Book Review

Book Review: Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander #8) by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical Fiction
Length: 825 pages
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: June 10th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

It is June 1778, and the world seems to be turning upside-down. The British Army is withdrawing from Philadelphia, with George Washington in pursuit, and for the first time, it looks as if the rebels might actually win. But for Claire Fraser and her family, there are even more tumultuous revolutions that have to be accommodated.Her former husband, Jamie, has returned from the dead, demanding to know why in his absence she married his best friend, Lord John Grey. Lord John’s son, the ninth Earl of Ellesmere, is no less shocked to discover that his real father is actually the newly resurrected Jamie Fraser, and Jamie’s nephew Ian Murray discovers that his new-found cousin has an eye for the woman who has just agreed to marry him.

And while Claire is terrified that one of her husbands may be about to murder the other, in the 20th century her descendants face even more desperate turns of events. Her daughter Brianna is trying to protect her son from a vicious criminal with murder on his mind, while her husband Roger has disappeared into the past.

BEST OF THE SERIES.

Yup. I said it.

Best of the series.

I loved this book so much. It was a combination of being with these characters for so long, getting some storylines I was hopeful for and it ending on a note I could definitely live with. All of these things made for such a perfect novel.

I really recommend this series on audio! It’s the same narrator for all 8 books and she does a fantastic job. The characters feel alive and I think that’s what has helped me love them all the more.

Wowww do I love Jaime and Claire. One of my all time OTPs. These two do NOT give up on each other and I am always here for them. I love their unfailing faith in one another. Their stubborness to remain together in the direst of circumstances and the way they cling together when everything else has fallen apart. A couple I will love always.

All of these other characters, Bri and Roger (+their kids), Fergus and Marsali, William, Ian and Rachel, John Grey and others, have my heart. I love how well adapted everyone is. There’s so much to even just the side characters that the books themselves feel incredibly tangible. Like these people really were there. I love the clear effort and research that goes into each of these novels.

I’m so excited to hear that there’s another book coming eventually. I will be allllll over that one too! One of my favorite historical series ever!

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction / romance
  • Language: strong throughout
  • Romance: multiple open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved ones (child, pet, and adults), war, PTSD, slavery, attempted rape, sexual assault, sex with a minor, suicide, murder, abortion [these books contain many triggers and intense content, I know I may have missed some of them, please research before choosing to read this series!]

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Book Review

Book Review: Where the Stars Meet the Sea by Heidi Kimball

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 256 pages
Author: Heidi Kimball
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: March 2nd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A broken man. A fiery young woman. Neither one’s heart will come away unscathed.

Juliet Graham fervently counts the days until her twenty-first birthday, when she can claim the inheritance that will grant her the freedom she has always craved and the guardianship of her younger brother. Until then, she is trapped under her aunt Agnes’s domineering will. When forced to accompany the family to a house party at Shaldorn Castle, Juliet’s only objective is to keep to herself. That is, until a chance encounter with a boorish stranger stirs up an unexpected whirlwind of emotions in her. Thrown off-balance, Juliet does the unthinkable: loses her temper and insults the man—who turns out to be her unwilling host, the Duke of Halstead. Fully expecting to be sent away, Juliet is surprised when the brusque and callous duke instead takes an interest in her.

Drawn to the duke in unguarded moments, Juliet finds herself more and more intrigued by the man who shuns Society’s rules as completely as she does, and over the next few weeks, their unlikely friendship deepens into a connection neither expected.

But even as Juliet comes to recognize her true feelings, her scheming aunt issues an ultimatum that threatens the future she was just beginning to hope for. Juliet must choose: either break the promise she made to herself years ago, or lose the man who has captured her heart and soul.

OFFICIAL REGENCY FAV.

Oh my goodness, I LOVED THIS. I kept this on my TBR for far too long. It’s an absolute favorite and if you don’t feel like reading this review, don’t worry, my answer for you would be READ IT. Thank me later.

From chapter one I was hooked. The initial banter and chemistry between Halstead and Juliet gave me all the feels and setup for an amazing read. I love the way the passion between them and the incredibly tender moments that had me swooning over and over. If you’re worried about a miscommunication issue, that isn’t a problem here! The conflict has been led to the entire time and it works out the way it should. Not to mention, that ending was PRECIOUS. I am still in a gush over the romance. There’s no steam here, but the wait Kimball builds heat and dynamic won’t leave you missing it at all.

I really liked the overall plot. It’s set at a castle (!!) and the writing sweeps you away to another time. There’s some general characteristics of regency romances but this holds its own with a unique story that had me finishing this in a day. I am an official fan now of Kimball’s and can’t wait to read her other books.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: emotional/psychologically/physically abusive family member, a runaway child, loss of parents

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Book Review

Book Review: Legendborn (Legendborn #1) by Tracy Deonn

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Urban Fantasy
Length: 501 pages
Author: Tracy Deonn
Publisher: McElderry Books
Release Date: September 15th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

AMAZING.

Wow am I so glad I read this! It was fantastic. An incredible debut.

For someone who’s not a general fan of urban fantasies, this didn’t make me worried for a second if I was going to enjoy it. I loved the combination of the college campus with the Arthurian legends. It was SO COOL. A bit confusing at times and I didn’t quite understand until the end how everything worked in the organizations, but once I got there, watching everything click into place was beautiful.

Bree is flawed character with an intense amount of strength. I love solid character growth over a book and it was perfect here. Bree went through an acute amount of grief, growing up, and the racism and microagressions she experienced throughout her life (and more specifically in this book while she’s in a college program). It was powerful to take in this story.

This magic system is complex and very well crafted. Add in some demons and rogue parents and this was a mash-up I could get on board with. It was high action and was paced well. I loved all of the adventures with a dash of a preciously sweet romance brewing.

Legendborn has an incredibly powerful voice. It’s a book hard to put down. It’s a book that makes you think and be exposed to conversations you might not have been. I loved this and can’t wait for the sequel!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Urban Fantasy
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: demon attacks, physical altercations, see trigger section for more
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: depcitions of intense grief, slavery, abuse, PTSD, PCBD (persistant complex bereavement disorder), intergenerational trauma, loss of a parent, racism and micro-agressions

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Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: November 2021

Birthday month was a success! Lots of great reads, and plenty of holiday books too.

Favorites of the Month (there were a lot!): When You Get the Chance, The Fastest Way to Fall, Echoes and Empires, The Hating Game, The Flight Girls, Aurora’s End, A Cross-Country Christmas, The Song of the Marked, The Off-Limits Rule, The Inadequate Heir, A Twist of the Blade, and Cytonic

Least Favorites: Jade Fire Gold, What Are Friends For?, Lovelight Farms, and A Convenient Christmas

  • [ARC] When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord
  • [Novella] ReDawn: Skyward Flight (Skyward #2.2) by Brandon Sanderson and Janci Patterson
  • Jade Fire Gold by June C.L. Tan
  • The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams
  • [ARC] Echoes and Empires (Echoes and Empires #1) by Morgan Rhodes
  • The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time #2) by Robert Jordan
  • [Reread] The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
  • The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar
  • Gilded (Gilded #1) by Marissa Meyer
  • What Are Friends For? (Love in Fenton County #1) by Sarah Sutton
  • [ARC] A Song Among the Silence (The Rhythmist Cycle #1) by Julie Janis
  • Aurora’s End (The Aurora Cycle #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • A Cross-Country Christmas by Courtney Walsh
  • The Song of the Marked (Shadows and Crowns #1) by S.M. Gaither
  • [ARC] The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
  • Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison
  • Vespertine (Vespertine #1) by Margaret Rogerson
  • One Way or Another by Kara McDowell
  • [ARC] Edgewood by Kristin Ciccarelli
  • [Reread] The Off-Limits Rule (It Happened in Nashville #1) by Sarah Adams
  • The Inadequate Heir (The Bridge Kingdom #3) by Danielle L. Jensen
  • Duke, Actually (A Princess for Christmas #2) by Jenny Holiday
  • [Novella] A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Mathews
  • A Twist of the Blade (Shadows and Crowns #2) by S.M. Gaither
  • A Convenient Christmas (Isn’t It Sweet #1) by Jody Holford
  • [ARC] Beyond the Lavender Fields by Arlem Hawks
  • [Novella] Christmas in Love by Karen Thornell
  • The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) by R.F. Kuang
  • Cytonic (Skyward #3) by Brandon Sanderson
  • A Very Grumpy Christmas by Jerica MacMillan
  • These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
  • [Novella] Merry Hearts (Poplar Falls #4.5) by Amber Kelly

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