Category: Wrap Ups

February Wrap Up

“February – the month of love..?!! 
No wonder the shortest one in the calendar.” 
― Dinesh Kumar Biran

eBooks

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne ★★★★★

99 Percent Mine

Romance, Contemporary

I stayed up until 6.30am to read this book. That should really tell you enough about how much I enjoyed it 😅

It was a complete joy to read that left me with warm fuzzy feelings and a book hangover.

Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★☆☆

Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)

Fantasy, Young Adult

I have such mixed feelings about this one. It started with a bang and ended with a bang but the middle was a bit of a chore to read. I think this book could probably be taken out of the series and make it a duology instead of a trilogy…

There were some interesting moments and we get a lot of character growth during the middle when nothing is going on but I feel like it could have been condensed a bit more.

I would give it 3.5 stars because I loved the opening so much.

Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo
★★★★☆

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)

Fantasy, Young Adult

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.

Audiobooks

Harry Potter: A History of Magic by The British Library, Narrated by Natalie Dormer ★★★★★

Harry Potter: A History of Magic

History, Fantasy, Exhibition

This was so interesting! I loved the interviews with Stephen Fry, Jim Kay and Jim Dale and all the little snippets about Rowling writing the first Harry Potter book. And I loved all the actual history of magic and creatures that inspired Rowling.
Natalie Dormer was a great narator as well.

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Print Books

Biting Cold (Chicagoland Vampires #6) by Chloe Neill ★★★☆☆

Biting Cold (Chicagoland Vampires, #6)

Urban Fantasy

I’m not sure how I feel about this one… I enjoyed it but found it a bit boring at the same time. It was very predictable.
I think the previous books were so high-octane that this follow-up was a bit of a letdown. It was good but not as good as previous books in the series. It does have a satisfying ending though.

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★

Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone, #1)

Fantasy, Young Adult

Oh my god, I wish I had read this the day I bought it instead of waiting months and months! I was really surprised by this book. By how much I liked it and by how unpredictable the plot was (for me at least).

I absolutely LOVE the complex and alluring nature of the main villain. He’s as well rounded as Loki in the MCU. Someone I just love to hate (and maybe just love a little bit in general…).

It was just fantastic! I loved it and really want to keep reading the series but I have a feeling this is the kind of story I could get obsessed with so I’m going to try to pace myself….. try.

My edition included bonus material in the form of a letter Mal wrote to Alina while he was searching for the stag and an interview with Leigh.

My 2018 in Books

Image result for great gatsby gif
via Giphy

Happy 2019 everyone! I’m jumping on the 2018 stats post bandwagon today mostly because I love reading stats. Do you track your reading stats? I would love to get more detailed info on my reading so please let me know how to do it below.

I set a goal of 100 books at the start of the year and read 110 which is pretty good. It’s a lot of books to talk about in a single post though so I’m just going to list them at the bottom and share my top and bottom 5 books and some stats. I LOVE stats!!! Bring on the charts!


Stats from Goodreads

(some books are missing because I don’t set them to read until after I review them)

Goodreads 2018 Stats 1 Elaine HowlinGoodreads 2018 Stats 2 Elaine HowlinGoodreads 2018 Stats 3 Elaine HowlinGoodreads 2018 Stats 4 Elaine Howlin

Started the year with a 3 star review and ended with a 3 star review. What does that say about my reading year…


Format

2018 Reading Stats Elaine Howlin Formats

  • Print – 14 books
  • eBook – 36 books
  • Audiobook – 60 books

Ownership

2018 Reading Stats Elaine Howlin Ownership

  • Own – 51 books
  • Borrow: Scribd – 41 books
  • Borrow: Library – 10 books
  • Borrow: NetGalley – 8 books

Top 3 Authors

2018 Reading Stats Elaine Howlin Top 3 Authors

  1. Kresley Cole – 10 books
  2. Seanan McGuire – 10 books
  3. Laurell K. Hamilton – 8 books

Male vs Female Authors

2018 Reading Stats Elaine Howlin Author Gender

  • Female – 86 books
  • Male – 21 books
  • N/A – 3 books

Top 5 Books


Bottom 5 Books

  • Manfried the Man by Caitlin Major ★★☆☆☆
  • RoomHate by Penelope Ward ★★☆☆☆
  • Nightlife by Rob Thurman ★★☆☆☆
  • Devil to Pay by Jeaniene Frost ★★☆☆☆
  • Dad Jokes? I Think You Mean Rad Jokes! by Elias Hill ★★☆☆☆

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The Book List 2018 Reading List and Stats Elaine Howlin Blog

The list is arranged as book title, author, date finished, genre, format, rating.

  1. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawernce – January 2nd, Classics, Paperback ★★★★☆
  2. Sunglasses After Dark by Nancy A. Collins – January 12th, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★★☆☆
  3. Red Rising by Pierce Brown – January 16th, YA Dystopia, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  4. Uprooted by Naomi Novik – January 25th, Fantasy, Paperback ★★★★★

  5. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire – January 27th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  6. Nightlife by Rob Thurman – January 28th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★☆☆☆
  7. MacRieve by Kresley Cole – January 28th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander – February 7th, Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  9. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor – February 15th, Science Fiction, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  10. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – February 17th, Nonfiction, Audiobook ★★★★★
  11. Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou – February 17th, Memoir, Audiobook ★★★★★
  12. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire – February 17th, YA Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  13. Dark Skye by Kresley Cole – February 19th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  14. The Hound of Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle – February 21t, Classic Mystery, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  15. An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde – February 21st, Classic Play, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  16. The Head That Wears a Crown: Speeches for Royal Men by William Shakespeare – February 25th, Classic Play, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  17. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – February 25th, Literary, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  18. The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole – Paranormal Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  19. Black Friday by Karen Chance – February 26th, Urban Fantasy, Online Short Story ★★★★☆
  20. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett – February 26th, Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  21. Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance – March 3rd, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★★★★
  22. Wild Fire by Christine Feehan – March 4th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★☆☆
  23. Salomé by Oscar Wilde – March 5th, Classic Play, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  24. She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith – March 5th, Classic Play, Audiobook ★★★★★
  25. A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire – March 5th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★

  26. An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire – March 6th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  27. Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire – March 7th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  28. One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire – March 8th, Urban Fantasy ★★★★★
  29. Mammy Walsh’s A-Z of the Walsh Family by Marian Keyes – March 10th, Humour, Audiobook ★★★★★
  30. Herding Cats by Sarah Anderson – March 14th, Comic Humour, eBook ★★★★★
  31. Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire – March 17th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  32. Tall, Dark & Hungry by Lynsay Sands – March 18th, Paranormal Romance ★★★☆☆
  33. Asking For It by Louise O’Neill – March 27th, YA Contemporary, Paperback ★★★★★
  34. The Happy Pear: Recipes for Happiness by David & Stephen Flynn – April 4th, Cook Book, Hardback ★★★★★
  35. Room Hate by Penelope Ward – April 4th, Contemporary Romance, Audiobook  ★★☆☆
  36. Wicked Cravings by Suzanne Wright – April 5th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  37. Dad Jokes? I Think You Mean Rad Jokes by Elias Hill – April 5th, Comic Humour, eBooks ★★★☆☆
  38. Vegan 100 by Gaz Oakley – April 10th, Cook Book, eBook ★★★★★
  39. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal – April 10th, Contemporary, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  40. Manfried the Man by Caitlin Major – April 11th, Comic Humour, eBook ★★☆☆☆
  41. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire – April 11th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  42. Braving the Elements by K.F. Breene – April 13th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★☆☆
  43. Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell – April 13, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  44. Veggie Burger Atelier by Nina Olsson – April 15th, Cook Book, eBook ★★★★★
  45. On the Edge by Ilona Andrews – April 18th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  46. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon – April 28th, Comic Urban Fantasy, Paperback ★★★★☆
  47. Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd – May 7th, Comic Humour, eBook ★★★★★
  48. My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran – May 7th, Historical Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  49. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better by Hilary Campbell – May 7th, Comic Nonfiction, eBook ★★★☆☆
  50. Rockabilly/Psychobilly: An Art Anthology by Jamie Kendall – May 8th, Art, eBook ★★★★★

  51. Afterburn & Aftershock by Sylvia Day – June 4th, Contemporary Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  52. Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare – June 4th, Historical Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  53. Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews – June 4th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  54. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – June 4th, Contemporary Romance, eBook ★★★★★
  55. Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare – June 4th, Historical Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  56. Falling for a Dancer by Deirdre Purcell – June 17th, Historical, Paperback ★★★★★
  57. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – June 17th, Self Help, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  58. The Virgin and the Gypsy and Other Stories by D.H. Lawrence – June 17th, Classic Short Stories, Hardcover ★★★☆☆
  59. Nadiya’s Family Favourites by Nadiya Hussain – June 24th, Cook Book, Hardcover ★★★★★
  60. Only for the Weekend by Ella Sheridan – June 29th, Erotica, eBook ★★★☆☆
  61. Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 7th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  62. The Love Story of W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne by Margery Brady – July 9th, Nonfiction, Hardcover ★★★★☆
  63. The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 17th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  64. Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 18th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  65. The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 18th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  66. Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 19th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  67. The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 25th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  68. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene – July 26th, Classics, eBook ★★★★☆
  69. Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 29th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  70. Blue Moon by Laurell K. Hamilton – August 1st, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  71. The Professional by Kresley Cole – August 2nd, Erotica, eBook ★★★★☆
  72. The Second Sex (extracts) by Simone de Beauvoir – August 2nd, Feminism, Paperback ★★★★☆

  73. Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole – August 5th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  74. Lover’s Knot by Karen Chance – August 6th, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★★★★
  75. Shadow’s Bane by Karen Chance – August 13th, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★★★★
  76. Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews – August 17th. Science Fiction, eBook ★★★★★
  77. One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews – August 19th, Science Fiction, eBook ★★★★★
  78. Devil to Pay by Jeaniene Frost – August 20th, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★☆☆☆
  79. Shadow’s Seduction by Kresley Cole – August 28th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  80. Shadowed Souls by Jim Butcher – August 31st, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★★★☆
  81. The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken – September 1st, Contemporary Romance, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  82. The Princess Bride by William Goldman – September 4th, Fantasy, Paperback ★★★☆☆
  83. Dragon’s Claw by Karen Chance – September 27th, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★★★★
  84. The Price of Pleasure by Kresley Cole – October 10th, Historical Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  85. I Am Heathcliff by Kate Mosse – October 11th, Short Stories, Audiobook ★★★★★
  86. How Not To Be a Boy by Robert Webb – October 18th, Memoir, Audiobook ★★★★★
  87. A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde – October 26th, Classic Play, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  88. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell – October 31st, Classic Romance, Paperback ★★★★☆
  89. Red Queen by Elizabeth Aveyard – November 3rd, YA Dystopia, eBook ★★★★☆
  90. When a Scot Ties the Know by Tessa Dare – November 4th, Historical Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  91. Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare – November 4th, Historical Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  92. Poison Princess by Kresley Cole – November 7th, YA Dystopia, eBook ★★★★☆
  93. Racing Hearts: First Heat by Ruth Gowan – November 9th, Contemporary Romance, eBook ★★★☆☆
  94. Endless Knight by Kresley Cole – November 9th, YA Dystopia, eBook ★★★★★
  95. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – November 10th, Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  96. Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole – November 12th, YA Dystopia, eBook ★★★★★
  97. A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare – November 14th, Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  98. Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire – November 20th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  99. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – November 24th, Classic, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  100. The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire – November 25th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★

  101. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – November 29th, YA Dystopia, eBook ★★★☆☆
  102. Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt – November 29th, Historical Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  103. The Bite Before Christmas by Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost – November 26th, Paranormal Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  104. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb – November 30th, Historical Fiction, Audiobook ★★★★★
  105. I Thee Wed by Amanda Quick – December 1st, Historical Romance, Mystery, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  106. Wicked Widow by Amanda Quick – December 2nd, Historical Romance, Mystery, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  107. Voyeur by Fiona Cole – December 3rd, Contemporary Romance, eBook ★★★☆☆
  108. Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood – December 13th, Cosy Mystery, Historical, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  109. Murphy’s Law by Rhys Bowen – December 15th, Cosy Mystery, Historical, Audiobook  ★★★★☆
  110. Death of Riley by Rhys Bowen – December 21st, Cosy Mystery, Historical, Audiobook ★★★★☆

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How was your reading year?

I used Online Chart Tool to create my graphs

December Wrap Up

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder

I had such a wonderful December filled with family, friends and LOTS of delicious food. I’m pretty sad I no longer have an excuse to add the auld drop of Baileys to my coffee but it’s time to get back to normal now anyway.

How was your holiday season?

With all the family fun I got very little reading done and what I did read were mostly audiobooks.

I’m still slowly reading The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (since November) I’m enjoying it but I hope to finish it up in January.

eBooks

Voyeur by Fiona Cole ★★★★☆

Contemporary Romance, Erotica

I think 3.5 stars for this one. Voyeur follows Oaklyn and Callum who are college student and teacher. Oaklyn is desperate for a job in order to pay for college and on the advice of a friend gets a job in Voyeur, a club where clients can watch people having sex and/or masturbating. Unbeknownst to Oaklyn, her new teacher Callum is a regular of the club. Callum has some issues that make a normal relationship very difficult and becomes slightly obsessed with Oaklyn… or infatuated if you want to be a bit nicer. I actually really enjoyed this story but it dragged a bit.

Audiobooks

I Thee Wed (Vanza #2) by Amanda Quick ★★★★☆

Historical Romance, Mystery

My first Amanda Quick book and I am now a fan. I didn’t realise this would have a mystery in it (suits me perfectly since I’m doing Cloak and Dagger Christmas). I love when historical romances have a mystery in them as well.

This book follows Emma and Edison who are attending an event in a country house. Emma is a lady’s companion at the party when circumstances lead her to being assistant to Edison in his investigations for a book of arcane potions he believes was stolen by one of the guests.

Wicked Widow (Vanza #3) by Amanda Quick ★★★★★

Historical Romance, Mystery

Loved this one! Here we follow Madeline and Artemis  who are being plagued by the apparent ghost of Madeline’s husband. The husband everyone believes she murdered. The ghost wrecks havoc with Artemis’s plans for revenge on the men responsible for the death of his lover so the two team up to discover who the ghost is and what he’s after.

Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher #1) by Kerry Greenwood ★★★★☆

Historical, Cosy Mystery

I thought I would enjoy this more since I really like the TV show but there’s something about Phryne in this that annoys me. She’s a little bit of a Mary-Sue… The woman can do anything including dance like a professional, have the perfect body and solve crimes. It was a bit much but still enjoyable. I’ll keep going with the series and see if Phryne calms down a bit.

Murphy’s Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1) by Rhys Bowen ★★★★☆

Historical, Cosy Mystery

This was really enjoyable even if it was a bit unrealistic. That’s totally fine for a cosy mystery though. It should be more enjoyable and fun to read than gritty and real.

Here we follow Molly Murphy in 1901 making her way from Ireland to New York. When she arrives she gets entangled in a murder on Ellis Island and must clear her name and the name of her friend. The reason I found it a bit unrealistic is because Molly is very independent and has very trouble running around New York investigating a murder by herself.

I really loved the language in the book. It’s the best Irish dialogue written from a non-Irish person I’ve read.

Death of Riley (Molly Murphy Mysteries #2) by Rhys Bowen ★★★★☆

Historical, Cosy Mystery

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first but it was still very good. In this one Molly gets a job working for a private investigator but he ends up murdered and she sets herself the task of finding out who done it


So that was it for December. I was in a tizzy over what book to bring to my parents for Christmas week and in the end I had no time to read anyway!

I’ll hopefully read a bit more in January. What was your favourite read in December?

November Wrap Up

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5)Racing Hearts Box Set 1: First HeatSpinning SilverA Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1)Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1)Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2)Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles, #3)Image result for chimes at midnight audiobookThe Winter Long (October Daye, #8)Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War IA Christmas CarolOnce Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane, #12.6)The Bite Before Christmas

I mentioned in my November TBR that I wanted to read more fantasy this month and I definitely managed it. I barely read anything else! I read Poison Princess for the group read in My Vampire Book Obsession and got totally sucked into the world and devoured the next two books as well. I’m trying to pace myself now and wait till closer to the release of the final book in the series next year.

Nonfiction November was happening this month too but I didn’t manage to read anything for it. I very much enjoyed my little fantasy binge though.

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Audiobooks

Image result for Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa DareDo You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare ★★★★☆

Historical Romance

Very enjoyable historical romance with a mystery thrown in for good measure. The story follows Charlotte (who has crossed over from Dare’s Spindle Cove series to Castles Ever After) who attempts to warn Piers (who has crossed over from Dare’s Castles Ever After series to Spindle Cove) of her mother’s scheming ways but instead they end up entangled in a scandal and a mystery.

 

Image result for a night to surrender by Tessa DareA Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare ★★★☆☆

Historical Romance

This is the first book in Dare’s Spindle Cove series and it’s a bit lacking. It’s not as well written as her later books but works fine as an intro. The story follows Susanna who essentially runs a safe haven for women who are sick of society or don’t blend well into it and Victor who finds himself saddled with a position in the area.

 

Image result for spinning silverSpinning Silver by Naomi Novik ★★★☆☆

Fantasy

I had super high expectations for this one that it didn’t quite meet but it was still a very good book. It’s a retelling of the Rumplestiltskin tale but with a lot more going on. My main issue with this was the number of points of view. There were a few occasions where I wasn’t sure who was speaking and it took me out of the story for a bit while I figured it out. The story closely follows Miryem who is a money lenders daughter that gains a reputation of being able to turn silver into gold which attracts the attention of this fairy being and Irina who’s father is scheming to marry her off to a tsar who isn’t quite what he seems.

 

Image result for chimes at midnight seanan mcguireChimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire ★★★★★

Urban Fantasy

This is the 7th book in McGuire’s October Daye series and it was fantastic! This book follows Toby trying to deal with the goblin fruit problem when she receives a serious amount of backlash from the Queen of the Mists. One of my favourite things in this book is the mystical library they visit to do research. Magical libraries are the best!

The Winter Long (October Daye, #8)The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire ★★★★★

Urban Fantasy

Fantastic again! This book picks up some plot points from the first book and expands on them. I can’t really mention what happens in it without spoiling so much of the series but it’s great!

The Bite Before ChristmasThe Bite Before Christmas by Lynsay Sands ★★★★☆

Paranormal Romance, Short Story

I actually only read the first story The Gift by Lynsay Sands from this because the story from Jeaniene Frost that’s included is ahead of where I am in the Night Huntress series. The Gift is a sweet fluffy kind of story following vampire Katricia and chief of police Teddy. They both get snowed in over Christmas while staying in a mountain cabin.

Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War ILast Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb ★★★★★

Historical Fiction

This was fabulous. It’s an epistolary novel consisting of letters and telegrams between friends and lovers during World War 1. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and made me shed a few tears at the end. I just loved it. The story focuses mainly on the romance between Evie and Thomas. Thomas has gone off to fight while Evie stays home and writes a column about the war from a woman’s perspective.

Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane, #12.6)Once Upon a Christmas by Elizabeth Hoyt ★★★★☆

Historical Romance, Short Story

This is another fun fluffy read for Christmas. Adam Rutledge is travelling with Grandmother to the country for Christmas when their carriage breaks down and they are stranded in the snow. They take refuge in Sarah St. John’s home while they have several guests visiting for the holidays.

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ★★★★☆

Classic

You must know this story!! It’s a pleasant read but one I’m so familiar with I can’t say that it stirred anything in me… It’s just a nice story to read.

 

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eBooks

Image result for racing hearts first heatRacing Hearts: First Heat by Ruth Gowan ★★★☆☆

Contemporary Romance

I received a copy of this collection in exchange for a review. Each one centres on a different couple in the world of rally racing. The stories were good but the writing was lacking especially in the first book.

 

Image result for poison princessPoison Princess by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

I LOVE Kresley Cole but I had been putting off reading her YA series cause I just couldn’t see her writing YA. Her books are very mature normally but she really makes it work here. We do get her usual alpha male stuff but I’m totally fine that 🙂 Poison Princess is the first book in The Arcana Chronicles which is about a group of teenagers that each represents a card from the major arcana in tarot in a battle to the death after an apocalyptic event. With this book, we follow mainly Evie and Jack in the days before the flash and 6 months later when the world is completely different and Evie discoveries she has strange powers.

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via Wattpad

 

Image result for endless knightEndless Knight by Kresley Cole ★★★★★

Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

Book 2 in Cole’s Arcana Chronicles picks up immediately after Poison Princess and we get a lot of world expansion in this one especially with the other Arcana characters. We learn a lot about Death in particular. There’s a definite love triangle in the series from this point but it isn’t annoying.

 

Image result for dead of winter kresley coleDead of Winter by Kresley Cole ★★★★★

Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

Book 3 in the Arcana Chronicles and the love triangle gets annoying but I still loved this book. I really got invested in the characters and oh my god the cliffhanger at the end of this!!! I’m trying to pace myself with the books from here though or I will go insane waiting for the final book to be published.

 

Image result for red queenRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard ★★★★☆

Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

Red Queen is the first book in Aveyard’s Red Queen series. It’s YA dystopia about a future earth where certain humans have developed silver blood and powerful abilities. Regular red-blooded humans still exist but they are subservient to the silvers. We follow Mare, a red, who discovers she has an ability and is taken by the silver king to conceal her true identity from the people. She finds herself caught up in a world of political intrigue on the cusp of a red rebellion.

I enjoyed this way more than I expected to as well. This always happens me with YA I have got to stop saying I’m not a fan of it cause I almost always end of enjoying the books!

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard ★★★☆☆

Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

This book picks up directly after Red Queen. I was a bit disappointed with this one. I found it be even more predictable than the previous book and it felt like mostly filler. In this one Mare discovers how far reaching the Red Guard actually is and she looks for more people like her to join the fight.

 

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What did you read this month? Did you take part in Nonfiction November?

 

October & Victober Wrap Up

I Am HeathcliffThe Price of Pleasure (Sutherland Brothers, #2)Wives and DaughtersHow Not To Be a BoyA Woman of No ImportanceWhen a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3)

My favourite month is over and now the Christmas silliness will begin. Costa coffee has already started using their Christmas cups. I’m just not emotionally ready for all of the Christmasness so I’m staying in Halloween mode for another few weeks. I am Grinching it up 😉

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I had hoped to read creepy books in October but I somehow managed to read less than I would when it’s not spooky season! October was pretty much all about romances and historicals.


I Am Heathcliff edited by Kate Mosse Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

I am Heathcliff Curated by Kate Mosse ★★★★★

I Am HeathcliffShort Story Collection, Audiobook

This is a collection of 16 short stories inspired by Wuthering Heights. Some of them are inspired by a theme in the novel and others are more like retellings. I absolutely loved this collection and plan on buying the paperback to reread and annotate.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

The Price of Pleasure by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

The Price of Pleasure (Sutherland Brothers, #2)Historical Romance

A historical romance featuring a typical alpha male sassy female pairing.

Leading Lady Victoria has been shipwrecked on a remote island and Grant has been dispatched to rescue her. It’s not at all historically accurate but it was a fun read and I love Cole’s characters.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

October Wrap Up Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (Victober) ★★★★☆

Wives and DaughtersClassic, Romance

This was the group read for Victober and I’m glad it was cause I probably wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise. Gaskell passed away while writing this book so it is unfinished but only a chapter away from completion. My edition included notes from the magazine the story was originally printed in which states the authors intended ending for the book so I wasn’t left in the lurch but it would have been nice to read it as part of the novel. The story follows Molly Gibson’s family life, friendships and eventual romance. It’s not a very exciting book but very pleasant to read.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

‣ RELATED: Victober TBR

How Not to Be a Boy by Robert Webb ★★★★★

How Not To Be a BoyMemoir, Gender, Audiobook

I loved this! It was interesting to read something with a strong focus on gender issues written by a man. I listened to the audiobook which Webb narrated and included an interview at the end about topics raised in the book. It was so interesting and left me with a lot to think about.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde (Victober) ★★★☆☆

A Woman of No ImportanceClassics, Play, Audiobook

This play centres around a social scandal concerning a woman and her illegitimate son. It’s very witty and has some great lines but I didn’t enjoy it as much as his other works.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare ★★★★☆

When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3)Historical Romance, Audiobook

I enjoyed this even though it was a bit cheesy. The cast of characters are very endearing and the romance flows nicely (touch of instalove though). Ticks all the boxes for a good historical romance.

In order to avoid society due to her extreme shyness, Madeline invents a Scottish sweetheart away on military business. He saves her from awkward social situations until she feels she has lied long enough and claims he is killed in battle. Years later a man turns up at her door claiming to be her imaginary sweetie.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


Hope you all had a wonderful October. What was the best book you read?