Friday, April 29

Movie Review: The Batman (2022)

Film Title: 
The Batman
Length:  2h 56 min
Released: 2022
Genre:  Crime, Drama
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: HBO Max

When the Riddler, a sadistic serial killer, begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate the city's hidden corruption and question his family's involvement..

Click here for the trailer

Been wanting to watch this, but didn't want to sit in the theaters for 3 hours so we waited for it to go on a streaming service. 

The Riddler, a sadistic serial killer, begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate and find the key to who is next and who the Riddler is. During this, he will uncover hidden corruption, lies, and his family's dirty secrets. 

This was a dark, dark version of Batman and I was all for it. Bruce obviously has depression, anger, and hermit issues. Which would make sense and I loved him being serious....that is the way Bruce/Batman is supposed to be. So many people were worried about Robert Pattison's portrayal and you know what? I think he killed it! I enjoyed this version and I want more. I feel like he added a layer of complexity to this character. He certainly made it his own. 

The Riddler was darrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrk and certainly sadistic. I'm glad they beefed up this character and gave him the limelight. The Joker always takes over and I'm glad a side villain got to be the main one. The Riddler's crusade was insane, yes, but I can't fully blame him. Yes, yes, murder is wrong, but he had a lot of points. Damn corrupt a-holes stealing from orphans. >_> But yes, he was crazy but he did have a point. 

I loved how complex they made the characters and stories. Nothing is black and white in here...even Bruce's family has some skeletons.

Yayy for Catwoman! She is one of my favorite female villians/anti-heroes. I would LOVE to see Poison Ivy make an appearance one day. 

The Penguin was fantastic. 

I only had 2 issues. 1) The length...I feel like they could've trimmed it down to 2 hours and 30-45 mins. 2) I wanted more time with Alfred! The actor killed the role and is perfect. Maybe we'll get more of that character in the second move *fingers crossed*. 

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn't sure if I was going to like this, but I did! It was pretty darn good and I want a second movie. Dang...when was the last time I said that for a DC or Marvel movie????? But yes, I wanted more Alfred and there were some scenes that could've been trimmed a bit. Besides those two issues, I liked it. I'll give this 4 stars. 

Thursday, April 28

Audiobook Review: When Christmas Lights are Blue by Harper Fox

Author: Harper Fox
Narrator: Tim Gilbert
Title: When Christmas Lights are Blue
Genre: LGBT, Paranormal, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Audibook
Published: December 16th 2016
Where I got It: Audible 

Rob and Karan are a great couple, but they’re tearing apart under the pressures of modern life. They both work as paramedics for the NHS, and just before Christmas, their plans for the future are in jeopardy.
Rob knows he’s on thin ice with the man he loves more than anyone else in the world, and he’s at a loss to fix it. The job is getting tougher, and Karan, who’s of Sikh descent, is facing violence on the streets in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Financial problems, hostile families on both sides... Their troubles seem insoluble.
An emergency callout stops them on the brink of a final and heartbreaking row. In a forest on the bleak northern hills, Rob loses control of the van in the snow. The only gleam of light comes from a strange, lonely house among the trees. Lost, cut off from the world they know, can they find their way back to one another? It’s the longest night of the year, and spirits are abroad among the pines...

Randomly stumbled upon this while looking for something else on Audible and decided since it was a short story to give it a listen. 

Here we follow Rob and Karan. They seem to be perfect as a couple, but they're being torn apart under the pressures of modern life and their job. They both work as paramedics for the NHS. Rob knows he's on the thin ice with the man he loves and he's at a loss on how to fix it. An emergency callout stops them on the brink of a final and heartbreaking row. On the way, Rob loses control of the van in the snow. They find themselves cut off from the world and in a tiny house. It's the longest night of the year and maybe they will have a Christmas miracle.

I had no idea there was going to be a supernatural/paranormal element so that was a nice cherry-on-top. And the "big" reveal was fantastic. I had a tear for sure.

You can't help but want to root for Rob and Karan. They really are perfect for each other but there has been so much sadness and words left unsaid. From their crappy family members to racism hurting Karan. 

I loved watching them relive their relationship. Seeing the happy times, but also the events that caused such strife between the two. The littlest moments can cause huge cracks later on. But I loved how they could find their ways back to each other. No spoiler there since this IS a romance ;) 

The narrator was good. I've heard him before I believe. The accents seemed spot on. 

Overall, this was quick but impactful. It broke my heart seeing their issues, but I was so happy when they finally were able to talk and find their love again. I'll give this 5 stars.   

- #20 for Audiobook challenge
- #16 for Romance Reading Challenge - Xmas Setting

Wednesday, April 27

Book Review: Sugarcoated by Erin Nicholas

Author: Erin Nicholas
Title: Sugarcoated (Hot Cakes #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit, Humor
Format: ebook
Pages: 322
Published: March 24th 2020
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

A hot, funny brother’s best friend rom com… with sugar on top!

She's his best friend's little sister. He's known her all his life. He's practically part of the family. There is nothing either of them could do to surprise the other at this point.

Then she showed up in his bedroom in lingerie and asked him to take her V-card.

Okay, that was a surprise.

Aiden is pretty sure Zoe was equally surprised when he told her no.

To say that he didn't handle it well would be a massive understatement. Almost as massive as the amount of work he's going to have to do now to convince her that he wants her. Forever.

Right after he tells her that he's bought the company that's her bakery’s biggest competitor.

Maybe if he tells her he’s in love with her first, that will help sugarcoat the whole we're-rivals-in-business-now thing.

So, first "I'm in love with you", then "take off your clothes", then "I'm now your business adversary".

Piece of cake.

Seen this on Amazon and it looked very sweet and it, also, fit my reading challenge so I grabbed it. Thank goodness it was a freebie. 

Zoe and Aiden have known each other all their lives. Zoe is Aiden's best friend's little sister. He denies her after she asks him to take her V-card and now she hates him. After some time, he realizes he needs her and tries to convince her they are meant to be together. However...he just bought the company that is her bakery's biggest competitor. 

Okay....I didn't hate this going in. I enjoyed reading the banter between the two and him trying to win her love. 

However, he kept making it worse at every corner. LIKE BECOMING HER BUSINESS ENEMY! Literally, be done with him girl! Ugh. Boo to Aiden. 

And...I didn't like Zoe much either if I'm being honest here. She was annoying. 

I kept pushing through hoping it would get better and I would like them. No such luck. 

The side characters were I might be tempted to read book 2. I believe it's about Dax and Jane. So I'll put that as a maybe someday...

In the end, I barely got through this. I didn't really care for either of our main characters. Aiden was a jerk and dumb, while Zoe was annoying. Book 2 has some promise, but we shall see. I only pushed through in a vain hope I may grow to love them. OH, and I did like the side characters...they were fun. I'll give this 2 stars. 


- #15 for Romance Reading Challenge - Food on the cover

Tuesday, April 26

Audiobook Review: Unclaimed by Courtney Milan

Author: Courtney Milan
Narrator: Polly Lee
Title: Unclaimed
(Turner #2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: September 20th 2011
Where I got It: Audible 

Her only hope for survival...
Handsome, wealthy and respected, Sir Mark Turner is the most sought-after bachelor in all of London and he's known far and wide for his irreproachable character. But behind his virtuous reputation lies a passionate nature he keeps carefully in check...until he meets the beautiful Jessica Farleigh, the woman he's waited for all his life.

Is to ruin the man she loves...

But Jessica is a courtesan, not the genteel lady Sir Mark believes. Desperate to be free of a life she despises, she seizes her chance when Mark's enemies make her an offer she can't refuse--seduce Mark and tarnish his good name, and a princely sum will be hers. Yet as she comes to know the man she's sworn to destroy, Jessica will be forced to choose between the future she needs and the love she knows is impossible.

I adore the author, liked book 1, AND this fits a reading of course, I had to download it. 

I would recommend reading book 1 first. There are a lot of backstory for the brothers there. 

Here we follow Jessica and Mark. Sir Mark Turner is the most sought-after bachelor in London. He is known far and wide for his irreproachable character and for the book about how men should stay virtuous. He comes across Jessica and he can't stop thinking about her. He has been waiting for her all his life. However, Jessica is a courtesan, not the genteel lady Sir Marks believes she is. She is desperate to be free of that life and live in peace, however, she has to seduce Mark and tarnish his good name before she gets the money that will give her what she wants. Love, of course, makes her job that much harder. 

Mark is a good egg and deserves the best. Jessica also deserves all the love and happiness. Poor thing was tossed on the streets and has been just surviving for so long. And the big reveal about what her last "protector" did to her???? Ooo I was seeing red! She is a darling and didn't deserve the life she was forced into. I was mad at her a couple of times, but I understood where she was coming from. 

That ending was good. I'm glad Jessica got to do what she got to do (no spoilers from me). I think it was perfect and it was therapeutic and the only real way she can move forward into her new life with Mark and society. 

The only issue I had was that one of the resolutions with Jessica's family...seemed too easy. The dad really needed to be punished or something. SMH. 

I had no idea how everything was going to be fixed. This relationship seemed impossible, but Mark and his family are clever so I knew it would be fixed. 

The narrator was great. Perfect voices. I didn't recognize the voice, but I hope she narrates book 3!

In the end, this was a lot of fun. I really adored this couple. They deserved the best life has to offer them. They had some rough childhoods. I think I liked this better than book 1. The romance was pretty impossible, but the family was able to make it work. I do think how they resolved one issue was resolved TOO easily. Other than that....I adored this story. Great characters, great narrator, and a romance I kept rooting for. I'll give this 4 stars. 

- #20 for Audiobook challenge
- #14 for Romance Reading Challenge - Yellow dress

Monday, April 25

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh


Format: 289 pages, Paperback

Published: June 25, 2019 by Penguin Books



Ok so this book was really weird, and I finished it a way cos I was home. 

The narrator of the book has taken a year of rest and relaxation. Her parents are dead, she was in a bad relationship, and now she has found a really bad shrink that gives her every pill imaginable. She mixes them together, she has blackouts for days and she sleeps. She sleeps days away. She watches movies.

A really weird book, because not much happen. She does have one friend that comes by now and then and tries to get her out. She thinks about her ex and calls him. 

It was an exploration into misery, and I could not stop reading

From one of our boldest, most celebrated new literary voices, a novel about a young woman’s efforts to duck the ills of the world by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes.

Our narrator should be happy, shouldn’t she? She’s young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, works an easy job at a hip art gallery, lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn’t just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?

My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a powerful answer to that question. Through the story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs designed to heal our heroine from her alienation from this world, Moshfegh shows us how reasonable, even necessary, alienation can be. Both tender and blackly funny, merciless and compassionate, it is a showcase for the gifts of one of our major writers working at the height of her powers.

Saturday, April 23

Movie Review: Legend (2015)

Film Title: Legend
Length:  2h 12m
Released: 2015
Genre:  Crime, Biography, Drama
Rating: R
Where I Got It: Netflix

Identical twin gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray terrorize London during the 1960s.

Click here for the trailer

Fiancé forced me to watch this movie. Okay, okay "forced" is not the right word. I do like movies like this and I adore Tom it was a win-win. Just a long movie and I'm becoming an old lady ;) 

The story follows twin gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray during the 1960s. They are building their gang and power in London. Reginald is suave and charming but volatile, while his brother Ronald is unstable and a wild card. 

I went into this film not really knowing anything about the Krays and their gang. I had heard the name in passing but I didn't know anything. So once the film was done I did some research just to see how accurate the film was (naturally). Not too shabby. They def Hollywood-ed it up a bit and left out some stuff. There are so many rumors and complexities that would've beefed up the film, but I think they tried to make it simplistic and show only really what Frances knew since she was the one narrating the film in a sense. It made sense, but I feel like there were some rumors they could've addressed.  

The cast was great. I adore Tom Hardy so I am biased...of course. However, he played the twins so well that you would swear it was two different people. I certainly did!! I will say I didn't really buy the chemistry and love/lust between Reggie and Frances. They did well with the hate parts, but there was no spark there for me. Maybe it was done on purpose? IDK.

I liked the fact that Frances was the narrator and mainly shown through her limited POV. She drops a lot of foreshadowing which made me itch to want to google (I tried my damnedest, but I did spoil myself on one thing).

Overall, I enjoyed the film. The cast did excellent minus the lack of a spark between the two. I liked the narration and how the showcased the story of these two crazy Kray brothers. In the end, I'll give this 4 stars. 

Thursday, April 21

HAMILTON in Wharton Center


Hi all!

At the beginning of April, my soon-to-be hubby, some friends, and I went to see the play 'Hamilton' live at Wharton Center! We bought the tickets months ago gambling on how COVID would play out. We got lucky and COVID has been pretty calm around us and Lansing. 

It is not the original cast, but I did enjoy this cast. They played their roles well and added their own charm and twists. 

I was so happy to see they had the revolving stage! I was nervous because I couldn't tell from my seat, but when the play got running and the stage moved...I was excited. The revolving stage idea is fantastic for musicals that have a large cast and it can be used for so many things. The symbolism is strong!!!!

Watching the play on Disney+ with the original cast will always hold a special place in my heart, but the play at Wharton made me re-love the play all over again. I wish I could go see it again and again and again. Plus...seeing this LIVE was a special experience and I am so glad we could make it.  

Tuesday, April 19

Audiobook Review: Hold Me Closer Toni Danzig by Laura Henry

Author: Laura Henry
Narrator: Suehyla El-Attar & Lori Prince
Title: Hold Me Closer, Toni Danzig
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Holiday, LGBTQ, and comedy
Format: Audiobook
Published: December 2nd 2021
Where I got It: Audible 

Toni Danzig is a dirt bag—literally. There’s nothing she enjoys more than being out in the mountains leading adventure tours. On a well-deserved break over Thanksgiving weekend, she’s DJ-ing karaoke at the Dew Drop Inn when Audrey Adams takes the stage to sing the greatest middle finger break-up song ever, dedicated to her ex-girlfriend. It’s a perfect night that culminates in a transcendental experience in bed…before Audrey rushes out in the morning.

Monday morning, the holidays are in full swing when Audrey’s worst nightmare comes true. After the most memorable night of her life, she’s thrust together with the one woman who she hasn’t been able to forget—on a strictly-professional consulting project for her family’s business.

Meanwhile, Toni can’t believe her luck. Now she has the unexpected chance to win Audrey over, and she sets a goal to be someone worthy of this woman’s love and respect. Will they crash and burn like a bad karaoke performance—or will they be singing a duet before the holiday season is over?

Randomly stumbled upon this in Audible. The title....the cover...the summary...all cute so I decided to give this a read. 

Here we follow Toni and Audrey. Toni is a DJ and works at her family company as a nature tour guide. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, she is DJ-ing karaoke at the Dew Drop Inn. Audrey Adams finds herself at the Dew Drop Inn as well, but she is there to sing the greatest middle finger break-up song ever dedicated to her ex. Toni and Audrey find themselves going to the café after Audrey's success. They connect and have a one-night stand. That next Monday, Audrey and Toni are thrust together yet again, when Audrey is contracted to be a business consultant for Toni's family's business.

This was funny and cute. I loved Toni and I loved Audrey. They were simply perfect for each other even though it took them a while. 

I get why Audrey wanted to pump the breaks before getting into another relationship. That ex of hers was the worst. SMH. Poor Audrey. And it doesn't help that Toni is known to be a commitment-phobe. She is young and a free spirit AND Audrey is now on contract for a project for Toni's fam. I totally get the hesitation for Audrey BUT it killed me because I know they are perfect for each other! Wah!

The drama between the two was small. There was one event that which Toni may have told a white lie that caused Audrey to want to run away. However, it was easily fixable and I'm happy it didn't last too long. The grand gesture was perfection.  

Now, we had two narrators. One for Toni and one for Audrey. I adored Toni's narrator. Perfect for ALL the characters even Audrey. Now...Audrey's narrator killed my soul. She was just so whiney and annoying. I'm sorry Audrey's narrator!!!!! I would've been completely fine if Toni's narrator read the entire story. That would've been fine by me. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this. It's such a cute and funny romance between two characters who deserve the world! My one and the only issue was the one narrator. Eeeee. Just too whiney for my taste so I had to take away one star. I'll give this 4 stars. Nearly a 5. 

- #19 for Audiobook challenge
- #13 for Romance Reading Challenge - LGBTQ

Monday, April 18

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Urban Witch by Eve Langlais

Narrated by: Krys Janae

Length: 4 hrs and 23 mins

Release date: 03-29-22

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Urban fantasy

To review

Fae was, well how to put this...rather nasty, a real piece of work. Foulmouthed, quick to conclusions, aggressive, a raging alcoholic, drug uses. Only thinking of herself. F everyone else. Even after having died for a seco,nd she is her nasty self. But, things change.

Is the lack of drugs and drinks making her see freaky beings? Why are they calling her a witch?! Yes, somehow she turned into a witch, and when she is at her last resort, she accepts help and guidance and begin to calm down and accept her new powers. I even like her at the end.

Also, that one thing in the end, I am really curios. I hope there will be more so I can understand who granted her these powers.

I liked it. It was short, fast paced and kept throwing punches at her.

Good narration. It would not be easy voicing Fae, she is a woman of many faces. And you could really hear the change in Fae as the story progressed

Who knew a person could almost die from drinking? I found out the hard way when I woke up in a hospital and a nurse informed me I was legally dead for a few minutes. Shocking, but not as much as the fact I returned different. I can see things, but it’s what I can do that has people interested in me.

There’s Sonja, a strange woman with powers who appoints herself my teacher. Anakin, the mysterious and super hot dude, who owns a pastry shop of all things catering to weird folk. Leslie, my furry-tailed coworker and only friend.

And then there’s the bad guys determined to get their grubby hands on me.

I’m not special. Just a woman trying to clean up her life and actually plan for a future. Will I have time to atone for my many sins before my luck runs out?

Sunday, April 17

Book Review: Murphy's Law for Demons by C.J. Pierce

Author: C.J. Pierce
Title: Murphy's Law for Demons
Genre: Urban Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: ebook
Pages: 296
Published: March 10th 2021
Where I Got It: My shelf (NetGalley)

A Fallen angel and an assassin walk into a bar...

For nearly seventy years, Murphy's had the worst luck any Fallen could ever have. The Collector - a title Murphy never wanted - can't seem to do his job: collect a soul. That's all. One. Soul. And after seventy years, Murphy's not so sure he wants to go back to the Below.

Joy is a practitioner of one of the world's oldest professions. No, not prostitution, although she'd gladly use her body as bait for a target. Murderer-for-hire, assassin, hitwoman - Joy's your lady if the money's right. And if it's someone who really needs killing, she'll even give you a discount.

Brought together by a job and dropped (sans parachutes) into the political machinations of the Above and Below, Murphy and Joy have to decide where their loyalties lie. Something big is coming for them, and the Collector has a job to finish.

Want to make a deal? Don't make it with Murphy!

I've had this on my shelf for a hot min. It sort of fell on the back-burner. Glad I picked this back up to finish it finally. 

Here we follow Murphy who has had the worst luck any Fallen could ever have for the last seventy years. The Collector is a title Murphy never wanted but was given and he can't seem to get the job done...he needs to collect a soul. Joy is a practitioner of one of the world's oldest professions....assassin. Brought together in a bar by a job and dropped into the political machinations of the Above and Below, Murphy and Joy have to decide where their loyalties lie.

This was so good. I really couldn't put it down! I adored Murphy and Joy and I was so invested in what was going to happen next!! I wasn't sure what was going to happen! 

Oooo this was a fun take on the whole Heaven/Hell and Angel/Demon thing! It was so creative and a fresh breath in the UF and paranormal genre. It was so entertaining. The dynamic between Murphy and Joy was witty and fun and their banter/convos were a joy. 

I do wish this world and the afterlife was a little more fleshed out. I wanted to understand and get more detail. Maybe we'll get another book and we'll get to see more and learn more. I have a lot of questions still. 

In the end, I had a lot of fun with this one! Loved the characters and I loved how creative this story and the world were. I do wish we learned more about this world (Above, Middle, and Below). This seemed to be the top of the iceberg for sure. I would love a sequel! I needed a good book like this one. I had two mehs. Overall, I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 

Friday, April 15

Audiobook Review: Mr. President by Katy Evans

Author: Katy Evans
Narrator: Isabelle Gordon and John Lane
Title: Mr. President
(White House #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Drama, Politics
Format: Audiobook
Published: October 31st 2016
Where I got It: Borrowed from library

He's won the hearts of millions. But is he willing to lose his?

I met the president’s son when we were both young. Matthew Hamilton was handsome, polished, and intelligent. I’d never met a guy like him.

He promised me that he’d never run for president. I promised that if he did, I’d be by his side.

Three terms later, an invitation to join Matthew Hamilton’s campaign is the most exhilarating opportunity I’ve ever experienced. I'm determined to make a difference; he is determined to win.

Focused on his goal, Matt is steadfast, ruthless, and disarming. All eyes are on him and his popularity is surging. But soon, the next possible president of the United States is possessing me in more ways than one—and despite the risks, I'm helpless to resist.

We're stealing touches, stealing moments, and stealing away at night. But our chemical connection is quickly becoming dangerously combustive, putting not only my heart, but Matt's chance at the presidency on the line.

Winning will take everything. Walking away will be the hardest thing of all.

Seen this at the library and it fits perfectly for the romance reading challenge I'm doing. 

Here we follow Matthew Hamilton who is America's sweetheart and now he is running for president. Charlotte met Matthew when they were kids and Matthew was just the President's son. She made a promise to him that if he ever ran she would join his campaign. Years have passed and they meet again. Matthew remembers her vow and asks her to join his campaign as an assistant. They soon realize there is lust they can't deny. 

Why can't Matthew Hamilton be a real guy? I would def vote for him. He's nice, honest, hot, and has a good set of morals. His only "bad" thing is his lust for Charlotte. WHICH he is a single dude and she is a single girl. Sure she is working on his campaign, but I don't see the real drama here. Once the election is over they can easily start just hold out guys. It's not an all-or-nothing situation. Now...if he was married, yes, I can see the issue and drama then.

I felt the drama was silly and easily solvable. Sure, he doesn't want kids or a wife because he doesn't want to neglect them while he's a president not. However, it is not like he doesn't desire that. He can easily have it all.

I liked our couple and watching them fall in love even though I thought their drama was overblown. Charlotte was very sweet and Matthew is a hunk. They deserved love!!!!

There is more to their story in book 2. This left off with barely anything remotely solved. Not sure if I am going to the next one. We shall see. Maybe if I do another reading challenge that needs a politician. We shall see. 

Maybe I'll like it more since the struggle of the campaign is now over, but I fear like it is going to be the same stuff "OH NO MATTHEW! WE CAN'T POSSIBLY BE TOGETHER EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE SINGLE AND I'M SINGLE! THE COUNTRY LOVES YOU AND I COME FROM A POLITICAL FAMILY AND MY BACKGROUND IS FLAWLESS SO THERE IS LITTLE THE MEDIA CAN USE AGAINST ME!" Like I said...I get that she is technically on his campaign and helping him run....but I'm sure once the election is over and the campaigning is done there would be barely any scandal if they got together then. Sighs. 

The narrators were good. I do wish the male narrator/Matthew's POV had more time. It seemed like it was 90% Charlotte and 10% him. Bummer. 

Overall, this was okay. I liked Charlotte and Matthew a lot but I had the drama/scandal made me roll my eyes. Also, I wish the POV switching was more balanced. I would've liked more time with Matthew. In the end, I'll give this 3 stars. It wasn't a bad listen. I enjoyed watching these two go from lust to love.

- #18 for Audiobook challenge
- #12 for Romance Reading Challenge - Politician

Wednesday, April 13

Book Review: Too Wicked to Kiss by Erica Ridley

Author: Erica Ridley
Title: Too Wicked to Kiss
(Gothic Love Stories #1)
Genre: Historical Romance, Gothic, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal
Format: ebook
Pages: 424
Published: February 19th 2010
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)


From the ravens circling its spires to the gargoyles adorning its roof, Blackberry Manor looms ominously over its rambling grounds. And behind its doors, amid the flickering shadows and secret passageways, danger lies in wait…


Evangeline Pemberton has been invited to a party at the sprawling estate of reclusive Gavin Lioncroft, who is rumored to have killed in cold blood. Initially, his towering presence and brusque manner instill fear… until his seductive attentions and unexpected vulnerability conquer her resistance.

But when a guest is murdered, Evangeline is torn. Could the man to whom she is so powerfully drawn, also be a ruthless killer?.

I've read a couple by this author in the past and I saw this was a why not. 

Here we follow Evangeline Pemberton who has been invited to a party at the sprawling estate of the reclusive Gavin Lioncroft. He is rumored to have killed someone years ago. At first, his towering presence and brusque manner instill fear, but soon she realizes there is more to the man who seems to be seducing her. However, things get muddy when a guest is murdered and Gavin is a suspect. Evangeline becomes torn. 

Oh man....I certainly struggled with this one. 

It started okay enough. A little slow while we learn about our key players. Things died off a little bit until they came across the dead guest and then it got interesting again. We, as the reader, were with Gavin when he discovered the body with his sister, but everyone else doesn't trust or believe him because of the rumor he's murdered before. 

I did love the added fantastical parts here. I won't spoil anything because it was a big reveal for Evangeline's character. 

However....that was all I liked. I loved the mystery aspect and the fantasy/paranormal twists. 

I couldn't buy Evangeline and Gavin. 

I didn't care about the dramas. 

I'll admit...I skimmed....a lot. I tried not to but I was so ready to be done reading. HOWEVER, I did want to know what happened to the guest so I couldn't just label this as a DNF. I had to know. 

Sadly, this wasn't really for me. I was only there for the murder mystery and the fantasy/paranormal aspect was a fun bit. I'll give this 2 stars. 

Tuesday, April 12


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4/12/2022 What book has been sitting on your TBR pile the longest?

Ooooo this is a tough one! I have SOOOOO many books on my TBR list. Like every book lover I know...we collect and collect and can never keep up on what we have. I recently just bought another bookshelf for my office/library ;) 

I'll say I have some William Shakespeare still sitting on my shelf glaring at me. I really need to continue and read more. I've read a lot, but there are still some works I need to read. 

I also have a million (okay not a million) ebooks I have downloaded. 

Ah, yes, I also have dozens of audiobooks I still need to listen to that I was gifted a couple of Xmases ago. 

Monday, April 11

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Out of the Silence by Eduardo Strauch Urioste

Original Title: Desde el silencio: Cuarenta años después

Format: 172 pages, Kindle Edition

Published: June 11, 2019 by Amazon Crossing



I ended up reading this for bookclub. I needed a book set in South America. Though I wish I had found Miracle in the Andes in English instead.

It was a novella. So it was short. And still only half was about the crash. I mean sure maybe I do not want to know how exactly they ate the dead, but still, the whole Andes part is the scary and interesting part. Now I never felt the danger cos it jumped in time and just meh.

And the second half was about him talking about his family, about the girl he found. His being philosophical. Him thinking of numerology, you know, fillers.

It did make me want to read that famous book though

It’s the unfathomable modern legend that has become a testament to the resilience of the human spirit: the 1972 Andes plane crash and the Uruguayan rugby teammates who suffered seventy-two days among the dead and dying. It was a harrowing test of endurance on a snowbound cordillera that ended in a miraculous rescue. Now comes the unflinching and emotional true story by one of the men who found his way home.

Four decades after the tragedy, a climber discovered survivor Eduardo Strauch’s wallet near the memorialized crash site and returned it to him. It was a gesture that compelled Strauch to finally “break the silence of the mountains.”

In this revelatory and rewarding memoir, Strauch withholds nothing as he reveals the truth behind the life-changing events that challenged him physically and tested him spiritually, but would never destroy him. In revisiting the horror story we thought we knew, Strauch shares the lessons gleaned from far outside the realm of rational learning: how surviving on the mountain, in the face of its fierce, unforgiving power and desolate beauty, forever altered his perception of love, friendship, death, fear, loss, and hope.

Sunday, April 10

Book Review: As Old as Time by Liz Braswell

Author: Liz Braswell
Title: As Old as Time (Twisted Tales #3)
Genre: YA, fantasy, Romance, Retellings
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 484
Published: September 6th, 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Xmas gift from a friend)

What if Belle's mother cursed the Beast?

When Belle touches the Beast's enchanted rose, memories flood through Belle's mind — memories of a mother she thought she would never see again. And, stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful enchantress who cursed the castle and all its inhabitants.

Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast will have to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is 21 years in the making.

This has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while. A late friend of mine had given this to me as a Xmas gift a while back. Finally decided to dust this off and read it. This is technically book #3, but all the books can be read standalone and in any order you want. 

In this retelling, Belle and her father barely remember Belle's mother. After saving her father from the Beast, Rose touches the Beast's enchanted rose and memories flood through Belle's mind. Memories of her mother...and the fact that her mother was the Enchanctress who cursed the Beast and his kingdom. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast will have to unravel a dark mystery about their families and how to break the curse. 

I simply adored the twists and changes they did to the original story. We got some explanations on why an 11-year-old was cursed. And why he was an adult with an adult painting of himself. Very Dorian Grey! Love it!

I also really adore the scenes showing Belle's mother's story at the same time. I'm honestly on her side....maybe not such a crazy curse on the little Prince BUT it all worked out I guess lol. 

Ooh! It is SO hard not to give away spoilers for sure. This would be a good book to have a discussion about. Certainly a good book club book ;)

Now, I will say the beginning seemed to drag on and had me worried. It seemed like a copy-paste from the movie and I was bored. However, as soon as we were able to see more and more (especially from Madame Enchantress' POV) the more I became intrigued and the more I could not stop reading. So yes...a slow burn indeed.

I do wish we had more of an epilogue. I want more! I feel like there is WAY more story to share. 

In the end, I enjoyed this quite a bit. It was a slow burn and I wish I had more, but I enjoyed what I had. Yes, this was a fun retelling and I loved the backstory and all the twists and turns. I for recommend it if you love the original. 4 stars from me. 

- TBR Reading Challenge (#3)