Love Lettering Blog Tour

 

 

Love Lettering

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GoodReads:
The thing is, the letters don’t always tell me truths about myself. Sometimes they tell me truths about other people. And Reid Sutherland is – was – one of those people.
In the last year, Meg Mackworth’s beautiful hand-lettering skills have seen her rocket to social media fame, and now she has a booming business crafting stationery for the stars. But she has a secret: sometimes, she just can’t resist hiding messages in her work. Slightly unprofessional, maybe – but harmless. Right?
Analyst Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée had their future mapped out. Until he noticed a pattern in his wedding invitation that made him think twice.
When Meg looks up from her desk one day and sees Reid standing in front of her with no wedding ring, holding the invitation she created, she thinks that her career is over.
But her life may be about to begin . . .

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

This book is pure adorable fluff wrapped in witty humor, sarcasm, and ‘codes.’ To say I loved this book would be an understatement.

First off, I thought Meg was a brilliant character and the fact that we get to see the story through her eyes is just so great.

Following this thought, I actually loved Meg and Reid so much because they seemed so much like REAL people. They had faults, they had quirks, they had problems between each other in communicating and it felt like a real relationship because of this.

Reid is someone who loves numbers, and he is direct and such a solid presence in this book. I loved him as much as I loved Meg, he wasn’t just ‘swoon-worthy’ [though he was that too] he was loveable and endearing.

Meg loves letters, she is an artist, a small business owner, and someone who has learned to go with the flow no matter her feelings to avoid conflict, she isn’t direct, but she has a softness to her that really balances out Reid while still seeing her as this independent force of her own.

**This book also has some extremely steamy and satisfying scenes lol.**

I loved how much letters and Meg’s artistic sense of them came into play in this book and I love that her love of letters did not diminish just because this was a love story. Such a perfect balance, that Clayborn gives us this ultimate/perfect RomCom where you laugh, fall in love and stay on the edge of your seat through it all.

I think my only issue was that the climax of the story happened so late in the game that I wanted to see more of the aftermath of it, but the epilogue still provided me with the right sense of closure I like to have in a book.

This novel also really had me wanting to update my planner and have better handwriting haha, Meg inspires us all!

There are hardships for our lovers, and there are obstacles, but nothing that made them incompatible, and I really appreciated that. I mean I love drama, don’t get me wrong [I mean my twitter handle is Dramahuman after all…] but sometimes what happens between two people is just too much for a relationship to sustain. So the fact that this was really grounded with how their relationship worked, for the most part, made me extremely happy.

Clayborn also nails the atmosphere of Brooklyn, and I mean that she makes me want to go back to 90s RomComs, watch them all based in Manhattan and New York while binging on chocolates.

There are other characters to love, I adored the people in Meg’s life, her friends and colleagues, and I’m so glad Clayborn put together such a well rounded and amazing book.

If you can’t tell, I loved this. Four huge cups of hot chocolate for this, and guess what? It’s going on my ‘to reread’ shelf.

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for an ARC of this in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the tour.

The Rest of the Tour

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Starve Acre eARC Review

 

 

Starve Acre

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GoodReads:
The worst thing possible has happened. Richard and Juliette Willoughby’s son, Ewan, has died suddenly at the age of five. Starve Acre, their house by the moors, was to be full of life, but is now a haunted place.

Juliette, convinced Ewan still lives there in some form, seeks the help of the Beacons, a seemingly benevolent group of occultists. Richard, to try and keep the boy out of his mind, has turned his attention to the field opposite the house, where he patiently digs the barren dirt in search of a legendary oak tree.

Starve Acre is a devastating new novel by the author of the prize-winning bestseller The Loney. It is a novel about the way in which grief splits the world in two and how, in searching for hope, we can so easily unearth horror.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

What can I say? This book was creepy, dark, and mysterious. I loved it, and it did have an aspect of horror that though chilling was also okay for cowards like me to read, haha.

There was a really raw feel to the grief in this story, both husband and wife affected in different ways. Not to mention this whole while there’s darkness encroaching, what you think is just grief eventually twists. It’s amazing and I cannot express how delightfully creepy I found this book. It’s more of a novella really in terms of length but there was no denying the fact that this is one fully fleshed out story of grief, creepy hares, and the folklore of a village still alive in the mystery under the field.

It also felt a bit reminiscent of Cujo, in the way the child is experiencing things, the flashbacks in ‘Starve Acre’ help to draw on this horrifying dread.

This book was amazing. The prose was completely haunting and this story left you chilled to the bone from start to finish. It was brilliant how Hurley made you as the reader always sense this looming/impending doom. You weren’t sure what would happen, you weren’t sure what exactly happened before the start of this but you watch this creepy tale slowly unravel the past and come together with the future to give you something horrific and breathtaking.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion. 4.5/5 Cups of Hot chocolate from me, sorry for the short review but basically: IT’S DARK, SCARY, AND AMAZING, GO READ IT.

Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl ARC Review

 

 

New Year, new reviews! Though you’ll see this one is another one from the dreaded backlist lol.

 

 

Content/Trigger Warning: This book is a nonfiction memoir about one woman’s sexual assault/rape and focuses on her once friendship with her rapist. There are other accounts of sexual assault and rape are also mentioned, this is a very difficult read and I want to put the content warnings before the description of the book in case this book could be harmful to you.

Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl

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GoodReads:
Jeannie Vanasco has had the same nightmare since she was a teenager. She startles awake, saying his name. It is always about him: one of her closest high school friends, a boy named Mark. A boy who raped her.

When her nightmares worsen, Jeannie decides—after fourteen years of silence—to reach out to Mark. He agrees to talk on the record and meet in person. “It’s the least I can do,” he says.

Jeannie details her friendship with Mark before and after the assault, asking the brave and urgent question: Is it possible for a good person to commit a terrible act? Jeannie interviews Mark, exploring how rape has impacted his life as well as her own. She examines the language surrounding sexual assault and pushes against its confines, contributing to and deepening the #MeToo discussion.

Exacting and courageous, Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl is part memoir, part true crime record, and part testament to the strength of female friendships—a recounting and reckoning that will inspire us to ask harder questions and interrogate our biases. Jeannie Vanasco examines and dismantles long-held myths of victimhood, discovering grace and power in this genre-bending investigation into the trauma of sexual violence.

My Review

If you’ve read the warnings I put or the GoodReads summary you’ll see that this was a very powerful and heavy read. And yet despite the content, for me, I had a hard time putting it down. Here was a woman’s thoughts about her rapist, someone she knew, because, let’s face it, we’d love to say rapists of women are scary men that follow you home on dark scary nights.

Unfortunately, the truth is even scarier. Rapists are often people we know, people we trusted.

This happens to our author Jeannie Vanasco, when she’s at her most vulnerable, one of her closest friends takes advantage. Fourteen years later and it’s still haunting her, she’s still riddled by what he did because time keeps going but the trauma lingers.

She’s become a writer, a professor, and she has students writing essays about their rapes, and she decides it’s time to share what happened to her but Vanasco wants to go further, she wants to talk to her rapist.

Why?

Because he was once her friend, he was once someone she trusted and cared for and though he’s done horrible things, he’s not a boogieman, he’s a man. So Vanasco confronts all her own guilt and fears, all her own anxiety and trauma to talk to him, to get his side of the events.

Her bravery in doing this shows us that nothing he says can justify himself but he’s not the scary man in the dark alley. Which makes it all the more terrifying.

Vanasco’s guilt about being nice to him, about praising him is such a conflicted experience and as a woman, I felt this was so important to read about. We have been taught all our lives to apologize to smooth things over, and even after something so horrible has happened, these teachings stick in our psyche a lot of times.

This was a very powerful read and in a way it can be validating and cathartic if it is a read that you can dive into without self-harm. Thank you to Ducksworth publishing for giving me a copy of this astounding novel in exchange for my honest review. 5/5 Cups from me.

The Black Hawks eARC Review

 

 

The Black Hawks (Articles of Faith, #1)

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GoodReads:
Life as a knight is not what Vedren Chel imagined. Bound by oath to a dead-end job in the service of a lazy step-uncle, Chel no longer dreams of glory – he dreams of going home.
When invaders throw the kingdom into turmoil, Chel finds opportunity in the chaos: if he escorts a stranded prince to safety, Chel will be released from his oath.
All he has to do is drag the brat from one side of the country to the other, through war and wilderness, chased all the way by ruthless assassins.
With killers on your trail, you need killers watching your back. You need the Black Hawk Company – mercenaries, fighters without equal, a squabbling, scrapping pack of rogues.
Prepare to join the Black Hawks.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

 I am happy to report that at times this book had me in stitches. This was your stereotypical fantasy, band of misfits, heroes and villains, underdogs, kings and princes, evil plots, royal clashes and then the humor.

The humor is key to this book to making it stand apart. I loved the prince and his personality and he was probably my favorite and had the best character development out of everyone, but I really enjoyed the mix of characters.

Chel made for a great protagonist and I loved reading his adventures and cheering him on.

I also want to say that I love the typical formula for fantasy books, so this was a real win for me. But I also love new things, so don’t worry about that lol but sometimes it’s nice to go back to something familiar, and this felt as if I had always known these characters, a win in my books.

Also, I’m going to share my favorite quote so you all can understand the hilarity of this.

Shepherd’s tits, imagine their children! They’ll need breathing lessons!”

I pretty much died laughing and my soul stayed behind to write this lol.

But. This is a truly solid start to a good fantasy series and I cannot wait for the next book!

Thanks to Harper Voyager and Netgalley for an eARC Of this in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

 

The Priory of the Orange Tree Review

 

 

The Priory of the Orange Tree

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GoodReads:
A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

Finally! A post not scheduled from me lol though I set most of this up before I left. I hope you all are doing great and staying warm (or cool) this holiday season.

Onto my review though!

I was so frustrated reading this because I kept having to put it down to read other things with set dates like the fabulous blog tours I’ve been doing. And, well, I hated putting this book down because I loved it so much from start to finish.

Shannon gives us this incredible world with an intricate history and magic system. This is everything I wanted from a fantasy novel and what I wish ‘Game Of Thrones’ had been more like if I’m honest.

You’re kept on this really decent flow, the pace never slumping once it hits its momentum so though she be a THICC book, the only time you realize it is when your wrists start to hurt when you’re holding a physical copy.

Ead was hands down my favorite character but omg I loved them all! Especially a certain cranky old man who is pretty much my spirit animal.

I loved the different lands and rulers, the facets with the different beliefs especially on their dragon views and I ADORED the concept and execution of the dragons and the Eastern and Western differences in them.

Shannon not only gives us one of the best books of the year but one of the best books I have personally ever read.

The Sapphic love story was flawless, the backgrounds for each character well thought out and their development astounding.

I have nothing but good things to say about this book, the cast and its author.

I do know some people flight it started off slowly and I can see where they are coming from but I do feel after that there seems to be settling in with the pacing and Shannon keeps it going well.

Maybe I wish there had been more dragons but this was a story about people and then dragons. This was a story of heart and beliefs and fear, and all of it wrapped up in a glorious dragon fantasy world.

I can’t thank Samantha Shannon enough for writing this book and it’s definitely a five cups of hot chocolate read for me.

The Crown Agent ARC Review

 

Just gonna copy and paste this for all backlogged reviews lol:

Oh, look, another backlogged ARC review. I know. Shocking.

October was the month we moved, and November I was still trying to tame the chaos of the new house, and I was also sick for like two weeks lol. Anyway, onto my review!

 

The Crown Agent

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GoodReads:
A ship adrift, all hands dead. A lighthouse keeper murdered in the night. The Crown needs man to find the truth. Doctor Mungo Lyon, his reputation tarnished by the Burke & Hare scandal, and forbidden to practise as a surgeon, is the wrong man.

That’s exactly why the Crown chose him.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

Guys.

GUYS.

Holy cow, I’m surprised by how much I loved this!! I hated not being able to snatch it up sooner, like I feel so silly for not just kick away the rest of my tbr for this before it actually published. Alas, being overwhelmed is never a good look so here we are, a little late to the part.

This is the start of a new character of the hour, Mungo Lyon, a doctor turned to espionage. You may wonder how he got to such a different place as far as careers go and I have to say the answer was amazing. His mentor purchased bodies for students….off…Burke & Hare. If you don’t know about these guys, they were two murderers in Edinburgh who killed people to sell to/for science as a fresh body was always in need to teach.

Due to this association, Dr. Lyon’s surgeon’s career is bleak, but there comes a chance to change his fate and he decides to jump right in.

And as he decides to go forward, trouble trails closely behind him.

Seriously, I felt for poor Mungo, he just never caught a break.

This means the novel was definitely fast-paced, plot-driven and full of adventure and mystery.

This also means this was a perfect read for me the lover of mystery and …okay let’s face it, I love lots of things and lots of books just like the rest of you. Anyway! It was honestly such a fantastic read for me and I loved the characters we were introduced to. There were secret societies, spying, Burke & Hare ‘lore,’ and the delicious historical background!

The mystery of it all was steeped in the sort of secret society mythology that I always love. There’s even adventures on the seas. And I loved reading about Scotland in all its beauty, but I may be biased.

This read gets 4.5/5 cups of hot chocolate from me, and I would like to thank Sandstone Press for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. I cannot wait to read the next Dr. Lyon book!

The Naseby Horses ARC Review

 

Oh, look, another backlogged ARC review. I know. Shocking.

October was the month we moved, and November I was still trying to tame the chaos of the new house, and I was also sick for like two weeks lol. Anyway, onto my review!

 

The Naseby Horses

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GoodReads:
Seventeen-year-old Simon’s sister Charlotte is missing. The lonely Fenland village the family recently moved to from London is odd, silent, and mysterious. Simon is epileptic and his seizures are increasing in severity, but when he is told of the local curse of the Naseby Horses, he is convinced it has something to do with Charlotte’s disappearance. Despite resistance from the villagers, the police, and his own family, Simon is determined to uncover the truth, and save his sister.

Under the oppressive Fenland skies and in the heat of a relentless June, Simon’s bond with Charlotte is fierce, all-consuming, and unbreakable; but can he find her? And does she even want to be found?

Drawing on philosophy, science, and the natural world, The Naseby Horses is a moving exploration of the bond between a brother and his sister; of love; and of the meaning of life itself.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

What a fantastic and immersive experience I enjoyed while reading this book.  I would like to just cheer the author for having an MC with epilepsy [and possibly on the spectrum a bit given some of his descriptions of him, would love to know more about that].

Simon knows that the reason they moved from London to this small village was due to his epilepsy, his twin sister Charlotte doesn’t begrudge him too much for it, but it’s clear she’s unhappy, so when she goes missing, it’s assumed she’s run away to London to be with her boyfriend.

But Simon doesn’t think Charlotte would leave in a storm which is what happened the night Charlotte disappeared.

There’s also this sort of gothic-noir cult feel to the novel, entertaining ideas of the supernatural while dealing with the very realistic aspects of a missing family member.

Simon’s convinced there’s something going on in the village that has a connection to his sister’s disappearance and as he voices his opinions the walls start to close in, he feels his twin is alive but no one in his family will listen and the villagers seem to be turning their backs on them due to the accusations he’s voiced.

The whole while with Simon investigating he also has to deal with taking his medicine and working with/around his epilepsy which may actually be a key in this all.

Loved it, but I wasn’t sure how I felt about the ending! I will tell you this, it’s not a bad ending, it made you stop and think, it made you wonder, I think just wanted more resolution because it felt as if there were some serious loose ends on the book as a whole, but, I don’t think you’re supposed to have answers in this book.

Overall 4 cups of hot chocolate for this spectacular book, and thank you so much to Louise Walters Books for an ARC, and I am so sorry for the lateness in this review. It’s out now on kindle and hardback, so if you find yourself wanting a spooky and philosophical novel, this is the one for you! Great writing style and intriguing ideas.