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.

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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.

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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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Recap of 2019 and Visions for 2020

2019 was a pretty decent year. Everyone I love is healthy, I have a roof over my head, a permanent job, I went on two amazing holidays, I feel closer to my partner, and I’m in enough of a financially stable position to start looking at house loans.

So as fun as it would be to say that 2019 was a garbage fire, it was actually pretty okay. Don’t get me wrong there were some rough and anger inducing times but I made it though the year without any major meltdowns or upheavals.

So below are some of the things I loved in 2019 and some quick hopes and dreams for 2020.


Recap of 2019

Reading

  • Book Love by Debbie Tung – Filled with relatable comics about loving books and reading, this book was just so wholesome, full of gorgeous art, and it just got me. If have a love for all things reading you should 100% read this book!
  • Super Fun Sexy Times by Meredith McClaren – I fell in love with the sex positivity, QUILTBAG inclusion, and effortlessly emotional story telling within this graphic novel. The fact that it is filled with gorgeous art and superheroes made this book one of my favourite reads of the year.
  • Hottie Scotty & Mr. Porter by R. Cooper – 2019 is the year I fell in love with R. Cooper – they are the Queen of bittersweet angst and I absolutely devoured their back catalogue. Hottie Scotty & Mr Porter was one of the stand outs for me as I keep thinking about it and I already really want to give it a re-read in 2020.
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My Goodreads Year in Books – 2019

I did it – I finished the challenge!

Previously in 2018 I had challenged myself to read 70 books and beat that challenge, so this year I thought I would go for the big 💯. I am happy to say that I have beat that by *almost* 50. So close 😋

Since I surprised myself so much this year, I plan on upping the challenge to 150 books in 2020. So wish me luck and also check out all that I read in 2019.

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2019 Goals Rundown!

Happy almost the end of 2019!

Let’s have a quick look at what I have accomplished this 2019. If you’ve been paying attention, I have been tracking my progress each month in my Small Snippets posts, so some of this may not be a surprise to you.

Reread

I have gone abysmally at rereading books this year 😰 While I did try with reading the first book of the Lunar Chronicles this year, sadly I did not pick up any other books in the below series.

The Lunar Chronicles by Melissa Meyer.

❌The whole Tortall series by Tamora Pierce.

The Seventh Tower series by Garth Nix.

❌Finish the Modern Faerie Tales series.

Continue reading “2019 Goals Rundown!”

Christmas Book Bingo by The Never Ending Bookshelf

Happy Holidays everyone!

The lovely Jess over at The Never Ending Bookshelf started a Christmas themed Book Bingo towards the end of November that really caught my eye. The below bingo card really inspired me to sit down and tackle some Chrissy books.

While I haven’t read too many Christmas themed books this December, I was able to read three of them. The three books are all QUILTBAG romances that I had mixed feelings about – however two of them were quite enjoyable and fun books about the holiday season.

So, using the content from the above three books I was able to cross off five of the prompts.

Snow: The Christmas Throwaway by RJ Scott because the main character sadly spends the first half of Christmas Eve sleeping on a bench in the snow 😞

Gifts Exchanged: The Ugliest Sweater by Gillian St. Kevern because half way through the book there is a gift exchange which features one of the characters giving quite a naughty but Christmas themed present 🍬🍭

FREE CHOICE: I choose Santa 🎅 In Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert, main character Nicolas dresses as Santa multiple times to help with a charity drive because he just cannot say no.

Christmas in the Title: The Christmas Throwaway by RJ Scott because tadar! It’s in the title 😋

Scrooge/Grinch Character: Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert because Nicolas starts off as such a scrooge. Thank goodness he has Teddy to make him see the error of his ways – elf costume and all 🧝‍♂️

So yay! With three books I achieved a Bingo!

Be sure to check out The Never Ending Bookshelf and let Jess know how you went with your Christmas reads! While you’re there why not see how you went on the challenge and post to let us know 😄🎅

An Infographic about Non-traditional Christmas Films

I’m a big fan of Christmas movies but not so much the rinse and repeat story lines and sometimes tripe sentiments that they spew out. Give me a good movie that takes place around the holiday period, I love seeing Christmas being celebrated in the background.

So please enjoy my infographic that I threw together about non traditional Christmas films.



My Hopeful Reads of 2020

Due largely to my enjoying the graphic, rather than my ‘success’ of last year – I will be attempting again my Hopeful Reads of 2020 reading challenge.

Referring to the below image, this will be on display in a sidebar widget of my blog for the entirety of 2020. The books featured are ones that I want to hopefully read by the end of 2020, thus the ‘Hopeful reads of 2020’ title.

The books that are featured are potentially ones that:

  • are designated reads in my 2020 Goals
  • potential Book Bingo selections
  • have been recommended to me
  • have caught my eye
  • are books that have remained from last year
  • or simply are ones I want to read.


See any books in there that you want to know more about? Do you want a similar template for your blog? Leave a comment and let me know 😊

Rundown of My Hopeful Reads of 2019

Since I started my Hopeful Reads of 2019 half way through the year, I am going to forgive myself for not really getting through many of my selected reads 😅

The image which has been on display in a sidebar widget of my blog, saw me complete a grand total of 6 out of the 16 total books. One of these books was something that while I technically finished, decided to mark as Did not finish as I really disliked the book.

There are still a few on there that I want to read and will be transferring across onto my 2020 graphic but there are also some that I may abandon. The Lily & the Crown is a book I still want to read but I can be honest with myself in 2020 and get rid of the the first Lioness book, Alanna as I doubt I’ll be getting to that series anytime soon.

I really enjoy looking at the graphic and so I am planning on continuing with this easy and passive reading challenge in 2020. Keep an eye out later in the week for my updated graphic for my Hopeful Reads of 2020.