Tag Archives: sarcasm

Lily Morton’s spooky jaunt around York is an utterly delightful treat

48703615._SY475_The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings by Lily Morton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Two things:

1 – If this hadn’t been written by Lily Morton I would never have read it as I don’t really do ghosts and ghouls any more.

2 – It was set in York, a city that was almost a second home to me in my younger days and which I love, living as I do only 35 miles away.

So, the book. As you can probably tell by my rating and where I’ve shelved it, I absolutely LOVED it. Lily is without doubt one of my absolute favourite authors, and this had all the hallmarks I’d expect from her, but it was also quite a departure in storytelling.

Not that all the Lily Morton elements aren’t there. This book still has two characters who will steal your hearts. It’s still full of British banter and snark and it still has a heart-meltingly good romance anchoring the narrative.

BUT helpful ghosts and malevolent spirits are not the usual fare from Lily.

Painful pasts and dickhead exes and a real sense of place, which is vividly drawn in the location and the interactions between the main characters and their surroundings, are her hallmarks and are executed with flair here.

Lily slowly builds up the tension as poor Levi’s unexpected bequest of a house which overlooks Minster Yard (and OMG can I be jealous of a book character because those properties are stunning!) starts to feel just a little bit dangerous.

I do love a good ghost story, I just don’t usually read them any more, or visit York Dungeon, or walk down spooky streets late at night, because I’m no longer the devil may care young person I once was and I couldn’t run away if something did pop out of a gravestone 🤣

But not only did I read this one, I read it all in one go, not finishing it until gone midnight and I couldn’t put it down. Everything is perfectly placed.

The slow reveal of the mystery (and okay I guessed it at the start but that’s just because I usually do – I think it comes from years of devouring Agatha Christie as a teenager) was so very well done. I loved the different feel of how all the spirits interacted with both Levi and Blue. My heart hurt a lot at times but there’s also great joy in this book.

And, can I say, as secondary characters go, Lily not only has such a knack with creating ones which linger in the conscious and make you want their own stories, but she crafts them so real you can totally visualise a small bookshop, tucked away in site of the Minster, with a crotchety old man being rude to his customers but with a twinkle in his eye.

I LOVED Tom. I also vividly pictured Will and, while I know there’s another book at least for Black and Blue (and can I just say I love this title!), I wouldn’t be averse to seeing Will fall on his arse in love with someone (a rare breeds farmer would be perfect here, just saying Lily…)

If you hadn’t considered this book because it’s not Lily’s usual fare, please, please pick it up and read it, I promise you won’t regret it, because it pays homage to all the best things about this time of year.

And, if you’re ever up in York, take yourself on a Ghost Walk, they’re worth every penny to find out more about the secret side of this ancient and most beautiful cities. Pop in to the Minster while you’re there too, the Undercroft is worth the entry price alone.

As ever, all gushing totally my own work. I will be in York seeing Lily and a lot of other lovely book peeps in a week or so and I cannot wait to spend time in one of my favourite places ❤

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Henry finally gets his romance and it’s utter perfection

Risk Taker (Mixed Messages, #3)Risk Taker by Lily Morton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Superb. British writing at its absolute finest and (let me whisper it) my favourite in the series because – Henry!

Oh this book is just gorgeous, Henry has been in love with Ivo since he was 15 when the other boy was briefly his step-brother for a few short years. Ivo is his world, his best friend, the only person he’s truly honest with and never hides from.

Ivo’s a photojournalist and is often in the most dangerous places in the world and he’s been in love with Henry for quite some time too, only he’s too afraid to do anything about it for many complex reasons which I completely understood.

Both men have been influenced by how they saw their parents’ lives and Ivo is still trying to live up to his dead dad’s mantra of living a free life, even if it means he’ll lose Henry to someone else in the long run.

The UST in this book was so well done. It’s obvious to the reader, as it is to all of Henry and Ivo’s mutual friends, that they are both desperately in love with the other. But there’s no so blind as those who won’t see and there ensues a delightfully hilarious and quite poignant period of their lives when Henry is trying out dating and Ivo is seething in the background.

The push/pull is never too much, it never becomes a chore to read because it is handled so well by Lily Morton that you’re eagerly waiting to see what outrageous thing is going to happen next. There’s a bit more depth goes into Henry’s background and we’re introduced to his delightful brother Silas (book please Lily!) and it was great to see their relationship was one of mutual support and love too.

The letters which introduce each chapter were genius, so many times I was finding myself choking back a laugh at the escapades they got up to in the three short years Ivo’s mum was married to Henry’s father.

I don’t think I’ve actually laughed out loud quite as much as I did with this book, even Gabe and Dylan in Rule Breaker didn’t make me chuckle as much.

Henry and Ivo just get each other, they’re able to snark for England and this book is a tour de force of humour. I think some are those only another Brit can truly appreciate – like referring to someone you love affectionally as a twat.

There’s quite a bit of Gabe and Dylan in this one too, and we pop in with Jude and Asa as well, and all of it adds up to more of the banter that this series is known for. The Guess Who dinner party had me in fits of laughter with tears as the sarcastic wit flew around the room.

Gabe referring to Dylan as like a cold that sneaks up on you and damages your immune system when expressing how much he loves him was pitched perfectly in contrast to Henry’s vacillating about what he was going to do about Ivo.

Things eventually come to a head – literally – and the sex is off the charts with these two when 20 years of tensions finally explode. But it’s not just about the lust, or the getting off, each man knows the other intimately, their fears, hopes, what keeps them awake at night and the emotional bond which has tied their friendship together is stretched out almost to snapping point.

I just loved everything about this book. It’s the culmination of the two narratives which went before it in the Mixed Messages series and, for me, it’s the cream at the top.

While I absolutely adored Jude and Asa and loved the heck out of Dylan and vulnerable Gabe, there was just something about seeing two men who’ve both been in love with the other for more than half their lives finally realise that love was worth taking the risk which spoke to me.

I’ve been waiting for Henry’s story since he first appeared as Gabe’s best mate and, in Risk Taker, Lily Morton delivered – for me – absolute perfection.

#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Recent Entries »