Tag: wrap-up

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
Instagram @elainehowlin_

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?

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
Instagram @elainehowlin_

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_

Books Read – August

Blue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #8)The Second SexThe Professional (The Game Maker, #1)Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark, #16)Lover's Knot (Dorina Basarab, #3.5)Shadow's Bane (Dorina Basarab, #4)Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2)One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3)Devil to Pay (Night Huntress, #3.5)Shadow's Seduction (Immortals After Dark, #17; The Dacians, #2)The Matchmaker's Playbook (Wingmen Inc., #1)Shadowed Souls

Blue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #8)Blue Moon by Laurell K. Hamilton

★★★☆☆

Book no. 8 in the Anita Blake series. In this one, Richard has been accused of rape and Anita dashes off to sort it all out. Her presence is not welcomed by the local vampire group or local law enforcement. This one kind of annoyed me. There was a bit too much relationship drama. This book is probably the real turning point for the series when it becomes nothing but group sex scenes.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Extracts from The Second Sex by simone de Beauvoir Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

The Second SexExtracts from The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir

★★★★☆

Very interesting. This edition features the original books introduction, chapter 14 and the conclusion. It’s kind of like a taster for the full book which was published in 1949 and made a big impact. The book explores the inequalities between women and men.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

The Professional (The Game Maker, #1)The Professional by Kresley Cole

★★★★☆

The Game Maker romance series book 1. Natalie has been searching for her birth parents in Russia and discovers her father is actually a vor in the mafiya and that her life is in imminent danger. Her father dispatches Sevastyan to protect her and bring her back to Russia where things get a lot more interesting. Love this book 😍
Some elements of the plot are a little bit far-fetched but it’s fine. It’s pure indulgent book yumminess. And of course super hot!! I think if you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey for the kinky sex then you will probably enjoy this book.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark, #16)Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole

★★★★☆

Book 16 in the paranormal romance series Immortals After Dark.  Jo and her brother are orphans and living on the streets. They’re separated through tragedy and Jo discovers she is something other than human. She spends the rest of her life simply existing until she meets an assassin on the hunt for a mutual enemy. It took me a while to get into this one. I didn’t really like the main characters but I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s one of the more interesting books in the series and borders on science fiction a bit.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Lover's Knot (Dorina Basarab, #3.5)Lover’s Knot by Karen Chance

★★★★★

3.5 in Dorina Basarab series and a free ebook novella available on the author’s site and the links below.  In this one, Dory is on a rescue mission in France after her beau goes missing along with the European consul. I loved this addition to the series. It really sets the tone for the next novel in the series Shadow’s Bane.

Get the book: Amazon | Kobo

Shadow's Bane by Karen Chance Dorina Basarab 4 Elaine Howlin Bookstagram

Shadow's Bane (Dorina Basarab, #4)Shadow’s Bane by Karen Chance

★★★★★

Dorina Basarab book #4. Loved it! My full review for this book is available here. Dory is investigating fae slavers while dealing with her vampire side’s growing powers.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2)Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews

★★★★★

The Innkeeper Chronicles book #2. My full review is available here. Loved this! It’s so different from the usual urban fantasy fare. In this book, Dina is hosting peace talks between 3 warring factions in her inn. Tensions are high especially after the arrival of a mystery guest near the end.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3)One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

★★★★★

The Innkeeper Chronicles book #3. My full review is available here. In this book, Dina must rescue her sister and niece from an extremely dangerous planet and then offers sanctuary to an endangered alien race. Her inn ends up under siege from the race determined to wipe her guests’ species from existence. Loved it again! I’ve given every book in this series so far five stars, what more do you need to know?!

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Devil to Pay (Night Huntress, #3.5)Devil to Pay by Jeaniene Frost

★★☆☆☆

Night Huntress #3.5. This is about a guy who has been possessed by a demon trying to end his life so he won’t hurt people anymore. He’s saved by a vampire who has lost her zest for life and discovers it again through trying to help him. An ok short story. Very heavy on the instalove. I think short stories aren’t a good format for a complete romance.
Cat and Bones make a quick and kind of pointless appearance. If they hadn’t shown up this story could have been read as a stand-alone set in the same universe but their appearance makes it a little spoilery for the main series.

Get the book: Amazon | Google | Kobo

Shadow's Seduction by Kresley Cole Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Shadow's Seduction (Immortals After Dark, #17; The Dacians, #2)Shadow’s Seduction by Kresley Cole

★★★★☆

Immortals After Dark #17; The Dacians #2 and Cole’s first M/M romance. This is a friends to lovers story following Mirceo and Caspian who were introduced in previous books. I’m not as into the Dacian’s as the other supernatural groups in the world. I miss the Valkyries and not even Nix showed up in this one which disappointed me but overall this is a great paranormal romance.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

The Matchmaker's Playbook (Wingmen Inc., #1)The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

★★★☆☆

A contemporary romance about two college students that run a matchmaking service for women. Ian is trying to set up Blake with her childhood crush when he breaks the cardinal rule of Wingman Inc. and starts to have feelings for his client. This was an ok book. Good enough for me to finish. Mildly entertaining and I will probably read the next book in the series but definitely not a favourite. It’s just a bit too tropey.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository |Barnes & Noble

Shadowed SoulsShadowed Souls edited by Jim Butcher

★★★★☆

I actually only read two of the stories included in this anthology because the others are part of series I haven’t read yet. The theme running through the stories is a bit… bleak.

Cold Case by Jim Butcher
Oh, that ending! Why must you constantly toy with my emotions, Jim?! This is the story that gives the collection its name. Molly’s new position as Winter Lady is weighing heavy on her and changing her in uncomfortable ways.

Sleepover by Seanan McGuire
I absolutely love McGuire’s writing. EVERYTHING I have read by her has been a treat. This story focuses on a half human half succubus woman who is coerced into searching for a young girl. There is quite a bit of world building for a stand-alone short story but it’s no less enjoyable for it. Not as depressing as Butcher’s story but still a bit bleak at the end.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

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August Cosy Reading

August Cosy Reading The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Another Cosy Reading Night has come to a close. Although this time it was a Cosy Reading Afternoon but night sounds better. Cosy Reading Night is a seasonal readathon hosted by Lauren and the Books. August Cosy Reading took place on Thursday 23rd from 1pm – 4pm.

My goal was to read an hour each of three different books which I didn’t manage to do because some guys showed up to look at my pipes and that’s not a euphemism! Watch my vlog of the readathon below or on my YouTube channel.

Do check out Lauren’s channel, she is one of my favourite YouTubers and is just such a lovely bubbly person. The next Cosy Reading Night is scheduled for October which is awesome. I think I’ll have to dress up and read some creepy books.

Books mentioned:

Shadowed Souls

Shadowed Souls edited by Jim Butcher

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble

Did you know I recently launched a Zazzle store? I will be adding more literary themed items to it but for the moment I have two bookish tote bags available.

Visit Elaine Howlin Zazzle Literary Book Gifts Store