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28 November 2019

Book Review: The Stopover by TL Swan

I was looking for a trash romance to read - you know the type, when it's so bad it's almost good and you can kind of rage read. I was browsing Kindle Unlimited when I spotted The Stopover by TL Swan and I thought, bingo. But I was wrong. The Stopover by TL Swan is actually pretty excellent and I couldn't stop reading for all of the right reasons.

The Stopover by TL Swan coverAdd to Goodreads button
A memorable night of passion refuses to stay just a memory in this sizzling and scandalous romance from bestselling author T L Swan.

I was upgraded to first class on a flight from London to New York.

The food, champagne, and service were impeccable. The blue-eyed man sitting next to me, even better. He was suave and intelligent. We talked and laughed, and something clicked. Fate took over and the plane was grounded, and we had an unexpected stopover for the night.

With no plans, we made our own. We danced and laughed our way around Boston and had a night of crazy passion that no woman would ever forget.

That was twelve months ago, and I haven’t heard from him—until today.

I started a new job and met the CEO. You can imagine my surprise to see those naughty blue eyes dance with delight when he saw me across the mahogany desk.

But I’m not that carefree girl anymore. My life has changed, I have responsibilities. I just got an email. He wants to see me in his office for a private meeting at 8:00 a.m. Naughty blue eyes have no place in the workplace.

What kind of private meeting does he have in mind?

Source: Purchase, Kindle Unlimited

5 Words: Attraction, lust, power, control, sabotage.

I have to say that for a while I was disappointed in The Stopover. I'd gone in expecting trash romance, the kind filled with problematic tropes and dubious romance and bad characters. But that wasn't what I got. I found The Stopover to be well fleshed out and while it did have some problematic elements (holy power imbalance, batman!) I thoroughly enjoyed it for all of the right reasons. Colour me surprised.

I do have to say that I was not expecting it to be as long a story. And it is long, it's over 500 pages worth of romance and flirting and work-place drama. And it works. I couldn't stop reading The Stopover.

In The Stopover, I loved the build up between Emily and Jameson, I liked the instant attraction between them. And I kind of loved the infatuation? Normally this would set my alarm bells ringing, but there was something about the writing that I loved and it fit so well.

I really appreciated the non-romance elements of the story as well. I loved how  it fleshed out the characters and added some intrigue and complicated everything. And loved how the drama surrounding it played out too.

Overall I loved The Stopover, and I can't wait to read more books of The Miles High Club and find out what's happening in the romantic lives of the other brothers.

19 November 2019

Blog Tour: Book Review: Through the Wall by Caroline Corcoran *AD Gifted

Avon sent me a free review copy of Through the Wall by Caroline Corcoran ahead of the blog tour.

Through the Wall by Caroline Corcoran coverAdd to Goodreads button
Lexie loves her home. She feels safe and secure in it – and loved, thanks to her boyfriend Tom.

But recently, something’s not been quite right. A book out of place. A wardrobe door left open. A set of keys going missing…

Tom thinks Lexie’s going mad – but then, he’s away more often than he’s at home nowadays, so he wouldn’t understand.

Because Lexie isn’t losing it. She knows there’s someone out there watching her. And, deep down, she knows there’s nothing she can do to make them stop…

Source: Review copy

5 Words: Jealousy, relationships, family, perfection, perception.

I loved how the narrative split between the characters, so we saw it all from different viewpoints. It was easier to understand some of their actions and empathise with them a little, as you could see things from their perspectives. The character development was incredible.

Although it took me a little while to get in to the story, the chapters in Through the Wall by Caroline Corcoran are short, and I absolutely flew through this book. They helped to add to the fast pace and building tension, and I could not put it down. Through the Wall is absolutely a compulsive read, it's atmospheric and cleverly written. It gave me goosebumps and freaked me out.

I think one of my favourite things about this book is the importance of sound - I thought it was a really clever way to build the tension in the story and for characters to be driven by.

I liked how the story explored how people present what they want to, and that not everything is as it seems (especially online). I liked the jealousy of the characters, how they thought the grass was greener.

I will absolutely read more by Caroline Corcoran.

Through the Wall by Caroline Corcoran blog tour banner

18 November 2019

Triwizard Tournament Readthon: First Task Wrap Up

So something amazing happened this past week. I took part in a readathon and I stuck to my TBR and I even read every book I'd planned. I'm having such a fun time with this readathon that I'm going to do mini wrap-ups for every task so I can track my progress.

Triwizard Tournament Readthon: First Task Wrap Up

I am in Durmstrang so I had to defeat the Swedish Short-Snout. And since I was ill in bed with nothing to do, I threw everything at it and completed every challenge prompt. Go me!

What I Read

  • For the first challenge I had to defeat the Swedish Short-Snout by rereading a favourite that makes me feel protected. I reread Fashionistas: Laura by Sarra Manning.
  • The first method I chose was Speed, and I read the graphic novel Heartstopper Volume 2 by Alice Oseman during sprints on the first evening.
  • I followed up with the Conjunctivitis Curse reading Fashionistas: Irina by Sarra Manning because of the eyes on the cover.
  • Next I decided to send my dragon into a Bewitched Sleep with a book I read in bed. Honestly I was ill enough that I've done all of my reading in bed, but I read Jane Eyre: A Retelling by Tanya Landman in a single sitting.
  • It took me ages to pick a book with an animal on the cover for Distraction, I was scanning my bookshleves when my eyes hit upon Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman. It has a jellyfish, a starfish, and a turtle on the cover.

My favourite book for the first task of the Triwizard Tournament Readathon was definitely Heartstopper Volume 2 by Alice Oseman. I was almost in tears by the end because it gave me such feels, honestly my heart is full, and it truly fit the prompt as I sped through it.

Total Books Read: 5
Total Pages Read: 1456

Are you taking part in the Triwizard Tournament Readathon?
What have you read recently?

15 November 2019

Book Beginnings #84

For Book Beginnings, Rose City Reader invites us to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

For Friday 56, Freda's Voice asks you to turn to Page 56 in your book or 56% on your e-reader and pick a sentence.

I am currently reading Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman.
Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman cover
Mom doesn't show up. 
I shouldn't be surprised - she never shows up - but I can't get rid of the empty, twisted feeling in my stomach. Emery always says that being alone isn't the same thing as being lonely, but sometimes it feels like they're exactly the same thing.
I'm reading Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman for my final prompt for Triwizardathon (it has animals on the cover). It's a book that'd been on my radar since it came out, and I have heard so much about it. I'm a bit nervous going in because hype can be so damaging on my perceptions of a book, but I love the first lines. I love the way that Kiko's disappointment comes through, as well as her lack of surprise.
Because my borthers and I can't all be strong. Somebody has to be on Mom's target board - i think Taro would rather it was me than him.
This bit from page 56 just hit me right in the feels. Poor Kiko. This book is an emotional ride, that's for sure, and I feel so much for Kiko. It's also beautifully written and although I'm taking my time I can't put it down.

I'm excited to see where the story goes.

What are you reading this week?

07 November 2019

Triwizard Tournament Readathon TBR

The Triwizard Tournament Readathon will be split into three week-long rounds, each themed around and representing one of the tasks from the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Everyone taking part will be selected as a champion for one of the three schools and will be given reading challenges to complete in order to compete to win the Triwizard Cup.

It sounds like a nice and chilled readathon, with plenty of time between the tasks to help lift the pressure I will doubtless put myself under.

Follow the official page on twitter – @triwizardathon!

Triwizard Tournament Readathon TBR

The school you will represent is determined by your birthday.
Beauxbatons: January – April
Durmstrang: May – August
Hogwarts: September – December

So I am representing Durmstrang, and I am going to desperately try not to let my school down and remember to actually update the score sheet. The page count for each school counts as the score, and each challenge must be a separate book so no sneaky combing is allowed. The score for the first take determines your first challenge for the second task.

With that in mind, I'm going to set out a bit of a TBR so that I'm not caught out by the various challenges as the readathon progresses. I'm going to keep a note of the page count for each book too.

Triwizard Tournament Readathon TBR - First Task - Dragons


Monday 11th November – Sunday 17th November 2019

Challenge One - The Dragon

Each school will battle a certain dragon. Beauxbatons will defeat the Hungarian Horntail, Durmstrang will defeat the Swedish Short-Snout, and Hogwarts will defeat the Common Welsh Green.

Swedish Short-Snout: These dragons are sought after to use their skin to make shields and gloves, re-read a favourite that makes you feel protected.
  • Fashionistas: Laura by Sarra Manning - 320
    • I love rereading books and usually my top rereads are a little more... Hard hitting. And make me cry. And also I've already reread them this year. Except for the Fashionistas series by Sarra Manning, so I'll be picking up book one to make me feel amazeballs for the first task.

Challenge Two - The Method

What method are you going to use when you face your dragon? Pick one or do more for extra skill points.

Conjunctivitis Curse: Temporarily blind your dragon by reading a book with eyes on the cover.
  • Fashionistas: Irina by Sarra Manning - 336
    • This was a late addition to my TBR after I read Fashionistas: Laura by Sarra Manning, I just knew that I had to read on. Also Irina's eyes are on the cover so it fits the prompt perfectly.
Bewitched Sleep: Send your dragon to sleep by reading a whole book in bed.
  • Jane Eyre: A Retelling by Tanya Landman - 128
    • So when I'm in bed I tend to fall asleep. In order to read a whole book in bed it needs to be a short book. I recently read Jane Eyre for the first and fell in love with the story so I can't wait to read Tanya Landman's retelling.
Speed: Race past your dragon to retrieve the egg by reading a graphic novel.
  • Heartstopper Volume 2 by Alice Oseman - 320
    • I knew that I was keeping this back for a reason, and apparently it's because my wee witchy brain knew I'd need it for this readathon. And I can't wait.
Distraction: Distract your dragon by transfiguring a rock into an animal, read a book with an animal on the cover.
  • Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman - 352
    • I have been meaning to read this book since it came out. I have heard so much about it and I have a feeling it will be a tough read, but the cover has a jellyfish and a starfish and a turtle, so animals.
Triwizard Tournament Readathon TBR - Second Task - The Lake


Monday 25th November – Sunday 1st December 2019

Challenge One - What Was Taken

Who do you need to save from the lake? You can find out which one you have to do by submitting your score for the first task, or checking back here once the first task is over. Want extra points? Rescue your own loved one, pick the method, then rescue the others too!

Significant Other: Read a book with a romance. 
  • A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan - 464
    • I absolutely adore Sarah Morgan's Christmas books, so I can't wait to read A Wedding in December. If I don't have to save my Significant Other in this challenge I will definitely rescue them after my own loved one!
Sibling: Read a book about siblings.
  • Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart - 320
    • A couple of hours before writing this post I read Charlotte, Somwhere's mini review of Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart and it got me excited for it. So what better excuse?
Friend: Read a book about friendship.
  • Remix by Non Pratt - 304
    • Friendship, music, and lies. I can't wait to experience it all over again and reread Remix by Non Pratt - it's been a long time since I first read it!

Challenge Two - The Method

How are you going to get through the lake in order to save the person that has been taken from you? Pick one method for this challenge!

Gillyweed: Gillyweed will allow you to breathe and move underwater, read a book with water on the cover.
  • The Alibi Girl by C.J. Skuse - 384
    • The cover for The Alibi Girl is bright pink with a cloud of black in that looks as though it's been dropped into water, so imma class it as water, because close enough. And also if this is anything as dark as Sweetpea then I'm desperate to read it.
Bubble-Head Charm: This charm gives you a continuous supply of oxygen, read a book set in space where this charm could also be useful.
  • Collision by Victor Dixen - 736
    • This book is a BEAST at over 700 pages long so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that I can actually finish it haha. I absolutely loved Ascension and Distortion, the prior books in the Phobos Series by Victor Dixen.
Transfiguration: Partially transfigure yourself into a sea creature by reading a book about a sea creature.
  • The Bone Ships by RJ Barker - 496
    • I mean... I think The Bone Ships by RJ Barker has a sea creature? Do the dragons live in the sea? Fingers crossed!

Triwizard Tournament Readathon TBR - Third Task - The Maze


Monday 9th December – Sunday 15th December 2019

Challenge One - The Obstacles

You will face many obstacles within the maze, you must complete at least one of these challenges, but may complete as many as you can for extra points.

Blast-Ended Skrewt: This is a hybrid creature, read a book outside your comfort zone.
  • Roaring Girls by Holly Kyte - 464
    • This is a British Historical Social & Urban History Biography so... Yeah. Not in my comfort zone, I'd say!
Boggart: Read a book that contains something you fear.
  • Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton - 384
    • I saw this book described as Black Mirror with a touch of Westworld re-wiring and... Well. Nope. Nope nope nope.
Acromantula: You may need help to defeat this creature, read a book recommended by a friend.
  • I need help with this prompt! Please leave me suggestions.
Sphinx: Solve its riddle by reading a book about or with a puzzle.
  • Unleashed by Amy McCulloch - 352
    • I absolutely love Jinxed by Amy McCulloch when I read it last year so I've been itching to fit Unleashed into my TBR to see where it goes next. Lacey wakes up in a hospital room with no recollection of how she got there, so it'd definitely going to be a puzzle to solve.
Golden Mist: The mist turns everything upside down, read a book with something upside down on the cover.
  • The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg - 464
    • One of the castles is upside-down like a reflection so I'm counting it haha. I started this ages ago on the train back from YALC but had to put it down and for Reasons never picked it back up, so I'm going to start again.

Challenge Two - Get The Cup

You made it through the maze, but can you take the cup?

Make sure it’s not a Portkey and read a book that involves travel of any kind for your final challenge to take the cup and complete the Triwizard Tournament!
  • The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski - 384
    • I couldn't resist. At the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, each suitcase transports you to a different world, and so it fits this prompt perfectly.

Are you joining the Triwizard Tournament Readathon? 
Which school are you representing? 
What's on your TBR? 

05 November 2019

Ten Books That Give Off Autumn Vibes

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

Top Ten Tuesday
This week is Top Ten 
Books That Give Off Autumn Vibes
As I have said before, autumn is my favourite season. And these covers just give me such autumnal vibes, and not just because it's the season when I first read them. The final one I think is the ultimate Autumn Vibes cover, I'm sure you'll agree.

The Familiars by Stacey Halls
The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin
Widdershins by Helen Steadman

The Familiars by Stacey Halls   The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin   Widdershins by Helen Steadman

Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick
Sanctuary by V.V. James
The Witch's Kiss by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr

Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick   Sanctuary by V.V. James   The Witch's Kiss by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr

The Poppy Factory by Liz Trenow
The Devil's Poetry by Louise Cole
Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb

The Poppy Factory by Liz Trenow   The Devil's Poetry by Louise Cole   Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb

Witchborn by Nicholas Bowling
Witchborn by Nicholas Bowling

Which book gives you Autumn Vibes?