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Thoughts | My Current Binge Read and the State of the Review Pile

Well, hi there. It's been . . . it's been awhile, hasn't it? I'm sitting here gazing at the tower of books I have to review (or finish reviews on), and I'm not gonna lie. It's gotten a little on top of me. The thing is, I definitely want to review each one of them. Because I've had some spectacular reading this year, guys. Really spectacular. I want to share my thoughts. And this is still my favorite place to do so. It will probably always be. All the other formats seem too limited, too awkwardly shaped, for the size of my thoughts. So. I'll keep trucking. More reviews to come before the end of the year. Promise.

For now, I wanted to just give you a heads up on the full-fledged binge I've fallen into with my discovery of Mariana Zapata's novels. She writes contemporary, frequently sports-themed (yay!) stories set in Texas, with strong central romances of the slowest of slow burn varieties. Like, whoa do these couples take their time working th…
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Bel Canto Trailer

When the lights went off the accompanist kissed her. Maybe he had been turning towards her just before it was completely dark, maybe he was lifting his hands. There must have been some movement, a gesture, because every person in the living room would later remember a kiss.Did you know they were making a film adaptation of Ann Patchett's exquisite novel Bel Canto? I had no idea. And it releases September 14th! I am experiencing many feelings on the matter. My initial reaction is, of course I will see it. I love the book so much. It is beautiful and brutal. But on the heels of that gut reaction is the thought that the beauty does truly reside in Patchett's wordsmithing. So it's possible I'm a touch wary of experiencing this particular story without the bolstering presence of her words (or without Ang Lee at the helm). The trailer makes it slightly difficult to get a real sense for the quality of the production. Though I do love Julianne Moore. Your thoughts?

Bibliocrack Review | Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

No joke, I'm a little shaky right now. I just finished a headlong binge―scratch that, I just paused three books into a headlong binge of Robert Galbraith's (aka J.K. Rowling's) Cormoran Strike crime series. I say paused because I downed the first three books back to back to back, and the fourth book is due out September 18th. How is that for lucky?? I never get that lucky with my reading timing! And even so. I'm still severely uncertain of my ability to actually survive until Lethal Whitecomes out. Because this series grabbed me by the throat and has not let go. From the opening prologue to The Cuckoo's Calling, I was wide-eyed and ravenous. I felt positively giddy to be reading a series by Rowling again. After all this time. I couldn't stop myself long to enough to write up true reviews of the first two books, but given the imposed wait for book four, I felt I had to talk about Career of Evil, the third book in the series. And yes, many of you have kept curre…

Giveaway | Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven + Fantasy Romance Starter Kit

Phoenix Unbound—the first book in Grace Draven's new Fallen Empire series—releases from Ace Trade Paperback on September 25th. In honor of the release, Penguin Random House is celebrating with a giveaway that features not only an ARC of Phoenix Unbound but also a Fantasy Romance Starter Kit made up of other first-in-series romantic fantasy books by Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Nalini Singh, Anne Bishop, and Chloe Neill. Guys, this includes the first Kate Daniels and Alpha & Omega books. Two of my very favorites. I love the whole idea! Just click here to enter the sweepstakes giveaway.

PHOENIX UNBOUND by GRACE DRAVEN
Ace Trade Paperback | September 25, 2018

A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for …

Review | The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

I think this is (shamefully) the first Tessa Dare book I've reviewed on the site. I believe I initially read a couple of her Spindle Cove books awhile back and didn't really land upon the "right" one for me. Then I gave Romancing the Dukea try and found it to be ridiculously charming. The rest of the books in that series weren't quite my cuppa, but that first one was so fun that I went back and found the right Spindle Cove novel for me (Any Duchess Will Do, in case you're interested; ugh, I love that book). Which brings me to The Governess Game, whichis a delight from start to finish. That's the wonderful thing about books by talented and prolific authors. They're not all necessarily going to work for you, but it is so lovely reading your way through as time and whims allow and finding the ones that are yours.

Alexandra Mountbatten tells time. That is to say, she sets clocks. For a living. Carting her instruments from aristocratic house to aristocrat…

Review | The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan

I am almost always up for a sequel. You know this about me. But you also know how there are just some books that are so right a sequel doesn't even enter your head? And it's not necessarily even that things are tied up neatly at the end, it's that the book as a singular entity is . . . whole. On a fundamental level. That is how I felt about The Cafe by the Sea. I finished it completely happy with the world and completely unaware that a sequel was not only in the works, but had already been published just a few short weeks prior. And it's not that I didn't immediately hightail it to the bookstore the moment I found out (because I did), it's that every footstep was laced with fear. Because a sequel meant the potential for a great deal of pain. A sequel meant . . . things could go horribly wrong and, because I loved these characters so very much, I would have to sit by and witness it. But enough about my neuroses. On to the tale!

A word of warning: Beyond this poi…

Review | Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

I've had a good feeling about Spinning Silverever since I first heard it would be a thing. That might sound a touch ubiquitous, because basically everyone I know has been on absolute tenterhooks waiting for its release from the moment they finished Uprooted. The thing is, I read Uprooted back when it came out and the hype was huge. And the writing was truly beautiful, beautiful in a timeless way. Naomi Novik is a consummate world builder and a frightfully skilled storyteller. That combined with her homage to Robin McKinley's Luthe (and Damar in general) guaranteed I would be picking up her next volume. But it's worth stating that I was comparatively underwhelmed by the characterization in Uprooted. A persistent, somewhat chilly chasm separated me from them emotionally. And so a measure of apprehension did color my anticipation for her next standalone fairy tale retelling. However. That good feeling I mentioned earlier? It lingered invitingly. Somehow, I just knew this one…