Top Ten Tuesday: It’s all about Dads! #TTT #HappyFathersDay

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Father’s Day related Freebiefavorite dads in literature, best father/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your dad, worst dads in literature, etc

I thought it was about time I joined in another TTT post. It’s always fun, but I don’t always find the time. I thought I’d make a special effort this week however, seeing how it’s Father’s Day this Sunday.

I’m going to split my list into two: Good Dads Vs Bad Dads!

Good Dads in Literature

  1. Vicente – The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: Sáenz writes such wonderful characters, and the dad in this novel is a new favourite. He’s kind, loving, strong, and cool. He’s always there for his son, Sal, but he doesn’t smother him. He’s a gay artist who gave up the man he loved for his adopted son, and he treats his son’s best friends as his own. He’s the best!
  2. Jack Peak – She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick: I thought I’d be able to remember more about this book than I’ve just realised so forgive me for inaccuracies, but I do remember that I loved Laureth and her relationship with her semi-famous author Jack Peak who goes missing. Laureth is blind but she doesn’t let that stop her. Her father’s interest in seeing patterns and connections in things rubbed off on her and she uses those skills andsheer bravery to try and find him.
  3. Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I really want to reread this book as I haven’t read it since I was at school. Atticus Finch is possibly the most recognised dad in fiction though and so it’s hard to forget about him. He’s a single father in a tough economic climate but he still manages to raise his two children as kind, loyal and accepting.
  4. Matt – The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lipton: I really loved this book, and for some reason, Matt -the father in this story- stood out. I say it like that, because I’m not sure how good a father he actually was. Matt is a wildlife photographer and was absent for a lot of the book (and his daughter’s life by the sounds of it). Similar to She is not Invisible, Matt goes missing, and his daughter Ruby goes in search of him. Ruby is deaf and loves that her dad doesn’t try to make her speak like her mum does, which brings them closer together. They have a unique bond that made the story as good as it was.
  5. Mo – The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke: For my last pick of ‘good’ dads I was torn between Mo and Detective Swan from Twilight…they are both great dads! But Mo wins for his storytelling abilities and huge heart.

Bad Dads

  1. The Marsh King – The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne: This one is fresh in my mind because I finished it recently (and loved it!). The dad in this story is the worst kind of dad. He kidnapped, raped, and abused Helena’s mum, and Helena was born into captivity. The even worse part was that Helena didn’t know any different and almost idolised him because he taught her how to hunt and live in the wilderness. He also trapped her in a well when she did something he didn’t like, though. BAD DAD. 
  2. Humbert Humbert – Lolita by Vladimir Nabookov: I think this one speaks for itself. Humbert is the worst ‘step-father’ ever. A scheming, slimy, seductor. Eugh.
  3. Jack Torrence – The Shining by Stephen King: Alcoholic, unhinged and the worst taste in jobs; Jack was never gonna be in the running for Dad of the year.
  4. King Shreave- The Selection series by Kiera Cass: It’s not apparent at first but the King in this series is horrible. He’s controlling and violent and has lied to the entire country. Poor Maxon!
  5. Pastor Thorne – Release by Patrick Ness: Adam Thorne’s dad was pretty bad but to be honest I wanted him to be worse. I felt like this book need more drama and less subtlety, but that aside, he was still a dad who is close-minded, strict, and bigoted. So still not great. Especially for the lovely Adam who just wants another boy to love him.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s lists this week because there were so many others  I could have chosen. Who made your lists? Leave a link in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Gimme More #TTT #weneeddiversebooks

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Top Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!

I haven’t done one of these in a while. I really felt like joining in this week, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to think of ten…

  1. Multi-cultural families: Inspired by something Patrick Ness said at his recent book tour premiere, and my recent read of The Inexplicable Logic of my Life I think there definitely needs to be more books featuring multi-cultural families. For example, a Scottish father and a Caribbean mother and how their children embrace (or not!) being part of two different cultures.
  2. Mother/Daughter relationships: For Mother’s Day one year I tried to do a top ten of books with great mother/daughter relationships (inspired by Gilmore Girls) but could barely come up with a handful. More please.
  3. Indigenous protagonists: I want to read more stories from the perspectives of indigenous people, from Shawnee tribes-people to Inupiats and everything in between.
  4. Cults: Why aren’t there more stories featuring cults? I’ve always found the idea of cults fascinating, and surely there’s lots of mileage you could get out of a story like that. It could be a horror, or a contemporary YA, a psychological thriller….all would make a great cult story.
  5. Unicorns: Obviously. Grown up, magical but kick-ass unicorn stories please.
  6. Happy Singletons: It really annoys me that there’s not many books about people being single AND happy. It does happen, people!
  7. Damaged guys: This one’s a bit shameful but yeah, I always fancy the damaged, broken guys in books (& tv/film)…I can’t be the only one, right!? More please.
  8. Letter writing: I’m scraping the barrel a bit here but I miss stories were the characters write letters to each other rather than texting all the time. I also haven’t read a good book in diary format for ages.
  9. Allergies: I’m allergic to lots of things and it’s a complete pain in the arse. I’ve only just realised that I haven’t read many books where a main character has allergies. Could be interesting.
  10. Nordic Settings: I know there’s quite a lot of Nordic-based adult fic out there, but I haven’t seen much of that going on on the YA scene. Yes please.

Whoop! I did it!

What’s on your book wishlist? And please let me know if my answers sparked any recommendation ideas!

Top Ten Tuesday: Fandoms #TTT #BTVS

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Top Ten fandoms you’re part of/love.

Wow I haven’t done a TTT yet this year. I didn’t mean to stop doing them altogether, just to only partake in the topics that really appealed and I guess that hasn’t happened yet.

 For me, the word fandom only brings to mind one thing…BUFFY!

I recently won tickets to a special Buffy party to celebrate its 20th anniversary (wahhhhh so old) which was amazing! The Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square was kitted out in all the Buffy Merch you could imagine and I was in Heaven. AKA 1999.

Here’s Giles as a demon as the biggest cake I’ve ever seen:

 

Anyway, I thought this TTT topic would be the perfect way for me to celebrate the Buffy anniversary on my blog, by compiling my top ten episodes. This is going to be painful…

(OK this was actually impossible. I’m not happy with this list but the more I change it the worse it gets. DAMN YOU WHEDONNNNNNN)

 

 

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10. The Wish

 

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9. Dopplegangland

 

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8. The Gift

 

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7. School Hard

 

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6. Hush

 

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5. Bad Girls/Enemies (I CAN’T CHOOSE)

 

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4. Becoming (parts 1 & 2)

 

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3. Prophecy Girl

 

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2. Tabula Rasa

 

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1. Once More with Feeling

 

BONUS (just because)…

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…Smashed

#Buffyslays20

Top Ten Tuesday: Early 2017 Releases #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Top Ten books I’m looking forward to in the first half of 2017.

It feels a bit premature to be looking to 2017 releases (especially considering I haven’t even done my November round-up yet), but we all know that it’s actually not!

Here are ten books that I hope to read in the first half of the year. They are not all necessarily released then.

The Chalk Pit – Elly Griffiths (23/2/17)

A Mother’s Reckoning – Sue Klebold (09/02/17)

Calling Major Tom – David M. Barnett (29/06/17)

Mercy of the Tide – Keith Rosson (21/02/17)

Girl in Disguise – Greer Macallister (21/03/17)

The Wingsnatcher’s – Sarah Jean Horowitz (25/04/17)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness (35/08/2015)

Wintersong – S. Jae-Jones (07/02/17)

The Chemist – Stephenie Meyer (08/11/16)

Heartless – Marissa Meyer (08/11/16)

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Best new-to-me authors read in 2016 #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Top Ten new-to-me authors in 2016!

I discovered so many great authors again this year, and finally got round to reading some of those that had been on my TBR for way too long.

Here are my top ten authors that I discovered or first read this year, (and the books of theirs I read). Links go to my reviews.

10. Holly Martin (Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky)

9. Liz Kessler (Haunt Me)

8. Leigh Bardugo (Shadow & Bone)

7. Natalie Haynes (The Amber Fury)

6. Nina LaCour (You Know Me Well – with David Levithan)

5. Janet B. Taylor (Into the Dim)

4. Danielle Vega (The Merciless)

3. Catherine Lowell (The Madwoman Upstairs)

2. Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)

1. Jason Arnopp (The Last Days of Jack Sparks)

Did you try any of these this year?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: The Perfect Gift? #TTT #ChristmasGifts

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Holiday Gift Guide freebie

OK so this topic is kind of perfect because I’ve been meaning to do a little gift guide for a while. I’m an affiliate of Waterstones, The Book Depository, and Foyles and I don’t promote them as much as I should so in the spirit of full disclosure, unless otherwise stated, all of these links are affiliate links and should you purchase anything from the sites I will get a small (really, very small) commission.

1. Born to Run ~ Bruce Springsteen

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Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.

Hardback, published: 27/09/2016

Who for: Rock n’ Roll parents
Best price: £10
Where from: Waterstones

 

2. Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

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Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook is packed with all the classics you need for the big day and beyond, as well as loads of delicious recipes for edible gifts, party food and new ways to love those leftovers. It’s everything you need for the best Christmas ever.

Hardback, published: 20/10/2016

Who for: Secret Santa; The In-Laws, that weird person in your life that doesn’t read fiction.
Best price: £13 
Where from: Waterstones

 

3. Lean in 15 ~ Joe Wicks

gift3Joe Wicks is a man on a mission. His goal is to get the world away from fad diets and miserable calorie-counting and into a pattern of healthy, sustaining eating and to become fitter, stronger and leaner.

Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach has inspired thousands to transform their bodies by shifting unwanted fat and building lean muscle and now he’s taking what he’s learned to the next level.

Paperback, published: 17/11/2016
Who for: Your health-conscious friend / your friend that fancies Joe Wicks.
Best price: £8.49
Where from: Waterstones

4. Selected Fairy Tales ~ The Brothers Grimm

 

gift4Part of a special set of 10 hardcover classics, designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, that innovatively use foil and a special new binding material to create a highly collectible set.

 Stepmothers, dark forests, strange beasts, broken promises, sinister brides, castle turrets, princes on horseback, magic lamps, industrious dwarves and a frog king. Collected and adapted from German folk tales, these imperishable stories can be read over and over again.

Leather / fine binding, published: 16/11/2015

Who for: Your favourite bookworm; little sisters
Best price: £14.99
Where from: Waterstones

5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

gift5It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Hardback, published: 31/07/2016
Who for: That secret pott-head in your life
Best price: £10
Where from: Waterstones

6. Ripley’s Believe it or Not! 2017

gift6The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! annual has now firmly established itself as a Christmas must-have, with an ever-growing army of loyal fans. Following hot on the heels of last year’s Top 10 best-seller, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! 2017 offers a completely new compendium of strange but true facts and amazing stories, ranging from the Polar Bear robot, to the edible human skull, to the woman who still suffers from sea-sickness three years after her last boat trip, to the Swiss daredevil who soars over famous landmarks in his custom-made jet pack.

Hardback, published 08/09/2016

Who for: The little brother who has everything (and likes gross things)
Best price: £10
Where from: Foyles

7. The Chemist ~ Stephenie Meyer

 

gift7In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life. She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning. Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon. When her former handler offers her a way out, she realises it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers.

Hardback, published 08/11/2016

Who for: Thriller fans!
Best price: £10
Where from: Foyles

8. Jim Henson’s Labyrinth Tales

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Experience the endlessly imaginative world of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth through the eyes of its most fantastical and beloved characters! Witness a day in the life of Sir Didymus, the recklessly heroic fox-terrier; Ludo, the lovable oaf; Hoggle, an ever loyal companion; and others as they play games, work together, and revel in the magic of the labyrinth. Written and gorgeously illustrated by acclaimed children’s book illustrator Cory Godbey (Have Courage, Be Kind: The Tale of CinderellaI), Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Tales takes readers deep into the adventure where magic knows no bounds.

Hardback, published 20/10/2016

Who for: Me! 😉 or anyone who has ever hailed Labyrinth as the best film ever!
Best price: £12.99
Where from: The Book Depository

9. His Bloody Project ~ Graeme McCrae

gift9The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country’s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence. Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows. Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary.

Paperback, published 11/08/2016

Who for: The perfect ‘I can’t think of anything else under £5’ gift.
Best price: £4.24
Where from: The Book Depository

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to the Movies #TTT #90sMovies

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… All about the movies. 

There was quite a few suggestions for the movie theme this week and one of them was 90s movies. I was an 80s baby and a 90s t(w)een so naturally 90s movies are full of childhood nostalgia for me.

So without further ado, here are my top ten 90s movies (that everyone should watch)! In no particular order…

  • The Craft
  • Clueless
  • Scream
  • Home Alone
  • An Interview with a Vampire
  • Speed
  • Pretty Woman
  • 10 Things I Hate about You
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Terminator 2

 

Bonus Round: Not quite the 90s…

These were staples of my childhood, and I still love to watch them now! Let’s face it, 80s films were also pretty awesome. I’ll have to do a separate post for them at the some point.

  • E.T
  • The Goonies
  • Labyrinth
  • The Karate Kid

What would have made your list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top books recently added to the dreaded TBR pile. #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Top ten books recently added to your TBR pile.

Well, this is a nice, easy topic, although I have been buying more books recently so it’ll be hard to choose just 10.

Added from Netgalley:

The Silent Songbird ~ Melanie Dickerson: I shouldn’t have requested this book because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it read and reviewed by the pub date (today!) but I just couldn’t resist. I really fancy an epic historical YA. The opening line of the synopsis had me instantly…I mean castles =  DONE. “Evangeline longs to be free, to live in the world outside the castle walls. But freedom comes at a cost”

The Girl Who Saved Christmas ~ Matt Haig: You should all know by now that I love Christmas, and festive reads. I’ve wanted to read Matt Haig’s books for ages so this one was also impossible to resist.

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily ~ Rachel Cohn & David Levithan: I didn’t even know this book was on the cards until I saw it on Netgalley. I loved Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares so I’m thrilled that these authors have got together once again for a sequel. This time, Dash and Lily’s brother have just 12 days until Christmas to cheer Lily up after her grandfather became seriously ill. Can they recapture the magic of Christmas in New York for her?

Shock and Awe ~ Simon Reynolds: This book chronicles the legacy of glam rock from the seventies to today and as such will heavily feature my hero, David Bowie. I don’t often read non-fiction, but I’m really looking forward to this one.

Recently Bought:

The Red Eye Box Set ~ Various: This set of four YA Horror books from Stripes Publishing arrived at the beginning of October. I’ve already read one of the books, Frozen Charlotte and really loved it so I hope the others are as good too.

A Christmas Party ~ Georgette Heyer: I picked this up from a charity shop recently. ‘Tis’ the season for…Murder‘ is the perfect tagline that enticed me.

City of Dark Magic ~ Magnus Flyte: I bought this book in an English bookshop I found in Prague. It sounds amazing.

“Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.”

Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo: This arrived just this week. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

Borrowed:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here ~ Patrick Ness: It’s Ness. I don’t have to say much more. Other than perhaps my shame that I haven’t read it yet.

Koko Takes a Holiday ~ Kieran Shea: I think I can safely say that this will be my first ever Cyberpunk book. It sounds mad, in a good way. My friend Dora enjoyed it and passed it on to me.

Have you read any of these? What should I go for first?

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Spooky Picture Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… A Halloween-related freebie! 

It took me a while to decide what to do for this open Halloween topic. But after much deliberation I went for a change of pace in the Horror October proceedings and decided to go for my top Halloweeny picture books for children.

There are so many great classic ones that I still remember from my childhood, but I also wanted to showcase some of the newer books out there so my TTT is split into two parts this week.

Top 5 Classic Picture Books for Halloween

Room on the Broom – Julia Donaldson

In a Dark Dark Room – Alvin Schwartz

Pumpkin Soup – Helen Cooper

Mystery Tour – Allan Ahlberg

Badjelly the Witch – Spike Milligan

 

Top 5 Modern Picture Books for Halloween

Baba Yaga – An Leysen

Gracie meets a Ghost – Keiko Sena

The Wolves in the Walls – Neil Gaiman

One, Two, Boo! – Kristen Depken

Halloween Hustle – Charlotte Gunnufson

What would have made your list?

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Villains (mwahahahahaaa)! #TTT #HorrorOctober

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten Villains!

I’m very happy with this topic as it’s perfect for Horror October! I’m going to narrow the topic down to the most swoon-worthy baddest of the bad guys, but I’m choosing characters from both page and screen. Let’s face it, there’s gonna be a lot of vampires in this list. Sigh. 

These guys take ‘always falling for the bad boys’ to another level!

 

Spike (Buffy)

Spuffy forever! I’ve always loved Spike, he’s clearly the best. Much better than that lamo Angel.

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Lestat (Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles)

 I’m not talking about Tom Cruise here, although I think he played it brilliantly. Lestat is so the original bad boy vampire that we really want to want us, right?  Plus, he’s a rock star on occasion.

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The Darkling (The Grisha series)

It’s so wrong but so right. I haven’t read the final book yet but I’m praying for more evil-hot Darkling action. 

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Eric (True Blood)

Skarsgard. Nuff said.

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Paul Spector (The Fall)

I couldn’t give two shits about the whole 50 Shades thing but OMG Dornan in The Fall is just ueghdhsoigahuy. He’s a serial killer, which is bad, granted…but his accent, and face and well, everything. IT’S TOO MUCH. 

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Kasper Varn (The Dark Heroine)

I only read the first book in this series and I can’t remember a great deal about it tbh. Apart from the main vampire being hot.

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Rowan (Throne of Glass series)

Another non-vampire. Check me out. The last book I read in the series was Heir of Fire (I’m behind, I know) where we meet Rowan, the fae prince and warrior. He’s pretty vicious. He’s also totes hot amiright!? I must be, you just have to look at all the crazygood fan art of him. Swoon. 

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Gavriel (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown)

 OK that was short lived. Here’s another vampire who shouldn’t make our knees go weak but does. At least he’s kind of nice by the end of the book…I think.

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Jareth (Labyrinth)

David Bowie. Cod Piece. Leather. Glass balls. Enough. I mean he might try to steal your baby but at least he’ll sing while he’s doing it. 

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Hannibal (TV series)

Never before has Hannibal Lecter been even the slightest bit hot. Until Mads Mikkleson. What is it about him? It’s so wrong…

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*Bonus Pick* Damon (The Vampire Diaries)

Oh Damon. He’s no Spike but he’d do. 

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Don’t forget to vote for your favourite  horror prompt for my Flash Fiction Battle. More info here. Voting closes in 2 days!

NEXT UP ON HORROR OCTOBER: Pretty Wicked book blitz & giveaway