30 September 2018

Sunday Summary // 30.09.2018

Sunday Summary
Welcome to another Sunday!

Sorry I skipped out on posting last Sunday, I got so busy playing blog catch up and trying to get posts in order that I never got around to actually writing my Sunday post last week so we’ll have to weeks to catch up on this week.

I can’t claim I did a lot of exciting things since getting back from NYC. I returned to work which is obviously the joy it sounds like. We actually had a fun day at work last Friday. It was a celebration of the company and they have a day where they do prizes from the directors and we’re meant to try and raise money for charity. The theme for this fun day was pirates so all of us folks in finance dressed like pirates and we had a raffle on. It was silly and fun and we had a laugh. One of my friends won free tickets to go see some rugby which was pretty cool (although he doesn’t like rugby) and it was a laugh. I have kept no photos of us dressed like pirates because I was too busy getting into a sword fight with some inflatable balloons (obviously).


I also did my inflatable obstacle course thing last weekend. It was called The Monster and let me tell you I thought it would be way easier than it actually was. I mean, most of it was easy and fun and only a little challenging but there were slopes that did not have foot holds and it was all about bouncing and pulling yourself up… I was not good at those. I finished and me and my friend had a laugh doing it. We got our glitter face paint on and had a laugh and I learnt I was not the most unfit person there but that honestly, some people are ninjas in disguise. I then curled up and felt a couple of aches in my arms the next day because I do not lift anything heavier than my cat.

And since then? Well I’ve been to the pub, to work and have plans to go to the cinema Saturday which should be fun. It’s been a chilled week since then. I had a bit of online retail therapy and relaxed really because I’ve slept funny or something and my necks been stiff for the past couple of days. Maybe my time on an inflatable obstacle course did more damage than I thought? All I know is that anything n my right side is off limits, who wants to turn their head that way anyway?

What I’ve Been Reading

Glory in DeathFool Me ForeverSmooth Talking CowboyFirst Earl I See TonightFrom Duke Till Dawn
I fell into a bit of a lull again. Not a slump but I’m just forever struggling to pinpoint what I want to read. And sometimes I think I know what I want to read and end up being completely wrong. These are the times which folks turn to Netflix I think. I had to read Glory in Death as it was due back at the library (and I still returned it a day late). I think I’ll enjoy my slow read through this series, I might be 80 by the time I catch up, though. I then began all the ARCs and I think my brain doesn’t like me forcing it to read ARCs as I definitely need a break from them now. Fool me Forever was an excellent read from Ainslie Paton (no surprise there, though). I impulsively requesting Smooth Talking Cowboy for the fake relationship and there was not enough fake relationship for my liking. And then First Earl I See Tonight was ok but there was something which didn’t click into place for me and I’m thinking it was me not it but I’ll figure out how to review it somehow. And then there’s From Duke Till Dawn which I had to DNF because I wasn't liking any character and the Duke seemed like a gullible idiot.

New To Me

Lethal WhiteMake Me FallVengefulPhoenix Unbound
I haven’t bought that many books… but I did get a preorder or two in. In fact, these are all books from my Looking Forward post, now I just need to start on reading them all!

And that is my past couple of weeks . What have you been doing? Do you ever find you’re not sure what to read next? Any shows I should binge watch on Netflix until I do know what I want to read?

28 September 2018

Bite Sized Books // The Books I Thought I Reviewed But Hadn't (Tell Me I Have Because I Really Thought I Did)

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I read a whole bunch of books that I never got around to reviewing on the blog. I Mean, I honestly thought I had reviewed these, but my blog is telling me know so I think I must have imagined it. I blame it on the fact I went through reading slumps and blogging slumps and although these are some books I really wanted to review they sadly slipped the net. That is just my bad so this is me trying to play catch up so you guys can get my opinions on some books I bought and then I’m going to crack on reviewing those ARCs I forgot to read and review. Wish me luck because I will be rewarding myself with new books next week

69. Real Kind of Love
Real Kind of Love (Books & Brews #1) – Sara Rider
Published: 5th June 2018
Source: Purchased
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fake Relationship
My Rating:
What happens when a fake relationship turns into a real kind of love?

As an audiobook narrator, Clementine Cox has no trouble mastering the voices of space aliens, elven warriors, or even demon-possessed cats. But the moment she tries her hand at an erotic romance, she’s stumped. With her deadline looming, she books a week at a secluded cabin to restore her inner muse, telling her loving-but-overbearing family it’s a romantic getaway with her not-so-existent new boyfriend to keep them from worrying. She never expects them to invite themselves along to meet the new guy. Now, she has less than twenty-four hours to find a pretend boyfriend in order to save her job and, potentially, her sanity.

Workaholic Jake Donovan isn’t interested in a real relationship. After a broken engagement, all he wants to do is focus on keeping his brewpub, the Holy Grale, afloat. But when he finds out his favorite customer is in need of a fake boyfriend, and his business partners insist he take a much overdue vacation, he has no choice but to help Clem out. All he has to do is enjoy the sunshine, play nice with her family, and keep his hands to himself for the week.

But Jake’s not prepared to like waking up next to Clem every morning as much as he does. Or to feel so welcome by her quirky family. And as the line between real and fake starts to blur, he realizes one week might never be enough.
I bought this book for two reasons:
1. The MC was an audiobook narrator.
2. It’s involves a fake relationship.
It was as simple as that for me and spending my money. The pretty cover helped me along with my 1-click purchase too. 

I admit, I took my sweet time about finishing this book and usually when I read a romance for too long I begin to get bored (I have a short attention span at times). But even the long time spent reading didn’t stop me from really enjoying myself (although it was definitely a case of second times the charm when it came to getting into it because it took me two attempts to get to the end).

Clem is a woman who is coming off a bad time. Her place was broken into which is just horrible. It not only shook her up ruined her small sense of security there but she couldn’t even talk to her family about it because they are so up in her life they’d be camped out in her living room and what she really wants is a little bit of space from them and their pressing for her to get a boyfriend and settle down. She has her narrations to focus on, especially that tricky erotic romance she just can’t find the right voice for the male lead. She ends up attempting to escape to the woods for a little break from her family and if she has to conjure up an imaginary boyfriend as the excuse for the trip she is willing to do that… except her whole family thinks they should gatecrash her birthday break instead and meet this fictional boyfriend they’ve heard nothing about. Who does Clem to to be her fictional boyfriend? Well her old boss of about an hour, Jake, whose bar she likes to hang out at regularly. And why would he be ok with doing such a thing? Well he has his ex’s wedding happening in said bar and it’s better for everyone involved if he makes himself scarce because all he does is rile up the bride.

I admit, I wasn’t sure of the Jake/Clem dynamic at first. He honestly only just registered as a good looking and available female when she reveals the break in and he offers a helping hand? And would he really decide to commit to a fake relationship? I mean, I was wary. But I was won over because Jake is sweet with Clem and although I wanted to smack him upside the head regularly for making Clem think he didn’t want her he was cute taking part in her families weird competitions.

I loved Clem’s entire family in this book as well. They were funny and yes they were overbearing, but they cared and they were always looking out for Clem in their own way. I often got annoyed at Clem for not appreciating them more but I think she remembered why she loved them as time went on and I enjoyed that so much. Yes, her family were too involved but they had the absolutely best intentions.

This book as a whole was the perfect light easy read. The fake relationship element was so much fun and Clem’s family were hilarious. I will definitely be checking out the second book in this series.

75. The Duke I Tempted
Published: 31st July 2018
Source: Borrowed
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating:
He’s controlled. Meticulous. Immaculate. No one would expect the proper Duke of Westmead to be a member of London’s most illicit secret club. Least of all: his future wife.

Having overcome financial ruin and redeemed his family name to become the most legendary investor in London, the Duke of Westmead needs to secure his holdings by producing an heir. Which means he must find a wife who won’t discover his secret craving to spend his nights on his knees – or make demands on his long scarred-over heart.

Poppy Cavendish is not that type of woman. An ambitious self-taught botanist designing the garden ballroom in which Westmead plans to woo a bride, Poppy has struggled against convention all her life to secure her hard-won independence. She wants the capital to expand her exotic nursery business – not a husband.

But there is something so compelling about Westmead, with his starchy bearing and impossibly kind eyes -- that when an accidental scandal makes marriage to the duke the only means to save her nursery, Poppy worries she wants more than the title he is offering. The arrangement is meant to be just business. A greenhouse for an heir. But Poppy yearns to unravel her husband’s secrets – and to tempt the duke to risk his heart.

This is a book I buddy read with Danya and Nick and let me tell you, it was enjoyable but very much a book of two halves. The first half was cute and sweet and the second half…. wasn’t.

So, this book came onto our collective radar because Sarah MacLean tweeted about it and Nick told us about it and basically it all went from there. We were expecting a BDSM type historical romance from the summary and that’s not really what you get so I definitely feel like it was advertised as being more than it was but that being said it was still an enjoyable historical romance.

The Duke of Westmead has a secret when it comes to his own sexual desires and he also knows he needs an heir for his family name so decides it is time to marry. He wishes to marry someone who will not look too closely at his comings and goings and will never ask for more from him than he is willing to give. He never expected to stumble across and Poppy Cavendish, a botanist and business woman who he both admires for her intelligence and skill but also is interested in sexually. She is nothing that he expected and she definitely isn’t the type of person he has been looking for but that doesn’t stop him from becoming friends with her and then from kissing her. And then when she ends up having a scandal written about her then he really has no choice but to marry her because he was partially involved with her ending up being ruined and he cares too much to allow that to happen.

Look, the first half the book was sweet with Westmead trying to resist Poppy but most definitely being attracted to her. And Poppy is just trying to work and find a way to stop herself losing everything she has when she has worked so hard for her independence. Westmead offers her an extortionate amount of money to do that and the help she needs. But whilst she’s working for him she ends up caring for him and I loved the will they/won’t they aspect of the first half the book. But once the two are forced to marry there is a total tone change. Westmead is so unnecessarily distant and it’s confusing. And I loved Poppy and her independence in the first half the book but she almost had a personality transplant in the second half of the book. The two get so snippy with each other and neither can seem to do anything right. I honestly got so aggravated with the pair of them and how they acted they needed their heads knocking together. I especially was frustrated with Poppy at one point in the book because she acted without care for Westmead’s feelings at all and honestly acted like a small child. But then Westmead frustrated the hell out of me because when times got tough with Poppy he went off to his secret club and that raised questions of what counts as cheating. I viewed it as cheating but on an emotional level rather than physical and I did worry the romance wouldn’t come back from that.

I admit, I was partially won over by the big romantic ending of the book. I was rooting for Poppy and Westmead to get their shit together and used their damn words to sort out their issues because I had my doubts for a while. The pair were so good together but they seriously needed to be way more upfront with one another, they really did. Like I said, it was a book of two halves, the first was sweet and the second was angsty as hell. I do believe that angst will carry on over to the next book because I’ve read that summary and it sounds like it’ll be a lot and I cannot wait. I do think this is a brilliant new author and although I had my grumbles with this book I honestly could not put it down and that’s the best kind of book.

Jane Doe
Published: 1st August 2018
Source: Bought
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Feminist Revenge
My Rating:
A double life with a single purpose: revenge.

Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.

Just as he did to her.
Another buddy read with Nick and Danya (we read a lot of books together and I definitely need to find another series to read with those ladies).

This was a different kind of read: no romance. I am such a huge romance reader that it was strange to read a thriller instead. But what a thriller it was! And it was different from the usual thriller you read, you knew exactly what was going on pretty much from the get go. Jane was out to get revenge on the man she blames for the death of a friend and she will go to a lot of lengths to get that revenge.

I think the reason this was such a good read is that Jane is a self confessed sociopath. This does not mean she’s a serial killer or anything, but just means she is cold and logical and not ruled my emotion. You may question why she is after revenge if she isn’t ruled by emotion… that’s simple, girl had just the one bff who drove her to be a better person. The one person she loved in her own way and gave her a connection to the world and normal life whilst she pursued her career and success as that is what she was good at. She had no real family connection as her parents were distant and useless so her family was her best friend and the family her friend would eventually have so to have that cut short was unfair and she blames Steven Hepworth and so infiltrates his life in order to get the revenge she needs to give her friend some peace,

From the get go we know Jane is a sociopath and you would think that would mean she’s unlikable but her cool logic and  plain view of the world was actually really refreshing and easy to read. There is no unreliable narrator usually seen in a thriller but instead we have Jane telling you like it is and I loved her for it. She easily saw Steven for what he was, a little man making himself feel better by bringing women down around him. He picks and criticises to make himself feel better and uses his devout Christian upbringing to make him so bigger and more important. He was a horrible man who deserved everything that came to him and as Jane got closer to him and saw more of his world I have to say others who get taken down with him completely deserved it too.

You are drawn into Jane’s plans because those she targets are honestly the worst kind of people and they are people you probably see every day. They are normal awful people and it was so satisfying to know Jane was there getting her own small revenge on them and taking them down plenty of pegs because they are truly awful people. If anything you wish Jane did more to get her revenge because Steven sucked. He was a 100% awful human being and there were not enough things done to show him that being awful is wrong and you get your comeuppance eventually.

This was such a strong feminist read about a woman getting her revenge on a horrible man who gets his kicks from bringing better people down around him to make him feel important. He likes to make the women close to him feel inferior as that is how he views them and he is truly the scum of the earth and he gets shown that being a dick is bad and don’t mess with Jane because she will take you down… hard.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? And what books have you read recently that you’ve forgotten to talk about?

26 September 2018

Looking Forward // Autumn Releases I Cannot Wait For

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Looking Forward was the feature I used to map out all the new releases I was looking forward to. I stopped having the time to write it up each month and I found myself discovering far too many books to read but I have been loving seeing the Top Ten Tuesday posts of people’s Fall TBR lists and thought what better time than to resurrect a post of new releases than now?

Autumn (or Fall for my lovely American readers) is one of my favourite seasons. The leaves change and you can start cracking out those cosy jumpers, scarves and boots and it’s once more the season to clutch warm drinks in hand. September to November also always seem to have some excellent new releases coming out as well. It’s like publishers know as the nights get darker and the days grow colder we’re all eager to get ourselves all curled up with a good book and hibernate from the world.

There are plenty of new releases coming out in the next few months and there are even a few already out which I need to get my hands on. Below are 15 new releases I am so eagerly anticipating and I am all ready to throw my money at to get a hold of them.

Intercepted (Playbook #1) – Alexa Martin
Published: 4th September 2018
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there's a new player on the horizon, and he's in a league of his own...

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She's definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There's just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he's nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team's wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee's return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Lethal White
Published: 18th September 2018
Genre: Mystery, Crime Fiction
“I seen a kid killed…He strangled it, up by the horse.”

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.

Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.

And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.

Pride – Ibi Zoboi
Published: 18th September 2018
Genre: Contemporary, Retelling, Young Adult
Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

In a timely update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.

Published: 24th September 2018
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Enemies make the worst neighbors, but the best lovers

After losing her job, her home, and her friends in her divorce, Nora Pitts is determined not to make the same mistakes when she starts over in the small town of Shadow Creek, Washington. No more slaving away in the lab at the expense of her social life, and definitely no more men. Ever. But making friends in her thirties is so much harder than she anticipated. And when it comes to her gorgeous yet obnoxious neighbor, it’s a whole lot easier to make enemies.

Eli Hardin doesn’t have a lot of sympathy for his uptight neighbor, until he overhears her so-called new friends making fun of her un-datable status. Suddenly he finds himself volunteering for a date with a woman who’s been leaving angry hate-notes in his mailbox, and in way over his head. Because all it takes is one disastrous date with Nora for Eli to fall hard.

But falling for Eli isn’t something Nora’s ready for—not when he’s her complete opposite, and especially not when he turns out to be the best friend she’s made in Shadow Creek. But as her attraction and her feelings for Eli grow hotter, resisting him might just lead to heartbreak anyway.

Published: 25th September 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Eli Ever and Victor Vale were only medical students when their mutual discovery that near-death experiences can, under the right conditions, manifest extraordinary abilities.
They were best friends, and rivals, and then enemies. They were dead, then alive, and then---Eli killed Victor, once and for all.
Or so he thought---but Sydney Clarke felt otherwise, and used her own superpower to tip the scales. Now, a trio hides in the shadows, while another takes advantages of post-death life to take over the city of Merit.
If there can be life after death—will there be calm after vengeance, or will chaos rule?

Phoenix Unbound
Published: 25th September 2018
Genre: Fantasy Romance
A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Todaybestselling author of Radiance.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.

But this year is different.

Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion--and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. And unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will risk everything to return to the Empire--and burn once more.

Kill the QueenKill the Queen (Crown of Shards #1) – Jennifer Estep
Published: 2nd October 2018
Genre: Fantasy
Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

Published: 2nd October 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Sarai has lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old.
She believed she knew every horror, and was beyond surprise.
She was wrong.

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice--save the woman he loves, or everyone else?--while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she's capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel's near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Timesbestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

Fight or Flight
Fight or Flight – Samantha Young
Published: 9th October 2018
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn't hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash travelling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava's ever had. And that's all it was - until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb's orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he's stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart's in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she's made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn't quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her....

Published: 9th October 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
In the city of Eldra, people are ruled by ancient prophecies. For centuries, the high council has stayed in power by virtue of the prophecies of the elder seers. After the last infallible prophecy came to pass, growing unrest led to murders and an eventual rebellion that raged for more than a decade.

In the present day, Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. Her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt, and Cassa struggles to come to terms with the legacy of rebellion her dead parents have left her — and the fear that she may be inadequate to shoulder the burden. But by the time Cassa and her friends uncover the mystery of the final infallible prophecy, it may be too late to save the city — or themselves.

The Guardian
The Guardian (The Immortal Dealers #2) – Sarah Fine
Published: 23rd October 2018
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Life and death are a gamble for a girl fighting to save humanity in a world she’s only beginning to understand.

One minute, Ernestine “Ernie” Terwilliger was a fairly normal young woman with an almost normal life. Absent father. Peculiar mother. Family secrets. The next, she was hurled into a land where the Immortal Dealers are waging a battle between good and evil—and where the fate of the world is in the cards.

Having only started to master her own deck, the inexperienced Ernie places the wrong bet on the right guy at the worst time. That’s when she’s bounced into another realm by a formidable and power-hungry rogue Dealer who knows more about Ernie’s fractured family than Ernie herself does.

Now, Ernie’s fight to free herself from the trap of the dimensional barriers is only the beginning. As the secrets of Ernie’s father and his own relics of power start to surface, Ernie will need to tell friend from foe—a feat not as easy as it seems.

At least now she has a full deck…because to survive secrets, betrayals, and dangerous dimensions, she’ll need to deal the best hand.

Published: 30th October 2018
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
When Nik Paterson went to the Dodgers game with her C-list actor boyfriend, Ford, for his birthday, she expected nothing more than a few boring hours with him and his bros. She certainly didn't expect a Jumbotron proposal. Or her name to be misspelled. Or to go viral in minutes...

Carlos Ibarra wants to hang out with his sister, catch a Dodgers game, and relax for once. But when a camera crew descends on Nik after the disastrous proposal, he has to rescue her. After they flee the stadium, he delivers her into the arms of her supportive girlfriends, and they both think they'll never see each other again.

Fate has other plans. Nik and Carlos keep crossing paths, accidentally and on purpose. When they finally give in to their attraction to each other, they are on the same page: sex and nothing more. But the proposed friends-with-benefits relationship is turning into something more, and the pair have to decide if they have room in their lives for love.

Published: 6th November 2018
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan's extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn't do for her sister's happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.

Published: 15th November 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
The thrilling, genre-bending conclusion to Lady Helen's demon-hunting adventures, set in the glittering Regency world.

Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.

In the final book of the trilogy that began with THE DARK DAYS CLUB and continued with THE DARK DAYS PACT, the intrepid Lady Helen's story hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of action, heartbreak, and betrayal.

The Other Miss Bridgerton
Published: 20th November 2018
Genre: Historical Romance
She was in the wrong place...

Fiercely independent and adventurous, Poppy Bridgerton will only wed a suitor whose keen intellect and interests match her own. Sadly, none of the fools from her London season qualify. While visiting a friend on the Dorset coast, Poppy is pleasantly surprised to discover a smugglers' hideaway tucked inside a cave. But her delight turns to dismay when two pirates kidnap her and take her aboard a ship, leaving her bound and gagged on the captain's bed…

He found her at the wrong time...

Known to society as a rascal and reckless privateer, Captain Andrew James Rokesby actually transports essential goods and documents for the British government. Setting sail on a time-sensitive voyage to Portugal, he's stunned to find a woman waiting for him in his cabin. Surely, his imagination is getting the better of him. But no, she is very real—and his duty to the Crown means he's stuck with her.

Can two wrongs make the most perfect right?

When Andrew learns that she is a Bridgerton, he knows he will likely have to wed her to avert a scandal—though Poppy has no idea that he is the son of an earl and neighbor to her aristocratic cousins in Kent. On the high seas, their war of words soon gives way to an intoxicating passion. But when Andrew's secret is revealed, will his declaration of love be enough to capture her heart…?

Which Autumn releases are you eagerly anticipating? Are there any books I’ve missed or have you read one of these and want to tell me to get or avoid it?

24 September 2018

Fool Me Forever // Overthrowing Governments With A Healthy Side Of Romance (I Might Have That The Wrong Way)

Fool Me Forever

Published: 24th September 2018

Source: Author

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

My Rating:
Lenore Bradshaw's charity is mixed up in a world-class scandal with donations gone missing. Handsome con artist Halsey Sherwood suggests they work together to get the money back. But there's no way she can trust a proven liar and thief, right? Even if his generous and sweet nature is stealing her heart.

The beautiful Lenore is the only woman in the world Halsey Sherwood can be honest with. It's just his luck she despises his profession—conning the rich and evil and donating the proceeds to charity. To win her heart and aid her cause, he makes her an offer she can't refuse. He'll get her money back from the bad guys and help her rebuild her reputation. And if things go sideways, he'll do whatever it takes to protect her.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ainslie Paton strikes once more with an absolutely wonderful read I could not get enough of. I really enjoyed One Night Wife with the Sherwood family taking from the rich and giving to the poor (or to well researched charitable organisations who they know will do the most good and don’t get enough contributions from those damn 1 percenters). I knew I wanted to read the next book revolving around the Sherwood's, Fool Me Forever, and Ainslie was nice enough to send me across an ARC so I could get reading ASAP.

Fool Me Forever starts in the aftermath of the events of One Night Wife (so be warned I might spoil some details). Lenore Bradshaw, or Lenny to her friends, is struggling to keep her charity organisation, Dollars for Daughters, afloat. Her best friend Fin (who was the star of One Night Wife) was the woman bringing in money for the charity after Lenny’s father had been arrested for running a Ponzi scheme she left Fin to get the investments as the Bradshaw name was a little ruined. Well, she was left sorting things out after learning how Fin was getting so many donations in (read the first book for that story) and now Lenny is really pushing to keep D4D legit and not have anything to do with cons or the Sherwood family. Until in walks Halsey Sherwood there at his brother, Cal’s, behest to make sure the money Fin stole from him and pumped into D4D would pass an audit and stay looking legit since a big influx of cash from one donor is always going to look dodgy. Lenny is all set to boot Halsey out but the pair are as stubborn as each other and it gets worse when Halsey discovers Lenny has been duped into donating to a charity he and his family know is a front for a president who is duping his citizens and using government money so he can live a lavish lifestyle. That’s where things get good because Halsey wants to go all knight in shining armour for Lenny whilst also taking down the bad guy and Lenny is not up for anyone rescuing her and wants to help in the taking down without getting caught up in things.

I loved this book because it’s all about getting one over on rich idiots who think they are above the law and common decency and you know I was going to be cheering when the big con of the book is all about conning Sonny Ozols (fondly known as Cookie Jar) out of his money and overthrowing him from power so the good guys can run the country he is bleeding dry and running into the ground. I am all for overthrowing a corrupt government and when it’ Lenny and Halsey doing the overthrowing even better!

So yeah, my favourite part was the overthrowing the jackass that was Cookie Jar but this is also a romance and let me tell you I fell head over heels for Halsey Sherwood. He was awkward and did not like prolonged social interaction and small talk. He was Excel Boy for a very good reason, numbers were easier and made sense, people were harder. He could read body language and plan with the best of them but he was never going to be as slick and his brother’s Cal and Zeke. He was cool with that. He was a man who embraced a tattoo he got on impulse and could recite facts about unicorns and entertain small children but also could cook and wasn’t stingy when it came to sex either. He was not an alpha male but he wasn’t a doormat. He was a guy who was comfortable with who he was and didn’t feel the need to pretend otherwise (which makes it a little more difficult being a con artist). I fell for him as soon as he didn’t want to leave Lenny alone with her overbearing brother and I fell for him more as the book progressed. I didn’t know how he was going to win Lenny over but I was rooting for him the entire time.

And Lenny Bradshaw is not to be overlooked either. She was a strong female who most certainly didn’t need rescuing or to be told what to do by the likes of Halsey Sherwood. She had no time for folks trying to tell her what was best for her because she knew what was best for her, after all, she came out of the scandal of her father’s arrest and families downfall with her head held high and she wasn’t going to let anyone dictate her life. She had a mother who didn’t grasp the fact they were not rich and a sister who was angry at the world and she didn’t know how to get through. She had a business she was struggling to keep going considering she wasn’t talking to her best friend and the folks she wanted to get donations were snubbing her after her father’s arrest. She had a lot on her plate ad she had no time for Halsey Sherwood but she also had no patience for a  dirty president taking her hard earned money she thought she was giving to charity and using it for his own gain instead. She is a woman willing to get her hands a little dirty, or at least assist in another getting his hands dirty for her so she knows someone will get their comeuppance for their crimes. Like, she was kickass and had a soft spot for chocolates, she is my kind of woman.

When Halsey and Lenny were together on a page there were sparks and I was so ready for them getting together. I mean, Lenny was already half in love with him and Paul Newman good looks and she would have been all over him if she didn’t know about his con artist family. And Halsey was more than half in love with Lenny simply for the fact she brought out another side of him. He had been hiding behind his desk with his spreadsheets and numbers in nice neat boxes and she drives him to step out from behind that desk and do things he had convinced himself he couldn’t do. He was not the smooth slick con artist of Ocean’s 11 fame but he was smart and he had a strength where he would stand up to bullies. I know I said Lenny didn’t need rescuing (and honestly, for the most part, she doesn’t, she needs a helping hand to keep moving forward and she could do the work) but Halsey does have moments of swooping in and having her back and rescuing her that one time. They were such a great time as they balanced one another out. Lenny had the people skills and knows the right thing to say when it was needed and Halsey had the smarts, he could read people and situations and he knows what people want. So Lenny and Halsey make a kickass team and oh boy when they do get together? Sparks and sexual chemistry and all that good stuff. They were so so good together and I was so there for that. Let’s just say the sex is good, those two just needed to overcome all the other problems to do with their relationship.

Basically, I cannot say enough positive things about this book. I liked all of it. I mean, I could have rambled on for a whole lot more words with this book. I adored it and I am in love with the main characters. I was cheering on the crimes and lamenting when the romance fell off track. It was a great ride and this is exactly the kind of book you need to read when you’re getting angrier than usual from watching the news. Fed up of seeing rich white guys get away with all their crimes and also a fan of romance? Yeah, you need to get reading this along with a big old glass of wine and maybe a box of chocolates. You’ll feel a whole lot better for it.

Have you read this or anything else by Ainslie Paton yet? Isn’t she awesome? And which author’s do you find always reward with you the most satisfying of reads with every release?

16 September 2018

Sunday Summary // 16.09.2018 (The NYC Recap)

Sunday Summary
I’m back!

I have no idea what I've missed whilst I’ve been gone and I have started doing the rounds catching up on blogs so if I’ve not stopped by already I’ll try to soon. I’ve got my own blog comments to catch up on too so I am going to be busy! I haven’t even really had time to properly sit down and write up some blog posts so this might be the only post for about a week while I play catch up. I make no promises for being totally back but I’m getting there.
times square
As anyone who has stopped by lately will know I’ve been on holiday! I got back from New York Thursday and let me tell you I was tired after that trip. It was just my mom and me, we travelled up to Manchester last Thursday and flew Friday morning. It was such a wonderful trip. The weather was not brilliant for us. The first day and a bit were probably the best days we had weather wise. We arrived exhausted on Friday, New York is five hours behind us so mentally we were in the middle of the night whilst it was light out. Our flight out was a bit meh, the food sucked (as airplane food always does) and I forgot how ridiculous security is in the US. You feel like a criminal when you get there! We queued for an hour to have our photo and fingerprints taken. It’s my least favourite part of visiting the states because you do feel like you’ve done something wrong before you’ve even got there. We ended up grabbing a taxi to the hotel as we were exhausted. It took forever and it was pricey, we, unfortunately, got there during a busy period I think. It was worth it, though as we were both far too tired to contend with people and figuring out where to go next. We just about managed a stroll around Times Square and grabbed food at the Irish bar next door (also, what’s with all the Irish bars in NYC?) and we crashed out for about 10 hours.
central parkparade
Our first full day in the city was spent walking. Turns out it was the Labor Day Parade the Saturday, neither of us had a clue what it was but I liked the music some of them played. Still not totally sure what it is, though. We also had a long wander around Central Park and along the Avenue of the Americas and Fifth Avenue (until the barriers up for the parade started to annoy us). We ended up walking over 18000 steps that day just strolling about. I was excited to see the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park and just to take a stroll around the place as I’ve obviously seen it on TV a lot but it’s totally different to be there. I think if the weather was nicer I could have spent far longer there another day just relaxing but sadly that was not to be. We also took a stroll down to Macy’s that afternoon and looked around the shops. So many shops! We didn’t shop too much that first day, though.

The Sunday was a day of shopping and exploring. It began to rain that day so we decided to take a stroll up to the shops at Columbus Circle. We stopped in a whole bunch of gift shops while we wandered. We got confused as to why TK Maxx was called TJ Maxx and had fun browsing the shoes and clothes there (purchases were made). We then finally got to the shops at Columbus Circle and we were a little disappointed. It was fun browsing the Amazon Books shop and looking around Sephora and that but we weren’t impressed. We eventually wandered back down another street and ended up back in Times Square before taking a stroll around a lot of shops there. American Eagle is my new favourite shop, they need to open over here. Their clothes are so soft and comfy looking! We also discovered our love for the US Urban Outfitters. The clothes may be pricey but they are so nice, and they look much better than the UK ones. I may be trying to figure out shipping and customs duties in my future. We also went to Barnes and Noble and I discovered my hatred of US paperbacks. Guys, you have these adorable little paperbacks which are just awesome (I think you call them mass market paperbacks) and then you have the more expensive horribly floppy paperbacks which are extortionately priced and they get damaged so easily. It makes no sense! I’ve never been so appreciative of UK paperbacks, they are far sturdier and cheaper. You guys need to seriously sort it out. I also went to the place which serves the most epic cheesecakes. We ate at Junior's and let me tell you, that place was rammed! We ended up eating outside, despite the rain, and the service was slow but when it came to dessert I had a chocolate brownie cheesecake and it was amazing! If I was less full I would have demolished the whole thing. I would love to go there again, even if it is a tourist trap.
Monday was the day of culture. It poured with rain and we (smart British folks that we are) decided to walk to the Natural History Museum and we were pretty soaked from that walk. It was a long walk from our hotel, but we wanted to keep our steps up and we hadn’t seen the west side of Central Park and we got to see the Dakota building as my mom had said she would like to see it (it’s fancy looking). I have to say, our expectations for the American Museum of Natural History may have been a touch high. More Night at the Museum and less actual museum. I’m not a huge fan of stuffed animals in general so the nature sections did not appeal as much and that is a large chunk of the museum. The people sections were interesting, though. But there’s also a slice of a giant sequoia tree which was cut down and that was upsetting to see such an old tree (it was like 1400 years old before it was felled) and it was cut down for the railroad! Seeing the destruction we as people cause in history is upsetting. Same as seeing the skeleton of a dodo, a bird which is extinct because we hunted it to extinction! That was horrible to see and to see other animals in danger of extinction too. I think my favourite part of the museum was the space section and the dinosaur sections. Also the mammals and their extinct relative's section. It was so interesting seeing how different animals evolved and how some mammals are linked as well! That was the best part for me by far. We then had the bright idea to walk back in the rain as well. Turns out that was a terrible plan and we were soaked by the end. Rain in NYC is no joke, especially when the wind picks up too. We finished our day going to Cock and Bull home of the best fish and chops in NYC (it was alright, they definitely had a thing or two to learn).
Our final full day in New York we again walked, this time heading down Fifth Avenue until we eventually reached the Flatiron Building, which was pretty cool to see. And then we carried on to the Strand Bookstore and whilst that place was cool (so many books!) I bought not a single one because the place was just too hectic and I didn’t know what I was looking for so I came back with nothing. Also, I learnt US books are kind of expensive, how do you guys do it over there? I much prefer UK books, I think. Hardcovers may bankrupt you but paperbacks are cheap like they’re meant to be and way more durable. It was a nice walk when the rain stopped, though. We also visited another location of my favourite store, American Eagle, and let me tell you that shop could make me poor! We then strolled back to the hotel and had dinner at the other Irish bar next to our hotel (like I said, a lot of Irish bars) and we found the most reasonable priced cider we'd had anywhere. I mean, why is cider not a bigger thing in the US? And why is it called hard cider? I don’t understand. I know we’d had a few imports while we were there so they were going to be pricey but our drinks were always expensive. I did like the Angry Orchard I drank, it was very fruity and different to UK ciders. It was interesting. It wasn’t as sweet as the cider I had on my first night but it was nice.
We finished our trip in the city walking around basically every gift shop in Times Square hunting for a gift for my stepdad and both of us trying to find reasonably priced I Red heartNY t-shirts and an NYPD hoodie for my mom. We took a last tour around Times Square, popped the Hersheys shop for too much chocolate and then got ready for the long trip home. I didn’t sleep Wednesday night at all and we then travelled back from Manchester when we landed. I ended up getting home and was wide awake. My dog was thrilled to see me (sort of, I feel like he was a little angry we left) but he greeted us at the door ball in mouth and ready to play (and slobber all over us). After lazing around the house with him all day I went to bed Thursday night and slept for over 12 hours. It’s safe to say I was sleep deprived.
lovemore love
And that was my trip to New York guys. That is literally the only exciting thing I’ve done this week. I do have a giant bouncy castle obstacle course I’m doing next week so I’ll try and take photos and have an update of that for you guys.

What I’ve Been Reading

Captive Prince8 Prince's Gambit
I can’t claim to have been reading much lately. These are literally the only books I’ve looked at in the past couple of weeks and I’ve not even finished Prince's Gambit! And they’re both rereads! I guess New York sapped my reading energy completely. I am going to finish my reread of the series as I know I enjoyed it but I am still lacking reading energy while I try to get back into the right timezone.

New To Me

When He Was WickedNext Year in HavanaA Study in ScarletA Conspiracy in BelgraviaCrazy Rich Asians
Yes, I have acquired a small number of books in the past couple of weeks. I had to get the next book in the Bridgerton series as I slowly power my way through them (I think I’ve been working my way through those books for the past two years). Next Year in Havana, A Study in Scarlet and A Conspiracy in Belgravia are my Nw York purchases. They were slightly cheaper to buy over there and they are the three books which motivate my hatred for US paperbacks. I’ve had a US paperback before and disliked the feel of it but I forgot how strong my dislike was for them until I bought those three as I feel genuinely cheated by the price when I know they are going to be destroyed after a couple of trips with me to work. Why so flimsy books? Why??? I also had to get Crazy Rich Asians when it was part of a Kindle daily deal. I may not have seen the film yet but I know I will (eventually).
NightbloodFool Me ForeverTinsel in a TangleLove and Other WordsBy Virtue Fall
I also got a few ARCs over the past few weeks so I seriously need to get reading (and By Virtue Fall is a finished copy, thank you Piatkus) so I am going to knuckle down and get some review copies conquered (maybe). Mostly romance and I don’t know why I requested Nightblood apart from the fact I’ve read the rest of the series but now I realise I don’t remember the last two books so I don’t want to start reading. Ugh, I need to just crack on and finish a book.

And that is how my holiday went and a recap of everything. What have you guys been up to? Can you explain why US paperback are the worst? Or why cider is not more widely drank in the states? Or why I keep requesting ARCs when I’m meant to be on a ban from Netgalley? So many questions and so little time!