Shelflove Crate: December 2017 – ‘Timeless’

My box finally made it to me! It ended up doing a loop going back to America and then returning to Australia, but it got here in the end, safe and sound. 🙂

Shelflove Crate is a YA book subscription box that is “specially assembled with a newly released Fantasy or Sci-Fi YA book and 3 or more theme-based items”.

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Shelflove Crate
Cost: $29.99 USD
Shipping Costs: $7.99 for US, $14.99 for Canada and $22.99 worldwide
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: from the 20th onward each month

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Review – ‘The Bookworm & The Beast’ by Charlee James

Title: The Bookworm & The Beast
Author: Charlee James
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: 4th December, 2017
Page Count: 172 pages (Kindle edition)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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When quiet, bookish Izzy Simon accepts a two-week assignment as an assistant for an author of children’s books, it seems like the perfect way for her to make some much-needed extra money, but the grumpy author claims he doesn’t want or need her services. He might be as handsome as a storybook prince, but his prickly personality and resistance to all things Christmas are sure to make for a chilly holiday season.

Derek Croft never agreed to the cheery temp his staff arranges for him while they’re on vacation. Izzy is his polar opposite, but Derek soon realizes she could be the perfect solution to his interfering family…if he can get her to agree to pretend to be his live-in girlfriend. Before long Izzy’s sweet disposition and unflappable optimism has him decorating a tree and looking forward to late night hot cocoa, but he’s all too aware their time together can’t last.

I requested this out of the desire for a sweet Christmas read featuring a Beauty & The Beast retelling – it’s now nearly mid-February, which speaks volumes about how difficult I found it to get through this story. The blurb promised all my favorite tropes (fake relationship! forced proximity! grumpy-curmudgeon-with-a-heart-of-gold! bookish-nerd-falling-for-her-boss!), but unfortunately ‘The Bookworm and the Beast’ didn’t live up to expectations.

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Shelflove Crate: November 2017 – ‘Fight The Power’

Shelflove Crate is a YA book subscription box that is “specially assembled with a newly released Fantasy or Sci-Fi YA book and 3 or more theme-based items”.

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Shelflove Crate
Cost: $29.99 USD
Shipping Costs: $7.99 for US, $14.99 for Canada and $22.99 worldwide
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: from the 20th onward each month

I was going to do a combined November/December review once my second box arrived in January, but it looks like it wasn’t meant to be – I checked my tracking as it seemed quite delayed, and turns out the box arrived in Australia and then went BACK overseas! So I’ll just post about the box I have for now…

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ARC Review – ‘Zero Day’ by Ezekiel Boone

Title: Zero Day
Author: Ezekiel Boone
Genre:  Horror, Science-Fiction
Date of Publication: 27th February, 2018
Page Count: 336 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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In the thrilling, nerve-wracking finale of Ezekiel Boone’s “hair-raising” (Parade) Hatching series, the United States goes to war against the queen spiders that threaten to overtake the human race forever.

The world is on the brink of apocalypse. Zero Day has come.

The only thing more terrifying than millions of spiders is the realization that those spiders work as one. But among the government, there is dissent: do we try to kill all of the spiders, or do we gamble on Professor Guyer’s theory that we need to kill only the queens?

For President Stephanie Pilgrim, it’s an easy answer. She’s gone as far as she can—more than two dozen American cities hit with tactical nukes, the country torn asunder—and the only answer is to believe in Professor Guyer. Unfortunately, Ben Broussard and the military men who follow him don’t agree, and Pilgrim, Guyer, and the loyal members of the government have to flee, leaving the question: what’s more dangerous, the spiders or ourselves?

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I was so excited to read this, you would not believe my hysteria when I got my hands on an advance copy, I nearly hit the roof with SHEER JOY. And thankfully, this lived up to expectations! If only I had been able to pace myself instead of staying up past midnight to devour it, but I had zero willpower, it was so enthralling that I couldn’t stop reading!

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LitJoy Crate: November 2017 – ‘The Chosen One’

LitJoy Crate is a book subscription box service that offers 3 options targeting different age groups: the monthly Picture Book box aimed at ages 3-6, the quarterly Middle Grade box aimed at ages 8-13 and the monthly Young Adult box for ages 14 and older. This is a review for the November YA box, which includes one new release book and 2-4 themed bookish goodies.

LitJoy Crate

Cost: $29.99 USD
Shipping Costs: $8.99 within the US, $14.99 to Canada and $24.99 internationally
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: 20th of each month

Note: this box is currently available for purchase in the LitJoy shop.

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ARC – ‘Keeper’ by Kim Chance

Title:  Keeper
Author: Kim Chance
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Date of Publication: 30th January, 2018
Page Count: 408 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.

After consulting a psychic, Lainey discovers that she, like her mother, is a Keeper: a witch with the exclusive ability to unlock and wield the Grimoire, a dangerous but powerful spell book. But there’s a problem. The Grimoire has been stolen by a malevolent warlock who is desperate for a spell locked inside it—a spell that would allow him to siphon away the world’s magic.

With the help of her comic-book-loving best friend and an enigmatic but admittedly handsome street fighter, Lainey must leave her life of college prep and studying behind to prepare for the biggest test of all: stealing back the book.

Okay, so this is not the optimal way to start off the New Year, but unfortunately ‘Keeper‘ is a DNF for me. I try not to quit on books, especially ARCs, as it makes me feel guilty, but my resolution this year is to give a fair go and then bail if I’m not enjoying myself. I made it to 57%, so I put a fair amount of effort into trying to invest in the story and characters, but it was such a relief to decide I was done with it.

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Book Review – ‘Burn For You’ by J.T. Geissinger

Title: Burn For You
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: 17th October, 2017
Page Count: 348 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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The marriage is fake. But for a sassy chef and an arrogant billionaire, the sparks are real…

Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, gorgeous, and unbelievably rude to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant. Bianca would sooner douse herself in hot sauce than cook for Jackson again, but when he asks her to cater his fund-raiser, Bianca can’t refuse, knowing the cash will help pay her mother’s medical bills. Then Jackson makes another outrageous request: Marry me. The unconventional offer includes an enormous sum—money Bianca desperately needs, even if it does come with a contract—and a stunning ring.

The heir to a family bourbon dynasty, Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him. The truth is even darker. Still, he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and free-spirited, sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully. Soon, though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy he’s built walls to avoid.

As the passion heats up between them, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancé the best happy ending…or a recipe for disaster?

I can’t recommend this book highly enough, it has everything I look for in a romance – a witty capable heroine, a dark brooding hero with a heart of gold, the marriage-of-convenience trope executed to perfection and slow-burn development from enemies-to-friends-to-lovers. AMAZING.

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ARC Review – ‘A Bride At His Bidding’ by Michelle Smart

TitleA Bride At His Bidding
Author: Michelle Smart
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: 16th January, 2018
Page Count: 192 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Book Depository)

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Hired by her enemy. Yet tempted to say “I do..”. Billionaire Andreas Samaras is nobody’s fool. And his beautiful new employee, Carrie Rivers–an undercover journalist–is playing a dangerous game. He’ll keep her at his command until he can expose her deception… But when her ruse is revealed, there’s only one way to protect his spotless business reputation: blackmail innocent Carrie to the altar!

This is a thoroughly delightful romance story and I enjoyed every moment of it. The author subverted so many tropes and specifically addressed a lot of the issues I’ve had in the past with romance novels, it’s almost uncanny how this seems to be written specifically to please me!

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The Book Quay’s bookstaGlam box: ‘Superhuman’

The Book Quay offers a bookstaGlam box which includes a book as well as normally between 6-9 items, a few of which are specially chosen as props for bookstagram or blog posts. You have the option of purchasing a ‘no-book’ box or if you choose to include the book, they often have up to 3 book options available  across different genres (and usually customizable with either hardcover or paperback). This is a review of their ‘Superhuman’-themed box.

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The Book Quay – bookstaGlam box
Cost: $1,500 PHP (roughly $39 AUD or $29 USD)
Shipping Costs: $750PHP worldwide (about $20 AUD or $15 USD)
Payment Method: Credit Card & Paypal
Mailed Out: normally in the second month they’re named for (eg. the Jan/Feb box will probably ship in February)

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