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BOOK REVIEW: Lux Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lux Opposition is the first two books in the Lux series. Onyx and Opal
  • Overall rating: ****
  • Reading rate: *****
  • Romance: ****
  • Recommended if you liked: Other JLA Works

I am a pretty big JLA fan so I cannot believe that it took my so long to get to her LUX series. I read the first two books in just about 2 days and was so bummed when I realized I had the 5th book and not the 3rd like I thought. An urgent Amazon order had to be placed!

I dont read a whole lot of sci-fi but it was really neat to read an Alien book in a style of writing I really enjoy.

What I liked:

  • I loved that the female MC is a bookworm and book blogger. 
  • Fast paced and sucks you right in, you just have to keep reading to find out what happens next!
  • In typical JLA fashion you are on a total romance roller coaster screaming at the characters to give in already!! Sounds negative but it makes the book so much more exciting and I could not put the story down!

What I struggled with:

  • There is a bit of bullying in the beginning and for me that is super frustrating, but it more than makes up for it as the book goes on. 
  • I feel like some of the major reveals were predictable but there were still some curve balls thrown at you so the story was still overall very enjoyable. 
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Top Tuesday June Release Books

Even with all of the changes going on in the world June has still managed to be a hot month for book releases here are some of the books I scooped up this month and cannot wait to read!

1. Crowning Destiny by Amelia Hutchins- This is final book in the Fae Chronicles Series (technically Part 2 of the final book). This is a very dark and steamy adult paranormal romance series.

The final battle for Faery is here!
War has come to Faery, and there’s no escaping the final battle.
We thought we were ready for anything.
We were wrong.
I couldn’t change who I was, so Destiny stepped in, forcing me to become what Faery needed to face down our enemies.
Can I forgive what happened and move past the lies and betrayals? Or will I destroy a world to bring the man I love to his knees, requiring us to become the monsters the world wants us to be?

2. The Shadow Wand by Laurie Forest

 This is the third book in The Black Witch Chronicles series. This series is so so so good, I have never heard anyone give it negative feedback, and it deals with a lot of themes related to equality we are encountering in our real world today.

HER WORLD-ALTERING SECRET CAN’T BE HIDDEN MUCH LONGER

Elloren Gardner hides the most powerful secret in all Erthia—she is the Black Witch of Prophecy, and destined to triumph…or be used as the ultimate weapon of destruction.

Separated from everyone she loves, isolated and hunted, Elloren must turn to the last person she can trust—her fastmate, Commander Lukas Grey. With the Mage forces of Gardneria poised to conquer all of Erthia, Elloren has no choice but to ally with Lukas and combine their power to keep herself out of the hands of Gardnerian leader Marcus Vogel…the holder of the all-consuming Shadow Wand.

With just weeks to train to become a warrior, and no control over her magic, Elloren finds unexpected allies among those under orders to kill her. It’s time to step up. To fight back. And to forge onward through the most devastating loss yet.

3. Rage and Ruin by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is the second book in JLA’s Harbinger series which is a spin off series to her Dark Elements series so if you liked that series or any of her works you have to give this one a try. I read the first book Storm and Fury last year and loved it so I cannot wait to see what she does next with this world.

Dangerous secrets and forbidden desires lead to shocking consequences… Don’t miss book two of the fantastical Harbinger trilogy from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout.

4. The Boundless  (The Beholder 2) by Anna Bright

This breathtaking sequel to The Beholder will take you on a journey into a darkly sparkling fairy tale, perfect for fans of The Selection and Caraval.

When Selah found true love with Prince Torden of Norway, she never imagined she’d have to leave him behind. All because the Beholder’s true mission was a secret Selah’s crew didn’t trust her to keep: transporting weapons to the rebels fighting against the brutal tsarytsya, whose shadow looms over their next port of Shvartsval’d. A place Selah hoped she’d never go.

But gone is the girl who departed Potomac filled with fear. With a stockpile of weapons belowdecks and her heart hanging in the balance, Selah is determined to see the Beholder’s quest to its end

5. Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy #3) by S. A Chakraborty

 I read the first two books in this series this month and really enjoyed them, I cannot wait until my copy of Empire of Gold arrives so I can see how this trilogy ends.

Daevabad has fallen.

After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people.

But the bloodletting and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara’s dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at the mercy of those he once considered enemies.

Having narrowly escaped their murderous families and Daevabad’s deadly politics, Nahri and Ali, now safe in Cairo, face difficult choices of their own. While Nahri finds peace in the old rhythms and familiar comforts of her human home, she is haunted by the knowledge that the loved ones she left behind and the people who considered her a savior are at the mercy of a new tyrant. Ali, too, cannot help but look back, and is determined to return to rescue his city and the family that remains. Seeking support in his mother’s homeland, he discovers that his connection to the marid goes far deeper than expected and threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.

As peace grows more elusive and old players return, Nahri, Ali, and Dara come to understand that in order to remake the world, they may need to fight those they once loved . . . and take a stand for those they once hurt.

6. Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison

This is not the story you think it is. These are not the characters you think they are. This is not the book you are expecting.

In an alternate 1880s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings in a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent.

Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows.

7. Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

Danger lurks within the roots of Forest of Souls, an epic, unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik, Susan Dennard, and Netflix’s The Witcher!

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood―an ancient forest possessed by souls―to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.

8. Seasons of the Storm by Elle Cosimano 

For fans of Maggie Stiefvater and Laini Taylor, a perfect storm lies ahead in this riveting fantasy duology opener from award-winning author Elle Cosimano.

One cold, crisp night, Jack Sommers was faced with a choice—live forever according to the ancient, magical rules of Gaia, or die.

Jack chose to live, and in exchange, he became a Winter—an immortal physical embodiment of the season on Earth. Every year, he must hunt the Season who comes before him. Summer kills Spring. Autumn kills Summer. Winter kills Autumn. And Spring kills Winter.

Jack and Fleur, a Winter and a Spring, fall for each other against all odds. To be together, they’ll have to escape the cycle that’s been forcing them apart. But their creator won’t let them go without a fight.

9. TrueLife (LIFEL1K3 #3) by Jay Kristoff

Best friends have become enemies. Lovers have become strangers. And deciding whose side you’re on could be the difference between life and death. For Eve and Lemon, discovering the truth about themselves–and each other–was too much for their friendship to take. But with the country on the brink of a new world war–this time between the BioMaas swarm at CityHive and Daedalus’s army at Megopolis, loyalties will be pushed to the brink, unlikely alliances will form and with them, betrayals. But the threat doesn’t stop there, because the lifelikes are determined to access the program that will set every robot free, a task requiring both Eve and Ana, the girl she was created to replace. In the end, violent clashes and heartbreaking choices reveal the true heroes . . . and they may not be who you think they are.

10. The Obsidian Tower (Books and Ruin) by Melissa Caruso 

One woman will either save an entire continent or completely destroy it in a captivating epic fantasy bursting with intrigue and ambition, questioned loyalties, and broken magic.

“Guard the tower, ward the stone. Find your answers writ in bone. Keep your trust through wits or war–nothing must unseal the door.”

Deep within Gloamingard Castle lies a black tower. Sealed by magic, it guards a dangerous secret that has been contained for thousands of years.

As Warden, Ryxander knows the warning passed down through generations: nothing must unreal the Door. But one impetuous decision will leave her with blood on her hands–and unleash a threat that could doom the world to fall to darkness.

 

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Book Review: Crave by Tracy Wolff

Crave (Crave #1) by Tracy Wolff

  • Overall rating : ****
  • Reading rate: *****
  • Romance:*****
  • Pages: 592
  • Release date: April 7, 2020
  • Publisher: Entangled: Teen
  • Recommended if you liked: Jennifer L. Armentrout works, Vampire Academy
  • Purchase on Amazon here

This book was all over Instagram and I kept hearing great things so I had to hop on board. This book has been blurbed as a comparable to Twilight and while the cover does very closely resemble the series I didn’t find a lot of similarities outside of a few specific references.

What I liked:

  • INTALOVE!! Total sucker for it and there was some definite steam…. Jaxon (swoon)
  • Fun and fast paced, I don’t think there was a lull in action the whole book.
  • Left with a smidgen of a cliffhanger but not so much I was dying to know what happens next… I will 1005 be grabbing the next book to find out though.
  • I often struggle with a lack of information on a world, but the book is written so you are finding things out as the MC does so everything still made sense and flowed well…. I cant wait to learn more in future installments.
  • I also loved the bit of extra content after the end from Jaxon’s perspective.

What I struggled with:

  • A bit predicable
  • Dated writing, really targeted references and writing style for the current teen crowd. Made me feel too old to be reading the novel and I think will put off a lot of non YA aged YA fans

Overall it is not a work of literary art or anything of that caliber but if you are looking for a fun and fast paced Paranormal Romance read i highly recommend! The title and cover for book #2 Crush have already been released and I will 100% be reading as soon as it is released.

Synopsis:

My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.

Which could spell death for us all.

Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait. 

 

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Book Review: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

The Black Witch (Book #1 The Black Witch Chronicles) by Laurie Forest Book Review

  • Overall rating : ****
  • Reading rate: ***
  • Romance: ***
  • Pages: 601
  • Release date: May 2, 2017
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen
  • Recommended if you liked: Serpent & Dove, Shadow & Bone
  • Purchase on Amazon here

I have had The Black Witch on my TBR for a VERY long time, so when some fellow Bookstgrammers put together a read along I jumped on the chance.

I actually went back and forth between audio and physical book for this read and I think starting with audio really helped with some of the heavy world building in the begging. Once things started to take off later in the book I picked up the physical book to finish off because I wanted to absorb all of the details.

What I liked: This books has all the feels

  • A great mix of politics, people and magic system.
  • Lots of great characters, I found myself caring for (and hating) so many people in just the first book.
  • I 100% know I am in for a serious heartbreak at some point, there are LOTS of great love lines going on in this series. While there are love interests in this book there are no explicit scenes so keeps it YA.

What I struggled with:

  • There is a lot of prejudice and bullying in this book, some of it was a bit hard to get through but it essential to the story and things pick up as it goes
  • There were quite a few scenes that felt a little repetitive and the story could have been a bit shorter and been just as good if not better for me

Overall I HIGHLY recommend this book… and no spoilers but I finished the sequel in a single day and it gets even better!!

Synopsis:

A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of rebels…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to fear.

Have you read The Black Witch? If so, what did you think of it? Any similar recommendations?

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Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi Book Review

  • Overall: ****
  • Romance: ****
  • Reading Rate: *****
  • Pages: 338
  • Publication Date: November 15, 2011
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager 
  • Recommend if you like: Divergent, The Remnant Chronicles
  • Purchase on Amazon here

Shatter Me is one of those series I keep hearing about over and over and with the final book in the series releasing this month I decided I needed to finally dive in…. and of course to try and avoid some spoilers if possible.

For the record I LOVE Dystopian worlds in print and in movies…though this genre may not be your cup of tea I think there is enough of a romance element that it could still draw in some readers who normally would not take the plunge.

What I liked:

  • Really great mix of dystopian and YA romance. Adam and Juliette give me Tris and Four vibes from Divergent but with a little more steam.
  • I really liked the overall concept of the book. I normally don’t do well not having a lot of information but the book is set up to keep you guessing on whats real and who you can trust and I just ate it up. I feel like it was a great set up for a series with endless possibilities.
  • Fast paced. I listened to the audio book  through Scribd and blew through it I 2 days (admittedly during “social distancing”).

What I struggled with:

  • The writing style and the repeating of words a lot was a bit challenging to listen to so I imagine would have been much harder to read. The way things were written do give you good insight into Juliette’s mental state which overall was valuable to the story.

Overall I really enjoyed the story and dove right into listening to the sequel to find out what happens next… and if my ship can sail!

Synopsis:

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

 

 

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Book Review: Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen

Dark Skies (Book #2 Dark Shores) by Danielle Jensen Book Review

  • Dark Skies (Dark Shores, #2)Overall rating: *****
  • Reading rate: *****
  • Romance: **
  • Pages: 464
  • Release date: May 5th 2020
  • Publisher: Tor Teen
  • Recommended if you liked: Dark Shores, Throne of Glass,  The Remnant Chronicles
  • Purchase on Amazon here

Jensen does it again!! I read Dark Shores last year and loved it but was nervous about the sequel due to the change in Main Characters but it 100% delivered.

What I liked:

  • This book was action packed from start to finish. While being very different from the first book it still tied into the world perfectly.
  • We got to learn more about the Gods of the Dark shores and the Corrupted, less Pirates of the Caribbean and more Mythology meets The Walking Dead!
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the main characters Lydia and Killian… and oh my goodness the “bad guys”!

What I “struggled” with:

  • While the events of this book run concurrent with the events of Dark Shores I do recommend reading Dark Shores first. It houses more world building and background information that I thing was valuable for me to enjoy Dark Skies as much as I did. Dark Skies also has a few spoilers for Dark Shores towards the end whereas I do not feel Dark Shores spoiled anything in this book.

I actually thought this story was going to be a trilogy since the remaining characters from both first two books are supposed to regroup in the third but it turns out there will be more!!! I seriously cannot wait to see what Jensen does next with all of these moving pieces.

Synopsis:

A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST
Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE
Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.

A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE
With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.

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A Drop of Magic by L.R. Braden Book Review

A Drop of Magic (The Magicsmith #1) by  L.R. Braden

  • A Drop of Magic (The Magicsmith Book 1) by [L.R. Braden]Overall: *****
  • Romance: *
  • Reading Rate: ***** I read almost the entire book in a single day
  • Pages: 236
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
  • Publication Date: July 31, 2019
  • Recommend if you liked: Mercy Thompson Series
  • Purchase on Amazon here

Action packed from start to finish, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! This was a fun and fast paced paranormal mystery.

In a post Human/Fae war world Alex is a metal smith who forms an unlikely partnership with a Fae Knight to solve the murder of a close friend. Alex is constantly discovering that everything is not as it seems…Fae, werewolves and I have a feeling more to come in the next books (and hopefully some romance)!

Braden did a great job of building the world without leaving you lost with the complexities. I can’t believe this is her first book and I cannot wait to dive into the sequel.

Synopsis: The war isn’t over . . .

With the world clinging to a fragile peace forced on the Fae by humanity after the Faerie Wars, metalsmith Alex Blackwood is plunged into the world of the half-fae who traffick in illegal magical artifacts. Her best friend’s murder and his cryptic last message place her in the crosshairs of a scheme to reignite the decade-old war between humans and fae.

Worse, violent attacks against her and the arrival of a fae knight on a mission force Alex to face a devastating revelation of who and what she is. To catch a killer, retrieve a dangerous artifact, and stop a war, Alex will have to accept that she’s an unregistered fae “halfer” with a unique magical talent—a talent that would change everything she believes about her past, her art, and her future.

Her world is crumbling around her, and Alex will have to decide who to trust if she and the world are going to survive.

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Top Tuesday- Top 5 April Releases

I feel like this month of books has flown under the radar just a bit but there are are several releases I have been waiting for!!!! Since it time for another Top Tuesday post I thought I would shammy Tops 5 Picks for Books releasing this month.

1.  Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy 2) by Emily Duncan 4/7/2020

40126121. sy475 Guys I LOOOOVE this series. I was hooked after Wicked Saints last year and then I was stupefied when I received an eARC of Ruthless Gods! If you liked the Grisha books I feel like it is that vibe with all the extra darkness I really wanted. Even though I have already read it I still cannot wait to get my hands on finished copies. I absolutely ordered the Owlcrate Special edition.

Synopsis: *Spoilers for Book 1 Darkness never works alone…
Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.
As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

Purchase on Amazon here

2. The Chosen Ones (The Chosen Ones #1) by Veronica Roth 4/7/2020

40944762. sy475 While I agree with most of the world that the endings of each of her series have seriously bugged me (Ugh Divergent) I am always sucked into her writing and interesting worlds and characters. This new series she is kicking off is actually an adult book so I cannot wait to see where she takes things. I actually ordered a singed Goldsboro edition!

Synopsis:  A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.

Purchase on Amazon here

3. Crave (Crave #1) by Tracy Wolff 4/7/2020

45892228Its no secret that I love a good vampire story and fellow Bookstagrammers that have ARCs of Crave has described it as “Old School YA”. Several boxes are doing this book for the month that are still available so I might have to splurge a little to get a signed copy. All around I have seen mostly 4 star reviews for the series so absolutely worth giving a try.

Synopsis: My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.
Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.
Which could spell death for us all.
Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait.

Purchase on Amazon here

4. Sword in the Stars (Once & Future #2) by Amy Rose CapettaCori McCarthy                       4/7/2020

51285072. sx318 sy475 This is the second book in the Once & Future duology… and you know how I love a completed series. I have heard nothing but great things about this series so I cannot wait to dive in (as soon as I finish The Black Witch Chronicles).

Synopsis: *Spoilers for Book 1

In this epic sequel to Once & Future, to save the future, Ari and her Rainbow knights pull off a heist…thousands of years in the past.
Ari Helix may have won her battle against the tyrannical Mercer corporation, but the larger war has just begun. Ari and her cursed wizard Merlin must travel back in time to the unenlightened Middle Ages and steal the King Arthur’s Grail—the very definition of impossible.

It’s imperative that the time travelers not skew the timeline and alter the course of history. Coming face-to-face with the original Arthurian legend could produce a ripple effect that changes everything. Somehow Merlin forgot that the past can be even more dangerous than the future…

Purchase on Amazon here

5. Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1) by Zoraida Cordova 4/28/2020

52888729. sx318 sy475 Cover love!!! The synopsis also sounds really interesting and reviews so far have been up there! I believe I am getting this book in a box this month…. if not I will for sure be making a quick order for release day.

Synopsis: I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.
Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.
When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.
But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything.

Purchase on Amazon here

 

Any other must read books for April I should add to my TBR? Do you plan on snagging any of these book, or Special Editions of them this month?

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Top 5 Tuesday- Standalone Books I want to read in 2020

I am not usually a fan on Standalone books. I really like to get attached to my characters and world and have them stick around for a little while. There are several standalone books that have gotten my interest either from rave reviews or auto buy authors that I want to give a chance to this year.

1. Stain by A.G. Howard

I bought this Princess and the Pea retelling as soon as it came out  last January and has been on my TBR since then. This book is just gorgeous (as are all of AG Howard’s books) and I have heard just amazing things about it!

Synopsis: After Lyra—a princess incapable of speech or sound—is cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt, a witch saves her life, steals her memories, and raises her in an enchanted forest . . . disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, in Lyra’s rival kingdom, the prince of thorns and night is dying, and the only way for him to break his curse is to wed the princess of daylight—for she is his true equal. As Lyra finds her way back to her identity, an imposter princess prepares to steal her betrothed prince and her crown. To win back her kingdom, save the prince, and make peace with the land of the night, Lyra must be loud enough to be heard without a voice, and strong enough to pass a series of tests—ultimately proving she’s everything a traditional princess is not.

Purchase on Amazon here

2. The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

I have not actually read a book by Adrienne yet but I absolutely love her messages and positivity on social media so much I have bought both of her books…. and also have heard great things about them

Synopsis: For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again―a home.

Purchase on Amazon here

3. Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Synopsis: Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

Purchase on Amazon here

4. Uprooted by Naomi Novik Uprooted by [Novik, Naomi]

Synopsis: “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Purchase on Amazon here

5. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

I read and enjoyed the Folk of Air series so really want to take a crack at this stand alone story. I have heard it is in the same world but not all all related.

Synopsis: In the woods is a glass coffin. It rests on the ground, and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives….

Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Since they were children, Hazel and Ben have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake.
Until one day, he does…
As the world turns upside down, Hazel has to become the knight she once pretended to be.

Purchase on Amazon here

Do you have any Standalone books that you recommend? Feel free to drop recs below in the comments. 

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas Book Review

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas Book Review

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas Book Review

  • Overall: ****/5
  • Romance: ****
  • Reading Rate: ***
  • Pages: 803
  • Recommend if you liked: Other Maas works, Fever Series
  • Release Date: March 3, 2020
  • Publisher:Bloomsbury
  • Purchase on Amazon here

This book was arguably the most anticipated Fantasy release of the year and I myself could not wait to get my hands on one. I was so happy I took advantage of the virtual signing Sarah did to get a signed and personalized book, even if it didn’t arrive until a week after publication date.

If you are a Maas fan this book will be right up your alley, if you are not… even with it making the change to the “adult” space I still don’t think you will be a fan. There was not much more “mature” about this book than anything Maas has written before, the language used was really the only difference I noticed. She also went for more of a slow burn style vs hopping into love like her other works (we will just have to wait and see if this means a guy might make it through the series).

While I ended up enjoying the story and will 100% be picking up the next book in the series as soon as it comes out, I could not give the book 5 stars.

What I liked:

  • True to SJM form we had lots of snarky, smart characters that you cant help but love.
  • A really interesting world (that almost gave me Daughter of Smoke and Bone vibes). The whole story really took place in one large city so I cannot wait to experience more if the world.
  • I really enjoy when an immediate storyline is wrapped up but still open for the future. I was happy with the ending and ready for more without it being a cliff hanger that left me dreading the wait between books.

What I struggled with:

  • While I enjoyed the characters there were a lot that gave me feels of characters she had already written, and basically took and put into a new setting. I think this is also just a casualty of reading an author with a specific style over and over.
  • There was a lot of slow build to this story so it did not have that “suck me in” factor her other works have done. I was able to read the book in small spurts without feeling the draw to know what is going to happen next. That is until the last 200 pages…. be prepared to sit down and finish the book out when you get there.
  • I think every character in every conversation throughout the entire book said “Hel” at least once… just a few chapters I was done hearing the word (and it usually takes A LOT for me to be annoyed with an element like that in writing).

Synopsis: I think its better to go into this book not reading it though*

Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

Have you read House of Earth and Blood yet? What did you think if it?