A to Z Challenge Book Reviews

My Languishing TBR: K #AtoZChallenge2023 #Books #BookReviews

K is for Kiss

Learn more about the challenge here.

I’m doing folklore and book review posts to reach and please a larger audience. Previous years have shown select interest in both and to minimise blogging throughout the year, I’m focusing my efforts on April.

Focusing on an A to Z of my TBR (to be read) list, each letter will have books starting with that letter on my list, a book I’ve read and reviewed (with the review!) and one of my books matching the letter with a link about more info about the book (I’ve published some new books, so take a look).

I chose the books this year quite randomly from my Goodreads Want to Read page. Some are quite creatively added to letters.

I know there were suggestions in last year’s Reflection post that I skip my TBR and just get on with the review, but I like knowing what I have left to read for each letter (and how far I’ve come with all the reading challenges I’ve done) so things are staying the same. Scroll down to the reviews if you’re not interested in what my TBR still contains. FYI, you might encounter issues with commenting if you don’t tick all the boxes marked as mandatory (especially the privacy one).

Let the fun begin!

If you’d rather check out my folklore post for today, go here.


About the Book I’ve Read

Once Upon a Kiss by various authors

Seventeen all new, magical stories from NY Times and USA Today bestsellers and award-winning authors that will warm even the coldest hearts. Inspired by old favorites as well as lesser-known tales, find retellings of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Old Rinkrank, King Thrushbeard, The Princess and the Pea, and many more – all with fresh, romantic twists – just in time for Valentine’s Day~

On the way to her wedding, brave and clever Princess Sabine falls into a Glass Mountain, where she is trapped with a crotchety man she calls “Old Rinkrank.” The two form a unique, unlikely friendship while working to escape.

THE BAKERS GRIMM – Hailey Edwards
When two struggling business owners compete for the contract of a lifetime, it’s all bakers on deck. Mix in a dollop of rivalry, a tablespoon of romance, and a pinch of magic, and you’ve got the recipe for one heck of a bake-off. May the best decorator win!

A young woman in ancient Greece is tasked with carving a new statue for Aphrodite’s temple. But what happens when she falls in love with her art?

RED– Sarra Cannon
Charlotte is searching for a cure to save her sister, but what she finds in the woods is not at all what she expects…

PRINCESS CHARMING – Yasmine Galenorn
Sometimes, the road to Happily Ever After leads a girl right past Prince Charming… into the arms of his sister.

MAD ABOUT YOU – Jennifer Blackstream
Alice doesn’t want to marry the Mad Hatter. Will an unexpected trip to Wonderland change her mind?

A mermaid gives up everything to be with the mortal man she loves – but can there be a happy ending when the Sea Witch intervenes?

Juliet enters the afterlife and discovers the truth behind her relationship with Romeo and Paris – and that their greatest challenge is yet to come.

SOOT AND STONE: A Fae Tale of the Otherworld – Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
Aisling, a young Faelorehn artist, finds herself falling for the son of one of the famed Tuatha De Danann. The only problem is, she’s unaware of his true identity, and her selfish uncle will do anything to keep her from realizing her dreams.

Sometimes, a prince isn’t as charming as history would like you to believe. And sometimes, a princess needs an alpha male shifter to find her happily ever after.

An imp finds herself in a fairytale world without her infernal powers facing an impossible task. Will Sam barter away her firstborn? Will her angelic main-squeeze save her? Or will she come up with a devilish solution of her own?

THE GLASS SKY – Alexia Purdy
Star’s refusal of suitors lined up for her hand has her family in knots, but when the city is bombed and overthrown, she loses everything. After she’s rescued by a handsome stranger named Clyde, she sneaks away to save her parents but finds herself trapped in the new president’s clutches.

RUSH – C. Gockel
Misogyny is a beast.
When the incarnation of Creation gets angry at Rush for innocently stating his opinion, she curses him to find true love in two weeks … or else.

Her first love has been placed under a spell.

THE TOAD PRINCE – Nikki Jefford
Isabel Ivers’s stepfather will do anything to secure his place as Far North’s new ruler, even if it means marrying her off to the depraved prince of the lowlands.

CRAFTED WITH A KISS – Shawntelle Madison
Despite fighting in countless battles to bring peace to warring kingdoms, Pynnelope, a warrior maiden made of wood, knows no fear. Becoming human is all she desires until she discovers she can have so much more.

A SMALL MAGIC – Devon Monk
A cursed princess, a talking pea, and a wish that changes everything.

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

This is a collection of fairytale retellings that has to have a kiss in it somewhere. There are typos and misspelled words as well as some text that had to be removed during formatting throughout. The last story, “A Small Magic” is the best tale in the collection as there was nothing predictable about it and was a well-thought out story. Individual reviews of the stories:

The Glass Mountain

A fun tale of magic, danger and falling in love. What her sister did to her, though, is unforgiveable. I liked the origin story of the mountain.

The Bakers Grimm

I liked the baking aspect of it, but her mum nearly made me DNF it. A fun twist on the Rumpelstiltskin tale.

Galatea and Pygmalion

I did not like the tone of this story with all the men leering at her… DNF.


Not a bad story, but the sudden passionate kiss felt like it came out of nowhere. I liked the play on Little Red Ridinghood.

Princess Charming

Too much italics and coarse language for my taste. DNF

Mad About You

Meh. She finds him attractive and intriguing, yet doesn’t want to marry him because she thinks he’s mad – though there’s no basis for it. DNF

The Sea King’ Daughter

A cute Little Mermaid retelling, even if the start is a bit predictable.

Romeo & Juliet: The Afterlife

Cringe. And not just because “disastrous” was spelled “disasters”. DNF

Soot and Stone

Up until she describes what she looks like followed by a block of text in italics, it was okay. DNF

The Huntsman’s Snow

It starts with italics, making it impossible for me to read. DNF


Why swear? DNF

The Glass Sky

So confused starting with the first chapter… DNF


Why swear? The story started confusing enough. DNF

Perchance to Dream

So not only was a study/library burned down, but there’s confusion over chickens clucking and being roasted… Um, no. DNF

The Toad Prince

Words like “snippy”, “jeering” and “sneering” jumped from the page. DNF

Crafted with a kiss

Didn’t draw me in and then blocks of text in italics making it impossible for me to read. DNF

A Small Magic

An entertaining and endearing retelling of the Princess and the Pea. This is the best story in the anthology.

DNF 12 out of 17: 1.4 stars

2 unicorn star rating

My Book

Dark Desires

I hope you enjoyed this. For more books I’ve read and reviewed, check out either my Pinterest board about reviews or my Goodreads profile. Alternatively, you can check out my reviews on BookBub. Have you read any of the books? Loved or hated any of them?

You can now support my time in producing book review posts (buying books, reading, writing reviews and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.

*FYI, my reviews are my honest opinion and if something bothers me, I tell it straight. How else will anything change? My opinions are based on being a voracious reader and book buyer, not an attack on the author.*

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3 thoughts on “My Languishing TBR: K #AtoZChallenge2023 #Books #BookReviews”

  1. Excellent book choices. Several of those are on my TBR as well.
    Sorry your reviewed book only scored two unicorns. I hope you get more four or five! 🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄

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