Spoiler Free Review: Food Illusions: Vol 1 by Chef Ben Churchill

Hey Guys! It’s been a while since we have posted anything – unfortunately life has been hectic at the moment due to Star moving house and Fleur being ill. However, when we saw this review request by @chefbenchurchill and with Star’s brand new kitchen we couldn’t say no! This cookbook takes cooking to a whole new level and has brought many laughs to the kitchen. Here is a summary of what you can expect:

“Food Illusions vol. 1 is the highly anticipated debut book from Chef Ben Churchill, the “food illusionist” including some of his most famous recipes in full! You may be familiar with his work from facebook or instagram (www.facebook.com/thefoodillusionist) where he makes stunning desserts that trick the mind, his food illusions. Here he explains the processes, methods and techniques behind some of his most famous dishes such as the carrot shaped carrot cake 2.0 and the chocolate throne. Read his ethos, his thoughts and discover his way of working as he teaches you how to begin your journey into food illusion desserts. Suitable for both the amateur and professional cook, with easy to follow recipes and methods, you’ll be creating stunning desserts in no time.”

We have tried a few of these recipes and boy are we bad at baking! Although the steps are simple and easy to understand and the pictures are helimg_9878pful (and may I add – stunning!) we just don’t have the natural gift of cooking, or the time – as some of the recipes require hours of preparation. However, with Star’s new kitchen we look forward to trying more recipes and practising these awesome meals. Our personal favourites are ‘the chocolate Throne’ (perfect for Game of Thrones fans!) and ‘Gingerbread Igloo’, not only do they look absolutely breath taking, they are so tasty!!!

As many of you know from our Instagram feed, we definitelyimg_9883.jpg have a sweet tooth (and yes I know I am much worse than Star lol) so we are super excited to try the Coffee and Walnut cake, though we may have to get our other sister to make it as she is much better at baking. (Our last attempt resulted in disaster). Finally, ‘The Chocolate Brownie Tree’ definitely has our name on it – this will be the one that we are dedicated to get right in the future!

So if you want to bring some fun to your kitchen and make some edible art, this is the cookbook for you. These enjoyable recipes will change the way you view your cooking and renew your love of baking. I know that we will definitely be having fun spending our snow days making these cosy treats! We highly recommend you pick up this book if you feel like challenging yourself in the kitchen! Click the link below to see more!


Thanks for reading guys! Hope you enjoyed our culinary challenge and don’t forget to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!



Spoiler Free Review: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie



Rating 3/5 Stars


Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer. Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, and she can’t always decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself. As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the charming-yet-volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.


If you love fantasy, kingdoms, political intrigue, love triangles and angsty romance, let me say this again for emphasis ANGSTY ROMANCE, then this is the book for you!

I went into this book fairly blind and I didn’t have many expectations, so when I started reading and the story began as it did, I was both pleased and surprised. There was so much action and tragedy for the beginning of a story – if any of you reading this have read it- guys what was that fire?! Didn’t see that coming at all. I really enjoyed the first 30% and the magic aspect was really unique and interesting… but honestly my main criticism is that this book took close to 500 pages to do what it could have done (in my opinion) in 300. I felt like the same scenario was being played out over and over, which brings me to the two brothers.

If you do not like love triangles be warned 90% of this book pretty much revolves around a love triangle between Sonya and the emperor Valko and his brother Anton. I’ll admit that at first it is intriguing and there are a few twists and turns in there, but it doesn’t take long before you get tired of the same ‘will she/ wont she’ and the same scenario plays out over and over. Let’s just say it is fairly obvious how Sonya’s relationships with the two royals were going to end.

There were some side characters that I enjoyed throughout however they were just sprinkled into the plot. Also I was waiting for a huge crescendo at the end of the book, the ‘ooo its all kicked off!’ moment… but it was a little bit of a damp squip. Again I think it focused too much on the be all and end all love triangle when in reality there were far bigger issues at play. I just wish we had a bigger focus on the world building, politics and plot.

All in all it was a decent fantasy read with some great moments and some roll eye moments. Although it may seem that I’m being a little negative in this review I am glad I read this book and I know there will be people out there who love it. Like I’ve already mentioned, if you like romance and love triangles then you need this book.

Huge thanks to Harper Teen UK for sending us a copy!

Until next time book friends,

Star x

Our Top Five Cosy Books to Read this Winter!


Five Cosiest Winter Reads...

We don’t know about you guys, but we love to feel cosy and warm in the winter season, especially when it’s cold and snowy outside. In these times we find reading a good book enhances the cosy atmosphere and makes for a perfect evening.  So put the kettle on and snuggle up, here are our top five cosiest reads for winter:


  1. Hunted by Megan Spooner.

“She moves like beauty, she whispers to us of wind and forest—and she tells us stories, such stories that we wake in the night, dreaming dreams of a lifelong past. She reminds us of what we used to be. She reminds us of what we could be.” ― Meagan Spooner, Hunted

This Novel by Meagan Spooner is a charming retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and one of our favourite renditions! Its set in Russia and follows the original fairy-tale more than the modern retellings. If you love atmospheric folklore and wintery Russian landscapes then this is a must!


  1. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

“She was the sun and he was the earth waking from a thaw.” ― S. Jae-Jones, WintersongWintersong

Anyone a fan of the David Bowie movie ‘Labyrinth’? Because this is a retelling of the Goblin King, and boy do I love that storyline!! This story has a beautiful blend of music, magic and dark romance. This is a world where you will lose yourself and not want to leave! Don’t forget to pick this up, it’s a must read this winter!


3. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

“And the prince who had once been a bear pulled close the girl who had once had no name, and kissed her.”Jessica Day George, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

Guys… this book was such a surprise- I absolutely loved it! If you like Scandinavian folklore then this is the book for you! Although the language is simple and the plot line nothing to rave about, I couldn’t help but fall in love with this story. It was so magical and read like an old fashioned fairy-tale. five out five- GO READ THIS NOW.


2.  Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

“Books are more real when you read them outside.” ― Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver

Is this possibly the best series I have ever read? Yes. This trilogy has the perfect balance of sweet romance and magical folk lore. If you enjoy YA supernatural romance – more specifically werewolves, you are going to love this! Whilst this Stiefvater story is slower and more wordy than her other works, it fits with the atmosphere and world building and most importantly the character development. It’s a perfect cosy read for winter! Five Stars!!


 1. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

“And there’s nothing wrong with being a lizard either. Unless you were born to be a hawk.” ― Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and BoneGrisha Trilogy

Words can’t even begin to describe how amazing this book is! The world building, the wintery Russian vibes… absolute perfection! Leigh Bardugo has a real talent for writing in depth characters and mysterious villains. The beauty of this book blew me away and I never wanted it to end, thank goodness there are two more in the series! Definitely recommend guys! Five stars!!!!!


So there you have it guys! We hope it’s been helpful and you’ve enjoyed our five recommendations for winter. It was hard to limit ourselves to just five books, as there are so many we wanted to choose, but we felt these books definitely stood out. If you have any  recommendations please comment below and let us know! Thanks for reading! Stay Cosy!

Spoiler Free Review: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Rating 3.75/5 Stars

glass spare.jpg

Wilhelmina Heidle, the fourth child and only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.
Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, though, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.
But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with Wil’s power.
With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

The Glass Spare is a fun, quick read which helped me (Star) get out of my reading slump (yay!) The story is a take on the Myth of King Midas, a reference which comes up a fair amount throughout the book and an aspect I loved! We’re always sucker for a good fairy-tale/ legend reference in our YA 😉.
I really enjoyed the dynamic of the royal siblings, how they interacted, their stories, their relationships and their unique talents (or lack thereof). Owen and Gerdie were particular favourites, as their personality shone a little brighter than Wil’s and the somewhat forgotten sibling Baren.
Owen is the heir to the throne and thus the mature, capable and exemplary of the royal children. He’s wanderlust filled and selfless, just an all around good guy, really. Gerdie is the sickly younger sibling who almost died from plague at a young age and is now crippled and paranoid about his health. He is, however, an amazing alchemist that can make just about anything in his lab – this aspect of the story was so good! As for poor Baren, I would have liked to get more insight into his character and why he is the way he is. Why is he the undesirable and ‘evil’ one of the four siblings? Surely there has to be more to his character than being ignored by all the other siblings because he’s jealous of Wil- no?
Now Wil….the more I read on, the more indifferent I became to Wil as a character. Wil could, in my opinion, fall into the vast sea of average YA heroines. She is forgettable in pretty much every way except for the power she possesses (but does nothing with- but I suppose that’s where the next book comes in?!). As for Loom, I enjoyed him as a character in himself, but did not enjoy his interaction and strange draw to Wil.. it came across as the typical YA trope and I was frustrated how quickly he trusted and confided in her considering his apparent suspicion and motivations when he first met her. Thankfully the end of the book sheds a little light on this…yes- you will have to read the book to find out!
This relationship between Loom and Wil unfortunately meant that the middle part of the book did drag and very little actually happened. The book did improve again towards the end, however much of this was down to the characters Zay and Espel, which I hope to see more of in the next book.
The world building is difficult to describe, as it both drew me in while simultaneously confused me to no end! I loved the different kingdoms and their traits and flaws, how the royal children were used as political advantages- there is so much potential! Alas there wasn’t enough detail about the kingdoms for me to really get invested and to understand how the world worked. In the same vein, I LOVED how DeStefano used alchemy in this world, I thought the use of alchemy in a medieval setting with castles, royalty and swords was fantastic… until the steampunk element came in. The inclusion of telephones, trains and guns in a medieval world sounds so interesting, but the lack of details and explanation left me struggling to put the world together in my head, I couldn’t quite meld the alchemy/ magic, medieval and steampunk elements together into one coherent world.
Overall I enjoyed The Glass Spare, the side characters were great and the beginning/ ending were very entertaining. I think The Glass Spare does more to set up the next book, and with that in mind, I cant wait to see what happens next!


Thank you to Harper Collins for sending us a finished copy of this book.







November Book Haul!

November was a pretty full month of book buying for us, there seems to be so many good books coming out at the moment. In the end we acquired a grand total of 15 books! So we thought we’d break it down into what Star got and what Fleur got.


Fleur’s November Haul:

·    Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
·    Renegades by Marissa Meyer
·    Snow and Rose by Emily Winfield 
·    The Shiver Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater
·    Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
·    The Memory of Trees by Kali Wallace (from Book Box Club November’s ‘Haunted Minds’ box)
·    Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
·    Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
·    Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne 

Fleur has already read The Shiver Trilogy, Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn, and is keen to get started on Renegades!

Call of the Wild


Star’s November Haul:

·    The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
·    Call of the Wild by Jack London (Barnes and Noble Leather bound Edition)
·    The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell 
·    Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne 


Star hasn’t read any of these yet, but cannot WAIT to start them! She is going to start with Rosemarked. Have you spotted any that you have read? Or that you want to read?


Hello Friends- Our Blog is now Live!

We are so excited to start our new venture into the bookish community via our new blog. We can’t wait to discuss all our thoughts and our love of books with you all! So this post is just to let you know what to expect on this blog.

We will mainly feature book reviews based on our honest opinions, whether they are books sent to us for review or books we picked up for ourselves. We will aim to update the blog twice a week, one post from Fleur and one from Star – so stay tuned!

We will likely post random lifestyle posts too, which may include content about our lives, holidays or just general bookish cosiness – as we love to be cosy!

We are going through a reading slump recently due to our busy lives, but we hope to remedy this soon!

If there are any topics or questions you would like us to cover in these blog posts, please contact us on Instagram or on the ‘contact us’ page, we’d love to tailor our posts to what YOU want.