I am dedicating this week to the magical world of Walt Disney. Everyone has watched at least one Disney film, the majority of people grew up with Disney films. Be it classics like Snow White,… More
Wow, we’re in June. How the blooming heck did that one happen??? So, as I’ve done with previous years, here is my Mid Year Freak Out Tag. I’ve read some pretty great books so far this year, and I’m excited for the next 6 months.
Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2018
This is a tough question. I’ve read some amazing books this year so far. But the contenders for the best?
- Defender by GX Todd: This book was incredible. I’ve got my review for Hunted coming up soon and I’m hoping it’s just as good as the first!!
- Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: The world of Weep was just beautifully written and lived with me for weeks after reading this. I’m so excited for the next book!!
- Absent in the Spring by Carrie Elks: These Shakespeare sisters really get to you and their men are just unbelievably hot!!
Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2018
I don’t think I’ve really read any sequels this year yet. I’ve read some books with the same characters but they’re not exactly sequels.
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet but Want To
- War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
- Hunted by GX Todd
- Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare
Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year
- Perfect Silence by Helen Fields
- The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell
- Vox by Christina Dalcher
- A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
- Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness
- Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Easily To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. I really wanted to love this, and I did upto a point. After that point was just downhill!!
Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley. This love story was just wonderful. It wasn’t steamy, it wasn’t intense or dramatic really. It was sweet, innocent, unexpected.
Favorite New Author
Jaimie Admans. I’ve read both her books this year and have loved both of them.
Favorite New Crush
Hmmm… The only men I can think off are Carter Kincaid from Bodyguard by CD Reiss, and Lachlan from Absent in the Spring by Carrie Elks. Or there is also Rohan from The Little Wedding Island by Jaime Admans
Favorite New Characters
Hmm, tough question for me this year. I’ve read loads of books with great characters. There was one in Defenders that I grew quite attached to, but sadly that didn’t last long.. if you’ve read it you know why. I wouldn’t actually be able to pick a definite favourite though.
Books That Made You Cry
None as of yet. But there’s still 6 months left to get me weepy!!! It’s bound to happen at some point.
A Book That Made You Happy
- The Wedding Date by Zara Stonely
- The Little Wedding Island by Jaimie Admans
Most Beautiful Books You’ve Bought So Far This Year
The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi and the Snow Like Ashes series by Sara Raasch
What Books Do You Need to Read Before the End of the Year?
All the books!!!! I have so many I plan to read at some point this year, but there seems to be so little time!! Life seems to get in the way a little too much sometimes. But, here’s a few I’m planning on reading at some point:
- The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley
- Legendary by Stephanie Garber
- Circe by Madeline Miller
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
- The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel
- INK by Alice Broadway
I enjoyed the way I done this last week, so it’s going to be the same this week. 5 Quotes to get you guessing where they are from, then the reveal at the end. This week, I’ve chosen a book instead of a film.
“You’ve got to appreciate what the worst is. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re facing it.”
The Book Is….
True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling
Source: Netgalley, Thank you love publishers and Netgalley!
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good job, four bossy sisters and a needy cat must also have want of her one true love. Or is it?
Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl, manager of London’s first romance-only bookshop Happy Ever, and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and quite happy hiding in the office and lying to her friends about her fictional boyfriend Peter, whose presence is very useful for getting her out of social events.
But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.
Because ‘Peter’ is actually Johnny, and he too could use a fictional girlfriend. So against her better judgement and because she can’t stand sitting on the sad singles table, Verity and Johnny decide to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and garden parties, culminating in her sister’s Big Fat Wedding.
And by the end of the summer, there’s a bad case of heartache that even Verity’s beloved Pride And Prejudice might not be able to cure…
I enjoyed this book, but it was a little predictable at the same time. I’ve read some reviews and people are saying it doesn’t live up to the first book. I think it does. It was what I needed at the time that I read it. It was a glorious read, even with its predictable parts.
Verity was a nice character, and she did develop a little but at the same time, she stayed the same throughout the whole book. She had her brave moments, her very outspoken moments but then she’d just revert back to her normal, slightly plain self. I enjoyed meeting all of Verity’s family, her sisters made me smile (and grateful I’m not from a huge family).
I liked Johnny, however much he came across as a lost cause. He was funny, caring, considerate and an all round good guy. Shame he thinks he’s in love with a woman he can’t have though. I think Johnny’s development was the best of the book to be honest, to begin with his closed off, unreachable but then by the end he was an open book. He was honest, and in the right place for him.
The writing style was easy to get in to, it was very descriptive and sort of heart warming in a way. While I’ve not read it, I did enjoy all the references to Pride and Prejudice. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter was a nice touch. Towards the end of the book I did feel so much for Verity. I nearly shed a tear for her, she was in such a heartbreaking place.
I’ve given this book a 4 out of 5. I think if it wasn’t the predictable side of it, I would have given it a big 5.
Hangman (Fawkes & Baxter #2) by Daniel Cole
Published: 22nd March 2018
Source: NetGalley and the lovely publishers. Thank you for my copy in exchange for my review.
How do you catch a killer who’s already dead?’
Eighteen months have passed, but the scars the Ragdoll murders left behind remain.
DCI Emily Baxter is summoned to a meeting with US Special Agents Elliot Curtis of the FBI and Damien Rouche of the CIA. There, she is presented with photographs of the latest copycat murder: a body contorted into a familiar pose, strung up impossibly on the other side of the world, the word BAIT carved deep into its chest.
As the media pressure intensifies, Baxter is ordered to assist with the investigation and attend the scene of another murder to discover the same word scrawled across the victim, carved across the corpse of the killer – PUPPET.
As the murders continue to grow in both spectacle and depravity on both sides of the Atlantic, the team helplessly play catch up. Their only hope: to work out who the ‘BAIT’ is intended for, how the ‘PUPPETS’ are chosen but, most importantly of all, who is holding the strings.
Let me start this review with this: I hate cliffhangers. Hate them. If you hate them, don’t read the ending. I have SO MANY questions now!!!!! All of them remaining unanswered until the next book… Please Hurry Up??
This is another spectacular book from Daniel Cole. I was guessing, second guessing, and then starting all over again through the whole book. Turns out I was wrong, but then I really didn’t see it coming.
Baxter is a strong character, and I love her witty comments and her quick temper. She works well against other characters in the book, especially Edmunds and Rouche. It was good to see some of the characters from the first book, Ragdoll, and the addition of new character Rouche. I instantly liked Rouche, he didn’t take himself too seriously. He had his funny moments, and the chemistry between him and Baxter worked really well.
As I mentioned, this is the sequel to Ragdoll and I think it’s just as good as Daniel Cole’s debut. I always worry about second books but this one definitely lives up to the huge success of the first. It’s written very well with heart stopping moments, witty comments and good character chemistry.
My only reasoning for the 4/5 rating I gave it is because 1) Wolf isn’t in it and 2) the ending.
This week is going to be a colourful week. I’ve gone Pink! This week is all about that wonderful colour pink.
First up is an upcoming book. I’ve already read, reviewed, and posted it but here it is again. A Summer Scandal by Kat French. This cover is amazing, and make me instantly think of summer, ice creams and beaches.
Description: When Violet moves to Swallow Beach, she inherits a small Victorian pier in with an empty arcade perched on the end of it, and falls in love immediately. She wants nothing more than to rejuvenate it and make it grand again – but how?
When she meets hunky Calvin, inspiration strikes. What if she turned the arcade into an adult-themed arcade full of artisan shops?
Not everyone in the town is happy with the idea, but Violet loves her arcade and business begins to boom. But as tensions worsen and the heat between her and Calvin begins to grow, life at Swallow Beach becomes tricky. Is it worth staying to ride out the storm? And can Violet find her own happy ending before the swallows fly south for the winter?
Next is The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harral. This book is on my TBR, and I will get to it eventually!! This cover is so pretty, and has some very well known monuments featured. It makes me want to travel through Europe, have an adventure.
Description: Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide and living with her parents in her small Minnesota hometown, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.
When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—re-enters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.
As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.
The Little Wedding Island by Jaimie Admans. Those who read my blog often will know how much I raved about this book! In fact, I recommend it to everyone who wants something light hearted, loving and fun to read!! This cover is beautiful.
Description: Bonnie Haskett loves everything about weddings. She loves her job at a national bridal magazine and even has a deposit down on her dream dress. The only problem? She doesn’t have a fiancé!
So when Bonnie is sent to Edelweiss Island, known as ‘The Little Wedding Island’, it’s a dream come true. She’s heard the rumours, every wedding that takes place in the tiny chapel ends in a happy-ever-after.
But there’s a catch! Investigating the story, Bonnie needs to pose as a blushing bride – and the only man up for posing as her groom is her arch rival (and far too handsome for his own good) journalist Rohan Carter…
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. A heart-breaking tale, but with very lovable characters. Fair enough, this cover is not entirely pink but it’s still got a pink on it, and it’s a very pretty cover. It doesn’t do this book any justice though.
Description: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
Lastly, we have The Promise Kitchen by Peggy Lampman. Honestly, I’ve not read it but this cover is just delicious!! That cake looks incredible, and I Need It!!! Yummy.
Description: Shelby Preston, a young single mother, is at a crossroads. She feels suffocated by her hardscrabble life in rural Georgia and dreams of becoming a professional chef. Lord knows her family could use a pot of something good.
In Atlanta, Mallory Lakes is reeling from a bad breakup. The newspaper food columnist is also bracing for major changes at work that could put her job at risk. Determined to find the perfect recipe for how to reinvent herself, she gets involved in the growing farm-to-table movement. But an emotional setback threatens to derail everything she’s worked for.
Shelby and Mallory couldn’t be more different. But through their shared passion for food, they form an unlikely friendship—a bond that just might be their salvation.
Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis
I like this authors books, they’re always full of great characters, a great story and great chemistry. This book is no different. Finn is a great character, and his chemistry with Pru is just sizzling. I liked Pru, and I understand why she kept her secret, she was completely selfless in her actions and it made me root for her even more. Fantastic writing style, I cannot wait to read more!!
Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley
I loved this story. I loved the simplicity of it. I loved Jubilee, Aja and Eric. I loved the simplicity of the near romance of it. Jubilee has the best development ever, from being a recluse unable to be touched, to being touched, kissed, and no longer a recluse. I loved the slight awkwardness of her. I felt for her, and really couldn’t imagine being her. The writing style of the book is fabulous and just amazing.
Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
This was a good story, it took me a while to guess who the person they were looking for was. I liked Gwen and her children, and the chemistry she had with two of the other characters, Sam and Javi. I liked the writing, it flowed really well. I’m intrigued in the next book as well, I really hope it works as well as this one after that cliffhanger!!
There are going to be some great books published in the next 6 months, and here is my list of the ones I’m really looking forward to!! It’s a very mixed list but all of them look so good!!
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir.
Book 3 in the Ember Quartet. I’m really excited for this based on how the second one ended. There are so many questions left that need to be answered in the next 2 books. This is due to be published 12th June.
Book Description: Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.
The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.
Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.
And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity
Perfect Silence by Helen Fields
The fourth D.I Callanach book. The first 3 have been incredible books and I’ve got very high hopes for this one. Due to be published 23rd August.
Book Description: When silence falls, who will hear their screams?
The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin. And when a macabre ragdoll is found nestled beside an abandoned baby, DI Luc Callanch learns the killer’s horrifying game plan – cutting out dolls from the flesh of his victims.
When a series of drug-users are brutally branded with the letter Z slashed into their foreheads, Luc and his partner Ava must risk both their jobs and their lives to unearth the truth. Is this the merciless work of the same assailant?
As the killer’s twisted games persist, Luc knows it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?
Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness
The first book in All Souls Universe series, it follows Marcus from the Discovery of Witches Series. Super excited for this, Marcus was one of my favourite characters from the original trilogy. Due to be published 23rd September.
Book Description: Set in contemporary Paris and London, and the American colonies during the upheaval and unrest that exploded into the Revolutionary War, a sweeping story that braids together the past and present.
On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life, free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply-held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.
Fast forward to contemporary London, where Marcus has fallen for Phoebe Taylor, a young employee at Sotheby’s. She decides to become a vampire, too, and though the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable in the modern world than they were in the 18th century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both–forever.
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
The sequel to Strange the Dreamer. I am desperate to get back to the world of Weep. I miss is it. 2nd October could not come quick enough!!!
Book Description: In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.
Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice–save the woman he loves, or everyone else?–while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.
As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?
A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
I love Jodi Picoult’s boks. I have a good collection of them and I’m trying to get all of them. This look great, and I love the cover. Publication date at the moment is 2nd October.
Book Description: The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.
After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.
But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.
Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day.
Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
I am prone to really liking books written by Nicholas Sparks. He writes a good book. This one is due to be published 16th October.
Book Description: Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At thirty-six, she’s been dating her boyfriend, an orthopedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family’s cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future.
Tru Walls has never visited North Carolina but is summoned to Sunset Beach by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. A safari guide, born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru hopes to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding his mother’s early life and recapture memories lost with her death. When the two strangers cross paths, their connection is as electric as it is unfathomable . . . but in the immersive days that follow, their feelings for each other will give way to choices that pit family duty against personal happiness in devastating ways.
What books are you looking forward to?
A bit different this week, I’ve chosen a favourite film and gone with quotes in that film. I won’t tell you the film straight away, see if you get it right before the end!! I’ll give you 5 quotes this week.
“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything”
“Maybe we have to break ourselves to make something better out of ourselves”
“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
“When you have insomnia, you’re never really asleep and you’re never really awake.”
“This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.”
And the film is:
So, another month down and June is here. Half way through the year and I seem to have hit a bit of a slump. My reading mojo is missing, and the reward to anyone who can find it is a free book!! I’ve really struggled to find a book I have really enjoyed over the last few weeks. I can pinpoint the exact book that has done this to me. Not because I loved it so much nothing else matches up to it, but because I found the book so awful and unoriginal that I don’t want to face any written words yet. I feel like I should tell you the book but I do not want anyone else to go through this. I cannot put that on you, it was just.. awful. (You’ll probably guess which it is as there will not be any mention of a review of anything.) I’ve probably taken more of a break the last few weeks than when I originally planned to take one.
Books Read in May
Prepare for the shortest list I probably will ever write:
- Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley
- To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
- Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
- A Royal Wedding by Jeevani Charika
- A Winter Retreat at the Paris Cheese Shop by Victoria Brownlee
5 books. Yes, that’s right. From 10 or more books, down to 5. Doesn’t seem like much but for me, it’s a dramatic change. I read 2 from my list last month so they’re officially ticked off. The other’s though? Hmm, I might try them this month!!
Books To Be Read in June
(not including Blog Tours)
- Renegades by Marissa Meyer
- Nomad by James Swallow
- The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave
- The Lake House by Kate Morton
- The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood
- The Stolen Sky by Heather Hansen
- Hangman by Daniel Cole
- The Gender Game by Bella Forrest
#Starstruck by Sariah Wilson
Published: 16th January 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Source: NetGalley and the publisher, thank you lovely people for my copy in exchange for my review!
“You’ve done better.”
With one uncharacteristically sassy tweet to her longtime celebrity crush, Zoe Miller’s life turns upside down. Ultrahot A-lister Chase Covington doesn’t just respond to Zoe’s tweet, he does the unthinkable: he messages Zoe directly. Now she must decide between walking away or meeting her crush in person.
Chase knows better than to trust anyone from the Internet, but Zoe’s saucy challenge has totally caught his interest—and her girl-next-door personality is keeping it. He’s been burned enough to know he needs to keep his heart close. But his feelings for Zoe might be a lot more than just an online flirtation. He just has to convince her…
When the press gets wind of Zoe and Chase’s secret relationship, their romance turns into tabloid headlines. Will they be able to hold on to their Hollywood love story?
This was a nice read. For once, the relationship didn’t centre around sex or passion. It was about getting to know someone without the intimacy, actually having a conversation. The little questions that should be asked.It makes a nice change to have a clean romance.
It was well written, I liked the text message and tweet format in parts and at the start of each chapter. It was the modern day equivalent of a love letter. The banter between Zoe and Chase was great, it made me think of how me and my husband(!!!!) act around each other. I will definitely be looking for other books by this author in the future.
I liked Zoe, and I most definitely liked Chase. He was fun, considerate, caring and good looking. Zoe was the sort of person I’d be friends with, she was full of useless trivia, she was witty and believed completely in her choices. Her commitment to her family was amazing, and her commitment to her… Let’s say beliefs, was a good change of pace. She didn’t change as soon as she met Chase like some girls in other books I have read. She was determined to stick to her life choice. Which she did, with an extreme amount of temptation.
I gave this book 4 out of 5. It missed a little spark, but other than that it was a good read!!