General Update April 2023

Chihuahua wearing a cone, with hardcover book You’re Invited by Amanda Jayatissa.
Jasmine with my current read.

I’ve been trying to post at least twice a week lately, but I will probably be behind this week. Work has been crazy as we have a project going live eon May 1st, and in addition to that, Jasmine, my 4 year old Chihuahua has had an issue with her eye, and is scheduled for surgery on Wednesday.

In the meantime, when I’m not working and worrying about her, I’m still trying to relax with some books. I started You’re invited last night, and hope to read more of it today between running some tests for that project I mentioned.

I’ll be back more regularly again in May. Until then, take care, and wish Jasmine luck with her surgery!

Review: Kilting Around by Cathryn Fox

iPad showing cover of Kilting Around by Cathryn Fox with fountain pen, reading glasses and notebook in the background.

Kilting Around by Cathryn Fox is book 1 in her new Hot Scots in Kilts romantic comedy series and is a great introduction to a new series!

Told from alternating points of view, this is the story of Gavan Duncan and Luce Johnson.

Gavan is summoned to Boston from Glasgow by his cousin, Finn, a gay, event planner who declares that he needs Gavan to impersonate him for a month while he holidays in Fiji with his current love interest. During that time, he wants Gavan (posing as himself) to take charge of an important client that could make or break his business.

Luce, part of a high profile Boston family,  has been put in charge of her sister’s wedding, and is working with Gavan (as Finn) to make it come together.

This book will require you to suspend disbelief a bit, but if you can do that, the book is a riot. Full of funny situations, and lots of sexy times, it’s just a light, enjoyable read. I’m looking forward to reading other books in the series.

Thanks to the author for providing an advanced copy of this book for review.

Kilting Around releases on April 20 2023.

Review: The Widow’s Wager by Claire Delacroix

iPad showing cover of The Widow's Wager by Claire Delacroix on white background with pen, reading glasses, and a notebook in the background.

The Widow’s Wager by Claire Delacroix is book 3 in her series, The Ladies’ Essential Guide to the Art of Seduction, and I think it’s the best in the series so far.

The main focus in this book is the relationship between Eliza North, the Duke of Haynesdale’s widowed sister, and his best friend, Nicholas Emerson. The two were (unbeknownst to each other) in love with each other when they were younger, but Nicholas left to fight on the continent, believing he wasn’t good enough for Eliza, and she in turn married someone else because she was broken hearted at him leaving.

Now Eliza is a widow and Nicholas is back from the war, and she is determined to try to win him, with the assistance of the mysterious Mrs. Oliver and her guide for ladies. Nicholas, meanwhile, is battling demons from his time in the war, and is determined to stay away from Eliza.

We are also introduced to a few new characters (setting us up for a few more stories I hope), and get to see more of the developing relationship between the duke and Esmeralda Ballantine, as well as learn a little bit more about her and the mystery surrounding her.

Even though there is an overarching storyline involving Esmeralda and the duke  in this series, I believe this book could still be read as a standalone.

This book checks lots of boxes for me; a wounded war hero in love with his best friend’s sister, a duel, a scoundrel, a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it, and in the background a mystery to be solved.

 I really enjoyed The Widow’s Wager and look forward to the next book in the series.

The Widow’s Wager releases on April 11 2023.

March 2023 Reading Wrap Up

March was another good reading month for me, as you can see I was heavily into historical romance this month, and may be again for April as I’ve been re-reading a few favourites. I do hope to get to some new books though.

I spent some time and updated my reading stats in my planner this past weekend. First up is my reads for the month, and my purchases.

I hit up a really good sale from Harper Collins on Kobo a couple of times over the course of the month and picked up a lot of new reads, as you can see. Now I just need to stop borrowing from the library for a while until I get some of them read.

I experimented this month with saving all my chart updates to the end of the month, rather than updating them as I went. I’m not sure which method is better to be honest. When I was colouring at the end of each week, or every few days, I sometimes felt like I was losing track of which books I had coloured squares for, and which I hadn’t, but it seemed just as confusing waiting to update them all at the end of the month.

Here are all the charts with my updates for March. I didn’t get my bookshelf updated, I fell behind on it, so it may not get posted this month. I hope I get it caught up for next month’s update.

And finally my quarterly check-in pages.

I’m really enjoying using all the pages this year and getting into playing with charts and things. This is my third year using this planner to track my reading, but this is the first year I’ve really used all the pages, and it makes it a lot of fun!

Is there anything you like to track just for your personal interest?

Review: Mall Priest by Kate Reedwood and Chris Heinicke

Cover of Mall Priest by Kate Reedwood and Chris Heinicke shown on an ereader
Mall Priest by Kate Reedwood and Chris Heinicke

Kate Reedwood and Chris Heinicke have partnered together again to produce a fantastic new book, Mall Priest: A Tale of Demonic Holiday Horror. As usual, they send the reader on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

Horror is a new genre for this pair, and as the title might suggest it’s more of a light horror read. It puts me in mind of the movie Tremors with its kind of comedic style. Horror is also not my favourite genre, and I was afraid I might not enjoy this book, but once I started I could not put it down. (I started it before bed and finished it at about one in the morning, it was just that addictive.)

Mall Priest is set in 1985, and is about a demon invading a shopping mall on Christmas Eve in an attempt to create an army to take over the world.

The main character is Sam, the priest who is spending Christmas Eve handing out pamphlets in the mall as part of an effort to attract people back to the church. Assisting him in fighting the demon is a large cast of characters, from the head of mall security, to a group of militia types who think guns solve everything. I can’t get specific about some of the characters without spoiling a lot of fun moments for readers, but the characters make the story very interesting.

Really, this was just such a fun read, I almost hated to see it end. I highly recommend it, even if horror isn’t normally your thing.

Mall Priest releases on April 14th on Amazon, and is available for preorder now. It will be available on Kindle Unlimited upon release.