Tag: reading challenge

N.E.W.T.’s Reading Vlog Part 1

Reading vlog for the first half of the N.E.W.T.’s Magical Readathon. I’m a little ashamed of my reading here. To be honest, I can barely call it a reading vlog I do so little reading! I do get up to some other fun stuff during the month though and I did manage to finish one novel.

Books Read

Smutathon Vlog

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Smutathon is a week-long readathon hosted by Riley Marie and Ginger Reads Lainey running from Monday, June 3rd to Monday, June 10th. I didn’t find out about this readathon until Tuesday so I just jumped right in.

Reading Plan

Usually the most I would read in a week is about two books, three at a push. So I picked out a few that I’d like to read and then just went with what I felt like at the time.

I was already reading The Kiss Quotient prior to the readathon so I’m not really counting that but I did finish it during Smutathon and it is the perfect book for this type of readathon. I ended up reading two books for the readathon which I’m pretty with 🙂

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Fate’s Edge by Ilona Andrews

Audrey Callahan left behind her life in the Edge, and she’s determined to stay on the straight and narrow. But when her brother gets into hot water, the former thief takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with a jack of all trades… 

Kaldar Mar-a gambler, lawyer, thief, and spy-expects his latest assignment tracking down a stolen item to be a piece of cake, until Audrey shows up. But when the item falls into the hands of a lethal criminal, Kaldar realizes that in order to finish the job, he’s going to need Audrey’s help…

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

The Kiss Quotient is available on Kindle Unlimited

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The Ice Princess by Elizabeth Hoyt

SEVEN NIGHTS OF SIN 
As the madam of Aphrodite’s Grotto, the most infamous brothel in London, Coral Smythe knows everything possible about men’s needs and desires. Yet she’s never experienced the love of a single man-not even that of Captain Isaac Wargate whose hawk-like eyes stare at her with both condemnation…and lust.

SEVEN NIGHTS OF ECSTASY 
Captain Wargate heartily disapproves of the sensuous madam who always wears a golden mask. She lures his officers from both his ship and their duty. But when Coral herself is offered up as the prize in a game of chance, Wargate impulsively enters…and wins.

SEVEN NIGHTS OF LOVE 
Now the puritanical navy captain has just seven nights to learn everything he can about the mysterious madam and what she knows of a man’s desires. But when Coral is threatened by the new owner of Aphrodite’s Grotto, will Wargate take a chance on the woman beneath the mask…and on love?

Summerathon TBR 2019

I am so happy it is summer! Time to lounge outside in the sunshine with a book, lots of sunscreen, and an ice cold drink. Heaven.

Summerathon runs from June 21-27 and is hosted on YouTube by Melanie, Jen, Heather, Aimee, and Amy.

–The Challenges–

  • 1: Read a “beachy” read
  • 2: Read a book with sunrise colors on the cover
  • 3: Read a book featuring a road trip/traveling or summer vacation
  • 4: Read a book set in summer
  • 5: Read a book with food on the cover
  • 6: Drink your favorite summery drink while reading

The readathon is only a week long so I will probably only get one book maybe two read but I’m going to pick out a book for each challenge and then I will just read whichever one I feel like. Some of them will actually work for more than one challenge.

🌅 Beachy Read

NetGalley has a tonne of beachy reads at the moment so I might request one of those. I’ve never really read what I would consider to be a beachy book before so I’m interested to try one. If I don’t get a book from NetGalley I will read a cosy mystery by Charlaine Harris. I think that genre is perfect for taking it easy while reading but is still interesting enough to keep you reading.

Shakespeare’s Landlord (Lily Bard #1) by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard, #1)

Welcome to Shakespeare, Arkansas. Lily Bard came to the small town of Shakespeare to escape her dark and violent past. Other than the day-to-day workings of her cleaning and errand-running service, she pays little attention to the town around her. So when she spots a dead body being dumped in the town green, she’s inclined to stay well away. But she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and despite her best efforts, she’s dragged into the murder case. Lily doesn’t care who did it, but when the police and local community start pointing fingers in her direction, she realizes that proving her innocence will depend on finding the real killer in quiet, secretive Shakespeare.

🌅 Sunrise Colours on the Cover

Riveted (Iron Seas #3) by Meljean Brook

Riveted (Iron Seas, #3)

A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland’s inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. Fishermen tell tales of giant trolls guarding the land and of seductive witches who steal men’s hearts. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magic—and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom.

Five years ago, Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister Källa took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on the airship Phatéon, flying from port to port in search of her sister and longing to return home . . . but that home is threatened when expedition leader David Kentewess comes aboard.

Determined to solve the mystery of his own origin, David will stop at nothing to expose Annika’s secrets. But when disaster strikes, leaving David and Annika stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman, their very survival depends on keeping the heat rising between them—and generating lots of steam . . .

🌅 Traveling/ Summer Vacation

One of those summery/beachy reads on NetGalley would probably suit this one too. If now I might read The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough which begins with a family traveling to Australia.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

The Thorn Birds

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.

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🌅 Summer Setting

I have no idea what seasons my books are set! I had to look up a Goodreads list for some ideas for this. The only book I currently own and have yet to read from the list is Atonement by Ian McEwan.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Atonement

Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.

On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses the flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives and her precocious imagination bring about a crime that will change all their lives, a crime whose repercussions Atonement follows through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century.

🌅 Food on the Cover

I could only think of cosy mysteries for this one! Why is it that cosy mysteries often have food on the cover???

Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys by Harper Lin

Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys (Cape Bay Cafe Mystery, #2)

When Francesca’s old high school crush, Todd, is accused of murder, she is convinced he is innocent. The police don’t believe Todd’s story, and neither does Matty. 

During the busy summer tourist season at Cape Bay, Francesca sets out to prove Todd’s innocence. Matty, however, investigates to prove Todd is guilty. Why does Matty detest Todd so much? But what if he’s right—what if Todd is a murderer? 

Includes two special recipes! This is Book 2 in The Cape Bay Cafe Mysteries. The books don’t have to be read in order.

🍹 My Favourite Summer Drink

My favourite drink to have in summer is definitely prosecco. Although, to be fair, I drink it for all seasons 😉 One of my favourite ways to have it during the summer is with a dash of elderflower cordial. If you have some gin and mint you could throw those in too to make a hugo cocktail. Perfect refreshing drink for summer.

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Synopsis and book covers from Goodreads

What’s your favourite summer drink?

Romanceopoly

Romanceopoly is a reading challenge game hosted by Under the Covers and Peace Love Books.

The game is based loosely on Monopoly and set in the fictional city of Romanceopolis. You can roll a die to make your way around the board or just do each task which is how I’m going to play.

The website the creators have made is so helpful with tasks. They have a list of recommendations for each task here which I have found great because there are a few tasks that require books I wouldn’t normally read.

Tasks & TBR

LEATHER LANE Urban Fantasy Read an urban fantasy where the series is already completed

Alpha (Shifters, #6)

KICKASS LANE Urban Fantasy Read an urban fantasy with a picture of a kickass heroine on the cover

Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6)

DOWNTOWN Subway Read a rock star romance

Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, #1)

GROWING PAINS PLACE Young Adult Read a young adult book (fantasy or contemporary)

Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles, #4)

MEMORY LANE Historical Fiction Read a historical fiction novel

With This Ring  (Vanza, #1)

WOMEN’S AVE Women’s Fiction Read a women’s fiction novel

The Woman Who Stole My Life

DUNGEON Corner Read a book with a hero in prison or who is an ex-con – OR – Read a book on UTC’s or PLB’s Book Boyfriends List.

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2)

COLLEGE ROW New Adult Read a new adult book set in college

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

BUS Transport Read a book where the character(s) have to go on a journey
which involves travel (this includes fantasy)

Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark, #18)

LGBT LANE LGBT Read a new adult LGBT romance

Him (Him #1)

FREEDOM FRIARS LGBT Read an adult LGBT romance

Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11)

SWEET STREET Contemporary Romance Read a sweet or small town contemporary romance

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1)

BAD BOY CIRCUS Contemporary Romance Read a contemporary romance with a bad boy hero or bad gal heroine

The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles, #5)

EROTIC EAVES Erotic Romance Read a smoking hot erotic contemporary romance

The Master (The Game Maker, #2)

FIRESTATION Corner Read a book with a firefighter hero/heroine – OR – Read an ON FIRE HOT erotic romance (can be other than contemporary)

Consumed (Firefighters, #1)

WARRIORS WAY Paranormal Romance Read a paranormal romance that involves a band of warriors

Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8)

MAGIC ROW Paranormal Romance Read a paranormal romance where the hero/heroine can wield magic

Waking the Witch (Women of the Otherworld, #11)

CREATURE CRESCENT Paranormal Romance Read a paranormal romance where the hero/heroine isn’t human (shifters, vamps, angels, demons, gargoyles, etc)

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6)

COZY CORNER Mystery Read a mystery or cozy mystery

For the Love of Mike (Molly Murphy, #3)

MILITARY MEWS Romantic Suspense Read a romantic suspense with a military hero/heroine

Deadly Game (GhostWalkers, #5)

TAXI Transport Read a book on UTC’s or PLB’s Recs List (any genre).

Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1)

MURDER MILL Thriller Read a thriller or romantic thriller

Final Girls

HEARTBREAK HOSPITAL Corner Read a book with a doctor hero/heroine – OR – Read a tearjerker

Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9)

FARAWAY LAND Fantasy Read a fantasy romance or a fantasy novel

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10)

LONDON STREET Steampunk Read a steampunk romance or steampunk novel

Heart of Steel (The Iron Seas #2)

ALIEN AVENUE Sci Fi Read a sci fi romance or a sci fi novel

Last Kiss Goodnight (Otherworld Assassin, #1)

AUSTEN ROW Historical Romance Read a classic romance – OR – Read a historical romance on UTC’s or PLB’s Recs List.

Jane Eyre

UPTOWN Subway Read a chef/foodie romance

Hyde and Seek (Hyde #1)

MAYFAIR Historical Romance Read a historical romance where there is a class disparity

Beauty and the Blacksmith  (Spindle Cove, #3.5)

Be sure to check out the website if you’re interested in the challenge. It is seriously the most informative site I’ve seen for a reading challenge.

2019 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

It’s time for New Year reading challenges, yay! The Historical Fiction Reading Challenge is hosted by Passages to the Past which is an amazing blog focusing on historical fiction. All subgenres of historical fiction are welcome so romance, young adult, mystery, whatever, all are welcome 🙂

The challenge runs from January 1st to December 31st 2019 and has 6 levels.

20th Century Reader – 2 books
Victorian Reader – 5 books
Renaissance Reader – 10 books
Medieval – 15 books
Ancient History – 25 books
Prehistoric – 50+ books

I’m going to aim for Ancient History – 25 books. In 2018 I read about 20 historical books so 25 should be attainable. 

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Historical Fiction MBR

MBR stands for “might be read”.

I often see classics being tagged historical fiction so I’m including them in my list. I’m just going to pick out 5 books now because I will most likely discover some new ones throughout 2019.

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The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.

1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

I received this book from Harper Collins a few months ago, started reading it, liked it but stopped for whatever reason. I recently listened to the audio of Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb and loved it so. I’m really excited to read more by both of them. Heather Webb has a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera that I will likely pick up in 2019 as well.


With This Ring (Vanza #1) by Amanda Quick

With This Ring  (Vanza, #1)

Leo Drake, the “Mad Monk of Monkcrest,” is notoriously eccentric and unquestionably reclusive. But he is also a noted antiquities expert, which is why Beatrice Poole has demanded his reluctant assistance. The freethinking authoress of “horrid novels,” Beatrice is searching for the Forbidden Rings of Aphrodite, a mythic treasure she suspects played a role in her uncle’s death. Beatrice finds Leo every bit as fascinating as one of the heroes in her novels-and she’s convinced he’s the only one who can help her. But after only five minutes in her company, Leo is sure he’s never met a woman more infuriating…and more likely to rescue him from boredom. Yet the alliance may well prove to be the biggest mistake of their lives. For a villain lurks in London, waiting for the pair to unearth the Forbidden Rings-knowing that when they do, that day will be their last….

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

So, I did the unspeakable and read the second and third books in this series before reading the first book. It seems like a strange thing to do but I had those two and had to wait for this one. I also read a review on the second book that said there was no tangible connection between them and could be read as a stand-alone so I went with it. Now I can read the first one and get the series straightened up.


Notorious Pleasure (Maiden Lane #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Notorious Pleasures (Maiden Lane, #2)

Their lives were perfect…
Lady Hero Batten, the beautiful sister of the Duke of Wakefield, has everything a woman could want, including the perfect fiancé. True, the Marquis of Mandeville is a trifle dull and has no sense of humor, but that doesn’t bother Hero. Until she meets his notorious brother…

Until they met each other.
Lord Griffin Reading is far from perfect – and he likes it that way. How he spends his days is a mystery, but all of London knows he engages in the worst sorts of drunken revelry at night. Hero takes an instant dislike to him, and Griffin thinks that Hero, with her charities and faultless manners, is much too impeccable for society, let alone his brother. Yet their near-constant battle of wits soon sparks desire—desire that causes their carefully constructed worlds to come tumbling down. As Hero’s wedding nears, and Griffin’s enemies lay plans to end their dreams forever, can two imperfect people find perfect true love?

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

I read the first book in this series in 2016 and loved it. I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to decide to continue with the series but here we are.


Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell

Gothic Tales

‘Such whispered tales, such old temptations and hauntings, and devilish terrors’

Elizabeth Gaskell’s chilling Gothic tales blend the real and the supernatural to eerie, compelling effect. ‘Disappearances’, inspired by local legends of mysterious vanishings, mixes gossip and fact; ‘Lois the Witch’, a novella based on an account of the Salem witch hunts, shows how sexual desire and jealousy lead to hysteria; while in ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’ a mysterious child roams the freezing Northumberland moors. Whether darkly surreal, such as ‘The Poor Clare’, where an evil doppelganger is formed by a woman’s bitter curse, or mischievous like ‘Curious, if True’, a playful reworking of fairy tales, all the pieces in this volume form a start contrast to the social realism of Gaskell’s novels, revealing a darker and more unsettling style of writing.

Laura Kranzler’s introduction discusses how Gaskell’s tales, with their ghostly doublings and transgressive passions, show the Gothic underside of female identity, domestic relations and male authority. This edition also contains a chronology, further reading and explanatory notes.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

This one I will probably hold out reading until #victober in October which is a Victorian literature readathon. It’s perfect for that time of year.


Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene

Our Man in Havana

Graham Greene’s classic Cuban spy story, now with a new package and a new introduction

First published in 1959, Our Man in Havana is an espionage thriller, a penetrating character study, and a political satire that still resonates to this day. Conceived as one of Graham Greene’s ‘entertainments,’ it tells of MI6’s man in Havana, Wormold, a former vacuum-cleaner salesman turned reluctant secret agent out of economic necessity. To keep his job, he files bogus reports based on Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare and dreams up military installations from vacuum-cleaner designs. Then his stories start coming disturbingly true.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

I read The End of the Affair by Greene in 2018 and loved it so I want to pick up some more books by him. 


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Do you have any historical fiction recommendations?