September Book Haul

So you guys know I generally don’t talk about hauls as don’t buy a lot of books and get a lot of Kindle freebies every week…

But this month I splurged and bought myself some books, got gifted one and got one inna giveaway win (the giveaway was last month but the book only came in the month so I’m couting it 😂)

Also showing off my crochet tops below the books – please excuse my extremely novice modelling 😂 I named the section Crochet Time 🧶 and I’m thinking of adding it in at the bottom of some of my posts in the future… Or maybe separate posts… Depends on what you guys want… You’ll have to let me know 😊 🤔

🔸Giveaway win is a signed hardback copy Rage and Ruin by Jennifer L Armentrout – this is book 2 in the… … series – I haven’t actually read book 1 yet… I’m kinda waiting for the series to be finished before I start… Also I don’t have a copy of the first book yet 😅

🔸Flatmates by Chris Manby – This has been on my wishlist for years! I read it… Many times… A long time ago, and I really loved it. I got rid of it when I moved across country almost a decade ago and I’ve wanted another copy ever since. It finally dropped below a fiver so I snapped it up. Turns out its the same cover I owned too so I’m very happy 😁

🔸Stay Close by Harlen Coben – This was a total impulse buy when looking through the deals on Amazon. I need more thrillers in my life so 🤷🏻‍♀️

🔸The Holiday by T. M. Logan – I have been wanting to read this one since it released. I have heard so many great things and I’m excited to get to it soon… Hopefully 🤞🏻

🔸The Beach Wedding by Dorothy Koomson – This is marketed as a quick read and only cost £1 – I have yet to read anything by Dorothy Koomson sp this was a great deal 😊

🔸The Donor by Claire Makintosh – Another quick read for £1and I figured it would be a good intro for the author 😅

🔸Silver by Chris Hammer – this book was gifted to me by the Tandem Collective team – everyone on the Scrublands readalong has been gifted one, which is so cool and exciting, I am definitely excited to read it since I realy loved Scrublands.

🔸The High Moments by Sara-Ella Ozbeck – I was gifted a paperback copy of this book are part of the Kaleidoscopic Tours bookstagram tour. I did a instagram feed post thtqta had a portiom of extract and a blog post containing the full extract.

🔸I also splurged on the Lioness Rampant series by Tamora Pierce – This series is one I read a long time ago (early teens) and I loved them… I’ve been wary about rereading favourites from that time of my life since I worry out loosing the magic. However I’ve read 3/4 of these books in the past week and they’ve all been 4⭐ reads for me 😊

I am still waiting on my paperback copy of the Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson – I recieved the audiobook of All My Lies Are True via netgalley but I really want to read the first book before this one, so yeh I ordered it from a third party bookseller via Amazon at the beginning of the month… It never turned up, so they sent me another free of charge… Which hasn’t come yet… But I have my fingers crossed for today 😅

Crochet Time 🧶

Also showing off my crochet makes… I made 3 tops in week.

The cream one is the Eva Tank Top design by EvelynnvnadPeter

The grey one is a top I made using the base design of a top I found online, and I used elements from the Eva Tank top

The orange one is the Cross Back Top by EvelynandPeter (link at the bottom)

The Power of Hades by Eliza Raine & Rose Wilson

Book 1 of The Hades Trials

Synopsis

I’ve been kidnapped by Zeus. Plucked from the streets of Manhattan and frightened half to death by a freaking Olympian god.
And now I’m trapped in the Underworld, being forced to compete in a series of deadly trials for the position of Queen of the Underworld. Which would mean marrying Hades, the utterly terrifying Lord of the Dead. Who the hell wants a husband at all, let alone one made of smoke and riddled with death?

I have to get back home, to New York and my brother. But I can’t leave without completing the trials and they’ve been designed for a godly Queen, not Persephone – barista and botanical garden enthusiast.
I’m surrounded by lethal, all-powerful maniacs. Sexy-as-hell maniacs, sure, but as dangerous as they come. And I’m going to have to prove to all of them that there’s a goddess of hell inside me. It’s the only way I’ll survive the Hades Trials. But then what? And why, why, why am I so desperate to see under Hades smoky exterior and find out what he’s hiding from me?

If I win the trials, I have to marry the devil himself. But losing might mean losing my life.

Review

⭐⭐⭐

I quite enjoyed this one, although i found it a little slow. I understand why it’s slow, it’s the build uo for the next book. I am excited to read the next book as I’m hoping for more action and some actual… Well… Action **wink wink** 😂

I liked seeing the character from a new perspective and I liked seeing Persephone shoot down Zeus who I wanted to smack. I love Hades… I always preferred Hades and Posiedon to Zeus and other gods/godesses.

There is just something about him and this story made him really intriguing. With the whole smoke perspective of hiding himself and making him into a monster… But melting for Persephone…

I am very interested in finding out what happened to her in the past and why she left/was forced to leave (that’s still not clear) and why she was made human instead of being killed/imprisioned.

The Passion of Hades

Book 2 of The Hades Trials

⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Promise of Hades

Book 3 of The Hades Trials

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Friends with the Monsters by Albany Walker

Synopsis

Gather round close, for I have a secret to tell.

Late at night, while everyone is sleeping, dreaming of white knights and fairytales. I’m making friends with the monsters.

They call to me, like finds like, right? My biggest secret, I’m the scariest monster I know.

I think I’m the bad guy.

Thoughts about the synopsis

Honestly the synopsis gives very little away and I find it totally misleading for the book, it makes no sense of I’m honest and that bugs me so much. It’s what lured me to the book after the cover, and I am disappointed with the lack of monsters we get to actually meet and interact with.

Review

⭐⭐⭐

So this was a total cover read, i adore tjos cover so freaking much! And yet was a little disappointed with the story.

The basic plot of witches killing the ‘Charmed’ and being tainted and the gang trying to find out whose really behind it was reallt good but Damiana’s personal life got totally in the way.

Don’t even get me started about it being a reverse harem story because it’s not – at least not in this book – she simply fuck three guys… Nothing screams reverse harem at all… And honestly the storyline was better when she wasn’t sleeping woth any of them.

I am still annoyed that we don’t know what Damiana actually is… Why is she no longer craving the sins? The bonding? Soooo many questions that never get answered and she is fine with that… She is either drooling over them or being a total honry brat and it pisses me off… As soon as she looks at one of them she forgets being mad and everutjing else and it’s so weak of her.

The monsters are my absolute favourite part of this book, I love how varied they are and that they are her friends despite being drawn there for ‘unknown reasons’ – Grim says it’s because of him but never actually explains that?

I noted one instance in the book that truly annoyed me… She goes into the forest and speaks to the monster/godess/caribou who specifically calls the Lion that Damiana asks about a ‘Nemean’ and yet the nect day she can’t even put it together… Becaise she’s too busy eye fucking every guy in the room – i find it ridiculous and crap that she’s a smart woman in everything else except the stuff she really nwdds to use her brain for.

I cannot see me reading the second book. As much as the plot was interesting I don’t particularly like the mc or her harem so no thanks 😔

Scrublands by Chris Hammer

Disclaimer – I recieved this copy of the book as part of a Tandem Collective readalong.

I could not resist pairing this book with some of my plants as they’re all cacti and succulents and how cute are the little cacti erasers?!? My bestie got me them for christmas 😊

Synopsis

In an isolated country town brought to its knees by endless drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners before being shot dead himself.

A year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals about the priest and incidents leading up to the shooting don’t fit with the accepted version of events his own newspaper reported in an award-winning investigation. Martin can’t ignore his doubts, nor the urgings of some locals to unearth the real reason behind the priest’s deadly rampage.

Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking new development rocks the town, which becomes the biggest story in Australia. The media descends on Riversend and Martin is now the one in the spotlight. His reasons for investigating the shooting have suddenly become very personal.

Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to discover a truth that becomes darker and more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town’s secrets stay buried.

A compulsive thriller that will haunt you long after you have turned the final page.

I have linked my Scrublands Insta story highlight 😊 👇

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I recieved a free paperback of this book, containing prompts as part of a Tandem Collective readalong. All opinions expressed are my own and given freely.

I really enjoyed this one, i knew it was a thriller but it wasn’t quite what i was expecting from the blurb… But that doesn’t mean i didn’t enjoy it.

The story was engaging and sucks you in right away the characters were so interesting and strange and yet they were integral to the plot and came together really well.

I was hooked from the first chapter and was real y intrigued as to how it would all come together, there are many secrets and lies that elude to the truth but in the end it all comes out and it is very interesting in the way that it does.

Honestly not a huge fan of Martin, he constantly comlains about how soft he is but seems unwilling to do anything about it, other than complain. I didn’t really understand the constant references to his hands and i found it really annoying.

And I can’t say I’m happy about Martin and Mandy, i think she deserves so much better but she’s too soft amd forgiving, after throwing him out and never wanting to see him again, she ends up moving with him… Seems weird…

This copy of the book did include a sneak peak of the next story Silver… Not sure if I want to read it, npt sure how it could be as gripping as this one nor do I particularly care about Martin and Mandy as a couple 😅

Call of Water by Mariana Simcoe

Madame Tan’s Freakshow #1

Disclaimer – I recieved a digital copy of this arc from the author via the Hidden Gems Arc website in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own and given freely.

Synopsis

I can’t trust his words, but his touch and his kisses feel real.

A man with a teasing smile and an angel’s voice, Zeph is supposed to be nothing more than a beautiful, fun Parisian adventure. His voice lures me in. His cerulean blue eyes draw me to him. And his smile puts me at ease.

We part after just one night. The next time I see him, I’m captured and trapped in a world I never knew existed. Intriguing and whimsical on the outside, it turns dark and sinister as I plunge deeper into a trap from which there is no escape.

Humans do not belong in Madame Tan’s Freakshow, so what is Zeph doing here? I realize I know nothing about the man who has ruled over my imagination since the day we met.

I need to find my way out—with or without Zeph’s help—or risk spending the rest of my life locked in a cage.

Review

⭐⭐⭐

I really loved the sound of this book, i adore anything fae and this just felt right up my alley. However it lacked that special something for me to give it more stars. Like the first 30% of the book was her meeting Zeph and having their ‘adventure’ and then the middle was really slow and yet seemed fast as it skipped a lot since it only showed it from Ivy’s perspective which was limited… Then the ending was all action, sex and intrigue… I think it could have been paced better.

I did enjoy this, it was fast paced and kept me reading and interested but I did find the female lead to be very stupid by sneaking back into the freakshow… It just seemed like she was tstl 😔 But i liked her more when she was surviving and part of the background of the freakshow. She showed cunning and intelligence as well as strength… I love good character growth

Where as Zeph (i kept calling him Zephyr in my head) didn’t get any growth whatso ever… He got drugged and lot his memory… Which sucked but at least he got it back by the end… I was little frsurtated with his lack of growth, and the fact that its open ended, in regards to Lero… I want answers about him, where is he? Who is he? What is he? Where does he get the leaf stuff? Whats his connections to Madame Tan?

Why does use the name Madame Tan instead of her actual name? 🤔 That makes no sense to me… Also why are the brack the only ones who can travel between the worlds?

There are a lot of unanswered questions and the ending just brought more… It was open enough that there is probably going to be a book about Lero, and its open enough to continue in the world with Amira’s book being #2

Sin & Magic by K.F. Breene

Synopsis

I’ve agreed to work for a Demigod. My job? Find the spirit of his mother and release her before his vengeful father finds out and kills us all.

Have I lost my mind?

Thankfully, I don’t have to do it alone. Kieran has brought in help: a Necromancer who loves to flirt with danger. Bria can help me find the clues to free Kieran’s mom.

She can also help me learn my potent and extremely terrifying magic.

But as we work deeper into magical San Francisco, we uncover a minefield waiting to explode. I’m learning that there are far worse things than death.

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I was so worried that book 2 would not live up to the first book… It was just as good.

Carrying on exactly where book 1 ended and i was all for it, i love Alexis she is strong, stubborn and will not be left behind… Despite the fact that she is a newbie and being pushed aeay, she will not stand for it… And i am here for the strong, confident lead mc

Now i do love Kieran but i kinda wanna punch him in the nuts… He doesn’t know this woman, depsite the stalking, working together and the best sex of their lives and even being joined by their souls… Did he really expect her to leave or was he really (deep, deep, deep down) hoping she’d want to stay with him? It seems like the latter to me…

I am definitely getting book 3 next… And honestly I’ll probably download them all now 😊

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L Armentrout

Synopsis

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne… it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have been wanting to read more JLA but been unsure what to start, I was avoiding this series since it’s ya, and I find that hard to read most of the time now.

However, as much as I wanted to punch Layla throughout the book, mostly for her Crush on Zayne, i still quite enjoyed it… Probably because of Roth 😭

I love Roth so much right now, he’s kind of the only reason I kept reading, I wanted to know whether he was telling the truth or lying… And i almost cried

I’m not suture I want to continue the series for anything other than Roth… So it might be a while until I carry on the series… Maybe… I don’t know

The High Moments by Sara-Ella Ozbek

Synopsis

January 01, 2016 at 9:02AM

NY RESOLUTIONS – THE PLAN
Exercise 6 times a week
Have sex once a month min. (counts as exercise)
Move out of home TO LONDON (career??)
Make more friends
Be better

New Year’s Day is the ultimate cliché for Scarlett:

hangover, check
feeling weepy, check
broken sense of self, check check check

She is in her twenties, stuck living at home in small-town Topsham with an academic mother who has no time for pep-talks or consolation. The one saving grace is that her friend, Billie, still works at the pub down the road, but even the pub is losing its appeal.

Feeling desperate to do something with her life and with no real plan (but the mother of all hangovers), Scarlett picks up her stuff and moves to London. But moving isn’t a miracle cure and she ends up facing exactly the same problems she was desperate to escape.

In the search for ‘her path’, Scarlett is offered an internship at a fashion agency. This might not be her dream job but her mother is disgusted. So she takes it. This is her first step to becoming something but it is also her first step to becoming someone else. Each terrible decision she makes leads to another and her life begins to spiral.

But people are starting to know her; she is starting to become someone. And surely it’s better to be someone – even if it’s someone you hate?

Extract

It wasn’t until I was on the train that I had the real, what the fuck am I doing?
moment. I wasn’t so blinded by the bright lights that I didn’t care about having three meals a day, central heating and a roof over my head. I took out my iPhone to look up ‘cheap flats to
rent in London’, which was futile given that I only had a few quid to my name. Each and every one of them was – quelle surprise – extortionate. What was London, the third priciest city in the world? I decided to Google it. It was the first.
Say goodbye to that wardrobe rebrand or a student- debt- free existence, Scarlett.
I did have a friend from university who had moved there, but every time I’d suggested coming to see her she’d seemed less than enthused, so I’d given up. But since I didn’t even have enough money to take the train back to Topsham, I picked up the phone.
She answered after a few rings with a somewhat suspicious ‘Hello?’
‘Liz! How are you?’ I said, trying to sound both easy- going and responsible – like
someone you’d want on your sofa. We did the small talk, the niceties, she made her excuses for being out of touch, and then I went for it and said, ‘So, I’m on my way to London.’
‘Oh, cool.’ Her voice faded before she reached the ‘L’ in ‘cool’.
Don’t get too excited, I thought, that rod might fall out of your arse. ‘I’m coming for a job interview,’ I said, which I figured was only half a lie, since I did plan on getting at least one job interview. ‘I wondered if I could stay for a couple of nights?’
I heard a sigh down the phone, and then: ‘Scarlett, you can stay, but . . .’
‘But what?’
‘I live with . . .’
‘Hello?’
‘I live with Tim.’
Silence filled the phone line for a few seconds, which is all it took for me to compute that Tim was not her flatmate. Suddenly, her efforts to keep me at arm’s length made perfect sense. I even took some comfort in knowing that it hadn’t been anything to do with how
much she liked me. She probably didn’t really want to push me away from her; she just wanted to fuck and live with my ‘first love’. The thought of seeing Liz and Tim together was all too strange. Liz was a straight- A student, with a degree in economics, a job in the city, a burgeoning savings account and perfect hair. And Tim had once stolen the light bulb from my bedroom after I’d slept with him because he couldn’t be bothered to buy his own. He was, frankly, not good enough for her.
‘Scarlett?’
But I had nowhere to go.
‘Shall we talk about this?’ she asked softly.
I cleared my throat. ‘Sorry, the line broke up. Can I come stay anyway?’

Thoughts 💭

So this cover totally drew me to this book, I adore bright colours and yellpw is one of my favourites so I had to vheck out the info!

The synopsis totally drew me in and it feels totally relatable and realistic. So I signed up for it right away choosing the extract option (because my tbr is huge and I didn’t want to commit to reading a book if I wasn’t sure I would have the time) not actually expecting to be accepted and then I got the email!

I accepted the date provided and the book came a few days ago, I am so excited to read it 😊

However today when grabbing the synopsis for this post, I checked out

Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee

Synopsis

Blake Harrison:
Rich, titled, and charming…and in need of a wife by Wednesday. Blake turns to Sam Elliot, who isn’t the businessman he expected. Instead, Blake is faced with Samantha Elliot, beautiful and feisty with a voice men call 1-900 numbers to hear.

Samantha Elliot:
Owner of matchmaking firm Alliance and not on the marital menu…that is, until Blake offers her ten million dollars for a one-year contract. And there’s nothing indecent about this proposal. The money will really help with her family’s medical bills. All Samantha will need to do is keep her attraction to her new husband to herself and avoid his bed.

But Blake’s toe-curling kisses and sexy charm prove too difficult for Sam to resist. It was a marriage contract that planned for everything…except falling in love.

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

So i got this on a whim since the audio was also free with ku. I expected a light, fake relatipnship story and that’s exactly what I got. I really enjoyed it since I got exactly that.

The characters are fun and both male and female mc’s are strong characters, I didn’t expect Sam to freak out as much as she did about being pregnant or the condoms… It seemed very weak considering even her doctor pointed out that she never cried about her mum or sister… But an unplanned pregnancy that’s the kicker? It seems so odd for Sam’s character.

Blake was a dick for not telling her about the heir, but i totally sympathise woth hos reasoning 😅 and honestly i thought it odd that his ex had a latex allergy… Seemed very weird since genrally if you’re allergic to latex your allergic to all latex 🤔

I would have loved to see the guys searching Vanessa’s flat and finding evidence. Also I think Blake should have made a grand gesture before he went to see Sam…

The Epilogue – I find it weird they call the kod Eddie despite that beong his middle name not his first name… Sammy would be just as good and it’s his actual first name… Is that just me?

After reading the sneak peak at the back I am definitely interested in reading more of the series at some point 😊

Alice’s Adventures in Underland by C.M. Stunich

Synopsis

Um. Um. Um.
Are you reading this?
If you are, I need your help.

I was at a party; I was running; I fell.
And get this—this is the part you’ll never believe—I fell down a rabbit hole.
Like Alice in those old books.

Except in those books, there wasn’t blood everywhere.
In those books, the characters weren’t all male, attractive, and interested in me.
Forget everything you know about the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the March Hare …

This isn’t Wonderland; this is Underland.
Violence, sex, drugs, and magic … that’s all there is in this place.
There’s me, Allison, and there are the men that want me, the enemies that hunt me, and the darkness that’s quickly rolling in.

And only I can stop it.
So if you’re reading this, will you help me?
Please. I just want to escape this place and go … home.

Review

⭐⭐⭐

I reserve the right to change my rating at any time in the future.

I honestly don’t know what I think about this one… There was definitely more plot than steam i guess, and the steam was good… I definitely expected more steam and smut… And i honestly don’t like many of the guys that much 🤔

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, it’s just not quite what I was expecting… I was informed it was smutty and honestly for me it was too tame, considering there were only 2 sex scenes in the entire book… The guys were all gorgeous but I only really like Tee and Dee (I just wanted to give Tee all of the hugs 😭)

I will very likely read the other two books in the future I’m just not interested right now

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