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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: Storybound by Emily McKay

Storybound (Book #1) by Emily McKay

  • Overall: ****
  • Romance: *
  • Reading Rate: ****
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher:  Entangled: Teen
  • Release Date: May 5th 2020
  • Recommend if you like: The Unicorn Chronicles
  • Purchase on Amazon here

Such as cute book!!! This book is on the younger side of the YA scale but was still a fun and unique read for all ages. What book lover can’t relate to wishing they could get sucked into their favorite series and meeting their Book Boyfriend?

What I liked:

  • The whole premise of the book is super fun and they way the author tied the parallel worlds together
  • I feel like it was a little love letter to use bookworms.
  • Really fast paced story all the way through, I almost finished the entire book the first night I picked it up.

What I struggled with:

  • There was still a lot left unsaid and unknown, but this is the first book in a series so I am sure a lot more information to come in future installments.

The book did wrap up in a way that left me satisfied (no cliffhanger) while leaving the door wide open for a lot more. I will definitely be on the look out for future books in this series to find out what happens next!

Synopsis:

I’ve lived in nine towns in the past six years. I know my mom feels bad about it, but I don’t mind. Who wants friends anyway?

All I’ve ever needed are my books. I’ve lived a thousand lives, had adventures I couldn’t even begin to imagine. To me, the places I discovered between the pages of a book are as real as the world I live in.

When I walk into my favorite bookstore, the last thing I expect is to walk out onto the pages of the kingdom of Mithres…or that the book boyfriend I’ve loved more than life, Kane the Traveler, really exists. And he has no clue the fate that awaits him in book five…

Now that I know the truth, I have a chance to save Kane. But if I change the story, will I ever find my way home?

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled:Teen for a copy of Storybound in exchange for my honest opinion.

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The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood Book Review

The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates #1) by A.K. Larkwood

  • Overall: *****
  • Romance:***
  • Reading Rate: ****
  • Pages: 464
  • Release Date: February 11, 2020
  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • Recommend if you liked: An Ember in the Ashes, Nevernight
  • Purchase on Amazon here

GUYS! This book was so so good, I have not had a 5-star book in a very long time. I requested this book from NetGalley based on the synopsis but had not heard any hype about it at all. At first I was totally intimidated by the large character list and pronunciation guide in the front of the book, but a few minutes later I was totally sucked in. Don’t let it intimidate you, its not that complicated and you don’t need to know it all at once. I do wish there was character art available so I could put some of the visions of the characters description in my head since they are all different human like creatures.

The main POV is Csorwe but you on occasion pop into the perspective of other character. Normally I find this distracting in a book but it is very well done, and really felt it added to the overall world and story build.

What I liked:

  • The world is just amazing! It’s almost a mix of fantasy and sci-fi, historical and future. Its not based in earth or with humans so the sky is really the limit with what the author can continue to do.
  • There was so much action packed in this one book! I felt like I read three books or 1000 pages and it was less than 500… I even checked several times!
  • Tons of great snarky humor! While the book deals with a lot of serious topics there always seems to be a funny side to things that keeps it from being a saddening.
  • I also loved that the book left open lines for future books without leaving me with a cliffhanger. I was super satisfied at the end and looking forward to more in the future.

What I struggled with:

  • I really can’t say that I “struggled” but if I could add one more thing to the book it would be for a little more romance/steam. I don’t think the book was lacking at all for not having it, just something that is a personal preference.

Even without steam I would not consider a YA book and put it more on the NA side, there is still a good bit of adult content and death (I have seen it listed as YA or Adult on different sites).

Synopsis:

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Books for a copy of The Unspoken Name in exchange for my honest opinion.

Have you read The Unspoken Name? Did you love it as much as I did?

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Blinding Night by Chantal Gadoury Book Review

Blinding Night (Blinding Night #1) by Chantal Gadoury Book ReviewBlinding Night (Blinding Night #1) by Chantal Gadoury

  • Overall: ***
  • Romance: ***
  • Reading Rate: *****
  • Pages: 330 for the paperback, however I read on Kindle
  • Release Date: October 2, 2018
  • Publisher: The Parliament House Press
  • Purchase on Amazon here
  • Recommend if you liked: ACOTAR, Shade of Vampire

This is a really cute Hades and Persephone retelling and the first book in a duology. The main character is a 20 year old art student from Rhode Island whose entire life changes when Hades swoops in the retrieve her from the hospital after her parents are killed in a car accident while traveling to Greece.

While this story does have a lot of ACOTAR similarities it is heavily tied to the romance story line between Persephone and Hades with the events of the broader world being more a sub plot. But she is an artist, rough relations with her family, the inner circle, etc.

What I liked:

  • This was a cute fast paced read, I love a good quick romance story.
  • The romance line was carried throughout with a little steam here and there, nothing that would not fall within what you commonly see in other YA books today.
  • I enjoyed the mythology aspect and the takes on traditional stories of the Gods.

What I struggled with:

  • While the MC is 20 years old but she acted much younger in my opinion. She was very resentful towards her parents and thought their affections were “icky” basically. She did seem sheltered and spoiled with an overprotective mom so this may be really where they were trying to get at but I had a hard time with it. I think she also took the death of her parents and change in her world a bit too well, but maybe just not time in the story to capture that recovery timeline.
  • The story never made it clear why Persephone had no choice of her own in staying with Hades vs returning to her mother. We also never received any insight into the mother’s side of the story. Hoping this gets cleared up in the second book in the duology.
  • There were also a handful or spelling/grammar errors as well as a few small contradictions in the story, nothing to the larger plot line.

Synopsis:

What if you were the missing piece in one of the world’s most epic legends?

Despite being an art history student, Summer isn’t thrilled to be stuck with her archeologist family all summer in Greece. While the rest of her college friends are posting a million selfies by the pool together, Summer is stuck alone, trying to entertain herself alone in a place where she doesn’t even speak the language.

Upon her arrival to Greece, strange dreams and even stranger shadows seem to haunt Summer, leaving her to ponder the meaning of pomegranate seeds and twisted, darkened faces.

Suddenly, her stay abroad leads to tragic twists, leaving Summer in the arms of a dark stranger, who claims to be the god, Hades, whom she feels like she knows from another life. In a whirlwind through the busy streets of Athens, Summer is seduced to the lowest point of Greece where Hades’ lair awaits…the Underworld. Determined to find out who she is and where she belongs in an age-old myth, Summer joins Hades to discover that the secrets about her past life are beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

Thank you to Chantal Gadoury and the Parliament House Press for a copy of Blinding Night in exchange for my honest review.

 

 

 

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The Sisters Grimm Book Review

The Sisters Grimm by Manna van Praag Book ReviewThe Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

  • Overall: ***
  • Romance:**
  • Reading Rate: *
  • Pages: 448
  • Publication date:March 31, 2020
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager
  • Purchase on Amazon HERE
  • Recommend if you liked: Serpent & Dove

I was sooo thrilled when I was approved for an advanced copy of this book and just knew it was going to be a 5 start read for me.

This is a dark and heartbreaking story mixing the struggles of mortal life with a fantasy twist that makes you question the lines of good and evil. The author did a great job of getting you intimately acquainted with all the main characters and the nature of Everwhere. I do wish there was more background on the world and reasoning behind the setup of the Sisters and Soldiers. The lack of information really made it challenging to root for a side as you really did not understand the consequences of their choices.

I struggled with the format of the book, it bounces between multiple timelines and points of view, some of the entries were only a paragraph long before hopping to the next POV so it was very distracting and hard to stay immersed. Normally if I am sucked into a book it only takes me days to read while this book took me several weeks and I really had to push through to finish.  I also struggled with the level of sadness in the book, it seemed that each girl only encountered more loss and there was not a lot of positive outlook, even in the end. The synopsis leads you to think this story is much “fluffier” than it truly is.

Synopsis

Once upon a time, a demon who desired earthly domination fathered an army of dark daughters to help him corrupt humanity . . .

As children, Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea dreamed of a strange otherworld: a nightscape of mists and fog, perpetually falling leaves and hungry ivy, lit by an unwavering moon. Here, in this shadowland of Everwhere, the four girls, half-sisters connected by blood and magic, began to nurture their elemental powers together. But at thirteen, the sisters were ripped from Everwhere and separated. Now, five years later, they search for one another and yearn to rediscover their unique and supernatural strengths. Goldie (earth) manipulates plants and gives life. Liyana (water) controls rivers and rain. Scarlet (fire) has electricity at her fingertips. Bea (air) can fly.

To realize their full potential, the blood sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams. But Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea are beset with the challenges of their earthly lives, they must prepare for a battle that lies ahead. On their eighteenth birthday, they will be subjected to a gladiatorial fight with their father’s soldiers. If they survive, they will face their father who will let them live only if they turn dark. Which would be fair, if only the sisters knew what was coming.

So, they have thirty-three days to discover who they truly are and what they can truly do, before they must fight to save themselves and those they love.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for a copy of Sisters Grimm in exchange for my honest review.

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Blood & Ash (The Jezebel Files #1) Book Review

Blood & Ash (The Jezebel Files #1) by Deborah Wilde

Blood & Ash Book ReviewOverall: ***

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: **

Pages: 316

Publisher: Te Da Media

Release date: 1/14/2020

Recommend if you liked: Wicked Trilogy by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I am a sucker for a fast paced PNR read and had high hopes for this book, but it fell a bit short for me. It is listed as an adult book and while there was adult content the MC acted more like someone in her teens vs a 30 something. While the story suggested she was very educated and cultured her rash decisions and language suggested otherwise.

I really liked where the author was going with the Sherlock Holmes theme and while the world dynamic of Nefesh (those with magic) and regular humans without was not a new concept I liked the spin that the author put on it. It seemed like I came in on an existing storyline and was missing a lot of background on the world, but hopefully more will continue to be filled in throughout this series.

Overall I enjoyed the story but the lack of background information and the MC’s internal monologue kept me from getting sucked in and really enjoying the book. I think if there was less focus on the MC’s internal feelings and more focus on the mystery/case it would go a long way in making this a very interesting binge worthy series in future books.

Synopsis:

Cold-blooded kidnappers. Long-lost magic. When things get serious, she goes full Sherlock.

Ashira Cohen takes pride in being the only female private investigator in Vancouver. With her skills, her missing persons case should be a piece of cake.

She wasn’t counting on getting bashed in the skull, revealing a hidden tattoo and supernatural powers she shouldn’t possess.

Or the bitter icing on top: a spree of abductions and terrifying ghostly creatures on a deadly bender.

And don’t even get her started on the golems.

Reluctantly partnered with her long-time nemesis Levi, the infuriating leader of the magic community, Ash resolves to keep her focus on the clue trail and off their sexual tension because WTF is up with that?

But with a mastermind organization pulling strings from the shadows and Levi’s arrogance driving her to pick out his body bag, can Ash rescue the captives and uncover the truth or will the next blood spilled be her own?

Blood & Ash will be available though Amazon Kindle Unlimited. Try your first month of Kindle Unlimited free here!

Thank you to NetGally and Te Da Media for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Queen of Nothing by Holly Black Book Review

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) *There are potential spoilers in this review*

Overall: ***

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: ***

Publisher: Little Brown

Pages: 308

Release Date: November 19, 2019

Purchase on Amazon here

I hate to be super negative on here, but guys I was so so disappointed. I thought the first two books in the series were good (not blown away) and the way the ended was left at Wicked King had me so ready to read this final installment. As soon as I got my hands on the book I was nervous about how thin it was… but it started out on a high note with a dual and then the arrival of Taryn needing help due to Locke being dead.

I was all ramped up to see Jude back in Fairy so soon in the story, but it all went downhill from there. I expected to binge read the book like I did the first two, but I found myself losing interest and it took me over a week to get through, which is unusual for a book so short.  I felt like the closing of the story was completely rushed and then ending of the last book was totally written off by it being a joke from Cardan, and that as Queen Jude could have pardoned herself at any time and come back. By the time the last quarter of the book came around it was almost predictable, which throwing me for a loop was something I admired about this series.

I did appreciate the ending being wrapped up nicely with really no questions left hanging… I would like for there to have been a bit more betrayal and less happiness at the end for the “wicked” characters though.

Maybe it was just the final book curse, what did you think? Tell me below in the comments.

 

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Serpent & Dove Book Review

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin Book Review

Serpent & Dove Book ReviewOverall: ***

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: ***

Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 513

Purchase on Amazon here

I was super excited about this book, and I purchased an incredible edition with bronze prayed edges from Fairyloot. I have heard so so so many people give this book great reviews so I feel like I had an unpopular opinion, or maybe the hype was just so high it was impossible not to feel let down.

What I liked:

  • I like the take on Magic vs the Church and the different types of witches. I also enjoyed learning how the different witches used their powers.
  • While this was historically based I enjoyed that all of the women still did what they wanted regardless. I have a hard time with historical fiction when it involves women being limited by societies constraints. I would actually classify this book as NA vs YA due to the age of the characters and language/sexual content of the book.

What I struggled with:

  • I needed more background on the world to really understand what was happening. Because of the limited information on each side I really couldn’t relate to strongly to either cause, and frankly they both seemed wrong.
  • I didn’t “believe” in the love portion of the story line. It was enemies to lovers but I didn’t really feel the love develop, i was like it went from enemies for most of the book to instalove.
  • The book really didn’t grab me or keep me engrossed at all, it actually took me about two weeks to finish reading. (something in a 4-5 star range for me I would devour in 3 or less days).

Overall I am interested to learn more about the world and the characters the Mahurin started to build out and I will certainly give the next book in the series a shot.

Synopsis:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.