Monthly Wrap-Up: December 2020

Morning, everyone!

December wasn’t a horrible month. But I was glad to see the year go. My family and I mostly stand home for the month, and we binged on horror and Christmas movies. Yes, we watch them year-round. 😂

At the end of the month, my province moved into our second lockdown, so I splurged in reading.

How was your month? Enjoy the post!

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Monthly Wrap-Up: October 2020

Morning, everyone!

I’ve been on a hiatus for some time now, so I haven’t been around the blogosphere lately. I needed time away from my blog and stepped away from a lot of things to get my mind on a better level than it has been.

I hope that November is an infinitely better month than October. I hope you all are doing well! I miss you.

I hope you like the post!

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Most Anticipated Reads of September 2020

Morning, readers!

So I haven’t done a Most Anticipated Reads post in quite some time. I haven’t felt up to blogging lately. But I am back with a new post.

September is another wild month with new releases. So your bank account won’t be too happy any time soon! Now, this list isn’t complete, but they are the most anticipated.

Enjoy the post!

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Most Anticipated Reads of June 2020

Morning, readers!

It’s a new month, which I hope will be better for us all. But a lot of things are intense right now. So I want to highlight some vital new storylines we need in our lives.

This post isn’t a complete list. And unfortunately, some release dates may change, so please be aware that they aren’t set in stone right now.

I hope you like the post!

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Review | Dark Lover by J. R. Ward

Dark Lover by J. R. Ward

Published by: Penguin Group

Publication Date: February 19, 2005

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy

Page Count: 393

Rating: 4/5

Source: Gift

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


In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.


“You don’t know this yet. But you are Mine.”

My best friend Beth has raved about the Black Dagger Brotherhood for longer than I can remember. She has never steered me wrong, and I love her for that. Sometimes, though, vampire novels are iffy for me. But I should have listened to her. This book is a sexy, steamy, and intense read. And I am an instant fan.

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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

 

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

Review: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Published by: McElderry Books

Publication Date: May 23, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

Page Count: 701

Rating: 3.75/5

Source: Purchase

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


Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.


“We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don’t wish you didn’t fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn’t feel anything.”

I went into this book thinking that the storyline will eventually go dark. And it does. But what I expected does not compare to what I got. The second instalment in the Dark Artifices, Lord of Shadows will shatter your expectations, divide the already fractured Shadowhunter world, make you ugly cry, and change the Downworld forever.

Even though Emma Carstairs has slain her parents’ murderer, she faces a more troubling situation: the love she has for her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn. A love that’s forbidden to all parabatais. But as she dates Mark so she can convince Julian she doesn’t love him, the faerie courts stir up trouble. Mark, Julian, Emma, Christina, and the rest of the Blackthorn family race to find a way to protect their own and hope to prevent a war among all Shadowhunters and Downworlders.

I raged, I yelled, and I cried once I finished this book. I saw the heartache weave through each page and path these characters take, and yet I’m so conflicted! And I have a hard time rating Lord of Shadows because it has obvious flaws in it, but it took me on an emotional ride I haven’t felt in awhile. I warn you now that Lord of Shadow is a tear-jerker. It will demand all your emotions and tears.

Shadowhunter lovers will know where I stand. Like I said before, Cassie’s work is like a Russian roulette for me. I don’t know if I’ll like her next piece. While I enjoyed the book, some storylines were drawn out too long, long chapters were draining, and some scenes were questionable.

But Cassie’s writing has improved over the years, and I appreciate her attention to detail to the expanded faerie world, the Julian-and-Emma arc, the adorable Kit-and-Ty relationship, and the overall tension the Downworld faces. This hostility among the Council, the Cohorts, and the Centurions heavily reflects our current political environment. And what I love most of YA books and authors is how they show our flaws in our society and aren’t afraid to speak up. I have to give thanks to Cassie for standing up.

I find writing this review without tears challenging. Cassie knows how to rip out your heart. And the characters’ progression throughout this sequel is hard to read, yet each one captivates me. That endearing Mark will always bring a smile to my face. I personally want him to separate from his potential love interests. I want him to find himself, but the love triangle with Mark, Christina, and Kieran prevents him from doing so. I see a new side to Kieran, and while I still hate what he has done, I received a better perspective of him.

Besides Mark and Emma being my favourite characters, Christina shines above them all. But I hope to see a forceful side to her in the next book. She may just be the Shadowhunter who gets rid of the Cold Peace, but if she wants something, fight for it. I was waiting for her to do so. The one trio that surprises me the most is Livvy, Ty, and Kit. I loved reading their scenes, and their dynamic plays off the page rather well. Finally, finally, we see the backstory to Diana and her possible love story. You have no idea how much I squeed. And Julian and Emma come last, as always. I’m still hesitant with them. Their arc worries me, and I don’t see happiness in their future, which I find disheartening because they deserve it the most.

Surprisingly, Lord of Shadows represents many pieces in our society, from sexuality, mental illnesses and conditions, and diversity. I haven’t seen this much representation in one book alone, and I love how it naturally flows through the story.

If you honestly think Cassie’s first and second series are heartbreaking, prepare for this book. Stock up on your Kleenex and hope you don’t break down. I can’t wait to see what Cassie has in store in the finale.

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Published by: Tor Books

Publication Date: February 24, 2015

Genre: Science Fiction, Adult, Fantasy

Page Count: 400

Rating: 4.5/5

Source: Purchase

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


Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.


“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”

You know, not often do I find a book that reminds me why I love reading. And now I’m in this dilemma where I have no clue how I’ll get back to normal life. A Darker Shade of Magic is a rare treat for readers who hope to go back to their roots and find a book that truly surprises them.

Kell is a dying breed of Antari, a magician who travels through parallel Londons. He’s currently a messenger for Red London, one of four Londons, and a smuggler. Smuggling is forbidden though. Now it may come back to haunt him. When a deal goes amiss, he flees to Grey London where he meets Delilah Bard, a cross-dressing, aspiring pirate, and inadvertently sets off a deadly ripple effect that that may just threaten not only their lives but all the worlds.

I let a glorious book just sit on my TBR and not read it until the series ends. Why? I don’t know. Maybe life got in the way, and I underestimated my growing list. I regret not reading this book until now. I just want to pass this book onto the next reader and say, “Stop what you’re doing and read it. Now.”

I’ve only read Victoria’s Monsters of Verity series but have heard a lot of this one. And it is unlike any other book I’ve read. There were times where I had to convince myself not to burst out laughing, only to fail and scare my cat. I’m a full-fledged fan of her work now. ADSOM is a beautifully executed story that shows another side to magic.

 

“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
“Seen what?”
Her smile widened. “Everything.”

I cannot gush more about these characters. Kell is stubbornly loyal and protective to the end. That boy with those powers has a story to tell. He’s squeezed his way into my favourites list. The one character who sticks out is Delilah, or Lila. The quirky, clever, and dangerous pirate will capture anyone’s heart, then break it within a second. Her backstory intrigues me the most, and I was rooting for her from the start. I adore her. Both Kell and Lila blend seamlessly together, and I love how their chemistry carries the story. And finally an author writes a bisexual character who is realistic. I love Rhy, the devious prince from Red London and brother to Kell. You sense how much he cherishes Kell.

The four Londons take a life of their own. Victoria makes them into characters in their own right. Grey London possesses no magic. Red London strikes the right balance of it. White London is overrun with it. And Black London no longer exists because of it. She take world building to a new extreme, and I appreciate that she took the time to develop them. Don’t expect this book to be fast paced. It’s a slow burn, which she excels well in. I want the story to open up in an organic way, not rushed.

Don’t do yourself a disservice. Read this book, then proceed with the sequels. I know I will. I want to travel back to the Londons and see what these worlds have to offer.