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21 October 2020

Book Review: Hit Me With Your Best Scot by Suzanne Enoch

St Martins Press sent me a free NetGalley copy of Hit Me With Your Best Scot by Suzanne Enoch.

The third in the Wild Wicked Highlanders series, Hit Me With Your Best Scot can be read as a standalone. But believe me, once you are introduced to the MacTaggert's you will want to know the story behind them all.

This is definitely a book for your pre-order radar.

Hit Me With Your Best Scot by Suzanne Enoch cover

The MacTaggert brothers have one task:

Find English brides or lose their land!

Coll MacTaggert, Viscount Glendarril, is a big, brawny Highlander who doesn’t like being told what to do - not even by his exasperated English mother who is determined to see her eldest son wedded and bedded. However, when he comes to the rescue of an irresistibly beautiful woman, Coll discovers that he may have found his perfect match...

The challenge isn’t that Persephone Jones is famous, wealthy, independent, and smarter than anyone he knows. The problem is that she is not interested in marrying any man - especially not a hot-headed Scot - even if he is the only man who seems to understand who she really is even when she’s not sure herself. When Coll learns that Persephone is actually a lady-in-hiding and someone is willing to kill her for what she stands to inherit...Well, Coll has never been one to turn down a fight.

When hearts are involved, nothing comes between a Highlander and his lady.


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Source: Review Copy

5 Word Review: Love, responsibility, scandal, family, secrets.


Earlier this year I got the chance to read Scot Under The Covers, the second of the Wild Wicked Highlanders books. While I have somehow still not got around to read the first book, It's Getting Scot In Here, I jumped at the chance to read the third book.

There is something about the MacTaggert's that draws you in like a magnet. They're wild and witty and I just want to swoon at the lot of them. They're big and brawny and fiercely loyal, and they remind of kittens almost in how caring and gentle they can be. 

I liked how this story played around with the fact that Persephone was an actress and Coll pretty much always puts on a dumb highlander act. It was clever and funny to watch play out, and I love how both of them defied expectations. It was fantastic fun. There are secrets and hidden identities and a would-be murderer hiding away, and it all makes for a pretty exhilarating read.

If you're looking for a masquerade ball to tick off for Romance Book Bingo, then look no further, as Hit Me With Your Best Scot has a pretty tense and exciting one near the end.

Now that I know Coll and Aden's stories in full, I can't wait to go back and read about Niall, even if I know the gist of what happens from the two books that I have read. Suzanne Enoch is definitely a romance author to look out for if you love passion that make you want to swoon.

20 October 2020

Ten Books I Read Because I Was Recommended Them

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 
Most Recent Books I’ve Read Because Someone Recommended Them
I haven't read much recently, it turns out. I'm going to blame the on-going world situation and the fact that I've mostly been rereading the same few books over and over.

I had to go back over an entire year to make this list up. I think only one of these books wasn't quite my cup of tea, the rest of them were 4 stars or above!
  • The Matchmaker and the Duke by Ann Lethbridge
  • The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi
  • House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas
  • Scythe by Neal Shuserman
  • Blood & Sand by CV Wyck
  • The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • Wilder Girls by Rory Power
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon 
  • Scot Under the Covers by Suzanne Enoch
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
What book would you recommend?

19 October 2020

Book Review: The Matchmaker And The Duke by Ann Lethbridge

I recently discovered the Literally Gagging podcast, and one of the books they recently covered was The Matchmaker And The Duke by Ann Lethbridge. It sounded excellent and I bought it because I am easily led and have no self control. 

The Matchmaker And The Duke by Ann Lethbridge Mills & Boon cover

Is it ever too late

… to marry a duke?

Sought-after matchmaker Amelia Durant wants the best for her three young ladies as they make their debut. So when the highly elusive but very eligible Duke of Stone shows an interest, she is shocked. Could the handsome devil who dashed her young hopes all those years ago be a changed man? And is he really interested in a debutante as a wife… Or is it Amelia herself who has sent His Grace’s pulse skyrocketing?

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Source: Purchase

5 Word Review: Love, responsibility, respectability, passion, wealth. 


I love a good historical romance, and this one was definitely good.

I liked the contrast between cynical Amelia and her two romantic young charges. I loved the energy it brought to every situation and I felt the excitement of the two girls. I loved the heightened drama of it all, and the will-they-won't-they little dramas.

Throughout the entirety of this book, in my head Stone was Matthew Macfadyen. Every line he spoke was that voice in my head. Every time I pictured him, guess who I'd see. And that's definitely not a complaint. Even the story at times, and particularly Stone's attitude, reminded me of Pride & Prejudice.


I loved build up between Stone and Amelia, the passion between them. The scenes where they came together alone were simmering away and the sex scenes were very steamy.

One little thing that I noticed were that there were quite a few typos. Usually these aren't something I'd pick up, but I have only been reading finished copies recently rather than review copies so I'm out of the ignore-typos mindset. It was jarring and took me out of the story, which was a shame as I otherwise readily enjoyed it.

Overall this was an excellent read and one I would read again. It was great fun and I loved the passion.  Amelia was an excellent character and I'd happily read more about her life. I'd definitely be interested in a prequel about her own disastrous season.


Men did as they pleased and women trod warily. It wasn't fair, but it was the way of the world.

16 October 2020

Book Beginnings: Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly *AD Gifted

 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 Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly *AD Gifted.

Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly cover


Once upon long ago, always and evermore, a girl rode into the Dark Wood. 

I was sent a free copy of Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly ahead of the blog tour hosted by Kaleidoscopic Book Tours. 

Isn't that beautifully lyrical? I love it, it's an excellent first line. It harks back to fairytales, and as a reimagining of Snow White I think it's a perfect way to start.

I like the cover, the shattered apple. I think it's very clever imagery.

The spider started spinning, just as fast as he could.

This is from page 56 in my finished copy.

This part is right in the action - Poisoned is not holding back and the pace is incredible.


What are you reading this week?
What is your favourite fairytale retelling?

11 October 2020

Six Characters I'd be Scared to Meet

I'm joining in with Steph at A Little But A Lot's Six for Sunday feature! It's a weekly feature that gets you thinking and sharing.

The theme this month is Pumpkin Spice Goodness and this week the prompt is Characters You’d be Scared to Meet. I'm a right wimp, so this was easy.


Six For Sunday: Six Characters I'd be Scared to Meet


Six Characters I'd be Scared to Meet


Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'd die.

Faraday from Scythe by Neal Shusterman
I'm not ready to die, OK?

Mary from Say Her Name by Juno Dawson
Uhh... See above? No thank you.

Irina from Fashionistas: Irina by Sarra Manning
She'd chew me up and spit me right now.

Henry from STAGS by MA Bennett
I'd be sport. Nope.

The Trees from Fir by Sharon Gosling
They have power. And I'm afraid.


Which characters would you be scared to meet?


10 October 2020

The Dover Cafe at War by Ginny Bell *AD - Gifted

Zaffre sent me a free finished copy of The Dover Cafe at War by Ginny Bell.

This book is one of the Memory Lane Club books - they're  heart-warming and moving stories about women’s lives, featuring wartime, family and romance. And The Dover Cafe at War by Ginny Bell certainly ticked every one of these boxes.

It's a bit of a tonic of a book. 

The Dover Cafe at War by Ginny Bell Memory Lane Club cover

Dover, 1939

At the heart of Market Square lies Castle's Café, run by the formidable Nellie Castle and her six children.

Since the scandalous birth of her son ten years ago, Marianne, Nellie's eldest daughter, has preferred to stay in the kitchen, hidden away from the scrutiny of the town gossips. Overcome with shame, she has never revealed the identity of Donny's father - not even to her own mother.

But with World War II just around the corner, soon Marianne's past catches up with her. And suddenly the lives of the Castle family become a lot more complicated.

Will the secrets from her past destroy their future? 


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Source: Review Copy

5 Word Review: Family, secrets, betrayal, blame, love.


This book was very much like a tonic to read - it had strong themes of family and love and belonging, and I couldn't have enjoyed reading it more.

Marianne is excellent - she's an excellent mother, daughter, sister, and cook. She's had a hard time of it growing up and some small lies she once told are now bigger than she could have imagines and out of control.

Most of the characters are excellent and lovely people, but there are a couple truly despicable ones that it becomes easy to hate. 

As much as The Dover Cafe at War has a pretty fraught setting as war breaks out and overtakes the lives of everyone around, there is something fantastically soft about the story. There are moments that make you stop and sigh and forget about the bigger picture.

This book was brilliant, and I cannot wait to read more about the characters. I'm torn between wanting the next book to be about the Castle's or Marianne's friends!

09 October 2020

Book Begininngs: Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

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 Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis.

Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis cover

Transcript of interview with Nolan Nox, Director of Ninghtjar, for Scream Screen magazine (Nightjar twentieth-anniversary special feature) 

I got Harrow Lake in a Wildest Dreams book box earlier this year, and I've been saving it for spooky season. I utterly adore YA Horror, but it's not something that is easy to find.

Harrow Lake starts with a transcript of an interview, which I thought was quite clever. It really gives you an idea about Lola's dad's personality.

I am intrigued and want to read more.

No. I can't be seen wearing my absentee mom's old clothes while Nolan lies attached to machines back in New York.

This is from page 56 in my finished copy. Which also has excellent bright yellow sprayed edges.

The mystery in this book is excellent and I am loving the very slow chill that is building. It's so subtle  yet intense that it makes me stop and think and I love it.


What are you reading this week?
Do you ever read horror?

08 October 2020

Blog Tour: Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble *AD - Gifted


I was sent a free finished copy of Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble: Magical Poems chosen by Paul Cookson, Illustrated by Eilidh Muldoon ahead of the blog tour.

Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble cover

Can you hear the distant dragon's rumble of thunder? And smell the sweet swampy aroma of the ogre? Can you taste the tangy tarantula tarts? And see the girl who's really a wizard? From magic carpets and wands to unicorns, potions, creams and lotions, Paul Cookson's brewing a spell of fantastically magic poems.

On this tattered magic carpet
You can choose your destination
For nothing's quite as magical
As your imagination

Beautifully illustrated by Eilidh Muldoon, this enchanting anthology brings together work from a range of classic, established and rising poets. Whether you're in the mood for a haunting or a spell gone wrong, this collection of mesmerising poems will have you bewitched from beginning to end!

Poets include: William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Benjamin Zephaniah, John Agard, Valerie Bloom, Matt Goodfellow, Joshua Seigal and A.F. Harrold.

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Source: Review Copy

5 Word Review: Magic, mystery, witches, wonder, poetry.


I am a massive fan of poetry, especially curated collections like this that bring together so many different styles and voices. I liked the mix of old and modern, and how there were modern spins on classics like Song of the Witches from Macbeth. It felt very balanced.

This is a great wee book for youngsters trying out poetry for the first time. My nephew enjoyed coming up with tunes and trying to sing some of them like songs. And anything that makes reading fun is a fantastic thing.

This is an easy collection to pick up and flick through. There are poems to make you laugh and poems to make you think.

This is a gorgeous little book, and it feels very special. The illustrations are beautiful and creative takes on the poems they sit by, and it feels very cohesive. 

 

07 October 2020

Small Acts of Self-Care

It's easy to fall into the facemasks and bath bombs and luxury beauty products end of self-care. But it doesn't have to be spending money to feel better, and it shouldn't be, because that is an unhealthy habit to get in to.

Now I love my bathbombs and facemasks, they're something I try to make time for every week. But I know that they're a luxury and not what self care should be, and I try to tie them in with other things like alone time and reading.

Small Acts of Self-Care


Small Acts of Self-Care


These are my favourite small and inexpensive things to do as self-care, and I often wrap them all up together and really lean into the mindfulness of it all.


A Drink Outside

Make yourself a hot drink, wrap up warm, and step outside. This one admittedly works a lot better when the weather is nice, but I even made time myself this morning to do it when the sun had barely risen, there was a slight drizzle in the air, and the wind had a definite chill.

Fresh cold air on your face, a hot drink warming you from the inside, it feels amazing. At night with the stars above it's even more special.

Time: 15 Minutes.


Fresh Sheets

Is there a better feeling than crawling into fresh sheets? Yes, you have to wrestle with your bedding for ten or fifteen minutes first, but when you can relax in that freshly washed heaven.

Yes, I love my bed. And I love it even more with freshly washed sheets.

Time: 15 Minutes.


Read A Book

As a bookworm, it is easy for me to turn to reading as an act of selfcare. I particularly love Mills & Boon books for sheer escapism, and Romance as a genre works so well at relaxing me and giving me the warm fuzzies. Reading isn't expensive either, there are free books available from so many places.

A 2009 study from the University of Sussex found that reading for as little as six minutes can reduce stress, so imagine what a whole half hour will do.

Time: 30 Minutes.


Have an Early Night

Cancel your plans for the evening and get yourself to bed an hour earlier. Turn off your phone, step away from the screens, and just let yourself rest and be.

Breath slowly and evenly, let yourself be aware of your body, then hopefully drift off. Even when I am suffering from medication induced insomnia, the act of resting even when I can't sleep helps a lot.

Time: 1 Hour (but it's worth it).


What are your small acts of self-care?


06 October 2020

Clearing Out My Bookish Wishlist

It has been a good long while since I cleared out my Amazon Bookish Wishlist. So I think it's time I gave it another go, because I'm sure there are things I can get rid of and things I've already acquired.

Clearing Out My Bookish Wishlist

On My Wishlist

First I need to remind myself of what is already on there, and how many there are. Then I can work on cutting it down to something more realistic!
  1. The Elder Scrolls: The Official Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel
  2. Pandora's Breeches by Patricia Fara 
  3. Northumberland and Scottish Borders Outstanding Circular Walk by Dennis & Jan Kelsall
  4. Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce
  5. Walking in the North Pennines by Paddy Dillon
  6. Durham, North Pennines and Tyne and Wear Outstanding Circular Walks by Brian Conduit
  7. I Lie in Wait by Amanda Brittany
  8. The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst
  9. Thorn by Intisar Khanan
  10. The Little Book of Cottagecore by Emily Kent
  11. Botanical Folk Tales by Lisa Schneidau
  12. Daughters of a Nation Anthology by Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart
  13. Lady Killers by Tori Telfer
  14. Song of Blood & Stone by L Penelope
  15. Jane Eyre: Chiltern Edition by Charlotte Bronte
  16. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
  17. The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala
  18. The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte
  19. Dynasties: The Barones by Leanne Banks, Caroline Cross, Sheri White-Feather 
  20. Secrets of a Teenage Heiress by Katy Birchall
  21. The Garden by Sean Michael Wilson, Fumio Obata
  22. The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
  23. A Walkers Guide to the History of Northumberland by Andrew Lowe
  24. The Northumbrians: A New History by Dan Jackson
  25. Murderous Contagion by Mary Dobson
  26. Uncrowned Queen by Nicola Tallis
  27. Royal Witches by Gemma Hollman
  28. Dead Famous by Greg Jenner
  29. Goldilocks by Laura Lam
  30. The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston
  31. Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
  32. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill
  33. Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
  34. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  35. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
  36. Girls Save the World in This One by Ash Parsons
  37. Caramel Hearts by E.R. Murray
  38. What Red Was by Rosie Price
  39. The Furies by Katie Lowe
  40. The Babysitters Coven by Kate M. Williams
  41. The Dead Girls Club by Damien Ange Walters
  42. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
  43. The Season by Kristen Richardson
  44. The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin
  45. Walk by Sholto Radford
  46. Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon
  47. Rival Queens by Kate Williams 
  48. Venus and Aphrodite by Bettany Hughes
  49. Daughters of the Winter Queen by Nancy Goldstone
  50. Moonstruck Volume 1 by Grace Ellis, Shae Beagle
  51. Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill
  52. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
  53. War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi
  54. The Severed Moon by Leigh Bardugo
  55. Avelynn by Marissa Campbell
  56. Doreen by Ilana Manaster
  57. The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie
  58. The Favourite by Ophelia Field 

So it looks like I have some definite themes there. But there are over 50 and that is far too many. Time to get harsh, and I'm aiming to cut it down to around 30. This is going to be tough.

Already Bought

I bought Dread Nation by Justina Ireland ages ago, so I don't really know what it's still doing on there. 

When I was first looking to complete my Mills & Boon Dynasties collection, Dynasties: The Barones by Leanne Banks, Caroline Cross, Sheri White-Feather was out of print. I have since been able to find a copy so this is off the list too.

I have The Tea Planter's Daughter by Janet MacLeod Trotter. Although I can't really read ebooks often, I know I can save this one for when I can. Also, I've read it before.

I actually ended up pre-ordering The Severed Moon by Leigh Bardugo and The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston after theywent on my wishlist, so it's time for those ones to go too.

From Subscription Boxes

I've been really good at guessing the books for subscription boxes lately, so I don't have to remove any of these from my list! How excellent.

Gifts and Giveaways

None, this time! I think that's more due to me not adding things to my wishlist as much recently as I have won a giveaway of a book that would have been on here if I had.

Changed My Mind

I read a sample of What Red Was by Rosie Price and decided it just wasn't for me. I'm a little gutted as I have heard the author talk about it and thought it would be right up my street, but I just couldn't get along with the writing style.

As much as I adore the story I don't really need Jane Eyre: Chiltern Edition by Charlotte Bronte. I have the book already (although it's an ancient paperback and missing some pages) and I have two audiobook renditions and an abridged version of the story too.

I downloaded an app called View Ranger at the beginning of the year, and it's got so many routes already that I don't really need the walking guides anymore. The maps and directions are so detailed that I can remove Northumberland and Scottish Borders Outstanding Circular Walks by Dennis & Jan Kelsall, Walking in the North Pennines by Paddy Dillon, and Durham, North Pennines and Tyne and Wear Outstanding Circular Walks by Brian Conduit. And while A Walkers Guide to the History of Northumberland by Andrew Lowe sounds absolutely fascinating, I'm going to leave it for now.

For a long time both Avelynn by Marissa Campbell and Doreen by Ilana Manaster have been on my list. As much as the synopsis for both of them is very much up my street, I haven't bought them. They were even on my last wishlist clearout post and I kept them, but clearly I'm not going to actually buy them.

As much as I still very much want to read I Lie in Wait by Amanda Brittany, The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst, The Little Book of Cottagecore by Emily Kent, and The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, my need isn't so urgent that they should be on my wishlist.

I haven't even read the first book, so quite why Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard is on my wishlist I'm not sure.

I've kind of lost interest in The Favourite by Ophelia Field, Caramel Hearts by E.R. Murray, City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, Venus and Aphrodite by Bettany Hughes, Girls Save the World in This One by Ash Parsons, and Song of Blood & Stone by L Penelope. All four are still on my Goodreads to read shelf though should I change my mind again.

What's Left?

I didn't quite manage to get it down to just 30, but I did cut it down quite a lot. I'm pleased with myself, and I know that the books left on my bookish wishlist are ones that I really want to read.

  1. The Elder Scrolls: The Official Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel
  2. Pandora's Breeches by Patricia Fara 
  3. Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce
  4. Thorn by Intisar Khanan
  5. Botanical Folk Tales by Lisa Schneidau
  6. Daughters of a Nation Anthology by Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart
  7. Lady Killers - Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer
  8. The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala
  9. The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte
  10. Secrets of a Teenage Heiress by Katy Birchall
  11. The Garden by Sean Michael Wilson, Fumio Obata
  12. The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
  13. The Northumbrians: A New History by Dan Jackson
  14. Murderous Contagion by Mary Dobson
  15. Uncrowned Queen by Nicola Tallis
  16. Royal Witches by Gemma Hollman
  17. Dead Famous by Greg Jenner
  18. Goldilocks by Laura Lam
  19. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill
  20. Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
  21. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
  22. The Furies by Katie Lowe
  23. The Babysitters Coven by Kate M. Williams
  24. The Dead Girls Club by Damien Ange Walters
  25. The Season by Kristen Richardson
  26. The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin
  27. Walk by Sholto Radford
  28. Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon
  29. Rival Queens by Kate Williams 
  30. Daughters of the Winter Queen by Nancy Goldstone
  31. Moonstruck Volume 1 by Grace Ellis, Shae Beagle
  32. Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill
  33. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
  34. War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi
  35. The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

Is there anything on my wishlist you would recommend?


05 October 2020

Book Review: The Earl's Villa Rosa Bride by Jessica Gilmore

I was scrolling my phone, bored in a hospital waiting room, when I found The Earl's Villa Rosa Bride by Jessica Gilmores as a free read on the Mills & Boon website. I clicked straight on and read my anxiety away.

The Earl's Villa Rosa Bride by Jessica Gilmore Mills & Boon cover

Theo Willoughby might be the Earl of Navenby but he’s not interested in being an Earl or running his family estate.

Theo just wants to run his multi-million-pound business, but that means spending most of his time with his beautiful PA Elisaveta Marlowe. And that’s an issue, because he’s already engaged!

His impending marriage may be one of convenience, but he’d never do anything to hurt his fiancée, yet the closer he gets to his wedding, the harder Elisaveta is to resist...

 Read for Free 

Source: Free

5 Word Review: Family, expectation, wealth, responsibility, love.


The Earl's Villa Rosa Bride by Jessica Gilmore is a very quick read, only twenty relatively short chapters long, and yet I loved it - the story and characters are well fleshed out. It helped me to get lost.

I have to say that at first I was kind of on the fence about this one, but as the story progressed I ended up fully behind the characters. I'm not a fan of cheating storylines so I was glad that this story largely avoided that, despite the powerful lusting between Theo and Elisaveta. I did feel so sorry for Madeleine though, and I would love to know her story.

This story is romantic and has such a sweet ending. I'd say it definitely falls into the True Love category of Mills & Boon books, a very soft romance with lots of longing and sighing and imaginings but very little steamy action. It's rather heartwarming.

I will absolutely be seeking out more of Jessica Gilmore's writing, after this alone I am definitely a fan.


Every word fell into Elisaveta’s mind and heart like rain on a thirsty plant and she gulped them in with a need she hadn’t realised was so desperate and strong.

04 October 2020

Six Characters I'd Love to Have Afternoon Tea With

I'm joining in with Steph at A Little But A Lot's Six for Sunday feature! It's a weekly feature that gets you thinking and sharing. I've been meaning to take part for so long and now I'm finally jumping in.

The theme this month is Pumpkin Spice Goodness and this week the prompt is Characters/Authors You’d Like To Go For Coffee With. Naturally, I changed it to afternoon tea, because you know. Tea.


Six Characters I'd Love to Have Afternoon Tea With Six For Sunday

Six Characters I'd Love to
Have Afternoon Tea With


Bryce Quinlan from House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas
She's amazing and I just want to meet her. I reckon she'd be great craic. And also that could lead to the possibility of meeting Hunt.

Anna Taylor from Holy Island by LJ Ross
I would just sit, fascinated, letting her talk. I'd ask her her speculations about ancient sites and let her talk. That's it.

Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
Oh, Cassandra. I just want to know that you're doing okay and give you a treat. I think she'd be a genuinely lovely person to be around.

Hadley Harrow from Fashionistas: Hadley by Sarra Manning
I want to give Hadley a hug and just be around her amazing energy. Hopefully she'd share some self-care secrets.

Cara Cooper from The Year After You by Nina de Pass
I think Cara is excellent and not gonna lie mostly I'd like to meet her to find out what happens next. I loved The Year After You.

Sorrow Ventaxis from State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury
I want to see all of her pretty dresses and remind her that she is loved and amazing and worthy.


Which characters would you invite to afternoon tea?


03 October 2020

Books I Plan to Reread this Autumn

I am a huge rereader of books. I love the comfort and familiarity of picking up a book I already know and seeing what else I get from it - sometimes it feels like no matter how many times I read a book I always take away something new.

With the world as it is, honestly all I really want to do is reread books right now. I can't really concentrate on anything new.

Books I Plan to Reread this Autumn


Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

I absolutely loved this book as a teen. It spread through a lot of my friendship group as a book we all loved, and we picked up slang and inside jokes from it. Now that it's hopefully going to be a Netflix film I thought it was the perfect time to jump back in. I'm looking forward to the nostalgia.


House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

I know I only read this book a couple of weeks ago, but already I want to delve back in for a reread. It also had such a perfectly autumnal mood to the writing. I still can't put into words how much I enjoyed this book, so I'm hoping a second read will prompt me to finally be able to write my review!


Monster by CJ Skuse

I am a huge fan of horror as a genre, and this book is so so good. I can't understand why it is overlooked so much because it is excellent and very cleverly written. I love the exploration of what a monster is and how dark the book gets.


Fashionistas: Hadley by Sarra Manning

Basically the whole Fashionistas series is my ultimate self-care read, but right now I really need Hadley's special brand of extravagant pampering. I love the ups and down of the series and because I've read it so many times I know what I'm in for. 


I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

This book is my all time favourite, and the book I would recommend everyone to read. It's kind of quaint and a story very much about nothing and everything all at once. It explored family and love and expectation, and I think it's beautiful. I love the softness, and I need that right now.


What's on your Autumn TBR?



02 October 2020

Book Beginnings: The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi

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 The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi.

The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi cover


Salt for pride. Mustard seed for lies. Barley for curses. 

This book was recommended to me by Charlotte at Charlotte, Somewhere, and she she's a pretty good judge of books and what I will like. So I ordered it right away and I am excited to start it.

Before we even get to these first lines, there is an index of sorts of the foods that would be eaten for each sin, and it is pretty fascinating. I'm afraid there would be a bit of a feast for me.

But those first lines? They gripped me straight away and before I knew it I was three chapters in and my tea was growing cold.

And look at the cover. It's beautiful. I love the little intricacies and how it immediately gives you a feel for the setting. And as you delve in to the story, the design on the front makes you go "ah!" as you realise the significance of the foods represented.

The jug hits the floor, fallen from her hand. I turn to it, then her. She is badly drunk. Or mayhap I am.

This is from page 56 in my finished copy.

Is it weird that this book is making me hungry? Like, seriously hungry. A lot of the scenes where they are doing the sin eating are actually quite vile. And yet...

I am a little surprised by how much I am enjoying this book. It's historical, set in an Elizabethan-era world, and I'm finding everything so easy to picture. I love the little religious and political snippets that flesh out the world as I read too.


What are you reading this week?


01 October 2020

Five Blogtober Post Ideas

It's that time of year again where Bloggers seemingly want to punish themselves and set out to post every day in October. Yep, it's Blogtober.

I have taken part in Blogtober a few times over the fifteen or so years I've been blogging, and it is a slog. Inspiration dries up quickly and motivation dies quickly. So today I'm sharing five blog post ideas prompts from which you can craft a multitude of posts yourself.

Five Blogtober Post Ideas, blogging ideas, blog post.


Five Blogtober Post Ideas

Share the Love

Share a round-up of your favourite posts from other bloggers, or some small crafters you've found who you've fallen in love with. Maybe you bought yourself a new cosy jumper or a cute t-shirt or a rocking new pair of boots.

Have you found some Instagram accounts that are absolute goals? Maybe you particularly love a certain aesthetic that you wish you could pull off yourself.

Perhaps you've discovered a podcast sharing creepy stories that you need to share with the world (and yes, that will be me).


Get Cooking

Invent your own recipe or share an old favourite that warms you up when the weather is chilly.

Get creative with it and pair snacks and drinks with books, create an atmosphere with what you eat. Create a movie-night spread and eat all of the food, then review the film.

Make a decadent hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream and sprinkles in a novelty mug.


Keep it Cosy

Do a tour of your space, where you blog or read or relax. Share your decorations and how you keep it cosy. Show off your nest of cushions and blankets, or your newly rearranged bookshelves.

I'm a sucker for buying all of the bedding ever, and I have a set specially for every season.


Embrace the Spooky Season

Go all out and welcome the spirit of Hallowe'en to your space. Share your favourite Hallowe'en traditions, the witchy books you've read, the films that give you thrills. Do you have a favourite fancy-dress?

It only happens once a year so why not fully embrace it?


To Do List

Whether it's places you want to go, an Autumn Bucket List, or even the books you want to read, lists are a great way of sharing your plans and keeping yourself accountable.

Maybe you have grand plans for binge-watching shows as the evenings draw in or you have a Disney marathon lined up.



Are you taking part in Blogtober?
What would you post?