Review: Prince’s Gambit by C. S. Pacat

Prince’s Gambit by C. S. Pacat

Title: Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince Trilogy, 2)
Author: C. S. Pacat
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Berkley (7th July 2015)

With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exhange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.

Forced to hide his idenity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepends, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them a final devistating blow . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

PRINCE’S GAMBIT by C. S. Pacat is the second book in her Captive Prince Trilogy. The novel continues the stories of Prince Laurent and his slave Damen. Prince Laurent has been sent from the palace to spend time protecting the border, which is a powder keg waiting to blow, by his uncle the Regent. Damen follows his master to the border, closer to his homeland, determined to keep the Prince safe and earn his freedom. The closer they get to Damen’s home, the more lethal the secret of his past becomes.

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Review: Allegiance of Honour by Nalini Singh

Allegiance of Honour by Nalini Singh (UK edition)

Title: Allegiance of Honour (A Psy-Changeling Novel, 15)
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Gollancz (16th June 2016)

The Psy-Changeling world has undergone a staggering transformation and now stands at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disperate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: old enemies. New allies. Wary loners.

But a century of distrust and suspicion can’t be so easily forgotten and threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman’s cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze towards a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: a child who is both Psy . . . and changeling.

To find the lost, protect the vulnerable and save Trinity no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the woul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honour even possible wiht traitors lurking in their midst?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

ALLEGIANCE OF HONOUR by Nalini Singh is the fifteenth book in her brilliant Psy-Changeling series. This book marks the start of a new series arc, and as such the story focuses on some familiar characters within the Psy-Changeling universe. During the first series arc a lot changed in the Psy-Changeling world, and the Trinity Accord holds a lot of promise for the future – that is, if it survives. Psys, Changelings and Humans need to band together if the new peace is to last, but there are factions that want the world to return to how it was before Silence fell.

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Review: Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

Title: Black Powder War (Temeraire 3)
Author: Naomi Novik
Genre: Alternative History, Fantasy, War Novel
Publisher: Harper Voyager (6th August 2007)

Before Captain William Laurence can prepare his crew for the slow voyage home from China, new orders arrive for him and his dragon, Temeraire. They must fly home immediately, stopping only in Istanbul to collect three priceless dragon eggs, purchased from the Ottoman Empire.

But the cross-continental journey is fraught with danger; not only will they have to survive the perilous terrain but Lein, consumed by vengeance, has absconded from China. Holding Temeraire responsible for the death of her princely companion, her only desire is to destroy everything and everyone he loves.

Rating: **** (4 stars)

BLACK POWDER WAR is the third book in the magical Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. The book continues the story of the dragon Temeraire and his companion Captain Will Laurence of the Royal Aerial Corps. This book takes place not long after the events of the second book in the series. When we last left Temeraire and Laurence they were in China, this book sees them prepare to return home only to be commanded to collect three dragons eggs, purchased by the British from the Ottoman Empire, from Istanbul; a dangerous journey across the continents, a dangerous journey even without Europe on the brink of war.

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Review: City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong (UK edition)

Title: City of the Lost (Casey Duncan, 1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Detective Novel, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Sphere (14th January 2016)

Detective Casey Duncan has a dark past, and it’s about to catch up with her. When her best friend Diana is attacked by an abusive ex, the two women realise they have to disapper, fast. Diana’s heard of a hidden town that’s so remote it’s almost impossible to reach. A town that desperately needs a new detective.

Casey has barely arrived in Rockton when a body is discovered. A man’s been murdered and there’s no time to waste. Casey’s job won’t be easy: everyone in town has a secret. Meanwhile her boss, Sheriff Eric Dalton, is a troubled man who’s hard to read and even harder to please.

With no chance of help from the outside world, Casey will have to rely on her wits to solve the case. But she’s running out of time. Rockton’s killer is on the hunt, and this deep in the wilderness, no one is safe.

Rating: **** (4 stars)

CITY OF THE LOST is, I believe, the first book in a new series by the brilliant Kelley Armstrong. CITY OF THE LOST tells the story of Casey Duncan, a police detective with a past that’s about to catch up with her. Her best friend Diana, who is running from an abusive ex, hears about a town where people who want to disappear can go and live. Rockton desperately needs a detective; when Casey arrives she quickly gets pulled into a case of murders. In a town where everyone has skeletons in their closets, it is difficult to tell whom you can trust.

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Review: A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart (UK edition)

Title: A Boy Made of Blocks
Author: Keith Stuart
Genre: Contemporary
Source: eARC from the publisher via NetGalley.
Publisher: Sphere (1st September 2016)

In the tradition of Nick Hornby and David Nicholls comes a warm and tender novel in which a father and his autistic son connect over the game of Minecraft.

Alex loves his family, and yet he struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. The strain has pushed his marriage to the breaking point. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world’s most uncomfortable blow-up bed.

As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets, and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam’s imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. Together, they discover that sometimes life must fall apart before you can build a better one.

Inspired by the author’s own relationship with his autistic son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, funny, and, most, of all true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy.

(Blurb taken from

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

A BOY MADE OF BLOCKS is Keith Stuart’s debut novel. It tells the story of Alex and his eight-year-old son Alex, who is on the autistic spectrum. Alex’s marriage to Jody has been pushed to the breaking point, and as the book starts he is moving in with his best mate Dan. As Alex works out what this break means for him his son begins playing Minecraft. The game opens up a whole new world for Sam, and presents a place where father and son have the opportunity to learn how to connect with one another. Together they learn that sometimes things must break so you can build something better.

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Bout of Books 17 | Keeping Track (My Progress)

Day 1: 22nd August

Book(s) I’m Reading: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Number of Pages Read Today: 110
Number of Pages Read Total: 110
Book(s) I’ve Completed:  n/a
Things I participated in:  I took part in today’s challenge which was to name my favourite and least favourite book to film adaptations (image below clicks through to my Instagram so you can read my answer if you wish).

Bout of Books Day 1 challenge response

Day 2: 23rd August

Book(s) I’m Reading: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan, When We Collided by Emery Lord
Number of Pages Read Today: 261
Number of Pages Read Total: 371
Book(s) I’ve Completed: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Things I participated in: I decided not to take part in today’s challenge, but I had a good day reading-wise so I’m happy. My review for My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry went live; an “intensely complex book […] [that] explores the grey spaces of human nature in an interesting way.”

Day 3: 24th August

Book(s) I’m Reading: When We Collided by Emery Lord
Number of Pages Read Today: 0
Number of Pages Read Total: 371
Book(s) I’ve Completed: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Things I participated in: Nothing. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you’ll know I had a bee come into the house yesterday and kind of panicked. It took me over two hours to get rid of it, and I just couldn’t settle after so no reading got done. To be honest it was a bit of a disaster, BUT as is so often said by the lovely mods – you cannot fail at Bout of Books, only flail. So although I didn’t actually read anything I’m not bothered. There’s always tomorrow.

Day 4: 25th August

Book(s) I’m Reading:  A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart and When We Collided by Emery Lord
Number of Pages Read Today: 196
Number of Pages Read Total: 607
Book(s) I’ve Completed: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Things I participated in: Today was a much better day than yesterday. I got a LOT of reading done. I also took part in the challenge which was to create a “tabloid” headline for a book I’m reading/have read for the read-a-thon (image below clicks through to my Instagram so you can read my headline if you wish and can’t easily, it’s a bit spoiler-y for The Lynburn Legacy though).

Bout of Books Day 4 challenge response

Day 5: 26th August

Book(s) I’m Reading: When We Collided by Emery Lord
Number of Pages Read Today: 81
Number of Pages Read Total: 688
Book(s) I’ve Completed: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan, When We Collided by Emery Lord
Things I participated in: Life got in the way again, and although I managed to get some reading in I didn’t participate in the daily challenge. Ah well. I did managed to take a photo I quite like though (photo links to my Instagram for easier reading).

Where I spent some of Day 5

Day 6: 27th August

Book(s) I’m Reading: A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart
Number of Pages Read Today: 262
Number of Pages Read Total: 950
Book(s) I’ve Completed: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan, When We Collided by Emery LordA Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart
Things I participated in: I read today, but that was it… I had planned on taking part in the Twitter chat which was around 4pm my time but I didn’t end up doing so. It’s the first Twitter chat I’ve missed in a while which makes me kinda sad. Still, I had a good reading day.

Day 7: 28th August

Book(s) I’m Reading: Stolen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
Number of Pages Read Today: 58
Number of Pages Read Total: 1008
Book(s) I’ve Completed: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan, When We Collided by Emery LordA Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart
Things I participated in: Nothing, I just read.

That’s it. The end of Bout of Books 17 😭. No more Bout of Books until next year, which is very sad. But there will be one final post from me where I wrap things up.

Review: My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry (ARC cover)

Title: My Husband’s Wife
Author: Jane Corry
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Penguin Books (25th August 2016)

It’s the perfect love story.

Lily meets Ed at a party, and on their second date, he proposes. She’s a lawyer, he’s an up-and-coming artist. They own a small but beautiful flat in London and mix with all the right people.

But Lily has a secret. Something from her past, that is soon to collide with her present. And she thinks her new husband is hiding something too…

The vows they made will soon be tested to the very limits.

‘Till death us do part…’

(Blurb from

Rating: *** (3 stars)

MY HUSBAND’S WIFE is the debut novel by Jane Corry. It tells the story of Lily Macdonald, a lawyer, who has recently come back from her honeymoon. Lily views her marriage to Ed as a chance to have a fresh start, to leave her past behind her. On her return to London Lily finds herself put on the case of a convicted murderer that claims he is innocent of all charges. The trouble is, he reminds Lily of someone whom she used to know.

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Bout of Books 17 | Read-a-thon fun

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. 

– From the Bout of Books team

It’s time for another Bout of Books, and I’ve decided to sign-up again. I want to use this opportunity to both kick-start myself back into reading & I want to use the opportunity to finish some books I’ve had lying around the house for a while. I really like the fact that this read-a-thon is no pressure. With that in mind, I don’t plan to do daily vlogs this time around. If you want to keep track of how I’m doing I’ll post an updates post on Monday where you can keep track, or you can follow me on Instagram or Twitter. Depending on how things go I may also post a vlog round-up of how Bout of Books 17 went for me once everything’s done.

As far as goals go for this read-a-thon they’re going to be real low-key, as I don’t want to pile the pressure on myself. Basically I want to read – and finish – the three books in the photo below, and anything on top of that will be gravy. Oh, and I definitely want to try for one of the Twitter chats as they’re super fun and I highly recommend them if you’re taking part and can make them – they are chaotic fun at its best!

The 3 books I want to read!

Please let me know in the comments below if you’re taking part, & good luck and I hope you have fun.

Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (UK edition)

Title: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, 4)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic (26th April 2016)

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into his mission: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer life; and Blue, who loves Gansey . . . and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Nothing dead is to be trusted.

Now the endgame has begun.

Nothing living is safe.

Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

THE RAVEN KING is the fourth and final instalment of Maggie Stiefvater’s enthralling The Raven Cycle series. This book brings Stiefvater’s magical series to its conclusion. Gansey’s search for Glendower reaches its finale whilst Ronan deals with the consequences of his power; whilst Adam with the results of his bargain; whilst Noah faces what it means to be dead; and whilst the prophecy of killing her true love when she kisses him looms over Blue.

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