First Lines Friday – 26 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!
Read More »

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!
Read More »

First Lines Friday – 22 July 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!
Read More »

First Lines Friday – 10 June 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!
Read More »

First Lines Friday – 13 May 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!
Read More »

Did I Pass My Classes? The Magical Readathon: Orilium Spring Equinox 2022 Wrap Up!

Hello, friends! I hope you’re all doing okay as we move into May. Last month, I participated in The Magical Readathon: Orilium Spring Equinox 2022 and today I’d like to share my wrap up of the books I read for the readathon. Did I pass my classes? Did I manage to complete any additional quests to help my guild gain points? Read on to find out!

My The Magical Readathon: Orilium Spring Equinox 2022 Introduction Post

Again, I’d like to give a shout out to the creator of this amazing readathon: G @ Book Roast who did an incredible job preparing everything for us. I’m still in awe of all the effort that she’s put into this and I find it very inspiring!

CHARACTER BACKGROUND

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

Orilium Spring Equinox Class Prompts

Luckily for me, as an Illusionist Rogue, I only had to attend three classes: Shapeshifting, Art of Illusion, and Psionics & Divination. This means that I only had to read three books and although it was a close call because I kept putting off my reads until the very end of the month (meep, truly accurate to how I was as a student IRL!), I managed to successfully pass the term! WOO!!! 🥳 I also managed to complete a few quests from the noticeboard. On that note, here’s what I read for the readathon:

SHAPESHIFTING: CREATURE WITH CLAWS ON THE COVER

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo
Genre
: Adult SFF
Rating: ★★★★½

I’d heard so much about this one and I was scared that it’d go over my head but it didn’t and I totally get the hype. This had me captivated from the very beginning. Vo’s writing was lyrical and flowed off the page. The setting was also magical and the story was fantastic!


ART OF ILLUSION: BOOK WITH A TROPE YOU LIKE

My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★☆

This had the rivals to lovers trope and I really enjoyed it. The first-love romance was sweet and I ended up really liking Bel and Teo and rooting for their romance! I buddy read this with Leslie & Julie and we also had great discussions about what we loved and disliked. It was an empowering story!


PSIONICS & DIVINATION: BOOK SET IN THE FUTURE

The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
Genre: Adult SFF
Rating: ★★★½

This was my first book by de Bodard and I’m afraid this book was a little too smart for me? 😂 I liked the Sherlockian inspired characters and mystery but the world-building was disorienting and I didn’t fully connect with the characters. I enjoyed the writing though!

additional quests:

I managed to complete more quests than I thought I would! These were all unlimited quests as the time difference meant that I always missed out on the limited quests when they were posted but that’s okay. Each quest was worth 10 guild reputation points so I was rewarded 60 points total!

Letter D in the title

New-to-me author

Steal a book from someone else’s TBR

5-star prediction

Borrowed from the library

Book with multiple POVs

From Initiate to Assistant

I started the Spring Equinox as an Initiate and by the end, I earned 50pts for successfully passing the term and another 60pts for each quest that I completed. With 110 guild reputation points tucked away, I’ve managed to move up on the guild tier to become an Assistant, which means my character’s face is recognisable within the guild. Exciting times! 😃


That it’s from me, folks! Did you join The Magical Readathon too? How were your spring classes and did you pass them all? Did you manage to do any additional quests? I don’t know about you but I can’t wait for next term! 😍

Romance Mini-Reviews: Talia Hibbert Edition

I’m back with more mini(-ish) reviews and today it’s for two Talia Hibbert books that I’ve read in 2022 but still haven’t reviewed. Talia Hibbert is one of my auto-buy romance authors—she brings the swoon and the steam and while I’ve read one or two of her books that didn’t entirely sweep me away, for the most part, her romances have been winners! Without further ado, let’s get to it.


WORK FOR IT BY TALIA HIBBERT

Goodreads: Work for It (Just For Him #4)
Publisher: Nixon House
Publication Date: 03 September 2019
Genre:
Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

For men like us, trust doesn’t come easy.

In this village, I’m an outcast: Griffin Everett, the scowling giant who prefers plants to people. Then I meet Keynes, a stranger from the city who’s everything I’m not: sharp-tongued, sophisticated, beautiful. Free. For a few precious moments in a dark alleyway, he’s also mine, hot and sweet under the stars… until he crushes me like dirt beneath his designer boot.

When the prettiest man I’ve ever hated shows up at my job the next day, I’m not sure if I want to strangle him or drag him into bed. Actually—I think I want both. But Keynes isn’t here for the likes of me: he makes that painfully clear. With everyone else at work, he’s all gorgeous, glittering charm—but when I get too close, he turns vicious.

And yet, I can’t stay away. Because there’s something about this ice king that sets me on fire, a secret vulnerability that makes my chest ache. I’ll do whatever it takes to sneak past his walls and see the real man again.

The last thing I expect is for that man to ruin me. 

Read More »

Romance Mini-Reviews: Kiss and Don’t Tell, The Last Eligible Billionaire & A Deal with the Devil

I’ve got quite a backlog of reviews that I want to share on my blog but with the number I’ve got going, it’ll take me forever to get many of them up so today I’m sharing mini-reviews for three romances that I’ve read in the last month! If you’re interested in reading any of these, all of them are available on Kindle Unlimited (at least for Amazon UK) if you have a subscription. 😊


Kiss and Don’t Tell by Meghan Quinn

Goodreads: Kiss and Don’t Tell (The Vancouver Agitators #1)
Publication Date: 21 September 2021
Genre:
Contemporary Sports Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

Five hockey players, a cabin in the woods . . . and little old me, Winnie Berlin.

Sounds like the start of a fantasy, right? But it’s not. It’s my reality.
It all started when I got lost in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. A wicked thunderstorm sent my car mud sliding into a ditch and for a girl whose survival skills involve finding the nearest Starbucks, I was in deep trouble.
Forced to abandon my car in search of help, I stumbled upon a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Soaking wet, irritated, and in desperate need of a hot shower, I knocked on the door for help only to be greeted by five boisterous, burly, and insanely attractive men.

Not just men.
Professional hockey players.
I hit the motherload of fantasies, right? Wrong.
Because as it turns out, one of them is my ex-boyfriend’s half-brother. And when I end up crashing in their spare bedroom for the night, things take a very unexpected turn. I’m not sure any amount of survival skills can protect my heart from Vancouver Agitators star goalie, Pacey Lawes. But as long as we kiss and don’t tell, maybe everything will be okay . . .

Read More »

The Magical Readathon: Orilium Spring Equinox 2022

It’s finally April which means that classes are now officially in session! What exactly am I on about? The Magical Readathon: Orilium Spring Equinox 2022, of course! Still confused? Check out this video below. The Magical Readathon is hosted by G @ Book Roast who has done an exceptional job preparing all the materials for us—it’s honestly stunning and sets the fantastical vibes of this readathon up so well! If you’re looking for a fun, unique and immersive readathon to join, you don’t need to look any further. This is it! 😍

Last year, I participated in The Novice Path which helped me kickstart the journey to Orilium which was followed up by a mini-readathon last week to “gear up” for classes starting from 01-30 April. Before diving into my classes, prompts and possibility pile, here’s a little character background:

Character BACKGROUND:

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

Orilium Spring Equinox Class Prompts+Possibility Pile

It was a little tough to choose a calling because there are so many fantastic options but with a little bit of help, I settled on Illusionist Rogue. I mean, how cool does this sound?

“Illusionist rogues are a mystery in many ways, but one thing about them is certain: reality bends to their will.”

The Orilium Academy “Callings” Guide

To fulfil my calling I luckily only need to take three classes this Spring Equinox: Shapeshifting, Art of Illusion, and Psionics & Divination. There are little extras that we can choose to do, allowing us to earn points for our guild and guild tier ranking, but those extras will be announced via Twitter and Discord and will be more like “limited time/first come first serve” offers.

I’m terrible with TBRs but I’ll be buddy reading one book so that prompt is set but for the other two, I’m not quite sure what I’ll end up reading so I thought I’d share a list of possibilities. Who knows, if you need recommendations, some of these might work for you as well!

*covers linked to Goodreads*

SHAPESHIFTING: CREATURE WITH CLAWS ON THE COVER

I struggled the most with this prompt as it turns out I don’t have many books that have creatures with claws on the cover? 😂 I’m technically buddy reading The Dream Thieves with Leslie this month but any of these options could work too. If you have other suggestions, let me know!


ART OF ILLUSION: BOOK WITH A TROPE YOU LIKE

This is by far the easiest cos I love so many tropes. I’ll be buddy reading My Mechanical Romance with Leslie & Julie, which is the rivals to lovers trope. The others listed here have fake dating, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers/hate to love and found family!


PSIONICS & DIVINATION: BOOK SET IN THE FUTURE

I couldn’t come up with many books on my TBR for this and I’m kinda playing it loose with some of these “future” picks but I’m liking this list! 😂 I’m always open to more suggestions though if anyone has any!


Are you joining the Magical Readathon as well? What’s your calling? Anyone else pursuing the Illusionist Rogue calling or part of House Arcane? If anyone has recommendations, needs recommendations or wants to buddy read anything, let me know! I’d be more than happy to do one 😃

First Lines Friday – 25 March 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:

“They say you can spot a true shénnóng-shi by their hands—palms colored by the stain of the earth, fingertips scarred from thorns, a permanent crust of soil and blood darkening the crescents of their nails.
I used to look at my hands with pride.
Now, all I can think is,
These are the hands that buried my mother.

Do you recognise the book these first lines come from?

Read More »