WTRIYL: The Cruel Prince

Hello! I’m back after an impromptu hiatus caused by me needing to get my research project edited and submitted by yesterday. But now I’m done with all that, Masters degree complete, and I have more time to read (finally!) and blog. At least until job applications start, but hey. Gotta take what I can get.

I figured the best way to get back into things would be to give you a rec list. This time, I’m basing the recs on The Cruel Prince. Because as good as the book is (and I do enjoy it, let me just say), it’s a little bland, if we’re honest. Very white and fairly straight. So, like last time, I’m picking 5 or so tropes from the book, and giving you some more diverse recs using those tropes.

Let’s go!

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Best of: August 2019

Folks, we’re back to not completing TBRs as August ends. Yeah, I know, I’m as surprised as you are (not). Because my research project is due mid-September and I have then got to go job-hunting (bleh), I’m not bothering with one for this month really (besides the two I didn’t get to last month plus Reads Rainbow’s book club read).

But anyway, enough dwelling on the books I didn’t read, and more on what I did.

Total: 49 books (so close damnit)

Novels: 46
Novellas: 2
Short stories: 1

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Book Review: Kingdom of Souls


Rena Barron
rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
published: 3rd September 2019
spoilers? no

Goodreads

THERE’S MAGIC IN HER BLOOD.

Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can’t even cast the simplest curse.

Shame and disappointment dog her.

When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.

An explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend with a twist you will never see coming.

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Book Review: Lie With Me


Philippe Besson
rating: ☆☆☆☆
published: 5th September 2019
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Just outside a hotel in Bordeaux, Philippe, a famous writer, chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back to Philippe’s teenage years, to a winter morning in 1984, a small French high school, and a carefully timed encounter between two seventeen-year-olds. It’s the start of a secret, intensely passionate, world-altering love affair between Philippe and his classmate, Thomas.

Dazzlingly rendered by Molly Ringwald, the acclaimed actor and writer, in her first-ever translation, Besson’s exquisitely moving coming-of-age story captures the tenderness of first love – and the heart-breaking passage of time.

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Book Review: Bringing Down the Duke


Evie Dunmore
rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
published: 3rd September 2019
spoilers? no

Goodreads

A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford Rebels, in which a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order.

England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke….

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Five for Friday: Opposites Attract

This week, I’m ignoring everyone’s suggestions for a topic and going with the opposites attract trope!

(Or, more generally, an unlikely couple.)

Okay, so it’s a bit of a cliched trope, sure, I’ll give you that. But like most “cliched” tropes, when it’s either done well or done differently (i.e. not white and cishet), it can be very very good.

So, here are five of my absolute favourites.

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Book Review: Sweet Talker


Robin Bielman
rating: ☆☆☆
published: 5th September 2019
spoilers? no

Goodreads

He likes to be in control…

It’s like this: I’m the hottest restauranteur on the west coast. I work hard, play hard, and love my family. I’m also the guy on the receiving end of some unwelcome threats and fixation. Then Pascale Nichols walks back into my life, and I forget about everything but her. They say lightening never strikes twice, but she’s the one that got away. She’s also, I soon discover, the one my family secretly hired to protect me. Am I mad? Hell, yes. Am I game to play along? You bet. 

She’s in over her head…

Everyone knows and loves Ethan Auprince. With his sexy-as-sin dimples and crazy likeability, he’s always the center of attention. I’ve been tasked with protecting celebrities, bigwigs, and high-ranking officials, but when I come face-to-face with the man I spent one incredible summer with, I’m in trouble. A careless mistake on my last assignment cost me, and now Ethan is looking at me like he wants to devour me, not cooperate with my subtle instructions while I work under the guise of his restaurant manager. 

My reputation is at risk. His safety is on the line. But worse, we’re falling in love again.

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Book Review: How to be Remy Cameron


Julian Winters
rating: ☆☆
published: 10th September 2019
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Everyone on campus knows Remy Cameron. He’s the out-and-gay, super-likable guy that people admire for his confidence. The only person who may not know Remy that well is Remy himself. So when he is assigned to write an essay describing himself, he goes on a journey to reconcile the labels that people have attached to him, and get to know the real Remy Cameron.

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Book Review: A House of Rage and Sorrow


Sangu Mandanna
rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
published: 3rd September 2019
spoilers? not in the review, but if you haven’t read book 1, do not read the synopsis

Goodreads

One kingdom. One crown. One family.

“Maybe it’s time the great House of Rey came to an end. After all, what are we now? Just a house of rage and sorrow.”

Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail?

As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole.

The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.

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Book Review: Guarding the Countess


Jess Michaels
rating: ☆☆☆☆
published: 3rd September 2019
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Naomi Barnaby’s husband, the Earl of Walridge, just died under mysterious circumstances. Her third husband to do so in just a handful of years. She wants to know if the men in her life were murdered and hires investigators Captain Marcus Ridgeway and Everett Bryant, Marquis of Glenmarrow to look into the matter.

When the alluring Naomi is attacked in their driveway, Marcus and Everett decide to take a far more personal interest in protecting her and uncovering who killed the men in her life. Soon the three are involved in an intense affair that challenges feelings between each member of their triad. 

But the shared history between Marcus and Everett is something that cannot be ignored. And those threatening Naomi may destroy everything the three could mean to each other and the unique future they long to build.

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