ARC Review: "Regretting" You by Colleen Hoover


Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

From #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a poignant novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters.

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.




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REVIEW


I received an e-ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

I honestly don't know by this point how to express my utter amazement for Colleen Hoover and her amazing talent. This book had romance, devotion, friendship ups, and downs but mostly it was about family and the ties that can both separate and create one.

The story is told by the POVs of Morgan the mother and Clara the daughter. The story mostly from Morgan's POV also takes us to her past and how she came to be married to Chris, Clara's father. There's also Jenny, Morgan's sister and Jonah (whom I want to hug and protect and love).

There are secrets in this book and all are mostly uncovered quite early in the book as later all the characters try to come in terms with the consequences. I also loved Clara's friend Lexie and Miller, Clara's boyfriend; they were teenage relationships but most importantly (mostly) healthy ones.

To be honest by the end of the book I was more concentrated on Morgan and her story. And the reason for that? You'll have to discover it by yourself.

Coho has created a huge family dynamic in this book, both amazing, heartfelt and heartbreaking. I absolutely loved it.




About the author:

International and #1 New York Times bestselling author of romance, YA, thriller and Women's Fiction. And maybe a ghost story soon.

I don't like to be confined to one genre. If you put me in a box, I'll claw my way out.


My social media username is @colleenhoover pretty much everywhere except my email, which is colleenhooverbooks@gmail.com

Founder of www.thebookwormbox.com charity and Book Bonanza.

Release Day Blitz+ARC Review: "The Younger Man" by Karina Halle

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A reckless, obsessive soccer star. A forbidden affair that could ruin her career. The locker room has never been this steamy.

The Younger Man, an epic standalone forbidden age-gap sports romance, by New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle, is LIVE!

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Starting over was her only option.
Forty-years old and still reeling from a public and painful divorce, Thalia Blackwood is looking for a fresh start, somewhere far away from her upside down life. When she’s offered a new job as the sports therapist for a football (soccer) team, she jumps at the chance. This is just what she needs to leave the heartbreak and shame of Manchester behind, trading it in for the warmth and hopeful vibrancy of Madrid.

He was her only desire.
Twenty-three year old Alejo Albarado is rising up the ranks in his career. As the charming forward for the Real Madrid team, Alejo’s life revolves around women, parties, and being a tabloid darling, that is until the new sports therapist joins the team.

Their passion could not be ignored.
What starts out as a strictly professional relationship between Thalia and the young Spanish player, slowly evolves into something more. Much more.

Their relationship was forbidden.
But their combustible chemistry and simmering sexual tension can only go so far—should Thalia give into Alejo’s advances, she’s at risk of not only losing her job, but succumbing to a much younger man will drag her through the spotlight again.
Alejo might be worth that risk.
Unless he breaks her heart in the process.

The Younger Man is a full-length standalone romance. Characters from Love, in English make a cameo in this book, however The Younger Man is intended to be read as a STANDALONE.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/TheYoungerManKH
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2OhIyaE


REVIEW

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

Ah, the beauty of Karina's writing! How well she knows to make me soar by loving her characters and at the same time make me travel through the world in both known and unknown places! Her new book takes place in Spain, a country I had the luck to visit so the Spanish were familiar to me.

The story follows Thalia, a 40 years old woman who has just gotten out of a hard divorce and desperately tries to find a new job. When the opportunity is given to work for Real Madrid, she will take it.

And meet Alejo, a man younger than her but very very handsome. (AND HAWWWTT)

As their passion for each other rises, so do their problems. The age gap, their insecurities even the pressure by the team.

I loved this story. There's always something very realistic in Karina Halle's characters. They are all so well written and fleshed out like real people, who struggle and make wrong choices, who love and sometimes wager their love in order to overcome difficulties. I also loved the ending, which was very sweet and hopeful.

Another thing that I knew would happen (from the teasers) was the cameo appearances of Mateo and Vera from "Love in English" (my very first Karina Halle book and one of my top of all her published works). They were so funny and well together and they both supported Thalia, in their own ways.

By this point, I'll just keep waiting for more deliciousness by Karina Halle! She is amazing and she proves it every time!
(I also keep hoping that she will visit my city in Greece because she looves teasing her readers with descriptions of my country!)


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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:
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Release Day Blitz+Excerpt+Book Trailer+Excrept: "The Darkest Assassin" (Lords of the Underworld #14.6) by Gena Showalter

We are beyond excited to be sharing this release from Gena Showalter with you today! THE DARKEST ASSASSIN is part of her Lords of the Underworld series and it is releasing as part of 1001 Dark Nights. It just went live today! Check out an excerpt and book trailer from the title below. Click here to grab your copy now.

 

Purchase your copy of THE DARKEST ASSASSIN today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

                      

About THE DARKEST ASSASSIN:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gena Showalter comes a new story in her Lords of the Underworld series…

 Fox is a demon-possessed immortal with many talents. --Ability to open portals—check --Power to kill the most dangerous Sent Ones—check --Scare away any man who might want to date her—mate Now, the keeper of Distrust has been marked for death, a winged assassin with rainbow-colored eyes tracking her every move, determined to avenge the males she accidentally decimated. If only she could control the desire to rip off his clothes… Bjorn is a fierce warrior with many complications. --Tragic, torture-filled past—check --A wife he was forced to wed, who is draining his life force—check --Ever-intensifying desire for the enigmatic Fox—mate Never has he hesitated to exterminate an evil being. Until now. The sharp-tongued female with a shockingly vulnerable heart tempts him in ways no one else ever has, threatening his iron control. But, as Fate itself seems to conspire against the unlikely pair, both old and new enemies emerge. And Fox and Bjorn must fight to survive. And learn to love…

 **Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**  

Add THE DARKEST ASSASSIN to your Goodreads TBR here!

Purchase your copy of THE DARKEST ASSASSIN today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

                           

Excerpt:

“Is the plan to beat and imprison me?” Fox asked, keeping her tone conversational. “Or to straight-up kill me?”
A muscle jumped beneath his eye. The fact that he continued to hold her stare, despite her nakedness and his erection, proved the strength of his willpower. “What you did to my brethren, I will do to you. This day, you will die by my hand.”
Exactly as she’d suspected. “Did you hurt anyone on the way in?” If so, she would kill him this day.
“I did not. Unlike you, I do not slaughter innocents.”
Ouch. Such a low blow. Accurate, but low. At least she didn’t have to worry he’d lied. Sent Ones were only able to speak truths. “Would it help my cause if you knew I was under the influence of a demon I despise with every fiber of my being?”
His eyes narrowed to tiny slits. With zero hesitation, he told her, “You welcomed the demon and now complain about its influence? No. Nothing will help. The men you killed were beloved. They had families and friends eager for their return.”
She flinched, a heavy weight settling on her shoulders. “You know I’ll defend myself?”
“I do,” he said with a slight incline of his chin.
For whatever reason, the action spurred him into dropping his gaze to her small but pert breasts…where it remained.
She arched a brow at him, not that he noticed, and fought a new wave of shivers, his stare more potent than a caress. “Let me know when you’re done staring. Okay, sport?”
“I will.” He shocked her. He didn’t offer any more, and he didn’t look away.
Was this a battle tactic meant to disarm her mentally and emotionally? Like she really cared about her nudity. She wasn’t shy, or modest, and she maybe kinda sorta…liked the way he studied her, almost as if he’d never beheld anyone so fine. A trick, no doubt. Fox wasn’t classically beautiful. Her features were too angular for such a claim. But she liked to think she had presence.

BOOK TRAILER

REVIEW QUOTES FOR KRISTEN'S NOVELS:

“I love this world…this is Gena Showalter at her best!”—J.R. Ward, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“The Gods of War series is my new obsession.”—Christine Feehan, #1 New York Timesbestselling author
"One of the premier authors of paranormal romance. Gena Showalter delivers an utterly spellbinding story!"-Kresley Cole, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Gena Showalter never fails to dazzle."-Jeaniene Frost, New York Times bestselling author
 
                                           

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine, she’s been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours–and her books have been translated in multiple languages. She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com


AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Newsletter


                     

Release Day Blitz+ARC Review: "Audition" (True North #1) by Skye Warren & Amelia Wilde





Title: Audition
Series: True North #1
Authors: Skye Warren & Amelia Wilde
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Release Date: December 9, 2019



Blurb

Blood and sweat. Bethany Lewis danced her way out of poverty. She’s a world class athlete… with a debt to pay.

Joshua North always gets what he wants. And the mercenary wants Bethany in his bed. He wants her beautiful little body bent to his will.

She doesn’t surrender to his kiss.
He doesn’t back down from a challenge.
It’s going to be a sensual fight… to the death.

AUDITION is the enthralling spin off from the bestselling North Security series, though it can be read separately.







Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU


REVIEW

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

The anticipating spin-off series to the North Security series is here! I knew that Josh and Bethany would get their own story and I'm glad they did! I didn't know that they shared a common past and that this past would haunt them both. The story moved steadily through past and present and the chemistry between them was amazing!




Skye Warren

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat. 


INSTAGRAM
WEBSITE


Amelia Wilde

Amelia Wilde wrote her first story when she was six years old, a narrative strongly inspired by The Polar Express. When she was nine she wrote her first novel-length work, all in one paragraph.

Now, Amelia is all about that love. Her romances feature unique, independent heroines and alpha heroes who are strong of heart and body. Readers have described her work as “emotional,” “intense,” “phenomenal,” and “like a child scribbled with a crayon,” which she takes as the highest praise.

FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM
TWITTER
WEBSITE



Review: "The Queen of Nothing" (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black


The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.
 




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REVIEW

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS FROM THE PREVIOUS BOOKS AND THIS ONE

And now that I have finally gathered my wits and emotions I can write this review.

*throws logic out of the window*

HOLY WOW THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING! I am so glad I didn't have to wait until 2020 to read QoN! There was action, treachery and romance! And lots of Jude and Cardan!

Let's take it from the beginning. Jude is exiled to the mortal lands and she does part-time works for the hiding Fae. When news about the war in Faerie arrives, Jude is uncertain if she should fight or not.
And then b*ch Tarryn appears, asking for Jude's help.

And then Jude trapeses back to the castle, posing as her sister but NO!!!!!!!!! CARDAN KNOWS WHO HE IS AND I LOVE HIS DIALOGUE AND ACCEPTANCE OF HIS FEELINGS! Not to mention that I love his style! And yes I was proved right when I had already guessed how Jude could have broken her exile and come back to Faerie. *applauses*



Now, the rest of the book passed to fast before my eyes (I enjoyed it very much). There are plotting and a floor scene and also cameos from other books by Holly Black. And the final chapters? Wow, they broke my heart only to mend it again.

The only part of the whole book that I didn't like was how fast Tarryn switched sides and had her redemption arc. After everything she did in the previous books, I haven't forgiven her and I don't think I'll ever will. Ghost, on the other hand, had a far better redemption plot which also led by the end of the book at him falling in love with Tarryn(?)

The mention to the other courts is also a good note and a nod to how masterfully Holly Black crafted this whole universe. Amazing descriptions, Fae both beautiful and terrifying with their trickery and plots. By the end of the book, I was left with the need to read more of Faerie and the mention of Oak and the wild princess makes me hope that he will too get his own story someday.



About the author:

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in January 2018.

She has been a a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.

Waiting on Wednesday: "Seasons of the Storm" by Elle Cosimano


Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.





For fans of Maggie Stiefvater and Laini Taylor, a perfect storm lies ahead in this riveting fantasy duology opener from award-winning author Elle Cosimano.

One cold, crisp night, Jack Sommers was faced with a choice—live forever according to the ancient, magical rules of Gaia, or die.

Jack chose to live, and in exchange, he became a Winter—an immortal physical embodiment of the season on Earth. Every year, he must hunt the Season who comes before him. Summer kills Spring. Autumn kills Summer. Winter kills Autumn. And Spring kills Winter.

Jack and Fleur, a Winter and a Spring, fall for each other against all odds. To be together, they’ll have to escape the cycle that’s been forcing them apart. But their creator won’t let them go without a fight.
 




Milky Way of Books Starry List: Best "Beauty and the Beast" themed books of 2019!


Hello, amazing and beautiful readers from all over the literally universe! IT'S DECEMBER! Which means two things!

First, Christmas is coming!


And second, it's my birthday month! So that means also lots of sweets and cake of course!



And yet despite everything and knowing that I have lots of reviews to write, books to finish and also prepare my 2020 blogging schedule, I feel very tired. And sleepy.

So for today's post, I decided to do a theme! Last year, I used to participate a lot in the Top 10 Tuesday list, which is amazing, but this year I didn't have the time. And besides, I wanted to post something at my own pace and theme. 

The theme? BEAUTY AND THE BEAST! If you know me then you can guess, how much I love books themed after my favorite story! The books mentioned below come from different genres and age groups, so you can choose from all!




1. The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard: A delightful story set in England with dukes, ladies with education and a pair made for each other! I loved Astrid and Nathaniel, they were so easy to read and Nathaniel as the "Beast" had the dry humor I enjoy in these books. 



2. When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James: This was a huge surprise! And a rare find in my Historical Romance research. The second book in a series, which doesn't stop the reader from enjoying it, When Beauty Tamed the Beast, takes place in Wales where duke Piers, who is a mix between Dr. House and the Beast, discovers that his father has arranged for him to marry with Linnet, a beautiful young woman who is not only gorgeous but also smart, sassy and is not disturbed by Piers's manners.

I enjoyed reading the book and also listening to the audiobook. The final chapters are also heartbreaking and I found myself crying at some point. Definitely one of the best in this list.



3. Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean: This was the book that led me to bigning every book written by Sarah in one week! I thoroughly enjoyed this Victorian romance, filled with secrets, humor, romance and a lovable couple!


4. A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean: Also this book has a Beauty and a Beast (although we should be honest and admit that the Victorian society was filled by teeny-tiny d*kheads. Alec is gorgeous and a woman's dream come true!). With sweet Lily being strong in her own way, a trait that made me admire her even more! Not to mention that they both had lots of humor, jumping from house to house!



5. Gilded Rose by Emma Hamm: This story is a new addition to my growing favorite list by my auto-buy author. There is a Beauty and Beast theme here and since I am currently reading this book, by the time this post is written I can surely say that this is addicting.



6. Entreat Me by Grace Draven: This is an old read but I recently discovered that this one had finally become an audiobook! So yes, I re-read it. The theme here has a slight twist but Grace Draven is a master wordsmith of creating amazing worlds, you truly want to live in. Also one of the best in the list.



7. The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith: (trigger warnings: this book contains dark themes and the reader is advised to tread carefully). This was also a surprise. First, the book is HUGE! It took me almost a week to finish it. And second, the story is a gigantic epic saga in an alien planet, where the humans are the prey and the alien species here live in a religious society, believing in a cosmic power that guides their lives. Meoraq is an actual alien, lizard-humanoid like, and Amber is a woman whom I admired through the book, for every trial and hardship she suffered through. She was way too kind to her fellow humans. This is a story you won't forget easily.



8. To Love a Monster by Marina Simcoe: This book also felt true to the theme but it is also set n a more contemporary world, closer to ours. Both characters have a lot of emotional issues to deal with and I enjoyed it. It was touching and sweet.



9: Niehime to Kemono Ou (Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts) by Yu Tomofuji: The manga of this list is still and on-going read. But it's set in a magical world where humans and monsters are at war and the heroines, Saliphie, is the sacrifice the humans send in order to appease the King of the Beasts. There is a twist on Beauty and the Beast here, and despite the series being a shojo, I enjoy it very much. It's heartwarming and also hosts many side characters who help the pair to grow closer and evolve.




Do you have any recommendations? I'd love to add more in my GoodReads list so, give me a shout! If you want to see my complete list of both read and upcoming Beauty and Beast themed books you can see it on GoodReads.



Waiting on Wednesday: "The Princess Will Save You" (The Princess Will Save You #1) by Sarah Henning


Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.





A PRINCESS
A STABLE BOY
A QUEST

When her father dies, Princess Amarande is given an ultimatum: Marry the leader of one of the four neighboring kingdoms, or lose her crown—and possibly her life. And to force her hand, her beloved, the stable boy Luca, is kidnapped.

But Amarande was raised to be a warrior, not a sacrifice.

And nothing will stop her from saving her true love and rescuing her kingdom.

The acclaimed author of Sea Witch turns the classic damsel-in-distress tale on its head with this story of adventure, identity, and love.




IT'S INSPIRED BY THE PRINCESS BRIDE! I'M FLAILING FROM HAPPINESS OVER HERE!







Review: "When She Reigns" (Fallen Isles #3) by Jodi Meadows


When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads

The First Dragon

The Great Abandonment has begun. Panic has seized the Fallen Isles, where no one knows which god will rise next. Mira Minkoba believes her dreams hold the secret to bringing an end to the destruction, but in order to save her people, she’ll have to find a legendary treasure: the bones of the first dragon.

The Last Hope

Mira’s desperate search leads the Hopebearer and her friends on a dangerous journey into the heart of enemy territory: the Algotti Empire itself. The empress is more than willing to help—for an impossible price. And as tensions escalate beneath the shadows of the risen gods, Mira grapples with a terrifying question: What will she have to sacrifice to preserve what she loves?

The explosive finale to Jodi Meadows’s Fallen Isles trilogy is ablaze with sizzling romance and fiery magic as Mira’s fight to save dragons from extinction evolves into a mission to save her world from annihilation.
 




BUY ON 

AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

REVIEW


This was a very well-written book. Filled with emotion, anguish, action, and romance. As the dragons of the Isles fall more and more into the hands of the Empire Mira and her friends must find a way to save them, before calamity destroys their world.

There is something more to love seeing beautiful dragons of all kinds and shapes together. Mira has matured since the first book and she proves to be a fierce leader who is ready to sacrifice everything for her people and the ones she loves. While some characters felt like they needed more time for their own development, like Altan, the ending was very satisfactory and breathtaking.

Especially the final scene with the dragons and Mira.
THAT WAS AMAZING!

Another amazing series by Jodi Meadows is finished. I will equally be anticipating and hope for more new stories by her.



And don't miss the rest of the series!









About the author:

Jodi Meadows wants to be a ferret when she grows up and she has no self-control when it comes to yarn, ink, or outer space. Still, she manages to write books. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy, the ORPHAN QUEEN Duology, and the FALLEN ISLES Trilogy (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen), and a coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers MY LADY JANE and MY PLAIN JANE (HarperTeen). She lives in rural Virginia. Visit her at www.jodimeadows.com

Waiting on Wednesday: "Deathless Divide" (Dread Nation #2) by Justina Ireland


Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.




THE SEQUEL TO THE 'NEW YORK TIMES' BEST-SELLING EPIC 'DREAD NATION' IS AN UNFORGETTABLE JOURNEY OF REVENGE AND SALVATION ACROSS A DIVIDED AMERICA.

After the fall of Summerland, Jane McKeene hoped her life would get simpler: Get out of town, stay alive, and head west to California to find her mother.

But nothing is easy when you're a girl trained in putting down the restless dead, and a devastating loss on the road to a protected village called Nicodermus has Jane questioning everything she thought she knew about surviving in 1880's America.

What's more, this safe haven is not what it appears - as Jane discovers when she sees familiar faces from Summerland amid this new society. Caught between mysteries and lies, the undead, and her own inner demons, Jane soon finds herself on a dark path of blood and violence that threatens to consume her.

But she won't be in it alone.

Katherine Deveraux never expected to be allied with Jane McKeene. But after the hell she has endured, she knows friends are hard to come by - and that Jane needs her, too, whether Jane wants to admit it or not.

Watching Jane's back, however, is more than she bargained for, and when they both reach a breaking point, it's up to Katherine to keep hope alive - even as she begins to fear that there is no happily-ever-after for girls like her.


And don't miss the first book of the series! It's amazing and it also deals, even in the alternative fantasy/history setting with Native American history.




Blog Tour+Excerpt+ARC Review+Giveaway: "Disarm" (The Dumonts #2) by Karina Halle

About The Book
Title: Disarm
Author: Karina Halle
Release Date: November 19, 2019
Publisher: Montlake

Summary
Seraphine Dumont seems to have it all: she’s gorgeous, brilliant, and part of one of France’s most illustrious dynasties. But underneath the facade, Seraphine struggles to hold it all together. Besides grieving her adoptive father’s suspicious and sudden death, she also shares a tenuous role in the family business with Blaise, her in-name-only cousin. As tumultuous as their history is, he may be the only member of the deceptive Dumont family she can trust.

Seraphine is a temptation Blaise can’t resist. The torch he’s carried for years still burns. It’s his secret—a quiet obsession just out of reach. Until his brother demands that he spy on the increasingly cagey Seraphine, whom their father considers a dispensable Dumont outlier. But the more Blaise watches her and the closer he gets, the more he sees Seraphine may have every right to be suspicious. And she could be the next one in danger—from his own family.

As blood runs hot and hearts give in, Seraphine and Blaise have only each other. But can their love survive the secrets they’re about to uncover?



Excerpt

“We can never be together, Blaise,” Seraphine says, like frustration is rolling through her. “I know you understand that.” 

“But it doesn’t mean we can’t try.” 

“No,” she says and suddenly gets up to her feet, walking out of the room. “No. I can’t do this. I can’t handle this,” I hear her cry out as she heads down the hall. I get up and run after her, grabbing her by the arm and pulling her right up against me, and she opens her mouth to protest and then my mouth is on hers, swallowing her words. I kiss her with everything I have, every bit of anger and frustration and the years of lust and pining and wanting. I should be more gentle after the night she’s had, but I can’t help myself; in fact, I think I’m seconds from turning into an animal as I hold the back of her head and press my hand at the small of her waist, keeping her pressed as close to me as possible. 

Her tongue slides across mine, hot and fevered and—

She pulls back, gasping for breath, and slaps me across the face. 

Whack. 

That hurt. 

“What the hell is wrong with you?” she says. “What are you doing? What am I doing?” 

Her face is red with anger, perhaps even shame. I mean, my cheek is stinging from her powerful wallop, but even so, I expected it. She’s always been the type of woman to put you in your place. But I didn’t expect her to slide so easily back into hating me. 

“Don’t pretend you haven’t been dreaming about that,” I tell her, trying to control myself. “Don’t pretend that you haven’t wanted that, wanted me, all these years.” 

“The only thing I’ve been dreaming about, Blaise, is getting justice for my father. That’s it. That’s all that matters. And as far as I’m concerned, you’re no better than the rest of them.” Anger pokes at me, building up inside.
“Hey,” I say, my inflection razor sharp. “I risked my neck tonight for you. I saved you from a bad situation. And more than that, I let you know the truth. I chose you over my family.” 

“And I’m choosing not to trust you,” she says. “You’ve given me no sign over the years that I mean anything to you at all. Why should I believe you now? Why do that when it might derail everything I’m working on?” Something comes over her, a flash in her eyes, as she’s realizing something. “This is all a setup, isn’t it? This is just something that Pascal is having you do, just like you followed me. You’re supposed to tell me all this nonsense about wanting me and staying celibate like some joke and waiting for me, and it’s all a lie to get my guard down. If you’re telling me I’m in danger, it’s because you’re putting me there.” I knew she’d go this route at some point, but even so, it stings. “That’s not it at all. Seraphine, please, I’m serious.” 

“You just want me to back off because I’m close to the truth,” she says, shaking her head wildly as the idea takes over. “For all I know, every single thing this evening that’s come out of your mouth has been a complete lie, all to throw me off.” 

I run my hands down my face, trying to squash my frustration. I knew this was coming, and yet that tiny coal of hope was always burning inside. “That’s not true,” I mutter into my hands, but I know when she gets like this that there’s no changing her mind. 

“Get out,” she says. 

I look up to see her opening the door and gesturing for me to hurry up. 

“You’re making a big mistake by not trusting me,” I tell her. 

“And I don’t take threats very well. Get out, and if I see you around me again . . .” 

I almost laugh. “You will see me again. At work tomorrow.” 

“Right. I almost forgot that you’re taking over my job.” She runs her fingers under her eyes and sighs so defeatedly that leaving her feels like a crime. 

“It’s not like that,” I tell her. 

“Just go,” she says quietly, holding open the door and looking away like she can’t be bothered to face me. 

“You know where to reach me, if anything happens,” I tell her as I walk past and out into the hall. 

“If anything happens, you’ll be the first one I’ll blame,” she says to me. 

Before I can say anything in response, she closes the door in my face.




REVIEW

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

You know that you have great romantic suspense when both characters have also angst and their own conflicting emotions to deal with, along with everything else! That's what I enjoyed so much reading in Karina Halle's new book! Following the success of the first book, Disarm is the story of Seraphine and Blaise who are step-cousins and at the same time rivals in the war for power in the fashion industry.

Following the events from the first book, we learn about how Seraphine came into the Dumont family who adopted her and loved her in the way every child should be.
Following the POV of Blaise and Seraphine back and forth from past to present, I got to see the longing and the unrequited love. There were so many emotions in this one I could burst! Not to mention that there was action and the scheming of the other members of the family was downright evil.

Money indeed doesn't bring happiness.

This was a really good sequel which left me anxiously hoping to see how Pascal will be redeemed!







Q&A: Author Karina Halle 

1. To start off, can you tell us a little about your main characters from Disarm. Seraphine and Blaise have quite a history (not to mention they share the same last name!)

Seraphine and Blaise Dumont are (gasp) cousins. But not to worry, they aren't blood-related. Seraphine is actually from India and was adopted by Ludovic Dumont when she was a young girl. Even though she was brought into the "nice" side of the family, she has always had trouble fitting in. Her looks, her accent, the fact that she was born poor and discarded like trash, gives her a very different perspective to life than her affluent family. This POV has colored her into the very outspoken, vibrant and feisty woman she is today - she is definitely one of my favorite female characters I've written.

Blaise, of course, belongs to the bad side of the family, though there were hints in the first book, Discretion, that he's not as bad as you would think. In fact, he's a lot like Seraphine, a bit of an outcast and the black sheep of his family. As we read Disarm, we also discover the history that Blaise and Seraphine have together which sets up for the angst, tension and hate for each other that they have in the present day, especially as Seraphine thinks Blaise has something to do with her father's death.

2. They live in a world of privilege that most of us cannot fathom. What are the biggest pluses and some minuses of living with fabulous wealth?

The biggest plus is the material things: houses, cars, clothes, jets, vacations. You name it, they have it. You would also think a great deal of freedom comes with money too and it does but with that sort of wealth, it makes you go to great lengths to keep it. So that freedom still ties you to the wealth, in maintaining it and getting more of it. Of course, it breeds some pretty out of touch and unscrupulous characters, too, and you can never know who to trust when your world (and family) revolves around money instead of love.

3. What about Blaise makes him totally unique and different from all other book boyfriends?
The torch he has carried for Seraphine for so many years. This man is the epitome of yearning and pining for someone you can't have, more so than most book boyfriends you've come across (and I won't spoil exactly how but you'll find out in the book just how secretly devoted to his cousin he is). He's also an anti-hero, a man who has done some crooked stuff but still tries to do the right thing, even if it comes at the expense of his own family.

4. Seraphine has faced many difficulties during her life, but one of her toughest challenges is thinking Blaise abandoned her. How does she deal with this heartbreak?
She deals with it the way that Seraphine deals with any hardship—she tucks it away deep down inside and rises above it. She'll force herself to be strong - her pride is very powerful - and she'll trick herself into thinking she never cared about him to begin with. It's much easier to paint Blaise with a villainous brush, that way it doesn't hurt so much. 
5. Extreme events are said to bring out a person's true character. What harrowing situations do Seraphine and Blaise get entangled in and what does this say about them?
There isn't anything more extreme than fighting for your life, and the two of them have had to do that in this book. Literally. But they willingly walked into those situations as a way to put an end to the tangled web they've been caught in. It says they would rather face it and fight than flee. This is especially true for Blaise, who, at the end of the book, choses to confront his loved ones face to face, even if it potentially means making some difficult choices.

6. What scene from the book do you think readers will enjoy the most and why?
Personally, I love the scene at the end, a nail-biting showdown between Blaise and his brother Pascal (and his father, too). That was a blast to write and read, I basically just watched it all unfold in my head and it had my heart pumping as if I was watching a movie. It's DELICIOUS. Romance-wise, I think the flashbacks are pretty special, particularly their first kiss in Italy. There was something about that scene that felt so real.

7. It is often said that writing is re-writing. What were some things that didn’t make it into the book that you were hoping to add?
Nothing. It's all in there, baby! If anything, scenes were added during edits.
8. What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?
I learned a lot about Muay Thai fighting moves haha.
9. What do you want readers to take away from reading this book?
That family isn't just through blood, and that sometimes in order to do the right thing and be your own person, you musn't be afraid to stand up to your family, even if it means tension or separation down the line.

10. Who is the next Dumont on your list to receive their own story?
The infamous Pascal. And believe me when I say, this villain's story will both wow and win people over. His book is even more thrilling and dramatic than Disarm and I can't wait for everyone to read it!


***

Author Biography

Karina Halle, a former travel writer and music journalist, is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact, A Nordic King, and Sins & Needles, as well as fifty other wild and romantic reads. She, her husband, and their adopted pit bull live in a rain forest on an island off British Columbia, where they operate a B&B that’s perfect for writers’ retreats. In the winter, you can often find them in California or on their beloved island of Kauai, soaking up as much sun (and getting as much inspiration) as possible. For more information, visit www.authorkarinahalle.com/books.



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