Quick Queer Reviews – LGBTQ+ Fantasy Romance Part 3

So, when I have previously said that Queer Fantasy Romance novels were a favourite genre – I really did mean it. So welcome to my third post of quick queer reviews of books from this genre. Enjoy!


LGBTQ+ Fantasy Romance


Red Heir by Lisa Henry and Sarah Honey

Imprisoned pickpocket Loth isn’t sure why a bunch of idiots just broke into his cell claiming they’re here to rescue the lost prince of Aguillon, and he doesn’t really care. They’re looking for a redheaded prince, and he’s more than happy to play along if it means freedom. Then his cranky cellmate Grub complicates things by claiming to be the prince as well.

Now they’re fleeing across the country and Loth’s stuck sharing a horse and a bedroll with Grub while imitating royalty, eating eel porridge, and dodging swamp monsters and bandits.

Along the way, Loth discovers that there’s more to Grub than meets the eye. Under the dirt and bad attitude, Grub’s not completely awful. He might even be attractive. In fact, Loth has a terrible suspicion that he’s developing feelings, and he’s not sure what to do about that. He’d probably have more luck figuring it out if people would just stop trying to kill them.

Still, at least they’ve got a dragon, right? 

Taken from book blurb

As soon as I found out these two authors were working together, I was so excited. As a follower of their individual fan fiction work I was looking forward to an emotional and fun romp – I was not disappointed. Red Heir is a book with a larger than life, rouge-esque character called Loth who over the course of the book catches feels for his counterpart, Grub.

The book is a fun, humorous, and at times emotional fantastical ride. I initially had the book marked at 5 stars but there was a poor taste joke that persistently followed Grub. I do understand that it was made to be funny but surely it could have been replaces with something else. Either way, despite this one niggle the book was an great read from these first time collaborators.

Continue reading “Quick Queer Reviews – LGBTQ+ Fantasy Romance Part 3”

Quick Queer Reviews – LGBTQ+ Sci-Fi Romance

I don’t usually read too much science fiction but when I do, I tend to go on a binge. So recently I have been bingeing some science fiction romance books that feature QUILTBAG characters – and loving it! The below are some of the books I have been reading and a quick little review of them.

Enjoy!


LGBTQ+ Science Fiction Romance


Tit for Tat by R. Cooper

Tat never expected a future. A lower-caste Luudi who left her planet and made a new home with a group of idealistic humans, she spends her time looking out for new family and working in secret to rescue refugees from a neighboring country. She is content with what she has, if sometimes lonely.

Then a Pros arrives their tense little border town. Although mostly human, the Pros were genetically engineered to look perfect and to offer pleasure, both physically and psychically. Beautiful, sophisticated Cin is no exception, which is why when she approaches Tat, Tat knows it can’t be personal. Luudi are big, strong, purple, and impervious to psychic influence—making Tat the safest outlet for someone like Cin. Tat says yes with no expectation that Cin would ever want more, while convinced the danger will eventually drive Cin away.

But the Pros can take care of themselves, as well as any quietly heroic Luudi who catches their eye—if only that Luudi would let them. Tat has spent so long helping others find a future, it doesn’t occur to her to seek out her own even when her silence might cost her the one she wants.

Taken from book blurb

I loved Tit for Tat so much! Think alien and not so human lesbians in space, fighting against a fascist regime. I loved it so much, I have a Romance Recommendation post about it. So be sure to keep an eye out for it!

Also I read this book for my Hopeful Reads of 2020 challenge and am so glad I did because not only was it a 5 star read but it was what got me started on my sci-fi binge 🚀

Continue reading “Quick Queer Reviews – LGBTQ+ Sci-Fi Romance”

Quick Non-Fic Reviews – Style and Beauty

You may noticed that I work in a library and you also may have noticed that I have a tendency 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 Style and Beauty books that I have borrowed recently and read.


Style and Beauty

The Skincare Bible: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Great Skin by Anjali Mahto

I have a persistent acne problem that, despite being in my 30’s, has not disappeared with age. The Skincare Bible is not only great because it is written by an actual dermatologist but because the author is very open about their own skin care concerns. I found out a lot of information about adult-onset acne as well as the importance of maintaining a skin cleanse routine. I would 100% recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about their skin!


The Capsule Wardrobe: 1,000 Outfits from 30 Pieces by Wendy Mak

It wasn’t until I flipped through this books a bit before I decided to borrow it – the idea of having a wardrobe made up of only 30 items of clothing was not only intriguing but was hard for me to understand. After reading the book I still think it is a great concept but it’s not something that I would be able to pull off 😓 Still the book did inspire me to look a little closer at the clothes I do wear the most and did lead me to cleaning out the clothes I never wear.


50 Ways to Wear: Accessories by Lauren Friedman

I may be a bit of a fashion tragic, so it’s always good to have a go to guide for fashion tips. 50 Ways to Wear: Accessories had a number of good hints and tricks that I had never thought to try. Certainly I have a number of the items featured in the book, but there are suggestions for different ways to utilise them. For example, I have a very plain black (boring) sunhat that I now know can be spruced up with one of the many scarves I have laying around.


Work Your Wardrobe: Gok’s Gorgeous Guide to Style’s That Lasts by Gok Wan

I adored Gok Wan’s TV show How to Look Good Naked when it first aided over 10 years ago. It came during a really pivotal time in my life where I was really struggling with my self esteem and figuring out what made me look good. The show was always guaranteed to make a cry so it’s quite nice to know that this book is more advice than emotional and uplifting moments for people.

The book offers a number of simple styles that you can either work towards your body shape or ways that you can alter the style to offer a number of alternative ways to wear the style. The first section looks at simple white button up shirts, then Gok lets you know different ways you can wear it, what to pair it with, accessorises to look into, and then lets you know of cheap and glamorous ways to purchase the style. This book is really uplifting and even though it is quite old, the styles in the book didn’t feel dated.


Quick Queer Reviews – LGBTQ+ Fantasy Romance Part 2

So, prepare yourself for just a few of the QUILTBAG fantasy romance novels I’ve read on Scribd. I won’t lie though, it’s mainly been from two authors 😋


LGBTQ+ Fantasy Romance


The Dragon’s Tamer by Megan Derr

Summoned to the royal palace by the King, Alaith spends his days either handling the dragons that plague the kingdom, or holed up in his lonely tower. Unusual in appearance, manner, and his method of taming dragons rather than slaying them, his only distractions from his painfully outcast state in caring for the tamed dragon who resides with him, and admiring the handsome Lord Trey—and arguing with the infuriating Prince Rythe.

Taken from book blurb

I will happily admit, I have a thing for dragon shifters. I do not know if it is their penance for hoarding, their intensity, or their way of absolutely treasuring someone they love that does it for me, but I always enjoy a good dragon shifter story. Sadly I have started off on a tangent because this book is not about dragon shifters.

The book instead features a dragon tamer who is living in a kingdom with a completely different culture. Alaith believes in treasuring dragons and in this short little story, not only rescues some dragons but finds love where he would not have expected it.

I really enjoyed this book as the one of the main romantic leads initially starts off hating the other. Over the course of the book though, he takes a new appreciation of Prince Rythe as he finds out more about the man.


Hold Still: Natures in Harmony by Megan Derr

Esen has spent his entire life an outcast, and he threw out his last chance at fitting in when he broke the engagement his family worked so hard to arrange. Sent to the royal palace to fulfill one last duty, he counts the hours until he is literally left homeless and destitute.

But hiding away in the royal garden, he accidentally overhears a private conversation and meets the mysterious Queen’s Man…

Taken from book blurb

Okay, okay, I tend to go a bit nuts when I start to read Megan Derr books – especially when they are ones that I haven’t read yet. So while in my binge, I was lucky enough to read Hold Still which is a short fantasy read that in 53 pages manages to paint a large picture of the world.

Once again, I really enjoyed the characters and felt so much for Esen and his lonely upbringing. The book is really immersive for how short it is and I found myself really enjoying the romantic pairing of this little novella.


A Little Familiar by R. Cooper

A powerful witch, Piotr Russell has resigned himself to loneliness, because ordinary humans can’t know what he is, and other witches are intimidated by his abilities. Generations of Russells have lived and died with only their familiars at their side. The presence of a friendly familiar is enough to keep even the loneliest witch sane, and yet Piotr deliberately hasn’t chosen one. He forces himself to keep busy instead, but the emptiness of his house haunts him even more the spirit of Great-Great-Aunt Elysia in the parlor. With Samhain and Halloween approaching, he’ll have much to do, and knowing that, his concerned coven seizes the chance to intervene and sends help to his door in the form of Bartleby Dorchester.

First paragraph of book blurb

Okay so with this Familiar Spirits series, R. Cooper has flown to my favourite authors list. In her previous book that I loved, How to (Not) Train a Firecat, Cooper demonstrated an amazing ability to create truly nuanced characters, who despite their flaws, were just so loveable.

With main character Piotr, I just wanted him to be happy. I am not the biggest fan of angst in any form but I would gladly read a tear jerker if it was written by R Cooper. I just wanted Piotr to be okay, his feelings of isolation and loneliness were killers!


Holly and Oak by R. Cooper

Once a year, the town of Ravenscroft celebrates the winter solstice by watching the Oak King symbolically slay the Holly King to ensure the death of winter. To most people, it’s a pagan ritual that has lost all meaning in the modern world, harmless fun during the week of Christmas. To the coven who founded the town, it’s a magic so important they entrusted it to the two strongest witches in generations.

First paragraph of book blurb

Holly and Oak starts off as a love hate kind of relationship between main characters Will and Chester. There is a lot of build up between the two and no matter his feelings, it seems that Chester always puts his foot in it, or misinterprets meanings.

While not a direct sequel to the first book, A Little Familiar, the appear to take place in this same town and coven. There are heavy overtones to the Holly and Oak legend but honestly I didn’t know it when I was reading the book and was easily able to follow along. I really loved these characters and how they learned to let go of things and be together.


Nothing More Certain by R. Cooper

Emery Elward returned to Trinity Creek with no intention of doing anything but repairing the farmhouse he grew up in, starting a business, and tending to the graveyard linked to his family’s property. He has no interest in renewing past friendships. But one old friend is determined to get Emery out from behind the cemetery’s iron gates.

First paragraph of book blurb

Woah, okay so Nothing More Certain had me feeling! And by feeling, I mean I had to put my phone down and stop reading multiple times on the train because no one wants to be seen weeping openly on their morning commute.

Emery! I have no idea how Emery came back or stayed in his home town. The emotional angst carried over from high school and then later in life were doozies! My need to see what happens between him and Ezra had me pushing through tears to see these two settle their issues.

I would really recommend the Familiar Spirits series, the books are urban fantasy novels about magic and non magic users finding love while settling into their roles and power.


Quick Queer Reviews – LGBTQ+ Fantasy Romance

One of my absolute favourite genres is QUILTBAG fantasy romance novels. I am a sucker for the fantasy genre anyway but when you add in LGBTQ+ elements and a romance story – I am hooked and hooked good! I think the main draw card is that so many of the story do away with the historic homophobia of historical novels and instead tell stories of LGBTQ+ characters achieving great things and falling in love.

I have a spotted history with Scribd – I once loved it SOOO much but they changed their service. I could not handle the drop from unlimited books to 8 a month for the same price. However it has recently come to my attention that Scribd is back to the unlimited reads business model. So here are just a few of the books that I have read in my first month back on the service.

So, prepare yourself for just a few of the QUILTBAG fantasy romance novels I’ve read on Scribd. I won’t lie though, it’s mainly been from two authors 😋


LGBTQ+ Fantasy Romance

Demonica by Megan Derr

Life as a mercenary isn’t kind or easy, and Shale has lost much: one family, then another, one leg, one arm, one eye, and the love of his life when pain and medication left him disinterested in sex. The last thing he wants is to accept a job from his ex-lover’s mother, but the pay is too good to refuse, especially as it should be a relatively simple job

First paragraph of book blurb

I really liked this short fantasy romance as I really connected with the characters of the novel. I felt so bad for Shale who after having been attacked by a dragon, lost his arm, leg, eye, and due to the pain medication, lost his sex drive. To make this even worse, his partner dumped him as he couldn’t be in a relationship without a physical component.

Continue reading “Quick Queer Reviews – LGBTQ+ Fantasy Romance”

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.


Quick Picks: Books about Books

What’s more amazing than books? Books about books! The below are some of the books that I have read that are either love letters to readings and books, or they are books about or set in the world of books.

Dear Fahrenheit 451:
A Librarian’s Love Letters and Break-Up Notes to Her Books

by Annie Spence

Goodreads ||  Author

Quick story run down: Annie Spence is a librarian who writes letters to books that she is weeding from her library. For those of you non librarians, weeding is when you remove an item from your library catalouge. It might be because it hasn’t been borrowed in a number of years, it may be too damaged to repair, or it may be a nonfiction book that is too old and has wrong information in it.

The letters are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes scathing, but they are always enjoyable to read!

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The concept: I love how simple and quick this book is to read, the letters are often times short and sharp which makes this book an easy read.
  • I DO THIS: It’s not very often that I get to see actual parts of my job portrayed in any type of medium. It was great getting to see this essential part of working in a library features so prominently in a book. I often feel sad when I have to weed a book from our collection, especially if it is one that I enjoyed. Also, sometimes like Spence, I relish the chance to scrap books.

The Eyre Affair

by Jasper FForde

Goodreads ||  Author

Quick story run down: Imagine a world where fictional characters not only exist and are taken extremely seriously but they need to be policed. The Eyre Affair is set in an alternative universe in 1985 England where our main character Thursday Next is investigating and trying to stop Jane Eyre from falling victim to a terrible plot to kill Bronte’s famous heroine.

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The world: The alternative universe that The Eyre Affair inhabits is amazing. The scope of thought and detail that Fforde includes in his novels are amazing. If you are a fan of reading and want to be immersed in a world where literature is taken incredibly seriously, then you should really pick up any of the Thursday Next books.
  • Mycroft: Thursday’ uncle is a favourite of mine, not just in this book but throughout the series. It’s not a spoiler but when you find the story behind his name and his sudden retirement, was one of my favourite moments.

Book Love

by Debbie Tung

Goodreads ||  Author

Quick story run down: Book Love is a book filled with comics about, you guessed it, loving books. Each page tells the story of common problems that avid readers face. Whether these ‘problems’ include buying too many books, becoming engrossed in stories, or huge piles of books that you need to read.

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • Beautiful: The art style of the comics are so wonderfully simple yet so detailed. I sped through this book and loved every second. The way the art captures the emotions and moments are perfect!
  • So relatable: Oh boy did this book hit me in some of my weak spots. I felt myself nodding so hard at some of these comics, shouting ‘yes! I do that too,’ and even showing my partner pages just to let them know that I wasn’t the only person to do these crazy things 😋
  • The below comic: Because honestly, we’ve all been there.

Inkheart

by Cornelia Funke

Goodreads ||  Author

Quick story run down: Inkheart is a book about the blurring of the real world and fiction. For what is described as a children’S book, Inkheart is full of ominous feelings and has a dark reality to the story. While I read this book as a child, I remember loving how the stories blurred the lines between fiction and reality, and how it reminded us that words have power.

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The tone: The book doesn’t pull its punches, I remember being very off centre with this book and I wasn’t sure if we would get a happy ending. However I loved that it had this air about it, books can be sinister, they do have power.
  • This quote: because yes, yes they do!

“If you take a book with you on a journey,” Mo had said when he put the first one in her box, “an odd thing happens: The book begins collecting your memories. And forever after you have only to open that book to be back where you first read it. It will all come into your mind with the very first words: the sights you saw in that place, what it smelled like, the ice cream you ate while you were reading it… yes, books are like flypaper—memories cling to the printed page better than anything else.” 
― Cornelia Funke, Inkheart


Do you love reading books about books as much as I do? Are there any books that you think need to be added to the list? Leave a comment and let me know 😊

QP: Favourite Books of 2018

QUICK Picks

2018 has been a great year for reading. I have enjoyed a lot of books but of them there have been a few that have really stood out. The majority of the books selected are ones that I haven’t been able to get out of my head, my mind has been drawn back to the stories or characters of the books.

Check out the below ‘quick picks’ of some of my favourite books from 2018.

darkest part of the forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest

by Holly Black

Goodreads ||  Author

While I didn’t rate the book five stars, I did enjoy it a lot. Throughout the year I have kept returning to it and thinking about the storytelling. The Darkest Part of the Forest has renewed my interest in not only Holly Black but stories that feature Fae.

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The Story: The idea of the boy in the coffin that has been there for years and the town that is on the borders of the supernatural was just great. I keep thinking about how effortlessly I was pulled into this story.
  • The characters: I really enjoyed the characters and the siblings in this book. The way in which the story ends with the protector, the lover, and the prince, was so great. Also loving the QUILTBAG representation.
Continue reading “QP: Favourite Books of 2018”

Quick Picks: Xmas Presents!

QUICK Picks

Prepare yourself for an incredibly self indulgent post about all the things I want for Xmas!

candy_mountain_yule_log_slice_christmas_2018

Candy Mountain Yule Log

by Lush

Quick  run down: Every year I try and buy a few of these limited release bubble bars. The bars smell amazing and are so easy to use. You simply crumble them under a running tap and bam – you have a bubble bath.

It appears that this year instead of being little pyramids, Lush has made them into a bit more manageable shape. I usually try and grab as many as I can in the online boxing day sales but I never turn them down as a present!

Quick reasons why I love it:

  • The Smell: They are amazing – a soft and sweet vanilla.
  • The Luxury: Bubble baths are a large part of my self care routine and these beauties make them all the more luxurious.

tropico6

Tropico 6

by Kalypso

Quick run down: I have sunk so many hours into the Tropico games. Tropico 6 is a simulation game where you play as El Presidente, a ‘legally’ elected leader of a Caribbean/Cubanesque island.

Pretty much this is Sims City but on a island with a catchy soundtrack.

Quick reasons why I love it:

  • The Soundtrack: the Latin jazz sounds that play throughout each of the Tropico games.
  • The Humour: the humour of the game is really tongue in check. The reoccurring characters of the game are also really fun.

Lunar Chronicles

The Lunar Chronicles Box-set

by Melissa Meyer

Quick run down: Okay so stay with me on this one, I own Cinder and Winter. However, I do not have the other books. I also love box sets so…

If you don’t know the series, I would really recommend you check out it out! The books are retellings of classic fairy tale and they are all interconnected and amazing. I tend to recommend the series to young adults at the library and I haven’t had any complaints yet.

Quick reasons why I love the series:

  • The larger story: The five books all interconnect to tell a larger story. I’m just going to let you in on a secret, the ‘Winter‘ book is about ‘Snow White’ and the other characters from the book all join together and there are ‘seven’ of them… Yep details like that make me so happy!
  • The covers: I know a lot of people give Cinder a tough time about the cover – what with the whole weird looking foot in a shoe but I love it and I love them all!.

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Quick Picks: Book Series I Abandoned

QUICK Picks

The relationship between myself and book series is a strained one. While I won’t shy away from series, as a rule I don’t really like reading them unless they are really close to completion. I simply do not have the patience nor the desire to re-read the earlier books.

I am very aware that I should be more supportive of authors and their series, because if we don’t support the start of a series, then we are less likely to the end of the series. So yes, I will read first parts of series, I just might not do it if you’re super mega popular as I will make myself wait. A Song of Fire and Ice, I am looking at you.

greenrider

Green Rider Series

by Kristen Britain.

Goodreads ||  Author

Quick story run down: The Green Rider series, follows the story of Karigan G’ladheon as she joins and adventures as part of a group of  royal messengers, the Green Riders.

I found the first book, Green Rider, in a $2 bin at my local Golo back when I was a teenager. From the very first chapter, I fell in love. There was something about the book that captured my attention and I devoured the rest of the series.

Quick reasons why I stopped reading:

  • The length in between books: The first book was published in 1998 and the sixth book was published in 2017. 19 years. It has taken 19 years for six books to be released and the latest book, isn’t even the last!

I don’t want to be that person but ain’t nobody got time for that. I got sick of waiting for the next books and to be honest by the time the books came out I had completely forgotten all the plots of the previous books. Continue reading “Quick Picks: Book Series I Abandoned”