First Lines Friday – 19 February

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:

“As she woke up in bed, she remembered three things. First, she was traveling through open space. Second, she was about to start a new job, one she could not screw up. Third, she had bribed a government official into giving her a new identity file.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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Blog Tour Review: Kept from Cages by Phil Williams

I’m back with another blog tour with The Storytellers on Tour for Kept from Cages by Phil Williams. Thanks to the author for providing a copy 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: Kept from Cages (Ikiri Book 1)
Publication Date: 21 September 2020
Genre: Supernatural Action Thriller
Panda Rating:

No one returns from Ikiri.
Reece’s gang of criminal jazz musicians have taken shelter in the wrong house. There’s a girl with red eyes bound to a chair. The locals call her a devil – but Reece sees a kid that needs protecting. He’s more right than he knows.
Chased by a shadowy swordsman and an unnatural beast, the gang flee across the Deep South with the kid in tow. She won’t say where she’s from or who exactly her scary father is, but she’s got powers they can’t understand. How much will Reece risk to save her?
On the other side of the world, Agent Sean Tasker’s asking similar questions. With an entire village massacred and no trace of the killers, he’s convinced Duvcorp’s esoteric experiments are responsible. His only ally is an unstable female assassin, and their only lead is Ikiri – a black-site in the Congo, which no one leaves alive. How far is Tasker prepared to go for answers?
Kept From Cages is the first part in an action-packed supernatural thriller duology, filled with eccentric characters and intricately woven mysteries. Start your journey to Ikiri today.

BUY NOW: Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

BOOK PROMO: The Kept From Cages ebook will be available for 99p/99c in UK/US Kindle from January 13th–19th.

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ARC Review: Ever After Always by Chloe Liese

Special thanks to Chloe Liese for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Ever After Always (Bergman Brothers #3)
Publication date: 12 January 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:



Buckle up for an emotional journey of hijinks, heartache, and a hot slow-burn in this marriage-in-crisis romance about going the distance to make love last.

Aiden
I’ve spent twelve years loving Freya Bergman and twelve lifetimes won’t be enough to give her everything she deserves. She’s my passionate, tender-hearted wife, my best friend, and all I want is to make her happy. But the one thing that will make her happiest is the one thing I’m not sure I can give her: a baby. With the pressure of providing and planning for a family, my anxiety’s at an all-time high, and I find myself pulling away, terrified to tell my wife how I’m struggling. But when Freya kicks me out, I realize that pulling back has turned into pushing too far. Now it’s the fight of a lifetime to save our marriage.

Freya
I love my cautious, hard-working husband. He’s my partner and best friend, the person I know I can count on most. Until one day I realize the man I married is nowhere to be found. Now Aiden is quiet and withdrawn, and as the months wear on, the pain of our growing distance becomes too much.  As if weathering marriage counseling wasn’t enough, we’re thrown together for an island getaway to celebrate my parents’ many years of perfect marriage while ours is on the brink of collapse. Despite my meddling siblings and a week in each other’s constant company, this trip somehow gets us working through the trouble in paradise. I just can’t help worrying, when we leave paradise and return to the real world, will trouble find us again?

GET YOUR COPY: Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

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#TopTenTuesday: Favourite 2020 Reads!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Favourite Books of 2020.

I can’t believe that it’s already time to make this list because wow, what a year 2020 has been, eh? I mean, we all know what kind of year it was and although not all of us had the worst one, I think the general mood of 2020 has been pretty despondent. I’m definitely not expecting things to magically turn around in 2021 but I am hoping that it’ll at least be marginally better than this one (I’m keeping my expectations low though so that I might be pleasantly surprised)! 😂

That said, it was a pretty great year for books/reading and I’m sure many of you will agree! Although it actually wasn’t my best year, I did get to some pretty fantastic titles that I’m sure will stick with me for a while to come. Unsurprisingly, I’m notoriously bad at picking ‘favourites’ so this list was a bit of a struggle 😂 It took me way too long to narrow it down and definitely don’t be surprised by the few honorary mentions at the end! I’m really keen to see what 2021 brings in terms of reading and I’m hoping that I’ll get to even more of my backlist because let’s face it, it gets bigger with each year that passes! Now without further ado, here are my favourites for the year…

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#TopTenTuesday: Books I Hope Santa Brings

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books I Hope Santa Brings

The only reason this top ten list will be difficult is because I have to limit myself to just ten 😂 Kidding, I’m not trying to be greedy but I mean, c’mon, it’s books! We all know the feeling about limiting ourselves…. Right? 🙃 But I digress… Most of these are books that I haven’t read yet but would love to add to my TBR but there are a few that I’ve read digitally and want to add to my physical shelves. Since my family and I don’t celebrate Christmas, I’ll be my own Santa and I’ll probably end up buying these at some point in the hopefully near future. It’s good to have a list organised already for when the time comes 😉

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#TopTenTuesday: December’s Likely Possibility Pile

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books On My Winter 2020-2021 TBR (or summer if you live in the southern hemisphere)!

I’m generally terrible with TBRs and tend to half-stick to possibility piles but 2020 has seen my moods become even wilder and whackier than normal, which has resulted in me straying from all the books that I think I possibly want to read over a given period. As much as I have been reading, its still been a tough year for the books 😂 I can’t believe the year is already coming to an end and well, a lot of my bookish reading plans this year kind of got thrown to the wayside! While this prompt does include 2021, I’m focusing on December specifically as I have a few titles that I think I want to read before the year ends… But (again) it’ll depend on my mood when it comes time to pick them up! So here are some possible possibilities for the pile and yes, I’m probably being more than a little ambitious! 😜

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Blog Tour Review: Steel & Stone by Kate Haley

I’m back with another blog tour with The Storytellers on Tour for Stone & Steel (The War of the North Saga #1) by Kate Haley. Thanks to the author for providing a copy 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: Stone & Steel (The War of the North #1) Publication Date: 06 May 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Epic Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Ten years. Thousands dead. No memories.

The amnesia was supposed to be a good thing. Other soldiers bask in its freedom. Except for Elvac it doesn’t feel right. When he returns from his first year at war he can’t shake the niggling sensation that something is missing. His life has been turned upside down, yet he can’t remember being gone. The only proof of his time away are the scars, and the haunting dreams of fire.


With the help of his friends, Elvac begins to regain his lost memories, and with them uncover the truth of his missing year, and what the Church of Sunne is really doing with their War of the North…

BUY NOW: Amazon (US)

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#TopTenTuesday: Christmas Romances for the Holidays!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Holiday/Seasonal Freebie (holiday books/covers/titles, wintry reads, snow on cover, cool color covers, takes place in cold settings, cozy scenes on cover, etc.), so I’ve gone for Christmas Romances that I hope to be reading!

Since it’s a holiday/seasonal freebie today, I was debating whether to do a post on the books I want to read before the end of 2020, but I thought it’d end up being not very festive, so I decided to share ten Christmas romances that I’d like to read at some point this month (but also maybe even in January). I’m quite new to seasonal romances but I went a bit wild last year looking at all the gorgeous Christmas covers, and ended up snagging a fair few for 99p on Kindle! I can’t remember what many of these are about but just looking at them gives me those cosy and comforting feels. As with many holiday themed things, I find that sometimes holiday romances can get a little cheesy, but y’know what? We’re here for the cheesy feel-good vibes, especially when so much has been a hot mess this year!

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#TopTenTuesday: Books I Want to Read Again

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books I want to read again.

Well, I thought that this was a pretty fitting topic as just last Friday, I shared my thoughts on rereading and I said that while I’m not much of a rereader, I would like to do it more–if only it weren’t for all the books sitting on my ever growing TBR! I didn’t mention in my post what books I’d like to reread again so what a perfect time do it with this TTT!

Almost all of these are part of a series and they’ve made it onto this list because my memory is the worst thing to exist™️ and I need to refresh it before I move onto the final book in the series. The standalones are because I remember loving them so much when I did read them (some as far back as middle school!) but I don’t recall (m)any details now so it might even be like reading a brand new book again, which is always super exciting! Yay for having terrible memory! 😂

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Blog Tour Review: Children by Bjørn Larssen

I’m back with another blog tour with The Storytellers on Tour for Children by Bjørn Larssen. Thanks to SoT for organising this tour and thanks to the author for the 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: Children (The Ten Worlds #1)
Publication Date: 03 October 2020
Genre: Fantasy Retelling, Mythology
Panda Rating:

Magni never wanted to be like his father, a murderous, absent, cheating alcoholic: Thor – the feared and beloved God of thunder. When Thor destroys everything and everyone his son knows and loves, Magni vows to stop the violence. His dream is to bring peace and prosperity to the Nine Worlds, then settle down with the man he loves. But is it possible to remain good in a place this bad? How do you escape cruelty in a universe built on it, or the shadow of your father when everyone calls you by his name?

Maya knows she’s a failure and a disappointment to her foster-parents. How could a child raised by Freya and Freyr – Goddess of love and God of sex – have no interest in the greatest of pleasures? Obviously, it couldn’t be the torture they subjected her to, or treating her as a tool that might someday be useful. Maya, her rage at their games more powerful than she knows, wants freedom to pursue her own destiny. But how do you forge your own life away from your God-parents when you’re nothing more than human?

A retelling of the Norse myths unlike any other, Children will answer all the questions you never knew you had about the heathen Nine Worlds… before leading you into the Tenth

BUY NOW: Amazon (UK)

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