🫖❤️Preloved by Lauren Bravo… A Book Blog Tour Review!!! 🫖 ❤️

Gorgeous cover!!!

Publication Date: 27th April

Formats: Hardback & Ebook

Price: Hb £14.99/ Ebook £7.99

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising another splendid blog tour for this loving and heartwarming tale of all things Preloved be it objects, clothes or even us flawed and yet lonely humans. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this book. I would also like to say thank you to the creative talent, Lauren Bravo for creating such a thoughtful and genuine tale of, heart break, loneliness, grief, guilt, and then finding love, life and happiness in the smallest things such as a charity shop where things old, new, loved once or not at all find a new home and new life. If this hasn’t sparked your interest yet, fear not you can read the blurb and am sure you will be intrigued as much as I was.

Gwen is coasting through life. She’s in her mid-thirties, perpetually single, her friends are busy procreating in the countryside and conversations with her parents seem to revolve entirely around the council’s wheelie-bin timetable.

And she’s lonely. But then, isn’t everyone?

When she’s made redundant from a job she hardly cares about, she takes herself out for a fancy dinner. There she has the best sticky toffee pudding of her life and realises she has no-one to tell. She vows to begin living her life fully, reconnect with her friends and family, and finally book that dentist appointment.

Gwen decides to start where all things get a second chance: her local charity shop. There with the help of the weird and wonderful people and donated items bursting with untold stories, Gwen will find a way to move forward with bravery, tenacity, and more regular dental care.

As soon as I read the first page I was swept away and could not put the book down, at times I did not want it to end either. Gwen is a character who feels and emotes just like anyone of us has done or will do. I felt intrigued as to why she felt or approached life in the way that she did. As the story unfolds and we read further into her tale we see her warm up and unfurl like a shy flower from the cold, harsh winter to bask in the sun. All the while we receive snippets of tales about the objects and clothes that are left or donated to the charity and how each piece has a story both tragic, hilarious or heartfelt behind it and how each one is linked as well into the main tale.

You feel both succoured and embraced by this book, and there are moments where I had tears in my eyes due to how each story or a particular scene feels as close some moments on my life. This is a story that has many stories which all connect to each other in strange and unique ways, and how one life changing decision can give back ten fold into healing and finding your way back to living. It’s not a love story in the traditional sense but a love story in finding yourself and allowing yourself to love, to grieve and to feel in the moment as well as to live. Gwen is an absolute gem of a character and all the other characters are just as vivid and unique yet all so lovable in their ways.

I cannot highly recommend this brilliant, heartwarming book enough. All I will say is you need to read this and have tissues at the ready. It’s just simply lovely.

Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 and some 🍪 or two… because one isn’t enough.

Author’s Blurb:

Lauren Bravo (damn I want her outfit!)

Lauren Bravo is a freelance journalist who writes about fashion, popular culture, food, travel and feminism, for publications including Grazia, Refinery29 UK, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, easyJet Traveller, Time Out, Delicious, the Telegraph and the Guardian. She is the author of two non-fiction books, What Would the Spice Girls Do? (2018) and How To Break Up With Fast Fashion (2020). Lauren lives in East London, and Preloved is her debut novel.

I hope you have enjoyed this genuine, thoughtful, heartwarming tale of love, self love and living for the moment has intrigued you enough to want to grab a copy. If you are interested you can pre-order a copy from Waterstones, any independent and of course from Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!

Check out these lovely bloggers too!!!

👗🛍️👩‍💻Don’t Believe The Hype by Natalie Lewis…. A SquadPod Book Pick Review!!! 👗🛍️👩‍💻

Fun Cover!!!

Publication Date: Out Today!!!

Formats: Paperback & Ebook

Price: Pb £9.99/ Ebook £5.49

Publisher: Hodder

I would like to say a huge thank you to the SquadPod Ladies for organising to help shout out about this fun, chaotic yet totally appealing book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Hodder for allowing me to read and review a copy of this sharply funny book. I would also like to say thank you to the creative talent, for creating such a compelling character, such as Frankie, who seems to just fall into a PR Fashion job and finds out that she might have found her forte even if everyone else as in friends and family think not. Chaos ensues but will Frankie have to give it up? Or will the job succeed in consuming her whole? Intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.

The world of fashion is supposed to be glamorous. …. Isn’t it?

Meet Frankie Marks: the world’s least likely fashion PR. She got the job by fluke, she doesn’t know the first thing about designers, she’s always hungry, and she struggles to think before she speaks. When Frankie crash lands in the prestigious GGC agency, her friends and family can’t believe it – least of all her long -term (and long-suffering) boyfriend, James.

Frankie quickly realises she needs to use everything she’s got to survive life behind the scenes of this glamorous and chaotic industry – with its eccentric characters, towering expectations, and quite frankly ridiculous requests. But first, she needs to learn the difference between velour and velvet……

As the pressure builds and Frankie’s personal life begins to take the hit, she starts to wonder if she’ll ever manage to escape the strange world of fashion unscathed. And, quite frankly, does she even want to?

Having absolutely no knowledge of what goes on in being a fashion PR, I felt at once an affinity with the main character, who also had as much limited knowledge but different to me had managed to find herself getting a job with one of the many agencies. From reading the first page I was instantly hooked and though Frankie could at times be quite frustrating and narrow focused, there was always something so engaging about her. That even though everything was highly pressured, stress inducing and (hunger inducing) that she really enjoyed those moments of what would happen next and the whole intrusive and chaotic mess of PR. And when you find something that you enjoy, feel good at and you get that extra buzz when things just work, that’s a job that you will keep regardless of the woes, stresses and complications it might bring.

I found her friends and family were a bit selfish and thoughtless in that they couldn’t see that this was something she loved, there was this sense that they had categorised her in a specific box and as soon as she found something that fitted her but not what they thought she should do, they tried to influence her and manage her. Sometimes work will mean you cannot always be the one to turn up to things and especially in PR where even the smallest thing can upset a client. I loved the fact that Frankie has guts and doesn’t give up even though at one point she’s tempted, but realises that she just can’t leave. This isn’t a love story as such, it’s more about finding out where you fit and what you are good at and that sometimes you have to just stick with it even if you end up hangry, stressed and gets drinks flung at you… (don’t worry no spoilers)

I really enjoyed this book the more I read and got to know Frankie, I found her sympathetic and fun and hilariously entertaining as well as frustrating but who isn’t?… and she gives me hope that no matter what you will always find your feet… eventually.

Ratings: 4 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 and a few 🍪s (just in case you get peckish)

Author’s Blurb:

Natalie Lewis has been a fashion pr for decades. Her agency, Brower Lewis PR, was one of the leading PR firms in London renowned for creating the launches and strategies for brands such as Net-a-Porter.com, Jimmy Choo, Matches and Matches.com, Diane von Furstenberg and Anya Hindmarch.

In 2007 together with her business partner, she sold the agency. Natalie thought she would kick back and drink some pina coladas. Instead, she went freelance. Her high-profile clients included Bella Freud, Marie-Chantal of Greece, Amanda Wakeley, Robbie Williams, James Perse, Claudia Schiffer and latterly Victoria Beckham who she worked with as a consultant for twelve years from her very first show in 2008 up until June 2020. In 2020 after 29 years in the business Natalie took a sabbatical. She was exhausted.

And she desperately wanted to write. For herself. Every press release, interview, website content and show note she had delivered over the years had never been in her own voice. Full of ideas and a wall display of post it notes she realised she needed to learn what a narrative arc was and went on the Curtis Brown three-month novel writing course. There she worked on the first novel she had started – Don’t Believe the Hype. Natalie is currently working on a number of projects with Francesca Amfitheatrof, Artistic Director of Jewellery and Watches at Louis Vuitton, while also working on her second book.

I hope you have enjoyed this wonderful, hilarious, chaotic and slightly terrifying glimpse into the world of PR and Fashion. If you are wanting to grab a copy, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent stores and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!

🕊️📖I, Julian by Claire Gilbert… A Book Blog Tour Review!!! 🕊️📖

Stunning Cover!!!

Publication Date: Out Today!!!!

Formats: Hardback & Ebook

Price: Hb £18.99/ Ebook £11.49

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

I would like to say a huge thank you to Rhoda for organising such a wonderful and lovely tour for this fascinating book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me to read and review a finished copy of this wonderful book. I would also like to say thank you to the creative talent, Claire Gilbert for giving life and I guess a glimpse at what would have happened if someone somewhere somehow stumbled across a forgotten manuscript which miraculously contained tellings of the life of Julian of Norwich, the assumed author of Revelations of Love. Intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.

‘So I will write in English, pressing new words from this beautiful plain language spoken by all. Not courtly French to introduce God politely. Not church Latin to construct arguments. English to show it as it is. Even though it is not safe to do so’.

From the author of Miles to go Before I Sleep, comes I, Julian, the account of a medieval woman who dares to tell her own story, battling grief, plague, the church and societal expectations to do so. Compelled by the powerful visions she had when close to death, Julian finds a way to live a life of freedom – as an anchoress, bricked up in a small room on the side of a church – and to write of what she has seen. The result, passed from hand to hand , is the first book to be written by a woman in English.

Tender, luminous, meditative and powerful, Julian writes of her love of God, and God’s love for the whole of creation. “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well”.

This book is a truly astounding, moving, harrowing and profound piece of storytelling at it’s richest and finest. I was first introduced to Julian of Norwich through a TV programme on the BBC (of course how could I not) and this got to me so much I wanted to read ‘ Revelations of Divine Love’ for myself so I procured the book (well one of the many translations, editions of said book… Penguin Classic). To then get an invitation to read and review a book (of fiction) yes of what her life would have been like, I just had to read this. Whether it was something that called to me, but as soon as I picked this beautiful book up and read that first page… I knew there was no going back, I was hooked. It’s beautifully and atmospherically written, the life of a medieval woman infuses these pages and I was instantly seeing through (the fictional Julian’s) character’s eyes.

It feels so very authentic and portrays the hardships and suffering that a lot of people and women went through at that period of time. With some of the depictions of her plague life, it felt all too real after we in the real and very present world have come to sadly and tragically also go through. But through all the sadness and heartache and pain there is a sense of love, compassion and empathy for everyone. You also have to realise that for a woman there was really no freedoms that we today take for granted, she would have had no job, unless her husband who may or may not have been kind to set it out in his will, she also would have had no choice to either be married again or to go to a nunnery. Society’s expectations at that time was highly misogynistic and patronised due to who was ruling and that men held and wielded the power. For Julian to be able to hold herself away from all of this and to be able to write a book is not only astonishing but miraculous and a joy to behold.

What Claire Gilbert has done is give life to a forgotten voice and brought her back to life calmly and enigmatically. Her voice now has a life and I doubt will ever quieten. I highly recommend this powerful book to anyone.

Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰.

Author’s Blurb:

Claire Gilbert

Claire Gilbert grew up in London of English, Jewish, Scottish and Spanish heritage. She writes and speaks about ethics and spirituality in politics and public service, medicine, ecology and on Julian of Norwich. She is founding Director of Westminster Abbey Institute for ethics in public life. With her husband Seán she divides her time between London, Hastings and the west of Ireland.

I hope you have enjoyed this truly special and wonderful tale of an inspiring woman, with whom the distance of time means nothing as she appears to be so much like us all. If you are wanting a copy for yourself, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!

Check out these lovely bloggers too!!!

🚬📿 🎸 Scorched Grace by Margot Douaihy… A Book Blog Tour Review!!! 🚬📿 🎸

Divine cover!!!

Publication Date: Out now!!!

Formats: Paperback & Ebook

Price: Pb £9.99/ Ebook £6.64

Publisher: Pushkin Vertigo

I would like to say a huge thank you to Tara McEvoy and Pushkin Vertigo for inviting and allowing me to take part in the blog tour of this intriguing and searing book, as well as reading a digital copy. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Margot Douaihy, for creating such a bad ass, tattooed foul mouthed nun, who seems to have a desire to solve crime, especially when it starts hitting close to home. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out more.

Sister Holiday is more faithful than most, but she’s no saint.

When Saint Sebastian’s School becomes the target of a shocking arson spree, the Sisters of the Sublime Blood and their surrounding community are thrust into chaos. Unsatisfied with the authorities’ response, chain-smoking, heavily tattooed, queer nun Sister Holiday becomes determined to unveil the mysterious attacker herself.

To solve this high stakes mystery, Sister Holiday will have to reckon with the sins of her chequered past. Her investigation leads down a twisty path of suspicion and secrets in the sticky, oppressive New Orleans heat, turning her against colleagues, students and even fellow Sisters along the way.

I am going to start off with what this book’s main characters theme song would be and that should tell you a bit something about this rather unique and intriguing novel. It would have to be Bad Repution by Joan Jet and also I Love Rock N Roll. These two songs just capture for me an image of this character, Sister Holiday, glaring out at you with her cigarette In one hand or in the side of her mouth strumming on her guitar whilst she has (luckily for you) taken off her gloves and gives you a glimpse of her tattoos, not all of them, as she’s much too private for that and you know you have only been just introduced. This is such a brilliant, vivid, feisty and kick ass character who just feels too alive to only be on a page.

It’s set in sweltering, boiling and sticky New Orleans, where with the temperature sky high, there’s always someone who reaches their boiling point and it just explodes or catches fire (wink wink). With a few fiery incidents that causes a few deaths and damages, Sister Holiday decides that someone is telling her to work out what is going on and why does it seem to involve the school where she works. With some unusual characters and some high jinks it feels like life as a nun is a lot more exciting and dangerous than at first thought.

I do have to admit that I found some parts of the way it’s laid out a bit confusing and hazy, how it’s jarring to read something from the present to suddenly realising it’s now the past and then wait a minute it’s now the present again. I am not sure if it’s meant to feel like a smokey haze has come down in Sister Holiday’s mind but it could have been written better. I also loved how we have someone who is unapologetically queer and also talks tough to whoever is just perfect.

I would highly recommend this tough, rough and hard hitting crime fighting nun novel.

Ratings: 4 ⭐️s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰

Author’s Blurb:

Margot Douaihy was born and raised in Scanton, Pennsylvania, and is of Lebanese ancestry. She received a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Lancaster. A queer woman, Margot is a longtime advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion and visibility, as well as antiracist education.

I hope you have enjoyed this hard hitting, rough talking and determined novel with a unique character that just makes you want to read more. If you are wanting a copy, you can find this in Waterstones, any independents and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!

Check out these lovely bloggers too!!!

🔪🤐🏫The Sharp Edge Of Silence by Cameron Kelly Rosenblum… A Review!!! 🔪🤐🏫

Eye catching and intriguing cover!!!

Publication Date: Out Now!!!

Formats: Paperback & Ebook

Price: Pb £8.99/ Ebook £4.75

Publisher: Hot Key Books

I would like to say a huge thank you to Hot Keys Books for allowing me to read and review this gripping and thrilling book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius, Cameron Kelly Rosenblum, for creating such a tense, thrilling and disturbing out look on a private school where a scandal could mean ruin for the school, or it could also be the death of a certain boy….. Colin Pearce…. Must. Die. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.

Students at Lycroft Phelps are marked for success.

As a straight-A student and girlfriend of the school’s star rower, Charlotte believes in what the school has to offer. Meanwhile, scholarship student Max is struggling. Until he’s asked to join the rowing team offering him popularity – but at what cost? Then there’s Quinn, a sixth-generation legacy student, who should be able to lay claim to the school in a way others can’t. Who instead must watch the boy who assaulted her continue to play at the top of the school’s food chain. Only in the dead of night does Q realise the solution to her suffering: Colin Pearce must die.

But Lycroft Phelps has more than one dark secret at it’s heart, and as the three students uncover just how far the school will go to keep those ugly truths hidden, there’s a lot more than reputation at stake….

As soon as I read the first page, I was hooked. The setting, the characters and how the plot just twisted and turned was incredible. It’s gripping and yet also incredibly moving too as well as shocking and heartbreaking. This is set in a wealthy American private school, but could so easily be any private school in the U.K. too. We follow three students who are all somehow connected to each other, we have Charlotte who is a smart, intelligent and beautiful girl in the school, who’s also girlfriend to the rising star of top sport teams in the school. We then have Max, a scholarship student who’s also highly intelligent but not nearly as popular or even acknowledged until he’s asked to help out the Rowing team, and finally Quinn, a girl who comes from one of the original families who first started the school so should technically be ruling the roost (so to speak) that is until something horrendous and scarring occurs, and all she can think about is… Vengeance… followed swiftly by death, not of her but if the boy that took everything from her and is as yet still strolling around without a care in the world.

She cannot let that happen… can she? Colin Pearce Must Die. I was so impressed and awed by this novel, it’s at once both tragic, searing with no holds bared, and also a warning to each of us about what certain feelings can produce in our children especially young men, but also girls too. This novel looks at the toxic masculinity, misogynistic and ignorance is bliss attitude towards certain incidents that occur, I won’t delve too much into this as it might spoil the essence of this marvellous book. The only little niggle I have is, that one of the side characters will not forgive a character for how they act or actedeven though he’s as much of a victim and in it as well, this doesn’t just touch the men, it would have affected the girls too, and it’s not just girls vs boys either sad to say it can also be girls vs girls etc.

But that’s a niggle and one in which can be a good discussion point. This is a fantastic book and one especially needed now and most especially read in schools. I would urge everyone most strongly to get a hold of this book now.

Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰

Author’s Blurb:

Cameron Kelly Rosenblum grew up in Connecticut. She studied English literature at Kenyon College and earned a master’s in education at Lesley University. Throughout her teens and early twenties, she filled journal after journal with anecdotes and characters she met, knowing someday she’d draw from these pages to write her novels. Currently, Cameron is a children’s librarian living on the coast of Maine with her husband and two children.

I hope you have enjoyed this dark, disturbing and yet also strong and brave female character driven tale which makes you shudder and wonder what goes on behind those glittering and glamorous facades. If you are wanting a copy for yourself or someone else, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!

🇫🇷🥐🥖🍷After Paris by Nicole Kennedy… A Review!!! 🇫🇷🥐🥖🍷

Gorgeous Cover!!!

Publication Date: Out now!

Format: Paperback

Price: Pb £9.99

Publisher: Aria

I would like to say first off thank you to the SquadPod ladies for organising such a wonderful blast of reviews, Twitter chats to help shout out about this lovely, and heartwarming tale about friendships, memories and what it means to overcome hurts, betrayals and lies, and what it means to not only forgive each other but also ourselves. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Aria for allowing me to read and review this wonderful book. I would also like to say congratulations and thank you to the creative talent, Nicole Kennedy for creating a perfect slice of Paris that haunts and flows in the backgrounds of all the characters lives, both the ups and downs of their friendship. All whilst beguiled and enchanted by the city of lights, and love…. Paris. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.

Three best friends. A weekend away. And a whole lot of baggage.

Alice, Nina and Jules have been best friends for twenty years. They met in Paris and return there once a year, to relieve their youth, leave the troubles of home behind, and indulge in each other’s friendship and warmth. But this year, aged thirty-nine, the cracks in their relationships are starting to show…..

After their weekend together in Paris, the three women never speak again. Each claims the other two ghosted them. But is there more to the story?

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure at first about these characters, Jules seemed prickly, Nina was a free spirit and yet also seemed incredibly vulnerable and Alice seemed to just be a typical wealthy lady in which whatever she wanted she would get. I obviously changed my tune, as the book and the story flows on you find yourself growing to love each character as they experience sorrows, hurts and insights into each other and themselves. For me the one character that took the longest to feel empathy for (although by the end I was in floods of tears for) was Jules, as she seemed almost smugly arrogant and selfish… but (no spoilers here, you suddenly get an ominous feeling that disaster for her or a reckoning is in her imminent future and one that could widen the cracks further in her relationships with her friends.

We also see how fragile on the inside Alice’s life has become and that though her marriage seems perfect on the outside, internally it’s a mess and the cracks might just be too wide for her or her husband to cross to fix it. Nina seems to have managed to have created a busy life, a job that is both successful and what she loves, only there have been many many years of stress, recklessness and a life of flitting from one job to another as well as being in love with someone who’s not for her… will she ever find her place with someone or will she have to confront and face her friend with the worst hurt she could do?

All whilst Paris hums in the background, like another character, one that is both chic, distant and yet is there for them in it’s own unique way. After Paris is both heartbreaking and heartwarming filled with moments of intense anger, hurt and sadness and also broken up by moments of fun, joy and humour that encapsulates their memories of each other and one in which, during their “separation period” makes them think of each other more in both pain, joy and sadness.

I absolutely loved this book, for showing and depicting friendships that have grown up over time, and yet will and can crack and crumble when misunderstandings and betrayals come crawling out as they inevitably do. It’s a tale of love, and forgiveness, but also a love letter too to Paris.

I would highly recommend this fantastic book to anyone who loves Paris, and tales of friendships.

Ratings: 5 🌟s with a 🍷 🥖🧀.

Author’s Blurb:

Nicole Kennedy grew up in Essex and studied Law at Bristol University. She has always loved to write but her efforts were waylaid by work as a corporate lawyer in London, Paris and Dubai. During Nicole’s second maternity leave she began writing poems on motherhood and family life. She completed her first novel during her third maternity leave (by then it was easier than leaving the house) and her second during the pandemic (by then she wasn’t allowed to leave the house).

Nicole lives in Kent with her husband and three sons.

I hope you have enjoyed this loving and heartfelt tale on friendships, love and yes Paris. If you are wanting a copy of this brilliant book, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!

🥋🔮The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu… A Book Blog Tour Review!!! 🥋🔮

Stunning cover!!!

Publication Date: 4th April

Formats: Hardback & Ebook

Price: Hb £16.99/ Ebook £9.99

Publisher: Daphne Press

I would like to say a huge thank you to Stephen Haskins and Black Crow PR for inviting me to take part for this gripping and hilarious high-stakes fist filled action packed book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Daphne Press for allowing me to review and read a copy of this brilliant book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative (Master) mind, Wesley Chu, for creating such a brilliant, authentic, magnificent, thrilling and gripping epic tale of destiny, prophecy and well how to kick ass and not be a whiny jerk about it (I think it was intended to love pretty much all the characters apart from the “hero” though he did have some good moments I grant you, honestly you grow to like him at the end). So intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.

Prophecies don’t make hero’s; they only choose them. When chosen one Jian falls short of his prophesied quest, he must find his own path to greatness.

The prophecy is clear: Wen Jian is the Chosen One, born to defeat the immortal Eternal Khan and save the kingdom. The only problem is that the prophecy is wrong.

Jian has been raised in splendour, trained by the best warriors, and celebrated before a single battle has been won. After all, he’s the chosen one, selected by prophecy to defeat the immortal god-king and free the kingdom for good. But when the prophecy is proven to be incorrect, Jian still has to find a way to succeed — and maybe even become a hero in his own right.

To save the kingdom, an unlikely band of heroes rise; Taishi, an old grandmaster who swore her days of battle were over, Sali, a warrior re-evaluating her allegiances, and Qisami, an assassin with questionable values. Together, the four embark upon a journey more wondrous than any prophecy could foresee.

This is absolutely fantastic. I loved this book, it took me on a journey one that was both gripping, intriguing and brutal but at the same time hilarious. I loved all the quips, witticisms and cutting remarks that could (technically draw blood). Taishi stole the book for me, she is such a hoot, I loved her sass and her awesome, amazing fighting style and how kick ass she was without even trying hard (much). I also loved in a different way Sali and Qisami one who was dedicated to her god-king and then since his death has found that she wants more than what she has been told to do, and that is become more to her people than just lying down and making the best of things. Qisami is something else entirely and have you guessed it yet nearly all the most brilliant, terrifying and utterly kick ass masters are women!!! I am so happy and just jumping around with glee.

I love how the story follows not only Jian (the prophesied hero) but also the other characters too as they weave in and out around each other and somehow escaping without a few injuries (some slighter than others) this book is love ode to all the Marial arts films that have come out in recent memory, we have the hero who starts off being whiny and a bit sulky who goes through a period of rough handling with his master, then things suddenly happen and they separate for a time with him having to learn about things and others rather than himself until they meet up again and that’s when all the fun starts again. Honestly I loved this story, there are some truly beautiful and breathtaking scenes that left me gasping and I could visualise each scene as an anime or slow moving style shots that capture the essence of how quick and really small the elaborate fighting style is. Just incredible!!!

I have to admit I did at time want to slap Jian ( kind of funny that Taishi did and a lot too) but gradually the story and his growth meant I grew to like him a bit… better than the beginning and with the friends he suddenly found himself surrounded by, he realised that his life before was a lot more lonely and not as fun or action packed as now. What I am trying to say is, I cannot wait for more in this world by this author. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, especially Martial art lovers.

Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large 🍵 and 🥮.

Author’s Blurb:

Wesley Chu is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twelve published novels, including Time Salvager, The Rise of Io, and The Walking Dead: Typhoon. He won the Astounding Award for Best New Writer. His debut, The Lives of Tao, won the Young Adult Library Services Association Alex Award. Chu is an accomplished martial artist and a former member of the Screen Actors Guild. He has acted in film and television, worked as a model and stuntman, and summited Kilimanjaro. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Paula, and two boys, Hunter and River.

I hope you have enjoyed this exciting, gripping and action packed tale full of adventure, fun and daring do’s and wonderful atmospheric depictions of this fascinating world. If you love the sound of this brilliant book you can pre order it from Waterstones, independents and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!

Check out these lovely bloggers too!!!

🤫🏡The Secrets Of Hartwood Hall by Katie Lumsden…. A SquadPod Review!!! 🤫🏡

Captivating cover!!!

Publication Date: 30th March

Formats: Hardback & Ebook

Price: Hb £16.99/ Ebook £7.99

Publisher: Penguin Michael Joseph

I would like to say a huge thank you to my SquadPod ladies, for organising our Book of The Month pick and I would also like to say a huge thank you to Michael Joseph for allowing us to read and review a proof copy of this wonderful, atmospheric and hauntingly gothic novel. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative mastermind, Katie Lumsden for creating such a haunting, gripping and creepy novel about secrets, madness, obsession, desire and strange and unusual goings on in an old mansion with the villagers mistrustful and superstitious of said manor. Also did I mention a main character with a disabilty and also with hidden secrets of her own. Intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.


Margaret Lennox is offered a position as governess at Hartwood Hall. She quickly accepts, hoping this isolated country house will allow her to leave her past behind.

But Margaret soon starts to feel there’s something odd about her new home, despite her growing fondness for her bright, affectionate pupil, Louis.

Strange figures move through the dark. Tensions rise between the servants. The east wing sits eerily abandoned…..

Even stranger is the local gossip surrounding Mrs Evesham, Louis’s widowed mother, who is deeply distrusted by the nearby village.

Margaret is certain that everyone has something to hide.

But as her own past threatens to catch up with her, she must learn to trust her instincts before it’s too late…..

This book gave me chills all the way through, it had me hooked, gripped and mesmerised to the story. It’s set in a time where women were viewed as objects, mothers or mothers to be and cosseted and basically to be seen and not heard (unless you found that rare man that didn’t mind that you had a mind and well loved you for being you) society was and I guess still is biased towards the misogynistic stereotype of rules. It was also a time where single women of a certain age or widowed women were seen as baggage to be overlooked and either sent as companions or as governesses, sometimes a lot of women fell through these cracks as they either didn’t have the support of family or friends and would disappear to the streets. Luckily our main character has a little bit more spunk and mettle to find herself employment as a governess after suddenly finding herself widowed. She soon finds herself accepting a strange and unusual request to be a governess to a young charge at a grand sounding name Hartwood Hall, and it’s here where the atmosphere shifts and we get a sense of a chill, like goosebumps or a shiver of unease that ripples down your back for no accountable reason.

I found myself warming to Margaret through the book, she almost has a feel of Jane Eyre about her, strong in her mind, determined to help teach and care for her charge and yet is also curious about what the hell is going on in her new home. This has that timeless quality which all classics of gothic novels have, a haunting and chilling atmosphere and secrets that lie at the centre and the lure of something being forbidden but also waiting to be discovered, as I have mentioned above it’s got all the elements of the Bronte’s especially Jane Eyre, but also elements of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.

I won’t go into too much detail as I really don’t want to spoil any more of this delightfully, chilling and gothic tale that will have you desperately turning the pages wanting more. Having said that I do love Margaret as well for living with a disability (deafness in one ear) and how she deals with it that it really doesn’t affect her too much, this is a superb and cleverly masterful novel that will leave you gasping at the end. I cannot highly recommend this book enough and from what my other SquadPod friends have said it’s definitely a highly rated one and one that might be a favourite.

Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 and a 🔥🪵 definitely one to snuggle with a warm drink on a chilly night.

Author’s Blurb:

Katie Lumsden read Jane Eyre at the age of thirteen and never looked back. She spent her teenage years devouring nineteenth century literature, reading every Dickens, Brontë, Gaskell, Austen and Hardy novel she could find. She has a degree in English literature and history from the University of Durham and an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University. Her short stories have been shortlisted for the London Short Story Prize and the Bridport Prize, and have been published in various literary magazines.Katie’s Youtube channel, Books and Things, has more than 23,000 subscribers. She lives in London and works in publishing.

I hope you have enjoyed this little review of mine, and if you are wanting to know where to get hold of a copy you can find this on Waterstones, any independent store, and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!

🚀👽🌍Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh… A Book Blog Tour Review!!! 🚀👽🌍

Intriguing cover!!!

Publication Date: 13th April

Formats: Hardback & Ebook

Price: Hb £18.99/ Ebook £8.99

Publisher: Orbit

I would like to say a huge thank you to Compulsive Reader (Tracy Fenton) for organising and inviting me to take part on this hard hitting, action packed and intriguing book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Orbit for allowing me to read a physical copy to read and review. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Emily Tesh, for creating such a haunting, dramatic and terrifying future where earth has been destroyed and only a few fragments of humanity are left to exact revenge…. Or should they? This will trigger some emotions, as it delves into really hard subject matters such as misogyny, racism, the use of child soldiers, (just a little warning ,but please read this too as it also gives you hope too and will make you chuckle… darkly). Intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.

All her life, Kyr has trained for the day she can avenge the destruction of planet Earth. Raised on Gaea Station alongside the last scraps of humanity, she is one of the best warriors of her generation, the sword of a dead planet.

Then Command assigns her brother to certain death and relegates her to the nursery to bear sons, and she knows she must take humanity’s revenge into her own hands. Alongside her brother’s brilliant but seditious friend and a lonely, captive, alien, Kyr must escape from everything she’s ever known. If she succeeds, she will find a universe far more complicated than she was taught and far more wondrous than she could ever have imagined.

This is a book that grips you and forces you to read even with the most difficult of subjects. I have to say here that there are some rather upsetting scenes and ones in which don’t make the main character that much lovable or sympathetic (definitely a rather grey anti-hero). I did love that this future had a much more dystopian feel to it, and that with a nursery that felt more Handmaid’s Tale but set in space with some rather fanatical and ideological warrior/fighters who are all under command of a rather staid and yes misogynistic and despotic rule.

I liked how over time Kyr, gradually sees that her unwavering belief in what she thinks she is fighting for start to crumble and fall as proof of the lies and deceits they have been told make her feel things such as emotions of empathy and sympathy for other beings even though her upbringing means that she still has a lot of baggage to get over and though she still finds this all too confusing, she starts to feel that there other ways to live rather than fighting for a lost cause and one that doesn’t allow it’s people to think of anything but fighting or creating more warriors.

I won’t spoil this compelling book, but I have to say this that I found it disturbing, hard to read at times and then gripping, chilling, thrilling and enthralling as you want to know what happens to each of the characters. This book also made me think and I hope that this never actually happens (but at the same time I could see it happening) I would highly recommend everyone reads this.

Ratings: 4 ⭐️s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰

Author’s Blurb:

Emily Tesh is a winner of the Astounding Award and the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella, is the author of the Greenhollow Duology, which begins with Silver in the Wood and concludes with Drowned Country. Some Desperate Glory is her debut novel.

I hope you have enjoyed this adventurous, chilling and gripping space opera. If this leaves you wanting to get a hold of copy you will need to pre order this beauty you can do this on Waterstones website, ask some independents and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!

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