Smutathon Vlog

smutathon bingo

Smutathon is a week-long readathon hosted by Riley Marie and Ginger Reads Lainey running from Monday, June 3rd to Monday, June 10th. I didn’t find out about this readathon until Tuesday so I just jumped right in.

Reading Plan

Usually the most I would read in a week is about two books, three at a push. So I picked out a few that I’d like to read and then just went with what I felt like at the time.

I was already reading The Kiss Quotient prior to the readathon so I’m not really counting that but I did finish it during Smutathon and it is the perfect book for this type of readathon. I ended up reading two books for the readathon which I’m pretty with 🙂

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Fate’s Edge by Ilona Andrews

Audrey Callahan left behind her life in the Edge, and she’s determined to stay on the straight and narrow. But when her brother gets into hot water, the former thief takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with a jack of all trades… 

Kaldar Mar-a gambler, lawyer, thief, and spy-expects his latest assignment tracking down a stolen item to be a piece of cake, until Audrey shows up. But when the item falls into the hands of a lethal criminal, Kaldar realizes that in order to finish the job, he’s going to need Audrey’s help…

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

The Kiss Quotient is available on Kindle Unlimited

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The Ice Princess by Elizabeth Hoyt

SEVEN NIGHTS OF SIN 
As the madam of Aphrodite’s Grotto, the most infamous brothel in London, Coral Smythe knows everything possible about men’s needs and desires. Yet she’s never experienced the love of a single man-not even that of Captain Isaac Wargate whose hawk-like eyes stare at her with both condemnation…and lust.

SEVEN NIGHTS OF ECSTASY 
Captain Wargate heartily disapproves of the sensuous madam who always wears a golden mask. She lures his officers from both his ship and their duty. But when Coral herself is offered up as the prize in a game of chance, Wargate impulsively enters…and wins.

SEVEN NIGHTS OF LOVE 
Now the puritanical navy captain has just seven nights to learn everything he can about the mysterious madam and what she knows of a man’s desires. But when Coral is threatened by the new owner of Aphrodite’s Grotto, will Wargate take a chance on the woman beneath the mask…and on love?

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Deeper Than Midnight by Lara Adrian Review

Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed, #9)

Title: Deeper Than Midnight

Series: Midnight Breed #9

Author: Lara Adrian

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis: Delivered from the darkness, a woman finds herself plunged into a passion that is Deeper Than Midnight.

At eighteen, Corinne Bishop was a beautiful, spirited young woman living a life of privilege as the adopted daughter of a wealthy family. Her world changed in an instant when she was stolen away and held prisoner by the malevolent vampire Dragos. After many years of captivity and torment, Corinne is rescued by the Order, a cadre of vampire warriors embroiled in a war against Dragos and his followers. Her innocence taken, Corinne has lost a piece of her heart as well – the one thing that gave her hope during her imprisonment, and the only thing that matters to her now that she is free.

Assigned to safeguard Corinne on her trip home is a formidable golden-eyed Breed male called Hunter. Once Dragos’s most deadly assassin, Hunter now works for the Order, and he’s hell-bent on making Dragos pay for his manifold sins. Bonded to Corinne by their mutual desire, Hunter will have to decide how far he’ll go to end Drago’s reign of evil – even if carrying out his mission means shattering Corinne’s tender heart.

Deeper Than Midnight by Lara Adrian Elaine Howlin Book Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Format: ebook

Pages/Hours: 387 pages

Ownership: own

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Tags: Vampires, Brotherhood

Themes: Tortured Hero, Tortured Heroine, Virgin Hero

Review: I read the previous book (Taken By Midnight) in 2013 so I was kind of playing catch up while reading this. Adrian recapped all the important stuff throughout the story though so that was handy.

Since starting this series I read J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood which is pretty similar to Midnight Breed. I kept getting the storylines and characters mixed up….

I’m not sure I’ll continue with Midnight Breed but I did enjoy this instalment. There seems to be more focus on the main story line of the series instead of the romances which made it a more interesting read. And that ending!!! I may pick up the next one just to see what happens next.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Summerathon TBR 2019

I am so happy it is summer! Time to lounge outside in the sunshine with a book, lots of sunscreen, and an ice cold drink. Heaven.

Summerathon runs from June 21-27 and is hosted on YouTube by Melanie, Jen, Heather, Aimee, and Amy.

–The Challenges–

  • 1: Read a “beachy” read
  • 2: Read a book with sunrise colors on the cover
  • 3: Read a book featuring a road trip/traveling or summer vacation
  • 4: Read a book set in summer
  • 5: Read a book with food on the cover
  • 6: Drink your favorite summery drink while reading

The readathon is only a week long so I will probably only get one book maybe two read but I’m going to pick out a book for each challenge and then I will just read whichever one I feel like. Some of them will actually work for more than one challenge.

🌅 Beachy Read

NetGalley has a tonne of beachy reads at the moment so I might request one of those. I’ve never really read what I would consider to be a beachy book before so I’m interested to try one. If I don’t get a book from NetGalley I will read a cosy mystery by Charlaine Harris. I think that genre is perfect for taking it easy while reading but is still interesting enough to keep you reading.

Shakespeare’s Landlord (Lily Bard #1) by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard, #1)

Welcome to Shakespeare, Arkansas. Lily Bard came to the small town of Shakespeare to escape her dark and violent past. Other than the day-to-day workings of her cleaning and errand-running service, she pays little attention to the town around her. So when she spots a dead body being dumped in the town green, she’s inclined to stay well away. But she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and despite her best efforts, she’s dragged into the murder case. Lily doesn’t care who did it, but when the police and local community start pointing fingers in her direction, she realizes that proving her innocence will depend on finding the real killer in quiet, secretive Shakespeare.

🌅 Sunrise Colours on the Cover

Riveted (Iron Seas #3) by Meljean Brook

Riveted (Iron Seas, #3)

A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland’s inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. Fishermen tell tales of giant trolls guarding the land and of seductive witches who steal men’s hearts. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magic—and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom.

Five years ago, Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister Källa took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on the airship Phatéon, flying from port to port in search of her sister and longing to return home . . . but that home is threatened when expedition leader David Kentewess comes aboard.

Determined to solve the mystery of his own origin, David will stop at nothing to expose Annika’s secrets. But when disaster strikes, leaving David and Annika stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman, their very survival depends on keeping the heat rising between them—and generating lots of steam . . .

🌅 Traveling/ Summer Vacation

One of those summery/beachy reads on NetGalley would probably suit this one too. If now I might read The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough which begins with a family traveling to Australia.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

The Thorn Birds

The Thorn Birds is a robust, romantic saga of a singular family, the Clearys. It begins in the early part of this century, when Paddy Cleary moves his wife, Fiona, and their seven children to Drogheda, the vast Australian sheep station owned by his autocratic and childless older sister; and it ends more than half a century later, when the only survivor of the third generation, the brilliant actress Justine O’Neill, sets a course of life and love halfway around the world from her roots.

The central figures in this enthralling story are the indomitable Meggie, the only Cleary daughter, and the one man she truly loves, the stunningly handsome and ambitious priest Ralph de Bricassart. Ralph’s course moves him a long way indeed, from a remote Outback parish to the halls of the Vatican; and Meggie’s except for a brief and miserable marriage elsewhere, is fixed to the Drogheda that is part of her bones – but distance does not dim their feelings though it shapes their lives.

Wonderful characters people this book; strong and gentle, Paddy, hiding a private memory; dutiful Fiona, holding back love because it once betrayed her, violent, tormented Frank, and the other hardworking Cleary sons who give the boundless lands of Drogheda the energy and devotion most men save for women; Meggie; Ralph; and Meggie’s children, Justine and Dane. And the land itself; stark, relentless in its demands, brilliant in its flowering, prey to gigantic cycles of drought and flood, rich when nature is bountiful, surreal like no other place on earth.

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🌅 Summer Setting

I have no idea what seasons my books are set! I had to look up a Goodreads list for some ideas for this. The only book I currently own and have yet to read from the list is Atonement by Ian McEwan.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Atonement

Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.

On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses the flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives and her precocious imagination bring about a crime that will change all their lives, a crime whose repercussions Atonement follows through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century.

🌅 Food on the Cover

I could only think of cosy mysteries for this one! Why is it that cosy mysteries often have food on the cover???

Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys by Harper Lin

Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys (Cape Bay Cafe Mystery, #2)

When Francesca’s old high school crush, Todd, is accused of murder, she is convinced he is innocent. The police don’t believe Todd’s story, and neither does Matty. 

During the busy summer tourist season at Cape Bay, Francesca sets out to prove Todd’s innocence. Matty, however, investigates to prove Todd is guilty. Why does Matty detest Todd so much? But what if he’s right—what if Todd is a murderer? 

Includes two special recipes! This is Book 2 in The Cape Bay Cafe Mysteries. The books don’t have to be read in order.

🍹 My Favourite Summer Drink

My favourite drink to have in summer is definitely prosecco. Although, to be fair, I drink it for all seasons 😉 One of my favourite ways to have it during the summer is with a dash of elderflower cordial. If you have some gin and mint you could throw those in too to make a hugo cocktail. Perfect refreshing drink for summer.

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Synopsis and book covers from Goodreads

What’s your favourite summer drink?

Weekend Reading Vlog

One weekend each month my Goodreads group has a four-day readathon where we set a personal reading goal. I usually go for about 300 pages but I decided to challenge myself a bit this month and go for 600 pages.

Books

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris
Three Bedrooms, One Corpse by Charlaine Harris

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo Review

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)

Title: Ruin and Rising

Series: Grisha Trilogy #3

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis: The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Format: ebook

Pages/Hours: 432 pages

Ownership: Own

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Review: 3.5 stars
Ok, I’ve never experienced this before but the first book was the best.
I did enjoy this one. The conclusion to the story is mostly satisfying BUT I feel like a lot of the complications for the main characters that had been developed were too easily resolved. Almost conveniently resolved to tie everything up in a neat little bow and the consequences for everything that happened were minimal or actually beneficial.

But it is a really good story and the villain is one of the best I’ve read.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_