Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

If you’ve enjoyed Laini Taylor’s previous books, I’d say this should definitely be at the top of your to be read pile. The writing style is incredibly lush. I found it was something I wanted to savour and take slowly, rather than rush through. There are some truly beautiful passages in the book that make this a truly dreamy fantasy.

The pacing of the first third of the book was a little slower than I would have liked. I think I am used to a shorter format and cracking pace. There was a lot of set up with Lazlo, his obsession with Weep, his rather shadowy backstory and his interactions with the current ruling family where he lives. I loved the scenes in the library. Being a library fan, I was rather fond of his time there. I enjoyed the growth of his character. He has a quiet kind of strength, which I appreciated.

The time in Weep was fascinating and while some elements are telegraphed so there were not too many surprises, I found it incredibly engaging. Particularly the last third, which I felt was a little more tightly written. I am now rather impatient to see what happens next as we’re left with some things resolved, but more urgent matters we left hanging. Beautifully written.

Grade B+

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Illeagal Contact by Santino Hassell

I loved this book. I’ve already re read it twice. It has all the elements I like in a contemporary sports romance and it hit all the right notes.

Gavin is a total grump, who I am quite sure just needs a few pats. He just wants to play football on his own terms and not be referred to as just some rough kid who’s made good. To him, this seems like no ones business but his own. He’s an incredibly loyal friend and it’s this that gets him in to trouble in the first part of the book. Plus a slightly crappy temper. When Noah comes into his life as a much needed PA, Gavin’s dealing with being housebound and admittedly seems to also be angling for jerk of the year. Noah however has some serious patience and begins to see Gavin has more than a few redeeming features.

Noah has a history of making bad decisions in his love life, and is pretty sure falling for his current employer would be a super rubbish idea. However, when he discovers Gavin might just be completely grumpy BUT kinda wonderful and bi, all bets are off and it gets incredibly hot, pretty damn quick. Omg. This book.

I loved Illegal Contact. This has some of my absolute favourite tropes, a grumpy hero, close proximity, bi representation, friendship, sport and romance. It was just perfect. Straight onto the keeper shelf, and I am dying to read the next book in the series.

Grade A

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The Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

This was pretty gripping from the get go. Mariko is on her way to be married when her entourage is attacked. The attackers don’t realise they’ve left her alive and because she is near Jukai Forest she believes the deed has been perpetrated by the infamous Black Clan. Hoping to betray the Black Clan and revenge the deaths of her servants, Mariko makes her way through the forest inserting herself into the group dressed as a boy. Adventures ensue.

I loved that Mariko is not a helpless heroine. Despite the setting, she doesn’t necessarily conform to gender roles of the period, which I appreciated. It is written in such a way that it fits in the narrative and isn’t a contemporary implant into that age. I also liked that matter what situation she gets in and despite at times being harrowing, she is always thinking and intrepid, which was quite refreshing to read. She most definitely displays bushidō!

I adored the setting. So often fantasy, particularly in the YA I come across seems to have a very European backdrop. Japan, the culture and mythology is so rich and I felt how it was portrayed was vivid and exciting. Plus, much sweeping court intrigues and magical elements. I think this reminded me a little of Robin Hood and the rising tide of anger amongst the people against the powers that be. There was a little romance and while the tension ramps up a little towards the end of the book it didn’t feel like a total cliff hanger.

I cannot wait for the next book in the series!

Grade B +

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Amazon

Review – Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. I’m on such a…

This was a super creepy and thrilling read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although at times I felt it required a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. It was well paced and I was on the edge of my seat throughout most of the book and felt the resolution was satisfying. There is another book on the way, as there were some major plot points left hanging, but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment and I’m looking forward to the next book.
I keep hearing about female rage being a trend in fiction and if there is one thing I felt I needed in this book was Gwen taking more control and rage maybe playing more of a part. I’d really like for her to have a John Wick moment or 3. For me I found the power imbalance was hard to read and I wanted her more on the front foot and more in charge. So, hoping for more rage in book 2!
If you’re keen for an edge of your seat, thrilling read pick this up for sure.

Grade B+

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Amazon

I’m a bit pop vinyl obsessed. Today’s prompt…

I’m a bit pop vinyl obsessed. Today’s prompt #funkolove is totally me. 😂 I’m pretty sure they give my partner the creeps. 😁💗 This funko is #edithcushing from the movie #crimsonpeak A totally fab gothic horror. 😍





Insight by #santinohassell is out and it’s awesome. Cannot wait for the final book. Six is totally my favorite. 😍









#junebookchallenge
#quoththejunebookchallenge ~ #bookrecommendation #bookrec
#bluelovesbookishjune ~ #originalcover
#juneglee17 ~ #funkopop #popvinyl
#rfabjune17 ~ #urbanfantasy #favoritegenre
#southerngothic

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Book mail = the best mail! I received Nalini Singh’s…

Book mail = the best mail! I received Nalini Singh’s latest #silversilence via @hachettenz Super spoilt. I cannot wait to read it. It’s a new chapter in the #psychangeling series. Much excite. If you’re into paranormal romance and urban fantasy definitely pick her books up. 😍💗



I’m starting a new #flatlay theme as there’s no light. Feedback via DM much appreciated. 😳😊💗





#junebookchallenge
#maddiewalijune – #readthisbook #bookrecommendation
#30daysofsummerreads – #valentin #romancenovels
#fanaticalbirdjune – #fantasticability
#BooksOfJune17 – #bookmerch #candles Omg. I love candles. 😁💗

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