Blog Tour Review and Giveaway | Devil’s Gold by Amanda McKinney

 

Devil’s Gold by Amanda McKinney

Publication Date: February 13, 2018

Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Page Count: 121

Rating: 4/5

Source: eARC from Xpresso Book Tours

Goodreads | Amazon US


Despite being chronically late, occasionally disheveled and a tad disorganized, Dixie Knight is one of the top private investigators in the country, and when a young woman goes missing in the small, Southern town of Devil’s Den, Dixie takes the case. She expected it to be another ordinary missing person case—until Lizzie Meyers is found naked and beaten to death at a local, seedy motel.

While visiting relatives on his two-week leave, Marine Liam Cash bumps into Dixie at the local bar, and his attraction to her is immediate. When Liam connects Dixie’s current case to two unsolved murders in his hometown, he steps in to help find the killer, and keep her safe, whether Dixie wants him to or not.

After another woman is found brutally beaten, Dixie turns the town upside down trying to solve the mystery—could it be the rumored witch that lives in the mountains; the rich, neurotic doctor’s wife; or the perky, blonde receptionist at the local medical clinic?

Time is running out and Dixie knows she has to put the pieces of the puzzle together before another body turns cold in Devil’s Den.


With high-paced action, steamy romance, a strong female lead, suspenseful twists, and a good dose of mystery, Devil’s Gold is a solid whodunit that will keep you surprised at every turn. It will truly keep you reading throughout the night. Thrillers typically don’t grace my TBR pile, but I want to see what Amanada has in store for this new series.

I need to remind myself that Devil’s Gold is a novella, so don’t expect anything more. But with what’s included drew my attention. It could have quickly been a typical mystery. But Amanada adds suspense to elevate this novella above other thrillers I’ve read. Even though it’s short, it introduces a layered and well-thoughout storyline. And the author quickly starts off with suspense and action. But with this story, the females rule, an they’re fiesty and ready to fight.

The Black Rose Investigation specializes in anything criminal. Three sisters who lost their parents in an accident run this organization. So when Dixie Knight, a PI, is tasked with finding out if a doctor is having an affair, she discovers she’s found a lot more trouble once the woman in question goes missing. I loved reading this spirited character. Dixie doesn’t need anyone to save her, even if her life is scattered all over the place. She’s easily relatable. And I admire her spunk and her determination to make her parents proud.

Sisterhood is at the heart of Devil’s Gold. And I adore how easy the relationship among these sisters has grown to be. The death of their parents hasn’t separated them, and their love is what keeps them together. And while they have opposite personalities, they are a united front. I hope to see more of their relationship in future stories.

Just to add more sizzle, a marine Liam Cash steps up to offer help on the missing case, which reminds him of the murders in his hometown. The instant attraction between Liam and Dixie flows organically, even though the ending is a little corny. But their quick banter makes up for all that though.

I hate when authors incorporate too many perpetrators. They muddy the story and don’t give readers a chance to get to learn more about the characters, even the bad ones. But this story’s length works in Amanada’s favour since the author doesn’t have to introduce more of them, and she only focuses on a select few.

I haven’t heard of this author before, but the Black Rose Mystery series intrigues me, and I’m interested to see what Amanda has in store for her next installments. So if you’re wanting torrid hookups, instant seduction, and a thriller as well, Devil’s Gold might interest you.

 


Author’s Bio

Amanda McKinney, author of Sexy, Suspenseful Mysteries wrote her debut novel, Lethal Legacy, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. When Amanda isn’t tending to her two beautiful boys, she’s hidden behind her computer screen crafting page-turning murder mysteries, peppered with titillating love scenes. Having been born and raised in the south, Amanda’s books are set in small, country towns and reflect southern culture at its finest.

Amanda’s debut novel, Lethal Legacy, was released in January 2017, followed by the first two books in the Berry Springs series, The Woods and The Lake. The third book in the series, The Storm, is scheduled to be released in the Winter of 2017.

Author’s website | Goodreads | Facebook


Giveaway

Now onto to the contest. Enter to win for $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Devil’s Gold! This contest is international.

 


Blog Tour Schedule

Don’t miss out on this tour! Here’s the schedule:

February 12th
CBY Book Club
Whatever You Can Still Betray
Loves Great Reads

February 13th
Mes Livres
JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder
Writers and Authors

February 14th
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
Booked J >> Review

February 15th
Two Ends of the Pen
Evermore Books

February 16th
La libreria di Beppe
Viviana MacKade

February 19th
A British Bookworm’s Blog
the attic ghost
The Genre Minx Book Reviews
anie’s blog: diary of a wanna be writer

February 20th
Just Books
The Pursuit Of Bookiness
NewbookcatsReads

February 21st
Book Sniffers Anonymous
Novelties

February 22nd
So Few Books
tfaulcbookreviews
For The Love Of The Page

February 23rd
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf
E. Lizard Breath Reads

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Blog Tour Review: Romanov by Samaire Provost

Romanov by Samaire Provost

Published by: Black Raven Books

Publication Date: January 24, 2018

Genre: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Page Count: 268

Rating: 3/5

Source: eARC from Xpresso Book Tours

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


In an abandoned warehouse in Manhattan, two enemies battle to the death, while outside, a malevolent entity watches and waits and plots, eager for blood. On an island in the heart of Seattle, an immortal princess struggles to lead a normal life just as a flood of terrifying creatures starts to pour in through a portal that should not be there. A young man meets a classmate while walking home from the college library, and embarks on the most dangerous adventure he’s ever known – will he survive? A deranged madman hunts the girl he’s lusted after for a century, in a relentless pursuit for vengeance. A prehistoric, mythical beast jealously guards a primeval land, which is leaking into present-day Seattle. A sweet, forbidden passion blossoms between two lovers who steal moments whenever they can, while unbeknownst to them, they’re hunted by a deadly creature.

A royal family threatened at its weakest – yet lethal in its own right – is stalked by an ancient evil that will not rest until they are utterly destroyed: a nightmare incarnate that has waited millions of years for revenge threatens the very existence of the young lovers and their family.

Will they prevail?


I’ve received an eARC for an unbiased and honest review. I want to thank Xpresso Book Tours, the author, and the publisher for providing me with this copy.

Time portals, magic, vampires, dragons, Russian lore, love, death, and romance are all in one book? Are you—and I—reading that correctly? Yes. All of that and more. Now buckle in for this paranormal review.

Anna, Alix, and Alexei, 10one-hundred-year-old vampires, come off the heels of a heartbreaking death. Trying to hide from the vampire who killed their matriarch, they find themselves in Seatle, where Anna develops a budding relationship with Eric. What they don’t know is that something has followed them and is looking for revenge, which may put everyone in danger.

So I signed up for this blog tour on a whim. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve put vampires behind and moved onto other genres and am quite happy that I have. Samaire reminds me why sometimes old genres shouldn’t be left forgotten. With some rough patches, Romanov gives you all the good vampy vibes and offers up a cheesy yet cute romance. Phew, this book is a rollercoaster of a read, which I wasn’t expecting for a vampire story.

Even though I found Romanov a fun and easy read, the multiple POVs threw me off, and I felt confused in some areas. Sometimes the writing and the chapters were choppy and felt somewhat disjointed. A little more tightening in places would have made the story transition much better into each chapter. Samaire introduces a new spin by including the Romanovs (yes, those ones) and Rasputin into the storyline. That backstory surprised me the most and actually boosted my rating.

And the family dynamic is what also makes me like the story. It’s natural and loving, which I always look for in a story. Another feature of this book is the romance between Anna and Eric, a human. Both fall hard, fairly quickly. And even though I wish the romance blossomed more organically and slowly, I enjoyed it nonetheless.

What I enjoy the most is the mythology Samaire incorporates into her writing. You can tell she loves writing paranormal stories. And she gives you plenty of beasties to keep you entertained. I thought adding too many may muddy the book. But I liked them, and they keep the story moving along. You feel the threats and the dangers the Romanov family faces throughout each page. This peril adds good tension. But the vampire lore seems boggled down though. The author includes too many different and conflicting folklore.

Family love, threatening creatures, young romance, and interesting lore are what will attract readers to this quick paranormal read. If you’re looking to get back into the vampire genre, Romanov may be your reason to do so.

 


Author’s Bio

Samaire Provost lives in California with her husband and son.
Her love of paranormal stories, odd plots, and unique tales as well as the works of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Susan Cooper, Madeleine L’Engle and Stephen King has deeply influenced her writing.

Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

 


Giveaway

Interested in this urban fantasy? ENTER HERE to win a paperback copy of Romanov. The contest is open internationally.

 


Blog Tour Schedule

 

Don’t miss out on this tour. You can find other posts here:

February 12th
Mes Livres
Lukten av trykksverte
Indie Wish List
Gwyneiira’s Book Blog
Booked J
anie’s blog: diary of a wanna be writer

February 13th
Reading for the Stars and Moon
To Be Read
Omg Books and More Books
nikkisee
Bookworm for Kids
Book Briefs
Book Addict

February 14th
Fang Freakintastic Reviews
Reviews by Leeve
Novelties
life, books and hidden dis-abilities
Le Petit Photograph
La libreria di Beppe
Books a Plenty Book Reviews
6 Feet Under Books

February 15th
Birdie’s Bibliotheca
Ravenclaw Threadsister
Just Another Rabid Reader
I Love A Good Book
Booker T’s Farm: Books & Nails & Puppy Dog Tales
Alternative-Read.com

February 16th
Abooktropolis
YA/NA Book Divas
The Pursuit Of Bookiness
JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder
Jazzy Book Reviews
Haddie’s Haven

February 17th
tfaulcbookreviews
I Smell Sheep
Cranky TBC
Am Kinda Busy Reading

 

Review: Everless by Sara Holland

Everless by Sara Holland

Published by: HarperTeen

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Page Count: 368

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.


What if the person to be feared is me?

 

Sara Holland’s debut novel will transport you to a dark and twisted world where people pay with time. This eloquent and beautiful story enchants, surprises, and shows you that Sara possesses a raw talent YA readers have been waiting for.

Jules Ember, along with her father, left her life in Sempera, a ruthless kingdom where the elites, the Gerlings, extract time from the poor so that they will prolong their own lives. As she discovers her father is dying, she decides to find her way back to this city where she was forced to leave because of a deadly secret. But as time reigns supreme, she uncovers secrets that may threaten her and the people she loves.

Sara has amazed me with her writing, storytelling, and world building. I don’t always find a YA that keeps me hooked and makes me want more once I’ve finished reading. But Everless does just that. I actually need the sequel. She hauntingly portrays how cruel this kingdom is. And the originality of her storytelling impresses me. I rarely say that about a debut author. She sets up Everless as a slow burn with hints of romance and some action injected in periodically. And I must say that Everless reminds me why I love YA.

Sara weaves together the past, present, and future into this spellbinding fantasy filled with political games and deceit. Time is currency, and you will discover that the rich always thrive, and the poor suffer. She brings a realism to her book by introducing a two-tiered society. The poor will give up their remaining years, which is extracted from their blood and turned into currency, so they can feed their families or pay the rent. What strikes me the most is how the aristocrats, who hoard these time coins or devour them to lengthen their lives, are often oblivious to the consequences of this currency. The parallels between this realm and our own society leap off the page.

This atmospheric YA also offers some treats. The mythology is the highlight of the story, as it guides the narrative along. And as the story progresses, I fell in love with these multi-dimensional characters. Poverty has shaped Jules into who she is, yet her quiet demeanor draws you in. I often find the quietest voice to be the loudest. The two Gerlings brothers, Roan and Liam, are polar opposites. I do not trust Roan though. Yet Liam, the brother Jules originally fears, is the hidden gem I surprisingly like. The relationship between Jules and Ina Gold, the Queen’s ward, is outright refreshing. They both love Roan, yet they aren’t fighting each other to win his love.

Everless unsettles yet allures you. Secrets, plot twists, deception, and hidden family history shape this debut novel into a stunning and compelling series. I cannot wait to see how Sara concludes it.

 

It’s possible to feel joy and grief at the same time. It’s possible to look forward to the horizon while mourning what you’ve lost.

Review: Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Published by: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Superheroes

Page Count: 272

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.
The city’s elites are being taken out one by one as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is about to become eighteen and inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Industries and all the tech gadgetry that he loves. But on the way home from his birthday party, he makes an impulsive choice and is sentenced to community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most nefarious criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.
The most intriguing inmate in Arkham is Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. A girl who will only speak to Bruce. She is the mystery he must unravel, but is he convincing her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees?

In this second DC Icons book–following Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer–Bruce Wayne is proof that you don’t need superpowers to be a superhero, but can he survive this game of tense intrigue, pulse-pounding action, and masterful deception?


You have a heavy heart, for someone with everything.

Mystery and intrigue? Indeed. Foreshadowing? Mhm. Thrilling suspense that keeps you guessing? Absolutely. Just the right amount of sexual tension? Hell, yes. Did you say Batman? Now you’ve got my attention. I knew I had to read this YA once I heard Marie Lu was writing a Batman origins story.

After being sentenced with community service for interfering with an investigation, Bruce Wayne finds himself an intriguing proposition: help the GCPD learn more of Arkham’s newest killer, Madeleine, a member of the Nightwalkers, who are terrorizing the city’s high society. But she’s the enigma Bruce can’t quite solve. And he’s the only person she’ll talk to. But will he uncover the truth in time to save not only the Gotham elites but also himself?

Marie’s interpretation of this well-told tale of Batman will satisfy dedicated DC fans. And Marie won’t disappoint by introducing twists and surprises that will surely entertain YA lovers. She captures the essence of Batman and Gotham, from the gritty streets to the shadows lingering among and within the people. She reminds me why I love this character and the city.

Batman: Nightwalker is purely a character-driven novel. But the author injects the proper dose of fast-paced action that fans of the Caped Crusader expect and demand. No, any author won’t get every rendition right. It’s the writer’s personal image of the character. However, she does both Batman and Gotham City justice. Marie kept me questioning the motive of every character, and I had to stay on my toes to keep up with the story. But I love getting that feeling from stories though.

Darkness speaks to darkness. Bruce feels a pull toward Madeleine. She’s walked through the dark, and she’s changed into something else, just like him. I feel that she’s a worthy opponent for this bat boy turning into Gotham’s Dark Knight. If a character stumps me, then you’ve created a captivating one. Bruce lives in the shadow of his parent’s deaths. But he also sees how his parents shielded him from the backstreets of this dangerous city. That threat always existed, but now he’s willing to see it.

Nightwalker doesn’t suffer from a lack of world building, which Marie easily creates in this short novel. I was worried she might not accomplish that. But some of the pacing seems too slow for me. Yes, she builds up suspense but doesn’t give long action scenes to make up for that issue. And I first thought the Nightwalkers are your run-of-the-mill, predictable adversary with a dark Robin Hood-esque motive. But Marie changes it up and throws in ample surprises that made me love the story more.

Batman: Nightwalker is a solid supehero read. It keeps just enough suspense to keep this Batman nerd pleased. Marie’s writing keeps you engaged, and the storyline and characters capture you. If you’re a fan of Bruce, you might want to add this addition to your collection.

 

Fear clears the mind. Panic clouds it.

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Rise by Sierra Cross

 

Rise by Sierra Cross

Published by: Enigmatic Books

Publication Date: June 15, 2017

Genre: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Page Count: 258

Rating: 4/5

Source: eARC from Xpress Book Tours

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US


I closed the door on magic long ago…the day it made me an orphan.

Ten years ago, the Coven of Fire sacrificed their lives—my mother among them—to hold off an overwhelming demonic force. Now it’s back.

As a poorly-paid bartender, how can any of this be my problem? But Callie, another orphan of that battle, swears I’m the key to reviving the coven. And there’s an incredibly sexy guardian stranded on my couch who’s promising to help me stop the demons and keep the veil between the realms standing.

One problem: I’ve never been able to use magic. Our local bad boy warlock assures me I have the talent, but even if I did, we don’t have enough witches to complete a coven. The only way to survive is to pull together this pack of magicborn misfits, who have more secrets than spells, into a makeshift coven.

Can we—three untrained witches, a sarcastic warlock, and an overly intense guardian—take back the city…before the demongate falls and the forces that killed my mother destroy us too?


I’ve received an eARC for an unbiased and honest review. Thank you Xpresso Book Tours and the author/publisher for providing the eARC.

 

With a touch of a budding romance, lots of forbidden love, and a fast-paced storyline, Rise will make you remember why you love witches. This high-risk fantasy will hook you back into the witch’s spell.

Alix Hill lost everything when her coven and family gave up their lives to thwart a demon from taking control. Years later, she discovers it’s back, and she must revive the coven in order to defeat it. However, she can’t use magic. Except a guardian from her past believes she can. Together, with the help of two witches and a sarcastic warlock, they are the only ones who may finally stop the demon that killed everyone they loved.

I’m always down for a good witch novel. I have moved away from that section in fantasy that I’m starting to miss it. And Sierra introduces enough sexual tension that you’re just dying to see how a certain witch and her guardian will fight off their attraction. And the author injects the right amount of action to keep the urban fantasy lovers interested.

I would have liked to have seen more POVs. Alix hasn’t been in the magic scene since her mother, father, and coven died. And with most situations, she doesn’t know how to process or how to deal with certain issues. She’s naive. However, that innocence adds to the story though. For years, she believes she’s a Wont, a non-magical person. But you see how she evolves as the story progresses. That evolution is a trademark I love about New Adult novels. You grow along with the characters.

Rise is a solid beginning to this new series. Even though there were some scenes that were predictable, I loved reading it. I wasn’t expecting this amount of world building in a debut series. But Sierra excelled in doing just that. So expect everything and more in Coven of Fire. The characters stand out among themselves, yet the bond they develop while forming the coven is what hooked me in.

Alix, an orphan, is the quintessential adult who doesn’t know where she’s heading. Haunted by her past, she feels she’s failed her family. And with a little angst and self-doubt, she’s one character you can easily relate to. Matt, the guardian, feels that same pull. He, too, lost everything and is determined to protect Alix, even if doing so may just kill him. Their chemistry is strong, and it affects everything they do. And the forbidden love between this witch and guardian amplifies the tension in the story. The secondary characters also add a flare, which I loved.

I’m glad I took a risk in signing up for this book tour. Rise gives you that magic-filled action with just a taste of romance and satisfies your need for fantasy. I may have just found a new series to follow.

 


Author’s Bio

Spells and skyscrapers. Warriors and warlocks. Coven secrets and forbidden romances. Sierra Cross lives for urban fantasy, for modern magic and the bold supernatural beings who stalk our contemporary world. Her Spelldrift universe stars kickass witches and their heroic guardians, as well as vampires, shifters, mages, Fidei, and the dark demonic forces that threaten them all.

Author’s Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

 


Giveaway

Interested in Coven of Fire? You can win a $50 Amazon gift card and a set of paperbacks of the series. ENTER HERE to win.

 


Tour Schedule

 

Don’t miss out on the tour. Go check out the other reviews and posts!

January 22nd
Shooting Stars Reviews
Reckless Readers
knjigoljubka
Jenea’s Book Obsession
I Smell Sheep
Am Kinda Busy Reading
3 degrees of fiction book blog

January 23rd
Rolling with the Moments
YA & NA Bookshelf
Storyteller-skgregory
Moohnshine’s Corner
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf
Book Briefs

January 24th
Abooktropolis
The Bewitched Reader
T’s Stuff
Indie Wish List
Don’t Judge, Read
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!

January 25th
So Few Books
Novelties
FANNA
Ctrl, Alt, Books!
Booker T’s Farm: Books & Nails & Puppy Dog Tales
Aconite Cafe

January 26th
Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews
Smada’s Book Smack
Novels & Necklaces
books are love
Book Lovers Hangout

January 27th
Cranky TBC
Words Phrases imagination
Reading, Willing & Able
Mypassionforbooks
Magi Romance
CBY Book Club
Brooke Blogs
Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge

 

Deadly Sweet (Spellwork Syndicate #1) by Lola Dodge

Published by: Ink Monster LLC

Publication date: January 16, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

Page Count: 270

Rating: 3.75/5

Source: eARC from Xpresso Book Tours

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo


For fans of Hex Hall, The Magicians, Practical Magic, and Food Wars!

Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spellbooks in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.

Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’s not supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.
The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.
If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.

Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?


I’ve received an eARC for an unbiased and honest review. Thank you Xpresso Book Tours and the author/publisher for providing the eARC.

 

With a cup of sugar and a heavy dose of magic, Deadly Sweet will entice your inner sweet tooth. So get your sweatpants and your candy ready. You’re in for a fun and delicious time.

Anise Wise lives in a world where society knows of the supernatural world, and no one will accept her because she’s a witch. She finally gets her chance to prove herself when her great aunt offers her a chance to be an apprentice at the bakery in Taos, New Mexico. But as she settles in, her life is threatened by an unknown force. And her dream of becoming a baker may just have a higher price than her she thought: her life.

I’m not surprised to learn that the author is a baker herself. From the first chapter, you see the passion Lola has for not only her writing but also her baking. She makes me want to find the nearest bakery and splurge on sweet delights. Deadly Sweet is an easy and entertaining read. Lola weaves together both magic and baking and creates an interesting beginning to her new urban fantasy series, the Spellwork Syndicate.

Witch-centred series can go either way: strong women guiding the next generation or power-hungry ones who refuse to bend. I can see the start of the former. I love the matriarchy in this book. It’s a refreshing feeling to see woman supporting and protecting other women and girls. And that aspect to the book builds a solid foundation for this series. You don’t see women insulting others. They are there to protect, love, support, and grow together. More importantly, they are a family. And you can’t imagine how happy I was when Anise first arrives.

Lola presents appealing characters who are growing into their own. You see their strengths, weaknesses, and fears. Anise is a strong-willed witch who isn’t afraid to walk into danger. But this strength has a downfall though. She often doesn’t see that danger until it threatens her life and others around her. She needs some developing, but she is a relatable and, dare I say, an authentic character who wants to find who she is.

The first instalment in this series has a touch of mystery to it. You go along with Anise as she finds out who is out to get her. And even if the antagonist is predictable and not strongly developed, I enjoyed reading her story. I was hoping for more world building. There are too many unanswered questions. And while the author’s world is engaging, I wanted a bit more from this paranormal life.

If you’re looking for an engaging witch story and craving your next cupcake, Deadly Sweet will entertain you. I’m interested to see where Anise goes from here.


Author’s Bio

Lola Dodge is a compulsive traveler, baker, and procrastinator. She earned her BA in English from Stonehill College and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University–and hasn’t stopped moving since. When she’s not on the road, Lola spends her time indoors where the sunlight can’t melt her, writing or bingeing on anime and cherry soda. She can be summoned in a ritual involving curry, Hello Kitty idols, and a solid chocolate pentagram.

Author’s Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

 


Giveaway

This giveaway is a tad different from other book tours. In this one, you get the chance to win a a Deadly Sweet prize pack and a Treat House 12 pack. If you’re looking for yummy treats, ENTER HERE.

 


Tour Schedule

Don’t miss out on this tour. Check out the other reviews and posts here:

January 15th
Kindle and Me >> Guest post
It’s a Book Life >> Review
Belle’s Book Blog >> Review
Stuffed Shelves >> Review

January 16th
Butterfly-o-Meter Books >> Guest post
Book Reviews Express >> Review
Novels & Necklaces >> Review
Adventures in Writing >> Review

January 17th
Girls With Books >> Excerpt
Movies, Shows, & Books >> Review
Novelties >> Review
Smada’s Book Smack >> Review
Sincerely Karen Jo >> Review

January 18th
Booker T’s Farm: Books & Nails & Puppy Dog Tales >> Review
Whatever You Can Still Betray >> Excerpt
Bibliobibuli YA >> Guest post
Rabid Reads >> Interview
Touch My Spine Book Reviews >> Review

January 19th
The Avid Reader >> Review
A British Bookworm’s Blog >> Review
Desert Rose Reviews >> Review
Dani Reviews Things >> Interview
The Genre Minx Book Reviews >> Review

 

Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross by Marie Lu

Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Publication Date: September 12, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Page Count: 353

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem…and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.


“Every locked door has a key. Every problem has a solution.”

Sometimes you find that one book that simply changes everything for you. It excites you, scares you, shakes you up, then surprises you. With power plays, hidden character motivations, impressive storytelling, and a stellar cast, Warcross won’t disappoint. Virtual meets reality in this lush YA sci-fi. So listen up nerds: you need to read this book.

Virtual reality has swept the world, all because of a video game called Warcross. People now live and breathe it, like Emika Chen. The odds stacked against her, she hacks into the opening games, but she accidentally glitches herself in. Instead of prosecution, she receives a job offer from the game’s creator. But being a spy may prove more dangerous than she thinks. She soon reveals a plot that may threaten every player involved, including herself.

My little inner nerd is tingling. Tingling. I haven’t been this giddy about a book in a long time, and I’m still riding the high. I didn’t know what to expect, but I wasn’t expecting this. This multidimensional storyline will hook you in the moment you start reading. I do not possess a single complaint about it. And I don’t see a flaw (do you know how rare that is for me?). Marie effortlessly guides you through the bright and rich streets of real and virtual Tokyo, dazzles you with this highly imaginative game, and makes you fall in love this futuristic world. You feel as if you’re in Warcross. You can just reach out and touch it.

Characters are the foundation of this book. I cannot help but love the diversity here. You not only get an Asian MC but also see disabled, lgbtq+, flawed, and utterly relatable characters as well. What I love the most is that the author doesn’t force the diversity. It flows naturally.

Emika, the rainbow-haired hacker, captures your attention. Her pain seeps through. She has lost her father and may lose everything else when Hideo Tanaka, creator of Warcross, offers her the position as spy. I relate to her immediately. Her determination to survive adds to the complexity of the story. And once she connects with her team, her development grows tenfold. Hideo is harder to read. He creates a universe no one has seen before, but his past haunts and controls him.

The game itself is a close second to the characters. You get a mix of an augmented reality game like Pokémon GO with a dose of the movie Gamer. Warcross demonstrates how easy our society depends on electronics and our need to stay connected to the online world. I love how Marie subtly includes that fact in her writing. The story is more believable that way. Marie also addresses the underbelly of both the real and the cyber world. This world building opens up the opportunity for readers to see the dangers the lush game has to offer. Even though Warcross is artificial, it is founded in reality. Corruption and a faulty justice system already create a seedy landscape and confirms that our society is flawed.

Warcross surpasses my expectations. It captivates gamers and nongamers alike. It shows how humanity has changed because of our obsession with the digital world. And somehow along the way, it gives you a glimpse of that humanity in a girl who has nothing to lose. I don’t just want the sequel, but I need it.

Book and ARC Haul: December 2017

 

Well, December was quite uneventful and short. But I’ve been meaning to see what the fuss is with a certain series. And recently, I wanted to catch up on some blog tours. I haven’t honestly thought that I would buy an entire series, but here I am. I officially have no room on my shelves. So guess who needs at least two now. I need two jobs to support my habit.

I may need more willpower when it comes to buying books though.

 

 

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

For years, I’ve been wanting to get into the Throne of Glass series. And since a few months ago, I bought Tower of Dawn, I couldn’t just let that book sit alone on my shelf, right? Unfortunately, I spoiled myself. So I know what has occurred in this series. But I’m Maas trash, and I’d probably buy anything she decides to publish.

How do you like this series? Are you looking forward to the last book?

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

The Vixen’s Lead by Tate James

I found out this book has a reverse harem theme, and I thought, “Huh. Go for it.” I’m slowly growing my paranormal romance collection, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour! I’m dying to pick up the rest of the Kit Davenport series.

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US

 

Hinder by Kristin Ping

Look at the cover, then you’ll realize why I picked up the book. This new series brings a new twist to the witch-themed storyline. Ethan and Alex constantly face danger because of their Earth powers. Both must learn how to work together and deny their attraction toward each other, but their union may save their supernatural world or end it all together.

If you’re looking for something, Hinder may spark your interest!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Review: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Publication Date: September 26, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Page Count: 304

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

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Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumn lands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.


“Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us?”

 

This book is magical and makes me sigh with delight. I feel remorseful for not picking it up sooner. Treat yourself to this whimsical novel, which will captivate you until the very end.

Isobel, an artist, possesses an incredible gift: the Craft, which the fae crave. She is known for her portrait paintings. Rook, the prince of the autumn court, asks her to paint his portrait, but she makes a deadly mistake by showing sorrow in his eyes. When he discovers her error, he whisks her away so she will stand trial for her crimes. But the two must depend on each other when they’re thrust on to a dangerous path that may threaten everyone.

Enchantment of Ravens slowly sneaks up on you, teases you with fae lore, then charms you all the more. I had such a pleasure reading it, and I hope we get more from this author. I’m surprised that Margaret is a duet author. Her writing captures your attention from page one. And the way she spins a sentence will surely make you hope for more.

We’ve been seeing a lot of fae-inspired stories and series. And I love quite a few of them. Now, some will stick to old fae lore where faeries are powerful yet vulnerable. In Enchantment, they cannot create the Craft (paintings, drawings, writing, and the such), so they rely on humans. And they can’t break the Good Law, which forbids fae and humans from falling in love. These mythical creatures aren’t what we’re used to seeing. Even though they have great beauty, their true form is haunting. Margaret makes these weaknesses more believable. She weaves in folklore, then incorporates enough political aspects to her story to intrigue you.

The writing and the world building will sweep you away and allow you to see a truly unique novel. I wasn’t expecting the level of detail and complexity in this multifaceted storyline. Margaret creates a lush and tangible world that I felt I was walking alongside the characters, who take centre stage.

Isobel, the protagonist, stays true to her Craft. She provides for her family even though one slip may put her life in danger. I adored reading her character progression throughout the novel. She fears giving up her talent, even when she falls in love with Rook. What’s significant in this story is that she doesn’t see the need to change who she is. Her Craft is everything. And that subtle yet important message speaks out to me.

Rook, that little cinnamon bun of quirkiness, is darling. Although he is odd, his character makes the story sparkle. I loved his weaknesses and his inability to understand humans. The relationship they build is rather precious, and I wasn’t anticipating to admire it as much as I do.

Enchantment of Ravens is one of a few books that surprises me. I want more. I want to see how Isobel and Rook’s relationship progresses. And I just want back in to wander this magical world the author has made. So I cannot recommend it more. Pick it up.

“When the world failed me, I could always lose myself in my work.”

Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Page Count: 556

Rating: 3.75/5

Source: Purchase

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Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.


“There are many dangerous people in this world. but there are also many good people. Brave people. No matter how bad things get, we have to remember that. So long as there are heroes in this world, there’s hope that tomorrow night might be better.”

Imagine that the X-Men have won, supernaturals reign, and humans no longer control the world governments. Now, throw in political intrigue and mystery, compelling characters, and a solid world-building, then you have Renegades.

Renegades, human prodigies with supernatural abilities, rise from the ashes of a ruined society after they dethrone the Anarchists, who previously ruled. When these villains find a chance to destroy the Renegades, they send in Nova Artino, who wants nothing more than to avenge her family. But loyalties are tested when she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy.

Renegades is my first book written by Marissa. I’ve heard a lot about her Lunar Chronicles series and even bought most of it on a whim. I enjoyed reading this book, and it contains some interesting themes, which I loved, and character conflicts that will surely hook you in. But I can’t quite bump up my rating. I took a long time reading it, and I usually finish a book within a week. However, more than a month has passed since I’ve cracked open Renegades. At this point, I’m a bit disappointed with some scenes, but not the book though.

Clearly, the X-Men series inspired Marissa. You have a prodigy who steals another person’s powers (sound familiar?). Yes, undoubtedly, it’s hard not to see the similarities. However, she introduces new supernatural abilities, like ones Adrian possesses (and no, I won’t spoil you there). The nerd in me groaned at some Renegades and their powers. However, I loved the characters. Nova lost her family when she was young, and she builds quite an impressive hatred for the Renegades, who didn’t save them. Her anger and growth make the story complex. Adrian is the exact opposite. While he lost his mother and wants to find the murderer, he shines with justice.

Even though I found character dialogue and fighting scenes lacking, Renegades is a solid and refreshing play on the fantasy and sci-fi front. The characters, their inner battles, and their development and history stand out the most. Additionally, how Marisa represents diversity also adds to the story. All these qualities are what kept me reading, not dnf’ing the book, which, at one point, I was thinking of doing.

Marissa’s world-building will delight new readers and her dedicated following. I was curious to see how she might craft this unique universe. And since the Renegades series is a duology, I was hesitant, not quite sure what she can pull off. But she does so naturally. I wanted to delve into this dark, gritty, and healing world, where the minorities are the rulers, not the humans. And the politics will also intrigue any sci-fi and fantasy lover looking for intricate storytelling.

If you’re a Marissa fan or are looking for something new, Renegades might be your next read. I’m eager to see how she wraps up this new series.

 

“One cannot be brave who has no fear.”