Tag: Book Review

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell Review

Wives and DaughtersTitle: Wives and Daughters

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell

Genre: Classics, Romance

Series: n/a

Goodreads Rating: 4.09/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis: 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.

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

Review:  Gaskell wrote this to be a story of everyday life in response to the more dramatic stories that were popular at the time. It’s a very pleasant study of rural life and relationships in 1830’s England. Beautifully written though lengthy and quite humorous at times especially with Molly’s father. It’s a charming easy read (despite its length) and unfortunately is unfinished due to Gaskell’s death. My edition featured notes from the editor of the magazine it was originally published which details the author’s plans for the ending.

I very much enjoyed reading this. It’s perfect when you want to read something pleasant and easy going.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository 

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

April Wrap Up

“You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.”

– Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
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Tempting the Best Man by Jennifer L Armentraut Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★☆☆

This is a short romance about Madison Daniels who has been in love with her brother’s best friend Chase her whole life. Circumstances at her brother’s wedding put them in very close quarters blurring the line between friendship and love. It’s a nice quick story but nothing fantastic.

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole Immortals After Dark Elaine Howlin Book Blog

No Rest for the Wicked (Immortals After Dark #3) by Kresley Cole ★★★★★

This is one of my favourites from the series. I’d nearly say my favourite but it’s very hard to choose between the books (there are 18 so far). I love the supernatural Amazing Race in the story and I love Sebastian and Kaderin’s characters.

Kaderin is a valkyrie dispatched to kill vampire Sebastian but that doesn’t quite go as planned. She runs from him when he chases her through a supernatural version of the Amazing Race for a prize that would grant both of their deepest wishes.

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse by Diana Rowland Elaine Howlin Book Blog

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse (White Trash Zombie #3) by Diana Rowland ★★★★★

Such a fun urban fantasy series!! The audiobook narrator is one of the best I’ve heard. It’s easy to get a shitty narrator that ruins the book but here she really adds another dimension to the story. She brings Angel to life I think.

White Trash Zombie follows Angel Crawford who is basically white trash. She’s a high school dropout with a drug problem and a shitty boyfriend when she’s turned into a zombie and things start looking up.

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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★

What to say about this book…. Harry Potter must be the most discussed series in the book community so there’s no need to talk about it anymore really. All I’ll say is I love this one for all of the character growth and the development of Voldermort’s character.

Clockwork Angel The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare Elaine Howlin Book Blog

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★☆

I had really high expectations for this one and it didn’t exactly fall short of them I just found it to be very predictable. I picked up on all the hints of what was coming so reading the ending felt like just going through the motions but it was still a very enjoyable book.

The Infernal Devices is set in the same world as The Mortal Instruments but in 18th century London. There are one or two familiar characters but we mainly follow Tessa Gray who has arrived from New York to join her brother. Tessa soon discoveries she is something more than human and her life is irrevocably changed.

Alpha and Omega (Alpha & Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★

I spotted the audiobook of this novella on Scribd and since I’m about 4 books behind my reading goal I decided to give it a listen. I read this a few years ago and loved it and I loved it again listening to the audiobook. It’s much more paranormal romance than urban fantasy like Briggs’ other series Mercy Thompson is but it is connected to that series.

In this novella we are introduced to Anna who believes herself to be a submissive werewolf that has been abused by her pack. Charles (from the mercy Thompson series) is sent by the marrock to investigate her pack and reveals her true nature to her.

Voyeur by Fiona Cole Review

Voyeur

Title: Voyeur

Series: n/a standalone

Author: Fiona Cole

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:  
I didn’t know she was my student the first time I paid to watch her at Voyeur.

Once she walked into my classroom, another smiling college freshman, I knew I should stop going. Stop watching.

But I couldn’t do it. Everything about her makes me want more, and once I realize she wants me too, the temptation becomes irresistible.

The worst part is that she has no idea her professor is the one watching behind the glass.

I just have to hope that once she finds out the truth, she wants the same thing I do. Because now that I’ve seen all of her, I can’t look away.

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Format: ebook

Pages/Hours: 310 pages

Ownership: Owned

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Tags: Contemporary Romance, Erotic, New Adult, College

Themes: Forbidden Love, Sex Work, Age Gap, Tortured Hero, Student Teacher Relationship

@elainehowlin_

Review: Very steamy book with a sweet romance. It starts off with a bang and slows down a bit in the middle but has a satisfying ending.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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

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My Best Friend’s Exorcism Review

My Best Friend's Exorcism

Title: My Best Friend’s Exorcism

Author: Grady Hendrix

Genre: Horror

Synopsis:

An unholy hybrid of Beaches and The Exorcist that blends teen angst, adolescent drama, unspeakable horrors, and a mix of ’80s pop songs into a pulse-pounding supernatural thriller

The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries–and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

Format: Paperback

Pages/Hours: 336 pages

Ownership: Own

My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5)

Tags: 80’s Nostalgia, Music, Pop Culture, Satanic Panic

Themes: Friendship, Religion

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Review:  I expected this to be much scarier but I still enjoyed it. It was pretty humorous and very enjoyable to read. I loved all of the music and 80’s pop culture references. The horror aspect was a little bit of a letdown. There were some creepy moments but it mostly seemed like Gretchen had just turned into a mean girl (a smelly one).

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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

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99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne Review

99 Percent Mine

Title: 99 Percent Mine

Author: Sally Thorne

Genre: Romance

Synopsis: Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.

Format: ebook (eARC from Edelweiss+)

Pages/Hours: 368 pages

Ownership: Own

My Rating: ★★★★★

Tags: Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Adult

Themes: Friend’s to Lovers, Second Chances

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Review:  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.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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

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