Monthly Wrap Ups

May Wrap Up!

Happy Tuesday Bookish people! I’m a day late with this one but it’s finally the end of May. This month has been a difficult one, there’s been good parts to it of course but there’s also been some horrible parts. Nevermind, June is a new month and hopefully it will be a great one!

This month I will admit now, my TBR was mostly forgotten about. I had quite a few book tours I was taking part in and towards the second half of the month I was losing my motivation to read because of what was going on in my life.

So, onto the wrap up.

My May TBR:

  • The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni – I did read (start with a good one, however, this does not continue..)
  • The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton – I did not read
  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik – I did not read
  • Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly – I did not read
  • Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch – I did not read
  • Lore by Alexandra Bracken – I did not read
  • Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon – I did not read
  • Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – I did not read
  • Turtles All The Way Down by John Green – I did not read
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – I did not read
  • A Masked City by Genevieve Cogman – I did read! (surprised you there didn’t I)
  • A Gathering of Shadows by V E Schwaab – I did not read
  • Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – I did not read
  • Yes, No, Maybe so by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Seed – I did not read
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – I did start this but I didn’t manage to finish it within the month

So.. my TBR went pretty terribly, I read two and started another. But I did read other books that weren’t on my TBR which were: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss (which I loved!), Love Is What You Bake Of It and Love by Design by Effie Kammenou, Things To Do Before The End Of The World by Emily Barr and You Had It Coming by B M Carroll.

Altogether I read eight books this month which isn’t bad I suppose but it felt like I had a terrible reading month. Hopefully I’ll enjoy my reading more in June… I’m about to post my June TBR so check that out too if you are interested in seeing what I’ll be reading in June.

That’s it for my May Wrap Up, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Love By Design by Effie Kammenou

Happy Monday Bookish people! What is everyone doing this bank holiday Monday? I have some University work and some job work to do later but hopefully that won’t take long and then I can spend the rest of the day reading.

Today is my stop on the book tour for Love by Design by Effie Kammenou. Thank you to Love Books Tours for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Love By Design Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I will say, this is not my usual genre. At all. I don’t read much romance so I don’t have much to compare this book to. I did enjoy the story overall, I thought the setting and career of the main character was interesting and not common in books that I have read before, or books that I have heard about from other people. This book has frequent changes of location throughout it and I did find myself getting confused with where I was and who was in the scene. This did take away a bit of my enjoyment of this book. I read the first book in the series a little while ago, Love Is What You Bake It, and I felt that the first book had a clearer structure and I enjoyed that one more than this one but there were still elements in this one I enjoyed, particularly the characters.

Love By Design Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

First, I loved that this book continued with the themes of family that it had in the first book of the series and that Mia, the main character in this book, had many scenes throughout the book where she interacted with her family and particularly two of sisters. I really enjoyed having chapters in this book from both Mia and Nicholas, the main male character of this novel, because it gave both of their points of view keeping my opinions on the characters balanced nicely. I understood what was driving both of them, their motivations and desires. Nicholas is an intriguing character, he made me feel many emotions – irritation, sadness, always wanting to know more about his character and what he is going to do next.

Love By Design Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As with the first book in this series I enjoyed this author’s writing style and how she integrates the dialogue into the story. As I said above I did keep getting confused with this book but I don’t think that’s because of the writing style I think it’s because of my inability to change setting in my head quickly…

Love By Design Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars overall because it’s not my typical genre and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped I would after reading the first book in the series, but I also didn’t not enjoy it if that makes sense.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Mia Andarakis just landed her dream job at a luxury magazine. And even better, her boss is the handsome and enigmatic Nicholas Aristedis, a man she has crushed on from afar. But Nicholas isn’t who she imagined. Irascible and mercurial, his instant dislike for Mia makes it almost impossible for her to work with him.

Nicholas has faced many losses and heartaches in his thirty-two years. Determined to avoid heartbreak, he has closed his heart to love. But Mia awakens feelings in him he had long since denied. And soon he discovers their connection is deeper than he realized.

Mia and Nicholas embark on an adventure across picturesque locations as they launch a new publication and uncover the mystery behind her grandfather’s disappearance. But perhaps the greatest challenge is in learning to set aside their insecurities and fears. Can the two forget the traumas of their past? And will they ever learn to trust in the possibility of love? Find out in the second novel of The Meraki Series.

That’s it for this book review, sorry that it’s shorter than usual, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Love is What You Bake It by Effie Kammenou

Happy Friday bookish people! Today is my stop on the blog tour for the book Love Is What You Bake It by Effie Kammenou. Thank you to Love Book Tours for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Love is What You Bake It Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I don’t read many books that can be classed as part of the romance genre so I can’t say how this book sits amongst them, however, I surprised myself because I actually enjoyed my reading of this book. I thought the plot was simple enough for me to understand everything that was happening while still complicated and filled with layers of back story that gave the story the ‘will they, won’t they’ that it needed.

I enjoyed the themes of family and friendship that were one of the main features of this book, it gave it more of a story in my opinion. I also liked that there were actual recipes sprinkled throughout the book – I definitely want to make some of these!

For me the romance element felt a little rushed, it is a short book to begin with, but I like my romance (even though it’s usually only a tiny sub-plot) to be a slow burn, and when I say slow I mean a snails pace – I like it to be very dragged out.

Love Is What You Bake It Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The main characters Kally and Max were interesting and complex. The way their back stories were slowly shown to the reader was good at playing with your perceptions of the characters. My favourite character in the book has to be Athena, I don’t think it’s a spoiler by saying she is Max’s daughter – if it is sorry! – and she is great. I like children generally, in life and in fiction, but she was very well written and acted her age.

The only part I didn’t enjoy about the characters was there was one, who I won’t name because that would be a spoiler, who in my opinion was coming across a bit dangerous and a bit too controlling and then at the end they almost had a redemption arc which was for a specific reason to further the plot but I did feel that wasn’t the best way to present that character at the end.

Love Is What You Bake It Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I don’t have a lot to say about this section. I thought the writing flowed easily and kept my interest in the story well. The dialogue, although at times too much information was given at once, was well written and matched the characters and their personalities.

Love Is What You Bake It Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have given this book four stars because I was surprised how much I actually ended up enjoying the story. It was light-hearted and fun and influenced by Greek culture which was very interesting to learn about.

Blurb/synopsis:

The only love Kally Andarakis is baking is in the form of the sweet treats she whips up in her café, The Coffee Klatch.

Kally never believed herself to be a person worthy of love, but when an intoxicating man she considered out of her league pursues her, she risks everything to be with him. Later, when tragedy strikes, truths are revealed that leave Kally brokenhearted and untrusting.

Eight years later, Kally is a successful pastry chef running the café she’d always dreamed of owning. With a home of her own, a profession she’s passionate about, and the support and love of friends and family, Kally is content with the life she has carved out for herself.

Until the day Max Vardaxis walks into her café…

With arguing parents, meddling relatives, an overly energetic grandmother, a man-crazy best friend, and the long ago, mysterious disappearance of a grandfather, this new man in town is just one more complication in Kally’s life, if not the main one.

Kally must now decide whether to keep her heart safe or to once again take a ‘whisk on love.’

That’s it for this book review, I hope you enjoyed it!