Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries
by Heather Fawcett

Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries: the Heart-warming, Cosy Light Academia Fantasy (Emily Wilde Series Book 1) by [Heather Fawcett]

Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy,

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this – it proved to be a real treat. Fabulous world building, both “this” world and the fae one felt so incredibly real. The characters too, some were lovely, others grumpy and dislikable, and Emily herself comes over as very brusque and uncaring. In fact she’s not, she just sees the world very differently. I empathised with her a lot, often I feel I’m adrift from others, that I’m not sure of the right actions – or reactions.
Then there’s Wendell, who’s something of a mystery, Emily sees him as something of a lightweight and is at a loss at to why his work is so highly regarded, and yet he seems to admire her, is always around her somehow – she’s not sure how he manages that- and oddly how she’s without him she seems to miss him. Still, its Wendell, he can’t let Emily go on an adventure without him.
I adored this story, so full of fantasy, mystery and imagination and yet wound in threads of reality. I was taken along for the journey, hoping, crying, upset, happy along with the characters. And cold, it practically jumped off the page. The perfect ending too. Next time I read this I’m saving it for heatwave not chilly October!
I’d love to read more from this author, she has created just the kind of worlds I love to read.

Stars: Five, an amazing book, fantasy but very real feeling and a great tale.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

The Back Nine, Rachel Blaufeld

The Back Nine
by Rachel Blaufeld

The Back Nine (40s, Love, and Romance Book 1) by [Rachel Blaufeld]

Genre: romance, women’s fiction

Gah, I hate that category, we’re way past times when only women read books like this.

Got that off my chest so on to the book 😉 I love Rachel’s writing, and was really excited to see a story with characters in their forties.
Jamie, she’s lovely, worked so hard to get where she is despite her background, and she’s now in a career where she’s much admired, respected and she loves. Shes a few close friends, and seems to be doing OK in life, especially after a short lived disastrous marriage. She’s the kind of MC I can really get behind, empathise with, want a happy ending for.
Ford treated her shamefully, after being such close friends when they were teens. His actions then mirror his actions now in my view, he’s scared to face up to his parents, his background, to say what he wants out of life. Even as a grown man he’s still a coward. You can tell already cant you, that I think he’s just not good enough for Jamie 😉 But sigh….she wants him again when they accidentally bump into each other.
As usual the writing is excellent, the characters well fleshed out, feel so real. I love a good b itch character like Ford’s mother, they add such drama and emotion to a story. She really was a Queen B. Horrible as she was she was a favourite character for me, I love people like her in a story, we see them ever day in life, so in stories where they can get knocked back it makes me feel good!
Its a interesting read, steamy and spicy without being OTT, I want story not just pages of sex 😉 and sadly too many novels are sex first with just a thin plot line carrying through. That’s fine for some but not what want. I need a strong story that authors like Rachel deliver.
So overall I was thinking this was a three for me but, as ever Rachel’s writing is solid, its a great story, fabulous characters, it was just Ford that let it down so maybe my first thoughts three is too harsh. It was great to get older characters, lovely to have a solid “bad” person, I love the dichotomy of rich v poor backgrounds and the issues that brings, and of course the struggles Jamie and Ford went through.

Stars: Four, I love the story, but Ford I felt was selfish, immature and needed to grow a backbone. He’d got there in the end but he put poor Jamie through a lot,

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

The Choice The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 3, Nora Roberts

The Choice
The Dragon Heart Legacy Book 3
by Nora Roberts

The Choice: The Dragon Heart Legacy Book 3 by [Nora Roberts]

Genre: women’s fiction

Gah, I hate that category, we’re way past times when only women read books like this.
Anyway, I used to love Nora’s trilogies several years ago, and I had high hopes when I started this one. I enjoyed the first episode a lot. I found I struggled with elements in the second, but the story was entertaining enough that they were easily pushed back.
This episode though, I just couldn’t connect, and didn’t finish. I just felt the story was so very different from how it started, the characters now feel jarring in their actions and it just didn’t resonate with me. I got so lost and switched off I had to abandon the book.
I don’t know if its just this trilogy didn’t work, or if maybe my tastes have changed over the years.
As always its not Nora’s writing that’s the issue, just my appreciation of this particular episode. As I said I really enjoyed the first two parts, it was just this last part that I couldn’t connect with.

Stars: Sadly just a two, but I didn’t finish the story.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

The Stranger Times by C.K.McDonnell

The Stranger Times
by C.K.McDonnell

 

The Stranger Times: (The Stranger Times 1) by [C. K. McDonnell]

Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy

I has this book on my “to buy when I’ve the cash” list, as it sounded such fun. Then yay, found it and the next two on netgally.
What a fun read this was, a real mix of characters, an interesting plot, a fabulous newspaper, full of the weird and wonderful. Its hard to pick out what I loved best, Manny and his “we”, Grace and the three strikes, Stella, sixteen or so going on sixty, the wonderful Reggie ( and his knives), clever unappreciated Ox, Hannah of course or…well…Banecroft. He has just the best of lines, had me sniggering constantly at what he said and the way the others constantly tried to pull him up.
Its a fun story, full of little side snippets, fabulous humour, a story that could – with a big stretch of supernatural belief – be true. I’m so pleased to have read this, I know it’ll be one I’ll happily reread, seeing things I missed first time round.

Stars: Five, a really fresh and fun supernatural read.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Mortal Heart Alice Worth World, Book 1 by Lisa Edmonds

Mortal Heart
Alice Worth World, Book 1
by Lisa Edmonds

Mortal Heart (Alice Worth World Book 1) by [Lisa Edmonds]

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy

Oh good, back to Alice Worth and her world. Alice isn’t in this book, but her new business partner Arkady and Ronan, who we met towards the end of the series are the main characters. They’re both interesting people, with difficult histories that make them very much like Alice, strong mentally and physically and finding it difficult to mix easily, having little patience with the mundane.
I adored the Alice worth series, one of my fantasy favourites, with many side characters who have a story to tell. I hope 😉 So I jumped into this eagerly and wasn’t disappointed. Unlike AW series this one seems to be connected books rather than an overarching story-line. I don’t mind, I like both.
I really enjoyed this book, it wasn’t quite as gripping as the Aw books but very close. I loved being back in that familiar world.
They come together in an investigation that turns out to be part of a bigger ring and they have a joint purpose in ending it even though they clash – badly, or terrifically depending on your POV!. Of course there’s the trademark clashes, dangers, bad guys and problems taking them down that slowly bring Ronan and Arkady closer, finding out they actually like and admire each other and its not just the sizzling sexual tension that’s pulling them together.

Stars: Four, a great read, terrific start to new series – I hope !!

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Embrace Me Darkly, by Kira James

Embrace Me Darkly,
by Kira James

Embrace Me Darkly (Dark Alliance Book 1) by [Kira James]

Genre: Mystery & thrillers, Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy,

I enjoyed this read, I love fantasy stories and there’s a great mix of characters and types here. Sarah is so invested in finding her fathers killer she based her career around it. He had a strong belief in the supernatural, and she wonders if that was a factor? Vampires and the like can’t be real though…can they? She learns otherwise and gets dropped into a very different world.
Luke, wow! Yet though he and Sara have a very strong connection when they meet it seems they’re destined to be apart. He knows that his actions in the supernatural world and her job as prosecutor make it difficult, he knows he’s not the killer she’s looking for but all the evidence points to him, and not only that his past, when she learns of it, is bound to drive a wedge between them.
I love that sort of story where there is so much keeping people apart, and here it was very real stuff, not some semi tragic but easily abandoned actions. Sara has a lot to get past, Luke had done what she would regard as terrible things and yet he too has reasons and doesn’t regret them. Its the merging of two people from very different worlds.
I really didn’t see who the real killer was, looking back the clues were there but I missed them. I love it when I’m taken by surprise like that, when a book isn’t a typical predictable, know who’s behind things from early on.

Stars: Four, a really good start to the series.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2023 by Lia Leendertz

The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2023
by Lia Leendertz

The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2023 by [Lia Leendertz]

Genre: reference

I’ve always been an outdoor girl, a lover of nature. Brought up in a family where Sunday mornings meant looking to see what Adam the Gardener had to say for the upcoming week, and with Nan’s readings from Old Moore’s almanac I love this sort of book. I have it as an epub on my pc, but tbh I’d love to buy the book as a to-hand reference. I think books like this are one of the few that are better in print than on kindle/pc.
Its a fabulous mix of plants and the stars, recipes for the month, tide tables etc, a real nature lovers journal. I plan on reading each month next year at the end of the previous one, looking at whats ahead, whats in store. It reminds me of how big the world is, how long its been going and really how minute and shallow our place in it is.
Beautifully illustrated, it would make a great gift for any lover of the natural world.

Stars: five. A fabulous read to treasure and dip into each month.

ARC supplied by netgalley and publishers.

The Empress, Gigi Griffis

The Empress, Gigi Griffis

The Empress: A Dazzling Love Story | As Seen on Netflix by [Gigi Griffis]

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction, Romance

Well, I just looked at the genre headings of fiction and completely missed that this was based around real people. (blush) It kind of makes my initial thoughts about how light and sweet it felt, how unreal, seem weird. That’s how it felt to me though, a real lack of drama and reality, when from the story description I was expecting heat, steam, jealousies and drama. There was all of those but in a very genteel, muted form I felt. I love historical reads, I know that circumstances are going to be very different from today but still expected so much more from this story.
I didn’t dislike the book, there were some really interesting descriptions in parts, but the story as a whole fell flat for me. Still, as always that’s only my opinion, others will love it, we all want different things.

Stars: two and a half. I didn’t dislike it, I just felt there was a lack of excitement, that I was expecting so much more.

ARC supplied by netgalley and publishers.

Runaway Groomsman, Meghan Quinn

Runaway Groomsman, Meghan Quinn

Runaway Groomsman by [Meghan Quinn]

Genre: Romance, General fiction ( adult. )

I loved the sound of this and to begin, fireworks big time, with Sawyers brilliant departure from the wedding! Sadly for me that was the best of the book….

I loved Sawyer, felt I really got to know him and could feel how determined he was about Fallon, just wishing she was single. Fallon though, she was sweet, cute, almost sickly to be honest. She didn’t seem to have a bad bone, and no-one is that good all the while. Her best friend is almost the opposite, bad through and through, in a good way 😉 and much more fun, though at times she was just too OTT.
The boyfriend, I’m not sure why he was there, except to round out the “love triangle” angle but for me it didn’t work. I didn’t feel anything between him and Fallon, and his presence meant the romance couldn’t develop.
I loved Sully and the way his illness was treated, thumbs up for some real life unpleasant illnesses. Not that any are pleasant, but some are more “writable” than others.
Overall its a sweet story, very gentle slow burn romance, more of a gentle smoulder than burn I guess, given nothing happens til well into second half of book. It was just a little too light, sweet, low drama for me. A good read if you want a story to relax with and like gentle romance, but I need that bit extra.

Stars: Three, a bit too sweet and slow for me.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Hot Set, Behind the Scenes, Book 1, Leslie O’Sullivan

Hot Set, Behind the Scenes, Book 1, Leslie O’Sullivan

Hot Set by [Leslie O'Sullivan]

Genre: Romance

I love this trope, actors. Musicians, fame etc so went into this eagerly.
I loved the characters, Gilly was a sweetheart and she’d been treated shamefully by her boyfriend Treat. Jack was not only gorgeous to look at but genuine inside…except he needs her to do the exact same thing she did with treat, be a hidden secret. I’m not sure I could have acquiesced as quickly as Gilly did, I kind of felt that she really lacked self esteem. Her writing also showed that, her novel was rejected, but all the team of Chieftain’s son seem to love it, and she seemed to find it hard to believe they thought it was that good.
There’s the usual issues that surround a hidden romance, the difficulties of finding stolen time, leaked photos, and not least for Gilly, does the very close friendship between Jack and his gorgeous co-star Nils, stop just there or is she in another dirty secret relationship.
I really enjoyed this story, but despite the opportunities I didn’t feel the drama hit the five star mark for me. I like heartache, heartbreak, long drawn out issues and here there were the beginnings but they seemed to be over almost before they started.

Stars: Four, a really fun read, great characters and interesting story. A bit deeper drama and I’d have gone five. .

ARC supplied by Netgally and publishers

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