Book Review: The New Life


Tom Crewe

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 10th January 2023
spoilers? none

Goodreads

After a lifetime spent navigating his desires, John Addington, a married man, has met Frank, a working-class printer.

Meanwhile Henry Ellis’s wife Edith has fallen in love with a woman – who wants Edith all to herself.

When in 1894 John and Henry decide to write a revolutionary book together, intended to challenge convention and the law, they are both caught in relationships stalked by guilt and shame. Yet they share a vision of a better world, one that will expand possibilities for men and women everywhere.

Their daring book threatens to throw John and Henry, and all those around them, into danger. How far should they go to win personal freedoms? And how high a price are they willing to pay for a new way of living?

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Book Review: Every Gift a Curse


Caroline O’Donoghue

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 2nd February 2023
spoilers? none

Goodreads

With the return of the Housekeeper on the cards, Maeve must find out everything she can about the vengeful tarot spirit in order to finally defeat her. Crossing over into a parallel dimension inside the old school building, she explores the history of the Housekeeper – and spends too long in a world and a mind not her own.

With the Children of Brigid closing in once more, and Maeve’s friend group now fractured across Ireland, can they hope to ultimately save the town – and Maeve – from the grip of a power greater than they ever imagined?

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Book Review: Georgie, All Along


Kate Clayborn

Rating: 5 out of 5.

published: 24th January 2023
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Longtime personal assistant Georgie Mulcahy has made a career out of putting others before herself. When an unexpected upheaval sends her away from her hectic job in L.A. and back to her hometown, Georgie must confront an uncomfortable truth: her own wants and needs have always been a disconcertingly blank page.

But then Georgie comes across a forgotten artifact—a “friendfic” diary she wrote as a teenager, filled with possibilities she once imagined. To an overwhelmed Georgie, the diary’s simple, small-scale ideas are a lifeline—a guidebook for getting started on a new path.

Georgie’s plans hit a snag when she comes face to face with an unexpected roommate—Levi Fanning, onetime town troublemaker and current town hermit. But this quiet, grouchy man is more than just his reputation, and he offers to help Georgie with her quest. As the two make their way through her wishlist, Georgie begins to realize that what she truly wants might not be in the pages of her diary after all, but right by her side—if only they can both find a way to let go of the pasts that hold them back.

Honest and deeply emotional, Georgie, All Along is a smart, tender must-read for everyone who’s ever wondered about the life that got away . . .

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Book Review: Now She is Witch


Kirsty Logan

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 12th January 2023
spoilers? no

Goodreads

She dug her mother’s grave in the poison garden so it would stay hidden…

From the snowy winter woods to the bright midnight sun; from lost and powerless to finding your path, Now She is Witch conjures a world of violence and beauty – a world where women grasp at power through witchcraft, sexuality and performance, and most of all through throwing each other to the wolves.

Lux has lost everything when Else finds her, alone in the woods. Her family, her lover, her home – all burned. The world is suspicious of women like her. But Lux is cunning; she knows how to exploit people’s expectations, how to blend into the background. And she knows a lot about poisons.

Else has not found Lux by accident. She needs her help to seek revenge against the man who wronged her, and together they pursue him north. But on their hunt they will uncover dark secrets that entangle them with dangerous adversaries.

This is a witch story unlike any other.

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Book Review: Home


Cailean Steed

Rating: 2 out of 5.

published: 19th January 2023
spoilers? nope

Goodreads

Someone has broken into Zoe’s flat. A man she thought she’d never have to see again.

They call him the Hand of God.

He knows about her job in the cafe, her life in Dublin, her ex-girlfriend, even the knife she’s hidden under the mattress.

She thought she’d left him far behind, along with the cult of the Children and their isolated compound Home – but now he’s found her, and she knows she must go back to rescue the sister who helped her escape all those years before.

But returning to Home means going back to the enforced worship and strict gender roles Zoe has long since moved beyond; back to the abuse and indoctrination she’s fought desperately to overcome.

Going back will make her question everything she believed about her past – but could also risk her hard-won freedom. Can she break free a second time?

One – My name is Zoe
Two – I am here to rescue my sister Amy
Three – Nothing anyone says here is true
Four –
Four –
What is my fourth true thing?

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50 Books I Wanted to Read in 2022: How Did It Go?

Following on from my, let’s say marginal, success in doing this for 2021, I started 2022 by selecting 50 books from my TBR I wanted to read in the year. And… drum roll please… I managed it! I read all 50 books in there (barring the ones I decided I didn’t want to read after all, for various reasons, which I swapped out for others. But I did read those others too!). I actually don’t plan to do this this year, since I have another challenge for myself instead (reading all 134 books on my TBR as of 28th December), so this was a good way to go out.

But anyway. Here’s a little summary of it all.

The key:
🐝 = favourite
☀️ = 4 or 5 stars, highly recommend
☁️ = 3 or 4 stars, enjoyed/had fun reading
🌧️ = 2 or 3 stars, was alright/not for me but someone else might enjoy
🌩️ = 1 or 2 stars, bored out of my mind/it was awful

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Book Review: Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries


Heather Fawcett

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 10th January 2023
spoilers? none

Goodreads

A curmudgeonly professor journeys to a small town in the far north to study faerie folklore and discovers dark fae magic, friendship, and love in the start of a heartwarming and enchanting new fantasy series.

Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a partyor even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.

So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.

But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones—the most elusive of all faerieslurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of allher own heart.

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Wrap-up: November & December 2022

Haha so. About that 2-month accidental hiatus… Actually I have no excuse for it, except that I just completely forgot about this blog. I gave myself a bit of a break from ARCs, not having any that published for most of November and all of December, so I didn’t write any reviews either. But now! I’m back! Until next time I forget at least…

The key:
🐝 = favourite
🕊️ = reread/rewatch/relisten
☀️ = 4 or 5 stars, highly recommend
☁️ = 3 or 4 stars, enjoyed/had fun reading
🌧️ = 2 or 3 stars, was alright/not for me but someone else might enjoy
🌩️ = 1 or 2 stars, bored out of my mind/it was awful

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Book Review: All the Way Happy


Kit Coltrane

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 27th December 2022
spoilers? none

Goodreads

Their differences made them enemies.

One summer tied them together forever. 

From the moment Jack Gardner first laid eyes on Theodore Beaumont, he hated everything about him. Emanating wealth and icy perfection, Theo was everything Jack was not. Their time together at the elite Gwynns Academy changed them both, but it wasn’t until a chance encounter the summer after graduation that the tension between them became palpable—unbearable.

Seventeen years later, Jack’s and Theo’s worlds collide as they drop their sons off at Gwynns. Theo wants the kind of authentic life that requires confronting past lies—specifically the steamy summer affair he and Jack kept buried like a secret beneath the floorboards of their marriages. 

Jack is…less than convinced.

Existing in the present and simultaneously in their shared past, in the richness of their memories and the way they once clung together, Jack and Theo struggle to reconcile the worlds they have built apart with their longing to be together—and the fear of being hurt all over again.

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Book Review: The Gentleman’s Book of Vices


Jess Everlee

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

published: 29th November 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Is their real-life love story doomed to be a tragedy, or can they rewrite the ending?

London, 1883

Finely dressed and finely drunk, Charlie Price is a man dedicated to his vices. Chief among them is his explicit novel collection, though his impending marriage to a woman he can’t love will force his carefully curated collection into hiding.

Before it does, Charlie is determined to have one last hurrah: meeting his favorite author in person.

Miles Montague is more gifted as a smut writer than a shopkeep and uses his royalties to keep his flagging bookstore afloat. So when a cheerful dandy appears out of the mist with Miles’s highly secret pen name on his pretty lips, Miles assumes the worst. But Charlie Price is no blackmailer; he’s Miles’s biggest fan.

A scribbled signature on a worn book page sets off an affair as scorching as anything Miles has ever written. But Miles is clinging to a troubled past, while Charlie’s future has spun entirely out of his control…

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