Friday, January 31, 2020

Monthly Wrap-Up — January 2020

Helloooo my fellow bookworms! It's time for the first wrap-up of the year. I feel like the month of January went by slowly but also fast at the same time if that makes any sense. My reading month started out slow but I'm pretty happy with the 7 books I read. Also, so far I've reviewed all the books I've read. Some of them I still need to post but they're coming! :D

The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson — 4/5 (My Review)
A Worthy Opponent by Katee Robert — 4/5(My Review)
Credence by Penelope Douglas — 3.5/5(My Review)

Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau — 3.5/5★ (My Review)
A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer (Audioook) — 4.5/5(Review to come)
Lustrum by Robert Harris —4/5(Review to come)

Circus of Scales by Constance Roberts — 3.5/5★ (Review to come)

Favorite book of the month:

In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen--until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

Okay, so, nobody is more surprised than me that A Heart So Fierce and Broken ended up being my favorite book of the month. I wasn't a fan of the first book but this one? Oh my god, it was everything and more! I'm planning on posting my review soon so you can all read about everything that I loved in it. ♥

What was your favorite book of January?

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Beast by Katee Robert

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read.

The Beast by Katee Robert
Expected publication: May 10th 2020 by Trinkets and Tales LLC
Wicked Villains #4

Once upon a time, I fell in love with two men. Their feelings for me were matched only by their hatred for each other.

Gaeton, with his brash charm and casual cruelty.

Beast, his lust equal to his penchant for violence.

Being with them was sinful and perfect in different ways. In the end, I couldn’t choose, and I lost them both.

Now, my sisters have tasked me with securing our power base, no matter the cost. I will do anything for my family—even if it means agreeing to the terms set by Gaeton and Beast.

The three of us. Together. But only for as long as it takes me to choose one of them once and for all.

When playing games of power, happily ever after isn’t a priority. Not even for me.

Especially not for me.

I've loved all three previous books in the series so it's not surprising that I'm super excited for book #4 in the series. I know book #3 isn't technically released yet but I already read the ARC recently and posted my review of it on Monday. You can find it here. Anyways Beast is one I'm highly looking forward to because there have been hints throughout the other books about Isabelle, Gaeton and Beast so I really can't wait to see what Katee Robert will make of it all. Is it May yet? Hehe...

Monday, January 27, 2020

Review: A Worthy Opponent by Katee Robert

Title: A Worthy Opponent
Author: Katee Robert
Series: Wicked Villains #3
Publication: February 24th 2020 by Trinkets and Tales LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

Once upon a time I was a girl who believed in love and happily ever afters.

Now the only thing I believe in is revenge.

Unfortunately for me, there’s only one man willing to help me. Hook. I should have known it wouldn’t be out of the goodness of his heart. He doesn’t have one. No, Hook wants his ring on my finger and me on my knees before him—and he won’t take no for an answer.

I’m willing to pay any price in order to bring Pan down…even if it means I lose my soul in the bargain.

I can't for the life of me stop fangirling about this Wicked Villains series. Nor do I want to. I only found out about the series around October in 2019 I think so it's a pretty recent discovery which I will forever thank Gen from Whispering Chapter for because now these books are one of my all time favorites. I'm simply obsessed okay. I really can't recommend all the books high enough. And the same goes for the latest book, A Worthy Opponent. Oh my god, it was SO good! 

Ever since I read book two of the Wicked Villains series I've been anticipating the next book so damn much since I knew it would be Tink and Hook's book. They appeared as secondary characters in the first two books but I already loved them and I just knew their book was gonna be freaking amazing. Not to mention sexy as fuck. And it so was!

There was a lot of delicious kinky sex but the story wasn't just that. I won't say I was surprised exactly but Hook also had a sweet and romantic side. This just made him the perfect romance hero (don't tell him I called him that) and very swoon-worthy. 

And Tink... I adore her. SO MUCH. And her body positivity was just everything to me. I love the author for writing this character as plus sized because we definitely need more heroines like that. Especially ones that are as amazing as Tink. Also so much girl power in this story. I loved that so much! So yeah for my second book of 2020 this definitely was a good one. 

So not only was A Worthy Opponent by Katee Robert hot as hell, fun and romantic but it was also very body positive which meant there was no way that I could stop reading it. I pretty much binged this book until I finished and I have zero regrets whatsoever. Tink and Hook were everything that I expected and wanted from their story. I highly enjoyed reading it all and already I can't wait for the next book. I love this series so damn much.

About the author:
Katee Robert is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Entertainment Weekly calls her writing “unspeakably hot.” Her books have sold over a million copies. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, children, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and two Great Danes who think they’re lap dogs.

Katee is represented by Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency.
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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Review: Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau

Title: Dreamland
Author: Nancy Bilyeau
Publication: January 16th 2020 by Endeavour Quill
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: 3.5/5

The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.

The invitation to Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.

But soon it transpires that the hedonism of Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.

Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal, and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamor of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything… even murder.

Extravagant, intoxicating, and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class, and dangerous obsession.

I have many feelings about this book. Most of them are possitive luckily so I'll start with them. I loved loved loved looooved the era and setting. 1911, New York City, Coney Island. It can't get any better than that for me. I absolutely love reading about the early 1900's. And I thought that the author really captured the essence of it, especially the contrasting differences of the often corrupt ruling class versus the much lower classes. She really wrote that splendidly.

Although overall not the most likable character, I did enjoy reading about Peggy Batternberg, a 20 year-old heiress, for the most part. She was kinda the misfit of the family, prefering to work at a bookstore. Which is something I can totally understand, of course. And I've always been a sucker for misfit characters. In the story she was basically forced to leave her bookstore job and spend the summer with her family at a hotel near the beach. She agrees so it, but reluctantly so. Once at the hotel, dead women are found on the beach and Peggy unwittingly becomes involved in it all when the man she falls for gets arrested for the murders.

Now the not so good things. I really did enjoy the story for the most part but the last 40% or so were a little less interesting to me. I liked reading about Peggy, but sometimes I also wanted to strangle her for her lack of communication, especially towards her sister Lydia. Also towards the end the story became quite tangled too much. A lot at once seemed to be happening, maybe a little too much and my attention was getting a little lost in it all. I had wished that the identity of the killer had been more of a surprise. I wanted it to be someone unexpected but it wasn't unfortunately. I also was a little disappointed by the ending in general, I must say. 

But again I want to point out that for most of the book I was really into the story and enjoyed the various characters and of course the setting of Coney Island was very magical indeed. I also thought that a lot of the topics in the book are very relevant. For example the prejudice against immigrants was a big theme in this book and obviously that's still relevant to today time and age. I just wanted to mention this because I think it's something really important. So overall this book was good but not quite good enough for me to give it four stars. I've kind of been going back and forth about the rating but now I've settled on 3.5/5

About the author:
Nancy Bilyeau was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Michigan. She studied English literature and American history at the University of Michigan, earning a bachelor's degree, before moving to New York City to work in the magazine business. She was a staff editor at Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Good Housekeeping and InStyle.

In 2010 she sold her first novel, The Crown, to the Touchstone imprint of Simon & Schuster. A thriller set in Tudor England, it was an Oprah magazine pick and nominated for the Crime Writers Association's Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award. She wrote two more books featuring the same main character, a Dominican novice named Joanna Stafford.

With her fourth novel, a standalone thriller set in the 18th century art world titled The Blue, she told a story of espionage and obsession with the most beautiful color in the world. In creating Genevieve, the Huguenot artist who goes undercover in a porcelain factor, she drew on her own background. Nancy is descended French Huguenot Pierre Billiou, who came to what was then New Amsterdam in 1665 and built a stone house on Staten Island. It's the third oldest house in New York State.

Nancy is now turning her writing talent to creating novels set in the New York City of the past. For her fifth novel, Dreamland, she spent time in Coney Island and was assisted by the staff at the Coney Island Museum. She also did research at the New York Public Library, the New York Historical Society, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Brooklyn Historical Society.

Her novella, The Ghost of Madison Avenue, is also set in the New York City of the 1910s, with an Irish American widow who solves a mystery at J.P. Morgan's sumptuous private library.
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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Review: Credence by Penelope Douglas

Title: Credence
Author: Penelope Douglas
Publication: January 13th 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Purchase it on: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Douglas, comes a new standalone!

Three of them, one of her, and a remote cabin in the woods. Let the hot, winter nights ensue...

Tiernan de Haas doesn't care about anything anymore. The only child of a film producer and his starlet wife, she's grown up with wealth and privilege but not love or guidance. Shipped off to boarding schools from an early age, it was still impossible to escape the loneliness and carve out a life of her own. The shadow of her parents' fame followed her everywhere.

And when they suddenly pass away, she knows she should be devastated. But has anything really changed? She's always been alone, hasn't she?

Jake Van der Berg, her father's stepbrother and her only living relative, assumes guardianship of Tiernan who is still two months shy of eighteen. Sent to live with him and his two sons, Noah and Kaleb, in the mountains of Colorado, Tiernan soon learns that these men now have a say in what she chooses to care and not care about anymore.

As the three of them take her under their wing, teach her to work and survive in the remote woods far away from the rest of the world, she slowly finds her place among them.

And as a part of them.

She also realizes that lines blur and rules become easy to break when no one else is watching.

One of them has her.

The other one wants her.

But he...

He's going to keep her.

*Credence is a full length, stand-alone romance suitable for readers 18+.

This is yet another recommendation from Gen (Whispering Chapters) that I bought right away. At this point I'm trusting her blindly with books recs because I haven't been disappointed yet. And while Credence wasn't quite a four star read for me I still highly enjoyed it and am so happy to have discovered this book and author, since it was my first book by Penelope Douglas.

This book was certainly something else. So hot, so steamy, so taboo. One of the kinkiest books I've ever read. It's definitely not gonna be everyone's cup of tea but for sure loved it. It also wasn't just a typical smutty read but it also had a lot of emotional appeal. It often made my heart hurt for all the main characters. So yeah lots of passion and emotion in this book.

The main characters were my favorite part of this book. The plot I was a little less enthusiastic about but oh the characters. Tiernan, Jake, Noah and Kaleb. They all had my heart. I loved the guys' bond with Tiernan so much. Tiernan made quite the journey and found herself in this book. Her growth was amazing. She was amazing! The guys were all great and super hot in their own ways but I gotta say my preference went out to Noah. Honestly, my heart just hurt for him mostly. He was precious.

Also, I only finished this book in two days, which is extremely fast for me with a 485 page book. But I'm also not surprised about this actually because I could hardly put my Kindle down and had to force myself to stop and finally go to bed. I also wish this was a series instead of a standalone because I just didn't want to say goodbye to these characters. The ending was obviously great and well done but I could've done without the epilogue. It was fine but for me it was necessary. 

If you like hot as hell, downright dirty taboo menage stories then Credence by Penelope Douglas is definitely a book you have to read!

About the author:
Penelope Douglas is a writer living in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to “just get the damn degree!” She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she HATED public administration. One night, she told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later she was married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, The 100, and she shops at Target almost daily.
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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Book Blitz: Silent Threat by Jeff Gunhus + Giveaway (US only)

Silent Threat
Jeff Gunhus
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: December 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Thriller

A father charged with treason. A daughter sent to kill him. A shocking conspiracy that changes all the rules of the spy game for a new generation . . .

With more than a dozen kills under her belt, ex-Marine Mara Roberts is one of the Agency’s most reliable assassins. But her latest target—a convicted traitor about to be released from prison—is different than her other marks. He’s a former agent who betrayed his country. He’s responsible for the death of Mara’s mother. And he happens to be Mara’s father . . .

Scott Roberts knows that his daughter was sent to kill him. He realizes he has only one chance to change her mind, to convince her that he’s been framed for treason—and that every member of their family are pawns to be sacrificed, one by one. Mara isn’t sure she can trust her father. He is a master of manipulation, as ruthless as he is resourceful. But when her nephew is abducted, she agrees to follow Scott’s lead and expose the global elites who are pulling the strings. But first, they must infiltrate the highest levels of power. Then, they must attempt the unthinkable: Kidnap the President of the United States . . .

“A brilliantly written thriller. Breakneck twists, political intrigue and bristling action scenes—Jeff Gunhus writes with a gripping and gritty authority.”
—Simon Gervais, author of Hunt Them Down

Mara Roberts knew the Agency would try to kill her father the day he got out of prison, she just didn’t expect they’d ask her be the one to do it.
Before she received the assignment, she would have bet even money he would survive whatever welcome party the CIA had planned for him. Too bad his odds had migrated down to zero now that the job was hers.
She sat in her rented Range Rover, waves of Oklahoma heat shimmering off the parking lot blacktop, bending the prison chain link fence into wavering lines. Coils of concertina wire topped the walls, razor blade edges glistening in the sun, each loop perfectly spaced. Just like inside the walls of the Cimarron Correctional Facility — orderly but lethal.
Behind the security gate was a low-slung building with a copper overhang at the entrance. More like a school administration office than a prison. The schematics she’d studied revealed the facility extended back into eight separate cell blocks. Each one housed more dangerous criminals than the previous one. She hoped they’d put her dad in the worst of the lot.
The car idled, both for the AC and in case she needed to adjust her plans and leave in a hurry. The few guards she saw moved slow and had dark sweat pits spreading under their arms and on their backs. She pegged them as complacent. Washed up. Bored. Just like she wanted. As she analyzed the prison’s weaknesses, she couldn’t help but wonder whether her dad had changed much since she’d seen him last.
Sure, he was past fifty now and, according to the photos in the briefing, finally starting to show his age. Wrinkles at his eyes. A close scalp shave, the kind favored by men fighting a losing battle with their hairline. He was still in shape, though. Surveillance camera footage showed a recent fist fight he’d had on the yard, started by some con paid off by the Agency. Obviously a new guy. Anyone who’d been there longer than knew not to mess with the quiet guy with the broad shoulders.
The video showed her dad could still throw a punch, but the couple of jabs he took to his face also showed he’d lost a step or two. Yet, the old man still had skills. And she wasn’t about to underestimate her target. Hell, four years on the run and the last two months in prison might have even toughened the bastard up. If that was even possible. She wasn’t sure it was.
A routine face recognition search through the US prison system by a junior analyst had turned him up. As she read the report, it made her laugh that assets all over the world were searching for him, and there he was serving time under an alias for manslaughter. Seems he took exception to a group of five young men roughing up a prostitute. Four of them ended up with broken bones and long hospital stays. The fifth wasn’t going to harass anyone ever again. It was just like her dad to risk blowing his cover to save someone. Typical Boy Scout bullshit.
She’d been raised on stories about him. Even in her macho world of counter-intelligence they seemed outlandish. Insanely risky missions. Many of them unsanctioned. Succeeding against insurmountable odds. Like stuff out of bad action movies, and yet people swore to her the stories were true, that they’d seen him do these things with their own eyes.
But they always whispered about him, as if just talking about the man and his exploits might suck them into the same darkness into which he disappeared.
Still, even with what had happened, she always heard a grudging admiration as they told her about the exploits of the great Scott Francis Roberts, the father she barely knew. The man she was about to kill.

Author Bio:
Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.
After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel or on


Monday, January 13, 2020

Review: The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson

Title: The Odyssey
Author: Homer

Translator: Emily Wilson
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Genre: Classics, Poetry
Rating: 4/5

Composed at the rosy-fingered dawn of world literature almost three millennia ago, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home.

This fresh, authoritative translation captures the beauty of this ancient poem as well as the drama of its narrative. Its characters are unforgettable, none more so than the "complicated" hero himself, a man of many disguises, many tricks, and many moods, who emerges in this version as a more fully rounded human being than ever before.

Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, Emily Wilson's Odyssey sings with a voice that echoes Homer's music; matching the number of lines in the Greek original, the poem sails along at Homer's swift, smooth pace.

This is my first time reading The Odyssey by Homer but it was an instant favorite of mine. I have to say this isn't really a surprise to me because I was fairly sure I would enjoy reading the epic. This particuar translation by Emily Wilson came recommended a lot by Liv on the Let's Talk About Myth, Baby! podcast (which is one of my top favorite podcasts so you really must check it out!) so I knew I needed to get my hands on it. I pined for it all year and I finally got it as a Christmas present so that was really awesome and I didn't hesitate to start reading.

As for the book, it is truly beautiful inside and out. The cover on its own is one of my favorites and I loooove the many maps inside as well. I'm a sucker for maps in books. If you're planning to read this edition I would also highly recommend you to read the introduction and translator's note because I found both were very interesting to read. I would say it's equally as fascinating as the epic poem itself even.

I know the Iliad comes actually first but I don't have a copy of that so if anyone knows of any translations (preferably by a woman) that are good feel free to recommend them to me. I would appreciate it very much! 

About Homer:
In the Western classical tradition, Homer (Greek: Όμηρος) is considered the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest of ancient Greek epic poets. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.

When he lived is unknown. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived 400 years before his own time, which would place him at around 850 BCE, while other ancient sources claim that he lived much nearer to the supposed time of the Trojan War, in the early 12th century BCE. Most modern researchers place Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BCE.

The formative influence of the Homeric epics in shaping Greek culture was widely recognized, and Homer was described as the teacher of Greece. Homer's works, which are about fifty percent speeches, provided models in persuasive speaking and writing that were emulated throughout the ancient and medieval Greek worlds. Fragments of Homer account for nearly half of all identifiable Greek literary papyrus finds.

About Emily Wilson:
Emily Wilson is the College for Women Class of 1963 Term Professor in the Humanities, professor of Classical Studies, and graduate chair of the Program in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. Wilson attended Oxford University (Balliol College B.A. and Corpus Christi College M.Phil.) and Yale University (Ph.D.). In 2006, she was named a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome in Renaissance & Early Modern scholarship and in 2019 she was named a MacArthur Fellow. She lives in Philadelphia with her three daughters and three cats.

In November 2017, Wyatt Mason profiled Professor Wilson in The New York Times Magazine. "When I first read these lines early this summer in The Paris Review, which published an excerpt, I was floored. I’d never read an “Odyssey” that sounded like this. It had such directness, the lines feeling not as if they were being fed into iambic pentameter because of some strategic decision but because the meter was a natural mode for its speaker."

Follow Professor Wilson on Twitter @EmilyRCWilson. Professor Wilson frequently tweets about the Odyssey, translation, and her cats.
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Thursday, January 9, 2020

Review: Beyond The Moon by Catherine Taylor

Title: Beyond The Moon
Author: Catherine Taylor
Publication: June 26th 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: 3/5

Outlander meets Birdsong is this haunting debut timeslip novel, where a strange twist of fate connects a British soldier fighting in the First World War and a young woman living in modern-day England a century later.

*Shortlisted for the Eharmony/Orion Write Your Own Love Story Prize 2018/19

"The characterization is spot-on, as is the historical time-line. Beyond the Moon is not only a page-turner but an intelligent appraisal of medicine, psychology and mental illness over the years. Historical fantasy at its very best." — Historical Novel Society"

"A poignant and stirring love story... Taylor’s accomplished, genre-bending book succeeds as a WW1 historical novel and a beguiling, time travel romance... The sharply written narrative deftly moves back and forth between the past and present." — Kirkus Reviews

A time travel romance, yet so much more than that. It is also an unflinching portrait of the horrors of war, and a look at the torturous extremes a human soul can endure. It is a sonnet to the transformative power of love, even as it is also a criticism of the futility and pointless destructiveness of war." — Shaylin Gandhi, author of By The Light of Embers.

In 1916 1st Lieutenant Robert Lovett is a patient at Coldbrook Hall military hospital in Sussex, England. A gifted artist, he’s been wounded fighting in the Great War. Shell shocked and suffering from hysterical blindness he can no longer see his own face, let alone paint, and life seems increasingly hopeless.

A century later in 2017, medical student Louisa Casson has just lost her beloved grandmother – her only family. Heartbroken, she drowns her sorrows in alcohol on the South Downs cliffs – only to fall accidentally part-way down. Doctors fear she may have attempted suicide, and Louisa finds herself involuntarily admitted to Coldbrook Hall – now a psychiatric hospital, an unfriendly and chaotic place.

Then one day, while secretly exploring the old Victorian hospital’s ruined, abandoned wing, Louisa hears a voice calling for help, and stumbles across a dark, old-fashioned hospital room. Inside, lying on the floor, is a mysterious, sightless young man, who tells her he was hurt at the Battle of the Somme, a WW1 battle a century ago. And that his name is Lieutenant Robert Lovett…

Two people, two battles: one against the invading Germans on the battlefields of 1916 France, the other against a substandard, uncaring mental health facility in modern-day England. Two journeys begun a century apart, but somehow destined to coincide - and become one desperate struggle to be together.

Part WW1 historical fiction, part timeslip love story - and at the same time a meditation on the themes of war, mental illness, identity and art - Beyond The Moon sweeps the reader on an unforgettable journey through time. An intelligent read, perfect for book clubs.

For fans of Diana Gabaldon, Amy Harmon, Beatriz Williams, Kate Quinn, Kristin Hannah, Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley and Paullina Simons.

*NB This novel contains graphic descriptions of war violence and injuries, as well as profanity and mild sex.

My feelings about this book are a bit mixed. On the one hand it was an entertaining read that I enjoyed and read pretty quickly but on the other hand it wasn't the best book I've read either. It definitely had a unique factor that I appreciated because I haven't read any book like it and at the same time some things in the story were a bit far-fetched and because of that I lost my interest a bit, especially towards the end. 

I'll start with the things I enjoyed the most. I really enjoyed the chapters taking place in World War I. It's a terrible but fascinating era and as a history buff I can't help but be most drawn to those chapters, especially when it was about the warfare. I thought Catherine Taylor did an excellent job describing it all. The writing of that was really great. I also enjoyed the chapters in the point of view of Lieutenant Robert Lovett, the soldier and artist. I really liked reading about him. Mostly because those chapters took place in the past, and also because he was just a great character. I loved him.

This doesn't mean I didn't like Louise's chapters but I just didn't feel as connected with her as I did with Robert. I wasn't a fan of the dialogue in the book, either. The descriptions and everything were very good to read but when it came to the dialogue it was a whole lot less enjoyable to me. Also, I didn't quite believe the romance. It went a bit fast for my taste so there definitely was a case of insta-love and I'm more of a slow-burn romance fan. It was all a bit questionable when it came to Louise and Robert as being in love.

So to sum it all up... the writing, the setting and my overall feelings about this book are good. There were just those little things that bothered me and partly stopped me from fully enjoying the story. 

About the author:
I was born and grew up on the small island of Guernsey, one of the British Channel Islands in the English Channel. My mother was a professional landscape artist, so I grew up in an environment where it was a very normal thing to want to make a living from your art. Which is just as well, because I’m someone who always knew she wanted to be a writer, and if I’d had parents who’d harboured hopes of me becoming a tax accountant or a corporate lawyer, they’d have been sorely disappointed.
Read more about her on
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