ARC Review: "The Songbook of Benny Lament" by Amy Harmon

The Songbook of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

From the bestselling author of What the Wind Knows and From Sand and Ash comes a powerful love story about a musical duo who put everything on the line to be together.

New York, 1960: For Benny Lament, music is his entire life. With his father’s deep ties to the mob, the Bronx piano man has learned that love and family can get you in trouble. So he keeps to himself, writing songs for other musicians, avoiding the spotlight…until the night his father brings him to see Esther Mine sing.

Esther is a petite powerhouse with a gorgeous voice. And when Benny writes a hit song and performs it with her, their collaboration thrusts the duo onto the national stage…and stirs up old issues and new scrutiny that the mob—and Benny—would rather avoid.

It would be easier to walk away. But the music and the woman are too hard for the piano man to resist. Benny’s songs and Esther’s vocals are an explosive combination, a sound that fans can’t get enough of. But though America might love the music they make together, some people aren’t ready for Benny Lament and Esther Mine on—or off—the stage.



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

Every Amy Harmon book is shot to my heart. Not only because of her poetic writing style and prose but also because it touches subjects that few authors have dealt with especially in historical-contemporary-based books. Some of her previous books dealt with WW II and the Jews, the Native American history, and also one had dealt with Ireland and its history via a theme similar to "Outlander". All loved, al amazing.

Now this beauty of a book takes place in America of the 60's with the segregation between 'white' and 'black' (other terms are also used in the book based on the society of that time, which I will not mention out of respect for the people and the history) and Benny Lament is a song-writter whose family is...the Italian Mafia.

Another aspect of life during that time was also connected t some famous gangsters of that period. In these times Benny meets Esther, a gorgeous woman with an even more amazing voice, one that makes Benny want to collaborate with her, despite what others say and what society also demands of them. As their songs become even stronger and more powerful they stir trouble from all sides, and the secrets Benny and Esther have may come to the surface.

I loved this book; it was of a steady pace with beautiful prose and through Benny's POV, I saw how he fell in love with Esther and how she rose above her skin color and what society wanted of her. Hearteningly beautiful and with a great message that surpasses the century this book is more contemporary than any other before.

Definitely recommended.

About the author:

Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Her books are now being published in two dozen languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl.

Amy Harmon has written eighteen novels including the USA Today Bestsellers, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as The Law of Moses, Infinity + One and the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue. Her fantasy novel, The Bird and the Sword, was a Goodreads Book of the Year finalist. Her newest release, What the Wind Knows, is an Amazon charts and Wall Street Journal bestseller. For updates on upcoming book releases, author posts and more, join Amy at

ARC Review: "The ​Crown of Gilded Bones" (Blood and Ash #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The ​Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

She's been the victim and the survivor…

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen…

I received an e-ARC by the author in exchange for an honest review. Review can also be found on *Milky Way of Books*

Holy.Wow. So we have a lot to unpack here so brace yourselves, as this is a wild ride!

The third book of the series does not leave us to feel not even in the slightest sense Poppy and Casteel have a lot to deal with, from the enemies of the Queen to the inner workings of the Atlantian court where both characters need to deal with. Magic, mystery, lost myths, the freaking powers Poppy is slowly discovering and lots and lots of...swoony-sweaty scenes never left me bored or led me to stop reading. (despite my reading schedule which became a mess due to job).

I loved how Jennifer gave time to map out and explore, even more, all of her characters. This is not a small book per se as it expands over the mythology of this world, the feelings of Poppy and how she describes everything on her side of view, even the action scenes it is filled with.

I enjoyed this book, usually, I need to have something to keep me hooked in a long series, and the ending of this particular book? Boy, it brought me some major GoT memories...the good ones not the final season.

Also, the fact that we are getting an extra series that explores Nyktos, the god in this world who was also responsible for many aspects in this series is very exciting. I got some serious Hades vibes as also his Consort is mentioned and I am very eager to discover who she is.

Overall, this was signature writing my Jennifer whom I love and I am overly excited to get a book by her. Lots of actions, funny moments, sad and sexy moments as also with her gorgeous way to make us love her characters...and tear our hearts in two by the end of each book. I can not wait for the next one!

View all my reviews




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. 

Release Day & ARC Review: "Taken to Kor" (Xiveri Mates #5) by Elizabeth Stephens

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

Summary from GoodReads

Rhork. He's a space pirate. The bad kind. But he's also been my only source of company for the past rotation that I've been held captive.

Halfway across the galaxy, I'm happy to have finally escaped and found more humans...well, I was.

But now, I'm not so sure that people are so much better than pirates. And I'm very sure that I'll need Rhork's help to get out of this. But Rhork thinks I'm a defective female because of my twisted leg. What if he's not willing to give it?

Communicating with the human female for almost a rotation was, in retrospect, a poor choice. Now, she seems to be the ever-present voice in my head, distracting me, making me want things I shouldn't.

To make her a pirate.

To show her the universe.

And most of all, to keep her for myself.



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

This series still continues to amaze me. I loved that every new couple is not just that. It's a whole new world with its own mysteries, adventures, and rules, of aliens of all shapes and sizes and of course of romance and the way to overcome trauma and find acceptance in a family of your own making.

That is what Deena does; despite her captivity, she learns how to fight, she braves to help her friends, and in the process Rhork, the space pirate we had first met in the first book, he also realizes that there are more ways to save his people than outdated practices.

The fact that more humans were introduced and also the hopes this filled with the intergalactic alliance against a common enemy drove this book to heights. I loved Elizabeth's descriptions of the planets, of the systems they had, and how different and imaginative the alien species she included looked like.

Overall this is a great sequel to the series and I seriously want more!

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