Tag: reading

Smutathon Vlog

smutathon bingo

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?

March Wrap Up

“March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.” 
― L.M. Montgomery

I started March with a few rereads. I guess I was feeling nostalgic or something…. I should have been reading for The Irish Readathon but sadly only managed one book for it. I was visiting family and traveling for two weeks at the end of the month so that’s my excuse for not reading as much.

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A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #2)

Paranormal Romance

I first read this in 2016. You can read my original review here. I enjoyed it a lot more on my second read. The main characters annoyed me a lot less because I understood why they behaved the way they did and where their story was going.

This book seems to have very mixed reviews from people because Lachlain hits very highly on the Alpha-Asshole scale.

Shadow Game (Ghost Walkers #1) by Christine Feehan ★★★☆☆

Shadow Game (GhostWalkers, #1)

Paranormal Romance

I first read this in 2016 as well but it was on audio and I kept falling asleep. Not cause it was boring just cause I was listening at night and kept snoozing so a lot of this seemed new to me reading as an ebook.

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Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed #9) by Lara Adrian ★★★★☆

Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed, #9)

Paranormal Romance

This one I read for the Kick’n Down Your TBR challenge in Gotta Have Romance With a Kick on Goodreads. I read book #8 in this series in 2013 so it took me awhile to remember everything about the series when I started this one (and most of it hasn’t come back to me 😅). Despite forgetting most of what was going on Adrian’s little recaps throughout the story reminded me of the important stuff and I ended up enjoying the story. I think the earlier books in this series were more romance focused and this one felt very story and action focused with a romance.

The Dark Calling (Arcana Chronicles #5) by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles, #5)

YA, Fantasy

So close to the end now 😭😭😭 This series has been such an insane and emotional roller coaster! I am VERY invested in these characters now and if anything bad happens (or worse that what has already happened) to them I will be very upset. Cole is such a fantastic writer. She manages to write fiction in genres that are usually so predictable in a way that’s familiar but still refreshing. And she is a master at developing tension.

Dreaming of You (Gamblers #2) by Lisa Kleypas ★★★★☆

Dreaming of You (Gamblers, #2)

Historical Romance

I read this book for the Romanceopoly challenge. I landed on Austen Row – Read a classic romance OR a historical romance on UTC or Peace Love Books rec lists. So I chose a book from the rec list and really enjoyed it. This was my first Lisa Kleypas book, it was published in 1994 and I think certain elements of it show that it was a historical romance from that time. There are some things that the characters do that just don’t happen in historical romances anymore. But it’s a very good book and definitely doesn’t go as far as being rapey like romances often did in the 70’s/80’s.

Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes ★★★★☆

Under the Duvet

Essays

If you want to see what life was like for Irish people in the late 90’s and early 00’s then read this. Some of the language may be a little confusing if you’re not Irish but it’s a very entertaining collection nonetheless.

Autumn Cosy Reading Night Vlog

Cosy Reading Night is a seasonal three-hour readathon hosted by Lauren and the Books. There are no tasks or challenges involved, you just have a nice evening reading and can chat with other people on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #cosyreadingnight.

Autumn Cosy Reading Night took place on Friday, November 2nd from 7 – 10pm.

For my night I planned to read an hour each of an ebook, a paperback and an audiobook. I set up my sitting room nice and cosy with candles and made some nachos. Watch my vlog above to see how my night went 🙂

My Books

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
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Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

BelindaBelinda by Maria Edgeworth

The lively comedy of this novel in which a young woman comes of age amid the distractions and temptations of London high society belies the challenges it poses to the conventions of courtship, the dependence of women, and the limitations of domesticity. Contending with the perils and the varied cast of characters of the marriage market, Belinda strides resolutely toward independence. Admired by her contemporary, Jane Austen, and later by Thackeray and Turgenev, Edgeworth tackles issues of gender and race in a manner at once comic and thought-provoking. The 1802 text used in this edition also confronts the difficult and fascinating issues of racism and mixed marriage, which Edgeworth toned down in later editions.

The English PatientThe English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

Haunting and harrowing, as beautiful as it is disturbing, The English Patient tells the story of the entanglement of four damaged lives in an Italian monastery as World War II ends. The exhausted nurse, Hana; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the wary sapper, Kip: each is haunted by the riddle of the English patient, the nameless burn victim who lies in an upstairs room and whose memories of passion, betrayal, and rescue illuminate this book like flashes of heat lightning. In lyrical prose informed by a poetic consciousness, Michael Ondaatje weaves these characters together, pulls them tight, then unravels the threads with unsettling acumen.

Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5)Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library. Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.

But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit . . . and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.

Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?


Did you join in Cosy Reading Night on Friday? Have you joined in before or will you for the next one?

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

Thank You!

This blog reached 2000 followers today so I just wanted to thank everyone who follows 🙂 You’re all awesome and amazing and I love you!!!

I’m so happy to have found so many amazing people who love books and reading as much as I do through this blog and Instagram (#bookstagram 😉 ).

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Expressing your gratitude at work can make you a more effective leader. Lead with gratitude.
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5 Interesting Articles from the Booksphere

It’s almost as enjoyable to read about books as it is to read books (almost). Here are some interesting articles I read during the month about the books and reading. The article from Goodreads about killing the ‘dead girl’ in crime is particularly interesting and Signature’s article on haunted houses in literature has some great books for Autumn.

Elaine Howlin Book Blog Review

Book Bloggers Are Real Readers

Bloggers do it for their love of books. No agendas, no bias and no pay. If  bestselling authors can see the benefit, why can some readers not?

“On Saturday, February 4th, Chocolat author Joanne Harris started a hashtag on Twitter: #tentweetsaboutbookbloggers highlighted some of the misconceptions that surround the world of book blogging and online reviews.” – Margaret Madden, The Irish Times

Killing the ‘Dead Girl’ Theme in Crime Fiction

dead girls

“It’s long been my observation that a lot of crime writing, even very good crime writing, can be summed up this way: a beautiful girl dies, and a man feels bad about it. Maybe he’s a mourning husband/father/brother/lover. Maybe he’s falsely accused. Maybe he did it, but he has, you know, REASONS. And now we’re seeing more and more female writers asserting for their ownership of crime fiction, and it’s very exciting. ” – Cybil, Goodreads

The Future Isn’t Female—It’s Feminine

women power

“How is feminine different? Because as with all labels, categorizations divide us. Evolving means being all-encompassing rather than exclusive. Men are just as capable of being feminine as females are. Therefore, this change isn’t solely to be championed by females. But championed by those in tune with and embracing all things feminine. A balanced approach to both masculine and feminine energy. Not one or the other. Remember from the Goddess Manifesto: Unity is a source of our power.” – Emma Mildon, Tips on Life & Love

Beyond Haunted House: Fictional Houses in Novels that Jump off the Page

“Whether English country houses, Gothic Manors, or simply the classic haunted houses, writers have long had a fascination with making homes the centerpiece of stories. Some are so memorable and integral to the narrative as to essentially become characters themselves. They stick with us, captivate and terrify us, and provide a level of metaphorical depth that lifts a novel to another level. From horror and suspense to literary fiction and everything in between, these are few of my favorite houses in literature.” – Keith Rice, Signature

Everything We Know About the ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ Movie

“With Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Witherspoon adds another female-authored debut novel to her list of book club picks. The book stars Eleanor, a lonely 30-year-old who spends her weekends nursing a bottle of vodka and a pop-star obsession. Throughout the novel we see Eleanor slowly widen her circle of interaction, both intentionally and unintentionally. However, Honeyman didn’t want Eleanor to be portrayed as a victim. The result is a humorous, yet thought-provoking story.” – Vicki Lindern, Bookbub


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