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Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!

As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.

A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon is the much anticipated prequel to Priory of the Orange Tree.

Kill Joy: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder Novella by Holly Jackson is, as the title suggests, a novella set in the author’s popular A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series.

Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below! 


Each month, we’ll be putting together a list of our top most anticipated releases; from romance, to sci-fi, to fantasy, and everything in between. These releases might be ones we’re counting down the days for or ones we’ve already read and want you to read (and love!), too.

What you do need to bear in mind is that living on different continents we have different release dates. So as a general rule there might be some repeats from one month to the next.. it’s not that we’re just being weird. Though we can’t dismiss that totally out of turn.

Be aware that some of these are sequels and it’s at your own spoilery risk if you read the blurb!

For March, our hotly anticipated titles, in chronological order, are :

The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen by KJ Charles | March 7, 2023

Gothic scandal meets Bridgerton intrigue in this swashbuckling Regency romance from celebrated author KJ Charles.

Abandoned by his father, Gareth Inglis grew up lonely, prickly, and well-used to disappointment. Still, he longs for a connection. When he meets a charming stranger, he falls head over heels—until everything goes wrong and he’s left alone again. Then Gareth’s father dies, turning the shabby London clerk into Sir Gareth, with a grand house on the remote Romney Marsh and a family he doesn’t know.

The Marsh is another world, a strange, empty place notorious for its ruthless gangs of smugglers. And one of them is dangerously familiar…

Joss Doomsday has run the Doomsday smuggling clan since he was a boy. When the new baronet—his old lover—agrees to testify against Joss’s sister, Joss acts fast to stop him. Their reunion is anything but happy, yet after the dust settles, neither can stay away. Soon, all Joss and Gareth want is the chance to be together. But the bleak, bare Marsh holds deadly secrets. And when Gareth finds himself threatened from every side, the gentleman and the smuggler must trust one another not just with their hearts, but with their lives.

The Foxglove King by Hannah Whitten | March 7, 2023

In this lush, romantic epic fantasy series from a New York Times bestselling author, a young woman’s secret power to raise the dead plunges her into the dangerous and glamorous world of the Sainted King’s royal court.When Lore was thirteen, she escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath the city of Dellaire. And in the ten years since, she’s lived by one rule: don’t let them find you. Easier said than done, when her death magic ties her to the city.

Mortem, the magic born from death, is a high-priced and illicit commodity in Dellaire, and Lore’s job running poisons keeps her in food, shelter, and relative security. But when a run goes wrong and Lore’s power is revealed, she’s taken by the Presque Mort, a group of warrior-monks sanctioned to use Mortem working for the Sainted King. Lore fully expects a pyre, but King August has a different plan. Entire villages on the outskirts of the country have been dying overnight, seemingly at random. Lore can either use her magic to find out what’s happening and who in the King’s court is responsible, or die.

Lore is thrust into the Sainted King’s glittering court, where no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted. Guarded by Gabriel, a duke-turned-monk, and continually running up against Bastian, August’s ne’er-do-well heir, Lore tangles in politics, religion, and forbidden romance as she attempts to navigate a debauched and opulent society.

But the life she left behind in the catacombs is catching up with her. And even as Lore makes her way through the Sainted court above, they might be drawing closer than she thinks.

A Long Stretch of Bad Days by Mindy McGinnis | March 14, 2023

From award-winning author Mindy McGinnis comes a thrilling and gripping YA mystery about a small town’s past and the secrets unearthed by way of two teen girls—and a podcast. Perfect for fans of Sadie, The Cheerleaders, and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.

A lifetime of hard work has put Lydia Chass on track to attend a prestigious journalism program and leave Henley behind—until a school error leaves her a credit short of graduating.

Bristal Jamison has a bad reputation and a foul mouth, but she also needs one more credit to graduate. An unexpected partnership forms as the two remake Lydia’s town history podcast to investigate the Long Stretch of Bad Days—a week when Henley was hit by a tornado, a flash food, as well as its first, only, and unsolved murder.

As their investigation unearths buried secrets, some don’t want them to see the light. When the threats escalate, the girls have to uncover the truth before the dark history of Henley catches up with them.

Solomon’s Crown by Natasha Siegel | March 14, 2023

Two destined rivals fall desperately in love—but the fate of medieval Europe hangs in the balance.

“I will always want you. Enemy or ally, I always shall.”

Twelfth-century Europe. Newly crowned King Philip of France is determined to restore his nation to its former empire and bring glory to his name. But when his greatest enemy, King Henry of England, threatens to end his reign before it can even begin, Philip is forced to make a precarious alliance with Henry’s volatile son—risking both his throne, and his heart.

Richard, Duke of Aquitaine, never thought he would be king. But when an unexpected tragedy makes him heir to England’s royal seat, he finally has an opportunity to overthrow the father he despises. At first, Philip is a useful tool in his quest for vengeance . . . until passion and politics collide, and Richard begins to question whether the crown is worth the cost.

When Philip and Richard find themselves staring down an impending war, they must choose between their desire for each other and their grand ambitions. Will their love prevail if it calls to them from across the battlefield? Teeming with royal intrigue and betrayal, this epic romance reimagines two real-life kings ensnared by an impossible choice: Follow their hearts, or earn their place in history.

The Gargoyle’s Captive by Katee Robert | March 28, 2023

Grace is a monster hunter who went into her demon deal with eyes wide open. Years ago, her mother made the same choice and was never seen again, and the answers Grace seeks can only be found in the demon realm.

She doesn’t care that she’s auctioned off to a gargoyle. She doesn’t plan to stay with him longer than strictly necessary.

Unfortunately, she didn’t read the small print of her contract.

Every time she tries to escape, she’s transported back into Bram’s tender care. He never hurts her, never punishes her, just meets her fury with an easy charm she doesn’t know how to fight.

She doesn’t mean to give in, to stop fighting. But the moment she does, she starts to forget what brought her to this place and what her goals are. After a life starved of pleasure, she’s all willing to let Bram seduce her again and again…

At least until the past comes calling.

What titles are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments below!


Nash Morgan was always known as the good Morgan brother, with a smile and a wink for everyone. But now, this chief of police is recovering from being shot and his Southern charm has been overshadowed by panic attacks and nightmares. He feels like a broody shell of the man he once was. Nash isn’t about to let anyone in his life know he’s struggling. But his new next-door neighbor, smart and sexy Lina, sees his shadows. As a rule, she’s not a fan of physical contact unless she initiates it, but for some reason Nash’s touch is different. He feels it too. The physical connection between them is incendiary, grounding him and making her wonder if exploring it is worth the risk.

Too bad Lina’s got secrets of her own, and if Nash finds out the real reason she’s in town, he’ll never forgive her. Besides, she doesn’t do relationships. Ever. A hot, short-term fling with a local cop? Absolutely. Sign her up. A relationship with a man who expects her to plant roots? No freaking way. Once she gets what she’s after, she has no intention of sticking around. But Knockemout has a way of getting under people’s skin. And once Nash decides to make Lina his, he’s not about to be dissuaded…even if it means facing the danger that nearly killed him.

Title : Things We Hide From The Light
Author : Lucy Score
Series : Knockemout #2
Format : Physical
Page Count : 580
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Hodder Books
Release Date : February 21, 2023

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 5 star review

Baggage in the middle
Chemistry trumps baggage
Giggling one minute, tearing up the next

Things We Hide From The Light was one of those rare reads that had me in love by a few chapters. I had a sense I was going to love the book front to back; and I did. Knockemout only gets better in my opinion, with Nash and Lina taking the spotlight and owning it.

If you were interested in Nash in book one (how could you not be), you’ll be surprised to find him somewhat changed in this book. I didn’t spend that much time thinking about Lina in the first installment but she owned the pages of this one. Lina was strong, determined and thrived on independence to a fault. The walls these two had to climb were pretty huge and the pages just melted away through their story.

There was a mystery and high stakes going on in the background; it had me worrying throughout for these characters and it got pretty tense towards the end. The culmination had me a mushy, leaky-faced mess but it was so worth the emotional ride.

There was plenty of the other beloved Knockemout characters in book two, so if you’re needing more Knox and Naomi or want to be invested ready for book three, Lucian and Sloane have you covered. This series truly makes found family the heart of everything, connecting the dots with the blood ties too.

“You take away the dark, the cold. And you remind me what it’s like to want to be here.”

Thank you Hodder Books for the review copy.


A brand-new novella from the New York Times bestseller of Divergent

A thrilling, profoundly moving science fiction retelling of the Greek tragedy Antigone filled with inevitable doom, heart-break and one final act of courage.

Outside the last city on Earth, the planet is a wasteland. Without the Archive, where the genes of the dead are stored, humanity will end.

Passing into the Archive should be cause for celebration, but Antigone’s parents were murdered, leaving her father’s throne vacant. As her militant uncle Kreon rises to claim it, all Antigone feels is rage. When he welcomes her and her siblings into his mansion, Antigone sees it for what it really is: a gilded cage, where she is a captive as well as a guest.

But her uncle will soon learn that no cage is unbreakable. And neither is he.

Title : Arch-Conspirator
Author : Veronica Roth
Format : eARC
Page Count : 128
Genre : Dystopian Retelling
Publisher : Titan Books
Release Date : February 22, 2023

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★.5

Micky’s 4.5 star review

Greek tragedy retelling
Dytopian patriarchy
Female power

I ate this novella up in an evening and my thoughts are still on it afterwards. This was a completely full and satisfying story for its 128 pages. I really enjoyed the way Roth told this story in a pass-the-parcel POV keeping a totally coherent narrative voice and perspective of the story. Antigone was the central character, but those around her, good and bad were utterly compelling.

The story of Antigone, her siblings and her parents’ legacy was told in a dystopian earth, an earth that had many shades of familiarity but with a patriarchal dictator at its head. Females were precious for their uterus and therefore disempowered. There was a lot to unpack ethically interwoven into the fast pace of the story.

These characters were mostly shades of grey but with one much darker than the others. I liked seeing Antigone trembling with a sense of anarchy. Some characters really surprised me and the plot was tightly constructed.

I couldn’t put this novella down and I can see the tale staying with me; it’s memorable. I love a shorter story that packs all the punches.

“Sometimes I just stare into the future and don’t like anything I see.”

Thank you to Titan Books for the review copy.

NOCTURNE by Alyssa Wees

In this gorgeous and haunting fantasy set in 1930s Chicago, a talented ballerina finds herself torn between her dreams and her desires when she’s pursued by a secretive patron who may be more than he seems.

Grace has always wanted to be a ballerina, ever since she first peered through the windows of the Near North Ballet company. The elegance of the dance seemed transcendent to an immigrant child of the working poor, and so, when she is orphaned, it is to the ballet that she flees.

Years later, Grace is on the verge of becoming the company’s new prima ballerina – though she is beginning to realise that achieving her long-held dream may not be the triumph she once envisioned. Then Grace attracts the attention of the enigmatic Master La Rosa, and realises that the world may not be as small or constricted as she had come to fear.

But who is her mysterious patron, and what does he want from her? As Grace begins to unlock the Master’s secrets, she discovers that there may be another way entirely to achieve the transcendence she has always sought.

Title : Nocturne
Author : Alyssa Wees
Format : Physical ARC
Page Count : 240
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : DelRey UK
Release Date : February 21, 2023

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 4 star review

Little bird and the beast
The veil between worlds
Darkly delicious

I saw this book being likened to beauty and the beast and phantom of the opera, having read it, I can see these themes but Nocturne is truly its own story. It was a book full of mystery, twists and turns eroded by darkness and fog. I really enjoyed the dark vibe, occasional horrorish vision and twisted tale it evoked.

The main character, Grace was an orphan of sorts, having experienced life of familial tragedy in the 1930s hardships of Chicago. Grace was a ballerina in a struggling dance company. However, this wasn’t only Chicago, there was a foggy veil between two worlds. That otherworldly place was sometimes scary but it became familiar and a place Grace came to want to exist in.

The other main character was the Master, her patron at the dance company. He was a mysterious, unseen character, in a private box at the theatre, spons0ring Grace for an unknown reason. How this story and relationship played out made me trepidatious for Grace but I came to settle into how things evolved. I hated the house and I didn’t trust the Master’s assistant.

Things got pretty messed up through a unique storyline as the two worlds collided and enmeshed. I couldn’t put the second half of the book down. This isn’t a neatly tied up story but there’s a cleverness and authenticity in where this tale ends.

Thank you to DelReyUk for the review copy.

ONLY YOU by Samantha Young

Once upon a time, Monroe Sinclair was Brodan Adair’s best friend, but now he’s a stranger and one of Hollywood’s leading men…

It took Monroe Sinclair eighteen years to return home to Ardnoch after a fateful night that devastated her friendship with Brodan Adair. She fled her unrequited love for him, as well as her difficult family life, and tried not to look behind her. Only a daughter’s guilt could lure her back to the Highlands and the assumption that Brodan Adair rarely ever sets foot in their hometown. She can handle seeing the rest of the Adairs so long as she can avoid her ex-best friend and the only man she’s ever loved.

Nothing is more important to Brodan than family, and only his demons have the power to keep him from them. For years, acting was something he was lucky enough to be good at, yet it wasn’t his priority—Ardnoch and his siblings were. But when a ghost from his past returned out of the blue, Brodan tried to outrun its haunting, taking him further and further from home. When exhaustion finally forces him back to the family fold, the last thing he wants is to encounter another ghost. But that’s exactly what Monroe Sinclair has been to him.

When a promise to his nephew obliges Brodan to work with Monroe, it forces them to face their past. The explosive connection that has always existed between them resurrects truths long buried. Yet, just when they might be on the brink of a second chance, the ghost from Brodan’s past finally catches up to him and threatens not just their happiness, but their very lives.

Title : Only You
Author : Samantha Young
Series : Adair Family #5
Format : e-ARC
Page Count :
Genre : Romantic Suspense
Publisher : Self-published
Release Date : February 21, 2023

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .5

Micky’s 4.5 star review

Heartaches and longings
Friendships that don’t last
Suspenseful surprises

While I wasn’t ready for this to be the last book in this series, I devoured it because I have loved this series front to back. These stories are full of hard-fought connections and always with some suspense (sometimes rather dramatic).

Brodan was a tough sell as a main character. He was unforgiving, arrogant and hurtful…but only with Monroe which kind of made it worse. He’d show his heart and care to others then treated Monroe terribly. How on earth did the author pull this around? Well, all I can say is that Monroe, her story and her character sustained me through the dislike of Brodan until he could show a better side.

Monroe’s story was especially compelling. Her past and present were one big trial of limping through life while being battered by events. I really liked her and I enjoyed the walls she erected. These two were something of a slow burn in connection but earlier in other feelings. They definitely had all the elements of chemistry going on. The story was satisfying with a suspenseful twist from a direction I didn’t see which I appreciated.

Not ready to let the Adairs and this setting go? I am pleased after some minor sleuthing that the off-shoot series book one Beyond The Thistles starts with characters we’ve already met here and I liked them.

Thank you to the author for the review copy; this is my honest opinion.


Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!

As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.

Only You by Samantha Young is book five in the Adair Family series. This book is Brodan Adair’s turn.

Murder at Haven’s Rock by Kelley Armstrong kicks off a new series with some familiar faces from the Rockton series. If you’re into mysteries and murder set in the Yukon, this is the world for you.

Nocturne by Alyssa Wees is a dark fantasy set in historical Chicago featuring a ballerina and her mysterious patron.

The Strangest Forms by Gregory Ashe is a YA mystery featuring the descendent of Sherlock Holmes from this prolific author and you can get yours hands on it on February 24, 2023.

Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below! 

MURDER AT HAVEN’S ROCK by Kelley Armstrong

New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s Rockton Novels had one of the most unique towns in crime fiction. Murder at Haven’s Rock is a spinoff, a fresh start… with a few new dangers that threaten everything before it even begins.

Haven’s Rock, Yukon. Population: 0

Deep in the Yukon wilderness, a town is being built. A place for people to disappear, a fresh start from a life on the run. Haven’s Rock isn’t the first town of this kind, something detective Casey Duncan and her husband, Sheriff Eric Dalton, know first hand. They met in the original town of Rockton. But greed and deception led the couple to financing a new refuge for those in need. This time around, they get to decide which applicants are approved for residency.

There’s only one rule in Haven’s Rock: stay out of the forest. When two of the town’s construction crew members break it and go missing, Casey and Eric are called in ahead of schedule to track them down. When a body is discovered, well hidden with evidence of foul play, Casey and Eric must find out what happened to the dead woman, and locate the still missing man. The woman stumbled upon something she wasn’t supposed to see, and the longer Casey and Eric don’t know what happened, the more danger everyone is in. 

Title : Murder at Haven’s Rock
Author : Kelley Armstrong
Format : eARC
Page Count : 352
Genre : contemporary / mystery thriller
Publisher : Minotaur Books
Release Date : February 21, 2023

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ 

Hollis’ 2 star review

As much as I was looking forward to a fresh start for this spinoff series, while still featuring both characters and a similar setting to the original series, this felt a liiiiittle too samesies for my liking. I’m worried I have to maybe call time of death on this one even after only one book (even if, technically, the other series makes it more like book eight).

In this post-Rockton existence, Casey and Eric are trying to build a new home, with a similar purpose but less corrupt bureaucracy, but before they can even get their town finished, their residents installed, two workers have gone missing. Along the way there’s an unexpected dead woman to deal with, a miner and associated claims to navigate, and a new set of locals who will undoubtably be trouble for Haven’s Rock’s future.

This didn’t do anything wrong. There was no particularly heinous addition to the cast. We had a good red herring or two along the way to solving things. But.. neither did this feel like it added anything new. We just have different scenery and less hierarchy to contend with. Equally, the familiar faces felt fairly cardboard-y which certainly didn’t help with my overall feelings about wanting more time with them.

I may push on but this was not the exciting fresh take I expected it to be. But, you know, your mileage may vary if all you wanted was to not say goodbye to the main characters of series one.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

NEVER series by Lesley Livingston

Hi readers, here’s a review round-up for you! This time featuring a throwback YA fantasy series featuring time travel.. but this time our characters travel back to the time of Boudicca and Druids, Celts and Romans, and more.

Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She’s smart, but a bit of a slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker … but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins. Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there’s still time— literally—maybe even get a date.

This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every … never.

Title Once Every Never
Author : Lesley Livingston
Series : Never (book one)
Format : physical
Page Count : 312
Genre : YA fantasy / paranormal / historical
Publisher : Penguin Canada
Release Date : July 1, 2011

Hollis’ 3.5 star review

As part of my unhaul project, I’ve attempted to pull a few old favourites off the shelf each year to see if they were worth keeping or if, well, they were destined for the unhaul pile. Like many readers these days, YA isn’t quite doing for me what it used to and most, though not all!, of my rereads/retries haven’t quite held up. So far though.. this series is doing good things!

The basic premise is a girl, banished from Toronto to the UK for the summer for reasons, ends up discovering a unique and unexpected ability to travel back to a specific past when she touches certain ancient artifacts. At first she isn’t able to speak to or interact with those around her, and her trips are brief before she’s flung back to the present, but eventually she finds herself connecting with those in conflict and, despite them being long dead, trying to help them. Maybe even.. change the future?

Considering just how old this series is (2011! my god..) this really held up well. It’s not without a little silliness (some of Clare’s word vomit to the Celts was just painful and there were some other moments that veered towards OTTness but oddly enough only in the adults) but honestly less in the dumb way and more in a fun way. The historical element, the specific time this details, it’s all really interesting. And I really enjoyed the limited conditions in which Clare was allowed to influence, and interact with, the past. Adding to the good was her fantastic bestie slash sidekick and all their great banter and there was also a nice little romance at play.

From what I remember I’m pretty sure book two is Allie, said bestie’s, turn at a time travel adventure and considering I did like her more than Clare, I think the next reread might do even better than this one.

It’s happening again!

Despite their vow to each other at the end of Once Every Never, best friends Clare and Allie once more find themselves in trouble—and travelling in time. Indulging in a low-key vacation at Glastonbury Tor, taking part in an archaeological dig while soaking up the sights of summertime England, the girls have promised each other: no time travel shenanigans; no involvement with dangerous Druids or villainous museum thieves; and definitely no weirdness about the fact that Clare is now seriously dating Milo, Allie’s super-genius hottie cousin!

But when Allie makes an unexpected discovery at the dig site—a skull—the grisly artifact sends her spiralling back in time to a Roman encampment besieged by rampaging Celts. Caught between the Legions and the war band, Allie is rescued from certain death by Marcus, a young Roman soldier with a secret. As she struggles to survive in the past, Clare and Milo race desperately against time in the present to bring Allie home…before she loses her head OR her heart.

Title Every Never After
Author : Lesley Livingston
Series : Never (book two)
Format : physical
Page Count : 256
Genre : YA fantasy / paranormal / historical
Publisher : Penguin Canada
Release Date : March 12, 2013

Hollis’ 3 star review

Okay, I realize it’s been seconds for you between my hope for better for book two and the writing of said review. Not that it’s been all that long on this end, I’m literally bingeing the last two books the day after reading the first, but. Somehow this wasn’t at all what I remembered it being. I had no review to look back on but I did rate this higher (highEST! it was a five. oh precious bb Hollis..) so I expected something great.

And.. I mean, I wasn’t wrong. Allie, the bestie, does get her chance at time traveling, this time in a different manner, with different parameters, than Clare, but.. other than the fun of who she runs into, and thus has a romance with, this one felt chaotic.

The whole trilogy is basically focused around the same things, with the same characters, and that’s made even more clear by the cliffhanger in book two. So while we get to see how some things piece together in this middle instalment, and there are a lot of pieces — some still unresolved or unclear — it’s just also a lot. There’s so much going on at the end of this one, and it gets very timey wimey wibbledy wobbledy (though that bit is mostly fun), that it sorta feels unsatisfying.

Also, I don’t know if it’s the slightly shorter runtime or the general chaos but the aforementioned romance just doesn’t come across convincing. I would’ve liked less of that, more of a promise of it to come, then how it played out but then again.. this is one of those YA issues I have these days. Not that adult romance is any better at times!

So yeah, lots of questions and confusions still abound, and more time travel adventures still to come, so I’ll just dive right in and hope we can really bring it all home in the finale.

Past and present collide on the high seas when Clare and Allie hurtle back in time once more in a perilous attempt to retrieve Marcus Donatus—Allie’s blast-from-the-past crush—and put an end, once and for all, to the Time Monkey Shenanigans. But when Clare and Allie unexpectedly find themselves temporal stowaways on a Roman warship full of looted Celtic gold, sailing straight for the heart of a magic-fuelled maelstrom, there’s not much they can do but hang on for the ride—and hope Milo can tap into the Druid lore trapped in his genius brain to help bring them home, before it’s too late. The only thing that’s going to save Clarinet Reid and Allie McAllister now is if they join forces with old enemies, new loves … and unexpected friends.

Title Now and For Never
Author : Lesley Livingston
Series : Never (book three)
Format : physical
Page Count : 280
Genre : YA fantasy / paranormal / historical
Publisher : Penguin Canada
Release Date : May 27, 2014

Hollis’ 3.5 star review

Okay, this was pretty fun. Did it blow my mind? Maybe not. Is this series going to stay on my shelves? Also no. But it was, in the end, a little better than book two. And I’m glad I made a point to revisit these because they do hold up, they do some neat time travel-y things that aren’t quite the usual format, and well.. it’s pretty fun. It’s also not a huge time investment as these are easy to breeze through as opposed to some of the more chunky fantasies.

While the England setting isn’t all that unusual for this kind of story, the when of it all is. In this one we have a Roman vessel, and governor along with his legion, finding their way to North America in 92 AD and boy does that get complicated. I appreciated the very real historical awareness woven into this series and this was only one example of that. Throw in all the complicated paradoxes and whatnot, well. Clearly Livingston is a smart cookie.

If the YA lover in your life is keen for adventure and hijinks, history and romance, and enjoys a good quirky and smart ensemble, this might be one to fit the bill. And the bonus is it’s a backlist series and there’s no need to wait ages for the next instalment!

BLOOMSBURY GIRLS by Natalie Jenner

One bookshop. Fifty-one rules. Three women who break them all.

1950. Bloomsbury Books on London’s Lamb’s Conduit Street has resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the manager’s unbreakable rules. But after the turmoil of war in Europe, the world is changing and the women in the shop have plans.

The brilliant and stylish Vivien Lowry, still grieving her fiancé who was killed in action, has a long list of grievances, the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the head of fiction.

Loyal Grace Perkins is torn between duty and dreams of her own while struggling to support her family following her husband’s breakdown.

Fiercely bright Evie Stone was one of the first female Cambridge students to earn a degree, but was denied an academic position in favour of a less accomplished male rival. Now she plans to remake her own future.

As these Bloomsbury Girls interact with literary figures of the time among them Daphne du Maurier, Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, Vivien, Grace and Evie plot out a richer and more rewarding future.

Title : Bloomsbury Girls
Author : Natalie Jenner
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 431
Genre : Historical
Publisher : Allison & Busby
Release Date : February 16, 2023

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 4 star review

Delightfully book-centric
Gender power struggles
Empowering and hopeful

Bloomsbury Girls was a totally immersive read. Set in the 1950 in London, the impact of WW2 was still being felt. Rationing was coming to an end, the UK was opening up in a societal way and women were finding their voice in their own lives and those around them. However, nothing about this read was heavy, I found it light, easy and I really enjoyed it.

The story was set around Bloomsbury Books (bookshop) which piqued my interest straight away, not only that, it was set in a time of many famous authors and publishers. This book was name-drop central but authentically so. I loved seeing a glimpse of Du Maurier, mentions of Orwell and other writers. The focus of this book was a trio of women working at the bookshop, all very different but equally likeable. The rules of the shop were really something…

I loved Vivien’s spiky and fearless personna, Eve was shrouded in secrets but Grace’s humble and unassuming personality and circumstances was the one that I liked most. There was so much going on for each of these women. Feminism was a key theme in this book but seeing that emerge in a very personal way for each was different to how we sometimes see this.

The male characters were also engaging, I really liked Lord Baskin and Ash. The other men gave me serious side eye but that made for interesting reading.

This historical bookish read is so worth your time. The era is engrossing and the bookish context up any bookworm’s street.

Thank you to Allison & Busby for the review copy.