Beat the Backlog January update

I joined the beat the backlog challenge created by @owlbesatreading to drive down the books sitting on my kindle unread and neglected for years. But instead of posting individual reviews, I plan on one big update at the end of each month and hopefully that list will go down. Unfortunately found more books hidden away in my kindle library. For my full list click here.

The Rule of One by Ashley Chambers and Leslie Saunders

How Long has this been on my Kindle?

Probably since 2018.

Why did I get this book?

I’m not sure why I chose this book but I think the bright yellow cover and the plot caught my eye from the other books on the Amazon prime picks.


I finished this book  in about an hour and a half. The concept of a dystopian world where families can only have one child isn’t new, but I still enjoyed reading this form the point of view of the children who are impacted on this. The book is a mixture of dystopia, coming of age, road movie and resistance tropes but the overall outcome is interesting.

There would have been a time many years ago when I would have thought the USA of this book would never have been a possibility but these days, I am not so sure!

Content warning

Attempted sexual assault

Do I kick myself for not reading this sooner?

No while it was an enjoyable and thought provoking  read, it wasn’t for me

Choose me by Tess Gerristen and Gary Braver

How Long has this been on my Kindle

I think from August 2021

Why did I get this book?

I think it was another amazon prime pick. In fact, I don’t remember downloading this!


This was an enjoyable quick read with Tess Gerristen usual interesting female detective, a fast-paced plot and murder. What made this different is the that lead character is a normal, middle-aged woman with normal middle-aged hang-ups. The book is also less about the murder and more about the tragic consequences of cheating on a loved one.

Content warning

Descriptions of suicide

Do I kick myself for not reading this sooner?

No, I did enjoy this book and it was just the kind of book I needed at the end of a bad week

The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse

How Long has this been on my Kindle?

I think since 2020

Why did I get this book?

I love Kate Mosse’s book, so jumped in and bought this book when it was on Amazon’s daily deals


Full review here

Do I kick myself for not reading this sooner?

Yes, Yes and Yes. I should have read this as soon as I downloaded it

I loved this book and completely forgot I had it till I did this challenge and in fact had   ordered a copy from my library.

The City Of Tears by Kate Mosse- Blog Tour and review

I am so pleased to be part of the @RandomTTours blog tour for the paperback release of The City of Tears by Kate Mosse, historical fiction set in 1572 Europe devasted by the Wars of Religion .I have to say I really loved this book.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Blog Tour

Series: The Burning Chambers ( Book 2)

Without knowing of the mistakes of the past how can we learn not to repeat them? History is our teacher

The City of Tears

Minou Joubert and her family are in Paris for a Royal Wedding, an alliance between the Catholic Crown and  the Huguenot King of Navarre intended to bring peace to France after a decade of religious wars. So too is  their oldest enemy, Vidal, still in pursuit of a relic that will change the course of history. But within days of the  marriage, thousands will lie dead in the streets and Minou’s beloved family will be scattered to the four winds  and one of her beloved children will have disappeared without trace . . . 


I loved this follow up to The Burning Chambers ( review here)- Kate Mosse knows how to weave a complex story with lots of historical detail and hook you into it. You don’t need to read the first book to be able to enjoy this book as the author skilfully recaps the important events.

The book is set ten years after the events of The Burning Chamber in 1572. Minou and her family have settled into life in Puivert where Protestants and Catholics live in apparent harmony. Minou, Piet, and their two children head to Paris despite a sudden and tragic loss for what is perhaps the wedding of the century. But the wedding between Marguerite of Valois and the King of Navarre that should have united France leads to widespread riots and destruction and as a result unfortunately Minou’s family has torn apart.

Minou and Piet are no longer a youthful couple in the first book but their marriage and the love between them is realistically portrayed particularly the impact a missing child can have on parents dealing with the pain differently. I loved reading Minou and Piet continuing passion for each as a middle aged couple.

In this book there are several plots, the underlying mystery deals with Piet’s heritage and the danger this puts him in, Marta disappearance, Vidal’s ongoing obsession with collecting relics on the background religious and political turmoil. I have to admit when reading this book, the scenes of intolerance and the violence shown to people who are different and seeking refuge could have been taken from social media today.

There are some new characters but Cornelia, the Dutch woman who helps Minou is a great addition and my favourite.

The action spans the Netherlands and France and I found the differences between the two countries and how they dealt with religious difficulties fascinating.

Content warning

Violence, the disappearance of a child, attempted sexual assault, description of intolerance and prejudice and child abuse (off-page).

Perfect for fans

Historical fiction on an epic scale like the Lymond Chronicles and House of Niccolo by Dorothy Dunnett.


Five stars- I loved this book and I can’t wait to follow Minou’s and Marta’s story.