Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Book Review: Hollow Heathens by Nicole Fiorina

Hollow Heathens (The Tales of Weeping Hollow #1) by Nicole Fiorina 

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  • Overall: *****
  • Romance: ****
  • Reading Rate: *****
  • Pages: 571
  • Recommend if you like: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Punk 57, Shadowhunters

Guys you know I do not give out 5 star ratings lightly so was so pleasantly surprised when this book just blew me away. I have been on a huge dark romance kick and basically reading anything recommend by @ashhob1229 on Instagram. After hearing her rave about Hollow Heathens and Fallon and Julian I had to give it a shot.

I was also super excited to get back to some paranormal with my dark romance. The story starts out with Fallon driving to the mysterious town of Weeping Hollow to take care of her ailing Grandfather. Fallon’s Nanny had told her bedtime stories about the town but she wrote them off as pure fantasy and soon discovers there may be more to the stories than she thought as she tries to settle in amongst the strange residents and the Heathens.

What I loved:

  • I love the creepy aesthetic of the whole town and the world building
  • The mystery and the angst are so so good!
  • The characters, I love that Fallon is unusual… I mean she is a mortician! Please don’t get me started on Julian
  • The romance! While the characters are adults there is a lot of innocence about them so it reads more like a YA story with some adult content.

What I struggled with:

  • I did not struggle but I think some folks could struggle with the lack of information you have throughout the book. It is so so worth it so push through!

Guys I could not put this book down! I was terrified about how the story was going to end and just knew I was going to be totally crushed!!! While this book can be read a a standalone Fiorina will be writing more stories in the same world. In the meantime I am going to go read everything else she has written to try and cure my hangover.

Synopsis:

A forbidden, timeless, and haunting love story.

Once upon a time, there lived a girl named Fallon who was taken far away from home shortly after she was born.

A home that held more than strange traditions and bizarre superstitions.

Twenty-four years later, she returned to Weeping Hollow, a town she’d only heard about in stories during restless nights under a marble moon, in the middle of the night to take care of her last living relative.

They called the nosy mortician a freakshow–a ghastly thing.

They said I couldn’t go near her.

Still, there was this aching pull to Fallon Grimaldi that I couldn’t escape.

A nostalgic pull as if we’d been here before.

Once upon a time, there lived a mysterious boy named Julian with a curse as old as centuries wrapped around his soul.

He was one of the four Hollow Heathens, the very dark creatures who caused the town’s people to live in fear.

And the Blackwell name was stained with darkness and death.

They called him a monster. Cold and hollow.

They said I shouldn’t go near him.

Still, there was this aching pull to Julian Blackwell that I couldn’t escape.

A nostalgic pull as if we’d been here before.

 

Have you read any books by Nicole Fiorina? If so, what did you think?

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Blog Tour: More Than Neighbors by Shannon Stacey

MORE THAN NEIGHBORS by Shannon Stacey (on-sale June 16, 2020)

The only thing they have in common is a property line! Cam Maguire is in Blackberry Bay to unravel a family secret. Meredith Price has moved next door with her daughter. He’s unattached. She’s a widowed single mom. He’s owned by a cat. She’s definitely team canine. All these neighbors have in common is a property line. One they cross…over and over. And Cam thought he knew what he wanted—until his family’s secret changes everything.

cover image_More Than Neighbors_Shannon Stacey_Harlequin SE

About Shannon Stacey: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and off-roading with her friends and family.

Excerpt, MORE THAN NEIGHBORS by Shannon Stacey (Harlequin Special Edition)

“So you’re staying for the summer, you said? Where do you usually live?”

“New York City, actually.”

Her hazel eyes widened. “Wow. That’s quite a change in pace.”

“It is, but I was ready to get away for a while.” “What do you do in the city?”

“I work for my dad,” he said, which wasn’t technically a lie, but wasn’t entirely accurate, either. “A lot of accounting and paperwork and boring stuff like that.”

She was cute when she wrinkled her nose. “I’m not a fan of boring math-related paperwork.”

A yelp from across the yard caught her attention and she turned to see Elinor swipe at the white puff-ball. Sophie was frowning and picked the dog up, turning her body so the cat couldn’t see him any-more.

“Your cat appears to be bullying my dog.”

“She’s not my cat. And you’re embarrassing your dog by even making that claim right now.”

She arched an eyebrow at him. “If you don’t think cats can bully dogs, you don’t spend a lot of time on the internet.”

“She just wants the dog to know who’s boss, I guess.”

“It’s his yard,” she pointed out.

“She’s a cat.”

“Point taken.” A genuine smile lit up her face and made her eyes crinkle. “They’ll get used to each other. And speaking of that, now that I know you’re going to be my neighbor for a while, I should prob-ably introduce myself properly. I’m Meredith Price, and that’s Sophie and Oscar.”

“Calvin Maguire,” he said, extending his hand. “But everybody calls me Cam.”

As she shook his hand, he noted how soft the skin was and had to resist rubbing his thumb over it.

She tilted her head as she smoothly pulled her hand away from his. “How do you get Cam from Calvin?”

“My initials. Calvin Anthony Maguire.” His mouth twisted in a wry smile. “The fourth.”

“Interesting.”

“It was a better alternative than being Little Cal for my entire life.” He didn’t really want to open him-self up to more questions about his family, since they were the last thing he wanted to talk about. “Since Oscar’s from California, let me guess. Oscar de la Renta?”

She laughed. “Oscar the Grouch.”

“You’re kidding.” He looked at the dog again, who looked like the kind they put on the packaging of fancy dog food. “I don’t really see the resemblance, but maybe it’s a personality thing.”

“He’s actually named after Sophie’s favorite book at the time, and trust me, we spent days explaining to her why we couldn’t make his hair green.”

“He doesn’t bark a lot, does he?”

“I wouldn’t say he barks a lot.” She glanced at the dog before giving him a sheepish look. “It’s more like a really high-pitched yip.”

“That’ll be fun while I’m reading over spread-sheets,” he said, picturing spending his summer being harassed by a stubborn cat and a high-strung dog. “Maybe I should have packed my noise- canceling headphones.”

She looked startled for a second and then her eyes narrowed. “I have a child and a dog, so I guess you’ll just have to figure out how to make it work.”

“Maybe a muzzle?” he asked, but he wasn’t re-ally serious. Yipping dogs weren’t his favorite, but he wasn’t a total jerk.

She stared at him for a long moment before giving him an arch look. “I don’t know if I can find one in your size, but I can try.”

Cam chuckled, appreciating her comeback, but she didn’t even crack a smile. Maybe she hadn’t been joking. And maybe she’d thought he wasn’t, either.

“If you’ll excuse me, we just arrived and I have a lot to do.”

“Nice to meet you,” he said as she walked, and she held up her hand in what looked more like a dis-missive gesture than a wave.

That was fine. If she wanted to play that game, she’d find out he didn’t really care that much. She and her yipping dog could stay in her yard and he’d stay in his.

He had better things to do, anyway. Like learning more about Carolina Archambault, and figuring out how to convince her cat he was the boss.

 

Author social links:
– Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49875473-more-than-
neighbors?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=BPmoRsG1Za&rank=1
– Author website: https://shannonstacey.com/
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/shannonstacey
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shannonstacey.authorpage
– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shannonstacey/

 

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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. 

Book Boxes, Bookish Merch, Products I love!!

Bite Me Box- February Unboxing and Review

Bite Me Box- February Unboxing and Review

Bite Me Box Dystopian Romance Unboxing and Review

  • Theme: Dystopian Romance
  • Overall: ***
  • Cost: $55 USD shipping included
  • Quality of items: ***
  • Shipping: *** They struggled a bit with shipping for this months box. They ship with Fedex which is a down side for me as I always seem to have challenges with them. My box arrived damaged and they responded very quickly at first saying they would get replacements out. I reached out to follow up over a week later and the request had not yet been put in, but was successful this time and I received the replacement items in a bubble envelope a little over a week later.
  • Value for the money: **** While the box did come with three books that are exclusive prints most of the books chosen for the boxes I have found can be read for free through Kindle Unlimited. So while it is neat to have them in print and often with a signed book plate it is quite costly in comparison.

Whats in the box:…. once you get past that steaming lid…

  • 3 Books with book plates- all Bite me Box Prints
    • Taken by the Alpha by
    • Lawless by Crytstal Ash
    • Wolf Hollow by Nikki Jefford
  • Bio hazard themed lip balm
  • Recyclable Pen with plant seeds
  • Bullet themed metal reusable water bottle
  • Bag of provisions (Tootsie rolls)
  • Bite me box charm
  • Packet of extra content from the authors
  • Signed book mark from Crystal Ash

Bite Me Box Dystopian Romance Unboxing and Review

Bite Me Box has decided to take a hiatus like many other bookish companies due to concerns and shipping delays due to COVID-19. They advised they also plan to do some revamping and come back ever better than before. While this box was not a 5 star for me, I enjoyed others that I have seen and will for sure be giving them another try when they come back.

Have you tried Bite Me Box? Or are there other adult boxes you think I should try out?

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Gilded Ruins by Chantal Gadoury Book Review

Gilded Ruins (Blinding Night 2) by Chantal Gadoury Book Review

  • Gilded Ruins (Blinding Night Book 2) by [Gadoury, Chantal]Overall: **
  • Romance: ***
  • Reading Rate: ***** Short and fast paced, finished in a single day
  • Publication Date: May 12th 2020
  • Publisher: The Parliament House Press
  • Purchase on Amazon here

Gilded Ruins is the second book in the Blinding Night duology which is a Hades and Persephone retelling. This book will contain spoilers for Blinding Night so check out my prior review of Book 1.

We pick up right where we left off at the end of book one with Darce and Summer heading to face Zues and Demeter to try and obtain her freedom to return to the underworld.

What I liked:

  • Very interesting take on the Greek Mythology

What I struggled with:

  • It seemed like the same scene repeated several times with slight variations.
  • The FMC was a challenge to deal with in this story as she was very insecure and whiny, she would start each interaction saying she was going to be string and then quickly crumble.
  • The author started a bit of a love triangle in this book but then never really took it anywhere
  • It almost seemed like she started to build out the plot and decided to just end the story instead of tying everything together.

Overall both books were worth the read. I feel this duology would actually have been better as a single stand alone book, taking out some of the repeated instances and wrapping up the ending.

Synopsis:

The Story Continues. . .

Summer and Darce are summoned by the order of Zeus himself to travel to the home of the Gods: Mount Olympus, where they’re to face even more ancient Gods and Goddesses.

Summer braces to confront her mother again, illuminating secrets about the truth of her tragic pasts, while also persuading Zeus to allow her to stay with the God of the Underworld, her true love – Darce.

Aboard Poseidon’s luxury yacht, Summer meets her mythological family, while also uncovering what exactly happened to her past lives – and the true roles her mother and Darce played.

When Darce and Summer suddenly find themselves separated, Summer must find her inner power and unite them together, before her mortal time runs out.

Thank you to Chantal Gaudry for a free copy of Gilded Ruins in exchange for my honest opinion

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

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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Ruthless Gods Book Review

Ruthless Gods Emily DuncanRuthless Gods by Emily Duncan, Book 2 of the Something Dark and Holy trilogy

Overall: ****

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: ***

Release Date: April 7, 2020

Pages: 432

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Purchase on Amazon here

I recommend if you liked: The Bear and the Nightingale, Shadow & Bone Trilogy, Throne of Glass

*Spoilers for Wicked Saints- click here to check out my spoiler free review of book 1.

This book hurt so good! As soon as I put down Wicked Saints I needed the sequel right away…. And now I need the final book soooo bad!!! Ruthless Gods picks up shortly after Wicked Saints left off with the Nadya dealing with the silence of her Gods, Malachiasz missing after his betrayal, and Serefin trying to deal with his new status as king as well as being God touched.  If you enjoyed Wicked Saints you will love this journey as our main characters and also some new faces try to fix the cracks they made in the world… but will their quest to right their wrongs for each of their countries right the wrongs, or break the world entirely.

In the beginning this book was little more difficult to get through and did a lot more world building and filling in some of the knowledge gaps on the gods from books 1. I honestly feel I need to read the book again to really get everything, and I certainly will when the physical copies release! Several times a character’s section had me saying what on earth was happening and rereading entries several times. But all of that building (and Malachaisz/Nadya teasers) was well worth it in the last quarter of the book, and OMG what and ending and set up for what is sure to be an AMAZING final installment. Duncan did such a great job of stringing me along needing answers and holding out hope for my favorite characters redemption, I love it when an author keeps me guessing! I have no idea how I am going to handle to wait for  book 3 to find out how everything ends!

While book one seemed heavily inspired by the Grishaverse the author really changed things up and left that path for book 2. It almost had Bear and the Nightingale vibes with the mythology and creatures added in.

I am usually great at predicting how books are going to flow and Duncan steps up to say challenge accepted. I may get part of the idea but then she jumps right on over it an rips my heart out… and I love it so much!

Synopsis:

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone…or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for a copy of Ruthless Gods in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Fighting Destiny- Fae Chronicles Book 1 Review

Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins- Book 1 of the Fae Chronicles Series

Fighting Destiny Fae Chronicles Book ReviewOverall: ****

Romance: *****

Reading Rate: *****

Pages: 394

Release Date: June 4th 2013

Purchase on Amazon here 

I recommend if you liked: The Bargainer Series

HOLY STEAM!!!! Not safe for work and not safe for kids/YA. I enjoyed this book so much and immediately had to dive in a binge read the others in the series! This is 100% an adult romance book lots of steam, gore, and Oh Dear, Rhyder! This was a fast paced paranormal romance story with an extra dark twist to it.

What I liked:

  • I enjoyed the darkness of the story you know you are going to lose people and that everyone might not get a happy ending.
  • Lots and lots of steam!
  • Amelia had an interesting take on Fae and other creatures being integrated into the human world.

What I struggled with:

  • This book and the whole series take the steamy scenes to quite a dark place that could also be triggers or just taken to far for a lot of readers.
  • There is always a little cliche in these types or paranormal romances, which I don’t mind at all but if you are looking for something to break the mold this is not it.
  • The Female MC certainly makes some rash choices running headlong into danger and being stubborn.

The author is working on the final book in this series to be released soon. She has also written several standalone spin offs as well as other series that are spin offs but tie into the overall story line of the world. Amelia is also a hilarious social media follow and is very active with her fans, but just like her books she is NSFW 🙂

Synopsis:

Have you ever heard of the old Celtic legends of the Fae—beautiful, magical, and deadly creatures that have a love of messing with humans just for kicks and giggles?

Welcome to my world.

What started out as a strange assignment, lead to one of the most gruesome murder mysteries of our times. My friends and I are set and determined to find out who is killing off Fae and Witches alike.

Couple of problems in the way – I hate the Fae and the Prince of the Dark Fae is bound and determined that I work for him. He’s a rude, overbearing egotistical ass with a compulsive need to possess, dominate and control me. Oh—did I mention that he is absolutely sex-on-a-stick gorgeous and he makes me feel things that I never ever wanted to feel for a Fae… every time he touches me or looks at me with those dangerous golden eyes he seems to pull me further in under his spell, despite my better judgment.

My friends and I can’t trust anyone and nothing is as it seems on the surface—not even me.

 

 

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The Wickerlight (The Wren Hunt 2) Book Review

The Wickerlight by Mary Watson ReviewThe Wickerlight – The Wren Hunt #2 by Mary Watson

Overall: ****

Reading Rate: ****

Romance: **

Pages: 416

Release date: November 26, 2019 by Bloomsbury YA

Purchase on Amazon here

Recommend if you liked: Serpent & Dove or The Raven Cycle

The story is dark, intriguing and you never know who to trust or consider “good”. This is a true sequel to the story started in the Wren Hunt and you must read it first to understand the happenings in the second book. Even thought the characters POV are all new in The Wickerlight it continues to build on the story and is tied into events set in motion in book 1. I tried started with this book first thinking it was just based in the same world and was totally lost about a chapter in.

While this book as a little slower than the first I enjoyed it even more due to all the set up that was in place from the first book. I was also eager to learn more about David as a MC instead of antagonist. Watson did a great job of creating such an old world feel with the mythology and culture of the Draoithe, but also mixing modern touches into the society to keep it relatable. Some of the phrasing and spelling threw me off a little when reading but overall it did not take away from the quality of the story. These books definitely kept me guessing between the characters hidden secrets to the plot twists! I still have so many questions and can already not wait until the next installment to find out what happens next!

Synopsis:

Zara’s family moved to Kilshamble for a new beginning. But everything changed the night her sister was found dead on the village green.

Two months later, Laila’s death is a riddle that nobody wants solved. Where were her injuries? Why was she so obsessed with local folklore? And what does all this have to do with David, the boy who lives at the big house?

As Zara delves deeper into her sister’s secret life, she becomes entangled in an ancient magical feud. All too unwittingly she is treading the same dangerous path that led Laila to the village green.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for the opportunity to read The Wickerlight in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

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Vow of Thieves Book Review

Vow of Thieves by Mary Pearson. Book 2 of the Dance of Thieves Duology.

Overall: ****

Romance: **

Reading Rate: *****

Pages: 496

Order on Amazon: Here

**Spoilers for book 1 Dance of Thieves, click here for my spoiler free review of the first book**

After the cliffhangers in the ending the Dance of Thieves I dove right into Vow of Thieves and devoured it in a day and a half. The story picks up right where the first book left off as Kazi and Jase prepare to finally approach Tors Watch and discover what has happened while they were away.  There was never a dull moment through the final book. Pearson takes you on an emotional coaster as the town and family fight for survival. Plots are uncovered that don’t just compromise the town but potentially the world as they know it. You are left wondering who if anyone will make it out alive and will the love between Kazi and Jase endure.

This novel continues to build out the robust world started in the originally trilogy and adds in many more characters to love. I enjoyed the character arcs that they were less “royal”. Pearson writes some vicious villains and fierce females. I actually enjoyed this series more than the Remnant Chronicles but do feel you need to read them first to understand the back story.

Synopsis:

Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor’s Watch will be a kingdom, and Kazi and Jase will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and they soon find themselves captured in a tangled web of deceit woven by their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies, a place where betrayals run deeper and more deadly than either had thought possible, and where timeless ambitions threaten to destroy them both.

That you to NetGalley and Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.