October ARCs Reviews: Fall, love stories, true soul mates and a trip back in time!

All the Love in the World by Karina Halle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Christmas. New Year's Eve. Valentine's Day. Summer Vacation. Halloween. Pick your holiday and strap yourself in for some epic love stories from your favorite novels by New York Times Bestselling author Karina Halle.

This collection of five sexy, funny, thrilling, & emotional short stories and novellas bring together some of the most beloved characters from such books and series as The Forbidden Man, The Nordic Royals, Experiment in Terror, Dirty Angels, and The McGregors into one amazing anthology.

Each holiday story is all original, never-before published, revolving around a specific holiday. So whether you're in the Christmas spirit, all loved up with Valentine's Day, want to be spooked by Halloween, or ring in the New Year, there's something for everyone.

*The Off-Season: Retired captain of Real Madrid Luciano Ribeiro and his fiancée Ruby Turner have recently moved to the remote Portuguese island of Madeira, expecting peace and quiet. With former teammate Alejo Albarado and his wife Thalia showing up alongside their old coach Mateo Casalles and his wife Vera, the island gets turned upside down. Luckily for the men of Real Madrid, it's nothing they can't handle. Featuring characters from Love in English, The Forbidden Man, & The One That Got Away.

*A Christmas Cartel: Revered drug lord Javier Bernal thought he'd get to have a nice, quiet Christmas with his wife Luisa and young son Vicente. That is until he's having a very Scrooge-like visitation from the ghost of Christmas past, making him face all the horrible things he's done...and the people he's lost. Luckily, Javier is one to roll with the punches, even when a rival cartel threatens to spoil their holiday. Featuring characters from the Dirty Angels Series.

*Ghosted: Every day is Halloween for married ghost-hunters Dex and Perry Foray. But this year, that thin veil between the living and the dead is more vulnerable than normal, and when they're given the opportunity of a lifetime to contact the dead wife of a desperate man, they end up creating something they can't undo. Featuring characters from the Experiment in Terror Series, Veiled and The Devil's Duology.

*A Nordic New Year: King Aksel of Denmark and his wife Queen Aurora are helping Prince Magnus throw an intimate New Year's Eve party in the rugged mountains of Norway, alongside Prince Viktor, Prince Orlando, and their loved ones. But they get more than they bargained for when they're snowed in with no end in sight. Featuring characters from The Nordic Royals Series.

*Arrow Through the Heart: Being born on Valentine's Day has always been an annoyance to Lachlan McGregor, never mind the fact that it was the day his mother gave him away to an orphanage. But this year, his brother Brigs, and his cousins Linden, Bram, Keir and Mal have decided on the biggest birthday party, with everyone flying out to be with him in Scotland. But when his estranged mother comes back in his life, it pushes Lachlan to the brink, with only his love Kayla Moore to save him. Featuring characters from The McGregors (The Pact, The Offer, The Play, The Lie, and The Debt).

**Note: these novellas feature characters from previous books and series, and should not be considered standalone stories**



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

Spanning characters across all the books and series by Karina Halle this anthology was a delight to read in these trying times! Honestly, I feel that we need books in order to escape and remember that the world can still be a beautiful place!

With signature Karina Halle writing filled with nostalgia and funny moments, you can enjoy all your favorite couples in one delicious read!

Definitely recommended! 

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.

Mark of Love by Linda Kage
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Due to a dark curse, the entire Graykey family has been marked for death. But Quilla Graykey has grown used to living on the run, constantly hiding and surviving under the radar of High Cliff soldiers, who’ve been sent out to hunt her down and destroy her.

So when a man bearing the mark of a High Clifter shows up on her trail, persistently tracking her, it’s really nothing new. Except she can’t seem to shake this guy. He keeps finding her, no matter how well she disguises herself. If she’s not careful, she might actually have to take a stand and fight him. Maybe even kill him.

But the handsome pursuer turns her world upside down when she discovers he’s not out to assassinate her after all, nor does he have a clue she’s a Graykey. His intentions are worse. He claims she’s his one true love, and curses, duty, or honor be damned; he’s not about to lose her. He wants to make her his happily ever after.

Used to eluding people and wanting to keep it that way, Quilla honestly has no idea how to avoid the likes of Indigo Moast.

Could this be the one evasion she can’t dodge?



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

There is nothing I don't enjoy more than a good Linda Kage book! Her stories always make me laugh and emphasize with the characters while the story is fresh and full of twists and a great ending. I loved the third book in the series set in a fantasy world filled with politics, magic, and the mark of true love in the form of a tattoo that can also call to the true soul mate of a person, no matter who they are. 

The story was engaging and funny! It definitely made me laugh! It is also recommended to read the first books of the series so you can have a better grasp of the world-building 

About the author:

Linda writes romance fiction from YA to adult, contemporary to fantasy. Most Kage stories lean more toward the lighter, funner side with a couple meaningful moments thrown in that center around love and hope. Focuses more on entertainment value and emotional impact than realism. She likes the drama and crazy, over-the-top plots that make you cry then laugh, get mad then sigh happily.

Published since 2010. Went through a 2-year writing correspondence class in children’s literature from The Institute of Children’s Literature. Then graduated with Bachelors in Arts, English with an emphasis in creative fiction writing from Pittsburg State University.

Now she lives with hubby, two daughters, cat Holly, and nine cuckoo clocks in southeast Kansas, USA. Farm girl. Parents were dairy farmers. Was youngest of eight. Big family. Day job as a cataloging library assistant.

Harry Potter House Gryffindor, Patronus White Stallion, character match Hagrid. Supernatural Team Dean. Game of Thrones Team Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister. The Walking Dead Team Daryl. Outlander Team Jamie Fraser. Teen Wolf Team Stiles. Avenger Team Thor...or Hulk (can’t decide). Justice League Team Flash. Arrow Team Stephen Amell. Stranger Things obsessed. Heard Laurel, not Yanny.

Started out reading with the Baby-Sitters Club. Then moved to Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, and LaVyrle Spencer in high school. Now all over the place with her romance reading tastes.

The Woman Who Fell Through Time by J.M. Frey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Armed with a newly minted university degree and a plane ticket to Paris, Jessie’s plan was to celebrate graduation in the City of Love, kissing as many drunk French girls (or boys, she's not picky) as she can. Only, she never makes it. When her plane goes down mid-Atlantic she’s pulled from what should have been a watery grave by an intriguing British Naval Captain—in 1805!

Stuck in Regency-era England, Jessie is left with no choice but to enter into the services of the Captain’s sister as a lady’s companion. But she didn’t reckon on the sister being Margaret Goodenough, the world-famous authoress whose yet-to-be-completed novel was the first lesbian kiss in the history of British Literature.
And Jessie’s not just entranced by Margaret’s powerful words...

As their attraction grows, Jessie must tread the tenuous line between finding her own happiness in a world where she is alone, and accidentally changing the future of the queer rights movement. Is Jessie’s duty to preserve Margaret’s history-making book? Or to the happiness of its author, the woman she's learning to love?



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

Ah the delight to read again a great story by J.M. Frey! I never get tired of her wit, amazing storytelling and the messages she passes to her readers! 

This one which had begun in Wattpad, tells the story of Jessie a bi woman who somehow goes back in time to pre Victorian era and she has to deal with the norms of that time period, the social standing she must have as a woman and its limitations and also ger growing feelings for the woman who will become a historical symbol in the future LGTBQ+ community.

I enjoyed how realistic all this felt and how easily through Jessie's POV, Frey deconstructed in a way the sense of a "gentleman", the ways women should act and the injustices done to them too and also the people of the, then, LGTBQ community (for a better term as this can not apply historically and I know no other, please correct me if I am wrong).

Recommended for its wit, Jessie is amazing and the world Frey gives us is so realistic....I don't know if I'd enjoy being in there. 

About the author:

Frey is an author and professional smartypants, spent three years as the entertainment contributor on AMI Radio's Live From Studio 5 morning show, and was an occasional talking head in documentaries and on the SPACE Channel's premier chat show InnerSPACE. She holds a BA in Dramatic Literature and an MA in Communications Culture, and has lectured at the Pop Culture Association of America's Annual Conference, at the University of Cardiff's 'Whoniversal Appeal' Conference, and the Technology and Pedagogy Conference at York University. Frey loves community theatre, and her dream is to one day sing a duet with John Barrowman.

ARC Review: "The Brightest Night" (Origin #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Brightest Night by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

The thrills, drama, and intrigue continue in the third installment of the Origin series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout.

He is the darkest star.
You are the burning shadow.
And together, you will bring about the brightest night.

Less than a year ago, Evelyn Dasher was a normal girl, living an unremarkable life.

Now, she's on the run, under the protection of the beautiful, deadly inhuman Luc. She's been betrayed by those who were closest to her. And she's learned truths about herself that she never saw coming--things she once knew, and was made to forget. Truths with devastating consequences. She's caught in the eye of the storm.

She is the eye of the storm



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

I am not sure how to put in words this book.

Maybe because it was a trip down to memory lane with the cameos and the characters I didn't expect to see? Or maybe it was because of the difficult week that left me so drained that I couldn't even finish this before its time.

No matter what the third book in the Origin series was filled with emotion, a slow-building plot, and friendships developing over the pages. Evie and Luc had to deal with lots of conspiracies, the chilling realization that Daedalus was bonkers crazy, and also the past that shaped both of them, for better...or worse.

While I don't want to give away the plot I had to admire Evie. She grows a lot and she tries to handle the powers she discovers that she has. It's amazing also that she has very supportive friends and Luc who loves her to the point of obsession (a healthy dose of it but he truly does).

The rest of the story felt a little slow to be but no less endearing and a trip to nostalgia, making me remember back in 2013 when Lux came to my hands and I had first read of Kat's and Daemon's story. And seeing, reading about all of them together made me remember why I still love these books so much.

The ending was a classic Jennifer Armentrout cliffhanger, making me beg for more and also to wish for a good ending because the way the situation was left? It will torture at me until next year! 

And don't miss the first two books 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.

Milky Way of Books on semi-hiatus

Hello everyone! Alexandra here from my small corner of the world...and what kind of world is this.

2020 felt like a rollercoaster so far and I want it gone to be honest. I know that my USA friends would want to celebrate Halloween and I hope you all stay safe in these dire times. To the rest of my bookish friends I wish you the same even if you are living away from your loved ones, or if you are quarantined.

Milky Way of Books will remain a space free of everyday drama, a safe place for books and reviews and everything you love in a good book!

Having said that the blog will go in a semi hiatus, as my everyday jobs have caught up with me, and while I do have books to review...I am so very tired of doing so.

Having said that keep in touch until I get my bearings and I hope to get back on writing too! You can always find me on Twitter! Stay safe everyone!