Friday Finds

Friday Finds: Mix It Up! Books for during Lockdown. Plus Book Blogger Hop

Hello Avid Readers. Let’s mix it up!

Today is Friday and so it’s time for my Friday Finds post! Once again, I’ve found some great book reviews around the blogosphere that I want to share with you this week. With the Coronavirus COVID19 still causing anxiety, uncertainty and most of the world’s population being confined to their homes, finding escape in a good story is more important than ever.

I like being part of the weekly  Book Blogger Hop meme, hosted by Billy @ Ramblings of a Coffee Addict, so I’m doing it again today: you can read my answer to this week’s question at the bottom of this post.

If you are one of my lovely new followers let me just take a moment to explain what my Friday Finds posts are all about.

I like to read, my favourite genre is paranormal romance but I’ve also been known to curl up with the odd urban fantasy or paranormal cosy mystery too. 😉 BUT it’s a big wide literary world out there and I decided back in January 2019 that you, my dear followers, might be interested in reading reviews about books from other genres to help find your next read. Ta!Da! My weekly Friday Finds post was born.

So, here are some book reviews that my fellow book bloggers have really enjoyed reading recently (in no particular order). As I said, I’ve found 5-star reviews from lots of different genres to mix it up for you.

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin from Dreamy Addictions

Raven is an avid book reader, reviewer and book blogger from India. She will read anything that matches her reading appetite at the time, whether from famous authors, non famous authors or début authors. Raven confesses that she’s one of those readers who loves to read after midnight and her favourite genres are; young adult (YA), new adult (NA), dystopian and paranormal. Raven was really looking forward to reading this fantasy book and wasn’t disappointed, saying: “I’ve started the year 2020 with this book and it ended up on my favorites shelf. It’s one of my highly anticipated books and it met all of my expectations. I seriously had great time reading this book. It’s the first book in the series and for a debut, I think it was a great start. I absolutely loved the characters. If you like slow burn romance, forced marriage, and enemies to lovers trope then you must give this a shot.  Due to some scenes, I think this would be more suitable to mature YA readers and NA readers.”

Nightshade and Damnations and Nightmares and Geezenstacks – Classic Strange Stories reissued by Valancourt from Nocturnal Revelries

As I’ve said before, I always make time to read the articles from this blog because even if I’d never actually read the books he talks about (most of the time), I love The Duke’s irreverent reviewing style, honesty and obvious wealth of knowledge that his years of reading have imparted. He really does find some obscure titles to review. Today, I’m sharing his reviews of a couple of short story collections from one of his favourite publishing houses, saying: “These two books weren’t quite what I was expecting. Most of the short story collections I’ve read recently have been ultra-violent books of trashy horror. Gerald Kersh and Frederic Brown steer clear of that approach; their writing is far more interesting and enjoyable.  I wasn’t expecting the caliber of the writing to be so high, but that was just my naivety. Both books were recently reissued by Valancourt Books, and the general rule with Valancourt is that the books they put out are awesome. You should definitely read both of these collections.

The Decadent Gift by Lauren Blakely from A British Bookworm’s Blog

Jo is a fellow Brit who loves reading but unlike me she reads across the genres. 😉 She’s continually sharing new releases with her followers and is a friendly and prolific blogger. She is spreading the reading love and I guarantee that you’ll find something that you’ll want to read! Lol! Jo really enjoyed reading this sexy adult romance, saying: “This is, without doubt, everything you would hope for from a deeply sexy and intimate story.  This pairing works so well.  Their passion and connection simply flows from the page into your brain with little effort.

Rising West (The Turner Artist Rocker Series Book 1) by Alyson Santos from Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

Christie and Danielle are very passionate about the books they read and want to share that passion with everyone who visits their highly popular blog. They read pretty much anything that interests them and share their reviews as well as taking part in lots of book tours, new release blitz and cover reveals. Christie read this rock star romance and was blown away by it, rating it 5 mesmerising stars and saying: “Wow!!! Alyson Santos blew me away with the story of Mason West!!!! He is a rockstar unlike any other!!!! He just made me swoon!!!! I was addicted from the very first pages! Liberty and Mason’s love story was beautiful and emotional, again, such much of that was because of Alyson’s writing! This is the first novel I have read by her, and she has made me a HUGE fan!!!!

And my final review this week is from a lovely blogger who I’ve been following for a while but hasn’t featured in a Friday Finds post before!

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller from Princess of Ink

Ellie is a fellow Brit who loves YA (Young Adult) reads. Her favourite genre is YA Fantasy, including most of its sub-genres such as Retellings, Magical Realism, Epic Fantasy and Historical Fantasy. However, she also likes YA Sci-Fi, YA Dystopian, YA Mystery, YA Historical Fiction and will even pick up the odd YA Contemporary. She was really excited to read this book as the author is one of her favourites, Ellie waxes lyrical about it saying: “Warrior of the Wild is a beautifully-woven viking-inspired story that I fell deeply in love with. Once again, Tricia Levenseller has delivered another fast-paced, romance-based YA Fantasy book for us all to speed through, and as always, leaves us wanting more. Oh, if only Tricia had a back catalogue of books a mile long.

So, that’s my picks for this week – I told you I’d mix it up! Lol! I hope you find a moment or two to click at least one of these reviews yourself. Who knows you may just find your next favourite author!

Now on to the Book Blogger Hop meme which was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on 31 December 2012.

With Jennifer’s permission, Billy @ Ramblings of a Coffee Addict relaunched the hop on 15 February 2013. Each week the hop starts on a Friday and ends the following Thursday with a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.


So this week’s question is:

Do the star ratings a book receives on Goodreads or retail sites affect whether you buy the book or not?

(submitted by Flora @ Flora’s Musings)

As an avid reader, I’ve got to say that the star ratings do influence me to some degree. If I’ve read the book’s blurb and it sounds like something I’d like, I tend to read a selection of reviews to get an idea of what fellow readers liked and didn’t like about the book. I try to mix it up and read a 4-star review and a 2-star review and see if what they struggled with would be something that frustrates me. This strategy has drastically reduced the number of DNF books in my life. 💜😊

So how would you answer this week’s question? Are star ratings important to you?

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this post.

I hope you have a great weekend, stay safe & healthy and manage to read (or listen to) a great book.

Happy Reading!

Flora x

By Flora

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog -

20 replies on “Friday Finds: Mix It Up! Books for during Lockdown. Plus Book Blogger Hop”

I’ve seen Serpent & Dove making the rounds for quite some time now. I should probably look into if it’d be something I’d like or not. As for the question, I totally agree! The synopsis needs to pull me in first and if that goes well I’ll usually read a few high rated reviews and a few lower-rated reviews to get a sense of if the story would be for me or not. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of indie books that aren’t popular so that isn’t always the case because some of those books have less than a handful of reviews. My DNF pile has gotten less popular in the last 2 years but it still gets added to every few weeks, unfortunately :/

I do the same as you, especially when I’m on the fence about a book. I’ll look at opposing reviews and see what someone liked about it and what another person disliked about it. Hope you have a wonderful week! Stay safe and well! 🙂

Oh wow – Really glad to have found your blog (thanks to the hop). I love your Friday Post. Never head of Alyson Santos – but now I really want to read something of hers! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Be safe!

Hi Flora, thanks for stopping by! I agree with you for the BBH. Reviews are better than star rating and they tell me if the book is for me or not.

And I have Serpent and Dove on my TBR 😀

Stay safe, too! Thanks 😀

Serpent and Dove was such a great read, cant wait for book 2! Warrior of the Wild was another fab read!

I don’t use star ratings on my blog but I do add to Amazon and Goodreads but to be honest I dont take that much notice of them….

You highlighted some great finds this week! I am really looking forward to reading Serpent & Dove. I am glad Mahurin enjoyed it!

When choosing a book to read, I go with what interests me. Ratings don’t really come into play with that, except maybe if I am on the fence about it (and I’m really more interested in the reviews, frankly). When it comes to actually buying a book, I ask myself several questions. Do I need the book? Is it a keeper? Do I have the money to spend? If yes, to all of those, then I will likely buy it. The only time I take ratings (and the reviews that go with them) into consideration when I am considering purchasing a book is when I am on the fence about it or I am buying a book I haven’t read as a gift for someone else.

Have a good week and stay safe and well.

When picking a book, I usually stick to genres I’m comfortable with. I’ve also been known to pick books by their covers, which isn’t always a good choice. Have a great day!

I don’t much care about star ratings but I do care about reviews. I don’t read them for every book I choose but if I’m curious or on the fence about something then I definitely do some reading before making up my mind on whether to give it a try. I have very few DNFs nowadays. 🙂

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