Mini-Reviews: Steamy Holiday Romances

I’m not much of a seasonal reader but the holiday romances have really worked for me this particular holiday season! Having spent the majority of my life living in the tropics, with a few years here and there in countries with four seasons, I actually do miss the cold weather and these reads have allowed me to immerse myself in both holiday cheer and snowy settings.

Dipped in Holly by Dana Isaly

Goodreads: Dipped in Holly
Publication Date: 17 December 2021
Genre:
Contemporary Romance, Erotica

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Holly was just dumped.
Less than a week before Christmas. In public. Dressed as a slutty Mrs. Claus.
All she wants is to hide in the bathroom and have a breakdown in peace.
But the Silver Fox who owns the bar has other plans.

The moment Nick takes in Holly’s grey eyes and sassy attitude, he’s hooked.
There’s no denying the attraction that has sparked between them.
And when that tension finally snaps, he finds himself taking Holly to bed.
A kinky one night stand later, and they’re left questioning if it was enough.

Continue reading “Mini-Reviews: Steamy Holiday Romances”

The Joy of Christmas Book Tag

🎄 HAPPY CHRISTMAS, FRIENDS! 🎄

Yay for more holiday tags to add a little change of scenery on this blog! 😂 I saw this fun tag on Georgia @ Lost in Neverland‘s blog and decided to give it a go myself—and what better time to do a Christmas tag on Christmas itself? 😉

This tag was originally created by booktuber Sam @ Sam’s Nonsense! Now, let’s get to it…

Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

I actually don’t have a lot of books on my 2022 list yet and haven’t taken a proper look at all the lists I’ve seen floating around… But from what I’ve added to my smol list on Goodreads, I reckon I’m most excited for Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly!

love & other disasters

Recently divorced and on the verge of bankruptcy, Dahlia Woodson is ready to reinvent herself on the popular reality competition show Chef’s Special. Too bad the first memorable move she makes is falling flat on her face, sending fish tacos flying—not quite the fresh start she was hoping for. Still, she’s focused on winning, until she meets someone she might want a future with more than she needs the prize money. Read more…


Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing it’s praises?

There are actually two books that immediately came to mind right now. Both have been loved this year, though one has been more hyped than the other, but both were five star reads and I haven’t had much opportunity to gush about them, but they’re *chefs kiss* perfection. The books are: Battle Royal by Lucy Parker and The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. Seriously, I love these couples. Their chemistry, their banter, the slow burn! I’m not much of a re-reader but I know I won’t be able to resist with these gems 😍

Battle Royal Cover

Ready…
Four years ago, Sylvie Fairchild charmed the world as a contestant on the hit baking show, Operation Cake. Her ingenious, colorful creations captivated viewers and intrigued all but one of the judges, Dominic De Vere, the hottest pastry chef in London. When her glittery unicorn cake went spectacularly sideways, Dominic was quick to vote her off the show. Since then, Sylvie has managed to use her fame to help fulfill her dream of opening a bakery, Sugar Fair. The toast of Instagram, Sugar Fair has captured the attention of the Operation Cake producers…and a princess.
Read more…

The Love Hypothesis Cover

When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it throws one woman’s carefully calculated theories on love into chaos.
As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive on her way to a happily ever after was always going to be tough, scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting woman, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees. Read more…

Check out my review!


Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?

The Hand of the Sun King by J.T. Greathouse is one of the few fantasies I’ve read this year but the world building was immaculate. This is a slow burn fantasy but it’s so worth the ride because aside from amazing world building, the writing is stunning!

the hand of the sun king

My name is Wen Alder. My name is Foolish Cur.
All my life, I have been torn between two legacies: that of my father, whose roots trace back to the right hand of the Emperor. That of my mother’s family, who reject the oppressive Empire and embrace the resistance.

I can choose between them – between protecting my family, or protecting my people – or I can search out a better path…
Read more…

Check out my review!


A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read

I don’t read many classics but I read the Manga Classics of The Count of Monte Cristo and it made me immediately want to read the original! The chonkiness is pretty intimidating though… 😅

the count of monte cristo

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas’ epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s. Read more…


Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas

I have a whole post about books on my wishlist, and while there are tons I can choose from, I’d really love to get Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan. It looks so good 😭

daughter of the deep

Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. Ana’s parents died while on a scientific expedition two years ago, and the only family’s she’s got left is her older brother, Dev, also a student at HP. Ana’s freshman year culminates with the class’s weekend trial at sea, the details of which have been kept secret. She only hopes she has what it’ll take to succeed. All her worries are blown out of the water when, on the bus ride to the ship, Ana and her schoolmates witness a terrible tragedy that will change the trajectory of their lives. Read more…


Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling?

With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo wormed its way into my heart so quickly that I devoured this book in one sitting. It’s got delicious food/recipes, a wonderful protagonist, great supporting characters, and it’s simply a heartwarming story all around!

with the fire on high

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Read more…


Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers?

There are too many to list so I decided to share one of my personal favourite bookstagram posts from when I used to post back in the day! 😆 It took me a while to lay it all out to make it look *seamless* but I had such a fun time making this photo and it displays some of the gorgeous book covers on my shelf!


Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas And/Or some of your favorite Christmas memories?

My family and I don’t actually celebrate Christmas but I’ve spent a few Christmases with ex-partners and their families and some friends who really celebrate and I absolutely love the festive atmosphere. The cold weather (hey, I live in the tropics lol), the warm drinks, the delicious foods, the music (yes, yes) and of course the spirit of being with family and being thankful and sharing gifts (who doesn’t like getting gifts? But also getting someone a gift they love is such a great feeling 😍)!

And that’s it from me! I won’t be tagging anyone so if you see this and wanna do it, go wild (feel free to tag me so I can see your answers, too)! 😍 I hope everyone has had a good Christmas despite the panorama.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside Tag

It’s been a while since I did a tag and after seeing a few holiday-themed ones floating around the blogosphere lately, I thought I’d jump on them too, even though I haven’t been tagged! 😂 I decided to go with the Baby, It’s Cold Outside tag cos I saw it on three blogs in one day and took that as a sign that I should kick off the holiday tags with this one. Now without further ado…

The Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post.
  • Display the banner(copy and paste).
  • Link to the original creator: Erin @ Reading On A Star!
  • Answer the questions!
  • Tag however many people as you want!

Snow Angels – What’s a book that you love so much you would want to be buried with it?

Right, kicking things off with a toughie! I’m so bad at choosing and I don’t think I can choose one? 🤔 But the first three that come to mind are The Shadow of the Wind, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Pride and Prejudice.


Warm Socks – What’s a book that makes you feel warm inside?

The house in the cerulean sea

This was my favourite read last year and still gives me the warm fuzzies whenever I think about it!


Hot Cocoa – What winter-themed novels have you previously read?

I’ve been on a bit of a holiday romance kick lately so I’ve read quite a few 😂 Here are some favourites: Window Shopping, Main Street Dealmaker, In a Holidaze, Mistletoe & Mr. Right


Sledding – What’s a book with the best plot twists? Who’s an author that always keeps you on your toes? 

I don’t read a lot of mysteries or thrillers but I love Karen McManus‘ YA thrillers! I’m never very good at guessing ‘whodunit’ and so she always keeps me on my toes! Bonus thrillers I loved: Verity, The Silent Patient, The Dry and Last Time I Lied.


Ugly Sweaters – What’s a book with the ugliest cover?

I… Actually can’t think of any books I own with ugly covers? I’m only choosing The Existence of Amy one because it is the plainest cover I own. Probably. 😕 BUT it’s a fantastic book about living with anxiety that had me wrapped up in my emotions cos relatable!


Snow Day – What’s your “comfort” book?

I’ve gained a few new comfort books lately so I’m sharing my latest: The Love Hypothesis. This romance was just… Everything! I love Olive and Adam and their romance gave me all the heartwarming comfort feels and I missed them the minute the book ended and I can’t wait to read it again. ❤️


Movie Marathon – What’s the last book you binge read?

It was actually a series. The Bridge Kingdom Series by Danielle L. Jensen. I buddy read this with Julie and we finished both books in 3 days? It was unputdownable and so worth the post-binge zombie vibes 😮‍💨 If you like your fantasy with a heavy dose of steamy romance and angst, I would highly recommend you check this one out ASAP!


Letter to Santa – What’s a book that’s on your wish list this year?

SO MANY books on my wishlist! But Iron Widow is currently holding the top spot on my wishlist and I hope that I can get my hands on it sooner rather than later 🙂

And that’s it from me dear friends! I won’t be tagging anyone specifically but if you see this and want to do it, feel free to (and tag me so I can check out your answers)! 😍 Hope everyone has a happy holiday season despite the madness of the world!

First Lines Friday – 22 October 2021

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“When she was newbuilt and still fragile, and her fresh-woven skin was soft and shiny from creation, Crier’s father told her, “Always check their eyes. That’s how you can tell if a creature is human. It’s in the eyes.”

Do you recognise the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 22 October 2021”

Mini Romance Reviews: The Kinky & The Steamy

I’ve still been reading an unsurprising number of romances lately because they’ve been the easiest to get into while I’ve been in this fickle reading mood. Some of these have seen me stepping out of my romance comfort zone but for the most part, I had fun with them! Well, except for one and that was a little disappointing cos it’s a pretty hyped title!

Games We Play (One Night #1)
Publication Date: 27 August 2021
Genre:
Contemporary Romance, Erotica

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

Jaclyn Love is a magnet for trouble – it seems to follow her wherever she goes.

Unfortunately for Kadan Davenport, she also seems to be a magnet for him – even after a disastrous first impression that leaves him – literally – black and blue.

Jaclyn is busy trying to find some sort of balance, and Kadan is just trying not to get swept up in the chaos.

In a small city like Blakewood, it’s hard to avoid each other… especially when each additional encounter makes them wonder if they really want to.

“I Think I Might Love You” is a first-in-series novella.

Continue reading “Mini Romance Reviews: The Kinky & The Steamy”

First Lines Friday – 22 October 2021

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“Once upon a time, there lived twelve reasonably attractive princesses who, when lined up together, caused such a sight that the world agreed to call them beautiful. And so they were.”

Do you recognise the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 22 October 2021”

Quick Fire Fantasy Book Tag!

I’m back today with another tag and today it’s all about fantasy books! I first saw the Quick Fire Fantasy Book Tag on El @ Papertea & Bookflowers and it looked like a fun and easy one to do, so I thought I’d give it a try! Aside from romance, fantasy is my most read genre and I enjoy all kinds from MG to YA to Adult. Who doesn’t love being swept away into new worlds with great characters and exciting stories!? On that note, let’s get to it. 😉

Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Link to the creator’s blog (thebookwormdreamer.wordpress.com) in your post
  • Answer the prompts below – all fantasy books!
  • Tag 5 others to take part
  • Enjoy!

5 star book

The Goddess of Nothing At All

I read this last month and it it’s one of my top reads of 2021 and one of my all-time favourites! This is a story about Sigyn Odindottir, a lesser known Norse goddess by birth, and Loki’s wife. I would 100% recommend this book if you love: Norse mythology, unapologetically queer characters, characters who refuse to give up or back down no matter how many times they’re discarded or beaten down, heart-achingly sweet romance and heartbreakingly painful betrayals, and complex and morally grey characters that you want to protect forever and rage against!

my review


Always going to recommend

Jade City // THE GREEN BONE SAGA

Should anyone be surprised to find this title here? Absolutely not! Not sure if I’ve raved about this book/series enough on my blog yet but… Easily one of the best ever adult fantasies I’ve read in my life and I haven’t even read the final book yet. The Green Bone Saga is E-P-I-C and I will never not recommend this beast!


own it but haven’t read it yet

A Dead Djinn in Cairo

This is a novella that I’ve had on my Kindle for a while now and I don’t know who exactly I haven’t read it yet. As if the mystery set in an alternate magical Cairo wasn’t intriguing enough, the story is also shorter than 50 pages, so it’s a guaranteed quick read!


would read again

Name of the Wind

NGL, I read this book ages ago, long before I started reviewing and blogging, so I have very little recollection about the majority of the story. What I do remember was how thrilled I felt after finishing it and how desperate I was to get my hands on the sequel. I also remember how much I loved Kvothe. I’m actually planning to read this again next year (hopefully, lol)!


in another world

MAGIC UNLEASHED // Venators

I was introduced to this series thanks to a blog tour a few years ago. It’s still ongoing and there are apparently plenty more books to come in this series, but I love the huge cast of characters and Eon is a fantastic albeit terrifying world where 90% of the creatures are likely to want to kill you. The story is action-packed and full of magic and supernatural creatures!

my review


back on earth

Spellbreaker

This is a historical fantasy set in regency London and it’s a delightful mix of magic and real! I really enjoy Holmberg’s writing that always manages to hook me in quickly. There’s so much to enjoy in this story including: an intriguing mystery, forbidden magic, a sweet slow burn romance, and great found family vibes!

And that’s a wrap, folks! I’ll be tagging a few people below but no pressure if you’re not interested or if tags aren’t your thing! Even if you’re not tagged and want to do it, please feel free to do so! 😊

Becky | Hasini | SAMMIE | KERRI | Maria

Have you read any of these books or are they on your TBR?

Top 5 Saturday: Books set in the Forest!

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: books set in the forest.

I focus most of my Top 5 Saturdays on books that are still on my TBR but this week I thought I’d take a look at five favourite books that are set in the forest. There’s a good mix of fantasy, romance, horror, and mystery in this lot and they were all wonderfully atmospheric reads—the forest often felt alive in these settings! Without further ado… Here are my recs for you!

The Bear and the Nightingale

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village.
Read more…

Continue reading “Top 5 Saturday: Books set in the Forest!”

First Lines Friday – 15 October 2021

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“There were great advantages to being unimportant.
True, by many people’s standards, Siri wasn’t “unimportant.” She was, after all, the daughter of a king.
Fortunately, her father had four living children, and Siri—at seventeen years of age—was the youngest.”

Do you recognise the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 15 October 2021”

Top 5 Saturday: Books with Bones on the Cover!

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: Bones on the Cover

It’s been a hot minute since I did a Top 5 Saturday post but of course I had to come back on the day when the topic is a toughie (for me!) LOL. 😂 It took a little bit of digging on Goodreads but I managed to find 5 books that are on my TBR that have bones on the cover and that I can’t wait to read! ☠️

If We Were Villains

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

Continue reading “Top 5 Saturday: Books with Bones on the Cover!”