Recent Reads ||Jan 01 to Jan 14||

Hello!

I’m here with the first edition of my recent reads series. Since last year I was horrible at writing and keeping up with my monthly wrap up posts in 2019, I thought I would try something different for 2020.

Instead of my monthly wrap up, I’m going to make one of these posts after ever 5 books or so I read. I won’t include overall stats like I did in my month wrap up, instead I’ll leave all of that for a quarterly check-in posts.

I’m hoping this will allow me to review more book and more consistently. 2019 was my biggest reading year, I was averaging 11 books a month so having to write a long post at the end of the month was overwhelming so I procrastinated and never ending up writing them. We’ll see how this goes *fingers crossed*

I will do my best not to include spoilers for the sequels but just be weary if you want to avoid finding out too much about the storyline.

Also I won’t be including the books I’ve read for my Romanceopoly challenge as I will be doing a wrap up each month for those books.

Onto the ratings!

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★★★★1/2

 

 

 

The Beholder (The Beholder #1) by Anna Bright 

I have a lot of thoughts on this book so I may do a full review, overall I really enjoyed in. This book has been marketed as Cinderella meets The Odyssey and I’m happy to say this is what I’ve got. Selah, the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, knowns her duty is to find a perfect match, someone who will help secure her people’s future. After a horrible public rejection from her childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: she must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t bother coming home at all.

At the start, Selah is young and naive, which comes across in the writing style. But throughout the narrative her personality and authority grows which is a joy to see. Sprinkled throughout the novel is references to both Cinderella and The Odyssey some of which where a touch heavy handed like Selah losing her shoe has she runs away from the ball and we have an old sailor named Homer record the story of a warrior who’s trying to get home to him wife. I didn’t mind so much with The Odyssey references because I think it’s not as well known and teens may not have heard the story but the Cinderella references could’ve been subtler.

The world is heavily drawn on our own world but with an assortment of historical periods — Regency England, Iron Age Danes — which at times was hard to keep track of the what was going on. While I did see some of the twists coming, I’m still excited for the sequel The Boundless which is out this June.

 

 

The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire by Chloe Hooper

I first heard of this book as it was long listed for the Stella Prize and its been on my radar ever since. In the wake of the bushfires that have flared up across New South Wales and Victoria over the last months, I thought this might provided some insights.

Chloe Hooper documents the aftermath of the Churchill fires. These fires were just two of around 400 fires that started on 7 February 2009 or Black Saturday. Black Saturday is one of the worst natural disasters Australia has faced. These fires affected 78 communities. 173 lives were lost and over two thousand houses were destroyed. But there was a distinct difference between the Churchill fires and the other’s the blazed. On that Saturday, Brendan Sokaluk lit the fires and then sat on the roff of his house to watch the inferno. In the Latrobe Valley where crime rates where higher then normal, more than thirty people where known to police as firebugs. Despite this, the detective found themselves on the trail of a man they didn’t know.

The book is split into three sections — Police, Lawyers and Court. It’s the first section that was the most harrowing. As the detectives piece together their investigation we heard numerous stories of those who managed to escape the inferno and a number more of those who were unable to. It broke my heart reading these accounts. The rest of the book documents the life and trail of Sokaluk.

Given the topic this book explores, I can’t say this was one that I enjoyed. It was harrowing and hard to read at time. Overall, I think it’s an important read to realise that once the bushfires are put out and the media has moved on the next news item that the towns who have been affected are still reeling with the disaster.

 

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★★★★

 

Strong

 

 

Strong (Stage Dive #4.5) by Kylie Scott 

 

This was first read of the year and I adored being back this world. I loved seeing more form the Stage Dive family. This novella follows the series’ resident bad girl, Martha Nicholson, as she falls for Stage Dive’s head a security, Sam Knowles. Martha was the antagonist in the first book, Lick, so I enjoyed being in her perspective and seeing a softer side to her.

Sam is honestly a big teddy bear. He’s 10 or so years older than her, so there’s a bit of an age gap. He’s been interested in Martha from a far, keeping an eye on her. He knows exactly who she is, what she needs and, now that she’s shown interest in him, he won’t let her go. He saw the whole disaster between her and David and knows she’s a spoilt brat but that doesn’t change he’s mind. Sam is selfless and tends to put his job above everything, Martha on the other hand is selfish and has a way of pushing Sam into taking time for himself.

 

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★★★1/2

 

A Study in Scarlett Women (Lady Sherlock #1) by Sherry Thomas 

I found this to be a little slow to start but I enjoyed the mystery. This series is a gender-swapped retelling of Sherlock Holmes. With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London. When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name.

This was so creatively put together. I’m sure I have missed a lot of a subtle references since I haven’t read the original tales but I still had a lot of fun reading this. I adore the dynamic between Charlotte and Watson. Will be interested to see how that develops over the later books in the series. Also I would be interested to see how the romance develops as it was a little light on but not that it bothered me since I love a slow burn.

Charlotte is a pretty ballsy character. She wanted to go on a study but her family is aginst that as her role is to marry and have children. No phases by the consequences, Charlotte takes her life and future into her own hands.

Sherry Thomas has done an amazing job not only constructing the upper class society and the middle and lower classes of Victorian England. While they all seem worlds part they do share one thing in common; the suffocating constraints placed on women. The setting is vivid and feels authentic, which is a huge plus for me when it comes to historical fiction.

 

 

Destiny of the Wolf (Silver Town Wolf #1) by Terry Spear

If you know me, you know I am a sucker for a shifter romance and I always need more in my life. I found this book when I was Boxing Day shopping and I really enjoyed it. Also fated mate story which is my all time favourite trope.

Fleeing from her red werewolf pack, Lelandi Wildhaven arrives in Silver Town to find out what happened to her sister. But some of the Silver Wolves don’t believe her or her motives–instead insisting she’s there to make a bid for the gray alpha leader, Darien Silver’s heart–and they’ll do whatever it takes to protect their home.

I’m interested to see if we get to learn more about the difference between the red and gray wolf packs and the friction between them. I also hope we get a between understand of the wolves life span because there is an almost throw away comment that Lelandi is glad that she no longer needs to wear corsets and bustle skirts. It really through me out the story as it’s the only time the longevity of their life was mentioned.

Darien is your typical broody alpha who is a sweetheart to Lelandi. He was a touch too over protective and determined to have Lelandi sit of the action which did annoy me a little. Lelandi is a strong female lead but she is full aware of her weaknesses and not afraid of her femininity.

We also get a novella, Day of the Wolf which was a lot of fun. The romance was pretty intsa love. Both the hero and heroine are both ex military which I think fits in a lot with some of Terry Spear’s other series.

 

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These are that books I’ve read recently. Comment down below and let me know if you’ve read any of these. Also what have you been reading recently? 

Until next time, happy reading!
Dearna

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