Saturday 30 March 2019

Review: Kitty and The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station - and a werewolf in the closet. Her new late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged is a raging success, but it's Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew!


Full-length novel.

First person - single pov.

Kitty's relationship with her alpha is 100% abusive.

No, book one in a series!


Werewolves... So, yes.

This was an odd one for me in that I finished the book the same day I started it for I couldn't put it down but I'm not entirely sure I like Carrie Vaughn's take on werewolves.
In fact, I pretty much hate the world that has been created.
I hate the pack structure, I hate that the alpha male gets to fuck whoever he wants - even though he is mated! - because pack structure makes it so.  I hated the simpering adoration of a male who doesn't deserve a single iota of respect... Alpha's are supposed to be protectors. Not in Kitty's pack! Her alpha is an abusive asshole and the pack acts like a bunch of slavish automatons with no thought for themselves.
It made my skin crawl.

I was also not entirely sure about Kitty in the beginning.
I mean, I liked her, she was fun, but I hated how timid and submissive she was! I hate how she panted after an abusive knobhead because her wolf made it so even though she knew it was abusive!
“If we were human, and this was a human relationship, I'd have been expected to leave
him. This was abuse.”  
No shit Sherlock! The alpha pair was whacked!
I spent more than half the flipping book wanting to scream in frustration.
She was like two different Kittys! Sassy, spunky fun kitty when she was away from the pack and doormat whimpering idiot Kitty when she was close.
However, her submissive annoyance gave way to a mild sense of satisfaction when she started to grow into something stronger and push back... If she continues to develop, she could become a character I like very much but there is a long way to go.

One thing I did like was Kitty’s openness about the world. There’s no super psycho mandate that they - the paranormal creatures - be kept secret but it’s no society where the supernaturals are out and living free. It just is what it is. You choose to tell people or you don't with most people believing you’re insane if you do.

The whole novel is kinda surreal... You learn about this new world mostly through Kitty's radio show. You meet the supporting characters mostly because of Kitty's radio show. Kitty gets pulled into a police investigation hunting for a serial killer, because of her radio show. Kitty's radio show is the catalyst for Kitty finally growing a pair.
The radio show is the star of the book! And I love how the theme song for it is Bad Moon Rising.
I love that song.

All in all, I'm intrigued enough to continue.
I'm curious as to what comes next for Kitty given the events at the end (which I can't comment on because it'd be all spoilerish) and I'm crossing my fingers that we get to see more of the crazy but awesome werewolf hunter Cormac.

It's old school UF. I like it!


“Next caller. Betty, you're on the air. What's your question ?"
"Hi, Kitty. I just wanted to know, are you going out with that Cormac guy from last month?"
My jaw dropped. "What?"
"Are you going out with that Cormac guy?"
"We are talking about the same Cormac who tried to kill me on the air, yes? the guy who hunts werewolves for a living ?"
"And you want to know if I'm dating him ? Why on earth do you think that's a good idea?”



Tuesday 26 March 2019

TTT: Audiobook Pros & Cons!

Audio Freebie
(Any audio goes: audiobooks, music, podcasts, you name it.)

I've not been a listener of audiobooks for long and I'm not fully converted into the cult of their wonderfulness yet so I debated whether to bother taking part in this week's topic.

In the end, I decided I was going for it and I was going to list my long-held reasons for why audiobooks weren't for me and what I've discovered by seriously giving them a try!

Narrators are annoying.

OMG seriously! They can be so annoying! An unbearable accent, a tone of voice, or their weird pronunciations can ruin the entire flipping book!

My opinion now I'm a listener:
Narrators are annoying.
 You can listen to someone or you can't. Audible at least let you exchange a book if you don't like the narrator so it's not all bad.

 I can read faster.

I can read an 18hour audiobook in less than a third of that time so why would I bother with listening?

My opinion now I'm a listener:
Still true. There's no beating this.
Turning up the 'read speed' doesn't work as I'm left feeling like I'm listening to a chipmunk on drugs!

The cost.

The most I pay for a kindle book is £6.99 (aka the price of a paperback) but the majority are significantly less. The average audiobook is £15-£25. Why would I pay so much more just to listen to someone with a dodgy accent read me a story?!

My opinion now I'm a listener:
Yes, audiobooks are expensive.
However, an Audible monthly subscription gives me 1 credit a month for only £7.99, plus I can buy cheaper top ups/bolt ons working out at £6 (or less) per book.
Also, If I own the kindle book, the audible is usually heavily discounted - like an extra £3-5 on top of the ebook so much more reasonable.

Attention span.

I can't follow a story unless I'm actively listening.
For me, this means sitting still, emptying my head and focusing 100% on the task. Sitting still staring into space and listening feels like it defeats the point of audiobooks. If I'm going to sit for hours on end to enjoy a book, then I might as well be actually reading it!

My opinion now I'm a listener:
I think listening to an audiobook is an acquired skill.
In the beginning, I couldn't do anything but sit still and listen so I started by listening in the car. In the car, I'm a captive audience and I've found that listening to an audiobook is no more difficult (after a few days) than listening to the radio or chatting to a passenger.
After a couple of books, I branched out and tried listening while cooking, listening while ironing, cleaning and colouring.
All successful.
This is time that would otherwise be 'wasted' - aka not reading - therefore introducing audiobooks has been awesome in maximizing reading time.

My preferred genre.

I'm a romance reader and I don't exactly listen to 'clean' romance. Listening to a random stranger read out a graphic sex scene while eating my cheerios or sitting at traffic lights is more than I can handle!

My opinion now I'm a listener:
Still true! But easily solved by not listening to contemporary romance or erotica on audiobook.
I've been listening to my son's audiobooks - Rick Riordan's back catalog to be precise - and there's no sex or smuttiness there! Just amazingly good and engrossing stories that I can't get enough of.

Things I hadn't considered before trying audiobooks

Relief of Eyestrain - PRO

I work on computers. I blog on computers. I even do my weekly food shop on a computer because I'm time poor (and maybe a little bit lazy 😆) therefore come the evening my poor eyes have often reached their limit and I don't want to read anymore, especially on a screen.
Listening to (a non-irritating) someone read me a story? It's a win!

 They take up no physical space - PRO

Digital book hoarding for the win!

You can't skip ahead - CON

I know, I know, aright! Skipping ahead to see what happens before working your way through the story is 'evil'.  I get it, BUT I like doing it and I'm unrepentant! If things are tense and causing me anxiety I like to flick ahead and see what happens. I like to know if everything works out ok or prepare myself if it doesn't.
Sue me.


Any additional pros or cons? Are you an audiobook reader?

Monday 25 March 2019

Reasons To Watch The Musketeers

The BBC's The Musketeers was a show that ran from 2014 to 2016. 
It lasted three awesome seasons and I adored it. 
I've re-watched it so many times and I never get bored and even though it's 'an old one' now, I still think everyone should give it a try.

And here's why...

There's lots of sword swinging goodness and it's fun. 

Pretty, Pretty, Men.
Yes, colour me fickle but the Musketeers? They're gorgeous and make watching a visual pleasure.

The Camaraderie.
It wasn't just their dashing good looks that won me over, the banter and camaraderie between the four was just perfect. It made me laugh, made me smile and made me want to grab a sword and shout one for all!

Beautifully Portrayed Characters.
Whether it's the lonely queen, the fickle king, the feisty woman in need of love and adventure or the cold-hearted assassin, each character is beautifully acted. 
I particularly loved the villains... Man, they were characters you just loved to hate!
I doubt there's a snowball's chance in hell that they're historically accurate but they're very complimentary to the gorgeous men (and women) that model them.

The Romance.
If D'Artangon and Constance, Aramis and Anna, or Athos and M'lady don't set your heart aflutter then you're broken.

The Theme Song.
It'll get stuck in your head and it just screams swashbuckling adventure!

Have a listen! You know you want to!

It's Fun!
It's a show with substance but it doesn't take itself too seriously. It's full of heart, makes you smile, laugh, fall in love. Each episode is full of action and suspense and the romantic relationships that build throughout all three seasons are compelling and addictive!


Anyone else miss this show? Or is it just me?


Friday 22 March 2019

Book Blogger Hop: Do you read along with your Audio books?

Do you read along with your Audiobooks?

Erm, no.
What would be the actual point of that?
Surely, the purpose of an audiobook is to free you up to do other things while listening?
If so, sitting there reading along with the narrator would most definitely defeat the purpose.
Also, I read a lot faster than a narrator narrates so I'd end up reading ahead and the narrator would be droning on behind and it'd turn into a big annoying mess.

I understand swapping back and forth between the audio and text versions of a book - even though it's not something I've done myself - as it allows a lot of flexibility on how you consume the story but doing both at the same time is a great big fat nope for me.

To be fair though, I'm an audiobook newbie so I could be in the minority on this.

 I only really started properly listening to audiobooks in January as I've always had issues with following the story while listening to it. However, I discovered that I can listen, follow, and enjoy audiobooks when I'm driving. 
On my last couple of audiobooks, I've been so desperate to know what comes next once my commute ends that I've contemplated picking up the paperback when I got into the house (as I own my current reads in both audio and print) but I haven't been able to bring myself to do it.
I've been enjoying the narrator and don't want to mix it up with my own inner reading voice.

Thus, I started to experiment and push myself a little on what I was able to do while still following - and enjoying - an audiobook. So far I've experimented with cooking (a win), ironing (undecided), and colouring (a big win)... Basically, they're things that don't require a lot of brain power but allow me to listen in the house and still feel productive, otherwise I'd be sitting staring at the wall or going to bed super early so I can lie there and listen while staring at the ceiling (not very productive).

I'm beginning to think that listening to audiobooks is a bit of an art form and the more you listen the greater your capacity for multitasking becomes... But I'll still never use that capacity for listening while reading unless my brain is able to listen to one book while reading a completely different one!

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Thoughts on Captain Marvel

It's no secret that we're all Marvel mad in this house so when Captain Marvel released, going to see it at the cinema was a no-brainer. 
However, I'll admit, I knew nothing about Captain Marvel. 
Nothing, except it was Marvel's first movie with a female lead and honestly? That tells me nothing about what to expect except a chick in the lead. 
So everything that happened in the movie - except for that - was a very nice surprise!

The movie is set back in the 1990's. 
Shield favourites - such as Agent Coulson and Nick Fury - are present but they're the only ones from the current clutch of Marvel superstars that are present. 

The movie focuses on Carole Danvers, a kick-ass woman in the Kree military who after a mission gone wrong ends up on Earth. While on Earth she uncovers the truth of who she is and a hideous plot by the Kree. With the help of Nick Fury, an old friend, and an adorable cat she saves the world. 
That's pretty much the plot in a nutshell without any spoilers. 

It doesn't tell you much. 
It doesn't tell you how much fun the movie is. 
It doesn't tell you that the movie has cool, Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor: Ragnarok vibes to it. 
It doesn't tell you that the digital reverse ageing done on Samuel L. Jackson to play a younger Fury is so cool and a little bit freaky.
It doesn't tell you about the amazing soundtrack of rock and grunge bands. (Nirvana, Garbage, No Doubt, Hole, Guns 'n' Roses to name a few!)
It doesn't tell you that this is the movie Nick Fury loses his eye.
It doesn't tell you that Jude Law is in it and that man is getting fine as he ages. *fans oneself*
But, I just did. 
So go see it!

Plus, the Endgame post-credit teasers almost made me lose my freaking mind.


Friday 15 March 2019

Book Blogger Hop: Do you use NetGalley, Edelweiss, both, or neither?

Do you use NetGalley, Edelweiss, both, or neither?

I'm signed up for both NetGalley and Edelweiss but I typically just use NetGalley.

To be honest, I don't think I understand Edelweiss, it's all very messy, busy and unintuitive.
I'm rarely declined on NetGalley but on Edelweiss I'm rarely approved!
This is a shame because I think that the selection of books on Edelweiss is often superior to that of NetGalley.

I think there must be some kind of wizardry involved in Edelweiss approvals... Some metaphorical secret handshake to stick in your 'about me' section that lets the publishers know you're in the club and to tick the yes button every time you ask nicely for a book.

I would say if anybody knows what that is to let me in on the secret but, actually, please don't.
I really don't want to fall into the ARC trap pit again. I've been relatively well behaved of late and I still have about a dozen eARCs to wade through.

Friday 8 March 2019

Book Blogger Hop:Do You Buy All Your Books?

Do you buy all your books? If yes, do you keep it all? If no, where do you source them?

No, I can't say that I buy all of my books.
I do buy a lot of my books but I also take advantage of services like Kindle Unlimited and the library.

With Kindle Unlimited, I pay a set monthly fee (£7.99) and I can borrow anything that is enrolled in the programme. I can borrow/return as many books as I want to as long as I'm subscribed, and the authors get a payment from Amazon linked to page reads.
I wish I could say that I take full advantage of my KU subscription but I'd be better off actually just buying the books at the moment as I don't use it enough to make it economically viable. I've been contemplating canceling KU and instead 'topping up' my gift card balance by £8 a month instead... At least that way I could buy any book that takes my fancy rather than being limited to the Kindle Unlimited enrollees. Plus, I'd actually own the books I'm paying to read. (Well, as much as you can 'own' digital content.)

The Library and I have a distant relationship nowadays. I used to use it a lot but now I typically use it to try a new author, read non-fiction, or to borrow books to read with the little dude.

Being a book blogger, I also get gifted copies of books for review by publishers via NetGalley and, to a lesser extent, Edelweiss.
I also get review copies directly from authors and from their PR agents for blog tours and the like.

With Kindle Unlimited, I don't get to keep the books. Once a book is 'returned' amazon delete it automatically from your devices and with the library, you have to return the books therefore, I do not get to keep them.

With review copies, I do get to keep them and since all my review copies have been digital, I have them until I delete them and I don't think I've ever done that... Even when I have hated the book.

The books I buy, I typically buy on ebook and that means they all come from Amazon.
If I buy physical copies, I tend to shop in Waterstones but I do also scan the books in the supermarket, in charity shops, and in independent book shops when I'm passing and grab one if it catches my eye.
Oddly, I rarely buy physical copies of books from Amazon. I buy so few that it just feels wrong not to have the full experience of mooching around a bookstore and smelling the book smells.

With physical books, I tend to keep the ones I buy from new. As I'm an ebook hoarder,  the only reason I buy a new physical copy is that I want it on my shelf permanently.
With used books, I'll read it and decide: keep or donate. Used books are a really good way of experiencing new authors with minimal investment. If I like the book, I'll hunt out more from the author, probably on my kindle!

With Audiobooks, I buy them. The little dude used to have one a month through an audible subscription but his appetite had increased rapidly so now I also invest in top-up credits to feed the beast.
With the exception of Harry Potter, I don't think we've ever bought audiobooks on disc and we've never used the library. I should probably look into the library but we don't even have a CD player anymore so... Maybe not.

What about you? Where do your books come from?

Thursday 7 March 2019

Review: Arrange Me by Katy regnery

My name is Courtney Jane Salinger... and I'm sick of games.

Sick of the Friday night bar-scene-cum-meat-market.
Sick of the boy-girl, man-woman, mars-venus, flirtation-without-expectation, game-playing nonsense.
Sick of awful dates and one-night stands, booty calls and guys who don’t call back, mixed messages or NO messages and—and—and...I'm sick of all of it.

I’m done.
I just can't do it anymore.
It's too hard, and worse: little by little, it's making me hard.
It's breaking my heart.

What do I want?
That's easy.

I want a house in suburbia with a white picket fence.
I want babies to buckle into a minivan.
But most of all, I want to be married.
I want a husband.

So I've made an important decision: I'm making my escape from the dating world and the single life.
I've filled out my application on and I'm putting my fate into the hands of experts.

Is it a little scary?
I mean, I have no idea who I'll end up with.
After all, I'm planning to marry a complete stranger.
But between you and me?
I can't wait.
Being arranged can't possibly be worse than being single.
Can it?

*ARC received in exchange of an honest review*


It's a novel but it's a shortish one. 

Alternating first person



No, not really but the story continues in book two!

A HFN, kinda. I imagine the HEA comes in the next book.



Katy Regnery is an author I always associate with cute, sweet and sexy romances full of heart and likable characters.
Arrange Me - her latest contemporary romance - met these expectations but, for the first time since first reading one of her books, I was left seriously concerned about the HEA.
 Not because the book ends on a cliffhanger, or on anything annoying like that, but because the couple jumped into a marriage without truly knowing each other and the ramifications of that are going to come around and bite them on the ass.
Now, this probably shouldn't be a surprise seeing as this is book one in a duet, I expect that in the second book all the implications will hit full force and then be resolved somehow with a lovely happily ever after, but that meant that at the end of Arrange me I wasn't left with a nice cozy, warm, happy feeling.
The minor anxiety this caused aside, this really was a quick and fun read.
Courtney has had enough of the dating rodeo and broken hearts so she decides to go for an arranged marriage, therefore, of course, that's when fate would throw a perfectly awesome guy into her path... I liked her, even though I thought she was a bit insane.
I liked Josh even though I thought he was a bit insane.
It was all just a bit... Hard to believe. However, I enjoyed the chemistry, the premise and the way things unfolded and, as I said above, it was sweet, it was sexy and it was easy to read.
While I didn't love it, I did really like it, so I'll definitely be checking out part two to see how things unfold for the 'happy' couple.

The cover is nice to look at but so typical of the genre... Given the subject matter, something much more fun - and original - could have been conjured up. 

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