Tag: wrap-up

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.

O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon Wrap Up

The O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon is hosted by Book Roast on YouTube. It’s based on the exams the students take in Hogwarts from the Harry Potter books.

Basically, you choose a career path and complete the tasks assigned to it in the booklet. I chose Journalist because there was only 3 tasks assigned and I figured I could manage that with everything else I had going on.

My subjects were History of Magic, Muggle Studies and one more of my choosing which was Potions.

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🦉 History of Magic – Published at least 10 Years Ago

For this one I read No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole which was released in 2006. I LOVE this book! This was actually a reread which I’m not sure is allowed but I’ve done it now anyway 😊

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

No Rest for the Wicked (Immortals After Dark, #3)

In this next installment in the Immortals After Dark SeriesUSA Today Bestselling author Kresley Cole delivers a scorching tale about a forbidding vampire who lives in the shadows and the beautiful assassin who hunts him there. 

A vampire soldier weary of life…

Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire—a nightmare in his mind—against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.

A valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him…

When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow—accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings—particularly lust—emerge multiplied. For the first time, she’s unable to complete a kill.

Competitors in a legendary hunt…

The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity—as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world—to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she’s falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?

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🦉 Muggle Studies – Contemporary

Again I’m not sure if urban fantasy is acceptable for this but White Trash Zombie has a contemporary setting so I’m going with it. This series is so good!! Even if you hate zombies you should check this series out. If you enjoy the iZombie TV show you will probably like this. I listened to the audiobook which I highly recommend as well.

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

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse (White Trash Zombie, #3)

Our favorite white trash zombie, Angel Crawford, has enough problems of her own, what with dealing with her alcoholic, deadbeat dad, issues with her not-quite boyfriend, the zombie mafia, industrial espionage, and evil corporations. Oh, and it’s raining, and won’t let up.

But things get even crazier when a zombie movie starts filming in town, and Angel begins to suspect that it’s not just the plot of the movie that’s rotten. Soon she’s fighting her way through mud, blood, bullets, and intrigue, even as zombies, both real and fake, prowl the streets.

Angel’s been through more than her share of crap, but this time she’s in way over her head. She’ll need plenty of brainpower to fit all the pieces – and body parts – together in order to save herself, her town, and quite possibly the human race.

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🦉 Potions – Next Ingredient: Sequel

I had no book in mind for this one because I read mostly series anyway so I was going to read whatever was next for me. I went with Harry Potter cause it worked for another reading challenge I’m doing on Goodreads.

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

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)

It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Durselys’ house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can’t quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys’ of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks’ time? Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine…

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Did you take part in the O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon?

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.

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?

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
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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
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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?