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    Cover Reveal: Interlude by D. Kelly

    interlude COVER REVEAL BANNERINTERLUDE by D. Kelly

    Genre: Contemporary Romance

    Release Date: 29 January 2019

     

    About the Book

    Jordan Weston is good-looking, mysterious, and sexually uninhibited, but his life is more like the name of his bar – Just an Illusion. His cousins are the bad boys of Bastards and Dangerous, but their fame hasn’t made everything rainbows and sunshine for him. He’s haunted, flawed, and the sole survivor of a homicide that wiped out his immediate family.

    Allie Baker, the most recent hire at the bar, can see through Jordan’s façade. She knows he’s everything she doesn’t need, but she’s beginning to crave his cocky attitude and the way he looks at her. The more she tries to stay away from him, the more she wants to get to know him.

    Jordan knows falling for an employee is a bad idea, but Allie pushes buttons he never realized he had. Even though Allie desperately needs her job, she soon decides being with Jordan is more important. Will they be able to compromise, or will she let her chance at love pass her by for the sake of a paycheck?

    Interlude-Final-high.jpg

    Thoughts on the synopsis

    THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD. I am pretty excited to read this new release when it comes out (or maybe a cheeky little ARC…), although I have to say the blurb doesn’t leave too much to the imagination. We already know his entire back story and the fact that Allie is short on cash so needs this job, and I think we all know she isn’t going to ‘let her chance at love pass her by’ at the end of the book. Despite being able to predict the entire storyline from those three paragraphs, I’ll still definitely be reading this one. I haven’t read anything by D. Kelly before so I am looking forward to seeing her writing style.

    Interlude-Finalinterlude RELEASE DATE GRAPHIC

    About the Author

    D KellyD. Kelly, author of The Acceptance Series, The Illusion Series, and standalone companion novels Chasing Cassidy and Sharing Rylee, was born and raised in Southern California. She’s a wife, mom, dog lover, taxi, problem fixer, and extreme multi-tasker. She married her high school sweetheart and is her kids’ biggest fan.

    Kelly has been writing since she was young and took joy in spinning stories to her childhood friends. Margaritas and sarcasm make her smile, she loves the beach but hates the sand, and she believes Starbucks makes any day better [a woman after my own heart, by the sounds of it].

    A contemporary romance writer, D. Kelly’s stories revolve around friendship and the bond it creates, strengthening the love of the people who share it.

     

    Links

    Goodreads

    Kindle (UK) / Kindle (US)

    Amazon (UK paperback) / Amazon (US paperback)

    Apple (US)

    Barnes & Noble (US)

    Kobo (US)

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    ARC, book review, books

    Book Review: Heavenward by Olga Gibbs (Blog Tour)

    Untitled
    Hello, hello. How are we all? I am writing this on my couch in a big thick cardigan with a bowl of chicken noodle soup to my left and a pile of disgusting used tissues on my right as I sniff roughly every five letters typed. Thank you so much to my lovely flatmate for passing on this cold before jetting off to Canada this morning to visit family and leaving me to wallow all alone.

    Today it is my stop on the Heavenward blog tour, as organised by Melanie from Fraser’s Fun House and the author herself, Olga Gibbs. I want to start by saying this is the best blog tour/ARC/whatever that I have been involved in, simply because of the way it has been organised and how interactive it has been. Not only are both Melanie and Olga so lovely, but they also created a group chat on Twitter so we could read each other’s reviews and share them, share our thoughts with Olga, and generally just have fun with it all. THIS is how a blog tour should be.

    Now, on to the review…

    SYNOPSIS

    With the power to end the world, would you protect humanity when it broke you or would you take revenge?

    Meet Ariel: a quiet, unnoticeable girl with an incredible gift…

    Ariel never had an easy or pleasant life, but the arrival of three gorgeous strangers meant her measured life is turned upside down, as she discovers that angels exist.

    But when three new students appear in her sleepy town’s school, Ariel’s dull and measure life is thrown into turmoil, as she is drawn into an ancient celestial conflict that is bigger than her and which she will need to survive to remain herself.

    Now against her will, she’s drawn into an ancient celestial conflict, where her powers will decide the fate of humanity.

    Deceived, threatened, hunted, and now on the run, who can she trust?

    Heavenward[2626]MY THOUGHTS

    Even though I was sent a copy of this to review, I just want to point out that in no way does that affect my review.

    First of all, I really enjoyed the blend of the fantasy and the real. From my (admittedly limited) experience in fantasy, many novels in this genre don’t have two distinctly different worlds. Heavenward, however, starts off in a perfectly human world, one which has absolutely no elements of fantasy other than the fact it is a ‘sleepy’ town (a description which I actually really hate lol) so you know that something is about to go down. Ariel is also a pretty strong female lead, one which I really enjoyed getting to know. She is another one of those take-no-bullshit characters that I love so much.

    Read Yourself Happy said in her review that she thought it was a little too fast-paced for her liking and this maybe suited newcomers to the fantasy genre more, and she was absolutely right. As I have mentioned on here before, it wasn’t until earlier this year – summertime I think – that I really got into YA fantasy, pretty much as soon as I started reading A Court of Thorns and Roses. It had never interested me before. To this day, I still haven’t read very much in the genre at all, so I am by no means an expert, but that is what made me accept this review when the email came through inviting me onto the blog tour.

    But, as much as I wanted to absolutely adore it because of how lovely the tour itself is, I do have a few small gripes.

    Is this England? America? With ‘arse’ and ‘feds’ in the same sentence, I really have no idea. I think it is meant to be a small town in England, from what I remember, but there were so many Americanisms that I am sure were probably not deliberate that made this less than believable.

    I think because of what I am studying at university and it is all so fresh in my mind I can be a little harsh and nitpicky with other writers, and some sentences just went a liiiiitle too far for me, like the description of his smell when they first meet. It was all a little too fluffy and overrun with metaphors for me to truly get into the story.

    The dialogue also wasn’t always completely believable for teenagers either. ‘I’m new here and would like us to be friends’? They would never say that. And what about ‘Rachel thinks he must be a nerd because he wears glasses’? Was going to say I wear glasses but I am actually a nerd (lol) but the majority of people aren’t. There were a bit too many sweeping generalisations and stereotypes. And a town that small and she actually has to question if THREE new students all in the one day could maybe mean something is up? OF COURSE IT BLOODY IS.

    One final thing – was the cover designed on Paint?

    I feel like I am coming across as a little mean here, but I promise I am just trying to be constructive! I really love the idea of angels, which aren’t something I have read about since joining the fantasy-loving crew. And, there wasn’t a biblical feel to it all, which may have put some readers off if they didn’t know that. I am actually really looking forward to reading the sequel, Hallow, when it is released next year to find out what happens next with Ariel, Sam, and Rafe.

    Which, btw, TEAM RAFE ALL THE WAY <3 <3 <3

    heavenward 1

    Visit the rest of the tour (updating as the tour goes on):

    ALREADY POSTED REVIEW

    Perpetual Fangirl

    Hannah’s Bookshelf

    A Lovely Book Affair

    Like Herding Cats

    A Mixed Up Mummy

    Fraternal Philosophising

    Fraser’s Fun House (Heavenward dream movie cast)

    The Bold Mom/The Forsaken Cellar

    Read Yourself Happy

    Completely Chelle

    Ezzie’s Bookshelf

    Paperback Adventures

    Booking Good Read

    REVIEW TO COME

    A Book Devourer

    Rambling Mads

    Rainy Days With Amanda

    Lozzy’s Things

    Books in the Skye

    Floral Cars

    Bookish Fawn (blog currently under construction – link will be added soon!)

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    books, first lines, monthly round up

    November Reading Wrap Up: First Lines

    Rather than the usual monthly reading wrap up that appears on a lot of book blogs (which I love reading by the way), I thought I would opt for something a little bit different to see how it goes. I first saw this idea over on Falling Down the Book Hole, and they very kindly let me borrow it! The idea is that you share the first line of all the books you read that month, rather than a little synopsis.

    First lines are SO important in hooking a reader. Think of some of the greatest first lines in literature: Jane Austen with Pride and Prejudice, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” (one of the few lines from literature I can easily quote by heart); or “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again” in Daphne du Maurier’s most famous novel, Rebecca. In my own writing, I spend such a long time trying to get the opening line perfect. I definitely don’t always manage it, and I am usually not 100% happy with it. It’s so hard to do!

    Compiling this list, I am actually in shock at how much I read. I thought I had barely did any reading this month! Turns out November was longer than I thought, and there were books that I would have guessed were all the way back in October because they were so long ago. Luckily, I update my Goodreads as soon as I finish one because I like to be accurate.

    Here are the first lines of the books I read in November. Some of them are better than others, and if I saw just those lines and knew nothing else about the book, those are the ones I would be drawn to. I have put stars next to my favourites!

     

     

    The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark

    “‘And the material doesn’t stain,’ the salegirl says.”

    The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

    “On a drowsy Sunday afternoon, a man in a long dark coat hesitated in front of a house in a tree-lined street.” (review)

    Unwritten Rules – Eliah Greenwood

    * “Dear Universe, why do you hate me?”

    Normal – Danielle Pearl

    “It’s the kind of situation most people would dread.”

    Trust – Kylie Scott

    “‘Don’t forget the corn chips!’ yelled Georgia, hanging out of her car window.”

    The Sound – Sarah Alderson

    *”I’m running. Running blind. Into the woods. Ricocheting off branches, tripping over tangled tree roots, gripping my arm as I stumble on sobbing. Are those his footsteps coming after me or is it the wind?”

    Poor Cow – Nell Dunn

    “She walked down Fulham Broadway past a shop hung about with cheap underwear, the week-old baby clutched in her arms, his face brick red against his new white bonnet.”

    Absolute Beginners – Colin MacInnes

    *”It was with the advent of the Laurie London era that I realised the whole teenage epic was tottering to doom.”

    The Wrong Bachelor – Alexandra Moody

    *”My boyfriend had a death wish.”

    The Tenth Girl – Carrie Aarons

    “A dusty ranch home was a step up from the trailer park, but just barely.”

    Endgame – Cara E. Holt

    “The luggage carousel springs into life and everyone around me bustles forward.”

     

    How was your November reading?

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    books, currently reading, WWW Wednesday

    WWW Wednesday #3

    WWW WEDNESDAY graphicWWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words

    Read my previous WWW Wednesdays here

     

    The three W’s are:

    • What are you currently reading?
    • What have you recently finished reading?
    • What do you think you will read next?

    the history manCurrently Reading

    I have just started reading The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury today as the last text for my English Literature class this semester on Sixties Britain. I have no comments yet on it because I’m really just a few pages in, but I have been really enjoying immersing myself in the Sixties culture for the past couple of months! It isn’t something I had read much about before so it has made such a welcome change.

    I am also reading The Rule of One by Ashley and Lesley Saunders, which I mentioned in my New In #2 post. It has been slow progress so far, as it always is when I have university at the same time, but I really like the premise of it so I have high hopes!

    Recently Read

    Last week I finished reading The Cruel Prince by Holly Black which is probably one of my favourite books that I have read this year. I have had it sitting on my shelf for so long and finally got around to reading it this month, and now I am annoyed with myself for leaving it so long. For better, more coherent thoughts on this, read my full review here.

    I also read The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark, also for my Sixties Britain class, which I loved. It’s a very short book, about 100 pages or so, and totally absurd from start to finish but Spark is an absolute mastermind. It is so incredibly clever and well-done. I had only read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie before, which I had liked at the time (I was in high school) but didn’t have particularly strong feelings about. Maybe I need to go back to it and see if my opinions have changed.

    Reading Next

    I have a couple of ARCs to read over December, including a festive little number called Christmas Secrets by the Sea by Jane Lovering. It is set to be released on the 13th of December, I believe, and my review is coming on the final day of the blog tour, the 22nd, which is perfect timing for some Christmassy reading after the stress of December deadlines! How inviting is the cover design too.

    I also tweeted this a couple of weeks ago:

    …which got so many great replies, which means plenty of reading recommendations for after my ARCs!! I did buy The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle after @_bookprincess_ gave it as one of her book recommendations and it sounds amazing. Click on the tweet to see what other book bloggers suggested!

    What are you reading right now? 

     

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    Book Review: The Cruel Prince

    cruel prince 1cruel prince 2So I am a little ashamed about how long it took me to discover this book, and then how long I then waited to actually read it. I am going to put this down to being a relatively new convert to the YA fantasy genre, but it was probably more about plain ignorance.

    However, boy am I glad to have found it.

     

    Synopsis

    Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

    One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The fearsome assassin abducts all three girls and brings them to the world of Faerie. Mocked and tormented for being merely mortal, Jude soon realises that to survive in treacherous, dangerous world of the royal court, she needs to be as cunning as the Fey themselves. 

    But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan.

    cruel prince 3.jpgLet’s start with the man himself, Prince Cardan.

    I am so glad to finally see a book that doesn’t instantly portray the male interest as the most amazing thing to have ever existed with next to no flaws. Sure, he is described as being unbelievably beautiful, but there is also no denying that he is an absolute dick. No wonder Jude hates him for basically the whole novel. Who can blame her?!

    That said, I did think the romance aspect would come a little earlier on. I felt like I was waiting and waiting for it, only to be slightly disappointed by the lack of action that actually happened. Sorry if that is a spoiler!! (Although most of you have probably already read this) In this way, I guess the synopsis is a little bit misleading. I assumed from it that their budding relationship would be a major part of the book, but it really wasn’t. I’m guessing that the relationship between Jude and Cardan is going to be a major driving point for The Wicked King, which is set to be released in January 2019 (yes, I have already pre-ordered my copy and did so the second I turned the final page of this one). AND, Cardan bullying Jude because he secretly really likes her? Are we ten years old again?

    I’m also pleasantly surprised and glad that Jude actually stayed human throughout the entirety of the book. I had a small fear that she was going to somehow become one of them, like the synopsis says she wants to be. I like that she is different and isn’t accepted by them, living with her parents’ murderer in a strange world. I like that she has to fight for her place and fight for respect. She is such a strong character who takes no bullshit.

    The second half of the book was definitely better than the first, probably because it was much more fast paced, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying all of it and flying through it. There is plot twist after plot twist and you have to keep reading. You don’t really get any choice in the matter.

    I really, really want to give this book 5/5 stars, but I think the romance side of it was just lacking a little bit of substance. Maybe this is because I went in to it expecting it to be really like A Court of Thorns and Roses, which it isn’t really at all, but hopefully The Wicked King redeems this for me. I’ll settle for 4.5/5.

    What did you think of Jude and Cardan’s relationship in The Cruel Prince?

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    ARC, book reviews, books, discussion, feature

    FEATURE | Is ARC reading a chore?

    is arc reading becoming a chore.jpgI’m sure every book blogger reading this post right now will be able to relate when I say getting an ARC of a really interesting book sent to you is one of the best perks of the job.

    Free books, you say? Yes please.

    When I first started my blog just before the summer, the idea of getting FREE books was incredible. Don’t get me wrong, it still is. I couldn’t wait for the first offer, waiting for it to just fall into my lap. Then, I got an email from a very obscure writer offering me a weird children’s fantasy book that made me physically cringe when I read the description and I thought I maybe had it all wrong.

    Fast forward a few months and I am now on a couple of different blogger/PR lists and regularly get sent emails that actually do fit with what I like to read, and I am receiving opportunities to receive free books left, right and centre. If I wanted to, as I am sure is the case with most book bloggers, I could probably manage to not actually buy any books again and still be kept going well into next year.

    And that right there is my issue. I often find myself getting a little bit overexcited and agreeing to all different blog tours and reviews and you name it, only to find that, actually, I don’t really have time to read all these books. As an English Literature student in their final year, I already have plenty to read without doubling the number of pages every week. The books I have been sent to review are piling up and are going to take me the rest of the year to catch up on, never mind all the ones I most likely agree to in the meantime. We forget that these free books are all fine and dandy, but we have to actually then find the time to read them.

    I am definitely what you call a ‘mood reader’, preferring to choose my next book to read purely by what I fancy picking up at the time. I already struggle to read my books for classes for this reason, absolutely hating having to read for a deadline, and reading because I have to instead of because I want to. Sticking to a strict date for book reviews is incredibly difficult when you have a busy life going on outside your blog, which is like a part time job in itself. I am in my fourth year of my degree and have two (paid) part-time jobs, as well as being the Arts editor of the student newspaper on campus, and also quite like to have a bit of downtime and occasionally – heaven forbid – a social life.

    Read more

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    ARC, books, ebooks, New In

    New In #2

    new in 2 - writing finch (1)How many times in your life have you spoken or thought the words: “I need to stop buying books.”

    Every. Damn. Week.

    The wonderful thing about being back in Glasgow for university is my mum can no longer see how many parcels arrive for me all containing new books and therefore I have no one moaning at me for how much I am spending on them and where on earth are you gong to put them all, Holly???

    I thought I would share with you today some of the books that have been added to my collection recently. I haven’t read any of these yet, but I might do some reviews on any that I have strong feelings about when I have. Let me know if there is any in particular that you would like a follow up on!

    Vagina – Naomi Wolf

    I kept seeing this pop up on Chloe Plumstead’s insta story and earlier this week I finally gave in and ordered it. From the author of The Beauty Myth, this “combines cutting-edge science with cultural history to explore the role of female desire and how it affects female identity, creativity and confidence.” It ” goes to the very core of what it means to be female” and examines the vagina in relation to women’s sexuality. I feel like this is going to be such an interesting read and will be so important in better understanding the female body and mind.

    Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan

    I feel it is a pretty safe assumption for me to make that every single person reading this will have heard of the film version of this. Like many book lovers, I much prefer reading the book version first before delving into the cinematic performance, so this is pretty near the top of my list.

    The Infinite Pieces of Us – Rebekah Crane

    I think this might have been my choice for November’s Kindle First. I have no idea what it was about, and like to choose my ebook option each month without really reading any of the descriptions so I can really surprise myself and find something I might not have picked otherwise (a method which is working pretty well so far and I can recommend).

    We Were Mothers – Katie Sise

    I feel absolutely no shame in saying that I bought this book for one reason and one reason alone – the beautiful cover. I mean, look at it!!! It also turns out that it is a really well-made book to, and the pages feel so beautifully soft and thick and luxurious that I just want to stroke it and flick through it all the time. The physical act of reading this is going to be so satisfying. This one is about a scandal in a boring, perfect town which makes me picture the Desperate Housewives houses. The “web of secrets” mentioned in the synopsis had me sold.

    The Rule of One – Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders

    It isn’t often that you manage to find something in Kindle Unlimited that you have actually heard of before, so I quickly downloaded this while I had the chance. This dystopian novel is set in a version of the United States in the future where they have enforced a Chinese-style one child policy to tackle the population issue. Hence, the rule of one. Naturally, this novel then explores what happens when a pair of identical twins, Ava and Mira, who have been living as one for their entire lives and trading places every other day, suddenly find that their charade has been exposed. This sounds fast-paced and exciting, and I hope it lives up to that.

    ARCs/Review Copies

    HWFG – Chris McQueer

    This is one I actually received to review as part of my role as the Arts editor of my student newspaper, so I won’t be reviewing it on here (but I will still put something up on my Goodreads about it when I have finished it). Chris is a truly fantastic young Scottish short story writer, and his first book, Hings, had me in stitches.

    Heavenward – Olga Gibbs

    I am part of the blog tour for this, and my review stop is on the 10th of December, so keep an eye out for that. A big hallelujah to Melanie who is running the tour for actually giving me a decent amount of time to read it and not three days like you quite often get. Do people not realise we actually have lives outside of reviewing books… Anyway, the synopsis of this doesn’t give too much away, but “a quiet, unnoticeable girl with a hidden strength” has me hooked.

    Korrigan – Rebecca F. Kenney

    I was really interested in the premise of this book but I had to say that I am going to be so crazy busy over the next little while that I wasn’t sure if I would have time to read this and do it justice. But, Rebecca was so lovely and sent me a copy of the book anyway under no obligation to review it. Sometimes doing this would possibly annoy me and would make me feel pressured to do it anyway, but she was really nice in the way that she came across and so I don’t mind in the slightest, and actually really appreciate it.

    The Things We Learn When We Are Dead – Charlie Laidlaw

    I’ve have had this ARC for so long it is beginning to get a little bit embarrassing, but I just haven’t got round to reading it yet. I really need to move it to the top of my list. On the way home from a dinner party, our protagonist Lorna Love gets hit by a car, and what follows is a book about consequences, second chances, memories, and where we go when we die.

     

    Let me know if you have read any of these books, and what I should expect from them! And then tell me I am NOT ALLOWED TO BUY ANY MORE BOOKS UNTIL I READ SOME OF THESE.

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    ARC, book review, books

    Book Review: Fortunate Encounters by Caterina Passarelli

    First up, apologies to Ink Slinger PR for the fact that I *may* have forgotten about writing this book review which is why it is so ridiculously late…

    I was involved in the cover reveal for Fortunate Encounters by Caterina Passarelli, so I was really excited about receiving an ARC to review. Juliette is a young, single school teacher who has had some epically bad dates and extreme bad luck in romance. She shows up at the next date she has planned, only to promptly seat herself at the wrong table with the wrong man. After this first encounter, they begin to bump into each other everywhere they go (of course, this is a fiction novel after all, and it would be pretty boring if they had to actively seek each other out after that). The new love interest Clark is not one for relationships and suggests a friends-with-benefits situation instead. I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you in the slightest that problems occur when real feelings start to arise. Read more

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    book review, books

    Book Review: The Problem With Foverer by Jennifer L. Armentrout

    I wasn’t new to Jennifer L. Armentrout before picking up The Problem With Forever, having read and enjoyed her work in the Meet Cute anthology and Wait For You, as well as seeing her name pop up regularly on Goodreads. In fact, a quick search on Goodreads just there tells me that she has 104 (!!!!) distinct works, so I guess that it is no surprise that she is pretty hard to miss in the YA fiction world.

    The Problem With Forever is the beautiful story of Mallory Dodge, a girl who was taught to keep quiet to avoid getting into trouble. Her childhood nickname was Mouse as a result of her lack of speech which carried through even after she was adopted by two loving doctors and finally removed from the horrific foster home she had grown up in and suffered through. But, one good thing came from the group home, and that was her best friend Rider. After a horrible incident that was the final straw and finally helped her see the back of that house, Mallory and Rider lost all contact, until she decides she wants to switch from home-schooling to a regular high school. And who goes to this school, unbeknownst to her before her first day? Yep, you guessed it – the one and only Rider Stark.

    *Trigger warning: child abuse, bad foster home experiences, social anxiety*

    Read more

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