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The Highland Earl Review

Good morning,

This month seems to have flown by and here it is almost the end! We’re already halfway through the year which is amazing to think about.

Speaking of amazing, I have just read my 110th book which has surpassed my goal of reading 100 books for this year and how fitting to reach such a milestone with Amy Jarecki’s latest book in her Lords of the Highlands series which also happened to be one of my most anticipated reads! It’s always such a joy to read Amy’s books particularly when they involve Highlanders! I was generously sent a copy from the publisher which I was very happy to receive because I’ve eagerly waited to receive and devour every one of her Highlander books!

Well enough of my fangirling, I’d like to share with you my thoughts on Amy’s latest book!

The Highland Earl (Lords of the Highlands #6) by Amy Jarecki

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

This is the further continuation in the Lords of the Highlands series though each are written in a way that can be read as standalones.

I love how Amy takes real life figures, gives them much happier endings including falling in love, tossing in a mix of the real with fiction and gives them a revamp so to speak.

John Erskine, Earl of Mar has recently been widowed and left to raise two young boys. He’s in need of a Mother for his boys who hopefully comes from money that can go a long way in helping to pay off debts, many of which were inherited from his Father. He finds himself drawn to Lady Evelyn Pierrepont who is a Duchess, well off and has all of the manners and understanding to become his future Countess.

Evelyn knows that she must do her duty despite having misgivings on becoming John’s wife. She would rather spend time cultivating gardens, helping those less fortunate and aiding the cause for the Jacobites than to marry the Scotsman. Evelyn is convinced to marry John, realizing that she could potentially offer more aid to the cause and she has grown rather fond of John’s boys.

Though it is a marriage of convenience, Evelyn and John soon find themselves spending many nights locked in passionate embraces and growing fond of each other.

When John learns that Evelyn is a spy, it throws him off guard and he’s very much hurt by feelings of betrayal. Evelyn feels terrible for causing such hurt, realizes that her spying may not be for the right cause and is soon caught up in quite the debacle.

It’s not long before John is accused of treason which sends him, Evelyn and their boys into hiding until they can figure out a way to be cleared of charges. The boys are safely tucked away into hiding during the search.

Soon Evelyn and John will find themselves on quite the dangerous adventure, coming across help in unexpected places, coming to terms with their differences, realizing what’s really important and determined get to the bottom of the plot they’re caught up in.

I loved how strong Evelyn was despite knowing her husband was upset with her for not choosing to come clean at first.

I also loved how much she immersed herself in the role of being a Countess, genuinely caring about the servants as well as the crofters, bonding with her stepsons and trying to make amends to her husband for putting him in such a difficult situation.

It was wonderful to see Evelyn and John grow together as a couple, overcoming some very difficult circumstances and learning to develop trust as well as a way to communicate particularly after Evelyn revealed being a spy.

Oliver and Thomas are such precious little beans who deserve all the love, support and understanding they can get. Evelyn could understand and relate to their sorrow over losing their Mother and she worked hard to become a second Mother to them.

Full of adventure, steamy scenes, romance, the lure of the Highlands, a dash of politics, mystery and friendship, I had such a fun time reading this book.

I can’t wait to see which Highlander will be next to find his happily ever after!

Well that wraps up my bookish ramblings for the time being. I am off to more bookworm adventures which will hopefully involve bringing down my current reading pile a bit before the end of the month. I will return soon with more bookish content!

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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Top 10 Tuesday: Summer Edition

Good morning,

Hard to believe that we’re over halfway through the month! I’ve been reading quite a bit, attempting to finish up books that I’ve been in the middle of for a while and making some progress.

Trying not to be distracted with new releases and those that are soon to be released is really hard to resist. Speaking of new releases, some of them are just around the corner which is why I decided to make a summer list of some of the books that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Release dates have been included so you can add them to your to be read list if you’re so inclined.

 

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Wicked Fox (Gumiho #1) by Kat Cho

Release Date: June 25th, 2019

 

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The Highland Earl (Lords of the Highlands #6) by Amy Jarecki

Release Date: June 25th, 2019

 

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The Plus One by Sarah Archer

Release Date: July 2nd, 2019

 

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The Storm Crow (The ​Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Josephson

Release Date: July 9th, 2019

 

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Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim

Release Date: July 9th, 2019

 

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The Wedding Party (The Wedding Date #3) by Jasmine Guillory

Release Date: July 16th, 2019

 

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A Highlander Walks into a Bar (Highland, Georgia #1) by Laura Trentham

Release Date: July 30th, 2019

 

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The Duke Is But a Dream (Debutante Diaries #2) by Anna Bennett

Release Date: July 30th, 2019

 

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House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Release Date: August 6th, 2019

 

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The Last Post by Renee Carlino

Release Date: August 20th, 2019

 

I’m so looking forward to the next couple of months and hoping I will read some books that will become a part of my favorites. That wraps up my bookish ramblings for the time being. Hopefully I’ll manage to finish even more books before the end of the month that I’m currently in the middle of and may your reading being a success as well!

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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Top 10 Tuesday: Kindle Edition

Good morning,

I hope you’re having a wonderful Tuesday and beginning of your week in general. Mine is going well so far, mostly because I have the day off. There are some errands I need to run and plan on getting together for a weekly dinner with a family member and hopefully get in some more reading time.

Speaking of reading time, I’ve been kind of neglecting my Kindle lately. I have a three year old Kindle Fire that probably has more books on in than I physically own. It’s really easy for me to download an e-book with the click of a button especially when I come across some really good deals. I’ve managed to put together a list of ten books which have been ordered by newest to oldest that I hope to read soon on my Kindle and then hopefully get to others!

Kindle Books

 

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Wicked and the Wallflower (The Bareknuckle Bastards #1) by Sarah MacLean

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A Well-Read Woman: The Life, Loves, and Legacy of Ruth Rappaport by Kate Stewart

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The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1) by Tessa Dare

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Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

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The Binding by Bridget Collins

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Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion #1) by Jessie Mihalik

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In Another Time by Jillian Cantor

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The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

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A New Keeper (The Secret Library, #1) by J.C. Gilbert

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Akarnae (The Medoran Chronicles #1) by Lynette Noni

 

Well that wraps up my bookish ramblings for the time being. I’m equally excited and overwhelmed at the amount of reading material I have available to me between my Kindle, paper books and Library loans. Running out of what to read next will not be a problem for quite some time and I know that the list will only grow because it’s just how my bookworm brain chooses to operate. May you have a wonderfully bookish week!

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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Review of Natalie Tan’s Book of Love & Fortune

Happy Sunday,

My weekend just seemed to fly by, mostly because I had both days off and was having fun! I went to the Bookstore, did some grocery shopping and had some quality reading time.

Speaking of reading, I spent most of my Sunday caught up in a wonderful book which is actually being released tomorrow! I’m so thankful that I was lucky enough to be approved for an early copy! I would like to mention that though I received a digital ARC in exchange for a review via Edeweiss+ and the Publisher though all thoughts and ratings are completely my own.

So without further ado, I present to you one of my favorite books that I have read this year which will be available in stores this Tuesday!

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Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

My Thoughts:

This book is a wonderful combination of magical realism, hope, Chinese tradition, delicious food, surprises and the power of a community trying to take care of each other.

Natalie was raised in Chinatown in San Francisco with her agoraphobic Mother who taught her a love of cooking though found it hard to speak of Natalie’s Grandmother or Father. When she became of age, she fought with her Mother over wanting to pursue a career via culinary school and did not speak to her Mother much over the ensuing years. Natalie fails out of Culinary School so instead travels all over the world, learning a variety of different dishes and cultures.

When she receives a call that her Mother has passed away, she moves from Montreal back to San Francisco full of regrets on not staying more in contact with her Mother and also angry with the community that she saw as not being helpful. The more time Natalie spends in the area, the more she realizes that the community has been very helpful, that it is in dire need of a miracle to not fall apart and be taken over by people who won’t appreciate the area and that her views of her Mother are much more complicated.

Natalie is given a book of recipes that her Grandmother wrote, who once ran a restaurant beneath the very place that Natalie grew up and also finds a letter where her Mother gives her blessing to follow her dreams. Over the course of the following weeks, Natalie slowly starts to piece things together about her Mother, a furry cat companion named Meimei, the community, develops friendships and just may be on the road to having found the love of her life. She also seeks comfort in cooking for herself as well as several of her neighbors after reading in her Mother’s letter that by doing this, she may be able to reopen the restaurant.

It’s not quite as easy as it seems though and the road to success can often be full of many bumps. Soon Natalie will realize that sometimes the best thing to do is believe in yourself, trust your instincts, speak your mind and try to be open to the possibilities. When a fire could possibly be the end to her dreams, it will take help in unexpected places to help Natalie see that all is not so lost and that maybe the dream of reopening her Grandmother’s restaurant may not be so impossible after all.

I loved this book so much with the healthy dash of whismy, the sense of community, romance and the many recipes that had my mouth watering. I also loved the Chinese-American aspects that were interwoven with the story and the twists that I didn’t see coming until after they happened. Natalie and Meimei are such precious beans that deserve so much love, both of whom were two of my favorite characters.

I highly recommend checking out this book particularly if you have a love of reading recipes mixed in with the storyline! I can’t wait to read more by Roselle and I would love if there would be a sequel to this story some day!

Well that wraps up my bookish ramblings for the time being. I hope you have enjoyed them and may you enjoy this book as much as I have. Many of the recipes are ones that I’m curious to try out some day! I’ll be back soon with more bookworm gushing.

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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The Earl Next Door Blog Tour

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Happy Tuesday,

I was approached a few weeks ago to ask if I would like to join in on a blog tour for an author whose works I have enjoyed in the past. Of course I couldn’t resist saying yes and I’m so glad to be a part of the tour! Thank you so much to SMP Romance for reaching out to me and sending me a digital ARC via Netgalley! Any thoughts are my own and aren’t influenced by receiving an ARC.

It’s the first book in the First Comes Love series and sounds like my kind of Historical Romance book!

 

The Earl Next Door_cover

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

About The Book:

What does a fiercely independent young widow really want? One determined
suitor is about to find out…
When Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, learns of her husband’s sudden death, she
realizes she’s free. At last, she can do, go, and be as she pleases. Finally, she can have the
life she has always dreamed of. She doesn’t need, or want, to remarry. Especially not the
supremely dashing future Marquis of Marksworth, who makes Adeline yearn for his desire…
Lord Lyonwood, son of a philandering marquis, will not be like his father. He wants to run his estates and watch them flourish—and find a wife who brings love to his life. When he meets spirited and self-reliant Adeline in a case of near-scandalous mistaken identity, Lyon feels he’s met his match. But Adeline isn’t interested in a marriage proposal. She will only accept becoming his lover—and Lyon finds it hard to refuse. Unless the fire of his passion can melt Adeline’s resolve…

Excerpt:

Perhaps he should have stated who he was when he first entered the drawing room, but he’d thought it wasn’t necessary. He was only too well aware of how many private pleasure houses were hidden among the cozy streets of respectable London and how  easily and quietly they were established. He’d certainly availed himself of more than a few over the years, which was why he’d promised his aunt he’d deal with the one she believed was moving in next door to him and down the street from her. Lyon could now  see that Lady Wake’s earlier perplexed expressions and her sense of outrage had
flashed warning after warning, which he’d ignored. That the countess didn’t immediately engage him with welcoming smiles should have been a swift indication all wasn’t as it seemed, but he was already in an irritable state of mind when he arrived at her house and unwavering in his thoughts not to be persuaded from his mission by a tempting woman.
He’d returned home from a laborious meeting with his unprepared solicitor, wanting only to get ready for an evening at White’s so he could get caught up on the latest news and indulge in a game or two of billiards, a few hands of cards, and an expensive bottle of brandy. Instead, he’d come home to find his aunt in his drawing room wringing her  hands in misery over the possibility of unmentionable women setting up a forbidden business in their quiet neighborhood. And insisting he must do something about
it at once.
Given all that was put before him, including the countess’s attire, what else could he have possibly done other than assume she was a paid woman preparing to fulfill some lucky man’s fantasy for the evening?
“The mistake was mine. I thought this was the kind of house where a man is always free and welcome to come and go as he pleases without hindrance, and not have to reveal his name or wait around to be announced. If I had known you were a lady and not an angel of the evening, I wouldn’t have acted so freely.”
“An angel of the evening?” She puffed out a breath of exasperation. “What rubbish. Clever words or phrases won’t hide what you thought when you entered or how you spoke to me. Now that you know who I am, you are still free to speak to me as before.”

That she would suggest he continue to speak so openly with her surprised him and was downright refreshing. Most of the ladies he knew would have fainted when he made the remark about paying her fee for the evening and pray to never hear such a vile comment again.
“Nevertheless, I will give you the respect you deserve and watch my language now that I do know, my lady.”
He watched her breathing ease and calmness settle over her as they each assessed the situation. That her recovery was quick and solid was a testament to her strength.
“I heard you were out of Town when I moved into the neighborhood a few days ago,” she continued in a calm and confident voice.
“I returned last evening.”
“That doesn’t absolve your actions tonight. You should have checked with someone before you came charging over with uncivil actions, assumptions and untrue allegations.”

Lyon’s jaw clenched tighter. No doubt about that. He should have questioned his aunt more about her suspicions, but he wasn’t about to explain that to the countess and implicate his aunt and her friend. “I was reasonably certain I had good cause to act as I did.”
“But you didn’t.”
“No.” What else could he say?
“And earl or not, sir,” she added valiantly, “you are an ogre as I’ve found most of your ilk are.”
He couldn’t argue with that either.
“Before you go, I’d like to know what made you think this was a house of pleasure for men.”
Lyon shook his head slowly. She was unbelievable. Asking him to explain what she’d just slapped him for. He wasn’t going to get caught in that snare again. “I’d rather not say, my lady.”
“Of course you don’t want to, but you must. I need to know what caused you to act as you did. Others could make the same mistake.”
Something settled in Lyon’s chest. A feeling that he’d never had before. Lady Wake was no shy or simpering female. She was courageous, impassioned beyond belief, and probably too strong-willed for her own good.
That intrigued him. It made him want to answer her with candid freedom, but every fiber of his being as a gentleman warned against such talk with a proper lady.
Yet, after only a brief hesitation, he responded, “If you insist.”
“I do.”
“It was brought to my attention that there have been some peculiar things going on over here while I’ve been out of Town.”
“Peculiar?” Concern resurfaced in her expression. “What do you mean? There is no reason for us to stand on ceremony, my lord. We are quite familiar with each other now. Speak to me as you would a madam and tell me what made you think my home was a house of ill repute.”
“Very well. An abundance of deliveries of bed-chamber furniture going into the building behind this house.”
“Why would that be strange, sir?” she asked him crisply. “Beds are necessary for everyone.”
“And women coming and going at all hours of the day and night.”
“Ah, yes,” she said on a breathy sigh as the meaning of his words became clear to her and she relaxed once again. “Now I understand. Beds and women. What else is a man to think of other than pleasure?”
Lyon felt the only thing he could reasonably do at this point was lift his brows, and say, “For that I can offer no apology.”
“It’s true, there have been many beds delivered. The building behind this house is being furnished as a boarding school for girls, my lord. The women who have been seen coming and going will be their tutors. Currently, some of the women have different jobs they must return to each day. They are free to leave at whatever time they deem necessary to make their other duties and commitments.”
“A boarding school?” he repeated, wondering why the hell his aunt didn’t know that. She was usually one of the first to hear the latest gossip.
“Yes. So whatever tawdry vision you’d imagined would be taking place between these walls tonight or any other won’t be happening. My home is not what you thought it was, and anyone else who assumed the same will have to look elsewhere for his decadences.”
The countess opened the door for him.
Lyon felt his expression softening, his admiration growing. For a number of reasons, including the truth of her words, there was no repairing their inauspicious meeting.
He nodded without further words, turned, and walked out of her house.

 

So I hope you’ve enjoyed a little taste as to what the book is about and has peaked your interest, I will post my thoughts on this book soon. That wraps up my bookish ramblings for now. There’s so many bookish adventures to be had that I’m looking forward to sharing with you soon!

Happy Reading

Slainte

~Meg

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Top 10 Tuesday: Anticipated June Releases

Happy Tuesday,

I am so excited for today as many of my most anticipated releases come out today. I am tempted to drive to the nearest bookstore and buy all the books I have my eye on just as soon as they open but I am determined to have some restraint.

It’s going to be quite the interesting June including a very anticipated Owl Crate box with the theme of Libraries of Wonder. I’m fairly certain I know what the book will be and if so, the wait will be so much worth it! Speaking of releases, I have a list of ten books that are currently on my radar for June with a couple that will be available towards the end of the month. So let’s get on to the good stuff, which is my list of books I can’t wait to have on my shelves at some point!

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Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Release Date: June 4th

 

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The Beholder (The Beholder #1) by Anna Bright

Release Date: June 4th

 

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Shadow & Flame (Rime Chronicles #2) by Mindee Arnett

Release Date: June 4th

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Ghosts of the Shadow Market (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1-10) by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Robin Wasserman, Kelly Link

Release Date: June 4th

 

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Montauk by Nicola Harrison

Release Date: June 4th

 

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Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim

Release Date: June 11th

 

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Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Release Date: June 11th

 

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The Paper & Hearts Society (The Paper & Hearts Society #1) by Lucy Powrie

Release Date: June 13th

 

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Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

Release Date: June 25th

 

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Wicked Fox (Gumiho #1) by Kat Cho

Release Date: June 25th

 

So that wraps up my bookish ramblings for the time being. I hope that June will be your best month yet whether that be in terms of books or adventure. With Summer nearly here, I can’t wait to have daylight until 9 pm which will mean more time spent outside reading, enjoying large glasses of iced tea and enjoying nature!

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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Bookworm Went A Bit Wild: May Book Haul!

Good evening,

The month of May just seemed to fly by and now it’s the beginning of June. My book haul is going up a bit late but not bad timing considering I seem to skip every other month. I was proud of myself for not buying a lot in the beginning of the month and then I made up for it during the last half of the month. With my bookworm tendencies, I was bound to give in to temptation eventually.

Also, in my defense, there was a really great sale going on at Barnes and Noble when I visited a couple of weeks ago and there were many great Kindle deals too. So without further ado, let’s get into the books!

 

Physical Haul

A Rogue by Night (The Devils of Dover #3) by Kelly Bowen  (thank you Forever Books for sending me a copy!)

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

Year One (Chronicles of The One #1) by Nora Roberts

The Story of Arthur Truluv (Mason #1) by Elizabeth Berg

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

School for Psychics (School for Psychics #1) by K.C. Archer

Always by Sarah Jio

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal

A Bend in the Stars by Rachel Barenbaum (thank you to Grand Central Pub for sending me a copy!)

Lost Roses (Lilac Girls) by Martha Hall Kelly

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3) by Robert Galbraith

 

Kindle Haul

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Born to Be Wilde (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #3) by Eloisa James

 

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The Tethered Mage (Swords and Fire #1) by Melissa Caruso

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Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1) by Julie Kagawa

 

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The Palace of Lost Memories (After The Rift #1) by C.J. Archer

 

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Drakon’s Tear (Blood of the Drakon #6) by N.J. Walters

 

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The Princess Bride by William Goldman, Michael Manomivibul (Illustrator)

 

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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (Mr. Lemoncello’s Library #1) by Chris Grabenstein

 

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

 

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Before the Broken Star (The Evermore Chronicles #1) by Emily R. King

I have even more of a variety in books now which makes my bookworm brain very happy. Some of the books I’ve been eyeing up for a while and others are anticipated reads that I’ve been impatiently waiting to be released. Hopefully I’ll get to a good chunk of them soon so they aren’t on my shelves gathering dust for too long.

Hope you had a wonderful May and that your June will be even better. There’s even more releases this month that I can’t wait to get my hands on, including one of my most anticipated which would be wonderful to have right now! So that wraps up my bookish ramblings for the time being. I will be back soon for more bookish content!

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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