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31 August 2020

NSFWathon Prompts and TBR

This is mostly a booktube readathon, and although I don't fancy filming myself I do fancy taking part. So here we go!

Not Safe For Workathon (or NSFWathon) runs from 1st September to 30th September, and is filled with truly filthy and funny prompts.

Not Safe For Workathon NSFWathon Prompts and TBR

NSFWathon Prompts

The prompts for NSFWathon made me spit out my tea when I first read them, but they really are excellent and imaginative prompts. I'm pretty sure I can hit each of them with mostly the books I already own anyway, which is even better!

G-Spot - mood read a book you think will hit the spot
Orgasm - listen to an audiobook
Golden Shower - read a book with gold on the cover
2 Girls, 1 Cup - read a book recommended by 2+ people
Popper - read a relaxing book that opens you up
Shooting Blanks - randomly select a book from your TBR shelf
Pussy - read a book that has an animal on the cover
Lube - read a book that's easy to glide through
Jaffa-Caking - read a book whilst eating a dessert (or your favourite food)
Clit - read an under-hyped book or one that was hard to find

My NSFWathon TBR

I honestly don't know what I'll be reading, except that it will be romance! I'm only going to count romance reads toward this readathon.

Expect a lot of Mills & Boon, probably more of the Dynastie series if I'm honest because I still have three bind ups to get through. I also picked up one of the Billionaire Boss bind ups so I think that might feature too.

There is one book that I know I will definitely be reading, romantic saga The Dover Cafe at War by Ginny Bell (AD - PR copy) it will probably fulfil the Lube prompt as I find sagas such an easy and comfortable read.

If you have any historical romance recommendations then PLEASE throw them at me. I definitely need some historical romance to go with this thoroughly autumnal weather. Also I need a book with an animal on the cover, so if you know a romance with an animal on the cover throw that at me too.

I am very excited for this readathon!

What are you planning to read in September?

24 August 2020

Book Review: Entangled by Eileen Wilkes

So basically I loved the first Dynasties bind up so much that I had to buy myself the next one. I like the power and the family drama, and all of the warm fuzzies that ensue. Also, the settings are lavish AF.

Dynasties: The Ashtons: Entangled by Eileen Wilkes cover

Cole Ashton has worked so hard to ensure his family’s vineyard is the valley’s premier boutique winery. 

But when graphic designer, and ex-flame, Daisy McCord turns up to work Cole’s thrown into turmoil. 

Both a ready to rekindle their passion but with what aims..?

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Amazon UK | Amazon US

Source: Purchase

5 Word Review: Family, friendship, lovers, regret, wine.

Dixie is such a fun character - she pushes boundaries and pushes Cole's buttons. She's flirty and sexy and she knows it, the kind of character to put a smile on everyone's face. She's also compassionate and creative, and I love when she was drawing or painting - it felt so real that I wonder if it's a passion of the authors too. It felt almost like I was a painter myself trying to capture someone.

Entangled has lots of nice little moments of quiet - where the characters and their feelings just are. It made this collision of passion even more intimate. I loved the scenes at the cabin, and I kind of want a cabin like that for myself. It sounds perfect.

Cole and Dixie do clash a lot, and at first I wasn't sure if it would pan out between them. Even though this is a romance so it's expected. I liked that they weren't so different after all, and the character development that brought them to that conclusion.

This book has made me really want to drink wine though. I want to sit and eat food paired with small glasses of wine. I want to curl up in front of a fire with my dog and a book and a glass of wine. I want to walk amongst vines and see the whole process. I feel like this will definitely be an ongoing theme for The Ashtons stories!

I can't wait to read more about The Ashtons.

She strolled. He wanted to get where he was going as efficiently as possible.

21 August 2020

Book Beginnings: FOXES by MA Bennett

 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 FOXES by MA Bennett.
FOXES by MA Bennett cover
Last night I dreamed I went to Longcross again.

If there is one thing that MA Bennett does extremely well, it is first lines. They're always the type to stop you in your tracks, make you pause, hit you hard. And if you've read STAGS or DOGS then this line will definitely hit your hard. And I love that it's a hark back to Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, a classic novel I have never read past the first chapter of. One day, I will read it all.

I feel like again, you don't have to have read STAGS or DOGS first to read FOXES, but it will be an all round better experience if you have. First you get to experience the majesty that is the story so far, but also you get to know a lot about Greer and the school environment at STAGS.

The cover is perfect - it fits so well with the previous books, I love the colour scheme and the subtle embossing, it's so striking.

You see what I mean about dinner with the upper classes being a battleground?
This is from page 56 in my finished paperback copy.

I am... No where near this part. I literally just started reading it this morning. But I'm curious as to how Greer ends up in this situation.

I am so excited to get properly in to this book, especially as I loved the previous two:

What are you reading this week?

19 August 2020

Q&A with Adalyn Grace

I got the chance to do a Q&A with the author before my copy of All the Stars and Teeth arrived, and now it's here (and having done the Q&A) I'm more excited than ever to read it.

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace: Pirates and Mermaids and Magic, oh my!

Q&A with Adalyn Grace

Q&A with Adalyn Grace

Can you describe All the Stars and Teeth in five words?

Magic, pirate, adventure, man-eating mermaids!

What inspired you to write the All the Stars and Teeth?

Amora, the main character of the story, was the initial inspiration for the book.

At the time, I knew nothing about the world or the magic; all I knew is that there was a girl on a ship who, more than anything, wanted an adventure.

Amora came into my head as this brazen and ruthless girl who didn’t abide by any of the typical gender roles that are so often forced upon young women. I wrote her during this time when Game of Thrones was airing, and there was all this nonsense about how Arya Stark was so amazing while Sansa was annoying—because Sansa loved the idea of dating and court politics, while Arya was drawn to swords and fighting. It was very clear that in the minds of way too many, girls who liked dresses and dating were considered weak and worthless. It was as though, to be considered powerful as a woman, who had to shun all things considered “girly.” It felt very much like you could only be one role or the other, and that the “girly” role was very much considered “less than.” Amora was created in response to this. I wanted her to be the epitome of both of these things that are often portrayed in the media as polar opposites. She loves weapons and being in the thick of action, but doesn’t need to give up her gowns and makeup. To be fierce, she doesn’t need to turn up her nose at the idea of courting. In fact, she loves dating and getting attention. I didn’t want Amora to be a “not like other girls” character. I wanted her to just be a girl—one who’s messy, who likes many different things and is strong in many different ways, and who is unapologetically herself.

Which of your characters would you most like to sit down and have a cuppa with?

I would absolutely choose Vataea, the mermaid character from the book! I think her stories would be incredible, and imagine I’d either be gasping in disbelief or laughing the entire time I was with her. Everyone else would certainly be fun to hang out with, but Vataea is just so fascinating and vibrant, and I know it’d be a great time.

What magic would you choose for yourself?

I’ve thought about this quite a bit, and I’d choose enchantment magic! Can you imagine never having to spend time to get ready? I could have my makeup and hair done in seconds! And as anyone with curly hair knows, that would be a miracle. I also think the magic is so versatile, and would love to have it in my daily life. I recently bought some wigs because I wanted to see what I’d look like with fun hair colors without the commitment. With enchantment magic, I’d never have to commit and could try something new every day! I just think it’d be so much fun and so convenient.

Are you a planner or a pantser?

I started out as a bit of a hybrid. When I wrote All the Stars and Teeth, I outlined the book three chapters ahead at a time, and gave myself quite a bit of room to still explore. Now, I’m a pretty thorough outliner. I really love the beat sheet method, and in particular enjoy using the one from Save the Cat. I think pantsing and freewriting can be a lot of fun, but it’s really hard for me to write without knowing where I’m going. If I did that, the whole book would probably just be dialogue and bad jokes

What is your favourite thing about writing?

Outlining and discovering the concept and plot of the book is actually my favorite stage of the process. Everything feels so exciting at this stage! You have this fresh new idea, and it’s flourishing in your head. That said, that idea goes nowhere unless you actually draft the book, which is my least favorite part! Hahah, I’d love it if the idea from my head could just appear on paper, and then I could spend some time polishing it in edits. But alas!

Finally, what are you working on now? What can we expect from you in the future?

I recently finished up the sequel, All the Tides of Fate, and I’m so excited to get to share the conclusion of Amora’s story with everyone! Beyond that, I’m working on a project that’s a bit darker, and more romantic. I can’t talk about them too much just yet, but I’m having so much fun with it and am dying to talk about it publicly. Hopefully I’ll be able to soon!

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace cover

Will you be reading All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace?

17 August 2020

Book Review: My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh

I found My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh pretty much by accident. I was just scanning Twitter, hoping to find a deal, when someone tweeted that it was only 99p on Kindle. I can't always read ebooks, but at 99p I bought it for a good brain day. And luckily for me, I hit one the next week and jumped right in.

My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh cover

Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, for once, to be noticed. Her solution: to create the perfect man, to act as her suitor, and help her catch his eye. Grace’s colleague, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway, is just the blank slate she requires.

To further his own research on English society, Sebastian agrees to let Grace transform him from a bespectacled, bookish academic into a dashing - albeit fake - rake. Between secret lessons on how to be a rogue and exaggerated public flirtations, Grace’s feelings for Sebastian grow from friendship into undeniable, inconvenient, real attraction. If only she hadn’t asked him to help her marry someone else...

Sebastian is in love with brilliant, beautiful Grace, but their bargain is complete, and she desires another. Yet when he’s faced with losing her forever, Sebastian will do whatever it takes to tell her the truth, even if it means risking his own future - and his heart.

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Amazon UK | Amazon US

Source: Purchase

5 Word Review: Society, academia, expectation, love, friendship.

I was so incredibly impressed with My Fake Rake. It took a lot of commonly used tropes and dropped them on their heads. It was clever and fun and I barely had a smile off my face the whole time I was reading.

Eva Leigh is one of those authors where I know (ish) what I'm getting in to before I pick up the book. I know I'll enjoy the story and the characters, and with it being romance I know there will be a happy ending. And I know that I utterly adore their writing style so I'm in for a real treat. I highlighted over 100 passages.

My Fake Rake is legitimately one of the most fun books I have read for a long time. It had me giddy with excitement, I got so caught up in Grace and Sebastian's relationship and the back and forth hesitation between them is perfection.

I loved the play on fake-dating. I loved the make-over scene and the coaching and the hilarity that ensues. My Fake Rake is cheesy and it doesn't pretend not to be. There's a bit of nostalgia to the writing and Grace did often remind me of Evelyn from The Mummy with her sharp quips.

I think one of my favourite things was how Grace and Mason's interactions kind of mirrored Seb and Grace's. It was cute, the realisations they came to. And I something I really enjoyed was the exploration of Seb's anxiousness, and how he worked within himself to try and overcome it.

I loved how much actual science there was in the story. These two inquisitive minds are so awkward and it's the cutest. And fascinating too, seeing how society judges them so differently for it. The anthropological lens of Seb was fun to read,

I can't wait to read more Union of the Rakes books.

A burr of anger flared within her, that a woman could not exist in this world on her own. She would always be subject to a man’s munificence, always be less than because she’d been born a female.

14 August 2020

Book Beginnings: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

 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 House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas.
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas cover
There was a wolf at the gallery door.
I am reading House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas for Series Crackdown. It is the team read (Go Team Beasts!) and fulfilling my Fantasy and Read With A Snack prompts.

Confession: I have read the first chapters of House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas before. I read a five chapter provided by the publisher for free on NetGalley back in February.

Confession: For the longest time I thought that this book was called Crescent City, and that's down to the cover. The series name is so prominent compared to the book title, and it's a bit weird. The cover though is stunning. I am in love with the intricate illustration, although the colour version on the inside end papers is my favourite rendition.

I like the first line. It's striking and really grabs your attention.
Going on a date with Connor in a few days didn't mean she had to behave.
This is from page 56 in my finished phardback copy.

This is pretty much as far as I read previously so I'm excited to see exactly what's going to happen next in this 800 page monster. Especially with what happens at the end of this chapter.

What are you reading this week?

12 August 2020

Book Review: Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn *AD Gifted

Zephyr sent me a free review copy of Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn. I also received a gorgeous hardback copy in an Illumicrate box.

I didn't know anything about this book when it first landed on my door step, but as I unwrapped it and read the synopsis I was intrigued. And this book blew my expectations out of the water. Or through a wall and into the water.

Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn cover, dark green with a small light green and gold hot air balloon in the top centre and black-gloved hands in the top corner holding silver thread that flows to the bottom and ends with a needle dripping blood. Centre bottom is a guillotine.

Camille, a revolutionary's daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine.

But their latest rescue is not what she seems.

The girl's no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?

In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she's forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.

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Source: NetGalley, Review Copy

5 Word Review: Revolution, escape, power, injustice, choices.

Content Warnings: Human experimentation, execution, violence, gore.

Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn could be the most fun heist novel I have ever read. Filled with fascinating history, a touch of the fantastical, and death-cheating disaster gays, it's a proper romp that I couldn't put down. It plays a lot with the history (it is fantasy after all) but it truly felt like the streets of Revolutionary Paris came to life.

I loved the romance between Camille and Ada, and I don't think I could pick between them if I had to decide on a favourite. I love Camille's determination and Ada's scientific mind. I loved the soft scenes and romantic thoughts from them, even as they went through so much.

The pace is incredible. This book is truly unputdownable, a real page-turner. I found that I read it very quickly, almost in a single sitting. It didn't feel like over 400 pages, and I was a bit shocked to find I'd reached the end. I really do need more and can't wait to see what happens next. If it's even the tiniest bit as exhilarating I know I will love it.

I do have to admit that at times the story made me hungry. Whether they were in a cafe drinking wine or throwing chunks of stale bread at each other, I somehow felt the hunger of the characters.

If you loved the narrow streets of Ketterdam in Six of Crows you will love the atmospheric streets of Paris in Dangerous Remedy.