Book List 2018

Review: Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell

almost midnightTitle: Almost Midnight

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Summary: Midnights is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year’s Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time . . .

Kindred Spirits is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan.

Midnights was previously published as part of the My True Love Gave to Me anthology, edited by Stephanie Perkins and Kindred Spirits was previously published as a World Book Day title.


Midnights is a beautifully written story, spanning many years, and all the same characters as they change throughout time. But some things, such as love, definitely stay the same, even flourish.

It is heart-warming, and wonderfully written by one of my favourite authors. Rainbow Rowell is a master when it comes to language, and making her readers feel something. This is sweet, cute, and to the point with a hint of nostalgia.

Kindred Spirits is a tribute to fandom, to the people that follow it, and love it, sometimes to their own sleepy detriment.

It is also a tribute to Star Wars, and what that franchise, and its characters has come to mean for the fans. It was sweet, and well written with just the slightest bit of conflict.

To me it was very Breakfast Clubesque, but with some awesome fandom references.


Contributor: Luke Black

Guest Blogger Review: The Preacher’s Son by Lisa Henry and J.A Rock

PinehurstOkay, so it’s been AGES since Ashley so kindly introduced me as a guest poster on her blog, and I dropped the ball on posting. Today, I bring to you my first review! (Big thanks to Ashley for letting me post on her blog. Love you, babe.)

I did participate in an instagram tour, and you can find my post here. (It’s my personal account, yes.)

Title: The Preacher’s Son
Authors: Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock
Genre: LGBTQ+ romance
Summary: Jason Banning is a wreck. His leg’s been blown to hell in Afghanistan, his boyfriend just left him and took the dog, and now he’s back in his hometown of Pinehurst, Washington, a place that holds nothing but wretched memories…and Nathan Tull. Nathan Tull, whose life Jason ruined. Nathan Tull, who will never believe Jason did what he did for a greater good. Nathan Tull, whose reverend father runs a gay conversion therapy camp that Jason once sought to bring down—at any cost.

Nathan Tull is trying to live a quiet life. Four years ago, when Nate was a prospective student visiting UW Tacoma, his world collapsed when senior Jason Bannon slept with him, filmed it, and put the footage online. A painful public outing and a crisis of faith later, Nate has finally begun to heal. Cured of the “phantoms” that plagued him for years, he now has a girlfriend, a counselor job at his dad’s camp, and the constant, loving support of his father.

But when he learns Jason is back in town, his carefully constructed identity begins to crumble. As desperate to reconcile his love for God with his attraction to men as Jason is to make sense of the damage he’s done, Nate finds himself walking a dangerous line. On one side lies the righteous life he committed himself to in the wake of his public humiliation. On the other is the sin he committed with Jason Banning, and the phantoms that won’t let him be. But is there a path that can bridge those two worlds—where his faith and his identity as a gay man aren’t mutually exclusive?

And can he walk that path with the man who betrayed him?

I knew ahead of time from reading the summary that one of the themes of the book was gay conversion therapy camps. What I did not anticipate was how much it would affect me in a negative, impactful way. I’ve been against these types of camps since I first heard of them, but even more so now. It made me deeply uncomfortable and outright angry.

But that’s not the purpose of this review, I’m just putting that out there. The book had promise. I did emphasize with Nathan. I’ve never been overly religious but I have had that self-doubt of wondering if what I am is wrong.

I wanted to smack Reverand Tull several times. I did root for Nathan to overcome his struggle with his inner conflict of reconciling his religion with his sexuality. I couldn’t decide whether I really liked that Nathan gave Jason a second chance but Jason did at least regret what he’d done.

I did emphasize with Jason on some of his beliefs and convictions. I think he could’ve just gone a different way about them.

I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book List 2018

Review: Dear Dwayne, With Love by Eliza Gordon

dear dwayne with loveTitle: Dear Dwayne, With Love

Author: Eliza Gordon

Genre: Romance, Contemporary


Wannabe actress Dani Steele’s résumé resembles a cautionary tale on how not to be famous. She’s pushing thirty and stuck in a dead-end insurance job, and her relationship status is holding at uncommitted. With unbearably perfect sisters and a mother who won’t let her forget it, Dani has two go-tos for consolation: maple scones and a blog in which she pours her heart out to her celebrity idol. He’s the man her father never was, no boyfriend will ever be—and not so impossible a dream as one might think.

When Dani learns that he’s planning a fund-raising event where the winning amateur athlete gets a walk-on in his new film, she decides to trade pastries and self-doubt for running shoes and a sexy British trainer with adorable knees.

But when Dani’s plot takes an unexpected twist, she realizes that her happy ending might have to be improvised—and that proving herself to her idol isn’t half as important as proving something to herself.

Review + Reactions:

I loved Must Love Otters. I adored Neurotica. I hungrily waited for Hollie Porter Builds a Raft. I DEVOURED this book.

I admit, I was unsure about the incorporation of one of my favourite wrestlers of all time, Dwayne Johnson otherwise known as the Rock who I have loved for many many many many years.

The man is good on the mic what can I say, and Eliza Gordon? Well she’s good with a pen (or keyboard). This story brings in the wit, and touching nature of her previous novels and amps it up to eleven.

The thing I love about Eliza Gordon’s writing is that her characters are not perfect. In fact they are perfectly imperfect.

Some of them don’t know how to commit, some of them don’t know how to talk about their feelings except to write them down, and all of them are characters I love.

This is a story of personal triumph, of realizing what you need to do to better yourself, and yes I was inspired while reading it. Without spoiling too much Dani’s story is one of personal adversity, and yes, getting in your own way. She does however manage to grow a whole lot, but not change completely.

Please just read it. Or any of her books, really, you won’t be disappointed.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Book List 2018

Review: Gemini Keeps Capricorn by Anyta Sunday

gemini keeps capricorn.jpgTitle: Gemini Keeps Capricorn

Author: Anyta Sunday

Genre: LGBTQIA+ slow burn


Sometimes, one stubborn Capricorn is all it takes… to drive Wesley Hidaka to crazy, flirtatious lengths.

Wesley loves annoying his RA, Lloyd Reynolds. He just can’t help it. Lloyd is focused, decisive, grounded. He has this amusing ability to follow rules.
Of course Wesley wants Lloyd to break one… or three hundred.

Sometimes, one smirking Gemini is all it takes… to have Lloyd laying down the law and marching Wesley straight back to his dorm room.

It doesn’t stop Wesley teasing again. And again. And again…
But damn. Lloyd doesn’t crack easily. He’s full of principles. He’s unshakable. 
He’s the perfect friend to have when Wesley needs help. Like with his truant brother and his old high school principal.

Sometimes, one little lie is all it takes… to find Wesley fake-engaged to his off-limits RA.

What can he say? It seemed like a good idea at the time…

Quote I loved:

“It’s close to Christmas.”
“Oh yeah? I thought everyone was just crushing on an old dude with stellar beard.”


Anyta, Anyta, Anyta….You’ve done it again. You’ve made me fall in love with your creations. Your characters. The chapter illustrations and cheesy, cheesy pick-up lines killed me too.

This book is quality slow burn, for all the people that love that like myself. It even includes a coffee house. A dormitory. A beautifully bald character. A character with beautiful hair. Background characters who make you care about their stories and their lives.

This book also includes ELVIS. Yes that Elvis. The one with the pelvis and the blue suede shoes.

I really couldn’t ask for more. It’s got a good, solid plot. It is sexy in parts, touching in others (not that kind of touching).

Wesley is an annoyance to Lloyd, until he’s not. He’s sweet, and humorous and he has a giant heart, which he tries to hide.

Lloyd has a big heart he doesn’t bother trying to hide. I think it’s why he became an RA actually.

This book is charming and might be my favourite in the series so far. This book has so much I love in it, the back and forth and wit, the tough but ultimately resolved family dynamics.

If the astrology bit is turning you off don’t worry about it. Just pick it up and read.

I personally can’t wait for more.

Received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Book List 2018

Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

simon vs the homo sapiens agendaTitle: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Young adult, LGBTQIA+, Romance


Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Quotes I loved: 

“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”

“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”


I can’t freaking even.

I loved this book like I love breathing. I need it to live. I might also now need this book to leave. I haven’t given it away to test it.

This was glorious. It was one of the most heart warming, wonderful, stupendous books I have ever read.

I would have loved to have read this book earlier in life, or had this book exist when I was younger because the subject matter is so damn important.

The characters are vulnerable, strong, loving, and flawed. They are beautiful, charismatic, amusing and just plain wonderful. Every word of this book was a freaking gift to me.

Love it. Can’t wait to see the movie. Can’t wait to read more by Becky Albertalli. Just love ❤

Book List 2018

Review: The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

the austen escape.jpgTitle: The Austen Escape

Author: Katherine Reay

Genre: Romance, Austen based

Summary: After years of following her best friend’s lead, Mary Davies finds a whimsical trip back to Austen’s Regency England paves the way towards a new future.

Mary Davies lives and works in Austin, Texas, as an industrial engineer. She has an orderly and productive life, a job and colleagues that she enjoys—particularly a certain adorable, intelligent, and hilarious consultant. But something is missing for Mary. When her estranged and emotionally fragile childhood friend Isabel Dwyer offers Mary a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in Bath, Mary reluctantly agrees to come along, in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways. But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes that she lives in Regency England. Mary becomes dependent on a household of strangers to take care of Isabel until she wakes up.

With Mary in charge and surrounded by new friends, Isabel rests and enjoys the leisure of a Regency lady. But life gets even more complicated when Mary makes the discovery that her life and Isabel’s have intersected in more ways that she knew, and she finds herself caught between who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who stands between them. Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings play out, and dancing ensues as this triangle works out their lives and hearts among a company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation. 


This book was an awesome way to start the New Year. I absolutely loved it, and I’m not sure I will be able to explain all the reasons why but I will for sure give it a go.

I have a weird thing when it comes to engineering and seriously admire those who do it. I feel this way because I don’t have the brain for it and what they do is kind of akin to magic to me so this was perfect for me.

Mary Davies is so awkward when it comes to realizing what is going on right in front of her, and to be honest I am much the same. Some days I wouldn’t see a naked human if they danced in front of me wearing a party hat. She would probably notice that, but rather awkwardly. The guy likes you, girl. Get on it.

Regency England. The Bath area remains one of my favourite places to this day and I haven’t been there since I was 18 years old, and have been many places since. Twelve years later and I’m still as in love with that area and Austen, and Austen-esque romances as I ever have been. This book brings to life that setting and that time, and all the complications that could come with it, but none of the inconveniences.

I want to go to a place like this, that allows you to experience those novels and that time, hopefully with less drama. But god, the drama in this book was utterly delicious, as was the bit of scandal.

Also, I never see anything wrong with someone finding their backbone and growing as a character, which this novel has in spades. I will definitely be looking into more of Katherine Reay’s writing as this was wonderful.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Book List 2017

Holiday Round-Up: Journey Back to Christmas by Leigh Duncan

36382858.jpgTitle: Journey Back to Christmas

Author: Leigh Duncan

Genre: Holiday Romance, Time Travel, Romance

Summary: WWII is finally over, but Hanna’s husband, Chet, didn’t return home. She puts on a brave smile during the day while nursing her hospital patients, but at night, she grieves the loss of her love. 

Then the Christmas Comet appears for the first time in over seventy years, and Hanna’s caught in a snowstorm and knocked unconscious. She wakes up in modern times, and much to her confusion, her small town has changed. A local cop takes pity on her and invites her to stay with his family over the holiday.

As she searches for her place in this familiar yet different town, Hanna discovers that even small acts of kindness impact lives…and that the true meaning of Christmas is timeless. Now, she hopes to find her way back to her own time…and this year’s comet may lead her to a Christmas miracle. 


This is the last book that I read in 2017, which is interesting. I did not watch the Hallmark holiday movie, though it is waiting for me on my PVR.

This book seemed to be a romance novel from the first couple of chapters, but it really was about something more. It’s about all that can be forgotten over time, as the years pass by and how sometimes getting rid of traditions is not the best thing.

Hanna is a lovely woman, trying to be positive after moments of feeling sorry for herself.

Sarah is stubborn, but interesting in her own right.

The family that comes together, both blood related and otherwise, in this book is one of love, compassion and a need for a new way to relate to each other which they do find in this.

This is a Christmas tale, and yes, it is a bit cliche, but isn’t that what makes it good? I think so. Good, quick reading, filled with warmth.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Book List 2017

Holiday Round-Up: A Gift for Santa by Beth Carpenter

36234160.jpgTitle: A Gift For Santa

Author: Beth Carpenter

Genre: Holiday Romance, Romance

Summary: It’s the season for giving…and starting over? 

A reindeer farm without Santa wouldn’t be Christmas in Marissa Gray’s Alaskan hometown. Luckily Chris Allen’s there to pinch-hit, although for Marissa, seeing her ex-fiancé again brings back memories of what might have been. 

Ten years after their breakup, the feelings between the wildlife biologist and blue-eyed fisherman are stronger than ever. Only now there’s a foster kid in the mix, as well as the shocking crime that cost Marissa her job and her family’s security. She and Chris need to find their way to a meeting of minds and hearts to make this truly a season for second chances…


I am a sucker for a holiday romance. Seriously. I am also a sucker for a good Harlequin romance. I don’t know why, but ever since I was a kid and would sneak them away from my mum’s collection I’ve been in love with that damn diamond symbol.

This book is lovely. It’s got scandal, past love, classic love that lasts a life time, loving families and cute little kids.

It’s got Santa in it.

That is all I needed to know, to know that I needed to get my hands on a copy of it. It’s a good book to read by the fire if you’ve got one, or one of those space heaters that looks like it’s got a fire in it if you don’t.

Do not set things on fire to read this book by. A blanket for warmth will do, because this book will provide the rest. I’m not kidding. This is your fire safety message kids.

Kids also maybe you shouldn’t read this book.

I’ve gotten a little loopy as we approach the end of the year so please forgive me. It’s five hours and counting.

This book is a good way to spend some of those hours because Marissa is awesome. She is smart and hurt, and I could kick some ass on her behalf if I could. Chris is also awesome.

This book is just awesome, the setting is Alaska, the town is basically the North Pole and Beth Carpenter’s writing is spot on. At no point did I feel like this book was overly contrived, nor was I rolling my eyes at any of the plot points.

Received a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review. 

Book List 2017

Holiday Round-Up: A Cosy Candlelit Christmas by Tilly Tennant

36542793Title: A Cosy Candlelit Christmas

Author: Tilly Tennant

Genre: Holiday Romance


All Isla wants for Christmas is to be left in peace, but in the Alps there’s potential for romance in every snowflake that falls… 

It’s the week before Christmas and Isla McCoy has just received an unexpected gift: a letter announcing she is due a life-changing inheritance, but only if she’s willing to make peace with the father who abandoned her. 

She has absolutely no intention of making amends, but who could resist an all-expenses-paid trip to the French resort of St Martin-de-Belleville? 

There she meets smooth-talking Justin and nerdy glaciologist Sebastian; two very different men, with two very different agendas. Torn between her head and her heart, Isla finds herself utterly lost in a winter wonderland of her own feelings. 

Surrounded by twinkling candles and roaring log-fires, Isla’s resolve finally begins to melt. But will she learn how to reconnect, not only with a whole new family, but with herself and her heart? 


Do you live in a place that’s so cold that it hurts your face? I do and my remedy for the coldness, the goosebumps, the sniffles etc is to curl up with a good romance.

This is a good romance. A really good romance. With really good and bad characters within it. Not badly written characters. Just spoiled brats.

It makes me happy to end the year with a couple of books that I have genuinely enjoyed, and can recommend to those who follow this blog.

Tilly Tennant (whose name I love btw) has hit it out of the park for me with this book. Isla is a strong willed character, and stubborn to boot, but willing to give in if it means getting answers.

Sebastian is just a doll. I fell in love with him immediately. I couldn’t help myself. Give me a slightly bumbling, awkward, smart guy any day over an overly butch macho muscle head. I’d fall all over myself for him. Plus I may have a love of glaciers myself, and English men.

Dahlia is another character I couldn’t help but be enamoured with. She doesn’t have a single mean bone in her body, and her kindness from the get-go utterly charmed me. If such a place, with such a caretaker exists as her business I would not hesitate to go there in a moment.

The setting of this book is nicely written, and I could close my eyes a picture a rather different, more picturesque version of snow than what I’ve had to deal with recently. It’s a reminder that seasons do help create beauty, and that warmth can be found in the people around you.

This is a lovely read I would recommend to anyone.

Received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 


Book List 2017

Review: Holiday Affair by Annie Seaton

36613210Title: Holiday Affair

Author: Annie Seaton

Genre: Romance, Beach Read


Unadventurous Lissy McIntyre believes choosing the right man should be based on common sense. She would never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Yes, please. He’s got a swoon-worthy body and his kisses leave her senseless. A tropical holiday romance might be what she needs…

When Nick moves to his new job in a small country town, he’s stunned to discover that his no-nonsense neighbor and co-worker is the beautiful woman he spent a memorable night with on a tropical island. He’s unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can’t seem to stay away from the intriguing woman. Nick doesn’t do forever but having Lissy around has him thinking maybe he could…


This book was not to my taste. I will admit that. There was nothing strictly wrong with the writing but as someone who has been reading in the genre for a while there were certain aspects of the book that were quite predictable, though I won’t name those here as I do not believe in spoilers.

Lissy as a character, and if she were a real person, would not be someone that I like at all. There is a sense of manipulation about her as she plays games with Nick and he does the same in turn. She is many different people all at once, hiding behind masks and using her mother’s relationships as a reason to keep behaving the way she does.

The secondary characters were interesting, especially Tomas, who I would’ve liked to learn a bit more about.

All in all this is a quick read, a quick romance and good for those that like something other than slowburn. I would’ve preferred a more in depth look at their work lives as it was quite quickly explored.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review