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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 Tempted by Vanessa Vale & Renee Rose

Book 2 of the Two Marks series

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: adult cowboy shifter romance

Romance:⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reading rate:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The book is short & fast paced, I finished in one sitting

Recommend if you like: Psy-changling, A Drop of Magic

This was a really fun ménage shifter romance.it is the type of book that focuses mainly on the romance plot between the main characters and less on other plot. Even so I think a great job giving extra story line was done.it was quite predicable inconsistencies but still overall enjoyable d great for what it was.

– I did not realize this was the second book in the series until after I finished it, even so I did not feel I was missing any information to enjoy Tempted.

– I loved that the FMC is a Wolf Biologist it was real fun that she was a nerdy girl and that she already had so much lane for women.

– the book started right from the beginning with the steam between characters. There were ménage scenes but nothing dark.

– I am definitely interested to see more of what happens pack in future installments.

Synopsis:

We see a female, we want her.
We scent a female, we claim her.
We touch a female, we give her two marks.
Because in our pack, shifters share.
Two cowboys for every mate.

Renee Rose and Vanessa Vale are back with more steamy shifter cowboys! Be sure to read Wolf Ranch, then swing by Two Marks, Wyoming. Because you know it’s going to be hot. Possessive. Wild. Times two. Everything you want in romance… and more.

  Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo, Barnes & Noble!

Amazon: http://vanessavaleauthor.com/v/1hv
Apple Books: http://vanessavaleauthor.com/v/1hw
Nook: http://vanessavaleauthor.com/v/1hy
Kobo: http://vanessavaleauthor.com/v/1hx
Google Play: http://vanessavaleauthor.com/v/1hz

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2RnYQmT

Get the prequel Untamed for FREE!
https://vanessavaleauthor.com/book/untamed/

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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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Book Review: Greythorne by Crystal Smith

Greythorne (Bloodleaf #2) by Crystal Smith

Overall: ***

Romance: **

Reading Rate: ****

Publisher: HMH Books

Release Date: September 1, 2020

Pages: 352

Recommend if you liked: The Remnant Chronicles

After the ending of Bloodleaf I was ready to dive right into Greythorne to find out what happened next with Aurelia and Zan!  I was very surprised to see that Smith took the storyline in a very different direction for this book so I struggled in the beginning with the shock of the character changes.

What I enjoyed:

  • New magic systems elements presented
  • As the story progressed and we learned more about the new characters I found myself getting sucked in again and enjoying the new twists.

What I struggled with:

  • While I enjoyed the overall story line, I struggled with the use of Spectral Travel and Time Travel to explain a large amount of the happenings in the story. I felt the use of these elements really did more to undo to story than to wrap it up.
  • The time travel gaps along with the recurring theme of people dying and coming back caused this book to fall short of its predecessor for me.

I also have to admit that I am sad about the cover change, the originals were some of my favorites.

Synopsis:

Princess Aurelia’s life is turned upside down when the kingdom she thought she saved turns to ruin, a loved one is tragically killed in a shipwreck, and her home country refuses to respect her brother’s legitimate claim to the throne. With no place left to call her own, Aurelia returns to Greythorne Manor—her best friend’s family mansion—only to get swept up in a coup d’état on the night of her brother’s coronation.

With everyone turned against her and enemies closing in on all sides, Aurelia has nothing left to lose in a mad fight to protect the only people she has left—her family. But in her darkest moments when all seems grim, will Aurelia find a spark of hope from a love she thought long lost?

Thank you to NetGalley and HMH Books for the opportunity to read Greythorne in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Book Review: Fable by Adrienne Young

Fable by Adrienne Young (Book 1 of the Fable Duology) 

Overall: ***.5

Romance:***

Reading Rate: ***

Publisher: Wednesday Books 

Pages: 368

Release Date: 9/1/2020

Recommend if you liked: Pirates of the Caribbean

This was a short and sweet adventure novel on the high seas!

What I liked:

  • I really enjoyed the writing and the characters that Young developed in such a short time.
  • I love ocean travel stories and this one had a great mix of time in port, on islands, and at sea. 
  • Also could this cover get any more beautiful!!! 

What I struggled with:

  • While the story was enjoyable the storyline was very similar to others and it made it easy to predict how the book would progress.
  • I could have done with a bit more romance but this novel is at the young end of the YA scale so I feel like it fit the desired audience. 

The book does end of a cliffhanger so I hope to see some unexpected twists and turns in the sequel!

Synopsis:
As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

 

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Book Review: The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson

The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson, book 2 of The Storm Crow duology. 

  • Overall rating: ****
  • Reading rate: ****
  • Romance: **
  • Pages: 368
  • Release date: July 7, 2020
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Spoilers for Book 1 of the Duology below, if you have not read the first book check out my spoiler free review of The Storm Crow here.

The Crow Rider is the fact paced, action packed conclusion to the Crow Rider Duology. I was a little hesitant going into the book after the first one left me a bit wanting but I am glad I gave it another shot.  We pick up right where the first one left off with Thia, Res and the crew escaping Illucia and headed to meet potential rebel allies to save their world. Josephson started such a unique world and magic system, so I really enjoyed the further world building and getting to know the characters more. I really wish this story had been a bit longer to go into more detail but was still entertaining and look forward to seeing how Josephson grows in her writing in future novels….hopefully more in this world!

What I liked:

  • I enjoyed the quicker pace and action scenes much better in this story.
  • Super quick to read, only took me about two days to finish
  • I enjoyed getting to knew Res and additional characters. I struggled to connect with the MC in the first book (want to shake her a few times) but I was much more connected with her in this installment.
  • Without spoilers I have to say I was really happy with the way the story wrapped up.

What I struggled with:

  • I felt like some additional elements were added to the story that really could have used some additional build out. This really could easily have been a trilogy with time taken to add more details and feel less rushed.

Synopsis:

The thrilling conclusion to the epic Storm Crow duology that follows a fallen princess as she tries to bring back the magical elemental crows taken from her people.

Thia, her allies, and her crow, Res, are planning a rebellion to defeat Queen Razel and Illucia once and for all. Thia must convince the neighboring kingdoms to come to her aid, and Res’s show of strength is the only thing that can help her.

But so many obstacles stand in her way. Res excels at his training, until he loses control of his magic, harming Thia in the process. She is also pursued by Prince Ericen, heir to the Illucian throne and the one person she can’t trust but can’t seem to stay away from.

As the rebel group prepares for war, Res’s magic grows more unstable. Thia has to decide if she can rely on herself and their bond enough to lead the rebellion and become the crow rider she was meant to be.

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Book Review: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Claire- Book 3 in The Dark Artifices Series

  • Overall: ***
  • Romance: ***
  • Reading Rate: **
  • Pages: 912
  • Release Date: December 4, 2018
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • I recommend if you liked: The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices
  • Purchase on Amazon here

I am not sure if it was this story or if I have just read too much of the same storyline with the Shadowhunters’ novels. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed The Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices. I think this story was just too much a repeat of The Mortal Instruments and trying to push relationships in YA books. I had to take a break after reading the first two books in this trilogy and only started this one back up almost a year later because it was available on audiobook through Scribd.

I listened to the audiobook and while James Marten (LOVE SPIKE) was a great narrator there was just so much that was not needed. I would zone out while listening for a few minutes to realize what I had done… and didn’t even miss anything relevant to the story.

What I liked:

  • It was nice to see the world tie together with other books and see where prior loved characters are now.
  • While it was a little out there, I did like that things were shaken up with the alternate dimension.
  • Not to spoil too much but OMG there was a Shadowhunter wedding and I LOVED IT!
  • The ending was left open for another series and I am so hoping to see some of my all time favorite characters come back with less politics in this next series.

What I struggled with:

  • I didn’t like the way some of the older characters like Clary and Magnus were portrayed, it seemed to take them down a notch from the prior series where they were the MCs
  • While I get that CC is trying to make a statement about inclusion in her writing there was a lot that just was not necessary for the story. She also had too many independent storylines running. I feel like she could have had some great short stories or standalone spins offs rather than trying to cram it all into this one trilogy.
  • While I liked the idea of the blight and Thule, the fact that narrow minded Shadowhunter who never learn from their mistakes caused all of their own issues is so frustrating, especially when you are on about book 13 of reading it.