ARC Review: A Hidden Hope by Laura Ambrose // a cute f/f romance between former critique partners turned enemies

I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the author for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 


Summary: Natalie and El used to be writing critique partners, sharing their work chapter by chapter. Falling in love off-page was like the next part of the story. But after a huge falling out, three years have passed in bitter silence.

When they both appear at a science fiction convention in London, Natalie, a struggling writer, wants nothing to do with El, the hot debut novelist who sold her book at auction under a male pseudonym. But over the weekend, ignoring each other–and their attraction–proves impossible, not least because they have several panels together. Can El hope to atone for the mistakes of their past, and is Natalie willing to let hope fly?

Add on Goodreads

book review - pink


This was a fun f/f romance about former critique partners turned lovers turned enemies turned lovers again (basically one of my favorite romantic tropes ever).

Natalie and El meet again at a book convention in London, three years after their falling out that never got a closure, and they have the chance to fix the past between one panel and another.

It was a fun dip into the author/publishing world (I know we bookworms are always curious about that) and I really liked both main characters. They’re definitely flawed and that’s what made them interesting, but most importantly they both acknowledged what was and what wasn’t working in their relationship and in themselves and tried to work through it. This is a novella so it all had to be done pretty quickly, but the pace worked for me.

You can get the free prequel A Frozen Night if you sign up for the author’s newsletter. I’d recommend maybe reading it after the novella instead of before, but it doesn’t really matter.

If you like f/f romance and a setting that’s intriguing to us bookworms (or if you’re an author yourself) I definitely recommend picking this book up!

TWs: mention of death of a parent, grief

ARC Review: Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert // me, loving a paranormal romance?? more likely than you think

I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the author for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 


Summary: This Halloween, love bites back… hard.

Chastity Adofo knows a monster when she sees one. As soon as Luke Anthony wanders into her family’s coffee shop, she recognises the evil lurking beneath his charming smile and fantastic arse. The handsome werewolf is determined to have her—but she’s determined to cut out his heart.

Little does she know, Luke’s plans for her are far more pleasurable than murder. And when the full moon rises, all bets are off…

Warning: Mating the Huntress is 30,000+ words of red-hot, Halloween-themed romance. This novella contains one flirtatious, cursed creature of the night, one badass, knife-happy heroine, and forbidden lust at first sight. Please read responsibly!

Add on Goodreads

book review - pink


Honestly?? Leave it to Talia Hibbert to write a romance between a werewolf and a human and make me fall for it hard.

Y’all know paranormal romance isn’t my cup of tea but I trust Talia with my life and she didn’t disappoint.

So, this book is about Chastity, a Black fat woman from a family of werewolves hunters, who’s been forbidden to hunt since birth because of a prophecy. But her instincts are still those of a huntress, and she knows that the new customer at the cafe where she works is not a human but a werewolf. So she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and prove herself to her family, but things don’t go as planned when the werewolf doesn’t hurt her and is instead kind to her and wants to please her in every way possible.

This is a novella of a little bit more than 100 pages in its physical copy I believe, and yet both main characters were developed so well. The insta-lust is definitely explained and it makes sense in-universe so it wasn’t a turnoff at all. I also loved how awkwardly sweet Luke was at the beginning when he was trying to ask Chas out, honestly how can you not love a grumpy, artsy werewolf who has learned to control his violent instincts and is only trying to be with his mate?

Yes, after the first two times the word mate was used I managed to stop cringing and actually enjoyed this aspect too. Key – not overusing it, which Talia didn’t. Also, she did everything right. Consent was always there, the fact that Chas is his mate didn’t make him feel entitled to anything she might not have wanted to do, and everything that happened between them was in human form.

I also loved how low on external conflict this was, and the fact that the family was so open about the whole werewolf thing. It made me enjoy the romance without being worried about anything else coming up.

This also takes place around Halloween so if you’re into that and into romance this is definitely something you should consider reading around this time of the year. I 100% recommend it.

Release Blitz: Pisces Hooks Taurus (Signs of Love #4) by Anyta Sunday

Publisher: Anyta Sunday (self published)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): October 16, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): 69000 words / 285 pages

Order now

Check out my review (spoiler: I gave it 5/5 stars)


Book synopsis:

It’s a time for searching, and a time for finding, Pisces: keep casting your line and you will hook what you’re looking for.

Zane has it all planned out: land the perfect Meet Cute, fall in love, and live happily ever after.

Should be simple enough if he put his mind to it. A little creativity and some thinking outside of the box, and voila, he’d be married to the woman of his dreams.

It would be perfect.

And it would be before his visa ran out.

But why are his feelings running wild now that the pressure’s on? Why is his picture-perfect plan turning into a muddled mess of morphed metaphors he can’t make sense of anymore?

Just as well he’s met an English professor to help. And even though their first meet is anything but cute, this down-to-earth teacher may just be the realist Zane needs to ground him and give him a shot at love after all.

Don’t cast your line too wide, Pisces. Your perfect catch may already have bitten.

~ – ~ – ~

Pisces Hooks Taurus (Signs of Love #4) is an MM opposites-attract romantic comedy featuring an unapologetic romantic and a broken realist.

More wit, banter and bad puns – and even more heart-stopping slow burn!

Can be read as a standalone.

Tropes: friends-to-lovers, slow burn, will-they-or-won’t-they

Genre: New Adult, light-hearted contemporary gay romance

Pisces Hooks Taurus 1


“What is that?”

Beckett’s mum and guests had left, and Beckett had brought Zane and his worldly belongings into an exposed-beam attic with a chain-pull light.

Zane set his box and suitcase against a slanted wall. The small, empty space contained a tiny window, a chest of drawers, and a low futon. Dust spokes glittered under the swaying light.

Beckett pointed at Zane’s box, one brow arched.

Zane laid the bearskin rug on the floor and straightened out the kinks. Beckett gaped at the bear poised as if to eat his ankle.

“I thought it was romantic,” Zane said with a sigh. He rested back on his heels, soft fur against his knees. “Now I’m kinda stuck with the beast.”

“Tough cross to bear.”

Zane grinned. “What’s with the word-wittage, anyway?”

“Word-wittage. Nice alliteration. I like playing with words.” Beckett sidestepped the bear and gestured around the attic. “The wooden slats are creaky, the bathroom is back down the ladder. My sister is returning from Europe Thursday, staying here until she finds her own place. The couch is too small for you, so . . . .”

“I’m totally cool to bunk with you.”

Beckett swept a hand through his hair, gaze darting toward the bed, the window. “There’ll be no bunking.”

Understood. He had a few days to find another accommodation—or convince Beckett that bunking could be fun.

Zane pulled his drawing tablet and stylus from their cushioned compartment. “Did you want to head to Chiffon with your friends? Whatever Chiffon is.”

“It’s a bar where we professors drink pinot noir and pontificate on the pleasures of punning.”

“Um . . . .”

“It’s a pretentious penis party.”

Zane turned around, armed with the supplies he needed to finish—or fix—the comic. “Sounds like a . . . picnic?”

The corners of Beckett’s mouth pulled up. Zane dropped the electronics to the bed and crossed over to the professor.

He tapped a finger against the wine stain at the side of Beckett’s blazer lapel. “Proof that you snorted your wine while we texted? I’ll have it dry-cleaned, if you’d like?”

“It’s not your fault. I’ll sort it out. Use it as an excuse to buy another one.”

Zane caught a whiff of Beckett’s clean scent with a subtle spicing of aftershave. Blue eyes met his, curious and hesitant.

A fat, black spider bungee-jumped from the beam above them and dangled in Zane’s face. He dropped the fingers that had lingered on Beckett’s chest and scrambled to the wall.

“Does a big, strapping man like you need me to remove the tiny bastard?”

“That’s a big, strapping yes.”

A few precise movements later, Beckett trapped the hairy beast in his hands. Insane yet heroic.

The bed squealed as Beckett kneeled on it. Zane crawled next to him, opened the window, and beat a quick retreat as Beckett set the spider free. “The sheets are freshly changed, and you can help yourself to breakfast.”

Fresh bed and breakfast? Lovely. But Zane was more concerned about suicidal spiders. He studied the ceiling with a shudder. “Do you think there are more?”

The window clapped shut, sealing off the cool breeze. “Would you feel better sleeping with my cat?”

Zane’s attention pivoted to Beckett’s hands fitting the lock. Long-fingered, deft, sure. “I’d feel better sleeping with you.”

Beckett let out a strangled sound, swung off the bed, and zipped to the ladder. “Good night, Zane,” he said, and dropped out of sight.

Zane called after him. “Fine, I’ll take the cat.”

Pisces Hooks Taurus 2

About Anyta Sunday:


A bit about me: I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy.

My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, and Thai.

Connect with Anyta:

Author website:

Author newsletter signup:




Giveaway: Win an e-book set of 3 Signs of Love books: Leo Loves Aries, Scorpio Hates Virgo, and Gemini Keeps Capricorn or a reader’s choice of back catalog e-book by Anyta Sunday


ARC Review: Pisces Hooks Taurus by Anyta Sunday // one of the funniest opposite attract romantic comedies I’ve read

I was sent this book as an advanced copy for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 



It’s a time for searching, and a time for finding, Pisces: keep casting your line and you will hook what you’re looking for.

Zane has it all planned out: land the perfect Meet Cute, fall in love, and live happily ever after.
Should be simple enough if he put his mind to it. A little creativity and some thinking outside of the box, and voila, he’d be married to the woman of his dreams.
It would be perfect.
And it would be before his visa ran out.

But why are his feelings running wild now that the pressure’s on? Why is his picture-perfect plan turning into a muddled mess of morphed metaphors he can’t make sense of anymore?

Just as well he’s met an English professor to help. And even though their first meet is anything but cute, this down-to-earth teacher may just be the realist Zane needs to ground him and give him a shot at love after all.

Don’t cast your line too wide, Pisces. Your perfect catch may already have bitten.

~ – ~ – ~

Pisces Hooks Taurus (Signs of Love #4) is an MM opposites-attract romantic comedy featuring an unapologetic romantic and a broken realist.
More wit, banter and bad puns – and even more heart-stopping slow burn!
Can be read as a standalone.

Release date: October, 16th

Add on Goodreads

book review - pink


Pisces Hooks Taurus is a book you can’t help falling in love with.

The story is about Zane who’s from New Zealand and is due to leave the US in a month unless he marries an US citizen, which he fully intends to do. Except he’s convinced he will marry for love and that will be it. When he’s kicked out of his shared flat he manages to secure himself a place to stay until the end of the month thanks to his brother, and his roommate is Beckett, a professor who’s basically Zane’s opposite.

Zane and Beckett’s relationship starts as hilariously cute and it keeps making you laugh and going aww throughout the book. I mean, I’ve read a lot of Anyta Sunday’s books by now and they never fail to make me laugh so this is really no surprise. I just can’t get over the feeling of careless joy while reading this. It made me feel like Zane, naïve and sweet and caring, and as someone who is much more similar to Beckett, that meant so much to me because I was able to enjoy things in an easy way, without overthinking and second-guessing everything.

I also liked that Zane is just…an average person. He’s not the (conventionally) smartest, he dropped out of high school, he’s very naïve but is willing to learn and put himself out there, and I love that Beckett helps making him feel like he can achieve what he wants despite what society tells him.

Zane is a comic artist and I really liked this aspect because it gave the book a subplot about art and creativity that was interesting to see. He initially works for a writer (as in he only illustrates what the artist tells him to, and anything he adds to the comic by himself is kind of frowned upon by the writer, who basically leaves him no artistic freedom) and later toys with the idea of creating his own comic. I loved that he didn’t magically come up with an amazing outline for his own comic but Beckett, who teaches creative writing, helped him see all the things he could improve and gently showed him towards the right direction without taking his creativity away.

As for Beckett’s character development, I loved it so much. He’s divorced and has given up illusions about love and marriage, so that was interesting to see because it was yet another aspect in which he and Zane were polar opposites.

As for the relationship itself, I loved how low on conflict it was. Yes, there is some conflict because of external causes but mostly it’s driven by Zane not recognizing his own feelings and stuff. I mean, this book is hilarious but also slow burn as fuck.

Other things worth mentioning is that there’s a little bit of an age gap (Zane is 23, Beckett is 30) and that Zane is demisexual (although the word isn’t actually used in canon, which I wish it was, but I suppose he isn’t aware of it – however, the author said she wrote him as demi and I definitely read him that way and ownvoices reviewers did too).

The book is the fourth in the Signs of Love series but it can definitely be read as a standalone. However I do recommend reading the rest of the series either before or after you read this one. There were some adorable cameos from the previous books (Jamie and Theo!!!) as well as from the Love Letters series (seriously go read that series too!), which was super surprising and filled me with so much joy.

Preorder and read this book, you won’t regret it.

Interview with Tara Gilboy, author of “Unwritten” (out on October 16th)

I was lucky enough to have been approved for an ARC of Unwritten by Tara Gilboy, a middle grade novel about a girl who has been taken out of a story into our real world and is trying to find out more about the world she comes from and especially about the author who wrote her in the story in the first place.

What I like about “books about books” is that there’s a lot of potential for reflections about fiction, about characters’ agency, about why we read and why we write stories. This book did just that, on top of an intriguing and sometimes a little dark plot.

I want to thank author Tara Gilboy so much for agreeing to this interview, and thank you to Jolly Fish Press for sending me the ARC through Netgalley!


Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Gracie Freeman is living a normal life, but she is haunted by the fact that she is actually a character from a story, an unpublished fairy tale she’s never read. When she was a baby, her parents learned that she was supposed to die in the story, and with the help of a magic book, took her out of the story, and into the outside world, where she could be safe.

But Gracie longs to know what the story says about her. Despite her mother’s warnings, Gracie seeks out the story’s author, setting in motion a chain of events that draws herself, her mother, and other former storybook characters back into the forgotten tale. Inside the story, Gracie struggles to navigate the blurred boundary between who she really is and the surprising things the author wrote about her. As the story moves toward its deadly climax, Gracie realizes she’ll have to face a dark truth and figure out her own fairy tale ending.


Silvia: How would you pitch your story to someone who hasn’t read the blurb?

Tara Gilboy: Thank you so much for having me today! Unwritten is a middle grade novel about a girl who lives in the real world but is actually a fairy tale character whose parents took her out of the story-world when she was a baby, so she could escape the fate of what was written about her. When she seeks out the story’s author, that fate – and the story’s villain — soon catch up with her.

S: Tell us a little bit about the main characters of Unwritten.

TG: The main character of Unwritten is Gracie, and she is a flawed character, which is perhaps why I love her so much. She can be stubborn, and she has a bit of a temper, but she’s also passionate and determined. When her mom refuses to tell her about the story written about her, she takes matters into her own hands. Walter is also a character from the story Gracie was born in. He is quieter than Gracie, and a bit kinder and more insightful, but he can also be stubborn in his own way. He’s less willing to believe in the “magic” of the story world, and is always looking for a scientific explanation. But I think he helps keep Gracie grounded. Both characters are fiercely loyal to one another.

S: What inspired you to write “a story within a story”, so to speak?

TG: You know, it’s interesting, because the idea for this novel didn’t start with it being a “story within a story.” It started with the idea of being on the run from someone. I kept having this recurring dream about being forced to flee in the middle of the night, and packing all my things in the car before some sort of supernatural entity caught up with me. I started playing around with this idea and doing some freewriting about shaping it into a story. What would these characters be running from? That idea kind of gradually evolved into the “story within a story,” which quickly became much more complicated than I had anticipated, with questions about fate and free will. I always smile to myself when readers mention the book being short and simple because there were many, many drafts that were extremely long and confusing while I figured this stuff out.

S: This is your debut. Have you always wanted to become a writer?

TG: Oh, yes, for as long as I can remember. I’ve wanted to write pretty much since I learned to read, and I still have some of the stories I wrote in elementary school. My mom recently gave me a letter I wrote to a publisher when I was in third grade, asking if I could write books for their series. (Apparently she never mailed it!) Unfortunately, until I was in my twenties, I had never actually met a writer, and so writing started to seem like this kind of “impossible dream.” Then in college, I took some creative writing classes, published a couple short stories, and worked as an editor at a literary journal, and I realized: “Hey, I can really do this!”

S: Do your characters sometimes take their destiny on their own hands or do you always have complete control over what you write?

TG: Oh my goodness, my characters ALWAYS take their destiny in their own hands. I am horrible at outlining because if I plan out everything in the story ahead of time, when I sit down to write, everything feels a bit “forced,” as if I am trying to make my characters do things that don’t feel natural for them. I actually just wrote a scene the other day, where at the end of it, a character had done something that took me completely by surprise, and when I had finished the scene, I kind of sat there thinking “Wow. I had no idea that was going to happen when I sat down to write.” But it took the story in a new and wonderful direction I had not anticipated, and was much better than what I had initially planned.

S: What are your favorite stories to read about? How do they inspire you in your own work?

TG: I feel like this changes all the time depending on my mood. Sometimes I go through periods where I am reading a lot of historical fiction, or ghost stories, or classics, or fantasy…. One thing that is consistent, though, is that middle grade and young adult are my absolute favorite books to read – I rarely read adult novels anymore. I feel like in middle grade and young adult novels, the stories are condensed into their essential elements – there’s no room to let the story digress and go off on tangents – so the focus is on telling a good story, which is something that is really important to me. I always start off my writing day by reading: reading books I love keeps me inspired. I’m working on another fantasy right now and reading a lot of Harry Potter to keep myself inspired. I think JK Rowling is a genius at both developing character and creating exciting plots.

S: How did your experiences as a writer influence you when writing the character of Gertrude Winters?

TG: Gertrude’s character is interesting to me because I was so reluctant to bring her into the book in a major way, and I’m not sure why. My critique partners kept telling me in draft after draft that I needed to reveal more of who she is and explain why she had written the story she did. I think in the initial drafts, I really didn’t know why Gertrude wrote the story, or perhaps I was hesitant to really start examining my own creative process through her. I think in some ways Gertrude’s writing process is really an exaggeration of the writing process of many writers. We all kind of “write behind our backs,” so to speak, where we draw on things in our own lives, or repeatedly explore themes that are important to us, sometimes subconsciously. My critique partners have pointed out that a lot of my work explores relationships between mothers and daughters, something that I never set out to do intentionally, but comes up again and again in my writing. Gertrude, I think, takes this tendency even further, basing her characters on people she knows, and drawing on her own experiences in a huge way as she shapes her stories. And, of course, one thing that I have in common with Gertrude is that I love writing villains – they are such interesting characters!

S: I think the way you talked about heroes and villains in this book was brilliant. What do you hope your young readers take away from it?

TG: Thank you so much! This idea of heroes and villains is something that evolved in later drafts, and it is SO important to me. I am so concerned lately by this kind of “call out culture” that is so prevalent on social media right now. Any time someone makes a mistake, or does or says something bad, that mistake can immediately be made public, and more and more, I’ve been seeing people labeled as either “good” or “bad,” without compassion or consideration for “why” the person might have done the things they did. Everyone makes mistakes – we don’t say or do the right things all the time, but the important thing is being able to learn from those mistakes, move on, and try to do better next time. People are so much more complex than the labels we ascribe to them. Heroes often do bad things, and villains are capable of doing good. I hope readers will be inspired from my book to offer compassion and forgiveness when others make mistakes, and consider the whole person, rather than simply the mistake.


Goodreads | Pre-order


ARC Review: Thrall by Avon Gale & Roan Parrish

I was sent this book as an advanced copy for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 


Summary: Dating Sucks & Love Bites 

Happy couple Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra have begun to garner national attention for their quirky New Orleans true-crime podcast, Shadowcast. When Lucy’s brother Harker disappears while researching the popular new dating app Thrall, they’re thrown into a real-life mystery. Aided by their social media expert, Arthur, and Harker’s professor, Van Helsing, they follow the trail, hoping to find Harker before it’s too late.

When their investigation crosses the path of a possible serial killer, the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur. And as they race against the app’s countdown clock, so does the line between friendship and love. What starts as a flirtatious rivalry between computer-savvy Arthur and techno-averse Van Helsing becomes much more, and Mina and Lucy’s relationship is tested in the fires of social media.

As they get down to the wire, the group discovers that nothing on their screens is as it seems—including their enemy.

A modern retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Add on Goodreads

book review - pink


Thrall is a novel that tries to be many things. Modern Dracula retelling, queer romance(s), thriller, mystery, all told in an unique format. Some things worked better than others, but while the attempt at being a multi-genre novel was certainly admirable, it didn’t completely succeed at it.

First off, I liked the main characters. Lucy is a bisexual Black woman and co-host of Shadowcast, a true-crime podcast. She’s also the sister of Harker, who goes presumably missing at the beginning of the novel. Mina is the second co-host of Shadowcast and Lucy’s girlfriend. Arthur is their social media manager and is later instructed to keep in touch with Van Helsing, Harker’s anthropology professor, in order to find out anything relevant that might give them a clue about Harker’s disappearance. Van Helsing (VH) is an older character (I don’t think it was specified how old is he really is, I imagined him around 45 or 50 year old, while Arthur is 28) and is new to technology and chats, which was both fun and a little repetitive to see.

I found the beginning of the book rather slow, pacing-wise. This was kind of counterbalanced by the fact that the book is entirely told in chat logs, emails, podcast transcripts, tweets, etc., which made it easier and faster to read. Other times the pacing was faster, but overall I can’t say that it was consistent. It mainly depended on how much page time was given to the romance(s) at any given point, because the plot basically paused a few times to allow for the romance to develop instead of organically integrating the romance in the plot, if that makes sense.

The main relationship was between Arthur (bi) and VH (gay). Despite the pacing issues I just mentioned, I found their romance interesting even though I don’t care much for that age gap, and I liked the way the authors managed to use the format to their advantage. I think it wasn’t easy but it definitely worked well for me as a romance.

Something I loved is how this wasn’t purely about a M/M romance but also about an (established) F/F one. Although it wasn’t given as much page time as the M/M one, it had a few both cute and steamy moments. Not only seeing that on page, but also thinking about all the people who exclusively read M/M and imagining how mad they’re gonna be about the F/F sex scenes? Oh, that is truly priceless.

Err, anyway.

I actually want to talk about the bi rep and give a little warning that some might find Arthur’s history to be the slutty bi stereotype. I wasn’t bothered by it because whenever his history was mentioned it was always heavily implied that it’s his character and insecurities that made him act the way he did, so there was never an in-text correlation between his bi-ness and that. There was another scene that actually did bother me and it was the sex scene between Lucy and Mina where Mina (who is a lesbian) is basically writing a story from Lucy’s POV and at the beginning it focuses a lot on male gaze. They’re in a club and Lucy’s dancing with a guy and then Mina steps in and they dance and she keeps mentioning how none of those guys will have her and then they go to a bathroom where they know they’ll be heard (by the men outside) if they have sex. It made me feel icky because it added a male gaze even though there was absolutely no need for it, and I didn’t like how that seemed to have some sort of correlation with Lucy being bisexual. The scene turned out great and hot but I can’t shake the feeling of wrongness at the beginning where there was too much talk of men for it to feel safe to read as a queer woman.

Moving on, I usually love things that defy a genre or are multiple genres at once. With this novel, I feel like that could’ve worked much better with some more consistency in the way the narrative worked. It was mostly fine, hence the 3 stars, but there were a few things I really couldn’t let myself care about.

First of all, since a lot of the book takes place in chat format, I hated when they were talking about the actual plot and like, being scared about the things that were happening and then they were flirting with heavy innuendos in the next message. That made me roll my eyes so hard and it happened too often. If you’re scared for your life or your brother’s life or whatever, I don’t think you feel like thinking about sex in the next line. It was just too much.

Then, I know I haven’t talked much about the actual plot because it’s best to actually read it but I found the ending very anticlimactic and not really like it fit the rest of the novel. It kind of… changed the whole genre of the novel? Or maybe not really, but look, there’s not much else I can say without spoiling things. Just, the ending actually made me drop the rating from 4 to 3 stars, and the more I think about it the more plot holes I find that just don’t make any sense.

To add another point, since this is marketed as a modern retelling of Dracula: I’ve read Dracula probably like… 10 years ago and I don’t remember anything about it, but there was still very little Dracula-y about it if you look at it from the perspective of the legacy that Bram Stoker left to the literary world. I really don’t want to drop spoilers but let’s just say that there are no actual vampires in Thrall, and the bridge that was used to further connect it to Dracula was ridiculous in my opinion.

I’ve talked about the format but let me reiterate that I thought it was brilliant and cleverly used and probably the only way it was sort of a retelling of Dracula. I hope to see more novels told like this in the future, in any genre, because it’s a lot of fun.

As you can see from my review, there were things that worked and didn’t work for me. I have to 100% admit that if this hadn’t had a lot of queer rep I would probably have given it an even lower rating. Overall I would recommend it if you’re curious about reading a very queer romance/mystery with a format you probably haven’t seen used before (at least for this type of book).

September Wrap Up

wu sept

Hey friends!

I feel like every month I’m posting my monthly wrap-ups later and later, but the truth is this month I at least have an excuse for that! I found a small, sunny and cozy (and cheap) apartment that’s like, everything I could have ever wished for. I was so lucky to find it (it literally only took me half an hour of searching, wrote the person, saw the place, and I was approved to rent it), which is rare in the city where I live because the search for an apartment can sometimes take >6 months (I’m not kidding). So in the last week of September I was busy with all kinds of bureaucratic stuff (and not just about the apartment thing), which is always great (read: not great) for my anxiety. But, I did it and I moved and now I can finally write this post (which, if you don’t know, wrap-ups are usually the posts that take me the longest to write).

(why do I always use so many parentheses)

Side note, I guess this intro is ultimately not relevant to the purpose of this book blog but it’s uhh, my blog and I do what I want?? Okay cool glad we agree.

As I write this I’m realizing I’m one month behind on replying to blog comments, and for that I apologize to anyone who left a lovely comment, especially in my August Wrap-Up. I get a bit overwhelmed when the post/comments are a bit more personal so I kept postponing replying until I forgot and was too busy to think about blogging. I’m setting it as a goal to reply to all unreplied (?) comments by the end of this week.


Intros aside, I know you’re all here for books so let’s get right into it with one of my amazing Paint jobs (directly taken from the Goodreads yearly challenge page thingy, so read chronologically from bottom to top).


📚 12 books read total

○ 2 graphic novel issues + one (ongoing) webcomic

○ 1 audiobook

○ 1 reread

○ 4 ARCs

This ain’t too bad, but considering that in July and August I’d read >25 books each month, it feels a little underwhelming. I guess that’s just what happens when you’re not on holiday anymore and start taking care of your IRL stuff, ahah ah..ah………ah.

I’m still proud of reading 4 ARCs and managing to balance reading “because I have to” with reading for pleasure. Also, just looking at the image above I get so nostalgic of the beginning of September, when I was still in Italy and I was doing a lot of reading at the beach. Is it just me or do books you read at the beach gain like, 0.5-1 extra enjoyment stars once you rate them?

As for the actual average quality of books, I’d say it’s pretty high although maybe not the best I’ve had in a month.


📖 Counterpoint by Anna Zabo (ARC) – I loved this book so much, it was literally everything I was hoping it would be. ★★★★★/5 | my review

📖 Darkling by Brooklyn Ray – I’ve read this novella too fast to be able to properly review it but it’s basically about a queer group of witches and it features a MM romance between a trans guy and one of the witches in his circle and it’s just?? so well-written and I enjoyed it a lot. ★★★★★/5

📖 The Pursuit of… by Courtney Milan – it’s been more than a month and I’m still recovering from how fucking cute this was okay??? It’s about a Black American soldier and a British officer in the war of independence travelling together and falling in love and I just loved this so so so so much I can’t even describe it. I wouldn’t even classify this as enemies to lovers because Henry is too much of a puppy to be anyone’s enemy and omg please I want to reread it right now. ★★★★★/5

📖 Fence #10 by C.S. Pacat and Johanna the Mad – OKAY BUT THAT ENDING. It’s hard to say whether this is my favorite issue so far but it’s certainly one in which the fandom was fed so good. Finally some Seijicholas development and I’m here for it. ★★★★★/5

📖 Vicious by V.E. Schwab (reread) – I reread in preparation for Vengeful and it was even better than the first time. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to explain why that is, but sometimes when a book is perfect I need to read it a second time just to be able to really process it more than its perfection (or at least what for me makes it a perfect book), if that makes sense? ★★★★★/5



I’m currently only actively reading L’Ascesa dei Re (Captive Prince #3) which is the Italian translation of Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat, which in case you’re new around here is my favorite book trilogy. I decided to read this because I still needed to finish my Italian re-read before I can read it all again (maybe skipping book #1) in English, and because I love rereading my most favorite books when I’m too busy to even talk much to my friends and mutuals. Reading this in a time where a lot is changing for me personally (new house, new life plan, etc) keeps me grounded and gives me something familiar to cling to when I feel like my anxiety is trying to take over. Needless to say reading it in my first language makes me feel even More Things than in English and I’m basically crying every few pages but like, in a good way.


I didn’t think I would manage to blog much but although I didn’t really follow a regular schedule I did write some posts.

📜 I participated in two fun T5W topics: favorite friend groups and books for my younger self

📜 I wrote my Counterpoint review

📜 I shared my list of books with bisexual protagonists in honor of Bi Visibility Day, a post that was probably overdue but I’m still proud of.

As for this month, I have some time-sensitive stuff that’s scheduled to go live at various points of the month, and I hope that in the meantime I can also work on more posts but I’m not going to pressure myself one way or another because this month is A Lot for me IRL.



The only movie I’ve watched was The Feels (2017) which I would totally recommend for a more adult audience since it does talk a lot about sex. I really enjoyed it and it was very very gay and it’s basically about this weekend-long (or was it week? idk anymore but you get it) party before two girls’ wedding (!!) with their friends and like, all sort of stuff comes up and I realize this is very vague but I’m trying to keep it PG. Anyway, even though it’s about sapphic girls it has a happy ending (!!!!!!!!!) and I really enjoyed the humor but also the more serious stuff. I also thought the acting was very natural and that’s something I like too.


lucifer_poster_season_2I briefly started watching Lucifer and I must say it’s really good and although I haven’t continued it in a few weeks I’m looking forward to watching more. It’s not the most bingeable thing after a few episodes because they kind of follow the same scheme every time (sort of like a police investigation thing but with Lucifer being Lucifer) but I think the main character really makes it worth it to watch at whatever pace you may choose. Admittedly I started it because I knew Lucifer is bi (and he is!) and I stayed because everyone (and I mean e v e r y o n e ) is just so beautiful. If you’re bisexual you’re going to drool suffer a lot watching this lmao.


mv5bmja5mjewodu1mv5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzk0mza5ntm-_v1_uy268_cr90182268_al_By far the highlight of the month was The Dragon Prince which I’ve binge-watched… twice. And I would’ve watched it even more times if it wasn’t that my month has been so busy. If you don’t know about it, it’s by the creators of A:TLA and the first season is on Netflix and they just announced the second season which is coming out in 2019. It has magic, dragons (obviously), adorable children that will have you whip out those adoption papers faster than you can say “dragon big”, amazing and funny dialogues and a lot of diversity. My favorite characters are ALL OF THEM and I particularly have a soft spot for Runaan who is like the exact type of character that’s designed to cater to my feelings personally and there’s also HEAVY suspicions that he is not a heterosexual (nothing heterosexual about a elf assassin if you ask me) but nothing is confirmed yet so don’t take my word for it. Also whether you’ve watched this show or not you must follow the official twitter account because it’s like the best thing to ever happen on twitter (and if you follow it you’ll 100% feel like watching it).

260px-avatar_logoThe last thing I (started to) watch is Avatar: The Last Airbender and by now (second week of October) I’m almost done with it and I can say it’s really That good. I’m probably the last person on earth to watch it but I just can’t believe how great it is. I really wish I had watched it when I was a kid because it would have been so formative, but it’s still an amazing experience now as an adult. Also, it uses so many tropes I love and I didn’t even know I loved until now. I’m really glad I was able to sort of binge it this past week (yeah this is a September wrap-up but I can’t pretend I’m not almost over with it).


Hozier (thank you oh mighty king of the forest) | Survive Said the Prophet (they did the first Banana Fish OP so I started listening to them and wow they’re really good) | Arctic Monkeys (someone help me this album is like 98% of all the music I’ve listened to this month and I can’t seem to get sick of it no matter how many times I listen to it) | Panic! (they’re coming to my town in the spring and I got tickets!!) | Bloom (nicely gay)


How was your September? Do you prefer summer or fall? Can you believe we’re less than three months away from the end of the year?