This week I devoted some time to my heavily neglected kindle. I’ve so many unread ebooks so they were long overdue some attention.
I’d also been forgetting about my NetGalley approvals, despite getting so excited when I got the approval confirmation. It was like I forgot about them but I really needed to pick up the books that I’d previously been so excited about. I was so happy to pick them up because I had a good time with these books and I remembered why I was so excited to read them in the first place. Delighted!
In the last week I read the following books, which I ramble on about in my vlog:
Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger
A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon by Sarah Hawley
Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen
Each of these books came from NetGalley but my rambles are my own
Baja California, 1979. Viridiana spends her days watching the dead sharks piled beside the seashore, as the fishermen pull their nets. There is nothing else to do, nothing else to watch, under the harsh sun. She’s bored. Terribly bored. Yet her head is filled with dreams of Hollywood films, of romance, of a future beyond the drab town where her only option is to marry and have children.
Three wealthy American tourists arrive for the summer, and Viridiana is magnetized. She immediately becomes entwined in the glamorous foreigners’ lives. They offer excitement, and perhaps an escape from the promise of a humdrum future.
When one of them dies, Viridiana lies to protect her friends. Soon enough, someone’s asking questions, and Viridiana has some of her own about the identity of her new acquaintances. Sharks may be dangerous, but there are worse predators nearby, ready to devour a naïve young woman who is quickly being tangled in a web of deceit.
I am a huge fan of Silvia Moreno-Garcia, this was my 11th book by this author. I’m a huge fan and I always have a good time with her. I did have a good time with this book.
This took a more noir theme than most of the other books I’ve enjoyed by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. It was giving me similar vibes to Velvet Was the Night. I was excited to enjoy another noir book!
I really enjoyed the characters. I feel like each of the main characters went through a journey and changes/showed their true selves. The wealthy tourists start off being so friendly and welcoming to Viridiana, they invited her to share their home while she worked for them. It seemed as if she was going to have a really enjoyable summer job. So quickly it appeared that there was more to the tourists than met the eye, they weren’t quite the lovely people that they had seemed to be at first. Quickly the woman turned on Viridiana and she was left wondering why. I really enjoyed not knowing who I could trust. I found Viridiana to be a very sympathetic character and I really was rooting for her.
The plot point surrounding the lie that Viridiana told was a little predictable. As in the book really was taking that direction. However the impact of this twist were far less predictable. I found second half of the book to become pretty fast paced and unexpected. Like a whirlwind.
The atmosphere was fantastic. This is one of the things that I love the most about this author. They write books that just ooze atmosphere that complements the vibe of the book. The atmosphere in this book was dark and foreboding. Like something was going to happen. There was a lot of symbolism coming from the sharks and the ocean. It was so clever!
The ending was totally unexpected. I was so sure the book was going to go in a different direction and I’m so happy that it didn’t.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I continue to be a huge fan of this author.
I’ve made a start on my Christmas film bingo board and checked off my first prompt. I’m feeling very accomplished! I finished the prompt for White Christmas which was a book featuring snow on the cover. For this prompt I chose The Witch and The Tsar by Olesya Salknikova Gilmore.
I also managed to squeeze in a wee novella and picked up Raising the Alarm by Nicki Bell which was short and sweet. I have preordered the second book in this series and I’m so excited about it!
So far, my plan to read at least 9 books by Christmas is going well. I hope these aren’t m famous last words!
November didn’t get off to the best start for me. I found myself in a big reading slump and just couldn’t concentrate for long and didn’t feel compelled to pick up any books. I knew it was coming, I could feel a reading slump on the air!
The slump started to ease towards the middle of the month and thanks to that, and to audiobooks which accounted for almost half of my reads, I managed to get through 11 books. I know that this is a great number of books to get through in a month but I had such grand reading plans for November, instead I went full mood reader.
November 1911. Lady Emily Hardcastle is celebrating her birthday by seeing a play at the Duke’s Theatre in Bristol with her maid and confidante, the inimitable Flo. Act One is a triumph. Then Act Two opens with a body on stage—a real one. One of the cast has been brutally murdered during the interval.
When other matters get in the way of Inspector Sunderland overseeing the case himself, he asks the ever-resourceful Lady H to keep a watchful eye on the suspects—and his police colleagues. Rustling up some cunning disguises of their own, she and Flo are soon in deep cover among the cast and crew, pulling back the curtain on some shocking secrets and rivalries…
The problem is, everyone seems to have a motive, and everyone seems to have an alibi…In this locked-room mystery in which nothing is as it seems, the amateur sleuths need to put on the performances of their lives if they’re to stand a chance of shining a spotlight on the truth…
I love the Lady Hardcastle series so imagine my joy at being able to get my wee mitts on a copy of the newest instalment on NetGalley! This book whizzed to the front of my tbr queue.
I thought that this book was just so fun! Yes it was a murder mystery but it was a very light and fluffy one. While this is book 9 of an existing series, I strongly feel like this book could work as a standalone. Anything you need to know about the characters has been included. I do enjoy that in a series, where it doesn’t matter if you remember the previous editions.
The double act of Lady Hardcastle and Flo (who I decided long ago was her lover and I’m going with this) was just so fun. I love their dynamic and the way that the interact with each other. It’s such a caring partnership that they have and you can tell how much they care about each other. In this book, Flo’s twin sister arrives for a visit and some identical twin high jinx ensued.
The theatre troupe was jam packed with suspects which is something that I want from a murder mystery. I want options for my suspects! It felt like everyone had a motive and I really enjoyed trying to put the case together. I did guess the murderer and motive though. I feel that there was one chapter that made it so obvious who the villain of the story was. That was a little disappointing because I’d been really enjoying the book up until then. I did enjoy the sheer volume of motives supplied, the theatre troupe was so interesting. I loved the drama of their relationships!
There was a wee side quest of Lady Hardcastle and Flo which was just as fun as their big theatre case. Although this one got me in the feels a little.
This was a quick and enjoyable read and I’m still very much into this series. Huge thank you to NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was either super smart or super silly as I decided to spend a week reading a seasonal read every day. Seven spooky or at least, Halloween-esque books! Anything scary, spooky, creepy, or vaguely Halloween themed was eligible for this self imposed challenge.
I also went on a wee book haul that I couldn’t resist! In my defence, the majority of the books were holiday purchases but I can easily find an excuse for breaking my book buying ban. I was doing so well!
Books included in this blog are:
Carmilla by Sheridan le Fanu
Cutthroat Cupcakes byCate Lawley
Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice
A Pale Box on the Distant Shore by P.J. Nwosu *
Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
The Final Girls Support Group by Grady Hendrix
How to Kill Men and Get Away With It by Katy Brent
IT’S THE 4TH OF DECEMBER 1591. On this, the last night of her life, in a prison cell several floors below Edinburgh’s High Street, convicted witch Geillis Duncan receives a mysterious visitor – Iris, who says she comes from a future where women are still persecuted for who they are and what they believe.
As the hours pass and dawn approaches, Geillis recounts the circumstances of her arrest, brutal torture, confession and trial, while Iris offers support, solace – and the tantalising prospect of escape.
I have previously read two books by Jenni Fagan- I really enjoyed Luckenbooth but I didn’t overly enjoy The Panopticon. So I wasn’t too sure whether I was going to enjoy this or not. I had received so many recommendations from friends so I was excited but also apprehensive. Well, this book goes into the pile of ‘books I really enjoyed’, I may go as far as to say that I loved this. I think I did.
This was such a short book. A teeny, tiny novella of around 100 pages but it still packed such a punch! I was almost overwhelmed by emotions. I sobbed pretty constantly for the last 20 pages or so.
I really enjoyed the characters of Geillis and Iris. I feel like I really got to know Geillis, she was a young woman who helped people. She made the mistake of drawing attention from the wrong person and then found herself convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to death. She was such an endearing character and I just found myself really warming towards her. She was such a sympathetic yet strong character. Iris was a modern woman but another tragic soul. I would have enjoyed getting to know her a little bit more but there is a limit to what can fit in a wee novella.
I really enjoyed the mystical elements of this book. I enjoyed the magic and the use of magic in this story.
I loved the way that the two women bonded in such a short amount of time. I loved their relationship and the way that they brought each other comfort in a time of great need.
Despite knowing that this book was set the night before Geillis was to be put to death, I just found the ending to just break my heart. I am always seeking a happy ending and I suppose I hoped for one from this book despite being aware enough of the last to know that I was maybe setting myself up for disappointment.
I found the descriptions of the torture that Geillis suffered to be really upsetting to read. This book was so well researched and the factual elements just made me so angry that they ever happened.
I just through that this was such an emotional book. It showed that while separated by centuries, the women faced similar struggles and as a society we haven’t really moved as we perhaps like to think we have. This really made me think and feel.
Essie Winterscale lives in a huge and ever-changing house in the village of Good Winter, in deepest, darkest Essex. She lives with various witches of various ages, one of whom is still a bit salty about having been burned at the stake in 1635, one who keeps accidentally casting fertility spells, and one who knits things that create the future.
All Essie ever wanted was to have a normal life but in the end she found herself drawn back to Beldam House because she just can’t stop her witchiness (although the ability to instantly chill wine is pretty awesome, even she has to admit).
Into this coven of chaos stumbles gorgeous, clueless Josh, their new landlord – and he’s just discovered his tenants haven’t paid rent since the 1700s! As Josh is drawn further into the lives of the inhabitants of Beldam House, Essie is determined to keep him at broomstick’s length. That is, until a family secret, lying hidden for centuries, puts Josh firmly under her spell…
I wanted something fun and seasonally appropriate and this book gave me just that. It was fun!
I am a sucker for a witchy story involving a found family. I adored the found family vibes from this book, all of the witches were just such good characters. I liked them all, even Essie’s mum who could be a bit…abrupt but it sort of felt a little justified under the circumstances.
The magical world felt really well explained. I understood the rules and the stakes. I feel like that is so absolutely imperative in a magical book, I need to know if there are repercussions.
Essie was a wee lamb. She deserved way better than Josh who was limp lettuce personified. You know, the old bag of salad leave at the back of the fridge that was Josh. He was boring, he was unbelievably passive, and he was annoying. The time to ask questions is not when you’re facing death, make a mental note to ask later. After survival. I hated Josh, he was such a strange love interest as he had almost no personality but he had a cool sister. I know I hated Josh but the other characters more than made up for him being super dull.
The twists were really enjoyable and I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen. You know it’s a good book when you want to keep going. I read this for some reading sprints because I was not going to bed without closure.
The setting of a quaint little village in England was such a perfect setting. I loved Bedlam House, I love an almost sentient building. That’s a bit of a scamp and likes to join in with the fun
There was a moment, half way through the book where I felt that it was going in a specific direction. In the direction of one of my most hated tropes and I would have been so disappointed if it did…but a twist happened and it didn’t go where I thought it was going.
This book had spice. I thought it was a clean romance book at first, which it totally fine. Although, around the 70% mark, that all changed! This was no longer the sweet romance I thought it was. It got steamy and as is tradition, I performed a dramatic reading of the sexy bits to my partner who struggled to make out the words through my cackles.
This book make me cackle with laughter which felt right for an October read. It was fun, it was lovely, I whizzed thought it and it was really enjoyable. This book made me very happy. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.