books, reviews

Book Review: The Devil’s Blade – Mark Alder

The story of Julie D’Aubigny is well known. Her tumultuous childhood, her powerful lovers, her celebrated voice. Connected to most of the nobility of 17th century Paris, feted for her performance, unwilling to live by the rules of her society, she took female lovers, fought duels with noblemen and fled from city to country and back again.

But now the real truth can be told. She also made a deal with the devil. He gave her no powers or help, but he kept her alive for only one reason. To take revenge…

My thoughts:

This was such a fun read, spinning the real events of Julie D’Aubigny’s life into a fantasy featuring the Devil, the Duc D’Orleans and the Royal Court, all with sword fights, love affairs, ghosts and dripping with vengeance and blood.

books, LGBTQ+, reviews

🏳️‍🌈 Pride Month Reads 🏳️‍🌈

June is Pride month, a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and the people we’ve lost over the years.

Pride as an event spun out of the Stonewall riots and if it wasn’t for brave souls like Marsha P. Johnson we wouldn’t have the rights and freedoms we have and we must fight to keep them in the face of homophobia and transphobia.

It’s also a fab time to boost the sales of own voices books written by and about our community. Here are some of my recommendations, please leave yours in the comments.

This was such a fun, joyful read, set at an LGBTQ+ summer camp it follows Randy as he tries to become what he thinks his long time crush wants and learns a lot about himself along the way.

Lia has inherited her uncle’s crown, a kingdom with debts and a poor harvest, there’s conspiracies afoot and she will need her new spymaster Xania to help her save the country and her crown. I’ve read this several times now and love it.

This is madcap adventure where Edward and his friends indulge in some “creative vandalism” and attempt to get Edward into Juilliard. I adore this book, and its sequel Attack of the Theatre People, and even though this isn’t a recent book (it’s from 2004) it is immense fun. Can you tell I’m an overgrown theatre kid!

Fun fact the author and I went to the same secondary school but at different times.

Another gorgeous fantasy novel with a f/f love story, this also has dragons. It’s a chunky book so be prepared to spend some time on it as you follow Queen Sabran and spy/mage Eade as they try to prevent war between their queendom and its enemies.

Currently with 3 volumes published, Heartstopper, the adorable illustrated love story of Charlie and Nick is one of my absolute faves. Starting life as a web series this is now hugely popular, rightly so fyi, and just brims over with love and goodness.

So tell me, what are your favourite queer reads and writers?

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Fall Out – C.G. Moore*

I am Cal Adams what does that mean?

Sixteen years old.

Black hair.

Blue eyes.

Short.

Gay.

For Cal, coming out is explosive, but that is nothing compared to the fallout from his family, friends and foes. When events in Cal’s life reach critical, he is shaken to his core. Can he rely on his loved ones to help avoid meltdown?

My thoughts:

This is not an easy read, Cal’s life is not happy, a victim of extreme bullying at school and dealing with issues at home, his life is bleak and heartbreakingly sad. He’s struggling to find a place in the world and becomes increasingly depressed due to these struggles.

While coming out can be traumatic for some young people, there is hope. Cal’s best friend Em, and Em’s feisty grandmother accept him for who he is and support him.

As he asks for help, which is so important, his life begins to improve and his family relationships start to heal.

I feel like pressing a copy of this book into the hands of teachers, mental health teams and parents to help them understand how hard some LGBTQ+ youth are struggling.

For anyone planning to read this, a trigger warning – there are some scenes of violence, abuse, self harm and suicide.

This is well written, moving and timely.


*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, instagram, reviews

Blog Tour: The Falling in Love Montage – Ciara Smyth*

Find this tour on Instagram today – follow #TheFallingInLoveMontage and #DarkroomTours for all the posts.

Seventeen-year-old Saoirse has finished with exams and is facing a long hot summer before uni. She plans to party, get drunk, watch horror movies and forget all her troubles by kissing girls. Ever since the breakupocalypse with her ex Hannah, she’s been alone and angry, dealing with the hole left in her family by her sick mother’s absence. Worse, Dad drops a bombshell: he’s remarrying at the end of the summer. Enter the scene: Ruby, who might just be the prettiest girl Saoirse’s ever seen. A romcom fan and a believer in true love, Ruby challenges cynical Saoirse to try a summer romance with the serious parts left out, just like in the movies. But what happens when the falling in love montage ends?

Goodreads Amazon

My thoughts:

Like a rom com in book form, this follows Saoirse (Seer-sha) and Ruby as they date in movie montage moments and learn that life isn’t like the movies.

Sweet, funny, clever and heartfelt, this was a delightful read that made me smile.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.