Book Reviews, Products I love!!

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.

 

 

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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

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.

Lovabull Bull Terrier Snoopy
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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.