Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay Blog Tour Review

I’m back with another blog tour and this time it’s for Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger. Thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour and to HQ Digital and the author for providing the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay
Publisher: HQ Digital
Release Date: 24 June 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Panda Rating:

(3.75 rounded up)

Grab your strawberries and cream and get ready to return to the beautiful Swallowtail Bay! Summer is in full swing and the locals are getting excited for the launch of the Swallowtail Bay strawberry food festival. But will all run smoothly when festival organiser Hetty’s heart is torn between lord of the manor John Thornhill and successful bakery owner Ben?

Buy: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

Continue reading “Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay Blog Tour Review”

The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn Blog Tour Review

I’m back with another blog tour and this time it’s for The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn by Freya Kennedy. Thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour and to Boldwood Books and the author for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

There’s also a special bingo game going on for this book, so be sure to keep an eye out for the #LibbyQuinnBingo tag on social media!

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Release Date: 05 May 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Panda Rating:

If you can dream it, you can make it come true…
Libby Quinn is sick and tired of being sensible.
After years of slogging her guts out for nothing at a PR company, she finds herself redundant and about to plough every last penny of her savings into refurbishing a ramshackle shop and making her dream of owning her own bookshop become a reality. She hopes opening ‘Once Upon A Book’ on Ivy Lane will be the perfect tribute to her beloved grandfather who instilled a love of reading and books in her from an early age. When her love life and friendships become even more complicated – will Libby have the courage to follow her dreams? Or has she bitten off more than she can chew?

Buy: Amazon

Continue reading “The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn Blog Tour Review”

Review: Donut Disturb (Donut Disturb #1) by Melissa Williams

Goodreads: Donut Disturb (Donut Disturb #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

A STANDALONE romantic comedy from author Melissa Williams. A hot cop and a donut baker, what could go wrong?

It was a donut emergency. A dough or die moment. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. It would explain why, from the moment Baxter DeCavhalo comes crashing into my kitchen, I’ve been acting out of character.

Why I’m sharing secret donut recipes, licking frosting off fingers that aren’t mine, and falling for the off-limits neighbor. I know better, I need to be focusing on my bakery and my next donut creation…but there’s just something about Bax that keeps me coming back for more. It’s not the heat of the kitchen that’s getting to me, it’s Bax. And this slow burn is about to combust.

I was looking for a light and fluffy romantic comedy when I came across this book and it sounded just like what I was looking for. It didn’t hurt that it also has such a colourful and eye-catching cover! I was sold. Unfortunately, this book was not it and it didn’t work out for me.

The plot and character arcs felt very underdeveloped because everything seemed to happen off-page. There were many allusions to “something not being right” with the friendships and sibling relationships, and that’s even before we get into the police drama that stems from Bax’s work as a police detective. It felt like there was a lot happening in the story but at the same time, not much either, if that makes sense. There were no discussions to try to solve those “not right” feelings with her brother and her best friend, although something was clearly up. It all came across as very vague.

I also didn’t connect with our heroine or hero. Cassidy seems to have a history of being hurt and so has built up her walls; however, we never really learn about what made the walls go up in the first place. Again, hints of her history are dropped but we don’t get any details. Of course these walls end up being a barrier to whatever is going on with Bax, but after some not-very-nice hints from her best friend about her inability to trust anyone, Cassidy simply decides that she’s going to let Bax in… And she does it. Despite a rough meet-cute for our characters, Bax became very quickly “all-in” with Cassidy. He decides at one point during their second interaction that he wants all or nothing, and he’s going to make Cassidy realise that he’s serious about them. I didn’t get it. Yeah, she’s quirky and makes delicious donuts but… That’s it? Don’t tell me he’s all in, show me why! I felt very little chemistry between them and that made their steamy scenes also fall flat for me.

Overall, a fairly disappointing read. It just never clicked for me and that’s disappointing because I was expecting more… Even the part about the bakery, which I thought would leave me with endless donut cravings, didn’t even really do that… I’m glad that I did give this a try though–I don’t think I could’ve resisted such a cute cover for very long, but I’m also glad it was on Kindle Unlimited!

Have you read Donut Disturb or is it on your TBR?

Review: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend

Goodreads: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Panda Rating:


Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

Unsurprisingly with everything going on right now it has been more than a little difficult to focus on reading*, but apparently middle grade books are really working for me! I still remember the first time I read Harry Potter when I was 9 and this book gave me those exact same feelings. This was such a wonderful adventure and I’m really excited to continue it in the upcoming books!

*Also I apologise in advance if this ends up being a windy-non-sensical review because aside from finding it difficult to focus on reading, my brain’s also not having it with writing reviews 😂

Continue reading “Review: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend”

Book Review: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Goodreads: Words in Deep Blue
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 30 August 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Panda Rating:


This is a love story.

It’s the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets.


It’s the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea
Now, she’s back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal and looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind

So wow, I really wasn’t ready for my feels to be completely shattered reading this book. I was a quietly blubbering hot mess by the time I reached the end! I’m not even sure what I can say other than I absolutely loved it. This one reached right into my heart and gave it a big ‘ole squeeze and basically screamed at me to FEEL THINGS.

Continue reading “Book Review: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley”

February Reading Challenge Update

Can someone tell me where February went? At times it went insanely slowly (probably due to being sick early on) but then as the weeks passed it went in a blink! What a month… Unfortunately as it was quite busy I didn’t manage to do so well on my challenges? There was a little progress but I’m hoping March will be better!

ARC Apocalypse

I managed to read six ARCs and I’m pretty good with that progress! Yes, most of them were for blog tours but I’m glad I had that as motivation to keep reading them. I thought a few were just okay but I really enjoyed some of these and can’t wait for everyone to read them!

Continue reading “February Reading Challenge Update”

Review: Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab

Goodreads: Vengeful (Villains #2)
Publisher: Titan Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

Magneto and Professor X. Superman and Lex Luthor. Victor Vale and Eli Ever. Sydney and Serena Clarke. Great partnerships, now soured on the vine.

But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she’s finally gained the control she’s always sought—and will use her new-found power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She’ll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other.

With Marcella’s rise, new enmities create opportunity–and the stage of Merit City will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning.

Holy heck. What can I even say?! I loved Vicious but I’m surprised to say that I might love Vengeful even more?! I just finished reading it earlier today (when I wrote this on Saturday) so my thoughts are still a jumbled mess but I’m going to at least try writing something semi-coherent. Also, sorry but there will be spoilers for Vicious as this picks up after that!

Continue reading “Review: Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab”

January Reading Challenge Update

Yes, I know I’m late to update. Life has been happening and in typical panda fashion, I also started to slack off a little with recording my reads on my challenge spreadsheet! Oops? Thankfully there’s the Goodreads Reading Challenge which has helped me to recall what books I’ve read over the last month and what challenges they’d fit under! So let’s take a look at how I’ve been doing for the *many* challenges that I decided to participate in this year…

I’ve been using many of the same books I’ve read to fulfil the prompts in different challenges and I think that’s OK although sometimes it feels like “I’m cheating” although I know that’s just the nay-sayers I’ve encountered whose voices are ringing in my ears 😂

ARC Apocalypse

I managed to read four ARCs in January and while that’s not a whole lot (at least compared to others) it’s more than I thought I’d read last month, so I’m happy there’s some progress, no matter how small!

Continue reading “January Reading Challenge Update”

#ARMEDWITHABINGO Announcement & Possibility Pile

This year I also joined the #ARMEDWITHABINGO reading challenge hosted by Kriti and Ariel @ Armed with a Book. I thought this sounded cool as it’s a personalised book bingo challenge with regular check-ins, book giveaways, guest posts and more! The challenge has 24 prompts that require individual books for each square (except for the book over 500 pages long, which counts for two!) and it runs throughout the year.

The sign up is open until 15 March, so if this sounds like a fun challenge to you, head on over to their page and let’s BINGO! 😃

So what’s in the bingo? My personalised card below has all the prompts:

I know my announcement is coming in pretty late into January *cough* so I’ve actually managed to already cross of four of the squares so I’m just a tiny bit closer to bingo 🤣

A book in the middle of a series
A book from the last decade (2010-2019)
A young adult novel
A dystopian novel

I still haven’t figured out the books I’m reading for all of the prompts but I do have some ideas. Part of me wants to just “wing it” and see if what I read throughout the year will fit any of the prompts, but that attitude is what caused me to bomb hard last year? So I’ve already started identifying options for some of the prompts 😅 Consider this my mostly “loose” possibility pile. Since I’m trying to cut down on spending most of these are books I already have on my shelves–though I’ma be nice to myself and allow for some of this years’ releases because I mean… I’m only human riiiiiiight? 😬

A book that’s published in 2020
An anthology or poetry collection
A book that a friend recommends
A book that has a number in the title
A fantasty/science fiction

A book by an Indie author
A book with a beautiful cover
A book you saw someone else reading
A book which was gifted/borrowed
A book longer than 500 pages (2 spaces!)

I’ll be sharing progress updates for this along with all the other challenges I’m doing this year in a monthly reading challenges recap post, so be on the look out to see if I’ve managed to cross any other boxes by the end of this month!

Are you joining this reading challenge too? What do you think of my choices? Do you have any suggestions for any of these spaces that you think I must read?