Book Review: Malice by Heather Walter

Goodreads: Malice (Malice Duology #1)
Publisher: Del Rey
Published: 13 April 2021
Genre: Adult Fantasy, Retelling

Panda Rating:

(3 pandas)

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss.

You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.
Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either.
Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again.
Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—
I am the villain.

Continue reading “Book Review: Malice by Heather Walter”

First Lines Friday – 12 August 2022

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“There have been two moments in my life when everything changed. Moments when things could have gone either way. Moments when I had to make a choice.”

Do you recognise the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 12 August 2022”

ARC Review: Royally Not Ready by Meghan Quinn

Special thanks to Meghan Quinn and her team for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Royally Not Ready
Publication Date: 09 August 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

So there I was selling bikinis out of my truck in South Beach Miami, getting ready to kick off a wet t-shirt contest when the world’s biggest grouch approached me – Keller Fitzwilliam.

The man had the sultriest British accent I’ve ever heard. And he looked like he just walked off a Viking boat and into a suit tailored specifically for his impressively muscular frame. Only problem is, he had the warmth of an ice pick and he kept telling me he was here to take me back to his home country.

Of course, I didn’t follow him. I might be up for a good time, but I’m also educated enough to know leaving with a stranger isn’t smart. Well, that’s until he mentioned my mom’s name. My mom who passed away several years ago.

So after some serious fact-checking, my bikini-clad bum went with him to a sub-arctic country I had never heard of just north of the British Isles, where I found out my grandpa was the king of said freezing country, and I was the one and only heir.
Desperate to learn more about my mom, I decided to give this princess thing a chance.

Good idea, right? Wrong.
Because Mr. Ice Pick was put to the task of training me and he’s not just cold as ice, he’s pompous, aggravating, and possessive. And did I mention we have to share a bathroom in a tiny castle?

We are oil and water every single day and even though he’s training me to be queen, I have this simmering desire to kneel before him.

  Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

Continue reading “ARC Review: Royally Not Ready by Meghan Quinn”

#WWWWednesday: 10 August 2022

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Since last week I’ve managed to finish three books. I actually DNF’d one book this week and I also wished that I had DNF’d another one of the books that I read but other than that, it was a great reading week!

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh ★★★★★
This is one of my favourite fantasies this year. It had absolutely gorgeous writing, fantastical folklore, vivid world-building with strong Spirited Away vibes, a swoontastic romance, and wonderful characters. I highly recommend it! 💜

(ARC) Not Betting on Forever (Single Ladies of Lakeside #1) by Natasha Moore ★★☆☆☆
Sadly, this wasn’t my jam. I felt zero chemistry between our MCs nor did I care about any of the other characters. For characters who were supposedly more mature (40+), these two acted like horny teenagers and the forbidden trope that I thought I’d be okay with simply didn’t work for me. Check out my review!

Continue reading “#WWWWednesday: 10 August 2022”

#TopTenTuesday: Last 10 Reads That Made Me LOL

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s topic is Hilarious Book Titles.

As you can see from my post title, I’m modifying the prompt a bit today because, for the life of me, I can’t think of hilarious book titles! I even looked up cosy mystery titles cos I do love a punny title but nothing was really striking the right note for me. So, I decided to look at the books I’ve read and share the last ten reads that made me laugh out loud. To be fair though I love to laugh and I’m easily amused so it doesn’t really take much for me to be entertained whether it’s witty writing, hilarious dialogue, or silly shenanigans.

Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: Last 10 Reads That Made Me LOL”

Pub Day Spotlight: Not Betting on Forever by Natasha Moore

Hi, friends! Today I’ll be sharing a release day spotlight for Not Betting on Forever by Natasha Moore. This is a new contemporary romance set in a small town with mature (40+) main characters and features a sort of “forbidden” frenemies-to-lovers trope!

Continue reading “Pub Day Spotlight: Not Betting on Forever by Natasha Moore”

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I’ll be spending the rest of my Sunday in bed with Royally Not Ready by Meghan Quinn. This is an ARC for next week and I got to 10% when I started reading this morning and already read a line that was FIRE. 🔥 Woo, MQ is bringing the heat again—and you know we’re here for it! 😉

What are you currently reading?

Continue reading “Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp”

Book Review: A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin

Goodreads: A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers
Published: 12 July 2022
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Kitty Talbot needs a fortune. Or rather, she needs a husband who has a fortune. Left with her father’s massive debts, she has only twelve weeks to save her family from ruin.

Kitty has never been one to back down from a challenge, so she leaves home and heads toward the most dangerous battleground in all of England: the London season.

Kitty may be neither accomplished nor especially genteel—but she is utterly single-minded; imbued with cunning and ingenuity, she knows that risk is just part of the game.

The only thing she doesn’t anticipate is Lord Radcliffe. The worldly Radcliffe sees Kitty for the mercenary fortune-hunter that she really is and is determined to scotch her plans at all costs, until their parrying takes a completely different turn…

This is a frothy pleasure, full of brilliant repartee and enticing wit—one that readers will find an irresistible delight.

Continue reading “Book Review: A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin”

Let’s Talk Bookish: All About Ebooks

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the July 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

All about Ebooks

(SUGGESTED BY FIVES @ DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE)
Prompts: Are ebooks the future of books? What are the advantages and disadvantages of ebooks? Are ebooks strictly better than physical books? Do all avid readers prefer real, paper books? Do you use an e-reader, or read on a phone/tablet? Do you ever find yourself missing one or the other?

Continue reading “Let’s Talk Bookish: All About Ebooks”

The Magical Readathon: Orilium Autumn Equinox 2022

Um, hi? How quickly is time flying this year, friends? Because August is here which means it’s time to return to magic school for ✨ The Magical Readathon: Orilium Autumn Equinox 2022! ✨ If you’re confused and don’t know what I’m on about, that’s cool. You can check out this video by our super lovely host and creator of this wonderful magical readathon, G @ Book Roast.

After completing The Novice Path in 2021, Orilium classes officially began in the Spring Equinox. Though I wasn’t 100% confident I’d pass my classes because I’m truly the Procrastination Queen™️, in the end, I managed to read all I needed to pass and I even managed to sneak in a few bonus points for completed quests. 🎉 So, I’m actually looking forward to returning for the Autumn semester even though I know it’s gonna be a bit more challenging in comparison.

Character BACKGROUND:

  • Name: Meeska
  • Guild: House of the Arcane
  • Calling: Illusionist Rogue
  • Background: Urban
  • Province: Kerador
  • Heritage: Earthling (Fire)
  • Conduit: Staff
  • Legacy: Pocket Dimension

Guild Tier Status: Assistant

Orilium Autumn Equinox Class Prompts + Possibility Pile

As an Illusionist Rogue, I’ll be attending the same three classes that I did last semester but this time I need to achieve an O in Shapeshifting, a D in Art of Illusion, and an O in Psionics & Divination. The grading system is: O – Outstanding; Q – Qualified; D – Distinguished. This means I’ll need to read 5 books in total to achieve the grades for the classes and pass the Autumn semester!

As always, I’m terrible with TBRs so I’m going with a possibility pile that will allow me some flexibility throughout the reading month.

*covers linked to Goodreads*

‘O’ IN SHAPESHIFTING: formation – WINGS ON THE COVER

I’m kinda of surprised but I can’t think of many books that I own which fit this prompt so if anyone has suggestions, I’d be happy to know them (they might even be on my TBR and I just can’t remember! Lol)


‘D’ IN ART OF ILLUSION:

In order to achieve a ‘D’ I need to complete the ‘O’ and ‘Q’ prompts as well, which means I need to read three books for this grade.

O – BLUR FACE: A BOOK YOU DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT
Q – MINOR ILLUSIONS: BOOK UNDER 300 PAGES
D – CAST – DEJAVU: PICK A PROMPT FROM THE LAST SEMESTER (ALCHEMY – POTION OF INFATUATION: BOOK FEATURING ROMANCE)

‘O’ IN PSIONICS & DIVINATION: TIME THEORY I – TIME TRAVEL

I kind of struggled to find books for this prompt! I have surprisingly few time travel books on my TBR but also, I’m not entirely sure which ones actually have time travel in them… 🙈

Adventure Board Quests

Just like in the Spring Semester, I’m hoping to complete some adventure board quests. I wasn’t able to sign up for the limited quests worth more points last time due to the time difference and I have a feeling that it’ll be the same now, but there are already a few of the ‘free-for-all’ quests that I have my eyes on!

Guild Events Preparations: Buddy read a book: The Dragon’s Promise (reading with Leslie!)
Discreet Help Needed: Shrubbery on the cover: Maggie Moves On
Amphibian Wranglers: Author name starts with a B or F: Brandon Sanderson
Courier Needed: A Book with a movie adaptation: The Green Mile

Are you also returning for the Autumn Equinox semester? How many classes do you have and how many books do you have to read? If anyone has recommendations for any of the prompts or if you wanna do a buddy read, just let me know cos I’d definitely be up for it! 😃