eARC Review: The Bromance Book Club, by Lyssa Kay Adams

the bromance book club lyssa kay adams

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary, Romance

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I got a copy of this e-book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

The Bromance Book Club is the story of Thea and Gavin, whose marriage might be coming to a bitter end, with Gavin finding out he never did give Thea an orgasm throughout their entire marriage, and Thea being fed up with pretending to be the perfect baseball wife with no ambitions of her own. But if the Bromance Book Club has anything to do with it, their relationship isn’t over just yet.

I could not resist that cover or that synopsis. It just sounds outright ADORABLE and funny and sexy. Men getting together to read romance in order to improve their marriages and learn to be better lovers? Hell yes. Continue reading

Review: Proper English, by KJ Charles

proper english kj charles

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Historical F/F Romance, Murder Mystery

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Proper English is the story of Pat, a sensible young woman, who’s going to the country house of Earl of Witton for a shooting party. She’s also meeting her old friend, Jimmy, and his new fiancée. The problem? It might just be worst party of all time, as tensions grow and secrets are spilled out, revealing shocking betrayals, and worse – they’re all stuck together through a storm that might last several days. And Pat has yet another problem: Jimmy’s fiancée, Fen, is a lovely, beautiful girl, and Pat has never met someone quite like her. When a body is discovered in the house, Pat and Fen must do what they can do find the murderer. Continue reading

Review: Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist

missing presumed dead emma berquist

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Mystery, Young Adult, F/F Paranormal Romance

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Lexi doesn’t like it when people touch her. No, that’s an understatement – Lexi flinches whenever someone touches her, because she can see how anyone will die if she has contact with their skin. She also sees ghosts, and can send them to wherever it is they should’ve gone when they died, but at great cost to her. She’s lonely and miserable, working at a night club to make ends meet where people like her are welcome. One night, she touches a woman who’s going to be murdered violently that night and when she meets her ghost, she knows she must do whatever it takes to avenge her. Continue reading

Review: The Chain, by Adrian McKinty

the chain adrian mckinty

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Thriller

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The Chain tells the story of Rachel, who has been battling cancer for years, and now suffers the worst blow of all: her daughter has been kidnapped. But not by a regular criminal wanting ransom – she’s been kidnapped by a regular mom who is part of the Chain, and Rachel is now part of it, too. To have her daughter back, Rachel must pay up and do the unthinkable… kidnap a child.

I was initially not really going to pick up The Chain because the synopsis didn’t call to me, but after seeing so much hype around it (it’s even being turned into a movie) and also how excited my sister was to read it, I decided to pick it up on audio! Continue reading

eARC Review: The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2), by R. F. Kuang

the dragon republic r f kuangRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy

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I received an eARC for this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

The Third Poppy War is over, but it does not feel like victory to Rin. She has become more and more dependent on opium, her senses dulled as she tries to control the Phoenix god and not lose her sanity to the horrors she saw and committed during the war. If she assassinates this one last target, the Pirate Empress Moag will lend her the ships and army to kill Daji – but it won’t be so simple. There are bigger players who want Rin by their side as a weapon. As the stakes become even higher than before, Rin must find out who she can trust and what she is willing to sacrifice. Continue reading

Review: Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

neverwhere neil gaimanRating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Fantasy

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Neverwhere is the story of Richard, who leads a perfectly normal life in London with a perfectly normal job and is engaged to the beautiful Jessica – until the day he decides to save a strange girl named Door and his life is turned upside down. Suddenly no one else can see him. He no longer exists in the London he knows – in fact, the only people who see him now belong to the world of the strange girl he saved, in London Below.

Neverwhere was such an entertaining read, I was very impressed by the world building, how dark, vivid and enticing it was, and was so many times enchanted by the writing. I do love a witty, dark style, and Neil Gaiman surely did that. He managed to create villains so unapologetically caricatures of themselves that it just worked – their comical evilness was delightful to read! Continue reading

eARC Review: Most Ardently, by Susan Mesler-Evans

most ardently susan mesler-evansRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: F/F Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Retelling, Young Adult

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I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Most Ardently is the story of Elisa Benitez, the second of five sisters, who starts taking classes at University, where she meets the insufferable, cold and condescending Darcy. She’s tall, beautiful and… fifthly rich. Elisa despises her, admires her and is determined that, no matter what, Darcy is the kind of girl she could never fall for.

This is a YA F/F retelling of Pride and Prejudice – what else did I really need to know to pick this up? I’ve read quite a few retellings of P&P, which is one of my favorite books of all times, and this one is among my favorites! It’s a light-hearted hate-to-love romcom, with a half-Black lesbian girl (Darcy) and a bisexual Latina (Elisa). This is a lovely read which also touched on sensitive topics like student loan debt, consent, statutory rape. But while these topics were treated seriously and are quite relevant to the story, it didn’t make the novel emotionally difficult to read. Continue reading

eARC Review: Girl of Fire, by Gabrielle Mathieu

girl-of-fire-gabrielle-mathieuRating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

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I received an eARC for this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Berona loves the wilderness, and dreams of finding true love. When an ancient Water Demon threatens her and everything she loves, Berona knows she must make a choice and become stronger. She decides to join the Yellow Cloaks to learn how to become a warrior and kill demons, hopefully without losing her dreams in the process. Continue reading

Mini-Review: We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson

we have always lived in the castle shirley jackson

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Fiction, Gothic

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle tells the story of Mary Katherine and her sister Constance, who live their Uncle Julian in the old mansion  where the rest of their family died. The villagers hate them, but they’ve managed to have a quiet life despite the animosity. This will all change once Cousin Charles decides to pay a visit…

This book was such a deliciously whimsical, Gothic read! I loved it so much. Mary Katherine is one of the best characters I’ve read in a while, smart, a bit wild, and definitely up to no good. The atmosphere of the book so tense you always feel like it will all fall apart. Constance is a bit of an enigma to me, so kind and lovely but her involvement in the murders is not clear, so you always have a suspicion about her sweet temperament – did she or didn’t she? I loved also that there is so much talk about food in this book – there is something ritualistic about the way so much of their lives go around the meals they will have, especially considering the way their family died.

This short novel is full of mystery, witty dialogue and it’s such an entertaining read! If you’ve never read anything Gothic before, I think it’s a great place to start.

Review: A Spell of Winter, by Helen Dunmore

a spell of winter helen dunmoreRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Gothic Literary Fiction

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‘I saw an arm fall off a man once,’ said Kate.

So begins A Spell of Winter, the inaugural winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, now known as Women’s Prize for Fiction. I am partial to a good Gothic story, so it comes as no surprise that I loved this book!

A Spell of Winter tells the story of Cathy, a girl living with her cold grandfather and her brother Rob in England, in a big house that once was full of life, before her mother ran away and her father was locked away in a sanatorium. As Cathy’s life becomes more complicated and full of dark secrets, and World War I slowly starts to threaten the their quiet town, she must not let herself break. Continue reading