Review: Beauty From Pain

Today’s post is written by the CaribbeanLady of The Romance Book Review

Book: Beauty From Pain by Georgia Kates
Publisher: Kindle Edition, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: HalfHeart
Sensuality Rating
: 9

Summary: Jack McLachlan is a winemaking magnate and easily one of Australia’s most eligible bachelors. His success and wealth make him no stranger to the complications of romantic relationships and that’s why he goes to extreme measures to avoid the hassle. He prefers simplicity in the form of a beautiful female companion with no strings attached. He arranges relationships like business deals and they’re always the same. No long term relationships. No real names.
More Information: GoodReads


This one was pretty good. I completely enjoyed it! I plan to invest in the other books in the series. Let’s see…hot Australian men + setting in a vineyard=amazingness.

The hero and heroine are strong, with some depth. Kates really did a great job of creating the heroine’s character. She seems so endearing and lovely, but yet so fragile. This is the first couple I actually believe would make it in the end. And the supporting characters are wonderful. Well..most of them. I felt that some were forgotten about somehow during reading.

The chemistry between these two is intense. And you may want to practice a new ‘work-out’ routine after reading this one. I’m trying to find someone that teaches that in my town right now! When you read it you will find out exactly what I’m talking about.

Happy reading!

Have you read this book?

*A Note On Guests* As it is, I am the primary poster and Nikki is our other amazing writer! We’ve done guest posts in the past so if someone would like to do a review or has an idea of another post please (especially if it’s an area that I don’t often post on), feel free to email me at b.tcheswithbooks @

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Season’s Readings!

What books are just perfect to curl up with when the jack frost comes a-nippin’ and reindeer are breakin’ up your roof with their big clumsy freaky magic flying hoofs??

We’ve picked a handful of our favourites! They aren’t necessarily about or during Christmas, but they are the perfect accompaniment to warm drinks and good food and coziness and merriment and warm fuzzies (without being sickly…! Just good, y’know?)


Winter always feels like a good time for fantasy, mystery and longer reads. Not all of my picks (read: none) are directly ‘Christmas’ related, but they certainly put me into the spirit when it’s cold and winter outside, and I want to warm up inside and be comforted by a good story.


First book on the winter holiday recommendations list is The Hobbit! Isn’t that cover just perfect too?! I love a bit of old fashioned high fantasy when it starts to get colder. And that’s probably due to social conditioning to believe ye olde European settings are the default/only settings for fantasy and those environments tend to be cold and ‘wintery’ feeling with forests and dragons and goblins and such. But for now we’ll just focus on the fact that this story is lovely and fun and goes great with a flagon of mulled wine and some biscuits? I am…really not a fan of the films…BUT I would probably follow this reading up with the Lord of the Rings film trilogy!


Next up is A Series Of Unfortunate Events! These books are so fun and the mood is just right for when things start to get a little gloomier. They’re great for a giggle and, because it’s a middle grade series, they’re short enough to consume in no time at all. I really love Tim Curry’s brilliant performance of the books on audiobook so I would actually recommend giving them a listen. It not only brings the books to delicious life(!) it also feels a bit like (what I imagine it was like) back in the old days (like 1930s? I don’t know) when you sit around the radio and listen eagerly to stories all warm and toasty in your cosy living room.


And for a little bit of mystery, The Secret Adversary…! This is the first of the Tommy and Tuppence series by Agatha Christie. It’s another fun one, but one that keeps you guessing nearly to the end (at least it did me). For me, these classic mysteries fit so well into winter. I find contemporary mysteries are often gritty, intense and uncomfortable…which is fine, but when winter rolls around, what I really want in a mystery is a fun little adventure to warm the cockles of my soul…sort of like next-level Scooby Doo. :’)
Perfect with a bottle of wine. (Or, as I like to say, a bottle of ‘win’!)


Norwegian Wood is the only one in this list that I wouldn’t describe as “fun” but it is, nevertheless, such an enjoyable read. For all the conflicting issues I have with much of his work, Haruki Murakami’s writing is beautiful but unobtrusive. It is accessible enough to pick it up without any difficulty at all and the words flow seamlessly as he weaves his tale. This was my first introduction to Murakami and I read it before knowing what a big deal he was. If you’re looking to try Murakami but not sure where to start, I would strongly(!) recommend starting with Norwegian Wood.

This one is perfect for winter as physical and emotional frigidity is so prevalent in the story, but there is also warmth to be found…



Are we suprirsed that Harry Potter is on this list? No, not really.

So this makes no sense, all of my choices are hardly Christmasy but for some reason, they bring me to thoughts of my favourite season! Actually, I do know why I chose all 4 of these, they all involve snow. Growing up in The Bahamas, one does not see snow, like ever (though there is a story about snow falling on the island I grew up on one frigid winter, which also brings stories of hell in The Bahamas). So I associate the snow in the books I grew up reading with Christmas. Hurrah.

Plus I reread the series every Christmas.

But yes, Winter Is Coming. Shush, don’t make fun of my cheesy inclusion of what has to be the most violent book I’ve ever read on a “Christmas” list.

Winter is coming, so duh, Christmas.

Plus, plus, I never understood what the heck Mulled Wine was till I read this book and even then it didn’t click till I moved to the UK for a year. Brilliant, I want to sit by a fire with a goblet of mulled wine with a direwolf by my feet (and live, I want to live).

I’ll say it once: Turkish Delight.






This is a true Christmas story for me. I was given the novels as a child for Christmas and I was also given the extended films and I’ve just grown up reading and watching them when it got a bit colder. The Lord of the Rings is an amazing series with quests and adventures and I will always think of the Shire in Christmas terms.

I hope to reread the series this Christmas, if I ever find the time to do so, and re-watch all of the films. Yes.

What books would you recommend to us for the season?

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(Claire) All I Want For Christmas: Geek Style

Another Christmas wish list post for you today! This post is going to look at a different facet of me so it’s sort of bookish, but really, much more geeky.

Geeky Desires on a Christmas Budget

Sailor Moon

Geek1Huge Sailor Moon fan so I have to rep my love with a new key chain. I just want Jupiter, Mars and Mercury so I plan to give Venus and Moon to the sis (who likes them and would better appreciate their powers). This tshirt is also, amazing, and I find myself wanting it more and more. It’s by a seller on Etsy so click the pic to go to their shop page.

A Song of Ice and Fire/ GOT

Geek4I’ve been a huge fan of the Song of Ice and Fire series for some time. I devoured 4 of the books in one week. Mind you, I had a serious reading induced headache and stuff spun around for a while (that’s what reading for 16 hours a day, 7 days straight will do to you). I love the dress but really itching to get my hands on The World of Ice and Fire. I’ve heard the illustrations are amazing and I’m very interested in Westerosi history. Dress from BlackMilk Clothing.

Harry Potter

Geek2I solemnly swear that I really am up to no good. I really want all of these. Like, I have to get them somehow! See I’ve always been a pretty big geek and always tried to find ways to rep my passions. In The Bahamas, it is impossible to find geek merch. It was only upon going to Oxford that I was able to show my true rainbow hued geek colors and rep Harry Potter tees, or my Pikachu key chain and so on. I’m going to keep being me and go with the flow. Plus, that Hermoine light up wand is the perfect flashlight.

Dress from BlackMilk Clothing, Wand and Ravenclaw Tee from WB Harry Potter shop.

LOTR/The Hobbit

Geek3I feel like I meant to put these editions in the book post, but somehow completely forgot? I’ve been eying these editions since I saw them in Oxford, but now I’m convinced, must, get. Also.

Geek5Gaming Wants

Geek6I bought myself a 2DS (the 3D features game me massive headaches on the 3DS, so I thought, why not just buy a 2DS) for my 25th birthday (much to the chagrin of my family, which I don’t get, a 25 year old isn’t allowed to game??). I’ve got a few games now but being that these are around 40 pounds each, eh, I’ve got more luck hoping Geek Santa hears.

 We’ve all got geeky merch desires, what are yours?


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(Nikki) All I Want For Christmas

Last Christmas with Claire was a blast! I’m gonna miss her and her sweet little red (non-Santa)* hat this year ;_;

*It actually had nothing to do with holidays at all. It was just a Claire thing.

In the spirit of Christmas times spent hangin’ out with Claire, I’m also writing up a bookish wishlist.


I feel like this probably already says a lot about me before I even begin to talk about the books: art, feminism, a dash of science and some off-kilter fiction. But to go in and illuminate a few bits of what you’re looking at in this collage:

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Complete Audiobook Collection) by Lemony Snicket


Oooooh boy, you guys! I think my Goodreads review of book 2 pretty much says it all. I just need to find a reasonably priced copy of this CD collection… Or I may just download the audiobooks (Overdrive or iTunes??) for £65 *wallet bursts into flames*

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


This is my favourite book, yet I do not own a copy. The reasons why are stupid. Suffice it to say, I’m seeking to rectify. Most BNW covers just seem sort of…well, I really don’t like them. But I think this Huxley painting cover is gorgeous.

114944 18813642

I am woman. Hear me roar.

The Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce


A friend said she thought I’d like this series and I think I probably will so I’ve been looking for it but it seems reeeally difficult to get hold of in the UK. ugh! Might have to get request my bookstore (or library?) order it in. (I have a feeling Claire might like this series too, but don’t want to recommend it until I have actually read it and had my suspicions confirmed!)

And Greg Pizzoli’s bookish buttons are must-have reading-love declarations, of course!

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 17.15.12(PS: his children’s books look really cute and fun)

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(Claire) All I Want For Christmas

It’s Christmas time soon and I am so very excited. I love the Christmas season, love, love, love it. I spent Christmas with Nikki last year and it was a wonderful (cold, very, very cold) experience. This year I’ll be in the warm Bahamas but I’m still hoping for some kind of cold front, so that I have an excuse to wear a sweater and drink tea (and not sweat as I drink it). I also saved a bunch of mulled wine spices from when I was in the UK so I’d love to make a few bottles of mulled goodness.

Seeing that all the kiddies are writing their Santa letters, I’m writing my own. Or writing a few really. This post details the books I’d love to see Santa smuggle me. I’m not going to write about every book, but just a few that I really, really want. I’ve written a few other posts detailing my fandom desires or bookish merchandise.

Christmas Book Drool List


Saga Volume Four by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

I’ve become addicted to the Saga series, and I’d love, love, love to get my hands on volume 4. I got the other 3 at YALC and I need, need, need to get 4.

Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg

I started reading the book on my kindle but became a bit frustrated because I wanted to take notes and at the end of the day, notes need to be taken by hand (in my opinion). I’ve heard this edition is really good, tips wise, so if I get any Christmas money, it’ll be the first thing I get.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

I’ve been interested in this series for a while but I’ve decided to put it on my Christmas list because if Nikki could read an entire book series and enjoy it, I have to read it.

I Really Need These For Christmas, Like Really, Really, Need

Harry Potter complete set & Hogwarts Library


I really need this new set guys. I’ve been agonizing as to which set to buy, and you’ll find out later because I’m going to write about why in a new post, but for now, as in as of December 1st, 2014, I’ve decided I want this new set by Bloomsbury. I also really want a hardback set of the Hogwarts library even though I have ebook editions. Geek much?

Sailor Moon Set 1 x 2 & Sailor V series

This is a long post so kuddoes to anyone who has lasted this long! I have the complete manga set published by Tokyopop but I need (not reallllllly a need, but in my mind, they are a need, not a want) a new set because the old ones are falling apart and I heard these new sets have awesome new translations and comments. I also want the Sailor V series because I never had it and as a huge Sailor Moon freak, I need to complete this.

 What bookish desires do you have for this upcoming holiday season?!


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Bookish Tea Pairings (2)

In this post I pair books with tea, pairing random elements from literature (such as the covers, content, characters), with a warm cup of tea.

Disclaimer: I might be linking specific brands of tea instead of a generic flavour. I’m not making any money from this post (it isn’t sponsored and I’m not an affiliate anywhere, I stopped doing that a long time ago), so if you choose to purchase a tea that’s up to you, I’m just using a brand to illustrate a point.

Bookish Tea Pairings (2)

Wicked by Gregory Maguire x Jasmine Bloom Tea

I know, I know, this is a random pairing but hear me out! I first thought, well, let me pair a random cheesy green tea to go with Elphaba. Boo.

But, then I remembered the bloom teas, which are flowers that have been dehydrated and bloom in hot water. I thought that it would be a nice parallel to the book’s main character.

Alice’s In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll x English Breakfast tea

This one is a bit of a cheat. In the UK, Whittards has an entire Alice In Wonderland tea line, including, cups, tea pots, plates and so on. This includes an entire English Breakfast tea line which tastes absolutely splendid. I need to take a picture of my little Alice tin and show it to everyone!


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo x Russian Caravan tea

This tea, according to Twinnings, is “easy on the palate and makes a lovely breakfast tea – a wake up call and treat for the taste buds.”

So I guess all of the teas in today’s post focus on some sort of breakfast element, totally by accident of course.

 I’d love to know how you’d pair them differently (or similarly)!


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Review: Sweet Rome

Today’s post is written by the CaribbeanLady of The Romance Book Review

Book: Sweet Rome by Tillie Cole
Publisher: Kindle Edition, 2014
Genre: Romance, YA
Sensuality Rating: 9

Summary:It makes me laugh when I hear folks think Molly and I rushed into things too fast, spouting that we couldn’t possibly have felt what we did for each other in such a short space of time. I say, how the hell would they know? We made it, didn’t we? She became my whole life, didn’t she? And as for my folks not being real, being true? Tell that to me aged ten, eleven, twelve—damn, all my bastard life—when I was never enough, when I was beaten until I bled for being too good at football and not being everything they’d dreamed: the perfectly dutiful son. Tell that to thousands of kids around the world getting wailed on by asshole parents for whatever stupid reason; tell them evil don’t exist in their eyes.
More Information: GoodReads


I enjoyed this one. Other reviewers mentioned that the only way to describe the hero’s point of view is ‘raw’. They were exactly right. I could believe that he had the exact thought processes that the author gave him. This book deals with physical abuse, which is never easy to read about. It is pretty depressing at times to be honest, but this shit happens.

The couple did not have an easy road to happily ever after, which was kind of refreshing for me. The author convinced me that Rome really exists. Him being a football player was an added bonus for me!

Give it a shot. I couldn’t put it down, but I did feel like the author left some situations out. She may have assumed that book #1 was read before, so the reader knows what happened. That is my sole complaint.  It is not a stand alone book in my opinion for that reason. I kind of want to read the heroines point of view now.

Have you read this book?

*A Note On Guests* As it is, I am the primary poster and Nikki is our other amazing writer! We’ve done guest posts in the past so if someone would like to do a review or has an idea of another post please (especially if it’s an area that I don’t often post on), feel free to email me at b.tcheswithbooks @

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Bookish Tea Pairings (1)

I was talking with my coworker again about our mutual love of all things bookish and tea. For me, I like to drink tea (I’m not a huge coffee fan, I will drink it if I’m desperate but I like it weak and sweet) all the time but especially when I’m reading! I started talking about making a list of tea I like to drink in general (because I associate tea with books, get it?) and she came up with the idea of pairing what I think of as the ideal tea with one of my favourite books. Mind blown. So I’m going to attempt it this time and see what it’s like to make this post!

Disclaimer: I might be linking specific brands of tea instead of a generic flavour. I’m not making any money from this post (it isn’t sponsored and I’m not an affiliate anywhere, I stopped doing that a long time ago), so if you choose to purchase a tea that’s up to you, I’m just using a brand to illustrate a point.

Bookish Tea Pairings (1)

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan x Earl Grey

Tea1-2This book was so classic and Victorian with a unique dragon twist that I had to include what I think of as a classic British tea.

I love, love, love Earl Grey. It’s one of my favourite teas of all time and I drink it every day, easily. My family finds it too strong but I crave it constantly.


The Help by Kathryn Stockett x Peach Iced Tea

Tea1-3So, I know this is going to be a bad association but when I think of the south I think of sweet iced tea?

I know it’s clichéd and it’s a caricature but when I went to the south they were always shoving the stuff down me! I drink Peach Iced Tea all the time because The Bahamas is so hot and I think it’s a good pair with The Help.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer x Magic Dragon (David’s Tea)

Tea1-1Hear me out! I know I’ve named a specific brand in this tea selection (I quite like David’s Tea as a company actually) but I think it’s a good pair for obvious reasons.

One being that it’s a red tea and the book is called Scarlet. Plus the name! Here is the ingredients list for Magic Dragon: apple, rosehip, hibiscus and blackberry leaves. Yummm!

Remember, this is just my opinion but I’d love to know how you’d pair them differently (or similarly)!


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