YVO’S SHORTIES #191 – You Had Me At Hola & All Boys Aren’t Blue

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two more Goodreads Choice Awards nominees, belonging to two completely different genres… I was craving romance and You Had Me At Hola turned out to be exactly what I was hoping for. All Boys Aren’t Blue is a memoir I’ve been curious about ever since I first heard about it, and it turned out to be a very powerful read.


Title: You Had Me At Hola
Author: Alexis Daria

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: August 4th 2020
Publisher: Avon
Finished reading: November 19th 2020 
Pages: 384

“Crushes were fleeting. Family teasing was forever.”


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I admit that I was sold as soon as I saw that cover and read the blurb. I’ve been craving more romance stories than usual these last couple of months, and the promise of Latinx characters and a Hollywood angle sounded absolutely brilliant. I had high hopes for You Had Me At Hola, and it turned out to be just what I was hoping it would be! Sure, the sexy scenes did made me cringe as I already suspected. Sure, some of it might be a tad cliche, the insta-love vibe wasn’t for me and the attitude of the main characters can be annoying in points. BUT. Overall I was just having too much fun too care! I love that this story isn’t just focused on the romance, but is also about family and the filming of the show. I had a great time learning more about the background of both main characters, and I loved focus on the Latinx community and the fact that the show is actually bilingual. You will find many Spanish phrases and words in You Had Me At Hola, but don’t worry: even if you don’t speak Spanish, it is easy to understand the meaning by context alone and the Spanish really makes this story feel more authentic. And while there were some more serious moments involved, overall this turned out to be such a fun and uplifting read! Definitely perfect if you enjoy the genre.


Title: All Boys Aren’t Blue
Author: George M. Johnson

Genre: Non Fiction, Memoir
First published: April 28th 2020
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux
Finished reading: November 21st 2020
Pages: 304

“Knowledge is truly your sharpest weapon in a world hell-bent on telling you stories that are simply not true.”


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I confess that I have been really bad at reading non fiction this year… Probably partly because I preferred escaping the real world with fiction reads instead. I couldn’t resist picking up All Boys Aren’t Blue though when I saw it was a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist, as I have been wanting to read it for a while in the first place. It most definitely turned out to be such an important and powerful memoir! George M. Johnson not only tells us his own story and struggles relating to his black and queer identity, but tries to speak to the YA black/queer community to show them they are not alone. For this alone I consider this a must-read for any reader young and old, as it helps giving insight in both the black and queer community and the discrimination and struggles they have to face to this date. This memoir is presented as a series of essays, and mixes lighter moments with heavy topics while also trying to open our eyes as a reader. It is a story about family as well as the author’s journey finding himself and his real identity… It’s a memoir that is both informative and moving and I can highly recommend it.


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YVO’S SHORTIES #190 – Cemetery Boys & One By One

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two more Goodreads Choice Awards nominees belonging to completely different genres… Cemetery Boys is a YA fantasy with a Latinx trans main character which I now understand all the hype about. And I’ve enjoyed Ruth Ware‘s books in the past, so there was no way I could resist One By One for long… Sadly I ended up feeling underwhelmed by the story though.


Title: Cemetery Boys
Author: Aiden Thomas

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
First published: September 1st 2020
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Finished reading: November 14th 2020
Pages: 352

“Why do you have to prove anything to anyone?”
“It{s just how it is, how it’s always been. In order for them to let me be a brujo—”
“You don’t need anyone’s permission to be you, Yads.”


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I’ve been seeing Cemetery Boys mentioned a lot and as it was nominated in two Goodreads Choice Awards categories, I decided to see for myself what the hype was all about. And I must say that I definitely understand now why so many people rave about this debut! I haven’t seen many books with a well developed trans representation before, and to have a Latinx trans main character at that? Talk about a double bonus! I especially loved the building up of the fantasy/paranormal part of this YA urban fantasy, as it’s packed to the brim with Latinx culture and references to the Dia de Muertos celebrations. On top of this, we have a lot of diversity in the cast and I just LOVED both Yadriel and Julian. Sure, I wish some of the other characters would have been fleshed out beyond a few key characteristics, as some fell a bit flat for me… But the spark of Yadriel and Julian mostly made up for that. And I most definitely didn’t see those final twists coming! I liked how everything was wrapped up too and this is without doubt an excellent read for anyone who enjoys a well written YA urban fantasy that will both make you cry and bring a smile to your face.


Title: One By One
Author: Ruth Ware

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: September 8th 2020
Publisher: Scout Press
Finished reading: November 17th 2020 
Pages: 384

“They think that life can’t touch them – just like I used to do.

Only now it has. Now life has them by the throat. And it won’t let go.”


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 Well well well, what do we have here? I guess it’s another unpopular opinion review to add to the pile. While I tend to have mixed reactions to Ruth Ware‘s books, I did love her previous two titles so I had high expectations her newest One By One would be another winner. Especially since I always love a good locked room mystery in the first place, and the blurb sounded absolutely brilliant… Sadly, somehow I ended up feeling quite underwhelmed by this story. It’s not a bad read perse, but it’s considerably slow and I found the whole thing to be rather boring most of the time? Not up to the point that I would DNF of course, but I never felt invested in the story either and there were a lot of parts that dragged for me. I also saw at least one of the big twists coming quite early on, which put a damper on things… And the whole Snoop stats each chapter were quite annoying. The dual POV is cleverly done to get a better perspective on what is going on and I really liked the setting, but I didn’t feel anything for the characters in play so it was more difficult to connect to them or care what happened. All in all not my favorite read of hers by far, but I know others who have loved it so don’t give up on my account.


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YVO’S SHORTIES #188 – He Started It & Only Mostly Devastated

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two Goodreads Choice Awards nominees belonging to different genress. He Started It sadly didn’t live up to expectations for me; something I’m still surprised about… Only Mostly Devastated turned out to be a great read though.


Title: He Started It
Author: Samantha Downing

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: April 30th 2020
Publisher: Penguin
Finished reading: November 10th 2020
Pages: 400

“I wonder how many bad things have been explained by such a simple phrase, a simple idea. Because I could. Because no one stopped me. Because it was easy.”


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Well, well, well, what do we have here? I guess it’s unpopular opinion time again… So many people have praised He Started It and after loving her previous book My Lovely Wife I was fully expecting to have a repeat experience with this one. Especially since I always enjoy road trip stories in the first place… I’m not sure if it’s because psychological thrillers don’t seem to work as well for me right now, but the fact is: I was bored. A LOT. Up to the point that I kept wondering when the cursed road trip was finally going to end so I could get this story over with. The pace was just way too slow for me, which is strange as the characters are basically in constant movement… But there was just something static about the whole story. Top this with highly unlikeable characters and I had a really hard time to stay invested. True, there were some surprises including the ending, but overall sadly I can’t say I enjoyed my time with this one.


Title: Only Mostly Devastated
Author: Sophie Gonzales

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: March 3rd 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Finished reading: November 13th 2020
Pages: 272

“We had no way of knowing what the future held. People changed their minds, people passed away, people moved unexpectedly. The only thing we could ever really do was play it by ear.”


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I admit that I was sold as soon as I saw the Grease mention… I must have watched that movie a million times as a kid, so I simply HAD to read Only Mostly Devastated for nostalgic reasons alone. I must say that I was expecting more of a fluffy romcom after the cover and blurb, which I can confirm that this story is not. In fact, Only Mostly Devastated is quite heavy on the more serious topics and has a healthy dose of drama as well as heartbreaking moments. And no, they are not just relating to the relationship between the main characters as the blurb might make you think… There is a big focus on Ollie and his parents trying to help his aunt and her family as she is fighting cancer, which might be triggering for some readers. That said, I did think this topic was quite well handled. Thankfully we will see lighter moments too, and I especially loved seeing Ollie interact with his new friends as well as his niece and nephew. Both Will and Ollie could get a little frustrating at times, but overall I did have a great time reading this story. Would I have loved to see more Grease elements? Most definitely. But I liked this spin off very much and it has a great cast of characters that will most likely appeal to those who enjoy the genre. Just make sure to brace yourself for quite a few heartbreaking moments thrown in instead of just your regular dose of fluff… Chocolates and tissues are probably mandatory.


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ARC REVIEW: Deadly Betrayal – by OMJ Ryan

Title: Deadly Betrayal
(Detective Jane Phillips #4)
Author: OMJ Ryan
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Detective
First published: November 22nd 2020
Publisher: Inkubator Books
Finished reading: November 15th 2020
Pages: ?

“Now she wondered if she had been spared each of those times because her fate was to die in the place where she had been born: Hong Kong.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Inkubator Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I’ve been following this series ever since the first book came out last year, and Deadly Betrayal is already Detective Jane Phillips book number four… And without doubt another action-packed and entertaining ride! Technically you might be able to read this one as a stand-alone, but I don’t recommend it as you will be missing out on character background that might make it harder to understand the dynamics between the different characters. The case itself stands on its own though, and Jane Phillips and her team without doubt have another intriguing case on their hands.

The first thing that stands out in Deadly Betrayal is that this time around we don’t just stay in Manchester and its surroundings. Oh no, we get to travel all the way to Hong Kong for a few chapters as well! I really liked how this aspect of the investigation was incorporated into the plot and the descriptions and personal connection to Jane Phillips really made that setting come alive for me. And such shocking scenes too! The whole possible Triad connection in general managed to raise this story to the next level for me, and really gave the story an original touch.

These books always read superfast and Deadly Betrayal is no exception. This is one of those detective series where it’s best to clear your schedule, as you won’t even notice hours have passed until you reach that final page and stare at the clock. You won’t find a boring minute in Deadly Betrayal as it is packed with suspense, danger as well as your typical murder investigation. I had a brilliant time following Jane and her team as they try to get to the bottom of what is going on… And there is no doubt that this story ends with a bang too.

As for the characters… I’m still a fan of both Jane and her team. They are easy to like and their banter is a nice contrast with some of the heavier and action-packed moments of the story. Fox is still enormously frustrating though, and the story ends with a hint a different irritating character is going to be coming back in the next book… Overall, the plot and writing made up for those minor frustations though.

In short, if you enjoy the detective thriller genre and like your stories fast, suspenseful and action-packed, this series will always provide you with an entertaining ride.


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YVO’S SHORTIES #187 – Get A Life, Chloe Brown (DNF) & Such A Fun Age

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around a YA romance and a contemporary… The first, Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, I sadly ended up DNFing as the sexy scenes were just WAY too crude and explicit for me. Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid turned out to be a great read though, and I understand why so many people seem to love it.


Title: Get A Life, Chloe Brown
(The Brown Sisters #1)
Author: Talia Hibbert

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: November 5th 2019 
Publisher: Avon
Finished reading: November 5th 2020
Pages: 366
DNF at 45% (165 pages)

“When it comes down to it, everything we feel is in our head.”


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Okay… I’m not sure what happened here. Or actually I do. I guess it’s unpopular opinion time again! I was in the mood for some romance, and Get A Life, Chloe Brown sounded like such a fun read, so I thought I had hit the jackpot when I started reading it. I connected to the writing and characters almost immediately. The snarkiness, the humor, the flawed and intriguing characters… I really enjoyed getting to know both Chloe and Red better, and I really thought I was well on my way to adding a new author to my romance list. But then… BOOM!! The first crude and WAY too explicit sexy scene showed up. I can normally tolerate them if they are not too explicit and I’m enjoying the rest of the story (which I was), but there was just something about the crude way of describing the scene that literally made me gag. Still, I decided to give the story another go, as I felt a connection to especially Chloe and wanted to know more about her. I tried to overcome that scene and it seemed to be working, up untill… BOOM!! Another even more crude and explicit sexy scene showed up that had all the signs of being even longer, and I just couldn’t bring myself to keep reading or even skimming to the end of the scene. Why not even skimming? I figured it wouldn’t be the last scene as there was still more than half of the story left, and I seriously felt like vomiting already. Ugh, this was most definitley not the story for me. *shudders* It’s such a shame, because I was really looking forward to spend more time with Chloe and Red… But it is what it is I guess. If you can stomach some serious adult content and enjoy the genre, you will probably have a great time with Get A Life, Chloe Brown though. Personally, I’ve decided to stay away from Talia Hibbert‘s books for now even though I did love her writing, character development as well as her sense of humor.


Title: Such A Fun Age
Author: Kiley Reid

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
First published: December 31st 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Finished reading: November 8th 2020
Pages: 320

“I don’t need you to be mad that it happened. I need you to be mad that it just like… happens.”


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There has been so much hype around this title and to be honest I was a bit hesitant to pick it up myself as hyped books and me don’t tend to get along all that well… But I’m glad I did pick up Such A Fun Age in the end, as I understand why it has been receiving so much praise. I’m definitely in love with the writing style, which made the story so damn readable! I literally finished it in less than a day, unable to pace myself or to stop reading… Racism is such an important topic and this story shows us so well that it is so easy to seemingly do the right thing for all the wrong reasons. I never did warm up to Alix, but I LOVED Emira and Briar together. Both won over my heart immediately and made it really easy to care about what was happening in the story… Lighter moments are mixed with heavier topics, and I definitely enjoyed how the story ended. If you enjoy a well written contemporary with interesting characters and a powerful message, Such A Fun Age is without a doubt worth reading.


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YVO’S SHORTIES #184 – The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue & The Girl In The Tower

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time a historical fantasy edition with The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and The Girl In The Tower by Katherine Arden.


Title: The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue
Author: V.E. Schwab

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
First published: October 6th 2020
Publisher: Tor Books
Finished reading: October 23rd 2020
Pages: 448

“He may be a sun, but she is a shining comet, dragging their focus like burning meteors in her wake.”


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Fangirling alert coming in!! I know that I’m a bit biased when it comes to this author… I basically adore anything Schwab writes, and I have been eagerly anticipating The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue. Especially knowing how much Addie’s story means to the author in the first place… I was afraid my expectations would be set too high, but I shouldn’t have worried as I literally devoured each and every single page. I knew I was going to love this story as soon as I first met Addie… She is a force to be reckoned with, and so easy to warm up to! The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue is part historical fiction, part supernatural fantasy and part romance, all combined together into what is without doubt one of my 2020 favorite books. The story switches back between the past and 2014, always told from Addie’s POV.  A dual timeline can always go both ways for me, but somehow in this case I loved both equally and this probably has a lot to do with Addie’s constant presence. We have her past, starting in late 17th century and early 18th century France and later jumping to different times in history as the years go by. We see Addie develop over time, learning to live with her curse and thriving against all odds. Then we have the present, where both Addie and Henry will win over your heart without fail. The writing is simply glorious, and somehow the slower pace actually did me a favor and made me slow down to fully savour each sentence. I do get why some people might find this story too slow or overlong, but I personally treasured every single minute I got to spend with Addie. Say hello to a new all time favorite!


Title: The Girl In The Tower
(Winternight Trilogy #2)
Author: Katherine Arden

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
First published: December 5th 2017
Publisher: Del Rey
Finished reading: October 31st 2020
Pages: 383

“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.”


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I’ve been meaning to read this trilogy for so long now… So after finally reading and loving the first book a few weeks ago, I decided to pick up the sequel while memories were still fresh so I could actually try to finish a series in a timely matter for a change. Once again I had a fantastic time with this medieval Russian story filled with folklore and magic! True, I did enjoy the first book a tiny bit better than The Girl In The Tower, but that same magic of the first book was still there, and I already can’t wait to pick up the third and final book after that ending.

The descriptions once again truly made the setting come alive for me, and I love how the author incorporates not only Russian history, but also Russian folklore and culture into her story. It really makes this trilogy stand out for me, that’s for sure. I do have to say that I found the pace to be a tad slower in this sequel, and the plot a tiny bit less intriguing, but getting to meet up with Vasya again most definitely makes up for it. My love for her character has only grown since the first book, and there are some interesting developments in this sequel that make me wonder what the final book has in store for us. This trilogy is quickly turning into a new favorite!


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YVO’S SHORTIES #183 – The Bird Tribunal & Mexican Gothic

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around It’s All About Books has turned to the dark side with an eerie nordic noir story (The Bird Tribunal) and a piece of historical gothic horror set in Mexico (Mexican Gothic).


Title: The Bird Tribunal
Author: Agnes Ravatn

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: September 1st 2013
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: October 11th 2020
Pages: 192
(Originally published in Norwegian: ‘Fugletribunalet’)

“But here was the thing: it required willpower to build willpower.”


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I’ve had The Bird Tribunal on my radar for a while now, and after a fantastic experience with her newest title The Seven Doors I decided to simply give in and finally read it. I’m honestly a bit lost for words as this turned out to be such an odd and intriguing story! Basically there isn’t all that much happening plot wise; the focus is instead on the main characters and what is an absolutely fantastic description of the Norwegian setting. Oh yes, both the setting and the brilliant creation of that eerie and ominous vibe steal the show and are definitely the strongest asset of this piece of nordic noir together with the beautiful writing. Where the characters were a tad too unlikeable for me and I found the ending to be too predictable, it was the writing and the stunning descriptions of the Norwegian setting that swept me off my feet… And we even get a dose of Norse mythology along the way as well. Like I said, I wasn’t really a fan of the characters though, which did cause some inconvenience as this is mostly a slower-paced and essentially character-driven story. Somehow I was never able to warm up to Allis nor Sigurd… But that might just have been me. You will want to read The Bird Tribunal for the stunning writing and descriptions alone though if you are a fan of the nordic noir genre.


Title: Mexican Gothic
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Genre: Historical Fiction, Horror
First published: June 30th 2020
Publisher: Del Rey
Finished reading: October 20th 2020
Pages: 304

“The serpent does not devour its tail, it devours everything around it, voracious, its appetite never quenched.”


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I confess that I was going to try Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s other story Gods Of Jade And Shadow first, but there has been so much hype around Mexican Gothic that I simply couldn’t resist trying it myself. Now that I’ve finally gotten the chance to read it, I can understand the love for it. This story is dark, this story is eerie, this story is gothic horror at its best… It’s simply glorious! I loved the 1950s Mexico setting and the ominous and gloomy atmosphere of the High Place mansion is simply spot on. Historical elements are mixed with horror and even the supernatural and the writing itself is simply exquisite. I can’t deny the pace is considerably slow in points though… And this can definitely be a turn off for those who prefer a story with a faster pace. The glorious writing mostly made up for this feeling of slowness for me, and I liked how the secrets of High Place are only slowly revealed as the main character Noemí discovers them herself. She might seem like a flighty character, but I liked how she reacted to the situation in High Place as well as her determination in doing what is best for her cousin. The plot itself is once again quite slow-paced, but does work towards a final escalation and the story definitely ends with a bang. If you enjoy the gothic horror genre, don’t mind a slow pace or a touch of the supernatural and appreciate dark and atmospheric reads, Mexican Gothic might just be the perfect match.


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ARC REVIEW: The Chalet – by Catherine Cooper

Title: The Chalet
Author: Catherine Cooper
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: October 31st 2020
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Finished reading: October 18th 2020
Pages: 400

“For many years I’ve managed to live a normal life, thinking I’d escaped what happened in the past.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and HarperCollins UK in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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There was just something about the blurb of The Chalet that made it impossible to resist the invitation to read this debut… It might have been the setting in the French Alps, it might have been the mystery around the missing man and the promise of secrets and a potential killer… But my instincts told me I was most likely going to enjoy my time with this story. Thankfully my instincts didn’t fail me! The Chalet turned out to be a multi-layered and entertaining thriller with a setting that makes for the perfect backdrop for this story. Fans of the genre will have a great time with this one.

The Chalet is mainly set within the La Madière ski resort in France, and the many descriptions of the setting definitely made it come alive for me. The snow, the brutal weather, the chalet, the bars with its mulled wine, the ski resort in general… It almost feels like a little vacation in the form of a book, and I love it when a story is able to make me feel as if I were traveling myself. The cold winter weather is also the perfect backdrop for this story, with a man going missing in the middle of a storm and the bad weather affecting the characters in the present too. It gave the story a hint of foreboding and definitely added to the suspense.

The Chalet uses a multiple POV structure as well as switches between past and present. Not only do we slowly get to see what happened back in 1998, but we also get flashbacks of a little girl with a very difficult home situation back in London as well as multiple POVs set in the present. While initially this might seem a bit of a struggle, it is quite easy to keep the different POVs apart and I liked how the plot itself was developed. While I did see some of the twists coming, I didn’t mind too much as the plot was interesting and layered enough to keep you focused.

As for the characters… I can’t say that I actually liked them, but as a whole they make for an interesting enough cast of characters to follow. The multiple POV structure might also work in favor of the story here, as you never spend too much time with one character to actively feel annoyed by some of the actions and plot developments. The writing itself is engaging and makes it really easy to keep turning those pages. I literally finished this story in less than a day! I will be looking forward to read more books by this author in the future.


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ARC REVIEW: Black Coral – by Andrew Mayne

Title: Black Coral
(Underwater Investigation Unit #2)
Author: Andrew Mayne
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: February 16th 2021
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: October 24th 2020
Pages: 317

“My point is that we like to shove things into convenient boxes, even when we know they won’t fit.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I’m always in for a solid detective thriller and after highly enjoying my time with the first book of the Underwater Investigation Unit series earlier this year I just couldn’t say no to reading the sequel. The Florida police diver angle had me immediately intrigued, and after an intense and action-packed first book, I had high hopes for an entertaining second round… And Black Coral turned out to be exactly the exhilarating dose of action and detective thriller I was desperately craving!

One of the things that makes this series stand out is the fact that it isn’t just your average detective thriller. The main character Sloan McPherson is a police diver and not your typical detective, and on top of this she has a very colorful family background. She is a strong, stubborn and resourceful woman and she is definitely one of the reasons this story works so well! Especially with her not being afraid to think outside the box and follow her instinct even if it means stepping on important toes or facing danger. Following Sloan is a guarantee for hours of entertainment and action-packed reading!

You can technically read this as a stand-alone, although you won’t be able to understand the character background and dynamics fully… So I would personally advice reading these in order. That said, I loved the diving angle in Black Coral, which is an element that really makes this series stand out for me. On top of this, we have a serial killer hunt and lots of action, danger and suspense involved… What more to wish for?! I did enjoy the first book a tiny bit more, but as a whole there is no denying that this was a very satisfying thriller read. If you like your thrillers fast, action-packed and exhilarating, this is definitely a series to put on your radar!


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ARC REVIEW: Art And Soul – by Claire Huston

Title: Art And Soul
Author: Claire Huston
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: April 23rd 2020
Publisher: Goldcrest Books
Finished reading: October 17th 2020
Pages: 395

“If you willingly enter the dragon’s lair, best to wait to see how it will react, rather than poke it.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I’ve been looking forward to pick up this contemporary romance story written by fellow book blogger Claire, so when I found myself in the mood for the genre I decided to simply give in and do so. And boy, I am kicking myself for not picking up Art And Soul sooner now! It turned out to be such a wonderful and uplifting story, and it was exactly what I was craving. If you enjoy a well written romantic story with a wonderful cast of character and a healthy dose of cake, you should definitely add Art And Soul straight to your wishlist.

The story is told with the help of a dual POV structure, switching between our two star characters Becky and Charlie. I was able to warm up to both characters almost immediately, and the same goes for the rest of the cast. I loved Becky with her strength and resourcefulness, Charlie with all his flaws and artistic talent, Ronnie with her baking skills, Lloyd with his flamboyance… And I can go on and on. The cast of characters made it really easy to warm up and connect to the story too, and reading Art And Soul felt like sitting down with a slice of your favorite cake and a steaming cup of tea. You will find yourself rooting for the main characters and keeping your fingers crossed everything will work out in the end… Trust me, Becky and Charlie will manage to win over your heart in record time.

I loved that this is a slowburn romance built on friendship. I’m not a big fan of the whole insta-love trope and I liked how the dynamics between the main characters were slowly build up and changed. I also loved that there are multiple elements in play in Art And Soul… We have the food element with the many mentions of cake, we have the art element with Charlie’s paintings and the art gallery, we have the struggles of a single mother/father… They all enrich the story even further and added a little something extra to the plot. A little warning: Art And Soul will leave you wanting to bake/eat cake, so make sure you have the ingredients or a cake at hand to satisfy those cravings. You can never have enough cake in the first place, right?

In short, Art And Soul is a well written, delightful and uplifting slowburn romance with a healthy dose of cake and art to brighten up your day. If you enjoy the genre, I can definitely recommend meeting up with main characters Becky and Charlie! Trust me, you won’t regret it.


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