Week in Review – 14 May 2017

Lovely week this week, Tuesday my walking group joined up with another for Bristol WalkFest and Mental Health Awareness Week, it was a beautiful blue sky day and it was great to see some of the guys from the other group and catch up with them (our groups occasionally join up so I know most of them already).

Also, as it was Mental Health Awareness Week, I wrote a piece for the charity I volunteer at which is up on their website. If you are interested you can read it here. The piece was also published to the Huff Post, which we were pleased about. I love volunteering with this charity which is also the charity who provide my mental health care, well for the next few weeks at least as I’m being discharged soon (eeek!) They are absolutely amazing, and unlike many of the national campaigning charities, these guys work on the frontline doing work that the NHS isn’t able to provide or has contracted out, which is why I had care from them, and I can tell you that the service they provide is a thousand times better than anything I have ever received from the NHS.

On Tuesday evening I went to see the musical Wonderland with some of my family. This is a musical retelling of Alice in Wonderland. It was a bit different from how I was expecting it to be but still very enjoyable, I was pleased that many of the songs had a more rock feel to them and that it was an original score (I have a particular dislike for musicals made up of “real” songs).

Unfortunately, during the early hours of the next morning we were woken up by someone trying to break into our flat through our bathroom window. The friend they had with them was trying to steal Hubs motorbike just outside. The bike theft is becoming a bit of an ongoing problem, Hubs had a bike stolen just before Christmas, and this is at least the fifth time we know of that the replacement one has almost been taken. Luckily Hubs woke up before the person got inside and scared them off, the police were brilliant and got here within a few minutes, had the helicopter up searching for the little buggers (I guarantee they were teenagers around here), but having heard no more they haven’t found them. We are at the point of phoning them so often that we are pretty sure we have our own personal police guard now which is why they arrived so quickly!

Ironically, we were talking only a few days ago about not feeling comfortable here anymore, partly because it’s so small (it’s the tiniest flat in the world, I swear nobody could find somewhere smaller than this) and partly because of all the crime problems we’ve had in the last six months. Then this happened, it’s like someone is telling us to get lost!

Finally, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had taken part in the Grimbold Books podcast. It is now up on their website for all to listen to. We talked about book blogging and being a book reviewer. It was great fun, I’ve never taken part in a podcast before but would definitely do it again. I was with a group of seasoned pro’s including their other guest BookTuber Thomas Wagner from SFF180. You can listen to the Podcast here.

So, onto my bookish update this week… (as always click on the covers for more info/to see the posts)

Currently Reading

Roadie - C.M. Stunich Legion - Julie Kagawa

What I’ve Read

The many colours of us Into the Hall of Vice - Anabelle Bryant  Save The Date - Aven Ellis Groupie - C.M. Stunich

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Connectivity - Aven Ellis The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square - Lilly Bartlett Roadie - C.M. Stunich Real Ugly - C.M. Stunich

Giveaway Wins





I’ve got one 5* review this week in Into the Hall of Vice and I took part in a Mental Health Awareness Week blog tour this week with Loving the Life Less Lived, I was honoured to be included on this tour given my connection to the subject.

Cry Wolf - Greta Stone Into the Hall of Vice - Anabelle Bryant Loving The Life Less Lived - Gail Marie Mitchell

Other Posts

Vicki from Cosy Books joined me on The Bookshelf this week, if you missed it do head over and check it out. I also had a really lovely guest post from Pat Abercromby earlier in the week about writing a book from the point of view of a carer.

Just One Life - Pat Abercromby The Bloggers Bookshelf Logo


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#Review: Into The Hall Of Vice by Anabelle Bryant @AnabelleBryant @HQDigitalUK


As joint owner of London’s most notorious gambling hall, The Underworld, Cole Hewitt spends his days surrounded by wealth – and looks every inch the debonair.

But, unknown to most, he was born a bastard – and knows better than anyone the fine line between the elite and the slums.

When he falls for the beautiful Lady Gemma Amberson, sister to the Duke of Kent, Cole knows that his past means he will never be considered worthy of her. But Cole has no intention of being cast aside again.

But Cole’s attraction to Gemma hasn’t gone unnoticed – and there are those who wish to thwart his plans, for the darkest of reasons. Cole may be used to getting his own way. But the question is: how far will he go to get it?


When I read The Den of Iniquity, the first book in this series, I didn’t think things could get much better. That was my first foray into the world of Anabelle Bryant and I was super impressed. I’ve made it clear on several occasions that I don’t like how in historical fiction the women are always made whimsical and often subjugated (and not the good kind of subjugation *wink wink*) and this is why I have a tendency to avoid this type of period romance.

However Anabelle Bryant created a world with women who say a big FU to acting how women were supposed to act and had a character who just completely kicked arse and acted like a modern woman in the historical world. So when the opportunity to read Into The Hall of vice, book two in the series came up I wasn’t at all hesitant in giving it a go. What I didn’t expect was for it to be so much better than The Den of Iniquity.

Into The Hall of Vice follows Cole, who is business partners with Max who we met in book one. Cole like Max has a chequered past which he has worked hard to overcome. he has made a fortune and is proud of who he is, being the bastard of some random Lord who left him in the streets to die has just fuelled his desire to be a better person. In addition to running The Underworld, he also helps fund a home for children like him who have nowhere to go. He is an all round good guy.

Gemma is the sister to the Duke of Kent, again we briefly met him in book one as he is an old school friend of Max’s. Gemma like Vivienne is smart, a self-starter, and not willing to conform to the rules of society without first weighing up the odds. She is put in some sticky situations in this book and she pulls through them with wit, dignity and grace. Yet always keeps her head held high and I was often sat cheering her on and applauding her quick thinking.

Despite her privileged upbringing Gemma thinks beyond her own environment, she see’s the way the poor suffer and she wants to help. When she is introduced to Vivienne (of course) she is soon involved with her charity work, and the pair are so perfectly matched as friends.

Gemma and Cole were also so perfectly matched, intellectually they were on a par, being able to hold conversations that were deep and important. There was something magical between this couple and when they weren’t together I was willing a meeting to happen so that I could enjoy more of their conversation.

I literally couldn’t put this down, I was so engrossed by this story and I have no idea where Anabelle can go from here to make it better. Just absolutely outstanding writing and characterisation for a thoroughly enjoyable regency romance.

A huge thanks to Anabelle Bryant and HQ Digital for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review.


Book & Buy Links

TitleInto The Hall Of Vice
SeriesBastards of London #2
Author: Anabelle Bryant
Genre: Romance | Chick Lit | Historical Fiction | Erotica
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 19 April 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 220
BuyAmazon UK | SpeedyHen

Week in Review – 9 April 2017

I had such high plans for my reading this week but it all went a little pear shaped!

On Tuesday I went to see the rather wonderful Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes with my Mum. I’m a huge fan of Matthew Bourne’s contemporary ballet work, if you get the opportunity to see one of his ballet’s I highly recommend it. They are very modern, the dancers highly skilled and always exquisitely executed.

On the way home though we received a call that my Nan was very unwell so diverted to her house where after packing my mum home in a taxi, I waited with her for an ambulance then on to the hospital where I stayed until 3am, when they decided she was staying the night (of course it was one of those times I was wishing I had taken my book to the theatre!).

My Nan is OK and I spent all day yesterday at her house with her but I’m completely out of sorts and playing catch up with sleep, life, and reading! It was lucky all my posts for this week were pre-scheduled or the blog would have been a ghost town!

In good and interesting news, last night I took part in the Grimbold Books podcast The Grimcast. The focus was on book bloggers and the book blogging community so I will definitely let you all have a link to tune in when it goes live!

So, onto my update this week…

Currently Reading

Right Here Waiting For you - Rebecca Pugh


What I’ve Read

 Strange the Dreamer - UK Cover Reveal Rough - Sybil Bartel 

New Books

So I hit my personal TBR threshold on the number of books I can have before I stop buying and requesting books on NetGalley (unless they are by a favourite author of course) until I’ve brought the numbers down a bit…so in theory this section should be empty…of course, it’s not!


Bombshell - CD Reiss 

Competition Wins

 A Bed of Brambles - Sam Russell

Book Post

 The Dragon's Legacy - Deborah A. Wolf


Into the Hall of Vice - Anabelle Bryant


I’ve been a little bit more proactive with the reviews this week, my new schedule seems to be working and I’m catching up on my backlog (insert happy dance here)!

Hot Shade - Tamara Lush  the-last-days-of-magic Modern Girls Guide to Turning Into YOur Mother - Ada Adverse dragon-of-ash-stars

Other Posts

Fantasy author, J.C. Kang stopped by for The Bookshelf this week.

Saving Mercy - Abbie Roads The White Raven - Carrie D. Miller Standing Ground - Alice Rachel the-authors-bookshelf-logo


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#BlogTour: The Den of Iniquity by Anabelle Bryant @AnabelleBryant @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

Welcome to The Den of Iniquity blog tour, written by Anabelle Bryant and published by HQ Digital. Today I have a review for you to check out so be sure to keep reading!


Welcome to the most notorious address in London…

Beneath the airs and graces of the Ton lies The Underworld – London’s most scandalous gambling hall.

The only thing darker and more debauched that the hall itself? The proprietor, Max Sinclair. As mysterious as the corners of the city he stalks, Max has vowed to take revenge against the men who murdered his mother. And The Underworld attracts London’s darkest characters – the perfect partners in crime.

Continue reading #BlogTour: The Den of Iniquity by Anabelle Bryant @AnabelleBryant @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

The Discoverability Challenge – 2017

I was looking to add a challenge to my reading this year in addition to the Goodreads Reading Challenge which is just about the number of books you read. I enjoyed keeping tabs on how Joanne Hall was doing with her Discoverability Challenge last year, a challenge to read more female authors, especially within the SFF genre. When she posted she was doing it again this year and within the post put a call out for others to join her this seemed the perfect challenge to join, especially as I have quite a pile of books waiting to be read by female authors I’ve not read before.

The rules are simple, read at least one book per month in any genre, fiction or non-fiction by a female author you’ve not read before. As I take part in blog tours and pick up books from NetGalley this will be easily achievable so I have set myself the goal of making sure that I read at least one SFF novel by a female author I’ve not read before each month to chip away at that pile I mentioned earlier!

I will keep a list here of all the authors I read who qualify for the Discoverability Challenge, and for all the books I specifically read for the challenge I will tag them and link them back to this page. I’m looking forward to seeing how many new female authors I discover in 2017!

My 2017 Discovered Female Authors

  1. Victoria Aveyard – Cruel Crown
  2. Jill Mansell – Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay
  3. Sheila Norton – The Vets at Hope Green
  4. Anabelle Bryant – The Den of Iniquity
  5. Lele Iturrioz – Seasons Within
  6. Cassandra Piat – Stuck With Me
  7. Anne Bishop – Written In Red
  8. Judith Colquhoun – A Country Practice: New Beginnings
  9. Nikki Landis – Dark Promise
  10. Sarah Morgan – Sleepless in Manhattan
  11. Donna Compositor – Curse of Stars
  12. Liz Gavin – Celtic Fire
  13. Clare Morrall – When the Floods Came
  14. Jane Ederlyn – Reborn
  15. Tamara Lush – Hot Shade
  16. Abbie Roads – Saving Mercy
  17. H. Leighton Dickson – Dragon of Ash & Stars
  18. J.D. Hughes – My Beautiful Disaster
  19. Laini Taylor – Strange the Dreamer
  20. Sybil Bartel – Rough
  21. Harper Sloan – Lost Rider
  22. Deborah Wilde – The Unlikeable Demon Hunter
  23. Catherine Green – The Darkness of Love
  24. Deborah A. Wolf – The Dragon’s Legacy
  25. Lynda Young Spiro – There is Always More to Say
  26. Greta Stone – Cry Wolf
  27. Gail Marie Mitchell – Loving The Life Less Lived
  28. Rachel Burton – The Many Colours of Us
  29. C.M. Stunich – Groupie
  30. Cristina Hodgson – A Little of Chantelle Rose
  31. J. Aislynn d’Merricksson – Mother of Wolves
  32. Patricia A. McKillip – Alphabet of Thorn
  33. Tiffany Shand – Shifter Clan Series
  34. Lilly Bartlett – The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square
  35. Jaimie Admans – The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters
  36. Anna Stephens – Godblind
  37. Laurie Winters – Home Field
  38. Tani Hanes – Living In The Shallows
  39. Rachel Van Dyken – Cheater
  40. Joanna Mazurkiewicz – Wyvern Awakening
  41. Holly James – Worth Remembering
  42. Caitlyn Lynch – Ellie’s Encounter
  43. Chantelle Griffin – Made In The Image Of The Goddess
  44. A.L. Michael – Cocktails & Dreams
  45. Errin Krystal – The Last Dragon Rider
  46. Aimee Brown – Little Gray Dress
  47. Sarah Bennett – Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove
  48. Karen Marie Moning – Darkfever
  49. Terry Tyler – Tipping Point
  50. Erika Gardner – The Dragon in the Garden
  51. Pepper Winters – Tears of Tess
  52. Brittainy C Cherry – The Air He Breathes
  53. Sylvia Ashby – The Sinking Chef
  54. Maxine Morrey – The Christmas Holiday
  55. J Kenner – Wicked Grind
  56. Nikki Sex – Abuse
  57. Natalie K. Martin – What Goes Down
  58. Keary Taylor – Branded
  59. Alexandra Weis – Damned
  60. C.M Stunich & Tate JamesElements of Mischief
  61. Violet Blaze – Biker Rockstar Billionaire CEO Alpha
  62. Summer Cooper – Professor Next Door
  63. Leigh LaValle – Breathless
  64. Allie Burns – The Lido Girls
  65. Lilac Mills – And A Sixpence For Luck
  66. Ellen Wiles – The Invisible Crowd
  67. J Mercer – Dark and Stormy
  68. Mhairi McFarlane – You Had Me At Hello
  69. Jackie Ladbury – Air Guitar and Caviar