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I swoon over fictional men

Month

November 2016

WWW Wednesday – Week 1, 30th November 2016

I’ve decided it high time that I participate in one of the many wonderful weekly memes I see here on WordPress, and I felt somewhat inspired after seeing WWW Wednesday on another blog. WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words and the rules are simple. Simply answer the three questions below and then leave a link to your post here. It’s a great way of adding new books to your TBR list and it gives you the chance to meet more like-minded, bookish bloggers 🙂

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

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I absolutely adore the Lords of the Underworld. It’s a series I was introduced to a few months ago and I’m very much enjoying reading Sabin and Gwen’s story. Review to come in the next couple of days or so!

Recently finished reading

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A wonderful standalone novel that I read courtesy of NetGalley. You can check out my review here

Next on my reading list

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Perhaps the most intense book cover I’ve ever seen.

This is the first book in Felicity Heaton’s brand new series, Guardians of Hades. I had Ares on pre-order and have been getting sneak peaks thanks to Felicity’s newsletters. Very excited to read it!

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Forgive me, my many, many unread university books 

Despite being an avid reader now, I really struggled with some of the set texts at university. I took a Victorian literature class in my second year and when I saw how colossal Dickens’ Bleak House was, I just laughed and put it back on my shelf, opting instead to rely on Google Scholar (which I cannot recommend enough if you’re looking for some convincing yet reliable sources to quote for an assignment). 

I definitely wasn’t the most studious of people back then 😂

What’s the most boring book you’ve ever read? Be it in school or for leisure.  

Writing prompt

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You can do better than that loser. 

The words were scrawled on the bathroom mirror in what she knew was definitely blood. The writing was big and bold, so much so that the ‘loser’ trailed off onto the tiles beneath. Astra marched forward and swiped at the mocking words, ignoring the overpowering coppery stench. She glared at her reflection and lamented the streaked remnants of the liquid eyeliner she’d so painstakingly applied hours before.

“Fuck you, Faebar,” she hissed, “Think I could’ve worked that one out for myself.”

She grabbed a makeup wipe and began scrubbing at her face as silent tears continued to fall. Seriously, this was the last time she went on a date. He’d kissed that woman right in front of her, dammit! She shuddered, the humiliation and hurt suddenly wracking her body with choked sobs. Faebar was right. Kevin was a loser. A good-for-nothing, fucking loser. Speaking of Faebar…

“And what did I tell you about writing in blood, you little creep?” she wailed, “I got you freaking marker pens for crying out loud!”

She wrenched the bathrobe from its hook and stuffed her arms through the sleeves, uncaring of the fact that she was still dressed to the nines…besides, there was no way in hell – she suppressed a small smile at her choice of phrase – that she was undressing in front of Faebar, her demon protector. Na-ah. Nooooo waaaay hoooosay.

Astra turned and padded into the bedroom behind her. There was a sudden soft thump as something fell to the floor. She glanced down and saw a red marker pen she’d bought months ago, a pen that Faebar never used as he apparently “had a reputation to maintain” around his demon brethren. She stared at the pen, dumbfounded. Was he that affected by her tears? He hated marker pens, opting to write in “the blood of the innocents” which was code for “blood I stole from the butcher shop because I’m not actually as mean as I make out.” Sure, Faebar was never unkind and they did have laugh… but man did that demon like to tease and torment her with his trickery. She inched forward and reached for the handheld mirror on the dresser. A mirror that was now face down.

She flipped it, unsure of what she’d find.

Smile 🙂 

The smiley face had mismatched horns and a lone fang. Beneath the single word was a single question.

Movie?

All in red marker pen. She nodded, wiping her eyes with the back of her free hand.

“But no horrors this time,” she sniffed.

There was a whoosh of warm air as the portal opened. Before she had even looked up, a pair of strong arms had locked around her and a gentle kiss was pressed against her hair.

“Disney then,” he chuckled, “Anything to see you happy.”

Astra closed her eyes and wrapped her own arms around his waist.

“Ooo mind your pals aren’t listening,” she said, “Don’t want to tarnish your street cred.”

“Hmph,” he huffed, his breath warm against her temple, “Means to an end, sweetheart. No fun teasing a crying woman. Even demons have standards.”

Astra cast her mind back to the time he’d bought her ice cream when she’d had her tonsils out. To the time when he’d snuggled with her amid a pile of blankets when she’d had a cold. To the time she’d had a bad shift at work and come home to find a Downton Abbey boxset and bottle of vintage wine on the coffee table. To the time he’d teleported her to Italy so she could try authentic gelato. To the time…she grinned, not needing anymore proof.

“Keep telling yourself that, Faebar.

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I think these guys are gonna need a sequel.

Date nights with (another) Lucian

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*looks up as you enter the room* Yoooo. ‘Suuuuuuuuuuup…argh, screw this casual bullshit *attacks you with hugs* Where have you been!? *shakes you by the shoulders* You just never came back from your date with Vlad *sniffs* I was all alone in your apartment, drinking myself stupid and thinking of all the various creative ways he could have dispatched of you. I called HQ, like, a thousand times but they told me they hold no liability in the event of a date ending in death. Some crap about not wanting legal battles with immensely powerful, immortal creatures yada yada and all that. Wait, what do you mean you were on bloody vacation!? You didn’t think to call me? To, y’know, inform moi. To inform your matchmaker. To inform the person who lives with you. To *laughs hysterically* inform the person who cares a little too much about your well-being! *sighs* Eugh. Whatever. Pop the kettle on, pet *accepts your gift* I can’t stay angry when you’ve got me a shirt with…Beach Bum Hawaii scrawled upon it. Oh lord, you went to freaking Hawaii? Nope. Scrap that. I’m very angry. Hawaii crowns my list of places I need to visit and *screeches* YOU DIDN’T EVEN THINK TO INVITE ME! Not only are you gonna make me the best cup of tea you have ever made, you’re damn well gonna bring me a packet of biscuits too! I can’t deal with this, I can’t – *phone pings*

Oh? Your next date is…tonight. Ah yes, I scheduled this a few weeks back after you selected him on the app. Almost cancelled it because, well, I thought you were dead. I kept the date in my diary in case HQ gave me another client but no such luck. Still stuck with you. The most infuriating individual I’ve ever met *instantly feels bad* Well, you’re not that bad. We’ve had some fun times, I guess. Fleeing from murderous archangels in China. Sitting atop Archangel Tower while we awaited my clothes. You trying to shield me while I sat in a bar in my PJs.

Anyway, a date with Lucian. Mmmmm-mmm! He’s rather…delicious. No bars, though, ‘kay? Pinkie promise me? *grabs your pinkie* Ooo nice manicure. Was that done in Hawaii too? *glowers at you* Let’s move on from that sore subject. Date nights with Lucian will probably/definitely include:

  1. Coffee. Tea. Juice. Just anything without alcohol.
  2. A bar crawl. Forget the fancy, brand-name establishments. It’s all about the teeny-tiny dive bars.
  3. Discussing your hopes and dreams for the future while knocking back a few mocktails.
  4. Getting confused when Lucian looks at and speaks to people who don’t seem to be there. Hmm. Bit old for imaginary friends, right?
  5. Walking from bar to bar, hand-in-hand, being all cute with little kisses and hugs.
  6. Lucian reminiscing about days spent with the big J C.
  7. Ignoring the jealous glares of every woman you encounter.
  8. Ignoring the jealous glares of nearly every man you encounter.
  9. Buying some gelato from a local ice cream parlor and sitting in the park while you eat, joking about and making up funny stories about each of the people you see walking by.
  10. Lucian walking you home and ending the night with a sensual smile and a promise to see you again.

Not one of your more extravagant dates, but it’s not always about the what and the where…it’s sometimes more about the who *smiles to myself, immensely impressed by my sudden gem of wisdom* Have the most wonderful of nights and please, please come home *blows you a kiss*

Latest book buys 

I popped on down to the bookstore the other day and bought these beauties. I’ve been hearing a lot of positive things about Angelfall so I’m very excited to read it 😀 Anyone here read it? 

What books have you bought recently? 

‘Lucian Divine’ Renee Carlino

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Having received this wonderful read from NetGalley, I feel it only fair to include their blurb:

“My guardian angel is a drunk.”

Evelyn Casey’s life is at a standstill. She’s in her mid-twenties, struggling with the dating scene in San Francisco. Nothing seems to be working out, and she’s starting to think that she’ll live out her days in her crummy apartment with her overbearing roommate, Brooklyn. It’s absurd, but sometimes Evey longs for a guardian angel to show up and save the day.

And then he does. Seriously. His name is Lucian and he’s a guardian angel, been on the job for two thousand years. His sudden presence in her life is both good—he’s brilliant, witty, and warm—and bad—he’s brilliant, witty, warm, and hot as —-. But as perfect as Lucian seems, he’s got problems of his own. He’s taken up drinking and he’s brazenly inserted himself into Evey’s life, going against the greatest cosmic law ever created.

For Evey, the rules are simple: You are not allowed to hook up with your guardian angel. But sometimes fulfilling your destiny requires a leap of faith, a confrontation with God.

Yes, God as in God.

Where do I even begin with Lucian Divine? Man,  I could write a 1,000 word essay on the sheer perfection encapsulated within its pages. One reviewer described this book as a ‘breath of fresh air’ and I couldn’t agree more. It’s unlike any book I’ve read and reviewed so far and I mean that in the best of ways. It takes so many tropes commonly found within the romance genre and throws them right out the window. To be honest, though, it’s actually difficult to categorize Renee Carlino’s latest, soon-to-be-released novel. Hmmm. Comedy? Well, there’s a lot of that, especially in the opening chapters. Drama? The dramas faced by Evey and Lucian are enough to have a reader in floods of tears, so we can definitely check that one off. Romance? Yup. The pages are filled to the brim with soul-searing passion. Fantasy? Well, while the primary focus isn’t on Lucian’s angelic abilities but more the relationship he and his soul, Evey, share, it’s a fantasy in the sense that it detracts a reader away from the realities of everyday life, a life in which we often find ourselves without guidance or direction. For a fragment of time, a reader is thrown into a world where guardian angels exist and no one ever truly walks alone.

There are so many things I loved about Lucian Divine, the main thing being the titular character himself. He’s just so…normal. Lucian, in all his drunken, sexy glory, is a far cry from the angels emblazoned upon church windows. This normalcy is reflected in the other angels he knows and encounters. The idea of angels being beautifully flawed, much like us humans, had an incredible effect upon me. It made angels seem so much more accessible, more so because I’m an avid believer in them.

Evey is a character I connected well with too. So often in the genre of paranormal romance (just gonna throw Lucian Divine under that umbrella term for now) the female protagonist is special in some way. Like, she has some form of supernatural ability or power or possesses a skill that will prove useful to the potential love interest. Evey is different in this sense. She’s just a regular twenty-something year old trying to find her place in the world. She has aspirations to become a top designer and works her ass off in her bid to achieve this dream. Like Lucian, she’s refreshingly normal and so is the love that blossoms between them. Their love is pure. They’re just a regular couple, albeit with some irregular relationship problems (God not approving being one…awwwwkward).

Lucian Divine needs to be added to every romance lover’s TBR list!

Rating: 5/5

Song: Aerosmith’s I don’t want to miss a thing 

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Lucian Divine is due to be published January 9th 2017! Mark it on your calendars 😉

Netgalley question

I only joined Netgalley last month and have just finished my first book from them. I wrote a review on their site and would really like to write a review for my blog too, but because the book has yet to be released I’m not sure whether to post it now or to wait? I looked at the FAQ and it said it’s different for each individual publisher…but I cannot find this book’s publisher listed anywhere! I’ve found the publisher the author’s previous books have been published under but they don’t seem to be the publishers for this book. I’ve looked on all the major sites – Amazon, Goodreads etc – but can’t seem to find it anywhere. Unsure of what to do. Netgalley regulars, what do you suggest?

Thank you in advance ! ❤

That moment when…

…you finish your book in a local coffee shop and you’re trying so hard not to cry over the ending. 

Review tomorrow! 

Comments…again *sighs*

So last time I had this issue with the comment system, a few people said they’d found my comments in their spam folders. If I usually comment on your posts, please may you take a moment or two to see if I’m chilling out in the spam?

Getting majorly frustrated by this. I write a comment, hit ‘Send’ and poof. It’s gone 😦 WordPress only seems to have a public forum when it comes to getting technical help. If I’m wrong about this, please let me know. Need to get this sorted asap!

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