Author: Elaine Howlin

I read books and then write about them online.

Victober TBR

Victober is a month-long readathon in October focusing on Victorian literature. The Victorian era spanned June 20, 1837 – January 22, 1901, so any books published during this time in the UK and Ireland are welcome. The readathon is hosted by four YouTubers, Ange- Beyond the Pages, Kate Howe, Katie- Books and Things and Lucythereader.

Challenges:

  • Ange: Read a book by one of the hosts favourite Victorian authors (Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell and Charlotte Bronte)
  • Kate: Read a Victorian book with a proper noun in the title
  • Katie: Read a book that was published in the first ten years of the Victorian era and/or published in the last ten years of the Victorian era
  • Lucy: Read a Victorian book written by a woman anonymously or with a pseudonym
  • Group: Read a Victorian novel and watch a screen adaptation

Group Readalong: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Wives and Daughters Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centres on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father. When he remarries, a new step-sister enters Molly’s quiet life – loveable, but worldly and troubling, Cynthia. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.

Wives and Daughters is far more than a nostalgic evocation of village life; it offers an ironic critique of mid-Victorian society. ‘No nineteenth-century novel contains a more devastating rejection than this of the Victorian male assumption of moral authority’, writes Pam Morris in her introduction to this new edition, in which she explores the novel’s main themes – the role of women, Darwinism and the concept of Englishness – and its literary and social context.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg

Victober Goodreads group

Victorian Novels List

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My TBR

Jane Eyre Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Fiery love, shocking twists of fate, and tragic mysteries put a lonely governess in jeopardy in JANE EYRE

Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.

But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London on December 1843. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. The book was written at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past as well as new customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees. Carol singing took a new lease on life during this time. Dickens’ sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.

Dickens was not the first author to celebrate the Christmas season in literature, but it was he who superimposed his humanitarian vision of the holiday upon the public, an idea that has been termed as Dickens’ “Carol Philosophy”. Dickens believed the best way to reach the broadest segment of the population regarding his concerns about poverty and social injustice was to write a deeply felt Christmas story rather than polemical pamphlets and essays. Dickens’ career as a best-selling author was on the wane, and the writer felt he needed to produce a tale that would prove both profitable and popular. Dickens’ visit to the work-worn industrial city of Manchester was the “spark” that fired the author to produce a story about the poor, a repentant miser, and redemption that would become A Christmas Carol. The forces that inspired Dickens to create a powerful, impressive and enduring tale were the profoundly humiliating experiences of his childhood, the plight of the poor and their children during the boom decades of the 1830s and 1840s, and Washington Irving’s essays on old English Christmas traditions published in his Sketch Book (1820); and fairy tales and nursery stories, as well as satirical essays and religious tracts.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

Dracula by Bram Stoker Elaine Howlin Literary Blog Gothic Reads for Autumn
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Dracula Dracula by Bram Stoker

A true masterwork of storytelling, Dracula has transcended generation, language, and culture to become one of the most popular novels ever written. It is a quintessential tale of suspense and horror, boasting one of the most terrifying characters ever born in literature: Count Dracula, a tragic, night-dwelling specter who feeds upon the blood of the living, and whose diabolical passions prey upon the innocent, the helpless, and the beautiful. But Dracula also stands as a bleak allegorical saga of an eternally cursed being whose nocturnal atrocities reflect the dark underside of the supremely moralistic age in which it was originally written — and the corrupt desires that continue to plague the modern human condition.
Pocket Books Enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enhanced for the contemporary reader. This edition of Dracula was prepared by Joseph Valente, Professor of English at the University of Illinois and the author of Dracula’s Crypt: Bram Stoker, Irishness, and the Question of Blood, who provides insight into the racial connotations of this enduring masterpiece.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

The Mayor of CasterbridgeThe Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

Under the powerful influence of rum furmity, Michael Henchard, a hay-trusser by trade, sells his wide Susan and their child Elizabeth-Jane to Newson, a sailor, for five guineas.

Years later, Susan, now a widow, arrives in Casterbridge with Elizabeth-Jane, to seek her legal husband. To their surprise, Henchard is now the Mayor of Casterbridge and, following the sale of his wide, took a twenty-one-year vow not to drink, out of shame. Henchard remarries Susan and, as Elizabeth-Jane believes herself to be Newson’s daughter, he adopts her as his own. But he cannot evade his destiny by such measures, for his past refuses to be buried. Fate contrives for him to be punished for the recklessness of his younger days.

In this powerful depiction of a man who overreaches himself, Hardy once again shows his astute psychological grasp and his deep-seated knowledge of mid-nineteenth-century Dorset.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte ELaine Howlin Literary Blog
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Wuthering HeightsWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

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Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

 

4 Literary Adaptations Out this Month

There have been a lot of amazing literary adaptations released recently but there seems to be a lot of focus on young adult titles. This month we’re treated to some great adult adaptations. Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women gets a modern twist, we have a vampire show free of teen drama with Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches and we get a very creepy thriller told from the perspective of a stalker in Caroline Kepnes’ You. (I’m making it sound like I have an issue with teenagers, I don’t. Except when they sit behind me in the cinema.)

Remote and Popcorn Literary Adaptations September 2018 Elaine Howlin Literary Blog


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Release date 14 September 2018 

This is the adaptation I am most excited for. Deborah is an executive producer for the show and will be writing several episodes as well which bodes very well for the series being loyal to the books. The show is being produced by Sky who were also involved with the production of the wonderfully gothic Penny Dreadful.

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls, #1)Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew in the stunning first volume of the No.1 internationally bestselling ALL SOULS trilogy.

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it’s an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she’s kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana’s discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels…

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


You by Caroline Kepnes

Release date 9 September 2018

This book is the embodiment of unease. The bad guy is the protagonist and none of the “good guys” are particularly likeable. Reading it gave me a sinking feeling in my tummy but I simply couldn’t stop.

You (You, #1)When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Release date 21 September 2018

This is Waters’ sixth screen adaptation including a South Korean movie from the director of Old Boy inspired by Fingersmith called The Handmaiden.  The Little Stranger is directed by Lenny Abrahamson who also directed the adaptation of Emma Donohue’s Room.

The Little StrangerOne postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country physician, is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. Its owners—mother, son, and daughter—are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their own. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become intimately entwined with his.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Release date 28 September 2018

This is a modern retelling of the classic tale. It will be interesting to see how a modern setting affects the story. It’s being distributed by Pure Flix Entertainment who are known for Christian films.

Little Women (Little Women, #1)Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.

It is no secret that Alcott based Little Women on her own early life. While her father, the free-thinking reformer and abolitionist Bronson Alcott, hobnobbed with such eminent male authors as Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, Louisa supported herself and her sisters with woman’s work,” including sewing, doing laundry, and acting as a domestic servant. But she soon discovered she could make more money writing. Little Women brought her lasting fame and fortune, and far from being the girl’s book” her publisher requested, it explores such timeless themes as love and death, war and peace, the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities, and the clash of cultures between Europe and America.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


What adaptations have you seen recently? What ones are you looking forward to seeing?

Synopsis and book covers from Goodreads. Movie info from Wikipedia.

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik Review

UprootedTitle: Uprooted
 
Author: Naomi Novik
 
Genre: Fantasy
 
Series: N/A
 
Goodreads Rating: 4.11/5
 
 

Synopsis: “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik Review Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

 
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What I thought about the book:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This wonderful book centres on a village close to an (evil) enchanted wood that is protected from said wood by a wizard known as The Dragon (are you feeling all excited for the fairytale magic yet?). Every 10 years he visits the village and takes a girl back with him to his castle. No one in the village knows what he does with the girls just that when they return after the 10 years they are different and never stay in the village. This year he takes Agnie despite everyone believing he will take her more beautiful and skilled best friend, Kasia. But Agnie does something at the Choosing Ceremony that makes him feel he must take her.

Based on that much you’re probably expecting a Beauty and the Beast style fairytale romance but you ain’t getting it!

That wood I mentioned at the beginning is the real centre of this story. Its power is growing and it wants to consume as much of its surroundings as possible. Including people! There are creatures living inside it that torment and steal villagers from all areas around the wood. It separates one province from another and attempts to incite war between them which Agnie and the Dragon try to prevent. If you like magic and fantastical battles then this one is for you.

 
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My Rating: 5 star review

Organise Your Library with these 4 Websites

With a book buying addiction and all the different deals out there on various sites and in different formats, I have a messy collection of books. I wanted something to list everything (ebooks, audiobooks, and print) together and be able to tag each item with searchable information.

These websites help to keep ALL of my books satisfyingly organised so I can view them based on genre, author, series, tags, collections, reading status and more.

Organise your Library with these websites Elaine Howlin Literary Blog


Image result for goodreads icon Goodreads

Goodreads is probably the most popular literary social media site. It’s formatted in a slightly similar way to FaceBook in that there is a newsfeed where you see updates and activity from your friends. You can also join groups focusing on many many different topics, share photos and follow authors.

Goodreads My Books Page Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Goodreads focuses more on the social aspects of reading and sharing books but there are a lot of organisational tools available as well. On the My Books page, you can organise your books into Bookshelves. You start with the basic All, Read, Currently Reading and Want to Read shelves but you can add more by clicking (Edit) next to the title Bookshelves at the top of the list. The shelves you create can be used in a similar way to tags and you can add a book to several shelves. You can also create more exclusive shelves like the Read and Currently Reading shelves at the top. When a book is on one of these shelves it cannot be on another exclusive shelf but can be added to any of the others.

Goodreads Edit Shelves Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

When adding your books you can set the format (paperback, ebook, etc.), ownership, where you purchased it, condition, recommend it to people, and the dates you read it.

Goodreads Shelf Settings Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Goodreads Reading Activity Elaine Howlin Literary BlogOne of my favourite features is the column settings on the shelves. You can have different settings for each shelf containing whatever information you want such as read count, dates, number of pages, etc.

At the lower part of your My Books page, you can view some limited stats about your reading such as most read authors, how many pages you’ve read this year (reading stats) and if you’ve synced your kindle you can view any notes you’ve made in your books.

 


Image result for librarything icon LibraryThing

LibraryThing has so many fields for metadata it makes me giddy at all the ways to organise my books. There is functionality for setting the format, condition (including weight!), tags, collections, and notes for your books. It is a must for any collectors. I’m dreaming of cataloguing Folio Society books… that I don’t have

LibraryThing Home Page Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

LibraryThing Stats/Memes Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

 

I have only skimmed the service of everything you can do with this site but my main love is the Stats/Memes section. Here you can view a tonne of information about your books. Which ones have won what awards, what lists they’re on, how many members read the same books as you, what books you’ve read set in certain places, major events that occur in your books, where the authors are from and so much more!

 

LibraryThing Stats Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

 


 

Image result for fictfact icon FictFact

FictFact is specifically designed to help you track your series. On your profile, you have a list of your series broken into Next Books, Coming Soon, To Be Read, Reading, and Read. Coming Soon lists the next releases in all the series you are following.

FictFact Profile Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Visiting the My Series page which is listed in the dropdown menu under Profile shows you the full list of series you’re reading, your progress and the next book you need to read.

FictFact Series Traacking Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Visiting a books page gives you details about that specific book, shows you all the books in the series and where you are in it. You can skip certain books, add information such as tags, ownership, format and a rating.

FictFact Book Page Series Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

I use FictFact to track my progress in a series including any short stories or novellas that have been released.


LibraryCat LibraryCat

I adore this site! LibraryCat uses the information from your LibraryThing account to create a catalogue of your books. It is so beautiful and streamlined I love looking through my books on it.

LibraryCat Elaine Howlin's Library Literary Blog

As with a real library, you can set patrons and mark books as available or checked out. I created a profile for myself and my husband (which he’ll never use) and marked my current read as checked out.

LibraryCat Book View checked out Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

LibraryCat’s format is very simple but gives you a more interesting way to browse your personal library. It’s free to join for personal use.

LibraryCat Contemporary Search Elaine Howlin Literary Blog


Do you use any of these websites to track your books? What’s your favourite function on them?

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Books Read – August

Blue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #8)The Second SexThe Professional (The Game Maker, #1)Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark, #16)Lover's Knot (Dorina Basarab, #3.5)Shadow's Bane (Dorina Basarab, #4)Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2)One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3)Devil to Pay (Night Huntress, #3.5)Shadow's Seduction (Immortals After Dark, #17; The Dacians, #2)The Matchmaker's Playbook (Wingmen Inc., #1)Shadowed Souls

Blue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #8)Blue Moon by Laurell K. Hamilton

★★★☆☆

Book no. 8 in the Anita Blake series. In this one, Richard has been accused of rape and Anita dashes off to sort it all out. Her presence is not welcomed by the local vampire group or local law enforcement. This one kind of annoyed me. There was a bit too much relationship drama. This book is probably the real turning point for the series when it becomes nothing but group sex scenes.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Extracts from The Second Sex by simone de Beauvoir Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

The Second SexExtracts from The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir

★★★★☆

Very interesting. This edition features the original books introduction, chapter 14 and the conclusion. It’s kind of like a taster for the full book which was published in 1949 and made a big impact. The book explores the inequalities between women and men.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

The Professional (The Game Maker, #1)The Professional by Kresley Cole

★★★★☆

The Game Maker romance series book 1. Natalie has been searching for her birth parents in Russia and discovers her father is actually a vor in the mafiya and that her life is in imminent danger. Her father dispatches Sevastyan to protect her and bring her back to Russia where things get a lot more interesting. Love this book 😍
Some elements of the plot are a little bit far-fetched but it’s fine. It’s pure indulgent book yumminess. And of course super hot!! I think if you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey for the kinky sex then you will probably enjoy this book.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark, #16)Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole

★★★★☆

Book 16 in the paranormal romance series Immortals After Dark.  Jo and her brother are orphans and living on the streets. They’re separated through tragedy and Jo discovers she is something other than human. She spends the rest of her life simply existing until she meets an assassin on the hunt for a mutual enemy. It took me a while to get into this one. I didn’t really like the main characters but I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s one of the more interesting books in the series and borders on science fiction a bit.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Lover's Knot (Dorina Basarab, #3.5)Lover’s Knot by Karen Chance

★★★★★

3.5 in Dorina Basarab series and a free ebook novella available on the author’s site and the links below.  In this one, Dory is on a rescue mission in France after her beau goes missing along with the European consul. I loved this addition to the series. It really sets the tone for the next novel in the series Shadow’s Bane.

Get the book: Amazon | Kobo

Shadow's Bane by Karen Chance Dorina Basarab 4 Elaine Howlin Bookstagram

Shadow's Bane (Dorina Basarab, #4)Shadow’s Bane by Karen Chance

★★★★★

Dorina Basarab book #4. Loved it! My full review for this book is available here. Dory is investigating fae slavers while dealing with her vampire side’s growing powers.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2)Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews

★★★★★

The Innkeeper Chronicles book #2. My full review is available here. Loved this! It’s so different from the usual urban fantasy fare. In this book, Dina is hosting peace talks between 3 warring factions in her inn. Tensions are high especially after the arrival of a mystery guest near the end.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3)One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

★★★★★

The Innkeeper Chronicles book #3. My full review is available here. In this book, Dina must rescue her sister and niece from an extremely dangerous planet and then offers sanctuary to an endangered alien race. Her inn ends up under siege from the race determined to wipe her guests’ species from existence. Loved it again! I’ve given every book in this series so far five stars, what more do you need to know?!

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Devil to Pay (Night Huntress, #3.5)Devil to Pay by Jeaniene Frost

★★☆☆☆

Night Huntress #3.5. This is about a guy who has been possessed by a demon trying to end his life so he won’t hurt people anymore. He’s saved by a vampire who has lost her zest for life and discovers it again through trying to help him. An ok short story. Very heavy on the instalove. I think short stories aren’t a good format for a complete romance.
Cat and Bones make a quick and kind of pointless appearance. If they hadn’t shown up this story could have been read as a stand-alone set in the same universe but their appearance makes it a little spoilery for the main series.

Get the book: Amazon | Google | Kobo

Shadow's Seduction by Kresley Cole Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Shadow's Seduction (Immortals After Dark, #17; The Dacians, #2)Shadow’s Seduction by Kresley Cole

★★★★☆

Immortals After Dark #17; The Dacians #2 and Cole’s first M/M romance. This is a friends to lovers story following Mirceo and Caspian who were introduced in previous books. I’m not as into the Dacian’s as the other supernatural groups in the world. I miss the Valkyries and not even Nix showed up in this one which disappointed me but overall this is a great paranormal romance.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

The Matchmaker's Playbook (Wingmen Inc., #1)The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

★★★☆☆

A contemporary romance about two college students that run a matchmaking service for women. Ian is trying to set up Blake with her childhood crush when he breaks the cardinal rule of Wingman Inc. and starts to have feelings for his client. This was an ok book. Good enough for me to finish. Mildly entertaining and I will probably read the next book in the series but definitely not a favourite. It’s just a bit too tropey.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository |Barnes & Noble

Shadowed SoulsShadowed Souls edited by Jim Butcher

★★★★☆

I actually only read two of the stories included in this anthology because the others are part of series I haven’t read yet. The theme running through the stories is a bit… bleak.

Cold Case by Jim Butcher
Oh, that ending! Why must you constantly toy with my emotions, Jim?! This is the story that gives the collection its name. Molly’s new position as Winter Lady is weighing heavy on her and changing her in uncomfortable ways.

Sleepover by Seanan McGuire
I absolutely love McGuire’s writing. EVERYTHING I have read by her has been a treat. This story focuses on a half human half succubus woman who is coerced into searching for a young girl. There is quite a bit of world building for a stand-alone short story but it’s no less enjoyable for it. Not as depressing as Butcher’s story but still a bit bleak at the end.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


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