[Salty] Mini Review Day

So tomorrow I’ll break it up a bit, do a meme, or a tag, and give you all some relief from reviews. I actually was hesitant on doing this today, but, I actually feel these reviews just need to get out because these last three reads have just made me salty and annoyed. And I finished another last night, so here we go, 3 books, one post!

First up

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A Fast Paced Espionage Thriller for Alan Furst Fans Sent In Post-Cold War Poland.

It is 1992 in Warsaw, Poland, and the communist era has just ended. A series of grisly murders suddenly becomes an international case when it’s feared that the victims may have been couriers smuggling nuclear material out of the defunct Soviet Union. The FBI sends an agent to help with the investigation. When he learns that a Russian physicist who designed a portable atomic bomb has disappeared, the race is on to find him—and the bomb—before it ends up in the wrong hands.

Smith’s depiction of post-cold war Poland is gloomily atmospheric and murky in a world where nothing is quite as it seems. Suspenseful, thrilling, and smart, The Fourth Courier brings together a straight white FBI agent and gay black CIA officer as they team up to uncover a gruesome plot involving murder, radioactive contraband, narcissistic government leaders, and unconscionable greed.

Guess what this isn’t? A fast-paced espionage.  I mean there was a small hint of espionage that was overshadowed by the weirdly explicit sexual tones of this novel. I mean…really the whole book hinges on sex. Not espionage, not the cool ‘is there a bomb, who is gonna get it, whodunit’ stuff just ‘who dun who’ kind of stuff.

Here’s most of my GoodReads Review before I grumble more:

I did not care for Jay (the protagonist not the author lol) at all. All the characters were shallow which can happen in a plot-driven novel but the problem was that this was NOT a plot-driven novel as much as I thought it would be. There were also so many explicit scenes which just seemed like not useful to the book. It just felt so weird…

There is some LGBTQIA representation but not exactly in the best of lights. You have a suppressed soldier who feels guilty about his desire for men, a CIA man who uses his own sexuality on the job because he says ‘being gay is a tool’ and the women are just pure stereotypes.

I’m not saying there wasn’t anything enjoyable about the book, because it was to a degree, I just would hope for more. Such a neat idea, just not executed to my tastes I would have liked to see more about the actual plot.

[What I really mean is, I’m super disappointed because I had really high hopes for this and it’s just more misogynistic stuff and no espionage. I will have that put on my plaque when I die because damn it, I’m getting a plaque; ‘The Fourth Courier had no espionage.’]

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Onto the next bit of disappointment!!

[Actually, this next one was not as disappointing as the other two.]


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Ever since she was a little girl, growing up in the village of Abercolme on the wild coast of Scotland, Faye Morgan’s life has been steeped in the old ways – witchcraft, herbal lore and a blood connection to the dangerous and unpredictable world of Faerie.

But magic is both a gift and a burden, and Faye has more than paid the price of living between two worlds. Neither accepted by the villagers, nor welcome in the Faerie Kingdom of Murias after rebuffing the fickle and attractive Faerie warrior king, Finn Beatha, Faye runs from Abercolme, hoping to leave that life behind.

However, even in the twisted, cobbled streets of London, Faye finds her blood bond with Faerie won’t be broken. A Faerie War of the Elements is brewing and, though she doesn’t yet know it, Faye is fated to play a terrible part. If she is to survive, she must learn to embrace her own dark power and face Finn Beatha once more… but in doing so Faye will discover secrets in her own past that never should have been disturbed.

2.5/5, but rounded up to 3.

I received a free eARC via netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book is NOT YA. And that’s okay, but, it is certainly mislabeled when it is clearly an Adult Supernatural/fantasy romance novel. It is heavy on the love scenes, but, I don’t mind that, it was just not what I was expecting. Another thing to note, this is actually the second book in the series which I didn’t realize when I read the synopsis on NetGalley -and to be fair I don’t think it states that but if just looking it up on GoodReads will reveal it as second in a series-.

The book was entertaining and enjoyable, it was something that I also wished I had read the first book because I think that would have made things clearer but that was my own fault. The problems I have with the book have to do more with pacing, and wanting more depth out of Faye. I thought there was enough going between faeries and the real world to keep me interested and Faye’s friends are just fantastic. I also had a huge issue with was the fact that though Faye and Annie grew up in the same town, somehow Faye has no Scots to her speech while Annie has it in trifold.

I enjoyed the use of modern-day witchcraft and the shout out to Wiccans, that was nice, and I think that McKerrow did a great job capturing the darkness of the faerie court.

I hated Rav, I don’t know if I would have had more sympathy for him if I had read the first book but the things that Faye does for him just make me want to shake her. I think this will be judged harshly under the fact that it’s not YA and it will throw many off to see the amount of sex scenes. But I also felt like in the end I still wanted to like Finn, maybe because I felt he had excuses for his behaviour being a being that wasn’t human and wasn’t tied down to human morals. Either way, it was an enjoyable read once I reconciled what it was in comparison as to how it was labelled, and the 2.5 would have been a full 3 if there hadn’t been so much ridiculousness with Rav and Finn, and with the awkward pacing.

Pros:
-Great Friends
-Lovely way of modern-day witchcraft incorporation into the story
-Creepy dark faerie realms
-Set in rural Scotland and London so that was a nice difference in settings
-You could relate to her friends and even Faye herself at times though more with the friends
-Morgana is in it, so I’m already like: yes.
-Impossibly brutal faerie deals

Cons:
– You want to punch Rav in the face, and you want to punch Finn in the face
– Faye seems to have no Scottish accent but her friend does and they’re from the same place and grew up in the same place.
– The book itself is in the wrong genre and age range (NA/A Romance, not YA)
– Mallory. Ugh.
– The pacing will go fast and slow which is understandable with the actual timeline when you’re switching realms but not when you’re reading and it feels like someone’s messing with the gas pedal while driving.
-Rav really is a butthead. Finn is a butthead. Lyr is a butthead
-Why is Gabriel the only decent male?

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Love, Witchcraft, Sorcery, Madness. 

A fortune told …
When Sarah Stone foresees Will Shakespeare’s latest play has opened doors to evil, she begs the playwright to abandon it. But Will refuses, aware the play is one of his best. And so rehearsals for Macbeth begin. 

Forbidden desires …
After her vision, Sarah fears for her life – she has never known the shewstone to lie, and she turns to her brother Tom for comfort. A strange darkness seems to haunt the playhouse, and when Tom sets out to seduce John Upton, the boy actor who plays Lady Macbeth, the boy sees the hand of witchcraft in his own forbidden desires for men. Then Sarah weaves a spell to win the love of the new lead actor, and John, terrified for the safety of his soul, begins to make his accusations. 

The Spirits have spoken …
As rehearsals continue, Sarah and Tom must struggle to convince John he is mistaken and that his sins are his own – their lives and the fortune of the play are at stake. But the Spirits have spoken – will the fate that Sarah foresaw come to pass or is their destiny their own to decide? Set against the first production of Macbeth in 1606, Shakespeare’s Witch is a seductive tale of the origins of the curse of the Scottish Play.

I thought this would be a little sexy when I saw the seductive bit.

That was a vast understatement on my part. This is a romance erotica novel. And I thought it was just Historical fiction as the blurb I had been given was not the Good Reads one and I felt cheated by that other blurb, so really I may have the rating at 3 * until after a month and lower it back down. Sarah was boring, Tom was definitely the more interesting of the siblings and I found Nick to be boring too. John was actually quite scary in the way he let his own desires make him ready to condemn others to death just to assuage his own guilt and save his own soul.

But you want to know what really bothered me?

SHAKESPEARE WAS LIKE NOT REALLY IN IT EXCEPT FOR A VERY SMALL HANDFUL OF SCENES I THOUGHT THIS WAS ABOUT SHAKESPEARE’S WITCH. IT WAS THE WHOLE REASON I WANTED TO READ IT, AND I GOT BUPKIS!

BUPKIS I TELL YOU!

Spoiler below: Highlight to see.

The erotica part didn’t bother me once I got used to it. I just really felt uncomfortable with the incest and the child that resulted from it. It made me uncomfortable but if you see my GoodReads, I did at least state that the book is great for those that love this sort of book, I could understand the forbidden desire part, but it was a little too much for me. I wish it had come with some content warning, GoT is enough incest for me lol.

So, a bit of a slump for me this week. Please don’t let my reviews think I’m judging you all for reading these books or books like them. They’re just not for me and if they make you happy, I’m happy for you. I just need to read the Goodreads blurbs before requesting things from now on.

I’ve now immersed myself on twitter, so I’m off to go pretend to be productive some more.

Have you read books where you were really thrown by the content? What did you do? Did you finish or DNF?

Charity Shop Finds!

It’s time for another Charity Shop Fiiiiiinds!

I know it probably seems like these are weekly, the truth of the matter is that it probably is a regular occurrence for us, but, when you have a family of three and are trying to save but still want to be able to go out and not spend a fortune, this is what ends up happening.

On the plus side, I’ve made it my goal to tackle my donate TBR after pushing through my eARCs which, I’m doing okay with my pace, so, I’m hoping this summer will be the tackling of my physical TBR! [*laughs at self, knowing I’ll keep requesting on NetGalley*]

Hubs had a day off this week and we went out to buy me a jacket, but popped into a couple of charity shops to kill time, we ended up with these finds:

  • James Stewart Biography (3.25) [He is my favorite actor. Ever.]
  • Ben-Hur .50P
  • The Lady Midnight .50P [This has some faded sprayed edges but in otherwise good condition, but I’m too lazy to put photos of these as they’ve already been put away]

Then this weekend we got:

  • The Alienist [I had borrowed it from the library when I read it, but it was part of a sale, 3 for 1.50]
  • Sparkling Cyanide 3 for 1.50
  • And Then There Were None 3 for 1.50
  • Artemis Fowl 3 for 1.50
  • Kidnapped 3 for 1.50
  • Little Women 3 for 1.50 [This one completed my daughter’s set of classics!]
  • The Bear and the Nightingale 1.00
  • Gulliver’s Travels 2.00 [We liked this copy better and will donate our other copy next weekend!]
  • Ever After High 2.00 [Daughter fled with that one so no pic of it lol]
  • The Good Women of China 1.00
  • A History of Scotland 1.00
  • Frankenstein .50P
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea .50P
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes .50P
  • The Secret Garden .50P

So, we spent about 12.00!

It’s going to be a long March Haul post when I get to it…

Descendant of the Crane eARC Review

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GoodReads:

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by
death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?”

It’s rare that I find myself so completely infatuated with a book. I gush about a few, sure, but I mean this one was the sort that from the first chapter you knew you were reading something quite amazing.

Not only does it engage you in the first chapter but there was not one character that I wasn’t completely interested in, there were no slumps or any boring filling, it was pure gold from start to finish. Usually, I do a pros and cons list when I write a review on my blog and this time the cons will be superfluous ones. I’m sure there are faults but anything that might have stood out to me didn’t due to beautiful prose and quite talented world-building skills. But more than anything, Joan He had a way of making you feel for her characters in a way that I really hadn’t in probably over a decade of reading.

This isn’t a ‘Chinese-inspired Game of Thrones.’ This is an amazing work of fiction all on its own, He’s story is her own with no shadows of GoT and she can clearly stand on her own two feet without such a comparison needed. I would dare say her story even had more heart than GoT and I’m a big fan of those books, but really, Descendant of the Crane is this incredible fantasy book that contains the sort of world that we don’t have enough of in books.

Hesina was relatable the whole way through, even if you didn’t agree with her decisions, you could completely understand why she made her choices. The love between her and her father also made me super emotional at times to the point where I was like ‘who is this person reading this’ I can connect with books and I’ll feel things lol I’m soulless [inserted another ginger joke, go me], not emotionless, but, it was just the exact sort of feelings I could connect with.

Pros:
– I love every single one of those nuggets in the book
– Mei kicks so much butt
– Hesina and her Father’s love
– Hesina and her siblings
– The politics are pretty much exactly the kind of horror you’d imagine in their time or our own, it’s very believable to the readers (well, to me)
– Akira

Cons:
– Could have been more Akira
– THAT ENDING THO (It’s not a con, just an OMG)
– Why wasn’t this book longer?
– My Soul is broken
-What do you do to me, Joan He?
– This book will destroy your soul and break your heart (maybe her and Wilson talked about the ways they could break hearts while writing their novels, Idk)
– Omg my heart

^ These are notes from my journal while reading it. So, take what you will, I really couldn’t come up with cons for it.

This was my first read for YARC2019!! Yay! And man what a great first read for the challenge! Also if you’re like ‘man I need to read this book now, here’s my info about what you get if you Preorder: Descendant of the Crane Preorder [Note: Bookmarks are all gone but you receive 5 character cards instead of four as compensation for the bookmarks being gone. Also, depending on when you read this, this offer may no longer be available, but as of me writing this on March 15, the preorder was still live and the form open. This giveaway is open internationally and does include library requests!]

I felt honored in being able to read an eARC of this and I’m grateful for the chance to read such an amazing book. This was also my first buddy read and it was a lot of fun! Of course, this is all my own opinion and others will not feel the same but, I stick by what I’ve said. It’s quickly been shelved on my favorites on GR and I will be closely watching for anything else Joan He will come out with from now on.

**I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion**

 

My Top 5 [YA] Fantasy Series

Hey guys, today I’m bringing you my favorite YA fantasy series. These are all favorites of mine so, there’s not really a particular order this time! Here we go…

5. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy

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This trilogy was one of the first as a teenager to just suck me in,  break me, put me together again, and then repeat. I loved it and it’s something that I recommend with such, like, hope, I truly wish those who decide to read it love it as much as I do but it’s so not for the faint of heart. I only rec this to those who love darkness and beauty all wrapped in one. I have Libba Bray’s Diviners but I haven’t gotten around to it yet and I hope to. I honestly think Gemma is one of my favorite protagonists ever. (I WILL GO DOWN WITH THAT SHIP)

4. The Chronicles of Narnia

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I need to be upfront, I only got to book four as a child, but, I plan on reading the rest. I ended up just pausing and forgetting as I went on to read other things at that time. My favorite so far had been The Magician’s Nephew. There was something extra magical about it for me and I actually read it first as well so I didn’t read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe first like some do. One thing though I know, I always feel like Susan gets a bit of a crap outcome, so, that may have been why I dragged my feet with reading the rest. Still a land of magic that has stayed in my heart.

3. His Dark Materials

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Honestly, this one rocked my world to its core. Philip Pullman doesn’t mind about doing things that can cause an uproar in the real world. People were not happy with this book but I was, I was thrilled. And not to mention his world building just floored me. Lyra is another favorite protagonist of mine and the fact that we get to see her again in the second Book of Dust just has me screaming like a fangirl, and oh yes, I totally preordered it. This is one of the few series I also could get my husband to read, he hated me afterwards due to who his favorite characters was, but, it was totally worth it because he loved it as much as I did. Still can’t get him to read La Belle Sauvage though, bahah.

2. Immortals 

The Immortals was one of my favorite and first forays into proper fantasy. I mean I read others but this was one of the first YA/Middle Grade, aside from Harry Potter. And also like HP, it is also one of the handful of series that I reread frequently. In fact I’m due for another reread but I have so many things to read this. year, we’ll see what happens haha. This quartet focuses on a girl named Daine who has wild magic. Her powers remain my favorite out of all the magical powers I’ve read about and that’s impressive. Not to mention Tamora Pierce just dominates at writing strong women, and Daine is no exception to being a strong female in Pierce’s writing-verse. And it’s a book where I love the couple. Yes, that’s right, me, the cynic.

1. Harry Potter 

Am I that predictable? Yes. Do I care? No. I was the generation that grew up with HP books coming out, doesn’t make me a bigger fan than anyone else, it just means that I had to deal with waiting for the books to come out, so really, the rest that discovered it afterwards are awesome for that reason haha. But no really, like anyone can, I discovered this as a child, in fact I read the first book when I was 11, I had refused to read it the first two years it was out because it was all my friends would talk about, but afterwards, I was hooked like everyone else. There’s still nowhere I would rather be than Hogwarts or Diagon Alley, or even the Burrow. They all feel like home to me.

There we have it, my top 5 for this week! Next top 5 will be Manga. And don’t be put off, these were the ones I read as YA and you can bet my Fantasy picks will be including so many more diverse books, I already know Descendant of the Crane will be a favorite, halfway through and it’s gripping and engaging and all around amazing!

Toodles!

Off Planet eARC Review


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GoodReads Blurb: In an all-too-plausible future where corporate conglomerates have left the world’s governments in shambles, anyone with means has left the polluted Earth for the promise of a better life on a SpaceTech owned colony among the stars.

Maité Martinez is the daughter of an Earther Latina and a powerful Aunare man, an alien race that SpaceTech sees as a threat to their dominion. When tensions turn violent, Maité finds herself trapped on Earth and forced into hiding.

For over ten years, Maité has stayed hidden, but every minute Maité stays on Earth is one closer to getting caught.

She’s lived on the streets. Gone hungry. And found a way to fight through it all. But one night, while waitressing in a greasy diner, a customer gets handsy with her. She reacts without thinking.

Covered in blood, Maité runs, but it’s not long before SpaceTech finds her…

Arrested and forced into dangerous work detail on a volcano planet, Maité waits for SpaceTech to make their move against the Aunare. She knows that if she can’t somehow find a way to stop them, there will be an interstellar war big enough to end all life in the universe.

There’s only one question: Can Maité prevent the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?

Maité Martinez is half human, half Aunare, a Latina Aunare who has grown up hiding her background and constantly having to cover her tracks. Even with life in Albuquerque being stable enough, a job as a waitress, volunteer teacher at a gym and a Crew that consist of some of the only people she trusts. Unfortunately, Maité isn’t just a half Earther/half Aunare, her father is someone that SpaceTech would love to goad into a catastrophic game of war.

Not only that but SpaceTech has a different plan for Maité, instead of giving her the same punishment as other half Earthers, she’s sent to the planet Abbadon. The question is, can Maité survive long enough to try and thwart SpaceTech’s plans, and will she be able to help her friends and family?

Honestly, I found Maité so relatable, she’s a young woman thrown into a world where she’s struggling to survive and that’s it, that’s her goal, sure, in the end, she wants to do more but at the very start, we have someone who is trying to just survive. Her Father is a very important Aunare but she has no memory of him after Liberation week (when all the Aunare were shunned by Earthers, but I won’t go too much into that and give it away). All Maité knows is that he’s alive out there and that her Mother and her hope to someday be free of Earth with possibly reuniting with him.

People can show incredible strength when faced with adversity and Maité shows just that, I was so impressed by her throughout the book, and I loved the people who helped her along the way, not to mention there’s Declan the human who she trusts and enters her life as everything goes crazy and then there’s Lorne an Aunare who she’s not sure how she’s connected to other than he knows her and is close to her father.

This has been my best sci-fi read in a while and I loved that it was not only YA but that Maité was half Latina, it made me so happy ❤

Erin does a great job of world building with Abaddon and I cannot wait to see who she expands her universe in book 2. Though I definitely would never want to go to Abaddon lolol. She also does a spectacular job of making Maité more than just a slightly ‘alien’ looking human, her body is different and therefore reacts differently to human things and that is a breath of fresh air as sometimes people forget their aliens are NOT humans. The attention to detail is there and I loved it. And you can’t help but feel for Maité for all she goes through and all she’s willing to go through to prevent a war between the humans and Aunare. Not to mention she’s lost and dealing with finding herself and being comfortable with who and what she is and the changes she’s faced with.

Trigger warning: Sexual assault, violence, extreme pain.

Pros:
-Kick ass Latina-Aunare protagonist
– Humanoid alien race that is still different enough from humans to be interesting especially in their internal workings
– Strength in more ways than one, not just physically but emotionally and not just from our Maité but from those around her
– Not all humans are evil, and there’s such a great level of trust between Maité and those that become her friends in New Mexico and Abaddon.
– Amazing platonic male best friend (Roan) who does not turn into part of a love triangle!
– There’s still the hint of a love triangle trope between Maité and two others if you love that trope!
– YA Sci-Fi (something we always need more of!)
– Some very cool fight scenes
– The antagonists aren’t there much as individual characters but man do you hate them!

Cons:
-Not enough Roan
– You may hate that there’ll probably be a love triangle
– It may be hard to read all Maité goes through (most of it is just pushing past physical and emotional endurance, which is traumatic for her and you feel for her)
– The Aliens could have been more alien but I thought Erin did well by making them human enough looking that you’d believe mating between species was possible
– Uh, there could have been more cool space flying but I’m not gonna complain -too much-
– You will have to wait until 2020 to read more lol

** I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review, and I truly did love this book and if you love YA/Sci-fi, I recommend you give it a try and hope you enjoy it! **

 

Love and Reading

I realized something the other night, I was talking books with a friend and it just hit me.

I’m so lucky.

Incredibly lucky.

Because my husband and I share a very deep love of reading. [And many other things of course!]

In my previous relationship, and don’t worry I’m not here to give you all my sob story, nor lament about the past, but, we didn’t really share that sort of hobby.

When my husband and I first started dating we shared a love of Mass Effect [We fought over Garrus, but I won.


And it wasn’t until a couple months in that we started talking books. I lent him my Ender’s Game and I borrowed his God Knows. [I loved Joseph Heller’s voice in this, and it’s not really a religious book, it’s more a satire of sorts, however, it was way too repetitive so I didn’t get to finish it, but I’m giving it another go]

Eventually, I finished my grad course at Uni and had to go back to Texas, and we’d decided to continue our relationship. When we parted out the airport it was a bit emotional but he sent me with his favorite book Catcher in the Rye, which though I’d already read, he wanted me to have because he left a note in it saying, ‘Now I have a reason to come visit, to get it back.’

This didn’t stop there, he sent me a beautiful copy of one of my favorite Dickens books I didn’t know, Great Expectations and said that the quote on the cover was how he felt about me. [“You have been in every line I’ve ever read.”] He also sent me The Halloween Tree after he learned how much I wanted to read it, and I got him a kindle, and the Black Friday we did was Half Price Books and Barnes and Noble. Now the purpose of this isn’t to rattle off everything we ever bought each other that was bookish, that would be a bit obnoxious and annoying, to be frank, lol. The point of this is, I have a partner who supports my reading, he supports my music and everything I do but with books, we get to share it. We read For Whom the Bell Tolls together when we were apart just so we could share in the book together as we couldn’t be there with one another.

We both love classics and looking for old editions of them to add to our collection. He will sit and listen to me talk about all sorts of books, in fact, I was talking about Twilight (don’t ask haha) and he gave me his full attention, and he didn’t have to. He’ll ask me where’s his artsy book pic when he’s at work because he knows I’ll try to take one for my bookstagram, and there’s nothing more fun than when we talk Hemingway together. [Though thankfully he shares none of Hemingway’s relationship habits, the tool of a genius]

Today we took mini-me to Waterstones for her free book for World Book Day and then the three of us looked around books in the charity shops and it was a perfect day. ❤

He is my other half, and my god if I don’t want to kick his ass sometimes, we’re not perfect, and trust me he is within his rights to want to kick my butt too lol. But to have a relationship where there is such a mutual love of books and literature is something that I never thought could happen for me. It was a rough ride to get to him but completely worth it in the end.

Bloom

This review is going to be done a bit differently!

Today, I will not be giving a rating!

Why? I’m not usually a romance reader and I don’t think this should be constricted to a 1-5 scale as I don’t want that to impact you all on reading it [or not] so today, there shall be no coffee cups or planets!

Blurb: Holly Juniper had no idea she would fall in love with a monster. 

Every winter a mysterious portal appears in her family’s barn. Nothing has ever come out of it, and she barely pays it any mind. Until a woodland nymph named Nia steps through it and into her life. 

Holly is vehemently opposed to her sticking around, not wanting her family play host to a monster, but eventually, Nia grows on her in a way she never expected. 

Over the course of three months, the two fall in love. Despite them both knowing, come spring, Nia will have to return to her world through the portal, and she can never return. 

[Book One in the Monster Love Novella series.]

As I said, I typically don’t read romances but who couldn’t resist one with a female trans protagonist who is completely relatable as a ‘youngin’ in love? Not to mention in love with a Nymph who is the coolest looking nymph I’ve ever heard described.

On a more serious note, you root for Holly the whole time, she’s insecure, she’s shy and drawn into herself from the world and you want her to know she’s worth so much more than she thinks, and Nia does just that and it’s so palpable the way Holly’s insecurities and fears are written. It’s also written in a nice easy going style, you read it as if someone is orally telling it, the dialogue that you would hear from people of that age group (there is some profanity and steamy scenes for those who would like to know this). And I love how much that Holly’s family supports her and clearly love her.

I really want to hit home that I’ve been wanting to diversify my reading, I want to grow as a reader and so I was thrilled to be offered a chance to read this novella that gives us such a great girl as Holly and as I’ve never read a book with a trans character before (don’t worry guys this won’t be my last) this just felt like such a breath of fresh air!

If you’re into romance and wanting to read some urban fantasy mixed in with some slice of life (it’s set on a farm in Pennsylvania) then this is the novella for you!

[I received a copy of this in exchange for my honest review as part of #Reviewpit]

GoodReads Link Here