Tag: book blog

Jane Austen July Reading Vlog | Part One

We’re just past the halfway point in the month now so it’s time to check in with how I’ve been doing with Jane Austen July. So far I have finished two novels, Pride and Prejudice and Unequal Affections. LOVED them both and I’ve watched two adaptations, the 2005 movie and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies which was ok…

I also read a comic adaptation by Sicks which was really sweet.

I have very little time for reading this week but I hope to get at least one more book read and I’m leaning towards Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld.

I spotted a few audiobook retellings on Scribd as well which sound very interesting.

Reading Plan
Death Comes to Pemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.

Pride

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

Mary B: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice

Mary B by Katherine J. Chen

What is to be done with Mary Bennet? She possesses neither the beauty of her eldest sister, Jane, nor the high-spirited charm of Lizzy. Even compared to her frivolous younger siblings, Kitty and Lydia, Mary knows she is lacking in the ways that matter for single, not-so-well-to-do women in nineteenth-century England who must secure their futures through the finding of a husband. As her sisters wed, one by one, Mary pictures herself growing old, a spinster with no estate to run or children to mind, dependent on the charity of others. At least she has the silent rebellion and secret pleasures of reading and writing to keep her company.

But even her fictional creations are no match for the scandal, tragedy, and romance that eventually visit Mary’s own life. In Mary B, readers are transported beyond the center of the ballroom to discover that wallflowers are sometimes the most intriguing guests at the party. Beneath Mary’s plain appearance and bookish demeanor simmers an inner life brimming with passion, humor, and imagination–and a voice that demands to be heard.

Decorative Divider 1

I have really been enjoying my Pride and Prejudice month, I’m so happy I decided to do the readathon this way! Next year I might focus on another one of her books like this too.

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Created by Chami @ ReadLikeWildfire and Ely @ Earl Grey Books

Everyone and their aunt has been doing this tag lately… I might as well do it too 😉

‣ Best book you’ve read so far in 2019?

Oh, my gosh, this was a hard one to answer. I don’t have a definitive favourite book of the year so far so I’m just going to mention one I loved that doesn’t fit into any of the other prompts.

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

‣ Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019?

Brave the Tempest (Cassie Palmer #9) by Karen Chance

‣ New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

The Bride Test (Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang released May 7th, 2019.

‣ Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

From the Grave (Arcana Chronicles #6) By Kresley Cole due for release August 2019 and I really really hope that doesn’t change! I’ve been burned before by release dates changing just a few weeks beforehand.

‣ Biggest disappointment?

Biting Cold (Chicagoland Vampires #6) by Chloe Neil

‣ Biggest surprise?

Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden #1) by Charlaine Harris

‣ Favourite new author (debut or new to you)?

Helen Hoang. It might be a bit presumptuous to choose her for this since I’ve only read The Kiss Quotient but I really loved that book!

The Kiss Quotient is available on Kindle Unlimited

description

‣ Newest fictional crush?

I actually had very few new crush potentials to choose from this since a lot of my books were continuations in series. I decided to go with Duane Winston from Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid.

‣ Newest favourite character?

OK, she’s not really new but she is my favourite so far this year and that is Cassie Palmer from Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer series.

‣ Book that made you cry?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. This was a reread but it still brought a tear to my eye.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is available on Kindle Unlimited

‣ Book that made you happy?

I’m delighted to say most of the books I read made me happy 😄 Truth and Beard by Penny Reid actually had me giggling though.

‣ Most beautiful book you’ve acquired this year?

I haven’t bought any pretty books this year which I will have to rectify before December. I’ve gotten a lot of second-hand paperbacks and none of them will be winning any beauty contests but they’re in good condition.

‣ What book(s) do you need to read by the end of the year?

I really need to make a dent in the pile of books I’ve bought this year and I need to catch up with romanceopoly.

‣ Favourite bookish community member?

This is so hard to answer! There are so many bloggers, BookTubers and Bookstagrammers I love and I’d hate to hurt someones feelings by forgetting to mention them.

Instead why don’t you share your blog, Bookstagram or BookTube in the comments for everyone to check out.

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

Tempting the Best Man by Jennifer L. Armentrout Review

Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers, #1)

Title: Tempting the Best Man

Series: Gamble Brothers #1

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Madison Daniels has worshipped her brother’s best friend since they were kids. Everyone thinks she and Chase Gamble would make the perfect couple, but there are two major flaws in their logic. 1) Chase has sworn off relationships of any kind, and 2) after blurring the line between friends and lovers for one night four years ago, they can’t stop bickering.

Forced together for her brother’s wedding getaway, Chase and Madison decide to call a truce for the happy couple. Except all bets are off when they’re forced to shack up in a tacky 70’s honeymoon suite and survive a multitude of “accidents” as the family tries to prove their “spark” can be used than for more than fighting. That is, if they don’t strangle each other first…

Tempting the Best Man by Jennifer L Armentraut Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Format: ebook

Pages/Hours: 131 pages

Ownership: own

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Tags: Novella

Themes: Friends to Lovers, Brother’s Best Friend

Review: This was a bit too short for me. I need romances to be longer to really care about the characters and I need more subplots. If you’re looking for a quick sweet romance with a bit of steam then this is perfect.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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

Wrap Up | June 2019

I really felt like I read only 5 or 6 books in June but nope. I read 13! I would prefer to break up a wrap up over 5 books into two posts but I wasn’t paying attention 😅

I had a few let downs this month and one book I decided to drop.

Fate's Edge The Edge 3 Ilona Andrews Elaine Howlin Bookstagram

Fate’s Edge (The Edge #3) by Ilona Andrews ★★★★☆

Fate's Edge (The Edge, #3)

This is an urban fantasy series set in the Edge which is a realm between the Broken (our world) and the Weird (mirror to our world but with magic). The series is meant to be paranormal romance and definitely starts out that way but by this book I think it’s more like urban fantasy with more focus on the suspense plot than the relationship.

Taken as urban fantasy it’s a brilliant book but taken as paranormal romance it doesn’t quite work.

A Bogie in the Boat (Linx & Bogie #2) by Elizabeth Hunter ★★★★★

A Bogie in the Boat (Linx & Bogie, #2)

I really hope Hunter will write more and maybe longer books in this series. So far the stories have been pretty short but really engaging. It’s a buddy story about a woman and the ghost of a detective who constantly tries to get her to solve mysteries.

The Ice Princess (Princes Trilogy #3.5) by Elizabeth Hoyt ★★★★☆

The Ice Princess (Princes Trilogy, #3.5)

Super short story at the end of Hoyt’s Princes trilogy about the madam of Aphrodite’s Grotto. I’m generally not a fan of short romances but since I already had an idea of Carol’s character from previous books I actually enjoyed this one.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang Elaine Howlin Bookstagram

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang ★★★★★

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1)

Oh my gosh, I loved this!! I was really surprised by this book! I didn’t expect to like about about a male escort and I also was not prepared for how steamy this book is! I totally judged it by it’s cover and expected a sweet and silly romantic comedy style story. It is certainly sweet but not at all silly.

The Kiss Quotient is available on kindle unlimited

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid ★★★★★

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1)

Loved this and another surprise for me for pretty much the same reasons as above. I expected a homey small town story but there’s a slight edge to it that pushes it out of that category. We follow Duane Winston who has had the hots for Jessica for most of his life but she’s mad for his identical twin brother.

description

The Taken (Celestial Blues #1) by Vicki Petersson ★★★★☆

The Taken (Celestial Blues, #1)

I stumbled across this book on Scribd and listened to it based solely on the cover. I love the rockabilly elements from the main female character. This is a noir urban fantasy mystery series (yes please!) following rockabilly reporter Kit and ex-P.I. fallen angel Griffin as they look for her friends murderer.

Last Kiss Goodnight (Otherworld Assassin #1) by Gena Showalter ★★★☆☆

Last Kiss Goodnight: An Otherworld Assassin Novel

I’m in two minds about this book. I think the world was well built and interesting but the characters were pretty one-shot and a little generic. Another small issue I have is that the main female character is deaf but I think the way her deafness is portrayed wasn’t very realistic (though I can’t say that for sure). Last Kiss Goodnight is a sci-fi romance about an alien zoo in a circus run under the iron fist of Vika’s father when Soloman is captured and put on display in the zoo.

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje ★★★★★

The English Patient

I adored this but it is a bit of a heavy read so I really took my time with it. I’ve been reading it since January and finished it up this month. I’m really happy I took my time with it and soaked in what the book had to say. The English Patient centers around four people in a villa in Italy at the end of World War 2 coming to terms with what has happened to them over the past few years.

Hyde & Seek (Hyde #1) by Layla Frost ★☆☆☆☆

Hyde and Seek (Hyde #1)

Say hello to my only one star read this year (so far). I only finished it because I wanted to complete a square on the Romanceopoly board. I don’t want to get really negative about this book because a lot of people seem to love it (I’m in the minority) but this really wasn’t for me. None of the characters felt realistic and the main female character was bordering on a Mary-Sue. She seems to have Beyonce’s figure (but feels she’s too curvy), smells like cake and every man and his uncle wants to bang her because she listens to metal and has tattoos.

Hyde & Seek is available on kindle unlimited

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey Elaine Howlin Bookstagram

Fix Her Up (Hot and Hammered #1) by Tessa Bailey ★★★☆☆

Fix Her Up (Hot and Hammered, #1)

This book has been hyped quite a bit recently among romance readers and I’m kind of in two minds on whether it deserves it or not. On one hand I enjoyed it and on the other it featured tropes that I’m sick of. A lot of people have been commenting on it’s steaminess level as well but I didn’t think it was that high (read The Professional by Kresley Cole if you want a super steamy book). We follow Travis who has just returned home after an injury has ends his pro baseball career and Georgette, a professional clown, who has been on love with him her whole life. They both want to change their image so decide to fake date for a bit.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough ★★★★☆

The Thorn Birds

This was so close to being a 5 star read but some things really annoyed me around the middle of the book. Mostly character actions so we won’t get into it 😉 The story was a wonderful sweeping saga following the Cleary family but mainly the daughter Meggie. There are a lot of interesting looks at gender in the book especially perceived gender roles and how the people are influenced by their religion.

The Raven Prince (Princes #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt ★★★★★

The Raven Prince

One of my absolute favourite historical romances!! There are strong Beauty and the Beast themes in this one but it isn’t really a retelling. I LOVE books with Beauty and the Beast themes 💜

The Leopard Prince (Princes #2) by Elizabeth Hoyt ★★★★★

The Leopard Prince (Princes Trilogy, #2)

This one has the most interesting subplot following along the romance. It’s a murder mystery, SHEEP MURDER!! It’s a lot of fun to read and unravel with the characters while they fall in lurve.

Line Divider freepik

Watch my Summerathon Vlog and Wrap Up

June Instagram Templates

June Favourites Instagram Template by Elaine Howlin
Wrap Up June Instagram Template
didn't finish

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

An Unkindness of Magicians

I love the premise of this book but when listening to the audiobook I found it to be a bit of a mess. I decided to stop listening around halfway and I’m going to try the print book at some point and see if I follow it better.

Summerathon Wrap Up and Vlog

Loved this readathon! I read two books for it that managed to work for pretty much all of the prompts. One or two I might have stretched a bit but it’s fine 😉

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey Elaine Howlin Bookstagram

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

New York Times bestseller Tessa Bailey launches a super sexy new series featuring the blue collar men who work for a HGTV-esq house flipping business.

After an injury ends Travis Ford’s major league baseball career, he returns home to start over. He just wants to hammer out his frustrations at his new construction gig and forget all about his glory days. But he can’t even walk through town without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there’s Georgie, his buddy’s little sister, who is definitely not a kid anymore.

Georgette Castle has crushed on her older brother’s best friend for years. The grumpy, bear of a man working for her family’s house flipping business is a far cry from the charming sports star she used to know. But a moody scowl doesn’t scare her and Georgie’s determined to show Travis he’s more than a pretty face and a batting average, even if it means putting her feelings aside to be “just friends.”

Travis wants to brood in peace. But the girl he used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman who makes him feel whole again. And he wants her. So damn bad. Except Georgie’s off limits and he knows he can’t give her what she deserves. But she’s becoming the air he breathes and Travis can’t stay away, no matter how hard he tries…

description
Roses fondant fancies tea pot book Elaine Howlin Bookstagram

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

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.

divider

Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_