Hi All!

I just thought I’d switch things up by starting up my own site and share a bit more with you guys than I do on my bookstagram and Tumblr!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Seher and I’m a reader based in Pakistan! I read just about everything I can get my hands on! That being said I adore fantasy and poetry! I used to post exclusively on Instagram, but now I’ve decided to try and maintain my own blog!

If you prefer Instagram, that’s all good! I’ve linked that below! And if you prefer getting your reviews and giveaways on Tumblr and Twitter, those will be here too!

I’m also using this as a more creative space, so you’ll also get plenty of tarot card posts, restaurant reviews (from Islamabad), and pictures of the sky after it rains! I’ll also be posting my writing update, which is something I’m trying to get back into!

This is The Girl Who Reads in chaos mode!

I maintain two tumblr accounts! Which does sound like a bit much, but both serve for different moods!

My book tumblr lets me post more content than I can on my bookstagram, so you’ll find more posts here (in the future) and more excerpts, etc!


My poetry tumblr is a mood. Things that I love are posted there!


You can also find me on twitter (where I generally just cry and complain about life)

I listen to music on Deezer! I know its not spotify, but I just love the Flow button!

I have a lot of badges from all the sites I usually review on and now you have to see them because this is the first time I’ve had a place to put them! 🙂

100 Book Reviews
Reviews Published
Professional Reader

And last but not least, my google reviews!

  • Aliens Captive ~ Tina Moss

    Aliens Captive ~ Tina Moss

    Alien’s Captive ~ Tina Moss

    I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ALIEN’S CAPTIVE by Tina Moss Blog Tour hosted
    by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


    This was really sexy. Tina Moss created a planet of males who want to only look after and satisfy their females, and are protective but respect boundaries, and give space, and are oh so perfect. Admittedly, Xelen had some man pain, but the second he and Ava talked it out it went away, like the male actually wanted to be in a healthy place. I also do appreciate Ava as a character, a scientist who has crystals and a manifestation journal. I do think she threw herself into the mission too quickly, but that’s a small thing!

    A perfect read if you want to read about perfect men who come with vibrators attached!

    Thank you Rockstar Book Tours for a chance to read and review this!

    We also have this amazing playlist!
    My picture relies heavily on picsart!


    Now onto our giveaway!

    1 winner will receive a finished copy of ALIEN’S CAPTIVE, US Only.

    Subscribe to Tina’s newsletter for your chance to win!


     The book itself is $0.99 on amazon in ebook form, and $12.99 as a paperback!

    It’s also free for those of us on Kindle Unlimited!

    Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans
  • The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

    The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

    Thank you NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the chance to read and review The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill!

    The Woman in the Library came out on the 7th of June. This is not Sulari Gentill’s first book; she also has a 10 book long series Rowland Sinclair WWII Mysteries. The Woman in the Library is 292 pages long (at least the kindle version is) and it’s a work of epistolary fiction. It’s currently top of that list on the amazon charts. 

    What is epistolary fiction?

    Epistolary fiction is when a novel is told through a series of letters, but it’s also a genre that expands to include novels that only have parts told through letters and contain other documents such as diary entries, newspaper clippings, emails, or are told entirely through these other documents. I’m linking the wikipedia page on this, but some really famous works that I’ve read are 

    The princess diaries 
    Griffin and Sabine (if you haven’t read this you’re really missing out)
    Bridget jones diary 
    The diary of a london call girl 

    And these are the titles on the wikipedia page. If the genre is this broad, then I think most of us can come up with a dozen epistolary novels we’ve read.

    Back to The Woman in the Library

    Sulari Gentill’s new book is set towards the start of the pandemic. It starts off fairly wholesome. Our main character, Hannah, is writing another book (she’s a published writer) and corresponding with her pen pal and fan, Leo, and sending him chapters. Leo is also writing a novel but has been getting turned down by agents and publishers. As the pandemic sets in Hannah’s plans to visit the US get derailed, but she keeps writing the book. It’s an amateur sleuth novel (which is one of the genre’s that The Woman in the Library belongs to), while Leo keeps helping her by digging up information on the city the book is set in. Of course, as the novel progresses, we realise that there is much more going on.

    Within the novel that Hannah writes we have four strangers bonded by a scream in the library. They end up becoming friends bonded by the murder and the weird stuff that happens to Freddie, the main character. We’re told by Leo who the killer is early (we can only presume that this is an email from Hannah to Leo as we never do see her emails), and it’s interesting to see the characters come to that conclusion slowly. We’re shown that Freddie really liked the killer and doesn’t want to believe it’s him; she’s the unreliable narrator but we’re also still curious to see if she’s right or not.

    The Woman in the library has a banging plot. Like the plot is phenomenal (I’m not revealing anymore because spoilers) and so interesting that I had to finish the book. I just wish that Sulari Gentills writing matched up. This book has so much potential but it just fell short and it’s hard to explain that to another person unless they’ve read it but I’ll try.

    Hannah sends each chapter to Leo to read. Leo reads the chapter and writes a short email back on how much he loves everything and sends her helpful information on the US. Those chapters are not well written. I couldn’t fathom anyone liking Cain or Freddie or chapter-Leo, or Whit or Marigold. Leo’s love of Marigold and love for everything Hannah wrote was a little annoying. On the one hand, that could be intentional, to show that this is a writer working through things, but on the other hand, as it formed the bulk of the book, it also took away from the novel, even though that plot was great. I would have liked to have seen better chapters sent from Hannah to Leo, and smaller corrections like phrases and things. 

    I saw the thing with email-Leo coming. I don’t know if other readers did or did not, but I didn’t mind that. Again, the plot is great. But my problem is that the chapters were not good enough to hold my interest and by the end I was skimming; at that point if there was a change in the style of Hannahs writing (which Leo pointed out was getting heavy handed), I didn’t pick up on it. Had those earlier chapters been more put together I would have loved seeing this happen. I also didn’t like the ending to the chapters, which could have been better done. I wish the killer was different; this felt like garbage.

  • Book Review: Tell Me the Truth About Love by Susanna Abse

    Book Review: Tell Me the Truth About Love by Susanna Abse
    Tell Me the Truth About Love by Susanna Abse - Random Things Tour poster

    When it comes, will it come without warning, 
    Just as I’m picking my nose?
    Will it knock on my door in the morning, 
    Or tread in the bus on my toes?
    Will it come like a change in the weather? 
    Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
    Will it alter my life altogether? 
    O tell me the truth about love.

    O Tell Me the Truth About Love ~ W.H. Auden

    Thank you Random Things Tours for the chance to read and review this book!

    Tell Me The Truth about Love by Susanna Abse came out on the 19th of May, 2022. The book is 221 pages long and was published by Ebury Press, which is a Penguin Imprint. It is also Susanna Abe’s first published book. It’s based on Susanna’s experience as a psychoanalytic therapist (she started practising in 1991), and while it’s technically non-fiction, in the interest of privacy (and just not being terrible) Susanna has blurred the lines between a few of her clients.

    While the premise seemed really interesting, I was unsure of how I would feel about reading a therapists point of view of their patients. Confidentiality is a really important thing; would I go to a therapist if I thought they would include a chapter about me in their book? Absolutely not; I would much rather suffer. This is why I felt a lot better after reading the authors note in the front where she acknowledges that she’s drawn from her experience to describe scenarios, rather than take people’s actual stories.

    Tell Me the Truth About Love by Susanna Abse
    Tell Me the Truth About Love by Susanna Abse

    Susanna is a good writer. She doesn’t make any of these stories feel staged or stilted. She’s also honest about her owns shortcomings and about the situations where she could have done better, and even the ones where things don’t work because the patients aren’t that invested. I also loved the chapter titles, which are support creative! I think this is a solid book if you’d like to understand more about yourself and the way people around you think.

    I read something similar in the past, Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy by Irvin D. Salon. While that book was a bit more entertaining, I feel like Abse was infinitely gentler about her patients, which means if you’re interested in something like this, Tell Me The Truth About Love will be more palatable.

    Tell Me the Truth About Love by Susanna Abse

    Blurb for Tell Me the Truth About Love

    Drawing on more than 30 years of working closely with people who have encountered hurdles in their love lives, psychoanalytic psychotherapist, former chair of the British Psychoanalytic Council, and presenter of Channel 4 News ‘Britain on the Couch’, Susanna Abse, takes us deep inside one of the most fascinating realms there is: other people’s relationships.

    The 13 case histories in this book are inspired and informed by tens of thousands of sessions with many hundreds of patients. These stories, which take us deep into the heart of the consulting room, shed light on some of the universal themes and eternal dilemmas we face in our love lives.

    The result is a book of solace, wisdom, and insight into how, and why, we love.

    Susanna Abse

    About the Author

    SUSANNA ABSE is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist who has worked in private practice with couples, individuals and parents since 1991.

    She is the chair of The British Psychoanalytic Council and spent a decade as CEO of the charity Tavistock Relationships. She has also recently been presenting Britain on the Couch for Channel 4 News and contributes regularly as an expert on print features about relationships.

    She has published widely on couple therapy, parenting, and family policy and how these areas need to be at the heart of progressive welfare provision, a subject on which she lectures and teaches.

    Susanna is a Senior Fellow of the Tavistock Institute for Medical Psychology, a fellow of the Centre for Social Policy at Dartington; a previous Leadership Fellow at St George’s House, Windsor Castle, as well as a Member of the Advisory Board of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis. She is also Co-Editor of The Library of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis for Routledge Books. Between 2016-18, she was a member of the University of Birmingham mental health policy commission “Investing in a Resilient Generation”.

  • Interview with the author and book review: Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After by Anne E. Beall

    Interview with the author and book review: Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After by Anne E. Beall
    Cinderella Didn't Live Happily Ever After by Anne E. Beall

    Interview with Anne E. Beall; the author of Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After!

    Thank you iRead Book Tours for the chance to read and review Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After by Anne E. Beall! Over here, you guys will be able to read my mini review and also dive into the interview!

    Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After was published by Beall Research, Inc. on the 13th of November, 2018. At 127 pages, it’s a short read, but one that talks about a lot of overarching themes that you see in the Grimm’s fairy tales. It’s a good book for those who are interested in feminist theory and literary criticism. 

    We’ve all always known that happy ever after is usually not as happy as we imagine it will be. Not just because as we grow older we realise that even the things we do out of love and with the best intentions can fall apart, but as the poem goes, “the world is at least fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative estimate.” Cinderella won’t live happily ever after, not because we don’t want her too, but because the numbers don’t add up to a one.

    Even though the book is short it’s a really good one that allows a reader to really get a good sense of the major themes they’ll see when reading these fairy tales. It’s also great to see that the analysis is data driven. I won’t go into the statistical significance stuff, because I’m an Econ major who shouldn’t have graduated with a degree in econ, but I do think that they give a good sense of how common certain aspects of these stories are. Anne also includes the number and tables at the end, which I think is a great way to allow a reader to conduct their own analysis and invite further conversation.

    While Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After is a book for people of all ages, I would definitely want to give this to a reader in their teens, just to help them become less afraid of numbers and to show them the way data can be used in literature.


    CINDERELLA DID NOT LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER Book Tour Giveaway https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js
    Anne E. Beall

    A bit about Anne E. Beall

    A leader in the field of market research and one of the few female CEOs in the industry, Anne E. Beall is the author of 10 books in business, gender studies, and mindfulness, including Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily EverAfter: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Talesand The Psychology of Gender. Her book Heartfelt Connections was named one of the top 100 Notable Indie books in 2016 by Shelf Unbound, and she has published nearly a dozen business articles in noted journals. Her books have been featured in People Magazine, Toronto Sun, Hers Magazine, and Ms. Career Girl, and she has been interviewed by NBC, NPR, and WGN. Having received her PhD in social psychology from Yale University, Anne resides in Evanston, Illinois and is the founder of the market consultancy company Beall Research.

    And here is the interview!

    Why is the title of your book, Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After?

    Women within these stories have little agency and are fairly powerless after they marry. Queens and princesses are the most unhappy characters—queens express sadness and cry more than any other character. The reason for their sorrow is that other women often attack them, sometimes they have their children taken from them, and they’re punished by the king (their husband). If this pattern holds, Cinderella will not have a peaceful life. Given the appeal of the prince, she will be the envy of many ladies. She is also bringing less to the table than the prince, who has wealth, status, and a kingdom. Research shows that when you bring fewer resources to a relationship, you have less power in it, which is what happens to many queens in fairy tales.

    Don’t fairy tales change over time?

    Fairy tales adapt to the teller and location through a variety of contexts (e.g., forest vs. desert) and the dialogue also changes. But often the basic story remains. For example, one of the earliest Cinderella stories featured a Greek slave named Rhodopis. She was bathing when an eagle stole her sandal and dropped into the King of Egypt’s lap. He was holding a meeting at the time and was moved by the beauty of the sandal as well as the strangeness of the situation. He asked his advisors to locate the sandal’s owner, which took a while. They finally located Rhodopis, who eventually became his wife. This story is from around the first century BC! So, you can see the essential tale is the same from thousands of years ago.

    Cinderella Didn't Live Happily Ever After by Anne E. Beall Tour Banner
    Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After by Anne E. Beall Tour Banner

    People Magazine featured your book and then NBC interviewed you. What was that like?

    It was totally amazing, and it surprised me when the magazine picked it up. People became interested in the book because characters in fairy tales vary in terms of the emotions they experience. For example, kings and princes are the happiest characters, whereas queens are the saddest. They found that data interesting and worthy of an article. I was also invited to appear on an NBC morning show in Tampa because they found the book relevant when Meghan Markle left the royal family. Everyone wanted to understand why marrying a prince might not turn out well. It was a dream come true to have major media interested in my book.

    What is your favorite fairy tale and why?

    Believe it or not—my favorite fairy tale is Cinderella. It’s one of the oldest fairy tales and there are at least 1,500 versions around the world! I love the idea of a woman getting out of a terrible situation. And I like the idea of marriage as an avenue to a new life. It’s a sweet story and there is a reason it has stood the test of time. I also like the reversed gendered version where a princess saves a man who is downtrodden, and they begin a new life together. It’s just a lovely idea.

    Do you think people really take fairy tales seriously?

    While writing this book, it struck me how often people used the phrases “happily ever after,” “fairy tale,” “princess, queen, king, and queen.” These phrases are a huge part of our culture and I believe many people aspire to have a life of wealth and privilege—a fairy tale life. However, these tales often showcase women as passive and weak, whereas men are portrayed as active and strong, which are traditional gender stereotypes. Powerful women in these tales are often evil, whereas powerful men are mostly good. These ideas may form a lens through which we see the world. For example, little girls who get a heavy dose of princess culture may look to males to save them when things get difficult. So, to answer your question, these are fun entertaining stories, but at some level we should all take them seriously—they are a huge part of our culture.

  • Cover Reveal: The Fraud Squad by Kyla Zhao

    Cover Reveal: The Fraud Squad by Kyla Zhao
    The Fraud Squad by Kyla Zhao Banner


    The Fraud Squad is perfect for fans of The Devil Wears Prada , Inventing Anna, and Crazy Rich Asians! And if you’re anything like me, you probably love all three!

    Personal fav is The Devil Wears Prada!

    If I were you, I’d preorder the book right now!

    Blurb for The Fraud Squad by Kyla Zhao

    For as long as she can remember, Samantha Song has dreamed of writing for a high-society magazine-and she’d do anything to get there. But the constant struggle to help her mom make ends meet and her low social status make her dream feel like a distant fantasy.

    Now, Sam finds herself working at a drab PR firm. The closest she’ll get to that life is living vicariously through her socialite coworker and friend, Anya Chen. Then she meets Timothy Kingston: the disillusioned son of one of Singapore’s elite families–and Sam’s one chance at infiltrating the high society world to which she desperately wants to belong.

    To Sam’s surprise, Tim and Anya both agree to help her make a name for herself on Singapore’s socialite scene. The borrowed designer clothes and plus-ones to every glamorous event can only get her so far; the rest is on Sam, and she’s determined to make an impression on the editor-in-chief of Singapore’s poshest magazine. But with a mysterious gossip columnist on the prowl for dirt, the deeper Sam wades into this fraud, the more she fears being exposed-forcing her to reconcile her pretence with who she really is before she loses it all.

  • Cover Reveal: Divine Judgement by JoAnna Grace

    Cover Reveal: Divine Judgement by JoAnna Grace
    Divine Judgment by JoAnna Grace

    One warrior fights for the love of his life, while another warrior finds his.

    JoAnna Grace decided to change up the covers for her gorgeous romantic fantasy series The Divine Chronicles

    Divine Judgment is the third book in the series, and came out originally on the 29th of August, 2014. This 272 page novel was published by Winged J Press!

    Like the other books in the series it’s a paranormal romance, with some really fantastic reviews! It’s also on sale for $0.99 like the first two books in the series!

    Divine Judgment: Blurb

    Divine Judgment by JoAnna Grace blurb

    The gods have summoned…

    Thracian Master, Ryse Castille, and Deities around the world travel to the Heavens and face their creators. It’s time for a murderer to come to justice and Ryse will have a front-row seat at the trial. The Heavens have a few unexpected surprises for him; he prays one of them will be a reunion with his beloved Avery’s spirit. He’ll stop at nothing to bring her home safely and see his father’s killer brought to justice—if the gods don’t destroy the Olympian race first. Their fate rests on his shoulders.

    While the Master is away…

    Elite Apprentice, Dante, has a monumental responsibility in Ryse’s absence. He must watch over the widowed queen and Avery’s comatose body until her spirit is returned. In the wake of the king’s death, the gods send Lysandra, an Oracle, to earth to guide them through the troubling times. Weighed down by the constant disapproval of his father, Dante finds solace in her admiring eyes. Their unexpected affections are cultivated amidst the secrecy and constant threat of exposure. Both Oracle and Elite are bound by their oaths—the very things that might wrench them apart.

    Two Warriors.

    Two Quests.

    One Final Judgment.

  • Giveaway and Book Review ~ Feather and Flame by Livia Blackburne

    Giveaway and Book Review ~ Feather and Flame by Livia Blackburne
    Feather and Flame by Livia Blackburne Blog Tour Poster

    I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the FEATHER AND FLAME by Livia Blackburne Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

    About Feather and Flame

    Title: FEATHER AND FLAME (The Queen’s Council #2)
    Author: Livia Blackburne
    Pub. Date:  June 14, 2022
    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
    Pages: 336
    Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, Kobo, TBDBookshop.org

    Feather and Flame by Livia Blackburne Blog Tour Poster
    Feather and Flame by Livia Blackburne Blog Tour Poster

    Blurb for Feather and Flame

    She brought honor on the battlefield. Now comes a new kind of war…

    The war is over. Now a renowned hero, Mulan spends her days in her home village, training a militia of female warriors. The peace is a welcome one, and she knows it must be protected.

    When Shang arrives with an invitation to the Imperial City, Mulan’s relatively peaceful life is upended once more. The ageing emperor decrees that Mulan will be his heir to the throne. Such unimagined power and responsibility terrifies her, but who can say no to the Emperor?

    As Mulan ascends into the halls of power, it becomes clear that not everyone is on her side. Her ministers undermine her, and the Huns sense a weakness in the throne. When hints of treachery appear even amongst those she considers friends, Mulan has no idea whom she can trust.

    But the Queen’s Council helps Mulan uncover her true destiny. With renewed strength and the wisdom of those that came before her, Mulan will own her power, save her country, and prove once again that, crown or helmet, she was always meant to lead. This fierce reimagining of the girl who became a warrior blends fairy-tale lore and real history with a Disney twist.

    Feather and Flame by Livia Blackburne
    Feather and Flame by Livia Blackburne


    Feather and Flame is the second book in the Queen’s Council series. Each book in this series can be read as a standalone and is by a different author. Each book is a reimagining of our favourite princesses as young rulers off their lands, aided by a mystical group of women called the Queen’s Council, whose job it is to advise queens throughout history.

    The book came out on the 14th of June and was published by Disney-Hyperion. It’s a YA novel, but also comes under more specific categories such as retellings, historical fiction and fantasy, and asian literature. This is not Livia Blackburne‘s first book, she’s got a few short stories and 2 series published on amazon, and based on Feather and Flame I’m surprised that she doesn’t have more of a following.

    Feather and Flame starts off with Mulan being declared the next emperor of China. She doesn’t believe herself worthy of the role and it doesn’t get any better as the emperor passes away soon after and her advisors pressure her to accept a marriage offer from the huns. When she’s betrayed by men who cannot fathom that a woman can rule, and rule well at that, Mulan has to struggle to reach home and help keep her people safe from another war.

    Firstly, Livia Blackburne is a solid writer. When you start reading Feather and Flame you’ll forget the time. Mulan is pretty much everyone’s favourite princess; she’s the one who reminded us that women could be capable of everything at a time when almost every other princess was more passive. If you mess up with Mulan, then I’m pretty sure people will go for blood. But Livia Blackburne was up to the task. Feather and Flame has all the magic from the movie and does justice to her character. Mulan is strong, but she also questions herself, she trusted her advisors but was also quick to pick up on their deception. While her grandmother who guides her, Mulan is capable of taking action and getting things done; of being strategic and tactical, but also kind with those who need it. She’s intelligent, and even though the queens council helps her, there is no doubt that Mulan could have saved China a second time without them.

    Once again, I find that the more I like a book, the worse the quality of my review! Long story short, this was a fantastic book and I am so glad I read it!

    Although I do have half a mind to take a point off for the lack of a particular character. If you know, you know.


    I kinda forgot while typing up my review that there was a giveaway. There is a giveaway. It is US only and involves a finished copy of the book!

    Livia Blackburne

    About Livia Blackburne:

    Livia Blackburne is a New York Times bestselling author who wrote her first novel while researching the neuroscience of reading at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then, she’s switched to full time writing, which also involves getting into people’s heads but without the help of a three tesla MRI scanner. She is the author of the Midnight Thief, and Rosemarked series, as well as the picture book the Dream of Popo

  • Cover Reveal: Divine Destiny by JoAnna Grace

    Divine Destiny - JoAnna GraceJoAnna Grace Divine Destiny

    JoAnna Grace decided to change up the covers for her gorgeous romantic fantasy series The Divine Chronicles!

    Divine Destiny is the second book in the series, but was originally the first to be published in 2013! It’s technically the first book in the series with Divine Awakening serving as the prequel novel.

    Like the other books in the series it’s a paranormal romance, with some really fantastic reviews! It’s also on sale for $0.99, with the prequel also on sale!

    “From the prologue I was drawn to the lead character… This book never once lost my attention… (she) has entwined her intriguing world of Olympians into my imagination and left me wanting more ASAP!” – Paranormal Romance & Authors That Rock

    Of course, if you’re based in the US, I would recommend you head on over to bookstagram to take part in the fantastic giveaway!

    Divine Destiny
    Divine Destiny
    JoAnna Grace Divine Destiny

    Blurb for Divine Destiny

    Avery McClain is normal. Or so she thinks. 

    Until her life is shattered and she is rescued by a Thracian warrior. He takes her to the Haven, a realm of safety for the magical race of Olympians. There she discovers her life was meant for a higher calling as the mate of an Olympian Prince. 

    Her choice will change everything. 

    Ryse Castille has one job: convince Avery to step into her role as a Divine Grace. As with any mission, there are obstacles to overcome. Including the fact he is captivated by her. Of all the gifts the gods have given him, romance was not included. But Avery belongs to him and he will stop at nothing to protect her. 

    The enemy might be closer than they think. 
    Can Avery find the courage to embrace her destiny? Or will evil separate them for eternity?

    **Avery & Ryse’s journey begins in The Divine Chronicles novella, Divine Awakening!**

  • The Impoverished Dowry by Emily E. K. Murdoch

    The Impoverished Dowry by Emily E. K. Murdoch
    The Impoverished Dowry by Emily E K Murdoch
    The Impoverished Dowry by Emily E K Murdoch

    Book Review for The Impoverished Dowry by Emily E. K. Murdoch

    Thank you, NetGalley and Dragonblade Publishing for the chance to read and review The Impoverished Dowry by Emily E K Murdoch!

    The Impoverished Dowry is the second book in The de Petras Saga, starring Coral de Petras, although we get plenty from her sisters Sapphire and Emerald. As their fathers’ ships sink and the family no longer has the money for multiple dowries, Coral decides that marrying a wealthy man who doesn’t care about how much money she has might fix things. Of course, things go a little south when she starts falling for the duke, whom she had originally deemed unsuitable!

    While The de Petras Saga is planned to be around 5 books, this book comes out on the 14th of June. It will be available on Kindle Unlimited as I suspect the rest of the series will be! It’s published by Dragonblade Publishing, which is a woman-owned, woman-run boutique publisher that specializes in Historical Romance.

    The actual review part

    I’ve been told that it’s sometimes not clear if I’m recommending a book or not, so let me start off by saying that I recommend the book, and I’m leaving it 4 out of 5 stars!

    I picked out The Impoverished Dowry because I love romance novels and this one had a terrific cover! It’s acknowledged in the book that Coral’s gowns are old-fashioned, but when they look that good who cares? This is a take on the historical fiction genre where we have a woman, Opal, who functions as the head of the family, and not just because her husband isn’t there, but because that’s their family tradition. It was interesting how that plays out for Micah and Coral because they’re still subject to the society around them even if their family is a little different. It was different to see a story play out from the duke’s point of view; he was the main for me in this more than Coral even though we did get her point of view.

    I was a bit taken aback by the advert Coral placed; that may not seem too out of place now (you do now see things like that in the newspaper). While I was reading How Sex Changed the Internet by Samantha Cole (incidentally also a NetGalley read), I came across the story of Helen Morrison who placed an advertisement for a husband in 1727 and was put in an asylum for a month! I understand that regency England technically started around 1795, but everything I’ve read tells me that this would have still been considered out there, especially for a family that was considered part of the ton! And while I think it’s great that she was so clear about what she wanted, I wish she had thought this through a little given that she was doing it for her family, and it had consequences for them (as we hear from Micah).

    The conflict was cute, and I like that they overcame her list and the general good fortune at the end. I’m curious to see what happens to Emerald and Micah in the next few books! I also love the development at the end, which I’m betting will be the main thing in the fifth book!

    In case you’re interested

    Here’s an article about a woman who placed an advert for a husband in Texas in 1888. I too would like someone to support me.

    Blurb for The Impoverished Dowry

    Coral de Petras is on the hunt for the perfect husband, and she doesn’t care who knows it.

    In her third Season and with the shock of her father’s shipping business collapsing in disaster, Coral makes the hard decision to forgo a love match and fall back on the plan she had as a child.

    Marry for money.

    But if Coral’s giving up a love match, she doesn’t just want to settle for any gentleman: she has a list. A list of all the qualities she will demand from her future husband—and publishes it in all the newspapers.

    A chance introduction with a duke (sadly not fulfilling all the points on her list) throws her completely off balance. Her dowry is gone, but doesn’t that mean she should demand the absolute best?

    The Duke of Glaenarm is handsome, charming, devilishly devoted to her. And imperfect. Damn. At least, that is what Edward Barlow, Duke of Glaenarm, is informed by Coral at Almack’s.

    Amused by the fiery haired beauty who demands a husband who meets her lofty and unrealistic expectations, Edward decides to trick her into affection for him—proving that even if she believes him imperfect, she can fall in love.

    But the more time they spend discussing her potential suitors, neither Coral nor Edward can control the desire pulling them together—and as the de Petras family’s outrageous behavior continues to threaten their respectability, it’s becoming more and more difficult for Coral to understand what she wants from life.

    A respectable, boring, wealthy suitor who completes her list…or an imperfect duke that makes her feel alive?

    This full-length novel is a steamy Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and is part of a series that can be read in any order, but is best enjoyed in sequence.

    The de Petras Saga
    Book 1 – The Misplaced Husband
    Book 2 – The Impoverished Dowry
    Book 3 – The Contrary Debutante
    Book 4 – The Determined Mistress
    Book 5 – The Convenient Engagement

  • Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White

    Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White
    Hell Followed with Us Banner
    Hell Followed with Us Banner

    Book review for Hell Followed With Us with TBR and Beyond Tours

    Hell Followed With Us is one of those books that lives up to all it’s hype! I was lucky enough to be approved via NetGalley, but I also joined the book tour hosted by TBR and Beyond Tour! You can check out the full tour here!

    Hell Followed With Us is a YA horror read that came out on the 7th of June. This is Andrew Joseph White’s debut novel  (although he has published shorter pieces of fiction before) and was published by Peachtree. It’s 416 pages long and is set in the US, after a cult managed to unleash an apocalyptic disease that wiped out the better part of humanity and created mutated most of those remaining into monsters. 

    Book Review

    Benji was infected by the Flood; a disease created by right wingers to cleanse the population of all sinners. He was selected with a particular strain, one that would turn him into a being that could control the monsters created by the flood itself. As he attempts to escape with his dad, he’s find himself with a group of teenagers who are also trying to survive. As the cult comes back for him; he has to figure out how to help defend this new community from what’s to come.

    When requesting this from NetGalley, I was just thinking about that gorgeous cover! But honestly, I don’t think I’ve read a book like this one before! I can’t imagine a person describing all those transformations. The detail is just insane! 

    The representation and all the nuance was phenomenal! The fact that we have all these queer characters, and we have different pronouns included was wonderful to read. 

    The plot itself was also incredibly different! I did not see that coming from Theo or Nick, but at the same time that was so well done that it didn’t feel like it was out of the blue. Despite all that blood and gore, we technically have a happy ending, but it’s also not entirely happy because of all that’s happened leading up to it.

    I can’t wait to see everyone’s art after they’ve read the book! I’m still having a hard time picturing the Graces, and I would love to see the takes on that! 

    I’m privileged enough to not need to focus on trigger warnings, but I do want to say that there is a lot of gore, misgendering, deadnaming, and religious abuse! I would highly recommend that you take a look at the trigger warnings once just to be prepared; I don’t think there was anything senseless, for the sake of it, but what you would expect from a religious cult in a post apocalyptic world.

    Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White

    Prepare to die. His kingdom is near.

    Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sectthat unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.

    But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.

    Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.

    A furious, queer debut novel about embracing the monster within and unleashing its power against your oppressors. Perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and Annihilation.

    Content Warning: parental death, graphic death, body horror, violence, religious abuse, discussions of genocide; instances of homophobia, transphobia, misgendering, and deadnaming.

    Andrew Joseph White author of Hell Followed With Us

    About the author

    Andrew Joseph White is a queer, trans author from Virginia, where he grew up falling in love with monsters and wishing he could be one too. He is a graduate student in George Mason University’s Creative Writing program and has a habit of cuddling random street cats. Andrew writes about trans kids with claws and fangs, and what happens when they bite back. 

    He is represented by Zabé Ellor of the Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency.

    Author photo by Alice Scot

  • The Dust of the Red Rose Knight by James Bennett ~ Book Review

    The Dust of the Red Rose Knight by James Bennett ~ Book Review
    The Dust of the Red Rose Knight by James Bennett
    The Dust of the Red Rose Knight by James Bennett

    The Dust of the Red Rose Knight by James Bennett ~ A dyslexia friendly read!

    Thank you Love Book Tours for the chance to read and review The Dust of the Red Rose Knight by James Bennet! This book tour is a great chance to help promote some dyslexia friendly fiction for adults by BOTH Press!

    Dyslexic friendly fiction for adults by BOTH Press

    Following their successful “Open Dyslexia” Kickstarter in 2021, which led to publishing eight dyslexic friendly fiction titles, BOTH Press is launched, on June 7th 2022, their second Kickstarter “Open Dyslexia: the sequel” with more high-profile authors than ever before, which is set to last 30 days and end on 4th of July 2022

    The Kickstarter aims to publish eight more titles of high-quality fiction from bestselling authors: including household names such as Bernard Cornwell and Peter James. The line-up is full of many front-list authors such as Gareth Powell, J.M Alvey(aka Juliet Mckenna), Scott Oden, Snorri Krisjanason, and James Bennett.

    What made me be a part of this tour?

    I’ve already said this, but as a reader I really did want to offer my support to this campaign because even though over 117 million people have some form of dyslexia, there are very few, if any, dyslexia friendly books printed for adult readers! 

    What does dyslexia friendly mean?

    Dyslexia friendly means that you use a wider spacing, have a cream background and use certain fonts like Helvetica, Arial, Comic Sans etc. 

    As you can see, dyslexia friendly styles are simple enough to incorporate, and make things better for all readers! 

    The Dust of the Red Rose Knight by James Bennett - Love Book Tours Schedule
    The Dust of the Red Rose Knight by James Bennett – Love Book Tours Schedule

    Review for The Dust of the Red Rose Knight by James Bennett

    The other reason I signed up for this book tour is that BOTH Press has great taste in short fiction. I signed up for 3 tours and I regret not signing up for the full line up!

    The Dust of the Red Rose Knight is also a perfect read for pride month, because the Red Knight, who is funny and brilliant, is also a complete horn-dog and ready to hook up with all the dudes pursuing him and also totally willing to turn himself into a chick to do that if he has to! As a character I just love him and the ending was all I could have wanted from that story! The whole thing was a blast and I am so surprised that I haven’t heard about this author or read this story before!

    “Shit!” shrieked a goat as it galloped past them down the slope followed by a herd of sheep, all bleating and afeard.

    I’m not going to tell you guys more about this because I’ve already given you too many spoilers! It’s a great story and I would 100% recommend it!