Review: "Raven Unveiled" (Fallen Empire #3) by Grace Draven


Raven Unveiled by Grace Draven
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

A woman with the gift to speak to the dead—and the assassin pursuing her—may be the only chance a crumbling empire has of holding back true evil, in this electrifying fantasy romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Siora has been on the run for longer than she cares to remember, from her past and her gift. Born with the ability to see and speak to ghosts, she has heard their desperate pleas as an otherworldly predator stalks the dead amid the fertile killing fields of the collapsing Krael Empire. The creature’s power and reach are growing with every soul it consumes, but Siora is preoccupied with her own troubles: namely an assassin who has sworn an oath of vengeance against her.

Gharek of Cabast was once the right-hand man of the reviled empress but is now a wanted fugitive. Although his reasons for hunting Siora are viscerally personal, what Gharek can’t anticipate is that when he finally does find her, she will hold the key to saving his world, or what’s left of it. To make good on old debts and protect the vulnerable dead from a malevolent force, Gharek and Siora will both need to make an ally out of an enemy—and trust that will be enough to save each other.




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REVIEW

The final book of the Fallen Empire series takes across a war-torn crumbling world where a man seeks revenge against a woman whose eyes see more than they should.

The Krael Empire has fallen and Gharek, the now-burnt-to a crisp- Empress is seeking Siora the woman whom he had trusted with his daughter's caretaking and who to his eyes had betrayed his trust. Siora on the other hand has the ability to see ghosts and their pleas lead her toward an old abandoned city where a sinister force is seeking to devour everything both dead and alive.

As politics and danger bring both of them together they will need to put away their old feuds in favor of both saving their lives and that of the child they both care about.

I always enjoy Grace's writing, there is a strong sense of world-building and the characters are never lost in it. You can understand how their feeling affects those around them and the setting enhances those scenes. Gharek and Siora were amazing; both flawed both tortured by the past but both love so fiercely even if they do not want to admit it to each other. I enjoyed this book as much as I had the others. While for some plot-wise there is not much action there is this sense of urgency that drives them to beat this unseen enemy.

This was a very satisfying ending to a series that could easily be on par with other fantasy-based worlds of Empires, ruthless emperors, and people filled with magic who love fiercely. Definitely recommended

                                           


About the author:

Grace Draven is a Louisiana native living in Texas with her husband, kids and a big, doofus dog. She has loved storytelling since forever and is a fan of the fictional bad boy. She is the winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice for Best Fantasy Romance of 2014 and 2016, and a USA Today Bestselling author.



ARC Review: "A Light in the Flame" (Flesh and Fire #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout


A Light in the Flame by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes book two in her Flesh and Fire series…

The only one who can save Sera now is the one she spent her life planning to kill.

The truth about Sera’s plan is out, shattering the fragile trust forged between her and Nyktos. Surrounded by those distrustful of her, all Sera has is her duty. She will do anything to end Kolis, the false King of Gods, and his tyrannical rule of Iliseeum, thus stopping the threat he poses to the mortal realm.

Nyktos has a plan, though, and as they work together, the last thing they need is the undeniable, scorching passion that continues to ignite between them. Sera cannot afford to fall for the tortured Primal, not when a life no longer bound to a destiny she never wanted is more attainable than ever. But memories of their shared pleasure and unrivaled desire are a siren’s call impossible to resist.

And as Sera begins to realize that she wants to be more than a Consort in name only, the danger surrounding them intensifies. The attacks on the Shadowlands are increasing, and when Kolis summons them to Court, a whole new risk becomes apparent. The Primal power of Life is growing inside her, pushing her closer to the end of her Culling. And without Nyktos’s love—an emotion he’s incapable of feeling—she won’t survive her Ascension. That is if she even makes it to her Ascension and Kolis doesn’t get to her first. Because time is running out. For both her and the realms.



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REVIEW

I received an e-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. This review contains minor spoilers from previous books.

WARNING: It is best to read the series from Blood and Ash and then begin the prequel series as many points in the prequel series may make sense regarding the main books.

Oh boy...where to begin, where to begin. It took me close to two weeks to gather my thoughts on this book and find the guts to write a review that explains why I am still in a deep pit of feelings that no one can -still- understand and also try to not spoiler anything.

No pressure.

A Light in the Flame picks up shortly after the events of the first book, where Sera's true purpose is revealed and despite the distrust she gets from Nyktos's court...well she is right. Being brought up as a weapon and not a human being can cause lots of issues in any human psyche. And that is where we find Sera throughout the book.

On a gradual journey to uncover the mystery behind a way to save their world from the Rot, usurp Kolis, restore the balance between Life and Death, and not die in the process, all the while battling her feelings for Nyktos and trying to see the value in her own self through the eyes of others.

I loved the character development here. For it felt like the plot was going quite slowly but it was within those scenes that you could get hints of various plot crumbs here and there. I love Nektas the dude has no filter for a drakken and baby Jadis and Reaver were adorable. Did I also get some Rhysand-feels when I read about Nyktos transforming into...something? (insert anime screaming here).

And the battles were great too and very well described. Not to mention the....intimate moments *wink wink*

Another part I did get the chance to read about was Kolis's court. That Primal is indeed really nuts and crazy. Not to mention that by the time the ending was drawing near I became more and more anxious about what would happen because while the book was a gradual and steady development, the last chapters were a rollercoaster of emotions and revelations that left me crying.

The ending as mentioned was a cliffhanger and I am still not ok. Will I survive it? I survived Jennifer's Opal when it had first come out and that is a statement :P

Absolutely recommended and I can not wait for you to read it when it releases!



And don't miss the first book of the prequel series and the starting point of From Blood and Ash series


About the author:

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Charles Town, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was a Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more. 

Blog Tour+ARC Review+Promo: "Blood Orange" by Karina Halle

He’s loved her for lifetimes but this time around she’s his worst enemy.

Blood Orange, a wildly addictive, heat-filled dark vampire romance featuring Dracula from New York Times Bestselling author Karina Halle is out now!

          

Once there was a man who fell deeply in love with a woman he could never have. When their affair was uncovered she was brutally murdered in front of him, and he discovered he was cursed, doomed to live forever as a vampire.

Over the centuries, he found his love again, and lost her again, until he was so broken he gave up on love entirely, sinking into the depths of depravity, losing his humanity.

Then one day, she came back into his life. A student of music studying under him at the conservatory in Venice, Italy where he was a professor. But even though he found her beautiful and intriguing, he didn’t recognise his fated mate at all.

Because this time she had to hide her true self.

This time she came back as a witch, whose destiny wasn’t to love him…but to kill him.

Blood Orange is a modern-day Dracula retelling about the “real-life” Dracula that inspired Bram Stoker. This is a dark vampire romance with plenty of content warnings and while it is a spinoff of The Dark Eyes Duet, it is a complete standalone novel.

                                   

Read today!

Add BLOOD ORANGE to Goodreads

Keep reading for a look inside Blood Orange!

My body wants to bring him to my apartment. I’m craving his touch like nothing else. But I can’t. Not in the state I left it and not with a possible demon still inside. I can only hope it left through the open window; I assume that’s how it got in. But my knowledge of demons doesn’t go very far. I never thought I would have to deal with any of this.

“I have an exam tomorrow,” I suddenly blurt out.

He widens his eyes and nods, taking a step back, though his hand is still firmly holding onto mine. “So you do.” He clears his throat loudly. “I’m guessing you need to study.”

I’d rather study you, I think, but I nod. “Yeah. Thank god I didn’t leave it all to the last minute like I usually do.”

He sucks on his lower lip for a moment and I want nothing more than to kiss him again. “I’m sure you’ll pass,” he says.

“It’s not enough to pass,” I tell him. “I want to get a good grade.”

“I’m sure you’ll get a good grade,” he says in a knowing tone.

“Don’t you dare try to do me any favors,” I warn. “I need to get good grades on my own accord.”

“Help you? Wouldn’t dream of it.” He gives me a convincing smile. “Still, let me finish walking you home. I promise I’ll be out of your hair.”

So we walk hand-in-hand the rest of the way, until we’re standing outside my building.

“I’m going to go upstairs now,” I tell him.

He slides his hand around my lower back, holding me in place, while his other hand cups my jaw. “And I’m going to kiss you again.”

This time the press of his lips is so faint, so light, and yet it makes my knees tremble, my stomach to do summersaults. “Dahlia,” he says, murmuring against my mouth. “I don’t want you to be ashamed of your darkness. I don’t want you to be afraid of it. I am not a delicate man. I am brash, volatile, controlling and demanding and I always, always get what I want. What I want is your darkness to play with mine. I want to make it come so beautifully alive, so that we can revel in it together.”

He presses his lips to mine firmly then pulls away and I feel like I can’t breathe at all as he stares inches from my eyes. “I am choosing you. And if you accept me, there is no turning back.”

I try to swallow. “And what do I get out of it?” I whisper, my voice shaking slightly.

The corner of his mouth lifts in a smirk while his eyes narrow. “You get to feel things you’d only dreamed of feeling. You get to do things you were too afraid of doing. To live in the very darkness you run from. Isn’t that you want most of all? To be so pushed past the point of terror that you no longer fear anything at all?”

Holy shit.

“As I said,” he says gruffly, running his thumb over my lips, “I am not a delicate man. I can be rough. I can cause pain. I may make you hate me sometimes. But I will always be on your side. I will always make you feel chosen.”

I don’t know what the hell I’m agreeing to here but I’m nodding.

Because I have to.

Because I want you.

“Then choose me,” I say softly.

He leans in and kisses me on the cheek. “I already did. First day I laid eyes on you.”



REVIEW

I received an e-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review as part of the book tour. 

I was quite excited to be part of this blog tour! Blood Orange shades light to the one and only vampire we all love to read in every possible retelling we can get our hands on. But in this version we get a different version of said Dracula written in the unique style of Karina Halle.

The book is dark so lots of trigger warnings here. Dracula whose name actually here is Valtu, since Bram Stoker went and re-invented him lol, is a powerful vampire doomed though to find and lose his fated love across time. But now? She has come back as a witch part of a guild coven sent to kill him.

I can not spoil this but let me tell you that lots happened. And the cameos we had from other books were very welcome. While this can be read as a standalone I really recommend reading the other books too because it gives a far wider image of this world and of course, you get to see the other amazing characters as well dark and twisted as they are.

It is the signature amazing Karina Halle so definitely recommended.

Meet Karina

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Connect with Karina:

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3LCSTIw

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vo9pq4

Instagram: https://bit.ly/3LHKB21

Join her Reader Group: https://goo.gl/wpCBSS

Stay up to date with Karina by signing up for her newsletter here: https://goo.gl/Ve4eCh

Website: http://authorkarinahalle.com


 

Release Day Blitz: "Blood Orange" by Karina Halle

His death is her destiny.

Blood Orange, a sizzling and captivating modern retelling of Dracula from New York Times Bestselling author Karina Halle is now available!

Once there was a man who fell deeply in love with a woman he could never have. When their affair was uncovered she was brutally murdered in front of him, and he discovered he was cursed, doomed to live forever as a vampire.

Over the centuries, he found his love again, and lost her again, until he was so broken he gave up on love entirely, sinking into the depths of depravity, losing his humanity.

Then one day, she came back into his life. A student of music studying under him at the conservatory in Venice, Italy where he was a professor. But even though he found her beautiful and intriguing, he didn’t recognise his fated mate at all.

Because this time she had to hide her true self.

This time she came back as a witch, whose destiny wasn’t to love him…but to kill him.

Blood Orange is a modern-day Dracula retelling about the “real-life” Dracula that inspired Bram Stoker. This is a dark vampire romance with plenty of content warnings and while it is a spinoff of The Dark Eyes Duet, it is a complete standalone novel.

                             

Quench your thirst today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3cufOKK
Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/bloodorange

Add BLOOD ORANGE to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3cpkTnu


Meet Karina:

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Connect with Karina:

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3LCSTIw

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vo9pq4

Instagram: https://bit.ly/3LHKB21

Join her Reader Group: https://goo.gl/wpCBSS

Stay up to date with Karina by signing up for her newsletter here: https://goo.gl/Ve4eCh

Website: http://authorkarinahalle.com

 

Reviews on Pink and Blue: "Love on the Brain" by Ali Hazelwood & "The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy" by Megan Bannen


Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis—with explosive results.

Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project - a literal dream come true - Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.

Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school - archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.

But when her equipment starts to go missing and the staff ignore her, Bee could swear she sees Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas... devouring her with those eyes. The possibilities have all her neurons firing.

But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there's only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?




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REVIEW

If there is one thing that I loved from Ali's characters from her previous books is how relatable they are! Needless to say that after also meeting Ali on Apollycon this past July, I became even more enchanted with her writing. I knew that Love on the Brain would be out and I was overly excited to dive into this book.

Technically we'd apply this on the enemies to lovers trope BUT hear me out, the feelings run deeper. Here we have Bee a neuroscientist who becomes contracted to work with freaking NASA and there she meets her old grad school enemy, Levi who is the lead engineer. Cue in the sexism, the unprivileged treatment that is unfortunately evident in academia (both theoretical and practical believe me), and you have two people who despite their difference slowly open up to one another.

I did not expect Levi to top up Adam from the Love Hypothesis. I DIDN'T! He is such a sweet and amazing person! And Bee my beautiful pink-haired scientist needed all the love she could get. Of course, each interaction was packed up with the classic Ali humor where I found myself thinking that the author also shared this deep love for academia but mostly about seeing these two characters dealing with their issues and finding love in each other.

I definitely did not expect those final chapters to develop the way they did; I gasped when I realized why everything was going so wrong.

Do I desperately need this to be adapted into Netflix?
Yup
Do I even want an anime adaptation?
100% also
Do I recommend it?
Already you are reading this book and you have not realized it yet :P




About the author:

My favorite thing in the world is to explore traditional romance tropes—and to picture how they’ll play out in academic settings.
Rival scientists falling in love despite their better judgement?
There’s only one cot in the lab?
Fake dating during faculty meeting?
Sign me up!

I’m originally from Italy, lived in Japan and Germany, and eventually moved to the US to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. I recently became a professor, which absolutely terrifies me. Oh, the sheer dread of being entrusted with the care of young minds!

When I’m not at work you can find me binge-watching shows with my feline overlords (and my slightly less feline husband), running, or eating candy.
Oh, and I’m a New York Times Bestselling Author.
I’m represented by the amazing Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.












The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Hart is a marshal, tasked with patrolling the strange and magical wilds of Tanria. It’s an unforgiving job, and Hart’s got nothing but time to ponder his loneliness.

Mercy never has a moment to herself. She’s been single-handedly keeping Birdsall & Son Undertakers afloat in defiance of sullen jerks like Hart, who seems to have a gift for showing up right when her patience is thinnest.

After yet another exasperating run-in with Mercy, Hart finds himself penning a letter addressed simply to “A Friend”. Much to his surprise, an anonymous letter comes back in return, and a tentative friendship is born.

If only Hart knew he’s been baring his soul to the person who infuriates him most – Mercy. As the dangers from Tanria grow closer, so do the unlikely correspondents. But can their blossoming romance survive the fated discovery that their pen pals are their worst nightmares – each other?





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REVIEW

Review refers to the Fairyloot edition of the book. 

Ah my dear Megan Bannen...from where I do begin to write about how her books always feel like they tear out my heart, take a chunk of it, and then put it back? Bot her previous works, The Bird and the Blade and Soulswift had introduced us with characters both flawed and spectacular in their bravery and how much more they truly felt amidst the story.

Megan knows how to craft a story that stays with you even after the book is done. Despite the ending that so far had left me crying about how unfair everything ad turned out, (definitely NOT Allegiant-like, let me viciously clear about this), exactly because of the plot the characters had altogether been woven gloriously seamlessly together.

The Undertaking of Hart and mercy is in essence: "You got mail" has a date with "Pride and Prejudice" in a "Waling dead" inspired world where the Old gods are gone, the New Gods have risen and all the people live in fear of zombie-like creatures that live in a surrounded area in this dystopian world.

Mercy works as an Undertaker, meaning in a funeral parlor whose job is to offer the last services to the dead both human and zombie-like in order to pass to the afterlife without coming back as zombies. I loved the ritualistic aspect of this, it reminded me greatly of ancient greek rituals with coins and incense.

Hart is a demigod and a hunter of zombies and he detests undertakers due to their greedy behavior and he does not like Mercy at all. When he sends a letter addressed to "A Friend" and said letter gets a reply then both will slowly develop a friendship via their writing and open up to each other.
The loathing Hart feels is real. The loneliness Mercy feels even surrounded by family is real. The way these two open up to each other anonymously through letters and fall for each other is so beautifully written I was waiting for another shoe to drop.

And it did. BUT this book was sooo worth the tears! I loved it very much, even more in its Fairyloot edition with the pink cover and sprayed edges! Definitely recommended!




About the author:

Megan Bannen is a former public librarian whose YA debut The Bird and the Blade was an Indies Introduce Summer/Fall 2018 pick, a Summer 2018 Kids’ Indie Next List pick, and a Kirkus Best YA Historical Fiction of 2018 pick. While most of her professional career has been spent behind the reference desk, she has also sold luggage, written grants, collected a few graduate degrees from various Kansas universities, and taught English at home and abroad. She lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and their two sons. She can be found online at meganbannen.com.







Cover Reveal: "Blood Orange" by Karina Halle


Blood Orange, a dark vampire romance, and a modern retelling of Dracula from New York Times Bestselling author Karina Halle is coming on October 6th, and we have the gorgeous cover!

Once there was a man who fell deeply in love with a woman he could never have. When their affair was uncovered she was brutally murdered in front of him, and he discovered he was cursed, doomed to live forever as a vampire.

Over the centuries, he found his love again, and lost her again, until he was so broken he gave up on love entirely, sinking into the depths of depravity, losing his humanity.

Then one day, she came back into his life. A student of music studying under him at the conservatory in Venice, Italy where he was a professor. But even though he found her beautiful and intriguing, he didn’t recognise his fated mate at all.

Because this time she had to hide her true self.

This time she came back as a witch, whose destiny wasn’t to love him…but to kill him.

Blood Orange is a modern-day Dracula retelling about the “real-life” Dracula that inspired Bram Stoker. This is a dark vampire romance with plenty of content warnings and while it is a spinoff of The Dark Eyes Duet, it is a complete standalone novel.

                   

Pre-order your copy today!

Add BLOOD ORANGE to Goodreads 

Cover Designer: By Hang Le

Meet Karina:

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Connect with Karina:

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3LCSTIw

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vo9pq4

Instagram: https://bit.ly/3LHKB21

Join her Reader Group: https://goo.gl/wpCBSS

Stay up to date with Karina by signing up for her newsletter here: https://goo.gl/Ve4eCh

Website: http://authorkarinahalle.com

 

ARC Review: "Once Upon a Forbidden Desire: Fairy Tales and Other Stories" An Anthology


Once Upon a Forbidden Desire: Fairy Tales and Other Stories by H.R. Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

When it comes to true love, rules are meant to be broken …

Dark forests and locked doors, poisoned apples and forbidden lovers ... Bold heroines and swoon-worthy heroes break all the rules in this enchanting anthology of the fairy tales you thought you knew.

Once Upon A Forbidden Desire features 20 enticing fairy tale retellings by a diverse selection of fantasy romance authors. From sweet true love’s kisses to sizzling passion, from the streets of Seattle to enchanted forests, and from poor scullery maids to a winged Prince Charming ...

If you enjoy spellbinding romance, enthralling new worlds, and stories with a taste of the forbidden, these happily ever afters will leave you spellbound. Give in to the temptation and grab your copy of Once Upon A Forbidden Desire now.

With a foreword by Grace Draven and Jeffe Kennedy, this limited edition anthology celebrates the variety of the fantasy romance genre. It contains stories ranging from sweet to steamy and is recommended for an adult audience.




PRE-ORDER ON 



REVIEW

I received an e-ARC from author Maria Vale in exchange for an honest review. 

I have developed a carving for anthologies this year. For some strange reason, I get to enjoy reading multiple stories that also include my favorite authors but also get me to discover new ones, making me squeal from joy and my wallet moan in despair.

So when Maria Vale approached me with this chance I jumped into it (whom I had the joy to meet at Apollycon and she is the sweetest person EVER). So the anthology as you guessed contains fairytales with a twist some are familiar like Rapunzel and Cinderella and others, like the one Maria Vale wrote are myths.

Hers is inspired by Cernunnos, the Celtic horned keeper of wild places, but placed in the fictional land of Summerhouses where the Keepers exist, humans who tattoo demons on their skin, and everyone live in a capitalistic tourist city with an old forest that is threatened. Idara is such a demonkeeper and when she takes in yet another demon, adding to the many others she already carries, she will soon discover that the being inside her is not something to be contained.

The other one I enjoyed was C. M. Nascosta who wrote a spicy yet very emotional version of Beauty and the Beast. And if you follow her Instagram you'll understand why some will like her version lol.

Overall yes this will satisfy all those who like some good fairytales with all the spicy stuff :P




About the author:

Maria Vale is a journalist who has worked for Publishers Weekly, Glamour, Redbook and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She's a double-Rita finalist whose books have been listed by Amazon, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, ALA Booklist & Kirkus among their Best Books of the Year. Trained as a medievalist, she persists in trying to shoehorn the language of Beowulf into things that don't really need it.









Other authors included in the anthology: HR Moore, Zoey Ellis, Kathryn Ann Kingsley, AJ Lancaster, C.M Nascosta, Kristin Gleeson, L Penelope, Colleen Cowley, Maria Vale, Lisette Marshal, Vela Roth, Erin Vere, Trish Heinrich, S. L Prater, Elsie Winters, November Dawn, Mimi B Rose, Jennie Lynn Roberts, Jaycee Jarvis, Dani Morrison





















Summer Reviews: Aliens, Ghosts and Wishes!


The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

A disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this sparkling adult debut from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.

When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.

For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.

Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.

Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.



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REVIEW


Oh boy, I am almost 1 month later trying to write a review on this gem. I knew that from the moment ghosts were introduced here I'd cry. Call it my experience with the movie Ghost (with Patrick Swayze) or in general something consistently eerie that tugs my heart, this book had it all.

But let us backtrack a little because this IS A ROMANCE.

Florence is a ghostwriter for one of the most famous authors in the industry. Of course, all are fictional characters but the way she describes the workings of the industry, you can hear Ashley Poston murmuring in your ear that YES THOSE THINGS HAPPEN. And not only that Florence fears that she has lost the will and motive to write as for her...romance is dead.

Meeting with Benji her new editor-in-chief is not an experience she was expecting...neither was the call she got much later about the death of her father.

Who had a funeral home.
Who also had the ability to see ghosts.
Like Florence.

Yup. And so Florence travels back to her hometown not only to confront her family issues...but also to help an unexpected ghost who appears when she least expects it to.

I can not write spoilers on this. This was so good! Funny, emotional with the touch of the supernatural! Ashley Poston was known for her YA titles but this Adult one? I loved it so much! What I can advise is to go into this book blind and let the surprises carry you.

Oh yes, I bawled like a baby towards the end (like how Patrick Swayze was leaving at the end of Ghost? Yes that crying.) but there was a subtle bittersweet knowledge here. That love can overcome death, that those who love us never are truly gone because we are left behind to remember them and maybe just maybe we can see them again.

I think as of now this is the best book Ashley wrote and it is definitely recommended.


                                



About the author:

Ashley Poston’s is a part-time author and full-time fangirl. She was born in rural South Carolina, where you can see the stars impossibly well...

Tweet her at @ashposton and read her inner-most rambles at www.ashposton.com.











Taken to Evernor by Elizabeth Stephens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Nalia
I've made quite a few mistakes in my life. Agreeing to go into outer space in the first place, waking up surrounded by aliens, running from said aliens and crash landing on a gladiator planet where I'm not asked to compete, oh no, but where I'm the prize.

One alien in particular keeps showing up. Four arms and utterly insane, I watch him vanquish opponent after opponent. I'm going to have to find a way to escape because there's no doubt in my mind he's going to win.

And I won't make another mistake – I won't trust him, no matter how how good his silver skin tastes.

Herannathon
I've made just a few mistakes these past solars. I probably shouldn't have opened the human's cage prematurely, or followed her across the cosmos, or let her get captured by that psychopath bounty hunter...

But I'm drawn to her...and I follow her to Evernor where there's no shroving way I won't compete against the other gladiators to win her. But there are others who are just as drawn to humans as I am. Others, who'd do terrible things to her if they got their claws on her.

So, I won't make another mistake – I'll win her and her trust, no matter the stakes.

Taken to Evernor is a full-length (90k words) SciFi gladiator romance featuring a four-armed alien and his human heroine mate. This is an enemies-to-lovers romance with fantastical world-building, action, steam and an HEA. Set in the Xiveri Mates universe, this book can be read as a standalone, but will be better enjoyed after reading Taken to Lemora.


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REVIEW


I received an e-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I thoroughly enjoyed this new book! This amazing world Elizabeth has created full of different alien species and galactic politics is thrilling wild and violent. Nadia and Herannathon were a great couple to read...and very very smutty.

I do recommend going into this with an open mind? Because, boy was it hot. I also recommend reading first the other books of the series or else you will not understand half of the alien words spoken or some characters who make cameos here.

I liked Nadia; despite everything that happened to her she embraced her new life, unbothered by human norms as she had to adapt to the new world she found herself in. And Herannathon the wild space pirate, tried to redeem himself since he should have not done...what he did :P

I can not wait for the next book because I know the next couple and I am very curious to see how all their banter-hate-will turn to love relationship began.





About the author:

Elizabeth Stephens writes romance of the SciFi, paranormal and suspenseful varieties. Her favorite trope is enemies-to-lovers and she loves to world-build so much so that she sometimes gets lost in places that don't exist.

One year into her author journey, she's been shocked to see her books listed among Amazon's bestsellers in their categories. Still, her favorite pieces of fanmail are from BIPOC women expressing surprise and gratitude that they've found an author who looks like them and (does her very best!) to write books that make them feel included.

When she isn't tip-tap-typing away, you might find her getting her hands dirty on a pottery wheel, traveling as much as she can, or learning a new language. A Seattle native, after over 15 years spent in Johannesburg, Cairo, Beirut, Geneva, Addis Ababa, and Berlin, she's made her way back home with her loving husband and doggo, King Louis.

To find out more about her projects and upcoming releases visit her website at booksbyelizabeth.com.







How to Date a Superhero by Cristina Fernandez
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

With humor and heart, debut author Cristina Fernandez tells a wholly original origin story, proving that you don’t need a superpower to be the hero in this romantic coming-of-age story about growing up, falling in love, and surviving life—all set in the world of superheroes.

Falling for a superhero is dangerous. You have to trust that they’ll catch you.

Astrid isn’t a superhero, not like the ones she sees on the news, but she has something she thinks of as a small superpower: she has a perfect sense of time. And she’s not going to waste a single second.

Her plan for college is clear—friends, classes, and extracurriculars all carefully selected to get her into medical school.

Until Max Martin, a nerdy boy from her high school, crashes back into her life. Things with Max were never simple, and he doesn’t keep to her schedule. He disappears in the middle of dates and cancels at the last minute with stupid excuses.

When a supervillain breaks into her bedroom one night, Astrid has to face the facts: her boyfriend, Max Martin, is a superhero. Double-majoring as a premed was hard, but now Astrid will have to balance a double life. This wasn’t part of her plan.



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REVIEW



I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

I liked the premise of the book. And the fact that I got it from Edelweiss as also the new (at the time when I got this e-copy) had to do with the upcoming The Boys series.

Astrid is dedicated, to the point of obsession, an overachiever who tries to be the perfect college student. And she has a good boyfriend Max. But when she discovers that Max is a superhero she will be thrust to the super world with all its ups and downs and the drama and danger that comes with it.

I have some mixed feelings. True I liked the plot and some nods to other mainstream superhero-related content but it was slightly off in the development. Christina as an author does a great job trying to write a character whose whole world crashes down literally as she has to deal with the consequences of dating a superhero but overall there were some fun moments and some serious moments.

Best quote of the book? This one: "give it three months and if they don't turn up alive again, then start to worry"

If you like superheroes then this is for you, it just didn't quite work well for me as a person but that does not stop you from enjoying this good debut.




About the author:

Cristina Fernandez is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she studied creative writing and film and media studies. This is her debut novel.








Wishtress by Nadine Brandes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

She didn’t ask to be the Wishtress.

Myrthe was born with the ability to turn her tears into wishes. It’s a big secret to keep. When a granted wish goes wrong, a curse is placed on her: the next tear she sheds will kill her. She needs to journey to the Well and break the curse before it claims her life—and before the king’s militairen track her down. But in order to survive the journey, she must harden her heart to keep herself from crying even a single tear.

He can stop time with a snap of his fingers.

Bastiaan’s powerful—and rare—Talent came in handy when he kidnapped the old king. Now the new king has a job for him: find and capture the Wishtress and deliver her to the schloss. But Bastiaan needs a wish of his own. When he locates Myrthe, he agrees to take her to the Well in exchange for a wish. Once she’s fulfilled her end of the deal, he’ll turn her in. As long as his growing feelings for the girl with a stone heart don’t compromise his job.

They are on a journey that can only end one way: with her death.

Everyone seems to need a wish—the king, Myrthe’s cousin, the boy she thinks she loves. And they’re ready to bully, beg, and even betray her for it. No one knows that to grant even one of them, Myrthe would have to die. And if she tells them about her curse . . . they’ll just kill her anyway.







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REVIEW

I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

This was such a beautifully written book! A girl with the power to turn her tears to wishes, beautiful descriptions, and teary moments! I really enjoyed it!

I loved the magic system! Somehow the author still managed to add so much depth and detail to it even though the story was already full of other elements and the characters fitted right in. This is also a book I'd prefer you go in without reading the summary so you can discover how beautiful it is!




About the author:

NADINE BRANDES once spent four days as a sea cook in the name of book research. She is the award-winning author of FAWKES, ROMANOV, and the Out of Time Series. Her inner fangirl perks up at the mention of soul-talk, Quidditch, bookstagram, and Oreos. When she's not busy writing novels about bold living, she's adventuring through Middle Earth or taste-testing a new chai. Nadine, her Auror husband, and their Halfling children are building a Tiny House on wheels. Current mission: paint the world in shalom.

(See her dorkiness on fully display on her Instagram and her YouTube)