Book Review: Murder Most Actual by Alexis Hall

Lisa heads up a podcast about true crimes called Murder Most actual. Her wife Hanna is a investment banker. They have been slowly drifting apart over the years and this holiday in a remote Scottish Highland hotel is Hanna’s way of trying to get them back together, except things go very wrong, and one of the guests gets murdered, and then several other guests also get murdered sequentially. Lisa turns amateur detective and uses her expertise from the podcast to try and solve the mystery.
The mystery itself is very twisty.
I enjoyed following Lisa and Hanna. I especially enjoyed the sharpness of Hanna’s banter. I really liked the way they slowly patched up their relationship, partly because the danger that they were in made them realise how much they meant to each other.

This is a great romp and as always with Alexis Hall, a great read. I heartily recommend it. I got a free review copy from Net Galley and this is my honest review. This is a Kobo original. So probably just available on Kobo. Go read it. It’s great.

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Book Review: How To Lose An Earl In Ten Weeks

How to Lose an Earl in Ten Weeks is a delight!
Essie is irreverent, headstrong and witty. Aidan is reserved, kind and very sarcastic. Their conversations were so much fun. I particularly liked how Essie’s voice was vivacious and young – she was believably eighteen.

Can I also say, I love the title!

I was offered an ARC of this book by the publisher (thank you!). I raced through it in a couple of days (which is quite fast for me!). With romantic intrigue and all the talk of the ton, it filled the regency romance gap that Bridgerton left when it ended. I loved it.

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Book review: All The Feels by Olivia Dade

I have been waiting to read this book ever since Alex showed up at Marcus’s flat in Spoiler Alert and started talking about Lauren. So, when I saw it on Netgalley, I requested it immediately.

Alex is a film star with impulse control issues. Lauren is a psychotheapist who used to work in A&E and is supposed to be taking a well earned rest by going on holiday. But when Alex gets involved in a bar fight, his production company gets him a minder to stop him bringing any more bad PR to the show. That minder is Lauren.

Lauren is calm and serious and stoic. So stoic. She’s aware that she’s a bit round and looks a bit like a bird. She’s also aware that Alex’s world demands certain levels of beauty that she doesn’t reach. Alex is beautiful, but also very, very kind. Lauren sees past the drama and the posturing and sees this, while Alex appreciates someone taking the time to find out why he did something before condemning him.

The ADHD rep is great, as is the fat rep. It’s really nice to see a heroine who is genuinely not beautiful (rather than one who THINKS she’s not beautiful, but is really). As a really short person, I genuinely enjoyed that the heroine was much shorter than the heroine.

All in all, it’s a great read – really funny and engaging. I absolutely loved it.
I received a review copy from Netgalley.

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Book review: The Bookbinders Daughter by Jessica Thorne

I read an ARC of this book via Netgalley (Thank you, Bookouture for letting me read it).
First of all – it’s a book about a magic library. How could you resist that!

Sophie is in a very controlling relationship with a scumbag, when she’s offered a job at the mysterious Ayredale library … where her parents both worked … until her mum disappeared. She leaves the scumbag and goes to the library, which feels like something more than just a place where old books are kept and repaired. Plus, everyone is acting so weird that she can’t trust ANYBODY. Possibly not even her childhood friend and very attractive bloke, Will.
There is a thread of mystery that winds its way through the story. I found reading this book completely immersive, which is something that hasn’t happened in a long time (Yay! Magic Library!). This is a story about magic and primordial inspiration. The love of books, especially old books, is threaded through the entire story. I loved that. There’s quite a lot about looking after books and working in libraries, which I enjoyed.

This is a lovely, magical read. I recommend it. Especially if you like old books and brooding, slight Gothic, libraries.

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Book review: A Midwinter Match by Jane Lovering

Ruby and Zac both work as counsellors in job centres. When two branches are combined, one of them is going to lose their job. They end up sharing an office and competing for the the same job. Ruby is doing her best to keep her Generalised Anxiety Disorder a secret and to keep up a smiling face. Zac seems to completely at ease with the world. At least that’s how it looks until Ruby starts to realise that he has secrets of his own.

I liked Ruby and her struggle with anxiety. I can relate. [The is an on-page panic attack, which was handled very well]. I really liked the mental health representation. Zac is a really nice guy – Caring in every sense of the word. The secondary characters are fun too. Especially Priya – the gay best friend, who has a confectionery drawer in her desk.

Despite the serious topics that it deals with, this book is very funny in places and made me laugh out loud a few times. It’s Christmassy, but with the usual realism that you’d expect from Jane Lovering’s books.

I got a review copy from the publishers via Netgalley. Thank you!
As always, a disclaimer – I know the author in real life, but I’ve been a fan of her books since before I met her.

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Book review: Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall

Book cover for Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake

I requested this book from Netgalley because I’d read Boyfriend Material last year and really enjoyed it. I was not disappointed.

Rosaline Palmer is a single mum who feels like she’s failed at life – even though she’s being a great mum to an awesome kid. On a whim, she enters Bake Expectations (which is GBBO by another name, really). The story charts her journey from being a shy and timorous newbie to a confident amateur baker, which her love life charting a course alongside the competition.

I enjoyed this book immensely and it made me chuckle out loud several times. It deals with some darker subjects (like sexual assault) as well – I particularly liked the way Rosaline dealt with the perpetrator of the assault when they called in the middle of the night to beg forgiveness. (It’s very hard to talk about this without giving spoilers – so you’re just going to have to read it yourself to find out what I’m on about).

All in all, it’s a good fun book. There’s a lot of cake in it (yay). There’s even a few recipies, written in character, at the end.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.

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Book review: Isn’t it Bromantic by Lyssa Kay Adams

Cover of Isn’t It Bromantic by Lyssa Kay Adams

I’ve been waiting to get my hands on this book for ages. Every time I logged into Netgalley, I’d check to see if it was on. If you’re not familiar, The Bromance Book Club is a bunch of guys who meet to read and discuss romance novels in an attempt to become better husbands and lovers. I love these books (and I really wish I’d come up with this concept!)

Vlad is my favourite of the bros. He started off as the comic relief – ‘The Russian’, with his terrible gut problems, readily dished out hugs, and strong dedication to running for the grand gesture – so it’s lovely to see him turn into a fully developed character with his own story.

I love a beta hero and Vlad is just adorable – okay, he’s alpha on the outside (he is a pro hockey player after all!) but he’s a big softie on the inside. Vlad has been married to Elena for six years, but they both think it’s a sham marriage. Mostly this is because they don’t seem to be able to talk to each other. They both clearly care for each other, but they’re both stubborn in their own way.

I liked that Elena was prickly and defensive, but with good reason. Her responses to Claud of the ‘Loners’ were a delight.

This is probably my favourite of the Book club books. I really enjoyed it.
Thank you Netgalley an the publisher for the review copy.

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