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.

Book review comment ender

Long Lost Review: Windmills of the Gods by Sidney Sheldon

Long Lost Reviews Icon

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.

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: Windmills of the Gods by Sidney Sheldon”

Long Lost Review: Lick by Kylie Scott

Long Lost Reviews Icon

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!

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: Lick by Kylie Scott”

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”

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”

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”

Long Lost Review: Chart Throb by Ben Elton

Long Lost Reviews Icon

Chart Throb

by Ben Elton.

Ben Elton is about to put the “real” back into Reality TV in his biting satire of one of today’s most popular cultural phenomena — the TV talent show.

95,000 hopefuls. Three judges. Just one winner.

And that’s Colin Simms, the genius behind the show.

Colin always wins, because Colin writes the rules. But this year, as he sits smugly in judgment on the mingers, clingers and blingers whom he has pre-selected in his carefully scripted “search” for a star, he has no idea that the rules are changing. The “real” is about to be put back into “reality” television, and Colin and his fellow judges (the nation’s favourite mum and the other bloke) are about to become ex-factors themselves.

From the best-selling author of The First CasualtyPopcorn, and Dead Famous comes Chart Throb. One winner. A whole bunch of losers.

Taken from book blurb

I have extremely vague memories of this book, however I always remember it fondly. While I could not tell you much about the plot, I do remember one character arch that has stuck with me ever since I put the book down.

Alert – Spoilers Ahead

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: Chart Throb by Ben Elton”

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.


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 ❤


Book review comment ender

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 ❤❤❤


Book review comment ender