“Cinnamon and Gunpowder” by Eli Brown

I read some great books this year, and this was one of them. I’ve had this novel on my radar for some time now. I remember when it was published and how much readers gushed about it, but that’s not why I added it to my TBR. I placed it there because I love the cover.

The background color of the cover is one I love, and I like that the smoke from Mabbot’s gun forms the title and author’s name. I now know that the figures on the front are the impressive pirate Mabbot and the reluctant Owen Wedgewood, chef extraordinaire. But before reading, I wondered what I’d learn about them. It seemed an odd pairing, this sailor lady with a bound chef.

2021 is the year I finally decided to give in and read this book, and I’m glad I did. From the first page I knew it would be one I’d love; one I’d end up marking several passages in because I love the prose. As such, I had to get my own copy and went on a search to find the edition with this cover, since it’s no longer sold in stores. I was happy when I found one at a second-hand store online and now, since completing the story, am glad I have my own copy for when I want to visit the story again.


Historical Fiction





Goodreads summary

A gripping adventure, a seaborne romance, and a twist on the tale of Scheherazade—with the best food ever served aboard a pirate’s ship.

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Comics Roundup #55: 1602 — Angela and Marvel

I know nothing about the superhero stories, so I didn’t realize Angela was from the Marvel superhero universe when I got this. I picked up 1602: Witch Hunter Angela purely because of the cover, and the title — I like stories about witches. It wasn’t until I started reading the bonus story — Marvel 1602, #1 by Neil Gaiman — included in this volume that I realize it’s about superheroes but set back in the early 1600s.

1602: Witch Hunter Angela by Marguerite Bennett & Kieron Gillen, illus. by Stephanie Hans with additional artwork by Marguerite Sauvage, Irene Koh & Jordie Bellaire, Frazer Irving, and Kody Chamberlain & Lee Loughridge


Historical Fiction; Fantasy


Marvel 1602



From Goodreads

In the altered realms of Battleworld, Angela and Sera are Witch Hunters, the scourges of King James’ England, 1602. In a land beset by magic and monstrosity, they seek a new and seductive evil-not witchbreed, but deal-making Faustians, who bargain with ancient creatures for unnatural power! Moral ambiguity? Fancy allusions? Marguerite making the most of that English degree?

Collecting: 1602: Witch Hunter, Angela 1-4, 1602 (Goodreads)

My thoughts

I had to read this one twice, which I usually do with comics to refresh my memory before reviewing them but with this one, I had to do a double read because I didn’t get the story my first time through. The plot was too episodic, and I couldn’t tell how Angela and her companion, Serah, were able to quickly identify the Faustians. And although I liked some of the mini-stories interjected throughout, they didn’t help to ease my confusion about the main plot.

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“The Viscount Who Loved Me” by Julia Quinn, narr. by Rosalyn Landor

I’ve now grown accustomed to listening to audiobooks. I can even listen to new-to-me books on audio and keep up with what’s going on. But the tricky part comes when I procrastinate on writing up a review of what I listened to. With physical and e-books, I can just flip through the book and find things I highlighted to help refresh my memory of what I read and what I thought, but I don’t bookmark or take notes when listening to audiobooks, so discussing the book this long after listening to it will be a challenge.


Romance; Historical Fiction


Bridgertons, book 2



Quick summary

The second novel in the Bridgertons series focuses on Anthony, the eldest of the Bridgerton siblings. Anthony, a known rake around the ton, has decided to get married, but he doesn’t want to marry for love. You see, Anthony’s father died young and, since he’s nearing the age at which his father died, Anthony is convinced that he will die at the same age as well. As such, he does not what a wife who will endure the same heartache his mom did when her beloved, Anthony’s father, died. That’s why Anthony has his sight set on the beautiful Edwina, but first, he’ll have to convince Edwina’s older sister, Kate, that he’s a worthy suitor.

Continue reading ““The Viscount Who Loved Me” by Julia Quinn, narr. by Rosalyn Landor”

“In the Garden of Spite” by Camilla Bruce

This is one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. Thanks to Mogsy and Tammy for telling me about it in their reviews. What made me want to read it?

Well, the first bit of info that sparked my interest is that the story is about a female serial killer. I’ve only read one other novel that focuses on such a character — My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, which was a propulsive read. I assumed In the Garden of Spite would be the same, so I quickly added it to my TBR.

Then, from Mogsy’s review, I learned that the novel is like a character study. We observe the protagonist justifying “being the monster, rationalizing her degeneracy and why she must do what she does,” which fascinated me and made me quickly hop on my library’s website to place a hold on the book. I got lucky and got an early placement in the queue for it. And now I can say it was a really good read.


Historical; Thriller; Horror




January 2021

Goodreads summary

An audacious novel of feminine rage about one of the most prolific female serial killers in American history–and the men who drove her to it.

Continue reading ““In the Garden of Spite” by Camilla Bruce”

“The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn, narr. by Rosalyn Landor

Yea, I’m one of those who watched and was hooked on Netflix’s Bridgerton. The drama and all the gossiping in it made it very entertaining, but it was the costumes and the acting itself that lured and held my interest throughout.

Since learning that it’s based on a novel, I’ve wanted to read the source material ever since to find out what happens next and to see in what ways it defers from the show. So, when I saw that the audiobook was available at my library, I quickly downloaded and began listening to it. It, too, was very entertaining.


Romance; Historical Fiction


Bridgertons, book 1



Quick summary

Taking inspiration from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (and probably other classic novels I do not know of), The Duke & I centers on the large Bridgerton family whose matriarch wants to see her children married off well. The story focuses on Daphne Bridgerton, who was recently introduced to society but hasn’t had many suitors, probably because her older brothers (there are three of them) are a bit intimidating.

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“The Conductors” by Nicole Glover

I was eager to read this when I first heard of it, so I requested a copy through NetGalley. Much thanks to the publisher (John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books) for granting me access to the e-ARC.

Although I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, it does not influence the thoughts and opinions I share about my reading experience below.


Historical Fiction; Fantasy; Mystery


Murder and Magic, book 1


March 2, 2021

Quick Summary

I was eager to read this because whenever I heard of it, I thought of it as historical fantasy about the Underground Railroad. But although it touches on slavery and the experiences characters endured to escape slavery and help others do so, the majority of the story takes place post-Civil War, shortly after slavery was abolished in the U.S.

The story centers on Hetty and Benjy, a married couple living in Philadelphia who people in their community turn to when situations are dire, mostly when someone goes missing or turns up dead. The city’s police is only concerned with White folks’ problems, so Hetty and Benjy serve as detectives for the Black people in their community.

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Spoopy Memes Book Tag, Pt. 2

Lol! I did the first part of this book tag exactly one year ago. If Emily at Embuhleelist keeps creating them, I guess it will become an annual event on my blog to do the Spoopy Memes Book Tag on October 26, lol!

Name a character that keeps repeating the same mistakes, despite having multiple opportunities to prevent them.

Nevare from Forest Mage by Robin Hobb

Emily chose Fitz from Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series, so I’m gonna choose Nevare from Hobb’s Soldier Son trilogy, which Emily and I are currently buddy-reading. We are about to start the last book in the trilogy now — Renegade’s Magic. To me, Nev is as hardheaded as Fitz so far, and it took him until the end of the second book, Forest Mage, to realize that he should start trying to do things a bit differently. It was a bit frustrating to read about even if I understand the reason for his obstinacy.

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“Boy Snow Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi

This novel had been sitting on my shelf unread for a while, so when a bookclub I’m in chose it for one of our reads, I was enthusiastic to do so. I’d heard great things about it and that it’s inspired by the Snow White fairytale, so I thought the book sounded promising. But unfortunately, the story wasn’t as outstanding as I thought it would be.


Historical Fiction; Magical Realism; Literary





Goodreads summary

The widely acclaimed novel that brilliantly recasts the Snow White fairy tale as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity.

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman.

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“The Lady in the Coppergate Tower” by Nancy Campbell Allen, narr. by Elizabeth Knowelden

I continue with the Steampunk Proper Romance series. This time, a beautiful young woman with long golden hair is whisked off to a tower in Romania by her mysterious uncle to help her supposedly crazy twin sister.


Paranormal; Romance; Historical Fiction; Steampunk


Steampunk Proper Romance, book 3


August 2019

Goodreads summary:

Hazel Hughes has spent her life believing she is a Medium—someone who can talk to ghosts. But as of yet, that skill has remained frustratingly elusive. She is also suffering from a reoccurring childhood dream of someone who looks almost exactly like Hazel, but this dream version of herself is slowly going mad.

Sam MacInnes is a talented surgeon who runs in the highest social circles thanks to his family’s position and history. When Sam hires Hazel to assist him with his medical practice, he is immediately drawn to her intelligence, wit, and beauty.

Continue reading ““The Lady in the Coppergate Tower” by Nancy Campbell Allen, narr. by Elizabeth Knowelden”

Book Tag Week: Fairy Tale Book Tag

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! If you celebrated it, I hope you had a wonderful holiday with friends and family and good food and lots of laughter. If you didn’t celebrate it, I hope you had a wonderful day filled with great people, good food, and lots of laughter. 😀

I’m back to hosting my Book Tag Week. This time I’m doing the Fairy Tale Book Tag, which was created by Zoe at My Life with Books. I found it in Ann’s Reading Corner.

Beauty and the Beast:
Pick a book where love triumphs everything.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

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