THE COVEN by Lizzie Fry

“Let me repeat myself, so we can be very clear. Women are not the enemy. We must protect them from themselves, just as much as we must protect ourselves.”

Imagine a world in which witchcraft is real. In which mothers hand down power to their daughters, power that is used harmlessly and peacefully.

Then imagine that the US President is a populist demagogue who decides that all witches must be imprisoned for their own safety, as well as the safety of those around them – creating a world in which to be female is one step away from being criminal…

As witches across the world are rounded up, one young woman discovers a power she did not know she had. It’s a dangerous force and it puts her top of the list in a global witch hunt.

But she – and the women around her – won’t give in easily. Not while all of women’s power is under threat.

The Coven is a dazzling global thriller that pays homage to the power and potential of women everywhere.


Title : The Coven
Author : Lizzie Fry
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 448
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Sphere, Little Brown UK
Release Date : February 25, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3.5 – 4 star review

I’m here for dystopia and I’m here for fantasy, so bring me a pairing of the two and that’s pretty exciting. The Coven was a contemporary envisioning of a dystopian, patriachial future centred around the idea of erradication of witchcraft. In ways, this wasn’t a new topic, indeed the book leaned on the historical past we know of, to underpin the contemporary.

The book had an eclectic mix of characters and some shocking beginnings to grab you in to the story. There were character stories in parallel until they became one and I have to say, that aspect was very well written. I was doubly invested from the start. Chloe was such a hard character to like but her father was incredibly endearing. Adelita and Ethan were likeable from the start.

The story navigated oppression, misogyny, captivity, rebellion and some rather scary powers. After a strong first half, I did find elements of the storyline in the second half chaotic and I had to really concentrate to keep up with power plays and plots.

I have to mention that a racial slur was included in the book without being necessary. It didn’t add to the plot, it wasn’t corrected by another character and the narrative just breezed on by. I do think that this kind of inclusion potentially gives licence to that word’s use and I’m sad it was there. I can only hope it didn’t make it to the final edit.

Overall, The Coven was a clever and engaging concept all wrapped up in a dystopian feminist fantasy standalone.

Thank you to Sphere, Little Brown UK for the review copy.

A ROGUE OF ONE’S OWN by Evie Dunmore

A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution—but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…


Title : A Rogue of One’s Own
Author : Evie Dunmore
Series : A League of Extraordinary Women #2
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 416
Genre : Historical Romance
Publisher : Piatkus/Little Brown UK
Release Date : September 1, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

I have been highly anticipating this suffragette era historical romance and the devouring of it didn’t disappoint. The highlights include:

– a cat POV (small but memorable)
– slow burn
– poetry to swoon you into the present century
– Oscar Wilde cameo
– all the feminism a woman could need

Boudicca turned and was on her way down to the kitchen, because frankly, she was a cat, not a foot warmer. A lady might keep a pug for such services.

The two characters for this instalment were Lady Lucie, long since cast out from her family and status and her old, childhood acquaintance Lord Tristan. Recently returned from the wars, Tristan had been rogue-ing his way through London supposedly and Lucie couldn’t have been less impressed. These two found work foisting them into one another’s presence and I could see Tristan’s sweet centre; Lucie could not.

This was a slow-burning story, a connection forming over time with some beautiful building and foundations. I enjoyed reading Lucie’s spinsterdom with Boudicca but I loved it more when her plans crumbled and Tristan wormed his way into her heart.

“Your stubborn courage humbles me. Your rage inspires me.”

Tristan’s poet-nature was simply beautiful and his use of Tennyson swooned me like so.

I thoroughly enjoyed A ROGUE OF ONE’S OWN and nothing about the book disappointed. Evie Dunmore is able to follow up with a great sequel and so I trust her to deliver repeatedly now. I can’t wait for more of her feminist-themed historical romance, she commands this era with such skill.

Thank you to little brown uk for the #gifted copy.

(side note: I am aware of some contraversies regarding a plot point and I would nudge you to check out those reviews).

THE MARRIAGE CLOCK by Zara Raheem

In Zara Raheem’s fresh, funny, smart debut, a young, Muslim-American woman is given three months to find the right husband or else her traditional Indian parents will find one for her–a novel with a universal story that everyone can relate to about the challenges of falling in love.

To Leila Abid’s traditional Indian parents, finding a husband in their South Asian-Muslim American community is as easy as match, meet, marry. But for Leila, a marriage of arrangement clashes with her lifelong dreams of a Bollywood romance which has her convinced that real love happens before marriage, not the other way around.

Finding the right husband was always part of her life-plan, but after 26 years of singledom, even Leila is starting to get nervous. And to make matters worse, her parents are panicking, the neighbors are talking, and she’s wondering, are her expectations just too high? So Leila decides it’s time to stop dreaming and start dating.

She makes a deal with her parents: they’ll give her three months, until their 30th wedding anniversary, to find a husband on her own terms. But if she fails, they’ll take over and arrange her marriage for her.

With the stakes set, Leila succumbs to the impossible mission of satisfying her parents’ expectations, while also fulfilling her own western ideals of love. But after a series of speed dates, blind dates, online dates and even ambush dates, the sparks just don’t fly! And now, with the marriage clock ticking, and her 3-month deadline looming in the horizon, Leila must face the consequences of what might happen if she doesn’t find “the one…”


Title :  The Marriage Clock
Author :  Zara Raheem
Format : eARC
Page Count : 368
Genre : contemporary romance
Publisher : William Morrow
Release Date : July 23, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


THE MARRIAGE CLOCK is a witty insight into the pressure for marriage to take place on parents’ timescale for an American, South Asian, Muslim woman. Leila was a free-spirited protagonist with a desire not to hurt her parents but also with a strong feminist streak. She was also a big Bollywood fan and this fandom had influenced how she imagined her falling in love to play out.

“He’s a nice guy, but we just didn’t connect,” I said.
“Connect? What is this, a Wi-Fi signal?” My mother glared at me.

What ensued was a series of cringe-worthy, parent-chosen potential spouses. What was even more hilarious was Leila’s attempt to go solo on this husband-finding project and I laughed many times at her attempts. The speed dating scene was particularly hilarious.

“This was definitely not how I pictured my Indian fairy tale panning out. I had imagined me + Shah Rukj Kahn + villa in the mountains + romantic song + dancing penguins. Instead, I got guy with too much gel + weirded-out looks + tone-deaf singer + lifeteime ban from ever stepping foot into this bistro again.”

The parent nightmare was pressurising and real. I couldn’t imagine having to conform and losing my choice in that way and in reality, this was Leila’s biggest difficulty. She was working as a teacher, she’d lived away from home previously and she sought autonomy, empowerment and freedom. So whilst this was a humourous tale, there was a constant streak of poignancy in Leila’s situation that just got me in the gut. At least she had some great friends around her.

The story went from the US to India and back. There were some short but unexpected heart breaks along the way and they really did have a kick. The story completed in a way that stung my romantic heart but made my feminist heart soar, so I can’t be unhappy about that.

This is a debut by Zara Raheem and she wrote engagingly and with wit. I will definitely be searching out any future releases she has; I would say she’s one to watch.

Thank you to William Morrow and Edelweiss for this review copy.