Monday, 28 September 2020

Book Thoughts! The Switch, The Wright Brother, and The Wrong Prince Charming


Some bookish thoughts on a trio of contemporary / contemporary romance reads!

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

Description:
Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena's tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it's time they swapped places...


When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen's house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She'd like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn't offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen's romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile, Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another's shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn't as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect - and distractingly handsome - school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?

My Thoughts:
This book brought nothing but pure joy from beginning to end! I seriously loved it, it was so precious! It was heartfelt, effortlessly hilarious, and had a cast of wonderful characters that will stay with me for a long time... Especially Eileen, Leena's 79 year old grandma who absolutely rocks! 
The book captures rural village life beautifully, along side the hussle and bussle of London. The author tackles unconventional friendships, complicated family dynamics and major life events with care and wit resulting in me cackling like a crazy person every other chapter while simultaneously poking me in the feels, repeatedly. 

The Switch has what I'd class as background romance but it isn't really a romance book... It's a book about relationships in all the forms they come. A book about finding yourself, being true to yourself and the bonds you have with other people. (But it does come with a lovely happy ever after, so don't fear!)

I listened to The Switch on audiobook and I don't think I could read it any other way now... The narrators (one for Eileen, one for Leena) did a knockout job of bringing Leena and Eileen to life, not to mention the other characters, and I highly recommend taking it in in this format for an extra helping of wonderful from this wonderfully special book. 

Narrators: Alison Steadman and Daisy Edgar-Jones
Duration: 10hrs 12min

The Wright Brother by KA Linde

Description:
I'd dated his brother.
He didn’t remember and I wish I could forget.
I may have sworn off the Wright family a long time ago. But when I returned home, Jensen Wright crashed into my life with the confidence of a billionaire CEO and the sex appeal of a god. Even I couldn’t resist our charged chemistry, or the way he fit into my life like a missing puzzle piece.
Too bad he’d forgotten the one thing that could destroy us.
Because Jensen Wright doesn’t share. Not with anyone. And if his brother finds out, this could all go down in flames.
When it all was said and done, was he the Wright brother?

My Thoughts:
This was my first contemporary romance from KA Linde and it won't be my last! The Wright Brother was fun, sexy and had the right blend of emotional highs and lows to keep me flipping the pages.

The beginning was a bit rocky for me as Emery breaks up with her long-term partner in chapter one then within the space of a week (less than?) she was falling for Jensen but I got over it quickly for her long-term partner was a cheating scumbag and no loss. But then I also had to get over the fact that Emery had been in a serious relationship with Jensen's brother (back in high school) and that was harder for... ugh, family sharing! (I don't care that it's been 10 years. That is weird.) However, I got over it, again, for Jensen and Emery's chemistry was awesome.
Once I'd shaken off the ick, I was all in and happy as a clam while reading about the messed-up Wright family and getting super excited for all the future books that I haven't read yet.

If you're looking for a fun, flirty, sexy, little-bit angsty contemporary romp then I'd recommend this one!

The Wrong Prince Charming by Holly Renee


Description:
Every little girl dreams of being swept off her feet by a charming Prince.
But my life was no fairy tale.
And in this kingdom called college, the rules went out the window.
I’d known golden boy, Theo Hunt, was the one for me since we were kids. My heart was his for the taking, but I had become nothing more than the MVP of the campus king’s friend-zone.
Easton Cole was a storm I couldn’t have predicted. He knocked me off my feet and stole my heart. But he was off-limits. Not only was he Theo’s frat brother but he was the teacher’s assistant in English 101 and I was acing every test.
My heart was torn, my feelings tangled.
Because as soon as I noticed Easton, Theo finally noticed me.
I was in love with two guys, as different as night and day, but I could only have one.
I only hoped I didn’t choose The Wrong Prince Charming.

My Thoughts:
Oh where do I begin with this one... I wanted to love it. Heck, I wanted to like it but it was so very firmly meh I have no idea why so many people raved about it when it released.

Maddy was irritating. Her relationship/friendship with Theo was utterly whacked. Easton was pretty cool but his willingness to throw away everything he'd worked for on Maddy - who'd leave his bed to go and snuggle with her BFF Theo - was incomprehensible.
Maddy had this magical allure thing going on quite clearly and, naturally, all the guys (Theo and Easton) were so hot that they just fried her brain cells and turned this allegedly smart gal her into an idiot.
The "love-triangle" was the most ridiculous and forced thing I'd ever read and I have no idea what the hell happened in the final quarter beyond forced drama for the sake of drama.
The sad thing is, even though the book wouldn't have been all that, it would have been a good-enough read if it wasn't for the descent into absolute farce towards the end.

Needless to say, I don't recommend and I'll probably avoid books by the author in the future.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

TTT: Fall TBR


I'm hopeless at making a list of books at and telling myself I'm going to read them at a specific point (I'm too moody a reader) but I decided to make this list because THERE ARE SO MANY AWESOME BOOKS RELEASING IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS! 
Seriously guys... What is going on?!
It's like the mother-load of my most anticipated releases of the year are releasing throughout Autumn so I am actually confident that I will read all of these before Winter arrives and I don't think I've ever been able to say that before! lol

Wild Fire by Kristen Ashley 


More Chaos! It may only be a novella but I'll take it! 
(And let's be honest... KA novellas are the length of most author's full-length novels!)

Damned Souls and a Sangria by Annette Marie 


This one doesn't release until the 2nd of October but I'll be inhaling it as soon as it hits my kindle! 
I'm dying to know how it all ends for Tori and the gang!

The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan 


The final Trials of Apollo book releases on October 6th and we're ready for it! 
(But I'll need to wait until the little dude listens to it first... Sigh.)

Delivering Evil for Experts by Annette Marie

There's no cover for this one yet but it marks the end of another Annette Marie's series and I'm so excited and so sad that it's over!
The 16th of October cannot come soon enough!


The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill


Magic on the high seas? Who wouldn't want to read this?

Grave War by Kalayna Price 


Grave War is the final book in the Alex Craft series and I'm super excited to see how it all ends!
November is going to be super fun!

How The King of Elfhame Learned To Hate by Holly Black 


A little more Cardan will make a heart happy!

Hellbound Guilds and Other Misdirections by Annette Marie and Rob Jacobsen


Book two in Annette Marie & Rob Jaconsen's Guild Codex Warped series and I already know it's going to rock (because all the Guild Codex books do!)
It doesn't release until December 4th but I'll make a nice pre-Christmas treat!

🌻

Are any of these on your Fall TBRs? 

Monday, 14 September 2020

Book Thoughts: Sting of Thorns, How To Rattle An Undead Couple & Booked For Murder!

 


Sting of Thorns by Kristen Brand

Description:
The fight is over, and Leigh Morgan won. After spending months spying in Otherworld as a servant, she’s rescued the humans who were abducted by the Others and sent them safely home. She had to stay behind to destroy the gateway between worlds and keep them safe, but tough luck. She’s prepared to pay the price.
But she didn’t expect the curse the queen of Otherworld lays on her: a thorny vine growing under Leigh’s skin that will kill her when it reaches her heart. The queen will lift the curse…if Leigh uses her connections in the human realm to locate a magical weapon lost hundreds of years ago.


To ensure she succeeds, the queen sends her son, Dredarion Rath, the cunning prince Leigh had to betray to save her people. With anger and hurt still fresh, they can barely stand to be in the same room together, much less cooperate on such a dangerous mission. But as Leigh’s friends risk everything to help her, she’ll have to find a way to reconcile with Dredarion before their quest gets her and everyone she cares about killed.
My Thoughts:
Sting of Thorns picks up immediately where Poison and Honey ends. Leigh and Dredarion are forced to work together - along with Leigh's friends - to save Leigh and retrieve the weapon that could save Dredarion's people. The book is fast-paced, packed full of revelations and utterly addictive from beginning to end. I'm thoroughly enjoying this series and recommend it for those who love fantasy/urban fantasy and are looking for an awesome but quick read!


How To Rattle An Undead Couple by Hailey Edwards

Description:
Bring on the cakes, balloons, cakes, gifts, cakes, and…well…cakes. It’s time for Grier’s baby shower!

Grier is ready to smile for the cameras, rip open the presents, and finally taste that lemon chiffon cake, but it’s just not meant to be. The Grande Dame is MIA, which turns the big event into an even bigger search party. And that delicious cake? It’s going right back in the fridge.

While Grier doesn’t have the best relationship with her mother-in-law, she’s determined her child will grow up with one living grandparent or else. Even if it means wiggling into maternity jeans, putting on actual shoes, and waddling over to Lawson Manor to investigate the potential kidnapping.

Just as the investigation turns acorner, Grier pays the price for her stress. The baby wants out ahead of schedule, and it has a unique way of making its desires known. Unique and terrifying. Now the race is on to find the Grande Dame before the baby makes his or her first appearance.

What do you get when you cross a goddess-touched necromancer with an Eidolon?

Linus and Grier are about to find out firsthand. Now they just have to survive parenthood.
My Thoughts:
I never want this series to end! I'll happily read slices of life updates on Linus and Grier forever! I absolutely adore them and, as the blurb and cover make obvious, in this book we get to meet baby Woolworth! However, this IS Linus and Grier and nothing can ever be simple in their lives so before they can welcome their baby into the world, they have to solve the case of Linus's missing mother.

There is plenty of action, laughs and sweet moments, the full gang is present and even though this book is supposed to wrap up Linus and Grier's series of epilogues, I have a feeling that there will be one more for a massive thread was created and then left dangling that really needs tying off... Or maybe Edwards will save that for a spin-off series involving the baby? 'Cause, come on now, there's got to be one! (Or that may just be wishful thinking...)
How To Rattle An Undead Couple is a book for fans of The Beginner's Guide To Necromancy series. It's not something that you should read if you're new to the world but it's a wonderful addition to the world for those who are not. I really enjoyed it. 

Booked For Murder by RJ Blain


Description:
Life as a bodyguard and driver for the rich, famous, and powerful is dangerous on a good day, and after sustaining a crippling injury while on duty, Janette's left with few options. Having signed a ‘for life’ contract but unable to work, she uses her skills to disappear.

Her new life as a librarian suits her. Nobody cares she limps and sometimes requires a cane to walk. She’s wanted for her knowledge, not her lethal magic. She’s surrounded by books, a woman’s best friend.

But when her former employer’s best friend is murdered on the steps of her library, old loyalties and secrets might destroy her - or set her free.

Teaming up with her co-workers to find the killer might keep her from being booked for murder, but unless she’s careful, she’ll find out exactly how far her ex-boss will go to reclaim what is rightfully his.

Her. For life.

My Thoughts:
Okay... Where to begin?! For every time I think of this book I flip between giving it two-stars and three-stars because it really is a mixed bag of treats... To start with the positive, I'll say that I'm intrigued as to where the story is going (investigatory cells, librarians, political intrigue, hidden agendas) and that my romance-loving self is shipping Janette and Bradley (even though there are no tender moments or any romantic action in this book). I love Ajani the cat, Janette's brand of magic is absolutely fascinating to my biomed-head and I think there is a lot of potential here.

However, there are so many things wrong with this book that, in my opinion, all come down to non-existent editing.

The book is way too long. It's packed full of unnecessary information and random streams of consciousness that add nothing to the story and, in fact, detract from it for by the time you wade through the deluge you're confused as to what was actually going on.
There are too many characters with no purpose and most of the secondary characters "sound" the same. There is nothing to differentiate between them and character development - across the board with the exception of Janette - is absolutely minimal and physical descriptions are completely absent. Seriously, I finished the book without having a mental picture of anyone - even Janette - for the character descriptions are pretty much non-existent beyond mentioning minor details.
The author frequently contradicts herself from chapter to chapter, she uses too many words to say very little and I was pretty pissed off by a story with so much potential being ruined by - quite frankly - shitty writing.

My masochistic self will probably read the next one, as I'm curious about what happens next, but I doubt anything could make me a fan of the author.
If you're looking for a new UF then I'm not saying avoid/don't read (I would never do that) but what I would say is don't expect too much... And that there are far better series out there.

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Month in Review: August 2020


August was as normal a month as we could make it and was a lovely, but tiring, month. 
With all the doom and gloom predictions for Autumn and Winter, it was super important for us to seize the opportunity to live a little and get outside and go (mostly local) places while we could. 
With social distancing, sanitising and masks we were pretty comfortable while out and about and the one time we weren't (while heading into the town centre for school supplies, funnily enough) we left and went back for them another day. 

With the end of August came a big slump in energy and a spike in anxiety probably caused by the sudden change in routine once more! Schools went back (actually, I'm straying into first week of September now, but oh well...) and I went back to work full time having done three-day weeks all summer. I'm in office 2-3 days a week now, the professor is 4-5 days in office and with school it's been a big adjustment again. But we're settling in.

I'm sorry I've been neglecting to visit your blogs and I'm posting erratically. 
I just haven't had time or energy to be consistent but I try to get as much read as I can in fits and bursts and often I'm reading the posts but am too brain dead to muster a coherent comment! 
Hopefully, this month, I'll get back to a semi-normal... But so far it's been worse, I think!

Since I don't want to finish on a complete downer, I'm going to share some of the places we went this summer.

Our village spent months growing a sunflower maze which opened to the public in August with donations going to our local hospital charity which was lovely. We also spent a lot of time in the New Forest, hanging out by the river, walking by the Cathedral and in our local parks...


We ventured into London to visit the Imperial War Museum and it was unbelievable how quiet the city was! My local city was busier!


No trip to London is complete (in the little dude's mind) without a visit to Leicester Square's Lego Store.


We visited the home of the WWII code breakers at Bletchley Park and it was a fantastic and super interesting day out.


We went on a mini-break to the Isle of Wight and hit so many of the local attractions:

Amazon World


Carisbrooke Castle


Blackgang Chine


 Robin Hill Adventure Park


The Needles, New Battery & Alum Bay


Shanklin


St Catherine's Lighthouse and ComiCoffee (which freaking ruled!)



In August, I read 8 books... 
And that feels kinda sad. I feel like I barely read anything so I should be happy I actually read 8 full-length stories but I feel deflated instead. I just can't get my reading mojo going at the moment. 😟

My favourite book of the month was The Switch by Beth O' Leary followed closely by Warping Minds and Other Misdemeanors by Annette Marie and Rob Jacobsen.
My least favourite read was Booked For Murder by R.J. Blain.

Progress towards this year's reading challenges is diabolically bad but I'm not actually bothered anymore. 2020 can suck it in general and this is another perfect example of why...


Audiobook Challenge is at 9/20

I finished one audiobook in August and it was Beth O'Leary's, The Switch.


I absolutely adored this book! I was cackling like a mad bat while listening to it and it gave me all the warm fuzzy feelings. It's a pure joy so I highly recommend it for escaping the shit show of 2020!

New Release Challenge is at 42/31


I added five new releases to the total last month!

Beat The Backlist is at 43/80 


Three additional books off the backlist! (A million and one to go!)

Retellings Challenge 1/10

None, but I HAVE started Geekarella so I'll have one in September's round up! 😆

Bookish Resolution - Shut Up & Read It 2/16 

None

Bookish Resolution - Nuke Netgalley (pt.1) 0/16

None

Bookish Resolution - Nuke Netgalley (pt.2) 3/21

None

Bookish Resolution - Read The Series 1/12


One more off one of my target series but I'll never get through them all this year... Oh well. I've read plenty of other series instead!

Bookish Discussion Challenge 2/10

None!
(But my bar was always pretty low for this one... I only wanted one! I achieved that.)