Long Lost Review: Taronga by Victor Kelleher

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Taronga

Victor Kelleher.

Two years after the Last Days, Australia has become a dangerous place, and a battle-ground for survival.Ben, who has a telepathic ability to control animals, leads a hazardous existence in the bush west of the Blue Mountains. Hopeful of a less brutal life, he escapes to Sydney – only to be further disillusioned. Then, at the heart of the city he comes upon Taronga Zoo, which has been strangely unaffected by the general chaos. Or has it? Is it an island of safety in the midst of so much danger? Or is it really the most sinister place of all?

Taken from book blurb

I read Taronga while I was in high school and thought it was amazing. The book is a post-apocalyptic survival novel that literally takes place in Sydney’s Taronga zoo. People set up a safe haven within the zoos walls and use the animals to protect their people. As you can see from the cover, the tigers play a large part.

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How to Best a Marquess by Tina Gabrielle

How to Best a Marquess

by Tina Gabrielle.

|| Publisher || Goodreads ||

|| Book Depository || Amazon || Kobo ||

Blurb: Lady Ellie Swift learned at an early age that men were more trouble than they’re worth. Now she’s all grown up and is the toast of society. Only she has secret ambitions to run her brother’s infamous gambling establishment—the Raven Club. Everything is progressing as planned until the man who broke her heart, Hugh Vere, the Marquess of Deveril, wants to take over the club. Dark, dominant, and strikingly handsome, Hugh’s reputation for sin precedes him, and suddenly, her dreams—and her heart—are in jeopardy. 

As rakish as Hugh appears, he has a sharp mind for business. No one stands in the way of what he wants, not even the fiery-haired beauty from his past. From the moment he sees her again sparks fly, but he knows better than to fall for the lady. According to Ellie, the battle lines have been drawn and Hugh doesn’t stand a chance. But the nearly combustible chemistry between them is hard to ignore, and soon the club is not the only prize he wants….

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: 10 June, 2019.

Length: 200 pages.

Series: The Raven Club #2.

Genre: Romance. Historical.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

How to Best a Marquess is a beautiful story of second chances at love and acceptance. Ellie and Hugh have a romantic history which ended in heartbreak at the discretion of one character. The novel sees the pair reunited as they battle for the chance to win the casino, the Raven Club.

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Confessions of a Book Lover – I Don’t Read Introductions

My name is Ally and I don’t read introductions.

I know that the Introduction section of a book is there for a reason, I just don’t read them.

Don’t get me wrong, I started off reading them but one rambling 20 page chapter after another, I grew tired and just a little bit jaded about the content of these sections.

I figured it wasn’t worth reading these sections as they made me feel a number of things:

  • bored
  • bogged down
  • lost in the rhetoric of the author
  • less enthusiastic to read the actual content of the book.

To be fair though, the majority of these long winded introductions are found in non-fiction books. Which has me reminiscing about my long winded PhD research days.

I will admit, if a non-fiction book is interesting, then sometimes I will return to the introduction. But then, and only then.

Just to clarify, sometimes in classic fiction there is a foreword by a modern day author introducing the book, usually these are discussions about the importance of the book or the authors memory or experience with the classic – I skip these as well.

To be fair, in non-classic fiction books I will read these introductions as I have found them to be quite short and usually just a note about the world of the book. I’m not a complete monster.

It’s been my personal experience that when I do read the Introduction of a book, it will take me longer to read and I will also feel more bogged down in the content. In my growing years I have become fickle with my remaining time on earth and skip straight to the content. Why wait for the good stuff?


What are your opinions on introductions and forewords? Do you avidly read these sections or do you skip them like me? Do you think they provide much worth in a book or are they just taking up space? Leave a comment and let me know!

Book Bingo Update 6

non-fiction

The Joyful Frugalista by Serina Bird.

Okay, so I wanted to enjoy this book so much but I just couldn’t. The book is toted as a personal finance one that will help you grow your cash and be savvy with your money – it does neither.

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Cooking Corner: Are You Afraid of the Dark Rum? by by Sam Slaughter

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Are You Afraid of the Dark Rum?

and Other Cocktails for ’90s Kids

by Sam Slaughter.

Format: eBook.

Goodreads: link.

Book Depository ||  Amazon  ||  Booktopia  ||


A cocktail book with recipes for re-creating adult versions of your favourite ’90s childhood drinks as well as original craft cocktails inspired by that iconic decade, Are You Afraid of the Dark Rum? is ’90s nostalgia in a glass!

Are You Afraid of the Dark Rum? is a tongue in cheek cocktail book for the former ’90s kid and those just discovering how cool old-school Nickelodeon and Delia’s once were. With recipes for alcoholic versions of childhood favourites like Ecto-Cooler and Mondo as well as creative pop-culture inspired originals like the Rum and Stimpy and Semi-Warmed Kind of Cider, this is a perfectly giftable mix of humour, nostalgia, and tasty recipes.

taken from book blurb

My Thoughts

Are you Afraid of the Dark Rum is nostalgic and boozy trip back to the 90’s. You will find rum cocktails inspired by and reminiscent of parts of growing up in the 90’s. From Nickelodeon shows, to cheesy songs (Mumbo No 5 I am looking at you), you will find a number of recipes that will have no you only longing for a cocktail but thinking fondly about that era.

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Favourites: Family of Lies: Sebastian by Sam Argent

Family of Lies: Sebastian

by Sam Argent.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.

||  Amazon  || Book Depository ||  Booktopia  ||  Kobo ||


Sebastian Orwell did the only thing a smart wizard could do when he stumbled upon the wounded Crown Prince: he healed him and dumped him in a tavern where he could continue not being Sebastian’s problem. Unfortunately, the prince isn’t content with being alive, and he hunts Sebastian down to thank him personally. Not only is Sebastian stuck with the prince’s unwanted affections, he’s also confronted by growing evidence linking the assassination attempt to someone from his father’s past.

Lord Orwell is a lot of things: thief, liar, drunk, and all around horrible father, but Sebastian knows he’s no murderer. In order to prove it, Sebastian has to keep the prince alive long enough to discover the truth—a task made considerably harder because the idiot prince prefers wooing Sebastian over securing his own survival. On top of everything, Sebastian needs to save the day without revealing his magical powers and the real reason he hides his appearance.

Sebastian had no intention of playing the hero, but whoever is stirring up shit in his country will pay for destroying his quiet life.

Taken from book blurb

Length: 324 pages

Series: Family of Lies #1

Genre: Romance. Fantasy. QUILTBAG. M/M Romance.

Read As: Paperback.


Why is it a favourite?

Family OF Lies: Sebastian is such a breath of fresh air! The first time I read it, I DEVOURED it! I fell in love with the characters, the setting, and the romance between the main characters.

Not only is this book an amazing example of the fantasy genre but my god, the characters just jump from the page! Honestly I think Sebastian and Prince Turren are my favourite romantic pair 💕

There is snark.

There is sarcasm.

And there is a hard won happy ending, I may as well stop reading other books because Family of Lies: Sebastian is the perfect book for me.

Continue reading “Favourites: Family of Lies: Sebastian by Sam Argent”

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Heartstopper

by Alice Oseman.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


BCharlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…? 

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore, and he’s sort of got a boyfriend, even if he’s kind of mean and only wants to meet up in secret.

Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. That is, until the start of January, in which Nick and Charlie are placed in the same form group and made to sit together.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…


From the author of Solitaire and Radio Silence comes a bind up of the first two chapters of Heartstopper, an ongoing webcomic.

Length: 288 Pages.

Series: Heartstopper #1

Genre: YA. M/M Romance. QUILTBAG. Graphic Novel.

Read as an: Paperback


My Thoughts

Okay so first up I loved this book(!) but you need to know the emotional journey I went on while reading it.

  • I had a Bubble bath and read Heartstopper.
  • I needed to read more of Heartstopper.
  • I researched and found out it is a web-comic.
  • I read all that is available of the web-comic.
  • I needed to read more of Heartstopper.
  • I preordered the fuck out of the second book.
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Smut Lovers Reading Group: One-Two Punch by Katie Allen

One-Two Punch

by Katie Allen.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: Beth is willing to do almost anything to meet her dream man-including taking boxing lessons. She passes Harry’s gym for weeks before mustering up the nerve to walk in and talk to the gorgeous owner. Once she does, sparks fly as well as punches. Their budding relationship is tested with the arrival of Ky, Harry’s old Army buddy.

After years of frustrated longing for his fellow soldier, Ky is hoping that he can win Harry’s heart. He hadn’t planned on Beth, however – or the scorching desire she inspires. As the trio struggle to accept their feelings for each other, a menacing figure stalks Beth, watching, waiting-and preparing to snatch her away from the two men she’s grown to love.

Taken from Goodreads

Length: 264 pages.

Series: N/A Standalone.

Genre: Romance. Erotica. Menage.

Read as an: Paperback.


My Thoughts

I absolutely love this book. The book was originally published in 2008 by the now defunct Ellora’s Cave. I read the book initially when it was released years ago, but as soon as I found out the company was closing, I snapped up this book as a paperback. Which was such a good idea, as I cannot find it anywhere online.

I think this book started me on reading the m/m and LGTBQI romance genre and since then I have not looked back. I loved the story, and the characters of this book really jump off the page. Beth had me smiling, Harry had me swooning, and Ky had me falling in love.

I would really recommend this book or any of Katie Allen’s books. If you’re interested in finding more of her work, Allen is currently writing under both her own name and Katie Rundle.


Smut Level

Oh. My. God. This book, while not full of a lot of sex scenes, was so intense! The love triangle in this book wasn’t so much a rivalry rather a polyamorous relationship. On goodreads the books has a readers advisory that states: ‘This book contains smoking-hot scenes of ménage and M/M sex.” So yeah it was smutty.

The novel starts off with the relationship between Beth and Harry which features a lot of passionate scenes and even an anal scene. The story then extends to include Ky, where the scenes develop into threesomes which includes the men loving each other as well.

So to conclude, this books smut level was intense, not so much in the amount but in the intensity and variety! Loved it ❤


What did you think? Are there any romance novels that you love to read? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you 😊

LLR: Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

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Captive Prince

C.S. Pacat.

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomises the worst of the decadent court at Vere. But in the lethal web of Veretian politics, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen is caught up in a dangerous play for the throne, he must form an alliance with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: he must never reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else . . .

Taken from book blurb

Okay, so I have been promising myself that I would write a blog post dedicated to this book or the Captive Prince series as a whole… and I haven’t. So it looks like this is the perfect opportunity to force myself to write about how much I enjoyed this book.

I really enjoyed this book.

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Review and Blog Tour: Arctic Wild by Annabeth Albert

Arctic Wild

by Annabeth Albert.

Publisher: Carina Press.

Goodreads: link.

|| Amazon  || Barnes and Noble ||

|| Book Depository || Google ||

|| Harlequin || iBooks ||Kobo ||


When a plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness, the best place to land is in the arms of a younger man…

Hotshot attorney Reuben Graham has finally agreed to take a vacation, when his plane suddenly plunges into the Alaskan wilderness.

Just his luck.

But his frustrations have only begun as he finds himself stranded with the injured, and superhot, pilot, a man who’s endearingly sociable—and much too young for Reuben to be wanting him this badly.

As the sole provider for his sisters and ailing father, Tobias Kooly is devastated to learn his injuries will prevent him from working or even making it back home. So when Reuben insists on giving him a place to recover, not even Toby’s pride can make him refuse. He’s never been tempted by a silver fox before, but something about Reuben is impossible to resist.

Recuperating in Reuben’s care is the last thing Toby expected, yet the closer they become, the more incredibly right it feels, prompting workaholic Reuben to question the life he’s been living. But when the pressure Toby’s under starts closing in, both men will have to decide if there’s room in their hearts for a love they never saw coming.


eBook Release Date: June 3, 2019.

Length: 400 pages. Approx 105,000 words.

Series:Frozen Hearts #2

Paperback Release Date: June 25, 2019.

Genre: Romance. M/M Romance. QUILTBAG. Contemporary.

My Thoughts

Having previously read and enjoyed Annabeth Albert’s novel Connection Error, I knew I had to check out her new series. Skipping straight ahead to the second book in the ‘Frozen Heart‘ series, I was so happy to see that Arctic Wild had the same emotional foundation and honest relationship building that I fell in love with in her previous writing.

Initially I found the characters of Arctic Wild quite separate from each other; they were each such strong presences but were held apart by their life experiences, age, and for Tobias a desire to maintain a professional relationship and Reuben, a reluctance to engage with anything outside of work. I will admit to sometimes finding it difficult to believe in and feel the connections between romantic pairs that have such an age difference, but in Arctic Wild, I had no such problems.

The real pleasure from Arctic Wild is seeing the emotional walls comes down and getting to see the pair really engage with each other. Once these walls were dropped, the real connections formed and the pair, for me, really started to make sense together.

Albert has a way of telling stories that sweep you off you feet and slowly pull you away. Arctic Wild is a novel that builds upon itself – you’re introduced to these characters and are taken on an emotional journey as the pair begin to open up to each other and make a real connection.

I really enjoyed the effortless way Arctic Wild is written and I found myself falling for both of these characters. I would really recommend giving Arctic Wild a read and if not, definitely picking up one of Albert’s other books.

Please note: I received a copy of Arctic Wild from A Novel Take Promotions.

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