Romance Recommendation: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Soulless

by Gail Carriger.

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.

First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire–and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Blurb taken from Goodreads.

Length: 357 pages.

Series: Parasol Protectorate #1

Genre: Romance. Steam Punk. Paranormal.

Read as an: eAudio (10 hrs 47 mins)


My Thoughts

I have previously read this book as a paperback and loved it – but there was just something about the audiobook that took Soulless to new heights. The narrator, Emily Gray, brings life to Carriger’s world.

The language and humour of the book were amazing and had me smiling throughout my commute. As a writer, Carriger crafts not only story, but characters and dialogue so well you will be hard-pressed to put the novel down. I absolutely fell in love with Alexia and Lord Maccon, not to mention Lord Akeldama, Biffy, and Professor Lyall.


Enjoyment Level

While I absolutely adored Soulless, I am quite intimidated by the larger Carriger world. Do not get me wrong, I do so wish to read the rest of the adventures of Alexia, however that would lead on to the Finishing School series, then the Custard Protocol series, and who is to forget the novellas that stem off from each of the series.

No, I do not think my TBR pile could handle reading the rest of Carriger’s work.

I am really intrigued and want to know more about Biffy, however small a part of the novel he played. So I will potentially be reading, Romancing the Werewolf. Which is kind of a stand alone…


Recommendation

If you are a fan of romance novels and after something a little bit different give Soulless a read as it is quite different – the book blurs genres in a seamless way that is an utmost joy to read.

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Mending Life by Nina Montenegro and Sonya Montenegro

Mending Life: A Handbook for Repairing Clothes and Hearts

by Nina Montenegro and Sonya Montenegro

Mending Life is a beautifully illustrated, practical tool kit for repairing the clothes and belongings we love. It is also an exploration of how mending can be a gently healing practice in our daily lives and a small act of rebellion in a world where many things are discarded without thought.

Mending Life encourages us to cherish our things by repairing them rather than discarding them. It also encourages us to change our consumption habits so that with small mends here and there, we extend the life of our garments and other household items. This handbook is for beginners but also offers more advanced techniques to those with some experience in mending.

You’ll learn basic techniques such as patching, but will have options to take it a step further with decorative sashiko stitching; you’ll also learn how to darn socks and mend sweaters, as well as things like a tear in a bedsheet or down jacket. And along the way, the authors share heartfelt stories about the powerful act of mending, which strengthens not only the object we are repairing, but ourselves as well. Vibrant, full-color illustrations are woven throughout the handbook.

Mending Life is a timeless, practical guide to cherishing and caring for our belongings.

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: March 10, 2020.

Length: 224 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Non-Fiction. Craft and Hobbies.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Mending Life is equal parts a a book about mending clothes and philosophical statement on how learning to mend can change your life. Throughout the book you will find information on not just how to repair and care for clothing but how you can learn to cherish clothing and make steps away from our throwaway mentality around damaged items.

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Long Lost Review: Windmills of the Gods by Sidney Sheldon

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Windmills of the Gods

Sidney Sheldon.

The world is on the brink of mutual destruction between the East and the West and Mary Ashley, beautiful, talented, intelligent, has been chosen to represent America as Ambassador to Romania. Thrust from her comforting, homely life in Kansas, she finds herself lost amongst the political turmoil in a foreign country where she is seen as the enemy and no-one is to be trusted.

Then someone starts to threaten Mary and her children. Who can want her to leave so desperately and why? And can Mary decide who she can trust when her life is on the line?

Sidney Sheldon is at his gripping best in this thrilling political page-turner.

Taken from book blurb

I have absolutely no recollection of reading this book.

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A Happy Life in an Open Relationship by Susan Wenzel

A Happy Life in an Open Relationship:

The Essential Guide to a Healthy and Fulfilling Nonmonogamous Love Life

by Susan Wenzel

Discover the secrets to successful open relationships. A Happy Life in an Open Relationship is a handbook to healthy nonmonogamous relationships.

For anyone curious about open relationships, here is a valuable handbook from an expert in love, sex, and communication. Relationship therapist Susan Wenzel—who is in an open marriage herself—delivers skillful advice on how to navigate the complex emotional landscape of multi-partner relationships, from polyamory to swinging.

• Filled with of compelling personal stories, anecdotes from clients, and practical exercises
• A guide to cultivating harmonious and fulfilling open relationships
• Author Susan Wenzel is a sex and relationship therapist with years of experience counseling patients on issues related to monogamy, intimacy, and trust.

A Happy Life in an Open Relationship will help you develop your trust and communication skills, explore sexuality and desire, build your confidence and self-worth, set healthy boundaries, overcome jealousy, and so much more.

People interested in making changes in their relationships will appreciate the positive tone, helpful advice, and expert wisdom from an accomplished relationship therapist who has gone through the experience herself.

• A great gift for anyone interested in testing the boundaries of monogamy and exploring the world of polyamory
• An accessible and inviting guide for couples to build an open relationship that is strong and lasting
• Perfect for fans of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence and The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity by Esther Perel, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family by Dan Savage, and Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: March 10, 2020.

Length: 186 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Non-Fiction. Relationships.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

A Happy Life in an Open Relationship steps away from other books about open relationship and non-monogamy as it is a very personal book. I say personal not just because of the subject matter but because the author herself, Susan Wenzel, offers a lot of anecdotal examples taken from her own life and those from her professional life as a relationship therapist.

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Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern

Bloodlust & Bonnets

by Emily McGovern.

From the creator of the hit webcomic My Life As a Background Slytherin comes a hilarious graphic novel pastiche of classic Romantic literature led by a trio of queer misfits—and several angry vampires.

Set in early nineteenth-century Britain, Bloodlust & Bonnets follows Lucy, an unworldly debutante who desires a life of passion and intrigue—qualities which earn her the attention of Lady Violet Travesty, the leader of a local vampire cult. 

But before Lucy can embark on her new life of vampiric debauchery, she finds herself unexpectedly thrown together with the flamboyant poet Lord Byron (“from books!”) and a mysterious bounty-hunter named Sham. The unlikely trio lie, flirt, fight, and manipulate each other as they make their way across Britain, disrupting society balls, slaying vampires, and making every effort not to betray their feelings to each other as their personal and romantic lives become increasingly entangled.

Both witty and slapstick, elegant and gory, Emily McGovern’s debut graphic novel pays tribute to and pokes fun at beloved romance tropes, delivering a joyous, action-packed world of friendship and adventure.

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: September 17, 2019.

Length: 261 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Graphic Novel.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

As a fan of Emily McGovern and her comic My Life As a Background Slytherin, I was honour bound to pick up this graphic novel. I am glad I did because even though it is a step away from her Slytherin comic, Bloodlust and Bonnets retains the irreverent humour and distinct art style.

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Dekoboko Sugar Days by Yusen Atsuko

Dekoboko Sugar Days

by Yusen Atsuko.

Yuujirou Matsukaze has been close friends with Rui Hanamine since the two of them were children, and at that time, Yuujirou was the one who stood up for and took care of his adorable, soft-hearted friend. But as it turns out, Yuujirou’s childhood dreams end up growing a little too big to handle ― or, rather, too tall! At over six feet in height, the cheerful and happy-go-lucky Rui towers over his would-be protector… and still has no idea Yuujirou’s had a crush on him since they were kids! 

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: February 18, 2020.

Length: 256 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Manga. QUILTBAG. Yaoi.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Dekoboko Sugar Days is a quick and cute story of Yuujirou and Rui as they each come to realise their feelings for each other. Yuujirou was a favourite character of mine, as he both angstyed over his short height and his feelings for Rui. I say angst but really it was all just cute pining and over compensation for his shortness by drinking a lot of milk.

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Long Lost Review: Lick by Kylie Scott

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Lick

Kylie Scott.

Evelyn Thomas’s plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man in her room, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

One thing is certain, being married to one of the hottest rock stars on the planet is sure to be a wild ride. 

Taken from book blurb

Since it’s just before Valentine’s Day, I thought I would celebrate with a romance themed Long Lost Review. So sit back and enjoy a review of a book I have not read in many, many years.

Lick was a book that was highly recommendation to me by my friend, Jess. So with this glowing review, I quickly tracked down and picked up a copy of this new Australia author. I remember reading the book and thoroughly enjoying it!

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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.”


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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.

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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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