Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

Each week The Broke and Bookish hosts a Top Ten Tuesday based on a chosen literary topic. This week’s topic is “Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book”! As I began to think about this topic I realised that I have become very picky with what I choose to read, especially regarding books that instantly grab my attention. I just feel like there are too many books I want to read and I may never get a chance to get through them all in one lifetime!

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1. A Great Synopsis – This is kind of a no-brainer but if I pick up a book and the synopsis has already hooked me then I am sure to continue reading. The only time this becomes an issue is if something in the synopsis gets me excited but reviewers indicate that it doesn’t actually occur in the novel, that is always so disappointing!

2. The Author – I definitely have a few favourite authors and if they put something out I will read it. Doesn’t matter what it is, if they are trying out a new genre, or the synopsis is different I will read anything from my select few favourite writers.

3. Recommendations Online – If any of my wonderful goodread friends recommend something to me I can almost guarantee I will read it. I have some very thoughtful followers that have very similar tastes to me and if they give something 5 stars, it makes me want to read it too!

4. Recommendations from my Friends/Family – I have quite a few people in my life that read as much as me and I love getting recommendations from them. In particular, if my fiance’s mum and sister tell me to read something (or even better buy me books for my birthday/holidays) I will read it and most likely enjoy it!

5. Romance Novels where the hero is described as a “sweetheart” – Lately I have been drawn to romance novels (in any genre; YA, NA, Fantasy, Sci-fi etc.) where the hero is a complete and utter sweetheart. I have been getting a little sick of the whole “alpha male” thing in romance novels and if the hero is sweet I will read that in a heartbeat!

6. Canadian Authors – I have been trying to read more Canadian authors and novels set in Canada. Unless the synopsis is really bad I have been picking up more by Canadians.

7. Space Opera Genre – I have been OBSESSED with reading novels in the space opera genre and so far I have not turned away from one! Give me galactic space, fast romance and spicy drama, please!

8. Beautiful Prose – if my Goodreads friends or other reviewers online have indicated that the novel has amazing prose then I am pretty much guaranteed to read it. Even if the genre/synopsis doesnt intrigue me at first, I know the writing will suck me in.

9. Hype – This doesn’t always guarantee that I will read it but generally if I have heard a ton of buzz around a book I will try to read it (unless the synopsis is something I really dislike).

10. The Cover – I put this last on the list because although a great cover will draw me to the book if the synopsis isn’t interesting I may not read it. As silly as it sounds a great cover design is still important to me and can draw me into a book.

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I want to hear your thoughts! What things make you pick up a book? How do you decide what to read next?

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ARC Book Review -Big Mushy Happy Lump (Sarah’s Scribbles)


TITLE: Big Mushy Happy Lump (Sarah’s Scribbles)
AUTHOR: Sarah Andersen
PAGES:  128 pages
PUBLISHER: Andrews McMeel Publishing
GENRE: Graphic Novel/Comic Book, Humor, Non-Fiction

MY RATING: 5/5 birds
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I received this as an ebook and I’m so curious if this will have that same velour fuzzy stuff on the cover that the first novel had. That stuff was the best.

Much like the first comic book of Sarah’s Scribbles, I feel like all introverts need to read this. Sarah Andersen is so relatable it’s mind-blowing. Even things that don’t have to do with being introvert or having social anxiety were relatable to me. Like how she always steals her boyfriend’s clothes (hmm big sweaters) and the panel that describes all the alternative things a boyfriend brings to the relationship (I checked off each one). It feels like Sarah Andersen knows you personally, which makes me happy because it reminds me that even if I often feel alone in this world there are many people who do think/act like me.

Even though there were a few panels that were very similar to previous ones I felt like the entire book was more inspiring than the last. I loved all of the female friendship positivity.

And I might be an outlier here but I think I like this one better than her first book. Maybe just marginally as I gave them both 5 stars. Sarah you can do no wrong!

P.S. I would also like to know how some girls have beautiful hair after four days of not washing. I’m definitely the second-day = gross hair type person. No amount of dry shampoo can tame these locks.

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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ARC Book Review – A Long Walk Home by Piper Landen


TITLE: A Long Walk Home
AUTHOR: Piper Landen
PAGES:  166 pages
EXPECTED PUBLICATION: December 27th 2016
PUBLISHER: Patchwork Press
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Animals

MY RATING: 3/5 birds


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For Romance Week on Goodreads I decided to pick up this cute short novel from NetGalley. The story started off with Casey finding a stray dog in a park and deciding to take him home. Casey has no experience with dogs and is very unsure. She contacts a rescue agency and works with them to find a home for the stray dog that they end up calling Baloo. Casey decides, with her roommate’s consent, that she will foster Baloo until he finds a permanent home.

Casey goes back to the park to hand out flyers if anyways knows Baloo and meets a gorgeous runner named Charlie. She keeps running into him until he asks her out. It’s a cute (somewhat cliché) meet cute.

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Overall the novel is exactly what you expect. It is only 160 pages long (ebook) and very adorable, with lots of little antics by Baloo and insta-love.

I didn’t really enjoy the writing as I found it a bit disjointed and too formal. There were massive walls of text just explaining Casey’s day and what the dog was going in too much detail that had no action or dialogue to break it up.

The dialogue between Casey and Charlie was also a bit awkward. I didn’t understand some of the “jokes” and conversations they had. For example when she first texted Charlie he asked if she had any dietary restrictions (which I assume to mean vegan or something) and she answers “Once upon a time, I did the paleo thing, back when I was exercising for fun, like a maniac (no offense). But I got past it. All food is good food as far as I’m concerned.”

Huh? Why does she say ‘no offense’? Is it because she always sees him running and assumes he is an exercising maniac? Because she used the word maniac? This was just an example of many dialogues that I did not understand in this novel.

I thought Charlie and Casey’s first date was actually really cute but unfortunately I didn’t actually like Charlie at all. He seemed to have quite the temper and I didn’t like how he got mad so fast and didn’t hear Casey out. I didn’t actually get a sense of a HEA here which is bit disappointing, especially in a romance novel.

Because this novel was so short it suffered because I don’t recall Casey every talking about what she did for work/school and she seemed to either be hanging out with Baloo at home, with Charlie, watching Netflix and it seemed really unrealistic. Charlie’s occupation wasn’t mentioned either. I felt like I really didn’t to know the characters well at all.

Overall, despites its flaws this was a very quick and cute read. Perfect for Romance Week on Goodreads!

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Book Review – Flawed


**ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

TITLE: Flawed (Ethan Frost #4)
AUTHOR: Tracy Wolff
PAGES:  255 pages
PUBLISHER: Loveswept
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Enemies to Lovers, My Best Friend’s Brother Romance

MY RATING: 3/5 birds

Rating - 3 Bird


The novel begins with our heroine and socialite, Tori Reed, on an exceedingly horrible blind date. The night keeps going from bad to worse until Tori is out on the streets and disowned from her family due to her past relationship ending up in the press. This means no more trust fund, car, clothes, and even shoes! Barefoot and wearing last night dress Tori lifts her head high and plans to hide out at her best friend’s house unless the media dies down only to find it is already occupied by her bff’s older brother Miles Girard, whom she hates with a passion. Soon the passion for destruction turns into another kind of passion but can Miles deal with Tori’s behaviour and help her when she has lost it all?

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I wasn’t crazy about this book but it wasn’t terrible either. There were elements I liked and I did read it quite quickly but overall the book fell flat and there were elements of the story that really irritated me. Maybe people who have read the series from the beginning might feel differently and have more loyalty to the characters? I have to say the author did a great job with making me feel like I wasn’t missing anything even though I am reading the series out of order.

I really enjoyed the “enemies to lovers” aspect of the novel. I really like these types of books and the sexual tension between Tori and Miles was explosive! Unfortunately the characters were sorely lacking depth which was disappointing. Tori was incredibly hard to relate to. She is a whiny socialite who basically had everything handed to her through her trust-fund, and while I like reading strong and sometimes loud personalities, she just took her bitchy attitude to another level and was so mean to Miles for absolutely no reason. The book felt like a rollercoaster to crazy-town…the fights between her and Miles felt manufactured to create drama just to have drama.

It is also fun sometimes to read about rich people (I mean the billionaire genre trope exists for a reason in romance novels) but I found this just did not work for me. There was no redeeming or relatable quality to Tori as she is an adult but doesn’t work, has a nice apartment her trust fund paid for, car, multiple credit cards, and so when her father kicked her out I did feel a little bad for her because it was so dramatic (I mean, not even letting her get changed? Or get shoes?) but it was still hard to muster up total sympathy for the stereotypical “poor little rich girl”.

I also feel like the author could have taken the topic of revenge porn, sex tapes, and rape further. She spent many pages going over it in both Miles and Tori’s perspective but it felt incredibly shallow. The inner monologues were very repetitive. It was also very convenient that Miles was this mega-genius and he essentially [caught Alexander for a sexual assault he committed years ago (hide spoiler)]. I just felt like it was so over the top. It kind of throws it in the face of real rape victims (like the real case the author mentioned in the novel) who have to deal with the terrible reality that their perpetrators may never go to jail and there may never be justice. Unfortunately that is the reality of life today. But suddenly here comes the hero…it’s just another version of the damsel in distress and how the Hero saved the day. Tori did a lot of talking about how she wanted to be more independent in her life and maybe even speak out about her experience and help others, but then she didn’t actually do anything but rehashed the same arguments with Miles over and over again.

I was especially confused because in Chapter 20 Tori says she has an interview tomorrow afternoon at a local TV station but then we don’t hear anything about it? She gets mad at Miles and runs away to Chloe’s house, does she just blow off the interview?

I thought the author had the perfect opportunity in the epilogue to say something about Tori become a spokesperson or advocate but it just focused on their romance. It was cute and we got the HEA but still….very shallow.

Speaking of the romance…yikes. The insta-love was crazy in this novel. It really just killed the novel for me. ? I would have been completely fine with Miles and Tori just committing to a real relationship than saying “I love you” after four days together.

As for Miles I didn’t dislike him as much as Tori but she kind of rubbed off on him because I had to wonder what he saw in Tori? He goes and does nice things for her and she repays him by screaming in his face, calling him names and just acting like a huge immature brat. If I was Miles I would have seen all of this as huge red flags and realised I don’t have to be with someone who throws temper tantrums at every turn but when confronted immediately plays the victim role.

In terms of the steamy scenes which I know many of us read these novels basically for that, as I said above the sexual tension was very well done and the first sex scene was very steamy but then it really tapered off for me. In particular the kissing was over-described and I really did not enjoy how much he licks her gums…haha it was just weird but to each their own!

Also very minor but did anyone else notice what Ethan said about the blind dates he and Chloe set Tori up on?! I thought it was so horrible that her best friend and husband intentionally set her up on horrible dates because they “hoped that she would get together with Miles”! That some crazy manipulative shit! If my friends did that to me I would be so pissed off.

All in all I think if you don’t mind very loud, brash personalities then Tori won’t bother you and if you want to read something a little more on the shallow side and just for the romance then I would recommend this. Other than that I think it was a decent read but I am not tempted to read the rest of this series.

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Book Review – The Bone Witch


TITLE: The Bone Witch
AUTHOR: Rin Chupeco
PAGES:  400 pages
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy/Paranormal

MY RATING: 3/5 birds

Rating - 3 Bird


Tea (pronounced Tay-uh) accidentally resurrects her dead older Brother Fox which lands her into the hands of seasoned necromancer when she finds out that she is a different type of witch than the rest of her family. She is a “bone witch” meaning she is a necromancer and therefore feared by the entire community. The older necromancer takes Tea and her brother in and trains them, but as dark forces rise Tea must learn her skills quickly in this compelling new fantasy series.

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I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really wanted to enjoy this, the premise sounded very interesting but I found the book quite slow and boring. It took me a very long time to finish it. I initially downloaded this from NetGallery back in August and have only finished it now! I think it had something to do with how unnecessarily descriptive the book was. The world building was excellent but it almost felt overdone.

I did like the main character, Tea, but she definitely had the “special snowflake” syndrome from being the “chosen one. The romance also left something to be desired. I don’t hate love-triangles but it felt very undeveloped and it almost came out of nowhere at the end of the novel. I am hoping the author will really work on the romance for the next novel but I am not sure at this point if I would continue with the rest of this series.

The cover is absolutely beautiful though and I think that will definitely draw people in!

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Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016

Each week The Broke and Bookish  hosts a Top Ten Tuesday based on a chosen literary topic. This week’s topic is Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016! This year I really stepped up my reading game and have read 140+ books so far, but we still have 26 days left until 2017! I went out of my comfort zone and tried quite a few new authors this year, so I have a lot to choose from. I am going to only choose new-to-me authors that I rated 4 or 5 stars so I can keep this list to ten! And without further ado:

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1. Elle Kennedy – I first read The Deal back on May 3 and since then I have read the rest of the series (4 books in total), two other novels she did with Sarina Bowen (Him & Us) and I have my eyes set on the Heat of the Moment (Out of Uniform, #1) series, Body Check, and the Midnight Rescue (Killer Instincts, #1) series. I have a feeling I will be reading a lot more of Elle Kennedy in 2017! She never ceases to amaze me with her fresh and realistic dialogue, funny characters and interesting plots. I feel in love with the Off-Campus series and in the final book Kennedy mentioned a spin-off series that I am already so excited for even though nothing official has been announced yet. Here’s to hoping in 2017!

2. Lauren Blakely – I feel like I am behind the times as I had never read anything by Blakely until this year. She has a hit series called Caught Up in Us that I am interested in reading but this year I tried the Night After Night (Seductive Nights, #1) series and I was hooked! In 2017 I expect I will be reading Big RockMister O, and her other successful series.

3. Rachel Bach – So at the beginning of 2016 I discovered a new genre that I had never heard of before called “Space Opera”. I am not sure exactly how I stumbled upon it but it really combined my love of sci-fi, badass chicks, and romance. The first book I read in this genre was Bach’s Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox #1) which I read on Jan 18. I read Honor’s Knight (Paradox #2) on Jan 22, and I am hoping to finish the series in 2017. It feel a little to the wayside as I kept discovering more novels in this genre.

4. Sara Creasy – Another new author to me in the Space Opera genre wrote Song of Scarabaeus and this novel completely blew me out of the water. I have yet to read the second novel in this series and it looks like Creasy hasn’t been writing much (from what I can see on goodreads) but I really hope she publishes something else because she has real talent. Her last comment on goodreads was back in 2015, she says she is working on a new science fiction adventure/romance and there’s also the possibility of a third Scarabaeus so I really hope she announces something in 2017!

5. Linnea Sinclair – This author has been around for a while now, Gabriel’s Ghost (Dock Five Universe #1) was first published in 2002! And I just got around to discovering her 14 years but better late than never. I absolutely loved Gabriel’s Ghost, so much that I instantly read her other novel Games of Command. This author hasn’t published anything since 2010 (her last publication was 2013 but she has only done compilations and a self-help writing book since 2010). Her previous novels will keep me busy for a while but hopefully she has been working on a new series!

6. Thea Harrison – I feel like everyone and their dog has read Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1) already, as it was published in 2011 but this is my first introduction to the author. Dragon Bound was so unique and wonderfully written, with great humour, romance and action. I can’t wait to read what else Harrison has!

7. Mary Frame – This up-and-coming author published the Imperfect Chemistry series back in 2014 but I had only discovered her now. She is still fairly new, having only published four novels in total but I will be keeping my eye on her in 2017.

8. Monica Murphy – This author already has five different series in the works and I read the One Week Girlfriend (One Week Girlfriend, #1) which surprised me at how good it was. The cover of this novel is very cutesy chick-lit, but the novel itself if quite angsty and dark. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

9. Krista & Becca Ritchie – these authors, who are incidentally identical twins, already have quite the collection of series. Kobo had a sale and I was able to pick up Addicted to You (Addicted, #1) and I was immediatley hooked! The story is very unique and I am excited to read what else these twins have written!

10. Catherine Gilbert Murdock – I was very late in the game reading Dairy Queen, but I am so glad I took a chance on it, even though it was published back in 2006 and the cover was not very appealing. It ended up being a very complex and wonderful story, and I am excited to keep reading the rest of the series in 2017!

Have you discovered a new author this year? Tell me below in the comments!

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Book Review -Him


AUTHOR: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
PAGES:  360 pages
PUBLISHED: July 28th 2015
PUBLISHER: Rennie Road Books
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Friends to Lovers.

MY RATING: 5/5 birds

Rating - 5 Bird


Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley have been best friends until a friendly competition turned into something more and Wes cut Jamie out of his life.Pushing the boundaries of their friendship was Wes’ goal but afterwards he regrets his actions.

Four years later after no contact, Wes is ready to apologise to Jamie, his very straight friend, who he is now facing off on the ice with their respective college teams. One look at Jamie though and Wes’ resolutions come to a stand still. His feelings have never changed but does Jamie feel the same way?

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“I can’t fucking do this again. I can’t let myself want him or get my hopes up about the two of us. He’s my friend. He’ll always be my friend and nothing more.”

Jamie and Wes make such an adorable couple! I loved them right off the bat. The novel starts with flashbacks to one pivotal night between the two former best friends when they attended hockey camp that changes their friendship. Wes can’t deal with what happens and stops talking to Jamie. Years later, after they both graduate college and are looking towards joining the NHL, they see each other again. A friendship is rekindled but other feelings rise up that aren’t so easy to define…
This was quite the steamy read and I really enjoyed it!! It’s definitely a new favourite.
I can really see Elle Kennedy shine through in this novel with all the witty and funny dialogue and I loved it! For example:

“I’m attracted to women, no doubt about it.
I’m also attracted to men, apparently. Wonderful.
Complicated fellow, my dick.”

Anything to get my Kennedy fix after The Deal series haha. She seriously has a way with words though and makes men sound so realistic and age-appropriate. I don’t know how she does it! It really makes the entire novel though because I really haven’t read many M/M novels but usually they have a serious case of “chicks with dicks”, meaning the male characters all sound like the female author.

The chemistry between Wes and Jamie was off the chart. I was rooting for them from beginning to end. They treated each other so well, with love and respect but could easily banter and they obviously loved spending time together. even when they were younger and just best friends. These are my favourite stories, the friends that become lovers. I think this would be the perfect introduction to someone who was interested in m/m and had never read any before.

I seriously love this book. Even little things like what Cindy (Jamie’s mom) buys Jamie and Wes coffee mugs that say “HIS” & “HIS”:

“Mom!” Jess hollers. “The point of labeled mugs is so that they can tell them apart! You should have done their initials.”
“But then that wouldn’t amuse me,” his mother explains, grinning.

I also thought the discussion between Wes and Jamie regarding porn and what is expected of gay men was very well done. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be, on top of coming out to your friends and family, to even understand how to together with someone since you may not have a lot to reference in your day to day life. I mean porn for men and women is quite awful and unrealistic as well but as least in terms of a relationship you have many examples – generally your parents are m/w, friends, and everything you see on TV. Also sex ed classes when you are a teenager, as least when I was in school, did not discuss being gay all or how any of that worked.

And lastly I just LOVED the ending and I was really glad that the novel didn’t end after [after they finally decided to commit to each other (hide spoiler)]. I really like that the authors showed us their evolving relationship and what’s to come next. I also just love Jamie’s family.

Also, just a side note but did anyone else forget that Wes’ first name was actually Ryan? Haha maybe it was just me but he was referred to as Wes so much that I thought Ryan was his last name!

SO excited to read the next book Us (Him #2)!!

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