'd enjoy a book focused on her and her journey. Turns out I'm an idiot because I loved it. She was a powerful woman who had spent far too long as wallpaper. She finally had her freedom after divorcing Winston and choosing to climb Everest was part of her being her. When it doesn’t even remotely go as planned and she and her team are evacuated off of Everrest she ends up growing closer with Kal, an ice doctor on Everest (I didn’t know what that was either, I got a full mountain climbing education with this one). The romance which develops between the pair is brilliant, their chemistry is crazy, but I loved that they grew as friends as well. Like seriously, they were adorable and I loved them.

The thing is, this is a romance. It has an utterly brilliant romance between Rosemary and the slightly younger Kal (yay for an age difference romance which doesn't feature an older man) but it's way more about Rosemary finding herself and who she is it's her journey to who she is and also Kal's journey to regain his focus. Along the way the two just happen to fall in love and I love them for it. Rosemary was very lost, that was obvious from the first page. She is on a quest to find herself, which I think any woman is who is coming out of a long term relationship and has had children and is now trying to figure out who she was before marriage and being a mother. I think a lot of people will relate to Rosemary. I loved her realisations as she learnt what she actually wanted from life. And Kal! He used to be a sweet idealist thinking he could save the world, it sucked that he had to learn it isn’t as simple as having strong ideals but also work, and failure and a whole heap of picking yourself back up and trying something different. I really loved him figuring out his purpose once more, and the fact that he time with Rosemary helped him do that. The pair helped push one another forward and that’s what should happen in any good relationship.

This was a brilliant romance. I expect no less from Knox and I totally enjoyed every page. Kal and Rosemary are fantastic, the romance is brilliant, and this is a romance with an awesome story which links so well with the rest of the series which I hadn’t totally expected!

Have you read any of these books? Which ARCs have you put off reading for far too long? Anyone else discovered some brilliant books from their neglected book pile?