Meet the Blogger Book Tag -Book Talk

Here’s a shout out to Bibliomavens as the original creator of the tag

Thank you @Behindthe page1 for the tag.


  • Nominated bloggers can nominate ten other bloggers.
  • Use the same questions from the tag.
  • Tag the original creator (Bibliomavens) and the blogger who tagged you

Meet The Blogger Book Tag  


Who is your all-time favourite book character? 

Francis Lymond from The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. Dunnett. I don’t think I am the only one fascinated by Lymond, and he remains one of the most discussed characters despite being created in the 1960s. Lymond is a man ahead of his times- a bisexual spy, sensual, frustrating, clever, funny- I could go one but read my review of the Lymond Chronicle for more.

  1. If you were stranded on a desert island, which book would you take with you? (Survival books do not count)

Good omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I would I need a very, funny book to get me through.

3. What’s your most unpopular book opinion?

I hate books written in the present tense- it makes my head hurt. I have had to read a few ARCs written in this tense but luckily the story was good enough to make me keep reading.

4. What’s your weirdest bookish habit?

I worry about running out of books to read, so I always have a pile standby even though I have a kindle and can have a book to read at the touch of a button.

5. What character would you bring to a family event as your fake partner?

Predictably, Lymond. He would no doubt start a war, fight or be the life and soul of the party.

6. What made you decide to start a book blog?

There were two reasons really.

I would love to write a book one day but have been struggling with this. My book blog has made me more disciplined with my writing to ensure I have a post published a few times a week. This has helped with my writing and I managed 15000 words in the NaNoWriMo challenge ( so much more than I have written in previous challenges). So in 2022, my aim is to get a full first draft typed up.

The second reason was to help with my stress. The pandemic has been hard . But focussing on my blog has helped me get out of my own head and has kept stress levels manageable. 

7. What about reading and books do you love the most?

I love disappearing and being part of a new world in each book that I read. I can immerse myself in a book so completely in a way I can never achieve with any other activity.

8. What is your field of study/desired profession/current profession?

I work in healthcare.

9. What are some book recommendations that became your favourites/obsessions?

I found the Bone Shard Emperor’s daughter on book Twitter and I love the world Andrea Stewart has created. It is going to be a long wait for the next book in the series

10. What is the book you shove down everyone’s throat?

 Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I recommended this book to my non-genre loving book group and they loved it. It’s a great introduction to the world of fantasy.

My ten tags








Even if you haven’t been tagged in this Meet the Blogger Book Tag, feel free to give it a go and post a link to your answers below!

Behind the Veil by E. J Dawson – Book review

I enjoyed this atmospheric, gothic ghost story with a strong romance at its core. Here is my review of Behind the Veil by E J Dawson.

@ejdawsonauthor @RRbookTours1  #RRbookto

Behind the Veil

Publication Date: October 1st, 2021

Genre: Gothic Noir/ Paranormal Suspense

Source : Initially R and R book tours but then borrowed from Kindle unlimited

Can she keep the secrets of her past to rescue a girl tormented by a ghost?

In 1920s Los Angeles, Letitia Hawking reads the veil between life and death. A scrying bowl allows her to experience the final moments of the deceased. She brings closure to grief-stricken war widows and mourning families.
For Letitia, it is a penance. She knows no such peace.

For Alasdair Driscoll, it may be the only way to save his niece, Finola, from her growing night terrors. But when Letitia sees a shadowy figure attached to the household, it rouses old fears of her unspeakable past in England.

When a man comes to her about his missing daughter, the third girl to go missing in as many months, Letitia can’t help him when she can’t see who’s taken them.

As a darkness haunts Letitia’s vision, she may not be given a choice in helping the determined Mr Driscoll, or stop herself falling in love with him. But to do so risks a part of herself she locked away, and to release it may cost Letitia her sanity and her heart.

Add to Goodreads


I was particularly impressed with the clear, and inclusive content warning present in the index of the book- not many books highlight miscarriage or loss of children in books and I was glad this was highlighted, so I didn’t have the usual pit in my stomach when I came across this.

But despite the content warning, this was I book I really enjoyed and is full of optimism about life after grief, loss and trauma.

Letitia, the heroine of the book and the main point of view character is a reluctant medium but uses her gifts to help people say goodbye to their loved ones. She has a strict set of rules about the clients she takes one, so turns down the determined Mr Driscoll and his sister. But she relents when she finds out why they are desperate for her help despite the risks to her own life and sanity and helps Mr Driscoll’s niece with her own blossoming gifts. Letitia has to be one of the most interesting characters I have read recently.

The growing attraction and romance between Letitia and Mr Driscoll is slow and provides a counterpoint to the ghosts and some of the darkness of the story. I found myself rooting for Letitia- a survivor who keeps going and can see the good in everyone around her despite the horrors in her own life.

The romance isn’t the main focus of the story and the ghostly element, as well as the mystery of the missing girls, are interesting. I read the book in one sitting to find out who the kidnapper and the ghost was and how the story ended.

I was invited to read the book by RR tours for a free, unbiased opinion but I have also borrowed the book from Kindle unlimited for a reread and help support the author.

Content warning ( from the book)

Miscarriage, suicide, paedophilia, murder, rape and possession- however, there are no graphic descriptions.

Perfect for fans

Anyone who enjoys mild horror, or gothic romances.

Top Ten Tuesday- Best reads of 2021

Join me in this weeks Top Ten Tuesday- my best reads of 2021 and of course the Lymond Chronicles is on the list.

.Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday seemed easy on the surface, but I found it really hard to narrow my choices down to ten but I couldn’t ( so there are now eleven books on the list). I started book blogging in July and for some reason, the books I read before my first post seem less vivid and clear. So, in no particular order at all, here are my top ten reads of 2021.

The Bone Shard Emperor Daughter ( review ) and The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart.

I loved this epic fantasy influenced by the far east which has action, romance, intrigue and magic by the bucketful. The magic system of using shards of bone from people to create artificial life that can be controlled is original and creepy. The characters are memorable and include my favourite smuggler and accidental hero, Jovis The books also explore deeper themes of belonging, love and complicated relationships between terrible parents and the children who want to be better.

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday- Best reads of 2021”

Historical Fiction Challenge 2022

I am so excited to join the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2022 hosted by The adventures of the intrepid reader.
 I think I am going to aim for the level of Ancient History which is 25 books over the next 12 months and post about them.


Let the challenge begin!


For more details click here

Books reviewed as part of the Challenge ( click on title for review)

The Burning Chamber by Kate Moss

The City of Tears by Kate Mosse

Absynthe by Brendan Bellecourt

Son of York by Amy License

The Leviathan by Rosie Andrews

The Red Monarch by Bella Ellis

The York King by Amy License

The Offing by Benjamin Myers

Belle Nash and the Bath Souffle by Willian Keeling

The Vanished Days by Susannah Kearney

Elizabeth of York by Alison Weir

Dead in the Water by Mark Ellis

Miss Morton and the English House party murder by Catherine Lloyd

Leviathan Falls by James S.A , Corey (Final book in the Expanse series) – Book Review

Read my review of Leviathan Falls by James S. A Corey, the final book of The Expanse. I  love the fact we see our heroes grow old but are still brave, adventurous, optimistic, stupid and sexy. And it is this realism that makes this one of the best series I have read.

Series The Expanse ( series review here)

Please note there will be spoilers for the previous books and this one.

History is soaked in blood. The future probably will be too. But for every atrocity, there are a thousand small kindnesses that no one noticed. A hundred people who spent their lives loving and caring for each other. A few moments of real grace.


Continue reading “Leviathan Falls by James S.A , Corey (Final book in the Expanse series) – Book Review”

First Line Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page.

Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first.

Finally… reveal the book!

First there was a man named Winston Duarte. And then there wasn’t.

The last moment had been banal.

Did you guess?

Continue reading “First Line Friday”

Top Ten Tuesday- Books on my Winter 2021 To read List

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week the theme is the Top Ten Books to read in winter. I’m not sure if I have read all the books on my autumn list but I managed to add more books to the list. But I’m hoping all my wishes for book vouchers for Christmas will come through and I can buy all these lovely books.

Leviathan Falls by James S.A Corey

The final book in the Expanse series (review here) is now on my bedside table, so I might end up finishing the book before this post is up! I can’t wait to see how the amazing science fiction series end. Will humanity survive a dictator and an all-destroying alien entity?

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday- Books on my Winter 2021 To read List”

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske- Book Review

Read my review of A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske-a truly marvellous fantasy set in Edwardian England with a grumpy wizard, a confused civil servant, sentient ivy and a love story at its heart. I don’t think I will ever look a maze in the same way ever again!

Genre: Fantasy

Series The Last Binding

Publication date : 9th December

image from Goodreads

Sir Robin Blyth has been assigned to take over a small department in the civil service when his predecessor is missing but he has no idea what he is supposed to do. So, he isn’t too pleased to find out that he is in fact the parliamentary liaison to a secret magical society, reporting only to the Prime Minister, especially when he has just found out that magic exists.

Edwin Courcey, his counterpart, magician and descendent from an old, magical family is also none too pleased that he must work with a new liaison who has no idea about the existence of magic

Unfortunately, the men must work together to help cure Robin who has been cursed by attackers, find Robin’s predecessor and thwart a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles.

I loved this book. This is the perfect read for these dark gloomy nights with a sweet love story at its heart.

The author manages to build an intricate world of hidden and ancient magic within the first few chapters but also effectively build a complex picture of Robin’s and Edwin’s personality, quirks and backstory. Robin and Edwin both have complicated relationships with their families which add another layer of complexity to the story.

The magical system is a uniquely based system of cradling- a complex mix of hand movements based on a pattern and a hierarchy of sorts where the strongest magicians are held in higher esteem. People from magical families without magic or weak magical skills are delegated to jobs, well in the civil service.

The book also captures the changing society in Edwardian times and the descriptions of the food, transport and customs paint a vivid picture of the period.

The story is told from both Edwin’s and Robin’s viewpoints and there is plenty of action and peril. There are some truly breathtaking scenes particularly the scene where Robin and Edwin are trapped in a maze with sentient plants. I don’t think I will ever enter another maze without making sure the plants do not have a mind of their own.

The book has a strong undertone of romance throughout and Robin and Edwin’s growing love for each really made the book for me. I’m not a big fan of romance and sex in fantasy but this was in balance with the rest of the story and was satisfying when we learn how lonely the two main characters are.

I found myself laughing a few times especially when Adelaide Morrison was on the scene- this woman deserves her own book.

The book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger and there is enough resolution of the main storyline but there are plot for the next book and  I would definitely read another book containing  Edwin’s and Robin’s battle against the dark side of magic.

I received a copy of the book for a free, unbiased and honest opinion

The Black Coast ( book one of The God-King Chronicles) by Mike Brooks- Book review.

The Black Coast by Mike Brooks has my favourite and familiar fantasy themes of lost heirs, new cultures, strong warrior women and dragons but the description around gender makes this one of the best books I have read this year. Read my review here.

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Series: Book one of The God King Chronicles.

Source of the book: Bought this one myself after reading a review on another book blog A cat, a cup of tea and a book.

The Knights of the Black Keep are surprised when the raiders they assume have come to pillage their land have actually come to seek refuge from a terrible, evil spirit destroying their land. Now the Tjakorshi and the Naridians must learn to live together and tolerate each other. But in Narida, the rumour that the Splinter King, the true heir, has been found but this could lead to another devastating splintering, the country may not survive.


The blurb focuses on whether the new society of Tjakorshi and Naridian will survive, the book is so much more complex and epic. In fact, while I found myself invested in whether this fledgling society would survive, I was more interested the differences in how women’s roles were so different in each culture and how gender plays a role in how they were perceived.

Continue reading “The Black Coast ( book one of The God-King Chronicles) by Mike Brooks- Book review.”

Checkmate by Dorothy Dunnett- Book review

An epic finale to the epic Lymond Chronicles, I found Checkmate by Dorothy Dunnett to be the perfect end to this historical series.

Genre: Historical fiction

Series The Lymond Chronicles ( series review here)

There may be spoilers for previous books in this review.

“The more modest your expectations, the less often you will court disappointment.”
― Dorothy Dunnett, Checkmate

Lymond is stuck in France and stuck in a marriage he is desperate to escape, so he agrees to France’s terms to ensure his divorce from Phillipa is granted. He is promptly embroiled in politics, intrigue and actual war but that is easier to manage than then an increasingly complicated relationship between him and Phillipa. Will Lymond ever find out the truth about his parentage? Will he find happiness with the woman he loves? Will he ever be free from Margaret Lennox?

So this is the final book in the Lymond story and I have to say it is the perfect finale to possibly the best historical fiction ever written. The covers for the Lymond books on my Kindle are abstract and boring but some of the older editions have a more romantic theme which always seemed to be a little misplaced. But there is a strong undercurrent of romance and angst throughout Checkmate that would explain why I have sometimes seen these books referred to as historical romance.

Lymond loves Phillipa and Phillipa loves Lymond and they are legally married. But Lymond, supported by almost everyone in his world with one exception, is determined that Phillipa will marry someone more suitable like Austin Grey. Poor Phillipa, even when she realises Lymond loves her too, she still cannot have her man, because he will not stay married to her. This has to be the most original barrier to true love in a book.

Continue reading “Checkmate by Dorothy Dunnett- Book review”