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Book Review: Liars by Dana Isaly

Liars, The Triad Book Series Book 2 by Dana Isaly

Overall: ****

Reading Rate: *****

Romance: ****

Genre: Adult Organized Crime RH Romance 

Pages: 208

This book is the second in the fast-paced RH Triad series by Isaly. I loved book 1 and was so excited to get to read book 2! This is a true series so make sure you read book 1 first, as this book picks up right where the cliffhanger at the end up book one picked up. 

What I liked:

  • Fast paced and no time wasted getting to the action, never a dull moment.
  • I loved how Isaly makes her female characters a little broken and unhinged where as most series only let their male characters show those flaws.

What I struggled it:

  • The story was a little all over the place in this book, but it kind of goes with the mentality of the characters.
  • There was supposed to be a big cliffhanger/twist at the end but I unfortunately saw it coming so it was a little anticlimactic for me.

Overall I cannot wait for the next book to come out and get to know more about the characters.

Synopsis: 

My boys found me, but a rift has formed.

Weeks ago I was steadily gaining their trust, finding my place in their lives and their beds. Now, it seems I’m the wedge driving the three of them apart.

I’ve been beaten, starved, and kept in the dark. All to come back to three men who can’t agree whether I’m an ally or a mole. But we have bigger problems to solve.

There’s a new player in the game.

The latest contender for the Dulca throne just so happens to be my favorite cousin. He was my best friend, my partner in crime. If I can get my boys to trust me long enough to keep them from starting a war, my family’s secret weapon could end up being the key to bringing our organizations together.

But I have no clue what Motshan is hiding up his sleeve, and we might not be able to come back from the carnage it could cause.

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Book Review: Into the Dark by Dana Isaly

Overall: *****/5

Romance/Steam: This one is really hard to rate, this book is very dark and while there are steamy scenes they are more about dealing with demons than sexy.

Reading Rate: *****

Pages: 225

Release Date:10/30/2021

Recommend if you liked: Ecstasy by K.V. Rose, Haunting Adeline

I loved this book! It was so dark and you knew from the first page that is was going to tear you apart, this story falls in my “hurts so good” category.

What I liked:

  • I loved the broken characters, I don’t think I have ever seen someone like the FMC Lyra highlighted in a book before and I really enjoyed it.
  • This story reminded me of what a real world Joker and Harley Quinn would be like
  • Short and fast paced read, I finished it in one sitting (about 3.5 hours).
  • I completely loved that it was not a happy ending.

What I struggled with:

  • For sure check the trigger warnings if there are sensitive topics for you as this story contains a lot of content that could be upsetting. I do feel that all of the darkness was necessary to tell the story to its full potential.

Synopsis:

Him

I am the monster that lurks in your nightmares.

Evil incarnate. A sociopath. A murderer.

I kill women who are guilty of nothing other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Women like Lyra.

Her yellow raincoat flapped in the cool breeze when she walked by, that blonde hair making her look like a drowned rat as she stopped to taste the rain.

She wasn’t like the others, but my demon wanted her.

We followed her. Watched her. Obsessed over her.

She is ours. Of that I’m certain.

We will pull her into the depths of our darkness and keep her imprisoned there.

Until we meet our end.

Lyra

I am ordinary in every way.

Average looks. Mundane job. Boring life.

But when he looks at me, I become something else entirely.

His gaze stalks and tracks me like a game of cat and mouse, his eyes licking fire over my skin every time they glance in my direction.

My thoughts are consumed by him every moment he’s out of sight.

He is my obsession. I can’t let him go.

And once he shows me his true form, I know I’ve captured him forever.

He is mine. Of that I’m certain.

I will follow him to the depths of darkness and happily submit to his madness.

Until we meet our end.

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Book Review: Founded on Temptation by Kat Singleton

Book 2 in the Mixtape series

Overall: **** I will say that this book as a complete standalone I would only rate at a 3 but as a companion to Book 1 Founded on Goodbye it really enhances the story.

Romance: *** Less romance and more hook up style than FOG. Although you do get to relive a lot of the feels from book 1 through the storyline.

Reading Rate: ***** I think I finished this book in less than 24 hours. Short and sweet read.

Genre: Hook up Romance

After reading Founded on Goodbye earlier this year I was so excited to find out we were getting more about the characters in this world.

What I liked:

  • I loved to see the glimpses of what was happening with Nora and Nash from other points of view. Even though this book was not meant for them to be the main characters they still stole the show for me.
  • The characters were so fun to get to know, Sebastian just runs away with you.
  • The HOOK UPS!!!
  • Kat also primed us for the next book/couple in the series throughout and I am already ready to dive right in!
  • Also I still cannot get over how amazing these covers are!!

What I struggled with:

  • This book is really not set up to be a standalone as it is the same timeline as FOG and really just fills in the gaps of what was happening with Riley and Sebastian while the bigger Nash and Nora story were going on. Make sure you read FOG first, or even better it would be really fun to read them together to put the full timeline in place.
  • There is a trope done in this book that is a HUGE pet peeve for me ruined a lot of my fun, but I didn’t hold it against the books star count because I know a lot of people love it.
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Book Review: Lessons in Sin by Pam Godwin

Overall:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Genre: Adult taboo billionaire romance

Romance:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Steam:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Reading rate:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 almost finished in one sitting

Recommend if you liked: 50 Shades of Grey

I was so excited for this book I was ready to beg for an arc and was over the moon to receive one. This turned out to be a deliciously taboo student teacher, age gap and priest romance. The story dives right in with Tinsley the Fmc being dropped off at father Magnus catholic reform school for girls. Tinsley is prepared to raise hell for freedom from her old money dynasty family and Magnus us ready to do whatever it takes to bring her to heel.

Pros

  • The story was fast paced and I could not put it down
  • Totally took my heart for a ride because you know what is coming and you want it to happen but want to stop it all at the same time!
  • While it does have taboo subjects I do not consider it a dark romance, there are elements of the MMCs past that could be considered dark but they are only highlighted at high level and nothing in the non-Con space

Cons

  • For me was the wrap up and ending of the book being predictable, I really wish there had been some sort of twist or shocker
  • I also found myself lacking in any sympathy for Tinsley’s family predicament as she only seemed actually found by the whims of her mother if she did not want to give up for money and lifestyle.

Synopsis:

There’s no absolution for the things I’ve done.
But I found a way to control my impulses.
I became a priest.

As Father Magnus Falke, I suppress my cravings. As the headteacher of a Catholic boarding school, I’m never tempted by a student.

Until Tinsley Constantine.

The bratty princess challenges my rules and awakens my dark nature. With each punishment I lash upon her, I want more. In my classroom, private rectory, and bent over my altar, I want all of her.

One touch risks everything I stand for. My faith. My redemption. And even my life.

As if that could stop me. I need her pain, and her heart, and she needs my lessons in sin.

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Book Review: Founded on Goodbye by Kat Singleton

Overall: ****/5.

Genre: NA Contemporary Rock Star Romance 

Romance: ****/5

Steam: ***/5

Reading Rate: *****/5 I finished the book in a single day

Recommend if you liked: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas 

The story hits the ground running with Nora accepting a “deal with the devil” so to speak to move her career forward and try to outrun her own demons.

Pros:

  • Fast paced and engaging story, there was never a dull moment
  • I loved the premise of the dancer and the musician, I wish I could hear some of Nash’s music in real life
  • Even though I knew whatwas coming from Page 1 of the book my heart still want not ready! This was for sure a “hurts so good” book
  • The story for being short and fast managed to have some great side characters
  • The bedroom scenes were more romantic than steamy but I didn’t mind it at all, it fit perfectly with the vibe of the book and I wouldn’t change it at all.

Cons:

  • I loved Nash but found myself mentally shouting at Nora the whole book.  She could have easily put a stop to the main issue early on, but I guess there would not have been a story if she handled it responsibly
  • Then ending of the story felt a bit rushed to me, I really wanted to see more of a redemption story for both characters.

Overall I really enjoyed the story, I would 100% read more of this word and will definitely be reading more of Kat Singleton’s works in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kat Singleton for a copy of Founded on Goodbye in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis:

His songs were better when he had a broken heart.

That sentence would change my life after my dream job was dished to me on a shiny, silver platter. 

All I had to do? 

Hurt Nash Pierce enough to get him writing good music again. 

The pop icon’s songs were no longer the phenomena they used to be. His team needed another breakthrough album—like the first he’d penned, using his heartbreak as fuel. 

The plan was simple: I’d go on tour with him as a backup dancer…and make him fall in love with me. I was hired to inspire—to become embedded into every lyric he wrote. Then, I was to set fire to it all—to destroy every feeling we hoped he’d develop for me.

It seemed simple enough. Easy, even.

I didn’t expect to be consumed myself—to see so much in the man displayed in the tabloids. I didn’t foresee falling for him. It didn’t occur to me that, while attempting to break his heart, I might just shatter my own.

Most of all, I never thought I’d fight so hard to hold on to a relationship that had always been founded on goodbye.

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Blog Tour: Gild by Raven Kennedy

Today I’m excited to participate in the Bookstagram & Creative Tour for Gild by Raven Kennedy hosted by MTMC Tours! By bestselling author Raven Kennedy, comes the first book in a stunning new fantasy series where the myth of King Midas is reimagined. With romance, intrigue, and danger, the gilded world of Orea will grip you from the very first page. Perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas and Jennifer L Armentrout!

Title: Gild
Series: The Plated Prisoner #1. Author: Raven Kennedy. Publication Date: December, 2020
Genres: Adult Fantasy

Purchase a copy: Amazon | Book Depository | Indiebound | Blackwell’s
Add on Goodreads!

Synopsis: The fae abandoned this world to us. And the ones with power rule.

Gold.

Gold floors, gold walls, gold furniture, gold clothes. In Highbell, in the castle built into the frozen mountains, everything is made of gold.

Even me.

King Midas rescued me. Dug me out of the slums and placed me on a pedestal. I’m called his precious. His favored. I’m the woman he Gold-Touched to show everyone that I belong to him. To show how powerful he is. He gave me protection, and I gave him my heart. And even though I don’t leave the confines of the palace, I’m safe.

Until war comes to the kingdom and a deal is struck.

Suddenly, my trust is broken. My love is challenged. And I realize that everything I thought I knew about Midas might be wrong.

Because these bars I’m kept in, no matter how gilded, are still just a cage. But the monsters on the other side might make me wish I’d never left.

The myth of King Midas reimagined. This compelling adult fantasy series is as addictive as it is unexpected. With romance, intrigue, and danger, the gilded world of Orea will grip you from the very first page.

Please Note: This book contains explicit content and darker elements, including mature language, violence, and non-consensual sex. It is not intended for anyone under 18 years of age. This is book one in a series.

——–

INTL Tour-wide Instagram Giveaway!

Enter the Rafflecopter below to win 1 of 10 digital copies of Gild.
Ends on May 22nd, 2021. Winners will be announced in the rafflecopter & contacted via email by MTMC Tours.


Rafflecopter link:http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2aeeb25b83/?

INTL Tour-wide Instagram Giveaway!

Head over to my Instagram account where 10 additional digital copies are up for grabs. Ends on May 22nd, 2021. Winners will be announced on @mtmctours’ Instagram account.

——-
About Raven Kennedy:

Raven Kennedy writes in a range of genres, including fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, dark romance, and romcoms.

Whether she makes you laugh or cry, she loves creating worlds and making characters you can root for.

She is a California girl born and raised, drinker of tea, and lover of dark chocolate. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching The Office and The Great British Baking Show, or with her nose stuck in a book.

Website | Instagram | Goodreads

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BOOK REVIEW: Lux Beginnings by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lux Beginnings 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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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

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

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.