Romance Recommendation: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

by Mackenzi Lee

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and travelling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Taken from book blurb

Length: 10 hours 47 minutes

Series: Montague Siblings #1

Genre: Young Adult. QUILTBAG. M/M Romance.

Read as an: eAudiobook


My Thoughts

While listening to the first chapter of this audiobook, I was very tempted to stop reading. Don’t get me wrong, the narrator was amazing and the writing was good – it was just the character Monty was such a prick that I didn’t want to listen to a whole book about him.

I am SO glad that I powered through because I came to love Monty. While it might be stretching it to say that he grew as a person, he none the less grew on me as I came to understand him.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a young adult, historical, LGBTQ+ romance adventure novel. Encompassing that many genres may be a stretch with some books, but Lee pulls it off spectacularly. Soon I was absorbed in the world of the novel and was fighting for Monty and his love affair with Percy.


“We’re not courting trouble,” I say. “Flirting with it, at most.”


Continue reading “Romance Recommendation: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee”

Small Snippet of January 2020

Cupcake & Dino: General Services

After renewing my Netflix subscription after a hefty amount of time on Stan, the first thing that I watched was the second season of Cupcake & Dino: General Services. I am a big fan of cartoons but this really takes the (cup)cake 😉🧁I love the humour, the characters, the out there storylines but most of all, I love that catchy opening theme song!

If you can, I would really recommenced watching this show! Or at the very least, watch the first episode – you won’t regret it.

Continue reading “Small Snippet of January 2020”

Seventh Blogiversary

Woah! Has it been another year already?!

When I started this blog it was for a university assignment, who knew that it would awaken such a passion and sense of fulfilment in me? I am excited for 2020 and look forward to next year when I hit my eighth blog-iversary!

Just in case you missed them, check out some of my favourite posts, or ones that I am particularly proud of, from last year.


2020 Goals

Happy almost end of the first month of 2020!

After the kind of, and almost of success of my 2019 Goals list, I have decided to give it a go again. But this time, in widget form! So say goodbye to the tired format of last year, and say hello to my pretty checklist!

Hello pretty checklist.

The above image is one that will live on the side of my blog in a widget. When I am able to tick something off, I will update the image with one with pretty ticks so that I and everyone else who cares can keep track.

Remarkably similar to my Hopeful Reads of 2020 personal challenge – this 2020 Goals checklist is a passive one. I may talk about it or feature it if I mark off something but other than that, its job is to sit there and look pretty.

Hopefully you will see this 2020 Goals image on the side widget if you visit on a browser but if you visit my page while using a mobile or tablet, you will have to scroll right now to the bottom to check out this lovely content. But no worries, I am just happy that it is there for my own personal reference.

…to quietly breath down my neck and remind that I said I would get shit done this year…


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Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

Mooncakes

by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

Publisher: Link.

Amazon: Link.

Goodreads: Link.

Book Depository: Link.


A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

Taken from book blurb

Length: 256 Pages.

Genre: Graphic Novel. Fantasy. QUILTBAG.


My Thoughts

Mooncakes is a cute , inclusive, and easy to read graphic novel. The book is a fantasy story set in modern times, with witches, magic, and werewolves taking centre stage in this graphic novel.

Continue reading “Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker”

Three Ways to Join a Book Club

It’s a new year! Why not try crossing something off your bucket list or start on your To Read pile by starting a book club?!

I am a consistent advocate for book clubs – they are great ways to engage with literature all the while getting out and being social. If you are interested in joining a book club, the below is a brief look at three different ways you can go about achieving this goal.

There are a number of ways you can find, join, or start a book. You can gather a group of your friends and hold a physical book club, you could join an established and public book club, or you can engage online in digital book clubs.

Option One: Start one yourself.

The main difficulty in starting a book club is finding members to join you. You may be lucky and have a few like minded friends who wish to also start a book club, or you may need to round them up, or even sweeten the deal with the promise of wine.

The hardest part of starting a book club is that first meeting. It is my suggestion that if you are starting one with friends, start small. Three or four friends is a respectable amount of people for a book club, there is no rule saying that you have to have a huge group – however if you do start with large numbers then that is great too!

My other suggestion for your very first meeting is to choose an easy and accessible book. You may want to start off with something like Pride and Prejudice, The Help, or even take a page out of the film The Book Club, and read Fifty Shades of Grey. By starting with an easy choice you can get the ball rolling early and easily and hopefully make it past that first book club meeting.

If you are able to pin down a few friends and start a book club – congratulations! You have done the near impossible.

Option Two: Join a book club

If you want to join a book club but don’t want all the hassle of starting one yourself, you can always join an exisiting book club.

Joining a book club is a great way to meet new people, expand your social circle, or engage with your community. It is also a really great way to meet new people if you have just moved to a new area because you are always free to come and go from the club with no pressure as you expand your new social circles.

If you are looking to join a pre-existing book club, I would recommend checking out your local public library. As a librarian at a pubic library, I know that each branch has a number of book clubs running through the library. Not to mention all of the private ones that utilise the library book club kits or space.

If you are unable to find a suitable library run book club, either because they don’t have any vacancies or they run at times not suited to you, check out your local community notice boards. You may get lucky and find a private club that is looking for new members.

Option Three: Engage with an online book club.

If you want to have a wholly digital book club experience, there are a number of ways you can engage with book clubs online.

Goodreads is home to a number of groups which are based around genres, book clubs, or reading challenges. Explore the site and see if you can find a group that grabs your attention – often you will find groups that post monthly polls for which books to read and forums where you can engage with each other.

Also really no matter what genre you enjoy reading, you will find a book club associated with it on Goodreads. You can join groups dedicated to Young Adult, New Adult, Romance, and even history books. On the Goodreads site, I would really recommend checking out Our Shared Shelf, which is a book club run by Emma Watson that looks at Feminist works of literature.

Celebrity book clubs are also ones you can engage in online – Oprah’s Book Club is on Goodreads, Florence Welch from Florence + the Machine runs Between Two Books, and  NFL football player Andrew Luck reads two books a month in their book club the Andrew Luck Book Club.


If you are interested in finding out more, I have previously talked about my love for them in my posts, Five Reasons My Book Club is Better than Yours and Top Ten: Book Club Books.

12 Tropes of 2020 Challenge – Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

May/December from
12 Tropes of 2020

Refers to a romantic relationship where there is a drastic difference in age between the two participants.

Taken from TV Tropes

“Some say I’m robbing the cradle, but I say she’s robbing the grave!”

Hubert FarnsworthFuturama

Better Not Pout
by Annabeth Albert

One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?

Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind. 

Blurb taken from Goodreads

My thoughts

Better Not Pout has been on my reading list for a while now, I remember making grand plans to read it all the way back in December 2017… it only took me two years to read it. I am very glad that I did eventually read this book as I found it to be quite a sweet and tender hearted novel.

Continue reading “12 Tropes of 2020 Challenge – Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert”

Tough Guy by Rachel Reid

Tough Guy

by Rachel Reid.

They have nothing in common—so why does Ryan feel most like himself whenever he’s with Fabian?

Pro hockey star Ryan Price may be an enforcer, but off the ice he struggles with anxiety. Recently traded to the Toronto Guardians, he’s determined to make a fresh start in the city’s dynamic LGBTQ Village. The last thing he expects to stumble upon in his new neighborhood is a blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.

Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.

Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: January 13, 2020.

Length: 262 pages.

Series: Game Changers #3.

Genre: QUILTBAG. Romance. M/M Romance.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Rachel Reid continues to blow me away. Not only does she make me want to know more about Hockey but she compels me to read her books in one session with her engaging characters and dynamic relationships. Although it is the start of the year, I feel like I have found a 2020 favourite in Tough Guy.

Continue reading “Tough Guy by Rachel Reid”

Long Lost Review: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennet

Long Lost Reviews Icon

The Uncommon Reader

Alan Bennett.

A deliciously funny novella that celebrates the pleasure of reading. When the Queen in pursuit of her wandering corgis stumbles upon a mobile library she feels duty bound to borrow a book. Aided by Norman, a young man from the palace kitchen who frequents the library, the Queen is transformed as she discovers the liberating pleasures of the written word.

The author of the Tony Award winner The History Boys, Alan Bennett is one of Britain’s best-loved literary voices. With The Uncommon Reader, he brings us a playful homage to the written word, imagining a world in which literature becomes a subversive bridge between powerbrokers and commoners. By turns cheeky and charming, the novella features the Queen herself as its protagonist. When her yapping corgis lead her to a mobile library, Her Majesty develops a new obsession with reading. She finds herself devouring works by a tantalizing range of authors, from the Brontë sisters to Jean Genet. With a young member of the palace kitchen staff guiding her choices, it’s not long before the Queen begins to develop a new perspective on the world – one that alarms her closest advisers and tempts her to make bold new decisions. Brimming with the mischievous wit that has garnered acclaim for Bennett on both sides of the Atlantic, The Uncommon Reader is a delightful celebration of books and writers, and the readers who sustain them. 

Taken from book blurb

So I only recall brief snippets of this book but I remember being charmed. If only because the protagonist is the current, Queen of England. As the blurb states, the story follows the Queen as she stumbles upon a mobile library and from there develops a love of the written word. Dear old Lizzie makes her way through the classics as well as modern literature.

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennet”

Changes in 2020

Welcome to 2020!

As some people say – new year, new you. So with that in mind, in 2020 there are going to be some changes 😊

Even though I am still coming to terms with how quickly 2019 went by, I have been planning some of these changes for a while. Starting in January, I will be mixing things up a bit and fiddling with blog formats, posting dates, and the ways in which I do things.

The below are some of the changes:

  • Posting date change: Starting in January, I will be changing up the days that I post. Instead of Tuesday and Thursday with the occasional Saturday post. Moving forward, I will be posting on Tuesday and Friday.
  • Smut Lovers Reading Group is no more: As the book club I was in has died a slow death, I am instead turning my focus to a different format. Instead keep an eye out for smallish romance posts that will in all probability be called: Romance Recommendations.
  • Blog focused content: As I am entering my seventh year of blogging, I thought I would start a new feature where I share tips and tricks that have helped me through my own personal blogging journey. I was thinking of formatting this as 12 posts over the year that focus down on one tip each post.

So keep an eye out and see if you notice any of these changes and let me know what you think!


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