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 Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse -Book review

I ordered this book from the library ahead of reading the second book in the series but as part of the beat the backlog challenge I found I had already downloaded The Burning Chamber by Kate Mosse ages ago and had completely forgotten to read it!

Genre: Historical Fiction

Series: The Burning Chambers

Source: My own

Challenge beat the backlog and historical fiction

Old secrets cast long shadows…


The Burning Chambers is epic in its scope and story with many threads. It has a romance between two star crossed lovers- a Huguenot and a Catholic, religious war, an underlying mystery and some evil villains. The book is set against the background of the War of Religion in France 1562 where Huguenots are being persecuted by the Catholics and religious intolerance is more pronounced. Kate Mosse writing ramps up the tension of religious strife slowly through the pages until the inevitable riot. The world-building is vivid and descriptive.

There are several points of view of characters but Minou is my favourite. A young nineteen-year-old girl who finds herself in the centre of an old conspiracy and remains free from prejudice to help all people. Her budding romance with Piet, a Huguenot, is a little too insta love to start off with but then settles into a sweet and realistic romance.

Piet’s complicated relationship with his old friend Vidal and the disappearance of an ancient relic is another important plotline.

Vidal and Blanche are two people who will do anything to achieve their ambitions and I mean anything. I did enjoy reading Blanche’s point of view chapters, she is one of the most unbalanced villains I have read about.

Can I mention Madame Boussay? Her arc and development from abused wife to knife-wielding aunt was the more satisfying and I hope we see more of her in the next book.

The main plotline of the underlying secret Minou’s father has spent two decades hiding but has now come to light was not what I thought it was going to be and was a refreshing take on an old trope.

There are no cliff-hangers, and all plot lines are resolved

Content warning

Torture, Descriptions of child abuse, domestic abuse

Perfect for fans

Who enjoys historical fiction on an epic scale eg The Lymond Chronicles or House of Niccolo by Dorothy Dunnett


I loved this book and can’t believe I forgot to read this. I have jumped into The City of Tears the next book in the series.