Books · Reviews · Uncategorized

Review: Nora Roberts, The Obsession *****

I recently read one of the Queen, Nora Roberts, recent publications, The Obsession. It is difficult to say you are up to date with Ms.Roberts as she seems to constantly have a new publication out, between her various series and pseudonyms, the woman is a machine. While I have been a long term fan of Roberts books, I admittedly mostly only read her romantic suspense stories as my personal preference is to have some drama in my romance, and I’m not great at reading a purely romance novel.
This novel is honestly my favourite of her publications to date. And while I don’t think it’s perfect, the plot hit so many of my catnips (a term I have learned recently from the Smart Bitches Podcast) and made it such a hard book to follow up. I couldn’t finish a book for a while afterwards and had to move genres to recover from the greatness of this book.


Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

So to outline, this book is a romantic suspense, a mystery/horror and crime novel. Personally, I would recommend this story for people who like some romance with their suspense/crime rather than someone who needs a lot of romance in their books. As it is a very crime, mystery, suspense heavy book (can you tell I’m struggling to define the genre).  I’ll leave it at romantic suspense, as my mother read this book after me and she equally loved it despite being much more of a pure romance reader.


So like I said I loved this book! So let me break down some of the ways.

This book has been written like two books in one, as the introduction to the overall mystery is a self contained mini book in the first six chapters. Admittedly this threw me initially as I wasn’t expecting it in what I assumed was a straight laced romantic suspense, I’m gonna try and avoid any spoilers, but this “mini book” is a little bit of horror crime story which sets up Naomi, our heroine’s, backstory. It is very ‘Criminal Minds’ meets ‘I Survived’, and I love crime stories so it a pro for me, but it is dark so I just want to let people know as it could be a con for others. As I mentioned my mum did read this book after me and had to come to me a couple of times just to get some reassurance that it got happier, she survived but she made it through.

(Trigger warning for anyone sensitive to stories involving rape and kidnap)

“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.” 


Once you get through the intro into the main story we have a new beginnings style romance with a heroine I adored. Naomi is a strong independent woman, who has a successful career and has taken on a big new project and a new life chapter, restoring and renovating a big house on the coast, settling down for the first time in her life. Naomi grows throughout the book, fulfilling everything I love about a heroine who can save herself and overcome her own fails. She is best thing about the book however there are so many aspects to love!


There are multiple romances, in my opinion, as there is not just the romance with the lovely hero but there is a dog romance, which is something I love. (Cons) As one of the few cons of the book, other than the initially slow pace, was that for a long time I found Naomi to be quite an emotionally stunted and distant character which I found difficult to grow attached to. Until the dog came along! Which is so sweet and is a real character builder and makes Naomi so personable and much more relateable. However this is not to say that the hero is outshined by the dog, Xander, our hero is great. He is a reader (swoon), a dog lover and is happy for a woman to be independent and solve her own problems. While being caring and heroic enough for the romantic suspense aspect of the book and willing to give her a kick (or a hug) when she needs it.


However along with the romance is the suspense and mystery aspect of this book which is just great. With the dark introduction I felt that there was a low laying level of tension throughout the book, just waiting to emerge. However as an avid crime watcher I love trying to figure out the mystery in a novel as I go (and preferably before we are told by the plot) and this book had me held in the mystery right until just before the reveal, And it was so good!  The suspense aspect of this book is a very gory and crime heavy plot, which I felt was a little darker than can be expected for Nora Roberts but with all the great qualities of a Roberts romantic suspense.

Small plot bunny

*Now it’s not a bad spoiler but Naomi’s brother turns up in the book later on and I really want Nora Roberts to write his book! So if somehow Piatkus see this, please ask her! 😆


I loved this book and I am still trying to recover and find a new read to match up. The balance of romantic to suspense was perfect to me, as I like a dark, strong mystery but with a clear, defined romance with strong characters, especially a strong female character who loves what she does and knows who she is. Highly recommend.

Reviews · Tea Blog · Uncategorized

The Secret Anime Lover

So something i haven’t spoken about a lot on my blog is my love of anime. And this is something that has grown in recent years, even more than i was when i was younger and it was maybe slightly more acceptable to watch cartoons. Compared to now when i am watching anime and someone walks in and all they can hear is Japanese coming out of the laptop and then cast a questioning stare at me and all the decisions i have made so far in my life… 🙂

However genuinely i have have renewed my love of anime in the last year as i have re-watched old favourites from university, caught out with follow up seasons and discovering some new favs!

Old Favourites

So as you will soon be able to tell my taste in anime as changed a little recently. However my original love was ALL about the romance, fantasy, non-fantasy, didn’t matter as long as it was all about the romance.

One of the first anime i found (after all the studio ghibli of course) is Kaichou-wa Maid Sama, a high school romance drama which is unique because kick ass heroine, Misaki, works at a maid cafe (a uniquely Japanese situation, these are a brand of cafes where the employees dress up as the stereotypical french maid and have a cosplay like attitude when serving customers). Sounds weird but its really funny in the situation and it works for enhancing the drama between the protagonist and her romance Usui, he enjoys teasing her about her employment way too much. But it is all very lighthearted and pg13, so its sweet to go back and watch.

Another fav that i genuinely have watched in a very long time but loved is Inuyasha. I’ll be honest this anime is probably the longest anime i have every watched all the way through and i doubt i ever be able to watch it again because of the length but it is great, and is an important mention as it inspired me to watch one of my new picks coming up. In comparison Inuyasha doesn’t have the same romance focus as Maid-sama but it is prevalent throughout. My only pet peeve was how long it took to conclude their romance, however the adventure fantasy element of this anime is what held my attention more than romance. Inuyasha, who is also our main character, is a feudal fairy tale where our female protagonist Kagome falls through a portal into the past and collides with Inuyasha who is a fox demon and goes on many adventures! (without getting into the nitty-gritty of the plot). It is also a really funny which is another element which i find essential in any show i want to watch regularly.

New Content 

  Junjo Romantica is a “storm of romance” (quote taken from and this really is the best way to describe it. As there are three couples/romances taken place during one season and while each episode is dedicated to one at a time, you can spot the links throughout. An important note is that this is a Yaoi or ‘boys love’ romance but i believe that love is love, therefore i don’t need my romances to hetero to enjoy them, but i realise not everyone is this way and that’s okay. Again this is another really funny anime in between all the romance content as all the characters are a little cookie. There is also a spin off series called Sekaiichi Hatsukoi which is all based around a manga publishing company and the publishing graduate in my adore this aspect of it. However there is book, publishing references throughout both series, yeah!

The first season of Junjou was release on 2008 and season two in 2012, with seasons one and two of Sekaiichi being released in 2011. I can remember binge watching all of these in 2012 and then scarring the internet looking for news or rumours of a follow up season and got diddly! Everything said there was no nope, and every now and then following a re-watch i would search again and still nothing…until this year! When i went searching for Junjou on youtube i also discover Joujou Romantica 3!! I had heard nothing about, somehow seen nothing online, and consequently lost a whole weekend with very little sleep watching the whole season which was thankfully out. Now i need season 3 of Sekaiichi.

New Series

I have three series i am in love with this year!

First is Kamisama Hajimemashita, it’s not brand new, being in  its second season however i feel that it is slightly less well known and under appreciated. I mentioned that one of my new animes was discovered through a classic and its this one. This anime ties back to Inuyasha as they both has a strong focus on Japanese Folklore and tradition, with gods, demons and adventure. However unlike Inuyasha, KH has much stronger romantic and humorous elements, and this is why i feel that this anime is really worth a watch.

Next is Ore Monogatari or in english, My Love Story is a high school romance but with a bit of a twist. Gouda our lead is a huge dude, great at sport and heroics but not so much with the ladies. Until he rescues the teeny tiny Rinko and its is love at first sight, following which humour ensues as Gouda tries to understand the world of romance. Now it did take a few episodes for this series to grow on me but it is a really light and fluffy watch.

The best has been saved until last: Haiykuu!! Sports anime has never been something i had really watched but i have learned to love it. However i had heard good things about Haiykuu!! so i decided to give it a shot and it is absolutely amazing!

Haiykuu is all about a high school Volleyball team and their battle to reach the championships – sounds like a basic plot right? – but it takes sports to another level. Our lead Hinata is shorter than average player who joins a team alongside his archenemy Kageyama, an incredibly skilled setter, and these two form a unusual duo as their skills combine and bring their school to success. They are able to combine sports and competition with a lot of humour and this is what keeps you coming back every week.

Another couple of great examples of sports anime are Kuroko No Basket, Free! and Yowamushi No Pedal (love them all).


I don’t want to get into every anime i have ever watched and liked but i hope this gives people who are new to anime a few ideas and possibly encourage people to give it a try! If you have any recommendations please leave them below, i love hearing from you guys.

Thank you,





Tea Break: What I’m reading now?

This is just a little update on what I am currently reading. I have been trying to make this a more regular update but I am still trying to get settled into a more regular routine. Especially when it comes to reading. I have managed to pick up a couple of books at the most amazing second hand bookshop called Armchair Books which I’m gonna have to do a full post on its that awesome!

However this is just a quick run through of titles & synopses, so lets get going. The synopses will be linked in the title, it will take you to goodreads.

In the Fantasy category I have 3 book, the first book is;
Brandon Sanderson’s, The Final Empire, Mistborn Book One
I have started this book only recently following Sanderson’s appearance on the Geek and Sundry’s The Storyboard with Patrick Rothfuss, as well as a recommendations from my besties Siobhan and Hannah. And I have to say I am in love already. I originally had it on my kindle but its a pretty big book, like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, so I decided to buy the paperback as I find it easier to read paperbacks especially when they have things like maps at the front that I might want to consult. This is one of the books I got second Hand from the Armchair bookshop last week. I was able to purchase it & a copy of The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb for under £5!!

I have also decided to go back and reread;
Robin Hobbs, Assassins Apprentice, Book one Farseer Trilogy
I started this book last year and it is really good, however I don’t want to spoil anything for any future potential readers, but something very sad happens about a third of the way in and I set the book down to read something a little happier, however I never got round to picking it back up.
But out of the very small number of books that I managed to get to Scotland with me (2 & my kindle) it was very sad to have to leave my library behind, Robin Hobbs book was one of the books I was determined to read. Also the armchair book shop has quite a large collection of Robin Hobbs books 🙂 So it is the perfect excuse to resurrect this book from its neglect.

The only other book I managed to bring from home was;
Sherrilyn Kenyon, Inferno, Book 4 Chronicles of Nick
I love Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series and when she started her side series the Chronicles of Nick I fell in Love instantly! Maybe because I have aged similarly to Nick while I read the books, so he was always one of my favourite characters. He is snarky, sarcastic and so funny it hurts. And of course he’s gorgeous. He is also Cajun and lives in the city I have wanted to visited for the longest time – New Orleans.
Compared to Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, the Chronicles of Nick is a YA series which combines vampires and zombies into an urban fantasy setting. with lots of drama, ass kicking and a lot of humour to balance it out. If you love urban fantasy I think you will love this series even though it is mostly aimed at a younger crowd.

My next couple of books definitely aren’t for the younger audience. I mentioned in a previous post that I had recently began reading more contemporary novels specifically within romance. A guess this isn’t as big a change I seem to think, I think there is just more a stigma around these kinds of novels. Although I believe everyone love a little romance… 😉
So recently I read Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster . This was an awesome book. 😀 Which lead me to another book by Katy Evans, Real, which had a similar pretext however it was set in an older age ban and was a little more sports focused. However I still really liked it and it had me crying at one point. I think these books may have sparked an addiction.
So I recently found a new author
Madeline Sheehan, and her first book Undeniable
I haven’t had a chance to read this yet but it was recommended online because I liked Beautiful disaster. While BD is focused on a university romance in which an underground boxing ring is the influencing factor in what seems to be a pattern in these contemporary romances where the male protagonist is nearly always a “macho He-man”, which I am a little susceptible to ;). While Undeniable has a bit of a change as it now centres around a motorcycle gang and the system they hold.

The other is another book in a series I read a stand alone from quite a while ago. This is;
Jennifer Ashley, Pride Mates
This kind of takes a normal paranormal romance/urban fantasy and cranks the romance (smut lol) up to 100! So its still story based, its not erotica by any means but you still get a bit more than the normal romance novels as I’m sure you can all tell by the covers.

And Yes all my romance or contemporary romance novel all live on my Kindle because that means I can read them at University, on the train, at Starbucks without dying of shame or having people staring at me like I’m a little bit odd…which I probably am 😀

So this was my run down of the books that I am reading at the moment. If there are any books here or anything that I’ve mentioned that you want to hear more about or would like reviews on. Please comment, I love to hear from you’s!!

Night for now!

Reviews · Tea Blog

Lynsay Sands, Argeneau 10th Anniversary Contest

Back to Book related news!! WooHoo!!
So in the book world which I entered but was a little late (that pretty common at the mo sorry) was the announcement of Lynsay Sands 10 year anniversary of her Argeneau series. For those of you who are not aware of this series, You are seriously missing out however since im a nice person this way I am gonna give you the low-down!!

So the Argeneau series is a new take on that well loved Vampire/Urban Fantasy novel. However unlike a lot of series out at the moment, her series is hilarious and has escaped from the slightly cliché alpha male who dominates his pre-destined female. Lynsay Sands has combined the Atlantis myth with the Vampire mythology to create a brand new ‘Immortal’ myth.

However what makes me love this series so much is how Lynsay writes her characters, they have a sense of humour which is just addictive, as well as personalities which are clearly defined and changing between each book. It is these variations between the male protagonists, all still sexy and awesome but also nerdy guys, artistic guys, grumpy, old fashioned, clueless & off course romantically challenges which draw me back again and again to her books, they are more addictive than Tea!! While it can be argued that other series have a new guy for each book, there is just such a variation here that I struggle to find in other books, beyond the huge, hulk who saves the damsel. In Ms. Sands series I can get my romance fix, heroes, heroines, drama and suspense all wrapped up in a witty, sarcastic bundle.

But it is also the women of this series that I love, while it still creates that romantic ideal that we can become a perfect version of ourselves it also shows a wide range of women. All skin tones, tall, short, curvy, skinny, and every career band in-between. Creating that ability to slot yourself into the fantasy without her every making you feel that you need to be perfect to find that romantic, happily ever after, because there is love long before that.

However enough with the mushy, fan-girling!! Back to the contest.

Ms. Sands is holding a 10th anniversary contest to celebrate the release of her newest book ‘One Lucky Vampire’, the draw is on the Nov 26th so there is still loads of time to enter and it is a readers choice award, so its basically picking your favourite novel/couple from her Argeneau series. However the link is on the right hand side of the blog, just down a little. Click on the image and it will take you to her site, with all the rules and regulation and it is really easy to enter & the prizes look to be amazing!!!

(p.s I get nothing for you to enter & I am not affiliated with Ms.Sands or her publisher to any degree.)

let me know if you decide to enter and if so what your favourite book is & why?

Thanks as always for taking the time to read this & I will be back soon!

Maebhe x

Tea Blog · Uncategorized

Tea Blog: Stress & Kindle vs Non Kindle Reading

I’ve been wreaking my brain since my last post about what reviews I should put up.
Whether its just that I need a theme to motivate myself, a target number or some other such motivating factor. However I’ve realised that part of my problem is that all (yes all!) the books I had been reading recently are back home in Ireland & while I did read other books on my kindle – for some reason I have a much harder time reviewing books in kindle format that paperback.
This is particularly annoying because, while I will always prefer the appearance & physical proof/gratification that comes with owning a paperback version of the books I love. I have had my kindle (the uber basic one) for about 2years now & I do love it and literally don’t think I would have survived university without it. Because I was able to upload all the pdf documents that I needed to read for my history tutorials (making the green-peacer in me happy) because uni expect you to print off soo many documents which could be up to 30-40 pages! & could be rubbish that contributes to nothing but that days debate. Not only that as that all sounds a little too sensible for me, but the kindle was also invaluable in regards to allowing me to read in the morning on the train without people laughing at some of the covers 😀 especially when I’m suffering from a romance binge as some American covers are cringe worthy- doesn’t mean I don’t love them 🙂 it just means I don’t need a packed train seeing what it is I’m reading.
My problem is I am a post-it queen, as well as having a mild page marker addiction when it comes to my reviews. While the systems still needs work & I need to improve my reviews it how things best stick with me. The best example ive got is from my dissertation which I based my case study on a book/diary by Dorothea Herbert.

Post it Hell!
Post it Hell!

There are two layers of post its here and a combination of mini post its as page markers and to mark important events as well as larger posts to bullet point events. Clearly I have post it issues but for me -note taking works when it comes to revision for me.
Plus so far on my little Bloggitty I have mostly reviewed Urban Fantasy, Paranormal romance and Fantasy novels. But at the moment, it is something which I go through at times but it is a little more intense at the moment, is the number of romance novels I have been reading lately. This ranges from historical romances by the likes of Lynsay Sands through to more contemporary, adult romances like Rachel Gibson – as well as a lot of new authors as well as the adult counter parts to YA authors that I love for example J Lynn to Jennifer Armentrout.
its amount of contemporary fiction that I’ve been reading lately which is confusing me because I don’t know if it something I want on my blog. Not because I have issues with those sorts of blogs, I actually follow quite a few, a favourite being The Book Lovers Review. But more on a basis of whether I want to have to try and contend with the huge number of sites focused on these kinds of books. But I’m thinking I will try it out on a couple of my favourite books and ill see how it goes.

Maebhe x


Warm Bodies: The Movie

Okay I know not that long ago I put up my review of Warm Bodies the novel by Isaac Marion and It was a book that I really liked and was excited about seeing the movie because it looked like there was a lot of cross over with the book, but also that there was a lot more action scenes than there are in the book. Which I’ll be honest I have terribly tacky taste when it comes to my movies because I love action movies, like resident evil which created my mental image for all zombie related material through to the Die Hard movies (Yippee-Ki-yay Mother trucker!!) And I was something that I was kinda missing from the ending of the novel because I was really disappointed with the end of the book because it wasn’t even a cliff-hanger – it was more like non-existent, and it just kinda cut off. However I still really liked the book and I have hopes for the supposed sequel which according to goodreads should hopefully be coming out next year that if it comes a series/trilogy etc. that a lot of the questions I have will be answered.

So I finally got so see it with girls from my university & it was such a fun night. Now in regards to the movie – IT WAS AWESOME 😀 It literally had me giggling throughout and yes Nicolas Hoult is amazing as R. There were changes between the book and the movie within the first 2/3’s of the movie but most of these were pretty minor like R & Marcus’s age/appearance which had minor impacts on the over all story however I don’t think these impacted the movie at all, which is a lot coming from someone who is fairly nit-picky which it comes to the details in book-movie adaptations. Although the Heroine Julie is better in the book I think (just a little).
It was the last 1/3 of the movie which had the major changes and while in comparison to the books they’re ‘wrong’, when I was watching it – it was totally right and gave me the proper ending I was looking for in the book. It was filled with action which actually turned the bonies into a proper enemy, a proper answer in regards to R and other little things. But the romance element here was also amazingly well handled because the action scenes upped the tension and emphasised the difference the zombies. And again there so many funny moments throughout this movie and a lot of them a one liners, which seems appropriate for zombies 🙂

So keeping this short I have to say this is a must see movie. Its got a great mix of comedy, Romance and Actions to cover a whole range of audiences. There’s even a little gore at the start so if anyone if thinking of dragging their significant other to see this movie that they can enjoy it too 🙂 although I think guys would like this movie too, and just because there is a romance at its centre shouldn’t ruin it for the guys watching.

If yous go see Warm Bodies, tell me what yous thought and if I got this right?
Hope yous enjoy 🙂



Review: Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies #updated

warm bodies


‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead. Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins. This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won’t be changed without a fight…


*Okay First please don’t do what i did and mentally go “A Zombie Romance??… & Stephanie Meyer likes it….Meh”
This was actually a really surprising and interesting book which I ended up really enjoying. But another signpost
Although I haven’t watched the movie adaptation yet, from the trailers alone I know that the movie has a different plot twist to the book. Because I saw the trails about mid-way through reading this book and got excited about what was coming up and then suddenly the book was finished and I kept expecting there to be more. The movie adaptation has clearly upped the tension with the action sequences near the end. The book is a lot more focused on the romance between R and Julie as well as its underlying focus on the importance on society and how people create society: Deep stuff 😀 I try but I’m not such a deep person when I’m reading for enjoyment. Plus I read this on the kindle & for some reason my brain switches to relaxed mode and all the my history/student brain turns off. Making me miss ‘intellectual’ plots or subtopics. 🙂

This actually accounted for my favourite part of the whole book. Unlike most zombie novels these zombie “R” developed a personality, which as it grew, only made him a more intriguing character. As for a zombie he sure did think a lot and about indepth things. Love, Life, Death…and the space inbetween.

However as is to be expected from a zombie novel this is nearly entirly based on internal monologues. The only slight issue i had with this was i kinda wanted more external monolgue with Julie. Because she was a really interesting character as well. Because one of my greatest hates/dislikes when it comes to YA novels…
*which this novel is classified as but tiny warning there is swearing and minor references to sex in it (which i will come back to).
…is faffish, stupid female characters. My gosh i just want to smack them up side the head.
But this wasnt Julie. SHe was fiesty and funny and strong willed. While still maintaining the approachibility of a normal girl (being courted by a zombie during the apocalypse).

Overall i really enjoyed this book but to be honest, without spoiling anything i was a little dissapointed with the ending. It was a little ‘p.g’ when i’d gotten excited from the trailer.

Hpwever overall the story follows R’s discovery and eventual love story. After meeting julie during a ‘human/food hunt’ he saves her from the others and brings her back to his airplane, where their relationship develops and R begins his transition as well as the chaos which ensues from these actions and changes.

I loved the airport location because the similarity of the situation because one of R’s favourite activities is to go around on the escalators when the power’s working.
Another totally minor aspect which for some reason made me laugh and oddly add a layer which made me think “if a zombie apocalyse ever was ever to happen this was so be real”, but the attempts by the zombies to have sex even tho their bodies are no longer capable the human desire for tactile contact with another kept them trying.

However ending did drive me a little mad, it left me needing soo much more. Because it didn’t really seem to end. Just cut off. But I have heard that there is supposed to be a sequel and im hoping that it will give me some of the answers im looking for after reading this book. (Goodreads is saying a 2014 supposed release)

Movie & Images
The movie is something i’m excited to see and in some ways i think i might prefer it to the book just because of the actions scenes.

And a final comment about the book. The beginning of each chapter has an anatomy image for a different body part. Even tho it doesnt really play a role in the plot i really liked the way it set up the feeling for each of the chapters and it helped keep that zombie feeling despite the lightness of gore in this book and the emphasis on the romance and R’s development.


SO i would recommend this book just realise that it is an inspiration for the movie although there does seem to be alot of cross over from what i’ve seen so far. But i will write a short review when i see the movie and see how much does cross over and how they compare. But its a light, easy and enjoyable read especially as this is one of the first zombie books i’ve ever read because they hadn’t really appealled to me as characters. 🙂

If any of you’s have read it let me know what you’s have thought and if you’s are gona see the movie