Quick Non-Fic Reviews: Cook Books

You may noticed that I work in a library and you also may have noticed that I have a tenancy to borrow waaay too many books. My previous Quick Non-Fic Reviews were so fun to write that I’ve decided to keep doing them, as I for some inexplicable reason, I have not stopped borrowing books 😋 This post will look at all of the Cook books that I have borrowed recently and read.


I Didn’t Know My Slow Cooker Could Do That: 150 Delicious, Surprising Recipes by Better Homes and Gardens

This book was a mixed bag for me because yes there were recipes in there that I didn’t know you could do in a slow cooker but there were also not a lot of practical meal in there. A lot of the more ‘out there’ recipes that incorporated the slow cooker were ones that could have been accomplished in the oven. Now I’m not saying that a recipe that calls for you to fry ingredients, cook them in a slow cooker, put them in a food processor, and then pop in the oven aren’t practical but they’re really not in the spirit of the slow cooker.

I will say though that I will be trying some of the bread recipes, in particular the chilli corn bread one which looked amazing 🤤 Also it appears that this book has lit a sudden interest in making preserves as gifts for people. The tomato and bacon spread not only had my stomach growling but had my frugal mind spinning with present possibilities.


Ice Cube Tray Recipes by Jen Karetnick

Food from ice cube trays?! Yes please, I though as I caught a glimpse of this book cover. It wasn’t until I was reading through each recipe trying to visulise how some of these would work that I realised the books flaw. There simply aren’t enough pictures of the recipe.

For such a strange cooking concept you really do need images to back these recipes up. While there was a detailed section at the beginning of the book about the different types of ice cube trays and the ways in which to cook with them, I would often find myself reading a recipe and simply not being able to visualise the cooking process or the final product. I did read an eBook version of the book though, so who knows maybe a physical copy had more images (to be fair though I read a lot of eBook recipe books and this is not the case).

Other than that though, I really thought this was such a cool concept and would be a great type of food to whip out at parties 🤤


Tots! 50 Tot-ally awesome recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-Tot-O Pie by Dan Whalen

Just to start I will say that I have a weakness for ‘tots.’ I say ‘tots’ because in Australia they are called potato gems and they are just so yummy with a little bit of chicken salt. Tots! is a great little cook book because it has so many recipes that not only use this lovely food item but because they are easy to make and look dilicious!

I am looking forward to trying Totchos (nachos but with potato gems) and also Shepard’s Pie with a Totty Top (normal Shepard’s pie but with potato gems instead of mashed potato). Also I am very intrigued by the idea of mooshing and flattening the potato gems and serving food on top of them – the book suggests caviar and sour cream but I will never be that fancy 😋 If you do see this book around I would really recommend giving it a read! It will 100% make you crave some potato gems.


Book Bingo Update 10


Finish that TRILOGy

Looking For You (Lifesworn #3) by Megan Derr

The third book in the series, Looking For You, brings the Lifesworn series to a climatic end. The series is set in a fantastical world where in the first book, we follow a princess as she escapes her kingdom as her uncle usurps the throne. The two other books tell the stories of people close to Princess Shana and how they all ultimately work towards returning her to her kingdom and throne.

In each book the series explores a number of polyamorous relationships through incredibly different storylines. As per usual I am constantly in awe of the seamless way that Megan Derr creates worlds and lores within her work. However as always, the book could have stood to be given one last proofread before being published.

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SLRG: Misadventures with a Professor by Sierra Simone

Misadventures with a Professor

by Sierra Simone.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: Zandy Lynch never planned on going to grad school a virgin. So when her professor father finds her a job abroad as a research assistant the summer before she starts her master’s program, she sees her chance. She’s got one night in London to lose her V-card to a Mr. Darcy lookalike before she has to join some ancient professor in the country.

Oliver Graeme is not looking forward to having some American co-ed hovering around while he’s trying to work, but he owes her father the favor, and besides, his office is an untidy mess of uncatalogued research. He needs the help. Still, he decides to take the edge off his frustration while visiting a colleague in London, and winds up having the sexiest, sweetest night of his life with a stranger, who vanishes in the morning without a trace…

To Zandy’s shock when she arrives at Professor Graeme’s house a day later, the door isn’t opened by a fussy old scholar, but by the wild, passionate man she met in London. Cold and reserved by day, Oliver is ferociously greedy with her at night, and it’s not long before Zandy finds herself falling for both versions of him—the aloof professor and the generous, rough lover. The trouble is that summer only lasts so long, and Zandy already has a plane ticket waiting to take her home…

****
Misadventures is a romantic series of spicy standalone novels, each written or co-written by some of the best names in romance. The stories are scandalous, refreshing, and, of course, incredibly sexy. They’re the perfect bedside read, a ‘quick blush’ for the reader who loves a page-turning romance.I

Blurb taken from Goodreads.

Length: 208 pages.

Series: Misadventures #15

Genre: Romance. Erotica. M/F Romance.

Read as an: Paperback.


My Thoughts

As I mentioned previously in my TBR Pile post, I have seen the Misadventure books around for a while now but decided to give one a read after reading the blurb of Sierra Simone’s new book, A Lesson in Thorns. Misadventures with a Professor was a great and fun read. The story follows Amanda who is an American visiting England to sort out the library and research materials of her Fathers Professor friend. Enter Oliver, who at the start of the book (spoiler alert) helps Amanda lose her virginity.

The rest of the novel is of how Amanda (or Zandy) and Oliver navigate their relationship and admit to what each other want – not just their kinks but each other. I absolutely loved the little moments where you had the two cultures clash. The absolute horror Oliver had when Amanda made a cup of tea in the microwave was one I loved.


Smut Level

Misadventures with a Professor was very kink friendly. The pair played up the whole Student/Professor role play and the novel also featured a lot of spanking. While there was a backstory of Oliver being kink shamed in a previous relationship, the book is very open with the twos wants and desires.

I enjoyed the book so much, I’ve tracked down the first book of the Misadventure series and if I enjoy that, may give the whole series a read ❤


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Small Snippet of October 2019

Singapore Breakfast by T2

Okay so you know I love my tea, so I had to share my current favourite blend! Singapore Breakfast is a beautiful and coconutty tea which is not only black tea but is a mix of both black and green tea. Based off of the Singapore kaya toast, the tea is a beautiful black tea that is so smooth to drink.

Currently the tea isn’t available in teabags, so I have been making my own and taking them to work. WhenI’m out and about in the shelves I have my little thermos of this lovely tea. I would really recommend giving this tea a try, it is quite different but everyone who I have gotten to try the blend, has loved it ☕️❤️

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Top Ten: Romantic Suspense Films

Top10

Romantic Suspense Films

Romantic suspense as a genre is a difficult one to define. The main differences between romantic suspense and more normalised romance movies can be seen the in the setting and events of the films. Often with a romantic suspense film, the romance between a couple is ‘suspended’ due to more pressing issues relating to the situation of the film, these being of a more action, adventure, or crime slant.

The action genre is a one that branches over into many other, often times surprising genres. After a year and a half spent researching the action genre for my abandoned PH.D, the genre and all its off shoots is one that I still manage to find interesting and entertaining. The romantic suspense genre, while not being widely acknowledged nor defined, is one that nevertheless remains a staple of the film industry.

So armed with this knowledge and my romantically inclined nature, I would like to share my top ten romantic suspense films.

10. This Means War (2012).

A pair of C.I.A. operatives wage an epic battle against one another when they discover they are dating the same woman.

Taken from IMDB

Okay so I will admit that This Means War isn’t that great of a movie – however when I was watching it I couldn’t get over how much it exemplifies the romantic suspense genre.

While the story does revolve around a romantic triangle, there is no lack of action nor romance. Think of This Means War as an attempt to capture the essence of Mr and Mrs Smith – one that almost does. This Means War is a great example of the romantic suspense genre but ultimately a forgettable film.


9. True Lies (1994).

A fearless, globe-trotting, terrorist-battling secret agent has his life turned upside down when he discovers his wife might be having an affair with a used car salesman while terrorists smuggle nuclear war heads into the United States.

Taken from IMDB

True Lies may feel more like an action film but when Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis interact – their chemistry explodes more than any bomb in the film. Normally in the romantic suspense genre, you would see two people getting together, but in True Lies you see a married couple re-connect and see each other in a new light.

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2020 Reading Challenge

Ally Asks

In preparation for next year, I’m starting to think about what I’m going to do for my next reading challenge. I’ve really enjoyed my Book Bingo this year and am looking forward to doing something similar next year.

The wonderful Jess from The Never Ending Bookshelf made a really cute book bingo template for this year that I just love! So much so, I am thinking of stealing her idea.

The template that Jess created is tamer than the huge monstrosity of my 2019 book bingo card, and I just love the way the template looks. Instead of a typical bingo card layout, Jess created a nice three line style which is not only different but has a really nice look and feel to it. If you haven’t you should totally check out Jess’ 2019 Book Bingo challenge, and see for yourself how damned cute it is!

With this in mind, I am thinking about ditching the 25 squares and instead only using 12 squares. There will also be a shift in focus, instead of offering things like ‘Goodreads Rec’ or ‘Read because of a pretty cover,’ I was thinking of focusing on tropes only.

This would mean potentially sticking to one challenge a month – which does leave me open to having to complete a challenge even if I change my mind and hate it, so I shall have to think carefully 🧐

In light of this, I am trying to think of challenge squares and am struggling. So far I have thought of a few and have really just hit the wall in terms of thinking of others. Also lets be honest, I’m probably only going to read romance novels so the tropes are focused towards that genre.

The below are some of my current ideas:

  • Marriage of Convenience.
  • Fake/Pretend Relationship.
  • Cinder(f)ella.
  • Ice King/Queen.
  • Superheroes.
  • Wallflower.

So once again, I’m putting it to you, do you have any suggestions for tropes?


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SLRG: Waiting for You by Megan Derr

Waiting for You

by Megan Derr.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Shanna has spent her whole life waiting—waiting to be old enough, waiting for the day she must pick a consort, waiting for a chance to finally overcome her despicable stepfather… and waiting for someone to finally banish the loneliness that comes with being a queen-in-waiting one step away from being murdered.

On the eve of the two-week event during which she must pick a consort from a bevy of suitors, two strangers arrive claiming to have been invited—though she knows full well they did not receive any such invitation. But the handsome, mischievous Prince Kallaar is too intriguing to resist, and his quiet bodyguard too compelling to ignore…

But she’s learned the hard way never to let anyone get too close, and on the verge of gaining true independence her stepfather will stop at nothing to see she never gets it.

Blurb taken from Goodreads.

Length: 111 pages.

Series: Lifesworn #1

Genre: Romance. Fantasy. M/M/F Romance. Polyamorous Romance.

Read as an: eBook.


My Thoughts

If you’ve been paying attention to my previous posts, I am a big Megan Derr fan. I am also a big fan of the publisher Nine Star Press , so when I saw both combined I knew immediately that I had to read this book.

I was lucky enough that when I requested that my library purchase an eBook copy, I was promptly able to read this wonderful book. (I am currently waiting for approval for the rest of the series to be purchased!) So hopefully it won’t take too long because I am love with the world of Waiting for You!

As always Derr is a master of effortless world building with the politically charged environment surrounding Shanna being presented to us in a quick and easy to grasp manner. In no time at all I was rooting for all three of the characters and found myself so thoroughly engaged in the emotional story between Shanna, Kallaar, and Ahmla.

Also honestly, who could read Waiting for You and not fall in love with Kallaar?


Smut Level

As you can tell from my above thoughts on the book and the fact that the book is a polyamorous romance novel, Waiting for You does indeed feature scenes between all three characters. While not the smuttiest book out there, the action between the three characters is not only incredibly sexually charged but it is emotional.

The scenes do play out at moments of emotional revelations and there is no sexual shame felt between the three as they explore themselves and their new relationship. Shanna is quite open in her imaginings and desire for more than one partner throughout the novel.

So pretty much loved the book everything about this book ❤❤❤


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Self Care Saturday: Black Rose by Lush

Black Rose by Lush

Wash away your woes with sweet rose. This richly romantic Turkish rose and lemon love story will have you falling head over heels for bathing all over again. A kiss of conditioning Fair Trade cocoa butter hydrates, while balancing geranium leaves your skin looking blooming beautiful.

Taken from the Lush AU website.

Black Rose is intense! The scent of the bath is strong and aromatic with my bathroom smelling of roses for days after using the bath bomb. The bath water is also so amazing to look at – black but with silver glitter shimmering in the among the water.

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Currently Consuming: Untitled Goose Game

Honk!

About

It’s a lovely morning in the village, and you are a horrible goose.

Yep, you read that right, in Untitled Goose Game you play as a goose who goes around and antagonises a village full of people. The controls are literally, walk, run, duck, grab, honk, and flap your wings. It is literally the funnest game I have played all year.

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Long Lost Review: The Fall (2006)

Long Lost Reviews Icon

The Fall

Directed by: Tarsem Singh

In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.

Taken from IMDB

I’m changing it up a bit this month, so instead of a book, it’s an amazing movie that I don’t think enough people know about. The Fall is a visually stunning film that blurs the lines between cinema, story, truth, and lies – I absolutely loved this movie and just need to share my love for it.

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