30 January 2016

His Favourite Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren

Hey everyone,

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I’ve been on a massive historical romance binge at the moment. The book that started it all was His Favourite Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren, the third and final book in her Mistress Trilogy.

The book:
Vivacious Gabriella St. George is penniless yet proud. Thanks to the benevolence of a generous relative, she gets a chance for a new life in London, never dreaming that it will entangle her in a sensual battle of wills with an irresistible rogue who doesn't believe in love. With one scorching caress, Anthony Black invites Gabriella to share his bed. But she wants his heart and his name, so the determined beauty embarks on a daring game of seduction to win both.

My thoughts:

His Favourite Mistress starts with Gabriella attempting to kill the uncle she’s never met for the death of her father. Of course, being a Tracy Anne Warren novel, the heroine instead aims her gun on our hero Anthony Black, a close friend of Gabriella’s uncle. Not exactly an ideal first meeting, but certainly a memorable one. Anthony being a classic regency rake, quickly seduces Gabriella into dropping her gun and kissing him instead. Not without some defiance from our heroine however.

And you will find that I am well used to the blandishments of smooth talkers and confidence tricksters. I doubt your efforts will prove any more successful than theirs.

27 January 2016

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Hey everyone,

Due to my self-imposed book buying ban I forced myself to wait until Christmas before getting a copy of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, making me one of the last people in the world to read this book. Amazingly I managed to avoid any spoilers despite all the hype surrounding this book. Being a fan of Harry Potter, Fangirl and M/M romances I was excited to read this book for myself. Keep reading to see what I thought!

The book:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

My Thoughts:

As the blurb of this book would tell you Simon Snow is the worst chosen one ever chosen. He can’t really control his magic and  mainly survives due to sheer dumb luck and the help of his friend Penelope. Also for all the years he has been part of the magical world he has yet to learn anything about the Humdrum he’s suppose to be defeating. Instead Simon has spent most of his time obsessing over his roommate Baz Pitch. In fact for the first third of the book Simon is constantly wondered why Baz isn’t at school, where he could be and what he is doing. This isn’t because he likes Baz of course but because Baz is evil and clearly up to evil things to advance his crazy, rich and powerful families plan to overthrow the mage. 

Everyone’s still gossiping about where he’s been. The most popular rumours are “dark coming-of-age ceremony that left him too marked up to be in public” and “Ibiza.” 

25 January 2016

Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase

Hey everyone,

One of my good friends gave me Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase for either Christmas or my birthday. Unfortunately it took me a few years to actually read the book, I know books linger on my shelves for far too long. Bur I’ve read it now so keep reading to see what I thought of it...

The book:
Brilliant and ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirot is London's rising star. And who better to benefit from her talent than the worst-dressed lady in the ton, the Duke of Clevedon's intended bride? Winning the future duchess's patronage means prestige and fortune for Marcelline and her sisters. To get to the lady, though, Marcelline must win over Clevedon, whose standards are as high as his morals are . . . not.
The prize seems well worth the risk—but this time Marcelline's met her match. Clevedon can design a seduction as irresistible as her dresses; and what begins as a flicker of desire between two of the most passionately stubborn charmers in London soon ignites into a delicious inferno . . .and a blazing scandal.
And now both their futures hang by an exquisite thread of silk . . .
My thoughts:

Without a doubt my favourite aspect of Silk is fro Seduction was the hero and heroine. I absolutely adored Marcelline, she was independent, strong-minded, loyal and caring. Similarly Clevedon, although originally portrayed as just a typical rake developed wonderfully as a character. Through meeting Marcelline he started to examine the world around him and see it through the eyes of someone else. I think part of the reason I loved Marcelline and her sisters was because they weren’t typical aristocratic heroines. Instead they worked hard for a living, constantly turning any situation into an advantageous one for their business. Yet despite her proud and fierce exterior Marcelline’s past and future dreams showed her softness.

She was a dream and a schemer and one did not dream and scheme without hope.

20 January 2016

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Hey everyone,

I started reading The Lunar Chronicles in 2015 after renting Cinder from my local library. I’d seen so many people raving about this Young Adult series on Tumblr that I became intrigued. I devoured Cinder in one night, quickly followed by Scarlet and towards the end of last year I found the time to read Cress...

The book:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

My thoughts:

Cress focused on two of my favourite characters from the previous novels Cress and Thorne. I was immediately drawn to the character of Cress who we only see glimpses of in Scarlet and now that I’ve finished the book I think her and Thorne are my favourite couple so far. I loved Cress for her child-like enthusiasm. Her belief in Thorne’s inherent goodness and also her bravery. Even before she meets Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet and Wolf she is willing to risk everything because it is the right thing to do.

Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.

18 January 2016

Playing for Keeps by Avery Cockburn

Hey everyone,

A romance where one of the characters is a member of a Scottish LGBT football team? Even though I have no clue or passion about football (soccer) I couldn’t resist buying this book! Add into that a pinch of secrecy and the potential for drama and my finger was the on the ‘buy now’ button for Playing to Keeps.

The book:
Rule One: No Drama!

Fergus Taylor is damaged goods. Reeling from a brutal breakup, he’s determined to captain his LGBT soccer team out of scandal and into a winning season. For that, he needs strict rules and careful plans. He does NOT need a brash, muscle-bound lad messing with his head and setting his body afire.

John Burns has a rule of his own: Don’t get attached. Boyfriends are for guys with nothing to hide. Nobody—not his university mates, not the men he beds—knows his family’s shame. Now his double life is starting to unravel, thanks to a certain Highlander whose storm-riddled eyes turn John inside out, who wears a kilt like he was born in it.

Fergus is the first man John wants to share his secret with—but he’s the last man who could handle it. John knows the truth would shatter Fergus’s still-fragile heart. But how can he live a lie when he’s falling in love?

My thoughts:

Even though it isn’t mentioned in the blurb I feel I can’t avoid talking about the religious element of this book. Partly because it could be a sensitive issue for some people and also it was such an important part of John’s and Fergus’s story. If, however, you prefer to read books completely blind then please go no further and instead check out some of the other m/m books I’ve reviewed.

“Aye, he’s single”. Charlotte raised somber eyes to John. “But grievously wounded.” 

15 January 2016

Twofer by Daisy Harris

Hey everyone,

You all know I love a good M/M college based-story. Particularly ones where one of the heroes is just starting to explore/accept their sexuality for the first time. So how could I resist requesting a copy of Twofer by Daisy Harris from Netgalley? The answer is I couldn’t! Especially as Daisy Harris is one of my auto-buy authors. Shall we see what I thought?

The book:
Bottoms up!

If a college freshman can’t get laid in sun-drenched Miami, he’s doing something wrong. Frankie Perez is determined to help his roommate get some man action in any way possible.

When Frankie’s arsenal of dating apps, fashion advice, and playing-hard-to-get lessons doesn’t work, he realizes Jeremy needs remedial help. Except tutoring Jeremy in the art of sex gets steamier than Frankie expected—and it scares the hell out of him.

Jeremy’s not sure why he’s wasting his time hooking up when he’s only got eyes for the slinky, sexy roommate he comes home to at night. But the hotter their chemistry simmers, the quicker Frankie dances away.

In near desperation, Frankie suggests the two of them team up to find a third to top them both, forgetting that two bottoms aren’t immune from lusting after each other. In a world where every man is an option, choosing one to love can be the sexiest risk of all.

My thoughts:

What do you do when the only person you want to date is determined to get you laid by other people? Well if you’re Jeremy you play along and hope said person soon realises the error of their ways! From the very beginning it was clear that Jeremy only had eyes for Frankie; he cleaned and ironed Frankie’s laundry. If that isn’t a declaration of love I don’t know what is. Yet being from a conservative small-town in America, the metropolitan city of Miami is a little bit of a culture shock for our country bumpkin Jeremy. He doesn’t have a clue how to interact with guys, especially not in a romantic situation.

“So, you’re Jeremy?” The guy from Grindr had about fifteen piercings on his face and a tattoo that wound from his collar up the side of his neck. Though he was handsome, he was definitely not as he’d portrayed himself on the app.

12 January 2016

Spectacles by Sue Perkins

Hey everyone,

This is probably the first memoir I’ve ever read, but when I saw this incredible cover in Sainsbury’s I couldn’t resist buying it. Of course the fact that it was Sue Perkin’s memoir was an added bonus. I’ve been a fan of Sue since she presented Revealing Anne Lister a documentary about Anne Lister (a pretty incredible women who I encourage all of you to read about). So bearing in mind those two facts lets get on with the review!

The book:

When I began writing this book, I went home to see if my mum had kept some of my stuff. What I found was that she hadn't kept some of it. She had kept all of it - every bus ticket, postcard, school report - from the moment I was born to the moment I finally had the confidence to turn round and say 'Why is our house full of this shit?’

Sadly, a recycling 'incident' destroyed the bulk of this archive. This has meant two things: firstly, Dear Reader, you will never get to see countless drawings of wizards, read a poem about corn on the cob, or marvel at the kilos of brown flowers I so lovingly pressed as a child. Secondly, it's left me with no choice but to actually write this thing myself.

This, my first ever book, will answer questions such as 'Is Mary Berry real?', 'Is it true you wear a surgical truss?' and 'Is a non-spherically symmetric gravitational pull from outside the observable universe responsible for some of the observed motion of large objects such as galactic clusters in the universe?'

Most of this book is true. I have, of course, amplified my more positive characteristics in an effort to make you like me. 

Thank you for reading. 
My thoughts:

To begin with I didn’t like this memoir; the extremely conversational style of Sue’s writing rather than drawing me into the story kept pushing me out of it. Especially when she was discussing her early childhood in South East London. This is because I went in expecting Sue from the GBBO; a sarcastic, hilarious and cake-obsessed woman. And while this Sue certainly appears, in beginning we are introduced to Sue from childhood, her adolescent years and finally her time at university. It shows how the Sue we have come to love and adore came into being. The Sue we first meet is unsure, slightly awkward and just a tiny bit crazy.  Honestly I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Sometimes we don't want to be tethered to yesterday. It's nicer to forget. Maybe the gaps in our memory are there for a reason, evolutionary perhaps, to give us the space to grow, to get away from childishness or childish things.