A Group of Mini Reviews #1

27617333SHINY BROKEN PIECES by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton – ★★★★This was such a good sequel and a perfect way to round up this duology! Seeing how all the characters had changed after the events in TINY PRETTY THINGS was so fresh. But what also made this so good was seeing them devolve again. They didn’t just go through horrible shit and then suddenly turned good. It took them a long while before they got there and some of them didn’t. And I loved how everyone wasn’t forgiven straight away. Or at all.

My only issue with this is that every queer character is extra-bad, in my opinion. There are no good characters in this story — definitely in this book more than book one — but I just feel like the three queer characters do extra horrible things or are seen in an especially negative light. I don’t want to go into spoilers but if you want my examples, just ask!

35423342RIPPED PAGES by M. Hollis – ★★★★I adored every second of this novella! I love how it was written like a fairytale but it was still easy to read! Maria’s writing is just so lyrical and beautiful and I loved seeing a classic fairytale with a f/f pairing. Honestly, I felt like crying as I was reading this because of how happy I was. Especially when it was so real — not seeing yourself portrayed in fiction and then clinging to every piece that you do see yourself in. I just wish it had been a bit more longer so that the romance would have been more believable but it’s also a fairytale so I can’t really hold that against it that much. I just want to recommend this to everyone!

27066782THE MIGHTY THOR, VOL.1: THUNDER IN HER VEINS by Jason Aaron – ★★★★ – I am a little bit in love with the whole “female Thor” thing. I was disappointed with the last volume in this world (the reveal was good but everything else was meh) but this one? Oh my God. It’s so action-packed. It’s so powerful and complex. I loved seeing so many familiar characters deal with the new Thor. And the new Thor herself. I just love her so much!! Honestly, I think she’s my favourite superhero ever. I love her more than the original Thor and that is saying something! And that ending? That ending was amazing! I can’t wait to get to the next volume of this!

34371907BREAKWATER by Catherine Jones Payne – ★★★★ – I receieved this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I normally make sure to dedicate an individual post to my ARC reviews but I’ve left this too long to be able to write something fully. BREAKWATER was such a unique mermaid novel, so unlike anything I have heard of or read before. I enjoyed it completely even though I wish I had known it was the first in a series when I went into it. It would have meant the my concerns for resolution being rushed wouldn’t have been so overwhelming. I liked that our main character — Jade — wasn’t always right and had many flaws, but often just wanted to do the right thing. I definitely am looking forward to the next book!

35696827SUBOLT by Intisar Khanani –★★★★★ – I had heard about this and it’s been sitting on my Kindle for ages. It was on a whim I decided to pick it up and I’m so glad I did! This novella is so unique and different. I loved every second of it and pretty much finished it in one sitting. It is honestly one of the best fantasy stories I’ve read in a long time. The magical system is so different from anything I’ve read before. The characters are do complex and well developed and realistic, each with their flaws and strengths. I honestly cannot sing enough praises for this book. I cannot wait to get to book two and see what else awaits Hitomi! Honestly, if you want to support an indie, Muslim fantasy author — buy this book!!



“THE TIGER’S WATCH” by Julia Ember || Review

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THE TIGERS WATCH.pngSixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.


~I received this for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review~

This is such a confusing and difficult book to rate because on one hand, I really enjoyed it! I thought the entire premise was so unique and exciting, being bonded to animals and sharing their bodies and thoughts and souls? Sign me the hell up! I loved the variety of animals that were shown to be Bonded to humans — they were all tigers and lions and bears and that. There were smaller, less conspicuous animals and I thought that was entirely adorable and accurate.

I also adored Julia Ember’s writing. Let me tell you something, Ember’s writing is just so beautiful. I can lose myself in it — it is the kind of writing where I mean to read only a chapter but before you know it, I’m halfway through the book and can’t seem to stop. I adore her writing, which is definitely something I realised from reading THE SEAFARER’S KISS which was also released this year.

Honestly, kudos to Julia for getting two novels out in one year. I couldn’t cope with that!

I did enjoy the plot for this story, despite it being slow paced. I enjoy my fantasy to be slow burn, mostly. Hell, my favourite series is A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE so that is obvious. I wish that the book had been a little longer. In my opinion, instead of splitting the series into a trilogy, I would have preferred a hella long standalone, but that’s just me. I still plan on reading the rest of the series and seeing where our characters end up.

Which brings me to our characters. Which is where most of my problems lie.

The book is told through the prospective of Tashi. I have mixed feelings about Tashi. On one hand I enjoyed them because they’re so different from the typical hero we have in fantasy. They were overly brave, they often considered themselves a coward and wondered why their tiger, Katala, chose them. But on the same line, that is another reason I didn’t enjoy Tashi. They just didn’t seem real to me.

You should be able to get a good grip of the main character you’re reading about, right? By the end of the first book, you should understand what motivates them and who they are and what decisions they’ll make. I don’t know anything about Tashi. There were times they were making decisions and I just got whiplash because one minute they’ve given a pep talk and the next second, they’re whimpering again? I just couldn’t get a grasp on them and when I can’t grasp the characters I’m reading about… how am I supposed to root for them?

I did appreciate that they made wrong decisions for right reasons. I really do because we don’t see that enough. Not everyone is meant to save the world and I adore that. I just wish I knew Tashi more to root for them.

There is another character called Pharo who is Tashi’s best friend and is also the guy they’ve been in love with for ages. Pharo wasn’t really in the book much and we didn’t get to know him either, which was another problem. When the romance thing came out I was just like… what? They love him? Where the f*** did that come from? And it made me feel icky. Especially the thing that happens between them at the end. I felt icky with that.

But that just be my little demi heart showing itself again and because we didn’t get much development between them, it just didn’t sit well with me.

The only character I really enjoyed was Xian. No surprise there seeing as I saw Zuko from Avatar the second he was mentioned. I am Mrs. Fire Lord Zuko, okay? I love him so much and Xian gave me all the vibes of Zuko. I felt like he was the only character who felt truly three dimensional and developed. I can’t wait to see more of him in the next book!

And lastly, before this ends up a novel in itself, my final complaint is the world building. Overall, it was just generally lacking. I didn’t get a strong sense of where we were and the people who lived there. It’s very much like we’re thrown in the deep end with no prior swimming experience and our floaties have been locked away. Words are spouted and history talked of but never explained.

Perhaps this is because it’s told from first person and so Tashi won’t know every single detail. But when you’re creating a new world, I don’t think that works. That may just be a personal opinion but I couldn’t get a real sense of this world and so couldn’t understand what was at stake.

All in all, THE TIGER’S WATCH is a novel with an interesting premise that fell a little flat but I have high hopes for the next book in the series.

Until next time,


“UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES” by Louise Gornall || Review

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UNDER ROSE TAINTED SKIESAt seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?


This may just be a rambling of my feelings for UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES. I have heard nothing but great things about this story but it took me a long time to pick it up. But when I did, I couldn’t put it down. I read up to 56% in one sitting, slept and then finished it the next day. Technically, it was finished in one day because of when I started and finished.

This book is #ownvoices for agoraphobia, anxiety and OCD, I believe? And you can totally see that in how honest the portrayal was. I don’t deal with all of those but I have some mild anxiety and there so many things I connected with. It was so honest, almost brutally in some parts, and I loved it for it.

The entire story is told from Norah’s POV and I just loved her so much. I loved how she was funny and quirky and so real. Her comments about knowing she was overreacting but being unable to tell her mind/body that was so freaking true.

I also loved Luke, the love interest in this book. He’s so sweet and soft and adorable. I love those. We’ve established I love those. He’s also so real because he makes mistakes, he fucks up and he learns from them. And I adored how he treated Norah and didn’t push her too hard.

I did feel like the ending was rather rushed because everything in the final 10-15% happened so fast, but it was still so amazing that I can’t even take .25 stars off my rating. I just loved it so much.

I do want to say that there is self-harm in this book so if that is something that triggers you, go in prepared. I actually had no idea and the first time I stumbled across it, it kinda hurt me. Nothing too serious but it made me uncomfortable and I don’t want anyone else to have that experience.

But I also love the message that is in this book. This may be a bit spoilery, but Norah believes that self-harm is when she cuts herself with her scissors. She doesn’t do it often so she thinks she doesn’t self harm — nothing seriously. But she scratches herself until she bleeds; she picks her nails and other things and it doesn’t occur to her until her doctor points it out that this is also self harm. I do similar things — I pick my cuticles and nails; I scratch and did my nails into my skin but because it’s not intentionally slicing with a blade, I never considered it self-harm. I still have issues thinking about it like that if I’m honest… and I’m going to stop now because I’m making myself all squirmy.

I really enjoyed the realtionship between Norah and her mother. It was so real and beautiful and made me think of my mum. I also liked how she didn’t love her dad just because he was her dad. He wasn’t there so she felt nothing for him. I thought that was so accurate. And the positive potrayal of a therapist? That is so rare to find so it was wonderful to read.

This book was an emotional rollercoaster and I adored every single second of it. I cannot recommend it enough. Honestly. Please just read this book. You will not regret it (unless you’re have a bad mental health day in which case, do not read this book please. Do whatever you do that’s your self-care.)

Until next time,


“I, ELIZA HAMILTON” by Susan Holloway Scott || Review

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I ELIZA HAMILTON“Love is not easy with a man chosen by Fate for greatness . . .”

As the daughter of a respected general, Elizabeth Schuyler is accustomed to socializing with dignitaries and soldiers. But no visitor to her parents’ home has affected her so strongly as Alexander Hamilton, a charismatic, ambitious aide to George Washington. They marry quickly, and despite the tumult of the American Revolution, Eliza is confident in her brilliant husband and in her role as his helpmate. But it is in the aftermath of war, as Hamilton becomes one of the country’s most important figures, that she truly comes into her own.

In the new capital, Eliza becomes an adored member of society, respected for her fierce devotion to Hamilton as well as her grace. Behind closed doors, she astutely manages their expanding household, and assists her husband with his political writings. Yet some challenges are impossible to prepare for. Through public scandal, betrayal, personal heartbreak, and tragedy, she is tested again and again. In the end, it will be Eliza’s indomitable strength that makes her not only Hamilton’s most crucial ally in life, but his most loyal advocate after his death, determined to preserve his legacy while pursuing her own extraordinary path through the nation they helped shape together.


~I received this book for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review~

I have been in love with Alexander Hamilton like everyone else since listening to Lin-Manuel’s HAMILTON. And my favourite of all the characters is Eliza. I love her so much. She’s such an interesting, intriguing person who did so much for her husband’s legacy and never stopped loving him, even after everything he did to her.

Naturally, when I saw that there was a novel coming out told from Eliza’s POV about their relationship, I knew I needed to read it. And oh my God, I am so glad that I did.

I, ELIZA HAMILTON is such a beautiful retelling. You can tell that the author has done such in depth research about their lives and the times. It was so vivid that I felt like I was there with them and the emotions behind Eliza was incredible.

It’s written as if Eliza was writing in her diaries about her life throughout her life. There were times that I felt there was too much information, that didn’t really serve but to offer backstory. It was given in a very info-dumpy way where there were paragraphs of history of America.

But that didn’t stop my enjoyment of the novel. It was just so beautifully written!

I also loved how Eliza was represented in this! She wasn’t too rebellious for the times and she was kind. She was gentle. She was passionate and loving. You can see the woman that caught Alexander Hamilton’s eye and captured his heart.

From the very moment this book starts, the interactions between Hamilton and his Betsey are adorable! Honestly, I spent most of this book swooning and squealing because of how adorable and in love they were. And Hamilton was definitely as smooth as I’ve always imagined, haha! He was another character who I felt was so accurately represented that it shows just how much research Susan Holloway Scott did. He was… to quote my other fave… “young, scrappy and hungry”. I loved how, even though we saw him through Eliza’s eyes, we still saw his flaws. Nothing was portrayed through rose-tinted glasses which I adored.

This goes right from their first meeting to just after the fatal duel between Hamilton and Burr. I cried at this, by the way. I hardly ever cry and novels and their final farewell made me sob because it was just so powerfully written. And I also adored how it dealt with The Reynolds Pamphlet.

We all know that she had to forgive him his mistakes because hey, if she didn’t, she wouldn’t have spent those fifty years in perpetual mourning for him and constantly trying to share his legacy. But I always picture her being furious at him. In all honesty, I believe Lin-Manuel captured this anger beautifully with his song “Burn”. I love the well deserved hurt and anger that fills Eliza’s veins in that song and I always worry that people are going to take it away from her.

But this book did not.

She was angry. She was hurt. She was cold to him but in the end, she remember she loved him and remembered her heart and forgave him. And that was that.

When I first read it, I thought that it was perhaps dealt with too quickly, but it is also told through Eliza’s eyes. She wouldn’t have wanted to dwell on it too much and so when she forgave him, she would have put it from her mind to no longer hurt either of them.

I could forever keep rambling about how much I loved this book. But I’m just going to mention one last thing I adored: the afterword. The author recaps how Eliza spent her final years and oh my God, I fell even more in love with Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton. She is the strongest, most amazing founding mother ever and I just adored her.

I can honestly see myself rereading this book again and again. I loved it that much. I have only one final complaint for the reason that it didn’t get a full five stars. It never seemed to use the word “slaves”. During this time, slavery was a sign of wealth and Eliza came from a wealthy family. Her father owned slaves which was portrayed in this novel, but it was never said outright. They were called “servants”, shown to be black by the odd “Negro” or “African” thrown in before servant to describe them. The world slave is mention a time when Eliza and Hamilton are married and they both decided to not own any. The ones that her father owned? Servants. It just didn’t sit right with me but I’m white, so I have no say. If there are any black people who read this have reviews on this book, I will find link them below.

But all in all, I ordered this book and I cannot wait to own a physical copy of it because I adored it that much!



“THE QUEEN OF DAUPHINE STREET” by Thea de Salle || Review

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THE QUEEN OF DAUPHINE STREETWhen one of the world’s wildest socialites is paired with a handsome Texan, neither has any idea that their lives are about to change forever in this sexy, sultry romance in the NOLA Night series from New York Times bestselling author Thea de Salle.

Madeline Roussoux has it all: money, a dozen houses, a private jet, a cruise ship, even a tiger. Everyone knows her name. Her every move is watched, absorbed, adored, and abhorred by the public. She’s a dazzling spectacle on the society scene—a beautiful, flamboyant poster child for American privilege and Hollywood celebrity.

And she’s broken.

All the wealth in the world can’t make up for Maddy’s losses. Her father’s suicide and her mother’s ensuing breakdown left her orphaned as a teenager. She survived, but barely. From stints in rehab to a string of failed marriages, her dazzling smile hides deep scars. Finally, losing Sol DuMont, the one person she ever truly loved, has her wondering what is the point of being surrounded by people when you’re perpetually alone?

Enter Darren Sanders. He’s a beautiful Texas boy with a big heart and a bigger smile; the type of man women go crazy for. Literally. When Darren’s ex stalks him and then makes an attempt on his life, circumstances find him off to New Orleans with none other than Maddy Roussoux. He thought he knew everything there was to know about her, but there’s more to the woman whose image graces the covers of magazines worldwide, and Darren finds himself drawn into a world of excess he never imagined possible.


I started THE QUEEN OF DAUPHINE STREET not long after I had finished its companion novel THE KING OF BOURBON STREET. It took me a while to get through but that was nothing to do with the novel itself — it was mostly due to my travelling and having to deal with the fact that I didn’t have a lot of time to read.

This book is all about Maddy and Darren. Maddy is the ex-wife of Sol from THE KING OF BOURBON STREET, and this is all about her finding her Happily Ever After, and I love it. Because I am such a sucker for Happily Ever Afters.

I loved Maddy even in TKoBS because of how honest and sweet and caring and strong she was. She knew who she was, what she wanted and she didn’t apologise for it. It was great seeing even more of her — getting to be inside her head — and see how she got to where she is. As with Sol from the first book, I didn’t really like how non-chalantly her drug addiction was dealt with. She says she stopped snorting after she started getting nosebleeds but cocaine is such a serious drug. If you’re doing it that often that you get nosebleeds, it isn’t as easy as “just stopping”. And I wish a comment had reflected that.

I adored Darren. He was so hilarious and his dad jokes always made me snort aloud. No matter where I was or what time it was, I would also give a giggle at how awfully funny those dad jokes were. He’s just like an adorable puppy and I’m so happy that things worked out in the end.

I really enjoyed how the plot for this book was a lot more serious and throughout. The romance also took some time developping, which was also fun. I love romance so much because every character can get a spin-off but sometimes, it’s just the same story over and over again. This wasn’t like that. It was so original and wonderful. And as usual, the smut, when it happened, was glorious.

I do have one teeny complaint. Okay, maybe not so much teeny. So, this may be a bit spoilery so if you don’t want to risk it, skip this entire parapgraph. Anyway, if you’ve read TKoBS you know that Maddy is a dom. That’s who she is. Whether she’s sleeping with men or women, she’s always the dom. Until Darren comes along. He’s your typical macho-man and I just felt cheated that when she finally finds a “serious” relationship that could last forever, she’s subverted to a sub. She’s on the bottom. I came into this expecting to read about fem-doms and enjoy every second, but instead I’m stuck with your standard heternormativity. It was addressed later on, which definitely bumped up the rating for me, but I just didn’t really understand or appreciate the reasoning completely. I still felt like it was just… I don’t even know. I just feel like it was OOC or wrong.

Other than that, I completely recommend this book. As with THE KING OF BOURBON STREET you get a fun, sexy romance that will leave you swooning and wanting more.

Until next time,


“THE KING OF BOURBON STREET” by Thea de Salle || Review

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THE KING OF BOURBON STREETHotel chain mogul Sol DuMont is about to learn that some of life’s biggest surprises come in deceptively small packages—namely a petite heiress named Rain who’s hell-bent on upsetting her family’s expectations—in this first book in the all new series by Thea de Salle, set against the sultry backdrop of New Orleans.

Thirty-seven-year-old Sol DuMont is a divorcee and the owner of a mid-sized hotel chain in New Orleans. Since Hurricane Katrina, his father’s death, and the decision that he and his ex-wife Maddy are far better off friends than lovers, he’s lost interest in almost everything he held dear—parties, people, and pushing limits.

All his limits.

Then Arianna Barrington checks into his hotel.

Twenty-four-year-old Arianna “Rain” Barrington could have been society’s sweetheart. Her family is moneyed, connected press darlings, and make sweeping headlines from coast to coast for reasons both good and bad. But when her mother shoves her at Charles Harwood—the obnoxious, entitled heir of Harwood Corp—to cement a billion-dollar business merger, Rain does the only thing she can think of to escape: she creates a scandal so big Harwood doesn’t want her anymore before fleeing to New Orleans for much-needed rest and relaxation.

All she wants is jazz piano, beignets, and to sail the Mississippi. What she gets is Sol DuMont, a whirlwind affair, and a hands-on education in sex, power play, and pushing limits.

All her limits

I heard a lot about this novel through Twitter. Nearly all my friends have read it and loved it, so naturally, when I was in the mood for something nice and romantic and sexy, I picked this up first.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was fun, the sex scenes were written amazingly — honestly, they were so hot and not at all cringey — and the chemistry between our main characters Sol and Rain was so potent. My little demi-heart normally gets freaked out by people having sex when they’ve just met but something about them just clicked that I didn’t have anything to worry about.

I adored Rain, who is such a sweetheart. She’s so cute and innocent, and doesn’t have a single filter. She just says what’s on her mind and it’s the most adorable-y embarrassing thing ever. I loved watching her growth from the beginning to the end, and seeing how her relationship with Sol really brought her into herself.

My only critique with Rain is that she’s a fat character but she’s still your stereotypically beautiful girl. Big boobs, “wasp-waist”, hips and an ass. She’s like a plus-sized model — those that are still smooth, perfectly portioned, fitting in with society’s deemed ideal. It was good to hear of a character get loved whilst jiggling and having fat, it still gave me a huge confidence boost that made me realise I’ll find someone who’ll want me no matter what size I am. But it was just a little sucky that she was still your “standard” beauty.

I really loved Sol. He was so quirky and fun and hilarious. He’s so caring and understanding and Soft. I love Soft men okay? They’re my fave. I just adored everything about him and he will forever be my fave. Sadly, I have a complaint about him too — it’s just how nonchalantly his drug addiction was mentioned. If it were weed, I’d be fine, but snorting coke? I’m a bit sceptical about it — especially when it’s never seriously called out. It’s brushed off as youthful dalliance which is just hurtful to people losing everything to drug addiction.

As I mentioned before, I adored the sex scenes in this. They were so well written that it was like a breath air. I really loved how the BDSM was handled — though I wish we had some talk of safe words — and how they grew together, both of them stepping into their roles for the first time.

I also adored the plot that was there. This is erotica/romance first, so I wasn’t expecting much of a plot beside the romance, so the inclusion of something more serious to offer substance to all the smut was pleasant.

All in all, I recommend this book completely. So cute, fluffy, sexy and wonderful and I loved it so much. It was everything I expected it to be and more and just amazing. Definitely recommend this for a quick, fun, romantic read.

Until next time,


“THE DIABOLIC” by S.J. Kincaid || Review

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Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…


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