ARC Review: "The One That Got Away" by Karina Halle



The One That Got Away by Karina Halle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

*A standalone second-chance romance*

Ruby Turner was never meant to be mine.

When I first met her, she was a fresh, young, American sports journalist trying to find her footing in a new life abroad. She was the one interviewing me for an article, yet I wanted to know more about her. She captivated me.
But she went home with Marco that night.
My agent.
My brother.
And I did what I could to pretend I was fine with it.
After all, I’m Luciano Ribeiro. As the captain of Real Madrid, and Portugal’s National Team, it’s my job to be cool, calm, and collected, not easily rattled.
Only what I felt for Ruby over time, shook me to my very core.
It made me do things I never imagined I would do.
It started with a stolen kiss in the middle of the night.
It led to a passionate tryst.
It created a burden of guilt that I had to carry, as Ruby came in and out of my life until she left for good, leaving her mark on me.
Now, seven years later, she’s back.
She was the one that got away.
I don’t think I’ll let her go this time.
But I might not have a choice.
Because my heart still belongs to her.
And her heart might belong to my brother.


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REVIEW

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

I can't believe I survived this story! It gutted me and it had been a while since an angst book made me cry. Luciano's and Ruby's story spans almost 12 years and in that time many things happen both under their control but also some that both are unable to control. It was heartbreaking and consuming seeing this love between them develop and it made my heart ache every time I read both their POVs. Both are scared and afraid since both have been disappointed by their families. Yet both found solace in each other as they discovered each other.

Luciano's mention of "the one that got away" was hinted in the Forbidden Man and I knew that this book would gut me. The good side was that I had cameos of other known characters of Karina Halle's that offered a good and fun part in the story.

The ending was one they both deserved and this may be the best one in my "second chance romance" list by far! 



About the author:

Karina Halle is a screenwriter, a former music & travel journalist, and the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact, A Nordic King, and Sins & Needles, as well as sixty other wild and romantic reads.

She, her musician husband, and their adopted pit bull, Bruce, live in a rainforest on an island off the coast of British Columbia, where they operate Raven Ridge, a B&B that’s perfect for writers’ retreats and romantic getaways.

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.

Halle is represented by Root Literary and is both self-published, and published by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, and Montlake. Her books have been published in numerous languages around the world.


Batch of Septermber Reviews: ARCs & Books I enjoyed!


Roaring by Lindsey Duga
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Colt Clemmons is an agent in a specialized division within the Bureau of Investigation—one that hunts down not just mobsters, but also monsters.

For reasons that are kept top secret, Colt is the only person who can resist a siren's voice. But he's never had a chance to test this ability. The last siren left in the world mysteriously disappeared years ago.

Then one night, with a single word, she reveals herself. It seems too good to be true.

And it is. Because nothing about this siren—her past, her powers, or her purpose—is what it seems...
 



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REVIEW

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

Paranormal creatures in the 1920s! Now this was something I loved to read! Lindsey Duga knows how to create a unique blend of characters and deliver a complete story in one go! I also enjoyed the dual POV od Eris and Colt as they navigated the secrets of the paranormal society, smuggling and sirens, agents and action! 

If you want something unique and quick to read this book is for you! 




About the author:

Lindsey Duga is a middle grade and young adult writer with a passion for fantasy, science fiction, and basically any genre that takes you away from the real world. She wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University.

Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show and practicing yoga.
















Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.

The hotly anticipated sequel to the New York Times and IndieBound bestseller Serpent & Dove—packed with even steamier romance and darker magic—is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.
 

 


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REVIEW



Lou and Reid! My favorite couple and their friends have to fight, unite different enemies against a common one...and face drama in this amazing sequel by Shelby Mahurin! Holy wow I didn't expect all these twists and turns, the danger, the tragedy, and the way the book ended?

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SURVIVE THIS UNTIL THE SEQUEL!

Not to mention that the way Lou tried to control her magic or the way Reid had to learn about his, it led to more conflicted feelings and also some of the best couple struggles I have ever read. Also, the rest of their friends like Coco were not only bystanders but tried to help Lou and Reid and also fight for a better world where the witches wouldn't lay waste to everything.

This is a very well written book with amazing storytelling, more intricate enemies, and a romance that has its ups and downs, and that's why it is even more delicious to read!



About the author:

Shelby Mahurin grew up on a small farm in rural Indiana, where sticks became wands and cows became dragons. Her rampant imagination didn't fade with age, so she continues to play make-believe every day—with words now instead of cows. When not writing, Shelby watches the Office and obsesses over her Twitter feed. She still lives near that childhood farm with her very tall husband, semi-feral toddlers, two dogs, and one cat.
Shelby's favorite books include A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and, of course, Harry Potter.
Her debut novel, SERPENT & DOVE, will release from Harper Teen in Fall 2019, with a sequel to come the following year. She is represented by Sarah Landis of Sterling Lord Literistic. 














The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

New York Times bestselling author duo Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner have crafted a gripping tale of magic and logic, fate and choice, and a deadly love. Perfect for fans of Laini Taylor and Brandon Sanderson.

Prince North’s home is in the sky, in a gleaming city held aloft by intricate engines, powered by technology. Nimh is the living goddess of her people on the Surface, responsible for providing answers, direction—hope.

North’s and Nimh’s lives are entwined—though their hearts can never be. Linked by a terrifying prophecy and caught between duty and fate, they must choose between saving their people or succumbing to the bond that is forbidden between them.




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REVIEW


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

There is nothing I don't enjoy more than reading books co-written by Amie and Meagan! The vivid imaginary, the amazing world-building, and the feelings and character development all blend together in this stunning new book which is a blend of sci-fi and fantasy.

North and Nimh had to navigate their worlds their different aspects of life and discover the secrets behind the reason Sky and ground are separated. You will enjoy this one trust me! 



About the authors:

New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there. She's the author of the award-winning Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, Their Fractured Light) and the Skylark Trilogy (Skylark, Shadowlark, Lark Ascending) as well as the upcoming Beauty and the Beast retelling Hunted.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.





Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her multi-award winning work is slated for publication in over 30 countries, and is in development for film and TV. Raised in Australia and occasionally Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution. She lives in Melbourne with her husband, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library.

You can sign up for her newsletter to see what she's working on, hear when she releases a new book, and be automatically entered for giveaways: www.eepurl.com/6Ya8j








ARC Review: "Goblin King" (Permafrost #2) by Kara Barbieri



Goblin King by Kara Barbieri
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

In this stunning sequel to White Stag, Janneke must find how far she's willing to go to save her world from destruction--even if it means sacrificing everything she's fought for.

The Hunt is over but the War has just begun.

Against all odds, Janneke has survived the Hunt for the Stag--but all good things come with a cost. Lydian might be dead, but he took the Stag with him. Janneke now holds the mantle, while Soren, now her equal in every way, has become the new Erlking. Janneke's powers as the new Stag has brought along haunting visions of a world thrown into chaos and the ghost of Lydian taunts her with the riddles he spoke of when he was alive.

When Janneke discovers the truth of Lydian and his madness, she's forced to see her tormentor in a different light for the first time. The world they know is dying and Lydian may have been the only person with the key to saving it.

 


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REVIEW


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

I enjoyed the sequel! As I had with White Stag this story is filled with mysteries and action and humor as both Janneke and Soren try to navigate their new positions of power and their growing dread as something far more sinister threatens Permafrost...and the world.

The mix of nordic mythology and the culture of the goblins was fascinating to read and the travels the gang had as they tried to solve the mysteries behind Janneke's dreams and the threat of Ragnarok.

The ending despite its seemingly good resolve gave me a cliffhanger that was very very terrifying! 



About the author:

Kara Barbieri is a twenty-two year old author with a love for the weird and mystic. She enjoys weaving ancient mythology into her stories and writing characters who are strong yet vulnerable at the same time. In her free time she trains with the same weapons her characters use, studies as a linguistic major, and generally tries her hardest not to be normal.

ARC Review: "Soulswift" by Megan Bannen



Soulswift by Megan Bannen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

A dark, epic fantasy about a girl who must reevaluate everything she believes after she is betrayed and hunted by the religion that raised her—from Megan Bannen, author of The Bird and the Blade. Perfect for fans of The Winner’s Curse and The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

Gelya is a Vessel, a girl who channels the word of the One True God through song. Cloistered with the other Vessels of her faith, she believes—as all Ovinists do—that a saint imprisoned Elath the Great Demon centuries ago, saving humanity from earthly temptation.

When Gelya stumbles into a deadly cover-up by the Ovinists’ military, she reluctantly teams up with Tavik, an enemy soldier, to survive. Tavik believes that Elath is actually a mother goddess who must be set free, but while he succeeds in opening Her prison, he inadvertently turns Gelya into Elath’s unwilling human vessel.

Now the church that raised Gelya considers her a threat. In a race against the clock, she and Tavik must find a way to exorcise Elath’s presence from her body. But will this release stop the countdown to the end of the world, or will it be the cause of the earth’s destruction? And as Tavik and Gelya grow closer, another question lingers between them: What will become of Gelya?





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REVIEW

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


How am I supposed to write this review now? When I am still emotionally compromised and want to curl in a ball and cry? Megan Bannen hows very, very well how to pull her readers strings and make us all root for her characters and also make them stay with us even after the story is done.

Souldswift takes place in a fantasy world where the Northern kingdoms believe in the Ovin religion and there are the Ovinist Knights and in the South, there are those who believe and revere the Mother Elath. The two religions clash together as both have different aspects of who Elath was a demon or a goddess and the Ovinist knights have her soul imprisoned in a mountain.

In the middle of all this tension comes Gelya, a Daughter and a Vessel of the true Father, a kind of a nun if you please. Her heritage puts her at odds with the other Daughters and all Vessels have the power to imbue feelings when they sing the religious anthems.

But when a prisoner, Tavik, is brought in the monastery who is a holy fighter of the Mother, a Two-Swords they will both be forced to face the true religions, the lies, the secrets, and uncover the mystery behind the Goddess. When an event ties them together in a journey to search for the goddess they both will be challenged, but their beliefs and their growing feelings.

What shook me in this book was the relevance to today. Faith can be a very strong thing and fanatism can also be the double-edged sword that cuts people and lives. Through Tavik and Gelya I saw how they saw their world: that the women are the image of Elath thus sinful (bleh), that in the South women and men were equal, and how easily people especially the Knights were so fanatic about the imprisoned goddess that were capable of horrible crimes.

I enjoyed the banter of Tavik and Gelya. They were amazing together in all this trip they undertook and I rooted for them as they fell for each other. The final pages of the ebook gutted me and the epilogue surprised me. Trust me you will not be disappointed.

Totally recommended! 





About the author:

Megan Bannen is the author of SOULSWIFT and THE BIRD AND THE BLADE, a Kirkus Best Young Adult Book of 2018 and an Indies Introduce selection. An avid coffee drinker and mediocre ukulele player, Megan lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and their two children. She's a full-time writer, but her librarian heart will always belong to the reference desk. You can find her online at www.meganbannen.com. 

Promo Post+Excerpt: "A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire" by Jennifer Armentrout

 

KFF- FB banner

"A perfectly woven tale rife with secrets, lies and seduction. Plenty of action with a perfect dose of snark. High Fantasy done the JLA way!" -Lily Alexander, author

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, the enthralling and epic second book in A Blood and Ash Series by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, is available now.

KingdomofFleshandFire ebook

Is Love Stronger Than Vengeance?

A Betrayal…


Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice….

Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…

But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.

KFF- AN

Download your copy now! Amazon: https://amzn.to/3eKOns2 Apple Books: https://apple.co/3eRB9to Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/fleshandfire Nook: https://bit.ly/3ijciko Kobo: https://bit.ly/2D067Sd Google Play: https://bit.ly/2YOXYbB

Start the series with FROM BLOOD AND ASH! Amazon: https://amzn.to/39nro2I Apple Books: https://apple.co/3byVPo7 Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/bloodash Nook: https://bit.ly/2US0v1o Kobo: https://bit.ly/2Us5gji Google Play: https://bit.ly/39yLW8h Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2UuUUiF


Excerpt

“We go home to marry, my Princess.” As in get married? To him? Suddenly, I thought of all those girlish fantasies I’d had before I learned who I was and what was expected of me—daydreams given life because of the love my parents had for one another. Never once did those little-girl dreams include a proposal that wasn’t remotely an actual proposal. Nor did they incorporate it being announced at a table full of strangers, half of which wanted me dead. And those dreams surely hadn’t involved what had to be the kingdom’s worst—and possibly most insane—non-proposal of marriage to a man currently holding me captive. Perhaps I had some sort of ailment of the brain. Maybe I was experiencing hallucinations brought on by stress. After all, there had been so much painful death to process. His betrayal to deal with. And I’d just learned I was descended from Atlantia, a kingdom I’d been raised to believe was the source of all the evil and tragedy in the land. Stress-induced hallucinations seemed a far more believable reason than what was actually happening. All I could do was stare at the larger hand holding my much smaller one. His skin was slightly darker than mine as if kissed by the sun. Years of wielding a sword with deadly, graceful precision had left his palms callused. He lifted my hand to an indecently well-formed and full mouth. To lips that were somehow soft yet unrelentingly firm. Lips that had spun beautiful words into the air and whispered heated, wicked promises against my bare skin. Lips that had paid homage to the many scars that riddled my body and face. Lips that had also spoken blood-soaked lies. Now, that mouth was pressed against the top of my hand in a gesture that I would’ve cherished for an eternity and thought exquisitely tender just days or weeks ago. Simple things like hand-holding or chaste kisses had been forbidden to me. As were being wanted or feeling desire. I had long since accepted that I would never experience those things. Until him. I lifted my gaze from our joined hands, from that mouth that was already curving up on one side, hinting at a dimple in the right cheek, and from the slowly parting lips that revealed just a hint of fatally sharp fangs. His hair brushed the nape of his neck and toppled over his forehead, and the thick strands were such a deep shade of black, it often shone blue in the sunlight. With high and angular cheekbones, a straight nose, and a proud, carved jaw, he often reminded me of the large, graceful cave cat I had seen once in Queen Ileana’s palace as a child. Beautiful, but in the way all wild, dangerous predators were. My heart stammered as my eyes locked onto his, orbs a shade of stunning, cool amber. I knew I was staring at Hawke—

WANT MORE: Download the entire chapter here>> https://BookHip.com/RNZCCJ

About Jennifer L. Armentrout #1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Shepherdstown, 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 Border Jack Apollo. 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 an 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 a hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more.

Connect with Jennifer L. Armentrout Facebook: http://bit.ly/2xSL7u5 Instagram: @jennifer_l_armentrout http://bit.ly/33GWn8R Twitter: @JLArmentroutnews http://bit.ly/2QvDYpT Amazon: https://amzn.to/3dnOSIi Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2U5Jemy BookBub: http://bit.ly/2U2Fe63 Stay up to date with Jennifer by joining her mailing list: https://bit.ly/2qBce5m Website: https://jenniferlarmentrout.com

For More information about 1,001 Dark Nights Visit Facebook: https://bit.ly/37fl0uT Instagram: https://bit.ly/2Y7uBQp Website: https://bit.ly/2AIIr3A Stay up to date on all 1001 Dark Nights releases, join their mailing list today! https://bit.ly/2zgxaHu

ARC Review: "A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire" (Blood and Ash #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout



A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

A Betrayal…

Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice...

Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…

But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.



PRE-ORDER ON 



REVIEW

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

The highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer Armentrout's fantasy series had everything I wanted to see! Angst (yes I am looking at you Cas and Poppy), amazing fighting scenes, more mythology about the world and their gods and also the classical banter, friendships, and growth I love to see in Jennifer's books.

Poppy has to learn more about her own heritage, her powers which by the way are growing and also clear her feelings about Cas/Hawke. To be honest, I enjoyed more to read about Poppy, Kieran and of course Vonetta instead of Cas. I still can't forgive him for what he did and while the trauma and the PTSD he still has is a reason enough for me, some actions needed more groveling.

The story progresses a little slow at the beginning as Jennifer puts the bases of the trip they all have to undertake and its dangers but it picks up quite fast ending in an amazing cliffhanger! 

You are all going to be very surprised! Recommended for its amazing cover, rich world-building and the characters who deserve a hug after all this trouble. 





And don't miss the first book of the 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
. 


Summer Reads 2020: Fanfiction, Vampires, Strong Women and Aliens


Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Olivia Dade bursts onto the scene in this delightfully fun romantic comedy set in the world of fanfiction, in which a devoted fan goes on an unexpected date with her celebrity crush, who’s secretly posting fanfiction of his own. 

Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he's known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster.  Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.

April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction.

Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her.

With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?
 


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REVIEW



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

So what can I say about this book? Should I speak about the beauty of the writing? The amazing characters or their love for fanfiction and how pretty much embody the true spirit of a fan?

Both Marcus and April are people with their own insecurities and every day lives. But both are connected via their love for writing fanfiction about their favorite tv series...which is something akin to the final season of Game of Thrones? (you know what I mean admit it).

The problem is that Marcus is the leading actor in the series and April is also a cosplayer for her favorite female character...and they don't know that they are also friends under different names in the fanfiction site they both write on.

I loved this book! It was funny, sexy, and swoony and filled with vulnerability about both characters who despite their outside confidence deserved each other and a big hug.

The book chapters have also commentary of their messages in the fanfiction server they write which also gives clues to their true personalities. The comedy is very refreshing and I also saw in the end of the bok that there would be a sequel following another set of characters! I can't wait to read that one!

I do not need to emphasize it but...READ THIS BOOK! 




About the author:

While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn't read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent brain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Where did all the throbbing come from? 3) What was a "manhood"? 4) And why did the hero and heroine seem overcome by images of waves and fireworks every few pages, especially after an episode of mysterious throbbing in the hero's manhood?

Thirty or so years later, I have a few answers. 1) Because my mom apparently fancied pirates at that time. Now she hoards romances involving cowboys and babies. If a book cover features a shirtless man in a Stetson cradling an infant, her ovaries basically explode and her credit card emerges. I have a similar reaction to romances involving spinsters, governesses, and librarians. 2) His manhood. Also, her womanhood. 3) It's his "hard length," sometimes compared in terms of rigidity to iron. I prefer to use other names for it in my own writing. However, I am not picky when it comes to descriptions of iron-hard lengths. 4) Because explaining how an orgasm feels can prove difficult. Or maybe the couples all had sex on New Year's Eve at Cancun.

During those thirty years, I accomplished a few things. I graduated from Wake Forest University and earned my M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I worked at a variety of jobs that required me to bury my bawdiness and potty mouth under a demure exterior: costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, high school teacher, and librarian. But I always, always read romances. Funny, filthy, sweet--it didn't matter. I loved them all.

Now I'm writing my own romances with the encouragement of my husband and daughter. I have my own stack of books in my closet that I'd rather my daughter not read, at least not for a few years. I can swear whenever I want, except around said daughter. And I get to spend all day writing about love and iron-hard lengths.

So thank you, Mom, for perving so hard on pirates during my childhood. I owe you.

If you want to find out more about me or my books, you can sign up for my newsletter (https://go.oliviadade.com/Newsletter); come find me on Twitter (twitter.com/OliviaWrites), Facebook (facebook.com/OliviaDade), and my website (oliviadade.com)






The Jackal by J.R. Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sinner brings another hot adventure of true love and ultimate sacrifice in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world.

The location of the glymera’s notorious prison camp was lost after the raids. When a freak accident provides Nyx clues to where her sister may still be doing time, she becomes determined to find the secret subterranean labyrinth. Embarking on a journey under the earth, she learns a terrible truth—and meets a male who changes everything forever.

The Jackal has been in the camp for so long he cannot recall anything of the freedom he once knew. Trapped by circumstances out of his control, he helps Nyx because he cannot help himself. After she discovers what happened to her sister, getting her back out becomes a deadly mission for them both.

United by a passion they can’t deny, they work together on an escape plan for Nyx—even though their destiny is to be forever apart. And as the Black Dagger Brotherhood is called upon for help, and Rhage discovers he has a half-brother who’s falsely imprisoned, a devious warden plots the deaths of them all…even the Brothers.
 
 




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REVIEW

I don't usually review J.R. Ward's books because they are amazing and she still is an auto-buy author for me. But this book was a new beginning in the universe of the BDB and I felt that I had to say some words. 

Nyx travels into a secret prison searching for her last sister and there she meets the Jackal, another vampire who has suffered a lot and keeps his secrets close.

While this takes us a little away from the core group of the BDB members we do have the appearances of Rhage, whom I adore, Vishous and Wrath. The story mostly centers around Nyx and Jackal as they navigate the prison and try to find a way out.

But it is the new species that stands out. The wolven, which sounds like werewolves but I am not sure how they will tie up to the rest of the lore in the books. J. R. Ward over the years has created amazing mythology behind her worldbuilding with deities and demons angels and...well Devina but this species caught my attention. Also, I do hope that some of the secondary characters survived the ending of this book. I loved them immediately despite their craziness. And Apex? Oh boy, this guy will have a good friend in Zsadist if you get my meaning.

A great introduction into a new series that expands the universe even more.





About the author:

J.R. Ward is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. She lives in the South her family.














The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.

In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.

The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?

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REVIEW

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

This book was a pleasant surprise. And it needs more attention too. Set in an alternative historical period which slightly represents the Victorian era, there exists magic that can be harnessed and used. But for women, this is not an advantage. They wear a type of collar which leashes their power and when they get married they have to lose their powers.

Which is almost derogatory, to be honest. Beatrice is a sorceress who seeks a way to not lose her powers as she doesn't want to marry. But when she meets the Lavan siblings, one will try to help her seek a way to have the power she wants while the other will become her suitor and grow to love her. And Beatrice will have to choose between love and freedom to be whom she truly wants.

I liked the story and the premise, the cover is beautiful and it felt quite easy to read. I won't spoil you but my only missing star goes to the almost insta-love feels I got. But other than that this is a really good book.





About the author:

C. L. Polk (she/her/they/them) is the author of the World Fantasy Award winning debut novel Witchmark, the first novel of the Kingston Cycle. Her newest novel, The Midnight Bargain, is upcoming in 2020 from Erehwon Books.

After leaving high school early, she has worked as a film extra, sold vegetables on the street, and identified exotic insect species for a vast collection of lepidoptera before settling down to write silver fork fantasy novels.









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

Summary from GoodReads

Mian
Don't run. Don't fight. Just hide. That's all we can do against the Sasor barbarian horde – huge megalithic aliens, born to fight, who can shape shift at will into monsters. We're only human, and me, just a slave among them.

Getting caught is not part of the plan, but when they raid our village, I do the only thing I can think of to spare the whole. I offer myself up to their leader. Infuriating, and strangely funny, I have a lot to learn – his languages and customs, the roles I'm meant to fulfill in his tribe, and how to keep him at arm's length when he's seemingly everywhere, blocking any chances I have to find a mate and keeping me at his side.

Neheyuu
She's funny, this human. A fast learner, already adapting to our language with ease. She's forgiving. Quick to smile, it's easy to smile back. Too easy. She's slipping under my skin, infecting me and my manerak.

The monster that I can become seems more ready to do her will than my own. Like she's controlling it. I should let her go. I should let her find a mate. I should let the tribes that come for her, take her...

My manerak says no. Its defiance is something I've never felt before and I will need to find a way to deny them both – but how can I when my manerak wants her close?

Taken to Sasor is a full-length (95k words), standalone, interracial, shifter, SciFi romance complete with an alpha snakeshifter alien overlord, warrior heroine, fated mates who are also enemies-to-lovers, world building and extra steamy bits. All Xiveri Mates books can be read as standalones, each one with a guaranteed HEA. NO cheating, harem or love triangles. Some dark themes, illusions to abuse, and debatable consent due to intergalactic cultural misunderstandings may be trigger warnings.



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REVIEW

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

I have been following this author since my fellow GoodReads friends recommended her books to me. And boy was I surprised? I enjoyed the first two books which featured strong heroines and aliens of all shapes and kinds as all of them navigated intergalactic politics, cultural misunderstandings and their growing feelings.

While each book is loosely connected to each other, I do have a sense that all the couples will meet at some point. The protagonists of this specific book are Mian and Neheyuu. Mian is a human slave to what I think was a human settlement in this planet while Neheyuu is a snake-like shifter who is a chief of his clan. 

When he raids Mian's slave camp, he kind of bargains with her as both don't know each other's language and she follows him in his home. As both try to learn about each other and also fall in love, Mian will grow as a woman who is beautiful and strong and brave despite what others thought of her.

This is a really good series that also strives to develop an intricate world-building with diverse and amazing alien forms. 





About the author:

Tough heroines & possessive Alphas solve mysteries, fight epic battles, and fall in love in Elizabeth's diverse romance & SciFi novels.

Elizabeth Stephens has been living in a fantasy world since she was 11, and in 2015 finally translated her imagination to print! An author of romantic suspense and science fiction, she is a big fan of inclusion and her books always include kick ass ladies of color.

When she isn't found writing, you'll also see her getting her hands dirty by throwing pottery, or working as a communications consultant for privacy and human rights organizations. With origins in Seattle, Atlanta, and Bamako, she currently lives in Berlin with her loving husband and doggo, King Louis.

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

Summer Hiatus


Hello everyone! 2020 seems like the longest year and we are already in August. Why leap years always carry a sense of dread in them!? Remember 2012 and 2016? That's why.



Anyway, my blog will go on a small hiatus for the summer, until the 16th of August, as I plan to go on a small vacation to our summer house and just sleep, eat, swim and read!



I hope you all stay safe and read lots of books!

ARC Review: Skyhunter (Skyhunter #1) by Marie Lu


Skyhunter by Marie Lu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

In Skyhunter, a novel laced with adrenaline and filled with nonstop action, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu creates an immersive world broken by war where the only hope against overwhelming evil lies with a team of young warriors willing to sacrifice everything to save what they love.

The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death―transformation into mutant war beasts known as Ghosts, creatures the Federation then sends to attack Mara.

The legendary Strikers, Mara’s elite fighting force, are trained to stop these monsters. But as the number of Ghosts grows and Karensa closes in, defeat seems inevitable.

Still, one Striker refuses to give up hope.

Robbed of her voice and home, Talin Kanami knows firsthand the brutality of the Federation. Their cruelty forced her and her mother to seek asylum in a country that finds their people repugnant. She finds comfort only with a handful of fellow Strikers who have pledged their lives to one another, soldiers determined to push Karensa back at all costs.

After another devastating battle, Mara seems ready to fall. But when a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? Or could he be the weapon that will save them all?





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REVIEW

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

O my GOSH! What an amazing book this was! Marie Lu knows how to create worlds that leave you in astonishment after you are done and make you carve the next book more! This is no different from this upcoming book where a small nation fights a growing 'Empire' in a tale of loss, identity, and learning to accept trauma and love.

Talin is a refugee from Basea, living in Mara, the last standing nation still fighting against the Karensa Federation. Having lost her voice due to the weapons their enemies used she lives in a nation that does not accept her people and at the same time she fights for freedom along with the elite warrior faction of Strikers, who are trained to fight again the Ghosts, zombie-like creatures experiments of the Federation.

But when a new prisoner, Red, raises new questions about the Federation and the reveal of his identity may change the course of war, Talin will become the center of attention.

I loved the premise and the surprises this book had. Red and Talin were amazing together as they tried to navigate their bond and also what the plans for the Federation were. I loved the descriptions and how powerful Red could be. And also I liked that Talin, Red and their friends tried to save Mara, despite what happened in the end.

Which by the way was a cliffhanger and it left me aching for the next book! I have no idea what will happen and I dread to read it!

Totally recommended as this is yet another amazing book by Marie Lu!




About the author:

I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. :)

I graduated from the University of Southern California in '06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.

Review: "A Touch of Stone and Snow" (A Gathering of Dragons #2) by Milla Vane


A Touch of Stone and Snow by Milla Vane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Milla Vane returns to a world of kings, magic, and passion in her exhilarating A Gathering of Dragons series, as a great alliance forms to stand against an evil warlord intent on their destruction.

Danger lurks in the western realms. The Destroyer’s imminent return has sent the realms into turmoil as desperate citizens seek refuge—but there’s no safety to be found when demons and wraiths crawl out from the shadows. Even Koth, a northern island kingdom left untouched by the Destroyer a generation past, is besieged by terrors spawned from corrupt magics.

When Lizzan leads the Kothan army against these terrors, only to see her soldiers massacred and to emerge as the only survivor, she is called a coward and a deserter. Shunned from her home, Lizzan now wanders in solitude as a mercenary for hire, until she encounters a group of warriors seeking new alliances with the northern kingdoms—a group that includes Aerax, the bastard prince of Koth, and the man who sent her into exile.

Though they were childhood friends, Aerax cannot allow himself to be close to the only woman who might thwart his treacherous plan to save their island realm. But when a goddess's demand binds them together, Lizzan and Aerax must find a way to overcome their painful pasts. Or there will be no future for the western realms...
 





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REVIEW

The amazing world Milla Vane has created becomes even more wide in this next installment of her Gathering of Dragons series. This time we move to the Western Realms where a new set of characters who I hope will meet the first ones from the first book, have to face their own struggles, fears and danger as the Destroyer draws closer and closer.

Frankly, I dread to see who this Destroyer is. From the stories told from the first book and to the ones from this one, he must be someone very terrifying to behold. Only just the mention of the destruction of a whole city, the killing, and the raping of the women send shivers of fear.

So in this book, we have an amazing warrior Lizzan who is exiled from her realm of Koth for being a coward. Having PTSD after what she experienced in that battle and growing her sorrow...well in drinking, she will face her past in the presence of Aerax, the bastard Prince of Koth who must gather allies as the Destroyer draws near.

Together they will travel the western Realms facing new and old dangers together and also a quest from Vella, the goddess, will bring them together. I loved Aerax. He was a man who loved Lizzan desperately despite everything that had happened between them and he deserves a hug. Lizzan on the other hand I admired her strength and determination as also how she struggled with the betrayals of her country. But Aerax always believed her and he was steady in his love for her.

The fighting scenes were Netflix/HBO worthy. If this series doesn't become a tv series, then what are they doing?! The mythology is amazing, the worldbuilding stunning and the maps that Milla Vane has on her website have helped me understand their journeys. Though I would prefer to see them in the books, I hope this will happen in the future.

Absolutely amazing! And totally recommended! 




About the author:

Milla Vane is an alternate name for author Meljean Brook.

Meljean was raised in the middle of the woods, and hid under her blankets at night with fairy tales, comic books, and romances. She left the forest and went on a misguided tour through the world of accounting before focusing on her first loves, reading and writing-and she realized that monsters, superheroes, and happily-ever-afters are easily found between the covers, as well as under them, so she set out to make her own.

Meljean lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter.