What I’ve Been Reading & 2 Bookstagram Templates

Recent Reads Wrap Up Elaine Howlin

It’s been a while since I read enough to warrant a wrap-up post. It feels so good to be reading again now the anxiety over everything has calmed down for me. So, this is what I read in May and my thoughts on them. I’m not going to go into too much detail here or describe the plot of each book. You can click on the titles to check out their Amazon page and read the synopsis.

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Ever After (The Hollows #11) by Kim Harrison

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I feel like the series was building to this book all along even though it isn’t the final book and doesn’t tie up all of the story-lines. It just has an epic feel to it.

The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12) by Kim Harrison

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

It’s difficult to review books that are so far into a series… Every book in this series has received a high rating from me bar the first book which I thought was a bit messy.

This series is the epitome of urban fantasy. Full of magic, high action situations and captivating characters.

audible trial

Lord Dashwood Missed Out (Spindle Cove #4.5) by Tessa Dare

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A cute little story set in Dare’s Spindle Cove series. Dare is great for humorous and sweet historical romances. Her books are like adult fairy-tales. The romance in this one is stand-alone but it does feature characters from earlier books.

If you’re new to Tessa Dare I recommend checking out her Castles Ever After series over her Spindle Cove books. I found those ones more enjoyable.

Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk #1) by Bec McMaster

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Steampunk vampires? Yes, please! I gotta say I love the artwork for this series. Steampunk series often have the coolest covers. In this series vampires seem to be caused by some type of virus with our heroine trying to find a cure for it after the disappearance of her father. It’s a fun read but nothing ground-breaking in terms of urban-fantasy.

North and South (abridged audiobook) by Elizabeth Gaskell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Yes, it says abridged audiobook. I was having trouble sleeping one night so I popped onto Scribd in search of something to listen to. I found several audiobooks of North and South (one of absolute favourite books ever) including two or three abridged versions. I figured since I’m already so familiar with the story an abridged version would be perfect to lull me off to sleep. The one I listened to was just under 3 hours long so a lot of the book was cut out. It was basically just the highlights of the romance. I really enjoyed listening to it even though so much was cut out.

Murder on the Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher #3) by Kerry Greenwood

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Oh, I love me some Phryne Fisher! I’ve watched the show on Netflix twice now and feel a third viewing coming on soon. I watched the movie Phryne Fisher and the Crypt of Tears as well which was good too but I missed the rest of the main cast. It seems unlikely at this stage that we’ll get another season of the show but I did discover a spin-off series set in the 60’s featuring Miss Fisher’s niece. Haven’t watched it yet but it’s on the list.

Anyway, Murder on the Ballarat train is my favourite of the books so far. The character of the world and of Phryne herself are well established now so we can just sit back and enjoy the ride. I listened to the audiobook which I feel added another dimension of enjoyment to the book with it’s jazz music.

Happily Ever After & Everything in Between by Debbie Tung

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Review copy from NetGalley. Graphic novel about being in a long-term relationship. It was sweet and relatable but mostly a bit meh. It would make a nice gift for your significant other along with some flowers or wine or whatever.

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Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse #2) by Charlaine Harris

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a reread just for the hell of it. I absolutely loved this series when I read it first over 10 years ago. It’s good to know it still holds up for me after reading hundreds of books since. Sookie Stackhouse (which inspired the show True Blood) was one of the original urban fantasy series. It’s fun to read for nostalgia and it’s just a plain good urban fantasy series with strong romance tendencies.

Watch With Me (Voyeur #4.5) by Fiona Cole

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Bom chicka wah wah this is basically porn 😉 A short story in Cole’s Voyuer series and prequel to book 5, Liar. It doesn’t need to be read to enjoy Liar since it’s really just a sex scene. But if you’re in the mood for something steamy, this will hit the spot. Most of Cole’s books are available on Kindle Unlimited.

Born in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy #1) by K.F. Breene

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My favourite book of the month! It was such a fun read with effortless world building, solid character development, and a great plot. The main character Reagan was kick-ass without crossing the line into bitchy or that annoying “chosen one” mentality where they keep refusing help and run off alone. There are a few little similarities to the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews but not enough to seem like a copy. The only real similarity is the magical daughter in hiding from her evil dad which is actually a fairly common trope. It’s in Avengers with Thanos and Gamora and in Teen Titans with Trigon and Raven. Though Gamora isn’t magical, she is a kick-ass chick! All of K.F. Breene’s books are available on Kindle Unlimited.

Demon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark #10) by Kresley Cole

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

One of my absolute favourites from the series. This was my second time reading it and I loved it just as much this time. It’s basically a Beauty and the Beast story with some genuine betrayal thrown in and a crazy secret organisation experimenting on immortals. Fun times 🙂

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14 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading & 2 Bookstagram Templates

  1. I haven’t been reading much either, but there have definitely been a lot of distracting things going on. I’m planning to get back to it with some fun summer reads, thanks for some suggestions!

    Liked by 1 person

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