The Christmas Bake Off, Abby Clements – A Review.

Hello fellow bookworms! I’m back again with another one of my 2020 reviews, due to a small break from my blog at the end of last year I am still catching up on my Christmas reads.

The Christmas Bake Off by Abby Clements.

Overall rating ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️ out of 5 snowflakes.

This was the perfect read to kick off my December with, The Christmas Bake Off was absolutely adorable!

While this was only a short book that doesn’t mean it didn’t pack in a lot in the time that we had. The story was just so sweet, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, it had the perfect small village feel and the love for baking just oozed through the pages.

My favourite parts were definitely when Rachel’s daughter owned up to what she did – getting in that festive spirit! And when Bea won the competition, it would have been so easy for the author to pick the easy winner but it just reminded me that competitions aren’t always about who the “best” is, it’s the taking part and effort you put in that counts.

The ending of The Christmas Bake Off was absolutely perfect too, it rounded off the story but left it open for more!

I just loved this book and it kick started my Christmas reads perfectly, I’m so happy I read it.

Until next time, Em xxx

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📚My Life In Books Tag📚

Hello I’m here again with a book tag, this time it’s my life in book tags! I do have a middle name but I don’t have a book beginning with J so I just haven’t included it on the first question🙈

Q – Find a book for each of your initials.

A – Well my initials are E W so we have… End of Watch by Stephen King and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. Stretching it a bit there but I wanted to do these with books from my own shelf!

Q – Count your age along your bookshelf, which book is it? 

A – The 25th book on my shelf is The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C S Lewis. 

Q – Pick a book set in your country. (That’s England).

A – A Wedding in Cornwall by Laura Briggs.

Q – Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to. 

A – Inferno by Dan Brown.

Q – Pick a book that is your favourite colour. 

A – My fave colour is actually pink and I don’t have any books of that colour 😦 if you have any pink books hit me up with your recs!

Q – Which book do you have the fondest memories of? 

A – It’s a choice between a few childhood books really, Matilda and the Goosebumps series, they both remind me so much of my childhood. 

Q – Which book did you have the most difficulty reading? 

A – IT by Stephen King, I have tried 3 times now to read this book and I just cannot get into it. 

Q – Which book on your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it? 

A – At the moment it would be The Green Mile by Stephen King, simply because I have had this book on my shelf for years, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading it. 

Well there we have the end of this book tag, my favourite part was definitely searching through my bookshelf for the books with my initials and counting my age!

Em xxx

Snowed In With The Billionaire, Lila Monroe – A Review.

Guess who’s back, back again! It’s me, I’m back again with another festive read, sorry for spamming up your pages with my festive books haha.

Snowed In With The Billionaire by Lila Monroe.

Overall rating ❄️ out of 5 snowflakes.

Let me start by saying I am pretty damn annoyed with this book. It was an ebook that I picked up for free so I shouldn’t be too mad… But, I got to about 45% and I was really getting into it, only for it to end at 46% and then the remainder be an excerpt from another novel. Like what? WHY do they do that?

Aside from this I just found this book to be very boring, it wasn’t that festive other than being set at Christmas and the romance left a lot to be desired.

Ace (our main male lead) was a stereotypical rocker turned music industry exec who was incredibly 2D, it felt like all he wanted was sex from Paige. And as for Paige, her inner monologue was ridiculous, if you want the man just go get him, it’s the 21st century!

The other “characters” if we can even call them that, they play such a small part, really had no background or distinguishing features for me to properly comment on them.

Whilst there was certainly no shortage of sex scenes in Snowed In With The Billionaire they did feel cheap, and as if they were there to fill the time. They didn’t add anything to the story and to be honest, weren’t the best written scenes I’ve read…

On the whole, Snowed In With The Billionaire was just another stab at Fifty Shades of Grey, except it was set at Christmas. A really disappointing read.

Let me know if you’ve read this one and what you thought!

Em xxx

Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes, Jessica Redland – A Review.

Aloha fellow bloggers, bookworms and friends. I’m here again with another festive review for you all, after my small break at Christmas I’m still catching up on my December 2020 reads and reviews…

Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes by Jessica Redland.

Overall rating ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️ out of 5 snowflakes.

This book has to be my favourite Christmas read of 2020, it was simply gorgeous.

Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes had so many different aspects to it that all merged together perfectly to form the most wonderful story, that really brought a festive cheer to my heart!

Our two sisters, Bethany and Carly brought this book to life, they were funny, interesting and had a lot of humanity to them – they were very easy to relate to. I felt like I was part of their relationship from the offset.

Then we have how Bethany and her future husband interacted and how Carly and Liam interacted and it just made me feel so warm and fuzzy and in love.

The story itself was similar to others I’d read before, but the smaller aspects such as the small businesses all working together to help each other, Bethany suffering panic attacks* and so many more made this book feel different…

*I just want to say that when Bethany came out and said she’d been having panic attacks and that she didn’t admit it to her family because she was embarrassed I felt that in my heart. And the way that her family dealt with the situation was excellent, it was a really positive representation.

Everything about this book screamed Christmas to me and that’s just what I wanted from a festive read! It was absolutely brilliant.

Let me know if you’ve read Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes and what you thought.

Em xxx

The Christmas Truce, Rosalind Palmer Jones – A Review.

Hello friends! I’m here again with another festive review for you all, after my small break at Christmas I’m still catching up on my December 2020 reads and reviews…

The Christmas Truce by Rosalind Palmer Jones.

Overall rating ❄️❄️ out of 5 snowflakes.

I seem to be in the minority of people who really disliked this book…

From start to finish I didn’t get that festive vibe from it at all, which was really disappointing considering the title of the book. The only relation to Christmas we had was that it was set at Christmas!

As individuals the characters really stood out to me, Emma was strong and independent and prepared to not back down to get what she wanted. Where as Miles was the strong type when it came to his business but hid that soft side that was just waiting for someone to care enough to bring it out of him.

But together they just didn’t work. They lacked that spark between them, it just felt awkward and forced at points and was really disappointing.

For me The Christmas Truce was just another bang average romance book, that was set at Christmas and claimed to be a festive read.

It wasn’t completely terrible, but it was disappointing.

Until next time, Em xxx

Six Geese A-Laying, Sophie Kinsella – A Review.

Hello friends! I’m here again with a festive review for you all, as you’ll know I decided to take a small break from blogging over Christmas so I’m playing catch up on all my reviews in January instead!

Six Geese A-Laying by Sophie Kinsella.

Overall rating ❄️❄️❄️ out of 5 snowflakes.

The title of this book is very clever and was possibly my favourite part of it haha!

I think my main issue with Six Geese A-Laying was that it wasn’t festive enough for me, it was just set around Christmas rather than being a festive read.

That being said, I did really enjoy this book and I wished it was longer as there was so much potential that could have been unlocked. The character growth of the Mum’s in the story could have opened up for so much more.

I did enjoy how this was kind of Christmas Carol themed, with the way the spirit appeared as if the Ghost of Christmases to come!

If Six Geese A-Laying was longer, I honestly think that it would have been much better and warranted a higher rating, as it could have delved deeper into the stories of the Mum’s to be and created a more festive environment.

Sadly though, it just didn’t hit the mark 😦

Until next time, Em xxx

2020? Completed it mate.

Hello fellow book blogging friends and happy Christmas month! I feel like this year has simultaneously been the slowest and quickest of my entire life, it still feels like we should be back in March or something and in actual fact we’re about to ring in 2021!

Back in June I shared my halfway through the year blog post, with all the books I’d read so far as I suck at doing monthly wrap ups…

I still suck at doing monthly wrap ups and that is something I’m working on for next year but in keeping with June’s post here is my second half of 2020 reads.

2020???? COMPLETED IT MATE! (At last).

P.S. I increased my Goodreads goal again, up to 100 this time so we shall see what I end up on 🙂

Grab your hot chocolate, fave Christmas snack and a blanket and let’s get cosy AF. I’ve also tagged all my reviews that are live if you fancied a nosey!

July (10 books) – I FINALLY hit double figures after my slump in June and I was so happy. Granted some of these were short stories I still count them towards my goal. July’s reads were definitely aided by my two weeks off work where I literally chilled with my bf and read for hours on end.

My July reviews were: Reckless Nights in Rome, The Garage, Turn Her Face to the Wall, Honeymoon Alone, A Deadly Delivery: A Psychic Cafe Mystery, The Room Upstairs, Bones, The Cry of the Lake, The Scam List and Falling For The Cowboy.

August (7 books) – August was a strange one for me, I read a few books that I loved and couldn’t rate highly enough but I just struggled to read that many in total, it just felt a bit of a strange month to me. Coupled with not reading for an entire weekend because I was visiting my brother I felt really behind compared to July!

My August reviews were: Gerald’s Game, Heaven’s Peak, Silenced For Good, Extreme Malice, Intergalactic Interloper, Abandoned: A Ghost Story, The Fear.

September (6 books) – Ahhhh September, the month of possibly the WORST reading slump I have found myself in this year, I am so thankful I had some short stories on my Kindle to read else this would literally have been like 2 books… September also saw me read one of my favourite (if not favourite) reads of the year so it wasn’t all bad!

My September reviews were: It Came From The Multiplex, Evangeline: Memoir of a Teenage Serial Killer, Sleeping Beauti, Secrets on Sale, Death’s Door, The Proctor Hall Horror.

October (9 books) – So during October I made a pact with myself to read only books that were horror or thriller themed, which honestly just got me SO in the mood for Halloween. You can see my round-up post for my October reads here as I also detail how many pages I read in total, amongst lots of other stats!

My October reviews were: Be Careful What You Wish For, I Can’t Sleep, Dr Sleep, The Ghost In The Closet, Typhoid Mary, Psychosis, What Goes On In The Walls At Night, Horror Stories, The Haunted.

November (7 books) – After my highly successful October TBR list I decided to set myself one for November too, which you can read here. I was pretty ambitious with my TBR for November and I worried I wouldn’t get through that many books that I’d almost rebel against myself but I did pretty well!

My November reviews were: Tales of Lunis Aquaria, The Stranger, Dreaming of Florence, Squall, Lord of the Flies, Fiddleback and Love Among the Recipes.

December (10 books) – December was the month where I pledged myself to read just Christmas books and that I did! I still haven’t written the reviews for these so they’ll be appearing in January some time but honestly I had such a blast reading these books.

My December reviews were: The Christmas Bake Off, Six Geese A-Laying, A Beginner’s Guide To Christmas, Sex, Snow and Mistletoe, A Cornish Christmas Reunion, Christmas Wishes Come True, The Christmas Truce, Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes, Snowed In with the Billionaire and Midnight Sun.

Well bookworms that took me a total of 101 books in 2020!!!!! I changed my Goodreads goal three times, from 50 to 60 and then finally to 100.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever hit that number again but my work allowed me to work from home during most of this year so that gave me an extra 30-35 minutes to read per day (no commuting time!) and I was furloughed fully for 3 weeks before going onto flexi furlough for a period of time, meaning I was doing half my usual hours and I had soooo much more time on my hands.

Without books I would have been in a much worse place this year, and I will be forever grateful for having access to so many books❤️

Anyway, there you have my half yearly wrap up, happy 2021 everyone!

Em xxx

Top 10 books in 2020…

Good morning friends! In light of what has been absolutely terrible year, I’ve decided to bring some cheer to my blog by reminding myself of my top 10 books in 2020.

I’ve picked these because not only did I give them a 5 star review at the time, but I would give them that review time and time again, even if I re-read them in the future – I just thought they were that good!

In the interest of transparency, I did receive ARCs of those bolded, these were free copies in return for an honest review.

1 – One Week Till Christmas by Belinda Missen. Even though I read this in January and it’s actually a Christmas read it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside was my first 5 star review of the year!

2 – Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I had no reason not to include Coraline on this list, it genuinely terrified me…

3 – The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza. The Night Stalker is a stand-out read of 2020 for me, it kept me completely on my toes.

4 – The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson. Possibly my most unexpected 5 star rating of the year, I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did!

5 – The Whisper Man by Alex North. I absolutely loved this book, it was definitely a contender for my absolute favourite of the year…

6 – The Scam List by Kurt Dinan.

7 – Silenced For Good by Alex Coombs. I felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride reading this one and I loved it!

8 – Intergalactic Interloper by Delas Heras.

9 -The Proctor Hall Horror by Bill Thompson.

10 – Dreaming of Florence by T A Williams. Dreaming of Florence was just one of the most beautiful reads of the year, I loved every second of this book and I was so gutted when I reached the end.

And there you have it, my top 10 favourite books of the year! I definitely enjoyed the majority of the books I read this year but the 10 in this list were standout for me!

Let me know what your top reads were of the year, or pop a comment with a link to your post below so I can check it out.

Em xxx

NETGALLEY – Love Amongst The Recipes, Carol Cram – A Review.

First of all, thank you so much to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the advanced copy of this book. I recevied this in return for an honest review.

Here is another November read that was an ARC I received from NetGalley!

Love Amongst The Recipes by Carol Cram.

Overall rating – 1 out of 5 stars.

If I had to pick one word to describe this book it would be underwhelming. I absolutely fell in love with the premise and the blurb and it sounded like the perfect antidote to a tough month, but I was left feeling flat.

I found Love Amongst The Recipes to be very long, and not in a good way. I struggled at points to keep reading and found myself skimming the pages because they didn’t feel relevant or like they added anything to the plot.

What disappointed me the most was how in the turn of a few pages we went from Genna loving her freedom in Paris, away from her husband and her old life, to struggling to choose between two men…

Why couldn’t she have just kept on loving her freedom and independence and told them both to jog on when she was clearly still struggling to determine if she wanted to forgive her husband and rekindle with him.

Which leads me to the whole reason Genna was in Paris in the first place, which isn’t revealed until about three quarters of the way through the book, when it’s quite an integral part of the plot.

It’s not that I disliked the characters in the story, they just lacked depth for me. Yes, Genna was well developed and I felt like we knew her personally but then everyone else felt a bit 2D and flat.

And the ending… Oh my goodness, I felt so let down, it was awful and did not round the book off at all. I felt like I’d waded through treacle for the entire book to be handed crap.

On the whole, Love Amongst The Recipes just didn’t fill me with the joy I expected it to, I was underwhelmed and highly disappointed.

Em xxx

Squall, Sean Costello – A Review.

Another November read review that I didn’t get round to sharing during November because why would I do that when I could just draft a review and leave it sitting there for a month until I did something with it 😀

Squall by Sean Costello.

Overall rating 3 out of 5 stars.

On the whole, I did enjoy reading this book, probably a lot more than I thought I would, the plot was completely different to anything I’d read before, and I think that contributed to my enjoyment.

Whilst the book itself left a lot to be desired, I’ll get onto that in a second, I did feel that for the length and plot of the book it was good and it definitely captured my attention.

However, the swearing was completely over the top. I’m not one to shy away from a few swear words (more than a few lol) but it was just too much and kind of distracting as every other sentence had a swear word included.

I also felt the same about the drug use, it was extremely graphic and I personally felt it didn’t need to be so descriptive, it didn’t add anything to the plot…

The ending though, well the final couple of chapters, were brilliant! It was just the fast paced round up that we needed to see this story out.

Overall, this book was just average, there is no other way to describe it, hence my 3 star rating…

Let me know if you’ve read Squall and what you thought!

Em xxx