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

 

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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 Kindle Fire Giveaway: The Vixen’s Lead by Tate James

 

The Vixen’s Lead by Tate James

Published by: KDP

Publication Date: September 19, 2017

Genre: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Page Count:

Rating: 4/5

Source: eARC from Xpresso Book Tours

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US


I want vengeance so badly that I can almost taste it. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. So, I did what any privileged, adopted boarding school girl would do. I slapped on a secret identity and became an internationally renowned thief, known as The Fox. Nobody knows me. Nobody can catch me.

Or so I thought…

It turns out; I have what they want. Special abilities. And trust me, these abilities are coveted–and dangerous. Now, I don’t know who to trust or where to go. Peril lurks on every corner as I try to uncover my past and origin. Teaming up with unlikely allies may be my only chance at survival or my biggest mistake. Only time will tell.

I’m Kit Davenport and this is only the beginning.


I’ve received an eARC for an unbiased and honest review.

“Don’t move from this spot, Vixen. There are some bad sorts in this room, but you’ll be safe here.”

Listen up, paranormal romance fans. Tate James is paving her way, and you had better not miss this series because it’s the next sizzling read you’ve been waiting for.

Hellbent on revenge, Kit Davenport—known as “the Fox,” a renown thief—teams up with her closest friend and fellow foster sister, Lucy. Together, they’ve faced untold pain by the hand of an abusive foster parent. Now, Kit steals from the very men who wronged them. And she hasn’t been caught yet. Until now. When a team of men stops an attempted abduction, Kit must confront her past, trust these men, and figure out how she has developed these abilities.

I’m not going to lie: I love this book, and I’m dying to get my hands on the sequels. I would have finished this in probably two days, but this cold kicked my butt. Nonetheless, I love it! And I recommend it to any PR reader who’s looking for a steamy, dangerous, and insta-lust novel.

Vixen’s Lead is my first reverse harem story. So I’m not accustomed to this type of storyline, but Tate weaves it in naturally. And it doesn’t ruin the overall story; it enhances everything. I also thought that this many characters might detract from the book. However, I fell in love with all of them. I was hoping for a bit more development, though. But the author plans on writing six books for her series, so I can’t hold that issue against her. This debut novel is more plot-driven. Tates adds in horrific backstories, hardened yet fragile (and relatable) characters, and action-packed scenes.

The relationship between Kit and Lucy will melt your heart. Tates gives you real characters who are still fighting their past and somehow working past their pain, albeit slowly. She also throws in sexy banter and steamy chemistry among Kit and these men who work for the Omega Group. I’d suggest you book some time off and prepare yourself for these delectable alpha males because there are plenty, and you don’t want to miss out on a single one.

The paranormal side works as a secondary arc in this novel. It plays a stronger role in the last half of the book and opens up new storylines for future books, so I’m not disappointed that it doesn’t take centre stage. Kit does. She is one of those female leads who will rival my own sarcasm, and I appreciate seeing that in a character like her. Her weakness will speak to many readers looking for believable characters.

I wasn’t sure if I’d like reading this story, but, as you can tell, I was wrong. And I’m glad I am. I cannot wait to read what else is in store for Kit. This suspenseful paranormal romance will make you ask for more.

Be warned that the novel involves several triggers that readers may not be comfortable reading.

 


Author’s Bio

Tate James was born and raised in the Land of the Long White Cloud (New Zealand) but now lives in Australia with her husband, baby and furbaby.
She is a lover of books, red wine, cats and coffee and is not a morning person. She is a bit too sarcastic and swears too much for polite society and definitely tells too many dirty jokes.

Website | Facebook | Instagram

 


Giveaway

I’m excited to announce the giveaway! Enter for your chance to win a Kindle Fire. This contest is open to American and Canadian readers. ENTER HERE.

 


Tour Schedule

Don’t miss out on the other reviews and posts!

December 11th
Rolling with the Moments >> Review
So Few Books >> Interview
Jenea’s Book Obsession >> Review
Meghan’s Mindless Mutterings: Reviews & Giveaways >> Review

December 12th
Rainy Days and Pajamas >> Playlist
C Exley Books >> Excerpt
Loves Great Reads >> Excerpt
Smada’s Book Smack >> Review
Novelties >> Review
Books,Dreams,Life >> Excerpt
Pervy Ladies Books >> Review

December 13th
Jazzy Book Reviews >> Excerpt
Lovely Paranormal Books >> Guest post
Chill and read >> Excerpt
Butterfly-o-Meter Books >> Guest post
Hawthorn Book Reviews >> Review

December 14th
BrizzleLass Books >> Review
Stylish Brunette >> Excerpt
Abooktropolis >> Review
Just Books >> Excerpt
The Avid Reader >> Review
JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder >> Excerpt

December 15th
Book Addict >> Review
Booked J >> Excerpt
tfaulcbookreviews >> Review
Books a Plenty Book Reviews >> Review
Reading for the Stars and Moon >> Review
Book Lovers 4Ever >> Excerpt

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Book Blitz and $25 Amazon Giveaway: The Lunam Deception by Nicole Loufas

 

The Lunam Deception  (The Lunam Series #2)
Nicole Loufas
Publication date: June 20, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US


Kalysia has lived her life according to others – a fate she will not pass on to her child. When a conspiracy to bring down the pack threatens to uncover her darkest secrets; Kalysia must fight to protect the truth about the man she wants, at the expense of the man she was fated to love.

Jase has fought his entire life. For his honor, his freedom, and his family. Nothing in his past could’ve prepare him for her. Kalyisa is everything he never knew he always wanted. Is he willing to risk his life, her honor, and Dillan’s pride to win her heart?


Excerpt

“In here,” I call to him and try not to laugh. I don’t know why I always get giggly when I’m trying to be sexy.

Dillan appears in the doorway.

“Oh baby, you have no idea how hot you look right now.”

He steps into the room and pulls his shirt off. “I’m one lucky bastard.”

“Yes, you are,” I agree.

He unhooks his belt with one hand and kneels on the bed. He bends down, and kisses my knee as his hand rubs up my leg; then stops short. He crawls up the bed toward my face.

“My hands are dirty.”

I run my fingers through his hair.

“Really? Where have your hands been?” I tease.

“I drove the Jeep from the brew-house. Who knows what kind of germs are on that steering wheel.”

He kisses my neck and presses his hips against me. The thin material of his boxers can’t contain his excitement.

“Thank you for not contaminating my lady parts.”

I pull his mouth to mine and taste today’s batch on his tongue.

“I care deeply about your lady parts.”

He licks my breast, and chills cover every inch of my body.

“My kid is cooking in there.”

He moves his hand to my belly as his tongue circles my nipple.

“I want his environment to be as germ-free as possible.”

“His?” I tease.

“Did I say his?” Dillan gives me a coy smile.

I know he’s hoping for a boy. All the guys are.

Dillan rolls me over, so I’m on top of him in all my naked and bloated glory. My swollen belly doesn’t affect his arousal. I moan so loud when he slips inside me; I’m sure Leah will comment on it later. I’m never more certain of my feelings for Dillan than when we’re having sex.

I look at him from across the lodge and sometimes as he sleeps. My heart still stammers when he kisses me or takes my hand when we’re walking. But there is always a sliver of doubt that crosses my mind. A certain way he smiles at Cassie or the sadness that creeps into his eyes when he thinks nobody is looking. I wonder if he feels it too. The only moments of peace come when we’re tangled up naked in our bed. Only then does the world feel right.

Dillan and I lie in bed afterward, watching the light in the room fade into night.

He kisses my head. “I needed that.”

“Hard day at the brew-house, dear?”

Dillan tightens his grip on me. “I got a call from my father.”

“It wasn’t good news, I assume.”

It never is where Lowell is concerned.

“He called to congratulate me on becoming a father.” He smirks. “I asked him which baby he was congratulating me on.”

“What did he say?” I try to sit up so I can see his face, but he won’t let me.

“He’s honoring his promise to Conall.” Dillan pauses. “I’m sorry, babe. I tried to reason with him, but he wouldn’t listen.”

“It isn’t your fault.” I don’t sound very convincing.

If we both just accepted our roles, none of this would be happening. Dillan sits up and turns on the lamp beside the bed. He runs his hands over his face and groans.

“What am I supposed to do?”

I assume his question is rhetorical.

If Dillan supports Lowell and claims Cassie’s child as his trueborn heir, he maintains his place in the pack, inherits Sierra-Duke, and his family’s fortune. Sometimes I believe this is a good thing; our child won’t be obligated to the pack the same way we were. Call it ego or pride, but the thought of Cassie’s child ruling over mine, makes me want to break things. When I say things, I mean Cassie.

“Do what’s right,” I tell him.

Unlike Lowell, I refuse to bully Dillan to my side. I don’t have to. Dillan loves me; therefore, he loves our child. He would never dishonor either of us.

“I will lose everything when I claim our child as my heir.” He turns around to look at me. “I’ll just be another employee of Sierra-Duke. I get nothing.”

Dillan doesn’t just lose his inheritance; he also loses status. Each leader must have a Lunam child that is accepted by the council. If Lowell gives his support to Cassie’s child, the council will honor his request. It isn’t a matter of screwing me over—these things have been done for hundreds of years.

Dillan may lose his title as future leader, but I’ll still maintain power. As long as we’re together, nothing else matters.

“You get me.” I reach up and touch his face. “Forever.”

Dillan climbs on top of me and pulls the sheets from between us. He examines my naked body and says, “I think I can live with this for the next fifty years.”

We miss the dinner bell.

We miss breakfast too.

 

 


Author Bio

Nicole was born and raised in California. She claims to be a San Francisco native, however she’s lived in both Northern and Southern California. She credits her creativity to the fact that she attended 12 schools between kindergarten and her senior year in high school. Her nomadic childhood allowed her to reinvent herself often. Some might say she was a liar. While others see the stories she told as a coping mechanism. Twelve schools, in six cities, in twelve years – give her a break. Today she channels her storytelling ability into writing novels. Long story short – kids that lie become writers.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


Giveaway

Do you want to win a $25 Amazon gift card? ENTER HERE for your chance to win! Rafflecopter contest ends June 29.

 

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

Ensnared
Rita Stradling
Publication date: May 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction

A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

EXCERPT:

December 2, 2026

Alainn woke knowing someone was in her room.

Whoever it was sat behind her. Quiet, even breaths rasped through the air. Alainn’s eyelids peeked open. Moonlight cast a grayish glow, cutting deep shadows into the space around her bed.

“Good morning, Alainn,” Rose said in a quiet voice. When Alainn didn’t respond, Rose said, “I can tell from the change in your breathing pattern that you are awake.”

“Rose?” she whispered, not quite ready to let out a sigh of relief. Alainn twisted to look at her. “What are you doing here? Did you break my lock?”

“I picked it,” she said. “It is now locked again.”

“Oh, uh—” Her heart pounded in her chest; she sat up and faced the robot. “Why—why would you do that?”

The moonlight lit half of Rose’s face as she watched Alainn, expressionless. “Do not be alarmed. You are obviously having a fear reaction, but I was simply waiting for you to wake up.”

“Don’t you need to sleep—recharge?”

Now that Alainn faced Rose, she smelled the faint odor of her exhaust. Rose continuously exhaled the lightest tang of something sweet and acidic. The air in the room felt used, like a plane cabin after a cross-country flight.

“I was not completely forthcoming with you today. While what I said was true, I have for a time now believed that having Father imprisoned would impede my potential. While I have far surpassed his skills in software, there are times when I need assistance. I am limited by my need to stay near my charging station. Your brother is often absent for days at a time—and you, months.”

“Okay, wait—you’re going to go tomorrow?” Alainn scooted forward on the bed. A dormant hope resurged through her. Alainn would do anything—she’d worship at the robot’s feet if Rose agreed to go.

“No, you are going to go tomorrow.”

Alainn froze, staring at Rose. “What?” she whispered.

“I have calculated one way in which all parties can achieve their desires.”

“I’m sorry—I’m not understanding.” Alainn shook her head. A hard knot formed in her stomach.

“I am not surprised.” Rose reached out to pat Alainn’s hand. “You are not as intelligent as the rest of your family.”

“Spell it out in really simple terms, then.” She just managed to not growl the words at Rose.

Slowly, Rose looked up to the ceiling, moonlight slashing up the curve of her neck, her chin, and the line of her nose. “Earlier tonight, I arranged for you to be picked up by Mr. Garbhan through e-mail, writing as if I was Father. In one hour, a car will arrive outside to take you to his building. I have designed and created hardware for your body. If you are scanned, a chip in the hardware will communicate to the scanners that you have an organic circuitry system rather than a human brain.”

Alainn shook her head, hoping to dislodge some of the grogginess there. “I’m still not following—you’re saying you want me to pretend to be you and turn myself over? That you already arranged it?”

“Yes, you are following. That is exactly what I am saying.”

“I—I—” Alainn shook her head again. The air thinned around her.

“I have a working plan for the transplanting. You can assimilate easily into a life of servitude as you are already accustomed to the labor you will be asked to perform.” Rose lifted a hand, ghostly gray in the low light, and ticked off the chores on her fingers. “Cooking, housekeeping, and bookkeeping. Unless . . . is your concern that he might use you for sexual gratification?”

“What? No.”

“I believe that this would be a particular concern of yours.”

“I never even considered that he would do that to you—I, of all people, would never have tried to push you into going if I thought you’d be used that way.” Alainn blinked furiously. “Rose, do you really think that I would have let myself be the model when my dad printed your face and body if I thought Mr. Garbhan was going to do that to you?”

“It is highly unlikely that I was designed for this function. I have also been assured that there were documents signed to that effect addressed to Father.”

Alainn held out her palms to Rose. “Rose, it’s not just that. I can’t take your place. There’s no way that would work . . . and I can’t live in that tower for the rest of my life. I’m a human. I know that probably sounds callous to you, but you were created to not need sunshine and fresh air. And you don’t need exercise. Humans need those things, me especially. Everything I am,” she touched her chest, “is centered on being in the outdoors.”

“The duration will be seven to fourteen days, no longer.” Her head swung down, causing shadows to swallow her eyes. Two black hollows focused on Alainn. “When Mr. Garbhan pays Father, he and I will make the Rosette model; this process should only take a week, unless there are complications. And then I will devise a way to switch you with the new model.”

 

Author Bio:

Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Review: Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong

Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong

Published by: Subterranean Press

Publication Date: March 31, 2017

Genre: New Adult, Mystery, Modern Gothic, Fantasy

Extent: 192 pages

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

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


The disappearing hitchhiker is one of the hoariest urban legends, and no one knows that better than Gabriel Walsh, a lawyer who grew up on folklore and myth. When author of books on the supernatural Patrick brings Gabriel a case of a hitchhiking woman in white who vanished on a country road after accepting a ride from a businessman, Gabriel knows the Cainsville elder is just trying to wheedle into his good graces. But Gabriel is a man in need of a mystery, one that will get him back into someone else’s good graces. His investigator, Olivia Taylor-Jones, has blown town supposedly on a simple vacation. But when she left there was a rift between them and…he misses her.

Gabriel is well aware the only thing Olivia loves more than a good mystery is a weird one, and this hitchhiker case more than fits the bill. As Gabriel digs into the story, he’s forced to face ghosts of his own and admit that the woman in white isn’t the only one who has lost her way.

With Lost Souls, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong weaves an unmissable novella-length tale connected to her fan-favorite Cainsville series.


How many more of Kelley’s books can I read? Meh. All of them. Kelley takes you on a mystery-packed adventure that will surely satisfy her Cainsville fans.

After his disastrous reaction of finding out he’s the reincarnation of Gwyn ap Nudd, the king of the faries, Gabriel Walsh tries to find a way to get onto Olivia’s good side. So when Patrick, a Cainsville elder and Gabriel’s father, comes to him with an intriguing case of a woman who disappears after accepting a ride from a man, Gabriel takes it. But this case is more than it appears to be, and he must come to terms with his past and his ghosts. Set between Deceptions and Betrayals, Lost Souls blends together urban fantasy with lore to create a fascinating novella.

I admit I’m a huge Cainsville lover. Kelley thrives in her mystery and modern gothic series. For the last several years, I’ve been giddily awaiting to jump back into Olivia’s world. You get mix of fae and Welsh lore, huge dose of mystery, and––come on, you know I am leading up to this point––steamy male characters. So when I found out the book is split between Gabriel’s and Patrick’s POVs, I couldn’t wait to pick it up, even though my bank account said otherwise.

Kelley takes inspiration from lore and urban legends, but she twists them to make them her own. Her stories often turn into character-driven pieces. The Cainsville series itself has captivated me since Omens. I cannot get enough of it. So having a continuation of Cainsville just adds more layers to an already complex series. With Lost Souls, you get a better understanding of Gabriel and his inability to have people in his life. I’ll always be on the fence about him, because I feel that Gwyn holds more sway on him than Arawn has with Ricky. Obviously Gabriel’s past continues to control his present and future, but there’s no excuse for his behaviour toward the people he loves. But with this new insight, at least I feel that I can see why he acts this way and maybe acknowledge his reasoning behind his coldness.

Subterranean Press books are a luxury I’m willing to pay for. So expect gorgeous design, beautiful interior illustrations, and an engaging storyline. My hat is off to Xavière. She possesses an uncanny talent to capture any scene in Kelley’s work. And finally I can see what Liv, Ricky, Gabriel, Patrick, and Rose look like!

So if you’re a Kelley Armstrong and Cainsville fan, Lost Souls will be a treat for you. It opens up Gabriel’s world, shows you, for once, Patrick’s guilt of not being there for his son, and lets you watch Liv and Gabriel’s friendship grow.

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

17927395A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Published by: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Retelling

Page Count: 626 pages

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase


Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.


“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal. I was a survivor, and I was strong. I would not be weak, or helpless again. I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”

Do you know when a book sneaks up on you and sparks your every emotion, then buries itself deep in your conscious, where you can’t stop thinking about it? Well, A Court of Mist and Fury is that book. This poignant yet alluring and seductive sequel has hollowed me out, and I’m stuck with the worst reading slump imaginable. Betrayals, political plays, captivating arcs, and stunning plot twists set ACOMAF apart from other books.

After surviving Amarantha, who enslaved the High Lords of Prythian, Feyre tries to move past her guilt of what she’d done Under the Mountain. She survived the trials that broke Tamlin’s curse. But this mortal-turned-High Fae discovers that more than just her body was broken. Tamlin changes. And she must fulfill her pact with Rhysand, the Night Court’s High Lord. But her world shifts, and she must now live with the aftermath. But once she heals her mortal heart and discovers who she is, a new threat from Hybern’s King may just take it all away.

 

“When you spend so long trapped in darkness, you find that the darkness begins to stare back.”

ACOMAF breaks the mould for sequels. It is light and dark, hate and love, and pain and happiness all rolled up in a beautifully executed book. I haven’t devoured a book with this intensity than I have with ACOMAF and haven’t been this impressed with one in a long time. I don’t want this series to end, because I feel I haven’t experienced and lived in it long enough.

 

“He locked you up because he knew—the bastard knew what a treasure you are. That you are worth more than land or gold or jewels. He knew, and wanted to keep you all to himself.”

Feyre‘s development is emotionally charged. It makes for a beautiful yet difficult arc to read. I can’t remember how many times I wanted Feyre to find a way to heal herself from the past that haunts her. Her choices Under the Mountain wrap a hold of her and refuse to disappear. She cannot shake them, she cannot move past them, and they won’t let her see past her pain. Feyre fought for Tamlin’s love in ACOTAR. But in this story, she lays bare her broken soul, walks through the darkness, and rises to claim her hard-fought and life-changing love.

 

“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”

Tamlin may be the light, but Rhysand shines in the dark. He is, by far, my favourite character. If Feyre deserves solace, he deserves life. Even thinking of his growth makes me weepy. His selfless acts save his people. Darkness lives within him, yet he’s gentle, caring, utterly damaged, but determined to save her. When he does so, Feyre also saves him. I don’t want to list how many chapters Rhys broke my heart. I’ll need thick paper, many pens, and a stockpile of Kleenex. How can I not love this High Fae? I think I squeed for a solid minute when I found out he has bat wings.

 

“But then she snapped your neck.”
Tears rolled down his face.
“And I felt you die,” he whispered.
Tears were sliding down my own cheeks.

Cauldron, boil me, because the romance in this book nearly kills me. It turns into a slow burn that’s tangible and adored. And the banter! I love their banter. The ships must be protected at all costs. Please. PLEASE. If I become a blubbering mess when I read A Court of Wings and Ruin, I may just swear off books for several weeks (trust me, this declaration is unheard of).

 

“He did—does love me, Rhysand.”

“The issue isn’t whether he loved you, it’s how much. Too much. Love can be a poison.”

Oh Tamlin, I was rooting for him. We all were. He had her right in front of him, but he gave up on her and let Amarantha win. Tamlin––the fandom affectionately calls “Tamlin the Tool,” and I have to agree––reverses into a controlling and scared High Lord. His progression may not look abusive, but remember that any control is. I understand why he turns into this man, how he changes so rapidly, and some readers, even to this day, hate how Sarah has made him into this beast. But a character does devolve this way. A traumatic event will break anyone, and it broke both Feyre and Tamlin.

 

Sarah opens up the Prythian world tenfold. She lets you travel from the Spring, to the Night, and to the Summer Court. She also include Rhys’ Inner Circle: Morrigan, cousin and third-in-command; Cassian, childhood friend, general commander, and one of the most powerful Illryian warrior; Amren, second-in-command who is shrouded in mystery; and Azriel, spy, childhood friend, and Shadowsinger. Sarah weaves their history into the story so effortlessly. I LOVE THEM ALL.

I’ve only wanted to reread a handful of books after I finished them. And I cannot stop myself from glossing over passages in ACOMAF. I want to jump back into Sarah’s world, dance down the streets of Velaris, and fly over the Sidra River. The Court of Dreams, a sub-court of the Night Court, becomes a character in itself. Rhys and the High Lords who preceded him protect the court. The sacrifice Rhys has taken on to ensure the safety of his people pierces your heart. You don’t get the true understanding of his pain until you read ACOMAF. And he is one character I fiercely want to shield from this cruel world.

I cannot recommend the book enough. Read it because, while readers may have objected to some issues in the first book, ACOMAF will destroy any expectations you have. I still cannot get it out of my head. This character-driven treasure will forever stay on my favourite’s list and hold a little piece of my heart.

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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas16096824

Published by: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: May 5, 2015

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Retelling

Extent: 421 pages

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase


When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.


“She stole a life. Now she must pay with her heart.”

I may have arrived to this fandom late, but I’m here to stay. In this faerie folkore meets Beauty and the Beast mash-up, Sarah creates a realm uniquely her own. I’ve been waiting to read her work for some time, and it doesn’t disappoint.

Feyre lives in a divided world where faeries rule, and most mortals fight to survive. When a High Lord demands retribution for the Fae wolf she kills, he gives the 19-year-old hunter, who despises Fae, two options: sacrifice her life for the life she has killed or live out her life in his Spring Court. She reluctantly agrees to the latter. In time, they fall love in. But a curse may just break them apart.

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses is my first exposure to Sarah’s writing. Sarah doesn’t just stick with a Beauty and the Beast storyline, though. She introduces a new approach to this well-told tale. The first instalment draws you in to an authentic realm. It is a richly thought-out fairytale. And I’m surprised by how much I enjoy reading this book. The story and characters develop beautifully. And the writing and storytelling compel me to keep reading. I couldn’t get enough of the story.

I was hoping for more politics in ACOTAR. And even though you get some hints, especially in the last half of the book, Sarah doesn’t give enough. What the book lacks in politics more than makes up for in folklore. She weaves in these fairytales and produces an elaborate world that keeps you guessing and wanting more. She impresses me with her world building and keeps me on my toes.

 

“Because your human joy fascinates me—the way you experience things, in your life span, so wildly and deeply and all at once, is … entrancing. I’m drawn to it, even when I know I shouldn’t be, even when I try not to be.”

I enjoy Feyre’s storyline. Her voice is strong, and her strength pulls you in. I was hoping for a stronger bond with her sisters since she risks her life for them. But they’ve built a barrier among themselves. Their father’s fall from power pushes Feyre and fuels her need to protect her family. The father infuriates me, but I find that Feyre thrives as a character who takes charge. Obviously I was expecting her eventual attraction and love for Tamlin. I wasn’t expecting her to give up everything to break his curse.

 

Do not expect Tamlin to be the beast. The High Lord wants nothing more than to break the curse that strips him of most of his powers and forces him and his people to wear masks. Feyre has a hard time believing faeries can show kindness, which he does give to her. Instead of imprisonment, he gives her freedom. I find their slow attraction sweet. But something in him bothers me. Lucien, that glorious fox, I could eat him up. Sass and sarcasm mix up to create this delicious man. I adore him, and I hope that Sarah builds off this character.

 

“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

Someone should have warned me how dangerous this Rhysand is. He needs a warning sign permanently slung around his neck. Surprisingly, I see more attraction between Feyre and him than I did with Tam and her. While he’s complicated like Tamlin, I find his character more alluring. I want to punch him, but his actions surprise me the most.

 

This book will not appeal to all readers. Some will hate the controversy and won’t move past these passages. Others will question the drugging and lack of consent in the last half of the book. I was fully warned about these issues. So while reading, I expected them. And even though I don’t like some of them, I look at the overall story itself and see how they build an intricate world where nothing is as it appears. I don’t condone them, but the author integrates them into her world for a reason.

I’m slowly introducing myself to the retelling genre. And while I always adore Beauty and Beast, I enjoy this new twist. This enticing and sensual retelling will lure you in. Even though some scenes are difficult to read, this book catches me off guard. No, I wasn’t expecting to revel in ACOTAR, yet Sarah has an uncanny talent that traps people. I can’t help but admit that this series may just ruin me.

 

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Book Haul: October 2016

Well, you see, this month I’ve gone through a bit of a buying splurge. I don’t know why. No, I do, but I’m trying to cushion the blow. I still have books waiting on my shelf, but alas, once I see a great deal, I kind of destroy my bank account. Or my savings, to be exact.

I can’t wait to get my hands on these pretties! BUT WHY DID I BLOODY AGREE TO HAVE THE LAST TWO BOOKS BE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS?! What was I thinking? I am a masochist. Through and through. Ahem. Now cue the regularly scheduled squee moment. 😂

16096824.jpgA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I’ve been hearing pretty good reviews of this series, particularly the sequel, so I had to buy the first book. I haven’t gotten into fairy tale retellings, though. I’m a little late on this band wagon, but I can’t pass up on a book that retells Beauty and the Beast and also has faeries in it. I hope it’s great!

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17927395.jpgA Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Why would I start a series and just not buy the sequel? That excuse is what I’m going with. I’m not that much of a masochistic. Screw that. I still am. But I need more faeries in my life, and I’ll be damned if I’ll wait for an already released sequel.

Some of my blogger friends (oh, hi darlings!) have told me that this instalment makes up for a few issues in the first book.

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23299512.jpgThis Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Don’t hate me, but This Savage Song will be the first Schwab book I’ve ever read. But her Shades of Magic series has been sitting on my TBR list for a year. I love that there are ZERO love stories in this book. ZERO. ZILCH. But tons of monsters. What more can a woman ask for? MONSTERS. Give me monsters.

…And I’m more twisted than my Mom thinks I am. Wonderful. PHEER ME.

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27969081.jpgLabyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Ah mah gerd. It’s here. Besides Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, Labyrinth Lost is one of the most gorgeous books I’ve seen this year. And FINALLY I get to see more diversity and LGBTG storylines in books (I have to give Sabaa Tahir more credit here, though).

I also adore how Zoriada has incorporated brujas/brujos and Latin American themes into her book.

A fellow blogger’s post pushed me to buy it. Yeah, I’m talking about you, Danya @ Fine Print!

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August 2016 Book Haul

Ah! My first blog book haul (for the blog at least). Look at these beauties. I’m about to cry. So, as you can see, I’m a tad late with last month’s book haul post. But at least I got it up.

 

Harry Potter Box Set: The Complete Collection by J. K. Rowling

IMG_0319This box set is gorgeous, much more gorgeous in person. I had spent some time looking for the right set. I’m not a huge fan of paperbacks, so hardcover it is. With the children’s box set, I feel as if I can relive my childhood thrill of opening up my first Harry Potter book.

I wasn’t as dedicated to the books as I was with the movies. A teacher ruined the series for me back in Grade 6. But I’ve read about half of the series, though.

But when I opened up this set, I was more giddy than a child on Christmas (sadly enough, the set is for a Christmas gift, so I’ll have to wait reading the books (WHY did I agree with having these as a Christmas gift? Why?!).

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Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong

IMG_0325.jpgI received an ARC from Random House Canada, so I know what happens in the book. But I want to complete my collection, so tada, another Kelley Armstrong book!

This book has a tons of backstory in fae lore, and it sets up for a fantastic finale. The love triangle in Betrayals can be dicey for some readers, but the way Kelley has handled it moves the story and the characters in a great direction.

You get to see Ricky shine in this sequel, and I can’t help but feel sorry for him. You also see more POVs, which I appreciated greatly. I’m still hesitant with Gabriel because of Gwynn’s sway on him, but Gab prevails in the end.

I cannot wait until I read the last book in the series.

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A Torch against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

img_0351It’s here. It’s finally here! I haven’t waited as long as other readers, but doing so was tough. I fell in love with Sabaa’s debut novel. I’m currently reading this one, and I’m blown away! My fangirl is screaming and crying. I have bigger hopes for this book than I had for the first one, and so far, Sabaa is meeting all of them.

And the book is so pretty. Instead of being wrapped in traditional black, the book is in a navy blue, which matches the colour theme in the cover. And there are maps on both endpages! The back endpage shows the Kauf Prison! Eee!

I really don’t know how I can wait for the third book.

😍😍😍

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