Long Lost Review: Chart Throb by Ben Elton

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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

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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 ❤


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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 ❤❤❤


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Long Lost Review: The Fall (2006)

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The Fall

Directed by: Tarsem Singh

In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.

Taken from IMDB

I’m changing it up a bit this month, so instead of a book, it’s an amazing movie that I don’t think enough people know about. The Fall is a visually stunning film that blurs the lines between cinema, story, truth, and lies – I absolutely loved this movie and just need to share my love for it.

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: The Fall (2006)”

SLRG: Luck is No Lady by Amy Sandas

luckisnolady
Luck is No Lady

by Amy Sandas.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: Gently bred Emma Chadwick always assumed she’d live and die the daughter of a gentleman. But when her father’s death reveals a world of staggering debt and dangerous moneylenders, she must risk her good name and put her talent for mathematics to use, taking a position as bookkeeper at London’s most notorious gambling hell. Surrounded by vice and corruption on all sides, it is imperative no one discovers Emma’s shameful secret or her reputation-and her life-will be ruined.

But Roderick Bentley, the hell’s sinfully wealthy owner, awakens a hunger Emma cannot deny. Drawn deep into an underworld of high stakes gambling and reckless overindulgence, she soon discovers that in order to win the love of a ruthless scoundrel, she will have to play the game…and give in to the pleasure of falling from grace.

Length: 382 pages.

Series: Fallen Ladies #1.

Genre: Romance. Historical.

Read as an: Paperback.


My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Emma, is quite intelligent and was allowed to demonstrate this in an easy and respectful way. The romantic lead, Roderick, had a very accepting and almost nonchalant attitude towards Emma and her ‘scandalous’ behaviour.

The book is part of a trilogy that follows Emma’s two sisters, however I don’t think I will read these as the blurbs and characters didn’t grab my attention. Luck is No Lady was a sweet and smile inducing novel, I would really recommend this book for anyone looking for a good regency read.


Smut Level

Decent. I really liked the back and forth between these characters and the physical scenes were very focused on Emma.


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

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Long Lost Review: Snakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman-Black

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Snakes Among Sweet Flowers

Jason Huffman-Black.

Two-time ex-con Camden Sanders has decided that Hog Mountain—an isolated community on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia—is the perfect place to continue running small scams without the threat of more prison time. But there are a few problems with this plan. One is the neighbourly citizens of Hog Mountain thwarting his dirty dealings at every turn with their kindness. Another is Jackson Rhodes, a closeted Hog Mountain police officer who can see right through Cam’s good ol’ boy act and plans to catch him red-handed despite the attraction they both can feel. But the biggest problem of all is that Cam’s past is threatening to catch up with him, and it could mean trouble for more than just himself.

Taken from book blurb

Okay so I had always intended to review this book because I loved it. When I first read Snakes Among Sweet Flowers, it was a highlight of the year and I gave it a re-read last year and it stood the test of time because I still loved it.

I am a big sucker for stories that feature down trodden, poor, or struggling characters. I do not know why I love them so much but I really enjoy seeing characters suffer (omg I am terrible) but still manage to fall in love. I especially love the stories where the problems of a character aren’t magically fixed by falling in love, they just have someone else to share the struggles.

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: Snakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman-Black”

SLRG: A Strange and Mystifying Story Series by Tsuta Suzuki

A Strange and Mystifying Story Series

by Tsuta Suzuki.

Publisher: link.

Original Japanese title: Konoyo Ibun.

Goodreads: link.

Genre: Manga. Romance. M/M Romance.


Volumes 1&2:
In the immediate family of the story’s protagonist everyone seems to die early, and other relatives talk about a curse. When soon after his grandfather’s death he comes down with an incurable disease, and is overwhelmed by grief and loneliness, in desperation he remembers his grandfather’s last words — that somebody was watching over them. He can only find an odd fossil tooth where his grandfather had pointed, but when he picks it up and accidentally gets some of his blood on it, that summons a guardian spirit, who promises to cure him. Maybe he should be pleased, but said guardian has some strange methods for healing.

Volumes 3-7:
Tsumugi Shirota is your typical high school student. He’s handsome, kind, and for some strange reason, surprisingly adept at household chores. On his 16th birthday, a rather unusual but special guest comes to meet him—Master Kurayori, the guardian deity of the Shirota household. Imagine Tsumugi’s surprise when he finds out this deity is also his fiancé!

Blurb taken from Baka-Updates .

My Thoughts

I often hesitate to write about yaoi as it has so many problematic issues surrounding it. Just to name a few there are often issues with non-consent, the books often present unrealistic relationships and there is a distinct lack of understanding on how the human body works. To be fair, the same could be said for a large number of m/m romance novels.

Continue reading “SLRG: A Strange and Mystifying Story Series by Tsuta Suzuki”

The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

The Tea Dragon Festival

by Katie O’Neill.

Publisher: Link

Amazon: Link.

Goodreads: Link.

Book Depository: Link.


Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost.

Taken from book blurb

Length: 136 Pages.

Series: Tea Dragon #2.

Genre: Graphic Novel. Fantasy.

Read as an: eBook.


My Thoughts

The Tea Dragon Festival tells the story of Rinn and Aedhan, a recently awoken dragon. Once charged to protect the village, Aedham accidentally slept for 80 years. Now that he has awoken he explores the village with Rinn, trying to make up for lost time.

For those that have read the first book in the ‘Tea Dragon’ series, the characters Erik and Hesekiel will be familiar to you. This prequel is just as sweet and beautiful as first book, The Tea Dragon Society. While it is a prequel story, it can really be read in any order.

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The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

The Tea Dragon Society

by Katie O’Neill.

Publisher: Link

Goodreads: Link.


From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. 

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

Taken from book blurb

Length: 72 Pages.

Series: Tea Dragon #1.

Genre: Graphic Novel. Fantasy.

Read as an: Hardcover.


My Thoughts

The Tea Dragon Society is a super cute and sweet graphic novel. The story reads almost like a fairytale with its structure and almost vague narrative, what separates The Tea Dragon Society from other stories is the fantastic art and emotional story telling.

Continue reading “The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill”