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?

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