My posts may contain affiliate links, if you buy something through these links it doesn't cost you anything, but I may make a small commission which helps to keep this site up and running.
Furry-Paws.com: Your virtual dog could be the next champion!

20 April 2022

Book Review: A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland *AD gifted

I was provided with access to a free copy of A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland.

I have read the previous books in the series because I am a massive lover of hedgehogs, and I was very excited to see where it went next. This is probably the one book in the series that utterly surprised me. It took a turn and I wasn't prepared for the amount of tissues I would need.

Although I was provided with a free review copy, I already had the kindle edition pre-ordered.

A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

It's time for the wedding we've all been waiting for...

Life at Hedgehog Hollow is never dull, although Samantha hopes that the new year ahead will be a little less chaotic as she prepares to marry the love of her life, Josh. But disaster strikes when she checks the rescue centre's bank account after the festive season and discovers it has been emptied. Who would do such a thing, and why? With the future of Hedgehog Hollow now in jeopardy, planning a wedding has lost its shine.

Phoebe is desperate to escape the shadow of her family, infamously known for their attacks on Samantha's beloved rescue centre. Could the kindness of the Hedgehog Hollow team be the chance she needs for a fresh start, or will her family's secrets continue to drag her back?


Add to Goodreads button


Source: Review Copy | Purchase

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



I picked up A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow for the Happy Book prompt in Spring's Series Crackdown Readathon and... I wasn't expecting my soul to end up so utterly devastated by this book. It had me in tears so many times until well over half way through, and I'm so glad I knew from the previous books to have some hope.

Poor Phoebe. This book focuses massively on her. Before, she was a rather quiet side character who was easy to dismiss. After this book? Oh my goodness, that girl deserves the world. She deserves all of the kindness and good will and good luck and basically everything positive ever. What she has been through wrenched my heart apart, and she was so strong to pull herself out the other wise, especially with her dear little cousin in tow.

Honestly I felt like this book was all Phoebe's story. And I was fine with that. As much as I sobbed into my kindle and went through an entire box of tissues, it felt good to step away from how perfect Samantha's life can feel sometimes. I mean, Samantha has a lot of struggles herself but somehow it always felt a little rose tinted and she herself a little condescending. Phoebe's struggles are raw and painful and cut deep.

This book left me an emotional wreck. I loved the exploration of family, found family, friendship, sexuality. The themes of trust and love and acceptance filled my heart back up with joy after the battering it went through in the first half. I loved the light relief of the naming of the hedgehogs, especially when the names became quite silly.

I so badly wish that Hedgehog Hollow was real, I want to rent one of the holiday cottages and stare out at the meadow and up at the sky. I can't wait to see where the story goes next.

The whole series is on Kindle Unlimited, so if you have it absolutely check it out. And if you don't, it's still worth the money.

13 April 2022

Series Crackdown Spring 2022 - Recommendations

Series Crackdown is a 10-day long readathon where you attempt to read those unread series on your bookshelf, between 15th to 24th April. Or not, because it's a chill readathon where the aim of the game is fun over all else, so read whatever you want.

Join Team Chicks 🐣 with me or Team Bunnies 🐰 with Charlotte, and earn points by finishing books, joining reading sprints, and taking part in the photo challenge.

Sign up here and declare your team. Your sign up post doesn't need to be a blog post - it could be a link to your Instagram with your TBR or even a Tweet with your intent to join.

Series Crackdown Spring 2022

You can keep track of your progress on The Storygraph with the reading challenge, and you don't even have to follow the prompts - if you do, each book can count for two prompts. Heck, the books you read don't even have to be part of a series, although this is a cracking chance to finish those series you've started.

The Recommendations


Here are a few recommendations for each prompt. I've kept it simple with an Adult, Young Adult, and a few free options for each. All of the happy ones are romances, because who doesn't love a happy ending?

Just know that I absolutely wrecked my kindle recommendations for you guys, those free books took a lot to find. But also who doesn't love a free book? 

As a bonus, the free ones tend to be pretty short so could help you tick off the A Quick Read prompt. 


Book with a Baby

Adult

Dawn by Octavia Butler
Nurse's One-Night Baby Surprise by Louisa George
The Wartime Midwives by Daisy Styles

Young Adult

Countless by Karen Gregory
Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Trouble by Non Pratt

Free



Book with a Pastel Cover

Adult

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland
Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Reputation by Lex Croucher

Young Adult

XOXO by Axie Oh
Falling for the Competition by Jen Smith
The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

Free



A Happy Book

Adult

Rescue Me by Sarra Manning
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Home on a Yorkshire Farm by Jane Lovering

Young Adult

Heartstopper Volume One by Alice Oseman
Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan
She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott

Free

Loves Billionaires and Dogs by Gina Robinson (I'm sorry, this cover is everything)


Book with Flowers on the Cover

Adult

The Bridesmaid by Nina Manning
The Last Goddess by Kateřina Tučková
Professor Astor by Catharina Maura

Young Adult

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C Dao

Free




Series Crackdown Spring 2022 - Recommendations

So there we have it, a whole lot of recommendations across different genres and a whole host of free books with err... Covers of varying quality.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing my own Series Crackdown TBR, although I'm such a mood reader I don't know whether I'll manage to stick to it. Wish me luck!


What books would you recommend?

12 April 2022

Series Crackdown Spring 2022 Readathon - Prompts

Series Crackdown is a 10-day long readathon where you attempt to read those unread series on your bookshelf, between 15th to 24th April. Or not, because it's a chill readathon where the aim of the game is fun over all else, so read whatever you want.

I have lost count of the amount of times I have taken part in Series Crackdown over the years and this time... I'm helping to host wooo. It's so much fun, and the nightly reading sprints do so much for my wellbeing (and you know, actually reading instead of scrolling Twitter or Instagram or TikTok).

Join Team Chicks 🐣 with me or Team Bunnies 🐰 with Charlotte, and earn points by finishing books, joining reading sprints, and taking part in the photo challenge.

Sign up here and declare your team. Your sign up post doesn't need to be a blog post - it could be a link to your Instagram with your TBR or even a Tweet with your intent to join.

Series Crackdown Spring 2022

You can keep track of your progress on The Storygraph with the reading challenge, and you don't even have to follow the prompts - if you do, each book can count for two prompts. Heck, the books you read don't even have to be part of a series, although this is a cracking chance to finish those series you've started.

The Prompts


One book can count for two prompts, so four books over the course of the readathon will tick every box. Check out our first prompt, in honour of the readathon creator's new arrival.

  • Book with a Baby
  • Top of Your TBR
  • Book with a Pastel Cover
  • Free Choice
  • Book Read with Chocolate
  • A Happy Book
  • Book with Flowers on the Cover
  • A Quick Read

Series Crackdown Spring 2022 - Prompts


I'll be back tomorrow with some recommendations from all sorts of genres for the more specific prompts if you're stuck on what to read, or just need some inspiration for what to pull from your own shelves.


Will you be taking part?
🐣

11 April 2022

Book Review: The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh

I was provided with a free ebook of The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh ahead of the blog tour.

When I pick up a Eva Leigh historical romance, I know I'm in for a good time. The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes was not exception.

The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh book cover

A society darling

A rake never far from scandal

A deal that will change everything…

When Kieran Ransome’s latest antics result in scandal, his father issues an ultimatum: find a respectable wife or inherit nothing. But as one of London’s most notorious scoundrels, Kieran doesn’t know any ladies who fit the bill… or does he?

Celeste Kilburn is a society darling, beloved by influential members of the ton. But keeping a spotless reputation leaves little room for adventure and she longs to escape her gilded cage. When Kieran, her brother’s best friend, begs for her help Celeste makes a deal: she will introduce him to the right social circles if he’ll show her the scandalous side of London!

Amongst ‘proper’ garden parties and, equally enthralling, wild fêtes and sensual art salons an initial attraction builds to a more tempting desire. But when their midnight exploits are discovered, Celeste’s freedom and reputation are at risk and Kieran must save the woman he loves… respectable or not.

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Add to Goodreads button

Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Family, responsibility, society, respectability, love.

Step One: Make a pot of tea
Step Two: Prepare snacks
Step Three: Cosy up in a nest of blankets and cushions
Step Four: Open up The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh and get lost in the pages
Step Five: At that part of the third act scream at the book
Step Six: Settle in for the happy ending (this is a romance after all) 

Is it cliché nowadays to compare a Regency Romance to Bridgerton? Anyway, this historical romance is perfect for fans of the Bridgerton show. The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh is so much fun to read, and will absolutely put a smile on your face. There is scandal and passion and gossip and a plot to fool society that develops into love. 
 
I loved Celeste. I also loved her alter-ego Salome, and it was fun seeing her explore a different part of herself, a part she usually had to keep hidden. Celeste is so savvy and creative, and often she had me laughing out loud.

Kieran is such a sweetie at heart. He may play the rake, but when it comes to Celeste he pulls out all of the stops to make her happy. 

There are a few very steamy scenes, and the passion between Celeste and Kieran is incredible. I love how they make each other better. I loved the mutual respect between them and the love that grew in intensity as they spent more time together. 

I can't wait to see what this author comes out with next, and I hope it's one of the other brothers as was hinted at at the end of the book. I need that blue-stocking romance. 


08 April 2022

Book Beginnings: Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

 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 Only a Monster by Vanessa Len.

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len book cover


When Joan was six, she decided she was going to be Superman when she grew up.

I got Only a Monster by Vanessa Len in my January 2022 Fairyloot box.

This is a first line that put a smile on my face. When I was little, I was never sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, but Superman was probably something that crossed my mind - who wouldn't want to be a hero?

The cover is gorgeous, I have to say I much prefer the UK cover to the US one, so I'm glad that's what Fairyloot went with. My edition also has purple sprayed edges with black pattern, and the most gorgeous endpapers. I think I've spent as long looking at them as I have reading the actual book.

I can't wait to see where this story goes, and from just the first paragraph I know that it's written in a style that I'll love.

Joan looked at the screen properly. No signal. Was something blocking it? She squeezed the edges hard enough to hurt.

This is from page 56 in my finished hardback copy.

Oh boy, is this bit tense. We're right in the action, right at the biggest turning point in the story so far. It is exhilarating and heart-breaking and so tense.

I am actually about 100 pages further into the book myself, and I am well and truly invested. I love the writing the style, I love the world from Joan's eyes, I love the story. I am absolutely rooting for Joan.

Something about this almost reminds me of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab, and I can't figure out exactly what it is. I think it might be the timeless quality of the writing, which makes sense in a story all about time.

I am absolutely loving this book, and I'm excited to see where it goes.

About the Book

It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother's eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.

Then a Good Samaritan attempt gone wrong sends Joan spinning through time, and her life quickly begins to unravel. Her family aren't just eccentric: they're monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn't just a cute boy: he's a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.

As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She'll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .

. . . she is not the hero.

Dive deep into the world of Only a Monster, where the line between monster and hero is razor thin: hidden worlds dwell in the shadows, beautiful monsters with untold powers walk among humans, and secrets are the most powerful weapon of all.


Add Have You Seen Me? by Alexandrea Weis to Goodreads button



What are you reading this week?


06 April 2022

Book Review: Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

I got Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan in one of my Fairyloot boxes, and then I was lucky enough to get a copy of the audiobook from the publisher on NetGalley. I did a tandem read, switching between the book and the audio.

This book was perfect. It hit every button for me, I loved the drama and the action and the slow building of relationships. I can't wait for the next one.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan book cover


A captivating debut fantasy inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess.

A young woman's quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm, setting her on a dangerous path where those she loves are not the only ones at risk...

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the powerful Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when her magic flares and her existence is discovered, Xingyin is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.

Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to train in the Crown Prince's service, learning to master archery and magic, despite the passion which flames between her and the emperor's son.

To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies, across the earth and skies.

But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream -striking a dangerous bargain, where she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess begins an enchanting, romantic duology which weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic, of loss and sacrifice - where love vies with honour, dreams are fraught with betrayal, and hope emerges triumphant.


Add to Goodreads button



Source: Purchase | NetGalley

5 Word Review: Family, magic, power, loyalty, love.


I didn't want to put this book down, so whenever I had to close the actual book I picked up the audiobook. 

Xingyin goes through so so much. At times I was exhausted for her, she really doesn't get much of a break. I loved her drive, and how she constantly pushed herself, even as her heart was tested. I loved her loyalty and love for her mother, and how that was her motivation to keep going and pushing harder. Seeing Xingyin grow into herself and realise her power was wonderful.

I loved how the story weaved through political intrigue and dangerous battles. This book is such an adventure, and a real ride to read. There are plots everywhere and from the people you least expect it. One of the twists had me completely thrown and my head is still spinning.

The writing is beautiful, and I could (and did) read it all day. I loved the imagery and how the world came to life, I loved the danger and how the unpleasant things were not shied away from. The writing style is my favourite kind of style and I can't wait to see what Sue Lynn Tan writes next.

As an audiobook, it was amazing. I thought that Natalie Naudus did an excellent job narrating the story and I loved the emotion she put into the characters.

My Fairyloot edition was gorgeous. From the cover changes to the sprayed edges, I was blown away by the beauty of it.

This was an excellent start to the duology, and I loved how it wrapped up enough for me to be fine about the wait for the next one. Although as much as I am satisfied by the story on its own, I definitely want the next part!

I'm going to need more of you to read it though, because there are Things I Need To Talk About.




01 April 2022

Book Beginnings: The Five Queendoms: Scorpica by G. R. Macallister *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 The Five Queendoms: Scorpica by G. R. Macallister (AD - gifted).

The Five Queendoms: Scorpica by G. R. Macallister book cover


Across the Five Queendoms of the known world, on an average day, roughly a hundred children were born.

I was sent a free review copy of The Five Queendoms: Scorpica by G. R. Macallister.

This first line is excellent, and it leads on to an even better first paragraph. I absolutely love the writing style, I feel like this is going to be a high fantasy that I can't put down.

I like the simplicity of the cover, and the deep blue colour is stunning. I feel like there is a lot of imagery in the motif and I can't wait to see what hints it gives about the story.

I am excited to see where this story goes. I love reading about matriarchal worlds and the synopsis paired with this first line has me eager to read on.

But the very thing that made no difference to Adaj could now make all the difference in the world to Jehenit.

This is from page 56 in my finished paperback copy.

1

2

3

About the Book

In an ancient matriarchal world of magic, gods and warriors, the last girl – unbeknownst to the five Queendoms – has just been born. As time marches on, the scribes of Bastian find no answers in their history books. The farmers of Sestia sacrifice their crops to the gods. Paxim, the empire of trade and dealings has nothing to barter but boys and more boys. Arcan magic has no spells to remedy the Drought of Girls, as it soon becomes known. And finally, Scorpia, where every woman is a fighter, their commander, their Queen, has no more warriors to train. The lines of these once-great empires soon to die.

After centuries of peace, the ensuing struggle for dominance – and heirs – will bring the Five Queendoms to the eve of all-out war.

But the mysterious curse is linked to one of the last-born children, an orphaned all-magic girl, on the run from the Seekers of Daybreak Palace, who is unaware she has a claim to the Arcan throne…

Add Have You Seen Me? by Alexandrea Weis to Goodreads button


What are you reading this week?